Sunday, December 23, 2007

Holiday Earrings for Everyone

I love visiting with my family. They are so fun and really liven things up. My mom (and really my whole family) are so enthusiastic. This morning as we were all getting ready for church she came running through the upstairs yelling, "The German Pancakes just finished and I have holiday earrings for everyone." It was so cute. I ended up with the cute pair of snowmen. Thanks mom!!

Birmingham Christmas

We did a lot of fun things in Birmingham to help us celebrate the season. On the 14th we went to Zoolight Safari at the Birmingham Zoo. It was a lot of fun. Emmeline especially loved the train (choo choo). Then we attended our ward christmas party on the 15th. That was also pretty fun. The primary was planning to do an elf skit and a nativity song. I was running around trying to get things going with that stuff so I didnt get to sit and enjoy dinner with everyone else, but I think it turned out alright and its over now. In the future I'll remember to make sure the primary only is involved in 1 activity. lol. But the cultural hall looked pretty and Santa did a good job (even though Emmeline refused to go stand up and see him.) On the 16th we sang Christmas songs with the ward choir and if I do say so myself, we sounded really great. I'm sure it was the spirit sending us an extra measure of talent, but we'll take it and be grateful!! On Monday we attended a white elephant exchange with some friends in the ward. I was proud of Brett--he picked up both of the gifts we took and both of those gifts were stolen at least once. Good job Brett. It was fun. We ended up with a new santa hat and a cool make it yourself scarf. lol. Tuesday through Thursday we were getting our christmas gifts put together and sent out. With all our family living away from Birmingham, the post office was pretty scary. We also got all packed up for our trip to Virginia where we will be spending Christmas with my parents. We didnt want to take Emmelines "big" present with us so we let her open it Thursday night. It was an easel with a magnetic white board on oe side and a chalk board on the other. She loves it. What a crazy and yet exciting time of year.

Sunbeam in Training

Right now we are up in Virginia visiting my parents. Today we went to church with them. Apparently in their ward, during the month of December they let all of the nursery kids go and sit in with the primary during closing exercises. They were all called Sunbeams in training. Even though Emmeline wont be a sunbeam for another year, she was so great. I went to pick her up and there was still about 5 minutes left of primary so I snuck into the back and watched. She sat quietly in her chair the whole time. Sure she turned around and leaned over the back for awhile but she was quiet and in her chair. And of course she folded her arms when it was time for prayer. I was so proud of her. (several of the other sunbeams in training were running around and not being so reverent.) She was the cutest Sunbeam in Training ever!!!

Friday, December 14, 2007

An official PhD Candidate

Brett had his first presentation of his dissertation project before his committee last friday. Apparently he did a great job and they say he is good to go. Since he passed that, he is now an "official" PhD candidate. I'm not sure what that made him before. . .an "unofficial" PhD candidate?! But we are happy that he so successfully jumped through one more hoop. Only 2 and a half years to go.

Update: Sister Sleepovers & Potty Progress

As I was reading over some old posts, I realized I said I would update you on a couple of things and I never have. So here we go.

We put Mabel to sleep in her crib in Emmelines room the last week in October. She did great and she has slept there ever since. She sleeps really great through the night. I think Emmeline likes having her little sister share the bedroom with her.

As for Emmelines potty training. . .she is mostly there. She wears panties all day and no longer has any accidents. In fact, shes been accident free for a long time. The only reason I dont say she is all the way there is because she still wears her diaper at night, but thats fine. I am so proud of how well she has done. I would definitely say that we met our goal of being potty trained by 2. Good job Emmeline!!

Shoes

Last night as I was putting Mabel to bed in her crib, I looked over at Emmeline. She was sleeping very soundly, everything looked normal. Then I noticed that she was wearing her pretty black sunday shoes. Somehow she must have fumbled through the dark and found them and put them on after Brett had said good night and closed the door. The silly little girl. Who knows what the kids do once mom and dad say "good night" and close the door. :)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Dancing Emmeline

Here is Em showing off her dancing moves during Thanksgiving in Atlanta.

Emmeline on Treadmill

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Happy Birthday Emmeline


Emmeline had her 2nd birthday on December 6, 2007. I cannot believe how fast time goes by. It seems so fresh in my mind when I was in the hospital with her. Almost like it was yesterday. And then on the other hand, it seems like there has never been a time when she hasn't been a part of my life. What a strange paradox. Anyhow, back to the birthday celebrations. We didn't have a big party with a lot of her friends like we did last year, but I think she still had a great time. On thursday (the 6th) I made her a special breakfast. Then we had to go to the Doctor. She got a shot and had to get some blood drawn. She was very brave. Since she was so brave and it was her birthday we went and got an icecream sunday from McDonalds. (The 99 cent sundays are one of McDonalds few redeeming qualities.) Throughout the day Em got some different presents. Then after dinner she got to blow out candles and eat mini cupcakes. She has decided that she doesn't really like the cake part. . .just the frosting. So I made mini cupcakes. . .less cake for her to throw away. Oh and she loves to blow out the candles. I relit her two candles at least a dozen times. (at least she didn't expect us to sing each time. lol) On Friday we took Emmeline and Mabel to Chuck E. Cheese for a bigger celebration. I know what most of you are probably thinking. . "Chuck E. Cheese. eeeeeee what a nightmare. Lots of loud, screaming kids, annoying games and music, mediocre pizza at best." However, I happen to love Chuck E. Cheese. I love the little games and the noise and the excitement. I love all the little kids trying so hard to collect tickets so they can get those "awesome" prizes of rings and penny candy. And I dont even think the pizza is that bad. So my children will probably get to go to Chuck E's for several birthdays (if they want) as they continue to grow. As for this birthday, Emmeline loved it. She was excited to play any game that had lights and noise. Her favorite game was "knock down the ducks", and with daddys help, she got quite a few tickets. As she would collect the tickets, she would fold them up and put them in her pockets. That was a big deal to her. In fact, when we were getting the tickets counted at the end, she wanted to keep some to take home with her. As though the tickets themselves were a totally awesome prize. Anyhow, we had pizza and cupcakes and played all sorts of games. (my favorite was Deal or No Deal.) Emmeline was totally pooped by the end, but I know she had a wonderful birthday. Thank you Chuck E. Cheese. (and Brett for being willing to put up with it all. :) )

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Its Beginning to Look alot like Christmas



On Sat. Dec. 1 we set up the Christmas tree. Yeah. It was so fun to have Emmeline help. Sure her helping included her placing our shatterproof plastic balls all on one branch while Brett and I tried to spread them out a little. It was super cute and she was super excited. Now the first thing we have to do when we come downstairs each morning is turn on the Christmas tree lights. lol. I am so thrilled to see her starting to undertand Christmas a little and to be able to participate in so many of the fun activities that come with the season.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Swimming--Summer 2006

video
When Emmeline was about 6 months old, we went to Atlanta to visit the Parkers. While we were there we gave Em her first test run in a real pool. She loved it.

Singing the Strep Throat Blues

Well, not so much singing since the pain in my throat wouldn't permit singing. . .but definitely I was feeling those blues this past week. I had a nasty case of strep throat which started Tuesday night. After two horrible days, I decided I did not have a regular old cold that would blow over with orange juice and rest. I figured it was probably strep and got a doc appointment set up for friday morning. Both the nurse and the doctor gasped when they looked into my throat. The doctor informed me how nasty my throat looked (if the look was similar to how it felt. . .I didn't need her comments to know.) But she put me on antibiotics and they went to work fast. (just a side note, she offered me a penicillin shot--but I resisted and got the pills instead :) ) I've been feeling much better ever since I got home. Looks like my blue days are turning sunny again. Yeah.

Mabel's Blessing

On Sunday November 25, 2007 we blessed little baby Mabel Jane. It was such a wonderful day. We were blessed to have so much family come and support us. Bretts mom flew in from Utah and so did his Dad and Donna. My Grandma and Grandpa Jorgensen were also able to fly here from Utah. From Atlanta we had my Aunt Sara and Uncle George and their two girls Auri and Jenny, plus Georges mom drove down also. Then my parents, Lucy and Leland came down from Virginia. (We also know we had other family support from afar and thats always great too). I was overwhelmed by the strength of those priesthood bearers in my family. Watching them gather around and give my daughter a blessing from Heavenly Father was so touching to me and confirmed (once again) the testimony that I have about the importance and strength of families. Brett gave a wonderful blessing. He is such a caring and loving father.
After the blessing we headed back to the townhouse for lasagna and
 more visiting before everyone had to head home. It was such a wonderful weekend. 

Here is a picture of Mabel wearing the blessing dress I made for her special day.

 

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving 2007: Dinner, Shopping, and Animal Safari

We had a wonderful thanksgiving last week. The girls let us sleep in until 9:00 am. That was an awesome holiday treat. Then we enjoyed a nice leisurely morning. Emmeline loved the parade, which really surprised me. A little after noon we all headed over to Atlanta Georgia to have dinner at my Aunt Sara and Uncle George's place. It was a full house. My parents, along with Lucy and Leland, drove down from Virginia and my Grandpa and Grandma Jorgensen flew in from Utah. Plus George's mom was also there. Thedinner was great with all the traditional food. I especially enjoyed the sweet potatoes in orange peel bowls and my yummy green beans. and of course the pie. Aunt Sara had a fun family music history game for us to play which was particularly fun because there were so many differnet generations playing. On friday my mom, aunt sara, and I all went shopping. . . although we did not get to any stores by 4:00am. We are not that dedicated. We didnt get out and about until around 10. We still found some good deals and had a fun time. I enjoyed having a shopping trip without hauling around two little girls. I usually dont get to browse and look around as much as I would like so it was a really nice treat for me. In the afternoon we all went to this animal safari place.It was pretty crazy because you drive around in these ugly vans and you can feed the animals as you drive through the park.The animals come right up to your van and stick out their tongues for the food. They had cows, buffalo, sheep, deer, and other things. They also had some animals caged up. . .a rhino, camel and a couple of ligers. It was actually pretty fun. Emmeline loved seeing all of those animals up close. And she loved feeding them, although that meant dropping the food out of the van before the animal actually came over.lol. My dad was such a good sport because he was the driver and for the entire hour we were driving in the park he had at least 10 people yelling, "stop!!!" "Go" "slow down" "faster" and usually he was getting different directions at the same time. But he took it in stride. He is a very good grandpa. After the Safari we all settled down with some delicious pizza. mmmm. Then Brett and I drove back home to Birmingham. It was a great thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

I know. . .October is over. . .

But I still have a couple things that happened in October that I didnt write about that I just wanted to quickly mention so I wouldnt forget.

1. 2007 Trunk or Treat. This years trunk or treat and carnival were so fun. Since I am still in the primary presidency I was still in charge of helping put the carnival together. It turned out great. I was in charge of making the root beer. I had never made home made root beer before and it was so much fun. I loved getting the dry ice and putting it in the cooler. And now that I know where to get the dry ice, I can see myself using it a lot. It is so awesome. Anyway, back to the trunk or treat. Since Emmeline was old enough to play the games and participate in the activities, Brett and I didn't have to run the cake walk. We got to take Emmeline around the carnival instead. It was so fun to take her to the games and help her play (even though I did miss the cake walk. After doing it for the past two years, it kinda felt like my "baby" and I had a difficult time seeing another couple do it differently then I did. But I guess it was time to say goodbye).

2. 2007 Primary Program.  The primary program this year turned out great. Even with the
 difficult and slow songs that the children had to learn, they did a wonderful job. Everyone had their parts memorized and they sang so beautifully. I was very proud of them.
3. Carving pumpkins. This year we went over to our friends (John and Alicia Cutts) house to carve pumpkins. Emmeline did a great job pulling out the seeds. Then she decorated her pumpkin with a marker while Brett carved it into a jack o lantern. The two pumpkins Emmeline and Brett did both turned out very cute.

4. Halloween 2007 Trick or Treating. The Birmingham South Side Police station is about 2 blocks from our townhouse. They were putting on a special Halloween activity for the community so we decided to go check it out. They had bags of candy to pass out to the kids. It had enough candy in it that we didnt feel like we needed to do any other trick or treating. Awesome, lots of candy in one stop. They also had face painting and cookies. It was a fun Halloween activity.

Aright, now I feel like I am caught up and can move on with life. There were just so many fun things going on in October. Yeah.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Welcome Back Brett--Never Leave Again

Well, I realize that November is halfway over and I have yet to post a single thing. On November 1 Brett left for New York and his MicroBio Conference. Apparently it went really well and he had several professional tech people asking him when he graduated saying they would be interested in having him come work for them. Brett got to talk to a lot of people in Academia and Industry and he got some ideas about what he would like and would not like in each field. So it was a good trip. Meanwhile. . .back at the ranch in birmingham. . .I was struggling along with the two girls. It is so funny because I used to be so independent. In college I had no problem driving for hours by myself or going out to eat at a restaurant (even Olive Garden) all by myself. Yeah, table for 1, no big deal. And I enjoyed having an evening or two all by myself to get lost in a good book. Funny how things change. Life was hard without Brett around. lol. Things went fine, the girls and I went to the zoo and the park and we even got to church (almost on time), and I did get involved in a fun series of books (the Twilight series by Sephanie Meyers). But none the less, I was very happy when Brett got home. Other than the bare minimum, I didnt accomplish much without him here. . .including a lack of posts. But he's back now and I've sorta gotten back on top of things here at home. Yeah for Brett. I hope he never leaves me again. :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Tortoise and the Hare

For Halloween this year, Mabel and Emmeline were the Tortoise and the Hare. Well really the Turtle and the Bunny. I don't think I have ever seen such a cute bunny or turtle in my whole life!!   Happy Halloween 2007

Boo at the Zoo


The Birmingham Zoo does a lot of different things for the community throughout the year. In October they go all out with Halloween decorations and they host Boo at the Zoo on the weekends. This year we took Emmeline and Mabel when Grandma J. was here. It was so fun. Emmeline loved it. I think that this is her favorite Halloween activity we've taken her to this season. There were lots of little carnival games to play and booths scattered throughout the park where kids could trick or treat. Emmeline walked right up to the booths and held up her pumpkin bag. Even though she can't say trick or treat yet, she was very good about saying "thank you". She also loved riding the carasel (of course) and it was fun because they had it running backwards for Halloween. We love the zoo!! BOO!!

The Great Pumpkin Patch



This year we went to the Great Pumpkin Patch in Hayden Alabama to let Emmeline choose her pumpkin. It was so much fun. They had a lot of great activities for kids. They had a blowup park and craftstore and lots of food. We walked through the petting zoo and let Emmeline take a pony ride. I have to say, the pony ride seemed to be her favorite part of the whole experience. lol. Then we took a hay ride up to the pumpkin patch. Emmeline ran around from pumpkin to pumpkin. She had a hard time settling on one so Brett helped her pick one. She choose the littlest pumpkin, just like in one of her favorite books. I think that we will head on up to the farm every year (as long as we live here in Alabama) to choose our pumpkins. I certainly recommend it to anyone who lives in the area!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Its always fun when Grandma Comes


Grandma Jorgensen (Laura's mom) came to visit us October 19-21. It was her birthday present to come and meet her new little granddaughter Mabel.  We had so much fun. We went to the pumpkin patch to choose a pumpkin and we went trick or treating at the zoo.  (I'll write about both of these events in separate blogs.) We took her out for a special birthday dinner at Wendys. . .thats right we spoil people here in Birmingham. :)  We were really happy that she could come visit and we had a wonderful time.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Potty Progress


Today Emmeline went all morning without having an accident in her big girl panties. This is really only her third day trying them on. I am so proud of her progress. We'll keep working on it. The goal is to be potty proficient by her 2nd birthday in December. Keep your fingers crossed. :)There's nothing like a little Yatzee to pass the time sittin on the potty. Brett currently holds the high score. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

When Nana Came to Visit


Nana (Bretts mom) came to Birmingham to visit us this month. She arrived on October 10 and flew back to Utah on the 15th.  We had such a great visit. Nana brought all sorts of halloween goodies for Emmeline, including a beautiful halloween princess dress. Emmeline had a lot of fun dancing around in her new dress. On Thursday Nana and Emmeline went to the park to play while Brett was at work and while I ran some errands. On Friday Dave, Erin, Elise and Carson drove up from Florida to play with us too. It was so fun to have everyone here. We all went to the Cheesecake Factory (where else??) for lunch and then went and played at the Pottery Barn for Kids. Emmeline loves to play with the pink kitchens there. It is awesome that they have demo toys out for the kids to play with. They have several kitchens plus all the trimmings: pots, teasets, plates, bowls, even toy food to play with. Em could play there for hours. Anyways, after the Pottery Barn we went to the park again. The kids got pretty wiped out. 

On Saturday Nana stayed home with all the kids while Dave, Erin, Brett and I all went and had lunch. Guess where we went. Thats right, Cheesecake Factory. I dont think Brett or I could ever get enough of that place. mmmmm.  When we got back we had a nice relaxing afternoon. We hung out and visited in the backyard. The weather has finally started cooling off and it was so pleasant just to sit outside and not die from the heat or humidity.
Dave, Erin and Fam left after church on Sunday and we enjoyed having another quiet day with Nana. Emmeline had Nana read her lots of stories!!! Monday morning while Brett was off working, Nana, Emmeline, Mabel and I all went to the zoo. We had a great time riding the carasel and looking at all of Emmelines favorite animals. It was a fun thing do do before we had to take Nana to the airport and say good bye.

It was great to have so much of Bretts family here for the weekend! It was so fun to see the cousins actually be old enough to interact and play with each other. I know that Emmeline loved having Elise to follow around and Carson to play with. And of course she loved being spoiled by Nana:)!!

Note (for those who don't know): Dave is Bretts brother and Erin is Daves wife. Elise is 4 and Carson is almost 2.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Good Job Brett

Brett will be attending a bioinformatics conference in November 2007 on Long Island. He recently found out that they want him to present an oral presentation on his computer program at the conference. Brett was thinking he might get to show a poster or something but wasn't expecting to give an oral.  
I'm not surprised though. My husband is one smart cookie. 

Monday, October 8, 2007

Sound Sleeper

Saturday October 6th marked Mabels official 1 month old birthday. For all of last week she has been sleeping 8-9 hours through the night. At the end of this month, we'll move her into the crib in Emmelines room and see how that goes. We'll post an update when the time comes. For now, I'm enjoying my full nights sleep and hope that everyone with babies is as lucky as me.

Painting with Pudding--Good, Painting with Pooh--Bad!

Last week we had quite an episode. On Tuesday I decided to let Emmeline paint with pudding. I found this idea online with several people saying it was a great activity for 2 year olds. It's safe if they eat it, it's easy to clean up and it dries like paint. I thought to myself, sounds good.  So I made up some yummy chocolate pudding and we gave it a try. Emmeline and I both had a lot of fun. We got our fingers in the pudding and made some pretty pictures.  As soon as Emmeline gave it a little taste however, she began painting less and less and eating more and more. It was pretty funny. We finished and cleaned up and I thought to myself, "this was a great activity. We'll have to do it again sometime."


The week continued along and Thursday rolled around.  We had a really fun morning. I took Emmeline to the zoo and we enjoyed seeing the monkeys and the birds. Emmeline loves any kind of bird and we spent a significant amount of time in front of the flamingos. We started to get tired and decided to go home for some lunch and a nap. After I put Emmeline down, I decided that Mabel and I could also use naps, so we fell asleep. When I woke up I went to let Emmeline out of her room. She usually plays for awhile by herself in her room after she wakes up. There is usually no problem with this arrangement. This particular Thursday was the exception. I went to get her and could smell a stinky diaper. Oh by, if only that was the extent of the stink. Well I opened the door to her room and much to my chagrin, there was pooh plastered all over her door and trampled all across her floor. The smell was horrible. First off she had to go into the tub and be showered down. A bath wouldnt work because of all the pooh that would be floating in the water. . .and since she loves to splash, there would be dirty water  spread all over the bathroom. So Emmeline got her first shower.  Then I went to work cleaning the mess. Brett got home and was nice enough to help me work. I actually thought that we would have to rent a machine to shampoo the carpet but luckily the Resolve worked really well. (We did have to go through about 2 and a half bottles). Emmeline has never been in so much trouble in all her 22 months on earth. I really don't think that she was trying to be naughty though. I think that she took off her diaper (something shes been learning with potty training) and saw the mess and thought something like, "hmmm this looks an aweful lot like that "paint" I used the other day. Maybe I'll give it a try". . .and then she proceeded to "paint" her door and her room.


The moral of the story, if you are going to paint with pudding, use vanilla or banana cream (perhaps with a drop of coloring) and not chocolate. Especially if your child is potty training. 


Although this was a disgusting experience, now its something we can all laugh about and when I get together with friends and talk about crazy things our kids have done. . .I will have a story that will be tough to beat. lol


For pictures of the various events described above, click on the link to our family picture site. 

Friday, September 21, 2007

gettin some zzzz's

Just a quick note. . .last night Mabel slept for 6 and a half straight hours. She's only two weeks old. I'm pretty impressed (not to mention happy to get so many consecutive hours of sleep).  Yeah for Mabel!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Introducing Mabel Jane Pickett


Mabel Jane Pickett was born on Thursday September 6, 2007 at 2:15 in the afternoon. She weighed 8 lbs 6.6 oz and she was 20 & three quarters inches long. She has a head full of beautiful dark hair and just like Emmeline, she has her daddys Pickett chin.

Brett and I checked in at the hospital around 6:30 am to get going on an induction. (Mabel wasnt technically due until the 12th, but frankly I was DONE being pregnant--and things worked out great when we induced with Emmeline so we thought we'd go for it again.) Unfortunately it had been an extremely busy night at the hospital and they weren't ready for us so we had to wait a couple hours before we could get a room. The doctor came in and started the pitocin at about 10. Once that was all set up and going we started to watch Hitch. I didn't make it through the whole movie because the demerol was making me sleepy, and I figured it was more important to get in a few zzz's if I could rather then force myself to stay awake and watch a movie that I've seen before and will see again. Things progressed smoothly. I started my breathing techniques when the contractions started to get hard. There were only about 4 contractions right at the end which were unbearably painful. . .and I figured that it was probably time to start pushing. The nurse checked me out and yup. . .I was ready. She got me up in the stirrups and called for the doc. This was all at about 2:00. Then I gave 4 or 5 big pushes and out came Mabel. So all in all it was a fairly easy delivery (compared to some horror stories that I've heard.) I only had to go through it for just over 4 hours and I didnt need the dreaded epidural. hallelujuh!! 

The hospital stay was pretty uneventful. My recovery was very swift (I think I had a total of 3 percocets. . .and I could have gotten away with just one.) Anyway, come saturday, I was more then ready to be home. Unfortunately, due to Mabels high risk for Jaundice, she had to stay an extra night. Since we only live about 5 minutes from the hospital, I opted to go home and sleep. Then on Sunday morning--Brett, Emmeline and I went to bring home our little baby. All in all a boring and easy delivery. . .which I will take any day over some major drama situation.

Mabel is as sweet as can be. Unless I am delinquent on feeding time, she is really quiet and calm. On the second night home she slept for 4 hour blocks between feedings. After two weeks she'll do between 4 and 5 hour blocks.  Mabel is a beautiful addition to our family. We love her so much and we are thankful that Heavenly Father saw fit to send her to us!!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

And then there were Four!


Well, I decided it was time to join the blog bandwagon. Mainly because things happen in my life that I want to write down. . .and I dont. Perhaps having a blog will help me keep up to date on important things that go on with my little family (its worth a try anyway). Also, since we just had a little baby girl, I thought this would be a good time to start---with some big news to write about. Thought I'd start this blog off with a bang. So now my family consists of papa bear--Brett, mamma bear--Laura and two wee baby bears--Emmeline Louise (21 months old) and Mabel Jane (6 days old).