Homer Alaska - News

Story last updated at 4:07 PM on Wednesday, January 4, 2012

No. 1 son Homer's first baby of 2012

By McKibben Jackinsky
Staff Writer


Photographer: McKibben Jackinsky, Homer NewsPhoto provided

The Sherwood-Velsko family -- from left, Darci, Evelyn, mom Rhonda, dad Jesse, Rylee and Natalia -- welcome new family member Nicholas Paul Sherwood, center. Nicholas was born at South Peninsula Hospital at 4:49 a.m. Tuesday. He is the first baby to be born at SPH in 2012.

Up until Tuesday morning, Jesse Sherwood was the only male in the Sherwood-Velsko household. That all changed at 4:49 a.m. Jan. 3 when Sherwood and his wife, Rhonda Velsko, and daughters Rylee, 16, Darci, 15, Natalia, 5, and Evelyn, 4, were joined by Nicholas Paul Sherwood.

Born at South Peninsula Hospital, Nicholas weighed 7 pounds, 14 ounces and was 21.5 inches long. His birth marked the arrival of Homer's first baby of 2012.

Sherwood and Velsko own The Boatyard Cafe, but had closed for the winter in anticipation of Nicholas' arrival. Sherwood also does maintenance work, including snow removal, at the Homer airport as an employee for the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. Tuesday morning, cooking and snow removal were a long way from Sherwood and Velko's minds, however, as the family gathered around its newest member.

Nicholas' arrival date was anticipated to be sometime between Dec. 20-28. When the action finally began in Tuesday's early morning hours, however, it moved quickly. Sherwood and Velsko arrived at the hospital around 2 a.m.; Nicholas arrived less than three hours later.

Three seems to be a magic number in the household, Sherwood pointed out.

"Being the first baby of the New Year didn't matter to me, it was just waiting until the third," he said, referring to a seeming preference for being born on the third day of the month. Natalia was born Aug. 3 and Evelyn's birthday is Dec. 3.

As first baby of the year, Nicholas and his family are the recipients of an outpouring of gifts from local businesses and individuals. The gifts include a baby blanket from Bay Realty; a one-year membership to the library and playgroups at Sprout, also known as Birth 2 Three; a one-month membership to Curves; a $25 gift certificate from Duncan House Diner; pizza dinner for two, complete with salad and dessert, from Fat Olive's Restaurant; a crocheted blanket and cap from Helen Jackson; a $20 gift certificate from Homer Bookstore; a $75 check from Homer Elks Lodge 2127; Baby Carharrts and baby and mama bee balm from Homer's Jeans; a one-year subscription to the Homer News; Smartwool baby booties from Homer Saw and Cycle; a meal for two at Homer Senior Center; a $50 gift certificate from Old Inlet Bookshop; three packs of diapers from Pregnancy Care Center; a wicker basket and handmade clothes from South Peninsula Hospital Auxiliary; a baby bouquet and car seat if needed from South Peninsula Hospital Birth Center; a $50 gift certificate from Spenard Builders Supply.

"It's fabulous what this community does," said Sherwood.

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at mckibben.jackinsky@homernews.com.


Photo by McKibben Jackinsky, Homer News