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Tuesday, June 26, 2007
James is growing and developing and learning so much every day. He laughs now with regularity. If you get in his face and laugh and make funny faces, he will laugh back at you. And he loves watching Annika play and be a goofball. He's always watching her, smiling and laughing at her silliness. James has also had a lot of firsts this last week. He found his toes and now he always has his toes in his mouth. It's hard to change his diaper because as soon as his diaper comes off his feet are up and in his mouth. I have to pry his legs back down to get the new diaper on. And James is going to be a thumbsucker. In just the last couple weeks he has mastered getting his right thumb into his mouth. Often now when I'm feeding him on my right side he'll suck, suck, suck and then roll away to suck his thumb for a few seconds, then roll back, latch on and suck, suck, suck, roll away, etc. This is usually toward the end of a feeding. I guess that's my cue that he's done. And last night James was so close to rolling from his stomach to his back. We think he's done it before but he doesn't quite have the hang of it yet. Last night though he was twisting his body and had his legs over, but not his shoulders. One of these days he'll be a little rolling machine. Saturday was a big day for James. He had his first taste of rice cereal! I was going to wait until he was 5 months old to start cereal but he was just so ready! I actually felt bad eating in front of him! He watches us constantly when we're eating, watching the fork go from our food to our mouths. And if he's sitting on your lap when you eat, he's constantly trying to grab your food or your fork and shove it into his mouth. Plus all the signs I've listed earlier too are still there. So, Saturday Kris got the highchair up from the basement, we got out the rice cereal we bought earlier in the week and off we went. Auntie Krystle was over (to babysit so Kris and I could go on a motorcycle ride - my first of the season - woo-hoo!) so she was armed with the camera while Daddy had the video camera going. James did pretty well too. At first he made the funniest faces but he actually got down a few tablespoons and has again each day since. I'll just feed him rice cereal for a few weeks to a month before introducing other cereals.

Annika has been cracking us up lately. Sunday she pulled out use of a couple new phrases. One was "Mommy, you know what?" And then I would say what and she would ramble off some fact or memory or nonsense. Annika is playing with words lately and will just make up something new. We spend a lot of time saying "Oh, uh-huh" when we have no idea what she's saying. It's all just made up. Her other new phrase this weekend was "That's amazing!" I don't remember what this was in reference to but it was hilarious to hear it coming from her. Then yesterday Kris called me from the park, where some workmen are doing some maintenance, to relay this:

Annika: Daddy, where did that man go?
Daddy: What man?
Annika: The cute man. He pretty for me. He's going to get me. (When we play the chase game we say "I'm gonna get you!" and she laughs hysterically while running away.)

Oy, we are in trouble if at 2 she is already noticing the boys! She did it again last night. I was at Lowe's buying some stakes for our garden (it is growing so much that I have to stake all our pepper plants! We even harvested some peppers and cilantro out of there already for lunch on Saturday!) and we passed a family of father, mother and son in the store. The son was about 10 years old and as we walked past Annika pointed at him and said "He's cute!" She is too funny! We've always known that Annika has had a preference for her uncles and grandpas over the aunts and grandmas. I figured it was because the uncles are usually more physical in their play with her, chasing her, throwing her in the air, etc. Nope, I think she just really likes the boys!

Here is your last funny Annika story for the day. Ever since we went to Jessie's 3rd birthday party, Annika has been talking about her birthday. Sunday she was insisting that she is already three but last night she told me she was two and that "after my birthday in September (mispronounced in the cutest way of course!) I will be three!" I think she's really excited for her birthday party so she can be three and hold up three fingers instead of two. My funny little girl. Oh, and family and friends - Annika's third birthday party will be Saturday, September 8th. Time TBD. Invites to go out closer to the date, etc., etc.

Posted by Kristina at 6/26/2007 07:06:00 AM

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Monday, June 18, 2007
Another week has flown by. I've written down a few things to write about but I know there's probably more that I've forgotten already.

Annika is becoming more and more independent and then every once in a while she regresses and wants to be a baby again. She has taken to dressing and undressing herself pretty well. She's been able to take off her pants and socks for quite a while but just in the last few weeks has she mastered shirts. She used to try to take her arms out of her shirt and then put them through the neck whole. She would get so frustrated then when the shirt wouldn't slide down over her waist. Once I showed her to take her arms out the bottom of the shirt and then to lift the shirt over her head, her frustrations lessened. Now you have to watch out though or you might have a naked girl running around the house!

Last Wednesday when I was working from home, Annika was in the room with me. She ran off with my highlighter but I was busy on the phone so I wasn't paying much attention (bad me!). When I was done I was working on something else and didn't notice that Annika was writing all over the wall! I quickly grabbed a washcloth from the bathroom and started scrubbing the wall. Luckily the highlighter hadn't dried and it was coming off easily. That's when I noticed that Annika had drawn a pretty good picture of a person on the wall. I asked her who it was and she said "Nika!" I made Kris run to get the camera so I could get a picture of it before we wiped it all off. Of course by now Annika was into cleaning the wall so she wiped off one of her arms before Kris got the picture taken. Either way, I was impressed. And then we sat Annika down for a (another) lesson about writing on the walls.

I'm pretty sure James is a genius baby. Either that or he's got some dumb luck. Last Wednesday James was sitting on my lap facing me. I asked him who his daddy was and if he could find Daddy in the room. He turned his head to the left and locked his eyes on Kris. I was amazed! I couldn't believe that at only four months old James could already recognize and find Daddy. So then I said James, can you find Mommy? And sure enough! He turned back and locked eyes with me! Genius! So then I asked him again if he could find Daddy. And then he turned his head to the right and locked his eyes on Brian Williams (NBC Nightly News anchor). I'm pretty sure Brian Williams isn't James' daddy. Ah well. Maybe he's not quite a genius. But he has found Kris a couple times since then when I've asked him where Daddy was. So, clearly the kid has some smarts. Must get that from me!

I've started to notice that James pays a lot of attention to Annika. He's often smiling at her and watching her. I think he may just like her! One way for me to play with Annika in the evenings while also caring for James is to pretend that James is playing with Annika. I'll have James "chase" Annika. He'll "run" after her (that's basically just me carrying him) and she'll run and hide under covers or on a chair and then James will "get her." That's when I plop him down on her and he "gives her kisses" or you know, just lays like a lump on top of her. It's pretty fun though to hear her giggling about James and asking him to play with her some more.

We had a lovely father's day. Well, I thought it was lovely. I sure hope Kris had a good day too! The kids and I left him sleep in for a bit before waking him up by giving him presents (already sounds like the perfect day to me!). Then Kris played with James while Annika and I cleaned the house up a bit. Then Kris ran to work with Annika while James and I went grocery shopping. Annika was so excited to go to Kris' work with him. She's so used to Daddy leaving at night to go to work and now she has something to associate that with. Then after lunch the kids and I laid down for a nap (James and Annika have been tag-teaming with the waking up at night again and I am TIRED!). After about an hour though James woke up. I brought him down to Kris who was watching some TV. Then I slept about another hour and a half with Annika. By this time our dinner guests were arriving! Krystle, Grandpa, Marcia and Nana were coming over to celebrate Father's Day with us. Kris made the most delicious meal. Yes, Kris grilled his own Father's Day meal. He's just so good at it! He made a grilled shrimp cocktail with dill and garlic. Then he grilled fresh bell peppers with a creole seasoning that we dipped in southwestern ranch dip. Then he roasted some red potatoes to go with the Rosemary Pesto New York strip steaks that he grilled (to perfection!). It was all so super yummy! And before we knew it, it was time for everyone to leave. The day went quickly, but it was so nice!

And lastly, James may or may not be rolling from his belly to his back now. Kris thought he might have done it on Sunday. One minute James was on his belly and when Kris looked again, he was on his back. At least that's what he thinks. He can't remember for sure. Neither of us has seen James roll that way but if he hasn't done it yet, we don't think it will be long!

Posted by Kristina at 6/18/2007 09:09:00 PM

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Saturday Annika, James and I went to Jessie and Asher's birthday party. At first Annika stuck pretty close to me. She gets shy when around new people or people she hasn't seen in a while. Whenever anyone would talk to her she would bury her head in my lap or between my legs. Eventually she felt more comfortable and let her inner chatterbox out. One of the other people there even commented "Wow - you can talk!" Of course then she stopped talking again for a little while. After Jessie and Asher were done opening their presents, they and the other kids were playing with them of course. Annika comes over to me and whispers in my ear "I want to play with the toys too." I told her she should go ask Jessie if it was okay to play with her new toys. Instead she just slowly walked over by Jessie and casually picked up a toy, waited for Jessie's reaction and then when Jessie didn't care, Annika started playing. It was a pretty interesting scene to watch. Annika is learning her social graces a little bit I think.

Sunday it was hot and steamy out. I got out Annika's swimming pool and filled it with water. She and Daddy were just leaving to go running with Uncle Dusty. I figured that when they got home, Annika and I could play outside in the pool for a while. What I didn't figure on was them being gone for five hours (just how far did they run!) and then to take a three and a half hour nap. Finally at 6:30pm I woke them up. I was feeling a little abandoned that day! James and I had a good time together though. We walked to Target (there are good and bad things about having one so close to home!) and I got lots and lots of snuggle time in with him. It's been hot out the last couple days so Annika has been in and out of her pool dozens of times. Monday night I set up the sprinkler too. It was Annika's first time running through it.

James is also having a lot of firsts lately. Yesterday was James' first time swinging! Kris called me from the park to give me the full report. Of course he didn't bring the camera with though so I don't have any pictures! He better remember to bring it next time! I guess James liked it though. Well, he liked chewing on the swing anyway - yuck! And today James played in the exersaucer for the first time. He's a pretty stable little guy so he was able to stand in it, lean on the front of it, hold his head up and play with the toys. Not bad for 4 months old! Kris even had to put it on the middle height setting. James is so tall that he's already outgrown the shortest height!

James has a bunch of nicknames. Here are a few of them: Jamesy (used most often), Jamesy-Wamesy, Gigantor, Honey Bunny, Baby Boy (and Nika is called Baby Girl and then she tells me that I have two babies, a Baby Boy and a Baby Girl), Yames and Yamesy.

And here are some Annika-isms: Saturday morning Annika woke up and crawled into bed with us. As she snuggled in by me she looked up and told me "I love you." Too cute! Sunday Annika told me "You're nice! And Daddy is nice and Andrew (our neighbor) is nice. Andrew gets me!" And tonight at dinner James was sitting in his rocking chair on the floor next to Kris. Annika pointed to James and told Kris "That's your James." Kris played along and replied back with "OK, I get James. Who gets Nika?" Annika replied "Mommy" all matter of fact like. Then Kris asked her "What if I want Nika?" And Annika yelled back at him "No! Mommy!" OK child, we get it - you're a little attached to your mommy! Love you back baby girl.

Posted by Kristina at 6/12/2007 09:21:00 PM

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Thursday, June 07, 2007
Just a quick post today and then it's bed time for me.

First - Happy Birthday Grandpa Dan!

Today was James' 4 month well baby check up. He is 18 pounds 4.75 ounces and 26.5 inches tall. That's 97 and 95% respectively. His head circumference is down around 41cm or 25%. I have a small headed child. Hee. The good doctor declared him healthy and super smart since he can coo and hold his head up and roll over and stand and grasp toys and play with his hands and all that good fun stuff. He's even getting close to sitting. Right now he sits up but leans way forward. Annika did the same thing. She sat unsupported at 4.5 months and I think James is going to be right around there too. The doctor said we could start solids any time, well cereal anyway but to wait for fruits and vegetables until he was 6 months old. I think we'll follow what we did with Annika and that was cereal at 5 months and fruits and veggies at 6 months. James is already giving me all the signs that he's ready to go (holding his head up, sitting with minimal support, moving food (liquid) from the front to the back of his mouth and watching me eat, i.e. watching my fork as I move it from my plate to my mouth). I think we'll hold off a little longer though. There's no need to rush this. I can't believe that my baby is just about ready to start solids though! This time when they are little just goes so unbelievably fast. The doctor asked how James was sleeping. I told him that compared to Annika this child is the best sleeper ever. James does do pretty well though. Last night he was in his crib sleeping by 8:30pm and he didn't wake to eat until 4am! And then after I fed him and put him back in his crib, he hadn't woken again when I left for work at 6:20am. What a good boy! And Kris was still up when Annika woke up to go potty overnight so he took care of her. I woke up but I didn't have to get out of bed for that one. I woke one other time when Kris made some noise (he was still up). So, I'm getting more sleep. Why am I not feeling more rested? I still feel utterly exhausted. I'm hoping to get a nap in this weekend again.

Last night we had dinner with Grandpa, Marcia, Krystle and Pierce to celebrate our birthdays. It was very nice! Annika was being a typical two year old and didn't want to stay in her chair. She crawled under the table to get to Grandpa or Krystle and generally just did not listen. She was sitting in a booster seat instead of a highchair. Each time she is in a high chair she's pretty good about not getting out and running around. It looks like we'll have to keep her in the restaurant highchairs a bit longer.

Tonight I had dinner with Mary and Amanda at Mary's house. Mary is home packing up her house. As of Sunday they will be officially moved in to their new house in Indiana. It was so great to see her again. We had a great time talking. I even got to see Mary's DVD of her ultrasound (it's a boy!) and a bunch of Amanda's honeymoon photos. I get to see Amanda again on Saturday but I won't get to see Mary for a long time now. I'm hoping to go visit her maybe in October. She'll have had the baby by then but will still be on maternity leave. Hopefully all the out of town family members will have had a chance to visit by then too since Mary's due in early September. I will miss her until then! Hopefully she'll get her blog up and running so I can keep up with her there along with e-mails and phone calls.

Posted by Kristina at 6/07/2007 10:15:00 PM

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007
What? It's been a week again already? Where does the time go? Work has been insanely busy. It's been so busy that I only have enough time to eat lunch before I'm in another meeting. I've literally been in meetings from 8-3:30pm the past few days. That leaves no time for blog post thoughts at all. And in the evenings I'm either busy or tired and don't write then either! Anyway, here are a few highlights from the last week.

Last week I uploaded a bunch of pictures. I'm current now as of May 31st. Enjoy! On Saturday Kris got the second tier of the garden completed. It was supposed to rain and I was worried we (ha!) would get partially done and then have to stop for the day. The rain held off the whole day though here and we got the whole thing done. It looks great! I picked up some more plants and now we have cucumber, cilantro and red, green, orange and yellow bell pepper growing. That goes with the tomatoes, basil, oregano, strawberries and three kinds of hot peppers growing in the lower garden. I'm so excited for us to actually bear some fruit and vegetables! While Kris was busy working, I was playing with the kids. Annika actually took a nap that day and so when James feel asleep in the afternoon, I laid down with him and actually got about an hour and a half nap myself! It felt really good!

Saturday night Kris and I had our first date since James was born. We dropped the kids off at Dale and Shelly's house and headed to dinner with Krystle and Pierce. I had a really good time out although I did have my cell phone out and on the table just in case. There was no need for that though as James did just fine. I should have expected that as he really is an easy baby. And of course Annika had a great time. She absolutely adores Uncle Fuzzy Face (her nickname for Uncle Dale who has a mustache and beard) and Auntie Shelly. We visited for a few minutes when picking them up. At one point Annika was sitting on Uncle Dale's lap facing him and stroking his beard. Then she picked at his mustache and said "Grandpa Dan has one of those too!" I just love it when she puts things together like that. Yes, Grandpa Dan does have a mustache my smart little girl! When we told her it was time to go she got really sad and weepy. She didn't want to go even though she had been with them for over four hours by that point! We convinced her to get in the truck though under the condition that Auntie Shelly would carry her out. And after we got her buckled in and the door shut she got weepy again and said "I want that girl." She wanted Auntie Shelly again. I think we might have to ask Auntie Shelly and Uncle Dale to babysit again soon. I think they enjoy it and I know that Annika does.

Sunday we spent the whole day at home, just the four of us. It's been a long time since we've done that! And James laughed for the first time Sunday! He's tried laughing in the past, grunting out a "heh, heh" but on Sunday it was his first real laugh. Annika, James and I were all in the bathtub together and Annika was being silly, splashing and falling into the water. James was floating on his back (me holding his sides with his head on my stomach) watching her and he started laughing at her silliness. He did it two different times too! I called for Kris to come in and of course James wouldn't repeat it. I haven't heard a real laugh since but there are always lots of smiles from my baby boy. I wish I could make him laugh though. Maybe he'll get the hang of it and give me some laughs soon.

Today is my birthday (happy birthday to me!) and it was so nice receiving a bunch of birthday phone calls, e-mails, facebook messages and e-cards. I felt so loved today! Thank you all! Kris and I and the kids went out for dinner. Even though James wanted to be hold through most of it and not sit patiently in his carseat, it was still nice to eat out. We don't do that very often now of course so it's always a treat.

OK, enough rambling. I have to fill out some paperwork and then get to bed!

Posted by Kristina at 6/05/2007 09:33:00 PM

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