I uploaded another 190 pictures yesterday and am now caught up to 1/24/08! Have fun looking through them. There are some really cute ones.
Speaking of cute - my children are doing the cutest things lately! Indulge me as I share them with you (um, isn't that what this website is - an indulgence into the cuteness of my children!).
Anyway - James now has eight teeth. His eighth tooth (lower right - he's now symmetrical again with 4 on top and 4 on bottom) popped through a week or two ago. And right when it did, his night time wakings almost completely stopped. He had been getting up and staying up for 1-2 hours every night. It was killing Kris and I. Now, he's sleeping completely through! Of course Annika isn't but we're hoping (praying, wishing, dreaming) that after her tonsillectomy her night time waking will get much better too.
Yesterday James turned turned into a little boy - he made car sounds as he was pushing a little toy car around! The past week or so he's taken an interest in the wheeled toys we have around the house. It's been awfully cute to watch him push them around or roll them back and forth. Then yesterday morning as he was pushing one he actually made a humming car sound while doing it! Not even one year old and already making car noises. What a little boy!
James has also been into "flipping" this week. I put him on my lap facing me then lean him back and flip him over onto the his feet on the floor. He laughs and laughs and wants to do it over and over again. I have to be careful though because when I pick him up now he'll fling himself backwards. I have to have a good grip or he'll go tumbling!
And James isn't the only one doing cute things lately. Annika has been into hide and seek lately. I'm always counting to 20 and then "finding" her. Most times I'll just ask James where Nika is and he rats her out by walking over to where she is and standing there. I, of course, have to play along and look in other places before finding her. She thinks it's so fun though and giggles and shrieks when I find her.
Saturday I called Dale and Shelly and they were gracious enough to babysit for us that night. Annika was super excited to go to their house. She just loves both of them so much. When we got there she was a little shy at first but when their cat came out she was off like a rocket to pet it. And then she didn't notice we had left for another hour. When we got back to pick them up, it wasn't very late (9:30ish) so Annika was still up but James was sleeping on the couch. When we got there Annika was "checking" on her brother. She wanted to make sure he was okay there on the couch and when she did so she leaned over and said "Oh, he's such a cute baby." Now if that doesn't melt your cold, cold heart - nothing will!
Last night Annika wanted to "chase" which means run around the house after each other. I was tired and didn't really want to chase so I told her to chase her brother. For the first time, Annika and James chased each other around the house. James is pretty stable on his feet and is actually starting to run a little bit. They went around and around laughing and giggling and chasing. They must have done it for a good 20 minutes before James was tuckered out. I think there will be lots of sibling chases around our house now.
Posted by Kristina at 1/28/2008 08:42:00 AM
Link To This Post
New pictures are up from 11-8-07 to 12-15-07. It's my goal this week to get current on pictures.
Saturday we met Nana, Papa, Uncle Dusty and Melanie at Cheesecake Factory for lunch. Yummy! We were there to celebrate Nana's birthday (which was last Wednesday and because I'm a terrible, terrible daughter-in-law, I completely forgot to wish her a Happy Birthday here on my blog - I thought it during the day Nana! I'm sorry!) and it was a really nice lunch. We even had cheesecake for dessert - really, really yummy! After lunch we roamed around the attached mall for a while. I ran a couple errands and found some really, really great deals at Children's place. They have all their winter clothing on sale and then it's 50% off that even! And I had a 20% off coupon so all in all, I bought James a sweater and fleece pullover for $8.38! I was quite happy to find such great deals. Then I was just going to walk through Ann Taylor (my favorite store!) and saw some really pretty dresses. I tried a few on and called Auntie Krystle - did you know that Ann Taylor has a bridal collection? Well, they do and they have some awesome dresses in the most perfect color. Actually Auntie Krystle and I went back yesterday to see them and try them on again. We're definitely keeping them on the list. Anyway, the kids had a good time at the mall too. They both were able to run around and play some. James was ready to leave and fell asleep instantly in the truck. Annika was not so ready to leave and cried that we had to leave Nana and Papa. She was tired too though and ended up sleeping on the way home.
Last Wednesday the kids and I headed back to a different mall to pick up my pants that were at the tailor. We sat down to have a snack and in order to keep James occupied, I gave him some napkins. The first thing he did was tear the napkin in two. I gave him a silly face and noise and he thought that was hilarious so he ripped the napkin again. Pretty soon it was a game and each time he would rip, I would react and he and Nika would giggle. I think we shredded 4-5 napkins before we ran out and had to go. James is such a happy baby for me. He is so quick to smile and laugh. Kris says he gets a little crabby towards the end of each day and thinks James just wants his mommy to come home earlier. I wish baby! I wish.
Wednesday during the day Are and Jessie came over with their kids Mia (3) and Vanja (1). Annika had a great time playing and has talked about Mia and Vanja ever since. She's very sad that they live so far away. They played some Wii that day and Kris said that Mia beat him in Wii boxing. Hee! That night at dinner Annika sang "Ooohh, Barracuda!" At first I was so surprised I asked her to repeat what she said. She sang it again and then I looked at Kris and said "Someone playing a little too much Guitar Hero during the day?" He smiled and said "Annika, tell mommy what song you asked me to play today." And Annika responded with "Hit Me With Your Best Shot." Annika always asks Daddy to play the songs with girls singing. And then she dances while Daddy plays. It's pretty cute.
James has learned a new trick - how to crawl up onto Annika's bed. If you're upstairs, you'll find him and Annika on her bed with all her covers thrown off and them jumping or looking out her window. He doesn't know too well that he could fall off the bed so you have to keep a pretty close eye on him. He does think it's pretty fun though and laughs and smiles the whole time he's up there.
Annika likes to "read" at bedtime now. She always picks out two books and first Mommy reads them and then she wants a turn. Sometimes she just makes up words to whatever she sees in the pictures, sometimes she recites the book word for word (um, some of them have been read a lot
) and other times she wants to actually read the book and we'll work together on sounding out words or she'll ask me "What does this word say?" to each
word. Um, that last one is not all that fun for me actually. But I do just love to see her work to put sounds together to form words. My smart little girl.
Yesterday Annika was playing with some water in the sink and when she was done she was drenched, of course. After changing her clothes I brought her to the bathroom to brush her hair. I asked her if I could put a pony tail in and she said no (of course, she always does) so I asked her if I could put in a french braid. She didn't really know what that was but she sat there and let me do it. I showed her with a mirror what it looked like in back and she thought it was pretty neat. We had to go show Daddy and everything. And she even left it in all day. I was impressed by that. Last night at bedtime we took the braid out and since it was put in her hair when it was wet, her hair was all curly last night. It was so cute! And it was even cuter because she was in her pink tutu. I had to take pictures, of course. She was in her tutu because we were having a dancing evening in our house. Before bedtime we all went upstairs to play and Annika went to her room and changed her clothes. (She can now do buttons and fully dress herself!) She changed into three different play skirts before settling on her tutu. Then she asked me to turn on my music on the computer (where I was sitting working on pictures) and we all danced for the next 45 minutes. It was one of the best nights we've had recently. Daddy whisked Nika around. Nika danced and twirled by herself. I bounced James on my lap and then I also twirled him some too. Pretty soon it was bedtime though and then past bedtime and we had to turn the music off. Hey, maybe I should do that every night! I think I worked off a few calories dancing around, especially with big baby James in my arms! And the kids had a great
Posted by Kristina at 1/21/2008 12:06:00 PM
Link To This Post
Saturday I had some errands to do at the local mall. Kris and the kids came with and while James and I went shopping, Kris watched Annika while she played in the kids play area. As I was making my way back to them I see Kris helping Annika put her coat back on. They met James and I by the entrance and Annika tells me "Mommy, I want a treat. I want some ice cream." I told her "Okay, let's go find a treat" and started walking towards the food court area. I assumed Kris was tired of sitting there and had told her we could go get a treat or something. No, what actually happened was Annika was tired of playing and went over to Kris telling him she was hungry and wanted a treat. Kris said "Oh, really?" And Annika told him yes and that she wanted ice cream. Kris never agreed to it and just started helping her put her coat on. So, due to lack of communication between Kris and I, Annika got her ice cream treat. I have to admit that I sort of felt like I'd been scammed by my three year old. Oh well, it could have been worse. James was all over that ice cream treat though and was pretty upset when it was all gone. I ordered a blizzard from DQ for us all to share. I had two spoons and while Annika had one, James and I shared the other. I would alternate between he and I and each time I gave myself some James would watch the spoon go from the cup to my mouth. And then when it was gone he was so unhappy.
Sunday Krystle, Gramme and I went to the wedding fair in Minneapolis. We had a fun time picking out dresses for Krystle, bridesmaid dresses for me, wedding bands for Krystle, looking at photographers pictures, etc. That morning while I was getting ready I was telling Annika that I was going with Gramme and Krystle and would be back later that day. She was so sad. First she wanted to go with us. When I told her she couldn't she asked if Gramme was going to stay and play with her. I said maybe when we got back home she would. That was okay but Annika was still sad. Then she asked if she was going home with Gramme to stay overnight. I told her no, maybe another time and then she got really sad again. Poor girl. When we got home Gramme did stay for a while to play with her and promised she could come stay overnight at her house soon. It was okay that Gramme was leaving then because we had plans to go out to dinner with Grandpa and Marcia and Marcia's son Mike along with Krystle and Pierce. If we didn't have those plans, I'm sure Annika would have been very sad when Gramme left. Annika was a big goofball at dinner too, as was James. Both spent a lot of time on Grandpa's lap being silly.
James has become a really big fan of baths. He loves water and often toddles over the bathtub and bangs on the side, wanting to get in. I'll put him in there sometimes without water to play with the toys while I'm getting ready. Last week one day Kris relayed this story to me. He was giving James and Annika a bath when James stood up and peed a little bit and then sat back down in the tub. Realizing what he had done, he started giggling. Kris looked at Annika and asked "Did James just pee in the bathtub?" It was so unexpected! Then, James, still giggling, stood up again and peed more before sitting and giggling again. And then bathtime was over. What a little goofball! I thought I had at least a little more time before those antics showed up! Lately when in the bathtub James has also been experimenting with putting his face in the water. I think this freaks Kris out because he's always telling James not to do that. James will sit in the tub and lean forward until his mouth and chin touch the water and then he'll drink some of the water or play with the water on his face. We have to keep a pretty close eye on him when he's in there. Sometimes he'll forget and breathe in when he does this and then there is much coughing.
James also loves the dog's water dish. Every time the laundry room door is open for Dagur to eat, James beelines it for the dog's water dish. I'll keep picking him up and bringing him back to the family room and try to distract him with toys and he just stands up and toddles as fast as he can back to the water. We'll do this over and over again until Dagur is done eating. Then we close the door again and James has a fit. He's pretty good at that actually with the back arching, the flopping down on the floor, the kicking of the feet. Ah, fun times.
Last night Krystle and Pierce came over to babysit for a little while so I could go to an association meeting. Annika was so excited for them to come over. She gave me a big hug and kiss good-bye and got busy playing with them. James saw me put my coat and shoes on and head towards the garage door and stood up from where he was playing on the floor and took off after me. He's getting so fast now! Krystle had a hard time chasing him down and before she could get to him he was over to me and wrapped around my leg. Krystle scooped him up though and distracted him with toys and he was fine with me leaving. When I got home about an hour later, I got a great reaction from James and a not so great one from Annika. James heard the garage door open and as I stepped inside the house he came around the corner and saw me. His face just exploded into the biggest smile and he stretched out his arms and toddled as quickly as he could over to me. He was so happy to have his Mama home. Annika on the other hand had wished I stayed away a while longer. When Auntie Krystle and Uncle Pierce started getting ready to leave Annika dissolved into a puddle of tears. She wanted them to stay longer to play. I asked her if she wanted Mommy to leave again and she said yes. Thanks dear. I, being the good mom that I am (heh), bribed her with cartoons. Actually it was bedtime anyway and while I put James to bed Annika watches the Good Night Show on Sprout. So, we went upstairs to do that and then she was okay. Bottom line though is I think Annika would like to get out more, play with friends and family. So, if anyone wants to come play with my daughter or would like me to drop her off with you, just let me know! I think Annika is up for it! :)
Posted by Kristina at 1/16/2008 07:42:00 AM
Link To This Post
Well, the 2nd ENT also recommended surgery so surgery it is. I already have it scheduled for Thursday, February 14th at 8am. We're going with the doctor we saw yesterday too. He was great with Annika, took an in depth history from me, asking all sorts of questions and then did a thorough exam. He even asked me to come take a look in her mouth too to show me what he was looking at. Turns out her tonsils are not just big but enormous. Her right tonsil is so big that it actually covers her uvula a little bit! Then he pulled out a diagram and explained things to me further. When he was done, his nurse came back in, sat down and told me all I need to do before the surgery, during the surgery and after the surgery. I was very impressed. Even better is this clinic does this procedure on an outpatient basis so Annika will not have to stay overnight in a hospital. I'm happy about that.
Annika better watch out because James is starting to fight back. If Annika takes a toy from him, he will grab it back or walk after her, yelling the whole way about the toy he would like returned. And while she has some height and weight on him, it's not by much. She better learn to share and not take toys away or baby brother is going to get her! He's also showing jealousy too. If Annika is sitting on my lap reading a book or cuddling, James will walk over and demand to be picked up. And when I do, he pushes Annika away, wanting her off my lap. Uh-oh! Neither of them want to share Mommy. Now we're all in trouble!
Posted by Kristina at 1/09/2008 09:32:00 PM
Link To This Post
He speaks! James said his first word - mama - on December 26th! Merry Christmas to me! He's been saying "mamamamamama" for a long time now but that Wednesday he shortened it to mama and it was directed at me. He also says "uh-oh" on a fairly regular basis. I'm not sure if that counts as a word but he says it at the appropriate time, usually when he throws his sippy cup over the side of his high chair. He says uh-oh as it hits the ground. I keep telling him that it's not an uh-oh if he throws it on purpose. Silly kid. He says uh-oh other times too though, usually when he drops something. And this weekend I swear he said up. He was crawling up the stairs and I told him "Up James. Go up the stairs." and he responded by saying "up." Speaking of stairs, yesterday James crawled down the stairs correctly (feet first, on belly) rather than trying to walk down them or crawl down head first. And he was pretty fast with it too.
Last Monday (a week ago), I took the kids outside to play while Kris went to work. Annika had a great time as usual making snow angels, shoveling the snow with her little sand shovel and running around playing. It was James' first time playing in the snow though. He seemed to like it. I sat him down since it was hard for him to walk, all marshmallow man like in his snow suit and boots and he dug around in the snow with his hand a little bit. Then he flopped back and laid in the snow for a while. He was fine with that until his big sister came over and threw a bunch of snow in his face. Mean big sister! He cried until I got all the snow off and held him for a little bit. Then he sat some more playing in the snow and eating it.
Saturday Kris took Annika outside to play again and this time they went sledding. There is a big hill near our house and at the bottom is a "pond." Actually it's a run-off holding pond for a neighborhood and was dry a the end of the summer anyway. The hill is pretty steep, perfect for sledding. Annika had a good time, until she went face first over the front of the sled into the snow. There were a few tears and then she was good to go sledding some more. They came home later and she was so cute, all rosey-cheaked with messy hair and freezing cold cheeks and hands. Some hot chocolate warmed her up nice again.
Tomorrow is Annika's 2nd opinion appointment with another ENT. I'm guessing we'll get another recommendation for surgery and will be surprised if he tells us something different. I'll report back tomorrow with what he says.
Posted by Kristina at 1/07/2008 08:42:00 AM
Link To This Post
I was so worked up about Annika's ENT appointment last time that I completely forgot to tell you about her preschool Christmas program! It was completely adorable of course. It was held in the little chapel at her (Catholic) school. All the parents were in the chairs, most with cameras and/or video cameras of course and the kids walked single file into the room. The teachers spent a couple minutes getting everybody in place and then the teachers had the kids wave hello to their family. I think they were hoping to get that out of the way so the kids could focus. It sort of worked. Annika was in the front row in the center - all the better to see her of course! I had the digital camera and Kris had the video camera. James was free to hang out on the floor between us for the most part. They did two little finger plays and sang three songs - Happy Birthday to Jesus, Jingle Bells and We Wish You A Merry Christmas. Annika has been singing Jingle Bells at the top of her lungs every since - over and over and over again. After the program was over we were treated to juice and cookies in their classroom while the kids gave us a present they made for us. It was a wreath made out of their handprints (green finger paint on white cloth) with red finger painted dots for holly. Completely adorable of course.
The weekend before Christmas was packed for us. Saturday was our celebration with Nana, Papa, Uncle Dusty, Melanie, Auntie Carrie, Uncle Adam, Great Grandma and Great Grandpa. We had a great time eating great food, being with great people and the kids opening great presents! They each received adorable pajamas, books, toys and Christmas ornaments. Annika spent most of her day latched on to Uncle Adam. Annika is completely smitten with him and I got some cute pictures of her all cuddled up with him. James was just all over the place of course as there was dog dishes and stairs and all sorts of things for him to get into. Luckily there were many people there to help Kris and I chase him all day. That gets exhausting!
Sunday was another busy day. After church we headed to my dad's family's Christmas celebration. Annika was so excited to have kids to play with but we were one of the first ones there and not many other kids arrived for a little while. And one little girl cousin who was there is really shy and needs some warm up time before she's ready to play. Annika was so sad and kept coming to us crying that she had no one to play with. It wasn't too long though before there were more kids and Annika spent the rest of the afternoon running around having a great time. James was having fun too. Since the party was held in a church school's gymnasium, there was lots of room to roam about playing with toys and balls. We left around 3:30pm with the intention of going home to let the dog out and then continuing on to my mom's family's Christmas celebration. As we neared our house though the weather and roads continued to worsen. When we reached our house we decided to call it a day and just stayed home. I was disappointed that we weren't going but it was probably for the best anyway.
Monday was Christmas Eve of course. We spent the morning cleaning up the house and putting the finishing touches on some things. Kris ran to the grocery store to pick up some last minute items and then we all played and napped (well the kids did) for a little bit. We hosted Nana, Papa, Auntie Krystle and Uncle Pierce at our house that evening. Nana and Papa joined us at church and when we returned home Auntie Krystle and Uncle Pierce were there and they had even put the roast in the oven for us already! Good thing too as it took two hours to cook! No worries though as we used that time to snack on appetizers and wine. And we let the kids open their presents from us too. We finished up the evening watching Ratatouille. That was a pretty cute movie.
Tuesday morning James woke up at 6:30am. Great. And of course that woke the dog up which woke Nika up so we all traipsed downstairs. Annika was so bleary-eyed that it took a minute to register with her that Santa had come and left presents for her and James! Well, it didn't take long for those packages to be torn open! While the kids played, Daddy made Swedish pancakes (a Christmas morning tradition in our house). Hmm, yummy! We just relaxed and played for most of the morning and early afternoon before heading over to Grandpa Dan and Marcia's house for a celebration that evening. After we ate and opened presents (how can we be so spoiled by all our family all the time???) we all gathered round to play the Wii. We created Mii characters for Dad and Marcia and they bowled with us. Then I played Mathias in tennis (and lost - I always lose!) and then Mathias and Pierce played tennis. Then we got out Smooth Moves so we all could play. That was pretty funny. We left just in time for both kids to fall completely asleep in the truck.
Thursday was spa day! Nana and I had half day spa gift certificates to take advantage of! We had wonderful massages, manicures and pedicures. Ah, heaven! Our massage therapist was wonderful. I would go back to her any time! And Friday was cookie day. I left the kids home with Kris and went to Amanda's to bake cookies with her and Mary (and baby Logan). It was such a fun day. I don't get to see my girls very often any more and yet we were completey comfortable with each other and it was as if no time had elapsed at all. To me, that is the mark of true friendship. I just love spending time with them. I really should see Amanda more. It's not as if she lives 4 states away or anything. I think she and I are going to start having dinner together once a month again. I'm looking forward to that.
Sunday the kids and I went on a playdate to Lisa's house to play with Emma and Sam while Kris went to Jon and Michelle's house to deliver our Christmas gifts to them. I was completely bummed when Kris picked us up and said we were going home. I wanted to visit Jon and Michelle too! I wanted to see the kids! We'll have to get together with them again sometime soon I guess. Annika and James had a terrific time playing though. They played with Little People and had a snack and played Ball in the Hall and baby and hide and seek and well, they just played their little hearts out. Annika was so sad when it was time to leave and has asked to play with Emma every day since then. We may need to schedule more play dates with Emma I think!
Monday while Kris went to work I got the kids and I ready (that takes longer than you'd think when there is only one adult at home!) for the evening. Annika and James stayed at Nana and Papa's house that night! James' first time away from home! Kris was very glad to have a night off from the kids. I was more hesitant. I wasn't worried about Annika - I knew she'd have a great time. But I was worried about James. He doesn't sleep very well as it is some times and I was worried how he'd do. They did have a pretty rough night but everyone seems to have come out unscathed, including me. (sometimes I am a huge baby, I know) Maybe the kids can stay again sometime soon. I think Kris would like that! And Nana and Papa too. And Kris and I had a great night - although not much of it was actually spent together! We were at Amanda and Dean's house for a party. And before long all the girls were gathered in the living room and the guys were downstairs playing Wii, only coming up with minutes to spare at midnight. It was fun though, a lot of fun. Yesterday we headed back down to pick up the kids and visit for a while with Nana and Papa. And now here we are back to normal. Work, work, work. Annika and James were pretty happy to see me when I got home from work today and boy was I glad to see them too. I really liked being off work for so long!
Posted by Kristina at 1/02/2008 08:40:00 PM
Link To This Post