Missing My Brother

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6-30-12 4 by Ninabina
6-30-12 4, a photo by Ninabina on Flickr.

Not much time today to post (too busy going to gymnastics with the kids then Target then cross-stitching, then a nap and now getting ready for dinner and Vikings playoff football with friends) but I’ve been missing my brother lately. So, I’ve decided to post this picture of him, me and Gramme from our trip to see him last summer. Last week I uploaded pictures from June through December so most people probably haven’t seen these pictures. There are lots more good ones too so go check them out! And I think tomorrow I’ll call Uncle Mathias to say hi.



Happy Anniversary to us!

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Wednesday Kris and I celebrated our nine year wedding anniversary. Yay us! We’re not huge celebrators of our birthdays or our anniversary and Wednesday was no exception. I went to work. Kris went to class and then work. The kids and I made him homemade brownies while he was at work. They were super excited as they love helping bake (cracking the eggs, mixing, etc.) and they were excited to make brownies! And Kris let his romantic side show through by buying me a small bouquet of flowers and some gourmet desserts from Byerly’s on his way home from work. When Kris got home from work I joined him on the driveway where we chatted with our neighbors for a while. Once we got all the kids back in the house we sat down to enjoy our brownie treat together. Then Kris and I worked together to get all the kids in bed (man that can take a long time sometimes!). Once the house was finally quiet we sat together on the couch, watched So You Think You Can Dance and enjoyed our gourmet desserts with a bottle of wine. It was a great evening.

Now it’s time for more catch up. At the end of June our family minus James participated in the HeartBeat 5000 walk in honor of our neighbor Erin. Why minus James? Because he was spending a few days at Nana and Papa’s house. Three days to be exact. That’s the longest he’s been away without anyone from our family (like Annika) going with him! I think he enjoyed his “alone time” with Nana and Papa. It was very weird for him not to be at home though. I didn’t really like it! (I don’t really like my kids being gone for long times though. Me = huge sap!) Anyway, the HeartBeat 5000 is a 5K run/walk. We brought our bike trailer to use as a stroller so both Annika and Levi could have a place to sit. Kris ran the 5K and then double backed at the finish to find us about half way through and then he walked the rest of it with us. So basically he did 1.5 5K’s! It was fun to be part of a big group though. There was probably about 25 people in our group for Erin. We even had matching t-shirts!

The day after the walk/run we went to visit Kris’s grandfather. It had been a while since we’d been down to see him. I don’t know if we’d been there this year even! (shameful) He’s doing pretty well though and it was nice to see him again. We went outside for part of the visit and there was a tree there not too far off the ground that Annika wanted to climb. I lifted her up into the tree and she thought it was great to sit up there. All three kids loved running around outside and we got some great pictures of the kids with their great grandfather plus some great pictures of Kris and his Dad and his grandfather plus all three kids. Those are treasures for sure! You can check them out in the June folder of pictures (look to the right).


Uno, Sitting, Cereal and Surgery

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The kids’ new favorite game is an old classic…Uno!  Annika received a deck of Uno cards for her birthday and we’ve been playing it almost every day since then.  It’s an easy enough game for Annika and James to play plus we can get through a game or two pretty fast which is nice for their relatively short attention spans.  So fun!  Although I have to admit that Annika isn’t the best sport.  She’s pretty competitive and doesn’t show the greatest sportsmanship when someone else wins or has something good happen to them.  We’re working on it.

Last week Wednesday Annika had her first field trip in Kindergarten.  It was to a local apple orchard and I signed up to be a chaperone.  For the 19 kids in her class, including her, there were 4 adults – the teacher, a teacher’s aide, me and another mom.  I had five little kids that I was in charge of for the afternoon, including Annika.  One little boy in my group took quite a liking to me and *had* to hold my hand the entire time we were out plus he had to sit by me on the bus too.  Annika kept giving me and him dirty looks the whole time on the bus.  She just did not like this other little boy getting attention from me.  When he grabbed my hand at the orchard she made sure to run up and grab the other one.  It was pretty cute to see my big girl get a little jealous over her mama.  Ah, she does love me!  We were only at the orchard for an hour or so and it was a pretty quick zoom through the place.  First was a barrel train ride, then a quick zip through the scarecrows before going on a tractor/wagon ride through the trees, off to pet some goats, pick out a pumpkin and two apples and then zoom, back on the bus.  Whew!  Once we were back at school I signed us out at the end of the day and we held hands all the way back to the truck.  It was a great afternoon spent with my girl.

Levi is getting closer to crawling!  Right now he’s scooting and rolling to whatever he sees that he wants.  He can also sit up now with minimal support.  Well, he can sit unsupported but he’s just as likely to topple over if he sees something that he wants.  And he’s also a big drooly monster.  Oh, there are copious amounts of drool!  He can soak his shirt in seconds.  Add to that a stuffy/runny nose and the poor kid just has to be teething.  No one else in the house has a cold but he’s had nasal problems for weeks now.  I know most doctors will tell you that a runny nose or low grade fever has nothing to do with teething but for little Levi it just must.  He’s constantly chewing on everything he can get in his mouth, he’s drooling like mad and he’s stuffed up.  I wonder when the first razor sharp tooth will poke through?

Levi is loving his rice cereal.  Last night I gave him some oatmeal cereal for the first time and he gobbled all of that up too.  We’ll do that for a week or two and then start him on some vegetables.  I bought some peas and sweet potatoes at the store for him.  He’s just going to love getting more solid foods.  Whenever he’s sitting on my lap while I’m eating he’s constantly trying to grab my plate or fork or whatever food is closest.  My baby is getting so big already! *sniff*

Friday Kris had surgery to remove his kidney stone.  It was a routine procedure without complications.  He spent the weekend on the couch recovering.  Annika and James spent the weekend at Nana and Papa’s house to also give Kris (and I) a break.  They were so excited to go that Annika hauled her suitcase out to the car, got in her carseat and buckled it all without saying good-bye to Kris and I.  You could say she was a little excited to go.  They both helped with chores in the barn and had lots and lots of fun as usual.  Kris is getting back to normal.  He’s still sore but hopefully that decreases a little more each day.  And I hope there’s no more kidney stones in his future!

James has his first field trip with preschool in two weeks.  I’m excited to go with him on his very first one!  So far he seems to be enjoying preschool still.  He brings home adorable art projects and I think he knows most, if not all, of his letters now.  He’s even learning all their sounds too so we can begin to sound out words.  I’m so proud of my big boy!


36 Weeks, Soccer, Swimming and Piano

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I had my 36 week doctor’s appointment this morning. Short version – everything is fine – see you next week. Long version next – if you don’t want to know the specifics, skip to the next paragraph! OK, blood pressure was 122/65 – good. Weight was up exactly 1 pound – good. Next I had a Non-Stress Test. I’ll be having these at each doctor’s appointment from here on out to make sure the baby is OK – another additional test due to having gestational diabetes. I was hooked up to a monitor to record the baby’s heart beat and another to monitor contractions. I had one contraction during the test and the test took about a half hour. During the test they are looking for the baby to move and to have corresponding accelerations in his heart rate. It took a bit of poking and prodding to get him to move and a glass of ice cold water. The morning is not usually his active time so that didn’t surprise me much. I passed the non stress test and we moved on to the other parts of the 36 week appointment. First was the Group B strep test. I’ll get the results of that at the next appointment. If I’m positive I’ll have to have IV antibiotics during labor. I believe I had this with both previous pregnancies. No big deal. And lastly was my first internal exam. I’m officially a fingertip dilated and 60% effaced and she confirmed that the baby is head down (good boy!). Guess those contractions I’m having are doing something. And with that I was released. Next appointment is next Tuesday. I have an appointment every Tuesday morning from now until April 27th.

OK, enough appointment talk. Today registration opened for summer activities through community education and the parks and rec department. Kris and I talked with the kids at dinner a couple nights ago. James is a bit young yet for activities but Annika has definite plans of her own as to what she’s going to do. Together we made a plan for summer and fall. This morning I registered Annika for soccer. She’ll have soccer twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday mornings for an hour each time. This will be during June and July. She will also have swimming lessons on Wednesday evenings for a half hour. James will have swimming lessons on Sunday evenings as well. It will be his first swimming lesson where he goes into the water by himself. I’m sure he’ll love it.

Annika has plans for this fall too. After the June/July soccer program is over and if she liked it, then we’ll sign her up for an August – September soccer program that has actual games. The June – July program is more about the basics of soccer and skill building. We don’t need to register for the August program until the middle of July so we’ll wait to see if she likes it and then if she does we’ll sign her up. Annika is also insistent that she take dance class again. I told her that she’ll be learning a dance that she then has to perform in front of people. She hesitated for a second but then said OK, she still wanted to do it. This will be our first foray into the dance world with costumes and recitals and stuff. Yikes! But this summer I’ll sign her up so she can start dance class this fall. I hope she likes it! She also had great fun last Friday night/Saturday morning at Auntie Shelly and Uncle Dale’s house and especially liked “playing” on the piano. She’s insistent that she “knows” how to play the piano. Well, sure, she knows how to hit the keys but admitted she doesn’t know how to play any songs. I asked her if she wanted to learn? She does. I’m going to see if our neighbor across the street (Kari) – who is a music teacher at a school and does the childrens choirs at our church and has expressed interest in starting lessons in her home – would be willing to give Annika piano lessons starting this fall. Not sure how much that will cost, how often she’d need to go, how much she’d have to practice, etc. but we have time to figure that out. Is six years old/kindergarten even the appropriate time to start piano lessons? I don’t know. I don’t know how to play! Hey, maybe I can learn alongside Annika. That might be fun! Anyway, I’ll talk to Kari and see what she thinks.

And speaking of Dale and Shelly, the kids were over there Friday night and Saturday morning until about mid afternoon. I dropped them off and they were completely done with me the moment we walked in the door. I had to ask each of them to come back and give me a hug and kiss good-bye before they disappeared downstairs to play. And the reports I got the next morning was everyone was doing well and having fun. I wasn’t there to pick them up because I was at a baby shower for my neighbor Katie (with Krystle) but Kris picked them up and I guess Annika wasn’t really very excited to see him. Not a big surprise there. The kids adore Dale and Shelly. Lucky kids they are! (I adore Dale and Shelly too. Who wouldn’t!)