Thursday, December 31, 2009

Snow Day

December 19, 2009

The day after Carter's Birthday Mother Nature thought she would give Carter another Birthday present, a ton of snow! We played outside for a good chunk of the day and had a blast!

Carter couldn't let Dad have all the fun of shoveling the snow so he had to get his shovel out and help Dad with the work.

Then off to our neighborhood park that is just up the street from us to go sledding with our friends.

That was on snowy ride down the slide.

The big boys decided it was time to go over to the big sledding hill. On Matt and Carter's first run it was faster than they expected and ended up in these trees. When they crashed all the snow above came falling down on them. It was pretty fun to see.

On the second try, they decided to bail instead of having a snow blizzard down their coats. But to be honest I don't know if the bailing was much better:

This was at the very end and if you can't tell by Carter's cheeks, he was BRRR cold!

Richy was very impressive with his mad "snowboarding" skills. At one point he rode a sled all the way down through the trees and off a jump.

Once we finished with our snow play, we figured we ought to get a tour of the hospital in so I would know where to go once I went into labor. Gook thing we did since our Hayden decided to make her grand entrance 3 days later.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Just Chillaxin at Home

This picture totally describes Carter since Baby Hayden has been home. A GREAT BIG BROTHER!! Matt and I could not be more proud of him.
The first day we brought her home, we asked Carter if he wanted to hold her. He said no because he might drop her. But the next day he changed his mind. He did an excellent job holding her and loved giving her hugs and kisses.

You can tell that Carter is just as enthralled with her as we are. He loves to sneak into whatever room she is sleeping in and watches her sleep.

This baby swing was generously given to us as a baby gift from the family I used to part-time nanny for. It is such a nice swing and Carter thinks she should be in it all the time - what kid wouldn't want to always be swinging?

Carter also thought she needed some toys to keep her company, so she has trucks, a ball, and a cell phone. Looks like the bases are covered.

This is Hayden sprawled out after her first bath at home. We had the heater on with the door shut to keep her warm and it felt like a sauna. We were laughing that she probably loved it so much because it felt very familiar to her since her first several days of life were spent in an incubator. We also got a good laugh at her in her newborn diaper. This will be a good picture to show her when she is older about how small she was.

Awww, the good life.

And we had to get a picture of Carter because he was our BIG HELPER during bath time. When she was all done and a little fussy during lotion time, he ran to get her binky and then he ran to get her diaper and then he ran to get her wipes. Each time very anxious to help. We told him we were so proud of what a BIG HELPER he was and he said very matter of factly, "Well, I just like to help." What a cutie he is. And what a trip to look at what used to be my "baby" next to my new tiny baby. He seems so grown up and old to me now. But that makes those times that he still lets me hold him on my lap that much more special.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Welcome Home Baby Hayden!!

Homecoming Day
December 26, 2009

We were so excited to get to the hospital and dress her in her coming home clothes and bring her HOME!

It was a trip to get her strapped into the car seat. We pulled those belts in as far as they could go I think. It is fun to have some of these same pictures that you took three years ago.

Hayden is preparing to take her first nap at home.

Pretty in Pink!

For being so scared and nervous to have a girl, can I just say I think having a girl is AWESOME!!

This is Sunday morning and Carter had to pose to show Grandma Bonnie how Dapper he looks in his new Christmas clothes she gave him. Thanks Grandma Bon!

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Since I have so many pictures and videos of Christmas morning, but I really want to get these last few days blogged especially to show pictures of Hayden I am going to just give a quick overview of Christmas and come back later and go into more detail.

The Nielsen family tradition like so many other families is to get pajamas on Christmas Eve. So here are the boys in their Christmas pajamas. I got Capri black "yoga" ones that I am excited about!
Our Christmas Tree after Santa and Mom and Dad left their presents.
Carter after his haul of gifts. He had a great time opening them all up. Thanks everyone for your sweet gifts.

Our "family" picture minus one. We were doing really well Christmas morning until this moment. Matt said, "Okay, time for a family picture." And then we paused and said except for Hayden. That was kind of a sad moment, but we were still glad to have the three of us here.

Then we got the greatest Christmas present of all. When we got to the hospital in the morning, Hayden was so awake and alert. Far more than she had been yet. She looked so beautiful in this knit hat that someone had made her. The NICU babies get presents from people all the time. It is so sweet!!

Our first family picture of four.
Since Carter refused to wash his hands or wear a mask (he had and has a cold) he wasn't able to enter the room where the babies are incubated. But there is a window there that Carter could look through to see Baby Hayden. We wanted to include Hayden on Christmas so we wrapped the blanket Bonnie and I made her and let Carter open it up for her.

Introducing Hayden Yvonne Nielsen

Hayden Yvonne Nielsen
December 22, 2009
3 weeks early to the day
5 lbs 9 oz, 18 inches long
11:51 pm
The First 24 hours:

The morning of the 22nd I awoke to find that I had "lost" my mucous plug. This means that you will usually have the baby with in the week. But I knew something was up soon afterwards. My contractions were just more intense but by no means more regular. With Carter my labor was 4 hours long so I was expecting another fast one and felt on guard all day because I knew I needed to get to the hospital ASAP as soon as labor was starting. That night our friends were going to visit one of Matt's co-residents who had a baby the day before. Since Carter and I had colds we didn't want to go, but I thought what a better place to go and walk and feel like I was in a safe environment to start true labor since I was feeling like I was in the early stages. So we went and I walked and walked and walked. While all of this was going on, Matt got out of the ER around 8 pm and came to meet me in the hallway (He was chief and on call at this time). Finally, by the time our friends came back to get us, I was pretty sure I was about to start true labor. So Matt and I walked into Labor and Delivery Registration to see if they would keep me. At this point I was still smiling and I could tell they were skeptical, but I knew my body. They took me in, hooked me up. Contractions were good. The OB resident checked me, I was a 4 and 80% effaced. BUT I still had 3 weeks to go, so they didn't know if they wanted to keep me. Dr. Logan (on call OB and my dr with the 1st half of my preg with Carter and tied for my all time favorite dr) came in the room and said we are keeping you! And sure enough next contraction brought on one of the wildest experiences of my life.

When the resident checked me it put my body into gear and I was in FULL-BLOWN labor around 9:30ish or so. The contractions were INTENSE and HURTING!! The only anesthesiologist was in a c-section but should be coming "soon." Long story short, he showed up at 11:20 after I had been in unbelievable pain for the last 2 hours and gave me my epidural around 11:25 or so. He warned me before that there was a good chance that it wouldn't be effective because I was progressing so fast. He was right. A few minutes after the epidural, Dr. Logan broke my water and a few minutes after that I felt Hayden get into position and I informed everyone quite authoritatively that it was time to push!! I pushed through 4 contractions. After the third she was crowned and I was told to stop pushing. Dr. Logan started stretching me as I was begging him and Matt to let me start pushing. I didn't know if I could handle this another moment. It was the most raw and intense pain I had ever been through. Next contraction I got her out on my second push. And the very next second, I realized I had just been through one of the most miraculous things I could ever experience. I had given birth to my child and had felt it all (I think the epidural took a tiny bit of the edge off, I guess I felt about 85% of it). It was amazing and I couldn't believe how 2 seconds afterwards I thought that I would do it all over again. Not that I would choose that again. I think I would go for an epidural on the next one (but I probably won't have time). So after 2 and 1/2 hours of labor our Beautiful Hayden came into the world and began to immediately bless our lives!! And Momma, came out of it feeling GREAT!!! Compared to my bad 3rd degree tear with Carter I felt like I could have gotten up and ran down the hallway after Hayden (no tear). That was a HUGE BLESSING!!!

These hands are amazing hands that we are so grateful for. They belong to our lactation consultant, Bob. Yes, Bob is a man AND a lactation consultant. He is known as Bob the Boob. He did wonders for Hayden and me. Carter fought breastfeeding every step of the way and I dreaded every feeding for 5 months. Now, thanks to Bob's help. Breastfeeding Hayden is the highlight of my day and I look forward to each one!

Hayden was born teeny tiny at 11:51pm by 6 am the next day, we were informed that Hayden needed to go down to the NICU. Her heart rate, temp and blood sugar were all low. She was a champ and was able to come home today, the 26th. While she was there, Matt and I learned what a special place the NICU is and how special the staff is there. Our hearts have grown for each and every person in there. In the picture above Matt is changing her diaper. That was quite a challenge doing it through those arm holes.

She was pretty sleepy those first couple days. We didn't really see her eyes until after her first 24 hours.
We love her and are SOOOO grateful she has come into our lives!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Carter's 3rd Birthday Party!

For months whenever I or someone else would ask Carter what he wanted on his Birthday Cake it was always, Trucks!! It was so fun to plan Carter's birthday party this year because Carter was very specific about what was important to him and what he wanted. He wanted a truck on his birthday cake, candles, balloons, and birthday hats. That isn't very hard to do. I couldn't decide where to do it at, but then Matt and I thought with it being the Holidays people would probably rather just take it easy than drive across town to Chuck E Cheese's or something of the like. And I am so glad that we did. It was a very simple party, but the adults seemed to have a good time with lots of laughs and the kids played great together just playing with Carter's toys.

The Table

Carter loved having Happy Birthday banners around the house. It made him feel so special. We had another banner with balloons in the family room.

A birthday hat and cheese pizza, what more could a kid ask for?!?

I was SOOO pleased with the way this cake turned out! With giving birth right around the corner I didn't want to put a lot of work on me so I decided to order a cake from Costco. When we went to Costco they didn't have the option of putting a truck on the cake so I asked the decorating lady what we could do and she said she would put a construction site on the top and then I sprinkled some crunched up graham crackers and put matchbox Tonka trucks on. It looked awesome! Also, when we were picking out the cake Carter made all the decisions. He wanted white cake, chocolate pudding filling, and white frosting. There was no thinking about it, that was exactly what he wanted (after I gave him the different choices that Costco offered). It turned out Super YUMMY!!

My FAVORITE picture of the whole night!!! Carter's face CRACKS ME UP!!!

Carter's buddies: (L) Linus, Oliver, Carter, Claire, and Issac. Thanks for coming guys! And what a good sport Claire was being the only girl at a truck birthday party.


You can't tell so much in this picture, but Matt was dishing out these Humongous pieces of cake. It was a little ridiculous. The sad thing is, I ate my whole piece, but I am eating for two, right?

Yum, Yum. I'm full! As you can see, Carter isn't a huge cake fan. He ate his ice cream (Neapolitan, his favorite) and the icing off the top of the cake.

Present time! He got Moon Sand from Oliver that comes with a cement truck that you can make bricks from.

A cool flashing star ball from Claire. Issac thinks that looks pretty sweet.

Color Wonder finger paints from Issac. Gotta love Color Wonder!!

Linus gave Carter two Mighty Machines DVDs (which he has already watched and loved), a "Once Upon a Potty" book (also a gift to Mom and Dad), and a monster truck.

And Dad was pretty set on getting him yet another Geo Trax train set, the Timbertown Railway set. It was pretty cute and Carter had a good time playing with it. Plus, you can't beat the quality of Geo Trax.

Dad likes playing with it, too!

Grandma Karen and Grandpa Craig gave him two story books and a check for his savings account.
Grandma Bon and Grandpa Jay gave him race tracks for matchbox cars and he has loved them. The two videos below are us playing with them.
Also, Granparent's if you are wanting to see your "bribed" conversations with Carter go to our youtube page and you can see them there. They are kind of long and would be most enjoyed by you.