Wednesday, December 29, 2010


We had a wonderful Christmas! We'll let the pictures do the talking.

This was Ellie's first experience sitting on Santa's lap. This was at the Christensen family party in Idaho where we go bowling, eat, sing carols, hand out gifts, exchange ornaments, and of course sit on Santa's lap. I don't know how much she liked Santa. But she did like Santa's gift. She started gnawing on the cardboard it was hooked to before she left Santa's lap.
The Winter family party was the same weekend. This is a very fun party where Mom makes lots of gingerbread, and every family gets to take home a decorated gingerbread house at the end of the night.
We handed out sibling gifts. Rob and Milly got snuggies. Whit gave us some stellar slippers. I am wearing them as I write this post.
As part of the festivities, Aunt Milly gave out haircuts. So Ellie got her ears lowered for the first time. I think she needed it.

Monday, December 13, 2010


So it is finals week at the U! Wahoo! Brad will be done with finals on Thursday, just in time for us to go enjoy a night with the Tabernacle Choir and David Archuleta. Pretty excited! It's hard to believe he's already done with a whole semester. Anyway, we got home from our Winter family Christmas party last night fairly early in order to get Ellie in bed. Brad should have sat down to study, but we had a few laundry items that needed to be hung up, so he sat down to do that. We also had a set of sheets that had been sitting in the laundry hamper for over a week because I didn't want to fold them, mostly because I never feel like I am really folding a fitted sheet. Brad's mom taught us how to do it once, but it never really stuck in our brains. So what did we do last night instead of studying? We learned how to fold a fitted sheet. We also learned a cool way to fold a shirt.

the fitted sheet tutorial:

the shirt:

Now if that's not procrastination, I don't know what is.

Friday, December 3, 2010

It all started with a Japanese steak house

Once upon a time there was a Japanese steak house in the good old town of Ogden. Inside that Japanese steak house was a basement. And in that basement was a gift shop. And what do you suppose they sold in that gift shop? Chop sticks, you say? Well, actually I don't know, but they sure had a heck of a lot of Christmas trees. Yes, we bought our Christmas tree at a Japanese steak house. I think it is rather random. The nice Japanese lady who ran the gift shop was just that...nice. She thought our little Ellie was so cute and kept talking to her, and eventually gave Ellie a necklace to take home for free. Wasn't that nice? She showed us how to string our lights perfectly, and gave us a great deal on our tree. Better than any Black Friday deal I would even wager. So we bought our Christmas tree, and it sat in our basement for a few days until THE APOCALYPTIC STORM hit on Tuesday. We tried to get the leaves raked before it hit Tuesday afternoon, but alas, we have about 4 piles of leaves buried under snow. Ok, so the storm really wasn't apocalyptic, but the weather service sure made it sound like it would be, but it sure made us feel all cozy inside our home. On a side note, as first time homeowners, we did not have a shovel. Brad ran over to the local hardware store to grab a shovel before the storm hit, and some garbage bags (part of the reason our leaves are covered by snow now) and just about every person in the store was buying a shovel. I thought it was a funny story. I guess we weren't the only ones unprepared. So yes, our home was so cozy and warm, we just decided we needed to put up the Japanese Christmas tree. So we did. We left it for a few days to go visit Arizona where we ate turkey on Thanksgiving with the Winter Family minus 2 siblings (we missed you Kristi and Milly), had some Black Friday fun, and enjoyed good company. Ellie had her first plane ride and she was a champ. She learned how to be loud while we were there too :) We had so much fun in Arizona, we didn't want to come back again to real life. We did come home, and decided to decorate the tree Monday night for Family Home Evening. Then we talked about gratitude. We love our Christmas tree and all of its ornaments (most of which are homemade). We are really looking forward to Ellie's first Christmas. So much to do before December 25th!
The Cuzzies having fun together in Arizona. Sorry no pics of adults. I'm a bad picture taker. I really wish I had pictures of the polar bear challenge.

Our lovely Christmas tree
(and Brad's foot. It's hairy, but you can't see that)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

All Things Ellie

So my life and Brad's life are both pretty boring and normal. My life is work, Brad, and Ellie with the occasional change just to mix it up. Brad's life is school, work, me & Ellie. He has an exceptionally hard week in school this week. Lot's of studying equals no time to play. Actually, he still makes plenty of time to play. We love him for that. Ellie's life, unlike our boring lives, is ever changing, so as many posts before this have been, this post is really dedicated to all the fun that Ellie is experiencing here with us!

We started Ellie on some rice cereal this week. She has really been interested in watching us eat at dinner time, so I was hoping she would be eager to eat. She's not perfect, but since more of the mush is in her mouth than is hanging out on her bib, I call it a success. She likes to blow bubbles with the mush on the spoon. I guess she's just exploring the texture. She loves the spoon and gets so excited when it comes to her mouth.


I think Ellie has passed Daddy on the amount of hair on their heads. It's not hard to beat Daddy though :) Brad thinks Ellie's hair looks best when it is in its "mad scientist hairdo."
I just love going in to get Ellie after a nap or first thing in the morning. We call Ellie the most pleasant alarm clock. She is always awake between 6:15 and 6:45 in the morning. Now that isn't always ideal, especially on a Saturday morning, but who wouldn't want to get up when you hear sweet cooing in your bedroom from down the hall? She just makes you smile when you walk in, especially with some of the silly and cute positions you find her in.

Ellie still loves her thumb. She's quite interested in the the pacifier, but I don't think she really gets it.

She's growing up on us, that's for sure. She went to the doctor for her 4 month appointment last week. Bad planning on my part, it was the same night as our ward's Young Women in Excellence, and I'm in the YW presidency. Duh, not a good idea with an ornery girl, but thankfully Brad was home. I was pretty much a huge stress ball that day, but I guess I need a little stress every once in a while. The night went well, and Ellie did so much better with her shots this time around. Hopefully this is a good omen for the future. Don't forget parents....Tylenol is your friend. Don't wait for a fever and lethargy to begin because it is hard to kick it. Anyhow, despite all this growing up we're seeing, she is still a little lady. She's only in the 10th percentile for weight and about 60th for height. We can't wait for new adventures in the future like next week! First plane ride! Any suggestions?

Monday, October 25, 2010

October going ons

I can't believe that October is on its way out already! I haven't posted for quite a while, so I better catch up on a few things. First off, my youngest brother, Lee, got home from his mission the last week of September. It has been fun to have him home. We spent quite a few afternoons together after he got home because he didn't have a job, so he had nothing to do. It was nice for me to have someone to talk to, and he got to get to know Ellie a little bit. He now has a job working as a delivery boy at the same pharmacy where Brad works. Oh, and have I ever mentioned that my sister and other younger brother work there also?

(Lee just getting off the escalator at the airport)

Two weeks ago was fall break for the University of Utah. The U has a whole week off for fall break. Weber State gave us a measly day for fall break! Anyway, it was nice to have Brad home a lot more that week. He watched Ellie while I was at work in the mornings, and I am sure Ellie loved the one on one time with Dad. We had the opportunity to go and visit the Aquarium down in Sandy with Brad's sister, Aubrey, her husband, Nate, and cousin Ainsley. Ainsley had so much fun looking at all the fish. I don't know if Ellie really knew what was going on, but she was able to follow a couple of the big yellow fish swimming through the water. It was fun to spend time with family and watch our cute kids enjoy new experiences.

(Brad, Ellie, Aunt Aubrey, and Ainsley exploring at the aquarium)

We had a Halloween party with some friends on Saturday night. We forgot to take our camera with us to get pictures of everyone's costumes. My brother, Derek, and his wife, BriAnn, were there. BriAnn is expecting a baby in December, and they had really cute skeleton costumes with a little baby skeleton in BriAnn's belly. I thought that was a really cute idea.

Ellie is doing so well. We are just having so much fun with her. Her new favorite toy is this crinkley book. She entertains herself for quite a while with this thing in front of her. In other news, she loves to suck on things, she drools a ton, she loves to use her legs and stand up with our help, she is sooo close to rolling over, and she loves to make noise. I can't believe how fast she is growing!

(For your information, I did not put her book there, she loves to have it there, right in front of her face. She tries and tries and tries to get a piece in her mouth, making oodles of noise the whole time)

Monday, September 27, 2010

A First

Well, Ellie Bellie has had a rough weekend. We experienced our first bout of sickness with her. Let me tell you, if you can postpone that first, it is a good idea. I got home from work on Friday afternoon and sat down to feed her. She ate really well (mostly because she still wont take a bottle and hadn't eaten for 6 hours) and after her meal, I sat down to eat some lunch. I picked her up after I had finished and.... she handed her whole lunch back to me down my shirt. The whole afternoon Ellie was just so fussy, she wouldn't let me put her down. In fact, she wouldn't hardly let me sit down. I finally resorted to taking her on a walk because, if all else fails, a walk will calm our little girl. It did, but as soon as we got home she was back to crying and fussing. Now, one throw up isn't anything to fret with a newborn in most cases, but I tried to feed her again later and in the middle of nursing her she threw up again. This time it was not like other spit ups I have seen. It was yellow and super chunky. Yuck. I had been handling the events of the afternoon pretty well, but this put me into a stream of tears followed by a phone call to my mother. Thankfully, Brad got home about that time too. After a call to the doctor's office, consulting both our mothers, and talking to a good friend, we decided to not even try to nurse for the rest of the night. We used a syringe and fed our sick little Ellie Pedialyte and water throughout the evening and night. Today she has been much better, but is definitely still feeling the effects of this stinkin' stomach bug. I am glad that she is smiling a lot more and has a bit of her energy back. She is such a sweet girl. It's no fun to see her sick.
I tried to get a picture of Ellie smiling, but she got preoccupied with the flash on the camera

Ellie has become very good at finding her thumb (Should we discourage this? She doesn't want to touch a pacifier)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Going Ons

Last week I started back to work after a lovely ten weeks of maternity leave. It really went by way too fast. I am now working 4 days a week, in the mornings, to get my 20 hours in at work. It was so hard to leave cute little Ellie, but I know she is in good hands. I am not going to lie, I cried as I left her a couple of times. Once again, I know she is in very capable hands. To make things even harder, despite our practicing with a bottle, Ellie revolted last week and didn't take her bottle at all for the six or so hours I was gone on a couple of the days. That made her super tired and just not herself in the afternoons which of course led to more tears of worry that my little girl was starving and whatnot. Last week was probably the most emotional I have been since the week or so right after my delivery. We were both quite exhausted by the end of the week, but we made it through it. We had a nice weekend and a good day together today, and tomorrow we go back to work again whether we want to or not. Thankfully, I can say that I don't dread going to work because I hate my job, actually, it is quite the opposite. I have great coworkers, an understanding boss, and a fun, and usually calm, atmosphere to work in. This, at least, has made the whole transition a little better.
All is well at the Winter home for the most part. Brad is in the full swing of things in school. He really got to show what he was made of last week. It was a rough week. He had 3 tests 2 quizzes and a paper due, and miraculously he still had time to be at home with his wife and daughter without fretting too much about all of that stuff. I think he'll do well in graduate school. I am so proud of him so far. Anyway, we can't do a post anymore without a cute picture of our little one. So here is her "founding fathers look" (it is supposed to be a powdered wig) as Brad calls it. Geez, the things my husband does with her diapers. Hehe

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Great Weekend

We had such a wonderful, long weekend and we got to spend a ton of time together as a family. We started the weekend off extra early on Friday because Brad got out of class super early! It was such a welcomed phone call from him around 10:30 that he was on his way home. It was especially fun because Friday was my birthday. I wasn't planning on seeing him until about 5 o'clock Friday night when we were going to meet up after class in Salt Lake. So instead, he came home and made me birthday WAFFLES! I love Brad's waffles. They are so delish! Yes, that was great! And to make the day even better, Brad bought me icecream (it's the little things that make me happy). And to make the day pretty hard to top, we went to see The Lion King Friday night! We bought tickets for the show back in January or February, so we had been building up quite a bit of excitement for Friday night, and I was not disappointed. That was such an amazing show! I absolutely loved it! The music, the costumes, the actors,the dancing the puppets, oooo it was just phenomenal.
Saturday we spent a lot of the day cleaning the house. Brad worked his tail off in the yard mowing the law, trimming rose bushes, and weeding the flower gardens. He also took a load of branches and left overs from the previous owners to the dump. We were so tired by the end of the day that we just stayed home Saturday night and watched one of our favorite movies.

Ellie's blessing was on Sunday. It was a beautiful day, and Brad gave a wonderful blessing to her. We had a big crowd of people at our home afterward for a breakfast, and it was really a lot of fun.
Brad started dressing Ellie Sunday morning while I was still doing my hair. He had fun laughing at Ellie's "elegant exercise outfit" before he put the actual dress on her.

My mom and I spent the last week working on making the blessing dress. I always have high hopes for my sewing projects, but they usually get over my head. Thankfully, my mom comes to the rescue by helping me finish the project. I hope some day I can be a little more self sufficient in my sewing, but I guess I need the help while I am still learning. Anyway, we put the finishing touches on the dress on Saturday afternoon. I think the dress turned out really really cute.

She is such a sweet thing. She spent a lot of time meeting family members, and she was so well mannered through the whole ordeal. She was plenty tired by the time our house had emptied out, but we had so much fun.

We are a happy family. We are so grateful for all the love and support we have received from all of our family and friends. Events like these make you realize and really appreciate them all.

Monday was pretty relaxing too. We went to Hooper Tomato Days for a little bit, and then just hung out in Hooper for the afternoon. It was so nice to take it slow because I have a feeling that school is going to start picking up a lot for Brad, and I start back to work at the end of this week. It was so much fun to spend time together. I relish weekends.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Starting School

(Grandpa Winter got little Ellie some U of U gear to support her daddy)

Brad started his pharmacy program last week at the University of Utah. Brad kept saying that he felt like a little freshman on a new campus. He didn't know where anything was, and felt like everything was new. It soon became pretty apparent that he didn't have to worry too much. All of his classes are in one building, and he has all of his classes with the same 57 people. Once he started going to class, he said he felt like he was in grade school because everyone in his class just migrated single file to another room in the building for the next class. Ok, not really single file, but no one really knew anyone so they just walked silently through the halls. He found it kind of amusing. He has been taking the Frontrunner train to school, so that has been a new experience too. There are 2 other girls that went to Weber with him that commute from Ogden, so they all sit together. They also discovered midway through the week that another student hops on in Kaysville, so they will have a pretty good study group going to and from school every day. The ride is about a half hour longer than driving, but it is going to be some great study time for him, and he doesn't have to worry about parking, traffic, or weather very much which is a huge bonus in my opinion.
He had his white coat ceremony on Friday afternoon. It made me quite proud to see him receive his coat. He has worked so hard to make it this far, and I know he is very excited at being one step closer to becoming a full fledged pharmacist. We were able to leave Elinor with Grandma Winter so that we could go on a short dinner date after the ceremony which was probably a first since Elinor was born. Hurray for Brad! Only 4 more years to go!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More on Ellie

Well, it's hard to believe, but Ellie has reached 8 weeks! Yesterday she had her doctor's check-up. She is doing well and growing like a weed. Her height is now in the 90th percentile (don't ask me where she got her height from), and everything else has stayed pretty constant. I also had to experience the dread of giving my little one shots. I give immunizations on a daily basis at work, but let me tell you, it is a very different experience when it is your own child. She screamed bloody murder, like I have never heard her scream before. It was quite traumatic for the both of us. Luckily I know that in the long run this will help my little girl. OK, so I usually don't get on my soapbox when I blog, but here's my nurse's plug for immunizing. Here's just one example why everyone should immunize. My doctor told me that the newest routine immunization, the rotavirus vaccine, which has only been used for about 3 years, has made it so he has only seen about 3 cases of rotavirus in the past 3 years where he had over 50 each year before the vaccine. My point? Vaccines work. Vaccinate your kids. I digress...back to Ellie. She was quite grumpy all day, but let me tell you, Tylenol is your friend after shots. It made Ellie feel so much better when she had Tylenol in her system.

Here is a comparison of how much Ellie has grown. Here is the dress that Ellie went home from the hospital in:
And this was her wearing it on Sunday. Look at that adorable smile!
On another note, I have tried on more than one occasion to take some cutsie, more "professional" looking pictures of Elinor. I am not very good at it. There is definitely an art to it. Don't get me wrong, Ellie is always cute, but my pictures just aren't very professional looking. Two weeks ago my sister-in-law was in town, and she took some very cute pictures. I wasn't expecting much after the photo session because I felt like Ellie cried through the whole thing, but Kristen is a miracle worker. So here is a couple of the pictures she took. Even the one of Ellie crying is cute. Thanks Kristen.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Month Plus Some

Our little Ellie reached her one month mark on Saturday. It is hard to believe that it has been a month, we can't really imagine life without her. It is so fun to see her grow and develop. She was such a skinny girl when she came out. We were happy to see the formation of a cute little double chin after about a week's time. She now has a lot more beef on her arms and legs than she did initially and has quite the chubby little tummy too. We measured her crudely last week, and she is at least 23 inches long. That is 4 inches more than the hospital measurements. She loves to explore the world and look at everything around her. Her neck has been strong from the beginning, but every day it seems like she is more stable with it. She has made it through the majority of two weeks of church. The first week she slept the whole time, while last week she showed off her beautiful eyes to the ward a little more. Last week Ellie started grasping things a lot more. This unfortunately brought on the discover of her hair. Often times, when she is angry, she will grab a chunk of hair and hold it in a death grip. This of course makes her more angry. It is a viscious cycle until will can release it.

This is a picture of Ellie after a bath. This is a good picture of her considering she is usually screaming bloody murder after tub time. She has yet to learn how relaxing a bath can be. She looks pretty cute though, doesn't she?

I've been meaning to post this picture for a while. This was taken about a week and half after Ellie's birthday. This was Ellie's first encounter with a cousin (Ellie is the one on the right, if you can't tell....hehe). The cute girl on the left is cuzzy Ainsley. Ainsley is only about 6 months old. I can't believe that Elinor will make such drastic changes in just 6 months. I just think the contrast so funny.
I am sure that this will not be the last post completely dedicated to our cute little girl. We are such proud parents, and so happy to have as part of our eternal family.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

2 weeks

Hello. Well, it is hard to believe that 2 weeks have already passed since the speedy delivery of our little Ellie. We are happy to have her here, and everyone in the family is doing well, despite a little bit of sleep deprivation. Ellie went to the doctor today for her 2 week check up. She is now 7 pounds 1 ounce and 20 inches long. Go Ellie! You're growing like crazy! Just to let you know a little about Elinor: She now has a cute double chin and chubby little belly because all the splendid fat she has accumulated. She has a very strong neck and very strong little legs. She uses her legs to kick off her blanket while she is sleeping which results in her angry grunting because her little toesies are cold. She does not like to be swaddled. In fact, usually her arms are above her head while she sleeps. She does not sleep for more than 3 hours at a time, even at night (much to our dismay). Maybe someday. She poops a lot....we've gone through a lot of diapers. But that's to be expected, and its a good thing because she's she no longer has a yellow tint to her skin. We are so happy to have Ellie as part of our family.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Speedy Delivery

Early this morning at 3:02 our beautiful Elinor Jean Winter was born. She weighs 6 lb 7 oz and is 19 in long. She has lots of dark hair (more than me, Brad). And we also learned that she is not very patient. You see she was actually due until July 11, but she decided she wanted a June birthday. Last night after Teri and I did a late night delivery for the pharmacy we arrived home and started getting ready for bed at about 11: PM. Teri felt just fine until her water broke in the middle of family prayer. We were totally unprepared! Well, at least we did not have a bag ready. So while Teri is leaking a bit I am running around the house in my "daddy jammies" packing a bag with who knows what. But within a half hour or so we were checking into the hospital. Once checked in Teri was dilated to a 3 and looked like she would be a while. But Ellie had other plans. In about 45 minutes she was rechecked and was dilated to a 7 and in the transition phase of labor. Because the hospital was having quite the busy night (11 deliveries!) the anesthesiologist was preoccupied and Ellie could not wait. Long story short, Teri delivered natural (no drugs, and she did awesome), Our doctor made it just in time, and 3 1/2 hours after our family prayer we were holding our new baby girl in our arms.

I am so very grateful for the help we have received from our family, the medical staff, and the Lord. Elinor is beautiful and we love her so much already!