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Monday, February 27, 2006
What a wonderful family weekend we had. We only left the house once on Saturday to run to Target and once yesterday to go to the grocery store. We even all three took a nap together yesterday afternoon. I got to be the lucky one cuddled in the middle. Bliss. Pure Bliss.

Annika took her first shower yesterday. She was having a "I want my mommy and only my mommy. Daddy go away." day. She was upset when I went to the basement to work out and there was no way I was going to sneak upstairs to take a shower alone. So Kris stripped her down and into the shower with me she went. I think she liked it. At the end, I moved the shower head so it was raining directly down on her upper back and shoulders. She just stood there and let it pound down on her.

In our hallway upstairs, we have two wedding pictures hanging on the wall. One is just of Kris and I and the other is of our wedding party. Each day we have to go over and Annika points to everybody while I say their name. Yesterday I asked her who each person was. She got Mommy and Daddy obviously but she also said "Dusty" for Uncle Dusty and "Thias" for Uncle Mathias! She kept calling Auntie Krystle Mommy though. Hmm. Close, baby girl, but not quite!

Last night Kris and Annika were reading Annika's Marcel the Pastry Chef book. Marcel is a Hippopotamus. Kris would ask her what Marcel was and Annika would say "hippo." Then Kris would sing a hippo song from ECFE class. During the first part of the song you slap your hands on your thighs. A while later, Annika had her Marcel book back out and was singing and slapping her hands on her legs. It's amazing to watch her connect concepts together like that. As we pulled up to a stoplight yesterday there was a dog in the car next to us and Annika starting "ruff'ing" in the back seat.

Posted by Kristina at 2/27/2006 07:50:00 AM

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Friday, February 24, 2006
Wednesday night at swimming lessons, Annika did her leg kicks and arm scoops on her own! She knows how to kick her legs, she does it in the bathtub all the time, but would never do it at class. I would splash around with her so it was fun to see her doing it on her own. And she started doing her arm scoops! That was a real treat since I've only shown her how to do it a couple weeks now and on Wednesday I told her to do it, without showing her, and she did!

Last night we had dinner with Grandma Lona and Grandpa Dale. What a nice treat! Even nicer? The smoke free restaurant. I'm so glad some cities have smoking bans in their restaurants.

Tonight Kris and I are going on a date. This week has been National Engineer's Week (and none of you got me flowers - how rude! - Ha!) and my company is hosting a night out for us engineer's tonight. We get dinner, a program and a show. It should be a good time and it's always fun to see my co-workers and their spouses/significant others dressed up. We can be pretty casual here at work. Gramme is coming over to babysit until Annika goes to bed and then Uncle Mathias is going to relieve her. Gramme doesn't do late at night too well.

Annika keeps adding to her words. She can pretty much imitate most simple (2 syllables or less) words that we say now, including last night's addition of soup.

Posted by Kristina at 2/24/2006 02:11:00 PM

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Sesame Street is Annika's favorite show. She will sit on the couch and watch the whole thing. It airs at 5pm on our local public television station, channel 17. Last night, the 5pm news came on the NBC channel so I assumed it was 5pm. I said, "Annika, want to watch Sesame Street?" I then turned the channel to 17. You know where this is going, right? It wasn't on yet. They were still showing the weather channel updates. I left it there and Annika waited patiently for a minute or two. Then she looked at me and asked "Street?" Poor girl. She wanted her Sesame Street. I told her it would be on in just a little bit. She repeated a few more times "street." Pretty soon she got antsy so I started flipping the channels to find something on another channel to distract her. A couple minutes later Sesame Street came on. Annika was very happy and sat on the couch to watch it while I made dinner.

More BIG NEWS: Congratulations to Pam and Mark! They are expecting their first child in late September!!! Mark spread the good news Saturday night at the martini party. I had to hold the news in for a few days. So hard! I hope you feel better soon Pam. Puking is So. Not. Fun.

Posted by Kristina at 2/22/2006 08:39:00 AM

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Monday, February 20, 2006
What a cold weekend! We've been spoiled this winter so I guess we only got what was coming to us. We stayed inside as much as we could this weekend. Annika never left the house. Kris and I went out Saturday night though. Grandpa Dan came over to babysit. He came over early and we had dinner and play time together. Then I put Annika to bed and Kris and I left. We went to a martini party at Amanda's house. BIG NEWS: Amanda and Dean got engaged that night! There was much celebrating that night. It was a fun party, that's for sure. We didn't get home until 1am! I sure hope Grandpa Dan was okay with staying so late.

Yesterday was spent relaxing around the house all day. Annika and I took a long nap together. Kris and I cleaned the office. Annika "helped" clean the office by taking everything out of the box Kris was cleaning out and then crawling into it. I made macaroni and cheese for lunch. I cut up hot dogs with it. Side note - mac & cheese with hot dogs always reminds me of growing up and my Mom making it for me. Annika was such a big girl. She sat in her high chair with a bowl of mac & cheese and hot dogs and ate it with a fork. She eats with utensils! And she's been showing more and more interest in drinking straight from a glass and not a sippy cup. My mind is continually blown with how big she's getting. Last night I was organizing some pictures and reminiscing about our infant baby days.

Annika's favorite activity lately is to stop her mother's heart. She's a climber and she's recently discovered she can scale the couch and sit on the back of it, straddled like on a horse. She does the same thing to the arms of the couch. Last week we had the couch pushed up against the picture window. Annika scaled the couch, went over the back and then started walking on the window ledge, using the back of the couch for balance! Last night Kris stopped her from scaling the couch, sat her down, said no and that she was being naughty. In her cute little voice she looked up at him and said "naughty" right back. Then she turned her head and said quietly again "naughty". She contemplated naughty a couple more times before sliding off the couch to wreak havoc somewhere else. Oh what fun.

Posted by Kristina at 2/20/2006 09:07:00 AM

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Friday, February 17, 2006
Wednesday night I discovered Annika's 13th tooth has popped through. It's her upper right eye tooth. The corresponding upper left doesn't appear to be too far away either.

Now that we're keeping track of Annika's words, she keeps adding to them daily. It's amazing! She added train, duck and bird(ie) in just the last couple days. I think we're up to 45 words that Annika says and that we understand. The understanding is the key here. Duck comes out as "du" and bird sounds like "bir" but she says them while pointing to a duck or bird and does it repeatedly. She just doesn't have the full pronunciation down yet. It'll all come together soon enough.

Annika loves babies. When she sees one on television or in a book, she says baby and points at it. She does the same with the pictures of her we have around the house. We have to go around and point at them all and say baby. Last night I had the laptop open on the couch and my wallpaper is, of course, a picture of Annika. She decided she really liked that baby and bent down from sitting on my lap to give the screen a kiss. Then she turned around and gave me a kiss. Then the baby got another kiss, then mommy, then baby, well, you get the idea. I didn't want her kissing the screen anymore so I shut the cover of the laptop. Instead of throwing a tantrum, she just kissed the top of the laptop instead and proceeded with the game. Her kisses are getting better too. She actually puckers up now instead of coming at you with her mouth open and tongue out.

Last night after Annika downed a yogurt cup I wetted a corner of a washcloth to wash her face. We were sitting in the living room at the time so instead of going back to the kitchen, I set the wash cloth on the corner of the couch. Annika went off to play while Mommy watched the Olympics (we're big olympic people in our house). After a while, she grabbed the washcloth (who didn't see that coming) and proceeded to wash everything. First it was her face, then mommy's knees, then her Grover doll, then her car, a book, etc. She kept washing her face though. She does the same thing with kleenex. She'll pull a tissue out of the box and wipe her nose with it. Smart and funny, my little girl is.

My little girl also has a mind of her own. She had a sippy cup of milk out in the living room last night. When she was done drinking, I got up to put the cup back in the refrigerator. It was about 7pm at this time. Annika threw a fit because she wanted that cup. She didn't want to drink from it, she just wanted it. I told her she could have it if she was going to drink her milk, otherwise Mommy was going to put it in the refrigerator. She still didn't want to drink from it so I put it away. As she threw a fit in the living room, I grabbed a pacifier off the table and gave it too her. She took it and then immediately headed for the stairs. I followed her without saying a word. She went all the way up to her room. I guess she was tired and wanted to go to bed. So, I lubed her up with lotion (poor girl and her dry skin) then put her pajamas on and put her to bed. She was sleeping by 7:15pm. Her usual bed time is 7:30pm. Funny girl.

Posted by Kristina at 2/17/2006 07:37:00 AM

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Thursday, February 16, 2006
People find this site with interesting searches, I must say. In the past week, I've been found by:
- picking sock lint
- Pale Daffodil (Behr)
- annika elm.com (hope that's not XXX rated!!!)
- saint patrick's website

Yesterday Gramme came over at lunch time. She and Great Grandma and Grandpa had their first walk through on Great Grandma and Grandpa's new townhome. Since it's nearby and Gramme had time afterwards and a Valentine's Day gift for Annika, she stopped over for lunch. Annika loved her new purple teddy bear but really loved the blue gift bag it came in. She and Gramme had a good time filling and emptying the bag. Gramme also taught Annika to say "please." We'll have to practice that from now on.

Last night was swimming lessons again. The water was downright warm this week so Annika didn't get nearly as cold. We played, floated on our stomachs and backs, blowed bubbles, went underwater and jumped off the side. There is another girl in her class that is almost 2 and a half. She loves "babies" and always has to come over and talk and play with Annika. She's such a little doll. She's also not much bigger than Annika so I didn't know how old she was. Turns out she was a preemie and was only a couple pounds at birth. Other than being small for her age, she's right on track developmentally her dad said. Man, she is a doll.

Annika fell last night in the locker room after swimming class. I always sit her on the bench because she sits so nice and still then. Whenever I set her down on the floor she takes off running. Last night I had just finished dressing her and set her on the bench, then I turn around to get my clothes out of the locker and out of the corner of my eye I see movement. I guess Annika decided to move around or get down but ended up falling off backwards. She must have twisted in the air or on the bench before falling though because she ended up hitting the right side of her forehead on the cement floor. I scooped her up and held her while she cried. Man, I felt awful! She had a small red spot which completely went away by the time we left the locker room. She ate dinner, played with toys, walked up the stairs, took a bath afterwards with no apparent side effects so I think she's just fine. Kris hasn't called this morning with any alarming news either. So, if you would like to mail me my World's Worst Mother award, e-mail me for my address. I deserve it this time.

Kris and Annika take two other classes during the week - music on Tuesdays and ECFE (Early Childhood Family Education) on Fridays. I always ask Kris what they do at these classes and if Annika's likes them, etc. He always tell me it was "fine". So, if you want to know what they do at class with any sort of detail, you're going to have to pry it out of him. He's a guy and doesn't share those critical details very well that we (women) want. Men!

Posted by Kristina at 2/16/2006 09:11:00 AM

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Annika's favorite song lately is "Tick Tock". Here are the lyrics for those interested: "Tick Tock, Tick Tock, I'm a little Cuckoo Clock. Tick Tock, Tick Tock, Now the time is 1 o'clock." You can go up as high as you want - 2 o'clock, 5 o'clock, etc. We sing this song at swimming lessons to get the kids warmed up in the pool. After we say o'clock, we lift the kids out of the water over our heads and then splash them back in. They think it's great fun. We usually go up to 5 o'clock in swimming lessons and as the number goes higher, you correspondingly splash the kids that many times as well. Kris and Annika sing this song once in a while at ECFE class too. Sunday as I was putting some clothes away in our room, Annika was sitting on our bed. She started swaying back and forth and saying "tick tock, tick tock, mawamawahamama, tick, tock" etc. She was trying to sing the song herself! She couldn't make out the rest of the words after tick tock but she had the melody down! Kris said she was doing it all day yesterday too, just swaying and singing. Last night Annika and I went to the grocery store and when she would start to get grumpy I would start singing tick tock and she would sing along and the grumpiness would be gone. Granted, I was now singing in the grocery store but at least my kid wasn't screaming because she wanted out of the cart! So, tick and tock have been added to Annika's Big List of Words (up to 35 now!) and I think she's brilliant. Of course.

Posted by Kristina at 2/15/2006 07:21:00 AM

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Last night Auntie Krystle was over to scrapbook. She and Annika were playing while I was making dinner. They were reading a book and making duck sounds. Annika loves to make duck sounds. Instead of just saying "quack, quack" Kris taught her to use the back of her throat like your clearing it to say "qqwwack, qqwwack". Auntie Krystle laughs at Annika every time and Annika knows it. So, at dinner last night Annika starts quacking and Krystle starts laughing. Pretty soon, Annika was quacking just to amuse Auntie Krystle. Krystle is trying not to laugh so Annika starts quacking as hard and loudly as she can and sure enough Krystle loses it and starts laughing. Annika won. She was so proud of herself for making Auntie Krystle laugh.

Posted by Kristina at 2/14/2006 08:07:00 AM

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Monday, February 13, 2006
Annika has started some imaginary playing. Saturday, she lined up her Baby Stella, Baby Violet and her Grover doll. Then she leaned over and kissed each one repeatedly from one doll to another. These were not just little lean over and touch your mouth to the doll kisses though, they were great big smacking kisses. Yesterday she did the same thing with her Baby Stella (Cabbage Patch doll) again. This time though she kissed Baby Stella then babbled something, said "bye" and walked away. Then should we come back and repeat it. After a while, she said "bye" to Baby Stella and then to me and Daddy and then she walked up a couple stairs as if she was really leaving. We asked her where she was going and then she came over to give us kisses.

Saturday night, Kris and I went to the Melting Pot restaurant to celebrate Valentine's Day. Our meal was fabulous and I would love to go back again some time. It's a bit spendy though so it will have to be another special occasion. Auntie Krystle and Pierce babysat for us. When we left it was almost time for Annika's bath and bed time. Kris and I tried to give her hugs and kisses good-bye but she was too busy playing with Krystle and Pierce. She hardly even looked up from her books Pierce was reading to wave good-bye to us. I ended up grabbing her and giving her a hug and kiss before walking away. Little stinker! You're supposed to miss your mommy! Of course, I am glad that she feels comfortable enough with her babysitters that she doesn't cry when we leave but still. Humph!

Yesterday I went out to brunch with my friends Mary and Amanda. Once again Annika was just fine with me leaving. At least this time she gave me a nice kiss and hug and wave good-bye.

I got some good snuggle time in yesterday too. After Annika woke from her nap she came downstairs and snuggled on the couch with me a while as I was watching a movie. She did the same thing last night after we came home from dinner. Kris and I were sitting next to each other on the couch while we watched the Olympics and Annika sat between us. Then she leaned over and snuggled in close to me. I held her for as long as she would let me before she was off again playing. I absolutely adore those precious cudddle and snuggle times.

Last night we had dinner with Grandma Lona, Grandpa Dale, Uncle Dusty and Aunt Kim to celebrate Valentine's Day. Annika was pretty squirmy and ended up eating dinner on Grandma Lona's lap between Grandma Lona and Grandpa Dale. I don't think either of them minded. Annika munched down a bunch of pasta, soup and bread. She sure does love pasta. We have it for dinner at least a couple times a week at home too. Annika received a couple cute and fun Valentine's presents too. Lucky little girl!

My sweet, sweet husband bought us a small heart shaped Dairy Queen ice cream cake for Valentine's. We'll be sharing that tomorrow after I'm home and before he leaves for work.

Posted by Kristina at 2/13/2006 07:41:00 AM

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Friday, February 10, 2006
I uploaded 38 new pictures last night into photo album #7. Go check them out!

There is one photo in there I was super excited to take. It's the one (actually there are couple) of Annika's hair curling up in back. Her hair has grown past the bottom of her natural hairline in back! Granted, it's still pretty thin, however, Kris and I were still excited! And look - it curls! Yay!

Annika's hair on the top of her head is also growing longer. Annika was playing with a twixit clip and Kris clipped it into her hair. She thought that was hilarious and now we have to clip her hair whenever she runs across them.

Last weekend Lisa said she and Brad wrote down all the words Emma says or signs. They had come up with 56 different words! What an amazing accomplishment! Kris and I have been writing down all the words Annika says ever since then. Annika only has two signs that she uses. One is more and the other is milk. However, for Annika, the milk sign means nurse. We only nurse on Saturday and/or Sunday mornings after I bring Annika into bed with us to cuddle and snuggle. It's still dark in our room at that time so usually Annika is signing milk in the dark. Luckily, I know what she's doing and can oblige. It's our precious cuddling time and I love it. She doesn't ask to nurse at any other time. Anyway, back to the word topic. So far, we've written down 29 words that Annika says. Last night she said soft for the first time. I was bringing her upstairs to change her diaper and she insisted on bringing a stuffed animal with her. When I laid her down on the floor, she was stroking her stuffed animal and saying soft over and over again. I praised her and said "yes, that is soft" and then covered her face and neck with kisses.

I have to give a short introduction speech today (I was chairman of a committee) in front of about 60 people including the directors and VPs of my building at work. Please think good thoughts for me today at lunch time. I hope I don't trip over my words!


Updated to add: The lunch went really well. I received compliments from many people. My speech was funny (they were laughing - they like me, they really like me!) and all is well. Whew!

Posted by Kristina at 2/10/2006 07:59:00 AM

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Thursday, February 09, 2006
Last night at swimming lessons Annika went off the diving board - twice! We did the usual things like practice floating on her back, tummy, kicking, arm scoops and blowing bubbles. Then we went to the deep end, the instructor floating underneath the diving board on a water noodle and then each parent either dropped or lowered their child into the water off the diving board. I wasn't sure what Annika would think of this. We were third in line so she got to see two other kids before her. I set her on the diving board and held her hands while she walked in front of me. She walked right to the edge like it was no big deal. Then I lowered her into the water. I walked back down and retrieved her from the side of the pool. She didn't seem phased one bit. It was as if she'd done this lots of times before and was bored with it already. We got back in line to do it again. Same as the first, she walked all the way down to the end of the board and I lowered her again into the pool. She had a big grin on her face this time when I went to retrieve her.

Kris came home early from work last night. He's sick, poor guy. I hope he's feeling better today!

Posted by Kristina at 2/09/2006 07:23:00 AM

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Annika is 17 months old today. She is almost a year and a half. Wow. Actually, that reminds me to go make her an 18 month picture appointment. And what is she going to wear? Must start thinking of those things...

Annika has become attached to her baby Violet. Yes, we've named her doll. It's just easier. Besides, baby Violet has purple clothing. Anyway, baby Violet now comes with us wherever we go.

Saturday night we went to a book and wine party. It was a casual evening at a friends house where you bring any books or movies you want to get rid of and exchange them with the offerings of the other guests. I think it's a cool concept. These friends have a three year old little boy so there was lots of toys for Annika to play with. There was also climbing, falling and jumping to do. There was climbing and standing on the end tables, climbing on the folding chair to look over the railing down to the next floor (hello heart attack!), falling down the stairs (half flight, caught herself half way down - must pay attention little one!), and jumping on E's bed and then falling off on her face on the floor. So, Annika had a pretty good time. She made herself right at home. That was sarcasm if you didn't catch it. Annika did have fun though. The stairs incident didn't even phase her, neither did the bed one. She's just such a little climber and daredevil! Lisa was there with her family and she asked if we were going to put Annika in gymnastics. Kris and I have talked about what activities to enroll Annika in when she's a bit older. We figured we'd start with gymnastics and dance since Annika seems to love both. I looked into it a bit more last night and there is a gymnastics gym in the south metro (of course it's the opposite corner of the south metro but whatever) that has a toddler and parent class. It's for 2-3 year olds and they have class during the day or on Saturday mornings. I think we may have to look into that more for the fall. I also need to see if I can find a gym closer to home. Hmm, more things to think about.

Sunday was a lazy day in our house. We didn't leave the house once. We just played and took naps and then watched the Super Bowl. It was a wonderful day.

Last night Auntie Krystle came over to scrapbook. I was trying to clean the house a bit so Krystle was playing with Annika. Annika decided that even though there was no music on (except maybe background music from the tv?) that she was going to dance. What a little dance, dance, dance machine Annika is. She used the entryway tile floor as a stage and just boogied on down for quite a while. Krystle couldn't help but laugh and clap and play along which of course only egged Annika on even more. Annika is such a little clown. Sometimes it takes all my strength not to go scoop her up and smother her with kisses.

Posted by Kristina at 2/07/2006 07:40:00 AM

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Annika and I had our second swimming class tonight. I got to meet the little boy and his mom that are in Annika's ECFE class on Friday's. She was really nice and her little boy was a cutie pie. Annika did just fine in the pool. She does really well floating on her belly. She's not as much a fan of floating on her back. At the end I started a game with her. I put her feet on the side wall of the pool and told her to push off, then I zoomed her into the pool on her back. She thought that was pretty fun. Hopefully this will help her feel more comfortable on her back.

Annika keeps doing such cute things. Today she decided she HAD to have baby Stella (her Cabbage Patch Doll) with her while she ate dinner. As I was heating up the left over lasagna, I gave her a couple pieces of cheese to eat. She ate one and tried to feed baby Stella the other piece. Then tonight she found her nose sucker (bulb syringe or whatever it's called) and decided she needed to suck her belly button out. Too bad her belly button is already an outie - no need to suck it out baby girl!

Annika is finally let us read a whole book to her also. Usually we get a couple words on each page before she turns the pages. Now she'll actually sit still for a whole book. Granted, she doesn't do this all the time but once in a while we get through a whole book!

Monday night Auntie Krystle was over so we could scrapbook. Annika was standing next to an end table trying to type on the laptop. My cross stitching basket was next to the end table so Annika used it as a step stool to get closer to the laptop. Worried that the basket would slide across the floor and Annika would do a belly flop, I took her down, closed the laptop and set the basket on top of it. Annika was trying to push the basket off the laptop so she could type some more and the basket fell to the ground. I walked back over to Annika and stood behind her, not saying anything. She slowly turned around, looked at Auntie Krystle and I, and said "uh-oh." It was hilarious. It was right on cue and her tone was perfect; guilty and sorry and knew she had done wrong. Auntie Krystle was laughing so hard she practically fell off her chair. I said, "yep, that was sure an uh-oh" while trying my hardest not to laugh too. Then I moved the basket so it was wedged between the table, the wall and the hutch and opened the laptop. Now she could stand on the basket and type and I didn't have to worry. Seriously, where does she learn this stuff?

A pastor from the church we visited on Sunday stopped by this afternoon to chat. He told us more about the church like how many people they have, what groups and resources they have and what their philosophies are. Based on those things, I don't think this is the church for us. The pastor was very nice though.

Posted by Kristina at 2/01/2006 07:57:00 PM

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