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Wednesday, September 27, 2006
I'm back from my 20 week doctor appointment. Make that 21 weeks, 4 days. After discussing it with my midwife, we've decided to change my due date to February 4th instead of February 14th. Why? Number 1, the ultrasound dated the baby as February 4th based on all the measurements. My midwife even recalculated everything to make sure there weren't any errors. Then there is my date of ovulation which put my due date at February 9th instead of February 14th. Then there is my history of a big baby and the fact that most subsequent babies are up to half a pound bigger. The midwives usually do not induce until 2 weeks past the due date which would be February 18th with the new date. That would put me at 40 weeks 5 days with the February 14th date and 41 weeks 2 days with the February 9th date. Annika was born at 41 weeks 5 days. Kris, the doctor and I were comfortable with all this information so February 4th it is. Then I hopped up (okay, gently climbed) up on the table and she measured my belly. I'm measuring 23 weeks so that was another good indication to move up my due date. I always measured a week or two bigger with Annika as well so this matches well. The baby's heartbeat was 148 bpm and I've gained approximately 8 pounds total so far. My blood pressure was 114 over 70. The rest of the ultrasound report said everything was normal, normal, normal. I think the doctor might even have said perfect. Everything is right on track.

And believe me that was exactly what I needed to hear. It seems the world is falling apart around Kris and I. We are fine. Annika is fine. Confirmation today that the baby is fine. But so many of our friends and family are hurting that I'm finding it hard to be joyous right now. I've wrote about some of it already (Denise's cancer) but there is just so much more going on. I don't want to write about all of it because it is not my business. But there is heartache and sadness on both sides of our family and with our friends. Kris and I are trying to be supportive and loving and caring to everyone. Sometimes you just don't know what to say or do though, you know? And if feels like what you have done or are doing just isn't enough.

I just thank God that we have Annika. Even during all these hard times she is a constant joy. Kris and I find ourselves laughing with her daily. Or just smiling because she is doing something extra cute. This morning Kris and Annika came to my doctor appointment with me. I sat down in the waiting room and asked Annika if she could sit in the purple chair next to me. She climbed up and sat down just like mommy was, complete with one little arm on the big arm rest. She looked so little in that big chair but she was sitting in it just like a big girl. I looked at Kris and he was smiling at her with the proudest smile of love. We feel that way about her every day. We are just so proud of her and so lucky to have her.

Posted by Kristina at 9/27/2006 09:54:00 AM

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Monday, September 25, 2006
Kris and I started discussing boy names yesterday. By discussing I mean me reading through a baby name book and throwing out options and Kris saying no to them all. :) OK, so there is one possible name that we agree on. I'm more of a traditionalist when it comes to names while Kris is more a unique namer. Annika was a nice compromise for us in that it's a traditional name that isn't used very often. The one boy name we can agree on is not that traditional if you ask me and I'm having a little bit of a hard time with it. I do like it though and if it comes to February and that is the only name we've found that we can agree on, then I think it will be OK. I'm only at H though in the book so maybe there's another option out there?

The Pampered Chef party went well Thursday night. It was a bit chaotic but Annika seemed to handle it pretty well. There were a couple times when she took toys away. I returned them to whoever was playing with it and talked with Annika about sharing. She's so young that I'm sure the concept is a little beyond her comprehension levels right now. And she looked at me quite a bit as if to say "Um, Mom? Yeah, that girl over there is playing with my horse, doll, block, etc." There were no screaming matches or biting or any other typical toddler behavior. All the little girls were just angels if you ask me. We tried to get a group shot of them but it was pretty late by that point and they were getting quite restless. Auntie Krystle stayed late after everyone else had gone. I think she needed some Annika time. She's used to seeing Annika once a week on our scrapbooking nights and having lots of one on one time but she's been traveling so much for work that there's been no time for that lately. I let Annika stay up late so that she could play with Auntie Krystle. I, of course, was relishing the sister time as well. I miss my sister! I'm hoping the traveling quiets down for her soon so she can spend some more time with me (selfish anyone?) and Annika and her boyfriend Pierce and just generally relaxing once in a while!

This weekend was pretty quiet for us. Saturday was gymnastics class. Annika gets a little bored during the obstacle course and balance beam work, Kris said. Although she did do a somersault all by herself during the obstacle course. I wish I had seen that! Maybe I can get her to re-create it at home for me. Annika really loved the trampoline time and the foam ball pit time though. Of course! And she put up a little fuss when it was time to go but it was not the full blown tantrum that the first class was. I think she's realizing that while play time is over for now, we will be coming back. It's cute though during the week how she asks to go to gymnastics each time we get her ready to go outside or for a car ride. The rest of Saturday was napping and resting and relaxing. Yesterday was more of the same. Uncle Mathias came over to visit and watch the Vikings game with us. Annika had been asking about him all week and each time I had to tell her that he was at school. He was home working this weekend and I'm glad I called to see if he had time to come visit us. Annika was a little shy at first but when she warmed up she was very content to sit in his lap and snuggle on the recliner with him. And then it was time to play "Get you" where she would run around and he would tickle her tummy whenever she came near him. I love hearing her laugh and giggle and I think Uncle Mathias was enjoying himself too.

This week will hopefully be nice and quiet for us. Wednesday is my 20 week midwife appointment. We'll get the ultrasound report then and I have a bunch of questions to ask about the hospital. I'd like to know some of their policies and procedures since this is a different hospital than what I delivered Annika in. I also need to take a look at the class schedule and see if there are any classes we'd like to sign up for. Kris said he would take a refresher childbirth class if I decided I wanted to take it. We'll also sign up for the hosptial tour, of course. I don't know if there is anything else or not.

And can I just say how awesome I think it is that I got a couple comments on my last post? I never get comments! You people are too quiet! Hi Robyn and Mrs. Flinger! By the way, I found Mrs. Flinger by reading Amalah's Daily Dose. You should check out all 3 of those blogs if you have time. Mrs. Flinger and Amalah's blogs are hilarious and Amy does a great job of pointing out new and interesting happenings in the blog world at the Daily Dose. Mrs. Flinger had a really thought provoking post today. I, too, have major control issues that I've worked on over the years. And while reading her post I started thinking about my parenting style with Annika. I'm surprised that I'm as relaxed and laid back as I am with her. Sure, in her first year I was controlling over those items I felt were important (making sure she breastfed whenever she wanted to keep my supply up, not feeding her the no-no first year foods like honey and egg whites and peanut products, etc.) Other than that though, when it comes to discipline and her behavior, I think I'm pretty relaxed. I hope there's not a bunch of friends and family members laughing at me right now saying "Oh no you aren't girlfriend!" I'm hoping I can keep my control freak tendencies at bay when I have two children to care for and discipline too. Yikes!

I wonder if I should add links to all the great blogs I read on the sidebar. I don't know how many of you would be interested in that. Currently the three listed are personal friends of mine outside of the internet. Let me know if you'd like to see a new link list!

Posted by Kristina at 9/25/2006 03:09:00 PM

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Thursday, September 21, 2006
I forgot to tell you one detail from yesterday's ultrasound. The tech said the baby is currently weighing approximately 13 ounces! That's huge! I received my Babycenter newsletter yesterday for week 19 and it said the average baby was 6.5 ounces at this point. I forwarded to the 20 week newsletter and it says that the average 20 weeker is 10 ounces. My ultrasound dated the baby at 20 weeks 4 days due to all the measurements. I wonder if this means the baby is going to be even bigger than Annika was at birth (9 pounds, 2 ounces)! Ouch! I have five or so ultrasound pictures that I'll try to scan in this weekend and upload. No "money shot" pictures but cute profiles and one of his little foot.

I have to admit that I was pretty convinced this baby was going to be another girl. I still haven't wrapped my brain around the boy thing. Just now I was reading something and the name Amelia popped out. I thought "Hey, that's a nice name. Hmm, I don't really like it better than my top girl name though." Then I remembered - I'm not having a girl. I'm having a boy. I need to stop with the girl names and focus on boy names. Anybody have any suggestions? Kris and I totally don't agree on boy names. He has one picked out (since college) that I am just not that crazy about and he's all but totally rejected the boy name that I like. We keep trying to appease the other by picking out middle names that we know the other will appreciate. It's not working though in swaying either one of us to the other side. I'm afraid we'll have to find a third name that we can both maybe agree on. Names are hard!

Annika is doing so many cute things lately! I can't keep up or write about them all. I'd love to just bottle up this time so I can replay it over and over and over again. She just cracks me up sometimes! Yesterday during the ultrasound when it was announced we were having a boy, Annika just repeated over and over again "Baby Brother". Way to make your hormonal mommy cry more little girl! And last night Annika and I were having dinner with Mary and Amanda's at Amanda's house. Amanda got out the Pac-man video game for Annika to play. Of course she can't play Pac-man but we thought she could maybe move the joystick around for fun. Instead, Annika wanted Amanda to play the game and while she did, Annika ran circles around Amanda, literally. She just kept running and running laughing and giggling the whole time. Every once in a while she would stop and push the reset button and the game would start over. At the end of the night as I was putting her shoes and jacket on, she said good-bye to Amanda and Mary and then cheerfully announced "Good-bye everyone!" And she still has to give everyone a hug and kiss good-bye. And it has to be a kiss on the lips or she'll grab your head and pull it towards her to kiss you there. There will be no cheek kissing for Annika!

Last weekend Annika was eating lunch with us at Grandpa's house. Annika took a drink of milk and put her cup back on the table, very close to the edge. Grandpa moved her cup back towards the top of her plate and Annika very plainly said "Thank you." Manners? From my child? I love it! We're trying to drive home the please concept too. Each time she asks for something I just stare at her as if she's not done asking. She's taken to saying "What do you say? Please!" when I do that. Kris and I both ask her that to prompt her to say please so now she's incorporated the whole question and answer into her requests. So cute!

Tonight I'm hosting a Pampered Chef show and a bunch of my friends are coming. These friends all have little girls around Annika's age. At last count there will be at least 5 little girls all around 2. I can't wait to see how much they've each grown! I haven't seen some of them since April! I know Annika will love it too but I'm concerned how the toy sharing will go. Basically Annika doesn't share at all. Everything is "Nika's!", even the couch when the cat is sitting on it and the car when Kris is driving away in it to go to work. I don't know how she does at ECFE class when all the other little kids are playing with the toys that she wants to play with, however, these little kids will be in her house, playing with her toys. I'm sure there will be lots of "Nika's!" coming out of her mouth tonight as she tries to grab toys away. I hope the other moms will help me police that. If my child takes a toy away from someone else, that toy gets returned pronto. She will learn eventually to share, but only if she is shown how. Oh, toddlers. Such fun!

Posted by Kristina at 9/21/2006 03:12:00 PM

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006
First, the ultrasound report. We won't get the official report until next Wednesday's doctor's appointment but everything we saw and measured looked healthy and on track. In fact, the baby is measuring big and from all the measurements, my due date should be February 4th, not February 14th. There were 4 heart chambers, 2 brain lobes, bones and arms and toes and kidneys and everything else right where it should be and developing normally. At least as far as the ultrasound tech let on. And the baby is very active! The ultrasound tech was having a hard time getting some measurements and views because the baby was moving around so much. The baby is also head down - very low and that was prohibiting some good brain shots. The tech got them eventually though. The placenta is in the back and away from the cervix. That's why I could feel the baby kicking so early. And my cervix is long (5cm) and closed. Everything was great! And Gramme was able to come with Kris, Annika and I to see the little guy. The little boy who is not shy with his boy parts. At all. We're having an exhibitionist little boy!!!!! I cried. Gramme cried. And Kris took it in stride since he was pretty convinced we were having a boy anyway. Wow! A boy! I don't know what to do with a boy! Except to keep him covered while I change him! And since 98% of my baby clothes are girly - I get to go shopping! We are so blessed! Two healthy children and one of each gender! I am so lucky!

An update on Denise - the surgery didn't go so well yesterday. The tumor was over twice as large as they expected and they found some lymph nodes that felt hard and looked bad. Denise most likely has stage 3 cancer. She'll know for sure after she gets the pathology report today. She's already been scheduled for a mastectomy this afternoon unless the pathologist says differently. The hospital she's at has a 72% success rate with stage 3 cancer. The odds are good. And Denise is otherwise healthy and strong. They're going to treat her pretty aggressively with radiation and chemo. And we're all going to be there to help her, emotionally and physically. Please keep praying for my aunt. She has a long, tough road ahead of her.

Let's go back to happier things. Saturday night Kris and I were laying around watching season 2 of Veronica Mars. We have to get ready for season 3 to start you know! Anyway, our baby BOY was kicking and punching away so I took Kris's hand and put it on my belly. The baby cooperated and Kris could feel him kicking!

Annika still has a cold. She's still a leaky little faucet. Her sleeping hasn't been too bad except she's been waking up earlier. And she's taking her decongestant medicine just fine. And she's not running a fever and doesn't have a cough. She probably just picked up something from the ECFE or gymnastics kids last week. I'm sure most parents go through this in early September.

Posted by Kristina at 9/20/2006 10:02:00 AM

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Sunday, September 17, 2006
I found out today that my aunt and Godmother Denise has breast cancer. It sounds like they caught it early. She's going in for a lumpectomy on Tuesday and then we'll know for sure. I'm worried about her but Gramme (Denise's sister) said she seems in good spirits. Please, please pray for my aunt.

And now for some good news. Pam and Mark are the proud parents of a baby girl! Jeanne Kaylynn was born today, September 17th! Happy Birthday Jeanne! And Congratulations to Pam and Mark! They are going to be in the hospital until Tuesday. At first I said to myself "Oh good, I can go visit them tomorrow after work then!" Yeah, then I remembered that Kris and I both have sore throats. I have a slightly stuffy nose and Annika's nose is one big leaky faucet. We'll be staying far, far away from precious newborns. Instead, a phone call and maybe some flowers or a plant will have to do. Bummer!

I need to start calling Kris "Daddy" whenever Annika is around. She has started calling him Kris too! He's still Daddy most of the time but if she wants his attention (like if he's upstairs and she's down or something) then she'll yell out "Kris!" Hmm, I wonder where she got that from? :)

Yesterday was Annika's second gymnastics class. This time I went to class with her while Kris watched through the glass. Annika, again, had a great time. She did pretty well with listening to the coach and following the instructions too. And she'll do a somersault but she's not all that enthused about it. She'd rather jump, jump, jump, jump up, jump off, jump over, jump, jump, jump. Towards the end of the class we were waiting to get on the trampolines. We had to wait for another class to vacate them first. Annika kept asking for the trampolines. We finally had our turn and then the last activity we were going to do was jump and play in the foam block pit. Annika DID NOT want to leave the trampolines and threw a FIT. I finally just picked her up and walked over to the foam block pit. She refused to get in and play. The coach is very good with children though (she has 3, the youngest being 3) and started throwing blocks to her up on the side and asking Annika to throw them back in at her. That loosened Annika back up and pretty soon she was jumping off the side into the coach's arms. And when it was over, Annika was exhausted and didn't put up a fight to stay. She got her stamp on her hand, put on her sweatsuit and shoes and off we went.

We visited Grandpa Dan and Marcia yesterday afternoon. And guess what Grandpa Dan has? A trampoline! Yes, there was lots of time spent on the trampoline yesterday. At one point Kris and I had to convince Annika to get off it so that we could head into town to the town festival. As soon as we got back after the festival though she was asking if she could go jump some more. She and Grandpa spent a long time out there. Her white socks were BLACK by the time she came back in. She had so much fun! We headed home not long after that. Annika didn't have a nap all day and I was pretty tired myself. Annika slept during the short car ride home and then was up playing until bed time. Me? I took a 2 hour nap when we got home! Ha!

Today Annika and I went shopping and guess what we got? A ladybug costume for Annika! She's going to be so cute! Now I have to get a black long sleeved shirt and some black tights and she'll be all set. I also got her a felt pumpkin basket too for all her loot. OK, so we'll probably only go to a couple houses this year but it's going to be fun anyway!

Posted by Kristina at 9/17/2006 08:56:00 PM

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Thursday, September 14, 2006
I'm really excited about fall being here. I have no idea why. I'm usually a spring/summer girl. But the cooler weather, sweaters and football games sounds so appealing to me! I was all excited this week to see that our weekends this fall are almost all open. So this morning I set out to schedule in some football games for us. We have three schools that we need to cheer for (luckily they are in three different conferences so we don't have to worry about one playing another!). Kris is an alumni (football and college) of Augsburg college. I'm an alumnae of the University of Minnesota and my cousin plays football for Minnesota State, Mankato. I looked at all three school's schedules today and made up a tentative football schedule as follows:

Saturday September 30 - Augsburg vs Concordia (Homecoming!)
Saturday October 7 - Augsburg vs Wartburg (maybe)
Saturday October 14 - Mankato vs Duluth
Saturday October 21 - U of M vs North Dakota State (maybe)
Saturday October 28 - Augsburg vs Gustavus Adolphus (maybe - at Gustavus - maybe our neighbors - both Gustavus alumni would like to join us?!)
Saturday November 4 - U of M vs Indiana (Homecoming!)
Saturday November 11 - Mankato vs Western Washington (maybe - depending on weather)
Saturday November 18 - U of M vs Iowa (maybe)

That's a lot of football! We will most certainly make one game for each school, most likely the Sept. 30, Oct. 14 and Nov. 4 games. The others are all maybe's right now depending on weather, schedules and babysitters (Annika will attend Augsburg and Mankato games but not U of M games). Yay! I'm so excited!

Last night I asked Annika what she wanted for dinner. She said strawberries. I said okay, let's put on your shoes so we can go to the store and get some. We first headed to Kohl's and Famous Footwear to look for shoes (for me) and clothes (for her). After those two errands I asked her again what she wanted for dinner. She again said strawberries. We went to the grocery store and got some strawberries (and yogurt, milk, bread, etc. - you know). When we got home, Annika proceeded to eat half the 1 pound container of strawberries and still asked for more. I guess she really wanted some strawberries!

Posted by Kristina at 9/14/2006 12:29:00 PM

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006
I now have a lot more cold weather maternity wear, six shirts and two pairs of pants to be exact. Of course, now it's going to get warm (up to 80F maybe!) through the end of the week. They said next Monday it might be back to mid-60's though so these new warmer clothes will come in handy real quick! Annika did really well last night shopping too. She stayed in her stroller for the most part and after we were done at the first store she asked "More shopping?" The sales clerk was surprised to hear that from her. Most kids want to go home but not my Annika. She wanted to shop more! And she loved going shoe shopping too. I was looking for some new sneakers (mine are so worn out!) and Annika wanted to get in the act too. She asked to take her shoes off so Amanda (Amanda and Pam went shopping with us) took her shoes off and put on the women's sneakers on. Annika loved it. She asked to get out of her stroller then and she perused the aisles with Amanda, trying on more shoes. And when Annika was with me and Amanda would step out of her view she would yell "Amanda" in her cute little toddler pronunciation. I think she really likes Amanda! Pam is fairly new to Annika, Annika not having hung out with her very often but she was concerned at least one time when she couldn't see Pam too. So cute! By the end of the night it was Pam and I that were wiped out and wanted to go home. I think Annika and Amanda could have shopped more! When we got to the truck though Annika asked for her nukky (her pacifier that she only gets at bed time and nap time) and some covers. And she didn't put up any struggle when we got home and I said it was time for bed.

One week until the big ultrasound! I'm starting to get excited for it but my anxiety is also starting to go up. What if they find something wrong? I chose not to undergo the quad screen earlier in the pregnancy (I did the same thing with Annika) because our risk factors were so low compared to the false positive rates for which the test is known. Please, please, please let this baby be healthy! I also want it to cooperate on the gender question but more than anything, I want a clean bill of health.

I received Annika's 2 year pictures in the mail yesterday (or was it Monday?). They turned out pretty cute! I have a ton of them too because Sadie's is having a special this month. If you buy one Platinum package (9 sheets of 3 poses), you get a second platinum package free! It's exactly the same package so you get double the pictures but when you're getting pictures for aunts and uncles and grandparents plus yourself, you need a lot of pictures! Now I need to go through them and decide who gets what and then I want to get them mailed out or delivered by this weekend. There's always so much to do!

Posted by Kristina at 9/13/2006 12:42:00 PM

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Monday, September 11, 2006
Friday was Annika's 2 year check up. She was pronounced healthy (no more pneumonia, ear infection or croup even though we only got half the medicine in her) but was still a little raspy in the throat. I love the doctor we had on Friday. There are 3 that work at this clinic location and we've seen all 3 now. I think from now on I'll try and schedule appointments with Dr. O though. She has a very good bedside manner with Annika. And Annika was deemed brilliant (again) by the doctors. OK, maybe she didn't use the word brilliant but Annika and I had to fill out this questionnaire on developmental milestones and Annika scored as a 3 year old. So the doctor said that my 2 year old thinks she's a 3 year old. See? She's brilliant! Every parent thinks that - don't they? :) As for her stats, she measured 26.5 pounds (40th percentile), 35.5 inches (89th percentile and 49 cm head circumference (50th percentile). I had Annika stand by her growth chart at home on Thursday and she measured 34.5 inches tall. So if you take the average (35 inches) and use the theory that if you double a child's 2 year height you will get their adult height then Annika is going to be 70 inches tall! That's 5 feet, 10 inches! There are tall ladies in her family (Hi Nana) so it wouldn't be that out of the ordinary but still! She could be a model or a basketball player (or an engineer! or a teacher! or a businesswoman!)! And she would definitely tower over Gramme who is 5'2"! :)

I think Annika is going to be left brained like Kris and I are. She definitely shows those tendencies and Nana was able to see that in action on Thursday. We took some pictures with a little tea set at the studio. Instead of smiling for the camera, Annika chose instead to neatly line up all the silverware. Maybe this is just a toddler thing (like constantly picking lint off clothing, furniture, the floor, etc.) but she does this kind of thing in other ways too.

Saturday was Annika's first gymnastics class. Kris participated with her and they started out by running and stretching for a warm-up. Then they did some trampoline work, learning how to jump and stop correctly. Next was the balance beam. They had four beams, one on the floor and 3 others a foot off the ground. On each beam they had different skills to practice (walking sideways, walking forward, crouching down and jumping off, crouching down to pick up a bean bag and put it in a basket next to the beam). After the balance beam they went to a small play area with structures for them to climb on and the last stop was the big foam pit they could play in. Annika had a great time and Kris said there wasn't anything strenuous he had to do. I was glad to hear that because now I can participate with her for a while until my belly gets too big and then Kris can take over again. Annika had such a great time that she threw a huge fit when it was time to go. She refused to put her coat and shoes on so Kris picked her up and carried her out the car bucking and kicking and screaming the whole way. I think she'll be excited to go back next Saturday. And it is so cute to hear her say "nastics" for gymnastics.

Saturday afternoon was Annika's 2nd birthday party. Gramme, Grandpa, Uncle Mathias, Auntie Krystle, Pierce, Nana, Papa, Great Nana, Great Grandma F, Great Grandpa F, Uncle Dusty and Aunt Kim were all able to come. Annika was spoiled rotten all afternoon, that's for sure. She received some really great gifts and has been busy playing with her new toys every second she gets. Kris made a great meal for us and Annika loved her strawberry shortcake cake. She loved it so much that after she ate her own piece she went back and forth between Nana and Papa to get bites of their pieces. It was a very nice, low key event. We watched football, Annika opened her presents and then played with her new toys and was never at a loss for attention.

I have exactly 3 long sleeved maternity shirts. How long do you think that will last me with this new fall weather we're experiencing? A shopping trip will either be happening today or tomorrow. I also want to get some new shoes for Annika. She has 2 pairs of shoes to wear this fall/winter and I think another pair or two couldn't hurt. Darn! A forced shopping trip! Otherwise all is well with Baby V (because it's due on Valentine's Day). It's kicking and moving all over the place. I can't wait until next week's ultrasound. Please, please, please let it be healthy. And let me stop calling it "it!" No, we don't have a name yet but at least I could call it she or he! After we have an all-clear ultrasound I'm going to try and start some preparations at home (ordering new bedding for Annika - getting her twin bed moved over from Grandpa's - cleaning out the office - decorating the new nursery, etc). And after we have an inkling into the baby's gender, then the name negotiations will begin in full force.

I would be remiss if I didn't remark on the importance of today. Today is the 5th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Where were you on that day? I will always remember where I was. I was driving south on 35W on my way to work, listening to the radio when it was announced that a plane had crashed into the North Tower. Once at work we all tried logging onto CNN and other news sites but they were all busy and crashing. Work had changed all the internal tv monitors to CNN so we could watch the coverage. I watched the 2nd plane hit and I watched the towers fall. I stood there, mouth gaping, at the sight. It was unbelievable. I couldn't wrap my brain around what was happening. Not much was accomplished that day. I cried and prayed for the victims, their families and everyone affected by this. I still cry and pray for them. Please visit The 2996 Project to honor and remember the victims of 9/11. The site is experiencing traffic problems today due to the overwhelming hits it's receiving. Please keep trying. It's worth it.

Posted by Kristina at 9/11/2006 11:41:00 AM

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Thursday, September 07, 2006
Happy 2nd Birthday Annika! Mommy and Daddy love you very, very much! I hope you had a great day. I loved being home to share it with you!

Annika woke up this morning and as we usually do, we brought her into bed with us for our morning snuggles. Except this morning she looked at me and asked for birthday cake. And then she said "Happy Birthday Annika!" How did she know that? We didn't even say anything to her about it yet! We have been talking about it this week so maybe some of that soaked in. Anyway, I sang "Happy Birthday" to her and then made her a chocolate chip Eggo for breakfast. Not quite birthday cake, but I think it was okay. Annika had a fun filled day today, that is for sure. Nana came over around 9:30am and went with us to the mall to get Annika's 2 year pictures taken. Annika was doing just fine at the picture place until they started rolling down the back drop. That scared her and she never quite recovered from that. She was a little leary of the people after that. She didn't smile too much but we got a few cute shots anyway. Annika has become pretty shy around people she doesn't know or hasn't seen in a while. She needs some time to warm up and then she is her normal, goofy self. After pictures we stopped for a bite of ice cream and then came home and ate lunch. Annika and I took a nap together (I didn't mean to nap with her but I fell asleep before she did I think!) while Nana helped Daddy work on the deck. It's almost finished and we have our final inspection on it tomorrow. Kris just has to put the top railing all the way around and we'll be done! It looks great! After we woke from our nap and Nana and Daddy came in the house it was present opening time! From us Annika received a fall windbreaker jacket, an outfit, Elmo bath toys and Duplo blocks. From Nana she got a coloring book. Kris had to leave to go to work then so Nana and Annika played with Duplo's for a while until it was time for us to leave. Nana had to go meet Auntie Kim and Annika and I had to go meet Grandpa and Marcia for dinner. Daddy met us there too. After some yummy Chinese food (really yummy!) we walked around the mall for a while. Annika scored some winter boots from Grandpa for her birthday. She was being such a goofy little girl but very good too. She stayed close by for the most part and if she started to stray a little too far away she was quick to come back to us when we called for her. And she loved her boots and gladly put them on and walked around in them. I just love that little kid so much!

Tuesday night during the night Annika woke up. She jumps up and down in her crib while saying "Mom!" over and over again to get my attention. She doesn't cry or yell so we must have the baby monitor turned up high enough that she knows she just has to say "Mom" (and it's not Mommy or Mama - it's Mom - like a big girl would say - not fair!) over and over again. Anyway, when I went in there she kept repeating "blue pig." She must have had a dream starring a blue pig. I laid her back down and covered her up and we didn't hear from her again until the next morning. A blue pig. Weird.

Yesterday morning Annika and I were snuggling in bed, me caressing her back and face while we gazed into each other's eyes. It was a serene, lovely moment, it really was. And then Annika looked at me and said "I love you Mommy." I melted into a huge puddle, teared up and then said "I love you too Annika" and gave her a huge hug. It was the first time she's said that to me unprompted. My baby girl loves me! She told me so! My heart exploded into a million pieces, it did.

Last night Annika and I attended the ECFE open house. Annika got to meet her teacher, Miss Laura. Miss Laura has been her teacher before and Annika remembered her. We also got to see her classroom and play with the toys. They also had ice cream and cookies for the kids (big and little!). Annika had a great time and didn't want to leave. We've found out that at least 2 other little kids in her Tuesday class have been in her previous classes so both she and Kris will have familiar faces when they walk into class for the first time on Tuesday. When we were leaving I told Annika she should say good-bye to Miss Laura so she walked up to her and patiently stood next to her while looking up at her. Miss Laura was talking to two other parents at the time. Miss Laura said good-bye to Annika and we walked out. It was just precious how she stood there waiting her turn. And Annika was only a little timid when we went into the classroom for the first time. It was crowded with parents and kids. I showed her some toys (including some dolls - she loves her babies!) and then she was happy to roam about the room playing with all the other toys. Once again, she just needed a little warm up time and some reassurance that she could go play. I am so proud of her.

Posted by Kristina at 9/07/2006 09:29:00 PM

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Annika is feeling much better. She still has a cough sometimes and is still refusing to take her medicine but otherwise she seems back to normal. Thank goodness. It was a long weekend though. Kris was down at Nana and Papa's house helping them with a big remodeling project so Annika and I were on our own. We didn't go down because we didn't want to spread our germs to Great Nana. We spent all of Saturday and Sunday in the house. Not only because it was raining, but also because Annika just wasn't herself yet. She had fun on Sunday when I got out her train set. She played trains the entire day until I put them away and said they were "sleeping" - so that I could get Annika to go to bed too. Yesterday we got the trains out again and she played trains almost the whole day again. We took a break to grab some lunch and run to a couple stores nearby. But once home again, it was back to the trains. My back was so sore from getting up and down off the floor. I had to play trains too most of the time or I just had to rebuild the tracks when Annika would destroy them (over and over again).

The rest of the week should be pretty busy too. Today Annika, Kris and Papa are making a lumber store run to get the last supplies needed for the deck as well as to return a bunch of items we don't need. Thursday is Annika's 2nd birthday! We're having a fairly low key day. I'm taking the day off and Annika and I are heading to get pictures taken while Kris finishes the deck. Friday we need to have the inspector come out to give final approval for the deck, Annika has her 2 year check-up and we need to get the house cleaned because Saturday is Annika's birthday party! And it's also her first day of gymnastics class. So, class at 9am, party at 3pm and then another party at 6pm (the September martini party which I'm not sure if we'll make or not). And Sunday Kris may head back down to Nana and Papa's to keep working on the new laminate flooring he's installing. Busy, busy, busy!

Either I have about 8 babies in my belly or this little guy is as active as they come. I feel kicks all over - up by my belly button, down by my pelvis, over on my left side practically to my hip. This baby is a moving and a shaking! Hopefully it will hold still on the 20th so we can get all the measurements we need at the ultrasound. Speaking of my belly button (which I did about 3 sentences ago - keep up!), it is starting to stretch out. My belly must be growing again. I've taken 5, 10 and 15 week belly photos. I'll see if I can get those posted this week. Everything else is going well with this pregnancy. So well in fact that sometimes I forget I'm pregnant! Only until my back starts hurting though or I can't bend down as easily to get something or the tummy issues kick in again or the baby starts kicking me. OK, so I don't forget all that often or for very long!

Posted by Kristina at 9/05/2006 08:24:00 AM

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Friday, September 01, 2006
I think Annika is on the upswing. At least I'm really, really hoping she is. Yesterday she showed a little bit more life, at times. She still had a fever most of the day and it was almost 103 last night. We're forcing the meds down, both Amoxycillin and Tylenol. Actually we're doing some manipulation to get the medicine down. This morning for breakfast Annika had ice cream with a nice Amoxycillin (orange dreamsicle flavored) topping. Yummy, no? She did spend most of yesterday curled up in my arms as I was still home sick too. At one point last night she asked me to put some music on. I did and she danced for about 15 seconds before asking me to hold her. So I picked her up and danced around the living room for 3-4 more songs. And we slept together on the couch again last night. I'm back at work today although still not feeling 100%. When I called home to check on Annika, Kris said she was upset when I wasn't there this morning and ran around the house looking for me. That just BREAKS MY HEART! But she's okay now, especially after her breakfast. Kris said her fever wasn't too bad this morning either. I'll be home the next three days with her and hopefully she can beat this and be up running around like her normal self by Monday. My poor baby.

Posted by Kristina at 9/01/2006 09:52:00 AM

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