Friday, December 25, 2009

The End of Anna's Reign

This may very well be the last blog featuring Anna as the lead story. With baby Jack's arrival right around the corner, our little girl's reign is about to end. Given that Josh and I are both first borns, we can partially relate to this process of dethronement and believe it's for the best! Anyways, over the past few weeks, we've been enjoying all the traditional holiday activities as much as my extremely pregnant and uncomfortable state will allow. Anna was a huge help in the kitchen this year, dutifully unwrapping Hershey's kisses for the PB Kiss cookies, carefully sprinkling the sugar star cookies, and painstakingly sampling one of every kind of cookie that came out of the oven. For the first time in J & L Heebner family history, we got to celebrate Christmas at our own house in RI. Last night we went to the Christmas eve service (and struggled to keep Anna still through an entire 30 minutes of overheated pageantry) and then this morning, we had breakfast & gift opening with Mom-Mom, Dad-Dad and Uncle Dave who came into town to celebrate with us.
On the whole, Anna was sort of overwhelmed by all the gifts and seemed partially irritated by the never ending unwrapping process. (With so many fun things to play with, why would she want to keep unwrapping?). Her favorite gift was the box of princess shoes that Uncle Dave got her, followed by the Belle dress from mom-mom and dad-dad. Another close runner up (strangely enough) was the ironing board and iron that Josh and I picked out. She's currently ironing a pair of her underwear while wearing the Belle dress and plastic high heels...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Beginning of the Holidays

It took some serious convincing, but eventually Josh (always the salesman) persuaded me to stop in NYC on our way down to Philadelphia for Thanksgiving so we could take Anna to FAO Schwartz and World of Disney. Figuring it might be our last chance to do anything like that for a while (thanks to the immanent arrival of baby Jack), I gave in. I'm not sure Anna will remember any of it, but we definitely had fun watching her check everything out. At FAO they had an entire corridor devoted to princess wear which practically gave her a toddler heart attack. She was also super impressed with the Barbie fashion runway. Such a girl!
Our Thanksgiving trip turned into a bit of a whirlwind, as usual, but we did get a chance to catch up with a few friends, even if it was only for an hour or two. I snapped this cute photo of Anna and Eowyn playing together. I still can't believe how well they get along... very little "mine, mine, mine" when the two of them get together. (Maybe that's because Anna knows that her good behavior will be rewarded with Aunt Lissa's insanely rich homemade chocolate cookies?).


Since we got back, we've managed to get the whole house decorated for Christmas and our Christmas cards might actually make it into the mail before week's end (fingers crossed). We also managed to make a "perfect" gingerbread house at the annual gingerbread party. This was the first year Anna could really participate in the construction which forced me to relinquish my type-A tendencies and allow her to slap anything anywhere she wanted. Josh is now in the process of slowly eating all the chocolate pieces off our confectionery creation. Not sure that was the idea, but whatever.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Anna Update

Last week while Josh was away, Anna and I took a mini "cation". We drove down to Mystic, CT, went to the aquarium, ate dinner at Mystic pizza, and stayed overnight in a hotel with an indoor pool. It was a great way to break up a long stretch without daddy! As soon as Anna figured out that the sea creatures could not escape their glass enclosures, she was totally on board with the aquarium experience. As for the hotel pool, that got two thumbs up. (What didn't get two thumbs up was my big pregnant body in a bathing suit -- yikes!). Anyways, I'm really trying to suck everything I can out of these last few weeks alone with Anna. I'm excited for Jack's arrival, but I'm also sort of sad about it not being just the two of us anymore!



On a completely separate note, we were watching Wizard of Oz last night and Anna picked this peculiar spot to relax.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sweet Sleeping Beauty


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Playing Doctor

Apparently Anna's been quietly absorbing everything she sees at my prenatal appointments. Today I caught her playing doctor with her baby, using the ear light thing (what's that called?) and "the goo" to listen to the baby's belly...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Day

Anna had the time of her life today, between walking over to the bakery this morning for a berry muffin, playing outside in the unusually warm weather, and getting dressed up like a princess for the neighbhorhood Halloween parade and trick or treating. In fact, as our long, sugar-filled day drew to a close, she dissolved into tears at the thought of all the fun being over. That being said, I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking. (I also included a few pictures of the new siding at the bottom for everyone who's been asking!)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Month Later...

With so much going on around here, the last month has flown by. We fought swine flu, traveled to PA for a week, and completed the addition. As for Anna, she's as much of a chatterbox as ever. Josh and I are really having to watch ourselves now because she's picking up both the good and bad things we say, including most recently, "I hate this thing!" and "Don't start with me!" Yikes. Earlier this month, though, it was Anna who battled the dreaded swine flu. It was pretty much the saddest thing I've ever seen (see photo #2). She sat on the couch and whimpered for days and days. The really amazing thing, though, is that Josh and I never ended up catching it which is nothing short of a miracle. Now that the sickness is well past us, Anna is back to amusing and amazing us with all of her new feats. She's definitely becoming her own little person. In other news the addition is just about complete. We had heat put in on Friday and Josh finished up the trim around the windows this afternoon so all we need to do is a little touch up paint. The siding on the outside of the addition is done too, but I didn't manage to get out there for a photo before it got dark (when did it start getting dark at 5:30?).

Monday, September 21, 2009

Progress


I'll admit. I doubted. But it looks like Josh is going to prove me wrong and have this addition sided and heated before the cold weather comes. Yesterday, he put the first few boards of siding on and it looks amazing. He's aiming to get the entire house resided before Thanksgiving. It's definitely a little too ambitious for my taste, but I guess I'm really not in a position to cast doubt! Meanwhile, we had our favorite Rhode Island plastering team (Manny and his son Manny) come and finish off the inside walls. While I momentarily considered doing tape & spackle myself, I decided that between all the tricky angles and my pregnant state it probably wasn't the best idea. So now, all that's really left is flooring, paint, and heat!

We've also managed to make some progress on the baby's nursery, having almost totally transformed the former oversized closet into a cozy (read: extremely small!) nursery. Thanks to some serious internet sleuthing, I managed to the Pottery Barn Kids elephant bedding I had my heart set on basically for free. Whoa! We're all ready for baby boy Heebs to arrive (15 weeks to go!).
And just in case there was any doubt, Anna is still just as cute as ever. She's definitely turned into a bit of a toddler handful, but the spicier she gets, the funnier she gets too. The other day she comes up to me, puts her hand on my arm and says, "Mommy, I going grocery shopping. I be right back. You have fun and don't cry. I wuv you." What a munchkin.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Saying Goodbye To My Baby

Due to an unfortunate turn of maintenance-related events, the time has suddenly come to say goodbye to my baby. My 1996 Honda Accord, that is. After sinking $900 into it just six weeks ago, the check engine light came on again this past Thursday and we were looking at another $600 in repairs. I suppose that after 167,000 miles, this is what happens, but I will say that up until about 155,000 miles, this car was nearly flawless, and my most prized possession. Last night I went to sign the paperwork for a new Honda Civic and took a trade in of $1,600. I asked the salesman if I could take the Accord home for one last night and he agreed, so after the dirty work was done, I walked out to the dark parking lot and saw my sweet, faithful 1996 Accord sitting there (looking very lonely) waiting for me. Sure, I'll admit it. I cried. Maybe that's pregnancy hormones at work, but I'm going to have to believe that some of the emotion was genuine. Afterall, my baby has been with me since I was 16 -- through five mailing addresses, four boyfriends, the advent of cell phones, four years of college, two jobs, marriage, and the birth of my own baby (who, frankly, I was hoping might drive the Accord someday!). I opened the door and got a wiff of the old Honda funk. I'll openly admit it's an awful smell, but it unleashed another barrage of tears that lasted the whole ride home. When I walked into the house all puffy-eyed, Josh was pretty much sure I'd lost my mind. I suppose that being an American-made car man, he simply can't understand the connection that one forms with a perfectly crafted Japanese automobile over 14 years! This morning I cleaned out the car which, thanks to my husband's less than loving care over the past three years, was chock full of junk, including a lifetime supply of Dunkin Donuts napkins, 53 FirstComp pens, 27 golf tees and, most disturbingly, a Miller High Life cap. (Josh, any comments on that?). So anyways, here's where a bit if history ends. Goodbye my sweet friend!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Anna, Suddenly Seeming Very Grown Up

After sawing corn off the cob for Anna at every grilled chicken & corn dinner we've eaten this summer -- and there have been plenty -- it suddenly dawned on me that she just might be able to handle corn on the cob. Turns out, I was right. It's now become one of her favorite things to eat, especially since it means she gets to use the cool plastic corn "hoppers" (that is, holders).


I guess that for whatever reason, I still tend to think of Anna as our little baby so every time she accomplishes something new -- and seemingly very adult-like -- I'm amazed. A few months ago I started pulling a chair up to the kitchen counter and lettting her help me when I cook. Even now, I'm continually surprised at how relatively good her dumping and mixing skills are. (She's also got taste testing down too). One of our favorite things to make together is pancakes...

Monday, August 17, 2009

We're Getting There!

My apologies to those of you who have been clamouring for a porch update, but the work that Josh has done over the past few weeks has been detail stuff that's not exactly blog worthy. (I seriously doubt that anyone would have been thrilled with photos of electrical outlets and romex wire.) Be still your souls, the wait is finally over. Here is a picture of the steps Josh built this weekend. To say it wasn't pretty is an understatement. It was almost 90 degrees up here, so after digging a couple three foot holes, pouring concrete, and wrestling with some unruly railing posts, Josh was a sweaty, filthy, grumpy mess... until he came up the idea pictured above which is essentially beer and a baby pool, but he calls his own personal Club Med.
Speaking of baby pools, here's a picture of our cute girl in her little pink pool, sporting a rare ponytail. I'm still not sure about posting semi-nude photos of my child, but I think this one is pretty tasteful.

Okay, one last photo for tonight... The other day I was running around like a crazy person trying to get out the door on time and I heard Anna say, "K mommy, I all ready." I turned around and there she was with her baby all tucked into the carseat, carefully giving her a bottle. She's been very into taking care of babies, wearing dresses, watching princess movies, and putting on lipstick. I definitely did not push any of these things, so I guess it's just hardwired into little girls to be like this. Very cute.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Update On The Addition

Yesterday, the neighborhood ladies got treated to eight hours of Josh, the shirtless wonder, as he labored away on the addition. He's pretty sure he got checked out 17 times. I figure if that's what he needs to believe in order to stay motivated, I won't burst his bubble. So here are the pictures of the progress Josh made. Pretty impressive for a guy working alone (although, against my better judgement, I did help him hoist those windows into place... I'm guessing that ranks up there with drinking a whole bottle of wine in terms of pregnancy risk factors). I also included a couple photos of Daddy & Anna at the bottom. You've got to love a guy who works 8-5 M-F in an office, works on the house all weekend, and still finds time before and after work to actively entertain a two year old. For the record, the construction paper princess crown & earrings pictured below were both conceptualized and executed by Josh himself (you can click to enlarge those little photos, by the way).



Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Summer Vacation

We just got back from our vacation in Hilton Head and, for the record, paring down the number of photos for the blog was a difficult task. The house we stayed in was beautiful... the weather was perfect... I got a tan... and Anna was extra cute in her bathing suit this year. All of these factors resulted in a huge number of share-worthy snapshots.

Let's begin with this lovely photo of our still chubby little girl, complete with size extra-large swimmies (the package said size 2-12 years which seemed like a bargain to me!) and hot pink goggles (which Anna insisted on wearing). Anna made amazing strides with her "swimming" during vacation and by the end was demanding that she be allowed to "do by self" (i.e. don't touch me!)
Meanwhile, I rediscovered about 43 muscles I forgot I had thanks to some long bike rides and a never ending tennis match with Josh's brother Ben and his fiance Denise. I'm pretty sure that was the first time I'd done either in about five years. We're seriously considering buying some bikes and one of these great cart things for Anna (as you can see, Anna thinks they're a blast).
While Anna had lots of fun playing on the beach with her "cousins" Erik, Leah, and Becca, I think her favorite part of the beach might have been the thrill of drinking 100% juice out of a sippy box (we typically give her super watered down juice at home). Every five minutes she'd come up to me and say "juice now? juice now mommy?"












To my great delight, one thing we discovered on vacation is that we may have a girl drummer on our hands. Anna picked up the drum sticks one night while everyone was playing Guitar Hero and started banging away... in her monkey jammies, no less.

I could go on and on, but these last few photos are pretty self-explanatory, with one small excepetion... no, that is not coffee in Anna's cup (though her facial expression does remind me of how I feel when I have my first cup of coffee in the morning):