Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Saving Up

On Friday, Anna June opened her very first savings account. We had made the decision a while back, and finally found a week day when we had the time. She did not like waiting to be seen, but I could tell she was proud.
She now has a library card and a bank account, so she has more resources than most of the world.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Salute to Dads

Anna June and I have been scrolling through Facebook this morning, looking at everyone's posts of pictures of their dads. I started looking through my pictures, and seeing if I could find anything post-worthy.

First of all, here is a picture of my dad, on Anna June's first birthday.

I started looking for a picture of my Granddaddy Elwyn, and this is a good one, taken not too long before he died:

I also have a good picture taken at Rusty's BBQ with my Granddaddy Jerome:

AJ also has some good ones with her Grandpa. I love this one:

And there are lots of pictures of AJ with her dad, but here is one of my very favorite:

Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Catch as Catch Can

Anna June is enjoying her summer. Summer you say? Yes, school was still in session the last time I blogged. I am sorry.

Life has been extremely busy lately. I feel like "people" must know what is going on with us, as AJ has spent the past 11 days with my parents, but even including my grandmother, that's not half of her grandparents, so I though I had better take some time to make a report.

Here are just a few of the things that have happened, since the last time I posted here, each probably worthy of its own post.

1. AJ "graduated" from Kindergarten. There was a program at school. She won a citizenship medal when she got back to her classroom. The kids sang patriotic music and did a great job.
I have no idea how many kids in her class got a citizenship medal. One experienced teacher said it may have been one boy and one girl per classroom. Still, it is a big accomplishment.

2. I got elected to the board of the PTA. During AJ's 1st grade year, I will be the chair of the financial oversight committee (responsible for reviewing the finances of the chapter for the year) - and so far the committee is just me. Additionally, I will be serving as the Treasurer-Elect, learning how to be a Treasurer, so I can serve as Treasurer during AJ's second grade year. I have a lot to learn. We've already had a meeting and my responsibilities are starting to overwhelm me. I've had several leadership positions, but to be responsible for serving in a leadership role for all the parents in the whole school (500 kids!) is crazy.

3. We went to Atlanta for Memorial Day weekend. I like to get out of town for Memorial Day - somewhere in the back of my mind, I celebrate the fact that we got engaged over Memorial Day weekend (that Sunday, I believe), and I feel like we should always be at the beach. Plus, my family doesn't have a get-together because so many of them are trying to sell barbecue that weekend. Of course, last year, we were at the beach, and it was extremely crowded. Atlanta was no different. We visited the Georgia Aquarium, our friends Michele and Chapin (a.k.a. Bogey) and a Braves game. We waited in a lot of lines. The hotel pool was a highlight, even though it was too cool to swim much, in my opinion. I hereby promise that next year, we can stay home.

4. I have been sick. The day after Memorial Day, my throat felt like it was on fire. I went on in to work, as I had many things I needed to do and wasn't "officially" sick. A friend in the hallway said, "You look tired." I looked at myself in the mirror and I was paler than usual (almost transparent, which is the only shade paler than how pale I am). By bedtime, I had fever and chills. I stayed home the one day (well, most of the one day, which happened to be AJ's graduation) and had to tough it out. I am out of sick time and trying to stay on track at work. Ben tried to avoid it, sleeping on the sofa and keeping his distance, but he ended up at his doctor with an inflamed throat, too, getting a steroid shot and an antibiotic shot, plus a course of antibiotics. We are extremely hopeful that AJ will not get it just through sheer force of will, as she has had too many incidents lately. 

This is basically my daily cocktail. I hope that it will ward off further infection. 

5. We've mostly been helping on Friday nights with my grandmother. My parents work on Fridays, so after work it is our turn. She is glad to see AJ - they watch TV together, play games, and AJ reads stories.

6. Last week, AJ attended Vacation Bible School at Avondale Methodist Church. The last day of school was June 2, and they got out at 3:00. AJ went to my parents' house for a few hours, and then I picked her up to take her to VBS. Because many of the children attending also go to Avondale Elementary, that one session of VBS was rescheduled to that evening to accommodate the extended school year (thanks, snowpocalypse). The kids had an absolute blast. The theme was "Trust God!" I, for one, need to hear this repeated daily.
AJ made a tambourine at VBS. It says "Awsum" on it, which pretty much summed up her opinion of the week.

7. Ben applied for a new job. He got a very good offer, but ultimately turned it down because the leadership at his company really, really, really wanted him to stay. Terms are still being worked out, which is nerve-wracking, but at least the decision to stay has been made and we can move on to other big deals.

8. Because the job thing was up in the air, so was our vacation - if he was going to leave, he likely wouldn't be able to take vacation at the new job. I wanted to nail down our plans for the whole summer, including any travel, because I wanted to get the multiple-week discount at the UAB Rec Center Day Camp that AJ attended last year. This was a terrible decision, because, well, we still haven't made any decisions. When I finally went to sign AJ up for camp, it was full for 5 of the 9 weeks we needed it. She will be going for 4 weeks, but we have had to find other arrangements for the other 5.

9. This week, AJ is attending Wacky Nanny day camp. This is a great program in our neighborhood, and AJ absolutely loves it. She has done a couple of hand sewing projects, and made everything from paper-mache to a tye-dye t-shirt. It's only half a day, and she has also enjoyed hanging out with her grandparents in the afternoon. Today she made muffins. Next week, AJ will attend Zoo Camp, and the week after, she'll be at Critter Camp at the Greater Birmingham Humane Society. Then, the UAB camps will begin, with the exception of 2 weeks. We are hearing that Granny will visit for one of these weeks, and we are very excited.

10. Daddy-Daughter Date Night at Chick-fil-A. I think this is worthy of its own post, because AJ got herself ready 3 hours early and Ben came to pick her up from my Mom and Dad's house. I had a meeting that I was excited to attend (I often don't get to go to my sorority alumnae meetings, despite being an officer), and I went straight there from work. As usual, CFA went all-out, giving the girls princess-themed gift bags (a tiara! A wand!) But best of all was a good time with her dad, including ice cream for dessert. I love this picture. It's going to be on the bulletin board at CFA. She can't wait to show me.

(Source: Chick-fil-A at Eastwood Village Facebook page)

It is not that anything has slowed down. I had a work event on Monday night, so Ben and AJ went to dinner and the library, where they were just in time for a magic show. Tuesday was our big night out (#10 above) and last night, I rushed to make a frozen dinner, run to the grocery store, put AJ to bed and then go to a friend's house for "Girls' Night In." I keep searching for some balance, hoping that each time it won't be so stressful to have fun. I have so many things I want to post about, but feel like sitting down at the computer is not an option when I haven't even been home and there are dishes and clothes to wash. And the TV is not going to watch itself. But tonight, I fixed some food (actually for tomorrow, because in my haste last night to buy the ingredients for the recipe, I failed to realize the pasta salad needs to marinate, so we didn't have time to eat it tonight), and washed some dishes. I put away some clean towels and washed another load of clothes. I took the trash out and the dog out. I finally felt like I was ready to sit down - and now it is past my bedtime!

Work is going extremely well. Each day I go in with the same goal - answer all the emails in my inbox, deal with all the projects on my desk, tackle my to-do list. Each day, I chip away a little. I will never be caught up...there's too much to do. But I am mostly focused and it seems to be manageable, even as large projects are on the horizon. As I mentioned before, blogging from work is not a true possibility, unless I can eke out a post with no photos or anything complicated, lest I get issues from the non-compatible browser I am forced to use. The people I work for and with are wonderful and have a great appreciation for how hard it is to parent. When I leave at 5:00, I say, "I'm going to my real job, now."

AJ is healthy and happy. She is reading to herself and having a great time. She loves playing with other kids and also is content by herself. She is still a fairly picky eater, but she seems to be getting along alright. She is tall and beautiful, getting more so each day. When I met her camp teacher, she immediately said how smart AJ is. She still gets tired, has meltdowns, makes me want to scream, forgets her chores, and tonight when she was brushing her teeth, she had a streak of blue toothpaste from forehead to chin. She's hanging in there. So I think we're doing OK, even if I don't make it to blog much.