Thursday, August 13, 2009

She's not sleep-deprived

I need pharmaceutical help falling asleep at night or else I lie awake thinking about things that went wrong, could potentially go wrong, have the probability to go wrong... You get the idea. Thanks for the freaky insomnia gene, Dad.

My kid??? Here are a few of my favorite pics from the past several weeks.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The first day of Kindergarten

This morning Boo woke up and announced that she was going to quit Kindergarten. (We weren't exactly off to a good start, eh?) Hubby and I explained that going to school is her job now, she's a big girl, and Kindergarten is fun.

She was sullen over breakfast. She posed for pictures in the front yard before telling us that her backpack was choking her. She got in the car. We navigated the hellish first day of school traffic. Unfortunately, Hubby had to stay in the car while Boo and I jumped out to find her line. The sea of children was endless. Boo looked so small and so scared. We finally found her line and followed her teacher toward the building. She looked like a lamb being led to slaughter instead of a bright-eyed Kindergartner about to start a new adventure.

We were fine until it came time to say goodbye at the entrance to her building. No mommies allowed in the building, they told us at Orientation last Friday. That's when the tears started. Then came the sobbing, followed by the screaming and pleading. "Come with me, Mommy!" "Don't make me GOOOOOOOO, Mommy!" "I quit, Mommy. I quit!" Then came the leg lasso. I untangled my baby, I kissed her tearful face & told her, "I love you", and endured the screaming RIGHT IN MY EAR!

I walked away and didn't look back even though I could hear Boo screaming for me. Then came my tears. Why did MY KID - the sweet child who loved daycare and pre-K - have to be the ONE throwing the tantrum? Why didn't she want to go make new friends and have a great time? Why was she so scared? Hubby was waiting in the car with a tissue and a hug. I would have preferred a shot of tequila.

Anyway, I'm sure she's fine now. She probably dried it up as soon as I was out of sight. Still, I'm sad for her. I wanted her to feel excited and proud of herself. But I guess that's why she threw the fit in the first place, right? This kid knows how to push my buttons.

I don't remember much about starting Kindergarten myself. There are pictures of me and my sister in our driveway in California. We both had dorky haircuts. I look a little nervous in one of those photos, but I had a big sister to show me the ropes. What I do remember - what I do know for a fact - is that my Kindergarten teacher thought that I was special and she took great care of me (and my sister before me). She took an active interest in my little life, nurtured me, and gave me a fantastic foundation for learning the rest of my life. I know she loved me because she still has an active interest in my little life. We exchange Christmas cards, she reads my rambling blog, she talks to my parents on occasion, and I bet if she were still teaching, she'd love to have my daughter in her Kindergarten class. (Thank you, Miss Ivey!)

Now about that drink...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The last day of "summer"

Boo starts Kindergarten tomorrow. More on this later...

We've had a busy summer full of life changing events, catching up with old friends, and making new memories together as a family. Where to start???

After the move-in from hell, we've had our hands full getting boxes unpacked and furniture arranged. The house needed A LOT of work. We still have a way to go, but the renovations have stopped until our budget permits more home improvement projects. (I hope our renters in Indy are enjoying our updated kitchen and bathrooms because they're way better than way we have now!) The house is perfect for us - not too big, not too small. We love being in a ranch-style home versus two-stories, and the pool is our best friend as the temps soar above 114 degrees.

Boo got to spend a ton of time with Meme and Pepe, who have wound up being very "hands-on" grandparents. Turns out, they LOVE having Boo visit, and have helped her pass many weeks in the cool pines with trips to the library for story time, playing at the park, meals at McD's, and showing her off around town grocery shopping, going to Pepe's office, and picking up the mail at the post office. Boo has a special relationship with both of them, but, seriously, she has Pepe wrapped around her little pinky finger. While she misses Grandma & Grandpa very much, the relationship she's formed with Meme & Pepe is equally valuable and heartwarming to see.

Hubby got a job! It's not his dream job by any stretch of the imagination, but it's the difference between making ends meet and not. I'm proud of him for finding a gig in this crappy economy, and sticking it out when we all know he's "under-employed". Thanks to the recession, our household income is pretty much one-half of what is was this time a year ago. We've made major adjustments to the way we live, and how we think about money. While it's humbling at times, we know that we are incredibly fortunate that our family has not missed a meal or paying a bill despite both of us getting laid of last year.

As for me, I'm struggling a bit with my career change. I'm used to being one of the sharpest crayons in the box, and I have so much to learn. My job is extremely technical, and every question turns into a mini-research project. I've been told that I'll spend a good year feeling lost and insecure before things start to fall into place. Yippee.

Through it all, we've so enjoyed becoming reacquainted with our old friends. Hubby & I weren't a "couple" for very long when we lived in Arizona, so now we're getting to know friends from both sides of the relationship, and realize we know some amazing, good people. Most of them have children now, and Boo has many pseudo "aunts and uncles". There's comfort in having a sense of community here, and Boo will grow up with these kids.

There are times when I feel "homesick" for my old life, our friends, fireflies & greenery, and the charm of life in the Midwest. But we did a good thing. We did the right thing. Soon enough, this will start to really feel like home.

Oh, and tomorrow when Boo starts Kindergarten, I'm going to cry buckets.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The move-in from hell

In every move, the movee has to expect some collateral damage - a favorite beer mug from college, one of Grandma's wine glasses, a scratch on a piece of furniture. It's upsetting but expected.

This move was totally unexpected. It was hell from start to finish.

DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY - Universal Moving & Storage based in Canoga Park, CA. They will destroy your things, and make you cry like a little girl.

Half of our stuff arrived on Thursday - 3 hours behind the scheduled arrival time. The first thing I spied was my beloved antique gateleg table with a scratch up one entire side. It went downhill from there... The second truck arrived on Friday - 6 hours behind the scheduled arrival time with the smelliest crew ever. Ugh... More damage, more tears, more anger. It's like they took everything we worked our asses off for and hacked it apart with an ax. I was appalled and disgusted, and we will file criminal charges for distruction of personal property if they don't make this right.

I am not holding my breath.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The first one in...

Was Boo- with Auntie K and me keeping a very watchful eye! Swimsuit optional. Ugh, lots of landscaping to do! Nothing like a very blank slate.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ren-OH MY GOODNESS-vations

First we buy it, then we destroy it. This is a look at our great room once the old carpet was ripped out and tile demolished.

To forever document the condition of our pool - formerly known as the swamp - here are some photos to remember the filfth, green sludge, West Nile hazard, and mosquito-eating fish.

So far we've (with a little help from many contractors) pulled up icky carpet, yanked out disgusting appliances, removed old tile, weeded & trimmed the yard, drained and acid washed the pool, repaired drywall, painted several rooms, fixed a broken patio door and a broken garage door, removed the master bathroom vanity, and wondered WHATINTHEHELL were we thinking.

Tasks remain include a fence for the pool, grouting and sealing the new tile, cleaning the remaining carpets, finding a new bathroom vanity, installing a toilet, laying pavers for the hot tub, installing pet doors, replacing the appliances and getting all of our stuff moved in.

Since the savings account is dwindling quickly, I'll just pretend that my fixtures aren't brass, the ceiling fans aren't hideous, my countertops aren't warped, the cabinets aren't oak, and someone else is not enjoying all the hard work we put into our old house.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It's not worth it

I know nothing about David Kellermann, former acting CFO at Freddie Mac, but my eyes welled up with tears when I heard about his suicide. He was the same age as Hubby. He left behind a daughter just a little older than Boo. Sounds like he worked his ass off night and day under incredible pressure piled on by himself and his lifestyle, the needs of a company that (like most) suck the best of them dry before tossing the carcass aside. And let's not forget our ginormous Government with their hands in everything these days, while their heads remain up firmly stuck up their asses.

In my HR days, I spent a lot of time encouraging people to focus on what matters most in life, to do their best at work but not let it take over their well-being; get themselves in a position to feel good about what they're doing so they can take that feeling home with them at the end of the day. If it was killing them inside - move on. Find a greener pasture. Sell the BMW and flip burgers for a while. In my HR days, I rarely practiced what I preached - although my pep talks sounded good. On a much lesser scale, I gave and gave and gave to a company that lost its soul when a new CEO stepped in, only to be handed a pink slip for my efforts. Life's a bitch - but then you have to put it in perspective or it will eat you alive.

But suicide? Come on, dude... pop a Prozac, find a shrink, quit that godforsaken-killing-your-soul-one-second-at-a-time job. Freddie Mac would've thrown you under the bus in a heart beat. Instead, you pink slipped your life, your wife, your own child. It's so tragic. Yet so completely lame and irreversable.

Rest in peace. It totally was not worth it.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Exploring AZ...

This weekend we visited Cave Creek and Carefree, AZ. We saw lots of kitchy western stuff and took a few pics to document the occasion.

The closing on our house was supposed to be this Monday. We are now "delayed" because apparently written AND verbal confirmation of new unemployment isn't enough to satisfy an underwriter. Our new close date is - WHO THE HELL KNOWS. I thought Obama the Great was supposed to make it easier for qualified buyers to get into homes. Not so much. For cripes sake, don't they know we're living with my parents??? 'Nough said.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Easter Sunday at 5000 feet

The elevation is making me SO thirsty and SOOOOOOOOO sleepy. But it doesn't slow Boo down one bit. Here are some pictures of our Easter celebration at the home of a dear family friend. Boo had fun playing with the two other girls, one of whom was just a week younger than her. Our host delighted the girls with an Easter pinata. Genius.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Back home again...

I never imagined I would go quite this long between posts. In my defense, finding the perfect family to rent our house, packing up our belongings & getting them ready for the movers, driving two cars, one kid, three cats & a dog across the country, moving in temporarily with one's parents, house hunting, starting a new job, and going into escrow is all rather time consuming. It's been whirlwind.

Leaving the Midwest was bittersweet. In my final few minutes in our house, I sat in Boo's bedroom and cried. I remember the day Hubby painted her nursery a beautiful shade of lavender while I sat on the floor and watched him. Painstakingly, we decorated that room for our princess. I forgot to take a picture before I packed everything up. The little girl who moved into Boo's room a few weeks later had her parents paint it pink.

It was tough watching Boo go through all the emotions associated with this move. I'm not sure she fully understood, but she knew enough to feel excited, sad, and nervous. As our date to leave came closer to fruition, Giggles started acting out at home. She knew her best friend was leaving and going somewhere "so hot that the sun catches houses on fire".

On Boo's last day at school, I couldn't bear to go. I knew that I would cry in front of her teachers - the women who had loved her and cared for her when I couldn't be there to do it myself. How does a mom find the words to thank the people who taught her daughter lessons about love, life, kindness, and God? At some point in time I will send them a letter because I'm sure they have no idea how blessed I feel that they were such a huge part of Boo's life. The funny thing is, she probably won't remember any of them, but they, like Hubby and me, will always be a part of who she is.

Boo's godparents... gosh... It wasn't good-bye. I know it was "see you soon", but Boo lit up their lives and they hers. And Hubby's parents - wow. When we pulled out of their driveway on the morning we started our cross country drive, I had never seen them cry like that. I felt my heart break for my mother-in-law. Hubby is her only child. Boo is her only grandchild.

So here I sit now in my old childhood bedroom; my piles of "stuff" grating on my mother's nerves. My mother's "a place for everything" mentality grating my nerves... My dog banished to a friend's house until we move into our new place... My husband not knowing how to handle life without a DVR...

Well, we did it. We made it happen.

Life is funny. About eight years ago I sat in the empty bedroom of my first house purchased as a single woman in Phoenix one last time. Hubby wasn't my hubby back then. There was no Boo. I sat in that room and cried as the memories crashed in on me, and then I moved across the country to start a new life. This was the longest, most adventurous round-trip of my whole life.

I love Arizona. I'm so happy to live here once again. I'll be happier when we're in our own house, and Hubby has found a good job, too. And I've learned that you can't go home again - to your parents' house that is, for very long, without driving each other a little bit insane - one snide comment at a time.

Thanks to Mom & Dad for putting up with the chaos. We should close on the first house we put an offer on (in my last post) early next week.