Monday, February 27, 2017


AB during the most stressful playdate of her life.

In an unusual turn of events, Christopher had a three day weekend. We haven't had a 3 day weekend in months so I declared it Family Fun Weekend, or FFW for short. 

We started off the weekend at the gym. The gym isn't at the top of my Fun Times List, but I do like zumba days. Besides, I need to exercise so I can eat chips with a clear conscience. Normally I'm the youngest person at zumba by about 40 years. I've done classes with people my age which I don't enjoy because I feel so self conscious and compare myself to others the whole class. In this class I don't have any comparison issues because as long as I'm moving quickly I'm doing better than almost everyone. This week a girl about my age stood next to me. I hadn't emotionally prepared myself for such competition so I almost did that weird Michael Phelps arm flap thing to psych myself up. Just when I thought I was doing a little better than her I tripped over my own feet. It's true what they say about pride coming before a fall.

After a family nap that afternoon I went to make a return at Target. I almost looked at the bathing suits but I didn't want to deal with that kind of depression.

Friday night we had a pizza party in the living room and watched Toy Story. Annabelle really latched onto the party theme and wanted to have a cheerio party the next day. In addition to it being FFW, I decided it should also be MMM- Movie Marathon Madness. We always watch a few of our shows through out the week, but we had a bunch to catch up on and giving it a fun name made it seem less like we were being couch potatoes and more like we were reviewing movies for the Oscars.

Saturday morning I slept in while Christopher took Annabelle to breakfast. It's a weekly tradition they enjoy and I enjoy the extra sleep. It's a win-win all around. Next on the FFW agenda was a visit to a new bookstore at the mall. There was a rubber duck themed fundraiser for the children's hospital near the store so we waddled over to see what all the fuss was about. Annabelle got her face painted and a duck balloon she named Click.
Sunday was a pretty typical day. That's not completely true. We had to tell Sesame to 
"Take the hash brown out from between your legs." That's not typical. We went to church in the morning and Annabelle refused to nap in the afternoon. I had to run to the grocery store for an ingredient for supper and while I was out I decided to swing by Home Depot to have a key made. I've had the blank key in my purse for literally 5 months but never think of it at the right time. I applied lip gloss in the parking lot because I've learned from experience that the more gussied up you are at home improvement stores the more help you get. I have no problem using my feminine charms when I can't find the right department. I hadn't counted on the door to the store being stuck shut. I stood there like an idiot waving my arms and legs to make it open. So much for gentility.

I hope you have a great week. A bug just flew into my face and made me drop the computer off the couch so my week is off to an interesting start. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

wednesday words

Valentine flowers still going strong.
I cleaned off the top of the refrigerator today. It looked like a bomb went off up there and it was an embarrassment. We have a basket up there that has become the home to everything that doesn't have a home. If you need scissors, a ticket stub, random writing implements, cough drops, three different types of tape, googly eyes, a hammer or screwdrivers we're your one stop shop. Every time Christopher can't find a screwdriver he ends up buying one, even though I insist we already have some. I believe this proves my point. 
It's been unseasonably warm this week so we took advantage of the 50* weather to visit the playground. I wish Belle Belle would love the playground more. 
She tolerates it because she knows I love it so much.
After nap time we went to sign our will at the lawyers. I was wearing my exercise clothes because we planned on going to the gym afterwards. Of course it was a very professional office with dress suits and long conference tables and I was there in my black capris, old pink sweatshirt and messy bun. I stood out like a sore thumb. The lawyer asked if we had pen preferences and I almost lost it. Nothing he said was funny but in serious situations everything hits me as funny. I can't take myself anywhere. 
Making herself comfortable where ever she goes. 
Annabelle is so sweet and peaceful when she sleeps. So unlike the hour of talking, book reading and stuffed animal rearranging it takes to get to sleep! 

Saturday, February 18, 2017


This is my 1,000th blog post.

That's a lot of words.
Too many drafts, not enough earnings.
I started way back in 2009 when I was younger, thinner and more well rested. 
Most of my early posts make me cringe and I can't read them without wanting to sink through the floor but I'm so glad I have them. The number of posts per year has gone down significantly since Annabelle was born but I still plugging away. Technically I already reached 1,000 posts but when Christopher and I were dating I unpublished some that I thought had subpar pictures I didn't want him to see. I mentioned it later and he had already seen every single one so all efforts to maintain my squeaky-clean image were in vain. 

I feel like I should do something big to commemorate this momentous occasion, but I couldn't think of one thing. Yesterday I decided to do a day in the life in what is sure to be pain staking detail. 

7:12-  I woke up from an uncomfortable and very detailed dream about Christopher having an affair.

7:44- Annabelle started her early morning coughing fit. Moments before I had been thinking her bronchitis medicine must have kicked in because she didn't cough all night. She's out to prove me wrong at every turn.
8:00- She comes into my bed every day for our morning cuddle, to talk about our dreams and discuss what we'll do that day.
One of us looks like so sweet in the morning.
The other looks like a zombie.
As always, she "needed to get something out of her wallet." For unknown reasons, she refers to my phone as a pink sparkly wallet. My phone is none of those things but every morning that's what she calls it. Lately she's been asking to watch songs from Moana as she wakes up. It's not one of my finest parenting moves to watch tv in bed but I'm not a morning person and I'm all about doing what gets you through.
8:22- While I was getting dressed Annabelle dumped out my bag of cough drops and made them into a train. They still need to be picked up.
8:45- Late breakfast. I asked AB if she wanted cheerios or a bagel. She said cheerios but when she saw me eating a bagel she said, "What do you think about sharing that with me, Mom?" It happens every single morning.
9:12- While I cleaned up the kitchen Sesame played in the living room. She told me it was my birthday which she's already celebrated 34 times this year. She LOVES to play birthday. My birthday dessert was a tiny cupcake the size of a penny. 
10:50- We arrive at Walmart. We went to a new Walmart instead of our old standby because we're wild and crazy and you can't hold us down!
10:54- Annabelle inspects every single thing in the produce department then moves to the dessert display. She tells me she wants it all for her birthday. I let her walk which means a sloth could have gotten around the store faster than we did. 

11:25- I picked out a new vacuum. It was a big moment for me as a homemaker.
12:22- Home for a lunch of leftover fried rice. I break out the new vacuum while Annabelle eats. It's embarrassing how excited I was about my new Dyson. I moved couches and cleaned corners that haven't been cleaned in months. I sucked up so much dirt my old vacuum left behind.
1:35- Nap time for Annabelle. She yells down to me periodically about wanted water, a different book and a new stuffed animal.
1:45 to 3:30- In a rare burst of afternoon energy I cleaned the entire downstairs, including washing the floors and baseboards, organized toys and tidied up our bedroom.
4:30- I finally sat down to rest my eyes when AB woke up. Of course. I turn on the LaLa Land soundtrack and fill a bin with dried rice, beads and other small toys for AB to dig in. It makes a mess but it kept her occupied for 45 minutes so it was worth it. It gave me another excuse to use my magical vacuum!
5:15- Christopher comes home. We visit for a while then I vacuum upstairs. Suddenly the vacuum stoped sucking as well. Trouble in vacuum paradise! None of my fiddling with parts fixes it. I shed a few tears and go into mourning.
5:30 to 7:40- Supper, clean up, book reading, bedtime procrastination, etc.
7:41- I feel like it's midnight. Is it bedtime yet? Is it too early to go to bed? When did vacuums and bulk paper towels become exciting? We finished the evening with Blacklist and chamomile tea.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

day of love

Yesterday was the day of love, where we showered our favorite people in chocolate, kisses and germs. 

Or maybe it's just Annabelle who thinks its loving to share germs.

I kept her home from school for the second week in a row because she still has a cough. As much as I wanted a break, I didn't want to be THAT mom who sends in her coughing child. We went by the school for a quick minute to drop off the valentines she picked for her friends. 
Normally I'd spend hours making perfect valentines with coordinating scrapbook paper and special edition washi tape. I'd stay up late into the night creating masterpieces no two year old would care about. This year I told myself it was ok to buy a pack of valentines and call it a day. I gave the box to Christopher and Annabelle so I wouldn't have to do anything as a fun bonding activity.  Yet there I was Monday night, sitting on the floor reglueing all the bee erasers back onto the cards. I couldn't escape even though I tried. 
You know who didn't go lowkey with valentines? Karter's mom. She drew a baseball diamond with the words "I have a ball with you" across the top. She stapled a jersey-shaped valentine to a bag with two clemetines on which she had drawn the stitches of a baseball. She topped off the package with a red ribbon and coordinating lollipop. The pressure to perform in the toddler circle is intense. At the same time, I want to applaud Karter's mom. I think we have a lot in common and I'd probably be jealous of her cardstock stash. 

I felt bad Sesame had to miss the party at school so we went to Dunkin Donuts for her first real doughnut experience. You'd think being the DD frequent fliers that we are she'd have had one of their doughnuts before but she hasn't. It's a rare day we go inside so that was exciting in itself. Doing my part to keep life exciting since 2014! 

Earlier in the week we were stir crazy so we spent a little time walking around the mall. We went into Claire's and AB's mind was blown. It was sparkly little girl heaven. I told her if she did special chores to earn money we could go back to buy something. She earned two quarters so we went back to Claire's after DD. I went to the Claire's at the little mall but she kept telling me it wasn't the right "kids jewel store." I told her all the stores have the same things. She wanted the original Claire's at the big mall. So off we went to the correct store. She wondered the aisles touching everything and every time I asked her what she wanted she said "you'll just have to wait and see." In other words, she was completely overwhelmed and didn't want to commit to anything. She is so my child.

She finally settled on a set of tiny rubber dessert toys. The cashier called them erasers but they're not. They're unnecessary paraphernalia that is now strewn about my living room floor. I would have insisted she pick something more useful like the darling pink locket or new bows but it was her money. Fifty cents her money. The other six dollars was forked over by yours truly.

We had planned on bringing AB to a parents night at church and celebrate Valentines Day alone but because of her cold we kept her with us. She was the third wheel on our date to the botanical garden. I didn't mind too much. She enjoyed the lights and it was a fun family trip. 
Now that Valentines is over it's back to the valentine drawing board. I can't let Karter's mom bring the best gift bags next year!  

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Currently- the flu edition

Reading: A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierly and You Carried Me by Melissa Ohden. The former is the book the movie The Lion is based on and the latter is a true story of a woman who survived an attempted abortion. It's a fascinating story.

Making: blueberry muffins. The recipe isn't lying by calling them "the most sweetest" muffins. They're so good. We made them in our new heart cupcake tin because everything tastes better when it's festive.

Watching: Kipper the dog when Sesame is awake and This Is Us when she's in bed. HOW MUCH DO I LOVE THIS IS US, LET ME COUNT THE WAYS.

Wishing for: spring. I like snow but am not a fan of endless days of cold and wind. I'm ready for sunny days and playing outside. I can't wait to go for walks again. Annabelle can't wait to go swimming. We're both over winter at this point.

Buying: fancy straws. I know what I said about this being No Spend February and only buying essentials but in my world fancy straws are essential. They were only one dollar and they're for Annabelle's birthday so it was a justifiable purchase. No, I don't need Straw Collectors Anonymous. I don't have an addiction! I don't have a supplier who buys me straws with his Michael's employee discount!
Planning: Annabelle's birthday party. How can she be almost three?!?! She said she wants an ice cream cake and another ice cream cake.

Taking: all the dayquil/nyquil/robitussin/cough drops. I don't mean to sound overly dramatic, but I have the plague. Annabelle got hit first and gave it to me. When I talk to her about sharing I don't mean I want her to share the flu! We're a coughing, sore throat, aching mess over here. We were never sick so constantly in Tennessee and it's gotten so tiring. 

Listening to: Sesame calling for me. "Moooooommy! Mama! Come in my room! Mama! Are you dere?! MOOOOOOOMMMMMMYYYYY!" She doesn't take bedtime as seriously as I do. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

happy monday!

I hope your week started off better than Baby Belle's. Her hand fell off and she's naked. The weekend was not kind to her.
Annabelle was invited to a 4th birthday party weeks ago but I forgot to pick up a gift until the last minute. I had to dash into Toys R Us which is a store I have a long documented history of disliking. My last trip there was uneventful so I thought maybe our relationship had turned a corner. This latest trip proved we had not. I was minding my own business, searching for Ariel products when a motion activated dog came to life and jumped off the shelf at my feet. I fell into a display across from the demonic dog and almost had a heart attack. NEVER AGAIN, TOYS R US. More like Boycotted R You.

Despite the harrowing experience to find it I think I picked out a good gift. Annabelle tried it out and said she wants one for her Frozen party. She asks for EVERYTHING for her Frozen party. Anytime she sees something she doesn't have she tells me she hopes she gets it. She's not demanding at all, just making sure I know she wants a top, a Toy Story game, a sparkly thing, "da thing yike Rachel has", red hippo toy, a shark that goes squeak squeak and "a superman toy yike Jackson." It's a very extensive list.
Last night we went on a date. Our second date in one month! It's almost like we're once again the carefree and childless couple of pre March 2014. 
Me:Why didn't you smile?
C: I did.
Me: It doesn't look like it.
C: That's what I look like when I smile.

Six years together and I still don't recognize a smile when I see it.
Christopher suggested we eat at the Brazilian steakhouse. He explained how the waiters carry various meats around the restaurant and the diners signal they want some by holding a card up in the air. It seemed very chaotic to me and sounded like a rodeo.
How I pictured the restaurant.
In reality it was very lovely and not one person was waving their arms or yelling. The salad bar was a delight. They had a huge plate of prosciutto (my love language) and another of grilled provolone. I wanted to stay there all evening. We were going to see a movie also but instead came home to visit with Mom and watch a show in our pajamas. 

Here's to a week of less crazy toys and more good food.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

a penny saved is a penny earned

I've declared February as a No Spend Month. I don't have much reason for it beyond wondering how much I really spend on unnecessarily and impulse purchases. In general I am very money conscious and don't overspend anyway, but I want to see how much I can save. I started the month off on a good note by only paying $2.50 for a pair of brand new Paw Patrol shoes. (Annabelle wasn't impressed with my money saving skilz. All she cared about was that they didn't light up.) So far I haven't spent 1 cent on unnecessary items. As they say in AB's music class, "Good job, me!" No need to remind me it's only February 2nd and I have 26 more days to keep this up.

Here's a tip for anyone considering a No Spend Month of your own- don't go to clothing websites "just to look around." DO NOT TEMPT YOURSELF. You'll fall in love with a gray dress covered in watercolor birds that doesn't qualify as a necessary purchase. It's basically a steal but Annabelle already has summer clothes and you're trying not to go overboard with new outfits. But it's so cheap its almost like saving money instead of spending it! It's helping the economy and the country you love! Buy more and help the country more! I can justify anything!

Speaking of spending money reminds me of the Christmas dishes I bought at Goodwill last weekend. I went in for something to decorate our mantle and came out with 58 gold rimmed dishes for which I paid only $5. I don't where I'll store the dishes but I couldn't pass up such a steal of a deal. I still need to find a home for the china my aunt gave me over Christmas. I went from having one set of every day dishes to nearly 90 new pieces in the last month. I'd host a dinner party but that would require getting the dishes out of Christopher's car. I looked at them tonight and the box they're in now houses paperwork, a jacket, a dirty tshirt, a glass container, a set of keys and a hardhat. So they're being put to good use. 

In other random tidbits, Christopher booked me a massage for tonight. Between the two of us he's the massage lover but he knows I've been stressed lately and very sweetly wanted to do something for me. I like massages fine, but if I go a whole year without one I don't miss them. I'm not a huge fan of a stranger rubbing my body for an hour. I'm constantly touched by a toddler so I'm not lacking human interaction. The massage was scheduled to be an hour and half (45 minutes past my comfort zone) so I was a little concerned about how it would go. I considered asking the lady to massage me for 45 minutes then let me sleep the rest of the time. 

I was also concerned about the talking issue. I never know if the massage therapist wants to talk or not so I spend the entire time worrying that I'm either being rude by not talking or breaking some no-talking rule if I do talk. Nothing about it is relaxing. Christopher said it's not much a talking situation but he falls asleep if he lays down for more than 4 seconds so he's not really a reliable source. He doesn't stay awake long enough to socialize. The massage started off very quietly with Amelia asking what I do for work. I said I stay home with AB and asked if she has kids. She said she doesn't because she hasn't found The One and "it takes two to tango and I don't tango often and don't want to dance with the wrong person." It struck me as so funny for some reason and I couldn't stop laughing. I met her 7 minutes earlier but she was filling me in on all the personal details of her life. We laughed the entire time and I think that did me more good than the actual massage. She covered a variety of details including sports and sports viewing snacks, teaching inner city children to golf, her stepmother, her stepmothers cat, her teenage brother, bees, school and slugs. I wouldn't have minded a few minutes of quiet, especially when she was talking about the mating habits of hyenas ("most people don't know how weird they are with their partners") but overall it was an enjoyable experience. 

I'm glad laughter is free. I would have needed to break into Annabelle's piggy bank to pay for all the laughing I did.