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Thursday, June 28, 2007

The beginning of the end

It is really strange. When I was a kid, I was always very maudlin about goodbyes. I remember one summer at about 13, after taking lifeguard classes with the red cross, I had my Mom drive me to the beach so that I could "say goodbye." And there was crying involved. Did I mention that we lived in town? Okay, there had been a couple of cute, older boys in the class. My family still teases me about that to this day.



But we have started seeing people, friends, for what will probably be the last time. They may come visit once our twice after we are settled, but you know how that goes. Most of the relationships sort of drift away. Still, I don't feel any clingy need to hold on and be sad. I guess that I must feel that the people who are meant to stay in our lives, will stay in our lives. If only for the occasional phone call and Christmas card. It has always worked before. I can still pick up the phone and talk to Jen O. months and years apart and it is as if we saw each other the day before.



And actually, we usually only see our friends 3-6 times per year anyway. Usually at large birthday celebrations with very little time to talk deep. That is the way it goes with three little ones running around. I feel lucky to have a complete, coherent and sane thought - an actual conversation is just a dream. A dream I will continue to have.



So I stand by what I said. The people who are meant to stay in our lives, will stay in our lives. And I will miss them. But for now, no drive to the beach is necessary.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Signs Again

Signs again.



We are working with a company in Costa Rica to move our stuff. It has been really funny because the guy that I am working with is named Barry. It is not that unusual a name, but other than as my husband's nickname, I haven't run into it that much. He has been really helpful and when this is all done and I still have good things to say, I will state the company.



Yesterday when I talked with him, we talked about setting up the date for the container. This morning I got a phone call from the Logistics company to set up the actual date. The name of the lady that called me........Jennifer.



We must be destined to go. Or maybe I am reading a little too much into this. What do you think?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

And Puppy Speaks........

We keep working with Bella to get her comfortable with relocating to Costa Rica and with leaving California.

She is more worried with the former than the later and frequently asks, "Can't we just move to Florida?" Or maybe she just really liked Disney World and thinks that if you live in Florida you
go all the time.

That being said, she seems more worried about living in Costa Rica. We have told her lots of good things that could happen there, like getting a dog. She has seemed happy about that. Though last night, we figured out what she was really thinking when she asked:

"Do the dogs in Costa Rica speak Spanish?"

Now what do you say to that?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

How do you know what you want?

I have been listening to Into the Woods. Really good stuff. Sondheim is so clever. It makes me feel a little smart just to realize how clever he is, and how far I am from being that clever. But a particular lyric really hit home. Especially as we keep telling old friends the plan to such mixed reactions. We get everything from "Really?" to "Are you crazy?" to "I don't blame you a bit."

So here's the line:

Cinderella: "How do you know what you want, 'till you get what you want and you see if you like it?"

Guess we won't know for sure until we get there.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

More Shopping Frustrations and Sucess

You would think I was starting a bridal registry. I have surely gone small appliance CRAZY. I started out with a small and simple list.



  1. Replace hand-me-down apartment sized microwave we have gratefully been using for the past 14 months.

  2. Get a family sized food processor to replace mini-cusinart (besides being too small, the plastic around the blade has cracked and I am sure it is a safe-haven for all sorts of little nasties).

  3. A Shark or similar plug in sweeper/vacuum. I have a great and heavy Dyson. I want something lightweight, easy, inexpensive for quick jobs like under the dinner table so that our crawler doesn't snack on the the crumbs of the last meal. Had a shark for several years, finally wouldn't hold a charge and had to go.

But I start reading, and then I get IDEAS. Ideas about gadgets I have never had but will certainly use mucho tiempo in our new lives. Of course I am still a frugal chick so some research is required. I spent all yesterday on amazon, Bed Bath and Beyond, Costco and of course epinions. Now I want the following:



  1. Food Processor

  2. Microwave

  3. Shark

  4. Popcorn popper

  5. Juicer

  6. Karaoke machine (okay, now I might be getting carried away)

So after spending all day yesterday debating: Cuisinart or Kitchen Aid for the food processor? Does it have extra attachments? Can I grind ice? Julienne? Good reviews? Cheapest way? Fastest way? I determine that for $159 at Costco I can get a Cuisinart 11 cup processor. I can get extra blades at Amazon to do Julienne and ice shaving (~$99 if I remember). Also, there is a good popcorn popper there ($29). The best juicer deal seems to be at Bed Bath and Beyond. I am planning on a Breville for $159.

I know that I have to order from Costco a topper for the king bed we got. (Update on that - loving the size. We don't even notice the extra kids that sneak in in the middle of the night, but it is still too firm - but for $1K for the bed + ~$200 for a topper will get the same feel as a $3k mattress - my husband is getting all hot just reading this - this cheap streak may just be the real reason he married me. Oh and I got sheets and a quilt at Ross for about ~$30/set - 4 sheet sets, one to sew into a duvet cover, one quilt set plus a mattress pad = $180, instead of $80/set at all the name stores.) But they may have the food processor and the Shark at the store. So a visit is in order.

Juicer, there is one on Craig's list in San Fran for $58 - I call, we talk about a visit.

I head off shopping:

Cosco - nothing. No topper, no shark, no food processor. But a karaoke microphone and a weird but good guy singing to "advertise" it. I resist. Onward.

Walmart - need new big boy pants for Mr. G - he is almost there and nothing motivates a 2 year old boy like Spidey can. And socks. And sandals for the baby, almost walking. And aluminum foil, laundry detergent and a quick stroll down the kitchen appliance aisle. Ah..... a Hamilton Beach 14 cup food processor. No dough hook, but $59. A Hamilton Beach juicer $49. Don't remember seeing this on Epinions. Pick them up and check the reviews later, just to maker sure not awful.

Target - Popcorn popper - same as on Amazon (okay I'll pay tax but it is done!) and still no Shark. Try a Bissell stick vacuum wet/dry thing ($35). Again, plan to read Epinions at home. King down comforter $79.

Go home and order topper from Costco online.

DONE! mostly.

Reviews on Hamilton Beach are good. Bissel not so much.

By my recollection - I saved my husband ~$1200. He will laugh when he reads this in the morning because I spent, um, a little bit more. And we still need to buy a microwave. And eventually a house.

This doesn't have much to do with moving to Costa Rica. More about me being Crazy. Is it starting to show?

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Harry Potter Added

I have added my buddy Harry above for two (okay three) reasons

  1. In the continuance of the blog, I am hoping to make a little moolah on the side and I am testing out how the amazon associates thing works and Harry is great (plus the colors match up nicely).
  2. I am SO SO SAD that we will not be here for either the book release or the movie.....
  3. HARRY IS GREAT!

That said, goodnight everyone.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Troubles of a 5-Year Old

So Bella (the 5 year old) knows we are moving to Costa Rica. I didn't think she needed to know about the move just yet, but when she asked directly, "Are we moving to Costa Rica" I could hold back no longer. I don't believe in lying to kids unless you have to, so I told her.

I had been trying to shield her from this information for as long as possible because I didn't want her to be worried, or at least to worry for as little time as possible. I keep telling myself it was going to be a traumatic fall anyway because she was going to have to start kindergarten and who likes that? So part of the rush has been to get her to Costa Rica to start school with all the other Costa Rican kindergartners.

Meanwhile, we have been talking about CR in code and in hushed tones around her. Also, I have been trying to talk up our trip to Costa Rica last November. But how can that trip possibly compete with Disney World last month? So instead, I have been trying to figure out why she wasn't more thrilled with the Costa Rica vacation. Also we have been trying to give her a Spanish Booster Shot (a few Sunday classes at the home of her Peruvian pre-school teacher). While the class will be in English, I am sure that the playground will be in Spanish.

So we have had a few breakdowns about this topic.

She doesn't want to go. Doesn't see why we can't just move to Florida instead. Cries about not ever seeing her cousin Rachael again.

She doesn't want to learn Spanish. She doesn't want to learn Tagolog either. She likes English.

Earlier, she told me that one of the reasons that she didn't like it so much before was because she missed her toys. I explained that we would pack them and take them with us, some on the plane, most in boxes on the boat. She worries that the toys on the boat will get lost and thinks we should just leave them here.

I explained that we were giving back this house, so we couldn't leave them here. I explained that we would be looking for a new house in Costa Rica and maybe we could have a pool, a trampoline, a dog....

She started to perk up. Now she wants a parrot. Where did that come from?!?

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Lady needs a vowel

I know that I am going crazy. Three kids will do that to you, however this move is accelerating it. I spoke with a Peruvian lady this weekend and found out that technically I should have called myself jenpocoloca (because I am a feminine article). Oh well, pocoloco sounds more fun. Kind of reminds me of the train bearing down on us (July 7!!!).

So I am keeping it jenpocoloco and I just hope that my Spanish will improve quickly after we get to Costa Rica. Or I will hope that people there will be forgiving of a Gringa who knows a lot of words, just not the right tenses of verbs or the gender of nouns or adjectives. Do I get credit for trying?

Monday, June 4, 2007

Fire in the hole

We did it!

We booked our tickets. Four seats going from San Fransisco to Phoenix to Costa Rica. For July 7......
So now, so much to do and such little time (expect a list coming up soon), but now we have a deadline.

Yikes......

Friday, June 1, 2007

Uneffecient Me

I've been reading lots of blogs from gringos living in Costa Rica that detail how convuluted it is to accomplish anything there. But I've been practicing dealing with that here. I know that sounds strange, but listen to this:

So we decided that we would treat ourselves to a new mattress to take with us, a King size - we have always wanted to upgrade from our queen, however not had the space. We figure we will now have the space and it would be cheaper/more selection to buy here. Of course that will mean new matress pads, sheets, comforter, etc. But as our baby approaches one-year old and hopefully all the kdis will be sleeping through the night, I am hoping that nights of blissful sleeping are coming. So, yea - king size bed to be.

Now we really like the queen we currently have. We bought it about 5 years ago. After laying on every mattress on the store (this took hours - remember, we had no kids yet) we were down to two matresses. We finally picked the firmer mattress, which turned out to be cheaper (by about $400 if I remember). So I pulled the sheets off and looked at the tags and called the store.

After confirming that we had a record at Mattress Discounters (so it was indeed where we bought the thing), I told the guy the name of the mattress. No dice. He took my number and went to find anybody that worked there five years ago. He called back and we all were on the same page and knew what was lying upstairs in my bedroom. A wonderful mattress that had been made specifically as an in-house brand for Mattress Discounters (hence the good deal) and that was NO longer being made. So now we will have to go in and lie on mattresses. Again.

Okay, no problem, let's move on to sheets. That's got to be easy. I have one set from JC Penney that we got as wedding presents that we LOVE. We love so much that I usually wash it and replace in one day. Only tag on the sheets says 100% Egyptian Cotton. I head to the internet and learn about thread count and cotton types and stiching methods and so forth. I look at the JCPenney website and several things match out to what I think I have. I look at a couple other websites to see what else is out there at Target, Bed Bath & Beyond and Linens and things. JC Penney seems to be having great prices for similiar things. While doing this, I also peruse for any quilts, coverlets, or spreads that are what I have in mind. Don't see anything like what I want. So I don't know what color sheets to buy. That's okay, I'll buy white. Besides JCPenney is having a sale right now (through Sat.) for like half off. That makes buying luxury sheets a little less painful. I could probably sway for different colors later if I wanted to. So I go to the store, prepared to plop down some moolah. They have nice samples. I figure out two types that are close to what I want. No Kings. Cal-kings out the wahoo, no kings.

So a few days later and I have no new mattress, no new linens, and a headfull of knowledge on sheets. Does this seem effecient or easy? Maybe I am far too much of a control freak, but if I am going to spend a couple hundred dollars, I want it right. Maybe this is nothing like Costa Rica either, but gotta chalk up another couple days of not accomplishing anything for the move to Costa Rica. Sigh. Maybe things will jump into boxes all by themselves this weekend.