Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mars and Venus

I wrote the following list for Lance on Saturday when I sent him out to do errands.

Target
Return sheets
1 roll of children's wrapping paper and
1 pkg. of tissue paper

Hallmark
Exchange ornament
4 baby's first Christmas picture frame ornament

Lance's shopping trip to Target was successful yet he came home with a HUGE bag from Hallmark. At first I thought he had purchased me a sentimental present. However, I was shocked when he pulled out four identical Baby's First Christmas ornaments from the bag.* Why in the world would I want four units of the same ornament?

Taking the advice from Elder Wirthlin, we laughed until we cried. If husbands could only read our minds.

*For those who suffer from the same misguided interpretation skills as Lance: I intended him to exchange the ornament "for" a baby's first Christmas picture frame ornament.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Grounded from eBay

I have a sickness.  I LOVE shoes.  I have more pairs of shoes than I could possibly need but I love to find a pair that is just "me" and add it to my collection.   I haven't boughten shoes for myself since June 2008 in an effort to be more frugal.

However, Elisabeth's shoe closet has been feeding my addiction.  Heaven forbid she wears a pair of shoes that do not match her outfit.  And she has to have two pairs of dress shoes - one black patent leather and one brown.  Nevermind that she can't even walk yet and is still weeks away from all out crawling.  Her toes need to be covered.

My favorite shoes for her feet are Pedipeds.  UNBELIEVABLY expensive shoes for a baby but very high quality craftmanship and fit her chubby little feet perfectly.  My friend gave me a pair in a box of hand-me downs and it has been my mission ever since to procure cheap used pairs for her future use.

Just today I purchased THREE pairs of gently used Pediped shoes in pristine condition for an average of $9.00 a pair from eBay.  Shucks - You can't even find a decent pair of Target baby shoes for that price.  Here is what one of the pairs looks like:

I can't wait for her to sport these in public.  But, in the meantime, I am grounding myself from eBay.  I may be saving close to $20 on a pair of shoes but I am spending money on non-necessary items.  I have to admit Elisabeth does not *need* shoes AND I need to be more of sensible with my purchases and save my money up for more important things.  Like a house.  Oh, how difficult it is to exercise self-constraint when it comes to shopping for a baby girl. Yet , how important for me to start now so my daughter can learn important life lessons about frugality.

Monday, December 01, 2008

A Very Merry Half Birthday

Six months. Our baby girl is now six months. We have been floored at how much she has grown and developed in the past few weeks. Here are just a few of her newest tricks that make me feel like we no longer hold an infant in our arms but a baby girl who is growing up way too quickly:
  • Can hold her own bottle.
  • Eats three meals of solids a day - rice cereal and fruit for breakfast, fruit/veggies for lunch and meat/vegetable for dinner.
  • Drinks water from a cup
  • Started officially teething and has her two bottom front-teeth to prove it
  • Can "scoot" like a little worm across the floor

  • Started taking swimming lessons

  • No longer wants to be rocked to sleep. Prefers to be put in her crib with her soothie blankie and fall asleep on her own.

  • Give us kisses on our cheeks (Okay, she actually chews on our cheeks when we ask her to give kisses, but close enough for go, right?)

Grandma Bev says Elisabeth is the happiest baby she has ever taken care of. Beth's big smiles and giggle are pretty contagious. She does have her occassional "mental breakdowns" (as her papa calls them) and fussy times but is usually happy-go-lucky. Life would not be the same without our little ladybug who loves music, singing, reading books and pulling the puppy's ears.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

1/2 pound

I am currently a Weight Watchers member and was dreading my weigh-in this morning after a week of eating five course dinners and elaborate breakfasts on a cruise ship AND after eating a large, home cooked Thanksgiving meal that included all the butter-laden fixins' imaginable. I am ecstatic to report I lost 1/2 lb. Most people gain weight on cruises and after the holidays.

I have never, ever been more excited to loose a 1/2 lb. in my life. Whoo hoo!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Mullet-be-gone


Elisabeth was blessed with a full head of beautiful hair from birth. For some reason, the back of her hair started to grow faster than her sides, resulting in something similar to a "mullet." I finally couldn't stand this 80's hairdo and took a pair of scissors to remedy the situation.

Miss Mullet

After she was de-mulletfied


Our very own little Cindy Lou Who.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

H-A-Double L- O- W- Double E -N

Our family on Halloween.  Sofi was a pumpkin this year.

We carved pumpkins for the first time as a married couple this year.
My pumpkin seeds turned out quite tasty.

We went trick-or-treating to two houses in our neighborhood.  Our neighbors gave Sofi a special treat.

Our little pumpkin and her papa.

Ladybug, ladybug.  Elisabeth was a ladybug this year and was sure cute.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Swing Voter

With great emotion, I happily bid this election season farewell. I am curious to see what Obama does in office... for better or worse. I am also relieved Prop 8 passed, as we were heavily involved with this grassroots movement. Regardless of how anyone voted, I am sure most people can agree with me that this election season was one historic and emotionally intense time.

Sadly, I have decided that I must gracefully withdraw my political registration as a Democrat. There is such a disparity between my conservative social views and the Democrat party that I feel like being a card carrying member doesn't quite fit anymore. Being a Democrat here in CA is A LOT different than being a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Laborer party in MN.

But, before all of you GOPers holler for joy that you won a Democrat over to your side, I must admit I can never be a registered Republican either. Those that know me well will also attest to the fact that I do *not* see eye-to-eye with the Republican party either. I will join my husband as being a completely independant voter - voting according to my conscience for who I think will be the best candidate for the job. And luckily, the Democratic party will still allow me, as a "decline to state" party member, to vote in their primaries.

I was listening to NPR today and am excited to hear that this decision - to become an independent voter - has made me a "swing voter." All parties will have to do their part to win my vote. I may have lost my "Minnesota Democrat" identity but have gained a new one of the "Swing Voter."

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Table Manners

We took this as a sign that Ellie B was ready to start on solids.

She wasn't too sure of her rice cereal at first.

Now she can't get enough and wants to lick the bowl clean.
When is it too early to teach table manners?  :-)


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Five Alive

Elisabeth's five month birthday has come and gone.  Where did the time go?  Just yesterday she was a tiny newborn, waking up every two hours.  Now she has grown into an active, loving, happy little baby.  She is right on schedule for her development. Here are some interesting facts about Miss E:
  •  Rolls both from her front to back and vice versa
  • Sleeps about 11 hours each night, uninterrupted
  • Sits up without support (2 minutes is the longest stretch so far)
  • Loves eating rice cereal in her high chair
  • Has a keen interest in our dog.  In fact, the sight of Sofi can make her tears stop
  • Her favorite book is Snuggle Puppy
  • She wakes up with a huge smile on her face (She has her mama's mouth, that is for sure!)
  • Gives the most expressive looks, including the sassy look, the "stink eye" and the "I am pretending I am shy" look
  • Is very social.  Loves to stare people down until they smile at her which she responds with an huge smile.

We can't help but love her beautiful smile, contagious giggle and cheery disposition.  Not to mention her chubby cheeks!  I may be biased, but a mug like hers is Hollywood worthy.  

Simple Pleasures

Elisabeth sure loves her Papa.  

Saturday, October 11, 2008

What Not to Wear

Anyone want to nominate me for the TLC program "What Not to Wear?" Because, as you can see in this most embarrassing picture EVER, I need some fashion help. I can only hope that this picture is only going to appear on the online version of the local newspaper and not the print version.

Of all days to go to the store wearing my comfy clothes and tennis shoes without taking more than two minutes to get ready, last Thursday had to be it. (I usually don't wear make-up or do my hair really nice these days unless it is 1. Sunday or 2. I am meeting up with some fashionable friends.) This situation reminds me of how my mom used to tell me to always wear clean underwear just in case I got into a car accident. I guess I should always make myself look presentable just in case the local newspaper photographer is around to take my picture.

Notice, however, that I am being very environmentally conscience with my reusable grocery bags, was able to successfully grocery shop with a sleeping infant in a stroller AND talk local political issues with a city council candidate. I may not be the cutest mother around, but I am doing my part to contribute to the betterment of society.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Grandparents

Grandpa Mickie

I always felt so blessed growing up to have three grandmothers.  One grandma, Grandma Earl, wasn't my biological grandmother.  In fact, she was my mom's ex-husband's mother and some people may have thought my mom was nuts for visiting Grandma Earl often after the divorce. My mom, who always taught us family did not have to be blood-related, maintained a close relationship with her ex-mother-in-law until Grandma Earl died when I was a teen.  Grandma Earl was an important part of our lives and I miss her as much as I miss my biological grandmas - Grandma Cookie and Grandma "On the Farm."   Family is family.  Half brothers, step fathers, adopted grandmothers - this did not matter to us.  My brothers and I freely gave love to important people in our lives.  The love we received in return was priceless.

Grandpa Martin 

Elisabeth is blessed to have three grandpas and two grandmas in her life. (Not to mention quite a few adopted aunties and one adopted grandma here in Cali.)   I am happy that Elisabeth has many people who love her and hope that she will be able to cherish each grandparent for the unique qualities each one of them have to offer in her life.  

Grandma Bev and Daddy Ray

Grandma Carol

Friday, October 03, 2008

Oh Noooooo!


I opened my mailbox two days ago to find a package from my good Finnish friends, the Patomos.  I love hearing from my adopted Finnish family and especially love getting surprise packages from Ă„iti Patomo, (a.k.a. Patomo Mom) as she always sends me a few Fazer Sininen bars.  (Translation: Fazer Blue Chocolate bars.  The BEST chocolate I have ever eaten in my life.)

Well, the first thing that went through my mind as I opened the package was "Oh Noooooo!" My coveted chocolate was in liquid form.  Who would have ever expected it to be 100 degrees in October?  Of all days to be so hot, why did it have to be the day my package arrived?  Luckily, the refrigerator restored my chocolate bars to their solid state and the taste was not lost in the melting process.

Tragedy averted, right?  WRONG.  

The next day I took out one of my bars of chocolate to have a taste.  I only ate one row of chocolate and forgot to put the rest of the 200 g. bar back in the fridge.  

After running a quick errand, I returned home to a beagle that was acting odd.  It was almost as though she was hopped up on some type of narcotics.  She was howling incessantly, running around in circles, and tearing up my tennis shoes.  For the second time in two days, I heard the words "Oh Nooooooo!" bellow through my mind.  There, on my kitchen floor, was an empty blue wrapper.  Not a sliver of chocolate was left of this savaged Finnish delicacy.  My dog had eaten almost 200 grams of chocolate and now was on the caffeine rush of her life.

Not only was I unable to enjoy my chocolate, I now had a dog who was acting incredibly hyper.  She did some gymnastic moves throughout the house, used the carpet as a constant back scratcher, tore apart every shoe insole she found, and decided to bring us a few gifts of her dried poops into our living room.  She then crashed for the rest of the night, keeping us up with her snoring.  I couldn't stay mad at Sofi the Beagle long.  Especially when she had Elisabeth erupting into giggles all day long at this crazy dog's antics.

I should write a book about being a dog owner of a lovable yet frustrating beagle.  Too bad John Grogran already used this idea.  And he did a great job of chronicling the ups and 
downs of life with a beloved family pet. 

Monday, September 29, 2008

I think we're on to something. . .


Elisabeth has been sleeping through the night going on almost two weeks now. As a couple who has always valued a good night's rest, this is our most favorite baby milestone so far. How did we do it? Well, I honestly believe we need to give most of the credit to our Elisabeth. My opinion is there was some type of pysioloical switch that went off in her, helping her graduate from the "4th trimester" (See Dr. Karp's Happiest Baby on the Block book) into happy babyhood. We attempted to "sleep train" her but in the end, as with most first-time parents, it was us who needed to be trained.


Here are my theories on why she went from waking up twice a night to sleeping between 10-12 hours straight each night.

  1. Her own crib. Yes, I moved her into her own room, into her own crib and do not turn on the baby monitor at night. She is right across the hall and we can hear her cries quite well from our bedroom. I think we all started to sleep better after the move.

  2. Weight/Age - She is almost five months old and weighs a nice, hefty 17 lbs.

  3. No more feeding in our bed - When Elisabeth was a newborn, learning how to feed her in our bed while I was laying down saved me from complete exhaustion. However, I more and more frequently fell asleep while feeding her and would wake up two hours later with a baby still in my bed, enjoying the all-you-can eat buffet. I could tell Elisabeth enjoyed this arrangement, thus making her night-wakings quite rewarding for her.
  4. Elimination of late-night snacks - I figured her need to nurse in the middle of the night had more to do with comfort than with hunger. (Let's face it - Chunka Munka isn't going to waste away from hunger anytime soon.) So, we used Richard Ferber's suggestion on how to wean out night-time feedings. If she woke up four hours after we first put her down, I would make her wait 4 1/2 hours before I would feed her. The next night, she woke up 5 hours after I put her down and I made her wait 5 1/2 hours. It only took me two nights of making her wait an extra 1/2 hour between feedings to eliminate her need to night feed all together.
  5. Setting of a Schedule - Elisabeth seems to thrive on a schedule, routines and transitions. We tried to let her "cry it out" a few times but I found, through much prayer and anguish, that this was hurting her more than helping. Elisabeth would cry for three hours straight if we let her and refused to fall asleep. As long as we stick to our routines, we have a baby that falls asleep quite quickly and sometimes completely on her own.

We still have some work to do when it comes to taking longer naps but I am not complaining. So, thank you Elizabeth Pantley, Richard Ferber, Marc Weissbluth , Tizzie Hall, and Sonya Moore (a.k.a. my local baby whisperer). This well-rested mother and father (at least for now) salutes all of you for your sleep advice.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Newest Project

I have decided I am going to learn how to smock.  I have always been a fan of this traditional, classic style of children's clothing and my friend, Allison, is already an expert.  Allison has offered to teach me how to do this fine handiwork.


My first project - A white bishop's dress with red geometric smocking for Elisabeth's Christmas/Valentine's Day dress.   Above is the same type of dress I plan to make, only in pink instead of white.  I go this week to buy fabric (white sateen) and will hopefully start soon.  Wish me luck on this endeavor.  I am already dreaming of the future projects I can make for our beautiful baby girl and I get giddy with excitement. 

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cast Away

I was given permission to officially remove my walking boot a week ago Monday. I saw an orthopaedic doctor who told me my bone is mostly healed and I can start swimming and walking again. Whoo hoo! I can't tell you how much I have missed walking! Onward, ever onward.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My thoughts exactly. . .

I saw this blog posting today while I was checking my email. My thoughts exactly.

Anyone else having a hard time understanding why our government is bailing out these banks/companies who have made very poor ecomonic decisions? Lance came home yesterday and told me that we, as tax payers (and I might add we pay A LOT in taxes here in CA), are now proud owners of the largest insurance agency in the country. I was a little miffed. NO one consulted me on this purchase. Shouldn't they have? I am feeling the need to write some strongly worded letters to our government representatives. I hate to say it, but every day I become more and more disillusioned with those we have chosen to lead us.

I guess here's to hoping for a better future. Or at least for leaders with a little better economical sense.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Roly-Poly

Elisabeth is officially 4 months old and continues to live up to her Chunka Munka moniker.  Here were her stats from her well check-up:
Weight:  95th Percentile
Height:  45th Percentile
Head Cir.: 25th Percentile

Bath time has proven to be more challenging to us.  As she has so many rolls to clean, we are never quite sure if we got in between them all.  (Not to mention the fact Elisabeth likes to chew on the side of her bathtub and splash water everywhere!)

She is officially sleeping in her own crib in her own room and we are attempting to train her to fall asleep on her own.  We are on our way to her sleeping through the night.  (A hopeful cross of fingers included with that statement.)

She also reached two important milestones these last few weeks.  First, she learned how to roll over from her back to her stomach.  She doesn't know how to roll over again to her back but I am sure that will come soon enough.  Second, she decided to notice the puppy and vice versa.  As soon as she sees her furry friend, she erupts into smiles.  Likewise, Sofi has discovered that our baby produces some interesting smells and needs to be greeted with a customary lick when we return home from an outing.

We still have not picked an official nickname for her, although it appears that "Ellie" won out on our little blog poll.  Try as we might to call her by another name, Elisabeth just seems to fit the best.  Actually, the closest we have come to a nickname is  "Emily Elisabeth."  Our friend's four year old daughter, Laura Kate, started referring to our girl as "Emily Elisabeth."  I guess LK just assumed all little girls need two first names. . . either that or our little girl resembles Clifford the Big Red Dog's owner.  So, because we think it is too cute, we have not corrected Laura Kate and have resorted to call our baby Emily Elisabeth around her.  Emily Elisabeth seems to fit as well.  Maybe we are on to something. ;-)

Before and After Shots

BEFORE


Elisabeth having fun at the pediatrician's office, waiting for the nurse to return with her 4 month immunizations.  I wish I had a video of this as she was giggling uncontrollably.
*Take note of her luxurious hair.  Her hair often has a red tint and a hint of curl and is quite pretty, in my opinion.

AFTER

After receiving her shots. . . no longer having so much fun.

I often wonder if she is thinking in her sharp little mind, "Oh Mama.  Must must you document EVERYTHING I do?"  Oh, to be a child of a scrapbooker.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Hopes for Her Future (A.K.A. Gushy Mom Post)


Between trying to set a daily schedule, figure out sleep routines, doing without what I consider to be adequate sleep, figuring out how to get Elisabeth to like her carseat, and all the diapering, feeding, and cuddling that is necessary for raising a baby, I have these small, cherishable moments where I feel an amazing, indescribable connection with my little girl. 

Like how my heart swells with excitement while I watch her sleep, imagining all the wonderful things I want to share with her - my testimony of the Savior, my love of good books, my joy of baking, my passion for learning and my enthusiasm for holidays.  I cross my fingers she will want to watch Anne of Green Gables with me and be excited to read all of the Little House on the Prairie books with me before bedtime.  (As Lance also hopes she will be a big Wii player, an avid Trekkie, and a devout Cougar fan.)

Or how it occurs to me the trust my little baby has with me as she cries out after her nap, knowing her Mama will come to pick her up, give her loves, change her diaper and whatever she will need.  Almost like her Mama will always be there for her and she can count on that.  She may not know who to vote for in the next election (neither do I, for that matter) or what state she lives in, but Elisabeth knows, with a surety, that I will be there for her when she needs me.

I pray that as she makes the journey through life to create who she is and who she will become, she can take small pieces of myself and her father into her creation.  I feel blessed to be allowed to be a part of her journey.  

Monday, August 25, 2008

Good Ol' Family Fun

I have been back from MN for a little over three weeks already and still have not posted pictures from our trip.  I have been trying to finally get out all of my thank yous and birth announcements so I have slacked on my blogging.  

We loved spending time with family and being able to celebrate Luke and Heidi's marriage.  I especially loved spending time with my new nephew, Andrew, and hanging out at Aunt Lorraine's who is a fabulous host.  I saw almost all of my family and many, many friends.  I came home a wearied but happy traveler.  Good news:  Elisabeth slept through all of her plane rides!

The Cousins
My brother Dave with Elisabeth and me with his two sons,
Andrew and Alex.  Elisabeth is crying right now.  Not too excited to 
meet her uncle, I guess.  Probably because he is already making
fun of the big mouth she inherited from me.

Big brother Tom, Adrianna (now 3!) and myself.  

Elisabeth with her Auntie Lorraine, my mom's youngest sister, 
after her bath.  It was so nice to be able to stay with Lorraine, Dick,
and cousins Joe and Molly.  We felt very loved.

The whole extended family clan.  Too bad the two baby boys are 
hidden behind mine and Luke's noggins.  We are sure a handsome
and "large" bunch, aren't we?

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Chunka Munka


Can you overfeed your breastfed infant?  I didn't think you could.  However, at the rate our little peanut is growing, I am beginning to wonder if it is possible.  I decided to try to spread out her feedings every four hours these days.  She definitely isn't going to waste away!!!

Here is Ellie Beth at 3 months.  We have been affectionately calling her Chunka Munka in honor of Beatrix Potter's A Tale of Two Bad Mice.  She is now graduating into 3-6 month sized clothes.  **Sniff, sniff**  They grow up so fast.
 

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Return to Lake Woebegone


I know you are all loving my multiple posts today.  I just wanted to forewarn you that I will be taking a break from blogging as I am returning to my home state for a good long visit- Land of 10,0000 mosquitos, the great MN State Fair, Garrison Kellior and most of my extended family.  Here is one last picture of our blue eyed girl to tide you over until I return!


Tough Break

How many times can I break my bones in this life?  So far I have accomplished this feat three times.  The most recent break happened this past weekend when Lance's Aunt Nancy dropped us off at the Sacramento airport after Elisabeth and I had spent a few days with Kara, my sister-in-law, and her children.  

How did this happen?  Well, I slipped off the curb, twisted my ankle and heard a small "pop" in a matter of seconds.  I didn't think I had broken my foot it at first.  I thought I had just been clutzy.  I walked all through two airports and went to an outside wedding later that evening, walking on my bum foot.  

The next day I went to urgent care.  My doctor/HMO nightmare started here.  They took x-rays and confirmed that I had indeed fractured my foot. They told me to go to the pharmacy to pick up some crutches and stay off of my foot but they couldn't give me a cast because my insurance wouldn't pay for it.  What????  I broke my foot, I am not supposed to walk on it and you aren't even going to wrap it up with tape or an ace bandage?  The doctor told me to have my nanny take care of my baby when I asked him how I was supposed to walk with an infant.  Guess I need to hire a nanny.

Monday morning I went to two doctors - my PCP and then a podiatrist.  All confirmed I had a broken foot but were unable to give me a cast due to my HMO rules.  All said to stay off of it (as if that can happen with a small baby at home.)  The podiatrist said I was to be extra careful because I may have to have surgery if I didn't get a cast soon.   I was told to wait until Tuesday and then go see a Orthopedric doctor to finally get my cast.  Wow.  This really makes sense.  Isn't a broken bone a big deal?  Why can't I get a cast???

Three days after the accident, I was finally fitted for a walking cast boot and was given some crutches.

Lessons learned:
1.  Our healthcare system stinks.  The expensive PPO looks very, very appealing.  Maybe a move to Canada is in order?  Lisa, do you have room for us?

2.  Go to the ER if you break a bone.  They have to treat you there and give you a cast, no matter what your insurance says.

3.  Baby swings are a gift from heaven.

4.  My neighbors and ward members in the area are the kindest, most helpful people I have ever met.  They have walked my dog, gone to the grocery store on my behalf, chauffeured me to countless doctor appointments, helped me pack for my trip to MN, done some of our laundry and brought us meals.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

Firsts

Elisabeth's first 4th of July 
(and first time matching her parents.)


Elisabeth's Blessing at church.
(She is wearing my christening gown and was blessed to have Grandpa Ray, Grandma Bev
Grandpa Mickie, Uncles Chris and Ryan, Cousin Eden and many friends in attendance.)


First time meeting Grandpa Mickey.


First plane ride to go play with her cousins and aunt while her dad took a 
patent bar review course.


First wedding Elisabeth attended.  



Thursday, July 03, 2008

Happiest Place on Earth


Yes, we are crazy parents.  Yes, Elisabeth is only eight weeks old and will not remember this trip.  Even so, Elisabeth went with us and our friend Tia to Disneyland last week.  She went on two rides - Pirates of the Carribean and the Haunted Mansion.   She lasted about four hours at the park, which was more than we were expecting.  The best thing is the park has a Mother's station - a neat little area where you can breastfeed, change diapers, fix bottles, etc. in a cleanly, airconditioned environment with staff members dressed up in old fashioned nanny dresses and aprons to assist with all your baby care needs.  Pretty neat!  Definitely a family friendly place.



Tuesday, July 01, 2008

I Would've Died for This

After watching the following video, I have been reflecting on the journey we had to embark on to have our little girl.  I will never forget the moment our bundled girl was placed in my arms after two days of labor, 40 wonderful weeks of pregnancy, six long years of waiting, three expensive infertility treatments, and two losses.  This was the moment I would have died for and had desired with my whole heart for my life.  Infertility nearly broke my heart and my spirit as I longed to hold a baby of my own in my arms.  Now I can't believe the little angel is really here and our prayers were answered.

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the blessed gift of our sweet girl, Elisabeth Dorothy.   May we never take this blessing for granted.

Loving Family

We were blessed to have Lance's mom and our sister-in-law, Kara, and her two children come to visit two weeks ago.  We had a great time taking adventures to local parks and spending time with each other reading scriptures, eating tasty foods, and just enjoying each other's company.  Sofi loved having so much attention and walks from the family and Elisabeth and I were spoiled by having so many willing hands to help.

Ari admiring her new girl cousin.  Ari was a great help and always picked out
Elisabeth's clothes.

Lincoln was afraid of Sofi at first but he eventually warmed up to her.

Elisabeth snuggled up nice and cozy with Grandma Bev.