Sunday, December 27, 2009

Last Christmas!!!

My dad's side of the family celebrated Christmas at my aunt and uncle's house in Roseville. This was our last Christmas celebration. Nora decided to not wear her santa outfit which had already made quite a few appearances in this holiday season and instead opted for a cute pink and green outfit given to her by my old co-worker Heidi. Nora loves being around her cousins and seeing her Great Grandma Arlene. Great Grandma Arlene and Nora
My dad with Kate and Reese
There was a quick Christmas program given by the cousins (minus Landrey and Nora, since they can't sing yet).

Video of Kids singing
Food yet again (this whole getting rid of the baby fat is quite difficult since there is so much good food at everyone's houses) Also there was a surprise for me at my aunt's house, a gingerbread house that my grandma and I made in 1994 was the centerpiece. It has lasted 15 years in a plastic bag and cardboard box in the basement of their house. I remember my grandma and I taking a lot of time to make this special house.
The gingerbread house my grandma and I made in 1994, the roof is made of big red gum and still smells cinnamon.

It was quite a fun time, and it was very special to have my cousin Ashley back from Florida to celebrate with us. Nora again got so many cute gifts, she is a very lucky girl. I know I say it often, but time will fly and before we know it we will be celebrating Christmas again next year, with her being 1 years old. She changes everyday and it is so fun to watch.
Nora and Ashley

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day

Christmas Santa Outfit and Baby's First Christmas Bib
Round 1 Christmas Day:
Santa came to our house and gave Nora her first Christmas Santa gift. It was a Viking sweatsuit. Daddy can't wait for her to wear it next year (hopefully they will have a better record next year with her alive--the Vikes are 1-3 since she was born!) Matt also got me a wonderful Christmas gift, which is technically a Mommykah gift. What is Mommykah? Well, it's like Hanukkah for Mommies. Because of all the hard work that I went through to have Nora, he created a holiday in my honor, which is how Mommykah was started. It was celebrated for 8 nights with a gift or gesture (roses, making dinner, making cookies, a beautiful necklace, Mommy frame, etc) given each day! It was pretty awesome. I would recommend it for all you men out there who may have ladies who will have your children. He has quite a bit to live up to once we have #2(trust me he will have some time to figure this out.)
Vikings Sweatsuit for next year, gift from Santa Matt
Round 2 Christmas Day:
After opening at our own house, we went over to Anne and Steve's for their immediate family Christmas. Nora for only being 3 weeks was bombarded with gifts! She got a Sleep Sheep which makes soothing white noise to help her fall asleep. We also got a video camera that is the size of a phone--it is sweet! So now we can post videos of her on the blog--thanks Steve!!! After gift opening, we ate a wonderful brunch and lounged around until the next round of Christmas that started at 3 in the afternoon. Grandma and Grandpa took care of Nora so Matt and I could take a quick nap, since Nora was up for the day at 4am on Christmas! Grandpa Steve took some beautiful pictures of her.
Aunt Katie and NoraI love this photos that Steve took, they totally capture her personality

Round 3 Christmas Day:
Christmas with Anne's extended side of the family. Great grandma Barb and great grandpa Dick, Mary (Anne's twin) and Nate(Mary's son) all came over to celebrate. We again ate great food and opened gifts. Ben, Danielle and Emma (Mary's son, daughter in law and granddaughter) came for dessert and gifts. Emma and Nora will be great friends once they are old enough to hang out together. Emma sang for us, she is almost 3, it is crazy to think that in a few years it will be Nora trying to sing songs and be silly! Time will fly. Gifts were opened, dishes were done and we went HOME. Nora, Matt and Mommy were TIRED!
The Kellers
Great Grandpa Dick
Great Grandma Barb and Nora
Emma (2-1/2) and Nora

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve with Nora

The 'Threeslunds'

Nora's first Christmas went well. She loved meeting all her family and getting loved by everyone!

Christmas Eve was spent with the Forslund's extended family at Grandma Anne and Grandpa Steve's house. Since she looks like her daddy, she fit it quite well with the Forslunds (she looks and resembles half of them). She was held by everyone, Great Grandma, Great Aunts Barb and Ann but her favorite seemed to be her cousin Maddy, who is going to be in charge of all her haircuts and colorings in the future (she went to school for this). She also received so many nice gifts from everyone--she can't wait to wear them all. We took family photos and ate really good food. After family time with the Forslund's, Matt, Nora and I went to church at 10 pm at Westwood. We were nervous that Nora would not be good, but she was perfect. She enjoyed all the music and slept through the silent night candle lighting. We got a lot of 'what a great Christmas gift' from everyone walking into church. Don't we know how lucky we are!
Forslund Family
Grandma Neva and her Grandchildren and Great-Grandchild

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas at the Ulstad's

We took our first road trip with Nora this past weekend to Grandma Debbie and Grandpa Lee's farm right on the Minnesota/South Dakota border. Both Amber and I were nervous as this was going to be by far the longest time we had spent in the car with her. She had done well with 15 - 20 minute drives around town, but the thought of being stuck in a vehicle for two and a half hours with a wailing child made us a bit wary. Fortunately she did really well and slept the entire way with nothing more than a peep from the back seat.

Nora's first Christmas celebration went well. She got a chance to meet all of her cousins, who she isn't quite big enough to play with yet but had fun meeting them. Little Landrey Graven who is just a few months older than her and Nora spent a lot of quality time sleeping and taking photos together. Last week Nora was hoping she made the "nice list", and it was evident she did because Santa was very good to her! And rumor has it, he will be stopping by Grandma Anne and Grandpa Steve's house this weekend too.

Aunt Jenn and Reese take a break from Polly Pockets to pose with Nora.

Cousins hanging out in their matching PJs.

Nora gets a new ornament from Santa Claus.

Nora also went to church for the first time and did very well. After church she was passed from person to person, all of which complimented her on her looks and pretty Christmas dress (she wore her Santa outfit again.) After church, all of the eight grandkids (four boys, four girls) took photos with Grandma and Grandpa. We hung out for a bit, and then drove back home. She had two awesome car trips in the same weekend. We were very thankful, to say the least.

The proud Grandparents with all the kids.

In other news, Nora is growing very well. She had her two week appointment today and gained exactly one pound, and also is a half inch taller. She is in the 50% for her weight, and the 85% for her height. We can hardly believe that she has changed so much and treasure every minute we have with her, even during those late night food cravings she loves to have.

Nora and Amber also stopped by my office last week to meet all of my co-workers and make a few sales calls too. We went out to lunch at Eddington's where she slept peacefully while we had some yummy soup and breadsticks. She even did a little Christmas shopping with Amber and tried the Baby Bjorn for the first time and liked it a lot.

My company's newest sales rep.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

1st Days Adventures from Amber's Perspective

READY for Christmas!! I hope I am on the "Nice" list!

So, Matt has kept up on the blogging this week, but now that he is back at work I will try to pick up the slack. Although I can't promise that my writing style will be as witty and humorous as my husbands! He is a pretty clever man!

What a miracle. I feel so blessed to be a mother, it has been a long road but when you hold your child in your arms for the first time, you forget all the months of 'morning/all day' sickness, the summer that you couldn't wear the bikini, the sleepless nights due to not finding a comfortable position because her feet are digging into your ribs, and the PAIN and EXHAUSTION of child birth (really you do forget all these things....I had to really sit down and THINK to write them here!!!)

Nora has been a pretty good baby, I have actually even been able to leave her alone with Matt while I tried to finish my Christmas shopping. She gets up every 3-4 hours to eat at night so we have even been able to sleep, although last night she decided to be up from 2:30-6 which was tough since I was trying to keep her somewhat quiet so that Matt could get his rest---his first day back to work is today.

It is amazing how one tiny little person who is less than 2 feet long can impact your life so much. Matt and I when we got married always said "it is hard to remember a time before you" and now that we have Nora, it is the same way "it is hard to remember life without her" Although it has only been 10 days since she entered our lives, it seems so perfect and 'right'. Everyday is a new adventure and we are trying to take it all in and not take any moment for granted.

We have been asked how we came up with her name, grandma, my mom's mom, is named Nora Evelyn and my grandpa (my dad's dad) called my 'little Nora' when I was little becuase I have her turned up nose. When Matt and I got married and were just thinking about babies in the distant future, it was one of the few names we both liked. When we found out we were having a girl, we still loved it and were so happy that my Grandma Nora can meet her great-granddaughter who is named for her. Christine is my middle name, which is also a family name on my dad's side.

Here are some pictures of her: again no funny quotes from me, I am just not witty!
Nursery-Crib with birds painted on wall (Thanks to cousin Kelly, who is so talented!!!!)

4 Days old, with Grandma Nora's Bear--this will be our "growth pictures" to see how much she has grown compared to the Nora Bear each month!!

Asleep, Peaceful, Dreaming

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Week of Firsts

One of the privileges of being a parent is getting to witness a lot of your child's first experiences. As they get older, the "first's" tend to get more significant, but for now we're excited to see Nora grow into the world around her. Some of her firsts this week include the following:

First Shopping Trip - The three of us took a quick trip to Target to get a few household essentials. Nora rode calmly in the shopping cart while we made our purchases. I have a feeling these Target trips won't all be so easy.

Babies were on sale this week at Target.

First Pediatrician Visit -Everything was just perfect for our little girl. In fact, she's already excelling above her peers. Most babies a lose a little bit of weight from their birth weight after being discharged, before they start growing. Nora has already gained 1 oz from her birth weight, and 8 oz from when she exited the hospital.

A solid first visit. No tears! (at least, not in this photo.)

First Unassisted "Poop Through My Clothes" - I say unassisted, because she technically had another but it was a result of a poorly installed diaper by myself. This one was all her. I'll spare our reading audience the photo.

First Tummy Time - Nora is only a week old, but she is already moving her head around a lot and lifting her head when she is laying on our chests. She enjoys getting a chance to look at the world from a different perspective, and can already move her head from side to side while on the floor. I think that's a prerequisite for infant pre-applications for Harvard Medical School, but I could be wrong.

Tummy time. Really can't think of a funny caption here. Sorry.

First Beer - Wait...what?

After a hard day at the office, Nora drinks the Champagne of Beers.

Okay, just kidding. She was just holding it for me so I could take a funny photo. She owes us after all the 3 AM wake-ups.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Nora the Explorer, Chaska Edition

Nora and Amber were discharged from the hospital on Sunday morning, both fully healthy and ready to head back home. The outfit we dressed her in was about three sizes too big for her (great parents, huh?) but it kept her warm and cozy during her first car ride which was pretty uneventful. Grandma Debbie met us at the house and helped us get settled with her. She helped us with our first bath, and made a few snacks for us as well.

Welcomed home by balloons from Auntie Katie

Nora trying out for the little sister of the main character in "Christmas Story: Part II"

Another satisfied customer of "Grandma Debbie's Beauty Salon"

We spent a lot of yesterday putting up Christmas decorations and just getting to know our little girl. A few fun facts about our little lady:

* Nora LOVES to eat. A lot. What she seems to enjoy the most is feeding, then taking about a 10 minute breather before going bonkers for more food. I equate it to a person who goes to a Chinese buffet for lunch, then hides in the bathroom and comes out for the dinner buffet. Technically they haven't had "all they can eat" yet.

* Nora will be a thumb sucker. We've caught her double fisting her hands in her mouth, doing the Dr. Evil pose, and last but not least the classic thumb sucking maneuver.

I will continue to be good miiiiiiiiiiilion dollars. (said in Dr. Evil voice.)

* Not only does Nora have daddy's looks, she also inherited his digestive system. She poops, we change her, and then 10 seconds later she gets us again. During one change this morning, Matt just finished wiping her bottom and then she pooped all over her new diaper before it was even closed. Matt wiped her up, put a new diaper underneath and then she promptly peed AND pooped again. Matt freaked out a bit and dropped her legs into her poop. Whoops.

Mommy and Daddy have been doing well with their lack of sleep, although Matt did lose concept of time and made a Lean Cuisine at 10:00 AM the other day (he thought it was noon), and also was confused as to why 7 lbs, 5 ounces was less than 7 lbs, 12 ounces.

There are many wonderful traits about Nora, but what we love so much right now is her calm demeanor. She rarely makes more noise than a squeeky toy when she is hungry or is dirty, otherwise she has been content to be in our arms and just explore her new surroundings.

After a tough day at the office, Nora relaxes in her baby recliner.

Friday, December 4, 2009

She's heeeeeeeeeeeeeeere!

Wow! What a whirlwind last 24 hours. By now, most if not all you have heard that Nora Christine Forslund made her worldwide debut this morning at 5:35! To witness the birth of your own child is the most incredible and profound experience either of us have ever had.

Taken at 6:15 on Thursday night!!!!

Our adventure started Thursday afternoon, and it began innocently with a walk that Amber took with her friend Krista Erickson at the Chaska Community Center. Amber was trying to get the birthing process started after her due date had come and gone. By 5:30 PM, she was starting to have back aches, which we both thought were a result of the walk she had taken. But then those aches started creeping their way to her stomach. And coming in regular intervals.

By 6:30, we were suspicious but not 100% certain that "this was it." My sister Katie and her boyfriend Adam were scheduled to come over, and Adam helped me with the use of his SUV to pick up Nora's rocking chair from Shakopee. By the time 7:30 rolled around, our suspicions became more and more confirmed.

We tried to go to bed, but Amber's pains were not subsiding and we knew that it was on like Donkey Kong. By midnight or so, those annoying pains became intense contractions. We called the hospital, and by 1:15 AM we were admitted to the birthing center at Ridgeview Hospital in Waconia. I called Amber's mom shortly after our admission, and she drove two and a half hours from western Minnesota to be with us for the day.

Amber went from 4cm dilated at first examination to 9cm dilated a mere 20 minutes later in our "birthing suite." Amber opted to have an epidural which, despite how quickly her labor had progressed, worked wonders and really eased her pain. In fact, we were even able to take a nap together before she had to start pushing!

Amber began pushing at 4:30 AM, and by 5:35 AM Nora Christine Forslund was born! She weighs 7 lbs, 12 oz and is 21 inches long. She has a full head of hair and looks just like her Dad. We will be at the hospital until Sunday morning, and should be home in time for Nora to see her first Vikings game!

Thank you everyone for your well wishes - we are excited for you all to meet our little lady. More pictures can be found here: (You do NOT need a Facebook account to view these pictures - enjoy!)