Our Christmas Surprise

12.30.2009
Announcing: Baby Boy Nelson
ETA: April 21, 2010

I am the Ultimate Rosie

Yes, folks, Bron and I are thrilled to announce that we are expecting our first baby boy in April!  We were awfully coniving and decided to keep it a secret from family and friends at home until our trip home after the Christmas holiday.  We know, we're stinkers.  We can't wait to see their reactions!  I hope it was totally worth it.  Saving this surprise until Christmas was all Bron's idea.  I've loved the agonizing anticipation.  To them, this is going to be the shortest pregnancy ever.  I am already over halfway through this pregnancy, clocking in at about 24 weeks now.  I love feeling my baby move.

During those first few weeks of pregnancy, I did suffer from a little morning sickness, but not too bad.  I just felt nauseous all day long for about three weeks straight.  It was actually all the animal smells at work that I dreaded most.  To this day, I still scare people when I turn green in the dog wing.  Other than that, I'm feeling great! 

My favorite day so far was when Bron came with me to my 19 week appointment to see the baby on the ultrasound screen and hopefully find out the gender.  He was overjoyed when he saw the outdoor plumbing!  It was both amazing and surreal to hear the heartbeat and watch our baby move.  It was also reassuring to find that every detail about our little guy is growing and developing normally.  Bron and I fell in love all over again, with each other, and with our little bump. 

13 Weeks
Ready for a football pass

19 Weeks
Handsome Profile

19 Weeks
Five Little Toes

19 Weeks
The Baby Bump on Thanksgiving Day

I can't believe this is real and happening to us.  Life as we know it is about to change drastically.  But I'm sooo excited to become a mommy!  I feel really blessed.  Bron and I are grateful that I'm healthy and happy and that our little guy is developing just as expected. We pray that everything else during this pregnancy will progress just as smoothly.

P.S.  I think we're stuck on the name, Jedediah.  Jed for short.  We think it's very befitting of a little cowboy.

Bron had a Birthday Shout Hooray

12.22.2009
Bron turned 26 years old last Sunday.  It was an excuse to spoil the man and celebrate!  He totally deserved it.

Friday evening we drove over to Burlington, VT to eat dinner at none other than our favorite place: Texas Roadhouse.  We immediately felt at home.  Everything was standardly the same: the music, the food, the friendly service.  Bron and I enjoyed ourselves very much.  We didn't deviate from our usual entrees either. I ordered my favorite ribs and Bron had the best steak he's eaten since we moved to New York (except for the $50 steak in Montreal that Miner bought at a conference).  The only thing that was missing were "the guys".  Click here to find out more.  Needless to say, Bron and I left with full bellies and smiles on our faces.

Sunday is often anything but a day of rest for Bron.  We left for church a little after 7:00AM so Bron could make it to his meetings.  After church, Bron had to work down in the barn for a few hours.  When he did finally make it home, he was beat.  However, Bron's whole countenance changed when he checked his phone.  Both my family and his had left messages singing, "happy birthday".  The Nelson boys sing it so off key, it hurts.  But that's exactly what made the moment so endearing.  Thanks everyone for your thoughtfulness!

Together, Bron and I celebrated his birthday with a steak and potato dinner (I know, again, right?) and brownies with peanut butter topping.  Then Bron sat in his "throne" (the oversized recliner) to open his present.  I was so happy he was genuinely surprised!  I'm horrible at keeping secrets, but he wasn't expecting these.        


The look of surprise!


Bron got padded gloves and biking shorts to wear this spring! 
Now he'll be able to ride his bike until his legs fall off.

Happy Birthday, Honey!  You deserve it.  I love you!!!

P.S.  Is it me, or has this blog turned into an ode to food???  With how much I write about it, it's amazing I don't weigh 300 pounds already!

Holiday Parties

12.21.2009
Tis the season for PARTIES!

The Branch Christmas Party:
Our Branch held their big Christmas Party on the first Friday evening in December.  It was well put-together.  We ate a giant feast of turkey with all the trimmings and finished it off with pies and cupcakes for dessert.  Afterwards, we all got to decorate an ornament for the tree that sits in the foyer.


We sat at the "cool" table with the youth and missionaries.

Oh, I wish you could be a fly on the wall and see what I see during our branch's meetings.  I can't help giggling to myself or rolling my eyes.  I've never been in such a dysfunctional ward or branch family.  It's just too funny to watch all these many personalities (some very strange or needy) interact!  It's a circus.  Organized chaos.  Literally.  And we have the circus folk to prove it here in what we call the North Country. 

A sense of humor is paramount here.  It's the "little things" that make my day every time I come to church.

The Wyeth Holiday Party:
The next weekend, Wyeth had their annual Christmas Party.  It was held in a humungous space often reserved for weddings just a few miles from our home.  (I need to go back in the daytime, or better yet, this spring to check out the beautiful outdoor scenery there!)  Over 300 people attended the party.  I tried to introduce Bron to everyone I knew, but there were simply too many new faces and names for Bron to remember.  We sat at a big table surrounded by a bunch of my co-workers and were promptly fed our choice of prime rib or stuffed chicken.  Some of the guys, including Bron, were encouraged to eat second helpings, so I got to taste a little bit of both!  Okay, so I ate more than just "a little". 
 

Enjoying Ourselves During Dinner


Myself, Christy, and Kaitlyn
(Yes, they are wearing matching red blouses! Very funny.)

On top of the meal, there was also a bar and live band.  It being the last big hurrah before everyone loses their jobs, many people chose to take advantage of the wide array of alchohol. It was fun just to watch people let loose and enjoy themselves. Then Bron took me out on the dance floor and spun me around. I love dancing with my husband. You can't beat a ten dollar evening like that!

The Miner Institute Christmas Party:
A week later, Miner Institute held their Christmas Party at this huge, old, victorian home known as The Elks Lodge.  I thought I knew a lot of the people employed at Miner; apparantly not.  During the open cocktail bar, Bron made the rounds with me at his side and I met some new people--all while happily sipping away at a Shirley Temple to my heart's delight.  I think I just like the cherries.

After a scrumptious dinner and good conversation, the company held an annual auction.  All proceeds went to a local charity.  It was entertaining to watch folks bid higher and higher and team up against another.  We couldn't help laughing!  Over $900 was raised for the charity, which was easy to do considering something like a homemade cheesecake went for $80 and a $50 gift card went for $75!  It was a great evening out.        

Excitement in the Carco

12.18.2009
(For those of you who might not know, I work for a pharmeceutical research company.  Our site specializes in drug research and safety.  The opinions expressed are not necessarily the opinions the study directors would want me to have.)



This morning started out like any other typical morning at work; I was assigned to dose rats in a carco study.  Carcinogen studies typically last two full years.  The rats start out young, white, and almost cute, then turn into ugly, fat, monsters.  The males are by far the worst. 

This particular room of male rats I was assigned to have been having a bad day for months.  Some rats are mellow and just lean back to take their dose of "medicine".  Some others act tough, but once I've got them in my grip, they're easy to handle.  A number, however, are downright evil.  Evil!  They rear up on their hind legs ready to attack my hand.  Then their hair stands on end, they scream, whip their tails around, scratch, and even turn to bite. 

Now I've been bitten before.  The rat isn't worth the trouble if there is someone around who is braver and has bigger hands.  John politely dosed one of my rats today for me.  He was also there to dose Casey's rat... until it bit the gavage needle right off and swallowed it!  John and Casey desperately tried to extract the needle using surgical tweezers, but failed.

I just laughed and turned to taunt the rat.  Serves the darn monster right!  He swallowed the needle himself and now he was going to die!  (Excuse me, be euthenized.)  The rat looked all right on the outside, but there was no way he was going to eat or drink normally ever again.  So John put him in a box and sent the rat to necropsy.

One less nasty rat down in the carco!  In my mind, it was time to celebrate.

Thirty minutes later, I screamed.  The rat in my hand had just bitten the gavage needle in half.  In half!  Casey ran over, ready with the tweezers in hand.  Too bad she's an avid gavage needle surgeon.  Today was that rat's lucky day: we removed the needle.

I think we'll be using stainless steel needles from now on.  Those cannot be bitten into pieces.  Too bad.                   

Christmas Countdown

12.15.2009
12 days until we fly to Salt Lake City to visit family for an entire week
10 days until Christmas
9 days until my last day of work
5 days until Bron's 26th birthday
2 days until I get my hair cut

We've got a lot to look forward to.  I'm excited!

Chef Bron

12.09.2009
My husband is a man of many talents, and cooking is one of them.  I have to admit, he's better in the kitchen than I am.  He's a very creative cook.  Plus, he can properly marinate or grill any kind of meat into a little piece of perfection just by combining things we already have in the fridge or pantry.  Although having a creative cook in the house can be a little more expensive from time to time, the tastes are totally worth it! 



I came home from work last night to find Mr. Handsome in the kitchen whipping us up his own version of a panini for dinner.  I love the way he throws that towel over his shoulder!  It makes me smile.  (I know the picture is a little blurry, but he doesn't like to hold still long enough for me to take them.)


Don't those warm marinated chicken sandwiches with cheese, avocado, peppers, and onion look delicious?  My mouth was watering.


Ready to eat!  The meal also included baked potato fries and a side salad.  (Yes, healthy!)

It was a great evening in the kitchen.  Thank you, Bron.  I love you!

Responsibility, What's That?

12.03.2009
My mom used to have a little poem on the side of her fridge:

It can be done
It should be done
It shall be done... tomorrow

Last night the dishes were begging to be washed (again), the laundry carefully folded (yet again), and the bathroom could have benefited from a good scrubbing (again).  Instead, I decided to plop my rear end on the couch and justified my lazy mood by labeling serum tubes for Bron's study while simultaneously watching, The Notebook. 

Oh, and I melted some chocolate chips and dipped frozen strawberries in it.  Delectible! 

*Sigh*  It was a really nice evening.

I hope I'm not the only one who does this occasionally...