Saturday, October 31

Our First Visitor and Our 'First' Halloween

Moo Grandma is here! Quite an exciting event for the girls to pick her up at the airport and then show her all around our building and apartment.

If you know me at all you know that I hate Halloween. There's a number of reasons and I won't go into all of them here. Anyway, as a result of our secluded home on Rocky Top and my dislike for the holiday my girls have never really celebrated. We've carved pumpkins, but that's been the extent of it up to now. Now that we're living a bit closer to other folks and Halloween's a *big deal* here in Whittier, I am not able to just pretend Halloween doesn't happen.

Halloween was first celebrated last night at the school carnival. I bucked the costume tradition and just sent the girls to the dress up box to pick something. They both emerged dressed as ballerinas complete with ballet slippers and tu-tus. Tonight we made a short list of places to visit and Scott and Moo Grandma took the girls (dressed in dress-up dresses, flip flops, carrying purses and wearing a crown for Kelsey, and a stocking cap for Stacy) visiting. They practiced at our house and then went to visit a few friends. I'm not even sure they made it to everyone's house, they were back soon, both lugging purses full of candy! We picked a few to keep, and put the rest in a bag to send home to Moo Grandpa.

Happy Halloween, everyone! :-)

Wednesday, October 28

The Snow is Here!

Much excitement in our house today after Scott pointed out to the girls that it had snowed last night! We were outside at 7:30 this morning, playing in the small yard area in front of the building. I'm sure most of Whittier knew we were up and outside!

The girls were delighted to come in and have some hot chocolate after their fingers got cold and then we were outside again just before lunch. We hit the tire swing at the school...even more fun in the snow somehow! The slides were also a big hit--pretty quick, too! I had to catch airborne girls at the bottom.

I know the day will come when we're all tired of the snow, but for now it is new, bright, and beautiful so we're enjoying it!

Monday, October 26

New Vinyl

I've begun! The upholstery batting I needed to get started arrived in the mail today, so yipee!!

Here's the 'before' and here's the 'in process'.

I did just one seat during naptime today. The seats will go much more quickly than the backs, I know that much already! I think it turned out quite nicely and I'm excited to do the others!

Sunday, October 25

Knotted Tu-Tus

Now isn't that cute? And boy was it simple! I followed (mostly!) this tutorial.
Basically you cut the tulle into strips, knot them onto the elastic waistband and before you know it, your would-be ballerina is twirling around the living room!

These will make a lovely addition to our dress-up box. Perhaps they will even be selected for Halloween!

Pumpkin Carving and Swimming!

A guaranteed recipe for happy and exhausted little girls!

After a 5 year hiatus, we rejoined our friends the Abbeys for their annual pumpkin carving party. Last time we got to attend they were living in Bremerton, Tammy was pregnant and Scott and I had been married just a few years. Fast forward to 2009. The Abbeys have been in Anchorage for 5 years. The baby that was in-utero 5 years ago is now in preschool and now the Korbes (now 4 of us instead of just 2!) live in Alaska, too. As for the pumpkin carving it's evolved, too. Now a family event, there were at least 10 kids elbow-deep in pumpkins and seeds last night. All of them having a blast!

We spent the night in Anchorage at a hotel that's WAY nicer than our apartment...complete with a dishwasher (the hotel, not the apartment!)! The kids made excellent use of the hotel pool and I got the shopping done that we needed done!

Many pictures over at Fotki!

Friday, October 23

At the Breakfast Table

Due to their natural 'morning person' tendencies, my girls are often at their best before most people are even up. Case in point--breakfast today!

7AM at our table, *totally* out of the blue:

Stacy (right hand out, head cocked to the side as she does when she's very serious about something): Kewsey, dometimes I just want to be awone. Pwease don't talk to me when I want to be awone. Dometimes I want to pway with you, but dometimes I don't.

Kelsey: Ok sweetie, I know that sometimes you want to be alone. Sometimes I want to be by myself too.

Stacy: Danks, honey!

Sooo grown up! And yet so funny, too! I love their use of "sweetie" and "honey" with each other--it just cracks me up! Kelsey started it this summer and Stacy's picked it up too.

I'm such a lucky Mama!

Thursday, October 22

Town Day

Today had an early start. And why is it that the ONE day you need your kids to be up and at 'em it is the ONE day that they would sleep in???

Anyway...the girls got up, got dressed and had breakfast AND we managed to catch the 7am tunnel out of town. Our destination today: the dentist. Blech! Scott and I got our teeth cleaned...I could go on and on, but suffice it to say--we won't be taking the girls to that dentist!

Our big success of the day was finding a McDonald's with a playland! I spent some time on their website. I would have thought that given the weather in Anchorage for a good 6 months of the year that every Micky D's would have a playland, but there's only 3! BK offers no such info on their website, so we'll just have to keep driving around! I'm thrilled to know where to get some free exercise in town, and since we're in town so rarely, I don't mind the fact we're eating fast food on most trips.

We didn't end up doing any shopping since we'll be in town this weekend to attend a Halloween Party and see some sights. We're spending the night, so we have a little more time and flexibility. And a hotel pool! :-)

Friday, October 16

"When I a baby..."

It seems that if you're Stacy, all the good stuff happened "When I a baby". It's her most commonly used phrase lately. She applies it to all sorts of situations. For instance while playing dolls she'll tell me "When I a baby, I weared diapers," or "When I a baby, I used this bib." She also applies it to situations where she's been told 'no'.

I say, "Stacy, please don't jump off that."

She replies, "When I a baby, I jump off dat." Well, not really, but...:-)

Kelsey's new word is "apparently". She can *almost* use it correctly, too.

I say, "Kelsey, would you like butter or Miracle Whip on your sandwich?"

She says, "Apparently I'd like Miracle Whip." Hmmmm...

Tuesday, October 13

Fun with Trikes

Last Thursday I was caught by surprise as we headed over to school to play at gym time, only to remember when we were en route that the school was in Anchorage on their field trip to see The Lion King. If you're a mom, you know that I had to exercise my best quick thinking to prevent major meltdowns when telling the girls we couldn't go to school after all. Enter the tricycles!

Scott brought the trikes up with him and until now they'd been sitting in the storage cage in the basement. I'd been hesitant to get them out since all of Whittier is on a hill sloping up from the harbor, with the school being at the top of the hill and the BTI next to the top. The hill isn't huge by any means, but I judged it to be just enough to make pedaling a trike challenging for a tyke! Nonetheless I was desperate, so I suggested we grab our trikes and head outside. Crisis averted!

Since then, we've been riding every day! The hill is challenging for Kelsey (and quite frustrating if she's very tired!) and a bit too much for Stacy. My mom shared the solution she used for me back in my tricycle days--a bit of a 'leash' of sorts to lend a little aid. We fashioned something similar and I'm now able to give Stacy the gentle tug she needs to keep going while still able to push Kelsey with one foot if she stalls or gets distracted and stops pedaling.

We've had a bit of a wet spell last week and until yesterday had done most of our riding in the rain. Thank goodness for the Alaska Railroad Pedestrian Tunnel! We're able to ride down the hill in the rain, ride laps in the dry tunnel, then ride home in the rain. On nicer days our destination is the basketball court. We even ventured down to Scott's office toting our lunch last Friday!

Overall, the trikes have been a hit and are getting well used again!

Friday, October 9

Pajama Perfection

Ahhhhh! Check one off the to-do list. Remember those PJ pants I blogged about back around Labor Day? Well they're done! The girls and I can now sport matching PJ bottoms. I have shirt plans, but need purchased shirts so that project's in the distance for now. I'm including a pic of the completed kiddo pants. PJ pants, like shoes, are cuter when smaller! :-)


I'm a little behind on posting this, but the good news is my bagels are getting better! My last batch used this recipe and turned out so well that Scott ate 3 off them right off the cooling rack! They were a little paler than store-bought but oh so yummy!

I'm also making our bread...and I think I'm getting the kinks worked out of that recipe as well! Now--watch out English muffins! Here I come!

**update 6/5/10**
You've gotta use the bread flour! Look at poor example #1 above, made with all-purpose flour. Yummy, but sort of flat! Now check out example #2 below, made with bread flour. Doesn't that look more like what you'd expect out of a bagel from the store?

My other tip is to use a tiny bit of water to wet the ends of the dough as you form the bagel. It really helps them stick together better for a nicer, rounder looking finished product.

Wednesday, October 7

Banking Day

The girls are playing bank right now...adorable!! Kelsey is 'the bank' and Stacy is on her (much too small) Dora car driving up to the 'window' (a square Kelsey drew in the air with her finger). K then asks if S would "like any money?". Of course, S answers in the affirmative and some Memory game cards change hands. Then K asks "Would you like a sticker for your baby?" and again S returns that she would. Another Memory card changes hands and then S drives off, turns around and returns to the bank.

I need to find a bank like this--gives out money over and over again with no need for an ATM card, picture ID, etc.!! :-)

Saturday, October 3

We've Given Up

I've been meaning to post the news, but keep forgetting! Anyone who knows Scott well, please sit down...don't want you to fall down in shock! He's given up soda!! He didn't buy any when he arrived and I haven't purchased any either! We're both still drinking it at restaurants, but not paying the big $$ to drink it at home any more.

For my part, I've given up shampoo! I've tossed the idea around for awhile after reading about lots of people using just baking soda and an occasional vinegar rinse. My hair has always been SUPER oily, but right away I noticed it was much less so. It also has *lots* more body. Overall I'm pleased with the results!

After a beautiful week, the rain returned today. I went to Anchorage today and completed 'Operation Stock Up' and even did some shopping for fabric for Christmas projects.

The girls continue to have a blast at gym time at the school and were quite taken with the harbor when we explored it on Friday. They loved all of the various floats, chains, ropes, etc. that decorate the sidewalk edge of harbor towns and Whittier is no exception. Of course there's also any number of rocks down there and since rocks are among the favorite items at the moment they both hauled home pocketfuls of them!

Another big hit Friday was taking lunch to Scott in his office. The girls really were impressed with themselves. Later that afternoon after he was off work we all met up and walked home together, which they also enjoyed.