Friday, February 14, 2014

Sometimes Good Enough Is Good Enough

Gwinnett County Schools are closed again today because of icy roads.  (Some might say they are using an overabundance of caution, but having a kid who rides the bus, I'll take caution over an accident any day.) Missing school today means kids will not share these joyful gifts of love with their friends until Monday.

I know- impressive, right?  Look, I know Pinterest has a million creative, handmade valentine ideas. Thankfully, my middle schooler has apparently aged out of Valentine's Day, but that is still more than 50 cards between the other two.  Don't let those Pinterest photos fool you.  I know darn well that either a) I'd stay up until midnight making 50+ cards by myself, or b) the kids would make a sticky, glue covered mess and at least one of us would end up in tears.  No thank you.  My kids loved these cards, the kids in their class really just want the candy, and we're saving ourselves from discussing this holiday in therapy down the road.  Win, win.  Maybe store bought cards aren't the most original idea, but sometimes good enough is good enough.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Stop: Family Time (seriously, stop)

On Saturday, we loaded the kids up on doughnuts and iced lattes.  I think is a good representation of almost every time our family goes out in public.  S is super silly and laughs through every meal.  I am pretty surprised she is sitting down in the picture since most we usually have to remind her to sit down 100 times a meal. (She shared her iced caramel latte with me because it was apparently not the 90% sugar/10% coffee mix she wanted.)  E loves to be in pictures, but she takes her eating pretty seriously and doesn't talk during meals too much.  G wants to read a book and pretend she doesn't know us.  Oops, I got caught taking her picture.

After breakfast, we took the girls out to every kids dream day of outings- a huge antique market and a car lot.  : )  This was Hub's first trip to Scott's Antique Market in Atlanta and I think he is now a believer.  It probably helped his art lover heart that he came home with a Salvador Dali print.  The girls were less thrilled with walking around giant buildings full of furniture, art, and antiques.  An occasional slice of pizza or ice cream cone made them slightly more agreeable.

On the way home, we stopped at Car Max and left with a new (to us) car!  We'd been looking at replacing our minivan for a while.  First of all, I never wanted a minivan in the first place.  I never felt cool driving it (shocking, I know) and it got terrible gas mileage.  Plus, it was starting a downhill slide of repair issues that I really didn't want to invest in.  We ended up surprising ourselves by getting an SUV without a third row.  The back seat has plenty of space for all three girls and lots of cargo space in the back.  I'm really happy with it and Car Max was a great experience.

By the time we got home, it was closing in on 11:00 pm, and as G said, "We've had about 13 hours of family time together, and I am pretty much over it."  Amen, sister.  Of course, because God has a sense of humor, we are now on our third day of snow entrapment.  It has been a lot of time together.  A lot.  I think we will all be relieved when school opens again.  Some of us are getting even weirder.  : )

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Oh Luggage, Where Art Thou?

Okay, the title isn't entirely accurate.  I know where my bag is, I just have no idea when we will be reunited. Here is my sob story.  I was supposed to fly into New York on Monday, but all flights to NY for Atlanta were cancelled.  Not cancelled that morning, or on my way to the airport, but cancelled as I literally walked into my gate area.  I was booked on the next available flight for Tuesday morning and went to the baggage claim office to retrieve my checked bag.  The baggage claim lady strongly recommended I let them keep the bag because it would be put on the same flight as me, and said if they pulled it for me then I would be waiting for hours.  After I drove home, my office decided to cancel the whole trip.  I immediately contacted Delta to get my bag back.  Oh, yes, we'll pull that bag and bring it to the Baggage Claim Office they assured me. Liars.  Fifteen hours is clearly not enough notice for Delta.  My bag was put on the NY flight Tuesday and has been hanging out in the White Plains airport ever since.  Allegedly, once the weather improves my bag will be placed on the first available flight back to Atlanta.

I understand that Delta is probably handling thousands of bags a day and that with the winter storm coming through this week, numerous flights were cancelled.  However, fifteen hours seems like sufficient time to find a bag.  They scanned the bag's tag as they put it on the plane.  Why wouldn't their scanning system say, "Hey, don't put that bag on the plane!"? My biggest gripe with Delta is that their whole bag tracking system is ridiculous.  You can track your bag online in real time.  Sounds great, right? Well, you scanning my bag two days ago isn't helpful to me.  Here's what would be helpful: an online note that my bag is sitting in White Plains because flights out of NY have been cancelled.  An estimated delivery date.  Anything really.  I've called the baggage claim office numerous times and only one person was remotely friendly and helpful.  Kudos to you, Rebecca- you should probably be managing that whole office.  She is the only person who seemed to have any idea what was going on, apologized for my inconvenience and reassured me that this situation is typical given the weather issues and gave me hope I will one day have my bag again.

This is first negative experience with luggage so I am probably more stressed about it than is really necessary. Have you ever had lost/delayed luggage?  Is waiting for days with few if any updates normal?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Jack Frost is a Demon

The Atlanta area was hit with approximately 2 1/2 inches of snow this week.  For areas that experience regular extended periods of snow, I'm sure 2 1/2 inches is laughable.  Keep in mind, dear Northerner, that your area has probably invested in snow plows, salt trucks and various other appropriate snow removal equipment.  There is probably a well thought out and efficient plan to address snow and ice. You anticipate the snow and ice and act accordingly.  We aren't like that here.  : )  We do not regularly navigate icy roads or shovel sidewalks.  We frequently wear shorts at Christmas, okay?  Could preventive measures been taken more quickly?  Probably.  Would I vote to pay a significant amount of my tax dollars for equipment that may be used once every four or five years?  Heck no.  A friend on Facebook threatened the life of a certain groundhog if spring is not predicted soon.  I don't believe a groundhog's self-awareness has any actual effect on the weather, but some hope, however flimsy, of warmer weather would be encouraging.

I am extremely grateful that my girls made it home from school Tuesday without any problem and that we were safely ensconced in our home the next two days with power, heating, and plenty of food.  I'm sure if I enjoyed a couple of unexpected snow days with hot tea and a movie marathon, it would have been a banner week.  However, I am a teleworking employee.  Part of the "joy" of teleworking is that unless you lose power and/or Internet service, you are fully capable of working.  And by capable, I mean totally expected to work or use up some of your leave time.  Luckily, Hubs was able to take time off so I could actually work.  I was able to get a lot done, despite children repeatedly wanting to regale me with tales of their latest Mario Brothers adventure or showing me The Worm (don't ask).  Schools opened again Friday, and I made it all the way until 1:00 pm before day care called. Poor E had an ear ache so I picked her up.  Funny how the kid crying in pain at day care morphs into the kid singing "What Does the Fox Say" at home.  Hmm.  Either kids Motrin is really effective or someone played me.

After this week of family togetherness, I am leaving Monday for a work trip to New York and won't be back until Friday. Bwah ha ha!  You can understand why Hubs had to escape the house last night for karaoke and beer. I'll enjoy my time out with other professional grown-ups and possibly cocktails, but have a feeling I will pay dearly for it when I come home in snuggle demands and so much talking.  Good heavens, so much talking.