Monday, December 29, 2008

christmas whirlwind

after more than a week of visiting, eating, playing, enjoying, celebrating, gift opening, driving, more visiting, more eating, more playing, more enjoying, more gift opening, and more driving... we're home. we had such a wonderful time with everyone that it was hard to let it come to an end and head back to our quiet house. i feel so grateful to have such wonderful family to be with during the holidays - not just the family that i grew up with and all their fabulous new additions, but also the super family that i was lucky enough to marry into. thanks to all who let us invade their houses and bask in their hospitality!

a few highlights from this past week:

  • getting to know an almost-two-year-old oscar - he was super fun and it was great to hear him talking in his little voice. what a cutie on christmas morning with that happy hair!
  • seeing my super sis for the first time in almost a year and a half. i had great fun doing girlie things and laughing loads with my little sister.
  • seeing abby all dressed up in her christmas outfit. could that photo be any cuter?
  • hanging out at uncle roger and aunt janie's fabulous farmhouse. they're incredible hosts.
  • seeing gracie's bellybutton
  • getting a chance to see mike's grandparents - grandpa dannis and grandma nordstrom
  • watching the nieces and nephews open gifts at mike's mom's house is always a highlight

Monday, December 22, 2008

awesome aunties

yesterday was a shopping extravaganza of epic proportions. with the help of the amazing aunties and all their sage advice, we chose a stroller, a bouncy seat, a backpack carrier thingy, and i decided on a carseat (though i didn't actually buy it yet). i don't think i could've made those decisions without their help. we also got blankets and towels and cute little fuzzy socks, and hats, and the aunties each bought him something cute to wear... i feel so lucky to have the advice moms there. thank you both! i'm as spoiled as ninja - and he's not even born yet!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

ha ha ha... merry christmas

christmas for ninja

we had a wonderful visit from one of the printer reps yesterday. she's one of my favorite visitors at work - always has funny stories and neat crafty things to talk about, and LOVES children's books... definitely a kindred spirit. she made this hat for ninja! it's so tiny, and soft and i was just floored that she would take the time to do that. every time i look at it, i get warm fuzzies. i can't wait to send her a photo of it on the little guy.

she also brought him a buddy. here he is modeling the hat:

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

more baby stuff

yesterday i had visits to two pediatricians' offices. they were scheduled several hours apart, so in between i went to target to pick up a few things for ninja. i finally bought a changing pad, a waterproof mattress cover for the crib, and a couple of plain white crib sheets. none of it was all that exciting, but they were all things i knew we'd need or want.
i'm still pondering the idea of buying bumper pads for the crib, but i'm having trouble finding something i like in a price range that doesn't seem utterly ridiculous. for example, i really like the simplicity of this one, but there's no way i would pay that much for bumper pads in a million bazillion years.

wrapping it up

i'm finally making some progress with my wrapping and cards. i might actually be sleeping on christmas eve.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

one thing off the list

we finished assembling the christmas card today at work. hoo-rah! i was worried they wouldn't make it out the door before we take off for the holidays. no more worries here!

update 12/17: they went in the mail before noon today!

Monday, December 15, 2008

dream a little dream

less than a week until missy and her entourage arrive! hoo-rah!

i've been looking forward to this so much that i've started having dreams about it. the other night i had a dream that i was helping oscar wipe off his face and hands after eating something messy. the result was that instead of getting clean, the mess just spread all over his face until it was completely covered. weird, eh?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

best ever

we went this afternoon to pick out a tree with mom and dad. we usually go with them to help pick out their tree, but this is the first year that we got our own tree at the same time. i think we found the best one ever - and it smells just as wonderful as it looks!

i'm looking forward to having some time off to be home and enjoy every bit of the holidays. there are so many wonderful things to look forward to. i can hardly wait!

cute tootsies

aren't these adorable? i do believe i have some red felt around here that might make cute little tootsie warmers for the ninja. now i just need to find the time to make cute things...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

32 weeks

getting ready for class tonight - and chipotle after (yay!)

Monday, December 8, 2008

maybe i'm a sap...

...but i'm okay with that.
last night while i was peddling myself along on the elliptical and looking for distractions on tv, i happened on "the parent trap" on the tcm channel. it was already more than halfway over, but i watched the last 45 minutes or so with relish. it's one of those movies that i never get tired of watching (as long as it's the original). Even though i know it's sappy and sugary and might give other grown-ups cavities, i still love it.
the movie following it was the even sappier "pollyanna" and if it hadn't already been 10 o'clock on a work-night, i probably would have stayed up to watch it also.
i'm still hoping to happen on "miracle on 34th street" like i did last year. i've forgotten what channel it was (possibly tcm) that showed it back-to-back - first the black-and-white version, and then the colorized one. i watched both.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

the final dip

i dipped the last of the fondants for the cookie exchange today! huzzah! this always seems like it turns into a bit of a chore, but i hope my co-workers will enjoy them. mike has given his approval and offered to do more extensive taste-testing should the need arise.

essential niece gear

so i was originally thinking that i wouldn't post this until after it was delivered to abby. but since i missed my opportunity this weekend, and i'm completely impatient, i'm posting it now. this is the cheerleader outfit we got over the thanksgiving weekend. i can't wait to see her in it, and hope she can wear it more than once before she grows out of it.

catch up post #3

unfortunately for me, i came down with a cold and had to miss out on gavin's birthday celebration saturday evening. i was pretty disappointed, and hanging out at home was not nearly as much fun as it would have been to be visiting and hanging out with the family, but i really thought i ought to keep my germs confined to home.
i did manage to get a few more of the christmas decorations up though, so not all was lost.

catch up post #2 - hanging of the greens

friday evening we went to the "hanging of the greens" at church. for the traditional potluck i made gingerbread muffins. for a recipe i hadn't made before (and randomly pulled off the internet and altered), they turned out pretty well. i think that the recipe could use some tweaks, but it's probably a keeper. the craft that i helped to run was making these little angels with the "bell bottoms" (as mike referred to them). the tricky parts had to be put on with hot glue, so that made it more difficult than i thought it would be (and also made it frustrating for some of the participants). mike won extra bonus "good boy" points for guarding the hot glue gun.

catch up post #1

this past thursday was a pretty busy day. in the morning i had another doctor's appointment. it's always good news to know that ninja is doing well and that all seems to be going as it should. i also reached the "every two weeks" point with my doctor visits - ahh! after my appointment i made a quick stop at target and bought some socks and admired all the baby whatsits. i'm hoping to go again sometime soon and actually buy some of the stuff we'll need, but that was for another day. after target, i went to mom and dad's to help with a project for church and do a little visiting. it was fun to see their new, fancy, paper-cutting machine and get in some real visiting. also, while i was home, i managed to find my old blocks (pictured above). i've been keen on bringing them home for a while so that i could pass them on to ninja (and also so i could play with them again - which i did). that evening, mike and i attended our first "prepared childbirth" class. i think we each got something out of the class. we completed our evening with a trip to chipotle. by the time class was out (9:30pm), we were both hungry for some dinner. it was yummy and spicy, and luckily there was no heartburn to be had. i guess ninja even likes food with a bit of a kick!

Monday, December 1, 2008

candles and angels

one more post about today's decorating. we got these candles last year and i was excited to put them into use. i think they look really nice with the glass angels - so sparkly! i feel very fancy having an actual mantel to decorate.
i've still got two bins of decorations to go up. hopefully i'll make more progress when i'm not stopping to move and fold loads of laundry or dip fondants.

color me cool

a while ago i saw this toy on another blog (unfortunately i can't recall which one). sadly, it was out of stock at the time, but i got an email earlier today saying that it is now back in stock. i'm so tempted to order one for the ninja and keep it for his first birthday (or a rainy day, or until i want to play with it). i realize that maybe it's a little design-nerdy to get a color wheel puzzle, but there has to be something to balance out all the buckeye-ness, right?

christmas countdown

i'm always excited about the holidays (regardless of the fact that i do not enjoy shopping), but this year i'm especially excited because we will be able to see family that we haven't seen in forever. yay!
last night mike was nice enough to carry up all the bins of christmas decorations so that i could start counting down. first to go up was the advent calendar (made by mom). i love unwrapping each ornament from it's paper cocoon and putting them in the pockets and thinking about the original calendar hanging at mom and dad's house (especially the santa with a missing foot). i'm hoping to get a few other things up today. the tree will have to wait for a couple of weeks though (all the better, as i'm still working on the tree skirt). the best part of this all is knowing that next year we'll have a little person to share all the fun and tradition with - hoorah!

for the buckeye-to-be

while we were in columbus this weekend, we stopped at buckeye corner and picked up a few things. we wanted to splurge on a little something for the boy, so we settled on this nightlight (what kid doesn't like a little light at night?) and a little sleeper that says "born a buckeye!" on it. i think we got the 6M, so hopefully he can wear it for a bit.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

a long weekend of thanks

our entire thanksgiving weekend was stellar. i'm posting a few of my favorite pictures of abby (in all her adorable, dimple-y cuteness). i know that i really should have taken more photos, but i was so busy enjoying the wonderful company all weekend that it was hard to remember to pull the camera out. in any case, i plan to keep all the warm memories tucked away for safe-keeping.

we spent thursday with my family in the cleveland area, and then went down to columbus friday morning to visit with mike's relatives. both were wonderful gatherings, full of good food and lots of fun (and football). on saturday we went to visit mike's grandma for a bit, and then went to see "bolt" with his brother and his family. we left earlier today, and though i'm glad to be back home, i'm so grateful for having such wonderful people to share the holidays with! thank you to all! we're already looking forward to christmas, when we will get to see some of the people that couldn't be with us this weekend - and a chance to visit again with the ones that were! hurrah for holidays!

rollin' rollin' rollin'

i couldn't resist posting a photo of the buttercrust flake-aparts. they turned out quite nicely (if i do say so myself). thanksgiving is one of the few times that i have a reason to pull out grandma's pie board, and i always think of her when i use it. i love hand-me-downs!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

on a roll

luckily for me (and the rest of the family), i'm not in charge of the thanksgiving meal. my contribution, as in years past, is to bring the bread. so far i've made marjorie's whole wheat rolls, cranberry nut muffins, and oatmeal buttermilk muffins. i'm saving the buttercrust flakeaparts for tomorrow morning because i always think they're best the first day (though they're plenty tasty the next day too).

Monday, November 24, 2008

29 weeks

...and 4 days of ninja baby. the belly pic, as requested.

mmm... chocolatey...

yesterday i worked on mint fondants. these are dark chocolate. the white frosting is to help me remember which flavor center it is. otherwise, i might have to make mike take bites out of each one to check for me. he did do a taste test for me though, and they were approved. unfortunately i'm already out of dark chocolate, and only about halfway through my mint centers. oh well... on to the milk chocolate, i guess!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

candy by football-light

my activity during the ohio state/michigan game this afternoon was working on fondants. the reason for this activity: a couple of my co-workers have instigated a cookie exchange, and we're each responsible for making nine dozen of some tasty treat. this seemed like a good solution because 1) the aforementioned co-workers "suggested" candy - which i took as a request, 2) the recipe makes plenty to fill my quota, and 3) they will be by far the easiest thing to transport on the train to work.
so...we went to bj's today to buy our 4lb bag of confectioners sugar and made a special stop for flavoring and candy melts. i'm just making two flavors to begin with. the green is peppermint (i think this will have dark and milk chocolate coating) and the pink is raspberry (i think this will get the white coating, but maybe a little dark chocolate also). i also bought maple flavor, but i'm not sure if i have enough time to do more yet. i'm really hoping for some profits to bring to some other gatherings, but may end up making another batch if there aren't enough left and i've got time to spare.
i'm hoping to do the dipping and decorating tomorrow.

ps - the buckeyes won and i don't think they even needed me to wear my lucky underpants (though i did)

Monday, November 17, 2008

soft and white and fluffy and cold

we've been getting our first real (sticking) snow of the season today. i admit that i wasn't quite ready to trade in my lovely walking shoes for my extremely comfy (but much heavier) snow boots when taking my daily strolls, but it is awfully pretty (and totally better than the nasty, cold rain that preceeded it). i'm hoping we'll have plenty of the white stuff for when missy and her crew are up for christmas. i believe there has already been talk of shoveling and sledding, provided the weather cooperates. it would be nice to let oscar get some snowball-making practice in while he can, not to mention snowmen and snow dragons and snow forts!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

tick, tick, tick

we got confirmation of our registration for childbirth classes and a prenatal hospital tour in the mail yesterday. i know i've had my countdown ticker for several weeks now, but getting these confirmations in the mail really signaled to me that we're seriously getting closer to being parents (and real adults).

ps - the totally adorable (and eco-friendly) calendar is from here.

mmm... yummy

when it's cold and rainy, there's nothing better than something warm for lunch. i decided that fried apple would certainly cover that base and would go well with my vanilla yogurt. this was one of those delicious farmer's market apples, so no sugar needed - just a little cinnamon and a handful of raisins. yummy ummers.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

baby bedding

i've been casually looking at baby bedding, just to see what's out there and what's available. so much of it is really cute. almost too cute. bears and bulldozers and farm animals - oh my! it's a little overwhelming to someone who prefers things to be a bit more plain.
nevertheless... i've come across two sets that aren't too, too much. or maybe they are, but i thought they were worthy of posting.
the first one i really thought was cute (but not too cute), and i like the football theme, but maybe it's carrying it a little too far to have football bedding, no? plus, what if our ultrasound was an anomaly and we have a girl? would it be too strange to put a girl to bed in a crib adorned with helmets and footballs?

i'm a bit more fond of the second one. it's got the "right" colors without being too theme-y, but maybe it's not "baby" enough. what say you?

anywho... just something to think about in a non-commital sort of way.

a room suitable for a ninja

so we got the first coat of paint rolled on this evening. it's totally going to need a second coat (if not a third), but i'm really liking the color. i think it will suit our little ninja just fine. plus, that denimy, grey-blue will be pretty sweet with "go bucks" colors. it looks almost like what i planned (if you can really call it "planning").
UPDATE: we finished painting friday evening! next on the list: furniture tetris!
i have a couple of tracks from the great white north album on my mp3 player. every time i hear one of them it makes me smile (if not speak along or laugh out loud). my favorite tracks (in no particular order): the beer hunter, peter's donuts, elron mckenzie, coffee sandwich, and (of course) the 12 days of christmas. speaking of which, it's almost the time of year to put that last track back into circulation...
image via

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

and it begins...

we have paint! mike has decided to start painting the room for ninja-boy tonight. i'm planning on joining him shortly, as long as we can ventilate properly.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

more for the "to do" list

note to self: get moving on the christmas cards before they become valentines

ninja baby

from deep within his dark fortress, ninja baby practices both day and night...
i think our little ninja should have one of these plushies. it would be ever so appropriate. of course, one of these would be fun too.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

i really did rake leaves on thursday...honest!

but you certainly wouldn't know it by looking at the yard! at least the leaves make a gorgeous carpet. it's almost too bad to clear them away. ah well...

hello third trimester

two-thirds of the way there and feeling great. (though i think a lot of the great has to do with it being a saturday and having slept in - yay for sleep!)

Friday, November 7, 2008

magic everywhere

every fall the bushes along where i walk to work get wrapped in burlap. to me they always look a bit like leafy creatures all wrapped and huddled down together for the winter.
happy friday!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

on your mark, get set, go!

after dragging my feet for at least a week, my promotional bookmarks are ready to drop off. i'm glad to be able to cross this off my list. now off to rake leaves before going to the doctor's office this afternoon...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

poster day 2

so this is my revised poster sketch. i really think it's coming along. the covers in the border (though lovely and gorgeous) were weirdly distracting, so we eliminated them for the time being. now to the committee too see if it will pass the test...dun dun dunnnnn!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

in progress

i'm working on our poster for black history month. this is what i have so far. i want to work some of our covers into the border with some kind of pattern, but i haven't quite figured that bit out yet. i'm also not sure that this is the final color scheme. i'll post a final layout when i've got one. i think the theme they settled on was "igniting hope" or something. we've been doing a lot of "igniting leadership" resources lately, so that's how it relates.

Monday, November 3, 2008

it's holiday time

i don't think i can refer to these as christmas cacti anymore. they're more like holiday cacti. i have two of them, and they both just started blooming in time for halloween, but have been known to bloom for thanksgiving, easter, even my birthday (which i thought was very nice of them). i think they just like to celebrate, which i don't think i should argue about, because they're terribly gorgeous when they're all full of flowers.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


we had a fun (if quiet) night last night. we didn't have quite as many trick-or-treaters as we expected early on, but as we turned out our porchlight to get ready to go visit family, there was a flood of kids on our street. i guess we're at the end of the route for most. still, we have a few "profits" that mike will enjoy for a few weeks.

we enjoyed visiting with mike's mom and john, and seeing the kids (who had already changed out of their costumes and taken an inventory of all their candy!)

i couldn't help but post one of missy's photos of oscar as "poopsie." he looks either serious or nervous, or maybe he's just missing his papa—but totally cute all the same. you can see more of their trick-or-treating fun here.

Friday, October 31, 2008

happy halloween

tonight is our neighborhood's trick-or-treat night. with any luck we won't run out of candy (it's been known to happen). we do have a bulk-size pack of atomic fireballs to fall back on, just in case. they are predicting good (as in not 28 degrees and snowy) weather for tonight, so it should be fun! i'm especially looking forward to seeing the nieces and nephew (the ones that live within walking distance) all dressed up. i'm hoping that pictures of the out-of-towners will be forthcoming. (hint hint)


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