Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Turkey Day!

I love Thanksgiving. It's such a relaxed holiday. After the cooking, baking and dishes are done of course. Unlike Christmas you don't have all the chaos of shopping for gifts, wrapping gifts and opening of all the gifts. You just get to see and spend time with your family over a large and delicious meal.

One thing I'll always remember about Thanksgiving as a young child is the turkey coloring page that came in every Thanksgiving edition of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Anyone know what I'm talking about?

If you have young children of your own who enjoy coloring or even if you enjoy it yourself click here and then get out a brand new box of crayons and enjoy! (Hint: Click on the image once to enlarge before you hit print.)

I hope you all have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

How to Know When Your Errands Run Too Far Into Naptime

Monday, November 24, 2008

Birthday Wrap-Up

I already posted the pictures but thought I could give you a written report of the big b-day as well.

It was a great family weekend. William's cake took me all afternoon which is definitely more than I bargained for. I didn't realize making everything from scratch plus adding a second layer would take up so much time. Much of it was spent waiting for everything to cool before I could frost and decorate. But there's just something about a homemade cake that makes for good memories.

It was bitter cold the day of William's birthday which made me appreciate the coziness of a simple family birthday party all the more. We took our time with dinner, cleanup and presents. I even indulged a week early in a little Christmas music.

I think I'm always going to look back on William's 2nd birthday and cherish how innocent he is in all of it. He isn't self-absorbed in that it's his day yet. After singing Happy Birthday to him, he then wanted to sing to mommy and then to daddy. He had no idea why seven people called that day just to talk to him but he sure was loving it. And he didn't care how extravagant or expensive his gifts were. He was so excited to open up something unexpected for which he had no idea why he'd earned it.

I wish all birthdays could be like this but kids grow up, or so I've heard.

On Saturday we took William to his first movie at a theater. He did excellent. He got a little antsy in the middle when the storyline was a bit slower but he soon found my soda cup and started sucking that straw like it was pure heaven. He's never had soda before so you can imagine his surprise when all that sugar hit his lips. I'd say his favorite parts of the whole experience, in order, would be:

1. Popcorn
2. Sprite
3. The Marley & Me preview
4. The actual movie

I think that's pretty good for a just-turned-two-year-old.

In the evening on that same day we took William to a Christmas event at our local shopping center. Santa was there to greet all the kids and they even had live reindeer on display. But William's favorite part was Santa's ride. A sleigh? No no! Santa cruised in on a mighty fire truck. William thought he died and went to heaven. You couldn't force that kid to stop smiling. Here's a couple of photos I captured.

After the fire trucks had to depart we decided to scope out Santa. The line was much too long for William's patience and because Santa was outside, it was a little too cold to be standing that still so long anyway. So we compromised on standing just outside the rope so William could at least see Santa in the flesh.

For the past week we've been talking about Santa and who he is and what he's all about so William has some idea of what's behind this jolly old fellow. But for a two-year-old, you never know what information is going to stick. Apparently this Santa info stuck pretty well.

Brian was holding William and the two of them were looking on while the other children, who had more patience than the Nashes to stand in that line, slowly took their turns to have a seat on Santa's lap.

Brian called over to me, laughing, "Come here! You've got to hear this!"

William was waving his arm in Santa's direction and in the most confident voice he could muster was saying, "Um, Santa, please trucks?"

Translation: "I don't really want to stand in this ridiculously long line but I just wanted to get in my small request of a few trucks for Christmas please."

Brian and I were laughing so hard we had tears rolling down our cheeks. It was a wonderful moment to cap off the weekend.

Later, in December, we will be making our annual trip to Macy's Downtown to visit Santa. It appears that once again we will be dealing with a child who is the furthest thing from being scared of the man in the red suit.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Birthday Pictures!

Chocolate cake and Mickey Mouse, William's favorites.

Happy Birthday!

Where's William?


Thanks for the markers, Grandma! airplane from mommy and daddy.

Coming down from the chocolate cake sugar high, ya think?

But a kiss for mommy!

No, really, thanks for the markers, Grandma...

At his first movie enjoying his bucket of popcorn.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Jenny Nash and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Yesterday wasn't my favorite day. It was cold. I went to the gym and my workout was cut short when William pooped. They don't do diapers in the kids club. And stupid me forgot to bring an extra one with us. What kind of a mom am I?

After that we went to Target. I didn't care if William had dirty pants. I needed to get my errands done. And then I bought a curtain rod in the wrong size. Not my fault. It was on the wrong rack. So now I have go back and return it. And did I mention it's cold?

After lunch I was so tired I couldn't even stand it so I took a nap. Which means I got nothing done while William was napping. The bedrooms need dusting, the floors need vacuuming and the laundry needs laundering. But it all just sat because I was too tired.

When I woke up I decided to bake some corn bread muffins to cheer me up. I left them in the oven too long and they ended up dry and when you peeled off the muffin liner only half the muffin came out.

When it was time for dinner my stomach started to churn and suddenly I didn't feel good. And then Brian called and said he was going to be home late. Really late. But it wasn't his fault. These things just happen when you work in corporate America and it's the end of a sales quarter.

So I threw some leftovers on William's plate and silently apologized to him for not having a sit-down family dinner like we strive to do every night.

And then he looked up at me with those big blue eyes and asked, "Father, Son?"

He started to do the sign of the cross like we've taught him to do every other night before dinner. And this night, in my ugly mood because of my not-so-fun day, I forgot about prayers. But this kid, he remembered. He remembered even when every other night he protests because he's too hungry to take the time.

So I sat down at the table with him even though my stomach couldn't handle any food and together we prayed before he ate. And then suddenly my day wasn't so bad after all.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I Did It. Would You?

So I have a bit of a situational question/dilemma/predicament to ask all you mamas out there.

It's cold here. This morning my car thermometer read 28 degrees. But it's November and it's Minnesota so what's new. It is what it is and we deal.

But the real killer isn't the cold. It's leaving the house and all the stuff that goes with you. The hats, the mittens and the big bulky coats. I bet if they ever measured stress levels of moms who live in cold climates they would find that they are at least 50% more stressed out during the winter than moms in warmer climates. And if your lowest temp in a calendar year is 40 degrees, no, you don't count. We Minnesotans would BEG for 40 degrees in January. I'm talking the can't-feel-your-fingers-my-nose-boogers-are-frozen kind of cold.

And then you add a pregnant belly to the mix and, well, now we're talking extreme stress. My back is already breaking just thinking about trying to pick up a bulked-up William, get him in his carseat and trying to get that seatbelt tight enough through all that puff. It sucks. There's no better way to describe it.

So you can imagine how much I dread running errands with William right? And where did I find myself this 28-degree morning? Running errands with William.

My last errand was to the Post Office to drop off an already-stamped package and a yet-to-be stamped package. William was on his last leg of patience and frankly, so was I. It was nearing naptime and he was the definition of a crabbypants.

I was on my cellphone with Brian as I pulled into the Post Office and I was telling him how much I was dreading getting William out of his carseat for a 1-minute task and then back in again.

"So lock the doors and leave him in the car then," he said.

This idea never even entered my mind. You hear stories like this all the time.

But I wasn't going to leave the car running. I was going to lock it, run in, stamp and mail my packages and run out. One minute. Two minutes top. Doors locked.

What would you do?

Well I did it. And I'm still not sure how I feel about it.

Obviously this isn't something that I would ever do if my errand was going to last more than a couple of minutes. And I definitely wouldn't do it if I couldn't see my car from wherever I was going.

I think this is something my parents took for granted when we were children. In the days before they had pay-at-pump gas stations. (Can you imagine?!) But in today's world you really have to stop and think about it. I applaud Brian for being so matter-of-fact about what I should do because in all honesty I was more worried what other people would think of me than I was worried about William's safety.

So what say you? Within the confines of my situation (cold weather, crabby kid, locked doors, 1-minute task, car within view) would you have done it?

Coming Down from the Facebook High

This morning we had ECFE and then I had some errands to run all the way through until lunchtime. Part of the errand run was spent over at my sister-in-law's house as she gears up for baby #4 coming this week. With all she has to do she was gracious enough to feed William lunch while we were over there.

"Jenny," she told me as I protested, "I have to make lunch for the other kids anyway so what's the difference?"

I obliged.

By the time we got home it was already naptime. Which means I spent a total of 18 hours away from Facebook. Brian assured me the shaking would soon subside.

Besides Facebook we have a jam-packed couple of weeks ahead of us. As I already mentioned, a new Nash cousin should be gracing us with his or her presence on Thursday if all goes as planned. That means Brian's family will pile into town for the baby viewing and most likely need a couch to sleep on.

And then there's William's birfday on Friday. I know. Can you even believe he's going to be two?! How the heck did that happen?

We're trying to keep it pretty low key but on the docket for Saturday will be William's first trip to the movie theater to watch Madagascar 2. I hear it's supposed to be pretty good for kids and adults alike so we're giving it a try. I'm going to try to be open minded about the whole thing. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. But I really hope it does and that he enjoys himself. You can bet your last dollar there will be a picture on this blog of his little legs trying to keep the seat from folding in. Hilarious!

Once the birthday partying is complete that brings us to the week of Thanksgiving. I feel like we just started November and now it's already the end. But that's OK. Besides the turkey and William's birthday, November is kind of blah. Don't ya think?

This year I'm really anxious to get the holiday season in full swing. I think it's because I'm excited that William's old enough to get excited about all the lights, glitter and action. Not to mention toys. I know, I know, Christmas isn't supposed to be all about the presents. But seriously. This kid needs a truck.

Once, a few months ago, I bought him a three-dollar firetruck out of guilt and he's been driving that thing around ever since. But see? I didn't buy him anything all year long so now he can appreciate toys and will be all the more excited when Christmas arrives. He's also been asking for a guitar or piano. Go figure. Just thought I'd add that in there in case Grandma's reading.

Monday, November 17, 2008


ad-dic-tion -n. the state one finds oneself immediately after joining Facebook.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bartering for Disgusting

Last night I was trying to make dinner in a frenzy. We had just arrived home from some errands and it was already 6:30 with no dinner on the table. Brian was in the frig finding something to hold William over and I asked him to grab me an onion and some carrots.

"Oh my God!" He exclaimed.

"What?!" I cried in an equally horrified sounding voice.

In the bottom of the vegetable drawer, beneath the onions, carrots and potatoes, was what appeared to be some rotting remnants of a farmer's market purchase many moons ago.

It should be said that I usually keep my refrigerator tidy and up-to-date. I am frequently telling Brian if he doesn't eat XYZ by tonight then I'll throw it out tomorrow. Brian hates to see food thrown away so I always have to give him a warning first. But this isn't so much the case with my vegetable drawer. We go through the staples (onions, garlic, carrots, celery and potatoes) so often that I rarely have to remember to go looking for rotting food in that drawer. But last night we found a straggler and boy was it bad.

I told Brian we needed to finish the task at hand (feeding William and making dinner) and that I would get to the drawer after we had eaten.

During dinner my stomach started to churn at the thought of cleaning that drawer. In my most sweetest and innocent voice I calmly asked Brian if he would swap duties with me for the evening. I told him I would give William a bath and get him ready for bed if he agreed to clean up the kitchen...including the vegetable drawer. He agreed. Bless his heart.

So up William and I went to get him washed up and jammies on. The bathwater was already running so I started whipping off his clothes. Just as I was about to also whip off his diaper (which is usually never dirty at that time of day) I took a quick peek in the back. Dang. Maybe I got the short end of the stick on this duty swap.

So into his bedroom we went to take care of his business. I opened the diaper and yelled, "Oh! Yuck! Gross!"

On a typical weekday I change about five diapers. This is what I do all day every day. So for me to say this in comparison to every other diaper you can imagine how bad it was.

"Yes!" I heard Brian yell excitedly from downstairs. "It sounds like I got the better deal!"

Baby Bangs

So I felt the baby move last night. Yay! Actually, I felt it last week but wasn't sure if it was what I thought it was (you know how it is) and then last night confirmed my beliefs.'s completely different from my pregnancy with William. I distinctly remember the first time I felt William move in utero. I was sitting at my desk at work. I had just finished eating lunch. I was simultaneously working and chatting online with Brian; a daily occurrence for us. I felt muscle twitches in my lower abdomen and after it became more consistent I knew exactly what it was. Of course it was still another few weeks before Brian could feel anything on the outside.

This time, however, the movements are higher up; more toward my belly button. And instead of the little twitches I first felt with William, it feels as if the baby is slowly stretching its arms up and out. Last night I knew for sure I felt it move because it felt like it did a complete head to toe somersault. I've also noticed this baby doesn't move a whole lot. But that could be because (a) I'm running around with William insead of staying stationary at a desk all day and/or (b) I'm still pretty early on in my pregnancy to feel a whole lot just yet.

So what say you women of pregnancies? How did it feel when you first felt your baby move? And if you've been pregnant more than once, was it different?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Goodnight Moon, Good Morning Snow

This was our greeting this morning.

And then there's these poor flowers. This was the last pot I had to pull. I just didn't have the heart to do it earlier because before today they were still green and cheerful. But I think this is what finally did them in.


Brian reading to me: "By week 25, your baby begins to hear your voice — and your partner's — and may even recognize those voices as early as week 27."

So that means I should be working on a songlist for the baby.

Me: Maybe you should sing to your already-born baby. I wish you did that more.

Brian: I ALWAYS sing Ninja Turtles to him in the bath. AND the Donald Duck song.

Me: Frank is rolling in his grave.

Playing the Pregnancy Card

Brian will tell you that during the 40 weeks or so weeks of pregnancy I'm an expert at playing the pregnancy card. I can get him to do things for me that he wouldn't do otherwise. Or I make excuses for doing things that I normally wouldn't do. It's nothing huge. I still stick to my normal list of household tasks. But during those nine months it's nice to be able to coax someone else into making you a nice steaming cup of hot chocolate while your remain in your lounged state on the couch. Here's a small example of how to play your cards right.

Me: Hey, can you make a mental note to make a tad more coffee from now on? I devoured what was left this morning which was only about two ounces.

Brian: Sure.

Me: We should stock up on that peppermint mocha creamer while it's out for the holidays.

Brian: You opened that one already? We have a full one already in the frig!

Me: I know but I get a pass.

Brian: Oh really?

Me: Yeah. I'm growing your baby, remember?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

November Notes

I know. It's been too long. And I was going to write earlier but I had to let my anger subside. I pulled into the driveway after school and errands this morning to find that our lawn crew had completely hacked our bushes. What was once a voluptuous lilac bush next to our front door is now a waist-high gathering of sticks. The story is similar with the bushes that line the front and side of our house. Now I'm wondering how we're going to deck our house for Christmas. The bushes used to be perfect with a few strands of plain white lights. Now it will just look like a pile of you-know-what.


We've been busy. We entertained some friends on Saturday night. I even stayed up until 1:00 AM! A first for me since seeing two lines on that test strip. That's how you know you're in good company I guess.

The next morning we had to get up and get going fairly early to get William over to my sister's house because two free tickets to the Vikings vs. Packers game landed in our lap earlier in the week. And let me tell you. These were primo seats too. Forty yard-line and about 20 rows up from the field. We were right in front of all the big wigs in the press box. When we first entered the Dome I wandered around for a good five minutes trying to find our section. Finally Brian said, "Umm, our section starts with a 1 and all these start with a 2. I think we need to go downstairs."

Downstairs? I'd never been downstairs for an NFL game before. Score! And it was a great game to boot. It came down to the last few seconds and the Vikings pulled off a win by 1 point. Sorry, Pack!

The only downside to the game was running to and from our car. BRRRR! Who turned the heat off?! Remember this post from last week? Turns out that was an anomaly and now the mercury has swung on the other side of what's normal. I think our furnace is on for the long haul. I finally had to surrender to both my belly and the temperature and buy some decent winter maternity clothes. Since William was a November baby and I was working in a corporate office back then, I'm in need of casual warm clothes this go round.

When we came out of school this morning there were giant snowflakes falling to the ground.

"Oh wow!" William said. Indeed.

Now I'm not finding Christmas music on the radio quite so ridiculous.

Friday, November 7, 2008

What I'm Up To

Today I'm sporting rubber gloves and totting around a pail of soapy water. I'm laundering William's bedding for the second time in two days and scrubbing crib rails and bumper pads. It can mean only one thing. We're dealing with the "D" word around here. And while I won't indulge you in any further details I must say I still prefer cleaning the "D" word to the "V" word. If I had to choose.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Boys: They're Just...Different

You don't have to try to convince me that daddies play with their kids differently than mommies do. When I do have time to get on the floor with William I like to do puzzles or read books or maybe erect something with his blocks. All very quiet and sensible play.

But daddies are rough and my toddler boy? Well he can't get enough of it. How many times growing up did I hear my mom yell to my dad in the other room, "Somebody's going to get hurt!" Well now I find myself yelling that exact same phrase.

And boys just seem to be more naughty with their toys too. Everything has to crash or be thrown or be taken apart. When I ask William to put his toys away does he calmly pick up and place each toy back in his toy box? Oh no! He has to see if he can launch it in the air from across the room and make it in the box. And if he misses it doesn't make perfect sense to him to go pick up that toy and walk it across the room and place it into the box. Instead he finds another toy nearby and tries the effort all over again.

But Brian gets this and doesn't find this behavior nearly as maddening or reprehensible as I do.

That's why I wasn't surprised the other day when I found William laughing uncontrollably as Brian popped the head off of this poor Cookie Monster and simutaneaously said "Ooooh, me head fall off!" in the best Cookie Monster voice he could muster. Oh those boys.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Your Civic Duty

Just a friendly reminder. And as an incentive if you do this... get this for free!

Garage: Before & After

It might not look like much of a dramatic difference but man can I tell when I pull the car in and I don't have to worry about hitting lawn chairs on the passenger side. The new ceiling unit we installed still has some extra space for outgrown toys and clothes. This will be much utilized as we approach the dreaded event of receiving too many gifts on a certain someone's upcoming birthday with Christmas not far behind.

Quote of the Day

"Of all the animals, the boy is the most unmanageable."

Monday, November 3, 2008

One Last Hurrah

I'm sitting at my desk writing this with bare feet, the breeze flowing in through the open windows and I'm actually feeling a bit overheated in my long sleeve t-shirt. It can mean only one thing. It's a November heat wave in Minnesota.

I wonder if we are the only region where the first snowfall can precede the last 70-degree reading? But at least when that happens there's no one to blame. This morning I was driving to Target (where else?) with the moonroof open and sun warming my skin when I thought, "You know what this gorgeous day needs? A great song on the radio!"

So I start flipping through the buttons and my finger landed on an oldies station which is playing none other than "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear." I kid you not. My brain was instantly conflicted and I quickly had to pop in a high-energy rock CD. I guess now I know what it's like to celebrate Christmas in Florida.

But all complaining aside I'm feeling energized by this last shot of warm weather. We had quite the garage project this weekend (before & after pictures coming soon) and today we pushed naptime a whole hour so that William could jump in leaf piles in the backyard with our neighbors. I figured I had to get it in this afternoon now that we turned the clocks back and the sun may very well be on it's way down when he wakes up.

Now I'm off to read my book in the warm sunshine and hoping to soak up some vitamin D we Midwesterns lack so much of this time of year. Here's hoping there's some warm sun shining down on you wherever you are.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Tricks or Treats

We had quite the busy day yesterday which is why I had no time to post any Halloween photos. Brian's work hosted a little trick-or-treat parade for all the employees' children. Prior to that we met my mom for lunch downtown. Getting downtown by 1:00 for lunch means skipping naptime. I tried to lay William down earlier but his internal clock didn't fall for such tricks. After lunch we wandered over to daddy's office to show off his Donald Duck costume. Here are a couple of the pictures I got.

"I don't usually get to see you at this time, Daddy!"

"You got any tweets in there?"

As we navigated through rush hour traffic on our way home William got about a 15-minute snooze. But that paled in comparison to his normal 3-hour slumber and proved to be a bit of a challenge for the rest of the evening. We had a quick pizza dinner and then it was back into the Donald gear. Lucky for us he really does love wearing his costume so that wasn't much of a struggle. But getting him to pose for one decent photo op was.

I stayed at home to answer the door but Brian said William really got into the whole trick-or-treating process. When he was finished with one house he would start running to the next yelling to daddy, "Follow me!" His little feather tail wagging the whole way.

The amount of candy we (William) received this year was unprecedented. He filled his entire pumpkin bucket at Brian's office. We promptly dumped that into our give-away bowl and out he and daddy went to refill it in our neighborhood. Even with me giving out handfulls of candy at a time we are still left with the same amount of candy (three bags) I originally purchased at Target the week before. We'll have to do something about that because combined with my pregnancy it could be the end of my body as I know it.

"What? You expect me to smile after no nap today?"

The first house.

"Here, let me help you with that door."

William with his neighbor buddy who went as one of the chipmunks from Alvin and the Chipmunks. The costume looked better when posing with his two sisters who were the other chipmunks.

There's that smile we've been looking for all night!

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