Monday, March 31, 2014

Sesame's Suite

We went with an elephants with a side of rabbit theme. 
We'll add more boy or girl things later on when we've somewhat recovered from sleep deprivation.
View from the door.
Grandpa sang You Are My Sunshine to me growing up so it's always been a special song. Mom gave me this print the Christmas after he died.
I wish someone would make a pretty diaper pail.
I LOVE these pictures. I found them years ago and was so glad they were still around when I needed them.
The blanket on the back of the rocking chair was Christopher's when he was a baby.
I made the owl when I taught Anna and Jillian's sewing class.
A few things on the shelf:
It only took me eight months to replace the picture frame baby with a picture of our baby.
Oh look! I made something for the baby!
99% of the baby's belongings say 'I love Daddy'. I had to document the one item that says mommy on it.
My hair bow basket.
I call this our Peter Rabbit shrine.
Andrew gave me this bunny years ago.
Do you know how hard it is to find gender neutral bedding? I found you a little lacking in that area, baby companies of America.
I made this mobile a few days ago.
 Each elephant has a solid color on one side and a pattern on the other.
Christopher gave me the Paddington Bear when we were dating.
We painted the Yertle the Turtle bank on our date last week.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Bring on the ribbons and bows

Sesame made an early debut.

Look how excited she was to find out we're her parents.
 Annabelle Lee
March 28th
 6 pounds, 18 3/4"
We still call her our little Sesame.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Watch Sesame Grow, week 39

Edition: You can't tell but my pants are much too large
Size of baby: Big enough that it pokes out of my belly a lot.
Fun fact: Still facing the wrong direction! It's being difficult already which must mean it's a boy. ;)
Size of mother: Up another el bee to 148.
What's on the menu: I had cinnamon sugar toast four times this week so I guess that qualifies it as a menu staple.
Other things I have to say: SOAPBOX TIME. Most people, including a lot of my friends, don't agree with this but I honestly do not believe/understand how knowing the gender makes one much more prepared to have a child. Pretty much the only ways you're more prepared are in colors and styles. Either way you need somewhere for the baby to sleep, some way to keep it safe in the car, something for it to wear and diapers. I have said this for YEARS. If we knew the gender I would have bought the same car seat in the same pattern. I still would have decorated the nursery in elephants and rabbits. We would be no closer to deciding if the baby will be named Katherine or Annabelle if a girl. Of course this is just my personal opinion and I have no hard feelings towards those who think otherwise. I'm sure it's fun to know and plan! Come back next week when I discuss my other pet peeves!

I have stepped down from my soapbox. Feel free to discuss/disagree among yourselves.

For what it's worth, I totally disagree with this too. This has been the fastest 9 months ever.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

the time my big acting debut almost didn't happen because I got lost on the way to the filming

Last week I mentioned that the tv show Nashville was coming to film on Fort Campbell. Rumor has it they're here all week but yesterday was the day they were filming a concert that the general public could attend. And by general public I mean Department of Defense card holders only which, not to boast or anything, but I happen to be. Three years later and I still like whipping my card out and pretending I'm all fancee and important. 

I almost didn't go because 1) I didn't want to go alone and 2) my self-imposed scheduled departure time was in the middle of my afternoon nap. I purposely didn't schedule myself to go in the morning because I didn't want to interfere with my morning nap. (My life is already being scheduled around naps.) I decided to go anyway because I'm always talking about my big acting career taking off and it's not going to take off if I lay in bed all day.

On a good day it takes about 20 minutes to get to Fort Campbell which means that leaving at 3:50 and allowing for time to get through the gate etc. etc. I should get there around 4:20ish. I looked up which gate the filming was near before I left and when I saw it was near the stables, I actually said, "That looks easy enough...if I'm trying to get lost." Every time I go to the stables I get lost. Does anyone have an idea where this story is going? I went down the wrong roads because I don't expect anything less of myself and was stuck on multiple long roads for no less than 60 minutes. I was about ready to give up my acting career for good when I found the airfield where they were filming. I got there 90 minutes after I left home. And I live 20 minutes away. 

That right there is dedication to my desired profession. Or the fact that I was driving on roads that had nowhere for me to turn around.
A few thoughts on my big acting debut:
* I didn't anticipate seeing much of the main actors in the show, but most made an appearance at one point or another. 
* Christopher didn't accompany me as he can think of 4,118 things he'd rather do that be on camera, but that didn't stop me from texting him periodic updates.
Rayna James' boyfriend is much skinnier in person than he looks on tv. 
Teddy's hair is just as good.
I didn't recognize Juliette because she's wearing more clothes than usual.
He really loved living vicariously.
* I've never considered myself a big fan of Hayden Panettiere (who plays one of the main characters), but she stole someone's baby and carried him around for a good 10 minutes which immediately bumped her up in my book. Anyone who steals a strangers baby has the potential to be a friend of mine. (Please note that contrary to how it sounds, I am NOT advocating kidnapping. By steal I mean temporarily borrow and return. No one call the police on me.)
* At one point we had to watch a video of Michelle Obama giving a speech. I don't mean get all political, but we were instructed to cheer after it and I didn't follow those directions very enthusiastically. I know actors have to fake it sometimes, but I was mostly cheering for her very nice highlights.
* I would like someone to put me in contact with the shows hairdresser. There are some things that are not just movie magic and the hair in this show is one of those things.
The chances of actually seeing myself on tv are slim to none and honestly, that's probably just as well. I was having some major issues with my shirt not staying down and they didn't send the wardrobe people over to help me out. But on the off chance that I am seen on the big screen, I'll be here for the rest of my life to sign autographs. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

there was no horsing around after all

As Sesame's D-Day rapidly approaches, I made a long list of things I'd like to do before his/her arrival. Allow me to share a few items on the list:

Email the property manager about the leaking sink
Go to the post office
Email the property manager about the hot water heater not working. Again.
Make laundry detergent

I'm really LIVING IT UP these last days of freedom and solitude.

Speaking of living it up, one of the biggest mysteries of my life was solved last week. Back in October I became convinced that our neighbors have a miniature pony. I only saw it one time but I spent MONTHS of my life looking into their yard for any proof that I am not, as some people who will remain nameless have stated, going crazy. I even convinced myself that the pony lives in their little shed.


Last week I was doing something at the sink and what to my wondering eyes did behold BUT THE PONY. I sprang into action and moved faster than I have moved in months. I'm almost embarrassed to admit that this isn't my first potential sighting of the miniature pony rodeo. I have pinpointed the best location in the house to see into their yard. I am aware of how incredibly nosy this sounds, BUT I HAD TO SEE THE PONY AND GET PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE. I'm not ashamed to admit I opened the window and made some noise in an attempt to get the animal to move.
I am exceedingly sad and so disappointed to report that it isn't a pony after all. It's just a really really REALLY weird looking dog. What kind of dog has a mane? What kind of dog gallops like a horse? I should have gotten a video of it moving because it is extremely horse like. I guess I'll have to find something else to do with my time now that The Great Miniature Horse Mystery has been solved. Too bad most of the houses surrounding ours are vacant and don't have people to spy on.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Watch Sesame Grow, week 38

Edition: I had a needle sticking OUT OF MY HEAD
Size of baby: 5.5ish pounds and supposedly the size of a leek. I thought a leek was similar in size to an onion so I did some indepth research into to the subject. It seems the people over at The Bump are running out of vegetables to compare the child to because a leek is basically an onion, a vegetable we've already used. Now they're getting leaves and stems involved which is really complicating things. Why can't we compare the baby to candy bars? 
Fun fact: The baby started out smaller than a sesame seed and now we can put one finger on my stomach and feel it wiggle. Things are getting large around here.
Size of mother: At this point I have gained 18 el bees. I don't like proclaiming my weight but these things must be recorded for posterity.
What's on the menu: I bought blueberries to make blueberry coffee cake but ate them all before I got around to making the cake.
Other things I have to say: Sesame is still breech so today we had an acupuncture appointment in hopes it might help the baby turn. I'm not holding my breath that it will work but I don't want to sit around doing nothing. It was my first time getting acupuncture done and I have never felt so hippie in all my life. At one point I had a needle sticking out of my head (I'm sure it gave me a nice alien with an antenna look) while she burned something down by my toes. I can't even. All this was happening while she told me how her husband works at The Turnip Truck. 

So we had a perfectly normal Saturday afternoon.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

a jumble of Thursday thoughts

I don't want to sound overly presumptuous, but is it too much to ask that all the electrical outlets in my house work? I'm particularly thinking of the outlets in the kitchen that refuse to cooperate and charge the ipad. How can I play my midnight game of Scrabble if I can't charge the ipad? How can I beat the ipad if it's dead? If it's dead how can I charge it when the outlets don't work? It's really becoming a vicious cycle. 

I like most holidays and am always open to a reason to decorate/celebrate accordingly. I plan on dressing Sesame in holiday appropriate outfits as much as possible. That being said, St. Patrick's Day does NOTHING for me. Why does everyone and their mother all the sudden pretend they're Irish for that one day only? Where's the holiday where we all celebrate Italians and Portuguese? I really don't get it. I was under the impression I was all of 4 drops Irish which I don't feel is enough to celebrate, but Dad reminded me his grandfather came over from Ireland so that makes me what, 1/8 Irish? Maybe? More 4 than drops. For the record, I have nothing against the Irish. God bless the Irish and the fact that their holiday makes corned beef go on sale.

Speaking of corned beef, I had to visit the commissary yesterday which everyone who's associated with the military knows is basically tied with Christmas for being the best time of the year. I went during what I have narrowed down to the As Golden As It's Going to Get Hour and it was surprisingly calm. Except that someone moved all the gluten free products across the aisle from the pads, the shampoo across from the ice cream and the bread was nowhere to be seen. Possibly a first world problem but I live in a first world country and I wouldn't mind being given a map when the layout of the store changes.

I'm debating growing my bangs out again. This debate has gone on for the last 12 years and frankly I don't see it ending before I die. 

The biggest drama since it snowed 2'' is about to hit Fort Campbell. The tv show Nashville is coming to film an episode on post. Guess who's planning on being their next big star.
I'll be the only one who doesn't look like my life is being ruined by fame and fortune.
Besides the international recognition I'm sure to receive, the hair and makeup team I'll be given will probably solve my bang dilemma.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

maternity pictures (because I had absolutely no ideas for a creative title)

(The photographer kept telling me to stick my stomach out so I'd look more pregnant. 
I could only stick it out so far.)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

I suppose all careers come to an end eventually

I'm sad to report that my lengthy career of almost 15 years is coming to an end. I'm semi-retiring as mayor of Babysitterville. My retiring is more out of necessity more than because I want to hang up my babysitting hat as I don't like the idea of paying a babysitter to watch my child while I watch someone else's.

In light of this sad, sad, SAD day, I decided to do a lengthy brief overview of some of the children I've watched over the years. When Christopher started reading my blog he said it was all about babysitting. Looks like we're heading down that road again.

I started with the Smith family. I don't have photos to document the months I spent there but I do have many memories I'd rather erase from my mind. Long story short, it's surprising I didn't switch careers to work with objects that don't speak. It was while watching them that I discovered I DO NOT enjoy teaching a child to drive a bike. I'd almost rather do potty training. Not to mention that their mom didn't pay me what she agreed to. 

Next honorable mention goes to Keegan and her twins siblings, Addison and Braden. I ADORED those babies. I watched them from about when they were 6 weeks to just over 2 years old when I got married and moved. I was really proud of myself the day I took all three kids under the age of 2 to the playground. Unfortunately I couldn't collapse their very expensive, limited edition pink and blue Eddie Bauer stroller so I had to leave it sitting by the playground. Their dad had to go on a wild goose chase to find it and I was so humiliated. I called A and B my alphabet twins and didn't want to leave them.
During this time I also watched Lauren (a child with ADHD, ADD, a psycho dog named Mason and an obsession withe the Jonas Brothers), a little half Russian girl named Nadia (easily the most boring child I've ever encountered), and her two Russian/Ukrainian friends Max and Dimitri (they had a dog named Bella who bit the walls and neither the children nor the dog were potty/house trained when I arrived...but they were when I left). 

I watched my cousins Zach and Molly for about four years. We had silly supper and backwards upside down supper. We went to a petting zoo where we weren't allowed to pet the animals. I taught them how to pack shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child. I answered Molly's questions about heaven and was really proud of my theological skilz until I realized she didn't learn anything because the next question was about whether I had ever been ice fishing. Every time I go home to visit I ask how their current babysitters are because they deserve only the best. 
There isn't enough room on all the internet to describe how much I loved Allison. I loved her more than I have loved almost any other child which is saying a lot because I have loved some children in my day. I loved her even though she was the reason I contracted the plague of cryptosporidiosis and e.coli. She loved me even though I accidentally broke the head off her favorite doll. 
Noah was my other Fort Drum baby. Now he has a little brother named Benny who I've never met.
Amelia was my Fort Lee child during the summer we were there.
Ryder is my little buddy here at Campbell. We get along like bread and butter. He's really into buckling up water bottles which makes him the most safety conscious child I've watched. .
And of course, there's Sam, Molly, Aidan and Levi. Need I say more?
There have been many other children along the way (like Bobby whose mother still owes me $50 a year later NOT THAT I'M KEEPING TRACK) but those are just a few note worthies. If you happen to be searching for a babysitter by all means let me know. I'm willing to travel with Sesame as a sidekick. 

Ps. I made a poll at the top of the page if you feel like voting outside of election day and want to predict Sesame's gender. I'm sorry I can't hand out 'I voted' stickers.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Watch Sesame Grow, weeks 36 and 37

Edition: Contrary to how it looks, I have not reversed to only 3 weeks 6/7 days pregnant. I missed last week so this is the 36 and 37 week update. 
Size of baby: According to the weekly emails, over 6 lbs. According the the midwife, anywhere between 4 1/2 and 6 lbs. 
Fun fact: The specialist said Sesame's head will probably be small since the baby has stayed in the same position the whole time and it (the head) basically ran out of room to grow. I didn't know that was possible. As long as we don't end up with a Barbie sized head on an 18'' doll situation I try not to worry about it too much. 
Size of mother: I'd rather not discuss the number on the scale at my appointment on Tuesday. 
What's on the menu: I had a white chocolate pudding cup with my breakfast the other day. I almost didn't because Mom would never ever let us eat pudding for breakfast growing up, but then I decided this is my house, my rules so I ate it anyway. What can I say? I'm a rebel child. 
Worst part of the week: When the specialist was examining me and all I could think about was THIS is exactly why I specifically choose a midwives office with no men in sight. Hello, awkward. 
Best part of the week: Daniel coming to visit.
Other things I have to say: I found a birthday cake for Sesame's first birthday. I know it sounds like I'm rushing things, but I decided years ago that my child would have a bumble bee themed first birthday so really I'm just continuing on with an 8 year plan. Thanks to Pinterest I had decided on a cake but today I saw one I'll probably make instead. I'd like it to be very clear that I will NOT be baking and bringing any birth day cake to the hospital when Sesame is born. The Bradley book recommended as much and I rolled my eyes at that suggestion. They expect me to deliver a baby AND go all Martha Stewart with cakes and streamers? What type of super woman do they think I am?

I'd like to go on record as saying that I will probably cry when Sesame turns one year old. And one month old. I'm going to be one of those parents. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Daniel days

Daniel came to visit us over the weekend! I wanted him to get a real feel for the area and our life here so I took him to Hobby Lobby. Welcome to the south!

After I picked him up from the airport on Friday I took him to the Parthenon. As one of the few places I can get to in Nashville (besides the doctors office), it's become a staple of my Nashville tour. 

Saturday morning we went for Mennonite doughnuts (best doughnuts OF ALL TIME) and to see Fort Campbell. I always like to take guests on my award winning Fort Campbell tour and this time Christopher came along as assistant tour guide. It comes as no surprise that he tells things along the lines of "The 639th was established in 1902 under the guidance of so and so. That office building is the home of the SOAR and they deploy such and such. The 2257LTL's transport troops performing operational exercises." My typical lines are "That's where people store their campers. Oh look! A soldier!"

It's a very well-rounded tour.

The last stop on our tour was to pick up my friend Scherrie before driving back towards Nashville for a little more site-seeing. We went to Fontanel Mansion, one of the largest log cabin in the world. It was built by Barbara Mandrell who apparently is a Somebody in the world of country music from long ago but I couldn't tell you one song she sang. If we were talking about Johnny Cash or, OR COURSE, Brad Paisley or Josh Turner I'd have been a little more educated and possibly even willing to serenade my fellow tour members with a number from my large repertoire.

I learned something from the tour: the missing pieces in my guest room are a large feathered headdress and a sequined and bedazzled ox (?) skull. I don't know why I didn't think of that myself. 
We went to Nashville so Daniel could have some "real" barbecue. Christopher says my kind of barbecue, Sweet Baby Rays squeezed from a bottle onto chicken, is fake. He probably saw Daniel as his second chance to win a New Englander to his side. I think he forgot we grew up in the same house therefore ate the same food therefore may have the same definition of barbecue. Be that as it may, we put the address for Jack's Barbecue into the gps and arrived at a different Jack's than we intended. Christopher and Scherrie stuck their heads out the window like dogs sniffing the air to see if the place passed the smell test. They said it did not. I said it was clearly the same type of Jack's restaurant as the one we meant to go to since the signs were identical but the two bbq experts insistence that it wasn't won out. We got to the Nashville Jack's and LOW AND BEHOLD I was correct one again. We ended up at a hamburger place since the wait was too long so Daniel never got his real barbecue, but he saw the sign. Twice. 
Touristy picture with Sesame sticking out large and in charge. 

You will not believe what happened Sunday when the Sunday school teacher's wife asked Daniel what his last name/my maiden name is. He pronounced it differently than the way we were taught by our ancestors and have said it since the beginning of time aka our lives. He said it's easier to say it his new way because people understand it better (it is difficult for the uneducated to pronounce), but why suddenly change how you say your name after 30 years of saying it one way?? I got very worked up about the whole thing and am fairly certain it was responsible for the gray hair I found a few hours later. 

He went home today but not before fixing our broken chairs and holding bows for me at the Hob Lob. Like I always say, my home is a prime vacation destination.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

I apologize if any Nashville drivers feel insulted upon reading this

Yesterday my alarm went off at 5:50. I don't like alarms and I really don't getting up when the first number on the clock is below 7 so you can imagine how happy I was to be up. I am hardly the Proverbs 31 woman when it comes to rejoicing in rising while it is still dark and all that. 

I had three doctor appointments in Nashville with the first being at 8:20 which meant I had to leave before 6:30 to beat the traffic. I've mentioned before that Nashville drivers aren't my favorite. In what city does it make sense to take a left turn through an intersection when the light is red?? Allow me to show you what morning rush hour looks like. I am the poor, unfortunate soul in the red ca.
I about lost my mind. 

I was traveling with Louiz (as in "Geez Louiz, I can't believe I'm relying on you to get me to my destination/Geez Louiz, why are you recalculating again.") but he wasn't always too helpful. The arrow down at the bottom told me to turn left but the green road went straight than at some point turned around and went the opposite direction. This is one reason I should never be a pilot. I can barely point myself in the right direction when I'm on the ground. 
I eventually made it to the appointment with 10 minutes to spare. The receptionist gave me paperwork and this:
It's a restaurant buzzer. Because the nurses aren't big into calling your name anymore.

She didn't explain what to do or where to go when it went off. I had no clue and didn't want to seem uneducated by asking so I sat there staring at it and contemplating what I would order if it was a real restaurant buzzer. A cheese bagel and coffee from the Au Bon Pain down the hall in case you're wondering. Between the alarm going off at the crack of ridiculous, the traffic and the buzzer I was ready to curl up for a nap and call it a day. At 8:16am.

And then the doctor asked if any females in my family have a misshapen, unusually sized or underdeveloped uterus. 


I can tell you the eye color and birthday of every female in my extended family but I have no idea the state of anyone's uterus. I guess my mom's performed well because she successfully had twins but beyond that I'm completely clueless. 

I was also completely clueless about French kisses having a scent. 
It really wasn't a bad day. Sesame is small but not in danger, I had almost five hours between the second and third appointments so I had way too much plenty of time to do every errand I could think of and, most importantly, I learned what a French kiss smells like. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Watch Sesame Grow: week 35

Edition: Could the shadow behind me look any larger?
Size of baby: About 18'' long and 5 lbs.
Fun fact: All kidneys are fully developed. I say ''all'' in an attempt to remind myself that we have two kidneys and one liver. The other day I had it backwards which is why I am not an anatomy teacher. Apparently the college level anatomy and physiology class I took in 10th grade and was so proud of didn't really stick.  
What's on the menu: After 35 weeks I finally had a craving- I saw a package of powdered doughnuts at Walmart and decided I wanted one so we stopped at Dunkin Donuts (where else) for one. Other than that healthy snack I've been into carrot sticks. But I've always been into carrot sticks so that's not saying much.
Worst part of the week: The Worst Cold/Cough Since 2012 rages on. Someone told me it lasts for three weeks so I'm halfway there. Yippee. 
Best part of the week: Not pregnancy related, BUT IT FINALLY SNOWED.
Granted it was only about 3 inches of snow mixed with ice, but I was so excited. The rest of the town (and the entirety of Fort Campbell) wasn't so happy about the situation and shut down.
Other things I have to say: The girls from Sunday school had a Mom to Bee bumblebee shower for me on Saturday. It was so sweet!