Friday, August 31, 2007

other birthday happenings

As if taking her first steps was not celebration enough after Jason arrived home early from work we decided to bike over to Welles Park to let Anni play on the awesome playlot. We then hit Garcia's for some cheap Mexican followed by treating the b-day girl to her free Cold Stone Creamery b-day ice cream.
After a horrendous first half of dinner with Anni refusing to sit in the high chair despite numerous bribes and wanting run through the restaurant (I feel major tantrums approaching and our days of dining out coming to a swift end or at least hiatus). She finally was acting like her sweet self about 20 minutes in and polished off an entire quesadilla and some of my tostada. We walked over to the fountain and square area of Lincoln Square and let Anni crawl around and play with the many other kids. She even took a few more steps and other parents applauded her new skill. She was too busy chasing after the kids and stealing sippy cups to even try her ice cream but Papa "took one for the team" and managed to eat almost all of it until Anni returned with her new friend Maddie. After Anni tasted the ice cream she could not get enough, she whipped out the "more" and "please" signs repeatedly. So it was a great and eventful birthday for Annikah!

Happy b-day Annikah Joy!

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!!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

the US postal service: a story of love lost and found again

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 day no 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.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

the best dollar I ever spent

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."

Monday, August 27, 2007

our full sunday

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.

It was a darling rendition of the 3 Little Pigs and from this picture you can see Anni was both memorised and confused by the theatrical experience. After strolling home and taking a short nap we hit the beach (the e coli level was ok and they were open) where Anni enjoyed blowing bubbles with Papa and eating a bit of sand.
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.
That is my idea of a wonderful, refreshing, and restFULL day with my little family.

mystery illness

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!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Chicago treasure

We went to a true Chicago treasure today: Indian Boundary Park. It is not flashy or commercial just special and quaint. Amidst the concrete and buildings it was nice to find a quiet park with more trees than people. The park has a small fountain for the kids to run through, a great wooden playground that invites great imagination games including forts complete with good and bad guys. They also have some farm type animals and a small duck pond. Annikah fed ducks for the first time much to her delight. She also squealed and pointed at goats and geese. On my long run this morning I was sad as it seemed as though our last free summer weekend in the city would be rainy and dull (although getting rained on for 16 miles is WAY better than humid heat) but it turned into a gorgeous day. We were determined to enjoy it!

Anni is so smart...she knows stuff

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.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

10 years later

Last night I attended my 10 year high school reunion. When i first got the invite in the mail I had mixed feelings about going. The same mixed jumble of emotions I had about my experience in high school. I had some of the best experiences and close relationships but also remember the painful part of high school that can leave anyone feeling alone and not good enough. I was hurt and did my share of hurting but curiosity got the best of me and I had to go. Jason stayed home to watch Anni after her big day. He did his husband duty by saying he would attend if I really wanted him to but he was honest in also stating he would rather stay home and save the 50 bucks then relive stories he was not a part of. Kudos to Jason for his honesty!

I went with Josh Brown (a former 8th grade boyfriend and then great guy friend in high school). We just recently reconnected and he lives in the city as well so we had a blast driving out in the rain looking through the yearbook and remembering people. It is also almost like we are meeting again or the first time as we have changed so much. I also wanted to see the friends I had lost touch with that were such a part of my formational years. We were all trying to awkwardly discover who we were and who we wanted to become, stumbling through 4 years together and I just had to see where everyone was now. Josh and I reminisced how we really did have a great group of close friends and how little we appreciated it then.

I was worried that I would get to the reunion and not remember any names but the minute we walked through the door names, faces, and memories came rushing back and I genuinely wanted to know what people were up to. Of course there were some people that showed up already toasted still trying to live high school, some people that were only interested in giving their resume (read here "see all the stuff I have done, I am way better than you"), and some surprises but overall I am glad I went. I got to catch up with a few friends that I have not seen in years and it was great to see where life since WE-GO has taken them. I also learned that I am ok with where I am 10 years later, I still have so much growth ahead but I have joy in my life as it is now.
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:

*appreciate the amazing opportunities you have b/c not everyone has access to them, breath them in and do not spend so much time worrying about tomorrow

*don't let guys define you, no matter what his affection or rejection, it will never change the way you value you. You have to learn that yourself
*be grateful for the awesome group of friends you have the accept you for who you are (the great things and the beyond dumb things)

*High school is one small stop on the road. Everyone goes through a fat, too skinny, weird, awkward, or plain stage so do not be too hard on yourself

*you cannot change other people, but you can affect change in yourself which is most likely where the revision is needed

*petty crap in high school means nothing and is soon forgotten

*love yourself more right now for who you are and not just who you think you should be

*listen more and seek to be heard less

*don't compete with others, just seek to accept & love the differences in each person

*what you do or what you have does not define you; your soul is more than stuff, take the time to discover the soul within you

*pursue your dreams with reckless abandon and without apology, justification, or excuse & follow what you know to be right

*worry less about how others perceive you and more about how God sees you
All of this I could tell myself now as well as I know I am still on a journey to become more of myself but reflection is what separates me from that high school girl.

I am glad I went. It was affirming to know that some of the people I wonder about also wondered about me. Most of all it was great to catch up (even for a few hours) with some of the awesome group of friends I was with during the drama and laughter filled ride through the beast known as high school.
-thought I would post some then and now pictures- horrifying but funny!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

1st b-day Hoedown!

Howdy Partners! I love cheesy b-day parties & finally had an excuse to throw one!

Annikah & Joshua's 1st b-day party hoedown was officially a success! It was nice and cool and the rain held off until just after everyone was heading off. It was a whirlwind of craziness but it was also so fun and a blessing to have friends and family share the day of celebration with us. God has been good to us this past year and Annikah has been the best blessing ever. We had fun gettin' country! Here are some of the pics from today.
Highlights included: Anni's hot pink cowboy boots that did not zip us b/c her calves are too chub (Mama has the same problem :),
our friend Rob bringing his guitar and singing with the kids, Anni & Joshua kissing , friends driving all the way from the burbs (some getting there 10 minutes before the party ended- sorry about the traffic-we love you!)

Annikah's obsession with the giant stuffed horse

Grandma & Grandpa Rohrback being decked out in country attire (Cool duds!) ,
and seeing the mass of kids and babies! Thanks everyone for moseyin' over to celebrate with us.

puking & a pedicure

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!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Annikah hangs with the Swedes

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:

The volleyball tournament (our team made it to the final but then lost and Jason sprained his ankle but said it was worth it)

The cardboard boat race where each family had to build a water vessel with only cardboard and duct tape and then have someone over 30 and someone under 30 paddle in it for a race. Ours was not really what you would call "sea worthy" but Mike (just married J's cousin Erica one month ago) and Lisa (another cousin) bravely took one for the team and raced it to its sad but hilarious demise.

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!

On skit night I think it is safe to say the Engstrom clan took the cake with a fabulous skit written by Erica and Mike (of cardboard boat fame). It was a ditty about Bert and Linnea being married 70 years and we danced and sang to the tune of Oklahoma. I ran the PowerPoint and video'ed Jason's grandparents reaction to our number. It was so special as I looked over at then and Bert started to tear up at his family honoring their life and marriage.

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.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Annikah's fame due to lack of fortune

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!!

Monday, August 6, 2007

the pure joy of swinging (& kicking Papa)

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. :)

Anni loves curry..who knew?

We went over to Giri & Aditi's place yesterday for a luncheon. They are going back to India soon (sad for us) and invited some people Jason works with for a fabulous Indian food spread. We got to try so many new dishes. We all ate tons of appetizers and then found out there was a full meal coming- How could we turn it down? So yummy! We stuffed ourselves silly, including Annikah who LOVED the curry snacks, kabobs, and lentils (The only downside to Anni loving Indian food is that I changed a pretty nasty diaper this AM). Anni made friends with Manny (Jason's coworker) we think she liked that they had similar hair-dos.
Thanks Aditi & Giri for a beautiful day with great food and even better company.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Kissin' cousins

Yesterday Annikah's cousins' Joel & Silas invaded Chicago for the day. Jorie and Mark were in desperate need of some time to clean and de-clutter their home in Grayslake so they can put it on the market (they just brought a place in Iowa near Jason's parents) so we decided to help out by spending time Joel and Silas. Annikah LOVED her cousins and was so enthralled by their every move. It was so fun to see them interacting and Anni loved them so much that when we went out to say goodbye and shut the door to their van she started crying; too sweet! After having the kids for just the afternoon I can understand why it is impossible to get anything done with them at home- they are sooo busy! Add Anni to the mix and we had one crazy threesome yesterday. Jason took the train obsessed Joel on his first L ride. He reported to me upon his return that he rode Thomas and Ben. After lunch (the kitchen resembled a high school cafeteria after a wicked food fight) we all headed to the beach. Jason and I took the zone defense method as we were outnumbered for man to man. Another family was laughing at us trying to wrangle all 3 kids as we would call out "I got Anni & Joel- you get Silas", etc. Luckily, Joel and Silas are both excellent at listening! I was very impressed with them. After lodging sand in every possible crevice sand should never go we decided to return to Chez Engstrom for a hose down and nap time. On the walk back Silas and Anni had a blast poking each other through the double stroller. After a cousins bath we put all 3 kids down in separate rooms and prayed for 1 hour of nap time. We knew this would take a miracle, kinda like the parting of the Red Sea. We demonstrated our skills that rival Supernanny in getting them all down at once. The toughest customer was Joel. We set up the pull out couch for him in our front room and told him it was a big bed that was special just for him. We said goodnight and were off to check the other kids. I returned to the room a few minutes later to the sound of the African drum been played. I opened the door and caught Joel in the act. He knew he was "in trouble" as he quickly said "I already wake up." Now, I have to give the kid credit for trying but this points out why I love 3 year olds: he has no idea that obviously there was no time that passed and actually believed I would buy his reasoning that after a restful 2 minute nap he awoke to play some mad beats. I told him that I needed him to stay on the bed and that when he got up after a nap we could all play again. He returned to the bed. 3 minutes later I see through the slated door that he was up again and this time I said "Joel, auntie Roxi does not play games, you need to lay down." He looked up as if the voice from above was dictating these vital instructions and then returned to his bed. Lying there he kept repeating to himself "Auntie Roxi don't play games, Auntie Roxi don't play games," sort of like a mantra to keep himself from the temptation to get up. Reminds me of when I repeat "only take the veggies not the cheese cubes, avoid the cheese cubes" in a buffet line. Well, I am happy to report he had more success than I usually have with food as he was sound asleep in 5 minutes. A quiet house was our reward for the chaos that preceded it. After everyone awoke Jason drove the boys back home and Anni and I went for a walk. It was a great time with Annikah's cousins!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Anni loves kissin'

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!

overheard while cutting melon this AM

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.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

in the ATL with JustAn

We spent the weekend and early week in Atlanta visiting Justin and Annie AKA JustAn(Jason's younger sister and brother in law). Turns out they actually live just a few minutes away from where I lived in Atlanta when I taught for Americorps and it was weird to recognize everything. It was great to spend time with them and Anni loved bonding with Annie. We went to Stone Mountain and we were also sure to check out our favorite Southern indulgence: Chick Fil A (we actually ended up at the original Chick Fil A by accident and Anni tried her first fast food meal: it is all down hill from here!). Chicken sandwiches, waffle fries, and sweet tea (pronounced "teeh" I mean really does it get better than that?

We also loved getting tours of their neighborhood. Jason (who when I lived here said he did not like Atlanta all that much) actually commented what a cool city it is on the way home! JustAn converted him! On Monday Justin and Annie had to work so Jason and I decided to visit the King Center. We toured the museum, King's birth home, Ebenezer Baptist Church, and his tomb. The last time I was there was as the leader of 48 middle school kids- much less stressful this time around. It was especially meaningful to take Annikah there. I realize the huge responsibility we have been given as her parents to educate her on the legacy of the past and enable her to feel empowered to change the future. I know, of course; she will have no specific memory of this place but I hope through her life she can grow to understand the courage of men like Dr. King.
On Tuesday Justin ditched work (shhh...don't tell) and took us on a tour of downtown Atlanta before dropping us at the airport. We hit the famous Centennial Park, the CNN center, Five Points, and Underground Atlanta. In continuing our terrible eating habits ("we are on vacation" is our favorite excuse) we ended the ATL excursion with a trip to the Varsity and Jason devoured one of their chili cheese dogs & a bacon cheeseburger while I loved every minute of my terrible but oh so yummy cheese fries- what do you think the WW point value on that is? I prefer denial)! It was a blessed trip and a fun chance to get away and spend time Annie and Justin. Seeing the sights was fabulous and spending time in prayer together was awesome. I really have blessed in the family department: I always say even if we were not related we would be close friends. So, thank JustAn for a great trek to the ATL!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

slap happy is pretty amusing.... 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.