Friday, February 28, 2014

Always buy the bigger pie

I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner tonight. I know you are thinking that is an awesome dinner and you are so right! Especially when you remember that I have not had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in years because it's hard to eat a sandwich when the bread is actually made out of sand. OK, not actual sand, but gluten-free bread tastes like it does. Except I have found the best gluten-free bread ever. Ever! It actually tastes like real bread. I know this because the children sometimes mistake it for the real thing and eat it which makes me mad because then there isn't any for me. Also, I gave a piece to my friend Stevie and she loved it and then the week after she ate other bread and she told me it wasn't the same as my bread. Because this is magic bread and it has changed my life and I don't know if I will be able to live without it overseas. How long does bread keep? Can I ship it? You can order online. I just don't know if bread will survive a month in the pouch. But it might just be worth a shot, it is that good. This is the company, and no I don't get paid for product endorsements. I don't even get free products. Or coupons. But I want them to stay in business forever, so everyone who eats gluten-free, please, please buy this bread.

Tonight was the final cotillion class. It was amazing and Child 3 won a prize for dancing which was fabulous except for the fact that it was cookies made with regular flour. So I told her I would buy her a prize and she cheered right up. She looked lovely, even with the blue eye-shadow I told her she wasn't allowed to wear. (Yes, Child 3, I noticed the eye-shadow. And lipstick. And blush. Sigh.)

You know what is better than a brownie? Definitely not swimming with crocodiles. This giant croc in Australia decided to go surfing and they had to close the beach for a whole day.
Photo showing giant crocodile in surf at Cable Beach is courtesy of Sharon Scoble.

Um, yeah they should close the beach! That thing is huge! I mean, you expect to find sharks in the surf, but not crocodiles. Remind me to look for those next time I'm at the beach, which will be in a couple of weeks, except I don't think you're supposed to swim in African rivers. Because there are crocodiles. And hippos. Did you know hippos are dangerous? Well now I do. Not happy about mean hippos. Not at all.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Not really the greatest day ever

So I woke up yesterday with a migraine which really sucked because I had to get rid of it before I went in for my root canal in the afternoon. So I took a boatload of medicine and went back to bed, and then had someone dig holes in two of my teeth and scrape out the roots. So no. Not a fun day. Thankfully, my office is awesome and they handled stuff for me while I was lying down wondering why it felt like the drilling started before the actual drilling and was it ever going to end. This is an amusing picture, but the drills are way too small.

So tonight I feel better but I am lonely and bored so I am watching the Bachelor get dumped. Finally, after umpteen seasons, a girl figured out that he wasn't really that into her and she is berating him for not trying to get to know her. Because he doesn't have to. Why should he waste any time asking about her when there are 20 other women willing to fawn on his every word? It's actually really enjoyable and I want to jump up and cheer. You go girl! You are absolutely destined for better things and deeper relationships.

This almost could have been better than a brownie because who doesn't love Hagrid? Oh wait, not Hagrid.


Nope. That's Harry Potter pretending to be Hagrid or at least trying to shed his Hogwarts image. It's in fact a little scary to see Daniel Radcliffe so scraggly because in my mind, he will always be 11 and cute as a button. I suppose all children grow up because mine certainly are. But thankfully, mine won't have so much facial hair.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Paradise lost

Apparently, there is no internet in paradise. Or phones. I so want to go TDY to a tropical island and not have any phone or internet. I bet I won't have either in Africa and it will be Husband's turn to worry about whether or not I've been chomped in half by a hippo. There are no hippos in his paradise. Maybe sharks, though.

So, for his benefit, just in case he checks my blog. Here is what has been happening. First, my iPod died which is a disaster of tremendous proportion because I cannot fly without my iPod because I cannot sleep on planes unless I am playing sleep sounds on my iPod so the fact of it's breaking meant that I had to get it fixed. Except here is the thing about iPods--you can't fix them. They said try rebooting it. Seriously, like I hadn't tried that a hundred times. And then they said try putting it in recovery mode which I had also tried before and they tried again and it didn't work. So then they said I dunno it looks like a hardware failure and I wanted to say the Genius Bar is not so much filled with geniuses. So I had to buy a new iPod which was a bummer because they are not cheap and I had already paid a bundle to fix my phone.

Oh yes, because my iPod was broken, I was listening to music on my phone during my commute and I dropped it on the bricks. And it looked a little like this.

And I had to borrow Child 3's phone and no one could get ahold of me for the entire week. And I have to have a phone so I took it to the mall and instead of saying, well gee we don't know maybe it's a hardware problem, they said sure, we can fix that. Just leave it to us. So I did and they did and now I have my phone back and a new case which will hopefully keep it from breaking and also not using it like an iPod.

Child 2 & 3 went to a play tonight and had a great time together. And Child 1 and I went grocery shopping and bought all kinds of snacks which were mostly cheese.  And we had a lovely dinner and now I'm watching a movie that Husband wouldn't be interested in at all. Because I can because I am not TDY in Paradise with no internet.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Do I have to actually think?

In my defense, I've been having computer issues and it's just too much of a pain to blog on my phone. Plus there are no pictures when I phone blog and I need pictures to illustrate stuff like how bad my luck is. For example, Husband is right now at this moment TDY in a place that looks like this.

Beautiful, isn't it? Some people have all the luck and Husband is one of them. He also got to go to a summit that I had to cover from back in Washington. It was my issue and I was a "Subject Matter Expert," but he is the one that went. I, on the other hand, am going TDY in a couple of weeks to a place that looks like this.

And that will be the nice part. He gets leis and drinks handed to him while people dance at his arrival. I get to go camping in a hotel and have to watch out for snakes and crocodiles. I am not complaining. Really, I am actually thrilled to be going to Africa again and if the hippos don't knock over my boat and eat me, it will be a great trip. I am just saying that there will be no fancy cold drinks with umbrellas.

Today was Thinking Day which for those of you who don't remember involves about a thousand Girl Scouts yelling at decibels so loud that you can actually hear them in the country they are supposed to be talking about. We had Pakistan (Child 2) and Switzerland (Child 3) and I'm sure there were people in Pakistan saying why are those girls yelling so loud? Every group is supposed to make swaps which represent their country to sell as a fund raiser. The Pakistani girls made necklaces which were very popular. But the Swiss girls sold chocolate fondue with cake and marshmallows. Brilliant. You could smell the chocolate across the hall and they sold out pretty quickly. I, of course, did not have any not being able to ingest chocolate.

But the best part of the night is that I reconnected with a friend from our first tour in Korea which was when Child 3 was a baby. Falls Church is a small town but all of the Foreign Service passes through at one time or another and I was visiting the Korea table and realized I knew the troop leader. Awesome. We will have to get together very, very soon. Re-meeting lost friends is way, way better than a brownie, and also much less fattening.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Watch out for the trucks!

First, it's my Dad's birthday, and although he doesn't read this blog, my Mom does. So Mom, give Dad a big kiss from me when you read this. And show him this. He will know immediately where it is from. And Child 1 and I need to watch it again soon.

But apparently the truck that ran me over wasn't management but a cold. I've been home in bed for two days except for the part where I went to the dentist and he told me I need all new teeth. No, not exactly, but if I want to keep the ones I have, I need two root canals and a crown. I asked them if they could work it around my Africa schedule, because my trip may be back on. They said fine. Do the root canals first, then the crown then some cleaning and fillings. Ugh. Thankfully we have dental insurance because otherwise there goes Child 1's college tuition. She won't mind. Maybe she's always wanted to go to cosmetology school, anyway? How expensive is cosmetology school? OK maybe just a hair braiding course or two. Why do I need teeth anyway since I can't eat anything?

So I was reading this story on Slate asking why parents complain about their children in their blogs and don't we know that doesn't make people want to have children? And the answer is duh, we don't care if you want to have children or not. We are too busy trying to keep ours alive without going crazy. The going crazy part is about the parents, not the children. They are all already certifiable. Seriously. Look up crazy in the dictionary and it will say "anyone under age 18." And I'm not even sure about the 18 part because Child 1 is getting really close and she still has those moments when I think Martians have sucked her brain out through a straw and put in one of their own and she is making no sense! And then something happens like she loves my dinner or watches Star Trek with me or brings me mints.

And then I remember all over again why I am a parent. Because I love the children with a fierce intensity that borders on obsession and any little tiny crumb of attention they give me is enough to fuel the fire for another 10 years. That's the way parenting goes--you sacrifice everything of yourself for these greedy, insensitive, wonderful, amazing, beautiful people that you made yourself and they will never, ever get that the whole purpose of your life is to turn them into something that can not just fly, but soar. And you don't care because just one kiss on the cheek is enough to make you do it all over again. That is what parenting is all about. Well, that and having an excuse to watch The Muppets without people judging. Animal is totally better than a brownie.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Therapy for free with food

I was run over by the management truck again today. There I was, minding my own business, when zoom! Somebody who is several levels above me decided to make an example of my TDY and so it has been cut in half and may still even canceled. It's not that it's a boondoggle, because I do cover some really non-luxurious posts in Africa after all. I'm not asking to go to Paris or Tahiti or Singapore or Rio. I am trying to go to a place that has intermittent electricity and where you need 5 shots before you're even allowed to think about going there. So you would think that would not be such a big deal. But it might look bad if I were out of the office for two weeks to go to Africa. I wanted to scream look bad to whom? Blind people? Drunk people? People wearing their spouse's glasses because they got mixed up on the night stand? You can see where I'm going with this because nobody who sees straight would think it looks bad to send an officer to help out in Africa especially the part that doesn't have resorts and safaris. The part I'm going to looks like this on a good day.

So I was feeling pretty badly about the trucks running me over and also I'm still sick and I don't like to talk about it and I thought I should skip dinner with my fellow bloggers, but Husband said I shouldn't and Child 1 says I need friends. So I went, and it reminded me why I love hanging out with Foreign Service women. They are smart and witty and fun and we can sit down and instantly click. I was seated next to two people I had never met before and we just had a blast. Or at least I did. I can't speak for them, but one of them told me I was beautiful and that was before her 4th beer, so I think she meant part of it. But at any rate, I love being associated with such a group of talented accomplished women and I'm glad they let me hang with them because I needed that. It was awesome and I might even have been inspired to try yoga. We'll see.

But here are a few things that are not better than a brownie--brussels sprouts, bananas, and sour patch kids. I tried those last ones today when I needed a sugar fix and they are sugary, but they are not brownies. Also, I think the food coloring took 5 months off my life span. They were freakishly bright. But I am going of dairy to see if that will help with the stomach issues and really there are only so many candies to try that don't have wheat or chocolate or dairy. So technicolor candy shaped like children it is! That is so very creepy. Somebody help me find something else, quick.