Friday, August 31, 2007
at 9:49 PM
Annikah is officially one today (at 5:15 pm). As we were getting ready for the day this morning Jason asked me if I remember what we were doing last year at that exact time, of course I do- I seem to recall being so exhausted and contractions with no end in sight. Lucky for me it was all worth it.
Yeah for her and yeah for us- what a year!
We thought we would post a few of Anni's favorite things at 1:
*her push toy- she can know loop the entire condo without help (except for the occasional stuck wheel and then she signs "help" (or screams depending on her patience level) and we come to her rescue and she is quickly off again)
*being outside & strolling in the neighborhood
*waving and flirting with strangers (her adorable antics have even gotten us free donuts and free fruit at Trader Joe's)
*running each morning with Mama (although Anni definitely has the better gig of sitting in her lil' chariot (26.2 or bust!))
*goldfish crackers, avocado, and 100 calorie pack toucan cookies from Trader Joe's
*snuggling with Mama & Papa
*kissing toys, people, animals you name it!
*swimming and going to the beach (eating sand and fearlessly going into the water are highlights)
*pointing at the L train EVERY TIME it rolls by
*dogs (when we are out she always wants to pet them and evens loves the slobbery kisses) and our cat Bonita
*music & dancing- whether it is her nursery rhymes or baby praise music or even Hip Hop blaring from a passing car the girl cannot help but shake what her mama gave her! (she actually has pretty good rhythm too!)
*reading books with Papa & going to the library with Mama (the security guard there always smiles and talks to her)
*making messes and creating chaos (although it seems I spend most of my days picking up & cleaning up it usually looks like a tornado has ripped through our place)
Those are a few on Anni's favorite things at 1. Today there was a fabulous moment actually caught on tape (the best part of the video is my ridiculous freaking out in the background) but it is pretty awesome that I happened to catch this and it happens to be on her birthday!!
at 2:34 PM
Thursday, August 30, 2007
As any long time readers of this blog know I do not have the best of luck with the post office near my place. In addition to our past whoahs they recently lost a package I sent back to a company for a refund and had no apology or offer to help remedy the situation. Last week Jason realized we needed my original birth certificate asap to apply for a residency in Africa and thus went to our safe deposit box to retrieve it. After going over there he realized we only had a copy so I phoned my mom up and asked her top look for it at her home. She phoned me back right away and said she had a stamped copy and an original and that she could bring it to the Lake house this weekend for me. I reported back to Jason and he said that would not be soon enough as we needed to send this out this week so I called Mom back and asked her to send it in the mail (loud scary music for effect). We both agreed the only way to make certain it would arrive was to certify it and insure it. She rushed over and did it right away for us (as an aside I must award the rock star award to Mom as she is always willing to drop everything to help her kids). She sent it and we waited....next day no letter...next day no letter. Finally, after taking Anni swimming on that incredibly hot Wednesday I arrived home to find the little orange slip saying it was at the Rogers Park Post Office and I could pick it up after 7:30am on Thursday. I went in at around 9:30am Thursday morning and waited in line and when I was beckoned to step forward I presented my little slip and ID, so full of expectation and hope. The nice man named Wayne disappeared into the back to search for it. When he still was not back after 4 or 5 minutes I started to worry and the other customers waiting the the post office from hell line started to give me dirty looks as if I had asked the man to go retrieve my package from India. He returned, no letter, no box, nothing except my sad little orange slip. He reported that he could not find it. After attempting to reason and ask standard questions, ie. "do you think it will show up later? could the carrier still have it? What do I do to get it back?" he warmly said that he had no idea. I love that! He did give me a number to call to reach more people that may or may not have any idea where my letter was. I went home defeated and sad. Upon returning home Jason (who was working from home) became extremely annoyed and called the number. He got a supervisor on the phone who after Jason had gone through the whole saga said "wait, sorry I was listening to someone else can you say that again?" Jason explained again fearing that his head would actually explode from the mind numbing inability for anyone to know what we should do next. After the man listened to the story of me going there, no one knowing what to do and passing the buck to him he uttered the best quote ever that makes me smile, "Oh man, customer service here sucks." Jason promptly agreed and got off the phone before anymore brain cells were damaged. The love for the US postal service was found again I am happy to report as after calling early this morning and asking to talk directly to our mail carrier (he is a sweet man that resembles a skinny Santa Claus with long white hair, Anni flirts with him often) and explaining the situation he had pity on me and said that he was not sure what happened after he dropped it off but he would try to look for it personally and then if he found it would bring it by around 2 pm (our normal mail time). Not only did her personally search through everything he found it and made a special trip over here to bring it to us at 11am!! So, here I sit with my birth certificate in hand and my relationship with the US postal service (although dysfunctional) is still thriving.
at 5:09 AM
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
As I was biking home from church on Sunday I spotted a yard sale with kids toys. I am always a sucker for a great deal and we have been looking for a little walker toy for Annikah. I stepped on my brakes and turned around. I saw this little beat up wooden walker toy and I was sold. I love items with a story, experience, and history and this little walker had it all. I asked the gentleman in the front yard how much it was was and he replied "if you got a dollar it is yours." I quickly counted out my quarters and dimes (those who know me know I NEVER carry cash so it was a miracle I even had a dollar:). Luckily I had just over a dollar so the lil' wooden toy was mine. Biking home the rest of the way proved to be a challenge but when I got home I presented Anni with her new treasure. I love this toy because of its sweet simplicity; no lights, no music, no cartoon characters. Just a wooden box on 4 wheels with a handle. Understated yet brilliant. She immediately knew what to do with it and was soon walking all over the house, up and down the long hallway. She loved it so much that about 10 minutes later when we decided to go outside she cried and we peeled her little fingers off the handle. Jason agreed that I made the best purchase ever and we pondered how many other little kids had learned to walk on this walker and how Anni is now part of that legacy. After a good cleaning and some TLC it was ready for her and since Sunday night Anni and her lil wooden walker have been inseparable. She even learned that she can transport her other little goodies from room to room by putting them in the wooden box. I was watching her walk with it the other night and started to tear up. She seems so old, so independent. She was walking without any help from me. First, walking with a walker, then walking, then school, a drivers license, then college....for the first time I really resonate with what other parents always tell me "appreciate it now, they grow so fast."
at 12:25 PM
Monday, August 27, 2007
Sunday was a day of rest even though we did not stop moving much at all. It was fabulously cool and sunny so we were determined to be outside every possible moment to enjoy the end of summer (even bringing myself to type "end of summer" causes tightness in my chest but I am working on accepting it). Annikah had a good day, the morning started with her getting fed grapes by Papa (what a princess! If you ever doubt who rules this house we submit this photo). After a walk outside I went to my favorite church service of the year: the baptism at the lake (only it was not at the lake this year due to e coli-yummy!) so we had it at First Free. It was awesome to hear people's stories of lives changed by Christ. After church we went to the Back to School festival sponsored by Joe Moore and his cronies. As you may remember we did not vote for him but yesterday our desire to get free food and an ID tag for Annikah outweighed our politic allegiance and thus we caved. Jason suggested that we wear shirts that said "We voted for Gordon: Now prove us wrong." A fabulous idea but I did not have enough iron on letters: foiled! After the Moore fest we moseyed over to the Glenwood Ave Arts Festival in our neighborhood. Anni loved shaking what her Mama gave her to the music, Reggae was her preferred music of choice. She also LOVED watching the puppet show put on by Lifeline Theater.
Of course for dinner we grilled out and then decided it was too nice to not go out one last time so we took a bike ride to the DQ on Howard street. Anni has recently decided she likes her bike seat and will tolerate her helmet (especially if ice cream is involved) much to Jason's delight. We got all the way there to find that it was closed down :( Not to be a failure we got some dollar menu sundaes from McD's and made our way home.
at 4:56 PM
As many have heard I had some weird fever, virus, overall feeling yuck thing last week. Well, I thought after a trip to urgent care and some strong drugs it would be knocked out. Last week 7 days of a fever sent me back to another doctor who was horrific and basically confirmed my belief that I HATE going to the doctor by sating; after I had already waited an hour to be seen, "hmmm, you have had a fever for all those days and feel bad......yeah, that sucks!"
Thanks! I know that! That is why I came to see you!! She had nothing helpful to say just the predictable "rest and take is easy and the virus will pass." After I told her I had an almost one year old she again was super helpful by saying "Oh, yeah, you can't really take it easy." Really, I could have gotten better advice from the guy at Jiffy Lube (and at least I could have gotten my oil changed while I wasted an hour of my life I will never get back). If it sounds like I am bitter; I am! I started to feel better so I figured I was fine but this morning I was feeling a bit tired again so I took my temperature and there it is again:102.3!! Crazy!
So, in an attempt to NOT lose my mind I am putting this illness up for a vote.
Do I have?
A. a bizarre virus that is going around
B. some sort of flesh easting bacteria (if so, I wish it would migrate down to the bootay area :)
C. nothing and I am just crazy
D. You make your own disease
Hmmm, so weird!
at 12:27 PM
Saturday, August 25, 2007
at 4:58 PM
Recently we have discovered that Annikah knows a lot of words. It seems almost like it happened overnight. She points to the object you are talking about and if you ask her "where is ____?" (blank being baby, dog, cat, etc) she goes to said object. It may not seem like something to get so excited over but we are pretty impressed with her. It is crazy that all this time she has been hanging out not knowing what things are but listening, cautiously observing, absorbing, and then BAM! she is ready to bring it!
This video shows off her new found ability to "fetch" things with one minor mistake (Mickey ran interference). And no she is NOT wearing a thong- those are shorts that are dwarfed by her generous bootay and gi-normous cloth diaper :)
*special mention and thanks to the Grandmas who bought the items she adores getting (Grandma Rho gave her the "baby" which she kisses nonstop and Grandma Ronnie gave her the train which she chases all over only stopping to groove a bit to the beat it plays). Fabulous friend Andrea also gets a special kudos as she gave Anni the "doggie" that she loves kissing and finding.
at 12:45 AM
Sunday, August 19, 2007
After journaling and reflecting I made a list of the things I would tell the me of 10 years ago if I had the chance to chat with her:
-thought I would post some then and now pictures- horrifying but funny!
at 9:58 PM
Saturday, August 18, 2007
at 2:46 PM
Jason (being the sweet and thoughtful hubby he is) gave me a gift certificate for Christmas for a local day spa to get a pedicure. I just got around to using it and thought yesterday morning would be perfect timing as Jason was working from home so I could sneak out during Anni's nap. I have been not feeling that great since Wednesday (slight fever, chills, overall yuckiness) but keep hoping that it was on its way out. So I walked over to my pedicure appointment for a relaxing time at the spa. A perfect time to celebrate my almost 1 year year old and my being her Mom; or so I thought. Almost immediately after sitting down in the lovely padded seat with fluffy pillows and plenty of trash magazines to read (which normally I would have loved!) I started to feel sick...really sick. Like "where is the nearest bathroom?" sick. I decided I could pull through and getting this pedicure was the only chance I had to relax and just sit before the craziness of Anni's B-day party so I was gonna stick it out. As the lady doing the pedicure made small talk and scrapped off about 3 pounds of gross running blisters I tried hard to be nice but was feeling worse and worse. Then I reached the point of no return....we have all been there. When thoughts like should I puke in this cup or try to run for it cross our minds. Well, I made it through almost my whole pedicure when I bolted and dashed out of the spa and puked all over the front of the building. I am sure everyone inside thought I had a hangover but no such fun proceeded this incident that is for sure. I wobbled back inside and called Jason to come pick me up as walking the 5 blocks was now out of the question. But I am happy (& probably crazy) to report that I went back in and let her finish my toes. So even with my pale white sicky-sickerson face I have fabulous looking toes! So much for my relaxing day at the spa!!
at 8:23 AM
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
We just returned from the LeafBlad Family Reunion in Green Lake, Wisconsin. They have these reunions every 5 years and it includes the descendants from Jason's Grandmother's side. Jason's Grandma; Linnea is 91 and her husband Bert and her have been married 70 years this summer. The original 11 siblings and all their offspring attend and each family has a different color shirt (as you can see we were what Joel dubbed "goldfish orange"). This year there were over 350 people there including 70 kids under the age of 5. Needless to say, it was a great time full of chaos, craziness, and heartfelt bonding.
Last time the reunion was held Jason and I missed it as we were in Africa so this was my first time ever (although I had heard many stories from past reunions) and Jason had not been since he was in high school.
Highlights from this year included:
We also had "cool kid" parties in various family members rooms after all the kids were asleep and it was so funny to see everyone reminiscing and remembering stories from part years and of growing up.
A huge highlight for Annikah was getting to swim in the lake and having her too fun cousins Joel & Silas around to amuse almost every second for 3 days. She is just enthralled with their every move and especially loves Silas.
The feeling is apparently mutual as all weekend Anni and Silas would kiss each other every chance they got. Their kissing was of course spurned on by crowds of adoring adults saying "awww, so cute, so sweet." As Mark (Silas' Dad) pointed out at some age we may have to stop this but for now it is too adorable. Annikah also got to meet 2 other of her namesake (both spelled differently)- those Swedes love the Swedish names!
It was a blessing to see the rich heritage that Jason comes from and be welcomed into his family. All in all it was an exhausting and wonderful time.
at 12:33 PM
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Maybe fame is pushing it but Anni is featured in the Chicago Sun Times today in the Lifestyles Section (p46-47, next to the Comics) as the "Budget Baby" (read here code for cheap). If you have a chance pick one up and bask in the glow of knowing someone famous (if you want to come over to get her autograph or even change her diaper it is by appointment only) :). The article is entitled 3 Babies, 3 Bottom Lines and is about 3 types of Babies: A Luxe Baby, A Mezzo Baby, and a Budget Baby. It follows the costs and lifestyle choices of 3 families and we are one of them. Although they chose the worst picture of me ever known to be captured on film the article is still pretty cool! During my interview and after I also was able to reflect and think about how blessed I am to be a part of networks of parents as well as have so many generous family and friends that indulge Annikah with great gifts and pass along awesome hand me downs to help Anni be the budget baby she is. So, all Anni's fame (and lack of fortune) is in honor of you!!
at 11:18 AM
Monday, August 6, 2007
I used to love swinging too. Recent attempts have left my butt sore from the "over-hang of bootay" (shall we call it) that does not seem to fit into the little seat. So, although my swinging days of pure joy are fading Annikah is just discovering how fantastic swinging is, especially when you get to "kick" Papa.
* I realize I have been posting a ton of videos lately so indulge me. As soon as Anni stops being so darn cute I will slow down. :)
at 4:21 PM
at 4:14 PM
Sunday, August 5, 2007
at 12:52 PM
Saturday, August 4, 2007
One of Anni's favorite activities these days seems to be kissing. Kissing to Annikah involves a sloppy wet kiss sometimes with a bit of a lick just thrown in for fun. It is all too adorable as she has started kissing us, her stuffed animals, the cat, and now pictures of said items. Her relationship with Bonita has really grown from pulling her hair and general torture to tolerable light slapping and wet kisses. She also just started kissing pictures of cats at Justin and Annie's place. See videos for the cute kissin' Annikah!
at 10:19 PM
I am standing in the kitchen cutting up some very yummy sweet melon while Jason is feeding Annikah her breakfast. I also made Jason a breakfast including eggs and bacon (something which I have never brought since we have been married but treated Jason to recently much to his excitement and shock).
Jason: "Monk, do you know that fried pig flesh is one of the wonders of the world?"
Anni: babbling followed by throwing melon on the floor
Roxanne: "Jason, that is horrifying!" Secretly really funny though!
A post in honor of things Annikah will only learn from her father.
at 11:04 AM
Thursday, August 2, 2007
at 5:42 PM
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
...at least if you are Annikah it is. We are back from the ATL and visiting Justin and Annie. It was a great trip but traveling with a baby who refuses to sleep the entire plane ride even though the plane ride was scheduled for exactly her nap time and would rather A. climb all over Mama then Papa (repeat for 1 hour), B. spill and grab and destroy everything that IS NOT a toy, C. waves at everyone surrounding our seat until they acquiesce and acknowledged her curtness and respond with a wave or other similar comment about said cuteness, or D. All of the above. The answer is D- Anni was a complete rock star on the plane in that she did not cry at all on either trip but she would not sleep or remain calm either so needless to say it was a tiring trip for us trying to amuse an 11 month old who wanted to move around in a space 2 foot by 3 foot. The plane ride did have its' high points like Annikah getting so slap happy that she laughed at anything Jason did- see video. I am too tired to write more but will update you soon with more exciting details of our travels. For now, hope this video makes you smile.
at 12:21 AM