Thursday, December 29, 2011

I Will Remember this Christmas

William, I will remember this Christmas as the Christmas you got really excited about presents; both giving and receiving. I will remember how you powered through your Christmas program at school even though you were throwing up the night before. I will remember how concerned you were that our baby Jesus didn't get blessed because the holy water got on you instead. I will remember your red and blue tie paired with your Nike tennis shoes. I will remember your Batman ornament and how excited you got every morning to find Dino the Elf and open another chocolate on the Advent calendar. I will remember your remote controlled car and you reading all your new comic books. I will remember this Christmas because of you.
Lucy, I will remember this Christmas as the Christmas you were every definition of a two-year-old. I will remember how much you loved watching The Grinch and Charlie Brown. I will remember how excited you got every time we turned on the Christmas lights, exclaiming, "Is it Christmas time?!" I will remember your deep love for Belle in Beauty & The Beast and your favorite donut and the ornament you got to go with it, "The kind with frinklers on it." I will remember how sad I was when you threw up on Christmas Eve morning just as we were about to begin our travels and how you didn't get to participate in everything I would have wanted you to. I will remember comforting your sick body and how that, somehow, was still the spirit of Christmas. I will remember this Christmas because of you.
Katherine, I will remember this Christmas as the Christmas you were just an itty bitty thing. I will remember your tiny, squirmy body stretched out on the chaise in front of the roaring fireplace as I addressed Christmas cards. I will remember the first time I shortened your name to Kate because I ran out of room on the to/from gift labels. I will remember you and your big sister's matching red plaid dresses and how you had already outgrown the newborn size I bought for you and had to hide the undone bottons with a sweater. I will remember how angry you were during Christmas mass because I didn't have time to feed you before we left but how you still had enough wonderfulness in you to smile at the people in the pew behind us. I will remember this Christmas because of you.
Brian, I will remember this Christmas as the first Christmas we had three kids. I will remember you sipping egg nog and Scotch and B&B and beer, good beer, by the fire. I will remember this Christmas as the year I couldn't think of anything to give you. So I stuck with the old standby: beer, good beer. I will remember this Christmas as the year you went all out on my present surprising me with a Kindle Fire. Oh, and a coffee mug that keeps my coffee mug hot for five hours. (Honestly, I'm not sure which I love more.) I will remember your birthday and how we survived a day downtown with all three kids to see Santa, watch the parade and eat out at a nice restaurant. I will remember this Christmas because of you.

Tell me, what will you remember about Christmas this year?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas from the Nashes!

Our Christmas cards are all mailed and most should be received by now.  I love, love, love how they turned out this year!
This photo session was taken less than a week after Katherine was born!  There were a lot of smoke and mirrors involved in getting me to look this way and I can still see a lot of puffiness in my face but overall I'm glad we had them done when the leaves were at their peak. 
Aren't candid shots the best?  I paired this shot with the one below on the back of our card with the caption "wishing you laughter & love."  I really liked Shutterfly's option to add something to the back of your card this year. 
This session was part of a larger session for the whole Nash family; including all of Brian's siblings, their spouses, kids and, of course, his mom and dad.  It was no small feat getting all 23 of us together and dressed in our best.  A huge shout-out to Liz Westerhaus who not only shot the amazing photos but remained calm through all the hoop-jumping it takes to get ten grandchildren to sit still.  Soon I'm going to post more photos from this session and I hope to write about what it's been like to be married into this amazing family.
And finally, my dear sweet Katherine.  There's a new stocking above our fireplace this year and I thought it was only appropriate that she take center stage on our card this year to announce her arrival.  That, and I never got my act together to send out a real birth announcement so I sent a two-for-one!  This photo was taken at the tail end of her acne outbreak.  I love her little grin and her fat cheeks!

P.S. You wouldn't believe the amount of product it took to tame her hair for this picture.  Seconds later it was sticking up all over the place once again.

Do you do Christmas cards every year?  Put a link to your photos in the comments section if you've got one.  I'd love to see them!

Friday, December 16, 2011

7 Quick Takes [12.16.11]

1.  This morning was not the best morning of my life.  It started with me getting into the shower just as my two-year-old busted into the baby's room and woke her up while simultaneously having a potty accident.  What I thought was going to be a leisurely Friday morning shower turned into taking a shower with a toddler  with the soundtrack of a crying newborn in the background.

2.  Yesterday was Brian's 30th birthday!  To celebrate we (kids included) all went to downtown Minneapolis to see Santa, eat dinner and watch the Holidazzle parade.  It was all a lot of fun albeit a bit chaotic but it's where we're at right now.  At one point during our dinner at a very adult restaurant I had to laugh.  William ate a dinner of crackers.  Lucy asked to go potty one thousand times.  And the baby pooped up her back.  Even when the kids are on their best behavior they're still kids and it's busy.  But it's a heck of a lot more memorable than a $150 dinner with just the two of us.  Plus we needed William's loud mouth to score us a free beer, cake and ice cream!

3. My husband thinks he's Mark Wahlberg. A relative recently gave us a full size punching bag he no longer wanted. Brian spent an entire Sunday installing it in our garage and asked for boxing gloves for his birthday. He sets his alarm for 5 a.m. and trots out to Gym de Nash and boxes for his morning workout. When he does this I find him both nerdy and attractive all at the same time. If you're in the area and ever wanted to try a boxing workout, let me know! He would love a partner in crime.

4. Because of #2 I was extremely tired today which is why this is being posted late a night.

5.  It's also why this post lacks creativity and wit.  My apologies. 

6.  And also why I have no energy to link to recipes for all the cookie recipes I made last weekend.  But here's the list anyway: Monster Cookies, Caramel Cashews, Chocolate Chunk Walnut and Banana Cookies, Praline Cookies, Nutmeg Logs, Sugar Cookie Cut-Outs, Santa's Snicker Surprise Cookies and Chocolate Espresso Snowcaps.  I was a baking machine.  Thanks to Brian for multiple trips to the store to pick butter, nuts, snickers and more butter.

7.  A huge congrats to my sister and her husband who gave birth to their second child, a daughter, today.  At just an ounce shy of 10 pounds I'm pretty sure my sister is some kind of Superwoman for pushing that baby out without a single drop of pain relief!  I used to feel proud of myself for doing it with an 8 pound, 11 ounce baby but I got nothing on her.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Two Things Overheard this Weekend

After baking cookies I let the kids lick frosting off a spoon.

Me to Lucy: Do you want some frosting?

Lucy: I want some frosting!  And you want some frosting and William want some frosting and Daddy want some frosting...and...Katherine want frosting on your boobies?

[By the way, I don't ever remember using the word "boobies" around her.  I have no idea where she got that.]

While cleaning up the kitchen after dinner I sent William into the living room to finish a reindeer picture he had been coloring.  Katherine was laying next to him on the sofa.  When I finished cleaning I went to pick up Katherine and noticed two big, brown marker lines on her forehead.

Me: William! Did you color on Katherine's head?

William: [calmly] Yeah, Mom.  She needed some eyebrows.

I'm really, really, really kicking myself for not taking a picture but it was requiring all of my effort not to laugh because I knew if I did this would be a repeat offense.

Friday, December 9, 2011

7 Quick Takes [12.9.11]

1.  I just realized my 7 Quick Takes from last week didn't post for some reason.  So you get a two-for-one this week.  I posted last week's below.  Darnit.

2. This year we decided to partake in Elf on the Shelf.  Google it if you don't already know what I'm talking about.  I debated for a long time whether or not we should do this and have declined doing so in previous years but this year I hopped on board.  It's actually been a lot of fun for adults and kids alike.  I'll try to post more on the decision-making behind this as well as some photos of our elf's clever hiding spots.

3. Does anyone have a good make-up/cream/concealer recommendation for undereye circles?  I used to have one.  It was called sleep.  But sleep is in short supply around here.

4.  I should note, after that, that sleep isn't all that much of an issue around here.  I'm not walking around like a zombie or anything.  It's just that I guess I kind of got used to this lingering sleepy feeling all the time. I just pick myself up and keep going.

Remember in high school or college when you would sit in class with your eyes half closed and then you'd run into your friends in the hall and you'd say, "I'm SOOOOO tired today."  We had no fricken clue what we were talking about.

I also have this mean-spirited feeling of wanting to reach through my computer screen and strangle anyone who makes a Facebook status update having to do with how tired they feel.  Especially if I know them well enough to know for a fact they don't have just cause to make that complaint.

For the kidless and empty-nesters reading this, enjoy your 8-10 uninterrupted hours tonight.

5.  I had my first major encounter with the ice this winter and boy was it a doosie.  I had been cleaning all day and didn't have time to make a full dinner so I threw some noodles at the kids and went out to grab take-out for Brian and me.  I chose D'Amico on Grand Avenue.  Those of you who live in the Twin Cities will nod with me in agreement when I say that the middle of Grand Avenue is the last place you want to find yourself on your arse.  Not only is it unsafe because of it's high traffic but it's also extremely humbling because of it's high pedestrian traffic.  Ouch to the knee and ouch to the pride.  The chocolate torte fared OK in the fall though so all is still right in the world.

6.  I'm getting ready for my annual cookie marathon this weekend.  I usually make 6-7 different batches of cookies and then deliver them to my neighbors and bring them to all our celebrations.  I'm really having to force myself to get into it this year but I think once I get going I'll start to enjoy it.  And all the while I'm baking I'll be remembering what it looked like last year during my baking spree.

7. And finally I had to post these picture of William and Lucy [and Brian] running through the sprinkler in their clothes after mass one Sunday. Because (1) I was going through all my 2011 photos recently and forgot about this batch. (2) It warms me up. It was the last REALLY hot and humid day of the year. And that day occurred in September. Just three months ago. And now we have snow. Piles of it. (3) And finally, because my kids are gorgeous. But that's just me, their mom, talking.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Season's First Snow

This weekend we had our first real snowfall. Real, meaning, it stuck and judging by the 10-day forecast, it isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
The beginning of any season is so much fun. The outdoor activities are fresh. Sledding?! We haven't been sledding since March! And it's still [kind of] fun to go through the painstaking process of finding all the snowpants, hats, mittens, scarves and boots.

But my favorite part of the beginning of each new season is that each child is a whole year older. They have a whole new excitement about the snow. They have a different level of expertice and indepence. Last year I broke my back trying to get the kids dressed for snow play. This year William does it all on his own without any help. Last year Lucy could barely walk through the backyard with all her gear on. This year she's throwing snowballs with the big boys.
I'm sad I'll be stuck inside with a newborn for most of this winter while the rest of my family rumbles and tumbles outside.
But I also know that next year I'll have a cute little one-year-old snowbunny to pull around on the sled.  And it will all be brand new for her.

Friday, December 2, 2011

7 Quick Takes [12.2.11]

1.  Update on my swelling situation I told you about a few weeks ago.  The swelling is still there at five, almost six, weeks postpartum.  I was able to slide my ring off one day a couple weeks ago but it then took a lot of olive oil and grunting to get it back on again.  I did some Google research and all this week I've been drinking a lot of water trying to over-hydrate my body.  Apparently that can sometimes do the trick.  But you guys, it's super hard to remember to drink all that water when I'm dealing with a 3-ring circus at any given second.  I wish I could just hook myself up to an IV.
2.  I'm struggling to get myself into the Advent season right now.  All the shopping and decorating and baking and celebrating feels a bit overwhelming to me right now.  My sister-in-law, who had her third baby in October of last year, told me the same thing happened to her last Christmas.  I guess a new baby really brings out the bah-humbug in me.
3.  Our toy room looks like hurricane force winds whipped through it right now.  I told William that before Christmas we're going to go through all his toys and decide which ones we can give away, throw away and keep.  He told me I can give everything away except his lightsaber and Vtech; his two favorite birthday gifts.  But what's a mom to do?  I know that he's probably right.  The kid really could care less about toys.  He's all about books and games and puzzles and outdoor play.  But I don't think I can part with his toys.  Some are too sentimental and some I wonder if the younger kids will play with someday.  OMG! Am I hoarding?!
4.  This morning Brian and I toured the school where William will most likely attend kindergarten through eighth grade.  Yep, we're there already.
5.  For quite some time now I've been growing out my hair.  If you've known me IRL for any length of time you know that my hair has almost always been shoulder-length or shorter.  But I needed a change and since I didn't want to go any shorter, I decided to go longer.  It's just now finally reached a length where I can start thinking about giving it some curl.  I'm talking real tendrils here.  So I gave it a try last week when I had the time.  When Brian came home he, who never notices ANY change, could not get enough of it.  He told me I looked like a country music star.  I'm not exactly sure what that means but he definitely said it with a positive tone so that must mean it looked pretty good.  So there ya go, ladies.  If you want your man to notice you, get out your curling irons.  You're welcome.
6.  I have my first real out-of-the-house date tomorrow and it's with my girlfriends.  I could not be more excited!  I really hate being away from my babies during the newborn stage but I know a few hours will do me good.  Plus there's a side of me that has great satisfaction in knowing that Brian will get a small taste of what I deal with on a daily basis.  He'll need to dust out the cobwebs on the multi-tasking part of his brain.  Do guys even have that part in their brain?  That's not a dig.  It's an honest question.
7.  All three of my kids are sleeping AT THE SAME TIME right now so I think I'm going to go join them.  I took a quick nap yesterday and it was amazing what a little shuteye did for my mood.  Have a good weekend everyone!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Post in Pictures

There's been a case of no pictures around this blog lately so I'm going to post a few now to satisfy the grandparents that might frequent this site.
Here is the semi-decent picture I got of the three kids in their Thanksgiving clothes.  Lucy had lost her tights by this point by who's counting?  Katherine looks like she's still sceptical that these two rascals are supposed to be her siblings.
This was the kid's table at Brian's parent's house.  This picture is four short.  There are 10 grandchildren on the Nash side now and currently no one is pregnant.  But I wouldn't hold my breath on that status for long!  Nashes like to procreate.  It's what we do best. 
This is what our adult Thanksgiving table looked like complete with Brian's Scotch glass making a cameo.  Wouldn't it be fun if every one posted a picture of their Thanksgiving tables?  On my side we have to use folding banquet tables and a basement to hold everyone.  On Brian's side, his mom whips out her best linens and China and we sit in the formal dining room that gets used a handful of times a year.  It's all so different and all so special at the same time.
We have reached a victorious milestone when traveling to Brian's parent's house for holidays.  More than half of the grandchildren are now old enough to sleep on mattresses in the basement ALL BY THEMSELVES!  The days of having four kids under the age of two were not that long ago and we used to dream about being able to do this.  Now the pre-grandchildren days of the adults staying up too late and drinking too much have returned!
Love this picture of Papa reading to his Lizzy and his Lucy!  Brian's dad is going through chemo and radiation treatments right now so pictures of him that don't have sickness written all over his face are a happy sight to behold.
Nothing of note in this picture.  Just my little p'kin with a too-big bow snuggled up with her Daddy in coordinating Christmas colors.
These two. **Sigh** They're so hot and cold right now.  One minute they're arch enemies, the next they're BFFs.  On my cleaning day I caught them in the middle of some fantastical pretend play that required them to hide under this table.  The next minute they were hopping from coffee table to pillow to sofa trying to escape a menacing shark.  After that Lucy was a princess trapped in a tower on the top of their bunk beds.  When things are good, they're really good.  But when they're bad...well, you know.  Note to self: try to capture more of the good times.  Maybe then they'll forget about their mom who screamed at them during all the bad times.

These next few pictures I shot from my phone so forgive the quality.
Oh baby Kaf-rine!  Maybe she'll hate me for this one day but I had to show you just how bad her baby acne had gotten.  And I can only show you this now after it has (mostly) cleared up.
Ahh...that's better.  And yay for sisters-in-law who spent money on cute newborn clothes and then passed them down to me!
Katherine is smiling all the time now.  I've never had a baby who smiles this easily.  She wakes up, she smiles.  She eats, she smiles.  You talk to her, she smiles.  You sing to her, she smiles.  Of course the tough part is capturing a picture of it because by the time I get the camera focused she becomes too entranced by the red of the flash charge light.  But here I caught her at the tail end of a giant grin.
We've been having a lot of fires lately.  They're so cozy and they really warm up our living room and it gives our boiler and radiators a break.  I think this year we're going to pay for regular wood delivery so that we stop wasting our bucks on the gas station bundles that are very low quality.  Who knew there was a quality factor when it came to firewood?

But fire or no fire the real reason I posted this picture is because every time I walk past our fireplace I can't get over the fact that there are three stockings hanging there.  I guess it's not the number that gets me.  Three isn't all that many.  I'm the eldest of three.  Three is manageable.  It's that there's ALREADY three stockings.  I remember being six years old and having a new baby brother.  But my mom seemed old.  Sorry, mom!  But you know what I mean.  My mom was also 30 when she had her third and now here I am in the exact same place.  All these milestones -- marriage, first baby, second baby, third baby -- seem to have happened in a blink.  Three kids.  Three kids!  THREE KIDS! Holy crap!  We have three kids!  It never ceases to astound me.
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