I've been putting this post off because it's bittersweet. Annelise turned one year old on Thanksgiving and I can't believe our sweet, sweet baby is now a toddler. My parents were here for the week before her birthday and we had lots of fun showing them around. They taught her some fun new sounds, she now makes a high-pitched noise to try to whistle. We went to the doctor this week and although Annelise hasn't gained much weight since her last appointment, she's met all of the milestones for her age. She has been slow to gain weight because of all of the walking she's doing, along with her swim class. We only have 3 classes left and I hope that she starts packing on the pounds once we're done.
We started Annelise's twelfth month with a short jaunt from Ft. Walton Beach over to Pensacola to spend the day with Auntie Kim and Nana Peggy. We met them at the Navy base and watched the Blue Angels practice and then went inside the museum and got autographs! Afterwards, Mommy got to go back 'home' for the first time in monts, we went to Hobby Lobby. We had a lot of fun that day and then went back to our hotel to prepare for the big trip to Orlando.
On that Friday, we left for Orlando as soon as Daddy got home from work; the drive took over 7 hours but it was worth it to see the family and go to Disney World. We got to the hotel after midnight and you stayed up for a while playing with Babi, Grandaddy, Grandma, Nanna, Kyle, Lusa, Trent, and Uncle Greg and Aunt Karen. That's right, Grandma surprised us by bringing some relatives that we had never met! We had a blast the next day at the Magic Kingdom, riding rides and seeing the sights. Buzz Lightyear and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad were everyone's favorites and you loved being held by everyone and basking in the attention. Because it was Halloween, you were dressed in the adorable dress that Aunt Karen made and the whole park was decked out! That night we went to a restaurant that Mommy really liked but apparently some of the others weren't huge fans of. That's what they get for ordering the same old-same old, I was adventurous and lucked out!
The next day we took some family pictures and then packed up to go back to Ft. Walton Beach. It was a short weekend, but so worth it. We had so much fun with family and can't wait to go back to Disney World when you're older. We also want to make a trip to Tokyo Disney before we move.
The rest of our time in Florida was spent shopping and spending time with Daddy. We flew back to Seattle and ended up having to wait a day to get on the Patriot Express because of maintenance problems. The motel that Mommy picked was kind of shabby, but it was next to a Denny's, down the block from a convenience store, and had a free shuttle to/from the airport. That was all very important because the airport only had two restaurants outside of security and Mommy was tired of them. Plus they did not have Dr Pepper in the airport, while the convenience store did!
We made it safely back to Misawa and you did so well on all of the flights. Annelise, thank you so much for being such a good traveller, it makes life a lot easier. Once we got back to Misawa we cleaned the house and unpacked all of the stuff that we bought and mailed in Florida. Daddy came home a week later and then we started prepping for Babi and Grandaddy to visit!
When Babi and Grandaddy came to Misawa, we took them to Shimoda Mall, Hachinohe (the fish market and Niitori), the Pacific Ocean, and Hirosaki Castle. You and I took kimono pictures with Babi and we also had one-year-old pictures made of you. We had a great time and made lots of memories. But now for the real reason they flew thousands of miles: your birthday!!
We started the day with some rain. Then Mommy had to run to Yokomachi because we forgot to thaw the rolls. Then we got to eat Thanksgiving dinner! It was definitely better than last year's, Daddy makes a much tastier turkey than the hospital. Mommy decorated your cake with pink and purple icing and yellow and pink flowers. It was not as elaborate as I would have liked, but I keep reminding myself that all that mattered was that it tasted good. Your Tio David and Tia Yazmin came over to help celebrate and we sang Happy Birthday to you. I helped blow out your candle and then we let you dig in to your cake. You enjoyed rubbing icing on your face and in your hair while the grown-ups ate cupcakes, and then Babi took you upstairs and hosed you down in the bathtub.
Annelise, you are one blessed little girl. So many people who love you gave you birthday presents. You got lots of pretty clothes, winter gear (a coat, two hats, gloves, and some boots!), several books and puzzles, and lots of toys. My favorites are the Little People toys and your favorites are the push toy, Cookie Monster doll, and spoons and forks. You're not very good at eating with them yet, but you like to pretend they're drumsticks!
This month has been a busy month for you, little girl. Not only did we DO a lot of fun stuff, a lot of fun stuff HAPPENED! You got your sixth tooth not long after we got back to Misawa and I can tell that you're working on getting two more. You have different waves for Hello and Bye-bye and have started pointing at things. You say Grandaddy very well and also sing 'I Love You, Yeah Yeah Yeah', it's so cute! You can now climb stairs, we had to go to a Japanese store to find a baby gate wide enough to keep you off of our staircase. The craziest thing that happened was that you managed to turn on your Elmo DVD by yourself! The best we can figure, you were playing at the entertainment center and pushed the power button to the bluray player. Because of the way it had previously been turned off, it started the movie without you having to hit play. All I really know is that I was washing dishes and realized that you were watching Elmo, but I hadn't turned the movie on! You also got sick for the first time this month, you got a cold that lasted about 48 hours. The snotty sneezing was pretty gross, but I credit breastfeeding with the fact that you recovered so quickly. You also got some new shoes this month, they have squeakers in the soles and you love to toddle around making noise. Sadly, we have misplaced one of the shoes so you have been squeak-less for a week or so.
Annelise, you're so grown up now! You are very independent and love walking everywhere so I cherish the times that you're sleepy and want to snuggle. This last year has been so wonderful and I look forward to what the next year with you will bring!
1 week ago