Thursday, February 26, 2009

Welcome home Nicki

The long awaited promises and threats have come to fruition. It is now official we have a dog. Not just any 'ol dog she is a one year old Shepard/Collie mix. Her name is Nidki, well that is the name the Golden Valley Humane Society gave her. We, on the other hand, have been trying to teach her her name. Not an easy task when Kay & Billy cant even remember it themselves. Kay asks 12 times a day "what's our dogs name again?" Billy says "what's that name of that dog again?". You would think that after a week they would remember but ...Jimmy on the other hand already has nicknames for her. Nick, Nickelodeon, etc.

The kids, especialy Billy think she is awesome.
Our friends are accusing us of having brought her home from India with as she looks suspiously like an Indian street (or dray) dog. A healthy non-anorexic dray dog but a dray dog none the less.

Nicki is the thing in the "one of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn't belong" song. She is way mellow. We are not sure if in the case of a fire she would move. She is not a loudamerican as such. Just the other day after being here for a few days (5) Kay said " hey Daddy did you hear that? I did not know our dog barked, thats awesome".

She is very cuddly and lets the kids pet her and climb all over her, pull her ears and tail and does not seem to mind a bit. She sleeps in her kennel goes to the door when she needs to go out and is quite the find. She loves to be petted, BIlly races his car all over her, Kay "brushes" her and they both read her books. She's going to be a very well educated dog. She goes on walks like a dream and trys to "herd" the kids if they go too far out into the yard. Her 2 doggie playdates have been smashing successes with her winning the everlasting friendship of Lucy and Luther.

After a gorgeous week of a honeymoon for all of us, last night she busted out of her kennel and proceeded to tear apart her doggy bed...she ate the insides and spent all night hacking up a lung.

Come to think of it, I think I just heard the other shoe drop.....

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Billy Balou I love you

Billy Billy Billy. There isnt really anyway to describe Billy. You have to experience Billy. He is all boy and continues to be a truckaholic. He has this deep raspy voice that sounds like he's been smoking Marborlo Reds for years. He is by minute happy, stubborn, goofy, wiggly, defiant and talkative. He loves to cuddle and give kisses (to anyone anytime) but the minute he crawls on your lap, he finds it impossible to sit still. He sleeps with 2-6 trucks under his pillow every night. BUT, he's equally fascinated by books, and we frequently find him sleeping with a book (about trucks) or 'reading' to himself quietly in a corner. He can play with anyone but also loves to play alone. He is frequently Kay's model for make up, dresses and high heels (I think he actually prefers high heels) but is also studying light saber dualing under the guidance of Master Jimmy. When he doesnt get what he wants or doesnt like what you have to tell him, he shoots you a whithering look and then plugs his ears and closes his eyes until you go away. A close 2nd to trucks/cars/books is dogs. He is MAD about dogs. AND he has a way with them. Dogs flock to him and are really calm around him. He doesnt like icecream or cookies or any other type of after dinner treat but could eat rice/daal all day. Overall Billy is incredibly simple, complex, old and young all at the same time. Sometimes you feel like you are in the presence of an 80 yr old man in a 4 yr old body. He is what he is. But then again, arent we all....

Common Billy-isms

Give me chocolate in chocolate milk (dont call social services just yet, long story short we started calling regular milk chocolate milk in a ploy to get him to drink milk. The old bait and switch. Ok, now you can call social services)

I like you Mom (or Dad depending on who just poured his chocolocate milk)

Oh, I am wasting my time (said with his hand to his forehead after Tom asked him what he was up to)

Read it to me Read it to me (we are working on manners and asking please or just saying it nicely)

Can I buy this? (short story long - he used to take trucks without asking from friends houses - ie steal - but after many lectures on this not being a good practice, as started asking to buy the truck that he's already stuffed in his pants pocket before he leaves the friends house)

Mom, I have to go potty (usually I hear this as an announcement loudly in my ear at 2am - my response, so "go"... his response??? "oh-ok")

I'm bored (said 2 minutes after he has woken up at the ungodly hour of 6:22am)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Jimmy - the school's new Julie McCoy

As you know, Jimmy is an extrovert. An EXTREME extrovert. He never forgets a name (or face), he is a master of YouTube, he loves performing (drums, guitar, Hi-5 dancing, High School Musical, light saber skills, you name it, if you come over he'll have a performance ready) and he talks a mile a minute, nonstop, all the time. Any type of human interaction, any time is his preference.

While this has helped with his transition back to MPLS (he knew everyone in his class on day 1), He is still one of the tallest and bigeest kids in his class he is front and center in this school performace,
it is leading to some interesting coversations. Examples:

1) He regularly searches eBay for the newest drumset, guitars, light sabers, etc. He compares and constrasts features and price. The other night he found an offer for 3 "free" light sabers - he filled out the info. The phone rings 2 hours laters. Its a credit card company looking for Jimmy Murphy. Tom nicely explains that he's Jimmy's father can he help? "No, I need to speak to Jimmy directly". Why?? "Because some of the information we need to process his credit card is missing"... Tom's reaction "he's 7". "Oh, ok, sorry sir good bye". So, some how he got enough info filled out on line that they were willing to contact him about a credit card. I am worried about our future credit ratings and we need to figure out how to lock down our computer. Maybe Jimmy can show us.

2) He was kissed by a girl at the Valentines Day party last Friday. It was THE talk of school. He told Tom about it in the car ride home, he told me about it over dinner. We talked about it after dinner. He even went to bed and had to get up because he "wasnt done talking about it". He was hysterical. Comments like: "I've never been in love before, I dont know what to do" "Why does she love me?" "She said she didnt kiss me, but Marissa and Ruby both said she did" "I cant believe I've been such a fool" etc etc. We want him to talk to us about this stuff so we were asking all the appropriate questions - is she nice, is she fun, how did it happen, how did you feel, etc... finally after 4 hours I had run out of questions. I finally said "well, do you think she's cute?" Kay quickly hopped in with "like my butt?!"

3) He has discovered the school directory. This is a listing of all the names, addresses and phone #'s of every kid in school. Dangerous, very dangerous. Since yesterday was a school holiday (and he obviously needed more social interaction than this father, sister, brother, aunt, cousin and 2 dogs could give him) he started calling his friends. They chatted about light sabers, "the kiss", playdates, etc.. THEN, when ran out of friends, he called Cameron. Cameron is a kid that USED be in the class but moved before Cmas. Jimmy doesnt know him. He's never met him. He moved out of the school before we even where home from India. Why did he call? He wanted to know how Cameron was doing. How's his new school? Did the move go ok? Does he have new freinds? Are they nice? etc etc etc. So, now Jimmy has scheduled a playdate for Saturday with a kid we have never met,. who lives on the other side of town and who he basically randomly called out of the phone book.

Too bad he's shy.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Conversations with Kay

Kay is an interesting duck -she's bossy, independent, resiliant, talkative, happy, inquisitive, a total wiggle worm and not a morning person. (The excpetion being? yep ... a party at school where she can wear her brand new red heart dress, THEN she's up at 6am) Did I also mention she can "out girl" any girly girl?

Here are some snippets of conversations over the last 2 weeks with Kay...

Last week
Kay - Guess what? Can I tell you something?!
Tracy - Yes Kay, I'm listening
Kay - School is SO AWESOME, I just love it. And Ella is SUPER DUPER nice
(She even begs to do homework. odd kid)

Wednesday after a field trip
Kay - Guess what? Can I tell you something?!
Tracy - Yes Kay, I'm listening
Kay - We went on a field trip today and it was SO AWESOME. We saw ducks and fish and snakes and a teeny tiny itsy witsy bity turtle, it was SOOOOOOOO cute.....
(total girl moment, the boys would have totally forgotten they had even been on a field trip or would have been amazed by something gross like the shedded snakes skin)

Yesterday after school
Kay - Guess what?! Can I tell you something?!
Tom - Sure Kay
Kay - We had cupcakes at school - it was my best friends birthday
Tom - Really, that's cool, who is she?
Kay - I dont know her name, but she's my new best friend
(so, all it takes is cupcakes and you too can be Kay's best friend, although I wont promise she'll remember your name)

Last night the kids were talking about light saber fights and how Billy's 'skills' are getting better:
Jimmy - Billy, you are getting good at light saber fighting, keep practining
Billy - Yeah, I know
Kay - I am a good fighter too
Jimmy - But Billy is better at light saber
Kay - Yes, but I am getting better at regular fighting
(And she is, not that we are encouraging this... Her future boyfriends will need to be warned)

This morning
Kay: Hi Daddy good morning. (up early in prep for the big party at school)
Daddy: Good morning Kay why are you up so early
Kay: Guess what?! Can I tell you something?
Daddy: Sure Kay what?( God help me here we go)
Kay: Are we having a fire tonight?
Daddy: Well Mommy and I talked about it and we are planning to( where is this going?)
Kay: You know what Dad?
Dad: No what Kay?
Kay: When is Grace coming home because she is my best friend! (cupcakes anyone??)
Dad: She is coming home soon.
Kay: Yes!! (with a hand pump gesture)
Kay: Dad you know what Grace is my best friend and Elise is my next best friend and then Jessie and you know what? (these are all our India friends)
Dad: Kay I have no idea.
Kay: Too bad they all aren’t home now because if we have a fire tonight we can have s’mores and Grace and Elise and Jessie all like s’mores and they can come over and have some with us, too bad.
Daddy: Kay when they come home we can have them over for s’mores.
Kay: Dad well Tim and Patrick like s’mores too and they are my friends to so maybe they will come over tonight and have s’mores with us. Can we ask them? (She takes after Tom in her party planning skills)

Friday, February 06, 2009

"So, how are you adjusting?" the constant question

Everyone we meet has the same question ... "SO! How are you adjusting?"

The Official Response ????
We are great ! The kids FINALLY got to go sledding this weekend and they were in heaven. Kay loves school ("its SO AWESOME and Ella is superduper nice"). Jimmy also loves school and seems to know everyone already, including how to score a free hot lunch and sang his 1st grade Japanese day performance on Thursday. Billy has (finally) stopped asking when we are going home and seems to enjoy his twice a week play date class. Tom started school back up this week (ethics anyone?) and has the house AND garage whipped into shape. (I am loving that part!) I just finished week 2 of my new job and LOVE learning a new business, not to mention the people here rock (way smart and nice - good folk). We joined the JCC and have even started working out again which is good since we have been eating our weight in meat, cottage cheese, good red wine and skim milk. Overall, a pretty good start.

The Reality Response??
We are in the deep end of the pool, ripped the bandaid off, you choose your metaphor..Kay has declared she “doesn’t like snow, its too cold”. I figure her blood with thicken up. Jimmy keeps looking at the photo book we put together for him of all his Palm Meadows friends. They are all just too cute together and its makes us all homesick. We have had a couple melt down moments, including an absolutely ridiculous fight between Jimmy and I over 1/2 page of homework that landed both of us in tears. I miss having company/friends to listen to me rant/rave on the way to/from work. I miss the impromptu play dates and babysitting help we used to give each other since we lived literally on top of each other. I miss martini’s in the car at the end of a rough day (1 of the highlights of having a driver) and most of all I just miss the connections we made in Bglr. People are getting sick of hearing us talk about India, but its such a big part of us right now. Its hard not to talk about it. We know we’ll work through it and things will be good but they wont be the same.

So, that's it. The good, the bad and the ugly. Would we have stayed longer in India if we could have? Yes, but probably not much past March anyway. Do we like being home? YES! Being able to make plans with your family and friends is such a wonderful 'novelty'. I want to remember that and not take it for granted.

Our focus for the next 60 days? Continue to reconnect with family/friends and find ways to stay tied to the friends we left behind. Work on ways to integrate our two worlds and life experiences that will continue to enrich us as a family and not drive everyone else crazy. Get back into a spiritual community and... most importantly....

- HOST the St Patricks Day Parade Revival - HOLD THE DATE - March 14th:)

Peace in the process....(to us and you)

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The House Project

We have finally moved into our house!!!

The entire living room dinning room and kitchen have under gone a "refresh" as they say. The Floors are now oak hardwoon as is the trim, the kitchen is now Cherry Wood and the counter toips are a green granite. It is very lovely and we are quite pleased.

The project is not quite complete however we moved in and have started to reclaim our home. There are still a few minor things that need to be done. The place turned out great and we are very happy with the changes.

We have the bedrooms and bathrooms in good order. The kitchen is a work in progress as we are still trying to put things in their new places and then trying to remember where they are. Tracy and I find ourselves looking in the "old" place for things that are no longer here. It is somewhat amazing that after two and half years the old habits are still there.

The rest of the house will have to wait until our shipment returns from Bangalore and we then get our furniture!!

In the mean time please feel free to stop by if you are in the neighborhood, the coffee is on!!