Sunday, November 30, 2008
The people here are very friendly. That said, a lot of San Antonians originate from elsewhere. I've only met 2 people thus far that grew up here, and they were married to each other.
There is a large Hispanic community. A sweet lady from church invited our family over for Thanksgiving dinner along with some friends of theirs. The couple's parents were from two different parts of Mexico as were all of the guests, except for Rajiv who was from India. Military and work brought them here to San Antonio. Everyone could speak Spanish with the exception of our family and Raj. That night they primarily spoke English for our benefit. They were lovely people, and we had a nice time. I do think it would be prudent if we learn at least some Spanish though. Just in our neighborhood are a lot of Spanish speakers. The friendly couple right across the street are from Argentina, for example.
There's a LOT of military and retired military here. Which of course is natural since there are 4 military bases located in San Antonio. Many people we met assumed the military brought us here.
Texans can't grow grass. I'm not sure what this stuff is that is growing everywhere in yards and parks, but if I'd run across it in UT, I'd be reaching for the herbicide. It's course, prickly, pale green, and looks mean. And they water it!!!
They love kids! In the grocery store, just walking around, shopping, and at church people will come up and ask about your kids and coo over them. If they have kids or grandkids, they'll freely chat about them as well. In the furniture store even some guys in their 20s came up and wanted to touch Isaac's fat feet. This was cool with me, his feet are pretty hard to resist- but I was surprised that guys would approach a baby. Huh. Someone explained that in Hispanic culture it is believed to be passing a blessing along to touch a baby. I don't know if that's true or not, but people do like to touch babies. I'm less of a germaphobe than I was for my firstborn, but still I prefer touching to be on the top of the head or the feet or other parts he doesn't stick in his mouth.
As much as they like kids, they didn't plan enough parks/playgrounds. In Utah there are playgrounds big and small all over the place. Here they are pretty sparse.
The general attitude is more laid back. In the grocery store for instance, I was a woman on a mission because I had to get back right away. I kept finding myself behind people strolling along the aisles doing their Thanksgiving shopping at a leisurely pace. When checking out, the clerks chatted up each customer. I need to plan more time for the slower pace, I think.
Driving is more laid back as well. It's very easy changing lanes, people are mostly polite behind the wheel. As Jonathan noticed, a lot of drivers drive at or below the speed limit on the freeways. Coming from Utah this is a bit of an adjustment. Still figuring out the roads- at times the GPS gets confused too, which doesn't help. More lanes than 2 are needed on 1604 to cut back on rush hour congestion. Seriously though. 2 lanes for a major freeway for a city of 1.3 million? Many of whom commute on that freeway into the heart of the city?
Pictures coming soon, so you can get a glimpse of the city as I see it.
That sucks for Greg, but part of me is glad that I'm not the only one who can manage to injure himself in a sport where you wouldn't think such a thing possible.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
And now some pictures:
Isaac fell asleep sitting up in his sling. I'm not sure how he does it, but he can fall asleep in nearly any position. The second picture is with his Daddy the day he was blessed.
His blessing outfit that Grandma Ellis made. Actually this is the second one. The first one she made right after he was born. It was for a little 6-7 pounder. Plans changed, and he grew!
Melissa borrowing some knee high boots. On her they were like thigh high fishing waders. Silly girl!
Isaac's tree. It is small now, just as he was at birth.
Goodbye house! I think Matthew was feeling a little sad to leave. It's the only place he can remember living. Melissa wasn't sad then and still is undaunted.
There are some pictures I wish I'd remembered to take before going. Melissa with Ms. Jan, Matthew with his buddy Mason, Rebecca with chubby Isaac, and a few others. I'm still kicking myself for forgetting. Alas.
Friday, November 28, 2008
This thanksgiving, I'm grateful that this happy little boy is alive, and home, and growing, and we don't even have to stick him with needles anymore.
Thank you for your help and prayers.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
We've had a number of challenges this year, but through it all the Lord has been merciful to our family. And I am so humbled and grateful.
We all have our good health. Isaac in particular is thriving. There are no more sleepless nights filled with worry.
Each of our children brings such joy into our home. We sometimes complain, because they can be lots of work and aggravation at times. To top it off they were given such imperfect, amateur parents! However, it is to rewarding to see them learn and grow. They are good little people and want to do what is right. It warms my heart to witness Matthew sharing with his sister or playing with his brother, not because he has to, but because he wants to. Melissa was born with a sunny personality and playful disposition that can coax a smile from me even in my grumpiest moods. Isaac is just our happy, happy baby.
Jonathan has a job, doing what he loves, and for a good company. Things have happened that we wouldn't have chosen, but the timing has all worked out.
I am grateful for a normal pregnancy and birth on my terms. I am also thankful for the few days of normalcy before all heck broke loose with Isaac's diabetes. I am so very grateful for modern medicine. We owe our child's life to insulin and skilled doctors and nurses.
We have been richly blessed with great friends and family. Many people have taught us, loved us, and helped us in countless ways. Our parents, siblings, extended family, dear friends, and neighbors have all given so much, more than we can ever repay. Thank you.
Since Thanksgiving is celebrated with family and friends, I am reminded of the military men and women who are away from their families. Words are inadequate to express the debt of gratitude we owe to them for their sacrifice and that of their families. Oh Lord, please bless them this night in particular.
I am so grateful for my husband, friend, co-conspirator, lover, and companion through thick and thin. He has seen me at my worst and loves me anyway. It is wonderful to go through life with a faithful ally at your side.
Lastly I am thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ and for his redeeming atonement. It is through him that, imperfect person that I am, I may be washed free of my sins.
My heart sings with all that I have for which I am grateful. Much, much more I have not listed but am so thankful for nonetheless.
Someone at the dump has a sense of humor.
I was taking boxes out to the garage today while talking to my Grandma on the phone. It was kind of dark and I missed the last step. The phone flew out of my hand, the box came crashing down, and I landed sprawling on my ankle. Snap! Oops.
I sprained my ankle, again. Last time was the day before Easter. I seem to have a thing for holidays lately. Christmas with strep throat, Easter sprained ankle, Thanksgiving- deja vu. On the bright side I did less damage this time. It hurts, (believe me!) but not to the extent it did in March. Best of all I can take something a little stronger than tylenol this time. =) Happy Day!
Monday, November 24, 2008
At the airport Matthew started spelling random words. He caught my attention, and several other people's, when he started spelling his numbers.
"S.........E.........X! S...........E..........X! That spells six!"
"No, dear, six is spelled with an 'i'."
At the rental car place the man responded that he was 24.
"Oh wow! My mom is way, way, way older than you! MY mom is 28!"
Sigh. And I thought 28 was young.
Kids come with a lot of gear. I took 3 car seats, 1 large suitcase, 2 kids' backpacks with diversions and snacks, 1 diaper bag, 1 laptop bag complete with laptop, 2 headsets, & dvds. I shuffled all of the paraphernalia to the check-in counter (the shuttle didn't drop us off anywhere near curbside check-in, grrr), where I checked 2 of the car seats and the suitcase. This only left me with the laptop bag, the diaper bag, Isaac's car seat + base, and Isaac in his sling to carry. Matthew and Melissa hauled their own backpacks. I was probably hauling over 50 awkward pounds and keeping a quick pace up and down the terminals. Rachel, the urban sherpa! We had over three hours to kill until our flight so we went back and forth on the moving walkways- I wanted M & M good and tired for the flight, ate liesurely lunch, and hung out in the kid play area.
The kids did pretty well during the flight and the attendents even commented on what good travelers they were. One of the attendants even asked if my kids were cookie eaters (of course!) and wrapped up a bunch of cookies for them. Isaac slept through his first flight, all the way from SLC to Dallas. Lucky, lucky, lucky!
We arrived at the Dallas airport without much event, but things kind of went downhill from there. I've never flown in through Dallas before... it is a HUGE airport. That night it was very, very crowded as well. I sure hoping to leave with three kids, since I'd arrived with three, and I kind of like them and all. Matthew and Melissa were pleased about the sky tram that takes passengers to the various terminals, and would have liked to just ride that indefinitely. While waiting to board the airplane, Melissa charmed a lady knitting a scarf into coloring with her. She even climbed up on her lap, but the lady didn't seem to mind in the slightest. This child is so terribly shy... haha. Matthew was most unhappy to learn that he would have to get on an airplane once again. "This is the longest, worst day EVER! Hrmp!" Up until that point he was ready for adventure.
Onto the airplane! Isaac was not at all pleased about flying again. I distracted him for most of the flight, but he wailed uphappily during the last 2o minutes. I thought perhaps his ears were bothering him, but he would not nurse, so there wasn't much I could do for him. Fortunately the Dallas to San Antonio trip is quick. We got off of the plane and a kind businessman took pity on us and offered to carry the car seat for me. THANK YOU whoever you are! We got to the baggage carts, and I felt I could handle it from there, so businessman and I parted ways. We received several other offers to help after that, but were doing ok at that point. Fortunately all of our luggage appeared in the baggage carousel (after a very long wait), so I lugged all of our stuff to the shuttles for rental cars.
We got to the rental car place in short order. Whether it was the late hour, the excess sugar, or just being cooped up in an airplane; Matthew and Melissa acted as though in a pinball machine at the rental car place. Boing! Boing! Boing!
I rented a Dodge Journey. A minivan would have been more practical to fit car seats in, but my frugal side balked at the $60 a day difference in price. So it was a tight fit, but it worked. I've discovered that I am a terrible navigator at night. The GPS I rented was not much help either. The 8 minute trip to the hotel took closer to 30. The kids voiced their displeasure for the first half of the trip, but all fell asleep before the end. Finally at 11 PM local time we checked into our hotel, and I tucked all three into bed.
What a very long day!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
TX is flat and bland.
I slowed down from my usual 15-over for cities... except I got careless right after stopping at a Dairy Queen and got a ticket an hour away from SA. Damn.
The truck driver called. He will be ready to unload Monday morning.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Took the kids in the morning so Rachel could rest after being up with Isaac (and Melissa!) all night. Got on the road at 10; stopped at the post office and comcast -- to return their modem -- and got on the road for real at 11.
Drove through Price. Didn't really notice.
Drove through Moab. I was surprised that it wasn't bigger. Had a chicken sandwich.
Drove through a slice of Colorado.
Drove through Gallup, NM. Had KFC. Found out I do not care for the "Colonel's Strips." Will stick to real chicken in the future.
Drove to Albuquerque. Got a $40 room at a Motel 6.
I actually like the $3 internet better than the places with free internet, because when it's free too many people suck up the bandwidth. With a $3 charge I have lots to myself. (But $10, like the fancy hotels like to charge their mostly-business-traveler clientele, feels like being ripped off.) The same principle applies to highways, too, which is why I am not as anti-toll as some.
I am on track to get to SA after another 11 hours tomorrow.
Our memory card reader is packed up so I will have to wait until I find that box before posting any pictures.
The last few weeks have been a flurry of activity. We tied up last minute business, sorted through our household items and sold, gave away, and dumped that which we wouldn't need or couldn't take. How did we accumulate so much stuff??? We listed our house on the market. Last Sunday was Isaac's baby blessing. I was so glad we were able to do that surrounded by friends and family before we left.
Finally we planted the Isaac tree. I guess it's a little silly and sentimental, but it makes me smile to think that each of our kids has a tree growing and thriving as they grow. Matthew has a cherry tree, Melissa the apple, and Isaac the small hardy evergreen.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
They came a little before 8 and were like a whirlwind. It is now 4 and the entire house is packed and more than halfway loaded. Whew!
Looks like they're going to call it a day and finish the job tomorrow before noon. Wow.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
The couches are gone.
Rachel listed them on Craigslist for $50 takes both. They lasted less than 24h. 8 years old, showing some Matthew- and Melissa-related wear, but in pretty good shape. In fact the man who took them away gave her $60. I guess he felt like he was really getting a steal. (He almost bought the weight set, too, but his wife said No. I felt a moment of kinship with him.)
The family room is very empty without them. I don't mind, for the most part. I can stretch my legs out in front of me to use my laptop. But it was a weird feeling when I went to change Isaac and I had to put him on the floor.
Melissa was perhaps the most impressed by the change. She wants to buy new couches Right Now. We'll get new ones after the move -- leather ones.
I wanted leather couches way back when, but Rachel liked cloth upholstery better. (As I like to explain, "we compromised: we bought the cloth ones.") After 6 years of laundering the cushion covers to get out the various indignities inflicted by our offspring, she's on board for leather this time.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Looked at 20 houses, found 1. That's a lot of houses. If you try to do this with kids, plan on taking several days just to see them.
All yards are fenced. All of them, with 1x3 boards that are never stained or weatherproofed and thus start falling apart as soon as they are built. I'm convinced that you can date a neighborhood by how badly the fences are sagging.
There are no public playgrounds in suburbia. (I remember at least one downtown, so they do exist there, at least nominally.) Private per-subdivision playgrounds are scarce.
The freeways have signs up reading, "Don't slow texas down: slow traffic keep right." This is awesome.
There is a very very high percent of people who apparently think "slow" means "more than 5mph under the speed limit." Not so awesome.
My real estate agent, whose definition of "slow" matches mine, says she's never been ticketed for speeding in San Antonio. "Only by state troopers on the way to Austin."
IHOP is like the official state breakfast restaurant. I have never seen a denser population of IHOPs anywhere.
I like the access/frontage road system. Takes up lots of space but you are never far from an on-ramp.
You absolutely need a GPS to navigate here. Unfortunately, my rental sucked and could never locate the address I wanted. So I'd have to google it on my iphone and try various nearby interections until I came up with a combination that it liked. Hopefully our newer GPS won't have this problem.
The Thai restaurant I ate at last night offered me chopsticks and a fortune cookie. WTH? You wouldn't eat Mexican food with processed American cheese on it, would you? Sheesh! The duck curry was good, though.
(We did the tourist stuff when we were here as a family so I won't repeat anything about that here.)
I spent all morning driving and filling out forms but it won't take much time to tell about it.
I went to USAA to get money orders for the application fee and security deposit. I figured when I got there (9 AM in SA, 8 in UT) Rachel would know which house she wanted. I called and she was driving, so I waited for her to get home and check out #1 online. She called back and we talked it through again. About 10:20 we decided on #1. So I got in line. About five minutes later as I got to the front of the line, Rachel called and said the schools for #5 were better so let's do that. I let four people go in front of me and then got in the back of the line so I could take my time talking.
This time we were done. #5 it is. I got the money orders and went over to the real estate office, where I gave a blood sample for DNA testing. (Kidding. But almost.) They were really very surly about the whole thing considering that I was trying to pay them money. I hope we don't need anything fixed because I don't think they are going to be very helpful if we do. Then I forged Rachel's signature on a few forms and headed to the airport.
San Antonio has one of those nice little airports that is small enough that the security line is never huge and it can afford to provide free wireless internet access for everyone. And rocking chairs. I like it.
The real estate agent got off to a late start today so I had time to go check out a hotel that claimed to have a playground, for us to stay at while waiting for our furniture to get trucked down. The roads nearby are a mess, but the playground is good.
With the agent, I re-visited the top 3 houses from yesterday, plus two more, for a total of 20 houses seen. Added one of the new ones to the short list, which now consisted of houses 1, 4, 5, and C. (It was roman numeral 1 but to avoid confusion I'm renumbering it here. But this is not the same "1" that I posted pics of on the other blog. I emailed all the pics from day 3 to Rachel directly to avoid wordpress resizing them.)
Then I hit the neighborhoods. 4 was full of retired people. It got crossed off. C had kids and a playground but we decided it was just too 70's for us (all brown and yellow on the interior). 1 and 5 both did okay on the neighborhood test, with a slight edge to 1 for a lower average age.
So it was between 1 and 5 and we couldn't make a decision.
1 is a little small (2000 sq ft, down a guest room from our UT house) but 5 was a little large (3500 sq ft). 1 was in a crackerbox subdivision (you are in a maze of yardless houses, all alike), but since we weren't buying Rachel was okay with that. 5 has a bigger backyard. Neither has a public playground nearby; 5 is walking distance from an elementary school, and the neighborhood kids play there after hours, and 1 is near a playground in another subdivision that one dad says has a wasp problem. 1 is closer to downtown (and very close to where rackspace will be in a year); 5 is in a more affluent area. Both have people on the street who only speak Spanish. They are both in the same church ward. 1 is walking distance to a day care / preschool, but Rachel isn't interested in anything but a pure preschool.
In an effort to break the tie I also visited the neighborhoods from 3 and 6 in "the maybe pile," but they both scored low on kid presence.
We decided to sleep on it, since USAA was closed anyway for Veteran's Day so I wouldn't be able to get money orders out.
3rd straight day that I haven't had time for lunch. Low blood sugar makes me grumpy. Sorry, Rachel. :)
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I visited 18 houses yesterday. Two of them we couldn't get in, because the key didn't actually work. One smelled strongly of smoke, so I knew it wasn't even worth going farther than the entryway. The rest I took pictures of. (And wordpress resized my pictures down to "bite sized" despite my setting the Leave Them Alone Dammit option. Grr. I tried putting the pictures on my computer first for the last couple sets and it was WORSE. And the hotel wireless connection was also WORSE, so between fighting with wordpress and the wireless, it took me almost 2 hours to upload 20-ish pictures. I ended up giving up on wordpress and just emailing the last ones to Rachel so she could see them full size.)
I didn't get to test commute from Stone Oak because my iphone alarm quit trying to wake me up before I actually did. The iphone is a terrible camera, worse than my old one, because it has no actual "take picture" button so you have to use the touchscreen, only that's amazingly awkward when you're actually trying to take a picture with it, with the result that it's very easy to accidentally turn the ringer volume way way down while taking pictures. "Ringer" volume appears to affect every noise the phone makes, including alarms.
But I have to say the iphone saved my butt when driving with realtor #2, who did not have a gps and kept getting lost because she thought she knew better than the directions she had printed out from Google. It's also handy for finding intersections nearby for my GPS o' Suck, which is severely allergic to actual addresses. Of all the addresses I've plugged into it, it's found one: the huge mall with the Apple Store in it, where I got a car iphone charger. That's my biggest complaint about the iphone; the battery life sucks.
I went to the San Antonio board gaming group from 6 to 9. 8 people were there for board gaming and about that many for D&D. I played a LotR game that is like Stratego, which I hate -- Stratego, that is, but I don't think I'm fond of the LotR version either -- as well as Race to the Galaxy (twice) and Ra. I liked Ra a lot. I'm not sure yet how I feel about Race. There is no direct interaction between players, so it really is like a race in that sence, and races are amazingly boring. But Brian was a playtester and still likes it after hundreds of plays so maybe there is more to it. (It's also very highly rated on BGG; here are the two best reviews: 1, 2.) After 2 plays I was just barely getting the hang of it so I will have to reserve judgement.
I did win my very first game of Race, though. Beginner's luck, and everyone was disgusted. The next game I scored half what the winner did, for 4th place (out of 5). So balance was restored to the universe.
The Board Game Group didn't have much advice about finding a home, other than to stay south of 1604 at all costs. Since I keep hearing that from everyone except the people living north of it, I don't think I will bother making the commute experiment. I'll just find a home south of it, thanks.
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Rachel gave a bit of an introduction so I'm just going to give a couple details.
We bought my ticket Friday, less than 24h before departure. We got screwed (paying almost twice as much, for a route through Phoenix taking almost twice as long) but not nearly as screwed as I expected to be (e.g., on SouthWest we could have paid 3x).
US Airways has the most comfortable coach seats of any airline I have been on. I'm not saying they're comfortable on an absolute scale by any means, but they have just enough more padding than everyone else to be noticeable.
My low-end rental car GPS (I told them I'd pay more for a good one, but that was the only model they had) couldn't find my hotel, by name or address. Finally one of the rental women realized it was near one of their other locations, so I put that in the GPS. When I got there I found out that it was converted from a Comfort Inn about 3 years ago, so that's how old my GPS's maps are. I'm guessing that the odds that it will know about all the homes I want to look at are not very good.
The rental car guy was amazingly cheerful for what I don't imagine to be a very stimulating job. It's all about attitude, I guess. We talked a bit and he said he had a college-age daughter. I was startled. "You look like you're in your thirties!" He laughed. "I am. My mom wasn't happy about that..."
Speaking of the hotel, I goofed and got one off of "the small loop" (410)'s intersection with I-10. I thought I was getting one near I-35, 10 miles north. Oops. Hotels.com gives it two stars; tripadvisor gives it one (ouch!). I am not picky, though; it has a Wendy's next door, so I'm good. I do notice that their wireless internet is a lot faster at 3 AM than it was at 9 PM (but still slow).
I talked to an "apartment finder" and a realtor on the phone yesterday morning. Both said they would email me a list of places by the end of the day. Neither did. I'm guessing the commission for finding a renter is not as motivating as a house buyer's. It would be handy to only have to work with a single agent, since many (most?) of the houses I'm interested in are in the MLS, which I imagine means a keybox and so forth.
Best sites to look on: oodle.com and realtor.com. Craigslist has almost nothing for SA. Both oodle and realtor have map views showing all the listings at once, which is far more useful than having to drill down into each listing to get a map showing just that house. Even the church meetinghouse locator has a modern UI now. Shocking.
Rachel found the GIS data for San Antonio, which gives me a much better idea of where to look than asking people their opinions. (Although those are still necessary since I don't know where the traffic bottlenecks are here, and neither does Google. Yet.) Basically we are looking for the intersection of college degrees + kids. (As you'd expect, poverty and college degrees are almost exactly inversely correlated.) We don't want to be the only ones in the neighborhood with kids in elementary school the way we were in Provo.
There are nine church wards in four buildings for the main area we'd like (south of 1604 on the north side). Thinking about how to visit all of them from 9 to 4 today makes my head hurt. (Because the ones in the same building all start two hours apart, I can't just make one trip per building.)
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Friday, November 07, 2008
Matthew was hungry. I called Rachel to see if we needed to wait for her to come home. She was almost done at wal-mart but said to go ahead and make him a sandwich. I was busy so I told Matthew I would make him one when I was done.
Matthew was hungry. He made his own sandwich. He told me proudly, "It has pepperoni and cheese and ketchup!"
Matthew was hungry. He ate the whole thing. "I made a good sandwich!"
Afterwards Rachel made him brush his teeth because his breath was stinky.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
We were outside having a snowball fight when the UPS man showed up with a box full of Winter clothes. (Guess we won't need those much in San Antonio.) As he trudged up through the falling snow, Matthew ran up to him to say hi. "Isn't this a great day!?"
The man looked irritated for a second, then he remembered what it was like being six. "Yes," he smiled back, "when I was a kid, this would have been a great day."
Today is the 20th anniversary of the Sega Genesis.
If you're in your early thirties, you might have fond memories of playing Sonic the Hedgehog, Altered Beast, or Streets of Rage on a Sega Genesis.
Yes, I do. All three.
I bought a Genesis about a year after it came out, after months of saving. I think it was released without a game, so I got the second SKU, the one with Altered Beast. This was before Sonic came out. (I think I was too young to work most jobs, but the point was moot, since my parents never let me get one until I was in college. My father insisted it would interfere with my grades too much. Perhaps he had a point, since I did earn a rare merit-based scholarship. So I saved money from my one lawn-mowing customer a week at a time -- pushing the family lawn mower almost half a mile, including a stretch of gravel road. Did I mention the driving age in NJ was 17 at the time, now 18?)
Anyway, the Genesis was a Big Deal for me. I was mostly on my mission when the Saturn was getting its butt kicked, so I was still a Sega fan when I got a Dreamcast. Poor Dreamcast was EOLed less than a year later, but Shenmue still kicked the butt of anything released on the PS2, even now.
Today you can get a Genesis collection for the ps2 or psp for around $20. What a deal! Unfortunately it doesn't include any of Genesis' fantastic shooters, probably because that genre doesn't really exist anymore. So no Thunder Force III or Phelios for you. But it does include the Phantasy Star games, so that's at least half a glass full of awesome. Alas, I doubt Matthew will have the patience for those old 2D rpgs by the time he can read well enough to actually play them. But he enjoyes the arcade-style games well enough.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Didn't quite get a job by Oct 31, so we're insurance-less until the 24th, when my next job starts (no waiting until the beginning of the next month -- wow). But it turns out that they can't classify anything as a pre-existing condition until after 30-60 days of being uninsured, so that's all right, assuming nobody gets struck by lightning in the next three weeks.
I accepted Rackspace's offer about five minutes ago, so we're moving to San Antonio! Rachel was a little ambivalent until we woke up to three inches of snow this morning. "You know," she said, "San Antonio is sounding pretty good now."
My father approves of San Antonio, too. He's an easy man to please; as long as he can ride his bicycle year-round, he'll be happy to visit for Christmas. The cost of living there is within a few percent of what it is here in Draper, which is to say, a whole lot less than where he is now in New Jersey, so maybe getting some family out there isn't impossible.
I've been telling everyone in my immediate family, and Rachel's, that "we've been trying to get you to move to Utah for ten years, and nobody has. So it's time to try somewhere else," and that was true up until last night, when Rachel's sister moved down. Way to make me a liar, Andrea!
It's tough leaving home for parts unknown but on balance we're excited for something new. Time to put together a list of "stuff I'll wish I'd done in Utah while I was there" so I can cross some of them off. We've hiked in Zion's, seen a play at the Utah Shakespeare Festival, and seen the Christmas lights at Temple Square, so I think we're in pretty good shape. Dinner at La Caille is one I'd like to add. Any other suggestions?
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Melissa: up at 4:30
I'm up at 4:30 anyway, but that doesn't mean I have to like spending an extra hour telling Matthew and Melissa to quit fighting. This morning Melissa is pushing Matthew's buttons, and he's squealing as planned.
It's amazing how much quieter the house is when Matthew is at school.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
I admit it, I have not done my fair share when it comes to taking the kids trick-or-treating. Jonathan has taken the kids every year, so this year it was my turn. Jonathan manned the door. Fortunately this Halloween is the warmest it's been since I can remember. I teamed up with some neighbors, Brian and Amanda, who have a son a little older than Matthew, a daughter a little younger than Melissa, and a baby a few months older than Isaac, but lighter!
When Rachel and I went to bed at midnight, I noticed that the light was on in Matthew's room. It used to be not unusual for him to turn on his light for a little illicity play time and fall asleep with the light on, so I shrugged mentally and opened the door to turn it off.
... and there was Melissa in the middle of a mess of magic markers and Matthew's halloween candy, looking very guilty.
She "slept in" half an hour this morning, til 7:30.