Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Little Fort Building

We had another fun day with the boys today, and ended it with some web-camming with Mommy, Daddy and Uncle Tim. Sadly (although hilarious at the same time), Micah fell off the couch while talking to them. He was unharmed, but startled by it and really wanted Mommy. While it was nice to see her through the computer, he wanted the real thing. We finally had to say goodbye, which brought even more sobs, so it was Uncle Nolan to the rescue. While Josiah and I made a paper chain to count down the days until Mommy and Daddy come home, Nolan pulled up Dora the Explorer on Netflix online (we've watched a lot of Dora lately), and began to build a fort around Micah. After bath time, both boys needed their own forts to watch one final episode of Word World. All that to say, the night ended with smiles.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Storybook Land with Josiah and Micah

Josiah and Micah are staying with us for a few nights while Dan and Anna are in Maryland for the Army/Navy game (go Navy!). We'll hand them off to Anna's parents on Sunday after church. The boys have been great!

Some cute quotes:
-I picked up Micah Wednesday evening, so it was just him with me and Nolan that night. On Thursday we went to pick up Josiah after school, and when Micah realized we were getting Josiah he shouted, "I misseded Josiah!"
-Today we were on our way to drop Josiah off for school, and Josiah said, "I want to show you my teacher." I pointed out that that means I'd have to walk him into school instead of just dropping off at the door. "Oh, then how about next time. " I told him, "This is the only time I'm dropping you off at school. Do you want me to walk in with you?" He replied, "My head is telling me no, but I really want to show you my teacher." Finally he decided it was ok to have me walk in with him.

We thought it would be fun to go through Christmas Storybook Land at the fair grounds here in Albany. We weren't quite sure what it was all about, except that it was free and could be fun. The freezing rain hit right before we headed out, so we kind of ice skated in and ice skated out. Nolan was great and held both boys' hands so I wouldn't worry about getting pulled down. We were all bundled up and had a great time! The boys were so fun to watch as they ran from one display to the next. The whole thing was a winding path (indoors, thankfully) with all sorts of displaya for different stories--classic nursery rhymes to Disney movies to current cartoons. And at the end of it all--Santa! The boys were so excited to see Santa, and of course, told him they want StarWars toys for Christmas.

Hope Mommy and Daddy are having as much fun as we are!

In front of a Nutcracker at the beginning.

The four of us in front of the big Teddy Bear display.

Little buddies in front of the Teddy Bear Carousel. They were so excited about everything they saw.

Josiah pointing out the Lion King display to Micah, "Micah, it's your favorite!"

In front of the "Cars" display. Micah especially liked this one.

And they both were thrilled to see Sponge Bob.

Sitting on Santa's lap. Micah was very apprehensive before getting on his lap, and looked completely serious (and almost scared) until we told them to smile for the camera. We shuffled back out to the car and the enjoyed warming up with hot chocolate at home while watching Dora (or Dura as the boys say) the Explorer. This made me excited to make Christmas Storybook Land a tradition once Jace is old enough.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree!

We headed out the day after Thanksgiving for our annual tree hunt at Volsted Family Farms here in Albany. It was our fastest, happiest, easiest (aside from the tree lifting part) tree hunt yet! I had it pretty easy since the pregnancy makes me exempt from heavy lifting. I'm so thankful to have such a strong husband! Maybe next year we'll have to take Uncle Mike along to help carry the tree.

Nolan in his rain gear from work. We learned quickly a few years ago that this can help make laying on the ground under the tree to cut it down much more pleasant. I think he looks cute in his rain gear :)

On the wagon ride out to the tree lot. Volsted's is huge with two very large tree lots!

Nolan with our beautiful tree! We got a Nordman for the second year in a row.

Me with the tree. Crazy to think next year we'll have a visible baby with us!

We loved having the Pilot with a roof rack to tie the tree onto. In the past we've had to use Nolan's work truck.
The final product. Notice that Nolan has already bought and wrapped two gifts for me. I once told him that I think every Christmas tree looks better with presents under it, so he's always quick to put some under our tree. Such a sweet husband.
On a baby note--Jace is growing nicely and has a great heart rate. He enjoys pushing and wiggling, and especially likes to push his little rear out.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

November Happenings

Here's Nolan and both cats... they LOVE joining either of us on the recliner. Tonight while Nolan was trying to use his laptop Wylie joined him first (on the left). Wylie understands that with the laptop there, it's best to sit beside it. Sophie, on the other hand, isn't quite as respectful and loves to sit on bellies (which isn't always so fun for me).
Here I am at 29 weeks. This baby just keeps growing! I'm pretty sure he's tap dancing in there with full arm swings. I could definitely tell when the third trimester hit... suddenly I'm much more tired and much less comfortable.
We've been going to birth class on Monday nights (fun side note--our instructor went to our family's church when I was little and remembered our family). Here's all the dads. Last week I realized that Michelle Obama's brother and his wife are in our class (he's the basketball coach for OSU). He's the tall guy in the middle of this picture. Last night was the last class until we have a reunion after all the babies are born.

All the mommies, lined up from due the soonest to latest. our class was large because this is the last one for anyone due in January or February to take, so we had three months of due dates represented.

And, on another great note, we sold the Corolla exactly one week after listing it!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Car Swap!

For the past year, we've been watching the prices of used Toyota Highlanders and Acura MDXs. We knew eventually we'd like to upgrade the Corolla to an SUV, but weren't sure when that would be a real option. As our due date gets closer (and with paying off both our cars in August!), we started watching prices more closely, and talking about why upgrading would be important. One of the biggest factors was wanting more seating--after all, we're going to need room to still haul Dan and Anna's kids when we watch them (in fact, when we told Josiah we were pregnant, he wasn't too happy, and we're pretty sure it was because he didn't know how they'd fit in our car with a baby too), so we wanted an SUV with third row seating. I also was concerned about how my back would handle lowering a car seat into the backseat, considering just one weekend of putting Cami in her seat could make me hurt. And there were other factors like wanting an automatic, sitting higher for driving on the freeway, and a better winter time car.

The search got serious last week, and we ended up finding a great deal on a 2004 Honda Pilot (which got added to the list after researching them). It's great to drive and I'm excited for the day when I get to drive it on a regular basis (when Jace comes), but for now, I'll be driving the Solara because it gets better gas mileage.

We just listed my Corolla on Craigslist tonight, and already have an interested OSU grad student! It'll be sad to say goodbye to my car... she's been a good one! But I'm very excited to have upgraded to what Nolan calls, a "mom" car.

"Lola" the Corolla... she was a great car!

The new Pilot... I'm not sure it has enough personality yet for a name.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

So Much to Be Thankful For!

Our ultrasound went well yesterday--Jace was very cooperative and didn't cover his face at all! The tech was able to point out to us that Jace's lip was complete and showed us how there would be a black line if Jace had cleft lip. And then we just got the call from our doctor that after looking at three different angles, it looks like Jace's palate is complete as well! So, unless there's a surprise when he's born, it looks like he doesn't have any clefting.

We're praising God for it. I'd rather give God the glory and say He healed my child than blame it on a faulty first ultrasound. And I know that God is going to use all this knowledge we've gained about it for a reason.

It's actually kind of strange to think of Jace as not having a cleft now. For the past four weeks, the entire time I've been able to identify him as a boy and with his name, I've envisioned him with cleft lip and palate. My looking forward to the future with him always involved a cleft. When I looked at pictures of babies, my mind would then imagine that same child with a cleft lip. I embraced the cleft possibility, knowing it would be better for me to be ready for that result rather than so hopeful that it wouldn't be there that the news of a cleft would be devastating. So now, it's almost like there's a different child inside of me. I am thrilled his lip and palate are complete. I am so thankful that he won't have to have the surgeries. But I would have loved him just the same regardless of the outcome from this ultrasound.

I've already been asked if we're still keeping the name Jace, and the answer is yes. We chose that name because it meant healer, and I know that God healed him. I've been so blessed by all the notes of encouragement from our friends and family. This experience has meant my child has been lifted up in prayer more than he would have been otherwise. I'm just sure God has great plans for his life, and if it's to be a healer in relationships with other people, then this name must stay. And who knows, maybe he'll be a very rough and tumble little boy who gets hurt a lot!

Thank you for all your prayers! God is good!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Just a few days away...

We go in Monday for the ultrasound to see if Jace has cleft lip/cleft palate. From what I've read, we're more likely to see the lip than the palate. We are confident that Jace's lip and palate will be exactly as God intends them to be, and aren't worried about the results of the ultrasound. Our biggest prayer request at this time is that Jace won't cover his mouth or pull the umbilical cord to his face (like last time) or decide to be stubborn and sleep with his back to us (like last time). Thanks for all your support and prayers!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

This and That

Toby climbs in Nolan's lap every chance he gets. It used to be that he'd put his head and front two paws in Nolan's lap and then slowly sneak the back two up (just sure no one noticed). Now, when Nolan's in the recliner, Toby takes a running leap. He's still sneaky on the couch though. You can see how much Toby loves his Nolan. Such a different dog than the one we brought home six months ago!

My friend, Becca, asked me to make her a diaper bag for her son Israel. Here's the final product:
I'm excited to make a bag for Jace. I've had some really cute fabric for a boy's bag for a long time now and am excited to get to use it for myself! Here's the inside of Becca's bag (it's kind of hard to see, but there are a bunch of pockets):

Toby's been looking like a shaggy Muppet for a little while now, so yesterday he was taken in for some grooming! Of course, he was very nervous, but the girls at the groomers thought he was so sweet. Here he is with his long ears, tail and legs pre-grooming:
And here he is post grooming. Nolan thinks his ears make him look like a 6 year old girl with a bob hair cut
And finally, a belly picture! Here I am at 21 weeks along

We're less than 2 weeks away from finding out if Jace has cleft lip/cleft palate. Nolan and I both have a real peace about knowing that God is in control. I've done so much research online and have become so familiar with cleft palate/cleft lip. In my mind, he has it. But that's not to say I won't celebrate BIG TIME if he doesn't. Last week I was home sick one day and found a blog of a family who's 2 year old daughter has cleft lip and cleft palate. You can find their blog here. I spent the whole day reading all 2 years worth of posts. It began with watching a video of Adalynn's "first face." I cried tears of joy through the whole thing because of how beautiful she is. I loved being able to follow their journey through surgeries and what it takes to care for a child with CP.
Thank you so much for all the encouraging notes we've received! Please continue to pray for Jace--especially that this ultrasound we have coming up would reveal enough for our doctor to be conclusive about him either having it or not having it.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Introducing Jace John Nelson

We had our ultrasound last Wednesday. It was incredible to see the baby moving around and find out it's a boy! He was nice and cooperative while the technician took all his measurements, but once she was ready to get the picture shots, he put his arm over his head and fell asleep. When the tech tried waking him up (had me roll over, jiggled my tummy a lot, etc) he just curled up in a ball and rolled over with his back to us. I guess we have a good sleeper on our hands!

His heart and brain and limbs look like they're developing just fine. He size is right where it needs to be for how far along I am. But our doctor called the day after the ultrasound saying that when she took a look at it, they saw that he might have a small cleft lip/cleft palate, if one at all. So we're going back in for another ultrasound on October 5 to hopefully get a better look. She's thinking that a month of growth will help them see clearly if he has it or not. We're glad to hear that it isn't distinct enough or big enough for her to be conclusive at this time (from what I've read online, you can spot cleft lip as early as 16 weeks, and this ultrasound happened at 19 weeks). So we're hoping and praying that 1) if he has it, God might heal it before the next ultrasound or by time he's born, 2) he doesn't have it, or 3) if he does have it, we're praising God for medical advances and what they're able to do for this these days!

Cleft Lip/Cleft Palate is most common in boys, and 1 in 700 babies born in the US has it. So it's much more common than we thought it was. This in itself is a testimony to what a great job doctors are doing with it, in that you'd never realize how many people have had it.

If he does have it, we'll get set up with a team from Dornbechers up in Portland. Cleft lip is typically repaired when they are 10 weeks to 3 months old, and cleft palate repaired by 9 months old. So while it's so treatable, he could still have quite a first year of surgeries in store for him (and potentially many more surgeries ahead of him if it’s cleft palate).

All this made me REALLY want him to have a name already--to give him more of an identity. And I wanted his name to mean something, since he'll have so much to face at first. I started looking through names that meant things like strong, God heals, etc. Finally, we decided on "Jace" (which comes from Jason, but that won't be his name). Jace means healer, and on some websites, it also meant God is Sovereign. Both fit well we thought. Plus, Nolan loved that it's unique, since he likes names that he hasn't really heard before. So as of now, baby's name will be Jace John Nelson (Nolan’s middle name is John, it’s also his father and grandfather’s name).

We really have an incredible peace about the whole thing. I’m so thankful for a doctor who’s thorough and spotted this. From what I’ve read, not all doctor’s catch it. What a blessing to be able to know what we’re heading into and to be prepared for it! We're sad for the pain he could potentially face at such a young age, but at least he won't remember it as he gets older.

He'll be beautiful no matter what. And I'm just sure, if he does have cleft palate/lip, he'll be a much stronger person because of it.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Just A Little Update

We're so happy the major heat wave is over (although we really didn't suffer much, only being exposed to the heat as we walked from our air conditioned house to our air conditioned cars to our air conditioned offices). I'm also feeling affirmed in our choice not to go to Latvia as I'm still feeling pretty crummy in the evenings, and still throw up about 2-3 times a week.

On an exciting note--Nolan was able to go with me to my doctor's appointment today and we heard the baby's heartbeat again. The nurse commented that it was a much deeper tone than most babies, so it must be a boy. Nolan is saying that either gender, it has such a strong heart, it'll be a football player some day.

September 9 will be the day to find out whether we're having a boy or a girl. Hard to believe we're only five weeks away!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A-Slippin'-and-a-slidin' with the Steiner Kids!

My sister-in-law, Anna, is on a mission trip in Mexico, so we're watching the kids for the weekend to give my brother a break (especially since he goes to church early on Sundays!). Uncle Nolan thought that it might be fun if we got a slip-n-slide instead of just running through the sprinklers... so after trips to three stores, we finally found one! The boys were so excited to use it. We now know why the recommended age is 5 and up. It took quite a few tries before Josiah finally mastered what you're supposed to do, and Micah finally just figured out how to slide on his knees. They still loved it though!

Cami didn't feel like playing in the water. Instead she had fun with Toby's leash, looking at the flowers, and going up and down the step.
Josiah finally figured out how to run and slide!

Micah finally figured out how to at least slide on his knees!

Micah wanted his towel wrapped around his waist

We set up the crib we got for our baby in the guest room, hoping Cami might respond better to it than the pack and play at nap time. She didn't, so we let the boys take their nap in our room instead of listening to her cry. When I came upstairs later, they were cuddled up like this, sound asleep!

We had a fun afternoon, then we had a nice evening at church, came home and all three kids had a blast playing with Toby in the backyard. It's so nice to have them not be scared of him anymore!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

He Passed!!!

Nolan finally received his results today from the exam he took in April to become a Professional Engineer! And, as I knew all along, he passed!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Our Exciting News

On Sunday, May 24, Nolan and I found out that we're going to have a baby!!! We're very excited. We immediately got on the computer and used the web cam to chat with my parents (which also meant calling Dan and Anna and their clan on speaker phone so Grandma could hear the reaction). That was followed by calls to Nolan's parents and all the other Nelsons.

Today I had our first ultrasound and was able to see the baby's heart beat. Turns out we're just at six weeks, so it's a blessing to be able to see the heart beat already. Our due date is officially set for February 1. I'm sure it'll go by quickly!

Dad took pictures of Tim's laptop as they chatted with us.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Wylie is always entertaining

Wylie decided to wake Jill up this morning by crashing against the blinds at our front door. She investigated and found that Wylie was very interested in the neighbor cat that was on our front porch.

Wylie sees a friend from Nolan Nelson on Vimeo.

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Very Beachy Post

We've been having a nice spring. Nolan survived his test and I'm sure he passed it (even though we won't know the results until late June/July). I had a great birthday, especially going to the beach with Anna and the kids the next day! And we enjoyed celebrating our anniversary at the Hallmark Resort in Newport last weekend. It was so much fun to be able to take Toby with us. Poor thing, though, he gets carsick, so the trip over wasn't without challenges. We stopped once because he was drooling so much in an effort to calm him down. Then we stopped again when he threw up. And then we stopped for about an hour because there was an accident and they weren't letting traffic through. At least we were able to let Toby out (on his leash of course), and Nolan was able to get wireless signal on his laptop! It was nice for him to be able to check how long detours would take and be reassured that we were doing the right thing in just waiting for them to clear the road. We finally made it to Newport and had a great time!

Cami ate what might have been her first Oreo on our way to the coast!
I could get her to smile, just not look at the camera!
Micah playing in the sand
Josiah climbing
Nolan checking Map quest on our way to the beach
We were too late to get a nice dinner, so we settled for McDonald's instead
Toby standing in the wind outside our hotel. We had him on a 16 ft. retractable leash, so he felt free
The view from our room
Introducing Toby to the beach. He likes to stand against us
Happily Married!