Sunday, February 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Berlin

Birth Day

First Birthday

Second Birthday


I can't believe it has been two years already since you were born!! A lot of the times it feels like you are still our baby, but you are getting to be such a big girl! I think Daddy especially still feels like you are a baby, he is the one most often saying, "She's just a baby!" But you aren't anymore.

Before you were born I worried about having baby that wouldn't stand a chance against her older sister. I worried that you wouldn't be as cute, or as smart. I definitely did not have to be worried. You are, as your Daddy said the other day, "Absolutely delightful." You are the very best definition of cute right now.

Let's see, what are you right now? You are a little girl who loves fruit and could eat fruit and only fruit for every meal. You are a girl with opinions and determination. You like to do your own thing, but you seem a little lost when Tryn is not around to play with you. You love to be able to do everything that Tryn does - hence learning how to put your clothes on and take them off right now because that is what Tryn is learning how to do. You can put your shoes, your coat, and your pj's on all by yourself. And you can definitely strip down to nothing if you want to! You love books, princesses, blocks, your Teddy, and coloring.

You bring so much joy to our lives, Berlin. Daddy and I often share a laugh or a smile over something that you do. Even sometimes when you are being naughty. The other day Daddy was trying to get you to eat your dinner and the look and the roll of your eyes that you gave him was priceless. We had to hide our laughter from you. The way you talk right now is just perfect and adorable and so very cute. Perfectly adorable.

We love you so much and we are so glad to have your in our lives. We can't imagine life without you. Even Tryn, who sometimes might feel like your greatest enemy, loves you immensely and is also lost when you are not around. I can't even tell you how much I love you. How thankful I am to have you.


Two years ago Steve and I were so happy to welcome baby Berlin into our the backseat of our car. If are are interested in the whole story you can find it in a February posting on my blog from last year.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

February 25th

I have always had the hardest time remembering what day Berlin was actually born. Her due date was February 28th - which was exciting because it was a Leap Year and there was a possibility that she would be born on the 29th. However, I was in labor with her all day on February 25th. Which, for a long time, kept me thinking that her birthday was on the 25th, when she was actually born just after midnight and has the technical birthday of February 26th. All those dates keep me confused.

This was me two years ago today. One of the very few, three or four, pictures of me actually pregnant with Berlin. Tryn was giving Berlin a kiss :)

Similarities to this day two years ago? Steve has the day off and I worked. Only today I worked at church and back then I was a nanny and watched a little girl all day while I was in labor. I just realized that Steve had lunch with the same friend today that he had coffee with that day two years ago, Bruce B. I have been trying to take a nap for the past hour, which is the same. However, the reason I can't sleep today is much different. I have a stupid cold that is keeping me from falling asleep because I either can't breathe or am coughing. That day I could barely sleep because of the excitement and possibility of meeting my daughter sometime soon - and because I was trying to not constantly count contractions. Although I am sure I was sure was physically uncomfortable then too.

Things that are not the same? One huge difference is that today I have an inward sloping waistline and back then I had an outward bulging non-existent waistline. I don't think that anything super exciting is going to happen tonight, and I am definitely not going to be having a baby in the car anytime soon. Oh, and the weather today feels warmer than it did that day, even though it is not very warm today.

The best part? I have watched this...

Become this...

Which has been one of the best parts of my life.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Queen of the Room

One of our cars is in the shop, again. It's the story of our life...I guess that's what you get for driving old cars with high miles. Anyway, that's not the point. The point is that since one car is broken that means that our entire family spends a lot of time in the same car while the other car is in the shop. It means that instead of me getting up early and leaving for work before the girls are awake, that we all eat breakfast together and we all drive to work together.

This also means that we have to wake the girls up in the morning instead of letting them sleep until whenever their bodies want to wake up. Upon doing this for a few mornings in a row, I have come to realize something. Berlin is Queen of the Room.

Two mornings now I have gone in to wake them up only to discover that Tryn is already awake. I realized that she would lay there quietly without a single peep until either Berlin wakes up or we come to get her. Berlin is not the same. There have been mornings where I know that Berlin has woken up before Tryn, and she is definitely not gracious enough to lay there and keep quiet. She is not gentle enough to wake up in peace, she wakes up ready to tell the entire world that she is up and they should be too.

Nighttime is not much different. After making sure that we tell her both, "Good night," AND, "I love you," Tryn lays there quietly. Berlin has to cry about something almost every single night before we shut the door. I feel bad for Tryn. There have been times where we decided to let Berlin fuss for awhile and when we go in there Tryn quietly says, "Berlin won't be quiet," with her hands clamped over her ears. If the girls stay up laughing and giggling Berlin is almost always the instigator.

Tryn has never challenged us as far as bedroom rules. She has been in a toddler bed for almost a year now and has not once opened her door and left her room for anything. She waits there each morning for us to come and get her. We have never even told her not to leave her room, she just doesn't. I am scared to put Berlin in a toddler bed, I think it will be a different story.

That's part of the reason I love having the girls share a room. Sure, Berlin might call the shots in there. But I also think that Tryn's gentle, calm, and obedient manner will rub off a little on her little sister. One can always hope!

Monday, February 15, 2010

What I didn't say yesterday...

One of the reasons that I started a blog is because I used to actually keep journals for both my girls. I wrote their birth stories in them, growth and transitional marks, or any other thing that I wanted to remember about them. However, once I had two kids I was having the hardest time keeping up two separate journals, so I decided to start a blog that I could just print eventually and make a copy for each girl. When I started the first journal someone gave me a book about a woman who did a similar thing for her children. She kept a journal for each kid (three or four kids I think) and wrote in them regularly...she must have a nanny or something, seriously. In her book she talked about how she never wrote negative things about her kids, just uplifting or positive things.

I am not the same. Sure, it would be nice to paint our life completely perfect and not say anything about what my kids do wrong, but then you would have some sort of unhealthy view of how great my life is. While my life really is great, it is not always easy and my kids are not always perfect angels. Most of the time, but not always ;)

Also, if I was never going to show you the not so sweet part of my kids, then you would never get to see great pictures like these!! I told Tryn and Berlin to lean in real close to each other. Berlin, apparently, was not a fan of having Tryn in her personal space.

Additionally, this is what Berlin does when she gets really defiant or annoyed. She clamps both hands over her mouth and says no like, "Nm, nm." Because she is not allowed to say, "No!" to us when she is in trouble or we are asking her to do something. Bummer that I kind of think it's cute and always have to try not to smile at her...I downright laughed at the above pictures. In fact, I am still laughing!

So, there you have it!

(Sidenote: There aren't any pictures of Tryn's dirty look in this post because hers consists of an almost blank stare that is also funny, but you just wouldn't get the point because she doesn't look that different. Tryn doesn't have "evil eyes" like Berlin, although she does give her own dirty look quite often as well.)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Oh, Happy Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day in our house is not a huge deal. We don't go all out and do spectacular things. We figure that we tell each other every day that we love each other, we don't need a special day to remind us to say it. However, we don't mind having a reason to give our girls little gifts either :) I mean, we wouldn't normally ever let them have M&M's before breakfast, but we did this morning.

Balloons are apparently the V-day gift of choice for girlies in our house, and so I wanted to have a similar picture to the one that I took last year. However, it's just hard to get a specific picture of both girls, especially when they don't understand what I am asking them to do. I told them to hug their balloons and they, literally, hugged their balloons and the picture looks nothing like last year. That's okay though, I think this one is pretty cute too.

And, of course, sweet Berlin wanted to share her balloon with Teddy - because she is such a nice girl.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Having my computer too full to download pictures is cramping my style.

I love the Olympics.

I really love the Olympics, especially figure skating.

I ran and walked 1.58 miles up a hill this morning and it sucked.

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day and we have absolutely no plans to do anything to celebrate it. Maybe should get on that.

Tryn's newest accomplishment is being able to blow air out her nose.

Berlin's newest accomplishment is being able to put on her own coat - which she is obsessive about and wants to do even when we are in the store. Bummer because it includes her laying her coat on the floor.

I will never be an athlete worthy of the Olympics, but I am okay with that because I will never really even be an athlete.

I need to take some more pictures.

I have a lot of stuff to do and I am not doing any of it right now.


Monday, February 8, 2010

How's it going?

So often I find myself not blogging because I don't have just the right picture to put with my post (and we all know that it's so much more fun to read if there are photos involved). Sometimes I put off posting if I have pictures, but just aren't getting around to downloading them - like right now. I have a few pictures from my trip last week that I want to post, but my computer is actually too full to take anymore pictures right now. Have to fix that first. Today I am reminding myself that it is not about the pictures, or what I think I should say, or what other people might want to's just about saying what I need to say...what I want to say.

So here goes.

My life the past two weeks has felt like a huge blurry roller coaster ride. Starting two weeks ago, I spent the better half of that week walking around in a shivery achy mess of a body while I fought a massive cold - hence my post about wonderful Zicam :) Then I went on a staff retreat for two days. We had a grand time sitting in a cabin in Wisconsin on a lake where you could see more ice fishing houses than you could see real houses. I spent most of Friday that week crying because my friends Rollie and Cait were moving. Seriously, I haven't cried that much in a really long time.

Immediately after I got back from the retreat I got ready for Rollie and Cait's going away party, helped them pack Saturday, and then drove Trynica and Berlin up to my mom and dad's near Duluth on Sunday.

Bright and early Monday morning Rollie, Cait, Steve, and I got into a car and U-Haul and started a 2 day/14 hourish driving trek down to Nashville, TN. That's where they moved, Nashville. Cait got a "job" as a country music songwriter, sorta :) It's a contract thing.

We had a great time. Cait and I drove the car and talked about all our deepest darkest secrets and boys, of course, as girls always do. I have no idea what Rollie and Steve did during those car Maybe I should ask? Maybe not.

Then we spent three great days in Nashville. Rollie and Cait showed us all their favorite places and so we ate some wonderful food, met some great people, and listened to some amazing music. I think they were trying to make sure we had some really great reasons to move down to Nashville with them...we'll see. We also watched Avatar, which, by the way, is an experience unto itself and I would suggest seeing it even if you don't like weird stories. The story is weird. However, seeing an entire movie in 3D, especially one with such incredible technical aspects is not like seeing a's just an experience unlike anything I have ever had before. Not kidding. Go see it. Especially if you can see it on an IMAX screen, totally worth the extra money.

Anyway, after staying up way too late on Friday night and only getting only three or so hours of sleep, Steve and I said goodbye to our friends and caught a 6:30am flight back to Minneapolis. When we finally got home around noon we both crashed for two hours. Then Steve went to work and I went to pick up the kids.

I found Tryn on the third day of a pretty intense fever and after staying up with her most of the night on Saturday night, last night Steve and I were up until midnight trying to figure out if we should bring her to the emergency room (she was on her fourth day of fever, not able to breathe through her nose at all, and her upper lip was about twice the size of her lower lip with an infection). The Dr. this morning said it was a Thrush infection, most likely caused by the fever, but doesn't know what the fever was from.

And this morning my Grandpa died. I have never lost a grandparent before. I was never super close to my Grandpa, he had 8 kids, upwards of 30 grandchildren, and I can't even keep track of how many great-grandchildren, but my dad lost his dad and my Grandma lost her husband that she has been married to for more than 50 years. That's a big deal.

Anyway, it's been a long couple of weeks. That's how it's going. I think I will grab that nap I was going to skip...