Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Roman at age 5

Roman is my sweet, happy, boy. I would love to say that he is a momma's boy, but he loves his daddy beyond measure and is happiest when his daddy is home. Still, I can't help but steal hugs and kisses whenever I can and cuddle him as much as I possibly can. I love that Roman
Roman continues to amaze me with his mad swimming skills. He swims the dolphin all the way down the length of the pool and back without his teacher even nearby. He is making huge progress in his breathing as well and has integrated his breathing into freestyle and dolphin strokes. The diving board is his favorite and he now flips right off! All of this done with a permanent smile on his face. So proud to be his mom!
Roman has almost completed his speech therapy and I am so excited for him! He has always been such a social kid, but when he realized that he wasn't being understood by his buddies, it was hard for him and heartbreaking for me. Now that his speech has reached that of his friends and classmates, he has become the super social Roman he was before. His speech therapist is thrilled with his progress as well. She feels he won't need her much longer and is more than ready for kindergarten.
Roman's favorite game is "get you" with his dad. It is played by Tucker chasing Roman around the house. We get lots of laughs and even some screams during the game.
Roman loves the tramp. Whenever I lost him last summer, I knew to look next door at our neighbor's tramp. Now that we have our own, he has been even more eager to test his jumping skills. I have only lost him to the neighbor's tramp once so far...again with the social thing, he loves being with friends!
Roman doesn't always want to go to school, but once he is there, he thoroughly enjoys himself. His teachers say that he never needs direction on finding a work. He shows up and stays busy the entire 3 hours. His favorite song as of late is the Continents song-he can name and find every continent now! He loves the science, practical life, math, and puzzle works, but has also started reading.
Roman is thrilled to be reading but I am even more thrilled. He has picked it up so quickly and seems so confident when he is breezing through his Bob books. It puts a big smile on my face.
There is nothing better than hearing Roman laugh and fortunately he laughs a lot. He laughs as he plays, chases, as he is being chased, and when he is with his friends or family. One of his favorite "jokes" is telling me how much he loves me. We had read "Guess How Much I Love You" and all of us loved spreading our hands out as far as possible and started using the phrase, "I love you..." and making up the ending. Roman and Capri have both used, "to the sun," "to the moon," and "to the stars," but then started using numbers. "I love you to 100 47 10, Mom." Love those numbers! Anyway, Roman would then be funny by saying or showing with his hands that he loved me zero. That was my queue to pretend to cry and be sad and Roman thought that was hilarious. It got even better when I forced Roman to open his arms out wide to show he loved me lots-laughing, laughing, and more laughing. Funny kid.
Roman and Capri sing "I am Trying to be Like Jesus." As my sister-in-law Tiffany would say, celestial moment.
Roman loves anything superhero, especially Batman and Spiderman, pirates, airplane/jet/rocket, racecar, Kung Fu Panda, and guns. So far he wants to be a jet pilot when he grows up and his daddy couldn't be happier. Just recently he has been introduced to Star Wars and thinks his light saber is about the coolest thing ever. A boy times ten.
Other interests include anything with a screen. Computer games (PBS and Disney are his favorites), iPhone/iPad apps and games, and the Wii would fill this boys day if we let them. Hence, we have no Wii or iPad and we have had to lock up the computer because he knows how to get online and get to disney.com and pbskids.com. I may be in trouble.
Thank goodness I have Roman, my go-with-the-flow boy. It is so wonderful to have Roman so willing to be as easy-going as he is, especially with two sisters! He is the best big brother to both Capri and Karoline. He loves playing with Capri so much that he will do just about anything she starts. Every once in a while I have to step in and let Capri know that she can't force him to play with her every moment of every day!
He is just as sweet with Karoline. Just the other day, I came to pick the kids up from the childcare at my gym and Roman was literally carrying her up each ledge to get to the top of the slide. Such a sweet and caring boy.
This boy loves to dance. He tears it up when playing Just Dance 2 and is seriously good. Roman has loved music since he was a newborn and now he can get his body to move to its rhythms. He also turns on the demo songs on our piano for something to groove to-the jazz is his favorite.
Roman is now at the age where he insists on being called "cool," not handsome. Check.
Roman doesn't paint nearly as much as Capri in school, but when he does participate in creating an art piece, he does amazingly well for a 5 year-old. He is so particular and every color is seems to be thought out. He is also very careful to stay in the lines...almost perfectionist like. He also loves to write his name and find the letters of his name in other written words.
I love finding Roman in his own world with his imagination moving a million miles an hour. It's not very often anymore, but I still catch him daydreaming or playing with his toys on his own and you know he has created something spectacular in that head of his.
I love my boy. I love his big blue eyes and his killer eye lashes. I love his determination. I love that he still likes to have his back scratched at night. I love his hugs and kisses. I love that he works hard. I love his fabulous thick and curly hair. I love his sensitivity. I love his bravery. I love that he is full of life and wants to have fun. I love his desire to be just like his daddy. I am so grateful for my sweet Roman boy and I love him to the sun.
On his actual birthday in Cabo San Lucas

Capri at age 5

Capri has continued to be my princess. She is my girl and I love everything about her. I love that she likes to wear dresses whenever she can. I love that she has multiple collections of rocks, seashells, and "treasures." I love that she bakes with me. I love her bangs. I love her laugh, especially when she is playing with her daddy. I love her smile (and her "Jon" smile is pretty dang cute too!). I love her spirit and I feel incredibly grateful to be her mother! Here is more about Capri at five years...
Capri loves anything art or craft related. Painting, play dough, drawing, coloring, gluing, and anything else involved in creating. She is our little budding artist and I have the piles of paintings and pictures to prove it.
She loves to "read stories." Books are great too, but when Capri asks to "read a story," it means creating a story using plenty of props. This all started with my mom using her puppets with Capri to make up stories. Soon Capri was obsessed with "reading stories" and asked Grandma every time they met (which is a lot when you share a backyard!). I offered to step in several times, but I was no good to her, only Grandma would suffice. Now Roman is an official partner in "reading stories" as well, which couldn't make Capri happier. I don't know how much Roman really enjoys it, but he is too good of a brother to let her down.
Capri has loved making new friends this year. She loves Norah from school, Kalli, Nadia and Nicole from church, and Mikayla and Norah from ballet. She isn't nearly as shy and can't wait to start chatting it up with her cute little friends. The neighbor kids, too many to name, get together so much now and it is so fun to watch them outside. They play and play, going from one yard to the next-I love spring!
Capri loves ballet and can't wait to grow up so she can "go up on my tippy toes!" She practices lots of leaps and always brings a stuffed animal to leap over. She also enjoys doing mermaids and turns. All she talks about now is going "on a stage" to dance. I can't believe that Capri has gone from sitting by my side during class as a 3 year-old, to jumping out of the car and running as fast as she can to class as a 5 year-old.
Capri likes to have her hair "flat." No curls, just blown dry straight with a headband.
Speaking of her hair, it grows like weeds. I don't know how many times we have gone in for a hair cut, but it's a good thing that she thoroughly enjoys Cookie Cutters because we visit regularly.
Capri loves to read a book, read scriptures, say prayers, and give a hug and kiss before bed. If she is really lucky, Daddy will rub her face, something she and I absolutely love.
Forget the dolls, Capri has a love for stuffed animals. Her very favorite is Fluffy, a tiny gray and white cat that I bought at the grocery store. The other day she had put together a present for Fluffy's birthday party-she loves her that much. She has a tiny mouse named Rapunzel, a white cat named Princess, an enormous pink bunny that we had to ship from Hawaii, and countless others that fill her bed and trunk.
Capri has always been such a good sister to Roman. She is always defending him (even when I am trying to discipline him!) and the two have more fun together than any other five year-olds I know. She has also become the sweetest big sister to Koko. Going to the gym with the kids was the biggest ordeal until now because Capri takes Karoline by the hand and watches over her. Karoline doesn't shed a tear knowing Capri is right by her side.
Capri has the cutest. bum. ever. Especially when she has the distinct tan line and her swimsuit has come up a bit to show it. Love it.
The scooter is Capri's choice of transportation these days. She is super confident on it and loves to go around the block as fast as she can.
Another way Capri keeps moving is jumping on the tramp. We just got it set up and she has already put plenty of hours on it.
If that wasn't enough physical activity, Capri is still swimming once a week. She has fabulous form and is starting to gain more confidence in her abilities. Just last week, she swam the width of the pool back and forth, without her teacher nearby. It was thrilling to see her light up with the realization of what she had accomplished! She has no problem floating on her back, dives for rings with sheer enjoyment, and has made great progress in her dolphins and swimming with breaths.
With all of this activity, I sure wish she would eat more! She is still such a picky eater and even when she does like something, the amount consumed is dismal.
Capri is a reader! She has completed her first set of Bob books and reads them like a champ. I can't tell you how much joy it brings me to have her develop this skill. She started reading a year ago, but going from single words to full books has truly been amazing! She also enjoys math and learning more about numbers, but her favorite subject is recess. It would be mine too if I went to school at South Jordan Montessori!
Princesses are still a big deal. Capri loves all things Disney Princess, books, movies, dresses, music, etc. It's pretty much a constant around here and I am totally good with it.
Capri received her report card for the first half of the school year and once again, she got straight "very strongs," and it doesn't get any higher than that! Her teacher, Miss Maryann, said that Capri loved to share in circle time and is always asking questions. A very inquisitive little girl. Tucker and I had to laugh when it also said that Capri has a strong sense of order...can I say bossy? She just wants to make sure everyone is on task!
Capri still loves bugs. That's all I have to say about that.
Capri is curious, kind, very talkative, funny, imaginative, dramatic, full of life, and as happy as can be. I wouldn't want her any other way and I love her too much to express!
On her actual birthday in Cabo San Lucas

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Roman's First Friend Birthday Party

With Capri's party on a Friday, Roman's party on a Saturday, and us leaving for a cruise on Sunday, I knew I had to keep it simple. Roman loves to swim and so I thought a pool party would be ideal. He loved the idea and loved it even more when he found out we were incorporating a pirate theme. We held the party at our gym, Lifetime Fitness, and many of our friends are also members which made it that much easier as they came to help out.
We showed up to the party room and started to decorate. The greatest thing happened when one of the Lifetime employees asked if she could help. Her and and another gal took over from there and I didn't have to lift a finger-it was awesome! They decorated, served the pizza and drinks, organized a game of pin the patch on the pirate, and then cleaned everything up!
The kids had a blast bouncing off the walls in that room and Roman was eating the whole thing up. We opened presents and he seriously couldn't believe that they were all for him to open. Best. Day. Ever.
Ready to eat pizza and start the party!
Pin the patch on the pirate...
Opening presents-this was huge for Roman!
All of our super supportive friends and family-what would I do without them?! Thank you all so much-especially those that had to get in and swim-you are all the best!

We then geared up and headed to the pool. I was nervous about having 12 kids in the pool at once, but with all of the extra dads and helpers, it was totally good. All of the kids loved playing and swimming to their hearts content. Now comes the bad news, I have no pictures! They wouldn't let me take any pictures in the pool area and I am so sad about it. Oh well, it was exciting enough that I think Roman will always remember such a perfect birthday party when he turned five years old!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Capri's First Friend Birthday Party!

Capri was so excited to be having her first birthday party with friends. She knew immediately that it was to be a ballerina birthday and I took it from there. I had so much fun planning this party from the invites, to the activities, to the decor. It was absolutely perfect...I guess you could say this frame was my jumping off point-sweet and pink!
The dessert table included Taffy Wands, Pretty Pink Popcorn, Marshmallow Hearts, Pink Lemonade, Cute Cupcakes, and Jumping Jellybeans. I used a print kit from TomKat Studios made specially for ballerinas which was perfect (and much easier for me!). I kept the treats super cheap and simple but they really added to the ballet pink theme!
I am always a sucker for tissue pompoms-so cheap and yet they add a big punch of color and whimsy. I also used Capri's ballet books as well as her cherished Madam Alexander dolls to decorate the counter. You can't see them very well, but we used doilies as place mats for their wand decorating activity. Too cute!
Here is my birthday girl waiting for her guests to arrive...
Once the darling little girls showed up, it was time to get started. Each of them had a crown to wear and a wand to decorate. They loved all of the jewels and ribbons!
Tutu-check, crown-check, wand-check. Now we can dance with a real ballerina! My sister was AMAZING and came dressed in her Snow White wedding costume (something she wore when she was 14 years old and she was wearing it again at the age of 32-crazy!) ready to teach these girls a fun ballet class. Capri was absolutely speechless when Cheri came in and couldn't have been more thrilled to have her there for her ballerina birthday. It was perfect!
They started with warmups-point, flex, bunny ears!
Lots of plies and tendues...
One of the favorite activities of the class was leaping over the point shoe. This was one of the best pictures I captured of sweet Elise:
We can't forget port de bras!
The girls loved free dance time as well. They would have kept going forever if we had let them! Twirling and leaping to Disney songs, it just doesn't get any better than that!
Here are the ballerinas for the day:
We hurried to open up presents and enjoy our cupcakes and ice cream to wrap up the party...
I just love how happy Capri was to be opening up her gifts. Having a day all to herself was something new and very exciting!
Nadia, Mikayla, Capri, Nicole and London enjoying their cupcakes!
We then assembled their treat bags to take home and took a few more pictures with Cheri, the ballerina princess. It was so cute to see them light up as if she was a character at Disneyland!
Capri lit up the most and couldn't have been happier on this very special day!
Two of the cutest ballerinas you ever did see!
I love having girls!

Thursday, March 1, 2012


I am starting to feel at home in Hawaii. Grammy's condo has become a favorite little haven of ours and especially for my kids. I love walking in and opening the great big windows that stay open for the length of the trip. I love getting settled in and making it nice and comfortable. Trips to the beach, hours in the pool, time spent with the family. This time around was particularly nice in that the kids were that much older and were able to hang out at the beach that much longer. Tucker and I were in heaven! It was also really fun to have the Ford's there. We obviously can't get enough of them!
I was really nervous about the flight but the kids amazed me and were great. Capri kept exclaiming, "I am so excited! I am so excited!" I bet it was said 20+ times that day as we were traveling. Roman was beyond thrilled as well and the plane ride itself was enough to keep a smile on his face. As we were coming down through the clouds he said, "Mom, I see the clouds! Where is Jesus?" Oh how I love that boy. Just as cute, Capri said as we walked through the outdoor airport, "Daddy, I can feel the air!" Love that girl too!
We headed to Kailua Beach for our first official day and it was the perfect start to our vacation. Roman and Capri found a friend within minutes and were so entertained playing in the waves, our only concern was how far they would travel down the beach! They were not interested in staying right in front of us-they were way too busy exploring and jumping in the water.The next day was spent at Bellows Beach, the beach Tucker and his family would always go. It is beautiful and never crowded-key ingredients to a fabulous beach! As an added bonus, Tucker knows how to find sand crabs there and the kids were enthralled yet again with these tiny creatures.
While the twins and their Daddy were capturing their new pets for the day, Karoline and I got busy building a sandcastle. It was more Mommy building and Koko immediately smashing, but it was fun nonetheless! This girl just loves the beach, more than Capri for sure. It made the trip so easy to have her entertained.Karoline is talking a ton these days and some of our favorite new Hawaii words are "towel-blankie" for towel when she wanted to be wrapped up, "flop-flops" for flip-flops, and "My Diet Coke!" in reference to her lemonade (do you think her mom drinks Diet Coke at all?!). Love that sweet little voice!We made these awesome little tubs for the babies. Dug a hole, laid a plastic poncho in, covered the edges of the poncho with sand, and filled it up with water. Best. Idea. Ever. And I can't take credit for it. Some lady told us about it a few trips back and we finally put it into action. It was awesome for them to have a safe and warm little tub! Here is London ready to say a prayer in her tub-doesn't get much cuter than this!
It got a bit cold (dipped down to 75!) on our side of the island, so we spent a few days in search for the sun at different beaches up north and on the west side. We hit Haleiwa and Sunset Beach on the North Shore and had a grand old time watching the locals surf. The waves were enormous and they were incredible to watch! My darling cousin Makenzie is attending school at BYU Hawaii and we were able to bring her along for the day. We stopped at Giovanni's Shrimp Truck and our favorite bakery on the way so we could eat while the surfers entertained us. The kids loved playing with her in the sand and sea foam.
Cheri and I at Haleiwa-hang loose!
With the weather rainy everywhere, we took a day to hike the Makapu'u lighthouse trail. It is paved the whole way making it perfect for strolling little ones. I have to admit, Tucker and I were disappointed with how poorly the twins did on the hike. We brought an umbrella stroller for them to take turns but all they wanted was to sit in the stroller. Neither wanted to "make their legs super strong by hiking!" as we would tell them. I bet they would have done better had they not had a stroller to fight over, but still, we obviously need to hike more often! The view at the top was well worth it for us, and the dog at the top was well worth it for the twins.
This is Capri not wanting to take a picture:
Sunday was spent attempting to go to church-we got all ready, drove over, walked in, and then realized it was ward conference and they had changed their meeting times. Oh well! We headed to The Cheesecake Factory for their delicious Sunday Brunch instead. On our way back to the car, we stopped at the park for a few pictures...
Nothing beats the pools and hot tubs at Grammy's Condo. Although the pools are freezing, the kids cannot get enough of that slide. Roman was first to conquer the slide. He whizzed down time and time again and I didn't even need to be in the pool. Now he can swim all by himself to the side, flipping to his back if he needs to catch his breath. So proud of him! Capri was really nervous at first, but once she slid down with her daddy a few times, she realized she could do it all by herself. She was right! She went right down and then swam to the side. So proud of her! Karoline surprised me. She loved the slide as Daddy and Mommy held on to her, but soon wanted to slide down on her own! She was throwing such a fit that we finally let her go down one time, but that was all her Mommy could handle. So proud of her too!
Roman and Capri got into diving all of a sudden. Both had just started working on kneeling dives in swimming lessons and thought they should practice I guess!
A strip mall close by to our condo held Zumba almost every day. Cheri and I loved going and getting a fabulous workout in this fabulous setting right on the bay. The guys would sometimes bring the kids and watch-it was really fun! The teacher even spotted us by the second day and said, "You must be sisters-you move the same!" Hilarious!
At that same strip mall, there were some good places to eat and so we would bring our food here by the bay to eat. Such a perfect setting for my Koko standing right in front of Koko Head!
The last few days were spent at the gorgeous beach of Lanikai-our favorite! The sand is white and powdery and the water is all shades of turquoise and blue. The guys went snorkeling right off the beach, the kids played on the boogie boards (a new favorite activity), and us moms got to soak it all in. Nothing like a day at the beach!
So happy to be here with my sweetheart.
Cody and Cheri:
Karoline in her hot tub for the day!These two loved getting rides along the water on the boogie board.
And when they got sleepy...
Roman and Capri spent hours on these things. They loved laying on their stomachs, trying to surf on top, and pulling each other around.
These were probably our best days ever in Hawaii. Oh how much I will miss it!