Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Hotels, Motels, Holiday Inns

Ah, this is the life. People who make the bed for you every day. Pay-per-views at 12 bucks a pop (and that's for REGULAR movies, not porn). Free "continental" breakfast. As you may have figured out, we have made our transition from tiny-apartment dwellers to tiny-hotel room dwellers.

We moved into the luxurious (note, sarcasm) Virginian Suites last night. Haul up 6 gigantic suitcases, one tired child, assorted crap from the apartment that we just couldn't bear to throw away (milk, cereal bars, percocet...not necessarily in that order) up to the 7th floor. Child wants "DORA DORA DORA". I decide, unilaterally, since Dave is making yet another trip to the car for yet another bag, that my child should be allowed to watch Dora the Explorer at 8:30 at night even though we usually don't let him watch television this late in the evening. I think "hey, this will keep him busy while I sort crap into the appropriate corner of the living room/bedroom/kitchenette".

Turn on television. Get a big blank screen with "unusable signal" flashing ominously into the living room. Cue child's chant one decible level higher "DORA DORA DORA". Frantically I prod the different buttons on the television and the remote control trying to make it work. I anxiously peer at the hotel door, hoping Dave will walk through and save me from electronic hell. Child has reached zombie-like trance chant "DORA DORA DORA". I swallow my pride and call the front desk "uh, hi, we just checked in and I can't get the television on". The nice guy at the desk tells me to put the TV on channel 4 - not using the remote - I must use the buttons on the TV. I do so. Still have the flashing screen of UNUSABLE SIGNAL doom. Nice guy at the desk's helpful answer? "I'll have to send someone up". Great. I explain to Blaine that the TV is broken. So he goes from chanting "DORA" to chanting "TV BROKEN TV BROKEN". Dave walks in and dons his superhero electronic-man cape and tries to fix it. Nope. Still not working. Finally, a full 15 minutes later, one of the hotel's maintenance staff arrives, fiddles with the remote and television and pronounces it "broken". Ends up having to splice a new cable into the wall. TV works, the world returns to normal.

Or so we thought. Then Dave tries to plug in his laptop to charge. He crawls under the desk in the living room and pushes the plug into the outlet. It promptly falls right back out. He jiggles the cord that is plugged in (that operates the lamp on the desk) and the whole faceplate falls off the wall. Repeats this same scenario with the outlet by the television. Dave comments "I knew I would be dealing with antiquated electrical systems and wiring, but I thought it wouldn't happen until we actually were living in Tbilisi."

Heh. Who knew the Virginian Suites were going to be a trial run for a post-Soviet country. I'm sure to feel at home.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

A Visit with the Family - A Fun Tale of Planes and Vomit

Before we head out for Georgia, Dave and I were planning on visiting my grandparents in Alabama, then driving down to Florida to say good bye to all of our family and friends there. With the graduation postponed by a week (gotta love the last-minute government changes) we had to change our travel plans, and unfortunately, that meant not being able to visit my grandparents.

I am very close to my grandparents. I adore them - grampa will be 96 this May. Grandma just turned 88 in January. They are probably not going to be around too much longer so I try to spend as much time as I can with them. I was very dissapointed by the travel plan change. This was my last chance to see them before we move and since we will be in Georgia for 2 years I don't know if they will still be here when I get a chance to come back to the states.

Dave suggested that I fly with Blaine to Alabama while my parents were there visiting with my grandparents this past week. We looked and found a decent airfare and we made the reservation. I was a bit nervous about flying by myself with a toddler - Blaine can be a handful at the best of times - and I had no idea how he would like flying. But I arranged for my dad to pick me up at the airport in Birmingham and bravely hopped on the plane with Blaine.

Blaine LOVED the plane trip. Just as we started racing down the runway for take off from Reagan airport, Blaine turned to me and said "Are you ready Mommy?". He was fantastic. The second leg of our trip - from Charlotte to Birmingham - he fell asleep just as soon as the wheels lifted off of the ground and he slept for the whole flight. I was regretting packing so much crap for him and not including a single book for myself.

Once we got to Birmingham he woke up and was super cranky - he had a hissy fit about getting into the car my dad drove to the airport - screaming "NO RED CAR! WANT BLUE TRUCK!". I tried to explain to him that the blue truck was still at home with daddy, but reasoning with a half-asleep toddler at 10PM in an airport parking garage is really futile. Eventually, we got him in the car and headed out to my grandparents' home.

The next morning (after a restless night where he slept maybe 2 hours at a time) he woke with a fever. He was sick for our entire stay at my grandparents' house which really sucked. For him and for me. Poor guy just felt like crap and I didn't get a break from him AT ALL. Usually he loves everyone. This week it was all mom all the time. Grandma wouldn't do. Grandpa was a big no no. If Dave had been there, I am sure Blaine would have let daddy snuggle him - but without daddy, I was on duty. From Monday night until we left on Friday I think I had a total of 8 or 9 hours sleep. I was exhausted. He was exhausted. We both just wanted to go home.

Friday morning our flight was at 7:55am. We had to be at the airport 90 minutes before departure. My grandparents live about 90 minutes from the airport. So we had to leave at 5 AM. That meant getting up at 4 AM. That was no problem. Blaine woke up about 1:45 and never went back to sleep. He was miserable. Eventually, around 3:30 or 4:00 (it's all a big blur now) he asked to go "rock rock" in the living room. I took him in, we settled into the rocking chair and I started rocking him. 30 seconds later he sat up, looked at me and said "OH NO" and puked all over me. And puked. And puked. Then he laid his head down in the puke on my shirt. My mom and dad came running in, and we got him cleaned up, I cleaned up and I called Dave. I was so exhausted I didn't know what to do. Do I cancel our flight? Do I change our reservation? Do I suck it up and get on the damn plane? Dave said to try to change the flight, and if I couldn't, to suck it up and fly home.

I couldn't change the flight. I had no time to shower at this point, so I gave myself a quick sponge bath, gave Blaine a sponge bath and a dose of motrin and headed to the airport. He was fine on the first flight and slept for the second flight. We both smelled a bit like vomit and we both looked like we had not had any sleep for ages. People gave us wide berth in the airport and the flight attendents took pity on me and helped with his carseat and stroller on each flight.

We are home. I am still tired but I did get to sleep last night from 9 PM until about 7 this morning. Blaine did the same. We took him to the doc this morning and he has a double ear infection. YAY. He is on antibiotics for the next 10 days. Hopefully he will feel better quickly.

As for me, I am just thrilled that my next plane trip will include my husband.

Friday, March 11, 2005

My quest not to neglect this blog

Ha. Day three of posting. Take that laughing husband. Though, to be honest, I really don't have much to post about. In the interest of trying to keep this blog related to our moving to Georgia, I guess I could post about the preparations for said move. Even though I am when it comes to talking about the move. Not to mention the planning, shopping, doctor appointments, dentist appointments, the government changing EVERY FREAKING THING at the last minute.

Where to begin? Should I mention that my living room looks like a minature Costco? It took two trips to Costco (using those huge flatbed carts, not the wimpy regular shopping cart) to buy the "consumables" that Dave and I decided we would need to ship immediately to Georgia. You know, the important stuff like peanut butter, toilet paper, boxes of macaroni and cheese (shut up, my son LOVES boxed macaroni and cheese and if you have a two-almost-three year old you know that if they will eat it, you will fix it). We have also purchased some big stuff that is (thankfully) in our storage unit. Things like a swing set for our son because we have heard the playgrounds in Tbilisi leave a bit to be desired. Things like bathroom storage cabinets because we have heard there is no storage in Georgian housing.

Aside from all the shopping, we all have been going for final dentist and doctor visits. The car went to the dealer for a full check-up as well before we have it crated and stuck on a ship for 3 months.

And I still have to find a formal-wear type dress. Men have it so easy. Dave walked into a store the other night, got fitted for a tuxedo, they had a tailor on duty and he hemmed up the pants, and whammo! Dave is ready for any formal events at the embassy. Me? I have been to 8 bazillion stores and have tried on 12 bazillion dresses and I still have nothing to show for it. Nada. Zip. Zilch. I have resorted to online searching and I still can't find anything that I like. I never thought I would say this, but I am sick of shopping. I don't wanna try on any more dresses. I don't want to wade through racks of frightening prom gowns ('tis the season, I guess). I just want a basic black, classy dress. Why is this so damn hard to find? At this point I am afraid I am going to end up whipping up something last minute from the government-issued curtains. Just call me Scarlett.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Blogging Thoughts

Day 2 of blogging. Last night as I was trying to fall asleep, I was thinking about this blog. My husband laughed at me when I said I was going to blog our life over the next few years as we move to (and live in) Tbilisi. My reasoning is it will be easier to keep everyone up-to-date on our life and adventures without having to send a million emails. When I asked him why he laughed, he said "that's a lot of work to keep up with - good luck".

So, as I lay in bed last night his words kept running through my head. Hard work? Not really. A post here and there a few times a week - it doesn't seem like much. But then I started thinking about my scrapbook habit (stick with me here as I digress). My scrapbook habit is, at this point, pretty much just good intentions and horrible execution. I love, love, love to buy new scrapbook cack. I have gazillions of stickers, papers, scissors, cropping tools - you get the picture. I also have a beautiful rolling organizer bag thingy to keep all of my scrapbook cack in complete order. How much scrapbooking do I do? Well, in the last 6 months or so, I think I have completed one whole page. One. That's it. My son is going to be 3 in just a few short months and his baby scrapbook is woefully neglected. I have finished all of the pre-baby pages but have yet to actually scrap a page with his birth photos. Not to mention his first bath, first haircut, and all the other firsts. My photos from our 3 week trip to Italy back in 2001? Yep, still not scrapbooked. Our trip to Ireland in 2002? Next to the Italy photos in the storage box. I keep meaning to do them...

So, how does this relate to blogging? Well, I just wonder if my husband is right. Maybe, like with scrapbooking, I will be gung-ho on the blogging at first and have the best of intentions. I will study other blogs looking for great ideas...but when it comes to actually updating my blog, I might just neglect it a bit.

Only time will tell. Stay tuned and see if I post anything new.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

And so it begins

Yay! Much thanks to Divy for pointing me in this direction. Even though we know it is the evile Box's doing.