Monday, March 31, 2008

Oh, I wish....

that I had a photo to accompany this story. I was having some quiet time on the couch with K.... The cat is laying on the top of the loveseat...sort of squishing the pillow down toward the back. I only had a view of her head. I could see the top of J's head & heard him making blowing sounds. I said, "oh! you are so sweet to your kitty her kisses is so nice!". J is "usually" nice to the cat. He doesn't respond, so I think that maybe he might be doing something that he doesn't want me to see. I get up & walk around the back of the loveseat & see cat hair in small piles on the wood floor. I look back up at J & he has a sheepish grin & the scissors in his hand & says, "Marwo (Marlo) need haircut. Now she so happy!". I am trying to scold him & trying to hold back the flood of giggles that are coming over me. Marlo has a couple of small bald spots. J was trimming & blowing the cut hair away. Obviously, Marlo is a very mellow cat. Or, as J said, she was "so happy". I was going to take a photo, but thought that it probably wasn't a good idea...I didn't want J to see the photo, or me taking the photo & think that it is ok to trim the cats hair. I'm just glad that he didn't trim his own hair.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

"Out of the mouth of babes"

E brushes M's hair every day. It became his "task" because M doesn't like how I brush her hair, (dad uses spray conditioner...I just brush). I also think that it's quite special to see a daddy brush his daughters hair. E was brushing M's hair & he accidentally squirted some on her face. Being our inquisitive, precocious child, she asks, "dad, what will happen if conditioner gets on my face?". He says, "it prevents wrinkles". She responds, "well, you better spray a lot on great-grandma!".

Mother-Son Movie Night!

I am excited to be a part of this big night for moms & sons! The Melrose School will be having a movie night for Moms & Sons on Thursday from 6pm-9pm. They will be showing Alvin & the Chipmunks. I will be taking photos of moms & their boys before the movie starts. I am offering a complimentary photo & will be offering packages if you would like to purchase more photos. I donate $1 back to the school for every package ordered. The movie will be starting around 6:45. I believe that there will be pizza served for dinner. I will be set up early, so feel free to come if you would like to have your photos taken earlier. You don't have to have a child at Melrose to come. Feel free to bring your son for a fun evening! I will be taking photos & then running back home to get my 3yo so that he will get to take part in the fun too! Can't wait to see you there!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Baby Legs

When I was pregnant with K...soon after we got the confirmation that we were having a boy...I went CRAZY & bought every boy baby legs available at E is a little bothered by his son wearing "leg warmers", but I love them. I have a few favorite baby items...or is it obsessions? I seem to be a collector of baby slings, baby legs, & robeez. My favorite brand of sling is the Peanut Shell, you can find it at The micro fleece is my most favorite! Another cute, (but totally impractical), accessory that I am wanting to get for K is a baby cuff. LOL! I think that they are so cute! (I love that whole collection) & this one too.... Oh, can you see the little spot on his right shoulder, (in the 2nd photo)? It's a little hemangioma. Our children tend to be really moley & birthmarky (yes, I like to make words up). Anyhow...I think that birthmarks are cute & special.....

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Egg Dying

Here are some photos from the night that E & the kids dyed eggs. Notice the egg that says "slam". The irony is that he put the tattoo on the egg & then started playing with the egg. E started to tell him to be careful with the egg & it went "slam". Once again, J had his eggs done in about 5 min & it took sis about 20 min to finish her. She is our perfectionist. :) It actually took J a few minutes to begin coloring his eggs...he was concerned that the chicken was in there. M proceeded to tell him that I had killed the baby chicken when I boiled the eggs. Such a sweet big sister she is...trying to scare her brother! Erik & I both have a bit of a twisted sense of humor, so she comes by it honestly.....

I also added some photos of my motley crue. I arrived home from a session to find the house quiet. I soon realized that everybody was outside. They were enjoying the beautiful weather that we had on Sat. E put a towel down for K & the "big" kids were eating crackers & snuggling with dad. This was K's first experience with grass. It went better than J's first experience with grass...that put me on the phone with poison control, (the first of many). Note: Regular 'ol lawn mushrooms are NOT poisonous. The pinwheels were an early Easter gift from great grandma.

I have a few photos from Easter day that I need to take off of the memory card. I have spent the day playing catch up & trying to get photos, I will get to those within the next few days.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Sweet Girl

Isn't she the sweetest! Her grandmother is great about bringing all of her grand-girls in when they are in town. It has been so fun to see these girls grow. I can't wait to see her cousins the next time that they are in town too! Keep this little one in your prayers, as she just had heart surgery two weeks ago! I was amazed at her spirit & strength! She's doing great!

Partially New Site

If you have been to www.sheilanielsenphoto lately, you will notice that it looks different! It is the beginning of my new website! I still have some tweaking to do, but it is coming along! I am also waiting for my busy husband to add the "big surprise". So, stay tuned. The finished product will arrive sometime within the next week!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Oh so YUMMY chicken in peanut sauce

So, we're a gluten free family. The first year was the hardest. Now it's just routine. E is the only one with the allergy. The rest of us TRY to stay on the diet because it's easiest for one & I am finding that wheat just makes me feel blah if I start having it. I am starting to think that it's really not the best thing for anyone. (we also avoid food dyes, but that's another post). So, I went shopping by myself last week, (it's glorious to shop alone). I tend to run to the store "for a few things" & end up being gone for a couple of hours. Yes, it is possible to spend a few hours at Fred Meyers. I tend to get stuck in the baby section, (K is growing so quickly that he is catching up with his brother & is constantly needing new clothes). So, back to the point, (yes, there was a point). I am walking through the store and I see King's Hawaiian rolls. IN A FOUR PACK. Yes, that's a big deal. The only thing that has kept me from buying them before was that I couldn't justify buying regular pack for myself. I came home & unloaded the groceries. Told E to stay in the other room, (they were one of his favorites too). I opened the pack, (I swear that angels were singing & the heavens were shining all of their glory on this little bag). Bit into the first roll & the next thing I knew...the whole pack was gone! OMG! Let me just say that I have pretty good self-control when it comes to food. I don't know what happened! It's like I just blanked out for a minute & ate the whole darn bag. It totally was NOT worth it. I hate that ugh, full, ate too much for Thanksgiving dinner feeling. That's how I felt. Death to the sweet rolls!
When I am busy with sessions, kids activities, etc. Our eating habits tend to stray to fast food (YUCKA). The kids LOVE McD's & E & I hate it. E & I both get a plain grilled chicken patty, (why on earth do they act like we're nuts for ordering that?) & that tides us over until we can get a decent dinner. So, after a few weeks of eating out 2 nights a week...I have decided that I really need to get back to making an effort to have weekly dinner menus. Not only does this make sense for time management & finances, but it makes it easy to switch things up & try new things. I enjoy cooking if I am trying new things & they are relativly quick. So, tonight, I tried a wicked yummy chicken & vegetables braised in peanut sauce. Here is the menu if anybody is interested. It was amazing! I cut the recipe in half & we have enough for lunch tomorrow. Believe it or not...I refrained from taking a photo of the delish dish. Let's just say that the fresh spinach leaves add just the right touch of color & it is just as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palette.

peanut butter3 cups water4 1/2 to 5 1/2 lb chicken pieces such as drumsticks, thighs, and breast halves2 tablespoons vegetable oil1 medium onion, chopped1 red bell pepper, chopped3 garlic cloves, finely chopped1 (14- to 16-oz) can diced tomatoes including juice1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne 2 teaspoons salt1 1/2 lb sweet potatoes (2 medium), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces4 medium turnips (1 lb), peeled if desired, halved horizontally, and cut into 3/4-inch wedges1 lb spinach, coarse stems discarded
Accompaniment: white rice
PreparationPreheat oven to 325°F. If using peanuts, blend in a food processor until they form a butter, 2 to 3 minutes. Put fresh or jarred peanut butter in a bowl and gradually whisk in 1 1/2 cups water.
Pat chicken dry and season with salt. Heat oil in an ovenproof 4- to 5-quart heavy pot (with a tight-fitting lid, for use later) over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown chicken, uncovered, in 3 or 4 batches, without crowding, about 6 minutes. Transfer chicken to a bowl as browned. Pour off all but about 2 tablespoons fat from pot, then add onion and bell pepper and sauté, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to brown, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and sauté, stirring, 1 minute.
Stir in peanut butter mixture, remaining 1 1/2 cups water, tomatoes with juice, cayenne (to taste), salt, and chicken with any juices accumulated in bowl and bring to a simmer. Cover pot with lid, then braise chicken in middle of oven until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Transfer chicken with tongs to a large (4-quart) serving dish and keep warm, covered.
Stir potatoes and turnips into sauce and simmer on top of stove, uncovered, until vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer cooked vegetables with a slotted spoon to serving dish.
Simmer sauce, uncovered, stirring, until reduced to about 4 cups, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in spinach, then let stand, partially covered, until spinach is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt if necessary, then spoon over chicken.
Cooks' note:• Chicken can be braised in sauce (without vegetables) 1 day ahead. Cool, uncovered, then chill, covered. Reheat chicken in sauce, then transfer chicken to serving dish before proceeding.
The kids dyed eggs tonight. K slept through it. I don't think that he'll be too bummed that he missed the excitment. I'll post photos later. I still need to post photos of the desk that E made for me. 'Tis beautiful. I'm off to bed. Early session tomorrow.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

It's all about the Teva's

Well, maybe not ALL about the Teva's. I luuurve K's Teva's! They were a Christmas present from Aunt Vicki & Uncle Al. The are his only shoes that actually stay on. They're pretty cool. They have velcro, so they will grow with him. Vicki sells them in her shop, Northwest Lifestyle's. I wanted to get a few shots of him in his Teva's & then I decided to put one of my many hats on him. I have a plethora of hats & tutus. :) Yes, I passed on the tutu's. I am trying to keep K & J away from the cooties, so we hid out in the studio for a bit. J fell asleep, so I had a mini session with K.

Calm before the Storm

Yesterday was a good day. Even with my teeth was a good day. :) We played in the backyard after M got home from school. I got a few shots of the kids just being themselves. M's photos are HER. Showing some attitude in her "horse outfit". Every piece of clothing that she owns has a horse on it. Or something to do with a horse. I have been told that her boots are THE cowgirl boots to have. I didn't know this when I bought them. They were pink boots. I couldn't go wrong. I love my sweet girl. She is that. All girl. One moment, she is happy & content. Helpful & kind. The next she is upset (usually with herself) because something isn't exactly perfect. She is mostly drama. She is my little best friend.

J's photos are showing a side of him that is rarely seen. Calm. Sweet. He is usually the clown. He loves to make people laugh. E & I always say that he does everything with his whole heart. He plays hard & he sleeps hard. There is no in between for J. He can be so sweet that my heart melts. He can be so ornery that my heart wants to burst. So, this was a rare moment for J. I should have gotten out my macro to get a shot of those lashes. In the next moment, Jase was back to being ornery. Teasing me & threatening to put a bug on me.

Today is a new day. It began with M running to the bathroom, (we joke that she is a professional puker because she has the routine down). E is sick too. As soon as I am finished posting photos...I will get back to sanitizing.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My sweet boy

Today, the kids were nit-picking, so I told them that we were going to stop & each say something nice about the other. I said that I would start. Then M went. Then J. J said, "I love M because she gave me her heart and I love you, mama, cuz you gave me K". I started bawling. He is only 3! I was so touched that he thought of that on his own. Of course, I started crying. He jumped up and gave me a hug. I was mostly crying because only recently has he even started interacting w/ K. He really does love his brother! I just had to share.

Monday, March 10, 2008


We escape to the coast every chance we get. We usually stay in Lincoln City or Newport, but the past two times....we've stayed in Bandon. We also, usually, rent a house. We stayed at our friends & neighbors hotel on this trip. We stayed in the penthouse at the They are the new owners of this hotel & have been spending time updating the hotel, so it's already different than the photos on the website. They are also in the process of setting up a prettier site. :) We toured the rest of the rooms & every room looked just as inviting as the Penthouse. They even had a few games in our room (er, apartment) & we played yahtzee before we went to bed. We woke up in the morning, walked to a cafe & got some coffee & perused the town. It was nice.

We bit the bullet & went to the petting zoo. E & I are a bit neurotic, I will admit, when it comes to places like this. We sanitized & scrubbed everyones hands when we left. We also made the kids change their shoes before getting in the car. Well, the zoo was an adventure. You walk in & are swarmed by stinky animals, covered in feces. A herd of goats & deer got in between J & I, so my friend, Steph, rescued him. OH! Check out the crosseyed Opossum! Isn't that a riot?! He looks like a cartoon charachter. The boy (cuz he was about 18), telling us about hims said that the zoo had rescued him after an accident...hmm.... I flashed back to highschool days when we would TRY to hit those gross things with our cars. We got to see (& the kids pet) an 11 wk old Bengel tiger cub. He was almost full grown & was freaking us out. You see the photos of him getting his bottle & the kids petting him. Then, J wanted down & was walking away from him, (keep in mind there was a crowd around), all of a sudden the tiger stopped & was watching J's every move. It was more than just watching him, it was getting creepy. After we made sure the trainer had a good hold on him, I snapped a quick photo of the look on Sultan's, (the tiger) face. I added a couple of photos of the kids w/ him after the trainer had caged him. He was pouncing & playing with them. It was amazing to see him lunge at the cage. Speaking of cages. I'm not a huge animal activist or anything, but this park was rather pathetic in how they kept their animals. I think that it's rather disgusting that the large animals are kept in such small living spaces & we are paying money to view them for our selfish gratification. They looked so miserable. We are used to the Wildlife Safari in Winston. They have ample space for the animals to roam. Not at the Bandon petting zoo. They are tiny cages for big cats & monkeys. We won't be returning. We both felt horrible at paying $40 for our family to support the place. Maybe it will go toward better living conditions for the animals. :)

The photos of M & the little goat...that goat started following M from the moment we stepped foot in the zoo, until the moment we left. It was odd that M & this little goat connected so well. M wants to go back to see her goat. Ya. sorry, we won't be doing that any time soon. On to the real reason for visiting the coast, (well, besides the yummy food).... The ocean! The boys (I mean the big ones) played E's usual game of seeing how far you can place your stick w/o getting wet. The little boys attempted to do the same. I love to see that any age, boys will be boys. E took a running jump off of a piece of driftwood. He is still complaining that he should have thought about that before he did it. He has a bad knee from playing (old man) basketball. I call it old man ball because they're all over 30 & they come home begging for the heating pad, or E has to sit in the hot tub before he goes to bed. Anyhow, it was an adventure just to get down to the beach. Our friend, Perry, has a way of making everything an adventure. This wasn't your typical; park the car & walk down to the beach. It was our family & two other families. I had K in the front pack & we started the trek down to the ocean. We walked through some stickery bushes (no big deal), down a steep trail w/ Perry helping us girls down. Then I see a stream. Not a stream that you can just step over, or wade through least not a near section of it. I ask how we're crossing the stream. Perry said that last time they were there...he built a bridge.... I ask what that means, (because I have K in the sling & my camera over my shoulder). We get to the stream & Perry starts helping the kids over. The whole time he's repeating, "don't step on that log. It's really wobbly". Well, we made it over. I am usually up for a bit of adventure, but I did NOT want my 6mo baby to fall in. Or my camera. I really should have taken a photo of the bridge. We made the same trek on the way back...K slept through everything. Our friend Steph almost fell in on the way back. Thankfully, she didn't. Oh! Notice the photos of E & K! Cracks me up! I kept asking E what the problem was & he said the sun was in his eyes. They are both scowling at me! Too funny.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Sweet Cellulite

There is a time when cellulite is cute. It's when you're a baby. I meant to have E take these photos with K when he was itty bitty. Time got away from us. I am actually glad that we waited. I love K's chubba buns. He is our first child to actually have buns. I can't believe that I talked E into letting me take these tonight. We were in Bandon for the weekend & are all really tired. I will post the photos from Bandon tomorrow. Too sleepy now.

Friday, March 7, 2008


This was such a fun session! This lovely lady is a very busy realtor & I was excited that she fit in a session for herself. She deserves it! In the vintage photo, she reminds me of Arianne Zuker, (Nicole Kiriakis on Days of Our Lives).