Tuesday, March 24, 2009


To explain the title of the post... I feel like time is moving so fast and everything Annie is doing seems to be a first for her over the past couple of weeks.

She had her first car ride in her front facing seat. She loves it. She talks and sings constantly in the car now because she can actually see me and have "conversations". This particular seat has a cup-holder, which Annie associates with being a rock star. We all know that all rock stars have the best cup-holders. Annie knows this, too. Nothing gives her more joy than her cup-holder.

Annie has officially first stood and is now doing it like a champ. We have known for weeks that she had the ability do this, because if she is concentrating on a toy, she will be holding it and not even notice that she is standing on her own. Once she notices, she immediately collapses out of fear. For Annie, this is one of the many disadvantages of being tall. She is now standing willingly!

She started to do official sign language. Her first signs were showing us how big she is at 8 months or so (arms overhead in touch-down position), which we weren't sure if we could count since we had never heard of it before. At around 9 months she started waving "hi" and "bye" and shaking her head "no" (pretty helpful in determining if she understood what she wasn't supposed to do or if she didn't like something). Now she does what we feel are more official baby signs- "more" and "please." We say more official because these are ones that she uses instead of yelling when at the table (sometimes :-). Here she is enjoying the fruits of her labor.

Oh and by the way.... TODAY is her FIRST BIRTHDAY.

We had a first birthday party over the weekend with some family and a few close friends. This party was in honor of Annie's actual birthday today! It was such a blast. We couldn't have anticipated how much she would have loved the whole thing. (Or how much I loved planning it!) This picture features me and the piñata we named Dolly-Llama. J and I obtained this ancient treasure at Fiesta. What you may not know is that Fiesta is not known for their candy. Much to the delight of all the children at the party, the piñata contained salsa flavored twizzlers, salted fruit strips, and tamarind flavored goo. (Note the sarcasm. The kids 3 and over really hated it and were really upset until I gave them some real candy.)

At the party, she had her first bite of cake... and then was on her way to eating the entire thing before it fell to the ground. Then she polished off her first cupcake after eating a huge chunk of the big cake. Pretty impressive. My sister, Molly made this cake- coolest cake ever!

Some of her first words- "hey" (when I come in her room to greet her after a nap), "dad" (for J), "dada" (for everyone and everything), "mama" (only when she's upset), "up" (occasionally she says this if she is feeling generous with her performances), "that" (sounds more like "dat", but we count it), and "uh-uh" (her attempt at "uh-oh" used when she drops something).

Annie at 1 year has the sweetest disposition. She is really easily excited. If something suits her fancy she will most likely get stiff as a board, red in the face, and scream! She is also really active and keeps you on your toes. She is not very sensitive we have found. If we try to take something away- she gets mad, not sad, if she cares at all. If we have to discipline her (squeeze the hand or a flick on the hand) for something she knows not to do (evidenced by taking two paces towards it, looking at me and shaking her head "no", and then going for it), she won't back down until she has finished what she set out to do, she'll take the flicks (oh, boy). She startles easily (loud noises, anything by her face, or anything that moves too quickly). She loves to be outside on a windy day. She hasn't yet figured out empathy. She still laughs when other kids are crying. She LOVES dogs (still going strong), stuffed animals, and now baby dolls more than any other toys. Books and pictures are close seconds if she is permitted to handle them herself. I am convinced her favorite would be laptops if we would let her near them. She also has a developing passion for throwing and rolling balls. A little secret, if you have on jewelry she will always come to you. She is still a dancing and singing machine and adding new moves everyday. This is our Annie. We can't wait to get to know her even better.

Happy Birthday, Annabel! We are so blessed and honored to be your parents and raise you. You are an amazing gift from God and we thank Him for your life daily and pray you grow up to love Him more than anything else in the world.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Do you like delicious food? I do....

Some of you may know, some might not, but my sister Molly lives with us! She was working seasonally as a chef in Alaska, and then New Zealand, and then Alaska again.

We love having her live with us because her and Annie get to be so close and I have someone to talk with during the day! :-) She has such a servant's heart and does whatever she can to make our lives easier. She is constant entertainment for Annie and my favorite errand-running, breakfast-eating, and coffee-drinking pal.

She moved back in October and has been looking for the right job while trying to pursue some of her passions while she has the time. Two things she really wants to do: 1) help those without job skills get jobs in the food industry- she wants to create and teach a culinary program for refugees, immigrants or anyone without these skills that needs them to get a job. This will be another post! 2) have her own cafe.

So since December, she has catered a bunch of special events for people and had the idea to start her own online cafe. Molly's style of cooking: she has the capabilities to do super fancy things that I don't even know how to pronounce, but she's practical, too, for those of us who are commoners in the food department. This week was Turkey-Tamale pie. Lean ground turkey, baked with mexican spices, corn, bell peppers, onions and beans and topped with a cornbread crust. Served with marinated vegetable salad. For dessert, Zucchini-Apple cup cakes with white chocolate frosting. Really moist and rich, with adorable packaging for gifts.

She cooks really healthy and makes it delicious for even J!

Next week is:

Lemon- Herb Chicken Piccata
topped with a savory saute of artichoke,
sweet onion, mushrooms and capers.
Served with whole wheat penne &
Side of roasted seasonal vegetables
Old Fashion Lemon Bars

She features a meal/ per week that you can order and she will deliver it to you. There are some really cool features on the sight where you can vote for stuff for her to make the following week.

She also has other services available like office catering, events, etc. It is also great if someone you know needs a meal, but you don't have the time. She makes it and delivers it for you! Check it out!


Go, Molly, go!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

My Big Girl is a Big Girl!

I have snapped some pictures of Annie in the last few days of things that totally surprise me. Is it me or did she grow up fast?

This is her just watching her cartoons and drinking a bottle. A "big kid" moment for me.

Screaming at the top of her lungs!

Watching Veggietales. Her favorite... the Silly Song Countdown.

This came on the outside of the flowers J got me for Valentine's Day. It also double as a tutu, we found.

Parker (J's college roomie and one of our close friends) trying to influence Annie in the way of the Aggies.
Someone's got to.
It will probably not be us. :-)

She loves LOVES to watch puppies on you tube. You can show her these videos anytime she is upset and it is like Jekell and Hyde.

Most of you know that Annie is a big dancer. She dances to every tune, all day long. She is now coming up with different dances for different songs. The slow ones are side to side, the fast front to back.

Here is her doing the side to side one for the first time. The video camera was stationed just above the laptop screen of some kind of sappy slideshow of lab puppies. Take note of her reaction when the music stops.

And finally... relaxing with Dad. This is one of my favorite of her right now. She is one smiley lady with some killer hippo teeth.
We love our little lady.