March 2006 Archives

At the Park


[Watch a video of Anna "asking" to walk.]

[Watch a video of Anna going down the slide at the park.]

Anna was super giggly on the slide yesterday so I brought the little camera today and, of course, she wasn't super giggly on the slide today. Oh well, I did catch her "asking" to walk (she gives me a look of "this is so beneath me, mom" when I actually ask her to crawl to the steps from the bottom of the slide) and I think we got a little laugh at the end of the clip on the slide. Enjoy!

[I don't know if you noticed (yes, you) that since I made the move to MovableType from Blogger I have each post tagged with "categories." For example, this post is tagged with "Anna" and "Video." This means that you can click on one of those tags and see all of the other posts in these categories or you can choose from the drop-down menu of categories on the right. I just don't want those interested (ahem, grandmas!) to miss out on Anna's video clips so consider yourself notified.]


We have stopped giving Anna Zantac as of last night. We stopped the mornings last week but wanted to wait until after our trip to stop the night dose. So far, so good. But supposedly it could take up to a week to be sure that she doesn't need it any more. I'm happy that she's finally done with it!


Anna accidentally stood by herself at Kindermusik a week ago and it has happened a few more times since then. I would let go of her hands while she was distracted by something else and while she stood, I would say something like "good job standing, Anna!" and she'd collapse when she realized what was happening. Tonight she was going for longer stretches and I caught her practicing on her own this afternoon. She's getting bolder! Hopefully this will mean that there is an end in sight to my aching back (from bending over to hold her hand(s) while she walks).

Public Changing Tables

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I very rarely change Anna's diaper anywhere but at home (a few times in the car here and there) so I haven't experienced this too often, but when we were traveling this weekend I was really frustrated by two lack-of-changing-table incidents.

The first was on the airplane: I'd really like to know why there isn't a changing table on a plane that is taking hundreds of passengers on a four-hour flight. I would understand a shorter flight, but Anna truly needed her diaper changed on the flight out to San Francisco. The flight attendant suggested I could lay a blanket down over the toilet seat (and they'd throw out the blanket) to change Anna. First of all, I brought my own changing pad; and second the toilet seat is not a flat surface to lay your child down on to change her diaper. So, I sent Craig to the back and I changed her diaper on the seats (on my changing pad, of course). Thankfully it was only wet and not dirty otherwise I would have felt a little bad for our neighbors. [Obviously the solution to this particular problem would have been to change the diaper just before we boarded, but that wouldn't have solved a dirty-diaper problem, if we had had one in-flight--not sure what we would have done then!]

The second was in some public bathrooms at Fisherman's Wharf: a family tourist trap. This also did not add up--it seemed to be a relatively new building, so I can't figure out why they didn't install a simple changing table. I ended up having to lay the changing pad on the driest part of the floor (near the entrance) that I could find. (Again, she had a really wet diaper and we couldn't make her wait to change it.)


Anna's pride in a successful stack.

Anna's latest thing is stacking. She is really into the blocks we got her for her birthday but she also likes to stack non-block items on them and sometimes she stacks her food at the table. Most importantly, she yells "kah!" (stack) when she succesfully stacks something.

New Spoken Words: Yogurt, stack, bye, map

New Signs: all-done, help



Although Anna had a couple of public meltdowns, I was really pleasantly surprised at how well she did with all of the activity and new things. I think we really worked to keep some sense of her schedule & routine for her and we planned for quiet time at the hotel so that we weren't always rushing, rushing, rushing. We also made sure to get her out of her stroller or the carrier frequently to exercise those legs and make sure she was having a good time, too. I'm excited now that I feel like we can take Anna traveling and I know we can all handle it. Now we just have to decide where to go next!

She did end up sleeping for over an hour (in my arms) on the plane home today which was great. She took a little nap at home this afternoon and then went to bed early (6:45; she usually goes to bed a little after 7:30 PM). Hopefully it won't take her too long to readjust to life at home. I really am proud of her!

Fisherman's Wharf & The Granny Nanny

We got up early again and beat the crowds to breakfast and to get on the cable car to Fisherman's Wharf. We took Anna out in the Ergo and I don't know if it was lulling her to sleepiness or if it was fatigue catching up with her, but she was a bit more crabby today. We did get to eat some great Sourdough, see the sea lions, check out some cool ships, and Anna got her first taste of chocolate in Ghirardelli Square (she loved it!).

After Anna's nap (another great one, by the way--and she woke up in a much better mood than Friday's nap), we went on the "vertical" tour of San Francisco. I guess there are four different hotels with great views from their elevators but we just checked out the Westin St. Francis--pretty cool!

After that, Craig & I got ready for Erin & Dave's wedding (lame-o us forgot our camera, probably in our haste to get out of the door and get everything that my mom needed ready for Anna for the evening) at the Dutch Tulip Garden in Golden Gate Park. It was a gorgeous ceremony, supercool reception and we got to see a few of our old friends from high school to top it all off!

Reports from Grandma were that Anna did really well and went to bed easily and only woke once while we were out. She only woke one time after we came back from the wedding, too. So, I guess she was getting used to sleeping in this new place just in time for us to pack up and head home!

The Marina District

[Watch a video of Anna's favorite thing to do (ignore parental Mickey Mouse-esque voices, please!).]

Today we took the bus out to the Marina District to do a walking tour suggested by the guidebook we used for this trip (San Francisco with Kids). We had a really good time but it rained a bit on us on and off. Anna actually slept in until 6:45 AM (8:45 Houston time!) which got us off to a great start to the day. Since she hasn't been sleeping when I've been putting her down for a morning nap for the past several weeks at home we decided to just try putting her down for one nap today.

We saw the Golden Gate Bridge and saw some cool neighborhoods and had a great lunch at The Grove. Our lunch was about $30 for two sandwiches, a muffin (blueberry, for Anna--she loved it!), an ice tea, and a bottle of water. Ouch! This city is not cheap, but at least we knew that going in!

We made it back to our hotel a little after 12 and Anna took an awesome nap for us. She woke up super crabby though, so we decided to try out the backpack carrier on a short trip from the hotel (not straying too far in case of a major meltdown). She did well and actually liked the carrier. It was better for getting out in the rain because all three of us fit under the umbrella and Anna wasn't as cold (and neither was I!).

So, we met Courtney & Tim for coffee and then an early dinner, and got Anna to bed by 6:20 PM. She slept better the second night which was really great. Grandma Adele arrived later in the evening and we made our plans for Saturday!

San Francisco

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As always with vacation photos, both Craig and I took pictures so I'm not going to note who took which photos for this trip

We arrived at our hotel in San Francisco in the early afternoon and Anna instantly fell in love with Pipp, the resident cat. Our hotel was probably my favorite hotel ever. Location, size, atmosphere, everything was fantastic. We stayed at The Golden Gate Hotel (actually a bed & breakfast) and I would definitely stay there again next time we are in San Francisco! Anna slept for about 10 minutes on the flight and had one minor meltdown toward the middle. Not too bad. She ended up going to bed at 5:45 San Francisco time and we (sadly) didn't stay up very late ourselves.

Overall on this trip, I think this is the best Anna has slept not-at-home so I was pleasantly surprised. She got up a few times at night and I felt compelled to get up and hand her a pacifier or take care of whatever she needed right away so as not to disturb other guests, but it has been so much worse on our past trips to Colorado that I am actually feeling hope for some more traveling in our future!


Anna will occasionally walk along the walls now but she prefers to hold my hand. Sometimes I can convince her to hold something in one hand and just hold one of my hands--I think she is getting better at that now that we've done it a few times. When she is tired though she will drop the object and just shout "kuh!" (I'm trying to teach her "please" but it's not taking!)

On garbage day we go to the door to watch the garbage truck and the recycling truck. I think she thinks every time we go to the front door something exciting will be going on outside. Usually it's pretty quiet though.

One of her other favorite activities while cruising is to drop something and pick it up, drop it and pick it up, repeat, repeat, reapeat. Seems like a lot of work to me, but she finds it quite entertaining.

New Spoken Words: apple, down, duck, door, cake, cat, bell, block, bar
New Signs: clean up

Ice Cream? No Thanks!

I keep forgetting to note that Anna did not like her first taste of ice cream at her birthday party. I tried to offer her some more a few days later, but she still didn't like it. I'm thinking it was too cold and that she doesn't really need to like it at this age, so maybe this summer when it is hot (or just warmer since it is already 77 degrees here most days lately (and all winter)).


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There are a lot of things a child needs to learn: colors, shapes, vocabulary, animal sounds, etc. I've got the colors, shapes, and vocabulary down and I can do a handful of animal sounds (mostly barnyard and household animals, but don't ask me to do an elephant or a giraffe (???) or a lot of other zoo animals). I don't usually worry about it too much, but tonight as I was giving Anna her bath, I decided to make a noise for one of her toy boats. Now I'm worried that her Naval Architect, Ocean Engineer father will come home and tell me I did it all wrong. It's too late though since for some strange reason Anna really picked up on the noise I was making and repeated it non-stop for the rest of her bath. I'm sure I'm making the wrong noise the more I think about it (because Craig & I did have a conversation about it a while back), but I guess Craig will have the rest of his life to set her (and me) straight on that particular noise.

Around the House

Anna's official one year portrait.

Checking out her new shoes.

More walking please!

Climbing the stairs.

I bought Anna a new pair of shoes last week, we're still test-driving them inside, but I bought them for outside use. Her Robeez are getting really dirty (but we like to use them inside) so I thought I'd like a pair for outside-only. These Preschoolians have a rubber bottom (but are still super flexible so they're supposed to be as good as bare feet) that will provide a bit more protection from the rough stuff outside (and keep her Robeez clean for indoor-use). Her feet are almost getting too big for her Robeez, too, so we were definitely in the market for something new.

Anna is still really into "walking" everywhere and it's not often that she gets tired out before my back hurts too much. I've discovered that if I let her hold onto something in one hand she will walk holding onto just one of my hands and this is a lot more work for her (balancing, etc.) and this wears her out a bit more--and she's (hopefully) gaining more confidence to walk on her own some day.

She also really likes to climb the stairs (she likes to go up and down now) and I think we are getting to the point where I need to get a gate for the bottom so that I can cook dinner without worrying about her going around the corner and up the stairs on her own.



We ran into neighbors Brandon & Lindsay taking pictures in the same patch of bluebonnets!

March 25, 2005--she wouldn't wake up for the pictures!

Good Morning!

Anna has started sleeping on her tummy with her bum in the air. I think this is because she really just wants to get up and move but eventually sleep overcomes her.

I woke her up so we could go out and get some pictures in the bluebonnets--she still looks tired, but she sure is happy!

One Year Appointment

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Anna had her one year doctor's appointment today. She didn't like the shots, but she didn't cry as much as I thought she would. Her doctor said that Anna looks great and she didn't have any problems with her still using the pacifier for naps & bedtime until she is four years old (I'm really interested to hear what a dentist has to say about that)! She also wasn't concerned that she isn't drinking milk yet and said that although milk is a good source of calcium, protein, and fat, that milk is mostly for the calcium since kids don't usually have trouble getting the protein & fat in their diets. We'll still keep trying to get her to drink milk, but we'll definitely focus on getting her the variety she needs in her diet with an emphasis on the calcium that she's missing from milk right now. The doctor asked all of the standard questions and I mentioned that Anna is signing & "talking" and the doctor said that was great and she wasn't even going to ask about it since it wasn't really expected at this point.

Here are her stats:
weight: 18 pounds 6 ounces (10th percentile)
length: 29 inches (50th percentile)
head circumference: 18 inches (90th percentile)

I knew she was skinny because her 6-12 month pants keep falling down. She has gotten skinnier since she's really been crawling. I don't think her head is proportionately large though, so that surprised me a little.


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Anna is demanding "kuh" all day long now. She wants to WALK. But she is not brave enough to try on her own yet. She wants to hold both of my hands, not just one. I am going to have a major backache soon, but she at least isn't throwing a fit anymore when we say "one more lap around the house, when we get to mommy's office/the kitchen/etc. we're all done." We can say that with the stroller and she will accept it now, too. Thank goodness! I am dreading our upcoming trip to San Francisco now because of the flight--I don't think she'll be happy sitting still for that long now!

The Land of the Living

Now that Anna is one year old, I feel like we finally are getting back to "normal." Of course, it is a new normal, but I'm very happy with that. In Anna's second year we are planning to take a few vacations, I'm going to read some actual books (not just What to Expect the Toddler Years), and I am actually taking steps to lose the weight I gained while pregnant (that I already lost while we lived in Korea--so frustrating to have to do it all again!), and I've got plenty of "projects" around the house to work on (and some actual photography work). Hey, maybe we'll even hire a babysitter and Craig & I will get out of the house once or twice a month!

I have read one non-parenting book this year: Bad Girl Creek by JoAnn Mapson. I read it for the MOPS bookclub. And then the meeting never happened. And I've never heard anything about the book club again. So I'm on my own. Sad as it is, I think I'll start with Angels & Demons by Dan Brown and then finally read The DaVinci Code. I loaned out the The DaVinci Code several times while we were in Korea but never actually read it myself. Everytime I got it back, I was in the middle of something else. Then I got pregnant and I only read pregnancy/childbirth/baby name books. Then Anna was born and it was just parenting and sleep books (and a whole lot of board books!). I will no doubt be turning to my dear friend Sharon for some reading advice soon. Although I do still have a few books on my shelf from our Okpo book club that I haven't read. (By the way, I did not like Bad Girl Creek: it was too contrived and predictable and I was very disappointed with the lives the characters ended up with by the end.)

I have lost 7.5 pounds since January (6 of those since I joined Weight Watchers Online on February 9th). I am attempting to do the Self Challenge again this year, but so far it's just not happening. I'm having a hard time getting to the gym consistently, but I guess that's part of what the challenge is about--finding a way to incorporate exercise into your daily life.

I have found some interesting places online to self-publish books and I want to do a "blook" (a book with content from a blog) for our time in Korea and for Anna's first year. Those are pretty major projects so I don't know how long that will take, but when I finish those I will be sure to post the results here!



[Watch a video of us rolling away!]

Anita & I rented Segways this afternoon just to see what they were like. Anita looked a lot more confident than I felt, but on the second lap around the shopping area I finally felt a little more comfortable. They were pretty cool--very responsive to your movements--but I kept wanting to use the steering mechanism as a break or dig my heel into the ground like rollerblades. I'm glad we did it but I won't be buying one anytime soon!

Kids & TV

Here is an interesting article on kids & TV (specifically babies & Baby Einstein videos) at Anna hasn't watched much TV in her first year since we have felt it wasn't necessary/providing anything useful--she won't sit still for it unless she's not feeling well (as exhibited last week with our PBS mini-marathon (1.5 "Sesame Streets" & an "Everyday Food"). I'm interested to see how this issue plays out as she gets older.

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