Monday, December 31, 2012

Chuck E. Cheese

We loved meeting Tayler and her family at Chuck E. Cheese for New Year's Eve.  When Ellie woke up that morning, she ran out of her room and said, "it's a Tayler day!"  She was so excited to see Tayler.

We were a little early, and they were a little late, and it was perfect to play a bunch of games while we were waiting.  Ellie dove right in and wanted to try everything, especially the trolley like in Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood (her new favorite show).  Lynnie was more cautious, and wouldn't let Greg put her down for about 20 minutes.
 Playing with balls is always fun, though, so Lynnie got right into skee ball.
 Ellie was excited to try this chair that goes up around the clock, but got a little scared for a minute.  Then she loved it, and did it two more times.
 Greg took Ellie to the bathroom, and while they were gone, Tayler got there.  When Ellie came out of the bathroom and saw Tayler, her face lit up and she ran right over and attacked her.  Ellie squeezed her neck and wouldn't let go for the longest time.  It was so sweet!

 Then it was time to eat and visit, and play more games.
 Lynnie said she wanted to sit in the car with Ellie.  That lasted for about 2 seconds.
 Much better to touch the car from the outside!
 Lynnie loved stomping these spiders.  She spent the longest time doing that.  It was right next to the chair/clock game, and she was fascinated by a little boy riding the chair.

 Apparently he was scared, and...
 Lynnie found that hilarious!
We love Tayler so much!  It is amazing to have an open adoption and be able to spend time together and learn more about her every time we get together.


A few months ago, Greg was in California and I entertained myself by reading adoption blogs.  I found the blog Living Through Today and read quite a few of her posts.  I am always interested in birthmom blogs and the perspective offered--the good and the bad, the joyful and the painful.  

Lisa, the author, is a birthmom, and she has a post about negotiating a relationship with her  daughter's adoptive parents.  The thing that struck me the most was when she said:

We are all human.  Adoption brings out both the best and worst in all of us.

I have been pondering something the wise Melinda Buchanan said at the FSA conference this year when talking about open adoption (and I'm paraphrasing):  open adoption relationships are just like all other relationships--it is a human relationship, so it has ups and downs like all human relationships.

In my Relief Society, they do a spotlight on a sister or two each month.  Last month, Dawnie also compiled a list of comments about lots of sisters.  My favorite one said something to the effect of:  I am most impressed by Julie Morrow.  I never see her without a Spencer daughter in Sacrament Meeting.  That is a true example of one friend serving another.

This is so true!  Yesterday, Joe Dodge was sitting behind me and he leaned forward and said, "hey, I thought you had 2 daughters?" because both girls were with the Morrows.  I strategically sit in the middle of the row, sandwiched between the Squires and the Morrows, and the girls go back and forth.  I wouldn't make it without these good friends!

Resolution #1: improve the quality of my relationships with the people that matter most.

One of the fun things that comes from my calling on the Relief Society Committee is being able to set up for events.  On one occasion a few months ago, the girls were having a hard time and didn't want to be at the church anymore.  As I was struggling with entertaining them and getting my assignment done, I said something I vowed I would never say (to a young married woman in our ward):  "See what you have to look forward to."    I immediately engaged in what Greg calls woman-ese and clarified my statement with "but it's worth every minute."

I have reflected on that comment again and again.  In all my years of infertility, I always told myself I would never make sarcastic comments about fertility.  And then I did it.

I didn't know this sister's situation, other than that she didn't have any children.  My comment became even worse in my own mind when I read this beautiful post she wrote about her difficult journey to conceive.

Resolution #2:  think before I speak.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Kangaroo Zoo

We met some friends at Kangaroo Zoo and had a great time.  We opened the place up and Ellie was in heaven that we were the only ones there.  She ran around and did everything so quickly, until she figured out which were her favorite slides and jumps.  Lynlee was much more cautious, and wouldn't even let Greg put her down for about 30 minutes.

First stop: turtle.  Ellie said, "Look, a turtle!  Those are my favorites.  And Tayler's, too!"

 I finally got Lynnie to climb on the bottom of the slide.  That seemed OK, and she would climb up a little and push back down on her belly.
 Totally empty--except for us!
 These girls have some serious dance moves!

 We were sitting and watching the girls dance, and then Ellie got the idea to bring over a stool so she could sit by us.  Of course, Little Mimic had to get her own stool as well.

 Ellie loved this big slide.  She must have climbed up and slid down at least 15 times.
 After about an hour, we got Lynnie to try jumping and sliding.  Then she decided it was fantastic!
 And even "helped" her sister down the slide.

In the days since, Lynnie has been the one asking to go back to the "octopus slide" and "elephant slide."  It was a fun way to spend the morning.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Christmas is the best.  We love Christmas around here!

Ellie woke up at her normal time, around 7:30, and we woke up Lynlee and were opening presents before 8.  The girls are at the magical age where they understand that Santa is bringing them presents, and every present is a treasure.  It took us a couple of hours to open presents, just because after each package, we would get the toy out of the box and they would play.

Stockings from Santa, and Mom's and Dad's are definitely less full than the girls.  Is that a commentary on our behavior?

 Santa brought the girls a slide.  Greg loved it because it was the easiest toy we've ever put together.

 They played on the slide and with their stockings for a long time.

 Opening presents is much more fun with helpers.

 The girls loved the new kitchen toys: a toaster, a blender, and a mixer.  Ellie immediately made a smoothie with the blender and cookies with the mixer.  Lynlee told us LOUD and covered her ears.

 Another big hit--a porcelain princess tea set.

 We have been using little fleece baby blankets as our car blankets, so I was excited when I found these fleece throws on Black Friday for $2.88.  I thought they would make great car blankets.  To my surprise, I think they were the favorite present of the day, and each girl is sleeping with her blanket.
 Wrap Lynnie!
 This shirt and headband set from Aunt Jonette immediately had to be worn by Ellie, which means it also had to be worn immediately by Lynnie.

A great morning!


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