We've had a very nice weekend. Yesterday was jam packed starting with a big trip to IKEA. The whole family was there - us, Auntie Carrie, Uncle Adam, Uncle Dusty, Nana, Papa and even Great Nana. We had lunch there before shopping. While we didn't get too much (a few energy saving light bulbs was all) we were pushing around a full shopping cart by the end! You can always find things to purchase in that store. We all got some good deals I think. Then we headed home to our house where Nana and Papa and Great Nana joined us. James took a nap while Nana and Annika played games and had tea. I think I even fell asleep on the couch while the boys watched football. After the disappointing Gopher game was over we played some Wii sports. A while later Carrie, Adam and Dusty came by, bringing dinner. Yum! And then we all played some silly Wii games together. It was a fun evening. The kids did pretty well, even though we kept them up way past their bedtime. I wanted to keep them up though so they could meet Melanie, Dusty's new friend. And then James crashed and it was time to say good night. Today was much quieter. We were at home most of the day, only venturing out to have dinner with Auntie Carrie and Uncle Adam before they went home.
Today James took his first unassisted steps. I wouldn't exactly call it walking. His balance isn't quite there yet to be walking. However, today I was sitting on the couch and James was standing between my legs facing out. There must have been something he wanted across the room because he just took off walking away from me. He made it about three steps before he lost his balance and crawled the rest of the way. He did it again this evening.
Tonight at bed time Annika was being crabby and whiny (and waking up James - argh!). I told her she needed to be quiet so she didn't wake James again and she tried really hard. Then she got frustrated and cried out "I can't get my whinies out!" Ha! So I held her really tight to help her get them out, whatever that means! Then she had me lay down by her for a minute before she went to sleep. I had to lay down then she was concerned because I didn't have a blanket so I got one. Then, my blanket wasn't laying quite right for her so she had to get up and adjust it. Then she laid down only to get back up a minute later and get me a doll to sleep with. Then I had to get my own pillow. Finally we were adjusted just so. She's so sweet sometimes, making sure all is right with me before she goes to sleep.
Posted by Kristina at 10/28/2007 08:54:00 PM
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First up - I uploaded 115 new pictures last night in an album named 9-8-07 to 10-3-07. Enjoy! I'm working on getting more uploaded. It's slow going though.
This week has been long. I'm not getting home until 5 or 5:30pm most nights. Last night it wasn't until almost 6pm. This working late thing sucks. I want my normal 3:30pm going home time back. Hopefully it will be a little better in the coming weeks as we're moving the meeting time from 3:30-4:00pm daily to 3:00-4:00pm daily. We were always running over our time anyway so now we should hopefully get out a little earlier. I just hate not seeing my kids very much though. HATE IT. And I think they're feeling the effects too. When I get home Annika comes running to me at full speed and wraps herself around my legs while yelling "Mommy!" and James comes crawling at me as fast as he can while whimpering. I must then pick him up and hold him for a minimum 1/2 hour and sometimes close to an hour before I can put him down to play. And Annika has started crawling into our bed during the night to snuggle up and sleep by me. Why can't I win the lottery so I can be a stay at home mom? Oh, that's right - because I don't play (and something about odds).
On less whiny news - the kids are doing some really cute things now. Annika has decided that she wants to sit in my nest (in my lap when I'm sitting cross-legged) so that is how we spend most nights now after James goes to sleep and before it's Annika's bed time. I don't know where she got the nest thing from but I think it's pretty cute. She's also gotten really good at her puzzles lately. She has two big 2'x3' puzzles about 24 pieces each. And she can use the picture on the box and the pieces themselves and put them both together without any help. Maybe she'll be a puzzle lover like I am! I may need to get her another puzzle for Christmas.
And James will "walk" to you from a couple steps away if you're holding his hands. Any farther than that and he sinks down to crawl to you. And he has been gravitating to playing with balls lately. I think we might need to get more balls for him for Christmas. One night he chased a ball all around the house as it rolled around. He would swat at it and then chase it again. It was pretty cute. And he's become so giggly lately. I can tickle him and make goofy faces or noises and he busts out a laugh for me. I've tried to start reading him board books but he'd rather eat them still. I think it was around this age when we really started reading to Annika.
Posted by Kristina at 10/26/2007 07:47:00 AM
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Yesterday was an all around good day. I got to sleep in which is almost much appreciated - thanks Kris! Then Krystle called. She and Pierce were at their house and they had light fixtures and cabinets and some trim so the whole family hustled over there to join them. Annika even rang the doorbell. Their house is going to look so amazing! After that we came home to eat some lunch and then James went down for a nice long nap. During James' nap, Annika and I got some good girl time and and played some games together. Then Krystle and Pierce came over to our house and we went outside and met our neighbors Andrew and Katie and we all went to a pumpkin patch together. There's a cute one not far from our house. We thought this would be the perfect weekend to get some pumpkins. Well, apparently everyone else did too because the place was pretty busy and the pumpkin patch, as big as it is, was pretty picked over. We did manage to find three pumpkins that we liked. We already had one at home from our town's Halloween party last weekend. So now we each have pumpkins. Annika was so super cute at the patch too. There is a wagon attached to a tractor that you can ride in out to the patch and of course we did. Annika thought this was wildly funny and just giggled and giggled the whole way out there. Then, we found a big wagon to haul our pumpkins in out there. Annika climbed up in that and Andrew pulled her around the patch. She was giggling so hard at the pumpkins rolling around in there with her that I thought she was going to fall out! We got some cute pictures of Annika and James with the pumpkins too. When we got home from that we changed clothes and then went over to Andrew and Katie's house for dinner. They have a dog named Gustie and both Annika and James were having so much fun playing with him. Annika was also having a good time playing with Andrew, so much so that she asked to stay overnight there! She said she wanted to sleep in Andrew and Katie's bed with them! Silly girl. When it was bedtime we went home, put the kids to bed and then straightened up quick because Andrew and Katie were coming over to our house! The came over and we played cards and Fluxx (a card game) and Wii until 12:30 am! We had a blast. I hope we can do more things with them again soon.
We've had an especially low key day around here today. I don't think any of us changed out of our pajamas today. We've had some really great moments too. Like when Annika said "You know what Mom? Daddy is weird!" Yes, baby, I couldn't agree more! :) And James ate a whole baby food container of apricots with mixed fruit. Apparently some fruits aren't so terrible anymore. Tonight Annika and I were snuggling watching Shrek together and she turned her face and kissed my temple once and then turned back and watched more of the movie. And James is such a snugglebug with me. He crawls over to me as I'm sitting on the floor, crawls into my lap and smothers his face into me before rolling into a ball in my lap. He even gave me a "kiss" today by coming at me open mouthed, planting it on my mouth and then pulling back and grinning at me. And my last unforgettable moment of the day - Annika and Daddy are snuggled up together in the recliner downstairs as I type this. I am so lucky to have such a terrific family.
Posted by Kristina at 10/21/2007 07:29:00 PM
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Remember when I was all whining about James' teeth and his not sleeping and stuff? Well, the boy now has two upper teeth (his left middle and the tooth next to it). They broke through about a week ago. And the other middle tooth is so close to the surface that you can feel it through his thin layer of gum. And while Kris and I were whining about his upper teeth, James went and cut a lower tooth too. His bottom two middle teeth have been in for a while and now his tooth to the left of those two is also in! Poor boy was cutting so many teeth at one time! He's been pretty happy lately though and is sleeping much better at night.
Monday Kris called me at work to report that James was standing up playing with a toy, leaning against something (the toy, the couch, something which I can't remember right now). Nothing new there. The new part was when James let go of the toy and was just standing there not holding on to anything for a good 5 seconds before plopping down on his butt. And Monday night when I got home, I put him up by the couch and then sat on the floor a couple steps away from him and called for him to come to me. He reached out his arms, grabbed my hands and then took 2-3 baby steps to get to me! He's by no means walking or really all that near it, but his balance and coordination is getting better!
Annika has been "reading" me bedtime stories lately. Each night part of our routine is to read two books. And now when I'm done reading them to her she asks if she can read them and then she "reads" them back to me. Either she has the book memorized and she recites it back to me or she makes up a story talking in her weird made up language. Have I told you about her weird made up language? Once in a while she'll just start talking in words that aren't really words and have a little conversation with herself or her toys. It's fun to watch her explore language and she does come up with some pretty silly words.
Lately Annika has insisted upon sleeping on her bed without any pillows or covers. And she must have a light on (I've convinced her that the overhead light is too bright at night so we only use the lamp instead) and her closet doors must be closed and her bedroom door must be completely all the way open so it's touching her closet door. And if any of this is not just right she will refuse to go to sleep. I'm guessing this is a normal phase of preschoolerhood (that is so totally a word!). The last couple nights she has allowed us to put a small blanket on her and tonight she is actually sleeping with a pillow. Everything else is the same though. She's also been more and more perceptive of noises the house makes at night. I hope my baby isn't scared at night! I'm hoping she grows out of this soon. In the mean time, we just do as she asks since it's not hurting anything anyway.
I've been given a big "opportunity" (don't you hate it when your boss and your boss's boss use those words?) at work. I'm now leading a big "high gain" team. The top execs at my work are watching this team very closely. This role means later nights at work (not getting home until 5-5:30pm when usually I was home between 4:15-4:30pm) and probably some working from home in the evenings after the kids go to bed. It also means being at work on Wednesdays instead of working from home. I was offered this role on Tuesday, accepted it and started that same day. Before I accepted it though I called Kris to run it by him since my getting home later screws up his work schedule plus he'll have longer days with the kids then - a stressful job in itself. He was of course supportive and told me to go for it. It probably didn't help that I was crying when I called him. Yes, I do want opportunities like this so I can advance at my job. I do want a promotion (and I think I deserve one for all the responsibility I've taken on in the last two years) but it's so hard to be away from my kids for so long. James goes to sleep at 7pm (tonight he made it until 7:20pm before he was done and needed to go to sleep) so now I only get to see him for about an hour and a half in the evenings. Annika's up a little later but not much. This should be a temporary position (it better be since none of my other work is letting up while I do this!) but for now I'm a bit conflicted about it. I'm happy that I'm given all these chances to lead teams (last year I was lead of another red team - successful red team too I might add) but I wish it didn't have to come at the expense of my family time, my precious, precious family time. When this problem is fixed, I'm going back to my regular hours immediately. I miss my babies already!
Posted by Kristina at 10/17/2007 09:21:00 PM
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I've meant to post so often this past week! I actually have a huge list of things I wanted to write. First things first though - I uploaded a bunch of pictures. They are in the 8-14-07 to 9-7-07 set. Be sure to click on page 2 to see them all (there are 116 total!). I'll keep working on pictures until I'm caught up again. I only have hundreds more to go! Woo-hoo!
In case I don't get to full re-caps, here are some highlights from our last week. We had an awesome time at Mankato watching my cousin Ryan play football. Even though the team lost, we all had fun. Annika and James were spoiled rotten by Auntie Shelly, Auntie Pat and Uncle Dale, per usual. And James loves Uncle Dale so much he fell asleep in his arms during the middle of the game, noise and all.
Annika went to the dentist for the first time last Wednesday. I was so proud of her! She did such a great job. I had an appointment earlier in the day so I brought her with to watch me go through it. When it was her turn she sat in the big chair and opened her mouth and didn't complain once. They only got 2 of the 4 usual x-rays but it wasn't because Annika wasn't trying. She was trying so hard to follow the directions but her mouth is so little for those big paper things and she kept pushing them out with her tongue. I'm sure next time will go better. She didn't mind at all the hygientist or dentist poking around in her mouth or getting her teeth polished.
Yesterday we went to a Halloween party put on by our town. It was such a fun little evening. And the kids dressed up in their costumes was just precious. James is a chicken this year (too cute!) and Annika is Cinderella. I'll post pictures of them soon, this week I hope.
I think Daddy has dropped to third on James' list. Mommy is still James' all time favorite. He's taken to crying (not whining or whimpering but all out screaming, tears, flailing crying) if I so much as leave the room, poor thing. Annika has taken the #2 spot. She adores her and follows her around and even when she's mean to him (more often than not now that he's following her - she thinks he's going to take her toys and blah, blah, blah sibling fights argh!) he just looks up at her and adores her more. It's quite cute I think.
Today we had dinner with Grandpa, Marcia, Krystle and Pierce. It was a really nice evening. We even had our own little private room at the restaurant so the kids could make noise and we weren't disturbing anyone. Annika sat next to Grandpa and was leaning on him the whole time she ate. She loves her Grandpa. And James made eyes at the waitress. What a little flirt.
OK, those are the highlights. More soon, I hope.
Posted by Kristina at 10/14/2007 09:39:00 PM
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Today Annika had her 3 year well child check up. It was supposed to be two weeks ago but I had to reschedule so we could go to the funeral. Today, Annika weighed in at 30 pounds and was 37.5 inches tall. That's exactly 50% for both. They also took her blood pressure for the first time. It was stellar at 90/60. While we waited for the doctor to come in we filled out the questionnaire. Annika could do everything on it but balance on one foot at a time for more than three seconds. She was close but not quite there. Other things were recognizing pictures of animals, colors, drawing a straight line, jumping over the paper when it was on the floor, speech (can other people understand what she says), parts of the body, etc. When we finished that a nurse came in to play some games with Annika. The games were actually a hearing test and a vision test. Annika passed both. Then it was back in the room to wait for the doctor. The doctor came in and checked her all out. Thank goodness we got that doctor kit for her not that long ago because Annika was just fine with all the doctor did. The doctor did say that Annika has a benign heart murmur. Basically as the heart grows it shifts positions in the body slightly and so the aorta coming up and out the top can bend like a hose and you can hear the blood hitting the walls of vessel sometimes. She just wanted us to know this in case we ever ended up in the emergency room and a doctor freaked out by hearing it. She wanted us to know that Annika is fine - no heart defects. Anyway, the doctor pronounced her smart (of course!) since she knew all the questions (except that one) on the questionnaire. The questionnaire is up to 4 year olds so basically Annika is a 4 year old in a 3 year old body! I like it when people tell me my daughter is smart! I know I'm biased so it's nice to hear others say it too.
James has been so cute lately. Late last week he started wrinkling his nose. It's completely adorable and I got a great picture of it this weekend. (By the way, I still fully intend on having new pictures up by the end of the week.) And he's back to nursing full time again. It's as if he never refused me in the first place. I'm so happy! I just love nursing my baby. I love when he snuggles in as close as he can get and he looks so content and peaceful.
Today James was "chasing" Annika. I had a hold of him under his arms and was walking him around the house after Annika. Annika loves being chased so she was running ahead of us laughing and laughing. James, adoring his big sister, was laughing pretty well too. Of course, I got tired first - James is still short and bending over like that for too long is hard! I think we'll have to play that game again soon.
Auntie Krystle came over tonight to visit. The minute she came over I was second best. Annika wanted Auntie Krystle to help her do everything (put on her shoes, play catch, etc.). Annika, she's such a clown.
Posted by Kristina at 10/03/2007 08:38:00 PM
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