Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sparky and Lucy.

I never wanted pets but I sure love these dogs. 


Thursday, January 21, 2016

2 Years 3 Months and Some.

Annalee is one of the cutest little beings ever.

There is just no denying it. She is goofy and sweet and smart and silly and really a delight to have around. She can also be stubborn and opinionated and selfish.

Fun tidbits about her stage in life right now, at two years, three months old.

  • Most mornings the first words are "I breakfast" - more often than not, she is ready to go join anyone that may be eating already. And when I bring her down to join Daddy, it's all "Hi Dad!" and smiles.
  • She enthusiastically will say "Hi Eli!" or even "Good Morning Eli!" as soon as she sees him most mornings. Lord help me, I think she's a morning person. 
  • She was on a Rice Krispie kick for a good four months. She calls them "crispees" and she will eat two bowls without any struggle.
  • Annalee is a great eater. Our daycare lady's husband joked one day "we'd have to charge more if all the kids ate like her." Ha! She can still be picky but will usually try everything. 
  • Food favorites: cheese, cereal, yogurt, peas, applesauce, crackers, tacos, scrambled eggs, and avocados "kados". She doesn't really eat more than a bite of toast or sandwiches even though she says she likes them and asks for them. She doesn't like slimy veggies. 
  • Her cheeks. She is a chipmunk. If she doesn't like something or can't handle the texture, she will chew it up and leave it in her mouth (for an insane amount of time... at first we didn't notice she was doing this and now we know). We make her spit it out. This happens often with carrots (she likes them but can't quite chew and swallow) and with other hard foods. Silly girl.
  • She loves small groups of familiar people. Not a fan of crowds or strangers. It takes her awhile to warm up to people. She will be content in someone's lap though and watch and usually not cry or be overly fearful.
  • She is silly. Partially due to her older brother, I'm sure. But there is a wacky, funniness inside her. You can see it on her facial expressions when she's being a goof. 
  • "I do it!!!" is said by her many,  many times a day.
  • She still has 12 month size leggings that she wears. She mostly wears 2T though. But her legs, they are short. I really just need to go through her drawers and pick out all the non-legging pants because leggings are really the only thing that fits. All other styles look ridiculous. 
  • Unlike her brother, Annalee only tolerates a certain amount of books read to her. She loses interest (same with TV, will not watch more than 30 minutes without getting bored). Lately any book you read to her, she immediately takes and says "I read it" and precedes to "read" it back to you! 
  • She has the most adorable babble when she's telling a story. Random words put together. 
  • She can count to twenty but usually messes up at five and twelve and eighteen. 
  • Annalee wonders what her brother is doing most of the day. She likes to know where he is. And they do play well together most of the time. One of their favorite games is to play doggie. Eli is Sparky and Annalee is Lucy (names they came up with a year ago and have stuck). 
  • Her hair is growing in where Eli chopped it in the back. Thankfully the other hair compensated well. It's long now too. I love to put it in a pony tail - oh gosh it's cute! But ponies never stay in long enough for me to get a good photo it seems. I'll need to trim her bangs again soon... not an easy task or something I am skilled at... but the price is right. Sorry, Annalee, for however I mess it up and the inevitable bad photos!  
  • This last week she twirled around and said "Annalee princess!" - no idea where she got that since we really don't watch/read/talk about princesses much (I'm sure daycare does though) but it was super cute. 
  • She says her own name perfectly. Not Annawee (which Eli still calls her half the time). A perfect Annalee. She also says Annie and very occasionally will call herself that.
  • Annalee loves pieces of things. I gave her an alphabet set of cookie cutters to play with and she carts the bag around and places them on the floor, then picks them up. She likes the mini muffin game she got from the Browns for Christmas. She likes sorting and placing piles of little things. In the same fashion, she's a great cleaner-upper. Tonight she picked up most of Eli's legos (his task) while he played (he's going to really love her). 
  • Another favorite game, especially this last week, is picnic! "Play picnic Mom!" She has designated plates for us and everything. 
  • She also enjoys her dolls (she has four) but likes them without their clothes on and only plays with one at a time! She loves stuffed animals (she has a million) and certain ones are her current faves but that changes week to week it seems (current is the birdie from Grandma Welle's stash and her small Care Bear). 
  • Both kids are good sleepers, going to bed at 8pm and usually sleeping fine until 7:30 or 8am. I type this and I'm sure it'll be a rough night! The bedtime routine isn't too bad either with minimal fussing to go to bed, praise be. Awhile ago, however, Annalee started to fuss so now we give her a gummy vitamin when her head is on her pillow. Magical, that little vitamin! She has to have her blankie and an assortment of stuffed animals to sleep with in her crib (which we will transition out of this spring). 
  • She likes to pick out and put on her own socks. She doesn't really show interest in picking out her clothes but she will pick out her pajamas. Sometimes she will take her clothes off and this week even her diaper "I do it"
  • We are waiting to potty train until after our trip to Arizona. It's just easier! She's not very interested or ready but we'll try sometime in March or April I hope. 
  • She has finally gotten into actual high "Fly to the Moon with Daddy" (before she was too scared to go high). It's hilarious to watch her hair flying!
  • If you let her play with my phone, even just for a few minutes, it will take an army of distraction or discipline to get it back. She does love being in control of it! Her play phones are also favorite toys. 
  • Annalee will cheese it up with her grin for a camera with no problems at all. But most of the time after you take a photo, you'll get her saying "I see!!!! I see!!!". Vanity. 
  • Her saying "luv you" melts my heart.
trying on my bracelets
thinking face
such a cutie

much of my life! 

Whew! It was time for a sweetie girl update!


Wednesday, January 6, 2016


Sorry for my hiatus on the blog front for you few faithful readers. Life moves pretty fast. True that, Ferris Bueller.

Greg's sweet grandmother passed away Sunday afternoon surrounded by her family. She was 87. You can read her obit here.

Grandma Welle had been declining the last year from a variety of ailments yet she was still living in her own home by herself last week. That's exactly what she wanted. No nursing home, no fuss. It came about quickly on Friday that she would not make it out of the hospital so all of her kids and many of us others were able to get there to spend time with her in her last hours on earth. She was cognitively fully there which I'm especially in awe of (considering my family history). She was tired and conversations were short between her naps and energy level. Yet we were able to say what we wanted to say, say our goodbyes, and hear from her. Eli told her a few times "I love you, Grandma Wewhee" and oh, it was precious.

We had a family prayer service Saturday night right after the last two of her kids arrived, then a family Mass service in her hospital room Sunday morning (which, praise be, both Eli and Annalee attended and they did not interrupt or cause a fuss in any sense). Her son, Father Tony, tearfully led us in Mass and communion. She even made a joke mid-service. She said she had the best family in the world and I'm pretty sure none of us had a dry eye. It was hard to see her frail and failing, knowing the outcome, yet it was joy-filled because we knew the true outcome. The Lord greeted her hours later (the doctors removed the two pieces that were sustaining her body and it really did not take more than a few hours, truly a gift that she did not keep living in pain). Her family was surrounding her (all except me and the kids as I didn't really want them to witness that).

Grandma Welle knew what Jesus had done for her, lived her life in that knowledge and faith. And oh what a sight heaven was for her - and I assume her husband came up right after Jesus and their reunion must have been glorious. For oh my, they were in love. A true love story, those two. Grandpa died of prostrate cancer seventeen years ago and she has been yearning for him since. I loved to hear Grandma talk about him. She would still melt thinking of meeting him and their first date. How many people can boast of that love, that bond these days? Lasting years after one has passed on. I'm thrilled we get to share in that legacy.

She told me she would hug Maelee (after hugging her grandson John) and it makes me jealous to be where she is. Oh the peace in heaven! Oh the grief and yearning here!

I told her thank you for making me always feel a part of the family and she laughed and said "like that was hard!" (we did get along so, and really, Greg would agree, they may just keep me over him!). I just liked being around her. I didn't get that chance with my grandparents so I have made a better effort with these in-law grands and have been blessed because of it. Family, however you acquire them, is such a gift.

I love that we have a few decorations painted by her "dodie" and around our home. I love that even though I could never stomach one, I will always smile when I hear a "yum yum" and might just have to have one in her honor on her birthday next year. I love that she was stubborn (a family trait she passed on to her grandson, perhaps?). I love that she had a kind heart, kind words to say about people more often than not. I love her sense of humor and if in the right mood, she could have you smiling and laughing retelling stories, with a exaggerated gasp and eye roll if the story needed it. I loved watching her be overly honored during our time in Florida. I loved how she would let dating Grether and newly married Grether come and stay with her for a weekend and the yummy meals she would make us. I love that she adored our kids, especially Eli, always talking about how his eyes were so intelligent. I loved that she would be silly dressing up in clothes at the thrift store for a laugh. I love that I got to go golfing with her once and glimpse her love for that sport. I will always remember how blasted hot she wanted to be - her thermostat had to be set at 90 and really, she was made for Florida weather, her favorite was to be laying down in the sunshine soaking it all in. I love that she loved her husband so affectionately even after he passed away. Thanks for all the memories and love, Grandma Welle.

Here are some photos I conjured up to enjoy of Grandma Dolores' life:
Gorgeous wedding couple!
Look at how she is looking at him...
August 1980 - with one adorable baby (that would be Greg)
Look at the difference in their skin tone!!
Greg sitting between these two grands of his, how special! And to note how much Annalee looks like her daddy!

Greg in high school with his grandparents. 
April 30, 2005
We had such a fun dance - so glad Grandma Welle had fun bustin' a move!
So glad I got to know her and be a part of her family!
During our visit in September on her deck, overlooking the golf course.