Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy 2008!

I'm going to be a woman of few words...well, written ones anyway, since a picture is worth at least a thousand....So what does that make a video worth? :) Anyway, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Nelsons (even though the date still says the 31st at the top of the post...)!

Here's Ingrid as she found her new "pretend kitchen." I don't think it was exactly what she pictured...I think she thought "pretend" meant "imaginary." It took her a while to realize that it was hers and that she could keep it and play with it. So cute. So many things you can't anticipate as a parent. Next year, however, I think she'll understand it much better. This year was a warm-up for Mom and Dad... :)

Her new ear-warmer from Gramma Camra that matches her little fuzzy leopard print coat! NOTE: She also got white gloves that have the same kind of trim... :)

She LOVES these paint-with-water books! This one was from Wish Bear...aka Gramma Camra...Guess what we did after opening the presents? You guessed it! Made a wonderful watery mess painting all the Care Bears, naming them as we went along.

And...this is what Rowan did until about 10:30am. He didn't seem to care that he had a new teething rattle, a little outfit, and some new Winnie the Pooh pacifiers under the tree...


We had quite a spread of junk food/drinks and a school of children for New Year's this year. Tame, but nice to be among family. Next year maybe we'll scale it up a bit... :)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

7 Things You Never Knew About Elizabeth Nelson...

Gina Malone "tagged" me a while back to list 7 things about myself that not everyone knows. Since I've never been good at this, I hope you're not too bored...or choose things everyone already does any rate, here's how it works:

The theme: 7 random facts about me
The rules: Link to your tagger and post these rules.
Share 7 facts about yourself: some random, some weird.
Tag 7 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.

1) I hate afternoons. Some people hate mornings (they're not my favorite, but after about 9:00, I'm usually OK to go). I've also found out that caffeine does wonders in the morning. But I hate the afternoons from about 1:00pm until about 6-7 in the evening. I wish I could just sleep. That's usually when my sleep deprivation leaves me groggy, apathetic, and impatient. I used to take naps at this time when Ingrid napped, however, with 2 kids now, naps are a distant memory. I've taken to just hating the afternoon.

I love nights. Usually, if I can get past midnight, I am at my most creative, productive, and philosophic self. Especially if I've had caffeine after 8pm! (It's 1:00am on Christmas Eve...I'm writing this after cleaning and scrubbing the kitchen!)

2) I liked being a waitress. When I was single and had no kids (and didn't mind the ever-changing schedule), I was a waitress. I liked it a lot. I liked serving people. I also liked sharing stories and finding common ground with the people I served. It was like there was no threat because I would probably not see them again on a regular basis, so I didn't feel so introverted. I would have to agree with the song from the musical _Working_ where the waitress said that it's a "one-woman show." I guess I felt like it was a part I played.

3) I had never seen The Christmas Story movie (with Ralphie...) until I went to college. I watched all of the other classic Christmas shows like the stop-animation Rudolph and the cartoon Frosty, but never seen The Christmas Story. Now, I love it and hope to show it to my kids when they're old enough to sit through a movie.

4) This is the first Christmas in 11 years that I haven't had to travel home for Christmas. It's great. It's also the first Christmas EVER that I've had a full-sized Christmas tree that was mine. I never bothered with it before because I was always gone for 1-2 weeks for Christmas. It's nice to have it even though I don't have enough lights to make it glow like it should... It's mine. And it's beautiful.

5) I got my first gray hairs this year. They're right where my hair parts next to my forehead. Always before, I colored my hair because I don't like my natural color. Now, I'm coloring it to cover gray. Seems like child #2 did it to me. Oh well...

6) I can cross my left pinkie toe over my left ring toe without touching it. It's funny. It looks like it has a mind of its own. I'm sure Andrew would say that it's an evolutionary thing. I just used it in 4-H camp for challenges around the campfire. (Another thing you might not know is that I was in 4-H from 3rd grade until I went to college. I even showed a sheep!)

7) I hate apples, bananas, pears, and most tropical fruits. I'll eat just about ANY vegetable, but I have a hard time with fruits. I hate it when people ruin perfectly good food dishes by putting apples in salads and cookies and bars and pies. :)

So, there you go. I don't know anyone that wasn't already tagged that has a blog except these people, so they're the ones I'm going to tag. I tag Rebecca, Mom, Kim Thorn, and Sarah Walseth.

Oh, by the way, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! You'll be seeing pics as soon as I can post them. Santa is bringing Ingrid a "pretend kitchen" and some things to go along with it. (Thanks to my older sister and brother-in-law who re-painted their girls' old play might have been a disappointing Christmas without that wonderful gift...and also to her grandparents in Minnesota who are also partly Santa this year...) We've put it in front of the tree and spread out the few gifts we've gotten her so it looks like there's a lot of them. I think she's going to flip out! How fun... :)

Anyway, I hope your Christmas is filled with all that is meaningful and that Jesus has arrived in your life in a new way this year. Our love to everyone!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A New Crib for Rowan!

This was a post that I tried to publish on Wednesday, but it wouldn't work. Now, it's Saturday and the post still says Wednesday...hmmm... Anyway, here's what I've got for ya'!

Gramma Camra has done it again! For Christmas, Rowan got a new crib mattress to go with his crib set she bought him this summer. He slept in it (lulled to sleep by the fishy mobile that plays music as it projects swirling stars on the ceiling and makes the fishies go in circles...fancy!) this morning for a nap--until his sister woke him up... It brightens up the room, too! Thanks, Gramma Camra!

Speaking of little Rowan, we took some Christmas pics the other night (if you would like us to send you a Christmas card, please e-mail me your address if you think we don't have it). Here's one of Rowan in his little santa hat talking with his Papa...

Thursday, we headed to Charleston to accompany Rebecca to Brian's Police Academy graduation!!! We are so proud of Uncle B. We were so proud to see him in his uniform and see him march with the others and hear the cadences they had to learn...just to see a little bit of what he's been doing these past 16 weeks. Now, he's home for a 5 day break! The Fairmont police department gave him next Mon, Tues, and Wed off! What a blessing! Say a small prayer for him, though, because Brian's diabetes has taken a bit of a toll on him during this stressful time. His sugar count has been really high lately, but we're sure that now that he's home, they'll be able to get that under control. I'll post pics of that as soon as I can.

I'll leave you with a short, uneventful video of Ingrid and Andrew playing in the snow. It's very apparent that Ingrid is a Minnesota baby. She played so long out in the snow that Andrew had to come in to take a break! She cried and pouted the whole time they were inside warming up. Silly kid. :) That's my Minnesota baby! Needless to say, Rowan and I watched from the window in the toasty warm house and made hot cocoa to warm them up when they came in!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Bathtub blues and Christmas gifts

Last night, Andrew took Ingrid up to take a bath while I fed the baby downstairs. Things were going well upstairs until I heard a HUGE bang and splash. Then silence. Then a blood-curdling scream from Ingrid. I almost blacked out, picturing blood everywhere and a trip to the emergency room...or having to call 911. Then, I remembered that my reaction was going to either help or hurt Ingrid's reaction, so I calmed myself and ran as slowly as I could up the stairs asking Andrew if he needed ice or anything. I got to the bathroom and Andrew said everything was fine. The baby's bathtub that was balanced above the tub had fallen beside her and scared her. I honestly thought I was going to throw knees were jelly...and I went downstairs and cried. It's those moments that you realize how different your life is after having children. Very few things could have worried me that much before. Life sure is different now...More to love, more to lose. And what a struggle to live in the balance between those two things...

Anyway, on a lighter note, we got a really fun gift from Andrew's college professor, Kate Ufema...A fun ball that opens...(I forget what it's called...there's a name for it, but I don't remember what it's called.) Ingrid LOVES it. Why do we spend money on fancy gifts when a fold-y ball will keep her content for an hour or so? Here are a couple of pics.

Rowan is growing! He's now big enough to sit in the exersaucer and play with the toys...well, he bats at them anyway. Ingrid is a little jealous because she still remembers playing in it, so she has had to get in it when it's not Rowan's turn anymore. That's OK. He's also having fun in the Johnny Jump-up. It wears him out, though, because he gets so excited and has to use muscles to hold his head and body upright. It's great for when I need him to take a nap. 20 minutes in the exersaucer and he's OUT for a while after. Don't you love the tricks you find when you're a mom? Anyway, here's a video of his first try at playing in the exersaucer with a slightly jealous sister...notice that not even Elmo was keeping her interest. Those feelings must run deep!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

A Christmas Card from the Nelson-Elves!

Merry Christmas!
~ from Elizabeth, Ingrid, Rowan, and Andrew Nelson-Elf!

Click this and have a laugh!

Feel free to copy this idea for yourself! We did...

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

My Sweet Little Baby Boy

The next post is a new one, too. Make sure you read it!

I have to post a video of Rowan since you get to see Ingrid at the end of the next post. Here's a little video of Rowan in his new car seat bunting that Pam got him. He's nice and toasty in it!

A Thanksgiving with the Nelsons (and other stories)!

What a fun Thanksgiving! Gramma Camra (Pam, Andrew's Mom), Uncle Eric (Rowan's middle-namesake), and Aunt Colleen (who Ingrid still asks for...) came to spend a long weekend with us here in McHenry. It was a laid-back weekend, and we had some nice times with Ingrid climbing all over everyone, playing "match game" with Gramma Camra, and Rowan sleeping on people.

They arrived on Wednesday night after fighting the holiday traffic from Dulles airport all the way here. They mustered up enough energy to hang out with us for a while before retiring at the Wisp resort hotel just across the lake from us.

The next day was Thanksgiving, and I made maple-glazed turkey and stuffing and we had a great relaxing day and dinner at our little community building above our house that evening. We had sooooooooo much food!! It was also our nephew, Micah's, birthday, so it doubled as a birthday party. My mom was in China on a trip she'd always wanted to take, so we missed her, but we had fun. The leftovers have been fabulous, too!!

The next day, "Black Friday," Gramma Camra, Ingrid, Rowan, and I bundled up and drove to Morgantown for some pre-Christmas shopping while Andrew took Eric and Colleen fishing in our FREEZING rivers. We found some GREAT deals on kids' clothing (while the fisher"men" only caught one fish in several hours of fishing), and Ingrid found a few other things she "needed" like a Mickey Mouse that sings the same song over and over... and a CandyLand game that she only likes to play by her rules... :) The kids were sooooooo good that day, and Ingrid even wanted to continue shopping after going to the mall, lunch, and Target, even though her eyes kept going closed as she began to lean sideways in the shopping cart seat. It was a great day with Pam. I was even on the receiving end of her generosity, getting the first new clothes I've gotten since she last bought me clothes this past winter when I first found out I was pregnant! Thanks, Gramma Camra...from ALL of us...

That night, we slid over to the Wisp to go swimming (well, I just sat in the hot tub...) at the pool there. Ingrid had so much fun with Aunt Colleen because Aunt Colleen used to teach swimming lessons. Ingrid even put her face in the water and blew bubbles! She couldn't get enough of jumping into the pool to Aunt Colleen and kicking her feet to "swim like a mermaid." Thanks, Colleen. It's actually helped with bathtime and washing her hair and face.

The next day, Andrew, Ingrid, Rowan and I went to Kindermusik in the morning, and we all met up for Thanksgiving leftover lunch. We hung out until we went to dinner/music at a new bistro down the road from us. We had fun and Gramma Camra and Ingrid danced to the music after we ate a great meal. Then, we went to the hotel and played games and laughed as we watched The Family Man on TV. The kids and I went home that night while Andrew spent the night and got up early to take his brother fishing again. This time, Eric caught the fish, and he didn't have to go home feeling empty... :) We met up for lunch at a southwest restaurant in the area before we had to say goodbye.

It was fun to see them with Rowan (he's such a sweet, happy baby, and found Gramma Camra very comfortable to sleep on), and seemed quite happy to have Eric and Colleen hold him. And it was amazing to see Ingrid with them. She might look a bit like me, but she's 90% Nelson/Hawthorne. It was like her energy (that seems so surprising to my family) was like a matching puzzle piece among Andrew's family. She seems to feel it, too, I think. Thanks, Nelsons, for giving my family her wonderful energy. We all (the Wotrings) feel like she's brought something to us that balance us out. It's crazy to think that my legacy will be felt 2+ generations down! It really makes you feel small...and makes you feel the responsibility of having a child. What a wonderful mystery!
I also have an update on the kids... Rowan ended up with thrush in his mouth (which caused me some problems, too...), so we had to go to the doctor and get him some nasty medicine. But while we were at the doctor, they weighed him again and he was 13 lbs, 4 oz! That was last Friday, so he's probably bigger now (he woke up from his nap yesterday and looked bigger to me...), but those are the latest official stats on him. Oh, and the thrush seems to be gone now.
Ingrid is becoming a regular pro at talking on the phone. Yesterday, she talked to everyone at the farm on the phone, asking Elijah how his tummy felt today ("How's your tummy? Feel better? Let me talk to Julia.") and making small talk with everyone about what we were doing here. Here's a little clip from the conversation. Here are the subtitles: "How's Julia? Yeah. She's great. That's just great. How's Anita? Yeah." She's funny. I'm sure that the next time I'm on the phone with you and she's around, she'll want to talk. Good luck getting it all without subtitles. :)