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