Monday, August 30, 2010

p-ray's poster giveaway

so i've gotten quite a few emails asking about the alpha poster seen in the nursery post. it's an 11" x 14" print i made custom for p-ray's room.

i am so happy with the way it turned out & i wanna share the love. sooooooo......

i'm going to be giving away a custom alpha poster to a blog reader!

how is it custom you ask? just show me your colors & i can adjust it accordingly. for example, the image below has oranges & blues incorporated as opposed to the more neutral color scheme i chose for parker's room {think pinks & purples, or neons or black/white. whatever your heart desires}.


don't have any need for nursery art? enter anyway! c'mon, it's free stuff. give it away to a friend's-brother's-pregnant-aunt. or maybe just use it as a placemat for your dog dishes?

the point is, i want to know who's out there. i get a pretty decent number of hits to the blog every day & i wanna know who you are.

so, here's how to enter:

1. become a follower of "i guess you could say we have..." on google friend connect - 3 entries
{already a follower? just mention that in a comment & i'll give ya the entries}

2. vote for "i guess you could say we have..." in the top baby blogs - 1 entry/day
{i can't see who voted, so just tell me you did in a comment. i trust ya.}

3. comment this post & tell me how long you've been reading & how you found us - 2 entries

A winner will be picked one week from today, september 6 at 10:00 pm pst using

and if you couldn't care less about an alpha poster, or nursery things, or giving away something that cool to someone who might like it, just keep on lurking & living in your shadows.

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

easy like sunday morning

i'm gonna start this off with a disclaimer. we don't really prop our baby up on the couch & let him just sit & watch tv... that often.

no, seriously.

i had just put parker down for a second before sitting & feeding him, but this father/son football watching moment was just too cute not to capture. or too pathetic. really parker? this engrossed in sports already?

looks like he's already well on his way to becoming sam's best football watching buddy. ah well, what are sons for, right?

and yes. despite the belly on that baby, he still needs his meals. what can i say... the kid likes to eat.

& i usually try to keep this blog pg-rated

...but today i might have to make an exception.

i walked into the office this morning & found parker's ol' sock monkey buddy hanging out like this:

why do i get the feeling i was being seduced? i shouted for sam to come see, who was equally stunned.

i quickly picked sock monkey up & put him back in the nursery, but needless to say it's been a little awkward between us all day.

& can i let you in on a little secret?

i like it when restaurants mess up my order. yes, even when i find dead (cooked) lady bugs in my food. this happened.

i like getting a free meal on account of the restaurant's mistake. granted, now it means i have to scratch this particular thai restaurant off my list of places i frequent, but hey, a free meal is sometimes worth discovering a bug nestled in your plate after you've had a few bites.

oh c'mon. it's not that gross. clearly she was cooked & sterilized. people eat bugs all the time.

& last night sam & i had a lovely dinner at the olive garden. after bringing our meals out all mixed up, we got to pick a dessert to take home - on the house.

score: nielsons -1, olive garden - 0.

why do things taste so much better when they're free? & unexpected? or when they're layers of chocolate cake & chocolate cheesecake smothered in a creamy chocolate ganache & sprinkled with dark chocolate shavings?

oh yeah, that whole thing about losing the baby weight & getting back in shape... that's what mondays are for.

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Friday, August 27, 2010

flashback friday

today i'm starting what may or may not be a regular friday thing, depending on my mood. but i've seen people do it on other blogs & i'm gonna give it a go because that's the kind of control you have when you get your own blog. it's an amazing amount of power. i pretty much know how obama feels.

anywho, for today's flashback friday i take you waaaayyy back. way back to may of 2006.

graduation day. sam & i both graduated from washington state university (go cougs!) in the fine little town of pullman, wa. those were the days. not that these aren't the days too, but those were some days.

we had been married for 5 months by this point, and lived in our first little apartment for $420/month. it was right under beasley coliseum where we could walk 2 minutes to class, the rec center, sam's intramural football/softball/basketball games, many many cougar basketball games, & of course cougar football games. so many fun memories in pullman.

one of my favorite memories is walking home between classes through wind, rain, & snow during the horrible pullman winter to meet sam at our apartment for grilled cheese & soup lunch. this happened often... we really liked grilled cheese & soup. and it was cheap.

we moved from pullman the day after graduation to begin careers in our field; civil engineering for sam, wildlife ecology for me. graduated life has been good to us, but it's always fun to take a look back at the beginning.

and that was my first flashback friday! this is probably the beginning of something awesome. or a one hit wonder. either way, it was a good time.

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

one year ago today

one year ago today, wednesday august 26, 2009, sam & i got some news that would change our lives forever.

i thought we were going to the reproductive specialist for a routine follow-up appointment & was not really looking forward to it. i was seeing this specialist to find out why i didn't have periods like a real girl. or, at all. yeah... it was weird. the specialist told me i was working out too much (i was training for an olympic distance triathlon at the time) & sent me to a nutritionist. the nutritionist blamed it on thyroid problems.

either way, i didn't really feel like we were getting any closer to an answer or solution & was dreading this appointment.

the doctor wanted to do another ultrasound to see what he could see. i'd already had 4 & they had led us nowhere, but whatev. little did i know, this ultrasound would be very different.

within 30 seconds of scanning, the doctor started laughing. "no way," he said. after what seemed like forever he finally said, "well, i can see why you haven't had a period recently... you're pregnant. yup, i'd say about 5 weeks pregnant."

i never expected we'd be leaving that appointment with 2 ultrasound print outs in hand, showing our little miracle baby. or rather, our little miracle ball of cells.

fast forward one year, & we have a 4 month old. exactly to the day.

parker has blessed our lives in so many ways & continues to amaze us as he grows & picks up new things every day.

this month he is so much more aware of his surroundings. he'd rather grab & pull on my shirt, scrape his nails across my skin, or turn & smile at me than nurse. he's discovered his fingers. like, really discovered them. they never leave his mouth & he loves sucking on his thumb. his fingers are constantly grabbing at whatever is around him & it goes straight in his mouth. he is so strong. he stiffens his whole body to be lifted & flown overhead like an airplane with his dad, which makes him laugh so hard. he loves to sit upright & thinks it's so funny to sit in his bumbo & play with toys. he has really gotten into being read stories this month. he gets so excited & kicks his legs during his stories, & reaches for the books to "turn the page." unfortunately, he has picked up on the tv when it's on (which is only a little bit in the evenings), if it catches his eye he is memorized. he already prefers sportscenter. he's changed from zantac to prevacid for his relux, but still spits up. a lot. blech. he thinks these new meds are so tasty. he comes up with a new noise everyday & thinks these new noises are so funny. his current favorite is to growl while on the changing table, & then he waits for you to growl back at him. he is big enough for the jogging stroller (finally!) & loves to go for runs. he just watches the scenery go by, or takes a nap. he loves his baths, although he takes them very seriously. he kicks his legs super hard and flails his arms, all while concentrating very hard. he's still sleeping 9-11 hours a night with one feeding between 4-6am, but is struggling with bedtime. we're trying to figure out what works for putting him down & haven't quite found the perfect time just yet. we haven't had him weighed yet since his 4 month appointment isn't until the 30th, but he looks bigger to me everyday...

... and he is still so dang cute.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

if you're wondering...

...who's house that is with the clothesline of diapers strung across their entry way & front door, then, welcome to the neighborhood.

if you're a cloth diaper-er than you know what's up. sun drying is the THE BEST way to dry/disinfect/bleach/get-rid-of-stains/make-your-cloth-diapers-last/ be "green" that there is. who knew nature could be so useful?

i just don't recommend putting it off until late afternoon when the sun hits your house from the west & you have to resort to hanging your clothesline in the front of the house as opposed to the back.

unless you like the whole pwt look. which, apparently... i do.

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

why going to the bathroom at my house is like being in australia

i've blogged before about how i left my heart in australia two years ago when sam & i spent a couple weeks in sydney. seriously, the most gorgeous & amazing place i could have ever imagined.

and, i was fascinated with their toilets.

you see, i'm an ecologist & i work in water resources. australia has been in a state of serious drought for about a decade now & they have learned how to be pretty smart with their water. this includes duel flushing toilets.

sure, you see them around here every now & then, but why it took so long for this to catch on in the states confuses me.

i even took this picture of the toilets in our hotel in sydney. half circle button for baby flushes, & the full circle for big daddy flushes. why hadn't we thought of these earlier?

well, things have changed around the nielson household.

sam was doing some grocery shopping at costco on friday & came home with some $19 gadget that he was pretty proud of. props to sam. it was a duel-flushing-toilet-adapter-device. yes, that is the technical name.

for $19 he switched out our old flush handle, installed this cool 2-button flusher, stuck some weird thing in the tank, calibrated the flushing, & voila! duel flushing toilet.

i know those instructions were lame, but i left all the technical stuff up to him. he is an engineer after all. now i have some street cred when it comes to all my "save the planet" speak.

boo-yah. (oops, there went my street cred)

just in case you didn't believe me, you can see for yourself in the above picture. and yes, i just wrote a post about toilets flushing, posted a picture of my potty-place, & then you read it. awesome.

and now for some things that make me laugh

on to something else equally random. these have both been around a while, but they get me every time. enjoy.

guess who else thinks these are incredibly funny? p-ray. just look at him.

now if one of those four pictures didn't make you smile, i'm not sure what would. i mean c'mon, that guy has four popped collars!

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Friday, August 20, 2010

and so it begins

parker has officially learned to grab. grasp. tighten his grip, & ... pull.

all my necklaces, earrings, & hairs are officially in danger.

i think he thinks that if he makes a face as innocent & cute as the one seen above, i won't mind. yup. he's pretty much right.

photo credit goes to my awesome sister gina & her awesome camera that i covet.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

late night randoms

so i'm blogging at midnight the night before my one-day-a-week-in-the-office workday. why is it that i always get a rush of urgent to-dos late at night before a work day? yes, blogging falls under the "urgent to-do" category. life is hard.

the items discussed in this post are truly random... so, first things first:

better late than never

our nursery was featured on spearmint baby!
{waits for applause & cheering to die down}

way back in july. oops. ah well. you can check us out here:

that'll take you to someone else's blog who posted the exact pictures i already posted on my blog. but hey, it's my stuff on someone else's stuff. so therefore, i'm proud.

today's discovery

so remember how i waited in line for the new iphone 4 for 12 hours? well today i made a discovery that made it all worth it. it has voice controls. through the headphones. yup. now, everyone run out and buy one.

you see, i was out running with my new running partner... {insert token cute baby picture here}

...and had my iphone in a carrying case on my arm. i had already discovered the volume controls on the headphones, but i then noticed a strange mystery button in between them. i held it down and heard a little "duh duh" sound. i went out on a limb and said, "play playlist 'workout music'". my phone repeated back to me, "playing playlist 'workout music'". it then proceeded to do exactly that.

and then i fell in love. again.

you see, when i went down to working my day job as an ecologist part time, i knew there would have to be some monetarily/lifestyle cutbacks. i told sam i will be barefoot & starving before i give up my iphone. i meant it.

and lastly

you may have noticed my new "top baby blogs" badge on the top right of my sidebar. i joined this blog directory today but have to get continued "votes" to be ranked where anyone will ever see me. after reading my posts, if you wouldn't mind clicking the little badge, and then hitting that top link i would be much obliged.

oh, & you can vote daily. just sayin'.

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Monday, August 16, 2010

weekend in pictures

last weekend we had a bonus visit from my sister shelley. it was a "bonus" visit because she came primarily to go to her high school reunion, but we fit in lots of good visiting time too.

however, i am sad to report i didn't take a single picture the whole weekend. i am getting so awful! so now i present to you a summary of the weekend's events told through pictures. google images, & other pictures i already have from other times.

starting at the top left:

picked shelley up at airport & then had lunch at cheesecake factory. mmmm, who knew they now have a reese's peanut butter cup chocolate cake cheesecake? i'll tell you who knows... my belly. yum.

the hour drive back home took 2 and a half hours. awesome traffic. that night shelley went to her reunion stuff & we didn't wait up for her. however, we did offer to pick her up anywhere/anytime no-questions-asked if need be. we didn't have to though.

saturday was a nice lazy day. after sufficiently being lazy all morning, shelley & i ventured to the mall for some shopping.

since shelley's reunion stuff was an hour from our house, she really didn't feel like going after we had shown her how much fun hanging out with us in our living room all day could be. how could a night on the town be better than that? so, to make it a fun family affair, we decided we should all go & sam, parker, & i would waste some time around my home town while shelley did the reunion stuff.

after hitting lots of stop & go traffic (again), & parker throwing a fit in the backseat, we were starting to re-think whether our coming along was such a good idea. however, the baby fell asleep, we got shelley to her reunion stuff on time (well, fashionably late), & we enjoyed some tasty pizza. my belly was happy, & that means it was a good idea.

on sunday, sam fixed us an amazing lunch after church. is it so awful that my husband is a better cook than me? seriously, his bbq'ed baby back ribs fell off the bone & melted in your mouth. his roasty potatoes were perfect & the corn on the cob was the kind where the juices drip off your chin. why didn't i help, you ask? because he had it all done in the time it took me to feed parker. love that man.

after lunch, shelley & i watched a movie & i got the great idea to bake some banana bread. turns out it's not such a great idea to bake something for an hour when it's 95 degrees out. after the bread was done, it was 95 degrees outside & 90 degrees inside our house. but the banana bread was perfect.

after the movie, we took shelley to the airport & once again hit horrible traffic. but don't worry, she got there on time, we said our tearful goodbyes, & she flew home.

all in all, a great weekend.

and now, your reward for reading a summary of my weekend with no real story or point... or for at least scrolling down past all the paragraphs looking for something of interest... your moment of zen:

a picture of my super cute baby in super cute pjs.

you're welcome.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

camera envy

the purpose of this post is two fold:

1. to discuss something that i have been coveting, and
2. to show off a picture of my super cute little guy.

i love taking pictures, i love editing them, i love experimenting with angles, lighting, blah blah blah. but i know nothing about photography, & my camera is mediocre. well, it's not bad by any means... it's just no... nikon d90.

while visiting family a couple weeks ago, my sister & i had a parker photoshoot. the shot below is one of hers. mine isn't even worthy of being in the same post. hers was taken with her nikon d90 dlsr.

so there you have it. i am coveting my sister's camera. anyone have an extra $1,500 laying around you wanna let me borrow?

(i will give you fair warning... you'd probably not get the money back. but the pictures on my blog would most likely start looking amazing...)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

vacation changes a girl

i think i need to go to vacation rehab. i'm going through withdrawals.

while on vacation, i got used to a few things. daily fast food, daily dessert, daily sleeping in, & daily grandma-watching-the-baby-while-i-go-to-the-gym. vacation was good.

and last weekend the party continued. i co-hosted a baby shower with way too many delicious foods & then we went down to portland to hang with sam's family for the weekend. more fast foods & desserts ensued.

i'm spent.

i pulled one of those, "ok. starting MONDAY i'm gonna be better." monday came & i did better. i had a great workout & ate pretty dang clean.

today is day #2 & i really want a blizzard. does it count as cheating if you get one on the way home from the gym?

parker swims

the hotel we stayed at this last weekend in portland had a salt water swimming pool. we swim-suited parker up & let him get his feet wet. he knew something wasn't quite right at first & hunkered down in sam's shoulder. but just like most new things parker tries out, they usually all end the same way.

he falls asleep.

i was more than happy to sit poolside with my bundled up & tuckered out little swimmer.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

we're pouting

tomorrow i go back to work. it's been 3 glorious months of vacation... er.... "maternity leave".

turns out i like trading in my heels & dress pants for slippers & pj's til noon. the fact that i'm up blogging this at 11:30 tells you how scared i am for tomorrow to get here. parker will be in good hands while i'm gone. sam is working from home half the time & a very good, trustworthy friend has him the other half.

it's not him i'm worried about. it's me. i like my days at home with my little boy.

now, before i get all overly dramatic on ya'll, just know that i'm only going back one day a week. yup. one day in the office, plus one day working from home. that's it. i know, i know... i got it good.

but gosh darnit, those 8 hours out of my house & in the office are gonna be hard at first. how do you full time working moms do it?

wish me luck.

back from vacay with a 3 month old

the site is currently under construction. blogger has changed its templates/design mechanisms & i'm trying to figure out how to make things the way i like. until then, bare with me (or point me in a helpful direction...! I want the wide columns, wider/bigger pictures look. help!)

so we just got back from visiting all my family in utah the last week & a half. parker & i went down for the first week, then sam came down for the last half a week. it was a blast. i am going through family/hot weather/vacation/so many arms to hold parker/shopping with sisters & mom withdrawals.

i will eventually post some pics from this trip & hit some of the high points. until then, a p-ray update.

parker is 3 months

this is a big milestone to me. he is no longer a newborn & no longer just sleeps & eats. he interacts, he smiles, he giggles.

he weighs 15 pounds 1 ounce, he has now had his first airplane ride, he's met all his cousins (all 18 of them!), he carries on baby talk conversations, he smiles every time he's looked at by anyone, he is so strong - he loves to stand up on your lap, he still enjoys blowing bubbles, drooling, & spitting, goes to sleep in 5-10 minutes most nights drowsy-but-awake when swaddled, he busts out of his swaddle in the first hour or two, but is ok with it, sleeps from 10:00 - 6ish, then 6:30ish to 9:00ish most nights, loves tummy time & is getting really really good at holding his head up while on his belly, naps 3-4x a day for 1-3 hours, he naps on his tummy with his head smashed between his hands (this freaks me OUT, but it's the only way i can get the kid to take a nap. yikes.), loves to grab & pull hair/necklaces/earrings/whatever he can get in his hands when being held, is wearing mostly 3-6m clothes & some 6-9m things (all his onsies are 6-9m), loves his playmat & his bouncy chair where he can swat & pull at his dangling toys, has spent time at a utah "beach" where he experienced dipping his feet in cold lake water...

...and he is still so dang cute.

love this kid.
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