Friday, September 25, 2020

new name, same great product

I've had this blog for 11 years. I had no reasoning or story behind the name and assumed I would change it in a few months when I thought of a better one. It is now 136 months later and I'm finally changing it. 

I tried for months to come up with a good name. Wish I was First Lady and Stop Asking What's for Supper did not get good reviews when I ran them past my opinion commity. I settled on this name because I do always try to look on the bright side of life. It can be hard to find the bright side some situations. For example, there is absolutely no bright side to that fact that this morning a frog jumped from somewhere in my car and landed on the door next to me. I'm shocked I didn't cause an accident. I rolled down the window and slapped the frog out with a cd case, gagging the entire time. Christopher is always saying cds are out of style and useless but in this case, a cd literally saved our lives. I didn't open my mouth for the entire rest of the drive because I was too worried there was an entire frog family hiding in my car and one would jump on my face. The car is now up for sale if anyone wants to take it off my hands.

All that to say, the good times, bad times, and traumatizing frog encounter times will all continue over here

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Little Cabin In the Woods

 We recently went to north Georgia for a long weekend.

During our year planning meeting at the beginning of the year, we penciled in a late summer mountain trip. Then You Know What happened and I didn’t think it would happen. Daniel, Erika, Ivy and Aaron’s girlfriend couldn’t come because of work and school and having to quarantine upon arriving back at home. The week the trip was scheduled, the state quarantine restrictions lifted. By the time they went home, some restrictions were back in place. You never know what exciting new development will come down the path next. Mom, the twins, Willie (our brother from another mother), and his fiance Anna were able to come.

I spent hours on Airbnb looking for the perfect place. The number of people who could come kept changing and I reserved and canceled two places before settling on the cabin. One place didn't tell me until after I made the reservation that the electricity frequently goes out so someone needs to find the breaker box in the basement to fix it. No thank you. I have enough issues with my own breaker box without dealing with someone else's on vacation. I settled on a cabin in the woods and it was darling. There was enough room for everyone to have their own space and a creek outback. It set at the top of a very windy and steep road we didn't know about until we got there. It took 30 minutes to get from the cabin to the main road. Half of our group go carsick going up and down which was a prime opportunity for me to dig through the traveling pharmacy I carry in my purse. You got a bonine! You get a chewable Dramamine! You get a regular Dramamine! You got a zofran!

Annabelle was in heaven. She played in the creek and collected rocks. She spent hours outside and had dessert every day. She and Elizabeth made rafts with twigs and leaves to sail down the river.

Fifteen minutes after we left home, she realized she hadn't brought her Memere blankie. She's slept with it every day since she was born and brings it on every trip. I asked if she wanted me to go back for it and she said no, she'd ok without. It broke my heart a little bit that she wasn't crying for it like she would have when she was younger. On the last two nights of the trip, she cried because our trip was going to end and we might never get to go back. She said she wished she had Memere blankie to comfort her.

We went tubing down the Chattahoochee River and hiked to a waterfall. We went to a swinging bridge and played in the water. The water was calm so I let AB swim near the middle. She swam just fine the first time, but the second time she panicked a little and started to float downstream. I didn't realize at first she was struggling so I told her she'd be ok if she did what her swimming teacher taught her to do. Christopher had to charge in and rescue her. And with that, my hopes of winning Mother of the Year 2020 floated away.

The highlight of the trip, and possibly my entire year, was this old phone in the cabin.

IT MADE ME SO HAPPY. I have wanted this exact phone for years. Christopher refuses to get me one since we have cell phones and don't need to pay for another phone blahblahboringadult. AB and I made endless pretend phone calls using the rotary dial. We tried to call my phone but it didn't work so I assumed it was just for show. I cannot explain my delight and joy when we were eating supper and THE PHONE RANG. I thought it was the regular house phone but it was the old fashioned one. I could not have charged across the kitchen faster if I was being chased by a sworm of anger murder hornets. I answered the phone in such a fit of giggles I could barely get out the word "hello." I forgot I had to hold up the mouthpiece and kept letting go. Everyone else was laughing which made me laugh even harder. The laughter stopped quickly when the man on the other end said he was calling from the police department. In that split second, I went through any actions in my life that might have warranted the police calling me on vacation. The policeman said, as he was sure I was aware, the force is struggling right now and would I be open to making a one-time donation. I explained we were at a rental property but I'm sure the owners are supportive of the police. I forgot to hold of the mouthpiece so he heard nothing and I had to repeat it. I ended the call with "Good luck on your campaign" like he was running for president. It was embarrassing but nothing could bring me down from that high. I know it's a silly thing but it really was a lifelong dream to have a conversation on that phone.

Forget about the latest and greatest in the tech world. I know what kind of phone I want for Christmas.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

it's been a paparazzi free week

I had the best of intentions to blog at the end of last week, but two dramatic events happened within one hour and I needed time to recover.

First, Annabelle found a frog stuck between the storm door and the screen in our back door. Lest you forgot, I DETEST FROGS WITH ALL MY BEING. I was hoping it would be gone when I got back from school drop off but it was not. I tried slamming the door to knock it off but all that happened was the frog moved its sticky, slimy leg and I nearly gagged. Finally, it jumped off and I screamed. It didn't come towards me but I screamed anyway. 

Second, I had an unfortunate doctor's appointment. I've seen that doctor several times and I have all but given up on trying to uphold many modesty issues when it comes to his role in my life. I knew the ultrasound tech would also be in the room but plot twist! He asked if it would be ok if his new assistant Bethany watched as well. She had never seen it done and needed it for her resume. Ideally, the fewer people seeing me in a compromised position the better but at that point, there were already two people so what's a third. Make some popcorn and bring in the whole office. I had a similar procedure done before and it's not an exaggeration to say it was HORRIBLE. Google told me the recent procedure would be less painful and the ultrasound lady and doctor both agreed. They were both wrong. It was also HORRIFIC. Bethany kept looking down at the situation then patting my arm and saying, "Try to relax." I appreciate her sympathy, but she wouldn't be saying that if she knew first hand the trauma of what was happening. The doctor nonchalantly asked about my summer in an effort to distract me. I love the doctor and am happy to talk to him any time, but I was not in the mood for a casual conversation. When it finally ended, I sat up and thought I was going to either throw up or pass out so I had to lay back down with a wet facecloth on my neck. I drove over to Dunkin Donuts and ordered three powdered munchkins to reward myself for surviving the morning. They misunderstood my order and gave me three full doughnuts instead of munchkins. It was proof that the Lord still shines upon me.

All that to say, I haven't had of the right frame of mind (or lower body) to blawg. But I'm back now with absolutely nothing of significance to say!

Annabelle went to a sign class at work with me. Usually she can't do the classes as they're almost all for16 and older, but every so often there's one kids can attend. She made a sign we're giving to her teacher for Christmas which makes me feel very prepared for the holidays. Bonus points that the sign was free thanks to my employee discount. Ses told me, "Mom, you can stand over there while I do it all. You don't need to help." Far be it from me, the personally literally paid to do the job, to give advice.

Yesterday we made our weekly pandemic trip to Home Depot. AB walked around with sunglasses on like she expected the paparazzi would chase her down in the pipe aisle.

The paparazzi did NOT chase me down when I slunk out of the doctor's office. 

Saturday, August 29, 2020

six short stories

We were having a conversation about whether we'd prefer to work for the CIA or FBI. I made a statement about how I've been watching a show about Quantico so I know all about how the CIA works. Christopher said, "Isn't Quantico the FBI?" Ok, so maybe I don't know EVERYTHING about how it works, including but not limited to the name and which bureau the entire show is about.

Me: I won't be a weird cat person.
Also me: I can't come to help you right now because my hand is supporting Lucy's head while she naps.

Sesame has been to see the school nurse twice since school started complaining of a sore throat. She gets a sore throat from allergies so I assumed it was either that or she wanted the thrill of going to the nurse's office. On Friday she woke up with a sore throat again and I had a suspicion it could be related to her wanting to stay home. I took her to the doctor 25% because I thought she had something and 75% to prove that she was fine. Lo and behold she is on the tail-end of strep and has a swollen lymph node. Who made me the mother around here? 

I won't name names, but someone around here has been failing Personal Space 101 class.
Lucy does not approve of such shenanigans.

Every morning on the way to school I sing It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. I started this tradition when she was in preschool and I was happy to resurrect it for the first grade drive. I change the words to match the weather but it's always a stunningly beautiful rendition. I forgot to sing it one morning so I sang it on the way home then turned on country radio and started singing along with Darius Rucker. My darling child, who appreciates everything I do, piped up from the backseat, "Can you switch to some music from the 80s instead?" That's not the five-star review I was hoping to receive. I'll have to add some new tunes to my repertoire. 

AB spent many afternoons watching Elana of Avalor. By virtue of living in the same house, I have spent many afternoons hearing the show in the background and have become too invested in her story. I've asked countless times when she would be coronated but AB had no answer beyond "she's too young and can you please get me a snack." I was embarrassingly excited to see that her coronation episode has finally been released. You know who has no desire to see the coronation episode? My child. You know who wants to watch it? Me. I probably won't watch it on my own, but 2020 has been an odd year so who knows.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

first school report

Annabelle's first week of school was a little rocky.

She got in the car on the first day very disappointed. "We didn't get to play or interact. All we did was talk about all the rules and I can't remember all the rules and we didn't do anything fun because we only talked about rules and I've never heard so many rules in my life." I don't know why she talks in  run-on sentences because it's certainly not from me because I am always succinct and precise and do not blabber on. She didn't cry when I dropped her off, but she'd cry a few times during the day. Every single morning she says she doesn't want to go but she doesn't make a fuss about it. She says it more in a ''just so you know where I stand on this, I wouldn't be upset if YOU want to go back to sleep and I skip school today" kind of way. She expected there to be more playing like she did at preschool and it never occurred to me to clarify that ahead of time. I think once she adjusts she'll really enjoy it. She told me on Thursday that she played with a girl named either Delilah or Alana, she couldn't remember which. On Friday she confirmed that it was Delilah and they played together again. Having a friend has made this week a little easier.

I've had to learn how to operate the carline. The drop off line goes so much more smoothly than pickup. Even with each car stopping so they can take the child's temperature, things move along and everyone is friendly. By three o'clock these people are driving like they're trying to be on the last helicopter out of Vietnam. It's much more aggressive. I have to leave the house an hour early to get a good spot in the pickup line so I bring a snack and book to entertain myself. There are unspoken rules that everyone but me seems to know about merging and signaling and I broke all the rules the first few days. My go-to reaction if I don't know what to do while driving is slump down in the seat and make myself as small as possible.

I'm proud that AB does a good job of reporting the classroom gossip happenings. She's terrified of being corrected by the teacher but gives me a report each day on everyone else's behavior. "Nolan K had his clip moved to yellow but I didn't. I'm serious, Mom. I didn't. But Payton didn't listen and had to do laps during recess." It's become clear who the class troublemakers are.

Speaking of driving, I took advantage of my precious alone time hours to visit the DMV. I made an appointment online but surprise, surprise they couldn't find me in the system. The lady asked if I was sure I already had a Georgia license. There are few things I am sure about these days but knowing which state my license is in is one of them. My most recent Massachusetts license photo was spectacular. I seldom compliment photos of myself but that one was a real winner. Not to toot my own horn, but TSA people would comment on how good it was. My first Georgia license picture wasn't great but it wasn't the worst. This trip would be my chance to redeem myself and recreate the Massachusetts glory. Last time I was there the photos were taken in a little room off to the side. This time I had to do it in front of the entire waiting room. There was no privacy and it felt like everyone was watching. It was very awkward. I was barely in position before the lady took the picture with no warning. I had no time to suck in all my multiple chins and look presentable. She printed out the paper copy without showing me the picture and said "This will be your license photo until 2026." 

Allow me to show you the picture I am stuck with for the next six years.
It is mortifying. I will be going into hiding as soon as I publish this. No one will ever be able to see that picture.  

Thursday, August 20, 2020

ABC's of 2020

One of my favorite children's books is My Friend Harry by Kim Lewis. The little boy named James gets a new stuffed elephant he names Harry. They go everywhere together and slowly Harry gets worn and well-loved. On James' first day of school, Harry sat in his car seat all day waiting for him to come home. On Friday, Annabelle's worn and well-loved Hermione doll that has been glued to her hand for months sat in her car seat for hours while AB had her first day of school.
I don't know how we got to this point in our lives that Annabelle is old enough to be in first grade. She was only born fifteen seconds ago! Here she is exactly six years ago this week, all soft and squishy and tiny. She was the cutest baby that ever lived. She holds onto Hermione the way she held onto Mr. Lion for years.

I liked homeschooling last year and loved all the time we spent together. Correction: I loved most of the time we spent together. Sometimes it was TOO MUCH TOGETHERNESS ALL THE TIME. There are several reasons she's going to school this year and maybe someday we'll go back to homeschooling but time will tell. I'm trying not to plan much these days because we don't even know what stores will be open next week, let alone our educational plans for 2022. Going to school for the first time during a pandemic is not an ideal situation, but we decided that she'd still go giving the information we were being given. The many, many, many homeschool vs public school discussions Christopher and I had were very emotional and opinionated and usually left one of us in tears. Obviously, I mean Christopher was in tears. I am as stoic as Mount Rushmore. 

I've spent every single day of the last 6.5 years with Sesame and I feel like I've lost a limb when she's not here for hours on end. The first morning after we dropped her off I sat on the living room floor because I didn't know what to do with myself. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my alone time. It's so nice to pop in and out of stores with dealing with a car seat. I can go on long walks in the morning before the temperature hits 100*. I can decide at 10:35 to get my nails done and off I go. I need to make a plan for how I'll balance house work/errands/appointments and me time while she's gone. I assume the schools will be shut down in a matter of weeks and AB will be back home. I don't want her to come home and I regret not spending more time on my own things. My hope is that I can get my things done while she's at school so that when she comes home I can focus on spending quality time with her instead of saying "I can't right now because I have to __________" when she asks me to play.
I was very proud of myself for not stating many opinions when she was picking out a backpack. I tried to steer her towards the cuter ones but she's "not so into cute these days." She picked a galaxy backpack which is very fitting for her insterests right now. I picked out a dress that checked my cute box and her "patterned but not very patterned because I only want, like, a medium amount of pattern" box. I thought she might object to wearing a bow on the first day but she didn't. Praise the Lord. She loves art so I got this big bow with appliqued art pallet.
I also got us matching heart necklaces. The card them came on says "Here are two necklaces, one for you and one for me. We will wear them soon...when at school you'll be! Wear it to school while you work and will have my heart all day." She hasn't taken hers off since Friday.

I sat in the back with her on the way to school for the first time. I didn't want her to be lonely back there; it had nothing to do with me wanting to be near her. All I could think about was when I sat in the back with her when she came home from the hospital. 
Don't think all I do around here while she's gone is lay around eating bonbons. Yesterday I washed Hermione's tiny clothes and washed out her matted hair. It was a full spa experience. There's always someone to keep clean around here.