Lent Pledge

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OK, my posting over here has been dismal lately. Once a week posting is just not enough to capture all the cute things the kids say and do and our experiences. I end up losing details that I want to keep. So, in an effort to improve myself this Lenten season, I’m going to pledge to Him, to you, and to myself to post here a minimum of 3 times per week. I want to do this so my kids have this history of their childhoods. I think it would be awesome to go back and know what my own parents were thinking and some of the things we did that I don’t remember when I was growing up, don’t you?

OK, so last weekend. Let’s start there. Saturday was fairly low key. Kris had football practice. While he was gone the kids and I ate lunch and then I put Jamesy down for a nap. Annika was playing on the computer in our room so I laid down and took a nap too. Shortly after that Kris got home and Papa came over. I was exhausted that day (just run down and needed to recharge) so I put in some earplugs, closed the bedroom door and slept for two hours! Heaven! When I woke up Kris asked me why I didn’t hear Jamesy banging on his bedroom door when he woke up from his nap. Um, earplugs. So, why was Jamesy banging on his door? Because he had crawled out of his crib (again) but couldn’t open the closed door. Jamesy’s been crawling out of his crib more and more lately. Tuesday Kris switched the crib into a toddler bed. Now James can get in and out without the safety hazard of the climbing. It’s been working great so far! He goes to sleep just as good as before, he’s not falling out of bed (we do have his toybox shoved up against the side though) and he’s still sleeping through the night (mostly). Yay!

Saturday night Kris and Annika got all dolled up and went to their first Daddy/Daughter dance! How precious! I got a couple great pics before they left. I’ll try and post those soon. Both said they had a good time at the dance too. First they ate dinner, then they had their picture taken and then they danced the rest of the night. Well, dancing is relative. Basically Kris twirled Annika in a circle for however long she could stand it. Still, fun was had by all.

Sunday after church Grandpa Dan and Marcia met us at our house and as soon as the kids were done eating lunch we all headed down to St. Paul to the Children’s Museum. So fun! We spent about 3 hours there, letting the kids play and explore and climb in each of the rooms. I think the highlight was the earth room with the caves and tunnels to climb in and through. By 4:30 or so I was tired and hungry and forced everyone to leave. OK, so we were all pretty much done with the museum. I think Annika would have stayed longer but neither she nor James put up any resistance to the idea of leaving and going to a restaurant for dinner. It’s too bad the museum is so far from our house. I think we’d go more often or buy a family pass if it wasn’t such a haul to get there. We’ll have to make the trip again some time though. It was fun!

And this week has been just one blur of routine busyness. There’s been meetings, gymnastics, playing, fighting and all other stuff in between. Hopefully I can be back soon with some actual stories of cuteness.


Valentine’s Weekend

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Last Thursday night Krystle, the kids and I headed to our local Target and we had James’ 2 year pictures taken. They turned out so cute! And Annika was a little ham the entire time so we got some cute pictures of the two of them together. Now, do you realize what I just said? Annika was not shy in public! She vamped it up with the best of them for those pictures! With a photographer we’ve never had before! I was completely amazed. I can’t wait to pick up the pictures next Monday, the 23rd. Very, very cute!

So, did you all have a nice Valentine’s Day? Kris and I made it a Valentine’s Weekend instead. Saturday while Kris was off at football practice I dropped off the kids with Nana and Papa. We met at a restaurant where both kids proceeded to charm the pants off us. Sometimes they are so cute I just want to squish ‘em. Jamesy was playing tic-tac-toe with Nana and Papa and each time they’d finish a game, James would throw his arms into the air and exclaim “I win!” And Annika needed some mommy time so she was snuggly on my lap a few times.

After I left them it was time to run a few errands, take a nap (a blissful, quiet nap!) and then get ready for dinner! Kris had made reservations for us at a new restaurant we hadn’t tried before – The Whitney Bistro. We had the Valentine’s special 5 course meal and it was very good! Then we came home, watched Wanted and shared a bottle of wine. Then I fell asleep on the couch while Kris watched his recorded Day 1 of the Tour of California. We are party animals!! Sunday we slept in, went to church and then went shopping. Shopping with no kids in tow is heavenly by the way. You know, just in case you didn’t already know that! We stopped at sports stores (got some more workout and race gear), a book store, had lunch and then went to the Mall of America. I told Kris that he had to take me to a girl movie because the last movie we saw in the theater was a boy movie and it was my turn. Heh. So we saw He’s Just Not That Into You. I thought it was cute. Kris laughed out loud a few times. Perfect for a Sunday matinee costing us $10 total.

Then it was time to get my babies back! It was 7pm by the time we made it down to Nana and Papa’s house. The kids were already in their pj’s and everything! They were both happy to see us. Jamesy had to run over and big us both big hugs and kisses. Annika was busy, ya know, so we only got smiles. She was busy playing paper dolls with Nana. I think they both were in heaven with that one. So while Annika played that, Jamesy and I were busy kissing and flipping and hugging. First I’d throw him into the air then he’d kiss and hug me. Then we’d repeat over and over. Then I would flip him over from my lap onto the floor. He’d want up again, give me a kiss and hug and then flip again. Pretty soon he just couldn’t contain himself and he just spun in circles in the middle of the living room. Annika took a break from paper dolls long enough to tell me that she was sad I was gone and that she wanted to come home that night. Of course when it was time to leave she was in tears. Silly girl. I assured her that Nana and the paper dolls would both be going on vacation with us in two weeks (annual trip to Breezy Point is coming up!) and that seemed to make her feel a little better. Kris’ promise of play time today with other kids (play time at the community center gym this morning) helped tremendously too. It was a great weekend though. The kids got to see Great Grandpa and Grandma both days (Kris and I missed Great G&G, but oh well) and they were spoiled rotten, of course! (new bath toys, country western gear, cinnamon rolls, cupcakes, and of course lots of love and affection – who could ask for more??!)

Annika had a cold (again). Poor kid has a red nose (hopefully the Aquaphor will help that) and woke up last night telling me her stomach hurt. Not sure what that is all about but we’ll keep an eye on her. There’s always something, right?


Milestone Achieved

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Another parenting milestone has been achieved. Tonight, for the first time ever, Annika told me she hated me. And then I almost cried. The end.

OK, so we’re sitting down to dinner and Annika asks to do something which I don’t even remember what. I tell her no and she responds by tentatively saying “I hate you.” (I wonder where she got that from!) I can’t believe those words came out of her mouth! Kris asks her to repeat what she just said – I don’t think he could believe it either. She did and then she immediately got a time out. So now she’s crying and Kris is telling her that we don’t talk like that in this house, that’s not OK to say, etc. She’s keeps carrying on so now she’s in her room where she can wail without disturbing the rest of us. A few minutes later she comes back downstairs and Kris talks with her about what she said and why it’s not OK.

No worries. We ended the evening by dancing around the living room. I had recorded the Grammy’s last night and we watched and danced to all the performances. Annika was even trying out some new dance moves and I had to approve of each one for her, telling her how awesome she was doing. And Jamesy? Well, Jamesy’s version of dancing is me holding him with his head on my shoulder and his arms wrapped around me. Now that is dancing. So Jamesy and I cuddle-danced and Annika twirled and shook and shimmied around us. See – she doesn’t really hate me. Yet.


Two!

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Wow, it’s been a busy week! There’s so much to write down and share. First things first:

My baby boy is two!

Thursday was James’ 2nd birthday. He celebrated by proclaiming he is three. If you ask him how old he is, he’ll say three. Then we’ll correct him and he’ll tell you he’s two. He’s so excited about that three though! It was a pretty non-descript day though. I went to work. Kris and the kids did whatever it is they do on any random Thursday. When I got home I sang “Happy Birthday” to the boy (and girl) and we played for a bit. (Our game was who can kiss Mommy the most – love that game! We also played slide down Mommy’s legs while she sits on the bed and tickle torture – classic games, right!) Then we went out to dinner and back home for some leftover cake. Annika was pretty upset that Daddy had to go to work since then he couldn’t have cake with us. She also thought we were going to have a party and was disappointed when I told her we weren’t.

Friday was James’ 2 year well child check up. My boy weighed in at 29 pounds (65%), 36 inches (90%) and a head circumference of 18.9 cm (33%). James is following his normal growth curve – tall, skinny and with a small head. Heh. Good thing he’s packed so many brains into that small head! So, if you do the rough estimation of doubling their height at 2 years, then James is going to be 6 feet tall as an adult. Yay! As long as he’s taller than me (preferably as tall or taller than Kris who is around 5’10″) then I’d be happy. Not sure why it’s so important to me that he’s tall. Maybe because my mom stressed over Mathias’ height when we were little? Mathias has turned out just fine, why wouldn’t James? Weird. I am so weird.

OK, so Jamesy did get a party, it was just last Sunday. And now – back to last weekend!

Mathias came home last week Wednesday. I took off Thursday, Friday and Monday to spend time with him. Thursday morning he came over to our house, as did Krystle, and we played Wii Guitar Hero World Tour. Mathias is also a drummer! Kris played guitar and I, of course, took pictures. I’ll be uploading those this weekend. Then for lunch we asked Mathias if there was any place special that he wanted to go, any place that we have up here that they don’t have down there in Mexico. He chose Culver’s. Really? Culver’s? OK. Off to Culver’s we went with Annika. Kris stayed home since Jamesy was already taking his nap. After lunch we went to Target so Krystle and Mathias could buy birthday presents for Jamesy. Boy, can Mathias be indecisive sometimes! It took him forever to pick out what he was getting. I have to say though that he made some good choices. Those gross frog and dinosaur toys are a big hit. Annika proclaimed them her favorite of all James’ gifts. After Target we went back to our house and played some Apples to Apples. That game sure is fun! Mathias left to go have dinner with Gramme that night and shortly after he left, Grandpa and Marcia arrived! They stayed to have dinner with us (hmm, delivered pizza). After a couple hours of play with the kids (books, puzzles mainly) they headed home.

Friday morning was so much fun! We went to Grandpa and Marcia’s house (boo for Grandpa having to work that morning!) and went sledding and snowmobiling for about an hour that morning. Good thing they live in the country and have lots of toys! They have this really long plastic sled so Kris was able to get both kids and himself in it before barreling down the hill. It was a perfect hill too, not too high so the kids were scared but high enough that you got a bit of speed going and went pretty far. We also got out Grandpa’s two snowmobiles and the rest of us (Mathias, Krystle and myself) tooled around the rolling hills behind Grandpa’s house. I did go sliding with the kids once but otherwise Kris did all of that. And then the kids got cold so we all went in. Time for juice and snacks! And then home so Annika could go to school that afternoon. After she was off and James was asleep, I headed out with Grandpa, Mathias and Krystle so we could go suit shopping. The boys needed new black suits for Krystle’s wedding this summer. Mathias found a very nice one and got himself all hooked up with the jacket, pants and even two pairs of shoes and a belt! The sales lady loved him I’m sure. Mathias took off after shopping because he scored a free ticket to the Timberwolves game that night thanks to some friends of his. Then he was going to Alex for a couple days. No problem. The rest of us consoled ourselves by going out to dinner. Hey, we had buy one get one free coupons for Ruby Tuesday! It was like almost free! I love how by the end of every meal both kids are sitting on Grandpa’s lap. They always start out in their own seats but the never stay there for long!

Saturday was cleaning day. We had to prep for James’ party! We also had some fun too. Kris went to another round of Machine try outs. I never hear much about them. I’m sure they’re fun and interesting and funny things happen or amazing things or whatever. I’ll have to make it to some games this spring to see them in action! I always remind Kris that Dan says I could be on his team any time. Heh. And when Kris got home I took off with Amanda and we went to the CAbi spring preview! Are you a CAbi addict like I am? The spring line has some tremendous pieces in it. Pieces I’m drooling over and want in my closet ASAP. So, I’ve booked a spring show. April 3rd – 7pm – my house – BE THERE! I haven’t had my own show in a couple seasons (I let Krystle have one at my house last fall and was able to use a half price item or two of hers so now it’s my turn!) so I’m excited! Saturday night was more cleaning, grocery shopping and present wrapping. Busy day!

Sunday was even busier though! After church that morning we raced home to put James down for a nap and then we finished making food and cleaning the house. We were all ready to go at 3pm when James’ guests started showing up. It was a great turn out – Jamesy sure is loved! We played for a little while until Nana and Papa could make it (Nana had to work until 3pm). Then we sang happy birthday, blew out the candles (Jamesy tried to blow them out – so cute! – but couldn’t so Mama secretly helped – he would have been so mad if he’d known I was blowing too!) and ate cake. Jamesy and Annika ate mostly frosting but oh well. James had a Thomas the train cake and it was absolutely adorable! There was even a train on the cake that he can now play with and boy is he. After cake someone asked if it was time to open presents. Well, I have never seen that little boy move as fast! He got down off his chair and ran to the huge pile of presents as fast as his little legs would let him. Seriously he was hauling.

Jamesy received some great gifts – books, puzzle, bubble mower, suitcase (for visiting the grandparents!), gross feeling frog and dinosaur, cars, trucks, trains, baseball tee set, train table, clothes – the list goes on. SPOILED! He was an awesome little present opener too. He opened them all by himself with maybe a little help from Mama to get them started.

After the presents were opened it was time for a couple guests to go home (we loved having Gramme and Great Grandma there though!) but the rest of us stayed and watched the Super bowl together. We had awesome chili courtesy of Marcia plus all the wonderful party food (yummy dips from Krystle and Nana). At half time Nana and Papa and Uncle Dusty had to leave. The kids were sad to see them go but, of course, then got distracted by those guests still left. Grandpa, Marcia, Krystle, Pierce, Mathias and us all sat down to play a game of Apples and Apples while the Super Bowl was on in the background. Pretty soon Jamesy melted down (all the excitement and energy just wore him right out) so I put him to bed. Not long after the game was over, everyone headed out. We had one more child to put to bed and then there was more fun to be had the next day!

Monday morning we went back over to Grandpa and Marcia’s house as did Krystle. The morning was pretty low key. We watched the military channel on DirecTV (didn’t even know there was one!) and I was able to share some tidbits about what I do at work. Everybody’s eyes just glaze over when I talk about what I do. (So glad I have Michelle and Lisa at work to talk to!) With Mathias in Border Patrol though I at least feel like I have a bit of an ally in the whole defense market now, even if he doesn’t even really get or care what I do either! While we learned about aircraft carriers Grandpa and Marcia played puzzles with the kids on the floor.

In the afternoon after Kris left with the kids (school and nap time again) the rest of us sat down to a game of Trivial Pursuit (which I won – heh) and then we went to the Mall of America and bummed around until it was time to bring Mathias to the airport. We were all sad to see him go and we’re already scheming ways to see him again! We know he’s coming home in July for Krystle’s wedding but that will be the longest we’ll have gone without seeing him since he left last May. We’re seeing if some of us will go to El Paso for a long weekend some time or if we’ll fly him back up here some time before then. I’d like to go to El Paso but was thinking maybe later this year or early next year for that. Guess we’ll have to see!

Mommy brag time about my girl – When Annika and Marcia were done with the puzzle, Annika was putting it away. That smart little girl sorted all the puzzle pieces – outside pieces in one half of the box and inside pieces in the other half and then put the bottom half of the box into the top half and had an automatically sorted puzzle for next time! Marcia was amazed by this. I’ve never seen Annika do anything like that with all the puzzles at home so I was surprised too. Marcia is convinced Annika is way too smart for her own good. Sometimes I have to agree. I can’t get much past her anymore. And she’s kind of started reading! We have this spelling bee game at home and while Annika can’t really spell yet, she can sound out every simple three letter word in there. And when we read books she has to know which word I’m reading. If we read a simple book then she wants her turn to try and read it. At times I love this and encourage it and have all the patience in the world to help her work through the words. Other times? Like at bed time? I just want to read the book and get her to sleep! I don’t want to turn it into a reading lesson. Sigh. Sometimes I wish I was a better parent.

OK, one last brag moment about James. I am just so impressed with his speech. Not only does he talk in sentences and pretty clearly too (meaning people other than Kris and I can understand him) but he uses appropriate tense, pronouns and adverbs! He uses him, her, she, he and me, you, us, etc. correctly.

OK – this has gotten long enough. I’m over 2000 words! Definitely time to sign off.