Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Happiness Project May

I am a little late in posting this one, but...

My May happiness project didn't pan out as well as I had thought as, we ended up having a very raining first part of the month and then we went off to the USA for two and a half weeks. So, I would say the gardening goal didn't go as well as planned. However, I was able to cut the grass twice. We also ended up hiring someone to put down weed killer while we were gone so that Anna wasn't around when we did it. She absolutely adores playing outside lately so doing it while she was here was not the best idea. The person we hired also cut the grass. Another attempt at gardening this month was taking care of a house plant I was given by a friend who is moving to Germany. I also was trying to grow some herbs. Someone had given me two herb sprouts to grow in a cup until they were big enough to transplant. The outcome? I have beautiful house plant that is now slowly becoming browner and browner. I think it started happening the day I got it. I have feed it, watered it, and now I am going to attempt to put it into a bigger planter in hopes that it will help. The herb sprouts alas, did not survive as they were diseased. So, gardening hasn't gone so well. However, grass cut 3 times and weed killer down, that gets at least a few points.

The month was not a completely loss by any means. I kind of consider my goal of gardening to have been taken over by my goal of reconnecting with family. This goal I did fabulously with as we headed out to see a vast majority of our family members. Our first stop was in Maryland, Drew was assigned to work at a conference so we went to go and see my parents. We had a great time. We were able to stay in Maryland for 9 days. My mother hosted a luncheon and we were able to see Drew's grand parents. We were also able to see my cousins whom we have not seen since Stephanie's wedding. My mom's neighbors were there as well. The next day we were able to attend church in the building where I went growing up. It was great to see people there as well. Afterwards we headed up to the church we went to when we lived near Baltimore and were able to have lunch with a friend and visit with some other people from the ward up there. We have not seen any of them since we moved out to England! It was a lot of fun.

For dinner, we were able to hang out with our dear friends Joe and Alissa. It was great because I was able to spend several days hanging out with them. Drew was able to spend quality time with them as well when he wasn't in his conference. Anna and I ventured out to the to both the American History and the Natural History Smithsonian Museums. I know that two hours is probably not enough time for most people to do one of them, but it was plenty of time for us to do both, we are not very thorough. In fact, the most interesting thing Anna found was a statue of a boy and his mother in the exhibit on the evolution of man. We also ventured to the Patuxent wildlife reserve and the play area for the National Children's Museum which is under construction. It was great fun to go there with my parents. It is also great fun that everything is free! On Friday night Drew, Anna, and myself headed to a splash pool and had a blast! We attended Drew's graduation for his masters' degree on Saturday. Yeah, Drew! Then we headed off to Utah on Sunday.

In Utah we were able to See Drew's sister and her family, my college roommate, and a friend of ours who lives out in Provo now. Funny thing was that our friend (Tasha) lives within a few blocks of my college roommate (Heidi). We had a lot of fun with Emily and her family. Anna was able to meet her one and only girl cousin (so far) and it was almost like instant hero worship. Everything Darcey did Anna found hilarious. Every place Darcey went Anna was sure to follow. Even though it was much requested Anna was not allowed to sleep in Darcey's room, neither of them would get any sleep nor would their parents. We were able to go swimming, eat at in and out burger, go on a school fund raiser walk, go to the children's Museum, Drew and some of the gang went out for Ice cream. Anna and Darcey also were able to have a photo shoot together. We ended up getting family pictures taken as well.

Then it was off to Detroit where we saw my sister Denise and her family. We were able to go play on a beach, eat Chinese food and Mexican food (which is hard to come by in England), watch Jackson play amazingly well during a baseball game, plan and host the first Cousin's party ever! Presents for everyone(Well at least the kids, anyway)!

June's Goal is decorating...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday Anna!

Dear Anna,

Wow! Another year. The fact that you are now two reminds me of the lyrics of a song, it says that years take so long, but they go so fast. That truly is the case. You are amazing girl and your personality develops more and more everyday.

[caption id="attachment_953" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Anna at One"][/caption]

This year you have become even more of a world traveler. We began the year by heading to Paris to see the end of the Tour De France. A few months later we headed to the USA and were able to go to Maryland and Michigan. In October we went down to London so Daddy could see the Annual NFL game there. In January we headed on our big Mediterranean cruise! We went to Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Malta, and France (well it was just a turn around at the border in France but we passed the 'Welcome to France' sign so I am going to count it! In May we headed back to the states to see family and friends. This time we went to Maryland, Utah, and Michigan. You are an amazing traveler, better than a LOT of adults in fact. I guess it makes a lot of sense as well because you have traveled in your first two years more than most adults do in a lifetime. When we went to the US in May we traveled for about 20 hours including layovers. We arrived at Grandma and Pop Pop's house and the after going to sleep for the night, I asked you what you thought we were going to do that day. You said "air plane!" and were very excited. I said no and you started to cry! I am so impressed with your love of flying.

[caption id="attachment_954" align="alignnone" width="276" caption="Counting Money in Paris"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_949" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="On the way to Hogwarts"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_955" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Anna at the Sphynx"][/caption]

This year you have developed some good friendships. Your closest friend is named Lily. She is the friend that will be coming to your birthday party. You see her a few times a week and get VERY excited to see her! You run up to her with hugs and hold her hand. A few weeks ago she came over to our house for the first time. You were not possessive of your toys, instead you wanted to show her everything. Pretty much all at once, mind you, I think she may have been a little bit overwhelmed! I told you that you could show her your room and you ran in there with her and shut the door on her mother and me and said "bye, bye Mama," I can't believe I have a girl who wants privacy with her friends already!

[caption id="attachment_970" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Anna and Lily"][/caption]

In the states you became better acquainted with some friends there. In September you met Emmeline (Joe and Alissa's daughter) - there was an immediate connection. You made each other laugh uncontrollably from the first few minutes.

[caption id="attachment_961" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Anna and Emmeline"][/caption]

Then, in May you met Darcey for the first time, your only girl cousin. It was instant hero worship! Everything Darcey did was funny or exciting, she could do no wrong. When she went to bed at night you wanted to sleep in her room with her! You still mention her almost everyday and it has been over a month since the trip!

[caption id="attachment_965" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Anna and Darcey"][/caption]

You also were able to spend good time with your cousins Jackson, Luke, and Grant. I think you were a little overwhelmed for a few hours but afterward you became great friends. Jackson took very good care of you and Luke was a great friend who you now like to talk to on the telephone.

[caption id="attachment_968" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Anna and the boys"][/caption]

Your language skills have started to develop this year. You said your first word other than mamma and dadda at about 16 month old. Your first word was "ai" meaning eye. You went a few weeks without really adding any new words to your repetition and then your speech took off! Our biggest mystery of the year was "rot ray" a term you would use frequently but we could never figure out what it meant. You would look at pictures and say it but not be willing to point out what you meant. You would say it in the bath often. I would say "rot ray" to you and would get a "no" in response. We were totally stumped. It took months but we were finally able to figure out that it meant crawling. Listening to you is like hearing a mirror of myself. I don't even realize I say some of things you say back to me. I have been working on not saying certain things as recently one of your favorite statements has been "stop it" or some variation there of. We have been working to replace "stop it" with "no thank you". Some things you repeat back I find adorable. You are constantly saying "there you go" when you have completed a task such as putting on your shirt or getting your shoes on. You are becoming very polite as well, you say please, thanks, thank you, yes please, and excuse me. You can now say Mudgett, you say Anna Mudgett, you say boss when calling daddy or myself, and you can now say a lot of other people's names. Way to Go!

My suspicion that you were becoming a girly-girl has been confirmed several times over this year. The first when we went shoe shopping shortly after your birthday last year. You screamed and screamed and hated it. We went to about 4 different shoe stores and you wouldn't let me put any of the shoes on you. When I managed to get them on you (through an all out battle) you wouldn't step down in them and would scream. There was one pair that you were okay with but I looked at the price tag and it was 40 pounds! So, we ended up going to "one last store" we headed to a department store called NEXT. I figured you just hated trying on new shoes. Well, you saw a pair of shoes that were shiny and silver and you started to laugh. We put them on you and you started to jump around excitedly! I ended up getting you a different pair because we were worn out and had decided to try even one more "Last store" you cried when we put them on but smiled in the mirror when you saw them so I figures, hey, a compromise. You still love shoes. You love trying on other people's shoes. You especially love trying on Lily's shoes and get angry if she doesn't want you to!

[caption id="attachment_951" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Give me an M!"][/caption]

You adore all things baby. You love pretending to be a baby. You found your old dummy (pacifier) the other day and insisted on taking it all over the house. I thought, great you are going to get into the habit of using a pacifier at two! It has since mysteriously disappeared (I am sure I didn't have anything to do with that =)) You love looking at babies. You love touching babies. You don't get jealous when we hold babies, you get excited like, oh, we can touch that baby!? You love playing with baby dolls. You love putting new nappies on them, putting clothes on them, wrapping them in blankets, cuddling them, kissing them, bathing with them and sleeping with them. There is no doubt you LOVE babies!

[caption id="attachment_956" align="alignnone" width="225" caption="Anna\'s make shift Baby crib"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_966" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Shhhh don\'t tell Aunt Denise!"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_971" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="sharing chocolate with baby ~ now thats love!"][/caption]

You love make-up and getting your nails done. You have loved it from the first time daddy painted them. From that day on you would check your nails every morning to make sure they were not chipped and say "uh-oh" if anything was wrong. You would then demand for them to be touched up. I broke you of the habit by not letting you get your nails painted that often. As for make-up I knew you were loved it as the few times I put it on in front of you, you HAD to do it too. I thought it was cute so I let you one time and you never looked back. Anytime there is a possibility of make up you will wait for it for a long time. You waited to get your face painted for probably about an hour, give or take AND let a stranger touch you to paint your face without hesitation. Another day you patiently waited at least a half hour get your face painted again. You still remember both of those days and sometimes talk about when you had a cat or flowers on your face!

[caption id="attachment_967" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="makeover time!"][/caption]

As for your activities, You still participate in signing class and love it. You also love swimming class and are getting very confident in the water. We started attending play group at Lilly's church and you love to get juice and a biscuit there. Finally, you started Socatots in the winter. You NEVER do what the class is doing you run off and play with the babies that come with their older siblings OR you find something else to occupy yourself. We go to Socatots solely because you are infatuated with your teacher. You talk about Mike all the time. Sometimes after he comes to help you and when he is making his rounds to see other class members, you follow him and want to get more praise. The other day as we were driving away from where class is held you said "more, Mike." Unfortunately you had to wait an entire week to see him again!

[caption id="attachment_958" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="My Hero Mike!"][/caption]

You are very clever. You know your ABC's. If I sign a letter of the alphabet you can tell me what it is. You can count to 5 and are know your numbers up to 10 but don't usually get them in the right order. You know your colors. You are starting to learn songs and sometimes I hear you singing several words to two of your favorite songs, "Do you know the colors of the rainbow", and "I love to see the temple." You are learning the days of the week. Daddy taught you about thumbs and pinkies and you talk about them a lot. We also hear you doing your version of "this little piggy" you are getting better and better at it. You are very good at figuring things out as well. We need to now re-toddler proof the house as you can get into almost everything again!

Here are some of her favorite things to do:

[caption id="attachment_959" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="You like Bowling"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_957" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Listening to Music"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_952" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Playing Car Car"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_950" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Taking a bath"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_969" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="riding bikes with dad"][/caption]

You love watching Dancing. We found out on the cruise and recently look you to see BYU's world champions ballroom dance team. We called it "special dancing." Now you want to watch clips of special dancing from the Internet every day! Your favorite shows are watching yourself in home movies, special dancing, signing time (which is really the only show you've seen with the exception of baby einstein), sometimes music videos, and very often you like to watch babies on youtube. Your favorite clips are of babies laughing.

Food, your favorite foods are baked beans and sausages. You like toast or bread with butter, really you like butter and would eat it on its own. You love grapes and most kinds of fruit. You adore sauces. Anytime you see a sauce or something that resembles sauce you want to try it. From different flavors of toothpaste to vinegar. You want to try them. You love yogurt, olives, and of course Friday night Ice Cream at McDonald's!

[caption id="attachment_962" align="alignnone" width="225" caption="Eating Candy"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_948" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="A little Pre-Pizza snack"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_964" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Friday night ice cream"][/caption]

We love you so much and are so grateful to have you in our family. I love your hugs and cuddles and I can't wait to see all things you will learn and discover this year. Daddy and I love you so much. Thank you for all the love you give to us!

[caption id="attachment_947" align="alignnone" width="233" caption="Anna at Two (almost) "][/caption]

Mommy (and daddy)