Thursday, March 31, 2011

Zero Days without an Accident

Anna June has been so great at staying dry, but since recovering from being sick, she's had two very minor accidents at bedtime. Both nights I put her on the potty and she didn't do anything, only to have a tiny "oops" in her bedroom a few minutes later. The first time she told me she needed to go and I didn't get there fast enough. Last night she didn't tell me until it was too late. I'm going to blame it on her body recovering and being too tired to recognize the feeling. The alternative is blaming stubbornness - she always tells me she does NOT need to go. I hope to be back on track soon.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wacky Wednesday


Anna June's class has been studying Dr. Seuss this week, and today was declared "Wacky Wednesday". The kids were to dress up in crazy outfits and they are going to have a parade and a little party.

At first, Anna June was a little overwhelmed. "I don't want to wear wacky clothes," she told me. She told her teacher that, as well. Last night when it was time to lay out her outfit for today, she insisted that she would not wear anything wacky. But I started listing the possibilities, and she was intrigued. "What about if you wear a sweater and a tutu? Or if you wear a pair of panties outside of your pants? Or have 20 ponytails?" This sparked her imagination, and she found it difficult to go to sleep. "Mama," she hollered, "I just discovered something else I can wear!"

"That's great, AJ," I hollered back. "Get in your bed and go to sleep!"

This morning, thinking that Wacky Wednesday would be enough to get her out of bed, I reminded her what day it was. I made further outfit suggestions. She was not interested. She declared again that she just wanted to wear regular clothes (I think she assumed if I wasn't going to make her wear something wacky that she could sleep longer). At any rate, we eventually hit upon a winning outfit idea - a bathing suit. What could be wackier on a "cold, cold wet day" (just like in The Cat in the Hat!)? So I told her she could wear it, as long as she wore tights and a sweater.

On the way in to the building, she told all the parents from other classes that we passed, "I'm wearing a bathing suit!" I was quick to explain they were having Wacky Wednesday in Ms. Susan's class - I may be a pushover when it comes to AJ's outfits but I usually draw the line at some point.

When she got to class, it confirmed our suspicions that she would be the ONLY one wearing a swimsuit. She had tried on all four of her swimsuits, just to make sure she found the perfect one. In fact, she chose the only one I wouldn't have chosen...it is a bit too tight, but it is a size 2T, so I expected no less. I sent some "regular" clothes in case she gets uncomfortable. I think she looks like a little ballerina in the outfit.

She's wearing her brand new ruffled leggings/tights from Granny Annie. They came from Rufflebutts, an adorable online store. I had seen their site but never ordered from them before. Ben got the mail and announced AJ had a package from some place called Rufflebutts and I was way more excited than she was!

AJ may have had the wackiest outfit in her class, but Drew wins for the most Seussian ensemble - besides her Cat in the Hat t-shirt, she has her hair in several different braids, a la the Whos in the Jim Carrey film version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Very, very clever!

In both of these pictures, you can't see AJ's black flower headband. But you can tell she added sunglasses and subtracted the sweater between the car and school. That girl is definitely wacky!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Daily Report

Anna June is back at school today. We are crossing our fingers that it goes better than Tuesday, which was the last time she was in daycare. Above is the daily report from that day. Although she only stayed half a day that day, they did most of the activities they usually do. But Anna June was grumpy through all of them.

In fact, her teacher told me that at lunch time on Tuesday, she refused to eat. That was when they knew she was indeed sick (again) and they pulled out the thermometer. She told them that she wasn't going to eat the chicken strips they offered her, because they were not as good as chicken strips from Chick-fil-A.

I was so embarrassed!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Couch Potato

Anna June has a million toys, a ton of art supplies, a big backyard and a dog she adores. So what does she want to do when she's trapped in the house for days on end? Watch TV, of course. I am drawing the line, today, as soon as the current show she's watching is over. She'll have to get used to no TV when she goes back to school tomorrow.

At any rate, to try to spend quality time together and to do something AJ wanted to do, yesterday afternoon we all sat down as a family in order to watch a movie. We have the Netflix streaming service, and they have thousands of movies - we didn't think this would be much of a challenge. We had two requirements: The first requirement was that the movie be G rated - AJ is so impressionable right now. Also, she doesn't have a very long attention span, so we wanted it to definitely be a film aimed at her age. The other requirement was that it be a movie that none of us had seen. If we were giving up our rainy Saturday afternoon to do this, we wanted to each be interested. Otherwise, Ben would have fallen asleep and I would have been on the laptop, like I am right now!) We finally came up with The Country Bears, a 2002 Disney live-action film with animatronic bears and a star-studded cast including rock-n-roll royalty.

Back in 2002, this movie was on our to-see list because John Hiatt, one of our favorite singers/songwriters not only served as the singing voice of the lead singer bear but also wrote most of the music for the film. How did we miss it? Well, it got terrible reviews and we were very busy that year getting married.

The soundtrack was fabulous, the plot was predictable, the bears weren't very lovably crafted, and Brad Garrett (from Everybody Loves Raymond) had a terrible southern accent. But it was an enjoyable 88 minutes for us. Anna June claims she didn't like it, but she laughed at the funny parts (pretty much because we were laughing).

Here's a link
to a video for one of the songs from the movie.

Anna June just told me that there's a DVD of the Country Bears in Chattanooga. I have no idea where she got that from.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Bonus Post: Dinnertime Conversation

Anna June is a good conversationalist now, and at mealtimes she often ask how our day has been. Tonight, I was telling Ben that she had asked for him many times today. She looked at him and asked, "So, Daddy, how was your day today?"

Ben is a research specialist at UAB, and recruits patients from their hospital room. He told us, "Well, I recruited two patients for our study today. And I walked in on a guy naked in the hospital."

Anna June did not miss a beat. She asked, "Well, did you put your clothes back on?"

It took several minutes before we could regain enough composure to explain that Daddy was not the naked one.

Happy Friday, y'all!

A Success



Because it happened alongside birthdays and in between illnesses, I haven't mentioned the visit from Anna June's Grandpa and Grammy a couple of weeks ago. While it was a brief stay, it was fantastic. We had an excellent time.

First, on Saturday, we went to Kym and Ken's house in Columbiana for a surprise birthday party for Grandpa Gary. He turned the big 6-0 and Kym went all out. We contrived elaborate ruses to keep him occupied until the appointed time, and then he was quite surprised to see all of us. Pizza, cocktail wieners, cheese dip and a fabulous chocolate cake were on the menu of this Packers-themed event. We had a great time.

Grandpa came back to Birmingham with us to spend the night. He enjoyed reading AJ her bedtime stories, and she enjoyed making up the couch for him. The next morning, we met up with the Shelby County crew at the Birmingham Zoo, one of AJ's most favorite places on earth. It was baby Teygan's first trip there, but I am certain it will not be her last. We got the privilege of seeing the new Trails of Africa exhibit, which is finally open. It did not disappoint us. One of the elephants, Bulwagi, was out that day - he is to be joined soon by some other male elephants. We will be getting Ajani from Indianapolis, and Kalle is already there (but was still quarantined when we went). We had so much fun. AJ even got Grandpa to ride the carousel with her.

After the zoo visit, Teygan needed a nap and Ben needed to fix Kym's phone, so we all went back to our house. I hadn't planned ahead too much, and the house was pretty well a disaster, but I did have some food on hand. I had all of the ingredients on hand to make Three-Bean Chili. Grandpa and Grammy helped me prep the veggies while Uncle Ken entertained AJ in the sandbox. If I do say so, the chili was pretty good. Ben even asked me to make it again this week, and that's what I fixed tonight, which jogged my memory to come back and write this post. AJ still won't touch it, but I'm not going to take it personally. I also fixed a pretty decent pan of cornbread and served it with a bagged salad. Not too bad for someone who wasn't exactly planning on cooking lunch for 8 people when she woke up that morning! It is a really easy and pretty quick recipe.

All in all, the visit was a success. Grandpa and Grammy got to see Ben's office when they went to visit him for lunch - one of the days I had to stay home with AJ. We're still staying home tomorrow...her fever hit the mark to where she couldn't go back to school. Maybe another weekend and she'll be all better.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Experiment

I am testing out blogging from my phone. I have a full post saved but don't know how to access it since I wrote it on our desktop computer. AJ is somewhat better but I am keeping her home another day tomorrow, possibly with a doctor visit on the agenda.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

How Can We Break the Cycle?

Knowing Anna June wasn't completely well, we tried sending her to daycare yesterday and, lo and behold, we were called by lunchtime saying that her fever was back up to an even 100 and she couldn't stay there. I called the pediatrician, whose nurse called me and after discussing her symptoms, decided that she does not need to be seen again - yet.

To recap, she has had bronchitis, then an ear infection, then a "fever virus" and now this other, unspecified fever with a yucky cough and runny nose.

Luckily, today she is with my mom. I am out of sick days, and Ben doesn't have any yet.

Aside from staying home for a solid week (out of the question!) I have no ideas on how to get her well. She is so pitiful! Let me know if you have suggestions.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Smarty Pants

On Sunday, we took Anna June Subway to grab lunch on our way to run some errands. She hasn't had much of an appetite, and didn't want anything to eat. I spotted chocolate milk in the case, and I thought I would tempt her with it. I don't often let her have chocolate milk, but I thought it might get a few calories in her if she'd go with it.

When I asked her if she'd like the (nearly) forbidden milk, she lit up. "Yes!" She was so excited. She sat down, and drank it, and even ate some of Ben's pizza and some of my baked chips.

She perked right up after that. She started a conversation with us on the topic.

"Sophie Bell had chocolate milk from Starbucks."
"Really?" I asked.
Ben chimed in, "You know what Starbucks is?"
Anna June replied, "Yeah. It's a place where you can get chocolate milk!"

Smarty pants.

And speaking of pants - we're in an epic struggle over pants vs. dresses right now. As you know, Anna June LOVES dresses. The fancier the better. The shorter the sleeves, the better. Since the high today is supposed to be 85 degrees, I thought I would let her wear a sundress. She picked it out before going to bed. I reminded her of the new rule at school - girls in dresses are to wear shorts or bloomers underneath. I understand this rule, but I really can't say I entirely agree with it - the girls are 3 years old! An additional layer of clothing to remove during potty time is certainly unwelcome. But, the rules are the rules, and we have to abide by them.

Anna June's sundress did not come with bloomers, but since it had red flowers I borrowed some red ones from another outfit. Boy, did that ever make her mad. Ben and I were at a total and complete loss on how to end this morning's tantrum until she finally indicated that she would wear the red outfit that went with the bloomers. I went to get it, and she was taking the bloomers off! I repeated to her that she still had to wear bloomers with her skirt. She was so angry! I guess she'll be wearing pants the rest of the week.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Yes, We Are Open


Ben asked me if I plan to continue blogging about the life and times of Anna June. The answer is, yes, of course! With her being sick and a couple of fine social functions for me this weekend, I have just not had the time.

On with the show. AJ is better (cross our fingers AND toes today). She went to daycare again, after failing to stay the whole day on Friday, returning home with fever and chills. We have pretty much ruled out roseola, since she has not broken out in a rash. Otherwise, we are still calling it an unspecified fever virus. And a cold. I think Ben and I caught the cold, but other than that, we're pretty much OK. Knock on wood, throw salt over your shoulder, etc.

Besides coming up with some unique things that really, really upset her while she's fussy from being sick (the TV not being loud enough, not wanting to eat unless she's being held, and so on), Anna June has still been her interesting and creative self.

After Ben cut the grass yesterday afternoon and we were on our way out, she declared, "This yard smells terrific!"

She had just watched an episode of The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That where they were building a fort at a slumber party. After the show was over, she was trying to build something with my body pillow in my room. About a second later, she declared she was going to build a "water crossing". I said, "Do you mean a bridge?" And she did. She went into the hallway and assembled a bridge out of a pillow, two step stools, the stool to her vanity, and assorted other toys. I had to quash further building, though, as it was time to go to church.

She picked out her own outfit for church, with much debate. Above is the picture of her ensemble. She was very excited about how pretty she looked, and she declared on the way that everyone at church would think she looked good. "They will say I look fantastic!" She did.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Meltdown

On Monday night, not knowing that anything was wrong with AJ, health-wise, she picked out her "3" outfit to wear to school. Actually, she picked out the leggings - the other items were still in the wash. All the time at home gave me an opportunity to do laundry. When this morning rolled around and I had to force AJ to get dressed, I put her in it. But she had an absolute meltdown. She had started screaming about what kind of drink to have this morning, and in what cup, and she screamed the entire time it took us to get her ready, including dressing, brushing her teeth, combing her hair, refusing to eat breakfast, and getting her jacket on. In the end, she looked exactly like she looks in the picture above, just with a face that was puffy from crying. Our hope is that she'll settle down now that we're at work and she's at school. Her teacher is on notice to call if she has any legitimate health concerns. It is not OK to call us just because she wishes she was still in her jammies - I do, too!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Something You're Used To


Anna June has lots of things that she's used to - unfortunately, I think being sick is something she's gotten accustomed to, as well. I will say, though, that she's much, much better today. I bet something you're used to is reading this blog. I have gotten numerous phone calls and emails from everyone in the family this morning asking how she is...she's much better. I did not have a chance to post that earlier. Yesterday was scary, with her temp spiking at 104.6 while we were in the doctor's office. Tylenol brought it down in a short time. All her labs checked out normal - the verdict is that it was a fever virus. Ben and I are not feeling top-drawer ourselves today, but we're so glad that AJ is feeling better that we're willing to overlook that for the time being.

Last night, AJ was basically delirious. She woke every 45 minutes from the time she went to bed at 9 until after midnight. Nothing she said made sense, but she was scared and ended up taking my spot in our bed - I had to evict Radar from his spot on the sofa. This morning, when she woke up, though, she came running into the den with her cup and her doll, saying, "Oh, I thought you'd be in the kitchen." She was back to her normal self, no trace of the whiny, fussy, clingy and very sick girl we had yesterday.

Now, she's up from her nap and crying...perhaps I spoke too soon.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sick Day

Anna June's bad behavior of late may have been caused in small part due to the fact that she is sick. Again. After an OK bedtime, she woke up a ridiculous number of times, fussing and uncomfortable. Just last night, she started coughing again - and I thought we were all done with that. Around 2 am, I went to check on her and she was just burning up. I went to go get the thermometer and there was a screaming fit that canceled out that urge. I just gave her some Tylenol and let her go back to sleep. She woke up again and again and again - I ended up carrying her to our bed so that we could get some rest.

After sleeping in, she seems fresh as a daisy this morning. She is still coughing - enough to the point where I gave her some Delsym - but she seems to have no fever. I have been using Fever Bugz, a neat invention where you put a sticker-like bug on the kid's head and it lights up as normal or with the number of the temperature. These were a gift from Granny Annie, who knows how difficult it is to keep sticking a thermometer up you-know-where. Honestly, I don't know how accurate the cute little ladybug is, but it's reading "N" for "Normal" right now and I'm going with that. If there's no fever today, we're going back to our regularly scheduled life tomorrow.

Meanwhile, she's her usual funny self. This morning, she told me that she'd try Frosted Mini Wheats again, now that she was 3 she might like them. And - surprisingly - she did! She has her chalkboard place mat that Kate made her for Christmas rolled up like a map and has it and her iXL video game system in my backpack - she told me that she, her baby, and her doggie were going somewhere - to Unkafall Village. Who knows where that came from? I told them to have fun on their trip! She's on her way back now and has requested a grilled cheese sandwich...I think I can do that for my pitiful little one.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Defiance

Not Helping from Ben Gallitz on Vimeo.



Around Valentine's Day, Anna June learned a poem and I wanted her to recite it on video so that everyone could see it as a holiday greeting. Instead, when I asked her to stand up and say it, all I got was pitiful defiance. In the video, I threatened to post it so that Granny could see her bad behavior. Also, another time, more recently, I threatened to tape her having a fit and put it on YouTube so that everyone could see how ugly she was acting. Ben asked if he could sell her on eBay. Only in the modern era! Alas, the threats helped nothing.

Also, as you can see by her outfit (or really, lack thereof) she has been very particular about what she will and will not wear. When she gets home, she changes, even if it is to remove something or add something. She wants to have control over what she wears, so at night, I've been making it a point to have her pick out her own clothes for the next day. Of course, when the next day comes, she throws a huge fit and won't wear them.

I've been pretty good about sticking to my guns on the clothes "you picked them out, you have to wear them" but shoes are a different matter. We went this weekend to shop for shoes, because we've been having a horrible time with her footwear, and we got absolute defiance from AJ. She did not want to go shoe shopping, she did not want to pick out shoes, she did not want to try on shoes, etc. The poor saleslady at Stride Rite helped us measure her feet - it turns out that her feet have grown another size, so it is no wonder she's been complaining. We selected a pair of dress shoes and a pair of casual shoes that we liked, but AJ refused to wear them, even though we tried them on and we know they fit. If she's not going to wear them, I am not going to buy them.

This morning we had the same fit again. She ended up wearing her boots, which are falling apart and barely fit, and are too warm for the weather. But I told her that immediately after school we're going to look for more shoes that will fit her and that she will wear. I am going to try to put my foot down (pun intended) and get her to wear shoes that fit. I plan to get rid of her old shoes immediately, so she can have dress shoes and play shoes, and that's it. Up next: underwear. She threw all of it in the floor as each and every pair, she claimed, was either too tight or not tight enough. She requested to wear none at all, but was vetoed.

Here is what we know: 1) AJ isn't getting enough sleep. Experts claim that at this age, Anna June needs roughly 10.5 hours of sleep at night and a 1.5 hour nap each day. Ideally, she would go to bed at 8:00 and get up at 6:30. Instead, she goes to bed at 9 (or sometimes, later) and we have to drag her out of bed at 7:00, leaving her to eat breakfast in the car and us late for work. Keep in mind that she often gets up in the night, too. 2) We have no idea what we're doing. We have been talking about discipline and how to do it. We give AJ the choice of obeying or going in time out/getting a spanking. But this morning, it was like that over every single thing we wanted her to do. She collapses on the floor, pouts, cries, and screams. We try to ignore it. Last night while she was pouting about getting out of the bathtub, she asked me to pick her up instead of her using her own capabilities to extract herself. I stared at her until I got the desired "please" out of her, but she nodded her head for emphasis and slipped, busting her lip on the tub. The resulting bleeding and screaming was warranted, but couldn't be ignored. I know she was tired and not interested in listening in the first place. We have tried sticker charts and, well, we weren't consistent. It was as hard for us to learn to put stickers on the chart as it was for AJ to learn to exhibit the good behavior.

In any event, all the parents who told me that three is worse than two are correct so far. I am trying to be patient, to recognize this is a phase, and to get her to listen to me now so that in the future we won't have worse issues. But for right now I'm just settling for letting her spend time with her grandparents as much as possible, because they think she's an adorable angel no matter what.

Friday, March 11, 2011

School Party



Anna June had her third and final third birthday party on Monday, her actual birthday. It was sort of low-key, since we had just celebrated with (mostly) the same group of people a couple of days before. Still, though, I felt like the day itself should be acknowledged, so at Beth's wise suggestion, I bought chocolate two-bite cupcakes from Publix. I grabbed Birthday Princess tableware from there as well, since we were carrying through the princess theme.

In these pictures, the children are wearing the tiaras we had gotten them for the party on Saturday. Some of them wore them for a little while at our house, but not for very long - so I scooped them up to take to school. They also had seen but not used (oddly enough) the Princess "blowouts" that AJ had so carefully selected on our trip to Party Time. So those came with us to school, too. I really think the tiaras and blowouts were simply forgotten when the kids saw the awesome party favors, which were kid sized baking kits. We've been to lots of birthday parties with lots of incredible favors, but Ben spotted these on sale and we bought them months ago...we figured AJ's friends would love baking as much as she does.

Since we'd just done candles twice, I decided that after we sang happy birthday, instead of blowing out candles, all the children could blow their blowouts at once. They thought that was really fun.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Earrings



Earrings, Anna June has declared, are her favorite things. In case you've not been following this development, here's a recap: at Christmas, she got a pair of Cinderella earrings from Beth and there was a Christmas Day Crisis when we thought we'd left one at Nana's house. After a while, AJ literally wore them out...one of them would not close. Because these were toy earrings, made of plastic, they were not repairable. So, we headed to Toys R Us and spent part of AJ's gift card from Grandpa and Grammy on a play set that included earrings. She loved those, too, until they broke. So I spread the word that earrings would make ideal gifts for AJ.

Granddaddy and Uncle Drew gave her 2 pairs that came from Garden City Auction: a green pair, and a pearl-and-rhinestone pair. I really may borrow these for myself...they are really pretty. Then, Grandma Hazel got AJ three pairs of earrings from Claire's, a place where I am afraid we are destined to spend lots of time once AJ realizes what a mall is and where this little-girl heaven is located. She is sporting one of these pairs in the first picture above. I actually like all of these pairs of earrings because they are real earrings and not toys.

Anyway, just in case you were wondering, we are not getting Anna June's ears pierced. If she would like to do that when she is old enough to take care of her earrings and her ears, she can. I won't tell her she has to wait until she turns 30, like my mom told me when I was 5 and asked to have mine done. But I still don't have mine pierced, and don't intend to. There are, obviously, lots of pretty clip-ons in the world.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

BBQ Party



On Sunday, Anna June celebrated her birthday with the family at Rusty's BBQ. Beth made a beautiful cake! We recycled the Cinderella-themed cake toppers from the Princess Party. We also re-used the Disney Princess tablecloth...so there were still some princess elements to the festivities at our favorite restaurant in the whole wide world. Anna June was also dressed in princess attire - this is the dress she bought on her own with her Valentine's money from Grandpa. We're hoping it will be her Easter dress if we don't ruin it by doing things like eating BBQ and cake.

The grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins really outdid themselves this year when it comes to gifts. Anna June got so many wonderful things. She's enjoyed playing with everything she's opened so far - we honestly haven't gotten to everything yet. But we have to pace ourselves - Christmas is still 9 months away.

The beautiful flowers are from our church. Our church uses Glenn's Flowers each week for a beautiful arrangement to place on the altar. After church, the flower committee gives away the arrangement to someone, usually to someone who is celebrating a birthday or anniversary, or they'll send it to someone who has been ill. On Sunday, we put the flowers in the car, and explained to AJ that they were for her birthday. She started crying immediately. "But I don't want flowers for my birthday! I wanted toys!" I told her that she didn't have to worry - the flowers are really for me. We're enjoying them at home this week.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Princess Party

On Saturday, Anna June had a splendid time at her princess-themed birthday party. Originally, she had asked for a pajama party, but her abiding love for all things princess caused us to ask if she'd rather have a princess party instead. Of course, she did. Well, one cannot have a princess party any old place, so we decided to hold it at our house. And we decided to invite only AJ's friends from school - the best possible princess audience, as there are 5 girls and 1 boy. So, technically, it was a "Prince and Princess Party" although the little boy did not come. I can't blame him!

These sweet girls and their parents braved the rain and came out ready to play. Anna June had an absolute blast sharing her toys, playing games and opening gifts. When I asked her later what her favorite part was about the party, she said, "Eating cake!"

AJ gets ready to eat her Cinderella cake from Publix.


AJ opens her presents while her friends help her play with her toys (new and old). There were crowns available, but for some reason, I am the only one wearing one.

The closest thing to a good group shot I got. From left to right: Sophie Belle, Anna June, Drew, Amber, and Lily. Sophie Belle's dad, Cole and Drew's mom, Dawn are in the background.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Letter to Anna June

Dear Anna June,

On the occasion of your 3rd birthday, I'd like to write you a letter. You are, my darling, everything that I could want in a little girl. Before you were born, your father and I hoped that you would be healthy, smart and beautiful. You have certainly exceeded our expectations.

Everywhere we go, your charm and beauty inspire comments from strangers. Your distinctive blond curly hair makes people want to touch it - or at least make a Shirley Temple comment or two. Recently, your Aunt Beth said your hair reminded her of Charlie Brown's sister, Sally. Ever since I heard that - I can't stop thinking about it - she was right on the money.

At your third birthday, you are able to do lots of things that others your age can't quite get the hang of yet. First of all, you are completely potty trained, even at night. We don't have to use Pull-ups or anything. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for being so eager to learn and your teachers for being so wonderful to teach this to you. In that department, you have been pure joy, although I won't say it didn't have its challenges.

You know your ABCs and can count to about 15, but you don't especially like to perform these tricks. You were recently given lots of electronic devices that will help you recognize your letters, a task that I'm pretty sure you can do better than you let on. You will be reading before I know it.

You are also very tall. This is another thing that draws comments far and wide. I hope that you know that tall and thin are things that most people with Tucker genes never get to be. I hope that you are proud of it...it suits you. You are tall like your daddy - soon you will be able to get things off shelves for me.

Health-wise, the tiny hole in your heart that was present at birth has completely grown closed. We are so thankful, although the doctor predicted this would not cause you one minute's trouble. Your dad and I were relieved to hear the news, but we were so confident about it, we really weren't worried. On the other hand, you have had so many colds, fevers, ear infections, and other random illnesses, it constantly depletes my stash of paid sick time. If it weren't for your Nana and Granddaddy always helping out, I would have gotten more than just a "needs improvement" on my evaluation under the attendance section.

You are very creative. You make up stories and songs constantly. Last night you set up your tent to be your work, and you took your new laptop inside. You kept coming out to give me reports. You told me your friend "Shirley Ing" has gray and pink hair, and your boss's name was "Mary Pacey". You told me that your work allows you to wear pajamas, take 3 hours off and come back, and they let you play your guitar there. You asked me to pack your lunch and your sippy cup for you. Your antics keep your dad and me laughing every single day.

You also have very, very strong opinions about what you wear - every shirt, sock and necklace must meet your approval. We're glad you take an interest in your appearance - your dad and I aren't very big on that department - but you take it to the extreme. You always want to wear the fanciest possible outfit. We cannot count the number of times we've taken you to a playground wearing dresses - and shoes - totally unsuitable for the occasion.

I know that you'll be embarrassed to have this blog as a record of your childhood. On average, I have posted every 1.5 days of your life. But your Wisconsin grandparents anxiously await my post each day...they are getting to know you so much better this way than occasional telephone calls. Can you imagine how many minutes it would take to tell them all this on the phone, individually?

Finally, I have to say that I relish this role of being mom, caretaker, and archivist of the life of THE Anna June Gallitz - which by the way - if someone calls you a name like "Junebug" you say, "I'm not Junebug - I am Anna June Gallitz." I love being there when you wake up - even if I have to wake you up and you're grumpy. I love getting to read stories to you and see which things you point out or ask about. I love watching how you get so excited over a trinket or a piece of candy. I love even more watching you share and learn to be considerate of your friends. I love making plans with you, even if you change your mind a hundred times. I love watching you grow.

One more thing - we've been talking a little about how babies come out of the mama's tummies. You've seen the pictures of me enormously pregnant with you. And, incidentally, I am just going to be one of those mothers who will bring up at every opportunity exactly how miserable I was when I was pregnant and in labor with you. I am sorry, you'll just have to live with it. It was awful. But recently, you told me that babies pop out of the mama's heart. I did not correct you with a technical explanation - it was too beautiful. I don't know where you got that, but it's a keeper. You are definitely a child of my heart. I love you.

Mom

Friday, March 4, 2011

Bideo Games


On Saturday, Anna June went to dinner at Grandma Hazel's house and found that she'd been left a surprise by Uncle Scott. His kids had outgrown some books - she was so excited about them. But he also left her a Leapfrog Leapster. She has been having fun playing her "bideo game". Colin, Claire, and Ella sent the games they had with it including Finding Nemo, Number Raiders, and 1st Grade. This was one of the first Leapsters, and it made it through 3 kids. It is still in good shape (except AJ has to wear headphones with it - the speaker does not work). Now they make the Leapster 2 and other game systems, but according to what I just read, "All Leapster games work with all Leapster systems."

Last night, the FedEx man delivered a huge box from Granny Annie. Among all the wonderful things in there, there was also a Fisher Price iXL Learning System included. Although we haven't had a chance to open it yet, Anna June is really excited about another video game!

I've been getting inquiries as to what Anna June would like for her birthday. So I asked her last night. She responded with a bewildered, "I don't know!" She was eating a Popsicle at the time, and probably couldn't think past that. I tried again, knowing the suggestions I'd already given out. "Do you want some earrings?" I asked. "Yes!" she exclaimed. Duh. I asked, "Do you want finger paint?" Again, she answered "Yes!" I asked, "Can you think of anything else?" "No."

So, I thought I'd just put it out there that we now have 2 video game platforms, even though it will probably take her a while to figure out how to play with them as they were intended. Right now, she's pretty darn excited about the Disney Princess bat and ball that was also included in the box. It looks like rain today, but as soon as it clears up, we'll be playing with that outside, possibly while wearing her new Aurora sunglasses! Thank you, Granny!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Boings

Just so you know, Anna June refers to the curls on her head by the official terminology, "boings." Everyone at church last night could tell that she had much nicer boings, now that they've been trimmed up a bit.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

School Funny

Anna June returned to school as planned. Her teacher, Ms. Susan, has also been out sick. According to Susan, this was their exchange yesterday morning:

Susan: AJ, do you feel better?
AJ: Yes. But I had an ear infection. Do you feel better?
Susan: Yes. I had the flu and pneumonia
Garvey: I had yogurt!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Spoiled or Blessed?

Anna June and I both toe the line between being spoiled and just being really blessed. Yesterday I was lucky enough to spend the day with her, due to her persistent fever. I called the doctor and we went in for an appointment. True to her comment on Sunday that her ears hurt, she had an ear infection in both ears. I probably wouldn't have taken her in if she hadn't been sick for a month prior - she spent two weeks coughing before I took her in to be diagnosed with bronchitis. The cough still lingered, but then, after a week or so of runny nose, we end up with this. Luckily for us, though, it seems that we caught it before it got really, really bad and ruined her upcoming birthday celebrations.

After the doctor, we visited the Publix pharmacy, and, incidentally, the Publix bakery, where Aunt Beth helped AJ select her birthday cake (hint: it has Cinderella on it).

We ate a quick drive-through lunch and AJ went down for her nap around 1:00. Around 4:00, I had to start waking her up, whether she wanted to or not, or bedtime would be a beast.

At bedtime, she got to take her antibiotic, Tylenol for her fever and Delsym for her cough. Eventually, she went to sleep, not much past her regular bedtime. (By the way, even drugged, she wouldn't sleep all night - there was still a very distressed, sitting up in the bed cry for mommy!)

This morning, of course, she didn't want to wake up. And we were late. And I still had to take her temperature to determine whether or not she could return to school today. I tried everything to get her to get out of bed, short of picking her up, which I have learned from experience is a bad idea. Eventually, I told her the truth: that I needed her up - I was already running late - so I could check for fever. If she had a fever, I said, I would take my mom up on her offer to keep her today, and if she did not have a fever, she would be lucky enough to go to school.

This was a critical error.

Anna June, when we found that her temp was actually 97.3, started pitching a huge, enormous fit. I mean, it was epic. She did NOT want to go to school when the alternative was Nana's house. Not. At. All.

So, I called my mom. AJ's Nana, being the awesome and wonderful and generous person she is, offered to let AJ eat breakfast over at her house, and then she'd take her to school. This got AJ to agree to an outfit (even though there was some fussing involved, as she did not like our pre-selected choice) and then declare herself "all set to go!" with the happiest, nothing-is-wrong expression! She was even petting Radar and singing to him happily when I went back through the house. This kid, who had been shaking the rafters with her screams and tears, was just as content as she could be.

On the way over, I explained to AJ that this was a special occasion and she could not expect this to happen in the future.

In the future, of course, I shouldn't tell my child everything I am thinking.

As I drove away, I thought that Anna June is either the most spoiled or the most blessed kid in Birmingham - all she has to do is cry and she gets her way. But then I realized that she gets it from her mom.