Saturday, August 18, 2012

A new blog!

We've started a new blog. Well, really we are continuing the same family blog...just using a new portal. I was having too many problems uploading pictures onto blogger. If it takes me more than a few minutes to post something it just isn't going to happen (hence the absence from the blog for the past month). So, we made the switch to wordpress. So far? very happy. Very easy.

Please come to our new site!

P.s. If anyone knows if there is a way to transfer blog content from one blog to another please let me know!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Big sister

Audrey says everything her sister says and wants to do everything her sister does. Everything. 
She loves her so much and already looks up to her.

Sometimes however, Audrey doesn't fully appreciate Annika's tendency to try to mother her when I am not near. 
As you can see by Audrey's face here. 
and the way she is trying to get away from her sister here...

The other morning I was taking a shower while the girls played in the family room. I was about finished when I heard Audrey sobbing. First thought was that she must have hurt herself pretty badly. So I got out to see what was going on. Audrey was sitting on the ground mad as hornet crying and crying. Big sister? Standing above her telling her to go to her room. I asked Annika why Audrey was crying. She simply said, "because I send her to her room." Why she sent her sister to her room? "Because I just can't listen to her cry and whine anymore..." 

How many times do you think she's heard that?;) 

p.s. that book I'm reading is hilarious and very insightful. highly recommend it. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Minnesota 2012

The girls and I got to go to MN again this summer for the now annual(?)  "Christmas in July" with the Van Essens. We had a great time and I think its safe to say we are fully recovered from our trip. Oh my was I tired for a few days after that. I felt like I was moving in slow motion...pregnancy, children, and heat can sure take it out of you. So glad we were able to go out. It was great to see everyone again. Annika keeps asking when we can get back on a plane to see Gramma Great. 

Following the river at at SAC. Trying to get all our wiggles out. We did this over and over. 
It was very nice to have Nana and Papa along to navigate through the airports. Thank you for all your help...and the games on your ipad! 
A large part of the family...minus the families who weren't there and a few sleeping children.
The great grands and gramma great (again missing a few who were sleeping or not there). I believe come December Grandma will have 39 greats...? So fun to see all these little ones and remember what it was like to play with my own cousins growing up when we would fly out for reunions. 
Audrey was content to sit by Auntie Gloria in the shade (did i mention it was hot out there;)) 
We had our first Van Essen family Olympic games with representatives from not quite all over the world, but more than just the Netherlands now (thanks to many new "outlaw" cousins);) 
oh the competition! I come by it honestly. 
Annika found her "friend" Uncle Brian right away. 
Team Italy. Stacked with the pregnant of whom volunteered to complete the "skipping" part of the relay...why I thought that was a good idea who knows.
the girls were entertained again for hours with Gramma great's babies
We did get to enjoy a brief thunder storm one afternoon all cozy in bed. I love those summer storms. 

Safe to say we were tuckered out after our few days in MN. Audrey actually slept on the plane! Hallelujah! 

Great to see you all again! We love you and thanks so much for your hospitality! 
One last pic from the evening I went up to the cabin with the girls. Definitely a lot of little girl cousins running around. We are certainly a female dominated family...take that however you like;) 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

the things you say

annika is absolutely delicious at three and a half. she wakes up at 6:30 (or 7 if we're lucky) and doesn't stop talking until she goes to bed. i remember telling eric when annika was a baby that once she started talking, she was not going to stop. she was a little late in verbal development so i thought maybe i had been mistaken. nope, it just took her a little longer, but this girl rarely stops talking now.

some of my favorite things she says right now:
 randomely, spontaneously: "mommy/daddy/nana/granmama/etc. i love you so much."

"I need some chaplips." (chapstick)

 (when wanting to do something i have asked her not to do): "mommy, can you just look that way for a minute"

 "i just need to cry right now."

 "i so excited"

 "i so happy right now."

 "mommy, that what you want to do? you sure? ok, thats your choice..."

 when teaching her babies how to swim: "its ok, i have you, trust me, i won't let you go..."

 when asked how old she is, "I three and a ha-alf"

 at school when making a 4th of July bracelet, "my mommy is gonna love this."

(to her Coco doll) "let's go to pretend church/school/dance class/swim lessons"

(packing for a trip) "mommy, where we going?" Me: "Well you are going to grandmama and grandpa's house." Annika: "Where are you guys going?" Me: "Napa." Annika: "Oh, I think I like Napa." Yes honey, Im sure you will. Soon enough.

 I love 3 and a half. I remember last summer being such a struggle with Annika. Constant discipline. My friend Joy encouraged me to stay strong and we would see the rewards this year. So glad she was right. Don't get me wrong, there are still plenty of battles to fight with this spirited little girl(like every day), but honestly, I find myself saying daily just how fun this little 3 and half year old is. What a joy. Annika, once again, in my wildest dreams i didn't imagine that i would have such a sweet, spunky, delightful little girl in my life. thank you for being you. you are a joy.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Swimming lessons

After a week of swim lessons Annika finally made it through a day with no tears! As a cream! Some for her biggest supporter as well of course! Annika has been asking every day since then when she gets to go back to her lessons. She loved miss Joni and talks about her all the time. She is teaching all of her dolls at home to swim now. Now if we could just get some more hot weather to practice her strokes! (did I really just say that?!)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


There is a blueberry farm in our town that allows you to go pick your own blueberries and take them home. I never appreciated this fruit until I tasted fresh tart blueberries the summer that I nannied in Maine. Every morning there would be a big bowl of fresh berries on the counter and they were delicious. Let me tell you, a fresh, plump, tart (not too sweet) blueberry has become my favorite fruit. I crave them like crazy. (On a side note, Eric recently sent me this article about the benefits of eating blueberries and beer after a run...which is very interesting because these cravings started after I began running more miles)  So this summer we have taken full advantage of the blueberry farm with many trips in the mornings to pick berries and play in the jump house.
The girls do a really good job of looking for the nice blue ones 
of course many of them end up going straight into their tummies
and we leave with faces that look like this...

The bounce house and the blue colored sand keep us entertained all morning long!

We are sad that blueberry season has come to a close. Now for some more strawberries in August! 

Monday, June 25, 2012


We've been having lots of summer fun with cousins. Audrey is starting to really love seeing her cousins. Anytime she hears a group of kids playing outside she says "cousins, cousins!"Annika continues to love her big cousin Ethan, but as the girls get older she is starting to talk about miss morgan a lot more. There are only 5 months between them but when you're three that is a lot of time. Annika is really starting to look up to her big cousin mo.