Friday, February 12, 2016

A Little Update

January and February have flown by.

In January, our plumbing woes finally ended. Our driveway had to be partly destroyed by jackhammer but the pipes are fixed and the hole is filled in. We are glad that ordeal is over and are trying to remind ourselves it could have been worse.

Around the first or second week of January, Ben and I got hit with colds. I had a sore throat and a runny nose that went on for a couple of weeks. There was just not enough Kleenex. AJ appears to have been mostly unscathed. We carried on with play dates and appointments and lessons as planned.

We all finally seemed well until last week (2/1) I got sick with a stomach virus. Either that, or I gave myself food poisoning. But it did not last long, although I did take the day off to rest.

I'm on a month-long step challenge with my friends Jessica and Kristina. I've made my goal of 7500 steps most days, and the other days I've made up for it. That's what I've been up to.

Sometime in January, AJ started not sleeping well. We have tried all the home remedies, and I hesitate to say it, but I think she's getting better. We had a very rough patch for a couple of weeks. It was difficult to get up and get to work and want to blog when I really just wanted to go back to sleep or retrace our steps to find out what went wrong, exactly. The best we can figure is that she's just having a hard time, plain and simple. This was in our bed before school recently, when I said, "If you don't get up now I will put a picture of you sleeping on Facebook and Instagram." She did not care. We've been trying to not make a huge deal about it, but it is hard when you have a very tall child taking up your bed real estate.

Meanwhile, there's been a lot of good stuff going on with AJ that is way more fun than sleep habits.

First of all, swim lessons are over. AJ did VERY WELL. She was frustrated with herself for not doing better (i.e. mastering all the skills) but she can now swim 300 yards in 12 minutes. Her teacher told me that if she wanted to be on a swim team, she would be competitive in her age. She does not want to be on a swim team, though. She actually never wants to take another lesson. We will see about that - if she's at UAB camp this summer (and there anyway), I may sign her up for some lessons. I'd love to see her get her breast stroke down. It appears to be the most difficult thing for her and requires lots of practice.

Secondly, AJ has been chosen as one of five kids from her class to be in this year's Math Derby. In line with my wishes, the school gave out practice packets several days ago, giving the kids more than two weeks to prepare. AJ doesn't actually want to compete, but hopefully we can get past that and practice this weekend. The Derby is Friday the 19th.

Next, we have been social! We've seen lots of friends lately, even going to a Game Night party. While our game of Uno may be the longest in history (and we even had to just declare a winner since it went on past bedtime), I was very proud of AJ for having fun with kids of all ages, some we knew and some we did not know. Photo courtesy Meg via Facebook.

We've also been spending some time with our family as we can. We met up with Kym, Ken and Teygan for lunch recently to exchange Christmas gifts since we were rained out on Christmas Eve Eve. Good news - I got something for Teygan that she liked. Bad news - she already had it! Typical Aunt Laura stuff.

Last weekend, we had a bunch of things to do and were very busy. AJ stayed by my side all day as my assistant (literally checking things off my list for me) and we enjoyed each other's company. First, we went to the Crestwood Civitan Pancake Breakfast. To be fair, our friends gave us some tickets, but honestly I should have gone anyway. It was for a good cause. I would have shot a picture of the plate of pancakes, but it did not last long enough.
Also, AJ made this great piece of art at the kid station at the event:

We had gotten there early enough that we still had time to take Radar for a quick walk. I had to get in those steps and he needed the exercise!

Then we stopped by the AFWC Headquarters where the state board was meeting. The Foster House Club was having a chili cook-off and bake sale. I couldn't stay, but I decided to drop off some brownies I made to help out. I had an ambitious semi-homemade treat planned, but at the last minute went with a prepackaged solution. It was baked in my oven so it counts as fair game for a bake sale.

I dropped off the brownies and collected hugs and news from a few friends, and then headed back out the door.

It was time for swim lessons. We were actually early! I was taking pictures and AJ asked me to take one of her feet. "I like pictures of feet," she said.

Then, we went and got Ben for lunch. We drove out to Odenville to Louie's Pickles. It was great, and we came home with some "garlic hot" pickles. They should last us a while.

From there, we headed to Trussville to get our hair cut. Ben came along with us and shopped around while we got our long-overdue cuts. AJ's hair is still long enough to suit her, but I can tell the ends were trimmed.

Later, we dropped Ben off, threw some clothes in the washing machine, and went back out for more errands: thrift store, seamstress, and Dollar Tree. AJ asked if she could get a treat, so instead of candy or cookies, she came back with fake nails, which she applied the next day. They were fun while they lasted, but she realized pretty quickly that she couldn't really do anything while they were on.

The weekend moved on, but after another night of staying up late and not sleeping well, I decided that Sunday would need to be a very, very low-key day. As in, when Mom asked me if we wanted to come over to watch the Super Bowl, I said no - we needed a night in and an early bedtime to get things back to normal.

So we stayed home most of Sunday, but we ventured out to Starbucks for a late breakfast after we all slept in and discussed our pitiful at-home options for breakfast since I hadn't yet been to the grocery store. Ben and AJ both chose green juices and didn't like them, so I traded and AJ had some of my mint tea instead.

None of us drinks coffee, so we never go to Starbucks, but we had a gift card. Ben could not believe how expensive things were there, and there was a drive-through line that circled the entire building. We're not likely to be back any time soon, although the service was fine and the food was fine, too.

Ben was napping when my Uncle Tim called, needing urgent help with a computer issue, so AJ and I ate some leftovers and went on about our boring, at-home low-key day. We had plenty to do, but we weren't going to do it. This was going fine until I realized I hadn't been to the grocery store yet, although my list was eventually made. My neighbor posted on Facebook that the stores were crazy - between the Super Bowl and the minuscule threat of snow, and that it was a weekend, I sure did not want to go. Instead, I hit on another plan: go during the game. AJ did not want to go, so I took her by Mom and Dad's house so she could watch the game and I could shop. It worked great - we got homemade fried chicken tenders for dinner from Dad.

I hope this weekend is more fun and less busy!


Annie Gallitz said...

Maybe AJ is missing Lily / that is the only big change in her life recently, about that exact time that the sleep problem intensified , that I can think of. ( I mean, even tho she appears to be adjusting, is it possible that there is a deeper response to that change going on ???) HEY! DON;T EVER LET THAT GIRL QUIT SWIM LESSONS!!!!! I don't think that she has to go competitive, but I really DO think that in the long run, these particular lessons will prove very valuable to her . I' m glad to hear that you guys enjoyed that game night.....sounds like a great time.( was that a school noc?) sorry to hear about you getting a stomach virus! ( miserable!!!!) GOOD JOB, on keeping up w/your walking tho !! AJ doesn't like the math derby ?? Is math becoming more challenging in this grade ??? HEY !! BTW, Nonny JUST printed out your Email to her ,from you, re: A visit down there this spring,,,,,, I am WORKING on her!! I can probably let you know this weekend!! (( sorry for not responding sooner, but she JUST let me know, and then it took her about a week to print it out!! I will give you guys a call this weekend.)

Annie Gallitz said...

p.s.AS I was showing Nonny these pics ( because I asked her how you managed to do the pic of AJ in black and white, yet , have her GAP sweatshirt in color? She said you have a phone w/ that ability) I showed her the one of AJ's feet and the text that went w/ it; she started to scream ----- SCREAM and say " NO ! NO little girl ! YOU CAN NOT!!!!!" Nonny is worried about her developing a foot fetish, now . ( YOU may recall, that Nonny was approached by a man , in a store, who expressed admiration for her feet , and then proceeded to get a wee bit kinky..... 0

Laura Gallitz said...

I responded to this first comment via email. Did you get it?

Anyway, it could be that Lily's absence is causing problems, but AJ is very adamant that this is not the case.

I would like AJ to take more swim lessons. Once we figure out camp, we will likely sign her up for lessons while she is at UAB. There are a couple of weeks (possibly 3) where she will go to other camps and we plan to travel for a couple of weeks as well.

AJ's school friend Trey was in the game night picture but it was at Dorothy's house. Dorothy, as it happens, was not there.

Halfway through the month, I am still on target for my step goal. So far, so good.

For the 2nd Grade Math Derby, AJ has to know addition and subtraction to 25. As you could hear on the phone, this is already out of my range of knowledge. I don't know why she's just not that in to it this year, but I would like for her to be in it to win it like the spelling bee. It is much more fun to win, even if it takes practicing really hard.

I want to know about your email/printer situation, as I emailed both you and Nonny on 1/25/16. But your immediate homework is to get your voice mail set up. If Nonny can't help you or you can't find instructions online, the store where you got your phone may be able to help.

Ben should get the photo credit for the partially colored photograph, and yes, it is an app on his phone. I have no idea how to do that.

Nonny can stop worrying about AJ developing a foot fetish. She is seven years old so nothing will develop for a while, in my opinion. You can blame this whole thing on Ben, though. Years ago when we were in Panama City with you both, he took a "toe shark" picture that, even out of all the beautiful family photos we took on the same trip and have taken since then, it still sits proudly in the lovely "family vacation" picture frame you gave us, displaying his freakishly flexible feet. AJ selected it because it was silly and brought back a happy memory from the trip. I think she was just bored pre-swim lesson and it is nothing freaky. She doesn't often want herself photographed, but she is proud of her long slender feet, as opposed to our box-like feet on my side of the family.