Tuesday, December 29, 2009

And in case I didn't have your address...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Nielsons!

Merry Christmas!

Click to play this Smilebox collage: Christmas 2009
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We had a fabulous Christmas this year! The kids had so much fun which makes it so much fun for us. What wasn't so fun? After going to bed at 3:00am (see post below), Roman woke up at 5:45 and didn't want to go back to sleep. I have to admit that by 7:00, I was so anxious I was about to wake Capri up so we could get this show on the road! My mom called me around 7:30 and said that my nephews were up and ready for us to come over. I couldn't wait any longer either, so we woke Capri up and let them open their stockings and see their new kitchen set from Grammy and Grampy. We then headed over to my parent's house to start opening presents with the rest of the family. You know your nephews are extra sweet when they had actually waited for an hour downstairs playing lego while their parents slept in a bit. Then, Kaleb was more excited to give Roman and Capri their gifts than opening his own. I need to learn how Rob and Jesse do it!
So, we got to it and let the grandkids open presents one at a time, then we exchanged gifts and started in on our own presents. My favorite gift was definitely our new membership to Lifetime Fitness-it will definitely give me the motivation to get back into shape post baby! Tucker's favorite, though not a surprise, was getting the go-ahead to plan a mancation with Cody to Parump, NV. What? You haven't heard of such a thriving metropolis? Actually, I don't know if there is anything there except for Frontsight, a firearms training center. Those boys are headed for a defensive handgun training and can't wait.
As for the kiddos, Tucker and I really wanted to keep Christmas on a budget and we did well sticking to it. The funny thing is, we could have even done less! Roman played with his new CAT truck for hours and could have cared less for anything else. Capri spent a good hour playing with the screws and screwdriver we used to get the truck out of its ridiculous packaging and didn't care for opening any others after she opened her doll. We were sneaky and decided to hide the rest of their presents to save them for their birthday. SWEET!!! They did love these new aprons my mom made and the dollar zone trinkets I put in their stockings, but that was about enough for them!
After a delicious breakfast and a quick cleanup, we left to spend the afternoon with Tucker's parents, the great-grandmas, and Tanner and Drew. Susie had prepared an enormous turkey dinner complete with her insanely good stuffing. Yum. We had to eat and run, however, because we had to get back to talk to Jon. He is doing so well and it was so great to hear his voice. The perfect ending to a perfect day!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Eve

We had such a wonderful Christmas Eve this year. I have always loved Christmas Eve even more than Christmas Day and I think the anticipation of the next morning has a lot to do with it, but it's also more about the real Christmas spirit and spending time with family. This year we spent most of the day with Tucker's family and attended the annual Morris Family Christmas Party at the Workman's home. Tucker has a very large family which means lots of kids for my two to play with. I swear that within 5 minutes of arriving, my kids were right at home and could care less whether or not Tucker and I were there. Aahhh. So nice to enjoy the night without worrying about the kiddos too much! After dinner they held the traditional Christmas Spectacle which is basically a talent/variety show. Capri was so enthralled, she sat and watched the whole thing with Grammy. Roman, on the other hand, danced for a bit while the piano was being played, and then continued his exploring of the house. Once it was time to get going, Tucker offered to get the car started and warmed up. He then came back in and we got all of our stuff packed up and headed out. I went out to meet Tucker and he asked where the kids were. I seriously thought he was joking assuming that the kids were already buckled in their car seats. Once we figured out that neither of us were kidding, we ran back into the house to find the Workman's timing us on how long it would take for us to realize we had left our kids. Parents of the Year Award, right here please! What's even more funny was that before Tucker and I had made it back in, Tucker's dad had gone back into the house to retrieve Great Grandma's purse. The Workman's were questioning him like, "Are you sure that's all you forgot?!" Awesome.
Here we are at Grammy and Grampy's house before the party:
Grampy playing with Roman and Roman obviously loving it:Capri in curls. Long story short=I put her hair in spongies that morning for about 4 hours or so. I really didn't think they would do much, but when I took them out it was like Shirley Temple! The curls stuck to her head just as if the spongies were still in. We tried to break them apart but that lead to frizziness so we ended up sticking her hair in pig tails. So cute, but definitely not worth the effort of curlers. Now I know to let Capri's hair curl on its own like it does so perfectly!
After we left the Workman's, we headed to my parent's house for awhile. They had quite a house full-if you know my parents, you know that everyone is always invited!-and it was great to catch up with friends and family. Roman and Capri were dying to play with their cousins and so yet again, Tucker and I were able to have a break. Unfortunately, it was getting late so we had to leave and the kids were a screamin'! No worries, however, because they were able to open their first present which they loved, jammies with fuzzy socks:
Once we got the kids to bed, we went back to my parent's house to hang out and avoid that night's work...wrapping and putting a kitchen together. Sidenote: Do not wait until Christmas Eve to start wrapping or assembling gifts. Christmas morning comes much too early when you went to bed the night before at 3:00am! We got it done, however, and I think you can tell that Santa had come:

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Trying Out a New Tradition-Gingerbread Houses

But just call ours the Gingerbread Shack, because that's what it looked like-nothing like the picture on the box it came in. The kids had so much fun though. How could they not? Sticky glue-type frosting, tons of candy, and gingerbread-or as Roman would say, "cake!" They were on such a sugar high that night, it took them a good hour in bed before they would fall asleep. That's what Christmas is all about!
This is Capri's new favorite face, her "funny face!" She does it every time I tell her to smile for the camera, awesome.This is the greatest. The next morning, I catch Roman doing this, taking off gobs of candy and stuffing it into his mouth as quickly as possible. Once he noticed I was watching, he just turned around and tried to smile with his mouth closed, but completely full of candy. I especially love the little plumbers crack he has going!

Temple Square, A Christmas Tradition...but why?

Don't get me wrong, I love to go see the lights at Temple Square. I remember going every year growing up and thinking it was almost magical to see so many lights. I loved watching the little video and seeing the beautiful Christus statue, all while warming up inside. I loved the nativity and I especially loved the glowing temple that didn't need any lights. No wonder I wanted to carry on this tradition with my own family, right?
Well, you know how you envision how perfect something like this is going to be? We were headed out as a family to enjoy the temple grounds together. We would meander through the visitor's centers, listen to a few choir pieces, and take in all that Temple Square had to offer to put us in the Christmas Spirit. Yes, it was going to be cold, but bundling up was all part of the fun. What I hadn't pictured was the insane traffic, the millions of people (side note, don't go the Saturday before Christmas), kids having to go potty, and kids wanting out! So, we lasted a whole 40 minutes, maybe an hour, though most of that time was waiting to meet up with everyone. We did a very quick tour of the lights and called it good. No statue of Christ, no video, no nativity-we were done!
There were some definite highlights, however, and those included Capri's fascination of the temple-she would not take her eyes off of it as we circled around, Roman's expressions, "More lights, more lights...oh gosh," and of course, eating at Crown Burger after. Yum. Too, we met up with my cousin and his girlfriend from Australia and she was so fun to talk to-something about that accent! All in all, being with my family is always fun and if something is not going as planned, we aren't about to sugar coat it-we simply laugh it off and with time (some things take longer than others) it becomes a funny memory.
Our little family all bundled up:
My mom and dad who are always so willing to come along:
Cheri and Cody-aren't they cute?!
Roman and Capri-this was how Capri sat a majority of our trip:
The best part of the night at Crown Burger:
p.s. Tucker told me to zoom in to fix the red eye but I insisted I didn't need to...that was a mistake. Sorry about the creepy looking people!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Point Christmas Lights and Reindeer

I guess the title says it all! We went out with one of my best friends, Nicole, and her family to see what Thanksgiving Point had to offer this holiday season. They did not disappoint. First off, they had one of the best Santas ever. The only problem was, however, that Capri and Mikayla hate Santa and Roman isn't much of a fan either. As you can see, both girls are hiding in their mom's chests. The funny thing is that Capri loves to talk about Santa. We have a little Santa that "dances" and Capri always asks where the "big Santa" is. She loves to hear that he is up at the North Pole making toys...far away from here.
Next up, the reindeer. Both Capri and Roman were brave enough to hold on to their antlers. I don't know if that was the smart way to go, but we left unharmed and happier to have met some of Santa's helpers.The whole crew: Tucker, Roman, me, Capri, Nicole, Mikayla and Weston!

We then packed in our van, seats down, and let the kids watch for all of the awesome light displays. Besides the half an hour we had to wait to actually get in to see the lights, the kids did great and were totally entertained by the sights. It was great for us adults to have time to chat and catch up...and make fun of some of the displays such as the soldier that looked like he was downing the "good drink." Thank you Maughans for inviting us for a great Christmas outing!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My kids love the snow...probably more than I do!

I was really nervous coming back to Utah for our first winter with the kids. They were used to playing outside everyday whether it was June or January. I was so worried that they would become completely stir-crazy making me also a bit more insane. Well, I guess I had nothing to worry about. My kids have absolutely loved the snow and would play out there forever if I let them. I was hoping to wait to get them a bunch of snow gear for Christmas, but with the dumps of snow we have received so far, I gave in and equipped them with everything from snow bibs to mittens and boots. And even more surprising than them enjoying the snow, they don't even care about having to put all of this stuff on! In fact, they put their boots on all the time just for fun.
So, I took them out the other day to build Frosty the Snowman. They are huge fans of this character and I knew they would love building their own. Keep in mind, our Frosty was as small as they were, actually a bit smaller, but they loved him! My favorite part was how they kept
packing the snow onto Frosty and patting it over and over just like I was doing. They felt as though they were really contributing-"snow fun!"
Here they are working the shovels (that were meant for our California beach life in the sand, but works great for the snow too!):And the finished product! Frosty with somewhat creepy eyes...Capri became totally giddy with the snow...especially eating it!Roman loved trudging through the snow-he never wanted to walk where someone had already made a path, he had to make his own tracks!
Capri kissing Frosty. Ok, no, she is eating his carrot nose and kept saying, "Mmmm, carrot!"
Capri admiring her new friend Frosty...or that tasty carrot nose!
Roman's other favorite thing had to be throwing the snow. Once he figured out that snow in ball form was even better to throw, well, that's when it was time to go inside so Capri and I wouldn't end up with snow in our faces.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Kids say the darndest things...

As part of our nightly routine, I tell my kids that I love them. Capri has started to reply with the sweetest, "I love you" that you have ever heard. It used to sound like, "I love a lou," but since has been refined. Last night she again replied, "I love you Mommy," but then followed it up with, "I love you Roma." Tucker and I just about died. Even Roman tried to say it last night and there is nothing sweeter.
On the more comical side of things, another part of our routine is having the kids tell the baby in mommy's tummy, "Night, night baby." They usually rub my belly as they say this, though Capri has been hitting me instead lately-could she be a bit angry with the idea of a new baby in the family? Anyway, the other night, Capri lifted my shirt up to tell the baby good night when she just looked at it, then looked at me and said with a smile on her face, "Mommy eat the baby girl?" If that wasn't good enough, Roman then rubbed Tucker's belly and said, "Night, night baby." Tucker signed the family up for Lifetime Fitness just yesterday.
On a side note, Roman's new saying is "Oh gosh." So cute.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Our Thanksgiving break could not have been better! The best part was simply having Tucker home from work and spending all day and night with my family. My kids were totally entertained by their cousins leaving some free time for Tucker and I to relax or get things ready for our big feast-so nice. What was even nicer was the fact that we went the whole day without any potty accidents. I think that was maybe what I was most thankful for! No really, I have so much to be thankful for and my family is number one on the list. Potty training going so well...that would probably come in a close second.
The day started with the Macy's Parade. I obviously never helped much in the kitchen growing up, because I remember waking up to the parade and just playing all day with my family until dinner started. I did help out this year, however, and I thoroughly enjoyed preparing everything from the turkey and potatoes, to the stuffing and candied yams. We ate at my mom's with my whole family and some of my mom's family. The night wouldn't have been complete without all of our cousins, aunts and uncles playing some serious Charades, Signs and getting a puzzle started. My family has always been loud and hilarious which creates some great moments. One of my favorites was when my aunt was trying to act out the song "Busta Move" and kept sticking her chest out-it totally worked and we won! It wasn't until about 1 in the morning that everyone left, but it was so much fun!
Thanksgiving Day:
I am definitely getting bigger out front!
The rest of the weekend was spent with the kids playing with their cousins, hanging out with my family, going out to Gecko's, getting some shopping done with the girls, and seeing Blindside. Everything that would make my weekend practically perfect in every way (and yes, that is from Mary Poppins, a favorite of my kids). Oh, and everyone should go to see that movie-absolutely excellent and had this pregnant momma crying.
What was particularly surprising about the week was that my kids had ear infections and you would never know it! They were so happy and slept so well at night that those normally nasty infections didn't even make an appearance-yay for antibiotics.
Lastly, my cute kids all ready for church that Sunday:

I am so grateful for them!