Since Anna June was diagnosed with bronchitis almost two weeks ago, her cough has not stopped. This will make the 4th week it has hung around. Partly, coughs just linger. Partly, I haven't given her adequate time to rest. After a fun-filled day yesterday, she woke up about 1 am with a fever of over 100. She was very upset and ended up sleeping in our bed (i.e., kicking her father non-stop for about 7 hours). So right now, she's resting with all of her friends: Cailliou, Clifford, Arthur, and Curious George. Yes, I am letting her watch a lot of TV. I'm so thankful for PBS Kids right now. I gave her some Advil last night to bring her fever down. She is not very warm this morning and I gave her some cough syrup for her most annoying symptom. Right now, she wants more apple juice, so I will have to go. But here is a link to the pictures from January, including the few we managed to get on our visit to Milwaukee.
Anna June has been into tea parties lately. Last night, getting ready for bed was interrupted by the fact that it was Minnie Mouse's birthday - we had to find the entire tea set, and we all had to "eat" cake and "drink" tea. Apparently, Minnie was turning 3 years old. Happy birthday, Minnie!
Anna June slept all night last night, and so did Radar. I am not sure why...I was convinced Radar would need an additional trip and that AJ's lingering cough would keep us all awake again, but instead, she fell asleep with less than her usual fussing. She did call me back to her room a few times, and once she asked me to rub Vick's VapoRub on her chest and feet. I know it is crazy, but I have seen something bouncing around the internet saying Vick's on feet helps a cough. While the veracity of this has not been determined, I decided to give it a shot since we had some on hand. (Well, we have the generic equivalent, but it should work the same, right?) I had put some on her chest on Tuesday night, and she asked for it both places last night. I'm not saying it worked necessarily, but she slept, and that was a true blessing!
Anna June has been pretty good about napping at school, and moderately good about napping on the weekends. But yesterday, she didn't nap. Of course, that was the one day a week where I can't be home in the evenings with her. According to Ben, from the time she left daycare, she would only say "I want my mommy!" over and over. She was tired and is getting over this illness, so that made her even whinier than usual.
We were sitting in our weight-loss meeting talking about barriers to exercise and I said something like, "Anna June is my barrier!" It's not that she literally stands in my way, but her constant "I want Mommy" has put a new level on top of my mommy-guilt. Yes, there is a kid's room at the YMCA. Yes, there are several competent, free babysitters in the family who would love to watch her for a while so I can exercise. Yes, there are several things to do with AJ where I could burn calories and she could have fun. But I'm away from her for 45-50 hours per week, which leaves us about an hour or two in the morning and two or three hours at night together. Between playing, cooking, the small amount of cleaning that I do, and the regular bedtime care of AJ like bathing, dressing, reading, rocking, etc. - it is no wonder that I'm not burning enough calories - I want to turn in when AJ does, if not before.
The one good thing about last night, though, is that AJ asked for leftovers for dinner, so Ben didn't have to cook. I am thankful for these small miracles!
In all the excitement of the haircut on Saturday, I forgot to mention one other interesting fact: Anna June has now been to Dunkin Donuts. They finally opened one in the city limits of Birmingham, and we decided to go on Saturday morning. AJ enjoyed them, but her assessment was that they were not as good as Krispy Kreme. I did not tell her to say that, nor did I solicit her opinion - she told me all on her own. But she was happy seeing all the exciting people, orange and donut-shaped balloons, and lots of different kinds of donuts. She selected two with sprinkles, and basically ate the toppings off both of them.
We told her that Grandpa Gary used to work at a Dunkin Donuts, and she was quite impressed!
When Anna June was born, there was a tiny hole in her heart. We visited the pediatric cardiologist today for a follow-up, and found that it has completely closed. He released her from his care.
We also learned that Anna June is 39 inches tall and 32 pounds. She was a good patient and did everything the nurses and doctor asked. She told them about her upcoming princess birthday party.
Afterward, we went by Ben's office and then my office to visit our colleagues. It isn't often that AJ is on UAB's campus, so we took the opportunity to show her off. She did great, showing off her new hairdo, and chatting like a pro with all kinds of folks. She got to school just in time for lunch.
Looking back, it is easy to see that Anna June must have had a great Christmas. Unfortunately, there are not many pictures to document it on my camera - I left the snapping to others for a change.
One of our neighbors, and I don't know why, put his Christmas decorations back up and seems to have had a Christmas party last weekend. The house was beautiful. I can speculate a lot of reasons why Christmas would have to wait until February, but I am sure whatever they were, they were good ones. So, here is a link to my December album, although, unlike my neighbor, I have no good reason for taking so long. Enjoy.
Anna June has needed a haircut for quite some time. While the blond curls are beautiful, they have been scraggly, unmanageable, and irritating. AJ doesn't like getting her hair combed or brushed, and she absolutely will not wear a hair bow, clip, or tie for more than 2 minutes, leaving the 'do mangled and dented from said device. We've been trying for weeks to convince AJ to be on board with the decision, and today, when she said yes, we quickly made afternoon appointments with my stylist, Cindy, for Anna June's very first haircut.
This is "Before":
This is "After":
You may be asking yourself what the difference is. Well, quite frankly, there's not much. I can tell, though - the scraggly edges are gone. AJ was a gem through the whole process. This is thanks mostly to Cindy Collins at the Trussville location of the JCPenney Styling Salon. I highly recommend her - she's been cutting our family's hair for years. She was magical with AJ. There were no tears. Cindy gave AJ her very own mirror compact and she gave her the first haircut for FREE! And, yes, we saved some of her curls.
I am glad I keep this blog for Anna June, because I am starting to question my memory. When some photos got out of order, I had no idea which ones really came first - so I consulted the blog archive. Good thing I write everything down.
Here is the link to photos from Fall 2010. As far as I can tell, these go from about September to November. Enjoy.
AJ is fine, although she's been battling bronchitis. She's at school and playing and happy. Hopefully the new cough medicine the doctor recommended is working - we had a much calmer night last night although it was still punctuated with coughing and waking up several times.
Anna June, as she gets older, is becoming a better conversationalist. She picks up phrases from us, her teachers, friends, and television like a sponge. Here are a few gems from recent days.
Ben: AJ, I saw Garvey's dad at work today. AJ (a la Chandler Bing): Oh! How nice was that!
AJ: I want my daddy to pick me up from school today. Me: Well, I will ask him, but I can't be sure he'll be able to do it. AJ: He might get stuck at work? (I wonder if she pictures him literally stuck to a chair.)
Lady at Chick-fil-A: I like your shoes! AJ: These are boots! Lady: Well, excuse me! (We had to suppress laughter to tell AJ she should have just said "thank you".)
Me: Did you learn about George Washington Carver today?
Me: What did he do?
AJ: He showed us how to turn cotton into jelly beans!
(I hope the rest of Black History week goes better.)
Here is a link to pictures from the month of August, 2010. Oddly enough, I'm listening to the Counting Crows' album "August and Everything After" at the moment on this mellow sick day. If AJ wakes up, I will take her to school, but we had a terrible night, so I'm not counting on it.
Anna June slept in this morning, to compensate for the fact that she was up a couple of hours coughing. She has bronchitis, officially, but is allowed to go to school.
So while she was playing/getting dressed/whining this morning, I captioned and uploaded the pictures I had from July. Now I see I already had a July-August album, so I may reorganize later. Here is the link to the "new" ones.
I'm still captioning and uploading pictures to Picasa Web when I get free moments, which, with Anna June in tow, is not very often. Actually, Ben has spent a lot of time with her this weekend, allowing me to do other things like grocery shop and work out. Not glamorous, I know, but much needed.
Here is a link to the pictures we managed to take during May and June of last year. It is amazing how far Anna June has come since then. She has grown so much more hair! And, you'll the swim pull-ups sticking out of her suits in several pictures - the remaining ones of those have already been passed on to another little one - AJ is definitely not going to need them this summer.
Yesterday, I took a moment while Anna June had a late nap to download the 558 pictures and videos on my camera. I got them divided into chronological folders and am updating the Picasa sites accordingly. I will post them as they are done.
Here is the link to the ones from February-April 2010. That's right, I'm almost a year late in doing this.
Enjoy seeing how much she's grown in the past year.
Last weekend, I made some chicken stir fry for Anna June, Ben and myself. After church on Sunday, there was just enough left for AJ and me to have lunch before "nap time" and straightening up before we had Super Bowl company. AJ watched me, interested, as I zapped each of our plates in the microwave.
I asked her if she'd like to say grace.
She prayed, "Please God, thank you for my family. Thank you for my blessings. And thank you for the microwave."
We have no idea what is wrong with Anna June, but she would not sleep last night. She cried herself to sleep, mad that I said after about 10 trips in her room that I wasn't going to come back in there anymore. She woke up at 11:30 or so, and remembered she was mad, and started howling all over again. To make it stop, we tried letting Radar sleep in AJ's room, but he was scared off by her cough or something, and ended up sleeping with me. Ben ended up sleeping, uncomfortable and cold, on AJ's floor beside her. Bless her heart, she's just been fighting us about every little thing this week. It could be partially because of the cough, partially because her teacher is on vacation, and partially because I'm already stressed out and she knows it. Behavior and health issues aside, we were kind of relieved that the dusting of snow we got didn't keep us home from work or school today. Whew!
Traveling to Milwaukee and back with Anna June wasn't that bad - she slept on the second leg of each trip. Unfortunately, by traveling in winter, we had more layers of things to take off and put back on while going through security at the airports. This is a picture Ben snapped of me in the "Recombobulation Area" in the Milwaukee airport. We thought the name was great - we would like to have one of these in our offices and homes - just space to get everything you need to get put back together.
I'm working on getting recombobulated after another night of AJ waking up several times after losing her covers and her waking up earlier than I'd have liked. The plus side is that we got to eat breakfast together - the minus side is that, even waking early, we were all still late. I hope everyone is having a good day!
In these pictures, taken on Anna June's big trip to Milwaukee, you can see four generations of Gallitzes.
We're especially thinking about Grandma Gallitz today, as she is (last I heard) scheduled for another surgery.
When we visited last month, she was in good spirits and was very glad to see Anna June. She had her pictures and her artwork displayed in her room at the nursing home. It was fun to hear her still making jokes and laughing.
Anna June, like most kids, loves cupcakes. And since we were having a little gathering in honor of the Super Bowl - which we still cannot believe the Packers won - Hooray! - we decided we'd bake some cupcakes for the occasion.
I still had the confetti mix that Patrick and Liz gave us for Christmas, so I made the "lower fat" version of those. Then, I made homemade icing which blew all that effort away. So much sugar and butter - but it turned out so well! (Goodbye, diet, for one day.) Anna June helped me bake the cupcakes on Saturday night and the icing on Sunday morning.
I had a great idea - I would use some green cookie icing that I found on sale to put some of the Packers' jersey numbers on gold (yellow) frosted cupcakes. The cookie icing had a pastry-bag tip to facilitate the squeezing. It would work great!
Except I did not know that cookie icing does not work on cake. It was a terrible mess. In the end, the looked so bad, I didn't serve them. Luckily, I had just put green sprinkles on the top of the other dozen, which were fine.
I sent the leftovers to Anna June's class today. She came in carrying her Green Bay Packers football-shaped balloon that our friends Debbie and BJ brought for her. She loved showing it off and telling everyone that we had a "Super Bowl Party!"
Unfortunately, I didn't take a single picture. But even though the cupcakes looked bad, the chili I made was pretty good, and we all had a good time cheering for the Packers. It was an exciting game and I hope we have another good season to follow next year.
These pictures are from our visit to Wisconsin. When we visited Aunt Amy, she had bought pink-iced cupcakes for Anna June, along with some dress-up gear. So here, you get the full effect of the purple tutu, beads, and ponytail holder-worn-as-bracelet to go along with the pink icing face. Yum!
Anna June has been learning to say grace before mealtimes. In her last class, they sang a blessing to the tune of Frere Jaques:
God our Father, God our Father, We thank you For our food. Bless it to our bodies, Bless it to our bodies. A-a-men. A-a-men.
Last month, at our church's Family Night Supper event, we had just finished the ladies auxiliary meeting (the CPW - now called the CPWM - which stands for Cumberland Presbyterian Women in Missions). Our Pastor, Jan, had just closed that meeting with prayer about 2 minutes before, right in the same room, and was about to say the blessing over our meal (catered by Rusty's BBQ, of course). I thought we should give her a break and show off AJ's talent by having her sing the above blessing. I sang it with her and everyone was impressed.
We told Pastor Jan we'd come up with another one, but we didn't. Apparently, in AJ's class now, they pray more like grownups rather than with a poem or a song. I think this is wonderful, and Anna June will say the blessing from her heart. She's been known to say things like, "Please, God, bless my family. I love my friends. Amen." It is just about the sweetest thing you've ever heard, and she even demonstrated this skill when we were on our trip.
So Pastor Jan asked us last night at Family Night Supper if Anna June would like to say the blessing again. AJ agreed. Everyone bowed their heads and was quiet. Then, AJ said for everyone to hear, "I can't think of a blessing!" I quickly told her we'd just sing the same one we did last time, and that was fine. But the pressure must have gotten to her. It's not like there was a big crowd, but I guess it made her nervous. In case we're asked to do it again, I started teaching her the blessing we used to say when we were little:
God is great, God is good. Let us thank him For our food. By His hands We all are fed Thank you, Lord For daily bread. Amen.
Are there any blessing songs/poems for children that you know? Please post in the comments.
Anna June got in trouble at least twice at school yesterday. She ran in the hallway and hit one of her classmates on the head with a toy dustpan. Besides correction by the teacher, both Ben and I talked to her about these infractions, and how she is expected not to repeat them. We attribute this behavior to the fact that she's tired and getting a little cold.
This morning while I was getting her ready, I reminded her that she's to be sweet to her friends today. She said remorsefully, "I will not be disobedient today."
So, there you have it. It's a big word (and a big concept) for a little kid.
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