Sunday, June 30

Hasta la vista, June

Well, to say that June was a bit of a busy month for me is an understatement, so I'm looking forward to July being more relaxing. I won't be packing anything, nor will I be binging on last-minute trips and restaurants before I move away from a state. I could totally go for a sandwich from Cafe Express, though.
It's for certain that I look back on June and am pleased with the results. My house is (almost) completely done; my dogs are embracing the doggy door; my kid is happy with her room and the house and with being closer to family; and Brian and I are giddy with not being in Texas anymore.
July, I feel certain, will be awesome. I hope. ... I mean, really, who knows. But I have random and, apparently, never-ending optimism. Bring it, July!

Saturday, June 29

Out of the albums, into boxes

Random new project: Moving photos out of albums and into photo boxes.
Really, this makes sense. I have 21 photo albums piled up in my guest room. I don't the space to store them, nor do I want to. I stopped printing out photos en masse in 2008, and everything since we got the digital camera in 2006 is on my computer. So what to do with these piles of albums?
Condense and store elsewhere.
I've started going through my albums and pulling out only the pictures that are necessary, of people, or have a significant meaning. There is no reason to keep 23 photos of an orca show at Sea World in 1987. There's no point to having all those pictures.
I happened to have an empty photo box in the closet, so I started on my project tonight to see how it would go. I am excited to say that I got five albums worth of memories and pictures into a single photo box. This makes for a better option for storage certainly, but also lessens my "baggage" in a very real way. I can't wait to dig into the rest of the albums. I figure I've got another three or four boxes worth of pictures before my job is done.
And don't even ask me how long it'll take, or how many photo boxes we'll fill, when we do this with Mom's albums.

Friday, June 28

Happy marriages for everyone!

Also, I am ridiculously excited that California is FINALLY a safe and accepting place for gay marriage. It's about time, and I'm proud to be a Californian, because now, especially with the Supreme Court ruling to dismiss Proposition 8, and to gut the Defense of Marriage Act, all the states with their little gay marriage bans will fall like dominoes. It may not happen in every state immediately, but it's a relief to know that it will happen sooner, rather than later.
It is my dream that one day Sydney will look at me and ask, "What do you mean there was a time when gay people couldn't get married?" I hope it'll come with the same tone of incredulity that I get when I tell her that cell phones used to be only for talking.

Oh, if only that was where I'd be sitting

ITEM!: Happily, the carpet shampooing was a tremendous success. I never really know, you understand, when I plan a new adventure, and prepare for it. This one though, after copious instruction reading and re-reading, went off without a hitch, and I now have a houseful of clean carpets, rugs and hardwood flooring. Consequently, there are now no shoes allowed in the house. Shoes are taken off in the laundry room. Also, everyone is permitted (yes, "permitted") to keep one pair of flip flops near the slider to wear outside in the backyard. The hitch in my get-along is, of course, dog foot dirt. There's nothing to be done about that though, and I'll survive.
ITEM!: Speaking of dog feet, I was inspired to trim the foot hair that grows in between the dogs' toes this evening. It sounds like a fanciful notion, but really, it was necessary. Both Oliver and Daisy were slipping and sliding on the floor because their toes couldn't find any traction; and Oliver had a couple of those icky little mats that grow in between the toe pads, which needed to be trimmed out. It should come as no surprise to you that Daisy is the difficult one when it comes to this process. I hold them on the their backs and between my legs, with feet facing me for this process. With Daisy, I get kicked in the stomach and boobs more than I find appropriate. This is why Oliver gets more treats.
ITEM!: A larger, two-story house is becoming a bit of a nuisance, especially with my flair for leaving things in one room when going into another. Things I've been leaving, and then having to go get (which is more inconvenient because more times than not, the things are left either up or downstairs): my glasses, the cell phone, my water bottle, hand lotion, and various snacks; also, pens. The solution for the glasses is the subject for this weekend's hunt. I need a glasses-holder necklace, so I can wear them everywhere I go in the house. I would also like something similar for my phone, but I refuse to be the Mr. T of forgetful household items. For the phone, I'll exercise, and go up and down the stairs.
ITEM!: I think tomorrow will be the day when I put away the moving-in and settling-in tools, and declare the home officially done. I'm growing another Goodwill box, and could stand to spend another few minutes in the garage getting and putting away a couple things, but on the whole, I think I'm about ready to sit down.

Thursday, June 27

And then, it's a shoe-less house

Tomorrow, I will attempt to shampoo my carpets. In the house, there is but a little bit of carpet: in the bedrooms and on the stairs. The stairs were thrashed with the move-in, with lovely black dolly-tire marks going up and across them. The hardwood floors need to be cleaned, as well. I've avoided one in preparing for the other, but it's time now.
First, the carpets, and then the upstairs hard floors. The stairs are a little scary, I think, because I can very easily see myself tipping the damn machine down them, and then having to clean up the subsequent mess, and then having to explain to Brian's mom what happened to her shampooer machine. But then the floors downstairs will be done, as will the area rugs.
Fun for the floors!!
Still, I think I may be excited about a new cleaning adventure. The fear makes it exciting. Because for any other reason, I'd be avoiding it.

Martian sunset similar to Arizona desert

Alright. Well, now that all that is over with, we can progress on to life as we knew/know it.
I believe that I will happily ignore that the last 18 months happened in Texas, and instead will scrub my head clean of all things Texan (except for the dinosaur museum, Cafe Express, Galveston, and Marlo).
We are a very happy family to be back in Arizona, and life is moving along swimmingly.
My house is pretty awesome, if a bit lacking in garage space. But I have all my decorations and both the cars in it, so it can't be too bad.
Everything has been unpacked, too. There are no boxes in my house, or anything that can be considered "storage." The only bins are in the garage, and they contain holiday decorations, tools, some keepsakes, and just a handful of randoms. My kitchen is incredibly lush with storage space, so everything that should be in the kitchen is in the kitchen.
I have a loft now, which is where I sit presently at my desk, and that therefore allows me to have a dedicated guest room. Huzzah!! And in the loft is a full-size futon sofa that can flatten out for any other guests beyond the one in my guest room.
Sydney and I have reconnected with our friends here, and she's registered in school for the second grade. It's a sweet and cute little school, and I'm excited for her to start there.
Brian is just excited to have us back home with him, and for me to be doing laundry again. ;)
Oliver and Daisy are beside themselves with happiness over having a doggie door again, and I am reminded that even with a backyard, I still have to pick up dog poop.
So. Back in Arizona.

Monday, June 10

San Antonio: I am in you!

Well, it was a really long day, and I'm totally exhausted, and I'm going to bed now. But all our stuff is on a moving truck, and in a couple days, we'll be back in Arizona. All that is good stuff. I would say that you might get a decent post out of me tomorrow, but I think I'll be just as tired as I am tonight.

Sunday, June 9

Tomorrow, the Houston drama ends

All the boxes are packed, and most of them are taped closed.
All our bags are packed for the road trip.
The movers are arriving tomorrow, but I don't know at what time.
Our stuff may be arriving in Arizona on Friday or Saturday.
My mom is a frickin' rock star, and has been an incredible help.
Sydney won't let me pack up her dinosaurs without her, so that will happen in the morning.
I'm so done talking about this move, but it's here now, and that's good.
I like the picture of the three flamingos because they're like a family walking away from someplace they don't like, just like my family and I, heading away from Houston tomorrow.

Friday, June 7

Oh, it's happening. In three days.

Alright. Things are moving along quickly now.
I've got a boatload of boxes in my house, and just a bit more to pack.
My move driver called this morning to reconfirm our move for ... Tuesday? Or is it Monday? He's got us scheduled for Tuesday. I'm all, "But I have to move on Monday." He's all, "Okay. Ill figure this out." And that's the last I heard from him. Perhaps I can look forward to a call from him tomorrow?
Also, we drove out to Blue Bell ice cream factory this morning. Upon arrival, we discovered a 50-minute wait for the tour. But we've all done the tour before, so I said to Sydney, "All you really want is the ice cream, right? Let's bag the tour and go up to the ice cream parlor?" She says, "Okay." So we drove an hour to pay a dollar for each of our ice cream cups. I had a delicious key lime pie ice cream that I would very much like to have forever in my freezer. The joy from the day came upon discovering the distribution map for Blue Bell and seeing that they deliver in Arizona. Yay!
Then, we came home, where Sydney continued to bug us to pack more stuff because she seems to have become obsessed with packing. Almost everything in her room is packed, except for some dinosaurs, and she's eager to finish the entire thing.
I don't think I've ever been so far ahead of the game for a move, and it's freaking me out.

Wednesday, June 5

I always prefer Monet; it's cliche, I know

Mom and I did a very grown-up thing today: we visited the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, and enjoyed many arts of fine-ness. The last time we visited this museum, we thought it would be okay to bring the kiddo along. Sydney did not find the museum at all interesting, and made our truncated time there very miserable. We decided on that afternoon that the next time we had a day to ourselves, we would check out the museum at our leisure. Today was that day, and we were giddy with the prospect of checking out the fine arts. (Of course, we had planned the day for Monday, but we got all the way to the museum to find it closed, so had to switch up our plans for the week.)
I discovered, once we started rolling through the place, that I've got preferences about the fine arts: I prefer landscape paintings to paintings of people and Jesus. I don't really care for earthen pots. The Greek stuff is cool because it's so old. I don't like looking at jewelry that isn't mine or royal. I'm not sophisticated enough to understand a lot of modern art. I always hold my hands behind my back, and that makes my shoulders tired. Fine arts museums are much more relaxing when there's no kid following you around whining about how bored she is or asking every minute when it's time to leave.

Tuesday, June 4

Blah, blah, blah ... moving

I can tell you right now that the blogging is going to start to slow down over the next week or so. I'm getting too stressed, and I'm finding it difficult to focus on anything other than the move, which makes for boring blog posts.
I can tell you irritating stuff about boxes, what's left to pack, and what's not ready to pack. I'm boring myself, and I refuse to do that, more than anything.

Monday, June 3

No fine art for us today

In a world full up on information, and the ability to have said information at your fingertips, it's still entertaining when an entire day can be messed up because of the simple act of not checking something out before embarking on an adventure. Like, say, this morning, when Mom and I got all the way to the Museum of Fine Arts, and parked and everything, before realizing that the museum is closed on Mondays. At least we weren't standing at the ticket office when we made our discovery. No, we were in the parking lot and ready to cross the street to the museum itself. So, really, only a single parking lot guard was privy to my colossal misstep. But again, I could only giggle at the ridiculous amount of information I had in my pocket, and I just didn't use it before climbing in the car and driving 40 minutes in traffic to a museum downtown.
I guess we'll be making our way back on Wednesday.

Sunday, June 2

Pool parties are the funnest

We spent the day at the pool, enjoying a get-together with friends from school, and had a lovely day. I forget sometimes how nice it is to have a social life. To be able to sit back, eat a bunch of bad-for-me foods, and chat with people, and also laugh. We were there for about four-and-a-half hours, and thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it.
Having people to hang out with is a great thing, and I miss it terribly. This will change in Arizona. That's a promise I make to myself. Brian, Sydney and I will be social. We will make friends and do things. We will enjoy backyard siestas with beer. We will talk and laugh with people. And it will be nice.
All this, even with the sore throat and the snotty nose.
Even with the fatigue that's rolling with this body right now.
I'm happy to say that I'm not out of practice with being a social creature. I'm pleased with my day, certainly, and I'm looking forward to my next social function.

Saturday, June 1

"Why you make me sick?"

So, I woke up this morning with a snotty nose, and that taste in my mouth that said, "Hey! I'm a cold! And you've caught me!" And I looked at my baby, and I said, "I've got a cold. You happen to know who gave it to me?" And she smiled kind of sheepishly, and said, "I gave it to you."
And with that, I am now suffering through a ridiculously busy couple weeks with a cold. Of course, I am dosed up on my DayQuil and NyQuil, so my senses are a bit dulled to the discomfort of the cold. But still, it would be much better for my psyche if I was feeling 100-percent healthy.
But I will soldier through, and now that my mommy is here, everything will be better.
As for Sydney, she does have an ear infection in each ear. So, now she's taking a potent cocktail of antibiotics. She should be feeling much better tomorrow, according to the doctor.
But also importantly, now that this is June, we can say that we're moving to Arizona "this month." This is very exciting to me, and I'm so looking forward to taking off out of Texas.