Thursday, August 28, 2008

Let's Go Krogering - Disguise Optional

Most of our shopping trips aren't very "blog worthy," but this one was.

The venture began beautifully (beautiful except for me - I passed on a shower in an effort to rush out the door early and beat the crowds). What did parents ever do before these great carts? Andrew always has a lot of fun "driving" us around the store and waving to the passers-by. (And yes, the camera is pretty much a permanent fixture in the diaper bag. One never knows when photo-ops might arise...)

We found some amazing sales and all was well. One bargain was 5 12-packs of soda for $11. Sweet! We loaded them up and off we went.

Checkout time arrived. We waited in a looong line (remember -things move slowly down in these here parts) and Andrew had managed to get one arm out of his shirt, as well as abandon one of his socks somewhere in the store. Remind me not to buy expensive Stride Rite socks. It was definitely time to checkout and go home.

The poor checkout girl was new and therefore even slower than expected. Sweet, though. By the time it was our turn to check out, there was a hefty line of 5 or so folks with the dumb luck of getting behind the woman with the toddler and a race-cart jammed to the brim. Andrew, who apparently really wanted to be naked, started taking off his shirt again as I squatted down to begin dragging soda boxes from below the cart. Somehow, I lost my balance and fell backward, right on my butt, dropping a soda box on the lady's foot behind me. She was kind and not visibly hurt, even though I apologized up and down. I was completely mortified.

Then I heard the sound.....


As if an embarrassing fall and attempted Sierra Mist injury weren't bad enough, I had somehow managed to puncture one of the cans and now the box of soda was spraying into the aisle, all over me, and yes, onto the poor soul behind us. The cashier, who clearly didn't need this challenge in her life, scrambled around and brought out some paper towels. She then called for the "mop guy on aisle 3" (not verbatim of course, but that's how I heard it in my head) as well as another guy who had to run to get us a replacement box. In the interest of getting the hell outta there, I said I would be happy to take the busted box, but the crowd of employees that had gathered felt so sorry for us they said no way. The new box actually appeared very quickly; they wanted to see us gone as much as we did.

Andrew had taken both arms out of his shirt by this point, and was barefoot. He was also yelling. Soon after that, I paid, tucked my tail, and took an extremely brisk walk to the car, praying the Sierra Mist foot lady had parked on the other side of the lot.

Can you be banned from a store? I was clearly a danger to myself and others this morning. Needless to say, the next time I darken the Kroger doorway it will definitely be in a disguise. Andrew, too. Maybe I could just wash my hair and put on makeup and that would do the trick.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tandem Hound Bathing

Not fans. Never a sadder puppy was there, ever. Tonight was the first bath for the "mutts" in many a day... let's just embarrassingly admit that some Carolina AND Texas dirt went down that drain.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Settling In

Yes, we're still working on the "settling" part. With so much transition of late, we still aren't quite sure where we live. The house is getting closer to feeling like "home," but we're not there yet. Soon....

The old Texas house, you ask? STILL WAITING TO CLOSE ON IT. Yep. Our realtor assures us it will happen this week. Things have been tied up in paperwork. We're not nervous.....yet.....

The job? Jon loves it. The kids are great. The co-workers and their families are great. We had our first get-together at the house Saturday night and fun was had by all. Football season kicks up this Friday, so off we go.

I leave you with before and after pics of a few rooms in the house. More to come....

Dining Room

The one bathroom (one to rule them all, one to bind them, or something like that...)

As mentioned in many a post - ahhhh - The screened-in porch

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Lovin' and Missin'

Things to love (so far) about living in the SC Midlands...

  • time with Jack and Kim
  • the dialect
  • tax breaks - we now pay 1% on food, for one
  • the culture in general
  • farmers' markets
  • our giant, shaded, dog-happy yard
  • pleasant, sweatshirt-optional evenings on the screened-in porch
  • rolling hills
  • trees, trees, trees - pine, palm, you name it
  • lakes, creeks, rivers everywhere
  • Lake Wylie, to be specific
  • squirrels and bunnies in our yard
  • adept US Postal Service
Things to run back to South TX and give a full-armed HUG to (besides these)...

  • Aunt Christina and Sandy
  • our huge kitchen
  • our cabinet space
  • our dishwasher
  • our walk-in closet
Things that haven't really changed after 1400 miles...

  • the slow pace - nobody's in a real hurry which is always good unless it's you
  • summer heat and mosquitoes
  • fire ants
  • palm trees
There are a million more I'll think of as soon as I click publish post.
Life is good. Ya'll come for a visit, now.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Saturday on the Lake

Thanks to Uncle Jack & Aunt Kim, the Burbank family just experienced its first totally relaxing day in a loooooong time. Maddie and Dora got to play with Yags and Zeta all afternoon while the humans thoroughly enjoyed Lake Wylie.

And please help me out here with a photo that is just dying for a caption. Come on, let me know what you come up with. The possibilities are just too large to pass up. I'd love to give some type of prize for the best caption...... who knows?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Good Night, Sweetheart

Thank you, Jennifer, for one of the most adorable things I have seen in a long time. And I think they were Boxer puppies, to boot!

Everyone, go here (and prepare to melt):

I will SO be using Good Night, Sweetheart the next time Dora has a hyper fit.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

You Might be a Redneck if..... have more dogs under the porch than dollars in the bank. are easily lulled to sleep the moment the boat hits the river.

....your neighbors have three cars in their yard, and one that runs. have a tire swing. (Perhaps it can be loaned to the neighbors for one of their cars-on-blocks?) happily shovel dirt in the buff. How else?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

We're Online - WOO HOO!

The boxes are suddenly in real danger of sitting unpacked a while longer.... distraction is here..... lovely Mark from AT&T hooked us up today and our week without internet is joyously over! Here's a handful of random pics from the new area: hangin' at Lake Wylie, sunset across the street from our house, Munchy's help with cleaning, and Maddie making herself at home in a play yard bag.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Day of the Move - The Novel

Nothing is ever as easy as you imagine it will be, no matter how prepared and organized you believe you are going in....

Chapter One: Finishing up at the Edinburg House

We did not end up staying in the hotel rooms we had hurriedly booked the night before; the movers did not arrive at noon, but rather 7:30 pm, which meant all they had time to do that evening was inventory and the actual move was going to take place Wednesday am as scheduled. Ah - nothing like the ol' "hurry up and wait." Since hotel rooms had to be cancelled by 6:00 pm in order to avoid the charge, that was a few dollars down the tubes.

Wednesday morning began with an unexpected 3:30 am wake-up call from someone other than Andrew who had experienced a rough evening and needed to talk. I had gone to bed at midnight, so there it was - 3.5 hours of sleep was all I was going to get before the day's upcoming craziness. The movers showed back up at our house at 7:00 am and started loading. We were taken to the airport at 10:30 am while a couple of family members (the hound couriers) stayed behind to watch over the movers and close up the house when they left, which ended up being 6:30 pm.

Chapter Two: McAllen-Houston Flight

Our time at the McAllen airport was spent watching incoming flights and scarfing down our last Whataburger meals with Aunt Christina and Sandy. Everyone raided the gift shop and we didn't even mind the extra stuff to carry. Soon, the bittersweet moment was upon us; we said our very tearful good-byes and made our way pretty easily through security.

Andrew's last (and only) flight was when he was two months old, exactly one year ago. He just nursed and slept the whole time and it was really easy. I knew today's flights would not be as easy, but I kept telling myself the same thing that had kept me sane in the crazy days that had led up to this one - it's all a means to an end.

We boarded the McAllen-Houston flight, got all settled in, fastened seatbelts, retrieved the snacks, and were ready for leg one of two. As luck would have it, the captain came on at that moment with the news of scattered thunderstorms in Houston and we'd be sitting on the tarmac for about an hour. He'd rather we didn't exit the plane, but we could if it was absolutely necessary. Yeah - no-brainer there. We got up from our BACK ROW (did I mention that?) seats and trudged back off the plane and through the jet way. After 30 minutes or so, I was on my way to the restroom with Andrew to change an extremely full diaper when I heard the announcement that we all needed to be back on the plane immediately or the plane would leave us (not kidding - this was the first announcement). Forget the diaper change, WE GOTTA GO!!! So, we got back on the plane, facing a one-hour delay and - at best - 25 minutes in Houston to change terminals and planes unless by some act of God, the second flight was delayed.

The flight itself was smooth and beautiful and Andrew slept and pleasantly played the whole time so all was well. Then, we landed. Again, we were in the very back of the plane and therefore the LAST people off it. I quickly asked the gate agent where we were headed and her words were these,"Gate C84N, if you make it." OK, so let's get a cart ASAP. Sorry, ma'am, no carts available. The 20-year-old-vacationers with no children or smoking mothers really do need that cart they are sitting on. @#$%. Off we RUUUUUNNN. I was carrying Andrew and two heavier-than-necessary bags. Anyone who's experienced the Houston airport knows getting to your gate when having to change terminals means a separate train and numerous sub-hallways that rival the layout of the Louvre. Mom and Skip were in my dust and I didn't even care. Andrew and I were GETTING on that plane and we WERE going to end up in Charlotte with Jon at 7:28 pm as planned.

At least ten hallways later, Andrew and I arrived at the gate where the agents were yelling, "ANYONE ELSE FOR CHARLOTTE?" I reached into my bag and then remembered Mom had my boarding pass. Damn. Huffing and puffing, I approached the lady at the gate to explain that we just arrived from McAllen. "Where have you been?" she says to me. Lucky for her that I didn't have enough time to put in my two cents. Thankfully, I saw Mom and Skip rounding the corner and we all jumped on a cart in the nick of time.

Chapter Three: Houston-Charlotte Flight or Continental's Extremely Disgruntled Employees Unleash their Wrath on the Innocent
It was a small plane; two seats on one side and one on the other. We were definitely the last three people on it. Collapsing in our assigned seats, we breathed a sigh of relief as we fastened our seatbelts. Enter Jeannie, psycho flight attendant (PFA). Her first words [insert nasty tone]:"Someone in this row needs to move. There aren't enough airbags." Mom did not handle the news or the tone very well and let her know by asking, "Why? We booked them like this." PFA got even more condescending and nasty as she re-explained (even though Continental really did allow us to book in that row, infant boarding pass and all). Mom got more and more upset. Skip got up from the one row seat and moved back. Mom moved over to his previous seat. Andrew and I remained in the two-seater. Mom leaned over to ask me something just as the captain was coming across the speaker with the usual useless pre-flight drivel. Mom asked me what he had said just as PFA passed by. She turned to Mom and said, "IF you had been listening, you would have heard what he said." That was enough for me. I stuck my pointer finger in PFA's face and said "We do not EVEN need this attitude from you today." PFA immediately left us and went to the front where we saw her speaking to the captain. Great. Now we're going to get kicked off the plane. I tried to think happy Jon thoughts and tried my damndest to put it all behind me and feign calmness. The plane had not yet started its taxi, so I handed Andrew to Mom so I could search for snacks. PFA on speaker:"Infants are to be seated on the two-seat side of the airplane." Yep. That was for us. Mom and I just laughed and she handed Andrew back to me. I performed a one-armed snack search and then put him in the seat beside me to quickly call Jon with the tale of our Continental concentration camp. I was literally hiding behind the seat, even though we had still not started taxing. As soon as I got him on the phone, there was PFA in my face, "THAT is supposed to be OFF!" Those who really know me know how difficult it was for me, but I still said nothing to PFA and politely hung up on the husband I had not seen in 3 weeks and put the phone away. After that, here were still a few ways we apparently "screwed up" and were publicly scolded via intercom, but at least we didn't have to deal with this lady directly anymore. I was already composing a well-worded letter to Continental in my head.

By this point, Mom was really upset about the abuse and we were both crying out of sheer frustration and exhaustion. Then, an epiphany - have a completely miserable 2.5 hours, or get flies with sugar versus vinegar? So, when it was time for beverage service, I simply said to PFA, "We got off on the wrong foot." Bing!!! She then went into Dr. Jekyll mode and offered us free drinks for the rest of the flight. On the captain, so she said. We were instant friends, and Mom and I were definitely catered-to in a big way the rest of the time. It still doesn't mean I won't be sending along a little note to Continental, but she did manage to make it all better for the time-being.

Now, even though we were kind of living the first-class lifestyle, the rest of the flight wasn't necessarily a breeze. I had to tuck my tail to PFA when Andrew spilled my entire first Bloody Mary into his diaper bag. And then there was the time he had a runny poop that trashed his cute outfit, as well as the air for the folks sitting in the immediate vicinity. Then, of course, Andrew, who had been angelic for this flight, had an ear-grabbing meltdown during the pressure-screwy descent.

So, the moving experience was not easy. Not one bit of it. And it's still going, as we await delivery of our dogs and belongings to once-again enter the world of renting in a totally new place and state. Even still, we have a feeling it will all be worth it.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Move - A Photo Story

The bipeds are all in SC. The furry quadrupeds will arrive in a couple of days via family members driving my car. Our stuff will arrive someday. We are staying at my cousin's home for the time-being. The trip here yesterday and the days that preceded it were extremely tough on so many levels, and I will offer details in a later post when I have the energy. For now, the best I can do is a photo story.

The Texas mosquitoes were so terrible all day long that this is how my mother chose to venture outside in the 100+-degree heat.

Munchy was deeply concerned his Cheerios were going to end up on the moving truck.

He was fascinated with the moving semi.

Checking out the huge tires while looking NORTHWARD.

Walking around the McAllen airport with Grandma.

Hangin' with Auntie Christina in the airport.

She brought him his last Whataburger fries!

Andrew and the "support team" right before boarding the flight.

Bye-bye Auntie.

Eating and living it up on the Houston-Charlotte flight...Almost home!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Moving is Crap

Um, yeah, things have hit a pinnacle of stressfulness around here. These recent months (SIX LOOOOONNNG ONES) of job-hunting, house-selling, stuff-purging, things-packing, hurricane-hunkering, mosquito-dodging and everything-moving rank right up there as the most stressful of our entire lives. Andrew has been a terrible sleeper for days; his world is turned all upside-down and he is getting both upper incisors, to boot. The dogs are both completely wigged out. The moving company called today to inform us they couldn't come Wednesday as scheduled and had sold our contract to another company who would be coming TUESDAY AT NOON. Yep. One full day early. That lit a fire under our butts for sure. Part of my family is driving my car and the dogs across country, and the other part is flying with Andrew and me on Wednesday afternoon. Now, we flyers will oversee the move all day tomorrow and then do an unplanned crash in a hotel tomorrow night. Not happy. And finding a McAllen hotel with vacancy this soon after Dolly was extremely difficult since all the insurance adjusters are still in town. Can't wait 'til this is all over and Jon, Andrew, the pups and I are sitting in our Columbia screened-in porch, sipping wine and laughing about all the crazy moving experiences. As soon as the boarding passes are printed tomorrow, I will pack this computer, so I bid the bloggers a fond, short-lived farewell and request many good karma wishes be sent our way as so many people try desperately to get the whole Burbank clan in one place!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Taking a Break from Packing...

Our family is great. Could not have done this without them. We are all mentally and physically weary, but are plugging along and know there's a light at the end of the tunnel. See our Whataburger feast? It's the only meal we have time to eat. Also, as you can see, Andrew (who loves his Auntie almost as much as the vacuum), has been helping out a lot around here.