Zufelt Family Feb 2015

Zufelt Family Feb 2015

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Let the Differences Begin

We had our BIG phone call tonight.  About two hours.  Lots of digits, data and forms racing through my thoughts now.
 
Tonight we heard over and over and over:
"Yeah? Okay." (no pause for our affirmative repsonse, just on to the next thing)
"So what does that mean? Okay. Well..."
 
They just didn't fit in the conversation how I would use them.  Just a little difference I'll have to get accustomed to.
 
I really liked our relocation lady, May.  She asked if we knew anyone there already.  We mentioned our friends the MacArthurs and Nielsons who were/are in Singapore.  Right off she asked if we go to their church and then confessed she didn't go to our church, but did go to school at BYU and knows all about our church.
 
Later in the conversation she mentioned we had to get a copy of a certain form to show we actually sold our vehicles when we left just in case the auditor pulled our file because he was in the mood to check one with a last name ending in "Z" on that particular day.  Then Mr. Auditor would ask her how she knew we actually sold the car and without missing a beat she said, "I will just tell him because I know they go to that LDS church and people that go to their church are very good.  They have very high values and never cheat and are always honest about every single thing always.  So they don't even need that paper.  You can trust them."  I could hear the smile on the other end of the line.  What a sweet, high honor to give us.  She was fun and I'll be glad to meet her when we arrive.
 
Oh yeah - we still have no move date, but we can now buy the plane tickets and pay the fees to apply for the kids school.  Soon people.  Very soon we'll know when we go.  Just not tonight.

Ear Infections and New Glasses

Nov 10/11 - Jacob wakes up at midnight screaming. He is totally inconsolable. We wrestle with him for nearly two hours when he begins to verbalize what is wrong. He says his ear hurts. Actually, he's pointing to his ear and saying "Owwie eyes!" He is still totally inconsolable. At 2am we give him pain meds and 20 minutes later he is crashed out. At 6am the scene begins to replay so we dose him up again with pain meds and he's out again in 20 minutes. We call the doctor when they open at 7:30 and get an 8:30 appointment. Double ear infection. Start antibiotics. Come back in 10-14 days. The two week check up falls right when we are having company for Thanksgiving and I realize his birthday is just a little bit past the ear check up date so we'll just put it all together. I gets distracted by little people with urgent needs while I'm on the phone making the appointment. The soonest they can do the 2 year check turns out to be Dec 7. I forget about the ear check needing to be sooner, but figure it isn't that important anyway. I've never had a return infection with either of the other two kids. We'll be fine. Nov 24 - Thanksgiving Wednesday. Jacob gets his very first pair of glasses. We pick them up at about 6:30 pm. He gets fitted and they tell me to bring him back in a few days after he gets used to them and Grace can tweak it a little if she needs to. Jakey thinks the glasses are pretty cool in the office. As soon as I start driving home he rips them off. I pull over. Put them on again. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Nov 25 - Thanksgiving Day. Jakey says his ears hurt. I try to loosen the ear piece a little. Bound and determined to make glasses a positive experience for him I relent and let him stop wearing them for the day so we can go get them adjusted on Friday so they won't hurt him. Nov 26 - We take him in and Grace thinks they fit just fine. I tell her he's complaining his ear hurts. She's pretty convinced they look about perfect. She loosens them to appease me. They are slipping down his nose. She tightens them back and we go. I'm mostly satisfied. Jacob is one little devil. Day after day after day. I loose patience over and over and yell at him all the time. Probably really loudly in his sad little tender ears. Dec 7 - We finally go to the doctor for the well check. Guess what. He has a double ear infection. Mom S.U.C.K.S. Poor guy. He tried and tried to tell me and eventually gave up saying anything about it. I had such tunnel vision about making the glasses work out that I totally screwed up the ear infection thing. Start antibiotics again, something stonger this time. Come back in 10-14 days. You better believe I was there on day 10. Dec 17 - clean bill of health from the pediatrician. Good job mom. Finally. The glasses you ask? Not going quite as well. See my other post about what he did with them today. Rrrrr!!!!

This Could Get Really Expensive

The lady at the eye glass shop, Grace, and I are becoming quite good friends. She's fantastic. Always friendly and enormously helpful. Checks in on me and upgrades the kids glasses at no charge because we've become very, VERY frequent customers. Today I dropped Jake and Maddie off at Palmer's to run up and get Ben fitted in his brand new glasses. Everything went along just fine. We chatted while she worked and then we left. Took Ben over to play with Anthony for a while and eventually went to get the little two from the Palmer's place and bring Owen home for a play date with Maddie at our house.
We had no more than pulled out of their neighborhood when Maddie tells me Jacob had taken his glasses off and was bending them. We were at a stop light so I tried, without success, to get him to either hand them over to me or put them back on. He thought it was quite the fun game. I did get him to put them on himself but he can't do the ear pieces by himself. We were almost home so I figured he'd wear them on the outside of his ears for a minute and we could fix them. No such luck. This is what he did in that short little time. Punk kid.
I picked up that brand new pair of glasses exactly five weeks ago tomorrow. I can't afford a new pair that often!! What am I going to do with him? I'll take him in tomorrow morning and see just what they can do about it. I'm hoping they are salvageable. Maybe I could just buy the one ear piece that was twisted in a circle and then bent backward as far as it could go. The other side is no big deal in comparison.
I've also been wondering, do they teach classes in glasses adjustment? It would save me a TON of time to not have to visit my buddy Grace on a weekly basis. I do love her, but ghee whiz!!

Yucky Eyes

Jakey has yucky eyes. He's really upset, laying down in bed screaming for me to come take care of it. It's a sad situation. He doesn't want to go to bed. We make him lay down in his bed which makes him mad. He lays on his back and cries and cries until tears begin rolling from his eyes down his cheeks toward his ears. The tears just cause a whole big mess. The get the ears all wet. And his cheeks. And then he gets more angry and upset by the yucky eyes getting everything all messed up.
My suggestion is to knock it off, stop crying and go to sleep. Instead I have to go wipe his eyes dry (and cheeks and ears). To me it feels like the instructions on the shampoo bottle - "Wash, rinse, repeat." There is no end to yucky eyes around here some nights. The one thing that does keep me smiling is that when he is hollering out from his room in the deepest of desperation he'll yell, "Angie!! Help! Angie help me please!!"

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry christmas!

videoAnd a happy new year!

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Friday, December 24, 2010

The Christmas Miracle

My sister called today. She was just checking in to make sure everything is okay. You see, something miraculous happened. Something almost unheard of. She got my Christmas card. And it arrived BEFORE Christmas. She wanted to know if I was okay. Did something go wrong? Should she be worried about my totally weird and out of character actions? I concur. I have a horrible, terrible, rotten record. I have always mailed my cards by New Years with one exception. The year Jacob was born I mailed it in February because it was just too much to deal with in the month of December (he was born Dec 5th). But I don't think I've ever mailed them before Christmas Day. Enjoy the abnormality this year folks. I make no promises about the future.

Maddie Is Getting a New Bed

Maybe it's the fact that we got the kids bunkbed from the trash.  A neighbor threw out a beautiful headboard and footboard early one spring.  Being cheap like we are, we snagged them.  Brian is handy enough he intended to make the side rails and we'd have a really nice bed.  They sat for 9 months being moved from one random location.  Then one day, we saw the same neighbor, who was then moving out of the house, ditch another bed frame that just coincidentally happened to match the first.  Fantastic!!  I had noticed that the first set was meant to be a bunkbed anyway.  We nabbed that part and then with a pattern to follow, Brian soon had the bunkbed designed, built, sanded and varnished.
 
For a long while I THOUGHT that I loved it.  Pretty light wood, cute design and he even added safety rails ta boot!  Seems like the kids have had it about a year now and I have decided that it is the perfect bed for Ben.  Unfortunately, Maddie needs a new one.  You see, she only wakes up on the right side of the bed about one day in seven.  That leaves six days of whiny, rotten, complaining, tantruming for my disaster child.  I've about lost all patience with her so I've made the arbitrary decision to blame it on the bed.  I'm just going to buy a new one.  There is only one simple requirement for the new bed, for which I will pay ANY amount of money.  There must be FOUR, yes count them, FOUR "right" sides of the bed.  Absolutely no "wrong" sides of the bed for her to wake up on.  If you have one of those for sale, please notify me ASAP.  It'll be worth every penny I spend on it.
 
Authors Note:  Yesterday I paid a cute neighbor girl, Haley, to come be a mother's helper so I could get some things done around here.  She came.  She was great.  She tried and tried and tried.  But Maddie Mae was a disaster (can I add "as usual" here or is that too mean?). Haley even brought some old bread and walked the kids over to the lake to feed the ducks.  A totally delightful adventure if you ask me.  Maddie tantrumed about going.  Tantrumed about getting socks on her feet.  Tantrumed about zipping her coat.  Then they left and the sweet gal had to call me from her cell phone because once at the lake, Maddie kept running away into the woods and not listening. Sweet Haley is only twelve and not physically strong enough to wrestle her into submission to keep her safe from herself.  I ended up bundling up to hike to the lake to drag that stinker home again with me.  So I paid someone to watch my kids and I end up spending the whole time disciplining my child.  At least Ben had a lot of fun. And Maddie?  Well, she had to take a nap in the afternoon. Non-negotiable.
 
Remember folks, I blog my reality and yesterday it was a rough one.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thumb Installation

Ben has become a fantastic helper in the last year.  If we ask him to help Jacob he is usually quite willing (not so much with Maddie Mae though).  Last night we went caroling to a few families we haven't seen around in a while.  The kids had fun, but it was cold outside and we were bundled up.  Jacob was buckled in his seat on the drive and pulled his mittens off, then of course he wanted them back on.  I couldn't reach him so I asked Ben to put them back on Jacob's hands.
 
He grabbed the mittens and fumbled with them for a minute trying to figure out how to get them onto his little brother.  Finally he asked, "Where does the thumb go?  I can't find the hole for it." (they are the type with no thumb hole).
 
Thinking on my feet, I replied, "Jacob doesn't have his thumbs yet."
 
"Huh?" came the reply.
 
"We go to the doctor when he turns three to get them installed."  The look on his face was priceless.  He was completely shocked but totally suckered into believing it.  Still he questioned me after a few seconds, "So Jacob doesn't have thumbs!?!?  Really?  Do they really glue them on?"
 
"Yep," I confirmed.  "Don't you ever lose yours, because the insurance only pays for one set.
 
"NO! You're kidding me!" he exclaimed and we all laughed.
 
Then Maddie chimed in, "I don't have thumbs because I'm not three anymore!!  They came off."
 
Ben and Maddie are such a hoot when I tease them.  I love it and so do they.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

TWO BIG EMAILS TODAY

The Package Has Arrived!!

First thing this morning, Brian told me the package details have FINALLY arrived, including the work authoriztion from the company.  This was really the key to getting us going with all the nasty details of our move (work permit, visas, school applications, etc.).
 
We have an expat coordinator to help us through the process too.  Wanna guess what the second email was?  Our coordinator left out of town for the holidays until the 28th of December.  Can you see the eyes rolling back in my head as I formally give up?  I'm guessing we're not getting out of here quite as early as we had thought.
 
I suppose that's just fine with me anyway.  Who couldn't use more time?  Maybe Ben will even finish his semester of school now before we go.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Charge! All Little Pink Marshmallows, Charge!

I LOVE how much my kids love the snow.  Maddie Mae is outside now with Lucy (3) and Isacc (6).  Isacc went down on the sled backwards, flipped backward and thought it was awesome!  He was so excited, he ran over to tell me.  The girls, all bundled up like gigantic pink marshmallows, waited patiently at the top of the hill for the return of our one and only sled.  Isacc climbed most the way up the hill when all of a sudden the pink marshmallows started running.  Well, maybe it was less of a run and more of a funny little pink waddle with more emotional urgency than actual speed in all that snow gear.  Being the pessimistic gal that I am, I thought, "Oh no.  They are running and fighting over who gets the sled next."  Much to my delight, the two little girls pelted Isacc with snowballs.  Of course they only got one each and then just stood there.  They may pack a good offense but we need to work on their defense.
 
I love how the snow transforms the world into a magical playground that keeps my kids happy for weeks and weeks.  I wish we got it more here in Virginia.  It's so fantastic!!

She Thinks She's Teasing Me

It's the first snowfall of the year.  Schools closed early.  The kids are all here.  Jacob and Becca are napping.  Ben and Anthony went out to sled on the pool hill with their school buddy Jacob.  Maddie Mae had a bit of cleaning up before she left for the outdoor fun.  Finally she got everything put away (markers, puzzles and playdoh) and we bundled her up properly for her excersion.  As she left the house with a gigantic smile to join the boys I said, "Have fun out there, okay?"  Her reply came quickly, "Okay!  And you have fun in here all by yourself."  She was teasing me about my terrible misfortune of being left alone in my own house for a little peace and quiet.  Oh poor, unfortunate me.  I figure it'll be another 20-25 years before she realizes that I've just been given the ultimate gift, even if it's only for 20 minutes.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

He's Two and I'm Moving. It Is What It Is.

I'm already two days late. Of course I'm full of excuses. Saturday our plans quickly turned from what was expected to be a day of errand running into a delightful day of fun when we happened by the Stoddard home around lunch. Jeff was cleaning up the yard and burning the autumn leaves. We ended up having a fire and roasting marshmallows, hot dogs, apples and potatoes outside while the kids ziplined landing on the trampoline. It was a totally delightful day we all agree. Of course, that did mean that we changed our plans and I didn't do the grocery shopping.
Sunday I went to make a birthday cake for Mr. Jacob. No eggs. No cake.
Monday just didn't come together for me and I'm not doing well with the stress of moving. I did make it to the store, but couldn't force myself to bake a cake. Then Mindy called and after the kids were ready for bed we went out to Five Below and at least bought the poor kid a birthday present. They don't have the best selection for toddlers, so he's getting some amazing stuff - a blow up chair and a battery operated hampster that runs around in a ball. Yipee!
Now it is Tuesday morning and I got myself together. I got the cake batter ready. Trying a new 3D cake pan loaned to me by a friend. It was missing the clasps to keep it together, but she said, "You're an engineer, you'll figure it out." I decided I would give it a shot by wiring tying it together, using pliers to get it as tight as possible and using a cake batter that is relatively thick in the first place. You can see the amazing results right here.
Here I am. Disaster cake. Two days late. No energy or willingness to try again. I think I'll honestly frost the lump on the pan, stick a candle in it. We'll sing and open his presents and call it good for the year. Poor guy. At least he's only two so he won't even care. Hopefully he knows I love him just as much as anyone else that may have received a great cake.
UPDATE: I took that fantastic cake over to Heather's house Tuesday night. We took it apart, frosted the part that looks like Pooh's brains splattered all over the pan, took his head out of the mold, smothered it in frosting and stuck his decapitated head right smack dab in the middle. We lit two candles and sang Happy Birthday over and over while Jacob and Hazel blew out the candles over and over. I think it was a successful celebration for a couple of two year old birthday kids. We totally let them stick their fingers in it, lick, restick and lick again. Honestly, could it get much worse? And everyone was happy.
Referring back to the title of this post: He's two. I'm moving. It is what it is.