Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 in Review

What a wonderful year, full of developmental milestones for both girls and lots of love from friends and family.  We are so blessed to be a part of Ellie and Lynlee's lives, and so grateful to their birth families for choosing us! 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Family Christmas Present

Greg had his brother Kent build us a computer and gave it to the family as a Christmas present.  Since I am the one who will get the most benefit out of it, I am extremely grateful!  I have been using my work-provided laptop for 6 years, so you can imagine how slow and painful it has become.  A few years ago, as the laptop started to get slower and the memory fuller, I transferred all of my personal programs to an external hard drive.  That made the transition to this new computer really easy, since I have not really had to reinstall anything (except iTunes).

The best thing about the new computer, besides the monster screen, is that I can play the HD videos I take on my camera.  My laptop couldn't handle those, and I would have to upload to youtube to see if it was a clip worth keeping.  Talk about a time waster (which is why I have gotten out of the habit of uploading clips for my birth mom blogs).  Bring on new technology for the new year!
this is a video shot last week, playing on the new computer

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Picking out Tub Surrounds

I love this picture because it gives a glimpse into the girls' personalities.  Lulu is so curious and exploring every aspect of the sample shower, feeling the walls and sticking her fingers in the drain.  Ellie is really starting to figure out her body, and was jumping in and out of the shower stall, then running to the door and back to the shower. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Paint

Paint is coming along in the basement, and it makes it even more real!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Play Places

Ellie has discovered that it is fun to play on indoor slides.  Her personality is funny with them, though.  She doesn't like to go if there are other children playing, unless she talks to one and makes a friend.  There has to be just the right balance of other children and not too much noise.  Otherwise, she just wants to wait until there is no one there but her and Lynnie.  Today we hit Chick-Fil-A at lunchtime, and it was really busy and really crowded, and she waited a long time before deciding it just was not worth it.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Lunch Date

We had a lunch date today with Lynlee's birth mom.  It was wonderful to see M again and be able to catch up with her.  She is really good about playing with Ellie and Lynlee and they both had a lot of fun!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas

The big present this year for the girls was a play kitchen.  It has buttons to push that make noise, and a pretend sink, and lots of doors and drawers to open.  Ellie and Lynnie were both in heaven!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

We had a wonderful and relaxing Christmas Eve at home.  We got the girls bathed and ready for bed, and then Greg read the Christmas accounts in the scriptures while Ellie held up the appropriate pieces from the nativity set.  She loves playing with "her people" and especially loves telling us about Baby Jesus and His mommy and daddy.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Tuckered Out

That late afternoon trip to Costco proved to be too much for Ellie. She fell asleep in the check-out line on Daddy's shoulder.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Picking Up Lynnie's Glasses

I'm not sure about this, but I sure look cute!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Finally....Bedtime

It was just one of those nights. Ellie was up from 11:30 until 2:15 a.m., and Lynnie was awake from 1:30 until 4:15 a.m. Luckily for me, I had Ellie and went to bed with her at 2:18 a.m. Greg dozed with Lynnie until she was ready to be laid down. A couple of times, he had her asleep, but when he walked into her room she woke up and started crying again. Weird!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

At the Tile Store

Picking out flooring is fun, and yet full of pressure! I have not been happy with the tile I picked out for the upstairs, so I want to make sure I get it right for the downstairs.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Shelves

"Shelves in a closet.  Happy thought, indeed."
 We have doors, we have shelves, we have moldings, we have windowsills.  Next step, paint!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Spencer Family Party

Greg hurried home after tithing  settlement and we went to Grandma and Grandpa's house for the annual Christmas party.  I think the hottest gift of the night was brought by us (not to brag or anything).  There is a $5 limit per gift, so I got a couple of dollar candy boxes and threw in a $10 iTunes card. 

That I got for free on Black Friday. 

Thank you, BCLs!  Cassie especially thanks you, because she managed to get the gift after multiple steals.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Preparations

We always play a game with our $5 presents at the annual Spencer Family Christmas Party -- the kind where you can choose a new present or steal an already opened present.  This year, someone had the great idea to wrap all the gifts in newspaper so they all looked the same.  We don't get a paper, and I was wrapping presents at 10 p.m.  I remembered I had thrown the ads from Thursday into the recycling bin, so I threw on some slippers and headed outside.  I forgot that there would be no light, so I just rooted through the bin in the dark, and eventually came up with what I wanted.  Sure am glad there are no neighbors' windows overlooking that side of the house, besides Clint's master bathroom!  It was probably quite a sight.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Camp Family Party

Greg was in Grand Junction for basketball and Adam was performing with his choir, but the rest of the locals came for dinner and presents at Grandma's house.  Mom made a yummy dinner, of which Lynlee ate a roll and tried a green bean & Ellie ate rice, and we had a great time!

Lyssa read the labels on the gifts and Ellie got to distribute them.  She was in heaven helping Lyssa and touching all of the presents.  She got to open lots, and at one point brought a present to Grandma, and then said, "I help you open it, Camp!"  Grandma didn't really have much of a choice, but she seemed happy to let Ellie open it for her.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Accommodative Esotropia

Well, Lynlee has another official diagnosis, this time of Accommodative Esotropia.  This basically means she is far-sighted, and as she struggles to focus on things near to her, her eyes will "accommodate" and looked crossed.  Treatment is to wear glasses to correct her farsightedness. 

The ophthalmologist said that 60% of children will out-grow this by the end of elementary school, so we will see.  I think Lynnie looks darling with glasses! 

She was pretty patient about trying on different pairs, until we decided on a cute purple pair.  We sprang for non-glare lenses; I take too many pictures to have to worry about glare!  They put a rush on them so that hopefully we get them before they are closed for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Nativity

One of the best suggestions I have ever received came from my friend Darci.  She has a Nativity set just for the children to play with.  Beth posted a link on Facebook a while back with a Fisher Price one on sale, but I did not check it in time.  Luckily, last week when I remembered, the site Beth linked had the set for a better price than the first sale.

The set came, the girls helped me pull it out of the box, and they have been playing with it ever since.  Lynnie likes to suck on the characters, and will carry one in her right hand while she uses her left hand to scoot.  Ellie calls them "all her people," loves to make it play Away in a Manger, and arranges the characters over and over.  A great suggestion!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I'm a Big Kid Now!

Ellie has decided that it is time to go in the potty, for real!  After months of sitting on the potty occasionally with nothing happening, today, she (as Ellie euphemistically calls it) got her messies out (FIRST) and got out her yellows (later in the day).  It was pretty exciting stuff!  As a reward, I let her wear real underwear for about an hour, and she was in heaven.  It made me nervous when she wanted to lay on Daddy's pillows, though, so the diaper went back on.  Now we need to buy some Pull-Ups!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Convert

After hearing me rave about NAET, Julie decided to give it a try. The best part for me was carpooling!

Now the pressure is on for the treatment to work for her as well...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dallin!

We took the chance to be with Dallin for a few minutes today on his 12th birthday as the Aaronic Priesthood was conferred upon him and he was ordained to the office of a Deacon.  What a special occasion!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

Performance at the Ward Christmas Party

Sarah invited me to join her, Joy, and Elizabeth on an 8-hand, 2-piano ensemble for the Ward Christmas Party. It was so fun to practice with these sweet ladies, and fun to play a great song! I got the easiest part (by far!) and was able to relax and enjoy the music. Perhaps the most impressive part was Elizabeth counting to 12 for every measure during rehearsals and performance to keep us all together. Quite a feat!

Ellie still tells me that Sarah's daughters (who she brought to play with Ellie and Lynlee during a practice) are her new best friends.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Lynlee is 13 Months Old

And so fascinated by the sticker on her shirt!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Grandma's Penguins

Kylene came to town for the weekend, so the girls and I headed over to spend a few minutes with her. Ellie was fascinated by the penguins Grandma has on the lawn! Even though it was freezing outside, she just wanted to play with them. She waddled and everything.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Relief Society Activity

My new calling is on the Relief Society committee, and this was the first activity I helped with.

I say "helped" loosely, because when the girls and I showed up to help set up, it was pretty much a disaster.  Lynlee, normally so easy-going and adaptable, was constipated and not feeling well and clingy.  I held all 27 pounds of her the whole time.  Ellie, not very adaptable and needing time to warm up to any new situation, had a hard time and cried and clung to my leg.

So, I am holding my gorgeous and heavy baby in my left arm while trying to put on tablecloths/iron tablecloths/move baby chairs out of the room, while Ellie is crying and hanging on to my leg.

It was awesome.

I eventually got Ellie settled, thanks to snacks and a new friend Dana, and Snow White on Catherine's phone.  That lasted about 20 minutes, and then I gave up and left.

The good news is that the activity was really fun,and it looked amazing when I got back there that night!  A yummy dinner and fun games, good company and nice ambiance made for a perfect night.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Coat Rack

I bought this little coat rack from Ikea about a year ago, and just never got around to purchasing special drywall anchor screw-thingies until today.  It felt so good to finally get this project finished, and it makes a big difference in the mess level in the kitchen to not have coats laying around on chairs!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Card Photo Shoot

My photo shoot for a 2011 Christmas Card mostly yielded shots like this:

Saturday, December 3, 2011

My Animals

Ellie loves her animals, and is always finding fun ways to play with them and line them up.  Love this idea she had! 

And many thanks to Darci for telling us about these animals in the first place.

Friday, December 2, 2011

In the Truck

Greg is driving to Rangely, Colorado today for a basketball game, so we got to go in the truck. Ellie was so excited, because she loves the truck. There was a downside, though. After we had been driving for a few minutes, Ellie said, "Mom, I no like the truck. Lynnie too far away!"

Lynnie obviously thought the sound of the diesel-engine was soothing, and took a great nap.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Smart Girl

Lynnie loves this toy, will happily push down the doors over and over.  She has figured out how to pop the green one up, and will push the button, close the door, push the button, and etc.  This is the go-to toy to occupy her while I am taking a shower.