Sunday, January 31, 2010

Good Night Pookie

Nora taking a nap

Our little Pookie taking a nap in her Moses' basket in her crib.

Being a baby is tough, need another nap

Nora is sleeping so good. Since last wednesday, we start our bedtime routine at around 8 and then she is asleep by 8:30-8:45. She then sleeps until 4am, when mommy has to get up and feed her. She then goes back to sleep until 8:30-9. I haven't been setting an alarm because Nora is our little alarm and she woke up at 8:55 one day that I was supposed to meet my high school friend Krista at the mall to go for a walk. Needless to say we had to rush and get her fed, me clothed, and get to the mall quickly. Since last Wednesday, she has slept, ate at 4, slept until 8:30 all nights except Monday--HOORAY! Matt keeps saying we are lucky, but I have read a bunch of 'child-rearing' books to see what works for Miss Nora (our little Pookie!). She is still not a good nap sleeper, unless we are in the car, which I don't want to start the habit of only falling asleep in car for naptime. So that has been the challenge of this week, is to get her to sleep in her crib at naptime(well in her basket inside her crib--she is still feeling like the crib is too big for her) She is almost too big for her Moses' basket, she will need to start liking the crib alone soon.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Game Night

Adam(Katies Boyfriend) and Katie

I don't mean the Vikings Game(who we are still NOT speaking about in our home), I am talking REAL board games, yes people STILL play them! We had Katie and her boyfriend, Adam, over to eat dinner and to hang out with Nora. Katie will be watching our little one on Feb 6th while we go on our 1st date night, which Matt has planned. Katie came over and we gave her a low-down of her bedtime routine, she was able to give Nora her bath and read to her (which I am sure Auntie Katie loved!) After Nora fell asleep, we had dessert, really easy and really good cream puffs(that I made) and whipped cream(that I made) and strawberries. I made these cream puffs for the first Valentine's Day that Matt and I were married. I think they are amazing, hope everyone else thought so too! We also played boardgames, Scattergories and SceneIt (which isn't technically a boardgame)

Katie and Adam enjoying the cream puffs
Scattergories--fun game

Nora 8 weeks old

Nora thinking "Mommy is this photo shoot done yet?"

Nora is 8 weeks old today. Here are some photos of her and the special "Nora Bear" that she got from her great grandma Nora!

I am getting way bigger than this bear!!!

Lean on mean say mr. bear

Oops...Nora fell over (she is pretty good at sitting but still gets a bit jerky and topples over!)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dinner with Friends

Nora in her jeans and Fuggs (Fake Uggs)!!!
Today we met our friends Dan and Amanda Meinen in Maple Grove for dinner. They live in East Bethel and we live in Chaska so Maple Grove ends up being half way in between. I wanted to run to S.R. Harris, which is a fabric outlet. I also needed to return something to Babies R Us and JoAnn. So Nora and I set out for Maple Grove at 2:30 to beat the horrible rush hour traffic. Nora slept the whole time, she woke up at Babies R Us which was perfect as I was able to feed her in their mothers room. Today was the first day she actually wore jeans and I put actual shoes on her. Doesn't she look like a big girl?? Before when we put jeans on her they just fell off, now they actually somewhat fit and her shoes had velcro so I could tighten them up around her ankles so they didn't fall off!
We met Dan and Amanda, who will be parents to baby girl Meinen, due April 20th. Dan decided he was the person eating for 2 and got the Z Mac Daddy burger - it was huge!
Dan and the burgerAmanda and Nora

Nora and me after getting home
Matt and Nora at the burger joint we ate at

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The 4 B's

We are really trying to get Nora on a bedtime schedule. I know, she is so little but everywhere I read says starting a bedtime routine early helps them realize when it is time to SLEEP. She was sleeping so well until Monday of this week, where she decided to untrain herself! She was waking up every 2 hours to feed. Maybe she was having a growth spurt since she has slept better Sunday and Monday night. I am incorporating the 4 B's plan to help us remember her bedtime routine:
Bath, Boob, Book, Bed
Bath: She enjoys bathtime now. We sit and play and splash in the water. She still does not like to have all her hair washed, but because she has so much hair it gets greasy and practically needs to be washed daily. Other than her hair getting wet, she loves baths. We have come along way from this:
Nora's first bath at 3 days old

Boob/Bottle: She gets her last feeding at about 8:30 and hopefully she gets full so she can sleep all night long! She is a good little eater and doesn't mess around when it comes to dinner time. No need for pictures here guys :)

Book: We are trying to read to Nora nightly so she gets used to 'winding down her day'. Her days is so stressing that she needs this time to relax....ha ha! We have read "Good Night Moon" "Good Night Pookie", "Good Night Minnesota", Dr. Seuss books. I love reading and really look forward to the time where she can read along with (but I am not wishing away any time, she is already growing too fast for me!)
Product Details

Bed: Sleep Nora Sleep, so mommy and daddy can get some rest too or catch up on their blogging or cross things off their 'to-do' list, or clean or take a much needed shower or ......the list can go on and on!

Bible Study

I joined a bible study on Romans in the fall to meet new people and to learn more about the word of God. Classes started up again today. I was told by the group leader to bring Nora, but if she started making noise to not interrupt. So I brought her today, hoping she would be a good girl. She was a perfect little angel. We got there at 9:50 and she just looked around until 10:30. Then I gave her a bottle while my leader was presenting all about Paul and the Roman Empire. She then peacefully fell asleep, I couldn't have asked for a better baby today! She was so sweet! We'll see how next week goes!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Meeting Some of Her Cousins

Maia and Nora

Kristi and Nora
Today we went to Minneapolis to meet the Stevens relatives. My aunt Connie, has 3 children: Jeff, Jason and Kelly. Kelly came to the hospital to see Nora and has been out to the house to see Nora as well. She was also the artist of the wall art in the nursery!
Kelly and Nora at the hospital
Jeff and his wife Erica's and their kids Maia and Michael AND Jason and his wife Kristi and their daughter Clara AND Mark (aka Toy) were all at Jeff's house to meet Nora. It is a bit confusing since our grandma is named Nora, so the kids were asking where "great grandma baby nora is" It was so fun to see everyone and eat wonderful food. We had gluten free waffles (Michael is on a special diet). They tasted very yummy and I may have to try them again to see if they are better on 'matt's tummy!' The Steven's crew was way too generous and got Nora some cute outfits and a gift certificate to Babies R Us. Also Michael picked out his favorite book about Maisy for Nora and Maia drew Nora some really fun pictures. We left their house after Matt finished watching a disappointing Gopher basketball game.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Walk at Southdale

Went for a walk with a college friend, Colee Bean. Colee had a beautiful baby boy on November 7 named AJ. We met at Southdale Mall and walked, shopped, and then shopped some more. Who could blame us, all the stores were having 50% off the discounted prices...I bought a bunch of stuff for Nora for 9 months - 18 months and nothing was over 5 dollars. It was amazing! Nora has grown so much, I don't know how much longer her 0-3 month clothes will fit, she is plumping up, and lately people have said she looks like me so hm....does that imply something? The walk was not quite exercise, but it was fun to get together with another mom and discuss all the fun of mommyhood. AJ was such a sweetie and slept the whole time we were there; Nora on the other hand was a bit more awake and fussy! This was the day that the ice storm started to hit the Twin Cities, so Colee's dear husband called her and told us we should probably leave the mall and head home to beat the freezing ice so we decided to call it a day!!!

I went to the Eden Prairie mall for a walk (ok it was again a bit of shopping) on Friday as well. It has been nice to get out and do a bit of walking with Nora. She really enjoys the walking, as long as I keep moving, so Matt is happy about that. Anytime I want to stop and shop she starts fussing so I have to 'get walking' again. She is great for the wallet!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Book Club

Betsy, Jeff (the leaders) Chris holding Paige (almost 6 months), Kristi, Ross(minus Amanda!!), Matt holding Nora (almost 2 months), Amber
We had our first night out taking Nora. We joined a book group for newly married couples through our church back in January 2007 right after getting married. We met at our group leaders house and read books on marriage and got together and discussed them. It was a great way to jump start our marriage. It was so great to get together with people in the same walk of life as us, we were all newly married or just recently engaged. So we could all understand the trials and blessings that come with couplehood!
Now it is 2 years later and all the couples have new babies or are expecting babies so guess what kind of books we are reading now? Yep, parenting books. Again it is so great to have other couples to bounce questions off of and get advice from. We all have a great faith which helps when our babies are up at 3am in the night (we can pray to God for the strength to be able to get through the next day going on no sleep!!!)
We look forward to watching all our kiddos grow up and change right before our eyes.
Oh, another reason we love book group, is that Betsy is the best cook. Matt sometimes goes without eating supper so he can eat more of Betsy's bars, desserts, and dips!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Visit from Derek and Brianna

SO CUTE - Brianna, Derek and a really happy Nora!!!

One of my dearest and longest friends ever, Derek and his wife Brianna came over for dinner tonight. Derek(and his 3 brothers) used to chase me around our houses with frogs. Our dads went to college together so we have been friends since we were babies! The last time we saw Derek and Brianna was back in March, when we went over to their house for a wonderful lasagna meal. If I do say so myself, I made an amazing chicken pot pie (from a recipe from Kristy Aeilts). It was so fun to catch up with them and they gave her the sweetest little glass booties. They are going to go up on the wall in her room! What a great momento--Thanks guys

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sleeping Through the Night

Sleeping through the night makes Nora a happy baby (this is the closest I have gotten to catching her smile on camera!)
Nora has slept through the night 5 of the last 8 nights. The first night was at my sister's house in Marshall. On Sunday night, she went to bed at 11 and I abruptly woke up at 6:15am and was all worried. I looked at my watch, saw the time, and then immediately looked in the pack 'n play that was next to my bed to make sure she was ok! She wasperfectly fine--she had just SLEPT through the night! WOW I was excited. The next 3 nights she did not sleep through the night, but I remained positive that since she did it once, she is capable of doing it again. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday were all about 10:30 to 6:30-7. What a good girl! I read a book, called Babywise, that was given to us from the leaders of our book group. The book states how baby's need to distinguish night from day so during the day you should feed your baby, then play with your baby, then she should fall asleep. Most of us feed, sleep, play with baby. Once I actually started to implement this, Nora started sleeping better at night. It could be a coincidence, but I am attributing it to the knowledge I learned in the book. Thanks for the Christmas gift, Betsy and Jeff!!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

First VIkings PlayOff Game

Nora Excited for one of the Brett Favre to Sidney Rice Touchdowns!!!!

Hooray, Nora watched her favorite football team, the Vikings, win their first playoff game. We had over our college friends, Tony and Erin to watch the game. Only 1 more game to win to get to the Super Bowl. Nora wasn't wearing her purple Viking outfit today (because it is in size 12 month), but definitely had PURPLE PRIDE while wearing pink&green!!! She loves that Brett Favre in purple, way better than green. GO Vikes! Poor Nora had to be the entertainment while we tried to take photos of her during the game!! I have posted just a few.
Daddy and Nora

Wrapped in her favorite player's jersey, Brett Favre

Tony and Erin sporting their Purple Pride!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

First Night Out for Mommy & Daddy Minus Nora

Nora (6 weeks old) and I
Grandma Debbie and Nora

Our neighborhood has monthly poker nights, where we all get together and bring 5 dollars and play Texas Hold'em. This month we decided to go out to eat at Red Lobster. My parents were leaving to go to Mexico on Sunday morning and were planning on coming to stay at our place Saturday night. I twisted their arms and asked if they would come one day early and watch Nora while Matt and I went out to eat. This was our first outing without her. I have done a bit of household shopping while Matt has watched Nora and obviously I have watched Nora during the day while Matt is at work but we haven't gone out together and left Nora before.
To be honest, I never thought I would be the mother who was all sad and anxious when leaving her baby; I wasn't anxious BUT I was sad. I knew she was in good hands (my mom is the baby whisperer), but it was still very strange to be in the car with Matt without her in her carseat. I really enjoyed my salmon and cheesy biscuits at Red Lobster, but was excited to be home. I know for our marriage and for our sanity we need to get out alone, so one of our New Year's Resolutions is to have a date night each month.....anyone want to babysit???

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

First Happy Hour

Matt and the Ladies (Nikki, Nora, Lindsay, and Ginny)
After being at my sister's house, Matt called and said he was meeting some old co-workers for a drink at TGIFridays. He hadn't seen Nora or me for awhile so I decided to meet him and his colleagues in Eden Prairie. It was a great time by all, who doesn't love 4 dollar appetizers and cheap beer!!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Weekend at Graven's

Nora and Landrey
Nora and I dropped Ashley off in Dawson, MN and then traveled to my parents' house to hang out for Saturday. Brandon and Courtney and the kids (Charlie 6yr, JT 3.5yr, and Kate almost 2yr) came to the farm and had supper on Saturday night. It was fun to hang out with them! Grandma and Grandpa were very excited to see Nora (and see me too I guess!) Nora will definitely come help Grandpa Lee with his farmwork when she gets older. My dad and I teased in November when I, at 8 months pregnant, went back and stayed with my parents for a bit and took a combine trip with my dad, that Nora had her first tractor and combine trip and she hadn't even been born yet. Because I am coaching volleyball and the season ends right at the perfect time to go and help my dad, I may be able to help him with harvest the next few years!!
Nora, Kate, and Brandon

We went to church Sunday morning and then drove to Marshall, MN to hang out with the Graven 6! Kyle, my brother in law, was traveling so I thought I would go help my sister with her 4 kids(Lincoln-5yr, Reese-4yr, Sullivan-almost 2yr, Landrey-3mo). Monday was a crazy day for her because she had to bring kids to daycare, 1 to preschool, 1 to dance class, and 1 to basketball. Wow, I thought my life was crazy busy with just 1 baby! It is so funny what little kids say and how they can make you feel SO loved. Reese, after being in the room while I was breastfeeding, asked if "I could make water out of those"....if only that were the case!!! Lincoln was also so sweet and was sad that Nora couldn't sleep in his room. My brother Tanner came over a few nights and Amy his girlfriend was working in Marshall one day so she came over for dinner as well. It was good to hang out with my family as I don't get to see them too much since Matt and I live 2.5 hours away.

Jenn and I didn't really do much, but it was fun hanging out with my sister and see 5 kids interact and play together(ok so Nora and Landrey didn't really play). I came home and asked Matt when we could have another kid (so we had fun and it was chaotic, but made me realize I want alot of kids---need to get Matt on board with that!!) I drove home to Chaska in BEAUTIFUL sunny January weather. Nora was a great girl on all the drives! I am so happy she enjoys car rides.
Nora on the Boppy

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Snowed in with Cousin Ashley

My cousin, Ashley, who lived in Florida went back to visit some of her family and friends right after Christmas. I picked her up from the airport on Wednesday and we were supposed to go back to the farm, except in MN there are these wonderful things called SNOWSTORMS. We were snowed in until Saturday morning. All the schools out west by my hometown were canceled Thursday and Friday because they got more than a foot of snow and had blowing conditions. It was not advised to drive, so lucky Ashley got snowed in at our house after traveling to Florida. What a climate swing! Lucky for her she got lots of baby holding and diaper changing experience. She is going to have the 3rd little baby girl in the family and is due March 18th. All the little girls will be about 3 months apart, Landrey will be 6 months old in March, Nora will be 3 months old and Ashley's baby will be newborn. Exciting and much chaos will be coming to the Ulstad family!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

First Walk at the Chaska Community Center

Nora and I went to work out at the Chaska Community Center. They have an indoor track that you can go and walk/run at for free! I brought the Baby Bjorn along and put her in it while all these people were staring trying to figure out what I was doing. The Baby Bjorn is an awesome baby carrier. I have made baby carriers as baby gifts for others, but they are not adjustable. We walked 1.5 miles at a pretty good pace--I was passing people, so I felt good about going and working out. Nora slept the whole 30 minutes we were there. I was nervous that all the jostling would make her angry, but she was content and sound asleep the whole time. I haven't gone back since because we have had other things going on, but I need to get back to walking. We are BOTH looking forward to springtime when we can take walks outside and Nora can explore the outdoors. If anyone wants to go walking with me, let me know. Nora and I would love walking buddies!

Monday, January 4, 2010

January 4th - Nora is one month OLD

Nora - One Month
Nora is now 1 month old. She has changed so much, I can't believe it. We went to church on Sunday and a lady and her daughter came up and said "wow she has gotten so much bigger" I was confused at first but then realized that they had come up to us at the Christmas Eve service and asked about Nora. So not only do WE realize she has changed, complete strangers are noticing. She can hold her head up and is very good at supporting herself. She knows our voices and she is starting to smile at us, haven't gotten a picture of it yet though. This week Matt has sales training so he will be gone most days, so I am calling myself a single parent for the week. It is only Monday, so hopefully by Friday I will still be holding it all together. She is a great baby, but lately she has decided she can ONLY sleep in someone's arms--so my arms are getting a GREAT workout. (who needs to join a gym to lift weights when you have a 9 pound baby to tote around!!)
Daddy catching some 'Nora time' after a long day at work!
Daddy happy to be with Nora

Nora -1 month old

Friday, January 1, 2010

Ringing in 2010

Nora in a cute outfit from Tanner's girlfriend Amy
I haven't found a color that DOESN'T look good on her!!!

This week Nora has been a bit fussy and REALLY gassy. I googled and it looks like being overstimulated can create a newborn to have really bad gas. This would be the case as she has celebrated Christmas and seen so many new people in the last 5 days. Since Matt was at work I tried to get her to 'work through her gas pain'. Oh the things you get to talk about freely when you have a newborn. Never did I think I would blog about GAS in my lifetime. She feels better now, which is great. Steve and Anne also watched Nora on Tuesday so I could run a few errands which was super helpful. It felt weird leaving her for her first 'babysitting', but I knew she was in good hands. Matt picked her up on the way home from work so she was babysat for a good 4 hours.

Also this week she has gotten up with Daddy. I have been trying to get a good supply of milk so that Matt can get up with her on the weekends and nights he doesn't work. It is a good bonding experience for Nora and him. She is loving getting up with her daddy and he has let me catch up on the sleep I have needed.Matt and Nora hanging out

We went over to Anne and Steve's, who live about 10 minutes away from us, for New Year's Eve. We had lobster and steak and red velvet cake. It was delicious. Nora did not sleep all day, except for a 20 minute nap in the afternoon so New Year's Eve night we went to bed when Nora finally fell asleep. There was no way I was going to make it until midnight, so we celebrated at 11pm, and pretended we were New Yorkers and rang in the new year with them.
Happy 2010 from us and Nora!!!!

New Years day marked Nora turning 4 weeks old. Wow 1 month. I have been taking photos of her with her Nora bear each week . She has gotten SO much bigger.
Nora at 4 weeks with her bear
New Years Day we just hung out all day and I caught up on crossing things off my 'to-do list'. We also watched some really boring movies (Benjamin Button and Brothers Bloom--would NOT recommend them)

On Saturday, which happened to be a palindrome-word/number that is the same forwards as it is backwords-(01/02/2010) Matt, Nora and I went for a walk and had lunch at the Eden Prairie mall. I needed to get some exercise. I don't know if it was the 'air' in the mall or if I just haven't done anything for a few months, but I was SO tired and needed a nap after getting home.

I am going to try and get better at blogging so I don't have to write 5 events at once. I hope everyone had a wonderful and blessed Christmas and a joyful New Year. I can't wait to see what 2010 has in store for the Threeslunds.