These pictures are from after church last week. I have been meaning to bring up the fact that Anniston just started going to the church nursery!!! Finally!! This past Sunday was her third time to go alone :). I know I have mentioned this a couple of times, but it has been a while, I think...Anniston has supposedly had some levels associated with her immune system that were a little low since birth, so her doctor (specifically her immunologist) has placed pretty strict orders on her since that time to not be around very large groups of people, specifically children carrying their children germs :). She also has never had a live vaccine (Might not ever, but this is not a big deal since it is only a couple of vaccines, and she is basically vaccinated since everyone else is...make sense? She has had all of the other vaccinations, though...don't worry!) This immune "issue" is something that bloodwork shows she is growing out of, so we are very thankful for that fact!
These restrictions were VERY firm until she was one, but the last year we have pretty much lived life as normal, taking her anywhere and not worrying about having to sit in the corner of a restaurant or trying to get somewhere late so as to limit the number of people around her/touching her. (Although, I am still a little crazy about wiping things down.) The main restriction her doctor gave us was no church nursery or daycare. Not that big of a deal, but it was really getting difficult sitting in a service with a curious toddler! So...we would often skip or one of us would sit out with her in a special little playroom. (I know not many people are in a situation like this, but I now have a heart to look for them. If you know anyone in your church who cannot put their child in the nursery for a time, please offer to watch their child one Sunday during church...it will seriously bless them. We had some sweet friends and family do that a couple of times for us, and I will never forget it.)
So anyway, now she is allowed go!
You know how a lot of children have separation issues, and they don't want to leave their parents? Well, although Anniston has been a bit of a mama's girl lately (totally hate it :)), she has been LUNGING out of our arms to play with the kids in her room. It makes me so glad...and kind of sad that she hasn't had much of that interaction sooner.
Funny: her second week to go to the nursery, we were walking her to her room, and she passed another room that was not hers (the baby room). She got pretty upset because we had to pass up the room that I guess she thought was hers, and she was crying when we arrived at her actual door. I know the workers must have thought, "oh no, this little girl is going to have trouble coming in here", but NO...Anniston was falling out of our arms to play with her sweet friends. I asked her, "do you want to go inside and play with your friends?", and she immediately stopped crying and emphatically nodded her head yes (this is a signature Anniston-move lately...large nods :)). She did not skip a beat once inside. Oh, and I think she eats all of their goldfish :).
So then, when we go and pick her up, most of the boys and girls are standing at the door, waiting eagerly for their parents. Maybe once she gets to know the drill, she will be doing the same, but what was Anniston doing?? Playing, playing, playing. She doesn't even get very excited when she sees us. It is SO fun in there. We saw her talking on the "phone" with one of her little friends in the room one week, and it made our hearts so glad.
I love that she is learning from being around other children, and I love that Stan and I can have that hour together learning and worshipping...feeling like an actual couple. It has been good for us all :).
*Another note is that her immunologist also gave her the go-ahead to start a mother's morning out program for two days a week this fall. (Still couldn't be in a facility that also operated a daycare, so a little bit of a restriction there...not a big deal.) This is something that her therapists have been bringing up more lately, as it will help her with her development/progress to watch and imitate other children. I'm excited about it but also kind of sad... It has always mostly just been me and her during the weekdays, but she is growing up! I always viewed mother's day out as something that would be so great for me if we ever decided to do it, but I am more looking forward to how helpful it will be for her.
Have I mentioned how healthy Anniston is and has really always been??? Sometimes it seems crazy that we even go to some of these doctors because I just want to be like: "Look at her. She is fine. Please don't draw her blood and make her scream." So thankful for her health.
**Oh, and just a neat God-thing about the nursery: The preschool minister told me last Sunday that of Anniston's four (I think) teachers, one is a surgeon, one is an occupational therapist, and one is a NICU nurse. How cool is that? You cannot tell me that He is not a personal God :).