Wednesday, February 28

The Big 3-0

I have finally caught up to my old woman. Allison turned 30 on February 11th. I make the turn today.

I'm in a hurry, else I'd wax poetic on how life has been, my thoughts on where my life is now, and where I think it's going in the next 30 years.

Instead, I'm going to spend my birthday with some random people in sales training down in Tampa, Florida. I could think of worse ways to spend my birthday...but not too many ways.

Sunday, February 25

Bumbo Madness: The Swedish Chef

Brooklyn spent a little time in the kitchen the other day cooking up something for the family. It tasted pretty awful, but it's the thought that counts.

In semi-related Bumbo Madness news, here is a video of Brooklyn laughing at Emma.

Saturday, February 24

Why Allison and I Fight

Allison and I don't fight much. But when we do fight, it's pretty awesome. Mainly, because we only fight over who gets to suction out Brooklyn's boogers! Yes, we are disturbingly weird.

However, it is unexplainably fun to suck boogers from her nose! You get to use this big suction thingy, and it's never easy to get them out of there! Thankfully, she really doesn't mind us doing it. Wouldn't you be thankful to breath from a nostril again, too? Don't worry...she looks scared as hell in this picture, but she was scared of the flash on the camera, not the booger-sucking process. I wanted to make sure everyone got a good glimpse of the "object" we are attempting to extract from her nose. Mission accomplished!

The best thing about it all? Getting to blow the booger out of the suction thingy after you get it out of her nose! It makes that "ShwoooPPP" sound. If it's big enough, you can hear it hit the counter or wall! Yeah...gross, but deeply satisfying.

In other news, we think Brooklyn is getting tired of her toys. So we busted out the Jump Thing. It's a jumpy thing that hangs from a door frame and allows the kids to jump up and down. Load of fun! Of course, Brooklyn hasn't figured out how to jump for herself, but she enjoyed herself nonetheless. You can see the video here.

Friday, February 23

Is that a cat on the trampoline?

Have I mentioned that Emma LOVES to play dress up?

Wednesday, February 21

American Idol

American Idol is back and rolling! 5 hours of Idol this week...lots of late nights full of great TV. Tonight, in fact, I have 2 hours of Lost (last week's episode, too) and 2 hours of Idol to watch. I'm looking forward to it! Of course, it's all manageable with a DVR. 2 hours = 1 1/2 hours of true TV, especially for Idol.

You can keep up to date with my episode opinions over at the TV Addicts blog. If you'd like to join up and voice your own thoughts, let me know and I'll send you a contributor invite.

In other news, Allison has contracted the blogging bug. So she now has her own ID to blog under on this your support by commenting a lot on her posts. Positive Reinforcement!

Tuesday, February 20

I Love This Weather

I don't know about you, but I could get used to this weather very quickly. Emma, Brooklyn and I (Allison, not John) had a great time being outside this morning and getting some fresh air. When Brooklyn took a nap, Emma and I jumped, played chase, used the sidewalk chalk to make pictures, etc.... It has been a good day so far.

I will also have to mention that between the hours of 8:00am and 1:30pm, Emma was dressed up like a cheerleader, a cat, a ballerina, a mermaid (she wore her bathing suit), and a princess. That is a lot of personalities to deal with in a short amount of time.

Despite Brooklyn not feeling 100%, she is still smiling behind her pacifier. I love that!

Here are some pictures of us swimming this weekend. It was B's first experience in the pool. She liked it, I guess. There were no tears, so that seems like a success to me. I'm not sure we will ever get Brooklyn to look at the camera. She would much rather stare at her sister.
Yes, I did swim, but I took pictures before I got in.

Thank You, President William Henry Harrison!

First of all, a big shout out to the long-dead President William Henry Harrison for giving me a 3 day weekend. He served less than a month in office. He died of pneumonia that he contracted giving the longest recorded inauguration speech in Presidential History. Good thinking there, Bill.

For our long weekend, we got away from the house and traversed to Branson. Change of location is a good thing after 4 months of staying at home. My parents met us up there and watched the kids while Allison and I shopped and hung out. It was very nice.

Saturday, we all went to the Butterfly Palace. It was pretty nifty. A great big tropical room with thousands of butterflies everywhere. Emma liked it, but the adults loved it. You can see some pictures here. Sunday night, we went to the club house and used their indoor heated pool. Emma floaty-d around while I held Brooklyn in the pool. Brooklyn seemed pretty indifferent, but that's good. She didn't freak out, and looked pretty cute in a little polka-dotted bikini. I'll post pics of that later (camera's in the car still).

Today was beautiful, though windy. A great start to a forecastedly incredible week. Emma and I played outside for a while, including tossing a football around. Below, you can see her with her "I'm gonna kill you" football player on. The other picture of Emma is her "Ghetto Princess" outfit. I'm not going to lie to you...she dressed herself. Hard to believe, I know.

Thursday, February 15

Bumbo Madness: The Pirate Ship Thing

I'm not even sure what to call this locale. It has a swing. It has a slide. It has a spyglass. It has a ship's wheel. So I'm calling it the Pirate Ship Thing.

I know...I'm a genius.

Wednesday, February 14

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day from our two little sweethearts!

Dressing Up For Bed

Most of you know that Emma LOVES to play dress up. If we are at home, she never has on normal clothes. For the most part, she is a princess. Not always a girlie princess. She can be a ghetto princess, sporty princess, ice princess, pirate princess, and the list goes on. Emma has convinced John and me that she MUST wear her princess skirt and shoes to bed each night and for every nap. The first picture is our sporty princess. Dead asleep with her hat on and of course, princess attire that you cannot see.
My Mom and Dad got Brooklyn a tutu for Christmas, so that she could join in Emma's dress-up fun. Today when Emma woke up I showed her the outfit Brooklyn was wearing. It is a sleeper, but the feet look like she is wearing ballet shoes. (thanks GG) Here is the conversation between Emma and I:

Me: "Look at Brooklyn's ballet shoes on her outfit."
Emma: "Oh, she needs her skirt."
Me: "Let's put it on later because she is about to take a nap."
Emma: "But Mom, we ALWAYS wear skirts to bed!!!" (in her most serious tone)

Brooklyn has no idea how much fun she is going to have with her sister! We put the skirt on Brooklyn after her nap. Of course, she is in her Bumbo.

Tuesday, February 13

Bumbo Madness: The Trampoline

It's hard to tell where she is in the picture, but she's sitting on the trampoline. We could fend off Emma for only so long, so I had to snap the picture pretty quickly. I tried getting a picture of Emma jumping while Brooklyn was in the middle, but Brooklyn doesn't quite have the neck support to withstand bouncing on the trampoline. I also thought about Photoshopping a scene to make it look like Brooklyn was way up in the air and Emma had bounced her up. But my skills aren't there yet. Until then, we can only enjoy staged scenes on the trampoline.

Monday, February 12

Bumbo Madness: The Playhouse

Continuing the outdoors portion of the series, we find Brooklyn manning the outside playhouse. The only danger she was in came from Emma trying to get into the house by stepping over Brooklyn. The next closest danger was the vast amount of dog poop surrounding the house. Thankfully, Brooklyn can't walk yet so we were the ones in danger, not her.

In the future, we have planned a series of Bumbo Madness scenes at the Hale's farm. We'll refer to it as Bumbo Madness: The Green Acres Series. We'll wait for it to warm up before doing that.

Sunday, February 11

Bumbo Madness: Winter Swimming

Here in the Nelson household, we live hardcore. If we were a truck, we'd be a Dodge Ram: grabbing life by the horns. And we Nelson's like our swimming: indoor, outdoor, summer, or winter. Bring it on.

In the latest of the Bumbo Madness series, we're in the initial stages of training Brooklyn for her future livelihood of winter swimming. You can see from the other picture of what our aspirations for Brooklyn are. Dang, those ladies are smokin' hot! I'm surprised the snow isn't melting around them.

Saturday, February 10

Tummy Time with Brooklyn

Allison and Emma went to a birthday party this morning, so I got to hang out with Brooklyn while they were gone. Usually, she's asleep when we're here, it was prime awake time!

We spent a long time on her play mat looking in the mirror and playing with toys. At this point, she's really grabbing onto things and smiling a lot at her reflection. If you're a parent, you know that "tummy time" is vitally important. Of course, I'm not really sure WHY it's important, but it just is (which is enough explanation for me). Brooklyn can't last very long on her tummy before getting really mad, so we took a breather for a few minutes. During the breather, I grabbed the camera and snapped some reflection shots of us in her play mirror. I'm not sure why, but I really enjoy these kinds of photos.

Tuesday, February 6

Bumbo Madness: The Oven

Before y'all start freaking thinking I really stuck Brooklyn in the oven, fear not. I had EXPLICIT instructions from my wife NOT to put her in the oven.

"In" the oven. "On" is a completely different word and outcome.

So in the veins of Bumbo Madness: The Dishwasher, I decided to get as close as possible. (note: I did check to see if the oven was warm, and it was was cool to the touch before I even tried this. I'm not a monster.)

So you're in for a treat today...2 Bumbo Madness posts in one sitting! You can count your day as fully fulfilled now. You have my permission to leave work and call it a day.

In semi-related news, Bumbo Madness has been quite a popular series for the Nelson Blog! Looking at page load statistics for the blog, the hits have almost quadrupled! In fact, I even had a day with 125 hits on the page. All that means is that you people are obsessed with me. It's disturbing. You should really, really find something better to do with your time.

Bumbo Madness: The Dishwasher

Though it's not really feasible to put Brooklyn and her Bumbo into the dishwasher, we went for the next best thing: sitting on the dishwasher door. I tried taking out the dishes, but she still wouldn't fit.

Ok, not really. You can pretty much eyeball it and know she doesn't fit.

Monday, February 5

Benton Walker (aka MacGyver)

I could have written about this in the Superbowl Party post, but felt it needed it's own post merely because of the glory that should accompany the feat.

Benton Walker ( of The Walkie Talkie fame), pulled a MacGyver on us at the house during the party. We had 5 kids running wild in the house throughout the game. Running through the kitchen. Running through the living room. Running into Emma's bedroom. Repeat.

Somehow, in the 3 minutes of non-running, one of the kids locked Emma's bedroom door and closed it as they all ran out. Locked door. No one on the inside. Though it made the quandary much less dramatic with no kids locked in, it did present a problem. We had no key for the door. In fact, it's one of those crazy doorknobs that just has a circular hole in the middle of the knob. While I went looking for a tool that was small enough to fit through the hole and unlock the room, Benton (aka MacGyver), decided that he just needed a paper clip. I'm not sure if Benton has a criminal record for breaking and entering, but he sure has the skillz to pull that crime off. He jimmy-rigged the paper clip and effortlessly opened the door. (to my credit, I had a tool in my hand that would have worked, but felt like Benton should have honors since his idea was so nifty and handy)

Way to go saved the day. By the way, if you'd like to see a list of all the genius MacGyver tricks pulled, Wikipedia has a comprehensive list.

2007 Superbowl Party

We had our Community Group over to watch the Superbowl tonight. Lots of food, drinks (non-alcoholic, unfortunately), and desserts (love me some puppy chow!). The commercials were pretty crappy this year. The only one I really remember was the Budweiser "Rocks, Paper, Scissors" commercial, which was pretty funny. You can catch them all here if you missed any.

So the Colts win. Manning has a chip off his shoulder now. Since I don't watch any NFL, I didn't really care who won. However, since Time/Warner publishes Sports Illustrated magazine, we did have reason for da Bears to win. Statistically, if the Bears won, it would have been a better market for the Sports Illustrated Superbowl commemorative issue to sell in. But it'll be interesting to see if Manning's big win might be enough to pick up the slack.

I took pictures, but mostly of the wives and kids. The guys were too spread out over the furniture to get a group shot, and the women congregated making for better pictures. You can check them out here, or see them below.

Saturday, February 3

Bumbo Madness: Paint Your Own Pottery

Getting back to the original purpose of Bumbo Madness, here's a funny little picture of Brooklyn in her Bumbo at the Paint Your Own Pottery place today. She's about to paint her Mona Lisa. Of course, the whole time I'm worried she was going to poke her eye out. She didn't. Thankfully.

We took the kids to Paint Your Own Pottery this morning to get out of the house and create new house decorations. We painted both of their hands and did hand prints on a little ceramic tile. We plan on hanging it in their bathroom. Allison made some doodles on it to spice it up. Surprisingly, Emma did really well with us painting her hand. Usually, she's psycho about getting dirty. She won't touch dirt, snow, grass, or paint with her bare hands. Yeah...she's weird. Thankfully, she didn't hesitate to let us paint her hand. Of course, we also promised her we would immediately wash her hands afterward. Brooklyn was the more difficult one, as she pretty much keeps her hands clasped together all the time. But it worked out pretty well.

I recommend going to Paint Your Own Pottery if you need creative time-killers for the family. They just moved into Nelson's Crossing (at Joyce & College), and the place is really neat. Obviously, they have extremely bright colors everywhere, and it's very kid-friendly. A good outlet for the imaginative young ones.

Gazing Out the Window