Wednesday, October 24, 2012

It Got Cold

Spokane was spoiled for most of October. The weather was wonderful - I barely needed a jacket! I could still go running in shorts and a short-sleeve shirt. But now the cold has come, and I'm afraid it's here to stay. Along with the rain.

And the rain means a real trial to my running commitment. This is the week that I broke my streak.

Once Rich got home on Monday, I somehow talked myself into bundling up to go run in the cold. Rich also volunteered to come along with bundled-up Norah. I put on running tights and a long-sleeve shirt and should have gotten out the hat and gloves but forgot. We bundled Norah up in her snowsuit and got her all loaded into her car seat.

(Sorry for the crummy quality - phone picture)

Then, we walked out the door.

And saw the rain.

Upon which, we turned right back around and changed into sweats.

I stuck to my program for 10 weeks straight, but I'm afraid that's the most I can brag about. I haven't gone once this week because it's been drizzly on the nights when I've had time, and I don't run in the rain. Cold, maybe. Rain, no. Once things clear up, I hope I'll get back on track again. For now, I'm going to bundle up and snuggle with Norah.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Shout Out

Rich told me yesterday that the Gonzaga boys brought up our blog on their run. He said that one runner said, "Yeah, and I read about breastfeeding!"

I didn't think a bunch of college runners would be reading our blog, but I'm glad to have a larger audience than I thought. Sorry if I made you guys feel uncomfortable with all that nursing talk - just think of it as prep for when you're dads someday!

So, this post is just a shout out to the GU runners reading our blog. Welcome! And go Zags!

And here's adorable Norah again. I'd post a picture of her in Zag getup, but we are unfortunately lacking. We really need to get her something appropriate for cheering on the Bulldogs.

Sunday, September 30, 2012


Norah has decided that nursing is just not for her. As in, she'll eat for 5 minutes and then yell and scream for another 15 until I give up. But then, she'll take a bottle right after because she's still hungry. I have no idea what brought this on, and I have never heard of this happening before (although I'm not exactly a baby expert). The doctor didn't really have any solid idea of what was going on either. Silly Norah. You are way too young for an eating disorder.

So, we are now on a (mostly) bottle-fed routine (she'll still nurse for nighttime feedings when she's too tired to really know the difference). It's not too bad, but I am pumping and pumping is more than a little annoying. My sister recently moved to pumping for her little boy, and I really admire her because she has two other crazies (her word, not mine) calling her mommy, too. It takes so much time, and I find it hard to sit still for 15-30 minutes four times a day. Plus, I usually try to do it while Norah is asleep, so that eats my precious free time. And I don't have any other kids!

Oh well. It's a decent solution to our weird little problem. Norah is eating better, and I'm a lot let less frustrated (as in I don't cry when it's time to feed Norah anymore). Plus, bottles are great when you have places to go, like church. And Rich can feed her, too. It's worth the effort. Just don't know why it's necessary.

I have this list of questions I want to ask in the next life, and this one made the list: "Heavenly Father, why did Norah decide to stop nursing? Not mad or anything, just curious."

And here's a Norah fix for the grandmas out there. She's so dang cute when she's waking up. Okay, she's so dang cute all the time.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Getting Back

I officially weigh less than Rich now. (Rich is a skinny guy, so that's kind of saying something.) This has been my goal since pregnant me passed him up. And it has arrived. Hallelujah!

Getting back in shape after pregnancy is definitely a challenge. I have never been awesome about sticking to a workout routine, just kind of running when I got on an active kick. But I knew once I had a baby, things would need to change if I was ever going to lose my bump.

The one problem with me getting back in shape is shin splints. I want to run. It's the easiest, cheapest, most convenient way I can think of to exercise. Plus, few things can compare to that feeling of a great run, where you just want to go forever and you feel like you can. However, I have always been plagued by awful shin splints, probably because my legs can't keep up with the endurance of the rest of my body. I push myself too hard too fast, and then my legs pay for it until I stop running again. Shin splints are lame.

I took my pregnancy as a time to let my legs completely heal, no lingering pain. And then I have been forcing myself to take it easy once I started running again. It's been hard because I know the rest of my body can go longer and harder than my legs, but then I remind myself how much I hate shin splints, and I'm able to calm myself back down.

I found a running program on Pinterest that's been a big help to me. The creator called it "Running for Beginniners," and, though I hate thinking of myself as a running beginner, I knew I needed to start at the very bottom if I was going to conquer shin splints.

You can find the original source here.

I know - it's extremely basic and is definitely for beginners. But, so far, it's working for me. I have stuck to this like no other exercise plan before (I'm currently on week 7 - go me!). I go 4 times a week, sometimes pushing Norah in the jogging stroller, sometimes on my own (preferred - that jogging stroller is kind of a beast). I try to take a day off after two days in a row, or else I feel my shins start to complain. I also use Nike + iPod to make goals and record my runs, and this has helped me stay accountable. I don't want Nike+ telling me I failed. No way.

I'm still not even close to being "in shape," but this plan (and the calories I use up to nurse) are going to help me get there. I look forward to the day when I can run like I used to. That's going to feel really good.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

4 Months Old

Just a short update on little Norah Kate, who is currently trying to kick her way off of my lap, so this will be quick.

We went to the doctor on Thursday for her 4-month checkup, and here are the stats:

Height: 25 1/2" (90th percentile)
Weight: 13 lbs. (30th percentile)
Head circumference: 16 1/4" (75th percentile)

Long and skinny is how she likes it.

Her 30th percentile showing definitely has something to do with the fact that she still hates eating. But I asked the doctor about her situation, and he told me she's perfectly fine. She hasn't dropped too far in percentiles since her 2-month appointment, so he said there's nothing to worry about. I stressed the fact that she won't eat very much, and he reassured me that she's fine. She's just a skinny girl.

I'm still going to try to remedy her non-eating attitude, though. I've been trying to pump and bottlefeed the past few days, and she seems to respond much better to a bottle. I'm pretty sure she eats double what she does nursing if I do a bottle instead. We'll see if we can keep this up.

She's kind of a crummy sleeper again, too. I think it might have something to do with her not getting enough to eat during the day, so she wakes up hungry several times at night. Hopefully, bottlefeeding will help. But if not, at least she can go back to sleep right away still. (I just wish I could say the say thing for myself.)

Norah has also rolled over several times, both ways. She is also kind of figuring the beginning of crawling. She knows how to move her legs, but she can't quite get both her top and bottom ends up at the same time. Is it wrong that I think it's cute to watch how frustrated she gets in this situation? Because it's adorable.

So that's Norah for now. Skinny. And active. Nothing too new for now.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

All of a Sudden

I don't know what has changed between now and a week ago, but Norah has become one fantastic sleeper.

Well, I kind of know what has changed. The biggest sized SwaddleMe saved my life and has brought us back to one feeding during the night (and even none sometimes). This baby just needs to be swaddled, or else she startles herself awake too easily. About half the time she is able to work one of her hands up towards her mouth, but it's still swaddled in tightly so it's not a big deal.

But even more amazing is how quickly and well she falls asleep on her own now. We used to have to hold her for about half an hour any time we wanted to put her in her crib. Not anymore! She goes straight into her crib, drowsy but awake, and falls asleep ON HER OWN. I never thought that we would reach this point, but, alas, it gloriously has arrived! She fusses sometimes, but we've never had a fullout cry-it-out session. She has also started taking two great naps most days, too, without much fuss. It's wonderful!

I don't know if the Baby Whisperer's method was the solution. It might have helped, but I wasn't exactly following it religiously. Whatever brought the change, this momma is beyond grateful!

Here's something I have learned about Norah. She will only sleep if you make it quite obvious that is her only option. She never dozes in her bouncy seat. She rarely falls asleep in your arms. She'll fall asleep in the car but wakes up almost as soon as you stop moving. I don't think she'll be one of those kids who falls asleep while eating. (She'll probably be that kid that needs that gets progressively more grumpy until she reaches meltdown point.)

And here are a couple cute pictures for anyone who needs a Norah fix (maybe that's just me).

I believe these were taken right before a diaper blowout. And she looks so innocent.

Can you tell she was getting way too big for this SwaddleMe? In the end, it just couldn't contain her.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

3 Months Old

Our little Norah is now 3 months old, and I can hardly believe it! Her little personality really shines through her tiny little body. We absolutely adore her.

People often ask us if Norah ever stops smiling. Um... no. Not really.



You getting the feel of her crazy smiliness, yet?

Okay, her one pout face fluke

As long as she's not hungry or sleepy, she is ready to ham it up for you. She will often sit there and stare at Rich and me with a big grin on her face, waiting for us to look at her. She's such a cheese! We have gotten some full out laughs out of her now, not just little giggles, especially when we're getting her ready for bed. Rich is the best at getting her to laugh.

We are still haven't figured out hair and eye color. She does, however, have my big eyes, as witnessed in the above picture. I don't feel like her eyes have really changed color in the past month, but I still have no idea what color to call it. Her hair hasn't grown at all and probably won't for a nice little while (which is a real shame because I am dying to use the hair clips we have).

Since there was no checkup this month, I don't know her stats. I am pretty sure, however, that she has chunked up a bit. For about two weeks she was a champion eater, going for thirty minutes every three hours. Then, suddenly, she decided she wasn't really interested in eating anymore. Now, she gets what she wants and is ready to be done. Meal time is often a struggle, especially if I'm trying to sneak in a feeding too early. She seems to get what she needs, though, and weighs over 13 pounds and is about 24 inches now.

She is a major hand sucker. You have to be careful with those hands because they are almost always covered in slobber. She is also getting pretty good at finding her feet, too. She's started grabbing them, although she's not exactly sure what to do when she gets a hold of them. Norah also loves to talk. She will goo and gah constantly, making it kind of difficult to hear what is going on around us. But it never fails to make me laugh because it is so stinkin' cute.

Our one big struggle right now is sleep. She is kind of a rotten sleeper. If she is not swaddled and held close with a pacifier in her mouth, you are not getting her to sleep. I got my hopes up for length of sleep because she slept through the night a couple times the past month. But, over the past two weeks weeks, things have gone in the opposite direction. She finally grew out of her cheater swaddle (the SwaddleMe), so I've been trying my own imperfect blanket swaddle with very little success. She's out of that thing like it's no big deal, and I'm waking up with her at all sorts of crazy hours (last night it was 12:45 and 4:15) trying to re-swaddle her. I'm heading to Babies 'R Us this weekend and getting the next size up of the SwaddleMe because I'm dying for sleep here.

I have been trying the Baby Whisperer's sleep method, which has helped her to fall asleep more quickly but still not on her own in her crib. I don't want to try any cry-it-out methods because we have people on all sides of us (although with how much I hear from the family above us at all hours of the night I kind of want to give them a little taste of what I'm going through down here). I think it has also helped with naptime. We used to be lucky if we got two hours of naps total each day, but now we're getting closer to four.

Basically, we're still learning this parenting thing. We're not perfect, but she sure is adorable, isn't she?

Friday, August 10, 2012


The above truck has been in Rich's family for a long time. Rich's dad bought it new in 1992, and the Nelson family has treasured it since. Notice the lack of rear-view mirror on its right-hand side? This feature earned it the name Vincent Van Gogh, Vince for short. Rich was lucky enough for it to become his truck, which then meant it became ours when we got married. It's hard to say what was so special about Vince. He was a great little runaround truck, and Rich always said that he was just fun to drive. (I've only driven him once since I'm a little afraid to drive a stick shift, but even that little drive was fun for me.)

But now, Vince has taken his last truck breath. While driving home one day, Vince blew a head gasket coming up our hill. It seems 5 Mile Road was just too much hill for him in the end. As much as we'd like to keep Vince going until Norah can drive him, it's just not practical to put $1500 into him and wait for something else to break down in the only too near future.

This was the truck that Rich and I dated in. He took us on our first not-really-a-date to play catch. He took us to our first real date, dinner and the driving range. He took us to Ogden for Rich to meet my family the first time. He took us to the park where Rich proposed. (He, however, did not drive us on our wedding day - Vince wasn't exactly made for snow.)

Vince makes me think of summers in Provo after we were married, when it's just fun to be there because most of the students are gone and the city is quiet and beautiful. Vince was our vehicle of choice for Provo summers. Now, when I think of Vince, I'll always remember driving down the peaceful Provo streets on a warm summer evening.

I guess this is goodbye, old friend. I hate to see you go. You had a good run, and the Nelsons will treasure all 236,686 of your miles.

(Think this post is a little over-the-top for a truck? Obviously, you never knew Vince.)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Two Months

I can hardly believe that Norah is now two months old. Time goes by so quickly with a baby, even faster than before. It's amazing how much she has changed and how much her personality shines through.

Norah is our happy little girl. I know research says babies don't smile socially until about 6 weeks, but Norah, whether reflex or not, started smiling around 2 weeks old and hasn't stopped since (she's currently smiling in my arms right now). And we're not just talking about sleepy smiles and random grins. These are in response to people and are full-faced and mouth-lifting where she squints her eyes like her daddy. Rich is the best at getting her smiles.

Norah is very social. She loves to be held and will only fall asleep at night if someone is cuddling her (for about half an hour). The same goes for after nighttime feedings. She can chill in her bouncy seat for a while but gets bored with it and wants to be held. I might have created a monster by holding her all the time, but I don't care that much. Things won't always be this way, so I know I should enjoy her cuddling while I can.


Norah had her 2-month checkup yesterday. Her stats basically told us what we already knew - she is long and skinny. She is 23 3/4" long (90th percentile) and 11 pounds 1/2 ounce (50th percentile) and has a head circumference of 15 1/2" (80th percentile). At her two-week appointment, Norah was in the 75th percentile for weight, meaning she hasn't advanced in the weight like we thought she would. Nothing to worry about as long as she keeps eating well; she just might be smaller than we originally thought. The nurse and PA kept telling her how smiley she was, and then they jabbed her with the vaccine needles, instantly ending the smiles and starting the screaming. I almost started crying with her. It's so hard because you can't explain that you let those mean people poke her because it's for her own good. She was pretty crabby for the rest of the day, but what can you expect?

Norah sleeps pretty well, usually about 4 or 5 hours between feedings. This week I got lucky and had a seven-hour night, followed by an eight-hour one. That was great, but I don't think it's going to last (we sure didn't have that last night). The PA said she probably needs the calories from nighttime feedings anyway since she's such a skinny minny, so I don't mind if it means putting a little meat on those bones. We swaddled her from the beginning, which worked great, but then I tried to stop once the hot weather finally hit Spokane. That worked for about a week, but then Norah decided one sleepless night that she'd only sleep for about thirty minutes at a time without it. Now we're back to swaddling, and I can get a little more rest. There are currently no plans to stop it again in the near future.

I have no idea who Norah looks like, but we hear that she looks like both of us. We're still trying to figure out what color her eyes and hair are going to be. Her eyes were rather brown when she was born, but a lot of these pictures make them look blue. I think we'll end up with some sort of hazel color. She had very fine, short, dark hair when she was born, but now when I look at her roots I see quite a bit of blond there. I don't think we'll really know her hair color until she's like a year old. She is also super active, a little crazy at times. If she gets going, she will kick and kick for hours on end. That's probably the main reason she's skinny - she burns so many calories moving around all the time.

We love our little Norah Kate. It hasn't always been easy (definitely not), but it's more than worth it. It's so fun getting to know her better and getting to know ourselves as parents. I love when I figure out something new about her.One of the biggest things Rich and I have learned is patience because now things cannot happen on our schedule. But most importantly, we've learned even more about love. It is so wonderful feeling how much our love for each other has grown and how completely this little girl has captured our hearts.

Heavenly Father really has blessed us with this special, beautiful, happy little girl.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Blessing Day

On July 8th, Rich was able to give Norah a beautiful baby blessing in my parents' ward. I would have liked to have her blessing in our ward, but it worked out better to do it in Utah since so much family was there. We felt very blessed for both of her grandpas, two of her great-grandpas, and six of her uncles to be in the circle, and, of course, to have Rich give her the blessing (we were one of those annoying groups that have a ton of men in the circle).

Norah's blessing was wonderful. I know Rich was inspired to say the things he did. I feel the overall message of her blessing was that she is loved, which is so true. We are so lucky to have Norah in our lives.

Norah's blessing dress was gorgeous (and overflowing out of her car seat!)

I feel like I have a special relationship with both of my grandpas. It really meant a lot that they were both able to stand in Norah's blessing circle.

Grandpa Max (rocking the fedora) 

Grandpa Burnham