I LOVE PAVEMENT. That’s one of the first things that hit me when we moved back. The roads? PAVED. The parking lots? PAVED. And it’s clean pavement, not covered in layers and layers of dirt and sand left over from the winter’s ice treatment.
I haven’t seen – much less driven on – a single dirt road since we left Homer. And I’m totally cool with that. My car is clean. A clean car – inside and out – is one of the things in life that just makes me smile.
Today we went to a bank. A real, live, actual BRANCH of Capital One and talked to a real, live, actual banker face-to-face.
I also took the kids to get haircuts at their favorite little “get a toy when you’re done” place. They both look pretty sharp, if I do say so myself. I was even able to keep Koren from getting scalped on top.
My skin is begrudgingly adjusting to the added humidity in the air. And makeup. See, I actually have to groom myself when I live in Texas. As in, daily showers and everything. And this is a place where makeup is not just reserved for evening dresses. Women here will actually apologize if they’re in your presence without their make up on. As evidenced by peopleofwalmart.com, pants may be optional, but makeup is not.
It still shocks me (and admittedly, makes me a little giddy) how many stores there are here. I drive around just soaking them in. Container Store, Ikea, Home Depot, Best Buy, Target, Costco, Whole Foods, Toys R Us, DSW, malls, and any other store or service you could want – all within 15 minutes. I’m exercising restraint to keep myself from heading over to Allen for designer handbags.
I cannot wait to go to Costco. I have already visited Ikea, but just to window shop. Also, I really want to go to Container Store, but I can’t leave there without spending $100. There’s also the little matter that I don’t actually have a house to accessorize yet. So that one will have to wait.
Even when I do shop online now, I have more options. While Bluefly and Amazon are great, it’s nice to be able to choose from more than two sites on the internet. If they don’t flat out refuse shipping to Alaska (that’s a foreign country, right?), most stores would agree to ship to the Last Frontier only in exchange for my life’s savings, first child and perhaps my right arm.
I’ve fallen madly in love with Cragislist, and am knocking things off my “Things We Have to Buy” list left and right. Washer – BOOM. Dryer – BOOM. Bed for Koren – BOOM. Car Seat – BOOM.
Also, I’m seriously crushing on LivingSocial.com, ever since I got a dental exam, cleaning, x-rays, and teeth whitening treatment for $70. I really need an exam and x-rays and was wondering how I would fit that into our budget.
* * * (insert random change of subject) * * *
The kids get worn out a lot easier here. Perhaps it’s the lack of an actual routine. Perhaps it’s the heat (which isn’t really hot, it’s just that we’re not really used to anything above 38 degrees anymore). But whatever the reason, once we hit about 3 in the afternoon, they’re pretty much done for a while. Today I’m making them take naps because they couldn’t seem to do “quiet time” without erupting into conflict every 5 minutes. I sent them to their rooms and 15 minutes later they were both out cold. Kaelin hasn’t napped in two years, and Koren had given up his naps a couple of months before we moved. Or so I thought…
He also fell asleep during dinner the other night. We went to On the Border (real! Mexican! Food! *) and he fell asleep on my shoulder while we waited for a table. He slept through the entire meal – we were fortunate to get a booth – and went straight to bed when he got home. Kaelin made it through dinner, but put herself to bed as soon as we got home, requesting that we do a bedtime story some other night because she was just too tired to get through one tonight.
We’re enjoying seeing family and friends again. We had the opportunity to see some friends at a graduation party the other night, and that was lots of fun. Madelyn is one of Kaelin’s favorite friends and her family came to visit us in Alaska, so we enjoyed getting to see them in person again.
I need to get on the ball with scheduling some play times for Kaelin and her friends before the kids start full-time summer camp programs in mid-June. Actually, there are a lot of things I need to get on the ball with, and I’m trying to knock a few off the list every day.
But seriously, after being bored out of my mind for 6 days in a car, I’m pleased as punch to be busy right now.
*Well ok, I know that among the purists of ethnic cuisine, the term “real” is debatable when applied to a chain restaurant, but what I mean by that is “Mexican Food” that’s worth paying for, and tortillas that weren’t purchased at Costco.