Just in case you cannot get enough of Anni and her adorable cousins Mark posted some super cute pictures and videos on his blog. We are in Iowa now and Anni is so excited to spend some quality time with her boys.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Annikah is very into working out with Mama these days. She '>still loves her some Billy Blanks and has recently kicked her work out up a notch by using tension bands. Just a warning if you mess with Annikah....she is on her way to being one ripped girlie. Anni dabbles in Pilate's although her core strength is a bit lacking she enjoys laying down and waving her arms.
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Wednesday, May 28, 2008
We are back from Tennessee and I am exhausted. We had a great time but as soon as we arrived in Chicago it hit us how much we have to do in the next 3 weeks before we bust outta here! Anni stayed behind with my parents and her fav Auntie Katy (rock star awards for all) so we could spend more time catching up with everyone and less time chasing after her and working around nap schedules. I know she had a great time without us but I was so happy to see her beaming little face scream "mama!" when I picked her up on Monday night.
Chai tea Popsicle at Fido's
The victorious "others" team (yes, named after Lost)
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Thursday, May 22, 2008
Could we PLEASE get some more above 60 days so my daughter and I can enjoy outdoor activities such as.....
at 8:33 PM
I had to post these pictures Michelle took on Mother's day when we got the RPM crew together. The attempted group shot pictures just make me smile. Really, any photograph where two or more children are still &/or actually looking in the general direction of the photographer can be seen as a modern miracle. While we were not so lucky as to get a "perfect shot" I sense in time I will look even more fondly on these pics and remember the squiggly toddler years with a warmness and longing. For now I have joy in looking at them & sharing them.
the 3 little girlies loved the bath!
at 8:11 PM
A few funnies that made me giggle.
First, these signs out in the burbs. So, what exactly are the rules for bikes? I'm confused.
Second, this morning I was at the gym and there was a guy on the elliptical in front of me that was grooving and shakin' what his Mama gave him. He was not getting much of a work out in as his need for dancing clearly took over but those of us behind him were more than grateful for his moves. He made my workout go by so quickly and I was actually crying at one point because I was laughing so hard. He was listening to his headphones while busting a move, he even added in sounds at one point, it was brilliant. I had my cell phone with me and knew this treasured experienced must be shared with the world (unfortunately the video is only a few seconds long and of poor quality but I still had to post it in the hopes of sharing his mad elliptical dancing skills and inspiring others to really enjoy your work out).
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Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Laughter is a blessing. This was evident to me this week as Jason and I were attending pre-field education training. Jason and I; like many couples, have weird little odd things that probably only the two of us find hilarious. If I explain why they are funny they cease to be so but to us they always seem to make us crack up and can produce a smile even in the midst of tension. During one of the presentations at the conference I whispered one of these phrases to Jason. His facial expression made me burst into laughter and water squirted out of my nose. Of course, in the tradition of being me this was entirely inappropriate behavior for the given situation of listening to a serious lecture presentation (perhaps this is why I always had such a soft spot in my heart for the smart Alic kids in my classes- I am the worst of them all!). As I thought about why I cannot "control" myself by biting my lip I realized I do not want this behavior under raps. Laughter is healing, it opens my soul up to comfort, warmth, and love. My conclusion is not original at all as scripture teaches "A cheerful heart is good medicine" Proverbs 17:22.
To truly appreciate the richness of the laughter I share with Jason or anyone I love is not in need of strict jurisdiction or limits. Because of the challenges, vulnerability, and growth I have experienced in my life with Jason the laughter we share; even if ill timed and immature, is deep and beneficial to my soul.
"Mirth is God's medicine. Everybody ought to bathe in it." ~Henry Ward Beecher
In the spirit of laughter I found this quote by a true genius of wisdom.....
Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis. ~Jack Handey, "Deep Thoughts"
at 8:22 PM
Saturday, May 17, 2008
So I had one of those weird-bizarre-not-bad-but-just-funky days. Here is a sampling of the craziness.....
*awoke too early and could not go back to sleep with thoughts swirling in my brain about how much we have to do in the next month
*spent most of the morning cleaning and de-cluttering so we could show our place today only to open the fridge 3 SEPARATE TIMES and spill stuff all over the just cleaned floor
*tried to go running this AM and took Anni so Jason could try to clean and pack. Before we even made it 2 miles Anni decides it is time for a pit stop and makes this quite clear by the never ending barrage of screams for the "park." I gave into her requests and while at the park I was chasing Anni around from swing to slide as usual when a man started barking, seemingly just for fun (another family witnessed this and we discussed that his barking was rather real sounding). There were also two women pushing a shopping cart through the sand on the beach near the park. Strange stuff. So I end up running about 4 miles with a 20 minute break in between (not so helpful when training for a half marathon)
*2 different people came to see our place and while Jason was showing the first woman around Annikah decided she would throw the tantrum of all tantrums, I mean this one rivals the kids on Supernanny. I actually had to grab the car keys and run out of the house before her head started spinning around (of course forgetting my cell phone). I decided to drop off the recycling and return a museum pass to the library and Anni screamed for about 15 minutes after we left the house and then suddenly stopped when the wonderful angel of a woman at the library offered her a sticker.
*Because of not having my cell phone I was not sure we should return to the condo yet so Anni and I ventured to my favorite place to kill time and waste money: Target! We did need some TP, soap, and eggs so it was worthwhile. While in line the cashier shut down our line and asked us to move to another line where that cashier then proceeded to shut down and asked us to move again. While waiting Annikah found a baby hat that someone had left behind and wanted to wear it. I thought "fine, no big deal, you can play with it for a few minutes but I ain't buying it" but my usual "distract with something shiny or yummy and steal method" did not work and Anni lost her mind yet again. Argh! (read here many stares from strangers and looks that say "just buy the kid the hat lady!"). Unloading from the car and coming in I; for no apparent reason, dropped one out of the 5 target bags in my hands and you guessed it: the one that held the eggs. Only one broke though: score!
*Annikah's diaper leaked through her pants 3 times resulting in many ensemble changes and one couch mishap.
*after lunch we went out for a walk and randomly happened on the Waldorf School's May Fest where we listened to some fabulous music. At first Anni was very apprehensive but soon got into it and after 20 minutes we had to force her off the stage as she was dancing with the 3rd grade class strings, she did not like leaving and made sure we (and everyone watching) were aware of her feelings about the issue
*We returned home to find shattered glass everywhere in our room and for a moment thought someone had broken in but upon investigation found that a neighbor above us had dropped a brick through our window box propelling micro slivers of glass everywhere (covering our bed, the floor, clothes, stationary, my jewelry, etc). After finding the culprits (they were putting n their air conditioner window unit and dropped a brick out their window) and cleaning it up (read here fingers covered in ban aids) Jason "fixed it" with some plastic and duct tape.
*Because of the 3 hours cleaning and dealing with window we missed the kid's art gallery at church (boo hoo!) but the high point was catching up with the Anstees at our park and then deciding to have an impromptu to dinner at our place that ended with 3 cute girls in the bath tub.
I guess I cannot pinpoint it but today was just bizarre. Bizarre is "markedly unusual in appearance, style, or general character and often involving incongruous or unexpected elements; outrageously or whimsically strange; odd" That about sums it up.
.....Ok, so it is now raining and we shall see how good Jason's bootleg fix-it job went.
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Thursday, May 15, 2008
but we can't go when it's dark
cuz then we couldn't see
when we swing on the "weeee"
Whoah! It is super breezy
when we swing sooo high
but we don't get queasy
cuz we are just too fly!
at 1:29 PM
at 12:33 PM
Monday, May 12, 2008
While we were on our vacation Anni was hanging with Grandma Rho, Grandpa Jim, Uncle Justin, Auntie Jorie, Uncle Mark, and her cousins Joel and Silas. Grandma Rho and Jorie took the kids to get their pictures taken together for a Mother's Day surprise- so sweet! Anni was only away for one week but in that time she learned at least 5-10 new words. She has added to her vocabulary "Iowa, Silas (Sy Sy), Joel, Ring Rosie (as in Ring Around the Rosie), house, star, and some others I have forgotten. A few days ago Jason asked her "Annikah, where do you live?" and we were expecting her favorite answer "Chicago!" but she smiled and replied "Iowa (pronounced Eye-wa)." What a little comedian! Today she saw the following pictures of her cousins and Grandma on the fridge and sat down next to them and said "Sy Sy, Ohhhhhh" (in a pathetic longing type of way). Just wanted you all to know you are appreciated and missed!
at 7:56 PM
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Today was my first Mother's Day celebrated with both Anni and Jason (last year he was in India) and although the weather was miserable it was a great day. After Jason let me sleep in until 8am we headed to church where every woman received a honorary rose. After again braving the monsoon we arrived home and Jason, with Anni's help, made me a fabulous lunch. This meant so much to me as I know it is definitely out of his comfort zone to cook but he looked up a recipe on the Internet, went to Devon market to get all the necessary ingredients, and prepared goat cheese crostinis for me. They were yummy and we had some extra that we shared with neighbors who agreed on the merits of Jason's budding culinary skills. Annikah made me an adorable card and with prompting said "mama day" to me throughout the day. We ended to evening with friends from our neighborhood celebrating. The party even got so crazy that various little girls got completely naked and took a group bath (all participants were under 2). Happy Mother's Day to all the Mama's out there. I hope you day is filled with the blessings and peace of knowing that giving of ourselves for our family makes God smile. Plus, I hope you get some big hugs on "mama day."
at 9:37 PM
Friday, May 9, 2008
Thursday, May 8, 2008
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Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Annikah saw me touching up my toe nail polish today and she wanted in on the action. She even said "Anni's toes" and then "thank you" after I polsihed one of hers. Who am I to deprive the girl of some fabulous feet?
at 5:27 PM
So I was thinking today about that commercial for a certain cell phone company where calls to your "favorite five" people are free, errrr something like that as I admit I really have no idea what the deal is as I rarely watch or pay attention to commercials.
But if I had to pick my fav five I think it would be easy: Jason, my mom, followed by my friend Beck or Laura but these days I would have to add a couple more.
Elmo and the park have now climbed to the top of my fav five friends I call everyday, at least 10 times a day, sometimes more. Now I realize this sounds ludicrous but to a toddler calling the park and Elmo seems completely reasonable and a necessary part of her day. Anni will take anything that resembles a phone (a remote, plastic phone, even a calculator) and pretend like she is talking on it (it is really rather amusing as she is clearly mimicking me). I think this is rather adorable but I made the mistake a few weeks back of asking her "who are you calling Anni?" She looked at me puzzled for a second and then promptly replied "the park, Elmo." Now occasionally she will say she is calling "papa" or yesterday "sysy (silas)" but I think that is just to humor me because seriously she only cares about keeping in touch with the park and Elmo, and apparently these cats have a lot to say! Now these little phone calls were cute for a while when only Anni and whatever electronic-looking object she used were involved but since Monday it has been that Mama must talk to the park and Elmo every time Anni does. This is what a typical convo sounds like:
"Anni, park, Elmo.........." Annikah mutters to herself while holding the object to her ear with her shoulder.
"Mama.....(I try to ignore her as she thrusts the phone towards me)....Mama (I suggest she tell the park about her day)......MAMA! (I give up and talk to Elmo and the park)"
"Hi, Elmo! Are you at the park? What are you doing? (dramatic pause in eager anticipation of his reply, Anni is listening intently) Wow, Elmo you are going on the slide. Ok, well thanks for talking to me. (pause) you want to tell Anni you love her. Ok I will. (to Annikah) Anni, Elmo loves you and he said he will see you later." Anni then usually gasps in excitement and laughs. Sometimes I get wild and crazy and talk to Elmo about the sunny day or ask the park about the swings but you get the idea.
If I try to sneak and make an actual call to a real person not covered in red fur with a prepubescent male voice she protests and wants me to promptly "call Elmo!". At least these calls do not eat up my minutes but I tell you I am tired of talking to Elmo, I actually spend part of my day thinking what should I ask Elmo next time......I am losing it (that is if I had any of "it" left.)
I even tried to pull one over on her by trying to call the park and Elmo and telling Anni they were not there, "they are not answering the phone Anni. Sorry. " She immediately called my bluff, turned around to dig in her stroller, and presented me with another toy phone and requested yet again "Mama......Elmo, park." At least she is persistent! Gotta run, I think I have a phone date with Grover in 5 minutes.....
at 3:25 PM
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Anni & I got to hang out with Aislin again today. Beck had an interview for PBS (Yeah Beck!!) for her painting group the Plein Air Painters so Aislin joined us for our adventures. We had an action packed day including some dancing, going to the park, tumbling class, lunch, some art projects, general chaos, an Elmo video, and a nap. Both girls actually asked me to take a nap by 12:45pm. What a day! Because Aislin (so I hear) is the most loyal video watcher of this blog I had to put this little montage of our day on just for her. Aislin is only a few months older than Anni but it is amazing how many words she knows and how she can even string together full sentences "want go to park" and my favorite "Rox, I farted." Thanks for the over share Ais you are welcome around here anytime.
at 5:26 PM
Monday, May 5, 2008
Annikah and I are back to our routine today and took a break this morning to go check out Anni's first art display. I took the suggestion of a great friend to submit some of Anni's recent artistic expressions to a local kid's art gallery display at a local coffee shop called the The Grind. All three of the pieces I submitted for her were displayed on the wall in the cafe when we stopped in this morning (minus some buttons and gems that fell off in the mail :)). Anni recognized her pictures and I was a proud Mama who almost sat on top of a poor guy just trying to enjoy his coffee to get a shot of her with her art. Beck and Aislin met us there and we got to see Indi and Ais's awesome original works as well. Ais & Anni then enjoyed splitting a cupcake (most of which eventually ended up in the floor) while Beck and I enjoyed some iced lattes. After the art-licious time we headed to the park before the girls had a chance to tear apart the coffee shop. We enjoyed the beautiful weather with great friends.
*Anni is celebrating cinco de mayo by sporting the dress we got her in Cozumel!!
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Sunday, May 4, 2008
As all who know me well know I LOVE to eat and a highlight for us this trip was the formal dining room every night. We had fun dressing up (it was a change to actually be able to shower, put on make-up , AND dry my hair in a row, a luxury I rarely enjoy at home with Anni). We had fun dressing up and stuffing ourselves silly with awesome cuisine and enjoying conversation with our table mates.
After a few days of heels (and hiking and bike riding) my poor feet had the blisters to prove it. No worries I was able to prop them up and relax.
We did do some physical activity in an attempt to balance our slothfulness. We hit the rock wall a few times, the gym on the ship, rented bikes and circled the entire island of Key West, killed our legs on the jump zone on the ship, went hiking, cave tubing and took a ride on zip lines high above the jungle in Belize.
I am so thankful we got the opportunity to take this vacation before the craziness of the move sets in. It was a welcome break from everything resembling reality. Now back to the dirty laundry and sweet little girl that await me.
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