Tuesday, August 4, 2015


Anna June is ready for school to start tomorrow.

School supplies - with the exception of the elusive 12 oz. bottles of hand sanitizer (can't find anywhere)
Backpack - clear with personalization (Thanks Granny!)
Registered - had all the required documents
Teacher assigned - a brand-new teacher full of optimism and enthusiasm
Eyes checked - perfect vision
Teeth checked - earlier this summer

New shoes and socks - bought
Uniforms - bought some, able to reuse some

Hair cut - done (this picture is from our shoe shopping trip the day prior to the haircut - she did this herself!)

Still pending:
Lunch bag - should arrive tomorrow even though I ordered in plenty of time...
Annual doctor visit - coming later this month. It has to be a whole year since the last one...
Summer reading - there was a suggested (not required) list of books, and she read almost all of them...

We're as ready as we can be.

Second grade here we come!

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Swim Report

Anna June has taken swim lessons all summer. She is at the high end of the "yellow" group in Starfish Stroke School.

Here is a link to her reports for this summer.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

30 Things I Love Right Now

Anna June is getting to where she doesn't love to be blogged about. I still have more than 15 posts in draft mode, though, and many more stories to tell, so right now she is out of luck. But See Jane Write's Javacia Bowser put forth a challenge for all in the group to use a list of "30 Things I Love Right Now" as a blogging prompt. Challenge accepted.

This may give AJ somewhat of a break.

(Listed not necessarily in the order of how much I love them.)

1. That new school supply smell
2. AJ's personalized clear backpack from Granny
3. A re-discovered unopened box of stationery
4. Purple
5. Polka dots
6. Ice cream
7. Ben's new shirt from Jos. A. Bank
8. New outdoor light fixture on the back of our house
9. Being involved in AJ's school
10. Big family dinners
11. This picture of AJ and our nephews

12. Holding our nephews
13. Stitch Fix
14. The end of camp = the end of wet towels and bathing suits every day
15. Both of our electric cars
16. The baseball AT&T commercial
17. Our neighborhood
18. Finishing my last 3 games of Words With Friends (Goal #22 achieved)
19. Fitbit challenges
20. Hearing AJ read.
21. Josh Ritter's new single
22. Making plans
23. Making lists
24. Decaf tea
25. The "Ain't No Magic Here" video about Birmingham's renaissance
26. Taking showers
27. Libraries
28. Petting Radar
29. Ben
30. Anna June

Friday, July 31, 2015

Summer Summary: Part 4

Anna June got used to camp at the UAB Rec Center, although she is excited to be going back to school next week.

Week 9: Time Travel Week

This was a fun week, as each day brought the kids to a different decade. The children were supposed to dress appropriately for a costume contest each day, but there was such limited participation that they decided not to do it.

With trips to the thrift store and Dollar Tree, AJ and I planned her outfits for the week.

Monday: 1950s day

Over the weekend, when we went to the thrift store, there were so many other things we needed to do, and it was so hot, we pretty much just browsed and then grabbed stuff. We didn't try it on.

I really liked the shape of this skirt for the '50s, so we got it. I should have realized it was a size 8 in women's instead of a size 8 in kids (it was really small - easy to see how the employees would keep it with the kids. It was huge on AJ, so we ran and got her school belt. She pointed out that pictures she had seen in our research included belts, so she was fine. The sunglasses came from the dollar store. The shoes, socks, and scarf were hers already, and the shirt was from her school uniform stash. A high ponytail completed the look.

At camp, they had a little sock hop, where she was partnered with a boy (whose name she still doesn't know). They learned a box step and she had to tell the boy each step: front, side, back when she was going back, side, front.

The crafts were plates made to look as records and a coloring page of a cowboy.

Tuesday: 1960s day

For this look, we didn't have to have anything new. AJ has had the tie-dye since Pre-K. We also had the vest, beads, headband, and bell bottom jeans. We were sort of stumped when it came to shoes, though. We pretty much thought hippies went barefoot but that would be frowned upon at camp, so we came up with her black boots to give it a neutral appearance. Her long flowing hair added to the look.

At craft time, they made friendship bracelets. They also colored this decade-appropriate page.

Wednesday: 1970s day

The halter top was a thrift store find. The jeans and boots with turquoise detail were hers. (Thanks Granny!) I flat-ironed her hair, but it was so humid out, that did not last long.

For craft time, the kids painted pet rocks.

Thursday: 1980s day

The top was a thrift store deal that I also wish we had tried on before leaving. But the bracelets and the rest of her outfit were all things she had on hand. She also had some blue eye shadow, which I applied but it hard to see in the picture. The side ponytail seemed very '80s to me. This was AJ's favorite outfit of the bunch, and our least favorite. (My favorite was the 60's, because everything fit!)

At craft time, she colored a Mario Brothers coloring page.

Friday: The Future

Neither AJ nor I can predict how people will dress in the future. But we decided to take a look at it a little differently. Whether it is her immediate future (as in September) or her future far off, like in this commercial, she has baseball in her future! I wouldn't let her wear cleats to the gym, though.

Last day of camp for the summer! Hooray!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Play Ball

During Mini Blazer Week at camp, Anna June made this baseball craft.

We didn't need camp to get us to think about baseball, though.

Ben and AJ watch the Milwaukee Brewers nearly every night, when we are home and it is on. Sometimes we listen to games in the car. Sometimes Ben listens wherever he is.

In fact, Ben has been pursuing trade rumors for weeks, and I will be glad at the end of the day tomorrow, when all trades are done.

We're pretty in to baseball.

Anna June went on Sunday to the first in a series of "sandlot" style baseball games at Avondale Park. The folks that run Southside Ball wanted to give kids an opportunity to play together without coaches or umpires - just for fun. They had about 10 kids on Sunday, even in the oppressive heat at 5:00 PM. The kids rotated positions and took turns batting. The adults did supervise and make suggestions, and they pitched to the kids, since most were AJ's size and not ready for that particular skill.

She had a good time and is looking forward to going back.

She will be playing "Fall Ball" from September to November. We will give details to those interested when we get her schedule. She *may* be going to other ballparks to play if there are not enough players to form a league for her age group. We will see.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Summer Summary Part 3:

Anna June's summer has been going very well, overall.

Last week, she attended another week of UAB Rec Camp.

Week 8: Science and Discovery Week

For this week, AJ and her camp friends learned various interesting facts and did some cool projects and experiments.

They made invisible ink with lemon juice. They made slime with household ingredients and food coloring. They designed plastic bag parachutes, which included various other materials like a plastic cup, and performed an egg drop from one story (the elevated indoor track) to another (the basketball court). AJ's egg did not crack! She was very excited.

There was a visitor who brought animals from the Birmingham Zoo (again) and a visitor from McWane who made elephant toothpaste.

There was also a dead bird on campus, which freaked AJ out a little. It was one more thing to discover.

Her swimming is coming along, well, swimmingly.

I don't think I got any pictures of her that week, but here is a picture of her playing cards and watching baseball with her dad (and Radar).

It's not all educational all the time at our house! Sometimes we play, too.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Having it All Together

I should probably just go ahead and admit, after seven years, that Anna June probably doesn't qualify as a morning person.

And that's OK, because her parents aren't, either.

Actually, I do have more energy in the morning, but it's the initial getting out of bed that's an issue for me. Especially after nights when Radar wakes us up. There must be a train or some kind of truck that goes by at 2:00 AM, because he has been getting up around that time every day.

We're pretty much zombies.

We've eaten breakfast in the car so many times it has become the norm. If it weren't for BelVita breakfast cookies, we would have starved by now.

I was hoping that by this age, I would have it all together. Some days I do, and I celebrate that. But most days I don't.

This morning, I saw a lady with silver hair driving a silver Lexus with an Alabama tag pull up to the three-way-stop in our neighborhood. She was eating a banana. "Ha!" I thought. Maybe there is no chance I will ever get my act together, if this older woman is still eating breakfast in the car, too.

A few blocks later, she tossed the banana peel out of her window.

I had to wonder if it was actually litter or if she was just setting someone up to slip on it. If there are cameras planted along the Clairmont Walking Trail, then we'll know.

Meanwhile, I do have it together enough to know that while banana peels are technically biodegradable and it's not likely a person would slip on a fresh one, tossing them out of a moving car is still litter and should be avoided.

Roll Tide.