AB’s anniversary gift to us was tears

I spent three days last week taping, priming and painting a wall in the living room. It seemed very deja vu which it was because I did the same exact thing when we arrived two months ago. We had painted an accent wall brick red but after a while, it started to feel like we were living in a fire station. Since we had just done it I assumed I’d worked out all the kinks then and it would be a breeze to get done. I had planned to wake up early and get some painting done before AB woke up. It never happened. I woke up late, a can of red paint spilled in the laundry room and went under the washing machine and Annabelle’s feet and legs got covered in non-washable primer. We went to the store for a break and to buy the paint. There wasn’t a salesperson in the paint department and Annabelle had a meltdown as we were checking out. Needless to say, it wasn’t an easy breezy painting experience. I painted the wall green and Christopher keeps saying he wants to paint pieces of chocolate on it because it looks like mint chocolate chip ice cream. That’s exactly the look I was going for! 

We celebrated our seventh anniversary on Saturday, a day early. We hadn’t gone on a date since last year so it was high time we hit the town without our third wheel. We actually did the farthest thing from hit the town. We went to Jimmy Carter’s boyhood home. Normally I’d save historical trips for non-romantic days but as we never have a babysitter we seize the day on any activities. Plus my goal of becoming first lady is always at the forefront of my mind and being seen at a historic site is good for publicity. 

The lady at the gate said we missed seeing Jimmy at by only a few hours. I’m always two steps away from fame! The farm was really pretty and we enjoyed strolling without answering questions about what squirrels eat and if we could ride the horses. That didn’t mean we had completly intellectual conversation. I couldn’t get over the cleanliness of the chicken coop. You really CAN have a clean chicken coop! How pretty! Look at the clean chickens! Christopher took one look and said, “You can have a clean coop if you have the whole of the National Park Service and government funding to clean it for you.” Good point.

We saw this sign and I immediately cleared my schedule on all those Sundays. Christopher said we shouldn’t turn our days of worship into days of chasing celebrities. Sometimes I get the feeling he doesn’t take my political aspirations/celebrity meetings seriously.

For supper, we went to a fancy restaurant that opened in the late 1800’s. I made a reservation which was completely unnecessary given that we were the only ones there. Usually we eat at restaurants that give little black buzzers when you show up so I always feel fancy making a reservation. The restaurant was beautiful and I felt like someone from Downton Abbey was going to walk in at any moment.

The traditional gift for the 7th anniversary is copper. Christopher never wears sunscreen so I thought about getting him a bottle of Coppertone and calling it a day. I ended up gluing pennies from the years we were born, met and married into a wooden heart-shaped frame. Partway through making the gift it occurred to me that pennies might only be copper coated and not 100% made of copper but I didn’t research it. Ignorance is bliss and I didn’t want to come up with a new gift at the eleventh hour. He gave me a rose gold copper pineapple tumbler that I love. I have such a rose gold obsession right now.

Our week so far has been a combination of lost patience (me) and an unnamed child who has decided it’s cool to recreate the terrible twos (which she never had in the first place) and the moodiness of a preteen girl. She cries about everything. She cried because I didn’t remember the same thing as her. She cried because it was too warm to wear her footie pajamas. She cried because we had to wash her clothes. She keeps telling me she misses her old school and friends so I know she’s still adjusting to the move. I just wish her adjusting wasn’t so painful for all of us. Her allergies have been horrible here too. She gets welts the size of nickles from ant and mosquito bites. Something irritated her face and her eyes swelled up. She still manages to be cute with a swollen face which I never do. 
This was the day she was digging in the garden and making dirt beef sandwiches.
I’m dieting so I didn’t eat any.

She’s also big into making messes. I don’t know why I bother cleaning the house during the day. My toy organization system in useless. If only I had the National Park Service and government funding to clean for me. 

one man’s trash is another girl’s prized possession

I spent a good portion of my day thinking I didn’t have anything interesting to report from the weekend. Then I remembered that I made a wooden bowl which isn’t an every day occurrence. You’d think that would have been something in the forefront of my mind since I’ve been eating Skittles out of it all day.

For many years now I’ve been trying to get Christopher into a hobby that isn’t reading or drumming. I was specifically steering him in the direction of woodworking. I have a list several miles long of things I’d like built and he needed a hobby. It’s a win win for everyone. He finally agreed to try it and he’s fallen for it hook, line and sinker. Or saw, hammer and screws as the case may be. He’s bought the tools, signed up for classes and made endless trips to Home Depot. He signed us for a wooden bowl making class at a wood shop in town. He never complains about waiting for me while I shop at the craft store so I was happy to do something he wanted. 

I’ve done some woodworking but not for years. Grandpa and I made Aaron a wooden fort with removable roof for his plastic cowboys and indians and two little wooden tanks. They remain the pinnacle of my (short) wood career.  I had never used a lathe, a drill press or the plethora of other tools Joe the instructor taught us. It was a very new experience. 

I’m just going to throw it out there that I’m really proud of myself for not crying during the entire three hours. The last time Christopher and I did a class together was when we got our concealed carry license at Fort Lee. I was too weak to pull the trigger so I held up the entire class. It was mortifying. I may have shed a few tears behind my safety glasses. I truly believed my bowl was going to be a disaster but Joe came by frequently with encouragement and fixed my many mistakes. Every time my tool hit the machine it made a terrible sound. I lost count of the times it made that sound. Eventually people stopped wondering who wasn’t using their tool properly because it was always me. 

Before. Obviously. 

Christopher’s is on the left and mine the right. We were supposed to be making matching bowls but Christopher went rogue. His bowl is like Cinderella at the ball and mine is the plain stepsister. 

In other recent news, Annabelle has a new fascination with trash. Our kitchen windows overlook the backyard and she likes to look for “treasures” while she eats then go out in the yard to pick it up. This week she’s brought in a leaf, a crumpled up flier and a random bits of plastic. She tells me she “lubs them all so much and they’re my faborites.” Today she asked me to take a picture of her with the sign the yard man put up.
The first of our tomatoes are red! One was destroyed by a bug but the other was perfect. I split a cherry tomato in thirds so we could all try it. We all got a piece the size of an M&M. We have SO many green tomatoes that will turn if it ever stops raining. I have big plans to make some into sauce and save it for the winter. I hope I can approach canning with the same enthusiasm Christopher approaches a package of new saw blades or AB when she sees a discarded water bottle.

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.

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.

trailer parks and anniversaries

Friday was our anniversary. Every year I’ve gotten progressively worse at documenting it. I wrote a whole post for our first anniversary and it’s been downhill ever since. I couldn’t even remember what we did last year until I found a tiny blurb about it at the bottom of post. This year I didn’t get around to writing about it until five days later. It may go totally unmentioned next year.

As per the usual/to be expected, Christopher had to work on our anniversary. Autumn and I had been trying to go out for months and the timing finally worked so I spent my anniversary with her instead of my husband. I have a few criteria for going out- I don’t want to stand the whole night, I don’t want to go anywhere very sticky and I want good French fries. Bonus points for a waiter. Basically I want Applebees. I got Ollie’s Trailer Park instead. It was standing room only, the food was subpar and I almost lost my voice from having to shout all evening. Despite the sticky menus I enjoyed the time with Autumn. She’s a good people watcher and that can be hard to find. I need people in my life who don’t think people watching is too nosy.

The groom finally showed up at lunch time on Saturday. Our first stop on the anniversary tour was a visit to Daniel and Erika’s. It was funny to be holding Ivy on the very day her baby shower was supposed to happen. That girl didn’t want to miss out on anything.
Next stop was the church where we were married. I certainly had less wrinkles and more sleep on my wedding day five years ago.
Daniel and Erika got us a night at a hotel as an anniversary gift. We drove to the hotel, ready to begin our childfree getaway. We hit a bump in the road when the man at the desk couldn’t find our reservation. I gave him three different last names it might be under but he kept coming up dry. After 27 texts with Daniel, we discovered we were at the wrong hotel. It was only then we realized no one had actually said the name of the hotel. Erika told me the town it was in and I assumed I knew which one she meant. I assumed wrong. It reminded me of when we got lost driving the 10 minutes between the church and our reception. Christopher went into a convenience store in his uniform to ask for directions and I sat in the car in my wedding dress avoiding all eye contact with strangers. Getting lost is a great way to start off a marriage.
I had visions of sleeping for hours on end but again, I assumed wrong. I was slapped with insomnia and didn’t fall asleep until SIX A.M. I wanted to wake Christopher up to keep me company but I didn’t, even though misery loves company and I was MISERABLE. Nonetheless, the few hours of quiet meals with no one asking for more cheerios or dropping their
cup on the floor (Christopher is so hard to control) were brief but so nice.

The next day we packed all our belongings back into the car and drove home. Christopher was in his car and AB and I were in mine. One of us got to relax in the back watching Frozen on repeat while the other needed qtips to prop her eyes open. 

We have five days to recover before hitting the open road again and going to Texas. Both times I’ve been to Texas I’ve gotten a horrid stomach virus so I’m preparing myself to be hit again.  If you need me I’ll be over here popping Vitamin C and drinking all the immune system building drinks. 

Unrelated picture of Sesame talking to a duck statue. As one does.

a guest post and yet another poll

Editorial comments: I’ve been asking Christopher to write something for the ol’ blawg since before we were married. He agreed, probably because he was hoping in return I’d marry him two weeks after we met. We got engaged more than six years ago and needless to say there’s been nothing but radio silence from the man of the house. Enjoy what you read here because history shows it will be six years before he writes another guest post.


Hi, I’m Christopher.

I have been assuring Sarah that I would write a blog post for her for the entirety of our married life. While we haven’t been married for very long in the grand scheme of things, just shy of five years is quite awhile to put off an item on your ‘honey-do’ list. The reason for my long delay is the high regard I have for this blog. This blog was the way I met my wife. It was a giant, bright spot in my day while I was deployed to Iraq. I read the entire thing as I was writing letters back and forth with Sarah. I cannot exaggerate how special this is to me. I hope this helps to illustrate why I was, and continue to be, very hesitant to write an entry. I needed to tread lightly on such hallowed ground. Whatever my entry was going to be had to be a good one. It had to be funny, and personal, and intelligent, just like the rest of her entries. So…..that didn’t work out. You get this entry instead.

I’m sure you are all aware of the ongoing disconnect between Sarah and I when it comes to names for children. I tend to like much more conservative names, while Sarah is a little more adventurous. She isn’t voting for random nouns to be used as monikers such as Tea Kettle, or Prune, but still, it’s a little shaky. If her taste in names tried to drive across the border into Mexico it would be questioned heavily. “Where are you going? Business or pleasure? How long do you intend to stay? Why is there a silent Q?” It wouldn’t get arrested, but it would get some serious eye-ballin’ by a highly suspicious Federali. There is one exception to this conservative vs. adventurous style of naming though. I am of the opinion, and I am not joking, that if we were to have triplet girls they should be named Violet Chaos, Daisy Mayhem, and Rose Havoc. Again, I am not joking. The first names would be classically girly and respectable, while the middle names would be strong, independent, and (since they’re half MY family) probably fairly accurate. It might also be a slight bit of a safe guard against wimpy husbands. A man needs more than a bit of confidence to ask a girl with a name like that to dance. It also might be able to instill the idea that they can be girly AND strong, feminine AND self-reliant. If nothing else, it’ll warn the world about the true nature of what I have most likely unleashed! Sarah has said that she will perform some of her HTML magic and build a yay-nay vote. I think we all know where I stand. Yay all the way.

This picture is a good visual representation of my mindset on this issue…

Are Choas, Havoc and Mayhem acceptable names for baby girls?

Anyone who thinks they are should not be naming children

Poll Maker