December 28, 2010

Christmas 2010

We had a really nice Christmas this year. Christmas Eve we went over to my parents house for dinner and gifts.

Audia loves her Grandma and Grandpa so much. She had a lot of fun reading with both of them, and doing puzzles with Grandma while Grandpa and Daddy made dinner.

Christmas Eve dinner has been the same since I can remember. We always have Swedish Meatballs, Mashed potatoes, Gravy, Lingonberries, and Green Beans.

Audia got a truckload of wonderful gifts (we did too!) Among her favorites seem to be her doctor's kit and kitchen.

Christmas morning was spent at the apartment, just the three of us. Audia suprisingly slept in until 8:30. She had been asking about Santa coming every night for weeks, so when we finally told her that "tonight's the night!" on Christmas Eve, I was sure that she would have trouble sleeping and get up super early. I guess her sleeping in was a Christmas gift to us!
Santa brought her all kinds of fun goodies, and we also opened gifts from Chris' parents that morning.
After Audia's nap (which was much needed after all that present-opening,) we went back over to my parents to relax and have our traditional Prime Rib dinner. Yum!

Overall, we had a very joyous Christmas. Audia is still talking about Santa and asking when we're going to go over to Grandma and Grandpa's to open more presents. I think it will take a while for it to set in that there won't be any more gifts until Easter!

Pre-Christmas Celebrations

Christmas has been a total blast this year. We've made sure to do a lot of Christmasy activities to prepare Audia and get in the spirit, and boy did it work! She had so much fun and is still talking about all the things we did (and, of course, asking if we can do them again!)

Decorating an apartment is a bit different than decorating a house....especially since our complex doesn't allow real trees (Bah Humbug!), but limitations aside, I had a lot of fun with it, and Audia loves the Christmas tree even though it's fake.

About a month before Christmas, we kicked things off with our annual trip to the mall with N and A to get the girls' photo taken with Santa. Neither of the girls wanted to sit on Santa's lap this year, so us Mommy's had to get in the photo too.

The majority of our Christmas activities started two weeks before Christmas. We started with a trip downtown with my parents for dinner and to see Macy's 'A Day in the Life of an Elf.' When I was a kid, Macy's was Dayton's (and then Marshall Field's) and every year they had a different story set up. The past few years (since Macy's bought Marshall Field's, I think) have been the same show, but Audia's never seen it and she sure seemed to enjoy it!

After the floor show, we went outside and waited in the bitter cold (ok, maybe not bitter, but it was pretty darn cold!) to see the Holidazzle light parade. Audia was in heaven! She loves seeing all the Christmas lights when we go driving at night, and to have thousands of them rolling by her on floats was like a dream come true.

A couple of days later, we joined my parents again for 'Snack with Santa' at the Zoo. Audia loved watching Santa from afar, but once he came around to our table she became shy, and yet again we were forced to join her on Santa's lap. She asked Santa for "Books, teeth, and babies!" and he gave her an adorable stuffed monkey.

Later that day we had our Annual Snow Bocce Tournament. Audia loved seeing all her friends, and of course Chris and I did too. Now that we're parents, it's a lot harder to make plans and get out to see our friends, so our Bocce parties are a good way to catch up with friends we don't get to see as often as we'd like.

A few days later, my dear friend E, who I've known for 24 years, was in town visiting and stopped by for a playdate with me and Audia. Audia certainly loves her Auntie Em!

Our big present from our parents this year was a new mattress (it was desperately needed!), and the place that we got our mattress from had a raffle for an amish doll bed. Well, lucky us! We won the bed! So the day before Christmas Eve, we went over to the store and picked it up as an early Christmas present for the munchkin. Fievel, however, seems to have claimed ownership. He is even sleeping on it now as I write this entry!

December 13, 2010


We've been busily enjoying winter here the past couple of weeks. After the second big snow a couple of weekends ago, we decided to take advantage of a nearby park and play in it. I'm really glad that we did, because while we had another major snowfall this past weekend, it was simply too darn cold to go out and enjoy it. So, instead we stayed cozy inside, baked some AMAZING cardamom-lemon-butter cookies, watched Christmas movies, and finally finished decorating the gingerbread house that we built the weekend before.

This pregnancy has unfortunately brought on that old familiar sacroiliac joint pain that I had with Audia, only this time it is a lot earlier on. With Audia I was pretty much immobile around 6.5 months. My doc prescribed anti-inflammatory pain meds, I took them for a couple of weeks, and the pain went away never to come back. This time I'm only 3 months and it's already to the point that there are only two chairs in our whole place that I can sit in. Walking and pretty much any other activity that involves moving my legs is excruciating. Luckily I have an appointment tomorrow, but the last thing I want is to be on pain meds again, especially now that I stay home with Audia. Being fuzzy when I was working was fine by me, but I don't feel comfortable being fuzzy while I'm caring for my child. I am not holding my breath, but hoping that doc can give me an alternative option for pain relief. Like, say, a cortisone injection.

Audia has been so much fun to share the holidays with this year. She was last year too, but this year she is so aware of what's going on. She asks me every other day if Santa is going to come to our house, to which my answer of course is "if you're a good girl!" She has already memorized 'Santa Clause is Coming to Town,' 'Frosty the Snowman,' and the main chorus of 'Jingle Bells.' She's still (eternally) obsessed with books, and I frequently will find her in her bedroom with piles of books surrounding her, reading to her baby doll.

December 2, 2010

Big News

Yes, it's true. We are expecting baby number 2! Chris and I decided some time ago (almost a year) that we wanted to add to our family, and that the best time for us would be when Audia was around 3 years old. We started trying a little earlier than when we wanted to get pregnant simply because I had the Mirena and I've read that it can take your body a few months to "bounce back" from having it removed. Not my body! We got pregnant in the month after it was removed. And we are sooooo excited :-) Audia regularly talks about how mommy's "makin' me a new baby brother or sister!" I think she is going to be the best big sister a kid could ask for. Li'l Widget, you are going to be one lucky boy or girl!

This pregnancy, so far, has been completely different from my pregnancy with Audia. With Audia, I had no symptoms aside from superhuman sense of smell until I was well into my second trimester. This time around, it's been nausea and sheer exhaustion from the get go. With Audia, I craved sweets. This time it's anything savory. Dessert rarely interests me these days (unless, of course, there's peanut butter involved.) With Audia, I gained 7 lbs in my first trimester. This time I've gained barely 2. Based on all these things, my guess is that it is a boy, but we would be perfectly happy with either. Truth is this baby is already so incredibly loved. And, as they say, love makes the world go 'round. It certainly keeps mine turning :-)

November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving 2010

It's that time of year again! I can't believe how fast Thanksgiving (and winter!) have crept up on us this year. We certainly have a lot to be thankful for this year!

  • I am utterly and hopelessly thankful for my amazing husband. I feel so lucky every single day that I was able to marry my best friend in the whole world. A man who is patient and understanding and smart and supportive, not to mention the most wonderfully hands-on dad and an amazing cook to boot. He keeps me laughing, engages me in intelligent debate, calls me out when I'm being unfair, and understands when I just need a break. I can't imagine my world without him in it, and I feel like the luckiest woman on earth to be married to him.
  • Words can't even begin to express how thankful I am for my beautiful daughter. Audia, you make your mom so proud and happy and grateful every second of every day. You are so smart, funny, cheerful, curious, sprightly, and strong-willed. You make every day brighter than the last. You are everything in the world to me.
  • I am so endlessly thankful for my family. To have such wonderful, intelligent, supportive, loving, and generous people to look up to and share life with and lean on when I need to is such a gift.
  • I am thankful for the truest of true blue friends. It is not often you find someone who will stick with you through anything, and I feel so lucky to have a multitude of friends like this in my life. People who keep me on my feet and laughing and help me through the toughest of times; people who I can disagree with but love me anyway. And who I will always love and be there for no matter what
  • I am thankful for our health! Can you believe that Audia is 2 years old and has only been sick 4 times in her entire life? I consider that a miracle. And for Chris and I to have only been sick twice each in the past year. I feel genuinely blessed.
  • I am sooooo thankful for Chris' job, and for him to be working for a company that really seems to value his time and knowledge and efforts. Part two is that I am so thankful that he has a job that pays enough to allow me to be a stay at home mom.
  • Last, but not least, I am thankful for our new furbaby, Fievel. He has turned out to be such a great match for our family, and more specifically, for Audia. He is so patient, playful, and forgiving with her. And, he is the best lap kitty I could ask for.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

November 12, 2010


So I haven't really written any updates lately on things Audia's doing or is into.
Here's a quick rundown of her personality these days:

  • She still loves baby dolls, and takes very good care of them, pushing them in her stroller, feeding them, even strapping them into her high chair.
  • She has recently started asking, very frequently, what things mean. I'll be in the middle of saying something to her and she'll interrupt me to ask me "what does ****** mean?" where ****** is a word that I just said.
  • She loves making funny faces at us, and for us to make funny faces back at her. She's quite the mimick!
  • Her interest in play doh has waned and developed into an interest in stacking the play doh containers. She'll stack them as high as she can and then knock them over.
  • She LOVES flash cards. She got a set of alphabet flash cards as a gift from her cousin a month or so ago, and she loves going through them, naming the pictures and the letters on the cards.
  • She is really into the puzzles she got from Auntie J for her birthday. She turns them all over, letting the pieces fall to the floor, and then puts them all back in the right places.
  • She is still obsessed with books. Some of them she even has memorized, and I can hear her reciting them as she flips through the pages in her bedroom. She will literally spend 30 minutes taking each one off of the book shelf in her room, flipping through the pages and reading to herself.
  • She still loves hot dogs, green beans, pretty much any pork product, pears, bananas, and tator tots. She has added to this list Mac and Cheese, fruity candy (from halloween....she has little interest in the chocolate,) graham crackers, carrots, and hummus.
  • She has finally started showing more interest in Fievel, and they are a great pair! She will play with him and chase him around, then stop only to have him start chasing her! He puts up with so much, it still suprises me. Though I have found him hiding out, sleeping, in the front hall closet once or twice so I do think he gets tired of her from time to time :-)

November 10, 2010

Things I want to do before I die

So, this blog is obviously mostly a chronical about Audia and my adventures in (and feelings about) parenting. But, my hopes for this chronical and purposes for this documentation are not solely so that Audia (and any future children) can look back and see what they were like before they remember, or to help remember special times. I also hope that our kids can gain an insight, when they are a bit older, into who I am on a level that is a bit beyond "mommy." I have been thinking a lot lately about who I have become since I became a mother, and how my life's plans have changed, and how my life's desires have changed, vs how they haven't. There are some things that were dreams that I no longer have any interest in. And, there are some things that are dreams now just as much as ever. I thought it would be fun to make a list of these dreams that still hold true, and maybe do so again every 5 years, to see what things I've accomplished and what dreams have changed. Both for myself and for my kids.

Long introduction to a short list. Here goes.

Things I Want To Do Before I Die
  • Return to Sweden. At least once. And maybe even move there eventually
  • Return to Jamaica.
  • Take a trip to Africa
  • Take a trip to Alaska
  • Bring the kids to Disney World every 5 years minimum
  • Learn to play the Steel Drums
  • Learn to blow glass
  • Return to jewelry making, maybe even get my own setup at home complete with soldering torch and station, dremel, anvil, etc.
  • Relearn to speak Swedish fluently.
  • Find one thing I am really truly talented at.

November 7, 2010

Halloween 2010

Halloween this year was so much fun! It was fun last year two, of course, but this year Audia really understood the idea of it, and we went trick or treating for the first time, which she absolutely loved. She's still asking me if we can "go trick or treating tonight?"

A couple months ago, I started talking to her about it, and asking her what she wanted to be. The answer was always the same: "a doggy!"

We started celebrations by meeting up with N, D, A, and baby M and some of their family at the mall for some indoor trick or treating. Audia and A held hands right away, something that melts my heart everytime I see it! They really do seem to enjoy each other thoroughly, and it makes me so happy! They looked so cute together, little Minnie and puppy dog walking hand-in-hand. They were by far the cutest kids at the mall (though I'll admit that just maybe I am a little bit biased)

After the mall, we said goodbye to our friends and went to my parents house to hang out and have some dinner. Audia's favorite part of Halloween already proved to be sorting her candy. I cannot tell you how many times she took her candy, one by one, out of her bucket, making Grandpa tell her what each one was before setting it down on the table. I am still doing this with her on a daily basis!

After dinner, Chris and I took Audia trick or treating around my parents neighborhood. We know a few of the neighbors, so it was fun to see some friends. By the end of the night, Audia was a pro at ringing door bells and yelling "Trick or Treat!"

October 13, 2010

Enjoying Fall

This past weekend was the perfect (if not a little too warm!) Autumn weekend in the cities. The trees were in full color, the sun was shining, the sky was blue, and it was warm enough that you didn't need a jacket. We decided to take full advantage of probably one of the last warm weekends of 2010 by spending most of it outdoors. And boy, am I ever glad that we did!

On Saturday, our good friends N and D and their adorable tots, A and M, drove up to meet us at an apple orchard to pick apples. Audia and A really seemed to love picking their own apples from the trees and putting them (though not very gently....) into bags.
D is amazing at multitasking, no?
I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it a billion times more, but it is sooooooo cool to have a best friend who has a daughter the same age as Audia. Watching them interact is SO much fun, and is getting even moreso as they get older.
On Sunday, Chris and I took Audia to a nearby park to go for a nature walk. Would you believe this place is only 10 minutes from our home? It has walking trails, both paved and unpaved, anywhere from .5 miles to 2 miles long! Not to mention the huge playground, gorgeous lake, and plethora of grassy picnic areas. If I had known it was there a little earlier in the year, I would have been taking the munchkin here LONG ago! Needless to say it will become a staple place to frequent in our family!

Unfortunately, all three of us got severly ill from food poisoning on Monday, so we have been stuck inside for the past three days. Good thing we spent as much time outside as we did this weekend! As a kid, I always detested Autumn to a certain degree. Mainly, I think, because it meant school was starting and I had to be responsible. But these days, I am beginning to think that Fall might be one of my favorite seasons. Experiencing things through the eyes of a toddler definitely puts a fresh, new, exciting spin on things!