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But I didn’t want to forget this funny comment Annika made last night.

Annika:  Mom, what are orange people called?

Me: Huh?  Uh, I don’t know of any orange people.  What do you mean?  (Wondering where this conversation is going.)

Annika: Oh.  Well, blue people are called smurfs.

Me.  OK.

Annika: And yellow people are called Simpsons so I was wondering what orange people are called.

Two Teeth

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Levi has sprouted another tooth.  This time it’s the other bottom tooth (on the left when looking at him).  They’re still pretty small but before I know it you’ll be able to see them when he grins.  I’m just waiting for the day when he bites me while nursing.  I remember that clearly with Annika and then with James.  I am not very excited for this.  It hurts!

James is fighting a cold.  When he gets the sniffles like this it can really run him down.  Whereas Annika powers through and colds don’t seem to affect her as much, James gets really worn down.  Yesterday when I arrived home from work James was passed out on the couch.  He slept there until 6pm even though we were all home and making noise all around him.  Poor boy.  Hopefully he can kick this crud soon.  At least when he woke up he was in a good mood.  We had some fun together when I pinned him down on the floor and covered him with kisses and tickles until he politely asked me to get up.  Heh.  Then he ate a small dinner (banana, granola bar, glass of milk) and played quietly for a bit. Good thing of being sick?  More snuggle time for Mommy.  Bad thing of being sick?  My poor baby doesn’t feel well!

Annika’s latest obsession is the movie “Tangled.”  This summer while on a playdate with her friend Elyse, Annika heard Elyse’s Mom, Krista, say there was a new Rapunzel movie coming out.  Ever since then Annika is convinced she is going to see the movie in the theater with Elyse.  Each time there is a commercial for the movie on TV Annika asks me (again) what date the movie is coming out.  Then she asks how long until that date happens.  Then she reminds me she is going to the movie with Elyse.  I, uh, should probably make some plans with Krista to take the girls, huh?  Otherwise I’ll probably be the Worst.Mother.Ever!  We’ll see Elyse tonight at dance class.  Maybe I can make some plans to go see the movie with them next Thanksgiving weekend.

Kris is starting to investigate schools so he can potentially start school next fall for a degree in Nursing.  This is a whole new world for us (LPN, RN, BSN, ASN, etc. – what does it all mean!).  If anyone has any information they could share with us, please contact me!  Ultimately I think Kris would make a great surgical nurse or ICU nurse.

This and That

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Last week the kids and I were walking into Target.  Annika stopped in her tracks, put her arm out in front of her with her hand pointing up.  I stopped and asked her what she was doing.  She was “using the force to open the door.”  We happened to be standing within range of the sensor and the door was indeed opening.  Kris is so proud. :)

James is three.  Three is more difficult than two in many ways.  At least it is for us and for James.  Last Thursday I came home from work and walked in the door just as Kris was walking down the stairs.  We discovered at the same time that James had taken a green washable Crayola marker and written on the walls, floor, kitchen cabinets and other places.  James was given a stern reprimand and then a Magic Eraser and off he went to clean everything up.

James likes to play on the computer.  He knows how to open Firefox and click on his buttons to get to Disney or Nick Jr or Sprout and from there to get to the flash games on each site.  He asked on Friday if he could go play on the computer.  I said yes, enjoying the quietness that activity brings.  Except this time he was too quiet.  Kris went upstairs and found that James had found a blue Sharpie marker and had written on a wall, an outlet cover, the desk, the desk lamp, the carpet, the desk chair and probably other places yet to be found.  How did he find the marker?  He climbed up on the desk and reached to the top of it (the desk has a hutch on it) and found it up there.  This time he was given another stern reprimand and sent to his room, where he cried himself to sleep and took a couple hour nap.  Apparently the runny nose he woke up with that morning wore him out.  This time I armed myself with the Magic Eraser and got the Sharpie marker off the furniture and outlet covers.  I scrubbed on the wall for a while but resigned myself to the fact that we’re more than likely going to have to paint over it.  I don’t think Kris or I have touched the carpet yet. There are other spots that need to be cleaned and we’re probably going to rent an industrial grade steam cleaner to clean the entire upstairs and stairs.  *sigh*  Saturday he was using a marker (washable) to color and this time he colored his entire thigh before I caught on to what he was doing.  I was in the same room the entire time but obviously not watching close enough.  The markers have been put away for a while.  I scrubbed him up (again).  He’s just being three, right?  What is this compulsion with coloring on things other than paper?  I remember Annika going through this phase too though.  We touched up the walls in many places two summers ago because Annika had written her name in pen on half a dozen places on the stairway and hallway walls.  Our children are apparently graffiti artists.  It’s a good thing they’re so cute or we may have sold them to the circus a long time ago.

Levi’s first tooth poked through on Saturday!  It’s his bottom right as you look at him.  His bottom left is on the verge of poking through too.  You can’t see his tooth yet as it’s just barely there but you can feel it when you rub a finger over his gums.

Levi has mastered crawling.  He can even crawl and then get back to a sitting position with ease.  Yesterday I was putting laundry away in his room so I put him in his crib to play with toys.  He got bored with those and wanted to get out or to have me pick him up or something.  His solution to the problem?  To try pulling himself up to standing at the side of the crib.  He got up there for a second before toppling over.  He’s moving too fast.  He’s hitting these milestones before I’m ready!  Crawling!  Pulling up to standing!  No, not yet!  I’m not ready!  Apparently he is though.  He also likes to give me “kisses.”  When I pick him up he first gives me a big hug by diving towards me and nuzzling his face in my neck.  I’m a big fan of his hugs.  Then he kisses me by opening his mouth wide open and putting his mouth directly on mine.  I kiss his mouth and he pulls back and grins.  He is too cute!

This weekend we had our first big snow of the season.  Kris was gone all day on Saturday at work and then training and by mid afternoon the kids were driving me crazy.  (Yes I love them but still – driving me crazy!) so I put all their snow gear on them and shoved them outside.  The neighbor kids came outside too and the four of them spent more than an hour playing together.  They built a snow fort, threw snowballs at each other, ate a bunch of snow, went sledding down the small hill next to our house, made snow angels, etc.  I sat inside the quiet house (Levi was sleeping) and worked on projects.  When they came back in I made them hot chocolate and the break from each other restored me into a sane mama again.

The kids played outside again yesterday for a while.  And they both went to bed very easy last night and we didn’t hear a peep from them at all.  I’m guessing all that outdoor play has tuckered them out.  As well it should!  Also last night I didn’t have to get up with Levi until 4am.  Kris was up with him before that but I got many hours of uninterrupted sleep.  You would think I’d feel better today and yet I have a headache, am dead tired and would just love to curl up and take an extended nap.  I can only hope the baby can figure out this sleeping thing soon so I can get better rest.  Unfortunately his cold has returned and that makes for fitful sleep for him.  Some day.  He will sleep some day.

Brag Time

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Brag time!  My children are the greatest.  The end.

OK, fine.  I’ll give you the details so you can see that I was not lying.  Oldest to youngest.

Annika.  Is super smart.  The end.  OK fine. But she is super smart.  We received her end of the 1st quarter paperwork today.  There was a stack of pictures with captions that she drew during writing time.  Some of the captions read “I found a salamander” but spelled this way “I fod a salmndr”.  That one was dated 10/4/10.  Then on 10/14/10 she drew a picture and wrote “I wus saig at my nana and papa” which of course says “I was staying at my Nana and Papa’s”.  Then on 10/28/10 there was another picture with this caption “My frst day of scoul”.  Translation = “My first day of school.”  And the last two in the pile (others left out because this could become a book if I shared them all with you!) are “I was going chrkreding” which is “I was going trick or treating” and “I was going for a woiginrid on the hae” which is “I was going for a wagon ride on the hay.”  I am so amazed at how quickly she is picking up writing and reading.  So proud!  Another glimpse into her brilliance :) is her language arts testing sheet.  They do this same testing sheet five times throughout the year.  Once at the beginning of school and then once at the end of each quarter.  By the time kindergarten is finished, she should have mastered all of this.  The first column is identifying all letter of the alphabet in upper case.  She was 26/26 at the start of school.  The second column is identifying all letters of the alphabet in lower case.  She was 24/26 at the beginning of school (only being confused with b and d) but is 26/26 now.  The third column is letter sounds.  She was 19/26 at the beginning of the year and is 26/26 now.  She knew them all at the beginning of the year too but when she is unsure of herself she says “I don’t know” instead of taking a second to think about her answer.  She doesn’t want to make a mistake.  We’re working on that.  The fourth column is sight words.  At the beginning of the year she knew 6 of the 25 sight words.  She now knows 22!  She was only confused by come, like and here.  When she finished and knows all 25 they are going to move on and start the first grade sight words.  No slowing down in her kindergarten class!  Her teacher will keep pushing her along.  And the last column was numbers.  She knew 25 of the 31 numbers at the beginning of the year and is 31/31 now.  She is three sight words away from completing her kindergarten worksheet!  See!?!  I told you she was smart!  I told Annika tonight that I was proud of her.  She said she didn’t want to be so smart.  I acted shocked and asked why.  She said because she didn’t want to be done learning.  I assured her there was much more to learn and that I couldn’t wait for her to learn Algebra and Geometry.  (It was at this point that Kris’s eyes rolled so far into the back of his head that he almost fell backwards.)  I told her that I just love solving three equations with three unknowns.  She looked at me funny.  Then I told her that I secretly liked proving theorems and that I would prove theorems with her any time.  She gave me another funny look.  Oh well.  Soon enough I suppose.  Until then we’ll try to keep her love of learning intact.

Next up – James!  My boy James is oh so funny and cute and loving…when he’s not headbutting my thigh after running at me at full speed.  His current favorite past time is tickle monster where I have to chase him through the house then catch and tickle him until he cries for me to let him go.  Then he jumps up and runs away shrieking with laughter for me to do it again.  Pure silliness.  Last night at dinner I asked him what the favorite part of his day was.  He answered right now.  I said “Eating dinner?”  He answered “No, being with you!”  And then my heart burst into a million pieces.  It’s a good thing that was his answer.  It makes the devil in him that much easier to bear (like tonight in Target when he was spitting on his sister and was lucky we were in public…).  My boy is super smart too though and is showing an interest in writing.  He’s asking me now how to spell words and when I tell him he tries to write the words down on paper.  He doesn’t have all the letters down yet but he’s getting there!

And finally my brilliant baby.  Levi had his six month well baby check up today.  He was declared perfect and healthy which is music to any mother’s ears.  His official stats are: 18 pounds, 8 ounces (61%), 29.2″ (98%) and 16.6 in head circumference (8%!).  He’s tall and lean apparently.  He received four vaccinations, three injections and one orally.  We had a little nursing session after that nastiness and then he was his happy self again.  Tonight for dinner we gave him some mashed potatoes.  Let’s just say he was not a fan.  He kept spitting them out.  Except he wasn’t just letting them dribble back out and down his chin.  He would “raspberry” them out and spray them everywhere.  He really, really didn’t like them!  This just made Annika laugh and announce “He’s on my side!” because she doesn’t care much for potatoes either.  Levi also doesn’t seem to be a fan of apples or peaches either.  All the stage 1 vegetables plus bananas he loves but apples and peaches?  No thank you.  Next time I’m at the store I’ll pick up some cheerios and baby pouf foods for him.  He’s ready for those now.  The pediatrician today even recommended we move on to the stage 2 foods and start introducing some proteins.  He’s growing so fast!  (Speaking of growing – he’s solidly in 12 month clothing.  For Christmas – if any Grandmas or aunties are reading – I would recommend 18 month size clothing or he’ll have a very short time frame to wear any gifts!)  Can you believe it!  Unfortunately those 12 month size pants that he is wearing are the perfect length right now but they keep falling off him.  He’s too skinny for them!

OK, enough bragging about my funny, brilliant and amazing kids.  Next up – James school conference – his first! – on Thursday!


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Saturday after Kris was done working, I was done running errands and we were all done eating lunch, we hopped in the truck and headed south.  It was time to visit Great Grandpa Wally!  Great Grandpa’s birthday was Sunday (He’s a Halloween baby!) and we wanted to go visit him to say Happy Birthday.  He’s still in a nursing home but is feeling better and getting stronger and was able to join us in his wheelchair in the craft/therapy room.  They kids had a fun time playing a new Thomas game from Nana and Papa.  We also got to see two of Kris’s cousins (Jill and Jake) and their kids.  We haven’t seen Jill and her son Xavier in a while because they live in Vegas so that was a special treat!  And even though Jake lives nearby, I don’t think we’d see him and his daughter Autumn since Grandpa’s birthday last year!  Anyway, I think Grandpa liked having his family with him that day and I know we enjoyed seeing him too.

Sunday morning we started our Halloween festivities early by going to church in costume.  Well, the kids were in costume.  They had a trunk or treat event instead of Sunday School.  Major success!  And Levi was a hit at Adult Ed in his Yoda costume.  Several women had to play with him and comment on his cuteness.  I couldn’t agree more!

That afternoon I did some shopping (by myself!) for baby shower invitations (to those family members reading – I’m hosting a shower for Krystle for Gramme’s side of the family at my house on the 4th and Dad’s side of the family at Dad’s house on the 11th!).  It was nice to spend a couple hours by myself without worrying what kid was getting into what at the store.  When I got home I helped get the kids in their costumes, said hello to Nana and Papa (who came to our house to hand out treats so Kris and I could both go out with the kids) and then we all went to the neighbors house for our traditional pizza dinner and group trick or treating.  Annika dressed up as Princess Leia.  James was Darth Vader, complete with red light saber.  And Levi was Yoda, wearing the same costume James wore a couple years ago.  They were so cute!  My little geeky sci-fi family!  Ryan, Erin and Annika are all old enough that they wanted to go fast and run from house to house.  James, Charlie and of course Levi are too young for that and went a bit slower.  We ended up with accordion style trick or treating where one parent would stay with the older kids and the younger ones would fall behind then they’d skip a couple houses to catch up with us and we’d start all over again.  The kids had a great time though and brought home tons of candy as usual.  It doesn’t help that we visit two aunts on the way (Ryan and Erin and Charlie’s Aunt Kari and of course our Aunt Krystle) who load up the buckets with handfuls of candy.  We’ve managed pretty well so far in limiting the consumption to a few pieces a day for the kids.  As for myself, I’ve had one piece each day since Halloween.  So far so good!

Monday night Annika got out her bucket of candy and spread every piece out across the dining room table.  Then she wrote out the calendar for November from 1-31 and cut each date into a small square.  Then she started taping a date to each piece of candy, thereby pre-determining which piece she would each on which day.  I think she has my planning genes!  Of course that didn’t last long and she is now begging to consume multiple pieces each day but I like how she was thinking ahead!

James has been a wild man lately.  He gets into this goofy mood where all he wants to do is run around and run into you with his head (which hurts when it’s square on your thigh) and have you chase him, etc.  I think the boy could use more large muscle activity but with the colder temps we’ve been sending the kids outside to play less.  It may be time to just bundle them up and send them out anyway!  I could do with less running in my house!

At six months and five days old (otherwise known as Tuesday), Levi figured out crawling.  Boy are we in trouble now!  He’s been on the verge of crawling for a couple weeks now and I knew he was getting close when last weekend he’d move a knee forward before falling on his chest when he wouldn’t move his hand.  Tuesday night he figured out how to move both and within an hour he was motoring around the living room looking for toys and choking hazards alike.  I’ve already given Kris instructions that his one to-do list this week is: find the gates and get them up.  It gets more difficult to baby proof one’s home when one has multiple children.  All the other moms of more than one are nodding their heads in agreement right now.  With one child it’s easy.  Plug the outlets, put up some gates, easy peasy.  Now?  Not only do we have to do the basics but we also need to be hypervigilant about Polly Pockets, Barbie shoes, Legos, crayons, etc.  The kids are pretty good picking up their items or playing with them at the table instead of on the floor.  We’ll have to keep up those good habits.  I can already hear the protests of “Mom, Levi is trying to take my toy!” though.  I wonder how much they’ll both adore Levi when he starts wanting to play with their toys too.

We don’t have a ton planned this weekend but that’s good.  We have some house chores we need to take care of so it’s good to have some “free” time to get them done!