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Monday, October 30, 2006
Kris and I are going to the Vikings-Patriots Monday Night Football game tonight! We're going to be in row 2, between the 10 and 20 yard lines on the Patriots side of the field. Look for us!

We had a low key weekend, just as planned. Annika is doing really well with the potty training. We didn't have any #1 accidents at all this weekend. Each day had a #2 accident but I think she'll get it with that pretty quickly too. I was even really daring yesterday and instead of a diaper, I put on a vinyl training pant during nap time and she woke up dry! Yay! Another day at home today with Kris (and with neighbors Andrew and Katie tonight while Mommy and Daddy are out cheering for the Vikings) and I think she'll be ready for her first outing tomorrow in underwear (with vinyl training pants over them). Tomorrow is her ECFE class. I'm so proud of my baby. She is pretty cute about it all too. Each time she goes on the potty she says "Good girl Annika! So proud of you!" And then she hops off and goes to get her candy.

Saturday morning Annika wore her lady bug costume to gymnastics class. A bunch of other little kids were also dressed up (Tigger, Winnie-the-Pooh, Snow White, Dorothy, etc.). I heard a bunch of people remark "What a cute litle ladybug!" And of course, she was! She's wearing her costume to ECFE class tomorrow as well. And of course she'll wear it tomorrow night when we go to a couple houses trick or treating. She's going to end up wearing it 4 different times. That's not too bad for a wear-it-once costume!

I think I've mentioned before that once in a while Annika will talk in her sleep. Yesterday while we were napping, Annika rolled from her left side to her back and whispered "six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve," and then the thirteen and fourteen trailed off again. It was so cute!

Not so cute was when she woke up this morning at 5am. I think the time change is affecting her. Either way she was not going back to sleep in her crib. I brought her into bed with us and she laid there and snuggled with me until it was time for me to get up. Then she wanted to get up and shower and get ready with me. I told her she had to stay in bed with Daddy and that Mommy had to get ready to go to work. I thought for sure there was going to be a fuss but instead she just laid there the whole time with Daddy in the dark. When I left she was asking for a stuffed animal (the Grover I brought her apparently wasn't the one she wanted) and I knew then that she was most likely up for the day. Poor Kris. He was up late last night and now he was up really early this morning. I foresee a nap with Annika in his future!

The office/nursery is almost entirely cleaned out. The only items left in there are the desk and the printer cabinet. Both of those will be moved to their new locations on Friday the 10th. All I have to do between now and then is clean up the desk a little bit. Yay! There was definitely progress made. And I also went through all of Annika's outgrown clothing this weekend. I was able to take out 2 heaping garbage bags full for this little guy. It's mostly green and yellow (plus receiving blankets, bibs, socks, etc.) but there was also a couple "boy" sleepers and outfits in there that Annika wore too. I'm pretty confident that I have enough supplies for this baby, at least in the 0-3 month department. I have receiving blankets, sleepers, onesies, socks, hats, burp clothes, bibs, etc. And I have at least two actual outfits. I shouldn't need to buy anything additional before he comes. Of course need and want are entirely separate. I already know of at least one Christmas present that he is getting from Mommy and Daddy. Either way, I feel pretty good and less stressed about it. All extra expenditures for the next two months can be Christmas present related instead of getting ready for baby related. Then, after Christmas I can focus again on any last minute needs for the baby. Also, larger items like the double stroller and such can wait until after Christmas or even after he's born.

Last night, after Annika went to bed, Kris and I were relaxing in the living room watching some random television. I was laying in the recliner and Baby Boy was going wild. He was moving all over the place. I slid my shirt up so I could see my belly and there were these huge ripples and waves going across the whole thing. I told Kris to turn and look and he saw a couple huge kicks and movements. All he could say was "That's creepy" albeit with a smile on his face. I don't think it's creepy at all. I think it's really cool! I watched Baby Boy a bit longer and then he settled down again. The funniest part though was each time he would make a big movement and my stomach would bend all out of shape, I would start giggling. And each time I giggled, my belly button popped out! So I started flexing my stomach muscles and I could make it pop out on my own. I don't think it will be much longer before I have an outie all the time!

Posted by Kristina at 10/30/2006 09:22:00 AM

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Friday, October 27, 2006
So far, so good with the potty training. Annika only had two accidents yesterday. She's wearing a diaper to ECFE class this morning and will again this afternoon for her nap but otherwise she will be pantied all day. Last night I made my big Target run. She was pretty excited by all the new panties (in Dora, Curious George, Little Mermaid and Cinderella patterns) and took forever in figuring out which ones she wanted to wear last night. After 4 or 5 changes, she decided on some Little Mermaid ones. She was even more excited about the Muppet stickers. She went potty three different times last night between 5pm and 7:15pm just to get a sticker. Once she was sitting on the couch, got up on her own and on her way to the bathroom announced to me "Potty Mommy! Sticker!" Sure enough, she went potty and was rewarded with a sticker. We don't have any plans for this weekend besides gymnastics tomorrow morning. I hope we can stay home that whole time and just practice the potty over and over again. As much time out of diapers is a good thing. I also bought training pants last night (those with the plastic on the outside) that we can use when we do leave home but we're not quite brave enough yet. We'll use diapers probably through the weekend if we need to leave the house and then re-evaluate next week. Maybe next Tuesday for ECFE she can wear a training pant. If Kris decides to do that he'll have to make sure he brings along a couple changes of clothes and protects the car seat in case of accidents. Isn't this fun!?

Also last night at Target I bought my son (my son!) a cute little outfit. So far I had only bought him sleepers and a going home from the hospital outift. Now he has a real, big boy outfit too. It's so cute too! It has gray little cargo style pants! I just couldn't resist. And it was on sale in the store!

I've been concerned the last few days that Baby Boy isn't kicking as much as he usually does. He's kicked me plenty often this morning so I'm hoping this is just my anxiety showing up again. My next doctor's appointment isn't for another 2 weeks (Nov. 8). I don't want to be a panicky pregnant woman and run to the doctor every time I have a worry because I would basically be living there. But I will ask her at my next appointment about it. Also on November 8th is the glucose screening test. I get to drink that yummy (sarcasm) sugary drink and then wait around for an hour to get my blood tested. At least I have my regular doctor appointment in between the drinking and the pricking so I won't be totally bored. I sure hope I pass! I don't want to have to worry about doing the three hour test and possibly having gestational diabetes.

And how about a little more about me? This pregnancy is starting to affect me physically again. It's not first trimester puking. No, now it's general aches and pains and tiredness. I get so tired in the evenings that staying up past 10:30pm is a real feat for me. And sometimes even making it to 10pm at all requires effort. And my lower back and hips have started hurting. Just getting up from my desk and walking down the hall hurts. It's not a huge pain but my lower back is definitely sore more often than not. I'm chalking this up to a couple things - 1 - being more active with Annika (i.e. getting down on the floor to play, carrying her up and down the stairs, etc.) and 2 - being older this time around by a couple years. I think I could really use a massage! Oh, and one other annoying side effect - I think my feet are getting bigger. I have slip on Skechers sneakers that I bought before I was pregnant. I like wearing them because I don't have to worry about tying, untying, retying. You get the point. Anyway, the more I wear them the more I notice that my toes are getting squished. As in my feet are getting bigger! I noticed this back when I was buying some shoes a month or two ago. I had to buy shoes a 1/2 size bigger than I usually do. I chalked it up to difference in brands then but now I think it's because my feet are bigger! This didn't happen with Annika, at least not that I can remember. I don't have huge feet so I guess this isn't too big of a deal but what if they don't return to normal after Baby Boy is born? I will have to buy all new shoes! Oh the horror! Wait - that may be a good thing! :)

Posted by Kristina at 10/27/2006 11:15:00 AM

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Thursday, October 26, 2006
The adventure has begun. Potty training. Yesterday was day 1. I didn't learn too much new at the class. It was basically just a local kindergarten teacher with advanced degrees in early childhood education and something else that has 5 kids including twin boys and all were trained shortly after turning 2. She wrote down what she did - what worked and what didn't - and turned it into a book. The class consisted of her going over the highlights of what works and a little of what doesn't and then some questions and answers time. Basically she said if you have a girl who is over 2, most likely she is ready. And when I looked at all the "signs" she lists in her book, Annika hits most of them. Yesterday morning Kris asked me about the class. I started by telling him that Annika is most likely ready and I think he stopped listening at that point. He's been ready to do this for a while. So, he made the decision that we were starting yesterday. Me, the organizer/planner/worrier, wasn't quite ready for this. But we don't have any training pants! And limited amounts of underwear! We need more cleaning supplies! And what about waterproofing her bed!, etc., etc. I went with the flow though and made a Target list for a big run tonight. How are we doing it? Basically Annika is naked from the waist down at all times during the day. She is only wearing a diaper during her nap and at bedtime (for the time being - when she has the daytime thing down we'll tackle night time). We have her potty chair in the living room for convenience but I will also be buying the smaller potty seats that fit on the standard toilet (along with a stool so she can get up there herself). She had many accidents yesterday and the portable steam cleaner was out more than once. The area rug has now been removed from the living room for the time being. And the couch is mostly off limits as is the (carpeted) upstairs. It's much easier cleaning up the wood floor or tile floor in the bathroom. We did have some successes yesterday too though. When she started pooping (in the middle of the living room) yesterday, I quickly caught her and she stopped herself and then finished the job on the potty chair. And after having lots of pee accidents yesterday, there was one time last night when I asked her if she had to go (of course she said no) but I put her on the big potty anyway and she went. And last night at bath time she started peeing on the floor of the bathroom but stopped herself and went over to the toilet and started lifting the lid. She finished her job there. I think she'll get it but the next few weeks are going to be messy. And we're pretty much homebound for the time being until Annika has this down a little bit. Then we can start making short outings (with her in cotton training pants with the plastic on the outside) but only to someplace where we know where the bathroom is. Kris and I have a job in this too. It is our job not to get frustrated or angry with her. She is after all learning a new skill - training is not just a name for this - she is actually in training. We have to be patient with her and give her lots of positive encouragement. Like yesterday when she would have an accident I would quickly carry her to the potty chair while saying "Uh oh Nika! We have to go pee-pee in the potty - not on the floor!" in a sing-songy voice. And then when she would go potty in the potty chair she got lots of praise (and some kisses - but really I smother her with kisses all the time so this was no different) and some candy. She's such a smart little girl though that she figured out the candy thing pretty quickly. She started sitting on the potty just long enough for her butt to touch it before jumping off again and asking for candy. The rules have officially been changed to only getting candy when there is pee pee or poopy in the potty. Sitting on it isn't enough. Stinker.

OK, is that enough about potty training for now?

Here's something completely different. I'm thinking about Christmas (already, I know). I'm thinking about what I would like to get Annika (A kitchen set quickly comes to mind. And of course more cute clothes). I'm also thinking about our Christmas card this year. We usually do picture cards. I've asked Kris if he wants to do another family picture or just a solo picture of Annika. He's unsure right now. I asked him again yesterday during lunch and got no response. We need to make a decision pretty soon though. I don't have any clothes I can wear that are nice enough (and holiday appropriate) so I'd have to go shopping. And of course Annika will need a new dress (or two) and I'd also like to get Kris at least a new shirt. And I need time to go shopping for all this plus I'd need to make an appointment early enough. I need to have enough time to get them all addressed and sent out. Do any of you (especially the family reading) have an opinion on this? Would you prefer a family picture or a solo Annika picture? (Personally, I'm leaning towards family).

I uploaded more pictures last night. Yahoo has a new picture format. If you go into album Annika #13, you'll only see the first 100 pictures. You have to go to page 2 in that album to see the rest. I think there's something like 127 in that folder or something. I created a new album last night named Annika #14 and put 25 pictures in it. I'll try to keep the albums to 100 pictures or less from now on. Go look at my baby in her cute ladybug costume! I also added a 25 week belly photo to the Pregnancy #2 album. No need to comment and tell me how huge I *already* am! :)

Posted by Kristina at 10/26/2006 08:47:00 AM

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Kris got home from work last night and called me a liar. A big, fat, lying liar. OK, he didn't. But he did point out that I did not, in fact, upload pictures last night like I said I might in my post yesterday. So, even though he did not call me names, he was right. I did not upload pictures last night. And I probably won't tonight either. Hey - maybe tomorrow! OK, I promise to do it tomorrow. Tonight I have a babysitter (Hi Aunt Shelly!) so that I can attend a potty training class offered through ECFE. All of the more experienced moms out there that I've told I'm taking a potty training class have pretty much snickered at me. I know Annika will train when she is ready. I know that bribery is an awfully useful tool in potty training (either with stickers or candy). I also know that I've never done this before and it doesn't take much effort on my part to attend this $12 class for an hour and get a potty training book out of it. So, it's off to school for me tonight!

Yesterday our new blinds arrived. Kris had them installed and ready to go when I got home. I really like them. Kris even put up Annika's new curtain rod and curtains too. They're really cute but they will need some alterations. The curtains currently reach the floor. Annika's bed will be up against this wall so the curtains will have to be shortened. Gramme is going to bring her sewing machine over some time so we can figure out what to do with them (something fancy or just a cut and new hem?).

Last night Annika and I were playing in the my bedroom before bath time. She was jumping on the bed and dancing to music and just generally being her goofy self. Then she started playing with the baby monitor volume button. Before bed, I adjusted it to where I thought it should be. Around 4am this morning though I heard Annika down the hall. I ask Kris to turn up the baby monitor (obviously I didn't adjust it correctly) and I hear Annika saying "Mom? Mom." I walked to her room, opened her door and found her standing in her crib looking at the baby monitor, calling for me. She wasn't upset, crying or distraught in any way. She knew that if she talked into the monitor that Mommy would hear and come to her. I was so taken aback at how grown-up she seemed in that moment. There was no baby to be found. Until I asked her what she needed and she said "Nukifier?" OK, there's my baby. Her pacifier (nuk & pacifier put together = nukifier) had fallen to the floor and she couldn't reach it. After a quick retrieval, covering up of blankets and turning on of her music (Ocean Wonders Aquarium attached to her crib) and she was back to sleep in a minute. This morning when my alarm went off, I swear I heard her music coming through the baby monitor. I'm wondering if she woke up and instead of waking Daddy and I up, if she turned on her music, covered herself back up and went back to sleep on her own. That would be a first for her, I think. Usually she wants one of us to cover her back up and turn her music on for her.

After I got back into bed after the pacifier retrieval, I was laying on my left side facing Kris. I felt a sneeze coming on so I leaned back a little bit. I didn't want to blast Kris with spit in the middle of the night even though, yes, I was covering my mouth. Anyway, this leaning took my belly off the mattress (where it rests comfortably now - it's getting big!) and when I sneezed, my poor stomach muscles contracted and had to pull that big old belly up. I got the worst cramp I've ever had. It went all the way across my lower stomach and I had to rub it to get it to go away. I cried out "Ooooouuuuucccchhh!" and scared Kris. I was fine (and Baby Boy kicked me shortly after to put any irrational fears I may have been having to rest) but man did that hurt. My stomach muscles must be separating and stretching. Ouchie. Ouchie. Ouchie.

Posted by Kristina at 10/24/2006 11:08:00 AM

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Monday, October 23, 2006
After a busy weekend, here we are, back at Monday. Satruday was an especially busy day for Annika and I. In the morning there was, of course, gymnastics. She always tells us she doesn't want to go Saturday mornings. I think she'd rather stay in bed watching cartoons than get up, eat breakfast and change clothes. And yet, when we're driving there, she's practically squealing in the backseat with excitement. Especially as we round the last corner and she can see the building. Kris says she gets bored or frustrated with some of the activites. She just wants to jump and run around. Who cares if you can do this obstacle course 5 times in a row! I think we'll keep going for a little while longer. She does seem to enjoy it.

Saturday afternoon Annika and I headed to Robyn's house (a good hour drive away) for a littel Halloween playgroup party. Annika was dressed in her ladybug costume. Brianna was also a ladybug and Jessica was a snow princess. Emma couldn't come because she was sick. Annika had a great time playing with all the new toys, especially the small, exercise-style trampoline. Robyn had some great activities for the kids too. They got to make necklaces and decorate visors with Halloween stickers. Annika wore her necklace most of the day. After some yummy pizza for dinner, we lined the 3 kids up for a picture. I'll post those tonight, hopefully. They were pretty cute! I just realized though that the kids were out of order! In all playgroups in the past we've lined them up in age order which means Jessie should be on the left, Brianna in the middle and Annika on the right to go oldest to youngest. In our pictures though, Jessie was in the middle. Oh well! Jessie at least broke up the ladybugs then!

After the playgroup Annika and I had to race to Gramme's house. That was another hour and fifteen minute drive or so. Annika stayed overnight at Gramme's house Saturday night. I stayed for a couple minutes to chat and when I told Annika that Mommy had to go now and that I would be back in the morning after breakfast to pick her up she turned, looked at me, came over to give me a kiss and then said "Bye Mom!" She was completely fine with staying. I got up to put my shoes one and she gave me another kiss and hug good-bye. She just about shoved me out the door! Gramme said that she asked for me a couple times that night and that once there was a couple tears but overall she did just fine. I'm glad Annika is comfortable and independent enough to stay without me, but could she pretend to miss me just a little bit? Stinker. She did have a big morning Sunday though. After I arrived to pick her up, we ate some breakfast together. Then she was off playing while I visited with Gramme and Grandpa Merv. I noticed she was standing in place with her "grunting" face on. I asked if she needed to go to the bathroom and of course she said no. Gramme said, "Let's go use the potty" and Annika followed her to the bathroom. She had already gone #2 in her diaper but must have stopped herself because she finished the job on the toilet! That was her first #2 on the toilet. I was so proud of her and told her so. I gave her a hug and kiss and told her what a big girl she was to use the potty. She helped flush and said good-bye to the "bubbles" and then we washed her hands. I'm going to a potty training class on Tuesday night. I think we might start this potty training thing shortly. I know she can do it. She's shown us over and over again that she's ready. Now it's time for Mommy and Daddy to step up and help her.

Anyway, after dropping Annika off I raced to the other end of the cities again (basically making a triangle in the end) to get to the party Kris and I were supposed to be attending. It was the October martini party hosted by Amanda and Dean. There were 4 couples there so it was relatively small but I like those parties better anyway. We had a really nice time.

Yesterday was busy running around again. After picking up Annika, we drove back to Amanda and Dean's house to pick up the car. Kris had been drinking so we left his car there. Then on the way home Annika and I stopped to do some shopping. I bought a whole bunch of sleepers for Baby Boy. He has at least 12 0-3 month sleepers and 3 6-9 month sleepers. I still have to go through Annika's outgrown clothing to see what in there is not too pink/girly and can be re-used. I may try to start going through that later this week. I also bought Baby Boy a going home from the hospital outfit. It's pretty cute. Kris even approved of it. It's a gender neutral winter white/light green color just in case. :) I'll take a picture of it and post it in the pregnancy photo album.

Yesterday marked 25 weeks pregnant. I've taken more belly photos and I'll try to post those tonight too. My stomach already feels huge but I know that I have a ways to go yet. I'm just so glad to make it to the viability stage. From here on out, Baby Boy just needs to grow and get stronger so he can survive and thrive on the outside. At this point he has a 60% chance of surviving if born today. I think it's time to make an appointment to tour the hospital. Sunday morning Baby Boy was quite active. I placed Kris's hand on my stomach so he could feel him too. Baby Boy kicked him so Kris moved his hand closer to where the kick came from and then pressed his hand into my stomach. Baby Boy, hating to have his space invaded, kicked Daddy right away again. Daddy giggled and then stopped pestering the baby. Baby Boy has been quite active lately. You can actually see my stomach move now. I just love this stage. I can't wait until the hiccups start!

Posted by Kristina at 10/23/2006 11:31:00 AM

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Two of Annika's 2 year molars are poking through. They are her bottom two. She's been showing signs of teething lately - the occasional runny nose, disrupted sleep here and there, poking her finger around in her mouth, etc. Sunday she even told me that her mouth hurt. I did an inspection today and those two molars are almost completely through. And her upper right molar feels like it might be poking through shortly. Her upper left molar is a little farther behind, I think. I think we have the official explanation now for why she's been up 2-3 times a night on and off for the last couple weeks. Poor girl. Teething can't be fun.

Last night I went and picked up the co-sleeper I found on craigslist. The couple was very nice and the co-sleeper is in very good condition. It had only been used for 2 months with twins and was very clean. It usually retails for $139 and they listed it for $75. I only had $80 (4 $20's). Neither of us had change so I just told them to keep the extra $5 - it was no big deal. The guy carried out and loaded it into my Blazer for me and everything. As I was putting Annika back into her carseat, he stuck his head out the door and said that they may have something to give me for change. And then he came out with a huge box of Huggies Size 1-2 diapers. The twins had outgrown them. That's worth way more than $5! Score!

Posted by Kristina at 10/18/2006 12:49:00 PM

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Monday, October 16, 2006
You know how sometimes you just need to start a task (or a list of tasks) in order to make yourself feel better? A few weeks ago, I wrote a huge list of things that need to be done before Baby Boy arrives. It was literally 3/4 of a 8 1/2 x 11 page long. And in the past week, Kris and I have started (and in some cases completed!) some of those tasks. I'm already feeling better. We are a long way from being ready but we also have a couple months yet to prepare. I told Kris I wanted everything done (at least the nursery complete and big items purchased) before Christmas and preferably by the middle of December. I didn't want to hit full term (beginning of January) and still be preparing. Here is what we have accomplished: 1 - Annika's new bedding/accessories have been purchased. The only thing I need yet is a waterproof mattress pad for her new twin bed which I'll purchase tonight at Target. Grandpa and Marcia are going to help us haul the bed and dresser over from their house to ours the weekend of Nov 11th-12th if their calendars are open. 2 - Crib bedding has been purchased! Along with curtains (valances anyway) and three Winnie The Pooh wall hangings. When we got the new bedding home yesterday we brought it up to the office. It looks amazingly good with the current wall color. If we wanted, we wouldn't have to paint anything! Kris is thinking of painting the top half a lighter color and maybe putting a border (painted most likely) around the middle. 3 - I ordered blinds for both kids rooms. To date there is a sheet in Annika's window and cheap Target curtains in the office window. Now both rooms will have nice blinds (Hunter Douglas Duette's Semi Opaque with LiteRise (no cords) and top down/bottom up feature - they're going to be so nice!). The first ones in the new house! 4 - We started clearing the office yesterday. A bookcase and the filing cabinet have been moved to the basement. It was a small first step since there is still much more to be cleaned out but you know, baby steps and all. 5 - I called about a co-sleeper I found on Craigslist and have an appointment to go pick it up tomorrow evening. It sounds perfect. I'm getting it for almost half price and the owner only used it for 2 months with her twins. Score! There is still much to do but even getting these first things started or stricken from the long list is fantastic!

Saturday morning Uncle Dusty accompanied us to gymnastics class. Annika was pretty excited to see him. And Dusty got a kick out of watching her stretch and jump around and such. Afterwards we went to have breakfast. Uncle Dusty followed us in his car and Annika was demanding her Uncle Dusty the whole way. We told her that he was following us in his car but that wasn't good enough for her. She kept repeating "Uncle Dusty, come here!" Then of course, when we arrived at the restaurant she got all shy again around him. By the end of breakfast though she was sitting on his lap and was his best friend again. She asked for him all afternoon too and we had to keep telling her that he had gone home.

Saturday night we want to my Aunt and Uncle's surprise 25th wedding anniversary party. Annika had a great time and even stayed up (while still being an awfully good girl) 3 hours past her bed time! There was a bunch of other little girls there and she kept asking to go play with the kids. I brought her downstairs by them. Two of them are about a year and a half older than Annika (twins Ann and Beth) and they just adore Annika. They like to smother her with affection and attention, stroking her cheeks and hair, talking to her right in her face and giving her big bear hugs. Annika, however, needs her personal space and gets this panicked "Help!" look on her face when they do this to her. Girl needs her warm up time. It wasn't too long though that she was running around after them. The were playing "monster" where Caleb was the monster and all the girls were running away (screaming) from him. Annika loved this game and had a great time participating. It was also nice for me that one of my teenage cousins, Rachel, and her friend were supervising all the playing so I didn't have to worry (too much) about Annika. By the end of the evening all the other little kids had gone home and it was just Annika with Rachel and her friend in Rachel's room. Annika was relishing the attention and was busy playing (with things she shouldn't) and jumping on the bed and such. One time I went in to check on her and of course started asking her to please stop doing this and that and the other thing which the girls were letting her get away with. Pretty soon Annika looked at me, gave me the stiff arm and told me "Mom, go away!" She told me this at 2! What are ages 12-17 going to be like? Yikes! Anyway, since she was being watched, I knelt down and she gave me a hug and kiss "good-bye" and then as I walked out the door she yelled "See you later, Mom!" That little stinker. She did the same thing to Kris on Friday at their ECFE class. Annika was busy playing with something and Kris sat down beside her to play too and she stiff-armed him and told him to go away. So he went and sat in a rocking chair and just watched her. I'm grateful that our child is independent enough to play by herself and with other kids instead of hiding between our legs, but it's still bittersweet to watch her grow up and not need us as much anymore. *sniff*

Posted by Kristina at 10/16/2006 03:13:00 PM

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Friday, October 13, 2006
We have a name possibility! I thought of it a week ago (it just popped into my head while driving), shared it with Kris, and he didn't immediately shoot me down! I think we both like the name but we're not sure if it sounds good with our last name. However, if I'm being honest, I have to admit that I've already come to think of this baby as that name. It seems to fit somehow. And as I keep saying the name out loud, with my chosen middle name and without, it sounds OK to my ear. I'm not sure Kris agrees with me though. I'm going to keep reading the baby name book and perusing websites and listening to radio, TV, etc. to come up with alternatives. And this one stays on the list for now. And please don't ask what it is, because we're not sharing, just like we didn't share our name choices with Annika's pregnancy. I didn't even tell Gramme and Auntie Krystle when they questioned me endlessly and tried to trip me up repeatedly to give the name up. Evil! Evil they are!

Annika is starting to grasp her colors. Just a couple weeks ago if you would ask her what color something was, it was always red. And if you said no and asked her again, well, then it was blue. But in the last week or so, she's started to tell you the correct color more often then not. She seems to know what red, blue, orange and gray are. She has a hard time with yellow and green and thinks all black legos (Duplos really) are gray and all white legos are black. Once in a while she'll get pink, puple and brown too. She continually amazes me with what she learns and retains.

Wednesday night Annika and I were taking a bath together. As during most baths, to get her to stop jumping up and down in the bathtub (you're going to hurt yourself child!) I asked her to sit down and sing songs with me. We usually start with the alphabet, then twinkle, twinkle and then Itsy Bitsy. There's usually more songs that she requests but those can be random based on what she's thinking about or remembering at the time. For a while it was just me singing and then slowly she would try to sing with me. Wednesday night however was a turning point. As we sang Itsy Bitsy Spider, she started belting out the lyrics. And she got them all. She got them all at the top of her lungs, more yelling than singing. I stopped singing and just sat back and laughed at her and told her how silly she was. And then she started laughing too and called herself "Silly Nikka."

When we sit down to eat, we usually pray. And if we don't, usually Annika will remind us to do so. Tuesday night as Annika and I sat down to eat dinner, she reminded me to pray. As I made the sign of the cross, Annika tried to copy me. And as I said the prayer (Come, Lord Jesus, Be our guest...) she tried to say it with me. This was the first for both of these. She hasn't repeated it since and when I tried to help her make the sign of the cross, she shoo'ed me away and started eating. Last night she asked to pray twice during the meal. And so Kris and I put down our forks, folded our hands and prayed with her. How can you say no to that?

If you ask Annika where her baby brother is, she'll run up to my belly, put both hands on it (sometimes rubbing it) and say "in Mama's Belly". I don't think she understands that eventually baby brother is going to come out but it's still pretty cute nonetheless.

Last night Annika and I attended Auntie Krystle's CAbi show. Since I wasn't buying anything, I brought along 3 friends to spend money for me. Ha! Just kidding. Actually my friend Amanda hosted a CAbi show in August and her and two other friends didn't purchase everything on their wish lists then so they came along last night to try more clothes on. Anyway, Annika charmed everyone there, again. (Of course she did, she is the cutest little kid ever.) But she was also very attached to Auntie Krystle for most of the show. She didn't want to come to me or anyone else but preferred to bury her head on Auntie Krystle's shoulder. Auntie Krystle LOVED this (of course) and had a pretty proud smile on her face. Eventually Annika warmed up to everyone and then she went out seeking Amanda. She has a soft spot for Amanda and routinely asks for her when she can't see her. It was all pretty cute.

We have lots of plans this weekend but they are all fun plans and they all consist of Kris, Annika and I being together so I'm pretty excited. There's gymnastics tomorrow morning. By the way, if you'd like to come watch Annika's gymnastics class, feel free. Just call or e-mail me for the information. Then in the afternoon I have a bunch of shopping I'd like to do (blinds, crib bedding, clothes for Annika, clothes for me, co-sleeper, baby shower gift, etc.). Tomorrow night we have a party to go to and Sunday morning we're having brunch with Amanda and Dean and Mary and Fred at Amanda and Dean's house. It's going to be such a lovely weekend!

Posted by Kristina at 10/13/2006 02:36:00 PM

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Monday, October 09, 2006
Sometimes Annika surprises me with her manners. I wonder how she learns them (I know, I know - example!) but I often don't remember myself being all the respectful and courteous and Kris and I are way too comfortable with each other to always use manners too. However, Annika has manners and sometimes even remembers to use them. Thursday night we were visiting Grandpa and Marcie. Annika wanted to see what Grandpa was working on (a treadmill) and she couldn't quite fit between Grandpa and the ottoman. So, she kindly said 'Excuse me" so Grandpa would move over slightly for her. What! My eyes bugged out a little I think. And Saturday morning as we were eating our pancakes that Daddy made for us, Annika asked for more. I put another one on her plate (she ate 4 or 5!) and she said "Thank you." I'm so proud of her!

The gymnastics class Annika attends is paying off! Thursday night at Grandpa's house, Annika was bouncing around. She was excited to be visiting I think. At one point she put her head down and did a perfect somersault. I gasped because I hadn't ever seen her do one before unassisted! Well, Grandpa and Marcie and I all clapped and cheered which only encouraged Annika to do more and more and more. She's learning other tricks too. She's learning to bounce on her butt on the trampoline instead of just her feet and how to safely stop bouncing on a trampoline (the "freeze" technique). They're even having the kids starting to learn how to do cartwheels. During Saturday's class this week, the kids were able to walk on the tall balance beam (the standard ~4' off the floor instead of 8"). At the end of the beam, they were supposed to jump off. Annika really enjoyed this and wanted Daddy to let go (he was holding one of her hands) while she was up there. Of course he didn't but she is quite the little daredevil! And at the end she had no qualms about jumping off into Daddy's waiting arms.

After gymanstics on Saturday, we headed out to a local pumpkin patch with our neighbors Andrew and Katie. It was a very nice place. They had a little stand set up with already picked pumpkins, gourds, and other fresh fruits and vegetables for purchase. Or, you could take their little hayride (on a very nice way with sides and steps and seats and everything) out to the pumpkin patch and pick your own. We, of course, wanted the full pumpkin picking experience so we hopped on the hayride. Annika thought that was pretty cool and liked the tractor pulling us too. Out in the pumpkin patch though Annika wanted to touch all the gross, over-ripe, rotting pumpkins instead of the nice, still on the vine pumpkins. Little stinker. And she kept tripping over all the pumpkin vines. She just doesn't look where she's walking - ever! That's a toddler thing, right? We found 4 very nice pumpkins though. We, of course took a bunch of pictures until my battery died. Luckily Andrew and Katie had their camera too and took some pictures, including a family one amongst the pile of pumpkins. I'll try to upload those that I have Tuesday night. I'm still waiting for an e-mail from Andrew and Katie with theirs. It was fun though and I think we'll definitely go back next year.

Yesterday we headed out to do a bit of shopping. First was Babies 'R Us to look at strollers, co-sleeprs and crib bedding. They only had 2 stand-n-ride style strollers. Of the two, I think we liked this one better. I'm not sure if our car seat will fit in it. And I'm not sure where the infant seat goes and if you can actually use it as a tandem stroller with an infant seat. I need to do some research on it. Then we looked at co-sleepers. I wanted to specifically look at the Arm's Reach Mini-Cosleeper. It's functional for what we want but it seems a little cheap to me, not worth the $130 price tag. It's just plastic for goodness sake! I may try to find one on Craigslist or at a Once Upon a Child or something. Last was crib bedding. Remember when Kris said he wanted something with brighter colors? Not as muted as the first three choices I sent him? Yeah, well, the one he picked out in person is about as muted as you can get! Hee! He picked out this Winnie the Pooh bedding. It's very cute but not a bright color anywhere! I think he likes this one best because the walls in the office/to-be-nursery are an olive green color and with this bedding, we may not have to repaint. What I like about it are all the different textures on the quilt. Annika's bedding has the same effect. So, it looks like that bedding is available in store only so I think Annika and I will make a trip back later this week to purchase it and some accessories (of course!) Hopefully when we get it home, it will look nice with the wall color. We also went to Pottery Barn Kids but Kris didn't like any of their crib bedding. I was able to show him the accessories I want to purchase for Annika's room though and there was minimal eye-rolling and sighing! :) We're going shopping with Auntie Krystle tonight to make those purchases. Now we just need to set up a date with Grandpa and Marcie to bring over Annika's big girl bed and dresser! I'm thinking early November. That will give us time to clean out the office/nursery, do any painting required and have it ready to move the nursery furniture out of Annika's room and into it before the big girl bed and dresser arrive. I work better with deadlines anyway. Yay! Progress!

Posted by Kristina at 10/09/2006 09:32:00 AM

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Thursday, October 05, 2006
Robyn has, in the comments below, asked me what bedding I've bought for Annika and what we're considering for Baby V. And of course I'll share!

Annika's new bedding is from Pottery Barn Kids. It is the Emily Collection which you can see here. Her room is painted green with yellow vertical stripes every 12 inches or so and Kris didn't want to repaint her room so I had to find something cute that I liked that worked with those colors. The greens don't match perfectly but it is still pretty darn cute. The bedding is internet/catalog only so I had to order that but Krystle and I are going to go to the actual store to get some in-store-available accessories like a lamp, curtain rods and drapes. I'll take a picture of her new room when it is all put together. It's going to be so cute!

As for baby bedding, I have lots of choices! Here are the first three options I sent Kris: Option 1 and Option 2 and Option 3. Kris said they were all too muted and he wanted something with brighter colors. So, off I went in search again! I've found these additional options: Option 4 and Option 5 and Option 6 and Option 7 and Option 8. I'm not sure which one I like the most. I like option 2 (too muted?) and 5 (too much pinky/red/peachy?) the best, I think. Anyway, I'm leaning against the train one from PBKids. I'm just not into the whole boy=sports/trains/cars/etc. themes. Animals are okay as is the alphabet and some gender neutral patterns. That's my opinion anyway.

I don't think Kris will really agree to one unless he can see it in person though which is why I'd like to go shopping this weekend. We can hit Babies R Us, Kohl's, Target, Pottery Barn Kids, etc. as time permits and hopefully he can see a couple of these in person. I really would like to buy a bedding set in the next couple weeks so that we can start on the paint color selection and then get rolling on that too. Time keeps going by so quickly!

Posted by Kristina at 10/05/2006 11:58:00 AM

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There were things I wanted to tell you that I forgot about last time! I knew it! Okay, so last Friday around 11:30 I'm sitting at my desk getting ready to go grab some lunch. Kris calls and says "I'm at Target and there's a baby here." My first thought was "You're at Target? What are you doing at Target? That's my store! You don't ever go there!" Anyway, he goes on to tell me that the baby's birthday is September 7th (Annika's) and that her name is Marlene Kyra. I'm starting to get that this is a Cabbage Patch Doll. I ask if Annika needs a new baby and Kris says maybe. i ask if it's in the cart already and he says no, that somebody should come get it later (meaning me so that I pay for it!). Just then in the background I hear Annika ask "Hold it?" I told him that I heard Annika asking to hold it and before I know it, the new baby is in the cart with Annika and Kris is telling her not rip apart the box. Well, it was too late now. That baby was not going near the shelf again. He thinks I'm so bad with spending money all the time and here he is at Target - in the toy aisle - buying Annika a new baby doll. Hee! Annika loves her new Baby Marlene and didn't want to go anywhere without Baby Marlene all weekend. She even took a nap with her on Sunday (Saturday?) and before she went to sleep she kissed Baby Marlene's face and told her she loved her.

I also forgot to tell you about the goats! Sunday after the Vikings game we headed to a co-worker of Nana's who have goats. Nana and Papa were going to get two and they wanted Annika's help in picking them out. The goats were about as tall as Annika was and she was a little overwhelmed and shy at the very beginning, mainly because she just woke up from a quick nap on the way over. She warmed up quickly though and was walking amongst the goats. One got a bit too close though and nipped her pinky finger. She cried for a while (not because she was hurt, more likely because she was surprised and scared) but then she and the goats were back on friendly terms. She was even more excited to start climbing up a small gravel pile and play king of the hill. Of course a few of the goats followed her. It was pretty cute and I have a bunch of pictures of it that I'll try to upload soon. Funny enough, ever since Sunday she'll randomly say "Ouch" and ask us to kiss her pinky finger. She must remember that little goat nip.

Yesterday most of Annika's new bedding came. I'm still waiting for the sheets and one decorative pillow which are on backorder. The quilt, pillow sham and pillow case arrived and it is all so cute! It will look so nice in her room. She was really excited about it too. I draped the quilt over her crib so I could get a look at it with the wall color. Annika asked to get in her crib with it and started jumping around. She even exclaimed "So cute!" That was one item on my "Get Ready For Baby" list that I can now cross off. I can't really move Annika to a big girl bed when I have no twin bedding, now can I? Krystle and I have one more Pottery Barn Kids run to make to pick up some accessories and such. I'm hoping to get the twin bed and dresser from Grandpa's house at the end of this month or early next month. If I have a deadline then I can work with Kris to get the office cleaned out so the nursery furniture can be moved from Annika's room to the new nursery before the new bed and dresser come. I need deadlines! I've also found some really cute crib bedding. I've sent about 10 different choices that I've found online to Kris. He hasn't said if any really catch his eye yet. I'm hoping to go shopping this weekend to see some in person and maybe pick some out. I have to have that so I know what paint color we need to get! There's so much to do!

Yesterday was the 13th anniversary of the day Kris and I started dating. He doesn't recognize this anniversary any longer now that we're married but I always remember it and get a little sentimental. We're going out on a date Saturday night (last weekend didn't work) and I've declared it an anniversary celebration. Back in July at our wedding anniversary I was still too sick to celebrate. Eating out (and the accompanying smells) would have been miserable for me then. Yay!

Posted by Kristina at 10/05/2006 08:08:00 AM

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006
I had a whole list of things I wanted to tell you about and now I can't find it. I'm going to have to wing this and hope I remember the good stuff! This past weekend was football, football, football for us. We made it to the Augsburg Homecoming game. Because it was homecoming they had a picnic before with games for the kids including a bounce house. Annika was pretty restless during the game. I didn't blame her. The bleachers were packed due to it being Homecoming and the sun was beating down on us making it pretty warm. We didn't have a seat for Annika so she just went back and forth across laps. At half time I took her back out for a walk and she ended up spending all of half time and most of the third quarter in the bounc house. That girl could jump all day long! The rest of the second half went much better. She was able to stand in the aisle and cheer along with the cheerleaders. She was very into the cheerleaders and the mascot. After the game they had a school block party which was more like a football reunion for Kris. He enjoyed talking with a bunch of ex-players and coaches. When we got home that night it was, of course, time for more football. We watched the Michigan-Gopher game on ESPN that night. It's too bad both of our teams lost Saturday.

Saturday night during the Gophers game something happened and Kris exclaimed "Darn it!" I looked at him (thinking thank goodness he didn't say something worse) and then Annika looked at him and shouted back "Darn it!" We started laughing of course and then Kris said "Uffda!" Instead of shouting "Uffda" back at Kris though, she yelled "Zoinks!" Where does she get this stuff? Hilarious. That's what it was.

Sunday after church we headed down to visit Nana, Papa and Uncle Dusty at the farm. Annika had a great time playing with the dogs and the stuffed, talking animals at their house. Annika was even able to go outside and help Papa with the horse chores. She even got to "ride" on Rudy while he drank a bunch of water. And of course there was more football. We had to watch the Vikings game and true to Saturday, our team lost. A bit of a bummer that all three teams lost! However, the Twins made up for it by winning the AL Central division.

Speaking of animated stuffed animals (hey - I just was in the paragraph above - keep up!), have you seen the new TMX Elmo? It's the 10th anniversary Elmo and Amy has a great post about it at The Daily Dose. Go check it out! You can see it in action and everything thanks to someone who recorded it and put it on YouTube. Yeah, I don't think I want one of those in my house. I'm sure Annika would love it though seeing as how she loves the animated stuffed animals at Nana and Papa's house.

Last night Annika and I were running around delivering a whole slew of Pampered Chef products to people. One of our stops was to Pam and Mark's house where we got to visit with Baby Jeanne for a little while. She is so tiny! She's tinier than Annika ever was! I know that's not hard as most newborns are smaller than Annika. She's a cutie too as, of course, all babies are. And Annika was pretty impressed with little Jeanne too. She was also impressed by all the dogs and cats though too. Once again, she wasn't jealous in the slightest that I was holding another baby. She didn't try to climb in my lap and was content to stand by me or sit next to me on the couch. Whew! I'm waiting for all that to change though when the baby stays at our house and never leaves!

Saturday after gymnastics, Kris, Annika and I are going to a local pumpkin patch with our neighbors Andrew and Katie. The place I found has hayrides and face painting and pick your own pumpkins. It sounds pretty nice. I'm hoping, of course, to get some cute pictures of Annika out there.

Baby boy (who is still nameless) has been kicking up a storm lately. Preparations have started for him too. The big list of things to do has been compiled and some of the tasks are even being worked! I know! I'm hoping to go crib bedding shopping this weekend because you know we can't paint the nursery until we know what the bedding is going to look like! There are still so many things to do but I've got a plan and I've told Kris about it and I think he's on board. Now if we can just get it all done by the middle of December, I'll be happy.

Oh, there was so much more I wanted to tell you and now I can't think of a thing!

Posted by Kristina at 10/03/2006 07:43:00 AM

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