Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving

A couple of days ago, Lynnie figured out how to climb up in Ellie's Ikea chair.  Lu is so proud of herself!  She loves to sit there, and stand up, and bounce, and try to reach the blinds.  She has been having a lot of fun in that chair.
 Thanksgiving morning, the girls slept in.  It was awesome to have a slow morning on a holiday.  Greg's parents came by for a quick look at the sheet rocked basement, and then it was pie time!  Greg is something of a pie-making expert now, and he makes really good crusts.  At least, that's what people tell me.  I am not a fan of pie crust, so I never eat his pies.  This year, the menu included pumpkin and apple (bought at Costco), blueberry and cherry (made by Greg) and banana cream and coconut cream (made by me with a shortbread crust). 

*Side note:  Thanks to my gourmet cook/baker friend, Elizabeth, I knew I needed to try the Lion House recipes, with her twist on toasting all of the coconut for the coconut cream pie (mixed in and sprinkled on top).  So delicious!  I am so grateful for NAET and the fact that I was able to eat a little of both pies and not be sick.  A true Thanksgiving miracle!

After our pies were ready and Lynnie was awake from her nap, we headed to Greg's parents for the rest of the day.  Ellie was a little cranky, since she was skipping her nap, but as soon as Tammy asked if E wanted a massage, she was all smiles and ready to play with all of her cousins.
 Dinner was delicious, thanks to the combined efforts of everyone!  We split up all of the assignments to give back to Greg's parents, who graciously host pretty much every year.  They still had plenty of work to do without worrying about the cooking.

I love my cousins!  (and note that Kyralyn has a full plate, and Ellie has her snacks...sigh)

Babies are the most fun of all!

Luckily the weather was gorgeous, and the youngest ones had a great time playing outside.

Then Jazzy pretended she was a doll, and Ellie and Kyralyn put her to bed.  Jasmine was very convincing with her cries and sleeping noises.
 I wanted to get a family picture, because I love Thanksgiving and everything it represents.  Timing-wise, I did not try until we were minutes away from packing up to come home.  And we were ready to go home because Ellie was about to fall asleep and a little cranky.  This is the best one Staci managed to get for us (and it was the first one taken):
 In all of the rest, Ellie had her finger on or in her nose, or
 her eyes were covered, or
 she was picking on Lynnie and making her cry.
I am so grateful for these beautiful girls and their amazing birth mothers.  Lynlee's shirt says "everyone is thankful for me" -- and that could not be more true.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

More Progress

Lots of noise and dust at our house lately!  Sheet rock is in, and impressively installed by a guy working alone with a contraption that holds the sheet rock for him.



Our contractor and friend Cody came to convert the arch opening into the living room into a set of double doors for an office/study.  Ellie is fascinated with Cody!  She loves to talk to him, and he is so nice to her.

Here's what I've discovered: a regular ol' broom cleans up sheet rock dust better than the Swiffer.  And, it catches me by surprise every time I come down the hallway and see that bigger, square opening.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Catch Up

With the first real winter storm coming, Greg came home a little early from work on Friday to mow the grass one more time and put down the winter fertilizer.  I bundled up the girls and pulled out the rest of the things from the garden.  It started out so warm and nice, and we could tell when the wind shifted.  If anyone needs some carrots, let me know!  It was amazing how many carrots and potatoes we still had left.  It took me at least 6 hours to scrub them all over a two-day period.

Ellie was jumping Lambie and Barney

Perfect shirt for a perfect girl!

"I love my sister.  She is my best friend!"

"I help you make dinner.  I need a whisk!"
 For a while I thought Lynnie would be a good eater, because she started out marginally better than Ellie, but that has not turned out to be the case.  We had a little breakthrough on Sunday night.  She fed herself her apple/kiwi/mango concoction, and ate about half a jar.  That is the most baby food she has eaten at one time--ever!
we go back to the ophthalmologist in December to recheck her eyes

love my dolphin toys!
 We got to play with cousins Jasmine and Byron today, and it sure was fun!  I had a nice chat with Jayme and the kids did really well together.  Ellie loved saying things like, "Jazzy, you play me?  Jazzy, ca-mere!  By-by, you OK?"

Byron entertained himself a lot, staying out of all the girls' way

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Basement Progress

The basement is coming along!  We have had an inspection, the plumbing and electrical are done (for pre-sheet rock) and the insulation is in.  Learning from Elizabeth, I wanted insulation on all the interior walls around the bathrooms.  Now we need one more inspection, and the sheet rock will be installed.
This may be my favorite part of the basement -- they blew out the single door and will put in double, glass doors.  So much light on the landing now!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Our Week

I have taken less pictures than normal this week, but here are some things we have been doing:
loving all drawers and cabinets--sure is fun to pull things out!
The messing-my-pants position.  Will she kill me for taking this picture someday?
playing ring-around-the-rosy with Bear and Lambie
Ensemble Festival
another birthday celebration with Grandma Camp
playing games on Mom's phone while sitting in a "bed" of her own creation
snuggling with Sister

Picture #10,000

sisterly love
This is the 10,000th picture I have taken on the camera I got for Christmas last year.

Wow.

I read once on Stacy Julian's blog something to the effect of, if you only had 12 pictures of your childhood, they would be infinitely precious, no matter the quality of the photos or the events/people depicted.  If you have 20,000 pictures, they lose their effectiveness, unless there is a story associated with them.

Hence the reason I try to blog and journal about the amazing journey I call my life.  I take a lot of pictures (and delete a lot as well), but I do not want to miss documenting the life of these precious babies.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mine is a Wonderful Life

Tonight, Greg, Ellie, Lulu and I were all on the family room floor, playing together.  Greg was laid out full-length on a stack of three pillows after Ellie had put him to bed.  Lynnie was alternating between "getting" Daddy and "getting" me, laughing and giggling amidst growls while falling on us.  Ellie was crawling on Dad, and sitting on his shoulder, and singing songs.  Her favorite was when we sang, "Bazoo, Bazoo, Butz" because the lyrics talk about a goat who goes bump and a donkey who kicks.  She loved bouncing on Dad while singing this song!

I found myself struck anew at how wonderful life is.  I wanted to capture this simple moment forever.  In 5 or 10 or 20 years, I know it will be moments like this that we will look back on and say, "Remember when the girls were little and we...?"

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Lulu's Doctor's Appointment

1 Year Old
Doctor's Appointment

Length: 29.25 inches = 50th percentile
Weight: 24 pounds 4 ounces = 90th percentile
Head Circumference: 46.5 centimeters = 90th percentile

so happy before we get messed with
 For the first time ever, we had shots before the doctor came in to do her exam.  This was not a happy order, and Lulu was upset for a long time.  She cried harder than I have ever heard her.
I help her feel better!
Before we went to the doctor, I was talking with Ellie about it, and Ellie told me the doctor would look in Lulu's ears and mouth and listen to her heart, and give her shots.  Then she said that daddy would help Lulu feel better, and "I help her too because I no get shots."  I assured her that it was not her turn for a shot, just Lynnie's.

Well, when we got there the nurse told us we all needed flu shots.  Ellie was a trooper, though, and got her shot with almost no crying.  In the car on the way home, she told me, "this leg OK, this leg owie."  She walked with a limp most of the day.  I am not sure if her leg really hurt, or if she was perfecting her pretending skills.

Lulu is 12 Months Old

At 12 months old, Lulu:

~ is wearing 18 month shirts, 24 month pants and dresses, size 3 shoes, size 4 diapers
~ is very expressive and vocal!  Loves to make sounds, especially growling-type noises.  Says "uh oh" and signs more, milk, eat, and bath.  Will imitate many more signs.
~ loves her bath!  Whenever I change her diaper, Lulu will sign "bath" and giggle and get so excited.  Then she protests when her clothes get put back on.  In the bathtub, she has started sucking on her washcloth, and she loves to splash the water.  She is so active that even Ellie has started to tell her, "be careful, stay on your bum, please!"
~ can click her tongue
~ likes to play independently.  Often, I will sit on the floor with her and try to play, and Lulu just wants to do her own thing.  (I think that's good, but sometimes it makes me sad...)
~ is snuggly and cuddly and so squeezable
~ loves Club crackers, tolerates sweet potatoes and carrots, and most emphatically does not like oatmeal anymore
~ loves to drink from a sippy cup

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Lynlee's Happy Day!

Lynlee is one year old, and I cannot believe how fast this year is gone!  All day I was thinking about her and the amazing baby she is.  I  am so grateful to her birth mom for choosing us to parent Lynlee.  I cannot imagine my life or our family without her.

It is so cute to me how Ellie says "happy day" for "happy birthday."  For at least a month, she would talk about how Lynnie's happy day was coming.  The week preceding the event, she said, "it's almost Lulu's happy day!" 

My favorite decoration was Lynlee's photo banner.  I had so much fun going through all of her belly sticker shots and picking my favorite ones.  She has changed a lot in her first year, and yet I still see her in all of the pictures.
We started our celebrations with a wonderful visit with Lynnie's birth family.  It was great to talk and laugh--it has been too long since we have seen them!  I loved hearing about their lives and learning more about Lynnie's birthmom.
this little puppy is one of Lynnie's favorite toys

Opening presents was fun!  Lynnie was hesitant at first (really, you are going to let me play with this paper?).  She loved the bow that was on Grandma's present the best.


Ellie can get Lulu to smile better than anyone else!

Papa is funny!

Tinkerbell decorations, of course
After Lynnie's birth family left, Ellie helped me get the rest of the cupcakes done for our next party.  She was a big helper all day, and helped me bake the cupcakes, too.  She loved licking the batter off of the spatula!
My second cupcake of the day sure is yummy!  I decorated this one myself, with four toothpicks, and I licked the frosting off of each one.  Can't let that go to waste.
Lulu did better eating her second cupcake at our second party with family and friends.  I gave her a funfetti one the first time, and she seemed to like the chocolate one a lot better.  She is no dummy!



Aunt Staci brought Ellie a present also, and she and Kyralyn had a lot of fun putting the stickers on their faces.



I love Mom-Julie!

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