Monday, December 27, 2010

A Look Back at 2010

As the year draws to a close, we reflect back on 2010.

We welcomed a new family member:

Abigail Aloha Buhler, born May 9, 2010

We celebrated Sandy's 2nd birthday:

We lost a member of our family:

We cleaned up lots of messes, started several home improvement projects (and finished some of them), and didn't get nearly enough sleep. But we have two healthy, happy little girls and we feel very blessed. Bill still owns his own business and Megan is still able to be home with the girls.

2010 has been a good year and we look forward to 2011.

Happy New Year!

Potty Trained!

Sandy is potty trained. She did it mostly herself.

For a long time, she has been willing to pee in the toilet occasionally. I didn't pushed it, but did reward her with jelly beans if she went.

In November, Bill came home with a toilet seat. Without any prompting, she climbed up on her new seat and pooped. She never went back.

We did occasionally use pull-ups to get us through Nursery, etc. But she has now been in panties exclusively for 2+ weeks (naps, nighttime included) without an accident.

Wow, that was easy when we waited for her to be ready. I'm glad we didn't push it a year ago (and several times since) when our pediatrician recommended we do so.

Curly Hair!

Jaydene gave Sandy a cute haircut and we discovered that she has some natural curl! More wavy once it dries, but at my cousin Heather's suggestion, I put some gel in her wet hair and scrunched it. I think it's adorable!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Here is a video of Sandy from Christmas Eve talking about what Santa is going to bring her.

Every time I've asked her what she wants Santa Claus to bring her, the answer has been the same: a candy cane. So, I put some candy canes in her stocking -- a couple of miniature ones, a regular size one, and a candy cane tube filled with candy. Christmas morning she was excited by everything, especially the candy canes. Every time she'd get to one in her stocking, she'd hold it up and shout: "A candy cane!" The next day I took her to nursery and her teacher asked her what Santa brought her. Her response? "A candy cane!"

Here is a picture of Abby from Christmas eve that my sister-in-law Heather took.

Here are some photos from Christmas morning.

Here is a video of Abby smiling and Sandy talking in the background.

Friday, December 24, 2010

December Part 1 (in reverse chronological order)

On December 23, we went to the annual Shupe family Christmas party. It has been a green, rainy Christmas in Salt Lake, but there was plenty of snow at the party. So much snow, in fact, that we got stuck. Thanks to my grandpa and uncles for pushing us out, chauffeuring us up to the lodge, and then stopping later on the highway to help us pull off the plastic thing that got torn loose and was flapping around.

The first person we saw after getting stuck was my mom's uncle, Norm. He took me and the girls up to the lodge while Bill stayed to deal with the car. Sandy didn't remember him, so when he picked up Abby's carrier to take her to the car, she ran after him yelling, "Hey! That's our baby!"

Santa Claus was at the party.

On December 12, we got a family picture taken for the ward bulletin board:

On December 3 at our ward Christmas party:

Saturday, December 4, 2010

November (in reverse chronological order)

November was a busy month. I was busy with church: getting ready for our Primary Program November 14 and then our ward Christmas Party December 3. We are all exhausted. Abby still wants to eat every 3 hours at night. If I don't nurse her, she screams at the top of her lungs and wakes Sandy up and then we have two kids to deal with in the middle of the night.

Here are photos of the girls in their Christmas dresses on November 28.

My sister stopped by with her husband and son. They live in Canada but were down in Utah for the Thanksgiving weekend.

Corbin liked Abby's binkie.
We went to the Children's Treehouse Museum in Ogden for Black Friday. My kids loved it! They loved it a lot more than Discovery Gateway in Salt Lake.

Abby eating a graham cracker on November 22. She loves to feed herself!

Sandy ready to go on November 18. This girl wants to wear a dress every day. She loves purses, sparkly shoes, and anything pink!

On November 15, our Family Home Evening lesson was on being grateful. We each told something we were grateful for. I said I was grateful that we had a house to live in. Sandy looked deep in thought and finally said, "If we didn't have a house, we could live with Grandpa!"

Bill reading Sandy a bedtime story on November 14.
Abby and Sandy on November 11.

On November 9, we had to put our dog, Sage, to sleep. She had lymphoma and her lymph nodes were swelling and had nearly blocked her airways. It was a hard thing to do. I was really worried about how Sandy would handle losing her friend, but she has done really well. She went with her dad to give Sage a bath. Then a friend stayed home with the girls while Bill and I took Sage to the vet. We explained to Sandy that Sage was old and sick and that she had to go to heaven where she wouldn't hurt any more and that in a really long time when we get old and sick we will die and go to heaven, too. We explained before we took Sage and let Sandy say goodbye. Then we talked about families are forever for Family Home Evening and talked about Sage again. Other than that, we've pretty much left it alone unless Sandy brings it up.

Sandy still prays for Sage in her prayers every night. She knows that Sage is in heaven, though, and has seemed okay with that. She did comment once that "Sage went to heaven in daddy's car," (we took Sage to the vet in Bill's car) but she hasn't had any issues with riding in his car or with us leaving in it, so I guess that was just something she noticed.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Happy Birthday, Bill!

We celebrated Bill's 34th birthday this morning with a stack of blue pancakes and presents. Here are a few things about Bill and how he has spent the last year.

1. He has been running his own business.
The bulk of Bill's time and attention this year has gone into his company, TeKnowledgy. He provides IT consulting services to local businesses -- functioning as IT administrator for small businesses that don't have their own IT staff and helping extend IT resources of companies that do. He's worked really hard, adding new customers and forming vendor relationships so he can supply printers, computers, and servers to his customers. Some days we feel like we are on top of each other with Bill working from home, but I do appreciate how hard he works to provide for our family.

2. He is an excellent dad!
Abigail was born on May 9, making Bill a father for a second time. He is affectionate with his daughters--and tells them he loves them every day. Sandy loves to help him as he works around the house/yard and he is so patient with her. The other day he made macaroni and cheese and pulled up a chair and let Sandy dump in the macaroni, stir, and add the other ingredients. She really responds well to his attention and patience and I can see her confidence grow as she helps him.

3. He puts God first.
I am grateful that Bill honors his priesthood and has been able to bless Abby and give the girls blessings when they've been sick.

4. He's very handy around the house.
He replaced the garage roof, worked on the girls' bedroom, built shelves to make a toy closet, and much more. I am really lucky to have a husband that is so talented and able to fix and build things.

5. He is a ham radio operator and likes to volunteer.
Bill volunteered at the Wasatch 100, an 100-mile endurance run. We also went as a family to the 24th of July parade and Bill and I both were volunteer ham radio operators for our corner of the parade route. He is also our Stake's emergency communications specialist.

6. He is involved in politics.
Bill went to the Republican State Convention this year as a delegate. He serves as Vice-Chair in our Precinct, and tries to be an informed voter.

7. He likes to read.
I don't know how I found a husband that likes to read as much as I do. I love that he will read a book that I'm reading and then we can discuss it together. Some books we've both read this year: The Hunger Games Series, Freakonomics, The Princess and the Hound, Before Green Gables, and The 10 Big Lies About America.

8. He has a few favorite TV shows.
After we put the kids to bed on Monday nights we like to catch up on our favorite TV shows: Chuck, Big Bang Theory, Eureka, and Dr. Who.

Happy Birthday, honey, I love you!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Friday night we had a ward Halloween party/Trunk or Treat. Bill and I were both running around all night and didn't get many pictures. Bill did take this lovely one of a grumpy Sandy.

Bill dressed up as the Man in the Yellow Hat, Sandy was a monkey. This is the only picture we got of the two of them together.

We did our traditional hot dogs/hot chocolate in the driveway and the missionaries stopped by, too. When I lived in Kentucky, we had a neighbor that would cook hot dogs in the driveway for all the trick or treaters and their parents. I thought it was a very fun tradition and have really enjoyed carrying it out in our neighborhood. We handed out 64 hot dogs this Halloween, and ran out of buns about 8:15.

Poor Abby always seemed to be sleeping or something and we didn't get any pictures of her in her giraffe costume this weekend. Here are a couple of shots of her today.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Royal Ball Part 2

BookItPhoto took pictures at the Ball and made them available online for free download.

Here are the kids from our ward that were there:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Royal Ball

Sandy and Bill went on a daddy-daughter date to a Royal Ball, a fundraiser for a little girl in our stake with cerebral palsy.

Here is Abby watching them get ready:

Sandy is ready to go:

Bill and Sandy before they left:

Princess Amerah sang, read a book, and danced with the kids.
Sandy was always close by.

Sandy got a butterfly painted on her face:

Bill and Sandy had a fantastic time! And the ball raised $2500 to pay for treatments for Maggie!

BookItPhoto was there taking photos and said they'd make photos from the event downloadable for free. I'm excited to see the shots they got of Sandy - Bill said the photographers did an excellent job getting her to pose. I don't know when they'll be up, a week or two probably.

Bill took some pictures. The lighting was really bad, but the ones that turned out are here.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Regional Conference

We had Regional Conference today. It was for 71 stakes and our stake was one of the ones invited to attend at the Conference Center.

Elder Evans of the Seventy conducted. Sister Wixom (General Primary President), Elder Nelson (of the Quorum of the Twelve), and President Uchtdorf (of the First Presidency) also spoke. It was a good meeting. They talked a lot about preparing for full-time missionary service. President Uchtdorf gave a pep talk of sorts; he also suggested three things for everyone to do: (1) Hold a current temple recommend, (2) read the scriptures daily, and (3) talk to Heavenly Father daily.

We left our house at 8:30 so we'd have plenty of time to find parking, etc. Then we ate the breakfast we had brought with us and let Sandy run around for a few minutes. We were in our seats by 9:30 -- the ushers told us to sit anywhere we wanted so we scoped out 4 seats on the end of a row near the back-- and then Sandy and Bill went walking around and were back by 9:50 to listen to the prelude music by the choir. The conference started at 10.

Why did we need 4 seats you might ask?

Yes, that is Abby sleeping in one of the seats! We knew space was limited so we didn't bring her carseat, but a 2-hour meeting is a long time, especially when it is right across her morning naptime.

My favorite binkie clip broke last Sunday and I haven't taken the time to find another one. After we lost Abby's binkie under the seat in front of us -- luckily the girl in front of us found it during the rest hymn -- I improvised a binkie clip using the strap of my nursing cover.

I was annoyed by all of the latecomers to the conference. The fliers that were handed out asked everyone to be in their seats by 9:45, the conference started at 10. There were people coming in all the way until the end. In fact, a lady got seated in the middle of our row at 11.

I really wish they would close the doors at 10. Maybe close the doors at 10, but let the people that are physically there slip in and be seated during the opening hymn. I was annoyed by the constant interruptions from the ushers throughout the meeting trying to find seats for the latecomers. They kept coming up to us and trying to take the seats we had for Sandy and Abby. Sure, Sandy spent part of the time on mine and Bill's lap, but 2 hours is way too long to not let her have her own seat! So every time one or both girls was in one of our laps, they'd come and try to get us to scoot to the middle so they could sit people in the girls' seats.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dad!

It's my Dad's birthday today! We just talked to him over Skype, but I wish we could be there to celebrate with him.

We took pictures this morning on our way out the door for church:

This last one is just Sandy loving Abby, but you can see her pigtails in it.

I used to think this would be the perfect way to get regular pictures of kids. Just line them up and take their picture before church; they are already dressed up! That was before I had kids and experienced getting two kids up and ready for church while Bill is at early morning meetings. We are doing good to get to church without adding anything else!