Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Our little "shepherd" giving some loves to the baby Jesus
For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given.

I hope you all had as happy a Christmas day as we did.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas week

 It looks like we are going to have a White Christmas here, and I couldn't be happier!
We are having a wonderful time here so far.  Nicholas must be past the stranger anxiety stage, because he has been loving on my family ever since we got here.  
He loves to crawl up in his grandma's lap and give her hugs and kisses, and often, when he needs something, he takes it straight to Grandma instead of me.
It didn't take long for him to figure out that Grandma is more than willing to give him whatever it is he wants.

And of course he is having a blast with his uncles and aunt-following them around the house and laughing at everything they do.  They taught him how to say "ho, ho, ho!" when he sees the santa ornament on the tree, they've been dancing with him, teaching him how to play the Wii, and otherwise entertaining him every minute of the day.

Yesterday at Church, Nicholas saw Grandpa up on the stand (he's in the bishopric) and that was it-Nicholas just had to go up there, and he took off down the aisle.  When I snatched him up and took him back to our row, Nicholas spent the rest of the meeting waving at Grandpa, yelling "Hello!" across the chapel.

Yes, he is just smothered in love here.   
Dipping cinnamon santas in chocolate.
 Now that it is Christmas week I've decided to give myself a little eating-healthy-holiday.  And boy oh boy has it been delicious so far!
Nicholas is joining in on the fun...I'm pretty sure he's been surviving on only "crahkahs" (fruit loops, chips, cookies, chocolate as well as actual crackers) and my Mom's bottled pears.

Nicholas helped decorate gingerbread men last night...or rather, he ate the m&m's while we decorated.
Kent had another encounter with the Andersen Anniversary Traveling Curse while trying to get here on Saturday, (delayed flights, delayed again, another delay, plane having to circle for a while before landing, angry people at the car rental place, snowy roads, etc.) but he finally made it home safe and sound around 1 am Sunday morning, and we are so happy to have him here. Although we didn't get to see each other on our actual anniversary on Saturday, we are going to spend the night tonight at a cute themed bed and breakfast here in Logan...and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we don't have any serious mishaps. 

We aren't transporting a kitchen island, so what could happen, right?

Monday, December 13, 2010

"boots!" and other December happenings

"Helping" me decorate the tree.  He hates wearing shirts and some mornings I just don't want to fight about it again.
Nicholas has a vocabulary of probably 50 to 60 words now.  I lost count a month ago when he was at 35, and he learns a good two or three words every day. 
A few days ago he was in a hungry mood, and he learned 
pizza, biscuit, pear, pasta, and oops,
which he pronounces "boots."
This morning I heard him in the kitchen:  "uh oh, boots!  uh oh, boots!"
Oh goodness I could just squeeze him to death-he's so delicious!

We're still enjoying the winter here-you know, going to the park in the mornings, wearing short sleeves, taking Sunday walks. 
My flowers did freeze, though, so it was time to pull them all out,
and I planted daffodil bulbs, hooray!

This silicone cupcake mold has entertained Nicholas for hours.  He presses the cupcake holes in, then pops them back out again.  It is already packed in my bag for the flight tomorrow.  Anything for a few minutes of peace on the plane, right?
 Our formal Christmas dinner party was on Saturday.  I always love a reason to dress up, set the table all pretty, and have good friends over.  After a few moments of panic while setting the table that ended up in me using the wire cutters to fashion myself two more garland placeholders, everything else fell smoothly into place.  The food was delicious-we had an awesome pork tenderloin roast with pomegranate maple sauce, and everyone had quite a few good laughs around the table. 
See Shannon, I feel your pain.  But isn't my sink so beautifully in focus?
 Nicholas helped us make chocolate cookies last night, and he had a blast measuring, dumping, and stirring.  We filled the cookies with peppermint ice cream, and then took them to our neighbors with a copy of our favorite book-The Book of Mormon.  

Now I'm finishing up packing because Nicholas and I are leaving in the morning to head to Utah (Kent will join us on Saturday)-a white Christmas here we come!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

maybe we get a little carried away...

but Christmas is our favorite holiday
and when it comes to decorating for it, 
we do not lack in enthusiasm.

Kent wanted to decorate the first week of November.
I grew up in a "not until December!" family,
but we compromised and decorated the week before Thanksgiving.

Everything about Christmas is about a billion times more fun with Nicholas.  He loves our decorations, especially the tree.
Every morning when we come downstairs and plug in the lights, 
he responds with just as enthusiastic a "wow!" as he did the morning before.
He has figured out how to switch the power strip, and his favorite thing to do is sit behind the tree and
flip the switch. Lights on, lights off. lights on, lights off.  What fun!

Oh, and you probably noticed how only the top half of our tree is decorated.  
Even with that precaution, this morning I vacuumed up broken ornament number 7.
I can't blame Nicholas too much, though.  The ornaments do look exactly like balls.

I think that much of how a person feels about Christmas is directly related to what Christmas was like for them as a child. We are trying to make sure that Christmas for Nicholas is simply magical.
For me, Christmas was always excitement, sparkling lights, music, freshly-fallen snow, piles and piles of gifts from Santa, sleigh bells outside the windows on Christmas eve, and beloved traditions.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas cheer

Nicholas would rather me play with him than take any more pictures of the Christmas decorations.

Maybe I'll get the rest of the pictures taken tomorrow.  For now, I've got a cotton ball snowstorm to create.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

thanksgiving week

I'm in love with this picture of my boy.
We went to California this year to spend Thanksgiving with our family.
Before the trip I was counting down the hours and minutes. I was really, really ready for a vacation; the day-to-day grind was getting to me, and I wasn't the wife and mother that I want to be.
This trip was exactly what we needed.  Family, food, and rest.  Something about Kent's Mom and Dad's house is so relaxing-I feel like every time I'm there I just take a weight off my shoulders and get to enjoy being with loving family. It's wonderful. 
What's more fun than "new" bath toys?
Nicholas loved his Grammer from the moment we arrived, and he learned to follow her around asking for hugs.

And it didn't take him long to learn that Papa always had treats for him.  He figured out exactly where the fruit snacks were in the pantry, and he was constantly asking Papa for more. I think he ate 7 or 8 bags of fruit snacks every day we were there.
Nicholas and little Audrey.  He would walk up to her swing and say "hi" in this gentle little voice.  He was actually really good with her.  It was so strange for me to see my "baby" holding a baby. He's growing up!

The cousins.  One of the best parts of the week for me was the fact that Nicholas played so well with Carlee and Preston.  It was nice for him to have someone more exciting than me to play with all day.

The potato-launching competition on Thanksgiving day. 

Nicholas wouldn't attempt the launcher himself, but he was sure into giving applause for everyone who did.

The highlights:
Food:Thanksgiving dinner, candied almonds, bacon lasagna, chocolate chip cookies, roasted marshmallows, homemade pies, fabulous soups, fire-barbecued chicken--it was all way too yummy. Oh, and Taco Truck, of course.
Fun:  Watching "The Little Dorrit" every night, riding fire trucks and seeing light parades, decorating the Christmas tree, snuggling sweet little Audrey, crafting up a storm (and I only burned Heidi twice with the glue gun), making our own soda, Ticket to Ride, going on walks with Grammer and Papa.
Humor: Preston asked me at least five times a day "What's your name again?" after which he'd usually tell me he loved me and then compliment me on my shirt or my pants. 
One of the times, though, when I answered him by saying "Becca" (naturally) he said "Why do you always say that?"

Nicholas's nearly non-stop "wow!"  Every time he saw a chandelier, Christmas lights, or really pretty much anything new he'd pucker his lips and "wow" quite sincerely.

Thank you, Mom and Dad, and Sam and Heidi, for the excellent Thanksgiving break! 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

home again

We got home very late last night.  Poor Nicholas woke up on the wrong side of the pack and play yesterday morning, 
and the 3 hour drive, 1 and 1/2 hour flight, 2 hour layover, and 2 hour flight
well they were just a little more than our dear son could handle.
Yes, we were those people with that toddler that screams and screams on the plane.

Dear everyone else on the plane,
I'm sorry.
Love, Me

Nicholas finally crashed in the car on the way home from the airport,
and when we got home he didn't wake up, 
we wanted to give him a bath, but he stayed sound asleep, standing up with his head in my lap.
So we changed his diaper and put on his pajamas and laid our sleeping baby
and ourselves
soundly in bed.