Oh how I love summer. Mostly because the girls never have to wear clothes to play outside.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWe watched Ruthie’s friend the other day and it was a sight to behold. It was like watching an old married couple. Paxton’s head would be down coloring and Ruthie would sit next to him and start talking. Then I’d hear, “Paxton, I’m talking. Paxton, I’m TALKING!” with her head bent down in front of his. Paxton never looked up. 
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESEventually they found a corner behind a chair that was their “house”. I’m sure Paxton just went along to shut her up.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAt the end, they were watching a show on the couch together. Ruthie was sitting puffed up like Big Bertha next to him, while he looked beaten down and submissive at her side, his vigor for life all but gone. 

Then Annie crawled around the corner. And smiled.

Paxton’s eyes and entire body lit up. He sat at the edge of the couch, gazing at her. It was kind of sad, actually. There’s Ruthie picking her nose, zoned out to Winnie the Pooh never knowing that she lost him. 


We made it.

Ahhhh yeah, Annie is one! It’s been both slow and fast, yadda yadda yadda, you know… what every parent says. It’s so true though. Let me see, what was I doing a year ago this very instant? Probably reveling in the fact that I needed to hit a certain calorie level to better my nursing. That was always exciting for me. I have to eat that last donut to hit my numbers! I’m doing this for Annie.

This would have also been her second week a year ago (well, her second week when I started writing this post), and it was the first time we heard her now all too familiar banshee cry. Dreams of a quiet, peaceful baby – dashed. And it’s still dashed. I don’t know if I’ve lost my edge or what, but her cry drills straight through my ears into my skull. It’s no joke, y’all.


She’s something else.

I catch her gazing up at Ruthie like she’s a celebrity. She gets jokes on Baby Einstein and laughs really loudly, except for the part where Beethoven is played. Duh Duh Duh Duuhhhn. No, because then she cries.

We had several small celebrations for Annie this year. I’m apparently not a big one-year birthday party girl, something I never knew before having kids. I wrapped up presents from Ruthie’s toy box for her one year. And don’t tell me Ruth didn’t love unwrapping that soccer ball she’d already been playing with the previous few months. Anyway, even if I had become a first birthday connoisseur in between then and now, I still wouldn’t have had a party… just so not to hear about it thirty years from now. “How come Annie got a party and I didn’t?” “Well, because I loved Annie more.”


My parents were in town a few days prior and we sang her a happy birthday and ate cupcakes. I couldn’t find my camera, but they took pictures and said they’d email them. That’s like me saying I’m not gonna eat that last donut: not gonna happen.

So just imagine Annie’s face blue from the cupcake and Ruthie opening up all her gifts and declaring them hers.

That weekend, her Uncle Nathan and Aunt Allison came over to sing to her.


Her birthday cake this time? A strawberry. I make myself laugh.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSome more facts about this girl: She has a teeny freckle on her neck that we think is a tick every night. She loves baths, hates getting her nose wiped. She holds my wrist very gently while I read to her. She will be playing and then spontaneously crawl over to lay her head on my leg, stomach, chest. She looooves musical toys: drums, piano, maracas.

The next day was her actual birthday, it landed on a Sunday. So we woke up at our normal time, 7ish and had breakfast.

We made it to church, dropped her off at bible class, and quickly apologized for doing so. We’ve joked that she’s almost been kicked out several times. We would walk back in after class and the teachers would be sprawled out on the rocking chairs exhausted, with glazed-over eyes. Occassionly they’d say, “We almost called you” or, my favorite, “She’s got a very loud scream.” That one makes me laugh out loud. We’ve since taken over the class for the quarter and I think she’s making a turnaround.

Afterwards we went out to eat to celebrate Ryan and me not sleeping for a year and still staying married.

Nap time!

Then plastic pool time. On concrete.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESYou’d think we never parented before. Because literally three minutes after taking this photo, she leaned over the side and bit it on the concrete. Happy Birthday Annie!

Let’s see what else about our little Ann. She sticks her finger up in the air and says, “That? That?” Ruthie was a “This? This?” girl, so way to forge your own path already Annie!  She also says “Nigh Nigh” when going to bed and this face normally is what follows next:
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESShe army crawled for the first 11.999 months of her life and is only now crawling on her hands. She scoots along furniture and, of course, the brick fireplace. From the time she was 6 months, she’s been patting my back when I hold her. She probably knew even then that I need consoling after sleepless nights.

We’ve been singing Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes during meal times and she puts her hand on her head. She only recently pointed to the moon in a book when I asked where it was, along with pointing to the Blue and Red markers when I asked. This is mostly when we’re alone because as soon as a question is asked, zoom in comes Ruthie to answer it.

But you know Annie loves it when she zooms in. She can lean on my legs with her fingers crossed and watch Ruthie all the live long day.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESLife is full and fun and hard and stressful and happy and changing.
But it doesn’t take much to make these girls happy. I need to cherish this while it’s easy to please.