Archive for February, 2007

Video potpourri

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

Since everyone seemed to enjoy the last little video clip so much, I put together just a few little short pieces of Anna calling her grandfather, singing a little of the ABC song, sorting her Legos and running down the hall. Nothing exciting. Unfortunately, I wasn’t holding the video camera at the exact moment she was poised at the top of the stairs on her scooter!!!

Changing her middle name to “Knieval”

Monday, February 26th, 2007

Suffice it to say, a scooter is not an appropriate means to descend a staircase. For some time, I have been wondering how children manage to survive to adulthood. Now, I’m wondering how mothers survive their children’s childhoods. In the next photos you see of Anna, she will be sporting the latest in full-body bubble-wrap. Including her head, because that’s what usually hits the ground first. I should just buy her a football helmet. Do they make them for 2 year olds?

I’m not going to describe the episode, because it’s just too harrowing to relive. No one was injured, although I will probably no longer live to my previously pre-determined old age. At least I have an appointment with my hairdresser for next week to take care of all the new gray hairs that sprouted since this morning!

Trying my hand at video

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

This took hours, literally. I had to download at least 3 different programs to get this video captured, then edited, and then converted to the right file type. Then I had to download and enable a plug-in for WordPress to play the video. So, no comments on the quality or even the actual content of the video. I know it isn’t exciting enough for all that work. But, you do get to see and hear my daughter identify her belly button!

Belated Valentines and Blizzard Sequelae

Sunday, February 18th, 2007

Anna would like to express her thanks to her Auntie Nicki and Great Aunt Cheryl for her lovely Valentine’s Day packages.  Due to our “paralyzing” blizzard, mail delivery was spotty and delayed up here.  We actually got mail on Wednesday in the teeth of the storm, but the mailman didn’t even bother to come on Thursday.  Auntie Nicki’s package arrived on Friday, and Aunt Cheryl’s on Saturday.  Nothing like being able to celebrate holidays over a weeklong period!  Anna also got nice cards from grandparents, and a card and a little gift from Great Aunt Ina with which to buy some candy.  As she’s not much of a candy eater at this point, we’ll probably sink it into gummy bears (which I suppose are candy, too, although hardly worth the effort in my opinion!)

2-18-07-2.JPG Pink camo tennies and a bear from Auntie Nicki

2-18-07-1.JPG An assortment of goodies from Aunt Cheryl, including a light-up flashing ring and necklace

I wanted to get some pictures of the snow piled up before it gets too filthy.  It’s already pretty dirty, but yesterday afternoon was the first chance I had (that really means it was the first time it was warmer than 10 degrees, and I was willing to stand outside for a few minutes taking pictures). The first picture is from the street showing the piles from the street plow, added to by some of the snow in our driveway.  Normally you can see our whole house from this angle.  The next photos demonstrate how high the pile right in front of our house is, where our local plow guy puts most of our driveway snow.  I’ll bet he’s wishing he’d pushed the initial pile farther back (a week or so ago when we got about 8 inches) because if we get another decent storm or two, he’s going to run out of space to put it.

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And then, because I know you all just come to the blog to see pictures of Anna, here’s one from yesterday afternoon in her car seat wearing her shades again.  It was beautifully sunny, and she actually put them on herself and kept them on for awhile.  They probably made it difficult for her to watch her Baby Einstein video that was playing on her own personal in-car DVD viewing system.  It keeps her from getting too bored on the hour-long car trips we’re always taking.

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We made it to church this morning, about our usual degree of late.  We had a tiny bit of snow overnight, but the road crews never seem to think it’s important to do any road-clearing on Sunday mornings, so Rt. 2 is often a mess.  Today was no exception.  It was pretty slow going, but we got there.  We had choir practice and a pot-luck, so Anna got to play a little with the other kids.  She still prefers to play with Baba, but she actually shows a little interest in what the other kids are doing now.  It won’t be long before she’s tearing around creating general havoc just like everyone else.  Funny aside; I was sitting at a long table eating some lunch, and I felt something brush by my leg.  I didn’t even look because I’m so used to dogs and cats weaving around my legs all the time.  When I finally realized it wasn’t likely to be a dog, I looked down and there were two little boys crawling around merrily on the floor under the tables.  I’m ready for Anna to get to that stage, where she can actually explore a little on her own.  I can deal with the crawling around on the floor.  It’s the constant hanging on my or Joe’s leg that’s getting a bit tiring.  I know it will come in time.

The Great Valentine’s Day Blizzard of 2007

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

Finally.  Some snow in the Northeast Kingdom.  Naturally, it had to all fall at once.  I guess it started about 4AM here, a good old-fashioned nor’easter.  By the time I left for work, we had about 6 fresh inches on the ground.  All of my surgeries showed up, so I had to do those, but every single afternoon appointment cancelled, so I was able to close up early and send my staff home before it got much worse.  By the time we left the office at about 12:30, our parking lot had been plowed twice already, with 2 more inches on the ground in the last hour.  By this evening, I’d say we’ve got a total of about 30 inches on the ground (which includes the 10-12 that was already there), so about 18 inches of fresh snow.  They’re predicting another 2-4 overnight, and maybe a little tomorrow morning, but it’s definitely slowing down.  Bitter cold, too.  It did make it into the teens today, but it’s back below 10 degrees now.  The wind is blowing at a pretty fierce clip, prompting blizzard warnings until tomorrow morning.  At least we haven’t lost our power or our satellite, so we’re snug as three little bugs in a rug in our little house.  Well, I was snug until Joe decided to start shoveling a path out the back door for the dogs, which seems to necessitate leaving the door standing wide open.  But I digress.

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These photos were taken about 4PM, right after our driveway was plowed.  I couldn’t figure out how to really demonstrate how high the snow was, but you can see how close to being covered the mailboxes are, and how much is on the picnic table. By late evening, the snow on the ground reached almost to the bottom of the picnic table.  Miss Fleur was just so cute looking out the front window, I had to put her picture in as well.

We had a fun afternoon at home.  After her nap, Anna posed with her pal Porter, and then demonstrated how she could sit on her new Dora the Explorerer chair in the office.  We got 2 (clearance at Walmart) so she could have one in the office and one downstairs.  She thought it would be great fun to drag them both around the house.  Apparently now she’s into interior design as well as cleaning.

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We had more black-eyed peas for dinner, and Anna wanted nothing else.  I was able to bribe her into eating some of her chicken nuggets and green beans, but the peas were aces.  We had a nice Valentine’s Day, with several nice presents from my hubbie.  I got Anna a little foam visor and a collection of Sponge Bob Squarepants foam stickers to decorate it with.  She spent quite a while working on it before bed. 

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Well, it’s off to bed.  I’m anxious to see how much more snow we’ll have in the morning.  By the way, I was really pleased with my Subaru’s performance today.  It plowed right through about 18 inches of snow at the end of our driveway from the plow when I came home today.  It didn’t even hesitate.  Pretty impressive for a glorified minivan.

A small world

Monday, February 12th, 2007

A funny thing happened last week while we were out shopping.  We were down in West Lebanon, walking the aisles of Kohl’s, when a young woman stopped in the middle of the aisle, turned around, looked at us, and said, “Anna?”  My jaw dropped, and I stared at her like she had 2 heads (what I was really doing was trying to figure out how I knew this woman – work, church?).  It turns out she’s someone I correspond with regularly via one of my Yahoo groups, and she recognized Anna from her pictures on the blog.  I knew she lived in that area, but it just didn’t click until she told me who she was.  Pretty neat. 

I have to admit that the idea of me or my husband or child being recognized from a photo online feels a bit strange.  After all, we’re not exactly celebrities.  I’m sure there’s no real danger, but I was surprised a few weeks ago to find that a photo of Anna from the blog had popped up on a MSN search someone had conducted using the search phrase “say a prayer.”  I use a hit-counter on my page that enables me to look at certain statistics, one of which is the page from which someone navigated onto my blog.  When I saw a MSN search as a referring page, I checked it out.  That was kind of weird.  There were all kinds of photos on that search from people’s personal pages.  That sort of thing makes me wonder if ultimately I will need to restrict access to the blog and password-protect it.  I hate to do that, because there are so many friends and family out there that enjoy reading it, but it’s not worth taking any security risks with my family.  I’ll be watching the activity closely in the future.

All that said, it was very cool to meet someone face to face that I’ve spoken with online, and we’ll be planning a get-together sometime this spring so our adopted daughters can meet each other. 

Anna got to visit with her Grammy and Nonno Casciari for a bit today as they were up in the area delivering their daughter.  A good time was had by all.  She even fell asleep on the way home, so she got to take a nice nap.  We’re home now, playing Legos.  She’s actually able to entertain herself with her Legos for half an hour or so now, which is a real treat.  She’s getting pretty good at lining them up and building low-level towers.  I think she’s going to get to go to band with me again tonight; everyone thinks she behaves very well.  I know she has to be a distraction, and I don’t want to wear out her welcome, but everyone keeps insisting she’s not bothering anyone but me.  I’ll have to try to make sure I quit bringing her along before she’s a nuisance. 

On a side note, if you haven’t watched the Pixar movie, “Cars”, you should rent it.  It’s very cute.  Kind of a long movie (almost 2 hours), much longer than Anna’s attention span (less than 2 minutes!), but very entertaining for adults as well. 

Child labor

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

It’s that time of year in Vermont when you can’t walk into the house without tracking dirty snow through the kitchen.  We try to take our shoes off at the door, but when you’re carrying groceries or a kid, sometimes it’s not always practical to do that.  So, we end up with dirty footprints on the floor.

Anna was mushing around the kitchen this evening while Joe was making some supper, and she asked for a paper towel.  I thought she wanted to wipe her face because she was kind of drooly, but, she took it from me, and immediately started wiping at some of those footprints.  After I got over my shock, I praised her mightily.  Certainly don’t want to discourage that sort of activity.  This is another one of those things she’s probably never seen her mama or baba doing!  I’m hoping we actually did bring home a little neat freak.  She’ll always be ashamed to bring her friends home, but it’s a parent’s job to be an embarrassment to her children, isn’t it?

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Church Shower

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007

Yesterday morning, our church family threw a wonderful, surprise shower for Anna!  I guess Joe knew, but I had no idea.  Of course, that’s not all I had no idea about, as Pastor’s e-mail giving me the hymn numbers for the service (I was playing the piano) never arrived, so I was flying by the seat of my pants for that.  One of the vagaries of e-mail!  Anyway, there was a lovely cake, finger food, and gifts galore!  In addition to all the nice things shown below, Anna received a US Savings bond and a full piggy bank from the whole congregation.

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Pastor was thrilled, because Anna decided he was the one to help her open her gifts, and she actually wanted him to hold her before we left.  And he didn’t even have to ply her with Cheerios for the privilege! 

Today Miss Anna and I spent the afternoon at home struggling mightily to take a nap.  We had to run out to the PO in the early afternoon in the arctic cold (high of about 3 degrees with a stiff wind – predictions are for a windchill of -35 to -40 degrees tonight!).  Naturally she fell asleep in the car for the 10 minute drive, and then wouldn’t go back to sleep when we got home.  We tried, and cried and screamed for about 1-1/2 hours until I finally gave up.  She was so tired, but she just wouldn’t give in.  I put her in the carrier on my back, and went downstairs to walk on the treadmill.  Of course, that’s when she went to sleep, at 4:45.  Good timing for a kid that’s supposed to go to bed by 9:00.  Fortunately Grandma Winter called at about 5:45 to talk to Anna, so she had to wake up then.  After her conversation with Grandma, she rode her scooter for awhile, took some pictures with her digital camera, and then played the piano to provide some after dinner music.  Surprisingly, she had no problem going to sleep at the appointed time.  So, a decent day overall. 

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Tomorrow morning, it’s back to work for me.  I always have a hard time going to work on Tuesday morning after having spent a nice afternoon with my daughter.

I meant to mention above that I did an inspection of Anna’s teeth today.  If you look at the photo above where she’s holding her camera, you’ll see she’s pointing to her cheek.  She was doing that quite a bit, so I peeked in there.  She has 16 1/2 teeth.  I have to look up how many she’s supposed to have at this age, but she’s definitely cutting a big molar on her mandibular arcade on the left.  I suppose that’s one of the infamous 2 year molars.  I thought she was a bit droolier than normal.  I wonder what she’s going to be like when she isn’t cutting teeth.  She was getting her lower canines in when we picked her up, and I suspect those were uncomfortable, too. 

Almost Friday

Friday, February 2nd, 2007

It’s been a slow week from an Anna standpoint.  My associate is off on a well-deserved vacation, so it’s been a very busy work week for me.  Anna’s even had to come to work a couple of times so Joe could head off to class while I finished up with cases.  Tomorrow’s the last full day, and Dr. P comes back next Monday, so I can go back to my normal schedule.  Our veterinary emergency group has been going through some painful transitions as well, and several meetings and less-than-pleasant faxes have been required to get it all sorted out.  I’m ready for a bit of a break!

Anna had a routine checkup with our doctor today.  Everything seems to be just fine.  We’re putting off any more vaccinations for now (thank heavens!)  She is supposed to have her blood lead level tested at the age of two, so she’ll get her vaccine titers checked at the same time.  According to the doctor’s office’s measurements, she actually shrunk since her last visit.  Pretty funny.  Our measurements at home show that she’s grown a little less than an inch, and she’s put on about 4 pounds since she came home.  She’s just doing so well right now.  She’s OK with mama or baba, and is behaving like a normal toddler.  I still can’t get her to sit still and listen to a story, so I try to talk to her and sing to her as much as I can so she’ll have an easier time picking up the language.  She’s really stopped talking Chinese, so I’m hoping English will just start pouring out of her mouth soon!  I’m getting tired of not having any idea what she’s saying.  Although, my sister talked to her for a couple of minutes today, and claimed that she could clearly understand several phrases.  I was holding the child at the time, and I didn’t hear those things, but maybe she really did say them.  Apparently I need to hire my sister as a Chinese baby interpreter!