Monday, June 29, 2009

Not in Kansas Anymore

Or Vermont, for that matter.

It was a smooth, but intense, trip down here and we are still unpacking. The worst part was Wednesday when the movers were here all day, unloading in 104 degree heat. I have been unpacking steadily since then and it is slow going. The kids are having an adventure and being amazingly well behaved (most of the time). I can tell they are ready to at least see other kids, though. Most people tend to hide in their houses during the day. It sort of feels like winter in Vermont, but a lot sunnier and hotter.

I have not taken one single picture, so I hope to do that soon.

Today I hope to make sure we have everything we need for Sophia's first day of school (which I think is next Monday, but I'm not even sure about that), find some summer camps and violin lessons for Fiona, get ready for Triana's visit this Friday (!!!), get the library cards, find the post office and mail Fiona's letters, call AT&T because the very nice man who was here for 4 hours (or was it 5?) did not leave any information about what our email address would be or any codes for anything AND now the land line is way too static-y to use, and, of course, I need to keep on keepin' on with the unpacking. I still need to get my driver's license. We did register both cars and get them inspected. That cost a pretty penny (90 dollar new resident fee for each car on top of all the other costs). We didn't do the driver's license because after getting to the DMV, we discovered the checkbook had been left at the tax office. Thankfully, someone turned it in. It had been an all morning thing by this point, and we were all done.

We'll have been here one week Wednesday and I can see now that, yes, indeed, I need to find a job outside the home. I have no idea what that will be or where and, of course, trying to find a new job is fairly daunting and anxiety producing.

More updates later, and hopefully, some pictures!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Goodbye Green Mountain State!

We got Fiona's violin upgraded. Wow. She grew a lot this year. I'm sort of embarrassed how tiny the old violin was. How did that happen?

I have no tea kettle and no way to contain water to boil, so here I sit with gas station coffee. The first of many, I am sure.

The girls have just woken up, so I am frantically trying to squeeze in precious writing and computer time. However, the pantry and refrigerator beckon. I have to clean those out! I have to shower before the movers get here and hope I can dry the towel outside quickly. We're debating about staying in a hotel tonight after all.

We'll be traveling through New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and on into Texas. Once we get to Louisiana, just north of New Orleans, we'll travel into Houston on Highway 10...which is the route we took when we left Texas to live in Florida. Sort of cool.

I was hoping to get an Atlas for the kids to look at on our trip, but I'm not sure there will be time. The kids, by the way, are very excited and really looking forward to the trip down there. Please hope with me that nothing precious like Fuzzy (Sophia's lovey) accidentally gets packed. Maybe she'll let me put him in the car now. If you don't tell the movers not to pack something, they'll pack it! Imagine that. So we did have to rescue a screwdriver and expensive work shoes.

I could at least double this entry on all the things I will miss in Vermont and how much I have come to love this place (you know, except for those dark winters). I don't think I need to, however. I think it is evident from day one of my blog. Not the least of what I'll miss are just things related to the girls. The birth center where they were born, how the weather was outside afterwards when we cuddled up together afterwards (Fiona was born in February and there was a thaw then, but we got snow later! Sophia was born mid October, just after foliage season), and all the things we did together: hiking outside at the Montshire Museum of Science, smelling lilacs at the Shelburne Museum, creemees from many, many country stores (Warren has a great one, by the way, but I'm not 100% sure they have creemees), picking strawberries and just spending our days in the summer laying outside on a blanket and reading and napping.

Thank you, Vermont!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

7 Days

Click on the picture to read it. If you need translating, it says, "Poem about leaving. I will miss all of you very much. I don't want to leave this school and go to a new one in Texas :(, and I hope everybody enjoys this school very much. Made by Fiona for Mrs. Mancillas [ed note: the principal] I made this for you so you will know that the school loves you."

This is the morning she gets her "Citizen of the Month" award. I'm already blubbering. I'm not sure I can watch her get any sort of award without looking totally red and puffy. Oh well.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

8 Days

Okay, the hotel reservations are all made for the big road trip. I also scored the current Saveur magazine--an entire issue dedicated to Texas! What great timing! I have no idea why I haven't gotten around to subscribing to this magazine. It's a great magazine. I haven't actually had a chance to read this issue yet because Sophia claimed it and is fascinated by the big picture of the longhorn in the center of the magazine. We had a little conversation where she tried to wrap her brain around the fact that, yes, that is where beef comes from. She said "That's not nice" and in the next breath "I like to eat meat".

The people who looked at our house last night liked the house. They seem to be serious buyers. I am really hoping they make an offer, but trying not to get my hopes up. At all. Ever. Until contracts are signed.

Up! was greatly enjoyed by all. Sophia found a few things scary (and there is just a little bit of gun use/swords/fighting) and some things quite distressing (that's because they were) but liked it (still talks about the scary dogs, though). Fiona loved it and her friend seemed to love it, but I think they especially just loved seeing it together. I could have used some tissues.

Apparently, they are talking about Texas in Fiona's class today (they "visit" different countries throughout the year, ending in the USA by the end of the year. Her teacher picks a few states to study--including Vermont, of course--and Texas is one of those states this year). I can't wait to hear about that later!

I suppose today I will work on what's going in the car (I keep saying that, don't I?) and cancel the landline service and the rubbish removal.

I can't believe we'll be on the road a week from today!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Citizen Brown

I just got a letter from Fiona's school that she has been selected to receive the "Citizen of the Month Award" for May.

I showed her the letter and she got the sweetest, proud smile on her face.

She's having a great day. She has been talking non-stop since I picked her up from school (actually unusual...she usually likes to chill with a book). It was all about the science fair that her class visited at the 7th grade. She apparently completed all of the "Easy", "Medium", and "Hard" equations (just addition) and got a glittery orange pencil. This, of course, is a big deal. It's a cool pencil. She has a crown that declares she is "Fiona: Queen of the Swamp". I think there were other interesting items but she talks so low and quickly these days, it is hard to catch everything she is saying, especially in the car, and especially for someone like me who is a little hard of hearing.

9 Days

I'm not going to be able to do a full countdown here because the computer will be packed away next Monday or Tuesday. Gulp. I'm sure the withdrawal symptoms will begin within hours. Perhaps minutes.

I've spent the better part of the day trying to figure out where we will stop for the four nights on our trek to Texas and also locating hotels that are not skanky (at least based on reviews), not overpriced, and have a pool (which we can only hope is not strangely oily and cloudy looking like one of the last places we stayed in. Shudder.). Oh, and are available. That helps.

We're going to see Up! tonight after some greasy spoon food from the Dairy Creme in Montpelier. I think a Dish of Dirt is probably a requirement (I believe it's chocolate cake, fudge sauce, chocolate ice cream, and two gummy worms--Fiona always gets that, and finally, now that she's 7, it doesn't look bigger than her head. I still think she should share it with someone, but she eats the whole thing). I'm sure we'll get a huge bowl of popcorn, which will thrill Sophia, who is my little popcorn fanatic. Like me.

I should now clean, as we have people looking at the house at 7 PM. All I want to do is take a nap. It's very dark today and rainy. Mostly dark. It's odd when it's like this, because the it's so green outside that it nearly glows. I need to bring in some smelly lily-of-the-valley soon. While I still can. I'll miss that.

Tomorrow marks one week until the day we leave.

Monday, June 08, 2009

10 Days

I'm about to drop off the remnants of our garage sale to the Salvation Army (I hope. I am not sure they will take everything...). Our showing on Friday canceled, but we have someone coming tomorrow at 7...PM. That will be okay because I'll be taking the kids with friends to see Up! and get creemees. I can't remember if there are two es on the end of that or one.

I've got Sophia home with me today, but despite that, I've gotten things done and she's been very cuddly. She seems to be all set up for starting at her preschool in July (not wasting any time there...she won't be there as long during the day as she will be for the proper school year). It looks like we can buy new car seats for our last car accident and we will get reimbursed, so that is good (although I told her the cost of Britax car seats and she understandably balked a bit).

Fiona has painstakingly written out little cards for all her friends, teachers, and our neighbors with her new address on them. I still feel like I haven't gotten nearly enough time with friends, so I will try to squeeze that in this week and maybe into the next.

My goal for this afternoon is to pick the route we'll take, possibly make hotel reservations (or at least look for good choices), and finally start setting aside stuff for the car.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

A 4 Year Old Analyzes P!nk

So What - P!nk

I just bought this song because after hearing it every single day at work, I decided I had to keep hearing it. Actually, I ended up getting a few P!nk songs. I've heard her before, but it just didn't really stick with me until now.

So both Fiona and Sophia LOVE this song (hey, it beats Kindermusic). Sophia now will ask numerous questions about every song we listen to. For this one: "Why is she a rock star?" "Why does she have rock moves?" "Why is it called So What?" (Explanation follows to which she says, "Oh, that's sad").

She also loves this song:

Of course she asks, "Why does blood make noise?" She also asks the name of the song again and again and then gets this look on her face like she is thinking very deeply.

They also love this song, but I'm not usually around when they listen to it:

Well, it could be worse.

I love this song (ahem) and they could start singing this at school. I'm sure it would be a big hit at the Waldorf school: