Sunday, December 10, 2017

this is what happens when I wish for something interesting to blog about

I finally have everything in our house the way I want it which can only mean one thing- we're moving again.

We weren't supposed to move for three more years but last week Christopher's company said JUST KIDDING! You have to move next month! Say so long to your plans of a fun Christmas season and get packing! Hurry up, there's no time to spare!

Let me tell you how I feel about this recent development.

I am not a fan.

It took almost a year and a half to feel like this was home. For a long time it just felt like a place I lived. In the last six months I've put a lot more effort into getting established here. I signed us up for events in the community. I started volunteering in the nursery at church. I went to the church ladies retreat. I started inviting people for playdates instead of waiting for them to invite me. It was a lot of work for my introvert self but it helped it feel more like home here. I finally got to that spot only to be told it's time to pick up and go again. I have seven thousand and twelve reasons I don't want to go. I have pregnant friends whose babies I need to meet. I already planned my garden for next year. We got our patio at the end of the summer and barely got to use it. I love my house and don't want to leave it. It's small and creaky but cozy and perfect. Annabelle's room is everything I wanted my little girl's room to be. I'm almost insulted that someone else will be living here. They won't know not to lock the bathroom door because you might get stuck in there. They won't know that the dining room and master bedroom don't hold heat well but the upstairs bathroom is always warm and a good place to hang out when you're cold.

We're going to miss our landlords so much. They are the sweetest people. Annabelle's face lights up when Big Mr. Jim comes over. They do the yardwork and take great pride in things being pristine so in the spring and summer they're over often. We always go out to chat and catch up. Mrs. Jim has babysat for me a few times. Their grandchildren are grown and they really treat AB like she's part of their family. They treat all of us like family. When we told Little Jim the bad news he went and told his mom. She called me and said, "Jimmy told me the news and I just can't believe it. I was so upset last night I couldn't sleep and had to take a sleeping pill." A few months ago Little Mr. Jim had trees cut down in the Hundred Acre Woods. Tigger's tree stump house somehow got mixed up with the branches that were hauled away. The Jims know how much Annabelle loves Tigger's house so they went through the dumpster with the wood and rescued it. We were visiting with Mrs. Jim tonight and she said Little Mr. Jim planted bulbs around Tigger's house as a springtime surprise. I almost can't think about it without crying.

I've cried several times since last week. I went from planning our Christmas time activities to being told overnight that we have to leave. Sometimes it occurs to me that maybe I'm being overly dramatic about this but so be it. I've never been one to like change, especially when I haven't had any say in it. We're moving to Georgia where it's approximately 156 degrees with close to zero percent chance of a good snow. It's snowing now and it's like a little gift from God that we get to play in it before we move.

On the bright side, I do enjoy decorating new homes. We might end up with a kitchen that seats more that three people and maybe I'll have a spot for flowers. We're flying down tomorrow (weather permitting) to go house hunting. If it goes well we'll end up with a lovely new home. If it doesn't I'll use the packing boxes and make us a box home.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

little memories, november 2017

* Several months ago Christopher mentioned being a little concerned that Annabelle didn't seem to use her imagination. Fast forward to now and she has two imaginary friends named Goldbug and Garby. They're very small, have their own car seats and frequently eat meals with us. They came to Dollywood but thankfully I didn't have to worry about keeping track of them. She asked me to make a leaf car so she could drive them to town. I think her imagination is just fine.
* I LOVE jokes. I have a folder of photos on my phone dedicated to all the best jokes. I am the prime audience for all the dad joke videos on youtube. I was laying on my bed last week not folding laundry (professional procrastinator, party of one) watching said videos and sending them to the twins. I was cracking myself up. It takes so little to entertain me.
I've been telling this gem to everyone who will listen.

* AB loves to see "the faces" on my phone. We've spend many minutes entertaining ourselves with the many filters. 

* When we were watching The Crown I casually mentioned that I needed a crown. Look what appeared in my mailbox a few weeks later.
I haven't worn it out of the house yet but I plan on bringing it to Prince Harry's wedding. Do I think Meghan Markle is ANYWHERE near the level of Katherine Middleton? No. Does that mean I won't be obsessed with all the details of the royal wedding? Also no. You know who would be shocked by the upcoming nuptials? John Adam, Thomas Jefferson and everyone who fought to separate us from England. They dedicated their lives to the cause only for an American girl to marry an heir (albeit sixth in line) to the British throne. She is literally sleeping with the enemy. Their wedding is set to be held in May and I am already preparing myself for the festivities. I'll be wearing my crown because while Meghan is marrying a prince and I'm not, we're both Americans and therefore have the right to wear a crown whenever we so choose. God bless America.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

dollywood days

Sometimes I wonder if the saying "a rolling stone gathers no moss" was written in reference to us and our inability to stay home and not live out of suitcases. Our most recent trip found us visiting Dollywood in our former home state of Tennessee. Christopher's parents were so kind to plan a family trip there for a few days last week. We did so many things that it would take several thousand words and 148 pictures to recap so I'll stick to some highlights. 

Except for the occasion fussing Annabelle is almost always a good flyer. She did even better than normal this trip. She did all four flights without watching any shows on the ipad. She colored, looked at books and took naps. She read the plane safety manual on each flight. It's important to be prepared in the event of an emergency water landing. 
On Thanksgiving morning we went to an exotic bird sanctuary. I've never seen so many beautiful birds in one place. We got to hold and feed several of them. Once AB got over her fear of holding them she loved it. I saw a sign that said some of their birds are for sale. I would have taken one in a heartbeat but I knew that at $2,995 Christopher would say it was too expensive of a souvenir. 
Annabelle was a little hesitant about the rides at first but how quickly that changed when she got on the Lucky Ducky ride with the fearless Sadie and Emory. She wore the Lucky Ducky, Piggy Parade and Busy Bees rides over and over. She wasn't a fan of the elephant ride that went in the air but there's always next year. She was perfectly happy with all the kiddie rides. 
 Look who we happened upon! Normally AB is shy around characters but she was still riding the high from the Piggy Parade. She marched right up to him and gave a huge smile. (I'm sorry this is turning into the Annabelle show. I don't see that changing anytime soon since I do nothing but hang out with her.)
I've never visited Dollywood at any other time but I'm here to say Christmas is The Time to go. The lights and decorations were beautiful. It was so festive.
We went to two lovely Christmas shows. They were a combination of fun and Christmas spirit and we all loved them. 
Santa appeared the day after Thanksgiving. I've never seen a better Santa. He looked the part, had a beautiful suit and was so kind. He asked all the children if they knew about Baby Jesus and made sure they all knew the holiday isn't only about Santa. We saw him again the next night and since there were no other children in line Sesame got to talk to him as much as she wanted. They talked about her friends, how reindeer fly (he said God makes them fly) and her nativity toy. She talked and talked. He asked her about the smocked nativity on her dress and she chose that moment to clam up. Everything in me was hoping (and audibly hinting) she'd give an eloquent answer and make him think I'm a good mom. All she did was stick her fingers in her mouth and mumble something about Paw Patrol. It was a humbling moment for me.
Annabelle loves all her cousins but she especially enjoyed spending time with Emmy. They're so close in age and I love that they're becoming little buddies.
Since we were there at Thanksgiving it's only right to mention a few things we're thankful for. Christopher is thankful for his health, I'm thankful for a good nights rest and good cheddar cheese and AB is thankful for her light up shoes. Judging by what she told Santa I'd say she's also thankful for Paw Patrol. 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

first world thankfulness

In this season of thankfulness I bring you a list of my top 15 first-world gratitude list. Of course I'm thankful for my family, friends and baseball, but I wanted to go a little more shallow.  

1. The free vacuum at the gas station. I love few things things more than a clean car. Sometimes if I'm having a bad day I use the free vacuum to clean the car and it makes me feel like things are a little better.

2. The Dunkin Donuts app. Call me clueless but I had no idea it was a thing until a few weeks ago when Laura mentioned it. I can now earn points for free products using the money I'd be spending there anyway. The downside is I now know exactly how much I spend at DD and I'd rather be in the dark about that. 

3.  Group texts. Some people hate being stuck in group messages but with the right people it can be a party. A party where you can wear your comfy clothes and high bun and never have to leave your house. Michelle, Laura and blogless Toi are my very favorite group chat people. If I ever need advice on what to get at Trader Joes or a dispute solved between Christopher and I, they're my go tos. 

4. The dishwasher. It's a miracle machine. You put dirty dishes in and take out clean ones a few hours later. God bless the dishwasher and the repairman who frequently fixes ours.

5. The washing machine and dryer for the same reasons as listed above.

6. Cute phone covers. When I got my new phone I was torn between the flowered case and the glittery one. The only reason I didn't get the glittery one was I didn't like that the glitter wasn't covering the entire case. Someone in the world is probably still using smoke signals and carrier pigeons so even if I had ended up with the glitter NO BIG DEAL. 

7. Having so many scented candles I don't know which one to light first. 

8. My overflowing makeup bag. 

9. Leftover pizza. No explanation needed.

10. Having extra episodes of This Is Us.

11. Receiving an unexpected order of French fries.

12. Unsubscribing from emails.

13. A pull through parking spot.

14. Napkin dispensers at coffee shops. I always take more than I know I'll need to keep my glove compartment well stocked. The same goes for straws and sugar packets. Minus the cream I have a small coffee station in my car. 

15. Walgreens extra care bucks.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Sesame's Suite, 2.0

Almost 4 years ago I posted about our elephant/rabbit nursery. I thought it was time to do an updated tour of Sesame's room. It's generally not as clean as shown here. On any given day there are stuffed animals covering the chair and bed, lonely socks being used as bandaids for said animals and several books strewn about.  

When we moved in the walls were a gross green. It had previously been pink but Mr. Jim thought prospective tenants wouldn't want a pink room so he painted over it. He had no idea I was coming his way with everything pink and girly. 

We still sit in the same rocking chair each night. It's getting creaky and the cushions are getting flat but we've had some good cuddles in it.
I haven't changed out the elephant and bunny watercolor prints she had in her first nursery. I'm planning a bird theme room for her next room and will leave the elephants up until then. I'll never get rid of them. They'll probably go to college with us when we share a dorm. 
This is one of my favorite views in the house. This picture doesn't do it justice but it makes me so happy. I love all the necklaces, bows and seeing the tiny dress she wore home from the hospital through the closet door. 
Mr. Lion's cardboard box and fabric scrap bed was not in the original design plan. He migrated there after being evicted from the crib. Also on the shelf are the turtle bank we painted when I was pregnant, a silver cup Christopher's unit gave as a baby gift and our four tiaras and crowns.
I painted this bench on our last summer in Clarksville. It took several months longer than it should have but I'm pleased with the outcome. 
Sesame has recently started adding her own decor to the room. We got these three candles in Massachusetts and she said they were "perfect" for her shelf. A is for Annabelle was a gift from Aunt Stephanie and it's so sweet.
The green drawers house diapers (I don't want to talk about that), books, books and more books. 
We're going through a bow drought. Any help in the form of new designs and/or colors would be greatly appreciated.
Aunt Michelle made this sign for us. I told AB that her friend Gracie's mom gave it to her and she said, "Do I like her?" I don't know if she was talking about Michelle or Gracie but either way that question means we definitely need to visit them again!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

to grandmothers house we go

Last week AB and I took a last minute trip down to my hometown.

We had somewhat of a rocky start. I went out to the car to turn it around to make packing the trunk easier. Sesame saw me pulling into the road, thought I was leaving her behind and came charging out of the house wearing only a shirt and diaper. She was dragging her blanket and crying hysterically. I had no idea she was there until I almost backed into her. My car was half in the driveway and half in our very busy road while I tried to explain I wasn't leaving and she needed to go back in the house. She was so upset. When we got on the road the GPS told me to take exit 31. I'm bad at directions but I knew that wasn't right. I knew we should go straight. I wondered if maybe the GPS knew there was traffic on our route so I followed it. It brought me to Trader Joes. I like TJ's but not when I'm wrongly sent there while still recovering from nearly running over my baby. 


The day after we arrived Annabelle started getting sick. Christopher and I both had the flu so it was only a matter of time before she bit the dust. She was coughing and had a fever of 103. We made trip to urgent care to rule out her yearly bronchitis. The doctor wanted her to have an xray done to see if she had pneumonia. The nurse handed me the lead vest to put on and something that looked like a bandanna to put over my thyroid. I confused my thyroid with my ovaries and tried to wrap the thing around my waist. Apparently the thyroid resides in ones throat. Obviously I did not go to school for anatomy.2

 
The poor girl woke up every single night from coughing spells. She'd ask to come in my bed and when I brought her over she'd put her knees under my chin or her legs on my neck. I didn't sleep through the night for days on end. Elizabeth kindly offered to sleep in the guest room with her so I could sleep upstairs and get a full night rest. I slept in that room for 21 years but haven't since I got married. It felt a little sentimental. I did a celebratory dance at the thought of sleeping all night.
As these things go, I woke up twice because I was cold but AB didn't wake up once. Of course.

Elizabeth is preparing for her licence test so I took her out on the road to pass on my road skilz. It was terrifying. She drives slower than any little old lady I have ever seen. I constantly had to tell her speed up. She has issues with being on the wrong side of the road. She may look happy and confident...
 but this is how I felt driving with her. I feared for my life.
One afternoon we went to Target to see Joanna Gaines new line. I didn't want to go and be the stereotypical white lady walking around Target in leggings, but my desire to see the new items was overpowering. I loved it all. I loved seeing all the Christmas things too. Annabelle was as enthralled as I was and she told me "we should buy dis one and dis one AND DIS ONE IS THE BEST OF ALL!" She is her mother's daughter.

It's always tricky trying to visit Aaron when we're in town. He has a very busy work/social schedule and the only time he could fit me for the 9:45pm-12:15am viewing of Thor. I seldom leave the house after 8, let alone arrive at the theater at 9:30, but I'll do anything for my favorite little brother! I forgot to bring a real snack to share with him and Elizabeth but I handed out what I had- sticks of gum. You can always count on me to bring a real party.
We spent our last night at Daniel and Erika's. The girls adore each other. Baby Ivy is growing so fast and they can really play together now. Ivy is a genius child who can already spell her name. She's not even 2 yet. The minute I found that out I really buckled down on Annabelle learning to spell her name. Ivy does have a significant leg up by having such a short name.
We drove home yesterday and I can say without one bit of exaggeration that it was the longest drive in the history of drives. We're going away for Thanksgiving next week but we're flying so I won't have the weight of getting there solely on myself.  With me in charge we'd end up at Trader Joes instead of Tennessee.