Monday, November 11, 2013

My Little Shopper

I had to run into the grocery store for a couple of items.  Our local chain store has new little carts for young kids to push.  I've seen them for a couple months now, and every time I think that it would be fun to let Annelise push one.  That day finally came!

I carried her into the store and showed her the little cart.  I put her down, pulled one out, and showed her how to push it. She had a little trouble at first, but now I think it was because the cart pulled to the right.  She quickly got the hang of it and had a blast.

Our first stop was bread.  I selected a loaf, put it in the cart, and then started her walking down the main front aisle.  Everyone kept ohhhhing and ahhhhing over how cute she looked pushing the cart.  I turned her down an aisle so that we could make our way to the back of the store for some milk.  Some random guy thought she looked so cute that he took her picture.  Kinda creepy.

We made it to the back of the store and started walking down the back aisle.  We passed a display that had some Frosted Flakes on it.  She must have recognized it, because she quickly stopped the cart, grabbed a box, and put it in the cart!  She totally helped herself!  I laughed so hard.  After the cereal, we grabbed some milk, and made our way to the front of the store.
She was pretty upset when we had to stop pushing the cart and wait in line, but she calmed down fairly quickly as I talked her through the checkout process.  She did a great job putting the cart away and walking out to the car.

I love these little moments as she's getting older.  I really do treasure them. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy Halloween!

I searched for a long time for a costume that I thought would be perfect for Annelise this year.  I knew that we were going to take her Trick-or-Treating, and I also knew that it would likely be pretty cold.  So, I wanted something that would be fairly warm so that she wouldn't have to wear a coat and cover it up.  I finally landed on a monster costume.  She also loves to growl and I had trained her that every time I ask, "Annelise, are you a monster?" to raise her arms and growl.
After I took a couple of pictures outside, we started off walking to go TorT at a few houses on our street.  Our plan was to just do our street and then come back and hand out candy.  Our neighbors across the street, two little girls and their dad, were coming outside at the same time we were.  All the girls went to our neighbor's house together, and then we just decided to keep TorT with them.  There were also two other little girls that were friends with one of the neighbor girls.  Drew grabbed Annelise's wagon, which I was surprised that she happily went in, and we went house to house.  One of the neighbor girls also rode with Annelise.

I was really surprised at how much fun she had.  I think that it helped that she was with some other kids with us.  We would pull her up to the driveway, stop and get her out of the wagon, and she would run up to the door and patiently wait.  She didn't say "trick or treat", but she did babble something sometimes.  She didn't really even say "thank you", even though I coaxed it, but she did eagerly say "bye-bye" as she walked away.  Then, she'd run back to the wagon, get loaded in, and ride to the next house.

I was shocked that we actually stayed out the whole two hours!  She had so much fun, and honestly, I had a blast too!  It was so much fun to take her out to do something like that.  I love being able to do fun kid stuff with her now that she's getting older.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Week In My Life - Saturday

I woke up around 8:00 AM and hopped right into the shower.  I was really stuffed up and my throat still hurt.  Great!  Annelise had a rough night of sleep because she came down with the same cold too.  She woke up while I was getting ready, so I got her up and got her breakfast.  I put her highchair in the hallway and finished getting ready while she ate.  Once I got done getting ready, I hung up her clothes that were in the laundry basket.

I drug Drew out of bed at 9:30.  He went and put gas in the car and stopped at McDonald's.  I really wanted some orange juice, and he picked some up for Annelise too.  She LOVED it!  A temper tantrum ensued when Drew wouldn't let her drink the whole entire thing, but she got over it fairly quickly.

I left the house around 10:10 AM.  I stopped at Walgreen's to pick up some Kleenex and vitamins.  Then, I headed up to Rockton to Cotter Barn.  I spent the day second shooting a wedding.  I arrived at the Barn shortly before 11 AM and started shooting table details right away.  The other photog arrived shortly thereafter and we started shooting the bride getting dressed.

Basically, I spent the whole day shooting wedding stuff.  Drew stayed home with Annelise.  He was supposed to work and Drew's parents were going to come over and watch Annelise when he left for work.  Drew came down with the same cold Annelise and I had, so he ultimately decided to stay home from work.

I got done with the wedding, stopped at Walgreen's (again) to pick up some medicine for Annelise and arrived home shortly before 10 PM.  She was still awake and super excited to see me.  I snuggled with her some, and then put her down for bed.  I followed shortly thereafter because I was exhausted after my long day.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Week In My Life - Friday

Today is mine and Drew's five year wedding anniversary!!  That's just crazy to me.  I feel like it's flown by, but yet so much has happened.

I woke up before Drew, like usual, and laid in bed and checked social media on my phone.  My throat hurt a little and I knew that wasn't a good sign.  Once I heard Annelise wake up, I got out of bed and got her up.  I took her out to the kitchen for breakfast.  I gave her some yogurt and then decided to make some scrambled eggs.  Drew wanted some too.

After breakfast, Drew received a phone call from one of his coworkers and he had to run up to work real fast to sign some paperwork.  He was gone about an hour.

Once he got back home, I hopped into the shower with Annelise.  I've discovered that it's a lot easier to just shower with her sometimes.  I got her all washed up, and then Drew came to get her and get her dressed while I finished showering.  I finished getting ready, and Drew put her down for a nap around 12:30.

Once I was all ready, I left to go run some errands.  I first stopped at my friend's store to drop off her disc of family pictures that I just took.  I chatted with her for about a half an hour and she looked through her photos.  She loved them!  Once I left there, I went to Sugarjones bakery and picked up some cupcakes for Drew and I to have later to celebrate our anniversary.  After that, I went to Babies R Us to get a baby shower gift for Drew's cousin's baby shower.  Unfortunately, the shower is tomorrow, and I am unable to attend because I'm going to be second shooting a wedding.  Once done there, I headed back home.

Annelise woke up from her nap at about 3:45 and we fed her some lunch.  Once she was done with lunch, we packed up some stuff for her, and we left at about 5 PM to go drop her off at Drew's parent's house.  They are going to watch her while Drew and I go out to dinner for our anniversary.

We dropped Annelise off, and we went to JMK Nippons for dinner.  We arrived there at about 5:45.  We were seated right away and sat with a family with two younger boys.  Drew ordered two different sushi rolls, and we had the dinner for two with chicken, filet mignon, and shrimp.  My throat was starting to hurt worse and worse throughout the day, but the warm soup felt so good on it.  Dinner was amazing, and we done around 6:45.  We drove back over to Drew's parent's house and sat and visited with them for a bit.  Annelise was starting to get cranky, so we left around 8 or 8:30.

Once we got home, we got her ready for bed and put her down.  Drew ate his cupcake without me, which sort of irritated me.  So, I was a little cranky with him.  We got ready for bed went to sleep around 11:00.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Week In My Life - Thursday

Aaaaaand, I slacked off because I got busy, so now I'm trying to catch up.  So basically that means that these next few days aren't going to be as detailed as the first few.

6:30 AM - My alarm went off and I got out of bed.  I am NOT a snoozer, and usually get up right away.  People who snooze drive me nuts.  I headed to the bathroom and got right in the shower and started getting ready.  Annelise woke up around 7:50 and Drew got her up and got her breakfast, then brought her highchair back to the hallway outside the bathroom so that he could get in the shower.  Somehow, we all managed to get dressed and ready and out the door by 8:30.

8:30 AM - We all start the drive into Chicago.  I had a doctor's appointment.  Even though we live in a big city, sometimes we still have to travel into the city to see a doctor in there.  There is a ton of construction on I-90, and it took us two hours to get to the office.  We waited around forever, had my appointment, and left around 12:30.  We grabbed some lunch on the way home, and arrived back home around 2:45.

I did a bunch of nothing the rest of the day, Annelise played, and Drew played with her and sat around with me.  Kind of a boring day!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Week In My Life - Wednesday

7:07 AM - I woke up and was surprised that Drew wasn't home yet.  Sure enough, about two minutes later, I hear Maya start to bark and noise in the garage.  Today is garbage day, so Drew put the can out by the street.  I laid in bed for few minutes before getting up at about 7:30.  I immediately got into the shower and started getting ready.  I managed to get myself completely ready before Annelise woke up, or should I say, before I went to wake her up.

8:55 AM - I woke Annelise up and took her out to the kitchen for some breakfast.  This morning, she just had a bowl of Frosted Flakes.  But then, she insisted on having her snack cup of left over Teddy Grahams from a couple of days ago.  She dumped the last bit of milk all over her tray, and I announced that breakfast was over and started to clean her up.  Once I had wiped her up, and cleaned up her tray, I took her back to her room to change her diaper and get her dressed.  I had already picked out an outfit for her, but she wanted a different one.  She picked a dress out.  I managed to get her changed and dressed without too much of a fight.  Thank God!!!  I got her shoes on and jacket on, and I let her out the garage door to go walk to the car.  She's been insisting on walking to the car lately.  She circled the car a few times, and then once I opened the garage to start the car, she bolted outside.  I let her wander for a few minutes, but once she tried to go into the wet grass, I picked her up and put her in her car seat.  She screamed, and I figured that she was not very happy about how chilly the seat was.  I promised her that it would warm up soon, and covered her with a blanket.

9:37 AM - We left the house and drove the 15ish minutes to Kindermusik class.  Class starts at 10.  There were a bunch of new kids and parents there, so Annelise had a particularly clingy day.  She was ok if I was sitting and she could be in my lap, or if there were instruments to play with, but the minute we had to stand up to do anything, she lost her mind and whined until I picked her up.  I also noticed that her nose and eyes looked a little red.

10:50 AM - Class is over and we drive home.  Once we get home, I was absolutely starving, so I made myself a turkey sandwich while Annelise snacked on some goldfish.  I shared some of my sandwich with her.  Drew's dad, Mark, and his friend, Jim, came over to pick up the concrete mixer.

12:05 PM - I asked Annelise if she wanted to go night-night and she did, so I changed her diaper and put her to bed.  She fell asleep around 12:40.  I came into the office to work on yesterday's WIML post and publish that.  Then, I started typing up todays.  I also noticed that I've taken zero pictures so far.  Fail!

1:00 PM - Drew wakes up and starts getting ready because he has a doctor's appointment.  I kind of wanted to go, but I'm stuck home with the sleeping child.

1:35 PM - Drew left for his doctor's appointment.  I came back to the office and entered in the codes from some yogurt lids for breast cancer month.  I really just did a whole bunch of nothing after that.

2:45 PM - Annelise wakes up from her nap.  I get her up and take her out to the kitchen for lunch.  Today, she ate a pouch, raisins, and some crackers.  My lunches have really been pretty random lately with her.  She doesn't mind, and usually eats it all happily.  After lunch, we go out to the living room to watch Ellen and play.

3:45 PM - Drew gets back home from his doctor's appointment, and Rachel arrives home from schools shortly after.  We all sit around and talk about what we want to do for dinner since we're all pretty hungry.  After some talk, and Rachel being the main decision maker since she's the picky one, we end up deciding to go to Potbelly.

5:00 PM - We drive over to Potbelly for dinner.  I had a grilled chicken breast and cheddar sandwich with a cup of loaded potato soup, Rachel had a bowl of loaded potato soup, and Drew had a sicilian sandwich and a cup of chili.  Annelise ate some of my soup, crackers, and chips.

We got home around 6:30ish I believe.  Rachel and Drew took Annelise into the living room so she could play and Drew could watch the World Series game.  I came back into the office to finish up some editing on a family session.  Annelise went to bed around 8:40 and I finished up my work shortly after. I ate a granola bar for a snack, finished typing out my day, and then went and got ready for bed.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Week In My Life - Tuesday

6:06 AM - I woke up with an upset stomach, but wasn't nearly ready to get up for the day.  Drew arrived home around 6:30ish, and came to bed shortly after.  We chatted for a few minutes, and I eventually drifted back off to sleep.

8:33 AM - I woke up again and decided to get up and start getting ready.  I had already declared today a lazy day since we didn't have anything to go and do, and it was supposed to snow.  I got in the shower, got dressed, then came into the office to finish up Monday's WIML post.  After I published that, I scrolled through social media.

9:30 AM - I decided to wake Annelise up because if I let her sleep any longer we would have problems with nap time, and then subsequently bed time.  I took her out to the kitchen for breakfast.  Today, she had blueberry yogurt again and a blueberry muffin.  I unloaded the dishwasher and put the pans away.
10:07 AM - I've finished cleaning up breakfast and I took Annelise back to her room to change her diaper.  I decided to leave her in her pajamas for the day.  I rarely do that, but, like I said, I've already declared today lazy day.

10:16 AM - I loaded Annelise into the car, and we went to Walgreens to pick up a prescription.
She wasn't quite sure what to make of the fact that she doesn't have any shoes on!

10:40 AM - We're back at home and we spend the rest of morning playing together and watching tv.  Well, it's really just me watching tv.  Annelise played with a bunch of toys.  She was in an awesome mood and wasn't cranky at all.  At about noon, I asked her if she wanted to go night-night and she said yes.  So, I put her in her room.  When I walked back out to the living room, I noticed that it was snowing.  It wasn't much, and didn't really stick, but it was still falling.  Ack!

12:15 PM - I remembered that there was an Apple keynote and turned on the computer to watch it.
Leo kept me company.  I watched that until about 1:20.  I was feeling tired and kind of crappy, so I turned off the computer and went back out to living room to lay down.

Drew woke up around 3:15 and started getting ready for work.  He put a pizza in the oven to eat before going to work.  I opened Annelise's bedroom door and tried to wake her up around 4:30.  She didn't even budge.  I left her door open and just figured that she'd wake up soon.  Drew went in there around 4:40 to try to wake her up, but she wasn't budging for him either!  He eventually got her up and brought her out to the living.  She looked at me with pissed off eyes because she was not ready to be up yet.  She perked up once Drew put her in her high chair and gave her some pizza.

5:10 PM - Drew left for work and I cut up two kiwis for myself and Annelise.  I only made it through 3/4 of it because it tasted somewhat like grass.  Gross!  Annelise played in the living room and managed to make a huge mess while Rachel did some studying.

7:20 PM - Annelise made a huge mess in her diaper, so I took her back to her room to change her.  I figured I would just give her a bath then.  She loves bath time!
I think she looks like a boy in this picture.  She'll get more hair eventually.  I let her play in the tub for about half an hour.  I took her out, lotioned her up, and put her in some new pajamas.  I made some macaroni and cheese for her and fed that to her.  I figured it would be less mess if I did it that way.

8:45 PM - I tell Annelise that it's time to go night-night, and off to bed she goes.  She finally falls asleep at about 9:45.
Rachel kept saying how hungry she was, and that she really wanted Burger King, so she went and picked up something for both of us to eat.  Once I had finished eating, I went and got ready for bed.  I watched a little tv, scrolled through my phone, and finally turned everything off at about 11:30 to go to sleep.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Week In My Life - Monday

I follow a blog called Adventuroo, and every year Melissa does a Week In The Life series.  I thought that I would join in this year and document a week in my life.  Sounds fun, right?  Here we go!
6:38 AM - Drew arrives home after working all night and it woke me up.  I had to pee (of course), so I got up to do that.  Once I got back to bed, I tried to go back to sleep.  It wasn't happening.
7:30 AM - I decided to give up trying to go back to sleep.  I grabbed my glasses from the side of the bed, and my phone, and decided to lay in bed and check my email and social media.
Blah!!!  So cold today!  I am so not a fan of all this cold and winter crap.  I checked my email first, then Instagram, then Twitter, then Facebook.  I was almost done checking Facebook when I hear Annelise make her first squawk from her room.  I glanced over to the monitor and see that she is starting to move around.  That's my cue to get up and get into the shower.

8:03 AM - Started my morning routine and then got into the shower.  Once I was done in the shower, I went and got Annelise out of bed.
Good morning sunshine!!  She has this habit of tucking the handle of her paci underneath her nose.  So strange.  She's in a happy, cheery mood, as she usually is every morning.  We went out to the kitchen to start getting breakfast.

8:33 AM - She's entered into this phase where it's a fight to get her to sit in her high chair.  Once she's in there, she's fine, but getting her there can be a struggle sometimes.  I started the dishwasher since I forgot to do that last night.  I finally wrangled Annelise into her high chair and got her breakfast.  Today was blueberry yogurt and some pineapple.
Once she had some food in front of her, I started to get myself a bowl of cereal.
Frosted Flakes today!  And, of course, the minute that Annelise saw what I was having, she wanted it too.  So, I made her a small bowl of cereal.  I quickly finished my breakfast and putzed around the kitchen while I wanted for her to finish.

9:02 AM - Annelise has finally finished eating and I have cleaned up the kitchen.  We go back to the bedrooms to start getting dressed.  I turned Pandora on the computer.  Annelise loves dancing to the music and usually asks for it anytime she's back in the office.  I started to get dressed and do my hair and makeup.  I'm pretty sure I had to stop over a dozen times to tell Annelise to get out of something that she shouldn't be in.  I finally finished getting ready at about 9:45 and then moved on to changing Annelise's diaper and getting her dressed.  It's usually a fight to do this, but today wasn't too awful.  I think the promise of shopping might have helped that.
Rachel went to put Annelise in her car seat while I packed up the diaper bag.  I still make sure that I bring a snack cup and water cup anytime we leave the house.

10:04 AM - Leave the house to run our errands.  First stop was my doctor's office to drop off some paperwork.  I ran into a friend of mine, and her daughter, while I was there.  We chatted for a few minutes and then I was on my way.  Then, we went to Target.
We arrived at Target at about 10:30.  We went straight back to the children's section.  I wanted to get Annelise a fleecy type jacket to wear while we're still in this in between of weather.  It's cold enough for a jacket, but not so frigid that she needs a super heavy one.  Plus, she can't wear a super heavy one in her car seat anyways.  I'm ok with a fleecy one because I can still get the straps nice and tight.  I found what I was looking for right away.  Then, I picked out some snow pants and a heavy winter coat.  The pants are solid purple, and the heavy coat is a purple plaid.  The fleecy jacket was also purple.  I guess it was a purple sort of day.  After that, we walked over to the socks and I picked out two new packages for her.  I wanted to get a full length mirror since we don't have one.  I found a super cheap one ($6) and stuck it in the cart.  Then, Rachel wanted to get a couple of shirts, so we walked over to the women's clothes.  She found a bunch and went to try them on.  I saw a dress that I absolutely loved and really wanted to get to wear out for our anniversary this weekend, but unfortunately, they didn't have my size.  When I got back to the fitting room, I saw that they had one in my size!  I thought about trying it on, but ultimately decided not to.  Rachel decided on three of the shirts and we made our way to the checkout.

11:25 AM - We left Target and drove over to Olive Garden to have lunch.  We were seated right away.  Rachel and I both ordered soup, salad, and breadsticks.  I had the chicken and gnocchi soup, and Rachel had the zoupa toscana.
Annelise ate some breadstick and tomato.  She was so well behaved during lunch.  We ordered the raspberry cheesecake for dessert.  You know Annelise liked that!
We paid for lunch and then came home.  Annelise was a little hyper when we got home and ran around the living room for a few minutes.  Then, she did this.
18 months old and she still loves her jumperoo.  I told her she had just a few minutes and she bounced like crazy.

1:06 PM - I took Annelise into her room to change her diaper and put her down for a nap.  After that, I came into the office to do some work.
There were papers everywhere on my desk.  I just couldn't stand all the clutter and since I had just paid bills the other day, it was time to file them all away.

1:25 PM - I had to go into Annelise's room and scooch her crib a little because she had turned on the light switch.

1:41 PM - Finally asleep.  I checked Facebook and my email.

1:52 PM - Started filing all of the paperwork.  I didn't take me long, it's just tedious.  I really need to clean out the folders, but that will wait until after the first of the year.
Much better!!  Still not perfect, but definitely an improvement.

2:14 PM - I'm over working in my office, and feeling a little sleepy, and cold, so I went out to the living room to watch some tv and snuggle under the blanket.  I watched the end of an episode of Home Improvement.  Then, I switched to Let's Make A Deal at about 2:30.  No joke, I got up at least a half a dozen times to either let the dog in or out or let a cat in or out of the bedroom since Drew sleeps with the door closed.  So, a nap wasn't happening.  I watched The Ellen Degeneres Show at 3:00.  Drew got up around 3:15 and made himself some lunch.  He then went and got showered and ready for work.  He came back into the living room at about 4:15.  After he put his shoes on, he went into the dining room to fill out the new patient paperwork for a new PCP that we're going to be going to.

4:37 PM - I woke Annelise up from her nap.  She's worked herself into a new schedule where she goes to bed super late at night, sleeps in later in the mornings, therefore naps much later in the day than she used to.  I'm still trying to decide if I like it.  We just hang around the kitchen while Drew gets ready and then leaves for work.

5:17 PM - I made a hodgepodge dinner for Annelise until I figured out what our actual dinner was going to be.
She's eating her leftover yogurt from breakfast, some string cheese, and some blueberries.  She asked for all of it.  Rachel and I decided to make tuna fish sandwiches for dinner.
I cleaned up Annelise while Rachel made the tuna fish.  I made my sandwich and then went into the living room to eat.  Annelise had a little bit of the leftover tuna.  After I got done eating, we all just hung out, watched tv, and played.  We love watching Wheel of Fortune, so we watched that.  Annelise and Maya started playing together, and Annelise was cracking up.

7:14 PM - I thought I smelled something a little suspicious, so I took Annelise back to her room to change her diaper.  Turns out it was a false alarm, but I still changed her anyway.  I decided to just leave her jeans off.  We came back out to the living room and started playing on the couch.  I kept tickling her and she kept trying to climb onto the back of the couch cushions and cracking up when I wouldn't let her.  We had a blast.  Nothing beats the sound of her giggles.  I love making her giggle.
Rachel was supposed to be studying, but she usually spends a good chunk of that time on her phone.  She actually studied a bunch, or as much as a toddler will let her.  I know that Rachel usually counts down the minutes until Annelise goes to bed.
Annelise played in the living for the evening.  She usually makes a huge mess, but that's ok.

8:56 PM - I turned the tv and told Annelise it's time to go night-night.  She got up and walked back to her room to get changed.  She insisted on brushing her teeth first, so I let her do that.  After she brushed her teeth, I changed her diaper and put her pajamas on.  She looked through a book while I was doing that.  I gave her a paci and put her in her crib.

9:07 PM - I came into the office and got on the computer.  I checked Facebook and chatted with a friend about a wedding that I'm second shooting on Saturday.  I started to import all of today's pictures for this post and then started typing it up.

10:25 PM - Annelise has finally quieted down and fallen asleep.

10:35 PM - I stopped working on this post for the evening and went out to the living room to watch some tv before heading to bed.  I decided I was hungry again and tater tots really sounded good.  So, I put some in the toaster oven for Rachel and myself.  Then, I had to wait 25 minutes for them to cook.  It was already past my bedtime and I wasn't helping things.  The tater tots finally finished and I scarfed them down and then went and got ready for bed.

11:46 PM - Finally crawled into bed.  I scrolled through my phone a little bit while watching some Full House.  I finally turned everything off at 12:12 AM and fell asleep pretty quickly.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Pumpkin Patch Fun

Drew, Annelise, and I went to the Pumpkin Patch this afternoon!  It was a gorgeous fall day, and we knew we had to take advantage of what will probably be one of the last ones.  Annelise had a great time running around, and I really loved making the memories.  Doing the fall activities, like the apple orchard and pumpkin patch, is something that I always dreamed about doing with my kids.
Annelise loved being able to pet the goats.  We didn't have any change on us to get the pellet food, so Annelise made due with feeding them some leaves from the ground.
After we took our obligatory family pictures with the pumpkin, we grabbed something to eat.  After that, we took Annelise on her very first pony ride!  She had a blast!
See how excited she was!  She was not very happy about having to get off, and immediately started signing "more".  She quickly calmed down though when we told her we were going to look at some other things and that we'd be taking a wagon ride.

We walked around a little bit to check out what was left to see, and then we made our way over to where the wagon picks you up to go pick your own pumpkin.  We found three great pumpkins and, once we took the wagon ride back, put them in a wagon to go pay for them.  Annelise insisted on riding with them.
That girl absolutely loves to ride in the wagon.  I love days like today when we can make so many fun memories as a family.  I know that Annelise won't remember them, but she'll have pictures to look back at.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Eighteen Months

Dear Annelise,

How is it that another six months have flown by since your first birthday and you are now a year and a half old?!?  There are some days where each day feels about a week long and I count down the seconds until it is time for you to go to bed.  Then, there are days that fly by faster than my eyes can blink and I can't believe that I'm already getting you ready for bed again.  I am so amazed at the growing and learning that you have done in these past six months.

Whenever anyone asks about you, I always say that you are a toddler in every sense of the word.  You are sweet, lovable, smart, rambunctious, busy, so many words that it's hard to write them all down.  You also are a challenge some days.  I know that some of our disagreements are because you can't fully communicate to me yet.  Some are just because you want your own way and don't want to listen to what Mommy or Daddy has to say.

I love that I (or Daddy) can ask you for a kiss or a hug and you always turn to give me one.  You are so sweet and affectionate and it warms my heart.  You are also starting to warm up and give those hugs and kisses away willingly to other people too.  Auntie, Nana, GG, and Grandma usually get some love without too much coaxing.  You have started to warm up around others quicker.  You still tuck into me at first, but it doesn't take long for you to come out of your shell and interact with people.

You communicate to us primary through signing.  You know and consistently use "eat", "more", "water", "milk", "please", and "help".  I'm amazed at how quickly you pick up new signs when I teach them to you.  Verbally, you say "mama", "daddy", "bye-bye", and "up".  You say "kkkkki" for kitty.  You understand so much that I say to you, you just can't communicate it yet.  You know all about the animals, and many of their sounds, you just have a hard time mimicking those sounds.  However, you definitely have the growl down!  You growl almost more than any other noise.  It's adorable!  I know that you're trying to talk.  In the past month or two, you have really started to babble a lot.  You look at me and start this string of unrecognizable sounds and noises and I just go along with it and try to have a conversation with you.  You're trying to tell me something.  Eventually it'll be in English!  Ha!

You also know many body parts.  You can point out your head, hair, eyes, nose, ear, tongue, teeth, belly button, knees, and toes.  Some days you very willingly point them out, and other days you ignore me completely when I ask you.  Ahhhh toddlerhood!

You have sprouted all four of your first molars.  You ran a slight fever, but nothing too terrible.  You still just have the very middle bottom teeth; still haven't cut the lateral incisors.  So weird!

I can't believe how much you LOVE to dance!  You are constantly moving, constantly running, constantly on the go.  You will sway side to side, move your hips, wave your arms, turn in circles, and stomp your feet.  Everybody loves to watch you dance.  I hope that you continue loving to dance!

You have discovered that you can climb on top of your activity table and it will make you taller so that you can see things.  I would say that this is your new favorite activity.  You are constantly hauling that table around to different parts of the house so that you can use it to climb up and see things or get into things that you shouldn't.  It's safe to say that not much is safe from you anymore!  Most of the time you will leave things alone when I tell you.  However, you love to run into the bathroom and get into my drawer and pull all of my stuff out.  If I catch you, you flop onto your belly and start giggling.  It's kind of hard to be mad at you when you do that!

We are still going to Kindermusik classes and you absolutely love going.  This time, all the kids are right around your age, which I think you enjoy more.  I'm also happy that you've started to interact a lot more in class.  You run to grab the instruments and you will actually dance and move around now.  Sometimes, you'll even participate without me having to carry you.

We have had a sad milestone recently.  We stopped breastfeeding.  We went a little over 17 months.  I am seriously so happy, blessed, honored, humbled, and overjoyed that we were able to go so long and not have any issues.  I'm so proud of us!  At the time when we stopped, you were only nursing in the mornings, and it wasn't for very long at all.  Once I decided to stop, you still asked for it, but you were okay with not nursing as long as you were fed breakfast right away.  You only really cried once, but once I sat you down for breakfast, you forgot all about it.

Some friends of Mommy and Daddy's had a baby at the end of August and they came over to get her pictures done.  You absolutely loved that baby and insisted on holding her and being right next to her the whole time.  A couple of weeks later, we went to their house to drop off the pictures and hang out and you, again, loved being around the baby.  The baby wasn't so crazy about you, but her crying didn't seem to phase you.  You just wanted to hold her.  You cried once I took her away so that she could be comforted and stop crying.  I loved that you wanted to hold the baby and love on her.  I think that you'll be a great big sister.  You also didn't seem to mind when I had the baby.  Now, of course, I'm anxious to give you a sibling.  I know that that will come in time.  But, I think that you'll be a great big sister when the time comes.

You have started to express an interest in the potty.  You want to sit on the toilet, and you say "pee pee", but I don't know if you actually connect the two yet.  I let you sit on the toilet, but nothing has happened yet.  I'm not really expecting it to.  But, I am excited that you have started to express an interest.

You are 25 lbs 3 oz, and 32.5 inches tall.  You wore 18 month clothes this summer and will be wearing 24 month this fall/winter.  You wear a size 4 diaper.

Little lady, sometimes I can't believe how much love I have for you.   I always struggle with wanting you to grow up faster and slow down growing up.  I love looking forward to each with you and you always surprise me with something new.  I love you so much!

Love forever,

Monday, September 30, 2013

Fabulous Fall Day

Drew and I took Annelise to Edward's Apple Orchard today.  The weather was absolutely amazing today!  Beautifully sunny and in the upper 70s!  You can't get much better than that.

When we first arrived, we let Annelise see some of the animals and run around the playground for a little bit. 
I tried to have her stand by height measuring photo board, but she was NOT having it!
That's about as good as we could get.  She really just wanted to run around. 

We went for a horse drawn wagon ride around the orchard.  Annelise really loved seeing the horses and she was even allowed to pet them afterwards!

Of course, no trip to the orchard is complete without buying some apple cider doughnuts and apples!  We stocked ourselves up and said farewell to the orchard.  I have a feeling that we'll make another trip back before the end of the season.