Monday, October 11, 2010

Miles City

 We took the girls out to Miles City this weekend to see the place where they were born, and to spend time with their birthfamily.  We are so lucky that they are a welcoming and open group of people who would have us out for a visit.

On Saturday Ashley came over to the hotel with her son Gabe, and with her mom (Grandma LeAnn) and her Aunt Jeannie, and cousins Anna, Emma, and Michael.  We all played at the pool.  Clara and Elena had a lot of fun "splashing" Grandma LeAnn!

Clara and Gabe share silly faces, and also some popcorn.
Clara was wild about Ashley this visit - she wanted her to hold her and sit near her and watch her do all kinds of things.  Here they are in one cuddling moment.
Daddy Seal - Clara was FEARLESS in the water this time around.  She swam the length of it by herself over and over (with her life vest on).  Elena was a little more timid, and stayed with Christina getting good angles for pictures.  Oh, and she sat with her feet in the hottub so long she had red, pruney feet!
Later that day we took the girls to the hospital where they were born.

It was fun to see them here, where we took them home as little nearly-four-pound preemies.  It's amazing to see them so competent and articulate when they were so helpless and unaware when last we were here.
After lunchtime it was bowling time!!  We had never taken the girls bowling before, and were unaware that in addition to bumpers, they also offer kids ramps.  Here Anna and Emma and Steve help Elena figure out how to get her ball down one.
Clara was outstanding at showing enthusiasm for the slightest elements in bowling.  Here, she was excited her ball had been returned.  Even when she hit no pins, she would fist pump, open her mouth wide, and then say "Awesome!!"
Leni action shot - she actually scored a spare one time!

Still later (this was a fun, long day!) we went to Grandma LeAnn's house and she helped them make cupcakes.

Anna and Emma brought so many fun toys over to play with, and this baby carseat was one.  The girls loved pretending to be babies in it.
Cuddle time with Elena and Ashley.
And Clara and Gabe, too!
Clara, intent on drawing in one of the books Auntie Jeannie got for her.
This photo was taken by Emma.  She and Anna both borrowed the camera periodically to take some shots.  This captured so well Elena in her play - she wanted to be a sleeping baby, but wanted to notice that everyone NOTICED her being a sleeping baby!

Time to frost the cupcakes!
The kids played so well together - here they organized their own game of Duck, Duck, Goose - and Great Grandma looked on.

Twins and twins!  Clara, Emma, Anna, and Elena (left to right).  Auntie Jeannie is also a twin!

Although he was shy now and then, overall Gabe was game to be in the mix and was a good sport with the girl-heavy weekend!
Recreating one of the poses from the hospital three years ago - Ashley holding Gabe, who looks on at Clara.  Grandma LeAnn holds Elena.
And a big family shot - that's Auntie Jeannie on the left!
It was great to see the family and Miles City again.  We wish it was closer - 18 hours round trip for a weekend was pretty tough!  The girls held it together pretty well, but we had about a million renditions of "A, Alligators All Around" and a LOT of Dora movies!  At one point, Steve was trying to get the girls to close their eyes -it was about 9:30 pm and we were still an hour out from Miles City.  He didn't want the movies on in the car anymore because he thought the bright light was keeping them from sleeping.  So when Elena asked for a movie, he told her it was time to close her eyes and sleep.  She said, so sweetly and rationally: "Daddy, I'm sorry, we're not there yet.  I don't have my bed.  Please I may watch a movie?"    We couldn't resist - add one more Dora to the pile!

**Shout out to all of our Miles City nice to meet so many of you, at the Best Western, at the bowling alley, and out on the town.  You sure know how to make a family feel welcome, and we love that you enjoy the pictures!!

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