A new purse

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I went to my first ever 1154 Lill purse party last night. I haven’t been able to go when invited in the past for whatever reason (probably childcare related) but last night I made it. I brought the kids with since it was at the neighbors house and Jeff was there to watch his own. Maria thought it might actually be helpful to keep her kids upstairs playing if they had playmates with them. Annika, of course, loved all the playing time. She immediately put on Erin’s princess gear (crown, shoes, rings) and at one point I went upstairs (Jamesy was crying for me) and she and Ryan and Erin were all cuddled up in bed watching Dora. When it was time to go a couple hours later she still wasn’t ready. She did come without too much fuss though. Jamesy, as I said, cried for me after a while. It was like he was so busy playing and then all of a sudden he realized mommy wasn’t there so he flopped to the floor and started crying. I brought him downstairs and he played with those toys, checking every once in a while that he could see me. Other times I held him (he was tired and cuddled right up to me with his head on my shoulder) or Krystle (who came with me) held him. Anyway, I had a good time too and I think the purse I designed will turn out cute. It was so hard to decide!

The only bummer about last night is I didn’t get to see Carrie and Adam.  They flew in last night and Kris and the rest of the family went out to dinner.  I was going to skip the purse party to go to dinner but Kris (who couldn’t/wouldn’t tell me which option he wanted me to do) ultimately let Annika decide – purse party or dinner and she – being 3 – chose to play with her friends.  Why you give that decision to the three year old, I don’t know, but he did and so purse partying we went.  Silly man.  And yes, I did tease him about that last night.

Half Over!

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The week is already half over! And yet the work week seems to drag on. Anyway – how was your Memorial Day weekend? We had a good one even though Kris had to go into work each and every day, sometimes twice. Suck! But, there was a big rush job that he had to get done by Tuesday so in he went. He usually went in during the very early morning hours (like 4am!) or during nap time or at night so we did get in some good family time too.

Saturday we didn’t do very much at all. We played both inside and out. I planted some more green onions in our garden. (We already have red peppers, strawberries, and tomatoes flowering, budding and producing!) We took a quick trip to Patio Town to price out bulk landscaping rock. It is our intention to finish under the deck/around the sandbox the weekend of June 21st. We’ve priced out the rock and it’s in the budget so now it’s time to find a truck and/or trailer to borrow for a day. We don’t want to pay the hefty $71 delivery fee – we’d much rather thank a friend or family member with food and drink instead!

Sunday we didn’t even leave the house once. Well, I’m sure we played outside at least a little bit but otherwise we were big homebodies (except Kris of course). And Monday was our big outing for the weekend. We went to Amanda and Dean’s for a BBQ. It was a little chilly so we spent the whole day inside instead of out but that’s okay. There was still good food and good company and that’s all you can really ask for anyway! Annika had a great time, I mean really awesome time, chasing around and playing with all the other kids there. There was a good mix of kids of multiple ages too. She, of course, needed some warm up time but it wasn’t too long before she was running and laughing and chasing. And James found the toys too so he also had a great time playing with a train set, some crayons, the doctor kit, etc. Neither child wanted to leave at the end of the day. And yet Annika still fell asleep on the 15 minute car ride home, was carried to bed and didn’t wake up until sometime during the night when she crawled in bed with me (like she does every night now – much to Kris’ disliking).

Tonight it was finally warm and nice enough outside to get some good playing in again. The kids and Kris were outside when I got home from work so I quickly changed and then headed outside with them. The kids helped me water the garden (water the garden, water Annika, water the garden, water Annika – by literally pouring water on her head – she loved it) and then we went inside to eat dinner. After dinner Auntie Krystle came over and we headed out for a 2.3 mile walk (according to gmaps pedometer – love that site!). And when we got home we stayed outside for a while longer to play. Even the neighbors came over for a bit. They had been on vacation the last week and all the kids were so excited to see each other again. Annika’s been asking for Ryan and Erin all weekend. It’s just amazing how well the four of them play together. Annika and Ryan, being the oldest, are really the only ones that play together but Erin and James sometimes follow the bigger kids around before wandering off to do their own thing. Ryan and Erin even brought Annika and James gifts back from vacation! They each received a pinwheel and they LOVED them! James even figured out that if he blows on the end of the handle, it will make the pinwheel turn. And after James went to bed tonight, Annika cuddled with both of them, on the dog, while she watched a couple cartoons. I’m sure, if it’s nice out tomorrow, that there will be more playing together. As soon as Annika or Ryan see the other outside the begging to go out too will commence. And that’s okay.

It’s All Good

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Things are good.

I’ve had no lasting effects from the car accident. My neck was sore on Tuesday but it was a “slept on it wrong” kind of sore and not a “OH MY GOD I CAN’T MOVE MY NECK!” sore. It was less sore on Wednesday and now I’m completely back to 100%.

Wednesday was Kris’ birthday. Since we celebrated on Saturday we didn’t do too much on the actual day. I went to work but was home early (worked from home in the afternoon after my crown appointment). We went out to dinner as a family but other than that it was a normal Wednesday. At least he got some free dessert at dinner.

Wednesday Annika got her cast off. I wasn’t there (boo work!) but Kris said it went just fine. Annika wasn’t scared and sat still and her arm is completely fine. She’s not complained of any pain or soreness or weakness and is, of course, jumping and running and playing with all she’s got. The last two nights she’s got good long soaks in the tub finally being able to play in there again.

I had my temporary crown appointment on Wednesday and that too went off without a hitch. It is strange to feel a plastic tooth in your mouth. I can’t wait to get the permanent one in which has a porcelain exterior. But it is nice to be able to chew on both sides of my mouth again!

Since I put in so much extra time earlier in the week, I’m working from home for a few hours today and then I’m done until Tuesday! We don’t have many plans for this weekend (a BBQ at Amanda and Dean’s on Monday is all) and I can’t wait to get lots of outside playing in, some gardening, maybe some bike rides or runs, etc. Just lots of down time. We all need that every once in a while.

I found out today that my cubicle mate (we share one) at work is leaving in two weeks. He gave his notice today. I’m sad about that. He’s been a good friend at work and a star work-wise (A+ work always done on time). Boo Steve!

Today was Annika’s last day of preschool. She came home with some treats (a bouncy ball, rub on tattoo, plastic ring, book) and a folder of papers from her year. Her teacher gave her a big hug good-bye. She may or may not be her teacher again next year. Last night we had another parent teacher conference. Annika has made some strides socially, coming out of her shell a teensy weensy bit but she’s still pretty quiet at school – smiling at her teacher during roll call instead of saying here and such but she’s also playing with the other kids actually talking during things like “show and tell”. Her last show and tell was her cast two weeks ago and her teacher said she actually said quite a few things then.

Jamesy’s been trying to communicate with us more and more. When he signs more now he tries to say “more” at the same time. He usually gets out “mo” but can’t say the “r” yet. So far his mama, dada and uh-oh are very clear. He tries to say dog and more and this morning he started saying “up”. I was laying in bed with Annika watching cartoons and Jamesy was on and off the bed. On to jump on me or snuggle with me and then off to go watch the lawn mowers outside then on to play some more then off to go get a toy then on…well you get the idea. And each time he would come back over to get up he would start yelling. I would ask him if he wanted to come up and he would respond with up. Super cute. I just love hearing him talk! OK, time to go play some more!

Come and Gone

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This weekend once again went super fast.  Saturday was our big date day.  After running some errands (gotta love Target and Lowe’s) and doing some chores (planting flowers and trees + playing/watering the garden = fun!) I brought the kids over to Dale and Shelly’s.  Annika needed a little warm up time but it didn’t take her long to tell me to leave.  Funny kid wanted to start playing.  Even Jamesy was distracted enough to let me leave without tears.  Hopefully the didn’t come later when he realized I was gone.  They had a good time though as Annika enthusiastically told me Sunday morning.  They went to the park nearby and they had hot dogs and macaroni and cheese and ice cream and popcorn.  Yes, I’m sure they were just fine. :)   Kris and I had fun too.  We went for a motorcycle ride for about an hour.  The county roads around us are pretty good – they’re not too well traveled and for the most part they’re in good condition.  The only problem was the wind.  When it would come cross ways I thought it was going to blow the bike out from under me.  I could watch Kris in front of me blowing all over the place.  And when the wind was coming straight at us I had to hunker down a little bit and hold on tight.  There were some big gusts.  I still have fun though.  I always feel so cool on my bike. :)   After the bike ride we went to dinner at a nicer than normal restaurant (no fast food or chain restaurants for us!).  Kris had filet mignon and I had prime rib.  Both were so, so good.  Hhmm, yum!  And then it was movie time.  We went to see Forgetting Sarah Marshall.  It was pretty funny with us both belly laughing at times.  It was a very nice evening out.  We need those once in a while – to at least remember that we like each other. :)

Sunday was going to be our day of lazing about the house, playing in the garden some more, taking a bike ride, etc.  Then we got a phone call from Nana and Papa – they had a brand new baby horse that morning!  Well, we couldn’t pass up a baby horse!  We loaded up the kids and headed down to the farm.  What a cute itty bitty baby horse.  Annika loved it and the golf cart rides she got with Papa to go see the horses on the other side of the road too.  James wasn’t to sure of the big animals.  I had to stand back a little bit with him.  He was a tad overwhelmed I think.  He was that way with Babe the bulldog too.  He was fine with Zoe (a terrier) and of course Dagur (our boxer) but Babe he backed away or froze up around.  I think he’s been knocked down one too many times, never hurt mind you, just knocked down by an exuberant Babe the clumsy ox bulldog.  And both kids know exactly where the toys are at Nana and Papa’s house and spent a ton of time in the office with the spring horse or in the living room with the “puppy doctor kit” as Annika calls the veterinarian kit and the Mr. Potato Head toys.  We even had a nice visit with Great Grandma and Grandpa who came up to visit too.  I got a couple very nice 4 generation pictures with Great Grandpa, Papa, Kris and James.  Annika refused to sit for the photo.  Before we knew it, the kids were getting tired and it was time to go.

Today it was back to the routine.  I can’t wait for this week to be over so I can have a long weekend!  I’ll be putting in some overtime each night this week so I’m hoping to leave early on Friday again.  That will be a nice start to the weekend!  Let’s just hope my excitement for the week happened tonight and then we can be done.  I was rear-ended on the way home from work today.  It was a minor, very minor fender bender.  There are a couple small scratches on the car’s back bumper and the other car only had minor damage as well.  I am fine and the other driver and passenger are fine too.  But – that’s enough excitement for one week!  Let’s keep everything routine, boring and predictable, okay?  (I’m thinking specifically about Annika’s cast removal on Wednesday morning, my temporary crown appt Wednesday at noon and my huge all day design review at work on Thursday.)

Friday at last

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And I’m even leaving work early today due to some extra hours put in on Wednesday and Thursday.  Hoorah!  This should make the kids happy.  I called home this morning to give Kris a wake up call (the kids have been sleeping in later lately) and heard Annika crying for me.  I asked if she does that often and he said sometimes, yes.  Ouch.  That was my heart breaking there a little bit.  Must be hard on her to wake up and find Mommy gone.  I’m sure she was over it as soon as she started getting ready for school.  She loves going to school.  Next week is her last day.  And next Thursday we have a parent-teacher conference again.  I’m interested to see how she’s progressed since last time, especially socially.  My shy little girl…

Tomorrow we’re celebrating Kris’ birthday.  We’re dropping the kids off at Dale and Shelly’s house (Annika is super excited about this and wants to go NOW) and then we’re going for a motorcycle ride, dinner and a movie.  A date!  No kids!  Kris needs this.  We haven’t had a babysitter in so long.  Kris needs a break from them that does not include going to work.  Hopefully this will do the trick.

Two nights ago Annika helped me make some cookies.  She loves helping me measure and mix and especially crack open the eggs.  She’s actually not too messy either, well except for the measuring part.  I do have to keep an eye on her though or all the cookie dough would be eaten.  Kris hates that I let her sneak a little bit here or there.  He’s afraid of salmonella and other food-borne illnesses.  He’s so cute when he’s cautious and fatherly.  As soon as the cookies came out of the oven James was signing “more”, pounding that cute little finger of his into his palm (the toddler modified sign for more) just as hard as he could.

Last night it was absolutely beautiful outside so after Kris left for work and dinner was over the kids and I headed outside.  It’s a nightly chore of ours to water the garden.  Our (cheap) hose in the backyard sprays water everywhere at the house connection.  Annika likes to call this “raining” and play in the water.  Then she has to help me water by helping to hold the watering can.  James meanwhile takes the hose and shakes out any remaining water onto the patio and then kneels down to splash and play in it.

After we were done with our chores we played in the sandbox together.  Jamesy was having a great time digging and digging and then bringing his shovel in the air to let the sand waterfall of it and back into the sandbox, giggling the whole time.  Sometimes the wind would come and blow the sand a little bit.  By the time we went inside James definitely needed a bath.  He had sand everywhere!  His hair was especially gritty.  :)

The Ouchies

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So my mouth is a little sore.  It’s actually not too bad.  I do have to be careful when I eat so I don’t clench down too hard.  Doing that will send a little “yowch!” through my jaw.  Hmm, instant diet anyone?

Annika has taken to telling me she’s “serious.”  When she says she’s serious what she means is she’s angry.  Last night at the neighbors Annika wanted me to go home so she could play outside at their house by herself.  I told her no, I was staying (thank you very much!) so she could either deal with it and go play or we could all go home together.  After a few minutes of arguing she finally stomped away to play telling me that she was serious.  Maria had a good chuckle over it.  I was completely annoyed.  And a little embarrassed.  Nobody wants their child acting like anything but a perfect angel in public.  Maria knows all too well though that this is just normal preschooler behavior.  She does have two small children herself after all.  It’s a good thing Annika was showing her independence though.  I like seeing that side of her.  Usually she’s super clingy with me.  Each night I have to hold her when I get home from work or stay right by her as she does x, y or z – complete attention.  And before bed I have to hold her on my lap while she watches a cartoon.  And I usually stay in her room with her while she falls asleep (it only takes a couple minutes but I’m trying to find a way out of this one at the moment that doesn’t result in a tantrum and a woken up James).

Speaking of perfect angels in public, Jamesy was a perfect angel tonight at dance class.  He played with toys, watched Annika through the window and laughed and giggled when I tickled him.  He is an especially ticklish little boy.  Tonight I was tickling his belly and his neck.  Anyway, he was so good that one of the fathers there commented on Jamesy.  I thanked him and then of course I had to be a good little Minnesotan and assure him that Jamesy has his moments where he takes off running away from me.  Why do we do that – make excuses instead of just graciously accepting a compliment?  Anyway, I then smothered Jamesy with even more kisses and hugs and tickles for making mama so proud.  And then he signed for more.  Could that child melt my heart any more?  I hardly think it’s possible.

The Weekend Wrap Up

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Another weekend has come and gone. They go so fast! Saturday was Jeanette’s baby shower. It was fun seeing my friends again. I don’t see them very often. My life is just so different from all of theirs! I have solo parenting duty every night – none of them do. And on weekends I want to actually see my husband so I hardly ever do anything with them. I hope they understand. And I felt so guilty when I left that morning. Annika was pushing me out the door because she was hoping to go to the big park while I was gone. But James, poor Jamesy was so sad to see me go. He just wanted him mommy. I’m sure once he was packed up and at the park he was just fine. Mom who? After the shower Amanda and I stopped at the Mall of America. I wanted to do some quick shopping and pick up my Race for the Cure registration. Then I hustled on home to find a beautiful bouquet of tulips. Just in time for Kris to leave to go to the Vixen game. So much for seeing my husband on the weekends! The kids and I were going to go with but it was rainy and wet and chilly so we stayed home.

And while we were home Saturday night I taught Jamesy how to sign for “more.” We had some m&ms left over from when Grandpa visited a few days earlier so I handed one to James. Of course he wanted more and started to go into tantrum mode. I asked him “Jamesy, you want more” and then I made the sign. He calmed down and took my offered m&m. Once again he started to tantrum so I asked him “more” while making the sign. He calmed down and took the m&m and after that he started signing for more instead of tantruming. And he’s been signing it ever since whenever he wants more of anything. It’s super cute. And I’ve noticed less tantrums too. Of course sometimes I say no to his more request and then he tantrums but well Jamesy that’s life.

Sunday morning the kids and I got up bright and early and headed to the Mall of America with Krystle and Pierce where we walked in the Race for the Cure. There was a ton of people there as usual. We found parking spots right away and headed directly for the start line. Because of the huge amount of people we were all walking ssssoooo slowly. The walk took us almost two hours to complete. The kids did pretty well regardless. Jamesy had enough of the bike trailer by mile two and I ended up carrying him the rest of the way. Annika didn’t mind that as it allowed her to stretch out and lay down a little bit. After we were done walking we had to book it to the restaurant for brunch. Kris (who was home cleaning the house – yay!) plus Grandpa and Marcia joined us there. Brunch was good (the desserts were excellent!) and since it was at Eden Prairie Center, we headed inside for a bit more shopping. :) I ended up with a couple more items and Annika did too.

It was super cute. Krystle, Annika and I (the boys – Kris, James and Pierce headed to Best Buy) were at Ann Taylor Loft (my new favorite store!) trying on clothes when in the dressing room Annika decided she wanted to try clothes on too. So she starts taking her sweater off. I told her this store doesn’t have Nika sized clothes, only Mommy sized clothes. She was so disappointed. After we were done I asked her if she wanted to go to a kids clothes store to try clothes on. She was super excited and off to Children’s Place we went. As soon as we walked in the door she beelined for a hot pink t-shirt she saw and exclaimed “Mommy, I can try this on!”. I said okay and we started heading to the back dressing rooms. On our way back Annika saw some hot pink shorts she wanted to try on with her hot pink shirt. OK, I guess. In the dressing room she tried the shirt and shorts on and got all shy and just stared at herself in the mirror. I held her on my lap and asked if she liked them. She did (of course – they were pink!). I noticed both were on sale so I told her she could have them. So we put on her regular clothes and went to pick out a couple more pieces of each (3 for and 2 for sales). Of course she picked out another pair of slightly darker pink shorts and then purple shorts and she picked out another hot pink t-shirt with a different graphic on it. The girl loves pink. What can I say? I always said while pregnant that I wasn’t going to dress her in head to toe pink just because she was a girl but that if she chose to wear pink then I wasn’t going to stop her either. Well, she is now head to toe pink.

She would literally be head to to pink if I let her too. After Children’s Place we went to Kohl’s and looked at shoes and Annika picked out pink jelly shoes then pink croc shoes then more pink jelly shoes and then white (and pink) Dora sandals. The girl was solely focused on the pink. She even told me a pair of them were “fabulous”. And later she told me I was “making her nervous” and that I was “nagging her.” Um, not true! Krystle was busting a gut laughing at Annika. She was just being so funny!

That was enough shopping for one day (after I bought shoes for myself of course) and home we did trot. I had a big headache (too much sun, not enough sunglasses) so I laid down for a little while. After we all got up from being lazy we headed downstairs to play. It was then that Annika came down with my “gift” – two toys from upstairs. She came down telling me she had a surprise for me behind her back. I asked her what it was and she yelled “Surprise! Happy Mother’s Day!” I really overdid the enthusiasm on my thank you and hug and Annika ate it all up. Then she leapt into my arms, snuggled in as much as she could and told me Happy Mother’s Day. My baby girl wuvs me. :) So, that was pretty much my Mother’s Day. Lovely as always.

Today I had a root canal. The procedure itself didn’t hurt at all and now, seven hours later I’m still fine, just a little sore. Hopefully it stays that way.

The Little Sister

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Overheard in our truck tonight on the way to dance class:

Annika: Mommy, I want a little brother and a little sister.

Me: Oh?

Annika: Yes.  So when you go to the doctor tomorrow, the doctor is going to take a little sister out of your tummy.  And she is going to be big because she ate a lot of vegetables in your tummy.

(For the record – there are no baby sisters or doctor’s appointments…)

Me:  Really?

Annika:  Yes.  I want both a baby brother and a baby sister.  We are going to need to get another crib.

The Weekend

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We had a bittersweet weekend.  Saturday we were able to spend lots of time with Uncle Mathias.  He left Sunday to move to Texas (with a 6 month layover in New Mexico for training) to start work for the Border Patrol.  He even graduated a couple weeks early with his Law Enforcement degree to do so.  We are all so proud of him but really sad that he’s moving so far away.  We have borders here in Minnesota!  Just kidding.  Anyway, Saturday we had lunch with Gramme and Uncle Mathias at Gramme’s house.  A couple weeks ago Mathias requested lasagna so Gramme made a super yummy one for us.  After lunch Mathias, Kris and I relaxed in the living room chatting while Gramme chased the kids around the house.  Pretty soon Reba (Gramme’s dog) needed to go outside so Gramme and the kids all went out for a walk with Reba.  The afternoon went so fast and before I knew it we packed up to head home.  The kids needed naps before the evening festivities began and Mathias had chores to do (wash clothes, pack, etc.) as well.  Man, were there tears from Gramme when she had to say good-bye to Mathias.  I cried too even though I knew I was going to get to see him again in a couple hours.

That night the kids and I went to dinner with Grandpa and Marcia, Krystle and Pierce.  Kris was headed out that night to help coach the Vixen.  (He’s going to be in the box each home game this season scouting the other team’s defense to help the Vixen offense and also giving our offense the down and distance for each play.  I think he’s really looking forward to it.)  Both kids were super excited to see Grandpa and Marcia (and Krystle and Pierce too but we got there before them).  Annika sat right beside Grandpa and James was on the end of the table away from everyone.  That didn’t last long before he got impatient at being all by himself and was hoisted out and onto Grandpa’s lap until our appetizer came.  I got some really good pictures of the kids with Mathias and Krystle and I with Mathias.  Now that I think of it, I didn’t get one of Mom with Mathias or Dad with Mathias.  OR any sort of family picture either.  Rats!!  We will definitely have to do that when Mathias comes back home for a visit.  At the end of dinner I think we all stalled for a while.  Nobody wanted to make the first move of saying good-bye.  We made it to the parking lot and my vehicle (closest to the door) and then I went in for a hug.  And broke down.  I was just so sad to see him go.  Next was Krystle and she cried even harder than I did (big surprise! hee hee).  Dad didn’t cry but that’s because Mathias was staying at his house that night and he was driving him to the airport the next morning.  Lucky duck.

Sunday was a very busy day at our house.  That was good because I only watched the clock twice then (once when Mathias should have been boarding at the the airport and once when he should have been landing in El Paso.  Still very sad.  But like I said, I kept busy.  First in the morning Annika and I made at trip to Lowe’s to look at garden supplies.  We ended up with two yellow bell pepper plants for the garden.  Annika likes going to Lowe’s.  She always wants to touch and look at all the water fountains.  When we got home there was lots of garden work to be done.  We planted a green bell pepper, two red bell pepper, 9 broccoli and 2 tomato plants in our garden.  They were overtaking our kitchen window and growing out of their pots.  And since it’s supposed to be relatively mild (no frost at least) all week we decided to risk it.  Then I transplanted the yellow pepper plants we purchased and some string bean plants we grew from seeds into the now vacant pots so we can start a second wave of kitchen garden.  The kids had a great time playing outside.  At one point Annika took off her shoes and walked, in her socks, through the garden.  Sometimes I swear I don’t know what goes through her head.  James was having fun digging in the garden, in his soggy sandbox and in the water puddle from the garden hose.  He just loves getting into anything that can get him dirty.  After lunch the kids and I went to the park across the street from our house.  Annika rode her bike there and then proceeded to ride her bike around and around and around the tennis court.  At least it was good practice for her but I was getting dizzy walking after her the whole time.  She’s still a little nervous on her bike and wants me nearby.  She really liked it though when Jamesy would chase after her.  When she wasn’t riding her bike she was climbing all over the playground.  The slide there is a fast one and she likes going down it on her belly.  I made her always go feet first though because I didn’t want her landing with her arms first and risk hurting her fractured wrist again.  Jamesy just sat in the pea rock sifting it through his fingers or throwing it.  I tried telling him over and over again not to throw the rocks or to take him away from the rocks when he threw them, etc but since he’s only 15 months (today!) that really did no good.  Ah well, he’ll learn.  When Krystle got home from work she came out of her house and joined us at the park (her house backs up to it).  When I pointed out Krystle and Pierce to Annika, Annika took off sprinting across the park and flung herself in Auntie Krystle’s arms.  Quite the greeting!  She did the same to Kris when he came over a few minutes later.  I left the kids at the park with Kris and headed home to change.  Krystle and I had an Archiver’s trip to make!  Krystle was looking for some new home embellishments for her townhouse scrapbook.  Archiver’s didn’t have the best assortment.  Boo!  While we were gone Kris took the kids for a bike ride. Lucky kids!  When Krystle dropped me off back at home I walked inside to find the place deserted.  I should have known to immediately look out back.  Yep, Kris and the kids were at the neighbors.  I hope Jeff and Maria don’t mind having us over all the time!  Annika absolutely loves playing with their son Ryan.  Erin is a little young to get in on too much of the action but I’m sure in no time she’ll be right in the mix.  Annika and Ryan decided they needed to find Diego.  So they both dressed up – Ryan as Diego and Annika as a princess (surprise!).  She had on a purple tiara, 1 earring, a wand and purple shoes.  Oh, and she demanded I call her Princess Nika.  And Ryan was Diego Ryan.  And they spent the majority of the evening looking for Diego.  Outside, behind the chairs, upstairs, downstairs, etc.  Diego was really missing.  And for the first time, Jamesy took an interest in the other kids.  At dinner (they invited us to stay for dinner – wasn’t that nice!) as soon the last other child had left the table Jamesy wanted out of his chair so he could go after them.  And when they went outside he demanded that he go outside too.  As Annika and Ryan took off running in the grass, Jamesy made his way after them and then followed them for a little bit, until he was distracted by something else to do.  After dinner Jeff mentioned that Kris should get his guitar so they could play some Guitar Hero together.  I don’t think Jeff had finished the sentence and Kris was out the door and sprinting across the backyard.  Kidding.  But Jeff didn’t have to ask twice!  It was pretty cute watching the boys play together. :)

Tonight was another great night.  After Kris left for work the kids and I headed outside to play.  Annika and I played hopscotch on the driveway.  Until Jamesy stole our rocks that is.  Then Jamesy ran in circles with Nika chasing him.  Oh the giggles!  Then we went to the backyard to water the garden.  While I did that Annika looked forlornly at Ryan playing in his backyard.  Earlier she had seen him outside and jumped up and down in the dining room yelling “Ryan’s outside!  Ryan’s outside!  I see him!”  Maria and Ryan walked over to check out the garden and visit.  But somehow we ended up at their house again.  Oh, yeah, this time it was because Jamesy took off across the backyard and beelined it for their patio.  Apparently they have better toys or something.  :)   We played there until it was time for them to eat dinner.  Then the kids and I walked to a nearby park.  Once again Jamesy found a little girl to follow him around and mother him.  That boy is a chick magnet!  Jamesy had an excellent time though.  This was a toddler/preschool playground so he could climb up and around and over everything.  He would climb up all by himself and sit down at the top of the slide and slide down all by himself, Wwwwhhhhhheeeeeeeiiiiinnnnnggggg the whole way down.  Over and over again.  He even went down on his butt and his belly.  He had a good time.  As did Annika but she got a little bored on the “little” playground and wanted to go on the bigger one nearby.  I told her she had to stay by me.  That bigger one is for elementary and middle school students and with her being one handed right now, I didn’t want her on it without direct supervision.  She was little bummed but had fun playing anyway.  Especially when other girls her age came to play by her.

Tigger is back home living with us while Mathias is at training.  No pets allowed there.  As soon as Mathias is settled in El Paso or along the NM border we’ll bring Tigger back to him.  Tigger is not happy at all to be back.  He’s spitting, hissing, howling and now confined to the basement until he calms down.  Annika has asked repeatedly to not let Tigger bite her again.  We’ll keep an eye on him to make sure he’s good.  I was down there tonight petting him and he was fine.  Once I brought him upstairs though he started hissing again so back down he went.  Maybe he’ll calm down.  If not, maybe we can get him some kitty prozac for his stay here.  :)

Jamesy has started throwing tantrums.  If something doesn’t go his way he’ll fling himself backwards (no matter where he is – he’s going to hurt himself pretty soon!), and then cry and kick his feet on the floor.  I’ll leave him where he is (i.e. he’s in living room so I go to kitchen) and as soon as he sees that I’ve gone he stops, gets up and walks over to where I am and then flings himself back down to cry and tantrum all over again.  Punk.  Good thing he’s adorable.

The Last Week

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OK, so with moving and switching and updating and all, I haven’t been able to write about some other fun things going on around here. First last weekend was Auntie Carrie’s birthday. Happy Birthday Auntie Carrie! We were lucky enough to meet Carrie and Adam in Rochester with Nana and Papa and have a fun filled afternoon. First we had lunch and then we headed to the mall to bum around for a bit. There was a children’s play area where James and Annika had a great time. James even had a little admirer following him around (a little 4-ish year old girl mommying him). Annika was running and climbing and playing like crazy. She was especially fond of the little house you could play in. James loved the canoe and kept climbing in and out of it.

We have a small forest in our kitchen right now. A couple weekends ago we picked up some plants at Lowe’s for our garden. We have two tomato, three bell pepper (one green, two red) and nine broccoli plans going crazy right now! We also planted seeds and have a ton of soybean (edamame), string bean, numerous herbs, lettuce, etc. started and growing in peat moss cups. I can’t wait until it’s warm enough to plant these outside in the garden. For now though it’s fun to water them daily and watch them grow like crazy. And Annika and James are having fun watching them grow too. Jamesy always points to them and babbles and sometimes I’ll let him touch them. He’s so gentle with them.

Speaking of Jamesy – lots of Jamesy news to update. Jamesy can now point out his nose, eyes, ears and tummy. We’re working on other body parts now too (mouth, feet, toes, etc.) And at his 15 month check up today the doctor declared him perfect and acting the part of an 18 month old. My children, always on the leading edge of the development curve. So proud! Anyway, he’s 26 pounds, 10 ounces (80%), 33.2″ tall (96%) and has an 18.1cm head (20%). My boy is tall with a small head and a body that is leaning out from all the running. Not much else notable from the exam except that poor Jamesy has hand, foot and mouth disease. On Wednesday I noticed some small red bumps on his feet. Kris and I wondered if he had athlete’s foot. It didn’t seem to be bothering him so I waited until today to ask the doctor about it. She checked his hands (some small red dots there too) and his mouth (lesion free, thank goodness) and declared it hand, foot and mouth disease. She asked if he’s had a high fever lately (nope) and said it’s viral and that in a week it should be gone and that it’s only sore if they have lesions in the mouth. Hopefully nothing more will come of it.

And now for some Annika updates. Today her preschool class took a field trip to a local farm. She was able to feed a calf with a “really big bottle”, see piglets, sheep, hens, chicks, eggs and even a rooster. I asked her if she had a buddy at the farm or if she was with her whole class the entire time. She said she had a buddy. I asked who that was and she said “Um, I think it was Claire’s mom.” Too cute. I think she had a good time. She actually talked about it with me which is a change from her usual self. Only three more weeks of preschool and then she’s out for summer. Boy is she going to be bummed!

Wednesday Kris took the kids to the zoo. When I asked Annika that night what animals she saw, she told me farm animals. Apparently cows and pigs reign supreme over zebras and tigers. Who knew? Kris said Jamesy had a good time at the zoo too. But then Jamesy loves wagon rides so of course he had a good time. Kris said even after all that time at the zoo in the wagon and James still threw a fit when he had to get out. That’s my boy. :) If it’s nice on Sunday (la la la, I can’t hear you weatherman and your forecast for snow tomorrow!) we can go for a walk.

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