Sunday, November 21, 2010

Really, A Cell Phone for a Seven-Year Old

Yes, I know, never in a million years did I ever think I would be considering allowing my seven-year old to have a cell phone. But, here's the deal. . .

First, in our compound there are two houses he goes to a lot, one moderately, and three every once-in-awhile. If one friend isn't home, T goes to check in with another friend. I make him come home to tell me whenever he is switching venues, but when T does this it causes a big brouhaha with his little brother, K. You see, K wants to follow T every moment of every day and when T goes to a friend’s house, it’s as if the world has ended for K. So, to see T come and go again is a huge disaster in the making.

Second, we have two very simple, old cell phones from when we were stationed in Portugal, so the phones are older than T. We just need to buy a pay-as-you-go SIM card, and voila T has a cell phone ready to use. If he loses one, likely, then there is cell phone number two. If he loses that one, then it’s over and he clearly is not old enough. Now, we are buying a SIM card for one of the old Portuguese phones so my in-laws have a phone to use for their visit. So, when they leave, we will have a working phone, with a SIM card ready to go.

I’m thinking this means that T will get a cell phone after his Uncle and Grandparents' visit is over. I know, a seven-year old with a cell phone seems a little much. But, let me rationalize just a little bit more, he will ONLY be allowed to use it on our compound to call his Dad or me or for us to call him. Though I can hardly believe it myself, yes, we are really considering giving our seven-year old a cell phone. It must be something they put in the water or maybe I'm just tired hearing K cry every time his brother checks in.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

On Our Way to School

So every time I drive K to his new school, we pass a couple things that I keep thinking I just have to share with everyone on our blog.

1. On our compound, they are building another building that will house four very small apartments. We've been watching the construction from day one. Here's the first thing we noticed, they use cinder blocks in the building of the walls of the house. Not so shocking. But then, get this; they line the outside of the blocks with Styrofoam. Yes, you read that correctly, the houses are insulated (and only on outside walls) with Styrofoam. Now, I don't know, maybe this is SOP in the building industry, but I've never seen it before. Back home, houses were always insulated with that pink panther furry insulation stuff (yeah, I don't know its real name, but you know what I'm talking about). So, now after the Styrofoam sheets have been glued on to the cinder blocks, they are spackling on a thin layer of cement. We will see what happens next. . .

2. Every day on the road, we go around this very sharp curve and see a bunch of tires scattered on the side of the road. There was a big puddle on the road next to these tires. It didn’t even occur to me why that might be the case. Well, there is a HUGE hole in the road. And, yes, I found out the hard way. Luckily my tire was not destroyed. But, apparently others weren’t so fortunate. I guess when it’s dry; I just instinctively go around it without paying much notice. Believe me, I will take more notice of such things in the future.

And that's our daily journey to school.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

An Embarrassing Moment

We've been told that it is ok to use credit cards at the bigger chain grocery stores. So, for the last two weeks, I've done this without problem at two different stores and I never needed my PIN. However, today I went to a different grocery store (the one closest to my house of course) and, guess what, they needed my PIN. Only, I don't know my PIN, I've NEVER needed it - not here, not there, not anywhere, I do not like green eggs and PINs. So, there I was standing in line with all my groceries and no way to pay for everything. The cashier was kind enough about it, but told me you ALWAYS need your pin at our store!!! I tried calling hubby on his cell phone, but no answer. Thinking this meant perhaps he was in his office, I tried that, but again no answer. Why is it you can never get ahold of your husband when you need to the most? Because, in my case, my husband is always in a DAMN meeting, but I digress. . .Luckily, the cashier was able to back out about $20 worth of stuff so that I could pay with the cash I had on hand, but oh my goodness was I embarrassed. Ok, so I promise I will memorize my PINs or only go to the two stores I know don't ask for them.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mommy, are you a princess?

Dressed in my lilac gown (thanks Julie for having such great taste), wearing my new heels and my amethyst necklace, I descended the stairs of our home to my three year old asking me if I was a princess? I have to say there is absolutely nothing to make you feel more beautiful. Or feel really bad, when he tries to hug you with pizza hands and you tell him "don't touch Mommy baby." Well, off to the Marine Ball we go.

Our chariot of choice to the ball was a taxi, which we shared with our neighbors who were also going. In the weirdest of coincidences, they arrived in Islamabad, which was our first tour overseas, at the same time we were leaving I'bad. We never met till here, but know some of the same folks. It's such a small world. Glad we finally did get to meet-up at the same time and place.

We celebrated the 235th Birthday of the Marines. Gosh, the Marines all look so young. Nothing to confirm this more than when they announced the birth year of the youngest Marine, which was the same year I graduated high school. There was an open bar and a lot of dancing. We had a lot of fun, but paid for it just a little bit the next day.

Of course, today, my three year old asked me if Sophie (our dog) was a princess. At least he had the good sense to not ask this at the same time he asked me if I was a princess the night before.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

If The Shoe Fits

You can call me a chicken if you like - if the shoe fits afterall. Yes, it's true, I bought a pair of 4" stilletos for the Marine Ball. Well, I decided to not wear them afterall. I ordered them from Amazon.Com and really they just weren't what I was expecting in terms of going with my ball gown. In addition to a lot of height on a heel as thin as a chopstick, they are patent leather and have a VERY pointy toe. I swear I could wear them for a Wicked Witch of the West Costume on Halloween. Still, they will go with a few things. I did wear them once to an event at the Ambassador's house, which (unbeknownst to me) turned out to be a garden party. As you can imagine, the Ambassador's lawn was well aerated by the end of the evening. So, maybe, just maybe, I'm not a complete chicken.

So, what will I wear instead. I just found the cutest 3.5" heel (slightly wider heel in back, paded on the ball of the foot on front) at the mall here in Sofia. I think they are cute and comfortable (at least more comfortable than the stilletos). So, go ahead, bach-bach-bach, I'm ready for it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Just Another Thought From a Not-So-Desperate Housewife

Warning: Going to get up on my soapbox here. . .

Dear Political Elitists* of both parties;

Your view is the right view for you, but you must realize that everyone feels that their view is the correct one. And, as difficult as it would be to persuade you away from your long held beliefs, understand it is equally as hard to persuade others from their beliefs.

Please remember that we are all human beings trying to make our way in the world for ourselves and our families and trying to live the American dream in the best way we know how. Most, regardless of political affiliation, recognize the importance that all people have the opportunity to live to their fullest potential and to ensure that we leave this world, at the least, a bit better than we found it. Ultimately, I do believe we have similar goals; just not always the same ideas about how to get there.

Though I may only have a BS degree from a public university, I do understand that the culmination of my life experiences has made me who I am and believe as I do. I also understand, though your education level may be more or less than my own, the same holds true for you, for everyone. As such, I pledge to keep these filters in mind in order to have an open discourse about the issues, the ultimate goals to be reached and the best way to get there. I will not vote for an issue or a candidate because anyone tells me to, whether it be friends, family, educators, colleagues, a political party, a politician, a tv personality or a movie star. However, I will listen and try to understand the ideas of others whom I feel are truly willing (not just paying lip service) to do the same for me. Of course, this is just my view of how to reach goals together. But, in this case, you'll have a hard time persuading me that it should be any different.

*According to Urban Dictionary a Political Elitist is a person, regardless of party affiliation, who thinks that they are better than another person, simply because of their alignment with a particular political party/cause/opinion/etc., and as such, exhibits anger and/or animosity towards another person because they have a different view/opinion. (definition can be found at

Monday, November 8, 2010

Stupid, Stupid, Stupid!

I just did the most STUPID thing! If you've seen a picture of our home, it looks like a mansion. In reality, it is anything but. The "house" is actually split-up into four units. Underneath is a garage, with each unit having its own garage space. There is a garage door for the entire "house," but no garage door for each individual unit.

It is a windy, rainy, yucky day today. GSO (aka our Embassy fix-it guys) were here installing shelves for us in our garage space. I had to move my car out of the way to the empty unit's space across from us, so GSO could have room to work. When they left, I closed the big garage door behind them, then turned on my car to move it (K was with me too). I didn't realize how stupid this was until we got out of the car and smelled exhaust with no way to escape. I, of course, opened up the big door to air it out right away. But, I MUST remember to open up that big door before starting the car.

As I finished writing this, I see sun and a calmer (still not calm, but calmer) day!!! This is a fantastic thing because the wind and rain knocked down our basketball hoop, threw the sandox lid and many ride-on toys around the yard and beyond our yard too. Time to go set things straight now that the wind won't blow me away along with all those toys.