More Stuff Anna Says

exasperated anna

Photo: Julia Ozab

Our daughter has a great sense of humor, and says some really funny things. We try to write them down as soon as she says them. We often share them on Facebook and if they’re brief enough I post them to Twitter too. Here are some more of the funniest ones…

Julia was tossing her in the pool one evening and told her that she could only do it while in the pool. Anna asked “Why?” Julia said “If I tried to do it out of the pool, it would kill me.” Anna’s response? “It wouldn’t kill you, Mom, because then you wouldn’t be alive!”

Once when I asked her what she was thinking, she said “If you could read my mind, you’d know.”

Another time, while hanging upside down off the couch: “It’s hard to think when your brain’s upside down.”

While “training” one of her plush elephant toys: “It’s hard to keep an elephant on schedule.”

Back in the pool— this time doing flips: “I did a double. Now I did a triple! Now a quadriple!”

On her jewelry choices: “I’m wearing two bracelets, one for each wrist, but I’m wearing one necklace because I only have one neck.”

Playing on her iPad: “I don’t like level three! I’m skipping level three from now on!”  “All level threes?” I asked. “Yes!”

Once she tried to say either “it slipped my mind” or “I lost track of time,” but it came out as “I lost my mind.”

One day while throwing out grape stems for the birds to collect and build nests: “I’ll just toss it out here for whoever gets it first. And no, I didn’t name one of them ‘Whoever Gets It First.'”

At Princess Night with the Eugene Emeralds: “They should have a Princess Night every week!”

Later that night, when it was time to leave: “But, Mom, I want to stay and party!”

And the next morning:”I slept in because I was out partying last night past my bedtime.”

This next one came up while watching the original Toy Story. Right after the scene when Sid performs the first “double brain transplant” by switching the doll’s head with the pteranodon’s head, Anna looks over and says “That’s not how you do a real brain transplant.”

Julia related this one on Facebook: “Anna has created a new word … ‘Talentor’—someone who has many talents. (And she is apparently the first example of the word).”

Another Anna word: seatbeltilization n. The act of using a seat belt.

Just the other night I was talking to her from the next room. She didn’t respond, so I asked”Anna can you hear a word I’m saying?” Her answer? “No.”

And finally a poem that starts with a story …

I said a phrase to Anna today that I haven’t said in months, because she got tired of it. “That’s the plan, Ann … a.” It slipped out and as soon as I said it, I apologized. “That’s okay,” she replied. “I’m not mad, Dad. Or sad, Dad.” “Are you glad?” I asked. “I am glad.”She paused and smiled. “Dad.”

Go Nats!

Nats 2014

Football and baseball have traditionally been the two biggest sports in America, and my relationship with each was forever influenced by my childhood. I wrote about my lifelong Redskins obsession a couple of years ago, and my view of football has been shaped by my unbreakable attachment with my “home team” for better and for worse ever since. My view of baseball is fundamentally different for one reason—I never had a home team.

Okay, that’s not quite true. For a brief moment I did. They were the Washington Senators, and my earliest memory of them is the last season they played in the District. Then they moved to Arlington, Texas, and became the Texas Rangers, and a part of my childhood was taken away.

Kids in New York got to be Yankees fans, kids in Boston got to be Red Sox fans, and kids in Chicago got to be White Sox or (if they were really unlucky) Cubs fans. Even kids in Baltimore got to be Orioles fans. But I didn’t have a team to call my own.

And that’s how I became a lifelong baseball nomad.

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America the Beautiful

The North Tower Fountain (9/17/2011)

Photo: Kai Brinker (CC BY-SA 2.0)

America the Beautiful is one of those patriotic songs that we Americans heard so many times growing up that we barely think about it anymore. Like the National Anthem, we only know the first verse, and when we sing those words it’s from memory and often from habit.

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

My view of this song changed forever after September 11, 2001. Due to the mix of grief and patriotism that naturally gripped us all in the weeks following that horrible day, I heard all four verses of America the Beautiful sung for the first time in I don’t know how long. It was the last verse that brought me to tears.

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

May God comfort those who lost loved ones that day, shed his grace on all of us, and grant us peace.

Amen.

Bloggerhood Etc. 7/28/14

No Playdate

Image: DadNCharge.com

Summer is halfway over. We’ve gone on our Oregon Coast vacation, and Anna has finished both her art camp and her first Girl Scout camp. Now we have two down weeks before her next day camp, and she wants to call all her friends from school and set up times to play with them. That’s where we begin this week’s list, with a brewing controversy over the “play date.”

Best Point.Banish the Playdate” by Chris Bernholdt at DadNCharge.

Best Counterpoint.Preserve the Playdate” by Jeff at OWTK.

Best Question.Wait … I’m a Feminist?” by Carl Wilke at Big Cheese Dad.

Most Honest.Unpacking” by Alice Chaffins at Knitting Soul.

Best Dad Post.What People Think When You Have Four Kids” by Rob Stennett at The Perfect Father.

Best Mom Post.Five Minute Friday: Finish” by Ashley Larkin at Draw Near.

Best Special Needs Post.This Day” by Kara Dedert at Not Alone.

Most Inspiring.Juliette: The Bravest Little Girl I Know” by Rachel Held Evans.

Best Question.Are You Raising Nice Kids?” by Amy Joyce at The Washington Post.

Best Idea.A Growing Movement to Spread Faith, Love,—and Clean Laundry” by Lisa Napoli at NPR.

Best Essay.Arctic Man” by Matt White at SB Nation.

Best Video.Job Interview Tips” by Glove and Boots (via YouTube).

“Step One: Delete Facebook!”

Watching Her Bloom

Anna's Newborn Picture

Photo: Julia Ozab

We have so many dreams for our children when they are born. From the first moment we see them—those tiny, wrinkled, sleepy, screamy, adorable little people—we imagine what they might look like and be like in every stage of their lives. We can’t help it.  We know we can’t know what will come, but we imagine it anyway.

And then we watch them bloom, and they are more beautiful than we could possibly imagine.

Anna jumping

Photo: Julia Ozab

Anna is eight-and-a-half tomorrow. It’s been  almost eight-and-half years since I held her for the first time, since I said “hello” to the little girl I only found out was a girl a few minutes earlier. Almost eight-and-a-half years since we named her and began imagining what her life would be like.

Some of it was pretty close. We knew about her cleft, and her upcoming surgery, and the possibilities of more problems and more procedures in the future. But we didn’t know about her apraxia of speech, or the years or therapy it would entail, or her future struggle with handwriting.

We also didn’t know how resilient she would be, how whip-smart, how funny, how outgoing, or how deeply thoughtful and caring about all of God’s creatures.

At a coastal viewpoint

Photo: Julia Ozab

She’s bloomed into an amazing girl, and she is blooming into an amazing woman. And while it pains us to watch her grow up, knowing that each moment once past is gone forever, it fills us with joy to watch her blossom into the person she is becoming.

The person God imagined all along.

Five Minute Friday