Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Funny Girl

Anna is really cracking us up lately.  Sometimes Jimmy and I just stare at each other across the dinner table or room, shake our heads, and mouth, "What?!?!"  Today one of her teachers even commented that Anna has one of the most vivid imaginations she's ever seen.


The other night at bedtime, Anna says to me, "Mom, if I ate the sun, my lips would be soooo hot ... so I would just eat fluffy clouds ... and I would share them with my squirrel friends."

Another night:  "Mommy, you're the best mom I ever did pick out ... actually, you're the ONLY mom I ever did pick out."

And another:  "[random singing] ... and then the banister fell down the stairs ... Mommy, isn't that soooo funny?!?!"

And finally: "[big gasp!] ... Mommy, I need to get shiny gold necklaces for all my superhero friends ... Green Lantern ... Flash ... not the red Flash, just yellow Flash, well, maybe both Flashes ..."

Here are some fun pictures from the last few weeks:

Reading some Oswald Chambers in bed:

At an amazing splash park by our place:

I love this picture of her smile while Jimmy's holding her!

Making silly faces for the camera:

Anna said, "I'm roaring like a lion!"

Our little bookworm ... I can just picture this scene with chapter books in a few years!

This is Anna and her ladybug, "Tefia," at Wegerzyn Garden Park in Dayton.

Walking on the tree path at the park ... in her first outfit of the day, pre-waterpark.  We rarely take a walk these days without Anna having sticks in hand ... they make great wands, walking sticks, spoons, and violins!

Running through a really amazing branch house ... Anna kept saying it was a whale's belly and she was running around inside trying to get out!

This video shows Anna talking to her ladybug friend.  She says, "Tefia, you want to come to the museum and watch me turn into a meerkat?  Yeah?  Okay."  She really wanted to go to the museum that day (because there are meerkats there that she totally loves) and was trying to get Tefia on board.

Rare family picture ... still at the park ... we'll definitely return!  We are enjoying our funny girl and looking forward to summer!

Friday, April 27, 2012

My Liesl

Yesterday Anna decided to be Liesl, from Sound of Music lore.  This is not all that out of the ordinary.  Sometimes she's Gretl, pretending to fall asleep and making me carry her around like at the end of "So Long, Farewell."  Sometime's Jimmy's "Captain."  Sometimes we (Jimmy excluded) run around the hill outside our apartment pretending to be Maria on top of a mountain.  My love of Sound of Music must be genetic, or at the very least contagious! 

She wore one of my shirts and told me it was her "Liesl dress."  As she helped me make zucchini muffins, she made a family out of all the measuring spoons and told me she and Rolf were playing house (with my house-shaped recipe box).  She kept saying things like, "Look, Rolf, everything's ready and just perfect!" and "Come on, spoon, your sister needs you in the house."  It was hard to stay focused on baking when I was fascinated by her story taking shape with my cooking utensils.

Then, while I was making dinner, Liesl read me her Toy Story book.  She thought it was hilarious to switch all the characters' names to confuse me, and I snapped this cute smile in the midst of her joking:

The reality of life with Anna right now is that we're wading through some violent tantrums and sleep troubles (probably similar to most parents of toddlers, but, of course, it feels awful when it's happening to you!), and sweet, imaginative afternoons like this really do make all the work worth it.  She's a handful sometimes, but definitely on her way to being a strong, smart young lady!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Birthday Princess Show

 Yesterday, when I picked Anna up from school, her teacher said she had a story for me.  She said, "You won't believe what Anna did."

Oh, Lord, I thought.  Those aren't necessarily the words a mother of a tantrum-throwing toddler wants to hear.

Apparently, my creative, spunky, [bossy] two-and-a-half-year-old convinced ALL TWELVE of her classmates, mostly boys,

to join her in planning, then throwing,

a "Birthday Princess Show."

For the good part of an hour, her teacher said, Anna had the kids marching around the classroom gathering items for the "show," getting all her friends excited about it and joining in.  It made me laugh to think about how similar Anna and I are at times (which usually leads to problems of will, but that's another story all together).  My parents tell numerous stories about me as a child leading others into games and shows and dramatic activities, being able to wrangle the most unwilling and unlikely participants into the web of my imagination.  How fun to watch Anna grow into a miniature leader, a kid who includes everyone in the fun.  I pray she never loses the ability to reach out to and include people and that her contagious personality always draws people to her!


My parents generously treated the entire family to a week-long vacation in Destin, Florida the first week of April.  We had a great time playing on the beach and enjoying our beautiful vacation home.

To say Anna loved the ocean would be an understatement ...

We had lots of great family meals:

 Anna helped Grandpa make pancakes for breakfast one morning:

She and Uncle Evan took care of decorating Easter eggs:

We enjoyed some delicious pub fare:

And, of course, more beach time.  Even if her limbs and lips were purple with cold, Anna wanted nothing of leaving the ocean until she was exhausted.

This one is my favorite family picture from the trip!

Here's our smiley girl on her last beach day:

Cuddling with Grandma:

Thanks, Mom and Dad, for a wonderful trip!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spring Fun

So, these pictures are all out of order, but they highlight some things we've been up to this spring:

We took Anna to see the musical Rapunzel, Rapunzel at the Cincinnati Children's Theatre last weekend as a special treat (and kind of in celebration of FINALLY being debt free!!!). It was the first time we've taken her to a full-length show of any kind, and she did great! While she didn't sit in her seat the whole time, she stood and watched and interacted with the story from start to finish.

We let her run around a bit before the show.

This picture is out of order, but this is Anna helping me make coffee the other day. She's wearing one of her "special" self-chosen outfits, which has been the theme of our spring. Her teachers get a smile from her choices, and Jimmy and I get headaches ;-) She likes counting the scoops of coffee, getting a "fresh bag" (which is her name for the filter), and filling the water.

Here's another one from before the show:

I started reading Anna Charlotte's Web on a whim, just to see if she would sit still and comprehend a longer plot-line. So far she likes it and can answer little comprehension questions as we go (I'm so proud!). The other day she was so tuckered out from our time at the park, she fell asleep while I was reading - she hasn't fallen asleep on me in so long!

Last week I painted Anna's fingernails and toenails. Jimmy took this picture while I was painting her toenails. Anna kept saying, "This is SO FUN!" over and over - it was adorable!

She's getting so big! Here she is posing before school one day a few weeks ago:

Here's the last picture from Rapunzel, Rapunzel ... I sure love these two!

More reading ... a favorite at our house:

This next picture needs some explanation. Anna has been known to use diapers to diaper her dolls, stuffed animals, and even Jimmy when he's willing to play along. The other day I found this book on her floor ... apparently the girl on the cover needed a new diaper.

Playing in dresser-drawer "boats" with Grandma while "helping" Uncle Evan move.

Rocking her Superman shirt and side ponytail while helping Daddy caulk the tub.

Here's another random diaper attack ... her dollhouse window. I swear, we've got a strange kid ...

Sorry for the scattered update. I hope it gives a glimpse into Anna's world of the moment!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Monday Morning Encouragement

This morning, I gave Anna a big hug and asked her how she was doing today.

She paused, thoughtful, then said, Great!

I said, I'm great too.

She looked at me, serious-faced, and said, No, you're not great, you're perfect.

Not a bad way to start a Monday. I'm just going to keep deluding myself that this mommy-idol phase will last another decade ...

Monday, February 13, 2012

A few new pictures

I know I've been horrible about updating this year ... here are a few pictures from a recent trip to the children's museum by our place. Jess, Anna's wearing the skirt you gave her for Christmas and a pair of the tights too ... she picked out all the parts of her outfit, so forgive me that they don't match 100%. Jimmy and I can't decide who she resembles more, the Leitsch or the Herdeman side ...