Can someone please tell my son to stop pulling toys over to the coffee table and then using them as stepping stools to crawl up on the coffee table? Can you also please tell him to stop using the closed toy box as a stepping stool to climb on top of the coffee table? Because every time I try and tell him these things (while also taking him down off the coffee table or toy he is trying to climb up) he throws a big fit complete with crying, arching of his back and sadness, sadness, sadness. I tried distraction after distraction - playing, singing, books, food, milk - and he kept going back to drag more toys over to the coffee table. So, if you come over to my house and see the toybox lid open - don't close it or we'll turn our backs for second only to find James standing on the coffee table pounding on the tv screen. (Kristina - why don't you just move the toybox away from the coffee table then? Well, because we use the toybox and coffee table to block access to the entertainment centers with its drawers and cabinets full of non-child friendly wonder and excitement (small piece puzzles, books and candles anyone?) and we don't want to have to put child locks on that piece of furniture) He is only 13 months old, why does he have to start climbing so young? Yikes.
Have you heard of Unbeatable Banzuke
or Ninja Warrior
? They are both Japanese game shows shown on the G4 Network. We think they are hilarious and have ended up DVR'ing them. Well, apparently Annika likes them too because she's started requesting to watch Unbeatable Banzuke and Ninja Warrior. It is hilarious to listen to her say those words.
You know you haven't blogged in a long time when the sheet of paper you've been carrying around taking notes of what to write about is full. It's time to sit down and try to remember the last week and a half with at least some detail...
Last Tuesday was my sister Krystle and my friend Pam's birthdays. I hope they both had great days! Last Wednesday Auntie Krystle, Uncle Pierce, Grandpa Dan, Uncle Mathias and the four of us went out to dinner to celebrate Krystle's birthday. James was sitting between Mathias and myself and was having such a great time. He was just adoring his Uncle Mathias. He was playing with him, teasing Mathias with a french fry (Here Uncle Mathias, let me share my fry with you - Just kidding!) and making silly, funny faces at him. Annika had to act shy around everyone at first but as soon as she was finished eating she had crawled up on Grandpa's lap to have her dessert - M&M's of course. Grandpa always has M&M's for Annika each time he sees her. The other sweet thing was about two weeks ago Annika had a post-it note that she drew some lines and letters and pictures on. When she was done she declared that it was a picture for Uncle Mathias (whom we hadn't seen since Christmas - I thought it was sweet that she was thinking of him). It sat on the desk for a week or so and when we were leaving for dinner I put it in my purse and told Annika that she could give it to Uncle Mathias that night. When we sat down at the table I took it out and laid it on the table next to her. As soon as Uncle Mathias walked in she grabbed the picture and held it. When he bent down to give her a hug and kiss hello she got all bashful and just stuck the picture out at him but wouldn't say hello or even look at him. She loves and misses him though. This past Sunday we saw all our family except Uncle Mathias. Annika was so upset that we were seeing all the grandmas and granpdas and uncles and aunts except for Mathias.
Speaking of Easter, Annika thought it was great. She doesn't get the true meaning yet but she was super excited that the Easter bunny came to our house and hid our baskets and some eggs. She really enjoyed searching for them all. And each time we had to leave a party to go to the next (first up Kris's family for a couple hours then my Grandpa Dan and Marcia for a couple hours then Gramme and Papa Merv for a couple hours before it was time to head home) Annika would at first resist until she remembered there was going to be another hunt. And each party did not disappoint. Annika hunted for eggs four different times yesterday. When we were getting ready to leave for Gramme's Annika came over to me and exclaimed "I bet Gramme will have" and then she thought for a moment "10 eggs for me to find!" And guess what, Gramme did have 10 eggs for Annika (and James) to find. It was a great day. I love that we were able to see most (missing Mathias - so sad) of our family.
One day last weekend the kids and I were sitting at the table eating when Jamesy started laughing. I told him that I just loved it when he laughed, that I loved the sparkle in his eyes when he did. Annika stopped eating, looked up at James and started searching for sparkles. I told her that she had sparkles in her eyes too when she was happy and smiling and laughing. Then she started trying to see the sparkles in her eyes by moving her eyeballs all over her eyes, searching. It was really cute how literal she took me. A few times since then she's gone up to Jamesy to look for sparkles. Silly girl.
Last Tuesday when I got home from work I reminded Annika that it was dance class night. The girl was so excited that she ate all her dinner (rare for her) then when Jamesy and I were still eating she declared she was going upstairs to change into her dance leotard. She came back downstairs with her tights, leotard and skirt. And she made me stop eating to help her change. By the time Jamesy and I had finished eating and I had the dishes put away she had her clothes, shoes and coat on and was standing by the door waiting to go. It was only 5pm at that time and we didn't need to leave for another 40 minutes! I tried explaining that to her but she just told me she'd wait. We ended up leaving early to run to Target so she didn't stand there for 40 minutes, but she did for 15-20! After dance class was over Annika came rushing over to me, happy and giddy from her class. Then the teacher reminded us parents that there was no class this week due to spring break. Annika then turned to me, sobered up and sad because there was no class this week. I assured her that it was only a break and class would resume the week after that and she cheered back up. I think it's safe to say she likes dance class! Jamesy likes going to dance class too. He loves spending the entire time looking in the window (actually a 1 way mirror so we can see in but the kids can't see out) of the dance class room watching his sister in class. He's always pointing to her as she moves around or when I ask him to show me where "sister" or Nika is.
Jamesy is starting to communicate more and more. Not only does he point and babble but he also shakes his head no, leads you to what he wants or pushes you until you do as he wishes. For example if I'm standing by the kitchen counter he will wedge himself between the counter and me and then push
with all his might against my legs until there is separation. Then he puts his arms up asking to be held.
If you ask Jamesy where his nose is, he'll point to it! If you ask him where your nose is, he'll point to his nose. Oh well, close enough! He also likes to find belly buttons. He tries to lift up my shirt all the time to get my belly button and stick a finger in it. Then he raspberries my belly. What is it with my kids and belly buttons? Annika still has to play with her belly button each night while she sleeps or as she's relaxing watching cartoons.
Annika has been telling us for a few months now that she has a sister. Before her "sister" always had a different name and it was usually incomprehensible. Last week though her sister was named "Sarah" and that has stuck. Sister Sarah sleeps, hides, is naughty, is on the phone, is standing next to you, etc. I guess it's Annika's imaginary friend. Annika even tells me now that she has a brother (James) and a sister (Sarah). I wonder how long Sarah is going to stick around.
OK, one last cute kid story before I wrap this longwinded post up - Sunday during church I was holding James while singing a hymn. Every few words James would look up at me, kiss me and then go back to cuddling, looking around or singing as well. It was completely adorable how every few seconds he would lean in for a kiss. My baby boy is such a doll.
Wasn't yesterday just a gorgeous day? OK, so 50F isn't that warm when it's fall, but in early March in Minnesota it's no jacket weather! Kris and the kids played outside yesterday with the neighbors and everything. Jamesy must have been playing in some water too because his socks and shoes were all wet. When I got home from work yesterday nobody was home. Kris called a couple minutes later from the neighbor's house telling me to come over. I got a big happy greeting from Jamesy when I walked in but Annika was too busy playing to even look up. Stinker. They both had so much fun. We had to leave after not too long so we could eat dinner and get to dance class. Next time we'll have to have Maria, Ryan and Erin over to our house to play.
I knew Annika and James had a good time on vacation last week (who wouldn't love undivided grandparent attention!) but Annika must still be thinking about it. She asked me recently why we have to live so far away from vacation (it was about a three hour drive). Both Annika and James were so sad when we packed them up in the car for the drive home. Both were crying (Annika because she didn't want to leave and Jamesy because he hates his car seat recently - until we get going usually). Hopefully our next vacation isn't too far away. We may get away for a short weekend again in May.
Jamesy is doing so many new things lately! It's like a developmental explosion! He now says dada and hi to go along with his mama and uh-oh. (The hi thing is just the cutest. When I get home from work he runs to the door and yells as loudly as he can "Hi!" and then jumps into my arms.) He also shakes his head no, sometimes even when he means yes. But for the most part he gets it right. And his "dancing" now includes spinning. Instead of just bouncing up and down now he spins in a circle too. He can now "give five", wave bye-bye and eat with a fork! Tonight at dinner Kris gave him some macaroni and cheese in a container with a fork. James stabbed the noodles and fed himself!
Last weekend we went up to Breezy Point with Nana and Papa. We had such a good time. Annika particularly loved the swimming pools. We didn't do much up there except relax, play with the kids and take Annika swimming. One day we headed in to Brainerd for lunch and some shopping. Every day though Annika got some pool exposure. She was really good about wearing her life jacket in the big pool. And while she didn't want to get dunked, she would put her face in the water and jump off the side. She even went down the waterslide with me a few times. I had to hold her up at the end so she wouldn't submerge though. She starts swimming lessons on the 31st and I hope that helps her with the dunking and floating on her back and other nervous water issues she has.
I just told Annika that I was writing about her on my blog. Then I asked her what I should write about her. She responded with "Annika!". Then she told me to rub her back for a long time and then tickle her. Kris quipped "Just like her mother." (Kris often rubs my back for me as I fall asleep - am I spoiled or what!)
Annika had her tonsillectomy follow up on Tuesday and was given the all clear. That was good to hear.
Friday night as I was talking on the phone with Gramme, I noticed the kids were quiet and in the corner of the kitchen. As I walked closer to them I heard Annika saying to James "We have to be quiet James!" They were by the lazy susan cabinet which is where we keep the sugar, flour, etc. Annika and James have gotten into the sugar containers before and here Annika and James were scamming to get in there again. When Annika saw me round the corner of the island and give her the stink-eye she took off running out of the kitchen. As she ran she yelled back at James "Run James! Mommy's coming!" What a troublemaker she is! James just grinned at me and then yelled when I closed the cabinet and took him out of the kitchen.
And finally, our puppy dog is sick. Friday I came home from work to find him not using his left hind leg. And Saturday morning he didn't want to use either hind leg. Kris called Nana right away and she suspected Lyme's Disease. Kris hustled Dagur down to Nana's vet clinic and they ran the test. Yep, Dagur has Lyme's Disease. We started him on antiobiotics right away and he's already showing progress. Poor puppy. We're guessing it's been dormant in him for a while and the stress of being put in the shelter last weekend while we were out of town triggered it in him. It's just so sad! Kris has been carrying him (our 75 pound dog) up and down the stairs and outside to go potty. But today he got up on his own and started coming up the stairs to be by us. And tonight he walked over to eat his dinner instead of Kris bringing it to him. We're hoping tomorrow he shows even more progress.