Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Transitive Vampire

I am coming up for air.

We made it to Colorado. In the Ledger of Good and Bad--as if it worked that way--it's a wash so far. Husband and I attempted to go out one last time on his final night in town, but between placing our order and the arrival of our margaritas, we got a call that Girl had woken up with a very high fever. Alas. Boy mostly recovered, but woke from a nap screaming with ear pain yesterday afternoon. I suppose congestion plus long flights resulted in too much trapped fluid and a proper ear infection.

On the plus side, fingers crossed we'll close on our house on Wednesday, two weeks early. This is great for many reasons, not least of which is our poor menagerie is languishing in a pet resort (I kid you not, that's what it's called). The kids and I visited yesterday, and young Dali was out of her mind with excitement. Incidentally, I put in an email to a dog trainer who does house calls. Best get started on that soonest.

Ho hum ho hum. Sick kids. Moving.

I'm forgetting something.

Oh yes! The utter fear! That's right. Minor detail, but I'm terrified. Today, as Boy yelled for the millionth time that he hates me more than anyone and tacked on the horrible claim that he hates himself too, I realized how long this road is going to be. I miss Husband, and it's only been a week. We've been married six years, and apart for over two of those. The past two and a half years is the longest continuous time we have lived in the same country and it was nice. I didn't only have my co-parent, I had my friend. A lunch buddy. Someone to watch TV with in the evening. Someone to share a bottle of wine and fret about the state of American politics. While of course we each traveled a fair bit in the past few years, it was never more than a couple weeks at a shot. Now I'm measuring out spoonfuls of time, one day on top of the next.

Boy told me he loves his dad best of all, which I knew. He apologized for yelling at me in Ikea, and matter-of-factly explained that he only did that because he doesn't like me very much. I don't really take this to heart--if you can't blame your mom for everything, who can you blame? It does wear on me a bit, though. In his more charming moments, he confesses that even when he says he hates me, he still loves me. I know that too. He explained that when he becomes a vampire bat--not if, when--he will not suck his family's blood, but rather will only suck the blood of other people's families.

If that's not love, I don't know what is.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Time Management

We packed out last week. Husband and Boy were to take the dog to Colorado on Tuesday, and Girl and I were to follow with the cats on Wednesday. That didn't happen. OF COURSE.

I didn't have orders until early evening, Tuesday. OF COURSE. Too late to ship my car or confirm the ticket.

But more than that, Boy was in the hospital overnight on Tuesday. OF COURSE. Because that is how we do.

I could have sworn he had the flu, as he was the only one of us without the vaccine and had a crazy high fever (105.4 degrees, FTW). He didn't, but there is a virus circulating that mimics the flu in almost every way except there is no vaccine. At any rate, no more fever, but we do have a surly preschooler with a persistent cough. This might be warping into bronchitis, which means the next few weeks will be fun.

Husband and Girl and Dog left this morning and should be landing in Atlanta soon. Girl is healthy and was so excited to travel that she had an outright fit before bedtime last night. Somehow she was convinced that we were supposed to go to America right. then. and that Husband would leave without her. She was crying and kicking, screaming I wanna go Amurica! because it's just cuter that way. I finally persuaded her that the pilot wouldn't let her on if she didn't sleep. I then persuaded her that I couldn't stay in bed with her because I had to clean the kitchen. Total lie, of course. I had to split a bottle of wine with Husband and eat some cheese.

Boy and I leave tomorrow. In the meantime, he is asleep, as he has been for most of the day, and I am cleaning out all the glurge and leftover stuff from our house blogging.

I'd feel sad and liberated, stepping onto a whole new (temporary) trajectory toward stay-at-home-parenting, unencumbered by responsibilities at work. I still haven't finished my EER, though, so mostly I feel irritated and sad. Liberated will have to wait, if it ever comes.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Emotional Escrow... escrow.

Life is nuts right now, so let's throw a bunch of stuff at the wall, shall we?

First things first: Ankara. Digger's post over at Life After Jerusalem has gone a bit viral on Facebook, and deservedly so. She nails something that saddens me now and pained me (and others) throughout the Benghazi hullaballoo. For those of us in the field, the safety of American employees is not a higher priority than that of our local staff (in some respects Ambassador aside, for obvious reasons). We're all one team and--as is true in places that experience suicide bombings on regular places--security guards are often the first line of defense, and the most likely victims. Mourn Mustafa Akarsu, please.

Onto less important things: We beat a cash offer and are under contract. At our broker's urging, we wrote a letter explaining what that house would mean to us, and the seller supposedly liked it enough to go through the expense and time of closing on a very-much-so-not-cash deal.

TSP denied our loan for cash for down payment, etc. DENIED. And then, in that very TSP way, the only explanation online was a non-explanation. They sent the real explanation to our address on record, which will of course arrive long after we've left. You can call and ask, but you have to have your PIN, which we do not. This is not the same as your internet password, which we do have but can never lose, as that too will only be sent to your address on record. Why is it harder to get into your TSP account than it is to buy a gun?

At any rate, I'm hoping the problem was that I faxed the app multiple times, as I didn't get a confirmation sheet. This is my hunch, as an hour after it stated we were rejected, a second, newer message said we were in process. If that is the case, I'll bet you $50 they deducted the $50 application fee for each faxed application.

We have assignment notifications, but not orders. I may have to cost-construct to Denver, since as an employee on LWOP I'm assigned to Washington, though once I'm on LWOP, I'm entitled to ISMA as an EFM for all intents and purposes. Don't know! No one knows! This may actually be the first time this has happened (tandem, curtail, one to LWOP not-in-DC, other to Afghanistan, things to ship under both names, kids in there somewhere).

Boy was a bit distraught today packing up his Legos in order to prepare for packout. He doesn't want to leave Estonia. But just in case we're going to make him leave anyway, he put together a Polyvore with his ideal bedroom.

Boy's Room

And somewhere, in all of this, I have moments of extreme sadness. I never thought I'd want to stay home with the kids (oomph, that sounds awful). It never occurred to me to do so until fairly recently, and even then it was appealing because it is just so difficult to help Boy from the office. Right now I plan to come back on duty, but we are open to the possibility that--should life work better in the U.S., should Boy do better with a parent home--we'll have to figure out how to make this change permanent. Chances are I'd end up working and Husband would stay home, at least for a while, but I don't know what I'll do for a living if I don't do this.

But! One step at a time. My suitcase is packed so it doesn't end up in a sea shipment, and it's filled with cardigans and knit jersey and leggings. Not a blazer in sight.