Wednesday, March 31

human volcano.

excuse these fuzzy pictures.
the last one was taken as my daughter rocketed an enormous amount of waste out of her behind. loudly.

yes, immediately after i had cleaned all her tiny crevasses.

Monday, March 29

quack, quack!

guaranteed to brighten your day.

yellow = my worst color. yellow = her best color.

i'm recommitting to blogging, even if it means that some of my posts are just pictures.
also, i have a looooong overdue blog award to pass on. i really can't stop thinking about it!

dear family, near and far:

she's smiling, and it isn't just gas this time!


the fowlers

Thursday, March 25

1 month.

eleanor was a month old on monday. today she had her check-up.
she was just shy of 9 lbs. she's 21 inches. in all counts, she's right in the 50th percentile.
(husband was right - we are medium people.)
she gained a pound and a half in two weeks, by the way! good little eater.

next month: vaccinations. boo.

ellie likes:

doing chores with mom
reading stories
being swaddled
her paci
big, soft blankies
rides in the car
falling asleep at the store
dancing with daddy
hugs and kisses
staying up late
holding hands
mommy and daddy's funny faces

she dislikes:

falling asleep without mommy
sleeping in her bed

she's making a lot more noise lately, mostly little grunts to let us know that she wants something. she loves sunny days and likes to have the curtains and blinds open wide. she really gets her arms and legs going when she drops her pacifier. she knows that it is within reach and she gets frustrated because she can't quite make her little hands work to get it. she fights sleep at night, keeping one eye open to make sure mommy is close. we're reading james and the giant peach and watership down. i think all of her weight is in her cheeks. we can't wait to see what she does next. we're in l-o-v-e.

Monday, March 22

silver anniversary.

happy anniversary to my mom and dad.
25 years!

thank you for sticking it out through the tough times, for making the good times really great and, most importantly, for starting this family and letting us be a part of it.

here's to 25 more!

we miss you and love you!

Sunday, March 21


Wednesday, March 17

this season's "must-have"

binki. nuk. paci.

did i mention that she loves her pacifier?
she won't fall asleep without it. sometimes she only sucks on it for ten seconds before drifting off, but she won't close her eyes without it. she tries to put it in her mouth herself. she hugs it while she sleeps.

oh, and not just any pacifier, either. we lost the one they gave us at the hospital and tried to replace it with another brand. she would not have it. i had to go online to find out where to get soothies (target). now i keep a back-up bink in a pocket of the diaper bag. lesson learned.

i'm okay with this attachment. at least it is easily replaced.

Monday, March 15

eleanor's birth and three weeks later. edit!


after i took the home pregnancy test, i went to a clinic by our house to have another test done. it's impossible to describe all the emotions. they confirmed the pregnancy. i knew it was early, so i was shocked when they asked me if i wanted an ultrasound. there she was, a tiny little spot with a tiny beating heart. each time her heart would beat, the little spot would flicker. it was amazing. the girls at the clinic gave me a little packet of information and a tiny knitted hat. it was the hat that finally got me. she was a little person who would eventually need to wear little clothes and have little toys and . . . a million other things. here she is, wearing the very first thing that she ever owned - that hat:

the day she was born

after my due date came and went on saturday the 20th, i think i actually felt a little better. sure, she was "late" but i had an induction date and the end really was in sight. on sunday morning i stretched my dress over my belly and we went to church. she always moved the most during church, maybe because i was sitting still for three hours on those not-so-comfy chairs. during sunday school she really let loose. it was probably visible from across the room. husband grabbed at my tummy and ended up with a fistful of foot. she was telling us she was ready come out, we just didn't know it.

husband had to work after church. late. ten p.m. i settled in for a long nap. i had some cramping the week before, but until later that evening i didn't have any contractions. around seven that night, they started and i knew it was for real. i called the midwife around nine and asked her if she thought i should have husband come home early (we had heard about a dozen stories of women not making it to the hospital in time and we weren't having that). we decided to wait, but by the time he came home i knew we had to get ready to leave. i couldn't stand up during the contractions anymore and i was starting to get nauseous. we packed up and headed for the hospital around eleven p.m. on sunday.

i honestly thought they would send me home from the hospital, but they didn't. i've never had a worse elevator ride - nauseous in a wheelchair and in labor. i got some medicine for the nausea and tried to relax a little on that awful, awful bed. seriously, could they make it any more uncomfortable? husband was there, holding my hand for most of the night. he turned on the olympics, but unfortunately ice dancing was the only thing on that late at night. i remember being in and out and seeing the russians dressed as trees and cowboys. at one point, he tried to get some sleep on the couch. i wanted to let him sleep - he'd been awake for over 24 hours and i knew sleep wasn't happening again any time soon. i had to wake him up after a few minutes, though, because i had to go to the bathroom and i needed help. he was the best.

(edit: somehow, i forgot to mention this part. i did not have an epidural, but i did have small doses of the i.v. painkillers. that should explain why i was in and out and confused about ice dancing. the jury is still out on whether i'll have an epidural next time.)

at seven or so, there was a shift-change. new nurses, new midwife. i was actually glad. they first shift of ladies was nice enough, but i really liked the morning girls much more.

most of the early morning was a blur, really. i would fall into a semi-sleep between contractions, wake up and breathe through them until i fell back into the weird sleep again. it wasn't until nine in the morning that i was ready to push. the nausea medicine wore off just as i started pushing and i felt extra horrible. i actually had to "labor down" for a little while and try not to push, which is really, really hard when you've already started pushing. finally, around noon, i was almost there. they had to break my water. the midwife held up the hooky-thingy and i nodded like crazy. her heart and my heart were really having a tough time by then and they told me i had to get her out of there immediately. i think they were only giving me a couple more chances to push her out myself.

if you ask husband, he'll tell you that it was the best show he'd ever seen. he says that he could see about a quarter-size piece of her head. he thought: "i know babies are bigger than that." then her head really started coming out and he thought, "okay! that's a baby!" he says when her head came out, she looked right at him with the most shocked expression he'd ever seen. he was pretty shocked, too. it was 12:25 in the afternoon. he was supposed to be at work at 12:30 - he hadn't called in yet. we were a little distracted.

they put her on my chest right away and she looked at me.
there's nothing i can say to explain how that feels.
i still can't really believe that she was ever in there. it feels like she's always been here.

daddy took her for her first bath while i got . . . fixed up. really fixed up.

we got a lot of pictures, but most of them aren't really appropriate for anyone's eyes. there was a nursing student who was there observing and she ended up being the photographer. i'm so glad we got pictures, though. too bad i can't remember anything about our photographer.

anyway, i tried to make it interesting but it really is a pretty mediocre birth story. there weren't any races to the hospital or emergency this and thats.
the only amazing part is the beautiful baby that we brought home.

three weeks later, she's fantastic. she officially has a belly button now! she's very alert a lot of the time and she loves to kick and wiggle. she squeaks and growls, but doesn't scream much. she hates sleeping in her bed - she wants to be with mommy and daddy. she still loves her swing. she makes the silliest gas faces. i love her sneezes. she's gaining weight and eating very well. she's beautiful and happy and we love her!

Saturday, March 13

some stolen facebook pics!

here are a few of the pictures from my sister's camera:

she loves being bundled.

stop! gramma time.

erynn exposing her to bass pro as early as possible.

touring uga campus with daddy.

grampa and mommy love baby.

baby's first trip to the varsity!!

(gas) smiles.

the new and improved fowler family.

Wednesday, March 10


grammi and grampa nielsen

obviously, life has been really crazy. my parents and sister came, we toured georgia, ellie was blessed, my parents went home again and life still isn't quite normal. i mean, we can't exactly "go back to normal" with a new baby. we're going to find a new normal. still working on it.

we had a great week with our families. my sister needs to send me some of the 400+ pictures she took because i didn't really get any. i was just so busy trying to squeeze in as much as possible! i think ellie was in someone's arms 99% of the time. we all had a great time.

the grammies


holding ellie
exploring in the backyard
driving through atlanta to get the new rental
pointing at all the attractions
getting good drinks at the quiktrip
realizing that the biggest car they had was a grand marquis
ellie having a blow-out in the airport bathroom
squishing in the grand marquis
holding ellie
blinding ellie with the camera flash
waking up early and playing with ellie
playing in downtown athens
pointing at the double-barreled cannon
walking around uga campus
lunch at the varsity (what'll ya have?!)
driving to stone mountain
freezing at stone mountain
pointing at giant carvings of confederate heroes
holding ellie
playing with judge
going to the flea market
getting a little too much culture at the flea market
driving around in the georgia country
holding ellie
blessing ellie
eating and talking and laughing with family
kissing, hugging, loving ellie

pretty much, we just spent a week being in love with a little girl and enjoying our growing family. it was really great and we can't wait for july, when we're going to visit utah. she has so many people to meet! i already have some outfits picked out.

i'll be posting more pictures as soon as i get them. for now, i'm stealing them from my mother-in-law.

my mom made the dress. don't worry, there is a photo shoot in the works.
excuse my double chin and enjoy eleanor's expression. she makes the best faces.

ellie + judge

friends from the start.

we were slightly worried about how they'd get along.
they just sniff each other, mostly.
i'm very proud. judge got in the trash and didn't even eat her diapers.

judge gets concerned when she cries and tries to see what is going on.
i think they both love naps equally.

i think this is the beginning of a beautiful thing.

Tuesday, March 2

one week out of the hospital.

let's start off by explaining the lack of capitalization. i'm typing with one hand because i refuse to stop holding my beautiful child. sorry.

we've been home for a week now, but we spent four of those days checking ellie's bilirubin levels. her tiny heels are all marked up. daddy and i took turns holding her for the pokes. we spent the weekend feeding her as often as she'd eat and playing in the sun. five ounces gained and the jaundice is on its way out the door!

with all the feeding
(and consequent pooping)
i've been pretty tied up.

here's what our little family has been up to this week:

and here's a list of what our little girl likes:

not wearing clothes
saving big poops for fresh diapers
peeing on daddy
being swaddled
pounding on mommy's chest while she eats
her pacifier (but only the kind from the hospital!)
smiling (mostly while pooping)
sleeping on daddy's chest
swinging in the sun
being sniffed by her doggie
jay-z songs
sucking her fingers

she dislikes:

diaper changes
keeping her arms in her sleeves
going to bed
foot pricks

birth story coming, but probably not that interesting.
also, my mom and dad and sister will be here in a matter of hours! hooooooray!