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. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

you can't live at my house and not have a birthday party

Of the three people who live in this home, one plays birthday every day, one loves a good party and one couldn't care less about his birthday. This weekend was the birthday of Mr. No Party. He doesn't have much of a chance of not having a celebration living with two party girls.

Annabelle has had her 4th birthday party theme of dragonflies planned for months. She assumed Christopher had also been thinking of his party theme for months but he had not (how shocking). He said she could pick for him. We went to Walmart and she picked blue plates, Harry Potter cups and Harry Potter eye glasses. I put the eye glasses back and we lost the cups somewhere between the store and home but it's the thought that counts. It was sweet to see her so excited about Daddy's big day.

I asked my friend to babysit Sesame on Saturday night so we could go out on a rare date. We decided to go to the movie to see the new Thor. We had to reserve seats online and the only available were two in the front row. A family was already spread out in the front row and we didn't want to bother them so we sat directly behind them. A couple came up to us, said we were in their seats and wouldn't listen to our polite explanation. We moved down the row and immediately before the movie started another couple came and said we were in their seats. We looked like idiots teenagers who were trying to sneak into a movie without paying. Finally we sat down in the seats the family who took our seats should have been sitting in. I'm going to start campaigning for assigned movie theater seating to be ended. It makes me look bad. (Or people could just sit where they're supposed to.) (I'm done.)

Christopher's birthday dessert of choice was key lime pie. I had never made it before and was pleasantly surprised with how well it appeared to have turned out. It wasn't until we started eating it that I realized the crust was raw. I used a premade crust and assumed it was ready to go. It was not. I'm going to believe Julia Child made the same mistake. Other than the crust it was very tasty.
Green sprinkles and random candle placement courtesy of my party planning protege in training.
Annabelle gave Christopher the sweetest book called Tell Me a Tattoo Story. She's very interested in his tattoos or, as she calls them, "Daddy's coloring book." 
This morning Annabelle asked when our next family birthday is. She needs enough time to start thinking of the next theme.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

trunk or treat

Our jungle trunk or treat was a success. We had a discussion about whether is was jungle or safari themed, but either way it was full of animals and plants.  
I went with the lion onesie which turned out to be a solid choice. There were so many people there someone would have punctured my inflatable elephant back. We could have also done The Wizard of Oz but I didn't think of that in time. 
Annabelle could not have had a better night. She loved handing out the candy and said "Hi! Happy hawoween! Here ya go!" all night. Multiple people thought she was a cat but she corrected every single one. "No! I'm a tiger. A TIGER." She was the cutest tiger I ever did see.

Monday, October 30, 2017

halloween happenings

Back in January I said I was going to blog more frequently. I've only blogged twice in the last eight days so it's safe to say that goal is not being achieved.

On Thursday I took Annabelle to the shoe store. I rarely buy clothes for her when she's with me because it's so much easier to do it alone. Beyond her Minnie Mouse rain boots and wanting to wear dresses she hasn't voiced much of an opinion about clothes. Picking out her clothes myself is a train I intended to ride as far as the track will take me. I mentioned she would need new sneakers soon and she said she wanted light up shoes. She was very specific about which kind of light up shoes so we went together. She wanted light up shoes with characters on the side. I found a Frozen pair in her size but she didn't want Frozen characters. Is her Frozen obsession coming to an end? Has the earth started to rotate in the opposite direction? Next we tried on Paw Patrol shoes and she liked them but said she "didn't like them enough so let's look at the other shoe store." After the third pair (lights but no characters) didn't meet her approval we went to Target. There we found a pair that her friend at school has and she fell in love with them. They do not have any characters on the side. The fact that we could have bought non-character shoes at the first store and called it a day is not lost on me. 

That might be the most boring paragraph I have ever written in my life but it does have a point. The point is I went to Target. I seldom go to Target but I found myself there twice in one day. While perusing the shoe and pullup aisles I came across a lion costume. I haven't yet nailed down what I'll be for halloween but a lion is within the right theme. That is how I found myself trying a lion onesie costume in the Target dressing room. If you thought I was going to try it on in the middle of the pajama/lingerie section for all to see you haven't been around here long enough. 
I think the socks are the perfect touch.
Listen. I'm not proud of how I look in either of these pictures but I need you to know exactly what I'm dealing with in the costume department. I have 18 hours before I have to be wearing a costume at trunk or treat so I need to decide on something asap. This Halloween business it too much. I need to go back to not acknowledging the day even exists. 
In other Halloween news, why do preschool moms go all out for every holiday? When I brought AB to MDO today I went by countless parents with highly decorated cookies, fruit wrapped in dough to look like mummies and containers of playdough with pipe cleaner spider legs glued on top. You know what I brought to the party? Apple cider. I signed up to bring apple slices for tomorrow's party and am feeling the pressure to cut them out with a cookie cutter in the shape of a pumpkin. I love a good celebration but it never occurred to me that I needed to bring personalized gifts for everyone in the class on Halloween. I save my classroom creativity for Christmas and Valentines. 

My costume is not be finalized but Annabelle will be wearing her tiger costume to MDO tomorrow. The glue might still be wet from the final gluing tonight but she'll be rocking her fancy light up sneakers.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

I'm praying there's no video footage of my performance

Three days later I'm here to report that I survived the ladies retreat. Praise the Lord for He continues to work miracles. 

I drove up with two girls from church whose children are friends of Annabelle's from Sunday school. They're sisters in law and best friends who gave me the scoop on who's who and what's what. I always love hearing the scoop. We got there right as dinner was starting and I felt so awkward. I didn't know where to stand or what to do. Most of the ladies there have been going to this church for years and I was the new kid on the block but they welcomed me in.

As a general rule I don't enjoy ice breaker games that involve some kind of performance. The younger half of the planning committee decided we should do a lip sync competition. NO THANK YOU. Unfortunately it was mandatory participation. I was in a group with a very outgoing girl which I thought would be our ticket to winning. I don't enjoying performing but I am competitive so I wanted to win. She picked a song from Mulan because "it's energetic and exciting and we can really get into it." Turns out she and one other girl were the only ones who got into it. Three of us didn't know the song so we stood there looking like idiots. Someone grabbed sticks for us to use as props which we used to fake fight with each other. It was a mess. There were five teams competing and we got honorable mention aka last place.

A lady spoke about unity and shared some good tidbits which I immediately butchered when I tried to share them with Christopher. Twice on Saturday we formed groups and prayed aloud. NEED I MENTION AGAIN MY DISLIKE OF PRAYING IN A GROUP. About forty women were in attendance and by my quick calculations, 98% were crying. Thank goodness there weren't any men in attendance. A room full of crying women is every man's nightmare. The second time we gathered for prayer it took our group 8 minutes (I timed it) to decide how to pray. Would we pray for the person to our right? To our left? Were we praying for the women at the retreat or whatever we felt led to pray for? Should one person pray for all of us? Should those who don't like praying aloud be allowed to skip this portion of the weekend? Did everyone find out that Amy's cat was hit by a car? Is Amy going to get a replacement cat? Should we pray for Amy about the passing of Ricky? Should every other person pray? Should we start praying since the other groups are already done? Again, it was a man's nightmare. 

We made crafts, played games until late into the night and went zip lining. I'm glad I worked up the courage to go because I did enjoy it, but I was peopled out by the time I got home. The only people I need are the two who live in my house. 

Friday, October 20, 2017

Friday five

1. Tonight I'm attending a ladies retreat with church. Raise your hand if this shocks you. I'm raising my hand higher than anyone.
It goes without saying that I don't generally sign myself up for events with people I don't know, but I'm trying to make more friends at church. I've tried coming up with many MANY reasons to say home but none were legit enough. Apparently needing to be around in case the ice maker breaks isn't a good enough reason.

I've spent nights away from Annabelle before but I still get nervous about it. Parenthood has not been good for my anxiety. I told Annabelle I was going anyway for a while and I would miss her. She patted the back of my head and said, "It's ok, Mom. You'll have lots of fun. Me and Daddy will see you when you get back." She then gave me kisses and hugs to bring with me. She also gave me two stuffed animals, along with their bag of food. She wanted to give me six but I didn't have the room. 

This meme rings as true as ever. I packed four pairs of earrings.  
2. Annabelle has started wearing her rainboots and whistle everywhere we go. We went on a Mommy/Sesame date to Dunkin Donuts this morning and she insisted on wearing them both. We drove the extra seven minutes to the DD where my friend works and she gave us a free munchkin. (It's really paid off to have a friend in management at DD. Not that I'm in the friendship for the free products but they are a nice bonus.) We went to the little zoo (aka the pet store) where Annabelle "blew a little tune" for the animals. I'm sure the mice really appreciated it.

3. I am not a fan of halloween. I love dressing AB up but other than that I wouldn't mind if it was removed from the calendar. For months AB said she wanted to be a butterfly for halloween. She was a butterfly last year and everything still fit so I was happy for her to pick such a low effort costume. Several weeks ago she decided to be a tiger which has required several trips to Joann's and lots of fabric cutting. Christopher said he'd join her and be a bear. Our church is having a trunk or treat and asked people to sign up as trunk decorators. I wasn't planning on dressing up at all but I didn't want to look like the Halloween Scrooge of the family. I decided we could do a jungle themed trunk and I could be a safari guide/zookeeper. Subtle yet participatory. Christopher thinks I should be this instead.
So long, subtle costume. Not only would I stand out like someone riding an inflatable elephant, I'd have to worry about not breaking the fan as I chase down a small tiger.

4. Several months ago we had our neighborhood cookout. Cathleen the tattooed from four houses down brought a container of yellow watermelon. I meant to return the container to her the following week but I forgot. Somehow it ended up on top of the refrigerator holding chip clips, a screwdriver, glasses from the eclipse and army sunglasses. I remembered about the container only when it fell on my head. It's been so long since the cookout it feels weird to return it now. Maybe I'll return it while disguised as an elephant rider.

5. How many times can a three year old call for her mother during quiet time? The answer is 12. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

perfect planning doesn't always pay off

You know how sometimes you get a song stuck in your head and nothing makes it go away? That's how it was for my Friday night, except it was a phrase that kept repeating in my dreams. "Perfect prior planning prevents poor performance." Over and over and OVER. If something went wrong in the dream, a voice would say "you could have prevented that poor performance." It was beyond annoying and I couldn't stop it, no matter how much I tried.

We didn't get to pick strawberries or blueberries this summer so I've been determined we make it to the pumpkin patch. We had a lengthy to-do list for Saturday but I penciled in pumpkin patching for the afternoon. My friend told me about a farm where we could pick pumpkins off the stems, not just out of a giant bucket. It was over half an hour away but I thought the experience would be worth it. I had done the perfect prior planning so I didn't expect any poor performance from the farm.

It felt wrong to pick pumpkins when it was 75* and we were wearing sandals! I actually started sweating. AB brought her Easter basket and insisted on trying to stuff too large pumpkins in it. 
The farm was free but we to buy tickets to the hayride. While we waited for the hayride to come back around Annabelle played in the corn kernels and took advantage of the free face painting. Face painting is the way to her heart.
Thanks to my prior planning I knew we had at least an hour to pick pumpkins and play in the hay maze before the farm closed. Twelve minutes after arriving a man walked around telling everyone they were closing in five minutes. FIVE MINUTES. All my research said they were open until 8. Christopher pointed out to a worker that the website and the sign said as much, but she said "that's for the farm down the road, not us." Because that makes sense. Put the information for another business on your sign. We didn't get the hayride. We didn't have time to go back and pick pumpkins but I grabbed a few from the store as we were being herded out. We had to wrap things up quickly and I was somewhat in a huff about it, but Annabelle had fun and we'll visit another patch in coming weeks. 
We painted our pumpkins last night. I recommend painting pumpkins over carving them by 1000%. Guess which one of us spent precious time painting sprinkles on a doughnut pumpkin that will rot in two weeks. Hint- it wasn't Christopher.