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Saturday, December 31, 2005

We're BACK!

We're back in Lincoln after a whirlwind trip to Utah. Here are some of the highlights.

1. Whenever we go to church sites, we ALWAYS see someone we know. This year it was a family from my former branch in Oklahoma, the other Nelson family. I saw Gayle and Lyle and got caught up on all of the Blanchard Branch gossip (Melessa--you were safe! I don't know if she knows that I know you...know what I mean?)

2. The drive through Nebraska and Wyoming leaves much to be desired. However, we left super early in the morning and that helps with the kids. But, no matter what time we leave or which way we are headed, Big Apple will reach her breaking point about 1 hour before our final destination and not stop crying until we get there.

3. My brother-in-law Eric is one lucky guy. He snagged himself an awesome wife (with a little help from myself and my friend, Gigi). The wedding was great and they didn't mind that the Frog preferred cleaning up the rose petals on the way down the aisle instead of scattering them.

4. The Plaza hotel on Temple Square wasn't too great about having our reservations. But, as soon as we could give them a confirmation number...they were good to situate us in a big enough room at a cheap enough rate. Connie, my new (and only) sister-in-law, handled the arrangements and we thank her!

5. Elder Eyring and some of his family were in front of the yarn store I visited while I was there. I would like to think that he was buying yarn to knit up into lovely scarves or hats but I have a sneaky suspicion that he was really visiting the bridal store located right beneath it. Some grandkid of his must be getting married. Maybe I should knit them something? :)

6. I don't HAVE to visit Temple Square every time I go to Salt Lake City. In fact, just seeing it outside the window of the hotel was enough for me.

7. I'm grateful for the in-laws that I have (and I'm not just saying this because I know they read this blog). They would never try to force feed my baby the kinds of food she doesn't eat yet (like carrot sticks).

8. I had the best elk meatloaf in my whole life. Okay, it was the only time I've ever had meatloaf made from elk but it was DELICIOUS! My uncle Jeff killed it himself. He said something to the effect that I can make socks and he can make great meatloaf. It's true.

9. Mountains are highly overrated. Really. What's the big deal about living by the mountains? They get in the way of where you are going and make you carsick.

10. I took knitting orders for my side of the family for next year's Christmas. I've already started on one of the gifts. If I haven't taken your order yet...start looking for what you would like me to make for you (Nelsons---this means you. Mom, Lisa, etc...). I was having a hard time coming up with things to make these past couple of weeks so I thought I would knit for other people again. We'll see how this works out.

That's about it from here. I didn't take hardly any pictures because we kind of had our hands full. I'm sure I'll get some copies from the wedding and what other people took for us. I'll share them when I get them. In the meantime, have a Happy New Year! I'll be back tomorrow with my plans for Project Fat Arse 2006.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Kid Pics

Sugar Daddy took some pics of the kids this morning. Big Apple was playing with Frog's guitar before her bath so we caught her in the act. Frog was eating one of his many apples a day. That kid can't get enough apples.










We're leaving tomorrow to go to Eric's wedding. I should be able to post while I am gone. We're taking the laptop. Whether or not I have the time, that will be the big question.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!

It's been a great day here. Our kids are small enough that Christmas is still pretty low-key. Frog doesn't get it. Big Apple definitely has no idea what's going on. But, that doesn't mean we didn't have some fun. Here's our tree. The camera wouldn't let me take a pic with the lights on. Oh well.

Notice anything missing? There are no sweater ornaments on the tree. I never got around to making the hangers and was too lazy to put them on the tree. They'll be ready to go for next year. The kids were pretty good not to mess with the ornaments. We only had one major mishap. Last night Frog got one of the silver balls to burst. It cut his finger. Luckily, Big Apple was not around for that. We got it cleaned up before she knew there were shards of ornament to stick in her mouth.

The Frog has been sitting like this for the past 90 minutes. Not even the tiniest exaggeration.


This microphone came courtesy of Grandma and Grandpa Charlton. It plays songs like "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and "Old McDonald". He's been singing them over and over. Even with all of that noise, our little Big Apple is all tuckered out. Sugar Daddy, too. Big Apple spent most of the day playing with boxes, paper, and trying to strum Frog's new guitar. No wonder she's so tired!

You all are probably wondering if the Frog liked his drumset and if BA liked her Cabbage Patch baby. Last night, Santa decided that they were getting enough fun things today so he's going to save them until their birthdays. He did fill their stockings (okay...technically BA doesn't have a stocking yet---I'm working on it!) with little goodies so I don't think they'll even miss the fact that he didn't bring them their "real" Christmas presents. Shhh. Don't tell.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Winter Quarters

I've returned to the land of the living. I slept about 12 hours last night and woke up refreshed! I've eaten some toast and am tempting fate by drinking a Diet Pepsi. So far so good. As promised, here are some of the pictures from our trip to Winter Quarters in Omaha. They have a bunch of gingerbread on display and here are some of the highlights. I think I should probably mention that Winter Quarters is the place where the Mormon pioneers camped during the winter of 1846 before their completing their journey westward to Utah. Now there is a visitor's center, the cemetery, and the Winter Quarters Temple. You can find out more information at www.mormon.org


They were all really well done. They had some more on display in the Kanesville Tabernacle in Iowa but I didn't take any pictures of those while we were there. This next picture is of one of the statues in the pioneer cemetery.

In front of the statue you can see a little grave of a baby. Most of the pioneers that died that winter were under 2 years old. One happened to be a child of some of my ancestors (Joseph Skeen, age 2). Being there with my own 2 little kids made the hardships they faced more real to me. It was nice to visit there again.

After Winter Quarters, we drove to downtown Omaha to see some of the ice sculptures set up along the riverfront. I only took pictures of one of the tents. They were pretty elaborate.


And now, so as to not annoy the family members that read this blog...here are some pictures of the kids.


Friday, December 23, 2005

We Interrupt the Blog for Some Puking

We had an awesome day in Omaha yesterday. I've got loads of pictures of gingerbread houses for Melessa and I even managed to get some pictures of the ice sculptures. Oh yeah, a few of the kids, too. Imagine my surprise when I couldn't move without hurting when we got home last night and then I spent the rest of the evening and all night puking and pooping. Food poisoning. In the middle of the night Sugar Daddy's brother, Jared, started puking as well. We narrowed down the culprit to Wendy's hamburgers. Nobody else had a hamburger (except Sugar Daddy but he had a little Jr. hamburger and has an iron stomach). It hasn't been too much fun around here at Hotel Nelson today. I'm so glad the kids are fine. That would have been disastrous. At least Jared and I can make it to the bathroom to puke (most of the time). I've been sleeping most of the day (when I can) and I managed to drink a 7up and eat 6 saltine crackers. It's a crying shame, too, because we have so many goodies in the house.

I think I've hit my limit of sitting upright for the moment. Time to go and take a breather. Let's hope tomorrow is a better day.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Hostess With the Mostest

This is my first year as Mrs. Dr. Sugar Daddy. We had a Christmas party for his grad students tonight. It went smashingly. The tamales were SO YUMMY!!!!! I was so pleased how they turned out. I'm going to be making them more often now that I've got the skills and an awesome tamale steamer. We also had chips, salsa, and mexican hot chocolate. A couple of SD's students brought treats. Yum yum. Why is it that I love the corn flake holly berry treats so much? I can't get enough of them. Mmmmm.

The entertainment (unplanned) included a piano duet by Sugar Daddy and myself. We are performing it in church in a couple of weeks so it's not that great. That was NOT the highlight of the night. Picture this: Frog dancing to Napoleon Dynamite. Oh yeah. Pelvic thrusts and all. That kid has some talent.

Big Apple had immunizations and her second flu shot yesterday. Couple that with major teething and we've got one unhappy baby. She hasn't slept more than an hour or two at a time for the past 48 hours. Aargh! She is over 22 lbs now and has graduated to her big girl car seat. That means we've got to put Frog in a booster. It's about time. I know he's been over 40 pounds for a while but he just seems too little to me to be out of a "real" car seat. You know, one with the 5 point harness, etc...

Tomorrow we are taking the family to Omaha to Winter Quarters if....Sugar Daddy can get the oil filter off the van. He's been cursing Wal-Mart all day for screwing on the filter too tight. He's had to buy tools and be under the van most of the day. He's going to try one more time tomorrow morning and then we'll be forced to call in for reinforcements. I hope it is fixed soon. I kind of need that van.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Secret Pal?

Secret Pal,

Who are you? I'm dying to know. I haven't received the last package yet but I really can't wait to find out your true identity. PLEASE?

Christy

Monday, December 19, 2005

Hotel Nelson

Hotel Nelson is open for business. We've got Sugar Daddy's parents and 2 of his brothers here visiting. Nothing like adding 4 adults in a house... Actually, I'm amazed at how smoothly things are going. We've had plenty of room. Well, sometimes we're sitting on the floor and the piano bench but that happens when just 2 people come over to visit, let alone four. I've even been keeping up with the cooking. I don't think too many people are going hungry.

I haven't been knitting too much. I started the Snowdrop Shawl from The Yarn Harlot. I've messed up a couple of times but I'm hoping you won't be able to notice it when it is done. Ha ha.

I also finished up my sweater, Sweetness. I still need to get a picture of me in it. I'm trying to decide whether to shrink it first or just take a picture with it big. I made a size bigger than I would need because I thought that would work with the gauge I was getting. Then, I started getting a little smaller, thanks to Project Fat Arse. Now, it's just too big. It's a wool blend so I think I can block it smaller. We'll see how that works.

The kids are enjoying having their grandparents and uncles in the house. Frog has been showing off (and throwing some pretty good tantrums). Big Apple has been crawling all over everyone! Good times.

Here is what I have to look forward to this week:

1. Sugar Daddy's Christmas Party for his grad students. I'm making tamales and atole.

2. Heading up to the Winter Quarters Visitor Center in Omaha. They have all sorts of gingerbread houses on display.

3. Celebrating Christmas with the Nelsons on Friday. I'll be excited to see the kids open their presents.

4. Having so many babysitters in the house that I can get a lot of stuff done around here.

5. Reading as much as I can of the Book of Mormon so I don't feel like a slacker when the end of the year comes around and I haven't finished.

Friday, December 16, 2005

What's This?

Frog has a new favorite phrase. "WHAT'S THIS?" Over and over. All day. He only asks about things when he knows himself what they are. If I say the wrong thing, he gets mad.

Frog: (holding a green lollipop) "What's this?"

Me: a lollipop.

Frog: (holding a green lollipop) "WHAT'S THIS?"

Me: a lollipop!

Frog: (holding a green lollipop) "WHAT'S THIS?"

Me: green?

Frog: GREEN! Mmm hmm. GREEN!

Frog: (holding a huge Nemo stuffed toy) "What's this?"

Me: Nemo

Frog: (holding a huge Nemo stuffed toy) "WHAT'S THIS?"

Me: Finding Nemo?

Frog: (holding a huge Nemo stuffed toy) "WHAT'S THIS?"

Me: a fish?

Frog: FISH!!!! Mmm Hmm. FISH!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

9 Months Old

My baby is 9 months old today. Wow. She's the sweetest thing around here and we're gonna keep her. Here is a list of some of her skills.

1. The ability to dangle wildly from tables, countertops and the oven door. I had her with me in my Sunday School class last week and while I was teaching the kids started yelling, "LOOK!". I looked and lo and behold, there was my sweet little daughter dangling from the table trying to kick her way higher so she could get her 5 1/2 teeth on the wood.

2. She is a parselmouth. Yes, she can speak to snakes. I'm sure she could communicate with any other parselmouth, Harry Potter included.

3. She turns the world on with her smile. She has got the greatest smile. Her best efforts have been too elusive to catch with a camera.


4. No matter how many times I brush and fix her hair during the day, after a few minutes it always looks like this. Don King, look out.

5. She has taken to greeting me when I come to get her from her naps. She almost always says, "Ah, ma ma ma ma ma" and then blows a raspberry or two. I'm hoping that is a sign of affection and not a commentary on my skills as a ma ma ma ma ma.

Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Coming out of the Closet

I finally came out of the closet and revealed myself to my secret pal. You can find her here at her blog. It's Amy from Some Call Them Sticks and Strings. I was worried that somehow she would find out it was me because a knitter she knows well is a blog reader here (Jessica at Naturally Knitty). Plus, I was Jessica's sister's secret pal for SP4 (Allena at Star Knits). It's turning out to be a small knitting blog world indeed.

I think I'm going to take a Secret Pal break (at least for the 7th edition). I don't know whether it was the holiday season or not but I just had a hard time keeping up with everything.

Speaking of the holiday season...Sugar Daddy's family is coming to visit. They arrive late Friday night. I've been busy trying to get the house in order. The basement has been command central for my card making, gift wrapping, and Frog distracting. It's a little messy. Frog got into some gift wrap and thought it would make a good confetti-like floor covering. So, I've got just a few more days to turn that into a place worthy to be called "Hotel Nelson". I also need to finish Big Apple's stocking although the chances of that happening before Christmas are pretty slim. Oh well. She's a baby. Don't tell her!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Finishing Master

I took a class at my local yarn store and I am now a finishing master. I've got some mad skills now. Watch out. I apologize to anyone that received anything from me that had to be seamed (mainly Deanna). I totally sucked at seaming things up. Not now! Need something mattress stitched? I'm your gal. One of the bad things about learning how to knit from a book is that sometimes things look a littly wonky on the page....translating to some wonkiness in the stitching.

In other news...I found out the store is having a knit-a-long for a Dale of Norway Olympic collection sweater. Instead of doing the Torino sweater, they chose the 2002 Salt Lake sweater because it had a more appealing design to those in the shop. Here are the two colorway choices.


I know that Sugar Daddy would never wear something like this and I'm not really the ski sweater type (see this post's #1) but I really want to make this. So, what should I do? Should I find somebody that wants a sweater like this but doesn't want to make it themselves and have them buy the kit and have me make it? Do I just make it and enjoy my handiwork? Do I become the type of person that wears ski sweaters? Help!

Friday, December 09, 2005

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARY!

You're the coolest 27 year-old I know.

Have a great day.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Tagged Again

I got tagged for a meme about books. I have absolutely nothing else to write about today so I figured I would get right on this. Plus, Sugar Daddy worked at home today so he's letting me have a "break" right now. Well, he thinks I'm working on Relief Society business. I am, kind of. I've got stuff printing as I type.

I'm supposed to list 15 facts and/or personal preferences about books and then tag three more people. Melessa tagged me.

1. My favorite book is The Count of Monte Cristo by Dumas. I love long books and this one is so great. It's got great details, the story moves along, and I love books about revenge. Those who know me personally will not find this surprising. I'm trying to be better, though.

2. My friend, Catherine, turned me on the the Georgia Nicholson books by Louise Rennison. The first one is called Angus, Thongs, and Full-frontal Snogging. They are fictional diaries of a 14 yr. old girl. Hilarious and full of red bottomosity (there's a glossary at the back of the book to help all of us here in Hamburger-a-go-go land).

3. I started a big rift in my last book group by suggesting we read Memoirs of a Geisha. Some people (okay, really just one person) thought it was too dirty. She left the book group and we've been reading some great dirty books ever since.

4. I like to read cookbooks but I don't consider myself a great cook. I rarely try the recipes. I just like to read about food and it gives me ideas for my own creations. I love Rick Bayless' cookbooks and The Joy of Cooking.

5. When I lived in Tehachapi, CA (age 10-14) we didn't get TV reception. I read a lot of books during that time.

6. Right now the only book I'm reading is The Book of Mormon.

7. I usually read 2 books at a time (not including scriptures).

8. I like to read in the bathroom. I always keep something in there. It's quiet.

9. I can't go to the library and check out just one book. I load up my bag even though I know there is no way that I'll get around to reading them all. I like to have variety.

10. I can't think of a movie that has ever been better than the book version.

11. My favorite books are historical fiction.

12. I've been to 2 tapings of Oprah's Book Club (Anna Karenina and One Hundred Years of Solitude).

13. My book group is currently reading Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. I started it but I'm not going to finish it. I don't know why. I just didn't feel compelled to read it, I guess. I'm not going to be able to make it to book group this month either. Maybe that's why.

14. I love the Lemony Snicket books but I don't like to read them. I'd rather listen to them on tape. I hated the movie.

15. I'm going to start re-reading the Harry Potter books again. I usually do this at least once a year. I love them!

I'm supposed to tag three people. If you would like to do it, just do it. How's that?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Pajama Party Part II

Okay, so I'm not really in my pajamas again. I was supposed to have a Relief Society presidency meeting tonight so I actually showered and got dressed. At 10am the president called and said it was cancelled. This is okay since it has been snowing most of the day and it is still darn cold. I am getting a little crazy staying inside so much, though. I'll have to ask Sugar Daddy how bad the road really are and maybe I'll venture out this evening to run an errand or two. I'm not even getting a lot done. I'm a wrestling referree most of the day trying to keep Frog from killing Big Apple. He's just playing but she's not tough enough for his kind of play. So, I keep on my toes most of the day. BA is eating right now so she's out of harm's way in her crib. I've got Frog subdued with his latest "favorite"---the episode of Lazy Town where they sing their greatest hits. Now he goes around the house saying, "My favorite song is called the 'It's Mine!' song!". He's only told me his chicken joke once today.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Pajama Party

I'm having a pajama party today. I refuse to put on my real clothes. I was going to go to the Y today but decided against it. Why? It's COLD and SNOWY outside. The chances of me getting down the driveway are pretty slim. I would also have to spend about 30 minutes scraping the van. The kids would take forever to bundle up (me too) and the thought of doing that and trying to drive the 5 miles to the Y just to unload them and work out and then load everyone back up again seems too daunting. The wind chill is -16. To my friends and family in Oklahoma, bundle up. It's coming your way. When it gets there, we're actually supposed to warm up. I've never looked forward to 30 degree weather before. So, I think staying inside is just fine. Plus, I'll get to hear Frog say the same joke over and over again like he has the past three days.

Frog: Why'd the chicken cross the road?
Answer: Weedeater.

I know. It doesn't make sense. I blame the VeggieTales.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Wasting Time

How many blogs can I read before I feel the pressure to do a load of laundry so we have some clean clothes to wear tomorrow?

Why am I on the computer when I should be doing the finishing touches on my Christmas cards (pounding eyelets)?

Why am I surfing the net when I should be clearing off the table so we can eat at it once in a while?

Apparently, because I laugh in the face of organization...and I can!

Friday, December 02, 2005

My Twelve Days of Christmas

I spent a long 2 1/2 hours at the mall yesterday and came up with my own 12 days of Christmas. I shouldn't have left the house. There was quite a bit of snow on the ground and my van slid down our rather steep driveway. But, I had a coupon that needed to be used and a reason to buy myself a new outfit and shoes (the ME department Christmas party at the Dean's house).

12 fries from Runza
11 times that Big Apple got hit by Frog
10 minutes spent getting a section of hair straightened
9 items of clothing tried on
8 minutes telling the hair straightening guy that I wasn't interested in his overpriced ceramic hair straightener
7 minutes spent in line for lunch
6 items purchased
5 dollars for a razor cut to thin my thick mushroom hair
4 times I got asked to try lotion
3 times I tried to get back up my driveway when we got home
2 high-heeled shoes from Payless
and finally...
1 crazy trip to the mall!