Monday, February 23, 2015


I feel like lately everything has been an exercise in taking one step forward, two steps back.  We FINALLY arranged a timetable for our move back to the U.S., and then found a house to rent when we move back that is actually within our price range. And then, although my old job had agreed to the timetable and my new employer had also agreed to the timetable, I found out today that the timetable has been smashed to bits.  Current employer has decided they want me to stay until July.  New employer wants me there in May.  Yes, that sound you hear is my head exploding.

And honestly, you know what I am most worried about?  The house.  We found a PERFECT house.  I put the word out to people I know that we were looking for a place to live.  A friend of a friend who had a special circumstance and needed just the right people to rent their house gave me a call, and decided that we are those people who can deal with their special circumstance.  In exchange for taking care of some things for them, they are offering us their house at a fraction of market value.  Literally, I was praying that we would find something suitable for X dollars.  They proposed that we pay X dollars--EXACTLY the amount I had been praying about.  I mean, I wasn't even looking in that neighborhood because it is well out of our price range.  And it is zoned for a great school, and it has a yard, and it has plenty of room inside for all of us plus a guest room and maybe an office, and it's in a great neighborhood.  Honestly, I don't know if you believe in fate or kismet or whatever, but this was some serious alignment of the planets.  But now, with our arrival date in question, I am worried we are going to lose it.

Then there is the school issue.  We are playing the school lottery.  You have to prove residency by May 1.  I don't know if we'll be back by then.  If we aren't, and can't figure something out, then we would lose our spots, if we get in somewhere.

So now, we have to consider whether it might be best, between the house issue and the school issue, for my husband to go back to the U.S. before me.  Needless to say, I am not enamored with this idea. It means being a single mother during the most stressful part of the next few months:  the packing up and moving part.  And flying with the kids and six pieces of luggage and three carry-ons and two car/booster seats by myself, potentially.

I felt so much peace when I thought the schedule was worked out and we had a house.  And now, I feel like I am standing at the bottom of a mountain again, and need to start climbing.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Starting Up While Preparing to Leave

It is a weird feeling to have the girls starting the school year, while simultaneously orchestrating our departure.  I am getting materials lists (a donation of a ream of paper for a 2 year old who is leaving in three months?  That seems a bit much.) and planning on what to sell, all at the same time.

So far, things are going. . .well?  Miss M doesn't seem overly happy, but I think it's because we were quite lax over break, and her school is quite strict.  She got in trouble today when she hit a girl who had kicked her three times.  We are not, for the record, in favor of hitting, but the other child wasn't punished at all, which sort of bothers me.  I know sometimes the teachers are extra-strict with the American kids, because they are seen as undisciplined/spoiled (probably true, but doesn't justify unequal application of the rules, in my book).  Anyway, she was distraught that the music teacher made her sit out music as punishment, and then on top of it all, her best friend J wouldn't speak to her because she hit the other girl, so she had to apologize to both of them.  Which, in my mind, is a good lesson.  Actions have consequences beyond just the classroom teacher's punishment.  But, I also find the teacher's lack of equal treatment a bit vexing.  Miss M isn't a tattletale, but she also will readily admit what has transpired and why she misbehaved.  She has no guilt about street justice, and is rather matter of fact about it.  I recall all too well the unfairness of unequally applied rules during my childhood.  But anyway, we talked about the fact we expect her to use words, not hit, and I think she is fine with it all.

The teacher sent a note home asking if our school account is working.  I've been checking it religiously, without a single message appearing, so apparently it is not.  I can only imagine what she wants to send me a message about.  I tried to talk to her a few days ago at a school event, and she completely walked away from me, twice. 

SB seems to be doing well in preschool.  When I ask her how her day was, she earnestly reports that she "didn't hit anyone today in my school."  Which makes her a step ahead of her older sister on days like today.  The school inquired last week if we mind if they send her home in wet diapers.  It seems she has told them that only mommy, daddy, and our nanny can change her diaper, and pitches a giant fit if anyone there tries to do it.  For some reason, I find this endearing.  She doesn't like to have her diaper changed even by us (but is still steadfastly refusing to use the potty), but the fact she trusts only us for this most disliked of tasks is a testament to her tough, independent little personality.

And now she has woken up and come toddling out, asking that I come in and sleep in her bed with her "more and more and more."  And so I am off, to get her settled.  And I haven't even gotten to the part where I was going to write about preparing to leave.  But more on that soon.

Monday, February 2, 2015

#MicroblogMonday: Dramatic Reenactment Edition

When the girls met me at the door tonight when I got home for work, SB wanted to know if I had brought her any packages.  She was quite irritated to discover that I had not.  And then she immediately launched into a story of how she had hit a kid with her "caballo" today in class (think broomsticks with horse heads--the playspace at the school has a bunch of them).  The child apparently hit her back with HIS "caballo," and then....she very dramatically threw herself on the ground, like a wounded bird with the most pathetic of expressions.  "and then I did this."  No word, though on the feedback from the teacher.  In between bits of acting it out (she went through it twice), Miss M was interjecting with pieces of the story.  She and SB were obviously talking about it earlier. I still don't know if her initial act was accidental, but it made for entertaining fodder nonetheless.