Anna at 22 Months
This past month has been full of sickness and tiredness here in the Allred home. But once Anna and I were better we got out of the house: shopping, play dates, library singing time. We love love love singing time at the library in East Haven, it is just a simple music time but we get to wiggle, march, follow instructions, and even ring bells. She has a blast. I recently haven’t even been standing up with her when they choo-choo train around the room, she is perfectly content marching with the crowd and waving to me every once in a while, or is she choo-chooing? Probably the latter, but at least I get a smile. Anna also especially likes our trips to the mall without Dad. She can play on the rubber and coin-op cars all she wants and sometimes even gets frozen yogurt too. Shopping as entertainment is great, shopping for chores is a cause for quite the tantrum. I’ve walked out of several stores because Anna would not sit in the cart. “Mommy care!” (Please, carry me). So last week I packed my baby back pack. Oh, I should have taken a picture of our adventure but I was a bit preoccupied with choosing lettuce and catching the kicked tomatoes, keeping them from the ground. We got the hang of it though and had a good time chatting and picking out food together.
Once Jacob got better, we still couldn’t play with him much because he decided to start packing up the house and then started a company with an old mission buddy. Two completely unrelated events that have twisted into one in the past two weeks. It has been a whirlwind. Even Anna has benefited from the change. Above, you can see her jamming to a circuit that Jacob programmed to play Baa Baa Black Sheep. And the preparation for our move did bring a lot of fun cardboard into the house to play with. Oh did Anna have a great time in any kind of fort or tunnel that Jacob could manage to dream up and make. Anna crawled up and down the two room tunnel forever.
Anna and I mostly see Jacob when it is meal time and bed time and whenever he deems it tickle time (which is often!). We don’t really mind because we have so many lovely friends in New Haven to meet up with and Jacob had plenty of Anna time cuddling in bed. After Arizona, Anna had gotten used to sleeping with us in the hotels. She had a hard time readjusting to the crib and with us all being kind of sick we often erred on the side of compassion and just cuddled her often receiving feet in the stomach in return but sometimes sweet two-arm-around-the-neck hugs. We saw a similar regression in potty training, she wasn’t willing to communicate like she had been. Then we found out she just wanted to do it herself, so we got out the step stool and we were back in business. “Anna/I do it” is a new and almost constant phrase in our home. The idea is also represented by “no mommy help” and “please, Anna turn” and the ever favorite “stop stop stop!” complete with frantically waving hands. She wants to put her own lids on her cups, pick which cup/bottle she gets, pick her clothes, pick which video to watch next during our dance parties, and pick up the objects herself be it diaper, fork, or cheese from the bowl.
Anna is soaking so much up these days. She can find a video you request on her kindle. She loves singing the main words to songs we often repeat, and some that we don’t repeat so often. This morning she starting singing about Bunny Foo Foo and bonking heads while sorting her beans in the egg carton. She loves the monkeys who jump on the bed so I can see why she would pick this one up but I can’t remember ever singing it to her. She called her Papa the other night and he must’ve asked for a song because she sang him the first two lines to baa baa black sheep. She also sings the “stinky mommy” song when I tell her I need a shower and follows it up with a “pretty mommy” song when I finish.
Bath time is still her favorite time. She plays with a bar of soap and usually loses grip of it right when the water is cloudy enough to no be able to see the white bar. She then waves her arms frantically through the water crying out “soapy, SOAPeeee.” She usually finds it. This morning she made sure to clean both her ducky and the edge of the tub with soap, “bubbles!” She counted the bubbles by pointing to different parts of the surface of the water and saying, “one, two, three, four, six!” The only way to get her out is in an unhappy fit or to offer to fix her hair. She loves looking cute and my little attention-loving baby loves even more to be called cute. So if I offer to put up her hair in pigtails she rubs her hands on her head “fix hair, fix hair.” Then she drains the tub and stands up. Nothing else could ever do that, except maybe the promise of popcorn or cookies, but I haven’t tried that.
Anna got a pretty sweet care package for St Patrick’s day from Nina and Papa. Here she is in typical winter fair: my ear warmers, sparkly jeans and shirt, and a whole lot of jewelry. And below you can see her wearing her flashing glasses and her light-up crown resting on her pigtails. Too cute to take in, even in the dark photo. When she picks out her own clothes it is either her “flower shirt” which is really a dress but who could resist twirly fun, a bow, and flowers? Or she chooses her sparkly shirt and/or jeans. Oh man, the day when her sparkly jeans are dirty is a sad one indeed.
Jacob had his birthday earlier this month. We had just two families over for dinner and it was perfect. The kids played, the adults entertained them a bit and talked a lot. We felt like we had been out of touch for a month with vacation and sickness so it was great to catch up and remember what great friends we have here. Andrew and Anna played so well together and the Hustedts played with all the kids for us weary parents, ha. Jacob had Anna help him blow out his birthday candle on his birthday cookie but he couldn’t eat the cookie since he had been sneaking them all day! We didn’t realize how short our time was with the Hustedts. We had them over for dinner on Wednesday, they matched on Friday, and we helped them load up their moving truck on Tuesday and sadly had to say goodbye. The next morning at breakfast Anna waved saying “bye Mattie.” We were all affected. We sure will miss those awesome Hustedts. (But that gives us TWO awesome reasons to visit Phoenix again!)
Anna is such a chatterbox now. She repeats everything. She pointed out that her dolls were still in bed and I called them lazy bums. That phrase is now seared into her vocabulary. And “sorry” comes out freely but on either end of needing the word. Smack daddy’s ear “sorry daddy.” The shower drips water onto her face “sorry shower.” She also says “okay!” when she kind of gets hurt, like falling over in her little chair. Then she kisses her hand, or whatever might be hurt, and keeps on going. Hey, you can’t steal my job little girl! I’m the kiss-healer. She is so much stinking fun to play with, to love, and the chat with these days. She loves having conversations and will repeat her statement over and over until you acknowledge her observation. While watching a music video, a band member comes on who looks like a friend: “Josh…Josh…Josh.” “Yes, that man looks like Josh, doesn’t he?” To be fair, I don’t like feeling like I’m talking to myself either. I love my girl.
By the way, doesn’t this picture look like Anna’s profile picture for her corporate/academic website. “Here I am, working in my office, posing and smiling just enough to be professional.” She obviously got dressed up for the occasion in her favorite monkey pajamas.