18 July 2008

Happy Birthday Bergen!!

And how was this 4 years ago?

Here he is at his 4 year old pics. . . .

Happy Birthday Annika!!

How was this a whole year ago?

And here she is yesterday at her one year pics. . .

12 July 2008

when i get big

I must hear Bergen say that about 10 times a day. It goes something like this : When I get big *I* will drive a car and *you* can sit in the back. . .when I get big I can go on a plane all by myself. . . when I get big I will go to the office like Daddy. . . when I get big I can go on a roller coaster. . .

And I always reply, "yes, honey, when you are big".

There is so much anticipation on growing up when you are little. I remember always wishing I was older then I was. I recall sitting around the table at family gatherings wanting to participate in conversations about Victor and Victoria with the other women, but being too young to watch The Young and the Restless I could only sit and listen. I remember loving coffee since the age of 10 and only getting 2 ozs in my cup wishing I was old enough to enjoy a real cup of coffee like everyone else. And of course there is the excitement of turning 10 and being in the "double digits" or impatiently waiting to get that drivers license.

But as a parent now of a young boy who is already growing too fast and wants to grow even faster - I want to tell him not wish this time away and enjoy his childhood. I want him to stay young and naive forever (okay, maybe not *forever*, but for as long as possible!!) Life just seems so easy when you are a child, but unfortunately us adults know differently.

This past weekend I read an article about family blogs highlighting a few families that use them. One woman who blogs gave the advice to "not write about anything bad because no one wants to hear about bad news". And while I agree that no one wants to read a blog by Debbie Downer, I couldn't help but think that would be pretending like life is all peaches and cream when we all know it is more like rocky road. And maybe I am just focused on the pain of life right now with some important family members struggling with health concerns, but life has served up a whole bowl of rocky road that no one ordered.

We experience life for good or bad and for the most part there is much we can't control. I have a long list of questions for God - which pretty much run along the lines of "why do bad things happen to good people?" The older I get the more I hear about bad things happening to good, wonderful, amazing people that my heart and mind will just never, ever understand *why*. In life we are meant to have suffering. That is why we have our families, our friends and our God to help us endure.

So to my amazing little Bergen who can't wait to be big, my prayerful advice to you is slow down little man. There is plenty of time.

10 July 2008


As we quickly approach Annika's first birthday, her personality is beginning to shine through more and more. . . and we have come to realize that the second-child syndrome is in full effect. I mean, we have all heard what "They" say about birth order. Your first will be cautious, serious, studious, etc. and your second will be wild, carefree, silly, etc. . . . and while I don't subscribe to that birth order psycho-analysis verbatim, I have to say there have been some striking similarities in our house.

Here are some examples:

* Bergen and Annika were complete opposites as newborns. Bergen came into the world screaming and didn't stop for about 10-weeks. We spent HOURS and HOURS at night trying to walk, rock, talk, swing, sing, etc to calm him down. Annika on the other hand rarely made a peep. And while I think she is just starting to sleep through the night, she at least never had her nights/days confused. She would get up to nurse and go right back to sleep. She also never used a pacifier and Bergen had one in at all times until he was 2! Bergen was our high needs baby - Annika was our calm baby.

* We have started to strap Annika in her high chair because her new favorite thing to do is to spin around and attempt to stand up. We never had to use the straps before now as we didn't have to worry about this with Bergen! He would sit contently and she can't stop moving.

* While we do have outlet covers on all unused outlets, Annika loves to scoot herself right up to them and attempt to remove them which is something Bergen never did. If for some reason I took the cover off to use the vacuum etc, she makes a beeline towards the outlet in hopes to stick her fingers or whatever toy she currently holding into the socket. . . . to which I always say "No Annika". I then get this great little smile from her as she shakes her head no and then she promptly returns back to the outlet. Again, something Bergen never, ever did as a baby.

* And speaking of vacuums, Annika absolutely LOVES anything and everything that makes noise. The louder the better. However, our little man is the complete opposite. In the morning when we use the coffee grinder Bergen covers his ears and yells "TOO LOUD! TOO LOUD" while Annika claps her hands with joy. In fact, she is already clapping at the sound of the coffee beans being poured into the grinder because she knows that a loud noise is going to follow. And just the sight of the vacuum makes her squeal in delight!

* Annika stopped eating pureed foods at 9.5 months and Bergen ate them until over a year. Anything that comes at her with a spoon is promptly pushed away from her mouth. She wants to do everything that her big brother is doing, which means no spoon feeding from mom and dad! It was a whole new experience with a 9+ month old only eating table food!

* Bergen did and continues to love sleeping in the car. After a long day at play he will be out cold in just a matter of minutes. Anni on the other hand will be wide eyed until we get home and when we try to put our over-tired princess to bed she will go into scream mode. I try to tell her that she wouldn't be so tired if she only took a nap in the car, but she just doesn't seem to listen (I guess she is a little too young for reasoning!). She stopped sleeping in her car seat at only 4 months - she has only fallen in the car seat twice since then!

* I saved the best for last! Annika has figured out how to take her diaper off! I think she is fascinated with the Velcro and starts to take her diaper off whenever she can! I have to be sure that she is wearing something over her diaper to ensure that even though she is wet, the rest of us stay dry! This was never a worry we had with Bergen. . . heck, we were thinking he was going to be going to kindergarten in diapers!

All of these differences bring us so much joy and laughter as we discover the unique qualities our kids possess and I know the list will just keep growing and growing. But overall we have found Mr Bergen to be our cautious, rule-follower and Miss Annika to be our little spit-fire. . . . which makes me wonder what is in store for us as she grows. and all I can think is "oh-oh"!

07 July 2008

a weekend up north

We enjoyed Independence Day "up nort" this year at the Hus House. After enduring an almost 5 hour drive that normally takes about 2.5 hours on Thursday night, we went on to enjoy 4 fun-filled days with family and friends. Here is a breakdown of our weekend events:

Friday July 4th: was our "quiet" day hanging around the house, swimming in the kiddie pool, going to the park, walking the boardwalk, and grilling on the deck. Nana and Papa encouraged us to head out to the fireworks, but being the tired parents we were, we decided to stay home. Which worked out great - otherwise we would have missed a late night visit from the Kauzlaric clan and chance to meet their newest family member Johnathan!

Saturday July 5th: The guys did their annual gourmet boys golf trip while us girls+Bergen visited "Gamma-D" and then made a quick run to Target (what is a visit to D-town without a trip to Target?). That evening was spent with the Gourmet Family. It was a wonderful night to be together. . . be outside. . . and remember Russ. We had 6 out of the 8 B.G.I.T. (baby gourmet in training) kids there. We are all so blessed to have this "second" family in our lives and it is fun to see how we keep growing!

Sunday July 6th:
A little road trip to visit with Grandma Betty, Uncle Dick, Aunt Peggy and Aunt Marilyn at the lake. It was a BEAUTIFUL day. I mean the kind of day we dream of all winter long. We splashed in the lake, took a pontoon (or a party-toon as B called it) ride and ate ourselves silly. Bergen was fast asleep in the car about 3 minutes after we left. But as usual, our little spit-fire Annika stayed awake the entire hour long ride home which shocked me because she hadn't napped at all during the day (which was a first for her!) It couldn't have been a more perfect day!

Monday July 7th: Time to head back home, but not without a visit first with Great Grandma Sally and Grandpa Jack. We always have such nice visits with them and they just love seeing the little ones!
After that we hit the road and enjoyed a much more typical ride home. Annika actually took a snooze in her car seat - which was a very pleasant surprise for us. The only thing we didn't get to do is visit with the Buurstras who were visiting from MI . . . time flew by in a blink as I am sure it did for them as well. But I want you guys to know we missed you!!
Here are a couple clips from the weekend. . . Our camera is broken so we used Nana and Papa's. This was the first video shot with their Sony! Wasn't sure if you would be able to hear us talking or not. . . but the sound works perfect. Although, you will hear that little B was in a time out for a splashing incident with Annika in the lake. I guess a good sound bite of what really goes on around here every day!

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