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.

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Happy Holidays! We've had a pleasant Christmas around here, although we were disappointed to have to cancel our trip to Kansas City due to illness there (get well, soon, Cochrans!). Actually, Anni now also seems to be brewing something, and we have no idea where she picked it up, as we've been mainly keeping her at home. Ever the traditionalists, we had stir-fry for Christmas dinner! (We had chicken burritos for Thanksgiving--I guess we'll get a bit more conformist when the girls get old enough to know how weird we are sometimes!) Annika and I made 3 different batches of Christmas cookies, so now I know what my favorite sugar cookie recipe is. Anni had a great time cutting out the cookies and decorating them (what a mess, but a really fun mess!). Other things she's discovered this season: her favorite Christmas song is "Jingle Bells" and Christmas lights are really really cool. Annika's big Christmas present was a dollhouse, which she loves. My Christmas present was a digital camera, which is nice as I was breaking the bank with all my film developing costs! I've posted new pictures to the website, most of them taken with my new digital camera, which speeds up the posting process considerably. My camera also has a nifty video feature, which allows me to make movies limited only by the amount of available memory (which right now is only 16 MB, or 30 seconds). So you can download our first ever Annika movie from the website, showing Anni getting her dollhouse. Because I don't have very good editing software, the size of the movie was a bit too large, so I compressed it and it's still pretty big (8.9 MB), but at least manageable. Not too big at all if you have DSL rather than dial-up. Anyhow, it's compressed, so you'll have to double-click to decompress, and then double-click again to get it running. Both of those things should happen automatically once it's downloaded to your computer. Let me know, please, if it doesn't work, as I'm doing everything on Mac and can't check Windows behavior. The camera also includes the ability to record sound when you take a picture, so I also posted a "movie" that consists of still pictures with the sound of Anni talking as a soundtrack. I need to practice with that feature, because it only records for 5 seconds unless you hold down the shutter, which I keep forgetting to do. So I managed to catch Anni laughing (hilariously mischievous laugh), but it got cut off too soon. Too bad... That one is only 616K, so it should download in a few minutes, even with a slow dial-up connection. Again, though, you have to decompress and all that. Again, should be automatic. Again, let me know if it doesn't work. Also, I changed my page so that only the most recent photo albums show up. It was just taking too long to load up the page with all the old albums. There's now a link at the top if you want to see all the albums, rather than just the newest. There are also new pictures of Frankie on the website. It's unbelievable to me how big she is. A friend from Anni's playgroup stopped by with her new baby girl, born 1 week ahead of Frankie, but Frankie looks about twice her size! I should post some pictures of Anni at the same age for comparison purposes. They no longer look anything alike! So that's it from here. I hope your holidays have been as enjoyable as ours, even though we're just hibernating at home. We're looking forward already to the return of Spring so we can get out a bit more...