Avoiding Crisis

Archive for January 2008


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I have never bought a new automobile.  Come to think of it, I’ve never actually owned a car, used or new.   This little detail used to bother me.  I used to think that I couldn’t be considered a legitimate, independent and responsible adult if I hadn’t bought/owned a car.

I don’t think this anymore. I now think that buying a new car, going through the painful process of buying a car, is just an annoying, confusing, stressful experience that one should avoid at all costs.

I learned to drive using my mom’s dark metallic green Volvo.  I got my license and immedaately learned to drive a stick shift so I could have my father’s metallic silver Ford Probe – it was way cooler then the other car available to my brothers and I, a black Delta 88 Oldsmobile with Cranberry color interior.  Oh how I disliked that interior.  After high school, I drove my brother’s hand-me-down SUV Mazda Navajo on my weekend escapes out of NYC.  When I moved to DC after Barnard I didn’t need a car to get around and then when I moved out to Northern Virginia with A, I either used his Toyota 4Runner or borrowed his mom’s second car, a fun sporty fire engine red Toyota MR2.  And it was that way until we moved overseas.  A’s trusty black Toyota 4Runner has been my main form of transportation for the past 5 years.  And while most people would consider it my car, I a) didn’t play a role in the purchasing of the vehicle and b) my name doesn’t appear on the title. 

Since we are moving back to the States in 5 months, the plan is to sell the 4Runner in Argentina and buy a new car. We’d like to have a car ready and waiting for us when we get off the plane and therefore we have to make a decision on what to buy before we return. And seeing how this vacation we are on right now is our only oportunity to shop for cars, we kinda have to make a decision sooner rather than later.  No pressure. 

We’ve been car shopping over the past few weeks.  I driven 3 different cars over the past 3 days.  I have absolutely no clue which car we should buy.  And, really, I’m not sure if I care.  I mean, I always wanted to have a hand in buying a car, I always wanted to make that decision, sign the contract, and drive a brand new vehicle, my vehicle, off the lot.  It’s totally over rated.  I know that now.

So we’ve narrowed our options down to two – the Toyota 4Runner or the Nissan Pathfinder.  The Honda Pilot was up there with the other two until today’s test drive.  A is leaning towards the 4Runner (he’s very brand loyal) and I towards the Pathfinder (cause I like the standard third row seats). 

I’m beginning to think that I was better off not knowing what I was missing out on.  


Written by nicolemarie

January 30, 2008 at 12:00 am

prince charming

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prince charming

Written by nicolemarie

January 24, 2008 at 12:08 am

Posted in crazy kids

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pretty pretty princess

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Yesterday we arrived in Orlando.  After checking into the hotel we hit Downtown Disney where Abbey was transformed into a pretty pretty princess at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.

She was given her own thrown and attended to by two of the fairy godmother’s trusty assistants.

bbb abbey

First, was the hair.

bbb1 abbey

then, make up (and hair)


and the nails (and hair)


and then she had a break from hair long enough to focus on the clothes


then it was back to the royal thrown for some finishing touches


and after a bit of magic dust


a princess is unveiled


and with one last quick check in the mirror (got to make sure that lip gloss is just right)


she got off her thrown and walked among the common folk.


she was anything but common. 

Written by nicolemarie

January 23, 2008 at 1:00 am

Posted in crazy adventures, crazy kids

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happy birthday abbey

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Dear my darling baby Abigail,

Five years ago today you were born.  5 years ago today I became a mother.  5 years ago today my life change forever, for the better. 

Your father and I were finishing up a major home remodeling project when you decided it was time to join our family.  We had completed almost everything but hadn’t yet put down the new berber carpet that we had decided on or finished painting your nursery.  Daddy thought the nursery could wait but that the carpet had to be completed before we went to the hospital. 

I started to feel a little bit different early in the afternoon but chalked it up to nothing more than false labor. It was still a few days before your expected due date and the doctors had warned me that it was normal for a first baby to be late.  Around 5pm Gramma K and I headed out to Lowes to pick up the carpet while Daddy and Uncle Dave finished readying the basement floor.  I had this strange craving for a coke, which was a bit odd seeing how I’m not a soda pop drinker, so I grabbed two while we head out the door.  I don’t think I have ever drank soda that fast.  Both of them.  I bought another from a vending machine when we left Lowes.  That coke never tasted so good.

When we got back to the house Daddy and Uncle Dave proceeded to lay the carpet down.  I spent most the the evening laying on and rolling around on the floor, the newly carpeted floor, pretending that I wasn’t in labor.  Daddy said that I wasn’t allowed to be in labor until the work was done.  He told me that you weren’t going to be born until the basement was finished.  

I went to bed. I slept a few hours in bed, woke up and moved to the couch, woke up and moved back to bed, woke up, woke daddy up, woke the doctor up.  It was sometime between 4 and 5 in the morning.

The doctor told me to wait and call later.   

I called back at 8AM.  He said to get to the hospital.

You were born 8 hours later.  You didn’t give me too much trouble.  You’ve been making up for it every since.

Today, 5 years ago, that was one of the most incredibly amazing momentous and unforgettable days in my life.

Today was fun too!  Thanks for being you and for being special and for being my daughter.

I love you.

Love, Mom

Written by nicolemarie

January 18, 2008 at 10:09 pm

369 days

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My blog, this blog, is officially 1 year and 4 days old.  That’s a whole lot more then the 210 days I said I was going to write for.  Feels kinda good to have kept at it all this time. Without you, my lovely wonderful faithful readers, I probably would have given up long ago.  So thank you.  Thank you for coming along on this journey with me, for reading the good, the bad and the all too often boring crap that I have filled these cyberspace pages with.      

I would have blogged on the actual day that this here baby of a blog turned 365 days old but instead I was packing and getting ready for a nearly 9 hour flight to the United States with two sick kids. Yes you read that correctly, I did in deed write SICK.   I didn’t actually know that they were sick at the time we were getting ready to leave,  but they were, which explains SO much about that last day before our vacation.  It was a tough day filled with a whole lot of bickering and whining.  I thought that it was just the kids being nervous about flying or the excitement of the anticipation of going on a trip, but I was wrong.

It was around 4pm when I finally realized that something was wrong.  That was about the time that Abbey lay her little head on a pillow while sprawled out on the couch watching television and fell asleep.  She NEVER naps.  She hasn’t napped since the day her little brother was born.  She only ever naps when she has a fever.  She had a fever.  Not a particularly high fever but it was a fever. Tylenol made it all better. It always does. We went to the airport.

Getting through the airport was a disaster, with a capital D in extra bold face type.  I’m not going to go into the details but I will tell you that after waiting a little over an hour in line just to check in for our flight with two sleeping kids, 4 pieces of luggage, 3 carry-on bags, Owen woke up, started screaming and then threw up.  It was lovely.  Just lovely.

The flight itself was rather uneventful as the kids slept most of the way — comatose, I think, with high fevers.

I thought that it was just a little bug that would last 24 hours and then we’d be done with it and get on with our vacation.  Was I ever wrong!  Four days later and both kids are still very sick.  They both have Strep Throat and Owen has an ear infection on top of it.  Neither of the kids have been sleeping through the night which means that neither A nor I have been sleeping at all.

I’m tired.  Very tired.  Very very tired. And I have a sore throat. 

Antibiotics are my friend.  My best friend. 

Oh yeah, happy blog birthday.  4 days late.

Written by nicolemarie

January 15, 2008 at 11:47 pm

The waiting is over…

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Tonight we leave for a 5 week vacation to the US.  I’m excited about going ’cause it means getting to spend time with my parents, visting my grandparents, seeing my brother and sister-in-law, celebrating Abbey’s birthday with the family, and catching up with some dear friends who I haven’t seen in years.  And yet, at the same time, I’m so not excited about this trip ’cause it means departing Buenos Aires at 11:05PM with what I’m sure will be two very tired and cranky kids, spending 8.5 hours on a plane with two very tired and cranky kids, arriving in Miami at 4:45AM being very tired and cranky, spending 5 whole weeks living with my parents, spending 5 whole weeks in the US (somehting I haven’t done in a little over 3 years!), listening to the dissapointment in the voices of friends and family who we won’t be able to see, and having to talk about the upcoming move back to the United States with very very excited family and friends without seeming too disspaointed.  Still, I’m looking forward to it.  At least I think I am.

Oh, I feel the panic setting in.    

This whole trip was only supposed to last 3 weeks.  Three weeks is a good amount of time for a trip back to the US; 5 weeks is stretching it a bit.  It started out as 3 weeks, which is about all I could convince A to take off of work, but was increased to 4 to accomodate 5 days in Disney and a trip to NJ to see my grandparents. And then, an additional week was added in order to have Owen tested at a Child Development Center for learning delays and behavioral issues, per his school’s request. (An issue that I’m sure I’ll deal with when we get closer to the testing).

A will be with us for the first 3 weeks and then head back to Buenos Aires for a week and then rejoin us in Miami for Owen’s testing.

I’m really torn about this trip.  We’ve been planning it for so long that it feels rather anticlimatic now that it’s finally here.  And, when we planned it we weren’t expecting to be moving back to live in the US in only 6 months time.  Actually we were thinking that this would be the last trip back in a while as we extpected to be heading to another overseas post and had planned on deferring our home leave (a trip back to the US between overseas assignments that typically lasts a month) so that we could be settled in before Abbey started Kindergarten.  So this was always supposed to be our last big trip home for a while. 

Oh how life takes intersting and unexpected turns.

On another note, A wants us to “disconenct” during out vacation.  While I think that this is a well intentioned idea, I’m just not sure how realitic is is.  Still, I promised to try.  I have pledged to spend a lot less time online and more time focusing on reading, journaling, and working out, the latter of which I haven’t done since two weeks before Christmas, ugh!  So, that being said, I’ll be checking in from time to time and lettnig you know how things are going.  I’m sure I’ll post photos, I suspect that this will be particually true when we are in Disney. And, if, during these 5 weeks, we happen to find out where we are moving to next, I’ll let you all know.  I promise.

I’m off to finish packing.

Written by nicolemarie

January 11, 2008 at 7:02 am

Posted in crazy adventures

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Heat Wave

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We are experiencing some rather intense weather around these parts.  Today was a high of 104 degrees Fahrenheit!  I literally could have fried an egg on the sidewalk.  (Where the heck does that expression come from anyway?)

I woke up early today hoping to be able to sit outside and drink coffee as I watched the soft glow of the sun fill the morning sky. I grabbed my coffee and headed towards the back door.  The house was cool as the air conditioning had been blasting all night.  I took one step out the door and was immediately hit with the uncomfortable sensation of a blast of hot and humid air — 80 degree hot air to be exact.  And this was at 6:30 AM!!!  There went that idea.

We spent most of the day indoors and when we ventured outside it was either to go from air conditioned house to air conditioned car to air conditioned framing store or we lasted all of 60 seconds before jumping in the pool.  Thank god for that pool of ours.

I forgot how cranky people can be when it’s so damn hot outside.  Okay, so I forgot how darn cranky I can be when it’s this hot outside. 

Somehow the idea of leaving to go up North for 5 weeks, including the 4 day side trip to NJ and its very winter weather, just doesn’t seem so bad.  I could use a blast of cold air right about now.

Written by nicolemarie

January 8, 2008 at 7:41 pm