Displaced Yankee Chick in Texas

This blog chronicles my life as a displaced Yankee chick in Texas. I'm from the NY/NJ/PA area and quit my job 1.5 years ago to move to TX with DH and become a SAHM to our 3 kids (2 DDs and 1 DS). **Please note that names have been changed to protect the innocent.**

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Where did my ambition go?

Sunday was beautiful and I started putting out the Christmas lights. I had a bunch of 100 light strings daisy chained together and once I had about 6 or 7 strings, I plugged them in. Which is when half of them shorted out, and I lost the wind in my sails.

Some retail therapy at the local Ace Hardware helped, where I purchased even more strings of lights and gifts for family. Yes, gifts. At the Ace Hardware. Why? Because this particular store isn't only the place with the helpful hardware man. It is practically a gift shop AND hardware store. They carry dishes, lawn decor, cards, stationery, Groovy Girls dolls, stuffed animals, and the obligatory college logo stuff -- all the talking UT bottle openers you could possibly need.

And I think I've decided that I'll put the little ones in daycare at the beginning of the year. After all, B is going to be home for half of December on her winter break, so I won't be getting much unpacking done anyway.

I've also had a box of stuff to go back to Kohls that has been sitting in my car all week but I haven't had the urge to take it and two kids there. And really, I have two boxes worth of stuff, but I can only take one box at a time. I can't imagine getting all that stuff to fit into one of their carts.

Tomorrow I may get ambitious and travel out to the Galleria Mall in Houston. I got some great Texas themed ornaments there years ago, and I need to get one for an ornament exchange. Or I may stay home and think about unpacking a box or putting up more Christmas decorations. The house looks great in my head; I just need to get it out of there. LOL!

Today's big excursion was to B's school to buy books from the Scholastic Book Fair; it was tax free Wednesday, after all.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I've been Tagged

I've been tagged!

10 Random things about me you may not know:
  1. I was born in Japan
  2. I watch entirely too much TV
  3. I know way too much trivia
  4. I'm a boring blogger
  5. I miss my job and coworkers
  6. I have a brother who really is a rocket scientist
  7. I've saved both of my parents' lives at one time
  8. I never thought I'd live this far from NYC
  9. I'm most definitely NOT a morning person
  10. Not only do I enjoy picking zits, but I also like to pluck my eyebrows, search out ingrown hairs, and I pick my nails

9 Places I've visited:

  1. Sydney, Australia
  2. Great Barrier Reef
  3. Key West
  4. Niagara Falls
  5. Grand Canyon
  6. Las Vegas
  7. Hollywood
  8. NYC, and finally, the metropolis of
  9. Lehighton, PA

8 Ways to win my heart:

  1. Listen to me when I talk
  2. Look at me when I talk
  3. Have a great sense of humor
  4. "Arouse my intellect as well as my loins"
  5. Have a cute butt
  6. Pay attention to all of me in bed
  7. Suffer through the occasional chick flick for me
  8. Keep the kids so I can have some grown up time with friends

7 Things I must do before I die:

  1. Learn to fly
  2. Go back to Japan
  3. Go to Italy
  4. Take DH to Germany
  5. Take the family to Ireland
  6. Take the family to WDW
  7. Write a will

6 Things I'm afraid of:

  1. bugs in my house
  2. spiders
  3. dying in a fire
  4. dying in a car accident
  5. dying by drowning
  6. losing DH or the kids

5 Things I don't like:

  1. Liars
  2. Philadelphia sports fans
  3. Mark McGrath
  4. mushrooms
  5. mosquitoes

4 Ways to turn me off:

  1. Bad breath
  2. Rush things
  3. Ignore all my parts
  4. Trim your toenails over the toilet. Just sit down and put the clippings in the trash for cripes sake!

3 Things I do every day:

  1. Change diapers and pull ups
  2. hug and kiss my kids
  3. watch TV

2 things that make me happy:

  1. my DH and how hard he works for us
  2. my kids and their silliness

1 Thing that is on my mind right now:

  1. SLEEP!

I don't know anyone who hasn't been tagged. I'm a LOSER! Waah.

Random thoughts

I need to stop eating everything in sight. I am NOT pregnant and I should have enough other things to keep me busy. Reminds me of what my good friend, coworker and cubicle neighbor Stacy used to say when she was pg: "I need to have my mouth wired shut!" However, I did ingest about 1/4 of a pumpkin pie after dinner. And I should mention that I did help myself to many extra helpings of mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce at dinner. Nevermind the Key Lime and white chocolate chip cookies...the little rack has four sections of cookies and I think I ate two entire sections of cookies today. Alright, I did manage to share one cookie each with S and A. Go me!

I should stop spending money. Yesterday I bought myself a great printer to use for scrapbooking; it is DH's gift to me for Christmas. It's the one September has, for those of you interested. Then today not only did I order lighted garland for our staircase (cause I needed much more than I had and couldn't find what I liked at any store) but I ordered a Murphy bed - table thing for our guest room. It's really cool and is a table where I can someday do scrapbooking, and when company comes over, somehow you pull the wall portion down over the table and it becomes a bed. It's the Inova Table Bed, shown here: http://inovallc.com/.

I need to get ambitious and at least start decorating this house for Christmas. I lost all my drive on Sunday after I had strung some lights out front. I must have blown a fuse, so only 2 of 3 columns out front have working lights and I couldn't figure out where the bad fuse was, nor could I locate any dead bulbs. I also took time Sunday to trim our shrubs and now I also need to pick up all the clippings. We did as much as we could, but filled our trash can and we don't have any yard trash bags.

I also need to get the little ones in daycare so I can decorate and unpack the house. I'm currently thinking that yesterday's hope of getting them to start on Thursday was a bit ambitious since I need to have their former peds in PA complete some health form first. And no, I have not yet faxed them the forms...

I am still having issues with bugs. I think I failed to mention that on Thanksgiving morning DH decided to rearrange the family room furniture, specifically the couch and love seat. He and MIL were moving the love seat and DF and DH moved the sleeper sofa. In the middle of this ENORMOUS dead cockroach #2 was found in the house, quietly decomposing under the sleeper sofa. DH vacuumed it up, which grossed me out, but he said there was no other way to remove it. I stopped asking questions at that point. However, that is the second ENORMOUS TEXAS-sized dead roach we've found IN the house. I know there is one living (at least the last time I saw it) in a box in the garage... And just yesterday I found a dead fingernail sized roach on the kitchen floor, which DH graciously removed for me. I have no idea where that one came from because we haven't seen anything alive in here. Regardless, it still creeps the hell out of me and I need to find an exterminator and FAST.

I think I need to go to bed.

Well that's just great.

DH's worst work fear came true yesterday. One of his guys quit. Now DH has two weeks to drain his brain, meet his contacts, and take over this guy's territory. Thankfully, the guy's territory is Houston, so he won't be all over God's creation down here. But still, it takes him away from us. He'll have to do the other guy's job during the day, and then do his own work at night. He'd been stressed about this before I left for NJ but it seemed that his guys were OK and content.

I just have to hope that no one else quits on him before he replaces this guy.

Holy cow, that's BIG!

I woke up Sunday and decided that I needed to get myself to church; it was after all the first Sunday of Advent. This is my favorite church season. So I told DH that I was going and actually talked B into going with me. Then I was feeling generous and decided to take S along as well.

Everything was fine and dandy and I found our church collection envelopes before we had to leave. However, I couldn't find the new book of checks that I know we started before I left for NJ two weeks ago. Finally gave up looking for it, and put cash in the envelope. I hate doing that; I prefer checks so I can prove my charitable donations to the IRS.

The girls and I headed out to the church and followed a bunch of cars in front of us into the lot. It seemed like half of the town was going to the same Mass. Once we got inside I realized that this parish is going to be a lot like our old one. HUGE. The church is shaped in a semi-circle, with stadium-style seating. In back of the pews were tons of single seats set up in rows. We arrived shortly before Mass began and the place was already packed. Holy cow.

My parents had warned me that this being the South, they didn't like "our kind" down here. I dunno about that because I'd think that we'd certainly be able to outnumber anyone who felt that way. Even before Mass started, the congregation was asked to turn and welcome their neighbors. So there I was smiling, shaking hands and saying "Good morning" to all these people around me.

We grabbed three seats outside the cry room door, in case we needed to excuse ourselves quickly. I later wondered if I had actually taken seats that others were using. Now, there weren't any missals on the seats, or jackets. However, I was surrounded by a bunch of Philippinos in front and behind me and they all seemed to be together, so I wondered throughout the Mass if we had mistakenly taken seats from them or the children who were scattered about.

Now I've got to call the church and see when their next welcome shindig is. They had sent us an invitation to one in October, but it was scheduled before the kids and I got down here.

Note to self: Get up early on Sundays to make sure we have a chance to get to church early thereby guaranteeing us both a parking spot and seats inside.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Buh bye

DH and eldest DD got up at 5am and took MIL and her DF to the airport. They couldn't stay an extra day because the cost was too high. "It was like buying another ticket." Yeah, but you've been traveling all year, and recently returned from Cabo. Doesn't seem like you're too worried about dropping cash all over creation. Just spending too much time with your damn grandchildren...

Ah whatever. Since MIL met him she's been unavailable to us all emotionally and physically. So for us to be living her and seeing her oh, once or twice a year like I hope, won't be much different than it has been for the past 1.5 years. I mean, in the 14 mos that DS has been here, she's probably seen him 12 times. DH and I used to be able to count the times on our fingers: at the hospital (she drove me there when I was in labor, then took the girls while I gave birth), christening, Halloween, Christmas, day before Valentine's Day (and that was only because she and he were going to sneak in our house to leave the kids their Valentines and oodles of candy, but were surprised to see our cars in the driveway; they thought we were out), early March when DH took me away for a long weekend, you get the idea. This from someone who had been devoted to her grandchildren and loved seeing them. Or so we thought.

"As I hung up the phone it occurred to me, he'd grown up just like me. He'd grown up just like me." Harry Chapin

I wonder when it will occur to her...

At least my parents are interested in their grandchildren and want to be involved in their lives. They don't want to buy their love with ridiculous amounts of gifts for every freaking gift giving occasion. They give the gift of their time.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Black Friday

Got friendly enough with MIL yesterday to agree to go Black Friday shopping with her. We went through all the sales papers and got our plan together. I'd wake her at 5am and we'd get ready ASAP to hit the stores.

We hit Best Buy, WalMart, Kohls, OfficeMax, Target, and Circuit City. And I only managed to nearly kill her/us twice. The first time, I wasn't really paying attention (it was 5:20am after all), and was ready to run a red light when I heard her doing that inhaling thing that my mother was known to do on occasion as I was learning to drive.

MIL: "SSSsssssssss"
Me: "Oh shit!" *slam on brakes* "Whoops! Didn't mean to do that. I thought the light was green."

The second time was much less dramatic. I was turning left out of Circuit City, and I had had plenty of room to turn, until some guy came up from the right. Of course, he was driving much slower than he appeared, so while I waited for him to get past me so I could complete my turn and get behind him, the light changed and now we had traffic coming directly toward us from the left as well. Again MIL did the little inhale thing "ssssssss" and at that point I was glad to have my shopping done for the day. I'd had enough.

For the most part things were good. However, she asked me for ideas on things I'd like for Christmas. I told her I had enough clothes, but perhaps could use some things for the house, like stainless accessories for the new kitchen since the white stands out when all the appliances are black. I showed her the stainless toaster oven on sale at Target for $30 and she didn't like it because the shelf didn't pull out when the door opened. Only the red Oster one did that. Well, crap, I'm telling you what I want, and you wind up poo pooing my suggestion. Screw that.

Later on I bagged up my purchases, complete with gift receipts, and left them with her. They brought down two huge ass suitcase full of wonderful stuff for the kids, and now she'll bring back the stuff we bought. She'll wrap our gifts for us and I save on postage. Win-win situation for me.

The moment I most wanted to kill her was when she told me she'd have to ship down DD#2's gift. It's a car, the battery operated ride on kind. Because it was a great deal at Toys R Us. Like I need to have my 2 year old driving a car. Every time this weekend that our DS cried, he was bleeding and she was near him. Now she's going to have a car?! For what?! So that she can run him over? She already does that quite well TYVM with the Big Red Car or the plastic trike we have... Now I have to figure out a way to get rid of that thing without sounding overly bitchy.

Enjoyed some time in the pool with the girls, and I also put the hot tub on and enjoyed some time in there too. The neighbors must think we're freaks swimming in late November, but it is so warm compared to what we're used to.

Our company leaves at 5:30am tomorrow. Aaahhhh...

Thursday, November 24, 2005


What a day! As soon as I woke up and brushed my teeth, I started preparing the turkey. It was about 8am and I had a 22 lb turkey to cook, and I knew that would take about 5-6 hours. I got the turkey prepped and stuffed and in the oven before everyone started waking and coming downstairs.

The best part was that it wasn't too difficult to figure out the new stove. That might sound stupid to some, but we have a double wall oven in this house and both are conventional ovens. I had to look over the instruction manual in order to learn how to control the ovens, including using both at the same time.

The best news of the day came when DH's sister told us that she needed maternity clothes for Christmas. She was pg last Thanksgiving, and I had gotten that info out of her two days before then. She lost that baby about 2 weeks later, and I resolved not to ask her again (my own superstition). She got pg again a short while later but again miscarried. I had hoped that when we finally finished discussing gifts for our kids and DHs, and I finally got around to asking her what she needed, that this would be her answer. When she told me to get DH on the phone I knew. We stood with the phone between our ears as she said it and we were both ecstatic. That'll certainly make my shopping easier and I can return the outfit I had gotten her.

My aunt, uncle and cousin said they'd be over around 2. Just before then I decided that I didn't have enough shrimp and ran out to the store. As I was leaving the development, I passed my uncle, so I flagged him down and led my family to the house. My aunt and I ran back to the store, but it had just closed. No biggie. As it turned out, we didn't finish the shrimp I had, so I definitely didn't need more.

My aunt is into machine quilting and made us a housewarming gift. It is a gorgeous Santa and reindeer in the sky, oblong in shape, and should fit beautifully above our fireplace mantel.

We had a lovely dinner in our dining room, all ten of us. There was an overabundance of food, and it appeared that no one made a dent in anything. I had made 3 lbs of corn, 2 lbs of baby carrots and about 2 lbs of green beans. Nevermind the 9 lbs of mashed potatoes, 3 boxes of Stove Top turkey stuffing, the 22 lb turkey, and 2 dozen rolls, not to mention the 4 bricks of cheese and 2 lbs of shrimp we munched on before dinner.

My aunt also made two pumpkin pies, one plain and one with a pecan/brown sugar/butter topping, and also brought a pecan pie and homemade pumpkin bread. Yum. MIL had gotten a strawberry cheesecake that morning and I had completely forgotten about it. We were all stuffed silly.

We finished off the night with a dip in the hot tub. Aaaah; this is the life. We'll leave the pool heater on all night so we can hopefully swim tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Our company arrived this morning. DH and eldest DD went to the airport to pick up MIL and her DF. I'm still peeved that they are going to be here. I firmly believe that they invited themselves down and I'm PISSED about it. At least I was busy doing things like unpacking the house and putting things away, so I didn't have to entertain them. That was all DH's job.

As it was, I hadn't made the guest bed nor had I done anything to the bathroom they were to use. All part of my evil master plan to let them know that we were NOT ready for company. While they sat upstairs in the gameroom watching the kids play, they also got to watch me unpack the bathroom, clean the bathroom, and then make the guest bed. MIL actually came in to help me make the bed, but I told her something like, "Go play with the kids; that's what you're here for." Rude, but whatever. I didn't want or need help.

We had a yummy lunch at Sonic, so that was a nice treat. Dinner was pasta, my usual standby before a holiday dinner. More last minute holiday shopping today too.

Only two more days...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Our company arrives in about 8 hours and I still have so much to do. I need to clean off the kitchen table and counters, rearrange some boxes to improve flow in some rooms, make the bed in the guest room, finish laundry, bathe the kids, put laundry away, and move some boxes upstairs into the guest room.

Oh, and before the special offer ends, I need to place an order for a piece of furniture for the guest room, and I also have to plan my Black Friday shopping. DH doesn't really have any ideas for anything he wants. He'd like time to take a vacation. He has the vacation days available but not the actual time to take it. I can't gift wrap that, nor can Santa fit in on his sleigh.

Two boxes of items I've ordered for gifts arrived today. DH approved of most of them, and one outfit just didn't work in person.

Guess I should get off my butt and start doing some cleaning. I need to keep Peter Walsh's (of TLC's Clean Sweep) mantra in my head: OHIO -- only handle it once. Ack!

Monday, November 21, 2005

So much to do, so little time

So Wednesday is the dreaded day. MIL and her DF arrive early in the morning to spend Thanksgiving with us. My house has TONS of boxes still all over. Right now the only rooms without boxes are the living room (okay, but the entryway to the LR is blocked off by boxes to prevent the little ones from getting in...), dining room, and kitchen. Oh wait, there's the powder room, and the girls' Hollywood bathroom too. The counters in the kitchen are covered in stuff, and so is the kitchen table. I have things to Freecycle on the dining room table.

DH took time this morning to reorganize the guest room, where I have a bunch of boxes stacked all over. He put a bunch of them in the closet in order to make room for our mattress. We bought ourselves a brand new bed yesterday and it was delivered this afternoon. Our old mattress went up to the guest room and now we'll at least be sleeping on the most amazing comfy mattress ever (or at least so it seemed yesterday). I hope I can stand it, because the darn thing is outgassing right now. Peee-yoouuu!

And yesterday we tried out NY Pizzeria, where I drank a ton of Dr. Pepper. Thanks to that, I pulled an all nighter last night, and wound up doing some really urgent unpacking in our family room. I unpacked my and DH's CD collections, then alphabetized and merged them, removing duplicates and CDs I no longer care to own. I hope to have DH review his CDs and remove any he doesn't want. If I can find the local post office, I'll be able to ebay some of these CDs. I lay down after 6am this morning. But not before DH's damn Blackberry buzzed, rang and buzzed. One of his good friends had called him. Shortly after he got up, B came downstairs to start her day, and by 9am all three kids were up and my chance at getting any sleep was gone.

I don't know why I even care. I know I haven't been able to get a lot of unpacking and organizing done with the little ones home. Nevermind that B's school district has the week off, so I've got an extra head home to interrupt me this week. I'd at least like to have some of the common areas looking nice.

Oh well, I'll take advantage of them being here and take some time to unpack. And then Friday morning I'm hoping to do my Black Friday shopping. Woo hoo! In the past DH has let me go out alone at 5-6 am while he deals with all the kids himself. I've gotten some great deals, so I know he's okay with it. I already told DH that I'm cooking and I don't want anyone else in the kitchen with me.

I am excited because my aunt, uncle and cousin will be coming for dinner. I haven't seen my cousin in 4 years, and I last saw my aunt and uncle in June when we were house hunting. I'll be glad to see them.

This should be fun.

Friday, November 18, 2005

My soul sistah!

I met another mother at the playground last week who also recently relocated here and gave up her career. I can't even begin to explain how overjoyed I was to finally meet someone who is going through all the things I am, and at relatively the same time. Her family moved here a few months ago, before school started. She has two children, one in school, the other a preschooler. At the moment, I am envious because her children are either in school or day care so she is able to unpack in an empty house. Meanwhile I'm fighting to unpack a box a week with two kids underfoot.

Now all I need to do is remember to get her phone number the next time I see her...

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

New York cheesecake

Damn it!

After the girls and I finished our RCMH tour, and purchased the obligatory ornaments and souvenir program, we headed to Times Square to eat lunch at my favorite deli, the Roxy Deli. The girls were about to lose it by the time we got there; they were hungry and exhausted.

Just as the waiter was coming to take our order (we were 3 of 5 people in their 2nd story dining room), B said she had to use the restroom. I told the waiter we'd be back in a few minutes and we headed to the restroom on the 3rd floor. As luck would have it, one room was out of order and someone was in the other. The man, a Roxy worker, was trying to get the toilet tank to fill and flush. Once he got it working we were able to go in. Everything worked fine, so we headed back to our seats once we were done. Then we had to wait for a while for our waiter to return. We gave him our order and it came out pretty quickly. The girls had chocolate milk, and I swear they were gone practically before the meals arrived. I had seltzer. For lunch I had cherry blintzes with fruit salad on the side; B was jonesing for scrambled eggs (3 eggs any style) with a side of fries, and S had the foot long hot dog and fries. I finished my lunch, B ate 2/3 of her eggs, and S had about 2 bites of her lunch. Once again we had to traipse up to the restroom for the girls, this time in the middle of our meal. This time, however, the toiled refused to flush. Damn. I hate leaving an unflushed toilet, esp when it is as unpleasant as what we were leaving in this one. However, I did try to see what was going on in the tank, and couldn't figure it out. I really did try before we gave up and left it for all to admire. Once our hands were all washed and dried, we went back downstairs. Much to my chagrin, the one lady behind us then went up to use the restroom. I was MORTIFIED. I knew that she knew full well that we were the last ones in there; that it was our mess in the toilet. From my vantage point, I watched at least 5 other people go upstairs, all presumably to use the john. (After all, at this point there were only 11 people eating on our floor, and it was practically deserted.)

When our waiter finally returned, I asked him to bring me two slices of their NY style cheesecake to go, along with the check. I was going to split one with my parents, and bring the other home to DH. We LOVE their cheesecake. It is tall, and light, and creamy and oh so delicious. Mmmmmm. Of course, a pleasant lunch like this costs money, eighty dollars to be exact (tax and tip included).

I carried that cheesecake back to Penn Station, made sure it survived the train ride home, and remembered to put it in the fridge when I got to my parents' house. And halfway through the flight home, I realized that I had forgotten DH's piece. Damn.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Radio City Christmas Spectacular

During a momentary lapse of reason I thought it would be a good idea to take the girls to New York City to see the Rockettes and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. I was very lucky to be able to get tickets through a former co-worker whose DD is a Rockette. Our seats were center stage about 30 rows back. You might think that the seats suck being so far back, but they are really great because we are far enough back that we can see all of the stage without craning our necks.

The girls and I took the train up from Princeton; it took about an hour, but took years off my life. I had gotten up early and hoped to catch one of the first off peak trains of the day. However, everything seemed to conspire against me. First, my parents were having their carpets deep cleaned that day, so I spent the early morning moving our stuff off the carpets, and helping my father move furniture. Since my mom had to work and dad was going to be home to meet the carpet cleaners (who I used to clean my carpets at my home in PA and I highly recommend), they let me take the car to the train station and keep it there all day. Sounded like a great idea. However, this area is chock full of commuters, and the local train stations cannot handle the capacity for commuter parking. Parking permit wait lists span YEARS. So I cruised the daily parking lots and all of them were full. There were spots in the commuter permit parking lots, but I didn't want to chance not having a car at the end of the day. How would I explain that to my parents? That I had gotten their car towed... Nope. I finally found parking on an access street to the station, and it was probably the last legal spot for miles.

My troubles really began when we started walking to the station. S, my middle DD, was not happy about being rushed and kept crying and wailing. As we slowly crept to the station, I watched the last train we could take and not be late arrive and depart the station. So now we were going to be on a train getting us in with only 20 minutes to curtain. Once we were on the train, I got to enjoy the girls fighting over who got to stand near the window and who got to look out the window while kneeling on the seat. Great fun. I also spotted a former co-worker from our Finance department (and fellow working mom of a toddler) a few rows ahead; unfortunately, when we got off the train I lost sight of her and never got to say hi.

We hot-footed it out of Penn Station and once I had my bearings, I tried to hurry us up 16 blocks to get to Radio City. Of course, I had one DD complaining that her knees hurt and she couldn't walk fast, and the other was crying and wailing and not enjoying the hustling. I finally found a cab a few blocks away from RCMH and we hopped in because I knew that would be faster than we could do on foot. It was great and I think B enjoyed the cab ride.

Unfortunately we arrived after curtains went up. We missed seeing the 3D movie that starts the show. Santa flies in on his sleigh and passes by all the NYC landmarks -- the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and lastly, Radio City Music Hall. The ushers don't allow anyone to go down the aisles while the Rockettes are on, so we watched the latter part of the new opening number from the top of the aisle. As soon as the number ended, we hurried to our seats. B was very excited and sat right down, with S between us and I was on the aisle. Shortly thereafter, a trio sat in the empty seats in front of us, and the girls had a harder time seeing the show. B knelt on the seat, only to be chided (and I was scolded) by the friendly (NOT!) people behind us. S kept going from seat to seat, and was more interested in playing with the Playbill than watch the show. Needless to say, I was mortified by their behavior. Neither of them sat very still. The very kind and patient man sitting in the fourth seat even offered to let them sit on his folded coat on their seat to see if that would improve the view. B tried it and it worked for a little while. He even offered to let her stand in between him and his companion because there was no one in front of them; the view was better. I declined only because I know she can't sit or stand still and I didn't want to ruin the show for them any more than we already had.

I kept praying for the intermission, and realized when they did the living Nativity that I was mistaken; there was no intermission. At least the end was in sight. When the lights went up, I apologized profusely to the nice man next to us, and thanked him for being so patient and good with the girls. After the theater cleared we headed for the side of the stage and asked an usher where we needed to go to meet my co-worker's DD. I told them that that was the location we were told to go to in order to meet "M". The usher said that she had no list of guests and then radioed backstage. M met us, and sweet thing that she is, she gave the girls and me huge hugs. While we chatted, the usher got our visitor passes. We got to see some neat things backstage. The girls got to pet one of the camels, and they got to wear the red cheeks from the Wooden Soldier routine. M told us that since last year, she hadn't seen the stagehand who allowed B to drive one of the elves' cars last year. But today she saw him and he happened to ask if she had any guests with kids coming to the show. What timing! So we met him and the girls got to drive once around the stage in a mini-Escalade. And they got to sit in Santa's sleigh with M too. Once again it was a fabulous back stage adventure. M is a total doll; a real sweetheart. I just love that girl.

However, the best part of our trip, the highlight of the entire thing for B, was not going to see the show. Nor was it a personal backstage tour. Not even flying up in First Class. No. It was the KitKat that M gave each of the girls backstage.

So perhaps I won't bother next year...

Saturday, November 12, 2005

So this is how the other half lives

"It's good to be the King," quipped Mel Brooks. By golly he was right!

The girls and I flew up today to NJ for a long weekend. Thanks to DH's traveling, he is a frequent flier with a ridiculous amount of miles, and thus Elite status. When I went to check us in online last night, I was asked if I wanted to see if First Class seats were available for me and my traveling companions. Of course I clicked Yes. And there were!! I could swear our seats were all in the same row, but I had seats in two rows: 2A, 2F and 3B. Since I needed to sit next to at least one of them, and that one was the 2 year old, I planted myself in a seat hoping that the seat's occupant would be agreeable to move across the aisle. Luckily I didn't have to deal with that, so we sat together, with the 5 year old behind us. She entertained the gentleman next to her for the entire flight. I don't think she stopped talking, singing or making noises for the ENTIRE flight, but he seemed to be okay with that.

The First Class accommodations were wonderful. Such wide comfy seats, such attention to our empty glasses. Did I mention the lunch choice? Chicken calzone or salmon salad, cream of mushroom soup. Delicious salmon salad. The flight attendant even went so far as to get pizzas from the "second class" (as the 5yo said) cabin for the girls to eat. It really was wonderful.

I only wish I had been able to partake of the free liquor. Believe me, I was tempted but didn't want anyone to think I was a lush, or I worried that for some reason I'd need to drive once we landed. (My parents were picking us up.)

To make things even funnier, my mother met us in the airport terminal. She was holding up a sign with our last name on it, just like the chauffeur she was. LOL!

So tired

I must have been up half of last night, crying my eyes out to DH. I need to see him more, and get a little more attention and affection from him. He needs me to try to be happy and have a better attitude. I think once Thanksgiving is over and I'm rid of houseguests, and the kids are enrolled in daycare full time, I'll feel better. I cannot stand to live surrounded by boxes and the clutter and mess of our former home. I need to have everything put away and have space.... S P A C E .... in this enormous house. Last year I caught some show, be it Mission: Organization or Clean Sweep which stated that one cannot feel at ease with all that clutter and mess. Once DH and I had cleaned out and organized our bedroom in our old house, I really did feel much better, much less anxious about the room and our house. It was true.

Heck, I really did feel that having packers, movers and unpackers would be the ticket. However, I've learned from this move how I need to run our next relocation. That will certainly help in the moving and unpacking departments, which will in turn help me feel more at ease in a shorter amount of time.

I woke up extremely tired, but I already feel a little better. I hope things continue to improve.

Friday, November 11, 2005

And the Mother of the Year award goes to...

someone other than me.

Just yesterday was our eldest's first day riding the bus. DH and I took her to the bus stop and saw her off; I met her at the bus stop in the afternoon with the little ones in the double stroller. Today was going to be a carbon copy. That is, until I realized as the plumber was leaving that it was 3:30 and the bus would be coming very soon. Weighed my options -- leave the little ones napping or wake them and pop them in the stroller... I ultimately chose to wake them, get drinks, get the stroller, put them in it, and lock the house. Just as I left our driveway to turn up the street, I spied a child walking down the cross street. Oh crap. I wondered whether it was the 5th grader who lives next door. The mom next door had just pulled out of her driveway and was at the corner talking to this boy. Then said boy got in her car. Hmm. It was most likely him. Now where was my DD?? She wasn't walking down the street, nor did I see any other children. Perhaps the mom was giving an older friend (at the Jr. High) of his a ride...

So I stood at the bus stop for 10-15 minutes and the bus did not come. Finally the mother and daughter whose house is the bus stop location came out of their house to go somewhere. I caught their attention and asked if the bus had indeed come already, fully knowing the answer. Yes it had. A burning sensation began where my stomach had been. Where was she? Oh gosh, it's her SECOND day riding the bus, and I'm traumatizing her again, allowing her to feel not only that I don't care about her safety on the bus, but that I've completely forgotten about her. Luckily the mom has the school's phone number preprogrammed on her cell phone, and she immediately called them to inquire about DD's location. Just as she was speaking to the people at the school, the bus pulled up. As it turns out, the wonderful bus driver noticed that I wasn't there to meet the bus, so she kept DD on the bus until she had finished the route and then returned to our stop. I was SO relieved and grateful to the driver and neighbor. The neighbor's daughter has offered to keep an eye on DD to make sure that she gets on the bus and off at the right stop.

Thank God for nice people like them for making a brand new SAHM like me feel better about my mistakes while I learn all the responsibilities for my new job.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

My big girl

Despite many protests and tears, our oldest finally rode the bus to and from school today. I can sympathize with her fear of the bus since it isn't as safe as a car since there are no seatbelts. I have no counterargument; she makes a great point about that. In one respect, I'm thrilled that she knows that she needs to wear a seatbelt. However, I can't be schlepping her to and from school every day, wasting gas and my time, while polluting the air for no reason while I waste my tax dollars.

She was resigned to riding the bus by the time it arrived at the stop this morning. The bus driver had her sit in the front seat on the passenger side. I waved goodbye and blew her kisses; she looked very sad. When I met her at the bus stop this afternoon, she seemed happy. She said that riding the bus is "boring" but that is what she says about a lot of things.

I hope tomorrow goes as smoothly, if not smoother.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

So remind me again why I moved here...

The entire reason that I picked up and moved was the promise of actually seeing DH more. In the two years he has worked for this company, he has worked his butt off. He was home only ten days during his first 2.5 months with the company, and that includes weekends. The next year and a half was much the same. DH has been working hard at all hours of day and night, weekdays and weekends. The kids and I rarely saw him at our old home. Heck, he got this job when our second child was 4 months old. Now that she is talking, he doesn't understand half the things she says, and I need to translate for him. Nevermind that I somehow got knocked up with #3 during one of those fateful 10 days he was home in 2003...

So here I am now in TX, half a continent from my family and friends. Do I see DH more? Not really. He may be home, but he's behind his locked office door (so the little ones won't go in there while he's working), or he's on the phone. Or he's off at a meeting somewhere, and at least 50% of the time, when he gets home, he holes himself back up in his office. Do I get a "Hi honey. How was your day?" No. It's really gratifying. No, really.


Tuesday, November 08, 2005


I'm a moderately conservative person, so I should feel pretty comfortable living here in Texas. However, I'm upset that it appears Proposition 2 will pass. This Proposition is to amend the consititution to read that marriage is only between one man and one woman. It makes me so sad.

DH has two gay relatives; one is fairly closeted, the other out and in a long term committed relationship. Our eldest had a classmate with two moms. Having met these people and seeing how loving and "normal" they are, it saddens me that they do not enjoy the same rights as traditional married couples.

If only I had been able to register and vote today...

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Ah, love this weather

Remind me in July just how much I love the weather down here. This weekend the high was in the mid 80s. Just magnificent weather. We heated the pool and spa yesterday and enjoyed a few hours in both. B was swimming with the aid of one or two noodles. At times she'd throw one into the deep end and then swim out using the other noodle, then swim back with both. S was more content to sit on the edge of the spa and dip her feet in the warm water. Poor A got the short end of the stick and had to watch us from his stroller.

DH was able to recall some of what Mark, our pool guy, showed him regarding heating and running the pool and spa. Unfortunately, he encountered a problem when he was putting the systems back to the way they were before our swims. The hose for the roving pool cleaner started spouting water from its connection to the pool. The only way DH got it to stop was to turn off the pool; a fine temporary fix.

This morning I was awakened at 6:30 by a strange sound. Looking out my bedroom window, I saw that the pool cleaner hose had separated at a joint. My guess was that the cleaner and half the hose was sitting at the bottom of the pool. Meanwhile, the part of hose that was connected to the pool was spraying everywhere. If you've ever seen a hose, like an unmanned fire hose, whipping around, that is what this hose was doing. I awoke DH, who had already had a terrible night's sleep, and asked him to go out and fix the pool situation. It seemed to take him a while, but he finally got it to stop and managed to reconnect the pool cleaner in the process.

Looks like I'll not only be calling the plumber to help remove the RO system and repair the cold water shutoff under the kitchen sink, but I'll be calling Mark, the pool guy, so he can give me lessons in how to run the pool and spa. Heck, I'll even take notes so that we won't encounter these problems again.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Water softeners

We're getting a water softener next week. A fellow from a local company came by tonight to give us a quote and look at where we wanted to put it. The previous owners had a water softener located outside, which is indeed a little odd. Turns out, from the way the house was built, it is the optimal location for it. I wish I could speak to the previous owners to find out why they did certain things. After our discussion about water softeners, we asked Kevin about Reverse Osmosis water filters. DH discovered the hard way that we have one of those too.

The RO system lives under the kitchen sink and apparently was hooked up to a spigot for drinking water at the sink and a line had been run under the cabinets to the fridge for the water/ice maker. DH discovered a leak in the disconnected RO line to the fridge during his first afternoon at the house; there was a puddle on the floor by the kitchen sink. He determined it was the flex pipe from the RO system that was dripping water. For three months now we've been living with this flex pipe coming out of the cabinet and sitting in the vegetable sink. Along with this, DH discovered that the saddle joint or whatever it is called that takes water from the main cold water line to the RO under the sink also leaks. He turned off the main cold water in August, so I've never had cold water. The water goes from tepid to scalding in a very short time and makes it challenging to make bottles or wash hands.

Now in addition to having the water softener company out next week, I'm going to have to call my new plumber friend and see if he can come out to help fix the leak under the sink so I can finally have cold water.

What a treat it will be to finally have cold water AND brighter whites AND soap that lathers quicker and.....

Thursday, November 03, 2005


Why is it that NBC can have a great morning show like Today, funny shows like My Name is Earl, great dramas like ER, but their late night programming SUCKS?!?! Jay Leno has never been my cup of tea; he always seemeed to pander to the senior citizens with stupid jokes that didn't offend. And it is a mystery to me how Conan O'Brien has been on the air as long as he has. The man annoys the living crap out of me. How much do I hate him? I can be asleep on the couch with the TV on; if I hear his voice, it wakes me out of a deep sleep! Most especially if he is doing his dumb ass "In the Year..." skits. Not only do those wake me up, but the piss me off! And how on earth did he score the U2 appearance?! I actually woke up for that one, and only watched it because U2 was on. If I didn't like them as much as I do, I never would have watched. Idiot. I think I like Carson Daly more than I like Conan, and that's not saying much.

You know you're in the Bible Belt when your school age child comes home the week before Halloween with the school newsletter, which in part reads, "Next Monday is Halloween. Please note that children are not permitted to wear Halloween costumes to school. Several families do not observe this holiday."

You know you're in the Bible Belt when the local paper prints a "Soap Box" where one can state an opinion or give thanks for something, and one opinion reads, "Do those of you who allow your children to celebrate know that you are sending your children to Hell for participating in this satanic worskip?" Gotta love it!

You know you're in the Bible Belt when your state offers this proposition for you to vote on on Election Day: "The gay marriage ban is Proposition 2 and provides "that marriage in this state consists only of the union of one man and one woman and prohibiting this state or a political subdivision . . . from creating or recognizing any legal status identical or similar to marriage."

Opponents of the amendment argue that same sex marriage already is illegal in Texas and that the amendment is more punitive than necessary.
" Quoted from the Katy Sun.

Why is it that my children's old day care center decided to drop the fabulous photographer they used in the past in order to get one who uses cheesy backdrops and offers "proofs"? I'm not impressed with the pix I've seen so far of other peoples' kids, and I don't hold any hope that they captured my kids smiling. The best part of this whole fiasco? The new photographer is way more expensive!! Thanks. Thanks a lot.

While I'm glad I've taught my children that they should always wear a seatbelt, how am I going to convince DD to ride the school bus? She has a valid point and I'm not sure how to entice her to ride the bus. Today's tack was to show her where the stop is, and where I think her classmate lives (across the street from it, I believe).

Wondering how long it will take me to unpack this house. My guess is years.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Family ties

My aunt called today to see how we are settling in. She lives in town and finally had a chance to call. There was some huge quilting thing going on last week or weekend, so she had company in for that. Over the weekend my cousin's son witnessed a tragic accident in which his beloved dog was killed. I was so sorry to hear this. Having had to put our dog down earlier this year, I can relate to the pain, if not the actual circumstances.

Must make getting together with my relatives down here a priority! My one cousin has a DD the same age as my oldest. They're in the same grade but different school districts.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

How quickly we forget

In my former life, I had a lunch meeting every first Tuesday of the month at my kids' daycare center. If it hadn't been for the email from my former coworker, I never would have remembered that today was the first Tuesday. I had tried to call her last week, but she was sick, so I tried her again after lunch today. It was so great to talk to her and hear about everyone in the office. One of the things I miss the most now that I'm a SAHM is the adult interaction I enjoyed so much at my job. Believe me, I love my kids. However, it sure is nice to talk to someone and actually understand what they are saying (I'm home with a 2 and 1 year old), or to hold a discussion that doesn't include contents of diapers, or just having to chase someone around to get them to wipe their nose. It's the little things...

In addition, I'm miserable because I'm surrounded by boxes and bins. Boxes and bins of things that need to be unpacked, moved, washed, dried, folded, put away... I've emptied three boxes in ten days. I'm looking at a box that is #161 of the things the packers packed for us. We probably had about 100 boxes and bins that we had already packed. Let's just guess that there are about 250-300 boxes in this house. I want some space in this house so we can move around comfortably. However, I can't unpack when the little ones are home. Yesterday I took a tour of a local day care center. I'm going to have to put the kids in either for a few days a week or full time until I get the house unpacked; then I'll definitely drop to part time. We're all miserable living like this; it's no fun. I know I'll be much happier when things are organized and put away. I cannot stand living with clutter, and the house feels cluttered.

Off to sleep, now that I'm crashing from my sugar high. The neighbors here gave out really great candy, mostly stuff I like. That's a huge problem because I just sit with the girls' baskets in front of me and search for all the yummy candy.