Archive for March, 2007

Anna the very brave banana

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

Poor little Miss Anna had to go to the hospital for a routine blood draw today. Our doctor wants some testing done before her next appointment, like vaccine titers, lead levels, etc. I was pretty worried about taking her for that. How can you possibly explain letting someone hold you down and stick sharp objects through your skin to a not-quite-two year old?

Our local hospital has some wonderful phlebotomists (they’ve drawn my blood many times) and they were completely prepared for a toddler. Anna sat in my lap, and one lady stabilized her arm while the other drew the blood with a butterfly catheter. I tried to hold the rest of her still, which wasn’t really a problem; she wasn’t going anywhere. She started crying as they put on the touriquet, so I think she knew what was going on. It didn’t get any worse as they put in the needle, and they said she had a really nice vein, so they only had to stick her once to get all the blood they needed. All in all, she did very well. She certainly wasn’t going to take a pretty cat sticker from those mean ladies, though. They’re lucky she let them put a pretty Barbie band-aid over her booboo.

She spent the rest of the afternoon proudly pointing to her “ouchie” and talking about her “bambam”. I think that was band-aid. We finally took it off later in the afternoon. I keep asking her about her ouchie, and she gets this cute little frown on her face and points to a spot on her arm, but she’s forgotten where it was. She even pointed to the wrong arm a little while ago.

Anna got to talk to most everyone she knows today: Grandma and Grandpa, Auntie Nicki and Uncle Tony, and Grammy. She hit the jackpot of phone calls. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten to talk to that many people in one day.

Countdown to Anna’s second birthday: 2 days!!!

Anna ‘Shari

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

Anna is getting the hang of saying her name, or at least part of it. Most of the adults I know can’t pronounce Casciari, so I think she’s doing pretty well. Before you watch this, you should know that she was playing some kind of game yesterday afternoon where she would deliberately fall forward onto the ground, almost like she was diving to catch a ball or something. I wasn’t just cruelly letting her fall down; she was doing it on purpose. It was kind of cute.

Anna the fashion plate

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

Before I show the pictures, let me just say that my daughter actually gave me an unsolicited kiss today!  I don’t think she’s ever done that before.  She’s making real progress, and will now sometimes even come to me if Joe is available.  I’d say she still runs to him if she’s afraid or uncomfortable, in unfamiliar surroundings, but for the most part, at home, she’s just as likely to hang out with me.  She’ll even let me cuddle her a bit now.  We’ve changed up our routine so that I’m almost always the one that puts her to bed, and I get to snuggle with her then.  It’s been 4 months and 4 days since we came home with her.  Hard to imagine.  Seems like she’s been with us forever!

Miss Anna wore a lovely new outfit that Grandma bought her while we were visiting in Oklahoma to church yesterday.  She was quite the star, and she knew it, too.  She was such a little prima donna during the service that she couldn’t be bothered to sit still or be quiet.  I think Baba spent more time out in the foyer than in the sanctuary.  Mama was playing the piano, so she didn’t get to add her strong arm of discipline to the proceedings.  I didn’t get any photos until we got home, and Anna is having a hard time perfecting her photogenic smile, so she will fit right into the Winter family.  We are not known for our photogenicity.

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Last evening, the Northeast Kingdom Community Orchestra had our spring concert, and Anna came along with her Baba and Auntie Renee.  I’m told she behaved amazingly well.  They didn’t have to break out the Goldfish until the intermission! I don’t know whether she’s going to be musical or not, but she’s certainly going to have an appreciation for classical music.  Poor kid will be dragged to every pitiful concert her mama plays in, just like her Baba!

I was “talking” to some friends online today, and began compiling a list of words Anna can say now.  I was pretty impressed after I got them all written down.  I know there are others I can’t remember, but it’s a start.  Here they are:

Mama and Baba
Grandma and Grandpa
Nono (Italian for grandpa). Grammy is still hard for her.
Nicki (my sister)
Nee (Renee, Joe’s sister)
Gao Gao (we started calling them that, too)
Siri, Chip (2 of the dogs; Porter is harder to say)
Kotcha (one of the cats, I have to listen hard to pick this up)
Potty, poo poo, pee pee
No, uh-huh (not yes, for some reason)
Apple juice, milk
Cereal, Cheerios (hard to distinguish these two), egg
Blankie, binkie
Pencil, crayon
Book, block, backpack (from Dora)
Shoe, sock, diaper, coat
All parts of the face, fingers, thumb, toes, belly button
Counting (1,2,5,6,9,10 – we’re working on 3!)
Bath, teeth (brushing teeth), shampoo, bubbles, chapstick
Goldfish, gummie (gummie bears)
Go ‘way (meaning, we’re going away somewhere, not you go away from me)
Bye bye, hello, hi
High five
Mama ai nee (mama loves you hasn’t made it yet)
Pablo (the Backyardigans), Ming ming (Wonder Pets), Sponge Bob (hmm, do we watch too much TV???)
All gone (or all done, not sure which it is, but she says it when she’s done eating or done pottying)
Sleepy sleepy
Shake shake shake, shake shake shake, shake your baby (instead of groove thing, or whatever the real words are, we liked baby better)
Anna ‘Shari (when we prompt her to say her full name; Joe says he couldn’t say it that well at the age of 2!)
She doesn’t string together many multiple word phrases, but she can ask for more of just about anything!  She’s learned peek a boo, and can also say “now I see you”.  This afternoon she correctly identified a window!

Here are a few more photos from our trip to Bartlesville.  It was so lovely there, we were able to wander around outside in short sleeves.  It was 38 degrees and rainy here today.  Nice.  We only stuck our noses out to go to the post office, and then to band rehearsal. 

3-26-07-3.jpg This is my favorite – the little waif holding up the fence

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Visit to Oklahoma

Sunday, March 18th, 2007

Anna did alright on her flight to Oklahoma.  As you may remember, we all flew together to Chicago, and then Baba went on a different flight to Wichita, while Anna and I went to Tulsa.  We had a couple of minor meltdowns after Baba left, and Mama had a near meltdown when trying to board the puddle jumper carrying my carry-on, my backpack with diaper supplies, Anna’s backpack (which of course she refused to carry, even after lugging it all over the house the day before), Anna herself, and the stroller.  Anna couldn’t walk herself, because we had to go down some rickety metal stairs and go outside to board our plane.  We had to stop and wait for about 5 minutes on the stairs because they decided to load the wheelchairs after they had already started letting the normal people on.  Gone are the days when they used to let families with small children board first.  I thought just carrying Anna around made my shoulder hurt.  Try it with about 50 pounds of other stuff, with no place to put anything down because you’re perched halfway down a flight of stairs.  Compound that with sitting on the plane for about 50 minutes waiting for some luggage to arrive, and you definitely have a cranky Mama.  I don’t even remember whether Anna was cranky.  But, we made it alright after we finally left, and Anna was entertained by another baby sitting across the aisle in front of us.  The ladies behind us told me when we landed that I had such a good little girl.  I know she is, but after mopping up water and tracing her hand 200 times, I wasn’t all that convinced.  I am glad she didn’t throw a tantrum and get us thrown off the plane.  We landed, and I put her in the stoller which made her mad because she didn’t want to ride; she wanted to push it.  But, she survived, and as soon as she saw Grandpa, her little world took a definite upturn.  All was forgiven, and I don’t think she’s left his side since we got here.

Friday, many of our Bittle relatives came to Annapalooza to meet Miss Anna.  She did very well, and even let Uncles Jim and Don hold her for a brief minute.  She got some lovely stuffed animals, puzzles, and a cute denim dress.  She took a nap in the middle of the events, but everyone got a good chance to see her.

3-18-07-1.jpg Anna climbs Mt. Grandpa

3-18-07-2.jpg Anna and Grandma

3-18-07-3.jpg 3-18-07-4.jpg The Bittle siblings and spouses

3-18-07-5.jpg The core Winter family

3-18-07-6.jpg Anna opens birthday presents from Auntie Nicki

3-18-07-7.jpg Anna colors with Grandma

Anna got to enjoy the great outdoors a bit yesterday afternoon, as it’s in the 70’s here.  I hear that it’s snowing at home.  Hahaha!

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Sunday photos

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Grandma and Anna play hide-n-seek

Sunday, March 18th, 2007

We arrived safely on Oklahoma on Thursday evening, and I’ve got lots of stories and pictures to post, but I got a cute little piece of video I wanted to share. I’ll be putting up more later (I hope!)


Friday, March 9th, 2007

There’s talk that this might be the coldest night on record in the northern reaches of New England.  We’ve already set records for the longest cold stretch in any March.  Starting last Monday, the nighttime lows have been around -10, and the highs have been in the single digits.  I think it was 4 today.  Tonight’s predictions are for lows between -5 and -30.  Here’s a photo of our thermometer as of 11PM (taken from inside, of course; I’m not going out there again tonight!)  I’ll try to take a photo tomorrow morning, too.


Last Monday, I found a little table and chairs for Anna.  She needed a place to do her work that wasn’t on the floor.  It’s hard when there are 7 cats and 3 dogs trying to help you all the time when you have to sit on the floor.  She’s entranced.  She has colored more pictures in the last 3 days than she has in her first 23 months of life!

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You can see that “Mommy’s Little Princess” is having a hard time seeing out from under her bangs.  Today was the big day she went for her first hair cut on our watch.  I was going for my regular hair “adjustment” today, so Joe brought Anna along for Cate to trim her bangs.  I thought she’d be really good for it, since she sits still and lets us brush her teeth, trim her nails, etc.  But, she was not thrilled.  She refused to wear the cape, she didn’t want to sit still, she did everything but throw a fit.  But, we managed to get the bangs trimmed neatly.  Cate didn’t really do much else; we’re going to grow her hair out into a classic bob, and the back is only just getting to be the right length.  We’ve got to get the top and sides grown out to match.  At least she can see again.

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No, we didn’t save any locks of hair; there really wasn’t anything other than a few little snips.  We’ll keep something for her scrapbook sometime in the future when there’s enough hair to cut. 

After the hair cut, and after I spent another couple of hours wrangling my way through my employees’ schedules, Anna and I went to West Lebanon for some retail therapy.  We are collecting some little spring outfits to wear on our trip to Oklahoma next week, where I’m told the temperatures are in the 70s.  If you think about that for a minute, you realize that it’s _80 degrees warmer_ there than it is here!  We may have to wear our swimming suits!  Anyway, I found the cutest little dresses.  One is a navy blue sailor dress (I’ve always been a sucker for sailor dresses; I’m trying to find one for myself, too).  I’m probably going to have to adopt 6 or 8 more little girls in order for all these clothes to get worn.  For dresses, I’m now buying her 24 month sizes.  They’re a bit big, but that’s not so critical with dresses.  Pants that size are still falling off of her, but it won’t be long before they’re a good fit.

Photo catch-up

Monday, March 5th, 2007

I’ve been so obsessed with video, I haven’t posted any pictures for awhile. Here are a few to catch everyone up on Anna’s doings and cute outfits!

The next photos were taken after Anna had fallen and scraped her upper lip on something under my desk. I’m still looking into that bubble-wrap helmet. You’ll notice she’s still using her scooter, although she doesn’t get to ride it anywhere near the stairs anymore.
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Anna and I both wore our pretty Chinese jackets to church today. I don’t know why I didn’t think to wear them a couple of weeks ago on Chinese New Year, but at least we got them out today. We got several pictures of just me and Anna, which is really cool, because it hasn’t been all that long since she’s started letting me hold her. Unfortunately, none of them were actually presentable, so I put in the one of all three of us.
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The frustrations of being a toddler

Monday, March 5th, 2007

Yeah, I’m having too much fun with the video. In this clip, Anna shows off her writing skills, and then demonstrates how hard it is to know exactly what you want to do, but not be able to make it happen.