Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Four and a half

I've been a bad blogger lately (how many of us start posts with that line...?).  Especially when it comes to chronicling my Juju.  I also started a journal to write down some of the funny things she says but there again I'm not very regular about doing it.  Sometimes you just have to be in the moment without trying to "capture" it.  Or something about the light or the purity of that moment tells you you're not going to forget it anyway.

But I've sort of got a chronicler's soul so I'll recap the highlights of this four and a half-year old.  She can be funny as all get out.  Like the time she told me quite seriously she was going to the bathroom and that I should stay in the living room and do some "activities" and that she would be right back.  I don't where the heck she could have picked that up.  (Yes, it's me.)

Or how she tells me her African American Fisher Price figurine and the blond-haired one are "brudders" cause they both have blue shirts.  On the subject of brothers she told me she wants a "brudder" who speaks French and a sister who speaks English.  Hmmm.

She might need to learn to share a bit more anyway, cause just last Saturday she whined nearly all the walk home because I split a cookie with her instead of giving her the whole thing.  "I want the other part..." was her mantra for at least five minutes.

She likes to let her hair tickle her back when she takes a bath and as she arches her head back she'll tell me hair is getting long.  In fact since it's curly it's still shoulder length.  I've only cut her bangs about three times in her life and the back only once to get rid of some split ends.

Lately she's into making her dolls, or rather making me make her dolls talk.  I am told to make Rapunzel and Flynn talk and if I don't do it fast enough or constantly, she'll whine in the way only little children can. And though I treasure the moments playing with her, sometimes when she says this it's like the proverbial knife being brandished in a horror movie moment, with suspenseful shrieking music in the background.  Because I am totally out of inspiration to make her dollies talk and just want to veg....

Luckily my little girl has been well trained by (guess who again?) me to enjoy being "cozy on the couch."  From a young age I would say, come on, let's rest on the couch.  And sometimes to coax me into playing with her dolls she'll put pillows on the carpet for me or suggest we play on the couch. She also loves for me to stroke her hair on the couch. "Do it every day, mommy," she'll say.

She sometimes astounds us with her wisdom then says things that remind us she's still just a little girl.  And though she has her Runaway Bunny moments where she says she wants to fly away from me and that I'm "not her friend" (a major pre-school insult), usually by the evening she's come around again.  And she'll say sweetly, "Mommy, you be the mommy and I'll be the baby."  Those are roles I'm perfectly fine with. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

House Hunters International Edition

My mom was just mentioning this show a while back.  Where people with generally ginormous budgets look for palaces in Italian fairy tale landscapes.  Or even the Amerian edition where some young couple with no kids is ready to put 300 thousand bucks on a "little" cottage starter home.  

Such is not our budget.  And if you're a follower of the Lazy Girl's life you'll know that what it's really been about for, well, years, is location, location, location!  A few years back and even just a few months back, my hubby and I just couldn't come to an agreement on where to live.  I was more of a city mouse, and he a decidedly entrenched country mouse.  If I had a dime for every argument or suppressed argument on that subject, I'd have enough money to buy two Italian palaces.

Flash forward to January 2013 when hubby and I compromised. A place south of our current city that would cut out traffic for him and only add about ten minutes for me.  Still close to my work and work opportunities in the future.  I was stunned he was now considering this area.  Literally five minutes from two of my friends and fifteen minutes from another.  I was holding my breath waiting for him to change his mind.

And we started a furious few weeks of home-touring looking for one that struck our fancy and that we could both agree on.  It's actually pretty tiring to spend evenings and Saturdays visiting homes, trekking from one part of the city to another.  Most of our visits also took place during the two-week period when we had snow on the ground and bitter temperatures.  A few uninhabited houses we visited were absolutely freezing inside.

It was kind of fun seeing how other people live and decorate.  We learned a few things along the way.  Take a look at the hall of fame/shame...

Classy closets make a difference.

That 70s show bathroom... wow, that hurts my eyes.

Groovy wallpaper is NOT where it's at.

Some people out their DO have taste.  But their houses are generally pricier.

But none of these houses made it on our short-list (aside from the closet place, briefly).  We came to realize the perfect house didn't exist.  But that the pretty good one we'd visited kept coming back in our minds.  And so last Monday we made an offer on one we BOTH (gasp) agreed on.  I won't show you it yet because we haven't signed for it and must get the official green light from the bank. 

I will tell you it's white brick with a blue door, something we had both actually put on our cute house wishlist.  Keep your fingers crossed, guys, and maybe a picture will be coming soon...

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Change is good. Right?!

You would think after having left my home country and adapted all along these last ten years that change would be easy for me now.  Sometimes yes. Sometimes no. 

I can meet new people every week in my job as a teacher and now barely blink an eye.  But when it comes to making personal decisions, even small ones, I sometimes freeze.  And put off said decisions for years.

Like changing my cell phone.  I was a loyal (and lazy) client of SFR for eight years.  Got my first little mobile phone from them in 2004.  I used it to send my my MMS messages she received on her email box.  I would anticipate the buzz of my phone around 12:25 p.m. my time meaning my mom had sent me an email that I would receive as an MMS.  Complicated, but it was the best I had back then when I had no phone jack and thus modem in my tiny studio apartment. 

Flash forward to late 2012 when I finally decided to trade in my now rinky dink model for a smart phone.   I could have upgraded years ago.  I could have been paying the same price per month for more features.  Or I could have up and left SFR for another, cheaper company. 

So I take my sparkly new phone home and use a bit of 3G while I'm out and about, even with my students to do some listening with BBC podcasts.  I start sending way more messages cause I have unlimited texts.  Or so I thought!  Until suddenly I get my bill.  112 euros!!!  Seems my new subscription plan didn't start till the end of January whereas my phone was purchased at the end of December.  Because I'm always billed towards the end of the month and you can't dare ask a French company to change their ways.

So I marched down to the store today and tried to put on my best "unhappy customer" face while staying respectful.  The moment I started saying this was an unpleasant suprise, etc., the sales agent's faced turned harder and unsmiley.  The same agent who'd been all too happy to get me set up with the new phone last month. 

She had pointed this issue of the date out to me, she said.  I thought she was just talking about billing, not using the phone.  But she hadn't ever said, don't use all the new features of your phone or you'll pay out the wazoo.  And there it hit me.  You're not in Alabama anymore, Milam.  This is France.  Where rules are rules and customers are rarely right. 

My only victory is that I got her to take off 20 euros cause I had seen there was an internet connection while still in the agency when she must have updated the phone.  That wasn't me.  But she wasn't too happy to do it.  And I left the store with a feeling of dismay. 

Change is scary, guys...

Next time: changing houses.  And you thought phones were tough!