Wish I was there . .
My passport is ready and I can be packed in minutes.

31 May 2006

I'm sorry I asked . . .

Since it appears to be 80s day at Mausi and Kim's, I was reminded of one of those moments when you wonder who in hell you have married. Many years ago, PerfectHusband was looking at old photos of me as a kid - all bad 80s hair and braces. We were laughing at the various fluorescent outfits when I innocently asked "You didn't have any 80s outfits?" PH then confessed that he owned and wore a red Michael Jackson jacket from Thriller. I couldn't even speak. What does one say when one discovers they are married to a man who wanted to dress like Michael Jackson? There aren't words . . .

(I feel the need to add that in no way to we want to endorse anything Michael Jackson as not guilty by a jury certainly doesn't mean innocent.)

30 May 2006

It's like a heatwave . . .

It's hot. I know - welcome to Florida, but ironically this Floridian hates the heat. I become irritable and just plain depressed when the temperature starts reaching 90 plus in May. It is a reminder that I have at least four months of hell to sweat through. It seems as though the soaring temperatures also effect KK and Hew. It's only 9:00 AM but the fighting started on our sweaty morning walk and has continued non-stop. Is it too early for a glass of wine?

On the positive side, it is only two weeks before I board a plane for the Northeast . . . with two children under five . . .alone. While I am very excited to leave, the thought of the flight alone with KK and Hew is daunting. The last time I flew alone with them both, KK was two and on my lap and I was five months pregnant with Hew (I should say that KK was on what remained of my lap). The flight was full and I ended up in a row with two female snow-birds who were annoyed that any children had even been allowed on their flight. They continued to talk loudly about me as though I could not hear them. I returned their kindness by becoming violently ill as we landed and vomiting into one of those horrid little bags. I can only hope that this trip goes slightly better, but deep down I know it will be worse.

PerfectHusband declares I am a pessimist. Easy for him to say - he will be flying up later to join us. From there, he and I will fly sans children to France and then he will fly home alone. I will go back to have a week of Auntie Hexe camp where I will repay my sister by taking her two children as well as my own for a week. After that, I will fly home . . .with two children still under five . . . alone. Prayers and good thought are encouraged!

Now, once I am there the fun begins. Cooler weather, even rain possibly, family non-stop, lobster, clams, mussels, Whippers Sandwiches, Humpty Dumpty potato chips, cold lakes for swimming, dirt roads, hills, mountains, strawberry season, the farm, sleeping with open windows, boat rides . . .my idea of summer.

28 May 2006

Here goes nothing

Yes, I have managed to take a photo with my new camera. Now, I'm going to try to upload it here - wish me luck . . .

IT WORKED!!! I know for most of you this is no big deal, but I am technologically challenged. PerfectHusband is the one who always does this stuff. Little does he know, that while he is napping with the kids, I am the first one to upload a picture to the computer. Now off to learn how to crop photos - God, I'm brilliant (at least for the moment)!

25 May 2006

The Digital Age

Part of my whining about MIL visit is because PH and I were going to enter the digital age this weekend. Yes, we have finally broken down and bought a digital camera. We were going to be total geeks this weekend and read the entire instruction manual so we were prepared for our upcoming trip.

YES, I did say TRIP!!!! As I do not start work until the end of July, I am taking KK and Hew up North to see family. Starting praying for me now as I will be flying alone with them. The exciting part is that my sister and I are doing a kid swap, wherein she and Grammie take my children for nine days and then I take her children (my nieces, ages four and six) for a week. Although this sounds like torture as I will be by myself flying with two children and will at some point have four children - all under seven, it will be well worth it. (insert drum roll here) PH and I are going to Paris to visit his brother and then on to Gerardmer, France. Gerardmer is approximately seventy miles south of Strasbourg, very close to Germany and Switzerland. We will be spending a day in Basel, Switzerland as it is so close, and we will also see the Prologue of Le Tour de France in Strasbourg.

So, here comes the favor, my fellow bloggers . . .Please send me any suggestions, tips, or memories of your time in any of these areas. In reality, Paris will be mostly visiting family so we don't expect to get a lot done. In Gerardmer, we will be on our own. We chose the area because of the hiking, lakes, and Vosges mountains. We also liked the idea of being able to cross so easily into Germany and Switzerland for a meal or an afternoon. We love trying local restaurants - places the average tourist wouldn't find without assistance. Please help!

23 May 2006

The Daily Grind

So far today: went to gym, picked up bagels, four loads of laundry, changed two diapers and forced potty use three times, took kids for walk, went to bank, went to grocery store, art project with scissor and glue, out for bike ride, cleaned rooms, did dishes twice, made lunch, and read story. What an exciting life I lead. . .

22 May 2006

Desperate Housewives Finale lands PerfectHusband in the Dog House

First, I promise not to disclose any plotlines of the season finale of Desperate Housewives and ruin the end for those who have not yet watched it. I'd give it a 7/10 - good but not great, except for Lynette (Felicity Huffman) who I adore and gets a 10/10.

With that disclaimer said . . . PerfectHusband and I were watching the finale together. At some point, based loosely on the show we began having one of those hypothetical conversations you can only have with your spouse. The conversations that begin with "what if" and usually end in disaster.

Hexe [during commercial, of course!]: So what if I died tonight - you wouldn't get remarried?

PH [mindlessly *clicking during commercials]: You're not going to die tonight.

Hexe [more insistent]: I could. Even if I die in the next ten years, I know you'll get remarried.

PH [still mindlessly *clicking]: How can you know?

Hexe: Because you're a man [ie: you need someone to grocery shop, cook, clean, do laundry, and find KK's damn stuffed rabbit everyday]. You'd get lonely.

PH [still mindless]: I'D GET A DOG!

Hexe [turns and stares at PH who is still mindlessly *clicking]: So, I could be replaced by a DOG!

PH [hesitatingly, suddenly realizing something is amiss]: I never said a DOG could replace you. [accusingly as though this is my fault] You said I'd be lonely.

Hexe [eyes bulging out]: I'd be dead and you'd be lonely, but you could fulfill that loneliness with a DOG?!!!!

PH [wildly looking around room for escape]: Oh, the shows back on. I think I should stop talking now.

Little too late, Mr. Not-So-PerfectHusband.

*clicking - repeatedly changing channels for no apparent reason

21 May 2006

Don't you just love a sale . . .

Usually this phase is followed by mad shopping for cute clothes and shoes, but alas, I'm talking about wood flooring. Back in January, PerfectHusband and I decided it was time to replace the once white, now beige, carpet in our home. This carpet was installed by the originally owners in 1992. They were older and had no children. The carpet was lovely when we bought the house. Six years and two kids later, the carpet can no longer be considered white or lovely.

We received three estimates for having wood flooring installed and quickly decided that we could install it ourselves for much less. After much research, we considered ordering wood wholesale off the internet, but our fear of underestimating the amount needed and not being able to find matching wood caused us to order small quantities of wood from the local Home Depot. We chose Springdale Plank Butterscotch.

We started with one bedroom with the help of a brother-in-law. In April, my parents' visit to their grandchildren included installing wood flooring in the living room and dining room (my father said he wasn't visiting next year if the floor wasn't done). My Mother's Day weekend was spent on my knees with PerfectHusband (get your mind out of the gutter!). We finished the kitchen late Saturday night. At this point, we are out of flooring again.

This morning while I went grocery shopping with KK, PerfectHusband took Hew to Home Depot to order more wood. I knew something was up when Hew came running in yelling, "Guess what?" Unfortunately, he couldn't remember what to tell me after "Guess what?". PerfectHusband came in to say he ordered flooring for the rest of the rooms as it was 20% off this weekend. Never did I think that a wood flooring sale would cause me such excitement - God, I'm old.

19 May 2006

Motherhood - the hardest job you'll ever love

I am a lucky woman. By the time I gave birth the KK and Hew, we were in a position to allow me to stay home full time - only I didn't. After six month maternity leaves, I went back to work part time after each child. I rationalized that the extra money allowed us to begin college savings and to travel home twice (and sometimes three times) a year to see family.

Right now with the career change, I am home full time until July and then I will go back to work. I love the time with my children, but I am reminded of how terrible I am as a stay-at-home-mom. I can't mange my children like I do my workload - they refuse to fall into order and it drives me crazy. There are great moments - like this morning when we made purple play-dough. And then all hell breaks loose when someone touches someone else toy, someone touches/hit/kicks the other, or someone sticks the purple playdough in the bedsheets. Most days I can laugh or take it in stride, but some days I get angry and frustrated and I feel like a failure.

Before our children were born, PerfectHusband and I agreed we would never discipline our children with a spanking. Although we had both been spanked and we didn't believe it hurt us, we believed that you can't teach a child to behavior by hitting. And that was all well and good until the kids learned the word NO. Normally, we use the time-out stool or we take away a favorite toy, but we have spanked our children (I feel the need to explain and say that we use a hand to the butt and have never left a mark). After I always feel as though I have failed at some Perfect Mommy standard that I will never meet.

I feel guilty that I don't want to be home full time - I don't want my children raised by nanny or daycare, but sometimes I need a break. My family is 1500 miles away and have their own lives. Work is my break - I'm in control there. Most days I am fine with my choice to work - I rationalize that I gave up full time work, changed jobs, and then careers to better fit my family life, yet I wonder is that enough? How much do I have to give up? And how horrible am I that sometimes I feel resentful?

18 May 2006

17 May 2006

Did I just say that?

Yesterday's conversation with KK (age 4) and Hew (age 2) in the car driving home from pre-school:

Hexe: There's another bus - see it.
(wildly trying to distract Hew from a major meltdown)

KK (tauntingly): The bus is on my side.

Hew (screaming): No bus is on my side!

KK (raising her voice): No my side!

Hew (screaming louder): My side!
(keep repeating last two lines at increase levels)

Hexe (screaming): Stop screaming! The bus is on both your sides!
(Bus is long gone along with my sanity!)

Later in the day . . .

Hexe (exasperated): KK, just give your brother one pair of the princess shoes. And stop taking his purple, sparkling purse!

16 May 2006

My First Comment!

Thank you Ms. Mac for my first comment and welcoming me to the blogging world. Upon seeing that my first comment was from THE Ms. Mac, whose blog I have been secretly enjoying, I skipped down the hall like the new kid invited to hang with the cool kids.

rain, rain, go away . . .

What a strange day. My thought have been with my family and friends in the North as they bail out of the recent flooding. Hopefully all these May showers will bring lots of June flowers and a winning season for the Red Sox!!!

We had our first rain in several weeks here today. I just received a e-mail telling me a former boss was involved in a serious car accident this morning on wet roads. It doesn't look good. Although I have not remained in touch, it is still disturbing as he has a family and children. I hope and pray for them that the news is good.

I find it interesting that people (myself included) have emotional reactions after an accident or tragedy, even if they didn't like the person involved or hadn't been in contact for several years. It gives me hope that humanity still has redeeming qualities. Accidents seem to serve as reminder to hold close those we care about because you never know when it may you.

15 May 2006

Random Things About Me

  1. I could live on cheese, strawberries, good bread, wine, and chocolate.
  2. I can still do a handstand.
  3. The name Hexe does not mean I practice witchcraft.
  4. Sometimes I feel like a witch and sometimes I wish I could do a bathroom cleaning spell.
  5. I HATE to clean the bathroom.
  6. I am the oldest and my siblings don't get me.
  7. I love to snuggle in the bed with my kids.
  8. I couldn't live without books.
  9. If I win the lottery, you'll find me in the Austrian Alps.
  10. I still haven't lost my baby weight and the baby is two.
  11. I can use a power saw and haven't lost any fingers yet.
  12. I can't imagine Christmas without snow.
  13. I am addicted to McLeod's Daughters - a Australian TV show.
  14. I graduated from high school almost twenty years ago and I still get together with a group of friends once a year.
  15. I don't keep in touch with my college friends, and only a few of my graduate school friends.
  16. It's acceptable to eat ice cream for breakfast occasionally.
  17. I love Johnny Depp.
  18. I chop-up vegetables and hide them in my kids food.
  19. On our second date, my husband took me to Hooters to meet his Dad and his step-mother.
  20. I have only been to Hooters once (see #19). I will never go again.
  21. In a high school production of Cinderella, I was a mouse who turned into a horse.
  22. My entire family lives within 100 miles of each other except me.
  23. Three of my four grandparents are still alive.
  24. I don't like flying with my children.
  25. I like to refinish furniture.
  26. I went to NYC and I don't really see what the fuss is about.
  27. I like to wear red.
  28. My daughter told her teacher I am 10 years old.
  29. Sometimes I really love to cook.
  30. I hate snakes and bugs.
  31. I am quiet in large social gatherings.
  32. Although I often speak my mind, I have tried to become more tactful.
  33. I am jealous at how easily my husband has lost weight.
  34. I walk fast.
  35. I once wiped out in the grocery store and sprained my ankle (see #34).
  36. Sometimes I get so tired that I cry for no apparent reason.
  37. I think way too much.
  38. In junior high school, I broke up with my first boyfriend at school and he cried. Two months later he dated my best friend.
  39. I hated being pregnant.
  40. I am cautious with money.
  41. I am unable to sing in tune but that doesn't stop me.
  42. I worry about my children.
  43. I don't trust strangers.
  44. I am most comfortable in a blazer and jeans.
  45. In high school, I was insecure and dated boys who were not very smart.
  46. I love the color green.
  47. It doesn't count as going to the beach unless the water is cold.
  48. I didn't vote for GWB.
  49. I am most confident at work.
  50. I was way too good growing up.
  51. I can lie well when necessary. I hope this is not a hereditary trait my children have received.
  52. I am more afraid of not living than of dying.

In the beginning . . .

In the past six months, I have become a blog addict. It started out innocently enough - PerfectHusband and I have been talking about possibly moving overseas and I looked for information on expatriates. Suddenly, I was hooked - I had to know what was going on with Ms. Mac, Expatters, Antipo Deesse, and the rest of the expatriates. Like a thief in the night, I would anonymously sneak onto their blogs and randomly leave comments. Lately, that just hasn't been enough. I wanted more. So here I am, furthering my addiction by starting my own blog.

Beyond the addiction, I need a confidant. PerfectHusband and I have a secret. We hope to move out of the State of Florida in two years. I understand that this is not earth shattering news except to us and the corporation where my husband is a shareholder and they don't know. I know Florida is not the worst place we could live and bring up our children, KK and Hew, but this is not where we would chose. As a northern girl, I miss the snow, autumn, muddy spring weather, small communities, apple picking, real pumpkin patches, lakes, mountains, a lower crime rate, less freaks, better education etc. So, this blog gives me an opportunity to chat about the future.

I guess the next question is where are we going. That's the big unknown. At first, it was north - closer to my family, back to my roots. But then PerfectHusband's brother followed love overseas and we've been visiting. At first it was just fun to visit, then we started talking about staying once we won the lottery, and then we started saying we're educated there has to be a way for us to find jobs. Additionally, PerfectHusband has lived overseas during his single years and loved it. The research began - what could we do, where could we go, how would we support ourselves, would we ruin our kids forever, could we leave the solid, dependable life we had built for the unknown. All this led to the decision that I would make a career change that would make the potential for an overseas move possible. That's my life - two kids under five, a new job, and the random home improvement project. All comments and suggstions welcome - except those that tell us we're crazy - we alrready know that.