Thursday, April 30, 2009

Big News Day

Photo by Ben's cousin, Erika.

Yesterday was a big day for AJ. We got word from the daycare office that she will be moving up to a new class on Monday. This doesn't give Mommy and Daddy much time to prepare, but we know Anna June is ready. (Also, we're not really sure why, but she's moving into the Toddler Two class. That's right, she's skipping Toddler One. She is being double promoted!) To celebrate, we went to, you guessed it, Chick-fil-A, and AJ had her first juice box. She knew exactly what to do. Yeah, she's ready.

According to her teacher this morning, not only does Anna June now follow directions pretty well, but she also wants the other children to mind, too. The teacher asked a little boy in her class, Charlie, to come to her, and he didn't move. So AJ took his hand and tried to pull him. He still didn't want to come, so AJ took both of his hands and tried to drag him. Even if she stays the tall, leggy blond that she is now, I believe it will be evident that she's my child.

Lest you think she's 100% angel, on the way home, she was laughing. I looked in the rear view mirror only to see her with an upside down sippy cup (which I later discovered had no valve), pouring her milk all over herself. She was delighted at this mischief. I had to change her clothes when we got home. She was soaked!

Somewhere in there, I had my back turned to put something in the sink. In the time it takes for an adult to disassemble a sippy cup, Anna June got into my "childproof" cabinets, pulled out a pair of breakable candle holders and promptly threw one on the tile floor, breaking it in two. She is fast! At least they weren't too valuable (dollar or sentimental). But now I have to rethink where I keep things. Better yet, I should just get rid of everything she can destroy.

Last night was also one of her first forays into the bathroom alone. In Milwaukee, she went in solo and Ben found her splashing in the toilet. Guess which parent got to clean her up, though? Last night at our house, in I swear less than a second, she proudly was walking out with toilet paper...attached to the roll. She looked like she was ready to round up her friends to go TP a house! Luckily, she didn't get the whole thing.

But the best news of the past 24 hours is that AJ slept from 10-6 in her own bed, straight through except for a pacifier-flinging incident around 2 am. Everyone was happy, except Ben, whom I woke up by snoring. Sorry!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Back in Town

After an iffy flight delay and some rearranging by the kind folks at Northwest/Delta, we got back to Birmingham around 8:30 last night as planned. Ben recognized right away that an hour delay in our flight out of Milwaukee would not be good for AJ, so he had them take us to Cincinnati instead of Memphis, so we could connect with an on-time flight. It was great. We were the only people allowed to get on the Cincy plane as "standby".

AJ did fantastic flying. I liked it because I was able to interact with her better than if we had been in the car. And other passengers even commented on how good she was. She slept most of the way to Cincinnati and almost slept coming to Birmingham. I am so proud.

Now back to all the work that has been piling up since we've been gone...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ready for Takeoff

We're packing for this afternoon's flight back to Birmingham. On the way up here, AJ did great on her first airplane rides. She eventually slept on both legs of the trip. She also was very interested in the passenger next to us, and wanted to touch her and play with her, too.

It has been a fun trip. AJ experienced her first ice cream cone courtesy of her Grandpa, and drew her first picture with crayons thanks to her Granny.

We will be glad to get home and back into our normal routines, but we wil miss everyone here. And they will certainly miss Anna June.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Trip in Progress

We're in Milwaukee, and as you can see, Anna June is having a great time at her Granny's house. We've also been to visit Grandpa and Grammy today. Yesterday we had breakfast with AJ's great grandmother on her dad dad's side, and then dinner with her great grandmother on her dad's mother's side. There were also lots of aunts, uncles, cousins and friends there to visit our adorable little one. Right now she's enjoying some lasagna and green beans and I'm enjoying a break, hearing her laughing in the kitchen. It is amazing how a grandparent who doesn't see her very often can find the energy to make every activity exciting.

She's also enjoying playing with her Aunt Nonny's new puppy, Sweeney. He's having a good time eating everything she drops from the high chair.

More pictures and updates to come later.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Wile E. Coyote and The Road Runner


Anna June LOVES our dog, Radar. She likes to pet him, feed him, and hold his leash when we go outside. Radar loves Anna June, too, but he has his limits. Last night she was chasing him in a circle around and around the coffee table trying to give him a giant rawhide bone. Radar, of course, is spoiled, and generally likes to chew the giant rawhide bone, but he wants it to be an interactive activity: he wants the human to hold it still so he can get a better grip on it. AJ does not know how to be still, which is why he was running away from her and the bone instead of toward her like she wanted. It also probably didn't help that she has taken to pulling his tail.

AJ also tried to "help" me get Radar on his leash to go out last night. She picked it up and was "calling" him. I would say "Ra-dar!" and she'd try her best. It came out "re-smfp" or "da-domstp". It was some babbling baby language each time, but she mimicked my syllables and intonation perfectly. I also have taken to kicking my bed to make Radar come out of his clubhouse. Of course, she imitated that, too. It didn't help. Radar wasn't coming out for anyone. Just in case, Anna June peeked under the dust ruffle to see if she could see him. It was the cutest thing...why didn't I have the camera then?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Where Did She Get Those Curls?


If one more person asks me where Anna June's curls came from, I think I may cry. To be fair, Ben had some curly hair when he was a baby.

BUT I HAVE CURLY HAIR! Yes, I do. I really do. Sometimes I blow dry it so it is straight. Sometimes, it appears straighter on the top. But I would definitely not describe my hair as straight.

I knew that once you have a baby, you become invisible. Nothing is worse, though, than holding the baby in my arms and having someone admire her curls and asking their origin. Like I'm going to say, "Oh, they're from the milkman!" Look up from the baby, people: The mama is right there, curls and all.

Also, if you've ever met my dad or my brothers (especially Patrick), you know that their hair is curly, too.

So, if you must, admire Anna June's ringlets. They are precious. But, seriously, don't question her genes.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Footage

Here is a link to a clip of Anna June climbing in her infant-to-toddler rocker. I think we're supposed to remove the toy bar now, but it was helping her climb in. This was shot in February. I know I need to do better about keeping up-to-date. I will admit the video is not that interesting...but to her grandparents who live far away, it is priceless.

Anna June and her Rocking Chair from Ben Gallitz on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Monkey!

Anna June has learned to climb like a little monkey. She can climb up onto our ottoman and our sofa. Once, when I was sitting on the floor, she climbed on my legs and feet and made it all the way onto the coffee table. She, like all toddlers, has made it her personal mission to get into as many dangerous situations per day as possible.

Also, she has learned to scream. Not just scream because she's unhappy or in pain. Scream because she's excited, agitated, irritated, tired, happy, or just because she feels like it. That cute but quickly grating scream heard on playgrounds all over the world...she knows it now. Great!

Photo credit to Drew on Amanda's camera.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Lest You Think I Quit Blogging

We had a fun-filled but busy weekend. How busy? Too busy to sit at the computer and write blog entries!

Friday night AJ had fun with my mom and Liz. By the time Ben went to pick her up, Anna June had learned which dog was which. Now she can point at Hank, Jesse, or Maggie, respectively, when their names are called. Amazing.

Saturday AJ and I drug Ben out to the Galleria to go to another partial day of AWFC Convention fun, and then to my Grandma Hazel's house to fix her computer. Sunday we went to church, out to lunch, to the library and later, to dinner at my parents' house. So, lots of family togetherness this weekend. AJ had a wonderful time. I am worn out.

Meanwhile, we're making plans to visit Milwaukee this weekend thanks to a last minute fare sale. This will be better than traveling over the busy Memorial Day weekend as planned.

All of this amidst grant deadlines and a non-working computer this morning at work, plus still having only one car. Hopefully all will be resolved soon.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Busy Girl

Ben dropped AJ off at daycare this morning, which is all he'll get to see her until probably after she's asleep tonight. I'll be taking her straight to my parents' house after daycare where Liz is going to watch her while I attend the annual AFWC Convention in Hoover. Each year it rotates which district hosts, and since it is in ours I have no excuse for not attending. Plus, Lily Ledbetter is supposed to speak, and I am interested in hearing what she has to say about how being a Alabama club woman helped her fight for equal pay for women at the national level. I anticipate that I will leave the convention tonight much like I have the other times I attended: inspired to do more, but feeling guilty for all I didn't get done this year for the club/the federation. At least this year, having the coolest baby in the world, I have a legitimate excuse.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Better Video


Easter Egg Hunt 2 from Ben Gallitz on Vimeo.

A Short Video

video

This video is of an uninterested Anna June at the Easter Egg Hunt. I think there's a better clip later. Just wanted to share what I had.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Too...Tired..To...Blog


AJ took a 2 hour nap at daycare yesterday. But she was really tired when she got home. Really, really tired. By the time we made dinner, she was cranky. I skipped her bath and put her right to bed at 8 pm. In the history of my parenting mistakes, this ranks among the top ones.

At 11:30, she started fussing. Ben was still up working and went in to check on her. Then I went in. I got her back to sleep. Then, 10 minutes later, she was up again. And again. Finally at midnight we agreed to let her come in our bed so we could all get some rest. Unfortunately, Radar chose just that time to come in our room to look for a cozier place to sleep. His movements (shaking to get comfortable, moving the blanket around on the floor to just the right nest-like configuration) got Anna June excited. She sat right up in the bed and started waving to the doggy. It was cute, but seriously annoying. At that point, she was wide awake, and we were anything but.

We let her get down to play for about half an hour, hoping she'd wear herself out by taking the remotes in and out of the drawer, throwing everything she could on the floor, and walking back and forth between me on the couch, Ben in the chair, and Radar on the carpet. When a normal fall escalated into the worst boo-boo of the night according to the drama queen's falling down and screaming, I knew it was time to try to get back to sleep. For another half hour, I rocked her and sang to her. I tried repeatedly to get her in the crib, but no dice. After 1:00, we came back to our room, startling both Ben and Radar, sound asleep. Oh, no, I thought. Here we go again. If that dog wakes that baby up I'm sending him to live with my mother-in-law. Where it is cold. But she was fine, he was fine, Ben was fine after he got over thinking AJ had fallen off the bed...he must have been sleeping deeply, poor thing. I was fine after the baby quit pulling my hair so hard and I rolled into a position where my one good nostril could get some air.

Morning came too soon, especially since we're down to one car right now and had to leave a bit earlier than usual. Maybe tonight will be better.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Don't Feel Like It

I have a cold today and don't feel much like doing anything. But I did want to take the opportunity to let everyone know that Ben stepped up to the plate last night and let me go to bed early, getting AJ to bed by himself.

Anna June is not "sleep trained" and usually has to be held, rocked, sung to, read to, or driven to sleep. I don't know how he did it but she went down and stayed down last night. And the world didn't end because I didn't do it. There are lots of other things I didn't get done (pictures, dishes, laundry), but as long as she's OK, I'm OK.

I did get up with her at 2 am but that wouldn't have been possible if I hadn't slept. I really appreciate all those "little" things Ben does for AJ and me, although I don't give him enough credit.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter: The Day


We had a great Easter celebration. First, Anna June and I attended our church's sunrise service along with my parents, grandmother, Rusty and Beth. Then, she napped while I got ready for "big church", our morning worship service. Yes, I have already been asked why we go to church twice on Easter, and no, I don't really have an answer, except that a) The Sunrise Service is to commemorate the women going to the tomb early in the morning to find Jesus risen and b) if we're not at regular worship services, they send out a search party. Also c) there's so few people in our church that if the Tucker family missed a service the attendance would be down several percentage points and d) it's tradition!

So, AJ woke up from her nap just in time, we went to church for the second time while Ben cut the grass, and then we came home only for her to have a snack and take another nap. This was ideal, since I needed time to make broccoli salad, which is apparently my signature dish.

We woke AJ up to take her to Aunt Connie's house for lunch. We had a lot of fun with our family members from both sides of my family and a friend or two. AJ showed off her dress and the toys the Easter bunny brought her, including maracas, which were her favorite. AJ ate lunch by going around from person to person getting bites off of their plates. I was in the other room, but apparently it was hilarious. When I returned, I fixed a bowl of food for AJ, but she was already full.

Other highlights included watching the Masters on Uncle Tim's awesome TV, eating a lot of great food, and watching Anna June pet a cat for the first time. AJ loved going outside and climbing up and down the step to the porch over and over and over and over.

After lunch, AJ took ANOTHER nap! I had time to catch up on the phone and take Radar for a walk. Ben had time to do more yard work. It was great.

I do have pictures, but they're at home and I'm not. I hope to post them later.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Eve

We've had a fun day so far. I made orange rolls from a can for breakfast. AJ got icing all over everything but it was cute. After our naps, Ben went to work and AJ and I went to Rusty's BBQ for lunch to meet Patrick's future in-laws. We went by the antique shop for a few minutes and then home to play with the doggy and take another nap. (AJ, not me. I was boiling eggs to dye later.)

Anna June had the best time seeing friends and future extended family members at the restaurant. She ate her food and everyone else's. My pictures are duds but I may post them later anyway.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Dirty Clothes

Anna June, seen here with her friend Sipsey, loves to play outside. But now that she likes to play in the dirt, her clothes are getting REALLY dirty. And she's getting really dirty. She gets mad when I won't let her eat rocks. But the dirt on her face stays and stays. I was noticing last night in the bathtub that it is a lot harder to bathe her now that she's wiggly and dirty. When she was smaller and couldn't go anywhere, it terrified me to bathe her. But now it is scary because she tries to wriggle away from me while I scrub. And I do have to scrub.

But it is all worth it to know she likes playing outdoors. She smiles when the wind blows in her face. She is so good natured.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Peace


Anna June had only a one-hour nap at daycare yesterday, and went to bed a little after 8. She woke up at 9:45 or so, and I thought, oh, no, here we go again. But I got her right back to sleep and she slept ALL NIGHT! Hooray! She did get mad at me when I was about to send her to daycare and she saw me put her banana in her bag. She wanted that banana! Mind you, she had already had some of my biscuit, and some fruit bites, but apparently she knows she gets a banana every morning.

I apologize for always posting about her night, but if you don't have little kids at the moment you don't realize how much sleep affects the entire rest of your life.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What's Up?





Anna June had a much better night. We had dinner at my parents' house. We were promised baseball but ended up watching American Idol instead. AJ had a lot of fun, dancing, eating, and especially playing with Drew's friend Amanda and her Blackberry. Here are the two best pictures I took.

In other news, twice last night Anna June walked over to her changing stations (once at Mom's, once at home) and started reaching for the diapers. "Do you need your diaper changed?" I asked. And AJ nodded yes. She was right both times. Maybe, just maybe, we'll be able to potty train in a few months. I am so proud of our smart baby!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bad Night

I wish I could report something else, but Anna June had a bad night. She took one really long nap at daycare. She didn't eat much dinner...I believed her when she wanted to get down. She took her bath, listened to her story and went to sleep around 7:50. She woke up a couple of times over the next hour or so a bit fussy but I was able to get her back to sleep. Then around 9:30 she started SCREAMING. Non-stop! Nothing I could do would make her quit. I changed her out of the warm pajamas, changed her diaper, tried feeding her, tried juice and milk, rocking, singing, reading, Tylenol, letting her stand up by herself, laying her down, handing her to Ben, but nothing was working. So I did what any mature, responsible grownup would do: I called my mommy!

Mom came over in just a few minutes and after talking it out we decided she must have a tummy ache. We gave her gas drops and within a few minutes she was just fine. She got down and played. And played. And played. She loves playing with Radar and the poor doggy endured petting and tail pulling for way too long. I think even he was glad to do anything he could to get her to stop screaming.

She woke up several times screaming some more, but was just fine this morning. I hope whatever we did yesterday to make her so upset is never, ever repeated. Poor thing!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Brat in Training

Anna June has been fussier than normal this weekend, and I am blaming teething. When she's fussy, we'll do anything to calm her down. I know we're spoiling her and teaching her the wrong things, but I just can't help it. Please don't call that Nanny 911 show.

I shared my banana milkshake with her yesterday afternoon, thinking it would feel good on her gums. Needless to say, it was in her hair and I feel like I barely got any of it. (Like I needed it!)

Last night we were at my parents' house watching the Braves opening day game, which the Braves won! Anna June wasn't interested in eating her dinner, because she had eaten some bread before going over. And then there was the milkshake. But anyway, she got the fork away from me and dropped it on the ground. "Uh oh," I said. "Uh oh," Anna June said. Dad thought that was hilarious. He kept giving her the fork, only for her to throw it on the ground and say "Uh oh" with varying degrees of success. Then he fed her brownies. Between that and my letting her walk around and eat garlic bread, choosing between juice and milk (she always picks juice), eating Cheerios in church during communion, playing rough with the dog and get in his bowl, sleeping in our bed, and taking her pacifier whenever she pleases, she is headed straight to a lifetime of being a brat. Or fat. Or, worse, a fat brat.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

No No and Uh Oh

Anna June has been trying, unsuccessfully, to say "No" and "Uh Oh." Some times she'll say "nose" when she means "no" and vice versa. Sometimes she'll say "oh oh" or "uh uh" when she means "uh oh". She hears both "no" and "uh oh" a lot from me. "Uh oh" is the most kid-friendly thing I can think to say when she's spilled something, dropped something that I have to contort myself to retrieve, hurt herself or someone else, or I have done any of those things. I hope when she grows up she is less clumsy than I am.

We're working on the words. She will get them. Meanwhile, it was really cute when I told her to get out of the dog's bowls...I said "no" and she dropped the piece of dog food she was holding into the water bowl and pointed to her nose and said "Nose."

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Hunting for Eggs

Anna June had a great time at her first Easter Egg Hunt. Her friend Sipsey from daycare came. We had the best time hanging out with the Beck family on the church's lawn while the girls played with (and tried to eat!) acorns, sticks and rocks. The plastic eggs were not that exciting to them. They loved sitting and playing and walking around outside.

I walked AJ to an egg and she "found" it. She put it in her basket. We clapped. Another bigger girl found an egg and put it in AJ's basket. That was so sweet I almost cried. Then, another little girl came by and swiped the next egg we were going after. No matter to AJ. She touched one of her eggs in the basket and discovered the chocolate candy inside. She took the two foil wrapped chocolate eggs around and around with her. She cried when she dropped one. We kept walking her to eggs but she wasn't interested in putting down her candy long enough to pick them up. My mom took pity on her and put one or two more eggs in her basket.

I am ashamed to say I have already eaten all the candy, except the one piece AJ shared at church with her great grandma.

Ben took some good pictures, and Connie and Grandma Annette took some too. I hope to post them soon.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Sippy Cup Quest

Anna June is teething, perpetually. She has found that biting the tops of her soft-top sippy cups is fun. So fun, in fact, that she has ruined them. The little flaps that kept the milk dripping are gone and now it gushes. So this weekend we're out to get more, better, hard top sippy cups. I am taking brand name and store name recommendations from other mommies!

We have a lot to do this weekend, including the Easter Egg Hunt at church tomorrow. I am so excited! I need to check the camera to make sure I have both batteries and memory card...I'm notorious for forgetting one or the other, even though I have a camera bag to store both!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Rainy Day

Well, it isn't even raining yet but bad storms are predicted this afternoon. Anna June's daycare is closing early. Ben is going to pick her up. I think she'll be surprised and excited to see her daddy a bit early today!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Clown and a Cow

For some reason, Ronald McDonald visited daycare yesterday. Anna June cried so much that her teacher had to take her back to her classroom. Then, as chance would have it, we went to Tuesday Night Family Night at Chick-Fil-A, and the cow was there for a birthday party. AJ was fine eating her nuggets but cried every time she saw the cow. There was a guy making balloon animals, but his proximity to the cow kept us from getting one. We settled for a regular balloon and came home.