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Guess where I am right now! At home playing with my children while Kris is at work like any other random Thursday? Nope! Hospital waiting room.

Kris had an emergency appendectomy tonight.

Fun, right? Well, not so much for him. I just received word that surgery is done and that he’s fine and they got it before it ruptured and he should heal quickly. Whew!

Oh, and the nurse just came out to ask for his glasses. Apparently he’s already making demands. He must be feeling much better already.

I guess he won’t be racing in the duathlon on Sunday! Funny enough though his surgeon will be. I’ll probably still be racing and Dusty will be racing so we’ll all be down there anyway. Now we can cheer on the doc too!

Project Runway!

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Hey, are any of you watching Project Runway? The season premiere was last Thursday and last night I finally got around to watching it. Both Minnesota boys done good! The one from Shakopee (!) won and the Minneapolis dude came in second on the first challenge. Way to represent! I was glad to see weird girl get booted. She was a little too spacey and conceptual for my engineer brain. Anybody have any early favorites?

Cashed in that Clunker of Ours!

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It was a pretty big weekend around here for us! Friday, after spending $50 on the truck getting the old changed and some light bulbs replaced, Kris called me at work and asked me if I’d like to go buy a new truck. It was announced that the Cash for Clunkers program was ending today. We’ve been talking about replacing our 1999 Blazer with 158,000 miles on it for months. The air conditioning didn’t work and would be spendy to fix. It was showing its wear and tear. We thought we’d wait until next spring so we didn’t have to go through another summer without air conditioning for the kids. We did the math one final time on Friday though and realized it made financial sense for us so we took the plunge and just did it!

Saturday morning we went out and purchased a 2009 Chevrolet Traverse. We love it. The kids love it. It’s exciting to have a new vehicle. We haven’t had one for 9 years (Kris got his car in September 2000) so it was a long time coming! Hopefully the car holds out a few more years so we can get the new truck paid off and only have one car payment at a time. Or better yet, save money each month so the next car is paid for in cash! That’s a good goal, no?

After driving the new truck home I finished packing, fed the kids lunch and waited for Kris to get home from work. He had to go in for a bit in that morning. As soon as we could though we were on the road in the new truck headed for Iowa. We had some family to see! We rolled in to Adam and Carrie’s place around 6pm. I immediately took the baby (it’s what I do!) and started playing with him while Kris and others unloaded the truck. I’m such a big help, no? Nana and Papa were already there and Dusty and Melanie were close behind us. Adam’s family was also there. We all converged on Waterloo to celebrate Isak’s baptism yesterday. Saturday night we ate dinner, played with the kids and celebrated Nana and Papa’s 40th wedding anniversary with an ice cream cake. Around 8:30pm Annika said she was tired and asked to go to bed. I was so surprised! She must really have been tired. Or she was looking forward to sleeping on the air mattress. So I got both her and James ready for bed and then Kris helped me put them down. He rubbed Annika’s back while I sat on the floor and “rocked” James to sleep. Then I put them both down on the single air mattress. I didn’t hear a peep from them until 6am the next morning when Annika woke up, asked me if it was morning, I mumbled no and she went back to sleep for another hour. I was amazed that with all the kicking of each other they did all night long that they didn’t wake up once!

Back out in the land of adults, we sat down to play Apples to Apples. It’s hilarious to get Dusty, Kris and Carrie together. They pick on each other and tell childhood stories and generally crack us all up. It was a pretty early night for us though. I think we were all in bed around 11pm. Big partiers we are!

Sunday morning the kids and I were up by 7am to shower and get ready for church. Kris, the dedicated athlete that he is, went for an early morning run and then got ready too. By 8:30am we and the rest of the family were at church, ready for the 9am service. It was a lovely service and baptism ceremony. I don’t have any pictures of it because I thought my camera was broken. It wouldn’t turn on at home so I put in a new battery and it still wouldn’t turn on. I figured I wouldn’t panic about it yet and sure enough this morning Kris took it apart, cleaned it up, put it back together, put in a new, fully charged battery and now I have a fully functioning camera again! I wish I had it this weekend though. There were so many cute things I needed to capture! Number one is Isak’s baptism of course. But there were so many other moments when the kids were doing such cute things that I wish I had captured too. Annika spent a lot of time playing with Isak, bringing him toys, talking to him, kissing his head, etc. James came over once in a while too to give Isak a toy or kiss his head and then go off to play by himself again.

After baptism we went back to the house and partied all afternoon. Annika was wearing her “running shirt” (her Nike shirt) so I told her to go practice her running in the backyard. So she’d go from the patio to the back tree line and then back again. Sometimes James would run with her. It was a great way to burn off some of the energy that had. By 2pm Kris and I were talking about heading back for home. He said he was really tired from not getting enough sleep the couple previous nights and that he wanted me to drive home. I was also tired (I was up at 6am the day before because I was so worked up/excited about buying the truck and getting everything packed) and am notorious for sleeping in the car while Kris is driving so I thought I should probably jump at the chance to get in a quick nap. I went and laid down for an hour or so then we packed up the rest of our stuff, belted the kids in, said our good-byes and headed for home.

We have a dual screen DVD system in the truck (not factory installed – Kris installed!) so we always tell the kids it’s going to be three movies before we get home. It wasn’t long before James was asleep. Kris got in a short nap too and Annika watched a movie while I drove. We stopped in Albert Lea both on the way down and the way back. There’s a nice truck stop there with both a McDonald’s and a Cold Stone Creamery. Just so happens I had a $20 gift card to Cold Stone in my purse so the kids were treated to ice cream both times. Annika has fallen in love with the Cotton Candy ice cream at Cold Stone. She has declared it the “best ice cream she’s ever had!”

Kris drove the rest of the way and we arrived home around 9pm. We had to stop outside the garage though so we could re-arrange inside. The new truck is slightly longer and wider than the old one. It was weird to close the garage door for the first time with the new truck in there!

And now we’re back to life as normal. Kris and the kids went to pick up Dagur from the kennel this morning. We don’t have any plans for the rest of the week and the next big event for us is the State Fair and then Annika’s birthday!


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This week Annika is going to a YMCA camp called Wee Backpackers. There they play outdoors, swim, do arts and crafts, archery, have a cook out, etc. She’s really enjoying herself. Here’s an interview with Annika about her camp experience:

Mommy: What is your favorite thing to do at camp?
Annika: Sit down and eat a snack at my fort. Each class has a fort so they keep dry when it rains.

Mommy: Did you like archery?
Annika: Yeah. One of the big girls almost won candy. Yellow is the candy place and she almost shot that one!

Mommy: Wow! How did you do?
Annika: I didn’t get it. Mine just keep floating on the ground. You get to do two archeries. You take turns. Me and her and me and her and me and her. The girls do the big ones and the boys do the little ones because the boys are littler. Mommy, there’s not very many boys in my class. A lot of the people in my class are going to kindergarten this year.

Mommy: And you’re going to kindergarten next year.
Annika: Next year? No way! That’s too far! No mommy, please. Please don’t say that!

Mommy: Do you like swimming at camp?
Annika: Yep. *Nods head* Whoever has a bracelet gets to go in the back or in the middle. Whoever does not have a bracelet gets to go in the front one. (the front swimming pool)

Mommy: Do you get a bracelet?
Annika: Nope. That means I go in the front swimming pool.

Mommy: What else have you done at camp?
Annika: They painted my face. That was from my frist day.

Mommy: What did they paint your face as?
Annika: As a kitty. But one of my class girls didn’t think my face looked like a kitty. She said I was really a tiger. But I was not. I was really, really, really a kitty. She was joking me. (Side note: Annika’s face was painted orange and black and I thought she was a tiger too when I got home from work.)

Mommy: Did you go on a rock climbing wall?
Annika: Yeah. I didn’t climb it though. I just went this way (motioning to the side). I just climbed to the side. It’s very tricky. There’s little ones and very giant ones.

Mommy: Is there anything else you’d like to say about camp?
Annika: No. Camp is much too fun than this.

And now she’s off to sing a song. And dance around the living room.

In other news – Jamesy was dry in his underwear for at least five hours today. He just had an accident (with #1 and #2) and so I put a diaper on him for the night. We’re just about to put pajamas on and go to bed. I’m pretty proud of him though! We have bribe treats in the house now and we just might give this potty training thing a go. He certainly knows how to use the potty. He even went standing up! Twice! He needed a little help with his aim but he thought he was pretty cool standing up there like a big boy.

Some Days

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There are some days when I have to remind myself that I love my children, adore them, think the world of them and do no, in fact, want to sell them to the gypsies. Last night was one of them. Whoo Boy.

I’m sure part of it was my bad mood, general tiredness, lack of patience, whatever. But they? Are stinkers.

I was finishing up some things so we could head out to the stores for a bit of shopping (visit the tailor to drop off some too long pants, Target run). Annika sees Ryan and Erin outside playing and she desperately wants to join them. Her rationale? “If I don’t go out there Ryan will be so sad because he needs me!” OK, at that I almost laughed. I told her no though because we were leaving in just a few minutes. Then she instantly goes from pleading to fury and yells at me “You are making me so angry at your right now!” OK, again – hard not to laugh at her indignation and yet I want her to knock it off and listen to me too. Instead she continues to rant and ends up in her room for a few minutes to cool off. She’s been yelling that particular line quite often lately. It’s been…fun.

And Jamesy. That boy is growing an attitude right there. Last night in Target Annika was pestering him as a big sister is supposed to. He got mad and started hitting her to make her stop. First I told Annika to leave him alone then I got down on his level, made him look at me and told him it was not OK to hit, he was not to do it again and did he understand. His response? A simple “Shush” with a wave of his hand. He shushed me and waved me off! And then he did it again! Two shushes and two waves of the hand! OK, so I tried really hard not to laugh while also getting back in his face to tell him that was not OK and he needed to listen to Mommy.

Anybody want to teach my children to be nice and courteous little people? Because I think Kris and I are failing.

Girls Weekend

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Well I had a fun weekend. I’m sure Kris and the kids did too but I wouldn’t know. I wasn’t with them. I was at girls weekend with Michelle, Jen, Robyn, Pam, Laura and Jeanette. We were at Michelle’s cabin north of Motley, MN. I kissed the kids good-bye Friday night and left about 6:20pm for the long drive. When I got home from work that day I told Annika where I was going and she helped me pack. She picked out a shirt for me and folded my pants. She’s becoming quite helpful! She told me she didn’t want me to go and was a little upset. Then she said that I should bring my running clothes just in case I wanted to go for a run while I was gone. See? I’m getting this whole exercise is important thing ingrained in my children early.

When I was done packing I woke up James from his nap. It was after 4pm anyway and I needed adequate cuddle time before I had to go. I woke him up and we rocked in the chair a few minutes. Then he and Annika picked out some books to read so we cuddled in the chair and read. Then we went downstairs and made some dinner and ate together. At that time Kris got home from his bike ride. He ate too and then he left for work.

Krystle came over with Emerson and introduced him to Dagur. Thankfully they got along. Dagur wanted to play like he does with Bailey but Emerson didn’t really understand that at first. I wasn’t paying too much attention to them because I was busy loading the car at the time. As soon as I was done with that I said one final good-bye to the kids and headed out. As I was saying good-bye to Annika she told me she was glad I was going. Thanks dear daughter. She was just excited to play with Auntie Krystle and Emerson and knew that Sunday she had plans to go visit Auntie Melanie too and that I would be home after that. You don’t need your mom when you have busy, fun plans! Jamesy was OK with me leaving too because he was too busy playing with the dogs to really even notice I was going.

When I did leave I drove to Jeanette’s house and picked her up and then we drove up to Robyn’s house. There we transferred all our stuff to Robyn’s van (more room than in the Eclipse) and headed north. It was a little before 8pm when we finally were on the road for the cabin. We had a fun drive up. We talked and talked and talked. We stopped for gas and bug spray and coffee drinks in Motley. After that we were pretty much out in the wilderness. The towns were small, the trees were tall, the roads were two lane. Robyn was completely freaked out by the dark roads (no streetlights in the country) and possible deer. Jeanette was using her blackberry with a spotty connection to check her e-mail and facebook page. The funniest moment of the drive was when Robyn said “There’s a dead deer (on the side of the road)” just as Jeanette’s phone chimed. Jeanette said “No, that’s a text message.” Oh my god we laughed so hard at that.

We arrived at the cabin at 11pm and found the rest of the girls in the bunkhouse. They were sitting around chatting, waiting for us to arrive. When we did we broke out a couple bottles of wine and the board games. And talked. And talked. And talked. We stayed up until 3am playing games and laughing and talking. So fun!

The next morning we were all up by 9am. After a yummy breakfast courtesy of Jeanette and Laura we all got our running gear on and went for a 3 mile run. The two people in the group not up for 3 miles (one doesn’t run and one is working her way back up there) went for a long walk instead. It was fun to get all of us together and just to run – not for time or distance or training – just fun. We didn’t care about pace, heart rates, zones. Just fun. I loved it.

After we were all showered we sat around talking for a few hours trying to decide what to do with the rest of our day. We had talked about going tubing down a local river but then the sky opened up and started raining pretty hard. Instead we had a tasty lunch courtesy of Pam and Jen and sat around playing more board games and talking and laughing. We only stopped because we had dinner reservations in a nearby town.

We went to Dorset to the Mexican restaurant in town. There were hour plus waits for most people. Because we had a group of six or more, Michelle made a reservation for us and we only waited 20 minutes or so for our table. A couple pitchers of margaritas to share, some salsa and chips and a chimichanga later and man, was I stuffed! It was all so good though!

After dinner we went back to the cabin and settled in for the night in the bunk house again. More wine, more board games and more conversation and laughing until 3am again! I was falling asleep in my chair! I have such great friends though. We can be so different, disagree on some pretty big topics and still laugh and hug and love each other anyway.

Yesterday morning we were all up again by 9am. This time brunch was courtesy of Robyn and myself. I had prepped the egg bake and refrigerated it the night before so all I had to do was bake it. Robyn had a couple yummy recipes she made Sunday morning and then we set it all out with the other goodies we brought. The table was full of food. We had enough to feed 5 more people if we had wanted too. After we were done eating we sat around the table for a couple more hours talking. Then we cleaned everything up, closed up the cabin, loaded up the vehicles and headed for home at 1pm.

I got home a few minutes before 5pm. Jamesy ran out the door of the house and jumped into my arms. He laid his head down on my shoulder and we hugged and cuddled for several minutes. I think he missed me a bit. I said hello to Kris and then went upstairs to change into my swimming suit. I had ten minutes until I had to leave with James for swimming lessons. Upstairs I found Annika watching a cartoon in my room. I said hi to her and she was pretty nonchalant about me being home. Not as warm a welcome as James was.

James and I left for his swimming lesson. We had a good last lesson. He went off the diving board for the first time (I lowered him into the water and into the waiting arms of his teacher) and then we went down the big water slide twice. He loved that.

Back at home we read through Annika’s camp paperwork for this week. Back in March we went to a YMCA open house and won a week’s worth of camp through the YMCA. This is that week. Very conveniently, camp is only a few minutes away from our house so Kris can drive her there and pick her up at the end of the day. But she had to bring a morning and afternoon snack and a lunch each day plus bug spray, swimming suit and towel and probably something else I’m forgetting. We didn’t have enough easily portable treats and meals in the house so we had to make a Target run. Before we did that though, we went on a family walk around the block. Annika insisted that she and I go on a walk and Daddy and James go to Target. She almost melted down until I sat down to be at her level and we talked. The problem was that Annika really did miss me and wanted me to stay by her and just be with her. I promised that I would walk right by her on her bike and Daddy could walk by James on his bike. She was OK with that so we dried her tears and went outside for our family walk. Annika was on her bike. James insisted on riding his “bike” – the Dora big wheel – on the walk too. And he insisted on being first. So did Annika. To avoid a meltdown on the sidewalk I negotiated taking turns being the leader. That worked very well and our walk was very nice.

Then it was our trip to Target and back home. Kris had to go into work for a bit and while he did I did bathtime and bedtime routines. A very fun weekend indeed.

Sunday morning while I was still gone Kris and the kids went to Dusty and Mel’s house. Mel watched the kids while Kris and Dusty went to a group bike ride in anticipation of our upcoming duathlon. They rode the duathlon course and got some tips for the race. While the boys were gone Mel and the kids watched a Care Bear movie, a Strawberry Shortcake movie and some cartoons. Mel had bought the movies special so she and Annika could have a girl day together. Isn’t that sweet? Mel was gracious enough to watch Jamesy too and was even worried Jamesy wouldn’t like the girl movies she had. He’s young enough that he doesn’t care if he’s watching “girl” movies or not. I think they all had a great time together. I know the kids did!

Today is Annika’s first day of camp. I’ll try to get a play by play from her on how her day went and post that up soon.

A Hole in my Pocket

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Wednesday night I had a Kohl’s $10 gift certificate burning a hole in my pocket so after dinner the kids and I went shopping. It was my goal to find a new pair of jeans for Annika. I ended up with two jeans and two sweatshirts for my big, growing girl (all for $40 so not too bad!). I knew she had a growth spurt this summer because she seems enormous now. This growth spurt was confirmed whenever she would wear any of the long pants in her closet. She has size 4’s and 5’s in her closet. When we went shopping on Wednesday I ended up buying her 6’s! They are a tad long but 5’s would have been way too short or just the right length with no margin for shrinking in the dryer. I’m sure with shoes on that the 6’s will be just fine. I can’t believe my baby girl is out of toddler sizes. It’s all big girl sizes from here on out!

Of course the variation in designers was very evident. I bought her one pair of Sonoma jeans and one pair of Levi jeans. The Levis needed to be a regular size 6. Luckily they have the adjustable waist on them so I can bring them in a bit as they are a bit too big in the waist. However, the Levi size 6 slim was way too tight in the waist. When I tried the Sonoma jeans on her the size 6’s were literally falling off. The size 6 slim Sonoma jeans were almost perfect, just needed to be pulled in a few notches on the adjustable waist. What a difference! Either way, I’m glad I found some pants to fit her.

I also found a couple cute sweatshirts that will be perfect for preschool this fall. They were inexpensive and brightly colored with lots of pink, perfect for Annika. I also got those in a size 6 and when we tried them on at home I was amazed that they are exactly the right size length wise. They hit her waist right where they are supposed to. The arms are too long and we’ll have to roll those up once but that’s OK. I wouldn’t want to get 5’s and have them be too short.

I’m scared to try on James’ cooler weather clothing. I think the 3T’s in his closet will fit him. I don’t want to have to completely re-outfit two children this fall!

And I don’t want to have to go shopping with both kids again soon. They weren’t bad (how could my kids be bad!) but they sure were squirrelly! I found a double stroller by the door at Kohl’s and they were excited to get in and ride. They pretended it was a train, a truck, etc. complete with accompanying noises. When we got to the dressing room they decided to start singing…at nearly the top of their lungs. They were in a good mood. It was happy singing. But still! Not everyone wants to hear loud children even if they are happy loud children. I resorted to the good old “Let’s see who can be quiet the longest” game. That didn’t work at all. Jamesy just did not get the concept or didn’t care and then two seconds later they’d be back at it again. Madness.

Next time I need to take a child clothes shopping, I’ll try to take them alone – no ganging up on Mom!

Low Key

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We had a nice low key weekend.  We’ve been going-going-going the last month or so and I needed the down time.  I worked on James’ Christmas stocking that I’m cross-stitching.  I have to have it done by Thanksgiving so it can actually be displayed this holiday season.  That means I better get back to it!

We also made pancakes from scratch each morning and ate them with the super yummy berry (raspberry, cherry, blackberry) syrups that Nana made us.

We also took naps, played outside and watched movies.  In other words, we relaxed.

Sunday was Nana and Papa’s 40th wedding anniversary.  40 years!  Congratulations Dale and Lona!  That is quite the accomplishment!  To celebrate (at least a little bit), we met them at the Tin Fish restaurant on Lake Calhoun and had a casual dinner together on the waterfront.  The kids loved seeing them and Dusty and Melanie.  After they were finished eating Melanie took Annika down to the beach area and played in the sand with her.  Jamesy joined them pretty quickly.  Both kids adore Auntie Melanie.  They’re  even going to visit Auntie Melanie on Sunday and have a special movie day together (Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake).  I think Annika and Melanie are both super excited.

And now we’re back to a regular week.  We went over to Krystle and Pierce’s house tonight to meet their new dog, Emerson.  He’s a pug, boston terrier mix and pretty cute!  And he’s pretty calm compared to Bailey even though he’s a couple months younger than Bailey.  The kids loved him and I got a couple cute pictures of them together. Look for those in the next picture update.  (Which will be in a week or two.  Kris is giving me crap that I wait so longer between picture uploads.  Thanks dear!)  After that visit we went grocery shopping and spent a bunch of money to re-stock the refrigerator and pantry.  Tomorrow is birthday invitation making and mailing day.  The rest of the week will hopefully be low key as well.

Fair Time

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Yesterday the kids spent basically all day at the Carver County fair.  Papa was judging horses so Nana, Kris and the kids “helped” and then cruised around the fair.  I’m sure they had a good time.  When I got there around 5pm James was filthy dirty.  And Annika had complained of a stomachache from too much fair food.  A successful day, don’t you think?  But we weren’t done yet!  While Nana, Papa and Kris had to leave, the kids and I stayed.  First they played for over an hour in the sandbox at the fair.  I don’t know if the sandbox is new this year or not but the kids had a great time there.  Just as I was cleaning them up and convincing them to go elsewhere, Grandpa Dan and Marcia arrived.  Dinner time!  I had a cheeseburger from the 4H stand (so good!) and the kids had corn on the cob.  Hey, it’s what they wanted!  We offered them corn dogs, hamburgers, etc and they only wanted corn on the cob.  Fine.  At least they both finished off a piece.

After we were done eating we headed to the rides.  Annika had been waiting all day to go on the rides.  I bought $20 worth of tickets which got us 3 rides.  3!  That’s it!  The first one we went on was one that spun us around.  Annika claimed she was scared between her laughing and waving at Grandpa and Marcia.  James was truly scared and said he wanted to get off and that he was done during the whole ride.  I just snuggled him in close to me and cheered and encouraged the fun-ness of the ride.

James was also scard on this firetruck ride that went up in the air in a circle first backwards and then forwards.  It was a good thing I was on this ride with him too.  He snuggled in as close as he could get and told me he wanted off.  I talked about the ride tickling our tummies and how fun it was the whole time.  I think it kept him calm.  Poor guy.

We also went on the carousel.  It took a while to load everyone up.  I was standing in between Annika and James (Don’t need another broken arm from falling off another (albeit inanimate) horse!) while waiting.  Annika was excited and was talking about her (pink) horse and what the horse’s name was.  Jamesy was busy telling me to leave.  He wanted to ride this one alone.  Thank you mother, you are dismissed.  I told him I couldn’t leave, I had to stay by him to make sure he didn’t fall while the horse went up and down.  He insisted the horse was not going to move up and down, only in circles.   I told him it was going to do both.  He seemed okay with me staying then.  And I did keep an arm around him while the ride was moving.  Annika just giggled her head off and waved like a crazy girl at Grandpa and Marcia.  Jamesy waved every once in a while too, and just about fell off each time.  See?  Good thing I was there young man!

James’ favorite ride was the trucks that stayed on the ground and just went in a circle on some railroad tracks.  He could sit in the truck, pretend to drive it, not have to go in the air and wave and grin at Grandpa, Marcia and me while I took (not great) pictures.  Annika liked that ride too but not as much as the others I don’t think.  I said that’s it, we’re done with rides.  James was OK with that and would have gone anywhere that Grandpa was going.  Annika started to whine and pout and after a little talking to from her mother, straightened up and left the area without too much more fuss.  (Threats about going home immediately and no rides at the state fair set her straight!)

We went through the petting zoo.  That was a repeat for the kids but I don’t think they minded.  Annika liked the joey in it’s mama’s pouch.  And she wanted to go see the ostriches peck some more.  Both kids fed the deer some grain and then Annika said she was hungry again.  One ear of corn for dinner isn’t going to last that long.

On the way back through the food area Marcia told Annika what all the choices were.  Of course Annika decided ice cream would work for her.  Dippin’ Dots it was, courtesy of Grandpa.

After the ice cream it was one last bathroom break before saying good-bye and heading home.  I took Annika into the bathroom with me and into the large stall so we could both fit and I could keep an eye on her.  As she sat down, she told me that she is in charge of her bedroom.  I agreed.  Then she said she wanted to be in charge of the whole world.  Don’t we all?  Silly girl then said.  “Like Jesus.  He’s in charge of the world you know.”  It’s incredible the way young minds work.  I agreed that yes, Jesus is in charge of the whole world.  Then we washed hands and went along with our night.


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It’s been a while since I updated again. Life is just so busy! First up – wedding pictures! (By the way – I updated flickr last week with lots of new pics from June and July – go take a look!)

For a preview of the professional photos for Krystle and Pierce’s wedding, you can go to the photographer’s blog and see them. Aren’t they gorgeous!

Then, Krystle and Pierce set up a shutterfly site for everyone to share photos and there are some really great ones there too! I’ll be getting mine uploaded there tonight.

Other fun things going on lately include ½ marathons, 38 mile bike rides, play dates, baby showers, fire trucks and police cars. We’ve had fun!

First up are Saturday’s athletic events. I ran a half marathon Saturday morning. The details are chronicled at Sweat if you wish to read them. While I was off running, Kris and Dusty were busy biking. They did a 38 mile bike ride. We both enjoyed our events and the kids really enjoyed their time spent with Auntie Krystle and Uncle Pierce. I arrived home about 10:30am Saturday from my event to Annika pouting at the front door. She was not happy to see me. She told me to leave again. Thanks baby girl. She got over it though after they left. We ended up all three cuddling on the couch for a ½ hour, watching a cartoon. Then we took a bubble bath (in the jetted tub) to ease my tired legs. They always like bubble baths.

We kept the rest of the day pretty low key. Both Kris and I were tired from our early and strenuous mornings. I cleaned the house, took a two hour nap and went grocery shopping. Whee!

Sunday was the busy day of the weekend. The kids and I got up in the morning, showered, ate breakfast and headed out. Kris had 5 hours to himself that day! He did a few tasks that I asked him to complete and he went for another 1 ½ hour bike ride. The kids and I had a ton of fun at Brianna’s birthday play date. It was a gorgeous day and we brought their swim suits. There were pools and slip and slides and pizza and freezies. What more could a kid ask for?! At the end they even made the slide from the playset into a water slide by putting a hose at the top of the slide and putting the slip and slide at the bottom. James went down that multiple times. He thought it was fun but it made me nervous! I was scared he was going to hit his head at the end like a couple other kids did. I “helped” him down the slide and made sure to catch him at the bottom. The older kids were fine but those little ones went a little too fast! Annika was scared of the slide. She went down it twice but told me on the way home that she was scared. I was surprised at how easy I got both of them to leave the party. I guess the promise of another party that afternoon worked.

And another party there was! As soon as I got home I finished up the remaining tasks to get ready for Amanda’s baby shower. There were about 20 people that made it and I think it was a nice shower. We played a couple non-cutesy games, had high end chocolate bars as prizes (no Hershey’s for us!) and Amanda received a lot of nice gifts. The food was good (so I was told, I’m not just bragging!) and everyone seemed to have a good time. Yay!

Monday night Pierce babysat the kids while Krystle, Amanda and I went to the fall CAbi preview. The clothes are once again fabulous and I can’t wait to get my hands on some of them. August 28th I think is my first chance at Pam’s show. I should start my wish list so I know what I need and what I want and everything in between.

Last night was Night to Unite! Did you get together with your neighborhood? We had a fire truck and a police car come by our little party. Not many people came out but there was enough to warrant doing it again next year. There were lots of kids on the playground for Annika and James to play with which, of course, they liked. At first James was scared of the fire truck. He didn’t want to climb up into it. Annika climbed right in though and Jamesy followed her. I did too so I could take pictures. We were in and out of the fire truck a half dozen times. Jamesy got over his fear and Annika got bored so we went back to the playground. A little bit later the police car showed up and we had to go back over to look at that. Both kids climbed in the back seat and I took pictures, of course. Krystle and Pierce came over at that time so I took a picture with Krystle and myself in the car too. Then we checked out the front seat (holy big guns batman!) and the kids got bored again so we went back to the playground.

Annika is very into the monkey bars lately on the playground. She can’t do them by herself yet so I spend a lot of my time holding her legs while she moves her way across. Jamesy, always the little sibling copy cat, has to do the same thing so I end up holding him while he moves across too. This playground near our house also has a climbing wall. Last night Annika finally mastered it and can now climb up the whole way by herself. She can’t get down though so I have to help with that.

After the running around (sometimes literally!) of the last few weeks, I’m feeling very grateful for having not much on the schedule the next few days and this weekend. There’s swimming lessons for both kids and I think that’s it. I’m hoping to catch up on some projects I have going on at home and maybe even get some cross-stitching done. It’s my goal to have James’ stocking done by this Christmas and if I want to make that goal, I better pick up that project more often!