Thursday, September 22, 2011

What A Day

This is my nephew Callum:

Darling, huh?  Well his personality is darling too.  He is friendly, affectionate, and smart.  He hugs anyone, says that "Aunt Rachel" is his best friend, and rarely throws temper tantrums.  Whenever he sees Noah, he says in an exuberant voice, "Hi, Baby Noah!" and insists on giving him a sloppy kiss.

Though he couldn't possibly be any sweeter, Callum can still be a handful because he has more energy than even your average 2.5-year-old.

I think I temporarily forgot that when I offered to run errands with him and Noah this morning.  Cranky 7-week-old  +  Active 2.5-year-old + Multiple errands = Exhausting disaster.

My sister designs jewelry, and she has a big sale coming up this next weekend, so she asked if I could watch Callum this morning while she got some orders made.  I agreed, but when I showed up at her house to pick him up, she said, "While you're gone, I'm going to run to the post office to mail a few of my orders and then to the muffin place  because my groupon expires today."

"Doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose of me watching Callum so you can work on jewelry?" I asked.  "We can run the errands while we're out."

She looked skeptical.  "Are you sure?"

"Absolutely," I insisted.

And so off we drove on our blissful little adventure.  We rolled down the windows and looked at the trucks passing by.  We sang "If You're Happy and You Know It."  The skies were blue and a slight breeze was blowing...and then a cop pulled up behind me with his lights on.

Confused, I looked down at my spedometer.  "I'm only going 43," I thought.  "He must want me to pull over so he can pass by and continue on to an accident or something."

No such luck.  As he was walking up to our car, Noah started screaming and Callum started yelling, "Hi, Policeman!  Hi, Policeman!"  I thought this might work in my favor, but the cop didn't even seem to notice.

"I thought the speed limit was 40," I said when he told me I'd been speeding.

"Yes, but this a school zone.  So right now the speed limit is 30, and you were going 13 over."

I almost said the d-word, but I remembered that I had virgin ears in the backseat, so I refrained.

As we pulled away, a nice $100 ticket in hand, Noah seemed as upset about the ticket as I was--he started crying and didn't stop for the next hour.  As much as I appreciated his empathy, I kind of wished he would put a sock in it.

Remember last summer when I got a speeding ticket on my way to church?  And a year later, I'm getting a ticket as I try to do a favor for my sister??  It just isn't right.

So we continued on to the post office, and the line was massively long, so I decided to do the self-service station.  Noah was screaming, and Callum was running around pulling envelopes off of the shelves.  I told him to stop, so he started doing something else exciting--banging on the side of the counter.  It was super loud, and everyone was staring, so I said, "Callum, please don't make a scene."

"But I need to make a scene, Aunt Rachel!  I need to!" he insisted.

I shouldn't have laughed, but I couldn't help it.  This kid is too much.  I got him to come over and help me push the buttons on the self-service screen, but as soon as I put him down, he ran back to the counter and started banging, saying over and over, "I need to make a scene!  I need to make a scene."

Well, you succeeded, Callum.  We definitely made a scene!

So then it was on to the muffin shop.  Callum helped me pick out the flavors of the muffins, and he said he wanted the chocolate one.  I guess the lady behind the counter thought he meant immediately because she handed it to him while I was paying and didn't notice.  (She obviously does not have children.)  When I turned around, he was literally covered in chocolate, as was the floor all around him.

Noah was still crying.

I was planning to take them to the park afterward, but when the box of muffins spilled while I was buckling them into their carseats, I decided it was time to go home.

I have never been so exhausted.

My biggest question do mothers of two children run errands???  How about three...four...five children??  Do they ever leave their houses?

I might not---at least not with Callum! :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Update on my Life as a Housewife

**Re: Cooking
         I read through an entire cookbook this week.  I tried five of the recipes:

  1) Breadsticks.  I was holding a fussy Noah as I tried to put these in the oven, and they fell off of the cookie sheet and onto the open oven door.  I watched in horror as they started to slide toward the hot coils at the bottom of the oven.  I handed Noah to Ryan, who was talking to a friend in the front room and was completely unaware of the disaster that was unfolding in the kitchen, and then I ran back to the oven and, using a spatula, rescued the breadsticks from certain death.  Though they were deformed, they actually still tasted pretty good.

2) Corn Chowder.  No major mishaps here, but it just didn't taste as good as I'd hoped.

3) Chicken Cordon Bleu.  Took me two hours to make this (seriously??), but I think it might have been worth it for how good it tasted.  This was one of my proudest moments as a housewife.

4) Brazilian Lemonade.  This recipe requires pureeing sugar water and whole limes in the blender.  You should've seen the mess I made.  I think it took me two hours to clean it up and mop my floors.

5) Mango Avocado Salsa with Coconut Rice.  The salsa turned out yummy (I had to read a tutorial on how to cut a mango--this has been a slimy and difficult job in the past--and the tutorial really helped).  The problem arose when I went to make the rice.  Hard to make coconut rice when you can't find the cans of coconut milk that you purchased.  I don't know if I left them at the register at the grocery store or if I "put them away" somewhere in our kitchen and they will resurface in six months.  If you know Rachel Westover Nielson, then you know that both of those scenarios are very serious possibilities.  I am a bit flaky.  Anyway, I was so mad when I couldn't find the coconut milk that I went and pouted in my bed and told Ryan that I want to give up on cooking forever.  Dramatic?  Yes.

**Re: The Mr.
         He is so busy at work--busier than he ever was in dental school.  He gets up early and comes home late.  When he's home, he loves to spend quality time with Noah:

When they're not snoozing, they like to go on evening walks:

This hat kills me.

*Re: The Little Mr.
    He has peed on me twice and pooped on me once.  He has spit up on me more times than I can count.  Yet, I love him to bits, and I have to fight the urge every second to squeeze his precious little face vigorously.  He is just that cute.  The pics below were taken several weeks ago when he was still itty bitty.  I feel like he's getting so big now.  Yesterday, I was saying to him, "You're a real boy!" (Pinocchio, anyone?)

Bath by Grandma
He loves this little giraffe that makes "white noise."  
I am enjoying my time at home with him.  It has been an adjustment for me, as I've always been someone who likes to be busy and likes a schedule.  Of course, I am still busy (busier than I thought I would be---who knew that such a little person could require so much attention?), but I am still trying to figure out meaningful routines for Noah and for me.  We are getting the hang of it, slowly but surely.

Overall, life as a housewife is quite enjoyable.

On tonight's menu: Sweet and Sour Meatballs.  I really am becoming domestic.  I wonder how many more days it will last.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Cutest Boy EVER

All dressed up in his church clothes

This is his half smile...we are still waiting to see his grin!  Should be any day!

So concerned all of the sudden...:)
This one is probably my favorite.

I just love baby shoes...
Happy Autumn!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

And now a word from our sponsors...

**Please ignore the messy apartment and the dribble of spit-up coming out of the corner of Noah's mouth. Ryan clearly didn't notice that when he was taking the video. We are classy people.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Trip Home--Noah's Adoption Story Part 6

As I've mentioned in a previous post, Noah and I had to wait to leave Utah until all of the legal paperwork cleared.  Our caseworker said it could take anywhere from four days to four weeks.  I prepared myself for the worst and brought everything Noah would need for the first month of his life with me when Ryan and I road tripped to Utah.  In the end though, we got clearance to leave the state only four days after the adoption papers were signed!  Hallelujah!

My little sister had come to Utah to spend the weekend with me and Noah, so she made the drive home to Colorado with me.  It was way too much fun.  I adore my little sis.  We decided to do the trip in two days--to give Noah a little break halfway through and also to see our cousins in Grand Junction.

On our way out of town, we stopped in Provo so that my good friend Molly (who is about to graduate from BYU's photography program) could take Noah's pictures.  The photos are amazing, and I will post them soon.  Laura and I grabbed a J-Dawg on the way out if town (yummmmmm) and then started the trek east to Colorado.

Both days of the trip, Noah slept most of the way, but we did have to occasionally stop to change his diaper and give him a bottle.  Is he precious or what??

"Mom, this is embarrassing."  I may see this face for the rest of my life when I kiss him in public! :)
When my sisters and I were in college, whenever we drove to or from BYU for holiday breaks, we would stop and spend the night in Grand Junction with our LaBonde cousins.  I have the most vivid memories of arriving to their house very late at night, only to be greeted by the entire family including the little kids.  We'd stay up until all hours of the night, talking and laughing.  Then Uncle Steve would suggest that we run into town to get Jack-N-The-Box tacos--so we'd all load up into his truck at 1 a.m.   The LaBondes are always up for a party.   On our way out to Utah to visit Katie in late July, Ryan and I stopped there, and they suggested we go midnight.  So we swam under the stars against the backdrop of the Colorado National Monument and had a cannon ball contest and sat in the hot tub until about 2 a.m.  Perfect.

Two weeks later, when Laura and I arrived with Noah, we were greeted by an excited entourage:
Aunt Beth and Marcus

Uncle Steve

The next day, we intended to leave bright and early, but after a typical late night with the LaBos, we got going around noon. :)
Noah was tired from partying hard the night before
Stopping in Vail for dinner
I thought Noah's outfit was appropriate for a car trip (it had a car on it)
When we arrived home in Denver, we were greeted by this sight:

Sarah was just a little bit excited to meet her first nephew.

Aunt Sarah and Noah
Yes, my sister is insane.  I love her.
Uncle Logan was pretty excited too.

Their son Callum was so excited to meet "Baby Noah" and share his toys.  This is good practice for when he will have to start sharing with his own little brother or April!  Yup, Sarah found out she is pregant the week that we adopted Noah.  So exciting!

And Great Grammy and Grampy were waiting to welcome Noah to the family too!

They love their great grandsons!

"Oh woe is me...everyone stop giving me so much attention!"
Who do you think was most excited for Baby Noah to be home?

Ryan made Noah a sign for his bedroom door.  He was so excited to have him home that he couldn't put him down, even when he was studying.

So there you have it.  Noah's adoption story from start to finish--or is it from start to new beginning?  Noah is now 38 days old and getting cuter and plumper and more alert by the minute.  We love him more than words can say.  I can't wait to see him smile...and then sit up...and then crawl...and then walk..and then get on the school bus to kindergarten...and then play on his first sports team...and then have his first crush...and then go to high school...and then graduate and go to college...and then meet the woman of his dreams...and then have his own children...I'm sure it will feel like he grew up that quickly when I look back in thirty years.  

Noah--two weeks old
This boy will never grow up, right??
Life is so so good, and we are so so lucky to be Noah's parents.  

Saturday, September 3, 2011

So Many Visitors--Noah's Adoption Story Part 5

In Noah's first few days of life, he had so many visitors!

Grandpa Nielson came to the hospital to meet him.  At first, Noah seemed a little skeptical of Grandpa...

But then he warmed right up to him! :)

The night we brought Noah home from the hospital, Uncles Derek and Cole were waiting at the condo.  It was quite late by the time we got there, but they didn't care--they were just anxious to meet their first nephew.  They couldn't believe how tiny he was...and how soft his feet were. :)

Uncle Cole, Daddy Ry, Baby Noah, and Uncle Derek

Unfortunately, Ryan had to go back to work on Thursday, so he flew home to Denver.  Luckily, Grandma Nielson and Aunt Ashley came to Salt Lake to help me with the baby for a few days.

Aunt Ashley is so pretty...and so happy to be holding her first nephew!
Finally a grandma!
Bath time with Grandma
Ashley made this onesie. :)
It just so happened that many of our best friends from Buffalo were in Utah the week that Noah was born, so they brought us dinner (so nice!) and got to meet him too (so fun!).

The Majeronis and the Daytons
Unfortunately, I didn't get a photo with the Hawes family, who were also in town from Buffalo and came to see Noah.  They ended up helping me vacuum and clean the condo when I was scrambling to get on the road to Colorado--thank goodness for great friends.

My best friend from college got married in Utah that weekend, so she got to meet Noah briefly outside the Salt Lake temple, as did all of my college roommates who were in town for the wedding.  I can't believe it was such good timing for so many of our dear friends to meet Noah before we took him home to Colorado.  And that's not all! freshman dorm R.A. (who is still a dear friend) came to visit Noah, as did one of my best friends from my freshman hallway with her mom.  It was truly touching that so many people were so excited for us.

My extended family was all together at a family reunion in Oregon the first week of August, so they sent Noah a special message from the beach:

"We love Noah..." Look closely in the sand. :)
After the reunion was over, my dad and my sister Laura flew from Oregon to Salt Lake to spent the weekend with Noah and to help me.

My dad would always say, "He a hunchback." :)  
Dad was forced to sleep in the pretty princess pink bed the entire funny.
Ryan decided to fly back to Salt Lake on Friday night to spend a few days with Noah.  He couldn't stay away.  It was his birthday on Saturday, and he said the only thing that he wanted was to hold his could I deny him that, no matter the price of a last-minute plane ticket?

Throughout the course of the week, we were also lucky enough to spend some time with Katie and Drew.  They came to the condo twice to see Noah, and then we took Noah to see them at their homes the night before we left town.

Drew showed up wearing his "twinner" Vans.  Can't wait until Noah can wear his pair!

So many people love Noah!  And this was only the beginning...much of my family was in Colorado anxiously awaiting our arrival there...which will be the topic of my next post! :)