Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I'm hiding.

Currently, I am hiding in my (messy) bedroom. My bed is clean and well made, thus, I am hiding in an oasis of comfort. There are boxes upon boxes and baskets upon baskets. The apartment smells like paint and LMC is in her crib, where she has been for longer than I should tell you... singing. Not napping. Singing. I needed her to nap. Badly.

I need to be packing. Desperately.

Instead, I am sitting on my bed, pretending that this weekend is not two days away and this place is much, much further along than it really is.

In typical Wife fashion, the pantry is completely cleaned out, boxed up and waiting to be moved. One rug is rolled up. The big pieces are almost emp... I take that back, two of the three big pieces .... no, wait. That's not right either.

One large piece is completely empty.
One large piece is almost empty.
One large piece is not at all empty. But the rug underneath it is gone.

Books are piled in laundry baskets. Framed pictures are in bags. Bags are in bags.
A book shelf is empty.
My kitchen cabinets are completely full.
My kitchen counters are cluttered with the items I took out of the heavy pieces.
I should use a four letter word when describing this place.

The guest bathroom is sitting at about... I'll be generous... 80%. The hallway is lined with boxes, all too heavy to move... all will be pushed down to the new apartment. Most of the art is still hanging on the walls.

And LMC is still in her crib singing. Hush, little baby. Sleep. Mommy needs to take a break.

So, here I am. Hiding. The door is closed and I am getting some actual work done-- the stuff that pays the bills-- not the bills or the like. What a way to relax? Heck, I think getting a root canal would be more relaxing than opening that door and looking at the chaos.

It's pretty bad.

Speaking of chaos... you should see LMC's room. Her stool is turned upside down, her chair is in the middle of the room and her crib is askew off any wall. No wonder she can't nap... but, really, all she has to do is close her eyes and it all goes away. She will learn.

We are eating roast beef sandwiches for the rest of the week- lunch and dinner- until we move. Oh, and lots of red wine. lots and lots. Because, how would you move otherwise?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

HIghlights of the new apartment!

I'm in love with all the light!- from the Butler's Pantry facing the  sitting area

- from the sitting area area to the dining area

There is another one of those full length windows on the other side, behind the column -from the hallway

LMC's room... her first DC window!

AND HER SECOND! :) YEAH! MORE LIGHT! (and see that sofa? Yeah, it's ours. Be jealous.)

Three of the FOUR shelves in M-Y closet. Not our closet... M-Y

O-U-R bedroom- Husband's closet is on the right. All to himself. 

The long hallway- from the foyer... FOYER! How exciting!
Bathroom on the right, followed by laundry ROOM then pantry
Hall closet on left, followed by our bedroom then LMC's room 

The den off the foyer, looking down the hallway. The open door is the bathroom.
No windows in here, so this will be my office.

Our walk-in pantry, complete with ice packs. 

I'm kinda obsessed with the windows and column

Same view, just no patio. I can handle this.

Butler's Pantry. - taken from column
Kinda worthless without shelves- they won't be worthless once we get in here!

Kitchen is the same. 

the LONG hallway with LMC's room on the right
(see that puddle of light streaming from her door? Oh, I love that)

The Spanish tile view from the kitchen counter. 

It's awesome, right? You're jealous, right? You should be. (but, you won't be if I told you how much it cost) We are elated about it! Come on next week, I'm ready to start schlepping some things over, busting out my painting sticks and making this place home!

New address: #702

Also, I have already ordered fabric for the curtains. There will be a two-tone green stripe on the big windows in the dining/sitting area with a COW PRINT on the full length windows (very excited). In LMC's room, we're doing yellow and white stripes with black polka dots on the eight foot window and little giraffes on the full length window. Once I finish and hang those then will I attempt to do something for our room. It's what the office is for when I am not working!

We're also going to make our first attempt at a curtain wire system for the windows as they are too large for normal rods and I am too cheap for those big fancy ones my SIL has. We'll see how it goes and I will certainly keep you posted!

Friday, February 24, 2012

390 more square feet

We are moving-- and we are really excited. We aren't excited about the ha-ha funny increase in rent, but are definitely excited about the new apartment. Two doors up starting next week with an extra 390 square feet for us to stretch our legs.

Two bedrooms!
Two bathrooms!
A den!
A dining area!
A living area!
A walk-in pantry!
Two closets in the master bedroom!
Lots of windows!
A washer and dryer room!
Six closets!
A Butler's Pantry!

Pictures to come... The Cagles relocate next week!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Our right now ONE

How do you know? As a parent when your  little one finds their "One" ... how do you know? Do you know it before they know it? Do they know before you? Are there many false starts? Are there actually many "ones"? Do those false starts make us better parents and them better members of society- as both an adult and child? Are those children able to make those decisions (even as adults)? How do you let go and let them decide?

Am I ready for this?

Lucky for me, I don't have to be. YET.

One day, maybe the future SIL will be like Mr. Mobile and take her to the bench in the garden by her family's church.
Maybe he'll be like LMC's daddy and ask at the beach.
Maybe he'll be like LMC's uncle and ask on her birthday with the family all around.
Maybe this future son-in-law of mine will branch out on his own and take her to a park... or the river... or an open field with wild flowers.
Maybe they'll run off like Uncle Shaw and Aunt Bev.

And, maybe he'll get down on one knee and confess his undying love to my precious daughter. And maybe she'll say yes- scared out of her wits- but knowing that this man will be the beginning of her family, and an extension of ours.

But, right now- all we have to think about are making memories with our current "one" and knowing that whoever that "One" will be one day has big navy velcro newbies to fill as An-Ew is pretty good stock. Whoever An-Ew's MIL will be, she is sitting out there clueless- with no idea what kind of wonderful man awaits, what I am sure certain is a very precious little lady.

Until then though, he is all ours! And I'm totally cool with that.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Spring Break for thirty-somethings

Lesson #1...

When antiquing with the Prom Queen, cute flats are not what should be on these feet. 

Lesson #2...
When antiquing with the Prom Queen, we will be traipsing through mud, pillaging through barns, and otherwise getting dirty. Dress appropriately.

Lesson #3...
When antiquing with the Prom Queen, teach your 2.5 year old ahead of time that it is okay to water the garden outside of a garden as long as you are actually in a garden. (because the portable gardens will be beyond icky and smell like old lady fertilizer)


The Prom Queen & SCSH are my two most favorite ladies in the whole wide world. They are cut from a special cloth and are just wonderful. No other adjectives needed.

Last month, Prom Queen called me with this hair-brained idea that we should go antiquing. Always up for an adventure, I signed on. She researched. She called. She planned. I was along for the ride. Friday we woke up bright and early, got our work done, packed and after spending the morning in New Market- my first voyage into Maryland- we head south (or east? west? whatever) to Fredrick, MD where we spent almost three hours perusing through an emporium.... with a two year old who was an absolute angel. Not exaggerating. She was so well behaved that at the end of the day we walked into a toy store and I said to LMC, "Pick out any one toy you want. You have been such a good girl, you deserve a treat."

I asked the girl behind the counter where some cool toys were and she said, "Our green toys are over there. They are made from 100% recycled materials and are poly-onic and bio-something, made from reusable energy and mother Earth loves us all," .... "Over there are our cooperative toys."

"Cooperative? What's that mean?"

"You know- cooperative." (I raise my eyebrows) "Cooperative" (she continues to my raised eyebrows, still trying to wrap my head around green toys being cool) "Cooperative means that the children work together and there are no winners and losers. Freubian says that children who are exposed to losing a game have a .06% chance of becoming somewhat depressed in their preteen years. These cooperative games prevent the exposure of being in second place." (she lost me)

My head nodding, I ask, "Tell ya what... do you have musical instruments? Where are they?"

Now, she raised her eyebrows and with a flick of her wrist, points me to a dusty corner in the back.

LMC picked out a xylophone and calls it her "good girl zy-lo-phone" which makes my heart melt.

Day #2 started out parking in a field and heading to Chartreuse & Co. Only opened the third weekend of the month, it is not something that is to be missed. Up one mishappened aisle and down another, we looked, gossiped, laughed, and moved forward. The Prom Queen found some pretty amazing things as her eye for antiques is more honed than mine. I found a salt box- which I actually put salt in- and 4 hemstitched Irish linen napkins (shown in her left hand below) that have since been cleansed of their nasty old stains, yellowed edges, and black dots. They are washed and pressed and sitting in my drawer.

This guy almost came home with me. Prom Queen and I both saw the beauty of the very shallow drawers (you know that joy that comes from finding the forgotten shirt? and the tears that follow when it no longer fits?). Husband received a text message with a picture. He hesitated, I decided to pass. 

And, if I were in college and doing this blog... this would be my background, because it is really true.

LMC, Prom Queen, and I packed up from Chartreuse & Co, off roared through the mud to get back to the highway (in my Z-71, 4 wheel drive. Those Mercedes that got stuck in the mud on the way out were SOL). On a whim we stopped at a pink and black spotted building that said Antiques on the side. Actually called, "On A Whim" - we found cute old ladies that actually like children, always a surprise when antiquing.

After On A Whim, we crossed over the Potomac and headed into the rolling hills of Virginia, stopping in Leesburg and eating lunch at an old bank. We wound around the little town, stopping here and there and making tiny purchases along the way. 

We did not buy any scrabble pieces, because, really? Why sell scrabble pieces for a dollar a piece? I guess if someone wants to sell, than someone else must want to buy?

Since I have not driven at night in almost two years, Prom Queen volunteered to drive back into the city and I was eternally grateful. Once we got into town, I pulled out my camera and went to clicking away.

We were both surprised at how much fun we had, but when you get Prom Queen and Wife together, there does not have be to be a destination, getting there is always the most fun.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

That's what I call a meltdown...

See that leaf on the right??

It's kinda hard to see... but, here's the problem... the wind caught it.

It took to riding the breeze. LMC was not a fan.

When I say "Not a fan," I mean she was seriously hacked that there was a leaf in her way that had taken taken to being airborne. Feet stomping, screams bellowed, she takes off running, tears streaming down those sad little cheeks.

Yeah for outings? 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Has it really been a week?

Well, It's been a busy 6 days- not that it is an excuse. 

I went to my first sewing lesson.
I have made two dresses since.

This one was the first-- It was like getting married and seeing my first born for the first time all wrapped into one. 
And, check out the detail! :) I rule.

I cooked my first Sunday dinner.

I made mustard greens for Husband. He loved them. I didn't try them. Too green for me.
I called Mom and she promised to come up in June to teach me how to blanch butter beans so we can be stockpiled this winter.

Mustard greens. Ew.
But, I did make parsnips in lieu of mashed taters. YUM!
And isn't it a pretty bird? Husband & I decided that we are making chickens until we (he) figures out how to carve one perfectly-- just like Daddy does.
I learned not to follow Martha Stewart's ideas on what gravy is. She's an idiot.
Don't be deceived, I can make a mean gravy. Mama taught me. Foolish me thought I could follow a Martha Stewart original. Foolish, Foolish me. It actually hit the trash.
We went to the Baltimore Aquarium.

super cool, right? I took over 400 pictures and erased all but 87! I freaking love my camera.

It snowed. A lot. But, nothing stuck. Sadly.

Last minute before the light turned green. But, can't you imagine it without those cars? It coulda been great.

LMC got sick... and stayed that way. She was pretty cracked out on fever, Tylenol, and Motrin.

I made chili. I hate chili. Rephrase: I hateD chili. Further rephrase: I still hate chili, unless it is made to my exact specifications. Remember, I'm a picky eater.

Before you cast an opinion- even Husband said it was the best chili he has ever had. Ready for this? BUTTERNUT SQUASH chili with sausage. Yes, please.

I started writing a book, thanks to the inspiration of my very funny friend, Princess Flibbertigibbet. I seriously doubt anything will come of it, actually, I have to finish the damn thing first. BUT- once it's done, I'll see what I want to do with it. Currently, it is over 12,000 words. It's The Story, but with a whole lot more detail about Prom Queen, The Boy, Tractor, Chicken--renamed Poulet, Copper-- renamed Constable, oh, and of course Husband.  There is even a story that involves making out and chap stick. Some names have been changed- some haven't. Martha is still Martha, but Brother is Brother instead of Brad. 

It's got a ways to go and I have some serious cleaning up to do once the first draft is complete.... speaking of cleaning... the apartment... yeah, it beckons... ugh. Where's my laundress? 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Laundress of the House

Though a Home Ec degree hangs in Augusta, GA with my name on it, Domestic Goddess I am not. I am just starting to get the hang of this coupon business and have had more successes than failures in the sewing of buttons. They aren’t pretty, but they aren’t going anywhere, either.
Our bed is so well-made bed that my mother would question the authenticity as to who actually made it. Her daughter never made her bed. The throw pillows seem to fall into place over the coverlet.
The table will always be set to die for with forks and spoons in the assigned spots, exactly measured of equal distance from the plate- with a tape measurer. (thank you, Mama) Walls can be painted, pictures hung, and linens ironed- all with this left hand dominance. I’m actually getting a handle of vacuuming. 
There are sewing lessons in my future. Sewing! Who knew? 
But- there is a lacking expertise- laundry. Don’t get me wrong, I get it- laundry in, water on, squirt the soap, close the lid. Evacuate wet laundry to dryer, empty lint bin, start again. Remove, fold, and eventually put away. 
The challenge is there as I have slowly and painfully discovered.
Why the different settings? What does permanent press mean? How can dirty laundry be pressed permanently in the washing machine- and not the dryer? Apparently when the delicate cycle is used, the tub is filled with water, drained and then refilled, before being drained and buzzed at for completion. Can’t I just do that in the sink? It would save both time and money.
Hot water? Cold water? warm water?  Honestly. Am I a Starbucks laundress where my indecisiveness can suddenly make ten choices for one cup of coffee- or in this case- a load of laundry? Google has revealed that whites should be washed in hot water-- which leads to another question, why the different temperatures? And why the separation? Other websites have said that colors should be washed in hot and whites should be washed in cold. Is warm for the indecisive... or the white stripe shirts? 
Is it all separate but equal?
Which leads me to something we have plenty of in this house, stains. Blood stains from the hospital, ketchup stains from the chicken fingers, blood stains from the chef and her newly sharpened knives, dirt stains from the playground, finger paint stains from school, grease stains from the butter spattering, epoxy stains from the boat building... well, those hit the trash because they are scratchy, but the drift has been made. How do they come out ? I squirt the SHOUT! and toss ‘em in... again and again to reveal little girl clothes withering away with a bright orange juice stain on the front, or worse, a gardening stain on the back. 
My grandmother could get any stain out of anything. would work and work and work with any stain until it came out. Very impressive. All of her laundry looked brand new. I resorted to calling my Dottie the other day to ask her about stains. She just laughed and did her best to domesticate me. It was, sadly, a lost cause. 
Back in college... when I worked at the laundromat... yeah, I did... Taji would spray brake cleaner on the really big stains to meet their demise. I did it and it just made the stain bigger. 
I am lucky if all my socks make it out of the dryer. Which leads me to the dryer. Sometimes, the load is perfect... and then that favorite shirt gets dried one time too many and white dots appear all over everything where the item has started pilling (thank you, Wikipedia).
Domesticity is not my strong suit. I’m trying, Lawdy knows I am trying- but sometimes, I get the idea that God gets bored and looks through our roof and says, “Hey, Pete- let’s see what happens when we make all the detergent disappear and LMC won’t stop throwing up...” a Samantha twitch of the nose and there it is... with a husband on call.
Just an FYI- when that happens, washing in just OxiClean does NOT do the trick. The blankets come out electrified and not clean. 
Just my little domestic tip for you for today. Coming from a Home Ec major- you should take heed. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Hot Child in the City

What do you do when your little one has a fever? One of those pathetic days where they are curled up in Mama's bed, drinking orange juice and watching Mickey Mouse... what do you do?

When the day is going to be 55 and gorgeous? And there is a future of healthier days in sight?

You jack those little ones up on Tylenol & Motrin, grab your best buds who are equally feverish and go to the zoo. That's what you do... at least in the city.

And slowly, very... very slowly you start to see the fever-y whines diminish at the discovery of walls to climb... 

And little brother tries to do everything big brother does, but his height hinders him from climbing walls and leaping off in a single bound....

So, Little Brother takes a page from Big Brother's book... and plays hard to get with LMC... which is cool, because LMC learned about this hard-to-get business, too.

We keep them fully hydrated with lots of orange juice and pretend that those red cheeks are from running around and NOT from the fever that has broken.

 Runny noses are wiped with the pile of Kleenexes that we brought in our equally equipped jump bags. Medicine is administered on a similar time table. Slowly, very slowly, the goods kick in and our happy children have emerged from the fevered cocoon that encapsulated them.

They stopped their viticulture activities and decided it be much more fun to be farmers.

So this mom could get a lesson from that mom about photography.

And this mom could get all kids in lesson in alpacas and what they can produce (of course, this mom had no idea what an alpaca looked like... but that mom did, so we are pretty great together)

Big Brother got brave enough to pat the cow.... while his buddy, LMC screamed bloody murder and ran behind this mom to say, "Pig scare me. Donkey scare me. Cow MOOOOOOOO very scary."

So, she looked from afar and told that Big Brother, "AN-EW, Be cawefulllll. Cow MOOOOO scary!"

Shortly before the fevers set back in, This Mom, That Mom and three babies piled in the car with three carseats to head back across town from a great morning at the zoo.

That's what you do when your babies have fevers-- because they are going to go stir crazy (and you will, too)- and as we have always said, "It's always better when we're together."