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.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

brain dump

I forgot how much moving makes me want to organize and deep cleaning. The other day I organized and categorized all Annabelle's toys. Each category went in its own ziplock bag which went into the toy trunks. I all but color coded everything. I want to power wash the outside of the house. I want to deep clean my car. It's like all the nesting I never did when I was pregnant is making an appearance now.
When Joanna was here she taught AB the chorus to the Justin Bieber song Baby. Almost every day AB walks around the house saying, "Oh, baby. Oh, baby baby. Oh!" Joanna must have also shown her the music video because yesterday AB kept pointing to the computer saying, "Baby oh! Baby oh!" Against my better judgment I caved and we watched it. I had never listened to the lyrics closely and one line in particular stood out. "My first love, broke my heart for the first time." The kid looks like he's all of five years old. What first love could he possibly be saying broke his heart? Did his mom take away his pacifier? Did he find out the Tooth Fairy is imaginary? Not much else would break your heart when you're that young.

We've turned into quite the playground goers this summer. We spend our weeks hopping from playground to playground like the wild girls that we are.
Today we went to the medical records office to fill out a couple forms. A woman from the office called me a few hours later to confirm something. She totally threw me off when she said her name is Mona. This morning I was watching the Friends episode where Ross dates a girl named Mona. Now Mona was on the phone with me. Sometimes the line between reality and fiction gets a little blurred.
LOOK WHO HAD HER FIRST PONYTAIL. She has a little section of hair in the back of her head just long enough for a ponytail. The rest of it is too short or curls out on the sides. I thought Bald Baby was precious but I'm loving her new hair. In about three years we'll be battling the cowlick smack dab above her forehead so I'm enjoying these easy hair times. 

I think to celebrate this momentous day by eating a Klondike bar while I order more bows. It seems like the best thing to do. 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Currently-The last week of August edition

Watching: Minnie Mouse Bowtique. Note to the makers of Minnie Mouse Bowtique- feel
free to come out with new episodes any day now. We've seen the same 14 episodes 1570 times. We introduced AB to Winnie the Pooh and it's been delightful. I forgot how much I love that movie. We started watching Mary Poppins, one of my favorite movies of all time. It's so much fun introducing her to movies I watched when I was young. We also occasionally watch Friends. Occasionally meaning days that end in Y.

Listening: to Dick Van Dyke's autobiography. He narrates it and I'll tell you what. If I could get his voice on my GPS I'd be happy to get lost and hear him say "recalculating".

Laughing: at the way Sesame talks. The other day I opened the car door to get her out and she said, "Hi, goosey goose!" I was concerned I would give birth to a bump on a log but I don't think that's an issue. 

Going: to the pool every chance we get.
Long live the maternity bathsuit.
Resolving: to name my next child Boston or, to really get the point across, maybe even North, al la the Kardashian/West's. Our new landlord made a comment about how Annabelle Lee is a perfect southern belle name. That was not my intention. It was a concern I voiced during the Name Debate of 2014 hence why I voted for the name Katherine, but Christopher kept saying no one would think that. Oh really? Every single time I go home to MA people say it. I'm going to be in charge of naming our children from now on.

Making: Baby Belle a bed out of a Pampers box. Nothing but the best for my grandchildren!
Washing: Annabelle's car seat cover. Again. We were almost at church tonight when she threw up all over herself and everything within a twelve inch radius. Why do kids randomly throw up all the time? I lost her user manual so any advice would be appreciated.

Cleaning up: Five hundred qtips off the bathroom floor.
The fun never ends!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

thanks for tuning it to this season of Keep It or Kick It

We're T-minus three weeks out from moving to our next home.

Normally at this point I'd be packing and have boxes stacked up around this house. This time the Army is moving us so all I have to pack is what we'll need between leaving here and arriving at the new house and various special things we want to pack ourselves. I very much feel like I'm in a state of limbo.

Speaking of the new house, finding one has been An Ordeal. It's been the dramatic second season of the hit HGTV show Keep It or Kick It.

A few weeks ago Christopher flew up to our new state for an exploratory/house hunting trip. Normally I'd accompany him but flights were so expensive it didn't make sense. I supplied him with a detailed list of what I'd like in a house:
* a yard
* good spots for Christmas trees
* close to Dunkin Donuts

* a front porch and/or back deck

I believe that covers all the essentials. It didn't occur to me to add bathroom with shower or no houses with coin operated laundry machine to the list. You wouldn't think in 2015 we'd have to specify that we want a house with a shower but Christopher looked at a house that didn't have one. Obviously we're moving to a place that values cleanliness.

Long story short, he looked at over 20 houses and finally settled on a house with not one, but two showers. It had a Buddhist shrine in the office and was painted colors straight out of Bollywood but it was nothing a few coats of paint and 15 pinterest boards couldn't fix. A week later that home fell through and we were back to square one. We didn't have time to go back up to look at homes again so we had to decide between moving without a home or picking one site unseen. We went with the latter option which doesn't make me one bit nervous. ON OPPOSITE DAY. If it's terrible I'll be sure to snag a few of the best packing boxes from the movers and whip us up a cute cardboard box house to live in on the side of the road.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

gallivanting around Gatlinburg

We had a lengthy list of places to visit while we lived here but as usual, time got away from us and we've only visited 1/3 of the places. This week we visited Gatlinburg and crossed one more place off our list.
I found a hotel deal on Groupon and congratulated myself for being so thrifty. I learned that Groupon is hit or miss with hotels and this one was almost a miss. I think the room we got was a smoking allowed room in days of yore. Days of yore being last month. The stench was not pleasant. Within a half hour of arrival,we got a call from the realtor alerting us to some problems with the house we were trying to rent, I found an ant in the bathtub and Sesame fell and smacked her head of the toilet. She had an indent the size of the Grand Canyon on her forehead. If it hadn't taken five hours to get there I would have gone home and never attempted vacation again. This hasn't exactly been a great traveling year for us.
The next morning we went to a petting farm. Annabelle was reunited with one of her top three favorite animals- goats. I don't know what it is about goats but she's liked them every since she was six months old. She has the time of her life when she's with animals.
When we got to the farm we were given a crash course on animal safety and how to feed the camel so he didn't bite off our fingers. The man said, "Camels like things that are small and shiny. Keep in mind that your child's eyes are small and shiny." Nothing screams "Welcome to a fun place for your kids!" like bringing them to a place where their eyes might be taken out by a camel. He also made a big deal about the deer being gentle and shy creatures. Meek and gentle, my foot. About as gentle as a pack of starving dogs fighting over one bone. The second they saw our cup of food they charged over like a swarm of bees. I'll never look at deer the same way again.
This is my "I just got stepped on by a deer" look. I didn't know I have that look in my repertoire.
That afternoon we walked around the downtown area. I've always liked those old timey photos and convinced Christopher we should seize the opportunity and have one taken that day. There is no time like the present to dress up in clothes worn by an untold number of strangers before you. The lady taking the picture told Christopher not to smile and it cracked me up because she really didn't need to tell him that. Having his picture taken is not his idea of a good time and he isn't smiling in most of our pictures. 
 The moral of this picture is that I need to make Annabelle headbands with feathers.
I liked visiting the downtown area but I loved the mountains.
I'll be a perfectly happy camper if someone Christopher ever wants to buy me a mountain by the beach.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

this is no meek and timid mouse

Annabelle has the Dr. Suess book There's a Wocket in my Pocket!

It starts out like this:

Did you ever have the feeling there's a ZAMP in the LAMP?
Or a NINK in the SINK?
Or a WOSET in the CLOSET?

I'd like to add a new verse, written from my personal experience:

Or a MOUSE in your HOUSE?

That's right, folks. Two months ago there was unidentified poop on my stairs and this week there's a rodent.

I first heard it three nights ago. In my half-asleep stupor I thought the sound was coming from the monitor and that someone was stealing AB. I lay there for a few minutes trying to decide if  maybe I should do something about it. Note to others: YES. DO SOMETHING if you think your child is being kidnapped. Don't stop to think. Christopher's away for the week I had to handle the situation on my own. I got my trusty metal bat from under the bed and headed out the bedroom door. As I passed my bureau right by the bedroom door the scurrying got louder. I spent some time trying to figure out if it was behind the bureau or, horror of horrors, IN the bureau. You know what else I thought? 
"I wonder if it's really that giant spider from The Hobbit." Because Shelob the spider lives in Tennessee. It was 2:23am. I can't be held responsible for my thoughts or actions. I located the sound as coming from the panty. I opened the door a crack and the noise stopped. I'm no mouse exterminator so I didn't know what to do next except slam the door and stand there clutching the bat. I hoped the mouse was a fat one who couldn't squeeze under the door.

But he/she is a slim mouse who can escape from anything.

This morning I heard it behind the refrigerator. I was so mad at the darn thing I stopped rocking my baby, marched downstairs and moved the refrigerator. I am woman, hear my roar. I got a flashlight and banged around behind the refrigerator with the broom. I set up books on each side of it so the mouse couldn't escape. I didn't hear anything for a long time so I wondered if I may have squished it. G to the A to the G.

I wish I was kidding when I say that as I've been writing this, I HEARD THE MOUSE IN THE WALL.

Have I mentioned I've killed thirty five flies in my kitchen this week? That's no exaggeration.

Gotta go pack up my life. Time to drop an atomic bomb on this place and move on. It's the only way to deal with  all these animals taking over.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Day O'Fun

Sometimes I feel like AB and I need to kick up our day to day activities a notch. I know she doesn't get bored easily but I also know she really likes going out to explore the world. Yesterday I did all the cleaning and laundry so today could be our chore-free Day O'Fun.

First we went to a bakery for a cupcake and cookie. Sesame doesn't like chocolate cake or any chocolate product that isn't a Lindt truffle but I thought she might like a chocolate chip cookie. She did not. Is she my child? We picked up Chick Fil A for lunch then headed downtown for a picnic at the river walk.

When did she get so big?!

I don't always love the toddler stage but sometimes it's so fun. We sat right by the water and watched the boats and birds. She discovered ketchup for the first time and she's a fan. She went back and forth between it and the ranch dressing. She couldn't believe I'd been withholding such goodness from her.
I love how her hair is growing. It's so cute.

We played on the playground after lunch but it was approximately 106* with a humidity of 10000% so we didn't say long. After her nap we went to the zoo aka the pet store. Every time we go it's like her first visit. Fish! Birds! Kittens! Puppies! Best day ever! We found a dwarf hamster and it was the cherry on top of her day. She could not stop giggling while she watched him. 

After supper we went for a walk. I really wish she knew how to relax.

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Scrabble Party

When Joanna came to visit a few months ago she was talking about how her birthday last year was terrible. I knew we would at home visiting over her birthday so Autumn and I planned a surprise birthday party to make up for last year.

Autumn was housesitting for her aunt so we made plans to meet there then go out for a while. Joanna wouldn't suspect a thing. As I was leaving for Aunt Jen's around 3 o'clock, Joanna called and said she was still driving home from vacation and wouldn't be able to meet until 7, two hours later than we planned. This time change gave Autumn and I more than enough time to make the meal, frost the cake and decorate the house. Instead of making hay while the sun shone, we took our sweet time making sangria, discussing people we know who turned out better than we expected, and generally not doing much of anything.   

Then Joanna texted at 5:52 and said she was on her way. CUE PANIC MODE.

We literally smacked into each other running opposite directions through the same doorway. We didn't think through a few small details of the party which is how we ended up taping the banner to the wall with electrical tape. Contrary to how it looks, X does not mark the spot. We did not have a pirate themed party.
Joanna was completely surprised. She cried partly from shock and partly because she was tired. After she stopped we asked how her birthday turned out this year. She answered, "Not well when you consider I hit a motorcycle." There's always next year.
When Autumn and I got together for party planning we took to pinterest for ideas. Autumn looked up "cakes for nerds" but nixed that idea when all the cakes were multi-level hobbit homes or detailed Darth Vaders. Joanna would have loved either option but our cake decorating skilz have limits. We decided on a Scrabble theme. We play Scrabble every time we're together so it seemed the most appropriate.
We planned on making this Scrabble board with words that have meaning in our friendship before Joanna arrived but again, no time. We made it together after supper and I think it was more fun that way.

Autumn is my only friend whose hair colors match her floral shirt. She is always changing her hair color and wearing the funkiest accessories. She goes to week long music festivals and is the friend with the bar stories. Joanna is the blunt one who say what she thinks. She also says things like "When I go for my Masters..." which I assure is NOT a sentence you will hear from Autumn or I. I round out the trio by being the one who wears the birthday girl's discarded tiara. Somebody has to be the princess.