Saturday, March 30, 2013

Elaina Walks

Elaina started walking this week.  We just returned from a week-long vacation to California, and Elaina took her first real steps the first day we were there. 

We were at the beach on Wednesday, and she took a few steps on the wet sand.

More about our trip coming soon!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Swan Lake

When I was a little girl my mom took my sister and me to see the Eugene Ballet Company perform Swan Lake. I remember loving it, and I'm sure it inspired me to be a better ballerina. Last month, I learned that the very same ballet company would be performing the very same ballet just 10 miles from my house. I considered how much fun it would be to go and take Chloë, but I decided that surely a 2 1/2-year-old wouldn't be interested in a ballet for almost 3 hours. But when an acquaintance said she had a couple of extra tickets that she wanted someone to use, I figured we could give it a try.
So Chloë put on her black tights and little pink tule skirt that looks a lot like a tutu, and we went to the ballet!

We found our seats and settled down.
I asked her how excited she was for the ballet to begin.
And then it began! 
I didn't think it was possible, but she sat so still for almost three hours.  I'm sure the two intermissions helped with her attention span, but she was completely mesmerized.

It was really special.  We'll have to do it again and take Elaina next time.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


These two videos are very, very different.  But they're both music, so here goes.

We've sung many beautiful pieces in the months that I've been singing in our church's choir.  I particularly like the one we did on Sunday, so I had Bryan stealthily record it on my iPhone.  Since we meet in a hotel conference room, the acoustics leave much to be desired.  This is Miserere mei, Deus, written in the 16th century by William Byrd.

Now this, I almost can't share.  But it is just so brilliant and hilarious, that I couldn't keep such a gem to myself.  So here it is.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Easter Eggs

We dyed Easter eggs on Sunday.  Lots, and lots... and lots of Easter eggs.

Chloë thought it was amazing. This photo is a bit washed out, but here she is proudly showing off her PINK Easter Egg! 
I showed her how to gently lower the eggs into the mugs of dye.

We hard boiled about 4 dozen eggs, and when those were all dyed, we decided to move on to the raw eggs. Why not? So we ended up dying another 4 dozen. And not just ker-plopping them in the dye and letting them sit for a few minutes. Oh no. We had to let our creative juices flow. And flow they did.
We got out the crayons and got creative.
I poked some holes in a few raw eggs and emptied them, and then dyed the shells.
We got out some rubber bands and little hole-punch reinforcement ring stickers, and Bryan came up with this very creative minion. 
And I discovered that the reinforment rings make a really cute owl!
I'm pretty sure that Laura dyed about half of the eggs.
I used masking tape to tape off most of the egg in segments so I could make a rainbow egg.  I think I spent about a half an hour on this thing.
I slowly lowered some eggs into the dye to make ombre eggs!
It was a lot of colorful fun.

Just in case you were wondering, I added the blown eggs to my others, and put them on my mantle for a little Easter cheer.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

We Got Away

Bryan and I took a little trip a couple of weeks ago.  We left the girls with Bryan's parents, and were gone for a whole 52 hours!  He did lots of research and planning, and decided to take me to McCall, Idaho.  It was a 3 1/2 hour drive, and it was beautiful.

We checked into the luxurious Shore Line Lodge, right on the edge of Lake Payette.  We explored, soaked in the hot tub, ate lots of good food in lots of fun places, and drank a responsible amount of good beer.

I took a lot of pictures of our food. I'll spare you most of them.
The deep fried jalapenos were amazing (and something we want to attempt to replicate)
The copper-topped bar at the pub was interesting.
This cinnamon roll was the hugest thing I've ever seen.  We got it to go, and it filled up the entire styrofoam carry-out box.

We were both actually right in the middle of a pretty awful cold, but praise the Lord for sudafed and ibuprofen, because we really didn't want to miss out on the snowboarding!  It was a perfect bluebird day, and the snow was even decent.  I absolutely loved it.  Snowboarding is one of the things I love most, but rarely get to do.  I've only gone a couple of times in the last several years, so it was a special treat.  I'm a little rusty and out of practice, but we had a fabulous time, and didn't even injure ourselves.
We had a spectacular view.

We had a great time.  The drive home wasn't even half bad.

And then we got to see our girls!  We had missed them a lot.  We figured a fun little family dinner outing would be appropriate.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Thirteen Months Old

Elaina really is changing every day.  The most obvious of changes is her growing ability to express herself.  It seems like she is adding a new word to her vocabulary every day.  Just this morning, my dad came over, and Elaina saw him and exclaimed "Papa! Papa!"  A few days ago, I found myself conversing with my 13-month-old.  I picked her up off the floor, and she said, "dee dee poo poo." "Oh, you have stinky poo poos?" I asked.  "Yeah." So I laid her on the changing table.  "boo! boo!" she said excitedly. "You want your boots back on?" I asked.  She had been wearing them earlier. "Yeah!" she said.  I asked her where they were. "Uh-oh," she said seriously. "You dropped them? Where did you drop them?" I asked. "Da-teh." I thought for a second and then realized what she was telling me.  She likes to throw things down the stairs into the basement. "Oh, you dropped them downstairs?" "Yeah!" she said, excited that I figured it out.  Sure enough, her boots were at the bottom of the stairs.

I've already lost track of all the words she uses. 

Elaina still isn't walking, but she loves to practice. She holds someone's fingers and throws one little chubby leg in front of the other, with a bit of a drunken sailor in her gait.  She also loves to hold on to the dining room chairs and push them halfway across to the house.  Some days I am constantly returning furniture to its rightful place.

She loves taking baths.  She starts screeching in excitement when she hears the bath water running.

She really likes her uncles.  She likes all of the uncles to hold her during church.  They are all so great with her, it's no wonder.  Isaiah has been around a lot lately, and she really enjoys snuggling with him.

She still likes to rub the corners of blankets and fabric.  I don't imagine that will change any time soon.  She even does it in her sleep.

And she and her sister like to join me in my bed in the morning.  Sometimes they even fall back asleep.

She had her well-child visit recently.  At 18 pounds, she has dropped down to the bottom of the charts for weight (11th percentile!), which is a little hard to believe.  I guess there must be some super chunky babies out there.  My friend Lynnessa was in town recently with her baby Audrey, who is now 6 months old.  Yes, they are basically the same size.  Audrey's cheeks are definitely bigger.

She still just has her two teeth, but has almost completely transitioned to the world of real food.  Sometime she'll scarf down a whole peanut butter and jelly sandwich in one sitting.  Since she still isn't eating dairy (it gives her "burney-buns," as we call them), we've been giving her lots of peanut butter and avocados and low-mercury fish to make sure she's getting plenty of good fats.  She has recently discovered the wonderful world of eating utensils.
She also likes dry cereal. And of course, she definitely wants to try whatever is on our plates.

We all had the Horrible Cold of February 2013.  There were a few days in particular that we all were very lazy and gave our bodies lots of good rest.  That meant lots of reading books and snuggling.

As I have mentioned before, she is a really loud kid.  I think she's been watching her sister, because she like to hold books and sing. 

She loves doing whatever we're doing.  Especially if we let her help. 

She waves goodbye to her daddy when he leaves for work, and bounces up and down with excitement when his car pulls up.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

We Won Second Place

Well friends, we didn't win the Ugly Couch contest, but we were so close.  We were in the lead on numerous occasions, but in the final hour, our competitors jumped into the lead and won by 42 votes.

The official announcement from Model Home Furnishing:
-First Place, with 617 votes, goes to sofa #31, belonging to RJ & Brittney!
-Second Place, with 575 votes, goes to sofa #6, belonging to Bess & Bryan! 

-Third Place, with 100 votes, goes to sofa #26, belonging to Gordon Mellot!

Those two days were a little crazy.  I never thought such a silly competition could be so nerve wracking.  I guess I do have a competitive streak somewhere.  I did feel pretty silly practically begging our family and friends to vote for our couch, while asking them to have their friends vote too.  

It seemed like such an easy competition when we started; we only needed 130 votes to win!  But then our competition noticed, and they rallied their people.  So, naturally, we bumped it up a notch and rallied ours.  

We were able to monitor the numbers of votes minute-by-minute, which was really quite torturous.  The final hours were the most painful of all.  We would be ahead by seven votes, then behind by three, then ahead by five, then behind by eight.  And then, after all of that effort, we didn't even win.  But.  We had no idea that there was even a second place prize, so we were stoked for the $100 gift certificate.  Bryan and I have been doing research today trying to decide what kind of couches we even like.  So maybe sometime in the next month or few we'll have ourselves some new furniture.

Thanks to all of our family and friends for supporting the crazy spam-like approach to this thing. Hopefully we won't ever do it again.