Wednesday, October 7, 2015

three very unrelated and unimportant topics

Two doors down from our house is a bar. A few weeks ago they put out a sign announcing they'd be having a "family friendly" Fall festival over the weekend. I wondered what family friendly event could happen at a bar. Apple juice shots, maybe? Christopher went over to investigate but he reported there wasn't much going on so it wasn't worth us walking ALL THE WAY over there. That night we heard music blaring into all hours of the evening. We assumed things were in full party mode over at the Fall festival. The next night the music started up again. Christopher happened to be out in the backyard at the same time our neighbor Sue was building a fire in her fire pit. He said hi but she didn't respond as she was high as a kite. Turns out the music was courtesy of Sue's personal Fall festival complete with a 1990's cd player and assorted things to smoke.
In case you're wondering, Sue looks like this. Add fifteen years, change the hood to green and it's 100% Sue.

Speaking of what people look like, the boy who cuts our grass looks EXACTLY like Jojo from Horton Hears a Who. He has shaggy black hair, the longest arms and has worn stripped black pants every time I see him.
The cast of characters around here is fascinating.
Lately I've been teaching Sesame state names. It's more out of a desire to hear her say some new words than a desire to raise the 2020 World Geography Competition winner. Yesterday we had the following conversations:
Me: What do you want for lunch?
AB: Massa-CHOO-ses.
Me: Do you want more or are you all done?
AB: Massa-CHOO-ses! Massa-CHOO-ses!
Me: Go get a book for me to read you.
AB: Massa-CHOO-ses!
Whatever the question, Massachusetts is her the answer.
Today was the first day of my first annual Fall Fashion Fiesta with my favorite first child.
"I am so bored. I will gaze up at the sky and hope for an airplane to appear."
Stay tuned for future installments as we make our way through her wardrobe. It's sure to be fascinating.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

one and a half

My favorite offspring turned one and a half yesterday.
On her way to the playground the very second she turned one and a half.
She's been a busy bee in the last six months. She walks up talking and rarely stops unless she's being read to. A very small Sesame pronunciation guide follows*:

* This will be of interest to very few people

Mow! Mow!: More! More!
pops: popsicle
I shakey han/I holdy han: I shake your hand/I hold your hand
de-sing: dressing for whatever she's eating. Her favorites are blue cheese and ranch.
amil cackers: animal crackers
humpy dumpy: Humpty Dumpty

She uses the signs for more, please, cook, banana, turtle, again  and flower. She tries to do the letters with me when I sign the alphabet. I've been trying to teach her new signs but she doesn't learn them as quickly since she's started talking more.

She's just started getting to the stage where she says cute things. The other day she brought me a bottle of Powerade and said, "Read to juice, Mama". Now I can cross read Hop on Pop to a plastic bottle off my bucket list. She told me she wants to "huggy birds" at the park.
"Anybody home? Anybody home?"
She LOVES reading. She loves playing outside and coloring with crayons. She will make sticker pictures all day, every day. One of her favorite activities is unrolling the toilet paper. She enjoys counting "one, two, one, one, two" at random times.

She's getting so tall but is still a skinny Minnie. We brought four pairs of shoes with us when we left Tennessee and she outgrew three of them by the time we arrived here. She fit into the same 3-6 month pants for an entire year. They were pants last year and capris this year. It was almost like parting with a good friend when I packed them up.

She adores animals, especially goats and kittens. She loves when we visit the pet store. When we went to see the alpacas over the weekend she saw a flock of turkeys and said she wanted to "kissy the turkeys".

She's recently started watching shows and her favorites are Mary Poppins, Winnie the Pooh and her first great love- Minnie Mouse. Hours after I mentioned how she never tries to hum or sign she started singing, "medicine down, medicine go down" and "fly-y kite!" from Mary Poppins.

Last month Christopher showed her a video on youtube of mother cats caring for their babies. Something about the kittens and the classical music in the background brought her to tears. She wasn't upset. She was so touched that she had the biggest tears rolling down her cheeks.

Girlfriend loves food. She will eat almost anything. She loves snacks and asks for one every hour.

Much to my great sorrow she's started protesting bows.

Sometimes I still wonder when her mother is going to show up. When we're out, especially when we're visiting my family, and she needs something people will look to me and I look at them and wonder why they're all expecting ME to fix it. Obviously I've got this mothering thing down pat.

Monday, September 28, 2015

maybe the insurance agent would like to hear an alpaca joke

The weekend started off with me breaking our bed. All I wanted to do was rest while Sesame took her nap but when I laid down, I heard a crack and the bottom half of the bed fell down. Needless to say I didn't get my nap.

Saturday morning I went to the dentist. There was an issue with the insurance since the receptionist wasn't accustomed to dealing with Tricare but I patted myself on the back for handling it with such smoothness and expertise. I hate dealing with insurance and that was the second time in two weeks I handled insurance issues like an adult so clearly I deserve a medal of some sort. Or maybe I need to accept that fact that dealing with insurance is what adults do and I shouldn't be so proud of myself. Just as I was getting situated in the EXTREMELY QUIET waiting room the receptionist called me to the desk. I forgot my keys were on my lap and they crashed down onto the tile floor. Everyone looked at me. I answered the receptionist's question and sat down only for her to call me up again. AGAIN I forgot about the keys on my lap and AGAIN everyone looked at me. I jammed the key ring down on my fingers so it wouldn't happen a third time. Finally the hygienist called my name and when I stood up, the chair stuck to the back of my legs and it lifted off the floor then smashed against the wall. I could not leave the waiting room fast enough.

The dentist had large movie posters hanging around his office. This was the picture I came face to face with when sitting in the chair. What a relaxing place.

Last weekend was National Alpaca Weekend (who decides these things?) and we took AB to a local farm to see the animals. I spent all day thinking of puns like "Alpaca the diaper bag so we can go to the farm'' and "Alpaca some snacks for the road". I crack myself up.

Friday, September 25, 2015

a trip to the falls

When Mom and Elizabeth were visiting last week we took a day trip to a small body of water commonly known as Niagara Falls.
You may have heard of it.
While we oohed and aahed over the beauty, Sesame sat in her stroller very unimpressed. She was more excited about chasing the seagulls.
The falls were so awesome they became one with the sky. Or maybe the camera was on the wrong setting.

Christopher sent Mom, Elizabeth and I on the Maiden of the Mist tour while he and AB stayed on dry land. Try not to be jealous of our hott plastic ponchos.
I had a bit of a wardrobe malfunction.

The American flag flying over Canada. God bless America, long may she reign.
I wish this was my backyard. I'd love to wake up to this view every day!

Monday, September 14, 2015

anytime the unpacking fairies want to arrive is fine with me

Welcome to my new home! Pull up a box and make yourself comfortable.

It's nothing short of a peaceful oasis around here. It could even be compared to a tropical beach vacation.

Last time I appeared on this corner of the webosphere I was comfortably situated between 318 boxes full of my worldly possessions and a disassembled kitchen table. The view hasn't changed much, just the state.
Since then we've driven more than 800 miles with our cars looking like modern day Beverly Hillbillys. We've stayed in hotels across three different states and one who shall remain unnamed unrolled the toilet paper in them all.
I was so proud of this girl. She once cried ONCE the entire drive. 

Christopher made me the leader of our two vehicle caravan. As the kids these days say, LOL. I get lost in my own front yard. I kid you not, I got on the wrong highway less than three minutes after we left our Tennessee house.
Last family picture at our old house.
 The bright and shining highlight of our trek north was visiting Michelle and darling family. My car was broken into when we visited her last time so I was preparing myself for disaster to strike again. A car part flew off the car in front of me and left a dent the size of a basketball in my bumper but compared to a broken window it was nothing. Perspective is a funny thing. I had been talking to Annabelle about Michelle's baby Gracie for weeks. Every time I'd see a picture of Gracie I'd show Annabelle who would squeal and say, "Baby Gaycee! Baby Gaycee! Call Gaycee?" I was not disappointed when they finally met in person. They'll be BFF's forever. They have no choice.
 In case you're wondering where Gracie gets good hair genes, look no farther than her father.
 Sesame takes advantage of any opportunity to practice her princess wave.
As someone who likes to be fully prepared for everything in life, not knowing what our new house would be like caused me not a little worry and gray hair. We got here Tuesday but couldn't get into the house until Thursday. We drove over to see the outside and I'm not going to lie. I panicked. My first impression was we were about to live in a house the size of two postage stamps. I envisioned having to leave 3/4 of my furniture out on the front lawn.  It was such a relief to see the inside and discover that my beloved hutch wouldn't be banished to a dark corner of the garage after all. It's not big by any means, but we'll make it work. The kitchen doesn't have a space for a real table so we have to turn the downstairs bedroom into a dining room. The stairs and upstairs hallway creak like the bones of a 102 year old man and are guaranteed to wake a sleeping baby. Annabelle's room is itty bitty but she's itty bitty so it works out. We have 104 boxes left to unpack and we're waiting for the movers to bring us the rest. We'll be fully unpacked by 2017.
I should be unpacking but I think I'll go sit in the back yard instead. It's so much prettier than cardboard boxes.

Monday, August 31, 2015

we've got our moving shose on

Last night was the last we time we rocked Annabelle in the bedroom we brought her home to. No one, least of all me, was at all emotional.

We spend most of yesterday after church packing the house. We moved all the stuff that we're driving to the new house into the bathroom and the coat closet. The bathroom door can barely be opened and I practically have to climb on the counter to get to the toilet. The tub is full of stuff. I can only open the coat closet door part way or the drawers on Christopher's file box slide open. My home is the sanctuary of peace and tranquility I always hoped it would be.

The packers came this morning to start boxing everything up and I could not have been more unenthusiastic about it. I woke up with a splitting headache and jaw pain thanks to stress and my still partially dislocated jaw. I felt like a million tiny little needles were jabbing into my ears. I wanted to curl up and cry and never leave the bed. Annabelle felt fine as a fiddle and started talking up a storm before she even got out of bed. We had piles through out the house and pictures leaning against all the walls. Her toys were separated into pack and do not pack piles. We had a stack of folded boxes just perfect for throwing around the floor. She bounced from pile to pile touching and moving everything. You would have thought she was at Disney World. I bounced from the ibuprofen bottle to the sudaphed bottle. Fun was had by all.

By the time they arrived (late) at 8:36, I was done. I wanted to go back to bed. The movers are very nice and extremely efficient. It would take me days and days to get this house packed, even if I didn't have the small one. They're going through boxes and wrapping paper like they're going out of style. I appreciate a good wrapping job. I've been known to use paper, bubble wrap and newspaper one plate. Can't be too careful. I don't appreciate their labeling techniques or the way they combine items. For example, I saw them combine the following into one box labeled ''pillows'':
toys, fake greenery, a small metal star, two couch cushion, my cardboard letters that spell EAT, and part of a lamp.

I almost burst a blood vessel. I would never put the greenery that adorns my cupboards with Annabelle's musical school bus.

Then I found this jewel.
Clothes and shose.
 The day didn't go off completely without a hitch but it did stay interesting. One guy was packing the kitchen and the light fell off the ceiling and crashed to the floor right by his feet. How does a light just fall off the ceiling? Another guy saw my bowl of muffins on the counter and asked if he could have one. I said he could have as many as he wanted. He asked if they were blueberry muffins. They were banana. Is my cooking that bad?

A few minutes later I heard the following conversation.
Mover 1: Is bowls spelled with e-l at the end or just l?
Mover 2: It doesn't matter.

Um. YES IT DOES MATTER. I ASSURE you that the bowels belonging to people in this house are not going in any boxes. They won't be walking around in any shose either.