Sunday, March 18, 2018

the human piggybank

It started out as a normal weekend but things rapidly went south. It turned into a weekend full of Those Days.

We didn't do anything out of the ordinary- did some school, went to Home Depot, planted flowers, cleaned the house- but everything was going wrong. Christopher brought up buying a gun to shoot the snakes which reminded me again that I wish we didn't have to move here. Annabelle's nose was bleeding and wouldn't stop. She acted up in the store. None of the errands got done. I tried to glue something and the cover came off and the glue went everywhere. The lettuce went bad.  A lizard got in the house. It went on and on. None of it was a big deal on its own but combined it was too much. (I lie. The lizard was a big deal.)

I went to Ulta and things started to look up. I went to Walmart and was about to check out when Christopher called and said, "Everything is fine but..." I HATE when I get those calls. Once he called to say, "Don't panic, but I passed out and drove off the road." My mom does the same thing. "Everything is fine, but Elizabeth fell off the roof and we're in an ambulance on the way to the hospital." DON'T SAY EVERYTHING IS FINE IF IT OBVIOUSLY IS NOT FINE.

This time was Annabelle. She was playing in the living room when she put a coin in her mouth and choked on it. Christopher's biggest nightmares are snakes and choking. He heard her gagging and rushed in to see his nightmare coming to life. He wasn't sure if she had actually swallowed it or if she had coughed it up but he was bringing her to urgent care to be checked. When he called I was standing by the peanut butter. I just sighed and thought "Of course. Of course, something like this would happen today."  Part of me felt like a bad mom for not instantly running to urgent care, but the situation seemed to be under control (she was breathing and talking, etc) and I didn't want to go through all the work of getting the groceries again. I took the groceries home, grabbed her shoes and meet them at the urgent care. I also brought a bow because I was positive Christopher wouldn't have remembered to put one on her if he had gone out the door without shoes. She couldn't be in a compromised health situation and not look cute!

When I got to urgent care they were having the xray done. Sesame came back in the room full of stories of having a picture taken of her belly through her dress ("I didn't eben hab to take my clothes off!") and how the man drew on her belly with a marker. "But not a marker like I hab! A flat one." Christopher looked like a man who had faced his worst enemy and barely escaped. The xray showed that she had indeed swallowed a coin. It wasn't a dime or even a penny. It was a quarter. Go big or go home. She didn't pass the quarter last night so we went back today for another xray. The coin is still hanging out in the same spot in her stomach. If it doesn't work it's way out tonight we'll have another xray and see her doctor tomorrow. 
I always wanted to swing by urgent care after church. 
We are so thankful it's "only" a foreign object in her stomach. It could have gotten lodged in her airways and we'd be in a very different situation right now. She was able to do the Easter egg hunt at church that she's been talking about for days. She was running around with 25 cents hanging out in her stomach.
I didn't go to the emergency room until my teen years. Sesame Pie has been three times in the last 6 months. She better not keep this up! If she does I'm going to speak to management about getting myself a pay increase. Hopefully it will be more than 25 cents.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Sesame Says

These little stories and quirks most likely won't be funny to anyone else, but they made me laugh in the moment and I want to remember them. 

Annabelle is very interested in the day of the week and the date. Once hearing that it was March 1st she drew an invitation and planned a March 1st party. She is my child. Every event deserves a party.
A few weeks ago, Christopher and Sesame were making a big Saturday breakfast. He told AB to ask me if I wanted to pick something off their menu or create an a la carte breakfast. She bounced over and said, "Do you want to eat an olive cart?''

She's begun referring to anything less than ice cold milk as "dead milk.''

I heard her telling our neighbor Olivia about the characters in The Greatest Showman. When she got to the character played by Zac Efron she sighed, gazed out to the mid-distance and said, "He's just really beautiful." I almost cried from laughter. 

She loves to drink out of a metal measuring up like a minor from ye olden days. 
Praise the Lord and all the angels, she's finally potty trained. It only took 10 months, not that I'm counting or bitter. The first time she peed on the potty was pure coincidental timing. I yelled and screamed, clapped and jumped. I was so excited. She stared me down. "Mom. You don't need to be so excited about this." YES, I DO. I LOST SLEEP OVER THIS. I WILL CLAP ALL I WANT. 

When she saw that Christopher put strawberries and apples in the salad she said "Well. My parents have odd ways."

Shortly after we moved in I was sent this tree. It's become a real point of pride in my life. I feel like such an adult with a large plant in the house. Part of me has wondered if it makes our living room look like a dentist office but I smash that thought far, far down.
Guess who else likes the tree. Specifically, attempting to climb the tree. This little goober.
Just when I thought her Minnie Mouse phase was over she went out in public like this.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

snakes and bugs and more

 We started the week as we always do by going to church. I dropped Annabelle off in her classroom and asked if she needed to use the potty before I left. She said no. The nice lady in charge of the children's programs told Annabelle she could tell her if she needed the potty and she'd be happy to take her. AB nodded her head and said ok. Out of nowhere, a second lady in the room turned to Annabelle and demanded, "Say 'yes, ma'am.'" I stared at her so hard I'm surprised I didn't burn a hole through her. I'm fine with friends and family correcting Annabelle if need be, but  I don't know that woman. Annabelle didn't do anything wrong. It's not like she hit someone! That would have been a reasonable reason to correct my child. I told Christopher about it and he did not share in my huffiness.

Later that evening, Christopher went out back to talk to the neighbor. Said neighbor told him that if the grass isn't kept short enough, we'll be dealing with rattlesnakes and cooper heads in the warmer weather. POISONOUS SNAKES IN MY YARD. Mike Peedro the ex-convict neighbor told me about the rattlesnakes when we moved in but he doesn't always tell the truth. A reliable neighbor passed on the information this time, so I believe him and have vowed to never walk in my yard again. Our grass is almost a foot long so there's probably a hold herd (flock? group? huddle?) of snakes out there. Christopher did share my negative views about this situation. 

As if snakes in the yard and frogs in/on my house isn't enough, on Monday the landlord and her father came over to inspect a hole by the house. Richard stared at the hole for .6 seconds and announced, "Well. Looks like you have an armadillo under there." 
At this point I shouldn't be surprised by anything. If someone tells me a lion lives across the street I'll just smile and nod. Richard said to put a board over the hole. Seems to me that will present a new problem. What if the armadillo gets trapped and dies under there? What then, Richard? I hope you have a plan for that scenario.

No sooner had Richard left then Nine Fingered Larry showed up. The bathroom floor has water seeping through it which obviously is a problem. Larry came over a few weeks ago to fix an electrical problem. When he came that time he said he wasn't an electrician but he knew a few things about electricity. I know a few things too. For example, if not handled properly bad things can happen. Maybe that's why he's missing a finger. He didn't fix anything that time so I didn't expect it to be any different when he was in my home this week. He said he wasn't a plumber but he was going to look at the bathroom anyway. I showed him to the bathroom where he gave me a brief lesson in pipe location and other things I didn't fully understand thanks to his accent. He talks so slow and makes comments I don't understand. He finally diagnosed the problem. The toilet paper holder had fallen off the wall because of drywall issues. Christopher patched the hole but had yet to reattach the holder. According to Larry, when Christopher screwed the holder back in he hit a pipe which lead to leaking in the floor. Except Christopher had not screwed anything into the wall, which I pointed out to Nine Fingered Larry. That really took the wind out of his sails. He sauntered out, promising that the real plumbers would be by soon.
The plumbers did indeed come by and leave this lovely souvenir in our wall.
It really fits the aesthetic I'm going for in this house. Between that, the snake repellant and the peppermint oil/water mixure I use on the frogs it's becoming a real Southern Living home around here.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

small town USA

Do come along on a tour of our new town. Don't blink or you'll miss it.
Did you catch it? There's a gas station to the left of the brick building and a police station to the right of the blue awning, but that's it. City hall, a lawyer, police station and gun shop. I wonder how much overlap there is between them.

I've always been fascinated by names and there is no shortage of unique names here. So far I've met a Sharetta, Shamonica, and a Nostalgia. When we were at Walmart, I saw a poster with photos and names. I thought it was a missing person board. I was reading the names and the name January stood out. I wouldn't name my child January, but people use the months May and June as names. The last name was Winner which seemed like a confidence-boosting name. "I'm Miss Winner and I'm here to stay." Anyway. As I read more names I saw February Winner. That's when I realized it was an employee reward chart, not a board of missing people. I should not be taking myself out in public.
Me, about myself, 700 times a week.
The first few weeks we were here we attended a mega church. We're not mega-church people so while the people were nice enough (they've sent two separate groups to our house to visit), we moved on to greener pastures, or in this case, a smaller church. The church we've been to the last three weeks is much more our preferred size and style. I filled out a visitor card the first week and within three days, five people emailed me and welcomed us to the church. They have a very enthusiastic welcoming committee.

The following card was in the back of the pew in front of us on our first visit. Adolf Zitler, Berlin, Germany. I wonder if he also visited the mega church. 
For reasons I don't understand, many of the men in the church refer to their wives as their brides. Technically, a wife is a bride, but I don't think the term needs to be used 15 years after the wedding when "wife" works just fine. The pastor was talking to us and said to Christopher, "Does your bride work?" I was standing right there and the first thing that popped into my head was, "Who's Christopher's bride?" I AM. HE WAS TALKING ABOUT ME. 

I should not be responsible for raising a child.

Monday, February 26, 2018

family affair

Our favorite little girl came to visit over the weekend.
Ivy Rose is in the house.
She came with her parents but they didn't come running to hug us at the airport. 

They were only here for two and a half days but we tried to fit everything in. I gave them an award-winning tour of our new town. It takes less than three minutes to drive through the center of town (even if you get a red light) so it was a very short tour. We visited a new coffee shop and were flabbergasted that the people making the coffee didn't know how to make ice coffee. We had to tell them that regular ice coffee is not the same as a latte. "You want us to pour coffee from the refrigerator over ice?" Yes. That's literally all there is to it. We went back the next day and ordered one drink with whipped cream and one without. The lady at the drive-through window made sure she pointed out which had whipped cream and which didn't. HOW WOULD WE HAVE KNOWN WITHOUT HER.
I expect this is what it will look like when I have another child.
Neither child is looking at the camera and I look exhausted.
Except I'm already exhausted so only half of it will be new.
We visited two playgrounds and the zoo. It was so hot on Friday that I got sunburned after an hour at the playground. I love sunshine but I'm VERY concerned about what temperature it will be in by April when it's already over 80* in February.
Erika helped me hang up outdoor lights on my front deck. I have visions of a Pinterest worthy deck with a rug, flower pots and maybe a fountain. Currently, it has a kids trampoline, pink Frozen pool, and black and white teepee. It's not exactly an outdoor oasis but the lights were supposed to kick it up a notch. We came home from a pizza dinner at Mellow Mushroom to my lights twinkling in the darkness. The sky was clear and we looked at the constellations. The girls ran around playing and giggling. It was lovely. I had carefully inspected the area for frogs and having seen only a small one that hopped away I thought we were in the clear. I sat on the swing and enjoyed chatting with my family. For whatever reason, I decided to check the wall behind me. THERE WERE MORE THAN  TWENTY FROGS. They were everywhere. I'm not embarrassed to say I screamed and yelled and jumped. I swear I could feel them crawling on my skin. I have no choice but to burn the place down. So much for my outdoor oasis. 

Aside from the frogs we had the best visit. We live 7 million miles from home and I've missed everyone so much. Daniel and Erika came right at the knick of time to boost morale. 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

look for "The Hotel" on all the best sellers list

Several months ago Christopher mentioned he was worried that Sesame might not have much of an imagination. I told him not to worry about it. It is with as much humility as I can muster that I'm here to report I was right (again). Her imagination is in tiptop shape.
She has three imaginary friends. This is Goldbug. He is a gold bug. He wears a white shirt and purple and white mask.
This is his wife Garby. She's a pink unicorn with blue and white spots. "Ok, Mom. They're regular spots, not polka dot spots."
The very recent addition to their family is Carla. She's a girl and therefore a unicorn like her mother. She asked me to write a letter to Goldbug and Garby telling them she was "worried that Carla cried two times last week." 
Last night was Goldbug's birthday. I was tired and not really in the mood for yet another birthday party, but I throw together the lowest of low-key parties. I banned presents and all decorating. Even I have a limit when it comes to throwing a party after bedtime for an imaginary friend. We all, except for baby Carla, got a chocolate and sang happy birthday.

I swear Sesame has been talking from the day she was born. Her first word wasn't even a word. It was a short sentence- "Hi, Daddy." Yesterday she talked to me about the history of Frozen nonstop for forty minutes when we were trapped in the car. She talks from when she wakes up in the morning to well past when she's in bed for the night. I was a talkative child so what goes around comes around. The first story she made up over a year ago was, "Happy cat, happy mouse." That evolved into "Happy cat ate the happy mouse. Happy cat."
This past weekend she wrote the following story. I acted as the scribe and part-time illustrator.
This is Princess Watermelon. She was in her bedroom one morning getting out a bright pink dress. She saw that her bright pink dress was dirty so she got a red dress. She put it on then picked up a pair of black pants. She saw the surfing hamster getting out of his pajamas.
The surfing hampster cleaned his surfer and then he put on his new water shoes and his sun hat and sunscreen because he was going to the bed with the watermelon princess. Then he packed to go to the hotel.
The watermelon princess jumped into the water with the surfing hampster to look for fish to bring to the hotel. They caught a whale to bring back to the house.
They checked out their room. They thanked the one who cleaned the room for cleaning the room. They put the suitcases under the bed. The surfing hampster packed some extra bathing suits and water shoes. The watermelon princess thanked the one cleaning the room. 
I'm touched she included the part about thanking the one who cleaned the hotel room. I always leave a thank you note for housekeeping when we stay at a hotel so it's sweet she followed my example and added it to the story.

Now if only she'd follow my example and have more respect for quiet/less-talking times.