Monday, June 13, 2011

Karoline at 15 months...

This little girl cracks me up! She is FULL of personality and we are all easily entertained by her. Karoline, now often referred to as Koko, loves her big brother and big sister and wants desperately to play just like them. I can't get enough of their time spent in the playroom together. To watch little Koko standing to the kitchen and pulling everything out, pushing around her tea cart, or playing cars with Roman-it's like she is one of the big kids! I hate that she is growing up so fast, she has been such a sweet baby, but I can't wait to see what this little one can do as she grows into her own and continues to develop her smart and spunky personality. Here are a few new tricks she has been working on the past three months:
*WALKING!!! I am proud to say we have a girl walking on her own. She took her first steps 2 1/2 months ago on our first trip to St. George, took plenty of steps on Easter Sunday, and a few more episodes since, but nothing to get her to WANT to walk on her own. I could get her to walk when she assumed I was helping her (we would put things in her hands to hold instead of our fingers, wrap a towel around her chest, or hold onto the back of her shirt). I was thanking my lucky stars knowing that she would be a handful once the walking began, but recently realized that she would be happier if she could walk on her own. So I decided to practice with her and she walked on her first try! She kept walking after that and I was even able to get it on video-posted below! She hasn't taken off yet, but I am sure she is well on her way so wish me luck!
*TALK, TALK, TALKING!!! This girl amazes me when it comes to her willingness to repeat words, especially if her sister asks her to. I started to write down all of the words she knew, but I have lost track this past week with so many new words. Some of her favorites are: hello, baby, bubble, all done, walk, thank you, dog, ball, tick-tock, uh-oh, nana (banana), bye-bye, Mommy, Daddy, Roman, Capri, and our favorites, peek-a-boo and I love you. Sweetest. Thing. Ever.
*Karoline has decided that she wants to feed herself and doesn't want to eat anything that she doesn't pick up or spoon in herself. This is going to get messy!
*Swimming lessons! Karoline and I do a parent-tot class with my sister-in-law Drew and her baby Isla. Karoline likes doing her scoops (she sits on my knee while I take her hands and scoop in the water) and side-to-sides (I lay her on her side in the water so that her cheeks touch the water). Her favorite part is when we lay them on their tummies on a floating mat and we kick their legs. She doesn't, however, like to go to her teacher for underwater "mmmms" or to float on her back. We will work on that.
*She knows how to get what she wants. Karoline will point and grunt/whine to let us know what she wants. If we pick up something that she doesn't want, she shakes her head or swings her arm as if she is swatting it away. This also occurs when I try to take her away from her Daddy...definitely still a daddy's girl. :)
*Koko plays peek-a-boo, loves balls, pulls everything out of every drawer and cupboard, is obsessed with the broom, and absolutely loves the water, especially if it is running.
*She still has a fear of strangers, but only if they are trying to hold her. Otherwise, she is happy to wave, give high fives and bones, and smile and say hello. We just spent a week in Mexico where the locals couldn't get enough of the little ones, Karoline inlcuded. At first she didn't know what to think of it all, but soon enough, she was smiling and waving at everyone. She even hit a flight attendant in the bum and when the attendant turned around, Karoline smiled and said "halla" which means hello. Luckily the attendant thought it was as cute as I did.
*Karoline signs the only signs I have taught her-more and bird. I have got to teach her some more because she doesn't like to watch the"Signing Time" videos, the same ones the twins loved. She doesn't like to watch any TV for that matter, which isn't a problem at all unless you are traveling when it would be really helpful!
*She gives great kisses, especially after she sees Tucker and I kiss.
*Karoline is still very nurturing and loves her babies. She will rock them in the cradle, hold them close and pat them, and sits in her anywhere chair with them in her lap.
*When asked, she can point to her toes, nose, eye, brow, belly button, and now teeth (which she only has 6 of)!
*I am still feeding her a bottle at night. I know, shame on me. I can't help but have a few minutes to snuggle up with her and soak up as much baby time as I possibly can!

Karoline had her 15-month check-up and is doing great according to Dr. Zarbock. She is developing and growing just as she should and is as happy as anyone could possibly be! Here are her stats:
Head Circumfrence:18.7 inches placing her in the 85th percentile
Height: 32 inches placing her in the 90th percentile
Weight: 21.3 pounds placing her in the 25th percentile

So, another tall and skinny baby for the Nielson family! I am sad to see her chub go, but as active as our Koko is, we knew it wouldn't take long before her nickname "fattycakes" didn't fit. I guess that's a good thing. :) We are just so grateful for this girl who has been nothing but an absolute delight. We love her and can't get enough of her sunshine!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Roman's prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for Grandma's house.
Thank you for water that goes like this (throwing his hands up in the the air just like he saw Old Faithful do).
Thank you for treats.
Thank you for Jacob, the trampoline boy.
Thank you for soccer.
Thank you for swimming.
Thank you for school.
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Swami's, Sea Life, Running and Random...

Swami's has got to be my favorite breakfast spot and I often find myself craving their buckwheat pancakes. Yum. We needed to do a 7 mile run and decided Swami's was the perfect destination. We pushed all three kids and had a fabulous run along Neptune and the bluff. Once we got to Swami's we ate acai bowls and pancakes and couldn't have been happier. Unfortunately, I didn't take my camera so here is a picture once we finished another run later in the week:
We made another trip to Swami's and then went across the street to the Self-Realization Gardens. Very zen, very fun.
Roman and Capri are into bugs. Capri is practically obsessed and instead of oohing and ahhing over the gorgeous flowers, she was finding rolly-pollies and other interesting crawly things.
Roman swinging on the ropes next to the cactus that is "shark." Both of my kids say "shark" instead of "sharp" or "shock." The girls minus Jesse who was at home working for part of the trip:This is just a random picture that I love of Karoline playing rough-and-tumble with Daddy:
Another random, but I had to post a picture of the backyard and the perfect setup for the kids:
Sea Life Park was a huge hit with the kids. They loved the overhead fish tank, the octopus, the tunnels, and the enormous overhead/tunnel tank of sharks and rays. A great outing...
Capri and Karoline being cute right outside the aquarium:
And there you have it, a photo journal of our entire trip to California. We had such a great time and I realized, again, how much I absolutely love it there. It was so fun to be with my family and I guess that's what I love most about traveling. The kids are always happier, my husband doesn't have to go to work, we always have fun things planned to do, and we get to simply be together. Good times...

The Beach

What is a trip to California without a trip to the beach? We went to the very same beach we lived on in Leucadia. It was late in the day but we wanted to go watch these guys...

do this...
But of course, the kids dug right in and were soaked and sandy in a matter of seconds. I don't know why I didn't put them in suits except that it was pretty cool. That was a mistake as I forgot that children do not understand the concept of freezing cold water-they could care less!
So, rather than going for a minute to watch some attempts at surfing, we had a great time doing lots of this...

and that...

The next beach trip was to our favorite beach, Moonlight, and was much warmer. The kids loved playing in the sand and waves and did not want to leave...
Roman and Eli sat and played in the sand forever. I don't know what it was all about, but they were definitely working on something:Jon and Capri in the wet sand:
Mom and Richard soaking it all up:Jesse and Kaleb building some fabulous castles:They were pushing the sand back up onto the beach so there was quite a mound forming. Jon thought it would be a good idea to was:Then Roman had to give it a go with his Daddy:Such a great feeling to be on the beach, breeze blowing, kids fully entertained, waves crashing, Karoline sleeping...I want to go back!

Monday, June 6, 2011

La Jolla

I love La Jolla. I love the beautiful cliffs, the ocean, the seals, the walkways, and the soft grass (which is a rarity in San Diego). We thought the kids would enjoy the seals and they did......but they were just as enthralled with the chipmunks...
Here are my cute parents, my dad wearing his helmet because, of course, he had to bike to La Jolla rather than drive like the rest of us lazy people!Once we were done watching the "silly seals" as Capri would say, we headed over to the green space to play. The kids were playing tag and the adults tried our best at gymnastics...what? I know, we are weird...
Cheri and I doing headstands:
Roman laughing so hard while running-it's a great combo.The girlies looking at something so interesting but I have no idea what!
Karoline standing up so big!
Capri and I taking a walk:
Just us!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Disneyland in a day...

I seriously couldn't wait to take my kids back to Disneyland. They had so much fun last time and have continued to talk about all of the rides, characters and princesses. This time around, we were going to have to fit it all in a day and we did it! We had absolutely the most perfect day with temperatures in the 70s, no lines-longest was 15 minutes, and of course we were with all of the family which made it that much more fun. The kids behaved, the adults acted like kids, and a great time was had by all!
We were worried about lines getting lengthy and so we made a beeline for the Matterhorn as soon as we entered the park. None of the little kids had been on this ride and so it was quite the ride to start out with. As soon as we stopped Capri said, "That was too scary and I don't want anymore scary rides!" With that in mind, we decided to hit something super safe, Winnie the Pooh.
Here are the twins, Roman wearing Kaleb's hat and feeling pretty cool:
Even Karoline could enjoy the ride with us:
Rob and Kaleb who was a bit nervous after the Matterhorn and didn't realize how easy peasy this next one would be:
Dumbo is a must and everyone joined in the fun. Jon and Richard-you are the best uncles ever!
The Ford Family-London's first time on Dumbo!
You can't do Disneyland without It's A Small World. This has to be Capri's favorite ride and I have now listened to the song a bazillion times since this trip. Loved watching Karoline dance on the boat:
Autotopia. The kids are still asking to drive the car by themselves. Again, thank you to our awesome uncles-Richard got paired up with Roman and I am sure it was a bumpy ride!
Roman saw his cousins with their awesome pirate swords and he just had to have one too. He couldn't have been happier...Me and the kids in the tea cup...and no, we did not go on the actual ride and I don't think I ever will!
The Princesses!
The whole Curtis Clan at the Happiest Place On doesn't get much better than that!