Friday, July 30, 2010

Lost in Space

This is one of Anna June's latest pieces from school. Don't ask me why Mercury is not labeled and the rest of the planets are. And I'm not sure of Pluto's current status as a planet. But regardless, you can see how AJ has been getting more serious about coloring lately.

She had a better night last night, but had one episode where she woke up and freaked out because she couldn't find Raggedy Ann. She has at least two Raggedy Ann dolls - a big one and a little one - or, as she says, a mama and a baby. Luckily, the baby one was just underneath the mama one and all was well.

We're still trying to get oriented with the new room arrangements and sometimes her toys and dolls go missing in all that space. Well, usually it's because Radar finds them before we do.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Anna June's great aunt Connie thinks she's pretty special. She cross-stitched Anna June's birth announcement for her room - it is one of my favorite things in the world.

At some point, before my grandmother passed away, I was reminiscing with my granddad and uncle about how my grandmother had not only paid for and shuttled me to my ballet lessons when I was a kid, she kept each pair of ballet shoes I had. They were in a bag from Aland's department store - you Birmingham natives will know that certainly dates the shoes! A few years ago, she passed them on to me, intending for me to keep them. I looked at them for years. They got shoved in the guest room, which became Anna June's room. They got shoved in a box. Uncle Tim mentioned that I should get Aunt Connie to help me figure out how to display them in AJ's room - she's really great at crafts, photography and scrap booking, and has found neat ways to display a lot of sentimental items in their house.

I was so glad that I asked. On a recent Saturday when Ben had to work, AJ and I went with Connie on a craft shopping mission. When we got back home, Connie patiently explained to me how we could realize my vision of a wreath displaying the little shoes. My eyes glazed over. She realized she'd have to do the work, or hours later, I would be burnt by a glue gun, frustrated with my bow-tying, and mad at the whole idea. It would also look better if Anna June did it herself.

This wreath is the result of our discussions and Connie's hard work. We went to pick it up from their house last Saturday in the pouring rain. Ben thanked Connie, saying that he knows I wouldn't have been able to do it in "a million years." He was right. When we got home, he showed it to AJ as they were getting out of the car. She had been too busy playing with Daisy the cat to notice it much at their house. They came inside, and he asked me if I had heard what AJ said about the wreath. "No," I said. "She said, 'Oooh, how pretty!'" My grandmother, of course, was known for admiring things with that exact same phrase.

Let the bawling commence.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Good At Holding Babies

On Saturday, Anna June was visited by her Aunt Kym, Uncle Ken, and cousin Teygan. While we were glad to see her parents, we were very excited to see the baby, who is now already 3 months old! Anna June calls her "Tea-again". So cute.

We propped Teygan up in AJ's lap for some pictures. These are the best I got - in most of the shots I took, they both looked terrified.

When we were done, we praised Anna June for following our directions of being careful, easy and still while holding Teygan. We told her she was good at holding babies. She took that to heart, and has told just about everyone she met that she is "good at holding babies." She also, coincidentally, has eschewed her stuffed animals in favor of Pussycat, Heather, and Helen, some of her baby dolls, ever since the visit.

Also, she's showed some signs of regression: wetting her pants, demanding to wear Pull-ups, and, most surprisingly, last night she asked to eat dinner in her high chair. With a bib. I think this has less to do with the baby visiting and more to do with her younger friends at school and the fact that we're in the midst of major changes at home: getting rid of the crib, changing table, pack n play, walking toy and diaper pail all at once. She may be getting the idea that there's not another baby coming and she wants to be one.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Yesterday, Anna June did not nap at school. Knowing how much she needs her sleep and how impossible she gets when she's exhausted, I rushed through everything and got her in bed before 8:00 - no small feat. She slept soundly until just after 11, when I heard a very distressed, "Mommy!" coming from her room. She had rolled off the bed and managed to get stuck between the bed and the wall. I stuffed a pillow down that crack to prevent that from happening again, and in the time it took to find and place the pillow, she was asleep again.

We all slept great until about 2 am, when AJ wanted some water. She wanted more about 10 minutes later. And more about ten minutes later. Eventually, I had to refill her cup. I thought she'd fall asleep while I was down the hall, but she was wide awake. She wasn't unhappy about not sleeping, and didn't really ask to get up or do anything unusual. She was just awake. In fact, about 3:00 am, before the whining about not being sleepy, we had a very interesting and alert conversation. It went sort of like this:

"Mommy, what does Curious George say?"
"Oooh ooh, aaah ahh. He's a monkey."
"Sometimes he tries to talk."
"That's true. He sounds like uh-huh, uh-huh."
"Yeah. Curious George lives in a yellow house." (He splits his time between a yellow house in the country and an apartment in the city.)
"Yes he does."
"We live in a white house."
"Yeah." (Well, the trim is white.)
"Maybe we can paint our house."
"Maybe some day."
"Drew painted her house."
"Yes, Drew's mommy and daddy painted her house."
"But she couldn't go to the zoo." (Recently, we invited the Drew and her family to come with us to the zoo, but they were painting and couldn't make it.)
"That's true."
"But she can come to the zoo another time."
"Can we go to the zoo tomorrow?"
"No, you have to go to school tomorrow. But we can go another day."

She obviously had a lot on her mind. After I got up for at least the tenth time, this time to take her to the bathroom, I told her that she absolutely HAD to go to sleep. I told her something I once found helpful that my mom told me: don't think about anything. She said, "But I'm thinking about something." "What are you thinking about?" I asked. She said, "I don't know!" She sounded so mournful - like the reason she couldn't get to sleep was that she was thinking some unnamed thought and as soon as she resolved the problems of the universe, she'd go to sleep.

Eventually, with the help of the lullaby CD, ceiling fan, and her baby doll she got back to sleep. She didn't really want to get up this morning, and, as you can imagine, neither did I!

The pictures above are from this morning. We wanted to show off her giraffe-print outfit, and the fact that AJ had me put up the hair of her doll (whose name is Pussycat - she came to us already named). Then AJ let me put her hair in a ponytail, too. She doesn't look like anyone who was troubled and couldn't sleep, does she?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Hot Dog!

Back when we went to the zoo a few weeks ago, we stopped by Sneaky Pete's (a hot dog chain) to get some lunch, and Anna June got to experience her very first hot dog. Besides that they're not very good for you, they're choking hazards, and we've avoided having them so far. But since then, we've had them on several occasions, including the 5th of July celebration at my parents' house. Soon after, AJ asked if we could have them at home. Since I didn't have them on hand, I put them on the grocery list, and we ended up eating them for dinner on Tuesday night. I cut AJ's up, and put out some ketchup for her to dip it in, honoring the preferred Tucker kid method. She ate the first hot dog in record time.

She asked for more. So I gave her another one.

I hadn't anticipated making the whole pack of hot dogs, but I had to boil another one when AJ requested more. She ended up eating half of that. So, 2.5 (almost 3, really) hot dogs for one very hungry little girl in one night! Watch out, Kobayashi!

The next night, we had tacos. Anna June came to the table whining, "I don't want to have tacos!" I asked her what she did want. She replied, "hot dogs!"

Saturday, July 24, 2010

My Little Skeptic

On Monday, things got a little heated in the Circle Time discussion in Anna June's class. The theme this week is God's creation. Ms. Toya was talking about how God made the world. Anna June disagreed. I don't know what her theory of creation was, but she was simply not buying it from Toya that God made the world. Anna June's stance was so convincing that Drew also decided to disagree. AJ finally came around, but Toya said that it needed far more proof and explanation for my little skeptic than it did for the other kids. In fact, Toya made AJ tell Drew that God did, in fact, make the world. With his hands. Like the song.

It was sweet to hear of the solidarity between the two girls, but I was horrified by the incident. I am glad AJ's independent, and when she gets older she can come to her own conclusions, but for right now, if the teachers say God made the world, she should accept that God made the world.

Will we be at church in the morning? You bet.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Big Girl Bed!

Anna June got her big girl bed last night. "So I won't fall out," she said. We settled on an inexpensive "cherry" model from Wal-Mart. The good news about the toddler bed is that it comes with its own rails, is low to the ground in case she should fall, and uses the mattress from the crib. The bad news is that she can only use it until she reaches 50 pounds. By then, she'll be ready for something new.

AJ went in to the store requesting a Dora bed. We settled for Dora sheets, although the fancy sheet set was a little bit much for me. I said I didn't care what she picked, as long as she'd go to sleep. It took about an extra hour to shop and put it together, so AJ got into her bed about 9:00. Of course, she didn't go to sleep right away. She was far too excited. And there was still the standard stalling of water, baby dolls, etc.

But it must have worked in some way - not a peep out of her yet. She looks extra sweet sleeping in it - I can see her face clearly instead of through the bars. I will hate to wake her up to go to school!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Crib Diving

Anna June sure is growing up. Yesterday, she demonstrated that she can click the buckle together on her car seat. She can also open the refrigerator by herself (the first time was to get her dad a Dr. Pepper). Since she's so big, I thought I would follow some advice about not letting her draw out the bedtime thing, so I told her, no, she had had enough water, she needed to go to sleep and I was not coming back into her room.

Apparently, she decided to get the water herself, and climbed out of her crib. She fell head-first (we think) onto the carpet. This has been brewing for a while. She's really too big for the crib and I had been putting off the whole big-girl-bed idea. But now, it has become immediate. We're going to try shopping tonight.

The whole fall was very scary to Anna June, as well as to us. It was probably the most traumatic thing that has ever happened to her. On top of being exhausted, she was also injured and surprised. She cried for longer than she has in a long time, and in an almost hysterical manner. We checked all of the things you're supposed to check when a kid falls on her head: eyes, motor skills, cognitive skills. She was fine. We changed her pajamas and sheets (she felt like they'd gotten wet from the water) and she went to sleep. Until 4:30 am, when she decided to wake up. Then there was more water, turning on the fan, pleas to read a story, having to go to the bathroom, wanting a stuffed animal, etc. It was as if the stalling I had nipped in the bud at 8 pm had gotten interrupted and she picked up right where she left off. Maybe once we get her new bed she'll do better. I'm not holding my breath.

The good news, though, is that she promised me that she'd never try to climb out of the crib again. After all that crying, that declaration was the sweetest thing I heard all day.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sunday in the Park

On Sunday, we visited East Lake Park and fed the ducks and geese. Mostly geese. There was a huge flock. If you've got 25 seconds, you can watch the video and see how they surrounded us when they sensed we had food.

What's good for the goose.... from Ben Gallitz on Vimeo.

Also, here are some still photos of our trip, feeding ourselves and then the geese.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Anna June was slow to get up this morning, and I took the time to iron an outfit for her that I had left in the dryer a little too long. I laid it out, along with clean panties, shoes, and matching ponytail holders.

Not only did AJ burst into tears at the thought of not picking out her own clothes, she was devastated that I would even suggest wearing pigtails. There were a lot of "No" and "But Mama" screams heard from her room. We settled on a new cute outfit that Granny sent, a pink halter top with bright pink flowers. When AJ discovered it had little hot pants-type bloomers with it, she was having none of it. She told me she wanted to wear pants. More specifically, "regular shorts". I pulled out every clean pair of pants and shorts she owns. She hated all of them. She finally decided on her bright orange board shorts. I didn't care that it didn't match, I just wanted to get her to school.

I told the teacher that AJ was in a terrible mood, and about the fight we had to get her dressed. I explained about the non-matching outfit. The teacher declared that she didn't notice that the outfit did not match. "It flows," she said.

She makes it work, I guess, with the messy hair and the screaming-in-protest white tennis shoes.

Monday, July 19, 2010


Anna June has told me every day for the past several weeks that she does not want to go to school. I don't blame her. It is a long day for a little girl. But like her classmates, she has no other good alternative. So, on the weekends, I like to indulge her demands a little more, since we have a little more "free" time. I just feel sorry for a little girl who doesn't like to go to school - I can't remember ever going through that phase!

This is how we ended up at the library on Saturday instead of running any of the other grown-up errands I had thought of to run, and how, on Sunday, we ended up skipping church to go "feed the duckies" at East Lake Park.

Ben has photos and video footage of the duck and goose feeding, so I will let him post those soon. But I just wanted to share how focused she can be on what she wants. We went to Krispy Kreme, which is just down from the park. (Coincidence? I think not.) While Ben was waiting for our donuts, AJ laid her head down on the table, resting it on her folded arms. She looked very sweet, but I asked her, "Are you still tired?" She said, "No. I'm just thinking 'bout those duckies."

Of course, as soon as our bread was gone, she was thinking 'bout the playground instead of seeing any more wildlife, but that's not the point!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Just in Case

Just in case you're ever with Anna June and you have nothing to do, play peek-a-boo of any sort. She's 2 now, and one day will grow out of it, but right now it is the most hilarious, cheapest game you can play with her. She especially likes hiding under covers or behind curtains before you peek. It is so funny to her. She's learning hide-and-seek, but the "where's Anna June? There she is!" does not get old. To her. She and Ben played it for long stretches this morning while I was getting ready.

AJ and I went to the library this morning. Afterwards, we visited the East Lake Farmer's Market for the first time, and we enjoyed both activities! She loved playing on the playground and picking out a watermelon, and I loved getting homemade chocolate chip cookies, still warm from being outside. Let's forget about the fact that I've had all the ingredients to make homemade chocolate chip cookies in my pantry for weeks now. These were better, probably because they were made by someone else. A bargain in my book!

Another new milestone this week is that Anna June has started going to bed without the aid of Pull-ups. She is proud of herself, but she has mixed feelings. Just like yesterday morning, this afternoon she decided to go in her room, pull out a Pull-up, open it at the sides like a diaper, lie down in the floor, and ask me to put it on her. Even though she'll loudly declare I need to leave the room when she goes to the potty and has been very well-trained, she apparently misses being a baby in that respect just a tad. All I know is that when this pack of Pull-ups is gone, I'm not buying anymore, unless there's some sort of major, unforeseeable regression. She just got some Dora panties in from Granny Annie, though, so I don't anticipate this will happen.

Just before her nap, she was on the potty, and pulled down her Pull-up. She announced to Ben, "Daddy, I put on a Pull-up, just in case."

Friday, July 16, 2010

Birthday Party Time!

Anna June does not spend every weekend at the zoo. Last weekend, she went to her friend John Clarke's house for his first birthday party. His mom, dad, aunt and grandmother are all my friends on Facebook and have all posted pictures. I did not bring my camera to the event, figuring the paparazzi would be there in full force. For some reason, AJ wasn't the star of this well-photographed party. :) Thanks to them for the pictures!

Shelley baked a train-shaped smash cake for John Clarke, and iced it in red, yellow and blue. It certainly achieved the desired effect! He loved it and was absolutely adorable.

Anna June, for her part, was well-behaved, although she ate her red velvet cupcake at a snail's pace! She looked out for the younger babies and enjoyed playing in (and drinking from) the sprinkler toy with the older kids.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

It Be Hot

Anna June knows that it is hot outside, and a fun way to cool off is the splash area at the zoo. She loves this part of each trip. (And these are the last zoo pictures until the next time we go, I promise!)

When I was about 10, I went to Florida with some relatives, including my mom's cousin Ginger. She purchased a politically incorrect souvenir fan with an Aunt Jemima looking character on it. The fan said, "It Be Hot!" and about this time every year, I think about that fan. I sort of wish I had it to wave right about now.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wallaby Walkabout

I know I keep posting about our one trip to the zoo over a week ago, but there was just so much activity Anna June packed in one day, it is worth showing off. AJ loves the kangaroo area. They have kangaroos, wallabies, and geese in an Australian-themed section. It is really nice. But something new we'd never done before is the "Wallaby Walkabout". I don't know if they do it every day, but at 10:30 on that particular Saturday, we could get in to walk inside the kangaroo/wallaby enclosure. You have to stay on the path, and the animals were eating, so they were fairly preoccupied. I'm just glad 20+ people don't watch us eat breakfast every Saturday!

You can't pet them, but you can get very close! While we were waiting to be let in, AJ and Ben took advantage of the "Aboriginal" area where you could draw on the cave wall, and AJ loved putting on the mining hat to go in and see the smaller animals (like a toad and an enormous crayfish) in the "down under" area.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Taking Care of Business

Anna June was in a pretty good mood this morning. Let me tell you about the little diva's day.

First of all, she didn't want to get up. She slept all night (hooray! 2 nights in a row!) and wasn't thrilled about getting up and going to school. But as I was picking out her clothes she wanted to know what she was wearing today. I picked out her Hello Kitty beach outfit. She said "No" right away. She suggested that we look in her closet together.

I am glad we did, because we found the Raggedy Ann outfit Ben's aunt Amy sent to her. She loves her Raggedy Ann dolls (large AND small). I had really been saving it for the 4th of July, but when I realized it was on a Sunday this year, I opted to let her wear a somewhat red-white-and-blue dress that could go from church to party with no problem. (Except she changed clothes about 3 times that day, landing back in that dress in time for the party.)

After she agreed to wear it today - it has a purse! she finally cooperated and got dressed. She did not want to wear her new lace-up shoes, though. She tried to sneak her crocs in on me, but I was awake enough to realize she was pulling a fast one. The compromise? The pink plaid shoes. AJ also did not cooperate on the teeth brushing, again. I'm so glad I'm all done growing teeth. It must be miserable!

She did, however, decide that it was OK for me to take a picture of her in her new outfit. Plus her backpack. I guess her backpack matches the shoes. She was pretty excited about the photo op and wanted to preview herself on the camera, and decided I should get another shot.

Then, she was playing like she was calling her neighbor Jimmy on the phone. She said, "Hey! I call you later. Bye!" She knows how to take care of business!

In fact, over the weekend, I was getting ready for church and she came in the bathroom. She told me that she'd be back after her "meeting". Talk about mommy guilt! I feel so bad about having to dash off to meetings and appointments, but that's life. I've heard that lawyers' kids pretend they have depositions or doctors' kids pretend they're on call, so I guess having a meeting is not that serious.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Camel Ride

When we made our big trip to the zoo, Anna June rode the camel again, this time with her Daddy. Daisy the camel was well-behaved again and the ride was a great photo op, even if it was short. AJ really enjoyed it! This attraction goes away August 1, so if you, too want to ride a camel with Anna June, hurry!

Quick Ones

Here are some things I've thought about but haven't posted yet:

Back when I was sick a few weeks ago, Anna June came and "tucked me in" and added her little blankets to my bed to keep me warm.

On Thursday, Ben and I were both a little overdressed for work since we both had meetings scheduled that day. Ben came into AJ's room and I asked, "Anna June, doesn't Daddy look nice?" She said, "Daddy, you look fancy!" Since I was wearing a dress and pumps, I asked her if I looked fancy, too. "No," she said.

Friday morning we were eating some Yoplait Kids yogurt, which features Dora the Explorer on the containers. The kind I was eating, strawberry, had Dora and her monkey, Boots. Anna June's kind, strawberry vanilla, has Dora without Boots. She explained the difference as the fact that Boots had gone to see his Nana.

This morning I asked her to pick out a blanket to take with her to daycare for nap time while I was getting her nap mat out of the dryer. She came back with a sweet baby blanket my friend Sarah made her before she was born. She held it up to herself and asked, "Daddy, do you think this is cute?"

She effectively and correctly uses the word "y'all".

When something is too small (or, like her socks, "crooked" even though she's not wearing them), she knows to put it in the hand-me-down pile. She says, "send it to the babies!"

We checked out an audio book from the library, because she's been listening to her recording of Snow White over and over and over. We selected Clifford at the Circus. She looks intently at the book and turns the pages. I don't know if she's turning the pages when she hears the sound or not, but when I stopped the car and went to get her out of her car seat, she was on the correct page!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Riding Along on a Carousel

For Father's Day, Anna June made a certificate at school that was something to the effect of "World's Best Dad". The teachers asked her what special things she did with her daddy, and they wrote them down on the certificate. She said that he reads books with her. He does this every night. Almost every night I ask her if she'd rather Mommy or Daddy read her stories, and 99% of the time, she picks her daddy. She also mentioned that he plays with her, which is true, as is evidenced by the post earlier this week about their game of hide and seek. But on the third thing, she said he "takes me to the zoo." Apparently, Anna June must have overheard Sipsey's answer or Drew's, because it had been since Christmas time when Ben came with us to the zoo! We've been several times without Ben, and we were pretty surprised at her answer.

But, that reinforced our decision that he should definitely come with us the next time. So when we went on Saturday, we tried to make the most of it. One of the zoo things AJ has started loving is the carousel! So I let her ride that with her dad. Anna June rode a baboon or mandrill or something she called a gorilla, who was eating a banana. I think she discovered riding is more fun when you have someone to wave to on the sidelines.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Two Words: Hokey. Pokey.

Hokey Pokey with Ben and Anna June from Ben Gallitz on Vimeo.


As has happened a couple of times before, when we went to the zoo on Saturday morning we ran into Anna June's good friend Sipsey. The girls were very excited to see each other! As you can tell from these pictures, Anna June was already very hot from the day's excitement. I have other pictures from the day I will post later, but these are special, showing AJ with her friend.

At the party we went to on the 4th of July, at the zoo, church, or wherever we go, Anna June is looking for new friends. She loves to hang out with other kids, and it doesn't matter if they are older or younger than she is.

By the way, Sipsey's mom Lauren made her adorable outfit. That's right. When we got home, Ben asked if he heard right and she made the outfit. I told him yes and he was amazed. I can't even sew on a button well.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Anna June is doing her best to form convincing arguments these days but baby vs. Mommy is an epic and endless struggle.

This morning when I was putting on her shoes, she declared to her father and me, "I am bigger than y'all." She explained that she was getting bigger, not smaller, and we were not getting smaller either, so she's bigger. It was really quite a logical argument in her eyes, but regardless of that, it was very cute.

One reasonable request from her this morning was to be able to watch Veggie Tales after school. Thankfully, she's given in to my crazy rule that we can't watch TV in the mornings. There simply isn't time.

This morning was going well. After first saying she wanted to stay in bed a little longer, then she had the idea for me to turn on some music so she could get up and dance with me. She did what I asked, to a point. But we ended up literally holding her down in order to get her teeth brushed.

I'm pretty convinced she's teething. All the signs are there: trouble sleeping, fussing, fingers in mouth, feeling a tad warm the other day, asking for a teething pacifier, and putting things in her mouth except for her toothbrush.

She's getting a big dose of baby Motrin before bed tonight. I need no more convincing.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

On the Flip Side

This picture is on the flip side of the one I posted last week. It was still hiding on my scanner. I wonder which one she prefers.

Speaking of flips, Anna June likes to turn somersaults, but usually only at my parents' house, where there is enough room. We recently returned the coffee table to the center of our den, and while the room looks more pulled together, there is less room for dancing and flipping. I think the fact that she also likes to do her flips there has to do with that she usually has an adoring audience!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Not Quite...

Ben was in charge of watching Anna June while I took a shower this morning. When I was toweling off, I heard her say, "Ready not here I come!" I thought, "Wow! They're playing hide-and-seek! That's great!"

Then I hear Ben say, "Ready or not, here I come." And Anna June said, "I'm hiding in the kitchen!!!"

So, she doesn't quite get it yet. But she still had fun.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Alligator Pool

Anna June knows that when she asks why it is hot outside, she will get the answer that it is summer. So on Sunday, I decided to blow up her new pool from Granny and let her splash around and cool down.

I thought, since we have a pump, that I would be able to figure it out. Unfortunately, I discovered we do not have the right type of valve. I woke Ben up from his nap to ask him about how he'd go about it, and he said to start blowing. He didn't think I would take him seriously, but by the time he got to the kitchen, I had already blown up the alligator's feet. So, he helped. It took a long time, but we got it done. AJ was delighted!

We set it up in the shade. It had cooled down to 91 degrees by that time. Anna June had so much fun splashing. She's still not a fan of sitting down and playing in the pool too much, but she likes to hop in and out. This pool has two slides: one with steps going up to slide in to the pool, and one that slides out of the pool. In our case, this results in a lot of grass clippings sticking to a wet little girl and ending up in the pool, but she doesn't mind.

Anna June decided quickly that the slide going out of the pool was silly, so she liked to (get our help and) walk up the slide and then let us put her in the pool.

She had so much fun, we did it again the next day!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

In the Abstract

Anna June is developing into quite the advanced little thinker. She has picked up all sorts of ideas and phrases from her parents, teachers, friends, books, television, and other sources, but the way that she integrates them and remembers them is truly remarkable.

I feel like I never sit down in the evenings, but last night I had a glass of wine and was determined to finish it before starting on the dishes. I sat down on the couch near AJ, who was watching Sesame Street. While it is not uncommon for Radar and AJ to fight over my lap, it turned into quite the struggle. Radar was trying to tell me that he needed to go out, AJ was trying to snuggle, and I was trying not to spill my wine (again) on my freshly-cleaned beige carpet. Radar was scratching and biting me to get my attention, AJ was bouncing up and down along with Bert and Ernie's song about counting, and I was holding my quickly emptied glass off to the side of the commotion. I couldn't help myself, and I sighed a long, deep, exasperated sigh. AJ turned to me, full of concern, and asked, "Are you OK Mommy?" I explained that I was not really OK, that I needed to put down my glass and take Radar outside. She complied and I came back a few minutes later with a calm dog to find her pretty much where I left her, watching Elmo.

Another time, I had a stomach ache and had been complaining about it all day. I was not myself and was not up to chasing Anna June all over the house, yard and town. I told her I wasn't feeling well. She asked, "Do you need some medicine?"

I was reading I am a Puppy to her, and when Bruno meets a skunk, I decided I would point out that Curious George had met a skunk in an episode we watched together recently. Last night, Ben read the same book, and at the same point, AJ declared, "Curious George met a skunk, too!"

While reading an article called "How to Tell if Your Preschooler is Gifted," one part of the description stuck out for me: "While hyperactive children often have a short attention span, gifted children can concentrate on one task for long periods of time and are passionate about their interests." I talked to her teacher about this just this morning. If Anna June is interested in doing something, she gets really focused. Despite whatever else is going on, she still concentrates on the task at hand: dressing a baby doll, "reading" a book, playing with a toy, etc. This can be really frustrating as a parent. I don't really know how to divert her attention well. Of course, she's too young to really tell that she's gifted, per se. I know that many of her friends in her class do the same things and are every bit as advanced as she is. But to us, of course, she's very advanced, in everything but sleeping.

One bad thing about the ability to focus and remember is that we can't tell her anything ahead of time. On Sunday night, we were talking about animals, and decided we'd go to the zoo this Saturday. She's been deciding what animals to see. She declared that her daddy must ride the camel with her. And we should feed the giraffes and see their blue tongues. But Sunday to Saturday is a long time. Every morning since then, she's woken up asking if this is the day we can go to the zoo. She's asked about it when I pick her up from school. The answer "no" is met with pouting and sometimes tears. We've worked with her on the days of the week, and she even knows a song about them and can therefore sing them in order. She knows it is Thursday, but two more days to a toddler is torture! I am going to take my friend's advice and in the future, just not tell her where we're going until we're in the car on the way there!