So now they’re going around calling themselves Prince Lukas and Queen Annika; she identifies more with Elsa than Anna, apparently, and has added Prince Lukas to the story, which he’s only too happy to agree with. She swans around the house in an outfit she made herself: the black “heels,” a light blue printed dress, a beautiful white hand-knitted afghan that one of Grandma’s friends sent us as a baby gift (she wears it around her waist, tied with a loop of nylon material from her potholder loom under her bustline, Empire-waist style, so that a long corner of it drags the ground), her lavender satin gloves (that she goaded me into buying at Target), her hair in a French braid and topped with a light blue satin headband. The braid, BTW, is ever-present; she won’t even go braid less at night, and now all her little school friends are doing it too. We heard “Let It Go” on the radio one day, and she listened, enthralled; when it was over, she asked me how it got on the radio, and when my explanation was unsatisfactory, she theorized that somebody “stole it and snuck it onto there.” They both sing the songs from the movie more or less constantly; she offered, kindly but seriously, to teach me the words after she heard me get them wrong once, as if this were a matter of Great Import. And in addition to her previously established "rain powers,” she now maintains that both she and Vilma have "wind powers.”
On Sunday, April 13 — the Wildflower Run! The kids’ 2K race was first; as soon as Annika and I both got checked in and got our bib numbers, we all headed over to the track. We’d practiced several times at the local high school, so she knew she could do the distance, she was used to running on a track, and she knew how they calculated laps (with a lap marker — they picked up another with each lap). She was excited but not nervous, and she KILLED IT! I had made a GO ANNIKA GO sign, which she saw as she finished her first lap (and her whole face just lit up!). She ran most of it (while Lukas, strapped in the stroller, was dying to run along with her and the other kids), and ended up placing 52nd out of 98 total; her time was 15:02, and she only missed 3rd place in her division by about 30 seconds! She got the medal that she'd been wanting since last April, and training for since Christmastime -- I can't imagine a face happier, prouder or more thrilled! (In the 5K shortly after, I was 11th in my new division — women 40-49 — which is down one from last year, but my time of 28:11 was two minutes better than last year. Woooo!!)
Lukas joined in the egg dyeing for the first time, and predictably, he mostly got the colors mixed together in unfortunate ways in the cups. But we all had fun doing it; Annika created two different “Frozen eggs,” with a paintbrush and the blue dye. Easter morning was, of course, the egg hunt, which both of the kids loved. Some four or five dozen eggs were hidden around the house — it was all we could do to keep everybody upstairs until they were dressed, they were so excited. We let them eat a couple of treats before breakfast, even! For the whole next week, they went to the baskets for treats and snacks. Lukas got extra sneaky — one morning, he sort of disappeared, and when I went downstairs looking for him, there he was, elbow-deep in Annika’s basket (his was put away out of reach, anticipating just this type of scenario), with a melting chocolate egg in one hand and multi-colored Skittle juice dribbling down his chin.
We didn’t really have much planned for Annika’s spring break, until she came up with a great idea: going to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk! (She knew about it from commercials on Nick Jr., of course.) So R. took a day off, we loaded up and headed down there — and we ended up having an awesome time! We stayed in the little-kid rides area, ate corn dogs and fries for lunch, and even got a few minutes on the beach. The weather couldn’t have been better (not too hot, not cold), and it wasn’t crowded until we were ready to leave anyway. Both kids LOVED riding the rides; Annika even went on the Ferris Wheel with me while R. took Lukas to get on the baby belugas ride all by himself. Altogether a great day, and since we bought the kids season passes, we look forward to doing it again.
—Alana's Frozen-themed birthday party: Annika’s friend Alana’s party was at her house, with mostly just the girls (and Jason Lee) from her class invited. They have a trampoline, which was great, and the grownups got mimosas (even greater).
—Bike riding with no training wheels: She is working so hard to learn to ride without training wheels! R. took her out a few times and said that she’s getting better (I think it’s because of how good she’s gotten at riding the scooter).
—The Multicultural Faire: Her school had a Multicultural Faire with booths for 27 of the countries represented among the student body. A number of groups did little performances (e.g. singing, karate, traditional dances); a group of kindergarteners had rehearsed at school for the previous couple of weeks to do a song and dance to represent Mexico, which of course Annika was thrilled to participate in. About 25 of them ended up in the show — SO cute!
—Another trick on the playground: She learned how to go down the spiral thingy on the play structure at school, which she’d been kind of afraid of. Yay courage!
—Scooterboy: The kid is physically adept — and he wanted to keep up with Annika on her scooter. So R. found the best three-wheeled one and ordered it, and we got him a helmet and he just took off. He can really make that thing go, although he’s not clear on how to steer it (by leaning; the T-bar is fixed, not the kind that turns) so he runs it off the sidewalk into the grass a lot — which doesn’t seem to bother him. He just steps off, rights his course, and keeps going.
—Pedaling the trike: He finally learned, sort of, how to power the tricycles we keep out on the back deck. He can’t steer it (this one does use handlebars to steer!), but again, he’s happy just to be on it, and doesn’t care if he’s heading toward the edge of the deck or the wall or whatever.
—Starting dance class: He loves music and loves to dance, so I signed him up for a Friday-morning class at Annika’s dance school (also, it’s the only activity of any kind that I can find in the South Bay that doesn’t require parent participation!). The first day was … not so good. He was super-shy, clinging to me and refusing to join the eight or so little girls in tutus for all the animal-walking, spinning and whatnot. But the next week was Annika’s spring break, so she came with us, and that seemed to be the push he needed — he got out there on the floor and really shook a tail feather. Seemed to really love it this time. Then we didn’t go for two weeks (studio spring break, then it conflicted with Annika’s Kindergarten musical at school), so … we’ll see how it goes the next time.
—Singing: He loves to sing, and lately, when it’s not the Frozen soundtrack, it’s Yo Gabba Gabba! or, even funnier, the Olivia end song, which he does with all the right rhythms and pauses and whatnot; there’s not much funnier than hearing that on the monitor in the morning when he’s just waking up. And speaking of his waking-up business:
—He calls for Annika first — not us — in the mornings. He knows who to hit up for books, and she can open his curtains and all that, plus her response time is so much quicker than ours. Heh.
—"Mommy? Daddy? Where are my paaaaaannnnts?” (him quoting The Lego Movie, which he has not seen, but Annika has)
—grampagrampa and gramma
—Oh toast! (Excitement for the toast popping up, every time)
—We’re here! [and] Are we there yet? (picked up from watching Olivia)
—Sure! (affable, reasonable agreement to whatever)
—Ducks onna pond! (Every time we go past Almaden Lake Park, in re: the ducks, geese, and/or seagulls often sitting on the water) (And the variant: Duck onna grass!, which he exclaimed upon seeing a large blackbird on the grass in front of Subway)
—I’m not mean, I'm just Lukas! (response to Annika saying “You’re mean!”)