Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Ok, I take it all back. At Annika's 2nd swim lesson, she was perfect. Laughed and smiled the entire time. The teacher told me she thought Annika was ready to "go under" which terrified me, so usually I'd lift her out after only getting her mouth and nose wet for a second. She coughed up water a couple times and then started squirting it out of her mouth and pretty soon would just have her mouth wide open the whole time.

Finally, I let the teacher send her to me with her head fully submerged and she did it! A bit of coughing but success. I was so excited.

Then today. After Saben's swim lesson today, we went in the hot tub since Annika didn't get to swim. (We turn the heat down to 85-90 in the summer and it is perfect to practice swimming.) Annika started dunking her head under ALL THE TIME. She had on some water wings and was jumping off all the seats & shelves where I was waiting to catch her and seemed to just love going under, always coming up with wide open mouth and a huge grin. I think she just lets the water run out of her mouth, but its so hard to tell....

She got braver and braver and by the end of the evening was completely freaking me out because she'd just suddenly go under and stay until I pulled her up. So weird and now I'm thinking this is actually more dangerous because she's not scared to fall into water anymore. I wonder what she would do if I didn't pull her up. (she can stand with her head above water in all parts of the hot tub)

I am so glad we have a lesson on Thursday because I have to grill the teacher on how to handle her new "skill".

Saben is also doing great with his lessons, but still scared to stick his face in the water. Funny though, he put his face down in the water at one point tonite and came up sputtering. Then later he jumped off the seat into my arms and I let him go under and he was totally fine. Its like you have to trigger their instinct (by jumping) to hold their breath or something.

So much more to write about - Annika turned two on Saturday and a few days before that we took a spontaneous family trip to Winthrop. The weekend before that, we managed to actually move stuff (tv, couch, toys into the playroom) down into our basement because we are nearly finished! It has been such a busy month....

Thursday, July 09, 2009

My little Mer-twerp

For those of you feeling jealous of our fabulous bed training skills (if sheer luck can be considered "skilled parenting") let me relate how Annika's first swimming lesson went today.

First of all, Saben has a lesson at 11am. At 11:15, Annika & I went to get our swimsuits on for our 11:30 class. As soon as Annika had her swim diaper on, she peed a ton, it leaked and I didn't notice till we were back out at the pool. (somehow her walking while grabbing her crotch did not clue me in) Luckily I had an extra swim diaper.

Saben's lesson ended & ours started 2 minutes later. I had to quickly get him dressed, whisk him to the gym's day care thing and then run back and jump in the pool with Annika, missing the introduction instructions.

As soon as we entered the pool, Annika started whining & gave a couple good screams as I gently splashed water on her. (as the teacher suggested we do) The next 30 minutes she pretty much whined and screamed the entire time. Sigh.

This is from a girl who absolutely loves water, runs through wading pools up to her chin in water and lays down with the back of her head wet in the bathtub.

My conclusion is that what she hated was me holding her & feeling powerless. I finally had her down in the water to her chin and I think she finally understood that she couldn't touch bottom and relaxed a teeny bit after that.

She did like chasing a ball in the water and did do some kicking and laying on her back. When I blew bubbles, she watched, then leaned down, stuck her face in and took in a huge swig of nasty pool water. Ugh.

But she would have none of the jumping in or even me lifting her up and down in the water. Of course her very favorite part was when I passed her through the water to the teacher and she had that split second of freedom where no one was holding her.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Big Girl Bed

Last night, Saben & Annika were laughing & screeching in their room after bedtime. They have some sort of game where they both stand up and then fall back down into their beds/cribs, dying of laughter. Then I heard Annika crying pretty hard. I ran in and she was walking around on the ground and Saben said "she fell when she was climbing out of her crib!"

So tonite we made the big move and brought in a matress we had upstairs for guests. Annika was sooooo excited. She was all grins and kept saying "Mine!" In fact, she wouldn't even let Kyle or I lay in it. So cute. And now she is asleep in her big girl bed. No crying at all and a big brother who kept telling her gently "stay in bed annika" We'll see how it goes from here, but I can't even imagine an easier, funner, sweeter first night.

lemonade millionaire

It all started four days before July 4th. I decided to draw the holiday out a bit and took Saben to a fireworks stand as a "reward" for some good behavior. While he was picking out his $3 pack of sparklers, he spied the BIG BOXES of fireworks. "Mommy! Woah! I want one of those HUGE boxes!" He was so excited because Fourth of July is his favorite holiday - well he starts asking about it in late spring and talks about it nonstop. He loves Christmas & his birthday too, but july 4th is right up there with them for sure.

Anyways, so he asks for a $60 box of fireworks and I say "wow, that's expensive Saben. You would have to earn money to be able to pay for that".

Saben: "How do I earn money"
Mom: "Oh, I don't know.... doing chores....or maybe selling lemonade in front of our house. Or selling some of our extra Raspberries? I don't know"

He latched onto the raspberry bit and next thing you knew, I had promised to help him with it on July 3rd so that he could buy his fireworks. Sigh.

Saben made this sign - I drew the letters, he colored them and added illustrations of Chitty (bottom), flowers and even a guy throwing a pop it. (top)

Lucky for us, lemonade/raspberry stand day was HOT. We prepped all morning and then opened the stand at 2pm when Annika took her nap. Amazingly, she slept till 5pm that day, so we just sat outside, enjoyed the sun, eachothers company & meeting all the neighbors who came by.

We have so many college renters in our neighborhood and they loved the lemonade stand. The raspberries sold ok, but everyone bought lemonade & even sold quite a bit of mint iced tea. College kids were coming and giving him $3 for a $1 cup of lemonade. Many just dumped a ton of change in his container. They were so sweet and almost every rental house on our block sent someone out to buy lemonade.

Grand total? Open from 2pm - 6pm and Saben made $50! I didn't charge him for the lemons this time around, so really it was only $40 profit. Still a lot of money for a four year old!

Fourth of July we headed out to the reservation to spend his hard earned cash and came back with tons of fireworks. I kept asking him "are you sure you want to spend all of it on fireworks?" and then I'd list other toys and stuff he could buy instead. But he was not tempted in the least, he just wanted the fireworks. So fun.