Friday, October 30, 2009
On the way to daycare this morning, we were practicing saying "Dorothy" and "Toto". "There's no place like home" was too much. She was very excited about the prospect of a party and ice cream.
I took some pictures of the other kids who were there when we got there (later than usual). There was already a ladybug, a monkey and Elmo there. I can't wait to see the others!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
I'm taking a break from the gorgeous Dorothy pictures that Ruth shot to bring you this picture of Anna June from our shopping trip late Sunday afternoon. We had been to Kohl's and PetSmart, and we ate at Moe's. After AJ got her nachos ALL OVER her dress, I decided to break out the spare outfit and clean her up, as we still needed to hit the grocery store. The sun was about to set, so we put her sunglasses ("glasses") and hat on her. I demanded that Ben take a picture.
The hat says "Future Packers Cheerleader". I hope that we can all cheer on the Packers this weekend as they play the Vikings.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Anna June had a better night, partly because she was exhausted and partly because she had a shorter nap at daycare. We're keeping an eye on the situation.
In other news, it appears that Anna June prefers anything in our house to what I am serving for dinner. We had (non-homemade) chicken pot pie for dinner. She wanted salad, pudding, yogurt, crackers, cookies, granola bars, and anything else to avoid eating the main course. At least she ate something!
She is also speaking more clearly, stringing words together and sometimes sentences. "I get it" is one of her favorites. Last night, she also said "Radar running", "sit down", "glasses off", and "stand up". Ben has also taught her to say "More cowbell" when she's playing a motion game on his iPhone that plays sounds, of which a cowbell is one of the best.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Ben and I both took turns lying down near her crib. Even that didn't really work. She was just wide awake. At one point she told me her teeth hurt and I gave her another dose of Motrin. No fever, not even a runny nose: she's not sick in any way that we could detect.
And I thought she was sure to sleep in after such a bad night. But she was up at 7:30, way too soon for the rest of us.
Ben is already at work and I am going after I get a shower. AJ is at daycare, but with instructions: if they figure out what's wrong with her, they need to call me!
Monday, October 26, 2009
I'm not sure what is up with Anna June right now. She woke me up 4 times between 3 and 4:30 am. Actually, I should say she got me up that many times. I wasn't asleep after the first time.
I didn't give her any Tylenol or Motrin to go to bed last night, which may have something to do with it. I don't want to have a baby druggie on my hands, so I was trying to stop the practice, although I know she's still in quite a bit of teething pain.
She needed to have a pacifier located the first time, then needed to be rocked, then needed to be changed (and I rocked her again for good measure), then the last time I just covered her up with her blanket and told her she had to go to sleep.
Over the weekend, we had lots of fun. On Saturday, we played with her friend Nathan while I dropped off some of AJ's outgrown clothes for his sister, Allison. We went to the park and walked Radar. We visited with Kym and Ken at Rusty's BBQ. On Sunday, we went to church. Then we went by the auction and went shopping for some shoes for Ben. The shoes we bought AJ last Sunday are much cuter, even though she's already managed to scuff up the toes a bit. While we were out, we went to an early dinner.
Because AJ was in the car so much, she was fussy. Every time I put her in her car seat, she waits about 5 seconds until I start the car and get moving and then she starts saying "Out! Out!" On the way to the antique shop on Saturday, she fussed the entire mile and a half (I know, I have nothing to complain about). Finally, I said, "Anna June, you have to stop fussing or your Granddaddy will say you are a fussy baby. You don't want to be known as a fussy baby, do you?" She started laughing! Laughed the whole rest of the trip.
On Sunday, I also made a critical mistake - I forgot her milk. She realized this after she ate a fantastic homemade brownie that Mom's friends had given her for her birthday. I also wanted milk, but we were in the car on the way to Trussville. I didn't start crying like she did, louder and louder, "Milk! Milk! Milk! MILK!" When we got to the shopping center, I distracted her by going to look at kitties and doggies at PetSmart, but I talked Ben in to eating the early dinner, because I couldn't stand the 8 or 10 miles home with the hollering again. He agreed. Unfortunately, we picked Moe's, and they do not serve milk. She was OK with Sprite instead, but we both would have preferred she drink milk.
Which is probably why I let her have so much milk when we got home. Which is probably why she couldn't sleep. So maybe we'll just stay home for the rest of the week.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
And, as with the movie The Wizard of Oz, we go now from black and white to color with our beautiful Dorothy.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
I had hoped to show you Anna June's professionally made Halloween pictures on Halloween, but I cannot wait any longer. I will probably post one a day until next week. Close relatives, let me know which of these you would like printed and what sizes. As you may recall, our awesome photographer is Ruth Kennedy. I think she's really talented. But then again, she had a fantastic subject.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Anyway, the folks at Stride Rite were very nice and knowledgeable, just as I had hoped. However, the next time we need shoes, we're going on a weekday morning. All of a sudden on Sunday afternoon, that tiny store filled up with babies, mamas, daddies and huge strollers. We were all getting claustrophobia. I saw several folks just leave...it was too crowded!
But we'd come too far to turn back. So we ended up with some very nice black Velcro Mary Jane shoes, which appear to go with everything. AJ now wears a 6 1/2 Wide. We tried the size 7s, as they advise going up a half size, but they were far too long and would have rubbed. The regular 6.5s were too little for her tall feet. I feel just terrible now about having shoved her little piggies into 5 1/2s all summer and fall.
I am also sorry for Anna June that these are just "plain Janes". She loves her shoes with flowers, her sandals, her faux Crocs and Uggs, anything with sparkles and even her jellies. But these will be fine for school and church. So far she has worn them every day with few complaints.
But the best part of our trip to the Galleria was riding on the carousel. Once I let AJ see it, and that the other children were riding it, she couldn't wait to get on. As soon as we actually got on, though, she would have nothing to do with sitting on the animals. She screamed. I guess they were scary up close. So, luckily, for instances such as this, there is a bench. I made her sit beside me, and she stopped crying. She had fun waving at her dad and going around and around. Then, you guessed it, she had a fit when it was time to get off. Here are 7 seconds of video.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Some days, Anna June is both the first kid to arrive at daycare and the last to leave. This breaks my heart, but it is a necessary thing. Someone has to be first and last.
To keep her occupied, her teachers sometimes let her color a picture when she's all alone. The dog is from Monday Oct. 19, and Big Bird is from the week before. As you can tell from the Big Bird picture, the best way to get AJ to color is to color with her. On the dog picture, one of her sweet teachers drew her a picture to color.
After she brought Big Bird home, she colored it more with my pencil. This picture is on its way to AJ's Granny, as it already said "To Granny Bird". The dog picture is hanging on the door in my office.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Here are some pictures from the last month or two. I hope you enjoy them!
This particular picture was taken at Forest Park in September when Gary and Pam were in town.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Even though Anna June's granddaddy wasn't happy about my pleas for votes for my cousin's dog, I am going to enter a plea to vote for him.
Crestwood Antiques has made the list of finalists for best antique shop in the Birmingham News' online poll. Go here to vote.
Besides loving clothes in general, Anna June loves her pajamas. I started out calling them pajamas, but she started calling them "jammies" right away. I don't know if she learned that from somewhere else or if it really is a natural abbreviation.
I may have mentioned this before, but all last week the theme at our house was that Anna June didn't want to wear her school clothes - she wanted to wear her jammies.
This continued this morning. I told her that her pretty pink outfit was sort of like her pink jammies, and that she could wear her jammies again tonight.
All spring and summer (and possibly before that) I let her sleep in a "onesie" (bodysuit) because it is just easier for me. But now that she's getting so big, they don't make onesies in her size. Plus, it is cool enough to wear the jammies with feet at the moment. I am sure it will get warmer later in the week.
But she thinks that jammies are special. She was tickled on Saturday and Sunday when I let her stay in them through breakfast. Mondays are harsh on everyone, I told her. I also wished to stay in my jammies all day.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Played "night night" where AJ pretends to sleep and wake up
Baked cinnamon rolls, complete with wearing aprons
Swept the floor with the toy broom
Watched a Sesame Street video
Struggled over what to wear - so far ruby slippers are winning out with the purple dress
Struggled over hair combing - and currently Mommy is winning with a purple hair bow in
Fought over tooth brushing - AJ 1, Mommy 0
Packed diaper bag for church.
Just another day in paradise.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
If you read this blog, you know I almost never promote others' causes. I am here to report about our family, mostly Anna June.
But since the email begging for votes came from my mom's cousin Ginger and began with "give Anna June a kiss for me," how could I refuse? This is for an animal charity, and you know how much AJ loves animals!
She has entered her dog, CJ, into a "Cutest Dog" online competition. The contest, which has run for several weeks, is almost over. The winner of the contest gets cash, and in this case, it would go to the United Maltese Rescue group. It is a 503(c) non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing Maltese dogs. The organization is quite small, so they need every bit of funding they can get and this is a way for you to help our organization that won’t cost you a penny! You can vote once a day per registered email address. I registered weeks ago and haven't gotten any spam or anything.
Below are instructions for new voters:
1. Go to www.cutestdogcompetition.com
2. Register your email and choose a password
3. Select the “Cutest Gallery” tab at the top
4. Type “CJ” in the search box.
5. CJ is the white Maltese puppy sitting in a bed of pink flowers.
Thank you for helping us rescue more dogs.
Friday, October 16, 2009
This may have been from October 4 instead of October 11, but I still think that Anna June has worn a different outfit each and every time she has been to church. These pictures are from post-church lunch. As you can see, AJ refuses to sit in her high chair. Sometimes I'm so hungry that she wins.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Fewer Words, More Pictures
(which has a link to the pictures of Anna June and Kyndall playing Ring Around the Rosie)
Nathan's Pool Party
This one is my favorite, and only by accident. Ben was the one who posted this originally, and he got all fancy and made it a slide show. It just so happens that the slide show pulls in pictures from the directory where all the pictures on this blog have been saved. So, if you don't have a digital picture frame, you can just go to this post and it will rotate through all the pictures from 2008-present. So cute. It is amazing to see how much she has changed.
Nonny is the winner, for having the first response. Picture will be mailed when I get around to it.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I have had a request for more video. So here's what I've got.
This is from Gary's visit last month at Kym's house. Anna June had a blast with her "Umpa!"
As you can tell, I have added a list of the blogs I read on the left hand side of the screen. I have also changed it to where anyone (even anonymously) can comment on the blog. I will change it back if it gets out of hand.
Also, my grandmother, AJ's Grandma Hazel, has gone into the hospital with some severe pain she's had since Saturday. She's waiting for more tests. I ask that you keep her in your prayers.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
However, a down side of being so advanced is that I think we're starting to see some of the "Terrible Twos" behavior.
First of all, as I discussed with another parent at daycare this morning, AJ has started just taking her clothes off. Wherever we are. The doctor's office, for example. It was so embarrassing when I was sitting near my old pal from high school with his adorable 4 year old only to have him say, "Look, that little girl is getting naked!" Awesome.
Also, she is asserting her independence more by saying "No" or "Nope". A LOT. There was a total and complete meltdown this morning because Anna June was not allowed to remove her shoes to try on Mommy's shoes. And she didn't want to wear the outfit I picked out. And we couldn't get her teeth brushed without a screaming fit.
I spoke to her teachers this morning about her independent streak, and they said they had certainly noticed it, too. Good Lord, I thought, please don't let my kid be the bad one! I know she's not the only one - they copy off each other. They say they just keep putting her clothes back on and telling her no, and making her wear her shoes when it is necessary (like playground time). Eventually, she will learn. I know that I need to tell her things, not ask for her permission like I end up doing. Instead of "Anna June, it's time to comb your hair, OK?" I should say "It's time to comb your hair," and act like it is the most exciting thing in the world. I know this - but it is hard to get out of the habit.
The worst development of late is "Mine". Although, often when she says it, it comes out "Mine All Mine All Mine All Mine!" with increasing volume. I have no idea where that came from, as I can assure you Ben and I usually don't go around saying "mine all mine." It is usually in reference to food or something she wants. The dog's basket of stuff was hers. The apple was hers. The shoes (even Mommy's) were hers.
I'm going to have to start getting more organized, so I can schedule some "tantrum" time, or we'll just be late everywhere we go for the next year.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Ben was reading our new picks to Anna June last night at bedtime, and he was very disappointed that Panda Bear, Panda Bear What Do You See? was exactly like Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? which we checked out last week. He also thought that another book we picked out was terrible. He suggested that we search Amazon reviews prior to checkout. I will assign him that task if he is serious about it: Mommies don't have time for that!
But I thought I'd post a list of some of AJ's favorite books, in case any other parents or parents-to-be are looking for recommendations. In no particular order:
Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt
Dog by Matthew Van Fleet
No, David by David Shannon
Clap Your Hands featuring Elmo as a puppet
Baby's Day by Karen Katz
Quack Quack with Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
This last one was sent to us by Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. This program, sponsored by the Junior League of Birmingham, was introduced to us by one of our many great librarians at Avondale. For all children born in Jefferson County, you just register and receive a book by mail each month. It is a fantastic program, and some of Anna June's favorites have come to us this way. Thanks, Junior League!
What are your kids' favorite books?
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Fall is officially here, although it takes its time coming to Alabama. In between all the rain we've been having, a few weeks ago Anna June started begging for her swimming pool. I let her "swim" a couple of days in a row. This was better than the first time she saw the pool, where she wouldn't go in at all. She loves her bathing suits, which are adorable, but will be too small next year.
Ben points out that this video is kind of boring, so if you're not a grandparent, you may not love it. I do love that I started working with Windows Movie Maker a little bit. So here's the video of AJ, if you've got 3 minutes to listen to her word for "swimming" and "inside".
Friday, October 9, 2009
When Anna June was sick on Tuesday, Anna June and I invited ourselves to my parents' house for breakfast to get out of Ben's hair. He needed to sleep after being up so much of the night, and I needed someone to watch AJ while I showered (and actually napped, later). Plus, with the oven out, I wasn't going to be cooking any breakfast. Would Granddaddy and Nana turn down an opportunity to help with AJ? Not so far.
The night before, AJ had been very interested in singing the Alphabet Song. She kept asking me to sing it again ("Gin") over and over. And then she'd say "Ay Bee" to clarify which song it was she wanted me to sing again.
So, at Mom and Dad's house, I asked her to sing the ABC's.
"Anna June, can you sing the ABC's"
"Ay Bee. Nope."
While we were cracking up at her refusal, Drew replied, "Oh, she's AB negative!"
By the way, I know she can say "C" but it doesn't really sound much like C. She said it to Ben when he pointed out the letter in a book recently.
A word about the photos - AJ still LOVES playing dress up, and her favorite thing is my shoes. The higher the heels, the better. She walks surprisingly well in them. She especially loves to walk in them in the kitchen, for maximum heel noise. With her standing in the heels (that kinda go with that dress, actually) and "cooking" in her kitchen, I had to grab the camera.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Wow. Today marks the 300th post to this blog. I want to mark the occasion appropriately.
First of all, I would like to give my sincere thanks to my husband for setting this up. I never would have done it if it hadn't been for him going into Blogger and literally laying it out for me, even though it's just a template and actually quite simple.
Second, I'd like to thank my brothers for collectively pointing out that I needed a blog - the mass emails about all the details of Anna June's life were clogging up their in-boxes and too long to read. They had me "get with the times" and set this up. Now they can read it if they want to. I would also like to point out that, despite what they may think they remember, there are no graphic descriptions of breastfeeding or dirty diapers on this website. Although I could tell you some stories about both.
Next, I'd like to thank my wonderful co-workers and bosses for letting this be the equivalent of a coffee/smoke break almost each day I'm in the office. This actually SAVES work time, because I get to just write down once what is going on with AJ, rather than spending time away from my desk repeating myself.
Next, I'd like to thank my parents and in-laws. All are the best grandparents that a little girl could ever want. I don't mention on here often enough about their wonderful gifts, tangible and intangible, that make each and every day in our house more pleasant and fun.
And I'd like to thank my grandparents, too. They are also the best grandparents a little (31 year old) girl could want. They're a demanding audience. If ever I skip a day of posting, I will be sure to hear about it.
And I'd like to thank you, the reader. Some of you follow publicly, but some don't. I hear from emails and phone calls and the occasional comment that several of you read every day. I am honored. No, I am beyond that. I feel like a rock star with her fans. So please, leave a comment today, if you've been following silently and haven't let me know. It has been said that this will be a great (if embarrassing) record of Anna June's childhood...you are already a part of it, so you may as well declare yourself as one of her fans.
So, I'm running a contest. I don't expect that you've read all 300 posts (unless you're one of AJ's grand or great-grand parents). Please reply by commenting (or emailing me) to let me know which post has been your all-time favorite. I'll compile a list and link to them. And the winner gets a brand-new 5x7 picture of Anna June. It is so brand new it hasn't been taken yet! (Her school pictures are Nov. 5 and I hope to get a photography session in this month.)
Most of all, I want to thank Anna June for being the most beautiful, sweetest, smartest and most wonderful child in the whole world. And if anyone knows differently, it is because your own child is the most beautiful, sweetest, smartest and most wonderful child to you.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
AJ is fine. We went to the pediatrician to get checked out. She never ran a fever but I was concerned. I also was not about to have another terrible night, and if medicine could fix it, then I was in.
She did, in fact, have a sore throat. Ben asked her if her throat hurt, and she dramatically pointed to her throat and made a sad face. I wasn't sure if she was just indicating that she understood what we were asking, or if it actually hurt.
The doctor said her ears, chest, etc. were all fine. But her throat was red and swollen. The quick strep test came back negative, and he said to keep treating her symptoms with Tylenol or Motrin and if she had a good night, she could return to daycare today.
Luckily, she had a good night!
Bonus info: she has gained 2 pounds since our last visit. And today she turns 19 months old.
Photo info: On Saturday, as I was trying to make up my bed, AJ thought that the freshly applied sheets would be fun to play in. She told me she wanted to go "Night night" in Mommy's "be" (she can't quite say bed). So I let her get up there and I tried to continue making the bed around her, but kept laughing at AJ so much that I thought it deserved a picture.
Monday, October 5, 2009
On Friday night, we visited with my parents for a Mexican dinner. It was a rarity, because all three of my brothers plus one sister-in-law were all able to come. Anna June tasted her granddaddy's enchiladas, and said, "Hot!" She liked everything else, though: corn, rice, taco salad, and, of course, ice cream for dessert.
On Saturday, Ben worked part of the day, so Anna June and I visited him and took him to lunch. To accommodate AJ's insanely early lunch time, we asked Moe's in Vestavia to open a little early to let us in to eat. Ben is a regular and they obliged. The manager even commented on how big Anna June is getting.
We went back home and had nap time. Then we went to Anna June's favorite place on earth: Avondale Library. For whatever reason, no other children were there just then and AJ got the place to herself. She played with the neat puzzles and toys and picked out some new books. Then we went to the playground in Avondale Park. Let me tell you, that playground stinks. There apparently used to be a slide, but now there is a piece of plywood there. It is too high for little kids like AJ, and there's not much equipment to play on. AJ seemed scared, and she's pretty fearless on the playground. So we went and had a granola bar at the gazebo and looked at the flowers up close. When she saw other children on the playground, we went back.
After Ben got home, we went to redeem AJ's last prize from the summer reading program: a free ice cream at Chick-fil-A. She had a good time on the playground and didn't fuss when it was time to go. It really makes a difference going at off-peak times!
Then, we stopped by the house to get AJ's "birthday party dress" on and we went to Rusty's BBQ for Granddaddy Elwyn's birthday celebration. He turns 81 today. Happy Birthday Granddaddy! Anna June learned how to say "Roll Tide" for the occasion.
Sunday morning I had decided to bake cinnamon rolls from a can. Anna June "helped" by placing the rolls on the pan (also by getting cinnamon goo everywhere). When the oven was finally preheated, I put in the rolls and tried to set our digital timer. It did not work. So I tried to use the timer on the oven. The buzzer went off and didn't stop. I woke up Ben, and he reluctantly said that after the rolls were out, he'd dismantle the panel to get the buzzing to stop. But then he did get it to stop, for about 2 seconds. In those two seconds, he went back to bed and shut the door. I thought surely he had heard the buzzer come back on, but he didn't. I let it buzz for AN HOUR. Then I couldn't take it anymore and woke him up again. I thought he was being a jerk and letting me go nuts, but actually he didn't hear it and thought he had solved the problem.
I kept AJ in the other room while he worked on the oven. Because he couldn't quite reach the cord, he didn't unplug the oven, thinking it wouldn't be a big deal to disconnect a wire in the panel. Fortunately, he didn't electrocute himself, but there was a big flash, and a burn mark appeared on the metal. Looking at it again, he was pretty sure our oven wasn't going to work anymore. And I didn't want to try it - I couldn't risk burning down the house over some cheap frozen pizza or the like.
So, AJ and I went to church, and after nap time, we went shopping for a new oven. The new one will be here on Tuesday. To reward Anna June for her great behavior while shopping, we went to Red Robin for dinner. She had a good time, but didn't want to sit in her high chair. She relented when she saw other kids doing it.
It reminded me of the complete meltdown over sitting in the high chair at the After-rehearsal Dinner for Liz and Patrick's wedding. That's where this picture comes from. She's actually tall enough to sit in a regular chair. I just get to eat more comfortably when she's strapped in to a high chair!
Friday, October 2, 2009
Anna June did cry a bit when I left, but Ben had it under control quickly. He fed her leftover taco salad and successfully played with her, bathed her and put her to bed. The bedtime thing was what we were scared about. She has spent the last two nights screaming when it was time to go to bed, and we'd gotten too little sleep. We were worried she may be getting sick in addition to the everlasting molar teething. But she only fussed a little and went to bed, on time, no less!
Ben took a few pictures and said he may actually write a post! I won't tell any more about the night just in case he comes through with that. They had fun, but she was glad to see me this morning.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Anna June is obsessed with strollers. We don't use ours too much for her - we don't really go a lot of places with her in it. We occasionally go to a real mall or the park, but mostly, she takes short trips with us to the grocery store or church, not requiring hauling out and setting up the stroller.
She LOVES to play with her strollers. Recently, she has discovered that Ben and I each keep a stroller in the trunks of our cars so that we're always ready should the need arise. She keeps looking at the car, hitting the trunk, and asking for her stroller.
Last night I told her no repeatedly and I bet our neighbors thought I was torturing that poor child - she was crying in absolute anguish in our backyard. "STROLLER!!!!"
With a car swap or moving something, recently, the umbrella stroller landed in our living room. Here are a couple of pictures from a recent Sunday morning with AJ pushing her doll Helen in her stroller. Oh, what fun!