Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Bad Day

Our Mondays are not usually terrible for Anna June, but yesterday was. I had to wake her up and from the first minute of her day, she was in a bad mood. She asked if she had to go to school, and even though she likes school, she groaned. I gave her a choice of what to have for breakfast, and when I served it to her, she cried. I gave her an alternative dish and she ate a few bites, then fell in the floor to pitch a fit. I literally wrestled with her to get her clothes on. There were many tears. We made it to school and I reported to her teacher that the morning had been "difficult."

Later I learned that several of the other kids in AJ's class were also having difficult days. This was a bad combination. Anna June was bitten on the playground. (Since she was in such a bad mood, I have no idea what she did to provoke this, but I'm sure it was at least somewhat her fault. You don't get your finger bitten unless it is close to someone's mouth.) The bite resulted in a call to me at work - my heart always stops for a second when I see the school's number on the Caller ID!

The day progressed, and I went to pick AJ up from school. Although she had been fine to that point, she immediately began whining again. As soon as she got in the car, she asked if we could go home. I told her I planned to go home and stay there for the rest of the night. She said, "I want to stay home all day!" So I told her that is what we would do.

If I were writing a script for a movie, I would have kept that bit of dialogue as ominous foreshadowing. When we got to the house, I tried turning my key in the lock. It has been sticking, and my key was bent. I turned a little too hard and my key broke off in the door. We were locked out. And wouldn't you know it, Ben was already in class. Until 8 pm!

So I called my parents' house, hoping to find my mother, who has a spare key. But we got Dad instead, who invited us to come there and wait until either Mom or Ben could come. I had an alternate idea - to go meet Mom at work and eat dinner (at Rusty's) and then come home. But Anna June decided that she'd rather see Granddaddy than Rusty (who wasn't there anyway) and we set off to his house. At least, I thought, if we went to Dad's house, there would be wine, and I felt like I could use a "grown up drink". If this had happened an hour earlier, by the way, Dad could have brought Mom's key back home from Leeds for me, but, of course, if it had happened an hour earlier, Ben would have also been available.

Anyway, dinner was almost finished. When we got there, Dad was cutting up a pineapple, which is, of course, the symbol for hospitality. That popped into my head as we chowed down on the fruit, cheese, crackers, and delicious pasta including homemade sauce with fresh tomatoes, and then two kinds of ice cream for dessert. So we ate. We relaxed. I sent Ben a text message with the bad news, and he called to check on us at his break. At that point, we were fine.

I used to think Everybody Loves Raymond wasn't that funny until I got married. Now, it is one of my favorite shows. A lot of the comedy comes from the fact that Ray's parents live across the street. Again, when I was single, I thought this was absurd. Now, I would have to say I recommend it. Living 1.6 miles from one's parents, especially when one is accident-prone, is a true blessing.

Somehow, during our stay, Anna June was throwing one of her exhausted fits, and I was trying to convince her to go to sleep at Mom and Dad's. I didn't intend for her to spend the night, really, just for her to get a little nap in before we left, since Ben wouldn't be available until after bedtime to rescue us. But she invited herself to spend the night. Mom and Dad agreed, so she did. We had her school backpack along, which had some complete changes of clothes, and Mom's car has a car seat, so she agreed to take her back to daycare for me this morning.

Ben called while we were about to get AJ down to sleep to say that he had made it safely into the house through the front door. Unfortunately, there's no delay on the alarm from the front door, so as soon as he opened it, the alarm went off. The neighbors were annoyed, but the alarm company got in touch with him before calling the police! And of course, Radar did not react well to having been inside for 14 or so hours.

I kissed AJ goodnight and headed home to try to accomplish a few things before turning in. As soon as I got in my car and realized I didn't have anyone to talk to, I turned on the CD I had been listening to, the Grosse Pointe Blank Soundtrack. I am not kidding, the song that played was Pete Townshend's "Let My Love Open the Door". I did not know whether to laugh or cry.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mug Shot

Maybe it is because of the stripes and the unhappy expression on her face, but I think this picture of Anna June looks like a mug shot. Except she wasn't the one in trouble -- her parents were.

Her new teacher, a nurse, was concerned about the huge red spots on AJ's face on Friday morning. We had tried to give her a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast, but she had a complete meltdown because I missed a spot or two with the cream cheese. So I tried again, giving her some kiddie yogurt (a terrible concoction of a blue "cotton candy" flavor and red "cherry). After she finished, I washed her hands and face in the kitchen sink, as always. I wiped her with a paper towel. The mark on her still-baby-sensitive skin was from the rough paper towel, or the red dye in the yogurt.

We've decided to only give her more naturally-colored yogurt in the future, and to try to avoid wiping her with cheap paper towels. But Friday morning, there was a lot of concern from her teacher (and her poor daddy, who got stuck taking her to school in the first place).

It went away, and she is fine. I'll keep an eye out in the future to see if she has any further reactions.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Best Buds

Anna June loves our dog, Radar. I think that's why I get so mad when he escapes...I know he has a tag and a microchip, and he knows his own way home - we'd get him back but there's always the chance of some accident happening to him that makes me furious. Anna June would be absolutely devastated if something happened to him.

A long time ago, Ben called Radar "Ray Ray" for a nickname, and it stuck. Anna June now wants to play with "Way Way"all the time. Last night when I wouldn't play with her (she wanted to give me an imaginary drink) she took off running. I asked what she was doing and she responded that she was taking a drink to Ray Ray!

Recently, she saw her Uncle Drew get his dog Hank to "shake". AJ decided yesterday morning before school that she just HAD to teach Radar to shake, as well. It took a lot of convincing that he probably wasn't going to learn it in one sitting and she needed to hurry up and get ready anyway.

On a different day, before school, she was hugging Radar and asked me to take a picture. So here are the two shots I got. You can tell that she's more tickled with him than he is with her. But he does love her - he allows her to brush him, play with him, and walk him on his leash. She can give him food and likes giving him a bath, too. Now if she can just drive him to the vet...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Here for the Party

This is a picture of Anna June, walking out the door on her first day of Pre-3. She was so happy and excited, she did not want to pose for a picture, which you cannot tell from her smile. In a lot of the pictures where she's by herself, you can't tell how tall she is, and how much like a big kid she looks now. But in this one, I think you can tell.

Yesterday, she got to be the line leader at school. You cannot imagine how excited she was about this. She woke up and told me it was her day, and I told her not to be disappointed if she was incorrect. But she was right!

Even though she whined and was uncooperative this morning, I have to say that I'm impressed by these first few days of her new class. I think she likes it overall. And if she gets to be the line leader every sixth school day, then at least I can count on her being in a good mood that often!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Little Wheels

Sometimes when I look at Anna June, I can almost see little wheels turning in her head. I try to predict her responses to things, but I can't always do it - she comes up with so much new stuff every day.

We've been eating Popsicles outside, since they're so messy. Last night, she did eat a good dinner, but then asked for a Popsicle, so we had some. Then, we went straight to the washing machine to stain treat her clothes and start another load. I lost her for a minute - I thought she was right behind me. I called out to her and she was dragging her clothes hamper into my room...she knew we needed more clothes than that to make a full load. Amazing.

But then, once she'd stripped down and was ready for her bath, she started running around the house. She came back to me and reported that she had run to Daddy and told him, "Naked!" and ran back. This repeated about 20 times, or as long as it took me to start the washer and run her bath.

Above is her coloring project from church, which kept her entertained during a service a couple of weeks ago - I found it in my purse when looking for something else. Our kitchen and my office are starting to look like a gallery. Let me know if you'd like any of AJ's current works and I will send them to you.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Rules

I know it has only been one day, but so far Anna June loves her new class. This morning when it was time to go to school, she asked, "Am I going to Miss Susan's class?" She was so excited!

The classroom rules are posted above - it's a handout they gave us to help us talk to our kids about what's expected of them at school. I think she'll remember them very quickly. They do time out to reinforce the rules. The one I'm most worried about is the talking thing. We don't do well at taking turns talking!

On the way to school, we usually listen to an audio book or sing songs, but this morning she wanted to talk about her new class. She told me they learned how to sit "Cris-cross Applesauce!"

She told me there were baby dolls, but only one of them has a bottle of "milk". Actually, when we were leaving last night, she wanted to take home one of the baby dolls, but her teacher said she'd take care of them for her.

Last night, we had asked her about her new class and she told us a few things. Like that they got to go eat in the "cafeteria". I was very surprised at how well AJ pronounced that difficult word.

Right as she was going to bed, she remembered to tell me, "We painted today!"

This morning, we discovered they were going to read a book we recently checked out from the library called The Boy Who Lost His Belly Button. So, without trying, she's already ahead. :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Stuff My Kid Says

Anna June, like most children, says the craziest things. Here are a few recent ones.

I asked her to do something and she said, "Sure, I'd be delighted!"

Saturday morning, I decided to make crepes (from a mix - don't get too excited) and I was explaining to her that they were like thin pancakes. She said, "We're going to need pepper and ice." So, remember that next time you're making them, I guess.

Later on Saturday, Ben was studying and I was showering. I came out to find Elmo in AJ's chair, pushed up to the coffee table. She explained she was giving Elmo a "birthday party". It was complete with tea and cakes.

We played "clubhouse" under the covers of our bed on Sunday morning. Ben has taught her to ask for the password if anyone tries to come in their special space. He was giving her funny passwords like "undies". I asked AJ what the password was and she said, "diaper rash!"

I was looking for something at home and Anna June said, "You'll never find it now!" which is what Swiper the Fox says on Dora the Explorer when he swipes something and hides it. She's probably right - I've been losing things at home at a record pace: my watch, the card adapter for our camera, a library book, parts of AJ's toys and more. I suspect Swiper himself has moved into our house.

I was putting AJ in the car seat and I gave her a kiss. She said, "You're so precious!" She must have heard that a million times at church and other places. I told her she was precious, too. Then she said, "You're precious, too, Mommy!"

Then, in the bathtub, she was having a conversation with me, but somehow she said, "You know what they say..." and I said, "What do they say?" And she didn't have an answer. I know she was just repeating something she'd heard. I tried giving her some examples of clichés, like "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen?" and it backfired. She replied, "No, I'm not in the kitchen, silly!"

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Good Point

I know it may come as a shock to you, but Anna June was disobedient at school on Friday. In preparing for the new school year, a bookshelf had been emptied and moved from its usual location, waiting to find its permanent home after the children went home (I presume). The teachers worked hard to keep the kids off of it, but being monkeys, they decided to climb on it, repeatedly, after repeated warnings to stay off the shelf. Anna June wasn't the only one climbing on it, but she was the only one who flipped off of it, which resulted in a bruise on her back.

When I got to school to pick her up, I had the "boo boo" form and an apology from the teacher, even though this was clearly AJ's fault. Later that evening, when I was bathing her, I decided to take the opportunity to talk to AJ about minding one's teacher and how teachers, parents and most adults just want to keep her safe.

I thought the talk was going well. She was playing with her bath toys, but listening to every word I said. She knew she was being told about something serious. And I went on with my speech, saying something like, "Anna June, you have to listen to grownups who are trying to keep you from getting hurt. I would be really upset if something happened to you."

Anna June looked up at me and said, "But you're upset now!"

I thought that was a valid point, and burst out laughing. Then AJ laughed, too. It was a good end to the conversation - I could tell she had gotten my point.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Just a Little Behind

Anna June, when focused on a task, can be intense. In the pictures above, she's playing with her "dollies" and would not look up, would not listen, would not budge. She was fascinated.

So this morning I was surprised when she was focusing on wanting to help me! She fetched my socks and shoes while Ben and I finished up some last minute "thank you" gifts for AJ's teachers. Today's her last day in her class, and moves up on Monday. When we were looking for pictures to print out and give as part of the gifts, I realized just how behind I am! Although I haven't been as devoted to snapping every second of AJ's life like I was when she was first born, I still have a ton of pictures that are yet-to-be uploaded. I will TRY to find time to work on that this weekend. The recent pictures I do have, all of which I think have already posted to the blog, are located here.

If I do get time to work on pictures or clean house, I probably won't be as focused on it as AJ is with playing with her dollies.

We were also running just a little behind when AJ and I walked out the door to go to school and Radar decided he wanted to go with us. Luckily, Ben had just left, and through the miracle of cell phones, I was able to catch him and he turned around and rescued us, capturing Radar in the neighbor's yard. That dog!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Anna June likes to be in the loop, so I tell her things sometimes that I really should wait to tell her. Yesterday morning, I reminded her that was the day she'd be eating dinner with Aunt Connie and Uncle Tim, because Mommy and Daddy each had plans. She was very excited. She went and picked out several books from her shelf to pack in her diaper bag, and was talking excitedly about the visit.

But then I told her she had to get ready for school, and she had a fit. She had thought she was going RIGHT THEN. She cried, "But I want to see Aunt Connie NOW!" She got over it, had a good day at school, and then had a fun time at their house with Granddaddy Jerome, and, of course, the kitties, Daisy and Bob.

They watched TWO episodes of Dora the Explorer and had an indoor picnic. AJ didn't tell me what they ate, but I'm glad they had such a nice time. I'm also very, very grateful, as I was able to see my great friends. We tried to think of the last time we had all seen each other without kids or husbands (or before that, fiances and boyfriends) around, and we couldn't. It had been years. We were so excited and had a wonderful time. We'll do it again soon, but not on a night when Ben has class. It was too much trouble and too exhausting to get a wound-up girl to bed. I am very grateful to Ben, as well, for his handling of the stalling tactics of an exhausted preschooler. He got more water, a different baby doll, denied another blanket, etc.

AJ went to bed late and woke up early. For some reason, the baby gate was down, and she figured this out and ran into our room at 2 minutes before my alarm. She said, "Mommy, I missed you!" I had missed her, too.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Anna June was stalling this morning when it was time to get dressed. I showed her the panties I picked out for her. "Look," I said, "They're BLUE!" I've used this tactic before, so AJ wanted me to show her that my panties were blue, also, so we can be, in her words, "just the same."

She said, "Are Daddy's panties blue?"
"No," I told her, "His underwear is gray. You don't have any gray underwear."
Not missing a beat, she said, "Maybe Santa Claus can bring me some gray underwear."

I told her I would put it on her list. Do they even make such a thing for little girls?

If so, we'll have to be the only family on the block with coordinated underwear!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

August Already?

This week is going to be big for Anna June - we have lots planned, including meeting her new teachers on Thursday night. She starts her new class on Monday. Both of her teachers have told me that she's very well-behaved, and they'll be sorry to see her go.

Like countless mothers before me, though, I am shocked that Anna June is one of the "good" kids. She acts completely different around her dad and me. Last night I thought I was going to pull my hair out (or hers) if she didn't mind.

Our evening started out with me taking a quick bathroom break only to have AJ come report to me, with her mouth full of candy, that "Radar got a tootsie roll!" Of course, he ate it with the wrapper still on.

She did sit down for dinner. We had BLTs, and some canned soup. AJ declared, "This is the best dinner ever, Mama!" Of course, she did not eat the lettuce, but she did lick the mayo off her bread - I guess I'm glad she likes it. She had a Popsicle, outdoors, after dinner. She wanted to put it down to go play in her sandbox, but when I wouldn't allow her sticky hands to touch the already-ant-prone plastic top, she decided that she'd rather finish the Popsicle after all.

A naked Anna June was seen streaking down the hall, in direct disobedience to my order for a bath. She "went boneless" in the words of author Mo Willems, where she sank to the floor in a heap when I tried to get her to use the potty, and it was worse when I needed to comb her hair and brush her teeth.

I know she's tired after a long day at school, but she has to get better at minding her parents, or we'll both be completely gray by the end of the year. Her grandparents visits next month cannot come soon enough!

Monday, August 16, 2010


With Ben taking his first graduate classes this week, we contemplated leaving Birmingham for the weekend just to try to get out of town while we still could, but in the end, it proved too complicated. There was some bad weather, the issue of interrupting Anna June's naps and sleeping patterns (such that they are) and the matter of what to do with Radar, so we ended up staying home. But we were determined to have some family fun in Birmingham, and had ourselves a "staycation". They're all the rage. I promise.

On Saturday morning, we headed out to the McWane Center. Of course, because of the downpour, so did everyone else in the city. We had a good time watching AJ run from exhibit to exhibit. She was fascinated by things we weren't impressed by and vice versa. We had a nice lunch there and went home at a reasonable time for napping. We spent the afternoon at the library, then visited my Granddaddy and took him to Rusty's for dinner. The milkshakes are especially good.

On Sunday, after church and a nap, Anna June and I headed for the zoo at her request. She had been begging to go to the zoo and to watch Dora the Explorer. (By the way, now Anna June doesn't ask to watch "Dora". She asks to watch "Dora THE EXPLORER.") I could not take another episode this weekend, so we headed out in the heat to see the flamingos, gorilla, giraffe, and of course, play in the splash fountains. AJ enjoyed being there almost by herself and played in the fountains for a good 30 minutes. Then she spent some time at her grandparents' house while we had a quick dinner and ran errands (K-Mart is so romantic, right?) When I told Anna June she'd be going over to Nana's house, she said, "Are you going to drop me off?" When I told her, yes, that is what I had planned, she said, "Oh, I will be so excited to be there all by myself!" Apparently, she needed some time away from me, too, even though on Sunday morning she declared that I was her "best friend in the whole wide world."

When we got home, she was so excited to see Radar, she hugged and kissed him and ran around chasing him and trying to play with him. That poor dog! Luckily, she tired herself out and slept almost all night. Once, she called out, "Mommy, come put my blankets back on me!" That is so much better than crying!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Cooling Off

If my sources are correct, this is the 40th straight day in a row with temperatures over 90 degrees in Birmingham. Anna June knows how to cool off - in her alligator pool! Or is it a crocodile? I have no idea.

She loves this adorable bathing suit, or as she sometimes pronounces it "bayving soup."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Curious George

Anna June enjoyed when "Curious" George Arnett came to visit us a few weeks ago. She showed off the contents of her dress-up trunk, as well. More photos in our web album here.

Anna June is pretty in love with the regular Curious George, too. She still loves the show. She loves reading the books (and listening to the audio books). Now she has the pajamas, too. She loves looking at the display of C.G. toys and nick-knacks at the library, as well. This week we're reading Curious George Goes to the Dentist. Now that AJ's final two-year molars have erupted, we're going to head to the dentist for the first time very soon. Hopefully, she'll be put at ease like the little girl in the book, with the help of her monkey friend.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sick Days

Anna June is better today, and back at school. Getting to spend time with her, even when she is sick, is very special to us, though.

On Monday, I took the first two pictures. You can tell she has a runny nose but she's having a good time.

On Tuesday, Ben kept her in the morning while I took the afternoon shift. While they were playing, they built a tent in our room, using the ironing board and a blanket. They had a tea party, which I think morphed into a birthday party for AJ's doll, Helen. I was told they had tea and cupcakes. She was very, very excited to show me and tell me about it when I got home from work. Helen, though, was tucked soundly asleep under all of AJ's blankets on what used to be my aerobics mat (but has now been appropriated by Anna June). She also, curiously, has her clothes on backwards, so I guess she had too much fun and had to be changed prior to her nap.

Ben and AJ also read books in the tent, with her ladybug flashlight.

AJ colored a sign, labeled "Anna June's Clubhouse". She was really upset this morning that I had taken the clubhouse down. I'm sure we'll be doing that again.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Anna June saw the doctor yesterday afternoon, and he confirmed that her right ear is terribly inflamed with infection. The other ear is fine, and the throat is not particularly irritated. With the antibiotics getting settled in her system, AJ is doing much better. When I left home she was happily settling in for an episode of Dora the Explorer with her daddy.

I will say that this visit to the doctor went better than usual. She's getting to be an old pro, unfortunately. But I had time to talk to her while she was awake and alert, and we discussed that the nurse would take her temperature in her ear (just like I clean her ear with a q-tip) and then she'd stand on a scale to be weighed (just like standing on our bathroom scale). She did have a fever (100) and weighed 31 pounds. AJ, even though she felt terrible, managed this part of the visit just fine. We brought some books and toys to make the wait more bearable. She eventually warmed up to the doctor and demonstrated her advanced knowledge of colors and answered questions just great. She was really sweet and, of course, relieved there was no shot or finger prick involved.

When I was prepping her for the visit, she told me that they have cups by the potty at the doctor's office - she definitely remembered that! But I told her we wouldn't have to fool with those this time, and she was slightly relieved.

Thanks to everyone for all the calls and prayers.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Zoo Friends

Anna June is at home sick today. Currently, she's "reading" to herself before she falls asleep for her nap. I hope she falls asleep for her nap!

Two weeks ago, we visited the zoo with AJ's friends Maxwell and Drew. Here are some pictures courtesy of Max's mommy, Mandy. Thanks!

The kids had a blast and we're going to try to do it again when it isn't so hot.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Social Butterfly

Anna June doesn't just get invited to kids' birthday parties - she gets invited to grown-up ones, too. On Saturday, Aunt Connie and cousin Judy had a birthday, so we celebrated at Connie and Tim's house with family and friends. Here are some of the pictures that Judy took.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Anna June colored this picture at church with the help of Miss Crystal. Don't freak - AJ didn't connect the dots herself.

On Monday night, AJ took a long time getting to sleep, and then, because of a little cough, she was up many times. She kept calling out, "Mama!" The last time I went back to bed I made the wish that she'd call out for Daddy instead. Sure enough, the next morning, when I got out of the shower, I found Ben in AJ's room attending to her. "She was calling me," he said. I thought it was a miracle.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Amazing Adventures of Anna June

Anna June stores things in her memory just about as well as my computer does. Of course, I don't know exactly what they've been watching at school, but we have a tape of Barney that has a transportation theme. The kids are shining up an old bike and instead of "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush" it goes "This is the way we clean the bike, clean the bike, clean the bike." Then they oil the bike and do other things, too. We haven't played that tape in weeks, probably months. But somehow, Anna June decided that the "chrome" on the bathtub faucet needed to be shined like the bike on Barney, and she took her washcloth and began singing, "This is the way we clean the bike, clean the bike, clean the bike." Then, she took her watering can (which happened to be in the bathtub) and pretended it was an oil can and went on to the next verse, while pouring water over the washcloth-covered spout. "This is the way we oil the bike, oil the bike, oil the bike." I have to say, I was amazed. It's one thing for her to come up with things when she's prompted, but this was all her.

Also, on Saturday when we were driving around the neighborhood looking for Radar, we started calling out the window. And AJ said she couldn't see him, and that we couldn't find him. Then, she burst into song, "Oh where, oh where has my Radar gone? Oh where oh where can he be?" Again - I credit Barney - we'd just watched an episode featuring the famous song, where an actual dog got "lost" and then found. But AJ changed the words to insert her own dog's name. I was pretty impressed.

Last night when we were finished with dinner, AJ wanted to go out to blow bubbles. I let her, but somehow she got bored and picked her "pinwheels" out of her "garden" to play her new favorite game she made up - Fairies. She says the pinwheels are magic wands, and they help her fly. This is cute, but what is not very cute is that she wants me to "fly" with her. This consists of flapping our arms holding the magic wands and running around the backyard. I was still dressed for work, and if I had not been wearing flats, I would have firmly declined her invitation. I chose to walk instead of run, although a couple of times, she had to grab my hand so that I could keep up with her. I ended up being grateful for the exercise and fresh air, even though it is stiflingly hot and the air quality is poor.

She's also started wanting to "read" books to herself. She won't go to bed or get in the car without a book. It took her longer than usual last night to get to sleep, because she was reading. I may have to put a stop to it, but it is so cute I don't think I can.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Relaxing Weekend

While we may not have gone fishing like the dog and cat in this picture, Anna June had a fun, fairly relaxing weekend.

On Friday night, she got to stay with her grandparents while we went out to dinner and tried to clean our kitchen. She had fun playing with everyone and eating ice cream (of course).

On Saturday morning, we went to the zoo with AJ's friends Maxwell and Drew. It was very hot, so we focused mainly on a few key activities: riding the train, feeding the giraffes, and splashing in the fountains. And eating snacks. AJ discovered soft frozen (strawberry) lemonade. Delicious.

After a nap, our friends Michele and Chapin stopped by with their dog George on their way back to Atlanta. Radar was excited for about 5 minutes, then decided that George wasn't that interesting and went back to the humans. Anna June loved showing off her toys, bed, and Mardi Gras beads.

Saturday night was the birthday party for Aunt Connie and cousin Judy. We had a great time, although we were late due to Radar's escape and subsequent adventure. He found a neighbor with a sprinkler and loved running through it and rolling down the hill. Over and over. I can't blame him - it was hot!

Sunday morning we tried the new Bojangles restaurant in our neighborhood. Anna June was not impressed. She declared she'd rather have cinnamon rolls (the kind I make from a can) instead of their sweet biscuits. Then we went to church and met some new children from the neighborhood. Anna June liked having someone to play and color with.

Sunday afternoon, we went to the library to get more books - we'd worn out the batch from last week. We came home to fix an early supper and baked oatmeal raisin cookies. Unfortunately, I hadn't planned ahead and had only the mini snack boxes of raisins. Anna June's job was to remove the raisins from the small boxes and put them into the measuring cup. Of course, all she wanted to do is eat the raisins. So they're actually more oatmeal-pecan cookies with a few raisins instead of the other way around.

Since it was too hot to do much of anything, Anna June watched a lot of Blue's Clues and talked on the phone to many of her grandparents. She played with Play-Doh and her baby dolls. She enjoyed reading books and watching clips of Elmo on YouTube.

It's only Monday and I'm already hoping for a repeat next weekend!

Sunday, August 1, 2010


I've told Anna June several times about an interesting fact: I went to school at her school when I was her age. She either doesn't believe me or doesn't care. I don't have much to offer in the way of proof, but I do have one clear memory of my tenure at McElwain.

One day, we were going to go to the zoo. I remember being very excited, as my mother was going to come. We prepared our snacks, including carrot and celery sticks (still one of my favorites). But then, it rained. We couldn't go. So we sat as a group in either a cafeteria or a gym and had an "indoor picnic". I thought this was the best idea ever! I remember begging my mom to have indoor picnics over and over. I had to have celery and carrots, and we had to use my dad's old orange-pink blanket. We had indoor picnics in the hallway and living room of our apartment. I am sure I wore her out.

Fast forward back to now, and Anna June is, independently of me, begging for indoor picnics. I don't know if she saw it on Barney or if she just so happened to ask to go on a picnic one rare day this summer when it was raining or threatening to rain. We held our first one about a week or so ago in her room. We've had no fewer than three this week, mostly in my room, as it has the most floor space. We have to put up a baby gate so Radar can't get in. So far, AJ is not particular about the food we bring, only that I help her spread out a blanket just so. They've all taken place when Ben has been unable to join us, so I guess it's a mommy-daughter thing.

When we were spread out in my room, I was thinking it really was nice - a way to appease her, use up leftovers, and keep the dog from begging at our feet. Then, I am not making this up, a lone, large black ant walked across our picnic blanket. As I caught him in my napkin, I thought, how cliché! It's officially a picnic, whether indoors or not.