Wednesday, April 30, 2008

TAGGED with your middle name

I was Tagged by my friend Annaleesa with the instructions to describe myself with words starting with the letters from my middle name. And then Tag 3 friends.

I suppose I could leave it blank like she did since I wasn't actually given a middle name at birth, but now I have taken on my maiden name as my middle name so I'll use those letters, not necessarily in order, and probably using the first words that come to mind:

No Nonsense

If you don't agree, well come up with something better! I think those fit me, at least most or part of the time!

I tag Tamara, Jessica and Tara. Good luck ladies!

San Diego Surprise

We took a quick weekend trip down to San Diego to surprise Kevin's mom for her birthday April 4. It was my first time to go to San Diego, so I was really excited, even though it was just for the weekend. Kevin arranged everything with Grandpa Dave before we went so he knew we were coming, and when we finally got there around 10:30 pm she was REALLY surprised! We got to see the hummingbird's nest outside their front door, and go to the beach and the San Diego Zoo. It was a short but fun trip.
When we went to the beach we had Allison in the stroller so I didn't really go down to the water, but we had a nice walk and of course Em's favorite part was walking on top of the wall. Any chance she gets she's walking on walls, bricks, stepping stones...
And what kind of beach trip would it be without an ice cream cone? Chocolatey drippy messy yummy ice cream! We also watched the artificial surfing machines going, which I just found out my friend Jessica got to try out on her recent trip to San Diego with her hubby. Lucky!
Saturday we spent the day at the San Diego Zoo. Grandpa Dave was able to get some free tickets from his mom and brother, so we only had to pay for one child admission - awesome! The SD Zoo is really large. The zoo I work at is only 18 acres, and the SD Zoo is around 100 and very hilly. It seemed enormous. They had so many animals that I had never before seen in real life, like polar bears, koalas, and of course, PANDAS! It was exciting. Although I do confess that I was scrutinizing and comparing all their habitats and visitor services the whole time...I concluded that they have a really great zoo, but I like the fact that you can get a lot closer to the animals at our zoo. Yay for us! And it seemed really amusement-park-like. Which I guess some people might really like (all the extra stuff to buy and what not), but it was a little over the top for me. I just like to focus on the animals.

Em was of course fascinated by the map. She had to hold it almost the entire time and pretended (well, in her mind she probably wasn't pretending) that she was finding our way through the huge park. She did a good job, even though she had it upside down most of the time!
And what would be a trip to a big famous zoo without the $10 souvenir cup? Em adored it, and the cool thing was you could get unlimited free refills, even with Icee, so we filled it up about five or six times and felt it was worth the money. Next time we are going to buy one of these on the way in, rather than towards the end!
I don't know why it's so hard for us to get a whole-family photo. I think we have taken maybe one of all of us in the past four months, and I haven't gotten a copy of it from my mom yet. Allison is in the stroller, so this kind of counts I guess.
Besides the zoo, we also got to go out to Hope and Dave's favorite Hawaiian restaurant, tour the Gaslamp district, visit Little Italy, see their new house that they are buying, and enjoy being together. What a great trip. Happy Birthday, Hope!

A change

Notice anything different? No, it's not Allison's chubbed-out face...I darkened my hair! Kinda crazy, but I was ready for a change. It's actually not too far off the natural color of the undersides of my hair. That and it looks like I am balding - I always knew I had a big forehead but it's getting extreme! Hopefully it's just post-baby loss and will grow in more soon.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Thankful Thursday 2

Okay, again it's not actually Thursday, but almost...I am thankful for:

1. Chocolate. It's just so good...
2. Boppy pillow. Whoever invented those is a lifesaver for nursing moms everywhere!
3. Down blanket. It's so light, yet so warm. More than anything I hate being cold, and the down blanket is so wonderful for even just barely cool weather.
4. Washer and dryer. I feel like I am constantly doing laundry around here - I can't imagine washing all those clothes by hand.
5. Baby smiles. The open mouthed, look-at-my-cute-baby-gums kind. Allison is full of them nowadays and it spreads the joy!
6. Great customer service at SaveMart. Even though it costs more to shop there, I am always treated like gold when I buy groceries from SaveMart. And I love the fact that I don't have to bag and load my own groceries in to the car. Just put the kids in and off we go!
7. My bed. It is really comfortable. 'Nuff said.
8. Orange blossoms. Our orange tree in the backyard is blossoming right now and it smells so lovely.
9. Password keeper. It is an application on BlackBerry - I would be lost without it.
10. Blogs. I have fun sharing things about my family, and I LOVE reading about my friends. I feel so much more connected!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Being Thankful

My sister Lisa had a post on her blog called "Thankful Thursday" that I thought was a good idea. Think of all the things you are thankful for and post them on Thursdays. Well it's not Thursday, but I'm still thankful so I wanted to post some things. I'm going to try ten. (Lisa-are there rules to this Thankful Thursday thing?)
  1. Family. Yeah, it's always on the top of most people's lists, but I was blessed recently to be able to see most of my family - on both sides - and I am always reminded how lucky I am to have such wonderful people in my family.
  2. Funny children (I echo you on that, Lisa!). Emily is a few months away from turning four years old, and boy does she spit the funniest things out of her mouth. She is much more imaginative now and comes up with all kinds of silly stories and even excuses for misbehavior. And then there's Allison...only three months old but she makes all kinds of funny noises and cracks me up when she tries to suck her thumb, fingers, fist...
  3. Home. I love my home. Yes, it's almost always cluttered and a little dirty in spots, but I love having a place to share with my family and make my own. And with our little home improvement projects (post on that coming soon) going on all the time, it just gets better and more comfortable all the time.
  4. A great job. Not so much in the sense that I love working and doing the job I do, but more in the sense of the great people I work with and for the way I am treated there. I am thankful that my boss values me enough to let me work less hours and at least half of them from home so I don't have to put my baby in daycare. That is a HUGE blessing. Not many people have that, and I am so grateful for it.
  5. My husband. I probably give him a much harder time than I should most of the time, since he has really stepped it up and does so much for me all the time. Washing dishes, putting Emily to bed every night, keeping Allison home with him when I do have to go to the office, laundry, home repairs, cooking, changing dirty diapers, washing Emily's hair in the bath (that is a huge task, believe me), making me laugh all the time. No he's not perfect, but he's great.
  6. Spring. We are so blessed in Fresno to get Spring so early, sometimes it starts in mid-February. We took a walk this evening after dinner and there are flowers everywhere and the air smells like sweet blossoms. It seems magical and I love the newness of life that comes in springtime and the beauty that is all around us.
  7. The Internet. This might seem like an odd thing, but since I started this blog and through Facebook, I have connected with so many old friends and it makes me feel like I haven't lost them over all this time even if I haven't seen them for years. It really is a wonder to just sit at a computer and look at photos and read stories of what's going on in the lives of people I love. Not to mention the easy communication afforded by email!
  8. Hot showers. Since being pregnant and having a baby, I have started to really cherish a good hot shower. Not only does it feel good, it's a little time I have all to myself.
  9. Pizza. I like pizza - who doesn't. But I include it on my thankful list today because over the last few months pizza has saved us at dinner time many a night. No food in the fridge...not in the mood for Taco Bell...don't want to spend a lot of money at a restaurant...too tired to is always a good solution.
  10. Bedtimes. Those of you close to us know how many issues we've had over the years with getting Emily to bed at a decent hour. Since Allison was born we have gotten into a consistent 8:00 bedtime, and now Allison is even going to bed around then and sleeping all night (oh, that's a huge blessing all on it's own!). It's a new and wonderful experience to have some quiet time to ourselves at night. I admit most of the time we just sit and watch tv or go to bed ourselves, but hey, that's sitting and watching tv with no kids talking or whining or wanting a drink or needing help going potty. And for that I am thankful.


Since most of the family left Saturday afternoon, we had our Easter fun on Saturday morning. This is also kind of a Nelson tradition - "Easter Bunny Day" on Saturday and real Easter on Sunday focusing on Christ and the resurrection. Jill had brought the kids' baskets and a bunch of plastic eggs, so she and mom hid them in the backyard for in impromptu egg hunt. For whatever reason Devin was out sleeping on the trampoline (probably to avoid the noise and chaos inside), but as we all came out he was forced out of his peaceful slumber. Mom brought some cute matching dresses for Emily and Ashlin to wear, so they got to get all prettied up for their egg hunt.
There were lots and lots of eggs, but we let the girls go first before Chad and Tyler came into the hunt. They were very cute walking around picking up their eggs.

After the egg hunt the kids dyed eggs. I can't lie...I'm not a huge fan of dyeing Easter eggs and I'm certainly not much of a hard-boiled-egg eater. So I would never have ventured to dye eggs on my own. Lucky for Emily my mom and sister are more into the traditions, because if it were left up to me we probably wouldn't have done anything. Not even the egg hunt. I don't want to give my child any more candy than she already has. (And good thing, since the next day Grandpa Boam and his fiancee put together a huge candy egg hunt for Emily up at Kevin's aunt's house. Of course Emily had fun collecting the eggs, and she loved the big pretty basket and stuffed animals that came with it. Said basket is currently on top of a cabinet far out of Emily's reach.) Am I a bad mom for giving up on holiday traditions? My mom was always (and still is) so great about making every holiday special, and I'm sad to say I haven't kept up with any of it! Poor Emily. Thank goodness for grandparents and aunts who make them still fun.
Thankfully Mom and Jill took all but two of the dyed eggs home with them. Only two eggs to figure out what to do with!


The week before Easter my sister, Jill came to town with her three kids for their spring break. On Thursday night Mom, Dad, Marianne and Devin came and on Friday we all went to Yosemite for the day. For some unknown reason I thought I had gone to Yosemite when I was a child, but apparently I had actually never been there (I was thinking of a trip to Yellowstone or something...). So this was my first time ever going to Yosemite National Park. Kind of sad considering we have lived in Fresno for nearly five years, a mere 90 miles from the park. Nevertheless, it was a gorgeous day and we had a lovely time, reminiscent of many family outings we took when I was young. We even had four of our six siblings together, so that made the day even more special.

It was freezing in the morning (literally - like 30 degrees) when we first arrived, but it warmed up as the day went on. Below is me and Emily at Bridal Veil Falls (sorry you can't see it in the photo). We could feel the mist blowing on us even from this far away.
We stopped for lunch near the river. Emily and her cousin Tyler had a great time throwing rocks into the water. Something about rocks, water,'s magical for kids.
Dad brought the "Nelson barbecue," a mini charcoal grill that I believe he fabricated in high school. It has been the best little thing for cooking hotdogs and roasting marshmallows during all our family outings over the years.
This time we got fancy and made banana boats. I had never heard of them previously, but basically you take a banana, slice it open, fill it with marshmallows and chocolate chips, wrap it in foil and then set it on top of hot coals until the chocolate and marshmallows melt. Kind of an interesting combination, I thought, but again, the kids loved it. My personal favorite is plain old roasted marshmallows...golden brown on the outside, gooey goodness inside. YUMMM!