Friday, September 30, 2011

Random September Happenings

This month has been a little hectic and I've slacked off a bit in the blogging department. So I've decided to post all the random pictures we took this month of different things that happened and consolidate them into one post. Here goes...

While we were up in Salt Lake my grandma took Sean and Taylor to the State Fair. I absolutely LOVE this picture of the two of them. This was the first time Tay has been to the fair and he had a total blast. 

I started decorating for Halloween almost two weeks ago. I know, I'm weird. It's our very favorite holiday and I just couldn't wait any longer. Oh, and yeah, that's a skull made from Legos. Once again, I know I'm weird.

Oliver is obsessed with wipes. Not sure why, but he's made it his life's mission to track down any wipes in the room and pull them all out of the container. Good times.

I gave Ollie his first haircut a couple of weeks ago. He was pretty good and patient with me, and I'm so happy his hair is all one length now.

I was playing on the floor with Taylor and we were trying to keep stuffed animals away from each other. I got a little too competitive and dove for an animal, bending my toenail back. It hurt so bad and I was afraid the nail was going to fall off. Luckily it didn't. Yuck.

Not sure why we give Ollie toys when he's perfectly happy to play with the junk mail. Silly kid!

I'm just blown away that September is almost over. Tomorrow is the first day of October and I just can't wrap my head around it. I hope everyone had a great month and is enjoying this beautiful Fall season!

Friday, September 23, 2011


Mr. Nichols has officially entered the last year of his twenties today! I think he's feeling a little old this morning, but I've assured him that 29 is not even close to "old" and that it wouldn't matter if it was because men age so much better than women.

I'm so incredibly in love with this man. He is honestly, sincerely the very best husband and father. I just couldn't have asked for a better man. He listens to me whine and complain on practically a daily basis, he's the only person in this world who understands how my poor little sensitive brain works, and he adores me through every breakdown and mood swing. And if that weren't enough, he's pretty easy on the eyes as well.

So far he's had a pretty good day (aside from the baby waking us up at 5:15 a.m.); I gave him a few Blu-Ray movies and a card and Tay gave him a framed letter that he wrote to Sean. Then we had a yummy breakfast of fresh, warm cinnamon rolls and breakfast sausage.

I hope you have a great day, Sean! I love you baby!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"In My Mind" by Amanda Palmer

In my mind
In a future five years from now
I'm a hundred and twenty pounds
And I never get hungover
Because I will be the picture of discipline
Never minding what state I'm in
And I will be someone I admire

And it's funny how I imagined
That I would be that person now
But it does not seem to have happened
Maybe I've just forgotten how to see
That I'm not exactly the person that I thought I'd be.

And in my mind
In the far-away here-and-now
I've become in-control somehow
And I never lose my wallet
Because I will be the picture of discipline
Never fucking up anything
And I'll be a good defensive driver

And it's funny how I imagined
That I would be that person now
But it does not seem to have happened
Maybe I've just forgotten how to see
That I'll never be the person that I thought I'd be.

And in my mind
When I'm old I am beautiful,
Planting tulips and vegetables
Which I will mindfully watch over
Not like me now
I'm so busy with everything
That I don't look at anything

But I'm sure I'll look when I am older.

And it's funny how I imagined
That I could be that person now
That that's not what I want
But that's what I wanted
That I'd be giving up somehow
How strange to see
That I don't want to be the person that I want to be.

And in my mind
I imagine so many things
Things that aren't really happening
And when they put me in the ground
I'll start pounding the lid,
Saying, "I haven't finished yet,
I still have a tattoo to get,
It says, 'I'm living in the moment.'"

And it's funny how I imagined
That I could win this win-less fight
Maybe it isn't all that funny
That I've been fighting all my life
But maybe I have to think it's funny
If I want to live before I die
And maybe it's funniest of all
To think I'll die before I actually see
That I am exactly the person that I want to be.

I am exactly the person that I want to be.

Friday, September 16, 2011

It's silly how giddy I am right now.

Do the handles and sides of your glass baking dishes look like mine?

Gross, right? I've been trying for a long time to figure out how to get this nasty baked-on cooking spray off my dishes, but nothing has worked.

Well while I was washing my broiler pan with an SOS pad after dinner tonight I had an epiphany. If steel wool can get all that baked-on food off a broiler pan, why couldn't it clean my glass baking dishes? So I pulled out the worst pan and went to work. It took quite a bit of elbow grease (I've had this pan since we were married, so there was almost a decade's worth of cooking spray stuck to the thing) but it was TOTALLY worth the work.

Isn't that amazing?? I must not get out of the house enough or something, because this is making me so insanely happy right now. Unfortunately I ran out of SOS pads before I could finish, but they're on my shopping list and I will definitely be attacking all my other glassware in the very near future.

It's the simple things in life that bring the most joy, right?

Either that or I'm just losing my marbles.

Dancin' Cutie

As most of you know Taylor is quite the dancer. He's got some pretty sweet moves and loves showing them off to anyone who'll watch him.

Well, it looks like Ollie is following in his big brother's foosteps:

Dancing Ollie from Anne Nichols on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


A couple of nights ago little Ollie had a pretty rough time trying to sleep. It was frustrating because since sleep training him he's been sleeping really well through the night, usually only waking once for 10-15 minutes. Well this particular night he woke up and cried for over an hour straight. We were so frustrated that we nearly gave up on the whole sleep training thing altogether. Luckily we held out, and in the morning we discovered why Oliver had such a difficult time sleeping:

He cut both bottom teeth.


In one night.

I think that would keep anyone awake. In any case he's back to sleeping well and I'm excited to see those two little pearly whites grow in.

(P.S. - I tried to get a picture of the little teeth to post here, but Oliver would have absolutely none of that. So enjoy the random cute picture of Ollie I posted instead.)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Too cool for school.

At the beginning of this year I found out that the elementary school a couple of blocks from our house offers preschool for four-year-olds for free. I was really excited about this because all the private preschools I'd found were at least $100 a month - not something we could afford. So since then we've been getting Tay psyched up to start school; he'd be on the same schedule as the Kindergarteners (three hours a day) and it would give him a chance to learn and make friends. He was hesitant about the idea at first, but slowly started getting more and more excited about it.

A few days after we got back from our Seattle trip last month I took him in for his preschool testing. In a word it was incredibly comical. The teacher sat him down at a little preschooler-sized table and asked him questions like, "Are you a boy or a girl?" and, "Can you count to ten?" and, "What color is this crayon?" Taylor answered every question correctly, but would constantly glance over his shoulder and look at me like, "Is she serious?" (keep in mind that just the other day he counted to 50 on his own).

She then had him do a bit more challenging activities like writing his name, drawing a person, and repeating long sentences back to her verbatim. He did everything she asked him to do and then some. She'd say, "What is the name of a friend you play with?" His response: "Well, I had a good friend that lived a few doors down from me but she had to move away. Her name was Emma and I'm sad that we can't play anymore. But we'll go visit her soon, I think." I was trying so hard not to laugh.

So at the end of the test, she had another teacher come in and they talked about all that he'd said and how his fine motor skills are (he doesn't hold a pencil or scissors the correct way), and they concluded that they wouldn't accept him into preschool. Why? Because he is....

...wait for it...

...too SMART.

Yep. Their words exactly.

They said that they want to allow children into preschool who are behind so that they can make sure they're caught up for Kindergarten and that Taylor already knows everything they would teach him. They also commended him on his communication skills, which have always been pretty advanced for a boy his age. They told him good job and said, "We'll see you next year for Kindergarten!"

So after getting him all psyched up for school for months, it turns out he's not going after all. I think we may try to put him in a tumbling or karate class at the beginning of next year, but for now I suppose we'll just keep working on his fine motor skills and have fun at home through the upcoming holidays.

My kid is just too cool for school. And I'm so incredibly proud of him.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

He sleeps!

Sean and I had finally had enough of this little munchkin waking up every 45-90 minutes all night long (yes, really) and we decided to start sleep training him. We've been using the 'ole cry-it-out method, and people can knock it as much as they want - it WORKS.

I'll post his sleep schedule for the last five nights and you'll see what I mean.

Night 1: 9/5/11
In bed 8:45 p.m.
Asleep 9:30 p.m.
Awake 12:50 p.m.
Asleep 1:10 a.m.
Awake 3:45 a.m.
Asleep 4:30 a.m.
Awake 7:00 a.m.
Total times he woke up during the night: 2 (pretty good for the first night!)
Total time asleep: 8 hr., 25 min.

Night 2: 9/6/11
In bed 7:00 p.m.
Asleep 7:00 p.m. (fell asleep right as I left the room)
Awake 1:10 a.m.
Asleep 1:15 a.m.
Awake 6:00 a.m.
Asleep 6:15 a.m.
Awake 6:30 a.m.
Total times he woke up during the night: 2
Total time asleep: 11 hr., 10 min.

Night 3: 9/7/11
In bed 8:00 p.m.
Asleep 8:15 p.m.
Awake 2:45 a.m.
Asleep 3:20 a.m.
Awake 6:45 a.m.
Total times he woke up during the night: 1
Total time asleep: 9 hr., 55 min.

Night 4: 9/8/11
In bed 6:45 p.m.
Asleep 7:00 p.m.
Awake 11:00 p.m.
Asleep 11:15 p.m.
Awake 6:30 a.m.
Total times he woke up during the night: 1
Total time asleep: 11 hr., 15 min.

Night 5: 9/9/11
In bed: 7:20 p.m.
Asleep 7:30 p.m.
Awake 7:00 a.m.
Total times he woke up during the night: ZERO!
Total time asleep: 11 hr., 30 min.

That's right, folks. After five nights of sleep training Oliver slept 11 and a half hours STRAIGHT! I'm so happy I could cry. It was so amazing to get a solid night's sleep for the first time since Ollie was born. We'll keep him in our room for another week or so, and if he continues to sleep through the night we'll be able to move Oliver into Tay's room and we can finally have our bedroom back! Yay!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

An afternoon at the playground.

The weather is quickly cooling down and our pool and playground days are numbered, so Tay and I packed up a bag, a blanket, and baby brother and headed over to the playground at our apartment complex. It was nice and cool and we spent a couple of hours playing on slides, eating snacks, and looking for shapes in the puffy clouds. We had a fun time.

Meet Lola.

We went up to Salt Lake last weekend and on our way home we took a little detour to Gardner Village. It's one of my favorite places, especially in the fall (and I can pretend it's fall now, right?).

I had told myself that there was no way, under any circumstance, I was going to allow myself to buy anything. We were insanely short on money and Sean didn't get paid for another week. Time to exercise some self-control and be content to browse and look. That's it.

Well all that self-control went out the window when we went into a store called "Wild About the West" that was having a massive clearance sale because they were closing their doors permanently. They were selling all their remaining inventory as well as all their fixtures and display racks. There was some cool stuff, but nothing I was genuinely interested in; a country girl I am not. But then my sweet husband - who in retrospect probably regrets it now - pointed to a small side room and said, "Oh Annie, look in there!" I glanced over and noticed a small closet-sized room packed with dress forms. It took all the strength I had not to run for them.

If my strange giddiness in seeing dress forms is confusing, you must understand something about me. I LOVE dress forms. LOVE them.


I've wanted one since I don't when, but they're so expensive that I just could never justify it. But here was an entire room of them. On sale. Eighty bones each. Eight-zero.

Still out of my price range? Yes.

Still expensive? Sure.

Probably should've just walked away? Definitely.

But instead I rushed outside and called my mom. And although I know she thinks I'm completely crazy, she loaned me the money until Sean gets paid next. Bless her heart.

So here she is, folks. Her name is Lola and I adore her.

(they threw in the cute four-year-old for free.)

She currently lives in my kitchen (mostly because I have absolutely nowhere else for her) and she's currently sporting a little navy cocktail dress that will be my first alteration project I do with her help. No more turning clothes inside out, putting them on, pinning them where I want to bring them in/up/out, and then gingerly attempting to remove said garment without becoming a human pincushion.

No more. Now that I have Lola. Sigh...

P.S. - If you still think I'm completely out of my mind, read THIS amazing story about an amazing woman and an amazing red dress. Lola is my current red dress. Read the story. You'll understand. And hopefully you'll bawl your eyes out like I did. That'll make me feel less silly, too. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Song Lyrics

Maybe I'm just strange, but music has always spoken to me in a way nothing else has. I love lyrics that put perfectly into words how I'm feeling at any given time. If you've ever had regular in-depth conversations with me about life you know you'll inevitably hear me say something like, "There's a song by so-and-so that explains exactly what we're talking about," followed by me quoting some random lines from said song.

I'm not sure why I've always been so drawn to music, but it's something that's always come naturally to me and it's something few people seem to really understand.

My love of song is so great that my one and only tattoo is the Weezer symbol. I think most would consider a band tattoo a mistake ("What if they start making music you hate?" "What if the band breaks up?" "What if you get tired of their music?"), but the symbolism behind it is so much deeper than that. Their music shaped the person I became, and many of their songs have memories, feelings, attachments to them that I will always treasure. That symbol represents so much more to me than just "some band."

That said, I'm going to start regularly posting lyrics to songs I've been listening to that represent how I'm feeling or what I'm thinking about at the time. I used to do the same in my hand-written journals and in a way it was a form of therapy for me. I love hearing music that helps me describe feelings that I would otherwise have a hard time articulating.

As for the song I'm thinking of tonight, it's one that has had deep meaning to me recently. Y'see folks, I haven't been the greatest wife lately. I've been in a bit of a funk (that I am thankfully finally pulling myself out of) and I've taken a lot of my frustrations out on my husband. But Sean - bless his heart - has taken everything so well and somehow continues to love and adore me despite it all. He's such an amazing guy and he is seriously the world's greatest father to our boys. In fact at this very moment he's downstairs on the sofa having his monthly "sleepover" with Tay - sweaty and uncomfortable and probably getting kicked in the crotch repeatedly by a sleeping, fidgety, lanky four-year-old.

I love Sean so much, and all day I've had this song stuck in my head that I'd like to dedicate to him. So without further introduction (since it seems I've already written a short novel), an excerpt from "Viking Heart" by Miniature Tigers:

Darlin', look how young we are
Wishing on the stars
Sleeping in your arms
We fit like a pair of beat up shoes
With nothin' left to prove
We can be ourselves

Darlin', you're the one
Please be good to me
No one loves you like I do
And until death do us part
You can have my viking heart

I love you, Mr. Nichols.

Nine Months

Our Ollie Bear is nine months old today! It's been so much fun this past month watching him grow and learn new things. He gets more fun every day!

Oliver is now in full-on crawling mode. He's so fast that sometimes it scares me. I'll set him down in the living room, walk into the kitchen, turn around and he's right behind me.

The day we arrived in Seattle for our vacation Oliver pulled himself up to a stand for the first time. He does it all the time now against the sofa and ottoman; the only problem is sometimes he can't figure out how to sit back down. On the agenda this weekend: lower the crib so he doesn't stand up and tumble out of bed!

Every morning when Ollie wakes up I bring him into bed with me and he immediately crawls to the head of our bed and tugs on the curtains. I open the curtains and he laughs and coos at the sky and trees outside. It's his little baby way of saying, "Good morning, world!" 

Oliver now calls me "mama" and Sean "dada." He's also said his first official word aside from those: he says "grandma," or rather the baby version of the word that sounds more like "a-ma." To say my mom is thrilled is an extreme understatement.

Ollie has a voracious appetite and is hungry almost constantly. He eats at least six stage-two baby food jars a day, plus nurses every few hours and has tons of snacks. He's almost perfected the "pincer-grab," making it a lot easier to feed himself finger foods.

We're still struggling really bad with Oliver's sleep. He wakes up at least a handful of times every night, and will usually only sleep 2-3 hours at a time, if that. It's frustrating, but at the same time I feel like my body is so used to the lack of sleep that it doesn't really interfere with me being able to function during the day.

Ollie is spending more and more time with his daddy and big brother and he's LOVING it. He'll actually get jealous if Sean is playing with Tay and he's not somehow involved too. The other night Sean was holding Tay in his lap and they were snuggling and laughing and the baby went crawling over and climbed up on Sean too. It was so cute!

Oliver has started "dancing" when he hears music he likes. He'll rock back and forth on his bum and if he's really into it he'll wave his arms in the air too. It's adorable. 

I'm just loving watching this little pumpkin grow!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Nutella Croissants

I really need to stop finding such amazing dessert recipes on Pinterest.


My mouth loves me; my waistline not so much.

That said, I HAD to share this recipe. It's simple, delicious, and you just can't go wrong with Nutella! I made a batch of these the other night and Sean and I may or may not have eaten them all in one sitting while watching Twister. True or possibly not true story. But most likely true.

So without further ado, the next dessert you should make for your family. Or maybe just yourself. Maybe make them and then hide in the bathroom and eat them so no one begs you for any. Can you tell I'm a mom?

Nutella Croissants (via Handle the Heat)
  • 8 tablespoons Nutella
  • One package Pillsbury Butter Flake Crescent Rolls
Preheat oven to 375. Open package and carefully spread dough out onto a flat surface. Cut apart dough following the pre-cut lines into 8 triangles.

Place one tablespoon (more or less, depending on your preference) of Nutella onto the base of each triangle. Carefully roll the dough up to form a crescent shape.

Place rolls onto ungreased baking sheet and bake for 11-13 minutes or until golden brown.

*When I made these I also whipped up a little basic icing (powdered sugar, milk, softened butter, and vanilla) to spread on top. Perrrrrrrrrrfection.