Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Monday, Monday

After a rushed, not-so-good morning and a crappy day at work, Ben and I had a nice evening with our little girl. We cooked dinner together, danced to "I Will Survive" and other catchy tunes, gave AJ a bath (washing her hair, much to her chagrin), and got her to bed pretty early. Somewhere in there I took this picture.

Anna June is really developing a sweet personality. She will just walk up to us and give us hugs and kisses. This was during Ben's 10 second rest period and she just ran up to him to hug him.

This sweetness, of course, was not to last. She was up from 3 to at least 4:30 am. I have no idea what was wrong. Maybe tonight will be better.

Monday, March 30, 2009

See, It Was Happy!

Anna June with her Great Grandfather, Jerome.

At the birthday celebration at Rusty's BBQ, AJ was, as always, the life of the party. She ate lots of spaghetti. She slept well!

Here are some pictures from the past couple of weeks. Enjoy.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Grandddaddy Jerome!

Tonight we went to Rusty's BBQ to celebrate my granddaddy's birthday. We had a really great time. Rusty made spaghetti and Beth made pecan pie. It was all delicious. Connie got some great pics on my camera of Anna June eating spaghetti. What a mess! As soon as I can I'll upload them.

Other than that, the day has been great. We went to church and the grocery store on our own and went to the park with Ben and Radar. AJ took two decent naps so I had time to try to figure out Facebook. Yes, I joined. No, I'm not proud of it. :)

Saturday, March 28, 2009


For about a year now, I have been singing Anna June to sleep each night. I know that she goes to sleep on her own everywhere else, but here, while she's still little, I sing to her. I go through about my entire repetoire each night. I guess I am looking for new songs, or at least more verses to the songs I do sing. Some of these are not really lullabies, but I sing them in a lullaby fashion. Here's the list:
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
Mary Had a Little Lamb
Row, Row, Row Your Boat
The Itsy Bitsy Spider
London Bridge
Jesus Loves Me
Sweet Adoration
The ABCs (but usually not right after Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)
Oh Shenandoah ("Oh Shenandoah, I love your daughter!")
Rockabye Baby
Brahms' Lullaby (with made up lyrics)
Hush Little Baby

If I run through all those, I start pulling out anything I can think of. Sometimes I try You Are My Sunshine or Frere Jacques. I'll usually hit Amazing Grace or another hymn, but I've been known to sing Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd. At least I can say she'll be well-rounded.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Krystal Clear

Anna June, Ben and I took advantage of the fact that it hadn't started raining again yet to run an errand and go by Krystal for dinner. They have tiny hamburgers that I thought AJ would enjoy. She did. She tried ketchup on her fries for the first, messy time, and she loved it. She also tried Sprite for the first time. Honestly, she was more interested in the straw than the drink, but she liked it too. Yes, we're raising our kid to love junk food as much as we do.

Since we were among the few customers in the restaurant at the time and therefore couldn't blame it on anyone else, we attempted to clean up after the toddler-ransacked dinner. Ben and I were on our hands and knees trying to get bits of ketchup fries off the floor. Eventually we gave up, focusing instead on our ketchup covered baby.

"Do you think we should leave a tip?" he asked.

The funniest part was that she went to sleep on the way home and slept all night (only waking up twice, briefly). So she missed her bath. I tried to get all the ketchup off of her before daycare.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Beautiful Morning

We had a rough night last night. AJ woke up at midnight and 3:00, not really wanting to go back to sleep either time. She ended up in our bed at 4, only for Radar to need to go outside in the rain, which had slacked off a bit by that point. It rained a lot last night, and hard. (I was up to hear it between 3 and 4!) The lid blew off our trash can. The power went out.

But this morning, Anna June was all smiles. She was not at all fussy while getting dressed and on to daycare. She nodded her head and sort of sang along with me to "Old McDonald" in the car. She had a banana all ready to go and was fairly nice when I left her - except for the fit of falling down in the floor, not wanting to walk to her classroom by herself.

Spring has broken out here in Birmingham. This part of the year here is absolutely stunning. The dogwoods, tulip trees, Bradford pears, azaleas and others are out in bloom. Everything is either covered in pollen or dropping petals. No one can breathe, but the flowers are all worth it. My personal favorite, the wisteria, is suddenly out everywhere. Traffic was slow on my way to work but it gave me more time to stare at the lovely lavender blooms. Every year I know I need to enjoy it while it lasts...it seems to be gone so fast.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

All is Well?

Anna June returned to daycare this morning and was glad to see her teacher and her friends. She was also glad to see me pull the banana out of the bag. That kid is all about the food. If she's happily eating pieces of banana when I leave, it is no big deal. If she's not, then she screams when I tell her goodbye. So we buy lots of bananas.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Reports from Nana's house say that Anna June got fussy, walked over to the refrigerator and when it became obvious she wasn't interested in playing with the magnets as usual, she said, "Milk". Nana gave her some milk and she was fine.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Playing it By Ear

Anna June has an ear infection. I asked the doctor when she could go back to daycare. He said, "Wednesday or Thursday. You'll just have to play it by ear." I told AJ her doctor was pretty funny. He apologized for the pun.

He also apologized that he couldn't give us a direct answer. If no fever all day tomorrow, daycare Wednesday.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring Fever

Anna June registered a fever of 103.1 at around 5 am today. I am too upset to go back through all 120+ posts to make a chart of all the days she's been sick but I feel like it has been A LOT! She was just sick on Monday, better but not great on Tuesday and well until 2:30 this morning. I could not get her back to sleep. She was quiet, calm, and resting, but her little eyes were still open every time I checked. Then around 5 we finally got up and I checked her temp. I thought she was warm but I figured if I took her out of her fleece footed pajamas that would wake her up. She seemed on the verge of sleep that whole 2.5 hours.

After some Tylenol, she did, eventually, sleep and woke up again at 9 much better, with her temp down to 99.9. She took her medicine, drank her juice and ate almost a whole banana. She played peekaboo with her daddy and irritated the dog. She went down for her nap at almost her normal time.

I guess the plan is to take her to the doctor tomorrow, if they can work her in, to see if there's an infection somewhere that is causing all of this.

The picture above is from one week ago. What a difference a week makes.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Some of these you've seen on the blog but I've not gotten around to making them a Picasa web album until this morning. Ben said, "It's 7:00." I said, "It's Saturday!" But I got up and did pictures instead.

Here's the link. Enjoy!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Grandma!

Today is Anna June's Great Grandmother Hazel's birthday. We're going to celebrate tonight with a little party at the BBQ place. We're looking forward to it. I even put a bow in her hair this morning at daycare but I would bet you money it is already off.

This weekend should be fun. The weather is supposed to be nice, we're going to a baby shower tomorrow, and there's an auction on Sunday. All that with the usual errands and visiting should keep us busy!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Baby Steps

Today when I took AJ to daycare, I had to put her on the ground to open the code-entry door. I hate that door. If they had one like that in Fort Knox they wouldn't need armed guards.

Anyway, I've been doing that for a few weeks now...set AJ on the ground, and when I get the infernal door open, I either pick her up or take her by the hand and let her walk in.

This morning, not only did she walk in but she climbed up all 3 stairs while holding my hand, and then we walked all the way to her classroom.

In the words of Lyle Lovett, "... it may be no big deal to you, but it's a very big deal to me."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


In the past day or so, Anna June has begun nodding her head yes when she means yes. She's been shaking her head no for a while, but we've finally made it to yes. She loves to nod her head when she's dancing to music - we call her a little head banger.

AJ is feeling much better and is back at daycare today. No fever and much less coughing.

And the other news of the day is that I've lost 6 pounds (over the course of 10 weeks). I didn't make our goal but I wasn't the only one. I guess chasing after AJ and Radar really does burn calories!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Day

I clearly remember that last year at this time, Anna June wasn't going to have anything green to wear in her 0-3 months size. So Ben, on a run for another baby gate to Babies R Us, bought a little bodysuit that said "Baby's First St. Patrick's Day". It was so sweet - the first outfit either of us had bought for her. My friends Mary Hassell and Katie came by and brought us dinner. Katie brought AJ a book called "Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots?" It was a beautiful day, just like today.

This year, I was also staying home with AJ this morning. She was running a 102 degree fever when I picked her up from daycare, which means that she can't go back at least today, even though she's better. Mom and Dad agreed to take shifts keeping her, so she's at their house, decked out in her green and pink outfit with matching bib.

I hope Mary Hassell's new baby Allison got the onesie passed down to her! If not, I hope whoever got it is enjoying it today.

I had considered bringing AJ downtown this year for the St. Patrick's Day parade. Little did I know they held it on Saturday the 15th! I'm glad I saw that in the paper yesterday or else I would be standing in 5 Points right now like an idiot waiting for the floats to drive by. Apparently they changed it to increase participation. Attending the parade has been one of the funnest things about working at UAB...all 4 of my offices have been less than 2 blocks from the parade route. I was really looking forward to going. Ben even got me a glitter shamrock to wear for the occasion. Stupid parade organizers.

Believe it or not, our family really can trace back some Irish roots. I know this claim is made by just about every white person in America every March 17th. But the Hughes family is Irish. And here's a link to the family crest. If it is on the Internet it must be true.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Cough Cough Cry

That's about how our night went. AJ FINALLY went to bed around 10:30 last night. Beginning at 12:30, she would cough and cry out, but still be asleep. I went in her room several times to replace her pacifier and blanket, only for her to cry out again a few minutes later. At around 3, she woke herself up and I got up to change her diaper and lay her back down. She kept coughing. And coughing. And crying. Every time I would run in there, sure I'd see an angry toddler standing up in her crib, but each time, she was asleep. I felt so bad for her because I knew she wasn't resting well. I was up for at least an hour with this pattern. Moments before my alarm went off, she was in full standing-up screaming mode. I brought her into our bed (I know, I know. Put away the pitchforks, please!) where she slept without a peep until I had to wake her up to get dressed for daycare. I'm inclined to say that this congestion is tied either to the crazy weather we've been having or the perpetual teething, and it's nothing serious. Either way, it is likely she'll get a dose of cough medicine before bed tonight. Or else she can stay at your house.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Without Further Ado

Here is a link to the pictures we had made on AJ's birthday. The real prints won't be available until later in the month, but the beauty of paying for the copyright release is that all these are legal to be printed now. Enjoy!

One More Plug

This is a picture of AJ from Monday morning. She was helping me pack her diaper bag to go to the doctor. I bet if she had known about the shots, she wouldn't have been so helpful. She ended up doing fine with them...no fussiness or fever related that I could detect.

The past two days I have given shameless plugs for my brother Rusty's BBQ restaurant and my brother Drew who is selling his house. I have one more brother, and therefore one more shameless plug. Patrick has returned to Birmingham after working with Accenture in Atlanta for several years. He is looking for local employment as a computer software consultant/programmer. He has a very impressive resume and has worked on many programs in many computer languages. Everything I've read and learned about job searching involves putting the word out that you're looking - so - Hey Everybody! Patrick's looking! I know this will embarrass him, so I will quit talking about how smart he is. But I will say that, based on personal experience, it is hard to find a computer guy who is knowledgable and personable, and even if I do say so myself, he both knows what he is talking about and is able to relate to regular, non-computer people. I do have a copy of his resume if anyone is interested, or if you're chummy with your HR person and want to pass it along, I will be glad to send it to you.

Anna June loves all of her uncles and they are all wonderful to her. I am looking forward to a time when they have kids so I can be as good to them as they are to her.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Who Do You Know Who Wants to Buy a House?

Here's another picture from the birthday party from Granny Annie's camera. Don't you just love her curly hair?

In Milwaukee, there's a car dealer famous for asking, "Who do you know wants to buy a car?" So now, I'm asking "Who do you know wants to buy a house." I figured since I plugged my brother Rusty's restaurant yesterday, I'd plug for my brother Drew's house today. He and his roommate Wiley have decided to sell their lovely historic home in Birmingham's Southside neighborhood. Here's a link to the listing with pictures. I think this is the cleanest Drew's bedroom has ever been

We all know how hard it is to sell a house, especially now when all you hear when you turn on the radio or TV is gloom and doom about money. But it really is a nice house, in a convenient location to UAB, and they have some wonderful neighbors. Despite the economy, it would be a great investment. Please pass this along to anyone you think may be looking.

In baby news, and speaking of Drew, Anna June has a very serious look she gives where she looks JUST LIKE Drew. The poor thing is so serious, and sometimes she'll look to both sides as if to say, "What are you talking about? Did you just tell me no? I don't THINK SO." I end up trying not to laugh because it is just so funny to me. Genes are very powerful, ladies and gentlemen.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Eat More BBQ

Photo is of Granddaddy Jerry, before the restaurant officially opened; by Aunt Connie.

According to the Internet, it takes around 15 minutes to get from my house to Rusty's BBQ in the heart of Leeds, Alabama. It is less than 15 miles. You know you have driven farther than that for a good dinner. Please take the time sometime soon to go and check it out. Even if you have been before, go back. I promise it gets better every day.

Rusty made a few changes to the menu from the first few days. He's no longer offering chili and hot dogs each day, but they may make an appearance as a daily special. I am hoping for chili when the weather is cold. And so are my co-workers. They're still talking about a chili luncheon Rusty catered like 5 years ago.

They've changed the grilled cheese to be on white bread instead of hamburger buns (although, Tara, I'm sure you could request it on a bun since you like that better!) And they've started offering two kinds of baked beans: spicy and sweet. And the desserts rotate. Every one I have had has been good.

Over the weekend, I had a pork plate. It was excellent, if I do say so. I had potato salad and onion rings with the juicy, tender pork covered in just the right amount of sauce. It was too much food! My mother-in-law had the ribs. Ben had the chicken fingers. Anna June had a bit of everything, including the white bread. For dessert, we had banana pudding and peanut butter pie. They were fantastic.

So make plans this weekend to go see the Bass Pro Shops, but keep driving and get something good to eat first. You won't regret it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Doctor Report

Anna June went to the doctor for her 12-month checkup.
Here are her stats:
Height - 31 1/4 inches. (>97th percentile) She is 10 inches taller than she was a year ago.
Weight - 20 pounds, 3 ounces (50-75th percentile)
Head Circumference - 18 (75-95th percentile) This explains why she's outgrowing hats.

The doctor detected a bit of swelling where her molars will come in. Great! More teeth! He said that most kids her age only have an average of 6 teeth, and she has 8.

She got two shots and had her blood drawn. She screamed while she got her shots but was actually sort of interested in her finger getting pricked. She was really good. She cried when I put her back in the stroller, though.

Hopefully, we won't have to go back until her 15-month checkup.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Swings Part 2

Here's a few more seconds of AJ on the swings on Sunday with Granny Annie.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Movie Star

Here's a 30 second clip of Anna June on the swings this weekend. I hope you have as much fun today as she did.

AJ on the swings from Ben Gallitz on Vimeo.

One Year Old!

While Granny Annie is in town, we had Anna June's 1 year old portraits made at Sears. We thought we'd take advantage of this last month while they're open in the neighborhood. Above is one of the collages they made from the session. I hope to upload the rest to Picasa soon. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Birthday Madness

Here is a link to the pictures that Aunt Connie took at Anna June's birthday brunch. It was a lovely party. Thanks to everyone who attended and to Nana and Granddaddy for doing all the cooking.  More pictures to follow as everyone else who took them sends them to me. 

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Letter to Our Daughter

Dear Anna June,

Every parent says it, but it really is true - it is so hard to believe that this year has gone so fast. Today you turned one year old. You have gone from a tiny, helpless baby to a toddling little girl who likes to learn to do things herself. You play with toys, you dance to music, you walk, you laugh, you feed yourself finger food. You have a wonderful personality. Everywhere we go, people always comment...you're so beautiful, your hair is so curly, you're so smart, you're so big, you have such a sweet disposition, you're so well-behaved. Some of these things we have had nothing to do with, but you make your Daddy and me so proud.

A year ago, your Daddy had never changed a diaper or really been around babies before. Now, he has changed lots of your diapers! (But don't let him fool you - even though he changed your first one, I have changed many, many more than he has.)

A year ago, you were having trouble being born, so the doctors had to perform surgery on Mommy. Now, both Mommy and Daddy feel so awful whenever they hear someone had to have a C-section. It was hard to go through and hard to recover from. But we did.

A year ago, we were trying to remember what the nurses said about cleaning around your umbilical cord stump. Now, you've discovered your belly button and point to it when you're in the bathtub.

A year ago, a whole bunch of our family members and friends came up to the hospital to see you the minute you were introduced. Now, a whole bunch of our family members and friends came to Nana's house for your first birthday party.

A year ago, it snowed the day after you were born. Now, it snowed a few days before your birthday. This time, better snow, and Mommy actually got to go see it.

A year ago, we were wondering if we would ever get to sleep for more than two hours at once. Now, sometimes, you sleep all night long.

A year ago, we were hoping Radar would like you. Now, he watches your every move and loves it when you throw him your dinner from your highchair.

A year ago, we were wondering how our lives would change. Now, we can't remember what life was like before you.

We love you so much.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Granny is Coming!

Ben's mom, aka Anna June's Granny Annie, is coming to Birmingham today! I am so excited! We've been telling AJ about it and she smiles because we're excited, but I don't think she'll get it until she's here. With someone to watch the baby in-house, maybe I can finally make time to take care of Ben, whose bad cold has just gotten worse. And I can get ready for the big day tomorrow!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thank You Note

At daycare this morning, I had a couple of formula coupons for a brand we don't use and I thought I'd offer them to the moms and dads of the baby classes, as AJ is graduating from formula this weekend. So I walked down the hall and said hi to a couple of AJ's old teachers. I told them she'd be a year old in a couple of days, and we all remarked on how quickly the time has flown.

Miss Ann complimented me on my makeup this morning - because she was used to seeing me look like a drowned rat each day. Anna June slept 11 STRAIGHT HOURS last night. This is a miracle, and certainly something she never did when she was in Creepers. She didn't even have a bad dream - she just slept on through. It's much easier to look good when one is not up several times a night.

It was funny she commented on how my face looked, because in a matter of moments, I was in the car and at the first notes of Natalie Merchant's song, "Kind and Generous" I was in tears with all of that nice mascara streaming down my face. I had been reflecting on how this year has passed and I know for certain that Ben and I wouldn't be in as good of shape as we're in if it had not been for our parents. It really does take a village to raise a child. Our other family members and friends have been extremely helpful, and I could go on and on about them, too, but today I'm "dedicating" this song to both of our moms. (Even though Ben hates this song. And I just noticed that the "Na na nas" are sort of like "Nana" - what we call my mom. But if I could rewrite it, it would also say "Granny, Granny")

Kind and Generous

You've been so kind and generous, I don't know how you keep on giving
For your kindness I'm in debt to you
For your selflessness, my admiration
For everything you've done, you know I'm bound, I'm bound to
thank you for it....

la la la la la la la la la ...........................

You've been so kind and generous, I don't know how you keep on giving
For your kindness I'm in debt to you
And I never could have come this far without you
For everything you've done, you know I'm bound, I'm bound to
thank you for it....

Na Na na na na na na na na na
na na na na na na na na na na

Oh, I want to thank you for so many gifts you gave with love and tenderness,
I wanna thank you
I want to thank you for your generosity, the love and the honesty that you gave me
I want to thank you, show my gratitude, my love and my respect for you,
I wanna thank you

Oh I want to thank you, thank you, thank you,
thank you, thank you, thank you...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


AJ is learning how to do some things we ask her...it is amazing to us how well she learns to respond. She knows the words even if she can't speak them yet.
So far she can:
wave bye-bye and hello
come here
gimme five
blow a kiss
clap her hands - last night we were singing "If You're Happy and You Know It" and she clapped her hands!
And we're working on "this many" (holding up one finger) as a response to the question, "How old are you?" Maybe we can get it by Saturday.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Anna June's mommy is sick. I was up most of the night with the stomach virus that AJ had on Thursday...just when I thought we were in the clear. Ben was the best...he was so good to sit up with me and get AJ back to sleep a couple of times. The poor guy isn't feeling great himself, but he rose to the occasion, even getting AJ ready and taking her to daycare this morning. I am so lucky. But so sick. I'm feeling a tad better - I made it to saltines and the couch from Gatorade in the bed. Knowing that "it's going around" doesn't help. I hope that I didn't expose any of you to this. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

There's an episode of The Simpsons* where the town splits into factions of people with kids vs. people without kids. An issue is going to referendum and the kids go into force hugging the non-kid citizens just before they go into the voting booths. The kids and their germs instantly make the people sick and they never get to vote, which makes the bill pass. I can see that.

/ S15E08) Marge vs. Singles, Seniors, Childless Couples and Teens, and Gays

Monday, March 2, 2009

I didn't believe you

At some point yesterday, I took AJ into the den for Ben to watch her. I told them, "I'm going to the bathroom and I'll be right back." The next thing I know, I'm on the throne and in walks Anna June. Apparently she didn't believe that I was going to the bathroom and she decided to check out my story. Needless to say I guess I'll have to start closing the door a little tighter in the future.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Snow! Really!

Early this morning, it snowed. And snowed. Usually we get a few flakes or a dusting, but this was really for real powdery snow. I was so excited - and people kept calling - that I got up and actually made breakfast, and then I woke everyone else up to come eat with me. Then I got us all bundled to go outside. Ben, from Wisconsin, still doesn't see what all the fuss is about, but he got up and took pictures and video like a good sport anyway.

AJ, I think, liked it for the most part. She did have on the mittens that matched her fuzzy poodle hat but after she took them off I couldn't get them back on. So I tried the larger red mittens, but they were too big and fell off in the snow. We were outside for maybe 10 minutes, probably less. She didn't have snow-appropriate shoes on. But that's ok. How often does this happen here?

Church was canceled. The restaurant was open.

Unfortunately, it is already melting. We won't be snowed in tomorrow. Rats.

She's getting up from her nap now and will want lunch. Have a great rest of the weekend.