Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Nolan

It's days like today when I wish I was a really great writer! How to express what Mark and I are feeling today is just impossible! On this day 1 year ago at 4:08 a.m. Nolan Bradley Jansen was brought into this world. And our life was changed in the most incredible way! He has given us indescribable love, joy, and happiness! He is tons of fun, silly, stubborn, and so bright! We can't wait to see where God leads him and our family in the years to come! Enjoy the movie of pictures and video from his amazing first year. It's long...but how do you put 365 days of memories into just a few minutes! Nollie we love you!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I thought our life would slow down when I was off track for five and a half weeks, but it has been just the opposite! We have been SO busy! I can't imagine how we would have been able to make it if I was teaching full time right now! With Christmas shopping, wrapping, and countless parties we have definitely not slowed down! I posted some pictures below from our busy life around the house and out and about!

Playing with his favorite stuffed animal- "Monks".

Yes, it's only 6 degrees outside, but Nolan still loves being naked!

Family photo at our annual egg nog party!

The Bosch Kids with Oma

The Pickle Game: For those of you who haven't heard of it before, it's an old German tradition where Santa hides a pickle ornament on the tree. The person who finds the pickle will have good luck for the year and an extra present from St. Nick! Colleen found the pickle!!

Ernie was the winner in our "friends" round!

Our friend D.J. hosts an annual formal Christmas party at his house every year. It's always a rockin' bash with approximately 100 people, great snacks, good wine & beer, and fun dancing! (See below- don't ask.) It was a nice night out for Mark and I. Thanks Oma and Opa for watching Nollie!

The next morning we woke up bright and early to 1 degree temperatures. We bundled up and headed over to Washington Park to walk/run in the "Jingle Bell Walk" for the arthritis foundation. Each participant is given jingle bells for their running shoes so that you can hear the jingle jangle throughout the park as you run. Everyone dresses up in their holiday gear for the walk. You see dogs dressed as reindeer, women in Santa suits, and children with elf ears. Aunt Sue is always up for some fun- she's the one who provided us with the ever so fashionable eye wear you see in the photo below. Despite frigid temperatures and frozen nose hairs we had a great time!

This week at home has been much slower. Just running a few errands, wrapping the last few gifts, and starting to prepare for our trip home to Chicago. We are looking forward to Aunt Jayne and Uncle Brad coming next weekend and Jansen family Christmas celebrations before we leave! We will leave on Tuesday and come back on January 1st! So we are enjoying our last few days of relaxation before the craziness of travel sets in! We can't wait to go home!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Ho Ho Ho

*** SANTA UPDATE: Check out the quick slide show of pictures from the professional photographer at the NCM Children's party! He really captured the sheer terror on Nolan's face!

This morning we woke up bright and early to go visit Santa at Mark's National Cine Media Children's Christmas breakfast. It was a great event with a continental breakfast, Santa, his balloon artist elves, goodie bags, and a free screening of Bolt in 3-D for the older kids. Nolan had fun with the kids in line, enjoyed his bits of doughnut, but DID NOT like Santa himself! He screamed and cried when we put him on his lap. Maybe when he's a little older he won't be so scared of a jolly old man with a big white beard!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Practice Makes Progress

That's what I always tell the kids in my class. No one is ever perfect, but the harder we try and the more effort we put in, the better we'll get at something. That's what I've had to tell myself about Nolan's mobility these days. It's easy for me to worry about why he isn't crawling or get frustrated when he is totally content to sit and play in the same place. Only now I think he's starting to get a bit bored playing with the same old toys. So I try to mix up his day with things like outings, reading, tummy time, standing and playing at the ottoman or Playschool interactive table, playing basketball at his mini hoop, and emptying and putting toys back into his basket.

Nolan has a busy schedule and homework each day! Our hard work and practice must be paying off, because, however small this may seem, he is making some progress in movement. He is now sliding and pushing backwards with his hands on his belly- mostly on the wood floor, a bit on the carpet. It is very slow going and he gets a bit unhappy when it doesn't come easy, but he does discover fun things along the way, which keeps him pushing. Like the heat register or the curtains...really fun stuff!

I know that he has a lot of weight to haul around and that the doctor tells me that crawling really isn't a milestone, but as a mom, I guess you just really want your child to do what most other babies their age are doing. So we'll just keep practicing and praying and praising God for health and for all the amazing stuff Nolan is doing! Like copying me, pointing to things that I say- the Christmas tree, lights, the clock "tick-tock", waving bye-bye, and whispering back and forth. He is such a fun boy and I am LOVING being a stay at home mom. I guess I just can't shake the teacher in me- or maybe I'm just a bit of a control freak! I'm learning to let go and trust that God is in control.

The video below is of Nolan's slow and steady progress. A few clips of the half an hour it took him to move about 10 feet total! I didn't get a lot of the action because every time he knew I was filming he would stop moving and start fussing for me to help him. So it's not terribly exciting, but I'm so proud! We celebrate the small things at our house!