Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Oh my we are already in the threes

This was a portrait of Mommy I managed to photograph before it was erased.
At the Minnesota State Fair this Fall

This is our new street in Minnesota

What, I haven't written anything on this blog in almost a year and a half! Ack! How will I remember these years? Well, here's a brief overview to bring you up to speed.

Since I wrote last Anika turned 3, learned to write her name, and has fallen in love with the Wizard of Oz. Michael was accepted to a PhD program at the University of MN so the whole family packed up in July and moved into our new apartment in Saint Paul on August 1.

After temping at Wells Fargo for a few months I have just landed a permanent position at Lifetouch national headquarters and so far I love it.

Michael has had more time to be home and take care of Anika and she is asking him to do things for her more and more. When they aren't together, Anika attends preschool full time and is very happy at her new school. They are teaching her conversational spanish and some sign language. If she is there next year she will also learn some French - finally a language where I am familiar.

Right before Christmas break she got sick and had to stay home from school. Then she stayed home with Michael for two weeks since he didn't have to go to work. This was her first week back and she just found out she hasn't been sick for weeks she was just on vacation.

Fun words I heard Anika say today: Metamophosis, Conservatory, and Migration. We got a library book about butterflies she is pretty fond of, "Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly".

Games she likes to play: Wizard of Oz, Rapunzel, Hide and seek (she prefers to hide with a partner), Boggle (she tells you all the letters she can find and you write them down for her in the time limit), dress up, ice skate in her tights in the basement, work on "important projects" on the computer.

She loves to be tickled, she loves to read, she loves to make up stories

When she is upset at us she goes into her room sometimes and has her Papa read her a story. For Christmas he gave her a Winnie the Pooh book with his voice recorded in it reading the words. It is really lovely to hear him read to her to make her feel better.

At Christmas this year we decided to stay home. We missed our families, but it was nice to avoid the roads and the airports at Christmas and just stay home. 3/4 of the way through opening presents Ani asked if we could put the rest back under the tree and stop for a while. I think maybe everyone went overboard with presents for her this year.

Well - that doesn't tell you much about her as a two year old, but at least it gets you up to speed.

Maybe sometime I'll go back and add in stories from last year....

Saturday, August 14, 2010

She's 2!!!!!

I cannot believe that Anika is 2 years old. Where did the time go? Each individual day felt so long, but looking back at the last 2 years (and 9 months before birth) I can't fathom where the time went. Wasn't it yesterday that the midwife placed her in my arms for the first time? Weren't we waking up every few hours to eat just moments ago? Can it be she took her first steps an entire year ago?

2 years ago, I could not have imagined that I would love this little person so much.

So what is she up to now? Well, as life is giving her more choices these days (do you want lima beans or peas for dinner?) she is having trouble making up her mind. We find ourselves baffled by the toddler who requests peas only to have them arrive on her plate and scream "no peas!! no want peas". Its hard to make choices!

A few weeks ago we were in Colorado at the Great Sand Dunes and Anika and I were making sandcastles. Everytime I made a tower with our tupperware bucket, Anika would smash it with her feet and giggle. For a little while I was tricky and put the towers far away from each other so she could smash one while I built a fortress on the other side of my body. But once she saw them, those towers were done for.

In that moment, I had an epiphany. Motherhood is exactly like building sandcastles with an almost two year old. If you think that the goal is to build a beautiful castle, you will spend your life with your child frustrated and angry. If, on the other hand, you recognize that sandcastles are temporary and you find joy in the building and smashing, you will have found a way to be happy your whole life long. The fun is in the journey.

Anika is big into making words plural right now. "That's my's" is her favorite expression meaning "that's mine". She can now identify correctly an "A for Anika", "B for Bridget", "C for Callie", and "D for Daddy" when she sees the capital letters, and she finds them everywhere.

We are now attempting to night time potty train, since daytime potty training is pretty much done. We are having mixed success. Thankfully, we registered for "the ultimate crib sheet" which is intended to be a waterproof sheet you can take off when your newborn's diaper leaks. Since Anika never had leaky diapers as a newborn we thought the sheet was pretty much useless - but it is so handy in the middle of the night to be able to just unsnap the top sheet and have a fresh dry one already on the bed.

Ani and I are enjoying having Michael home with us for a few more weeks before school starts up again. She loves having Daddy home. A few days ago, she was snoozing in my lap and woke up crying "me go too daddy. I go outside". She was very upset and clearly dreaming about Daddy leaving to go outside without her. I think having him back after missing him for 3 weeks has taken its toll. She really blossomed again when he came home.

I can't wait to see what this next year brings. Pictures soon.

Monday, July 19, 2010

23 months - but acting like she's 2 yrs old already

You can tell 2 is approaching. The answer is often "no" even if she ultimately wanted to do whatever you suggested. The most fun game ever is run away from Mommy. Things are very hard to bear when they don't go her way. "No like that Mommy" is becoming a common refrain at the table, even when she is in fact lying, because she does like apples (or macaroni, or peas, etc).

"My turn" is popular right now, or "Anka turn"

But she is still the sweetest baby ever. She loves to kiss her Daddy's picture (he's out of the country at the moment) and say things like "I love you so much Daddy picture". She's also started asking "What toots say?" (in other words, what did my toot just say? to which the obvious reply is "toot") and substituting words she likes into songs - Oh Donna, that fabulous song from the 50s or 60's, can now easily morph into Oh Nana, Oh Mommy, Oh Sasha (that's her doll).

She loves to play outside, especially with water. This month she learned how to hold herself up on a big toilet, just like her cousin Madelyn. Madelyn three and a big girl in Ani's eyes. Her run is adorable - kind of a prance - and runnng is one of her favorite activities. The folks at church taught her to play red light green light during VBS. She still doesn't understand when to go and stop, but she loves to play.

Her giggles are contagious.

She loves to pretend to go to sleep, pretend to clean counters, floors, etc. She pretends her baby dolls need to use the potty and she takes baby wipes when I am not looking so she can wipe their bottoms properly when they are done.

She can now tickle my feet so successfully that I have to remove them from her grasp.

Her favorite book at the moment: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?
favorite color: yellow (it was red, but we have gone back to yellow)
favorite time of day: cuddling with mommy after naps (or at least, that may be mine)
favorite doll: Sasha (new baby Tessa is losing her status)

Its hard to imagine that the next time I blog she will be a 2 year old. The years go by so quickly, even though the days take soooo long sometimes.

Monday, June 28, 2010

22 Months - oops where did the time go?

So I clearly have neglected this blog long enough. Anika is 22 months. We are done with daytime potty training. She just has it all down. We still have to do some night time training, and I am not looking forward to getting rid of pacifiers, but she is getting so grown up already, we'll just take that stuff slowly.

Ani loves to care for her dolls and stuffed animals. She takes their clothes off and puts blankets on them and sings them lullabies. Sometimes she sits them on the potty and wipes their bottoms when they are done. Yesterday after her doll Tessa had imaginary potty success, she proceeded to literally wash her hands in the sink. We heard the water running and discovered a very wet cloth bodied doll. Poor Ani was so disappointed that Tessa had to spend the night drying out in the kitchen.

At this age she does all kinds of cute things, like calling for her dolls when they are in a different room. I guess she thinks they are able to get up and walk to her. The other day I caught her scolding one that did not come with a "listen to mommy". I guess that phrase may have showed up in our conversation a few times lately.

She learned to zerbert and loves to blow raspberries on our bellies. She's fond of choosing her own shoes but hasn't had much interest or opportunity to pick out her clothes yet.

Her hair is getting really long now. It easily fits into one of my ponytail holders. I love that people in the store can easily tell she is a girl.

She is speaking in complete sentences now and saying things like "I missed you mommy", "no Bridget, my turn now", "no run away from Mommy". She has stopped calling me Mama and switched to Mommy. It makes me a little sad, but I definitely prefer Mommy to "Julie" which is what she calls me if she thinks she needs to use my full name "Mommy Julie!", for example if she wants to be picked up out of her crib and I am slow to wake up.

She is still quite a good dancer. You can tell she is listening and she likes to move her body to the beat. "Oh, Donna" a song from the 50's or 60's is one of her current favorites. Go figure.

She loves nursery rhymes and requests that we read from her nursery rhyme books several times a day. Michael Finnegan, Little JAck Horner, Humpty Dumpty, and Hush Little Baby are some of her favorites. I am getting pretty good at memorizing them so I can read from across the room as she turns the pages, which is very helpful!

Lest you think it is all joy and giggles, she has also started having a harder time sharing. Monday morning is a rough battle as both girls have to re-learn that they need to share toys. She also hits, bites, pulls hair, and pinches when she deems it necessary. This activity is pretty frustrating but I think some of it is stemming from jealousy and possibly the pain of her two year molars working their way out. I have seen quite an increase in drool in the past few days and she seems to feel better with something in her mouth.

Ani is sometimes jealous of Monty. "No sir" she says when he tries to cuddle with us. She definitely also does not want Mommy and Daddy to cuddle. So far its because she wants Mommy all to herself, but yesterday she did wake up from her nap and ask to cuddle with Mike instead of me. So I think my days as preferred parent are numbered.

We are very happy to have Daddy home with us during the day. If only the school system would pay him to not work and hang out with us, life would be perfect. Its also handy to have the car around, as this morning's grocery shopping trip would have been miserable walking in 100 degree weather.

I'll have to post some pics soon, but that is all I have for now. Happy last few days of June!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

20 Months Today

Let's see. Anika is growing in amazing ways. She is becoming such a little person instead of a baby. She crouches down and her eyes twinkle right before she runs over to tickle you. She is crazy about ice cubes. She likes to hold them and eat them and put them in a little cup to carry around the house. When the ice melts she drinks the water (i.e. ends up pouring it all over herself).

Its been fun to watch her interacting with friends this past month. Bridget is of course still at the house about 45 hours a week, but this past month we have had Callie 3 days a week as well. Callie is just a couple weeks younger than Anika, so the 3 girls have a lot of fun together. I am very proud of the way Ani plays with both girls.

She is very friendly and loves to get the attention of strangers - at church, in restaurants, at the grocery store.

Lately she hasn't been sleeping as well - and I would swear she is teething except there are no teeth coming in that I can feel. She has all of her teeth now except the 2-year molars so hopefully teething is almost over for good!

This last month she learned how to say "I love you daddy" and "I love you Mama". It sounds a little bit more like "I la la Daaaa deee" and "I la la Maaa maaa" and sometimes "I la la Daa dee Maa maa". We love hearing those words and ask for them often. She is also known to love Bridget, Papa, Nanny, Nana, Bumpa, Ani, and yellow.

Her current favorite song is "Baby Mine" from dumbo. Whenever she doesn't feel well or is tired she asks for "Baby Mahn".

When she is excited, her feet do this little stompy dance I cannot accurately describe - but I love it. She still loves music and asks for it whenever she sees the ipods. Ani loves to dance and now has started singing along with songs. She even made up her own motions to Baby Mine and sings it to her dolls. "baby mine don't you cry" is "baby Mahn sh sh sh with finger to her lips. "Baby Mine dry your eyes" she points to her eyes and says "eyes", "hold your head close to my heart, never to part, BAby of mine" she holds her head with her hands and then hugs me. I swear I did not have any part in her making up these motions, she choreographed the song all by herself.

Being a mother of a 20 month old is wonderful. She is so inquisitive and talkative and funny and beautiful. I am very blessed.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

18 months - what Ani can do

Mostly for my benefit, I like to record what is going on since I am not keeping up with a babybook.

Words she can say:
Daddy Bye bye
Bob (her favorite sock doll)
Buddha (bird)
boot (book)
Midget (Monty)
hoo (what owls say)
bizzsch (buzz)
wah wah (water)
muck (milk)
dah doo (thank you)
pees (please)
row row row (for the song)
la la la la
rubbt (ribbit)
papa (grandpa)
bumpa (grandpa)
Nana (for both grandmas)
ya ya (sarah)
yawn (jon)

She can climb a stepladder, get into a chair, climb into the rocker, get on (but not off) the rocking horse and airplane car, drink from a cup (but not without spills), use a spoon and fork to eat with help, color with crayons, markers, and pencils. Get in and out of Mama's bed successfully, put her binky in her crib, pretend to blow her nose.

This morning she was telling Bob (the doll) "no no no no". Clearly Bob was a bad baby and needed to be told what was what. I believe he was stealing her pacifier.

She loves to have pretend tea and feed it to you. She loves to be tickled. She loves to wash her own hands with a paper towel, loves brushing her teeth, loves the bath.

She is not fond of green beans, having to be in the car for a long time, and getting shots at the dr.

18 months

Boy, its been a long time. Well, Anika is so much fun. Of course, I am sure you all assumed that was the case. This video of reading a book together should really say it all.