Monday, February 21, 2011

little photo shoot

Just some pics from this morning - an impromptu amateur photo shoot.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Quilts and kisses

One last tickle with Papa before he left.
Here's little Elijah on his big baby quilt! Mom helped me with this one before he came and she suggested I may as well make it big enough to cover a toddler bed for when he gets to that stage. She also suggested I make it symmetrical but I didn't take that advice. I am really happy with how it turned out - thanks Mom for doing all the cutting and ironing and support! See the dimples! This looks like a smile but really it's the beginnings of a cry.Cora woke up unusually early one day and so by 10 she was zonked out on the couch - not on the nice comfy pillow but on her hard doll's head. This is the other quilt Mom helped me finish - a Charlie Brown lap quilt. I meant to finish it for Kate's Christmas present but only got the top done in time before I had to stop sewing and get ready to move. So Mom helped me iron, baste and bind it - I don't think it would've gotten done for a long time without her help and encouragement. This is Cora being silly pretending to go "night-night" in Mommy's bed. We pulled out the camera to take pictures of Elijah after his bath and Cora asked us to take pictures of her. Below is her "cheese" face for pictures.Elijah gets so many kisses a day. When I was expecting him I felt bad because he would never have the time alone with his parents that Cora got, but so far, he's getting even more love than Cora got - because he has an adoring mommy, daddy and big sister too!Look at the lovely, clean, light, fluffy hair!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

More weekend pics Feb 5-6

CW and his girlfriend Melissa came up from Provo on Saturday Feb 5th and stayed til after the blessing on Sunday. Dad had gotten here on Friday and was staying til Tuesday. We had a fun weekend hanging out with everyone. We took them to Shoshone Falls and then stopped by the temple here in Twin Falls to take some pictures. Cora loves the temple, and can always point out a picture of a temple (even if it's actually a castle, not a temple - those ones are called princess temples). The falls were flowing pretty well, and beautiful but very windy. Mom doesn't appear in any of the pictures because she stayed in the car with the baby.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Elijah's blessing

We blessed Elijah on February 6th, when he was just over one week old. Usually people wait a little longer to bless their babies, but we wanted to do it while Mom was still here and Dad flew out to join us for the weekend. CW and his girlfriend Melissa also drove up from Provo, and Elise and Eric and their families came down from Meridian and Nampa. We are so lucky to have so much family come. We love them all so much. Cora especially was so excited to wake up from her nap and find her house full of cousins, aunties and uncles.

Since the baby was so young we didn't want to do the blessing in church, but we also just didn't have room in our little apartment for everyone to gather there. We asked our bishop when he visited us in the hospital after the baby was born if he knew of a place where we could hold the blessing, (we were thinking like another church building where they didn't have a late ward meeting) and he invited us all to his home and also offered to cook a meal for the whole family! It was so generous of him and his family and we were so grateful to them. They cooked a delicious pasta meal for us.

We sang "I am a child of God" to start and then Eric gave a quick spiritual thought. He talked about the meaning of Elijah's name and read from the scriptures about Elijah coming to turn the hearts of the children to the fathers and the fathers to the children. Then Ryan blessed Elijah and it was beautiful. In the circle was Ryan, my dad, Christopher, Eric, Jedd, Bishop Schroeder, and another bishopric member, Brandon Seals. Elijah was good and quiet (asleep) the whole time. We got permission from Bishop and the stake presidency to Skype with Mom and Dad and Heidi's family in Hawaii during the blessing so they were able to hear as well.

Thanks to Jedd for the great pictures. Here is the whole gang.
And here is our new little family of four!Unfortunately I left right after we took pictures after the blessing because I suddenly started feeling very sick. Mom took me home and we took Elijah with us so I could feed him, so we missed his party and hanging out with all the family. To use one of Ryan's expressions, I felt like a truck had run over me all the rest of that day, with crazy fever, chills and aches. The next day I went to the doctor and got a diagnosis of mastitis. Mom was scheduled to leave with Dad on Tuesday but she said she would stay to help me out since I was sick, so she stayed til Friday. Luckily after that first terrible day I started feeling better quickly, helped by the antibiotic.

Altogether Mom was with us almost a month and helped us out so much. She helped me get ready for the baby, cleaned my house, did dishes and cooking, helped me make two quilts, and she started one herself, she bought us a dresser for Cora and Elijah and re-painted it for us, took care of me when I was sick, took care of Cora so I could rest, before and after the birth, and much more. We are so grateful for everything she did for us and just for her company during that time. Cora got so used to having her around, she is still asking for her sometimes. We love you so much Mom!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Elijah at home

Cora just loves her baby brother and is always checking on him. If I put him in my room to sleep she will go knock on the door and ask for him. She's constantly touching him and kissing him - usually on the top of the head but if we don't catch her first, she'll go for his lips too. She's very concerned with making sure he has his blankets and burp cloths wherever he is.
Cora thought my doughnut from the hospital was pretty cool and kept stealing it.Cora loves her Papa and Grandma.Elijah is a very strong little boy - he has been lifting up his head and looking around since he was one day old. He has very prominent dimples on both cheeks that we can see when he cries. He is very hard to wake up when he wants to sleep - for example, during his favorite naptime - from dinnertime until I decide to go to bed, at which point he will be wide awake. When he does have his awake periods, however, he is really good at making eye contact with you and turning to the sound of your voice. His night time sleeping habits are still pretty variable - there's been a few good nights here and there when he'll wake up, eat, burp well, and go back to sleep at 3 hour intervals, but most nights aren't so good.

Cora had been becoming such a big girl. Generally she is a very happy cheerful little girl, but she is very stubborn and definitely knows what she wants. She's also very sensitive and her mood can change quickly. She loves all of her family and is always making us laugh. She's been watching more TV recently, since we moved, and then I was tired and very pregnant, and now with the new baby, but we are trying to cut it down. It's been fun to share some old favorites with her however, like the dinosaur movie (Land Before Time), and "see-ah-yay-yah" (Cinderella) and the fish princess (Little Mermaid.) She also loves Toy Story 3, Ponyo (a really cute movie we discovered recently) and shop-a-sheep (Shaun the Sheep, on Netflix). She is still a little book worm too and loves pulling out a book to read with me while I nurse.A couple of times now we've gotten her to repeat after us during prayers, and it just melts our hearts to hear her sweet little voice praying. She has learned her numbers - mostly. She loves to count everything, but she has developed some sort of prejudice against the number 2 - she never says it. She can count up to 10 but she skips right over two. For instance, she'll go up to Elijah and say, "one, tree eyes!" (and probably poke him in the eyes while doing it) The best is when she counts her toes - she'll say "one, tree, four, five, and the baby one! and the daddy one!" She knows the adjectives big and little but generally prefers to describe big things as daddy ones and little things as baby ones. She watches and listens to everything we do, and copies everything - which is pretty dangerous sometimes. She burps her babies, and helps me burp Elijah. When Elijah makes any noise she'll say "oh goodness, baby!" If he cries she'll tell me he's hungry and wants to drink mommy's milk.

I generally try to nap when she does, if I can get Elijah to cooperate, and it's usually really hard to get up when I hear her wake up - but she'll start calling "Mommy, where are you?" and I just can't ignore that little voice. She has a great memory and can tell you about things that happened months ago. When she asks for a treat she says "trick or treat mommy? please?" She has started calling me "mom" a lot of the time instead of mommy, which makes me sad - I think it is because she heard me say it to my mom when she was here.

Brother and sister

Does Elijah look like Cora? It's always hard to tell when they're brand new, but here are pictures of them at a couple of days old.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Baby Elijah

Ryan, Sarah and Cora are proud to announce that Elijah Paul Nielson was born on January 29th, 2011 at 3:11 am. He weighed in at 7 lbs 13 oz and was 20" long.
Labor and delivery went well; Elijah had passed some meconium before delivery which made us a little nervous, but he was fine. He took a while to get cleaned up and returned to us after birth, so it was a relief to finally get to hold him (see picture above.)My contractions started right as Ryan was getting home form work, about 5:45. We packed bags for ourselves and Cora, and Mom took Cora to our friend's house while Ryan and I went to the hospital just before 8 pm. (I hadn't packed bags yet as I didn't want to jinx myself, but I had a list ready that made packing fast.)

Mom had come out early to make sure she didn't miss the birth, since we were all sure that the baby would be early like his sister. As it turned out, I was slightly off on my due date; instead of January 31st the doctors were saying it was the 27th, so Elijah was actually overdue. We had plenty of time to get everything ready for him before he came, including making a baby quilt.

After the baby came we spent two days in the hospital, since I had tested positive for Group B strep and they wanted to observe the baby. We came home on Monday the 31st.

Cora met the baby on Saturday and loved him instantly. She was a little mad at me and wouldn't hug me, clinging to Mom and Ryan instead, but she wanted to hold the baby the whole time. She had learned his name by the time she visited again on Sunday - she calls him "Zhi-zhah." Elijah has fuzzy light brown hair and blue-grey eyes that we predict will stay light-colored.
Flowers from Ryan, Mom and Dad in Hawaii, and my Mom and Dad.Elijah getting ready to leave the hospital on Monday.We can't believe that we are now a family of four, but we are so happy to finally have our little Elijah safe and sound with us. He is a teeny little bundle of joy and very loved.