Hodge Podge

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Lots of miscellaneous things tonight:

1 – Jamesy is getting two new teeth in.  They are his upper eye teeth and both have poked through now.  Pretty soon he’ll look more little boy like with a full set of teeth rather than baby like.  I think his bottom eye teeth are also making their move and then he’ll have a full smile.  Luckily these teeth don’t seem to be bothering him as much as the others have.  His sleeping has been pretty good and that’s what usually gets messed up.  He’s a champion sleeper anyway though.  I rock him at night (because I like to!), put him in his crib awake and then listen over the monitor as he talks or sings for a while before drifting off.  And if he wakes up during the night, most times he just finds his blanket and goes back to sleep.  No parents needed.  And when he wakes in the morning he’ll play in his crib for a while before calling out for us to come get him.  He’s a dream.  His sister?  Well, she was never, NEVER,  a good sleeper.  She’s still hard to get down at night, still wakes up during the night needing parental (usually Mommy) attention and well, just ugh.

2 – Tonight Annika was eating some yogurt at the table.  James wanted to see what she had so he climbed up on a chair next to her.  She was done so she showed him her empty yogurt cup and he put his hands in the air, palms up and exclaims “All gone!” loud and clear.  He’s still hard to understand most of the time, but he is talking more and more these days.  Tonight when we came upstairs he saw Annika and said “Hi” as he walked in the room.  She smiled and said hi back.  It was their first “conversation!”  :)

3 – A couple nights ago Annika asked if she could cut some paper up so we got out her safety scissors, set her up at the kitchen island with some scrap paper and let her have at it.  I had my back to her, sitting in the living room with James.  A few minutes later she appears in front of me with the safety scissors in one hand and a swath of hair in the other, getting ready to cut it!  I quickly tell her no, NO, NO, NO, you do not cut your hair.  That only Mommy, Daddy or the stylist at the salon cut your hair.  She asks why, I tell her and then she goes back to cut more paper.  It wasn’t until the next night when I got home from work and Kris showed me a chunk of her hair that I found out she had done it.  Cut her own hair.  I don’t know if she did it before or after she came to me.  But the safety scissors are officially PUT AWAY until further notice.  Every kid does this right?  I know Jessie, Robyn’s daughter, has.   It isn’t too bad actually.  I couldn’t even find where she did it initially.  Then, later, I was putting her hair in a ponytail and these little 1 1/2″ wisps of hair on the top left of her head stood straight up.  Found it!  I managed to hide them under her other hair in the pony and then you can’t tell at all.  Hopefully this is our only instance of hair cutting!

4 – Kris is currently on his way to Michigan!  He’s traveling with the Vixen this weekend to their first playoff game.  I’m rooting for them and hoping they win against the good team that they are playing tomorrow.  It is always weird though to drop him off (they bus out) and then go home alone.  It’s weird that I’ll be alone all day tomorrow with the kids.  And that I won’t see him again until Sunday morning.  We’re not usually apart from each other (except for work of course), don’t take separate vacations (until the end of July of course which will be the first time in our marriage) and are generally pretty co-dependent!  So, yeah, while I’m happy he’s off coaching, doing something he really enjoys, I’m feeling a bit lost at the moment.  The house feels quieter even though he would usually be at work at this time anyway.  Weird.  Oh well.  Absence.  Heart growing fonder.  Etc. Etc.

Jamesy sings and a birthday party

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Tonight I hopped in the bathtub with the kids (to nurse some aching muscles) so we could fill it up enough to turn the whirlpool on .  Annika loves the bubbles.  James was scared at first and clung to me.  It didn’t take long though and he was laughing and splashing in the water.  What brought him out of his funk was me singing the turtle song.  (I had a little turtle, his name was Tiny Tim.  I put him in the bathtub, to see if he could swim.  He drank up all the water.  He ate up all the soap.  And there he lay at the bottom of the tub with a bubble in his throat.  Bubble, bubble, bubble.  Bubble, bubble, bubble.  Bubble, bubble, bubble, bubble, bubble, POP!)  He loves that song, especially when you clap your hands together at the end and yell Pop!  Without fail, every time in the bath James stands up and pees.  Tonight when he stood I pulled him out and put him on the toilet.  And he peed in the potty!  We are by no means potty training.  But we are introducing the concepts that pee pee and poopy go in the potty.  I was pretty proud of my boy!  Then tonight at bedtime, I was rocking James in the rocking chair when he started singing to me.  He was all snuggled in with one arm down by my side but he was trying to sing the turtle song.  He sang bubble, bubble, pop over and over again and each time he “popped” he use his free arm to hit his side.  It was pretty cute!  He can’t say “l” so the bubble sounded like “bubbo” instead.  But he was trying!  Add bubble and pop to his list of words!

Annika spent from about 10am to 3pm outside at the neighbors.  Ryan was having a little birthday party complete with a little blow up pool.  Annika has even more swimming suit tan lines now!  She’s a little pink, especially in places the sunscreen missed a little bit, but she’s not burned.  By tomorrow it will be all brown again.  She had a blast though as I’m sure Jamesy did too.

Sugar cookies!

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Saturday when we were driving to the Vixen game, Annika started asking me all about recipes.  Mommy, what do you need to make cake?  Mommy, what do you need to make chocolate chip cookies?  Mommy, what do you need to make sugar cookies?  She had something cooking in her little mind, that’s for sure.  Last night after Kris left for work Annika asked if we could make cookies.  I opened the cupboard and said we didn’t have any chocolate chips.  So she says “Let’s make sugar cookies then!”  So, we did.  Annika was such a big help too.  She helped scoop and measure all the sugars and flours.  And she unwrapped the butter sticks.  And she cracked the eggs.  And she mixed it all together.  With some help from me of course for all these steps.  Then I rolled the dough into balls and she squashed them all with a glass.  We had pink and red colored sugar so we dipped glasses into the sugar and then squashed the cookies with the sugar covered glasses.  She thought that was great fun!  During all of this James just yelled.  I finally put him in his high chair so he could see what we were doing and gave him some treats to keep him occupied.  All he wanted was dough and cookies though.  And man were those cookies good fresh out of the oven!  James and Annika scarfed down their first ones while I loaded a plate of cookies up for the neighbors.  I certainly didn’t want 4 dozen cookies in my house!  They each had two (I, uh, had a couple more than that – BAD!) and the rest were put away.  Out of sight.  Out of mind.  I brought half of them in to work today.  I want them out of my house!  After the two cookies though the kids were out of their minds!  They were chasing each other around the house yelling, shrieking, laughing.  It was so loud!  I finally got them calmed down enough for James to get to bed a half hour late and Annika to sit still so James could sleep.  If they get any cookies today, it will have to be early enough that they can expend all that energy way before bed time!

Time to Write This Down

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Time to write down these tidbits from our weekend before I forget them!

Saturday morning the kids and I headed to Grandpa’s house. There he had a wagon full of river rock waiting for us. We had an exciting day of landscaping ahead of us. Because in the 9 years that I’ve had my truck I’ve never had to haul anything, Grandpa first had to spend an hour wiring up the harness for us. Must have brake lights and turn signals on the trailer you know! The kids spent that hour running around outside chasing Grandpa and Marcia’s cat Frannie. The silly cat would dart this way and that, under an evergreen tree and then come back out again, lay down in the grass and let Annika pick it up. Then it would purr away while she held it and pet it. She was pretty gentle with it, even if the cat did look pretty awkward in her arms. Jamesy thought this all was great fun. He loves cats anyways but he just ran around shrieking “kitty” and giggling his silly little head off. One especially cute moment was when Grandpa headed to the backyard to get a wrench out of the shed and Jamesy took off after him. He ran all the way back there and by the time Grandpa came out of the shed, James was there waiting for him. Then they walked hand in hand back to the front. I sure wish I had my camera at that moment! A few minutes later it was time for me to back up to the trailer. I made sure the kids were off chasing the cat, far away from harms way and then got in the truck to move it. James saw the truck moving, stopped what he was doing and burst into tears. He thought I was leaving without him. As soon as I had the truck in place I jumped out and grabbed my little boy, telling him over and over that Mama’s not going anywhere, I was just moving the truck, it’s okay while he just curled up in my arms and cried. Oh, that little one breaks my heart sometimes! Soon enough we were back on the road, driving very slowly home. That rock was heavy! It was pushing the truck all over the road. Now, how about some bragging? We (well, Kris mainly) got that rock off the trailer, down into the backyard and under the deck in two hours! A yard and a half of rock! I spent most of my time under the deck spreading it out. Oh, and kid wrangling. This just happened to fall over lunch time so I did take the kids in for a quick bite during the middle of it. But, we were completely finished in two hours! Kris and I both thought it was going to take a lot longer.

For dinner Saturday night we headed to our local Ruby Tuesday. I was craving their salad bar in a big way all week. I was still eating my salad when Annika declared her belly was full and she was done eating her macaroni and cheese. She asked if I was done eating and I said not yet, my belly isn’t full yet. What does she respond with? “Wow Mommy. You must have a big belly!” Yeah, thanks munchkin. Kris laughed and said “Blog that!” So, here I am. Happy now?

Saturday night was the last Vixen regular season home game for the year. Kris has been helping coach at home games this season and since the kids and I had no plans, we made it a family night. We got there early so Kris could do some official “coachy” things like stand at the fence and talk to players and coaches. So the kids and I entertained ourselves by the long jump pit. Instant sand box! And “race track” that Annika and James ran up and down. We also found a baseball and had fun throwing that around too. Before long Nana and Papa joined us. Papa was helping coach too so Nana and I were on kid duty that evening. By halftime James was sleepy so Nana took him off to a quieter end of the field and snuggled him in a blanket. Of course he fell asleep a dozen times only to wake up when anything exciting happened. Annika stayed by me in the stands and when it started raining during the 3rd quarter she and I snuggled up under the blanket we had been sitting on. And then we giggled as it rained down on our heads. She thought that was pretty funny.

Yesterday was a low key day spent at home. It’s good to have those every once in a while. When we got up we headed to Target for some quick shopping. Since we rode our bikes there we couldn’t buy too much or else the kids would have been squished by everything on the way back! We did buy Annika two new pair of shoes for the summer and we also had our first clothing battle. She wanted pink, sparkly and completely unpractical shoes, of course. We found four pair that fit her and made her choose two of the four. They are not pink. They are not sparkly. And they are completely practical (white sandals and white sneakers). We did let her try on whatever she wanted because hey why not? But no, we are not bringing home the pink, sparkly ballet slippers (she already has red ones at home) or the pink jelly shoes. Not this time at least. The rest of the day was spent playing in the pool, taking naps and relaxing. Not too bad.

James’ Words

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James is adding more and more words to his vocabulary. He can now say kitty, thank you (ank u), baby and Jamesy (yamesy). Man, is it ever adorable! He sees a kitty and gets so excited and points and exclaims “kitty!” And if you hand a toy or sippy cup he responds with thank you. Hey, who taught him manners already! My little baby is becoming a big boy! You’ll see that in the pictures too. I worked on them last night and got about half way through. There is almost 400 to go through again. I need to download them off the camera more often! Anyway, I’ll finish going through them tonight and then get them uploaded for you. Not only can you see how the kids have grown but you’ll get to see 1) James cross-dressing as Cinderella thanks to Kris 2) Annika with her bright pink cast and 3) how much our garden has grown.

There are pictures from May 1st when we had most of our plants still in pots in the house. Around the middle of May we transplanted them outside and they have taken off! We have 9 broccoli plants (bought on a whim at Lowe’s – they came in a pack of 9 which is why we have so many) and they are overtaking the upper garden! Some of the broccoli heads are already 4+ inches in diameter! And our two tomato plants are two feet tall already and are producing tomatoes! We have one tomato about 1.5″ in diameter already. And we have 1 green, two red and two orange pepper plants. One of the red ones had a pepper on it 2 inches long! And our strawberry plant is out of control! Over the winter is spread from one little plant to a plant with a long tendril in the back of the garden. We probably have 15 strawberries growing on there right now, some 1″ in diamter already! We also have string bean plants 4′ high, green onions ready to be picked and a rhubarb plant so big it’s being evicted from the garden next year! That plant alone is taking up half our upper garden space. Kris plans on moving it to the corner of the house up by the garage. Our overcrowded little garden will sure appreciate that! I can’t wait to actually eat some of our produce!

Tuesday night the kids and I headed to Grandpa’s house for a visit. We had a great time and it was a beautiful evening. We walked all around Grandpa’s huge lawn looking at all his trees, shrubs, flowers, etc. We also checked out his garden back by the shed. His plants are looking better than ours. Ours are pretty beaten by the wind. Annika wanted to see what was in the shed so we walked back to the house and got the key. After exploring the shed we went inside to play for a little bit, coloring and playing with the toys in Grandpa’s toy closet. Before I knew it, it was 8:30pm and definitely time to go. Both kids were getting tired. Neither was ready to go of course. We assured Annika that she would see Grandpa again soon, maybe as early as this weekend. Jamesy you can’t reason with yet though. He pitched a fit when I put him in his car seat. He bucked and screamed and cried. Poor Jamesy. The boy was so tired though and fell asleep on the ride home.

Last night Jamesy kept trying to run away. Well, actually ride away. We have a few outdoor ride on toys and he kept getting on one, driving it down the driveway, turning onto the sidewalk and then riding it all the way down to the end, turning the corner and riding down that sidewalk. I had to chase after him 5 or 6 times. Eventually I’d carry him back to the house screaming. I don’t know why he was so intent on riding away but he sure was! The last time he rode down the street, Annika got on her bike and she joined me on my chase. She almost fell over once but after I showed her (again) how to use her brakes she was good to go and no longer required that I physically touch her at all times. She would ride ahead, circle back and ride behind us and come back again. When we rounded the corner of our street, she could see Ryan and Erin outside. She rode ahead and waved to Ryan then started coming back. Ryan started waving so I waved back at him. I told Annika to wave at Ryan and she told me she didn’t need to wave twice! Goofball. The kids came to the front to see us though and Maria and her sister in law joined them. Pretty soon the kids got a couple of their ride on toys from their backyard and joined us on the sidewalk. And they ended up walking us all the way back home too. It was almost bed time and again it was a struggle to get the kids inside so we could get in the bathtub. Jamesy walked on his own but Annika was so sad this time. She even exclaimed “But I want to play with my best friend!” We assured her that she could play with Ryan and Erin the next afternoon but that didn’t help to much. I ended up carrying her home and into the house. Thank goodness I had help with the two toys!

We are all set and booked for our New Mexico trip!  Our flight is booked, we have a hotel room and our car rental is reserved.  We should be set!  Grandpa, Krystle and I fly out Thursday the 24th and get back home Sunday the 27th.  Graduation is Friday afternoon and then Mathias doesn’t have any school commitments until Monday morning so we should get to see lots and lots of him!  Our flight on the 27th doesn’t come in until 10:40pm so I’m glad I was already planning on taking Monday off.  I’m going to need some baby time and Kris will most definitely need a break!  That reminds me, I need to talk to Kris to see if he’s going to take that Thursday and Friday off work or if he’s going to try and find people to watch the kids so he can go to work (and get a break).  I’m so excited to see Mathias though!  Last night as I was going through pictures I found the ones from our going away dinner.  That seems so long ago!  It makes me a little sad the kids aren’t coming with me.  It’s going to be an extra long time before they get to see Uncle Mathias again.  I hate that he’s living so far away!  I miss him!

Busy, Busy, Busy

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It was a pretty busy weekend and I want to capture some of it before I forget it all.

Saturday was garage sale day at our house. Krystle and I were having a one day sale. It turned out pretty well too! We made about $230 in one day! We had a steady stream of cars the whole day too. I think it helped that there was a ton of garage sales in our neighborhood and multiple signs on street corners directing people our way. We even had a white stretch limo stop at our house! About six ladies climbed out to go shopping. Can you imagine renting a limo to go garage saling? Silly. Even sillier was after they made their purchases (at full asking price – hey if you can come by limo then you don’t get to bargain with me!) they all piled back in the limo. As the chauffeur was closing the door one lady quickly handed him $5 and told him to grab that purse she had been eyeing. So the poor dejected limo driver comes walking up the driveway towards me with his $5 bill extended, saying he needs a black purse. I wasn’t sure which one that was (Krystle had about 7 black purses for sale!) but Krystle did and directed me to it. When I picked it up and handed it to him the woman yelled out of the car “That’s it!” It was hilarious. The kids thought it was awesome that Mommy was outside all day (Daddy was inside most of the day) so they could go in and out of the house about a million times. We played in between shoppers – ring around the rosie, chalk drawing on the driveway, riding the outside toys around the driveway. Annika was having a rough morning though. She tripped and fell three separate times. Her right shin was all scraped up from a cement step and her right knee she scraped up (and bled pretty good) and then fell again a few minutes later, tore up the bandaid covering it and re-opened the wound. After that I turned cartoons on inside for her and told her to sit still and rest for a little while. I didn’t want to end up at the hospital and at the rate she was going that’s where we were headed! Jamesy was just enjoying the outside. Every once in a while he’d take off for the back yard. I’d call inside to Kris and he’d head off after him. Jeanette even stopped by to check out the baby stuff. Of course a lot of what I have is gender specific and since Jeanette doesn’t know what she’s having she had to search a little bit. I think she found some good finds though and hopefully she does too! It was fun just chatting a little bit.

After the garage sale was over and we were mostly cleaned up we saw the neighbors out back. Ryan came walking across the backyard and played for a few minutes in our sandbox with the kids. Jeff, Maria and Erin came over too a few minutes later. Annika, the instigator, was trying to get Ryan to go back to his house with her even though all the adults were over at ours. Of course then we ended up at their house for the evening. The kids were having a great time too, especially playing in the water. They have a sand/water table for the kids to play in. James was completely soaked from head to toe – and with a huge grin on his face. Kris ran home and got him dry pants and a shirt and then when we sat down to eat, Annika dumped her cup of milk and most of it landed on Jamesy. He just couldn’t seem to stay dry! I ran home and grabbed another pair of pants for him.

Yesterday was, of course, Father’s Day. Jamesy woke up at 6:30am so I got up and brought him downstairs so Kris could sleep in some. We came back up at 8am, when Annika woke up, to get showered and ready to go. I tried to get the kids to wish Kris a Happy Father’s Day but they were both ultra crabby (hungry?) and were constantly having meltdowns all morning. Ugh. We had brunch reservations at 10am and Krystle and Pierce were coming to our house at 9:30am so we could drive together. Krystle and Pierce actually drove the kids over in our truck and Kris and I drove our motorcycles over.  That was fun!  Kris wanted me to go, go, go but I’m still pretty cautious when I’m cornering.  I just need more experience and then I’m fine.  I felt pretty comfortable though so I may consider driving my bike to work on those days that Brian and I don’t carpool.  It would save on gas money at least.  Brunch was really good too.  And both kids were so excited to see Grandpa.  After we were done eating and the kids were released from their seats, they both ended up on Grandpa’s lap.  Annika didn’t want to leave Grandpa and was sad getting into her car seat.  She even pleaded with him not to go when he kissed her good-bye.

We were home for a little while and then we headed to Uncle Dusty’s house for another Father’s Day celebration.  There Uncle Dusty was busy grilling up a superb meal for us.  Both kids fell asleep on the way there so they needed some wake up time before they were raring to go.  It wasn’t long though before Annika was crawling up on Papa’s lap for a snuggle.  Jamesy needed a little more Mama cuddle time before he was ready to go.  It didn’t take long though.  After lunch Melanie got out her wedding dress for a quick fitting.  Dusty and Melanie are getting married July 14th in Hawaii!  The dress is beautiful.  Dusty put his suit on too quickly for us.  They are going to look like a million bucks on the beach at their wedding.  I didn’t want Jamesy and his sticky baby fingers anywhere near the pretty white dress so I took him downstairs by Annika.  Dusty turned on a movie for her and the three of us spent most of the afternoon down there.  Jamesy was having fun climbing on and off the furniture, running and jumping on the pillows on the floor and opening and closing the door to the media room since it had a handle instead of a knob.  He had that door figured out in no time.  A few times he’d go upstairs for a bit and then he’d come back down by us.  by late afternoon, James was starting to melt down again.  He only had a brief, 30 minute nap on the way up and that was just not cutting it.  We headed for home and James slept almost the whole way again.  That wasn’t enough either and he still went to bed on time.  It was a busy weekend – but a good one too.

And now for the ying and yang of life.  I have some exciting news – my cousin Angie has announced her pregnancy!  Congratulations Angie!  And Michelle is still pregnant – farther along than she ever has been before.  Congratulations Michelle!  And Jeanette’s pregnancy is still going well and could have her baby any day!  We can’t wait Jeanette!

But with the good comes the bad, in this case the devastatingly bad.  My aunt and godmother Denise’s cancer has returned with a vengeance.  She’s not doing well at all but we’re all still holding out hope.  She’s weak and losing weight and miserable.  Please, please pray for her.  Pray for her doctors, that they know how to beat this cancer down too.  She’s too young for this – early 50′s – and she needs to beat this – for herself and for her family.

Empty House

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I came home from work last night and found an empty, quiet house. I didn’t know if everyone was upstairs sleeping or what. And it wasn’t until I was putting my lunch dishes in the sink to rinse that I saw Kris heading across the neighbor’s backyard with James in his arms. A-ha! The neighbors. That would have been the first place I looked. A minute later I started across the back yard, looked up and saw Annika standing in their sliding glass doorway. As soon as she saw me she yelled “Mommy!” and then sprinted out of the house and into my arms. I always love those greetings! We walked up to the house and it was eerily quiet. I looked through the house (love open floor plans that let you see the front door from the back of the house!) and saw everyone was congregated in the front where a moving van was pulling up to the front door. What!?! Turns out the neighbors were getting a piano and some other furniture delivered (hand me downs from Grandma – how perfect!) and Kris was over lending his muscle to the cause. As soon as Kris saw me, he handed James over so he could get to work. (Which of course James didn’t mind – I usually end up holding the boy for a while as soon as I get home each night.  The other night he wouldn’t let me put him down, not even to eat dinner.  He wanted to eat dinner while sitting on my lap.  Silly boy.)  And while he did the heavy work and Maria directed traffic, I helped watch the kids to make sure everyone was accounted for and not in anyone’s way. And after all the excitement was over Maria offered to order pizza as a thank you. Well, since we were just going to pop a frozen one into the oven for dinner anyway, we accepted. And then we stayed until 7:15pm. Um, overstay your welcome much? :) Kris left for work and the kids and I stayed to play. Annika was being little miss bossy, telling Ryan to come do this or play that. She was ordering him upstairs to play dress up (which I thought was hysterical) and he was saying no, let’s play baseball. I wonder how much longer they’ll play together before Annika migrates to Erin for all things girly. Anyway, Annika eventually convinced the poor boy to go upstairs with her (after some reminders from me that we do not order our friends around, we ask them to play with us) and they did play dress up later in the evening. I wonder where she gets her bossiness from – it certainly couldn’t be me! :) All the kids had a good time though and there was some kicking and screaming and crying from both of them as I picked them up and carried both of them home. I am She-Ra because they are heavy! That’s like (let’s see 37 plus 27) 64 pounds of squirming kid I was carrying! All was better a short time later though when I poured the bubble bath into the bath water. We rarely do bubble baths and I don’t know if James has ever been in one. They both had a great time playing with the bubbles.  Annika especially liked piling the bubbles onto James’ head, shoulders, back, etc.  He didn’t mind and giggled through most of it.  Then Annika gave herself a bubble beard.  The end.

New Mexico and the garage sale

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Krystle, Dad and I are most likely traveling to New Mexico at the end of July.  Why?  To attend Mathias’s border patrol graduation!  I’m super SUPER excited to see him.  We have our hotel.  Now we need confirmation from Mathias that he has graduation tickets for us and then we need to book the flight(s) and car rental.  While I can’t wait to see Mathias, I’m already dreading leaving my babies.  If we leave on Thursday (Graduation is on a Friday) and come back on Saturday or most likely Sunday, that will be the longest that I’ll have been away from Annika and James.  I know I’m a big baby, but I’m stressing already about leaving them.  So much so that I think I’ll take that Monday off work after I come back just to be with them.  I have vacation time so why not use it?  I’m sure Kris will appreciate having me there to help with the kids that day too since he’ll be single parenting that whole time I’m gone.

Krystle and I are having a one day garage sale on Saturday so this week has been and will be super busy in the evenings getting ready for that.  I’m going through all my children’s outgrown clothing and scouring the basement and closets looking for  junk unused treasures to sell.  So far I have quite the pile.  It’s Kris’ job this week to go through the toys and decide what there to get rid of.  We’re getting overrun with toys.  It’s definitely time to cut down.  I have a hard time with that though so that’s why it’s his job.  If it were me, I’d find a better way to organize everything and then keep it all!  I’m much better at getting rid of my clutter.  I wonder why that is…

And she does not dance…

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Saturday was Annika’s dance recital.  It was in the dance studio and was actually quite small.  Only hers and one other class and they each performed their dances two times.  My poor baby.  She is so shy.  On our way there she told me she wanted me to only watch her through the window, not be in the same room.  I knew this was not going to go well.  When they brought her class in she walked to her spot and sat down.  She was supposed to be standing.  She stood up before the song started and then she stood there the whole time, not dancing, not moving a muscle and looking completely miserable.  She did the same thing the second time through.  Then all the girls sat down in their spots and one by one they were called over to the teacher and dance studio owner to receive a little medal and certificate.  When Annika’s name was called she reluctantly stood up and drug her feet while she pouted and slowly walked over to the teacher.  Then she slowly walked back to her spot and sat down.  She was completely mortified and it didn’t help that everyone (I admit, including me) snickered and laughed as she did her pouty walk.  It was adorable but I also felt so bad for her.  I hope she outgrows this shyness soon.  I don’t want her to be miserable at stuff like this!  After the recital I talked with her a little bit.  She still maintains she likes dance class (and she does, she participates and has fun in the class itself) but she didn’t want to dance in front of everybody.  I asked her if she wanted to do dance again next year or gymnastics.  She said gymnastics.  I’m leaning that way myself as well.  I’m sure enrollment is open already for both (I know it is for dance) but I think we’ll wait a few weeks/month to make a final decision.  There’s just not a lot else for activities for young kids that are active.  We might try soccer next spring/summer but for now we still need more individualized activities for her.  I’ve been debating what non-physical activities we could start her in.  I’ve wondered if she wouldn’t like piano lessons.  She loves music and dancing around the house.  I may look into that for this fall maybe too.

This fall we’re also going to enroll James into ECFE classes.  He hasn’t gone to any yet but I think he’d enjoy them now that he’s getting a little older.  He can’t just hang out with his sister everyday!  That has to get boring, playing with the same toys and same sister every single day.  Since ECFE classes for kids his age are in the mornings, we’ll have to put Annika in sibling care through ECFE.  She’ll be in afternoon preschool this fall.  I’m sure she’ll love that though.  She loves playing with other kids.

Yesterday Annika and I joined Robyn and Jessie and Michelle and Brianna at the Build-a-Bear Workshop.  We were there celebrating Jessie’s 4th birthday.  It was Annika’s first time there but she picked up pretty quick on what we were doing.  Of course she picked out the pink teddy bear with white hearts to stuff.  All three girls were acting shy though and wouldn’t step on the pedal to run the stuffing machine.  They just stood back and watched (Annika while holding onto my leg and hiding behind my skirt).  Then we went to the teddy bear bath tub and “washed” them off with air and a brush to fluff them up.  Then it was on to the fun part.  We were the first to arrive so Annika had gone through the entire store and looked at all the clothes and accessories before we started.  So when it was time to pick out her outfit for her bear she knew exactly what she wanted.  She ran over to the Hannah Montana (she has no idea who that is by the way) and picked out a white belly shirt with sequins and hot pink sparkly pants with fur trim and peep toe black pumps.  It also came with a microphone which is really what she was after.  I was, of course, horrified by the choice (Kris would have killed me if we had come home with that one) but I didn’t say anything.  After all, it’s her bear and if that’s the outfit she wants, so be it.  But a minute later she changed her mind and went to the Disney display and picked out a Cinderella Dress with “glass” slippers (see through plastic).  Much better.  We dressed her bear and then went to create her bear’s “birth certificate”.  Annika named her bear Cinderella (of course!).  Jessie and Brianna both made pink leopards with black spots and both had girly outfits too.  Jessie’s had a white dress and Brianna’s had a hot pink hello kitty tee with a white jean skirt.  Watch for pictures this week.


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I forgot to tell you last night – I was almost hit by lightning yesterday!!  No, I’m not kidding.  Brian (my carpooling coworker) and I were driving home, about 10 miles from home when lightning struck a power pole approximately 30 yards to our right.  It was so loud and so bright and we both jumped out of our seats.  Our hearts were beating so hard and fast.  It took a few minutes for us to calm down.  All I remember seeing is a large flash and then the transformers at the top of the power pole exploded so there were sparks flying everywhere.  I called Kris a few minutes later to let him know we were late due to traffic and then I told him about the lightning.  His response?  Good thing you were in the car and not on top of the power pole.  Good grief!  His nonchalantness can drive me batty sometimes. :)   YOUR WIFE WAS 30 YARDS FROM A LIGHTNING STRIKE AND YOU’RE COMPLETELY NONCHALANT?  Silly boy.