October 18, 2007

Potty Training

Our "baby" has become such a big girl, as evidenced by all the changes in Sophia's life in the last couple of weeks. We have moved her to a "big kid bed", which is still a major source of excitement for her. We had set it up a couple of days before we moved it into her room, and she talked about it non-stop. We had set it up downstairs, and she would come down to her bed and just sit in it and play for long stretches of time because she was so excited about it. But then when I put it her room and put her in it for her first nap, she was less than thrilled, let's say. Okay, truthfully, she freaked out! She cried and cried, and I had to lay in there with her for a bit. But after sleeping in it just a few times, she's become used to it and now loves it. She loves to put her babies to bed in it, and close the door to let them sleep quietly. (And then she'll immediately open the door to "check" them!) She's even told me a couple of times that baby has been naughty and she's put her in there for time out. Yesterday, she came and told me that Baby was in time out, and she needed to go "check" her. She came back saying that Baby was sorry and that she was praying and telling Jesus she was sorry! Oh, from the mouth's of babes... Those are the moments when you realize that somehow, by the grace of God, you are doing something right!

Anyway, the biggest event in Sophia's life, is that she seems to have almost conquered diapers!!! YIPPEE!!! We had been half-heartedly getting Sophia acquainted with the potty for several months, and then a couple of weeks ago, we went to visit friends and Sophia wanted to use the potty just like her friend Taylor. We got home that day, and from that minute on, Sophia started telling us she was done with diapers. Every time we would change her, she would tell us that she needed to go "pee-pee", and she would manage to squeeze something out every time! So that continued for a week until she ran out of diapers, and then we realized we had finally come to a turning point and decided we needed to figure out what we were going to do. Last Friday, we decided to hit the potty hard core. Turns out, it was a good decision, although it took us a little while to be convinced. There were several factors we were unsure of how she would deal with, but she's pretty much shown us that she was more ready than we realized. By the end of the weekend, we weren't sure we had made the right choice, but she woke up on Monday showing us she knew the drill. I was worried about all kinds of things: how would we ween her off treats, would she tell us when she needs to go, would she poop in the potty, what about when we're out of the house? And this week, one by one, she's past all those hurdles! We've only had a few accidents, she hasn't asked for treats, I haven't changed a poopie diaper from her in a week, and she told the ladies in the nursery at church this morning that she needed to poop on the potty!!! And, we weren't even going to address this issue for some time, but on her own, she has stayed clean and dry during all of her sleep times this week! Who knew? Kids sure do surprise ya sometimes! And we are all too grateful!

Go Rockies!

Tim and I have had the privilege of attending more Rockies games this year than we have in several previous years. And this year, we have actually been to 2 games, within one month even, with just the two of us. That hasn't happened in more years than we can count. We had forgotten how much we like to go to baseball games together because we always have other people with us and don't get to just enjoy each others company as much.

And what a year for it this has been! The second to the last game we went to was on October 1st- the play-in game against the San Diego Padres. Without a doubt, we are both in agreement that that was bar none the best baseball game we have ever been to! The game itself was absolutely amazing, intense, and nerve racking! 13 innings, a back and forth score, and a must win situation. Does baseball get any better than that? The emotion and intensity of that game were like no other game we've been to. We felt like everyone in the seats around us were family by the time the game was over because we had been through such a bonding experience over the course of nearly five hours!

But then Game 4 of the NLCS was pretty amazing, too. Although the Twins have been to the World Series twice, I had never had the privilege of being at a playoff game prior to this year. The game this week didn't hold the same level of intensity as the play in game (which is to be expected when you're up 3 games to none and have 4 remaining games in which you only need to win one!), but that night was magical in it's own ways. There's something about sitting in nearly freezing weather until almost midnight rooting your team on! Our biggest disappointment of the night was that we took out the brooms to bring them along, and forgot them at home. But there were brooms aplenty that evening, and they were sweeping the city by the time we finally headed out of downtown at nearly 1 am!

So next week begins our attempts to obtain World Series tickets. They are only selling 18,ooo, and they are only available on-line, so our chances of actually obtaining them from the Rockies organization are slim to none. And someone told me today that Slim is walking out the door right now! But that's not going to stop us from trying. If we don't get them when they go on sale at 10am on Monday, you can better believe we'll be living on Craig's list attempting to find some for a "reasonable" price!

Riding the Rockies bus

At the game

With some of our closest friends Kyle and Erika Morris (Kyle's the one who scored us that night's tickets)

The Rally Rag says it all

Can you catch the time of the clock at the top? The screen is showing post-game celebrations

October 16, 2007

Harvest Festival

Practically right across the street from us, there is a local Historical Museum. This is really one of our favorite places to hang out during the week because it's just a short walk and Sophia loves all the animals they have there. There are actually two working farms on the property, one from the 1860's time period, and one much more modern farm from the 1890's! They have several cows, sheep, pigs, donkeys, chickens, cats, and even a few peacocks. Incidentally, if you've ever heard peacocks, they can be VERY loud, and Sophia frequently hears them at our house and always wants to drop everything to go see the peacocks.

Anyway, we try to go there as often as we have time for, and we have now made it a tradition to be there for their annual harvest festival. Last year was my first year with Sophia, but this year we convinced Tim and Noah to brave the crowd and come with us. It turned out to be well worth our time. The event itself is free, but then you can buy all sorts of jams and food and of course pumpkins!!! They have cider and wagon rides and all kinds of pioneer games. This year they had a mini-corn maze, which was a HUGE hit with Sophia. She would have wondered through it nearly all day if we would have let her.

And certainly the day wouldn't be complete without some pumpkin pictures! It was so funny to observe other families and moms trying to get their perfect family photos. After watching one particular family, I couldn't help but laugh. There were a couple of kids, but you couldn't help hearing the 5-ish year old girl saying, "Mommy, I don't want to sit there. It hurts. Mommy, it hurts!" To which the mom responded, "Sit down! It doesn't hurt that bad! Let me take the picture!!" I am sure she was a very good mom, but the whole thing was much more comical to watch from the outside, and you just wonder if the Mom realized how irrational she sounded. Sometimes ya just have to ask yourself, "Is the picture really worth the trouble?"

Well, for us, it certainly was! The kids, fortunately, were VERY cooperative, and we got some great shots from the day, so I couldn't resist sharing them with whoever might check for them! Noah, in particular, seemed to think this day was made as his own personal photo shoot! He couldn't stop laughing and smiling! It turned out to be lots of fun for all of us.

Sophia picking her own personal pumpkin. She was so excited to go get pumpkins that day.

A glimpse of what's coming for Halloween...

Who knew that Noah apparently loves pumpkins?

My personal bias is that these could definitely be the cutest kids EVER!!! (Incidentally, these were the pumpkins we ended up bringing home.)

Future Nielson Christmas card picture?

Again, Noah's hamming it up for the camera!

October 2, 2007

Random Things

Some people I know have blogs that are the most current news of their lives. I, clearly, am not one of those people. So for all of you out there wondering what is happening in our lives these days, and wondering how much the kids have changed and grown since my last post, this one's for you! Things here have been crazy busy. This is Tim's busiest time of year, and that has filtered down to the rest of our family. The entire month of September has passed in a blur - and so many things have happened. Tim's been busy with the beginning of the school year, getting student groups off to a strong start at church, organizing our own mini-version of the Amazing Race, and hiring a new worship director. (Which may not seem like that big of a deal, except that the new guy came from Minnesota without a place to live, so we had a roommate for two weeks until he found a place of his own.) I did a week of babysitting for a friend's kid right after Labor Day, and then followed that up with two straight weeks of subbing at my old school.

Sophia has been busy, busy, busy. Who knows what exactly it is that she's doing most of the time, but she's busy doing whatever it is! She talks non-stop and has a continuous running commentary of what is happening from the time she wakes up (even before we go in to get her up in the morning) all the way until we lay her down in bed at night. She is finally beginning to learn some pronouns and prepositions, so that is moving her closer to using actual sentences. She has developed a new found passion for yogurt (we hear her in her bed before she gets up saying "yo-gurt, yo-gurt"), her babies are her hands down favorite toys, and just today we went to pick out some bedding for her "big kid bed." I wasn't sure she would get that concept, but she hasn't stopped talking about it, so I know she's excited.

Noah has changed the most in the last month. He is growing so fast these days! He has added quite a list of foods to his menu (peaches, pears, apples, squash, peas, green beans, sweet potatoes, carrots, bananas and tomorrow is our first attempt of avocado). Mid-way through September, he bursted out "Da-da!" and just a few days ago, he first said, "Ma-ma." Although we are not foolish enough to believe that he has attached meaning to those words yet, I keep encouraging him to "Say Mama" (in which case, Sophia always does exactly as asked!). He has also accomplished one of his first major feats so far- sitting up all by himself. This happened just yesterday and the minute I let go and he realized he was on his own, he just looked at me with an expression that seemed to say, "I"m such a big boy! I know I'm doing something cool!"

This past month was also a great month for out of the usual activities for Tim and I. We were actually able to get away for a night to a little Bed and Breakfast in Manitou Springs (just outside of Colorado Springs) for our anniversary. We had a great time, and we have decided that now that we have kids, a one night getaway just isn't enough! Then last night, we were actually able to get two tickets for the Rockies one game playoff against the San Diego Padres. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, we are in agreement that it was the most incredible baseball game we have ever been to! Wowsers, 13 innings, a score that went back and forth, so many close calls, and finally, the big W for the Rockies! Whew! Go Rockies!

Noah's "First Meal"

Noah doing what he does best!

Home after a hard day's work!

Sophia in her birthday dress from Aunt Julie

Noah sitting by himself for the first time

Labor Day on the Farm

Our time on the farm already seems like forever ago, but Sophia is still talking about it. We just got pictures in the mail the other day from Grandma, and I'm sure that has refreshed her memory, but she hasn't stopped saying, "Ride tractor Grandpa." Sophia had so much fun on the farm this last time we were there, and it made for such a fun trip. It was great to be there when the weather was so good, and Sophia could run around and play all day. She was so tired out by the end of the days, but then she would wake up in the morning listing everything she wanted to do that day, "Ride tractor, Grandpa. See cows. Ride wagon. Eat corn." The list would go on and on. And then when we got home, she kept asking to see Grandpa. A month later, she's still remembers picking flowers with Grandma and Jake and his stupid rocks!! Noah doesn't have as fond of memories, it seems. He has yet to talk about his trip to the farm :) It will be fun as he gets older and he begins to enjoy the cows and tractor rides and other farm activities. Check out the pictures to see Sophia's commentary of what was happening. (For those of you who haven't spent much time with Sophia lately, she's a born commentator. This is what takes place all day long at our house! - These would be her exact words when we looked at the pictures.)

"Ride-tractor-Grandpa. Shushie driving."

"Shushie riding wagon."

"Noah touching Grandpa face. Noah smiling."

"Shushie sitting Grandma. Swing."

"Shushie playing truck Grandma."
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