Sunday, September 23, 2012

In Case There Was Any Doubt. . .

. . .that moms totally rock, I am sitting in Starbucks with both of my kids (because we have no internet at home until we move), watching a video for work that I need to stream via the internet, while also downloading a file and blogging. Contrast this to my husband, who is laying at home in bed, where he has been all day. Now, before you start feeling all sorry for him because he had surgery on Friday, note that he felt so good last night that he insisted on having a dozen people over for a farewell dinner. He is doing just fine, but "resting up" today. Did I do that after either of MY recent surgeries? Hell, no. Because moms have it going on. . .ALL of the time!

We're Getting There

Our things have all been packed up and moved. We are left with just our suitcases now. Thankfully this place came furnished, so we are able to stay here until we head back to the U.S. at the end of the week. The move went reasonably smoothly, even though I felt like I had not done enough beforehand. I think it helped that the moving truck broke down, so they were here for three shorter days instead of two longer ones. It gave me a bit of extra time to weed out the last bits of stuff rather than just stuff it in boxes to deal with on the other end. It was a little complicated to wrangle both kids and supervise the movers for two of the three days while T. was in the hospital having his surgery, but we managed to make it work.

His surgery went well. He's a bit sore and a bit tired, but doing okay. The real test will be tomorrow, when I have to go back to work. I wanted to hire a nanny to come in for the week, but he didn't want to do that. He's got friends who will help him during the day, but he can't really lift anything. To complicate things, we shipped the double stroller to the U.S. this week. That means Miss M must walk to the park if they are to get there, which she is not a big fan of. There are not many toys left, so the park is an important option for keeping her amused and happy!

The rain has also returned here, which is kind of a bummer. I was hoping to spend today, our last weekend day, at one of our favorite outdoor spots in the city, but we can't do it in the rain. It makes me sad that we won't be able to hang out there again, as we have so many happy memories there. I really was hoping to visit one last time. It looks like it's raining too hard to spend the afternoon at the park, as well. We already went to an indoor play gym is morning, so it looks like I'll have to conjure up some art projects for this afternoon. It's currently nap time, which will hopefully last quite a while. There are still many hour to fill, and it's really hard without any toys!!!

. I am ready to leave this place. The last few months have exhausted me. I feel like my life has been controlled by my endless to-do lists, and it will be good to put that aspect of things behind us. I'm ready to move on to the next adventure. I'm looking forward to spending time in the U.S., and to seeing family and friends. There are still so many things that we have not done and seen here, but we've done enough. I've enjoyed the time, more or less. Maybe some day we'll be back, and there will still be adventures to be had here. I like knowing that.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

We Interrupt Our Packing For This Very Important Annoucement

The best relationships, I think, are hatched when two very different people with core shared values unite. T. and I very much meet this mold, with one very important exception that is most felt when moving: we are both messy. Not in a dirty house sense or even a disorganized house sense, but in a stick-it-in-the-back-of-the-closet-and-deal-with-it-later sense. When forced to actually deal with the items in question, we diverge in our approach. T. is a "toss everything and we'll replace it if we later learn we need it," and I am a "save it for a rainy day, just in case, because why spend money twice?" Neither approach is really ideal when you are moving halfway around the world, because a) it costs money to ship things, but b) they might not have XYZ in the country you are moving to, so if you throw it out and find you need it, you might be SOL.

As I was sorting, I just found a black suit jacket that is really too big for me. It's longer than the current style, and boxier, because I bought it. . .hmmm, well some time ago, anyway. But still, I moved it to my "send to South America pile." Almost as an afterthought, I checked the pockets, and found a note. It was clearly from the last time I wore the jacket. I bought the jacket right after I graduated from grad school (in the late '90's), just before a big interview. I was out of time, and at the last store I could go to, and desperately in need of an "interview suit". The store had nothing in my size that was appropriate for an interview, so I ended up with a skirt that was too tight around the waist and a jacket that was too big. . .this jacket. When I unfolded the note, I realized it was from 1999. I have not worn the jacket since 1999. It's in mint condition, because it's never really fit and so I've never really worn it. It's moved from house to house with me since then. It was remarkably freeing to move it to my "donate" pile. I have at least four other black suits, complete with jackets that actually fit and look reasonably stylish. I clearly don't need this one!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Things On My Mind

I have three blog posts partially drafted in my head, but time is short and my to-do lists are long, so here's the rundown:

--I've been thinking a lot about people who create artificial lives for themselves on Facebook and other social media sites. I find it annoying, and then I find myself tempted to one-up them, and then I just get annoyed at myself. I manage to resist the temptation, but it's hard. I know FB is the highlight reel of life, and self-selected at that, but it just makes me feel competitive. It's like a perverse form of grown-up high school.

--The movers come a week from yesterday. I still have a lot to do. I feel like I accomplish a huge amount every day, but there is still a huge amount left to do every day. I'm exhausted and ready to be done with moving and finishing a job at the same time.

--Today we discovered that my husband needs to have surgery. The question is, can it wait until we are moved, which won't be for another couple of months? We are traveling until then. Should it wait? Can we squeeze it in while visiting family in the U.S.? What will the recovery be like? Who will take care of the kids? Can we leave for the U.S. earlier than expected and have it done there? If we have it done here, will he be able to fly home as scheduled, or do we need to stay here for longer? And so on. And that's without even freaking out about the actual surgery itself. Oh, and I told him MONTHS ago he needed to see a doctor. Sigh. Husbands!

I guess I should probably get back to one of the million things I am supposed to be doing.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Getting There

The movers come in 2.5 weeks. Aieeeeeee. . . I'm actually doing okay, organizationally speaking. I have my rooms all laid out according to where the contents are heading. Large guest room=U.S.; small guest room=luggage to take with us; guest bathroom=South America; front of garage=donations to charity; whatever is left in every other room after I'm done sorting=South America. Once you have the system down, it actually works pretty well. Of course, it is much easier to move when all you have to do is pile, rather than pack.

I finally feel like my toddler airplane kit is in good shape, too. Miss M loves Curious George, and for $32 on Ama.zon I found 32 half hour episodes. They are each about 30 minutes, so I consider this quite a deal!!! She also loves, and I just discovered (I know, where have I been) that there are like four of them out there. For another $20 I nabbed a 3 movie set. We only have the first movie, and it was purchased for a couple of dollars at a flea market and is so scratched that it won't play on her portable DVD player (it only plays on the one in our living room), so this works out great.

We also play "I Spy" a lot when we are in the car and on trains, so I thought this Peek-A-Boo game was brilliant. I can call out something for her to find, and then she has to find it in the bag. I got the "boy" version rather than the "girl" one, because I thought the hidden items were more interesting. Don't even get me started on the crappy gender divisions of toys. I'm still pissed about the gender discriminating Potato Heads.

I also found some time to finally download some things on to the Leap.pad my mother sent over. She had sent a $20 gift card, and games were buy 3 get one free, so for $45 I got an even dozen games, videos, books, etc. I played with it for a few minutes, and it all seemed pretty cool. Of course, I haven't bought new batteries for it yet, and it died just as she was starting in with one of the new things I downloaded. The stupid thing does not come with rechargeable batteries, if you can believe it. In this day and age, I find that ridiculous. It has an a/c adaptor that you can buy separately, but who wants their 2 year old playing with something that is plugged into the wall? Yeesh. Epic fail, LeapCompany. But anyway, hopefully the games, etc. will be fun and keep her busy on the plane, along with the rest of my stash.

Once I finish sorting, I need to get down into the weeds on a million other things: can we still get four seats together if we upgrade our airline seats with miles? What is our baggage allowance? Are our particular car seats allowed on board? Has the car arrived in America yet, and what time does the dealership close? And so on, and so on.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Because The Impending International Move Isn't Enough Drama

A family member has behaved in a very disappointing way in recent months. It is someone for whom we have done a lot and provided many opportunities over the last few years. Despite this, I have watched her treat my little family, her mother, and her siblings quite poorly at times over this last year, sometimes at the same time as going well out of her way for her friends, boyfriend and boyfriend's family. It has been very sad to see, and it's only gotten worse in recent weeks.

I know that deep down she knows that her behavior has been unacceptable. I think that she knows that she has done some things that are very wrong, although I don't think she recognizes how wrong they are. Perhaps someday she will wake up and realize that she has a decent family who mostly does right by her. Perhaps someday she will see her actions for what they are, and stop treating her family like dirt. Perhaps someday she will realize that friends and boyfriends come and go, but family is forever.

Until then, I am choosing not to dwell on it. I am cleaning up the physical mess she left behind. I am ignoring the figurative mess, the lies, the bad behavior, and god help me, the misappropriation. I think it's all rotten, but that's on her. I am focusing instead on the positive intentions and actions on our part. It hasn't always been easy (or inexpensive) to do the things that we did for her, but we saw that we had a chance to provide her with opportunities she would otherwise not have in life, and we wanted to do that, and I'm proud that we did it, despite the ultimate outcome. And I'll be thinking of this email that her mother sent me yesterday:

"I will never be able to thank you [and T] enough for [all that you have done for her]. It changed the direction of her life considerably, all for the good!!!!"

Saturday, September 1, 2012

This Is Why People Don't Like To Move

I am weary in my bones. Why did mother nature make teething coincide with an infant learning to turn over? I am not getting any sleep. When we hit this stage with Miss M, I thought the screaming and crying that ensued was because we had left her in the bassinet for too long, and it was the newness of the crib that was causing the disturbance. She would throw a crying fit when she woke herself up turning over, and it was awful. In desperation, we began letting her sleep with us, as it was the only way I got any sleep. At that point, I was in training for my then-new job, in a warm room, and it was sometimes a bit dull, and the sleeplessness was killing me.

Anticipating this happening again, T. insisted on transitioning SB to the crib months ago, to head off this problem. Only. . .that wasn't the problem. SB learned to turn over, teething struck us, and she who has never been a crier now shrieks like a wounded banshee in the middle of the night when she wakes up. I mean, this kid has NEVER cried in the middle of the night when she wakes up. NEVER, EVER. But good lord, when she wakes now she causes a ruckus that sounds like the catfight from hell. Or maybe foxes mating. (Have you ever heard foxes mating? We live in a city teeming with foxes, and I assure you that it is the worst noise ever.) What the hell?!?!

My solution, given how desperate I am for sleep, has once again been to let her sleep with us. Sure enough, she sleeps like a baby. :) Not a peep out of her all night. Sigh. It's not what I wanted. If anyone has the solution to the teething/turning over/screeching problem, I would love to hear it, as I really do sleep better without a child in my bed (no surprise).

In other news, the movers come in THREE WEEKS. Shit. I am a long way from where I need to be, in terms of sorting and organizing. If only we weren't moving twice. I am coping with this difficulty by segregating out our things into different rooms. Room A has our luggage, and the things we need imminently. These will be all of the clothes and toys that we have for the first 6 weeks or so that we are back in the U.S. Today I have to pull out the 9 month sized clothing for SB, who is about to go up a size. That should take us through the next 10 weeks, I hope.

Room B has all of the stuff that we will have with us in the U.S. while I am there for some training. We will ship a small amount of stuff, but not a ton, since it will all have to be reshipped to South America when we go next summer. In this shipment, I need all of the clothes and toys the kids will need during this time. For SB, that essentially means everything from 9 months to 18 months, or maybe even 24 months. She will be about 16 months when we move to South America, and she's growing much faster than Miss M. I think I'm just going to pack everything. I don't want to have to buy new clothes when we already have so many. Ditto for age-apprpriate toys. Plus, I don't want the move to be traumatic for Miss M, so I want to be sure we have enough of her things that she doesn't notice that many of them are missing. Oh, and T and I need clothes, too, and Christmas decorations, and cookbooks, etc., etc.

The rest of the house will all be packed up and shipped directly to South America, and we won't see any of it for a year. Needless to say, its important to choose wisely!!!

This is why my lists have lists. And now I'm off to sort bins of toys into "US" and "SA" piles.