Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Photo Dump.

Busy, busy, busy!! Here are some photos of what we've been up to lately.



Easter
Bubbles!


Open mouth kisses
Still willing to give kisses

Eating toes
Removing Niko's pants and putting them on herself
Playing nicely in Myra's room.  Can you find them?
Wagon rides
Bonding
He does this when I say "Hello?"

Can't forget Rowdy!
Loving her curls!
Family yoga.  Too lazy to rotate I guess.

Yoga
Quick photo before one of the very rare instances where I woke him up
Wearing Niko's sleep sack, with a diaper cover over it, while sucking on the cover for cooking spray.
Fixing teeth
St. Patrick's Day

Walking any chance we get.  And Niko removes socks any chance he gets.
Home Depot project days.

"I made this!"

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Niko at One.

I can't believe it's been a year since Niko was born.  Well, a year and almost two weeks now, whoops.  To read the excitement of his birth story, click here.  For specifics on the birth photography (amazing), click here.

A lot has changed in the last year, but a few things stick out to me that haven't.  Niko still loves to snuggle and be held.  Not all the time anymore, but at least a couple times a day.  When he nurses, he likes to hold my hand.  I remember on day 0, that was the only way he'd eat.  He likes most anyone, and gets so excited when he sees Trevor, but he has a special soft spot for his mama.



Once again, I don't know how to put my kid into words.  This has been a big year for us.  Niko himself has been really easy on us, but the rest of life has kept us on our toes.  Besides liking to be held...a lot (who could blame him?)...Niko has been very easygoing from day one.  He is the happiest baby ever!


Playing at ECFE open gym on his actual birthday
Lately, he has become a big fan of clapping, to include clapping games (the "Niko's here today" chant from ECFE) and anywhere we hear a round of applause he just lights up.  He also thinks he is pretty cool when he does "so big!" and Myra likes to get him to do it, too.  He loves to throw his food on the floor which is obnoxious and messy.  Niko knows what he likes, so he usually picks out the stuff he doesn't want to eat and throws that, then eats the good stuff.  He really seems to like yogurt and Italian food (pizza, spaghetti).  I have started making more smoothies because the kids both love them and they're great for calories and fitting in some nutrition.  Niko weighed the same on his birthday as he did six weeks earlier, though he has had some illness in between.  He's also very fast with the crawling and much more active lately.  Not really worried about his weight, just like to make sure he's getting enough calories--plus it seems to help him sleep better!


As of his first birthday, he was nursing four times a day and if he woke at night (once, sometimes twice, but quickly so whatever).  Since then, I have eliminated two of those day time nursing sessions, so it's just morning and bedtime and if he wakes at night, which he's been doing less.  Bonus: he is less distracted these days.  I can actually nurse him while sitting down and sometimes I can do it with other chaos going on.  For so long, I'd have to pace around and even then sometimes he would get distracted.  Now it doesn't even really matter since I don't nurse throughout the day anymore.

Niko loves to crawl and pull up on stuff.  He has stood independently for a few seconds a handful of times.  Six teeth have poked through, minimal drama there.  He says "mama" and "dada" for us, on top of lots of other babbling.  He loves to hear his own echo ("AH! AH!")  Today he seemed to be saying "ba ba ba" for book.  Speaking of books, his favorite thing to do is pull all the books off the bookshelf over and over.  He's very tolerant of Myra holding him, burping him, and a variety of other things he outgrew a while ago that she still enjoys doing.  Sometimes he even enjoys it, too.

Saying Mama then thinking he's pretty funny.

Myra reading Niko his bedtime book.

Niko on his birthday!
We had a really fun dual birthday party.  For the last three years we have basically kept it to our immediate families and godparents, but I still wasn't about to plan that twice in less than three weeks.  And I didn't want to try and fit everyone in our house, so we found a great indoor playground nearby and it was a great time!




Attempts at a group photo...
I'm so excited to see what the next year brings.  Trevor and I recently went through and watched a bunch of videos of Myra as a one year old and got all sentimental about some of the ways she used to pronounce things ("I Yuh You" for I love you), but it really does just keep getting better.  I'm not one to rush through stages, but I will be excited when walking comes (crawling is not my favorite stage) and the morning nap goes away.  Everyone is happier when we don't mess with our kids' sleep, but honoring naps can get pretty restricting.  It won't last forever, I know, so I try to enjoy the quiet for now.

Niko fell asleep being rocked in ECFE sibling care
If you haven't met Niko, maybe you should.  He's cheerful, fun, silly, and that big grin is contagious.  Niko been the perfect addition to our family, slipped right in like he was always there just like so many people told me would happen.

I love you, buddy! We are so looking forward to getting to know you more.


Friday, February 5, 2016

Birth Photography.

Angie Knutson Photography
Angie Knutson Photography
Angie Knutson Photography

When I was pregnant with Myra, I did not know birth photography was a thing.  Had I known, my mind likely would have immediately gone to "cervical paparazzi."  NO, thank you.  Pass.  And that's fine.  Trevor and I were both there, we remember, and he got some photos.  We have photos of her all slimy and wrinkly and on my chest and the scale.  Trevor did a great job being there for me, taking it all in, and doing the best he could to get some photos.




When we become a thing, we have an instant common ground with most other people who are also that thing.  Upon becoming a parent, I became part of this club of other parents and this whole new world of conversation topics opened up.  Thrilling topics, really, like how to get your baby to fart and how to appropriately get puke out of car seat straps.  The first many times I heard people talk about birth photographers, I don't think I even paid attention.  Immediate NOPE.  But then I actually saw some photos.  These photos, to be specific.



More photos from this friend's birth here.  Photo credit to Jessica of Family Way Birth.  This friend's baby was born about a week after Myra, so it would be a long time before I would need to consider birth photography myself, but these photos really stuck with me.

Somewhere along the way, I stumbled upon a local photographer, Angie Knutson, on Instagram (@angieknutsonphotography) and started following her.  Then, one day, when I was pregnant with Niko, she posted this video.



And I was sold.  I commented saying I was interested, thought about it, mentioned it to Trevor (who was still mostly in the "that's weird" camp), then actually emailed her.  My first email asked for some basic info and by my second email I was already telling Angie all about my first labor and current placenta.  If anything noteworthy came up at doctor's appointments, I emailed her.  So many "right on track, but who knows what that really means!" emails.  I wish I still had all the texts from the day he was born.  I think she got more updates than anyone, understandably so.  I mean, we hired her to capture all the special moments leading up to, including, and following baby's arrival, so she had to know what the heck was going on.  If you want the play by play of the day Niko actually arrived, and when Angie came into the picture, check out his birth story here.

Anyway, the whole point of this is to show you all, many of whom know our family personally, how incredible these photos are.  I don't think the beauty of birth photography would have struck me in quite the same way had I not seen photos from someone I knew first.  Birth photography isn't for everyone, but I would strongly suggest considering it, and doing so early on.  Some photographers take on more than others, but any birth photographer can only do so many.  Being on call and available to take photos at any time and for as long as it takes sounds exhausting.  Babies come when they want to come, there's so much unpredictability involved.  It was so nice for Trevor to not have to worry about where the camera or phone was and just be there with me and our new baby.  We knew we'd have great pictures, but didn't have to think about them at all.  For the most part, we didn't even notice Angie was there.  Seriously.  Other brand new baby options are Fresh 48 and Newborn sessions.  The rest of these photos were all taken by AKP.  I really did try to limit the photos here, but there are so many incredible moments captured, it was difficult.  I didn't even include any of the grandparents meeting Niko.  And no, Angie isn't bribing me to write all this, we were simply that impressed with how it went.

Enjoying my epidural.
Seeing this picture brings back so many vivid memories.  The ponytail Trevor put in for me because my hair was pissing me off.  The panicky "I NEED A FAN RIGHT THIS SECOND" feeling.  How hard I felt like I was pushing, for what felt like days (12 minutes people, 12 minutes...).  The big jumble of other random feelings like nervous, anxious, excited, will my baby be okay?


The look on his face as he realized, and told me, IT'S A BOY!

We were one.
Getting acquainted with our son.
First time feeding him.
The first time Trevor held Niko.
The first time Myra laid eyes on her baby brother.






Those fresh little toes.

You can also follow Angie on Facebook here.  What can I say, I'm a fangirl.
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