Thursday, January 23, 2020

updates on various topics

I have thirteen minutes to pound this out before I have to pick up Annabelle at ballet.

Sleep or lack thereof: I've been doing a better job of being up and ready for the day before AB wakes up. Five out of seven days she would wake me up by appearing at the side of my bed and asking for breakfast, telling me a fact about Elana of Avalor or where her rag doll is and how she had her water bottle, lost it under the blankets then found it again. She wakes up ready to greet the day with all the enthusiasm and energy of a five-year-old/energizer bunny. My greeting of the day could not be less different.
Me when I wake up every morning
For the last several days I've gotten up first and as much as I hate to admit it because it means less sleep, it has made the mornings easier to get up on my own terms. Tuesday I had to drag a sleepy Annabelle out of bed so we could make it to the homeschool group on time. I was doing her hair and singing a really superb song about how we needed to trim her nails next. She sighed very loudly and said, "Mom, it's too early for all these shemanigans." That's exactly how I feel every morning! Too many shenanigans from the child of the house. Have a taste of your own medicine.

School: We attend two homeschool groups- a Classical Conversations group on Tuesdays and a regular homeschool group on Fridays. It took several weeks for me to start liking the CC model but it's started to grow on me. I have no idea how to make what we learn on Tuesdays into an entire curriculum and I wish it was MUCH more hands-on, but Annabelle has learned quite a bit and enjoys going. She gives a presentation to her class every week and unlike her mother, there has never been any hyperventilating or tears before she gets up. Every few weeks a CC family has to stand in front of the entire group and tell a little about themselves. The mom who did it this week said, "We also have a son named Samuel, but he's in the classroom right now because crowds and people looking at him make him very uncomfortable." ME TOO, SAMUEL. Our turn is in March and I'm already planning on being sick that day.

Weather: it's reached a brisk 42* at noon this week and the entire town is acting as if the sky is falling and we're all about to die any second. Three separate people told me that this is supposed to be the coldest week of the year. I didn't bother saying we're only 23 days into the year so that doesn't take much, but I tried to be outwardly sympathetic. Inwardly I'm all but putting up a billboard reminding people that January is winter and this is all totally normal. Nobody panic. 

BRB. I have to go retrieve my child.

Still alive: our angel tree. It's the Christmas tree that refuses to die and I refuse to throw it away while it still has so much life left to live. It's been up for six weeks now which I think is long enough for a phone call to the Guinness World Record people. 

Researching: the current situation surrounding the royal family. If you've got questions, I've got opinions galore. Christopher has tried to participate in my Sussex family conversations and I truly appreciate the effort, but it's become clear he has not been paying attention. I was giving a lengthy soapbox speech about how they're leaving the country of Harry's birth and not even going to live in the country of Meghan's birth. They're up in Canada where the national snack is a weird dish of french fries with cheese curds and gravy. (Obviously, I'm not knocking french fries. I always have and always will love french fries. It's the cheese curds I object to.) Christopher said, "Well, she is Canadian so that makes sense." I was flabbergasted. Speechless. Has he learned nothing from me in the last several years?! She's not Canadian. Didn't he read all the headlines that said "American princess"? Was he not paying attention when I told him two and a half years ago that Lian's son went to the boys' version of the college prep high school in Los Angeles that Meghs attended? I would say I won't share any more of my royal thoughts with him but we all know that isn't true. I'll be back at it tomorrow and there's nothing he can do about it. It should have been written into our wedding vows. "In sickness and in health. In war and in peace. In times of royal gossip triumph and royal disdain." 

To sum up my thoughts on the current Sussex situation, I'd like to borrow a word from AB. It's a bunch of shemanigans. 

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Not-baby Ivy comes to town

Our flights home from Williamsburg had some hiccups but overall were much smoother than our flights there. The water system on the first flight was down and they ran out of snacks. The flight attendant hid two bags of cheezits under a blanket and smuggled them to us like a drug dealer. The second flight was delayed by almost two hours then we sat on the tarmac while they got extra gas. But we weren't stranded at the gate for seven hours so we counted our blessings. We rolled into our driveway at 12:30am and instantly went from vacationers with room service to hostess with the mostest because look who rolled into town the next day! Our favorite baby Ivy!
"Mom. She's not a baby anymore." "Auntie Sarah, I'm only Ivy now. Not baby Ivy." Me in my head, "You'll always be Baby Ivy to me. Your wedding card will say baby Ivy."

Erika and I are thick as thieves and the girls are thick as thieves which makes for exceptionally pleasant visits. They had a sleepover in Annabelle's room and giggled for over two hours. Every morning they took all the clothes out of Annabelle's closet and each put on multiple outfits at the same time. We went to the playground, for walks, to get iced coffee and roasted smores. We played games and talked until midnight because we had several months without seeing them to catch up on. Ivy started to not feel well on the second to last day so Erika became Dr. Llama Pants and gave her and AB checkups. Yesterday Annabelle asked me to give her a checkup and when I listened to her lungs she said, "Dr. Llama Pants doesn't do that. She doesn't listen to our lungs!" Well, excuse me for trying to give a thorough checkup! I don't normally follow the medical example of someone with the last name Llama.

We asked Daniel if he could take a picture of us from a good angle that would make us look young and slim. This was his response.
 It did not give us a lot of confidence in his ability to perform but 17 tries later he did a good job.
These sweet girls are cute at all angles!

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Christmas Past

It's been fourteen days since Christmas and I'm finally getting around to blogging about the holidays. I haven't posted about the holidays on time for the last five years and I don't see that changing in the years to come. 

We celebrated our family Christmas the Sunday before Christmas. We went to church in the morning, swung by CVS because nothing screams festive like a three-foot long receipt and opened our gifts after lunch. I had all the gifts we were bringing on our trip separate from the gifts that still needed to be mailed separate from the gifts we would be opening that day. To me, they were organized as each group had its own wrapping paper. To the uneducated, it was a jumble of gifts and the labels on some had fallen off. Thanks to this clear as mud system, half the opening time was spent having conversations about not opening the wrong gifts. Christopher and Annabelle gave me a Downton Abby bell. I knew they had gotten it because AB kept telling me, "Mama, you're going to love what we gave you. I can't tell you what it is, but it starts with a B and came all the way from England. I've never seen anything that came from England!" Sometimes she'd go so far as to add "It goes ding ding!" 
Lucy keeps climbing up the tree so the angel is constantly crooked.

The next morning we blissfully and ignorantly set out on what was to become a horrific travel day. The plane that was supposed to leave at 6:21 in the morning wasn't there because nobody remembered to fly it in. This is a tiny airport that only has two flights at exactly the same time every day. It's wasn't as if the flight was a surprise. When the plane finally arrived hours late, we were delayed waiting for flight plan and gas approval. Just as we got started taxiing down the runway, there was a thud at the front of the plane. "Ladies and gentlemen, we'll be experiencing a small delay. The wheels on the front of the plane fell off and maintenance will have to come look at it." Merry Christmas, everyone! We were about to take off in a plane with wheel issues! A while later, "Ladies and gentlemen, maintenance has suggested we turn the engine off for about five minutes then turn it back on." I'm no plane expert, but I know WITHOUT A DOUBT that turning it on and off won't fix a wheel that fell off. The plane was towed back to the airport where we all deboarded and Delta was flooded with calls from upset customers. The people at the desk didn't know what to do besides call in backup maintenance from an hour away. They wouldn't give us access to our gate-checked bag so Christopher couldn't get his keys and we couldn't leave for lunch. We could see the spot under the plane where the bag was so I almost skipped out there and grabbed it myself. 
This whole time we were barely 20 minutes from home but we couldn't leave the airport. Several hours later, a plane sent to rescue us appeared like an angel from the heavens. The pilots from the new plane walked in and wondered why no one was on the runway to greet them and why they didn't hear anything from air traffic control. None of the workers at the tiny airport knew the rescue plane was coming. They were completely clueless. God bless the pilot who looked like a Hallmark actor for rescuing us. If not for him we'd still be in that tiny waiting area. 
What felt like years later, we made it to Williamsburg. Annabelle was THRILLED to be with the cousins. Ever since she listened to the Kirsten stories she's wanted to do a Saint Lucia day celebration. Stephanie happened to find a white dress with red sash is exactly the style Saint Lucia wore. The girls went along with AB's idea and they brought us milk and cookies. Seeing them together was one of my favorite parts of the trip. 

Thursday, January 2, 2020

hopefully hindsight is 2020 and these things die in the new year

Welcome to the annual Airing of Grievances for the year 2019. Please remember this (mostly) not aimed at anyone in particular so please don't get offended.

In no particular order:

+ The war against paper straws. I had a collection of no less than 37 different designs of paper straws. I know the good brands that stay in the correct shape and which kinds fall apart as soon as they're put in liquid. Don't come near me with your metal straws. If I want metal beyond silverware in my mouth I'll go to the dentist.


+ One-way rows (aisles? lanes?) in parking lots. They're in both Tennessee and Georgia shopping plazas and it drives me nuts. I never know which way I'm supposed to go. I want every lane to be driveable from both directions.

+ Runs for every holiday and occasion. Why? Why is this necessary? If you're running a holiday marathon chances are you'd be running that day anyway. Why make a big deal about it and pay $40 for a run for something you could be doing for free American dollars?

+ Misuse of the words "post" and "blog." A blog is an entire website made up of individual posts. It's the same as chapters in a book. If you read one chapter of Moby Dick you shouldn't say, "I read Moby Dick." That implies that you read the whole book. In the same way, you shouldn't say "I read a blog about candle making" when in reality the blog as a whole is not about candle making. You might be thinking, po-tay-toe po-tah-to, it doesn't matter. If that's how you feel, go write your own post about it. Or write a whole blog about it. This is a hill I am willing to die on.

+ Misuse of the word "whenever." For example, "Whenever my grandpa was about to die, I went to see him." How many times was grandpa about to die? Was this a recurring situation? If what you mean is you had one last visit with your grandfather before his passing say, "WHEN my grandfather..." The girls at work say it frequently so it could be a regional phrase, but it makes me cringe a little every time. 


+ Sammie/breakie/nappie/etc. This is a repeat from a few years ago but I still hear these abbreviations which means people aren't paying attention. Please, please, please for the love everything do not say those words. Erika said, "Let's make you girls a sammie" and I almost had to disown her which is a real shame because she's a great sister in law.

+ Twerking. I am not going to elaborate. 

+ Talking on speakerphone in public. My scientific research has proven that this irritating trend is on the rise and I don't understand it. First, we don't all need to hear what your dad is saying on the other end as we try on shoes at Walmart. Second, it doesn't free up your hands because you still have to hold the phone. Have I ever been interested in both sides of a conversation I've overheard? Yes. Does that mean I appreciate the extra noise added to already noisy shopping experiences? No.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

angel tree

I only had one idea for our theme three this year- angles. I hadn't been trying to think of a theme but it came to me after the miscarriage. 

I bought overpriced costume wings from the party store and spray painted them a light tan. Christopher made the halo out of gold wire. I wanted to turn the tree itself into an angel instead of putting on angel ornaments.
I think it's one of the prettiest theme trees we've done. 

Friday, December 20, 2019

party people

For those keeping up with the saga that is Lucy's allergies (and who isn't?), I had to take her back to the vet for recurring sores on her legs. They took her back without me which was fine because I needed to focus on AB who had attached the leash to her dress and wanted me to walk her like a cat. I asked the very timid vet assistant to ask the vet for a more concrete plan than me bringing her for a shot every month. She returned several minutes later with the following medical plan: put hydrocortisone or antibiotic ointment on the trouble spots and make sure Lucy doesn't lick it off. Sure. No problem. I'll do that right after I stop the waves in the ocean and keep the world from spinning. There's no way I can control where the cat puts her tongue. 

On Sunday we had a little Christmas party for a AB's friends. I told the family several times in the days leading up to the party that I wasn't going to go crazy about it. It was going to be very relaxed. I scheduled it for 2 o'clock so I wouldn't have to serve lunch or supper. All we needed to make was snakcs. Everyone would be impressed with how non-OCD I was about the napkins. Weekday Sarah forgot to tell party-eve Sarah the stay chill plan. I won't go into details but it was not chill. 


This was pre-craft and cookie decorating. The whole house was clean and quiet for all of 7 minutes.

To be honest, the house wasn't entirely clean. We piled stuff into a laundry basket and hid it in the closet. The picture has been leaning against the dining room since we moved in several months ago.

I planned on making a bead snowman craft but when I went to Joann's they were out of beads. I stood in the fake flower aisle and scrabbled to find another option that didn't involve paint. Plastic ornaments were on sale so I bought a bunch to stuff with tissue paper and decorate to turn into reindeer.
The kids crafted, decorated homemade cookies, ate played, scarred the cats for life and genuinely seemed to enjoy themselves. Annabelle, who had done 12% of the preparations told me, "I'm glad I'm learning to be a host but it's A LOT of work. I need a nap."

Me too, sister. Try orchestrating a kid's party AND making sure your cat doesn't lick her legs.