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Sunday, September 30, 2007
The nursing strike has ended! Or at least it's temporarily on reprieve. Little by little this weekend James stopped shrieking and pushing himself away from me whenever he was in the nursing position to finally today teasing me by opening his mouth and when he was just about to nurse he would pull away. Then tonight when we got home, I saw on the floor and he actually nursed for a few minutes. I was so happy that I cried as he crawled away to play with his sister. Then tonight at bed our old routine came back - diaper change, pajamas on, wrapped up in blanket, nurse, bounce to sleep, in bed. He nursed! On both sides! And he didn't try to bite me once. A few times he would stop nursing, push himself away and whine and then he would come back and latch back on. His three top teeth haven't broken through yet but they are so, so close. I'm thinking it may be that plus all the sleep he got today that brought him back to nursing. He took four naps today as we drove home from the North Shore. The longest was a couple hours and the shortest was about 20 minutes. In all, it was more sleep than he usually gets. I sure hope this nursing strike is over. Exclusively pumping is not fun! It's a lot of extra work and a lot less intimate snuggly time too.

We had a great weekend. Friday we drove up to the North Shore to have a nice weekend getaway with Nana and Papa. Annika kept calling Nana "Grandma Nana" this weekend. Too cute! When Annika went to bed Friday night, Nana was in the kitchen, so when Annika woke up Saturday morning she wanted to rush right back to the kitchen to see Nana again. I had to explain to her that Nana was still sleeping but that as soon as she was awake, Annika could play with her some more.

Saturday after Kris and I got a nap in (A nap! I haven't had a nap in ages! Thank goodness for grandparents!), we headed up to Grand Marais. We ate at Sven and Ole's and walked out to the breakwall again. This time we didn't go as far out. Lake Superior was pretty choppy again and the waves were pretty big. It wasn't as windy out this time though so even though I don't think we would have gotten drenched again, we didn't take the risk. After playing throwing rocks from the beach into the water, we walked through some shops. There are some really fun shops - the trading post, art galleries, fudge shops, etc. in Grand Marais. Annika and Nana had a really fun time in the fudge shop. There was a huge stuffed animal moose in there that kids could sit on. Annika climbed on and we got a picture. Next to the moose was a sign that read "All unattended children will be given an espresso and a free puppy." Ha! Kris might have taken the fudge shop up on that one! He wants another dog so badly! Anyway, Nana and Annika left the fudge shop with an ice cream cone. I left it with 1/2 pound of fudge - to be shared, of course.

Today we took our time this morning having breakfast, playing (Annika and Papa always have to go outside to take a walk together. I think they both really look forward to this.) and packing up. On our way down the shore, we stopped at a scenic overlook to see Split Rock Lighthouse. Then we were going to stop at Gooseberry Falls but it was raining so we headed on. We ended up stopping in Two Harbors for lunch and then headed on to Duluth. James was sleeping when we went through Duluth so we didn't stop, we just drove across the lift bridge and kept driving.

I was looking through the pictures on my camera tonight. There are pictures on there from the middle of August! I will definitely upload some pictures this week. I'm going to have quite a few to go through!

Posted by Kristina at 9/30/2007 09:31:00 PM

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Thursday, September 27, 2007
The nursing strike continues. Well, kind of. James woke up during the night and nursed just fine. Maybe he was too sleepy to realize what he was doing? Or maybe the motrin I gave him before bed time dulled the pain enough so he could nurse? Both? Either way, it was heaven. And then he went back to sleep instead of being wide awake for over two hours. It was a much better night. Today though when I got home from work he refused me again and tonight before bed was the same thing. So, I gave him a bottle and then pumped. It's working but it would be so much easier to just pop him on and not have to think twice about it. It's a good thing he shows me how much he loves me otherwise I would be really, really sad to not be nursing him instead of just really sad. For example, tonight when I got home from work, James was sleeping. When he woke up, he sat up, saw me and gave me the biggest grin. Kris put him in his walker and he motored on over to me and pouted until I picked him up. And then he wouldn't let me put him down. He just wanted to snuggle with his mommy. So we did and then I smothered him with kisses. Kris is always telling me to stop making out with the baby. Too bad I never listen. Heh.

As we were making dinner tonight, Kris was being silly. So I called him a silly billy. Annika thought that was pretty funny so she started calling him that. It was pretty fun to gang up with Annika to tease Daddy. She got the giggles too.

Tonight as Kris was going around giving us all kisses before leaving for work, he bent down to Annika and asked her to give him a kiss. Her response? "No, I'm good." What?! You're good? What a goofball. Kris told her it wasn't for her but for him so then she consented and gave him a big hug and kiss.

Today Annika went on her first school field trip. Her class and the Tues/Thurs morning class went to a local apple orchard. When I asked Annika about it she had to tell me that she rode on a bus and in a wagon and on a tractor today. It must have been fun. Kris said when he went to pick her up that she was walking with Ryan, the neighbor boy. He's in the Tues/Thurs class. I can just imagine it. Too cute! I didn't get too much more out of her. She was busy coloring at the time.

Tonight at bedtime I was putting Annika's pajamas on her. She's wearing some of her old 3T pajamas from last year and they are getting a little small in the sleeves. Her hands get stuck sometimes. Last winter they did the same thing (the hand openings are just really small) and I always told her to "get her pinkies out of there." I said the same thing a few nights ago and I thought Annika was going to bust a gut from laughing so hard. Ever since whenever we put her pajamas on at night and her hand gets stuck she starts giggling and telling her hand to "get her pinky out of there." She practically falls over she's laughing so hard. Now if anyone is a silly billy, it's her!

Posted by Kristina at 9/27/2007 08:46:00 PM

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Two posts in one day. I'm amazed, are you? I'm having a rough evening. James is teething right now. His top six teeth are all moving around. You can see the bumps and ridges where the teeth are coming down. Three are imminent. His two front teeth and one tooth next to that (on the right when looking at him) are almost through. You can see the white line of a tooth when you look at the bottom of his gums. The poor guy has been up for hours in the middle of the night the last two nights. Kris and I are exhausted. James is grumpy and now he's biting. He's biting everything in sight (my knee as he's standing up against me, his toys, his blanket, etc.). And now he's biting while nursing. He's almost completely refusing the left side and only slightly better on the right. I'm cringing with each feed, waiting for the searing pain. I'm hoping, hoping, hoping that this is temporary, that once the teeth come in he'll go back to my nursing baby. I'm not holding my breath though. James has never been infatuated with nursing the way Annika was. I'm worried that even after the teeth come in, he'll still prefer the bottle. The bottle that he chews on all the time while drinking. I'm probably going to be exclusively pumping for the foreseeable future while we wait for the teeth and I'm worried that this might just be it for nursing my sweet little guy. What if he refuses to come back to nursing? That's rhetorical, of course. If he refuses, I'll just keep pumping until he turns one and I can wean him to whole milk. It won't be fun, and I'll be very sad that our nursing relationship is over, but like everything else, I'll deal. I fed my baby a bottle for the very first time tonight. And then I called Kris and cried. This sucks.

Posted by Kristina at 9/26/2007 09:20:00 PM

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Sunday, after watching the ugly Vikings game, we headed back outside to finish our tree work. One tree needed a little more dirt and then we mulched them all. The extra dirt we put under the deck for now and Annika was having a great time using it as a sand (dirt) box. She had her shovel and rake and other toys under there. After our chores were done, it was time to play! We got out the wagon, put the kids in it and walked to a nearby park. James had his first wagon ride! I think he enjoyed it. After playing at the park for a little bit we walked over to the neighboring soccer fields and watched part of a soccer match. In the 15 minutes or so we were there we saw 3 goals! Then it was back home for dinner. James was hungry. Not long after I started feeding him the doorbell rang. It was Gramme! What a wonderful surprise visit! She was in the neighborhood so she stopped on over. (I would have known she was coming if I had brought my cell phone to the park with me.) She played with Annika while I fed James. They played with Annika's tea set. Gramme kept wanting to put her tea cup down on the little saucer but Annika insisted the saucer was a plate for imaginary food to be put on, not tea cups! Each time Gramme would put her tea cup on the plate, Annika would very quietly reach over, remove the cup from the plate and set it on the napkin instead. Goofy girl! After I was done feeding James then Gramme got some good James snuggles in too. At one point Gramme was laying on the couch with James up in the air over her head and they were both giggling. It made my day.

Annika has been using her manners more and more lately. She is much better with the pleases, thank yous, you're welcomes, sorry's and excuse me's. It's so cute to hear her talk like that.

James has discovered jumping. Annika likes jumping on our bed and always wants James to jump with her. Once in a while, I will hold him and "jump" him with her. Then yesterday he was in the Exersaucer and he started jumping by himself. Kris took some video of it but the files was too big to e-mail me at work. No worries though because James repeated his newest discovery today for me. I love the look on his face when he figures out something new. He gets the biggest grin. It's the same grin he gives me when I say his name and he looks up at me. His eyes shine and he smiles from ear to ear. Man, he melts my heart. They both do. I'm such a sucker for these two kids.

You know what else is great? Annika and James playing together. It's starting to happen. Usually Annika just rushes over to take toys away from James (we're still working on the sharing around here) but James doesn't mind. He is in love with his sister. He always crawls over to wherever she is and wants to play with whatever toy she has. And if she gets up to move away, he gets so sad. Last night Annika crawled behind the toy chest to play with toys so James crawled after her. Then the two of them sat and giggled and played together back there. Little by little they are learning together how to play. I love it!

Tomorrow Annika goes on her first field trip. She and her class are going to a local Apple Orchard. I'm sure she'll have a great time, but I worry about things like the bus ride and getting lost and stuff. That is what I do - worry. More than likely everything will go smoothly, but of course I'll worry about her until Kris calls me tomorrow (and he better call!) to tell me she's home safe.

Posted by Kristina at 9/26/2007 09:30:00 AM

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Monday, September 24, 2007
Friday night was all kinds of fun for us, well, except for Kris since he was at work. But James, Annika and myself had loads of fun! We were visiting Mary and her brand new baby (only 4 weeks old!) Logan. What a little cutie he is. And so tiny! OK, so he's 9 pounds now but he still has these itty bitty little legs - not a fat roll on him. I'm sure he'll get some in no time what with all the nursing he likes to do. And he was a good little baby too. Sure, he was "fussy" according to Mary but really, he wasn't fussy much at all. Most babies get like that in the evening. He and Mary just need to figure out their routine and all will be well. Mary seemed a little stressed out and I hope my chat with her in the kitchen helped her out some. It's stressful having a newborn and being a first time mom. I'm confident though that she'll find her groove soon. Mary's staying with her parents so they were home too and then her brother and his two kids (age 2 1/2 and 5) were over too. Annika had a great time playing with all the toys and the boys and James was busy playing with the toys too. Amanda and Dean were over too to partake in the Logan-y goodness. It was great to see them too. I haven't seen them in way too long. And Amanda was sweet enough to buy Annika a birthday present. It was a giant coloring book with watercolor paints and crayons included. The girl has been coloring and painting in it since!

Saturday was a day of work, work, work at our house. After sleeping in late (me and Annika - oh heaven!) we headed out to a local nursery where we purchased 4 large trees. After shuttling them home (us driving home, Kris removing the car seats from the truck and making 2 trips back to the nursery to bring home 2 trees at a time), we spent the rest of the afternoon digging holes, huge, giant holes, and planting our lovely trees. We now have a Greenspire Linden, a Emerald Queen Maple, an Autumn Blaze Maple, and a May Day Red Leaf Tree of which I can not find a good link. After getting all that work done we headed inside so each of us could get cleaned up. Man, did we ever get dirty, all of us! No sooner had we finished that then Krystle and Pierce arrived! We all went out to dinner that night together. Then they came back to our house and we watched some Gopher football together. It was so great to hang out with them. The kids loved it too.

James is so close to getting more teeth. His two top front teeth are just below the surface of his gums. Any day now and that gummy grin will be gone for good.

I need to post more often. If only to remember the funny things Annika said and they both did. They crack me up all the time. Oh, and I'll try and fix the pictures link this week.

Posted by Kristina at 9/24/2007 09:07:00 AM

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Saturday we had a big playdate for Annika. Instead of inviting a bunch of little kids over for her birthday and starting the whole gift giving cycle, we just invited everyone over to play instead - no gifts, no cake, no mention of a birthday party at all. And it was great! Brianna, Emma, Sam, Jessie, Asher, Emily, Ryan, Erin and Madalyn all came over to play. At first Annika was overwhelmed and was shy and she didn't know what to think about all these kids playing with her toys bit after a few minutes she jumped right in and had a great time. And I think the other kids did too. Annika's new tea set and art easel were big hits with the kids. All the kids sat around the table having a tea party and then there would be three of them at a time clustered around the art easel all drawing. And Kris was super fantastic and took some of the kids outside to play too. It was overall just a great time. I didn't get to talk too much with the other parents but that's to be expected. And James just took it all in. I think he liked having the other kids there too. After everyone left both Annika and James took some nice long naps.

That evening we headed out to watch the Minnesota Vixen play Thee Toledo Reign. When we told Annika that we were going to go watch girls play football she got all indignant and told us matter-of-factly "Girls can't play football. Only boys." What?!? Where in the world would she get that from. Neither Kris nor I have ever told her that girls can't do something or that only boys do this. I'm wondering if she just sees football on tv and has correllated football with boys or something. Anyway, the kids were great at the game. Annika played in the bleachers a bit and Papa was able to come too and he helped entertain Annika as well. James just sat on my lap the whole time taking it all in. He was bright eyed and happy for someone hours past his bed time. It wasn't until late in the fourth quarter that he succumbed to the sleepiness and fell asleep in my arms. Actually it was as soon as I got his blanket out that he grabbed that, smooshed it in his face and went right to sleep.

We've had some terribly sad news in our family. My cousin Brad's wife has died in a horrific 4-wheeler accident. They have a 5 year old boy and a 2 year old girl. The funeral is tomorrow and I can't stop crying when I think about it. Please, please pray for this family.

Posted by Kristina at 9/18/2007 08:43:00 AM

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Thursday, September 13, 2007
Annika's party went very well last Saturday. We kept it simple by grilling brats and serving baked beans, chips and grilled corn on the cob. Hmm, yummy! Annika thought it was just great to have all those people there. She was especially goofy when opening her presents. Each time she would get clothing she would pick it up and drop it on the floor and ask for the next present. Someone needs to teach this child manners and graciousness! Oh, wait, that would be Kris and my job. Um, yeah, we'll get on that. Anyway, when she opened Auntie Krystle and Pierce's present she took out all the toys and left the clothes in the bag. I asked her what else was in there and she responded "Just clothes." I'm sure Auntie Krystle appreciated the sentiment. I appreciated the clothes though! Everything Annika got was absolutely wonderful. Funniest thing though? She got three art easels! One is a tabletop one that we're keeping for sure. I'm hoping to bring it with us places like vacation or visiting family since it folds up so nicely. Then she got a fancy Creative Spark easel. We got that one out on Sunday and set it up and Annika has played with it every day since. Her third easel has two sides to it, one being a whiteboard and one being a chalkboard. I'm so tempted to keep this one too (we have a gift receipt for it and don't for the Creative Spark easel) since it's so different from the Creative Spark easel. The only problem is the easels take up so much space and Kris already feels cramped from all the toys. Ugh. I want to keep them all! I would put one up in Annika's room and keep one down in the living room but both came with whiteboard markers that aren't washable. I just can't trust Annika yet with unwashable markers. The other day she colored her lips gray because she was putting on "lipstick." So, I'll keep thinking about it. I'm pretty sure it's staying though.

Saturday night we went to the Augsburg vs. Northwestern football game. It was the 10 year reunion for the MIAC-winning Auggie team that both Kris and Uncle Dusty played on. There was a dinner and program and tour of the new athletic building. Then, at half time all the players there were introduced on the field and they even got to wear a jersey with their old number on it! It was such a great evening. James was the perfect baby. He usually goes to bed around 7pm so I was worried how he'd do since the game didn't even start until 7pm. Well, shortly after the game started he got fidgety and grumpy so I stood up (out of the way of the people around me of course), wrapped him up in his blanket and bounced him for a few minutes. He was out cold. And he didn't wake again until some excitement late in the fourth quarter. And then when we put him in his car seat to go home, he went right back to sleep and didn't wake up again until 3am. He even slept through me carrying him into the house. Annika did pretty well too. It's hard for someone her age to sit still for three hours. Luckily we sat on the bottom couple rows so she could dance and jump around in the aisle in front of us. And she was pacified with a big bucket of popcorn for quite a while too.

This week has gone by pretty quickly. We haven't had anything to do in the evenings so there's been lots of playing going on. James has been eyeing our people food for a while now. And he's starting to not want to eat his baby food. James would rather eat finger foods or whatever we're eating instead. So, he's had some baked beans, some corn, some pasta, some bread and lots of other new things this week. And he's liked them all so far. He likes to chew and eat things with texture. That pureed baby food is for the birds apparently. He still doesn't like fruit though.

And Annika is starting to show some three year old tricks. She is starting to show defiance. Yesterday I told her to take her bandaged finger out of her mouth and I took it out and put it in her lap. While staring into my eyes she slowly lifted her finger back up and put it back into her mouth. What! Yeah, that got her an immediate time out in her room. I hauled her up there, put her in her room and told her not to come out until I came to get her. A few minutes later I went up to check on her (the crying had died down and it was too quiet in there) only to find her sleeping. It was 6:40pm, about an hour and a half before her bed time, but she was out cold. Yes, the naughtiness could have stemmed from being tired but that is not the first time she's done it. She's testing her limits now and boy, is it fun! (cue sarcasm) Thanks goodness she's such a good girl at heart or she'd get sold to the gypsies! Kris and I may need another date soon - she is wearing us out!

Oh, one last thing before I go - we are pacifier free in our house now! Annika had used hers at nap time and bedtime only for a long time now. James, on the other hand, could care less about pacifiers. So, about a week and a half ago when Annika asked for a pacifier at bedtime, I told her they were lost (they actually were to, I had no idea where any of the 3 we had were) and she'd have to go to sleep without one. And she hasn't had one since. She asked about them the next night or two but never made much fuss about not having one. I've been so worried about how to make her give those up and it turned out to be no big deal! OK, so I found two of them and hid them just in case but so far, so good!

Posted by Kristina at 9/13/2007 08:40:00 PM

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Friday, September 07, 2007
I now have a seven month old and a three year old! It's been a big week around here! Of course James is taking it all in stride. He thinks he can not only cruise the furniture but go from piece of furniture to piece of furniture, like the couch to recliner, without falling down. Most of the time he can too. We were stopped today and asked if he was 11 months old. Um, no. He's just barely 7. Yes, he's enormous. Yes, he's advanced gross motor skills wise. Yes, we are very lucky. That much we know. We also know that we have a weird child. He still doesn't like any fruits! He will eat any vegetable and bread product you put in front of him but fruits or anything sweet and he'll gag or put his hands in front of his face or turn his face from you, basically anything to not have to eat something sweet. What is with this kid? Kris even gave him a tiny taste of a chocolate shake today and he gave Kris the gaggy, "that was gross, do not do that again" face. We keep trying though every day, hoping he'll come around. I mean, really. He's going to be begging me one day for fruit snacks and cookies, right?

Today is Annika's birthday. Happy birthday baby girl! Mama loves you so much! I'm so glad I was able to take today off work. We woke up this morning and I helped Annika get ready for her first day of preschool; pack her backpack, pick out her clothes, etc. Then, Kris, James and I walked her across the street to her school. Yesterday and today I really stressed that Mommy and Daddy were leaving her at school where she would play with friends and her teacher and then when school was over we would come back and get her. She seemed to understand and was fine with this. I walked her into her classroom and showed her again where her cubby was for her jacket and backpack. She was excited to get her treats out of her bag (she brought Rice Krispy Treats for the class to celebrate her birthday) and give them to her teacher. Then when she was done with that we took off and hung that up. She was eyeing the toys and the art project a couple other kids were working on. I told her to wave good bye to Daddy and James and she did. Then I told her to give me a kiss good-bye (I was already kneeling down at her level) and she did and then gave me a hug good-bye and then she turned around and walked across the room to play with some toys. She never looked back. Every instinct in me wanted to be that stereotypical "helicopter mom" and hover for a while to make sure she was okay. Kris said it was time to go so we walked out instead. I admit I got a little choked up. I was leaving my baby! Kris was happy about it though. He's looking forward to having some one-child-at-a-time time while Annika's at school. He said something about naps....for him. :) It looks like Annika has a set of triplets and a set of twins in her class! And even though she may be the youngest or really close to the youngest in her class, she is no where near the smallest. There are some tiny kids in her class! We keep thinking about that kindergarten question. Kris is adamant that she will be ready academically for kindergarten at 4, almost 5 but I'm not as sure she'll be ready socially and wonder if we shouldn't wait until she is 5, almost 6 to start school. We'll keep an eye on her the next year or two and keep thinking this through while also talking to the professionals (her pre-K teachers, our neighbor Katie who is a Kindergarten teacher in a different district, my cousin, Lindsay, who is an elem ed student doing her student teaching now, etc.).

When we got home, James went down for a nap (He's starting to stretch his naps out. He used to be a 45 minute napper and now he'll stay down for up to an hour and a half! Woo!) so Kris and I took that time to wrap Annika's birthday presents (and assemble "the big one") and clean up the house for her party tomorrow. When it was time, we walked back over to pick her up. Her class was out for a walk in the building so we waited in the hall for them to come back. When they did it was so cute! Annika was wearing a little crown hat that said "Happy Birthday Annika" on it and all the little kids were holding a rope to help keep them in line as they walked. I, uh, took a picture. I couldn't help it! The cuteness! Anyway, they went back into their classroom and were only let out when an adult was there to claim the child. Annika came out and honestly? She was not that excited to see us. She didn't want to go home. She wanted to stay and play some more. I guess she likes her new school. We told her she would be coming back again but that it was time to go home and eat lunch and open presents and get ready for pictures this afternoon. Oh, and something about ice cream too. The presents and ice cream were enough to ward off a tantrum and she agreed to go home with us. Independent much? And, uh, bribery much? I mean it's not like ice cream and presents are in the cards for every school day! At home she immediately went for the presents. We got her some fingerpaints, CandyLand, a Cinderella dress and a bike. All were big hits. She has already finger painted twice today. We have played an entire game of CandyLand where she beat me fair and square, she has already torn a hem on her Cinderella dress and the bike has been rode around the house numerous times (with her helmet on - it's the rule). She like her Cinderella dress so much that we actually took it with to the mall and had some pictures taken of her in it. Annika insisted. She also insisted on walking around the mall in it too. We got so many "She's so cute!" comments. Yes, I have to agree. She is! Her pictures turned out really cute by the way. My girl is a pretty one, I do believe. And she did get her ice cream. It's kind of become a little tradition to go get a treat while the pictures are printing. It was Cold Stone Creamery for us today. Yum! And then it was back home so Daddy could go to work. Tomorrow is the big birthday party day. I'm sure Annika will be spoiled rotten as usual. I'll report back on how it goes! I hope we have enough food! At least I know the cake will be good...

Posted by Kristina at 9/07/2007 08:18:00 PM

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Well, that was a lovely holiday weekend for us. I hope yours was good too. We headed up north for the weekend. Before we could though we headed to Grandpa Dan and Marcia's house on Friday night. We had to pick up some mail for Auntie Krystle before we could head out of town with her and Pierce. It was such a nice night out too. We even took a little walk across the street to tour some of the new houses being built there. James showed them all of his new tricks (crawling, standing, cruising furniture, etc.) and Annika just showed off. She's such a ham. She danced for us and ran around outside just having fun.

Saturday morning we finished packing up the truck and were headed north by 9:30am. Luckily James went to sleep right away and Annika watched a video so Kris and I had a nice, quiet trip almost all the way to Duluth. About twenty miles outside Duluth James woke up so we stopped for some lunch. And then James cried almost the entire rest of the way to Duluth. Nothing we did made him happy. He just wanted out of the car seat. We stopped in Duluth to spend some time down at Canal Park by Lake Superior. Annika had a great time climbing the rocks, chasing the birds and running around. James had a great time just being out of his car seat, sitting in the grass and crawling around. After about an hour there we got back in the truck to finish our journey. James fell asleep again and the rest of our ride was pretty uneventful.

We stayed at Caribou Highlands in a 2 bedroom Poplar Ridge Home. It was so nice! One bedroom had a king sized bed and private bath that Krystle and Pierce stayed in. The other bedroom had a queen sized bed and two twin beds for us to stay in. We also brought the pack 'n play for James to sleep in. We didn't do much that night but hang out together. The next morning we packed up and headed a bit farther north to Grand Marais while Krystle and Pierce headed out to do some hiking. In Grand Marais we walked out to the breakwall. Annika had fun walking on the rocks (with Mom or Dad having a firm grip on her at all times). The water was choppy since it was fairly windy out. We were walking on the cement breakwall when out of nowhere this huge waves comes crashing down on us! I literally looked up and saw this huge wave of water coming straight down on my head. The breakwall is only about three feet wide on top at this point so I buckled down and held on for the onslaught. I also had a pretty good hold of Annika or she would have gone flying off the wall. James was in the backpack carrier on Kris's shoulders and he was strapped in tight, thank goodness. We all got completely soaked. Annika started crying from the shock of it all while I started laughing hysterically. Kris just turned around, muttered "We're done here." and started walking back to shore. After a while my laughing turned Annika's crying into giggles too. James cried once after it happened and then he was fine too. Luckily I had a change of clothes for the kids in our truck so we headed back to get them changed. Kris and I weren't so prepared though. We found a local shop and bought me a cheap t-shirt to wear but I had to stay in my drenched jeans. Jeans are heavy when they are wet! They were so heavy the were falling off me. Eventually we all dried off of course and we didn't let it ruin our day. Krystle and Pierce joined us for lunch at Sven and Ole's Pizza. We walked around a bit more before we headed out for a hike of our own. We went to the Cascade State Park and did about a two mile hike. We were lucky enough to borrow two backpack baby carriers for the kids (Thanks John & Michelle and Jon & Michelle!). Kris and I both really like that hike. It's not too difficult and it has some really pretty waterfalls too. After hiking we headed back to our lodging, changed into our swimming suits and headed to the pool. Annika loved the pool, absolutely loved it. She had her life jacket on so she was free to move about the pool a little bit. At least she didn't have a parent holding on to her the whole time, we were just within arm's reach mostly. James though, well, he hated it. The water was too cold for him and he just cried and cried when we tried to bring him in. Auntie Krystle ended up sitting in a chair holding him for most of our time there. Thanks Auntie Krystle! Annika would jump off the side of the pool, roll to her belly, roll to her back, doggie paddle around the pool, etc. She was having a blast. When she would get too cold, she would get out and go to the spa to dip her toes. Then when she was warm again she would jump back in the big pool. That night we were all tired from the long day. After our yummy steak dinner (which we grilled on our private deck - it was so nice!) and the kids went to bed, we sat around and watched a movie before calling it a day. Yesterday we packed back up and headed out. After breakfast we drove down to Gooseberry Falls for more waterfall sightseeing. Annika again had a great time climbing around on the rocks. We walked around for a while and then Krystle and Pierce left and we got our bike trailer and bikes out. We were hoping to go for a little bike ride but James was having none of that. He cried and cried and we gave up and got in the truck to drive home. Poor James, he was so tired. And he just doesn't like the bike trailer. I'm hoping next summer we have better luck with that. Anyway, he slept all the way into Duluth and woke up just as we were heading onto the freeway for home. We stopped so I could feed him some lunch and then got back on the road. He was fine for a little while and then got upset again. He wanted out of his car seat again. Poor James cried for a good portion of our drive home. Kris and I took turns squishing between the car seats to play with him, feed him some treats and generally try and distract him but we weren't always successful. It was a long drive home, that's for sure. But, we made it and of course James fell alseep again about 30 minutes from home so when we did pull in to the driveway at his bedtime, he woke up and was up for another 45 minutes. At least he was in a happy mood this time, being able to crawl all over the house.

And now we're back to the routine. We do have an exciting week coming up though. Tomorrow James turns 7 months old and Friday is Annika's 3rd birthday and her first day of preschool. That's going to be a big day for her! And Saturday is her birthday party. Oh what fun!

Annika has been cracking me up lately with some of her language. Saturday she said "Come on guys!" when she wanted us to hurry up and go to the pool. And tonight she was calling James a "silly munchkin" which is something Kris and I routinely call her. And she is (usually) so sweet to her brother. Last night James fell down (on his butt) from standing and started crying (um, yeah, he was tired again) and Annika came racing over to me while I held and consoled James. She kept asking over and over if he was all right. I assured her he was. And tonight James was fussy while in his high chair while I was getting dinner for us so Annika scooted closer to him and fed him some of his crackers. And James thinks Annika is just the funniest and routinely laughs at her silliness. It is so great to see them interacting and playing with each other.

Posted by Kristina at 9/04/2007 08:22:00 PM

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