Wednesday, July 11, 2018

midweek round up

* I tried a new zumba yesterday. I haven't been since we moved even though every single week I wrote "go to zumba" on my church bulletin. Every week I write my weekly goals on the bulletin and 9 out of 10 times I write the same things week after week. It's not a very effective system. Anyhow. It's at 9:15 class which I think is too early to be out of the house exercising but I finally did it. I've been to many a zumba class but never have I ever been to such a loud class. The ladies, and one man, were whopping and hollering like a gang of hyenas. I could barely hear the music. Back where I come from, there's a small applause after each song and the occasional enthusiastic yell but nothing like this. I'll go back but I'll pack earplugs along with my water bottle.

Churches are much more vocal here too. People are frequently amening, that's righting and every week the congregation claps at least once. I don't enjoy clapping in church (clapping makes it seem too much like a performance) but I do a polite golf clap every so often. When in Rome!  


* Sesame got her first haircut when we were at home. She was obviously thrilled.
So many people have asked me lately if I curl her hair. Yes! I wake us both up at 4am to put her hair in curlers every single morning. I hope we'll be able to keep it up this rigorous schedule when she starts school.


* I hold myself to a high library fines standard. I always pay them off immediately and pride myself in never owing more than $2. Imagine my shock and horror when I was checking out at the library and the librarian said we couldn't get any books because we had reached our fine limit. Excuse me? I have never reached my limit. I asked how much we owed and she said $27. TWENTY SEVEN DOLLARS. I was speechless and mortified. She must have me mixed up with someone else. I didn't believe her so she printed out a receipt that was over four feet long. It was so long that when I folded it, it was too bulky to fit in my wallet. It took two librarians and a visit to a different library to get it all sorted out. I thought I had returned a HUGE pile of books on their due date but had actually returned them a few days late. Take it from me- late fees add up fast. 
Actual footage of the library accountant seeing my money roll in.
* I went out to grill chicken the other night and found two frogs hanging out under the lid. Needless to say, I can never cook on that grill again. I asked Christopher the other day when frog season will be over and he said it's not a season. They're a permanent fixture. If you hear I've been arrested for illegal drug possession you can blame the frogs.

* I'm been discussing adoption and foster care with AB lately. She gave me a hug and said, "I would want you and Daddy to adopt me."

Friday, July 6, 2018

I have not learned the art of a short recap

I didn't mean for so much time to pass between posts but that's how it goes every time I go home for a visit. I think I'll have time to read and blog but in reality I do very little of either.

It was so stupidly hot most of our visit. The day we arrived was 66* but every day after was sweltering. I am not the best version of myself in the heat. I get very annoyed with life in general and have very little patience. I thought a great idea for our last day of Aunt Camp would be to visit the splash pad. Contrary to the website, it wasn't open so we tried another park Daniel knew of. It was closed for an old car show. We tried a third park but it didn't open for an hour and a half. All it had was a fire hydrant stuck in the middle of a cement enclosure so it wasn't what we were looking for anyway. Morale in our car was dropping rapidly so I called a fourth park with a wading pool to find out the hours. I wasn't about to make the girls sit through a drive to another failed park. The woman on the phone said it was open until 5:45. I found an open park! The day was saved! I was the Aunt Camp MVA (most valuable aunt). We picked up Chickfila and I got the girls enthusiasm back up. THE NEXT PARK WAS LOCKED. The sign said it didn't open for 45 minutes. I was so close to breaking in. I didn't travel for two hours to be defeated. Two lifeguards showed up and we thought they'd let us in early but no such luck. They sat on their chairs for half an hour while 17 children waited in the grass. They said no one could swim, or stick toes in, until noon because of insurance. Insurance shimnsurance. It was 98* with high humidity. Children were falling apart. A certain mother might have been on the brink of organizing a revolt against the wading pool. Like I said, I'm not my best self in the heat. Once we all got a chance to cool off and have some fun we all decided it was a good trip after all.


Halfway through Aunt Camp, Ivy started sitting on her potty every time AB sat on hers. She'd announce that she peed, Annabelle would get off her toilet to check, then tell Ivy to sit back down and try again. They looked like Jacks in the box, hopping up and down. At one point she was laying on the ground in front of Ivy's potty out by the pool encouraging her to keep trying. "Just keep trying, Baby Ivy! Keep trying and you'll get better!" This pattern repeated for several visits to the bathroom and by the end of our visit Ivy was saying when she needed the potty and using it almost full time. Erika did nothing but buy the potty and monitor handwashing.

It took 10 months to potty train Annabelle. She didn't get it until four months ago. Apparently she's now enough of an expert to train Ivy. I'm thinking of making this lucrative and starting AB's Potty Encouragement, LLC.

Tuesday night we went to fireworks and Wednesday we went to the parade. We almost didn't go to the parade because of the heat but I'm so glad we did. There's so much change going on so it was nice to do something I did as a child. Annabelle loved it. She danced and clapped and collected candy. She was so ladylike about picking the candy. She'd run over to the pile, inspect every piece, then pick one and bring it back to. She never took more than one because she wanted to share with the others.
Baby Ivy is my favorite.
The photographer for the local paper was fascinated with her. I can't say I blame him. She did have the cutest outfit.

It was with great sadness that we left yesterday. The visits always go by so fast! When we got to the airport the man behind the counter said, "You know the flight is delayed? You got the email?" If I got the email and knew it was delayed I would not have shown up five hours early. Mom and Elizabeth hadn't left the airport so we reconvened and came up with a plan that didn't involve me entertaining Sesame in an airport for half the day. Suddenly the handle on the collapsible wagon we travel with broke. It was at this point that Annabelle bit my arm. She NEVER bites. I know she was overtired but it was not acceptable. I was already over the day and it wasn't even noon. Elizabeth said she'd find a way to fix the wagon and she did. We drove to a mechanic, she took the broken wagon in and reappeared with it completely fixed. I told her I wish I had the courage to waltz in there for help. I've been known to leave the grocery store without an ingredient instead of asking for help. She said she did it so she'd make it to the blog. LET'S ALL RECOGNIZE ELIZABETH.

We finally got on the plane at the time it was originally scheduled to land in Georgia. We had our tray tables up and seatbelts securely fastened when the captain announced that Air Force One was in the area and all other air travel in the area was prohibited. We sat on the runway for an hour. 
The pilot tried to lighten the mood by telling us it was 6* cooler in Atlanta. What a blessing. While we sat, I realized my fitbit was counting steps even though I wasn't walking. Donald may have delayed my flight but I did earn 347 steps while sitting still. Last time we flew we couldn't land because DT was in the area and we hit turbulence which made AB throw up. I'll take free steps anyday.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

short on words because I have no words left

Setting: the airport and Massachusetts
Cast: the usual suspects

We walked 40 minutes across the airport only to have a windowless seat. 
Our childhood home is being sold so this visit we're trying to do all the lasts. I wanted to be sure Annabelle got to sleep in my old bedroom so we've been staying in there instead of the guest room. I told her all about the sleepovers and fun memories we have in this room.

We went strawberry picking this morning.
 The oldest and youngest in our group walk at the same pace so they stick together. I love that Sesame is old enough to remember these special times with Grandma.

Annabelle- water bottle, pajamas, blanket. Living the relaxed life.
Elizabeth- doing all the hard work

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Father's Day, Edition 5

If you're wondering if your weekend was wilder than mine, let me put your mind at rest. By 9 o'clock on Friday night I was in bed with a headache and asking Christopher why there was half a piece of dried rice in our sheets. 

No one parties harder than us.

We started celebrating Father's Day on Saturday. We took Christopher to an eclectic sandwich restaurant downtown then did a few errands. On Sunday we presented our various gifts and he requested I make enchiladas. I was behind on cards and gifts so we were finishing them at the eleventh hour. This is what it looks like when you wait until after church on Father's Day to buy a card.

We filled out a paper of facts about Christopher and some of Sesame's answers made me laugh me laugh so hard.
My dad's favorite thing to do is cuddle, hanging out with me.
I love it when my dad plays with me.
My dad's favorite food is pork chops.
My dad is really great at woodworking.
I think my dad is funny because jokes.
I know my dad loves me because I'm a girl.

My favorite thing to do with my dad is help do the chores.
My dad's favorite sport is I don't know. I think it's baseball.
The one thing I hear my dad say a lot is "You have to pick up this and this and this."
I love my dad because he takes good care of me.

AB loves giving gifts so she had been wrapping bits of paper and making cards with glitter for days. She found a rock on the kitchen floor and wrapped it in Rudolph wrapping paper. She loves rocks so I guess she thought Christopher would appreciate one too.

I could put more pictures of Christopher here but let's be honest. He wouldn't be having a Father's Day if it wasn't for us.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

we were made for the beach life

I'm about to discuss a whole week of life in one post so settle in and buckle up.

Last Thursday night Annabelle starting exhibiting signs (namely screaming) of a UTI. The next day I kept her home from art camp and brought her to walk-in hours at the doctors. He said he doubted she had an infection but if I wanted, I could take her down to the hospital for a test. I disagreed with his diagnose but he's the one who went to medical school. My degree is only from Web MD. He wrote a prescription for an antibiotic just in case.

We had never been at the hospital so of course, we didn't know where to go. The man behind the registration desk was not one for chit-chat about the weather or our weekend plans. I was reading the paperwork upsidedown as he highlighted the lines to sign and saw a word I didn't recognize. "Aminor." I thought it was a French word. Perhaps is was pronounced ahhh-me-nor. Then he turned the paper around and I saw that it said "a minor" as in "I am signing for a minor." WHY AM I IN CHARGE OF A CHILD WHEN I DON'T UNDERSTAND ENGLISH.

When we got to the lab bathroom, AB had the most epic meltdown about not wanting to pee. I wouldn't want to either but she had to do it. I could not convince her to pee. She was crying and screaming and tears were pouring down her face. The nurses said we could leave and bring the pee back later. Sesame skipped out of the hospital as if we had just had a leisurely stroll through a garden center. A few hours later she peed in her pullup. She had several accidents since the night before so I put a pullup on for while we were out and forgot to take it off. How was I supposed to squeeze pee out of a pullup? She must have sensed my frustration (or maybe heard it when I said I was very frustrated) because she pulled out the little potty and went. So back we went to the hospital with a cup of pee. Several things then went wrong at the library and Walgreens so I rewarded us with munchkins and coffee. Eating my feelings since 1989.

Saturday we packed for our long awaited trip to Florida. I planned for us to leave early Sunday morning. We woke up that night not once, not twice but four times to the sound of Annabelle throwing up. The antibiotic was not gentle on her little stomach and she was so miserable. She lay on the couch all morning barely speaking which is how you know when she's sick. I felt nauseous too but I couldn't tell if it was because I felt been cleaning up vomit or because the stomach bug was about to bite. Thankfully she perked up by the evening thanks to zofran so I planned to try leaving the next morning. I packed a trash bag with towels, paper towels, changes of clothes and a cleaner. It was not my first rodeo. I've traveled with a vomiting child before. 

The doctor called the next morning to say she did indeed have an infection. What a surprise! I knew it. My Web MD degree is valid after all. He called in a different prescription so armed with the new prescription and zofran we set off. No one threw up or had accidents. 
"I think I look pretty fabulous. You do too, Mom."
We had the best time. We grew up so far from Grandma Connie that we only saw her once a year at most. This time we had her to ourselves for three afternoons and evenings. She is hilarious. She knows everyone in her retirement park and is the life of the party. We drove her golf cart up and down the streets stopping at her friends' homes. Most of them are widows or widowers so much of the talk is about who likes who or who wants to be asked out by who. Grandma is happily dating Charlie from four doors down so she isn't looking for anyone, as she frequently points out. She is part of Weight Watchers but doesn't diet on Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday because she has standing plans with her friends and wants to eat what they're eating. 
In the morning while she was at work went to the pool or the beach. This is the first summer that AB will wear a lifejacket and float around on her own. What a game changer. I can float around on my noodle and not have her glued to my hip. A new swimming day has dawned. 
It's important to wear proper floation on land. 

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Currently- the

Reading: The Choice by Edith Eva Eger. I read a higher than normal amount of books about WW2 so when I say this is one of the best books I've read from that time it's because I've done my research. It is so, so good. She survived Auschwitz and became a psychologist promoting forgiveness, healing and compassion.

Listening to: The Happy Hour podcast. The most recent episode was with a woman who was a victim of a home break-in and assault by three men. I was home alone listening when I heard a banging on the door. I froze. The woman in the podcast heard banging before her house was broken into. I thought for sure my life was about to end. At least Annabelle wasn't there to witness the end of her mother's life. All I had to defend myself was a mallet and screwdriver. Spoiler: I'm still alive. It was only the AC repairman coming four hours early. 

The How I Built This podcast. As someone who has 14 different business ideas, I like to learn from others who have grown successful businesses. I disagreed with one lady who was sharing her findings on shopping patterns and what customers want but what do I know? I'm the one who uses all the money-saving apps and she's the one who built StichFix, a highly successful, multi-million dollar company.

Frustrated with: the bathroom walls. And the air conditioner. The landlords finally sent someone over to fix the ac only for it to stop working five days later.  The outlets in the bedrooms all stopped working. Things are literally falling off the walls. The walls here are so poorly built that curtain rods, toilet paper holders and towel rods don't stay up. We hired Carlton the handyman to hang the curtain rods and such up for us and when I was looking over his work he said, "Now remember. This rod is for towels, not hanging on." I'll remember that when I get the urge to practice for Cirque du Soleil after my shower. 

Concentration camps. Assault. Frustration. This post is a real ray of sunshine!

Receiving: fun mail from Michelle. I got an alert saying my curtains had been delivered so when I saw a box on the deck that's what I assumed it was. It was something so much better. Michelle sent me a royal wedding mug straight from Great Britain. I could not be more delighted. She knows the way to my heart! 
Driving: to art camp. Our resident Norman Rockwell had art camp all this week. She spent several days last week very nervous as it was her first camp. She cried a few times because she didn't want to go. She practiced her coloring so she could do a good job. She practiced wiping her own bum. We talked about introducing herself to the other children. I haven't confirmed that she actually did talk to other children because she hasn't remembered anyone's names. She did give me a rundown of how many other girls were in the bathroom with her and how many times she stood on one leg so she shared all the important details. 
We have to leave by 8:30 every morning which is a good hour and a half before my preferred time to leave the house in the morning. The first day she woke up at 5am to discuss the day. I am not a nice mom at 5am. At some point, she crawled into bed with me, fell asleep and we didn't wake up until 7:59. I threw clothes on her, toasted a bagel and we rolled up to the art museum with 2.5 minutes to spare. There was construction going on in front of the museum so I had to find alternate parking after going down two one-way parking lots. Then we had to walk through a muddy field where AB took a sudden liking to examining clovers. She was one of the last ones to arrive but we made it. This does not bode well for next year when we have to be out of the house early to school.