Saturday, December 13, 2014

Claire's Blessing Day

We blessed sweet little (actually quite chubby) Claire this past Sunday at church. Claire's blessing day was a wonderful day that we spent with Brian's parents. We tried to snap a family picture before church since we were all in our "Sunday Best" because we haven't taken a family photo with Claire yet. But oh man, they did not turn out! For starters, we are not photographers and we don't have a great camera. And then to get all five of us cooperating and looking at the camera at the same time is nearly impossible! And none of us are patient enough to get a "perfect" picture. Brian and I have only a 5 minute limit of patience and the kids only have a 4 minute limit!

This is a complete tangent and I could probably do an entire blog post on the subject, but I think people get so caught up in trying to be and appear perfect all the time (and especially in social media). People make such a fuss trying to impress others they don't even know or often even like! I'm not saying that putting your best foot forward doesn't have any merit, but all the filters, Photoshop, angles, and taking 1,000 selfies to get one photo seems so silly and self-absorbed. I say just embrace the crazy and imperfection and additionally, "Ain't nobody got time for that!" I'm thinking of just framing one of our bad pictures we snapped because that best captures our reality. Okay, ranty side-note done. If you want more on the subject just let me know!

I love this picture the best (the one above)! It just says it all. James looking at the wrong camera, mom not paying attention, Christina screaming, Brian screaming in his head but trying to smile, and Claire just sleeping through it all. This is what life is really like!

This past week Claire had her baby blessing which was given by my husband. In the Mormon Church a baby blessing is given to a new baby to announce their name and to bless them with spiritual and other temporal attributes. Brian felt especially inspired to bless her with a love of service and especially service in her own home.

As much as I could remember, this was Claire's blessing:

Our dear Heavenly Father, by the power of the Melchizedek Priesthood which we hold, and in the name of Jesus Christ, we take this infant in our arms to give  her a name and blessing. The name which she will be known on the records of the church and throughout her life is Claire Eleanor Nelson. 

Claire, we bless you to understand the gospel and learn of it. We bless you to grow from your life experiences. We bless you to have the desire to covenant with our Heavenly Father. When you are able, be baptized and take Jesus's name upon you. Act as our Savior did.

We bless you to have charity and a love of service. Strive to be a righteous woman. Strive to keep the commandments and have the spirit in your life to guide you.

We bless you to seek to be like Christ which is possible through the Atonement. Strive to be like him.

We bless you to have a love of service. There will be many opportunities for service in your life. We bless you to love your siblings. You will be blessed as you serve within your own household. 

We give you this blessing, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Our Night Owl

Our sweet Christina is so fun between 7 pm and midnight. Our little night owl is in her element because it's finally dark. At nighttime her playful personalty really shines through! 

During the day she would be happy to just sleep most of the day in her dark and cozy crib. She certainly naps more than most toddlers do (she sleeps about as much as three week old Claire) and we don't totally fight against her natural tendency to want to roll up and nap, but we do encourage her to be awake for some of the day. She has her eating schedule that she's awake for (or at least out of bed! Sometimes she will fall asleep!) We will have cuddle and playtime during the day and then whatever outings we go on she is forced awake. 

But it is just so fun to see her interactions in the evening. She has the widest grin with double dimples that just melt your heart! And if you get her laughing you can often get her in a laugh attack where she is cackling and sometimes even snorts (like her momma!)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Claire Eleanor

Claire Eleanor was born on November 6th, weighing 7 lbs., 8 oz. and 19 inches long. She has surprisingly dark hair for how Scandinavian we are! And at first we thought her "tan" was just mild jaundice, but her darker complexion (relative to James and Christina who are porcelain white) is looking to be more permanent. 

She is a professional little nurser and now she seems to always be hungry even just 20 minutes after eating, so it seems she wants to nurse for sport and entertainment and not just nourishment. And with the Christmas season approaching I just keep thinking of the Jim Carey Grinch when he says, "Am I eating because I'm bored?!" as he stuffs screws in his mouth. Anyone else know the reference? Anyhow, at first I was pushing back against giving her a pacifier because of nipple confusion. (Which when I said this Brian thought I was joking and he couldn't believe that is a real thing!) But she does very well with a pacifier to soothe her and she has none of this mythical nipple confusion! 

The toughest part so far has been scheduling the baby girls' feedings. Christina has her tube feeding every three hours and Claire breastfeeds every three hours. Luckily my parents came to town to help out and they basically took care of most of Christina's care and tube feeding so I could rest and focus on baby Claire for the first couple weeks. It was so helpful having them here and very fun since all we did was feed babies, feed ourselves, watch HGTV and play lots of pinochle. Brian must have gotten particularity close to my parents during this trip because on their last night he asked my mom if she still ovulates. Yes, there may be some context to help explain this question, but still I found it a bold question to ask a mother-in-law!

But with them gone my life will be a trickier, especially when both babies want me at the same time. But I figure for the next couple weeks (or months) I will just stay in my bathrobe and occasionally venture out into the world! When Christina was born she had so many doctor appointments that forced me to get out of the house nearly every day of the week for the first couple of months. And I figured if I was getting out of the house I might as well shower, put on real clothes, do my hair and makeup since that makes me feel better anyway. I may need something like this again to force me not to be a hermit. But I'm okay being a hermit for the short-term. But if you see me in pajamas out and about come springtime, tell me this is not acceptable! The old Christina would not be impressed! 

Christina has taken some notice to Claire, especially when they are put in close proximity. Christina will crawl over to her and either kick at her or put her hand on her or sort of smack her in the face! I'm sure these are all love touches! So at this point Christina is bigger than Claire and we are mostly keeping them apart so Christina doesn't maul her sister. But soon enough Claire will be the bigger sister in size and we will have to reverse the protecting! 

James just adores Claire and can't keep away from her. He always wants to kiss her and play with her. Which is very sweet! And thankfully James hasn't had any jealousy issues since Claire was born. He is actually quite helpful to me! Some ways he helps is by fetching things for me, singing to one of the crying babies, and putting a pacy back in Claire's mouth. Without James my day would be much harder and much more boring!

Welcome to our family little Claire!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Pumpkin Patching

Today is the first day since about March that it has been in the 70's and even some overcast too! And since its starting to feel a little bit like fall, we thought it would be a fun and relatively cool day to go to a local orchard and pumpkin patch. I am a New York girl at heart and I love my fall season. And I especially love a pumpkin patch since my family owns one in upstate New York! 

I've been able to keep sporting the Baby Bjorn throughout this pregnancy to carry Christina but being 37 weeks it's starting to be a pretty tight fit with one baby inside and another on top! 

James had a hard time deciding on a pumpkin. I guess he has not developed his mother's severe decisiveness! His aimless wandering from pumpkin to pumpkin reminded me of my brother Douglas and something he used to say. It's like being a mosquito in a nudist colony. He knew what he wanted, he just didn't know where to start!

Brian and his Mini-Me!

The kids and me enjoying the hayride while Brian bought the goods (pumpkins, cider, and doughnuts). I am most excited for the cider! Baby Christina seemed to really like the hayride. I think she enjoyed the movement and bouncing around. She had been crabby most of the outing since she hates to be in natural lighting, but he are mean parents and make her be outside sometimes! When we got on the hayride she finally calmed down and stopped fidgeting and whining. It was a fun family outing and fun to finally enjoy some cooler weather. And probably one of our last family outings before Brian and I are outnumbered! 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Nesting at 36 weeks pregnant

I am 36 weeks pregnant now and I am ready for this baby to come! I have felt great this pregnancy, but I do feel much older and more sluggish this time around. And I feel ready to reclaim my body since it feels like I've been pregnant for two years (since I basically have been with a couple months off!) 

Brian normally considers me an intellectual equal (and arguably superior) but during this pregnancy he believes I have lost my mind and with it all logic and reason! I will concede that my nesting instinct has taken full effect and sometimes might appear neurotic. But quite ironically Brian has been doing a bit of his own nesting. Out of the blue late Saturday night he decided to rip up our guest bathroom and begin a bathroom remodel just weeks (maybe only days) before the baby comes! So I don't think his argument about my sanity holds very much water...

My doctor seems keen on not inducing me and letting things happen naturally. I do not like this plan. In fact, I hate this plan. I feel ready to be done and would like to plan accordingly! So I plan to will this baby out of me, I just hope it happens over the weekend since that would be much more convenient with Brian's work. If only it worked this way... Oh wait it can! When you get induced! Okay, I'll stop whining now. Maybe I am crazy...

Each day that goes by it has been sinking in more and more that there will be three small kiddos around here! And I fear it is going to feel a bit like having twins because of baby Christina's slow development and needs. This was especially true after stuffing our two new car seats and James' booster seat into the back of our small Ford Escape! Wish us luck! 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Watching the fan

Christina spent much of the morning lying on her back looking at the fan spin around and around. Her eyes were wild going back and forth as it spun. This is note and blog worthy because I've never seen her track something like this before. She rarely even looks at things. So this was a big deal for our little gal! And those little legs of hers are just so cute I could eat them up! But I was mostly worried about her eyes drying out with the fan on and since she doesn't blink or close them, so I just kept adding her eye ointment even more often than usual! And I swear we aren't neglectful about her on the hardwood, she  really doesn't mind it and she never stays on her blankets we lay out for her! And in case you are wondering about those boxes on the left, those are my two new car seats and double stroller for when our new baby girl comes in a few weeks! I never thought I'd be so excited about car seats and a stroller! But I am pretty pumped!