Thursday, May 26, 2011

Brilliant!

Let's face it, we all think our kids are particularly brilliant.  We are mesmerized by all that they can do at such a young age.  

Sometimes it is justified,  other times there are external forces at play...

This is one of those times where the real brilliance lies about 70 miles west of us in a little place called Cupertino which is the home to Apple.

Annika likes to play on my iPhone and Kara's iPad.  My mom will bring her iPad over and play different games with her.  When Annika was a little over a year she could already swipe through pictures on my phone.  Pretty cool.  A few weeks ago Annika picked up my phone off the counter and was sitting for about 5 minutes before she came to me to get help on a menu for a game.  It dawned on me that she now knew how to slide to unlock my phone and start her own games.  

She now knows how to find her games, and if she gets somewhere she doesn't know, she hits the bottom button and tries again.  She knows not to go to my email or phone.  She even taught herself to cancel out of the prompt at the start of Talking Tom to purchase other apps.  She will spend time looking at pictures on my Mobile Me photo gallery (again, with no one's help), and has even found the iPod feature and listened to music, even going as far to scroll through songs until she finds one she likes (she will stop, start nodding her head, and say "got it" (I can't make this up)).

Kara and I talked about these things and finally came to the realization that while of course we think our child is a genius, the real acclaim goes to Mr. Steve Jobs and his brilliant team at Apple who has created a set of devices so intuitive that a 2 year old can easily enjoy herself without much effort.  

Today we reached a tipping point.  I grabbed my phone this morning to find my daughter had texted my brother in law last night (see pic below).  While the first four lines are gibberish, I am happy to announce my daughter's first written/ typed word was "Tree."  


Whether the auto fill in feature made this possible or she merely walked her fingers down the keyboard we will never know... the parent in me wants to believe it was her genius... the realist in me believes it was Apple being Apple... deep down, I know the truth... 


Annika is a genius!

(please note the sarcasm above)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Daddy's post about Audrey

I couldn't talk about both girls in one post, it had to be split into two.


Now that Audrey Leigh is six months old, I think I can honestly say there are only a few things that remind me of Annika:  they looked identical the minute they were born (but very different once the swelling had subsided), they both are girls, they both have blue eyes (but very different blue eyes), they both have the initials ALJ.  


From that point on, they are so different.  Audrey is a very laid back baby.  If she were a first born, she would be a sucker baby (you think it is so easy to have a kid you think a second will be no big deal-  Avery Lehman would be the perfect example).  She liberally gives out smiles to anyone who will talk to her.  She has a cry to go to sleep, a cry to let you know she is hungry, and a cry that means she is lonely.  She does have a 4th cry, Kara calls it her "mad as a hornet" cry, but it usually is the result of a combination of cries 1-3.  


I love her smile, it lights up her entire face and is infectious.  I love that she will smile for me like she hasn't seen me all day even if it is the 10th time I have asked for a smile in the past 2 minutes.  I love how when you put her to bed she has a small fuzzy blanket she loves to hold onto with her fingers as she gets her thumb in her mouth, with the blanket smashed up against her face.  


I love how she gets excited when Annika comes into her room to get her out of bed in the morning.  She is mesmerized by her big sister, she giggles and laughs for her more than anyone else.  I love how content she is in the crook of my arm and will often fall asleep there when I am reading to Annika at night when Kara is at work.  I love that she already can't stand when I go to give her a zerbert on her belly and stop an inch away, she flinches and starts giggling over the anticipation.


I love when Kara puts her to bed at night and she is laying down Kara will lightly kiss her on the cheek and say "I love you" and Audrey will always oblige with a little smile, reciprocating the affection.


I love both of my girls' personalities and how truly different they are.  It is fun to see them develop on a daily basis and see how having each other is a part of that development.  Annika would be a different person without Audrey and vise versa.  


The reality is, they are changing me on a daily basis as well, and I am thankful for them, what they teach me, and how much they let me love on them.


Audrey, you are a little gem, and I love getting to know you each day.




Daddy's talk about Annika

Kara has been masterfully keeping this blog updated, tonight I felt it was time for daddy to contribute a post (or two).


I have always enjoyed two year olds.  Maybe it's the age I relate to best.  Two is fun, two is the border between complete dependence and belief that you should be independent.  Personalities come out at two.  Humor comes out at two.  Crazy development of speech, remembering song tunes, counting, potty training comes at two (Annika is going strong on day 5 of potty training, she is a little champion- no accidents in 3 days).  

Two also welcomes in strong will, defiance, mischief.  Two brings testing limits.  Two can be tiring, test your patience.  With Annika, we have enjoyed/ encountered all the above.  With Annika, the strong will is there, we have out battles, but they are quickly getting fewer and further in between.  I marvel at what an amazing job Kara does with her.  That girl doesn't get away with much!  


The reality is, I love Annika at this age.  While she is still putting words together amidst her own language, she communicates just fine.  I love watching her nod her head to music.  We will be playing Play Doh at the table and we will be listening to Jack Johnson, a Curious George song will come on and within the first 8 notes she will point behind her and say, "George."  The next song to come on will be something random and within the same amount of time she will casually say, "No George."  Yes babe, you know your music.


I love the fact that she would rather read and play than watch tv.  She hardly cares to watch tv anymore, she would rather do 30 laps of barreling through our bathroom to me at the foot of the bed and have me throw her over my shoulder onto the pillows.  I love that she HAS to close the door by the bathroom and stand wedged in the corner of our counter until I count to three before she will start running.

I love coming into her room in the evening before going to bed to see her crib completely in shambles, her body somehow contorted over blankets, books and pillows, and I just marvel at how much she reminds me of her mother.  I love walking into her room in the morning when she calls for mommy and daddy and when she sees me she immediately yells daddy and then quickly follows with a finger over her mouth and "shhhhhh, mommy," because she knows there is a good chance that mommy is asleep from working the night before, or Audrey is still sleeping and we shouldn't wake her up.


I love how Annika is learning how to be a big sister.  How she already knows that Audrey looks up to her, and that by being goofy she can get the smiles and giggles out of her sister that no one else can.  I love that having a sister is teaching her to share her things, her mommy, and sometimes her personal space.

I marvel at how she is wired.  How on one hand she can completely destroy her bed, make her hair and face a mess, yet at the same time have this uncanny need for order.  She will start singing "Clean up, clean up," go into the pantry, pull out the swiffer and get busy without any prompting.  She will put away toys because she is done with them without us saying a word.  If I pull out a Clorox wipe, she runs to me and says, "clean, clean" because she wants to help and wipe down the counter.  I love how much she is an extrovert, how she LOVES people, until she is done and must go home (again, her mother).  I love when she gets unravelled she will calm down if you pray with her.


While not always easy, Annika at two has been awesome.  Kara is an awesome mom, and I am a lucky dad.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

gag

Apparently our daughters have incredibly strong gag reflexes. I fed audrey avocado the other day and this is how she responded:

video

Remember when I tried to feed poor annika ground up chicken here...

In other news: we got a deuce! Couldn't be more proud. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

big girl

People, we are biting the bullet and have decided to start potty training miss Annika. We decided it was time for 3 reasons:
1-annika can't stand to be wet or dirty for longer than 5 minutes
2-we are tired of spending over $50 a month at costco for diapers (you don't get as many big girl diapers in a pack)
3-I had some time off work and had the energy to go for it.

We've been talking about the potty for quite a while now trying to get our girl ready for the big day and Eric's mom got annika some really cute panties (sorry lynds-she hates that word). So last week annika really wanted to put her new panties on. I got really excited and thought, man this is going to be easy. Then within 30 minutes Annika had wet 3 panties and had two accidents right next to the toilet. So, we called it quits that day and started anew yesterday.

I was totally dreading our first day...mainly because it means we have to stay home ALL DAY LONG. I asked my sister for advice because thats what I do instead of reading parenting books and reading parenting blogs...in my opinion they will only make you crazy. Besides, I think my sister is doing a great job raising her kids, so I figure she is a good person to ask. Anyway, she suggested that I take annika to the bathroom every 10-15 minutes and offer her a treat (candy, stickers, whatever) if she goes in the potty.

Yesterday, day 1 of potty training, began at 8 am. Every 10-15 minutes until 1 pm we ran to the bathroom and tried to go potty. We failed and failed and failed until about 12:00. By fail I don't mean accidents, just failure to produce...and let me tell you, there wear giant alligator tears...major meltdowns people...every time we failed. Oh the drama! At this point I was hating all those people that say that potty training was just easy for them...

So with one success, I put our big girl down for her afternoon nap, diapered of course. First words out of her mouth after her nap were "wet, icky." Nice, I thought, she's getting it. My sister suggested I hydrate her a little more in the afternoon so that we would have more successes. Lo and behold our little girl went 5 times in the big girl potty. 5 times and NO accidents.

I was still dreading today, but it proved to be a much better day. 7 times before lunch people...and again NO accidents! Granted, I am still reminding her every 5 minutes.

All that said, we are committed. Hopefully this doesn't take long, but I know we are at the point of no return. I will spare you all the details from here on out and just let you know when we've got it:) I pray that it happens soon!

Friday, May 6, 2011

girls, girls, girls

A couple of weeks ago Heather and the girls stayed over at our place for the night. So much fun to have all those girls together! 

Doesn't get much better than this...

Thanks for the visit miller girls! We love you!