Thursday, August 31, 2017

little memories, august 2017

* I've been trying to take more pictures of Christopher and I. I took this on a walk last Sunday. I was moderately satisfied with how I look but I wasn't too sure about Christopher. I asked if we should take it again when he was smiling. He said he was smiling. One day I'll learn to understand his facial expressions.
* Annabelle loves the statue of the polar bear mom and baby at the zoo. She runs up and hugs it every time. She likes the real thing too. "He's so yittle and cute I wish I could just hug him. Hi, yittle buddy!" 
 * Mr. Jim came over when AB was eating her snack. She brought him a fig newton and they shared a snack at her picnic table. They were talking about an upcoming trip we're taking and he said "what I am going to do without seeing you every day?"
* I seldom compare myself to Noah, but we both went through forty day trials. I tried potty training this kid for FORTY DAYS without success. 
Given the number of accidents I cleaned up I'd say we both had watery trials. Thank goodness I only have to clean up after one and not the untold number of animals Noah and Mrs. Noah dealt with. We took a few weeks off Potty Training Intensive to recover/regroup/mourn 40 wasted days. Mom is here and I unselfishly let her have a go at the impossible task.  This darling child refused to pee for 10 (TEN) hours today but she finally went on her Minnie Mouse potty. I won't dare to say the end is in sight, but I am so proud she finally did it. I almost cried tears of joy. Here's hoping by the end of September I'll be saying she's fully potty trained. Good thing she's cute!

Friday, August 25, 2017

high and low lights of our week

* Wednesday was seven years since Christopher and I met. We've been married a little over 6 years so if you do the math we pretty much got married three minutes after meeting. I had a physical in the afternoon so we commemorated the day by high-fiving as we met in the OBGYN waiting room to do a child hand over. 

I am not a fan of my annual physical. I don't like wearing the paper gown. I don't like being surrounded by posters of the female reproductive system. I don't like being reminded that my extra pounds can't really be called "baby weight" anymore. I hate the required exam of the neither regions. I tell myself she's seen hundreds of people and for a while it helped, then I realized the problem with that logic is I don't show hundreds of people. I just lay there and hope for the best. The doctor is friendly but it's weird when she's telling me about how her 13yo twins almost burned down her house while going about her business. Does it have to be social hour? 

I ran into Tuesday Morning after my appointment to congratulate myself for making it through another appointment. I had to cut my shopping short because Christopher called and said he had to go back into work. He more than made up for my canceled shopping trip with the following texts.
I'll keep him around for a few more years.

* Just when our yard had finally recovered from the patio fiasco, Mr Jim decided to have a new roof put on. They come at 7:30am and cause a ruckus until 6:30pm. The pounding never stops. The dishes shake in the cupboard. My poor garden has almost been squashed beyond repair.
Our kitchen is little and there's no practical place for the trash can so we have it in the garage. I opened the door between the kitchen and the garage to throw something away and shingles came crashing down in front of my face. I looked up and saw the sky through what used to be the garage roof. The floor was covered in shingles, dirt and screws. I'm so shy I didn't want to face the 8 guys about it but I didn't want to clean up the mess myself. Then I saw our fake Christmas tree getting covered in dirt. That was too much. A line was crossed. I told myself they're providing a service and I'm the customer they need to keep happy. They don't need to know Mr. Jim signed the check and not me. I finally got the attention of Jorge (not his actual name) and apologized for bothering him, but if it wasn't too much...I mean, if he get a chance...would he mind finding a tarp for the garage? All our stuff is getting dirty. Again, I'M SO SORRY TO BOTHER YOU. Jorge looked momentarily startled (English might not be his first language) but he paused the whole roof production to look for a tarp. Between you and I, I think they were hoping I wouldn't notice the mess. As if I wouldn't notice a Christmas tree in danger!  

 I'm so sorry. I just told you the most boring, anti climactic story in the history of the internet.


* I took Sesame to the playground to escape the banging. Someone tell me where my baby went! Who's this kid with long legs?

* I don't mean to brag (or maybe I do), but for 45 minutes every single piece of laundry in my house was either on us or clean and put away. ALL OF IT. This morning I deep cleaned the refrigerator so feel free to call me Martha Stewart and mail me a Wife of the Year award. Or reward me with French fries.

Monday, August 21, 2017

currently, the end of summer edition

Viewing: the eclipse. I don't know if you heard, but there was an eclipse today. The newscasters may have mentioned it 1 or 712 times. 
I ordered a pair of special glasses off Ebay. Several friends said businesses in their towns were giving away free glasses but I couldn't find any. It seemed like a wiser move to spend $12 on glasses than stupidly stare at the sun and be hit with huge hospital bills. I saw directions for making a pinhole viewer at home so I tried to make one out of a cheerios box. It was a failure. I stood in the yard holding a box up to my face and no doubt looking like an idiot. I saw nothing but the bottom of the box. I must have done something wrong but I don't have much experience staring into cereal boxes. The event as a whole was less exciting than I anticipated but I am glad I bought the glasses and had my NASA shirt to wear. 
Watching: the documentary When the Bough Breaks about post partum depression. Some parts are very sad and brought me back to darker days when AB was younger, but it's very well done and an important movie.

Explaining: the pictures in all our photo albums to curious Sesame. No, I don't know what Daddy said to you right after you were born. No, you didn't play on a playground in my belly. No, you weren't at our wedding. Yes, we smelled the flowers. Yes, that's Grammy. No, you didn't live in Grammy's belly.
Shopping at: Homegoods. I went yesterday and almost came home with a copper pineapple and a sign that says "welcome to the ranch." The second I walk in that store I suddenly decide our house won't be complete without everything in sight.

Smelling: my sage Yankee Candle. 

Sad about: the end of summer. We'll squeeze in all the fun we can in September, but I wish we had one more month of real summer. The splash pads all close after this week and they've been a highlight of our summer. I'm not ready for another long winter of being stuck in the house.

Harvesting: tomatoes, green beans and a carrot. In an attempt to not have too many carrots I accidentally didn't plant enough seeds. I think we have a grand total of 8. We picked the first one on Saturday and Annabelle could not have been more thrilled.

Disclosure- This post contains an affiliate link which may earn me an ice coffee. 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

the aunts come to visit

Many years ago, Autumn, Joanna and I formed the Single Ladies Club. Since the founding of the club I've gotten married and the other two have gone through various relationships, but we have never considered changing the name. The Married and Two Recently Singled Ladies Club doesn't have the same ring. Our theme song has always been Beyonce's Single Ladies. I'm not a huge Beyonce fan but we couldn't have found a more appropriate song.
They came to visit over the weekend and I brought out my special poster. The first summer Joanna came for her now annual visit was less than a week after we moved to Fort Campbell. Almost nothing was decorated so I made this poster and hung it in the bathroom. It's become the official poster of Joanna's visits. 
They arrived early early Sunday morning. 12:30 AM early. I went to bed and set an alarm for 12:15. I'm too old to miss any hours of precious sleep. Autumn said there was a meteor shower that night so we sat on our new patio watching the stars and catching up.

After church on Sunday we went grocery shopping and to Walgreens. Don't say I don't know how to show my guests a good time! I went into Walgreens for a prescription and came out with a slip'n'slide.  We showed Annabelle how to use it.
Monday we took them hiking. I've been to the park twice before but never drove so I never paid attention to the directions. The lady at the gate told us how to get to the falls but either she misspoke or I misheard (more likely) because we didn't end up at the falls. We ended up at the other end of the park where we had no choice but to exit, turn around and go back in. The lady at that gate told us to drive 14 miles in the other direction. We finally found the right parking lot and walked about a mile to the bottom of the falls. The view wasn't too shabby. 
There are paths leading from the bottom falls to the middle falls and finally the falls at the top. The first trail was short enough for AB to on her own. She had a minor meltdown on the way back thanks to the heat and the fact that it was the middle of nap time so Aunt Jojo carried her up the 187 steep steps. God bless her. I kept suggesting we stop so Joanna could have a break but she powered on. I was hoping she'd take me up on it since I wanted to rest! Sesame and I ended up sitting on a path playing in the sand while the other two did the second part of the trail. It ended up being a wise choice since they saw a snake.
To save Joanna's back and AB's emotions we drove to the very top waterfall. It's so so pretty.
That night we rewarded ourselves for burning all those calories with THE BEST dessert ever from a chocolate restaurant in town. As we were waiting for them to box up our dessert one of the waitresses started talking about a show she started watching. "It's really inspiring. It make me want to stop working here and join a drug cartel." Well. I guess we'll be seeing her on the news when the police break up whatever group she joins.

I loved having the girls here. We've been friends our entire lives and know each other so well. I loved seeing them with Sesame. They loved playing with her and she adores them. She asks when they're coming back and when she can have a sleep over at their houses. They even sat on the floor with her for half an hour during what can only be called The Bathroom Trial of 2017. They're true friends. I like them even better than I like the triple chocolate mousse dessert.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

tea time

Annabelle is in a big tea party phase. She has a few different sets, most of which she likes to use in the bathtub and spill all over the bathroom floor. Our housekeeper is never here when I need her so I have to clean up the tea party tsunami myself.

We asked Mrs. Jim to join us for an outdoor tea party earlier this week. Mrs. Jim does have a name- Anne- but for months we didn't know it so we called her Mrs. Jim and it's stuck.
Annabelle picked this lovely arrangement of weeds flowers for the centerpiece. She kept telling me Mrs. Jim would love them so much. 
It's important to be appropriately dressed for a tea party so she her sparkly skirt and "race car man vest" for the occasion. They don't call her Stylin Sesame for nothing!
Much to Annabelle's great joy Mrs. Jim brought cupcakes. We had lemonade and water which Annabelle served with the expected amount of spillage on the table. She was so excited about the whole thing she broke a cup and saucer. After the tea she showed Mrs. Jim her room and introduced her to all her 587 stuffed animals and toys. Each new thing she showed was her "favorite one." 

The Jims were over today putting in sod so naturally Annabelle offered her services.
I'm so glad she has Big Mr. Jim and Mrs Jim in her life. They in no way replace her actual grandparents, but it's nice she has an older couple like them in her life. Big Jim even shared his hot dog with her today which was a true act of kindness. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

yellow caution tape will not be part of my final patio decor

For months our landlord Little Jim has been saying we were going to get a patio in the backyard. I was very excited about this new addition to our backyard. We have a lovely yard and the only thing missing was a good place to put our chairs and AB's sandbox/pool/picnic table/wheel barrel/endless number of plastic yard toys. I had big plans of making it, as the Pottery Barn catalog calls it, "an outdoor oasis." From the way Jim talked it sounded like the patio would be up and ready by May but that didn't happen. Thanks to the steady stream of rain we've had for literal weeks on end, the patio men never showed up and I began to lose hope. 

Last week was sunny and patio day finally arrived. The Jims (Little Jim and his father Big Jim) decided to have the walkway in the front replaced at the same time. Annabelle was enthralled and kept calling out directions and asking questions. "You need to move a yittle to the right. No, the left. Why is he moving our sidewalk? What's that man's name? What's he doing with the path? Move to the left!" It was three days of free babysitting.
The whole operation caused a lot of excitement among the female members of our house. We spent a significant amount of time watching the proceedings and critiquing the workers. I'm not a concrete expert but that didn't stop me from evaluating their work. The Jims are obsessed with keeping the yard in pristine condition. The quality of care they give the grass is similar to the level expected at the White House. After the embarrassing condition of the lawn at our Fort Campbell home everyone is glad we aren't responsible for the yard work around here. I knew The Jims wouldn't be happy with the pile of dirt and rocks thrown onto the grass. 
I would have talked to the workers about it but I tried to avoid eye contact with them. One of them showed up unexpectedly a while ago to give an estimate. It was early in the morning and I saw him when I opened the blinds. He looked at me and I looked at him. Then he rang the doorbell and I ran upstairs to hide because I was in my pajamas with no bra on and I refuse to answer the door like that. 

Unfortunately the workers hit a snag. More specifically, they hit a sewer pipe and discovered a leak. Big Jim came over to assess and call the plumber. Neighbors Hippie Bob and Don met in our front yard to discuss the goings on.
The plumber came with his digger and dug a huge, 8 feet deep hole on the side of our driveway.
I cannot emphasis enough how bad it smelled. We had a gigantic pile of poop dirt in our driveway which is every bit as awful as it sounds. 
Please notice the classy yellow warning tape by the door. A third of the back yard was dug up, the entire front yard was covered with chunks of concrete and the pile of dirt was front and center to everyone who drove on our very busy street. None of it was an outdoor oasis. Thankfully The Jims have been by every day to fill the holes and plant new grass. I don't know what they'd do without Annabelle there to tell them about her potty training and popsicle eating while they worked. 
In the midst of the hullabaloo, Hippie Bob decided to try out his new lawn mower in our yard. He has his own yard but I guess ours was more appealing. He did one strip down the middle then left.
Needless to say he will not be added to The Jims lawn crew. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

little Memories, July 2017

* I went for a rare walk by myself and actually had time to notice little things like an ombre leaf. 
 * Annabelle said she was sick and needed ''hot tea and a get well card." I gave her the tea but didn't make the card. I said if she was still "sick" in the morning I'd make her a card. The next morning she was acting fine but insisted she was "very sick in my stomach" so she got a card. 
* Christopher was telling Annabelle the polite way to talk to people. Look in their eyes, listen, and don't walk away. He asked her to repeat back what he said and she replied "Look people in the eyes and do dinosaurs live in houses?" Good talk. Glad it really got through.

* Speaking of the Sesame Pie, she's trying to cut out her afternoon nap. I AM NOT ON BOARD WITH THAT PLAN. She refused to nap one afternoon recently then had a meltdown at 5 o'clock. I held her on the couch for a while and she fell asleep. 
 She's gotten so big. Look how long her legs are. 
She used to fit inside my sweatshirt! 
* I love a good joke. A well timed pun makes me so happy. Today at the zoo we were watching the otters and I told AB she "should be otterly happy about seeing them." She didn't get it but I was proud of myself. I texted Christopher a few jokes the other day. I know they're corny but they made me laugh. 
I hope he otterly enjoyed them.