Saturday, March 31, 2012

Colonization has commenced.

We are hoping SS entertains herself while we unload.

A cup of java before facing the long day ahead.

SS is actually enjoying her third cup of guava (guayaba to us), which reminded her of Puerto Rico, she remembers Abuela got her hooked on the guayaba piña combo.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Just checked in.

SS is officially a laid back Southern Californian.

Harris Ranch lunch stop.

We are taking it easy, why rush? No matter how hard we try, we are not in control. P is still exhausted, wants a good night's rest before tackling unloading the truck. We have another five hours to drive, then a nice soak in a hot tub at the hotel, followed by well deserved rest. Since our inconsiderate lease agent kept changing our appointment, we are returning the favor. We hope he enjoys getting up early to work on a Saturday. Yeah, we are evil that way. On a positive note, no rain, it's warm, and we see color all around us. It's good to be on our way back home.

Let's roll!

A very comfortable SS.

JJ was left almost hanging out of the bed.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Last act.

SS retrieving her lucky coins. Thanks to Budget's incompetence we are way behind schedule. Then again, with three of us dragging sick, it's surprising we are leaving at all. The plan is to drive until we drop. Like Mami said, nos vamos con Dios.

Still on the job supervising

Almost done loading.

And to think I wanted a smaller truck. JJ is lucky to be alive when he stated that women are not good at spatial relationships. We do need him for now, but he better watch his back once we have unloaded. By the way, SS is extremely spatially oriented, and his mother is the only one in the family to drive a huge truck while towing a car. So there!

Double uh oh!

I called JJ around 9:30 yesterday morning, because I was worried, I had not received a text from him letting me know he was on his way. P dismissed my concern, he was sure JJ was well on his way, and just forgot to text. When JJ answered it was obvious I woke him, and he sounded groggy and congested as expected. JJ, SS and I are always congested in the mornings, no matter how well we are doing health wise. JJ apologized for over sleeping, and said he would be on his way shortly. But when he arrived I immediately realized that JJ was not well. Had I known he was ill, I would have told him to stay home, get well, and P and I would have handled the move. JJ said that he went to work sick the previous day, and that it was no big deal, because he has done that many times before. Then when he came home "my body gave up, I hurt all over, and I just crashed." JJ is an insomniac, so going to bet at 9:00 p.m. is way out of the norm. What are the odds of the three of us crashing like that? Maybe it is coincidence, or maybe we all are equally stressed out.

At around noon P called to get a status on our truck and car trailer. Ms. Budget dumb ass rep told P that the trailer we reserved was there this morning, but she rented it to someone who was going to Eureka "but I knew he'll be back by 4." WTF? We had a reservation for 8 a.m., we had a freaking schedule. Then when she called to let us know it was available, she mentioned that it was damaged, the hydraulic jack was not working. But it was no big deal, because we could use our own jack to unhitch the trailer. We so wanted to strangle the living daylights out the freaking moron. This set us back a whole day and we were not happy campers. We made our third call to Budget, and expect compensation.

JJ reassured us that he was feeling fine, but it was obvious he was in discomfort. He hardly touched his dinner, that definitely raised red flags with us. JJ brought the Star Wars prequels for SS's viewing enjoyment. We needed her entertained and out of our way, while we unhitched the trailer, then worked on getting the truck in our small parking area. A while back P purchased a glow in the dark sword for SS. Don't know why, but it ended in our freezer. It became SS's light saber, and she had a blast fighting along with the characters in the movie.

P and JJ did a lot, given how late we started. At around eleven JJ's breathing was concerning me, and he felt dizzy and nauseous. But he did not want to slow down, because we had so much to do. At the same time SS told me it was time for her to go to sleep in her sleeping bag. I asked JJ to lie next to her in the mattress, and that we would wake him up when we needed him. He was out in no time, snoring away, just like SS.

This has been an awfully stressful move, and can't wait to be at our destination. Needless to say we have not had time to shop for a refrigerator. When we were at Costco we walked by a small refrigerator, the kind to use in dorms, or in hotel rooms. I jokingly told P that we would have to end up with one of those until we had the time to shop. P thought it was a good idea, a good sign that he is exhausted. He noted that we have a freezer, all we need a refrigerator for is milk, juice and a few other things. I asked him what we were going to do with the mini fridge once we buy a full size one. P had it covered, it will be used upstairs, gee, G0d forbid we make the long trek downstairs for a glass of water. We'll see if he meant it.

Going to try to get some sleep. Tomorrow is going to be even more brutal.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Uh oh.

By the time we arrived home last night I was running a fever, and ached all over. P made me lay down, and I can't believe I slept. The one night when I shouldn't have, when it was important that I remain up toiling away, that's the night I hit the wall and sleep. Now it's P's turn, he woke up running a fever and ached all over. It does not surprise me, because he has been doing way too much for far too long. His body crashing on him to make him slow down is a natural response. He has been unable to get out of bed, and that is not like my P. We are praying that SS and JJ do not succumb to exhaustion as well.

Because when it rains it pours, we are regretting our decision to rent with Budget. Yesterday afternoon I received a call, and was informed that they did not have a car trailer, the one I reserved a week and a half ago. Funny that she did not mention anything when we were there Monday. This morning she called again and stated they would have the trailer late this afternoon. That is yet another inconvenience, we'll have to return halfway through loading, to get the darn trailer. But wait, there's more. The truck we reserved was ready, but the tank was empty and they did not have the money to fuel it. She asked us to pay for our rental in cash, and that would solve the problem. I was stunned, seriously. Wished we had rented with U-Haul, even though it would have cost a lot more. No freaking way would we pay cash. Every time we have rented a vehicle we have received it with a full tank. It's not our responsibility and they better figure out a way to make it work. One would think a business that size would have an account for things such as fuel. There has to be something very wrong with that place if they do not have a corporate account.

I better get off my butt and get going.

Look behind the smiling burrito and you'll see a very sick P.

Ready for her last day at school.

I would not have believed if I was not there. Our littlest Hulk hauled those two boys. Sure her feet were on the floor, not the pedals, but each boy weights a lot more than SS. Color me impressed.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


That word best describes our current situation. I took advantage of my insomnia (along with the pain), and spent P's and SS's sleeping hours packing and cleaning. I was able to hang on long enough to crash next to them, and ask P to please take SS to school. Although those hours were productive I was knackered. I woke up from an unusual deep sleep by SS's frantic cries, our Baby hit the wall. No, our baby slammed into the wall, she could not care less that we are moving to a new house, she could not care less that we were going on an adventure. SS did not want to go to school, she's done with the constant changes around her. P had to rip her off me, and it truly sucked to watch her so upset. At school SS cried and would not let go off her Baba, Ms. C had to intervene and coax her into the classroom. I missed all the fun, because I had passed out as soon as they left the house. After three hours sleep I felt guilty and decided to get up and become useful. My body had other plans, and back down I went. I still have no idea how I was able to get up and function.

We got quite a bit accomplished, but not as much as we should have. By now everything should have been packed. P busted his tail once again, and his weight loss is apparent. He's lost about twenty pounds over the last two months. It's his natural reaction to stress. I wish I had his problem, because those twenty pounds found their way to me. I am an emotional eater, sucks. As much as we were behind, P still took time out to make me take breaks. More like yell at me to sit the &*%# down. This is our third move, and if our marriage survives this one, then we should be able to survive SS's adolescence.

SS was very happy to see us this afternoon. She was sitting next to one of her teachers when we arrived. P asked the teacher how she was doing, "I was doing fine, until you got here." HUH? That was a strange response, then she clarified, "I'm happy for you guys, but it's really difficult for us." P predicted that SS's teachers were going to be sad, I just thought he was being biased. The teacher thought is was SS's last day, and she was all smiles when P informed her she had an extra day. Right now I'm swamped, but once we get to our new home I'm going to work on SS's blog, that way her teachers and classmates can keep in touch. SS's teacher was very excited about following SS's journey. I did warn her that it would be at least a week from Thursday before we post.

P has declared our kitchen officially closed, so we went for dinner. Our smiling Sula turned into everything-makes-me-cry Sula. She is hyper sensitive and we have yet to leave. P is already regretting his decision to agree to start work next Monday. A move like this is difficult under such a tight deadline. Bygones, this is it, we have to suck it up and just do it.

How off is SS? For the first time ever, we had to remind her to mind her manners during dinner. She was loud, we were seating in the bar area, with two TVs blaring a basketball game, people all around us chatting, regular bar noise, and SS's voice rose above all that mayhem. When it was time to wash her hands, SS wailed when her tummy "hit" (it merely brushed) the edge of the sink. P confirmed how loud SS cried, he actually heard her, something seemingly impossible, given the distance and noise level. When SS's pepperoni pizza arrived we were relieved, a nice distraction. SS happily munched on our fries and onion rings while her pie cooled off. Then she took one bite and quickly spit it out, it was too hot. It really wasn't, but SS fell apart. We know we have to be patient, this is SS's fourth significant life change, and she is only five. We keep reassuring her that forever Mamas and Babas never leave.

We can't wait for JJ to arrive tomorrow. The plan was for him to come after work (8 p.m.) tonight, unless it was raining. JJ does not care for driving in inclement weather, especially at night. Is he really my child? JJ is a very cautious driver, unlike his mother. I think when we get SS's karyotype, we should get a DNA test on JJ, because I think he was switched at birth. I was there, fully conscious when he was born. But he was taken away to the nursery shortly after, and come to think of it, looked different when I saw him next. Ironically, the week before JJ's birth, the hospital actually had that nightmare scenario. If I recall correctly the parents were home when the blunder was discovered.

Sorry about the rambling, too tired to think coherently. Tomorrow morning we pick up the truck at 8:00 a.m. Then the really fun part begins. The plan is to leave Thursday morning as early as possible. Driving the entire way in one day might not be so wise. SS is the most unstable variable, we need to work around her needs. We are probably going to revise our plan to drive through, then spend Thursday night in a hotel in our new town. Maybe we should drive eight hours Thursday, then the remaining four on Friday. We have an appointment at 1:00 p.m. to sign the lease. As long as we are there by that time, we should be fine. The down side is that we won't be able to begin unloading until at least 3:00 p.m. It's going to be a pain in the rear end to start so late. We are grateful that JJ is helping, but also feel guilty. Work, come here and load, drive 12 hours, unload, then catch a 6:00 a.m. flight Sunday morning. JJ is going to leave his car at the airport here, then a three hour drive to his home. He and P are going to be beyond exhausted next Monday morning at work.

We still have a refrigerator to purchase, and it must be done before we leave. UGH.

One day.....

P found this mask that he purchased his first Halloween with us. SS took one look at him and ran out of the garage.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Super Guy goes to school.

Although we have tried to keep SS's schedule as consistent as possible, we are glad we sent her to school today. P usually drives her, but this morning he was out, I don't know when it is the last time P was in bed past 6:00 a.m. The guy was completely worn out. I took Super Guy to school, and it was funny how her friends were so happy to see SS wearing her mask and cape. They are well aware of her love of super heroes, and were so cute when complimenting SS, and vying for her attention. I took SS's picture with Ms. T and Ms. C, they both opted for SS keeping her costume on.

After taking the mask and cape from SS, I grabbed coffee, came home, left said coffee for P, and went to run some errands. By the time I returned P was up, caffeinated and plowing through our room. I tackled SS's, being careful to separate the clothes that she wore in China. Those we are keeping for her. We had a nice lunch, ran some errands, then tiredness hit us again. P crashed for about an hour, but I was in too much pain to fall asleep. After SS came home we tackled the garage and made quite a bit of headway. It was a good reminder of why sending SS to school was not only good for her but for us. It's difficult to get things done with SS constantly underfoot, and picking up everything we box. We rewarded ourselves by watching The Voice. We never watched American Idol, for me, it was the humiliation factor that turned me off. But us three are really TV fans. It's cool to watch SS rooting for her favorites.

One of the things we needed to do today was reconsider the truck we reserved. We wondered if we really needed the largest truck. Taking in consideration we are towing a car, it would be nice to go with a smaller truck. Since I will be, for the third time, driving that behemoth, I was hoping to go smaller. P disagreed, noting that if we miscalculated, it would be a witch to unload, get another truck and reload. Sure, easy for him to argue that point when he gets to drive a normal size car.

How did I become the designated moving truck driver? I was bamboozled almost 15 years ago. When we moved from southern California, the plan was for P and I to take turns. We had the longest U Haul, and were towing a car. When we made it to the halfway point (Harris Ranch) P admitted that he was nervous about driving, and that since I had driven half way, really it should not be that difficult to complete the drive. One thing I have learned is that if you are scared of something, when your confidence is not there, it is a recipe for disaster. OK, I was scared too, but someone had to do it, and JJ was only fourteen. I was really scared out of my mind when we hit 101, with the stinking narrow, winding roads. JJ chose to drive with me, and that is saying a lot, because he can't stand my driving. I knew it took a lot for him to sit next to me in such a big vehicle. It was a really nice thing for a teenager to do for his Mom. We made it safely, with a slight detour when we were stopped by the CHP. We had the tow that only holds the front wheels, and our car was fish tailing something awful. Apparently they had been receiving phone calls for miles about our seemingly dangerous situation. Getting a suitable tow in the middle of nowhere cost us quite a few hours.

When we planned the move here, P was once again the voice of reason, and suggested I do the driving. After all, if I drove on 101, the drive here, eerily similar, would be a piece of cake. Plus this time we were not towing a car. Once again I was behind the wheel, still scared, but we had to get here somehow. This time P took umbrage when I mentioned that this would be my last time behind the wheel. He rewrote history and claimed that he was only afraid of driving on winding roads, freeways were not a problem. One problem with that, why was I the one driving first, on nice, straight, easy, breezy I-5? Gotcha! P was very offended and stated he would drive this time. But here's the thing, almost fifteen years ago I made that long drive with JJ by my side. I think it's neat that he'd be next to me on our drive back home. If JJ was not joining us, I'd thrown P under the bus, you know, return the favor.

P was still offering to drive until we went to take a look at the truck we reserved, and he almost lost his lunch. He thought there was no way that was the right size, and darn, that's without towing a car. No sh*t Sherlock, it's the same size we have used twice before. I'm taking my chances with JJ, who gallantly offered to drive for his injured mother. Also, if I am going to be all fired up condemning traditional gender roles, then I better show my daughter that I mean it. Still, this is the last time. And P sweetened the deal by offering Knott's/Soak City season passes. I think my selflessness deserves D*sney season passes. :)

Two days people...

According to SS this is Mama on a helicopter.

Weather here.

Weather there, looking forward to there, because packing and driving in the rain sucks big time.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

We think we can, we think we can, we...

P has busted his tail the past two days. SS has been letting us know that all the hustling and bustling is unsettling her. Given the circumstances she is doing wonderful, but she is needier. Last night she asked to cuddle with me on the sofa. As soon as her head hit my chest, she was out. Her breathing was deep, SS was completely gone for the night. We are pretty good at gauging when we can safely place SS in her bed. Well, in this case it was SS's sleeping bag in the living room. When I began to shift SS held on to me for dear life, and frantically cried "Don't leave me, please don't leave me, I'm scared." Poor Baby's heart was racing, I just soothed her, held her tight, and waited over an hour to move her. I had a very numb arm, but worth the discomfort. We are hoping that being at school, where things are consistent, and JJ's arrival will boost SS's confidence. Today she had to make sure that P was really upstairs. Not even hearing his voice was sufficient to convince SS. Maybe that is why Super Guy emerged today.

I don't know why P is so sold on that Siri gal, because we have had our very own nag since July 8, 2008. SS reminded me about her mask and cape waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyy before stuck up Siri used her annoying voice to make me aware. After getting our caped crusader her outfit, we dropped by H0me Dep0t, to look at a refrigerator. SS insisted on taking off her rain jacket, and wearing her mask and cape. Sure, who am I to deny her the pleasure to stick out like a sore thumb. I really admire SS's "I am who I am, step off and let me be" attitude. At her age I would have been hiding behind Mami and Papi, not flaunting my male identified mask and cape.

SS was OK with the refrigerator Baba had scouted, but she is definitely a more bells and whistles type of gal. SS is a staunch size does matter supporter. Next to our stainless steel target was a very similar model, but in black. SS asked me if I liked the refrigerator Baba picked, I said it was OK. SS then scrunched her nose and stated "Nah, I like the black one better." Since they were practically the same, I asked SS why; "Because is matches Darth Vader Mama!" Great, now we are making major appliance decisions based on what super hero our daughter is fancying at the moment. Sorry SS, we out voted you, stainless steel it is.

When we returned home SS made herself busy building a Lego helicopter and pilot. She still had to see me, but it allowed me the time to work in the kitchen. It also allowed P some breathing room from SS's constant checking. When SS was done she retrieved some of her other Lego figures, because her helicopter guy needed friends. SS even threw in a tiny Buzz into the mixture. SS was really into her imaginary play, making different voices for each figure. Then the following exchange had me wondering what the heck we are teaching this child:

Figure 1: Let's have a quiet dinner.
Figure 2: I can't even remember.
Figure 1: I love you so much.
Figure 2: I love you too.

Three days...

Say what???!!! OMFG (as in freaking), really? Only three days? There's no place like home, there's no place like home. Shoot, it did not work. Oh well, we are winding down, getting ready to snuggle in bed, watch The Amazing Race, and hopefully an early bedtime.

It's a bird! It's a plane!

It's Super Guy! Meet SS's alter ego as of less than an hour ago. Things are going slow, but steady. SS is going to school tomorrow, Tuesday and Wednesday. That is when the real progress will occur.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Someone took over my phone.

The idea was to give SS one of our old phones, to be used as an iTouch. Should have known better, SS has no use for hand me downs. She took over my phone, and does not seem in a hurry to give it back. On the picture SS was looking for Rolling in the Deep.

P wanted to give my phone to JJ, and add him to our phone plan. The problem is that AT&T sucks in JJ's area. I'll just hang on to it in case he decides to join us in beautiful southern California.

I have hardly seen my husband today. He's been cleaning upstairs, while I have been keeping SS out of his hair. The rest of the time he has devoted his attention to Siri. It's only been three days, but I'm really beginning to resent that slut.

Five days...

Friday, March 23, 2012

Baba's night out.

Today was P's last day at work. He still did the insane work Thursday until 5 p.m., then back at work at 1:00 a.m. this morning. P wanted to get together with some coworkers for one last time, and they arranged to meet at a local bar. I prepared SS in advance, because we were going to drop off P, then a friend would drive him home. Apparently SS did not believe me when I explained what a guy's night out meant. She took umbrage to her Baba's audacity of wanting to spend time with anyone else. Yeah, we created this beautiful monster. Baba feeling needlessly guilty suggested that we go shopping for Katy Perry's CD (one of SS's favorites now). I guess sneaking around with his wife took a toll on him.

We went to two stores and struck out. I did not know that it would be so difficult to find the darn CD. By the second strike out SS began to shed tears. I hated myself for telling her that she was getting one. I did not know where to go next because now days I buy my music Online. But I wanted SS to know what a CD is, so stupid me was stumped. I texted P, he consulted with the guys and off to Best Buy we went. SS was a freaking absolute riot there. I have no idea what got into her, but she had people cracking up. After SS had convinced her spineless Mama that Baba would want her to have two CDs (ask JJ, I really used to have a spine, and was known to use the word no) we took a look at the refrigerators. SS's concept of a refrigerator is the plain, no frills, beige one she sees everyday. She floored me when she went to the first one she liked and proceeded to tell me that the water and ice came from the door. SS had a pregnant woman in stitches when she put her arms up and loudly declared, "There's so many Mama, I've never seen such a thing in my life!" Seriously, where does she get that stuff? I stopped to look at a 32" TV and SS dismissed me with a wave of her hand. She said, "Nah, too small Mama." I will eventually get a karyotype and be vindicated, she has to have a Y chromosome.

But SS was not done, she really let it rip when we were paying for the CDs. SS was itching to get her hands on the CDs. The cashier asked me if I wanted a bag, and I declined, stating that SS just wanted to hold them. The cashier took a look at our seemingly innocent child, and in a baby sing song voice said "So you wanna hold your Mommy's CDs?" Heh, I did not know what SS was going to say, but I had a feeling it was going to be good. Our little angel sneered at the cashier and very seriously stated, "They are MINE." The cashier was surprised and said "You like Katy Perry?" SS answered by belting out Firework . By then the cashier was not the only one laughing, but so were the people waiting behind us. The cashier asked SS who else she liked, SS promptly responded Adele and started singing Rolling in the Deep . It's like my kid was on meth, and I worried about the night ahead.

SS is listening to her CD as I write this post. Thankfully she is not climbing the walls, and not acting like Robin Williams on crack. I must admit that it is odd (disturbing?) to watch my daughter coloring and singing "You make me feel, like I'm in a teenage dream, the way you turn me on..." Coincidentally, JJ put my mind at ease. We were driving home the last time he visited and talking about 80's music. I told him that I introduced SS to The Village People on our drive home from So CA. I popped in the CD, and listened to SS groove to Can't Stop the Music. From there we ended discussing how many of the songs in the CD were about places were a good old boy could find other good old boys (trying to keep this a family friendly blog). JJ listened to those songs and many more, and things like that flew over his head. We are crossing our fingers that the same happens with SS.

Talking about JJ's less than conventional upbringing, I remember a talk we had about his eclectic music taste, and the hell I got for allowing him to listen to "adult songs." A very good friend was appalled when she realized that JJ was a Sheena Easton fan. JJ loved Morning Train, and Sugar Walls. There was a controversy about that song, written by Prince. Some thought that it was about cocaine, others thought that it alluded to the female genitalia. JJ was shocked to hear this, really surprised. He thought the song was about candy! Nope, not kidding, the boy thought Sheena Easton had a sweet tooth. Even funnier, the woman is (was?) anorexic thin, JJ had seen her picture on the CD, and he told me that he wondered how she could be rail thin, when she ate so much candy. Gotta hand it to our kids, they crack us up, no matter how old they are. We are incredibly blessed. That is, until they tee us off, and we gripe about them. :).

6 days...

SS you are perfect just the way you are, don't change a thing. We never know what will strike your fancy next, and truly look forward to whatever seemingly odd choice you will make. Good thing your parents and big brother have sick minds. We just love tagging along for the ride.

SS carried this picture around all day. Such a funky kid.

All smiles until she realized that a guy's night out does not include the wife and immensely entitled child.

Baba's spoiled pride and joy proudly showing off her new acquisitions.

Someone can't wait for Halloween, she is already planning her costume. When P saw the video, he was scared. The man is not looking forward to a light saber fight with a child who admires a man who cut his own son's hand. Can't say I blame him, but better him than me.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I have been sneaking around.

I've been sneaking around with a hot guy for the past two weeks, and don't have an ounce of guilt or regret. Not only is he intelligent, handsome, funny, but he plans to whisk me away to a place I have missed for almost 15 years. Can't blame a girl for taking a chance on him. We have been meeting for lunch, just the two of us; making sure my night owl daughter goes to bed early, and just hang out. Dude even volunteers to go on boring errands with me, as long as it is just the two of us. Any good mother would feel guilty about sneaking around on her child, but I'm just fine with it. In a week we are returning to the days when SS will be omnipresent. Sounds selfish, but also necessary.

The moving planning and doing is going slow in my opinion. P differs, he thinks we are in good shape to leave on schedule. I have had a couple of obstacles that have been unnecessary, and thus, annoying as heck. I went Online to pay or cable/Internet bill and schedule an end to our service. That is when I found out my debit card was not going through. After an eternity on hold I was informed that my account was closed two days prior, not by me, but by one of Chase's geniuses.I explained that we are moving and I needed a card ASAP. The woman had the gall to tell me I'd have to wait 10 business days (HELLO we won't be here!), then her supervisor stated that the account could not be reactivated after 2 days. The story then changed and my card was deactivated 16 days ago. After that came questions "from information in public records" to verify my identity. Now that was a hoot.

The first question had me at a lost, I did not recognize any of the agencies mentioned. Then I was asked which of three addresses I had been associated with in the past. The "right" answer was P's address his first year in college. Really people? I am surprised I remembered. Then I was asked to identify where in Texas my son owns property. Huh? JJ has a very distinctive name if spelled properly, the name provided (and I asked for the spelling more than once) was not my child. My last name is not very common, but not rare among Spanish descendants. Except that JJ has my and P's last names, just like SS. They had the wrong guy, but in their eyes, I was the one in the wrong. P made it better by going to the bank with me, and restraining me from going ballistic on them. The nice teller could sense my frustration (and capacity for inflicting harm) and in fifteen minutes my card was miraculously reactivated. Seriously, phone lady expected me to write checks all the way to our new home? The only reason we have checks is because SS's school accepts only checks.

P decided to treat me to lunch today (we had yummy Thai yesterday), but took a detour to upgrade our phones. That took forever, but he is a short timer, so he was not worried about how long he was gone from work. I drove home after lunch and tried to set my new, shiny, overly hyped phone. It died, the mother trucker, after just one phone call JUST DIED. What is it with me and my bad freaking luck? I called Apple's tech support and the nice gentleman (whom I could barely understand) cheerfully told me that my phone was probably locked during the set up. He cheerfully announced that he would unlock my phone for the dirt cheap price of $69.99! I might have used some colorful language. I had the freaking phone for one whole hour. I just have the worst luck ever, except when it comes to my kids. Drove to store, store did not have my phone in black, and there's no way I would be caught with a white one. Drive to other store (arranged by original store), where I'm informed returns can only happen at the point of sale (POS, very fitting I think). Long story short the manager recalled a positive experience with me, made an exception, and I had only wasted three hours of my very busy day. That running around usually would not bother me, but when I'm in pain, well, I get kind of grouchy.

P has been in a rather cheerful mood the past two weeks. It's no surprise that when I told him my "poor me, first my card, now my phone" tale of woes, he could not have been less sympathetic. That is one of the things that I admire and also infuriate me about the guy. He does not mollify just because it is expected. He empathized with the chronic pain, but also reminded me that if I followed doctor's instructions (dude's a dreamer), and plain common sense (Have we met?), I would not be in as much pain. P also reminded me that we are in a pretty good place right now. Pretty stressful but also hopeful. The thing is to get through this move with the least amount of disruption to SS (HAH!).

7 days till...

It's good to find many SS's "I'm doing my normal thing" moments, amid the chaos that is our place

P playing with learning his new toy how to operate his new mode of communication, purchased for the sole purpose of communicating with his daughter. Because as we all know, SS gets so little face time with her Baba. Still, they are so freaking cute.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Taking a break to celebrate.

Taking a break from moving talk to celebrate JJ's birthday. This year SS was very well aware of her brother's special day. She even took time from milking her cough episode to sing and abbreviated version of happy birthday. We are sorry that you have to be at work so early on your birthday. We will make it up to you when we see you next week. JJ, we are very proud of you, we love you, and can't wait to see you. Thanks for being such an amazing big brother, and for putting up with your senile parents. It seems that we might be making that trip after all. Great news to have on this happy month.

Eight days till M day...

I was excited to find two of JJ's soccer cards. Funny that he is doing that same face SS has been doing lately.

At six stud muffin JJ was fifty inches tall and fifty six pounds. We doubt that SS is going to grow ten and three quarters inches and gain fourteen pounds to catch up with her brother.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

She has the cough.

SS did not go to school today, because our baby was up coughing last night. even after a good dose of med, it took almost an hour for the coughing to stop. We were not surprised when SS complained of a tummy ache. At a point she whined "I have the cough." We did not have the heart to wake her up for school, we allowed her to get he rest she needed. I did not get much done today, my focus was on making SS comfortable, and trying to get her to eat, and drink. She ate very little, but it's understandable.

SS is doing amazingly well at asking questions, instead of making statements. SS still throws her Yoda speak here and there. Heck, old habits are hard to eradicate overnight. One thing she can't help is still saying "I need that _____." That drink, that spoon, that fork, etc. We can't get her to say a spoon, a fork, a blanket, whatever. Then there's "the cough," "the tummy ache." Hopefully it won't affect her assessment for the immersion program.

9 days til M day...

Another year, another school picture where SS looks like the perfect little feminine girl. We are so happy that she is flawed, that she loves super heroes, that she dreams, and uses her imagination. We are proud that she is not swayed by what others want her to be. Come on, she is into Darth Vader! Now that takes guts.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Pugilistic phenom.

Shamrock shake, breakfast of champions.

Once fortified by minty green goodness, SS proceeded to wipe the floor with her Baba. I have yet to figure out how to operate the Wii, yet my daughter is kicking butt.

10 days til M day...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Rough day.

We had such a wonderful day yesterday. We made progress towards our move, that was a great psychological boost. We also received amazing news regarding a friend's health scare. The word benign had us exhaling in relief, and made me tear up. Then we had the crap fest that was today. I was able to talk to three very supportive individuals, and received the same advise. P is royally pissed, but I know that he is hurt. I wish I could say I'm surprised, nah, not at all. I am tired though, disgusted that this is even an issue. I was not offended, and it sucks that I wasn't, because it means that it was expected. Right now my focus is on getting ready for the next chapter in our lives. SS is an amazing creature, she is loved by so many. She is not worth less because she is adopted, we hurt for her just like we would for a bio child. If only the rest the world would feel the same. Bottom line is I refuse to waste my precious time and energy ruminating about this. I reached out but did not get the courtesy of a call back. Like JJ said "FUCK IT!"

11 days til M day...

Friday, March 16, 2012

Sleep deprived, yet surprisingly productive.

SS did not go to bed until 4:27 a.m. Being the Energizer Bunny, she was up at 8:00 a.m. What could keep such a young child up so late? SS was not sick, she was in a Leg0/InnoTAB haze. We allowed SS to open her gifts as soon as she came home yesterday, thinking that she would have them out of her system by bedtime. Man, this is not our first rodeo, yet we managed to underestimate our daughter's ability to hyper focus. Is not like we have had years of experience with her creepily similar older brother. I desperately needed to sleep, but SS kept herself busy, without a care about the time.

I could not ask P for help, because this is his crazy Friday. He works until 5 or 6 in the afternoon on Thursday, goes to be at 7:oo p.m., then goes to work at 1:00 a.m. I don't think I will be missing his crazy Fridays. P comes home, eats lunch, then naps for a few hours. Not today, because we planned on getting rid of a few big items. P asked his coworker and friend M,(aka Michelle‘s eye candy) to help, because I can't lift more than 10 pounds. Unlike the insomniac he married, P does not do well when he is sleep deprived, but today he absolutely amazed me. We are definitely running on "we are finally returning home" adrenaline.

Since I could not sleep, at 3:00 a.m. I set up utilities for our new home, and reserved the moving truck. Gotta love the Internet, gone are the days of standing in line, or waiting 40 minutes while listening to crappy elevator music when moving. By that time SS was done with her Leg0s and had moved on to obsessing about her new InnoTAB game. Abuela and Abuelo, rest assured that your money did not go to waste, SS LOVES her InnoTAB and we have a feeling that it will be heavily used on the long drive south. The tab can play movies, MP3s, games (we only allow SS to have educational games), and has three art programs. By the time SS said "Mama, I'm done, I have had enough," I was beyond tired. What happens when I'm at that point? I can't sleep. UGH.

When P came home I was FUBR'd. The plan was to dispose of our gas grill, the sleeper portion of the sectional, coffee and end tables, and patio table. I had reserved a small U H@aul truck for the task. I was a tad sad to see the grill go to the county dump. I asked P to inquire if anyone at work wanted it. I bought that grill as a Father's day gift to P; just like I had given him a much less expensive one as his first Father's day gift almost 15 years ago. P was adamant that the grill had weathered too much time outdoors, under inclement weather and was not salvageable.

When M arrived he was met by a smiling SS, who thinks of him the same way as her Aunt Michelle. :) When he saw the grill he told P that he had friends who could really use it, and asked if it was OK to call them. M's friends are students, struggling financially, and in need of the basics. Not only did they want the grill, but the sofa, coffee/end tables, and the patio table (JJ is taking the chairs). P was surprised at how happy and appreciative they were. Those guys saved us between $70 to $100 in dump fees, they were doing us a favor. I am glad that the grill is going to get more use. It was not that expensive (only paid about $400), but it held sentimental value. I know I will be getting a better one for P in the future. And now we know better, our next grill is going to be stored in the garage during the rainy season. It felt good to be rid of those items.

13 days til M day...

SS's first Leg0 figure, her Baba.

SS built a car for herself and Baba.

So cute that the SS figure is playing with a tire. Where does she get this stuff from?

SS would look at the instruction booklet, then meticulously look at the diagram on the bucket, to discern what she needed. That diagram was overwhelming to us, no idea how SS found what she needed.

SS was very demanding about me taking pictures of her masterpieces.

When SS stated that she was done with the Leg0s for the night I was ecstatic. Silly me, it only meant that SS was ready to burn hours playing with her InnoTAB. While happy that she loves her gift from the Abus', I was less than enthusiastic, I really needed to sleep.

Waiting at the U H@ul rental place. SS just can't get enough of her C@rs games, story and art activities.

13 days til M day...