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Again with the sick!  The last two nights have been torture for poor Jamesy.  He’s been up and down all night long.  That of course means Kris and I have too so let’s just say we’re a little tired.  Last night it was clear that James’ left ear is bothering him so back again to the doctor he went this morning.  This time we have stronger antibiotics and some ear drops and hopefully we can kick this to the curb for good.  Poor boy fell asleep driving home and is taking a morning nap.  Unusual for him, that’s for sure.  He sure needs it though.  I wish I could join him. I did love snuggling up sleeping with him last night. Well, until he woke up inconsolable. Over and over again.

We had a low key weekend.  Saturday the kids only left the house so Kris and I could do a hand off.  Kris went to the new Minnesota Machine try-outs.  The Machine are a new women’s football team and his friends are coaching.  Kris will probably be involved as much as his work schedule allows – maybe helping at some Saturday practices and games?  TBD at this point.  I’m sure he loved just being around the game again though.  Then I had a blood donation appointment so we met at the donation site and did the kid hand off.  Big day for them.  Ha.

Sunday after church Nana and Papa called and asked if we’d like to join them for an Ikea trip.  Since Ikea is always an adventure, and we didn’t have anything else planned, we joined them.  I’m proud of us for not buying anything (um, except for some $1 frozen yogurt cones – we’re frugal but not saints people!) since there’s really nothing we need right now.  I can always find plenty of things I want in that store though!  After the shopping trip Nana and Papa came to our house for a visit.  They played and read books with the kids and the kids had a great time.

Last night we had Annika’s 2nd parent teacher conference for the year.  Our girl is still brilliant.  She aced every question on the form.  (Except for her address and phone number – we should probably work on that) She can cut out shapes on a line, count, knows all her letters, numbers, shapes, etc.  She’s even starting to read, sounding out simple 3 and 4 letter words.  But, she’s still as shy as can be.  Well, I take that back.  When she’s playing with the kids she’s completely fine and she will now talk one on one with her teacher.  However, you put her in a big group situation and she still clams up completely.  We brainstormed a few ideas to help her through this (you know, bribery, threats, trickery, etc.) and I’ll probably look into a couple books on the subject too.  We found out that if we stay at that school for one more year of preschool then more than likely she’ll have a different teacher.  Kris and I have to decide where and how many days she’s going to school next year.

Mathias is coming home – tomorrow! I’m super excited. I’m taking off Thursday, Friday and Monday (well at least parts of each day thanks to the wonders of technology and my ability to work from home) to spend with him. I think we might go skiing/snowboarding one day and I’m sure there will be some snowmobiling going on as well. In the evenings I foresee some family game nights sitting around the dining room table. I can’t wait.

Sunday we’re having James’ 2nd birthday party. Jamesy turns 2 next week! NEXT WEEK! I can’t believe my baby is two. It’s awesome Mathias will be home since he’s James’ godfather. Perfect timing Mathias! Anyway, that reminds me. I need to go order a cake! Off to do that now.

Stop Copying Me!

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Wednesday night on the way home from gymnastics this is what I hear coming from the backseat:  “Jamesy, stop copying me!”  Oh, this is something new!  How fun!  I told Annika that Jamesy wants to be just like her and is still growing and learning and etc. etc. but she still insists that he not copy her.  This is like some childhood sibling rite of passage, right?  What do you do to knock out the copying issue?

Auntie Krystle came over Wednesday night.  A special mid week treat!  There was a purpose for the visit though – flower girl dress and ring bearer suit!  Both arrived by mail that day and we had to have a little fashion show!  James’ suit is absolutely adroable!  He was so excited to put it on and it fits him pretty well already (just a bit too big) and he still has 6 months to grow into it.  I think it’ll be perfect.  The only problem is the waist on the pants is too big.  Unfortunatley they only have elastic in them and not the adjustable waist.  We may have to take them in a bit.

Annika’s dress on the other hand will need a bit of altering.  It’s completely adorable but also way too big.  My choices for her were a size 4 or a size 6.  She’s growing out of size 4′s at a rapid pace (all pants too short, most shirts too short) so I orderd her a 6.  Well, that’s way too big of course!  She’s firmly in a size 5 right now.  So, we’ll need either Gramme and Nana to come to our rescue and help us alter the dress.  There’s enough seams everywhere that I think it can be done, with a bit of work.  Time to start asking the grandma’s for help!  I think we can wait until maybe May/June to alter it though since the wedding is in July?

Last night the kids went to Gramme’s house for a little while.  Kris and I had to go to Marcia’s mom’s memorial service.  They had a great time.  Annika didn’t want to come home.  She wanted to stay over night.  I told her she had to come home because she had school today.  Her response was “Oh man!”.  Anyway the kids had fun playing hide and go seek and eating snacks (apple sauce and crackers).  When we arrived to pick them up Jamesy greeted us at the door with hugs and kisses and then had to tell me all about his snacks.  Annika however was too busy for us.  Typical.  Gramme sent them home with goody bags (more snacks – apple sauce, crackers and a banana) which the kids loved.  They even got to color on their brown paper bags before filling them.  Annika had to know at all times on the way home where her bag was.  And even though she fell asleep when she woke up in the house she demanded to know where her bag was.  Let’s just say the bags were a big hit.  I’m sure the contents were eaten for breakfast this morning.

At Last

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Did you watch the inauguration coverage yesterday?  I was at work, very busy, meetings, meetings, meetings all day long, even through lunch so I’ve barely seen any of it.  I’ve seen a few pictures on the internet (had to check out the fashion you know!) but that’s it.  We have it recorded on the DVR at home so I’ll have to take some time this week to watch it.  I also want to find a transcript of the speech too.  Anyone else love the song choice for the first couple’s first dance?  At Last by Etta James.  Beautiful song.  I’m not so sure about Beyonce singing it though…

Monday night after Kris left for work the kids and I got on our exercise gear and we Shredded it with Jillian Michaels.  There is nothing cuter or more hilarious then me and the kids in the living room during our arm swings as a warm up.  Jamesy got distracted shortly after and wandered off to play with trucks and tractors.  Annika stuck with me though for most of the workout.  Seeing her jump around doing her version of jumping jacks and running in place was hilarious.  And when she told me to scoot over on the area rug so she could get down and do her crunches too?  Well, I moved over.  And then giggled.  We won’t be able to exercise together tonight (gymnastics) or tomorrow night (memorial service) but maybe Friday we can work up a sweat together again.  I’ll just have to get off my butt these next two nights and Shred it after they go to bed.

Lovely Weekend

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Well, yes I did have a lovely weekend.  How about you?  Yes, we all are feeling better.  Poor Nika though – all her coughing has left her with a strained muscle on her right chest side.  Every once in a while she’ll scream out in pain.  It’s not an appendicitis, just probably a muscle strain.  Hopefully that heals soon.  No, it was a lovely weekend because the kids were at Nana and Papa’s house.  Does anyone else have conflicting emotions sending their kids away?  I knew that Kris and I needed a break.  We rarely have a babysitter and I know in my head that we all need a break once in a while and no, going to work doesn’t count.  Still though.  I hate sending them away.  I WANT them with me all the time.  Even if they are at times whining and crying and fighting, etc.  I still want to rock James to sleep and cuddle with Nika and just be with them.  But I knew Kris needed the break.  So, he took them down on Saturday and we picked them up yesterday.  And of course they had a fabulous time.  I knew they would.  They adore Nana and Papa and always love going to the farm.  The first thing Annika said to me Saturday morning was “We need to pack my bag.”  Not good morning, I love you, where’s breakfast – no.  And when Kris dropped the kids off Annika told him to leave – no good-bye, I’ll miss you – just leave.  So, yes.  The kids may have needed/wanted the break too.  They slept well (well, Jamesy did – Annika woke up with her side hurting), ate well, played well.  They had fun.  Kris and I did too.  We watched movies lounging on the couch, we worked out, we went out to dinner, we went shopping.  We talked and laughed and enjoyed each other.  It was good for us too.  I still get conflicted though.  Everything about the weekend was good.  Why am I so conflicted?

Saturday while Kris was dropping the kids off, I was heading out with Gramme and Auntie Krystle.  We went to Rochester and picked up Krystle’s wedding dress.  It’s gorgeous.  She’s gorgeous in it.  And it fits her perfectly!!  She may need a tiny bit of hemming but otherwise she’ll be good to go.  The roads to and from Rochester were not so good though.  We had trusty Krystle at the helm though and with some slow(er) driving we made it there and back just fine.  We counted at least seven vehicles in the ditch and it was drifting and blowing snow pretty badly in some parts.  Ah, Minnesota.  Gotta love it.

Yesterday we went to Kris’ grandparents house to pick up the kids.  Nana and Papa took the kids there for a visit after James’ nap.  We had plans to visit with Great Grandma and Grandpa during our Christmas break but that’s when The Sick took over and we cancelled.  We do not need to be getting the 80+ year old grandparents sick!  Yesterday’s visit was nice though.  The kids got some really nice presents, as did Kris and I and it’s always nice to visit with them.  The kids even warmed up enough (especially Annika) that we were able to get some pictures too.  It’s important to me to always get pictures with the great grandparents whenever we see them.  And the best part?  Jamesy practically flew into my lap when I walked into the living room and sat down on the floor.  And Annika spent some time in my lap too cuddling after initially being “too busy” to say hello or give me a kiss.  I was glad to have them back.  Even if James did spend almost the whole hour and a half car ride home whining and crying.  I think he just wanted me to hold him.  I wanted him to please, please be quiet.  As soon as we got home though he asked to rock so I took him upstairs, got him ready for bed and then we sat in the rocking chair and rocked.  He was out in less than 30 seconds.  I stayed for 5 minutes, just rocking that sweet little boy.

I can’t wait to get home tonight to play with them some more.  I envision tea parties and puzzles in my future.

And up again

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So, we should be on an upswing now.  I know you’re tired of the whining about being sick and I’m tired of whining about it.  We should be putting that behind us now though.  I brought the kids back to the doctor today if only because James came down with a nasty case of pink eye (which he was nice enough to share with Kris and I) and I thought that if I was bringing him in then I might as well bring Annika in too just to get this lingering cough checked out.  Guess what!  Annika has pneumonia in her left lung and an ear infection!  And James has an ear infection to go with his pink eye!  Well, how about that!  Score!  We did, in fact, score some antibiotics and some eye drops and maybe now we can get back to life as normal complete with school and being let out of the house.

Sunday, in an attempt to not completely turn into my mother, and to get the kids out of the house for the first time in a week, we went to the mall.  And cut Annika’s hair. Up to her chin. You can see pictures to the left.

And 3, 2, 1 – Hi Mom! Thanks for calling!

OK, you see, growing up I was not allowed to cut my hair. I had to have long hair. And to this day I haven’t cut my hair shorter than my shoulders. I now have to have long hair. So when Annika started talking about wanting to cut her hair a couple months ago, I stalled. And then I decided why not? It’s only hair right? So Sunday we did it. She really likes it. Me? I’m stilling getting used to it. It’s a little too short for me. Maybe we can go back to shoulder length but if not, if she wants it this short, then that’s OK too. *exhale* (I know. I know it’s not a big deal to cut your hair. It’s still an anxiety producing situation for me. OK? THANKS MOM!)

Tonight Annika was sitting on my lap and she told me that when she is grown up and a mommy that she knows what she’s going to name her little baby boy. I asked what that name was going to be and she said Rudy. And then I asked if she had a little girl name picked out too and she said Julia. Not bad choices little girl.

Jamesy has just started telling us that he loves us. Sure, he’s been saying yes when we ask if he loves us but just in the last week has he been actually saying it. I love you mommy. Ah, melt! And then he has to hug and kiss and well, I’m a puddle. What really put it over the top though was when he added “so much” to the end of his I love you mommy. You too baby boy. I love you so much too.

The house of sick

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Guess what.  Yep, they’re still sick.  I seriously want to take them back to the doctor.  Is it strep?  Ear infections?  Mono?  What?  Kris is all like dude, settle down, they did a blood test after all and couldn’t find anything wrong with them.  Yes, she checked their ears, lungs, etc.  SETTLE DOWN.  Still.  They’re still sick.  They’ll show signs of improvement and then go back downhill to the whiny, clingy, sad awfulness of how they feel.  Poor kids.

Even better is that now I’m sick too!  Whee!  It started coming on yesterday afternoon and this morning I woke up with full body aches (from my fingertips to my toes – have you every had your fingertips ache?  very weird sensation), a sore throat and lymph nodes the size of golf balls in my throat.  Wonderful.  You’ve been warned.  Come within 50 feet of the house and you have to wear a gas mask.

So, yeah.  Not much going on this week.  The kids haven’t left the house since Monday.  Annika missed her entire first week back at school.  I’m looking forward to a great weekend and that’s about it!  How are you all doing?

Sicko Kiddos

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The kids are sick.  Both of them.  Doc says it’s just a bad cold – vital and not bacterial in nature.  I’d almost have preferred bacterial so I could get them some antibiotics and get them better.  Not the case this time.  It rarely is though.  I’m lucky they’ve had so few antibiotics needed.  Whatever.  They’re sick.  Colds with fevers and hacking wet coughs, noses like running faucets.  They’ve been a joy – a clingy, cranky joy.  And clingy cranyky joys do not sleep very well either.  I should really not be writing right now but sleeping as to get in as many precious minutes as possible before the next waking (James has already been up once and he’s only been asleep an hour and a half).  Instead, I’m blogging.  Wasting time.  Imagine that.

Potty training update – there is no update.  We half heartedly attempted it a few times but James is just not ready.  He knows how to do both on the potty but he’s not ready yet to tell us on a consistent basis that he has to go.  He has no problems just going in his diaper.  And really, I’m not going to force the issue.  He has big boy underpants now and if he wants to wear them he knows he has to go in the potty.  We’ll wait a little while and try again.

I’m back at work now after my two week Christmas break.  The break was heavenly.  We didn’t have much planned other than Christmas family parties.  We mainly stuck close to home and got a lot of chores done (closets cleaned and contents donated, shelves hung in laundry room, office area cleaned and papers filed, etc.).  It was great because Kris was off most of the days too so we really got some great family time in.  I was a little depressed yesterday that I had to go back.  I wasn’t the only one – a lot of people at work said the same thing.  We’re all getting back into our routines though (well, the kids will when they get over being sick and can go back to school) and that’s a good thing.  I guess.

Hey – did you know I was a drummer?  Well, a fake drummer anyway.  We got Guitar Hero World Tour on our break and we’ve played it a few times now.  I’m not much into the guitar but I can play drums all day long!  Amanda and Dean came over on Friday night for some World Tour fun.  Amanda is a singer and a drummer too – a good one!  And Dean rules at bass.  Kris sings and plays guitar.  We had a regular rock bank right in our living room.  The kids thought it was fun, until they got tired.  I knew they weren’t going to bed quietly so I held them both on my lap in the recliner and started rocking.  Annika was out within minutes.  James kept craning his neck to see the tv.  After a while I asked James if he wanted to go upstairs and rock (meaning rock to sleep in his room) and he said yes so Kris carried Annika upstairs and I put James to bed.  Then we continued to rock the night away.  Until after midnight when Annika woke up crying (the sickness coming upon us), we all realized we were tired and we put away our instruments.  It was fun!  Well, not the crying sick child part – but the rest was fun!

Saturday morning I was a bathroom cleaning machine.  And just as I finished Grandpa Dan and Marcia arrived for a surprise visit!  What a treat!  Too bad I looked like a total wreck!  Ah well.  The kids were excited to see them.  Annika raced down the stairs and to the door to greet them.  Jamesy raced too but at his own pace.  He came in last in the race to the door.  Marcia had brought the kids a new book which they both thought was great.  They insisted that Grandpa read it to them several times with both of them on his lap in the recliner.  We ended up going out for lunch together (complete with yummy chocolate cake dessert – yum!) and then shopping together at Lowe’s.  We both needed to go there, for different home projects, and it was right across the street from the restaurant.  The kids thought it was great that we kept finding Grandpa and Marcia in the store and each time we went our separate ways they would ask to find them again.  Finally we said our good-byes and headed home.  Jamesy needed a nap in a big way.  Um, so did Mama.

And thus concludes the family update for today.  I hear Kris walking through the door, just getting home from work.  I’m going to go say hi then get into my workout gear for a quick 20 minute Shred and then get to bed before a(nother) child wakes up.  Damn colds.