Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas

Wow, what a full Christmas in the Olson home!

It all started off on Christmas Eve day. Annika and I baked cookies for Santa. After that, Bestemor and Bestefar came down from Whidbey to spend the night with us. We decorated cookies, played cards, and enjoyed spending time together. We had our traditional breakfast for dinner (this year, we had blintzes), went to church (it was packed), and read Twas the Night Before Christmas before putting out milk and cookies for Santa. We must have been good this year, because Santa brought us lots of wonderful presents.

After our morning of unwrapping, we started prepping for our Christmas dinner. I planned on us eating at 3:00 and I served up the first plate at 3:02 ... talk about a Christmas miracle!! We were joined by Uncle Troy, Aunt Staci, cousin Ian, cousin Kat, Nana, and our friend Nicole. We ate our fill (and then some) and enjoyed celebrating such a sacred and festive day together.

Leaving cookies and milk for Santa

Annika's new doll (Martha)

Playing cards

Conor wearing his new sweater that Bestemor made

Conor being "helpful"
Annika exploring her artistic side
Annika shared her new hair bow from Santa with Conor .... boy, will he be embarrassed by this photo in a few years!
Annika and Conor playing

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Growing, growing, growing

A couple of days ago, Conor turned 8-months old. It is amazing to think about the fact he has been with us almost as long as I was pregnant with him.

Over the past month, he sprouted his first two teeth, has improved eye/hand coordination, is eating more solids (favorites: mango, applesauce, squash with corn, and prunes with apple), and is interacting more and more with those of us around him. He laughs a great deal of the time ... especially when big sister Annika is there to entertain him.

Smilin' boy

This picture was taken by Conor's day care teacher. I love how she captured his truly joyous smile. Such a happy boy!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Snow Day

Last night, we got pounded by a snow and wind storm. It was great! We got about 3 inches of snow, which is sandwiched between a few layers of ice. No surprise that today is a snow day. No one is going anywhere.

So, Eric took the opportunity to teach Annika how to make a snowman. Unfortunately, it is a really dry snow, so it doesn't stick together well. They made snow piles or snow Jabba the Huts... enjoy! (Today's forecast: high of 24, low of 13. BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

We have teeth!

Last Friday, Conor was gnawing on my knuckle. No surprise there. The surprise came when I felt something sharp digging into my finger. I quickly realized it was a tooth! I felt around in his mouth and realize I was wrong ... it wasn't a tooth, it was TWO teeth! Our little over-achiver sprouted his first two teeth on the same day. Gold star for Conor's tooth development!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Conor's First Haircut

Today, Conor had his first haircut. OK, it was more of a trim, but it still counts! He is no longer the kid with hair in his eyes. He still has a full head of hair, but it's just a bit more even and less in his face. Jan has cut our family's hair for a long time and gave Annika her first haircut, too! We heart Jan. :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Uncle Jeff's Visit

Last night, our brother-in-law, Jeff, came over for a visit. He was in town for work-related training and had time to eat dinner with us. It was great to catch up with him and learn about his new job at Amazon and his training sessions. This was the first time that Conor and Jeff met, so that made the visit that much more special and memorable. Conor wasn't always quite sure what to make of Uncle Jeff's beard, but figured he was OK even so!

Another costume picture

Another gem from this year's Halloween photo collection.

Yes, Annika did wear 3 costumes for Halloween this year, what's your point? :)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Its a Very Olson Halloween

We had a very full day and it isn't over yet! As I type this, Eric and Annika are canvassing the neighborhood trick-or-treating their little hearts out.

Today, we went to the Woodland Park Zoo for their annual Halloween pumpkin event. Basically, they give pumpkins to the various animals and let them go to town on them. It was a lot of fun. We went with our friends the Hoglunds and the Minnichs. The kids had a great time and enjoyed wandering the zoo in their costumes. The highlight for the outing, however, was the big bear who decided to give us a heck of a show playing right in front of us.

After naps, we got going on carving our pumpkins. Annika was the artistic director coming up with the general looks of the pumpkins' faces. Eric and I provided the elbow grease and knives.
Annika has QUICKLY fallen in love with the idea of saying "trick or treat" and then people giving her candy. I think the fact she'll have to wait an entire year to do it again might be a big tough on her. ;)

Annika ready for the zoo

Conor at the zo0

Grace and Liam

Liam and Conor - two tigers!


Carving pumpkins


Our little UW cheerleader and tiger

Conor (Annika took this picture)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It's my birthday

A few days ago, I realized that my birthday was quickly approaching. It made me laugh to think about how important birthdays were when I was a child. I remember my sister making countdown calendars for me so I could mark off each day as my birthday drew ever closer. This year, I couldn't have even told you what day of the week my birthday would fall on. It isn't that I mind getting older. Instead, it boils down to the fact I have a heck of a lot going on in my life and my focus has shifted over the years. No longer are cake, presents, and "it's all about me" the priorities that they used to be. Now, it is more about our kids, getting ready for tomorrow, making sure we have clean clothes, that dinner is figured out, etc. I guess it is a sign of maturity (stop laughing!) that my birthday is a lower priority than the day-to-day needs of our little life and family.

Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of being celebrated and am so grateful for the wonderful birthday greetings I have received today. There's just something so simply special about each time the kids smile at me, when I'm caught up on the little things so I can stop and watch our family in all its wonder, and snuggling up with Eric for a moment of peace and quiet! My birthday wish for me: to enjoy a year of a healthy family, a few nights of good sleep, and the ability to say "it was a good year" when my birthday rolls around next year.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cute things she says

A couple of days ago, Annika and I were reading "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein. Annika knows this story VERY well and likes to say the last words of each page. We got to the page about how the tree and boy used to play hide-and-go-seek. Annika's version of the page ended with, 'hide-and-go-peek-a-boo". She invented a new game!!!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Updates from us

I can't believe how long it has been since I posted! Boy, am I a slacker or what?? (no comment from the peanut gallery!)

I'm sitting in our house listening to the furnace kick into gear for the first time this fall. How it has become mid-October, I don't know, but here we are.

Our family has been very busy with the riggors of day-to-day life. Annika is now thriving at her new preschool; she had a bit of a rough transition (lots of tears when being dropped off each day) but now is happy as a clam and has found her place at her new school. Her teachers are wonderful and we feel like this is a great learning environment for her. Yesterday, she came home with her paperplate scarecrow from art class (see below) and a poem (with hand motions) to go with it - beyond adorable! Annika is also taking another gymnastics class through the Seattle Parks and Rec department; the girl was born to flip and run. She LOVES "naxtics" class.

Conor is growing like a weed. He has his 6-month check up today. We are VERY curious to know how much he weighs. I'm starting to consider wearing one of those backbraces that professional movers wear when I carry him around. Conor is now sitting up unassisted, rolling like a champ, and has figured out how to scoot himself along the floor like an inchworm. He is (mostly) enjoying the world of solid foods. He's eating pears and apples (his favorites, as well as peas, bananas, turkey, and sweet potatoes (not his favorite, but he'll eat them when they're mixed with apples or pears). He has also started snacking on MumMum crackers (see video below).

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Conor is 6 months old!

I don't know how it happened, but Conor's 6-month "birthday" has already arrived. It just doesn't seem possible that our little guy isn't as little as he used to be. Last week, he figured out how to sit up on his own. Sure, he does flop over quite a bit, but he's definitely sitting up more and more like a champ every day. Conor is also figuring out how to inch along the ground ... we fear that crawling is just around the corner. Once that happens, watch out!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Our visit to the cabin

Recently, my sister came up for a visit. Her main goal was to check in on our father. Sadly, his memory is slipping quite quickly and he didn't even know who either of us was this week.

While Suzanne was here, we took a jaunt across the state over to Idaho and spent a few days at their cabin. It was such a treat to spend a few days enjoying our extended family and the gorgeous lake. As an added bonus, our niece Emily drove up from Lewiston, which is where she goes to college. On top of that, one of my brothers (Drew) drove over, too. We read, played games, threw rocks into the lake, went for walks, and relaxed. It was lovely! This was Conor's first trip to the cabin, so that made things extra special. :)

Annika took this picture of Emily

Drew and Annika in the hammock

Suzanne, Conor, and Emily

Annika taking in the sights



Mama and Annika

Pretty girl!

Emily reading to Annika

Emily and Conor

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First day of preschool

Today was Annika's first day of preschool. Not only was it her first day of preschool, but her first day at Christ the King School. It was very exciting for her ... mostly because she got to carry lunch to school for the first time ever. She had no qualms about us leaving her in a new place today, although there was a momentary look of "you're going to leave me?" on her face, but that was erased almost immediately once she heard there were puzzles to play with.

Our big girl!! (Yes, that is an 18-month shirt ... what's your point?!?!)

Friday, September 3, 2010

5 months old

Last Saturday, our little man turned five months old. His latest accomplishments are sitting up - at least for a few seconds before plopping over, developing more eye/hand coordination, and scooting along the ground like a little inch worm. OH - and he's growing like a man possessed! We're taking bets about when Conor will surpass Annika in weight. :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Our little monkey

From Annika's day care website...

Photos from our dinner w/ the Paulsons

We had a lovely evening with two of our favorite people recently. Amanda and Gill Paulson are such gifts to us. (They continue to love us, even when we forget to bring the salad to dinner!)

Mandy showing off the headband she gave to Annika

Gill and Conor

Amanda and Annika

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

State of Mind

I doubt many people would disagree when I say that I'm a fairly busy person. I get up no later than 5 o'clock in the morning and am rarely in bed before 9:30 at night. During that time, I work at my full-time job, make sure our family is clothed and fed and bathed (except for Eric, he generally takes care of that last one without my help), our laundry is done (sometimes folded!), our house isn't a complete mess (partial mess, yes, complete mess, no), our bills are paid, we're somewhat prepared for the next day, and I've brushed my teeth. My to-do list is never ending.

With so much going on, I think it is very easy to focus on what didn't get done instead of what was accomplished each day. Yes, I do still have a load or two of laundry waiting to be folded, but at least the clothes are clean and out of the dryer. True, there is clutter on our kitchen counter, but at least the counters aren't covered in crumbs AND clutter. OK, the kids' rooms have books and toys scattered here and there, but ... ummm... I don't have a plus for that one. I need to clean their rooms!

It can be hard to remember to focus on what was accomplished instead of what wasn't. I resolve to be better about that.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Busy, busy, busy weekend!

This is definitely a tired Monday. Our weekend was incredibly busy, which was fun, but also quite tiring.

On Friday, we had two of Eric's co-workers over for dinner; they're visiting from Mexico City and we always like to share a meal with them when they're here. We got takeout pulled pork from Caspers (southern food) and then made the rest of the meal at home. No matter how hard we try, we just can't make pulled pork that is as good as what we get from Caspers... especially when we order it with extra sauce. MMMMM!

On Saturday, Annika had her 3-year well child check up. She got a clean bill of health and her doctor is very pleased with how she's meeting the developmental milestones for her age. She weighs 26.8 pounds (8th %), is 36 inches tall (23rd %), and is in the 3rd percentile for her weight/height ratio. Basically, she's a wee one, but she's perfectly healthy. A bit after her dr. appt, Annika went to her daycare buddy's birthday party at the Mounger pool. The kids had a BLAST! Annika was heart broken when it was time to get out of the pool; pizza and cake were little consolation for the fact she had to stop splashing and going down the slide into the pool.

Annika enjoying a piece of Holly's b-day cake

On Sunday, Dave, Nicola, and Anne Russell came over for brunch. It was great to catch up with the Russells and hear all about what they've been doing lately, not to mention their upcoming trip to the UK. Sunday evening, we had dinner with our friend Mandy and her mom in Edmonds. Mandy was in town from NYC and was able to squeeze us in for a visit; it was such a treat to see her (and her mom, Gill)! (We miss you, Mandy!)

Conor sacked out after our dinner with Mandy and Gill

More pictures from our ridiculously busy weekend will be available soon. Stay tuned!

Conor is getting very close to sitting up on his own. He can do it for short spurts now, but usually winds up face planting himself within 10 seconds. We're working on his tripod sit and he's definitely figuring it out. Big boy!