Thursday, August 21, 2014


I took Anna June for her 6-year-old checkup before school started. Yes, I realize that she turned 6 in March, but on her birthday she had a stomach virus. We've certainly been to the doctor frequently enough.

When I called to set up the appointment, I asked to be sure, "Have I brought her for a well visit since she turned six?"

The response was, "No, you haven't brought her for a checkup since 2012." So I missed the 5-year-old checkup completely. I'll be over here waiting for my mother of the year award.

Anyway, she is fine.

Here's the update.

1. She is TALL. She measured 49.5 inches. This is still "on the chart" as Dr. Walley said, but she is in the 97th percentile.

2. She is not heavy. She weighed 49 pounds. This puts her in the 75th-95th percentile.

3. If she catches strep one more time before Thanksgiving, she will be referred to have her tonsils out. Four times in six months was rough. Please continue to pray, along with AJ, that she does not get it again any time soon. The doctor was not optimistic about this.

4. They don't have the flu mist available yet, but it is coming soon. She will get it when they have it. Flu mist, Dr. W says, is better than flu shots. AJ doesn't have to have any other vaccines (besides annual flu mist) until she is going in 6th grade.

We should continue annual checkups until she's about 12. If I remember.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Missing Tooth

Anna June met me at the door last night with a very loose tooth. It looked like this.

It was gross, but not as bad as the blood all over her brand new white uniform.
After I declined, Ben started to pull it, but was afraid of hurting her.

After I told her it may need to wait, she pulled it herself.

Dancing and congratulating ensued, as did phone calls to some grandparents, which I had to stop because it was bedtime. An exciting moment, for sure.

Posted via Blogaway

Monday, August 18, 2014


Anna June and I went to church yesterday and found some redecorating had gone on. In the new look, they no longer had room for this painting done by my grandmother. I got to bring it home and do some redecorating of my own.
Four years after she died, we are still overwhelmed with little reminders here and there of her incredible life.
Just the other day, Aunt Connie ran across this quote, attributed to Winston Churchill: "Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip." That reminded us of Grandma, for sure.
Anna June was two when Grandma Annette died. She remembers crazy things like finding a Milk Bone dog biscuit under her bed while she was on hospice.
Sometimes when I am singing, I hear her voice in my head. I cry because I miss her so much, but also because I will never be that good.
I see her friends online or in person, and it seems so unfair that they carry on with their club work and their grandkids and she is gone. I hear her reciting the Club woman's collect, "Keep us, O Lord, from pettiness...and let us not forget to be kind."
Today would have been my grandparents' 62nd wedding anniversary. I am the one who got the flowers.

Posted via Blogaway

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Summer Recap: Week 3

On Week 3 of her summer, Anna June attended Zoofari Camp at The Birmingham Zoo. This was the most expensive camp of all, but I thought it would surely be worth it. AJ loves animals, and she loves the zoo.

They also not only went all day but had before and after care available. This meant I could actually work the whole week without having to run and pick her up to take her somewhere else to just go back to work. Worth every cent!

One of AJ's friends from school went the week she attended. They were in the same small group - The Bobcats.

The only trouble with the zoo in mid-to-late June is the heat. It is DANG HOT here in Alabama. The children had a lot of fun, but it was so hot it was physically draining.

When I got AJ each night, she was exhausted. The first night, she cried all the way home.

She had fun, sang songs, danced the Chicken Dance, played games, and made crafts. She learned about various "Animal Oddities" (the theme) but mostly, she was hot. They got to ride the train and/or carousel each day, but they only got to take advantage of the splash pad on 2 of the days. This was truly unfortunate, as they could have used some cooling off.

On Friday when I picked her up, AJ asked me to hold her belongings and then dumped the remaining water in her water bottle over her head. "I've been waiting all week to do that," she told me. Evidently, the counselors caught other children doing this and told them not to.

The camp was very well-organized. The counselors were friendly and knew exactly what to do when it was time to come or go. It was easy to register online and we were on the list, even though I must have made it in right before that week's registration deadline.

You could not bring any peanut products to this camp. We bought a lot of "Lunchables" or the generic equivalent. These days, Lunchables come with a sweet treat, so I had to avoid the flavors that had fun size Butterfingers and Reese's cups. Poor AJ ended up with a "nachos" one and a "pizza" one. I was glad to make her a turkey wrap one of the days and a turkey sandwich the other (although she was not thrilled).

The good and bad thing was the kids were given 2 t-shirts to wear to camp. They were asked to wear them, but the staff said, of course, it wasn't mandatory. But I had heard a rumor (via AJ) that another one of her friends once got lost at zoo camp. So I made her wear the t-shirt, making sure to do laundry at least every-other day.

AJ has decided not to go back next year, but I am very grateful that they had a slot open this time, and that she got the experience.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Take Two

Anna June got a second back-to-school sundae last night. Why? Because her dad missed the first one. It was my fault, yet somehow I got a second sundae as well.

Somewhere, there is a mom who had everything ready for the first day of school. She had new uniforms bought and ironed. She had groceries bought with healthy snacks prepped and in the lunch bags the night before. She had a dinner menu planned and things in the crockpot ready when she got home. She had kids who slept well and long as they dreamed of future successes. As much as I envision this person, I don't actually know her.

I don't have my act together, but maybe that's because this is not an act. AJ is a real, human kid who has a lot of varied needs, just like her parents.

Fortunately, I think he school year is going to go great. She likes her teacher and has declared that first grade is fun - she could not wait to go back today. At the same time, she was a little overwhelmed, and either never wanted to go back, or go back immediately. It's hard to process these feelings.

Mostly, she let them out by jumping her way through the grocery store and hanging on me to the point where I had to tell her to quit so I could walk. We did buy some healthy snacks, including fruit, which I did wash, cut up, and put in snack size baggies. She did get her (old) uniform ready for the next day. We did come up with a plan for dinner for some of the nights this week. We want the year to go smoothly, after all.

I'll keep looking for that perfect mom. But in the meantime, I will know that I'm doing alright if AJ is relatively healthy and happy. She's learning and likes going to school - she didn't even want me to walk her to the classroom.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

First Day of First Grade!

Anna June woke up before 6:00 AM today, in anticipation of her first official day as a first grader.

She decided she didn't like the uniform I had gotten ready for her (too big), so it is a good thing we saved the ones from last year. We'll work on it later. In Pre-K and K, I was kind of obsessed with how things would go, but now, I realize that school will happen even if I do think her backpack is grubby (although she thinks it is fine and doesn't need a new one). We did the shoes, the haircut, the eye appointment, etc. but the learning will happen with or without those things. Sometimes sanity is better than brand new clothes.

Here's the official first day picture:

You can compare them to the ones from Pre-K and Kindergarten taken in the same spot.

And here are a couple more, which I took against her will:

This year there are desks! And spelling words! Homework! A locker! We get to bring things like headphones instead of things like paper towels.

You can't see it in the photos, but the little "thing" Granny sent in a package we got yesterday is tied to the zipper of her backpack. The "thing" is to remind her that she is loved.

While we were eating our granola this morning, she said something I wish I had written down. It was something like, "I feel excited, and there's nothing anyone can do about that."

Watch out first grade - here comes Anna June!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Last Day of Summer Break

Anna June did not get assigned the teacher she wanted. Yesterday, this was a disaster. We went this afternoon to meet her teacher, Mrs. Punzel, and AJ's attitude has changed. She can't wait for tomorrow.

We are celebrating at 32 degrees with frozen yogurt sundaes.

Posted via Blogaway