Monday, August 31, 2009

Choking Hazards

Because Anna June has so many, many teeth, I have gone against published recommendations and allowed her to have several things considered choking hazards. You will be glad to know that I watch her like a hawk while she is eating them. But the main reason is that Anna June's favorite food is whatever someone else is eating. I am truly thankful she is not picky, but I wanted to be able to eat certain things in her presence again. So now, she has had:

hot dogs (cut up into non-round shapes with ketchup)
raisins, dried cherries and dried pineapple (one piece at a time)
popcorn (also one piece at a time)
blueberries
buns with seeds (but not often)
chips with sharp corners

and probably some other dangerous things. She's fine. I promise.

She also thinks she can drink from a straw, from a bottle and from a can, even though we have to assist her. As my friend Laura pointed out on Saturday, I have no idea what moms did before sippy cups.

However, speaking of choking, I choked while drinking water at Rusty's BBQ on Saturday night, because Anna June decided to demonstrate her abilities at "Ring Around the Rosie" in the middle of the dining room. It was hilarious, I laughed, and water went right up my nose. It took way too long to regain my breath. Scary! Better me than her!

As for "Ring Around the Rosie", on Saturday morning, quite early, Anna June was on our bed and she either fell or flopped down on the mattress and said very dramatically, "Down!" She stood up and said, "ashes, ashes!" While others witnessing the scene may not have made the connection, I immediately asked, "Anna June, do you know Ring Around the Rosie?" She nodded. I started singing it and she said "Ashes, ashes" and "down" right along with me, falling back down on cue. We showed this off to her grandparents on Saturday morning and to Beth and Rusty on Saturday night. So cute! But then, Anna June's daddy had to point out the origin of this game, which dates back to when the Plague was rampant and they burned bodies, hence the ashes. Gross! Actually, Wikipedia mentions this explanation but says that folklore scholars find it unlikely. So maybe it is not so bad after all.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Guilt Trip






While Anna June has adjusted fairly well to her new teachers now, with all the teething going on this week she has had a rough time at daycare. On Wednesday, when I went to pick her up, I was told she'd been calling for "Mama" all day, or at least all afternoon. My heart broke a little when I heard she had been going to get her bag and telling them bye-bye. On Thursday, I heard that she had been in a very lovable mood: giving hugs and kisses to all her friends and teachers all day. This morning, however, she was not happy. She clung to my leg and did not want to go in the classroom. She didn't want to eat her breakfast, even though she was hungry. She asked about 12 times for her best friend Sipsey, and I reassured her she would be there soon, but that didn't help much. I know she was fine as soon as I left, but I could still hear her sobbing when I left. Not the best sound I've ever heard! It makes me feel so awful that I have to work, but, honestly, I don't know very many women who don't these days.

The good news is that she slept much better last night. So I do feel better about that.

I'm posting a bunch more pictures from Liz and Patrick's shower earlier this month. This may not be all the ones featuring AJ that I haven't posted yet, but here are a bunch. I wanted to get those out of the way, so to speak, because there's another shower for Liz in the morning.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rerun

I feel like our night last night was a repeat of Sunday night: Anna June didn't sleep well at all. I checked her temperature and she is not running any kind of fever. She tossed, turned, cried out, needed to be held. I gave her some Tylenol, which helped. I hate to over-drug the poor child, but perhaps tonight I can give her the medicine BEFORE bedtime to alleviate her pain. I am convinced it is just teething. Those old molars take longer to come in and are bigger, scarier teeth. I hear other moms going through this right now with the same complaints, and I have gotten pointers on products and home remedies, some of which I may try. In the meantime, I will try to wake up a little more.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Yabba Dabba Do

Anna June has really been making progress in talking. She has learned more words now than I can count, and the ones she knows are being pronounced better and better each day. But something she's started doing recently is talking in nonsense. She'll say a word, and then speak some garbled words in perfect conversational inflection, and then, eventually say another recognizable word.

Example with Helen, our enormous baby doll, "Helen blah blah BLAH blah blah blah diaper."
So then I have to confirm. "Anna June, are you saying Helen needs a clean diaper?"
Nods yes.

Incidentally, when Helen needs a clean diaper, Anna June needs a clean diaper, too. When Helen wants a cracker, Anna June wants a cracker, etc.

So when she's saying something that sounds just like "yabba dabba doo" to you, just nod your head and smile like I do.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Passing on the Paci?

Anna June did great last week from Sunday to Thursday, not using her pacifier except at bedtime. But when Friday rolled around, she reverted to needing it almost constantly.

That is what makes me think that there is yet another tooth that must be on its way. That, the drooling, the runny nose, and the fact that she will not let me (or herself) brush her teeth. She's been pulling her hair and as I reported yesterday, she did not sleep well. However, last night she slept like a rock, and got up with no trouble at all this morning, leaving the pacifier in her crib.

Because she was toting it around more this weekend, she left one briefly in the den, only for Radar to find it and chew the handle off. And I think we must have left the other one at church. So Sunday on our run to the grocery store, I caved and bought two more. Ben and I had a serious conversation about it, which went something like this:

"I don't know if I want to get more or not."
"You're just going to make her quit cold turkey?"
"Should I?"
"I don't know."
"She's teething or something! She's done nothing but fuss all weekend. Is our sanity worth $3.69?"
"Yes."

Anna June, however, can more clearly say "passy". It was just "Pa-pa" but now it's a real word, which tells me she has to quit very soon!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sniffles

Anna June has a case of the sniffles. I don't know if the runny nose was caused by teething or if it is a cold, but either way, she did not sleep well. We decided that something was causing her pain in the middle of the night, so her daddy came to her rescue with some Tylenol, which seemed to help a lot.

We're going to wait another day before calling the doctor. She doesn't have a fever, so she's at daycare anyway. If we stayed home every time her nose ran, we'd never leave.

Other than this, we had a good weekend. We played at the park yesterday afternoon and had a good time doing the usual things: eating together, going to church, watching Sesame Street, and visiting the grandparents.

Have a good week.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Artwork






Here is a gallery of recent artwork. All but the last one was done at daycare. The last one was done at home with Aunt Connie's help.

Love You!

In between being very fussy at home and being very fussy at school, Anna June had a sweet moment with her father. Poor Ben was still in bed after having his sleep interrupted a hundred times this morning, including with Radar barking at 5:40 a.m. We went to tell him good bye and this is how it went.

"Night-night, Dada."
"Night-night, Anna June."
She started walking away and I bent down and gave him a kiss goodbye.
Anna June ran back and gave him a kiss, too.
"Aw. What a sweet girl. Have a good day! I love you!"
"Love you!"
Then she gave him one more kiss.
Then she gave him a hug.
Then she gave him one more kiss.
She took a few steps away and waved.
"Bye-bye, Dada."
"Bye-bye, Anna June."
"Bye."
"Bye."
(still waving)
"Bye-bye!"
"Bye-bye."

I can totally believe that the first time she said "Love you!" was to her daddy. She adores him. Last night she didn't want me to give her a bath, she wanted Daddy to do it. She wouldn't brush her teeth for me, but she would for him. She wouldn't go to sleep for me, but she would for him. Now I just have to get him to always feed her, change her, and take her places and I'll be able to take a vacation. They wouldn't even miss me!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sweetheart

Ben and I both went to drop Anna June off at daycare this morning. When it was time to say goodbye, she went over and gave Ben a big hug and a kiss. She has finally started actually kissing people with a smack instead of just either putting her face up to someone else's face or just turning to present herself to receive a kiss.

After she kissed Ben, she ran over and kissed me. I was still talking to her teacher, so she ran over and kissed Ben again. Then she came back and kissed me.

If it hadn't been that we were on our knees or in some uncomfortable squatting position, we could have done that all day. It was so sweet.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Happy Anniversary Grandma and Granddaddy!


Yesterday was my grandparents' 57th wedding anniversary. To celebrate, Uncle Tim and Aunt Connie had us over for dinner. Even though we brought some toys for her, Anna June's favorite entertainment was shoes, as you may have guessed.

AJ got her shoes off and wanted to wear her daddy's shoes. He graciously helped her into them and then watched to make sure she didn't fall.

Also, you may be able to see in the pictures, but AJ came home from day care with her hair in 3 little pigtails. I liked the two on the top, and then I saw the one in the back. It grew on me pretty fast though. She is so cute. I guess her teachers thought her wild hair needed to be tamed. I was most impressed that they stayed in.

This morning I asked Anna June if she wanted me to put the little ponytails in like Miss Jalissa did yesterday. The answer was an emphatic no. But at least we got a few photos to remember it by.

Photos by Connie Tucker.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Comprehension

Since the even before I was pregnant, I have read tons of parenting articles and books. Too many, in fact. I am about to give up the practice, except I keep finding encouraging nuggets of information in addition to the things I already know.

One thing several sources have mentioned is to keep talking to your toddler, even if you think she doesn't understand you. Talking to her will make her feel important, like she has some say in what is going on. Also, it will develop her vocabulary and comprehension.

Yesterday, Ben went to the doctor with a sore throat. Luckily, it is nothing serious, but since he had been feeling puny he wanted to make sure he was OK.

I was putting Anna June in the car after daycare, and sort of out of the blue she said, "Dada?" I said, "Well, Anna June, Daddy went to the doctor." "Doctor?" she repeated. "Yes," I said. "Daddy is sick." "Sick?" she asked. "Yes. Do you know what it means to be sick? It means you don't feel good." "Boo Boo?" she asked.

That stopped me dead in my tracks. I said, "Yes, like a boo boo. You don't feel good when you get a boo boo."

Then, when she got home, and I was asking how Ben felt, she asked him "Boo boo?"

So, either I'm doing something right or she's just a genius.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Weekend Update


I'm Anna June's Mommy and you're not.

Our top stories tonight (OUR TOP STORIES TONIGHT) involve what Anna June did this weekend.

Our recent pictures are posted here.

Anna June had an absolute blast at the McWane Science Center with her friend Sipsey and Sipsey's mom, Lauren. They have a section for small children called Just Mice Size. There's a climbing castle, complete with slide. AJ love, love, loved this part. I think she would have stayed in there all day. We visited the dinosaur room and other spaces with interesting activities. Even being so young, the girls had a lot of fun. Next year we're going to have to get a membership - it is close by and a good place to play when it is hot or raining. As she gets older, there are lots of interesting exhibits and real science she will learn. But for now, she was content splashing in the water and climbing up to go down the slide again. There were lots of interesting people there, too, but Anna June stayed close to her sweet friend. Neither of them wanted to be apart, even while they were having their diapers changed.

We spent the rest of the day doing the usual stuff - stopping by the antique store, having a snack, watching Sesame Street with Ben. My favorite thing of the afternoon was that Ben took AJ outside to play ball while I fixed a complicated dinner of grilled cheese and tomato soup. They had fun running and throwing the ball together. It may never happen again, but I felt just like June Cleaver when I stuck my head out the door and said, "It's time to wash up for supper!"

Sunday was also sort of routine - we went to church, where the highlight there was Anna June feeding Cheerios to her baby doll. Afterwards, AJ napped, and we did not, despite our best efforts. Radar was vexed by our neighbors with visiting relatives and real estate open houses. He definitely keeps us informed of the comings and goings on our street. After nap time, we went to the library and ran into AJ's new friend Alex, and went shopping.

Anna June's shoes have been the biggest topic of conversation all weekend. No matter which pair she is wearing, she is not happy with them on, and she is not happy with them off. She is pleased with her new ability to almost always be able to take them off, and occasionally, she can get them back on. But during church, at the library, and in the middle of Wal-Mart are not the times to demonstrate the new ability. It drives me crazy.

"Shoe. Shoe. Shoe. Shoe. Sock. Sock. Sock. Sock. Shoe. Shoe. Shoe. Shoe. Shoe. Sock. Sock. Sock"
This is our our weekend really went.

But the best part of yesterday was eating at my parents' house. We had lasagna at my request. I had been seriously craving it all week, and my dad makes the best anywhere. AJ liked it too. She went to bed way too late, but she had a good time taking not only her shoes off but everyone else's too. And taking them to my Mom's bedroom. And bringing them back. And taking off her shoes. And putting them back on. You get the idea.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Pretending

Anna June still spends a lot of time with grownups, but she's finally learning to do some kid stuff, like playing pretend. This morning when she was "helping" me put on my makeup, out of the blue she said "baby" and went looking for her doll. I got it out of her crib for her, and she gave her a kiss. (I've been working on this by kissing her dolls/stuffed animals good night and good morning.) I think she must have wanted the doll to put makeup on her, but I quickly steered her in another direction.

Anyway, she brought the baby doll along with us on the way to daycare. She kept saying something in the car about a cracker. I have to confess I have started keeping some wafer-thin rice cakes in the car ("crackers") which lets me give her something in the car when she's demanding to "eat eat".

"Anna June, do you want a cracker?"
"No."
"Does the baby want a cracker?"
(Nods yes.)
"Ok."

She "gave" the baby a cracker for a second and giggled with delight. Then she ate it herself and went back to demanding crackers all the way to school. But I think that the ability to pretend is coming along.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

17 months already

Someone asked how old Anna June is this weekend and I stopped myself while I was saying "16 months" - she turned 17 months on Friday. Wow! I can't believe it. Even though she's possibly the most documented child in history, I really wonder how we've made it so far and how she's doing so well.

The most recent developments are:
- She wears size 4 diapers now.
- She wears size 5 shoes, and she's very particular about which ones she wants to wear.
- She gets along with her classmates at "school".
- She is not a picky eater.
- At the grocery store last night, she named yogurt, milk, strawberries, bananas, and juice.

She also loves Popsicles. She doesn't know how to say it at all, but when she kept repeating a word over and over that I didn't understand this morning, she finally said "up" and I got her out of her high chair and she started banging on the freezer. "Oh, do you want a Popsicle?" I asked. She nodded yes. I told her she couldn't have one until tonight. She was displeased with that outcome.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Making a Splash





Anna June had fun in her butterfly swimming pool this weekend. She loves to splash!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Perspective

Our yard has always been out of control, but in a beautiful, natural way. Each year we have different types of flora and fauna that creep up. I saw our oriole back this weekend, and I was pretty excited. I also love these blue flowers that are in the back yard. I know that technically, they are weeds, but to Anna June and to me, they are pretty flowers. It is just a matter of perspective.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday

Overall, we had a great weekend. We went outside for a photo session yesterday morning, just because Anna June looked so lovely in her gingham seersucker dress, and Ben cut the grass. AJ is big on asserting her opinions these days. She wanted to wear her black shoes, not any of the white pairs that I had picked out for her. We must have changed shoes 4 times before this shot. Then, once we were outside, she really wanted Radar to come, too, so he did. Now the white parts of his fur are stained green from rolling around in the grass.

AJ got to spend time with her grandparents on Friday night while we went out, and she behaved pretty well while on our shopping excursions on Saturday and Sunday. She, of course, did not nap well at home but did sleep well at night. Progress is being made in potty training, although we've understandably suffered some mishaps.

AJ was good in church, although she kept pointing to my grandmother and saying "RanMa! RanMa!" Yes, Anna June, that is Grandma. Do you want to sit in her lap? "No."

We got in the inflatable swimming pool on Saturday and Sunday in the late afternoons. AJ liked it once I got in there, and she came in with me. But of course, then, there was not much room for her. And she didn't like that grass got in there, but I don't know how to avoid this, except putting it on the concrete, which I don't really want to do. She did better on Saturday, in her one-piece bathing suit featuring Minnie Mouse "MiMou" than Sunday in her bikini. The bikini, admittedly, is pretty much too small. So she tried to take it off. I helped her, rather than listen to her fuss any more. When Ben came out to find her in nothing but her swim diaper, he did not think it was very cute. He wouldn't photograph it or film her. But I am telling you, it was cute!

We wrapped up the evening by watching a rip-off of Baby Einstein from the "Baby Miracle Network" or something like that... a video of Jonah and the Whale. It held AJ's interest but it about killed us. Bring back Veggie Tales!

Hope you have a good week.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Saturday So Far

We're having a great day so far. Anna June and I have...
...spotted 3 kitty cats in our yard and our neighbors'
...blown bubbles outside after getting slathered with sunscreen and bug spray
...cleaned off the lawn chairs
...played ball with Radar indoors and taken him outside
and ...gone to lunch at Rusty's BBQ with my friend Leigh

She's napping. I'm not.

The other news of the morning is that, for some reason, Anna June has started calling me "Mommy" instead of "Mama". I don't know where that came from!

Friday, August 7, 2009

More picture stealing

Here is Anna June, just a few months ago in Milwaukee with Aunt Nonny. She has gotten so much bigger! It goes by so fast.

Today is the last day for Anna June's daycare teachers, who have found new jobs at another facility. I am so disappointed to lose them! The other parents and I are amazed that each afternoon when we go to pick them up, instead of finding a room full of banshee toddlers, they're all sitting around the table reading books! I know that these two ladies not only love their sweet June Bug, but they've taught her so much. The children will adjust to the new teachers, but it will take longer for the parents to do it!

Anna June has started trying to sing the ABC song. She sings "A B B... A B B!" You can absolutely tell what song she is singing. I am so proud. I must have looked strange to her as I was rocking her last night and we were singing together, because she started laughing. Those few minutes of laughter from both of us were a welcome relief from a stressful day. It also served as a reminder that she won't always be little. Soon she'll be able not just to tell me the ABCs but she'll recognize letters. She won't just pretend to read a book to me, she'll be able to actually do it. She won't just say "baby, shoe" but she'll be able to put the shoe on the baby doll all by herself.

In the meantime, I can just hope that, for starters, the new teachers are as successful at getting her to take 2.5 hour naps.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Regression

It could just be that we've been really busy this week, but Anna June has fallen out of her good sleeping pattern. For the past two nights, when she's been really tired, Ben is the only one who can get her to sleep. She woke up several times last night, but only once really required me to tell her to lie back down and go to sleep.

And the potty training thing - forget it. She has only sat on it for a maximum of two seconds at a time for the past couple of nights. I wasn't really expecting it to stick, but at least we've introduced the concept.

Hopefully next week will be calmer and she'll get back to her good habits.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Neighborhood Night Out

Tonight Anna June and I attended our neighborhood potluck dinner in celebrating National Night Out, sponsored by Neighborhood Watch. It was a great opportunity to meet more neighbors and catch up with those we already know. Many of them knew me as the lady who walks Radar, but it was great they could meet my human child, too. Most who know us were stunned by how big she's gotten. The two comments I got most often were "look at her curly hair!" and "What a pretty name!" I am so proud.

She behaved well, but I'm afraid I left my plate on the ground while running to catch her and walked off and left my Rubbermaid container of brownies that Ben fixed last night for the occasion. Hopefully we can be forgiven.

Photo by our sweet neighbor, David Allen. He emailed this to me straight from his phone while I stood there...instant gratification! So this is my post for tomorrow - work is still crazy. Have a good week!

Life of the Party

Untitled from Ben Gallitz on Vimeo.



Anna June had a great time Sunday night at the shower for Patrick and Liz. She entertained us all by going in and out of the door. We finally decided to get it on video after she started losing interest, but she'd go out on the porch and everyone would say "Hey!" and she'd come back in and we'd do the same. Cheap entertainment.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Weekend Top 10

I'm at work and I have a huge project going on but I wanted to take a minute to describe our weekend in 10 quick statements.

1. Anna June now says "more" instead of "mo" and "daddy" (sometimes) instead of "dada".
2. The first person she asks for every morning is Radar.
3. She was the center of attention at Patrick and Liz's "around the house" shower last night.
4. She fell asleep in the car at 7:20 and I stuck her straight in bed, shoes and all.
5. This backfired, as at 2:30 am, she was wide awake, asking for Radar.
6. I thought I had her back to sleep and she got up again at 3:15. I got her changed and back in bed.
7. Even with horrible sleeping schedules both days, AJ was in a decent mood all weekend.
8. AJ was good on our family outing to Wal-Mart. She got new socks and tried to eat the package.
9. We almost had lunch at Zaxby's yesterday but left when an employee's cussing offended us.
10. AJ was good in church and only managed to say "Uh oh" repeatedly during the (silent!) prayer.

Have a great week! We got great pictures and videos last night, which I'll try to get up this week.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Jackson and Isabel!


Saturday morning we woke up to rain. I was sure that doomed Jackson and Isabel's 3rd Birthday party to ruin, but I was wrong. By the time the party started, we were blessed with lots of HOT sunshine. It is August in Alabama, folks!

Anna June, as you can see from the pictures, didn't quite know what to make of the party. She hasn't seen the Moores since Christmas, even though I keep up with them daily online! There were lots of other kids in a new, hot environment.

I completely and totally forgot to put sunscreen on my fair baby. This was one reason of many we didn't stay too long. Now she is a little pink, but not burned. I feel terrible. Even if I had remembered to bring her sun hat, she wouldn't have worn it. As soon as she spotted the other kids with the party hats, she needed one. Or two.

Spiderman paid the birthday children a visit. AJ clung to me in near-terror. But she sort of warmed up to him a bit. It wasn't nearly as scary to her as Dora or the Chick-fil-A cow. Halloween will be interesting this year!

Mostly after the other kids were back interested in Spidey, Anna June got back on the playground equipment and enjoyed climbing up the stairs, going across the bridge and sliding down the hot slide. She wasn't in to the baby swing, probably because there were so many new screaming people around. She enjoyed trying everything out once. She wanted to get on the "big kid" equipment but I just couldn't let her do some of it.

With the cheese, chips and juice for party fare, I thought we could stave off AJ's lunchtime, but I was wrong. I had thought I planned ahead and filled her up with goldfish crackers, but she was too hungry.

So after we left, I thought I could take the "back way" and wind my way home. My plan worked great - AJ fell asleep after a couple of minutes in the car and I didn't even get lost! It was a lovely 15 minute drive. But as soon as we got home, she woke right up, asking for "Da-Da" who was out in the yard with the weed eater. I fed her and tried to settle her down for a nap, but was unsuccessful for OVER TWO HOURS! I was exhausted! But she seemed to be more or less back to normal after that.