Monday, March 7, 2016

The End

This is my last post on this blog.

I am very sad to let it go, but hear me out.

Anna June turns eight years old today. For eight wonderful years, you have let me gush on as if my wonderful, beautiful, brilliant and amazing child has been the most interesting subject in the world.

To me, she is.

I want to know everything about her. I want to know how her day was. I want to know what she learned at school. I want to know about her grades. I want to know who her friends are. I want to know what she thought was funny, sad, outrageous, interesting, and cool. I want to know her thoughts about dinner and God and how school really is and life and chores and the color blue.

And I want to share all of that with you.

But now Anna June is eight years old.

She has become her very own person, who has thoughts and feelings and ideas and passions and fears and preferences. You know, a personality.

She is a person, and not a character. This is not The Truman Show.

As her own person, she has developed this wonderful introverted personality. She is honest and good and caring and loving. And she has asked that I stop blogging about her.

She is embarrassed.

Before I make it worse, before there are boyfriends and first dates, before there are entrance exams and standardized test scores that mean something, before there is awkward DIY makeup and hair, I am ending this blog.

My plan is to publish all 1500+ posts in book form, and to give a hard copy to each of her grandparents (plus one for us and one for her). Once this is done, I will leave this blog up as an archive until the end of the year, and then, I will take it down.

Obviously, there's nothing on the internet that's ever truly gone, but I want to try to make it slightly more difficult for future friends or enemies to know exactly what days she threw up when she was an infant, for example.

This girl has so many wonderful things in store for her life. I cannot keep doing this if I think there's even one chance it is holding her back, even a little bit.

When I started this blog, AJ was a baby. She could not speak. She could not read or write.

But now, Anna June can do all of those things, very well. If you want to know what is going on with her, ask her. Give her a call. Set up a Google Hangout or a Skype session if you're far away. Spend time with her if you're not. She loves her family very much and would love to see you. She is old enough now that she gets to learn how to build relationships all on her own, without me grabbing on one aspect to write about and then having you feel like you need to start from there.

She has her own stories to tell. I will let her tell them.

I will still be writing, but I will mostly be keeping it to myself. I have a journal and I am hoping to use it. I will probably be writing angry letters to politicians and helping Rusty with his blog. Maybe I'll even be guest posting somewhere or working on a book. But this blog is closing.

Thank you for a wonderful eight years.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Out of Order

Our life right now is like this: school, work, PTA, baseball. Repeat.

Sometimes we get that out of order, but that's mostly it.

Since my last post there have been some changes.

Baseball - schedule has not yet been set. Uniform colors have been chosen unofficially but not confirmed officially. The Blue Jays will (likely) wear blue jerseys and blue hats with white pants, a royal blue belt and royal blue socks. Ben has ordered a new-to-him glove, as the old one has still not shown up and it was coming apart anyway.

PTA - the Bake Sale went really, really well. We put out a jar for "fat-free" donations and our grand total was $1217.86 - a new record! Now on to the next million things to do.

The banner that lives in the trunk of my car but is ripped and sticks to nothing. It fell seconds after this photo.

I totally spilled their mom's coffee. And then they stepped in it.
We had customers. And AJ has Star Wars socks in her hair. See below.

Official "making children work before they've had breakfast" photo

Work - For me, work has been busy. Ben has been doing a training course from home this week, saving him the early morning commute. He's not looking forward to getting back to the 5 AM wake-up time on Monday. 

School - School's going great for AJ, but it is kind of driving me nuts. First of all, the Math Derby has been postponed yet again, for another week. AJ hasn't really been practicing, so I guess that's OK but now I need to re-do my time off request. 

This week has been "Read Across America Week," which is an annual event to coincide with Dr. Seuss's birthday. Volunteers from the community came to read to the children on Wednesday, as they did in many other schools. AJ's school was visited by the Mayor of Birmingham, William Bell. 

This year, it also brought a week's worth of special out-of-uniform days. 

We got the flier and the call on Monday night. Tuesday, we had to be at school early for the Bake Sale, so AJ didn't get photographed properly. She did wear a bunch of different socks simultaneously. And then, she decided to put socks in her hair as well. So here's the best

Wednesday was Wacky. AJ put on her tie-dyed shirt, inside out and backwards, over her striped tights and striped shorts, completing the look with her polka dot boots. Fortunately, it was Wacky Wednesday at lots of schools, so I didn't feel that bad when my mom picked up AJ as a surprise to take her birthday shopping. (Although AJ did feel bad when she first saw Nana at school, unannounced - she thought something must be wrong!) Nana and Granddaddy took AJ to Target to pick out some toys and clothes, and this wouldn't have been very remarkable except that it was my dad's first visit to Target ever. How many times did my dad take me shopping for clothes when I was a little girl? Zero. Wacky Wednesday indeed. A very exhausted AJ did not want me to photograph her so I got her from the back. You get the idea.

Thursday was more "fun" with Character Day. AJ decided to be Sally from The Cat in the Hat. The Sally on TV (The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That) is dressed slightly differently than the one in the book. But AJ made the best of it and wore a pink sleeveless dress with a white shirt underneath, white tights, black flats, and a red bow in her hair. She said people knew she was Sally. Works for me.

Friday was pajama day in honor of The Sleep Book. This is the third pajama day of the school year if I am counting correctly. This was also a fundraiser for the yearbook sales offset I've mentioned before, but this part was not well-publicized. I hope they made some money.

Monday, which is AJ's birthday, they'll wear hats. She is considering making something elaborate out of newspaper.

Monday through Friday of next week is Career Week. You would not think this involves dressing up, but it does. 

They've even gotten the careers all picked out for the kids.

Monday - entertainer; Tuesday - sports; Wednesday - lawyer; Thursday - medical; Friday - politician.

So now she has to be an entertainer wearing a hat on her birthday when I should bring something to share with the class and now I feel like my weekend is ruined and I have a headache. But the thrift store is having half price day tomorrow, with a special appearance by the Easter Bunny. I haven't even thought about Easter yet.

I realize that all of this is OPTIONAL and I shouldn't stress myself out. There have been, on occasion, times when AJ just doesn't want to participate. And that's OK. But something tells me if she can be out of uniform, she will be.