Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Traditions

Change is hard, but change is inevitable. Change is good! Trying to keep traditions from childhood alive, but also creating new traditions for new, young families can be challenging.

This year, Joe and I discussed how we would like to create traditions for our children, especially around the holidays. One thing that we threw around was that we will try to have our children wake up at our house on Christmas morning, if possible, so that they can open their presents and stockings by our Christmas tree. We did that this year for the first time, and it was really special to watch Ella and her excitement (about getting an umbrella, but whatever.) Nathan slept in and missed the fun, but he wont remember it anyways! On Christmas Eve, we all went to our church, Community United Methodist Church, for the "family service" which was intended for families with children. We decided to have Ella sit with us during the service rather than go to the nursery with Nathan. I guess I had this vision of all of us sitting together as a family, listening to the story about Jesus's birth, and then singing "Silent Night" by candlelight. Well, Ella usually goes to Sunday School during the service, so she is not used to sitting quietly for an hour. And quite frankly, a 3 year old doesn't have the development to do so. So, needless to say, it was a bit stressful, and not at all the vision that I had created in my head. Maybe she'll do better next year. Going to our church on Christmas Eve is also a tradition we would like to try and continue, if it works out that way.

After opening presents and having breakfast together, we piled into the van and drove to Stevens Point to spend a few days at Joe's parent's house. Joe's siblings and their families were there as well, so all of the cousins were together and had a blast! I got to spend some time with my 10 month old nephew, Harry, who we don't see nearly enough! He and Nathan play along side each other quite well. We received many nice gifts and Ella got a Big Wheel! Ella is still at Joe's parent's until tomorrow, when she will come back with her Aunt Liz and her cousins, Dylan and Henry. We got a much appreciated gas card and I got a beautiful new blanket and glass serving dish.

Next year will be different and new for us as well, since my parents will hopefully be living in Wisconsin at that point! Their house is on the market in Michigan and they've had several showings and a few offers, but nothing has come through as of yet. Next Christmas Day will be spent with my parents, but since they will be in the area, we wont have to travel, which will be nice. No more 7 hour car-rides! So maybe we'll go over to their new house, or they'll come over to ours. Maybe we can spend Christmas Eve with Joe's parents, so we can see both sets of parents over Christmas next year. New traditions and old traditions coming together, making the holidays exciting and special. Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!




Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What We've Been Up To

It's been a while since I've updated the blog, so I thought it was about time. If I waited any longer, I'd have to include Christmas, and that will probably be a whole post in and of itself! But, here it goes! This post will mostly consist of pictures with explanations. I'll begin with two weekends ago

Joe's parents were in town on Saturday and we all went to see a concert given by The Midwest Vocal Express, an all men's choir. They sang all holiday songs and sounded amazing. The night, Joe and I drove to Madison to celebrate our friend Scott's 30th birthday. I got to catch up with his wife, my friend, Jenn, and got to cuddle with their daughter, Talia. Don't you just want to pinch those cheeks?


We took the kids to a Newcomer's Kidsclub Christmas Party where Ella enjoyed decorating cookies and Nathan enjoyed sitting on Santa's lap.


My parents arrived on Thursday to celebrate Christmas early, since we will be with Joe's parents this year. My mom gave us our stockings, which is always the highlight for me! We got gift cards for Kohl's and Target, which I am excited to use. I got a nice sweater and Joe got a shirt, and of course, we have our beautiful new stove sitting in our kitchen! Ella got a cash register, some books, and some adorable PJs (although she could've cared less about the PJs). She also got a cute outfit, which again, she was not thrilled about. I, on the other hand, am always thrilled to get clothes for the kids! Nathan also got some clothes and some books, a generous contribution to his college fund, and a really neat toy consisting of gears, lights, and music. We made cut-out cookies and decorated them...Ella made the best creation I think, don't you?

We made a delicious Christmas dinner and enjoyed sitting at our dining room table, eating off of my Grandma's Christmas china an using her silverware. It was a wonderful Christmas celebration.

Guess who's sick again? Nathan. I had to take him to the doctor yesterday morning since he had been coughing for a few days, spiked a fever, and had started wheezing. When we got there, his oxygen saturation (how much O2 is in his blood) was on 93%, which isn't horrible, but still a little low. His respiratory rate was double what it should be and his heart rate was elevated. The doctor determined that he had a double ear infection, after looking in both ears. The doctor then started him on a breathing treatment, which was quite comical. Imagine trying to hold a face mask over a 14 month old's face for 5 minutes. Yeah...Nate wasn't having that. He didn't sound much better after the treatment, so we got sent down the road for a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia. Luckily, the x-ray came back showing no pneumonia, thank God! We returned to the pediatrician's office where they checked his vitals again, which hadn't changed much, so Nate got another breathing treatment. This one went even worse than the first one! But, something worked, because his O2 sats came back up to 95%. We were sent home with an antibiotic for the ear infections and an inhaler for the coughing and wheezing. Poor kid...it just never ends! Surprisingly, Nathan has been sleeping great! My parents were supposed to leave this morning, but offered to stay so Nathan could stay home from Ms. Linda's, and then Joe and I didn't have to call into work. They plan on leaving this afternoon after Joe gets home from work.

Like everyone else, the rest of the week is busy busy! My friend Gretchen and her husband Mike are coming over for dinner tonight, and then Joe's friend Eric and his girlfriend Stephanie are coming over for dinner tomorrow night. Both are from out-of-town, so we're really excited that they were able to fit us in for a visit! Joe and I both work on Thursday, Christmas Eve, so our babysitter Alex is coming over to watch the kids all day. We plan on going to the Family Service at Church at 5:00pm which is also a candlelight service, my favorite. Joe sings at the 10:00pm service, but the kids and I will stay home for that one. We'll all probably be in bed actually! Then on Christmas morning, we will wake up at the crack of dawn, I'm sure, take our time having breakfast and opening presents (or the other way around), and then drive to Stevens Point to celebrate Christmas Day with Joe's family. We'll stay there until Sunday (with 8 adults and 5 children all in one house) and then drive back home. Ella is going to stay at her Grandma and Grandpa's a few extra days, as well as her cousins.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Holiday! Please travel safe!




Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Lumberjack and the Angel

I was thrilled to learn that there is a tree farm right here in New Berlin! So yesterday afternoon, after attending "A Birthday Party for Jesus" at our church, we all bundled up and headed out to find the perfect Christmas tree. We walked up and down the many aisles until we found the tree we wanted to cut down. We drove home with the end sticking out of the back of the van, and then got it inside. Only then did I realize that the tree we had picked out was HUGE! And quite uneven, no matter how we adjusted it! During nap times, I was able to string all of the lights. Later that afternoon, Ella attempted to help me hang ornaments. After putting up a few, she said, "I'm done doing this." I put the project on hold until all little fingers were safely in their beds! I was determined to have all of my decorating complete by last night, so I got to work hanging ornaments as soon as both kids were asleep. As I walked over to the piano to take a sip of my hot cocoa (with a little Bailey's for an extra treat) I heard a strange rustling sound, and turned around just in time to see our enormous tree falling right towards me! I moved out of the way and then heard the CRASH! What a mess...bulbs had shattered, water was everywhere, and all of the lights were no longer on the tree. After all of that work! Joe came to the rescue and we got the tree upright again. This time, Joe bolted it to the wall with some wire. He then helped me re-hang all of the ornaments. And this is how it all turned out...

Even thought it's a bit crooked, I love it. I hated it last night, but today I love it.

Our church put on a pageant this morning during the second service. Ella dressed up as an angel and sang two songs right at the beginning, before heading back to Sunday School. The older kids participated in the whole service. It was seriously the cutest thing ever! I am so excited to see Ella participate in more activities that I can video tape and then watch again later with tears in my eyes!

video

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Over the River and Through the Woods...

To Grandmother's (and Grandfather's) house we...went! We survived the trip. On the way there, our usual 6 hour drive turned into an 8 hour drive due to accidents in the Kalamazoo area. Our drive back was uneventful, hitting traffic in the Chicago area only. Surprise, surprise! The kids did a great job! Ella enjoyed watching several DVDs that we rented from the library and Nathan enjoyed, well, eating and sleeping. He's not quite old enough to "play" with toys in the car. He mostly would handle a toy for a few minutes, and the chuck it onto the floor. We did have a nice visit at my parent's house...possibly the last visit to that house, since it went on the market TODAY! Joe seems to think it's going to sell fast...I'm not so sure. The economy is even worse in Michigan, if you can believe it.


Thanksgiving was spent at my Auntie Anne and Uncle Bob's house. We were able to visit with my Uncle Rick and Aunt Nancy, and my cousins Ben and Matt. It was a fairly quiet Thanksgiving (except for my children, of course) and it made me realize how old I'm getting! I remember how excited I used to get for holidays when I was little. It probably had to do with the fact that I was very close with my cousins and we always had a blast, playing games, making up skits, and just laughing. Sometimes I miss those days. I hope my kids will be able to have that sort of relationship with their cousins, and do some of the same things that we did in years past.


While we were in Michigan, I was able to get together with an old friend from high school. I hadn't seen Eric in over 10 years so it was really nice to catch up. I also saw one of my best friends, Kari. My mom's Aunt Janet, Aunt Ruth, and Uncle George came over for a quick visit. We hadn't seen them since last Christmas, so it was nice for them to see how much the kids had grown. Nathan was in a much better mood than he was a year ago, that's for sure! We celebrated Joe's 30th birthday and my mom's birthday. I attempted to make a red velvet cake, which was disastrous. The cake turned out okay, but the frosting was another story. Oh well, I tried. The days went by too quickly, like they always do, and it was a bit emotional leaving, knowing that it may have been the last time in that house. It's a very strange feeling. I think it helped that my parents had made several changes to the house since I went off to college and moved out. My old room didn't really feel like MY room anymore, it felt like the guest room. The basement and kitchen have change drastically, as well as the family room. We now have the piano in our house, the one that used to sit in the great room, the one that I sat at for hours to practice. It's a great house, and whoever ends up buying it is very lucky. I have so many wonderful memories in that house and I will miss it. But, I would much rather have my parents closer!



I've been thinking a lot lately about holidays and how things change as we get older. Now that Joe and I have kids, and we are now a family of 4, we'd like to start some of our own traditions. Once my parents move to Wisconsin, it will be easier to divide our time between my family and Joe's family for Christmas. Maybe one year we will spend Christmas Eve with my parents and Christmas Day with Joe's parents...and then the next year we can switch it up. One thing we would like to start doing is spending Christmas morning at our own house with our kids, opening presents and stockings, and having breakfast together, before heading out for a larger family gathering later in the day. There comes a point when extended families start spending holidays with more immediate family, and when each individual family starts taking on hosting responsibilities. I'd like to take on a Thanksgiving or a Christmas and start a rotation in the future. It seems to be the natural course of things. When I was very small, I remember having Christmas Eve at my Grandma's sister's house, with all of my mom's aunts, uncles, and cousins. Eventually, it evolved into having Christmas Eve at our house or at one of my mom's sister's houses, and then Christmas Day was always spent at one of my dad's siblings' houses. Things change. Nobody likes it. I don't like it. But it's the way things progress, and then they stay the same for several years, until our kids are grown, and the cycle starts all over again. Either way, I still love the holidays and enjoy beginning new traditions.

This week I plan on digging out all of the Christmas decorations from the basement and getting to work! My parents are coming to visit the weekend before Christmas to celebrate early. We will have our own little celebration so they can give Ella and Nathan their presents (and the awesome stockings my mother always creates!). We'll have a traditional Christmas dinner...and then do it all again a week later with Joe's family! This year, Joe will be singing in the choir during the Christmas Eve service. I am very excited to be able to attend our own church on Christmas Eve and hear Joe sing. I'm excited to be spending Christmas Eve at our own house and waking up on Christmas morning, watching my children opening their presents under our own tree. The vision almost brings tears to my eyes.

Later this week, I will remember my Grandma. Charlotte. I still can picture her and hear her voice so clearly. I still miss her terribly. It makes me sad that she didn't get to meet my children. She would have been a wonderful Great-grandma.



Monday, November 23, 2009

You'd Better Watch Out, You'd Better not Cry!

I took both kiddos to the mall today to buy Joe a birthday present. While we're were there, I thought I would try to get a picture with Santa. At first, Ella said she didn't want to, so I didn't push it. So we walked around for a little bit, and on our way back, asked her again. This time, she said she would get her picture taken. Ella didn't want to sit on Santa's lap, but did stand right next to him, while Nathan cried and tried to squirm his way out of Santa's arms. Ella told Santa that she wanted a motorcycle. I think she heard the little boy before us say that to Santa. Or she just really wants a motorcycle. If you would have asked me a year ago if I would ever take my two kids to the mall, alone, to see Santa, I would of laughed in your face. Now it's no big deal. Ella walks with me, and for the most part, listens pretty well. Nathan just hangs out in the stroller. Today, I think I looked like I had it together!


On our way home from the mall, we stopped at the library to pick up some new DVDs to watch in the van on our way to Michigan. We leave this Wednesday morning. I am really excited to go "home" for Thanksgiving this year. This may be the last holiday spent at my parent's current house, the house that I grew up in. They are planning on putting it on the market in the next few weeks and will move to Wisconsin.

Joe, and his best friend Paul, who is April's husband, are celebrating they 30th birthdays this month. I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but Joe and Paul were born about 2 weeks apart, and our sons were also born about 2 weeks apart. Isn't that wild? We had a wonderful dinner together on Saturday, just the 4 of us. I can't even tell you the last time just the 4 of us went out to dinner together. Afterwards, we went to Mo's Irish Pub and met up with some other friends. One of my old roommates, Allison, and her boyfriend Jason, came in from Madison for the festivities and stayed at our house Saturday night. Jason coaches a club hockey team in the Madison area, and his team happened to have a game in Milwaukee on Sunday. We decided to take the kids to watch. They were mesmerized at first, and then Ella just wanted to run around and Nathan wanted to climb on the bleachers...but, it gave Al and I a bit more time to catch up.


I wish everyone safe travels for the holiday. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!












Monday, November 16, 2009

Ella's New Do




After getting home from Great Clips last night, I realized just how awful Ella's hair really looked. She looked like a combination of Dorthy Hamill and having a mullet. So we went back to Great Clips today to see if we could try again, without getting charged. I come to find out that the man who cut Ella's hair last night was a barber, and usually only cuts men's hair, and has very little experience with children. Oh well. Here is the final product...still not thrilled, but what can we do about it now? I'm going to start growing Ella's bangs out again, and maybe it will be easier this time since the rest of her hair is about the same length! I still think it looks a bit like Dorthy Hammill.




Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ella Makes a Bad Decision

Our daycare provider suggested that I have Ella practice cutting paper at home since she was having trouble during projects. I went out and bought "safety" scissors...you know, the ones with the rounded edges...the ones that seem like they really wouldn't do any harm? Ella has been practicing and has been getting quite good at it. Since she doesn't really nap anymore, I have her play in her room for an hour each afternoon. Usually she looks at books, colors, and most recently, has been cutting paper. Looking back, I realize leaving a 3 year old in her room alone with a pair of scissors was not my best mommy moment. Bad mommy. When I went up to check on her, I discovered hair all over the floor. Big chunks. Apparently, Ella has decided to follow in her Auntie April's footsteps and become a hair stylist. Ella chopped her own hair this afternoon. When I asked her why, she responded, "Because I didn't want it long anymore." So we took a trip to Great Clips, an hour before they closed, and had a middle-aged man attempt to fix her hack job. Honestly, it doesn't look much better. We need to work on the hair style a bit. I was trying to grow out Ella's bangs, but I guess Ella wanted the whole front of her head to be bangs, because that's what it now looks like. At least we got our holiday photo taken at JCPenny's on Wednesday! Phew!


Doesn't she look proud, holding her cut off hair and scissors?


The outcome of Great Clips



Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My Baby Boy's Stats

I just remembered that I never posted Nathan's 1 year stats. He got his vaccinations this past Monday since he was sick during his actual 1 year check-up. Compared to Ella (not that I EVER compare my children to one another) Nathan is much smaller than she was at this age. Ella has been in the 95th percentile or higher since birth. Here are Nathan's current stats:

Weight: 22 pounds (30th percentile)
Length: 30 1/4 in. (50th percentile)
Head: 48 cm (85th percentile)

He was a champ when it came to getting FOUR shots! Yes, he cried, but only for a very short time. He's been a bit cranky and his sleep is all messed up this week, and his drooling is out of control, so I'm thinking maybe he's teething. We'll see what pops up. He's also starting to say a few words. Here's a short video:

video


This past weekend, the kids went up to Stevens Point to stay with Joe's parents. Joe and I went to Appleton to visit Paul, April, and our Godson Jackson. Joe and Paul enjoyed some male bonding while April and I went to see "Rent." This was my 3rd time seeing it, and April's 2nd. Two of the original cast members were in this production, playing Marc and Roger. It was amazing. Again. And I would see it a 4th time. It is, by far, my favorite musical. Afterwards, April and I took advantage of our "childless" evening and went out for drinks. It was so nice to spend time with friends!

This morning we met the Newcomers Kidsclub at a new indoor fun place called, "Flabbergast." It had huge inflatables, a large climbing structure, and a game area. Ella wanted to play some games, so we bought some tokens. Ella hit the jackpot at a SpongeBob game, winning 50 tickets at once! For her prizes, she chose a blue necklace, a SpongeBob figurine, and a watermelon Tootsie Roll. I think she liked the Tootsie Roll the best! Here are some pictures of all the fun!





Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Hodge-podge

A hodge-podge is what this post is going to be. Hmmm...let's see...where shall I start? How about with my children's health.

Nathan got sick about 2 weeks ago with what seemed to be the common cold. He got better for a little bit, but then started getting high fevers on Saturday, the 24th. They came and went for a few days and then Nathan has a previously schedule 1-year check-up. At that appointment, it was discovered that he had an ear infection and was put on the antibiotic, Amoxicillin. He was on it for about 4 days and seemed to get better. Joe and I left on Friday for Chicago/Indiana (more on that later) and left the kiddos with my parents. When I called to check in on Saturday morning, the 31st, my mom told me that Nathan started getting fevers again, and this continued until Monday. I called the doctor and we had to go in again. Nathan's ears looked okay, so the doctor thought it had turned into a sinus infection. He prescribed another antibiotic called Augmentin, which is Amoxicillin with something else added to assist in killing the bacteria. No more fevers, but now Nathan has broken out in a rash. I called the doctor AGAIN this morning, and we have an appointment at 4:45 this afternoon. Oh, and I forgot the best part...Nathan tested positive for H1N1 as well! My poor baby. I can tell he's just so uncomfortable today. He's clingy, crabby, and nothing seems to make him happy. I finally resorted to rocking him with his blanket and his NUK, and he finally fell asleep in my arms. I can't remember the last time he did that. He's been sleeping for a while now, so hopefully when he wakes up, he'll be a new man! I ended up giving him some Benadryl in case the rash was causing some itching. Now it's Ella's turn...

Ella started getting high fevers the evening of Thursday, October 22nd. I kept her home from Preschool the next day, and she and Joe ended up having to miss our Godson's 1st birthday party. Nathan and I still went and had a great time (although that's when Nathan was starting to GET sick...) Anyways, the following Tuesday, the same day that Nathan had his 1 year check-up, Ella was not acting like her normal self. She started getting a fever again and was digging around in her ear. So I called the doctor (we're BFFs now, by the way) and we went in. We were at the doctor twice in one day, once for Nate and once for Ella. Turned out, Ella had a double ear infection and was started on antibiotics. I'm happy to say that Ella is now healthy and back to normal. Her new favorite phrase is, "You're not my friend anymore." Hand on hip and all! Now onto our weekend get-away...

Joe and I left for Chicago this past Friday afternoon. It took us almost 3 hours to get there. I HATE Chicago area traffic. It's always horrible! Our first stop was at Joe's friend Meghan and her husband Brian's condo. We had never seen their place so it was nice to finally get the tour. From there we went over to Katie and Dave's condo. Katie is one of my old roommates. They have an awesome cat named Kevin. I love it! We had a fabulous dinner at Big Jones and then headed over to Simons, a whole-in-the-wall dive bar. Joe's friend Jen and her boyfriend Brendan met us out, as well as another one of my old roommates, Niki and her boyfriend Pete. We had a great night catching up! The next morning, Joe and I left for Indiana for a wedding. My friend Kelly, from high school, married her long-time boyfriend Tom in a very interested ceremony. Tom's family is Serbian and they got married at a Serbian Orthodox Church. There was a lot of standing and a lot of singing/chanting by the priest. I had never been to something like that before. The church was beautiful. The reception was a lot of fun! I was able to finally meet my friend Jenn's two adorable boys and chat with her husband Matt. I also ran into some unexpected people from high school, which was a nice surprise. Joe and I dance, drank, and then had a full-night's rest. All in all, it was an awesome weekend, but it was sure nice to get home and hug my kids!

So, if you've made it this far, you can tell we've had a sick, busy, crazy, fun, and tiring past few weeks! Enjoy the pictures of the wedding and of Halloween!




Sunday, October 25, 2009

How'd He Do That?

When Ella yelled out to me, "Mommy, how'd he get up there?" I wasn't quite sure what I was going to find. Apparently, Nate has learned how to get on top of his train table. Let the climbing adventures begin! See how proud he is?



We had a busy week! Ella went to the pumpkin farm with her daycare and picked out a lovely pumpkin. Through Newcomers, the Kidclub section held a Halloween Scavenger Hunt. We walked on a nature trail in the area and found all sorts of treasures! Gourds, pumpkins, corn, apples...everything Autumn! (Someone had hidden these items ahead of time, in case you didn't already figure that out.) After the scavenger hunt, we went back to the host's house and let all the kids play together for a while. I am so glad I joined this group. We've done lots of fun things with the kids, and I've also enjoyed the Ladies Night Out events. I learned how to play Bunko!


Nathan has been fighting a cold for the past week, and then yesterday spiked a pretty high fever and has been coughing. He's been waking up a few times during the night because of it, but can generally put himself back to sleep. Ella spiked a fever on Thursday night, seemingly right during her last dance class. She stayed home from Preschool on Friday and then Friday night it turned into Croup. She sounds like a barking seal when she coughs. Poor thing. Unfortunately, Ella and Joe had to stay home and miss our Godson's 1st birthday party. April put together such a nice party. The theme was "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" and she made all of the decorations by hand. Nathan was beginning to get a fever, so he was super cranky and clingy. He was perfect for the long car ride however! Here's a shot of the birthday boy and his parents:




We have lots of fun things ahead of us in the next few weeks. My parents are coming into town this Thursday so Joe and I can take off for the weekend. My friend Kelly, from high school, is getting married to Tom in Indiana this Saturday, the 31st. And no, it is not a Halloween themed wedding! We are leaving Friday evening and staying with some friends in Chicago before heading to the wedding on Saturday. The weekend after that, we are heading back to Appleton to stay with Paul and April. April invited me to see "Rent" with her on November 7th. It will be my 3rd time seeing "Rent" and I couldn't be more excited! Plus, April and I will have some baby-free time together, so we can actually talk to each other. Amazing concept, huh?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fall Days

Today is a beautiful day. Except for Nate's snotty nose. But otherwise, today is a beautiful day. We spent some time at the park and it was warm enough to take off my jacket. Oh yeah, that's right...I live in Wisconsin. Ella and Nathan had some fun playing in the leaves, and I had to snap some pictures of them wearing their adorable hats from Auntie April. See that flower button on the left-hand side? Scroll down a little bit...now do you see it? If you click on it, it will take you to April's store, where you can order your OWN hats.


video




Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Joe and I received an early Christmas present from my parents this past weekend. Wanna see what it is???

A new stove!!! I am so excited to have finally gotten rid of our very out-dated stove, coils and all, and have it replaced with a smooth surface cook-top. Clean-up is so much easier, and slowly but surely, our appliances are beginning to match. All we need now is to replace our 1990 microwave. In time, in time... Thanks Mom and Dad! I'll cook you something in a few weeks when you're back!

I started to come down with a cold on the day of Nathan's 1st birthday party, so I'm still feeling a bit under the weather, but I wanted to update a little bit a post some pictures from his very special day. He received some wonderful and thoughtful gifts, such as a beanie from April (she has her own blog store, you know...you can get your own by going to her website.) From his Godparents, he received a beautiful wooden box that holds 20 silver dollars, all representing a different year. Inside were two silver dollars, one from his birth year, 2008, and one for this birthday, 2009. I thought that was a great idea! He got some really neat toys, which of course come with lots of lights and noise (thanks everyone! Haha!) and a very nice college fund contribution. Nathan even got his own train table! I think Ella enjoyed opening most of his gifts and got a huge kick out of playing with all of "her" new toys. Here are a few shots from his memorable day!

I'm still having a hard time believing that Nathan was born a whole year ago!


A few weeks ago, I entered a contest on another April's blog, and I won! The picture is a bit blurry, but here's what it looks like:

It's a custom made mat surrounding a picture of the cutest kids alive...okay, I made up that last part, but it's my blog, my opinion, right? This is the first blog contest that I've won. Go me!
Okay, I think this blog post is choppy enough, so I'll quit while I'm ahead.