Sunday, December 27, 2009

Baby Blessing

Another very good day...

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day

Christmas day started out much like it did last year - with Calvin crying. I don't know what kind of kid cries when they see piles of presents, but if it happens again next year, we're canceling Christmas.

Andy with his morning cup of Joe. How cute is it that he wore his Santa hat all day long? And last night delivering treats to neighbors. I could love a man like that for a very long time.

The kids first thing after waking up.

Andy unwrapped a train for the boy and all of a sudden he was happy. He then went downstairs to play with it, leaving everything else untouched.

The whole morning was a series of Calvin opening one present and then running off to play with it for quite some time before coming back for the next one. When he would go off to play, we would all go do our own thing, and then when he was back in the living room someone would yell and we'd all run back in to watch him open the next thing. In retrospect it was kind of fun that he enjoyed everything individually without just rushing through things.

Calvin cuddling the fuzzy kitty from his stocking.

Random Poses:

My sister Alicia gave us this cute gingerbread house kit for Christmas. The boys loved putting it together. Well, Calvin loved it. Andy swore a lot, but it ended up cute.

Little reindeer.

The finished product.

Licking his fingers. The end to a very good day.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

One great thing about living close to my parents is that they know Santa. Yes, the real one. We don't have to bother with the long lines and horrible mall Santas, the big man just comes right over and takes pictures with our kids in the comfort of the grandparents' house.

We had a lot of fun with Santa and I'm sure he enjoyed all of the different shots we forced him to take. He was wonderful.

After he left, we carried on our annual tradition of Christmas Eve nachos. I asked my mom where this all started and she told us that one Christmas Eve she was frantically finishing up last minute stuff when my older sister MaryRuth came home from her job at the Mexican restaurant where we all worked as teenagers. She offered to fix dinner and felt inspired to do nachos. The End. That's the entire reason that we have had nachos every Christmas Eve for the past 15 years.
After a lovely afternoon we went home, had a nap, and then carried on the Nelson family tradition of shrimp. Andy said it was some of the best shrimp he's ever had. I'm not so much a seafood gal, so I just take his word for it.

Once dinner was finished we drove to the Festival of Lights, a golf course set up with animated Christmas lights. It's in a small town next to ours, and the line to get in was about a mile long, but it was a lot of fun. Calvin was enchanted, and it was cozy to sit in our own car listening to Christmas music and driving through looking at the different lights.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Polar Express

Last night Andy's parents arrived from PA to spend Christmas with us. Tonight in an attempt to participate in a fun Christmas activity that Calvin would love, we took a trip on the Polar Express. Here's the dream:

A big magical train that drives through the snowy country side, with elves delivering cookies and hot chocolate, with a visit from Santa at the end handing out a magic bell while we all sing Christmas carols.

The reality:

The train was freezing. We were told to board 30 minutes early, and then the train left 20 minutes late, so after sitting for 50 minutes on a cold motionless train, Calvin was screaming shrilly and begging to get off. The elves were cute teenage boys - they were funny and my favorite part of the whole trip. The hot chocolate, however, was very cold and the cookies were just cookies. The woman DJ-ing the train ride hadn't done it before and was very obnoxious in her obliviousness. She didn't know anything about the trip and didn't know the words to any of the carols she was singing loudly in the microphone. Also, the train was the SLOWest transportation I have ever encountered. It was dark outside, so there was nothing to look at, until the 2 seconds at the end when we passed a freezing cold Santa standing out under a red light waving as the train drove by. Calvin cried and begged for Santa to come back. He stared out the window, sadly watching for another glimpse of him.

Towards the end Calvin started playing with some other little kids and had a good time with them. He also loved the "jingy bells." The other best part was when Grandma Hazel got the giggles. We were laughing about how this was the worst train ride ever, and we all started laughing that tired, nervous laugh when something really sucks, but there's nothing you can do about it, so it just becomes hilarious. Those were the highlights.

We were sad that it wasn't as magical as we had hoped, but at least in the pictures it looks fun. Here are my favorites:

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Onesie Shots

With Calvin I tried to take a picture of him each month in a one year onesie so I could measure how much he had grown over the year. It didn't really work out as great as I had intended. My sister MaryRuth did something much cooler - she had iron-on numbers for the onesies and she took hers with a stuffed animal, so they were way cuter than mine were, and also you could tell how much the baby had grown because of the comparison to the animal.

A few days ago, I received a fun package in the mail. MaryRuth had found the month milestones in stickers that you can just add to the outfit and then remove when you're done. Besides being so adorable and easy to use, I love that they are so much better than what I did for Calvin. I love them. Thank you MR!

Here's Autumn's first one at zero months old:

Friday, December 18, 2009

One Magic Christmas

Tonight we loaded the kids into the car and spent a couple of hours driving around town looking at Christmas lights and listening to carols on the radio. The girl slept the whole time, and the boy gasped and ooohed and aahed over every light and Christmas decoration we saw. It was fun watching him experience it all for the first time. After we were done driving around, we went through the McDonald's drive in and Calvin had an ice cream cone while we enjoyed a hot fudge sundae. It was just one of those nights where life was good and we felt excited about Christmas time with our little family.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Thomas and the Boys

Calvin loves his trains. He goes back and forth between his favorites (Billy, Toby, Thomas, and James), carrying them around wherever he goes. This week, however, he's carried them all around at the same time. He can barely hold them all, but he certainly tries. They go to bed with him at night and stay with him throughout the day. I love these little phases he goes through.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

First Bath

As opposed to the boy who hated bathing, the girl absolutely loves it. She just lays back and looks like she's in heaven.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Photo Shoots and Bubbles

We had a photo session scheduled for today because I wanted some family pictures done, as well as newborn shots of Autumn. There were so many different issues with the place we were going, so I was whining to my sister Mariah about how disappointed I was that nothing was working out. She worked for several years in a photography studio, and offered to come do some photos for me. I cancelled my appointment, and her husband borrowed a backdrop, lighting, and umbrellas from work, and they set up a studio in my house.

It was so perfect because the boy could run around when he wasn't needed, the girl could be fed in between shots, and it could just be a low-key, low-stress environment to do our photo shoot. Mariah did such a great job and I am so grateful to her and Curtis for their time. I couldn't be more happy with the results (except that taking pictures a week after having a child didn't result in my best shots ever). The kids both look adorable, and I'm excited to have had them done. Thank you so much Mariah and Curtis! I'll post some later when I receive them.

Also exciting was that Mariah and Curtis brought Calvin his birthday present. Between their new baby and ours, we haven't seen them for several months, so it was a bit belated, but the perfect gift. They gave him a bubble machine that blows 4000 bubbles per minute. He couldn't have been more thrilled. He ran through the bubbles yelling "fun!" until all of the solution ran out. He slipped a few times on the soap soaked floor, but it never deterred him. Thanks again guys for the fun bubble machine and the outfits for the baby. We're so glad you've reentered the land of the living!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Boppy Time

Tonight Calvin pulled me into his playroom while I was holding the baby, so I grabbed a boppy and propped her up so she could watch us. Calvin then decided he needed to lay on one as well. Luckily I have a spare, so I grabbed it and they were both content to just lay there and hang out.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Week of Autumn

This week has gone by fast. I've meant to do several posts of pictures and didn't get around to it, so I'll just put the ones I like best from the last 8 days. Also, we went to the hospital again today (had to go Saturday as well) for bilirubin testing. They cleared her so thankfully we don't have to go back. We also went to a one week check-up with the pediatrician. Not that they've changed much in a week, but just for posterity, her stats are:

Length - 20 inches (73rd percentile)
Weight - 7lbs (20th percentile)
Head - 13.25 inches (12th percentile - MUCH smaller than Calvin's was. Dr. said not to worry - she's probably still got a lot of brains in there. Thinking back to the doctor telling us Calvin was going to Harvard because he had a huge head and big brains, I wonder how often doctors all use the same jokes. They see hundreds of new babies a year. They must have their comic timing down to an art.)

Also, you'll be pleased to know that she lost her cord today. I'm always so glad to be rid of that yucky little scab.

You can see by the wipes container just how small she is.


I love this one of her. She often wears this grumpy old man expression.

Andy trying to wake her up so she'll eat.

Daddy/Daughter bonding time.

Cute little face.

Sleeping peacefully.

Bonding with big brother. (He feels like he needs a bottle these days. I swear he is weaned from them.)