Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Don Jose's...A Neilson Favorite

Today, My Grandpa and Grandma Neilson took Charlotte and I out to lunch to Don Jose's.  Along with us were Desiree, her twins, Janice and Melissa and Brady!  It was such a fun lunch and we are so blessed to be apart of a wonderful family who likes to do things together!  On our way to our seats, one woman commented, "what a nice big family."  Lady, you have no idea!!
Sorry it's blurry, someone else took this!

After, Charlotte and I went to Disneyland.  We were already right off the freeway, so what the hey?!  It's all decorated for Halloween and it was a blast, just me and my BFF!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Splash Pad...Fun?

Desiree and I took the babes over to the Irvine Spectrum yesterday to let them play in the splash pad.  I thought for sure Charlotte would be in heaven.  I have taken her to things like this before and she loved it.  Regardless, she just likes to crawl around no matter where she is.  Well, this was a complete FAIL!  She was scared of all the kids, when usually she loves other kids.  She didn't want to get wet, when she usually loves to get wet!  Ugh!  What a bummer.  Ethan wanted to run away and Ellie just wanted to drink her smoothy!  Such a little princess ;)  Maybe they are all just a little too young to ONLY be at a splash pad.  
Sporting her Rainbows!
Ethan and she isn't walking yet :(
Ethan...I'm sure getting ready to bolt!
Ellie and her smoothy.  Healthy girl!
She just didn't want to get wet or take a picture!

Flying with a Baby

I thought I would do an informative blog post on flying with a baby, with things that I have experienced, advice given to me, and the reality of what REALLY happens.

Charlotte is now one and has flown six round-trip times and has her own passport!  This girl is a frequent flyer and is great...most of the time!  Her first flight was at Christmastime to Connecticut.  She was only 3 1/2 months old.  When babies are that young, they just need food and they're good.  I had bottles of water filled and formula ready to be poured.  It worked like a charm and the flight went smoothly. 

We received so many comments on how great our baby was!

The next two flights I did by myself, same thing, I had food ready.  Had her in the Bjorn and it was easier that way to pull luggage and do other things with her attached to me.  
I received so many comments on how great my baby was!

The next flight was to the Dominican Republic.  This is where the passport comes in.  We flew to Pennsylvania to meet up with Josh's grandma.  Then down to the DR.  Yvonne couldn't believe how well Charlotte did on the plane.  She just kept saying what a great baby she was.  Let's just say, it's a good thing she was with on the way THERE and not on the way BACK!  On the way back home, it was a nightmare!  We even had our own row in the airplane and she would not stay still and cried.

We did not receive any comments AT ALL!

The next flight was to Utah for July.  Josh was with me on the way there and I flew home with Charlotte on the way back.  The Bjorn worked wonders because she will just fall asleep in it.

We received so many comments on how they didn't even know there was a baby on board!

The next, and most current, flight was back East once more.  The way there, perfect angel.  I think a lot had to do with the fact that it was later in the day (around naptime) and I let her crawl in the aisle.  Yeah, I am so not a germaphobe since I've been a mom.  I want her to be clean, sure, but she loves crawling and being on the ground.  Why would I deprive her of that?  She slept some of the way, too.  On the way back, total nightmare!!  It had already been a long day anyway...5 hour drive to the airport (which went fine).  Then she had to be contained on the plane.  I let her crawl again, but that only lasted so long.  They kept putting the seat belt sign on (and sometimes I still let her crawl around).  She enjoyed going to the bathroom.  She would just sit on the changing table and look at herself in the mirror.  I could only handle a certain amount of time in that cramped space, though.  She cried for probably an hour of the flight and there was nothing that was going to make her be quiet.  I even started crying because I was so overwhelmed and, really, not used to her crying for that long!  Other people on the plane even took turns holding her!  Which gave me relief :)  I had food, suckers, a diaper bag FULL of snacks and nothing was going to calm her down!  She was in a mood and that's all there was to it.  Luckily, everyone else has had to deal with crying babies on a plane, and as much as I get that, it was the first time that I really felt sorry for those around me.  I was glad to be back on the ground in Orange County!
We did not receive many comments :S

So what have I learned? 
  • Be overly prepared...even for a short flight
  • Benadryl can have the opposite effect and make your child hyper (never tried it and won't)
  • Let germs go out the window!  Allow others to help; let them explore the cabin.
  • Even if it's not naptime, have their blanket and whatever else they need when they go to sleep available.  You'd be surprised if they want to take a little cat nap to kill some time.
  • Bring books, toys (w/o noise), and other distractions.
  • Unless they're used to headphones, don't spend the money to purchase TV and force them to wear the headphones.  It doesn't work!
  • If you can fly before four months, do it!  That's when they are immobile and still can sleep easily.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Josh Turns 28!

Happy Birthday to my best friend!!  Josh turns 28 today!  We celebrated last night due to his busy schedule at work lately.  He is going on 8 days of work with no break.  I appreciate his hard work.  I know it's not easy for him to be away from his girls and yet, he never complains.  Hopefully by the weekend work will not be as busy and we will be able to go out to dinner for his birthday.  We can just spread the celebration out all month! While he was working yesterday, I whipped up a cake and tried to make a nice display for him to come home too!  He is very easy-going and never expects much.  I appreciate that so much more now, now that Charlotte's birthday is a week before!!  Here are some photos of our party last night!

Nike running shirt and iPod (for running)

Thanks to everyone who contributed to Josh's gifts and for the cards.  You helped make Josh's day great!!

Friday, September 13, 2013

One Year Pictures

I decided to take Charlotte to the park this morning and take pictures of her in the dress my grandma made her for her birthday.  I knew I had to do it right after she ate so she would be at her happiest state!  I have thought so much about just paying someone to take these photos, but she is at the stage where if the camera is out, she won't look at it.  So I decided to take on the challenge myself.  Out of 291 photos, there were only a few that turned out.  Little stinker will not look at the camera!!!  I also took pictures of her in MY dresses that Grandma made for me when I was younger.  I didn't realize that I was a bit older but I'm glad I did it now than forgetting later and never getting them done.

Same at 15 months old
Thank you Grandma Sheila for all the amazing dresses over the years!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

East Coast Trip Part 4: Lake Canandaigua

The morning after returning back from Boston, we got up really early and made the five hour drive up to Lake Canandaigua, NY.  Josh's grandparents purchased a lake house years ago for all the grandchildren to enjoy.  Each year, the whole family gets together.  We have yet to join EVERYONE but this is our second time we have gone with Josh's immediate family.  Last time was two years ago and all of Josh's siblings were able to make it.  This year was a different story.  The older everyone gets with jobs, kids, and life, it's harder to get everyone to come together the same week.  Josh's sister, Rachel and her family made it during the big reunion in July, but while we were there, Meg and Adam joined us for the long Labor Day weekend.  It was so much fun!  Lots of relaxing, boating, trips to Walmart, shopping and Charlotte's first pair of Rainbows were purchased!  Here are some photos of our time at the lake house!
Day 1
Charlotte's first time at the lake house
Family Life Jacket Pic (yes, I know I look like a man!)
Charlotte taking over the steering

By the end of the ride, Charlotte was ready to get off

Day 2

Lake house
Adam "drowning"
Gramps is wake surfing!
Day 3- Saturday was our day we found Charlotte's first Rainbows.  Who would have ever thought we would find them in upstate New York, but as soon as I saw them, I knew she needed them.  Gram bought them for her birthday and lucky enough for all of us (because Charlotte couldn't have cared less) they matched her outfit perfectly!  Later that night the entire lake has a tradition called the "ring of fire" where everyone lights emergency flares out on their lawn.  We almost missed it thinking it's on Labor Day but it's always the Saturday before.  We hurried and put the flares out and took some pictures.  It was a really cool site. 
Charlotte never lacked for attention.  Gram fed her breakfast every morning!

Day 4-  After attending church, we headed around to the church sites.  Adam hadn't seen them in about 15 years, so we went to Hill Cumorah, Joseph Smith farm, Sacred Grove and the Grandin Press.  If you have not had the opportunity to experience these church sites, I strongly encourage it.  It is so neat to be in the exact spot where the church started.  It is neat to imagine what the early church members went through, their living circumstances, traveling and leaving everything they had to spread the word of God.  It will strengthen your testimony for sure!  I'm grateful for the time I was able to visit and I look forward to our trip to Nauvoo next year to visit more church history spots.  

View from the top of Hill Cumorah

Rick and his kids

This is what Josh read for two years.  I love when he reads from it and I can hear his Indonesian. 

The whole gang!
I love how the east is full of trees EVERYWHERE you look.  Here you can see the temple steeple poking through. 
Apple trees at the farm.  They told us there are four different apples growing.
Frame House
Sacred Grove

Four corners (four steeples/churches) where Joseph attended while he was wondering what church to join.

Where and how they made the first Books of Mormon.  It took 17 months from start to finish to publish 5,000 books.  What would they say if we told them it was on our phones now?!
I love this picture.  It shows how the Book of Mormon and Bible work together.  They tell of Christ on different continents.
 Later that night we celebrated Josh (Sept. 16th) and Charlotte's (Sept. 7th) birthdays! 

Birthday boy with his mint brownie cake...YUM!
Again...Charlotte really lacked attention!
Birthday girl with her smash cupcake

The end of the cupcake
I just couldn't get enough of these shoes!
After her cake smashing, Adam and Meg gave her a bath.  I don't think I gave Charlotte a bath the entire two weeks we were there. 
All of Charlotte's gifts.  She is going to love shoes like her Gram!
Josh's birthday card and candy
Thank you to Rick and Eve for making it such a special night for my two loves!

Day 5- This was the day we left the lake house for the airport.  I was dreading the five hour drive to Newark International, but it really wasn't that bad at all!  We stopped at Cornell and then stopped again for lunch.  Both places, we let Charlotte crawl around the get some of the wiggles out.  Yes, it's filthy, but it made her so happy!

Charlotte loved this baby she is carrying the whole trip.  It was originally Meg's.  I'm sure she will love it again at Christmastime!
We finally made it to the airport with the perfect amount of time to get checked in, go through security and get dinner for the flight.  The flight was probably the worst one yet.  Charlotte cried for maybe an hour straight, then I started crying.  Ugh!  It was a long day but we made it safe and sound.

My mom picked us up in Orange County and was with us until early this morning for Charlotte's first birthday party!!  It has been a BUSY past three weeks and I am ready for normal life to kick back in tomorrow.  Lots of cleaning, laundry, Disneyland, doctor appointments, work, (that's just this next week) and everything else that my busy life throws my way!

(Don't know what day these were taken, but she loved the piano.  Can't wait to get this girl in lessons!)