One day Anni was twirling and singing one of her original compositions.
"It's my gift!" she declared.
Dizzy, she fell with spectacular gracelessness.
Laying on her back on the tile floor she began flapping her arms and legs
as if she were making a snow angel.
"Falling down is also a gift!" says she.

Saturday, December 21, 2002

12/02/02 Going out with Annika is so much fun! We often go take a walk through the mall with her on Sundays. Of course, this tradition is halted until after Christmas, as the malls are just too crowded to take her into right now. Actually, we have 2 malls in town, 1 of which is usually pretty quiet (its 2 anchor stores are Target and Hobby Lobby, so it's not exactly the fashionable center). At this time of year, though, even that one is probably a bit too busy. Anyhow, whenever we do go with Annika, we get the biggest smiles from everyone we pass. Anni is just so darn *happy* to be out and feeling good. You can just see it in her huge smile, which never leaves her face, and the way she practically bounces when she walks. OK, so I'm definitely the proud mommy, but she really seems to bring out the happy in everyone she passes. It's gotten even more ridiculously joyous lately, as she's discovered that waving at people as she passes them gets them to wave back at her and so now she travels through life waving and grinning from ear to ear like a homecoming queen in a parade of one. Anni's favorite game lately has been a variation on peek-a-boo in which, instead of covering her own eyes, she covers her daddy's eyes as he calls out, "Where's Anni? Anni, where are you??" She also loves walking backwards, and has even been riding her little push-car backwards. Joerg's father came for a visit over Thanksgiving. Although he had to go back home early, Anni really enjoyed meeting him. She climbed right onto his lap every morning, and eyed the cookies he had with his tea for breakfast. Of course, she always got one (or two). Annika was calling him Grandpa by the first evening ("Pa"). The first night after he left we were reading one of her books that has a picture of a dog wearing a white wig (it's a long story), and she pointed to the dog and called it "Pa". I guess white hair is now the crucial criterion for the name "Pa"!