Thursday, June 30, 2016

paintbrushes and waterfalls

We brought a stowaway with us when we left Daniel and Erika's- Joanna came for her third annual summer visit. Of everyone who says they'll come visit she's one of the few who actually does. 

We went out for a girls night on Tuesday. There's very little going on in this neck of the woods but I discovered a gem in a restaurant called The Chocolate Bar. CHOCOLATE EVERYWHERE. It was a delight. I wanted every single one of the 30+ chocolate cocktails and pages of dessert. It was a small restaurant and at one point there where 16 diners. Fifteen of them were women. The Chocolate Bar knows how to cater to a specific audience. I think they'd make a killing if they gave PMSing ladies a discount. People would be knocking down the doors.

We went to a paint class after supper. I'd never done one but I know my painting skilz well enough to keep my expectations low. I'm shocked that my painting turned out so well. Feel free to call me Mrs. Sarah Michelangelo.
The next day we took a day trip to Niagara Falls. I have fond memories of giving Joanna an award winning Fort Campbell tour so I imagined myself giving a Niagara Falls tour of the same quality. It was going well until we got lost and ended up on the border of Canada with a man asking for our passports. By the time I explained I didn't want to leave the country, two cars were in line behind me. The man made them go in another lane then told me to back up the one way road, do a Uturn down a restricted lane and get back onto the main road. Instead of a leisurely ride to a natural wonder I almost got us questioned for trying to cross the border without proper papers. 
Annabelle's stylist did an excellent job matching her bow to her top. Someone needs to give that lady a raise.
Joanna went home this morning and left me to handle a potty training toddler on my own.
It's not going as successfully as I'd like so I'm already planning my next visit to The Chocolate Bar.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Aunt Camp

Annabelle and I descended upon Ivy and Erika's house for our first annual girls week or, as I like to call it, Aunt Camp. Annabelle traveled with half her toy collection, three blankets and all her pacifiers.
Sesame was thrilled to meet "Baby Ibee" for the first time. She loves to hold her or hug her head when someone else is holding her. She's fully taken over all Ivy's baby toys and made them her own. Baby Belle the doll has had many a wild ride in Ivy's swing.
Speaking of Baby Belle, Ivy finally has someone her own size to hang out with. One of them is a little more appropriately dressed than the other.
I love any opportunity to cuddle a baby I didn't have to grow and have removed from my body.
We had a tea party in the backyard. Annabelle acted like a drunk person by drinking out of the teapot and completely missing her mouth. 
"Look, Mom! No hands!"

Saturday, June 18, 2016

I keep telling myself that the more I sweat the less I'll jiggle

I haven't blogged as much lately because I've been busy running. 

No one is more shocked by this highly unusual turn of events than I am.
I'm with Amy. Vertical running is too much work.
I don't like running. The farthest I ran all fall and winter was from the car to the front door. Part of me thinks it would be nice to run 12 miles without a care in the world, but the second I start running I feel like I'm dying and I begin planning what my funeral program should look like. Christopher mentioned he was going to do the Couch to 5K program and my head told me not to say anything, but my mouth said, "I'll do it with you!"

As life would have it, I am the only one who has been sticking to the program with any regularity. Just because he isn't as faithful doesn't mean I'm going to quit. In fact, 85% of the reason I'm continuing is just so I can beat him. He's very uncompetitive but I'm the middle of five kids. I learned how to compete for what I wanted. Most of our conversations about competition go something like this:

Me: Want to play a game? 
Christopher: Sure.
Me: Which one? I'll beat you at any.
Christopher: You probably will.

It's not as fun when your opponent doesn't care.


All the sweat must have gone to my brain because on Wednesday I found myself in an office with a personal trainer named Sue measuring my hips and bust. Again, HIGHLY UNUSUAL ACTIVITY for someone who enjoys drinking ice coffee while laying on the couch and moving as little as possible. Sue showed me around the cardio area and asked how often I want to come in for my new workout regime. "Maybe three times a week? Four?" I shut that down real fast. I'm impressed with people who work out hours each day, but I'm not one of them. I enjoy an hour or two of zumba and I suffer through half hour runs. I have about an hour beyond that I'm looking to fill with new exercises.
I don't want to spend 240 minutes a week on a machine that looks like this. 
Besides, we have to park down the hill from the Y and thanks to Annabelle's ancient snail pace of a walk and her insistence in touching every single link in the chain along the way, it takes us 10 minutes to make it to the building. That walk alone earns me my daily chocolate. I have to replenish those lost calories somehow. 

Friday, June 10, 2016

Just call me the neighborhood animal control representative

It's business as usual over here, except I've added skunk patrol to my list of daily activities.

That's right. Skunk patrol.

Earlier in the week the landlord's father was over doing his usual puttering around. He started talking to the neighbors who told him there's a skunk living under our shed. Apparently they've seen it multiple times. I haven't seen or smelled a skunk since we arrived, but it makes sense to take the word of hippies who have been known to smoke things that give the neighborhood a unique fragrance over the word of someone who is completely clearheaded. The landlord's father put a trap behind the shed and asked me to check it daily and report back my findings. Annabelle likes to get in on the action but I try to keep her far away to avoid this type of situation:
I have plenty of time to check the trap in between hand washing all our dishes. Our dishwasher started it's slow death around the time we returned from Texas. (Isn't this RIVETING?) I never think about all the dishes when I talk about going back to a time when life was more simple and we didn't rely on machines so much. We finally got our new dishwasher on Wednesday. It was the Big Event of our day. I almost wanted to break a bottle of champagne and christen the dishwasher before it's first use. My joy only lasted so long. It isn't draining so a repair man and the landlord will be over shortly to look things over. Looks like I'll be giving the landlord my daily skunk report in person.

(Side note about the landlord and his father- they're both named Jim and they both love Annabelle. The older Mr. Jim comes over so often he is familiar with Annabelle's nap schedule. If he comes by at 1:30 and she's still up he'll ask why she's not sleeping yet. If he comes by around 3:30 he pokes his head around the house looking for her. I might hire him as a babysitter. One of my main requirement for childcare is someone who understands naps.)

Meanwhile, things have been pretty stressful in Annabelle's world. It really would have pushed her over the edge if I gave her a popsicle.

Monday, June 6, 2016

blog friends to best friends

A brief snapshot of our afternoon:

1:25- Annabelle goes down for a nap. She falls asleep immediately.
2:00- I hear a lot of coughing through the monitor. 
2:05- "Moooommmmmmmy! I spilled my lunch! I frew up in my crib!"
2:05- I died a thousand deaths. Every trip we've taken to Texas comes flooding back into my memory.
2:07- I was gagging and trying not to pass out from the smell. Luckily for me I got there just in time to stick a towel under her chin to catch the next round. What a great day to be a mother.
2:15- Annabelle was in the bath and I was stripping her bed of all contaminated items. She sleeps with 12 stuffed animals so I had a lot to clear out.
2:37- Nap round 2.
2:39- I collapse on my bed to recover and pray she falls asleep again. No such luck. She was bouncing on the mattress, turning the light on and off, asking for the window to be opened and saying "bless me!" every time she sneezes. "I get up now! Mama! You dere? I want to get up!"
3:05- I march into her room and very sternly ask why she's not asleep. "I sleep many long years ago." 

Happy Monday!

***
Michelle and Gracie's visit was everything I dreamed it would be and more. We are basically the same person. We both understand the importance of nap time, popcorn, and The Bachelorette. We watched two episodes and laughed the entire time. One look and we would instantly know what the was thinking. I haven't had so much fun in months. I asked Christopher if he wanted to watch with us and this was his response.
The girls played nicely, albeit separately in their own areas, and enjoyed mutual snack time. I highly recommend M and G as house guests.
I'm currently looking for a realtor to find Michelle a house in our neighborhood. We need to be close enough for daily visits.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Currently, the June edition

Excited about: Michelle and Gracie coming for a visit TODAY.  I am so excited. I should be sweeping the floor for the third time today (thank you for the continual crumbs, AB) but I'm cranking this out instead. I don't think she'll mind. After all, we have matching shirts so we're solidly in the best friends category.

Watching: Outdaughtered on TLC. The family has quintuplet (FIVE) baby girls. I love shows with lots of kids. I get to learn new parenting tricks while not having to care for all the children.

The Bachelorette. I dragged Michelle into the Bachelor franchise with me and it's simultaneously something I'm proud and ashamed to admit. Should I have recommended a new Bible study instead? Probably. Are we planning a bachelorette viewing party while she's here? Yes.
Hail, Caesar is on right now but Christopher is enjoying it much more than I am. Overall I'd give it a low rating but Channing Tatum just appeared so things are starting to look up. ETA it never got better. I was so annoyed with it that I had to watch another show to get in a better mood.

Googling: "What do people make for supper?" I'm desperate for new meal ideas.

Reading: Escape by Carolyn Jessop. I have been sucked in since the first page. The woman who wrote it was the fourth wife in a polygamous marriage. She eventually escaped her abusive husband with her eight children. I haven't put it down. 

Breaking: The decorative bird top off my glass jar in the bathroom. I blame the flies. It's fly season again which means my yearly war against them has begun. I tried to kill the fly with a towel and broke the jar instead. I will not let the flies win! 

Eating: Strawberry shortcake and homemade whipped cream.

Annoyed with: people who say Mary nursed Jesus. It's not the actual nursing part I find annoying. It's the fact that they use paintings of Mary nursing as proof. Did Mary really have the time or money to have her portrait painted? I don't think so. Wasn't she too busy hand washing her clothes in the sea or trying to explain to her other kids that Jesus never got in trouble because he was literally a perfect child? "Sorry, James. You're just not as good as your big brother so don't bother trying." Sorry for the tangent. You can paint anyone doing anything. I could paint George Washington crossing the street wearing a grass skirt but that doesn't mean he did it. Like I said, IT ANNOYS ME. 

Baking: Blueberry muffins. The grocery store had buy two, get three free packs of blueberries this week and I scooped them up like they were going out of style. I want to make anything and everything with blueberries.

Counting down the minutes until: Michelle arrives!!