Wednesday, January 25, 2012


This picture was actually from December - Ryan went on a ride on the 26th with some of his mountain biking buddies.
More pics in their matching pjs - just playing on the chair one evening. Elijah loves climbing up in this chair - he thinks he's such a big boy!
Both of the kids responding to the question "How big is Elijah?"
One Sunday the surf was supposed to be really high so we drove out to see the big waves. Here is Ryan and I at Waimea.And here we are at Pipeline, where there was a surf competition wrapping up.

Just swinging at the playground before walking up to the shopping center for a coupon book dinner (A weekly routine.)
Cuddling on the couch after a nap one afternoon.Now that we've caught up to the present, here are a few things the kids have been up to lately. Feel free to skip this long section if you're only here for the cute kid pics.

Cora's been going to preschool - at least that's what we call it. It's basically a really organized play group, but it's super fun and has been really good for her. We go on Monday Wednesdays and Fridays in Hauula. They have storytime and an activity that the moms sign up for, and then play on the playground and snack. She loves it.

She is growing up so fast. She insists on doing things by herself, like climbing into her car seat and, closing doors, brushing her teeth. She still has not decided that she cares about going on the potty, despite great efforts on our part. She doesn't like being called anything but Cora - when I call her CoraDora she says "no! My name is Cora Fey Nielson." In fact she likes to give everyone their proper name - she has a habit of calling me "sawah" and Ryan "wyan" that we have been trying to break. We're not quite hip enough for that - we much prefer "Mommy" and "Daddy".

She hates the dark and would sleep with every light in her room on if we let her - which we don't, because then she plays all night and wakes up every two hours and comes into our room. She has to sleep with a blanket barrier on the side of her bed "so the monsters dinnit get me." She has been a stinker lately at bedtime - she comes out asking for drinks, kisses for Elijah, more books, claiming she needs to go potty or needs a diaper change, or just wants a different book or toy to take to bed. It makes our bedtime routine pretty long as we have to anticipate every excuse and make sure to give her a drink, something to take to bed, tell her only one book, etc.

We gave her a bunch of Dr. Seuss books for Christmas and she loves them - I never knew how funny Fox in Socks was! She can "read" (recite) Hop on Pop all by herself, and parts of other books. She says funny things all the time. One night at dinner she asked Ryan for a story - I don't remember what his story was about but afterwards she said "Thank you, that was a good story." She asked me to play a game on the computer with her and noticing that I had the internet browser up, said "Oh, you have to check your email first?" I didn't even know that she knew what email was! One night for family night we were giving her options of what we could do, and she said "I don't wanna eat ice cream, I wanna walk and see the temple." Sometimes when the washing machine in the garage is agitating, we can hear it in our kitchen. Cora always says "I kink (think)... the washing machine is hungry for laundry clothes!" She is so funny how she talks about Elijah. She has many names for him - little boy, little baby, little brother, and lately it's been "your baby." As in, "Your baby is so sitty (silly) mommy," or "your baby is so cute!" I also love how she calls him "E-why-jah"

She is getting better at brushing her teeth - but she wants to do it all by herself and when we ask to take a turn, she says, "no, the germs and plaque are all off." She loves playing on the iPad, when we let her. She has also (finally!) figured out how to jump with two feet at once - which she now has to do every time she encounters a crack/line in the sidewalk. She is getting better at independent imaginative play - I love listening in on her when she's not aware of me while she plays with her little doll house or other dolls and toys. Some of her favorite things to eat and drink are rice sandwiches (rice wrapped in nori), spice juice (soda), fruit snacks, apples and carrots.

Elijah is also getting so big. He's a good eater and has been growing fast lately. He loves drinking from a cup, sippy, anything. He especially like my morning green smoothies. He is always sucking on his lower lip - it's his pacifier, like Cora's thumb is for her. He's had 6 teeth in front for several months now, and just recently got a couple of molars. He still loves snuggles, and I love the feeling of his little arms squeezing my neck or his little hand patting my back when I first pick him up. He loves his sister but is always hitting her and pulling her hair. He's learning how to tattle - if she takes something away from him he'll yell and look at me with a beseeching/frustrated little look. He gets into everything - especially what he shouldn't. He loves wires, plugs, the broom, the trash, the cupboard under the sink, the pantry, the bathroom, his baby monitor, eating sand, our dirty shoes, pulling books off the shelf and generally making a mess. We moved his crib into our closet - it's a walk in and while it's cramped now, it's been working much better than having him in the room with us. All three of us are getting better sleep. While he is learning to express his own opinions, he's still overall a great baby, very mellow and sweet.

Stay tuned for a big birthday post coming up soon!


Christmas Day was so fun!
Ryan and I were so excited this year to be in our own home with our own tree, starting our own traditions. Cora was finally old enough to get it and learn what Christmas was all about. She knows the story of the Nativity backwards and forwards and played with her little people nativity toy set all month. She knows why we give presents and what the stars represent. She helped pick out a present for her daddy and brother and was excited to see them open them. She even told Ryan about his present at dinner, the day we got it: "Daddy, I buy you a watch!" :) Guess I forgot to explain about keeping the presents a surprise. In the days leading up to Christmas Cora kept saying "It's going to be Christmas when my family comes and I'm going to be so happy!" She wanted all of her family to come to her house - mainland family too, but she was so excited the day we decorated cookies that some of her family came to her house - she said "My family come! Mommy, it's Christmas!" Cora also knew about Santa and was so excited for him to visit. We tried to emphasize the Christ part of Christmas more than the Santa part, but it was fun to watch her anticipate the Santa stuff too.

On Christmas morning Cora woke up as usual, around 8:30, and came into our room like she always does. Ryan and I let the kids play in our bed while we got all ready and showered, and then told them it was Christmas! (She knew the night before, but forgot overnight. I'm sure that's the last year that will happen!) We went out to the living room and sat on the couch and read the Christmas story in Luke before opening Santa's presents. The kids were really excited for the new toys - a puzzle, tractor and truck for Elijah, and a new pink scooter for Cora. Then we got ready for Church and went to church for one hour.
After church we went to Heidi's house to open some presents with the family. Here's me, Madelyn and Cora in front of Heidi's tree. Here's our tree with all our presents wrapped and waiting for us to open them. See our stockings hanging in the window?
After that we went home to get some food ready, and then we went to Auntie Sunday's for a brunch with all the family. Cora loves playing with her cousin Troy and Wailea and Hirirau! (By the way, they were pretending to be hurt, not actually hurt.)
After lunch we came home and finally started opening our presents at around 5. We did our stockings last of all, right before bed at 9. And since we were all in our matching homemade PJs, we tried to take family pictures using the timer on our camera.
It was definitely a busy Christmas, and we missed a lot of our family who weren't with us, but still overall it was a wonderful day. We are so blessed to have our little family and to be able to share with them the joy of celebrating Christ's birth. We all got spoiled with too many toys and things, (thank you, mom and dad!) but we have so much love and we know that is what makes the season magical.

BIrthday, cookies and Christmas Eve

This year was a great birthday - I was a little sick but there was no traveling, finals, or moving. We went to the PCC to eat at the Gateway Buffet for dinner, then went on the Holiday Lagoon canoe ride to see the Christmas lights. On Sunday everyone came over and Ryan made me a delicious chocolate cake with homemade frosting. Ryan gave me an ice cream maker for my birthday-it's a really nice one and I'm so excited! I've been collecting recipes online. It's perfect for living in Hawaii - it's never cool enough here to want hot chocolate, but always the right temperature for ice cream!

I think this picture is awesome because in the background on our computer slideshow is a pic of Ryan's birthday!On the 23rd we had a sugar cookie extravaganza. Heidi and I each made dough and then we got together to roll, cut, bake, frost and decorate! Ryan, Heidi, Jordan and I each took a turn at the rolling - combined we had 6 batches of sugar cookies so it took all afternoon/evening! The kids had fun - but burnt out quickly. After that it became more of a factory job. It was a fun and delicious time though - one of my favorite holiday traditions for sure. After, Heidi let us go on a date for our anniversary which was the day before (7 years!) and watched Cora for us. She would've watched Elijah too but we decided to take him with us since it was going to be a while. On Christmas Eve we all got together for Spam fried rice and I tried out my new ice cream maker! Uncle Johnny quickly became Elijah's favorite person as he let Elijah sample his ice cream.
We started a new (to me) tradition this year of opening one gift on Christmas Eve- homemade pajamas! More pics in the PJs in the next post.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Early December

In the beginning of this month we took family pictures at the beach for our Christmas cards, I did a craft fair with Madelyn, and we decorated our tree.

Johnny took our pictures for us at Temple Beach- it was a windy day but we had fun and he did great.
Here are a few pictures from my craft show - I made a couple of baby quilts, (which I intentionally priced high because I secretly wanted to keep them), as well as a bunch of zipper pouches, baby toys, (the bear and flower faces) keychain wristlets, and a custom hand embroidery. I did ok, sold about half the stuff, but I felt pretty good about it. I made sure not to buy any new fabric, just some notions, and I only made what was fun for me to make. I learned how to make zipper pouches really well and practiced some other skills. I got to go home with the boy baby quilt (the green brown blue one in the picture below) but had to part with the baby girl one.
Cora and Uncle Johnny at the Visitor's Center.
Here we are decorating the tree for FHE. It was so fun to finally be in our own home for Christmas and decorate a full sized tree! We haven't had that since we've been married, since we've always been away from home for Christmas.
Dimple alert!
Elijah loves practicing walking with his cart toy!