Friday, December 30, 2005

"Crazy" by Claire

Once again, we are being bombarded by Claire's new talent of taking photos.Today the theme was "crazy".

"Be crazy mom."

"OK, like this" (as I stick my tongue out and pound my head)

"no, no do this, and then that." (Claire says as she poses my body) CLICK

"Ollie be crazy" (Ollie stares at Claire then slaps my face as he does all day long)
"Ollie, be CRAZY!"
(Ollie stares at Claire then slaps my face again as slobber dribbles down my shirt.
"Jane be crazy" (Jane stands there and stares at Claire)"
Jane, be CRAZY" (Jane stands there and stares at Claire)"
Jane you are not being crazy...this will just have to do"...CLICK
"Dad be crazy. Be crazy like this. Dad Crazier!" CLICK"
Jimmy be.........

Thursday, December 29, 2005

New Jersey is NUTS!

I took the children to our local Costco this afternoon to pick up a few provisions (you know like, avocados, soy milk, a huge slab of fresh mozzarella, and diapers). As we walked the isles the girls of course spotted a sample booth full of special brown cookies. I knew there was no way getting around it, we’d pass by grab a treat and move on.
The cart made its way to the booth where a lady began putting the cookies into small paper cupcake holders. I sighed and said
“OK, girls just one”
Right then, the lady looked at me then the girls, then back at me and to the girls then grabbed the tray, which held the cookies. Holding the tray high above her head she barked:
“No, no, they can’t grab their own cookies, no, no, no”
(Just before she could lift up the tray Claire successfully snatched two cupcake holders filled with a precious cookie.)
“Oh, they are OK”
I said back with my unique tolerance that I have developed since moving to Jersey.
“No, No they are NOT 14, they have to be 14 to have peanut butter, there is peanut butter in these cookies!”
She stood holding the tray close to her chest like a 1 million dollar check.
Defensively, (another tolerance I have since developed) I looked at her with shock
“You mean, they can’t have these cookies?”
“Yes, they are only for children over 14” she said still clutching the tray.
“You mean to tell me, that here in New Jersey you can’t have peanut butter if you are under 14” I added
“Yes, allergies”
We stared at each other for a minute and then she said:
“I am not responsible for this. How am I to know that your children don’t in fact have a peanut allergy? I would be responsible for this act. They cannot have the peanut butter.”
We both looked at Claire and Jane who by this time had finished their peanut butter cookie and licking the leftover chocolate on the bottom of their mouths.
“They are going to be just fine”

my voice calmer and more collected. But I could see that she was so uptight and concerned about the whole thing and as I left she yelled:
“I am not responsible for this!”

Its offical, this state is nutty.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Hatch.

Christian and I have been crazy about ‘Lost’ on Wednesday nights. I guess crazy is not adequate enough to express it. Obsessed is more fitting. I bought the first season for Christian for his birthday in November.
7 discs packed with endless lost-ness!!
We watched them all the next two weeks. Some nights we would stay up until 2:00 am because we couldn’t stop. It was taking its toll on other aspects of our marriage-a whole other story.
Currently the group stuck on the island has discovered a mysterious hatch. They have now gotten inside and are trying to understand what it is. Christian and I are fascinated with it and look forward to the progress with this puzzling hatch.

Yesterday Christian took the garbage out and came running inside; eyes blooming and face pail. He grabbed my hand and the flashlight and as we walked outside he whispered. “Don’t be scared OK”
My heart was racing and I was so nervous to see what he was leading me too.
There in the yard was a hole. The driveway and the grass had sunken into it like a mudslide. I peered over the edge and down about 9 feet to a cinderblock room. I was so confused. I jumped back and stood puzzled.
“What is it?”
I asked Christian. He had no idea. But looked at me as an eerie wind whipped around us. I got the chills.
“It is the hatch,” he said looking at me.
“The o t h e r s” I exclaimed slowly.
Then we ran back as fast as we could together in the house and locked the door.
Yes, yes, we have been watching too much Lost I know, but seriously the others could be down there, the mafia, dead bodies…this is New Jersey-the possibilities of what it is could be endless!

(Ok, so we asked the neighbor who has lived in his home when the area was built (40 years sgo) and he said that it is the old septic tank…gross. So there is pooh down there, still it is creepy)

Monday, December 26, 2005

Highlights of the Holiday.

The morning began....
Ollie plays with the girls new baby wagons.

Christian opens his first gift....what is it?
Christmas Eve family hike
Ollie playing with is new truck after his (3rd) tub of the day. Boys are messy.
Claire in her Christmas dress before church.

"Dear Claire and Jane, Merry Christmas. I hope you are smart enough to get into BYU when you are 17.

Love, Umi"

Claire in her new butterfly costume.

Ollie "firechief" Nielson

Jane before church....Merry Christmas to all!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Painted faces and the macarena. A Christmas treat!

We woke up early and left for work with Christian yesterday morning. It was Colgate’s children’s Christmas party. What fun we had. We met all of Christian’s co-workers. ( I tried to be as sexy as possible in front of his bosses…I looked hot.)
We went to the atrium where the party was, “who let the dogs out” blasted in the speakers. The DJ must have been a 50 year old woman who was getting jiggy wit it and teaching everyone the Macarena. It was wild.

My girls were just interested in the face painting. I’m not just talking about a little rainbow delicately painted on a cheek; I’m talking full-on-pick-whatever-you-want-face paint! Claire wanted to be a ‘pussy-cat’ and Jane a butterfly.

While that was going on, I organized Christian’s desk. Then I pushed the kids around and around in his swivel chair. That was a hit.

We ended up with about 500 new stuffed animals from the party, which means that will be about 500 more stuffed animals that will mysteriously disappear after coming to the Nielson home.
We are looking forward to tonight for Christmas eve….I hope Santa doesn’t skip your house like he has threatened to do at ours from time to time.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Baking Christmas Cheer.

The girls and I spent the whole day yesterday baking. We made dozens of double chocolate cookies and placing them in the tins I constructed (saved from Oliver's baby formula).
Too bad Jimmy had a few cookies (I am estimating around 10-11) because he threw up 5 times. A great learning experience for the girls
"See what happens when you eat too much cookies!"

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Rudolph! Full power!!

This is Santa's (claire) sleigh. She constructed it out of our kitchen chairs. Jane was Rudolph, but I didn't get a shot of her. It was great.
(do you think jimmy wants some lunch?)

You are getting NO presents this year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Nielson wreath.

Merry Christmas, from our front door!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Merry Christmas, love the Mantis family (all 100 jagillion of them)

I was reading a book to Jane the other day, when I happened to look up. On my ceiling were three bugs of some sort. Since it was the morning, I obviously didn’t have my glasses/contacts on/in so I was squinting to see what it was. Too skinny to be flies, too long to be a mosquito, so I stood on top of the ceiling and saw it was a baby praying mantis!
I made this big huge deal and grabbed a container and caught all three. I examined them and showed them to my girls who in return thought they were pretty neat too.
As we admired the creepy things, I looked near my window where our Christmas tree (that we proudly cut down in Virginia) stood and noticed another mantis on the window. I walked nearer to the window to catch him and that’s when it happened.
I said a bad word.

The window was covered with mantis squirming all over each other like maggots. I felt a little breakfast oatmeal come zooming up my throat. And it happened like a horror film, I look on the window, loads of them with their beady eyes, long bodies, and delicate legs. Then my eyes take me to the ceiling (more mantis crawl) then I look at the top of the Christmas tree and my tree topper (vintage glitter birds) is covered with them. My eyes soar to ground where my bare feet crunch on mantis bodies. Eyes scan the whole tree itself only to my horror see the tree is covered with the creepiest bug on the planet: The freakin alien mantis.
I would be lying if I told you I was OK with this disaster, I did what any housewife would do. I called my husband at work,
Christian came home and we spent the entire evening and well into the night with our nice little shop vac sucking those little babies up.
Christian and I had a jolly time doing it! What satisfaction!

“Here’s one here hon.,”
I’d yell over the vac’s loud roar. Then in the back of my head I heard the mantis scream
“You scrooge, look what you are doing to me!! Especially at this most wonderful time of the year!”
Another would yell:
“Merry Christmas to you, you killer!”
We figure an egg was laid in the tree before we chopped it down that beautiful day in November. Then it hatched in our house sending free 400-1200 (yeah, I did a little research online) little crazies.
I still see a few now and then, but that is OK, I’m ok with one or two crawling around because I can take care of that with the roll of toilet paper I have hidden under the tree.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Here's to five more.

Christian and I ventured into the city last Friday to celebrate our 5th anniversary. I truly believe that Christmas time in NYC is the most magical. After we checked into our stylish hotel the W (Tuscany) on the East side, we walked around the city looking for a good eat.
All the stores were decorated for Christmas, glowing lights lit up window displays. Our hotel room looked out to the majestic Empire State building. It was glowing red and green for Christmas.
Christian and I decided that our 5 years of marriage has been excellent to us. As we sat eating our dinner we came up with a timeline of our 5 years. Here are a few:
We have moved three times, lived and bought 3 houses, and had three children. Christian graduated from BYU; we got a dog, bought three cars, and sold one. Both worked with the youth in the church, said goodbye to a sister after a long struggle with cancer, sent two siblings on missions, visited Hawaii, and drove cross-country from Utah to New Jersey.
The next morning when we woke up at 10:00, we drove to SoHo and visited Anthropogie and had lunch nearby at a charming café.
Here’s to five more!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Broken latte pieces, a glued tradition.

After I was engaged in September of 2000, Christian and I bought a house that was almost 100 years old. It was charming. My favorite feature was the beautiful pink flower stained glass window it had near the wide oak front door.
We began working to make the house suitable. We painted walls, pulled out carpet, added wide wood trim to the classically beautiful hardwood.
Then we painted the kitchen a lime green.
A color I admired in a latte bowl from my very favorite store Anthropologie. I bought 8 new latte bowls in every color imaginable for my new kitchen. Christian came over to visit me after school one day and I held up all the bowls with pride.
"This is where I will be dishing your 7 grain cereal in" I said with a smile. He smiled back. I am sure he was thinking how great it would be to actually have a bowl to eat out of, instead of huge popcorn bowls, or whatever happened to be clean in his collage apartment.
We almost made it a whole year without breaking one bowl, until Christian fed Jimmy his leftover soy chocolate ice cream in the purple bowl. Jimmy was so excited he scratched the bowl so vigorously for more, it cracked.
One down, 7 more to go.
So on our first year anniversary (which was spent in Scottsdale, Arizona) we decided to buy a new latte bowl to make it even, but Anthropologie did a mean trick, they added many more beautiful colors.
We picked up 6 more.
Claire was born, and pretty soon I had a box in my garage with broken latte bowl pieces. (Someday I will make something out of them. The colors are too dazzling to throw out. Maybe I will make a mosaic table like Courtney did. )
Our second anniversary we picked up more to compensate the broken bowls from the year before. And so our tradition began.
Jane was born and more bowls broke, it was OK I'd buy more in December.
Two days ago Oliver picked up (my original 2000) orange latte bowl filled with his oatmeal and threw it over the edge. He watched it drop, and break.
He watched it with power in his eyes. I think.

That is OK I said to him as I bent down down to clean up his mess.

"Because sweety in a few days I am going to get more" Then he threw Oatmeal in my hair.

Yesterday we visited Anthropogie in SoHo, and we bought 7 more latte bowls. To our surprise they had mini lattes as well. Perfect for little hands. We bought 9 of them. It is not sad when one breaks, as it should be. I know every anniversary brings more latte bowls, and thus our tradition stands.

Friday, December 16, 2005

I'ts our day.

I woke up on December 16th, 2000 at 6:00 am. I called Christian who was sleeping at our unfurnished new home in the Pioneer neighborhood in downtown Provo. I was so excited, I could hardly sleep. We were to be married at 8:30 am.
"hello" Christian's groggy voice sounded.
"honey, today we get married! Did you JUST wake up? You are supposed to be here in 15 minutes!"
"JUST KIDDING HA HAHA, good morning my love I'm right outside your door"
That was cute. Christian looked so handsome. He had on my fathers stripped tie. He didn't look at all nervous.

Christian picked me up and we drove together to the Provo temple where my Grandfather married us.It was beautiful. The luncheon was held that same afternoon up Provo Canyon at the snowed-in Homestead resort.It was dreamy.

Our honeymoon took us to the Bahamas for a nice week cruise.

Tonight we are headed to Manhattan to spend a night in a luxury hotel, see a movie, and to pick up our 6 new latte bowls at Anthropologie. (more on that later)

Happy 5th anniversary honey!I LOVE YOU!!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Once a bride, always a bride.

This is our self-shot the night Christian proposed to me on September 30, 2000 in Arizona.Five years ago today I was busy making last minute preparations for my wedding day (which is tomorrow). I’ll never forget waking up early and running over to my neighbors Vanessa’s house in my pajamas while she sewed last minute details on my Vera Wang replica (added sleeves).
I remember having lunch with Lucy one last time as single sisters. We went to Rubio’s next to Provo High where we frequented together at lunchtime while we were in High School.
I remember Kurt bringing my beautiful flowers to my house. My flowers of lilies, tulips, roses, and berries matched my” jewel” tone theme perfectly.

I’ll never forget driving in the car to the pet babysitters with Christian dropping off our new pup Jimmy for a week, while we were in the Bahamas on our romantic honeymoon cruise.
I’ll never forget Christian saying to me all day
“You know in like 13 hours I will be able to touch your boobs”
“Yeah, I know”

I remember making all my darling nieces purses to hold at my wedding out of the same fabric I
bought to re-cover all of my pillows in our home we bought earlier that month.
I remember when two suburbans pulled up to my house that evening and all of Christian’s family jumped out- all 10 siblings and their children in tow. As our families met, Christian and I looked at each other with glowing eyes. We sat and chatted in my mothers Christmas filled house with George Winston in the background. My Mother passed out cider and doughnuts from the local Allreds Orchards.
(These are my announcements I picked out with my mother. My mother insisted on them being engraved, because hers were engraved and because her mothers were engraved. All of my sisters were engraved too. "People don't engrave anymore. Maybe its because it is so expensive" I remember my mother saying with a chuckle. They had a beautiful rounded edge covered with silver).
When the night was soon over Christian and I went to his parents hotel room where Christian’s father gave him a beautiful blessing. I’ll never forget that special moment.
To end the night Christian and I packed up all of my things in my room, loaded them in a truck and dumped them off at our new home. We stayed up until 1:00 am.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

On the second day of Christmas

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
two frosted gingerbread houses
and my neighbors goose dressed up as Santa Claus.

Monday, December 12, 2005

On the First Day of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
My neighbors goose dressed up as Santa Claus.