Monday, November 29, 2010

Shopping & Entertainment

On Friday, we had fun shopping in the afternoon, after all of the crowds were done.  Greg has needed a new drill for a while, so we headed to Home Depot first.  Then we went to Costco just to wander around - since it is our favorite store.  Costco had this cute recliner for kids that we had to put Ellie in.  It was a little big for her (probably designed for 4-8 year olds), but she had fun playing in it!  The smart girl even figured out how to put the bottom down...
 Ellie loves to entertain Lynlee.  She is always walking over to her and talking to her.  Mostly gibberish, but occasionally I will catch words like "hi" and "Lynlee" and "baby."  Ellie especially loves to talk to Lynlee just after I get Lynlee to sleep.
 Ellie was fascinated with Lynlee in her bouncer, and had to be right next to her.  Lynlee was wide awake and seemed to enjoy the attention.  At least, I tell myself that (since there is really no way of knowing what a 3-week old baby is thinking!).  And, of course, Ellie had to take a turn in the bouncer once Lynlee was done with it.


 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving

Greg, Ellie, Lynlee, and I had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We cooked up waaaay too much food and watched football and played.  M and her family came for dinner and we had a wonderful, relaxing day.
food missed in the picture - 4 more pies, stuffing, gravy, and green bean casserole

Lynlee's shirt says "thankful for mommy & daddy."  I want her to always be thankful for BOTH of her moms.

Ellie's shirt says "everyone is thankful for me" - which is so true!







There are so many tender mercies in my life to be grateful for.  I am so thankful for my family and friends.  With two babies to take care of, my world has become much more myopic.  I appreciate the kindness and support of those around me.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to build our family through the miracle of adoptions.  Without our beautiful and selfless and far-seeing birth moms, we would not have the opportunity of raising Ellie and Lynlee.  There is nothing better than that!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Some thoughts

What does it take to make a family?
One that won't break when the bumps come along.
What does it take to make a family?
People who work and love and laugh
People who sing a song.
What does it take to make a family?
One that is there even when you are wrong.
What does it take to make a family?
People who all forgive and help.
People who sing a song.

What does it take to make a family?
One that will help you learn to be strong.
...People who all believe in you
...One that will last more than just this life long
...People who love eternally
What Does It Take to Make a Family? from My Turn on Earth

At our last round of adoption training, one of the presenters talked about how we don't "own" our children, even though people talk about their "own children."  I really started thinking about the difference between the attitude of "owning" versus the attitude of "stewardship."  We don't own Ellie or Lynlee, but through the miracle of adoption and our generous birth moms, we have been given stewardship for them.  We are responsible to raise them to be healthy, strong women who make moral and ethical choices.  We are responsible to teach them the gospel of Jesus Christ and help them feel the love of the Savior.  We are responsible to provide for their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.  We are responsible to love them unconditionally.  All of these responsibilities are a privilege that I would not trade.

We affix labels to our relationships with others: mother, daughter, wife, sister, birth mother, grandmother, step-mother, coworker, teacher, friend.  We nurture and build relationships because they are vital, and we need the love and support of those in our lives.  I think relationships are not defined by their label, but by the love that is shared.

Bottom line for me?  I love Ellie and Lynlee and their birth moms with all my heart.  I love Greg.  I love the Savior.  All of us are linked together - forever.

Doctor Visit

Yesterday we took Lynlee to the doctor for the first time for her 2 week check-up, and Ellie in for her 15-month check-up.  Greg, Ellie, and I all got flu shots (nasal for me, because I am a wimp - and it was so easy!), and the girls got their immunizations.
ready to go!
 
 Length: 19.5" ~ 50th percentile
Weight: 7 pounds 2 ounces ~ 25th percentile
Head Circumference: 36.2 cm ~ 75th percentile

Ellie was very interested in the doctor examining Lynlee.  When it was Ellie's turn, she did not even cry. What a big girl!  It was the best doctor's visit ever - until it was time for shots... 
 
Length: 30.5 inches ~ 50th percentile
Weight: 22 pounds 4 ounces ~ 25th percentile
Head Circumference: 48.3 cm ~ 95th percentile

So both girls are tall and skinny with big heads!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Odds and Ends

Ellie discovered flipping over today.  She loved it!  She did it with Greg on the floor, and then with me when we were sitting on the couch.  She flipped over backwards onto the floor and laughed and laughed!
 Our friend Kristin gave the girls these adorable outfits.  It is so fun to have them wear matching clothes!  In our quest to get a good picture, we got a lot of funny ones...  Luckily, a couple turned out.

 We also had a fun visit with Tayler today.  She came over to play with Ellie and to meet Lynlee.  Ellie warmed up really fast, and just played and played.  She walked Tayler all over the house and showed off all of her favorite toys.

Guess Whose...

...belly button fell off last night?  (or is that guess who's?  I cannot decide!)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Positive Adoption Language

A new outfit and an eating breakthrough

This cute outfit was a gift from my friend Julie.  It says "just one of the girls" and has a pink purse on it.  It also has more snaps per square inch than any outfit I have ever seen before.
 For two nights in a row, Ellie has actually eaten quite a bit of dinner.  My friend Elizabeth made the yummy cream cheese chicken and rice dish, and Ellie devoured the chicken!  She used played with her spoon for a while both times, and then just used her hands to put big bites in her mouth.  Very exciting stuff.  (And thanks to Julie for the plate and silverware for the big girl!)
And I feel so rested this morning! Greg did ALL of the night feedings last night, and I slept for almost 8 hours. Straight. What an amazing husband and father.

Awesome Quote

...birth mothers are not caring and selfless women because they placed their child for adoption.  They placed their child for adoption because they are caring and selfless.
http://birthmothers4adoption.blogspot.com/2010/11/guest-blogger-adoptive-fathers-love-for.html 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sisters

Ellie has adjusted really well to having Lynlee around.  For the first few days, Ellie didn't seem to mind at all.  It was about Saturday afternoon that she seemed to realize that the baby was here to stay!  Ellie likes to give Lynlee kisses, and E is quick to let me know if L is making any squeaks (as if my ears aren't working...).  After giving Lynlee a kiss or two, Ellie is content to go back to playing.
Lynnie Loo is such a good baby!  On Saturday night, I had Lynlee sleep on one couch while I slept on the other one, to see if she would sleep by herself.  She did great.  So last night, I put her in the cradle.  It took about 30 minutes for her to settle down, but then she slept in the cradle for the rest of the night.  Greg and I have worked out a good system.  I go to bed between 8-9 and get in a few good hours where I am not listening for the baby.  After giving another feeding, he will come to bed and I will be on listening duty.  Lynlee is sleeping 3-4 hours between feedings, and so it is going pretty smoothly.  I am getting more sleep than I expected!
Lynlee's sweet birth mother came by for a visit today.  It was nice to see her, and to watch her hold and change and feed Lynlee.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The BCLs

Because the BCLs (that's Book Club Ladies) are all so GORGEOUS, especially Ilene, and because a quorum of them went out to lunch and then came over to visit Lynlee, I had to post a picture documenting the event. 



The Story of Lynlee's Name

Our birth mom asked in her very first email to us if she could help us name the baby.  We had gotten together a few times before the birth, and we talked about names we liked and didn't like and tried to find a name that everyone loved.  We knew we wanted the middle name of Elizabeth, since M's middle name is also Elizabeth.  For some reason, it was hard to come up with a first name that seemed to fit!  Our short list included Amelia, Aubrey, and Leila.

A week ago, M told us that she really liked the name Lynlee.  At the time, I had given up on Amelia, and was still trying to recommend Aubrey.  After about 30 minutes of talking about something else, I asked M if she knew what Greg's and my middle names were. 

She didn't. 

Our names are Greg Lynn and Heather Lee

From that moment on, Lynlee just seemed meant to be!

It wasn't until after M gave birth and spent a few days with Lynlee that we all made a final decision.  It seemed to be everyone's favorite name, and fits this little angel very well.
Lynlee loves to sleep with her hands near her face

First Bath

Lynlee was not a fan of her bath last night, until we got to the rinsing-her-head part.  That she loved!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

First Photo Shoot

Ellie went down for a nap as soon as we got home, and went right to sleep.  We know this because Lynlee was crying as we changed her first diaper at home, and there was nary a peep from Ellie! 

Lynlee had leaked onto her outfit, so we changed her.  Once we got a clean onesie on her, I had to do Lynlee's first photo shoot.  We kept it short so that we could get her dressed again and keep her warm.
 
 
These boots were given to Lynlee by M when she announced to us that she was going to deliver a baby girl to our arms.
 

Placement and Coming Home

This morning was an emotional one.  We went to the hospital at 10 a.m. and met a case worker in the lobby.  Ellie found a new friend, an 8-month old that was also waiting in the lobby.  We signed all of the papers, and then Margaret came down to get us.  We went upstairs and went in to meet with our birth mom, M.  (M has asked us to not post pictures on the blog to protect her privacy). 
in the lobby
 Ellie was really cute.  She gave Lynlee a kiss and seemed really interested in her.  That is, until M gave Lynlee to me to hold.  Then Ellie got very concerned and did a fake cry/whine.  Once I was holding Ellie and Lynlee, Ellie thought everything was fine.  Then it was Greg's turn to hold Lynlee, and again Ellie did a little whine.  So Greg got to hold both girls as well.
 Placement was very emotional.  M is truly my hero!  We feel so honored to have been chosen by her to raise Lynlee.  Greg says that placement (both with Ellie and now with Lynlee) is so brutal because we can feel our birth moms' pain.  It is truly an unselfish and powerful love to choose adoption.
leaving the hospital
on the drive home, Ellie kept on looking at Lynlee and trying to touch her

Welcome home, Lynlee Elizabeth!

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