Monday, January 15, 2018


Today is Grandma's 90th birthday.
She is one of my absolute favorite people. She's hilarious and every time we're together we laugh until we cry. Being 90 doesn't stop her from always wearing her pretty jewelry and reapplying her favorite lipstick. She loves to shop at the drugstore, specifically RiteAid, and has gone several times a week for as long as I can remember. She can get her milk, sugar, butter and coffee syrup all in one place so she really doesn't need to shop anywhere else. She taught me to play rummy and make a five-course Italian Christmas dinner. Other than Donald Trump I don't think I've heard her say a mean word about anyone. She's taught all her children and grandchildren how to play rummy and she and I will play for hours.
We had her party yesterday. She wasn't supposed to know how much of the family would be there but when we pulled up (I was the official chauffer) she knew something was up because there were 10 cars in front of Carol's house. We went inside and Carol said the cars were there because the neighbors were having a party and Grandma bought it. She was helping herself to some appetizers when Carol told her there was a book in the living room she wanted her to see. The "book" was the family in hiding. Everyone lives nearby but it's hard to get us all in the same place at the same time. Grandma was delighted to have almost all her children/grandchild/great grandchildren there. She couldn't stop smiling.
I labored for many hours over this photo decoration in chronological order. Multiple people said the 9 looked like a P. Fine art should be admired, not criticiz.
Every birthday we do a horrible rendition of Happy Birthday. People sign off key and at different tempos on purpose. It is truly awful but it's what we do so we do it badly with all our hearts. We sang it once but Grandma said it was too normal so she insisted we sing it again. It might have been our worst one yet. As always, Annabelle was in the thick of the birthday action.
We each told Carol four things we love about Grandma and she had it made into a print from Etsy. It was so sweet to hear what stands out to everyone about the birthday girl. 

I hope I can be half the person (and rummy player) Grandma is.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

none of us will be competing at the winter olympics

Annabelle has been asking to go ice skating for months so I finally took her this week. I can't skate well on the best of days so taking her was extremely optimistic on my part. This is actual footage of our entire time on the ice.
It was one slip and fall after another. Annabelle wasn't expecting the ice to be cold (???) and would have a small panic attack every time she fell. "It's cooooo'd! It's too cooooo'd!" She'd pull on my pants and jacket while I tried to pull her up and I'd nearly topple over in the process. Thank God for Auntie Elizabeth who took over and managed to make AB feel like she was really skating. It took half an hour but we finally made it around the rink and AB even stood by herself for a few seconds. Meanwhile, I was bent over the wall trying to work the kinks and sore muscles out of my back because apparently I'm now 147 years old. 

Sesame took a little rest as I retied her skates. It's hard work, literally being supported hand and foot.
At least we looked cute. Look at me with my arm behind my back like a professional speed skater. Maybe I'll make it to the Olypmics after all.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

a multitude of words about nothing in particular

On Thursday the great snow bomb hit Massachusetts and I for one could not have been more delighted. Sure, it was -5 and I spent almost two hours shoveling in the blistering cold with snow slapping my face, but when I was inside watching it was lovely. The next day we went out to play. Annabelle may have been born in Tennessee but she loves snow like a good northern girl. 
The snowbanks on either side of the driveway were over her head but she climbed to the top and demanded I help her build a snow castle "better than Elsa's." The thing about Elsa is she says the word and snow castles are built. I had to drag large "snow rocks'' from one side of the driveway to the other. Half the time the snow blew back into my face. It was much less beautiful than Disney makes it seem.
That night we slept at Ivy's house. The girls took a bath together and AB asked me to "hold Baby Ivy down" so she could wash her hair. Ivy was skeptical about The Sesame Salon.
Then she realized that it's pretty nice to relax while someone takes care of your every need.
It reminded me of this picture I found the other day. Elizabeth was NOT into my efforts to beautify her. "Oh ma gawsh, Mom. Who put this puffy thing on me? Rescue meeeeee."
Speaking of Elizabeth, she and I started a new exercise regimen last night. It was a beginners video and I sailed through the first 15 minutes with no difficulty. Elizabeth was struggling but we both finished strong. I didn't realize the workout had affected my arms until I tried to take a picture of Elizabeth at the end and my arms and hand was shaking so much I couldn't get a clear picture.
You might think I was shaking because we were lifting heavy weights. You would be wrong. We didn't have real weights so I lifted mayonnaise and oil while she did the salt and Adobo. The words you're looking for are fitness professionals. Look for our line of weights coming to a Dick's Sporting Goods near you.
Think of all the good dips we could have made with the mayonnaise in the time we were exercising!
Annabelle didn't want us to forget she was in the room too. How could we when she was constantly asking what we were doing and why we were laying down?
Grandma's 90th birthday party is this weekend which is perfect since Annabelle has plenty of party practice. For more than a year she's hosted a birthday party almost every day. The guest of honor at yesterdays party was Tiny Tim the turtle. Tiny Tim started as an imaginary friend who joined our family last week. Erika was getting rid of a little wooden turtle so I took it and told AB that Tim had come to life. Her little mind has never been more blown. All party guests were required to bring for TT and I brought a Hershey's kiss. I should have given away the mayonnaise and olive oil instead.
She looked at the candy the same way I do. So much love and affection!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Currently- the beginning of the year edition

Reading: Sisters First. It's the first of several books I got for Christmas. As mentioned an endless number of times, I am a fan of the Bush family so I enjoy a new perspective and reading stories I haven't heard before.

Excited about: the snow storm that supposed to hit tonight. I love sitting inside in comfy clothes watching the snow fall. It's perfect hot chocolate weather.

Not excited about: -5 degrees on Saturday morning.

Sewing: little fabric birds for Annabelle's new bedroom. It's hard being in Massachusetts and not setting up my new home yet but I'm doing what I can from here. Yesterday we glued fabric to thin cardboard then I cut the out in bird shapes. 

Watching: Fly Boys. We tried watching a girly movie but it wasn't working so we switched. Not that I mind. I enjoy any movie from this time period/most movies about soldiers.

Teaching: Sesame how to cook. I taught her how to peel carrots and she did 10 by herself. After that we zested a lemon. She's Julia Child Jr.
It's about time she earns her keep around here!

Playing: rummy with Grandma. I played with her growing up but starting when Grandpa died we played together every week. Every time I come home we play several games. Today AB was watching me play and wanted to help. We had 3 generations playing and it made me so happy. She asked me to teach her how to "shnuffle the cards." Her lingo needs some improvement but I love her enthusiasm.

Baking: rosemary butter cookies. I haven't made them yet but I tried them at Daniel's and they were delicious. My goal for the year is to eat more cookies so I'd better get cracking!

Monday, January 1, 2018

my motto for this year is "keep the expectations bar very low"

I'm not sure I made a list of resolutions on January 1st, 2016 but I don't want to check. If I did write any down I doubt I accomplished it. Generally I don't make resolutions because I feel like it's setting myself up for failure and I'd rather not disappoint myself. 

This year I'm keeping things simple by making a list of what I feel are very achievable goals.

1. Rewatch Parenthood. Achievable since it's next on my re-watch rotation.

2. Plant a garden. Since I do this every year it's almost silly to mention, but I wasn't pleased with last years garden and I want to research a little more this year.

3. Earn a minimum of 5 free drinks with the Dunkin Donuts app. I'm sure I'll earn more but again, LOW BAR LIFESTYLE.

4. Buy another phone charger. It will be a real delight to have an upstairs AND downstairs charger. 

5. Lose 5lbs. This is probably the most unreachable of my goals since I haven't lost weight since 2014 but one can only hope. Ideally I'll lose 10 but that might be pushing it.

6. Read the Little House series to AB. I wasn't sure if she's too young, but we started the first book a few weeks ago and she's enjoying it. 

7. Attempt to take more naps. 

8. Eat more cookies. Counter productive to goal 5 but we only live once.

9. Get a library card as soon as we get to our new house. 

10. Not move houses again. I don't want to pack a single box or sign another medical release records form.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Parade of Christmas Clothes, 2017

I'm sure these yearly posts (2014, 2015, 2016) of Sesame's clothes are a snoozefest to most but I can't stop, won't stop until she protests. Even then I might not stop. Those who don't enjoy smocked dresses or curly hair need not continue reading.

I bought this snowman outfit from a blog friend two years ago and it was dress length. I'm pretty sure this was the last year it will fit her. 
I only bought two new Christmas outfits this year, one of which was this smocked tree outfit. It came with the cutest ruffly red pants that are too big and kept sliding off her bum, revealing to all the world that she still wears diapers. Apparently cute is more important to me than modesty because she wore it to church anyway. 
This is the other new outfit I bought. It's a real shame she wasn't more excited about it.
I think we might get one more Christmas out of my favorite red dress. I bought it when I was pregnant and didn't know the gender of the baby. It was too cute to pass up so I got it just in case I had a girl. I though the baby was a boy because I have no mother's intuition. I'm not one bit sorry I was wrong.
Trip down the Red Christmas Dress memory lane.
If I look at tiny bald Sesame I get too emotional about how fast she's growing. I'm going to go buy outfits for next year to cheer myself up. Long live retail therapy.