Friday, December 21, 2007

Before I Go...

May your Christmas be filled with lots of laughter!

Holiday Hiatus

The last gift has been wrapped. The last cookie has been baked. The last bag has been packed (almost). We're heading "over the river and through the woods" to Grandma's house. Mama Nash will be taking an Internet break this weekend through Christmas to spend time with family. So if you're reading this, get off the computer and go enjoy the company of loved ones.

A blessed Christmas to you all!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Good Mix

Ahhh...nothing says a good morning like some toothbrushes and a rosary.

Holiday Cheer

Yesterday afternoon I drove downtown with William to meet Brian after work. Brian wasn't with us the first time William saw Santa so we decided to go visit him again. We also had a gift certificate to Palomino so we decided it would be a good time to use it.

Palomino is one of our all-time favorite restaurants in Minneapolis. We went there for the first time on New Year's Eve when we were in college. On a college budget it was definitely a splurge. Since then we've been there numerous times for happy hour in the bar or dinner in the dining room. But we've never been there with William. And while I'll be the first to admit it definitely isn't a kid-friendly atmosphere, I just wanted to see if we could get in and out really quick so that we could use the gift certificate that expires at the end of this month.

William ended up being fantastic. They gave us a high chair and he sat there and ate the green beans and macaroni I had brought for him. There were only a few whines to be heard. But the part that really made us feel like parents and not the rockin' couple we used to be is where we had to sit. Instead of sitting in the hip bar with the floor-to-ceiling length windows that face Hennepin Avenue we sat in the overflow seating along the edges of the entryway. Nowhere close to the bar or the dining room.

I sighed and said to Brian, "I guess we got the boot out of the cool people's club now that we have a baby."

Oh well. It was still the same menu and the food and drinks were excellent as usual.

P.S. We received the gift certificate from Palomino for Brian's birthday as a thank you for being such devoted patrons of the restaurant. I, however, forgot to mention on my blog that it was Brian's birthday on December 15. So if you get a chance send him some birthday wishes. Happy Birthday, BT! You rock my world!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Parking Phenomenon, Or Something

Last night I tagged Brian "it" on his way in the door from work and I headed out to Target for the fourth time in a week. I was able to cross my last Christmas gift of 2007 off my list. Miraculously we made it through this season without one charge on our credit cards. Now we'll be eating ramen noodles for the next two months. Just kidding. But it does feel good to be done with the hustle and bustle.

As I pulled into the Target parking lot I noticed that the lot was nearly full. Even those parking spots way out in the back that most days are used as just another roadway were taken. But as I got closer there it was glimmering at me. A wide-open space right there in the front next to the handicap spot. I thought surly there must be a car waiting to pull in, but there was no vehicle in sight. As I pulled in I thought of course this spot is open. The one time I don't have to lug a 20-plus-pound toddler bulked up in his winter gear a half a mile to the door, the front spot is open to my lonesome self. I suppose that's how it goes.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Delayed Response

In one day I suddenly came to appreciate two things in life that you really only come to appreciate once they're gone. First it was the electricity. It only went out for a little over an hour but it was just enough to send a chill throughout the house with the single-digit temperature outside.

The second was my health. It seems I had a delayed response to the stomach virus my whole family caught right around Thanksgiving. Apparently getting a delayed version of that virus means you get it twice as bad. I'll spare you the details but let's just say I'm thankful for my husband on days like that. He was able to take the day off yesterday so that I could camp out in bed. I feel like I finally have some energy back today. I'm sad that my appetite isn't back yet though because we are going out for a special Italian dinner tonight for Brian's upcoming birthday. I guess as a payback I can be Brian's designated driver tonight.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Escaping the Ordinary

I've had a very busy week, as most weeks tend to go during this advent season. But last night I was treated with a night out with my girlfriends. We typically try to get together one Saturday evening every 2 to 3 months. The last time we were together was in the middle of October. As we were trying to plan a night out before the end of the year, we quickly realized it was going to be impossible to try to align every one's schedules in December to make a Saturday work. And that's one rule we have about girls' night. Every one has to be able to make it otherwise we cancel and reschedule.

So being the determined girls we are, we decided to pick a weeknight this time. Last night, after the meal was finished, we all agreed that going out on a weeknight was a lot of fun. Instead of eating a few appetizers and then spending the majority of our time on the bar scene, we indulged in a big, long dinner with great conversation and lots and lots of laughs.

Both types of nights are wonderful and it's nice to have a little bit of each every once in a while. But the part I love most about girls' night is how it is a big priority in each of our lives. The date we pick is sacred and it usually will take something pretty big for us to cancel. Each of us is at a different point in our lives. Some are married, some are dating and some are looking. Currently I am the only one with a baby. No matter where we are in our lives, though, we each are taking a little time to escape the ordinary and every one needs a little of that.

Monday, December 10, 2007

William's Christmas Extravaganza

On Friday night we had a Family Christmas Extravaganza in downtown Minneapolis. We first went to see the Nutcracker display on the 8th floor of Macy's. William enjoyed all the lights and the animated characters. If any of you live in the Twin Cities I highly recommend wandering up there with your kids. The best part is that it's free!

Following the display, Macy's of course gives your children the opportunity to sit with Santa. Even though this is technically William's second Christmas, it was his first time meeting Santa since he was just a newborn last year. We expected tears and cries when he saw the man in the big red coat but instead we got smiles and giggles! It was really funny.

After that everyone bundled up for the 5-degree chill and scoped out a spot on Nicollet Mall to watch the Holidazzle Parade. Although it was nearly impossible for William to move underneath 17 layers of clothing he was still able to get his legs moving to the beat of the music that was playing on the floats. I confess we did cut out a bit early due to the cold and escaped to Ike's for some hot drinks and appetizers. It was a great night and William was fantastic especially given the fact that we pushed his bedtime back two hours.

William and Aunt Jackie

William and Grandma

Friday, December 7, 2007

My Widgets

You may have noticed lately that I've made some changes to my sidebar. I've discovered widgets from Widgets allow me to look up any product on Amazon and put a direct link on my website. Anyone who clicks on one of those links from my website and subsequently purchases the product equals a little cha ching in my pocket. But the percentage isn't anything to get me too excited about.

So rather than trying to be a pushy salesperson, I hope you take a moment to gander at a few of the things the Nashes are up to. And in case you're wondering, yes, I am still reading that same book that is listed under, "The Pages I'm Turnin'." Before William was born I used to be able to get through almost a book a week as I would ride the bus to and from work. But now the only time I have to read is before bed. And I have a really, really comfortable bed. So I usually can only get through about one chapter before dreamland beckons.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

William Was Here

My Latest Obsession: eBay

On Saturday, while we were setting up our tree and other Christmas decorations, I was going through the closet under our stairs. One of the major downfalls of our cute, but tiny, house is that we don't have a basement. So when it comes to storage (and you know you need a lot of it once a baby arrives) this is where all Nash miscellaneous items go to die or be forgotten.

As I was going through the Christmas bins I decided to tackle the whole closet and reorganize. I found a lot of good stuff back there that has never been used. There were a few wedding presents that were still brand new in their boxes! Now that we've gone almost a whole year on one income I have suddenly been able to realize a money-making situations when I see one. It's the type of situation that I may have previously overlooked when we had more than enough income coming in.

I thought to myself, "I bet there are people out there who would pay good money for this stuff that we never use and is only taking up precious storage space."

Being December and the fact that we live in the snow-covered Tundra, it's not very feasible to have a garage sale. So I posted a bunch of these items on eBay. To date I've already made $76.97 on five items. If you're interested in some of my items, my username on eBay is btnash75.

And eBay isn't only good for selling items. It's a great place to find namebrand merchandise at super cheap prices. Some of the listed items are even brand new with the tags still on. Lately I've been hunting for a pair of holiday pajamas for William. Why spend the outrageous prices that stores like the Gap are asking for when I know the clothes won't fit him in another couple of months? One of my best purchases so far is a pair of Stride Rite shoes that retail for $49. I bought them on eBay for $16!

Monday, December 3, 2007


One year ago from this past Saturday William was released from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Children's Hospital in St. Paul after ten long, agonizing days of lung problems following his birth. I am often asked if we knew there would be problems with our baby upon his birth or if there was anything we could have done to prevent it. The answer is no and no.

William had what was called a pneumothorax, a pretty common and treatable condition mostly occurring in white males who are born early. In fact, the doctors and nurses made us feel so confident that it was common and easily treatable that we initially didn't even tell a lot of people when we called to announce William's birth. But unfortunately William was an atypical case and his condition quickly worsened and became quite critical. At 2:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning four medical staff came to transfer William via ambulance from the hospital where he was born to the NICU at Children's Hospital.

A little later on Thanksgiving morning Brian called the hospital priest to come and baptize our new baby as he continued to get worse. It was then at that moment that I knew my perfect plan of having my baby sleep beside my hospital bed while I relaxed for two days after giving birth and then being able to bring our new baby home just in time for Thanksgiving dinner had perished.

Lately I've been reading a lot of the website we had set up to keep family and friends informed while William was in the hospital and I can't believe how positive Brian and I were. Now that a whole year has passed I can honestly say it was one of the most trying times in my entire life. It seemed that with everything the doctors and nurses were trying William just got worse. For three days he was the most critical patient in the NICU even among all the 2- and 3-pound babies. And then when he finally did turn a corner he had, what seemed like, an endless list of milestones to reach before he could be released.

When you are holding another baby and the baby starts to fuss it's always the mother who is there to say, "Oh try this, he loves to be held like this." But instead I had all the nurses telling me things like this about my own son. And while I know they meant well, I hated it. I wanted to hold my own son without having to ask and I wanted to feed him when I knew he was hungry and not because he had to stick to a strict 2-hour regimen. But when visitors came or when we talked to friends and family on the phone we just smiled and said, "It's ok" and, "We're fine." But the truth was that I was so bitter and angry that I wasn't going to get my picture perfect first week with my new baby like every other mother gets to.

But God always seems to have a different plan. And while I still can't look back on that experience and say that it was a positive one I can say that everything turned out just fine. We are now so thankful to have a happy and healthy 1-year-old who we can someday tell about the adventure he put us through after his birth. And we have memories to tell him about like Dean, the Harley-Davidson-riding, leather-jacket-with-fringe-wearing nurse; and Nurse Ratched, who kicked out Brian's dad from William's room when she thought he was talking too loud; and the time when our friend, Santo, snuck in much-needed beer for Brian one night. Things like that make me remember that while my experience wasn't the one I had painted my head, it actually didn't turn out so bad.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

O Christmas Tree

Today, before our first snowstorm of the year got too intense, we braved the roads to go get our Christmas tree as a family. Now from looking at the pictures below you might think, "Wow, that's so great that Brian and Jenny decided go and cut down their own tree." Yeah, that would be great if we decided that. But we didn't.

Last night I was searching all over in the Internet for Christmas tree lots close to our house. I was lucky enough to find this great little one just up the road. I thought the proximity would be perfect with the upcoming inclement weather. The lot was called Choose & Cut Christmas Trees. I failed to read the "cut" part. I'm really more of a "chooser" than a "cutter" when it comes to buying Christmas trees. When we pulled up and saw a field of trees, saws, twine and a trailer with two employees we knew right away this wasn't our cup of tea.

But in true Nash form we went with it and it actually was a lot of fun. With the snow flying it felt like a real old-fashioned Christmas. I'll admit, it was a bit tricky getting that tree on the roof of our Passat while every other customer there remembered to bring their SUV but we got our tree home safe and sound and it's beautiful.

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