Monday, November 30, 2009

Plan B

Well, I wasn't able to get the card reader doohickey, and I am not inclined to wade through our office to find the camera cable, so I will do the next best thing and steal these Thanksgiving pictures from my cousin Judy. These were my 2 favorites of the bunch.

Note the stylish boots. Enjoy the photo - she probably won't be wearing them again. Not only are they difficult to put on, they are slippery as well. Not a good match for Grandmother Hazel's hardwood floors.

AJ had a great afternoon with her grandparents yesterday, playing at the antique shop ("teek chop," as AJ calls it) and at their house. She ate a good dinner and got so dirty that as soon as we got there, she volunteered to get a bath.

She had a mostly good night, too, except for the lingering (now non-productive) cough that woke her up a couple of times, but she went right back to sleep.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Equipment Failure

We had a neat little USB adapter to stick the card from our camera in to upload pictures and video, but somehow, I broke it. Ben has gone to fetch a replacement. This seems to be a pattern in our relationship - I break things, he replaces them, he has my gratitude. Repeat as necessary. This week he's also replaced a broken doorknob in our bathroom. I think I really made him upset when I somehow trapped myself in the bathroom in the middle of the night - he went and got a new one the next day!

Anna June is coughing, but still asleep from her nap. I, however, can't sleep even though I really want to. I feel terrible, and Ben doesn't feel much better than I do. I don't think it is the flu. I do know I have pinkeye, as this is what AJ had earlier in the week. I am taking her eye drops, slightly more gracefully than she is. I also have other assorted maladies, which may or may not be associated. AJ just has the cough now. She is going to go to her nana's house as soon as she wakes up so we can rest. I hope not to infect them further.

So, I can't put more pictures up right now. AJ hasn't been the most cooperative subject lately, anyway. She wants to be the one behind the camera. I will ask if I can take her picture and I either get a "No" or a "my get it," which is her way of saying she'd like to do it her self, thank you very much.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Things I Have Learned this Weekend So Far

1. Anna June is universally adored - wherever we go, by people from all walks of life.
2. My friends haven't really changed since high school - just older and with spouses and kids.
3. Anna June can count to six unassisted. (10 with assistance)
4. Pinkeye IS highly contagious.
5. Anna June likes my chili. That's even better to me than when I won first prize with it.
6. I am not good at making banana nut muffins from scratch.
7. Radar likes his prescription food.
8. When AJ wants to come along, she will holler, "AND ME!!"
9. Anna June likes both Barney and Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, but Elmo still rules.
10. Never leave the playground before AJ has had one last turn on the slide.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

On this day and every day, I am thankful for my wonderful family, especially Anna June. She lights up her lives in a way that everyone tried to warn me about but couldn't fully. This morning as she was dancing in her highchair to a song that included lyrics about a baby dancing, or running around in her jammies with her school-made Indian headdress on whooping and laughing, or getting dressed up and chanting "Grandma's house! Grandma's house!" - I'm reminded that under this cute exterior is a complicated and growing person. It is our distinct privilege to help her become this unique individual.

Here is a link
to some recent pictures, some of which have been posted on this blog before. I hope to get more today, as she looks adorable (if I do say so).

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Gobble, Gobble

It may not be Thanksgiving yet, but Anna June is already experiencing what I believe to be the side effects of overeating. From what I can remember, this is what she had to eat last evening, from the time we got home until she went to bed:
cheese cubes
applesauce (because there was no yogurt, to her dismay)
mixed fruit cup
cold pizza
dried cherries - a lot of them
taco meat (ground turkey)
tortilla chips
shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream
white chocolate chunk cookies

She has been up whining several times during the night. Either there was too much of a good thing or it has simply caused nightmares. I myself have been having nightmares and hearing noises. Maybe I ate too much, too.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Where's Grandma?

On Sunday morning while Anna June was eating her toast, I had two seconds to flip through the mail from at least the day before. I saw my copy of The Alabama Clubwoman, the official newsletter of the Alabama Federation of Women's Clubs. My grandmother, Annette, is a past president and is on the Board of Directors, so there are often pictures of her in the magazine. Right there on the cover was a (somewhat blurry) group shot including Grandma near the front.

I took the magazine over to AJ. I pointed at Grandma, and I asked, "Who is that?" Without hesitation, she said, "Grandma!" Later, when Ben got up, she found the magazine, took it over to him, and pointed at Grandma's picture and told him, "Grandma!" Looking at part of the picture above, circled so you can see which one she is, you can see how I'm amazed that AJ knew her right away and found her again later. And, to make it even trickier, she usually wears glasses, which are off in the picture.

Speaking of Grandma, yesterday was her birthday. Anna June, Ben and I called her last night to sing her "Happy Birthday." AJ is getting better and better at singing. She may not have been able to pronounce every word, but we heard her singing something on every note. She is growing up so fast! She also talked on the phone a good bit - I predict it won't be long before she's answering our phone and not letting us talk.

Monday, November 23, 2009

No Food

As I mentioned, on Saturday Anna June came with us to visit the veterinarian, who referred us to a specialist. Dr. Branch said we'd be instructed to put Radar on a strict diet for at least 6 weeks. We recently tried this, but only lasted for a week, because Radar is a world-class, vocal beggar. He does eat his dry dog food, but much prefers table scraps. Even Anna June, when she was first learning to eat, learned to throw her leftovers over the side of the high chair tray for Radar to eat.

Sunday morning, I decided to go over the new plan for Radar's nutrition: no people food. I told her that the doctor said Radar could only have doggy food. Over and over, all day long, and sometimes out of nowhere, I caught AJ saying, "Doctor said. No food. No food, Radar." It was hilarious. I kept telling her he could eat doggy food, in case anyone heard and thought that we were starving our dog. "No pood, Dardar," is more how it sounded. But she is very serious about it. Hopefully having her as an advocate for canine health will help us remember to stick to the diet, as he's singing for our supper.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

One or Two Turkeys Down...

Our very small church increased in numbers today as we had our annual church family Thanksgiving dinner. Rusty brought the turkey. I made my first ever green bean casserole, with Anna June's help. It was a success...we each seemed to have our extended family there for the occasion.

Anna June loved having the extra kids around, and enjoyed the extra attention. I was grateful for my sister-in-law Beth, who was there in the nick of time to take AJ down to the sanctuary while I was dropping off the casserole in the fellowship hall. I got up at 6:30 am but managed to be (a couple of minutes) late for the 10:30 service. AJ has been extremely good today, after having a rough night. She woke up no less than 4 times, although 3 of those were close together. All involved screaming and crying. I think she was having nightmares. The worst time was the first, when I went to her room to find her standing in her crib, holding the rail, facing the wall and shaking. Even her pacifier didn't calm her down. Poor thing. I hope it isn't from watching "Follow That Bird" the Sesame Street movie we picked for her to watch last night when it was too dark to play outside. It was almost over when dinner was ready, leaving Big Bird still trapped in the cage by birdnappers but not yet rescued by his friends.

This is actually already our second "Thanksgiving" this year. In preparation for his Thanksgiving menu, Rusty served us a turkey dinner at church for our 1st Wednesday "Family Night Supper". It was great, and I didn't have to bring anything to that one!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Q and A with AJ

Anna June is getting better each day at holding a conversation. This morning, I took Radar out, and by the time we came back in, Anna June was having a nice conversation with her dad, who was changing her diaper.

I told her she could stay in her pajamas until after breakfast.

"Breakfast," she said.
"Are you hungry?" I asked.
"Uh-huh," she said.
"What do you want for breakfast?" I asked.
I wasn't expecting an answer, but she said, "Toast." What a perfectly reasonable request! So toast we had.

Later, we took Radar to the vet. Our sweet veterinarian gave Anna June a plush dog for being so adorable and well-behaved. In the car, I asked her what she wanted to name her doggy.
"Doctor" she said. So we now have a black animal named Doctor. Don't ask me what he's the doctor of, but I guess she was naming him after Dr. Branch.

Every day she gets better. Some ideas she has are pretty cute, some good, some silly and some outrageous. But the fact is that they are her answers. And she can tell them to you.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Yesterday was a day of planning for me - scheduling and then rescheduling things that won't go as planned. One of those things was a trip to Montgomery tomorrow, derailed by not just one, but two funerals. I told Mom that it is OK - we'll be fine about missing a family gathering - but I am just glad we didn't tell Anna June that we were going.

She has an incredible memory. If you tell her you are going to do something, and you don't do it, she calls you out on it. Example: in the car the other night, I told her we'd get home, take Radar out, and then I would get her some juice and she could watch Elmo. We took Radar out, the phone rang, and while I was talking she went to the refrigerator and started banging on it. "Juice! Juice!" Then it was straight to the couch, "Elmo! Elmo!"

She has further amazed me by remembering other things, too many to mention here. One yesterday, though, was on her name band around her sippy cup, it has her name. She was pointing at it, looking like she was reading it, and said, "Anna June, Anna June" (actually, she said Ahhh Juuu). She pointed at the words like she knew what they meant, from what I could see in the rear view mirror. I said, "That's right! It says Anna June Gallitz." I've told her before that Gallitz is our last name: Mommy and Daddy's last name, too. She said, "Mommy Gallitz." I said, "That's right! We have the same last name!" She then said, "Daddy Gallitz. Radar Gallitz." I know she knows that last one - just like with a kid, when Radar misbehaves, I call his full name.

So, in other words, I am glad that I told her that she's going to Nana's tonight, but I'm also glad I never mentioned the postponed trip, or all I would have heard all weekend would have been "Heidi? Heidi? Heidi?"

(Photo by Ruth Kennedy)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Got My Head Spinning Round

Anna June, at some point, figured out that office chairs can spin around. She also knows that it is more effective if someone else does the spinning for her. Last night she was asking us to "Pin ow" which is AJ for "spin around." So we did.

Here is a video of her Uncle Patrick spinning her around on Halloween while she was in her Dorothy costume.

Spinning AJ Around from Ben Gallitz on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Anna June didn't really understand why we wanted her to jump in a pile of leaves. She thought she should just jump up and down, which is easier to do without the cumbersome leaves. But after I threw some all over her, she started to get it. Eventually, she didn't want to stop. Next year, I predict she will want us to rake just so she can run and dive into the pile.

Whether she liked it or not, it was a nice way to enjoy a beautiful Sunday together as a family.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Reading Out Loud

Anna June loves to read books. Every night when I am reading her stories before bedtime, she begs for more by saying "book" or "one more" and holding up one finger.

Yesterday morning, she was up awfully early, so she went over to her bookshelf to find one of her favorites, No, David. AJ loves this book, and, as there are not many words, she has it pretty much memorized. She took the book, crawled up in the rocking chair by herself, opened the book and started to read. "No, Daby! No, Daby! Come back Daby! No, Daby!" The book really is all exclamations, and I must do a good job of reading it with emphasis, because Anna June was getting louder and louder. "No, Daby, No!" Eventually, Ben came in to take over while I showered. They read No, David about ten more times, then moved on to Lull-a-bye, Little One, another favorite. "Uh-bye, Uh-bye," she said over and over. (I don't think she can pronounce the L sound very often.) Unfortunately, with the lullaby book, she was getting louder and louder as well. Ben read that with her many times as well.

The lullaby book was still out last night when it was time for her bath. She grabbed it and ran over to our "husband" pillow (a pillow that sort of has arms) and sat down to read it. "Uh-bye!" I said, "Anna June, you don't have to holler it." So she began to speak very quietly, "Uh-bye, Uh-bye!"

Then I told her that she had to take a bath just like the little girl in the book, and she didn't like that. A screaming fit ensued. She eventually got bathed, but let's not talk about whether or not her hair was combed or her teeth brushed.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Nana's House

It had been a while since Anna June spent the night with her grandparents, so I decided to take them up on their standing offer. You can say I was influenced by my dad, who was chanting "Bring us Anna June! Bring us Anna June!" in the background of an unrelated telephone call I was trying to have with my brother.

Anna June had run a slight fever in the afternoon, which in my opinion disqualified her from going with me to the party we were invited to attend, where there would be smaller kids. So AJ's Nana and Granddaddy fixed her dinner and let her spend the night.

Now that she's older, I was not sure how she'd react to being without us for a whole night. I shouldn't have worried. She was fine! She had a good time and generally enjoyed herself and behaved, according to sources. I was there when she woke up. I didn't use the opportunity to sleep in - when I woke up at 3 am, probably from habit, I told myself to sleep for three more hours and then I could get up and start getting ready. So I did.

Sunday went just as well as Saturday. We went to church, played in the leaves, and went shopping together. Anna June mostly behaved and had a good time. She went to bed without incident and only cried out once during the night. I hope that the rest of the week goes as smoothly.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Puppet Nightmare

As I have reported before, Anna June hates people dressed up in costumes with masks. She did fine at Halloween, until Ben showed up with a mask he'd made. AJ hated it! She knew it was supposed to be her daddy, but it didn't look like him. And even if she saw him put it on, she begged for him to take it off, crying. The Chick-fil-A cow, Ronald McDonald, and Spiderman, while supposed to be fun, terrify her.

But Anna June loves Sesame Street. You would think Elmo is her best friend from how much she talks about him.

In her classroom, her teacher has worked with puppets and the kids before, and Anna June enjoys that. We have finger puppets at home, and she likes those. So when I saw they were having a puppet show at daycare, I thought it was a toss-up whether or not she'd like it. After all, she did like the puppets in class and on TV.

When I got to day care to pick her up, another teacher saw me and said, "You missed it." I said, "Missed what?" "The meltdown," her teacher said. AJ suffered a nuclear-grade meltdown when the puppets began to sing and talk. It was fine to her that the dolls were moving around but not ok when they started to talk like people, and she couldn't see the people making them talk. She was terrified. Her teacher said she was holding her on her lap, then AJ began to shake uncontrollably.

They took her out of the room, where she could see her other friends and hear the music (which she liked) but not the puppets. They tried again after she calmed down and it started all over again. Her teacher said she felt so bad for Anna June! I did, too!

In a way, I want to see this phobia as a sign of intelligence - she knows dolls can't talk by themselves, and knows that cows can't walk around like people. Something is wrong, and she knows it.

On the way home she kept talking about it. "Puppets." and "Scared." I felt terrible about it. If they have another puppet show any time soon, I will just have to take AJ out of school that day and do something else!

The next obstacle will be Santa Claus. He is coming to their school next month. I think she'll probably be OK with him (or at least better than with the puppets) because he looks like a person and talks like a person. And if that doesn't work, we'll just put a red hat on my dad and get a picture of her sitting in his lap instead.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Question of the Day

"On what day did our baby turn into a little girl?" - Shenandoah Gallitz, 11/12/09

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Widgets and Other Funny Things

(Photo by Ruth Kennedy)

Yesterday, I logged onto Shelfari to write a book review (mostly so I wouldn't forget what the book was about before our book club meets) and there was a button that said "Add Shelfari to your blog." I thought it was a great idea, and, if it worked, I was going to create a "shelf" for Anna June to show the books she has read. But, alas, before I could remove it this morning we got at least two complaints that it wasn't rendering correctly on some of your screens, probably those of you with small monitors and large fonts. It was running into the text of the blog, and we couldn't have that. So I removed it. If you're on Shelfari and want to be my "friend" to see what all I've read, let me know.

With that out of the way, here are some things AJ has done in the past day that have made us laugh.

1. She walked up to the refrigerator and saw her artwork. She touched it and said proudly, "I did it!"

2. Last night in the tub, she wrestled the washcloth away from me and washed herself for a bit. Then she said, "Good job!"

3. She let me brush her teeth if she brushed mine. It was messy but worth it.

4. She has pretty much torn up one of her Elmo books. I put it back on the shelf, she selected it again for bedtime reading, and proclaimed "Ew!" when she saw it was torn up. I told her she was the one who ripped it. So she ripped it some more.

5. Radar got her penultimate pacifier and chewed it until we took it away. It was only some surface damage, so I asked if she wanted me to wash it or throw it away. She wanted me to wash it, but when I gave it to her, she wanted to throw it away. So now there is one. I hope it stays that way, and we don't have to buy anymore. She told Radar "No no no!"

6. When she got to daycare yesterday, she didn't have hugs and kisses for her teachers yet but she did want to kiss her friend Sipsey and Sipsey's mom, Lauren. So sweet and cute.

7. She loves to watch Elmo so much that she asked for it even before we got home. She watched the show in 3 or 4 segments last night. We're not impressed with the new season so far, but AJ loves it! (Although I have to say that the opening sequence with Big Bird contemplating leaving Sesame Street made me cry, and I enjoyed First Lady Obama's segment on healthy eating.)

8. She now wants to use the big potty rather than her potty chair. We'll go in the bathroom and she'll just say "big".

9. I gave her a piece of chocolate Halloween candy and she said "chocolate". The girl may look like her Daddy but she acts like me.

10. When I was singing her lullabies to her last night, she wanted to sing the ABCs. So we sang them first. I was on to the next song and she broke in with "ABCDEFG. ABCDEFG." I guess she was just going to keep singing louder to get her way. So I sang it about 3 times!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Go to sleep!...Wake up!

I know I write a lot about Anna June's sleep habits but it is the one thing in her life that I truly have screwed up. Her other bad habits can be rectified as she grows up, but this affects all of us right now.

We went to visit my parents for dinner last night, and then I let her stay over there to play while Ben and I went grocery shopping. This caused her to be wide awake past her bedtime. I should have skipped the store, but since we were gone this weekend, we really were out of everything and I wanted to seize the opportunity to go with Ben and without AJ.

So after 9, AJ finally went to sleep. She has slept all night, with just 3 times of crying out and settling herself back down without any parental intervention. I know she was worn out, being up an hour later than usual.

But now it is almost 7, and I am torn between letting her sleep or trying to finish getting myself ready. She is terrified of the hair dryer's noise and I don't want to give her a rude awakening. On the other hand, she needs to get up - I need to be out the door in the next 20 minutes if I want to make it to work on time. I hate waking her up - the word "grouchy" doesn't begin to cover how she acts when she doesn't get enough sleep.

It is just like anything else - you can't have everything, and if you give one place, you have to take another.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Getting Crafty

Anna June is outsmarting me on a regular basis. The "giraffes and elephants" trick has worn out its welcome. She knows if she stands up and cries in her crib, at any time day or night, I will pick her up. This morning she was OK, but we went through about 10 tantrums that I didn't know how to fix: She didn't want to take off her (new) jammies. She didn't want me to comb her hair, although I told her that if she didn't let me fix her hair her dad was going to take her to get a haircut, a threat which only made her cry harder. She wanted to wear shoes that are too little. She did not want to have her teeth brushed. She did want a cookie but when I caved and gave it to her, she gave about half of it to Radar. Worst of all, she did not want to go to school. As soon as we got in the car, she screamed "Home! Home!" I told her I wanted to stay home, too, as driving in our part of Tropical Storm Ida did not excite me at all. But I took her to daycare, and she was fine. Well, she ripped her hair bows out and she didn't want to take her necklace off, but she was fine.

I know that testing limits is a part of growing up. I hope you won't mention my new gray hairs next time you see me.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Oh, Atlanta

Anna June mostly enjoyed her first trip to Georgia this weekend. Here she is pictured with our hostess, Elizabeth. (Photo by May Boyle.) Although we were there just under 24 hours, we had a great time and did a lot of things. Here are some highlights of Friday through Monday in the Gallitz family.

On Friday night, I asked Ben what he wanted for dinner. AJ responded, "Chick-fil-A!" (Chi-chay)

On Saturday, on our way to Atlanta, we stopped off at Hardee's for lunch. AJ saw their star-shaped logo and immediately began singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."

We were sure AJ would nap in the car. Her usual 2+ hour nap was only about 45 minutes.

When we got to the area where we'd have dinner, we went for a stroll and shopped for a minute. We went in the Carter's store, and Ben and I picked out the first outfit we've ever bought Anna June ourselves: a monkey long-sleeved t-shirt (featuring both Ben's favorite color - green, and my favorite motif - polka dots) and a pair of blue jeans.

AJ wore her new outfit to dinner, as she messed up her first outfit eating at the aforementioned Hardee's.

Ben and I made our first return to a Chili's after the great food-borne illness of 2008, a disaster which landed us in the ER, plus made my parents, grandparents, mother-in-law and various other people who helped us very, very ill.

We saw the Crego family - I worked with Scott and Jennifer when I was just out of college. Michaela, their second child who I went to visit in the hospital when she was born is a soccer-playing third grader. Her big sis Tori was a car-seat riding tyke when I left and now she's a beautiful, makeup wearing, texting ballerina. But their parents haven't aged a bit!

We stayed with my dear friend and sorority sister Elizabeth in her adorable house.

Anna June did not like sleeping in her pack-n-play. She did not want to go to sleep. Nothing seemed to work. She tried sleeping on the floor on her nap mat, but was uncomfortable and ended up back in the playpen. Then she woke up crying and couldn't get back to sleep. She ended up sleeping with us, for what we hope is the last time ever.

Part of her sleeping problems could be attributed to napping in the car on the way to Elizabeth's house.

Anna June watched cartoons and played with Elizabeth's dog, Bessie.

On the way to brunch, AJ was very upset that Elizabeth ("uh-bef") had taken her own car and wasn't riding with us.

We ate brunch with several of our friends at West Egg Cafe in Atlanta: Bogey, Michele, Rahul and May. Back in the old days we saw each other all the time, and it had been years.

The hour long wait for a large party at a happening brunch spot on a Sunday is par for the course in the big city. Neither AJ nor her parents are used to having to wait.

Afterwards, we left and drove straight home. Anna June had a much more reasonable, 2+ hour nap in the car.

Potty training update: AJ used the potty twice on our trip, even out in public. She did it again this morning. I think we're going to get more serious about it soon.

AJ enjoyed playing with her toys, reading her books, generally running around and not being strapped in the car seat, seeing her own dog and sleeping in her own bed last night.

Once we can get the sleeping thing down a little better we want to travel some more.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

More Artwork!

We're heading to Atlanta in a few hours, but I thought I'd post some more of AJ's artwork I had already scanned in. She's still sleeping...let's see how much I can get done before she gets up!

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Color Purple

Anna June is really in to purple. A few weeks ago, when you asked her what color something was, she'd say "green!" no matter what color it was. Right now, that has switched to "purple!" She says it so enthusiastically, you hate to correct her. We spent a good chunk of last week asking her about different things to see if she'd change her mind. Not a chance.
What color is Grandaddy's pick up truck? Purple!
What color is the sky? Purple!

Yesterday, I put her in a purplish dress for her school pictures, mostly so that when she was asked what color her dress was, she could at least get it right. It was not in the dress pictured above, but a different purple dress with a velvet top. By the way, the picture above was from my mom's birthday party last month. I was hanging up the dress and AJ pointed to it and said, "Nana." It freaks me out that she can remember things.

But back to colors: Last night we actually had a breakthrough. In the car, we were talking about shoes, and she said "shoes black" Actually, she said, "shoes back". I asked to confirm, "Anna June, are you wearing black shoes?" "Uh-huh." I tried to show off to Ben later and when he asked her what color his black shoes were, she said, "green!"

We will keep trying.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Giraffes and Elephants

Since before I can remember, my grandfather has offered me advice. Actually, both of my grandfathers, have offered me advice, but this story only relates to one of them. Many, many times, I have ignored the words of wisdom and I wished later that I hadn't. This weekend, though, Granddaddy Jerome told me a great tip. He said he'd heard that to get a toddler to brush her teeth, a mom told her that she saw elephants and giraffes in the little one's mouth. This, of course, made the kid open her mouth and the mom was able to brush. Knowing the tantrums and struggles we'd been having each morning and night with Anna June, I decided I had absolutely nothing to lose by trying this recommendation.

It worked like a charm! I said, "Anna June, I think I see a giraffe in your mouth!"
"Jaff?" she asked.
"Yeah, let me get it!" and she opened up her mouth, sort of surprised, and I brushed her bottom teeth. "Well, I got the giraffe out but there's an elephant in there!"
"Yeah, an elephant!"
So I brushed. There was no fussing. There were no tears. There was no "By myself!" or "Finished!" as soon as she sucked the toothpaste off the brush.

We brushed enough to create the need for her to actually spit in the sink, which she loves to do.

We had tried an electric toothbrush, and tried having her brush when we brushed, but nothing before seemed to work like this did.

I am not saying this will always work, but it has worked every time since Halloween night, even when her daddy took over the tooth brushing duties. Afterwards, she goes and shows the other parent that her mouth is now giraffe- and elephant-free. It is the cutest thing.

So, thanks for the advice, Granddaddy! Maybe we can avoid a mouthful of cavities, after all.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What Message Are They Sending?

I understand doing coloring projects based on the letters of the alphabet. Clearly, this is supposed to be a nurse. I have no idea, however, why she is applying makeup instead of doing other things that nurses do: taking blood pressure or temperature, writing on a chart, giving a shot, or even talking to a patient. Based on the shoes, I will have to assume this handout was created in the mid-1950s.

And it was so nice, they did it twice.

And for your viewing pleasure, here is more of AJ's artwork:

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Icing on the Cookie

Our friend Anna Cate Little has opened an adorable cookie shop in Homewood, Alabama, called Icing on the Cookie. I stopped in last week on my lunch break to see their cute selection of Halloween cookies. The bakery was easy to find and the cookies are delicious. I got Anna June a cookie shaped like a pumpkin. As you can see, the taste-tester loved it! She enjoyed it all over the house!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Back to the Old Grind

I find it hard to believe that Friday was the first time I'd ever brought my camera to daycare. I also find it hard to believe that this is the only shot of AJ I got. I got more of her friends, but I'll probably get some prints for their parents and ask their permission before I put up their adorable pictures.

Here, Anna June is eating her oh-so-healthy Pop Tart. The other kids were jealous that AJ's mom was stupid enough to send a sugar-filled breakfast on the most sugar-filled school day of the year. Way to go!

This morning, after getting in trouble for not sitting in her car seat correctly, Anna June was fine at daycare. She is sort of catching on that I will come back for her at some point and that daycare is a pretty good place to be. Actually, from the beginning she has been pretty good about separation anxiety, except she will go through spells where no one but mommy will do. I've never gotten a report that she has cried for hours...only that she was fine after I left. Today she even said "bye-bye" and waved like it was no big deal. She does better when other kids are there, even if they are crying, too.

We had a great, fun-filled weekend but now it is back to the routine. We hope. For now.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Surviving Halloween with a Real Doll

We made it through Halloween! Anna June loved her Dorothy costume. Immediately after her nap, I got her dressed, and we tried to prepare for our journey ahead.

Last year, AJ was dressed as a ladybug. We didn't get as far as we would have liked because, as a little baby, she had no stamina. With that not being the case this year, I still thought we would have made it a little farther than we did, but the schedule I planned didn't allow for extensive visiting at each stop.

I thought that AJ and I would hit the Crestwood Shopping Center, to show off her costume and say hi to my Mom. Ben actually was able to come along, too. So we shuffled off, with Anna June wearing her blue jeans over her tights. Why? Because the jeans have pockets ("popets"). She LOVES pockets. She will stuff rocks in them if given the opportunity, but it is mostly her hands. Luckily, it was cool enough to where she wasn't uncomfortable.

At the shopping center, we visited Nana, but we also "trick-or-treated" at the coffee shop, the hair salon and the gift shop. They actually didn't have any candy to hand out, but that was fine - AJ didn't say "trick-or-treat" either! We did get lucky at Subway, where she got a cookie. The cookie, subsequently, got all over Dorothy and her mom. It was yummy.

Also yummy were the pumpkin brownies AJ's Aunt Liz made. Liz and Patrick also came by the antique shop, and they came with food. AJ and I loved the brownies! But what AJ loved more was playing dress-up with Liz and Patrick. Pictures are forthcoming. She loved trying on the hats, necklaces, a tie, and even a kimono. As Liz put it, "It's like having a real, live doll!"

From the shop, we visited my Grandma Annette and Granddaddy Jerome. Grandma answered the door and said, "Is your name Dorothy?" and Anna June nodded and said "Uh-huh!" So, at least she knew who she was supposed to be. Again, pictures are forthcoming. We had a great time. Anna June loved putting the candy from their bowl into her treat bag. We told her she had too much, so she put it all back. Then she refilled the bag again.

Then, we went out to Hoover to visit my Grandma Hazel and Granddaddy Elwyn. They got cheated last year out of seeing the baby lady bug, so I was eager to go. Grandma was on her way to the grocery store, so she missed the first part of our visit. Granddaddy was so glad to see his precious little great-granddaughter. "What a doll!" he kept saying. Then, when Grandma got there, she also said "What a doll!" Because, after all, she is adorable.

Anna June warmed up nicely at both houses. She sang the ABCs at one place, and showed off her mastery of the Wheels on the Bus at the other. She had a great time.

By then, AJ's Daddy had had enough of Halloween. He figured out we weren't actually going to do the real door-to-door trick-or-treating, so he went home. We would have stopped a couple of places along the way, in neighborhoods where the hills aren't so steep and they're actually prepared for kids to come to their doors, but Anna June fell asleep on the way back from Hoover. So, AJ and I went on to my parents' house for dinner. My dad had agreed to make pork chops at my request, and, even though they'd already seen AJ once that day, they wanted to see her again. This way Drew got to see her, too. She had fun at their house, too, watching football and trying on everyone's shoes.

Actually, I am glad we went, because it woke her up enough to go to sleep at a later time, accommodating for Daylight Savings. I hope everyone set their clocks back!