Friday, September 30, 2011

Conversations with Hannah: "Just kidding!!"

Hannah (while riding on Eric's shoulders): "Daddy have bubbles in ears!"
Eric: "Whaaaat?? I have bubbles in my ears??"
Hannah: "Just kidding!!"

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Voodoo child

Yesterday our hallway was packed full of all the stuff I pulled out of Hannah's room to de-flea prior to spraying the daylights out her room for the second time and then returning the de-flead stuff to the de-flead room. In between loads and loads of laundry, I was carrying an armful of pillows fresh from the dryer back to her room to stash on her top bunk (in the hopes that the fleas won't get to them up there) when I got my ankle stuck in between the wall and the laundry baskets and plummeted forward.   Face plant.

Hannah heard the thud and my scream and pulled herself away from her dinosaur movie to check on me. I sat down on the floor in her room to inspect my ankle, and she went to her shelves and came back with this giant bouncy ball type thing (that we call the wrecking ball) that lights up when it hits the floor.  She, very seriously, rolled the ball around my ankle for a few seconds and then looked up and asked, "feel better, mommy?"  I stifled my laughter, assured her that I did feel better, and thanked her for her help.

At dinner later that night, she spotted a bandage on Eric's finger and asked what happened.  He explained, and her remedy this time was to get this light-up birthday wand thing that Grannah got her for her first birthday and hold it over his wound until he assured her that he felt better and thanked her for her help.

I'm not sure what brand of magic healing she's using, but it's quite effective.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hannah's pretend boobies

When Lila was bestowed on Hannah, Hannah was still nursing three times a day and often insisted that Lila tandem nurse with her, so here I'd be, hanging out with two boobs out, Hannah on one and a baby doll on the other. I'm all in for a good game of let's pretend, but this one wasn't one of my favorites. I tried explaining to Hannah that she was Lila's mommy and could therefore nurse Lila herself, but that concept was lost on her.  Pretending Lila was nursing from me, okay. Pretending Lila was nursing from her, totally insane.  Is the realm of pretend a developmental thing that happens in stages/at certain ages??  Or do you think it's just because Hannah was still nursing three times a day back then and is now nursing not at all?  Whatever the reason for her refusal to nurse Lila herself, it's a thing of the past.  This week Hannah began nursing her own babies. I think it's super cute so I snapped a few pics of her nursing one of her smaller babies tonight during her bedtime routine.

So, yeah, I think it's safe to say that Hannah is weaned now.  I started cutting her back in June, first eliminating the night time nurse.  By the time her second birthday rolled around she was just nursing first thing  in the morning, and by the time we got to Michigan a couple weeks later, she was rarely asking for boobies, and I wasn't offering.  There were a few weeks where 3 or 4 days would pass before she'd remember to ask for boobies, and although I let her take her time with it, if I thought she was asking because she was hungry or thirsty, I'd push food and drink. I think the last time she nursed was Labor Day after we got back from the State Fair....I think...So yay! I've got my boobs back!  And yay that Hannah has her own pretend boobies with which to nurse her babies!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Kitty AIDS

Kaya has FIV, kitty AIDS.  Crazy, right??  Eric was astonished and wanted to know how she could have kitty AIDS if she wasn't having any kitty sex.  The vet explained that FIV is most often transmitted through bite wounds.  She was attacked back in 2007 and ended up with two pretty bad bite wounds that cost me $500 at the time to fix.  Now it's a few years later and we've already shelled out almost that much just to find out what was wrong and get her started on an antibiotic.  I'd like to find the punk cat who did this...

Last Friday, after 3 days of extreme lethargy and not eating, drinking, or eliminating anything, I realized that something was seriously wrong and called the vet. Hannah and I skipped our Friday morning swim and raced Kaya to the doctor. Before we did that, Hannah was being really sweet, covering Kaya with her blanket and saying, "Feel better Kaya? Feel better??"  As I watched Hannah trying to comfort Kaya, it occurred to me that I don't have any pictures of Hannah and Kaya together (because Kaya runs like hell when Hannah tries to play), and that since Kaya was pretty seriously sick, that particular scene could be my only photo op, so I took it.

The antibiotic is kicking in and although Kaya still has a very small appetite, she is moving around and seeming healthier.  I don't know what's next. I guess we'll just have to wait and see how it affects her.  Since she has lost 1/3 of her body weight in the last 2 years, I don't imagine she has a lot of time left, but who knows.

Oh, and see that red mark on Hannah's left cheek?? That's a flea bite. Awesome, right?  They love Hannah and bit her to shreds for days while I frantically researched bug bites online trying to figure out what was going on.  I thought fleas would be easier to see, but they're really not. We've been vacuuming and cleaning and washing sheets like mad, and as a result, Hannah is waking up with fewer bites each morning, but I can't keep that kind of cleaning up, and it's not enough anyway so I agreed to some Ultracide...It's supposed to be non-toxic once it dries....I'm a little skeptical, but I'm willing to take my chances. After all, fleas caused the bubonic plague, did they not??? Given a choice between the plague and toxins, I'll take toxins.

Speaking of, Hannah and I need to get the heck out of dodge this weekend while Eric does de-fleas our house....anybody want visitors???

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The terrible twos wake up with a roar

I naively believed that Hannah hit the terrible twos early at 18 months and that life henceforth would be smooth sailing. Sometimes I forget the number one lesson I've learned since becoming a mom: no phase is ever over, it just hibernates.  The terrible twos have reawakened, and they are accompanied by a  much stronger set of lungs and a far greater level of persistence.

There are a number of occasions throughout the day that throw Hannah into a fit, but the most difficult happen at night.  Once again, Hannah refuses to go to sleep or be in her room by herself.  She wraps her arms around my or Eric's neck very tightly and insists that we stay. If we leave anyway, she protests by screaming so loud that she gags and chokes and has to take 5 (seconds, that is) to clear her throat before continuing, and continue she will. On and on and on and on...screaming and screaming and screaming. If you do stay with her until she falls asleep (and this process often takes more than hour so good luck hanging in there), you'll need to return a few hours later (and then a few hours after that...) when she wakes up and realizes you've left.   Last night she was up at 10:30, 2:30, 5:00, and 5:45.  Insane.  I was seriously insane by 5:00, and I lost it.  I screamed at her to go to sleep, and I slammed doors, and then I cried crib side (I moved her from bunk bed to crib before throwing my own temper tantrum). When I started to cry, she stopped. She patted me on the back, and said "shhhhh..." and kissed my head.  Sigh.

Hello bad mommy with the terrible temper, not so nice to see you again!!  (I apologized to her this morning.)

Her day time tantrums are much easier to handle. I still sometimes feel like my head is going to explode, but if I can just get some music going, I can get through it.  This morning she launched into one of her fits when i told her that I couldn't remove the shoulder pads from her car seat strap. I flipped on the radio and rolled down the windows to keep the screams from reverberating around the car.  I pulled up to a red light like this and a gaggle of picture-snapping tourists stopped to stare and smile sympathetically at me.  Some of them laughed. I think they were genuinely impressed by her decibel level.

She went down for a nap without too much insanity, but woke up from nap screaming and could not be convinced to do anything else.  She screamed when I picked her up and screamed when I put her down. She reeked of the poop that she had filled her diaper with but kicked me if I tried to change her.  Eventually I gave up, returned down the stairs, flipped on the iPod, and resumed squash chopping. She stopped crying shortly after and started bumping her butt down the stairs while announcing to me "Stopped crying mommy."

Since I was close to rock bottom last night, I spent much of the day doing some serious thinking about how to get us out of this phase as quickly and painlessly as possible.  I decided that the bedtime coddling has to stop because all it does is make her want to be coddled every single time she wakes up at night, and I can't deal with that.  Tonight I hugged her for at least 10 minutes before pulling myself out of her boa constrictor grip and making my way guiltily to the shower.

Blood curdling screams serenaded me while I shampooed and rinsed and dried and dressed, and when I was finished, I returned to her room and sat in a chair for more than 5 minutes (a modification of the Sleep Lady's shuffle), all the while talking to her about what I expected of her and reassuring her that I would do everything in my power to keep her safe, happy, and healthy.  Then I took off again.  She only screamed for about 10 minutes after that and has been quiet since so hopefully this tough love approach will get the sleeping thing back on track, because I can handle it during the day time hours, but it's downright unbearable in the middle of the night, especially after a number of previous wake-ups.

The only other solution I could come up with was to assume that her needing our presence was normal and give in to that.  Frankly, I think that proponents of attachment parenting and the family bed are probably right on--it definitely seems more natural, especially when you think about tribal cultures all bedding down together in one hut--and I think that Hannah would probably prefer that style of parenting and benefit from it greatly.  Sadly, I can't provide it.  I don't have it in me. I need just a little bit of space at the end of the day and have no desire to sacrifice that and go to sleep with her at 7:30 or to have to tiptoe into a darkened room later on and skip books before bed so as not to wake her.  Nope. As ideal as it sounds, and as much as I'd love to be that mom, I know my limits.

I hope Hannah doesn't get some crazy complex or have attachment issues as a result of these limits...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hannah places a ban on singing

Hmmm...I don't know how that last post got posted...It was a draft a really, really, really long time ago, like in Hannah's first year of life I think. I never got around to posting it so I guess it decided to post itself.  Very strange.

Anyway, the topic today is singing.  I finally enrolled Hannah in some music classes, and she had her first one last week (second if you count the demo class).  She spent the first 15 minutes of the last class running in circles around the circle, which surprised me because although she's very energetic, she's usually more tentative and reserved in new-ish situations.  Anyway, she settled down when the instructor broke out the shaker eggs.

Enrollment in the class entitles each participant to two identical CDs with recordings of the music for that session and a song book so you can learn the words.  We've had a few dance parties at home (broke out our own shaker eggs and drum for extra fun), and we've been listening to the other CD in the car, so I'm starting to learn the words, butttttt...I'm not allowed to sing them. There is a big emphasis in this class on parent participation, on being over-the-top enthused and giving 150% of your energy.  When the parent voices die down to a whisper the instructor says, in a sing-song voice with a big smile on her face: "Yours is the voice they want to hear."

This is not true in our household.  If I so much as whisper something about an eensy weensy spider, her royal highness, Hannah Banana, shouts, "No mommy! No singing. My music. No singing."  Mine is NOT the voice she wants to hear most.  

Hannah is also learning the words and is singing along an eensy weensy bit. Her favorite songs are the ones that just work on rhythm and don't use words.  She was even singing "la, la, la" while picking out a book to read the other day.  Love it! This is the child who used to scream "NO!" every time my finger made a move to turn on the radio in the car. Now she says, "music louder, mommy." My fear that she would grow up hating music is being assuaged.  Whew.

I wonder if I'll be allowed to sing her songs in class on Thursday or if Hannah will temporarily lift the ban on singing....

Thursday, September 15, 2011

News on the Boobs

My mom sent me this article from Huffington Post that says, according to a cost analysis, "The lives of nearly 900 babies would be saved each year, along with billions of dollars, if 90 percent of U.S. women fed their babies breast milk only for the first six months of life."

Also on breastfeeding, I read this in little snippet by Elizabeth Barker in my Body + Soul mag:

"If breastfeeding is a mother's little helper in weight loss, it may also be your secret little robber in bone loss. Your new job as milk supplier steals around 200 mg a day from your calcium stores, affecting your bones--unless you exercise, according to new research from the American College of Sports Medicine.  In a one-month study, breast-feeding mothers who worked out had a significantly smaller drop in bone-mineral density (compared to a sedentary control group) and lowered their body fat without dieting.  The weekly regimen included three 45-minute bouts of weight-bearing cardio and three strength-training sessions. .."

Hannah drives the fire truck

I took Hannah with me to the fire station around the corner to vote in the primary on Tuesday, and since I wasn't in the system (in spite of the fact that I vote in all presidential elections and became a registered voter when I turned 18), we had to wait around for half an hour or so while they tried to find me.  The good news is that the firemen in our local station are awesome.  They turned on the lights for Hannah and then let her play inside the truck. Driving is one of Hannah's favorite things to do; we sometimes sit in the car out front for over an hour with her jerking the wheel around, putting the windows up and down, turning the wipers on and off, and wreaking havoc on my radio stations.

What she really wanted was for me to sit in the back while she drove, but that seat was like 4 feet off the ground or something crazy high so I told her it was best if I stayed close enough to catch her if she fell.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hannah and Brody play at the zoo

This is from the end of August, but it took me a while to figure out how to to email it from my phone to myself...Hannah just loves Brody.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bedding down in the bunks

Since we bought Hannah's bunk beds, she has started off all naps and bedtimes in the bottom bunk, insisting on sleeping there, but ending up in her crib within about half an hour of laying down, sometimes at my suggestion, and sometimes she just climbs in there on her own.  We aren't in a hurry for her to evacuate the crib since there's nobody waiting in line to use it so we've just been letting her do her thing and adjust at her own pace.  Last night I tucked her into the bottom bunk and turned on her ladybug constellations as usual, then went downstairs and immediately zoned out in front of a movie. She didn't make much noise, and to be honest, we kind of forgot about her.  It's a rare minute that Hannah lets you forget about her, especially at bedtime, but she's been unwinding quietly and without as much assistance from us lately as long as we leave the door to her room open.  We watched the movie from start to finish pausing only for pee breaks and didn't once think about how strange that was.  We never looked at the monitor (also weird) and didn't even notice when it died.  After the movie, I dragged myself upstairs, plugged in and turned on the monitor, and nearly had a mini heart attack when I didn't see her in her crib. I gasped and was ready to freak out when I realized that she must have fallen asleep in her bunk bed for the first time! (The bunks aren't visible in the monitor.) Eric and I tiptoed in with a headlamp to peek at her, and sure enough, she was passed out on the her bunk bed.  We ogled her for a few minutes as only a truly obsessed parent would do and then tip toed back to our room to chatter about the cuteness.

We don't have a bed rail yet so I crossed my fingers that she wouldn't roll out of bed, and she didn't.  I crossed the fingers on my other hand that she wouldn't wake up in the middle of the night and, not realizing where she was, freak out, but she didn't do that either. She slept there in her bottom bunk perfectly peacefully until the very late hour of 7:00 a.m.!!! We got some pretty sweet mattresses for those beds, so maybe that made the difference.

On our first morning in Michigan this year Hannah woke up at 5:00 and slept the rest of the morning in our bed.  When she awoke a few hours later, she slid off the bed without disturbing Eric and padded out into the kitchen where Granpah and I were pulling together breakfast and waking up slowly.  She came out so quietly and cutely with her pjs and bed head that I had to pick her up and squeeze her.  I was looking forward to a replay of that this morning, but she slept so late that I had already finished my stretches and morning routine and was actually eager for her to wake up (crazy!) so as soon as I heard her talking I made a beeline for her room to squeeze her and tell her how excited I was that she slept all night in her bunk bed.

She slept there again during nap time and this time I got my much anticipated scenario when, after a nice, long nap, we heard her say "Daddy!" from the top of the stairs.

Tonight she's in her crib.  She climbed in there a minute after I left her room and started jumping up and down maniacally and yelling who knows what....I suppose one easy night per half-year is about all she has the patience for. That's fine though; all in all, I love this toddler phase of parenting.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Hannah Milks a Cow at the Maryland State Fair

We spent most of Labor Day weekend being as lazy as humanly possible, but were itching for excitement by  Monday so we headed up to the Maryland State Fair. Eric, ever the spender, took his last $100 out of his allowance account and gleefully announced that he was going to spend it all at the fair. I rolled my eyes and told him that if he managed to do that, I'd reimburse him $40 from my allowance since that's the most I was willing to spend and it only seemed fair that I chip in.  Once inside the gate I ran off to the bathroom and met up with him a few minutes later clutching $45 worth of tickets in his hand....Let the rides begin!

I don't do rides, especially not rides that go around and around which is the case with most rides since the alternative would be riding up and back--and since that would require riding backwards, I wouldn't do that either.  That's okay though, there's a place for people like me on the sidelines. We are the ones who stand with the stroller and the backpack and whatever other accumulated junk, and we are also the ones take all the pictures. We allow the fun seekers to have more fun because they have less to worry about.  And I'm okay with not being fun in this regard because I consider myself a pretty fun person otherwise, and I'm pretty sure that Hannah would agree.

Between rides Hannah spotted a giant blow-up Dora doll.  Lucky for her Eric was eager to blow his cash so he propped her up on the table, paid the lady a few bucks, and helped Hannah fish out some fish until she had won herself the blow-up Dora.

Her and Dora were thenceforth inseparable.  The man at the moon bounce tent wanted her to leave it with me, but she wore him down rather quickly.  

Dora also got a chance to pet nearly all of the animals in the petting zoo, including this nice, furry sheep.

But even Dora can't compare to a slew of super cute, fuzzy little ducklings!  Hannah dropped the blow-up, held out her hands, and said "hold them, hold them," over and over and over again.

I looked around for someone to ask, and right then a young girl in a green shirt started to climb over the fence into the duck pen. Before she had both legs over I had struck up a conversation about whether or not they were her ducks ("sorta") and if my daughter could pet one ("yes").  Of course as soon as I asked about petting them all the parents who heard started getting their kids ramped up to pet a duck and then all the kids mobbed the area, eager for a touch, but the mob eventually died down and Hannah got some QT with the cute little quacklings, and I got my photo op.  I hope that someday we live someplace where we can have ducklings waddling around all cute-like in their fuzzy little coats.

After the ducks we spent a considerable amount of time watching the piglets nursing from their mama pig. I explained what they were doing and Hannah was mesmerized.  (I didn't take a picture of that because they keep the pigs in a tall cage that can't be photographed through.)

Then I saw a sign that said "Milk a Cow," and I was off and running, dragging a less enthused Eric behind. He didn't get why I wanted to milk a cow.  I didn't! I wanted Hannah to. Duh!!!  Earlier that week I was telling Hannah about where cow milk comes from (as opposed to rice milk).  I ended up searching around for a cow milking video on YouTube which was far more illustrative than I was being, but hello!!! The chance to milk a cow herself is the ultimate icing on that little lesson! I really wish there was a 4H program for city kids... Hannah did awesome, and the cow milking was my own personal highlight of the day.

We grabbed lunch, and then Eric talked me into getting on the ferris wheel in an attempt to burn some of the billions of tickets he had left. When I say I get motion sickness I mean on everything. Seriously, everything. I can't ride in any moving vehicle unless I'm the driver. Roller coasters and anything on water leave me shell shocked for hours afterward.  I can't even turn in a circle more than once without getting dizzy and nauseas (which is a problem with a 2-year-old who's recently become obsessed with Ring Around the Rosie). It got so bad when I was super pregnant (like 8 months) that I couldn't do flip turns when I was swimming laps because the flip made me sick, and if the pool was crowded, I'd get seasick on other people's wake.  So yes, ferris wheels make me sick too, but I sucked it up and got on anyway.

After that I started getting cranky, and Hannah started rubbing her eyes. It was past nap time for everyone, and I'd had enough of the chaos.  Lucky for us the cloudy day meant the fair didn't get hoppin' until around lunch time so we'd covered a lot of territory early on without waiting in lines and with no sun beating down on us either.  Eric picked up our not-so-subtle crankiness and started scrambling to use the last few tickets before the ladies lost it (no telling who would go first).  He took Hannah on the carousel and then the teacups again and managed to use every last ticket and spend every last dollar.

Then we peaced out.  Whew.  I love kitschy, all-American activities like State Fairs, but they sure are exhausting.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

What Dora's good for

Guess who learned how to count to 10 and has done so repeatedly today?? Even now, when she's supposed to be napping, I can hear her up there counting loudly to baby Lila.  I guess Dora is good for something.....Not that a 2-year-old needs to be able to count to 10 and frankly, I'd rather she not know how to count than watch as much Dora as she has been, but still, I must admit that I'm impressed and close to proclaiming her a genius and sending in a recommendation to Mensa that they admit Hannah as the newest member of their genius club.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Second annual trip to Michigan

I've had "MI blog post" on my to-do list all week, but not much got crossed off that list this week because we ended up buying one month of HBO when we got back in townand have spent every night this week catching up on the fourth season of True Blood.  That's 10 1-hour episodes in 5 days (Monday-Friday).  Pathetic, I know.  Anyway, we're caught up now and have to wait until Sunday to see if the vampires blow up the witch's hangout with Sookie inside.  In the meantime, let's relive Michigan!

We flew in on Saturday, and on Sunday we headed to Binder Park Zoo.  I think the great thing about zoos is that they're a really nice place to walk around and enjoy being outside.  Binder Park fits that bill: it's really pretty with tons of nice walking paths. It's also impressively large.   I was my usual mamarrazzi self, and although I tried to exert some control and not post 18 of the same shot, I couldn't pick my favorite of these first three with Granpah and Hannah on the dodo bird.  I think the third one is my favorite...You?

I seem to have a thing with taking pics of Hannah running off down paths ahead of me...I took a ton like this in Ohiopyle too.

We didn't bother taking our stroller with us to Michigan since we don't use it much anymore anyway, but we did end up renting one at the zoo, and it's a good thing we did because it was a lot of walking and it was all during nap time (which we skipped that day) after a day of traveling (also missed a nap on the travel day) AND both Hannah and I were fighting colds, so her energy waxed and waned (as did mine).

Eric and I look better in the other pics, but this is the only one where Hannah is showing her shining face instead of the top of her head.

Hannah and Grannah grabbed a branch of leaves off a nearby tree and fed this ginormous turtle with the super long neck.  Mmmm....leaves.

Like any good zoo, Binder Park has a petting zoo.  Unlike our zoo, you can feed the goats at this one. Wooohooo! I love how Hannah has her hand on this goat's bum but neither are paying attention to each other.

Hannah's first carousel ride!!! Unfortunately, I wasn't fast enough with the trigger to get a decent shot.

I think Binder Park's claim to fame is probably their Africa exhibit which is huge and really pretty and set up like a pretend safari.  Very cute.  By this time in the day, we were all pretty exhausted and the crowds were getting thick, but Grannah managed to wiggle Hannah in to the giraffe feeding station where Hannah fed and befriended a giraffe with a very, very long, black tongue.

Uncle Justin was at Grannah and Granpah's when we got home from the zoo, and he took this super cute pic of Hannah coloring.

On Monday we hung out at the lake, Fine Lake, where Grannah and Granpah live.  Granpah got a new sail boat and look at what he named it!!! Hannah liked learning the ropes and helping Granpah sail her namesake.  They kept it on the lift this day, but she got to go sailing the next day.

After a nice nap, we headed over to Eric's bff's house to hang out.  I think I was mamarazzied out from the zoo because I left my camera in my backpack until the very end when I snapped this shot of Hannah with Cooper and Carson.  I don't know what I was thinking, but I wish I hadn't been so lazy.

On Tuesday we went to MOO-ville, a local dairy farm and creamery that has awesome ice cream and a farm animal petting zoo. It was really sweet spot and a very laid back activity which was much needed and appreciated.

I let Hannah have a very small peach ice cream cone, more of which melted than was ingested.

Eric took this next pic....He took a ton of these but unfortunately, this is the best one...I probably should have handled this since it would have been nice to have had a good pic of Hannah and Grannah, but in addition to still being on the warpath with the cold that was trying to bring me down, I was also at war with cramps, so I found a nice little chair to sit on and stayed there.

Later that day Granpah took Hannah sailing....No good pics here either, but I had to post at least one of Hannah on her first sail boat ride.

On Wednesday morning we went to visit Aunt Dawn and got to hang out with her granddaughter, Paris, for a little bit before she headed off to band practice. Aunt Dawn has a ton of really cool family heirlooms that she was showing us. I'm looking forward to getting ahold of the family tree and ransacking it for names for the future baby number 2 (which is no more than an idea right now).

On Thursday we packed up and moved to Grand Haven to hang out with Uncle Justin on the beach for the rest of our stay. Our original flight home was Saturday afternoon but the impending doom of Hurricane Irene forced us to change that. We thought about leaving early and getting home before the hurricane and then realized that that was a terrible idea and decided to stay on the beach and come home AFTER the hurricane. Duh. Much better choice.   Where were we during Hurricane Irene? Making sand castles on Lake Michigan.  Ahhhhh....

Hannah dug around Uncle Justin's backpack and found a lollipop and although I have never given her one and don't think she's ever seen another kid eating one, she seemed to know that it was something special and went right to work unwrapping it.  Fortunately Uncle Justin is a mostly healthy eater and this lollipop is 100% pomegranate juice with no added sugar so I let it slide. I don't like candy though. I'm easing up a teeny bit on her sugar intake, but I don't think there's ever a reason for her to have candy or chocolate (chocolate because of the caffeine and candy because it's not real food).

Hannah soon grew tired of Uncle Justin's bare chest and decided to help him put his shirt on.

Once properly dressed, he was ready to play her game.  First, run from the blanket to the water.  "Unca Justin. C'mon."

Then run from the water back to the blanket and hide under the umbrella.  "C'mon Unca Justin!"

 Back and forth, back and forth from the beach to the blanket, all the while insisting that "Unca Justin" follow her.  Super cute watching them play together.

So, on one side of Uncle Justin's apartment is the beach.  If you walk to the top of that hill and then down the other side, there's a super awesome playground.  These days, there is no place Hannah would rather be than a playground.

Of all the pics I took this one is MY FAVORITE.  I'm adding it to the long list of pictures that I intend to print and frame...I still only have one framed pic of Hannah, and I think she's only like 6 months in it.  Digital photography is nice, but as a result of it, I have absolutely NO current pics of her in the house. None.  And that list I mentioned, the long one of pics I want to print, it doesn't exist. There is no list.  So I know there are a ton of pics I want to print, but I don't know what they are. Sigh.

Our second annual August trip to Michigan was a good one! We're still struggling to get back to our routine though; the 4-day holiday weekend isn't helping, especially not after our extreme True Blood marathon which has consumed all our free time this week and kept me up way later than I like to be up.  And now this blog post has me up way past bed time.  I'm tired!!!