Friday, December 16, 2011

Baby Chickens for EVERYONE!

Well, not really. Just for me and Nate, but aren't they cute? I always see the cornish hens at the store and want to make them, so I finally bit the bullet. I wasn't sure if we'd like them because I've heard they are gameier (is that a word?) than chicken. We were not dissappointed. They were delicious and REALLY easy. I just slathered them with butter, salt and pepper and stuffed them with "Cuties". Cute right? Instead of using regular-sized oranges I normally use in regular-size roast chicken, I used miniature oranges for the miniature chickens. It turned out amazing. Don't judge the little hen for having her legs wide open. I was out of kitchen twine so she was spread eagle. Poor baby. Didn't matter though because the hens came out perfectly cooked, juicy and delicious.



One more thing. I did another craft guys! Pinterest is incredible, I look at it all the time. Pin, pin, pin, pin.

Nate and I have been wanting coasters for a while, but haven't found any that we like yet. Well, I found some DIY coasters on Pinterest so I went to Home Depot, bought some tiles for about 13 cents a piece, and got to work. I made some regular ones we can use all year, and then put together some Christmas ones with the leftover Christmas paper I had from making ornaments. Ta-da!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Tis' the season...

We decorated our house for Christmas the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It was so much fun! We listened to Christmas music, made gingersnaps, drank hot chocolate with marshmallows, and decorated our little hearts out. We are ready for Christmas people.






He was REALLY excited...


Decorating the tree with Daddy


His very own ornament, without a hook obviously. We didn't decorate the bottom portion of the tree because Mr. Grabby Hands would be all over that, so I put one lone ornament towards the bottom that he loves knocking down every day (they are plastic, so not breakable). We are really excited for Christmas, especially with our new little addition making us a family of three this year.

My First Craft!!

I made a craft! I've never made a craft you guys! Well, I've made crafts, but never a SUCCESSFUL craft. When I saw this on Pinterest, I wanted to make one for Noah, but the package of ornaments came with 3 so I thought I'd make one for me and Nate, and one more for our family. They are so cute, and were really easy to make. It's hard to capture with a camera since the pictures are curved, so the light reflects, but LOOK:


This is mine and Nate's. The pictures are from the photobooth at our wedding, and on the other side the picture is our wedding invitation picture. I cut up our wedding invitation and put pieces in there, with fabric from the tables at our reception. Finally, the ribbon on the outside is from our invitation too. Cute right?



For Noah's ornament I put pictures of his birth day, and another picture of him we love. Then I cut up strips of cardstock and wrote little memories from this year (his favorite songs, books, games, and funny little things he does that make us laugh). SUCCESS!

I don't have a picture of the family one because I just made it yesterday and didn't take a picture, but you get the point. I crafted, and it was successful. Hooray!

Monday, November 14, 2011

You know what's really fun?

Going on an overnight date for the first time after having a baby. I don't think I've EVER been that excited for a date in my life. I wasn't the most excited about the dinner, the movie, the hotel, the robe (Oh, the robe! I LOVE hotel robes so much!), the late night room service, the breakfast, the hot tub, the pool...no, none of these things were what we were most excited for. You want to know what it was? Ready?

Going to bed knowing we had NOTHING to get up for.

No worrying about the baby waking up in the middle of the night (which he doesn't do anymore, but just the thought that he MIGHT do it again is enough to make you not relax). No thinking about the 6am wake-up call from Noah (thanks Daylight Savings...we hate you by the way).

It was heaven. We were like two kids going to bed the first night before the start of summer. No school tomorrow! We woke up at 7:30 and just layed there for about an hour, just talking and napping. When we rolled out of bed, we got the best breakfast I've had in a long time. A little taste of everything: waffles, omelettes, pancakes, muffins, pastries, bacon, sausage, yogurt, granola and fruit. I died. After getting fat from breakfast, we decided it'd be a good idea to put on our bathing suits and sit in the hot tub. Makes sense to me.

Around 11AM we finally headed home, and let me tell you...you know what's EVEN better than sleeping in? Seeing your baby's face when they see you after not seeing you for a day (It's the longest I've been away from him...I might have cried when we left the day before). I melted. He couldn't wipe the excitement from his face for an hour. He just kept crawling back and forth between Nate and I squealing and laughing. When Noah was taking his nap that afternoon, Nate and I came to a great conclusion. As nice as it was to sleep, relax, and not have a care in the world...none of that is as great as that cute baby of ours. We die over him.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The. Best. Cheesecake. Ever. EVER.

If I knew a recipe existed like this, I would have made it a lot sooner. Ready for this mouthful of a description?

And, go:

Pumpkin white chocolate cheesecake with a gingersnap/pecan crust. Topped with a homemade sweetened whipped cream, caramel sauce AND candied pecans. AMAZING

The crust was crumbly and perfect. The cheesecake had just the right amount of pumpkin taste with just a hint of white chocolate AND that perfect balance of creamy/crumbly cheesecake texture. The whipped cream was delicious...I want to make it all by itself and just plop it in a bowl and go to town with a spoon. Oh, and the candied pecans? I wanted to lick the pan while they were boiling in brown sugar, butter and corn syrup, but I decided it might not be worth the mangled tongue. I did go against my better judgement and eat one while it was still cooling though. Mistake. My tongue was numb for ten minutes.

This cheesecake is incredible.

http://www.ourbestbites.com/2008/11/pumpkin-cheesecake-with-pecan-gingersnap-crust/



I had to have a slice before I took a picture, revealing my slightly sunken in cake...oops. Oh well, I'm not going for perfection here except for when it comes to taste. This was perfect.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I wish I was a baby

I bet that sounds weird if you know what has been happening in our life the last week? Well, let me explain. Last Wednesday afternoon I heard Noah moving around after his nap over the monitor. I looked to see what he was doing and he was standing in his crib looking over the edge. I freaked out and sprinted up the stairs to get him before he decided to launch himself over the edge of the crib. Phew. Crisis avoided. Well, maybe. Literally, two minutes later as I was walking down the stairs with him, my heel slipped on the carpet out from underneath my body and I fell down the stairs...holding my baby. Nightmare. Here I was two minutes earlier thinking I had avoided disaster, and now I was at the bottom of the stairs stunned. Somehow I had managed to hold onto Noah all the way down, but his leg ended up underneath me. He was crying and wimpering and wouldn't move his leg, then he fell asleep. I called Nate, who was on his way home from work (good timing at least), and we decided we needed to go to the emergency room to get Noah checked out. Noah was so tough. He hardly cried. He just seemed stunned and tired.

After his x-rays and talking with the doctor, they said he had broken his tibia and fibula. He needed to be put in a splint, until the swelling went down, then he would need a cast for 6 weeks. SIX WEEKS. No baths, no pressure on the leg, no crawling (ya right...a nurse actually rolled her eyes and said she's never seen a baby who didn't try and crawl). After the doctor left, the nurse mentioned that since he was a baby he would heal really fast and might only need his cast for 3-4 weeks if we were lucky.

So here's why I wish I was a baby. The first night after we got home, and the first day afterwards Noah was a little sad, and more tired than normal, but after that things changed. By Friday, he was just back to business as usual. He was happy. He had figured out how to crawl and get around while dragging his splinted leg around with him, all with a smile on his face. What a trooper. If only I was this adaptable to breaking my leg? I hope to be this happy even if something really hard happens to me. I knew I would learn things from my kids, but I hadn't planned on learning from them as babies. Watching Noah has helped me realize that even if something terrible happens, life moves on, and we can adapt. All week I keep thinking about that scripture that says we need to become as a little child. This is just one of the ways that I want to become more like a child. Noah is my hero.

Fast forward to a week later. A WEEK. We went to the doctor yesterday fully planning on leaving with a cast on Noah's leg. The doctor said, "Well, he's good to go". ...."Are you joking?"...."Nope, he's all healed up". What?? A week?

They cut his splint off, and let him crawl around on the floor to make sure he was fine. He stared at all of us, like "What's the big deal? Why are you staring at me?". They threw some balls down the hallway and he went after them just like his normal self. I can't believe it. We feel so blessed that he healed so quickly. All night last night he was as happy as could be playing with his toys, cuddling on the couch with dad, and taking a bath with mom. He couldn't wipe the smile from his face. I'm so happy for him and so grateful to Heavenly Father for helping him heal so quickly. It may not seem like a big deal to other people, but to us it was a little miracle that we are so grateful for. Yay Noah!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Rainy Day Noah

It's been raining for two days in California and we are loving it! I love the start to fall when the air gets a little more crisp and cold. Oh, and one of my favorite smells is after the first rain of the season when it smells like wet dirt. The best.
Anyway, it has rained a few times since Noah has been born, but he hasn't really been aware of it. Yesterday and today he has definitely been aware and very curious about this water stuff falling from the sky. He crawls over to the sliding glass door on our balcony and just stares out the window at the rain. I thought he might like the sound of the rain so I opened up the slider...not so much. He did his growling yell that sounds like a toddler throwing a tantrum. So maybe he just likes the look and not the sound? Who knows...but, either way I got some really adorable pictures of him looking out at the rain.







So, remember my huge fear of spiders? Well, don't worry because this huge spider decided to make his new home on our balcony! You aren't welcome here spider...but, good job on your web.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Smell Association...

Random, I know. Seriously though, today I was driving and got a huge whiff of fresh-cut grass. Immediately, I got a nervous pit in my stomach quickly followed by a rush of sentimental emotions. Why? Because whenever I smell fresh-cut grass it takes me back to track days in high school. The pit in my stomach is the result of meet days...the rush of sentimental emotions is obviously the memories of all the fun times with friends at track practice and on meet days. Smelling the grass started me thinking about all the random smells that I associate with certain memories/emotions and how strange it is that just a smell can cause such a physical reaction.

Herbal Essences shampoo ALWAYS reminds me of my first day of high school. I still remember being in the shower that morning, feelings of excitement and nervousness. Probably a little more nervousness...I was pretty intimidated. Luckily, I had an awesome big brother to show me the ropes of high school, and who also may have talked me through where my classes were the night before so I wouldn't get lost the first day.

Speaking of being in the shower, that shower was in my old house. My parent's old house in Rolling Hills. That house is my childhood home. I have so many memories attached to that house. I still make Nate drive me past that house almost monthly. I just want to see the outside and reminisce on my childhood. It still hurts my heart a little that strangers are in MY house. I'm 28 years old, and I'm jealous of the people who live in that house. Ridiculous? Maybe, but true. My first birthday parties were in that house. Slumber parties. Family home evenings on my parent's ugly blue couch (sorry Mom...I'm sure it was very in style at the time). Family Christmas performances (I was Mary? Kristin was the angel? "Scooter" was a sheperd? Tyler was Joseph? Is that right?). Pool parties in the backyard (my dad always tossed fresh apples from our apple tree into the pool for us). Fourth of July s'mores over the fire pit. Strawberries from the strawberry patch. Playing kick ball and basketball in the backyard with my brothers, who I'm sure did NOT want me playing, but somehow I nudged my way into their games. My hideous pink and green wallpaper in my bedroom that was still there when we moved (I was SEVENTEEN years old with pink dollhouse wallpaper lining my bedroom ceiling). Playing games across the hallway with my brothers all night even though my parent's bedroom was directly below my brother's bedroom? How stupid were we to think they couldn't hear us? ANYWAY, I could dedicate a whole post to this, but I won't since no one cares about this but me. My point with this big long paragraph was that my mom still has old clothes in her closet that smell like THAT house. I LOVE that house...can you tell?

Mold reminds me of my grandma.

Perfume makes me think...oh, should I explain the mold? Probably. So my grandma's house in Atlanta was pretty old and obviously had some mold issues because whenever I get a sniff of moldy or wet wood it takes me back to staying at my grandma's house. I loved that house and I love my southern grandma. She had the sweetest drawl, and always said, "give me some sugar". Yes, southern people actually say that. Well, she did, and I loved it. She also had a famous saying in our family. Whenever I or my mom would say, "I'm sweating...", she would quickly respond with, "Oh honey, horses sweat, men perspire and women get uncomfortable." Yep. Awesome. Ok...so there you have it. Mold=Grandma. I'm sure she's not happy with that association.

So I have a perfume that will always remind me of our wedding day. Nate got me that perfume a week before our wedding and told me I couldn't wear it until our wedding day, so that he and I would always associate that smell with that day. It worked, and I LOVE wearing that perfume for that very reason.

Anyway, there are so many more random smells connected to so many memories, but I'll spare you.

Ok, one last one. Baby wipes. Baby wipes themselves don't smell bad. It's the idea that whenever I'm changing a poopy diaper, baby wipes are obviously involved, so somehow I have a disgusting association with wipes. If I smell baby wipes I want to gag. Sometimes the residue from the baby wipes is still on my hands, and I have to wash my hands because I feel like I have poop on them. Crazy much?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bath Time and a Pizza

This last weekend my friend Julie was here. We went shopping, ate lots of food, watched TV, and went to see The Help (LOVED it..."You is kind. You is smart. You is important." So great.). Noah was obsessed with Julie. He is pretty shy of strangers, but not Julie. The minute she walked in the door, he was all about her. Maybe it's because she brought him toys? Bribery? I don't know, but he loves the toys she brought. She got him some squeaky blocks, a onesie, and some bath toys (that we brought to the pool yesterday). Bath/pool...same thing right? Anyway, thanks Julie!!

Sunday we droppped Julie off at the airport, and when we got home Noah was a little antsy so I decided to put on my swimsuit and get in the bathtub with him so he could play with his bath toys Julie got him. He had so much fun.

Exhibit A


No Exhibit B, but you get the point. He was surrounded by toys in a bathtub. Cute.

After the bath, we made pizzas from scratch. Well, the dough was leftover from the calzones we made last week, so we just threw them together really quick. This dough is SO good. Nate and I both loved the dough for calzones, but for pizza? Delicious! No more delivery for us...well that's a lie...I just want you to know how good this pizza dough is.

Oooooo pretty....pepperoni, spinach, mushrooms, mozzarella. I'm drooling.


Finished product. Again, drooling.


Here's the recipe if you're interested...

From Two Peas and Their Pod

Pizza/Calzone Dough (Makes 4 calzones or 4 individual pizzas)

1 package of dry active yeast
1 1/4 cup luke warm water
Pinch of sugar
1 T olive oil
1 1/4 tsp. salt
3 1/2 cups bread flour
Cornmeal

1. Dissolve the yeast in warm water, sprinkle with pinch of sugar. Let stand for five minutes.
2. Pour yeast water into your Kitchenaid Mixer, add in olive oil. Mix briefly. Add in flour and salt. Mix until combined and switch to your dough hook. Let the machine knead the dough for about 4-5 minutes. Take the dough ball out and make sure it is smooth and not sticky!
3. Place the dough in a oiled bowl. Turn it over to oil both sides. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth/towel. Let rise for about 40 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
4. Divide the dough in half, place the dough in separate oiled bowls. Let rise again for about 20 minutes.
5. Now divide the dough into four portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into four circles. Have fun by tossing it in the air and stretching it.
6. For pizza, place pizza on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal then top dough with sauce and toppings that you want, brush the crust edges with olive oil and throw in a 450 degree oven for about 15 minutes.
7. For calzones, add sauce and toppings onto half of the dough, then fold over and pinch at the edges. Brush calzone with olive oil and bake on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal for about 25 minutes at 450 degrees.

AMAZING.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Peach Shakes

With all the fresh peaches everywhere right now, this recipe was something Nate and I were dying to have, and it definitely lived up to the pressure we put on it. We had three peaches on the counter getting perfectly ripe for a couple days, and last night when I smelled them, I knew they were ready. While Nate was putting Noah down, I started peeling the peaches. You guys...they were PERFECT. They were juicy, without bruises, the perfect peach color and everything else perfect peaches should be. Nate kept trying to sneak peaches out of the measuring cup. (I might have snuck a slice or two myself). Anyway, the peaches combined with the fresh orange juice and ice cream was AMAZING after the heat wave we had in California yesterday. Love love love this recipe. Make it. You'll be so happy you did. (I took a really pretty picture of the shakes, but I'm too lazy to get it off the camera, and peach season is nearing it's end, so I opted to post without the picture)

Peach Shakes (from Our Best Bites)

Juice from 1/2 of an orange
3 cups ripe peaches, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream
Enough ice cubes to reach desired consistency
2 tablespoons sugar (you may need more or less–if your peaches are very sweet, you might not need any at all)

Place the juice, peaches, ice cream, and ice in your blender and blend until desired consistency is reached. Add sugar as needed and serve immediately. Makes 2 large or 4small servings.

Friday, September 2, 2011

My favorite time of day

...right after Noah wakes up from his nap. He's rested. He's happy. He's ready to love on anyone who is willing to give him cuddles.





Look at those eyelashes!


My favorite picture ever. Holding Daddy's finger.


Giving Daddy kisses





Sunday, August 28, 2011

Beach Days

This summer we have been slacking on our beach time. I have gone a few times with Noah, but the hassle of getting all of the stuff and the baby to the beach in between naps with food just always seems so overwhelming until I just do it, then it doesn't seem like that big of a deal. Lately, we have started to go more often, and just this weekend we went twice. Better late than never right? Saturday was a perfect day. Nate woke me up with breakfast in bed after getting up with Noah and letting me sleep in(he makes THE best scrambled eggs by the way). For lunch we hit up In N Out on our way to T-street beach. We staked out a great spot by the snack bar, played in the water, Noah took a nap, we took a walk in the sun, then had popsicles under our umbrella. Perfect beach day with family. My brother and his family met us down there too. Tyler and I were talking about how funny it is that we were both there with our kids when we used to come to that same beach when we were little. Isn't it crazy how fast time goes?

Anyway, we made a new discovery. Noah is a beach baby. He LOVES it! YAY!! He can't take his eyes off the ocean. I was holding him over my shoulder while talking to my brother, and he was faced towards the sand. He wanted no part of that. He wiggled and kicked his way around until I faced him towards the water. Nate was sticking Noah's little toes in the water, and when he would bring him back up out of the water, he would start fussing. He kicks and kicks his feet until we put them in the wet sand and let the waves come up over his feet. He giggles when the waves break or come rolling in and out on the sand. The cutest thing I've ever seen. I can't wait until he is big enough to go in the ocean with me.

PS I'm glad he isn't crawling just yet because he was grabbing handfuls of sand and trying to eat it. Oh great. At least since he isn't quite mobile yet, I can keep him away from the sand a little. I think our "non-mobile" days are limited though. He is on his hands and feet rocking back and forth all the time and scooting all over the place. Not yet Noah!! I guess this means we should start baby-proofing?


Hanging out with Grandpa

Resting with Daddy





Friday, August 26, 2011

Hey! I'm not obsessed with my baby!

The other night I made a corn chowder from a Williams-Sonoma cookbook that was amazing, so I thought I would post the recipe. It tastes like it has cream or sugar in it since it is so creamy, but the creaminess comes from a corn broth and corn pureed together. Who knew? Creaminess with cream? All that's in it is corn, red peppers, potatoes, onion and milk. I added the avocado on top because I thought it would add an extra creaminess, and cut some of the kick from the red pepper. Success.

Corn Chowder

Ingredients

4 ears of corn, husks and silk removed
1 cup milk (I used skim, and it turned out great)
1 yellow onion
1 Yukon gold potato, peeled and chopped
1 red bell peper, seeded and chopped
pinch of cayenne pepper
chopped green onion tops
salt and pepper
1 avocado

Directions

*Slice the kernels off the corn, then using the dull side of the knife, run the blade down the corn cob to extract the "milk" from it. Repeat with all the corn cobs. Put the corn kernels and cobs in a large saucepan.

*Add 6 cups of water to pan and place over high heat. Boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer uncovered, for 10-15 minutes or until broth is flavorful. Pour contents through a sieve, reserving both the kernels and the corn broth. Return half of the broth to the pan. Divide the cooked kernels in half.

*In a blender, combine the remaining broth, half of the kernels, and the milk, and puree until a creamy mixture forms. About 2 minutes.

*Add the yellow onion, potato, bell pepper, and cayenne to the broth in the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes until potato is tender. Add the corn-milk mixture, and the remaining corn. Heat through. Stir in salt and pepper to taste.

*Garnish with onion tops and sliced avocado. We ate ours with slices of French bread which we loved! (I may or may not have eaten the leftover French bread on the couch while watching Big Brother...does nobody else watch this show? We haven't found anyone that does, but we are slightly addicted).





Friday, August 19, 2011

Just one of those mornings

So Noah has been great lately about taking two naps a day. One in the morning. One in the afternoon, and occasionally one little cat nap while we are out and about. Well, every once in a while we have a morning like today. I think Noah has these just to make sure I know he is in charge and to keep me on my toes :)

I'm not complaining, I just think the mornings where everything that could possibly go wrong does are hilarious. I carry Noah downstairs after some cuddles in bed with Daddy. I start playing with him, and kissing him and he pukes all over me. I say "puke", but it's just milk coming up. It of course goes all down my shirt and through all my clothes. I go change my shirt, still laughing about the "puke", and as soon as I'm changed, I feel a warmth. His diaper leaked. New shirt again for me and Noah. I feed him squash for breakfast, and his new favorite trick is pulling his bib off and/or sticking fingers in his mouth to touch the squash then immediately rubbing his eyes with the said squash. Nice. New shirt for Noah.

Nap time. I go and put him down for his nap, and he of course spits up on the sheet about twenty minutes into the nap and then rubs his face in it, waking himself up. I change the sheet, change his clothes, get him all settled back down and asleep. He decides this is a great time to practice his rolling skills. Good job Noah, but really can we roll later? He wakes himself up one more time. I settle him back down and let him fall asleep on me. Guess what? He farts*, and wakes himself up. Best part was when he woke up from it, he poked his head up from my chest and smiled really big. He was pretty proud of himself.

Final score: 2 shirts for me
4 outfits for Noah
1 bed sheet

Anyway, even though this morning was "interesting", this afternoon was great. We went to lunch with Nate at Cafe Rio, and Noah is napping while I blog.

*For the record, it's not surprising that his farts wake him up on a regular basis. His toots are very "adult-like", making for awkward situations at church, restaurants, and any other public place. "Oh, that was the baby...". Awkward.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Ruby Taylor

A friend of mine's sweet baby, Ruby, lost the fight with her failing liver last night. She has been battling with this for seven months, and last night she finally went home to her Heavenly Father's arms. She was such a precious little baby that has touched the lives of so many including mine and Nate's. We have been fasting and praying for this sweet baby for months, hoping she would get that perfect liver she needed. Her mom, Ani, has been an amazing example of faith and strength throughout this whole trial, and has inspired me to be a better mother to Noah.

The middle of the night cuddles. The feedings. The diaper changes. Waking up a little earlier than I would like to him crying on the monitor. The blowouts. The spit up. This little person who constantly needs my attention.

My view on all of these "challenges" has completely changed the last few months thanks to Ani and her willingness to share her thoughts and feelings on this trial she is going through. Last night's cuddle was a little longer than normal. This morning's cry over the monitor wasn't so dreaded. The feedings today haven't been so rushed. I'm just soaking up my sweet baby, and crying for the loss of baby Ruby, but yet so happy she is out of pain and in her Heavenly Father's care. She has influenced more people in just her seven months of life than most people in a lifetime. We love you Ruby, and our prayers are with Ani, Matt and Kate today.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Holiday Family Reunion 2011

Before I start a massive recap of the reunion I wanted to post a picture from Father's day. I know it was a month ago, but look how cute this picture is of Nate and Noah.



I love these boys. So sweet.

Well, the Holiday's have a family reunion every two years and a different sibling is responsible for planning every year. Luckily Nate and I have about eight years before we are in charge...it's a lot of work! Thanks Colleen and Brian! This year we went to Bear Lake, Utah. I had never been, but I had only heard great things about it. When we drove through the canyon and got our first peek of the lake, let me tell you...it is beautiful! I can't believe such a bright blue lake is in Utah, and I never knew about it! It really is so pretty.

We started our road trip out on Thursday night. We drove to Vegas that night and got to visit Grandma Horst Friday morning/afternoon. Noah got to meet his great-grandma for the first time and he loved it. Normally he is really squirmy and arches his back when people hold him, so we were worried he would act like this for grandma, but he was as calm as could be. He just kept staring up at her. He loved when she snuggled up on him. What a special moment.





Friday night we pulled into Highland and LOVED what we arrived to. Summer and Dawna are amazing! They love Noah and Noah is crazy about them. They wanted to hold him any chance they got, and we were happy to oblige. Bye Noah! See you in a couple hours! :)


Saturday we spent the day in Park City with Blake and Jamie and Kent and Ginger and all the kids. Got in lots of shopping, Alpine slides and food.

Sunday we headed up to Farmington to Tanner and Jennie's house to hang out and meet Jake and his new fiance Brooke. They are so cute together, and we are so happy for them. Afterwards, we drove up to Kaysville to meet up with Carter and Heather and their kids. Something I had forgotten about Utah until right when we put Noah to sleep at their house: Fireworks are legal. Thanks neighbors! :)

Monday we drove up to Bear Lake to meet up with everyone and start partying. We had famous rasberry shakes, BBQ'd, talked, beached, and watched fireworks. Noah and Alayna (Blake and Jamie's baby girl who is 7 months), slept through the whole fireworks show. I guess they were tuckered out from the day. Can't blame them.



Speaking of Noah and Alayna, they were pretty good friends by the end of the trip.




So Jill had planned an adult Triathalon for everyone on Wednesday, but on Tuesday we did a kid's Triathalon. It was the cutest thing I've ever seen. We have some serious competitors in the Holiday family. Summer, Dawna, Erica, and Jessica were the coaches for the four teams. There was a swim in the pool, a bike leg around the camp, and last was a run around the camp. Addison is not even three, but she ran the whole run, in flip flops, and then demanded a medal after finishing. Hysterical.


31 grandkids (well not all of them were there, but almost everyone was there)


9 of the 10 siblings with Dad Holiday


Anyway, the week was amazing. Lots of food, s'mores, jet skiing, sun, lounging on the beach, golfing (still a soft spot for Nate, Robert pulled out the win again), and especially lots of time spent with family. We had so much fun and can't wait until the next reunion!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

We have a happy baby...here's proof

So I was looking at our blog, and realized all the pictures of Noah he is either sleeping or staring blankly at the camera. I figured I should balance out those pictures with some of his happier moments. He is hysterical when he smiles. If he is being held and is getting smiled at, he grins and then immediately hides his face in the chest of whoever is holding him. It's like he is embarrassed to be caught smiling. Not sure why he is so shy, because look at how cute this gummy smile is! (Not that I'm biased or anything)











By the way, Hawaii was a success. He didn't love it, but we did. He survived :)

Seriously though, he slept through the night over there, and didn't really have a problem with the time change. He ate like normal, and didn't cry very much. Our only real "complaint" was not being able to lay by the beach or pool as much as normal...wa, wa, wa. He did great!

It was amazing when we got back home. Everything was so much easier. He was so happy to be home that he didn't cry or whine about ANYTHING. He was just hoping we wouldn't take him back to that awful place with sunshine and wind, so he was on his best behavior :). Little does he know, we have a camping trip planned at Bear Lake with the Holiday side of the family in a couple weeks. Who wants to break the news to him?

I can't believe our "newborn" is almost 4 months old...how did that happen?? I'd insert a big paragraph of all his milestones, but who cares? He's healthy, happy, and getting chubby little cheeks that I'm obsessed with kissing any chance I get.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Noah's Blessing

We blessed Noah this last Sunday, and it was such a special day. We felt really loved to have family from all over come for the weekend. Carter flew in from Utah. Blake and Jamie came from Houston. Dad and Janice came from Utah. Tyler and Melissa had just arrived from Missouri, and other family members drove a couple hours just to come down for support. We felt so loved and grateful that so many were able to attend.

Blake and Jamie got into town on Friday afternoon and we started the weekend out right by going to the Hat for pastrami sandwiches. Then we drove up the PCH to Sprinkles cupcakes and Fashion Island, stopping at Victoria Beach on the way to check out the view. Jamie and I played baby duty in the back trying to entertain Noah on the drive. Just when he was about to lose it we made it to Fashion Island. Phew! He loves his Baby Bjorn so he took a nice nap while we all shopped, and then ate at Wahoo's Fish Tacos (which was not too impressive except for Nate's Carne Asada...the rest of us did not order well. Oops). On our way back we dropped Noah off at Gammy and Guppy's house (these names are still pending...Guppy is not a fan of his new name :) ) so that we could all go see a movie. Thanks Mom and Dad!

Saturday we went to Dana Point Harbor for some fish and chips and a walk around the harbor. Blake bought a bunch of smoked salmon and mahi for us to all share, and it was delicious. After the harbor we headed over to T-street in San Clemente to soak up the beach...a few snow cones and Diet Cokes later we headed home to shower. After getting cleaned up we went to Deemers for some burgers. Delicious. Saturday night Nate and I headed different ways. He went to yogurt with his family and I went to hang out with Carter since he was only in town for 24 hours.

Sunday morning we tried to give Noah a full tummy and a long nap before it was time for church to do our best to prevent any crying spells during his blessing. (Success!) His blessing went beautifully, and we felt such an outpouring of love from everyone who came to support our little family on this special day. There is nothing better than seeing a circle of worthy Priesthood holders around a new little baby, especially when it is your baby. Hearing the blessings promised to Noah was so special, and gave us another little window into knowing him better. We feel so lucky to be his parents. After Noah's blessing, everyone headed to my parents for some food and visiting. The day couldn't have gone any better.

Monday morning Blake, Jamie, Nate, Noah and I headed to the pool. It was such a beautiful day and Noah may or may not have spit up into the pool...sorry Ladera community...those little white chunks are from us! :) After the pool we had our last lunch with Blake and Jamie before they headed off to the airport. Thanks for coming guys! We had so much fun :)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Fingers crossed

So we've been pretty worried about taking Noah to Hawaii seeing as he hates the sun. Really. He does. Here is proof:



He wiggled his way all the way down there, so I finally covered his face and "voila", he loved it and didn't make a peep for an hour. This boy loves cloudy days :) Anyway, we were worried.

Luckily, we have a tiny ray of hope. Carolyn was kind enough to invite us down to her beach house last weekend to play and hang out. We figured it would be a nice test run for Noah. SUCCESS! He LOVED it. He was cooing and smiling and slept almost the whole time. We are taking this as a positive sign that our baby may hate the sun, but he loves the beach. Score. We might have a few more test runs before Hawaii, but we are more hopeful than we were just a week ago. Yay!

Here is some evidence from our successful beach day:



This picture is really bright...oops




Thanks for the beach day Carolyn! We loved it!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Life's little luxuries

Some things that used to be routine and completely ordinary, are now luxuries I look forward to all day/week.

*A shower that lasts longer than five minutes...scratch that, just a shower.
*Driving alone in the car
*Eating a meal with two hands
*Going to the grocery store alone
*Going to any store alone
*Going ANYWHERE alone (I think I almost skipped out of the house the other day when I got to go pick up a prescription from CVS by myself...what has happened to my life that this made my day? :) )
*Watching TV and cuddling at night with Nate (this just started happening the last week or so since Noah has decided that going to sleep at 830 is cool with him now)

A few observations from my short time as a mom:

*Johnson and Johnson nightime lavendar lotion is AMAZING. We rub Noah down with it every night now and it immediately relaxes him and knocks him out. The first night we used it he slept 7 hours straight. Every night since he has been sleeping almost 9 hours. I love you lotion. Lots and lots.

*Noah is extremely picky about car rides. He starts off just slightly annoyed if we sit at a long light. Then he starts getting annoyed as soon as we stop at a light. Then he starts sensing when we are slowing down for a light and gets annoyed. Last stage he starts getting annoyed when we slow down at all at any time. Are you kidding me baby? How do you know when I let go of the gas pedal? I wish you could talk so we could explain to the police officer why we are driving 90mph in a 15pmh zone. I kid.

*Swaddle blankets are hysterical. The ones we have have velcro on them so there's no chance of escape. Looks like a miniature straight jacket. Poor baby. He loves it though, and looks like a little pea in a pod. I guess he didn't inherit my irrational claustrophobia. (It really is irrational...I may or may not have had problems getting into a Suburban once. Yes, I'm a grown adult, and yes I completely freaked out. It's a long story, that ends awkwardly for me.)

*Noah hates sunlight. Really. He buries his face into armpits, cleavage, and whatever else he can find to get away from the light. Why baby? Why do you hate sunlight? We are slightly worried about this trip to SUNNY Hawaii in a month. Good luck to us. :)


The last 6 weeks have been the most challenging and most amazing weeks of my life. Just when I think I'm at my breaking point and can't take anymore... Noah will bust out the biggest, gummiest smile I've ever seen and I melt. This boy has me wrapped around his finger. I had no idea how much I would love him. I'm obsessed.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

And then there were THREE...

We are officially a family of three. I can't believe it. We are parents. I can't even begin to explain what it felt like when they put Noah on my chest within seconds of him being born and I got to hold him for his first minutes of life. I knew I would love him, but that moment is something I will never forget.

The weeks leading up to his due date, I started to get a little uncomfortable, but nothing unbearable. I had contractions randomly and sometimes consistently but nothing that I thought meant we were in labor. We had been praying for weeks that Noah would come when he was ready, and when we would have the best doctors and nurses and smoothest delivery. Our prayers were definitely answered. We felt so blessed and watched over throughout the entire process. Monday afternoon I went to the Irvine Spectrum with a few friends of mine and we walked around, shopped, and had lunch. On my way back to my car, I was really struggling walking without feeling like a bowling ball was pressing through my legs. Nice visual I know. Anyway, I got home and layed down for a bit, then a few hours later I thought I was peeing my pants, but turns out my water was breaking. That whole scene they show in the movies was not how it happened for me. It did not gush out in public, and I did not rush off to the hospital like a crazy person. It kind of came in waves and I eventually just had to sit on the floor on a beach towel to keep from getting water everywhere. I called Nate, who was already on his way home from work, conveniently enough, and told him we were having a baby tonight! I talked to my doctor and he said to come to the hospital soon, but don't rush over. They just wanted to get the baby out within 24 hours to avoid infection, but I might as well labor at home for awhile. We had dinner, then went to the hospital at about 7pm, got all checked in and watched the Bachelor. Yep. I watched the Bachelor while in labor. Why not? It was a good distraction! Our nurse even got into it. Speaking of, our nurse was amazing. She was so sweet and really compassionate, and didn't get in my face or anything. She just let me be, and gave help when I needed it. By about 10:30 or so, my contractions started to get pretty painful, so they gave me some Nubane to take the edge off. It must have worked because I guess I kept rambling about my face melting off. Nice. Nate and I both fell asleep for awhile, and about two hours later the Nubane wore off and they checked me and I was at 5cm. I admire people who give birth without an epidural...I was DYING at 5cm. You go "no epidural" people! I got my epidural and fell asleep until about 4am. They checked me again, and I was at 6cm. They said not to wake my mom up yet to come to the hospital because it would still be awhile, and she wouldn't miss anything. Well, my body had other plans. One hour later I was at 10cm and ready to push. (Luckily my mom only lives five minutes from the hospital so she rushed over and made it in time).

*Sidenote: We met the head nurse Lori at a hospital tour night a month or so before, and really liked her...she was great and told us she hoped she would be on-call the night we had our baby, and she was.

Lori and our regular nurse, Callie, started helping me practice pushing. Noah's heart rate kept dropping everytime I had a contraction so they were starting to get worried about him. Lori was so sweet and stayed after her shift ended. She came rushing in five minutes before her shift was over yelling about how I needed to get him out so she could meet him before she had to go home, but then she ended up staying anyway. She was awesome. ANYWAY, the doctor finally came in and decided they needed to suction him out since his heart rate kept dropping. His little head came first, and then the doctor pulled on the cord to see if it was wrapped around anything else. Turns out, Noah had his hand on the cord, and everytime I was contracting he was squeezing the cord. So when the doctor pulled on the cord, Noah's arm came out with it. Determined little guy. Luckily, he made his way out safely, and he was healthy as could be. He had a jaundice problem the first week, and was losing weight pretty quickly, but somehow by his first doctor's appointment yesterday he had made his way back to his birth weight, and his jaundice was all but gone. Sigh of relief for us and for the doctor.

Just wanted to get his birth story written down before I forgot too many of the details. He is one week old, and we are loving every minute with him. Obviously having a newborn in the house is quite the adjustment to our sleeping habits, but he is worth it. We love our little "Noey".

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Countdown

So, my due date is fast approaching. Ten days to be exact. Although I've been told by everyone I've talked to that most first time moms go past their due date, so I've been planning all along that we wouldn't have a baby in our arms for a couple weeks past our due date. Then hopefully I won't get too anxious, and if he comes earlier, we'll just be pleasantly surprised instead of upset if he's late. Our doctor has been trying to tell me she doesn't think I'll go much past my due date, but I'll believe it when I see it.

It's crazy to me that within the next few weeks, we will have a tiny addition to our family. Lately, I have been thinking how crazy it is that the hospital just lets people have babies and then take them home. No tests to pass. No classes required. Just, "Here you go, good luck! You are now responsible for a tiny human!". We have to jump through hoops and take hours of classes to get a driver's license, but being responsible for another human life? Hey, no problem! You'll learn as you go! Bye! :) I just keep picturing the moment when we will get home with our little man all bundled up in his car seat, and look at each other and go, "Now what?". Pretty overwhelming thought, but I guess we'll just take it a day at a time. :)

I know that once this little boy decides to grace us with his presence, our sleep will go out the window, but one of my best friends (for a reason) told me to try and remember to just soak up every minute of him as an infant. Sure, you'll get no sleep, but they are only tiny for so long, and you'll miss it so much when they first start outgrowing those little clothes. Best advice I've heard so far. Thanks Jess!

Anyway, other updates:

*Our Valentine's was pretty mellow. Nate made us fajitas that were DELICIOUS. Then, I made us fondue to eat while watching/making fun of the Bachelor. I've decided if we were drinkers, it would be a great drinking game to watch Bachelor and drink everytime someone says, "journey", "walls", "open up", or anytime Brad says, "without a doubt". You'd be drunk in no time.

*We booked our tickets to Hawaii in May. Are we crazy? That is a five hour flight with an infant. Eeek. I don't even know how to begin to prepare for something like that. Advice is much appreciated.

*Tyler and Melissa came for a visit last week. I can't believe how big Abi and Alma are, and seeing Ammon for the first time was so fun. Tyler and Melissa produce darling babies. Here is the proof:





Look at those eyes. Such a cutie.

Well, that's it for now. Just waiting for little boy to make his appearance and trying to get in lots of dates, girl nights/lunches, cleaning the house, laundry, etc., etc., before that time comes. Can't wait to meet him :)