Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last day of 2009

It is amazing to think that another year is coming to a close. There are only 13 more hours left in 2009 - and what a year it has been and what a year 2010 will become. A few things I look forward to in the coming year:
  • The arrival of our son (watch out, world!)
  • The skills and feats Annika will conquer and learn (not to mention, the funny things she'll undoubtedly say!!)
  • Our family vacation to Lake Chelan next September
  • Eric's and my 9th wedding anniversary next November (how has so much time flown by?)
  • Spending time with our family members and friends

To all of those near and dear to our hearts, may your 2010 be filled with joy, laughter, love, and hope.

Wishing everyone a spectacular 2010!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It's official...

I'm now a minivan mom. We've been pondering the idea of plunging into the world of the minivan for a little bit now - mostly due to the fact we'll soon have 2 little kids to get in and out of the car (moreover, into and out of car seats). Last night, we bit the bullet and bought an 8 passenger 2008 Toyota Sienna. It is quite snazzy (can a minivan really be snazzy? I vote yes!) and it is great to drive.

Last night, Eric pointed out that it has hooks for grocery bags, which sent me into a state of true bliss, and that it has more cup holders than we can shake a stick at (although, why we'd shake a stick at the cup holders, I don't really know).

I've decided to name the van "Hawn" because it has a gold exterior... (Get it? Goldie Hawn? Eh? Eh? Clever, huh?? ;)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Illness Update

Well, I think that I might live to see Christmas. It was touch and go for a couple of days, but the doctor I saw yesterday gave me drugs that seem to be helping. Ironically, he gave me an inhaler to help my lungs when I go into the horrible coughing fits (that last up to an hour!). I'm not asthmatic, but now have an inhaler and am very grateful for it! The doctor also put me on antibiotics to see if that helps at all. At this point, I'm willing to try just about anything.

One unexpected side effect of the coughing fits is they get the baby rockin' and rollin'. Which is fine during the day, but in the middle of the night, much less welcome. I think the loud, seemingly never ending coughing startles him and gets him moving ... ALL over the place. On an up note, I guess that means his hearing is probably in good working order!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Prep

Our Christmas shopping is done. Most presents are wrapped. Christmas cookies and caramels are made and ready for consumption. We did quite well planning this year's Christmas prep. The one thing we didn't plan for is a nasty cold to invade our house a week before Christmas. I'm sure there's a Christmas carol somewhere amongst our symptoms... coughing, sneezing, blowing noses, fa la la la la la la la la! The goal is to be well on the road to recovery before Christmas arrives.

We've had a guest with us since Friday and he's been great. My brother's family's dog (Kirby) is hanging out at Chez Olson for a week while his family is in Chelan. Kirby is Buca's brother (our black lab). Annika particularly likes having Kirby around because there's finally a dog in the house who will play fetch with her. When she throws toys for our dogs, they frequently neglect to bring them back to her. Kirby, on the other hand, happily retrieves the toys she lobs by/at/around him (we're still working on her aim).

Friday, December 18, 2009

Sprinkle, sprinkle, sprinkle!

Last night, Annika helped me make spritz cookies. BY FAR, her favorite part of the whole endeavor was putting the sprinkles on the cookies. She took to it like a fish takes to water. The difficulty arose when she started applying sprinkles before the cookies were formed. So, she was basically decorating the cookie sheet... festive? yes. productive? not so much. Upon seeing the first spritz cookie on the cookie sheet, Annika proclaimed, "WHOA!" (She was immediately a fan of the cookie gun, let me tell you!!) She happily and generously applied red, green, and multi-colored sprinkles to the cookies... frequently with verve and while singing, "sprinkle! sprinkle! sprinkle!" I was a bit surprised by how naturally she took to the action, until I found out (the next day) that they used glitter (in shakers) as part of an art project at her day care that very same day. Ah ha! She'd been practicing!

Yesterday, I had my monthly OB appt. and was told the baby is looking good and seems to be growing right on track. His heart was beating in the mid 130-range, which is perfect. I had another gestational diabetes test run yesterday, still waiting to find out the results. Starting mid-January, I begin the twice montly OB appointments - how is it possible that this pregnancy is going by so quickly???

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Santa Visit

On Sunday, I took Annika to the mall to get her picture taken with Santa. To prepare, we showed her pictures of Santa from years past and looked at books that had Santa. She was all set. On the way to the mall, Annika started saying, "No Sanka Claus. No Sanka Claus." Not a good sign. I told her we'd just go take a look and she didn't have to sit with him if she didn't want to. After waiting in line for an hour (mind you, there were only about 20 people in front of us), it was our turn. During our time in line, Annika played with the other kids a bit but was showing signs of fatigue. By the time we were at the front of the line, she had her head on my shoulder and was snuggling with her bunny.

I didn't want to wind up with a screaming child with Santa picture, so I took some advice from a friend (thanks, Joy!) who suggested the following idea many moons ago. We put Annika in Santa's chair and had Santa hide behind it so she wouldn't freak out. Then, Santa could peek around the chair for the photo. (Joy did this with one of her kids years ago and it resulted in a very cute picture.) Annika wasn't thrilled with the idea of me putting her down, but I was able to convince her to sit while I was (barely) out of the photo frame. We got a deer in the headlights photo for the second year in a row, but did avoid the screaming child picture, which was my goal.

Needless to say, glad I didn't wait on our Santa picture for this year's Christmas cards. Maybe we'll get a smile out of her next year. :)

(Doesn't she look tiny in that huge chair??)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Darned Ear Infections!

Two weeks ago, Annika was diagnosed with a double ear infection. She was put on a 5-day round of antibiotics and seemed to be all better. Fast forward to Sunday. She woke up from her nap saying her ear hurt (uh-oh). She had a bit of a rough day (asking for Daddy and just being a bit out of sorts) at day care, which isn't like her. We decided to call her pediatrician and have her checked out. Her doctor took a peek in her ears and confirmed the infection that we suspected. She also confirmed that Annika's stuffed bunny also has another ear infection. (I am SOOOO impressed - she had a 5:45 appt and we were back in our car at 6:00. Is that service or what?!!?)

Annika is back on antibiotics - a different kind than last time and it is a 10-day treatment. Hopefully this one will kill off whatever is taking up residence in her ears AND it'll start working soon. I was up with Annika ever hour of the night last night (except the 4:00 hour).... Mama is a bit tired today. :(

Friday, December 11, 2009

Lunchtime shopping experience

During lunch, I popped to Kohl's to find a necklace to wear to Eric's company party tomorrow and to see if they had any maternity sweaters. A few helpful clerk assisted me during my jewelry hunt (she rocked) and I wound up with two options to try with the dress. After the jewelry success, I headed upstairs to the maternity section - that term is used VERY loosely. First of all, infant clothes were located under the sign that read "Maternity". After about 5 minutes of searching, I found a clerk who pointed me in the "right" (substitute WRONG) direction. She said that the maternity clothes were on the wall behind the infant clothes. A note to that clerk - infant clothes are on the back wall of infant department. Just FYI, lady! I finally found a rack of clothing hidded in the intimates department that had maternity clothes mixed in with nightgowns and pajamas. Really?? Seriously?? The one thing that made the whole adventure worthwhile was the fact I found not one but two maternity denim mini skirts on the rack. That hit my funny bone so hard that I might need an x-ray. Seriously! A denim maternity mini skirt. Apparently, those bad boys were aimed at a MUCH younger pregnancy age bracket than the one I'm in. Thank you, Kohl's, for the laugh .... wish I also could have found a sweater. On an up note, the laugh was free (aside from the wasted time) and a sweater would have come with a price tag.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Today's musing

I find myself completely swamped at work, but can't keep from missing my husband and little girl today. I really enjoy my job, but there are days that make me long to be home with my family. Not necessarily doing anything special - just being together. Today is one of those days. Maybe it is because I know our house is looking more festive these days and I'd like us to be there enjoying the tree and decorations as a family. Who knows? I just know that today is a day that I want to rush home to my beloved husband and daughter and just spend time with them, time that is full of hugs, kisses, I love yous, and laughter.

Still cold on Seattle!

This morning, I took our garbage and recycling items out to our cans and then attempted to move the cans from our driveway into the alley. Slight problem - they were frozen to our driveway. I shook them. No luck. I rattled them. No luck. I finally kicked them. That worked.

Winter: 0, Meredith: 1

(Of course, me publishing that score means I'll probably slip on some random patch of ice later today.) ;)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Pictures of our little guy

I got scanned at work again today (talk about a nice perk!) and figured I'd share one of the pictures and a movie clip. Enjoy!




video

Definitely not warm out there

Today on my way to work, the radio announcer said today is the coldest day in Western WA on record for 2009. That definitely deserves a "BRRRR!!!!" Some places are in the single digits .... Olympia and Shelton are both at 9 degrees. Spokane (while not in western WA, but still deserves a mention) is at 2 degrees. That makes Seattle's 21 degrees sound downright balmy! We're quite fortunate that it has been dry lately, so we aren't dealing with icy roads, which is definitely a good thing!

Last night, we decorated our Christmas tree. It was the first time Annika participated in the practice. At first, she wanted nothing to do with it... that was until Eric showed her a Tigger ornament. Then, she was all over the idea of decorating. The funny part is she wanted to put every ornament in the exact same spot. So, after she hung an ornament and returned to the bin for a new one, I had to relocate the previously placed ornament so there was room for the next one she brought to the tree. She really liked hanging the colored glass ball ornaments - they were definitely her favorite. It was such a treat to watch Annika really begin to realize that this is an exciting and festive time of year. Until now, the idea of holidays and birthdays really didn't sink in, but that is all beginning to change for her. As parents, Eric and I are noticing a renewed childlike excitement because of knowing what Annika will experience as more and more understanding creeps into her busy little brain.

Latest quotes from Annika:
"WOW! Cool!" (While using her new coloring book and markers from the DeWeese family)
"I gode it" (Translation = "I got it.")
"Omen it" (Translation = "Open it.")
"Rhonsanarurus" (Translation = "Rhinoceros")
"Abadaba" (Translation = "Abracadabra" ... Eric showed her "magic" tricks recently)
"Juggo, Daddy!!" (Translation = "Daddy, juggle the mandarin oranges again!!!"

Monday, December 7, 2009

Phasing out the Binky

Late last week, we decided it was time for Annika to be weaned from her Binky habit. That thing is like crack to her at times and it making it difficult for us to always understand what she's saying. Our approach is to start out with the binky only when she's sleeping and then not at all; out timeline is to get this done long before the baby arrives, so she doesn't think he's stealing her binky. On Saturday, we had a few meltdowns that were prompted by us not giving her a binky when it was requested. It really does take a lot of willpower on our part not to give in, but we know it is the right thing to do. Yesterday, we had fewer tears over the binky and found that the promise of a binky made going to bed a bit of a smoother process. During mass yesterday, Annika was more of a handful than normal - very wiggly and there were two occasions that I ushered her out to the outer area until she could pull herself together. Previously, I would have given her a binky and she would have calmed down almost immediately. This is truly a lesson in patience and perseverance for all of us. Fortunately, Annika's day care only gives her a binky at nap time, so I think that will ease our transition at home. Fingers are crossed!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A great time of year

There's something cozy about wearing sweaters, drinking hot beverages, and listening to holiday music. I really love this time of year. Seeing frost on the fallen leaves and feeling the distinct chill in the air tells me that Christmas is quickly approaching.

There has always been a sense of excitement and festivity around Christmas, but having a child who is on the cusp of really understanding the whole thing has renewed my anticipation of Christmas - not just as a season, but the actual day. Of course, it is a spiritual day, but there's also something to behold when a child looks with wonder at a tree decked out with lights and decorations and begins to wonder about Santa and his impending arrival. Annika isn't quite there, but is definitely getting close. We'll get our Christmas tree this weekend and I'm quite excited to have her help us decorate it and become an active participant in our Christmas preparations. She helped me make the shortbread cookies last weekend, but that's not quite the same as decorating the tree and watching our house transform from a home to a home that is ready for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Poor Little Girl

On Saturday, Annika woke up from her nap and complained that her ear hurt. Not a good sign. I gave her some ibuprophen to ease the ache. I also put some garlic oil in her ear; the poor thing came unglued when I began to massage the ear to work the oil in a bit lower. REALLY not a good sign. On Sunday, she, again, mentioned her ear, but wasn't acting sick or truly out of sorts. Then Sunday night hit. She was miserable and in pain; the ibuprophen wasn't doing the trick and her nose was much more congested. After a sleepless night and a call from her day care saying she had a fever, it was off to the doctor. She was reluctant to allow the doctor to look in her ears, but eventually decided it would be OK. After that was done, she wanted the doctor to look in her stuffed bunny's ears. (He was diagnosed with an ear infection, as well.)

Two days of antibiotics later, Annika is doing MUCH better. (Bunny only needed extra rest to beat his ear infection - no meds required. Whew!) We are grateful that she could be seen so quickly and receive the care that she needed.... not to mention, get the right medication that is doing its job in a timely manner.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Our Thanksgiving

The Olson Trio spent Thanksgiving with Eric's parents on Whidbey Island this year. It was a very relaxed holiday filled card games, more food than we could shake a stick at, and lots of fun conversations. Annika had a great time trying to get the new cat in the family (a Maine Coon named Gabe, who my in-laws rescued from a shelter in MT in October). Every time Annika saw Gabe, she insisted on pointing him out and calling to him. "Kitty! Come on go. Kitty. Come." Gabe had no intention of heading her direction and mostly hid on the bookshelves in my in-laws den snoozing and hiding from a 2-year-old who would probably try to love him a bit more than he wanted.

My mom-in-law and I decided we needed rolls to accompany our Thanksgiving dinner. One run to the neighbor's house for Crisco and one run to the store for yeast later, we had the rolls going in the bread machine. It was more of an adventure than we expected, but the rolls did turn out quite nicely. Gotta love Aunt Sally's roll recipe!!

We played numerous rounds of Quiddler and 5 Crowns, both fun card games that our family seems to be quite addicted to. We definitely had a lucky chair and I got booted from it after winning one of the first games.... my victories quickly came to a halt after Eric overtook my seat. Darn him!

A big thank you to the Whidbey Olsons for a wonderful Thanksgiving. (Thanks, too, to their neighbor for the Crisco!)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Soccer Player On Board!

I'm quite convinced that our little guy is going to be a soccer player (or possibly the first male Rockette)! Over the past few days, he has been going crazy kicking the holy heck out of my insides. Last week, his movements were cute little flutters. This week, I can feel his kicks with my hand when I rest it on my belly. He's getting strong!! According to my iPhone app, he's supposed to break the 1 pound mark this week and 8 inches in length. I'm amazed by how fast he's growing! During my ultrasound last week, he (once again) had his head scrunched into me; I think he just might prove to be a cuddily baby ... only time will tell!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Annika Reading

Annika reading Goodnight, Gorilla to herself in the car.

video

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The REAL pronunciation

Apparently, I've been saying the word "manatee" wrong all these years. Annika found a stuffed animal (manatee) that I got at Sea World 8 years ago. I asked her if she knew what it was - her blank stare told me "no." I said that it was a manatee. She replied, "mangahbadee." SO much cuter than how I've been saying it all this time. I think she's on to something. :)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I really haven't forgotten that we have a blog

My goodness, but has life been wickedly crazy for us lately. We spent the last few days of October and the first few days of November wondering if Annika had caught the H1N1 virus. She hadn't, but that didn't stop her from being one sick kid for a few days with a "regular" flu. There really isn't much worse than seeing your own child sick or injured and knowing there really isn't much you can do except try to make them feel as comfortable as possible. We had an adorable lamb costume ready for her to wear on Halloween; instead, she wore her jammies and carried around a cloth diaper so we could wipe her nose every time she sneezed. Most kids run off at the mention of a nose wiping; not our kid! She continually ran up to us with the cloth diaper or a tissue saying, "Yuck! Yuck!" after one of her rather impressive sneezes. Halloween wasn't a complete loss; we did carve our pumpkins, and Annika enjoyed "helping" by putting the pumpkin guts back inside after I scooped them out.

On an up note, she's now back to her practically perfect self - full of P&V and all of the silliness that is a 2-year-old. Her vocabulary is still growing by leaps and bounds. Eric and I have noticed how her language skills are evolving. Just a few short weeks ago (maybe even a few short days ago), she'd say "banna" for "banana" and "are you?" for "where are you?". Now, she's saying "banana" and "where are you?" - still cute, but proof that she's maturing and growing up a bit.

On Halloween, a couple of girlfriends and I took a chocolate truffle making class through the N. Seattle CC's continuing education department. It was a 6.5 hour class that flew by. Since them, I've been working on the skills I walked away with. I see cooking skills much like a foreign language. If you don't use it, you lose it. So, I've been a ganache and tempered chocolate fool as of late. It's been a lot of fun to figure out what works and what doesn't (like the white chocolate and citrus ganace truffles that wouldn't all come out of the mold last night - the evil buggers!) All-in-all, it has been a fun adventure and I'm greatly enjoying the creation process.

Helping Daddy cook


Carving our pumpkin


The take-home goodie box from of my chocolate truffle class


The current view inside our fridge: yes, we really do have 5 plates full of truffles in there!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Our Halloween

We had grand plans for Halloween. On the 30th, Eric was going to bring Annika to my office for the company's trick-or-treating event. We had her lamb costume all set and ready to go. On the 31st, we were going to take her to a few friends' houses to show off just how cute our little girl is in costume. All of that got derailed when Annika spiked a fever Wednesday night and continued into Thursday. Eric stayed home with her and took her to the doctor, who did an H1N1 test on her (we found out a few days later, it was negative). I stayed home with her on Friday. By Friday night, her fever hit 103.4, which started to make us a bit nervous. Her fever didn't break until sometime as she slept Friday night. On Saturday, she was still incredibly congested and coughing, but the fever was hit and miss, and when it was "hit", it wasn't as high as it had been. No trick-or-treating this year for the Olson trio. I'd hoped to get her into the costume for a photo opportunity, but Annika had no interest. We'll try again in a few days, just so her memory book isn't void of a costume picture this year.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Last week's drama and news

Last Thursday, I came home to discover that Riley (our yellow lab) had basically speared or hooked his face with a piece of decorative fencing. Fortunately, Eric and Annika had come home about 10 minutes before, so the window of his injury taking place was a known entity. After panicking and somewhat running into our fence with my car (oops - no damange, luckily) to get to him quickly, I freed Riley and rushed off to the vet. While we were at the vet, Eric took a wrong step on our stairs and wound up spraining his right foot. Mind you, Eric doesn't bruise; it just isn't in his nature. When I got home (with a clean bill of health and some antibiotics for Riley), Eric's foot was already swelling and turning purple. I was pretty convinced he'd at least fractured it, but he wasn't exactly interested in going to the ER. We decided to wait until the next day to get his foot looked at. Fortunately, it was diagnosed as a sprain... whew!!


On Friday, we had our big ultrasound to do the "how is baby doing" measurements and to (hopefully) find out the baby's gender. Our dear friend Nicole came in on her day off to perform the scan (is that friendship or what??) and was pleased to tell us that our baby was doing perfectly. She also got to tell us that we're going to be welcoming a little boy into our family next spring! Yup - Annika is going to have a little brother and Eric and I are going to have to figure out how to raise a little boy. Let the adventure continue! :)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Fall

Fall has definitely descended. I've pulled out sweaters and have begun layering clothing. There's something comforting about this time of year. It encourages snuggling up under cozy blankets, wearing bulky clothes, and drinking hot cocoa. We have a chance to slow down a bit because this time of year often brings a lull in the schedule of activities. Summer is a go-go-go time and the holidays are a close second in terms of having things to do. Fall, especially early fall, is a time to regroup, stop for a quick breath, and look around. As I drove home from work two days ago, I was struck by the glorious red the trees that line the drive to my office have become. They aren't simply red; they almost glow because their color is so vivid. I love the new life associated with spring, but there is something magnificent about the colors of fall and all that goes along with this time of year. Before long, it'll be time to pick out our Halloween pumpkins and get to my long list of holiday baking (hurray!), but for right now I'll just stop and enjoy the peaceful nature of this time of year.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mama's Helper

Recently, one of Eric's co-workers asked if I'd make a 50th birthday cake for another co-worker. Me turn down a chance to bake? HA!! So, I decided to make my standard white cake (with a hint of almond), fill it with chocolate, and cover it with chocolate fondant. My very smart girl has quickly discovered that when Mommy takes out the big Kitchen Aid mixer that good things soon come forth. She grabs her step stool, stands next to me and asks for a taste as soon as the 1st ingredient goes into the bowl. Eric now has learned that he has to be mighty quick to get the job of licking the beaters in this house - and he frequently loses because of Annika being poised on her step stool ready to pounce.





The final product!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Feeling Saucy

Why, yes! Yes, I did make applesauce tonight. Thanks for asking! How much? Enough to fill 15 1-quart Ziploc bags. All I can say is it is a mighty good thing that we have a spare freezer that had just enough room for all of the bags!


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Last weekend of summer weather

By looking at the 5-day weather forecast, it appears that fall has decended upon our fair city. To celebrate our final weekend of summer weather, the Olsons seemed to cram as much as possible into 48 hours.

The big project was installing the recessed lighting into our kitchen ceiling. It looks wonderful, but the drywall dust that the project created was a bit less appealing. In some ways, it reminded me of when Mt. St. Helens erupted and its traveling ash cloud left that fine silt everywhere. Eric is an absolute rock star for spending much of his weekend in the yucky and grungy attic getting covered in crud and gunk.

Annika and I also got to spend part of Saturday with the Beeman family to celebrate their little guy's 3rd birthday. Gage is definitely Annika's little buddy and they play beautifully together. It is a kick to watch them together and I know they'll be two people who grow up just always having known each other.

After Gage's b-day party, Eric and I shuffled off to some other friends for a great dinner and fun evening of Guitar Hero and Quiddler. I love that we're finding more couples who like to play card and board games!!

On Sunday, Annika and I traveled down south to take my dad to church. To round out the day, my mom, Annika, and I visited some lifelong family friends who offered to share part of their apple crop with us. (I love knowing people who can even have an apple crop!) While my mom and Mrs. Simon caught up a bit, Annika and I played at their beach throwing rocks. Upon arriving home, I went into apple cleaning and apple prep mode to commense my whirlwind applesauce making marathon.

Playing with Nana's hat during church


Throwing rocks at the Simons'

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Slang

I've noticed recently that Annika is picking up slang and using it in her daily vocabulary. For example, we taught her to say "thank you" and now she'll flip between that and "thanks." Another one I noticed today is when she drops something, she'll say "oops." We never directly taught her to say these things, but she's definitely saying them. It amazes me how kids are like sponges and pick up things we don't even notice. I couldn't tell you my rate of "thanks" compared to "thank you," but I know I use both to express gratitude. Now Annika is doing the same things. If only adults could learn at the rate kids do... we'd be an even more amazing species than we already are.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A week in review

On Sunday, Eric, my brother (Troy), my sister-in-law (Staci) and I got gussied up and enjoyed the spectacular muscial "Wicked". It was beyond amazing and wonderful. The actors were incredible vocalists and dancers. The script contained a perfect balance of humor, insight, drama, and action. The costumes for the Emerald City inhabitants seemed to be a cross between something from Mardi Gras and Dr. Seuss. Truly a show that will stick with us for a long time. After the show, we enjoyed a family-style dinner of take-out Chinese food back at our house with my mom (who was on kid patrol during the show), Annika, and our niece (Kat) and nephew (Ian).

On Monday, as I drove home from work, my sister called to see what I was doing. "Uh - driving home from work." Her reply, "Do you want to come see me at the airport?" OF COURSE! I went home, made a quick dinner for the family, scooped up Annika, and drove to the airport. We had a smidge over an hour to chat, catch up, laugh, and watch Annika play. Even though it was a short visit, I still consider myself lucky to have had a little face-to-face time with my sister. We tend to only see each other 1-2 times per year and this visit seemed like a huge bonus.

The rest of the week has been focused on the day-to-day and gearing up for a dear friend's baby shower on Saturday. I'm co-hosting it with a few other gals and I think it should wind up being eligible for baby shower of the year. Last night, I made my first-ever ice ring in preparation of the shin-dig. Now, let's see if I can get the darned thing out of the bundt pan on Saturday! (Fingers crossed!)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Things we hear

Annika's vocabulary has taken off by leaps and bounds, which is typical for kids her age. There are a few key phrases that we tend to hear on a VERY regular basis... in addition to the typical two-year-old's "NO". Enjoy!

B'self = I'll do it by myself.
Mines = That's mine, back off.
Are you? = Where are you?
Uppydown = upside down
Mommy, come (included is the hand motion we use for the dogs)
Daddy, wait (again, included with the hand motion for the dogs)
Help me = I want to help you do whatever you're doing
Lotion = I want to slather anyone within reach with baby lotion

In addition to the vocabulary development, Annika has really taken to imaginary play. One of her favorite things to do is put her dolls and stuffed animals "nigh-night". She is very particular about how the blanket (aka napkin or dish towel) falls over the napper. It is also critical that the napper be in the correct position - on its tummy.

Putting Bunny down for a nap


Giving Bunny nigh-night back pats

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Wrong Number

A few nights ago, our phone rang at 1:45 AM. Eric shot out of bed and while I dealt with the wealth of adrenaline that was pulsing through my body. After the 2nd or 3rd ring, Eric answered and found no one on the other end of the call. No "oh, sorry. wrong number." Nothing. The caller just hung up.

A note to everyone who makes ridiculously late phone calls... make sure you dial the right number. For the love of all that's holy! The rest of of would be quite grateful. Thanks! :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Playing at the Beach

Sunday afternoon, Annika and I headed to Carkeek Park for a little fun at the beach. She loves to throw rocks into the water .... or wherever they may land. The weather couldn't have been more perfect: it was sunny without being too hot. We threw rocks and then enjoyed splashing in the water for about an hour and a half. It is days like this that make me hope she'll hold on to a few memories from her early childhood. It was a good day. :)

Throwing rocks into the Puget Sound


Admiring the view and her throw


Mommy and Annika waiting for the next wave
Splash!









Sunday afternoon, Annika and I headed to Carkeek Park for a little fun at the beach. She loves to throw rocks into the water .... or wherever they may land. The weather couldn't have been more perfect: it was sunny without being too hot. We threw rocks and then enjoyed splashing in the water for about an hour and a half. It is days like this that make me hope she'll hold on to a few memories from her early childhood. It was a good day. :)








Sunday, August 30, 2009

How is August almost done??

It doesn't seem possible that September is knocking on the door! We've had lots going on since my last post (sorry there was such a lull!); read on...

We spent a long weekend visiting our family in Kennewick, which was a lot of fun. We relaxed (hurray!) and enjoyed the slower pace of country life. Eric and his brother spent a good chunk of the weekend building a pulley system to hoist a big rafting frame up to the garage ceiling. All seemed to be going well until it came crashing down once the guys thought the project was done (oops); fortunately, no one was hurt! Annika had a great time doing laps in their raft while it was parked in the driveway. It basically doubled as a bouncy house for her; it was great! She also learned how to feed the horse carrots; she renamed the horse "Carl" (his name is Jarl).

Since my last blog post, I also started a new job as a writer/editor for a company that makes hand-held ultrasound equipment. I've put in just over a week there and really enjoy it. I've primarily focused on editing the content for their new website that will launch very shortly. I do have a bit of a drive, but I go the opposite way of rush hour traffic, so it isn't too bad.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Annika's Birthday Party

We had Annika's birthday party on the 1st and it was a roaring success. The weather was gorgeous, but we stayed in the shade thanks to my brother bringing his tent thingy. We had a very nice turn out and enjoyed a BBQ lunch. Annika woke up from her nap just as the guests arrived and was in a great mood for the festivities.

Annika had a wonderful time socializing with everyone and greatly enjoyed opening her presents. I helped her with the first one and once she got the idea, paper and ribbon went flying!

Thank you to everyone who participated in our little girl's celebration!

The birthday girl


Annika's cake


Feeding cake to her new doll


Opening presents


Reading her new Mother Goose book with Mommy


Playing with her new sidewalk chalk


Showing off some of her new dress up garb

Friday, July 31, 2009

P-day +1

Tomorrow is Annika's birthday party. It is 11 PM and I just finished cleaning the kitchen after my whirlwind cake decorating event. For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to have 2 cakes instead of one larger cake. DUH! I didn't think about the fact that it would also mean twice the decorating. On top of that, I spent a good chunk of today cleaning in preparation for our party guests. I basically un-did the kitchen efforts by decorating the cakes. Powdered sugar and frosting were everywhere by the time I was done. Didn't think that one through. If I was smart, I wouldn't have touched the kitchen until after the cakes were done. OH well!

It was hot again today, but nothing like Wednesday's record-setting 104 degrees. I think we topped out right around 90. It amazes me that 90 seems cool now and the mid 80s seems down right mild. The heat has obviously melted my internal sensors a bit!

Annika is sleeping soundly. I'm going to follow her lead as soon as I brush my teeth, take out my contacts, wash my face, take my vitamins, and kick Eric and Robert off of the X-box in our room!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Yesterday was a real high

My brother, Troy, has a co-worker who moonlights as a pilot for Kenmore Air. Hearing that our nephew, Robert, is in town, Ken (Troy's co-worker) offered to take us up for a one-hour sightseeing flight. Who could refuse such an offer?? We had a FANTASTIC time. We took off from the north end of Lake Washington on one of the float planes. We toured over UW, downtown Seattle and the stadiums, Bellevue, went right over Troy and Staci's house and could see their car in the driveway, Snoqualmie Falls, and then over some of the local farm lands. It was incredible. The weather couldn't have been more ideal. Ken said it was 96 degrees at 1800 feet! (YUP - yesterday was another freakishly hot day in Seattle!)

Here are a few pictures from our adventure. Enjoy!

Ian, Robert, and Ken (our pilot)


Ian, Robert, Troy getting ready to take off


Huskie Stadium


Snoqualmie Falls







Downtown Seattle



Co-pilot Robert



Ian taking in the views








Lake Union, Downtown Seattle, Elliot Bay

Sunday, July 26, 2009

It's HOT!

We Seattleites aren't exactly used to hot weather. Rain? Yes! We can handle that like nobody's business. The forecasters are predicting almost a steady week of 80-90+ degree weather. That's hot for around here. We have fans galore buzzing throughout the house and Annika's attire currently consists of a diaper... OK, she wore her ladybug rain coat earlier today, but that was her own doing and not something her parents recommended or advised. Our friends Dave and Nicola loaned their portable A/C to us today, which enables Eric to retain some sense of comfort. Our TV room is now comfy and cool. Ahhhh!! I promised Annika that I'd clean out her inflatable pool again so she can go "swimming" tomorrow.... I might just take her to the Greenlake wading pool. We'll see.

Today, I played with our new cherry pitter. That thing is a kick to play with. I pitted a container of cherries from Costco and now have them on a cookie sheet in our freezer. I see cherry jam in our future with those bad boys.

It seems odd that I'm knitting wool slippers for Eric, but his old ones (pair #2) gave up the ghost and are beyond needing to be replaced. It is ridiculously hot and I'm knitting with double strands of wool yarn. What's wrong with that picture?!?!?! Do I love my husband or what?!?!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

July is FLYING by!!!

I can't believe July is zipping by so darned quickly!! We've been keeping quite busy as of late.


Annika and I have become involved in the play group that meets at our library on Wednesday mornings. The kids play for about 45 minutes and then the librarian leads a few songs and then reads a story to the kids. We really enjoy our time there and I love the fact we can walk to/from the library so easily.


We've also taken to spending time at our local parks and beaches, not to mention the Greenlake wading pool. Annika loves to throw rocks while we're at the beach and is quite interested in watching all of the other kids play and splash while at the wading pool.







Eric's sister stayed with us for a few days while she was in Seattle for a vet tech conference. She was here for 4 days, but we hardly saw her because of the conference. Talk about a low-maintenance guest!


Speaking of Eric's side of the family, Annika and I had a great time visiting Eric's mom (aka Bestemor, which is the Norwegian word for "grandmother") on Whidbey island a few weeks ago. We had lunch with Bestemor's lunch bunch and got to meet an artist who is mentoring her in water colors. Eric's mom is a very talented artist and I am incredibly impressed with her paintings!! While on Whidbey, we had a great time looking for fiddler crabs under all of the rocks. Annika was curious, but not enough to actually touch the crabs.... she left that up to Bestemor and me.





While I'm writing about family, our nephew Robert is currently visiting us. We have a tradition that we fly my sister's kids up to Seattle for their 13th birthday present. Robert arrived on Tuesday and, thus far, has had lunch on the Kirkland waterfront, visited the original Costco (he was so impressed with this that he texted 4 people during our shopping trip), and went to a beach on Lake Washington. He's going camping with my brother's family this weekend and will spend time with them until next Wednesday, when we'll have a big family outing to the Mariner's game. We were a bit surprised by the cold weather at the lake today; it's a good thing I had some blankets in the car (see the picture below of Kat bundled up!)!! A family near us had a b-day party and offered our kids the leftover cupcakes; Ian and Annika gladly accepted the offer! Robert is a real champ at playing with his little cousins and is an easy guest to have around; we're going to miss him when he returns to California.




Last but DEFINITELY not least, Annika and I had a girls' night out and went to a performance by The Wiggles. We had a marvelous time. The guys didn't fail to entertain. Annika was basically motionless the first half of the show. Around the halfway point, Murray came out of stage; Annika popped up, pointed, and screamed "MURRAY!!!!" She danced, clapped, and stared like the true Wiggles fan that she is.



I gueses that about wraps up things from around here. Until next time!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Today's Random Musings

I got a non-cavity filled today. I think my dentist is trying her best to ward off the recession. She said that I have deep grooves in my molars (true) and one was starting to stain and look like it would be a good home for a cavity, so let's get it before it becomes a problem. OK, on some levels that makes sense, but filling a non-cavity? Odd. This morning, they numbed me up and began drilling the non-cavity to get out any questionable gunk and make room for the filling. About 3 seconds into the drilling, I realized that I could feel the drilling. Not good. After about another 3 seconds, I blurt out, "OW! Am I supposed to feel that?" (Mind you, I had a dental dam in my mouth, so it came our more like, "OWB! Amb I subbobsed to phuel at???" My dentist confirmed that, in fact, I wasn't, so she stopped (gratefully) and added some more of her magical numbing potion. MUCH better!

I got a TON done today, which is a good feeling. My to-do list is still very much in existance, but it is shorter. I even got a few non-expected things done, like buy some t-shirts from TJ Maxx and take my brother's dog to the vet because he was breathing weird and it kind of freaked me out. (He's fine, by the way!)

A few minutes ago, I put our old coffee table out on the corner with a sign that reads "FREE" taped to it. I've tried to give it away on Craigslist, but both people who said they'd pick it up no-showed (slackers!). So, now I'm trying the trailer park "how to get rid of my crap" method. I'm quite curious to see how long it takes for someone to adopt it. I really hope that doesn't count as littering!

Today is our new crock pot's maiden voyage. I made more. When I was a kid, it was a favorite family joke to ask for more more. (Yes, we were that lame ... does this really surprise you??) I've never made more for my family and hope it is a hit. I'll know in about an hour. Not sure what to serve as a side dish, though. I'll have to sift through the fridge and see what veggies jump out at me.

It got surprisingly warm today. I feel a little guilty sending Annika to day care in overalls. She's now happily munching on "nummies" (aka M&Ms) in a t-shirt and diaper, so I know she's cool now. I'm still in jeans and feel a bit too warm. Off to swap out the longs for a pair of shorts.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Front from the Flu

It seems to be official that the flu hit the Olson home. By Thursday evening, I was feeling so bad that I called my dear sister to get her medical opinion. After hearing my symptoms and the the upcoming holiday approaching, she suggested that I call my doctor. When Suzanne says to call the doctor, you know not to mess around. So, I called my doctor's office. After telling them my story, they said to lay low, stay away from people, drink plenty of fluids, wash my hands frequently, cover my cough, an call them if my fever reached 103. Considering I still felt like I'd been hit by a semi truck, laying low wasn't a problem at all! Fortunately, my fever didn't go over 102.2, so I didn't have to call back and started to feel a bit more human by Friday evening. My energy level is still pretty low, but at least the other symptoms are seeking greener pastures. Unfortunately, I think those pastures are named Eric. Poor guy looks beat up today. Which reminds me, I need to buy more Nyquil today so he has some to take tonight.

On an up note, Annika seems to have dodged this bullet. She's been a bit congested and a little out of sorts, but doesn't seem to have caught the nastiness that I had and Eric seems to be getting.

To celebrate the 4th, we're hiding from the general public. (Which I'm sure they're grateful for!) Annika played in her wading pool for awhile this afternoon while I tried to read my book. (She's more fun to watch, so reading fell by the wayside.)

Happy 4th of July one and all. Be safe!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Olson Sickies

A few days ago, I thought I had an allergy attack. Now I'm convinced that it is a summer cold. It sucks. My nose is so red that I look like a Rudolph impersonator. I sneezed so hard that I almost fell down the stairs at work about an hour ago. (That would be one heck of an L&I claim!!!) I felt so cruddy last night that I was in bed at 7:45. It was a good thing, but still ungodly early to be in bed. Annika has it too, poor little one. Surprisingly, she's been sleeping pretty well, which is a blessing. I think Eric is coming down with the same bug; I was hoping he'd avoid it, but I don't think we will be so lucky.

I have an interview with a placement company today. My contact with them thus far has been positive and today is our first in-person meeting. Keep your fingers crossed! I'll load up on cold meds right before the interview. Hopefully the Afrin I brought along will keep me sounding somewhat human! Last night, I reorganized my portfolio and put things in a more logical order. I also added some new pieces - particularly the marketing piece I did for Blank Slate Marketing. I also need to add a printout from Optimum Home Plans before I head out.

Tomorrow is our friend Nic's 33rd birthday. I find it kind of neat that I was 33 when I had Annika, Kate was 33 when she had Daniel, and Nic will be 33 when she has her baby in the fall. My mom was 33 when she had me and her mom was 33 when she had my mom. That is the age to have babies, I guess!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Random pictures from June


Snack time on the deck with Daddy


Ellie, Rachel, Hannah at Red Robin in Temecula, CA



Uncle Troy, Annika, Ian



Annika enjoying ice cream with her buddy Gage