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Tuesday, May 30, 2006
That was a great 4 day weekend. Happy Memorial Day! We didn't stray too far from home. We did spend a whole bunch of time outside which made Annika very, very happy. Here are some highlights:

1 - Friday morning was spent at the park with Annika's ECFE class. Annika had a great time playing for 2+ hours. It's a good thing we had her slathered up with SPF 50 sunscreen! And there was another little girl there named Annika! She pronounced her name Ann-nika though instead of Ah-nika. The name Annika is a lot more common than most people think. I have a friend from Pampered Chef whose daughter is named Annika too.
2 - Friday afternoon we got the garage all cleaned out and straightened up so we could get both vehicles back in for the first time after the garage sale. Kris also washed and cleaned out and polished up the car. It looks great!
3 - Saturday was a lazy day around the house with a nice dinner out. There was a ton of play outside time too.
4 - Annika has re-found her love of blueberries. Sunday she ate a whole banana and then a whole container of blueberries as her morning snack! I guess the Eggo waffle and the pancake with syrup weren't enough for breakfast! It was pretty funny because I would put a few blueberries on her plate. She'd eat and then ask for more, except that any time she would ask for more it would come out sounding like "Boobies?" She kind of missed all those syllables in the middle. Hee! So, if Annika looks up at you and asks for "boobies," give her some blueberries please!
5 - Sunday, we went to Canterbury Park with Jon and Michelle and the kids. Annika enjoyed seeing the horses and helping Mommy eat a HUGE ice cream cone. Michelle is pregnant and due at the end of July. This was the first time we got to see the baby bump. She looks so good!
6 - It was so hot this weekend that yesterday we set up Annika's little swimming pool on the driveway. She had a blast "swimming" all morning. And the first thing she said when she woke up from her nap was "Swimming now?" We made her wait a little bit, until Krystle and Pierce came over for a BBQ dinner and then we let her loose again. I think she'd had enough of it though because when we drained it, she didn't have a fit. She simply said good-bye water and waved.

Annika has a bubble gum song that she likes to sing. The lyrics go as follows: bubble gum, bubble gum, chewy, chewy, chewy, chewy bubble gum I like it, I like it, chewy, chewy, chewy, chewy bubble gum. She is so cute when she sings this song. She has the hand motions down and everything. At the "I like it" part she hugs herself while swaying back and forth. Except for Annika it comes out as "I yike it" since she can't say l's too clearly yet. It is so adorable! I'm going to have to try and get that one on film.

And now it's back to work. Yay for another 4 day work week!

Posted by Kristina at 5/30/2006 07:33:00 AM

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I am so sorry for the long absence. When I get a phone call from my mother that I have't blogged in too long of a time and she wants more pictures uploaded, I know it's time to get my butt back to the computer. I've just been busy. And sleepy. I'll tell you all about the busy if you can tell Annika to please sleep through the night. PLEASE. Last night I was up late working on a presentation for work and only got 5 hours of sleep. Thankfully Annika decided to sleep between the hourse of midnight and 5am so my 5 hours were at least uninterrupted. However, Sunday night? She was up 4 times. 4. She is not an infant anymore people. I am not used to this. I am sleepy.

On to why I've been so busy. So last we talked I was preparing for our garage sale. I prepared last week Monday - Thursday evenings and was open for business Friday and Saturday. The garage sale was a big success. Amanda, Krystle, Mathias and I made over $450. My garage is still full of stuff but I'll be working the next couple nights on boxing that up and bringing it all to Goodwill. It's all going. None of it is going back in my house. It feels mighty good. And I'll be glad to get the vehicles back in the garage too.

Work has been very busy too. I was running an all day design review today and was busy preparing for that last week and yesterday and making sure all my other presenters were ready too. The meeting went pretty well, I think, and now I can relax for half a second at work. I'm taking Friday off to have a nice long 4 day weekend too. Only 2 days of work to go!

Thursday I got a letter from the National Marrow Donor Program. Here is what it said. "Thank you for your recent participation in additional testing. This testing compared your tissue typing with the patient's typing. The results of this testing indicate that you and the patient could be considered a suitable match. If the physician determines that the patient needs a transplant, you could be considered as a potential donor. However, the patient is not ready to receive a transplat at this time. If the patient becomes ready to receive a transplant, we may contact you to consider blood stem cell donation." There's more after that but it's all administrative stuff. So, I'm on indefinite hold I guess. I'm hoping this means my recipient is not too sick to receive a transplant but that other treatment options are working for her (she's a 36 year old woman with Hodgkins Lymphoma). I cried when I got the letter and several times since. I just keep worrying that I'm too late to help. Ugh. Moving on so I don't break down again.

Sunday was Kris's 29th birthday. We had a small BBQ at Nana and Papa's house to celebrate. It was a beautiful afternoon. It was a bit windy and chilly but wearing a jacket and it was just fine outside. We spent the entire afternoon oustide too. Either on the deck or visiting the horses or goofing off in the grass. I've uploaded a whole bunch of pictures from the afternoon (Annika #10 album). Annika had a great time and was in a great mood. She even gave hugs and kisses good-bye to all the grandparents and great grandparents. I think I need to print those out for each of them. She even got to experience two firsts. 1 - She got to ride in and "drive" a golf cart. Great Grandma and Grandpa have a golf cart to help them get around the farm and Annika took it for a spin with Nana. She had a blast. She had so much fun that when I took her to Lowe's today to buy flowers, she insisted on riding in the cart with a steering wheel. She "drove" all around Lowe's and never once insisted on getting out or leaving. 2 - She got to meet her palomino horse, Goldy. What, don't all little girls have horses? Just my spoiled little girl? Yes, Annika has a horse. Papa made sure of that. At least she won't be begging for a pony for her birthday one of these years, right? When she gets a bit older she can ride it. She couldn't get enough of those horses. Every so often she would take off and walk over to the barn for another look. She is one lucky little girl.

Michelle called tonight saying that Robyn gave birth last night to the TaterBabe! Everyone is happy and healthy and doing just fine. We don't know TaterBabe's first name yet (Tate will be his middle) because Robyn and Kris want to have a naming ceremony. They, too, are still calling him Tater for the time being so they don't slip. I'm so excited for them and the new addition to their family.

Kris called me at work today to tell me that his friend Chris and Chris's wife Courtney are expecting their first child in December. I'm so excited! Yay for babies!

OK, I think I've shared all that is new around our house. Now I must go sleep before Annika wakes up!

Posted by Kristina at 5/23/2006 10:00:00 PM

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Monday, May 15, 2006
Happy Mother's Day! I had a lovely Mother's Day weekend. It started Friday night with presents. Presents! I arrived home from work about an hour early and found Kris and Annika sleeping. Since I was having friends over that night, I started cleaning up a bit (dishes, countertops, bathroom - you know, the standards). There was a bunch of groceries on the table and I guessed they were the non-perishables for Friday night's dinner. Since I wanted to finish cleaning first, I ignored them. When Kris came downstairs he immediately went to the table and asked if I had found my present. In amongst the grocery store bags was a lone Target bag apparently. My ears perked up at "present" though and I said "Presents, for me?" Kris asked if I wanted my presents early and of course I said yes. Kris gave me the 10th Season of Friends on DVD (rounding out my collection) and the new Red Hot Chili Peppers CD (my favorite band). I think I've listened to it minimum 3 times by now and I love it. LOVE IT. It's actually a 2 disc set and yes, I've listed to both discs at least 3 times. Saturday morning Kris also bought me tickets for the Chili Peppers concert! They've kicked off a tour for this new CD but they aren't coming to St. Paul until November 5th! It's the last date on the tour. Tickets went on sale Saturday morning and Kris was at the computer refreshing Ticketmaster until they went on sale at 9am. He got seats in section 105, row 2(!) at the Xcel Center. It's going to be great! He could have had floor tickets if he wanted but we're not that wild and crazy anymore. Or ever. So, I was sufficiently spoiled for Mother's Day.

Saturday night we had dinner at Dusty and Kim's house to celebrate Mother's Day with Grandma Lona (now called Nana) and Grandpa Dale (now called Papa). As soon as we got there, Annika took off chasing their dog, Babe, a bulldog. Annika and Babe had a great time running all over the house. They ran so much that Annika wore out the dog. She had so much fun, laughing and squealing in delight. However, at one point she was running on the hardwoods, tripped, fell on her knees which stuck to the floor and she topped forward on her mouth. There was blood coming from her upper lip and she cried for a minute or two as Daddy cleaned her up. As soon as the blood stopped flowing though she was back to running and chasing the dog. We checked Sunday morning and she didn't bite through her lip or anything, she has a couple cuts on the upper lip inside where it hit her teeth, but she'll be just fine. The only tragedy from the evening is that I forgot my camera at their house! There were some great picture opportunities yesterday with Annika and I didn't have a camera! Argh! Hopefully Kris can pick it up this week for me.

Yesterday morning Kris and I ran in the Minneapolis Race for the Cure. It's a tradition with us now. I've run it 5 years in a row and Kris has run it 4. It was a little cold and drizzly so Krystle met us there. It was held at the Mall of America so Krystle and Annika spent most of the time inside the mall while Kris and I were running outside. After the race (where my time sucked but at least I didn't have to stop and walk!), we dashed off to brunch with Gramme and Mathias. Brunch was divine. They had a huge spread of food, desserts and even a kids bar with yogurt, cereal, fruit snacks, juice boxes, etc. Oh, and they had 99 cent mimosas! Now that is a spectacular brunch! After gorging on food, food, more food and then lots of dessert, including a chocolate fountain, we went home and Annika and I napped together. We worked around the house in the afternoon a bit before going back out for dinner. After dinner Annika and I played for a while and after she went to bed, Kris and I watched a movie snuggled up together on the couch. See? A wonderful day. I could not have asked for more. I am so lucky.

And now it's back to work. But only for 4 days!

Posted by Kristina at 5/15/2006 07:27:00 AM

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006
I love this picture of Annika. I think it shows just how beautiful she is. I love her big beautiful eyes. I love her soft cheeks. I love her hairline, her eyelashes, her perfect button nose. I just love everything! Auntie Krystle took this picture. Annika had put Krystle's coat on and was running around the living room. It's too bad the camera strap got in the way on this one. I may print it out to frame anyway. And I'm not biased at all. You can all comment and tell me how cute she is too! (Hint! Hint!)

Annika is just such an amazing little kid. She can name almost every letter in the alphabet. Last night during her bath she held up a bunch of letters and she named each and every one of them correctly (Q - of course, Z, S, T, etc.). And she can count to ten! I think she still skips seven but when we count the stairs as we walk down them she'll say seven with me. And she can sing her ABC's! We sing them together and often she'll start the next sequence before I do. Uncle Mathias has this recorded on his cell phone from a couple weekends ago. She's even better at them now, getting more of the letters. And if we sing the song once, we have to sing it three or four times in a row before we can move on to another song. My baby girl is so smart! Last night she requested pizza for dinner. Around 5:15pm she cocked her head to the side, looked at me and said "Pizza?" I asked her if she wanted pizza for dinner and she said "Yep." So I made one and she ate two pieces. Annika is also doing really well at transitioning to a cup instead of a sippy cup. She sometimes underestimates how quickly the liquid will get to her and she spills down her shirt but for the most part she can pick up a cup, tilt it, drink and put it back down, all without spilling. It's, of course, convenient for us parents to have her use a sippy cup so we don't have to worry about spilling, but the pediatrician wants her off sippy cups completely by her 2 year check up. Usually with each meal now we give Annika a cup of milk or water instead of a sippy cup. I don't think it will take long to get her off them completely. She's even refused a sippy cup recently because she wanted a regular cup. Sigh. She's growing up too fast!

Annika has discovered the back yard. And the dirt that is in it. I so wish we had grass already! Come on developer - get a move on with the sod! We're letting Annika explore her world though without too much intervention. The only time we intervene is when she puts a rock in her mouth. She calls rocks "ickies" now because of it! She plays in the dirt, throwing it in her hair, eating a bit of it, digging in it, "sliding" down a dirt hill on her butt, etc. She also explores the weeds we have growing, the neighbors deck, the bushes next to the house, etc. She has such a blast and throws a tantrum if we try to do something else or go inside. I think I need to get her a bucket and shovel so she can pretend she has a sandbox and just play in our dirt backyard! Last night she was so dirty from playing outside that I brought her in the garage door, took her straight to the bathroom, stripped her down to her diaper and washer her up. She spent the rest of the night in just her diaper until bath and bedtime.

I'm at work today. Blah! I wish I was working from home instead as I miss my baby girl and my hubby. But a big executive review I have to present has called me in. It's okay though. I have lots of interrupted Annika time planned for this weekend. And for the next 4 weeks, I'm going to have 4 day work weeks! I'm taking off the 19th for our garage sale, the 26th to attend Annika's last ECFE class of the spring with her, of course Memorial Day the 29th and then also Monday the 5th of June (for no good reason other than it's my 30th birthday and I want to go get pampered!). Yay! It's going to be rough though come June 16th when I have to work my 5th day in a row in quite some time! Remind me on that day how good I've had it for the last month. I may kick you in the shin though - beware!

Posted by Kristina at 5/10/2006 10:48:00 AM

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Monday, May 08, 2006

Yesterday Annika wore another new pretty dress. She was just adorable in her dress and I've uploaded a bunch of pictures of her in it. They're in a new album called Annika #10. Go ahead and look but make sure you come back! Annika also turned 20 months old yesterday. Pretty soon we'll be out of the month age convention and I'll just call her "2" or "3". Yeah, I'm not really excited about that. I want her to stay little forever.

This weekend Kris did a bunch of work on the outside of our house. He hung our new shutters, painted the front door and painted the trim work around the garge door and front door. Our house looks very nice now and finally finished. Those patches of bare wood showing through were starting to drive me crazy. And the new navy blue shutters finally tie our shingles into the rest of our house. It looks so nice now! I should take a picture!

Yesterday Auntie Krystle came over so we could have a long scrapbooking day. She came over just as we were finishing lunch. After lunch Kris took Annika upstairs for a nap and Krystle and I snuck out of the house. We walked down the street to the new townhouses and toured the model and another one for sale that was having an open house. Both are really, really nice! Vaulted living, dining room and kitchen. Three bedrooms. Ceramic tile instead of vinyl. Two car garage. Upgraded kitchen appliances. Aah, so nice. Krystle and I daydreamed about all the things we could do together if she lived nearby (taking walks, riding bikes, scrapbooking). I remarked that she could see my house from both of the townhouses we toured, but not to worry, that by the time they finish the development, there will be two rows of townhouses between us. We'd be within walking distance of each other but far enough apart that we would take different roads home and wouldn't be able to actually see each other. I think it would be absolutely, positively perfect. Time will tell where she and Pierce end up. In the mean time, it was fun daydreaming together!

Posted by Kristina at 5/08/2006 08:32:00 PM

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Thursday, May 04, 2006
What a week! There is so much I wanted to record here but work was really busy Monday and Tuesday and then yesterday I worked from home and my list of items was at work! I wanted to tell you about all the cute things Annika did last weekend. Saturday night was Amanda and Dean's engagement party. Grandpa Dan and Marcia came over to babysit Annika. Annika was standing on the window ledge on the stair landing looking outside ("side" in Annika speak) when they drove up. As they were walking towards the house, I told Annika they were coming to our house to play with her. She turned and scampered down off that ledge as quickly as she could, shoving me out of the way as she went. Then we ran down the stairs, almost falling, so she could get to the front door. She ran to the door as they were walking in but then stopped, turned around and ran around the living and dining room like a crazy girl, laughing and hopping and skipping and shouting with glee. Yes, she was a tad excited to see "Gampa" (Annika speak again) and Marcia. Kris and I were preparing to leave when I asked Annika if she wanted to take a bath. She LOVES baths. I hardly got a kiss and wave good-bye before she was headed up the stairs with Marcia for her bath. Kris didn't get a good-bye at all. She was not sad in the least that we were leaving. When Kris and I arrived home that night Auntie Krystle gave us the rundown on the evening. She had come to relieve Grandpa and Marcia of their duties about 8:45pm or so and guess who was still awake? Yep, Annika. She was too busy playing to go to sleep, I guess. She was happy and in a good mood so, of course, Grandpa and Krystle let her stay up so they could play with her some more. She went to bed around 9:15pm or so and then slept in late Sunday morning to 8am. She's usually up by 7am so it worked out just fine.

Sunday Annika and I headed to Grandpa Dan's house to help clean out the basement. Grandpa's basement was loaded with all my, Krystle and Mathias' old toys, books and games. We worked for five hours and went through every box, deciding what we were tossing, what we were keeping and what we were selling at our upcoming garage sale. Annika had a great time playing in the basement with all those new (nasty, dirty) toys. When we found a box of old dolls, Annika lost her little mind. She wanted to play with those dolls so badly and we wouldn't let her due to the mold and mildew. Grandpa had to take box out to the garage while Krystle and I distracted Annika with something else. She didn't forget about those dolls though and asked for them off and on throughout the afternoon. Auntie Krystle found her Cabbage Patch Doll and it was still in good condition so she let Annika play with it. That doll along with the new doll highchair we found and Annika was happily playing again. I have to say though that the funniest part of the afternoon for me was when we were done cleaning. We were hanging out in the family room while Mathias went through the last of the toys. I turned on the satellite tv to music channel so Annika could entertain us by dancing. Except that Annika had other ideas. She made Grandpa, Auntie Krystle and Uncle Mathias all get up and dance with her! To an Ashley Parker Angel song! I about died laughing. After a little bit Grandpa sat back down and Annika immediately took his hand and asked him "Up?" again. There will be no sitting Granpda - only dancing! We left shortly after the dancing to go meet Grandpa Dale, Grandma Lona and Uncle Dusty for dinner. The only way I could get Annika to agree to leave though was to ask her if she wanted to go see Uncle Dusty. Annika didn't have a nap on Sunday so of course she fell asleep during the 30 minute drive to the restaurant. I felt bad waking her up and was worried that short a nap was only going to make her in a bad mood. She did need a long wake up period, cuddling on my lap in the restaurant, but eventually Daddy was able to take her from me and then she was up and laughing and playing with everyone. She even ate a bunch for dinner, most of it being the clam chowder she shared with Grandma.

Yesterday, Gramme came over to our house so we could go shopping at Lowe's together. As soon as she walked in the house, Annika ran over to her and jumped in her arms. Then she cuddled with Gramme, laying her head down on her shoulder. Gramme loved it, of course, but it also made my heart melt. I'm sure Kris would agree with me on this one: I love LOVE love seeing Annika so happy to see our family members. To see the joy and happiness and love on her face as well as their faces when she sees them and plays with them, well, it's making me cry right now thinking of it. When she scampered down off that window sill or when she jumped in Gramme's arms or every week when she beams when Auntie Krystle comes over to scrapbook, I just don't know how to describe it. It makes my heart sing. I love our family so, so much and now Annika does too. I am so lucky.

Posted by Kristina at 5/04/2006 07:56:00 AM

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