Friday, January 14, 2011

Belly shot

Well this one is a little blurry but looks the best of any we took. This was my belly last week.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Home again

At the top of our list after getting home and unpacking our suitcases was assembling Cora's new cute little kitchen from Grandma and Grandma for Christmas. We tackled it after Cora was in bed while watching Galaxy Quest.

This was about 10:00 pm.11:00-ishAnd finally, a little after midnight!It was hard to get a good picture of Cora enjoying it because she was so excited and moving around so fast! She didn't discover it until after church because Ryan built it Saturday night and then we had early church.On Sunday evening Grandma and Grandpa came to our house, much to Cora's excitement. We were also able to host Ryan's uncle Neal and aunt Jodene and his cousin Deja for dinner, which was really fun. They live about 40 minutes away from Twin Falls so we should be able to see them more often while we are here.

Here are Cora and Grandpa, both relaxing in their easy chairs. Whenever Cora sits in that little white chair, she insists on having her pink footrest, even though her feet hardly even touch it.Cora was pretty sad when Grandma and Grandpa left. We're both adjusting to being each other's only company for most of the day again, since Ryan started up his affiliation on Monday and is gone all day working hard. We don't even have any babysitting kids around this time. Cora still asks about auntie's house when we get in the car.

Cora's been spoiled quite a bit with the move and traveling so we're working on getting her schedule and eating and TV habits back to normal before the baby comes. But she has also grown so much in these past couple of whirlwind months. She talks a lot now, makes good sentences, and it's been really fun to watch her pretend play skills develop. We'll have to get a picture of it soon, but in addition to her new kitchen, Cora has another big new favorite toy. Madelyn (Cora's cousin, not her grandma) let Cora take her old dollhouse home, since she doesn't play with it anymore. So sweet, and Cora just loves playing with the little family. She also got a couple of new baby dolls for Christmas and now she has a regular little family of 4 babies that she takes care of. When the baby comes I think she may have some jealousy issues but overall I think she will love her new baby brother. We are doing our best to prepare her for the big change that is coming in her life.

Baby brother seems to be doing well, he is due to come out in about 3 weeks now and the doctor says I'm measuring right on schedule. He does seem to be stronger and more active than I remember Cora being in utero. Sometimes I think he's trying to kick his way out through my belly button (which is now an outie and has been for several months. That also didn't happen with Cora.) So far everyone is healthy and I am just trying to enjoy this time that we have left with just Cora as our little baby. I have had several requests for a good profile belly shot so I will try to remember to take and post one soon, on the next day that I wear makeup and my own clothes, instead of my husband's. ;)

New Year's

On New Year's Eve we went out to eat at a Chinese buffet and then hung out at Elise's house, playing games most of the night. The kids tried out their new Kinect and we all had fun dancing along to one of their games - especially Cora.

Later Ryan and I played Mario Kart with the younger kids - Cora wanted to play too.
Then she took time out for a shopping trip with Iron Man.
And then helped Mana and Noelani in the kitchen, baking up treats and doing dishes.It was a really fun, low-key New Year's Eve with family. We left Elise's the next day and headed back home.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cascade

In between Christmas and New Year's the family all decided to go to Cascade, a town couple of hours north of Boise in the mountains. We stayed at a lovely hotel called Ashley's Inn, for two nights. Originally it was going to be just one night but we decided to stay longer because we were having a good time, and also because a huge storm hit, dumping a couple feet of snow, making the roads dangerous. We went to a couple of local cafes, hung out in the breakfast room and played games at night, ate big continental breakfasts and enjoyed warm cookies at night, swam in the pool and relaxed in the hot tub, and went sledding on the golf course. It was a great trip and we are very grateful to Mom and Dad for taking us along.

Here is Cora, topless in the pool. We didn't think to pack swim gear for Cora when we went to Boise, even though we have a ton of swim diapers left over from the summer. Luckily Eric and Rachelle lent us a swim diaper. I was going to put her in the diaper and a onesie, but then I decided to keep the onesie dry for when she got out and just put her in the diaper. She didn't last long in the pool anyway.
Waiting for everyone to get ready to go out sledding.This was where everyone went sledding. Cora and I went out for a bit, and Cora went down the hill twice with Daddy, but as you can probably see from our faces, we were happy to get back in the car and watch. It was beautiful there but ridiculously cold! Ryan was able to snow-shoe as well as sled, (the hotel had snow shoes we could borrow) and he had fun exploring down to the lake. Here are a couple of pics taken from the car on the drive back to Boise. It was a beautiful winter wonderland.

Christmas

We went back to Elise's house for Christmas. Cora was so excited the morning we finally told her we were going to Auntie's house - ever since Thanksgiving she had been asking to go to "Cowa's aunties house" and naming all of her cousins every time we got in the car. She cried when we told her we were going to Cora's new house instead of Auntie's house when we moved. She has an especially soft spot for Alex and Matthew, although she loves all of her cousins.

Here are a couple of random pics of Cora playing at Elise's. I love her hair in pigtails and ponytails but since I have to wrestle her to do it, and also since it seems to damage her hair a lot, I don't do it very often. It's getting so long now, as you can see by the length of her pigtails.Trying on Grandma's shoes.Ryan and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary while we were in Boise - Elise gave us an early Christmas present of a gift card to Macaroni Grill so we went there while she watched Cora for us - it was delicious and a really nice evening out. I can't believe 6 years has gone by already. It was a great 6 years and we can't wait to see where the next 6 will take us.

On Christmas Eve we read the Christmas story, sang some Christmas hymns, and then opened a present. Ryan's family has a tradition to open one gift - usually PJs. Ryan's parents got Cora a cute Rapunzel nightgown/dress-up outfit complete with dress-up shoes the light up. After that, we had to have a dance party.
video video

Cora got spoiled as usual at Christmas, as did Ryan and I. She had a little bit of a slow start, since we woke her up much earlier than she would've woken up on her own, so she could start at the same time as her cousins. But once she woke up she was pretty excited to open her presents and she is pretty good at it now - she even helped Ryan and I open ours.

We tried to teach Cora about what Christmas means and I think she learned a little - she got really good at identifying baby Jesus in nativities and she talked about Jesus' birthday party several times. We followed my mom's tradition and made a birthday cake and sang "Happy birthday" to Jesus.

Here is Cora and Grandma the day after Christmas, after church.
We missed my family at Christmas but were glad to escape the epidemic that we heard occurred in Ohio with everyone else. We are grateful that we were with family and we look forward to seeing my mom soon when the baby comes in the next few weeks.

Moving away

After Thanksgiving Ryan had a couple of weeks working pretty hard at school. This was his last semester of traditional course work with finals and he also had to give his final presentation and oral defense. He finished up really well and I am so proud of him! (In case you're wondering, he is still in school and working hard - he's doing two more clinical affiliations and then will graduate in May.)

Here's a shot of Cora being goofy at home.
After Ryan finished his finals we had a little goodbye party with our friends. We didn't take very many pictures, and the ones we took didn't come out very well, but here is Cora playing with some of the kids. When we all started PT school there were only a couple of these kids - Breanna was a baby, Dave and Laura had Davey and a newborn Savannah, and Cody had Jackson. Since starting, Cora was born, as well as Daphne, Dawson, Tanille, and Elise, and before graduation three more will be born. *correction* Phil and Kelsey have now had their baby - Congratulations guys! So before graduation two more will be born.Some of the adults playing catch phrase.Grandma and Grandpa came out to help us move, and we are so appreciative of their help. They did a ton of work for us, helping us pack, clean, take care of Cora, drive to Twin, and unpack. We love you guys so much! Thank you for everything.Cora loved sitting in Grandpa's lap - she would ask to sit with "Gampa, watch ball game."Driving to Twin was an adventure - every adult had to drive, since we had our Rondo and the Cirrus, and Ryan's parent's rental car and the U-Haul. We meant to get our earlier than we did, but of course, we got delayed by the cleaning, packing, check-out, and then, just as we were setting out, the check engine light came on in the Rondo and we had to go get it read. So even though we wanted to go early and avoid inclement weather and darkness, we wound up driving through heavy rain, some snow, and in the dark. Even though it was dark and cold when we arrived at our new place, we were blessed with lots of help from our new ward and our U-Haul was unpacked before we knew it.

A couple of days after we arrived in Twin was my 26th birthday. As you can see from the pictures, we were still unpacking, but we had made a lot of progress. It was a good birthday - even though we were moving, it was the first time in a few years that Ryan wasn't taking finals. Ryan got me a sweet oreo cake and we celebrated with some Martinelli's sparkling cider as well. Cora was a big fan of "mommy's juice" (sparkling cider) as well as the cool glasses we were drinking from.My two cuties - as you can see Cora decided to swipe Daddy's bigger slice and gave him her bowl.

Thanksgiving weekend in Boise

We spent Thanksgiving weekend at Elise's house. Our big family dinner was on Friday after Thanksgiving since Mom and Dad and Johnny flew in that morning. We had a few days with Uncle John before he headed down to Provo to report to the MTC on December 1st.

Ryan went to an arcade with Eric's cute kids on the 24th.
Everyone played in the snow in Elise's backyard on the 28th. Johnny really wanted to build a snowman. He was kind of a miniature snowman because we didn't have that much snow.
Outside of Golden Corral.
After church on Sunday we took family pictures. Cora was not in a very good mood as you can see.
We love you Uncle John/Elder Nielson and pray for you every day on your mission! (He's going to Dallas, TX, Spanish speaking.)

This was what we found when we came home to Ridge Crest after Thanksgiving - a snow and ice filled town and parking spot. (Our spot is the one under all the snow, not the one where you can see some pavement.) We couldn't park in our spot for a few days til it melted enough for the maintenance guy to clear it away with his four-wheeler plow. Check out that view in the back of our apartment though - that is one of the things I miss the most about our old apartment. We had an amazing view, which I enjoyed every time I did my dishes and looked out of my kitchen windows.

It seems to be popular for people in other towns in Idaho to dislike or make fun of Pocatello but Ryan and I really loved it there. Sure, the wind was pretty bad and it was very cold, but it was beautiful, had a lot of easily accessible outdoor activities, was easy to drive around, has every store you need, and most of all, we made some great friends while we were there. Now that we are in Twin Falls, I'm still finding myself referring to Poky as "home," even though we have no intention of returning there to live. Out of everywhere we lived in our married life, Ryan and I lived in Ridge Crest for the longest - two and a half years.

November catch-up

Well since I last posted we have been very busy - Thanksgiving, exams, presentations, moving, Christmas and New Years. Here are a few of the things we did in November before Thanksgiving.

Ryan rode up to Chinese Peak on November 18th after class. He had a goal of reaching the three main summits around Pocatello before we left and he made it! This was actually his second time to Chinese Peak. The other two he did were Scout Mountain and Kinport. This was his last ride of the season - as you can see it was very cold and snowy and also got dark pretty fast.

Christopher and his girlfriend Melissa came to visit us the weekend of the 20th. We had a lot of fun with them and got an unexpected surprise - a snow storm. So we dug out all of our gear and went sledding on Bartz field. Cora was not a big fan of the cold or the sledding. We only stayed out a little while and then Cora and I went back to the car.
It was a really fun weekend and we were glad they could come before the holidays and before we moved away from Poky.