Friday, May 29, 2009

Pacifier Blues

This morning when it was time to brush AJ's teeth, she wanted her pacifier back. I did not want her to have it. She cried. She screamed. A pacifier, of course, would have cured the screaming. This was, of course, completely my fault. I told her she could have it back if she let me brush her teeth. She did not, so I didn't give it to her.

I tried to be strong and deflect her attention. It didn't work. The tantrum continued until we were almost at daycare, when I finally turned on the radio and started singing along with whatever was on, ignoring her whimpering.

Anna June does not need a pacifier. She goes all day at daycare without it. I do know that it is a great comfort to her while she is teething, but based on our doctor visit earlier this week, that is going to continue for a long time to come.

So I have decided that the pacifier is only for bedtime. We will see if the parents can adapt to this change. It's really more my habit than hers. I get compliments all the time saying that she's such a happy child. Do you know why she's happy? She's sucking on a pacifier!

Maybe over this weekend we can do it. I'll try to use other things for the teething. I will need the support of the whole village in breaking this habit. If you see her with her passy (or I guess it should be spelled "paci") remind me that I am supposed to take it away from her. And then I will take it away and leave her with you.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Music, music, music

Last night, we had a great time just hanging out as a family and listening to music. I was in a good mood because Ben fixed dinner AND washed dishes. Ben was in a good mood because I bought his favorite beer. AJ was in a good mood because everyone else was in a good mood. Anna June absolutely loves music, of all kinds. She has the most precious smile any time that someone starts singing. She claps her hands and dances. If I dance, she will try to imitate my movements (God bless her). On the way to daycare, I sang "If you're happy and you know it clap your hands." And she did. So sweet.

On the theme of music, over the course of the day yesterday, I had several different people send me links via Facebook or email to different kinds of music. I wanted to share them here because they were all three so good.

The first one is an old couple playing the piano together in the lobby of the Mayo Clinic. Apparently, he is 90 years old and they've been married 62 years.

This one is a guy playing the ukulele. Pretty amazing.

This one is an international collaboration of very talented people singing "Stand By Me."

All three are awesome. And you will need Flash to view them.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bunny!

(A picture of Anna June snacking at home.)

On Monday night, Anna June and I went out in the backyard with Ben and Radar, and we saw a beautiful brown bunny rabbit hopping across the back of the yard. We all saw it, especially Radar. He ran toward him, excited, but thankfully, he didn't bark uncontrollably.

This morning, as AJ and I were leaving for daycare, the bunny was back again. I think she saw him, but she had just woken up and wasn't nearly as excited about this as I was. I read a lot of books to Anna June, and many of them are about animals, describing their attributes with cute illustrations. But here was a real, live bunny, actually hopping, with a fluffy cotton tail. It made me forget about the fact we were running late. I hope to get a picture of him one day.

The best part of the overgrowth of our yard is all the wildlife it attracts. Since we've lived there, we've seen too many species of birds to count, including at least two large barred owls that I've named Hootie and Athena. I am also pretty sure I saw an oriole this past week. We've seen a fox, the rabbit, a turtle, snakes (but don't remind Ben!), and plenty of chipmunks, squirrels, cats, and dogs. We've also seen a wild turkey down the street. We hear there are coyotes in the neighborhood, too, but I am hoping not to run into one of them. And we've seen more varieties of bugs than should be possible. I love having all this in the city limits, but changes are happening right and left in our neighborhood, and one day, we'll probably have to move. I am not looking forward to it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pictures!


I wish I could say that I was posting pictures from our Memorial Day weekend adventures. But the truth is that I didn't even bring my camera along to our big family gathering yesterday. There may be a picture on Ben's phone from the library on Sunday, but AJ sort of went downhill from that point. By Sunday night, she was running a fever, which explains her erratic behavior. I honestly think it is more teeth. I have been told by friends it seems that teething never ends, and now I believe them. Her fever went over 100 yesterday, so she's resting at her Nana's house today. We're contemplating a doctor visit, since Anna June has had fever for the past three Sundays. My dad says she just doesn't want to go to church.

But I did get another batch of pictures up on Picasa. Here is the link. They are from our trip to Milwaukee and some from Mother's Day, so April and May. Other people took pictures in Milwaukee and I will have to see about getting them added to the album if I get time. Ha!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Pressing My Luck

Anna June has started throwing tantrums. This morning was bad. When it was almost time for us to go to church, I think Ben's exact words were, "Just go!" Ben didn't sleep well because Anna June kept kicking us - she wouldn't even go to sleep in her own bed, which is very unusual. It's not unusual for her to get up in the middle of the night and end up with us, but it was very strange for her to start out there. Back to the tantrums - that's why she wasn't in her bed in the first place - she was mad. And screaming.

I have read the articles that say to ignore the tantrums. If there's no effect, the child will stop. But she's my little baby and all I want to do in the whole wide world is to make her stop screaming!

At lunch today, I wanted a milkshake. I got vanilla so AJ could have some (I didn't want her hyped up on jamocha or chocolate.) I gave her a sip. Then another. Then another. Then I said, no, I wanted some now. She screamed. We left. She screamed in the car. I handed her the milkshake. Ben complained that was going to make it worse, but she ended up being fine.

We dropped Ben off at the library, so we went by the antique auction and then came home. After making some quick phone calls, I put some sunscreen on AJ. Yes, it has finally stopped raining in Birmingham, for now. We got our hats on, got the dog, and went to the park for a walk. We only got one lap around the track before the screaming started. This time, though, I had NO IDEA what the tantrum was about. All I knew is that it was a long way to the car with her screaming. Luckily, no one was really around to watch! And Radar is used to it.

I still don't know if it was because she was tired or if sunscreen ran into her eyes when she was sweating, or she was bored, thirsty, or hungry. I did know, going in, that I was pressing my luck because she was probably due for a nap this evening, and we had already been so many places. But I think Radar is grateful for the lap and I'm glad I tried.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Taking it Easy

Anna June had a great night last night with her grandparents and Uncle Drew. They watched baseball, played with the dogs, and had a great time. Ben and I went out thinking we'd go to a concert, but it was sold out. It was just as well. It began at 9 pm and we had been debating about whether we could deal with a standing room only crowd so late at night. I know, we're much too young to feel so old, but it has been a rough week.

Today Anna June and I were blowing bubbles in the backyard before it began to rain. She learned how to say "bubbles"! And she said it over and over. Later this afternoon, she said it for my mom. I was so proud. What I was just as impressed with, though, is that she was actually able to blow a few bubbles. So many kids can't do this so young. She certainly didn't get 100%, but she did great! I blew bubbles until I was dizzy. It was fun.

We plan on taking it easy this Memorial Day weekend. We hope you do the same.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Boo Boo Note

Anna June has had many boo boos since learning how to walk. But yesterday she got one that required documentation.

She tripped at school and busted her lip. She cried for a second, and then got distracted because it was time to change her diaper. She was fine.

Today, it looks awful. I think I irritated it when I was wiping her down after breakfast. But it will heal, just like the place on her chin from hitting the toy box at home, and the other bumps and bruises that come with learning to walk and run.

But I posted the boo boo form because I am actually sort of impressed with this procedure. AJ has not had any injuries at daycare so far, thankfully, so this is our first experience. I'm sure it is a requirement from DHR, but it is good to know that a parent won't get home and look at the kid and have to ask, "What happened to you? Did someone beat you up?" because it is all right there in black and white. And kept on file.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

AJ's Favorite Band

When AJ was very tiny, Nonny gave her a CD called Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of Coldplay. This group of musicians has taken Coldplay's songs and reinterpreted them as lullabies, using, among other instruments you wouldn't consider, a xylophone. I was skeptical at first. In fact, I didn't even like Coldplay. I thought they were a bunch of British posers who wouldn't know rock n roll if it took the lift up to their flat.

Sometimes, when Anna June is tired of my singing, or if she just won't go to sleep, I play the CD. It almost always works. And really, the Rockabye Baby! CD is not bad. These guys are actually pretty talented musicians. There's a whole series. We've checked out the Led Zeppelin and Eagles versions from the library, although I didn't like those as much. I think it is because I love the originals and it was hard to take the new versions.

The bad part is, I've listened to the Coldplay Rockabye Baby! CD so many times that I know which song comes next, even though I don't know their names.

I saw Coldplay on Austin City Limits several months ago, and my mind started to change a little. In fact, when the show was on, AJ was even kind of into it, if I recall correctly.

This morning, our radio station was playing their song "Yellow," which is one of the ones on her CD. Even though this was the "real" version, AJ seemed to like it. She was nodding her head along and smiling, which is as close to dancing as one can get strapped in a car seat.

Every time we hear their songs, we tell Anna June, "Oh, it's your favorite band!" They actually came to town for a concert this week, and although I wouldn't take a 14-month old to a big rock show, I did wonder if she would have asked to go if she were older.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Miss Manners

Anna June's vocabulary continues to expand. This week she's trying to say "thank you". It is so cute. When you hand her something, she'll say "di-doo" or something similar. She knows when to say it, and the actually saying it is getting there. So cute.

Better than that, sometimes, when you tell her to put something back, she will. I think, in this picture, she had started to get a book off the shelf when I told her to put it back, and she did. Last night at my parents' house, she kept getting tomatoes and other things from the cabinet and putting them back. Adorable. Now we just have to get her to put everything at our house back. It looks like a tornado struck.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Back in the Saddle

Anna June on rocking horse from Ben Gallitz on Vimeo.



When Anna June's Grandpa sent her a rocking horse for her birthday, she was very excited. But after that, we couldn't get her to get back on the horse. She was scared of it. It has two buttons which cause it to make noise - one neighs and the other makes a clip clop galloping sound. It is really a cool toy. We think the noise is what scared her, but even with it turned off, she'd run away when we tried to play with it, and cry when we tried to put her on it.

I've been letting her dolls ride the horse to get her used to the idea. She thought that was funny.

Suddenly, last week, she decided she wanted to get on it. I had Ben run to get the camera. This video is 3 little clips strung together (we're advancing!) although the first part is a little blurry.

Enjoy!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sick Day at the Spa

On Saturday and then again on Sunday, AJ ran a slight fever, I am guessing due to teething. So we stayed home all day on Sunday to rest. I can tell she wasn't feeling well, because she watched an entire episode of The Simpsons with us, mostly in my lap. I think this is a first for her. She usually doesn't care for television of any sort.

Anyway, on Sunday, we spent a lot of time in her room. Anna June loves to open the drawers in her changing table, and taking things out. At this point, mostly what I have in there is grooming supplies. Her new favorite thing is lotion. I put at least 3 different kinds of lotion on her over the course of the day. She got very angry when I refused to open a new bottle. We also cleaned her ears, brushed her hair and trimmed her nails, based on her "requests" by bringing me things from her drawers. It is only a matter of time before she's asking me for nail polish and exfoliating seaweed wrap treatments. In the meantime, I think I'll relocate some of her many toys to the drawers and move the lotions and q-tips to the bathroom...

The picture above is Anna June with my cousin Mary. She and her parents and boyfriend came down from Decatur to eat at Rusty's BBQ and spend the rainy Saturday in Birmingham. A good time was had by all.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Death of a Bunny


I realize this may be a bit immature, but I still name my stuffed animals. And because Anna June can't do it yet, I name her stuffed animals for her. But I'm running low on creativity, so I've started naming her dolls and animals after the people who gave them to her. Many of you are probably represented in the pile of bunnies seen here.

Lois the bunny (April 2009-May 2009) died this morning after a valiant fight with Radar the dog. Radar mistook her for one of his toys, after being severely distraught from a thunderstorm. Lois was born in China, and came to the Gallitz house from Ms. Lois, AJ's teacher back during Easter, who received her from the Eastwood dollar Tree. She is survived by a host of other stuffed animals, including her special friend Judy the fuzzy pink bunny.

She will be missed, but probably not by Anna June, who didn't see me clean up the carcass, and has so many toys she doesn't know what to do.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Ten

I wondered why Anna June was not sleeping from 1:30-3:00 am on Thursday morning. Last night I found the answer - the 10th tooth has erupted. Just barely. She's still chewing on everything, including dirt and rocks, to try to get some relief.

She woke up in a good mood this morning, showing us and telling us where her nose is. "Nose," she said. She showed Ben and me where our noses were, too. She can also point out her mouth, and we're very close on ears and eyes. She has belly button down pat.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pictures, finally


These are some of the pictures that I have finally made available on Picasa. Click here for the ones from the Easter Egg Hunt at my church.

Click here for ones later that same day at Avondale Park. These are pretty bird heavy. I really like birds. And these particular birds are very interesting to me.

Click here for the rest of the April-May pictures I've uploaded so far. These include Easter. Sorry, but I haven't gotten to our Milwaukee trip or Mother's day yet.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Streak

Last night at my parents' house, we were watching the Braves play the Mets on television. Play was interrupted by a streaker who ran across the field.

Although of course the cameras didn't show the streaker, Anna June must have heard us talking about it.

When I went to give her a bath, I undressed her right in the bathroom for convenience's sake. As I was tossing her diaper in the trashcan, Anna June took the opportunity to run naked out of the bathroom and down the hall before I caught her. It was hard to run when I was laughing so hard.

Now I know why, at our house, I undress her on the changing table in her room and carry her to the bathtub each night...I want to make sure she gets there!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Wearing Them Out

Anna June has gotten another hole in the bottom of another shoe. I was putting her shoes on her and my finger went right on through them.

She has been walking for about 4 months now. The soft-soled shoes, which, by the way, the experts recommend, are tearing up. I think that in the future we'll be switching to more substantial walking shoes.

Hey Grandparents (and certain aunts out there), this is NOT A REQUEST FOR SHOES. Please do not send more. Despite the fact that Anna June has destroyed 3 pairs of size 4 shoes, she's really close to being in size 5, and we have those, too! Your generosity is unparalleled. Her shoe and sock drawer, even with 3 pairs gone, is quite full.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

This is a picture of AJ LAST Mother's Day. What a difference a year makes.

We had a lovely dinner with my family in honor of Mother's Day (at this great little BBQ place...you may have heard of it!). When we returned home, there was a message from my mother-in-law on our machine. Ben came in and he said, "Are you crying?" "Yes," I said. "Your mom thinks I'm a good mom!" Seriously, that's just about the best present I could have gotten, although I really love all the wonderful gifts I got.

In the morning, Ben had Anna June walk in our room and hand me a rose (he had removed the thorns)! He brought in the other 11 himself. He also had her "sign" a card for me. Ben gave me a beautiful "mommy" necklace with AJ's birthstone. He made us breakfast, and went and got lunch as well. He washed dishes, cleaned the bathroom, took me shopping for shoes, let me take a nap, and cut the grass this weekend. I couldn't have asked for more. It was all too much. And Liz and Patrick gave me shower gel and lotion. It was a great day.

This week I also received a sweet email that is making the rounds. I usually don't pass along, but I sort of liked this one:

Before I was a Mom,
I never tripped over toys
or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not
my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.


Before I was a Mom,

I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind
and my thoughts.
I slept all night.


Before I was a Mom,

I never held down a screaming child
so doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night
watching a baby sleep.


Before I was a Mom,

I never held a sleeping baby just because
I didn't want to put her down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces
when I couldn't stop the hurt.

I never knew that something so small
could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.


Before I was a Mom,

I didn't know the feeling of
having my heart outside my body..
I didn't know how special it could feel
to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond
between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small
could make me feel so important and happy.


Before I was a Mom,

I had never gotten up in the middle of the night
every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth,
the joy,
the love,
the heartache,
the wonderment
or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much,
before I was a Mom.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Do you want to know why I love the Toddler Two class? They're starting to make crafts. Now, they did a little bit of this type thing in Transitions, but this is more advanced. And with glitter.

I was thinking about it, and I am horrible at all arts and crafts, and always will be. I have the ideas but not the execution. But all of Anna June's grandmothers and great grandmothers are very talented at various things. I hope that AJ has talent like them. Even if it involves paper plates and glitter.

Look at that sweet little hand print. I know I will get gifts this weekend but this is going to be the best one. Hands down. (ha ha!)

I don't know if I'll always keep this now-bent up gift from Anna June (I let her carry it out of school, and of course she crumpled it.), but I will certainly keep the electronic image. Thanks, internet!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Happy Girl

Anna June was a happy girl this morning, after an extended coughing fit from 5-5:30 am. She ate some breakfast and played with her dad while I got ready for work. Ben followed us to daycare so he could meet AJ's new teacher and see her new classroom. All the way to daycare AJ was laughing and making funny faces. Since the first day, she hasn't cried one bit when we left her at school. I think she's doing great in her new class, and so do the teachers and directors. If she's happy, we're happy, too.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Seriously?

Yesterday, at 1:58 pm, I got a call from our daycare they'd be closing at 2:30 due to the threat of severe weather. Earlier in the day, there were tornadoes in our county (but not necessarily close to our side of town). There was a second line of storms in Mississippi heading straight for us! Panic! So the minister of education told the director to go ahead and start calling the parents. I know it was a tough decision for them, and that they only had the safety of our babies in mind, but that is sure not enough notice! I quickly made 3 phone calls, emailed 7 people, revised my time sheet - which I had just submitted! and got there right at 2:30. Of course, they said, they wouldn't get everyone out by 2:30 or even 3:00. But they wanted to get as many people as they could out of harm's way.

I will have you know that it did not rain one drop after we got home. We played outside for a while. I guess I needed something to cheer me up since I wasn't getting paid for the afternoon. The line of storms broke up before it got here, and headed to the south of us, so we missed it altogether.

We're in for more rain today. Sigh.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Out and About

Do you want to know why I haven't uploaded pictures to Picasa lately? We're never home! It's the same reason everything in the house is dirty and the grass is tall. There's just no time. And when we are home, our time seems to be spent getting Anna June ready for bed, putting her to bed, comforting her when she wakes up from being asleep, or waking her up for school.

Last night was our family's Cinco de Mayo celebration at my parents' house, which happened to coincide with American Idol night. And tonight is dinner at church.

Weekends are no better. Right now it is springtime in Alabama, which is the absolute best time for outdoor activities...warm enough to play but not hot enough to melt. So we've had thing after thing lined up on our weekends. Sunday is Mother's Day, and I want to take AJ to an outdoor art show at Avondale park this Saturday, but I really should skip it to take the opportunity to just be at home. Who knows when the last time I cooked or cleaned anything was? The sad part is that when I do get some free time all I want to do is sleep.

I am really not complaining. Although it is difficult to drag a toddler around, Anna June is usually a very sociable child. She is interested in and likes people and their pets. For now, she is fairly well behaved and fun to be around. She always makes people smile. And if my relatives, especially, are happy, then I'm happy too.

This is a picture from one of our several activities this past Saturday, the Alpha Phi Alumnae meeting held at Rusty's BBQ. Since AJ was there, I was not very engaged in the meeting, I am sorry to say. I kept having to run out to change a diaper, chase AJ around the dining room, and check on things. Worst hostess ever. Photo by Beth on Carolynne's camera.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cinco de Mud-o

After tornadoes this weekend and more heavy rains yesterday, I think we're finally going to see the sun today. Of course, it will probably be too muddy for Anna June's class to go to the playground. But, luckily, our fantastic daycare has an indoor playground! According to AJ's teachers, she had a great time on the indoor playground yesterday with the other kids. She also took her first nap on a cot and slept for 1 hour 40 minutes. That's great! But she was still worn out when we got home and napped long enough for Ben and me to eat dinner in peace. Except for Radar, of course. He has a thing for fried chicken.

The only thing so far AJ has struggled with in her new class is sitting in a chair. She's never really done that before - she's just sat in highchairs or laps. But in her class there's a tiny table and tiny chairs just her size. It was new for her, but she was getting the hang of it. And no crying when I left today. The banana, juice and cheerios did their job.

Ben is on jury duty, and may be reading this via the wi-fi in the courthouse waiting room. Everyone say hi!

And our other big news is that Anna June participated in her first ever web cam call via Skype last night with her Auntie Nonny and Granny Annie. It was fun to get to see them and talk at the same time, although we'll probably upgrade the internet connection soon to get rid of the choppiness. Video conferencing for babies - who would have ever guessed that's how we'd be spending our evenings?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Chompers

While we were in Milwaukee, Anna June got her 9th tooth. I knew it was coming but I didn't know when. All her gums are swollen and I'm waiting for more soon.

I'm trying to get in the habit of brushing AJ's teeth twice a day with the special baby toothpaste. I have been doing it a while, and I'm doing great to do it once, but I really need to step it up. I have heard tales recently of friends' kids with multiple cavities in their baby teeth. I want to make sure we don't add to those stats. I was reminding myself of this just as AJ fell asleep immediately after eating (or at least chewing and spitting out) a piece of chocolate.

Anyway, each night when we brush her teeth, I sing to the tune of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat":

Brush, brush, brush your teeth
Every single day.
Then you'll still have all your teeth
When you are old and gray.

To my knowledge, I wrote these lyrics, but got the idea from the version of the tune we learned in Vacation Bible School called "Read, Read, Read The Word."

She was using all her big teeth to smile just before or just after this picture. But this face is just pure delight.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Splash!

Today at our church we had the All Creatures Great and Small community animal festival. Aunt Connie organized this special event again this year, and considering all the rain, there was an OK turnout. AJ and I got there when the rain let up, just in time for it to rain harder. We took Radar, and he had fun seeing all the other dogs, including the ones up for adoption from his former shelter. Anna June, however, had the most fun of anyone, because she got to stomp in a big rain puddle. Connie took lots of pictures of this at my request, and has already sent them to me. This was one of my favorites, because it shows the beautiful spring flowers and my adorable baby girl.

We then had a busy rest of the day, including a sorority alumnae meeting at Rusty's BBQ and a birthday party for my friend Anna. She's wiped out and so am I. Maybe we'll all sleep well tonight.

Friday, May 1, 2009

More from our trip

On Sunday night, Annie had a lot of her family over to visit us while we were in Milwaukee.This is a picture of Ben's cousin Erika's beautiful children, Scarlett (2) and Fiona (5) with Anna June in the middle. This was my first time (finally!) meeting these girls. Scarlett especially was so sweet to AJ. Erika had obviously prepared them for the visit. Scarlett came right in the house, straight to me (the lady with the baby in her lap) and handed me a gift bag. She was very excited to see another little girl. Each of the girls had brought Anna June a gift of bath toys, and together they got her an adorable doll with pink hair. Fiona wrapped the gifts herself.

Scarlett spent a lot of time showing AJ how to play with the toys Annie had gathered for the visit. And Anna June really liked playing with them.

I'm looking forward to future visits when they're older.