Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hodge Podge

Once again I am back into my all too crazy life of working full time, being a mommy, and being all together over committed! It seems like we have had something going on every day and night. Until this weekend...when I was forced to stop all together due to a nasty case of Congunctivitis! Yes, "Pink Eye", the bacteria/virus that makes your eyes goopy, sticky, and well, pink. For some reason, us Johnson women, are just prone to this wonderful illness, that is most often found in young children. I guess we all do work with kids- so maybe that's where our problem lies. So, although it is kind of gross, and I have to wear my glasses for a week, and use no eye make up, I guess it has been a blessing in disguise because I have had to slow down and stay home! It has been wonderful to catch up on my DVR recorded shows, doze off on the couch, and lounge around in comfy clothes. I posted some pics from before I woke up with my eyes glued shut!

My dear high school friend, and college roomie, "Davis" and her husband Mr. Hart were up skiing in Breckenridge for the long MLKJ weekend. We were able to escape for a quick lunch and afternoon of window shopping in the mountains! It was so good to see them!

Nolan and his cousin Brady watching the inauguration. Oma's house is always so educational!

Last year, my Calvin pal- Jess moved out to Denver. I was so excited to have a close friend move out here! We hadn't seen each other in a few years, but it was instantly like nothing had changed. She joined our Bible study, brings us dinner on 90210 night, and is always up for a girlie movie. Mark and I honestly don't know what we would do without her! She is such a servant and loves babysitting, playing with, or helping us with Nolan. This week Nolan and I went over to "Auntie" Jess' house for the night to attend a jewelry party and see my sophomore suite-mate Misty! Misty is a fellow 2nd Heyns girl! Misty is the sweetest, craziest, most genuine girl I know! It was so good to reconnect with her and reminisce about fun college moments. Nolan loved Misty and played with her all night. Not to mention, he was the hit of the jewelry party! He's such a ladies man!

On another note, this week we will start what I like to call "Baby Boot Camp". Nolan will have his first physical therapy session at our house. We have been doing his exercises daily and have noticed slow but steady progress. He is getting stronger in his core and able to move his body with greater ease! We can't wait to see the progress he makes with his weekly sessions.

It's funny because over the past week or two I've met a few people randomly who have had kids or nieces and nephews that have had the same issues with low tone. It has been a great comfort because all of them have been successful in learning how to crawl and walk. They just needed a little help!

Through the blog world I also came across Kelly and her daughter Harper. They have had a tough first few weeks together as Harper has been fighting for her life. But through it all they have witnessed to so many people, myself included, of God's steadfast love and ultimate plan. Earlier this week she reminded me of this verse: Ephesians 3:10 "God is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine." When I am feeling frustrated that Nolan hasn't figured out how to crawl yet, or feeling sorry for him or for me, that he can't explore more of the world on his own, this verse will pop into my head! It comforts me to know that we could have it SO much worse, and encourages me to be thankful for Nolan's health, that he is super smart, funny, and determined. I know that it's in God hands! (And I know- I'm such a blog stalker! But hey, blogs rock! Look at how they have helped me, and probably so many others! And by the way, Kelly is a super cool chick- girlie, fun, and she loves TV too! Just like me!) So, check out Kelly's Korner, and pray for little Harper! She's a cutie!

We’ll keep you posted with how “Baby Boot Camp” is going. Who knows? Maybe Nolan will end up with the best abs when the Jansen fam hits Cancun next summer!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Mark!

My family has a wonderful tradition of "The Birthday Chair". On your special day, the family decorates a director's chair with balloons, streamers, and posters. Over the years we have enjoyed coming up with themes for the chair each birthday. I remember fondly my most favorite chairs- the one where I received my Barbie and the Rockers, the 90210 theme: when I was in junior high and then again last year (my all time favorite t.v. show- the old and the new), and we always love the chairs with random funny pictures of ourselves. I LOVE this tradition and happily come up with creative ways to decorate! Mark, on the other hand, dreads this task and finds it difficult to think of something unique each year. However, he does end up with awesome ideas- scavenger hunts, poems, and clip art galore! But today, January 13, 2009, it's my turn to show my lovey just how much he means to us!

I dug through old photo albums and found a picture taken on or around Mark's birthday each year that we have been dating or married. I created the comics that you see above using the pictures. (If you click on the picture it enlarges and you can get a better view.) I just love putting a little extra time into a day that often becomes "just one more year". I love being able to show Mark that I care for him with something other than a card or a gift.

So Mark, I hope today that you feel even more loved than the day before! Nolan and I are so thankful for you! You are fun, hilarious, level headed, thoughtful, and easy going- a great balance to me in every way! The past 10 years have been's to another 10 x 10 more! Love you!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Monkey Business

Yesterday we had Nolan's second 1st Birthday party! It was a wonderful day in the foothills, at Mark's family cabin- Bozo Farms. While I was off track I was able to plan all the details- from the home made cakes, to the goodie bags, and monkey masks. And thank you Auntie Kerri for the most excellent invites. Almost all of our family and friends here in Colorado were able to make it. The cabin was full, the food was good, and Nolan was once again spoiled with love and gifts. We are so thankful for all of the people who help to support, care for, play with, and smooch on Nolan! He is one lucky little guy! Enjoy the video, the 50's (?) decor, and a little more frosting mess.

P.S. We know that so many of you have been praying and thinking about Nolan and his appointment on Thursday. All went as we had expected...Nolan is above and beyond where he needs to be in his cognitive, fine motor, and verbal skills, but is delayed in his gross motor. We found out that he has low tone in his core and trunk muscles. So we are going to be doing some targeted exercises with him to strengthen the muscles and work on his transitions. (from laying to sitting, sitting to crawling, etc.) We will also start 4 monthly, in home, physical therapy sessions to work on these skills as well. We are feeling so at peace, now that we know what we can do to help our big dude start to cruise. We set some goals and can't wait to see Nolan make progress. Where he is now is no indication of what he will be doing at 2, 5, 10, etc. We are confident that he is one bright boy and with a little help will be able to figure out this whole moving thing in no time! Thank you to all who have been sending up some prayers.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Belated Christmas Fun

I finally had some down time today to put together some pictures and video from all of our Christmas celebrations! We had a great time celebrating here as a family and being with Mark's family as well. It was so good to see Mark's brother Brad and his wife Jayne and to be all together- which doesn't happen very often! Then we were off to Chicago after a VERY LONG delay ON THE PLANE here in Denver due to snow in the windy city. We were there for 10 days and loved every moment of it! We had the right amount of down time mixed with busy-ness: celebrating Christmas, visiting with family, driving to Michigan, and partying for Nolan's birthday! We got to see just about everyone we wanted to, managed to keep Nolan on a semi-normal schedule, and had 2 successful flights
with a 1 year old.

As soon as we got home we were overwhelmed with unpacking, organizing toys, and cleaning before we packed up again and drove up to the mountains for a weekend get away with a group of some of our best friends! We had fun playing games/wii, reading, lounging on comfy couches, sleeping in a King size bed, enjoying a beautiful view, snowboarding (Mark), and unfortunately getting puked on! Yep, Nolan always seems to have an adverse reaction to his shots, and spent the next day barfing on not only his mom in the morning, but his dad at night. He seems to be feeling much better today, thank goodness! I attached a few pictures from our fun weekend at the Van Eps' cabin at Shadow Mountain Lake.

Oh, and all went well at his 12 month check up with the pediatrician. He is now weighing in at 25 lbs 14.6 oz (85%). And he is one tall boy- 31 3/4 in. (95%) We aren't quite sure where the length comes from. The doctor said he is super social, sweet, and smart! We will continue to work on the muscle development and gross motor skills- which we are a bit concerned about. He's still content to scooch on his bum, take a few wobbly steps when holding our hands, stand in one place with support, and push backwards on his tummy. It may be that he needs a little extra time because he's a big boy, but we just want to be proactive. So, on Thursday we have an appointment to have a screening with a physical therapist to see if we can work on some exercises and play therapy to get him cruising. Pray that will a little extra help a whole new world of movement can be discovered!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Nolan's 1st Birthday Bash

While we were home in Chicago for Christmas and New Years, we were also lucky enough to spend Nolan's 1st Birthday with my family! My mom and dad hosted a big bash for family and friends in our church's great room. Much to Mark's dislike, the party was a Chicago Bears theme! Our fam wore their Bears gear and Nolan got a new Urlacher jersey to sport for the festivities. Mark couldn't help but try to infuse a little Bronco love into the day. He wore his Broncos gear and decorated the high chair with Broncos pictures. I guess it will be up to Nolan some day to choose who to root for! The party was full of laughs, catching up, good grub, and lots of presents! Needless to say, we had to ship a box of gifts home! On his actual birthday we got to spend the afternoon with Soo-ja, my dear friend and former boss from when I worked at Streamwood Florist. And at night we had dinner out at our family favorite restaurant- Lou Malnati's Pizzeria. Nolan had his first taste of a true Chicago style deep dish pizza. And he loved it! Nolan is so blessed to have so many people who love him! Thank you to everyone who helped make his birthday so special! And we are looking forward to celebrating with all of our Denver friends and family at the Bosch cabin next weekend! Enjoy the pics below from his first party!

P.S. One of these days I'll get around to posting our Christmas photos and videos as well!

Getting ready to open some gifts

Smiling with Kati and Captain Kerri!
(Nolan received the eye patch attached to a pirate gift bag.)

Grandma made Nolan a great baseball cake- all for him!

Nolan was very thoughtful as he ate...he didn't make too much of a mess.

Inspecting the mess on his hands

What an awesome cake!

Getting ready to try some pepperoni pizza!