Thursday, November 1, 2012

It's a . . .

So, the story goes a little something like this:

I've been going back and forth on finding out the sex of this baby.  Since the pregnancy was a surprise, I thought maybe knowing the gender would help me adjust and prepare (mentally and physically) for the baby.  I also know that I liked NOT knowing before and so I wasn't sure what to do.  Brad on the other hand continued to stick to not finding out ahead of time.

The night before the ultrasound . . .
Me:  So, you're pinned to the wall and you have to decide right now, for good, whether to find out the sex or not.  What do you do?
Brad:  I wouldn't find out.
Me:  Why?
Brad:  There are so few surprises left in life and I really liked being surprised at the girls' births.
Me:  Ok, then we won't find out.  (I'm planning to be a submissive wife and go with him on this.  Plus, I just want someone else to make the decision for me.  ;)

In the ultrasound. . .
Bethany (the ultrasound tech):  Do you guys want to know the gender of the baby?
Me:  Nope, we want to keep it a surprise.
Bethany:  Ok, I'm about to measure the legs and umbilical cord so if you don't want to know, you'd better look away.

As I looked away, I looked at Brad.  What was he doing?  LOOKING at the TV monitor!!!  I jumped on his case about how he wanted it to be a surprise . . .
Brad:  Well, now I want to know. 
Me:  What do you mean?  You told me yesterday you didn't!
Brad:  Well, now I'm interested.
Me:  NOW you're interested?!
Brad:  Relax, I can't tell what I'm looking at anyway.
Me:  You know what that means, don't you?  If you don't seen anything then it's a girl!
Bethany:  Ok, you guys decide what you want to do and give me the final word.  I'm not saying a thing until then!

I got on his case for a while for changing his mind and when Bethany was going to do some measuring of the feet she asked us what our final decision was. . .
Brad:  We want to know.
Bethany (looking at me!):  What's the final word?
Me:  Oh good grief, go ahead and tell us!  (look at what a flexible person I'm becoming!)
Bethany:  IT'S A BOY!!!
Us:  What?!

So there you have it.  We would never pass as ultrasound technicians because even when Bethany showed us how she could tell it was a boy. . . we were pretty much taking her word for it.  But she said, 100% for sure a BOY!

Crazy.  We're adjusting to the idea of our family changing drastically and Brad's considering what it means to raise a boy into a man.  :)  Here we go. . .

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A bit of catch up. . .

It has been quite a while since my last update and we've been busy!  I've attached a slide show of pictures but to summarize, here's what we've been up to. . .

In August we headed up the canyons to camp as a family.  We have not camped since Addy was 13 months old so we were a little unsure of how it would all go.  We had grand plans of practicing sleeping in the tent in the back yard and, well, we didn't get that far.  We had a great time hiking in the mountains together and having a picnic dinner followed by a walk around the campground and s'mores after dinner.  Everything came flying apart sometime around 8pm when we decided to put the girls to bed.  Talk about disaster. . . about 10pm we gave up and decided to pack everything up and head home (only 20 minutes away!).  The girls were crying, screaming and just plain falling apart.  We buckled them in the car and tossed everything in the back only to discover that they were both asleep before we pulled out of the campsite.  Grrr!  Oh well. 

I do have a picture included in the slideshow of some produce from our garden.  Let's just say we lost interest in the garden somewhere around mid-August.  The tomatoes stopped producing well and I couldn't stomach eating veggies so we gave nearly everything away.  We did enjoy some tomatillo enchiladas last week and a couple of winter squash (and I'm excited about our 4 pumpkins still on the vine) but beyond that. . . we've decided gardening isn't our thing.  At least not while we have littles and I'm pregnant.

We were able to spend a week in Gunnison in early September and we really enjoyed the fall weather, being outside and getting to do some small adventures.  We had Addy's birthday celebration (she was sick for it though) and the girls traveled really well.  I think we made it home in record time.

We did celebrate Addy's birthday again on her actual birthday with breakfast for dinner and lots of cupcake treats throughout the day along with meeting friends at the aquarium on her special day.  The birthday theme was ballerinas and tutus (a lot of the gifts followed that theme, I didn't plan it!) and so ever since we've been in constant dress-up mode. 

We just had Brad's mom, Lynn, at our house for a week long visit and we stayed very busy exploring many things in the Salt Lake area we haven't seen before.  We took a train ride through the Provo Canyon, had high tea at the Grand America hotel, had lots of great conversation and played outside quite a bit.  As a family we also went to Oktoberfest at Snowbird and ate crazy food and dance to wild polka music.  What a great visit.

As far as family news. . . I'm 20 weeks pregnant and although we have our big ultrasound next Tuesday, we're still not sure if we're going to find out the gender of the baby yet. . . we'll let you know.  I look mighty pregnant and I'm trying to prepare for this baby by getting a little exercise, re-reading some helpful books and resting.  We're also looking to remodel our house to add another bedroom and so we've been doing a lot of prep work for that.  I've been serving on leadership for MOPS at our old church and attending a women's Bible study at our new church so that we have some interaction with live outside our home.  :)

Elsie is 17 1/2 months now and is busy, busy, busy.  She's changing so fast.  She loves to dance, pet dogs and cats, and go for walks.  She's quite expressive and emotional (both high and low) and is really opinionated.  She is SO different than Addy was at this age!  She also just got over her first ear infection of the season so we're waiting for the bomb to drop because if she gets one more we're likely moving toward tubes for her ears. 

Addy has stepped into age 3 with lots of flare.  :)  She's in the 'I want to do it' phase and we're really working on different strategies to help her reign in her 3-ness.  Addy loves to make up songs and sings constantly and she also loves to live in the land of make-believe.  We're doing home school stuff with her and while she's loving it, it's quite a challenge to do it with Elsie on the loose.  Elsie wants to do everything Addy's doing but ends up eating whatever we're doing.  This too shall pass.  :)

Brad has been busy with work and has gotten some good opportunities to learn more about different parts of Farmers.  He continues to host visitors from out of state to highlight the work the auto department has done here.  He's doing a great job!  Brad has also been able to get together with some of the pastors from our new church to get to know them better.  We are all really enjoying the sound Biblical teaching at our new church and it's been fun to get to know the families in the church.

So, no promises on when the next blog post will come. . . hopefully sooner than later but life seems to get away from me!  Enjoy what's left of fall!  God Bless!  

Friday, August 10, 2012

More travel. . .

We've had a few changes to our social life in the last few weeks.  My good friend, Beth, who moved here from CO the same month we did moved to DC and our next door neighbors moved to the mountains.  :(  Bummer stuff.

Here's Addy with her best friend Addy (Addison) at the zoo just a few days before they left for DC.

Here's me and Beth (and baby Gunner's head) on the kiddie train at the zoo before they left.

Well, we just got back from a visit to Kansas to see my great Aunt and Uncle Bursch, my cousin Jesse and my cousin Clint and his family.  Clint and Kayla have a daughter, Natalyn, who is 6 months older than Addy and a little new baby girl named Parker. 

It was a lot of driving but we had a great time with them.  My how our lives have changed since we last spent time in Kansas (4 years ago!).  Kayla and I spent a lot of time at the house with various nappers but we all did get out for the fair at night.  The girls all had a great time on the little rides.  Addy was very into her cousin Natalyn but Elsie was so fascinated by the bab-bab.  She kept wanted to touch Parker and swing her in her swing.  Too cute.  What a great visit.

Here's Addy and Natalyn (with Uncle Dick in the background) after riding the airplanes.

Here's Elsie in the mini cars (with Natalyn in the background).  Oh my goodness was she so proud of herself that she was big enough to ride a ride!  :)

Yeah for the carousel!  This was funny, they played A Tracks (I sort of had to guess that's what I saw and Brad confirmed it) and it went really fast.  I was getting light headed holding the girls on there!

The Slease Fam on the Farris wheel.  I was a little freaked we were going to loose the girls under the bar on one of the random crazy swings our car did so this picture just had to be good enough. 

The girls on the airplane together.  Elsie had a strange look on her face the whole time and all Brad, Dee and I could do was crack up and hope she didn't puke!  :)

The 3 cousins playing in Natalyn's playhouse.  Elsie loved wearing Natalyn's tutu. 

We went out to dinner with with Clint and Kayla and at this point Elsie had totally mastered Clint.  He was giving her whatever food she wanted off his plate.  :) 

I'm 11 weeks pregnant now and starting to feel a little better.  It's hard to believe that I'm almost in my second trimester.  Good grief, this is really going fast.  I did go for a bike ride with the girls in the trailer this morning (probably less than a mile but I'm tired!) and I even cleaned my kitchen floor yesterday.  I must be feeling a little better, huh? 

I just took Elsie in for her 15 month check up and I have to say, I felt like -other than wanting to know her growth, why in the heck am I here?  I don't have a thousand questions for the Dr. like I always did with Addy and Elsie is doing great.  Oh well, she did need a shot.  :)  So Elsie weighs 19.1 lbs (0% not even on the growth chart!) and she is 31 inch tall with is about 60%.  The Dr did want to make sure Elsie's eating well since she's a lightweight for her age but compared to her height, her weight is average.  Her growth chart is telling, though, because those months she was sick so much between 7 and 12 months her weight really dropped and fluctuated a lot.  Now she's growing again.  As for her head, she's still a pin head like her Mama.  She's 10% for head size.  :)  She is picking up words quickly now.  It's still Elsie speak but you can tell the words she's saying for things like down, ball, baby, banana and help.  What a cutie.  Oh goodness, and what a drama queen!  :)  We're working on not throwing tantrums and screaming right.  Already?!

Addy is getting so big and she is really starting to get huggie.  She isn't a cuddler but lately she wants and seems to need lots of hugs to be ok.  She is talking a blue streak and starting to ask good questions when we're talking or reading stories.  She still asks 'why?!' 30,000 a day but at least some of her questions are starting to have some thought behind them.  Yesterday she asked me what we were going to name the new baby.  :)   I said that I didn't know (gosh, we haven't even thought about it yet!) and she said maybe we should name the baby Elsie Mae.  :)  When I told her we already had an Elsie Mae she said, maybe Natalyn.  She was out of ideas when I told her that name was taken in our family already too.  She said, what will we do?  Too cute.

Ok, true to form, I'm off to take a nap.  Hope you all are enjoying the end of summer (that's what I'm telling myself it is because I'm sick of the heat!).  God bless!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Where has all the time gone?!

I feel like I'm saying that a lot lately. . . but seriously, I can't believe how the summer is flying.  Gosh, let's see, in the last month and a half, we've experienced a lot of change.  I've attached a slide show so you can see a bit of what we've been up to but here's the run down.

Did you catch that last picture?!  Yeah, we're pregnant!  We think we're in control.  We live like we're in control and really, we are NOT in control!  We are due to have baby #3 at the end of February.  :)  Good grief, we'll have 3 - 3 1/2 and under.  Whew!  We weren't exactly thinking we'd like another one so close to Elsie, but God apparently thought that was a great idea.  Elsie and the baby will be 22 months apart.  Really our biggest problem is where the kid is going to sleep!  I am a big fan of everyone (including me!) having alone time.  We'll see.  I've been feeling pretty yucky and tired and so the groove I was getting into with managing our home, the girls and planning fun activities has come to a screeching halt.  I have been enjoying naps and books though.  That's one benefit of having kids close together. . . they all still nap and stay on a similar schedule.

In the last month and a half, we've had fun family outings to the pool, the foster care foundation chalk art festival downtown, we celebrated the 4th with neighbors again and we had a road trip to NM for 'Thanksgiving in July' with my mom's family.  We also extended that road trip to include Pagosa Springs and Mesa Verde on our way home.  Long driving days, but lots of fun.  Our garden as taken off but the only thing we've eaten so far is the mint, basil and cherry tomatoes.  We've picked one squash but veggies gross me out these days so I haven't cooked it yet.  We have 2 big pumpkins growing and the tomatillos are cross pollinating like crazy!  

Elsie is 15 months old now and she has been walking since June 1st but she really took of about a month ago.  And, in the last few weeks she's started talking.  She says (in order of acquisition) DaDa, Hi, Ada (Addy), Arra (Arrow - the dog down the street), Ba (Grandpa or sheep), MaMa.  Yep, I was beat out by the neighbor's dog.  :)  She's also using about 15-20 signs so it's getting a lot easier for her to communicate.  Yeah, the whining is being replaced by words.  :)  She is really getting into books lately, and she's not eating them quite as much as before. 

Addy is just a month and a half from turning 3!  I can't believe it.  What a talker.  Today she ate lunch pretending to talk on the phone all the way through.  She's also enjoying 'reading' alone and making up songs.  She has so many books memorized that she practically can read books to herself.  And her songs. . . the other day one went like this "Jesus the Risen Christ, short and stout."  She sang that over and over.  :)  She' really getting more competent in her fine and gross motor skills which is really great!  She's started helping to unload the dishwasher, clear the table and sweep and clean up spills.  She is a big helper and she always wants to do whatever I'm doing.  I'm working on letting her help.  :)

Brad's work has gotten a bit busier as he created a development plan for himself to learn the liability side of Farmers so that he knows more than just what's going on in auto.  He's doing great.  He also got a juicer last month and set to work juicing cucumbers, celery, carrots, beets, apples, and oranges and he froze them in ice cube trays to add to his shakes.  What a crazy contraption!  The orange juice was really good though!

We've officially started going to a new church and we are really enjoying getting to know the families that go there.  It is called EVFree of Salt Lake City.  The pastor, Steve Clark, has a real gift for preaching the Word AND he shepherds his church and gets involved in people's lives.  It's a small church but it has several large families.  3, 4, 5, 6, 7 kids in a family is normal.  It's neat to have families to learn from as we try to raise our girls for the Lord.

We celebrated our 7th anniversary this month but our plans were a bit thwarted.  First, we decided to spend July 21st up at Snowbird (without the girls) to do all their high adventure activities like the zip line, slide, gondola, etc.  Great plan, right?  Well, then we found out we were pregnant so I was only going to get to do a few of the activities.  And then we got up there only to discover that it was raining and most everything was closed due to rain.   Grr.  So we ate an ice cream cone in the rain and headed back to the city.  We redeemed the afternoon and evening by having Thai for dinner (why is it that is the only thing I want to eat when I'm pregnant?!) and watched The Dark Knight Rising.  It wasn't exactly what we were thinking but we did get a great date out of it. 

Speaking of the Dark Knight. . . why do tragedies seem to flock to Colorado?  I found out that a former student of mine was shot (along with his mom) at the film but is fine.  His story is here  Also, you may have read Mike White Jr and Sr's stories from the shooting.  They both work at the middle school I used to teach at. Mike Jr. is a security guard and Mike Sr. is the custodian.  Their story is here  Please continue to pray for the Aurora community.  The stories are heartbreaking and there is a lot of healing that needs to take place.

On that note, may you have a blessed summer.  I'm going to take a nap.  :)


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fun! Fun! Fun!

We've kicked summer off with a lot of fun so far and so I'm happy to say that we've been doing so much fun stuff I haven't had time to write a post.  I've attached a slideshow so you can see what we've been up to and I'll try to do a brief summary.

Right after Elsie turned 1, we had another brief visit by my parents followed by getting back into the groove of weekly date nights.  We kicked it off by deciding to go to the Third Day concert just a few days before.  We had a great time and we were glad we're in Salt Lake so we could buy our tickets the day before for super cheap, park for free and practically have a personal concert because the venue was so small.  :) 

We spent the month of May finishing up Addy's school stuff (actually, I'm still trying to finish it up with her. . . we've really slowed down!) and doing lots of fun outdoor outings.  We visited the local farm where we were able to see a lot of baby animals like pigs and goats, we've done 2 5K fundraisers (walking!!) to raise money for March of Dimes for premies and for the Adoption Exchange that places foster kids in forever families.  We finished up the MOPS year and I hosted a yard sale fundraiser to help cover costs for our group next year.  You'll see pictures of our garage FULL of stuff and then what was left when we finished.  We raised $1300!!!  I couldn't believe it!

Jenny came to visit for a week in the middle of May (and she helped with the yard sale!) and she helped us plant our ghetto garden.  We finally got it in by about 11pm on Mother's day.  Man it's hard to get anything done with Littles around! 

We also got to attend our annual neighborhood carnival (another bonus of living in Salt Lake City).  There were games, treats and a BBQ dinner all hosted by one of our neighborhood wards.  We love hanging out with our neighbors.  We also visited This Is The Place Heritage Park to see the baby animal petting zoo.  Ok, gross, but really cute.  (Let's just say Elsie likes to chew on shoes and where there are baby animals, there is a lot of poop!!!)

Then the real fun began. . . I headed to Denver for a long weekend BY MYSELF!!!  Brad took some time off to watch the girls while I went to Denver to attend the graduation of my favorite group of 7th graders.  Yes, teachers have favorites.  And this group was amazing.  I got to see a lot of the teachers I used to teach with as well as a lot of my students.  Most of them still had the same sweet faces but much bigger bodies.  :)  It was so encouraging to hear so many of their plans to go to college. . . that is a big deal for those kids.  They beat the odds just by graduating high school.  Many of them have scholarships to all sorts of colleges.  (and many to study engineering and education :)  What a blessing. 

I also had fun that weekend seeing old friends and neighbors.  What a whirlwind trip.  I was pretty energized to come back and be a better mom and wife after some time away.  And, after I got home, Brad was pretty energized to make sure I get more time away!  :)  He did a great job with the girls but it gave him a clearer picture of what it's like to be a stay at home mom.  :)

When I got back to Salt Lake we had about a week before our family vacation to San Diego.  We did celebrate Brad's birthday before we left although he said all he wanted for his birthday was fish tacos at Alfonso's in La Jolla.  We didn't disappoint.  BUT, you'll see in the video his favorite birthday present.  Not much changes between infancy and 42. . . the bubble wrap from Lynn's gift was a major hit.  :)

San Diego. . . ahh!  We spent a week on the beach, at the zoo, at Sea World and just playing with my parents.  Grandparent heaven apparently.  ;)  Actually, I was surprised at how much fun we had.  I figured it wouldn't really be fun considering we'd be traveling with a 2 1/2 year old and a 1 year old.  But it really was fun.  We were busy, stayed out late and had lots of adventures. 

Some of those included:  eating sand (I won't name names. . . Mae Mae), petting dolphins at Sea World, surfing, skateboarding, boogie boarding, watching almost all of Sea World's shows (Addy did NOT like the people in costumes with face paint and Elsie did NOT like being close to the big whales), eating dinner with Shamu (Elsie didn't eat, she cried), reading, going for walks on the beach, seeing all sorts of crazy animals at the San Diego Zoo, seeing a Navy Seals training exercise at night at Hotel Del Coronado, and on and on.  You get the idea.  It was a LOT of fun.  And did I mention that we got to have a really great dinner out (just the two of us!) where we got to eat fancy food?!  I have a picture of the food on our date but not us.  :)  That figures.

So now we're home.  Whew!  We'll see what adventures come our way next.   Happy Summer!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happy Birthday Elsie Mae!!

A week ago, Elsie Mae turned 1!  We did actually go a couple of weeks with no dr visits and great health for everyone.  Elsie weighs 17 lbs 10 oz (5%) and is 29.4 inches tall (55%).  With all the sickness the last few months she dropped off the weight chart but seems to be gaining it back ok. 

She's signing words like: puppy, up, milk, thank you, please, all done, and book.  She isn't really saying anything yet but she says Da-Da and Ma-Ma (It seems like she means Brad when she says Da-Da, but not me for Ma-Ma yet.  Seriously?!)   

She's not quite walking yet but has found herself standing without holding onto anything - which she doesn't like, and she can walk only holding on to one of our fingers. 

We were able to celebrate her birthday with my parents and Aunt Deb, Uncle Scott and Cousin Matt the Sunday before her birthday and we had a great time.  We had a BBQ and enjoyed spending time outside.  Mom and I made Elsie a strawberry cake and Brad fixed up some really yummy BBQ chicken. 
Thanks, Judy, for the cake decorating kit.  I'm not a pro but I did get to use it!

When I asked Addy what she wanted to give Elsie Mae for her birthday she said a puppy dog. So, Addy made Elsie a birthday card with a puppy dog sticker in it. :) We're not ready to give into that one yet. 

Here we are after church the day of Elsie's birthday party.  How did our little babies get so big?!

 Elsie really liked the cake but when I put the plate down in front of her she started signing 'please' over and over again.  I had to feed her with the spoon.  :)  However, I will say, unlike Addy who didn't want to even touch the food at this age, Elsie's little hands crept onto the plate eventually and she picked up the ice cream scoop.  She didn't like holding it for very long and she ended up shaking it off her hand.  I'm glad we ate outside. 

 It was a great evening and Elsie had a ball. Most of all I think she loved the attention but second place was definitely the musical toys she received. We don't tend to buy toys that make noise but she LOVES music and the book from Great Grandpa Hulsbos that plays music and the Lettersaurus that plays songs from Deb & Scott were major hits. We knew she like music but you should have seen her dance when we pushed those buttons!  

Everyone loved the food and Elsie loved just sitting outside looking around while we ate.

 Elsie Mae loves books and she loved having Gramma here to read to her!

 Side note. . . This is what Mae Mae does with Easter eggs any time she finds them.  Picture her opening and closing her mouth over and over again with the egg inside. I'm pretty sure she can't swallow them.  :)  Actually, Mae Mae puts everything in her mouth and if she needs to go somewhere, she uses her mouth as an extra hand to carry whatever she wants to take with her while she crawls or cruises to her destination.  She's a hoot.  However, she does tear things up like Brody used to.  I thought cardboard books were supposed to be made for babies.  Oh well.

We decided to try our hands at gardening this year but not being sure if we'd like it, we decided to go the cheap route.  We officially started last weekend by digging in the dirt.  At first we thought we'd just dig up the soil, add some peat moss and compost and plant our plants.  After doing that (I will just say, Brad dug up a 9x5 foot rectangle of soil about 1 foot deep and mixed it with peat moss and compost on a tarp.  Then he dug down another foot to loosen the soil.  It was a lot of work. . . for him!)  it looked like it was just going to turn into a mud pile.  So, we took a peek behind our garage and found boards, bricks and sandstone pavers.  After a little bit of work we have our 8x4 temporary raised garden bed make entirely out of the junk behind our garage.  :)  It's pretty funny but we were really proud of ourselves for making it work without buying anything. 

Here's Brad with the finished garden bed.  Not bad for honky tonk free!  :)  After mother's day we'll put the plants and seeds in and set up the watering system.  We'll let you know how it does!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What's with you guys?!

You know, I went to look for some pictures to post to update on our family's last month of life and here it is. . .
We don't even have one of our family on Easter because Brad and I were sick so we didn't get dressed up or even make it to church. I counted, we've only been to church 6 times since before Christmas. Good grief.
I was out in the yard getting rid of some weeds that have sprung up before we could get any spring prep yard work done and a neighbor drove by. She stopped to say 'hi' and as soon as she heard me speak, she said "What is with you guys?!" That's what I'd like to know. It's been almost a full month of solid sickness. Addy got an eye infection which led to an ear infection which ended in the flu. That meant some sleepless nights for me because Addy had a fever for 3 days. Then, she shared the flu with Brad. He missed 3 straight days of work and didn't emerge from bed much. He actually had a fever for 48 hours. We're pretty sure that's the first fever he's had since we've been married. Lucky for me, I got to sleep on the floor in the family room. ;) Then just as Brad was starting to feel better, Elsie got the flu and topped it off with double ear infections so severe that one of her ear drums burst. Gross. Picture snot coming out of her cute little ear for 4 days. She didn't sleep much for about a week because she had a fever for 4 days. Just when she started acting normal again. . . Wham! Brad got another fever and I started feeling tightness in my chest. I'm sure you don't really care about all these details, but since last Friday, I've been coughing, feverish and unable to really speak because it hurts so bad. Even Brad's not 100% yet. So make that 3 1/2 solid weeks of sickness and 6 visits to the pediatrician.
So, that is why the above is the only picture we have of the last 3 1/2 weeks. :) I'm pretty sure it was taken before she got sick. She was NOT smiling when she was sick.
With all the sickness, Elsie dropped to 16 1/2 lbs and she is about to turn 1! Poor little peanut! She's cruisin' along the furniture in the living room and yesterday she pushed the toy train and walked behind it. She loves to be outside (praise God for nice weather since all this sickness because we have been able to go for lots of walks and Elsie LOVES being outside. She's pointing to everything and saying 'dah.' We just name everything for her and she seems satisfied. But what she really loves is to see dogs and cats. She loves animals!
Poor Addy Paddy with all this sickness! She's been such a trooper. She continues to want to do projects all the time and we had a great time doing Resurrection Eggs to get ready for Easter. She pretty much has the Easter story down now. She loves to help me with whatever I'm doing and that includes cleaning. She's started taking her dishes to the kitchen after meals and she loves cooking. She is so busy! She continues to be an amazing big sister and she's really good at comforting Elsie when she's sad. She is just a little Mommy.
Well, not much else to say. Brad and I have been dreaming about landscaping our yard for months but we haven't been able to get out to do it. We also wanted to plant a garden. . . Maybe we'll at least plant a few things later.
We'd appreciate your prayers for health. There is a billboard on the highway near our home that says "All's well when you are" and lately I've been realizing how true that is. Our health really is our most valuable thing but we don't even think about it when we're well. Whew. We've been thinking about it a lot! We're ready to put this phase behind us. Thank you for your prayers!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Spring is in the air

Let's see. . . we've had sickness, teething, ear infections, travel, company, birthdays, adventures, potty training, milestones and more sickness. :) It's been a busy month.
Elsie, at 10 1/2 months, is now signing a few things like 'please,' 'up,' 'all done,' and 'bye-bye/hi.' She has a total of 8 teeth (at least poking through her gums) and has figured out how to pull up to a stand and is starting to take steps to cruise from perch to perch. She has let go a few times to try out her balance but she didn't seem to like it. :) She's enjoying chewing on her crib now that she can reach. :( Elsie loves music and she sways back and forth to any tune. I even caught her tapping her toe to the beat of the music on her exersaucer the other day. She is a very passionate little one. She's passionately happy most of the time but look out when she's not! She really lets you know it!
Addy is 2 1/2 years old and at last post we were just about to do our potty party. Well, we did it and it was so much fun! We had lots of fun treats and Addy really figured out that the goal was to stay clean and dry by using the potty. She has very infrequent accidents and is able to let me know when she has to go pretty consistently. It's neat to see her changing and growing. Although I've really slacked on our preschool stuff since returning from Christmas vacation, she continues to amaze me with the stuff she learns. And boy, does she love to learn.
We're getting ready to switch the girls bedrooms so Elsie can have all the baby stuff in her room and Addy can have a big girl bed. She's really excited for the switch. Hopefully it will go well.
We did have a couple of visits from my parents since the last post. Mom came into town for a week while Brad was gone (right after our potty party. . . I needed help!) and then both parents came for a ski day and stayed while Brad went out of town again. I really enjoyed their help with the girls and the girls loved the extra attention from their Gramma & Ba. We also had our first day on the slopes in probably 5 years. It was the best day all season for Utah and we had a great day (actually, half day!).
Brad and I have enjoyed some fun date nights lately and some family outings and bike rides. We're also getting ready to start a spring project of a bunch of yard work (Why is it no one plants evergreens in yards?! Our yard looks like a barren wasteland all winter!) and hopefully building some raised beds and planting a garden. We have a perfect spot in our yard. . . now to just get it built and planted!
We're already seeing signs of spring here with bulbs coming up and squirrels and birds coming out. Yes, Bill, the quail are back! :) Addy is learning to look for the signs of spring and one she doesn't like very much is the appearance of bugs. She is not a fan of them.
So here is a video of some pictures of the last month. There is a short video clip and although you can't hear the talking very well, it's all about Addy's facial expresssion. :) She'll eat anything. . . I mean anything! As long as we say it's ok to eat, she's game. Brad likes to abuse her adventureous spirit for kicks. This one was one of those cocktail onions. Brad loves them and she wanted to try one so, knowing it would be good, I caught it on video. The funny thing is that after this, she asked for another one. She's a piece of work. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What a month

We've hit the fun month of February and have so much we're looking forward to that I can't hardly remember what we did in January. . . wait, yes I do. . . next to nothing since we were sick for most of it. :)

The girls and I spent a lot of time at home and thanks to God's grace of a mild winter so far, we were able to get out for walks even during the fevers, stomach bug, ear infections, cold viruses and sinus infections. Luckily I only go the virus for a couple of weeks of it but poor Brad, he got it all right along with the girls! Seriously, it was quite a bummer of a month. We did, however, find some creative ways to keep entertained. You'll see some of the pictures below but here's a recap:

Addy and I made gingerbread cookies (this shouldn't seem like a big deal but baking is such a non-essential that it just doesn't happen in our house unless Brad does it!). . . I decided to let go of some control and let Addy make her own cookies. I figured I'd either have to sweep up a few crumbs or a bunch. So I let her go at it. :) Are you proud of me?

Addy started a gymnastics class for 2 year olds. Talk about herding cats! Addy loves it and after just 2 classes she's already doing some of the things she's learned at home. Hopefully it will help her coordination. :)

We built Addy's first snowman that unfortunately someone rolled down our grass hill not long after we made it. Addy was so bummed. :(

The biggest news on Addy is what is coming up this weekend. . . drum roll please. . . potty training! We've been doing a little of it but we're doing boot camp starting Friday morning. We're doing the Potty Training 1-2-3 method where we put emphasis on staying 'clean and dry' by using the potty. We've gotten all our supplies and in order to give Addy some sense of 'Feb 10th is the day we have our potty party,' we made a paper chain that she gets to tear a link off each day until the big day. Brad's even staying home from work to help with Elsie so I can be more focused on Addy. She is so excited (especially when she tasted the chocolate covered raisins and nutter butter cookies she gets as a treat for staying clean and dry!). She keeps wanting to put her training pants, pull ups and big girl underwear on every time she sees them. Yes, she's motivated and ready. February 10th is just the goal I set for myself to get ready for the change! :)

Elsie's been working on a lot of things: getting new teeth (she now has 4 and 2 more are just about to peek through), starting to sign "all done," trying to pull up on things(note the bruises on her forehead when she tried to pull up on the toy shelf and fell over onto it!), learning all sorts of new faces like 'shy face' where she puts her chin to her chest with a big smile on her face when someone she loves talks to her. Or, she does 'foreheads' by putting her forehead to someone else's forehead that she loves. She's started giving slobbery kisses and just last night she surprised us by picking up a little puff snack and putting it into her mouth like it was the easiest thing ever. I was sure she dropped it because she did it so fast. Just a couple of weeks ago she didn't have the coordination for that. She is changing so fast and she is just the happiest baby ever. I can't believe she is 9 1/2 months old already.

Addy continues to love on her baby sister so well. She calls her 'sweet girl' and is always ready to help feed her and give her toys. The have so much fun together.

Brad and I have spent most of our time trying to stay up with all the changes our girls bring to the table. But, we have enjoyed our weekly date nights and we even got to go see the Mission Impossible IMAX movie a few weeks ago. I will say, we spent the first few minutes feeling really old because it was too loud, too fast and way to big! :) Seriously, we could hardly follow the action. I guess it has been too many years since we've seen a movie on the big screen. IMAX might have been a bit ambitious. By the end I think our senses had adjusted and we enjoyed the flick.

I mentioned that the month of February is a big one and that's because we have birthdays and Valentine's day to celebrate, potty training to do, Grandma Bursch is coming to visit and Brad has a business trip. And that's just the out of the ordinary stuff. Plus, we've got to pack that all into just 3 weeks. I guess we're getting to make up for the very low key month of January.

We just hope we can all stay healthy to enjoy our plans. . .

Monday, January 16, 2012

Happy New Year

We've been busy around here, as I'm sure you have, with celebrating Christmas and starting a new year. We spent Christmas in New Mexico and enjoyed our time with family. The girls traveled well (as we drove 10 hours down and 12 hours back) especially considering we only spent 4 days in NM.

We spent time with my Mom's sister, Zana, and my Grandpa Hulsbos a few days before Christmas and then with my Dad's family Christmas Eve and Christmas day. We stayed with Mom, Dad and Jenny at my Aunt and Uncle's house (even though they spent Christmas in VA). I think we spent most of our time opening presents and eating. :) Addy had a ball and Elsie loved getting so much attention from everyone.

Since we've been home we've tried to get back in the swing of regular life. We've welcomed the new year with vomit, strep and ear infections already so we figure we ought to be good and healthy for the rest of 2012.

Some news on the girls. . . Elsie started crawling Friday and got her first top tooth last week. She is such a happy baby and she loves playing with her sister and 'touching foreheads' with those she loves. She's learning 'no pass' to keep her on the rug or a blanket and she's learning 'inside voice.' That kid has quite a scream!

Addy is quite a little person these days. She is very helpful with Elsie and is enjoying learning to cook. She also surprised us last week by telling us she had to go to the bathroom during dinner with some friends. When I took her, not knowing what to expect, sure enough, she went to the bathroom. She's gone a few other times since then and seems to be starting to get it figured out. She's talking constantly these days so we're working on listening. :) She'll ask the same question 62 times over and over without taking a breath let alone waiting to hear the answer to the question. I'm working on not losing my cool over it. . . I think it's how Brad feels when he talks to me sometimes. :)

Brad and I are working on getting a little bit of a life back these days. We've committed to a weekly date night and we're spending Saturday mornings taking turns who watches the girls so we can each get some alone time out of the house to do something we WANT to do, not just something we have to do. So far so good. . .

Here's a video of the last month or so.