Monday, September 29, 2008

flowers and a lightning storm: a month in review

"It's the end of the summer When you send your children to the moon"

I love that Dar Williams song. It felt more immediate when I was in school, but it is the end of the summer and I always get excited when fall rolls around. I still feel like things should begin in the fall. As Dar says, "It's just that time of year When we push ourselves ahead." Between the fresh-start feeling of fall and Elder Uchtdorf's inspiring talk at the General Relief Society meeting, I'm feeling antsy to start something. I'm not sure exactly what, but something. In the mean time, while I decide what that something is, I decided to chronicle what's already been done.

September has been a crazy month. Not really very eventful, but full. On Labor Day, Sam and I had planned to go to the zoo, but apparently, they were so busy last year, that they changed all their free days to obscure holidays like Columbus Day. Anna was crazy that day and refused to calm down, so we used our one trick and took her swimming.

It worked.

For dinner we all got dressed in our college football team gear and went to Chick-fil-A where we each (including Anna since she was dressed up too) got 3 free chicken strips. We added a fry and lemonade to share and had a great dinner for less than $4. Katrina came by afterward and watched Anna while Sam and I went to see Indiana Jones at the dollar theater. We really enjoyed the time away together and Anna was just starting to freak out when we came home.

Three days later was Anna's 4 month check-up. She was 16.5 lbs (95th percentile), 25.5 in (87th percentile), and I don't remember her head measurement, but it was 22nd percentile. Strange, huh? She also got more immunizations. The nurses at my pediatrician are great, and Anna gets all four shots and her bandaids on in about 27 seconds. It's not funny in the moment when my heart is breaking for my little girl, but looking back, I can laugh at how during all the shots she has that silent, horrified open mouth that you know is going to erupt in a huge scream at any moment, but it's not until the last bandaid is on and the nurse lets me pick her up that the scream finally comes. Despite its awfulness, it still amazes me.

Anyway, Anna reacted to this round of shots just like the last one-- she slept and cuddled a lot. I can't complain too much about that. However, on the same day, I was feeling awful and got squeezed in at the doctor. So, about an hour after Anna's appointment, I had to wake her up from her deep sleep, drag her to the doctor's office, hold her with one hand while filling out paperwork with the other because she needed to be cuddled and comforted, and then feed her in the magazine section of the grocery store while I waited for my prescription to be filled. We finally came home and took long naps. Needless to say, it was not the best day for the Cosby women.

The next day, we went up to the temple in Klein. I did a session there while Sam watched Anna. Then we watched our niece, Isabelle, while Ben and Amy went to the temple with Amy's sister. And the next day, we went up again, so Sam could go to the temple, and I went to Amy's sister's bridal shower. After three days of being away from home, getting shots, and having erratic nap schedules and locations, Anna was exhausted, and so were we.

Even so, everyone loved seeing Anna, and she willingly smiled and gurgled and got passed around. And when the time came that Anna could finally get all the sleep she wanted, she happily succombed rather that putting up a fight. At some point in there, we fed Anna her first "solids" if you can classify soupy rice cereal as that. We stripped her down and went for it. She didn't know what to do at first, but has since had some great success with a spoon. Her fool-proof method though is to dive at the spoon and get as much cereal in her mouth as she can. Then, she shoves her thumb in and sucks it so she can actually swallow the cereal rather than watching fall down onto her belly. It's not so graceful, but it works, and she loves it. These are pictures from our first attempt, but she's gotten progressively less messy.

The very first taste

Our next big event was my birthday. Sam came home early and took Anna for about an hour. I read a book. It was lovely. When he came home, he had beautiful red roses and a Baskin Robbins ice cream cake with a flower on top. He told me I would have to wait until the weekend for my other present. We ate a yummy dinner at Olive Garden. Sam told them it was my birthday and the waitress told him, "Well then, have we got a surprise for her!" At the end of my meal, at least eight waiters gathered and sang an incomprehensible version of some birthday song and had me blow out a candle on my dessert: a dinner roll plate with nine Andes mints on it. Good thing we had ice cream cake waiting at home...

That week, we prepped for Ike, and you all know how that turned out. We actually had a great time that weekend. Sam came home early on Thurday and work was closed Friday. Despite the very stressful not knowing when or what exactly was coming, once the storm had passed, we just ate food, watched sports, made treats and took them to neighbors and friends, bought really expensive milk, and enjoyed the cool weather. We ate dinner with the Hatfields and the Mercers two fun and yummy nights in a row. Sam's work was closed Monday and Tuesday, so he went and helped clear debris. Though many were not nearly so lucky, we just had a general good time.

Dancing with Daddy to Michael Buble

A walk in the calm before the storm

storm damage

playing with friends during Hurricane Holiday

waking up Daddy on one of his few lazy mornings

Tuesday night, Sam and I went grocery shopping, and one of the librarians from our local library saw Anna and told us we should come to story time. I recognized the librarian from Marci's blog, but didn't want to weird her out, so I just mentioned that my friends went all the time. She screamed in the store when I mentioned Addie and Ella and has recognized me every time I come in. I have since embraced this beloved institution. I really enjoy going because it gives me a chance to interact with Anna outside the home, which is something I don't really do if we're out at the store or exercising. It's also nice for Anna to watch the other babies, and it's nice for me to talk to the other moms. Anna wore this outfit our first time, and all the babies loved her big red bow.

That week Sam also brought my birthday present which had been postponed due to Ike. He brought me a dieffenbachia which I named Henry (like Indianda Jones-he's a courageous and good looking plant). He also promised to go to a nursery with me to pick out any other plants I wanted. So now, I'm waiting till I have my fall/winter vegetable gardening class at HFP Enrichment Super Saturday in a couple weeks.

Sam had that Friday off work again, so after cleaning our apartment, we went to Five Guys for dinner. Sam first went during his internship in DC, but since then, they've franchised, so we drove 45 minutes to Richmond so I could try the most delicious burgers and fries I've ever had. Totally photo worthy. Sam's sad they're so far away, but I think that bodes well for our cardiovascular health.

I also baked some cookies that weekend using the NYTimes tips for chocolate chip cookies. They were really good (two days later) probably because Anna helped.

Since last week was a little quieter, I spent some time cooking. We had two other families over to enjoy this mock Cafe Rio salad. We still have a ton of the dressing. It's so good- and not so good for our cardiovascular health. I also made a yummy minestrone / Italian wedding soup, homemade meatballs from Susan's mom's recipe, and some homemade pizzas.

And now here we are, one day from the end of the month. This morning, Anna and I got up when Sam did and went to serve breakfast to some Ike evacuuees at Grace Baptist Church behind our old apartments. It was a fun morning and everyone loved little Anna (of course!) who barely slept at all yesterday and is making up for it today- which is why I've had time to write this really long post!

In another day or so, I should have this month's photos and videos up at my picasa page, but in the mean time, here are a few to whet your palates.

showing off her favorite shoes

how I found Anna one morning: escaped from the swaddle

a new favorite outfit

Halloween material?


Marci said...

Those last 2 outfits are SO cute! Was it Venitha you ran into?! She is THE sweetest lady EVER...we love all the librarians there though really :-)...but she is our favorite. I'm excited to tell Mike about the burger place - he'll want to try it out soon I'm sure! And I'm glad you liked the Cafe Rio recipe - it's pretty dang close I think - although it has been a few years since I've had the real deal. Maybe someday they'll open one in Katy :-)!

Rebecca Holt Stay said...

Great stuff. I read this to Grandpa who kept commenting on all of Anna's flowers. She's adorable.
Had you realized that 'Henry' is the younger brother of our 'immortal resurrection plant that won't die'? So glad you have one too.

Susan said...


Sarah Louise said...

Oh, good heavens. Now I want to wear a giant flower on my head. Or have a baby. Or be your neighbor and hang out with you while you exercise with your baby and wear your reversible apron.

Any (?) of the above would do.