Friday, June 29, 2007

Anni's first short

Annikah made a movie today and she wanted to share it with the world. This is the debut of her short film: we hope you enjoy it (if not too bad you saw it for free). She is also modeling herself after Alfred Hitchcock as she make a quick appearance in her own movie (my girl has style and technique). As a bonus this video also features the not so pleasant grunt she has developed recently when I do something she does not approve of (like take the camera back).

Thursday, June 28, 2007

visit with the crazy Katie Z

Today my fabulous gal pal from college Katie Z came by to have lunch with Anni and I. She looks so great and just graduated with her K-9 teaching degree and is currently on the search for a full time teaching position. She will be a great teacher!! We had lunch and walked down to the beach where Anni proceeded to squeal with delight as she got her entire outfit soaked with water. I thought she would be happy just dipping her feet in (silly Mama). It was great to catch up and see what our lives have been like lately. We also reminisced and looked at old pictures from our younger, crazier college days. We love you Katie Z!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

when it rains it monsoons

Worst part about the rain today: being stuck in the parking garage for Swedish Covenant Hospital because it was flooded and then trying to drive home only to find 2 major streets blocked off because they too were under water.

Best part about the rain today: Annikah got to wear her ridiculous but adorable rain coat (who knew a baby needed a rain coat but we got it as a shower gift). This picture makes me smile as she looks like a little flasher (she was wearing shorts and a tank top I promise).

The Great Kidney Stone Debacle...



Sounds like a great Nancy Drew book doesn't it? It was not nearly as fun. I have had an interesting past 24 hours. Let me elaborate.
Yesterday morning I woke up around 6:15am and did my usual roll from bed and walk half asleep down the hallway to pee. Right after I peed I was in crazy pain, like sharp pains in my side and back. I thought "hmmm, weird, what did I eat yesterday? Maybe I slept funny? could I be sore from running?" but I dismissed this as nothing serious as Anni was now awake and in need of my boob. I laid in bed for a while and Jason tried to get ready and take care of Anni (a feat if you ask me) because I still felt yuck. I was hoping the pains would pass but they seemed to be hanging out, coming and going as they pleased with no regard for my plans that morning. One second it felt like someone was happily kicking my side with cleats or stabbing me with a knife and then the next it was just a mild slap. I refused to believe anything could really be wrong (anyone who has known me for more than 10 minutes knows I HATE doctors and hospitals and avoid them at all costs) and argued with my well meaning hubby about not going in. I made everyone breakfast but the pains kept intensifying. Jason finally made the executive decision to work from home (after seeing my curled up on the couch saying "I think I'll be fine to take care of Anni" (even though at this point I could definitely not pick her up)). All this went on for another couple hours until Annikah went down for her nap. Since it had been about 3 hours and the pain was not magically going away as I had insisted it would I drove myself to an urgent care place (MEMO TO SELF: would you find a primary care doctor already?). The drive over was the first time kidney stones even crossed my mind because the pain was getting so bad that I was actually yelling and scrunched over the wheel (I know fabulously safe driving Rox). I arrived and the nurse looked at me (face white, grabbing my back, hunched over) and said "honey, that ain't no UTI." Of course, she still questioned me about insurance and Jason's employers address (like I so remember that right at that moment) before letting me see a doctor.
After about 20 minutes of waiting they got me in with a very nice doctor who ran a urine test that came up fine. She did a physical exam (which was about as pleasant as the cervical exams in the hospital before you give birth as my back was screaming at this point). She could not really do much of an exam as I am sure she feared I would deck her if she touched me again ( I might have as I once punched another nurse but that is a story for another time). After a wonderful nurse came in and gave me a fabulous shot of some happiness inducing drug in my voluptuous bootay I was a much nicer person. The doctor also did the acupressure points on my legs that she learned hiking in China when she was a med student. Whatever, it helped!! Laying on the table I called Jason and as instructed mumbled something incoherent about needing him to pick me up because as the nurse said I would not be able to drive (no kidding, I could barely remember how to use my cell phone). My doctor said she would not give me an IV (remember I HATE them) if I would drink like 3 liters of water so I got busy. Jason called our friend Nicole Foster (who gets today's rock star award) for picking up Jason and Anni and bringing them to the urgent care place so he could drive me home. Jason and Anni arrived and got to hear the instructions for me being released (and as a good husband does omitted the "I told you so").
So, as the title of this post suggests (or gives away) it was indeed kidney stones. Now, I never saw said stone(s) but the pain-so-bad-it-makes-me-want-to seriously-jump-off-a-bridge was conformation enough. Before last year I thought only old men got kidney stones but thanks to my gal pal Laura (who bravely fought the stones last year (while pregnant)UGH!) I knew that it can happen to anyone. They doctor said I probably got it from a high protein, low fat diet coupled with dehydration (from nursing and running). I usually drink tons of water but have realized lately that I sometimes forget to carry my water (although I always can remember Anni's) and even felt dehydrated on Saturday. After all that I left with a little strainer to pee in, some pain medication prescriptions, and some recommendations for some herbal remedies. On our way home we stopped to eat and get the herbal remedies (in fact I am drinking my tea right now). I am totally trusting that they stuff they gave me will be helpful as the labels are in German. The little pills are oils to help break up any stones that remain and the tea is a diuretic. So we shall see.... Later in the day my gal pal Jill stopped by and went to Costco with me and Anni to help lift the jumbo quantities of stuff (rock star award for her too!).
So far so good but it is also scary as the said the next 36-48 hours I kind of just have to sit and wait to see if anything else happens. If there are any lil buggers left in there I am drowning them with water and tea and they are no match for me- I just had a baby remember!*
Even though the day started out with kidney stones it ended on a high note as we went to the Indigo Girls concert at Ravinia. I know you may be saying "was it really a wise decision to go to a concert in the midst of having kidney stones?" But to that I say "we had a babysitter and regardless of whether or not I pee rocks I want to see the Indigo Girls." I am not just going to sit around in case I feel terrible again. Plus, to be safe we drove our car instead of taking Metra in case we needed to go to the emergency room. I love the two pictures above because the first one I was still having a little pain but the second one I was feeling much better and enjoying our night out. God is good and I am fine. Thanks to all who helped and prayed. I shall keep you all updated on any more incidents in the case of the Great Kidney Stone Debacle (we are hoping for no sequels).

*for those inquiring minds & those of you who asked I still say labor is way more painful then having kidney stones. Men shall just never understand (unless maybe they have a 6 pound stone).

Sunday, June 24, 2007

more craziness and birthday madness!


Today was just as busy but equally as fun as Saturday. Summer weekends just seem to fill up so quickly and before we know it is Sunday night!

Today we were church ditchers but instead of going to "bedside Baptist" as good slackers do we took an infant CPR class at Be By Baby. Before going Anni again protested her morning nap. Seriously, what is up with this not sleeping in the morning? According to all the sleep books she should still be taking a morning nap well into her first year. Today she was anti AGAIN. We won't worry as of now but if she shows up tomorrow with picket signs or burns her teddy in effigy panic will ensue at Engstrom manor! She of course fell asleep in the car seat and we were able to do our first ever successful car-to-stroller-while-still-asleep transfer. This was a big deal as usually our choices are A. keep driving until she wakes up (but with these gases prices who can do that?) or B. wake her up and be prepared for the damage control. Today she slept in her stroller for almost half the class- fabulous! I used to be certified in CPR but really only paid attention to the bigger kids as that was what mattered to me at the time so we decided to take it together. The class was helpful and even though we hope to never have to use any of our new found knowledge it does offer some comfort and confidence for us first timers.
After the class we ran to Trader Joe's (in preparation for our Ravinia concert of the Indigo girls tomorrow night) and headed home for Anni to nap at home. We she awoke after a brief siesta we headed out with Greg Foster and Charlotte (Nicole was at a jewelry show) to Aislin Anstee's 1st birthday party. The food was fabulous as always and they had a bouncer that even the babies got to enjoy (see video). Another fun birthday party made great by awesome friends. We really partied it up this weekend.

A Thomas birthday party and other saturday happenings





Joel is 3 (well, almost as he pointed out to us "not really fee til Monday"). We had a busy and somewhat rushed Saturday but ended it at Joel's B-day party (late but at least we made it).
We started the day with a run (me) and a walk (jason and Anni). Later great guest speakers from a church called 2 Rivers in Tennessee spoke at our all church meeting. They really challenged us to believe what the Bible says about prayer and intercession and not let our our own fear of "being right" keep us from praying for ourselves or others. It was a good reminder and challenge that God is good and He desires to give good gifts to His children. The verse in Matthew has new meaning to me since becoming a Mom "So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him." Mostly, I think I am guilty of not having the faith to ask. I am praying about more boldness when it comes to grasping hold of what is promised to us.
After the meeting we had a nice neat plan to go home and feed Anni lunch and then put her down for a nap and then; according to our stellar plan, she would wake up right before we needed to leave to drive to Jorie and Mark's. Anni laughs in the face of plans!! She fell asleep in the car as soon she hit her car seat WHICH NEVER HAPPENS. Perhaps, I should recall the tale of Anni driving 5 hours to St. Louis and not sleeping once to make my point. So, needless to say we were shocked and then perplexed: what does this mean? she did not eat lunch, how long will she sleep? will she sleep later too? These may seem trivial but those of us who know that a 20 pound (or in our case a 24.5 pound) infant can decide the fate of an entire day for you these issues are of serious concern. It felt like we were in the midst of a covert op and these decisions would affect the outcome of a mission (or at least the fate of the birthday party). She snoozed for a bit woke up and our friend Kim (who gets the rock star award as she offered to watch at least 2 babies besides her own yesterday so couples could pray together with the prayer team) fed her a little lunch. We picked her up and went home. Since she seemed sleepy we put her down thinking she could snooze for a little while before we headed out to the burbs. But Anni continued her mocking of our plans by taking one of her rare marathon naps (never when you need to get stuff done around the house but always when you need to be somewhere). We finally woke her up and headed out to the Thomas birthday party.
Joel was eagerly awaiting our arrival and when we entered the decked out house with Thomas decorations everywhere we were greeted by the adorable Joel who then proceeded to yell "Mommy, now open presents, now open please!!" It was so cute, he could barely contain his excitement but he did wait until we ate pizza and sang some train songs. After watching Joel I think 3 is when birthdays really get good. We all know that 1 year old parties are really more for the parents and the pictures than anything (I of course will completely follow the trend in having one but lets face it they are not for the baby). But 3 years is totally different. Joel was ripping through the gifts and showing elation (at anything Thomas or train related) and apathy (at dress shirts) just as his age demands. It was refreshing and so fun to watch. The night ended by Anni defying our expectations of a screaming and crying (Anni screaming and us crying) car ride home by being sweet and adorable even though we pushed her bedtime by over an hour. We say conductor hats off to Joel for having the coolest train party we have ever been to!
Above are some pictures of the proud Joel with his station (the name escapes me but Joel knew it the minute he opened it), the 3 cousins reveling in the new trains and track, and Great Grandma and Grandpa Engstrom who just celebrated their 70 year wedding anniversary (WOW, the rock star award does not cover this one I shall have to come up with a new one). What a great day!


Friday, June 22, 2007

that was then.. this is now



Today Anni and I drove out to Oak Park to see dear friends. We visited Jamie (who was in town from Seattle visiting family) and Annalea (who drove to meet us from Normal with 2 kids-rock star award!) and their adorable kiddies. Jamie has Persis who just celebrated the Big 1 in May! Jamie and I spent many a times on the phone discussing sleep (or lack there of in the first 6 months of our daughters lives and she was especially valuable to me as she was "older and wiser", ok only by a few months but the learning curve is huge in having a baby so she was an expert to me). Annalea has Luca (or "Guca" as he refers to himself) and the adorably laid back Gia who we had not met yet and who spent most of the day sleeping various positions and locations (Annalea's comment was "that is a second kid- she takes sleep where ever she can get it").
It seems impossible to envision our lives without kids now but we were crazy college roomies way back when. It is awesome that we have seen each other grow, through blessings and disappointments over the last 10 years. Even though we do not get to talk and see each other as often as we would like our get togethers since becoming Mamas have been fabulous. We all agreed that even though we are all in separate parts of the country since becoming Moms we think about each other even more. I know that it is a comfort to me that in the sometimes repetitive and mundane (did someone say Groundhog day? I swear I emptied this dishwasher yesterday and didn't I just wash these diapers?) tasks of Mommy-hood my sisters are out there doing the same things all hoping and praying that we are dong what is right for our kids. That the decisions we make will impact them and they will grow up to realize that God loves them and that in turn they will be empowered to love others. That they will be brave enough to seek change for the faults and injustice they find in their world (while we also pray that we will have the grace and courage to let them stumble and find their own way and that they will forgive our inevitable mistakes in loving them).
We sat in the backyard of Jamie's parents house and discussed various topics. Here is a sampling....
what kind of applesauce is the best, how little we appreciated college when were there and how much we wish we could take some of the classes over (ok, not EEE), how the heck does Annalea understand Luca?, the upsides and downsides of living in the city vs. the suburbs, what God is revealing to us, why I hate Egg salad and everyone else loves it, how hard life was when our babies did not sleep through the night, when exactly can babies eat strawberries?, how much we want to have more kids and either do want to be pregnant again (Annalea) or DO NOT (Jamie and myself), we quoted Clueless, and laughed so hard at the faces our babies made that we cried, and marveled about how amazing it is that we all have these beautiful awe-inspiring kids entrusted to us. I am thankful to have friends to grow with. That was then and it was good but this is now and it is grand.
*The top picture was taken today and the 2 following were taken the last time we got together in October (Anni was only 5 weeks old and Gia was still hanging out in the belly). I had to include the last picture which I entitled "I hate my new friends." Annikah had a little more fun today although Persis may not invite her back after the hair pulling incident (Anni does have hair envy-beware!).

Thursday, June 21, 2007

will sign for cookie

So, here is video proof that Anni is signing (and being adorable and sharing). She still does not quite have the hand placement down but she sure knows that she wants more cookies and doing that little gesture rewards her with her desired outcome! What a smart cookie (pun intended).

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

everyone should have one...

I hope you have friends that you can go without seeing for 2 yeas but as soon as you do you just pick up again and are able to discuss everything and anything. I think everyone should have friends like this. My friend Julie came over today to catch up. She and her husband Daniel are home from Austria where they are missionaries. We knew each other from First Free here in Chicago and Julie and I taught the kids in Sunday school together. Daniel was just appointed as a pastor of a church in Innsbruck (which is an amazing thing as there are very few churches that are headed by Austrian born people). She came by with her 2 1/2 year old daughter Rebekka (their 5 month old Miriam has chicken pox and thus had to stay home quarantined :(. The last time I saw her was when she was Anni's age and Annikah was not yet a twinkle in Jason's eye. It was great to catch up and hear about their ministry and life in Austria (she even brought pictures of the gorgeous mountains practically in their back yard). We are able to stay in touch through their newsletter but actually hearing experiences first hand was a blessing! It was also amazing to see how Rebekka can switch from German to English with ease and how she got so excited talking about Austria. The Kistenichs are not only friends but also a reminder that when God has a plan for you He works out the details and sees that His purposes are achieved. We miss them but are so happy they are doing great!

Check us out at the beach*, Rebekka ran around usurping other kids beach toys while Anni desperately tried to get in the water (although she failed this she manged to squirm until her whole outfit was pretty wet).

*I know, I know.....enough with the beach already but I decided that if there are any haters out there... TOO BAD! I will no longer apologize for going to the beach everyday I can. It is beautiful and restores my soul. I love it and so does my adventurous, water lovin', sometimes sand-eating bebe. You see, us Chicagoans that spend what seems like 8 months trapped inside appreciate the weather! So, haters be warned if you continue to read this blog there will be many more entries about the glorious beach!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

baby modeling gig

A while back Anni got her first paying gig, it is about time as she has been hanging around here for a just sucking up funds. She did baby modeling for Ameda and is featured on their website(the home page cycles through 4 pictures so you can refresh until you see cutie Anni, also check under the Breastfeeding tab, and then click just for mom). I was reminded of this when I got an email informing me that a "breastfeeding story" I wrote for the company was finally on the site (under the community tab and then breastfeeding stories). We are super famous (ok, marginally cool and completely unrecognizable but still :)

more zerberts please

Isn't that what Bill Cosby called them? Whatever they are Anni loves them........

Monday, June 18, 2007

more padre day pics




here are a few more pictures from this Sunday courtesy of Jorie.

Papa's day weekend



















This weekend was so busy but fabulously fun. We celebrated Jason's first Father's Day. The weather was perfect for getting outside and sweating and then swimming.
Grandma Rho was joined by the fun and crazy Grandpa Jim (who gave Anni sips of his lemonade, she now of course prefers this over her water). On Saturday Jason was off on the alpha retreat and Grandma and Grandpa went to Wheaton to visit Rhoda's parents so Anni and I were all alone. We decided to hit the pool! All of the outdoor park district pools are now open and we checked out River Park. We met Beck and Rob Anstee and their adorable girls Indigo and Aislin. Anni is quite a brave little girl when it comes to water (something which may worry me more as soon as she becomes mobile but for now I love it). She loved swimming and even sat in the splash pad area with "the big kids." I so enjoy being with other families and seeing all the kids at the pool. It is a reminder that at any given moment of being a Mom there are others experiencing similar emotions (rapture, frustration, elation, exhaustion, pride, embarrassment, and joy). Later Saturday Grandma and Grandpa returned and we headed off to Family Fest in Rogers Park sponsored by the Family Empowerment Center. It was a great event and Anni enjoyed tasting my ice cream and then snacking on the germ ridden plastic balls in the inflatable jumper. She was very happy sitting there watching the other kids jump around while she munched on the colorful but completely gross plastic balls- yum! She alos got to hang out with her buddy Charlotte.

On Sunday, after a breakfast of Swedish pancakes and a walk to the lake to check out the newly painted benches, we were off to church and burned up in the sanctuary with no air conditioning. Jason had a good prospective about this saying it allows us to experience a little of what our brothers and sisters experience throughout the world that worship every Sunday without the comforts of air conditioning: good point! After church the Dillman clan invaded and the boys (Mark, Jim, Jason) and Jorie were off to the Cubs game leaving me and Grandma Rho to hold down the kid fort. While Silas napped Anni, Joel, and I went to the beach. After the game (Cubbies LOSE:( we all had a cookout and then walked down to the beach. The kids loved the water and we were enthralled watching them. It is so fun to rediscover the wonder of sand running through your hands when you watch your baby fascinated by it. When we returned everyone was covered in water and sand but it was well worth it! These pictures are a sampling of our Father's Day weekend!
One of the best things for me this weekend was when Jason turned to me while he was feeding Anni her apricots and avocado and said "thank you for having her and making me a Dad." I was taken a back as I was cleaning the kitchen but it was a super sweet and meaningful, one of those times when you stop the busyness to just soak in the moment. Ultimately, God made him a father but I sure had a part in it! I so appreciated his gratitude. I also am so thankful for him, who he is as my husband and a father. He is still pretty new at this gig but I say he is doing a great job!

Friday, June 15, 2007

first time in Lake Michigan





Big surprise we went to the beach AGAIN today (I promise for all my noble readers we will try to be a little more varied in our excursions and thus posts but with this weather can you blame us?) Grandma Rho captured these great pictures of Anni taking her first dip in Lake Michigan which was surprisingly warm. We did not even bring her suit as we thought the water would be too cold hence the impromptu wearing-your clothes-and-10-pound diaper in super gross lake water. Jason was having as much fun as Anni. Notice her admirers in the background. She LOVED the lake and playing with the sand (until she attempted a little taste test with a handful). Hopefully we will have more fun outside tomorrow.

hangin' with Grandma Rho




Grandma Rho is here from Iowa and we have been spending most of our time outside enjoying the weather. Today we walked down to the lakefront (after getting giant diet cokes paid for with change again) and then to a park right on the beach. Anni once again enjoyed swinging. She is a bit of a daredevil, loving to go pretty high even prompting Jason ("the protector of the monk" as he has dubbed himself) to ask "Can't she fallout?" To which I replied "not with that heavy bootay holding her down." We met a Mom of twins who were now just over a year old (adorable girls named Madeline and Mae). We stopped our stroller to chat with her and I had not yet strapped Anni in for our walk home. Right as I was congratulating this Mom on actually keeping two babies alive and well saying "I do not think I could do it, just one keeps me busy" my one proceeded to wiggle out of her seat and begin to fall through the stroller bar. Before anyone called DCFS I was able to successfully strap her in and avoid any injuries. The little girl wiggles like crazy. Highlights with Grandma Rhoda thus far include fun walks to the park, introducing Rho to the RPM gang, chillin' in the baby pool, and sketchy stories about horse mating (I keep telling her SHE needs a blog to tell her fabulous and hilarious stories like my personal favorite when she took a group of 1st graders on a field trip to a farm and a cow pooped all over one of the kids, like shoulders to shoes- how funny is that?). Stay tuned for more of our adventures and mishaps with Grandma Rho this weekend.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Two incidents which illustrate Annikah's brilliance

We have always known our Annikah is brilliant. We have high hopes for her like any parent. Here are 2 incidents that show her outstanding aptitude. First, a few nights ago while Jason was reading Annikah a bedtime story he was showing her the animals featured in said story and pointed to the cat and of course said "cat." Anni responded by pointing to Bonita who was walking by under the rocking chair. She connected cartoon cat with real cat (that she still rips hair out of daily)- WOW!
Second, yesterday she signed the baby sign we have been using for "more." Of course, it was a little skewed but it was confirmed by both Grandma Rhoda and Jason. Of course, she wanted more animal cookies, that is my girl. So all this to say I submit these happenings as early evidence that our daughter is in fact Harvard bound. While we were marveling at her brilliance she stuck a Cheerio in her ear and we were a bit more grounded in reality.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

the flags


Here is Jason and Annikah by the mysterious flags. We are at the beach EVERYDAY! It is so fun to meet new people all the time and then run into friends from the neighborhood. Yesterday Anni and I were sitting in the front yard enjoying the weather and I heard a voice yell "Annikah?" I turned and it was a Mommy friend we meet last week and her kids (she recognized Anni- how cool is that?). Summer is the best!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

anni is very popular in the blog world

Not only do I see her as blog worthy but our good friend Laura does as well. Check out her blog about Anni's stylin' shoes. We hope all this media coverage does not go to her head lest she end up in jail (sort of) like some other media divas.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

summer festivals and friends....






This weekend has been busy! On Saturday Jason and I volunteered as "gate keepers" at MidsommarFest in Andersonville (an aside, gate keepers always reminds me of ghost busters- you know when that Gozer thing has Zuul as the gatekeeper- am I the only one?). Sorry so random, it was fun but super crowded due to the fabulous weather. Sunday morning before going to church it seemed like an entire day had passed (it usually seems like that when your baby wakes up at 5am and will not be persuaded to return to sleep even when you so kindly allow them into your bed and then all they proceed to do is pick your nose for 20 minutes). When 10am rolls around we have already been up for 5 hours! A high point of this early rising was that we took Anni down to the lakefront and we were the only people there except this mysterious guy putting up these huge flags. We have often seen these flags and wondered what the represented. When we asked the lifeguards in the past they said they had no idea either as they were there when they arrived. It was a mystery until today: Jason met met Bruce who explained that he lives most of the year in Bali and Nepal and puts the flags up from those countries. I kid you not here was Jason's quote about this new discovery: "I am such a sleuth, I feel like Nancy Drew!"

We headed to church and the Gospel group "The Deliverance Singers" performed and then most of us followed them out to the center stage at MSF. As we were walking out of church I noticed the stroller parking lot in the foyer and had to snap a picture. This is a common sight at a church who had over 25 babies born in the last year. I love me some good Gospel music and apparently so does Anni. She and her cohorts in crime loved dancing! I got some cute pictures of our friend Jim and his little boy Jason's matching sandals, Anni stealing our friend Kate's glasses, and Anni sporting her L stop shirt next with her future hubby Joshua (oh yeah, Laura and Jason are in the picture too). After hanging out at MSF for a bit we headed home and Jason's good friend Jeff from elementary school came by with his wife Kerry and their son Caleb. Jeff was in our wedding and Jason was in his. We wanted to take a picture of Jeff with Caleb and Jason holding Anni but alas naps made it impossible so Jeff and his genius graphic design skills are going to work some photoshop magic- look for the picture soon :) They are moving to Colorado so we wanted the babies to meet and see each other before they headed out. We grabbed lunch and hit the beach and park and discussed how crazy it is that we now have our own babies!
Summer festivals and friends are what summer is all about in Chicago!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Accha Day








Our fabulous friend Aditi had Annikah and I over today to teach us how to make Indian food-Yummy or Accha (good in Hindi)! Aditi is the wife of one of Jason's co-workers, Giri, and since she and I were both "at home" our hubbies decided to hook us up and we became fast friends.
We love to chat about the differences and similarities between India and America. I had her over a few months back (she took the L in the freezing weather so she gets mad props). I was supposed to show her how to make "American" food except for that I really never cook much that is distinctly American. In fact, as far as I am concerned one of the best things about living here is that we have managed to rip off almost every other type of food. So, that day we made Greek chicken Kabobs and Tzatziki. Today we made Butter chicken which is all together scrumptious (although not low fat) and my favorite Indian dish Spinach Paneer. I actually think after a trip to Devon Ave. I can replicate these dishes- Thanks Aditi!! I also got to see pictures from her brother's recent wedding in India. It was a 3 day affair and the pictures were amazing!! Giri and Aditi are now loving Chicago (and we were sure to tell them it gets even better in the summer) but they still insist that there is no good food here. A declaration that Jason and I are horrified by as we both would be 500 pounds if budgets and time (and ok health) were non-issues. We hope they will join us next week at our favorite Mexican joint where we can force feed them!

Since Aditi & Giri live right downtown (with a view from the 27th floor) Jason walked over after work and we decided it was plain sinful to just go home when the weather was so gorgeous. So we headed down to Millennium Park and Anni took her first trip to "the bean" and she also loved "walking" in the fountain. We then came home and enjoyed our butter chicken and paneer (well Anni had peas and watermelon). ACCHA!



Thursday, June 7, 2007

I only perform once

Annikah is now 9 months old and it seems as if she is learning a new skill everyday. Her latest fancy new thang is waving. At first she would have her palm facing herself and wave (because as a friend pointed out that is what she sees as we wave at her). She has now perfected her skill and from the baby backpack today waved at some college guys and they in turn laughed and waved back. What a flirt! Here is never before seen footage of her mad new skill. Notice that she only "performs" once so you better catch it and think it is adorable :)

Diet Coke junkie


OK, so I admit I am a diet coke junkie. Jason and I are really trying to keep to our grocery budget and since we have gone over the last few months we decided to cut many frivolous thing such as ice cream and pop.
I am more of an addict that I thought. After being deprived & standing strong for almost a week I cracked. It is a crazy hot day and we walked back from the car repair place (our air conditioner among other things is broken on our car- a friend of mine suggested that there is some car vortex as so many people are having car problems right now- I agree!).
After having lunch I saddled up Anni in the baby backpack and headed to the lake. Anni had a blast swinging and I got to chat with other Mamas who were in a heat induced coma as well. On the way back a CTA bus passed us with an ad for a nice big cold cup of coke from Mcd's. "It had me at Hello" shall we say and it triggered a desperate need for Diet Coke. I hate to be a sucker for advertising but I admit I was now frantic for a nice, cold, tall glass of Diet Coke. I searched my backpack, no money and I knew I had no more cash at home. I was not about to charge 89 cents (although this is not entirely above me as I once charged 2 bucks:). We walked all the way back home and I was determined. I searched my purse for change, our couch, the stroller (which proved to be advantageous as I found a quarter). I finally "stole" some change from J's change jar he keeps hidden away. I justify this act of theft because I was hot and feeling the craving bad.
We walked back to McD's and I got my Diet Coke and it was so fabulous and wonderful. The bonus is that when I am finished drinking it I can go swimming in the cup :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

a new game

Here is a video of Annikah's new favorite game. She enjoys this game as we are trying to dress her and get her ready for bed. The "rules" of this game are that she throws the pacifier (that she has no use for other than as a toy or if another baby has one- then watch out cuz she will rip that sucker right out of any poor unsuspecting baby's mouth). She throws the pacifier on the floor and then laughs as Jason or I reach down to pick it up. She then repeats this until we take the paci away. She has also recently added the trying to propel herself off the changing pad and watching as we try to keep her from bungee jumping with no cord. Fun times.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

to spite the weatherman







Saturday defied the weather channel's prediction of rain and we loved it! After helping some friends move a bed frame (well J helped and Anni and I played in the backyard with Andrea and her adorable son who has recently impressed all of us with his "poo poo in potty" as he says :) we stopped by Trader Joes. After lunch and Anni's nap we filled her little swimming pool in the backyard and she played in there for over an hour amazing us (she NEVER does anything for an hour, at least not happily). Jason and I discussed how much things stay the same in that this little pool is exactly the same as when we were little, same mold, same little octopus guy searching for treasure. This comforting to know since most baby toys now light up, blink, sing, move, or are just plain crazy. Her little pool stayed the same and she loves it. After her dip we had dear friends over from college that were part of our Habitat gang. Still no rain so we all checked out our local park on the lakefront where Anni did her swinging next to a baby named Roxanne (An aside I have only met like 3 people in my life with my name so it was pretty exciting to meet a Roxanne, I warned her Mom about the Police song comments and she said she already gets them, People of the world I beg you DO NOT sing that song, we have heard it and it was not that funny then, plus would you really want strangers to sing to you a song about a prostitute? Still, a great name & I wish lil Roxanne much luck with it). Stan and Jess are fabulous and Anni agreed as she smiled at Jess every chance she got and was very interested in Stan's red beard! Here to Saturday spent in the pool and with friends.