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Friday, February 25, 2011

Pictures Speak a 1000 words

So we are trying again for the passports this week. Hopefully, since we will be more prepared this time around, things will go a little more smoothly. I hope.

But during the picture taking process, LMA was of course a little silly. After every single picture, he would ask, "Can I see it, Mom?" For whatever reason, I was trying to capture the perfect one. Alas, a passport photo for a child does NOT need to be perfect, nor will it ever be for that matter. But these ones? Let's just say, pictures really do speak a 1000 words.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Reached my limit

I know sometimes parents, especially stay-at-home moms and dads, reach a certain point where they really can't go any further. When we reach our threshold for maximum whining, yelling, hitting (done by children to their siblings), housework, etc, etc. Shoot, even if you are not a parent, there just comes a time when you say, "Enough!"

Well, I've officially reached that. Last week, while trying to get the passports for the boys, I decided I needed to get away. Between hubby kidding around about living in 80 degree weather every single day (I still love you, dear.), LMA wanting nothing more than his daddy to come home, and not knowing what BBZ wants from day to day, I'm officially done. My run away destination? New York to see my awesome aunt, Wenderina, and my talented uncle, Carl.

Although most of the time that I was away from home involved traveling by train to NY and also traveling by car to a great retreat from the snow, it was nice to get away. I would definitely travel via train to NY again, but this time I would make sure to stay for a few more days.

Carl and I traveled to the J. L. Popp, Jr. Butterfly Conservatory just outside of Binghamton, NY. It was a long 3 hour drive and we were a little nervous that it was closed once we arrived, but it was like finding an oasis in the middle of the cold winter's day in NY. Here are a few of the pics that I took that day.

We were a little rushed to get back for a dinner party for Wenderina and Carl (I stayed at home and tried to catch up on my reading). We were only there for an hour and a half, but I would definitely go back again. It's amazing how many birds and butterflies, and reptiles were in such a small space, and it was REALLY nice to be able to have the place to ourselves. It made moving around the lizard on the floor, sitting in the middle of the pathway to take a picture of an oncoming tortoise, and following the hummingbirds around (or was he following me?) a lot easier.

Thank you both for letting me "run away from home" for 36 hours. It was exactly what I needed.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Passport to Hell

I was going to be nice in the title, but it really was hell today.

We've started planning our trip to Cuba in April. I've already received my security clearance packet and papers and will be on a plane headed for Cuba on April 9th. I'll be bringing hubby home for a week and then we the four of us will be heading back to Cuba for the second week of hubby's leave.

The boys, however, need passports. I, being the dim-headed mother that I am, didn't order BBZ's birth certificate after he was born. So, I've been waiting to receive that to get his passport. That finally came on Friday, so today I tried to take good passport photos at home rather than spending $20 at CVS or Walgreens. After several attempts to capture NO shadows behind their heads, I gave up. We headed to Walgreens where some joe schmo took a photo with his little Kodak camera with a white backdrop in from of a refrigerator door. The dude didn't even get down of the boys level so the pictures looked like he was 10 feet tall taking the photos on my 34 inch child. To boost up BBZ a little more, and to keep him still, I had him stand on an upside down shopping basket. He finally captured the right photo, but come to find out later he didn't proportion the size of the boys' heads big enough. And then because he was shooting at eye level, BBZ looks like he has no chin.

Either way, I paid for the darn photos, and headed to the post office, the only one in the area that accepted passport applications. Not thinking passports would be a high commodity in the area, I was not prepared at all. Ok, somewhat, I at least brought a snack and drink for the boys. I get there at 10:30am and the PO box area is full. There is another family there with four children who were already there waiting since 9:30am.

When we finally got to the window, both boys had fallen and hit their heads, were tired, hungry, and just plain done with being there. I totally third that, but alas we needed to finish. Our applications? Were not complete. Apparently, a power of attorney for hubby directly from the government was not good enough unless it specifically stated I could get a passport for my children alone. Because god forbid if I wanted to flee to someplace like, Cuba, with my children. To go see their daddy! Which my application specifically said.

By the end of the stay, which totaled to just under 2 hours, I had accomplished nothing. I was pissed. I contacted daddy and he was able to get the correct form out, but it wouldn't get here for another week.

So I guess I need to do this all over again this week so we can get them in time. This time - I will be prepared in more ways than one.

Previously drafted on February 8, 2011. Finally printed today.