Monday, November 14, 2011
Also, I do not have a babysitter here yet. Therefore, no kid-free nights on the town with David. No movie nights, no romantic dinners, no painting the town red. This has now changed to restaurants with kids meals printed on paper activity placemats or lunch at a McDonalds that has a "Play Place".
It has been almost two months without a Mama's kid-free get-away (no counting a hair cut/color) and except for a couple hours in September to attend a work sponsored going away party for David, no alone time with David. Before the going away get together, David and I have not been kid free since the beginning of July. Also, David and I used to retreat to the hot tub in our old house. Fall is perfect hot tub weather but no hot tub here. It has been almost two months since the last time we enjoyed our hot tub in NY. Throw in the stress of a new baby, a relocation half-way across the country, managing big-time transitions for Madeline (not to mention the rest of us), house hunting and living in much "closer quarters" with everyone while in this house rental and you have a recipe for the need to get away.
No friends? No babysitter? That's okay.....Calgon take me away! Hot bubble bath, cell phone to chit chat with friends, a Travel magazine to read while dreaming of travel to an exotic locale and (thanks, David, for bringing this upstairs) some "Mommy's Time Out" wine.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Today, David and I put in an offer on a house. I am sharing a picture of the house, knowing full well that I may be premature in doing so. I also, however, know that I have many friends who are our cheerleaders back in Buffalo - not to mention the friends and family in other parts of the country. Our "cheerleaders" have been very supportive and are very curious as to how we are doing in our new city. Yes, this may very well be premature, but for my friends/family, who have ridden this wild ride with us thus far, I know that you would be disappointed if I *didn't* share.
So, above is a picture of the house we placed an offer on, however, we may not know if this offer will be accepted or not for several days. Days????? Yes, days because the house is a foreclosure house and we will be negotiating the deal with the bank that currently owns the house. To make the deal trickier, we are aware that the house and some other items inside the house need to be repaired. This too will effect the negotiations. Certainly we are hoping that the final price will reflect the repairs that need to be made.
Yes, work needs to be done inside however we love the house, the floor plan, the space it offers, as well as the back yard. Yet, David and I cannot get sucked in. We have to think with our heads/not hearts in the negotiation process. Although I could easily get excited about the house, I am keeping my cool. A lot still needs to be negotiated and I realize that this will all happen only if it is meant to be (and YES, I do believe in fate).
It is hard not to be excited. If negotiations go the way I hope, our family will soon be on our way to stability. And....if things do not go the way I hope, I will still have gained from the experience - the opening of my mind to make Minnesota my new home and a giant step in accepting my new life. I do believe, "whatever will be will be".......but until I know what "will be", I dream.
Friday, November 11, 2011
|My cousin, Judy, looks great.|
Me??....I look about 800 pounds in this picture - ugh!!
My Aunt Maryann (my mom's sister) & Uncle Bob had relocated out of Buffalo when their kids were young. Keep in mind that times were different then. Families didn't simply just hop on a plane to visit each other on a regular basis. My mom was raising a family of 6 and my Aunt Maryann was raising a family of 3 so they couldn't just hop in a car and drive 14 hours to visit on a regular basis. Even phone calls were pricier then.....when was the last time anyone worried about long distance? And email/Facebook was nonexistent. We wrote letters! Although we didn't see each other very much as kids I always LOVED the occasions that Aunt Maryann, Uncle Bob and cousins, Michael, Judy and Maryann came into town. We always had a great time together. However, once the cousins departed, the miles once again got in between us.
Life goes on, we each grow up, get married, have children, etc, etc. Fast forward to present day and the existence of Facebook. Long lost friends, former neighbors or co-workers, old classmates.....and in this situation, cousins, reconnect. It has been nice to get to know my cousins again through status updates and friendly banter on Facebook. It has been a blessing to come together again, albeit virtually, through Facebook. When David and I made the decision to move to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, I reached out to Judy over a Facebook message with the, "Exactly *where* do you live??" question (her siblings have since relocated out of MN, to Colorado). Prior to moving here, Judy had offered great guidance by answering numerous questions about the various areas that surround the Twin Cities (Keep in mind, I was super pregnant during much of the time David and I were planning our relocation and therefore was not able to travel here prior to our actual move) and we promised to get together once I arrived.
Finally things have settled down a tad since David and I stepped foot in Minnesota. Today, Judy and I (& Jonathan - Madeline was at school) were able to get together for coffee. A two hour chat *flew* by. It was nice to catch up with each other - get to know each other as adults. Heck, last time Judy saw me I was the bratty little kid that was the baby of my family. (Ok, I *still* am....I guess things haven't changed that much.) It was nice to catch up on each other's siblings. It was nice to talk about our moms and our grandparents. It was nice to chat about our kids. Most importantly, it was nice to lay down that foundation of friendship that, due to circumstances/distance, we missed in our youth.
Today, Judy and I grabbed a nice corner both at Starbucks. Good thing - we needed that extra space because, without a doubt, our moms sat there with us this morning. This morning, cousins reunited. This morning, our moms listened, watched and smiled.
Monday, November 7, 2011
|Our room's balcony overlooked the waterpark|
|Madeline and Jonathan ready for water fun|
|Madeline's birthday "candle" and cherries jubilee|
|Can't wait to open gifts!|
As I followed behind Madeline in the hotel hallway, I got a quick flash back to Russia. In the week after our "Gotcha Day", we had a lot of time to spend in the hotel with a 20 month old. A very tiny hotel room didn't do much in occupying a toddler. The international adoption families were mostly on the same floor in the hotel (we jokingly referred to it as "the American wing"). Although we went on numerous walks in Astrakhan, Russia, we all spent many hours letting our kids toddle around the hallways as we followed behind them. And as I followed Madeline as she walked Fluffy in the hotel hallway I flashed back in my mind to the Azimut Hotel in Astrakhan Russia and wondered where has the time gone?
|Awesome designer doggie with a you-decorate dog carrier and dog cape - from Uncle Marty & Aunt Vicky|
|Super cool Polly Pocket RV from "Texas Grandma"|
|Stylish smile shirt from Aunt Margaret|
|Madeline and her FurReal Friend - "Fluffy"|
|Walking the dog as Mama wonders where the time has gone.|