Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Adventures. . . big and small

We meant to post this before we left town for Christmas. . . oh well.
The several weeks have been full. Full of travel, full of activities, full of family and full of . . . well, everything else that goes along with raising 2 young girls.
Early November brought the death of my grandpa, Papo Bursch. He turned 90 in September and decided shortly after that he was finished with his worn out body here on earth. He was a wonderful man and it's hard to imagine we're about to celebrate Christmas in NM without him. Oh the memories of him dressing up as Santa for all the great-grandkids. I'm only sorry my girls won't remember him. I'm grateful that he's with the Lord in glory.
After spending a week in NM with family, we ended up driving straight to Gunnison to celebrate Thanksgiving with Mom, Dad, Jenny, Aunti Zana, Great Aunt Evie and Grandpa Hulsbos. We had a great time in the Colorado sunshine and while it was a long 2 weeks away from home, it was good to be with family.
(yeah. . . you can ask Brad about why the Slease family is wearing hats. . . )
The girls with their Great Grandpa Hulsbos.
The day after we returned to UT from Thanksgiving, Brad flew to Houston for a week of work. He had a great time and we had a major windstorm that knocked out the power in 1/2 our house for 2 1/2 days. :) Oh yeah, below freezing outside and everything. Several houses on our block had 1/2 power and so luckily we could run space heaters (since of course the 1/2 that was out was the fridge, freezer, furnace, and various strange lights throughout the house). What an adventure. . . or a nightmare. At any given moment it felt like one of the two.
We did get out of the house for some beginning Christmas celebration stuff. Primary Children's Hospital does a fundraiser each year where people donate decorated Christmas trees, gingerbread houses, wreathes, quilts, playhouses, etc. to be auctioned off to donate the money to the hospital. We went to see the trees this year and WOW. Here's the girls with the Snoopy tree.
After Brad returned from his week in Houston, he took off 2 days later for a week in Southern California. Yeah, rough life for him. He had lunch in Malibu, slept in a nice hotel room and went to Wood Ranch BBQ. We didn't do much while he was gone except get ready for Christmas and do 'projects' for Addy's school. It actually was a relaxing week and I had a lot of friends reach out to us to keep us company with Brad gone.
Now we're preparing to celebrate Christmas while trying to maintain the true meaning of Christmas in our mindset. We've done a lot of talking with Addy about Jesus' birth and we've also tried to explain cultural Christmas traditions (like Santa) after people asking her what she wanted Santa to bring her for Christmas. All she could offer people as an answer was a blank/bewildered stare so we thought we might want to explain the Santa thing. Now she wants to meet Santa. Oh well, trying to teach history to a 2 year old might be a bit deep.
Anyway, we've made yummy Grama Juice Christmas cookies, visited Christmas street to see the lights (our neighbors across the street have a better display than all of Christmas Street put together. . . oh yeah, the lights are coordinated to music!), and we've had a few Christmas gatherings. It has been a blessing to have Brad home this last week and to be together as a family again in preparation for Christmas.
We hope your family has a very Blessed Christmas as you recall the good news the angels proclaimed to the shephers "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will bring great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord." (Luke 2: 10b-11) We know this news has brought great joy to us and we pray it will bring great joy to you this Christmas.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Fall Fun!

We've had a fun few weeks full of fall fun. Halloween was lots of fun with our little ladybugs and we've kept busy with crafts, baking, canning and outings. Here's a little slide show of the last few weeks.

Elsie has started sitting up pretty well now and she has her two bottom teeth peeking through her gums. She's a pretty good sport about trying new foods but she is giving me a run for my money with blowing raspberries of food at me. We're working on 'not talking with your mouth full' with both girls. :)

We hope you are enjoying fall. . . or maybe it's turned winter where you are. It's beginning to feel like winter here. Feel free to pass on any ideas about how to survive winter with 2 active little ones.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Oh the girls God has given us

Sisters! We are so blessed that they really do love each other. I think Addy still doesn't realize Elsie is her own person and not just a toy I brought home for her to play with. Things could get interesting when Elsie starts to disagree with Addy. We'll start praying about that now.

Well, I think we're officially on our way to winter. We pulled out all the hats, coats and gloves and now Addy has a whole new toy basket to play with. Unlike last year she can put on her gloves and hat herself so it's dress-up time all the time!

Just in time for the cold winter I got a new bike. Hmm. Actually, Brad 'gave' me a new bike when I got my master's degree (6 years ago!) but we never actually got it. I just always felt like the bike I've had since I was 12 still worked so why get something new. Well, after a few frustrating weekends of trying to get out for a family bike ride and my bike failing to function, we upgraded me. I've ridden 3 times since we got it on Saturday and yesterday I even pulled the girls in the trailer. 50 extra pounds is a killer for someone who hasn't really exercised since being 9 months prego and swimming 2x a week (if that even counts as exercise!). It was really cold but the girls were bundled and I was sweating plenty to get up the itty bitty hill to the park. Hopefully we'll be able to bundle and ride even through the winter.

We dedicated Elsie Mae to the Lord at church on Sunday and celebrated by having Uncle Scott, Aunt Deb and Cousin Matt over for steaks after. They brought a cake and Addy really wanted to put candles on it so.
. . we did and we sang Happy Birthday to Matt & Addy. Elsie was sleeping so she didn't mind. :)

Yes, that is a big, pink bow on Elsie Mae AND she is wearing shiny shoes! I'm getting so much better with accessories. :) At least for the girls. Thank you Grandpa Hulsbos for the pretty dress for Addy!

Elsie is working on sitting up and does pretty good. She doesn't even mind face plants because usually she's trying to get to a toy out of her reach anyway.

This is a new one for us. Elsie likes to try to reach for things on the table (yes, her bouncy seat is on the table) when she's in her seat so she sticks her head through the toy bar to be able to reach further. She often gets stuck and can't get back. This was one such time. :)

Elsie had her 6 month check up today and she weighs 15lbs 3 oz (35%)and is 26.8 inches tall (90%) and her head is 16 inches around. She's growing like a week and is changing so fast!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Here's an update on our super happy baby. . .

Elsie threw us a look during the last few weeks. I'm still recovering. Once you get used to a baby sleeping well, any night waking feels next to death with the dread that she might be picking up a bad habit. Well, for Elsie, it was nothing but hunger but man, she nearly killed me! Elsie started waking up several times a night and talking a while but then falling back asleep. As a mom, I spent that time awake listening intently to her noises to make sure she was ok. Brad? He slept through all of it. Then, late last week she started crying when she woke up. We did all the checks (dirty diaper? no. wedged in the corner? no. too much daytime sleep? maybe.) one thing was sure though, she was hungry. How did I figure it out?

When I picked her up to check her. . . she about sucked my face off. I'm not baby whisperer but that one was clear. So, I started feeding her at crazy hours when she woke up crying and we started making rice cereal for her. (I love that I know how to make all the baby food so that it's second nature to me! Babies really are easier the second time around.) Elsie's been reaching for food and smacking her lips when we eat so I figured she'd love starting food for herself. Well. . . Here's Elsie's first bite. . .
She wasn't so sure. But, if you remember Addy's faces. . .

Now Addy will eat anything so long as we tell her it's ok to eat. Brad likes to take this a little far. . . smoked oysters, greek olives, wasabi peas. . . just to get a reaction. She'll try anything. The only things she really doesn't like (and you do get a pretty funny reaction when she does eat it) are eggs and zucchini squash. Last night we had fried rice and spring rolls and she asked for more crabs (they were shrimp) and more dip (spicy peanut sauce) to go on her bowl. She kept telling me it was a bit spicy but she just drank more milk and kept going.
Here's Addy with her spicy asian cuisine.

Here's Addy making binoculars to watch the birds in the neighborhood that God made on the 5th day of creation (our Bible story right now for her preschool stuff).
Finished product. We did go bird watching before lunch today but I think most of birds have headed south. Oh well. We'll go visit the ducks at the park to see birds on Friday and the fish at the aquarium tomorrow to see the fish God created on Day 5. Both of which were Addy's ideas for field trips. :)

These girls are so much fun! What a blessing!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Beautiful Fall Colors

Seriously, where do we live?! Last week we had our first snow of the year. Have we even had fall yet? Actually, I think this week could count as fall. It's been beautiful. But last week. . . rain, snow and bone chilling cold. So, we did some bundling and headed outdoors. We are still paying for it though. . . the girls have colds and even Brad is coming down with something now. Is that just an old wives' tale?

OK, side note about that hat Elsie is wearing. . . I had her propped up on the couch when I was helping Addy get ready to outside and she managed to twirl the hat around so that the flower over her ear ended up over her nose. I just died laughing at the poor kid with her eyes covered and a big blue flower over her nose. If only I had had a picture of that!

We recently returned from a week in Gunnison where we experienced brilliant Colorado sunshine, beautiful fall colors, fun outings and adventures and great visits with some old friends from Colorado, Brad's parents and my parents. We packed in the fun and are still recovering from it! Below is a slide show of photos. There are a few tree pictures. . . but really, it was so beautiful!

Addy is enjoying being '2' and we are having fun doing a home school preschool curriculum a friend told me about. We're doing art projects together, learning songs and Bible stories and practicing her manners and fine and gross motor skills. It is so great to have meaningful and purposeful activities to do together. I'm sure this will be a lifesaver this winter when we're stuck inside. (http://www.abcjesuslovesme.com/ for the free online curriculum for 2 - 4 year olds)

Elsie is Addy's #1 fan and loves to play with her. She's rolling over quite proficiently now and chews on everything she can get her hands on. She's a bear to nurse because she's so easily distracted and really just wants to see everything that is going on around her. Elsie is working on sitting up on her own but her favorite thing is to 'jump' up and down while you hold her under the arms. She loves music and if she's crying, she stops immediately and gets a huge grin if someone starts singing. If there are hand motions or instruments involved, even better. Elsie loves being in her exersaucer for Bible story time using the flannel board with Addy and she jumps up and down and squeals during our songs. Since she's almost 6 months old, I think we'll start rice cereal with her this weekend. I froze a batch of cereal for her this morning so more on that to come.

Brad and I have had the opportunity to get involved in a Bible study with some friends from church and we're enjoying doing that together. We're studying 1 Corinthians and we've had some great conversations so far. We're also starting to feel a little more capable of managing life with 2 small ones and so we're working on getting back in the groove of an organized life.

We hope fall is treating your family well!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

North Carolina Adventure

We recently returned from spending 10 days in North Carolina with Grandma Lynn and Grandpa Tom. It was a big adventure for many reasons: it was Elsie's first plane trip, the girls' first time on the beach (and in the ocean for Addy), mine and the girls' first time to NC and our last plane trip before Addy turned 2 and required her own seat.

We had a great trip eating seafood, going to the beach and the aquarium, seeing New Bern and the outer banks of NC, spending time with Lynn and Tom and getting to have a few adventures as a family. The girls traveled really well and God saw fit to spoil us a little on the way home. Our plane didn't even leave New Bern until 5pm and Addy was able to have her own seat for that 1 1/2 hour flight as well as our family had a row of 6 seats to ourselves for the 8pm flight from Atlanta to SLC! The girls were able to stretch out and sleep and Brad and I watched a movie! What a blessing after such a long trip and a long day of travel.

Monday, August 29, 2011

News Flash

A big piece of news for our family is that we have welcomed a new family member and said good-bye to another. We bought a MINIVAN!!! I know, I know, we've always said we would NEVER get one but after our first 9 hour road trip to Gunnison, we jumped on the opportunity to buy Papo's van. It's amazing and we're really enjoying it. . . despite the fact that it's not an SUV. We're enjoying the good gas mileage. We did, however, sell the Civic. It was a tough decision because the civic gets 35 mpg, only had 94000 miles on it and was working great as a commuter car for Brad (and it was my first car!). But, Brad was ready for a 'big boy car' so he upgraded to the Subie and we sold the Civic. We actually got close to our asking price and for a 16 year old car, we were pretty happy with the sale. Brad is adjusting to the image wrecker of owning a minivan pretty well because Addy is so much more pleasant (and farther away from earshot!) in the van than she was crammed into the Subie.

Addy Paddy turned 2 last week and is just as busy as ever. She talks non-stop when we're at home and is fairly quiet around other people or in public until she gets comfortable. She loves being a big sister and has recently started reading books to Elsie Mae. She tells Elsie what is in all the pictures or she asks her, "Mae Mae what's dis?" to everything in the book. It is precious. Addy is really tall, most people think she is around 3 years old, and is working on getting her 2 year molars in. We found out she's in the 95% for height and she's almost 50% for weight. She gets a lot of 'owies' (she trips all the time - perhaps because she is so tall!) and likes to wear band-aids whenever possible. She's in the phase of asking what everything is, even people she sees walking past us. She points to them and says, "What's dat Mommy?" It's a little embarassing. She has a great laugh and loves to read books, take care of her stuffed animals, play in the pool and go for walks. She has also recently started praying after our family devotional time for everyone she knows.

Elsie Mae is almost 5 months old and she has been described by others as HUGE. :) She is really tall and has more chunk than Addy ever had and she's such a happy baby. At her check-up last month we found out she is 13 lbs 7 oz (50%), 25.5 inches tall (90%) and has a 15.4 inch head circumference (2%!). She just started rolling over from her back to her tummy and often sleeps on her tummy now because she can't flip back over. She squirms and scoots on her head (or face if she's on her tummy) to get around a little. She also touches everything and wants to put everything in her mouth. She loves making the music play on her mirror or the exersaucer. . .Addy was such an observer (and still is) that all this activity is so strange for me to see in such a little baby. She is super cute and loves face-time with whoever will give it to her. She's started giggling but it's hard to predict when she'll do it. She has also started sucking her thumb on her right hand while she puts her left arm over her eyes while she's sleeping.

Brad has officially welcomed his 2 new supervisors to the office and has finally has a full leadership team. He is really looking forward to getting them all trained and on their own so he can get a bit of a break! He's started mountain biking with a friend from church and he's looking forward to snowboarding with him this winter.

I have had a few breaks from the girls recently when I went to a Beth Moore conference in SLC and left the girls with Brad (Elsie decided to take a bottle after 5 hours without eating!), a girls night out and a trip to New Mexico for Papo's birthday last weekend (I took Elsie and left Addy at home). Whew! We've been busy lately!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Addy's first haircut

Last weekend Addy got her first real (pay someone to do it!) haircut. I've trimmed her bangs in the past with mixed results and my mom has trimmed her bangs. But this time we went to Cookie Cutters. Cookie Cutters is this funny little place that has the kids sit in cars or airplanes while getting their hair cut and they can watch a movie, tv show or play a video game. They have playground equipment in the waiting area and the kids get suckers and balloons after their cut. Addy even got a fancy hairdo and princess sparkles in her hair at the end (which the gal promised would last several days. . . does she know our kid?! The hairdo was toast after one nap of hair-twirling.)

Addy did great. . . However, let it be said that she watched Curious George and perhaps didn't blink during her entire haircut. :) Hmmm. Maybe we should buy a DVD player for road trips! :)

Addy's mop before the cut. She chose to sit in a pretty pink car. Actually, I think Brad chose for her because she was overwhelmed by the place.

Addy watching Curious George.

Addy's pretty do.
After. . . my she's looking so big!

Addy playing on the playground while we waited for her 'baby's first haircut certificate' to be made.

Last night Brad and I went out on a 'date' to a concert in the park downtown. Do not picture 'Jazz in the Park' for you Denverites. This was more like a 20 something, tattoo wearing, mosh pit type concert. There were tens of thousands of people there and we took Elsie along for the adventure since she's still refusing the bottle. :) Addy stayed home with a sitter and luckily Elsie is so easy going. She hung out in the baby bjorn, ate a little, slept a little and people watched a lot. She did really well. Our next date promises to be a little more like a date. :)

Elsie is almost 3 months old and she is quite the talker. She loves playing with toys dangling in front of her and actually cried in her bouncy seat the other night until I put the toys up. Then she was happy. Good grief, my 3 month old gets bored. :) Today I took some video of her while Addy was napping and I had to take her downstairs for fear of waking Addy. Elsie has some volume to her.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

July update

Where to begin. . .

I feel like I take so long to do these blog posts that by the time I get to them, I'm just reporting stats and facts. So here I go.

Addy is 22 months old already. She is SO tall that most people think she's well past 2. She's fairly shy when she meets people until she sizes them up and watches them closely. Then she chats up a storm, shows them her favorite toys and wants to play with them. She's pretty funny to watch because she is so talkative and has very amusing inflection in her voice. She loves to help with her baby sister and she is starting to show strong evidence of the months of training we've been doing. She's still a toddler who can throw a serious tantrum, but she's able to display great manners, clean up after herself and be really loving and sweet. She loves to say 'bless you' when someone sneezes and has started saying 'you're welcome' back to someone who says it to her. :) She's quite a piece of work.

Elsie Mae (aka Mae Mae, Mee Mee, Mee Mee Cakes and Elsie Mae Mae) is almost 3 months old already. She's growing like a weed and she loves to be held and talked to. She has a beautiful smile and she is coo-ing and 'talking' like crazy. At about 2 1/2 mo old we went in for her 2 mo check-up and she weighed 11 lbs 15 oz (75%) and was 24.5 inch long (95%). I can't remember her head circumference but her head was in the 50%. I'm not sure why we have such tall kids but like their Mama, they have tiny heads. :)

Something else we found out last week is that both our girls are tongue-tied. They are not very severe, but they do have heart shaped tongues and are unable to lift their tongues to the roof of their mouth. Finding this out has explained so much: why, as babies. they can't drink out of bottles, why my milk supply drops so fast, why they have lip blisters on their top lip, why they can't seem to stay latched on when they nurse and why they spit up so much. I'm a little irritated that pediatricians and hospital staff don't look for this condition and give moms a heads up so they can get it fixed earlier. It's actually a type of birth defect where the little part that attaches the tongue to the bottom of the mouth doesn't recede enough in the womb. It's genetic and clusters in families. We're not exactly sure who in the family before the girls had it. There are no nerve endings in that part of the mouth and having it too tight can cause all sorts of problems. The lactation lady we met with confirmed the problem in about 10 seconds. Anyway, we got it clipped in Elsie last Friday morning. She did really well with the procedure and stopped crying as soon as I picked her back up. She started crying again when I put her in the stroller but as long as Addy held her hand, she stopped crying. Such sweet sister love!

Apparently it was a big deal for Elsie to have her tongue so tight. She has been playing with her tongue a lot more (we always wondered why Addy never really stuck her tongue out or made all those baby tongue noises babies are supposed to make) and miracle of all miracles. . . she drank 3 oz out of a bottle last night!!! This is a really big deal since Addy never did it and Elsie was well on her way to not taking a bottle either. Brad said she was sucking so hard on the bottle that it was bobbing up and down in her mouth! I'm so pleased we were able to get this fixed in Elsie and that it seems to be helping her.

Anyway, she is happy, healthy and so darn cute! And she slept 9 hours last night!!! Mama is happy too.

I've attached a couple of slide shows from the last few weeks. The girls and I spent a week in Gunnison with my parents while Brad was working in Denver and we returned to SLC in time for the 4th of July celebration in our neighborhood. In Gunnison I enjoyed having help with the girls, not having to cook and having good adult conversation. The girls enjoyed the special attention from Ba & Ma and getting to play outside a lot (once the mosquitoes died down a bit!).

A funny thing happened at our 4th of July neighborhood pancake breakfast. . . I recognized one of the fireman that was going to drive the fire truck in the parade after breakfast but I didn't know why. Brad knew right away, he was one of the guys who came to our house in the ambulance when Elsie was born. Actually, 2 of the fireman at the breakfast had been to our house but I only recognized one of them at first. I went over to talk to them and to show them Elsie Mae. They got a kick out of that! Elsie Mae continues to be the talk of the neighbors because she was born at home and it seems any time we go to a neighborhood function, the story must be told. :)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Who's who?

Time to play a little who's who guessing game. :) We've been thinking all along that our two girls look nothing alike but the other day when we were looking at old pictures, we realized when Addy was Elsie's age, they look very similar. So. . .

You guess who is who and the answers are at the bottom. Have fun!

Picture #1

Picture #2

Picture #3

Picture #4
Picture #5
Picture #6

Drum roll please. . .

Addy: Pictures 2, 3, 6

Elsie: Pictures 1, 4, 5

So they're not twins, for sure, but kind of fun that they may actually look like sisters after all!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

21 Months and 7 weeks!

We can hardly believe it but Addy is 21 months old already! She's quite a busy bee these days picking up all sorts of words and trying new things all the time. It amazes me the things she says. (and repeats! oops!) She is saying a lot of simple sentences and getting really good at using polite manners. . . well, sometimes. :) We're up to our eyeballs trying to train her and while some days it feels like a losing battle, she is growing and learning. Whew, toddlers!

One of Addy's hairdo's complements of Daddy.

Here's Addy reading her Bible to her penguin. She loves reading and anytime she can read to someone, she's much happier. She loves to talk about the stories in her Bible and probably about 70% of what she says is English. :) Sometimes we just smile and nod.

The last few weeks have been a lot less eventful since our busy first month with Elsie. I caught a cold from Addy and was sick for 2 weeks (it's actually still holding on a little!) and then Brad caught the cold. It was a bad one and kept us from taking our road trip to NM and CO. So we've been trying to recover and trying to get some sleep!

The transition to two girls is going pretty well. For anyone who's done it, you know it's tricky, but luckily Addy loves her baby sister. She calls her Mee Mee or Elsie and always wants to give her hugs and kisses. Addy is even getting used to me having to hold Elsie but sometimes she takes advantage of my hands being full to try to get away with something she knows she shouldn't. She's a smart one. :)

This picture is of Elsie Mae this morning. She was in such a good mood after her bath and was talking up a storm, kicking her legs and smiling a lot. She's so darn cute! I'm sure her mood was the result of going 7 hours between feedings the last few nights. Way to go Elsie, keep up the good work!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Elsie Mae is One Month Old!

I can't believe it's been a month already. I'm constantly forgetting it's May (and the end of it, at that!). I feel like I'm stuck in a time warp of newborn land. That is, until daytime hits and then it's toddler land. Here's a bit about what our last month has held. . .

Week 1:

Mom and Dad were here to help with Addy, Brad was off of work. I felt great after such a quick labor, Addy was loving having a baby sister (who she only saw periodically and who mostly spent time sleeping in the basement) and Elsie did what newborns do best: eat, sleep and poop.

At one week old, Elsie Mae headed to church!

Week 2:

Mom and Dad headed to California for business and Brad and I held down the fort alone with the two girls. Brad played with Addy a lot and was able to get a few things done around the house. Not as many as he expected. . .life with 2 littles is a bit more busy than he anticipated. :)
Our first family outing to the Red Butte Gardens.

Elsie in her bouncy seat at 2 weeks old.

Week 3:

Mom and Dad came back for the week because Brad headed back to work. We did go to Elsie's 2 week appointment and she weighed in at a whopping 8lbs 14 oz (birth weight 7 lbs 10 oz). Way to go Mae Mae!

Mom and Dad with their favorite granddaughters . . . oh, and us. :)

Week 4:

Mom and Dad went home to Gunnison, and I did my first week with the girls by myself. Everything was pretty smooth because friends from MOPS and Bible study brought us dinner. :) So, Addy and I took Elsie on some adventures (the aquarium, the children's' museum and on a walk to the park). It was good to get out of the house and to begin to get into a routine.

The girls at the aquarium.

Addy playing with the balls at the children's museum.

Week 5:

My friend, Melissa, hosted a Sip 'n See for Elsie Mae and we enjoyed munching on yummy goodies, drinking tea and having a break from the bigger kids. Jenny came to visit for the week and we got to spend a lot of time at home. Mae Mae started into an unpleasant routine of screaming unless being held each afternoon/evening and sometimes into the night. Our nerves started to get a bit raw so we did go see the Dr to check on reflux. We're not convinced that is what's going on, but we'll see. (Mae Mae weighed in at 10 lbs!) It was a blessing to have Jenny in town because Addy started to realize being a big sister means sharing Mommy with baby Mae Mae. She's not to keen on this idea. Jenny was able to help with both girls since it seemed they were always waking up at the same time, crying at the same time and needing to eat at the same time. Whew! What a week. I think Jenny was ready to head home to get a break from her vacation.

Jenny and Addy at Sugarhouse Park.

Update on Addy:

Addy's vocabulary is exploding right now! She's picking up new words by the dozens and she's starting to sing the songs I always sing to her. She's growing like a weed (thank goodness for hand-me-downs!) and she loves reading books. We're definitely seeing her try to explore her independence ("I do it" was her first sentence. We're trying to add a "please" to the end of that.) and for the most part she's learning how to accept help when it isn't appropriate for her to do it herself.

Update on Brad:

Brad's job has kept him quite busy but it looks like there's some light at the end of the tunnel. A newly hired supervisor from Phoenix starts next week and she looks like she'll be a great addition to the SLC operation. She ought to help lighten the load for Brad. Brad is definitely enjoying playing with Addy when he gets home from work and he's a pro at 'shh-ing' Elsie when she won't calm down.

Brad and Addy wrestling.

Brad reading to Elsie Mae before bed.

Update on Me:

Yesterday I realized how easy it was to just have 1 newborn in the home compared to a newborn and a 20 month old. I took Elsie to the Dr by myself while Jenny stayed at home with Addy and I felt light as a feather. I wrote thank you cards, went to Kohls to get a few new shirts, picked up a prescription and even hit Toys R Us for a few new PJ's for the growing Addy Paddy. It felt so easy! Elsie slept the whole time and I only had to stop to feed her briefly. I guess it's God's grace that babies start small. When it's your first, it feels hard to do everything. Then as they grow, your competency grows. It isn't until you start over again that you realize how much more challenging the older phase really is! Then again, maybe it's just having 2 that is more challenging. Anyway, geared up with a double stroller I've been motivated to get out even if it's a bit tricky. I still haven't figured out the grocery store yet. . . or cleaning or cooking or laundry or. . .

Praise God our competency grows and praise God for patient husbands!