Friday, April 30, 2010

Putting it Together

Anna June's teachers like to make "puzzle pieces" and show the kids how to put them together, then see how they do when it comes time to glue them down. As you can see, above, Anna June does a pretty good job.

She can also put together lots of pieces of information in her head and reason quite well now. Perhaps this is what makes her so frustrated when things aren't going exactly right.

But this morning she busted out with several things that made me laugh, marvel, and shake my head:

She told me to go away when I was trying to get her up for school. She was "too tired".

She told me "You not have take me to school today." She then asked for Daddy to take her, but he was running to late to do it. (I promised her a date with Daddy tomorrow, instead.)

She makes declarations like "I wearing big girl panties today!" and "I want Gatorade juice."

While she was using the bathroom this morning, I told her she had a good night. I said, "You only woke up one time. You were thirsty so I gave you a sip of water. Then you went back to sleep." She said, "I believe that!"

After that, she gave me my first outfit disapproval. It is casual Friday, and I have on some dark jeans, a black top, and black heels. It is probably one of the most stylish ensembles I own. Anna June asked, "You still in your jammies, Mommy?" I said, "No, I am wearing this to work. These are my blue jeans. I can wear them to work on Fridays." She said, "No you can't!" and laughed at me. She wanted me to change clothes, immediately. I told her no. (Because I am the mommy, right?)

Instead, she wanted to wear high heels like me. So I let her wear her Snow White dress-up high heels around the house while we finished getting ready and eating breakfast. When I was taking them off of her to put on her sneakers, I asked, "Do you remember who gave you these high heels for Christmas? Grandma Annette. She knows you love to dress up." Anna June said, "Yep! I sure do!"

In trying to help her brush her teeth, I tried the old elephants-are-in-your-mouth trick. I said, "Oh, is that Hoo Ha in your mouth? She doesn't belong in there!" She said, "Hoo Ha belongs in the jungle!" and opened her mouth for me to brush.

When we were leaving, she told Radar, "Don't get out again!" (He's been darting out the door and roaming around Crestwood more frequently than we'd care to acknowledge.) Then I said, "Yes, Radar, don't get out again. You stay in the house and be a good boy, you understand?" And AJ said, "He understands!" and nodded her head for emphasis.

I know that there are other children who speak very well and understand abstract concepts at this age, but it baffles me that this kid is a little grown-up already. Pretty soon she'll be in medical school.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Growing

Anna June is learning in school about plants and flowers. I asked her how plants grow and she said, "from a seed!" So, there you go.

Last night went slightly better than the one before...she was only up 4 times! But she acted much, much better than she did yesterday morning. Yesterday she was so whiny that I was glad to send her to school. Today she was sweet, letting me put her hair up in pigtails and not complaining about my choice of outfit for her or what we needed to do to get out the door.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Teygan is Here!

Anna June's first cousin, Teygan Elizabeth Rose Lewis was born yesterday morning. We went to visit her last night. She is so tiny and adorable. Born at 5 pounds, 6 ounces and 20 inches long, she came a couple of weeks early, but very healthy. Mom Kym and baby Teygan (or "Tee" as AJ calls her right now) are doing great!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hair Here and There

Anna June's hair is getting longer. It gets in her mouth. It gets caught by the clump in the comb. She still doesn't like to have bows or things in her hair too often, but she's certainly becoming more aware of her hair.

This morning, in her crib, before she even got up, she said, "My hair not perfect today."

Well, it's not! It is frizzy from all the humidity and rain, but I did manage to comb it and it looks a little better than it did.

I hope she's not getting a complex about it. Everywhere we go, people still say, "Look at that hair!"

(Above, with Natalie, waiting for the carousel.)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Friends, Real and Imagined

This is a picture of Anna June and her good friends Sipsey and Natalie. Natalie is moving to Tennessee, and in anticipation of the move, has already stopped going to daycare. Even though we (and her teachers) have talked to AJ about the concept of moving, she didn't really get it. After Natalie was out of school for over a week, AJ asked me about her, saying, "Natalie still sick?" This broke my heart, and I tried to explain that Natalie was fine, but at home. I decided to email Natalie's mom, Julie, to get her together with AJ one last time before the big move. We happened upon a gorgeous weekend in April and headed to the zoo.

When we had been there for a while, we ran in to Sipsey, who also adores Natalie. So we played together for the rest of the trip. The girls rode the carousel together. With a friend and moms on either side of her, AJ couldn't say no to actually riding one of the animals that goes up and down (the past two trips on a carousel have been spent on a bench). She had a blast! Afterward, when we described the trip to people, I asked, "What did you ride at the zoo?" hoping she'd tell everyone about the camel we went on. "CAROUSEL!" she'd say. So, next time, we're skipping the camel and just riding the merry-go-round.

Sometime last week, I picked AJ up from daycare, and I asked her what they did that day. She told me they went for a walk. I tried to get her to elaborate, asking what they saw on the walk. "Did you see birds?" "No." "Did you see bees?" "No." She also said no to seeing grass, trees, flowers, people, dogs and cats. Exasperated, I asked, "Did you see an elephant?" "No." she said matter-of-factly, "but I see one now!"

I asked her what the elephant's name was. She made a series of elephant-like sounds, until she came up with a couple together that sounded like "Hoo-Ha." I said, "HooHa? That's your elephant's name?" I was expecting her to say something like, "No mommy, that's silly." But instead she said, "Yep!"

Through more questions, we discovered that Hoo Ha is white (although she later changed to brown.) She is a girl, although she was a mama elephant and now she's a baby. She was really big but now she's small enough to fit in Anna June's hand. When asked what Hoo Ha does all day, Anna June replies, "Plays with Radar." I am so glad Radar has a friend to play with all day while we're gone. AJ held up her apple for Hoo Ha to eat, and her milk for her to drink. She tells Hoo Ha to sit down and for us to move out of the way for her.

Hoo Ha has been the subject of many conversations in our family, especially this morning, when she told me that Hoo Ha was coming to school with her so she could play on the playground. So I had to tell the teacher about her, in case they happened to come across an elephant this morning.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Gator

Before Anna June officially grows out of these shoes, I thought I'd get her in this adorable alligator outfit brought to her by Granny Annie. Note the matching barrettes and purse. I thought I'd better get a snap before we go out in the rain to the library. I think the purse will be used to tote the barrettes. She's averaging about 15 minutes of keeping things in her hair these days.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Hello, Kitty



Anna June had a rough night last night. I think it was because she has sort of a cough happening. Or maybe it was because she wasn't wearing her Hello Kitty pajamas. (Another birthday gift from Chapin and Michele!)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

National Volunteer Week

I read somewhere that this is National Volunteer Week, so I decided to initiate Anna June into some volunteerism. Actually, it probably doesn't qualify as volunteering if your mom makes you do it. But I think it is good for children to participate in giving back, even at age 2. (I also recently read that someone asked, "Why wasn't there a drug problem when we were kids?" The answer was: "We did! We were drug to church, drug to help the neighbors, and if we were bad, we were drug behind the woodshed!" But I digress.)

Sometime in March, I was asked to be our division's solicitor for the UAB Benevolent Fund campaign. The campaign runs the whole month of April, and our division has about 250 people in it. I said yes before I really knew what I was getting in to! One of the things we're supposed to do is to thank people who gave last year. Right before Easter, I got the idea that I would send Easter eggs as thank you notes...decorate plastic ones and stick a slip inside with a "thank you" on it. Then, because Easter eggs are hard to put in interoffice envelopes, I decided that I would enlist the world's cutest, most adorable helper to bring her Easter basket and help me deliver them to those on the list. I planned to do this on Good Friday, when AJ was out of school, but I wasn't ready in time.

I made up about 64 eggs, and yesterday, Anna June came with me to work. She was so excited and happy. She even suggested that she wear her Easter dress! She wasn't very shy, and she caught on to exactly what I wanted her to do right away. It took longer than I thought, because folks wanted us to stay and visit.

About halfway through, a sweet lady decided to give AJ a piece of candy, which I wouldn't let her eat right away. From there on out, at just about every stop we made, AJ asked me, "We go back your office eat candy now?" It was pure torture for her to have to wait, but she did, so the stickiness caused by the Tootsie Roll pop didn't interfere with her delivery duties.

(Photo above: Anna June hands an egg to my friend Dianne.)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dinner with Everyone

On Sunday night, after a busy weekend, AJ went to visit her Nana and Granddaddy while we went on a date. We came to pick her up, and she was glad to see us. Mom had already told me what they had for dinner, but we decided to ask Anna June.

"What did you eat for supper, Anna June?"
"Ice cream!"
"Well, I'm sure you had ice cream for dessert. What else did you eat?"
"Ham."
"What else?"
"BirmingHAM!" she declared.

So if our whole city is missing, then you can just check Anna June first.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Easter Egg Footage

As mentioned earlier, Anna June attended the Easter Egg Hunt at our church. Ben and I both shot footage, but I am not able to figure out how to stitch them together, as they were shot in different formats.

Here you can see Ben helping AJ find some eggs, and see and hear some of her friends as well:

Easter Egg Hunt 2010 from Ben Gallitz on Vimeo.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Night-Night Time


I have been practicing saying "Anna June loves to go to bed!" "Anna June is a great sleeper." Perhaps if I claim this idea, it will come true. Meanwhile, she really, really doesn't. She even said yesterday, "I not like nap." Anyway, she skipped her nap and, as a result, was a little cranky for the rest of the day. It was 8:45 before she finally went to sleep, but she slept like a rock all night long, until about 6:45 this morning.

Hopefully, she will nap as usual at daycare today. I don't want her teachers to hate me.

The adorable Little Mermaid pajamas are from Michele and Chapin. Thanks again!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Slice of Life

I don't know when I took this video, but let's just say it was still cold outside. Anna June, before I picked up the camera, had been singing "Jesus Loves Me". It was so sweet I wanted to capture it. Then, she kept singing it, but she made faces. And did some other things. If you've got 4 minutes to see what life is basically like in our house, see this video.

You're Not Gonna Post That, Are You? from Ben Gallitz on Vimeo.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Tea Party

When Olivia came over last weekend, Anna June had a tea party with her when they were done playing in the sandbox. Here is the evidence:

Olivia can't walk yet, so Anna June was crawling to be sociable.

Olivia liked banging the cups together.

AJ showing her how it's done!

After the tea party, after the pigtails!



Friday, April 16, 2010

More Singing

Granny Annie gave Anna June a CD by the children's folk singer Ella Jenkins. AJ picked up on "Did You Feed My Cow?" right away. She loves it, and I hear her daddy loved it when he was a child. Like many folk songs, it is pretty sad, with a cow dying. But Anna June loves flopping her arms and saying "flop, flop, flop" when the buzzards come after the cow.

In this video, we are waiting for Ben to get home and AJ is not particularly cooperative. She's sort of into the singing, but not at all into the filming. But this is a typical interaction with Anna June - she is never still.

Did You Feed My Cow? from Ben Gallitz on Vimeo.



Did You Feed My Cow?

Did you feed my cow? (Yes, Ma-am)
Could you tell me how? (Yes, Ma-am)
What did you feed her? (Corn and Hay)
What did you feed her? (Corn and Hay)

Did you milk her good? (Yes, Ma-am)
Now did you milk her like you should? (Yes, Ma-am)
How did you milk her? (Squish, Squish, Squish)
How did you milk her? (Squish, Squish, Squish)

Did my cow get sick? (Yes, Ma-am)
Was she covered with tick? (Yes, Ma-am)
How did she die? (Uh, Uh, Uh)
How did she die? (Uh, Uh, Uh)

Did the buzzards come? (Yes, Ma-am)
Did the buzzards come? (Yes, Ma-am)
How did they come? (Flop, Flop, Flop)
How did they come? (Flop, Flop, Flop)

Words: Traditional Music: Ella Jenkins
© 1968 Ella Jenkins (ASCAP)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Me and My Teddy Bear

First of all, I was taking a picture and forgot to turn my camera back around, so I apologize for the fact that your head will be turned sideways for 40 seconds while you watch this adorable clip.

Anna June watches way too much Barney. But I'm pretty sure she learned this song at school. The real lyrics can be found here.


Me and My Teddy Bear from Ben Gallitz on Vimeo.

Interesting to Note



At Anna June's 2-year old checkup on 4/1, she was:

37" tall: >97th percentile
29 pounds: 75-95th percentile

Dr. Walley's comment, "I'm not sure how you'll look later, Anna June, but at 2, you're built like your daddy."

(Photo from this morning. She was singing.)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

More Cousins


My cousin Mary posted these two pictures she took of Anna June with Claire and Ella, so I thought I would grab them and show them off.

AJ had such a great time playing with them that the other day, out of the blue, she said, "I wanna go see Cousin Ella." So if things settle down here in the near future, I guess we'll be trying to get to Dothan to do just that.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Because and Why

Anna June's language skills are in exponential growth mode. From the beginning of her life, we've been told to just talk to her like an adult and she'll catch on. Of course, we have done our share of cooing and modifying words on her behalf, but apparently it has been to no ill effect. Anna June is, much as we hear we both were as preschoolers, like a very tiny grown-up.

She's been speaking in complete sentences for a while now. But the kicker lately has been the word "because". She will complete a clause, and then her voice will go up (like mine does when I explain something to her) and she'll say "because..." and usually another clause will follow. This morning, something along the lines of "Anna June not want to go school today BECAUSE I still tired," was heard in her bedroom. Then she told her daddy something like "Mommy have elephants and giraffes BECAUSE she not brush her teeth."

The other day, she asked me "Why?" for the first time. I knew this was coming, but I was hoping it would be later. On one particularly pretty day last week (or the week before) she asked if we could go to the daycare playground instead of getting in the car and going home. I told her no, that we had to go home. "Why?" she asked. I said, "Because we have to go home and take care of Radar." She still cried because she didn't like my answer, but she accepted it and didn't keep on asking why, which I trust will happen soon enough.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Where Does the Weekend Go?

Since I left work on Friday afternoon and filled up my car with gas just before picking up Anna June, I drove 50 miles, and I never left our side of town, so I have a pretty good idea of where the weekend went!

Anna June had a fantastic time this weekend!

On Saturday, we played with my friend Kate and her 11 month old little girl, Olivia. I had made the mistake of telling AJ that Olivia may come over that day and she must have asked me 20 times "Libya here yet?" She was so excited to show off her sandbox and share her toys.

On Sunday, AJ woke up and decided that we needed to go to Nana's house. Right then. She wouldn't accept any other answers. She was apparently having a grandparent-withdrawal emergency, even though she had stayed over there on Friday night while we went out on an actual date (that did not involve running errands). So we got on the phone, packed up a bunch of stuff, and headed over there to go have some cinnamon rolls and bacon, then get ready for church. It was great.

After church (which was also great), we stopped by and got Ben and went to McDonald's. It was such a nice day we decided to let Anna June try out the playground. She loved it for a while, until she was too tired and had a screaming/crying breakdown. As we went to collect her shoes, I finally read the rules, which said the playground was for children ages 3-12. Well, at least she's as big as a 3-year-old! The older kids helped her navigate the enormous structure. We will try to avoid going there for a while yet.

Her nap didn't go so well. After more than half an hour of her trying to go to sleep, I heard her call, "Mommy, I pooped in my bed!" And she had. All over it. So I had to clean that all up - I thought about just bathing her but decided against it. Ben was out cutting the grass, so I still had the easier task. Finally (about 55 minutes after being put in her crib) she fell asleep, but only for an hour.

After nap, we did a Skype call with Grandpa, talked on the phone to Granny, and then went to visit Grandma Annette in the hospital. AJ did well - singing and trying to entertain Grandma with showing off how she knows her colors and her ABCs. Then, we stopped by the house before going back to Nana's for dinner. AJ had a great time dancing, modeling jewelry, and throwing food on the floor.

Now, we're back to the work week. She had quite the meltdown going back to school this morning, but she is fine now. (Yes, I called to check.) I hope to locate and post pictures soon.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Uncouth!

Once I saw a caption on a photo on Facebook that mentioned the photo was taken at or just after a funeral. "How terrible," I thought.

But then, just before Granddaddy's funeral, my cousins Claire and Ella were walking around with AJ, holding her hand and looking so sweet and beautiful. I nudged Ben and asked him to take a picture, as these three girls rarely get to see each other. So he did. I don't think he was the only one...how could they not?

Actually, I often think Anna June looks like Claire and/or Ella, depending on the situation. I know this is probably due to the fact that they are all blond and adorable. Let me know what you think...do you see the resemblance?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Colors

Anna June is doing much better at learning her colors. This morning I tested her, showing off at school.
"What color is Diamond's shirt?"
"Purple." (It was.)
"What color is your shirt?"
"Pink." (It was.)
"What color is Ms. Deanna's shirt?"
"Black." (It was.)
"What color is my shirt?"
"Green." (It was!)

I didn't have time to test every color of the rainbow, but she made 100% otherwise. If you ask her what color this chicken is, though, she will say, "LELLOW!"

Thursday, April 8, 2010

You Can't Handle The Cute



I'm working on figuring out the CD that came with our JCPenney portraits, but for right now, here's a little taste of how adorable they are.

Because of the dangerously high pollen count, Anna June's class didn't get much time outside yesterday. They stayed in and did artwork instead. Ms. LaToya poured out a little too much yellow for finger painting the ducks, so she decided to show the children how yellow and blue make green. The conversation went a little like this:

"What color is that?"
"Lellow." said Anna June
"What color is this?"
"Boo."
After mixing them together, and before she could ask,
"GEEEEN!"

LaToya said she wished I could have been there to see her eyes light up, as if it were the coolest thing EVER. It actually is pretty amazing.

Then, after church last night when we were loading up in the car, AJ gave her Aunt Beth the duck picture. She showed her the picture of green, and AJ said, "I give that Daddy." Because, as we all know, green is Ben's favorite color.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Getting on the Stick






Anna June, after riding a stick in Nana's backyard on Thursday and Friday, inspired the Easter Bunny to bring her a hobby horse.

She was very excited about it, and was a little upset we wouldn't allow her to play with it during Sunrise Service. Immediately afterward, though, we got it out of the car, and she rode it all the way to the Fellowship Hall, and all around the tables after gobbling down her doughnut and some juice. "Giddy-up!" she hollered. Everyone laughed and had fun watching her.

"Does your horse have a name?" Pastor Jan asked her.
"No, not yet." Anna June replied, as if she had been far too busy for the past 2 hours to come up with one.

Granny Annie suggested the name "Clippety Clop". AJ still hasn't settled on it yet.

Here, finally, is a link to our latest Picasa web album. These are pictures from January-April, many of which you have seen posted here. I may later break them up into subject areas: the zoo, her birthday, Easter, etc. So, if you're reading this much later and the link doesn't work, let me know. As it stands, I have 146 pictures at this link, and many of them are repeats trying to get the same shot to work. Working with two-year-old children is probably worse than herding cats. I included all the takes because, quite frankly, I was too tired to figure out how to delete them from the group!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Sunday Day



Anna June had a great Easter. The Easter Bunny came to visit her and she loved every single thing he left in her basket. He left a toy for Radar, which she took great pride in giving him, informing him that it was from the Easter Bunny!

We went to Sunrise Service at my church, then came home to regroup and get ready for "Big Church" at 10:30. Ben took the opportunity for a much-needed nap, and I showered while AJ watched Blues Clues. She seemed fine hanging out with Radar and her television friends, so I went ahead and dried my hair. In those few minutes, she took it upon herself to further try out her washable markers, a gift from the Easter Bunny himself. Of course, I forgot we left them out from the pre-6:30 basket inspection. I came out of the bathroom only to find this:


Thank goodness, they live up to their "Washable" title. I had to wash it out of her dress, too, and hung it up to dry for a while before resorting to the hair dryer. I had told everyone about her beautiful Easter dress and didn't want to disappoint with a different one (although we did have a backup in mind).

Anna June picked out her own Easter bonnet, which (almost) matches her dress. She wore it for about five seconds after these pictures were taken.