Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!!

Halloween Rules

First of all Happy Halloween!!  I'll be sure to post more pictures of the girls out trick or treating as soon as I can!

After receiving a few Halloween costume catalogs in the mail and seeing some of the kids at Annika's dance school's Halloween party Josh and I have set a few rules for future Halloween costumes for the girls.

#1: You are not allowed to dress like a hooker.  Yes, I started with this one because I saw little girls that were barely 6 years old dressed like little hookers.  Example of what I'm talking about is here and here and here.

#2: You are not allowed to dress as something that is dead, dying, was dead but came back to life, or wants to make something dead.  Examples are here, here, here and here.

#3: You will not wear a costume with a prop that is a gun.  Guns are not toys or "props".  Guns are serious things and neither one of us believes that toy guns are good for children to play with.  Costume example here.

There are a lot of costumes outside of our rules that are fine.  Cartoon characters, movie characters (like Pippi Longstocking), animals (Annabel is a cat this year), and tons more.  We just don't like any of the 3 types of costumes I mentioned.

What is the worse costume you've seen on a child?  What costume would you never allow your child to wear?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

How To Distract a Toddler at a Lab

Saturday morning we had to take the girls to get blood drawn for routine tests.  Annika has never had any blood drawn (besides just her heel at the hospital when she was born) and neither has Annabel.

Josh and I decided to take the child that favors us the most hoping they would be more comfortable. And yes, our children have favorites but we do not!  I love those girls 100% equally and so does Josh.  Annika always prefers me and Annabel lights up when she sees Josh.  The girls do have their moments where they want the opposite parent but at least 70% of the time if Annika is upset she comes to me and Annabel goes to Josh.

I didn't warn Annika what we were doing.  I just told her we were going to an appointment to see a nurse.  I tried to remain calm ( I was a little nervous for her) so that she wouldn't realize it since both girls are really good at picking up on stuff like that.

The nurse called us back and I had Annika sit in my lap.  I told Annika that the lady would like to look at her arms so she put them both out on the little arm rest.  Then I started the distractions!

I asked Annika what color were the lady's gloves.

Then I asked what color was the "bracelet" (the thing the tie around your arm) was.

They gave her a tube to squeeze and I told her to squeeze as hard as she could!!!

Then the nurse quickly put the the needle in and I was so glad we got a good nurse that was fast!

I asked Annika what color the lady's shirt was.  (Annika answered each question I asked).

And she didn't cry!!!! The lady put a cotton ball on her arm and then the tape.  THEN Annika cried as we were walking out.  She hated that tape and would not stop talking about her "boo boo" to the people in the waiting room.  She only cried about 30 seconds.

Annika got more upset when she heard Annabel crying.  She wanted to go back into the room to see if she was okay.

I think remaining calm and distracting Annika with questions really helped her.  After we were done she asked for a cookie and we got one for her at Panera because she really did do a great job!

Annabel wasn't bad either.  She just cried but she didn't try to pull away or anything.  Josh just said that it took longer with her because the first arm they tried they didn't feel anything so they had to switch the other arm.  But she only cried about a minute or two afterwards while we were out in the parking lot and then she fell asleep.

Monday, October 29, 2012


Josh and I are known to do things on the spur of the moment.  It drives some of our friends and family CRAZY.

We got married and gave everyone a one week notice that we were going to the courthouse to just do it.  Some people in our families didn't find out until afterwards and almost none of our friends knew until after.

It took us about 5 minutes to decide to have a second child and only a handful of people were aware we were even trying for Annabel when we announced we were pregnant.

I woke up one morning while on maternity leave after having Annabel and decided to buy a new car, that day, immediately.

So Saturday morning we woke up, took the girls to a lab appointment (post on that tomorrow) and then went to look at houses.  Then we started the paperwork to buy one, like that day.

Now we have talked about buying a house before.  Our biggest issue was not finding the size of house we wanted for the monthly mortgage payment we can afford.  We found it Saturday though!

Here is our lot!

We will have a longer commute to work and pretty much everything else.  The further north and east you live in our county the cheaper the houses are so we're buying the same house we loved closer to everything for almost $100,000 cheaper with a loan that requires no money down since it's on old agriculture land in the middle of nowhere.  It's called a USDA loan.

We're super excited/nervous/dying of anxiety right now.  We filed all our paperwork for our loan and I have an interview with our loan officer Thursday.  Since we were pre-approved for a different (harder to get and it required money down) loan we had to start the process over again but the sales manager we talked to said everything looked great in order to get us approved without any issues.  Fingers crossed that she's right because I'm already having dreams of how we're going to decorate this place!

The house is 4 bedrooms and 2 baths.  We're making one of the bedrooms into a den so it will not have a door.  It'll be an office/playroom.  We'll put the computer desk and computer in there along with some shelving for the girls toys and books.

The girls will get their own bedrooms which are right by a bathroom that is MUCH larger than the one they have now.  Our room is also about 3 times as big as it is now!!  And most importantly I will have a huge walk in closet for all of my clothes :-)

The house has a pond at the edge of our backyard so we'll be looking into putting up a fence as soon as we can afford it.  There are so many projects that we're going to want to get done as fast as we can!

Best part of it all, it'll be our first home, it's going to belong to us!  We won't have neighbors right on the other side of the wall from us and we won't have to walk up or down any stairs!!  I've been walking up and down stairs daily for the past 7 years!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Random Stuff Again

~The girls and I got caught in the rain yesterday during our run!  Running as fast as you can for 1/2 a mile home is not easy with a double jogging stroller.  Luckily it was light rain and I had a blanket to cover Annabel with.  Annika thought it was fun.

~I have another black toenail from running and yesterday after my run it was all bloody and gross.  I would post a picture but I might lose the few blog readers I have because it's pretty gross!

~I've been trying to keep the girls up later at night so that they sleep later for Josh (he's only been getting around 4 hours of good, solid sleep lately).  Two nights ago Annabel insisted on going to bed at 8pm and Annika went down at 9:30pm.  Both of them slept till after 9am!  Good job girls! :-)  yesterday they both had meltdowns around 8pm, today is not going to be good for Josh, they'll probably sleep till around 8am for him.

~We are approved for a mortgage to buy a house.  The catch is that the loan is an FHA one and we have to use it east of the interstate on a new home (I'm not sure if all FHA loans in all areas work that way).  The only neighborhood in our price range is north of where we are now and would be a 45 minute drive to my work everyday.  To me it's not worth it, I am not the commuting type.  I hate driving, especially on the interstate, every single day.  Not sure what we're going to do but I'm sure it'll be a topic of discussion this weekend.

~Saturday we have to take the girls to get some routine blood work done at a lab.  Annika needs it for her 3 year check up and the doctor said we might as well bring in Annabel too (even though Annika is almost 3 and has NEVER had blood drawn, I'm still debating if I'm even going to bother with Annabel or not).  From what I've read online they'll draw blood from a heel stick on Annabel since she's so young (which would be fine, if the want to do it from her arm I'll refuse, poor baby!) but Annika will get blood drawn from her arm.  There's no tricking this child.  She's going to ask a million questions so I plan on explaining it to her Friday evening and again Saturday morning before we go and while we're there.  I just have a feeling she's going to beat me up when I have to hold her down for the nurse to take blood!

~Sunday I'm going with my friend (she's also my co-worker) to visit another co-worker who had a baby about a month ago.  She tried for a baby for 5 years and finally got pregnant via IUI (she had a miscarriage about 2 months before I announced my pregnancy with Annabel and I felt horrible about making my announcement!).  I don't think anyone else from work has gone to visit her yet and I guess she's afraid of brining her baby into work until he's had some vaccines.  Paranoid first time mom, totally nothing wrong with that but I wasn't like that.  We had Annika at a restaurant at a week old and Annabel went to Target at like 4 days old!  I also brought both of them in for visits to work around 4 weeks old too.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Halloween Party

We went to Annika's Halloween party at her dance school Saturday evening.  It's too bad that not only was her not there but it was mostly older kids at the party.  That was okay though because for the 45 minutes we stayed she had a ball!

She was Pippi Longstocking and Annabel was a black cat.

She started to dance right away!

Look at this girl's moves!

Giving daddy a high 5!

 More dancing!!

She seriously had the best time and cried when we left!  We had to leave though because it was getting really crowded and we were worried that the older kids wouldn't see her dancing around them.  We took her out to get ice cream afterwards and since she was dressed up for Halloween we got 25% off!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Making Strides

On Saturday morning we went to the Make Strides for Breast Cancer walk right down the street from us.  We met a few of Josh's friends from work for the 3 mile walk.

There was a good turn out overall.  Josh saw a few people from his work but I didn't see a single person from my work and we usually participate, not sure what happened this year.

Josh and Annika with his friends from work.

Annabel got upset with the crowds of people and Annika tickled her to make her feel better.

Annika was ready to go!!

We aren't sure why she was making this nasty face!

After riding on Josh's shoulders for about 1/2 a mile she switched to one of our friends.

And then she was off!  Annika jogged the last 2 miles!

Family picture.

Group picture.

Me and sweet Annabel, her shirt says "Find a Cure Before I Grow Boobs", Annika wore the same shirt to the walk 2 years ago.

Annika saw a roach on a tree and ran away.

Me with our Tough Mudder ladies, we're on the team together in December.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Holding Hands

I caught them on the way home the other day holding hands.

Probably one of the sweetest things I've ever seen.  They were "talking" and laughing together.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


I realized the other day that I hadn't posted in a week!

My half marathon training schedule has gotten a bit more intense.  I have to run, with the girls in the double jogger, 4.5 miles twice a week. That's killer. It takes me forever (try almost an hour, the fastest I've done so far is 54 minutes) and I'm soooo tired afterwards that I feed the girls their nighttime snack and go to bed!!

My last long weekend run was 7 miles last Sunday.  The week before I got a good sunrise picture.

If you notice I run on a sidewalk by a busy 6 lane highway.  I assume this is safer since most people in cars passing by me can't actually see me because the speed limit is 50mph.  The road closer to my house is 2 lanes, the sidewalk is closer to the road, the speed limit is 35mph and if I'm lucky at this time of morning I'll have 4 people drive past me.  Creepy!!

This weekend we're busy again.  We have a walk for breast cancer on Saturday morning.  It's a 3 mile walk but I believe that Josh and his friends from work are going to run it while I stay behind with the girls.  I can't run Saturday because my next long run is Sunday morning and it's 8 miles, I don't want to over do it.

Saturday evening we're going to Annika's first ever Halloween party at her dance school!  So excited to dress up the girls (even though Annabel is too young to participate in anything I want to dress her up) and have Josh with us since he works on Halloween.  There's a costume contest too, I'm excited to see Annika's costume on her all put together (she's Pippi Longstocking).

I can't believe that Annika's birthday party is a little over 2 weeks away!!  She's going to be 3!!  How did this happen so fast???  Her theme is "ballerinas" but since we're having an outdoor party again the decorations are minimal.  Her cake will have ballerinas on it though, can't want to get pictures of that!  This will be the first year that I make her cake.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

2 Years

It's hard to believe it's been 2 years now since my mom died.  To read the whole story, so I don't need to repeat myself click here.

Sometimes I have dreams about mom still being here.  She usually does something slightly annoying like she used to and I get upset.  I wake up thinking about how I'm going to have to solve whatever situation she got herself into.  Then I realize, she's gone.

When I want to go shopping and have no one to shop with I always get a little sad.  My mom was ALWAYS up for a shopping trip, especially if I promised to buy her something.

I miss her calling me every single afternoon.  She used to like to talk to Annika even though Annika wasn't old enough to talk back.  Annika always smiled when she heard my mom's voice and she would try to grab the phone away from me.

This face:

Our dear, sweet, Annabel Alicia (her middle name is my mom's first name), is starting to look like my mom right down to the wave and uncontrollable hair.

Don't you think?

And even Annika, even though she looks almost like a twin to my dad and me, she has a love for making bracelets and necklaces now, just like my mom did.

She also has a 6th sense with dogs and often tells us that "Bo is sad, he's crying" or that Bo wants to go play with his friend (a much larger lab mix) next door.  My mom loved animals, probably more than most people.

While we're sad that she's gone we're glad that she's living on in our girls.  They would have loved her and she would have loved having two girls to spoil.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

October 16th, 2010

Every year at this time for the past 2 years I try to remember what life was like.

Things were so different, the biggest difference being that October 16th, 2010 was the last full day I had parents.

Other differences:

We only had Annika, she was 10 1/2 months old.
We had 2 dogs, Bo and Roxy (we had to give Roxy away in May of 2011 because she decided she hated Annika).
We lived in a 2 bedroom apartment.
We both worked day jobs.
Annika was in daycare.
I had my 2006 Scion TC and was making car payments on it.  Josh was driving an old beat up Pontiac that my parents bought him for $800.
My parents used to come visit us almost every Sunday to see Annika.

Now fast forward to 2012:

We have Annika (almost 3 years old!!) and Annabel who is almost 10 months.
We have Bo.
We live in a 3 bedroom townhouse.
I work days still and Josh works nights.
We are lucky enough to not have to put the girls in daycare.
I traded in my Scion for our Toyota Venza and now we have a 2005 Honda Accord that I paid cash for with my dad's life insurance money.
My parents are gone.

Losing my parents was horrible.  It was the saddest days of my life.  I look back and try to think of what life would be like if they were still here and how blessed we are even though they are gone.

But no matter how much we've been blessed with everything I would give it all away to have them back to see the girls grow up.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Almost 10 months!

Since I did an "Almost 3" post for Annika I figured that I should do an almost 10 month post for Annabel.

I got all of my milestones from a Milestone Chart at BabyCenter.

I'm going to start with milestones for 9 months since that's what she is until the 22nd of this month.

Mastered Skills:

Stands while holding onto something

Yes, Annabel is our expert stander

Jabbers or combines syllables

We have lots of dadadadas going on lately

Understands object permanence

Not so much on this one, she doesn't seem to get when things are "stuck" and yanks on them, so she's getting there.

Emerging Skills:

Cruises while holding onto furniture

Nope, not yet, she can stand holding onto a chair or the couch but I haven't seen her "cruise" yet.

Drinks from a sippy cup

A big NO on this one.  Totally and completely refuses!!

Eats with fingers

Another big NO!!  Why feed herself when Annika will run over to help her??  I'm going to have to get her to stop so Annabel can be slightly independent.

Bangs objects together

Yes, all the time!

Advanced skills:

Plays patty-cake and peek-a-boo

Not yet but she does laugh when I try!

Says "mama" or "dada" to the correct parent

I'm glad this is considered an "advanced skill" because she doesn't do this one at all yet.

The only thing on the 10 month old milestone list that she has totally master is crawling with her belly off the ground.  She's been doing that for almost 2 months now, she's an expert crawling machine!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Almost 3

I find it hard to believe that this:

Is almost 3 years old!!

We have just under a month until November 7th when Annika turns 3!!

Annika has been pretending to read my copy of What to Expect the Toddler Years so I thought I'd take a look at it to see if she's hit all her milestones.  

By 3 years old your toddler should be able to:

identify 4 pictures by naming

Oh yes, we have this one down, she can name way more than 4 pictures

wash and dry hands

yes and she even knows when she's supposed to wash them (like in the restroom)

identify a friend by naming

she's currently in love with the neighbor's son and the little boy that lives one more door down, she can identify both of them, their mother's and the one little boy's sister.  She can also identify almost all of my family.

throw a ball overhand

yep, she throws hard too, trust me, I know...

speak and be understood half the time

Josh and I can typically understand her 90% of the time but I would say that strangers and family that we don't see often understand her about 50% of the time

carry on a conversation of 2 or 3 sentences

yes, she does this with me in the afternoons in the car a lot!

use prepositions

now it's bad that I had to look up to see what a preposition was but yes, she does use them even though her mother couldn't remember what they were!!

Also she should be able to:

use 2 adjectives
put on a t-shirt
broad jump

Yes to all 3!  She's a great jumper!  She can do a normal t-shirt but some of her dressier shirts she does have issues with sometimes.

May possibly be able to :

balance on each foot for 2 seconds

I tested her on this one, she can balance much longer without any issues

describe the use of 2 objects

I tested her again, fork is for eating and sneakers are for running :-)

May even be able to:

copy a circle

Yes and a few other shapes too.

prepare a bowl of cereal

well, we don't eat cereal really but I have taught her how to go into the fridge, get out the milk and pour herself a cup, so I guess that counts!

dress without any help

like I said earlier, dressier shirts with buttons she can't do, everything else she can

identify 4 colors

she can identify a lot more than 4, today she did red, pink, green, orange, brown, black, purple, yellow, blue, gray

So yay!!  She's hit all her milestones for a 3 year old!!  Now we just need to have her party in a few weeks :-)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Weekend

We had a fun weekend!

It started off with a quick 3 mile run.  It rained almost every day last week after work and I couldn't go out with the girls.

Then my cousin came down to visit us!  We went shopping at Old Navy before Josh woke up since I usually let him sleep in a little on the weekends.

Annika tried on two jackets.  We ended up buying the one on the left because it'll never get cold enough for the one on the right.  I think some people on Facebook thought I was crazy that we even buy jackets here but for us anything below 70 degrees is long sleeved, 65 degrees we wear sweaters and about 60 degrees we have jackets on!

My cousin also bought her the cutest dress and boots.  I need to get Annika to put them on and pose for me so I can get a good picture of them.  I can't wait for her to wear the outfit!

Then we went out the lunch at a pancake house down the street from us.  Their servings are sooooo huge that none of us finished our meals!  We probably could get away with ordering two meals and sharing it between me, my cousin, Josh and Annika.  Annabel did have a few tiny bites of pancake, hash browns and a small piece of egg (just to see if she has an allergy).

We went back to the house and Josh went off to play golf and the girls sat down to watch "The Lorax" for the 100th time.  It's Annika's favorite movie and actually one of my favorites too!  We all have lines memorized from it and most of the words to the songs too.

After my cousin left the girls and I napped.  For some reason during the week Annabel will take a 3 hour nap for Josh but if I'm in the house on the weekend she refuses to nap.  Flat out refuses!  So I put Annika down (who is the opposite, she won't nap during the week but naps for 4 hours each day on the weekend) and tried to put Annabel down.  Annabel immediately started screaming, stood up in her crib and made the most pitiful face ever.  I left her for a few minutes but once I realized she wasn't going to calm down I brought her into the bed with me.  After 10 minutes of wrestling with her to keep her still she slept for an entire hour next to me, woke up for a few minutes and then passed back out for about another hour!  It was wonderful!!

We waited for Josh to get home from golf and Annika read the latest issue of "Runner's World" magazine :-)

The girls attacked Josh when he got home.  Annika is blowing a raspberry on his head and Annabel is pinching his nose!

Annika says that "daddy is pretty" with his shaved head!

Sunday we went to Josh's friend from work's house.  First I went for another run!  I was trying to beat the sunrise!

They have a daughter a little younger than Annabel and another a little older than Annika.  Annika was overwhelmed with the amount of toys they have!  She played a little dress up.

I was beat from running in the morning and waking up so early so we left his friend's house so we could all take naps.  Annika went down easily again.  Josh had some things to do around the house so he couldn't keep Annabel downstairs with him.  I tried her in her crib and she freaked again and she refused to stay still in bed with me.  She cried and cried and cried.  We fed her, changed her diaper, gave her teething tablets but she just refused to nap and we could tell she was exhausted   She cried for the entire 2 hours that Annika slept.  I have no idea what was wrong with her but I know that I felt like crying!!  I was so tired because I just wanted to take a nap but I didn't get to!  Oh well, hopefully she'll get better with that, right now I'm just thankful the girls both sleep so well at night!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Best $5 Spent

This hamper is one of Annika's favorite toys and the other day she decided to let Annabel join in on the fun!

Who needs expensive toys when you can play with the hamper on laundry day???

Friday, October 5, 2012

Oh The Things She Says.....

Annika is quite the character.  We're actually afraid now of what she'll say to someone, especially when we're out in public.

Yesterday I got:

"I like the baby."  I guess that's a good thing because we planned on keeping her anyway :-)

"Oh no, we're stuck!"  She says this every single time we get stuck at a red light while driving now.

"Let me see ya nipples!"  I have no clue where she got this from but she started this yesterday and it freaks me out!  Luckily she did it at home but she pulled the front of my shirt down to try to see mine!

"Fin-gones."  Still one of my favorites, it's what she calls her fingers.

We had ballet class again last night and she was pretty good again.  I think she finally understands what she has to do and that she has to listen to the teacher.  I would love to know what she says to the teacher though when she calls roll.  She always gets stuck after she calls Annika's name because Annika keeps talking and talking and talking and she's making her crazy face and waving her arms all around.  I can't even imagine!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Photo Bomb Bo

This is now the second time Bo has ruined a picture by pooping in it!

The first time was the family picture we took at Josh's 30th B-Day party in 2011.

Silly dog!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Anxiety Again

I never like to admit when I don't feel "right" but this is another one of those weeks.

The 2nd year anniversary of my mom dying is still 2 weeks away and yet I already can't stop thinking about it and I hate that!  I honestly like to forget things ever happened but I know that I can't.

I get annoyed that my mom wasn't with me on Saturday when I went to a consignment sale to buy Annika some new clothes.  The early pass I got said that you could either bring your mother or your husband (no kids).  So that left me as one of the only people all alone in the line to get in.

I hate hearing about other people going to dinner with their parents or their parents coming over to visit.

I really hate hearing other people complain about their parents!

I always get sad when I watch Annika in ballet class when other one of the girls has their grandmother come watch them.  Annika will never have that, I'm the only one that is able to come to watch class because of the schedule.

I was upset the other morning because I ordered Annabel her Christmas dress for this year and I knew my mom would have loved it.  I sent the picture to my cousin because I knew she was awake and would respond to the picture :-)  Josh helped me pick it out and we got her the red turtleneck shirt to go underneath and the set of headbands.  I swear she's going to look like a little doll.

I'm also upset that my parents never even got to see Annabel.  They didn't even get to see Annika turn 1 (my dad did but only in pictures since he was in ICU right before she turned 1 and died after).

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


I love when I catch the girls playing together (nicely).

Sunday morning I went into Annika's room to find them both quietly playing with Annika's books in her closet.  Annika even put her favorite scarf around Annabel.

They are just to sweet together lately.  Except for the whole fork scratching incident.  I guess Annabel pulled up to stand by Annika's chair in the dining room.  Annika was eating and I think Annabel probably got a little grabby with her, we're always having issues with Annabel grabbing at things.  Then Josh noticed that Annabel had 4 little scratches on her forearm that just so happened to match the 4 little prongs on Annika's fork.  Annika admitted to scratching Annabel and you could tell she felt bad.  She had to stand in time out for a while.  Annabel never even cried though!  I was surprised.

Other than that Annika really does love her sister :-)