Thursday, December 31, 2009

Catching Up and Goodbye 2009!

What an amazing year it has been! 2009 brought both triumphs and trials to our family but overall it was such an exciting year. Lance grew before our eyes and went from tiny newborn to walking, signing and being a busy little boy! Kaitlyn continued to amaze us with her sweet spirit, especially where her brother is concerned, and her drawing skills. (More on that in a future blog) Ben and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary with a quick overnight to Napa thanks to my mom watching the kids.

And although it seems like a dream, I did escape to Vegas with some friends for a girls trip. It was the first vacation I have ever gone on by myself without my husband or family and although I did spend a fair amount of time sleeping, it is still a memory I will cherish for a long time.

But back to Christmas...

Christmas brought a huge haul for both my children and I am still reeling at the sheer magnitude of it all. Not to mention where it all will fit! So thankful for all the people who love and spoil my children.

Kaitlyn's two big ticket items this year were a robot and a princess phone. The princess phone was easy enough to find. Then there was the robot...oh the robot. I tried to tell her she's a girl, and it's not the 1990's but she insisted that she really wanted a robot. So she got a Wall-E robot from the Disney Store. It's already out of batteries and will soon be forgotten I'm sure, but she got her Christmas wish, and it was even on clearance...I mean, Santa remembered!

Decorating the tree this year art. Lance immediately showed much more interest in the tree, and the ornaments, than Kaitlyn did at this age. We decided to give up that battle immediately and just put non breakable items on the bottom of the tree and avoid disaster.

Surprisingly, the only one who kept breaking ornaments is my three year old. *Sigh*

We celebrated Christmas three separate times throughout the week and it was wonderful to have time with all our family members. All three of my brothers were there Christmas morning and I cannot tell you how many years it has been since we've all been together on a Christmas morning.

My mom stayed the night the day before Christmas Eve and we had a very special crab dinner (thanks Trader Joe's!) and got to spend the evening together and then wake up the next morning for Christmas #1. Kaitlyn loved having her Oba (Japanese for Grandma) spend the night!

Our Christmas with Ben's parents was exciting as well. Kaitlyn loves playing with her cousins.(and with everyone's new gifts) I think Ben's favorite part was his mom's chocolate pie. It's famous, it's a food group all on it's own, she makes them in beautiful Williams and Sonoma scalloped edged pie plates and then threatens our lives if we don't bring the beautiful pie plates back. It's all very magical, and my husband could eat a whole pie himself if I wasn't there to hold him back. Amen.

What a wonderful blessing to have so many family members so close to celebrate the birth of our Saviour. Happy New Year! I cannot wait to see what 2010 has in store!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Lance is ONE!

My poor December baby. Part of me still feels guilty about his birthday, as if he has any idea what a birthday is, and am afraid he will need lifelong therapy to get over this tragedy. Nonetheless we did have a family birthday party for the little dude and although he was not interested in opening or playing with his gifts whatsoever, the rest of us enjoyed ourselves! Here are a few (alright a ton) pictures of the festivities...

Here's his actual birthday. First birthday breakfast!

Opening his first gift from our dear friend (and mother of his namesake) Melanie.

So excited to have his own silverware! Although he still steals mine as well.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas is Coming!

To all two or three of you who read my blog here's a fun thing to do with your kids. :) Print out a "letter to Santa" template here. Then go here to fill out a letter to send back to your child from Santa. Even if they can't write, just let them scribble on the letter template and get into the spirit! For ours I wrote that Santa was proud Kaitlyn is remembering that God wants her to obey her mom and dad. :) We're working on it!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

He's Walking

Some days I still cannot believe I am a mother of two. I keep waiting to feel like a grownup. Like someone who has been married for six years and has two children, a minivan, a dog, a mortgage, and two "small businesses."

This little face reminds me though that I do have all those things. When will I be a grownup? I don't know. But seeing my son take his first steps puts everything into perspective. Being grown up can wait until tomorrow...right now I am going to play with my kids. :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day Thoughts

This Veteran's Day I am thankful, as always, for our Veterans. For the men and women who serve or have served our great nation. Whether they have served in a war, overseas, or are one of the many who continue to protect our native soil right here in the United States. They all signed that dotted line. They all made a promise to protect our liberties and our lives.

But today got me thinking. Veteran's Day is more than just a day to be thankful for our Veterans. It is a day to remember what it means to even have Veterans. To have a country founded on freedom, to have men sacrifice their lives for what they believe in for even those who would argue with the cause. And what comes with that sacrifice, especially in times of war is a great cost. Yes, I am thankful for our Veterans, but I am also thankful for the ones they must let go of. The ones who are not celebrated as heroes until after they are gone.

Part of being a veteran, especially for my husband, is living with what has been lost. The pain of loosing someone does not lessen with time, perhaps time does heal, in a way, but the ache we feel when we think of these people still remains. This blog is dedicated to those veterans who have not only served, but have served amongst the bravest there are, and have had to let them go. My father in law lost his cousin, his best friend, in Vietnam. And although I am thankful for his service, I am infinitely grateful for his example, his integrity and his determination to live his life knowing those he lost, especially his cousin, would have wanted him to live it to the fullest, and remember them fondly. There are so many veterans who have not had to experience this kind of loss, the loss of their brothers, of their second family, and for that I am grateful. But for those who have, you have my respect, my support and my gratitude. You are the reason my children sleep safely in their beds at night. You have a purpose beyond what you even realize. A place in history and a huge place in my heart. Thank you.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween 2009

Part of what I love about having kids that I'm in charge...shocking I know. :) So when the idea of coordinating the kids Halloween costumes came to me (and I knew this may be one of the only years I would be able to convince Kaitlyn) I went with it! At first she wanted to be Ariel, but finding a costume for Lance to go with that proved to be exhausting.

Finally I suggested she be Alice in Wonderland. She loves the movie and it was the first ride she ever rode at Disneyland, and the one she asked for first when we went back.

Finding her costume was easy. It was cheap and came quickly. Lance's costume, again, was difficult. It didn't come in time to wear to my mother in laws Halloween party but he ended up being an adorable lion! Kaitlyn was excited at the idea of him being the white rabbit, so we stuck with that for Halloween, and I knew his costume would need a few alterations. Most rabbit costumes have a pink belly that doesn't do too much for that whole boy thing. So I bought a red sweatshirt and my mom fashioned something to go over it to resemble the scene where they are playing croquet with the Queen of Hearts.

Halloween was quite exciting for Kaitlyn who knew what it was all about! She told everyone who gave her candy, "thank you, see you next Wednesday!" Alright, she doesn't know quite what it's all about but she's getting there. And she has really nice manners anyway.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mealtime Triumph

There have been some amazing changes in the last week at the Nelson household. Our three year old eats broccoli!!! YES, you heard me right, a green vegetable! She also has decided she likes grapes as well, but another fruit in her repertoire pales in comparison to the one vegetable she will now eat. :)

One night this week we had broccoli with dinner. She not only tried her broccoli, she ate it all. I was stunned. Then she asked for more. I almost fell off my chair. When she finished her second helping (which was actually my broccoli) and asked for a third, I almost cried. Then I told her there wasn't any more broccoli because she ate it all.

The next day she asked if she could have broccoli and macaroni and cheese for lunch and I was happy to comply! (We'll work on the mac and cheese obsession at a later date) Then we went to the store and she said "Mom, don't forget to get some broccoli!"

So to all you moms out there with picky eaters I say...repetition works!

Just look at that mouthful of broccoli!

And every time you tell yourself you don't want to "waste" a vegetable on your toddler who you just know will not eat it, just tell yourself not to waste an opportunity to be one meal closer to your child actually eating that vegetable. If you don't expose your child to different things, they'll never have the opportunity to try and like them!

*This post is dedicated to Lynne, who has encouraged me about my picky eater for the last (almost) three years.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

In Case You Didn't Know...

Boys are different than girls. Even at 10 months old the difference between my son and daughter in attitude, appetite, and aptitude is staggering. When a boy is hungry, he's HUNGRY! So the other morning I was taking a little longer getting breakfast ready than my son would have liked. He took it upon himself to quietly find something to eat and help himself.

While I appreciate the sentiment, I would rather my infant not have Ritz crackers for breakfast...although I guess it could be worse!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Big Helper

Kaitlyn has been a huge help since the day Lance was born. To say I love the order and age difference of my children would be an understatement. I am so proud of Kaitlyn, for many reasons, but especially for what a wonderful big sister she is. When he cries she does this funny little dance and makes a funny noise, both of which she only does at her brother, and it works...every time. When Lance wakes up crying she says "I'm gonna go rescue him!" and runs into his room, climbs in his crib and plays with him until I get there. She is constantly asking if she can feed him, bathe him, see his diaper (I know, she's weird) and I take every opportunity to let her help. :) And although he's almost as big as she is these days, they both seems to enjoy her feeding him. I love that he touches her face while she holds him and that she kisses him and gives me the perfect paparazzi moment without even being asked!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Here are some pictures of Lance's first time having spaghetti at the Spaghetti Factory. Quite appropriate if you ask me :)

Not only did he LOVE it and make that very verbally known (to anyone within shouting distance) he got the hang of noodle slurping right away!

I am so proud.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Monterey Bay

We recently took a trip to the Monterey, CA to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium. They have a new seahorse exhibit that I was especially excited about and I knew Kaitlyn would love it there.

These two little faces just melt my heart. I love early morning pictures, a new day...full of opportunity for mischief!

Here's Daddy trying to get some sleep with our two little ruffians making that a bit difficult.

She loved watching the divers feed the fish and sharks. She watched the entire time and at the end the diver waved right at her before ascending, she was thrilled.

Face to face with a seahorse.

You have to do something like this when you go somewhere fun. The quintessential corny souvenir photo is just plain fun. Try it, you'll like it!

Please note what's on her dress...otherwise all my efforts will be futile. Plus my husband didn't think it was that cool and I was thrilled, seriously. The life of a mother!

See that thing that looks like a plant? It's a seahorse. Who knew there were that many different kinds of seahorses? Plus, seahorse males carry and give birth. Now that's a world I could learn to live in!