Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Card Fun

We sent an e-Christmas card again this year. Isn't that just the environmentally responsible thing to do? We took the family picture up at Sundance a couple of weeks ago.

In case it didn't make it to an email inbox near you, here it is (you may have to click on it for it to be big enough to read):

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Pictures of Christmas

We spent our Christmas holidays out in Vernal with Ben's family. It was 4 days of amazing food, plenty of chaos, and lots of fun. The snow created a bit of stress driving back and forth, but in the end, it wasn't a big problem. The roads were pretty safe and dry most of the way.

Here are just a few highlights from the trip:

William dressed up as the Grinch
This kid was seriously in character

Playing on the floor Christmas day

Christmas morning came a little early for Nolan
He slept through the present opening

All 8 grandkids in one house
It added up to a lot of noise,
but they really enjoyed each other's company

This is how we all felt by the time we got home yesterday

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Since we seem to be managing to schedule ourselves out of the yearly tradition of creating gingerbread houses (sorry guys. I don't know where all of the time went), here is another option.

Virtual Gingerbread House

(for some reason links don't show up right on this template. Click on that title and it will take you there)

Hopefully this will get you all through until next year. . . unless we want to do Valentines houses. . .

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Neck is Getting Strong

He holds that little head up and looks around all the time. I can't believe how quickly he's started to do that.

Tamale Making

Ben's family has a tradition of having tamales for Christmas Eve dinner. They had a family friend in Florida that would make them every year. This year, the Hess clan is gathering out in Vernal for Christmas, and since we learned the art of tamale making at our cooking class this summer, Ben decided to be the provider of the tamales.

It's a crazy long process, with a gazillion steps, but thankfully Jenny, Jeremy & Emily were kind enough to help out with the process. It's a good thing they were here, or it may have taken 7 hours. . .

Tanner was kind enough to help me with the making of the cookie dough, that also had to happen Sunday night so it would be chilled and ready for cutting on Monday. He's an awesome helper.

Batteries Not Included

Sunday, December 09, 2007

How YOU Doin'?

Post Bath Cuddles

Sunday Morning

We had a long night last night. A very long night. Nolan slept most of the day yesterday and when night time rolled around, he was good for 2 stretches of 2.5 hours each, and then he was done. Right about 5 am. He was awake and there was no changing that. We sort of wrestled with him for a couple of hours, and then about 10, he was happy as a clam. So we had to take some pictures. And now I have to share them.

(He inherited my freakishly long tongue, and delights in sticking it out at people)

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Nolan @ 5 Weeks

Eating My Words

Have you ever had an opinion about something, and expressed it freely, to anyone who would listen, only to turn around and totally contradict yourself? Yeah, that's me this week. I have been telling anyone who brings up the iphone how I wouldn't want one this early in the game. I want to wait for a later generation. I like Verizon, I don't want to switch back. Etc. . .

We decided that we would get new phones for Christmas. We both needed them. Ben hated his RAZR and mine was only holding a charge for about 20 minutes of talking at a time after 2 years of my abuse.

We went to the Verizon store at lunch one day, fully intending to find phones that we liked relatively well (because, let's face it, Verizon has a CRAP selection of phones if you are at all discerning) and add them to our existing plan. The end. Merry Christ
mas to us.

Ben wanted a smart phone, which was going to be pricey, and I was trying to be prudent, but the phone snob in me was guaranteed to pick something expensive. And then we started talking to the
salesman. Because this is a family friendly blog (or trying to be), I won't call him all of the names I called him after leaving the store. He was a first class jerk. He got in a big fight with Ben over calling plans, which I won't rehash, but it was unfriendly. He informed us that in order to buy new phones we would have to get a new calling plan, contrary to what previous people had told us on the subject. And just when we were about to hand the man a nice sum of money and be on our way, we instead walked out the door. And away from Verizon forever. (or until we get pissed at AT&T in equal measure 2 years from now and switch back. I don't want to have to eat my words again)

So, now we are the proud owners of the very technology I swore I would wait a while to p
urchase, on a plan that is no more expensive than the one Verizon was trying to make us buy, with free internet access from our phones whenever we want. And I don't miss Verizon, no, not even a little.

I'm a bit giddy, to be truthful, it's a darn cool toy, and considering that it acts as an ipod as well, which neither of us had an updated version of, it was a very good deal.

Merry Christmas to us.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

30 Rock

Staying at home for the past 4 weeks has been interesting. . . I was never sure how I would deal with the stay-at-home-mom gig, even in the short term. I am now convinced that women who do it, day in and day out, for 18+ years, are saints. They have patience I will never have. Multi-tasking skills I will never have.

I know that the first 4 weeks of a baby's life are not really indicative of what life will be like when I'm home with him in the future. But right now, it's exhausting. I have never loved anyone the way I love Nolan, but holy cow he is high maintenance. I can't believe how absolutely dependent babies are. I know that as a first time mom I hover more, hold him more, dote on him more, than someone that's on #2 or 3 or 10. I know I'm more paranoid than I probably should be. But being a mom is time consuming. And hard. And I have new found respect for those of you that have been doing it full time for years.

In order to kill some time the past month, we have watched a lot of TV on DVD. I've also watched a movie or two, in fits and starts, but mostly, it's been TV.

I would like to sing the praises of one show in particular that Melissa let us borrow. People have been telling me how amazing 30 Rock is since it started, and because it is on at the same time as Ugly Betty, we never gave it a chance. Even after it won the Emmy, we didn't feel compelled to watch. I had seen a random episode or two and though I found them mildly funny out of context, I wasn't blown away.

Then we watched the first season on DVD.

I haven't laughed so hard in a long time. Most of the comedies on TV these days are just stupid, in my opinion. But I suppose it's possible that if I gave them all a chance the way I did 30 Rock I'd be more impressed. There were characters that I expected to hate that I really loved. Kenneth is officially my favorite part of the show, and even Tracey Morgan doesn't annoy me like I thought he might.

To sum up, watch 30 Rock, Season 1. I would vouch for the current season as well, but I haven't seen any of it.

I have also watched a couple of movies on DVD, but I'll tell you what I thought of those tomorrow.

Baby's First Prayer

As I was getting ready to go meet Ben for lunch a few days ago, I put Nolan in the Boppy in the middle of the bed to hang out while I got dressed. He dozed off in a great position and I just had to capture it. . .

Chew Toys

Nolan's instinct to suck has always been strong. . . He picked up the eating thing very easily and has no problem taking a bottle or a pacifier. But this week we discovered a new joy. A quick way to calm him down when he's fussing. . . Stick your knuckle in his mouth. He chomps down and chews like a kid who is teething. Hopefully that isn't actually the case at a month old.

In the never ending quest to take 3000 pictures of him before he's 6 months old, here he is using daddy's finger as a chew toy.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thanksgiving Weekend

I have to admit, I was a little nervous about leaving our little nest for the weekend. I was pretty freaked out about whether or not we'd bring everything we needed to bring and how Nolan would adjust to the change in scenery.

It turned out I was nervous for no reason. He adapted just fine. He still got up every 2 hours all night, but that's not at all different, so it wasn't a big deal. I am continually amazed at the difference in size and development 7 months makes between Aubrey & Nolan.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with my immediate family. My mom had surgery the day before Thanksgiving, so we relegated her to the couch and split up the dinner between us. It turned out wonderfully. I am so grateful to have such a great family full of people I love. We all get along so well. . . it's a real blessing.

We spent Friday in Ogden visiting with Kim's family and introducing Nolan to family he hadn't met yet. Here he is with Helaina and Isabella:

And with Ben and his grandma:

We spent saturday and Sunday nights up later than we should have been playing some shang hi. Nolan helped his daddy cheat a little. . . I maintain. At least on Saturday when Ben won. . .

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Growing Like A Weed

We went to Nolan's 2 week appointment yesterday and were very excited to see how much he had grown. It was even more impressive than I had expected.

He's up to 9 lbs, 13 oz and 21.5 inches long. That's more than 2 lbs of weight gain and 2.5 inches in 2 weeks! And, on top of all that, he just gets cuter every day. Here's a little proof:

Thursday, November 15, 2007

2 weeks today

People have been telling me since the beginning that the first 2 weeks of parenthood are the hardest. There is very little sleep. It is much more difficult than it would seem to sleep when the baby sleeps. The physical recovery is hard, made worse by lack of sleep. Life falls into an insanely tedious pattern of feedings, diaper changes, and sleeping at all the wrong times. And then there's the crying. . . Seriously bizarre behavior.

I know that as c-sections go, I have had a really good recovery. I know this partially because I went to see my doctor this morning and he told me how well my incision had healed. He told me that I would take some time to get back to my old self, but as of now I am allowed to pretty much do anything, as long as I feel like I can do it. It is amazing to me that it has been 2 weeks. It has flown by in a way I can't possibly describe (though if you have kids of your own I'm sure you know what I mean).

I am constantly amazed at how little sleep I am able to survive on, how alert I am capable of being at 3 am, and how amazing my wonderful husband has been in getting through these first 2 weeks. I am constantly in awe of the little man that lives with us now. I can stare at him for hours. And we've definitely become those annoying parents that think their child is brilliant and amazing even when he's doing the most normal and mundane things.

If what everyone says is true, and these are the hardest 2 weeks, I am really looking forward to what will be coming in the future. It's certainly a change, but it's an awesome one.

The Announcement

Ben created the announcement for Nolan before he was born. . . in that long week of waiting between when he was due and when he actually made his appearance. But we needed to add the pictures. We've finally done that, and here are the results:

Monday, November 12, 2007

Week 2

On an outing to the park to watch his cousins play. . . all decked out in a little outfit from Old Navy

Several wonderful people made Nolan some great quilts to welcome him into this world. We thought we'd take his picture with a couple of them this morning.

Grammy Hess made him this darling cross-stitched Eeyore quilt

A family friend of Ben's family made this Noah's Ark quilt

Vanessa made him this awesome doggie quilt

and Grandma Webster made this flannel rag quilt

He was a very patient model for all of them

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Day 4 & 5

As a substitute for anything resembling meaningful posting at the moment, I have more pictures to offer.

All dressed up in his outfit to come home from the hospital on Monday, he looks thrilled to have his picture taken. . .

At this age there's no getting his attention, so I was happy to get shots this good.
Nolan has proven to be an extremely mellow kid, seldom crying, even in situations where you would certainly expect it. When grandma and I gave him his first bath, he clung to my arms for dear life, and certainly looked freaked out, but didn't cry a bit. Same for the one we gave him this morning. I'm hoping it's a trend that continues as he gets older.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Day 3

A couple of pictures of Nolan's 3rd day on earth. . .

Smiling in his sleep

With his eyes open. . . which happens surprisingly often.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Finally Here!

Baby Nolan finally made his arrival on Thursday, November 1st at 6:24 pm. I ended up having a c-section because his fluid levels were really low and he needed to get out right away.

On the plus side, I never had to go through labor. And we knew, a few hours in advance, when he would come into the world. And despite the fact that his cord was wrapped around his neck twice and his leg once, he came into the world safe and sound and screaming. But he's done very little screaming since. He's a very mellow little fella who is taking to nursing like a champ and charming the pants off of everyone.

On the down side, recovery from a c-section is decidedly un fun. I will be really glad when things heal well enough for me to get in and out of bed on my own again.

But, without futher ado, here are some pictures of the little tike over the last couple of days.

I'm sure you all will get sick of seeing his little face very soon, but in the mean time. . . Isn't he darling?! We're not sure where the strawberry blond locks came from. They are a mystery, but he's definitely a little Hess boy in every other way.

Getting cleaned up in the OR.
Dad was brave enough to watch him be pulled out.

This is how he gets from place to place in the hospital

Close up

Look at the difference 7 months makes in the size of a baby.