Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Bullet-pointing our Lives

  • I'm really tired of social media. You wouldn't be able to tell by my frequent usage of it, but I've got major Facebook-ennui (Hey, did you know that ennui is one of my favorite words ever? And did you know that I learned it from Gilmore Girls? Jeff says GG is unrealistically witty, but I says that it meks me brain smarter). Oh, you hate Obama? Oh, you love Obama? Oh, here's a picture of soldier doing something really great? Oh, here's a Bitstrip with you holding a hammer? All acceptable things for you to be doing on social media, but the thing that's got me down is that I don't actually feel connected to anyone. I feel like I can tell you what some of your opinions are or what recipe you want to share on your wall, but on the whole, I feel like I have no clue what is going on in your life. I'd love to sit down with people and just ask them, "Hey, how are you doing? But really, how are you doing? What is new?" Because there has to be more to your life than Candy Crush and I'd really like to have a sense of what that actually is. So I'll blog a little and tell you about what we are doing. No, really, what we are actually doing. And I'll use bullet points -- because I love them.
Adam took this picture. I think it's hilarious.

  • We potty-trained Adam, and it was really easy. That's because he's almost 3 1/2 and has been ready for a really long time. I just wasn't ready. Do you know what's really gross? Potty-training. And I'm talking about a really really successful potty-training experience -- we've had like 3 accidents total. Adam is an extremely small 3-year-old and so he needs a lot of assistance to get on the toilet or he just uses the little stand-alone. Either way, I feel like I'm much more involved in his bodily functions that I was when he wore diapers and I don't like it. But I guess it's a good thing, because everyone has to learn some degree of continence at some point. We also night-trained him -- or at least he always wakes up dry. One time early on, he did wake up crying "I need some M&M's!" and it took us a little while to figure out what the heck he was talking about but we eventually figured out that he needed to use the bathroom. At that point, we were offering him M&M's (3 M&M's, to be exact. Adam likes things in threes, because he is three and that is normal behavior) when he used the potty and so his cry for candy was in reality so much more. 
We said we'd make him a sticker chart to help him learn to go potty, then he learned it in about a day and we forgot the chart. Finally remembered after he had completely gotten the hang of it, so he filled it up really fast. He earned a trip to Chuck E. Cheese's and Grandma and Grandpa Carr happened to be around.
  • I think it's pretty fair to say that Avery has hit the Terrible Twos or something. Actually, the twos were never all that bad for Adam, but I do remember just hating life for a few months when he was around 18 months. (Can you admit that you hated a stage of your child's life? Whooooops.) Anyway, I feel that way right now. She's a bit of a screamer. And she likes to lay on the ground a lot in protest when I take things away from her. I don't have the heart to tell her that I actually prefer her lying on the ground in protest to whatever hazardous substance she was trying to eat. I think 18 months is a tricky time -- I still think of her as a baby, but that's not really true anymore. And she understands every single thing I say, but she can't effectively communicate all of the time and she certainly doesn't listen to what I say and I just want to creepily swaddle her and feed her bottles and keep her little forever. Oh dear, I just Googled "adult swaddle" and it's a thing. Oh dear indeed. 
But it's all good. I mean, just look at her. Girl be cute.
  • Jeff is loving work. It's really fun to see him so fulfilled professionally. He has already had some really cool experiences that I'm sure he'd love to tell you a little bit about. You should give him a call. Unless you don't actually know him that well -- then you'll have to hold up some sort of object to your ear and pretend to call him. Adam and Avery do that all the time. ("Hewwo? Daddy?" "Hi, Dad. This is Adam. I'm a baby bird. Bye, Dad.") 
The boys in their foreign soccer shirts. Cute, but strange since we're not really soccer fans.

  • People sometimes ask us how long we'll be in Virginia and I'm never really sure how to answer. We're past the stage in our lives where each place we live is a temporary gig. Jeff's job is a good solid career and most people there seem to stay for their whole careers. So maybe we will be here forever, who knows? We love the West and we'd love to be close to family, but I mean, Jeff has a degree in Russian Studies and there are only a few areas in the country where you can really work in that field. Everyone automatically assumes he could just get a teaching job, but it's really not that easy or simple. Or in our current case, even desired. If the right stars align, we'd love to come westward ho. But really, Virginia is a nice place. Everything is green and history is everywhere. Also, we live in the suburbs, but we can easily access the country and a major city. We've always loved to explore new places and we feel the adventure potential just bubbling around here and honestly, we feel like we're the kind of people who would probably be OK living anywhere that is not too cold (my own requirement, Jeff adores cold places), so all is well. (But if I were to make a complaint about the DC area, it would be that all of the roads are twisty and confusing and I seriously laugh out loud when I hear people complain about traffic in Salt Lake because it once took me an hour and a half to go one mile on I-95 in the middle of the day and I don't even think anyone who lives in the area would be surprised to hear that. Also, now that all the leaves have fallen, we suddenly have a ton of neighbors and everything reminds me of "The Watcher in the Woods." And I really don't like being reminded of "The Watcher in the Woods.") 
I know everyone loves fall, but I always feel like the world is dying. I've always liked spring more because every single year when I see things start turning green I feel like I've witnessed my own personal miracle.

  • Adam has been really hilarious lately. Seriously, I have loved the 3-year-old stage. He talks non-stop and I definitely tune him out sometimes, but he just says the most delightful/bizarre things. For example, tonight he said AND I QUOTE- 'I have this friend who pooped all over his family." Another recent gem was when he called for me: "Mom! Check this out! You've got to see this!" When I came into the room he was holding some Oxi-clean  up and he was like: "It's Oxi-clean, Mom! It'll get all of the stains out of your shirts!"  It was so funny because he was so enthusiastic and sincere about the power of Oxi-clean. Oh, he is so dear to me. 
    I mean, he does stuff like THIS. (They're clean, they're clean.)
  • Adam has been obsessed with baby birds for a couple of months. I don't where it came from; I don't know why. All I know is he talks about birds all the time. He's known for a while now that he wanted to be a baby bird for Halloween, and we knew he wouldn't change his mind -- that's how strong of a phase this is. We did have a bit of a struggle finding a baby bird costume that fit his standards of what a baby bird should look like, and we finally found a penguin costume on eBay that he loved -- just don't let him know that it's really a penguin. We had a hard time trying to think of a costume for Avy; it would have been nice to coordinate, and I really wanted to make her an egg costume, but then I remembered that I can't sew. So she was a piggy. It makes sense; she likes to make little piggy noises all of the time and it is super cute. Baby Bird and Piggy loved their costumes and still ask to wear them almost daily. And I let them. 
    On the Halloween train.

  • As previously mentioned, Jeff's parents came to visit. And for some reason that I feel has not been adequately explained to me, Jeff's dad and Sandra Day O'Connor have recently become buddies. Ok, they met at a women's conference that Steve was involved in. (The irony is not lost.) She hung out with Jeff's family in Sun Valley for a few days and went fishing and told Steve that she'd give him a tour of the Supreme Court next time he was in town. So they came to town. And so we met her and she gave us a tour. (I'm being nonchalant because this was a just a pretty regular day for me.) The Supreme Court is simply beautiful and I loved getting to meet her. She was very feisty and funny -- I always pictured her refined and elegant. And then I realized that I always thought of her acting like the queen of England which is pretty sexist/ageist of me, because I just automatically assumed that all women with white hair must act like the queen. (Sorry, Barbara Bush. Did it to you too.)
Jeff and I at the Supreme Court. I have a couple of pictures with Sandra Day O'Connor, but I didn't want to put them online without her permission. So you just get this picture, which is fine, but not great since Jeff is squinting and I think I look a little round for some reason. Not necessarily fat, just round.

  • My parents came to town too! It seems like so long ago, but I guess I haven't blogged about it (or anything). It was such a great visit -- we visited a bunch of Civil War sites, Amish country, and they stocked up our cupboard when it became clear that the shutdown would happen. I love having my parents around. I feel like all of my problems are solvable when they're nearby -- and honestly, watching shows at night with Mom and Jeff is one of my favorite things in the world. My dad doesn't watch with us -- he is usually doing some extra work or family history, but he comes in the room once in a while and rolls his eyes at whatever we're watching. This trip we watched a lot of How I Met Your Mother. My mother asked 5 seconds into the first episode of this show she has seen several times, "So... when does he meet the Mother?" I love you, Mom and Dad. 
Dad and Adam at Harper's Ferry. They ran off together quite a few times that day. 
  • We've been working on phonics a lot with Adam. It took a little while, but he's starting to get the hang of it. He probably knows about half of the sounds that letters make and he has started to be able to figure out what word we're making when we string some sounds together. He also (I hope I don't jinx this) has been able to recognize a few sight words recently. So that's cool. I feel like most the credit should go to his preschool teacher, because he has been much more receptive to learning since he has been doing that. He was quite gleeful yesterday when he realized that both "pee" and "poop" start with the letter P. Classy one, my boy.
He really does love reading. But we also read before bed, and I've always wondered if part of his desire to read so much is a stall tactic. Clever boy.

  • We survived the Shutdown. It was not fun -- we like to call it "the worst vacation ever." We're new to the job and the area, don't have much savings yet and so it was really scary for us to not have two whole paychecks. We always figured that there would be some sort of compensation eventually, but it was more of a "holy crap, what are we going to do RIGHT NOW?" situation. It began at the beginning of the month. We paid rent and then just bade our time. Jeff was supposed to stay in the area, just in case he got rotated in (some new people did), and it rained a lot of the time, and there was a mouse in our house. So we really just sat around and stared at each other for 2 1/2 weeks while I freaked out about the mouse. Eventually we were all so glum that we knew we needed to do something to boost family morale, so at the very end of it all, we drove up to Annapolis on a whim. That was really fun. Annapolis is a pretty little city and the Naval Academy was so cool. We stopped to see the Chesapeake, and it turned out be about 70 degrees and sunny that day (hooray!) so we all just played around in the water. Adam adored it -- which is really crazy because he hated the Pacific Ocean (he fell completely in once while wading and never forgave the sea). Avery also adored it, which is not crazy because she always has loved the ocean. 
Luckily, it wasn't riddled with jellyfish, as per my last Chesapeake experience. Also, I wish you all could hear Adam say "Chesapeake."
  • Avery finally started walking at 18 months. Kind of. I don't know, she still crawls a lot. It's so weird. Sometimes I'll see her walk across the room and then she won't do it again for days. We see it more and more. She obviously can walk -- she just doesn't seem to want to do it all that much. She does talk pretty well, though. (I really only have Adam at 18 months to compare her to, and he wasn't saying anything back then.) She speaks in sentences sometimes -- she even said "Bye, Grandma and Grandpa" after we dropped Jeff's parents off at the airport. My absolute favorite thing that she says is "Happy!" She says it all the time when she actually is happy. And when we ask her who is happy, she gleefully shouts, "MEEEEE!" It's so cute, because she says it all of the time, but only when she actually feels the emotion. If she's sad and we ask her if she's happy, she'll tell us no. Jeff went and got Slurpees with the kids tonight (Because Adam for the last few days has been saying, "I'm so hungry. We need to go to 7-11.") and Avery got her own and all evening she was like "HAPPY! THANK YOU!"
Adam took this picture. Like I said, he's been really into doing that lately.

  • I feel like I should do a required bullet about me. I've been reading a lot, as per usual. I've been writing a wee amount, but nothing that I'm ready to acknowledge. I feel like I mop a lot. I got into a heated argument with Adam over whether it was Harry Pott-ER or Harry Pott-EN. I won because he doesn't know what he's talking about, but when you win a heated argument with a toddler, are you really a winner? I have developed a taste for Coke. I got Jeff to watch Scandal on Netflix and now it consumes us. (We also recently watched a British show called The Bletchley Circle and I really recommend it, especially if you like Call the Midwife, because it also takes place in post-war England.) I've been working out a wee amount, but I also probably shouldn't acknowledge that either, for it has been very wee indeed. 
If you see any of my Instagram pictures, you might recognize sleep/dead Avy. We took a trip into DC yesterday and Avery fell asleep in the Ergo, but refused to remain in a comfortable position or even in any position that didn't make her look dead. So we took a couple of sleep/dead pictures and then had to cover her up because she was seriously making people uncomfortable. She woke up really happy, though -- she even told us so. 

  • Hey, blog readers -- how are you? But really, how are you?? The thing is, I am not always the best at showing it, but I really do care about you. Even if we barely know each other, I hope things are well, I really do. Give me an update sometime, in whatever context you prefer. It can even be in a Bitstrip with you holding a hammer. 


Val said...

Oh this cheered me up :). Thanks for posting. I love how you describe everything. I laughed so hard at the sleep/dead pic.

And yeah 18 months is a hard age. I have kind of the opposite problem though. I think of Derrick as being the same age as the twins so I'm always kind of surprised when I realize he;s not even two yet. I have to keep reminding myself that he is still a baby in so many ways and that is why he flips out and gets really emotional at random times.

Alexa Lougee said...

Ella took some steps in sequence a few times at 18 months, but she didn't really walk consistently until 19 months - when Eric was in Mexico (yeah, it was weird for him to come home to a walker). The whole crawling bit was definitely getting old. Holes in allll her pants, wearing the toes out in her shoes, etc. I was super glad when she walked. I figure she held onto crawling for so long because she was confident in it and it got her where she needed faster than those initial "baby steps."

Great to read your update!

Hannah said...

Oh Sarah you are so cute. Your blog is my favorite. I'm so glad you moved all the way from Alaska to my old house. So many of my childhood memories involve you! (THIS is The Green River? THIS is famous?) Please tell me I'm the one who introduced you to Watcher in the Woods? I have never heard of anyone else who knows it. And it still really creeps me out. Anyway, I love how open and honest and funny your blog is! This post made me laugh so much! You have the cutest little family :)

Shantel said...

I feel the same way about social media. I loved your blog post! It's nice to know what is going on. I love Virginia and it makes me happy knowing that you guys are there.

Natalie said...

As always, hilarious. I saw the word ennui and immediately thought of Gilmore Girls, so I was very happy to see that that's where you learned it too. I'm not looking for the 18-month-old stage, times two. Everyone says it's the worst.
Ok so how am I? I'm freakin tired and frustrated that my babies don't go to bed when I want them to. But they're so gosh darn cute that it's ok...

Sue said...

Seriously so funny! Thanks for the laugh! One time we were in DI and Liam had fallen asleep in our Ergo on my back and this random woman who barely spoke English came up to me and picked his head up. She kept trying to tell us it wasn't safe to have him like that, blah blah blah. I eventually switched him to the front just so she would get off my back (see what I did there? hahaha).