It has been 17 days since my last
confession, er, I mean post. Sorry, that old catholic in me slips out from time to time.
Yeah, so it’s been a while. Kris is bugging me again to post. I have too much going on man! I mean, really, it was November sweeps! There was TV to watch! (Unfortunately, that is not even a large exaggeration.) Of course there has also been a ton of packing and stressing about the new house. And there has been work and parenting and holidays and family gatherings like two bridal showers and so much going on! So, let me take a deep breath and try to remember what my kids are doing these days so I can share them with you and write them down to keep forever here.
Annika is Star of the Week this week at school. We printed 12 pictures yesterday for her to take to school today and share with her class. And tomorrow Kris and I (after closing on the new house – yay!) will be joining her for lunch at her school. I think she’s really excited about that. She told me that she had to write down who she admired most at school and she put her mom (Yeah – that’s right!) and then asked what admire meant (oh, never mind). I told her it was something you looked up to and wanted to be like and thought was a good person. She just said oh and walked away. (Hmm, maybe she wants to change her answer?) Annika is turning into this sassy little
monster girl and if anybody has any ideas on how to make her nice to her brother (James really, she still adores Levi), that would be great. Argh, the fighting. She just picks on him all the time. James can barely say a word and she’s all over him to be quiet or go away or belittle his accomplishments (he writes like a baby…and he’s also 4 so shut it little girl!). Kris and I are doing our fair share of discipline over this (time outs, talking to her about it, and okay I admit it – YELLING!). She is still also a delight and giggles and laughs about silly things and is still learning at an awesome pace. She still likes to cuddle in my lap and tell me about her day at bedtime. She also wants an American Girl doll for Christmas. And when Kris made the mistake of telling the kids we might not spend as much on Christmas this year because of the new house, smartypants Annika decided that was just fine. She’d just ask Santa for the expensive American Girl doll then. (Yes, she still believes. I’m trying to keep this going as long as possible, OK?) Instead, Kris and I conned my mother (Gramme) into buying it for her. Heh. Oh, I mean, Hi Gramme! You’re the best! Now I just have to figure out how to have Gramme give Annika her present before Christmas so Annika isn’t disappointed Christmas morning when there is no American Girl doll from Santa. (Maybe a Christmas Eve family gathering???) Whatever, we’ll figure it out. I’m kind of ignoring Christmas until after we move and sell the old house and OH MY GOD THERE I GO FREAKING OUT AGAIN. Annika has been so relaxed about this moving thing. She asks some questions here and there but I think we’ve kept her well enough informed that when she asks where a toy is and I explain that it’s packed away there is no whining or anything. She just accepts that and finds something else to play with. I also found her twirling around with her arms outstretched in her new bedroom one time when we were visiting the new house. I’m pretty sure there will be a “No Boys Allowed” sign taped to her door within 24 hours of us moving in. She’s a good kid…except for that brother thing.
James is also a good kid. He does like to bug his sister too but she’s definitely the instigator in the fights more than she is. James is still growing his hair out so he can be like Dave Grohl (singer of the Foo Fighters). He still looks more surfer boy with his blond hair than rock star but whatever. Any mention of a trim or hair cut and you’ll hear a loud “no!” before you can even finish asking the question. And he still wants to be a drummer so we’re looking to get a piano moved into our new house and some piano lessons are on the horizon too for the young man. He is definitely going to be my musical child I think. He loves watching the Sing Off with me and he sings along in the car to the radio. The other day he out of nowhere started singing “This Little Light of Mine” to Levi while they were playing, complete with the hand gestures. He also loves to snuggle with him mother and tell me about his day. But he’d probably rather play tickle monster and have me chase him through the house and then tackle him to the floor. He’s usually giggling before he even has a chance to sprint away. James was heartbroken the other week when I told him he couldn’t come with me to a bridal shower (Sit in a community center room with other ladies watching my cousin open presents? James was in!). He just wanted to come with his mommy. So, I caved and said why don’t we invite Elyse and Liam over for a play date while Mommy’s gone! Hi Kris – would you like 5 kids to take care of while I’m away in stead of the normal 3? Super because that’s what I just promised James you’d do! They were able to come and play and it worked out just fine. Those 4 play pretty well together. James asked yesterday if Levi was big enough to play football yet. I said not really. He can’t really throw or kick or anything yet. And then I looked over to see them both standing on the couch with James hovering over Levi. And that’s when I said, a bit louder, that Levi is too small for tackling. No tackling your brother! That was all he really wanted to know. Can he tackle Levi yet? Luckily (for him, me and Levi!) he listened to me and left his brother alone.
Levi is talking a little bit more! Yay! He has added woof, meow and moo to his repertoire. He may be up to about 6 words now (mama, uh-oh and hi being his others). He is still my little man of few words. But seeing him try to make words is so much better than the stubborn little blank stare he used to give us. What else is my baby doing? Dancing. He loves to dance and bop his head. And he’s getting pretty good at his shape sorter toy. And he makes truck noises when driving his trucks. And he still loves to climb. While making dinner last night he scaled some boxes and ended up four feet off the floor before I retrieved him. He still loves bath time and if you say the word bath he will immediately head for the stairs intent on taking that bath right this instant. He’s not afraid of the water one bit. He lays down in the water with just his little itty bitty face sticking out and smiles like a fool. And when I wash the soap out I stick him right under the faucet and let the water run over his head and a little onto his face. He willingly puts his face in the water too. And even after a hour hour of bath time he still fights me when I try to take him out. The other night though? When he pooped three times in the tub and I had to first fish him and then the toys out before I could go after and clean up after the, uh, gross stuff, well, I’d had it and when Kris arrived home told him he was on bath duty for the rest of that night. I went and sat on the couch for a few minutes, free of motherly duties. He is still my snuggle bug though. I must hold him each morning (that I’m there), each evening when I arrive home from work and each night at bed time or he pitches a fit. He’ll also demand to be picked up and snuggled at random times throughout the day too which can be frustrating (like when I’m trying to cook dinner or order pictures for Annika’s star of the week thing) but is also endearing. Pretty soon this stage will be over so I try to stop and savor it as much as I can. One of the things he likes to do when I’m sitting on the floor is push me over backwards and lay on top of me and give me a kiss and snuggle into me. I let him do that as much as he wants!
Thanksgiving has come and gone. We had a wonderful weekend filled with family. Thanksgiving morning was perfect. As they woke, all three kids snuggled into bed with us and I had my arms around all three of them at once. I told them I was thankful for them and their dad and this perfect start to the day. Annika said at school they had to write on a poster what they were thankful for and she wrote her friends and family. James said he was thankful for presents. Then he heard Annika’s answer and said he was thankful for family who give him presents. I had to laugh at his four-year-old-ness. We spent Thanksgiving day with Nana, Papa, Auntie Carrie, Uncle Adam, cousins Isak and Hans, Uncle Dusty, Auntie Melanie and cousin Mabel. I got lots of baby snuggles in. Annika and James had a wonderful time playing with Isak. And we all enjoyed seeing everyone again. The three older cousins (Annika, James and Isak) went home with Nana and Papa to spend the night. The next day Kris, Levi and I met Carrie, Adam and Hans at Ikea for lunch and a little shopping. Then we went to the farm and watched as the kids helped with chores. James is such a farm kid, reveling in the feeding tasks given to him. He knows exactly what to do, which scoop to use, how to turn the water on and off, etc. I was so proud, watching him in action! Then we all went into town to see the live Nativity scene and the small holidazzle-like parade. It was a fun evening capped off with a yummy dinner. Saturday we spent the afternoon and evening at Grandpa and Grandma Marcia’s house with Krystle, Pierce and Ayla. There was lots of yummy food, some football (Go Gophers!) and finally a game of dominoes as requested by Annika and James. Annika played by herself this time and James helped Grandpa play. Both are pretty good at the game!
Yesterday we had our final walkthrough at the house while Gramme was at our house playing with the kids. They were all so excited to see her and gave her big hugs. It sounds like they all had a great time with her (watching part of a movie, playing hide and seek, etc.).
And now we’re getting down to the final days in our house. We close on the new house tomorrow. We move into the new house on Saturday. We close on the current house on the 9th. It’s sad to say good bye to this house. It’s been good to us. But we’re also excited for the new house – bedrooms for all the kids, a playset in the backyard next spring, a fun sliding hill in the backyard, etc. We’re going to like it there I think. I hope.