Tuesday, October 25, 2011

So, the kids come home from school, do their homework, then they are out the door. We are lucky enough here to have some woods they can play in. I remember as a child playing in the woods, pretending that was our house, just as my kids are doing now. Boy, That makes me feel old! They are coming back filthy, which I always say is a sign of a good time. I got them walkie-talkies so they can contact me or vise versa. They are still learning how to use them so I over hear Julia saying "hey, you guys hungry? My mom can bring us a snack." Then Maggie uses it as a microphone, so I hear her version of "Apple bottom jeans".
We have been busy with some fun Halloween activities around here. The weather is really nice and cool. I've started volunteering at school here and there. That has given something to do and get me out of this house. We have met a lot of our neighbors at some gatherings. They have all been super nice and welcoming. Speaking of gatherings, there is this awesome store in Annapolis called "Great Gatherings"...I'm in love. I found a Home Goods 45 minutes away. Everything is at least 30 minutes from here. It can be very frustrating. There is a wal-mart close but it is super small. It does not carry much of anything. Dave painted the powder room and I decorated it, so one room down!
Well, hope this finds everyone well! Miss you all!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

(Trying to get) Back in the Saddle Again

Well, it hasn't quite been a month yet and we are getting settled in. I have not one curtain hung but as far as boxes go, I'm in good shape (thanks, Pam). I've managed to find all of the things that I blamed the movers for "losing" and I have a listing on Craigslist for free boxes! Please someone take them off my hands and save a tree while doing it. I'm kind of at a standstill with decorating. We have not painted anything or hung one picture. I think with that comes a real ownership (well, the mortgage is real) as if to say... This is home. Not sure if I'm ready. Every other time I've moved I have been in such a hurry to do those things. I'm not feeling it this time. I'm really homesick for all or any of my old homes, anything familiar and comfortable would be nice. My old friends, too, mostly.
Miss Margaret was sick this week. She finally went back to school today. Our pediatrician (cvs doc in a box) said it was viral, but it hit her hard like the flu. I'm just glad she's back to her normal, cheery self. Julia and I go to St. Mary's City tomorrow on a field trip. At the last minute a seat on the bus became available for me, oh joy!
Dave is staying very busy at work. His commute to DC is about an hour each way. Traffic here is awful. It has been bad in every city we have lived. But, now he's driving this monsterous vehicle affectionately known as the "G unit" for it's guzzling capabilities on the gas tank. Come on Dave, let's go green. As it is, we killed a forest with all those boxes from the moves.
Fall is in full swing. I have to admit, I enjoy living in areas with 4 seasons. The colors are beautiful. Hopefully the winter is mild. I don't even want to think about that!
Well, thanks for reading. Hope everyone everywhere is doing well. Love to you all!

Monday, September 19, 2011

2 Weeks Down! 1 Night To Go!

This will just be a little short update. I have the feeling that this week I'll be buried under a few hundred boxes and may not be able to post. Closing is supposed to be tomorrow! We went to NY over the weekend to finish things up with the house. It took us 7 hours to get there. Way too long! The girls had a little bit of a hard time seeing the house all packed up, but then they went down the street to see their friends and that was the end of that! We had a great time in NY but had to leave early yesterday to get back in time for Religious Education. It was our first class. The girls recognized some kids from school, so that's always a good feeling. Well, have to go get the kids from school. They are adjusting better and better each day! Thank God for that!

Friday, September 9, 2011

1 Week Down...

Hello all, hope that everyone is doing well. Seems these days we are dealing with weather issues all around us. Either it's fires, droughts, floods or tornadoes. Not too far from here in Maryland there were some tornadoes that touched down the other night. Our nice cleaning lady told us that piece of info! In Woodstock, Ga. where I used to live there was one probably not even 5 miles from our old house. It did some damage, but no deaths. There are road closures everywhere up here because of the flooding. Dave drove down yesterday to be with us and it took him 3 hours to get to Manhattan and usually takes 1. As for Texas, we have family dealing with smoke and poor air quality. Not to mention the extreme heat this summer. I wish I could share some of this rain with them! I have not seen sunshine since I left NY!
The girls are finishing up their first week of school here. It was a tough week and they really deserve a relaxing, fun weekend. We thought DC might be a good idea because of all of the 9/11 festivities and memorials. Then I found out about the threat alert. So, now that I think about it, not such a good idea. Hopefully, nothing happens but better safe than sorry. We decided that we will head down to Annapolis tomorrow and show the girls around. It's a cute town with a lot to do. Let's just pray this rain stops so we can enjoy the day....and so the flood waters can recede!
We have to leave our hotel tomorrow and stay in a different one tomorrow night. This one is booked. Packing up should be interesting! Our friend, the cleaning lady, was even laughing about how much stuff we have! Then we have to come back to this one Sunday night! Long story...but that's what we have to do! A change of scenery will do me some good anyway,I
Thanks for everyone's concern about the girls. They are doing better and better everyday. They are 2 tough little cookies. I know things will improve drastically once we get in our house. They are already fighting over which bedroom they want. They both want the room with the "pool view". Did I mention that we don't have a pool? Lol Well, have a great weekend! A special thank you to all servicemen and women who have fought to protect us. All of the 9/11 stories on tv have been so touching. Keeping all 3,000 lost and their families in my prayers!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New School

"Mom, are you crying?"
"Yes, Maggie"
"Do what I do and motivate yourself"
"How do you do that?"
"You pay attention to other things because crying doesn't change anything"
"Ok, I'll try that, thanks"

That was as we drove out of our neighborhood in NY yesterday to head to Maryland. The girls made some really good friends there. I did too. Not many, but the ones I did make are special. We just did it 9 months ago so it's like the wound is open again. The drive was uneventful. It took us almost 7 hours. Longer than it should have but we HAD to stop in northern Maryland for Popeye's chicken. The girls love the mashed potatoes there, ok, mom does too. The rain and tolls also slowed us down a bit. The girls were a little wired last night. Maggie slept in the car for probably 3 hours. They have been playing pretty hard all summer, staying up late and getting as much time in with their friends as they could. Inseperable. I figured I'd let them go out with a bang!
So, this morning, it was a little hard for Maggie to take her own advice. She kept saying "I
do not want to make friends and I don't want to go to this school". The teacher had to pull her off of me. It's just going to take some time. Julia was nervous, but she did fine. The school is very nice. The teachers are super sweet. Again, it's just going to take some time. We expect to be in the hotel for 2 weeks until we close on the house. Let's pray it all goes as planned. Natural disasters- stay away from me!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I Feel the Earth Move Under My Feet

I'm starting to think it's me. All in one year; record snow, record heat, an earthquake and a hurricane. Believe me, I can handle the heat, but the others combined with moving twice in one year are about to put me over the edge. We were in the basement having the house inspected in Maryland when the whole house started to shake. We ran out after the initial thought of "what in the hell is happening?". The trees and patio furniture continued to shake just as the earth did right under our feet. We realized shortly after the first rumble it was an earthquake but people in that area immediately thought terrorist attack. Then it occurred to us that if it is an earthquake and the epicenter is in the ocean and my kids are at the beach...oh no! Well, the phones were not getting cell service but we were able to text. It wasn't long before finding out that they felt it too but they were safe. Thank God. Then there's Irene. Knowing what my family and friends went through for "THE" storm, I will not complain too much about her. We just had our power restored tonight after 3 days of being without. Not having electricity is more tolerable than not having water. We use well water that is powered by a pump that uses electricity. So, that was probably the hardest part. But, it's over now! I really appreciate all of your thoughts and concern during and after the storm. Thanks to you all. I tracked the storm with the kids, something we always did as children. Listening to Nash giving you the coordinates. I have not been able to watch any of the hurricane coverage but I hear that Vermont did not fair well. We have plenty of trees down here. As for the beaches, I hate to think about the coastal erosion this has caused.
The girls and I will head down to Maryland Monday so they can start school Tuesday. We will stay for the week and come back to NY on the weekends and repeat until we close on the house and can move in. Our temporary living arrangements down there will be a hotel. Actually, we were starting to look forward to it. Even Julia said "at least the hotel will have electricity". Maggie also kept calling Hurricane Irene, Katrina. I think she thought "Katrina" was the general word for "hurricane". Well, our adventures will continue but I hope my next post will be less eventful. I'll keep you posted. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

On The Road Again

Well, I came to NY kicking and screaming and that's how I'll leave. I'm finally just grasping the idea of all of this. We should close on our house in Maryland in mid Sept. Until then, I will be living in a hotel with the children (when they start school) while Dave finishes work here in NY. We did the hotel thing when we moved here...not fun. Anyway, let's back up. Without going into too many details, Dave is taking a job with a distributor in D.C. Not as exciting as NY you say? I say that too. But, the good thing is this job is there and that's it and that's that. We will not be moving again. And that my friends, is a Good Thing. We will be living outside of Annapolis. Is that really where I want to plant roots? Not sure, mostly because all of this is happening really fast. I kind of have a bit of an attitude about this whole thing as you may be able to tell...but it's almost 1 in the morning and I had too much coffee tonight and can't sleep so that gives me a license to have an attitude (at this moment anyway...I have no excuse for the last month). There was plenty of other things I wanted to do here before leaving, but that's ok. I think for living here only 8 short months we did plenty. I'm grateful for that. Ok, now I'm being nice again. Seriously, Dave has had to put up with me moaning and groaning about this move. He's had a lot of patience with me. As for the girls, they are accepting it beautifully. I know the tears are not over, for none of us. They truly amaze me and I'm so blessed to be their mother. You know the saying "Everything happens for a reason". It holds true here too. We have met some beautiful people here in NY that I will never forget. I know we will remain friends as we move on to our next (and maybe final) destination. Ok, I don't want to get into all of that because I surely will cry...so I'm moving on.
My mother is here now. We went to NYC yesterday and visited 3 Flea markets, and swung by Times Square just for good measure. If you watch Discovery Channel's Dirty Money then you know about Hell's Kitchen Flea Market. We did not see Rat Boy or Jimmy or the other guy. I really don't remember their names. It was a fun time. Everyone is so hipster in NYC. I like people watching.
We just returned from our tour of the Gulf Coast, which is really where I'd like to settle one day. We had a great time getting to see family and friends in Alabama and Louisiana. Now it's time for me to focus on my very long to-do list. I've had little practice at moving so it shouldn't be too bad, right? Right. So, I'll have to change the name of this blog as I will no longer be in the "Big Apple". My sister- in-law suggested "Mrs. Stander Goes to Washington". It has a nice ring to it! I'll try to keep everyone posted on our journey. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mid July 2011

Today is the last day of Camp Kiki Wanna Kiki for the girls. They are so sad. I am going to try to show up early to take some pictures of them. I'm sure they will be embarrassed. Last week I held a piece of paper out of the window in the carpool line with their names on it. This mortified Maggie. She was pretty upset. I guess I need to start being more aware of how I act in front of them. They are getting at "that age".

Dave had some "work" in Montauk over the weekend. We did a pub crawl Saturday afternoon and then went to a nightclub that night. Montauk is on the very tip of Long Island. It was gorgeous. We watched the sunset and applauded and cheered as it dipped in the ocean (or bay, I forgot what side of LI we were on) from an old establishment called Montauket (see pic to the right). It is definitely deserving of applause. Simply stunning. The whole island was beautiful. There were old windmills. There also was an old light house we wanted to go into but ran out of time.  We passed Sag Harbor…which I thought was only a brand at K-mart. It is an actual place!  A special thank you to a sweet friend that took care of my girls for the weekend! 

For those of you that know my father, he was in a boating accident Sunday and hurt his hand pretty badly. He received 24 stitches total. He may lose part of his finger.  He has an appointment today with a hand surgeon. Please pray for his comfort and recovery.  Thank you all!!! xoxo

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer is Finally Here!

Well, a lot has happened since I blogged last.  We have had more visitors and got to do some more sight seeing. We have loved every minute of it. It has given us the opportunity to go to the city many more times than we probably would have minus the company. The kids have wrapped up the school year.  We have been to more social events with neighbors and friends.  Living life and enjoying it!
I finally got my BAYOUGRL licence plates in the mail. I am so proud.  BAYOUGRL was not taken.  WHODAT was,  LSUTIGR was.  I think BAYOUGRL is perfect!  I felt really uncomfortable driving around with the Georgia plates. I just new the horn blowing and cutting me off had something to do with them.  Southerners do tend to move a little slower than northerners.  That holds true with me except for my driving. I fit right in up here.
Speaking of the south and the bayou, we had quite the experience grilling shrimp.  I bought them from the freezer section at the grocery store.  They were from Guatemala.  They all ended up in the trash.  There's nothing like Boogie Shrimp.
Today is the second day of summer break for the girls.  They enjoyed sleeping in, in fact they are still in their pajamas.  I LOVE the schools here.  The teachers and staff did such a great job making them feel welcome and a part of the group.  The focus of the school is friendship.  They really emphasize caring and kindness. They were sad to see the year end, even after 11 months of education.  They started in Georgia at the beginning of August.  Education never hurt anybody, right?
Have I mentioned we have the best landlord anyone could ask for?  She took me last week to the nursery to buy plants for our yard.  Saturday she had me over for a cooking lesson (she's Italian). I learned how to make "sauce".  I had another lesson yesterday on how to make Pasta Fagioli. It was awesome. She wants to learn how to cook some New Orleans dishes. I'll leave that to Dave. He is a great cook.  She was supposed to move to Florida after moving out of this house, but has been staying across the street with her daughter and son-in-law.
I have been doing a lot of baking, though.  Since I have been baking a lot, that also means I have been eating a lot.  Ugh!  Check out Our Best Bites blog.  I am in love. I also bought their cookbook.
I figured that I should try to make friends.  I joined the Somers Newcomers and Neighbors club.  They have interest groups that meet on anything like cooking, sewing, gardening, etc.  They encourage you to create your own group if nothing seems to interest you. So, I thought, I really like to craft, maybe other people in Somers do too. I held a meeting and we had a grand total of 3 of us. Me, my sweet supportive friend (she does not even like crafts) and one other crafter.  It was pitiful.  Hey, I tried!
Julia was in a drama camp that met once a week. She loved it. I think we found something that she truly loves and this gives her the opportunity to do and say things she would not normally do or say.  She can kind of be a different kid for a couple of hours.  They will have some workshops this summer she will participate in.
The weather here has been unbelievably gorgeous!!! The high for this week is 81*.   The other day I wore a jacket out. Jealous? lol
I have been to the city and have taken the subway (by myself).  The subway can be quite confusing, smelly and scary all rolled into one.  Dave is still loving his job and getting to do and experience some pretty cool things in the city and out.
Living away from family and friends can be difficult for a multitude of reasons.  Missing birthdays, graduations, weddings to name a few is hard.  Thank goodness for facebook!  We get to share pictures with a few clicks.  Last week, I had to miss a funeral of a dear friend in Woodstock. I hated to not be there to pay my respects.  Life was cut too short for her. It is heartbreaking.
Well, I miss you all.  We will be spending some time this summer in Daphne, AL and New Orleans, La.  Hope to see some of you!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Waiting for Spring

It has been almost a month since I blogged last. We have come a long way in that month. I'm feeling a bit more comfortable in my surroundings. I don't feel so overwhelmingly out of place. I still use the garmin while driving. I'm still trying to work out little things. Like finding a dry cleaner that won't charge me $81 to dry clean Dave's work clothes, for example. I am feeling confident enough to take the train into the city by myself. I met a friend down there for dinner. That was fun. I was excited to do that (and a little proud of myself). Finding a good fabric store is on my list. I still need to get a NY driver's license and plates.

We are back to wearing coats today and may have more snow tonight. Happy spring, right? Dave is lighting us a fire as I type. Most of you have probably been sweating at the ball park all day. We had just a couple of days of nice weather. I'm not bitter. Speaking of nice weather, you know where they have beautiful weather? Yes, Las Vegas. It was so nice for my skin to feel those warm rays of sun. Too bad for all those that had to put up with seeing my pasty white skin, but I had to bask in it while I could. It was great to see our very close friends there. What a great opportunity for us to hook up in Vegas and hang out! We ate, drank and were very merry! The girls were well taken care of by Dave's dad. They really enjoyed their bonding time together!
We also made a quick trip to Baltimore a couple of weeks ago for Dave's work. First time there for me and the girls. We stayed right on the water. Another great city.

My sister came to visit with her children. We enjoyed every minute of that visit. We played in the snow, went ice skating and visited NYC. I was so sad to see them go, but look forward to our time together this summer. We have several other visits planned for family and friends in the near future. So exciting! Looking forward to them all!

Julia is on the mend from Strep. I had to take her to the dr. again. She told me she likes her new dr. I like her too, almost as much as our previous Nurse Kelly. Maggie has been making her rounds around the neighborhood with playdates. She just wants to play, that's all. They were in the tub earlier pretending that their Barbies were mermaids. I love listening to them play. Maggie was pretending that it was her mermaid's sweet sixteen party. So funny.

That naughty leprechaun came to our house again and made a mess of things! The girls love the search for the little guy and see what mischief he is up to. Well, I'll try to write more often. It has been too long. Take care all! Good night.

Monday, February 21, 2011

New Fallen Snow

Well, I have not blogged in a while.  This week is winter break, as if the kids have not had enough days off of school!  They are downstairs playing in the basement with Skipper. They spend a lot of time doing that these days.  They are still enjoying school and loving their new home.  I have been adjusting fine.  I have to admit, I have had my moments. Like the one moment when I ran out of the drycleaners begging the police officer to not write me that parking ticket. I'd say that was a 'moment'.  And driving around aimlessly not knowing which way to go to get home, another 'moment' or two.  But overall, I'd have to say I'm getting used to it.  I am checking into a newcomers group to join, I also signed up to teach CCD at church.  I will teach a third grade class across the hall from Julia.  She opted out of being in my class, I can take a hint.  My sister and her kids comes to visit in a couple of days.  We just got a fresh snow (5 inches or so), just what the kids were looking for! I like fresh snow because it covers up the ugly gray snow on side of the street.  We are really excited about having some snow fun with them!  Maybe we will have some city fun too!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Let the Playdates Begin!

I had a wonderful start to my day.  I got up and went to lie down with Julia in her bed. Out of her window she has the best view of the sunrise.  The sun came up over the horse farm. In Woodstock, we had the best view of the sunset from our deck. The sun goes down over a ridge.  In the fall the trees are so vibrant.

Today is Saturday! Yay for Saturday!  I have plenty to do but that's okay.  Maggie just vomited so that kind of makes today a little less fun  :)  Especially for her :( She has fever to go along with it. I guess it's the same thing that Julia had but Maggie has a much weaker stomach, so there you go.
Dave is working in the garage, organizing again.  It's so cold out there.  He is looking for a certain tool and can't find it! It's driving him crazy! It's got to be in there somewhere.
The girls had some friends come over after school yesterday.  It was great. I think it was the first time I felt normal since we moved.  It was a warm feeling in the middle of all this cold.  Hearing the kids run and play reminded me of our home in Woodstock. I miss our Bradshaw Park n'hood children.
My friend invited me to a breakfast with some of her friends. It was great to meet this wonderful group of women. It was a lot of fun.  I did break down and cry on one of the women and had to excuse myself to the restroom. I got myself together and went out to enjoy the rest of the breakfast. I am fine. It's just going to take some more time, that's all.
 Oh man, I just  got called called to help in the garage, darn...brrr!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Feb. 7, 2011

Today is a "normal" day. The girls are off at school, Dave is at work, and I am at home.  I'm glad to have some routine again! One of the pros about this move was that Dave would be home more and not travel as much.  We are so thankful for that.  There was so much that he missed at home because he was always on the road.  I did not have to cook as much, though!  It was much easier feeding the 3 of us....leftovers, ravioli, Pam's house!
The girls got off to school great.  They stayed up a little bit later last night because of the Super Bowl.  We went over to one of Dave's coworker's to watch the first half of the game. The food was fabulous! We had a good time! His coworkers and families are super nice. 
Other than the Super Bowl, our weekend was pretty low key. Dave worked in the garage organizing junk.  I worked inside unpacking junk.  The kids played in the snow.  I found a sled at the Goodwill for $4!  I love a good deal. They had a blast with it.  The temp must be a little higher today. I hear a lot of water coming down the gutters.
Last week Maggie had her first reconciliation.  This is where she goes for the first time with a priest and tells him her sins.  We had to wait a while, LOL.  No, really, she did great. I am so proud of her.  Whenever she spoke to someone that day or the next she would say, "Do you want to talk to someone that is sin-free?"  So cute. I hope they talk fast..LOL. I love the church. It reminds me of my childhood church, San Pedro. It is no longer in operation because of Katrina. I was so moved walking in and seeing the structure and decorations very similar.  It must have been built around the same time.  So we went to mass on Sunday. Julia saw a classmate. I met her mother and now they have a playdate set up for Tuesday.  The kids miss their old friends but are doing a great job making new ones!  One is silver and the other's gold!


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Well, a lot has happened since my last update.  We moved in last Sunday.  I am still in awe by how much stuff we have.  I was not there when they packed the house in Woodstock, so I had no idea how many boxes were on that truck.  I guess that is what 10 years of marriage and 2 kids will do to you!  We are still tripping over boxes.  I am hoping to get a lot done this weekend. 
Julia has been sick all week, only going to school on Monday.  We found a pediatrician that we like. We had 2 more snow days this week so she did not miss that much school.  It is snowing again now with more in the forecast for Wednesday.  Really?  I would love for the kids to go out and play in it so I can post some pics.  I don't know if Julia is ready for that.
Skipper has been challenged by the snow when going to the bathroom.  For a few days his legs immediately sank in the snow, putting his bottom right on the snow.  This, obviously causing a problem.  Then we got another few inches, so his legs sank through the fresh snow but stood on the old snow.  That was better for him. Then we got a thin sheet of ice, causing him to step and then crunch through the ice.  Awkward, for him and the person (me) walking him.  I am sure the neighbors are getting a good laugh. The latest is the inch or more of ice on top of the snow that we can walk on, in some places loudly cracking far off like a cartoon. It is very slippery and hard for him to get his grip, also for me.  I would love to know what that dog is thinking.
Another difference is that my house was the bus stop in Woodstock.  I lived on a corner.  Here, I have to walk the kids down to the bus stop in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon. At the risk of sounding lazy, I'll say that it stinks. I much rather sip my coffee and watch them board through my window!  Especially at 12 degrees.  The girls do love school. They are making friends and doing great academically and socially.
We finally got cable, internet and phone this week. Thank you cable guy! Julia says she feels normal again, being able to watch tv.
The girls and I met Dave for dinner last night at a local restaurant/bar.  He knew a couple of guys from work there and we met some of their friends.  We had a good time. Well, I have lots to do so I'll close for now.

Friday, January 28, 2011

It's Possible

What an eventful week!  Snow and more snow and more snow and more snow. It is just crazy.  They never have this much snow.  Outside of a seafood restaurant they built a big snow lobster and spray painted it red.  It's just like building a sand castle...NOT!
Wednesday the roads were really nasty.  We decided to stay at a friend's house in Somers after I picked the kids up from school.  We know them through Dave's job.  The wife so graciously took us in and fed us.  We are so blessed to have them.  I was scared to death to ride on these slushy, icy roads. Not to mention these hotel walls were getting to me, so I was happy to have a change of scenery. This is where we got our first lesson in snow shoveling.  I will post a picture of my car buried.  Luckily, the driveway was plowed for us. The snow is so thick, when Maggie walked in it yesterday she lost both of her shoes. They had a 2 hour delay at school that morning.  Maggie caught the bus with her children. The bus driver was so cool. Maggie said she loved it because they listened to Rhianna on their way to school.
Dave is in Atlanta and has been for 2 weeks now. He is there with the movers still.  They were supposed to leave last night but my source says the truck is still in front of my house.  Would someone please go hi-jack it and drive it up here?  I want to move in SUNDAY!!!  Not a day later!!!
Maggie had a performance this morning at school. It was a Seussical Musical!  All songs about Dr. Seuss, whom by the way I love.  She did fabulous!  I cried for "It's Possible, Anything is Possible". That child on the stage is proof of that. I was sitting in the audience listening and I had to cry   Look at her, singing. She knows the words, knows the hand motions. She is smiling.  She has only been to school a handful of days.  I'm sure the other parents think I'm a little nuts but that's ok. They'd figure it out eventually! LOL

Monday, January 24, 2011


I just brought the girls to school again.  Maggie is still very nervous, forcing her to get sick in my car this morning in car rider line right before the teacher opened the door.  She is not my nervous child.  She is the kid that is so laid back.  Nothing ruffles her feathers. I don't get it.  Believe me, she is entitled.  It's huge to be the new kid.  So we are taking it day by day.  Julia loves it and is not nervous a bit. 
We were invited to a birthday party last night. Maggie was in school for one day and received the invite.  She was thrilled to be there. It was at an ice skating rink. The girls surprised me. The were just as good as the locals!  We will definitely go back.  They had so much fun.  I was able to meet the parents and children in her class.  Again, everyone is so nice.
I am sorry to complain about the weather again, but this morning it was negative 5 degrees. When I said last week that the cold was the worse I've felt. I take that back. Today wins the award. AND....we have another chance of snow this week. 
I kind of had a pity party this past weekend for myself but this week I am focused on counting down the days in a positive way!  The movers are going to our home in Woodstock to pack us today.  We should be in the house here by next Monday.  YAY!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Weather Outside Is Frightful

The low tomorrow is 2 degrees. The cold here is a bitter cold. It is like nothing I've ever experienced.   As long as the windchill is above 15, the children go out to recess at school.   When I grew up in St. Bernard, you could wear shorts most Christmases. So it is quite different. Even in Georgia, Maggie wore a bathing suit under her clothes year 'round. You never know!

It is now the weekend. Dave had to be in Atlanta last week for work and has to be there this week coming for the movers so he just decided to stay.  The girls and I are in the hotel going a bit stir crazy.  Don't get me wrong, I have not made a bed or taken out the trash in 2 weeks. I could get used to that! Yesterday was ok (they had a snow day, AGAIN).  That makes 3 snow days in the last 2 weeks.  More than usual for this area. Even the locals have had enough of the snow. The kids played here and I watched tv all day. Partially because I was bored but partially because I needed a distraction from being homesick. Those Housewives of Atlanta and Beverly Hills can really take your mind off of things. I am happy that he gets to spend the weekend at our home in Woodstock living our normal weekend life, but boy do I wish I was there too.  REALLY BAD. 

I am so happy with their schools and teachers.  I feel very blessed.  They know we are going through a transition and have been so helpful.  The kids are doing great. Way better than I am. They don't seem to mind living in a hotel and they are making new friends at school. Maggie has already been invited to a birthday party tomorrow.  She was in school for a total of one day! It was a great first day. She amazes me. It is at an ice skating rink. I am sure it will be obvious tomorrow that we are souherners. Ha!  Julia has had 2 great days at school. She loves it!
Hopefully next week will be a full school week. I am also getting them registered for Religious Ed.  I think they were hoping to forego that for the rest of the year.  Not happening. Just wait until they find out the class is 1 1/2 hours long! The one at our old church in Woodstock was only an hour long. Well, Maggie is begging me for the computer so that's all for now. I guess I'll see what the Housewives are up to today.  Hey, looks like they are going to be starting Housewives of New York. No one interviewed me! LOL

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I Did Not Think NY Had Snow Days

We woke up this morning to the news of our new school being closed for a snow day. It was actually the ice on the roads that was so dangerous. My Cherokee County friends are familiar with that! I'm really nervous about driving up there. I definitely do not need ice in the mix. Julia was disappointed, needless to say. We will try again tomorrow!
We walked to Target today.  We are beginning to have cabin fever!  There was freezing rain and we did not pack an umbrella.  One thing that I am not accustomed to is paying for parking. I disagree with it in certain places...a mall, target, a grocery store. I understand paying for parking at a special event, but everyday errands is a bit much.  I think it is downright crazy. Well, you know what is craziER...walking to Target in the icy rain without an umbrella!  I now know why people pay to park at Target! Lesson learned! Just fyi, we bought umbrellas for the walk back. Now we are ready!

Monday, January 17, 2011

We are at Dave’s office in Stamford, CT. Corporate world, at least for Dave’s company, is awesome. There are tv’s, couches, a kitchen and even a bar! I remember once when I was student teaching, my teacher friend had to eat her salad on a coffee filter because the teacher’s lounge had no plates! Funny how things are different in different fields! The girls think that this is the best!  It might have something to do with the unlimited snack supply! We will hang out here while he works. No one is here today because it is a holiday but he needed to get a few things done. There is a mall connected to the office building so I’ll take the kids for a walk and go to get Julia a few school supplies at a Target nearby.
Yesterday we enjoyed the company of some friends. Dave’s co-worker had us over for dinner and to have the kids play.  They have 2 boys. They got along great. They had a blast in the snow. They built forts with tunnels and went sledding down a bunny slope!  Dinner was fabulous! It was so nice to have a home cooked meal and it was Italian! Yum! It was great to relax around a “home” with such a great family.   We are so thankful.
School starts tomorow (well, just for Julia)...3 cheers...Hip Hip Hooray! Hip Hip Hooray! Hip Hip Hooray! She is SOOOOO excited!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

New York, New York, The City So Nice, They Named It Twice

Today we went down to the city.  We walked from the hotel to the train station.  There started the observations/people watching.  We were sitting waiting for our train and a guy loudly tells the woman next to him "I'm waiting for my friend, he's coming from Grand Central...." and he goes on.  She ignores him and scoots over. He then makes eye contact with me and repeats himself. I am thinking to myself, do I look away now and take that womans lead, respond to him, what should I do? What do I know? I am not from here. So, like a true southerner I smiled and said "that's nice".  Then he got Dave's attention and he went on to tell us about his birthday and where he grew up.  He then gave us a map and told us that he did not have any snacks for the girls but he can show us on the map how to get to the American Girl store because he thinks they will like that.  He circled on the map where we should go. Interesting. Nice guy.
We then got off the train at Grand Central Station and caught the subway to Times Square.  When we came up from underground and saw the city for the first time, it was breathtaking.  So much noise, so many people, cars, concrete, buildings, signs. I have never been before so this was a new experience for me. I wanted to take it all in.  We stayed in that vacinity for the day. We hit Toys R Us first. That place was 3 stories high with a huge ferris wheel in the middle. Of course, the girls had to ride that.  There are several departments...Barbie, Lego's, Baby, Rocks, Candy Land, Wonka, Games, etc.  We were in sensory overload there. We moved on to Planet Hollywood and had lunch.  Stuffed, we got back on the streets and went down to the m&m store.  This is where I learned a life lesson. Nothing is free.  I did not know why but there were Elmo's on every corner, sometimes accompanied by a Minnie Mouse.  I thought, oh, that's cute.  I told Maggie "go stand there and take a picture". So she did. Next thing I know they are coming after me with these stockings shaking them in my face.  I stumbled through my backpack for a dollar for each, Elmo and Minnie. I was afraid what would happen if I did not pay them.  I did not want Elmo to get violent on me. LOL. Dave knows better than to make these rookie mistakes. He tries to hurry us up through the train station, as to not sit and watch Michael Jackson sing and dance or some other street performers. If you watch them, or take pictures, they expect to get paid and might get mad if you don't.  Don't take flyers from people or slips of paper. There are a lot of people doing that.  He knows all of this. I'll learn.  Knowing which train and which subway to get on can be tricky, but eveyone around us was really helpful. Everyone is in a hurry and busy, but we have had nice interactions with people.
We made it back home safely.  The girls said this was their "funnest" day yet while living here.  Both mine and Dave's eyes burn tonight. Could it be the pollution or just our imaginations?
Tomorrow we are going to a co-worker's house for dinner and to let the kids play!! Yay, I am so glad the kids get to play with new friends. They happen to be boys, which my girls don't mind one bit!

Friday, January 14, 2011

To School for Cool

Today we went up to tour Julia's school. We met with the principal and he showed us around. There are about 800 kids there for just 3rd, 4th and 5th grades. Julia is excited. She has the opportunity to play a string insturment this year. When we got home (or got to the hotel), my phone rang and it was Julia's teacher introducing himself.  He seems very nice.  She is excited to have a male teacher. She's never had one before (besides for specials).  I drove myself today, I made a few wrong turns, but the Garmin got us back on track.  Dave got back from Philly (I spelled it right this time) and we went to dinner at a hibachi restuarant around the corner. It was very good.  Maggie says at dinner "It's so amazing to see their talent" speaking of the hibachi cook as he builds his onion volcano. I hope she is always able to see the good in people.  I think that is a gift she has now as a child. I teared up a little at dinner. I just really miss my home and normalcy.  It wasn't like sad tears, it was more like, "I guess this is it" tears. We are here. Moving on. Doing our "new" thing.  Our weekends are usually spent with friends we think of as family. I miss that.
I think we will take the train into the city tomorrow. Yes, NYC! How exciting. I will be sure to post pics. We will see what tomorrow brings.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

We Need An Education and Fast

I did not blog yesterday because not much happened here.  Today marks the 27th day that they children have not been in school.  I have been doing some work with them here and there, but as Julia said last week "we need an education and fast". Today we went up complete the school registration. I am not sure what takes this process so long, but it does.  We have everything turned in and now we are waiting for a phone call from the school.  I drove myself and the girls to Somers, which btw is where they had 16 inches of snow on Tuesday night.  My first time driving here.  Had only 2 minor incidents, so that is good. You really need to be ready to pull off when the traffic light turns green.  You almost need to be moving already when the light turns green. Then I was yelled at by a pedestrian because I had pulled up to far and blocked the crosswalk.  Ooops!  I'll learn.
I got a phone call from the car service that is supposed to transport my car up here.  Dave told me to ask them if they were driving 8 miles per hour to get up here.  My car is in...drumroll......Marietta. Which is about 10 miles maybe from my house in Woodstock.  So, turns out they have not even left Atlanta with it!  To their defense there was a snow/icestorm in Atlanta earlier this week.  They picked it up last Saturday.  We had to rent a car today because Dave had to drive to Phillie and we have an appointment to tour Julia's school tomorrow. 
We went out and made a few groceries at the Wally world.  Made our rounds to the Target and Barnes and Noble.  The girls just can't get enough of the snow.  They HAVE to walk in it and play in it. They just can't help it. The ladies at the front desk of the hotel had cookies ready for the girls when we came through the door this evening.  They are very sweet.  The girls are eating that up! I "cooked" in my kitchenette tonight....ravioli. Glad to not eat out.  Can't wait  to cook a real meal for us....or better yet, have Dave cook a real meal for us!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

City Slickers

This morning was brutal waking up at 7...but we got a lot done tody.  We went up to register the kids for school. We are still working on getting some paperwork to them.  This snow storm is really holding us up. I needed info from schools and dr's in Atlanta and everything is shut down there.  We will get the storm tomorrow.  Everyone at the school office was very nice and cooperative.  Maggie still wants me to homeschool but I'd rather not. I think she is just a little nervous...and for anyone that knows Maggie, that is not like her. She usually walks in a place like she owns it!  We came back to the room for a bit. Dave went into work and the girls and I decided to venture out again. We had passed a Walmart getting to the hotel several times, so I knew it was there but when we turned the corner.....there was a Barnes and Nobles and Target!!! A bright light shone on this building for me, I swear. The Target was underground, which was neat. Dave failed to mention that those 2 places were a couple of blocks away. We are not really buying anything but it is nice to get out of this room and work off some of our restuarant food.  Which btw we found the BEST little deli today. It looked like a hole in the wall..but you know those are the best.  It was called M and R's Deli. We call it Mr. Deli.  It was in Mt. Kisco.
It is interesting for me to people watch.  This area is very diverse and just different. It's hard to explain. Everyone has things to do and places to go. It's fast paced. You hear all kinds of languages. I think it is good for the kids. When we move up to Somers I don't think it is as diverse, but it is fun for now experiencing it all here.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Day 2

 Dave went in to work early. The girls and I slept in a little bit and almost missed breakfast!  Oh no! I called down and they said we could still go even though we were 30 minutes late. We needed to fuel up for our busy day.  We had breakfast and then the girls swiped 4 apples, 2 donuts and 2 yogurts for later. We got a map from the hotel and ventured out to find the mall.  We walked the city streets of White Plains. I'm sure not even comparable at all to the streets of NYC but way more urban than we are used to. We are still on a mission to replace some of Julia's clothes. We got some after season deals at Macy's.  We met Dave back at the room and then drove up to Somers to see the house! Wow, it is beautiful and I can't wait.  One thing I am looking forward to is a bath.  I LOVE baths...and being in a hotel, that is just not happening...eeww!  Her real estate agent/ son-in-law/ our new neighbor said that the owner (his mother-in-law)might move out a week early, which means we could possibly move in a week early, which means no more living in a hotel!  Dave hates when I publicly thank him or speak to him anyway via cyber world, but I have to say that he has held us all together during this crazy time. He is awesome and that's all I will say, ok? He had to put up with me!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Standers Have Landed

"Today is the big day" Julia said as we woke up bright and early. She had a huge smile on her sleepy face. Maggie walks in with a smile and says "I've been praying". We asked her for what and she says "praying that we have a good day in New York".  Amazingly my children have maintained a positive attitude about this after all we have been through and after all of my anxiety and tears.  I am so thankful for them.  Early this afternoon we landed in White Plains, a small airport.  A car picked us up and the the driver was so nice and welcoming. He said he was so excited for us because he knows what this town has in store for us. That was comforting. He actually lives in the same little town that we will rent in.  Super nice, his wife owns a dance studio and he is a comedian (and driver)!  He dropped us off to Dave's car that was parked not far away from the airport. This is where we lost Julia's luggage, I think. Losing her luggage was not the highlight of the day. I was very upset. Then, I turned on the news and saw where a 9 year old was shot and killed at the Gifford shooting in Arizona. I could have lost my child. So luggage, I can deal with. We then drove to Somers to pass by the house and the schools.  The kids were scouting out the backyards and driveways looking for any signs of play equipment and bikes.  Everything was covered in snow.  It looked like a postcard.  We had lunch there and then drove back to the hotel.  Dave then took Julia to the mall because we lost all of her clothes (she did not mind that trip).  When they returned we had dinner down in the hotel at this Chinese/ Japenese restuarant. Very good.  The girls have been jumping and running around our hotel room.  They are now fast asleep on the pull out sofa, which by the way is super awesome!  My friends in Atl are bracing themselves for a rough snow storm. I hope all is well for them.