Sunday, May 19, 2019

we've hit double digits

Today marks the tenth anniversary of this ol' blog. To commemorate such an auspicious occasion, I set myself no less than 8 phone alarms this week to remind me to write a special post. Alas, here we are, with not a one special post idea in mind.

In 10 years, I've written 1,267 posts and have 92 drafts. My posts took a steep dive south when I had Annabelle. I don't want to assign blame, but she's really cramped my blogging style. I looked at the 92 drafts to see what I didn't publish and I can now say the internet wouldn't have been improved had I published all those drafts. I often type notes of what to blog about at future dates, yet most of the time I didn't give myself enough information to remember my brilliant idea when I actually sit down to the computer. I tell myself that at least I had ideas.

The following is a small sample of the gibberish notes I found:

Orange groomsmen
Homeless children
Water plants before it rains
Ebay anniversary
Driving the car

Blog name

I really wish I knew what I meant by "orange groomsmen." The only one I can speak to is my blog name. The current name has absolutely no special significance. I don't know why I chose it. I don't particularly like it and I'd like to change it. I didn't think I'd stick with blogging for long so it wouldn't matter what I called it. Here we are 10 years later and I'm researching how to change the name and the URL. I remember Daisy Days being an option but, thank God, someone else already had it and I was saved from that trainwreck of a name.

I also found an unpublished post where I took several BuzzFeed quizzes.

Quiz: What Kind of Mom will You Be?
Result: Stage mom. 

This makes me laugh as I was just a stage mom for the first time and I was not good at it.  
Quiz: What Percent Diva Are You? 
Result: 80%. You've got more diva in you than not. While you have a little bit of flair for the dramatic, you're also somewhat of a realist. You're used to coming in first, which is why it's hard for you to accept certain failures. You strive for perfection, and people who can't keep up with you can step aside. In short, you're someone people generally admire but would NOT mess with.
If the crown fits...
Quiz: What Period in History do You Really Belong In?
Result: Renaissance Italy.
 couldn't disagree with this more. I'd like to live in a time period with air conditioning and underwear.

Quiz: What Career Should You Have? 
Result: Writer
You have a skill for language, your imagination is vast and you are artistic and creative. Your brain is just overflowing with ideas, and all you have to do is get a piece of paper and share it with the world. You were born to turn words into magical stories.
While the quiz goes above and beyond in describing my overflowing brain, I do have an award-winning blog* and am writing my memoir called "I Have No Idea what I'm Doing, subtitled When Does the Pizza Arrive?"
* I did get a blog award from a friend back in 2012 which is the equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize.
Quiz: Which Fruit Matches Your Personality?
Result: Apple.  Apples are classic, classy, and sophisticated. Apples know what's up. You can't mess with an apple. You try to mess with an apple and you'll regret it. Apples just have it together and know what's up.
Given that I have several pounds I can't lose (a.k.a I'm getting rounder) the shape of this fruit hits a little too close to home. I do try to be klassy but sometimes it doesn't work out well. For example, I didn't realize that I wore the wrong bra under my dress to church today. It was visible from all angles.
When I look back on my first years of blogging it makes me want to sink into the floor with embarrassment. I've unpublished some of them because they're so awkward. I must have written 45 posts about Daniel and Erika's wedding and 189 about my babysitting career. It was a snoozefest for a while there. I didn't have any timeline when I started blogging. I started and just haven't stopped. It's crazy to think of all the things that have happened in those 10 years. I went from a 20-year-old student/professional child caregiver to a wife, mother, and owner of cats.

This blog has given me some of my favorite people. I have a daily group chat with three girls I became friends with through blogs- Laura, Michelle, and currently blogless Toi. I call them my focus group and ask their input every time Christopher and I disagree on something. We discuss everything from proper tipping amounts to bad neighbors to moral dilemmas. I'm the only one who has met any of the others in person but I'll keep hoping someday we can all get together to eat chips and dips.

Of course, it gave me a husband. Christopher read my blog while he was deployed and it brought such joy to his life. Not only have I blogged tirelessly for 10 years, but I also improved the morale of the troops. I assume I'll be given the Presidential Medal of Freedom any day now.

I might not love the name and most of the posts might be less than stellar, but it's my little blog and I think I'll keep it around for a while longer.

Friday, May 17, 2019

little graduate

Sesame Pie graduated preschool this week. I don't know how that happened since she started preschool seven minutes ago.
Everyone knows I love a good party and any chance to celebrate, but I've always rolled my eyes a little at preschool and kindergarten graduations. I'm the odd person who enjoys high school and college graduations, but preschool graduation ceremonies always seemed a little too much. However, I arrived at Annabelle's graduation ceremony 25 minutes early to get a good seat and loved every second.

I teared up a little when they walked into Pomp and Circumstance. I feel like she was just learning to smile and hold Mr. Lion. In September I agonized and shed tears over whether I should have her switch schools. It could not have gone better. She learned so much about God. She went to chapel every week and memorized a new Bible verse every month. She learned so much about praying and says the school prayers at home. She loved playing Wild Kratts on the playground with the other kids in her class who also watch the show. She went to music class weekly. She loved her little group of friends. She learned about fruit by the foot and other foods we don't buy by seeing what her friends bring for lunch. 

She told me for weeks they were going to sing "the ABC 123 song but not like, the ABC song. The other song that has ABC in it. Some kids will get to hold signs with ABC and 123 on them but not me. Miss Terry's class gets to do that. I get to move my hands fast like boom boom boom." They sang four songs and recited all their Bible verses. It was precious. 
Receiving a preschool diploma is very serious business. 
Her teachers, Jessica and Sheila, made a photo book of the school year for all the students. They also gave a children's Bible that they and the principal had written in. 
I plan on many months of popsicle eating and swimming before we hit the books again next school year.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

tiny dancer

May 11th, 2019

Sunday, May 12, 2019

muffins with mom

Muffins with Mom happened at school this week. Annabelle was home sick thanks to bad allergies for a few days before, but I pumped her full of remedies and prayers and off we went. I waited all year for Muffins with Mom (the kind that wasn't muffins I made, served and cleaned up in my own kitchen) and I was not about to miss it because of pollen. We would have gone had she been in a body cast. 
Every Mother's Day since she was born, I take Sesame to a pottery place and do her handprint on a tile. The gift the students made for us was a decorated tile of the same size I've been using. I can't wait to someday make a mosaic out of all the tiles. 
She thinks my favorite restaurant is Applebees but it's her favorite restaurant because they bring chips and salsa to the table. If I leave no other legacy behind as a mother, I'm proud it's a legacy of loving chips.

Monday, May 6, 2019

I don't think stage mom will be my new career

Last week, Sesame's extra rehearsals for dance began. The way our studio is set up, the waiting room is positioned so the dance room can't be seen and we don't get to see the girls practice. When I saw her on the stage at the theater dancing for the first time I half cried and half laughed. I can't believe she's old enough to be up there! They were so so cute. Only two girls remembered what to do and everyone else moved their arms and legs whenever they felt like it. It was more of a free dance than synchronized dance. I loved it. I don't like driving 30 minutes for lessons and have complained about the extra rehearsals, but seeing them dance was worth it. That's how they reel you into signing up for another year of dance. They wear you down during the year then show you the best parts when you're at your weakest and most likely to hand over some money.  

I was a backstage volunteer for the next rehearsal. There were two groups in our dressing room- the daisies and the violets. I wasn't sure what to do so I was relieved when the mom in charge of the violets walked up to me. I was hoping she'd share some wisdom but instead, she said, "Have you ever done this before? I have no idea what to do." It was a classic case of the blind leading the blind. 

I was in charge of nine 3 to 5-year-olds who I had never met. They all had identical leotards, tutus, skirts, ballet slippers, tap shoes and necklaces. That's a total of 72 items to keep organized and less than a quarter of the items had the dancers' name written inside. Their moms went out to watch the performance having done only the most minimal of organizing. There were rouge ballet slippers and skirts scattered around our half of the room. I went straight into teacher mode and made everyone sit down in an assigned seat while I organized their things. They were very sweet but they were overexcited and in a crowded room with little entertainment so it was chaos for the first 20 minutes. Lilah, Emma and Lillian looked identical so I had to keep asking their names. I might bring name tags for next week. Nala purposely stepped on all the coloring books as her friends were using them. Emma repeatedly tackled Nala to the ground. Mica was very offended every time someone so much as brushed her with their tutu. "She keeps falling on me and TOUCHING ME! Tell her to stop looking at meeee!" London kept taking off her leotard because the sequins were making her itchy. We played Simon Says with Mica in the back loudly commenting on what everyone did wrong. I told them the longest version of Jack and the Beanstalk ever recounted in the history of storytelling. Seven of them paid attention and sat quietly for the whole thing. We practiced spelling their names. We talked about giant chickens. By the end of the rehearsal, they were all more or less under control in the dressing room. Someone went by and thought our room was empty because they were all so quiet. I won't lie. I was proud of myself for whipping them into shape   transforming us into the most organized group. I hope they keep it up for the real recital on Saturday,

As these things tend to go, pride in one area makes things go south in another. They squawked like a flock of geese while they were waiting on stage. I could not keep them quiet. No matter how many times I said they needed to whisper, someone was always talking and it was usually Emma. "Are they (the older dancers) real princesses? Is this when we get popcorn? Are the strings (tassles) on their costumes covering their butts? Is this real life? Is this a dream? Where is my mom sitting? When can I dance? My mom said this is a dream. Is it real life or a dream? Do you want to hold this fingernail I found for you on the floor? Did you bring a snack? Do we dance after them? What's my dance again? What am I supposed to do? Can you tell me? Can you kill that bug?" The older dancers backstage kept giving me looks that said to make them be quiet. I was doing my best! I can't help it if they get distracted by the curtains and want to pull them down.

Three hours later, all that was left in the dressing room was a pile of hangers and one lonely tap shoe without a name. I would have tracked down the owner but I barely had a voice after all that corralling. And besides, I'm only a volunteer. I don't get paid enough to chase people down in the parking lot in this much humidity.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

come to me with all your marriage conundrums

Yesterday was our 8th anniversary.

In years past, I prepared posts and facebook statuses days in advance and scheduled them for the 29th. I made sure everything was done on time. This year I meant to write something on Sunday afternoon but I took a nap instead. "Nap" is a generous way to put it. It was more like an experiment where AB tried to beat her personal record of how many times she can ask for a snack in 30 minutes. 

Our friends watched AB so we could go out to eat on Sunday. The restaurant we wanted to visit was closed so we enjoyed a calm and quiet dinner at a second restaurant. Yesterday, our anniversary, I cashed in a facial and massage gift certificate at the spa in the morning and got a haircut in the afternoon. It was a tough day of pampering and someone had to do it so I took one for the team. The lady doing the facial was sweet but she promoted their new procedure for the removal of extra-fine facial hair a little too much. She turned the spotlight directly on my face and said, "Yeah, I think you'd really like that procedure. You're a great candidate." Just's the sort of self-esteem building comment I was hoping to hear!

In honor of our 8 years together, I'd like to share some spiritual lessons marriage tips and tricks. I encourage you to file these notes away for your time of need.

1. Nag, nag, nag. As I said last week if I nag suggest Christopher start a new hobby for long enough he just might do it. I've tried this leaky faucet method in other areas without success, but I'll keep at it.

2. Find a way to live in (somewhat) peace and harmony when your hobby is your spouse's fear. Christopher has a sewing needle/pin phobia. He HATES them. This presents a problem since I use pins and needles frequently. I like to do cross stitch when we watch a show at night or in the car and he is truly horrified when I drop a needle and can't find it. I am much more laid back it. I always usually find the needle and if I don't, we don't have a toddler in the house who will find and eat it. It's not like it stands straight up by itself, waiting for an unfortunate soul to step on it and die. When Mom and Elizabeth were here, one of them was doing some mending and a stray needle was on the floor. I made sure he knew it WAS NOT MY FAULT. I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. DO NOT BLAME ME FOR THE STRAY NEEDLE.

3. Make purchases "for him" that you enjoy. If you, like me, are married to someone who hates confetti, I can point you in the direction of a company that makes a confetti bomb card. I can't guarantee that it will explode like you hoped and dreamed but please order one for yourself and let me know how it goes. I got him the Father's Day confetti card box bomb and stalked the mailbox until it came. I don't think there's ever been a card I was happier to see. It was a flop but the anticipation of an exploding box of confetti brought me so much joy I might order another for this Father's Day. Again, let's be clear that while the card was for him, the entire purchase of said card was for my entertainment. 

4. Find common ground in education. Christopher is obsessed deeply invested in BBC news. He's constantly checking their app and listen to their radio station. I listen to the less globally enlightening but BY FAR more entertaining BigBoo Cast. When I want to tell him something I heard on the podcast, I add little more credibility to what I'm about to share with him by saying, "Today on the BBC I heard..." He doesn't know which BBC I'm talking about but in case it's his version of the BBC, he pays a little more attention. 

5. Try to fill in gaps in each other's knowledge. Closely related to number 4, any conversation along the lines of "Did you read the article on ozone layering and how it is affecting the planetary protection of the earth?" usually end with me replying in the negative. But he never knows when Joann's is having their special 70% off holiday clearance sale so it evens out.

6. They say "Don't let the sun go down on your anger." but that's not always possible. Sometimes you're angry when the sun comes up because your husband has set alarms to go off every 10-15 from 5 o'clock in the morning to 6:30. I wish I was exaggerating but I looked at his alarms last night and I am not. Use the time before you fall asleep to plan how hard you'll whack him with pillows when he doesn't hear the alarms, or remind him that there's a guest bed right down the hall and a couch in the living room if he insists on so many alarms at such an ungodly hour.

I hope a few of these tips work for you. My 2,921 days of marriage make me qualified to speak on the topic. Christopher is still my favorite husband I've ever had so it's worked out well for me.

I finally made a cross stitch portrait for us. Only three needles were dropped in the making of this project and all three were retrieved.