Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I'm a big "hit" in Indiana

Our first couple weeks in Indiana were "interesting". Driving to our new home, I had to use GPS. I didn't even have a key to our house. After spending a week unpacking boxes, rearranging things and obtaining my own house key, I made a list and headed to Target with the kids. Pulling into a parking spot, I bumped the car next to me. I told the Sara to stay in the car while I check it out. As I am bent over the car's fender, examining and photographing the damage, this crazy old lady comes tearing across the parking lot and proudly informs me that I hit that car. Really? Thank you, I was wondering was that sickening thud was!!!! Then she informed me I had to notify the car's owner. I "calmly" explained to her that I was photographing the damage and license plate so I can have the owner paged and exchange information. Sara gets out of the car, I load Christian into the cart and we head into Target so I can turn myself in. We head to the Service Desk and lo and behold there is the Crazy Samaritan from the parking lot. She is busily telling the clerk about my crime spree. I walk over and tell the clerk I am no longer a fugitive on the run and am turning myself in. The clerk has the vehicle's owner paged. We wait. By "we" I mean, the clerk, my kids, myself and the Crazy Samaritan. We wait awhile. I tell the clerk I am going to do my shopping and ask her to page me when the owner shows up. I also give her my name and numer in case my victim doesn't show up. About 15 minutes later I hear my name being paged. Waiting for me at the Service desk is a very nice lady and yes, you guessed it, the Crazy Samaritan. I introduce my self to my "victim" and explain what happened. We start walking to the parking lot. Crazy Samaritan is following us. My victim politely thanks her and we walk away. When we get to the parking lot, she asks me if I had her paged. I told her we had. She laughs and tells me how she learned of my crime spree on her car. She was in the bathroom when the door is kicked in Dirty Harry style. The Crazy Samaritan bursts in and asked in anyone owned a car matching the car I hit. My victim comes forward and is rushed to the Service Desk by Crazy Samaritan. Crazy Samaritan keeps telling to hurry so I won't have a chance to leave the scene. A few things strike me about this whole episode. First, you know that Crazy Samaritan has no life and my crime spree has provided her with hours of entertainment. Second, the lady I hit could not have been nicer about it. She even offered to get multiple estimates bc I was new in town and didn't want me to think she was cheating me. If you have to go on a crime spree, the parking lot at Target is the place to do it. Not that I am encouraging random acts of bad driving.

Two weeks after we moved here I came home from Target (they let me back) and asked where Sara was. Paul informed me "some girl came over and took her for a walk". Being a wonderful parent, I thought to ask "ummm Prof. Nash? To whom exactly did you give our firstborn?". He calmly told me he thought it was ok because the girl knew Sara's name and Sara recognized her dog. Everything turned out fine. It was the 12 year old girl across the street we met the week before. But, being me, I did have to needle him for just handing over my kid to the first person who comes to the door. I have been tempted many times to give her to the first person that comes by but never actually did it!!!!

Kids, playdates and a socially awkward mom (an interesting combo)

I took the bull by the horns yesterday and scheduled a play date for Sara. This little girl ("A") is in another first grade class at Sara's school. I've met her a couple times and Sara likes her. Now, words cannot describe the trepidation I experience when calling someone I do not know and trying to convince them that we are normal non-serial killers who would like to spend time with their kid. I left a nervous and stuttering message for the mom introducing myself and Sara and asked if we could schedule a play date. The father calls back 10 minutes later and says he is the stay at home dad and he would love to have us over. Oooops! There is my first faux pas. I foolishly assumed her mother would be in charge of play dates. Apparently I live in 1956 and it never crossed my mind that the dad would call and invite us over. Thankfully he was a good sport.

So, I load up my overly excited 6 year old and my giant 21 month old boy and head over to this girl's house. Now I get to make idle chit chat with some guy I don't know and chase my son around his yard. Chasing Christian around is a bit like following a ball in a pinball machine. Oh what fun. The girls have a great time playing with the new puppy. Christian (who is twice as big as this dog) is terrified. So, he sat his big booty on my lap and gave the dog the stink eye for 45 minutes. Turns out the dad was a great guy and the afternoon was quite pleasant. Departure was a less than pleasant scene. Ok, the opening scene from "Saving Private Ryan" was more calm and serene. Christian had finally warmed up to the dog and they were playing fetch. Yes, it was a mutual game of fetch. And the dog listens better than my son, in case anyone was wondering. Somehow Sara had lost her shoes and socks. I say 'somehow' because I chose not to ask. Some things I put in the "I don't need/want to know" category. I load Christian into the car. He is not happy about leaving his new furry little buddy and has no qualms about voicing his anger. Sara has temporarily gone deaf and does not hear the 6 requests to get in the car. She ends up in the car barefoot. Victory is mine. I now have 9 minutes to get home, change them out of their clothes (because I am allergic to dogs), get them cleaned up and start dinner because in 9 minutes they will be the babysitter's problem. It's amazing what you can get done in 9 minutes when you are properly motivated (i.e. escaping your kids for the night).

Monday, April 5, 2010

So, here is my 2nd attempt to make life like appear interesting. Sara and I just spent a great weekend back home in Michigan visiting friends and family. One of the few perks of moving is you get to go back home and feel like a celebrity. Everyone want to see you, feed you and entertain you!!! As most of you know, we have a tendency/habit to mooch food wherever we go. This is a skill my kids have perfected. Back home, we once had the pleasure of meeting a neighbor when we were playing outside and Sara (age 2.5) smelled something on the grill, ran to their house, introduced herself and said she was hungry and the food smelled good. A pattern was established and it paved the way to many wonderful friendships. As a result, Sara will eat anything put in front of her (or the person sitting next to her). As she once told our contractor, "you are eating blueberries. I like blueberries and it is nice to share". Lessons to live by. BTW- he gave her ALL the blueberries.

On this visit, Sara was fed by my father (4x), my sister-in-law Angie, the Elmblads, the Tischs, the Jevtics, and I am sure she scored some snacks along the way. We were in town for 3 days. Don't even get me started on all the loot and assorted gifts she received.

Sitting on Amy's patio (our 2nd home) and watching Sara run around our former yard with her friends was heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. No longer with this be an almost daily occurrence for her. It will happen 2-3 times depending on how often we can get home. (Yes, I still call it home). What I loved most about those summer evening was the casual and impromptu feeling. We would look out the kitchen window, see Amy starting the fire, wander over and have a wonderful evening of laughter and friendship.

I have met some people here but it isn't the same. We are still in the "courtship" phase of friendship. We have to be polite and on our best manners while we get to know each other and each other's personalities. We don't have the easy-going, familiar give and take. I like being able to walk into someone's house, grab a Diet Coke and plunk down on the sofa. I like that my friends at home could show up at my house and I didn't panic that they will be horrified that my dishes are in the sink and toys have taken over every inch of my house.

So, people of Granger, beware. You are welcome in my house but beware what you find. And if you are kind enough to invite me over, you better have some Diet Coke in the fridge!
People of Novi, also beware. We are never gone for long. Stock those fridges with Diet Coke and chocolate.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Getting into the groove of this blog thing

So, I've been hearing about and reading blogs for while and wondered if it was for me. I mean, who am I? Who cares what I think or feel? Then I thought some more and realized this was perfect for me! I get to say whatever I want however I want and no one can argue with me! Maybe there is something to this. So about me.....

I am the youngest of 6 children and the only girl. My mother died two days before my 16th birthday. Yup, those are two most interesting facts about me. A few more (possibly less interesting) details:

I have been married to Paul for almost 10 years and we have a daughter, Sara who is 6 and a son, Christian who is 21 months old. We recently moved to Granger, Indiana for Paul's job. To say moving was hard for me would be the understatement of the century. I absolutely hate change. We lived in a fabulous neighborhood and Sara went to a great school. We know and loved all our neighbors. They, in turn, put up with us and allowed us to join in their reindeer games!

So, here I am in this strange place, living in a strange house and surrounded by strangers. Everything is different - the grocery store, the school, the people, the neighborhood. It's been almost 6 months and it still feels surreal - not like a vacation but like it isn't permanent. I cannot describe how strange it is to see our things in this new setting. It doesn't feel like home yet. i used to be able to move around my house almost without thinking. I could reach for things without even thinking about it. Now, I don't know my way around my own house. I have to think about where something is or open 2 or 3 drawers or cupboards before I find something. I feel like a visitor in my own "home". When does it feel like "home"? When does it feel like "us"?
Now, I realize how fortunate we are. My husband got this amazing new job and promotion and so many of my friends and family are out of work. Do I feel like a huge crybaby whining about moving? Yes. Does that stop me from lamenting the loss of the wonderful and familiar life we left behind? Hell, no!
So, this is my first attempt at a blog. We'll see how it goes from here. Frankly, I am not all that fascinating so this may be a very short-lived endeavor.
Good night