Sunday, October 28, 2012

It's a Girl!

I've already posted it on my other blog and instagram, but I can't keep a family scrapbook without including some of the happiest news I've ever received—another pregnancy! And a GIRL, no less!

Even though a lot of people were asking, I didn't tell any of my local friends exactly when the ultrasound was (Thursday, October 25), because I knew I would need a little time to process afterward. My heart has, of course, always longed for a girl. On the other hand, the longer I get to know my boys, the more I adore them. BUT, I also knew I was going to have to gear up for a third boy, if that were the case. Toddler boys are buuuusy...and loud!

The point is—I was praying for peace no matter the gender, and by the time the ultrasound finally came around (seriously, it felt like forever), I really did feel at peace with either.

Then, during the ultrasound, the tech initially said the baby looked "girl-ish"; she wasn't quite sure yet. Ryan said later he was thinking, "That will not do for Erica!" But even in that moment—with the possibility that we wouldn't know for certain—I still felt peace. As the appointment progressed, the tech became more and more confident that it was a girl, and the radiologist confirmed that it was "definitely a girl!"

It literally took a few days to sink in. I guess it still is! Pulling out the little set of girl clothes that I have helped it feel more real. With Trenton, we chose not to find out the gender, because we had absolutely no preference either way. I still treasure getting to hear Ryan say "It's a boy!" in the delivery room.

But the strange thing about not finding out the gender is that for 40 weeks, you imagine your baby as either a boy or girl. In a way, you imagine it as both. After I had Trenton, it took me a couple of months to put away the small set of girl clothes I had accumulated—not because I was disappointed in the slightest with having a boy first, but simply because I still wanted the little girl I had imagined as being a part of our family. (Reading this, I realize it may not make sense to anyone but me. Heavens, I doubt it makes sense to Ryan! But it's a part of my motherhood journey, so I'm including it all anyway!)

But now it's time for our girl! And I'm so grateful we'll have her to wear those clothes and to round out our home.

On another note, the boys are adorable about the baby! Trenton is so excited for when he can feel the baby kick. They regularly talk about where the baby's carseat will go in the backseat of the Carolla. They both are more than willing to give the baby pats and tell her they love her, and they've taken a greater interest in other babies, especially newborns, we see. The other day Chase found a pacifier and said, "This for our baby!" He also likes to say he's excited for when the baby "pops out!" (Hoping it's not nearly as dramatic as that!) At 2 1/ 2, I'm surprised at how well he seems to get it. It's going to be such a different experience this time around, having kids who are actually old enough to know what's going on when we bring our newborn home!

Last random note - It was our first ultrasound where the tech didn't say, "Wow, you have a very active baby in there!" And I even ate a candybar beforehand!

Apple Picking

I am so in love with fruit picking! This was one of the best spots we've been to yet, because it was tucked away in the hills off the coast and completely silent. I don't remember the last time I've been somewhere so quiet and peaceful. (At least, it was quiet until our family arrived!)

The apple orchard (Swanton Pacific Ranch) is owned by Cal Poly and nestled near Davenport, a little town just north of Santa Cruz. It was unmanned, but they have a fruit scale and a box for you to put your money in when you're finished picking. So charming. Afterward we drove the last handful of miles down Highway 1 to Santa Cruz, where we walked the quaint downtown and ate pizza by the Slice at Pizza My Heart. A pretty ideal family outing in my book. 

And this is what we made off with! Go big or go home, right? It's looking like applesauce and apple pie at the Nielsen house this week! Come on over! 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fire Station Tour

My friend Desirae organized a fire station tour for us this week in lieu of our usual Park Day. Boy heaven times ten! I especially loved Chase's reaction to the whole experience. He was kind of timid, borderline nervous, but if you looked closely, you could tell he was spellbound. The picture below illustrates it so well! Pure magic!

Grandparents in Town!

My parents are here right now, Thursday to Saturday. It's wonderful to have them. As a mother, it is so refreshing to have grandparents in town to share the kids with!

We drove through the fog to take the boys to this pumpkin patch in Half Moon Bay. This place gets nuts in the afternoons, especially as Halloween approaches, but we had it all to ourselves first thing this morning!

Other highlights:

Chase running out to my perhaps sleeping parents at 6:30am, practically yelling, "Hi Grandpa! I'm all done with my nap!" (The kid has only one volume, and it always seems extra loud when he switches it on before 7am!) Then I got to listen to him giggling away with Grandpa out front while I lounged in bed for an extra twenty minutes. Thanks, Dad!

Trenton's utter enthusiasm at helping my dad with fix-it projects around the house! Big bonus: We now have a working DVD player, properly flushing toilet, and smoothly sliding closet doors!

TWO ipads in this house! At least for the few days my parents were here. The boys were big fans. :)

Chase saying a second prayer at every meal because he really seemed to like having everyone in rapt attention.

Thanks for coming, Mom and Dad!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

I Imagine . . .

. . . that it doesn't get much better than a two-year-old wearing goggles in the tub. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Fleet Week

On Friday Ryan took off from work early so that we could all drive into the city to see Fleet Week's practice run. Traffic was terrible, but once we got out of the car, it was exciting to see (and hear!) the Blue Angels fly over us and the Golden Gate Bridge. 

Love this one!

Demonstrating something very important. I think it was one of the jets. Very typical of Chase. 

The crazy smile was the best I could get, but he's sill the cutest! 

After we walked up to "touch" the bridge (No way was I walking it with these crazy boys! Heart attack waiting to happen!), we met up with our friends the Bartons at the beach by Crissy Field. The boys played their hearts out making a sand castle. 

My best girl, Desirae, and her cutie daughter, Natasha, looking like she's trying to give me a kiss! 

It was a packed afternoon, and the boys were out like a light as soon as we tucked them in bed!