Tuesday, October 31

Pumpkins & Dog Vomit

Tonight, Amy McFadden brought us food. Super-fantastic BBQ (we're guessing from Sonny's). I called Todd to come eat with us since we had so much great food. Also, I had picked up 3 big pumpkins to carve with the family, and I was going to need some help.

So he came over and brought Maggie (his dog). We ate and began carving pumpkins. Emma colored on hers, as there's no chance in hell I'm giving her a knife. She's dangerous enough with a marker! Todd picked out out a couple of designs for us on Home Star Runner's website. Todd picked the duck, and I picked Strong Mad. After corralling and wrangling my kids to bed, we got to work polishing off the pumpkins. Somewhere near the end of it all, I smelled something awful. In honesty, it smelled like dog poo. I searched around, and found a nice pile of brown liquid dog vomit, placed lovingly in the dining room by Maggie. Todd cleaned up the vomit while I cleaned up the kitchen / carving area. Then we watched Heroes...such a great show!

So that's my Pumpkins & Dog Vomit story. It's now the 31st...Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 29

Weekend Recap

It's been a really fun weekend! I always like the few days before Halloween since there are lots of costumed parties, events, and perfect Fall weather. Friday afternoon, Allison and Emma went to a playgroup Halloween party. Brooke took some phenomenal pictures (shocker!). of all the kids in their costumes. Then Friday night, Fellowship Kids Ministries put on a Fall Festival that was really fun! They had lots of event "stations" inside one of the buildings (since it was FREEZING Friday). Kids came dressed up and could get their faces painted, play games, paint pumpkins, and get candy/food/juice. They also put on this cool puppet show / musical that all the kids really enjoyed! It was really a fine production, too! I was impressed. After that, we went to Backyard Burger with the Walkers and the Walkers (Brett & Benton are brothers) and their kids.

Saturday, the whole family went to Dilly Dally's Halloween event. It's a great toy store, and their annual Halloween party is a lot of fun. It was super-packed! Free ice cream and food to compliment a lot of playing with toys we didn't buy. Brooklyn got a bit fussy, so we went home.

Saturday evening was the first annual Fall on the Farm at Josh & Margo's new farm. The event doesn't really have that name, but that's what I'm calling it. I took Emma and Belle while Allison and Brooklyn stayed home and rested. It was a great time! Perfect weather for the hot dog cooking over a bonfire, lots of corn hole, and S'mores over the fire. Belle lived it up, chasing the cats, chickens, and eating food off peoples' plates when they let their guard down. She ate well, especially off of Emma. Emma was pretty tuckered out, as she fell asleep on the ride home.

Today, we skipped Church (yeah, we're heathens) and went to Harbor Meadows to play, stroll, and take pictures. That place is magical! The trees are incredible right now, and the whole feel of that place is just homey. I wish I lived there.

It was a really great weekend! Here are lots of pictures...

Wednesday, October 25

Eventful Night

I'm apparently not the only person in the family suffering from gas today. When I got home tonight, Emma was running around tooting like crazy. Mainly when she laughed, which made it funnier. Brooklyn blew some serious gas tonight, too. Hand-vibrating gas. Very powerful. It appears that it was the Nelson's day to be extremely gassy.

In other news, tonight was quite eventful! First, Todd made us dinner: homemade pizza and some crazy good dessert, For all those cooking dinner for the family after Brooklyn was born...the standard has been set! If you're going to impress us, you're gonna have to try hard...Todd raised the bar. And we have high expectations now. You can blame Todd.

Also, Brooklyn took a real bottle for the first time! It's not like she'll be bottle-fed from now on, but it's nice if Allison can have a break from feeding Brooklyn. It makes me feel more involved to be able to pitch in, too. As you can see in the picture, she was also sporting her "I Love Daddy" bib (it's how Allison bribed me into giving her a bottle in the first place. It worked swimmingly!). She sucked it down like a champ, and was very content and bright-eyed for the next hour.

And lastly, we got the dogs involved in the normal Wednesday night activities. Maggie and Belle were great sports as we played Halloween dress-up with them. Both were sporting a skirt from Emma's wardrobe. We had to work hard to get Emma to give up the skirt she was wearing so we could adorn Belle. Taking pictures was a bit tougher, though. You can see the best outcome I could get. The dogs were a bit distracted tonight. Why is it so fun to put stuff on your pet?


Ever have one of those days when you've just got gas? I know you do.

I am having one today.

Thankfully, I have a special place to go to alleviate the pain: the server room. It's close by, noisy, and extremely well-ventilated.

However, there are the few times when a little slippage happens at the desk.

Why is it that when that happens, a co-worker decides it's time to visit?

Then they act polite by ignoring the elephant in the room, all the while thinking: HOLY SMOKES! I GOTTA GET OUTTA HERE!

I hate gas.

Tuesday, October 24

My Desk

Seth and Todd did this recently, and it looked like fun. So here's my desk. Right to left.

Plant. Desktop with Predator protecting it. Double windows looking out onto a pleasant grassy area and woods (lots of deer and wildlife to look at). Windowsill of pictures. Laptop on the floor. Office phone, Treo cell phone, card reader. Crappy chair with no arms (I keep my arms on the desk most of the time). Computer speakers (hooked up to iPod dock with sub under the desk). Spit cup. Monitor, keyboard, mouse. Rear view mirror on monitor. iPod dock & iPod. Nalgene bottle.

What you can't see: another chair (for visitors) and another shelf with books to the left. To the right, 3 more computers that need fixing. It really isn't much of a space, but it's a bigger cube than most others have here in the office. I think it's a neat idea to see everyone's office/cubicle...it says a lot about the person usually. And it's where we spend a crazy amount of time. So what's your office look like?

Saturday, October 21

My Purpose for Blogging

It seems to me that many are falling off the blogging bandwagon. I started to think about why I blog. The main reason I blog is this: journaling. I hate writing things down, but enjoy typing. So I'm documenting my thoughts, family activities, and other things on the blog to look back on later in life.

Of course, I don't really expect that Blogger will be around in 40 years, but I'll have it somewhere. And I'm sure I can download it to my computer at some point when Blogger dies. Or translate it into the most current form of media that will be used at that time.

Just wanted to say/document that.


We just went to Fuddrucker's for dinner. It's one of our favorite places to eat, though we visit infrequently. We pull the Kids Meal Scam: everyone orders a kids meal. Their kids meals include a cheeseburger, fries, drink, and free cookie. All for about $4.00. That means the entire family eats for just over $12! Usually, kids meal portions are pretty small, but at Fuddrucker's, it's a pretty healthy portion! In fact, I'm stuffed right now and haven't even eaten my cookie yet.

The best news is that the staff doesn't care if adults order the kids meals. In fact, they asked me tonight if any of the meals were for adults so they could give us adult-sized glasses for our drinks! Rock on!

So go to Fuddrucker's when you're on a budget (not a diet) and want a really great burger with fries (dipped in incredible honey mustard)!

Friday, October 20

It's Fall!

The cooler weather has set in and the leaves are changing like crazy here in God's Country (aka NWA). This is my last week to be off work on parental leave, so I'm trying to make the most out of my remaining time and the great weather to hang out with the family, specifically Emma.

Emma's current favorite movie is Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses. Basically, it's Barbie with 11 princess sisters dancing for an hour. So Emma and I dance. A lot. The words "princess" and "castle" make up about 85% of the words she says right now. It's cute...and annoying. This morning, I decided to take her to Wilson Park to play in the castle they have there. It's really an amazing area of the park. I "rescued" Emma countless times from the castle, and we took pictures in the landscaping (which is amazing, too!). Then we walked around the rest of the park and played and took more pictures. Some are below. It was really fun, and she loved the castle. I recommend it to any kid that's ever seen Shrek. They'll love it!

Tonight, Emma's Papa (Allison's Dad) and I took Emma to the Arkansas Red & White game at Bud Walton Arena. Unfortunately, the band and mascots weren't there for entertainment. But Emma's fascination with the cheerleaders kept her perky and entertained while Bob & I watched the game. We moved down behind the cheerleaders in the second half. Emma shook her pom pom every time the cheerleaders moved. Monkey See / Monkey Do. She was wiped out by the end of the game from all the dancing and pom pom shaking. It was a great time! Here are some pictures from today's adventures:

Tuesday, October 17


I'm becoming a huge fan of photography. Not only taking the pictures, but also admiring others' talents and outcomes. I find myself surfing Flickr accounts looking for shots that I would like to take: similar subject matters / lighting / etc and figuring out how they did it. Of course, I'm using a wonderful point and shoot camera at the moment that captures some great shots. But it can't match that of a DSLR with lots of lense options like the pros use.

Tonight while browsing Flickr, I came across hkvam's account. I'm completely stunned by the scenery that she has captured. I'm also marking up Iceland as a place I want to visit. Take some time and go through the lady's pictures...they're absolutely breathtaking!

Saturday, October 14

First Razorback Game

Today, I decided would be the first time Emma goes to a Razorback Football game. Elizabeth Morris (now Hale) had some extra tickets, so I snatched them up and got Emma pumped up about going to the game.

My motivation points:
  • The Band: she loves them. She's gonna be a band nerd like Daddy
  • The Cheerleaders: she took her pom-poms
  • The Princesses: aka the Homecoming court
  • The Hogs: not the team...the mascots.
She did really well, though she was extremely tired. The game started about the time she goes down for naps. But since she hasn't been taking naps (to her mother's dismay), I figured a football game would be better time spent. She cheered and hollered and danced. Every time the crowd cheered, she asked if we scored. In this game's case, it was almost true! We left after the half-time show and headed home. It was a good, first game experience.

Homecoming Parade & Pep Rally

Tonight, Emma and I went on a date to the Razorback Homecoming Parade and Pep Rally. We met the Elleman's and Thompson's down on Dickson to watch the parade. Emma was decked out in her Razorback shirt, tiara and pom-poms, a triple-header for Homecoming, Cheerleading, & Football.

The entire walk from the car to the Walton Arts Center was full of compliments, pointing, smiling, and 1 proud Daddy. While we waited for everyone to get there and for the parade to start, the parade announcer was playing band music. Emma started dancing and shaking her pom-poms. 2 news stations (NBC / ABC) had reporters there, and both zeroed in on Emma. NBC got Emma saying "Woo Pig Sooie", and ABC interviewed me and Emma about why we were there and what we thought of the Hogs being ranked. ABC didn't even cover the event, but Emma's "Pig Sooie" got 2 seconds on NBC's news! She's famous!

After the parade, which was really fun, we all headed up to the Greek Theater for the Pep Rally. We got to dance and cheer with the band, the homecoming court, and the Alumni Cheerleaders (including Brooke). We left about halfway through, since Emma refused to take a nap and she had to potty. She was tired enough to fall asleep in the car on the way home, which is usually unheard of! It was a really fun date!

Wednesday, October 11

Propped Up

Night 2 went a lot better. Apparently, Brooklyn isn's much of a fan of lying down on her back. Which obviously presents a problem. However, my smart wife found a compromise last night: propped up.

I awoke this morning to find Brooklyn in the pack-n-play, swaddled, and propped up in her boppy. She slept from 1:00 AM to 4:30 AM, then from 5:15 AM to 8:00 AM. Needless to say, it's a much happier morning today than yesterday!

Tuesday, October 10

15 to 20 Minutes

That's the answer I got from Allison when I asked her how much sleep she got last night. I got around 2 hours of sleep.

Apparently, we totally forgot how fun nights are with newborn babies. It's around 0% or maybe in the negative percentages. Baby Brooklyn was hungry. Baby Brooklyn was impatient. When trying to eat, she was too impatient to actually suck, so she just screamed, becoming hungrier and more impatient. I'm chalking those up to being a girl. Disagree with me all you want, but girls get fussy and impatient when they're hungry. It's science.

And before all y'all mothers get heated up at me for getting 2 hours of sleep to Allison's 20 mintues, I just want to say that the biggest chunk of my sleep came at the beginning of the night.

Though we survived the night, our despair is settling in for night #2. We've done our best to keep her awake today. I've run around the house with her, singing loudly, and repeatedly saying her name very loudly. It worked for about an hour...then we both wore out.

I did get to build a tent / fort in the living room so Emma could watch her new Dora Halloween movie. You can see a picture of me, Emma, & Brooklyn laying under the tent at the end of this post.

We're all healthy, and off to a better start than Martha was with Lucy. That's how we make it through the day: we compare ourselves to Martha's pregnancy and first couple of weeks home with Lucy. In comparison, we're flying high! Sorry Martha, but we thank you for the uplifting / hope-giving comparison.

Tomorrow, my parents are coming over. Aunt Mamy and Nana (my sister & mom) are coming to hang out with Emma all morning. Dad and I are playing golf (I got the OK from Allison), and Allison will get some much-needed rest. Here's to great expectations!

Monday, October 9

We're Home!

After 3 days on being in the hospital, the whole family is finally home! We brought in Brooklyn's hat for Belle to smell before introducing Brooklyn to Belle. As you can see from the picture, Belle was getting pretty up-close-and-personal with Brooklyn. I missed the shot where Brooklyn opened her eyes and had a dog 1" from her face, but this will have to do. Of course, Belle was interested in her for all of 3 seconds. She's old news now.

Sunday, October 8

Brooklyn Update

This morning, the pediatrician came to tell us they will begin treating Brooklyn as a fully healthy baby. So, they'll be watching her for the next 24 hours to see if she can do "normal baby things". I'm guessing that means eating, fussing, pooping, and sleeping.

The best part of this is that she gets to stay with us in the room. She's been at the nursery on IV and monitors since she was born, so this is the first time we've spent some good quality time with her! Allison is doing really well, and even more so now that she can be with Brooklyn.

I have posted more pictures here, so check them out!

Thanks for all the prayers, calls, and visits!

Saturday, October 7

Brooklyn Kay Nelson

Born 8:33 PM, Friday October 6th.
Weight: 6lb 12 oz
Length: 19 3/4" long
Labor (from water break to birth): 20 minutes!

To summarize the day (I'll expound later):
- Too early to hospital Friday morning
- Lots of contractions at home
- Check in to hospital around 4:00 PM
- Worried that epidural might not happen
- Got epidural finally
- Had baby

Mom and Dad are doing fine. Big sister is good, too. Brooklyn is healthy, but is having some breathing issues. All vital signs / x-rays say she's fine, but she's breathing a little slower than the doctors would like. She's been on an oxygen feed until recently. More updates to come. Probably get to come home tomorrow afternoon.

A few more pictures can be found here.

Friday, October 6

Here She Comes!


We're at the house. :( All those contractions last night didn't make much progress. So Allison and I came home, got some lunch, and she went for a long walk. The walk apparently helped a lot, since the contractions are about 8 minutes apart again. So we're just waiting...

Allison has been up since 2:45 this morning having contractions...the kind that keep you awake at 2:45 AM. She woke me up at 5:00, mainly to have someone to talk to and to debate whether to call the family at this early hour.

Which we did. We'll be checking into the hospital around 8:00 AM, and having baby #2 (name will be a surprise) sometime today! We're pretty excited, and this baby will share a birthday with her Aunt Amy and Ben Walker!

More updates to come...

Cell: 479-283-9056

Wednesday, October 4


Holy mackerel! I'm so super excited about LOST's season premier tonight! Starting off with a little Catfish Hole for dinner, then an hour of LOST with some close friends...what more could a man ask for?

Actually, there is one more thing THIS man could ask for: that the baby won't come during the above adventures. After 9:00 PM, the baby is welcome to start the evacuation process.

Sunday, October 1

Emma & Allison

Baby #2's birthday is quickly approaching! We're hoping that she comes sometime this week, but we obviously don't have much say in that matter. The nursery is ready, the clothes are washed, and Emma's been prepped for a sister. We're still undecided about the name at this time (read: Allison is still undecided about the name...I know what it's going to be). Anyway, here's some pics I took this morning of Prego-Mom and Soon-to-Be Big Sister.