Saturday, July 28, 2012

Emergency Chocolate

I'm not gonna lie, the first two weeks here were really hard. I arrived to a dirty house, spent my first afternoon cleaning, my husband left the first night we were here for volleyball - so dinner & bedtime was on my own, our possessions arrived late, I felt totally disoriented and I went from being a working mom to a stay-at-home mom with a house full of boxes and two kids to occupy. BUT, I think we've turned a corner. I'm becoming amused by life again and ready to laugh.
The following post generated a lot of buzz when it was posted to Facebook:

Today as we walked into the grocery store I said to Greyson, "Don't let me forget the emergency chocolate." (Aka, the-kids-are-stressing-me-out chocolate). And Greyson loudly answers, "What about the emergency vodka, mom?"

A recent shopping trip

I need to add, I was mortified...but what do you do with kids - finish the grocery shopping! I'll admit, I forgot about it almost as soon as it happened and only remembered later that night.
I'll also admit, that just 2 years ago, I wouldn't have been mortified, I'd have been horrified if I heard that story from someone else. How does a 9 year old know about vodka?
I don't usually drink in front of my kids, however I often do put them in bed and pour a drink! But my kids do hear me and my friends talk about drinks and right now the Detroit-made Valentine Vodka has been a topic of conversation. I received a bottle as a going away gift and bought another in a new flavor (Elderflower). And as previously mentioned, wineries are family trips around here!
So, if you want to judge me on this, go ahead. I would have been right there with you a couple years ago. But what my kids do know about alcohol is that it is for adults and right now they have much more interest in the driving age than the drinking age.
I used to not like the John Lennon song, Whatever Gets You Through The Night, because I didn't agree with all the lyrics. But, when I became a single parent, and then an unemployed single parent, I understood that sometimes there are situations that seem to hard to face alone in the dark of night. And if it's emergency chocolate or an emergency vodka that gets you through....than it's "salright."
And if I can be a listening ear - just let me know!

Friday, July 20, 2012

New Orleans

Where to start? We've been in New Orleans for 2 weeks now.
We left Southgate on June 29th and picked my sister Marie up from the airport (from Anchorage) and headed to Frankenmuth, MI to meet up with my sister Shelly's family for a late celebration for Grant's 6th birthday at the waterpark. It was a great time. From there we all headed to Ohio and spent time with my parents. Including a trip to Put In Bay. July 4th we spent at our traditional family reunion. On the 5th the kids and I left with Marie and drove her to West Virginia where we had lunch with my brother Stanley and Marie continued with him to Virginia Beach.
The boys and I got to New Orleans about lunch-time on July 6th. We had already been told our moving van would arrive the next day, but we got used to our new place. We've gone from living in a house with a basement and a garage to the top floor of a duplex - 3 bedrooms, two bathrooms and a small laundry area on the first floor. Pretty much no storage space except for the single closets in each bedroom. And it costs more than we previously paid for our mortgage AND Alex's apartment together.
The movers did arrive on Saturday and we started to turn our place into home.
By Monday afternoon I was ready to go crazy...and then I found a life-line. The library summer reading program was on Tuesday. We showed up early and all got library cards. The program was from the zoo on wetlands, with lots of live animals!
We've settled into a weekday routine for now, the kids are supposed to: have breakfast, clean up, get dressed, make beds, do a chore and a worksheet and then they may watch a tv show, they play a little and then it's time for lunch followed by piano lessons, quiet reading time, another tv show, play time and then dinner. Not to say that there isn't a lot of whining and fighting going on in between! Tuesdays are library time and we usually go back on Thursdays for new books. And Wednesday we go to lunch with Alex.
We signed the kids up for school. The public schools here are notoriously bad and most of the charter schools have lotteries in the spring, so we got into a "front-line" school which is one step up from a public school, but are hoping for a charter school closer to home although that may have to happen next year. But school starts August 6th and I don't think I've ever been happier to see the start of school!


Okay, so this story really should go in May, but I've just had time to catch up...

The day drove into the driveway and the "SOLD" sign was up Grant burst into tears saying, "I don't want to move to New Orleans - they have black widow spider there!"
I knew this wasn't the full story, so I probed him over dinner, "Why don't you want to move to New Orleans?"
"Number 1," what 5 year old has a list of reasons??? "They have black widow spider."
"Those spiders don't come into houses," I lied.
"Number 2," sniff, sniff, sniff, "I don't want to leave my friends." Okay, I'll give him that one.
"Number 3...wait mom, do they have Chuck E Cheese there?"
"Yes, we've even been to Chuck E Cheese in New Orleans."
"But do they have Stevie B's?"
"Well, you may be out of luck on that one."