Saturday, December 31, 2016

let's finish the year on a negative note

Usually this is the time of year where I reflect on moments of the part year that were special or worth remembering. It's a time when I talk about all the sweet things Christopher did or Sesame said. Not this year, folks. Not this year. Instead I bring to you a list of things that annoyed me this year. 

Hamilton. I tend to avoid things others drool over just to be contrary and Hamilton was no exception. For example, I don't spend hours at Target or Starbucks and avoid any and all Apple products. When we were at the beach house over the summer Mom and I started listening to the Hamilton soundtrack and to say I was unimpressed would be an understatement. The hip hop/rap combination was like screeching cats. The least they could have done was not allow the man who played Hamilton have a goatee. Talk about historically inaccurate. I couldn't get past that. People would have been outraged if a musical was made about Rosa Parks and she was played by a white woman with blond hair. 

Celebrity deaths. Can everyone just calm down when an actor or musician dies? Yes it's sad, but unless you knew them personally it's not necessary to light candles and go into mourning. While we're on the subject, I've heard more than one person say something along the lines of "I can't wait until this year is over because too many people have died." I hate to break it to you, but people are going to die in 2017 also. How's this for a bright and cheery post?

The continued Star Wars obsession. Haven't there already been 17 Star Wars movies? Do we need another? I saw it with Aaron last night and I'm here to tell you from personal experience that the answer is no. 

Man buns. 

Bae. This "word" was in circulation before 2016 but it was particularly annoying to me this year. How hard is it to put in the second 'b' and make a real word? If you don't have time for that you don't have time for the bae to whom you are referring. 

Going overboard with instagram stories. Instagram stories are great for nosy people like me who want to know more about others, but I wish people would learn how to use them well. It shouldn't be yet another way for me to see three more pictures of your poorly lit plate of chicken and rice. I still have issues looking at food pictures stemming from when I was pregnant so this near and dear to my heart. 

Justin Beiber. I don't know why he's still around. He should take a year off and learn how to wear a belt.

Youtube ads that can't be skipped. This is especially annoying when Annabelle is watching Veggie Tales and a preview for Game of Thrones comes on. It's very much a first world problem but I live in a first world country.

Body wraps. Please don't ask if I want to wrap my thighs in herb-infused plastic.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Parade of Christmas clothes, 2016

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is dressing your child for all to see.

I hope 2017 will be the year she finally gets some personality. She's such a wallflower!
Me: Don't you love your new Christmas headband?!
Dress rehearsal for her winter date with Prince George.

She's worn this dress every Christmas of her life. Look how much she grew since last Christmas!
Is it obvious I like smocked dresses? I've waited her entire life to put her in a smocked nativity dress and it was worth the wait. I might make her wear it every Sunday between now and next Christmas.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmas 2016

People are pulling down their Christmas trees and here I am, talking about our Christmas five days later. I like to keep the holly jolly going until well into the new year.

We celebrated our own Christmas at home the weekend before Christmas. We had a North Pole breakfast with snowmen shaped pancakes and Christmas straws in the morning, played in the snow and opened gifts at night. Annabelle gave me a music box that plays Edelweiss which she told me about four days before I opened it. Every time she talked about it she would tell me, "But Daddy said not to tell you 'bout it." She asked for a whistle and a jump rope, both of which she got in her stocking. Christopher bought the whistle and I have a feeling it might accidentally on purpose get temporarily lost it if goes too annoying. 
We went to a Christmas Eve service than made the long commute all the way across the back yard to my aunt and uncle's for Christmas festivities. Sesame was so! excited! about all things Christmas. It wasn't my favorite holiday season in general but she definitely made it better. She was only 9 months old on our last Christmas here so this year she was old enough to enjoy everything.
She's worn this dress 3 years in a row. I hope it still fits when she's 14.
She was having a fantastic hair day.
Aaron passed out the gifts on Christmas morning and this tag stumped us all. We have neither a Cristy or a Della in our family. We're not known for great organization skills on Christmas morning but this takes the cake as the most random.
Annabelle's single stroller wasn't big enough for her ever growing family of babies so Grammy and Grampy got her a double stroller. She quickly learned to maximize space and stuffed in no less than 7 assorted dolls and animals. She pushed it across the yard to Memere's then abandoned all the babies so I was once again on Grandma babysitting duty.
66% of us are smiling so I call this a successful family picture.  
Baby Ivy and I got some good cuddles in on her first Christmas. She is so cute. I wish Daniel and Erika would have stuck her in my stocking!
She knew it was important to do some planks and burn off all that wrapping paper she ate!

Friday, December 23, 2016

To grandmother's house we go

Dad spent the last few days at our house and drove to MA with us yesterday. I'm not going to say he drives too fast, but he drives faster than I do and cut off nearly an hour of the trip. Annabelle sat in the back with Mr. Lion and repeatedly scared me when she'd make comments about not feeling well. I brought two towels in case we had a vomiting incident. This isn't my first travel rodeo! I tried to keep us occupied by asking trivia questions and singing Christmas songs that no one appreciated like they should have. The life of a jukebox is a tough one.

We were home all of 3 minutes before cousin Nick (usually referred to as Pickles) came over, followed quickly by Grandma. AB's newest salutation is a fake sneeze which she did wholeheartedly for Memere. I don't know why she does the things she does. 

Around the time I got engaged I told Grandma I'd like it if she could crochet a baby blanket for me. I knew Grandma wasn't speedy with the crochet hook so I wanted to get my order in early. Three years later, Grandma finished the blanket just in time to bring it to the hospital the day after AB was born. She's slept with it every nap and night since. She asked for it while we watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas last night because she wanted to share it with Memere. She gave Memere a kiss and said "dank you for my banket!" It was so precious.
Memere knows the way to Annabelle's heart. She let her borrow the singing snowmen decoration for the weekend. They've been named Barry and Aurora and she pushes the button to make them sing 24 times an hour.
Her snowman love affair began early in life.
Every year growing up I'd help Grandma make the meatballs for the chicken soup at Christmas and Easter. I don't get to do as many traditions since we live far away, but I got to help with the meatballs this year. I was so excited to make Annabelle a fourth generation meatball roller. She was less interested in rolling them and more interested in grabbing the ones I made and turning them into "a snow monster." 
Elizabeth has finally decided to get her licence. She volunteered to drive us to the grocery store and since I like to think of myself as a superb driver, I offered to give her a few pointers. I gave some tips about programming the radio stations (priorities!) and knowing which button operates which window. It was going well until she turned left into two lanes of oncoming traffic. I remained remarkably calm given the fact my life was flashing before my eyes. Here she is after she almost killed me. The least she could have done was offer to pay for my Dunkin Donuts to make up for it!

Friday, December 16, 2016

the bad, the good and the christmasy

The bad-
This has not been a great two weeks. I feel like every time I try to blog lately it ends up sounding I'm filing complaints with the Board of Life and Why Stuff Happens. But sometimes life isn't all glitter and bunnies (for Christopher a life of glitter would be a nightmare) and that's what I'm here to discuss today. Now is your chance to leave and look at perfect pictures on pinterest.

+ At the end of last week and the beginning of this week Annabelle was in the midst of her second round of bronchitis. Every night was rough. She had night terrors, she couldn't find her pacifier when it was in her hand and she couldn't figure out how to drink from the cup she sleeps with. I was so scared something would happen when I was asleep that I had her lay with me on the guest bed for a while. The next night was the complete opposite. She jibber jabbered until ONE O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING. I cannot tell you the number of times I went in her room to give a piece of my mind about her behavior. She wanted her wand. She wanted to talk about Hungry, Hungry Hippos. She dropped (threw) Appletini out of the crib. She wanted more friends to sleep with. She wouldn't stop flipping the light switch on and off so I had to move the crib a foot away from the wall. It's interesting how bad nights happen when I'm just barely coming around to the idea of maybe sometime having another baby. A child who doesn't let you sleep more than 5 hours a night is the only birth control needed.
+ The pipes under the sink leaked and soaked everything in the cupboard below.
+ I got stuck in a snow storm and it took an hour to the drive 28 minutes home.
+ Annabelle's sleep strike leaked into nap time and she repeated the above nonsense for days.  
+ Every year I wrap presents while watching The Christmas Card. It's a cheesy movie but I love it and look forward to my tradition every year. Annabelle's nap strike reached a peaked on the afternoon I choose to watch it. She yelled to me for two hours. I eventually got her up and in an attempt to help she unorganized my cards and ripped wrapping paper, spilled her milk and knocked over her snack bowl. The whole thing was a disaster. 
+ Sesame dumped all her beads all over the kitchen floor, under the oven, down the cellar stairs and into every corner. I didn't think it through too well when I bought the extra large container of beads.
+ She spilled them again the next day. I've since hidden the beads and might accidentally on purpose forget where they are.
The day I finally checked myself into rehab.
+ We couldn't go to MOPS yesterday because I couldn't get the car out of the driveway due to snow. I've said it before and I'll say it again- I'm from Massachusetts and grew up dealing with snowy driveways. Not counting his 5 years at Fort Drum, Christopher has no snow experience to speak of. My word/advice on the subject should be taken as law and followed. All we have to do when it snows is shovel within an appropriate amount of time so we stay on top of the situation and we'll be able to get in and out of the driveway just fine. It snowed Wednesday night and Christopher said we didn't need to shovel, we'd just drive over the snow. This is what I was thinking on the inside.
Thursday morning I couldn't get out of the driveway. Last night he finally shoveled (or more accurately, "shoveled" because it didn't look that way to me). This morning I got stuck again. I'll spare you the memes of how that made me feel.

MOVING ON. Stay tuned for future installments of airing my grievances.

The good-
+ I love our Christmas trees this year. Nothing makes me happier at the end of the day than to sit on the couch in the quiet with the trees and mantle lit. 

+ One of Annabelle's favorite games for the last few months is wrapping toys and giving them to us or vice versa. She'll wrap them in whatever blanket or bit of paper she can find then makes a production of handing them out and singing Happy Birthday. There's only so many times you can feign enthusiasm for the same toy but it's so sweet. She wrapped these Christmas presents by herself and was so proud. Her favorite part is the tape. She thinks it's important to use half a roll on each gift.

The Christmasy-
+ We decorated our gingerbread house. I'm pleased that no one (read: me) allowed perfectionist or OCD tendencies to get in the way of a good time.
+ I'm glad I have a child who loves all things Christmas as much as I do. She says "YOOK, MOMMY!!! IT'S A  _______! I YOBE IT!" every single time she sees something Christmas related. It's like the first time every time.
+ The next movie on our Christmas watch list is my personal favorite- It's a Wonderful Life. If only I had been born 60 years earlier I would have been Mrs. Jimmy Stewart in a heartbeat.  

Saturday, December 10, 2016

nothing says christmas like glittery coconut flakes

Last weekend we took Belle Belle to the Christmas Cottage to see Santa. She wore her nativity dress so both parties of the Christmas season were represented. She wasn't thrilled to see him but she wasn't in hysterics like last year. 
Flashbacks to Santas of years past.
We decorated our tree on Tuesday. Annabelle took the ornaments off as fast as we put them on. Every morning she acts as if it's the first time she's ever seen it and gets so excited. 
In years past we've had two to three big trees. Last year we were almost forced out of our own living room thanks to two extra large trees so we toned it down this year and got a little tree. It looked bigger when we got it home than it did in the tree lot. That happens to us every year but somehow we always forget. Normally we spend a lot of time considering how we'll decorate our theme tree but this year we couldn't nail down a theme so I suggested white. Simple and pretty. I got a box of fuzzy white ornaments that look like they're covered in glittery coconut flakes and a box of clear ornaments. Months ago I ordered vinyl cutouts of some names of Jesus used at Christmas so I stuck them on the clear ornaments. I think it looks very pretty.
Last Christmas our tree fell over. Here's to a season of all trees staying in their upright positions. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

it's only monday but it's already been a long week

Today I told myself I'd blog about whatever we did, whether it was exciting or not. You're welcome for the high quality, well thought through blogging you get around here. 

Last week I realized I had a doctor appointment at 9:30 this morning. Who schedules a physical first thing Monday morning? Obviously I didn't think that through when I scheduled this appointment after my physical last December. 

I had to bring my sidekick who insisted on bringing in her giraffe mask. Whatever keeps her occupied! We also brought three books and the ipad which kept her occupied for 18 minutes. I like the office I go to but they're slow. By the time the doctor came in we had been waiting for more than 30 minutes and AB had read all her books, climbed on both chairs, crawled behind the exam table and fallen down 57 times. Given the circumstances she did well, but it was like herding chickens. She was kind enough to tell me the gown I was wearing looked "so boo-tiful." I don't think anyone has ever felt beautiful in the gown that opens in the front while wearing very little underneath. The doctor told me my heart rate was a little high. That's what happens when I'm seeing her at an ungodly hour and trying to keep a toddler entertained for an hour while wearing a revealing gown. That's enough to raise anyone's heart rate. 

I rewarded us with ice coffee and hash browns from Dunkin Donuts. I needed it after being prodded and poked. This is her "can you get me some hashfries, Mama?" face.
We went to Toys R Us because the doctor wasn't enough torture for one day. Normally I avoid TRU like the plague. There are few stores I'd rather wander. All the motion activated toys, weird looking stuffed animals and screaming children drive me nuts. If I want to see a hundred toys all I have to do is sit on my couch and look at our toy corner. However, I had a $10 gift card and needed to buy AB's friend a birthday card so in we went. I'll go anywhere to save money. Sesame hasn't quite figured out that everything in stores is available to be taken home which made the trip go surprisingly well. I'm not going to fill her in on how stores work AND YOU BETTER NOT EITHER. I'd give her a toy to play with, rush around looking for what I needed and swap out the toy as she got bored with it. I acted as if we were borrowing toys like we borrow books from the library and it worked well. She lost her mind in the Minnie Mouse and Sofia the First aisle and would have taken everything home, but I said it was the other kids turn. She told me she wants the Sofia doll for her birthday. I said we'll ask Daddy and crossed my fingers that she'll forget come March 28th. "Ask Daddy" is my go-to phrase when I want to ignore a request. Jot that down in your Parenting 101 notebooks.

Tonight we made hot chocolate and watched the new Cinderella in our pajamas. 
Tomorrow is MDO and I most certainly won't be spending my alone time at the doctors or Toys R Us. You can find me at Dunkin Donuts instead. It's the place to be on any day ending in Y.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Currently, the It's Beginning to Look A Lot like Christmas edition

Watching: Gilmore Girls. Obviously. I liked it but didn't love it. I felt like they weren't really in the groove until 40 minutes before the show ended. But those 40 minutes! Luke's speech in the kitchen! I would have accepted a proposal from him if Christopher wasn't sitting next to me.
I don't even like phone calls but I'd answer for Luke.
Feeling depressed about: My current size. My pants are bigger than I'd like them to be and none of my exercise and healthy eating is doing anything to fix it. Last night I set myself up for failure by looking at the tiny skirt I wore for our rehearsal dinner. I lay on the bed and bemoaned my hip size for the one hundredth time this month. When I sat up the button on my pants broke off and flew across the room. So that did absolutely nothing to help me feel better.

Reading: Home Fires Burning and A Day in the Sun with Olaf. I barely have time to read the former because I spend so much time reading the latter. I almost have it memorized. 

Not reading: the I Heart Organizing blog. I followed it for organizational tips but I've barely read any posts. Annabelle's closest floor is proof of that.

Looking for: Baby Jesus. Annabelle is very into playing with her Little People nativity set. The first day I took it out for her she said maybe our landlord's father Mr. Jim would like to play Baby Jesus with her. He was over doing yard work today so he came in to visit her. The four wise men and two camels were there in all their glory but Jesus was no where to be found. As Mr. Jim put it, "All the supporting cast is here but the main attraction is missing." AB asked Christopher if Baby Jesus was in his belly. I think Jesus is probably hiding under the couch with all the other lost toys. There may not have been room for him in the inn but there's plenty of room under the couch.

Collecting: all the little Christmas trees. I only meant to buy one for Sesame's room but I got sucked in by sales and ended up with three mini trees of varying sizes. That lead to me buying multiple boxes of fairy lights and a glittery gold deer decoration. The Christmas decor slope is very slippery.
Buying: Christmas cards. I LOVE cards, specifically photo cards.  Growing up I was always the first to the mailbox at Christmas time so I could open the cards. We'd tape Christmas cards around the doorway and I loved looking at them. Now that I have my own home I hang Christmas cards from my snowflake garland then move the photos to the refrigerator for the rest of the year. I've conducted a ongoing study since getting married and concluded that people don't send cards out like they used to. I don't understand non-card senders. Who wouldn't want to send a little holiday joy? I start planning my cards in September. It's serious business! This year I ordered some laser-cut cards from Tiny Prints. I was torn between the laser-cut and the glitter cards but Christopher doesn't love glitter the same way I do so I went with the more conservative option. I've already decided 2017 will be the year of the glitter card. 

Annabelle requested this card to send Prince George. I hope he remembers to rsvp so we buy enough goldfish.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

we did not come back with a prescription souvenir

We made it back from Texas without visiting the emergency room! All my wiping down of the airplane seats and stuffing us full of vitamins worked! It was the miracle of the century! Annabelle demonstrated how we all feel about this.
To be honest the trip wasn't 100% healthy. Annabelle suffered from horrible allergies the entire time and would cough to the point she'd almost throw up, but I didn't clean up any vomit so I call it a win. 
Thanksgiving night we went to a gorgeous lights display. 
We swung by London Bridge to practice for when we visit in real life. 
Feel free to pin this as inspiration for your next group exercise class. 
LOOK WHO WAS THERE LIVE AND IN PERSON. Sesame could not believe it. She kept saying "wow! Wow, Mama!" She went right up to Elsa and told her she had a matching dress. She told them she knows their songs. They talked about Olaf. I was so happy for her I almost cried. 
We went to a drive though safari and AB was reunited with her favorite animals. 
Christopher got corned by a pregnant goat. When I got pregnant Christopher said he was excited for all the food he'd be able to fed me. That never happened but mama goat pulled through for him. 
I don't know how she's big enough to ride a horse by herself. Two weeks ago she couldn't sit up alone without falling over! 
We enjoyed our trip but as always it was nice to come home. We're such homebodies around here.

This morning after MDO I took Annabelle to the doctor. The cold and bad cough I had been treating as allergies wasn't going away. I was sure the doctor would tell me to buy some benadryl and shoo me out the door. Turns out she has bronchitis. 

Sickness finds us wherever we are.

Monday, November 21, 2016

maybe I should bring face masks to we don't breathe infected air

We're currently preparing to visit the Great State of Plagues, Germs and Vomit

I mean Texas.

If I didn't like the family members in Texas so much I'd swear off the state forever and never return.

I learned a few tips from our last three trips of sickness and urgent care visits so I'm not going empty handed. 
Advanced purell! Kills the most germs! #1 used in hospitals!
Nausea control! Benadryl to calm AB's stomach/make her sleep!
This is only a small part of my Sickness Avoidance Plan 2016. I also have a package of clorox wipes with which I plan on wiping down our entire row on the plane. I've been pumping us full immune system building supplements. Christopher hasn't been gungho about my holistic efforts but I made him swallow some medicine yesterday. Germs spread like wildfire and I can't risk him being the weak link that takes us all down. The pharmacist told me I should hand out ice chips to avoid nausea. I have no desire to carry a cooler of ice through the airport BUT I WILL DO ANYTHING.

If anyone (mostly looking at you, Belle Belle) does get sick on the plane, I have an extra pacifier, a towel, a brand new package of baby wipes and change of clothes for both of us. I learned that lesson the trip AB threw up on me three times during a two hour flight.

Surely we can't get sick four times in a row, right? RIGHT?! Send prayers and any extra clorox wipes my way. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

we haven't had many quiet nights around here lately

This morning as I was driving to Walmart I started wondering where I put my keys. I couldn't remember if I put them in my purse or if they were on the seat. Then I remembered THEY WERE IN THE IGNITION. I blame Annabelle. She didn't fall asleep until after 12:30 last night. TWELVE THIRTY IN THE A.M. If there's any time I don't want to discuss her book about dinosaurs or her new Paw Patrol shoes it's at 11:48pm.

I feel like I've missed Fall this year. We went to the pumpkin patch, had our family pictures taken under trees with yellow leaves and drank a gallon of apple cider but none of it made me feel fallish. Even leaf peeping didn't do it for me. 

In case anyone besides Christopher isn't familiar with the term leaf peeping.
Yesterday I burned my flannel blanket candle and played in the leaves with Sesame. Making leaf angels finally put me in the autumn mood. 
Speaking of things that put me in a good mood, Annabelle's first school pictures came in and I'm dying over the cuteness.
On this particular day she was getting molars and the fake apples went straight into her mouth. She didn't have time to start eating the fake pumpkins. Clearly she didn't pick up any tips from the 4yo boy who had his picture taken before her. He was wearing a vest and smiling so perfectly I fully expected to see him as the cover model for the November GQ magazine. 

This morning we went to an event about harvesting at the children museums. The teacher started off by handing everyone clipboards and pencils and herding us over to the Faces of Our Town exhibit. She sat everyone down and said, "ok, friends! Can anyone tell me what 'community' means?" She got the following responses-
My shoe is coming off. 
She's sitting on my lap!! 
I don't want her sitting on my lap! 
That's my pencil. 
Where's my paper?

That's what you get when ask a bunch of 2 year olds a question way over their heads. 

Tomorrow the topic at MOPS is Become Better Sleepers. This is a very unusual topic for our group.Unless they're going to hand out ambien I don't know how they plan on discussing this topic. Personally I think they should let us all take a two hour nap while the kids are in child care. Annabelle's been in bed for two hours and is no closer to sleep than she was when I put her down. I should have her sit in the meeting with me and pick up a few sleeping tips.