Thursday, September 6, 2018

The Life and Times of DJ Nistler - Five Months

Poor Daniel. He is definitely the fourth child behind three very loud, attention-grabbing, high-maintenance siblings. He has neither a baby book nor many blog posts written about him during the short time he has been here. Pictures are in short supply too! But don't let that fool you - he is very much a loved, revered, and adored member of this family. In fact, I would argue that he currently holds the title of "Most Popular Sibling" and "Best Behaved Child" because he is cute, sweet, does not hit, bite, scratch, or talk back, and tends to eat a meal, bat at a few toys, roll in a circle, take a short nap, and repeat. He's an easy peasy baby.

In the nearly five months he has been outside the womb, young DJ has quite the list of life accomplishments! He's been a busy little fella. Here is a little summary of some of the most noteworthy moments in Daniel's young life.

1. Daniel has been baptized!

On May 20th, Daniel was welcomed into the church as a child of God! He screamed during most of the ceremony and then passed out immediately afterwards, snoozing all the way through his party afterwards. His baptism was definitely the smallest gathering we have had so far but we still had plenty of family representatives - Grandpa Korson traveled all the way from Indiana for the occasion! Aunt Adrienne and Uncle James were present to fulfill Godparent duties. Uncle Steven surprised us on his way back to Montana from Kansas with a visit for the occasion and a handful of other friends were also in attendance. It was a great day! And yes, Fr. Nathan, our energetic parish priest, does have a mullet.

2. Daniel has experienced some fairly massive hair loss.

He was born with quite a bit of hair, but unfortunately it has slowly fallen out over the past few months. He practically has a "comb over" now and rivals Paul in baldness. Unlike Paul, Daniel's hair will soon regenerate into a mane of luscious blonde locks.

3. Daniel has climbed a 14er.

A major accomplishment of many residents and visitors of Colorado is to summit one of Colorado's 53 peaks that exceed 14,000 feet in elevation. Daniel may have cheated a bit being hauled up to the summit by his mother but it's quite the accomplishment for a little dude under the age of six months. Paul was a little concerned that the altitude would be bothersome to him, but he sure didn't seem to mind! The rest of us felt a bit lightheaded at the top but Daniel just giggled and sucked his thumb while taking in the breathtaking views.

4. In fact, Daniel has "climbed" many Colorado peaks.

Daniel has been hauled up quite a few peaks in the Colorado wilderness. He usually snoozes for the majority of the hike up but always seems to wake up just in time to experience the summit. As Paul has said on multiple occasions, Daniel truly is "our mountain baby."

5. Daniel has experienced the adoration and adulation of many tiny, little women.

It's no secret that little girls just love babies. This is the reason Daniel has been a prime target for toe tickling and cheek squeezing from many young little ladies wherever he goes. I keep telling him that he better soak in the attention while he can, because he will probably never experience this much attention and fawning over by females again! He can always be found flanked by two little lasses in particular.

6. Daniel has taken his first cross country road trip.

My sister Sophie was married in July back home in Indiana. As a result, we loaded everyone up and drove the entire 18 hour trip in one shot. Lucy, Matthew, and Emma are champs when it comes to road tripping, but we were unsure how Daniel would handle so much time in the car. Being the generally good-natured child he is, he handled the trip like a champ. However, ever since our return, he has complained pretty loudly whenever we strap him back into his car seat. I wonder if it's related...

7. Daniel has been held by many members of his massive family.

The grand size of our family was overwhelming even for Daniel who is fairly used to having someone in his face during all waking (and some sleeping) hours.

8. Daniel has toured a candy factory.

I really wasn't planning on adding this one to the list, but Matthew insisted that it was a significant moment in his life. More specifically, it was a fairly life-changing experience for the three kids who can actually eat candy. Daniel just came along for the ride and stared at a rotating fan for the majority of the tour. The tour took place at Hammond's Candy Factory in downtown Denver, a facility that has been making gourmet candy for nearly 100 years. They offer free daily tours that are both informative and fun. My kids were completely captivated watching the workers make candy canes, chocolate, ribbon candy, and taffy using old-fashioned equipment that dates back to the factory's origins at the beginning of the 20th century. I was so impressed that each piece of candy is made almost completely by hand, start to finish.

The best part of the tour, according to the kids anyway, were all the free samples they got to take home and enjoy. It was a fun outing for the whole family! Paul is just bummed that he had to be at work while we were consuming all this sugar. We picked out a couple pieces and dropped them off for him right afterwards so he didn't completely miss out!

Daniel has been such a blessing to our family! All the stress and worry surrounding my pregnancy with him has resulted in the sweetest, most dear little boy that we cannot imagine our lives without. He is certainly loved and will remain loved his whole life!

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