Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Thanks to Figheadh Yarnworks!

On Sunday, Annika and I went to my friend Jen's house so Annika could model some of Jen's wonderous knitted creations for the next batch of knitting patterns Jen is going to release. Jen owns Figheadh Yarnworks and is an AMAZING knitting pattern writer, not to mention a very talented knitter!

Just like with her Santa photo shoot, Annika turned it on when she was in front of the camera. At one point, the photographer (Jeff Hobson) snapped her with a big smile on her face and her hands planted on her hips; it was an adorable pose. We're anxious to see some of the day's photos! Thanks to Jen and Jeff for the fun experience.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Kids say the funniest things!!

This weekend, our 6-year-old nephew noticed a spider in their living room. (Mind you, this kid is DEATHLY afraid of spiders.) My sister squished it for him (he actually wanted her to take it outside so it could be free .... just away from him). My sister is the squishin' type, so it quickly became a pile o' spider ick. Our nephew then asked if she'd be willing to go outside and, "dig it a little tiny grave." Yeah, I can just see it now. There's my sister (not exactly an outdoorsy person) with a soup spoon digging a spider grave. She replied that it would get a very nice water burial - can we say "flush?"

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Our Flexible, Chocolate-Lovin' Kid

I recently checked on Annika during her nap. Apparently, she fell asleep mid-play and basically flopped over at the waist. Of course, I had to snap a picture before repositioning her (more for my sake than hers).

Eric is MUCH more daring than I am when it comes to exposing Annika to new things, especially foods. I think that's how nature intended it ... moms protect the wee ones and dads teach the wee ones how to explore the world. Let's just say, she likes chocolate!

Who is that cute kid? OH WAIT! It's Annika times two!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Can we catch a break (not a bug)???

Yesterday morning, I got a call from Annika's day care saying she had a 103 fever. Needless to say, we picked her up and took her to the doctor, who told us she has a virus that needs to do its thing. We're giving her Tylenol to control the fever, which likes to hover between 100 and 101.4. Poor little kid. She is so miserable. It is so hard to hear her whimper and know there really isn't much we can do except comfort her, keep her hydrated, and stay on top of the Tylenol. Poor baby! :(

Annika finished up her antibiotics from her last ear infection about 10 days ago. Can't our little girl catch a break and be healthy for a decent amount of time?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Another cake picture

On Saturday, I donated a cake to the local SIDS Foundation auction. The theme was "Fallen Note", so I did a music-themed cake. My original plan was to wrap the cake in chocolate fondant and then decorate it with white notes. That plan completely fell apart when I went to my cake decorating supply store and they were out of chocolate fondant. ACK!! Plan B was quickly formed and I wrapped it in white fondant and decorated with black notes instead. I'm very happy with the final result and hope it brought in some much-deserved money for the foundation.

(Follow up: I just found out that the auction did a dessert dash. Basically, everyone at each table writes down how much they're willing to contribute to the dessert and then the bids are added together. The table with the highest bid amount picks their first choice dessert, the second highest bidding table picks next, and so forth. The cake that I made was the first dessert chosen and went to the highest bidding table. They bid $500!!)

Friday, May 16, 2008

One for the record books

I'd like all of you to mark your calendars to note this momentous event. For the first time EVER, Annika slept all of the way through the night without making a peep. She went to bed last night at 6:30 and woke up at 5:45 this morning. I'm still in shock, but am loving every second of it. Yippee!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bath Time Fun

Annika's favorite time of day is bath time. She thinks splashing is just about the best thing EVER. (Yes, she does take baths in the kitchen sink.) As soon as we start stripping her clothes off, Annika starts flapping her arms, kicking her legs, and making very happy baby noises. She's also figured out how to squawk when we take her out of the bath.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Cake Pictures

If I won the lottery, the first thing I'd do is sign up to attend culinary school. OK, maybe that would be the second thing.... the first thing would probably to regain consciousness. Until that day, I just play around with cakes and frosting at home. I thought I'd share a few of my creations... enjoy!

And let's not forget about the cookies!

She slept! She slept! She slept!

As many of you already know, Annika and a solid night of sleep are not exactly synonymous ideas. Last week, we implemented the cry it out method. Sunday night was by far the worst night thus far in our training. That night, she was up about every 2 hours and cried for at least 40 minutes each time. It was heartbreaking to hear her cry and know that the worst thing I could do for her was comfort her. My mommy instincts told me to fix it, but my logical side told me that she needed to do this to learn. Talk about being pulled in two directions!

Last night was a whole new ballgame! She woke up twice, but only briefly. I think the longest she was up was 10-15 minutes. The best part was she made noises and cried out, but not that "you've abandoned me and my heart is being torn into a million pieces" cry that she shared with us the night before. She was so exhausted from the night before that she fell asleep at 6:30 last night and didn't get out of bed until 6:20 this morning. WOO HOO!!

I'm not going to know what to do with myself when she actually sleeps through the entire night. I haven't done that since December 2006.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Gummy Smile Going Away

Annika started cutting her 1st tooth this weekend. We can't see it yet, but can sure feel it when she chomps down on our fingers. It is her lower left front tooth. Our sweet baby's gummy smile will be a thing of the past very soon. Once it is visible, I'll post a picture for all the world to see.

Friday, May 9, 2008

We survived!

Last night, we employed the cry it out method (2nd attempt) with the hope that Annika will learn how to comfort herself during the nights. She went to sleep at 7:15 and woke up at 1:48 (yes, I looked at the clock). She cried for about 40 minutes, but eventually did go back to sleep unassisted. (I also shed a few tears, but kept reminding myself that it was a necessary evil. I likened it to getting shots; they don't feel good, but do provide a great service. Annika having to comfort herself now is teaching her skills she'll need for the rest of her life.) One night is behind us; no clue how many more nights of crying we'll have, but I'm hoping it isn't many and the crying fits are shorter than last night. On an up note, Annika woke up in a great mood this morning. Apparently, she isn't emotionally scarred from last night. Whew! :)

Per our pediatrician's suggestion, we gave Annika tofu last night. The doctor said it was a good transition protein for babies, so we gave it a try. I dutifully cut the tofu up into small pieces and Eric fed one to Annika. He put it in and *splut* out it came. He put it in her mouth again only to have the bite have the same fate as before. After the third attempt, she clamped down her mouth and wasn't going to let that nasty stuff back in. (We didn't blame her ... neither of us like tofu.) Only with some coaxing and the promise of a Cheerio did she open her mouth ... cautiously. Tofu out ... Cheerios in. Smart girl!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Annika's 9-month well-baby appt

Our little girl is now 2' 3" and 15 pounds, 13.5 ounces. She's in the 31st percentile for height, 6th percentile for weight, and 5th percentile for head circumference. Her doctor gave her a clean bill of health and said she's meeting all of the developmental milestones for her age (hurray), which include passing things from one hand to another, looking for things that are moved out of sight, crawling, responding to light and sounds, making sounds, and reaching for things.

The doctor also recommended moving Annika up to the next stage of car seat. She's getting quite close to the length limit (she's considerably under the weight limit) of her current seat, so it is getting to be upgrade time. Our big girl!

On another up note, she only woke up once last night. YIPPEE!! (That didn't stop one of the dogs and Eric from also waking me up, but I'm still quite thrilled with how well Annika slept!)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Santa photos

As you may recall, Annika did a photo shoot on Saturday for a company that coordinates the mall Santa photos. The photographer just sent me a link that contains a few of the pictures. Feel free to ooh and ahh at our adorable baby girl!

Here's a link to the photographer's site: Red Fish Blue Fish blog

9-months old

Annika turned 9 months yesterday. It is so hard to wrap my mind around the fact she's 3/4 of a year already. (Yes, I DO have her birthday cake design sketched out. Thanks for asking.) Unfortunately, a switch flipped when she hit 9 months. That switch controls her willingness to be out of my arms. For the past 2 days, she has ONLY wanted me and ONLY wanted to be held by me. Let's just say that this new development makes getting ready for work a bit of a challenge. Until yesterday, her Johnny-jump-up seat was the best thing in the world and Eric was just as good as me; not now. It'll be interesting to see how long this phase lasts.

Tonight, Annika has her 9-month well baby doctor appointment. I hope she put on some of the weight that she lost while fighting off her last cold. While giving her a bath last night, I noticed that she has a little bit of a round tummy, so I'm hopeful.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Joining the Modern World

Yes, it is official. The Olsons are now blogging. Ok, ok. I know. I've tried this whole blogging thing before and it didn't stick. Well, here I am, once again, attempting to fill the world with my infinite wisdom, witty quips, and daily (well... probably closer to weekly) happenings.
Our daughter, Annika, turned 9 months old today. I don't know how that happened, but it did. At times, it still amazes me that I'm someone's mom. I'm a mom. I've always been a nurturer, but now I get to do it and not annoy people. I have a true and valid outlet for my nurturing-ness (yes, that's a word. I'm a writer/editor; therefore, any word I use or make up is correct. So there!)
Annika has been keeping us on our toes lately. She figured out how to crawl on April 28th and hasn't looked back since. Unfortunately, she also isn't looking side to side to figure out the option of turning. Forward is it. Forward, forward, forward ... even if that means she's repeatedly banging her forehead into the wall or cupboard. I don't think she's hurting herself, but that repeated whack, whack, whack gives me sympathy pains. I know I can't do everything in life for her; she has to learn, but damn it! I can't resist shifting her slightly so she can keep moving forward, forward, forward.

Last Saturday, Annika had her first modeling gig. The photographer who did our family portraits ( in February asked if Annika would be interested in doing some promotional photos for a Santa pictures marketing campaign. Yup! How many kids get their pictures taken with Santa in May ... let alone three Santas?? Sounded like fune, so we jumped on board. OF COURSE, Annika was the cutest thing ever at the photo shoot. She was a real trooper and quickely realized what it must be like to be trailed by the paparazzi. The flashes were non-stop from the two photographers. Nary a tear was shed ... except, perhaps, by the rest of the people who were painfully sick of me singing "The Wheel on the Bus" to keep Annika smiling. Annika was either all smiles or sporting her deer in the headlights look. She loved the beards-a-plenty and the fake presents under the fake tree. All-in-all, it was a lot of fun. Here's a picture that I snapped of her during some down time.

In addition to farming our daughter out to photo sessions, I've been doing a lot of cake baking and decorating lately. This weekend, I made a tiki cake for a the Holy Rosary school auction. Eric helped me come up with the design and I'm pleased as punch with how it turned out. He suggested the vines and grass, which made the cake come alive for me. On Sunday, we made a cake for Annika's school to celebrate National Teacher Appreciation week. Eric put his artistic abilities to work and made the apple and worm; I did the baking and frosting work (please ignore the sloppy "thank you". I whould have printed instead of using cursive) and putting each child's name on the cake (49 in all). We received rave reviews from the teachers at her school. Hurray!

Isn't the worm adorable??

As of yesterday, Annika was done with her most recent round of antibiotics (double ear infection). Eric and I are now taking bets to see how long she stays healthy this time. Poor kid; day care has been rough on her immune system.

Our yellow lab (Riley) is recovering nicely from his ACL surgery. He got his stitches out yesterday and got the paws up from his surgeon. We will take him back in 4-6 weeks for another check up. He definitely favors the leg, but is doing MUCH better than I did 2 weeks after I had my ACL surgery. (PS: Yesterday was the 7 year anniversary of my ACL going the way of the do-do bird.) Buca (our black lab) is definitely ready for Riley to be back in playing mode; Ri tries, but we play referee to keep them from getting too rough; the last thing we need is another vet bill so soon after paying for Ri's knee surgery! On another up note, Riley's fur is starting to grow back (MAN! Do those vets like to shave animals. Riley's incision was about 6 inches, but they shaved 1/2 of his butt all the way down to his toes. Poor boy. Not only am I guessing that he's cold; but that's got to be embarrassing! I can just hear the neighborhood dogs snickering behind his back. They just better take cover when he's healed up and back sporting his beautiful fur coat!)