Thursday, February 27, 2014

I Love My Birthday

In all honesty, the theme for the past week has been my birthday. Rich knows just how much I love my birthday and always makes sure it's a special day. This year was another success (probably because I succeeded in stretching the celebrations out for almost an entire week). Rich did a fabulous job helping me to feel special and loved.

Not birthday related, but want to share. We went to Costco last week and found this awesome play house. Rich made the mistake of getting Norah to go in. She loved it, and, of course, threw a fit when it was time to leave. I can't wait for the day when we have a yard to put something like that in. 

Also, I found this gem. That is most definitely a cover story.

Norah has been throwing fits about bath time lately. First, she doesn't want to get in, and then she never wants to get out. Even once all of the water has drained out and her feet are turning blue from the cold.

The birthday celebrations started on Friday night, where we had our first weekend night together as a family in almost a month. The time together was so nice and much missed. Our lives are just going to keep getting busier, so it's nice to have some family time once in a while.

 Since my birthday fell on Sunday this year, Rich and I went out for my (first) birthday dinner on Saturday night. We got sushi for the first time since we lived in Provo (still miss you, Sushi Ya). Lots of people recommended Wasabi Bistro, and it was delicious. We forgot to get pictures of the first rolls, which were our favorite and looked the coolest. But these were also super yummy and helped satisfy my sushi craving!

We woke up to lots of snow on Sunday. I realize that February is kind of a dreary month, so I figure if it's going to be cold anyway on my birthday, there might as well be snow!

After church, we headed to Doug and Edie's for (another) birthday dinner. The above meal is a classic Nelson birthday dinner. I had never had artichokes or fake crab until I became a Nelson, and now I don't know how I lived without them!

Norah helped me open my birthday gifts. 

Once I realized what this gift was, I got super excited! 

Rich really nailed my gift this year. We have been wanting an ice cream maker for a while now, and I really wanted the KitchenAid attachment ice cream maker. I wasn't expecting this at all, which added to my excitement. I love when I am completely surprised by a present!

 Rich made the birthday cake. I requested Better than S- um, Anything Cake.

But my birthday celebrations didn't end on Sunday! Edie took Norah and me to Olive Garden for soup and salad on Monday, and then some friends from church took me out to brunch yesterday to Old European, which I've been dying to try. Delicious, and so great to spend some time with them! (Unfortunately, there are no pictures.)

 And here are two more pictures of this cutie. The one of the right shows her happiness at watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. She has this silly little grin pretty much the whole time it's on. What is it about that show?!

And, finally, this awesome video of Norah. Watch Norah's reaction to what is on the TV.
Rich put on Horton Hears a Who for her, and she did this. He actually wasn't recording her the first time, so he rewound and still got the same reaction. So funny!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sickies (Again)

Can it just not be winter anymore? Every summer I forget how easy it is to get sick in the winter. I've already lost count of the bugs our family has caught this winter. I'm ready for warm weather. (Well, I'm ready for my birthday - SUNDAY! - and then we can skip to the warm weather.)

Norah and I caught some icky bug in Utah and lovingly brought it home to Rich. We're just about recovered now, but the last week has been a little miserable. Norah has been ridiculously cuddly, which is nice, until you have to do something, like make dinner or take a shower or even go to the bathroom. I try to put her down, and then the tantrum ensues. And she has thrown some crazy awful tantrums. I know that she's sick, but I'm also afraid we're getting a taste of what the terrible twos will bring us. She knows what she wants and hates being disappointed.

In happier news, I want to share some of my current favorite Norah words.
  • For cookie, Norah says "cootsie."
  • Goldfish crackers are "shishes."
  • Milk has become "mook."
  • Her two favorite cousins (or, at least, cousin names to say) are Max, which she says perfectly, and Kelsey, or "Kessie."
  • When you say, "Norah, say, 'I love you,'" she always says, "Yeah." She will not say the phrase, no matter how hard we try.
  • Waffles are "wawuls."
  • And my favorite (for terrible reasons) is fabric. It sounds nothing at all like fabric and everything like the f-word. There's no getting around it. It's definitely the f-word. I usually call fabric cloth around her to avoid cracking up (which, of course, only encourages her more).

And here are some pictures from the week:

(Technically these first four are from before our Utah trip, but I forgot I had them.)

This is Norah's favorite way to play - you turn into her human toy box.

Rich had (yet) another meet in Seattle Friday (Valentine's Day) and Saturday, meaning he left the morning after I got home from Utah. He made sure Norah and I were taken care of, though. Our friend Kristin played the Valentine's fairy.

 I was going to try to turn Friday into a fun Galentine's Day for Norah and me, but this little girl was just not feeling well. We spent most of the day like this (well, Norah was the only one playing with her bellybutton). We didn't even make it to the mall play place once while Rich was gone. She barely even let me put her down.

I found some LOTR-themed Valentines and snuck them into Rich's suitcase. I was afraid he wouldn't notice them, until he sent me this picture.

More Valentines cuddling with my bug. 

 She did cheer up enough to "take pictures" of Mickey and Minnie. She set this up all on her own, then grabbed her play phone to snap a few shots.

And then she got to Daddy's NBA standings board. I didn't have the heart to stop her because that was the happiest she'd been all day. Luckily, none of the pieces were lost.

 It was a little gloomy for us in Spokane, but Rich actually got to enjoy some sun in Seattle. If you look close in the picture on the left, you can spy the Space Needle.

 Still trying to recover, Norah spent a lot of time like this watching Disney Junior.

 Finally back together on Sunday, after almost two weeks of being apart. They really missed each other.

Still sick on Monday. Seriously, we spent a lot of time on the couch.

We did sneak out Monday for lunch at Subway with Grandma and Poppa. Norah thought I was so hilarious in the car.

Norah loves to ask you to draw pictures of Mickey. I've actually gotten pretty good at it, meaning they at least somewhat resemble Mickey.


Again, with the human toy box thing. She LOVES to pile up toys in my lap.

 Another potty success yesterday (and today, too, for that matter). I really hope she leads the way in the whole potty-training thing. (Also, Norah's hair is just crazy these days. Almost always in her eyes and a mullet in the back, but she'll only keep her little ponytails in for about ten minutes. I think it's going to be in this awkward stage for another year or so.)

Last night for mutual, our young men and young women got to play laser tag. I love this group!

Our newest niece, Kayla Mary Nelson, arrived early this morning. Congratulations, Scott and Karolyn! I can't wait to meet her in person!

Norah loves "chocolate toast" for breakfast, although the toast has become optional in her mind.

Nutella face!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Utah Trip

About a month ago, Rich's mom and I decided this would be a good time of year to make a Utah trip. She wanted to visit with her mother, as well as the four of her six kids and their families who live down there. And I wanted to see my family since we stayed in Spokane for the holidays. This would make it the third year in a row the two of us (and Norah for the past two years) have made our annual trip in February.

I think there was a little inspiration in planning this trip, too.

About three weeks ago now, I found out my grandpa had had a stroke and probably wouldn't be around much longer. He passed away a week later, so our trip was timed perfectly for me to be able to go to the viewing and funeral.

I was not as good as I usually am about taking pictures, but here's what I managed to capture from our journey.

 This was from the first five minutes of the drive. Yeah, that didn't last. We had some pretty good tantrums from her because she wasn't allowed out of that car seat.

Lake Coeur d'Alene. I thought it was so pretty, but I think it was a bad omen for the rest of the drive. 

Going through the mountain passes in the Idaho panhandle. Still snowing... 

Somewhere in Montana. STILL SNOWING. This was pretty much the view for the rest of the drive, except it got less windy but more snowy.

It snowed almost the entire drive, making it about two hours longer than usual, which means two more hours of a screaming toddler who doesn't sleep in the car. She slept a total of forty minutes for the twelve-hour drive. What child does not sleep in the car?!

Another road trip fiasco. I had this amazing bag packed of toys and games for Norah, and that worked for a little while. But then she started asking for Mickey. Problem - we had no Mickey! I do not know why she started asking for Mickey, but she screamed for him for hours and there was nothing I could do. Yikes.

She was much happier the next day, once she was out of the car and allowed to run around. 

My parents live in the house my dad grew up in, and his parents built a house right next door. On our first full day in Utah, we walked over to the "next-door house" to pay a visit to Great Grammy Melba and Grandpa Max. This is a pretty special rocking chair. My grandpa Max's dad bought it for my dad for his second Christmas, and every single one of Max and Melba's children, grandchildren, and now great-grandchildren (who are old enough) have sat in it.

I'm sorry to say that Norah's absolute favorite part of the trip was bathtime at Grandma Kari's house. She kept asking for bubbles, cup, and froggy (which sounds a lot less like frog and a lot more like the f-word) the entire trip.

 When my sister Carrie learned of our Mickey-less dilemma, she fished out an extra Mickey from their house. He's hardly left her side since. That was a lifesaver.

Max and Lola rode home with us to spend the night before the viewing. Norah loved playing with them, though this is unfortunately the only picture I got of them together.

I have to take a picture of when she falls asleep in the car because, apparently, it happens so rarely.

No trip to Utah is complete without dinner at Maddox. Their root beer and shrimp steak - my favorite! 

 These are from the viewing. Aunt Krystle knows how to keep a toddler entertained (Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the phone and Skittles to get her to sit on her lap). Notice Mickey in the picture on the left? Also, can you see Norah's brown shoes with black tights? We bought a pair of off-white shoes, size 4 or 9-12 months. Way too big! My baby has some tiny feet! (But black and brown are both neutrals, right? So it's okay to wear them together, right?)

Friday was the day of the funeral, and it was a beautiful service. My grandpa led an amazing life, and the talks helped me remember just what a special person he was. It started to hit me at the funeral how much I was going to miss him. I've spent the past year getting used to saying just Grandpa Burnham, instead of the Grandma and Grandpa. Now, I don't get to say anything at all. I know that they are truly in a better place, but it is so hard to not see them anymore.

This is my newest nephew, Logan Tyson Fredrickson. Oh, he's so cute! And, even though he doesn't have much hair, he totally has the exact same cowlick as his sister, Khloe.

Poor Hughie was not feeling well, so he found himself a place to lie down.

After the funeral, we got to spend some more time with the Kirtleys and North Ogden Fredricksons.

Norah's seat for the Olympic opening ceremonies.

We went to this place called Kangaroo Zoo, which is full of giant inflatable bounce houses and slides. I thought this would be right up Norah's ally because she loves to jump and run and climb like a crazy person, but, at first, it looked like a complete waste of money. She was tired, it was loud, and there were so many other kids. All of this was enough to terrify her.

This was her initial reaction. Scared enough to cuddle.

Once she saw how much fun Max, Lola, and Hughie were having, though, she warmed up to it.

We also made a trip down to Provo. I really wanted to see my old roommate/forever best friend Alex (and I am kicking myself that I didn't get a picture with her!) and to hang out with Cami and Andrea. I cannot believe how much BYU campus has changed, with the new Heritage Halls and Life Sciences Building (the monstrosity, as Alex calls it) dominating the landscape.

Our first apartment, good old H3 on the top left. Hasn't changed much. The Wings actually ended up moving into another Moon building, just right next door to this while Ethan is getting his MBA.

Norah was so excited to see Kelsey. I didn't even know she knew how to say Kelsey, but she wouldn't stop talking about her on the drive down. They wasted no time getting to the fun.

Kelsey taught Norah this fun new thing. Oh, they loved it.

Yep, I stole this from Facebook, Cami.

We also met my dad's new dog, Capone. Sure, he's cute now, but just wait until he starts nipping at your heels and eating your shoes. I still haven't made up my mind my feelings about the dog. He was adorable when he wanted to cuddle.

Norah thought Capone had it made with the bed/cage combo, until she realized just how small it was on the inside. 

 I know, another bath picture, but she loved them so much! Grandma's Minnie Mouse bubble bath will not soon be forgotten.

We were supposed to go home on Tuesday, but it was too snowy up north. So we planned on coming home Wednesday, but the weather just wasn't done yet. (Also, our sister-in-law Karolyn is due to have a baby any day now. If she went into labor while we were there, we were, of course, going to stay for that. However, the newest West Jordan Nelson has not yet made his/her arrival.) I made an impromptu trip down to South Jordan to spend some more time with the Kirtley crazies on Wednesday since I couldn't make the trip home.

Handsome Hughie with a delicious sugar cookie from this fun Daybreak bakery called Swirly Girls 

 Waiting for Lola at her ballet class. I love how he has his legs crossed like a little gentleman.

Finally we were able to make the drive home on Thursday. I think there could have been a forecast for six feet of snow and we still would have made the drive. We were ready to get home.

 Norah had her Mickey from the Kirtleys, and my sister-in-law Krystle found an extra Minnie doll that my niece Khloe let Norah have, too (Mickey and Minnie are essentially the same to Norah). We were much more prepared this time. There was no screaming for Mickey (although there was still screaming).

Saying goodbye to the Wasatch Front, even though it's all covered in clouds here. 

Since Norah doesn't like to sleep in the car, there was a HUGE tantrum about an hour outside of Missoula because she was SO TIRED. I have never seen her like that before. She was flailing her arms and legs. She kept rubbing her hands over her face, almost scratching her eyes out. The kid gave herself welts on her legs from all her kicking! She was hysterical, and there was nothing I could do but let her cry it out. (I was practically in tears, too). Once she finally fell asleep, I put the blanket over her to keep the sun out of her eyes (plus, she likes to sleep with the blanket over her head anyway). And she still only slept an hour.

 She was in a much better mood for the rest of the drive after her quick nap. There were no more tears after the naptime tantrum. She decorated my hand and Elmo in stickers and played with magnets in a cake pan, and we read lots of stories and drew pictures of Mickey on her doodle pad.

And we were both so glad to get home.