Wednesday, February 23, 2011

We Have Two That Turned Four

My twins are 4 years old. Roman and Capri are 4 and that seems too big for me. I have loved this age, three was really good to all of us, and I wasn't ready for it to go. However, February 21st has come and gone and now I have a couple of the cutest, smartest, funniest and sweetest four year-olds you will ever find (yes, I may be bias). These two have continued to amaze me with all that they have learned and I can't get enough of their blossoming personalities. What makes me even happier is seeing how much fun Roman and Capri have together and what a special friendship they have. What else have they done to put a smile on my face?
Roman has...

*Made huge strides in his speech. He is quite intelligible now which makes life so nice for him and Mommy! I was worried that his speech delay was preventing him from being his normal social self, but he has gained so much more confidence in speaking with his peers. Recently, I was able to see him in action at school and was so thrilled to see him playing and talking with the other boys-and he was having so much fun! Hooray for Roman!
*Received his first report card. I have a straight "A" student in the works as he was given a perfect progress report with many positive remarks. His teachers stated that he is very busy and knows exactly what work he wants to do from the moment he gets there. He loves working in the Practical Life, Building, Sensory, Science and Numbers areas, although I think playing with his friends at recess is his favorite thing to do at school.
*Started taking swimming lessons...again. We just enrolled the two at Dive Utah and though it has been a rough start, we are starting to see great progress already. Roman loves to practice his kicking on top of the water and diving for rockets. He hates floating on his back, but was able to float unassisted for a second just the other day.
*Been the best big brother to Capri and now to Karoline. If we are ever in the car and Karoline starts to cry, Roman immediately starts playing peek-a-boo with her to get her to laugh. He loves to nuzzle noses with Karoline and push her stroller as any big brother would. Roman is always there for Capri and it makes my heart melt. Just the other day, we were watching a movie as a family and Capri fell asleep on my lap. Out of the blue, Roman decides to come over with Capri's favorite blanket, cover her up, and place her little pink poodle in her arms. It doesn't get much sweeter than that.
*Entered the superhero stage. Everything is Batman, Spiderman or Superman. He doesn't run fast, he runs "superfast!" and often with a cape on. Roman is always out looking to catch the bad guys so you better watch out, especially when he has multiple guns and swords stuffed in his shirt and pants.
*Just recently learned to write his name. He still needs help, but he was able to sign his name for many of his Valentine's all by himself. I love his "R" drawn as a circle with two lines coming down and his "M" is a "mountain!" Perfect.
*Become a dancer. Just Dance is one of his favorite games and the robot dance is his specialty. I catch him dancing all the time around the house or in the car and his favorite song to dance to is Primary Colors "Once There Was a Snowman."
*Been wearing big boy pants for sometime now! We had given up on the potty training last year right before his 3rd birthday, but had serious motivation when preschool was going to start last fall. He was trained in a week. Seriously. It was awesome. We are starting on the training through the night so wish us luck!
*Learned his full name and is obsessed with it. He now refers to himself as Roman James Nielson...all the time.
*Become a full blown techy. Roman loves computer games, anything on the iPhone or iPad, and now the Wii. Fortunately we don't own a Wii, we can lock him out of the computer, and I have deleted all games from my phone; otherwise, we would never see the kid!
*Cool hair. He got his hair cut a few weeks ago and the hairdresser did a faux hawk. I wish I could have recorded his facial expressions as she was styling his hair. Roman was a new man (a 4 year-old man) with a new do. Now he tells me every day, "Mom, I want cool hair!" I am excited that he is now willing to let me actually do something with his hair.
*Learned to cruise on his scooter. Don't worry, he isn't out in the 10 degree weather. I let him ride his scooter in the house throughout the winter, especially if he is downstairs in the basement with his Daddy. Roman loves it and is getting really good so we can't wait for Spring when he can test out his new skills along the sidewalk.
*Loved to bake with Mommy. Roman gets so excited to work with me in the kitchen and will run to grab his "work stool." He would do everything if I let him, but mostly we stick to having him stir, pour in wet ingredients, dump in the dry ones, and watch things bake as I always have to turn on the oven light. Capri gets in on the action as well and both of them have a favorite part-getting a "tiny ball of dough" when making anything sweet!
*Become obsessed with airplanes. We decorated his entire room with the flying objects and he couldn't be happier. I swear it was the only way that made him comfortable with the idea of sleeping by himself. Roman loves to read about jumbo jets, fighter jets, helicopters, and rocket ships. I am blown away by how many he can identify-the Bee Gee, Blackbird, seaplanes, etc. He had to dress up as what he wanted to be when he grew up for school today and of course he chose a fighter pilot. His outfit was complete with Grandpa's real army helmet and backpack...and let's not forget mom's sunglasses for a makeshift visor.
*Maintained his favorite friends, his cousins, Spencer, Kaleb and Eli. Roman is incredibly happy when he is playing with these boys, especially if it is a game of "catch me" with Spencer. I am so grateful for these guys and am thrilled to know they will always be close.

Onto Capri. Keep in mind, these two are twins so of course they do many of the same things. I am not trying to be repetitive, but I think they each deserve their own list.
Capri has...
*Turned into a social butterfly. Roman had always been the social one of the two whereas Capri was more shy. That is not the case anymore! She sees another cute girl and immediately tells me, "mom, she is my friend." She loves going to school to see her friends Kennedy, Grace and Zoey and tells me on a regular basis who they are. I am a happy mom to see her so easily making friends!
*Mastered all of her sounds and double sounds and is ready to READ! I couldn't believe it. Here I am at the computer when I hear her sound out, "tah-tah-a-a-buh-buh, tah-a-buh, tah-a-buh, t-a-b, ta-b, tab!" I look over and she is beaming as she is pointing to the "tab" key on the keyboard. I about started screaming I was so proud. Her teacher is as well and is working with her on her blending skills. Starting to read before her 4th birthday, way to go Capri!
*Decided that order is best. Her teacher mentioned that Capri loves to be involved in what everyone is doing and makes sure that everyone is doing what they are supposed to. Funny girl, I think I know where she gets that from! I was always the one "managing" my older siblings when my parents went out of town regarding how much they should be spending and what they should/should not be doing. Like mother like daughter.
*Become a tiny dancer. There is nothing cuter than Capri in full ballet attire and a bun in her hair. Though she keeps telling me that she wants to play soccer and not take ballet, she is constantly dancing around the house. She loves to show off her arabesques and her "tall tree" pose (which is bizarre that she even knows the name of that-I swear I didn't teach her!). When I asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up she told me a ballerina (well, after she said Rapunzel in which I told her that is just for halloween) and she got to go to school today dressed up. She could not wait to show her friends and teachers her tutu and the arabesque that goes along with it!
*Learned to write her name. Capri is very confident in her writing and drawing and wrote her name on all of her Valentine's. She also drew some fabulous pictures for her Student of the Week Timeline. She loves to draw girls/princesses, rainbows and suns very most.
*Become a little chef as well. When something is hard to stir (something stiff like cookie dough) she tells me how strong she is and that she is big enough. Her favorite thing to make are cookies and if we are adding frosting, an added bonus, especially when she gets to lick the beaters.
*Become very protective of her brother and sister. Sometimes I threaten Roman that we are leaving when he won't immediately come. This freaks Capri out and she starts crying saying, "Mom, Roman isn't coming." She then tries yelling at Roman to come so that he doesn't get left. It breaks my heart so I have learned not to use that tactic anymore. She has also been known to take toys away from other kids so that Roman can play with them. That's my girl.
*Made Karoline laugh daily. No one can make Karoline laugh like Capri. No matter how long I try or what I do, I simply cannot produce the results of a deep belly laugh like Capri and Roman can. Karoline obviously prefers them to me. Capri loves to please her baby sister and I am so happy to see the two having these sweet moments as sisters.
*Also received a perfect first report card. Her teacher mentioned how their class wouldn't be the same without Capri. She loves the Sounds, Writing, Art and Practical Life areas. One of Capri's favorite things about preschool, however, is collecting eggs from Miss Carol's chickens.
*Started swimming lessons again. Capri is not a fan of floating on her back yet, but she has shown to be a tough little girl as she braves through it. She loves diving for rockets on the stairs and practicing her scoops. Her pink and blue goggles are also a huge hit.
*No more diapers! At all. Zero. Zip. She asked me one day if she could wear just her panties to bed. I said no at first, but after realizing that her diapers were totally dry in the morning, let her give it a try. Easy peasy. She was potty trained through the night just like that.
*Discovered her love for computer games. If I ever forget to lock out the computer, she is there in a heartbeat playing Sesame Street, Curious George and Martha Speaks. Just the other day she asked me if she could go to Sesame Street. The phone is another treat. I will never forget when she was looking at my Dad's iPhone and fingering through the screens. She then said, "Grandpa, you need more apps!" Hilarious. She then played the one game he did have on there and it was Angry Birds. She rocks at that game.
*Immersed herself in everything Disney Princess. I didn't think I was going to be the type of Mother who encouraged all of the dressing up, pretend makeup, loads of jewelry, and of course the purse to match, but it simply makes her oh so happy I could never take that away. Too, I know this will be a phase she grows out of so I have to take advantage of her magical imagination.
*Learned so many new songs. Capri is quite the singer and loves to sing long as no one is nearby to listen. She is getting better about singing for others, but usually I hear her sweet voice in the car or while she is at play and not noticing the fact that I am listening. She loves Primary songs, Disney songs (nothing like hearing "Kiss the Girl" from my little Capri), and Primary Colors.
*Enjoyed hundreds of books over the year. Both of my kids love being read to, but Capri can't go to sleep without a story. I took her to the library the other day and she about died. "Mom! Look at all of the books!" It was like better than a kid in a candy store. She picked out two books within 10 seconds of being there-both princess books, of course. I love sitting on the bed, couch, or in there reading spot upstairs, and reading to my kids. They eat it up and it never gets old for any of us!

Wow! I love my Roman and Capri! I can't imagine my life without them. They bring so much joy to Tucker and I. They are absolutely our favorite four year-olds!

Happy Valentine's Day!

I may have gone over board. I did go over board. I was so excited for Roman and Capri's school Valentine's party that I set some high expectations of what fabulous boxes we would create. No shoe boxes here! Capri was going to have a princess castle and Roman a rocket ship. I found some possible designs online and thought, "No big deal, I can totally do that. Even better, this will be simple enough for Roman and Capri to really help, hooray!"
Three hours later I was rethinking my strategy. Who knew it would be so difficult working with oatmeal boxes and paper towel tubes?! I had never used so many different types of glue in my life. What a joke. That being said, they turned out pretty fabulous and the kids absolutely loved them. You can see by the look on their faces...

What was really funny was seeing all of the other Valentine's boxes the rest of the class had created. I was there to help with the party and I was feeling a bit sheepish when I saw a few covered shoe boxes and some decorated gift bags. Yeah, I went overboard.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Winter Weekend Getaway

Last month, one of my bestest friends Nicole invited us to her family cabin up in Bear Lake. I know I have already mentioned how much I have loved going up to Bear Lake with Nicole and her family, but I was so excited now that I could take my family as well. We always have a great time with the Maughans and our kids have played so well together. This trip was no exception and we all had the greatest time.
We got in late on a very snowy night. The kids should have been asleep, but as soon as we pulled in, they were wired! Roman, Capri and Mikayla immediately became the three amigos and were off exploring the place while Karoline and Naomi loved the toys and each other's company!
Here the three are in our room playing in the boat bed. They found a decorative oar and off they went, pretending like they were in the sea!
Once we got the kiddos to bed, Weston, Nicole, Tucker and I got comfy by the fire. Nicole made some fabulous treats so we could chat, eat, and chat some more. Good times. Good enough that we stayed up way too late!

The next day we got up to Weston cooking pancakes. Yum and YUM! The kids were at it again and totally entertaining themselves so that we could relax. Once the babies, Karoline and Naomi, woke up from their naps, however, we decided to enjoy the outdoors. We bundled everyone up and headed outside to play in the snow. We had. a. blast.
It started with the perfect little sledding hill. My kids haven't done much sledding before, so I was a bit worried how they would do. They loved it! They had no problems getting on that saucer and flying right down. There was a bit of anxiety on their faces the first time down, but the smiles at the end let me know they were up for going again...and again...and again! Even us adults took a few trips and loved every bit of it.

While we were out, Capri spotted the swing set across the yard. No matter that there was 2 feet of snow on the ground, Capri was on that swing and was as happy as can be.
Everyone decided to join us on the set when all of a sudden it started to snow hard. It came down in little snowballs just like the styrofoam balls that get everywhere.

We hurried in to warm up and more lounging ensued. Life was great. Don't you love how if you are home and lounging around, you are just being lazy, but if you are on vacation, it doesn't matter!
Our stomachs started to growl so we decided to head down the street to Cafe Sabor. Mexican food was just what we needed and it was tasty! What made the meal that much better was the fact that the three 3 year-olds had fallen asleep in the few minutes it took to get to the restaurant. We layed them down on the bench at the restaurant and they were out for the entire meal!
Unfortunately, the end of our dinner was also the end of our trip. We had the greatest time and really didn't want to leave (Tucker and I were seriously tring to rationalize why we should stay another day even though we knew we had to get back!), especially when it meant leaving our great friends that entertained all of us! Thank you Maughan Family for the best Winter Weekend Getaway!
The Maughan Family as cute as ever:

The Nielson Family loving every bit of this trip!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Precious Moments

About six months ago, Tucker and I started reading scriptures with Roman and Capri as part of their bedtime routine. We read the illustrated, kid-friendly version that they can better understand, and it is amazing to me how much they do. Just the other night we were reading about Abinadi testifying of Christ being born to this earth. Before I even said his name, Capri and Roman pointed out baby Jesus and Mary. Though no picture was shown, it then talked about Christ being crucified. There was, however, a picture of our resurrected Savior in which both shouted out, "Jesus!"
After reading a few other books, we were talking about Jesus and how he is our friend. I told them that Jesus loved them very much and Capri replied, "I love you, Mom!" I then told them both how much I loved them when Roman then replied, "I love Daddy." Tucker wasn't even there, so you can see how much he favors his dad over his mom! We then said prayers and were getting ready to go to bed when Roman asked, "Mommy, where is Jesus?" I told them that Jesus lived in Heaven and it was beautiful there. Too, that was where their Uncle David lived. Capri then said, "I want to be with Uncle David." Precious.
The next day, Roman asked the same question again...because I obviously didn't give a good enough answer before! I told him that Jesus was in Heaven with Heavenly Father. I said that they love us so much that they want us to live with them someday in the beautiful place we call Heaven. I then explained that we need to be so good so that we can live with them. Capri then nervously asked, "Will Mommy and Daddy stay with us with Jesus so we don't get lost?" To that I replied, "Yes, Mommy and Daddy, and Roman, Capri, and Karoline, will all be together with Jesus."
I am so grateful for these precious moments and even more grateful to know that we are an eternal family. I know that sounds cheesy, but how true it is!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Our Newest Sunbeams!

I cannot believe that the twins are in Primary and are official Sunbeams! Tucker and I are Primary teachers so we get to see them make the transition and they have done great! I am so proud. The first couple of weeks were a bit scary for Capri. The first day was insane trying to manage three Sunbeam classes (that is 24 Sunbeams!) and I think the chaos was a bit much. She would have loved if I had stayed with her the entire time, but I knew she would be OK as long as she could see me in the back. One day she had a little boy kicking the back of her chair and no one was doing anything about it. She was getting quite upset and telling him he better stop but to no avail. She then looked at me and I could see her eyes starting to fill with tears. I said a little prayer hoping that the Primary leader would pick on her for their little game they were playing. I knew it was just what she needed and sure enough, she was picked very next! It seemed ridiculous to pray for such a thing, and I don't think I did it seriously with any hope that it would work, but wow, her name was written right there on the popsicle stick! Anyway, Capri went up with the biggest smile on her face and from there on out, she has been the happiest little Sunbeam.Roman has been awesome about the whole thing from day one. I love to watch him as he goes from staring at the leader in his own little world, to really getting into learning the actions of a song and looking to his teacher for direction. Last Sunday he was picked to check the Primary Mailbox. He goes up with his hand in his pocket and looked like such a stud. Tucker turns to me and says, "My son is cooler than I am." I was loving it. He was so proud of himself and felt like such a big boy.Karoline must love church because it is where she started to crawl last month! I had taken her out of our Relief Society Meeting because she wasn't cooperating and brought her into the nursery room. She was so eager to get to a toy, she started to crawl, belly up this time. I almost screamed I was so excited, but then realized this wasn't the place to be loud! She also learned how to do a fish face during Sacrament a few weeks ago. Cheri was sitting with us and started making faces and Karoline just mimicked her. I was dying to take a picture with my phone because it was so dang cute, but no worries, I resisted.Since we can't take pictures at church, we have taken a few at home of the kiddos in their Sunday best. Could they be any more adorable?