Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Nutcracker!

What a fun day we ladies had at the ballet. Annika and Morgan (and my sister and i of course) were so excited to go out on the town for a fancy lunch and to see the dancers. They did amazingly well and we made it through the entire performance. It was so fun to see their eyes light up when they saw the pretty dancers. Thanks mom for a great day!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Monday, December 5, 2011

We got to spend Thanksgiving this year in the midwest with some of the Van Essen clan. We had to miss the big reunion this past summer so Eric promised me we could take the kids out for the holiday. I want our kids to see what a big, fun, crazy family they have out there and to grow up having memories of spending time with cousins  and more cousins and more cousins just like I did. 

Annika was so excited to go on the airplane she would ask us every morning leading up to the trip if we would be going "arriba y abajo" (Eric's editor's note "up and down") on the airplane today. Finally we woke her up early Thanksgiving morning and headed to SFO. We were greeted with beautiful weather and open arms. Aunt Gloria and Uncle Brian were amazingly hospitable allowing us to use their car, securing two car seats for us and two pack n plays...guess who are itching to be grandparents;) We stayed a couple of days with them and a night with Aunt Marcia and Uncle Ryan and then a couple of nights with Gramma Great. We got to see 4 sets of aunts and uncles, 10 cousins their spouses and many of the greats and of course got to play many fun rounds of cards over many cups of coffee. Hopefully we can make it out for a big reunion soon. Annika will be in heaven with all of those cousins who she affectionately calls her "friends". (Uncle Brian I have to say she talks about you the most. You definitely won her little heart. You and Charlie of course.) 

With all the fun and festivities we were only able to get a few pictures. Here they are:
 Having so much fun at the airport. Annika was a great little traveler. We hadn't taken her on an airplane since she turned 2 so it was fun to see her excitement this time.

 Aunt Marcia, Annika and Tucker. The girls followed poor Tucker around all day.

 Audrey and her babies at Gramma Greats. We have similar pictures of Annika and those bears when she was a baby.
 Audrey and Gramma Great
 The girls did so well. We were not sure how it would go moving from house to house but they were troopers and slept amazingly well. Eric is ready to dig a basement and put our kids down there to sleep. We had to wake them up from their naps so that they would go to bed on time.
 Looking at the airplanes
 Audrey attacking me to get the phone. I can hardly take a picture of her anymore now.
We do have dozens of photos just like these from each leg of our trip. Whatever it takes to keep them occupied right? 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday Miss Audrey!

My dearest little Audrey,

When you wake up this morning you will be 1 year old.  Your mom and I can't believe how fast you have grown, yet it is hard for us to remember life without you!  We love watching your personality develop, you are so much fun to be with.

You take amazing naps and can sleep for hours on end (like from 6:30 pm to 8:00 am).  Your expressions are priceless, when you get overwhelmed you put one hand up to your face and give a blank stare like you just can't believe what just happened.  You LOVE to dance to music, just like your sister, but for now your best, and practically only, move is a side to side body giration that is a cross between "A Night at the Roxbury" and the gopher on "CaddieShack" (you have no idea what these are, when you are old enough I will show you).

See these stairs?  You LOVE them.  What you lack in walking skills you vastly make up for in climbing. If we leave you alone for 5 seconds downstairs and it gets too quiet, we know where you are.  Each week you gain speed on them.  The other day I came around the corner to see your sister at the bottom of the stairs.  I asked her, "Annika, where's Audrey?"  She looked around and smiled, "She's upstairs!"  You came around the corner and looked at me with a huge smile on your face.  It was your first solo stairs flight and you were so proud of yourself!
And while this is not the best picture in the world, it is rather accurate of you now.  You have this great urge to make the biggest mess possible on the ground around you.  You do not like things put away, rather you like them out so you know where they are.  (If this sounds strangely familiar to someone else you know, I'll give you a hint, she brought you into this world.)  Each day you are now setting records on how fast you can clear the magnet wall in the kitchen of all of its magnets.  I am pretty sure you can throw things farther behind you over your shoulder than you can in front of you at this point, it is really a site to be seen.

You love to sing with your sister and mommy, even though it is really just a hum.  We are convinced you will be talking in no time and you are pretty good at fighting off my zerbert attacks on your belly. You absolutely adore your sister (most of the time), and she loves you so much (almost as much of the time).  You are becoming much more generous with your kisses, and the amount of tongue you give is getting less by the day!

Life with you is so sweet, and while we can't wait to see more of who you are becoming, we don't want you to grow up, because we love this stage of life with you. Happy Birthday Miss Audrey Leigh.  You are such a delight and your mom, sister and I are so proud that you belong to us.

We love you.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


from this pretty little peacock...

and this sweet little lamb...

pumpkins at the jung household this year...

Boots and Dora of course! 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Visit from Auntie and Cousin

This week Aunt Heather and Cousin Bella made the drive from Phoenix to come see us.  Bella, 8, had never met Audrey and had been asking her mom when she would be able to for months.

Bella is a fantastic older cousin.  The girls played and played and played, Bella now ranks second (behind cousin Ethan) for most able to get Annika to do her all-out-belly-laugh.  

10 painted toe nails for Annika, 2 matching set of pajamas, 1 of the best lunches we have ever had in San Francisco (Tacolicious), and dozens of photos and cups of coffee and tea later, we have had a great visit.  

Tomorrow when they leave will be a sad day, especially for Annika.  Spending time with Cousin Bella and Auntie Heather have been so much fun... and will result in one huge nap in the afternoon.

Getting her toes painted.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Annika's first race!

Last month Annika and I ran our first race together at the Color the Skies Festival put on for Children's Hospital in the Valley. I ran the 5K and then joined Annika in her first road race. She did great and was all smiles for the 1/4 mile race. We even got matching medals on pink ribbons! I had to re-start her a few times with the "on your mark, get set, go!" to keep her excited but she made it all the way to the finish line and has been "racing" with me after my morning runs ever since.

I learned that I am much tougher mentally in my "old age," but that my body doesn't necessarily agree that I am tougher. I won my first ever road race and then couldn't run for about a week and a half after that because I was so sore. As a result I went to my first Zumba class and realized that I am much more cut out for running or crossfit or really anything else for that matter...oh my, I'm glad they don't tape those classes.