Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween - A Dance and A Visit

Last night, Greg was assigned to chaperone the Stake Dance, so I got to go with him.  Tammy came over to stay with Ellie, and we were off for a night of loud music and visiting.  It was fun to see the kids come in all excited and give them wrist bands to wear, and it was fun to stay after and help clean everything up.  We spent a lot of time talking with Shannon, and we spotted Clayton, Leonard, Brayden, Jordan, Kayd, Alesha (her first dance!), and Emily.

Today we had a fun time driving down to the Mall and meeting Tayler and her family.  The mall was hosting trick-or-treating, and Matthew went to a few stores to represent us, and the rest of us hung out and talked.  Ellie got passed around and looked pretty stinking cute with or without her pumpkin hat.

Unfortunately, Ellie only slept about 20 minutes on the ride down, and then we woke her up, so she was pretty sleepy and a little fussy.  I know, it is shocking to hear that Ellie was a little fussy, but there it is.  Life isn't all roses, people!  (Of course, Ellie's fussiness really just means that she would not smile on command like she normally does, and she squawked a couple of times - which is just cute).  Even with that, I still managed to capture some good pictures with my little point-and-shoot camera.

Elllie does this great pouty lip that I have captured before, and she inherits this from Marissa. Ellie was doing the lip during the visit, so I tried to get matching mouths. I missed Ellie doing the mouth, but love this picture of Marissa doing it!

During the visit, I was struck again with how much I love Tayler.  It sounds trite and cliche, but I have to say it anyway - Tayler gave us the world and made all of our dreams come true.  Tayler is my hero. I am so happy that Ellie looks like Tayler (although Greg says sometimes [a little facetiously?] that he hopes Ellie is not quite as gorgeous as Tayler when she grows up).  I love that we have a relationship with Tayler and that we learn more about her every time we get together (today we learned that the 4th of July is her favorite holiday, and that she loves watermelon).

After we got home, we took some more shots to document Ellie's first Halloween.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A First and a Few Faces

On Tuesday, Ellie experienced her first snowstorm.  It was awesome!  We started the morning at Darci's house for our presidency meeting, and Darci lent me her cute, snuggly, warm, pink Bundle Me.  This was perfect timing, because when I woke up that morning and saw the snow, I had plans to go to the store after the meeting and buy one.  So Darci saved me time and money!  (Kevin will be so proud - and Greg will be happy too...)

When we got home, I tried to get a self-portrait of Ellie and myself, with the snow outside the window.  Since I am not a professional photographer like my friend Kelly, this shot was the best I could come up with.

And, I have to share a shot of Ellie's perfect, engaging smile.  I just got this when Ellie was laughing and cooing and smiling up a storm.

When Jonette was here a couple of weeks ago, we hit the mother lode at Kohl's and found cute turtle decorations for the nursery.  I got everything put up a week ago or so, and I love going in the nursery even more than ever. 

This morning, Ellie started squawking about 7:30, so I got up to go get her and feed her.  She did not have her eyes open.  So, I went back to bed.  About a minute later, Ellie squawked again, and Greg and I both got up and went and looked her.  Her eyes were still not open.  So, I sat down in the rocker and pulled up a blanket and waited for a few minutes.  I just enjoyed looking around at her beautiful room.  And then I dozed a little - and Ellie did not wake up until almost 8:30.  That makes for 9 hours last night - which she has been sleeping pretty consistently lately.  (We can still be friends if your baby does not sleep that much, right?)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Grandma's 94th Birthday Party

Yesterday we celebrated Grandma's 94th birthday.  Mom had told us about it last week, and neither Greg nor I wrote it down, so we had forgotten about it.  Luckily, my cute cousin Ryan called and wanted to carpool.  He came up from Provo and we drove the rest of the way together.

Grandma LOVES having her picture taken...  She kept on trying to skeedaddle out of my shots, but I captured a few good ones.  I even managed to get all of the Maathuis girls together (and in age order):  Aunt Christine, Aunt Phyllis and Mom.  And what family party would be complete without ice cream?

My other favorite shots of the night include this one of Brian, Greg, and Ellie, and of a grouping including my cousin Ryan, who is studying for his PhD in Biochemistry at BYU right now.  He's single and super cool - so let me know if you know anyone who would be interested in dating him!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Primary Program

This morning was our ward's Primary Program (or, if you want the official title, it was the Primary Children's Sacrament Meeting Presentation).  The kids did great!  They were well prepared and really knew their songs.  We had some last minute reassignments because of sick children, and the filler-inners did awesome.  Nina is in charge of the whole shindig, and she gets nervous, but she has now superintended 2 fantastic programs.   

Way to go, Nina!

Yesterday, Ellie had her first official teenage babysitter.  Greg and I had a small overlap in our schedules, so our next door neighbor Paige came over for 30 minutes to bridge the gap.  She is a pro, since she has a brand-new baby sister.

Ellie is getting so strong and holds her head up in her Bumbo for about 15 seconds now.  Of course, by the time I get the camera she has already slumped to the side.  Note to self - remember to have the camera before putting Ellie in the Bumbo.

Ellie is so talkative and gives the greatest smiles!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Yet Another Institute Class

Today Ellie and I went to yet another Institute class - this one taught by Greg's mom Cheryl. Rachel and Andrew were there also, and both Andrew and Ellie did great.

After Institute, Ellie and I went to the Post Office to get stamps, and had a definite tender mercy - there was no line. No really, no line in the post office. I was the only one there!

On our way home, we drove through the older part of Lehi, and there were so many beautiful trees arrayed in gorgeous yellows and reds and oranges. Fall is my favorite season, and we have been enjoying such a nice one this year.

Tonight I put Ellie in her Bumbo seat for the first time. She is still too little for it, but it was fun to watch her use her muscles and try to hold her head up.

Greg pulled her out after only a minute or two, and then played with her.  He is so tall and has such long arms, that it seemed like Ellie was going to touch the ceiling...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Institute and Chains

Ellie and I went to Michael Wilcox's class this afternoon.  I drove with Cheryl, and when we got there we went into the chapel and spoke with her daughters Marci, Tiana, and Sheri for a few minutes before going to the mother's room, where Ellie promptly fell asleep.  It was fun to watch her sleep, and the noises she makes and the faces she pulls.  Normally when Ellie is asleep I am doing dishes or checking email or whatever, so it was great to see what she does as she settles into a deep sleep.

Today I pulled out the link/chain things out for the first time, and Ellie has had a great time playing with them in her car seat (with a new car seat cover made by our friend Charity) and in her room while I was folding laundry, and in her bouncer.  Ellie was going crazy in her bouncer batting at her toys and grabbing at the chains.  I am amazed that she does not even flinch when things fly towards her face, and Greg says it is because she has no fear yet, and no expectation that anything will hit her.  Nothing has yet!

And, I have to include some of my recent favorite pictures of this amazing baby.  (I get new favorites every day....)  Check out Ellie's gorgeous blue eyes!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Jonette & The Kids

Jonette, Kylene, Kiera, and Kaysen got in to town Wednesday night.  Ellie & I went to Brother Holzapfel's Institute Class with Gwen and Dave, and as soon as we dropped them off we headed off to Grandma & Grandpa's house.  We had a lot of fun this weekend hanging out with them - shopping, playing games, watching sports, going out to eat, and getting pedicures.  Tanya and Tammy celebrated another 29th birthday, so we had fun celebrating with them as well.

Here are some pictures from the weekend.  Kylene is helping Ellie have a fish face...

Kiera and Andrew are big buddies.  Andrew had a little tumble off of the 4-wheeler on Tuesday, and already his face is healing nicely.  The stitches are already out.  Whenever I take his picture, he likes to come over and look at it in the camera.  He points at his scrapes and says "owie."

On Thursday night, we had a girls' night out to celebrate Tanya and Tammy's birthday.  We went to the Cheesecake Factory because that is currently Tammy's favorite restaurant.  It was my first time there, and I thought it was good, but not worth the price.

On Friday, we had a potluck at Greg's parents' house to celebrate the visitors.  Kyralyn and Andrew were really hamming it up!

Andrew has found a new girlfriend in Kayd.  He was fascinated by her - and Kayd was a good sport and played with him a lot!

Everyone teases me that Ellie is the most documented baby in history. Normally she cooperates fully and lets me get beautiful shots of her. I adore this shot of her pouty lip - while she is blowing bubbles!

On Saturday, Jonette, Kylene, Kiera, Tammy, Tanya and I went to get pedicures to continue our celebration of the birthday week.  For the first time ever, I succumbed to the peer pressure and paid $5 to get flowers painted on my toes.  It is pretty - but I am not sure that it is worth $5!  (Am I too much of a cheapskate?)

Then it was back to Grandma's house to have a relaxing afternoon.  Greg and Ellie came over to meet us.

This morning I tried to put new shoes on Ellie, but they are still too big.  She was pretty pleased with herself at managing to get one shoe off!

And that ends this monster post.  Thanks for finishing it out, if you managed to read it all...


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