Wednesday, December 31, 2008


When I was a little kid, this was my apron. Annika wore it for the first time a few days ago when she "helped" me do some baking. Isn't she adorable?? You can't really see it because of her pacifier, but she has a big smile on her face.

I bought this bag to store her bath toys. Apparently, it also makes a great hat!

It is amazing to think that Annika is now old enough to do some "big kid" activities, like looking at books on her own and coloring. Of course, we still need to work on convincing her that crayons aren't a food source. All in due time!

Here's the cake I made for Kate's baby shower.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Annika's newest hobby

As of late, Annika's newest interest is putting lotion on her hands and cheeks. Every time she sees a bottle of lotion (or sees something that resembles a bottle of lotion), she holds up her hands and says, "eye-shh". Interestingly, that's also what she says when she wants an ice cube. Applying lotion has now become a bargaining chip for us. "If you sit down, you can have some lotion." "As soon as we're done changing your diaper, you can have some lotion."

Annika also now regularly does the sign for "again", which we are quite impressed with. She signs it when she wants to do or have something again. She also uses the sign when she wants more of something. (She hasn't quite caught on to the fact there are different signs for "again" and "more".)

Over the past week, Annika has started to walk with her arms behind her - either sticking straight out or with her hands clasped behind her. Until recently, her hands and arms were sticking up when she walked. I guess this means she's becoming more adept at the walking/running skill and no longer relies on her elevated hands for balance. Now she looks like a little old man who is contemplating something instead of someone surrendering as she makes her way from point A to point B.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Riddle Me This...

Eric and I saw this sign a few weeks ago as we drove down the street. (Click the photo to enlarge it.) How is it feasible that something is "new" and "original" all wrapped up into one??

Another sign that caught my eye belongs to the junior high that one of my brothers teaches at. (To his credit, he's in the math department!) The sign reads "Winter Breck". Is being on breck better or worse than being on break??? I'm kicking myself for not snapping a picture of the sign, but alas, I was driving and it wouldn't have been safe. I'll see if I can get someone to swing by and take a picture of it for me. Is there any wonder why I want Annika to go to private schools?!?!

Weekend in Review

On Saturday, I planned on making an adorable baby block cake for my best friend's baby shower. In theory, it was a perfect design. In practice, not so much. I stacjed and then cut three 9x13 cakes in order to make the cube shape. The first issue arose when the tiers started sliding around on the lemon filling, which then started oozing out. Not a good sign. The next major problem reared its ugly head when the cakes started falling apart as I applied the crumb coat of buttercream. This should have been the point in time when I said "forget the buttercream approach, we're going with fondant." The problem is Kate doesn't really care for fondant and it was a cake for her. So, I perservered. Bad idea; this sucker would have been beyond a cake wreck ... and that's an understatement. By 9pm, the cake was in the garbage and I was baking my Plan B cakes. (God bless the Cake Mix Doctor!) At 6 Sunday morning, I was up applying a basketweave to four round chocolate cakes. It looked MUCH better than the first cake. I was counting my lucky stars that I had made a double batch of frosting the day before .... let me tell you!! The cake was completed in plenty of time and the shower was a huge success.

The best part is I can FINALLY post a picture of the baby blanket (pattern by my friend Jen) that I made for Kate's baby boy. I've been itching to post it ever since I finished knitting it, but because Kate reads this blog, posting a picture prior to her baby shower didn't seem like the best choice. :)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Photos

What's Christmas without pictures??

Annika and her daddy modeling their Santa hats

Annika saying "hello" to her new toy cell phone

Annika "helping" assemble her new shopping cart

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

To all of our loved ones, we wish you a very merry Christmas. On this very special and sacred day, we wish you a wonderful day and a peaceful new year. We are so grateful to have you in our lives.

We were a bit surprised to see snow falling when we woke up this morning. A white Christmas in Seattle - really! No kidding! In fact, it snowed a good chunk of the day. It was gorgeous.

Eric's parents came over to celebrate the day with us. We ate the Olson family's traditional Christmas Breakfast casserole (yes, Eric, you were right ... we did need to double the recipe to have enough for leftovers) and played card games for quite a few hours. Even though I came in last place in all but one of the games, it was still lots of fun. We laughed and simply enjoyed spending time together.

It's funny how traditions become a topic of thought once children enter the picture. Before we had Annika, we didn't think much about them, but now we realize the importance of finding a balance between holding on to family traditions and starting new ones. Ones we've retained include the aforementioned Christmas Breakfast and going to mass on Christmas Eve. One of our new ones is reading "'Twas The Night Before Christmas" as a family before bed on Christmas Eve. As Annika gets older, we'll incorporate a few more of our longtime traditions, including leaving snacks for Santa, the reindeer, and the house nissen.

Merry Christmas to all .... and to all, a good night.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Still snowy

We're still snowed in here on 2nd Ave. It is a beautiful sight, but also a bit amazing to think that we have received more snow in the past few days than we do in a typical winter.

The dogs had a marvelous time playing on the deck earlier today. Buca thinks snow is nature's play thing and goes into turbo mode when he is in it. Riley seems to enjoy it, too, but in a more reserved manner.

Buca getting ready to pounce

Riley giving the snow a good sniff

Buca doing his impersonation of an ostrich

"Do I have a little something on my face?"

What else does one do while snowed in? Make a gingerbread house, of course! This was yesterday's project. There was a wee bit of repair work to do because of some broken pieces, but all-in-all, it was a very fun project.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

It's a Winter Wonderland

In the past few days, Seattle has seen more snow than it sees in a complete winter. This morning, I checked the depth of the snow on our driveway; it measured at 6 inches! The snow hasn't stopped in 22 hours; the wind it hit and miss. Last night, we had so much wind and snow, that we wound up with 2+ inches of snow under our carport. Incredible!

These rounded lumps used to be our deck's steps. Check out the snow on the deck chair's seat!

This is the view from our front door.

I took this one while lying on the kitchen floor. This is the snow that's piled up against our sliding glass door. (Mind you, I opened the door to take the photo ... the snow didn't budge)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My views

As I work at our kitchen table today, I can't help be be entertained by the differences between the view to my right and the view to my left.

To my right, falling snow ...

To my left, the toddler who was attacked by her lunch...

More Snow!

Yesterday, the weather forecasters said we'd be in for one heck of a snow storm. Not a single flake fell on the city. That didn't stop the schools from closing, though ... just in case. We woke up this morning to a beautiful blanket of snow; I checked the school closure report and it said "No Report". I took that to mean we'd be up and running like any other day. Eric checked the closure list 10 minutes later and saw that the schools were closed. Annika and I hunkered down with her playing and me preparing to work from home and Eric headed out to the office. Five minutes later, Eric was back home because the roads weren't safe to be on. (I'm so glad my husband has a brain and uses it!!)

I have to say, I'm appreciating working from home for a few reasons. One of which is the fact I get to sit by a window and enoy the snow. The room I sit in at work is without windows, so this sight would be completely lost if I was at the office today.

It looks like a Hallmark Christmas card outside!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What a week!

We have had quite the week here in Seattle! It has been incredibly cold lately and we even got snow last weekend - yippee!!! Annika was very curious to check out the snow; after her umteenth trip to the sliding glass window and pointing at the snow, I decided to bundle her up and let her find out what the snow was all about. She wasn't quite sure what to make of it, but that didn't stop her from exploring a bit.

(Notice the hat? I made it during book club last week in preparation for this cold snap. Isn't it cute??)

I love how red her nose is in this picture!

Hey Annika - where'd your feet go???

Snow hasn't been the only fun thing over the past week. I'm in full holiday baking mode! Here are a few of the goodies that came out of our kitchen recently. (I was accosted at Eric's company holiday party on Saturday. My former co-workers were quite sure that I should still share my baked treats with them, even though I no longer work there. OK, you win. I'll send some before Christmas!)

Annika is all ready for a visit from Santa and even has a similar hat so they'll have something in common to chat about if she's up when he visits our house. (I wonder if she's going to apologize for screaming her head off when they had their picture together a few weeks ago, too.) :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ack - my back!

Last night, I noticed one of my lower back muscles was a bit twingy. I didn't pull it, but it felt a little annoyed due to no specific event. I attributed it to a simple muscle cramp ... a back charlie horse for lack of a better term. By the time I went to bed, I was really hurting. Eric loaded me up with some ibuprophen and set up the heating pad under me (God, I love that man!!). During the night, I lost the ability to roll over because of the muscle's general unhappy mood. This morning, I'm sore but think I'll live .... so long as I stay upright. Bending or tilting seem to be out of the question right now.... good thing I have slip-on shoes! Putting on my tights this morning did require a few maneuvers that (I'm quite sure) entertained the dogs and might qualify me for the next Cirque du Soleil show, however. I have one of those "open the pack, stick it to you, it'll warm up" disposable heating things that are supposed to help muscle aches. The heat feels good. Even if I didn't have a sore back, the heat would still feel good.... now I just need a cozy blanket and a book ... I'd be all set!

Monday, December 8, 2008

New word and more fun with flour and sugar

Annika has a new word: "up". Now, this word doesn't only mean what you think. It also means "I'm up but now want down", "What's up there?", and "I'm thinking something and now you have to figure it out (insert evil laugh here)." She's a funny one!

Yesterday, I had lunch with my best friend. I truly adore her. We are frequently of one mind (Kate, who is using it today?), color scheme, and sense of humor. Many a day has passed that we've shown up at an event wearing either the same thing, the same colors, or the flip-flop of the other's outfit. We just get each other. For the many, many, many years of friendship behind us and the many more ahead of us, I am truly grateful. ANYWAY, Kate gave me my birthday present yesterday, which consisted of my absolutely favorite See's candies (curse you, woman!) and two beyond wonderful cookie cutters - a coffee cup and a Celtic cross. Needless to say, I was inspired to bake last night. I whipped out my winter/Christmas cookie cutters (I felt the need to be seasonal) and made cookies for my co-workers and my book club buddies.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Santa Photo

I picked up Annika's Santa photo yesterday. Amazingly, Scott (the photographer), was able to capture her between fits of screaming and reaching for me. Now THAT is the sign of a truely gifted professional!
The tears are definitely evident in Annika's eyes, but at least we got a "deer in the headlights" instead of "HOLY MOTHER OF GOD GET ME OUT OF HERE" expression.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Santa, we need new lights for our tree

Last night, I decided to sift through our plastic bag o' Christmas tree lights and figure out which strings would work best for this year's tree. Apparently, we are going to be investing in new lights this year. Of the 8 strings I was able to untangle, 6 didn't work at all and 2 partially lit up.

My little helper decided since the lights weren't tree worthy, she'd decorate herself.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Lucky number 8

Annika's 8th tooth (lower left lateral incisor) popped through yesterday. A few days before, I predicted that we'd see it within the week and just like magic, it appeared. This makes Annika's mouth symmetrical once again. She now has four teeth on top and four below.

We bought our Christmas tree last night. It is a cute little 4 footer (or so). As Eric set it up last night, Annika walked into the living room, pointed at the tree and asked, "Whazdat?" She then walked up to it and proceeded to run her hand over the branches. Always learning...

Eric and I had a debate regarding the size of tree we should get. I wanted a big one to make for a nice picture of Annika in front of it for our Christmas cards. Eric wanted a smaller one in case Annika got curious and decided to pull it over on herself or decided to undecorate the tree. Eric won. We'll put lights on it and then snap her picture and then we'll elevate the tree so it is on a table and out of the grasp of her little fingers. We'll see if our plan works out! Regardless of the tree's size, I have to say it is a beautiful tree and it makes our house smell just like the holidays!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

If you want to make something tasty

I recently found this recipe on If you like pumpkin and if you like bread, you HAVE to try this recipe. Very moist, very flavorful, very yummy. I liked it right out of the oven, but liked it even more the next day after the spices had a change to marry.

Annika gave it two thumbs up. When she had a piece, her eyes lit up and she proclaimed "MMMMMMMMMMM!"

It is the small things at times

Yesterday, I stopped by Lowe's to pick up some furniture polish and a Christmas tree. I also realized that I kept meaning to pick up a lamp timer, so I swung by the lighting area and picked up two that were on sale for $4.98 each. Perfect! I then high-tailed it over to the garden center only to find their small (under 6') trees wouldn't be in until the next day. Bummer.

As I paid for the lamp timers and furniture polish, the gal at the register said there was a refund for my lamp timers. Bonus! When I got home, I realized the rebate was for the amount I paid. Hmmm... does this truly mean I get the lamp timers for free??? I filled out the rebate information and will now wait and see.

In the mean time, I basked in the glory of figuring out our lamp timers and watching them go on and off just as they should. Woo hoo!!!

On a side note, our damaged tree is supposed to be removed today. That is the first step in getting our back yard back to pre-hit-and-run status. YIPPEE!! After the mangled tree is out, the fence people can come in and repair the damaged fence portions and gate. Double YIPPEE!

Monday, December 1, 2008

So much to be thankful for

We recently celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday surrounded by family and friends. It was a wonderful, somewhat chaotic, day. We had more food than you could shake a stick at, and plenty of laughter and stories told throughout the day.

The Olson Trio has so many things to be thankful for. We have our health (minus the colds that seem to ravage our noses periodically), a sound roof over our heads, good jobs, happiness, and our senses of humor. It's a good life and we are truly blessed.

Two days after Thanksgiving, Annika had her picture taken with Santa. She was less than thankful for that event. She was perfectly fine to sit on Santa's lap until I backed away from her. Then, the tears and screaming began. She didn't mind Santa, but she did mind the fact I wasn't the one holding her. (She's in a "Mommy only" phase.) I'm sure the photo will be quite the gem, but not the Christmas card picture I'd envisioned. The Santa picture will be ready on Friday .... stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pretty girl!!!

A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of meeting Eric's cousin's wife and daughter (Geraldine and Ella). They were in Seattle (from NY) visiting family and my mom-in-law hosted a dinner so we could meet them and reconnect with Eric's aunt, as well. Ella is one month older than Annika and the girls played together beautifully. It made us quite sad that we live on opposite sides of the country; we'd love to have more frequent opportunities for the girls to get to know each other and play together.

Geraldine surprised us with an INCREDIBLE gift this week. I went outside to get the mail and found a FedEx box on our porch; it was from Geraldine. I opened it and found an exquisit dress that almost brought tears to my eyes; her note explained that she had the dress made for Annika by someone in the Dominican Republic (where Geraldine is from) and Geraldine's mom (who still lives in the Dominican Republic) picked out the fabric for the dress. We are beyond touched by such a generous and beautiful gift. Eric and I quickly voted for Annika to wear the dress for her Santa pictures on Saturday.

This morning, Annika and I were up early (4:30 AM) - hence the "bed head" hair do, so I had ample time to put the dress on her to confirm that it fits. It does!! Check out our little princess...

Of course with tomorrow being Thanksgiving, I had to make cookies to celebrate the holiday! I made up some leaves and turkeys to bring to work and to send to Annika's day care teachers.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Annika's current vocabulary

"fhew" = shoe
"ppsss" = oops
"uh uh oh" = uh oh
"uh ooh" = uh oh
"wazzda" = what's that?
"hellllo" = hello
"yeah" = yeah
"bao" = ball (applies to anything that is round)
"momomom" = I want Mom NOW

Sleep is for wimps

Annika is fighting off yet another cold, poor little kiddo! She woke up yesterday sounding kind of junky; by last night, her nose was a faucet and she was miserable. As we snuggled on the couch yesterday evening, I let her unstuff almost an entire box of Kleenex. It made her happy and I was only out some Kleenex. Annika went to bed around 7 and was up regularly (I'm talking no more than 15 minutes between wakings) starting around 8:45. After the third trip to her room (about 9:15), I decided to save myself the journey across the house and set up camp on her floor. We were up quite a bit, but did get a reprieve of a few straight hours of sleep when the ibuprophen (or was it the Tylenol?) was in full swing. She wimpered and coughed a good chunk of the night; many times, I should verbally soothe her and she's go back to sleep. A few times, however, she worked herself up to the point that we snuggled in her rocking chair, on my "bed" (aka one sleeping bag on top of another sleeping bag), or just standing in the middle of her room. Fortunately, the fever she had last night doesn't seem to be rearing its ugly head today; let's hope that continues and she had a great day. God bless coffee!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The latest from us

This weekend, we celebrated our niece's 11th birthday, which was lots of fun. It blows my mind that she's already 11 years old. How did THAT happen?!? I made the cake for Kat's party ... white cake, marionberry filling, cream cheese frosting, sugar flowers. It was very girlie and very Kat. Pictures coming soon.

On Sunday, our friend Amanda came over for breakfast. She's in town to do the play Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at the 5th Ave. We love it when Mandy gets Seattle-based gigs and are so excited that she's also going to be a cast member of Sunday in the Park with George this spring. Hurray!

We started gearing up for Thanksgiving. Our turkey (a 12 pounder) is happily thawing in our fridge and the remaining items are primed and ready to be put to good use. Yesterday was my last pre-Thanksgiving shopping trip ... or so I thought, until I realized I forgot to get chicken broth. Dang! One more trip to the store before Thanksgiving is now in my future. Oh well!

Annika's newest things include saying "ppssss" ("ooops" minus the "ooo"). She sounds like she's lisping and spitting at the same time. It is very cute! On top of that, she's now VERY into doing summersaults. She puts her feet, hands, and top of her head on the floor (for you yoga types, think of the downward dog position) and then waits for one of us to flip her over. As soon as she is upright, she's right back to the "flip me" position with her head on the floor. The quells of laughter that erupt from her after flipping over are incredibly contageous and heart-warming. In addition to the laughter, she crinkles up her nose and does this kind of snorting sounds. She's a highly entertaining little kid!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Do I earn my pay checks or WHAT?

Today at work, we had a pre-Thanksgiving potluck. One of the managers brought in construction paper so we could make handprint turkey art. Yes, I really did get paid to spend time working on this!! I truly do love my job!

Do you like how the grass is so realistically around the turkey's feet? That's artistic ability if I've EVER seen it.

Here's the best part. The completed turkey art will be placed on the department's fridge.


I've realized that perspectives shift drastically once a person becomes a parent. All of a sudden, one's own safety takes a backseat the safety of that person's child. Likewise, a parent will go hungry to feed his or her child - either by eating later or going without food completely.

Perspective in regard to time also changes ones kids enter one's life. Yesterday, Annika was up at 3:30 AM, ready to start the day. We saw that awakening time as painful and too early. Before Annika, if we'd be awakened at 3:30, we would have been irritated (if not angry) and would have seen that time as completely ungodly. This morning, Annika woke up at 5:03 AM. I celebrated and relished in the fact she "slept in." Before Annika, we would have seen a 5:03 AM wake up as too early, but probably do-able if push came to shove.

Thanks for sleeping in today, Annika. Mommy and Daddy are very grateful!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Nothing is more angelic than a sleeping baby

Need I say more??

New word

This morning when Eric dropped off Annika at day care, she said the word "hello." This was the first time she said it - VERY exciting!! She's growing like a weed and learning so many new things. Unfortunately, her learning also includes figuring out how to remove the electrical plug covers. She definitely keeps us on our toes!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Don't Hate Me

It's official, we're almost done with our Christmas shopping and I started wrapping presents last night. Yes, Christmas is ultimately about the birth of Jesus, but I must say that I derive a great amount of pleasure from the wrapping of presents and the giving of gifts. I adore giving gifts. I adore wrapping gifts. There ... I said it! (I know, big surprise.)

When I was a teenager, I used to wrap my surrogate grandmother's Christmas presents. She would set up a very wobbily card table in her living room and had many rolls of wrapping paper waiting for me .... along with her incredibly dull scissors. These scissors weren't only dull, they also had a stripped middle screw, so they were loose and dull. Platt used to give me the oddest shaped items to wrap - Hickory Farms gift baskets and Frangos still stand out at the hardest neatly encapsulate with the various Christmas papers. I lived for the boxes of Aplets & Cotlets and the Lifesaver storybook boxes; those were the no-brainer items to wrap. She'd hover with cans of Diet Coke (served on a paper napkin) and some sort of fruit (usually an apple or grapes). I used to LOVE wrapping her presents; it signaled the beginning of Christmas for me. I miss you, Platt!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

How is it possible?

As I drove home last night, I flipped through the radio stations. I heard an instrumental song that I recognized, but couldn't immediately place. Then it hit me. I was hearing "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" on the radio and it isn't even Thanksgiving yet. COME ON! I know the retailers have been setting up their Christmas displays for a few weeks, but I thought the radio stations had enough common sense to wait until after Thanksgiving to start the Christmas music. Pretty soon, we're going to hear "Little Drummer Boy" in August!

On an up note, I had the follow-up appointment with the genetics counselor yesterday. I do not have the genetic mutation for breast cancer. In all honesty, I was rather surprised when she told me that bit of information. I was rather convinced the opposite would be true. Huh ... go figure .... and HURRAY! :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

How time flies

Seven years ago today, Eric and I were married. Without a doubt, it was one of the best days of my life (tied with the day Annika was born).

The wedding itself was a lot of fun, but that isn't what made that day so special. The fact that such an amazing man chose to join his life with mine for the rest of time is what still amazes me. Never did I expect to meet such a caring, compassionate, funny, intelligent, driven, and witty man who would turn out to be the world's most amazing father. My heart still skips a beat when I see Eric or hear him come home. The excitement is still there and I know it will be until time won't have us any more. I love you, Eric and am so grateful that you chose me as your partner in life.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Holy Friday Night, Batman!

A few minutes after 7 PM on Friday, I was sitting on the couch feeding Annika some milk and Eric was downstairs on the computer. Both of us heard a loud noise. I felt the need to investigate, thinking there was yet another car accident at the intersection near our house. I went onto our deck and saw a white van taking off.... AFTER HITTING OUR FENCE! The loud noise that we heard was the van hitting the fence in our back yard and one of our trees. I ran downstairs to tell Eric what I saw. We called the Seattle Police (7:20 PM) and were told an officer would be dispatched.

Around 9, we decided to inspect the fence and look for holes that might be an escape route for our dogs. I found a hole that they could fit through AND (here's the best part) part of the van's front bumper and license plate. WOO HOO!! Good things do happen to good people!

The police arrived at 11 PM (other higher priority calls kept bumping ours) and took a statement, looked at the damage, and celebrated the fact the license plate was left behind. The officer said in his 6 years of service, he's only had 4 license plates left at the scene of a hit and run. The officer ran the plate and told us that the van was a business' vehicle and hadn't been reported stolen.

The next day, there as a knock at our door and there was a man and a woman standing there. Low and behold! It was the guy who hit the fence/tree and his (not very happy looking) wife. WHOA! Didn't see THAT coming! He said that he had talked with his employer (the owner of the van) and insurance would take care of it. What insurance didn't cover, he would make right. Well, I'll be... in all honesty, I never expected to find out who hit the fence, let alone have him standing on our front porch.

Here are a couple of pictures of the damage. A portion of our fence will obviously have to be replaced and our gate will need to be repaired - it no longer has its full range of motion. The tree will also need to be removed. It was uprooted/shifted and the trunk was severely damaged (see 1st picture below).

Goodbye Mr. Tree. We'll miss you - RIP.

Poor ol' fencepost! You served your yard well.

This part of the fence used to be straight. Now it has a van-sized indent to it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Counting down to Monday

A few days from now, Eric and I will celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary. How is it possible that 7 years have already flown by? If I stop and think about the things that have taken place over that time, it makes sense, but it still feels like a blink of an eye. We don't really do much on our anniversaries in terms of gifts or going out on the town; instead, we give each other a card and have take out for dinner. All-in-all, we keep it low-key and focus on spending time together and celebrating the fact we chose the other as a partner through life's journey. I love you, Eric; thank you for choosing me, being the best husband a gal could ask for, and for giving me the world's most incredible daughter.

Monday is momentus for reasons other than our anniversary. I have a follow-up appointment with the genetics counselor to see if I have the breast cancer marker. I had my blood drawn just over a month ago and should have the results on Monday. My best friend asked if I'm nervous about getting the results. One would think that I should be, but I'm really not. I'm kind of expecting to have the marker and will be quiet surprised if I don't. My mom, great grandmother and great aunt all were diagnosed with breast cancer at least once. If I do have the marker, it won't really impact things unless I get diagnosed with breast cancer down the road; if that winds up happening, I'd probably opt to just have both girls removed and be done with them. Will know more on Monday....

Thursday, November 13, 2008


We're going to Eric's aunt's house for dinner on Saturday. We're supposed to bring cheese and wine. Easy! I took a trip to Trader Joe's during lunch today and walked out with a plethera of cheese options. We've got everything from creamy cheddar to herbed something-or-other, to brie, to gouda, to pepper jack, and a fondue cheese of some sort. I may save the fondue cheese for Thanksgiving, just for the sake of simplicity and due to the fact I bought a lot of cheese and probably won't need it all for Saturday.

In addition to stocking up on cheeses, the Olson Trio has been busy (ok, mostly me) purging stuff that we don't need or use any longer. One of the various charities called and said they'd have a truck in our neighborhood soon and did we have anything. YES WE DO!!! So, I'm not gathering our unwanted items and am stacking them by the front door. Now we wait for the day the truck will arrive. Counting down to having less clutter in our house!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Annika's 15 month dr appt

Last night, Annika had her most recent check-up. She's weighing in at 19 pounds, 2.1 ounces and measures 29 inches tall. The pediatrician said this is Annika's best height to weight ratio to date. Aside from still recovering from an infection in her right ear (3 more days on the antibiotics to treat it), Annika is in tip-top shape. Next stop, 18 month appt.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Oktoberfest fun, fun, fun

On Saturday, my brother and his family hosted their annual Oktoberfest party. It was a little late this year, but incredibly fun all the same. We saw friends (some of whome we haven't seen in over a year) and had fun showing off Annika. It was loud and so much fun! Incredible and authentic food was eaten (Troy, you rock!) and plenty of beer was consumed throughout the evening.

Of course, the Olsons couldn't arrive empty handed. Eric made beer for the party and I made a cake that looked like the German flag.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

How symbolic

As I drove home on Tuesday (election day), I was stuck in a slowdown on the 520 bridge. I was completely stopped mid-span and had a few moments to take in the beautiful scenery. I noticed a bird circling just north of the bridge and was stunned to realize it was a bald eagle. I haven't seen an eagle within city limits in I don't know how long and then to see it on election day. How symbolic!!

Annika was in bed before the presidential election results were final on Tuesday. She did, however, wake up wanting some loves and something to drink right before Barack Obama made his acceptance speech. So, she and I snuggled up together with Eric next to us and watched our next president deliver his comments to the country. I know Annika had no idea what was going on or the importance of what was on our TV, but I am so glad she witnessed such a pivotal moment in our country's history. She'll be able to say, "I saw our first African-Americal president make his acceptance speech. I don't remember it, but I still watched it." This week's events went beyond "just another presidential election"; our country made history for itself.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween Fun

Have you ever seen such a fierce lion? We bet you're shaking in your boots, huh??


Cute girl

Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Sweet

Just sharing my latest sweet treats. My new co-workers are now realizing they work with a baking addict.

Ghost and Jack-o-lantern Sugar Cookies

Cupcake Graveyard
(one of the guys almost ate the plastic spider thinking it was chocolate - oops!!!)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Great start to the day

This morning, I heard Annika milling around in her crib. When I went into her room, she was wide-eyed and smiling. She stood up and reached out to me, still smiling. While I dressed her, she played peek-a-boo using her sweater to hide her face; each time she revealed her face and I "peek-a-boo'd" her, she let out a heart-warming giggle, smiled from ear to ear, and then hid behind her sweater to do it all again. Really? What better way to start a day?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Time's fast forward button

I'm convinced that time has a fast forward button and someone hit it last week. I've already had a full week at my new job and am really enjoying it. The people are very nice and the work is right up my alley. This morning, I arrived at the office and found our area (lovingly called "the cave") completely decked out in Halloween decor. There are huge cobwebs everywhere, fake spiders and bats hanging from the ceiling, a couple of grim reapers here and there, and plenty more. It feels VERY festive at work!

Annika's walking continues to improve and she's hardly crawling these days. She's also working on communicating verbally. We here "bao" (ball) all of the time; any round object is a "bao". The cutest part is she leaves her lips puckered long after the sound of the word has ceased. It's like she's ready for a kiss at the end of the word.

Last week, Eric went to a CDW conference in Vegas and learned about some new technology that he's incorporating at work. He had a good trip, but was also glad to get home. Annika and I were just as glad to have him back! :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Birthday Buddy

Our co-worker/friend and I share the same birthday. I am exactly 1 year older then he is. For every year, I'm able to tell Dan, "yup, the water is safe; come one in".

Before I gave notice at work, I told Dan that I'd bake us a birthday cake. I made his early and here it is.... (can you tell that I decided to practice my scroll work??)

No, that isn't ghost roadkill

Last night, I decided to make cookies for my last day at my current job. I used my new Halloween cookie cutters - pumpkins and skull/crossbones. The pumpkins turned out GREAT! The skull/crossbones, however, had a few problems. First, I didn't have any black food coloring (how did THAT happen!?!?), so I had to make up really dark brown instead. Second, I'm not an artistic person. I need something to use as a model and I didn't have a skull/crossbones picture to look at. So, they turned out looking more like ghost roadkill than skull/crossbones cookies. Fortunately, the pathetic decorating doesn't impact their taste ... this is the best tasting ghost roadkill known to man!

(Fear not: Eric has promised to draw a sketch for me to follow for when I make more Halloween cookies. Thank you, Sweetie!!)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

More proof that I finish knitting projects!

Annika needed a winter hat, so I dove head-first into my knitting books to find THE pattern for her. This boler hat caught my eye, as did this wonderful yarn that I bought in Eastern WA this summer. My first attempt at this hat turned out too small; that's what I get for felting it while Annika was sleeping! Oh well... Take two worked out and looks quite adorable on her.

Getting her to sit still and leave the hat on for a photo was a challenge all on its own!