Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Anna June's Balloon

The day of my birthday party, Ben brought home a cute mylar balloon to tie to the mailbox. In the words of Cleveland from Family Guy, "A balloon tied to the mailbox is the universal sign for PARTY OVER HERE!"

After the party, we brought it inside. Anna June loved that thing. One night I let her hold it to distract her while changing her diaper. She didn't let go. She kept looking up and smiling at it, so shiny and colorful. She held it all through her dinner and would have held it through her bath if I didn't make her let go of it when I took her clothes off.

This morning when I was leaving the house, I must have bumped it in the kitchen. Shortly after I left, we got a call from the alarm company saying our alarm had been set off. It was a false alarm, and upon further investigation, the balloon had floated in front of the motion detector. Whoops. That was the end of that balloon. I guess we'll know for next time!

The good part of that story is that the Birmingham Police Department did respond right away. The officer was friendly and didn't make us feel like idiots...he guessed it was Radar, but Ben figured it out right away.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Shopaholic

Sorry we haven't posted any of our pictures lately.* Sadly, we've lost our digital camera. We had just traded in our old one (the one that didn't get stolen) to Canon and then it disappeared. So we've been trying to find a great deal on a good camera. This has required some shopping. Anna June has been wonderful while we've been out and about at places like Target and K-Mart. She's so patient and so far, doesn't really throw fits. She loves looking at all the brightly colored merchandise and all the people, especially children. The only trouble is that now she can sort of twist her way out of the seatbelt in shopping carts. I think people with small children were the ones who invented e-commerce. I think we're going to try to shop online more in 2009, because I am sure that she'll figure out how to unbuckle herself pretty soon. She's so smart!
*Reminder - if you have any pictures of AJ, please email them to me!!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Please Hold Your Applause


Ben and I have been discussing letting Anna June "cry it out" at bedtime until she learns how to fall asleep on her own. I know she falls asleep on her own at daycare, but I am having a hard time with letting her cry, whine, and fuss at night, mostly because I want to sleep. Last night I decided to try a couple of times. When I finally got to my breaking point, not just once but on two separate occasions, I went back to her crib. Both times, Anna June was so delighted to see me that she laughed and clapped her hands. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

I stole this picture from Jyl's blog. The cute snowman bib was sent by her Granny Annie. More pictures taken on Christmas Eve Eve by Jyl can be found here.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hooray!



Yesterday was really good. We had breakfast with my parents, Kate visited us from Michigan, we got a new car seat, and Anna June showed us that she knows how to clap her hands. Hooray! It is just about the cutest thing ever.

This picture is from Christmas Eve. We killed time waiting for Santa at Aunt Connie and Uncle Tim's house. Photo by Connie. I hope to fix it later so it is clearer. (It was a printout I scanned, and then I cropped it but it doesn't look good. Hopefully, you can see the curl in her hair.)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Thanks for pointing that out

Anna June and I went to go see my friend Sally and meet her baby Jacob last night. They're in town from St. Louis. Sally looks awesome (like she never had a baby)! And Jacob sleeps for 5 hour streches at night. I am so jealous.

While we were eating, AJ pointed at the ceiling fans. She must have been showing the baby, because suddenly he got interested in them.

AJ's Granddaddy (Jerry) claims he taught her how to point, because he's been pointing out the Christmas tree and its lights to her. Whether he did or nrot, it is still cool. Soon, she'll be pointing at what she wants, which may be more helpful than the crying and whining we get now.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Day After Christmas

Ben and I are working today. The daycare is closed today, but that gives my mother an excuse to keep Anna June all day on a day when she's actually healthy. I think they'll enjoy it. They plan to play with her new toys, including the rocking chair Santa given to us by our cousin Judy. He sings "Santa Claus is Coming to Town". She loves it so far. Maybe by next Christmas she'll know what the man in the red suit is all about.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Santa Came!

Anna June has really put the joy and excitement back into Christmas for us. She was all smiles and very delighted when we pulled things from her stocking that Santa filled. She loves all of her toys, and can't decide which to play with first. She also likes the stacking cups toy that Mommy and Daddy gave her. So does Radar. It took him approximately 30 seconds to steal the little ball that sits on top. Luckily, it was recovered without damage. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!


It's Christmas Eve! Santa is coming tonight! I am so excited. I hope everyone else is, too.

Anna June was the hit of the party last night. Of course, she shared the honor with her new friends Jackson and Isabel Moore, and Maddie Brown. There was also another teeny tiny baby named Jackson. I can't believe AJ was ever that small. Time passes so quickly. I'm glad everyone has been reading the blog, because I feel like I didn't get time to talk to anyone, as I was chasing down AJ the whole time.

If anyone has pictures, please email them!

We had a great time, and a pretty good night.

Merry Christmas to everyone.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Eve Eve

Today is Christmas Eve Eve, the day when we celebrate Christmas with all our friends at my parents' house. Unfortunately, Ben and I have to work today. But we'll be all set to go over there as soon as we can.

We hate that we're missing out on the preparations. It is a true family tradition to work together to get everything ready. When Anna June gets bigger, I am sure she'll help decorate, cook, clean and run errands. But for now, she's at daycare with all of her friends.

Since we can't be there to help, we'd like to share this video sent by our cousin Ginger. I don't know who sent it to her, but it is really cool.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

If you want to sleep, don't have a baby. Or a dog.


Seriously.

Anna June is still teething. I've been up since 3:45. She would fall asleep in my arms, and as soon as I put her in her crib, she'd not only wake up and cry and/or scream, but also stand up. It is hard to get a tired baby to sleep, but even harder to get one who is practically walking around to go lay back down.

I also think she wanted the warmth and comfort of being held in order to sleep. She ended up in our bed at 4:50, just before my alarm went off at 5:00.

Radar, meanwhile, didn't want to wait to go out in the 18 degree weather this morning, and he temporarily forgot his house training. I was up with him once and AJ twice before the big changing/feeding/rocking/changing/rocking escapade. I can usually sing her to sleep, but I am so hoarse from this cold that I couldn't even emit noise on some notes.

Is it Monday or what?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

New car

We are buying a Kia Rondo to replace our beloved Scion XB. Anna June went with us to the dealership in Gardendale. Of course, it took longer than we expected. She made friends with Gwen the receptionist, a church nursery veteran. They both had a wonderful time. At some point, though, AJ wanted to get down and crawl, pull up, and stand, so we let her. She crawled everywhere, even testing the tires on the showroom models. By the time we left, she was the dirtiest she has ever been. Her feet were black.

I bet those salesmen didn't expect a baby to get her diaper changed on the desk in the spare cubicle! (They should have had a changing table, like at Penney's!)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Shopping

Anna June was a sweet little angel on our massive Christmas shopping trip on Saturday. My new favorite thing is the family restroom at the Trussville J.C. Penney. I don't know where these things were when we were kids. It is a big bathroom where you can fit a large stroller right next to the toilet. And there's a changing table and a car seat type thing that's attached to the wall, so if you need to secure one kid while changing the other you can. You would think I couldn't be so excited by a bathroom, but it really makes a difference. I spent much more time there after our potty break.

It was also fun to see A.J. looking around at the colorful merchandise, lots of people, and lights on our shopping trip. I'm enjoying this, because next year, she will be more interested in getting out of the stroller and touching everything. Maybe I should just plan ahead and shop online.

Friday, December 19, 2008

(Almost) 31 flavors

I know that this is Anna June's blog, but I wanted to show off the cute Baskin-Robbins-like logos that Ben made for my birthday party invitations. He swears he's not creative, but I beg to differ.

We had a small "31 flavors" ice-cream potluck for my birthday, and Anna June did great. She ate right before everyone arrived, and held out for bedtime until they all left. She was exhausted. She showed everyone how she can stand up, cruise, crawl, get into everything, and even get her feelings hurt when things she wants are taken away. She even let go while standing a few times for her audience. Her curly hair was a hit. And her motorboat noises were hilarious. Spending time with my family and friends and showing off my sweet baby was the exact way I wanted to spend my birthday. Thanks to everyone who was a part of it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Mommy!

This is my first birthday as a mom. When I dropped AJ off at daycare this morning, there was a sign on the door that said "Happy Birthday Laura Gallitz, Anna June's Mom. We love you!" Isn't that the sweetest thing?

I'm enjoying my day so far. I hope you are, too.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Curly


It has been raining here in Birmingham, and it always makes my hair frizz and curl worse than usual. It looks like Anna June is going to have the same problem. Her hair is getting longer and when I picked her up yesterday afternoon you could see little sandy blond curls starting to form in a few places on her head. It is so cute. Her teacher commented on them this morning. I hope to get a picture of them soon.

I was starting to think we'd get to call her "Curly" in an ironic way, like on The Three Stooges, but now, we may be able to call her that anyway.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Moving on Up


Anna June got her letter yesterday saying she'd be promoted to the Transitions Class on January 5. Our time in Creepers has been good, but short. Two other girls are moving up as well. They can all pull up and are about ready to "transition" to walking. Time is moving so quickly.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Gift


Anna June is getting two more teeth, just in time for Christmas. Hopefully they will go ahead and erupt soon because she is just not feeling well. She was up from 4 am to 6 am today. (Me, too.)

AJ also opened her first Christmas gifts this weekend. The first one, at Kym's graduation party, was a baby laptop. The second one, with her Grandpa and Grammy Pammy, was an inflatable baby pool, a sprinkler, and two bathing suit sets. It makes me look forward to summer that much more! Anna June really enjoyed the wrapping paper, ribbons, boxes and tissue paper.

We had a lot of fun this weekend at the parade, the shopping brunch, the graduation party, visiting with grandparents and the church Christmas music program. We're exhausted! Thanks to everyone for the fun and gifts.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Parade Hit

Last night we attended the Leeds Christmas Parade and the annual Christmas gathering at AJ's Granddaddy's law firm, Barnes, Tucker and Barnes. We had a great time. The food was wonderful, and it was nice to see the whole community turn out for a great event. The firm even sponsored a float, but it was too cold to stand outside the whole time, and we missed it. Everyone was glad to meet Anna June...her Granddaddy only has one photo displayed in his office and it is of her.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I knew I had taste!

When I was reading some celebrity news the other day, I stumbled across this picture of Jamie Lynn Spears, Britney's sister. In this photo, according to the caption, she took her baby, Maddie, on her first trip to Wal-Mart this summer. I guess we're all being affected by the recession. The fact that she's 17 and doesn't look like she had a baby is what the tabloids were remarking upon, but I couldn't get over the stroller/carrier combo. It is the same one as Anna June has! I knew we were classy!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

AJ Takes a Stand


For the past couple of days, I've been watching as Anna June pulls up, stands, and lets go for a couple of seconds. This is amazing to me.

But last night, she stood up from the middle of the floor, without pulling up on anything. Ben got it on tape. I couldn't believe it.

Pretty soon she'll be walking.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tater Tot

Anna June ate mashed potatoes for the first time last night. I had good intentions of cooking at home, but I have to admit that they were from the drive through at Kentucky Fried Chicken. It may have just been the salt and fat content, but she LOVED them! I ended up giving her far more than I intended, because she was crying for more. In case there was any doubt, she gets her appetite from the Tucker side.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

9 month checkup


On Sunday, Anna June turned 9 months old. According to the pediatrician, she is doing great.
Her stats:
Height - 29.5 inches (95-97th percentile)
Weight - 18 pounds, 4 ounces (50-75th percentile)
Head Circumference - 17.5 inches (75th percentile)

She has been going through a growth spurt of late and her longer legs mean that she is too big for her carrier. We are sad to see this go, as it has been convenient to just take that part in and out of the car. We'll be shopping for a big-girl car seat, so if any of you parents have any recommendations, we'd be glad to have them.

Last night Ben's birthday was celebrated by the family and a couple of friends at my parents' house. It coincided with the series finale of Boston Legal. I don't really watch the show (except when it is on when I'm over there). I think Captain Kirk was in trouble, Murphy Brown was getting married to Dan from Night Court, and nobody liked the guy from Benson. It has been a while since I was into TV.

We didn't take any pictures at the party but this one from our now-famous photo session shows her crawling.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Anna June's Daddy

Anna June's Daddy is OK, but he's having a tough time. He was in a car accident yesterday. We're asking that you keep us in your prayers as we get through this ordeal.

Today is also Ben's 30th Birthday. Happy Birthday!!!!!!

You can see from the picture (another one of Ruth's) that Anna June absolutely adores her daddy. As she should.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Little Rascals

At the neighborhood meeting Ben and I attended shortly after our burglary, the detective addressing the gathering said that a thief will strike whenever there's an opportunity. This morning, already, Radar has proven that once again. He found Anna June's Velveteen Rabbit stuffed animal again. I had just washed it in the washing machine to get doggy germs off it yesterday. There were too many toys in the playpen, so Ben sat a few of them (including this one) on the floor. Radar had this bunny in his grasp so quickly I didn't even see him come in and leave. By the time I got to him, not 5 minutes later, the poor bunny was missing an eye. I finally gave up and threw it away...I can't have AJ dragging around eyeless toys.

Anna June is just as fast. Yesterday around the house she took off with plastic hangers, a diaper, the outfit I changed her out of, a spoon (but I think I gave her that on purpose), and the dog's toy. Maybe Radar took the bunny in retaliation. All I know is that they're both little rascals and they have to be watched constantly!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Name Game

I feel the need to clarify. We are calling the baby ANNA JUNE. Not Anna. Anna is a very pretty name, and we like it, but we always intended to call her both names. I know. It is weird. But it is not any more strange than the other people with double names that we know: Anna Kate (and Anna Cate), Leigh Anne, Mary Ann, Mary Hassell, Mary Alton, Sarah Jane, Jane Evan, etc.

Also acceptable: AJ, Junebug, Juniebug, the baby

If she really, really wants to be just Anna when she gets older (like my cousin Laurie Ann became Laurie), that is OK. I understand people don't get it.

It is really just my family members who keep calling her Anna. We usually only call her Anna when rhyming: Anna's Nana or Anna's bananas. There are other Annas, but she's the only Anna June we know.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Shameless Plug

Tonight, Anna June will be helping her grandmother bake cookies to serve at the Crestwood Antiques open house. It will be tomorrow from 10:30-5:30. JT Catering, Rusty's catering service, will be bringing most of the food, but Mom is baking cookies, too.

We hope you can come! AJ will be by at some point that won't interfere with nap time or lunch time. A fed and rested baby is a happy baby.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Fearless!

In the Creepers class at daycare, they have a table with child seats set inside of it. (It is really neat- several kids can sit together at once.) A few days ago when I dropped AJ off, and her teacher told me to make sure to strap her in, because Anna June can climb out of the chair. Apparently, none of the other children can do that yet. Miss Ann said, "That child is fearless!"

When I picked her up yesterday, her other teacher told me that she had climbed out of one of the floor toys. They call it the castle - it is like a baby corral that goes in a circle, complete with a door which they had closed to make sure AJ didn't run free. But she decided she wanted out, and just climbed right over the side. She wasn't hurt. I feel like it won't be long before she'll get her notice it is time to get promoted to the next class.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Happy 24th Birthday, Uncle Rusty

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday Dear Rusty
Happy Birthday to you!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Ready for Our Closeups


On Sunday, Anna June sat for her official Christmas pictures with my good friend, Ruth Kennedy. She is a very talented artist and photographer, and her work can be found here. We met each other back in our middle school days. She has the unique distinction of having been a classmate of mine in middle school, high school, and college. I am eager to share these pictures, but first I want to select the right one for our Christmas cards. I just can't help it, though. Here is one I love, but I know we're not using.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Light One Candle for Hope

The Gallitz family was asked to light the Advent candle at church on Sunday. It was a little awkward, but we made it through. Walking up to the front during the fellowship time, I pointed out the Christmas tree to Anna June. She looked where I was pointing and her eyes got big and her little mouth dropped open. We weren't close enough for her to reach out and touch it, but it made me start getting excited about putting up our tree, hopefully later this week.