Friday, March 31, 2017

party prep

I just finished taping snowflakes to the ceiling in preparation for AB's Frozen birthday party tomorrow. I'm feeling surprisingly (see also: unusually/questionably) calm. Before most parties I'm running around like a maniac because the cake isn't perfectly frosted or I start crying because I have to mix two different styles of paper plates AND NOW THE PARTY IS RUINED.

Dramatic and overly-perfectionist, party of one.

I'm not holding my breath. There's still time for this whole operation to head south fast.

I'm sure Annabelle would enjoy a small cake and celebration with just the three of us and maybe someday that's how we'll celebrate, but not this year. She has looked forward to her Frozen party for MONTHS. She sets up birthday parties for all her stuffed animals and dolls, complete with cake, candles, songs and gifts every single day. If I really aged each time she sang me Happy Birthday I'd be 112. She lives for birthday parties. When the doctor told me she was too young for asthma testing because "she'd have to follow directions and blow out candles on the screen" I wanted to tell him she's been training to blow out candles for half her life.

As her birthday gift we've invited two very special guests over. Elsa and Anna will be appearing live and in person at our door at 9:30. Annabelle loved when she meet them in Texas but a few weeks ago I took her to a free princess meet and greet at the mall put on by the company we're using. I wanted to scout out how authentic the princesses looked before we hired them. (Prince Charming was a pathetic attempt at a dashing young man.) AB was so nervous to meet them we had to get out of line after 20 minutes. She'll either love the princesses or it will be a nightmare. We're having them come before the party and only AB and her cousin will visit with them. AB gets shy around large groups of people so hopefully she'll enjoy it more in a small group.

I have something to get off my conscience- I don't make her birthday cake. I'm the only one who was truly distraught over this decision, but I'm the only one in charge of planning her perfect party. My mom always made our cakes so I want to do the same for my children. I made the cakes for her first two parties and liked how they turned out. This year she wants an ice cream cake which I've never made before. I've heard they're not hard to make but can be tricky to decorate. In the end I decided to buy two cakes, assemble them to make it two tiered cake and decorate it. I'm glad I made the decision because making the cake would have added yet another thing to my lengthy to do list.

Time to get back to my decorating and agonizing over which straws best match the tablecloth.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


Today was Annabelle's big day and she could not have been more thrilled.

We brought rice krispie treats to school, got a special treat at Dunkin Donuts and had her requested pizza for supper. Our landlords father loves Annabelle and he showed up at the door with three cupcakes. I lit a candle to put on the table and she was so excited about it we all took turns singing happy birthday to each other. She was besides herself with joy.
I almost missed the 60 second opportunity to take her picture at 1:40 (the time she was born), but I got it just in the knick of time.
She's wearing the blue "trash bow" I found in a puddle at the end of our driveway before she was born. It was the first bow she ever wore. I was in excruciating pain after the csection but through the fog I focused in on one thing- someone HAD to put a bow on her so everyone would know she was not a boy.

 It's SHOCKING how quickly the time has passed since that first 1:40. 
How many years can I get away with dressing her in a tutu skirt?
I might be biased, but I think she's the cutest 3 year old around. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

my favorite child

Annabelle will be 3 tomorrow.

Let that sink in for a minute.

HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE. It seems like she got here last Wednesday but at the same time like she's been here 7 years.

The great loves of her life are snacks, reading, food, painting, swimming, popsicles, school, watching shows, extra snacks, playing outside and "earning monies". She adores her stuffed animals and calls them her "friends." She sleeps with no less than 17 (actual count) each night. The doctor who told me to put her in a completely empty crib would be horrified. She needs her Memere blanket, her Olaf blanket, two books, her cup and all her friends around her. 
She's still a hearty eater, but dislikes olives and celery. She loves pizza, pasta, ranch dressing, berries, cheese, chips and ice cream. She loves frozen peas and corn and eats them like candy. Sometimes she dips tomatoes in ketchup which seems a little redundant.
It's not all sunshine in paradise. Being my favorite child also means she's my most troublesome child. She's still been struggling with sleeping at night since Mr. Lion moved to his own bed. Just this morning she threw the dry rice she was playing in all over the kitchen and living room. We haven't made much progress in potty training. I'm currently accepting applications for anyone who wants to train her for me. She has a small bit of a defiant streak but overall she's even tempered and happy. We made it through the terrible 2's ok but I sure trouble is coming down the pike this year. Nothing like going forward with a positive attitude!

She wants socks on when she gets into bed but always takes them off immediatly.

She talks and sings all day long and into the night.
A few of her most commonly misprounced words make me laugh every time. 
nachinals- nachos
cucacalee- ukulele
kintar- guitar
mama bird- monitor

She always replaces V with B. "I lobe baby Iby bery much."

We had this conversation the other day.
"Mom, can we watch a showie show?"
"No, we don't watch a show first thing in the morning unless I'm not feeling well."
"You don't feel well."
"No, I feel fine.
"I fink your froat (throat) hurts."

Such a little negotiator! 

I made a batch of rice krispie treats for MDO tomorrow. I added sprinkles and maybe some tears too because I'm so sad she's getting older. Somebody make it stop. I'm not emotionally equipped for this to happen every year!

Friday, March 24, 2017

when dad's away the girls will play

Christopher has been out of town for a while* so we ladies have been holding down the fort. Except for the 3 hours she's at mothers day out and the occasional trip to the gym we spend literally every hour together. Sometimes it gets so monotonous and I run out of entertaining things to do, but I've been trying to be more conscious about making the most of our time together. I promised Annabelle that while Daddy was gone we'd have a special girls day.

* Don't try to rob us while he's gone. We have an alarm system and I have bats at strategic locations around the house that I'm not afraid to use.

Before and after breakfast we played with beads. Sesame asked me to make a bead crown which I did, making sure to add plenty of sparkly beads. She decided not to wear it so I did instead. I couldn't let a perfectly good crown go to waste! 

My aunt gave AB a fairy set at Christmas that she loves to play with. I wanted to buy a plant for a fairy garden and another for my windowsill so we went to the garden shop. It opened for the season on Monday so they didn't have any plants yet, mostly just an assortment of clearance items and shelves of plant food. That didn't stop AB from having fun. She played with the sand the garden decorations were stuck in and had a great time. 

We ran to the grocery store for pizza toppings and she was thrilled to ride in the car cart. We had a small moment of negotiation because she wanted the yellow car and I wanted the blue. The yellow car is in front of the cart and is so much harder to push. I constantly crash into shelves and attract unwanted attention in the yellow car. I convinced her the blue car was best since it had a place for my purse. She once again told me it has two steering wheels so she can have one and her brother or sister can have the other. I think she assumes we can pick up a sibling in the bread aisle.
She could be an ad for Morning Star veggie burgers.
I let her pick supper and she asked for pizza. I've raised her so well! 
 She chowed down on the carrots before I had a chance to cut them.
Her latest favorite movie is Toy Story. We had a pizza picnic in the living room and watched Woody's friends rescue him for the 14th time this month. 
The highlight of our girls sleepover night was that she got to sleep in the big bed with me. I was once again reminded why I don't do cosleeping. It was like laying next to an octopus. Her limbs were everywhere. They were in my back and reaching to take the book out of my hands. Eventually I realized there was no way she'd go to sleep while I was up reading, so I turned off the light and pretended to be asleep. Two minutes later I felt little fingers trying to pry my mouth open. 
The next morning on the way to music class she called to me from the backseat and said, "I wove you, Mom." I guess the feet pounding my stomach were worth it. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

thank the lord for unlimited texting

I was recently thinking about my visit to the Norman Rockwell Museum years ago. For some reason I remembered this picture in particular.
I think it was the following conversation with Annabelle that brought it to my mind:
"Mama? What are you saying?"
"Nothing. I'm talking to myself."
"Can you talk youder so I can hear?"

She comes by her nosiness honestly. (Obviously I mean Christopher is the nosy parent. I never get involved in the business of others.)

I spent a considerable portion of the day pondering which celebrities I'd like to text. I asked Christopher who his top four would be and these are his answers, along with his reasons. As per the usual, my thoughts on his picks are (like this).
1. Justin Thodeau, Prime Minister of Canada. He's young and tough "even though he's liberal." He deals with Trump. He boxes. He is the second member of his family to be Prime Minister. (A boxer is not on the top 500 requirements in any relationship of my life, personal or professional.)
2. Philip Seymour Hoffman. He chose good roles and was well read. (Any hopes of reply texts from Phil will be dashed since he's dead.)
3. Paul Giomatti. Great actor who has done some great work. (Possible topic of conversation- why does he look like this in every picture on google? Does he think he's smiling?)
4. Matt Damon. Really smart, really talented and yet humble and down to earth. A guy who is that successful and famous but still keeps a reasonable head on his shoulders is worth talking to. (I'd put Matt on my list but no need for us both to have him. I'll use C's phone if I want to ask his family over for supper.)

Honorable mentions-
Lyle Lovett
Seth Rogan
January Jones

My list was based less on fact and more on who I think is fun and always up for a good time.
1. Jennifer Garner. She seems like she'd be fun to hang out with and I like to think she can plan a great girls night. Since she has three children of her own she wouldn't mind if my sidekick came along too. We could bond over the fact the has a daughter named Violet which is a name I adore. More than just texting, I'd like to be neighbors with her
2. Carrie Underwood. Her version of How Great Thou Art is my very favorite of all time. I was hoping she'd be able to sing it at my wedding but there was a scheduling conflict. She'll be my gateway to becoming friends with Brad Paisley and Josh Turner. Her son is on the list of pre-approved boyfriends for Annabelle. She has great hair and maybe she'd share some tips with me.
3. Jenna Bush. Jenna has a good sense of humor which I enjoy in a texting partner, especially in a group text situation. A friendship with her would lead to lunch with her parents and grandparents, which is one of my great dreams in life.
4. Bradley Cooper. BCoops is one the list because I imagine him as someone who can bring a healthy amount of good memes to the table. Bonus points, he also has good hair. 

Notable mentions-
The Ryans (Gosling and Reynolds)
William, Kate and Harry. Obviously. 
Daniel Craig. I'm not a huge James Bond fan, but Daniel Craig seems like a handy friend to have around when you get a flat tire or need your oil changed. I have nothing to base that assumption on, but when he plays James Bond he can jump on moving trains and knows how to sail a boat so I have confidence in his ability to put on a spare tire.

Who should I add to the list? I'm open to suggestions as long as it's not Miley Cyrus. I don't need that kind of crazy in my life.

Friday, March 17, 2017

kiss me, I'm italian

It's St. Patrick's Day and I'm not wearing green. 

Until there's a holiday to celebrate all that Italians bring to the country I will not participate in St. Patrick's Day celebrations. That's not entirely true. I celebrate the fact that corned beef is on sale but that's where my partying ends.
God bless Italy.
Today was AB's asthma/allergy appointment. I use this blog as a record of when we bring our car to the mechanic so why not make it our medical record too? 

When I made the appointment the receptionist told me in the most I hate my job voice that we would be there 1.5-2 hours. I wish she told me that before I decided to make an 11 o'clock appointment. An hour and a half landed us a 12:30 which is solidly in the middle of lunch time. I packed enough snacks and books (and the ipad, in case things went south) to feed a small army. Annabelle eats enough snacks for a small army so it worked out. Much like Hansel and Gretel, we leave a path of Cheerios and Goldfish behind us everywhere we go.

I took this picture of AB as she was walking through the garage to the car.
She was 

She's seen everything single thing in our crowded garage 152 times but she had to stop and inspect it all AGAIN. I have to allow for extra time if we exit the house through the garage instead of the front door. 

We finally made it to the car and were on our way when I realized we might not be going to the right office. I re-listened to the message on my phone and sure enough we were about to pull into the wrong office. We arrived at the correct office with two minutes to spare. It took us three and a half minutes to walk to the front desk thanks to Miss Turtle. I apologized profusely for being late but the lady behind the desk said not to worry. The lady who took Annabelle's stats was slightly less understanding. The doctor was so nice and spent a lot of time learning all the details of our bronchitis saga. Annabelle was fascinated by him. She kept putting her hands on his knees and staring up at him while wiggling her hips. The initial round of allergy testing showed she's allergic to feathers. Of all things! Part of me wishes she was allergic to dust. Surely a dust allergy would make hiring a weekly house cleaner a necessity. It would be FOR HER HEALTH. I'm only thinking of her best interest! 

Her best interest and less work for me.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

weekend report

Since I last checked in, our kitchen sink clogged and wouldn't drain. I discovered the pipes had been slowly leaking all day and soaked everything in the cupboards beneath. We also heard back from Mac the mold man about the mold situation. There's mold in the cellar and slightly elevated traces of mold in the air of Annabelle's bedroom. It's delightful dealing with adult things.

On Friday morning we went to Sesame Street Live. Normally I avoid Sesame Street like the plague but Annabelle's school had tickets and I wanted her to experience it with her friends. My dislike of SS means Annabelle hasn't seen much of the show besides Elmo's World. I'd rather do 12 loads of laundry than hear Elmo talk about himself in third person but she likes it. 
Annabelle recognizes most of the SS characters and she was enthralled by Big Bird and Cookie Monster. We were sitting a few rows from the front so she was able to see everything. I'm glad it was a very low cost event because her very favorite part was collecting confetti that fell from the ceiling. We could have stayed home while I threw ripped up construction paper into the air.

I've racked my brain to think of what we did on Saturday but all I can remember is I went to the dollar store and cleared out their fake flower section. Wild times up in here!

Sunday night we had a craft night with two friends from MOPS. They each have two children which stressed out Annabelle a little. She doesn't like loud noises and confusion, which are two areas most children (including AB) excel at. In fact, yesterday we were watching a few of her friends and they started having a pillow fight. She was exhausted and overwhelmed and started saying, "Kids! Everybody calm down! It's too loud in here. Everybody calm down." She's in for a real treat when she has brothers.

We made wreaths and frankly I'm surprised at how well mine turned out.
I was hoping the wreath would kickstart Spring to get it's act together but no such luck. 
We spent some time in the snow when Sesame got up from her nap. She played about as long as it took me to get us both dressed. I couldn't find my snowpants so I had to wear Christopher's. I looked like a giant white marshmallow on the top and a giant black marshmallow on the bottom. You could even say I looked somewhat like an inflated cow. It was very attractive.

The snow wasn't packable so we made a laying down snowman. 

Happy Tuesday. Take notes from Annabelle and rock your gold shades as you go forth and concur the snow.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

march madness

Annabelle is dealing with bronchitis AGAIN. I'm just as tired writing about it as I'm sure you are of hearing it. It's neeeever ending. I finally switched doctors because her initial doctor wasn't being proactive about getting to the root of the issue or sending her to an allergy/asthma doctor. Switching doctors caused me some guilt. I was afraid I'd hurt the doctors feelings by leaving. I wanted to send flowers and tell her it wasn't personal! She's lovely! Never looked down on me for my constant visits! Now I'm having second thoughts. Maybe I should go back. I call and reinstate AB as a patient tomorrow.

I had to make a plethora of phone calls to find the new doctor so I deserve a medal. Adulting is too hard. I think the best of both worlds is to be an adult with the responsibilities of a child. All the fun parts but none of the insurance hassles.
We had two men come over today and test the house for mold. We'll get results tomorrow, but when I asked if the man had any predictions he said, "well, it doesn't look too good." What a sunny outlook. When we spent much of last winter sick I joked that we were allergic to this state. Turns out, I might have been right. We might be allergic to our own house. 

Yesterday the doorbell rang while I was on the phone. I wasn't expecting someone and there wasn't a car in the driveway so naturally I assumed someone was there to murder us. I am truly an example of sunshine and optimism. It was the general manager from the restaurant next door asking for signatures. Normally I read everything carefully before I sign but this time I was distracted and didn't study the paper. I signed on the line and sent him on his way. For all I know I could have been agreeing to sell my liver. Christopher's too, since I also signed his name.

How could I possibly find anything more thrilling to talk about that mold and livers?

I was looking through pictures of Sesame the other day and came across my very favorite ultrasound picture. I loved her little nose in the ultrasound and I love it now.
I've been wanting to make a silhouette for years but never got around today. I paid someone $9 and she did all the work. I think it's precious.

Friday, March 3, 2017

squiggles the cat and ahhhhnold the pig

Someone at MOPS today said having kids is like making a 1,000 piece puzzle when there are no edge pieces, no picture on the cover of the box, and a few pieces from other puzzles thrown in the mix. In short, IT'S CHAOS AND NO ONE KNOWS WHAT TO DO. If that doesn't entice you have to have kids I don't know what will.

Sometimes on hard days I think about what I'd really like and my conclusion is always the same. I'd like 48 hours to myself. Twenty four hours to deep clean the house and twenty four for nothing but relaxing and eating French fries. Pre 2014 Sarah had no idea how much free time or what a carefree life she had. All you people with more than one child can refrain from saying anything. I don't want to hear any speeches about "just you wait until you have more kids." One of my pet peeves is people, particularly parents, trying to one up each other with hardship stories. 

Moving on. 

On Tuesday (a day when I fantasized about those 48 hours) I found myself holding a telephone that Annabelle said was "a cat named Squiggles." She said we needed to sit on the rocking horse so we could all go to the zoo. I sat on the back where she told me to sit. She decided I was sitting on the wrong back and asked me to move to the side. I said I didn't fit on the side but she insisted I try. I didn't fit but I sat there holding Squiggles anyway. I pretended to use him as a phone (which didn't take much pretending because it WAS a phone) but she got flustered because he was a cat, not a phone. I used to have an illustrious acting career but now my director can't even remember the difference between back and side. 

She's gotten very particular about our words and actions. Christopher said something about her swim lessons and she told him "its actually called swimmING lessons, Daddy." If we say or do something that's outside the norm she lets us know. If I sit her stuffed animal rabbit in the wrong spot on the couch she let's me know that too. She's not rude about it, but she knows what she wants.

We had the following conversation in the car yesterday.
"I yike the name Ahnold."
"Arnold is an interesting name."
"No, it's Ahhhhnold. I want to name my pet pig Ahhhhnold."

She's said it as if she picked up a French accent overnight.

We told Christopher she made a puzzle at MOPS and he asked what the picture was. She said it was a piece of cheese on the beach. It was really Sponge Bob but she was spot on with her description!