Thursday, February 26, 2009

What do we do when it snows?

We woke up to a surprise this morning... a blanket of snow and a two-hour delay for Annika's day care. As I worked from home waiting for her day care to open, Annika occupied herself in a way that would make Eric and Uncle Troy proud. Toys R Us is really missing out on a marketing strategy - forget building blocks! Give kids bottles of beer! Not to drink, but to pack and unpack, pack and unpack, and then line in a variety of ways.

Step 1: Unpack Daddy's beer

Step 2: Repack Daddy's beer (repeat steps 1 & 2 a few more times)

Step 3: Commense beer relocation program

Step 4: Continue beer relocation program

Step 5: Show pride for a job well done

Step 6: Commense reorganizing relocated beer until satisfied (or it is time to go to day care, whichever comes first)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New Pictures

I realized that it has been a bit since I posted pictures of Annika. Here you go!

Washing Daddy's face

TP is way too much fun for words

Quite proud of her work

That was a mighty fine lunch!

Waving from her "car" while hanging out with Bunny

Monday, February 23, 2009

18 month check up

Annika had her 18 month well-baby check up on Saturday. She weighs 20 lbs, 8 oz, which puts her in the 5th percentile for weight. She's in the 35-40th percentile for height (I can't remember what Eric told me and he's the one who took her to the appt.).

She got 2 shots and won't need any more until she's ready for school (hurray!). Eric said she didn't make a peep when she got the shots - our brave girl!! She also had a finger prick to check for anemia. The first reading was 8.3 (below 10.5 is anemic); the lab person wanted to re-do the test because that seemed really low and the machine was known to give wonky results from time to time. So, they re-did the test and the results were 11.11 ... MUCH better!

The doctor was very impressed with Annika's verbal skills and her ability to identify various body parts (tummy, nose, eyes, ears,etc.) She got a clean bill of health and a thumb's up on her various developmental milestones. Yippee!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

New words

It seems that a switch inside Annika's brain flipped. New words are springing forth from her daily. Some of her newest ones are "bups" (bus), "nay" (horse sound), "baaaaa" (sheep sound), and "nuooooooo" (no) is making a more regular appearance in our home and it is almost always partnered with a comical amount of head shaking that nearly knocks her off of her feet.

I had lunch with my dear friend Caroline (aka "Rodney") yesterday. We haven't seen each other in a few months and I've missed her... even though we e-mail very regularly. 2008 was less than a kind year to her and I am thrilled to see that she still can smile and laugh. Caroline has a little boy who is about a year older than Annika; it is so fun to have a friend with a child who is doing many of the same things. We can bounce ideas off of each other and laugh at the goofy things our kids do on a regular basis. I must say, I think I get more out of our friendship at times because her son hits the stages a bit before Annika does. I can pick Caroline's brain for ideas and suggestions knowing she's just gone through the same or similar things. Aside from our dogs deciding to go on a bit of a walkabout, which caused Eric and his dad to go searching for them in the car, it was a perfect weekend.

We spent last weekend on Whidbey visiting Eric's parents. I think we set a record for number of Quiddler games played in a 24-hour period! Everyone won, which was a great bonus to the tournament. Annika was a champ; I think this was the easiest weekend we've had there with her. She slept well (YIPPEE) and didn't break anything (double YIPPEE!). It is such a treat to see Eric's parents interact with her. The love that they have for her is so evident ... it warms my heart to see it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

World's worst car wash

I took a few minutes to fill up my car's gas tank (running out of gas mid-span on 520 during rush hour tends to be frowned upon) and decided to run the car through the car wash.

The car wash (this term is being used VERY loosely) by my office has GOT to be the world's worst one on the face of the earth. I know we're in a recession, but I'm still pretty darned sure that car washes are supposed to use soap!! There wasn't a single bubble or sud to be found anywhere. Basically, I paid $6 to have water sprayed on the car, have the car get beat up by hard rubber strips that shockingly didn't shatter my windows, and then sprayed with more water. I resolve to stick with the car wash by our house; I know that place uses soap!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Fun in the Snow

Yesterday, we woke up to a bit of a surprise ... snow! Apparently, we didn't pay attention to the forecast, because we had no clue the white stuff was going to pay a visit. Because of the weather, Annika's day care opened 2 hours late. I worked from home until it opened, but took a couple of minutes to bundle up my little girl and give her some time to explore the snow. One of Annika's newest words is "brrr!", which I heard repeatedly as she poked her fingers into the snow on our deck.

After letting Annika enjoy the undisturbed snow, I let the dogs out onto the deck with us. Buca went bonkers; that dog LOVES snow. Annika stood watching him do crazy-dog circles, leap, jump, and pounce in the snow. Annika was in hysterics because of his antics; fortunately, I thought to get the video camera out in time to capture some of the entertainment.

Speaking of entertainment, Annika has a new hobby - watching Eric toss trail mix into the air and catch it with his mouth. Annika was laughing uncontrollably as each M&M and peanut flew through the air and was caught. Eric and I were following her lead - just laughing at her reactions instead of the flying trail mix. Who knew such things would entertain us on a Monday night?!?

Watching Buca

Poking at the snow. "Brrr!!"

Friday, February 6, 2009

18 Months Old Today

As I was getting ready for work this morning, I realized that today is the 6th of February. That means Annika is 18 months old today. In some ways, I am stunned that a year and a half has already flown by. In other ways, it feels like she's always been here and how could it only be a year and a half since her arrival?

It astonishes me to think about all of the things she's learned to do in 18 months. Not only has she learned the basics, like sitting, walking, etc., but she's also learned things that she just learned .... like books are wonderful, playing peak-a-boo from behind the curtains is fun, doggy kisses make her giggle uncontrollably, and chicken enchiladas are just about one of the best foods ever.

She isn't the only one who learned an immeasurable amount since her birth. Eric and I have learned about being parents (an on-going lesson!), developing more patience than we ever thought we'd need, and re-evaluating the really important stuff ... the dishes being in the dishwasher isn't nearly as important as sitting down to read a book or simply wrestle with Annika for a bit. The dishes will always be there .... Annika won't always be at the age where she wants to snuggle up with us for another reading of "Binky" or "Cow Wants to Sing".

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Exciting news

I just got word that my best friend's baby boy made his debut this morning. Welcome, little Daniel!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Weekend Getaway

On Friday afternoon, we packed up and headed to the mountains to enjoy the snow and cold for a few days with our friends Dave and Nicola. We rented a cabin in Plain, which is about 20 minutes from Leavenworth and it was quite ideal for our weekend. There was lots of snow on the ground (unfortunately, it had a thick layer of ice, so it wasn't snow to play in). We played games, read, and knitted. Annika loved having four adults to entertain.... especially when she realized Uncle Dave and Aunt Nic like to take pictures of her doing cute things. (That girl is a ham for the camera!) Nic was the big winner at Clue and Quiddler on Saturday night; the rest of us are trying not to hold that against her. Some vacations are go-go-go. This one wasn't. It was slow paced and low key. The cabin would be fun to return to in the summer; apparently the river that runs behind it is great for floating on innertubes.

One of the best things about our trip was I got some butter cheese from the cheese shop in Leavenworth. YUM!! I got hooked on that stuff when I was an exchange student in German many, many, many years ago. This cheese is kind of like havarti, but smoother and creamier. SOOO sinfully good. (Guess what I added to my turkey sandwich before leaving for work today!) A few years ago, I took a picture of my brother, Troy, wearing a wedge of cheese hat at this same cheese store. (Think of the cheese hats people wear to Wisconsin football games.) Well, they also have a bucket-shaped cheese hat that Annika decided to wear. It was big enough to cover her entire head! Our little cheese head!

Reading her book en route to Leavenworth

Wearing a cheese hat

Sitting at the bar like a big kid with Aunt Nic and Daddy

Just chillin' out