Friday, October 14, 2011


That's how many essays I have graded in the last month.

Add 85 journals, 139 tests, and numerous other quizzes and classwork assignments, and you have one tired teacher.

One burnt out teacher.

Here's hoping for some rest and refreshment for a weary soul this weekend.

Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest."

Matthew 11:28

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Our little pumpkin...

is 11 months old! She's is also large and in charge.

This month Ansley is eating chicken, pork, sweet potatoes, bananas, apples, peaches, pears, green beans, carrots, squash, peas, oatmeal, puffs, and new this month, PUMPKIN! (I'm trying things I may use in her cake. See post below.) She has also had 2 bottles of soy formula, and we are testing her body's agreement with that before I wean her at a year.

Ansley is busy and is into EVERYTHING. Her favorite toy is the play kitchen, and she already hides things in the oven. She loves to walk behind her bus or kitchen chairs, but has not ventured out on her own, aside from the occasional step, just yet. She loves making marks with sidewalk chalk. She is also loving swinging at the park, after her initial resistance to being put into the swing.

She adores her big sister. [She also has become a pesky little sister, pulling Addison's hair, taking toys away and saying "mine," and "no no no'ing" her. Then she just laughs and laughs.]

She talks all the time. My list of her words grows every day. Most recently she has learned to say all the babies' names [her friends] in her room at school: Stella, Juli, and Ady. Being the oldest, she bosses them around and "no no no's" them quite a bit, I fear. :) She is also saying her version of the following: mama, dada, Maggie, Addy, Ah-oh spaghetti-os, down, more, yeah, no, oh, bye-bye, ball, puff, (ba)nana, baby, mine, nigh-night, I did, Elmo, Dora, Sawyer. She's working on pumpkin and scarecrow, but she still mostly just points and "oh's" those. She also tries to sing the abc's. It sounds like "ah, beh, sey, deh, babble babble babble." It cracks her up. I LOVE watching her mind at work and seeing her sense of accomplishment when she does something new.

She still loves all the same books, but she has shown preference for Twinkle Toes this month and is loving the touch and feel "Spooky" book.

At school she naps once a day, but on Wednesdays and at home, she naps 2x a day. When our schedule can allow it, she sleeps 12 hours at night. She has 4 teeth: her bottom two, and her top fangs. Don't know what it is about my girls getting their vampire fangs first, but it's pretty cute.

This month she has been to some of her first friend birthday parties: her friend Molly's 1st princess birthday (along with her 3-year-old sister) and her sister Addison's 3rd. She saw those presents and knew just what to do.
[Notice her "Littlest Princess" shirt and her princess skirt. Of course, she is holding her sister's magic slipper. :)]
[A scrunched up grin right after we had to take away one of her sister's presents. Stinker.]

Good thing too, because we'll be celebrating with a lady-bug picnic for our Ansley-bug in a couple of weeks...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Her creative 3 year old brain

Last Friday, at show and tell day, the kids were supposed to bring in something to represent their pets. It was pet week. We packed a stuffed "Maggie" in Addison's backpack, and she told us what she was going to share with her friends.

Well, when Circle time came on Friday, she saw all of her friends going to their cubbies to get their things. Confused, she went to her cubby and pulled out her lovey that has a frog on the end of it. Miss Ana said that she could tell Addison's mind was turning. She could see her mouthing something, like she was practicing, as she was listening to the other children sharing about her pets.

When it was her turn, Miss Ana said, "Addison, is there someone you would like to show us?" She said, "yes," held up her frog lovey and continued, "My name is Addison Camille Crawford, and this is my special frog named Ariel. Ariel is my pet frog who is very precious to my family. We got her when I was a little baby. We love her so much. Thank you." Sweet girl forgot about Maggie. Bless her and bless Maggie, but I thought it was hilarious that she was not going to be left out of this event. It was even funnier because this lovey is her school lovey that she rarely naps with and has no emotional attachment to... She created a story on the spot. This is a perfect snapshot of Addison at 3.

I'm still working on loading and collecting pictures from our camera and family members' cameras so I can document the birthday party, but I wanted to load some phone pics and document Addison at 3.

3-year-old Addison melts my heart.

We interviewed her on video, and she told us that her favorite food is cake, her favorite stores are Publix and Books-a-Million, and her best friends are Savannah, Jack, Olivia, and Captain. Her imaginary friend/crush is still hanging in there. :)

We thought she might have forgotten about him, but the other night, she "couldn't go to sleep because she was too busy," so she said. I laid there and scratched her back and told her to think of happy things. She said, "Ok, mom, I'm just going to think about Captain." Ok, babe...

Her other favorite foods are cheese quesadillas, chicken, mac-and-cheese, and chicken. Her favorite fruits are oranges, apples, and bananas. She still asks for strawberries all the time, but when we recently reintroduced them, another mysterious rash appeared, so we shelved them again for awhile. She is doing better with vegetables, eating carrots, squash, salad, and broccoli. Usually they have to be drenched in ranch or cheese, but we're getting there.

She is a great big sister.
She is very into art and writing. She loves coloring and drawing and painting, and she's produced her first people. I love it when she draws me. :) She is practicing with her letters, and often asks me to "do dots" so she can connect the letters. She can freehand write all of the letters in her name (but she rarely puts them in order) plus a few others. Her favorite is the capital E, but she adds a few extra lines. :)

She loves to role play. At her birthday party, her bounce house quickly became Neverland. She also loves to be Mulan, Ariel, Belle, and the mommy. She is always a chef/waitress in the afternoon, but when she takes my order, whatever I want is whatever she doesn't have. I think she likes being somewhat of a contrarian--she gets that honest. :) When she is the mommy, she hands me toilet paper to help me wipe, tucks me in, kisses me on the forehead and says, "I love you sweetheart," tells me thank you for obeying, tells me that I am her precious girl, and puts me in time out. When I am assigned the role of Addison, I tell her that I want to obey her, that I am nice to my friends, that I am sweet and kind. Who knows the power of a subliminal message, right?
She is into princesses, Dora, and The Little Einsteins. She is usually in dress up clothes. Her current favorite books are Anita Bonita, Goldilocks and the 3 bears, A House is a House for Me, Pig's Lucky Day, and her Corduroy and Mickey Mouse Halloween books.

She loves to run and race. She's getting better at throwing and catching balls, and she is very into her basketball goal right now. She is not very interested in riding her tricycle. She had a scary fall and has since backed away from it.

She is very social and loves going to school and playing with her friends. All is not bliss though: She has been boycotting her naps, and no bargain seems to work, so grumpy afternoons have been the norm which translates into early bedtimes. She still naps for 2-3 hours on Wednesdays at Mom's and weekends at our house. Who knows the deal. She's also been aggravating a little girl at school, and we've had to talk to her about how God wants us to treat people.

She knows her own mind for sure. We went to a birthday party at Diva's and Dudes, and, admittedly, it was a little bit "Toddlers and Tiaras"-ish. When they asked her to do her hair, put make-up on, or interview her for her runway walk, she put her hand out and said, "Don't touch me. Don't touch me, please." I have to say that part of me was proud... Later that night, when I was tucking her in, she said, "Mom, did I have fun at the party?" I said, "I don't know. Did you?" She said, "I didn't like it when the girls walked around and wiggled their bottoms, and I didn't want them to touch me. I just wanted to dance." She just needed to process it outloud. That's my girl!
We adore our beautiful mess and just wish time could slow down.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Creating Art

"The object isn't to make art, it's to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable." ~Robert Henri

Last Saturday night, we were sitting in our living room (that we've dubbed "the cove") watching the Alabama game--Patrick, whole-heartedly, me, distractedly (I was working on addressing Save-the-Dates for a friend's upcoming wedding).

Alabama did something good, and Patrick tried to get my attention to watch the replay. I ignored him. Sort of on principle, but I was also in the zone. He called me out on my non-reply, and I said this:

1. I don't even watch MY game's replays... and
2. I am creating art.

I held up these:

(This "art" may be a stretch for some, but it is my creative outlet for sure.)

He laughed and said, "Good point. You're right. I don't even have an argument."

It was a great Saturday night.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

It hurts me worse than it hurts you; I promise, it's true!

It's been one of those days.

On the parenting front, we've had to be heavy on the discipline this week with Addison. She has been boycotting her naps at school, which consequently makes her boycott obeying, listening, being nice, etc.

I feel like I have had to stay. on. her.

Tonight it was one thing after another. During bath time Ansley's antics had me smiling and cackling, and Addison quietly said, "Mom, will you smile at me?"

Such a simple, innocent request from my little girl who had been in and out of "trouble" for the last hour.

Overcome with my [and her] need for grace, I picked up my independent girl, who is testing every boundary she can find, right out of the bathtub with water dripping everywhere, hugged her and told her that I will always smile at her, always love her, and always think she is my most precious big girl--that I was her mommy and had to discipline her so that she would know right from wrong, but I would ALWAYS love her.

She hugged me back and said, "Thanks for forgiving me, Mom."

Just now, as I went to check on her, I prayed that the Lord would show me grace, that He would lead my discipline, that He would affirm Addison, that He would shape her heart, and that He would protect our relationship.

Never have I understood what our parents told us as much as I do now.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Don't Kill the Birthday Girl

In July, when Ansley could ONLY tolerate sweet potatoes and allergen free breastmilk, I woke up in the middle of the night panicking, "What will she smash on her birthday???"

Irrational as it may seem now, it was our, then, very real reality.

As much as Ansley's body chemistry has changed and as many food as she is now able to tolerate (13!!), the severity of her body's exposure to any milk or egg protein is still a part of our every day. Each new food that is introduced to her is done so with cautious trepidation on my part. While we are so thankful for each new food that she enjoys and her body does not reject, it is too easy to push that scary night in Destin to a distant memory. Yet, it is never far from the surface as I am often the sippy cup and goldfish police at play dates.

Now that I am planning for her 1st Birthday party, I am incredibly aware of our limitations.
Like most of my mom friends that I talk to, tis the season for Birthday parties. We've had one and been to 4 in the last month. While Addison has been the intended guest at these parties (and we *think* has outgrown her only remaining food allergy to strawberries), I have taken inventory on all the things that Ansley could NOT partake in:

chicken nuggets (buttermilk in the batter)
ice cream cake
birthday cake (made with eggs and butter cream icing)

While at home we try to focus on the things she CAN eat, I was painfully aware of all of the things that she CANNOT eat at these parties. It was overwhelming. It has definitely made me more intentional about making the things I serve at parties kid-friendly regardless of allergy issues. For the first time at Addison's party, I surveyed the moms for any food allergies, and I had some alternative options: sorbet and chex mix (there is even a gluten-free kind of this!) for starters. As Ansley grows up and attends her friends' parties, I will probably be less shy about initiating the conversation with other moms--offering to bring a dish or an alternative for Ans.

So began my quest for creating an allergy free party for Ansley to enjoy.

As food-centric as our culture--and my family--is, the quest can be quite challenging.

Even though Ansley is only turning 1 and will likely still be eating her own prepared-by-mommy-food, I feel guilty offering guests food that she wouldn't be able to eat.
In addition to planning my lunch menu, I am also still searching for a dairy-free and egg-free cake recipe. I made my trusty pumpkin spice muffins (an old weight watchers recipe that I've posted before: 1 box of spice cake mix [I found a milk/egg free on with Duncan Hines Classic], 1 can of pumpkin, and 1/2 cup of water. I also want to try it with yellow cake mix as I have recently seen pinned on pinterest.

I also plan to attend my Allergy Moms meeting at Whole Foods this month to get more tips, and if any of you who check in here have any ideas to suggest, please let me know!

Thank to everyone who has prayed and checked in on how Ansley is doing. I'll be back soon with an 11-month post and Addison's 3rd Birthday party wrap-up.

P.S. Did you know that glue has milk in it?