18 December 2007

don't blink

One thing you might know about me is that I am not a huge fan of country music - I don't have anything against it. . . it just isn't my thing. But, when I saw Kenny Chensey sing "Don't Blink" I couldn't help but see all these different images of life flash through my mind. Lars and I always talk about how fast life is going and that we feel like every time we blink another year has gone by (case on point - see title of my last post).

I remember after we had Bergen pretty much every parent told us "just you wait. . . he will be driving before you know it". Hearing that only hours after birth made me want to cry as I didn't want time to move that fast. But time is moving that fast. When I look back at all the hundreds and hundreds of photos we have taken of him - I am moved to tears. Such a bitter-sweet thing to watch our baby grow into this amazing boy but still wanting him to stay my sweet baby boy. While he isn't driving yet, I am afraid that he will be behind the wheel before we know it.

So, I put together a little montage of our family since we were married in 2000. Watching it makes me think a couple of things:

1. I feel a little like Katie Couric with all my changing hair styles over the years. Yikes, who knew I had so many.

2. How lucky we are to be parents in the age of digital photography, blogs, and other wonderful media tools like One True Media. I have been able to watch children of my friends grow without even being in the same town. . . or even ever having met them. And they in turn are able to stay connected to us. . . that is truly amazing to me.

3. While it is very hard to be sleep deprived and wishing that our baby girl would sleep through the night, before we know it we will be reminiscing about these horrible sleepless nights and our arms will ache with the long distant memories of our children as babies. . . .

Click here . . . DONT BLINK

oops, i blinked

And Annika is 5 months old today!! I can hardly believe how fast the time as gone. . . we had her 4 month visit last week (almost a month late, yikes!) and she weighed 13.2lbs (20%) and was 26.5" long (95%) - she is our string bean! I went back to compare how big Bergen was at his 4 month visit and he was weighing 15lbs . . . and that was almost a while month earlier then when she went in for her visit. . . so, she is our perfectly happy, healthy peanut who likes to play with her toes, put everything in her mouth and has even started belly laughing at her dad! Now, if only we could get her to sleep better at night. . . .

We also started her on rice cereal last week - which from the pics you will see she wasn't a huge fan. We have continued to try and while she isn't eating a whole lot yet, she at least doesn't cringe when I try to feed her. So different from Bergen who from the first taste couldn't get enough - our little baby bird with his mouth wide open for more. Annika instead presses her lips together and gives me "ohhhh. . . I don't think so" eyes. Makes me wonder what she will be like at 13 (payback time, right mom?)!

Here is a fun video of the kids together. . . Bergen discovered a new game to play with Annika. We just need to watch closely so that he doesn't tip her over!

why, oh why, do we live in minnesota?!?

I ask myself that every year when it starts to get cold and the snow starts to fly. And I especially question our lifelong commitment to live in Minnesota when we are able to go to "Grandma's Beach House" (aka Naples, FL) and experience just a small taste of what other parts of the world get to experience other then the frigid cold north. Strange to think as I write this post and look out into the white covered world in 20-degree weather. . . that not too far away people are enjoying a life of sunny, warm, and GREEN. As Barbara and I always say - if only we could transplant our WHOLE family somewhere warm, we would do it in a heartbeat. Not sure if my hubby would ever be on board with moving somewhere warm, but I can always dream!

We enjoyed a week of fun in the sun the first week of December. This was the second annual trip for Bergen and me and the first for Annika and Lars. We all were able to do what we enjoy . . . I got to read in the sun, Lars got to enjoy some quiet reading time, Bergen got to build sand castles, and Annika got a lot of lovin' from every one around her! We spent the week with Grandma, Aunt Megan and Uncle Michael and Grandpa Dan was able to fly down to be with us for the weekend. Other then Annika deciding that she didn't want to sleep while we were there (I feel like that is happening more and more lately. . .any sleep experts want to help me out with this one because I REALLY need some sleep!), we had a wonderful, relaxing (well, as a trip with two kids can be!) vacation!

13 December 2007

feeding the ducks

One of Bergen's most favorite things to do. . . and what a great treat to have Uncle Chris and Aunt Kate join in the fun over Thanksgiving weekend!

01 December 2007

28 November 2007

our little lamb

(As usual, I am a little late with this post. . . for all of you other moms out there that are able to update your blog on a regular basis - I am amazed!) On Thanksgiving weekend our little lamb Annika was baptised!! We had this wondrous occasion on the already busy holiday weekend because her Godparents are her Aunt Kate and Uncle Chris and we had to plan it around for when they would be home.

The church service was truly wonderful (although a bit long) and the baptism was very personal. After church we had about 40 people over for a pizza and cake reception. . . our house was full of family and friends. We are extremely lucky to have such wonderful people in our lives who love not only us, but our children. Thank you to all who were able to be there to celebrate with us and we know there were many others that were there celebrating with us in spirit!

so thankful

We had a great Thanksgiving up in D-town. Chris and Kate were able to be "home" and I know how thankful my parents were to have all their children under the same roof - which just doesn't happen as often as we wish it could. We had a fun visit together. . . talked lots, ate lots, and even got to play quite a bit of cribbage. Papa took Bergen to the duck pond twice which he absolutely loves and other then Annika deciding that she didn't want to sleep while we were there - we had a wonderful weekend.
My parents put in a beautiful new kitchen this fall and we put it to the test as we had 17 people over for the traditional Thanksgiving feast. Chris was the head chef and everything passed with flying colors. The food was great and we had a wonderful time all being together.
We were also able to have a baby shower on Saturday morning to honor Kate and celebrate Baby M. Chris and Kate were very thankful to get a great start to their nursery and all the many things they will be putting to good use in a few months time when Baby M joins the world - which we can't wait for!
And in this season of thanks, I want to thank all of those that mean so much to us - our family and friends. We are truly lucky and feel very blessed for all the love and support that you have each given us. We have much to be thankful for. . . children. . . health. . . Lars' new job. . . and the list keeps going. And if I may take a line written by my husband who is much better at words then I am, we "prepare for 2008 with a heart, head, and soul full of hope, gratitude, and intense curiosity about what comes next thanks to the gifts of self you've all shared with [us]. "

Here are a few shots from the weekend. . .

the joys of fall

Remember how much fun it was jumping in leaf piles when you were little? One of the (many) great things about having a little one is that you get to experience that joy all over again. Instead of looking at the vast amounts of leaves we have to rake up in our back yard with frustration that our neighbors wait until a windy day blows their leaves into our yard instead of just raking them up themselves (sorry, enough about that!), raking instead has become a fun afternoon activity for us to be together and enjoy some fresh air. Now I understand why my dad after hours of raking would look at Chris and me with joy as we destroyed the nice piles he had worked so hard on . . . it is the small joys in life like jumping in leaves that makes life so completely wonderful.

06 November 2007

spelling is the name of the game

Bergen LOVES to spell. He would love nothing more (well, other then playing with cars) then to sit down for hours and spell all the different names, animals, or things he can think of. When he is looking at books he will point to a word and ask me "what does that spell?" And he has a short list of words he knows (like baby or cat or book) that he will point out to me when we are reading.

He now wants to take the next step and write out the words he knows how to spell. Writing is quite challenging for him and he keeps working on it, but he does have one word he can write: mom.

I am so proud.

27 October 2007

take 35. . . take 48. . . take 56. . .

Okay, so I don't know exactly how many pictures we took to get a decent shot for their Halloween photo, but I am sure you can image the insane amount as we tried to get them both looking at the camera at the same time while trying to keep Annika from crying. The day we had their "photo shoot" was one of the weird 80-degree days in early October (I know, I am a few weeks behind! I am trying to catch up. . .). We tried to take the photo outside, but they were both sweating like crazy so we moved them inside where there were a lot less tears. Here are a few shots that ended up on the cutting block:

splish splash

Ahhhh. . . the photos we all hate as teenagers. Bath time. Especially bath time with siblings. But now that we have two little ones, I completely understand the need to save time and get both those kids in the bath at once. Perhaps one day Bergen's best man will include them in his toast like Mark did at Chris' wedding. . . and hopefully Annika won't be too mortified.

26 October 2007

hi stranger

Yikes, it has been a while since my last post. I apologize. I would like to offer the excuse of having basically zero down time between the kids, housework, and sleep (. . . oh and trying to spend time with Lars somewhere in there), but even I think that is a lame excuse. So with that being said, I promise I won't let it go so long between posts again and I hope that you (at least I hope there is a 'you' somewhere out there that reads this) will stick with our blog a little longer.

So. . . since my last post, Lars has started his new job at KeyStone Search and is absolutely loving it. He has hit the ground running (as he does with everything else) and is extremely excited about the work he will be doing there. After a loooong search process of trying to figure out what his next step was going to be, he feels at peace with the end result. And you know what they say: a happy hubby makes for a happy home (well, it goes something like that)!

I continue to try to keep afloat between having an infant and a 3-yr-old who wants to do everything "by myself". It is a wonderful thing to see Bergen become more and more independent, but at the same time it can pull at every one of my last nerves as he wants to do everything on his own and won't accept the help when he so dearly needs it. I went to my first parent-teacher conference at preschool and he, not surprisingly, got a wonderful report. They said he is a very social kid that has a great sense of humor. They also said he is a "joy to have in class". . . but then again they told that to Cara (aka. Max's mom) too so perhaps at the ripe age of 3 there isn't too much to talk about at a preschool parent-teacher conference! Either way he is loving preschool and we couldn't be more thrilled. . . or proud.

Annika is growing so fast it makes my head spin. I can't believe how much faster time goes by with #2. We were getting her 3mo pictures taken the other day and there was a newborn there having her photo taken for a birth announcement. If my mother-in-law hadn't been there I probably would have started crying because I miss that newborn stage already. . . . there is nothing like it in the world and it is gone in a blink of an eye. . .

As of late I am trying to get her to actually take a couple of decent naps during the day - she seems to only take about four 30min cat naps which is pretty frustrating as I have no time to clean, no alone time with Bergen and no time to do other things like update this blog. She sleeps great at night but she is in a bassinet next to our bed. I think if I started sleeping her in her crib it would help. . . And I can hear my girlfriend Julie saying "get that girl in her own room!" So, this is the second promise that I make on this post today. I promise I will work on getting that girl in her own room. . . eventually ;)

07 October 2007

saying goodbye to hhh

We visited Lars at HHH one last time before his final day on Friday. Bergen wanted to see where all his art projects went over the past few years and Lars wanted to introduce Annika to his colleagues. We had a great lunch of chicken fingers, grilled cheese and french fries in the cafeteria.

chicago or bust

We drove to Chicago the last weekend of September for Duke and Kristin Sutton's wedding. We left on Thursday so we could get in a long weekend but after getting a late start, stopping to feed Annika twice, and missing our exit to Grandma and Grandpa's due to horrible construction . . . we didn't get in until quite late. . .

It was a beautiful weekend and we had a blast staying with Grandma and Grandpa. Not only did Grandma cook us a very wonderful breakfast in the morning, but we went on a walk around their house, took a drive of Waukegan (saw the house where Dad Leafblad, Uncle Tim, and Aunt Deb grew up), and had a fun pizza party with the Gillaspie family.

Annika joined us for the Saturday wedding. . . but Bergen spent the day with the Great-Grandparents and Aunt Deb. I was feeling a little worried that he might not want us to go, but judging by the way he was eagerly waving goodbye to us as we drove away yelling "see ya later!" any fears I had quickly vanished!

They took him to the Jelly Belly factory where you take a train ride tour to learn how they make those oh-so-good jelly beans and if that wasn't enough excitment,they also took him to Lake Michigan where he proceeded to run around and throw rocks into the lake for hours! He had a WONDERFUL day and I felt at ease knowing he was with our loving family! The wedding was very beautiful and it was great to catch up with old friends from college - some we hadn't seen in a few years. And when you get these guys together from good old Pod 76 it is like they haven't left college - and I think if some of them had their choice they would move back in tomorrow and start up the old foosball tourneys again.

All in all - we had a GREAT weekend and we are going to prove Grandma wrong when she asked if we would be 5 years before we are back to visit!!

Here are a couple of fun videos from the weekend. . . .

Bergen playing catch with Great Grandpa:

Bergen playing with his new remote cars. . . Daisy (Megan and Ryan's dog) staying close to Bergen, isn't too sure about the car!!

03 October 2007

war wounds

I am belated at updating this info, but we had Annika's 2-month appointment on September 21st. She weighed in at 10lb3oz and is 23 3/4"long. She did great with the shots - only cried for about 30 seconds. But seeing the look in her eyes when she got that first shot was H-O-R-R-I-B-L-E . . . I held back my tears. Here she is with her war wounds:

an apple a day

A family shot. . . anyone else think Lars looks good as a bunny?

We took a trip to the Pine Tree Apple Orchard one beautiful, hot Sunday with Grandma Barbara. We were out enjoying a beautiful fall afternoon with about a thousand other families who were doing the same thing and had a wonderful time. We sat and listened to a music duo that played all sorts of fun music for kids . . . . we walked through the orchard admiring the huge apple trees. . . we ate many wonderful apple treats. . . and most of all we felt blessed to be there with the two beautiful apples of our eyes. A picture perfect day.

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