Saturday, December 22, 2012

Ummm, wow

Two very momentous things occurred yesterday. 

1. We became homeowners

and more importantly, 

2. Ella turned one! Watch out, world, Ella is officially a toddler. 

This photo is a little blurry, but I love the way she's holding up her hands like that before digging in. Too bad you can't see the crazy grin on her face. 

The many stages of eating a birthday cupcake

We are still attempting to recover from the craziness that has been the past 36 hours. Friday we closed on our house at 9am, had the movers come at 10am, and in the midst of that, threw a mini-birthday party. Most of our family members were able to video call in via Google Hangout so they could join us in singing "Happy Birthday" and watch Ella destroy eat her birthday cupcake. 

Even though Ella won't remember, it definitely was a 1st birthday that we will never forget. 

We love you, Eleanor Mary, and we can't wait to see what the next year will bring! 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Why my child should never, ever have sugar

This morning Ella and I stopped by a bakery so I could order her birthday cake for Friday (!). The shop owner was very nice, and offered us a complementary cupcake to sample while I discussed the details of the cake.

At the time, it seemed like a fantastic idea to let her have some of the cupcake, a lovely reward for having to come along with me to set up utilities and do other boring grown-up stuff. I broke off a bite of cupcake for her. Her face lit up. I let her have a few more bites. The sweet little smile turned into a maniacal grin as the sugar hit her system.

To make a not-so-interesting portion of this story short, we left the shop covered in cupcake. I honestly don't know how. I consumed at least half of it and Ella ate a ton, so I'm not sure how an entire cake's worth of frosting and smashed up cupcake got into my clothes, her clothes, her hair, even into my car keys.

We went back to the hotel, where she proceeded to run around with some sort of super-human energy. The dogs huddled under the coffee table in fear. At one point she literally tried to climb up the wall.

Then she discovered the dirty laundry basket, and pulled out a t-shirt and bra. She proceeded to run around some more, holding aloft her new-found treasures like a toddler war-trophy, all while shrieking at the top of her lungs.

Needless to say, I am rethinking my original plan of doing birthday cake after dinner.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Snakes, and spiders, and mountain lions, oh my!

Sometimes I sit and wonder what the heck we were thinking in moving to Oklahoma. 

I kid you not, this is a conversation I had the other day at the playground:

Other Mom: "Did anyone tell you about the wildlife down here?"

Me: "Umm, like the cows? And coyotes?"

Other Mom: "No, about things like snakes," (okay, I can deal with snakes), "tarantulas," (yep, been there, done that), "and mountain lions." 

She and another mom at the playground then proceed to discuss, calmly, the mountain lions around here, in the same way that you might talk about your neighbor's obnoxious dog. 

Seriously, when discussing something that just might eat you, there should be some note of hysteria. Like, "OMG, did you hear there are mother-effing MOUNTAIN LIONS around here?!?!?!?!?!" 

I mean, look at this thing! It's saying, "Hide yo kids, hide yo wife, because I'm a BAMF who won't hesitate to eat you."

Photo from
(yes, I did some extremely scholarly research on the subject once I got home from the playground)

Oh, and guess where one likes to hang out? 

Yep- our new neighborhood. 

I am never going outside again. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Necessity is the mother of invention

As you might imagine, there are a limited amount of fun activities for a baby in a hotel room- that is, if you discount unrolling the toilet paper, splashing in the dog water bowls, attempting to throw things into the toilet, and taking all the clothes out of the drawers. 

Luckily, Ella has managed to think up some new activities on her own, involved her two best buddies, Dougal and Crilly. They include: 

-Playing dress-up with Dougal (note Crilly wisely hiding underneath the table in the upper left)

-Pretending to be the "dog wrangler," which apparently involves taking off her clothes and chasing the dogs around

-Playing fetch with the dogs

Friday, December 7, 2012

De-friending Facebook

Recently I decided to take a break from Facebook. Not that I don't love the ease with which I can keep in touch with my friends. But over the past couple of weeks, I've noticed that the more time I spend on Facebook, the unhappier I am with my life.  Every time I log on, I wind up in a serious funk, wondering why I don't have what other people have.

I know logically that I am only seeing the cleaned-up aspects of my friends' lives. People generally don't post updates about their messy kitchens, socks left on the floor, the never-ending battle against the tumbleweeds composed of dog hair, temper tantrums, or marital disharmony. Facebook asks me to tell everyone "what's on my mind." Well, if I shared what's really on my mind, it wouldn't be socially acceptable.

There are so many good things in my life, and I find that by constantly comparing myself to others, I am making myself miserable. Perhaps if I were in a happier mental state to begin with I would find pleasure again in goofing off on Facebook. Right now, with the stress of living in a hotel room, worries about home buying, having to adjust to a new place, and, of course, trying to be a good wife and mom, I don't have any extra energy to spend on anything negative in my life. Even if that something is unintentionally negative. Maybe once things settle down a bit I will log back on. For now, though, I am de-friending Facebook.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The big move

I'm finally getting a chance to sit down and write about the big move from Illinois down to Oklahoma.

I don't have too much to say about the drive itself, other than it wasn't too bad. I mean, what can you say about an 11-hour car ride? We drove, it was boring, we saw lots of cows and horses, the end. 

Some pictures from the road trip: 

Clockwise from top left: the St. Louis arch; the view out the car window in Oklahoma; an oil well; how Crilly decided to hang out in the car; one of many horses that we saw; Ella and Dougal sleeping. 
Thursday night, after we had gotten Ella off to bed, I sat down and cried. I had planned and planned for every last detail of this trip. But the one thing I hadn't planned on was how emotional this move was going to be. Jim asked me what was wrong. I explained to him that I simply wanted to go home.

We've been here a week now, and Oklahoma still feels like some sort of odd vacation. I am starting to learn the ropes, though. Jim started his new job on Monday, and Ella and I are figuring out grocery stores, the library, and mommy groups. With a little luck, we will be in our own place soon, and we can start to make this place our home.