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Friday, March 30, 2007
Sunday we had a nice visit at Nana and Papa's house. The great grandparents were able to come too, making it extra special. Annika was excited to go visit for two reasons - the dogs and Mr. Potato Head. She was excited because she wanted Thor and Zoe to chase her. Thor is much of a chaser, but Zoe will chase her all day. Annika loves that. And Mr. Potato Head, with lots of fun accessories, is a new toy at Nana and Papa's house. Annika loves playing with him. It was a nice day out too so Papa was able to BBQ for us - yum! The only scary part of the day was when we lost Annika. Yep, lost her. There were eight adults in the house and not one of us noticed Annika run out the patio door chasing after Zoe. When I noticed she was not around, I told Kris to help me look for her. He thought she was in the house somewhere so he took his time walking around calling for her. I checked all the rooms and couldn't find her so I knew she must be outside, since the patio door was standing open. That's when I started panicking a little bit and started yelling at Kris to get outside and look for her. I kept having these visions of a lump on the 55mph road outside their house. So scary! We ended up finding her in the hay field in the back of the house, walking after Zoe. Kris ran out there to retrieve her and talk to her about staying close to the house and telling us where she's going. You can bet I made sure I knew where she was at all times the rest of the day though! James was a mellow baby the whole day though. He spent most of it curled up sleeping in Nana's arms.

Monday was an exceptionally nice day out and we took advantage of that by getting out of the house. Kris and Annika went for a bike ride with Annika in the bike trailer. And James and I took a walk with James in the baby bjorn. We met up at a park about 3/4 mile from our house and let Annika play for an hour or so. She had a great time sliding and climbing and playing in the sand box. She even made a couple friends in the sandbox. She just marched over to them and plopped herself down right by them and started playing with their sand toys. I walked over and asked the dad watching them if Annika was being okay and he said she was being just fine. The other kids were older and were very nice about Annika playing with their toys. When they were done in the sandbox they headed for the playground and Annika chased after them all over the playground. She had a blast. But I think she was sufficiently tired out that when we said it was time to go, she didn't put up any fuss.

Tuesday I took Annika to ECFE class instead of Kris. It was my first time going to class without Kris. I was a little nervous but the other moms made me feel right at home. Annika showed me some of the toys and we sat in a circle with the other kids and moms and sang some songs and before I knew it, it was snack time for the kids. That was the moms cue to head out for the parent education time. After a good discussion about listening and communication (a much needed topic of discussion for our house!), we headed back to the kids. Annika was in the far corner of the room playing. When she saw the moms heading back in, she started scanning the room for me. I was walking towards her and when she saw me, she stood up and ran as fast as she could straight to me and then jumped in my arms. What a warm welcome! What a way to make my heart swell! Kris was at home with James and I had pumped a bottle that morning in case James got hungry while we were gone. Two of the moms, Rachel and Michelle, invited Annika and I to lunch at McDonalds. It's a tradition with them and Kris and Annika joined them last week. I agreed to go knowing that James had milk if he needed it. I called Kris as soon as I got in the truck after class and Kris said that James had already taken almost two ounces from the bottle and that it had gone just fine. Whew! With that off my mind, I could enjoy myself at McDonalds. Annika had a good time too. She really likes Rachel's sone Ethan and after she was done eating, she and Ethan ran around a little bit. Ethan is all Annika talks about when she gets home from class. Annika and the boys - we are in trouble!

Tuesday night I asked Annika if she wanted some ice cream. She of course said yes. I asked her where it was and she replied "In the Squeezer!"

Yesterday was a low key day for us. We didn't have any plans for the day so Annika and I made sugar cookies. We even rolled out the dough and used our Easter cookie cutters to make bunnies and flowers and carrot shaped cookies. Annika was happy to help mix the dough and push the cookie cutters into the dough. She was even more excited to clean up after me when the icing would drip off the cookies and onto the counter top. The cookies turned out great and yummy too! And last night when I was talking to Gramme on the phone, I had to run upstairs to get Gramme an e-mail address. While I did this, Annika swiped a cookie from the counter. When I came downstairs she had it almost all gone and was grinning her devilish grin at me. Mind you, dinner was almost ready at the time!

James is getting so big! He's still such a good baby though. He's really only fussy when he's hungry or tired. And it's so fun to watch him develop. He tracks people and toys with his eyes now. And he smiles at me almost every day. We do tummy time each day and he's really good with picking up his head and moving it from side to side. His sleeping at night is still about the same. He usually gives me around 4 hours at first and then a three hour stint. After that it's a little hit or miss. I think he just gets tired of sleeping by himself after a while. For example, this was our night last night - James ate at 9pm and fell asleep and was in his bassinet by 10pm. I was sleeping shortly after that. He woke up at 1am to eat. He woke up again at 4:30 to eat. Both times he went back to sleep fairly easily. Sometimes it takes him a while to fall back asleep when he's back in his bassinet. I have to repeatedly put the pacifier back into his mouth or he wakes back up. He, like Annika, sucks for comfort though and it's either me or the pacifier! I think he might be a thumb sucker though when he figures it out. He's content sometimes sucking on his fist. Anyway, he woke up again at 6:30am. I knew he wasn't hungry since he had just eaten two hours earlier so I picked him up. As soon as I did, he settled back down and went to sleep. So I laid down with him cradled in my arm and went back to sleep myself until Annika woke up at 8am. He did this same thing the night before. He was fine in his bed until about 7am and then he was fussy and as soon as I picked him up, he was fine and went right back to sleep. Since I absolutely love cuddling and napping with my babies, I am totally okay with snuggling those last couple hours of sleep. Pretty soon I'll be back at work at that time so I'll take advantage of it when I can! Of course, it would be okay if he just slept all through the night too!

Posted by Kristina at 3/30/2007 09:48:00 AM

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Saturday, March 24, 2007
Tuesday Kris and Annika attended a new ECFE class. They used to go to class on Mondays but Kris didn't really like going to class on a Monday. He prefers Tuesday, plus he knows and likes two of the moms in the Tuesday class and they had a lot of open slots in the class whereas the Monday class was full. So, Tuesday they trot off to class. Just as I was expecting them home I started browning some hamburger so we could have tacos for lunch. The phone rings and it's Kris telling me he and Annika are going out to lunch with his two mommy friends, Rachel and Michelle. Apparently it's a weekly tradition between the two of them and they invited Kris and Annika to join them. I laughed at the thought of Kris going on a lunch date with other moms and then said "I guess we're having tacos for dinner then!"

The rest of the week was pretty uneventful. Wednesday was story time at the library. I think Annika is starting to feel a bit too comfortable at story time. The first few weeks she sat nicely and listened. Wednesday she wanted to be up roaming around and waiting in her favorite corner for the other kids to come chase her. This week is the last week of this series and then story time doesn't start again until June.

Thursday Annika and I left Daddy and James at home so we could run some errands. First we stopped at the post office for stamps. The man working the counter commented on how well behaved Annika was and gave her a sticker. That is a quick way to my girl's heart. Then we headed to the bank. The bank has a coin counting machine and we had a bunch of pennies to get rid of. We ended up with over $28 in pennies! Once again, Annika was such a good girl that the teller gave her a sticker too. I think the teller didn't want the postman to show her up! Then we headed to the grocery store for a couple items before heading back home.

Yesterday Kris and I cleaned the house because today we hosted a play date. Robyn with Jessie and Asher, Lisa with Emma and Michelle with Brianna came over to play. Annika loved having them here. And she was pretty good about sharing her toys, something she's not used to having to do. Towards the end she was getting tired and didn't want to share anymore. I told her to come sit by me on the couch and we'd play with Baby Stella together. Baby Stella is one of her Cabbage Patch Kids. What she wanted was her Baby Diego and Baby Dora dolls that Emma was playing with. So she came over to me, sat on the couch and held Baby Stella and then cried a little bit in my arms. She got over it quickly though and continued playing. And when everybody was gone she wanted them all back. She kept asking where they were and I told her that they all went home to see their daddies. And she replied with "And their puppies and kitties too." She's such a sweetheart.

But if she would only go to sleep! She didn't even have that long of a nap this afternoon but she's been in her room tonight for over an hour and is still not asleep. Argh! If she would sleep in in the morning it wouldn't be so bad but she will be up with the sun guaranteed. I think some room darkening drapes are in order for her room!

Posted by Kristina at 3/24/2007 09:11:00 PM

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Monday, March 19, 2007
Last week I went out twice by myself with the two kids. The first was Tuesday when Annika, James and I had lunch with four of my coworkers. It was great to see Cam, Steve, Michelle and Lisa again! I had such a nice time. Annika was a perfect little doll, charming everyone and James was the perfect baby, sleeping through lunch and then cuddling with Lisa and Michelle after we ate. The second trip was to Target. That, too, went well. Once again James slept the whole time and Annika was content to sit in the large part of the cart and play with whatever merchandise I threw in there. I can see how hectic and stressful being out with two kids could be though if James was crabby or if Annika wanted out of the cart or something. The hardest part of both excursions was getting in and out of the truck. Who do you get out first? Who do you put in first? I think my strategy from here on out will be to hold the infant carrier with James in it while helping Annika into the truck. Then I'll snap James into his base and lastly I'll buckle Annika in. At least that way she's contained in the truck while I'm tending to James instead of standing next to the truck unsupervised or wandering around.

James is getting so big! Saturday night we left Annika with Grandpa and Marcia while Kris, James and I headed to Pam and Mark's house to celebrate Pam's birthday. Annika loved staying home. When I said Mommy had to go she ran to Grandpa, jumped in his arms and screamed "Grandpa!" Yeah, she really didn't mind us leaving! She even woke up during the night calling for Grandpa. I hope she wasn't disappointed when I went in to take care of her! Anyway, back to the story. Pam and Mark's daughter Jeanne turned 6 months old last Friday and James turned six weeks old today. Jeanne is petite and James is the exact opposite of petite so of course we had to compare babies. Yeah, Jeanne might have a little height on James but she certainly doesn't have much else on him. They looked the same age, not 4.5 months different! Of course we took pictures and I'll post those soon (by the way, look for new pictures posted last Friday!). It was pretty funny. Funnier still was when Jeanne rolled over towards James and starting grabbing his face and shirt and then throwing a leg over on top of him. We were joking that Jeanne wanted to spoon with James and snuggle and such. Pam got out the video camera to catch Jeanne in action too.

Today I went in for my six week check up. All is well with me. After my appointment I went next door to the pediatrician's office. I got a quick weight check on James. Guess how much he was! OK, so at birth he was 9 pounds, 8 ounces. At hospital discharge, two days after birth, he was 8 pounds, 10 ounces. Four days after birth, when the home health nurse came, he was 8 pounds 15 ounces. At his two week check up he was 9 pounds 15 ounces. Today, exactly four weeks after his two week check up, he weighed in at 13.85 pounds! That was with a very wet diaper so let's round down a bit and say he weighed in at 13 pounds, 12 ounces! He's huge! That's almost four pounds in four weeks! No wonder he's grown out of most of his 0-3 month sleepers and clothes. Most of those only go to 12 pounds! And he's grown out of the Pampers Swaddlers size 1-2 diapers. I picked up some Size 3 diapers today. Kris and I think James is just tall for his age right now. He started out at 21". And while he has the typical baby fat rolls (a double chin, leg and arm dimples, etc.), he's not a fat baby. He's quite solid actually. And his size 3-6 month sleepers are not too long on him. He has plenty of room in the length of the arms and the girth of the belly area but he's long enough that when he straightens out, he completely fills out the sleeper! That would be okay with me if he was a tall man, but can I have a little baby just a little bit longer please! When the nurse saw the weight come up on the digital readout she turned to me and gasped "He's only six weeks old?!" Yeah, she thought he was pretty big too.

Today Annika said the funniest thing! She and Kris were taking a nap this afternoon. I was in the room too working on the computer while James slept in the cosleeper. Kris was snoring pretty loudly and Annika woke up. She turned, crawled up to Kris's head and yelled at him "No breathing Daddy! Just sleep nicely!" Then she laid back down and tried to go back to sleep. And Kris listened to her and stopped snoring! I couldn't keep my giggles down and ended up waking both of them up. I told Kris what she said and he had no idea. I don't think he thought it was as funny as I did.

Posted by Kristina at 3/19/2007 09:39:00 PM

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007
I need to post more often. Once again I have a whole list of things I want to write down and remember. Let's start with James, work out way to Annika and then have a little bit about me? Okay? What, no Kris? Well, that's because not much is new with him. Work, parent, snuggle, discipline, etc. Boring, boring, yawn. Hee!

OK, James. He's getting so big and cute and is still so cuddly and just the greatest little baby ever. Monday he took his first naps in his crib. As in his actual crib in his bedroom, not the co-sleeper by our bed. I figure we should get him used to it so that when he starts sleeping through the night we can transition him to his own room. He did pretty well in it too. I'm sure it helps to not have Annika (the noise maker) in the same room when he's trying to sleep. Believe me though, I had the monitors on full blast to make sure I heard him. It was pretty cute too because one time he made a little noise and Kris practically sprinted up the stairs to get to him. I was waiting to see if he was actually waking or just making noises in his sleep (he's a pretty noisy sleeper) but now Kris! James still goes typically 3-4 hours between eating during the day and early night. Last night he ate from 9:30-10:00pm and then woke up at 2:30am to eat again. Nice! Of course then he woke up again at 5:00am and was up on and off until after 6am. Then he slept until 8am when Annika woke him up. The early mornings are not so good for him. I'm not sure why but I'm just rolling with it for now. Not much else I can do! I am loving our co-sleeper though. It is working out so wonderfully! He is in his own bed, right next to mine and is bed level so I can roll over and see him or touch him if he needs help settling down. I highly recommend the Arms Reach Co-sleeper. And I think James has given us his first real smiles! He's been smiling in his sleep for a couple weeks now and once in a while he'll smile when passing gas. Sunday night Papa thought he might have a real smile but then James passed gas right after it so we didn't count it. Monday morning though as I was holding James in bed, he looked up at me and gave me a big, gummy grin. Kris saw it too and agreed with me that it was a real smile. Ah, heart melting! He's given me a couple more since then too. And Krystle got one last night too! Well, a half smile as he put it since only half his mouth smiled for her. The smile I got tonight showed a small dimple on his left cheek. So adorable! I wonder when I can capture that on camera! And a small bit on breastfeeding now. Well, it's going great. James latched on perfectly the first time, just as Annika did. And it was physically a lot easier this time around for me. And I just love breastfeeding him, just like I did Annika. I love that satisfied look he gets when he's done. I love when he falls asleep after eating and is snuggled up against me. I love it when he looks up and stares deeply into my eyes while he's eating. I'm so happy that it's going so well again for me. I think I'm going to get the pump out pretty soon so I can start saving up some milk. And I think we'll introduce James to the bottle in a week or two. My goal with James is the same as it was with Annika - all breastmilk for the first year. I'll nurse when I'm with him and pump when I'm not. Then, at a year, we'll transition him to cow's milk and, I'm guessing, his nursing will slowly taper off, just as Annika's did. Well, at least I hope that's how it works again.

And now Annika. Good things first. Annika says the cutest things sometimes! She'll walk up to James and exclaim "He's so cute!" And today as we were coming home from story time at the library and then lunch out afterwards Annika asked me "What's your problem, Mommy?" The truck was silent at the time, no talking between any of us so we're not sure why she asked me this. Now, can someone make the girl listen? She used to be so good at listening to us. And for the most part she still is. However, we are threatening time outs (and giving her them when needed) more and more lately. I've been counting to three and she knows that if I get to three then she gets a time out. Usually all I have to say is 1 and she comes running to do whatever it was I told her to do. However, I don't want to have to count or give a million time outs a day (or lose my patient or raise my voice, etc.), I just want her to listen and do what I (or Kris) say when I say it the first time. That's a parent's pipe dream though, isn't it? I remember my dad saying to us (my brother, sister and myself) "I should only have to tell you once." And I know she that's only two and is pushing the boundaries and that she's still adjusting to James but man is it frustrating sometimes to have to repeat everything a million times and counting and time outs and argh! So, give me some ideas. How did you/do you discipline your young child. I don't want to spank so give me some other ideas please.

So, I have these huge bruises on my arms. Huge, purple and starting to heal. How did I get them? Um, emergency room nurse trying to find a vein? Yep. Now don't freak out (Gramme!) because I'm fine. Here's the story. I woke up Friday morning at 12:45am with a pain right in the middle of my chest, just below my breastline. I thought it was maybe heartburn and tried different positions, laying on my left side, right side, back, stomach and nothing was comfortable. James woke up at 1am to eat so I got up and sat in the rocking chair. That hurt too. After James went back to sleep, I couldn't. The pain was too bad. I've had heartburn before and I always have an acidic feeling in my chest/throat and I didn't have that this time. Plus, the pain was so much worse than any heartburn I've had in the past. That's why I wasn't sure if it was heartburn or not. I took some Tums (the only medication of that sort we had in the house) and then threw it up. I threw up about 5 more times. I'm not sure if I was throwing up because of the pain or something else. And the pain was so bad that I was pacing back and forth and using my labor breathing to get through it at times. So, at 3:30am I told Kris that I was going to the emergency room. He helped get James in his car seat and then went back to bed. Obviously he had to stay home with Annika but James to go with me in case he wanted to eat again. Once at the emergency room I was brought right back to see a nurse. If you say chest pains, you get immediate attention, you know? So, I was given a GI drink and it didn't touch the pain at all. Then they came in and did an EKG, just in case it was heart related. All was fine there. Then the doctor came in and said he wanted to take some blood to run some tests. One thing he was looking for was a marker for blood clots. Since I had an epidural during birth, blood clots was a concern. That's where the bruise on my right arm came from. So, off my blood goes for testing and in the mean time I'm given a Pepcid. After a while the big pain in the middle of my chest is gone but all across my upper abdomen spreading to my back is still hurting. The doc orders some x-rays to rule out something which I can't remember. By this time I'm starting to feel a little better. The x-rays show all is fine. The doctor comes in to do an exam. I'm sitting up in the hospital bed and he lowers me down until I'm laying on my back. He pokes around on my abodmen and I'm telling him where it hurts. Then he sits me back up and the pain comes back with a vengeance. I'm once again losing my breath through it. A few minutes later the pain starts going away again. Now my blood test results are back. The blood clot marker is elevated. This could be serious (a blood clot) or it could be elevated because I'm only four weeks postpartum and this marker is usually elevated during pregnancy. The doctor is taking any chances though and orders a cat scan be done. That's where the second bruise came from. They need an IV line to inject some nasty stuff in my for the cat scan. The cat scan comes back clean - no blood clots. By this time it's 6:30am and the doctor comes back to talk. He says he thinks it's one of two things - really bad heartburn (so bad that I'm puking!) or a gallbladder attack. He can't rule out my gallbladder without doing an ultrasound. And he can't do an ultrasound for a couple of hours. I was feeling just fine by this time so he agreed that I could go home. If I have another attack I'm to go get an ultrasound done to look for gallstones. And if I don't, well then I probably went to the ER for hearburn (how embarrassing!). I've felt just fine ever since. And then I went home at 7am, went back to bed and slept until noon.

Posted by Kristina at 3/14/2007 09:25:00 PM

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Friday, March 09, 2007
I have so much to tell you! That's probably because I haven't written a real entry in a week! This time, I've taken notes though. Heh. First up, James has godparents! Uncle Mathias and Auntie Carrie have agreed to be his godfather and godmother. Now we have to coordinate schedules and have the baptism. I'm happy we at least have the asking part done though.

Last Friday Annika and I went outside to play in the snow. We had just had a big snowfall (around 14" at our house on top of the 6" or so that came a few days before that). I got Annika all dressed up and outside we went. We were so excited. Annika climbed up the huge snow hill between our house and the neighbors where the plow had shoved all the snow from our driveway. Then she slid down the other side on her butt and landed in the back yard. And that's when our adventure started going downhill. There was so much snow that Annika could barely walk. She ended up crawling across the top of the snow, sinking in a little each time, to get anywhere. About ten minutes after we went outside, she was ready to go in. It was just too much work to play! And I had a hard time getting her back up and around that big snow hill to get back in the house! It's going to be 40+ degrees outside this weekend. I'm thinking we should go play in the snow now before it's all gone!

Tuesday night Auntie Shelly and Uncle Dale babysat Annika for a little while so Kris, James and I could attend baptism class at our church. Annika absolutely loves it at their house. When I asked her that day if she wanted to go to their house she immediately said yes and then said "And play piano? And sing Twinkle Little Star?" They have a piano, you see, and they let Annika bang on the keys and "play." She loves it. When we arrived at their house I walked Annika inside and took off her coat. As I was hanging it up, she walked into the living room, tore off her hat and whipped it back behind her and she headed for the toys. She was ready to play and wasn't looking back to even say good-bye to me. I told her I was leaving and she looked at me like "What, you're not gone yet?" Stinker. When we got back after the class, we brought James inside so Auntie Shelly and Uncle Dale could meet him. The both got some snuggle time in with him. While Shelly held James, Annika played with Dale; jumping on him, riding on his back as he crawled down the hall looking for the "big cat" (of which there was none, he was teasing her and she was loving it), and calling him "fuzzy face." Dale currently has a beard and Annika doesn't know too many men with beards. I don't know if she came up with fuzzy face or if Dale or Shelly did but it was hilarious anyway to hear her say it.

Wednesday we all went to story time again at the library. I think Annika really likes story time. I wish it wasn't ending at the end of March. Well, this session at least. I don't know when the next session starts though. This weeks theme was animals so each book was about animals. It was interactive (each kid having an animal during one book and when the page came with their animal, they were to hold it in the air for everyone to see). We also sang songs and there was even a little craft at the end. And it's free! You gotta love free! We are definitely going back every week until it's over.

Annika is such a girly girl sometimes. She absolutely loves dresses. She's always asking to wear them. I think I'll have to get her a bunch of inexpensive dresses for this spring and summer that she can play in. Today after her bath she put on her Timberwolves dress and exclaimed "I'm Cinderella!" She's Cinderella pretty much every time she puts on a dress. She even twirls while holding up her dress with one hand, as if it were skimming the floor. I'm not sure where she learned that but it's pretty cute. Wednesday night I put her nightgown on her. As it slipped over her head and slid to the floor Annika exclaimed "I'm a woman!" I giggled and then agreed and told her that yes, she was a woman. Where does she come up with some of this stuff? She cracks us up all the time.

Momma to Twin Girls left a comment on my last (brief) entry about potty training. First, MTTG, can you please leave your website URL or e-mail it to me? I used to have it and have somehow misplaced it. I need to check in on you too! OK, so potty training. Things are great with it. Annika is completely trained and pretty much was back in November. She rarely, rarely has an accident. She had two this week, oddly enough but hasn't had one for at least a month since this was the first time since James has been born. She has started waiting as long as she possibly can before going. I see the toddler "pee-pee" dance every day now. And if you ask her if she has to go she'll say no until she's running for the bathroom. I've started making her go again where as previously she would tell us with plenty of time. She just doesn't want to break away from playing to go. Anyway, this is how we did it. First we had a potty chair in one of our bathrooms for a long time. I got it last year for Christmas actually. We let her play with it for a long, long time. Sometimes she would sit on it while I went. Or her dolls/stuffed animals would "use" it. Or she would sit on it and read books. Then one day last October, we got serious. We decided this was it and we didn't look back. The first day we stripped her butt naked and let her run around the house that way. Every 20 minutes or so we would sit her on the potty or ask her if she had to go (sometimes making her sit by reading her a book on there or something). Sometimes she would go but most of the time not. And there was plenty of accidents. Luckily we kept her downstairs on the wood floors for easy clean up. And we diapered her at night until we got the day time down. The second day we put underwear on her (it was a little disconcerting seeing her butt naked all day) but still asked her all the time to sit on the potty. The third day I went to Target and bought little seats that attach to the standard toilet and some little stools. Now Annika could go potty upstairs or downstairs. We pretty much abandoned the little standalone potty chair at this point. And the rest was all Annika. She picked up the concept of peeing in the potty really quickly. She was still having poopy accidents though. I kept asking her where pee-pee went and she would respond "In the potty!" all excited. We made it a little sing-songy, upbeat and positive at all times. Eventually I asked her where the poopy goes and she said "In the underwear!" That was my a-ha moment. So I corrected her with "In the potty!" and something clicked for her. She was pretty much day-trained within 2-3 weeks. And luckily for us she wasn't afraid of going straight on the standard toilet so we could take her out places and not worry about her being afraid of those toilets. Once we were sure the day time was down, we started on night time. She had that down in a week flat. There was only a couple accidents but mostly she woke herself up when and called to us over the monitor when she had to go. And we would race to her room and bring her to the bathroom. I have to say that it was mostly Annika in the potty training. We really didn't do much but give her the tools and help her along. We always stayed positive with her though, even when she had an accident. We would just say "Uh-oh!", clean her up, reinforce where poopy or pee-pee went and re-dress her. Not so much with the advice, I know. E-mail me if you want to know more!

James has contined to be such a good little baby. And his sleeping is improving! More often than not, he sleeps for 4-5 hours at a stretch at night. Three nights ago he ate at 10pm, 3am and 7am. Not too shabby! Of course then two nights ago it was every three hours. But he's done the 4-5 hours thing 3 or 4 days in the last week! I know I could be totally jinxing myself by typing this. I'm really liking it though. Now if only everyone else would cooperate! Between Kris coming home from work, then coming to bed later, then Annika waking up occasionally, I still don't sleep the whole time James does. At least I can sleep in if needed since Kris is here and I usually get a nap in the afternoon too. Sleep is not a problem around here, at the moment.

When James was born he had these skinny little arms and legs. Boy has he filled those out now! He has the cutest chubby little thighs and arms, complete with rolls and everything! I just love them! He's outgrowing a bunch of his 0-3 month sleepers. I'm going to put some of them away after they get washed next. Isn't that sad! He's only a month old and he's already so big! I "weighed" him on Tuesday. I stepped on the scale alone then stepped on with him. The difference was 12.2 pounds! No wonder he's outgrowing his 3 month clothes. Most of them only go to 12 pounds! We'll have to make sure he wears each of his big boy clothes before they don't fit him!

I'm just waiting for James to give me that first real smile. He smiles in his sleep all the time and oh man, it is so cute! And yesterday I swear he gave me half a smile while I was cooing and talking to him. Annika's first smile was around 6 weeks of age. I can't wait! It could be soon!

I have a whole bunch of tasks I need to get accomplished! I have a bunch of thank you's to write. Our friends and family have been so nice and given James some really nice gifts. And I need to order birth announcements and get them sent out. And I need to put a birth announcement in our local newspaper too. It is my goal to have the thank-yous written and mailed by Monday. And I want the birth announcements ordered by Monday and addressed/mailed by next Friday. It's good to have goals with concrete dates attached. At least, for me it is. I work much better with deadlines. I'm too much of a procastinator otherwise.

And now I'm going to close this novel. There's more to tell but I'll leave it until tomorrow.

Posted by Kristina at 3/09/2007 09:29:00 PM

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Monday, March 05, 2007
Today my baby boy is one month old. And Wednesday my big girl will be 2 1/2. I am so, so lucky. I have everything I have ever wanted, a happy marriage and family. Life doesn't get much better than it is right now.

Posted by Kristina at 3/05/2007 08:08:00 PM

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Sunday, March 04, 2007
Yesterday we went to my cousin Al's wedding. Congratulations Al and Jenny! We were only going to go to the ceremony and not the reception and dance because I was worried that the venue would be too smoky. I didn't want to expose young James to that environment. I was talked into going to the reception and dance though. So, essentially we crashed the wedding since we RSVP'd for the ceremony only. I wasn't going to go but my Aunt Susan assured us that it would be okay. I sure hope Al and Jenny feel the same way! It was a really nice evening and Annika had a great time. I mean a GREAT time. First she ate almost all of Gramme's dinner for her. Then she devoured one and a half pieces of cake courtesy of Gramme. And then she danced her little butt off for two hours straight! As soon as the music started, Annika headed for the dance floor and she didn't leave until Kris bribed her with ice cream that it was time to go home - at 10pm! He told her that we would stop for ice cream on the way home. We didn't, but it at least got her out the door without a total meltdown tantrum. We are awesome parents, aren't we? The dancing was so cute though! I wish we had a video camera. I took some pictures but I'm not sure if any of them turned out. First she was dancing with my cousin's daugher, Lindsay. They were holding hands and turning in circles. Then she was only holding one of Lindsay's hands and her other hand was holding her dress up, Cinderella style, as they twirled. Too precious! Then she played chase with a little toddler boy whom I didn't know. Then she joined the bigger group of kids by the stage. And that's where she stayed for the remainder of the time twirling and twirling and twirling. How that girl does not get dizzy or fall over, I do not know. Once I tried to dance with her and was rebuffed. Once Kris tried to dance with her and was yelled at "No!" Gramme got to dance with her a little bit and she and Kris did dance (if by dancing you mean holding hands and hopping in a circle) once. The rest of the time she danced (twirled over and over and over again) by herself. There was one little girl that she wanted to dance with (hold hands and twirl) but that little girl was too busy running around and repeatedly turned Annika down. That was actually hard to watch for me but Annika didn't seem to mind. She just went back to twirling by herself instead. I, however, wanted to yell at that little girl "dance with my daugher right this minute!" though. A little protective of my daughter, I am.

And James slept through the entire affair. He slept through the ceremony. After the ceremony we took him out of his car seat so Krystle and Gramme could hold him. That woke him up and he was hungry so Krystle and I went downstairs in the church so I could feed him. Then we drove to the reception and James fell asleep again and didn't wake up until 10:30pm, on our drive home. Kris pulled over into a parking lot so I could hop into the back seat and feed James (very awkwardly, hunched over the car seat). And then he went back to sleep and woke up again sometime around 1am to eat again. He loved being held most of the evening by Gramme, I think. Auntie Krystle also got some good quality James time in. I held him for a little while as did a few other people. It was a nice evening and I'm glad we went.

Posted by Kristina at 3/04/2007 08:13:00 PM

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Thursday, March 01, 2007
One of the hard parts of parenting is seeing the traits you dislike in yourself coming out in your children. Growing up I was rather timid, sometimes shy unless I really knew the people I was with. My mom used to say that it was hard for me to make friends but once I did, they were my friends for life. And she was right. Growing up, if you put me in a room with a group of people, I would immediately become a wallflower. I'd rather have people come talk to me then seek out others. And while I've grown out of this to some extent, I haven't entirely. And I see this timidness, this shyness in Annika. Last Friday we went to play time at our community center. On Mondays and Fridays, for $1 per child, you can come play in the gym from 10-11:30am. You can bring balls, trikes, trucks, etc. to play with or use their toys. Last Friday was the first time we had gone. We arrived about 10:20am or so and the gym was already full of kids. We walked in and Annika immediatey shrunk back to Kris and I. She stayed pretty close to Kris and I and didn't really play with any of the kids. Every once in a while she would stalk a kid until they dropped whatever toy they were playing with and then take it when they were done. I sometimes wish Annika was more outgoing in situations like this. But then I think that I turned out okay so I have to believe that she will too.

Yesterday we went to story time at the library. Kris and I thought it was really well done, educational, interactive, fun and perfect for toddlers and preschool children. I think we'll incorporate it into our weekly routine as long as it lasts. What I really liked though was after story time when Annika started playing with a couple kids while Kris and I chatted with another parent. Annika walked up to two girls standing in a corner, made friends and before I knew it they were chasing each other back and forth across the room in some sort of racing game (run across the room, hit the wall with your hand, run back across the room, repeat). And Annika was laughing and smiling and having a great time. When those girls had to go, she started playing chase with Sam, whose mom we were talking to. She didn't like it when Sam actually touched her but I thought it was great that she was playing with him. Maybe she was more outgoing yesterday because the group and room was much smaller. Maybe Friday she was just overwhelmed. Either way, I need to stop worrying so much. She's great and figuring things out just fine.

And she is as smart as they come. She has a pretty good memory and is now reciting books and songs back to us on a daily basis. She really likes her Mr. Brown Can Moo Dr. Seuss book and walks around the house reciting it. She does the same thing with the Doodlebop theme song. There are other books that we read quite a bit that she can "read" back to us. And she's started pretending quite a bit lately too. Sometimes I'm DeeDee, she's Moe and Daddy's Rooney (Doodlebops, don't ya know). Other times two of her stuffed animals are Woody and Buzz (Toy Story) and other times she's baking me a cake or making me eggs in her kitchen.

And she's funny too! Yesterday I was teasing Kris about his sarcastic nature and he said "I'm a ray of sunshine." Annika looked at him and deadpanned "Ha, ha" right at him. Kris and I laughed forever at that. How does she know to say that?

Okay, enough bragging about Annika. Let's talk about James for a bit. He's not too entertaining at this point. He pretty much just eat, sleep and poops still. He's doing pretty well at night, usually eating every three hours. Last night he got up at 4am and didn't go back to sleep until 5:30am though. He was content to just stare at me instead. And even though he is adorable and I could stare back at him for hours, 5am is just not a good time. He has mastered one skill though that Annika couldn't do for months and months. He can fall asleep on his own. I know it sounds like such a little thing but really, this is huge. With Annika you had to rock or bounce her until she went to sleep. And she would always wake up when you put her down no matter how deeply she was sleeping or how carefully you did it. That's why she took naps in her bouncy seat or swing a lot as an infant. And that's why we ended up co-sleeping for a long time. But James, he I can feed and put down and if he's full, has a dry diaper and is comfortable, he will fall asleep on his own. How great is that! And he's a pretty calm baby. No fussy periods of the day yet. Once again if he's not hungry and his diaper is dry, he's a pretty mellow baby. He'll just sit and look around. That is, until his big sister comes and squishes him (like a bug! - that's a new phrase around here). Annika loves to give him kisses and hugs and just generally get in his space and he doesn't always like it. She loves to hold him though and that he tolerates pretty well, as long as she doesn't squish him.

Posted by Kristina at 3/01/2007 09:28:00 PM

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