Monday, December 06, 2010

St. Nick's Day 2010

Milla loved the sparkles and little mouse in her book!

This morning the girls woke up to new books between their boots to celebrate St. Nick's Day. An annual tradition in our house, it was fun to get Milla in on things this year. Anja received "The Twelve Days of Christmas in Minnesota" and Milla received "Merry Christmas Little One." Both are sweet books, and the Minnesota one definitely makes us appreciate the cold temps of winter and the activities that go along with it. I think we'll head to the St. Paul Winter Carnival in the New Year!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Anja is FOUR!

Hey! Hey! I'm FOUR today!

Anja has had about a week's worth of celebration and it all culminated today with lunch and presents with mama and papa at Noodles & Co. (her favorite). All of the museums were closed and movies were duds, so to the Mall of America for rides and a visit to the Hello Kitty store we went! She enjoyed the one-on-one time (Erik had to cut things short to teach at the U) and kept talking about how she could and couldn't do this or that, "because [she was] four now." Gotta love the grown up talk!

We went sledding, ate more of her birthday cake after dinner and ended the evening with a few rounds of "Simon Says" before bedtime. Lots of smiles and laughs to go around.

The best part of my day with her was that instead of me reading all of On the Day You Were Born tonight, Anja helped me by reading the words she recognized throughout the book. She even surprised me with a few! Wow this little lady is growing up---it's so fun to see and experience! Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Anja's First Day of Preschool!

September 14, 2010 -- Anja's first day of preschool.

Today was Anja's first official day of preschool. She almost forgot I was there and her teacher had to remind her to give her mama a hug before I left. I teared up. She didn't. This is exactly how it's suppose to go.

Milla was SO excited to sit with Anja on the swing. She must have known it was a special day!

When we got there to pick her up, Milla excitedly shouted, "ANJA!" to announce that it was time for us to take her home. Anja had a lot to talk about (new friends, what they did, etc.) and was really excited that they got Cheez-its and Goldfish for snack (she's never seen a Cheez-it in our house before so THAT was a big deal)! I have a feeling she's going to tell us about many "new" snacks this year!

When we put her to bed that night, she asked if she could go back to preschool again tomorrow. She was disappointed to hear that she would have to wait two days to go back. We hope that her enthusiasm for school continues!

Anja & Milla are so fun and sweet with each other nowadays. (Most of the time that is!)

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Growing Up

Leaping to Papa!

Anja has been such a great kid the past month . . . like she's getting over some big hump of toddler hood. She doesn't argue much, she's super helpful with Milla and around the house, the time-outs are few and far between and she's SUCH a sweetheart. What's better than waking up to, "Mama, I love you" ? Not much.

Anja waters G'ma Linda's flowers (without coaxing!).

This new attitude has to be connected with the new found confidence she has. Last Saturday she told us she didn't want training wheels on her bike anymore. Erik and I looked at each other and politely said sure, we'd take them off (with a little wink to each other). Sure enough, she was riding by herself IN THE DARK eight hours later.

"I'd like to take my training wheels off today, please."

She's also been a little daredevil in the water, jumping off the dock all by herself into the water and recognizing that she's strong enough to tackle the water solo. This is so different from the "come closer, come closer" kiddo we were seeing a few months back.

We love what we're seeing and are excited to see what her next trick will be. In the meantime, we're enjoying every minute of Anja's new persona.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Mad-City Wedding

This past weekend we traveled to Madison for the wedding of our good friends Peter and Kathryn. We met Peter during our time at Concordia, specifically after Erik started the Concordia Cycling Club, and the three of us did Ironman Wisconsin together in 2005. Our history includes a lot of sweat and many, many miles on the bike. Peter proposed to Kathryn on the shores of Lake Superior the weekend of Grandma's Marathon a couple of years ago.

Pre-wedding nail salon at our house. Sparkles and Essie's 2010 wedding colors!

G'pa Paul always provides much-needed fun, especially after 5+ hours in the car!

Anja got her hair done, and as you can see, had a bounce in her step all day long. She danced like crazy at the reception!

Ready to go!

Erik had the honor of being one of Peter's groomsmen and Anja was one of six flower girls. I simply did support for the weekend, along with Erik's parents who came along and helped a ton. We had a fantastic time and wish Peter and Kathryn the best of luck as they embark on the crazy journey of marriage!

Post-wedding----we made it!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day Recap!

Anja & Milla at the new splash pad--it was a little cold for the girls!

This past weekend was been a busy one with projects around the house to be completed, workouts to be done, guests to be hosted, etc. We did take a little time to relax though!

Anja saw her first movie in a movie theatre with a couple of neighborhood friends on Friday---Shrek: The Final Chapter. I was concerned about the volume, the dark, a few scary parts, and some crude humor, but she handled it all like a champ. She loved it and will definitely be back again!

Milla also took her first dip in the lake about a 1/2 mile from our house. She enjoyed kicking and splashing around, but didn't quite like the full body plunge! It's a great park, complete with a boat house that rents canoes and kayaks, a splash pad for the kiddos, built-in grills, a beach, volleyball courts, real bathrooms (!), concessions, and a cordoned off swimming area. I have a feeling we'll be spending a lot of time there!

Erik and I were both busy trying to get things done around the house during naps and quiet time and we did pretty well. Erik built a great platform step to replace the paver step that was just too small in terms of safety for all of the kids running in and out of the house. He's pretty handy!

Only two more weeks of school for Erik, then he starts teaching at the U of M for their summer term. We are all looking forward to some great summer days in our new house in the coming months!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Milla's Walking!

She's pretty proud her herself and her new found freedom!

So I started to write this post 24 days ago . . . since then Milla is full force on the walking! Not to be overlooked, she has even started to join in on the chasing round-and-round the kitchen game that we play with Anja all the time. She'll be running in no time!

One of Milla's favorite ways to rile up her parents---climbing up onto Anja's chair!

A lot has happened in the past couple of weeks---besides the walking, Milla is also talking a lot more (mama! papa! this! cheese!) and more deliberate about her actions: stacking blocks, helping take off her shirts and jackets, pushing things away if she doesn't want them, and so much more. It is so fun to watch her "expand her box" each day.

We've also been very busy as a family . . . I took my first trip away from the girls to Chicago for a swimming clinic, turned 31 (!), and Erik traveled to Ghana for a week, where he worked to implement a pilot education program. Anja has been delighting in playing outside with gobs of neighborhood friends and attending dance class (when she feels like it). We are looking forward to settling down a bit before the end of school!

Anja made her very own "Dinosaur Train" on a rainy day a couple of weeks ago.