Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Clara, 3-6 months old

Clara at 3-6 mos:
Clara must be a happy baby because she has the cutest smile now! It took awhile to get that smile going, but we knew it was there. We could see her trying and her eyes lighting up. Once she was smiling, she was also giggling. There is not a more precious sound than that of a new baby giggling. It makes everything seem right in the world! As much as Tucker and I make absolutely fools of ourselves to get her to smile or laugh, it's Roman, Capri and Karoline that really get her going.
Gone are the skinny chicken legs and scrawny arms. Now we have some serious chub moving in and we can't stop squeezing, pinching, and kissing that girl. I can hardly stop myself from biting those chunky thighs, they are that yummy!
Just when I thought she couldn't get any cuter, Clara started sucking her thumb. We thought she was going to be our first baby to take a binky, but once she tried that chubby thumb of hers, she didn't want anything to do with it. 
At four months, we started sleep training her. She has been our hardest baby to train, but I think part of the problem is us. The mom and dad who see her as our last baby and why not go in and get her? As soon as we were consistent, as hard as it was, she started sleeping great. She would be down at 8:00, up at 5:00am for a bottle, but would fall right back asleep til 7:30 or so. The best was when she would fall asleep after her early morning bottle and I would just lay her on my chest while I soaked it all in. Love her.
Clara still likes the swing and really pays attention to the music and mobile above. The bumbo is getting scary as she can twist and turn to try to get out and gets way too close. She just started using the exersaucer/bouncer and seems to like being vertical.

Stats from her 4 month appt:
Height-25.5 inches placing her in the 75th percentile
Weight-15.8 lbs placing her in the 85th percentile
Head Circumference-16.5 inces placing her in the 50th percentile
A growing baby girl!

In the baby bjorn once again for a hike near Draper:
 Getting as many of those 1st precious smiles on camera as we can!
Out of the tub:
 Showing off her rolls!
 Karoline thought Clara needed some company during her nap...
 Her 4 month onesie picture is full of chub and smiles!
Starting the drooling phase:
 Loving that thumb! This was actually kind of sad. She was so tired playing on the floor that she eventually just put herself to sleep as I was doing laundry.
Her jumping play time in the exersaucer!
 We started the solids late but it was worth it, she did great her first time!
 And her 6 month onesie pic...even more chub and still all smiles!

I just can't get enough of Miss Chub Chub!

1st Day of School, 1st Day of School!

Roman and Capri started 1st grade and Karoline started preschool this year…kind of a big deal. Roman and Capri started school in August and have the cutest teacher, Mrs. Masson. We were questioning the idea of having them in the same class, but I am so glad we chose to keep them together. They love their teacher, she loves them, they have the same homework, and they haven't shown any dependency on one another which is great. It's a good thing for everyone.
In crazy mom fashion, I didn't have enough time to snap any real pictures of these kids on their real first day. Hence the quick camera phone picture above. So, the next day I took the pictures below in front of the house as tradition dictates...
Love these twins of mine!

Karoline started in September at South Jordan Montessori with Miss Carol, Miss Nicole and Miss Angie. She goes with her two best buddies, London and Sarah. I couldn't be more thrilled with this preschool. They are absolutely amazing with these little ones. They have to be considering it's four days a week, three hours a day. I was so hesitant about Karoline being away that much (I knew I would miss her!), but she needed it. I am just way too boring for her now and so when the kids are off at school, she wants to be too! She feels so big going to school and loves her teachers and new friends.
Each student is required to greet the teacher by shaking their hand, looking at them in the eye, and responding to their greeting and question. Here is Karoline's first attempt with Miss Angie.
 These girls excited to meet their new teacher.
 This kind of makes me sad, me and my koko.
 These girls could not be cuter...seriously.


Last summer was especially nice when hanging poolside. I was thrilled to hear that Swimkids was coming to Herriman for the summer. They truly are the best swimming lessons available and I have been so impressed with their teaching. However, driving to Holladay was a pain and I couldn't keep it up. So when I heard they were hosting lessons at someone's home in Herriman, I jumped at the opportunity. It meant taking a 2 week old baby out each day, multiple times a week, but Clara was a champ, of course. Unfortunately, trying to breastfeed a newborn baby during swimming lessons meant a serious lack of pictures. Sorry kids!
Roman and Capri continued to progress in their swimming technique. They both worked hard on their front crawl with proper breathing, dolphin kicks, breast stroke (who knew that one was so tricky if done correctly?!), and diving. Roman even started on learning butterfly and by the end could do it better than I ever could! Capri really got her confidence up and by the end was racing Roman the length of the pool.

Karoline was a star. Literally. She was an excellent star holding her legs and arms out and her chin up. She could float on her back no problem and so her teacher knew she was ready to move on. Next up are "painting rainbows" where you float on your back, then take one arm and "paint a rainbow" as they flip over, face down. That way they can learn to float on their backs, flip over, and then swim to the teacher. I was so proud of her and the progress she made!
Lifetime Pool…a bit of heaven for this momma. I love taking the kids to the gym, working out, and then taking them to the pool. I knew it would be a bit different this summer with baby Clara, but she was never a problem. That brilliant bassinet and stroller kept her out of the sun and provided the perfect napping station. Tucker and I would take turns with the older kids and Clara. Thank goodness our older kids do so well in the water making that arrangement doable.
Our routine includes swimming for an hour or so, eating lunch poolside, swimming some more, and then packing up. It works so nicely for our family and I can't wait til next summer...
Lifetime doesn't allow any photos being taken at the pool...lame. These were a few I sneaked on my phone...

Photoshoot of the kids in July '13

It is truly the best to have an awesome photographer for a sister-in-law! I was telling Elizabeth that I didn't get any great pictures of Clara on her blessing day and so Elizabeth offered to take some. I pushed it even further and ended up having her do a full photoshoot of all of the kids, the girls, and then some of just Clara. So happy we did this! The pictures turned out beautifully and I ended up using them for Clara's birth announcements.
Here are just a few of my very favorites...
Karoline was just killing us with her cuteness!

 Love the shoes and the tan little legs...
 Such beautiful girls...
 A very proud Mini Mom and her new baby sister:
And then we finally got Roman in the mix and we got a pretty cute shot of all 4...I could not be more blessed!

Baby Clara (0-3 months)

Clara was such a good newborn. Her favorite place to be was cuddled right up on your chest. She would literally nestle her way in and snuggle and I couldn't get enough. None of my other kids were snuggle bugs like Clara so it really has been a treat. Tucker and I were talking about one of our favorite things about newborns is how they stick their bum out with their legs tucked right under when you pick them up. Nothing better. I just want to squeeze her and that tiny bum of hers!
The older kids absolutely love her. Even Karoline, who was pretty timid at first, is all over this baby and Clara is taking it as well as can be expected. It's actually been really fun to see Capri turn into Mommy's little helper. She is always willing to grab a diaper or blanket, she loves to hold her oh so carefully, and she talks to her constantly.
We started traveling with this little one at just ten days old and she is such a trooper! She was a breeze in California and loved being in the baby bjorn. We take her swimming, hiking, and even camping-crazy, but she was no problem. Just the day to day of having three older siblings and busy, busy schedules, Clara has learned to just go with the flow.
One week in particular was bad. She was only a month old and we were dealing with end-of-year school activities, Koko getting her tonsils out, Tucker out of town, and Koko getting her tonsils out. It was then that I decided to stop breastfeeding. I just couldn't do it and stay sane. But of course this sweet baby Clara of mine took the bottle no problem, as nasty as that formula tastes. 
If she does get fussy, all you need to do is hold her up right in front of you and gently bounce her in the air. It is quite the arm workout but works every time. She also loves being sung to, her favorite being "You Are My Sunshine." 
She still wakes up multiple times in the night which is pretty torturous for me, but hopefully we can catch up on some zzzs soon.
Clara loves her swing and bouncer seat and now she can sit up in the bumbo. She loves it!
Clara sleeping at 2 weeks old. One of those moments where they look so precious, you think about waking them up!
 Her first bath was taken in the Puj tub and she loved it!
Her favorite spot on Mommy's chest:
One of three girls now...

Koko "holding" Clara:
The kids just adore her!
One of her first smiles on camera, pretty dang cute.
At six weeks old in California. Aunt Elizabeth took this one!
 And now some month to months pics...
 I love that tongue...it's just a bit too big for her mouth so it is often hanging out!
 Starting to see some real chub...

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Nielsons first family campout

We did it. We went camping...overnight. We have put this off year after year not wanting to bother with little kids sleeping in a tent, getting dirty, getting cold...it just sounded miserable. And yet there we were, camping with a 2 month old. Were we crazy? Maybe, but it actually turned out really fun!
The Fords have their family property and invited us and the Ross' up for an overnighter. It was perfect because we had a tent already set up for us (thank you to Cody's parents), a bathroom, and delicious food prepared by Cody's mom-can you even call that camping? The kids were beyond excited about sleeping in a tent, playing with their friends and cousins, and exploring the great outdoors...
The kids had flashlights and were playing some imaginative game that kept them busy for quite some time...
Sitting around the campfire making s'mores...my favorite.
The kids have never been so willing to go to bed-they loved getting in their new sleeping bags, in a tent, with flashlights hanging above...

We had so much fun with the archery...it was a hoot!
And everyone loves a ride on this thing...

Love these girls!
Capri as happy as can be on the horse swing:
And Clara asleep and snug in the bjorn...
Such a fun little trip!