Sunday, December 19, 2010

Annalise at nineteen months

The 19th of the month really snuck up on me this time.  I almost missed it, with Christmas right around the corner.  So what's new with Annie..?

She's going through another little phase of separation anxiety.  She doesn't like to be taken to people's homes, and she clings to me thinking I'll leave her there.  She also didn't like it when I left her at the church nursery during Delaney's Christmas program, but she only cried for a few seconds.  I peeked in on her a few minutes later, and she was contentedly playing with some dolls.  When Tim went to pick her up later, the babysitter brought her to the window to hand her over, and as soon as she saw Tim, she burst into tears.  I gave her lots of hugs and kisses.  Maybe I should've just let her squirm on my lap through the Christmas program.

Guess what?  She finally got a couple new teeth!  She now has one more bottom tooth, and another tooth coming in farther back.  I try to remember to brush them at least twice a day.  I don't know if I mentioned in her last update, but she's got bad teeth.  If you look closely, her enamel is thin, and there are some dark spots on her teeth.  It looks like baby bottle rot, but she's never taken a bottle.  I have an appointment for her to see a pediatric dentist next month, and I'm worried about what they'll say.  I look at Delaney's pearly whites, and I wonder what went wrong?  I treated them both the same, same (sometimes lax) tooth-brushing habits, same food and drink.  I've never put either of them to bed with juice or milk.  But Delaney has good teeth and Annie has bad teeth.  The nurse-practitioner at the naval health clinic told me that I wasn't taking good enough care of her teeth and that's why they were the way they were.
My smile is pretty, but if you look closely, you'll see trouble.
I called my mom for reassurance, because I know she didn't follow us around with a toothbrush all day, and I didn't have a cavity until I was 28.  She said she thought that nurse-practitioner had some nerve telling me that.  That made me feel a little better, but I've still got a kid who has British teeth and I don't know how it happened.  My next thought was fluoride.  Maybe they're not getting enough of it.  But when I called the naval clinic asking for a prescription for the same sodium fluoride drops that had been prescribed for Delaney over a year ago (different pediatrician, different state), they acted like I was trying to poison my kids.  They said that since we have city water, they get enough fluoride.  When I said they don't drink very much water -- mostly milk or juice -- they said that nevertheless they get enough fluoride through the water we cook with.  (Nevermind that these kids barely eat anything most days..)  I will definitely feel better after talking to the pediatric dentist.  I just wish I could get her in sooner.  Yes, I know I'm a bad mommy for not having taken her when she turned a year.  I just didn't think a kid needed to go to the dentist until 2 at the earliest.  But rotting teeth are another matter.  Tim and I are about to have some huge dental bills, between Delaney and her future braces and Annie's tooth decay.  We'd better start a dental fund right along with the college fund.

She continues to talk more and more, and says, "Yeah" a lot in that deep, breathy voice that is so funny.  She loves to talk on the phone and on Skype, although she doesn't like to talk as much as smile a lot, so Skype is really best.  Here are the girls and their daddy Skyping with Grandpa.  At the end of that conversation, she waved and said, "Bye, Grandpa."  (At Tim's prompting) she said, "I love you."  It melted my heart.
She has been having some temper flare-ups lately.  When she decides she doesn't want to be strapped into her carseat this time, she'll arch her whole body and cry, making it very difficult for me to wrestle her in.  She throws little fits sometimes when she's tired and in need of a nap.  But they're very seldom and short-lived.  Still, I know that 2 is coming in a few months, and when that happens, she'll probably do some things to appall me.  What will it be?  Poop on the walls?  Full-blown tantrums in public?  Tim thinks that she will be a real trouble-maker, way worse than Delaney ever was.  I don't know if I agree with that.  We will both see.

I will leave you with this photo of her taken by Delaney.  It is not a view of her that is normally photographed, but I think it's beautiful.
A year ago today: Annalise at seven months
Also: White Christmas  All told, we ended up seeing 30 plus inches of snow last year in Quantico.  Incredible!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas card and stuff

I am quite pleased with how our Christmas card turned out.  It was a joy to put together.  I was not quite so pleased with how the girls' recent photo shoot went (picky mom that I am), but not to worry -- I had plenty of awesome photos to choose from, that my sister Grace took at Cape Cod.  Thanks again, Grace!

And thanks to Shutterfly for the great deal I got.  I am hoping for a return of that deal next year.

Now the cards are all mailed, and Christmas is getting closer.  I love how our own little traditions are starting to take shape.  Almost every night, we sit down on the couch in the glow of the Christmas lights (multi-colored this year, per Delaney's request) and watch a Christmas movie together.  I need to browse Netflix today and add to our repertoire, because lately it's just been either Merry Madagascar or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, both of which we recorded from TV.  But it's so much fun to watch with these kids, especially when Delaney gets scared of the Abominable Snow Monster, and hides behind her dad.

We all trimmed the tree together, even though it was a little crazy with Annalise.  She only broke one ornament, though, and it wasn't an important one.  Yesterday our Elf on the Shelf arrived.  So far, Delaney is a little weirded out by it and Annie doesn't even notice it, but I thought it could still be a fun tradition eventually.  Maybe next year.

This Saturday we're going to Raleigh to see Disney on Ice Toy Story 3, and I'm looking forward to that.  I think the girls are going to love it.  We're leaving early in the morning so we can be there when a real mall opens its doors, and hopefully we'll find the girls some cozy Christmas pajamas and somewhat festive dresses.  Good times!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Delaney at three years, five months

Pretending is Delaney's  favorite thing to do.  She never misses an opportunity to play pretend.  One time, she  was on the potty going number 2, and I asked her if she was done.  She said, "No, this poopy needs some family."  "He does?"  "Yeah, here come some babies... and here comes the daddy...  Mama, why are you laughing?"

Out in the yard, she'll say, "You can see dinosaurs in your imagination."  Pointing to the trees, she'll say, "Look, it's a brachiosaurus!"  Brachiosaurus is her favorite.  In the children's section of the library, I chuckled when I heard her tell another kid, "I'll be back in a jiffy.  I gotta track some dinosaurs!"  She's still on her dinosaur kick.  Santa will certainly be bringing dinosaurs this year.

We had Delaney's first ever parent-teacher conference this month.  Ms. Melissa showed us the work Delaney's been doing with letters.  We got to see where she traced the first couple letters in the row well, and then just started scribbling.  She loses interest quickly, which is to be expected.  They described Delaney in her progress report as a sweet and loving child who recognizes all the letters, numbers and shapes they've covered so far.

Tim and I were told that sometimes Delaney has trouble with listening and following instructions, especially when it comes to -- ahem -- clean up time.  We said, "No way, not our kid!":)  But at least it's not just Delaney.  One day I walked in to pick Delaney up and Ms. Mary was telling all the kids they'd better help clean up or there'd be no toys on Thursday.  I don't know why I thought preschool teachers have special techniques for getting kids to cooperate, and they didn't have to resort to using the same threats I do.

Rarely is Delaney fully dressed if she's at home.  She just loses her clothes gradually while running around the house -- a shoe here, a sock there, and on and on until she's in just her underwear.  Our thermostat is only set to 68.  It makes me cold just to look at her!

Delaney will happily play with her sister in the playroom for a long time, but she always invites me to come up and "stay for a little while."  We'll play with puzzles together, they'll dance to the tune of one of the music-making toys, or maybe have a little game of hide-and-seek.  I might have other things that need to be done, but I try to remember how important it is to drop everything else and just be with them sometimes.  A co-worker of mine told me when I was pregnant with Delaney to remember to have fun with them when they still want to have fun with me.  I revisited that long-ago conversation recently while reading through Delaney's pregnancy journal, and that advice meant so much more to me now than it did when I was in the nursery-planning stage.  I made a little promise to myself to play more often when Delaney asks me to.

A year ago today: Delaney at two years, five months