Avoiding Crisis

Archive for December 2007

cleaning the slate

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I started this blog back in Janurary of this year. It was only supposed to last 210 days. It has gone one for many more. It will continue in 2008. Over the almost 12 months of writing this blog I have started a number of posts that have gone unfinished.

I want to start 2008 with a draft count of 0. I don’t want to have the unfinished posts and incomplete thoughts hanging over me in the new year. I want to start 2008 with a clean slate.  But I also don’t want to just mass delete them. You’d never know what you missed out on and I wouldn’t have a record of what I was thinking about writing but never quite got to or found the time to finish.

So…now that you’re so darn curious as to what it was that you didn’t get to read this year I figured I’d post them here in my last post of ’07. I have 11 draft posts. They are drafts and were never complete. I have left them as they are and haven’t edited them and, in some cases, spell checked them.

Happy New Year. Here’s to a wonderful and terrific 2008!

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Written by nicolemarie

December 31, 2007 at 8:34 pm

Posted in crazy holidays

Tagged with

and so it begins…

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We might not know where we are going or exactly when but we are leaving Argentina in about 6 months time.

Six months may seem like a long time, but when you’re talking about a major international move, and all the components that go along with it, 6 months is really not that long. Oh no, not long at all.

So now that the holiday’s are over A and I have turned our focus towards cleaning house and downsizing, or at least attempting to.

My lord, do you know how much crap a family of four accumulates in 2 1/2 years.  It’s a whole lot of stuff.  There are the baby toys that you arrived with that your then almost 7 month old adored but your now almost 3 year old could care less about, the multiple car seats that both kids outgrew, an obscenely large collection of Fisher Price Little People that neither of the kids have touched in the past 6 months, the three strollers they have exceeded the weight limit on, and the piles and piles of clothes and shoes that are way too small for their ever growing bodies. And that’s just the kids stuff. Don’t even let me get started about the 50+ t-shirts that he has schlepped from the USA to Peru to Argentina and yet hasn’t worn even 1/4th of them during the past 5 years. Oh and let us not forget all the other crap we’ve carted with us from Lima that we haven’t actually used since, well, let’s see, oh yeah, since leaving the States back in ’03.

I really don’t look forward to this process.  Well, that’s not true, If I could do it all by myself I would probably like it a lot, I think it would even be cathartic. But getting rid of shit when you are married to a sentimental pack rat is really not a whole lot of fun. And I’ll admit, to be fair to A, being a sentimental pack rat married to someone who tends to take the complete opposite approach and lacks emotional attachment to most inanimate objects kinda sucks too.

Here’s a typical conversation we have while going through our stuff.

A picks up a toy and starts playing with it.

A: You know that I’ve had this toy since I was a little boy. I can remember playing with it in the house in Pennsylvania. (toy in question is a long plastic maze type toy that is about 1.5 feet by 1 inch. And A only lived in PA until he was in 1st grade.) Can you believe that I still have it and that it’s here with us?
N: Uh, no.
A: I think the kids would like to play with it, don’t you?
N: Uh, NO.
A: We are NOT getting rid of it.
N: It would probably make some poor Argentine child living in a villa miseria very very happy.
A: It will make MY kids happy.
N: Please remind me again why it is that we need to keep this toy. Last time Owen found it he proceeded to chase Abbey around the house with it and used it like a sword. It hurts if you get hit by it. I know from personal experience. Do you really think that they really need to have it.
A: It doesn’t weigh much.

A leaves the room with the toy and returns without it.

N: Where’s the silly stick maze thing?
A: I put it with the kid’s toys. They like it. And it’s NOT silly.

End of conversation.

And while it might not sound that bad, imagine having to deal with this EVERY single time you don’t agree on the fate of a particular object. And imagine if the object in question happens to weigh 110 pounds (our gas grill), which also is equal to 1.5% of our total weight allowance. And while this might not seem like a lot, when you only have 7200 pounds total shipping weight to work with, every pound counts. Things can get a bit stressful.

The grill is coming with us and so is the stupid silly toy.

One of these days I’ll win. One of these days.

Written by nicolemarie

December 30, 2007 at 9:32 pm

shattered

with 3 comments

When we moved to Peru the first thing we did when our car arrived via boat, a very slow boat I might add, was have the windows protected with a special film that makes them much harder to shatter. And therefore much harder to break into your car while you’re stopped at a light on a crowded street. It’s one of those things you do but never really want to know if it works or not. Well, today, 4.5 years later, I found out that the special film does indeed work.

See, it was either test the film or get hit head on by a bus. And my experience with Argentine buses is that they don’t stop for any one and it best to get out of there way. But my getting out of the bus’s way meant side swiping a parked truck. And there must have been something sticking out of the side of this truck because it knocked my passenger side rear view mirror off, shattered the front window and left a nasty little dent in the front passenger side door and a scratch down the entire side of the car.

I’m thinking that given my options I chose wisely.

updated to add: I guess I should have been a bit more specific with some details of this story seeing how I’m getting phone calls and emails from concerned friends…I’m perfectly fine.  Not hurt at all, well, aside from my ego.  The car is another story and we will have to have that fixed.  The kids were NOT with me.  But the first comment out of Abbey’s mouth when we saw the window and the door was “oooooh, daddy’s going to be mad. mommy’s in trouble.” where does she come up with such things?

Written by nicolemarie

December 28, 2007 at 9:32 pm

time vacuum

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Does anyone else feel like the days between Christmas and new year’s day are just useless.  Pointless really.  I feel like I’m just sitting around waiting for December to end and January to begin so that things can return back to normal and we can get back to our daily lives.  These have to be some of the longest and most boring days of the year.  ‘Cause all we’re doing is waiting to start the new year.

Written by nicolemarie

December 27, 2007 at 1:12 pm

Posted in crazy randomness

quiet and yet…

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not so quiet.

A work up early this morning to head downtown and hit the gym before work – he’s getting a jump start on his new years resolutions. 

When he leaves early like this he typically lets me know that he’s leaving with a sweet kiss and a whispered goodbye, have a good day, and i love you.  And in my I’m-so-not-a-morning-person fashion I mumble something completely incoherent and cover my head with a pillow and go back to sleep.  But this morning, this morning, I decided to do something different. 

I woke up.

I woke up and  I got out of bed.  I had a real conversation with my husband before he left for work, poured myself a cup of just brewed coffee and I am now sitting in the living room, on the couch, in front of a large bay window where the Christmas tree is.  No one else is awake. 

The lights are off, in the room and on the tree, and the blinds are partially closed.  The room is filled with a soft glow of sunlight. 

It is morning. 

And life just seems, dare I say, wonderful.  I’m not worried about moving, house hunting or job searching. 

And then, just like that, just as I type the simple word wonderful that moment is gone.  Poof, just like that. 

My heart is back to beating just a tad faster then normal as thoughts of what’s to come race around in my head and the lump that has taken permanent residence in the pit of my stomach has relocated itself to my throat. 

Maybe I should have just stayed in bed.

Written by nicolemarie

December 26, 2007 at 7:14 am

frosty

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This past Saturday Santa Claus paid an unexpected (wink, wink) visit to the Marine House (that’s the place where the detachment of US marines that are assigned to the US Embassy live, in case you were wondering) and surprised all the kids with early gifts and candy. The party was planned by the Community Liaison Office at the Embassy and it was a wonderful afternoon.

Here’s Abbey and Owen with Santa. Neither one was scared though Abbey became quite shy when it was her turn to talk to Santa. When he asked her what she wanted for Christmas she just shrugged her shoulders and said “I don’t know.” When I ask her the same question I get a list a mile long. Owen on the other hand wasn’t in the talking mood and only nodded his head when Santa asked him if he had been a good boy.

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Of course when told that I had to either bring a sweet or treat to share I jumped at the chance to try my hand at a new cake creation. Some people will say that I’ve become a bit obsessed with my new found ability but I’m just having fun.

snowman cake

I think this one turned out quite well. We left before the party ended but I’ve been told that there wasn’t even a single crumb left at the end.

I’m not even sure how you go into business making cakes but everyone keeps suggesting that I look into it. With everything that is going on right now I don’t think it’s in the cards, but maybe someday. Until then I guess I’ll just keep trying new designs, new recipes and new techniques. And I’ll share them with you all.

For those of you celebrating Christmas, here’s wishing you a very merry day tomorrow.

Written by nicolemarie

December 24, 2007 at 5:04 pm

Posted in crazy cakes, crazy kids

Tagged with , , ,

square one

with 3 comments

so we are back to square one with regards to where we are heading next.  Back to the good old bid list, but this time instead of overseas positions we will be looking at domestic assignments.

It’s been a rough few days trying to come to grips with this news and the reality of having to move back to the United States right now.  We were hoping that we’d be able to prolong this overseas living until both the kids would be in school. 

So now I have to move, buy a house, buy a car, enroll my daughter in school, find daycare for my son, and get a job.

But first, we have to find out where we are going.  I’m just hoping it’s not DC.  But it will probably be DC.  That sucks.

Written by nicolemarie

December 23, 2007 at 7:24 am