Friday, June 16, 2017

fake father's day

All last week in Texas I planned how we'd celebrate Father's Day. I hadn't seen many advertisements for Father's Day gifts but I thought maybe it was just because the only places I frequent are playgrounds and the library, neither of which are Hallmark level holiday spots. I asked Christopher if it was last Sunday (the 11th) and he said "I don't know. Maybe. Sure." Based on that concrete answer I continued on with my planning.

It wasn't until Saturday afternoon when I was in line at Lowe's that I saw a sign saying Father's Day is the 18th. I didn't believe it so I consulted the internet. The internet agreed that it was the 18th not the 11th. I had two thoughts: 1) How dare the rest of the world not be operating according to my schedule! 2. For once I was ahead of the game!

We continued on with fake Father's Day anyway because we have company coming this weekend and it made sense to stick to the original plan. It was the lowest of low key days. Christopher doesn't appreciate fancy straws like he should (party pooper) so I didn't bother buying any specially themed ones. Annabelle did wrap her gift in a girly glittery bag so at least we had a little sparkle.

Annabelle is obsessed with rocks and always brings them home. They end up in the car, all over the driveway and mixed in the toys. I decided it would be a very Father's Dayish thing for Christopher to make her a rock/fairy garden in the Hundred Acre Woods. Dumbo came along to inspect but not help. He never pulls his weight around here.
Sesame gave Christopher a little bear figurine she picked out at a rest stop on the way to Massachusetts. It was the second figurine we've gotten there so we're really keeping them in business. Another gift was this set of matching socks. I think they should wear them on her wedding day (if I ever let her leave the house). 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

goodbye to school, hello to summer

Today was this little Mary Poppins wanna-be's last day of Parents Day Out.
I went back and forth so many times about signing her up but I'm so glad I did. She had so much fun "wif da kids and snacks at school" and I loved the time to myself. I lived for Tuesday mornings. I could browse stores, take a nap, sew, read or do whatever I wanted for three hours. I felt like a free woman and it was glorious.
I will miss having a a morning each week when we go our separate ways, but I think we'll have a fun summer. We spend 24/7 together regardless of the season but I'm going to make an effort for this season to be extra fun for her. I want to have lots of popsicles, set up teepees, go to the zoo and spend time at the pool and splash pads. I decided it will be the summer of low key meals and paper plates. I hope popsicles and popcorn are considered a well rounded supper. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

the travel chronicles- part 2

We've returned from our second trip of the 2017 season of Living Out of a Suitcase.

Speaking of suitcases, I am extremely pleased to report that I achieved my goal of a suitcase weighing less than 50lbs. When the guy at the ticket counter weighed my bag and it was 43lbs I almost did a happy dance. That was the exact number I was going for but I didn't think I'd reach, especially since I had some of Annabelle's things in there. I'll be the first to admit I pack too much. But what if I need to change my shorts three times a day? What if I don't feel like wearing the striped shirt? What if I am invited to dine at the White House? I like to bring plenty of options. Christopher's bag was OVER 50lb both times which brought me great joy. (He'd want you to know he was responsible for carrying all the odds and ends that didn't fit in my bag and he did NOT pack 50lbs worth of clothes but whatever. The scale does not lie.)

During our layover in America's worst airport (Atlanta), the emergency alarm went off. No one but us paid the slightest attention to the man saying "an emergency has been reported. Please remain calm and await further instructions." Christopher said in case of an emergency our meet up spot would be in the back of Atlanta Bread Company. We never found out what the emergency was, but the ceiling above us seemed like a disaster/emergency waiting to happen. The entire thing was exposed and electrical wires were hanging down which didn't give me too much confidence while sitting under it.
We arrived in Texas after suppertime and went to Christopher's parents house for a quick visit. We spent that night at a hotel which delighted Annabelle to no end. She loves the phones (proof that she is my daughter) and the "honeypot", commonly known as the ice bucket. She is so easy to please.

The next morning we went to NASA. I have spent my entire life wanting to be an astronaut so it was a dream come true to go there. I was asked to become an honorary astronaut and naturally I agreed.
Turns out looking like an astronaut doesn't make you one (who knew?). Immediately after the above picture I crashed a shuttle.
The purpose of the trip was to spend a week at a beach house in celebration of Opa's birthday. The beach was beautiful. I couldn't get over how warm the water was. 
Sesame loved every minute of the beach. She's a little fish. 
Aunt Stephanie set up a pirate scavenger hunt for the kids. She's such a cool aunt. 
For three out of the four flights we sat in the very back rows and had no windows. Being a dedicated window seat fan I did not enjoy the arrangement, but I got a lot of reading done. On the first flight home the pilot told us that Donald Trump was arriving at an airport near our destination and we "had to fly extra fast to beat him and avoid the restricted air space." We hurled through clouds so fast the turbulence was awful and poor Sesame got sick. In a way you could say Donny T was responsible for my daughter getting sick. I never get sick on planes but I was holding onto the arm rests and barely kept it together. I popped a Bonine the second the turbulence started which was a dignity saving move.   
We had a wonderful visit but I was so happy to see my bed. I need to invent a way to bring my bed on all my travels, but I have a feeling it would make my suitcase more than 43lbs.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

it's the little things: May 2017

Being the last day of the month, today is when I'd normally blog about little things to remember for the last month. I don't think I'll forget this morning.

Annabelle got a bead stuck up her nose.

I was putting makeup on when she nonchalantly came over and announced the problem. At first I told her she did not have a bead up her nose. (Mother of the year!) I assumed it was part her latest game of pretending her bed is an airplane and her old pacifier is a bottle of milk. She's never stuck anything anywhere in her body. I looked up her nose and sure enough, there it was. 
I wasn't sure whether to attempt getting it out myself (it was pretty far up there) or take her to the professionals. I called Mom and texted my people. They gave suggestions like pressing the opposite nostril and blowing into her mouth. It worked a little but she kept sniffling and the bead would go back up. I was thiiis close to getting it would with tweezers but I accidentally gave her a bloody nose in the process. I called the doctor and she said to come in at 9 o'clock. While I was on the phone Annabelle fell down the stairs. What a great day! We were heading out the door to the doctor when I had to stop and wipe the blood off AB's little face. She sneezed and out shot the bead. Then I laid down on the floor and recovered.

So how was your day?
* Sesame's newest favorite show is Umizoomi. At the end of every episode the characters do a special "we fixed the problem" crazy dance. Whichever members of our family are in the room do the crazy dance. Someday she'll be so embarrassed by my dancing. I'm living it up while I can. 

* Speaking of Sesame (as I always do. I'm sorry for being a broken record.). Among her collection of stuffed animals, books, tissues, blankets and general paraphernalia was a plastic watering can. I don't know how long she was sleeping with it, but she was quite attached to it. When I needed something to rinse shampoo out of her hair I went to her bed and got the watering can. It was very handy.

* AB's jokes continue everyday. She's constantly asking us to tell her jokes. All day long she says "you tell knock knock joke, Mama?" I have told every single joke I can think of. I make up stupid jokes like "what did the cat say to the other cat? I like your ears!" They're not funny at all but she enjoys them. One of her jokes is "Why did the chicken cross the road to see the tree run down the road and get in the others ones bebo (bellybutton)?" 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

golden birthday

I had my golden birthday over the weekend. I turned 28 on the 28th. Judging by the popping and cracking when I exercise, my body seems to think I'm 128.

Last year I started a tradition of going to the best flower shop in town to buy myself a bouquet. It's only been two years, but I think it will be a lasting tradition.
We went to church Sunday morning then visited with Mom who had arrived late the night before. Christopher and I had a day date that afternoon which hasn't happened in 37 months (aka Annabelle's birth). For my birthday meal that night we went to a restaurant with the best chocolate dessert I've ever had. It was a quiet day but so nice. Christopher always does a good job of making my birthdays special.
Christopher gave my a gorgeous necklace with "I love you" written in his handwriting. I had been hinting at it for a few years. Annabelle gave me out a package of magnetic chip clips. Just what I always wanted! She has since confiscated them all.
On Monday we took a day trip to recreated villages from three different time periods- pioneer, antebellum and turn of the century. 
It's not every day you get to ride a giant turkey statue.
I fell in love with a charming little house in the center of town. It was actually the biggest house in the entire place and built by a wealthy doctor, but who's counting square footage or dollar signs. I overlooked the abundance of mud, lack of showers and takeover by the flies. I was practically decorating it for Christmas in my head.
A single fly is buzzing around my head as I write this and driving me NUTS. I could not live in any of those time periods. I'll stay here with my air conditioning, running water and new chip clips.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

i'm trying to look on the bright side. hopefully the bright side isn't covered in ants.

It's Thursday which means Friday and the weekend are right around the corner. Based on the last few days I've had, it's coming not a moment too soon. Allow me to air my grievances.

* Ants invaded our kitchen.
* Annabelle is still not sleeping at night. Tuesday night she got out of bed and emptied her pajama drawer, her pants drawer, her jewelry box and the basket of extra bows. The only reason she didn't pull all the wipes out again was because I had the foresight to move the diaper basket into the hallway. I have had it UP TO HERE with her current sleep habits. 
* I woke up itchy from head to toe.
* Potty training is a disaster. 
* Annabelle's cup leaked milk all over the floor.
* I have so little patience and I hate it. I wanted to be a stay at home but when the person I'm pushing on the swing insists I HAVE to push her from the back, not the front or while sitting on a swing next to her (God forbid I want to rest after our long night), I wonder why I didn't go through with my plan of being a party planner or an astronaut. I bet they get to sit where ever they want.
* I took my car to the mechanic because it's started a habit of locking the doors when the keys are on the inside and I'm on the outside. Of course they couldn't figure out the problem. Now I'll spend all summer worrying that Annabelle will be locked in a hot car again.

And that was just Wednesday.

On the bright side, not everything has been terrible this week.

* Yesterday I scoured the town looking for a particular brand of natural children's sleep aid my friend recommended. I never found it so I got a different brand that "promotes restfulness and soothes irritability." The irony of the situation is she was irritable after I gave some to her, but she did fall asleep before 9:30 which is a step in the right direction.

* I let AB watch more shows than I normally would the last few days. I started to get annoyed about it but decided it's ok. It's not going to ruin her or take away her chances of a good life if she watches four episodes of Umizoomi. I don't use the tv as a babysitter for hours on end. If it helps me get through the day when I have a raging headache, than thank God for the tv.

* Dunkin Donuts is always open.

* The group texts I have with three of the funniest people I know are a saving grace on bad days.

* Sesame made me this little craft at church on Mother's Day. Every time this week I've had to clear the table and perform an ant massacre it made me smile.

Monday, May 22, 2017

weekend report

Our wild Friday plans started off with a movie night. Annabelle picked her newest favorite show, Umizoomi. As the second episode was ending, I said we were going to turn it off. Sensing I wasn't going to allow a third episode, Annabelle tried a new tactic to convince me we should keep watching for MY sake. She said, "Have you ever seen da numbers one? I fink you'd yike it." NICE TRY, little salesperson.  
Saturday morning we went out to breakfast. AB has reached the stage where she is deeply hurt and starts crying about small things. I know things that seem small to me are huge in her world, but did she really need to start crying because I dared outline the banana on her coloring page in black instead of yellow? She thought so. 

After breakfast we planted our garden. Our yard is a good size but because of deer we only have a small planting area. Christopher has no gardening experience and Annabelle only has experience digging things up so I had my hands full directing the operation. So far we have tomatoes, peppers and carrots. I have green bean seeds to plant still but haven't decided where to plant them. We constructed a fence out of chicken wire and dowels, but I didn't buy enough wire to go around the whole garden. It goes around half the garden and leaves the other half open to the deer so needless to say it's completely pointless.

 In the afternoon we went to a baseball game with friends from work. They have a little girl around AB's age and all week Annabelle talked about having a "pretzel and popcorn sharing party with Grace." We got both and all her dreams came true. It's so fun she's at an age where she can understand basics of the game. She didn't understand why I didn't have control over which songs were played over the loudspeakers, but I like that she assumes I'm in charge of everything. 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Currently, the may edition

Attempting: To get up before Annabelle every morning. Not only get up before her, but do my devotions and exercises before she woke up. The whole idea is laughable, but my birthday is coming up and I'm trying to better myself and also lose weight. (When does extra weight cease to be baby weight and become regular weight? Asking for a friend.)

Normally I don't leave my bed until AB has called my name a number of times and I've spent 10 minutes saying "I'll be right there" so this is a real 180 from my norm. The first day I popped out of bed bright eyed and chipper. The second day I hit the snooze button once but I got my things done before Sesame woke up. The third day I accidentally overslept and only got out of bed because I realized the plumber was scheduled to arrive in 22 minutes. I did exercise every day, but I spent all week doing this.

Wishing: I was at Pippa Middleton's wedding. I'm choosing to believe my invitation got lost in the mail because of course she did invite me. First thing this morning I hopped online to see pictures. I like this picture of Kate trying to keep all the kids before going into church. I do the same thing every Sunday. She really is a mom like me. 
Meanwhile there's Charlotte, licking the bottom of her flower girl basket. Toddlers, man. They're all the same.
Reading: The first of The Mitford Series and A Day on the Farm.

Drinking: Apple cider vinegar. It might be good for my intestines but you know what it's not good for? My taste buds. I think they've all been burned off.

Baking/binge eating: Tagalong cookie bars. They are SO SO good. They're counter productive to weight loss but I don't care. They're worth it. I made them for MOPS but they were so frozen I couldn't get them out of the pan in time. I was left with an entire pan for myself. What a bummer.

Wondering: Why the founders of MOPS settled on a name that's also a household cleaning item. It stands for Mothers of Preschoolers which makes sense, but I wish they had chosen a name like LOVE (Lives of the Very Exhausted) or NAPS (Never Any Peace). They could have gotten the point across without reminding me that my floor needs to be washed.

Monday, May 15, 2017

apparently blue is our color

2104- the year I became a mother and didn't think I'd make it through the day, let alone the next 21 years.
2015- the year Annabelle and I had our first Dunkin Donuts ice coffee/hash brown date.  
2016- the year we got sick on vacation again
2017- the year I miraculously found a matching dress for Sesame four years after I got my dress.
Also the year she refused to cooperate for the photo. 

I'll make her match me on Mother's Day until she's 112 years old.

Friday, May 12, 2017

the travel chronicles- part 1

It has been many moons and countless miles since I last checked in.

More than 3,900 miles to be specific.

We just returned from spending a week with Elizabeth in Arkansas. The trip of such lengthy proportions is not for the faint of heart/those who are not mentally prepared to travel with a toddler. 

We had to wake at 3 IN THE MORNING to make it to the airport in time. Upon arrival we were told that our flight had been canceled. Jorge at the desk said we could hang around the airport for hours before the next flight or leave from the Boston airport in two hours. As commander in chief of the travel expedition, I chose to brave the Boston traffic. It totally undid my careful planning which had us leaving from the close airport, but we make our plans and the TSA totally ruins them. We got stuck in traffic on the way there and screeched into the airport with literally minutes to spare. Naturally we were at the wrong terminal. I cursed myself for packing 47.5 lbs of clothes. I was sure this whole fiasco was a foreshadowing of things to come. We finally got to the very last row in what appeared to be a spaceship. 
By 8:02 AB was halfway through the movie Sing and I was eating the pizza I had brought for lunch. That's what happens when you wake up at the crack of crazy.

After we landed we had to drive three hours to the farm Elizabeth lives on with her friend's family. Annabelle's excitement over the goats made up for the travel hassle. 

The farm was lovely and delightful in every way. We got to feed goats, go for a ride on the four wheeler, walk in the woods, have ice cream parties, and in general enjoyed ourselves immensely. We never once got up at 6:45 to help with the morning goat feeding which I still feel slightly guilty about, but we were there at night to hold bottles, tell them they were cute and generally be in the way.

Part of the reason for our visit was to witness Elizabeth's baptism. In a very countryish fashion she was baptized in a river. Annabelle was not impressed with the solemnity of the occasion. She insisted on throwing in rocks at all the wrong moments and I barely got her to the side before she starting having a mini fit because I was ruining all her fun. 
After the baptism I let Annabelle play in the water. She was having a ball until she lost her beloved stick. No other stick was a good replacement. She sobbed and sobbed. It was obviously a very difficult time in her young life. Someone mentioned her stick half an hour later and she started crying again. We spelled the word from then on out. Thankfully the farm has it's own stream with more than enough rocks and s-t-i-c-k-s.
We celebrated Elizabeth's birthday with a garden party. She and Aaron are now 23. HOW DARE THEY CONTINUE GROWING. The Mother's Day they surprised us was one of the best days of my life. I asked for a baby and I got two. 
We had no issues with making our flights home except for complete exhaustion and lack of snacks. On both flights Annabelle fell asleep as we were landing. I do wish she could have made herself more comfortable.
Unfortunately we hit some turbulence because our ride went to pick us up at the wrong airport. I was so proud of myself for staying calm and level headed with all our other travel issues but this was too much. We had been up and traveling for nearly 12 hours. All I wanted was a shower and a large bowl of French fries. I told Mom she had to handle it, dragged all our overpacked bags and stroller to a bench on the side and gave up on travel and life in general. (Overly dramatic, party of one.) I unknowingly picked a bench in the smokers section but I was too tired to move. After many phone calls and someone having to climb through a window to get a carseat inside a locked house we made it back to Mom's house. 

This morning we drive back to our home where I'll unpack, do laundry and repack before our next trip in a few weeks. It's ironic how I never did this much traveling before I had a child. The few trips I did take I didn't fully appreciated being able to read all I wanted or the quick trips to the bathroom without having to make sure no one rubbed their hands on the toilet seat. Now I have a child it feels like we've gone a million miles together. 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

saturday by the sea

Saturday was our 6th anniversary. We spent a few hours walking by the ocean and gawking at all the houses 28 times larger than ours.
The traditional sixth anniversary gift is iron. The iron bookends I ordered Christopher weeks in advance were back ordered so I went to the deep recesses of my brain searching for a temporary alternative. I read somewhere that a modern gift alternative is sugar/candy, so I bought him a box of Nerds. Nothing says I love you like a cavity in a colorful box.

That evening we went out for clam cakes and chowder to celebrate Dad's birthday. Annabelle was in her happy place. She lives for time in a sandbox and having an entire beach of sand was beyond exciting. 
Baby Ivy was there also. Annabelle insisted on holding her or her hand as much as possible. Ivy stole my clam cake and crawled to the other side of the blanket. On that same weekend last year Ivy had just gotten out of the NICU. Look at her little bald head now! She's so cute.
I hope next year she and Annabelle are building sandcastles together.

Monday, May 1, 2017

the little things- april 2017

* Autumn has always been my friend who can have any hair color or wear quirky fashions and always look good. I sent her and Joanna a picture of a shirt I found in a consignment shop that screamed her name. It had pictures of doughnuts, popcorn, hotdogs and soda cans and in general would look stupid on me. Autumn could wear it and look cute. 
I got this response-
She was wearing the same exact shirt as we spoke. It made me laugh so hard.

* Annabelle is such a good little traveler. We have our travel routine and she knows what to expect. The first half of the drive she can listen to stories, read or play. After lunch she gets her Memere blankie, Mr. Lion and a show before her nap. 
I hope the good travel luck sticks because we're traveling again this week and next and I can't be dealing with germs and/or meltdowns.

* Annabelle told her first joke this week. "Mama! Guess what?" "What?'' "JEALOUSY!!!!!" Then she laughed at her own weird humor for a good five minutes. I hope she doesn't quit her day job and become a comedian.

* Sesame wanted me to hold her tiny bunny in my shirt while she took a nap. I forgot it was there until I lay on the couch. I even answered the door with it sticking out of my shirt. 

* During a recent spell of spring cleaning I went through my hair, skin and makeup product graveyard. I had enough tubes of peach lipstick and palettes of teal eye shadow to start my own beauty store. For someone who can't put on fake eyelashes to save my life I sure had a lot of them. Annabelle wanted to help by squeezing all the bottles and trying the lotions. Please note her outfit. She found leg warmers in her drawer and my socks in the laundry basket.  
She must take after Autumn.