Added to the list: Build an ark

Hello! We are in Georgia. Drowning.

Hey, kids! This is where we’re going to live! Isn’t it GREAT? Over here we have… mud. And over there… more mud. Also, there is lots of rain, and the sky is a gorgeous shade of gray. ARE YOU EXCITED?

Oh, the weather will let up in a day or two. It’s just that we got in late last night and had to get up early today and have been running around and I JUST NOW had a minute to stop and go to the bathroom, whereupon I discovered that my hair was four times its normal size. But at least I’d been wandering around like that all day.

The trip itself was almost too easy; the kids were so good I wondered if I’d accidentally picked up the wrong ones back at security when I was retrieving my purse and my shoes and my bag of deadly liquid hair gels. We sat in the airport for a while (“Look! A plane! Look! Another plane!” “That’s a seagull.” “Oh.”) and then we rode on a plane for a while (“We are now leaving the earth! GOODBYE, EARTH!”) and then we landed in Atlanta.

With an hour between our landing and Otto’s landing (he was out of town before this, so we coordinated his return and our arrival), I was a woman with a plan. All day I had reminded the children that If They Were Good, we would stop for a treat in the airport. It would be late—past their bedtime—but I would buy them the ice cream of their choosing if only they could keep it together during our trip. They came through with flying colors, and so the first order of business was to find ice cream.

No problem! We headed over to Otto’s terminal and just about immediately ran into a Ben & Jerry’s. I sat the kids down, took their orders, and went to get their reward.

They both opted for mint chocolate chunk. Or, should I say, mint chocolate platinum chunk. Do you know what a SINGLE SCOOP of ice cream costs at the airport? Five dollars. I could’ve bought FOUR PINTS of Ben & Jerry’s for what I paid, yesterday, for two scoops of it. And so I died, right there at the airport, of utter indignation. The children enjoyed the ice cream, though.

(I especially enjoyed the part where Chickadee kept extracting and holding up gigantic chocolate chunks and saying to me: “Mama, it’s too bad you gave up chocolate for Lent! Look! This is SO GOOD.” Had I not been dead, I might’ve had the strength to kill her.)

After ice cream, we located Otto’s gate, then headed into the nearest bathroom to brush teeth and change into pajamas. (Not me. Just the kids. Though if I thought I could’ve gotten away with wandering the airport in my jammies, I might’ve.) By the time they were ready, it was just a few minutes until Otto landed.

Happily reunited, we all walked the twenty miles required to get out of the airport, then headed home with Otto. Chickadee passed out in the car almost immediately; every time I peeked back at her, she was in a different contortion of complete exhaustion suspended by a seatbelt. Monkey chattered on and watched the other cars and complained that his seatbelt was too tight and then finally passed out in a puddle of drool.

The children were easily transferred to bed once we got home. I wish I could say that waking them up this morning went as well. But the reality is that this morning was ugly all around. No one had enough sleep, the weather is rotten, and IT IS COLD.

Wasn’t that why I wanted to come here? Because it’s warm? Oh, right. That whole getting married thing. Well that TOO, but the weather was definitely second. And it’s just about as cold and disgusting here as it is at home, right now. Hmph.

We visited two elementary schools this morning. At one, the principal himself showed us around, teachers fell all over themselves to invite us into classrooms and show us what they were doing, the president of the PTA happened to be there and was very kind and chatty and gave me her email address, the art teacher’s two children have the same names as my kids (and my kids have pretty unusual names, so that was JUST SPOOKY), classical music is piped into the cafeteria during lunch, and the students appeared friendly and happy and well-behaved. At the other school, the principal was unavailable, teachers glanced up when we walked in and were waved at to continue and then disregarded us, and we saw very few students because we zoomed through at the speed of light.

Guess which one we’d like to send the kids to?

I did ask if there was some sort of secret password I can use at preregistration to get the school we want, and was given some tips (“the duck flies at midnight!”), so I think we’re in good shape.

After that, we went to lunch with some coworkers of Otto’s, and I was silently grateful that Monkey took a break from bouncing around to shove some broccoli into his mouth for a few minutes. So far both kids are not at all certain that being here is a good idea, especially when—as Chickadee was kind enough to point out—it wasn’t raining at HOME.

Today we still have a Tae Kwon Do studio or two to check out, and school preregistration to get to tonight. If any of us can stay awake that long.

Tomorrow will be better, because we won’t have to run around so much, and also because we’re going to the aquarium. And because everyone is going to bed early tonight. (I could use a nap, myself, but we’re sitting here in Otto’s office while he teaches a class, and I don’t know that I could get very comfortable here on his desk.)


  1. Sophie

    Welcome to the land of BEE-UG POOH-FEE HAAY-UR. That’s Big Poofy Hair. Now you know.

    It’s Monsoon Day here in Georgia. Did Otto not tell you?

    I’m so proud that you are here, for some strange reason. Have fun at the aquarium. Give me a call if you have time to chat, or if you want to make fun of my accent.

  2. Stephanie

    Imagine someone ELSE naming their children Chickadee and Monkey. Strange, indeed.
    They are going to LOVE the aquarium. We went last year, and my daughter is still lugging around her precious stuffed whale shark. DO see the 3-D movie. It is Wonderful.
    If you get a few extra minutes, what with finding parking and all, trot over to the Omni Hotel/CNN center where there is a nice food court and the Cartoon Network store. It’s not as big as I wanted it to be, but still some neat stuff.
    OMG, and the Atlanta museum of art is fascinating, and the Fernbank museum is another must-see for the kids. Dinosaur bones. Wow! I just love Atlanta.

  3. AmyC

    It looks like there is good news weather wise for tomorrow. Yesterday was gorgeous (not what you would like to hear I’m sure). Anywho, Imagine It! the children’s museum is also very awesome and across from the aquarium. Just strolling through Centennial Park is a big hit with my kiddos. I hope you enjoy your trip and the transition gets easier with the kids. Not sure how close you are to Stone Mountain but they have a cool laser light show you can bribe the kids with this summer.

  4. anna

    I’m sorry, I had to stop reading at the point where you actually got your kids in the their pjs and brushed their teeth AT THE AIRPORT! I could feel an inferiority complex coming on.

  5. the Narcissist

    That’s one thing that I don’t miss about South Carolina, the hair-maddening humidity. The good school sounds really, really good – I’m here in rainy Seattle (no sympathy from me on the wet stuff pouring from the heavens front) crossing my fingers that they get in. As long as you cross your fingers that my ex will shrivel up and go all permissive and stuff so my daughter can go to the good school instead of the one that has the climbing wall. there should be laws against climbing walls at schools because they make men lose all sense and objective thought processes.

  6. The Other Leanne

    I’m here in the same geographic neighborhood as the Narcissist (which may well be the weirdest statement I’ve ever made)–you get no sympathy from me on the rain thing, because at least you have the hope and the knowledge that warm sunny days will arrive eventually.
    And I’m also trying to picture children in PJs and brushing their teeth in the airport; what fun you are, Mary Poppins!
    Seriously, Jo-ja sounds like a great place, have a wonderful time!

  7. Sara

    My brain melted at the thought of five dollars (FIVE DOLLARS!) for a scoop (only one scoop?) of ice cream. But then my brain reformed itself and said “Mmmmm….Mint Chocolate Chunk…Mmmmm.”
    Hope your trip is highly fruitful and that the remaining days are sunny and sorely lacking in humidity.

  8. tori

    1. Have you seen the way some people walk around in public? You so could have gotten away with jammies in the airport.

    2. I am now dying to know your childrens names. I don’t tell my kid’s names either, so I totally understand, but that doesn’t help my curiousity any.

    3. I lived in Arizona once which was the perfect humidity (pretty much none) for my hair, but then my skin was really dry.

    4. Hope you enjoy your trip.

  9. Heather

    It amazes me how kids can sleep in such strange positions while in a car,.. then bounce around like it was the most! restful! sleep! ever! If I even think of closing my eyes in the car I end up with an ache in my neck that just won’t go away.

  10. Liise

    Arizona is hot not humid…this is true, but DAMN is it hot.

    And, I am off to the grocery for MINT CHOCOLATE CHUNK ICE CREAM, because I am a heathen and don’t do those religious-ey things like give things up or make myself a better person.

  11. Steph

    That’s not mud you’re seeing, it’s red Georgia clay-now that’s some fun stuff to get out of clothes!

  12. Daisy

    My dear friend and art teacher has a Monkey. She doesn’t have a Chickadee, though. I’m so glad you were able to visit the schools!

  13. Susan

    I SO hear you on the ice cream. Last time we were in Vegas, I let my kids get smoothies, and they were some unbelievable price like $7 or $8 each. I went on and on for what must’ve been hours about wishing I had refused to pay for them since I didn’t know they were going to cost that much. This coming from the same woman who can drop $300 at Wal-Mart on a whim (and on nothing in particular) — *regularly*. I am so weird about money!

    Besides being weird, I am also very impressed with the kids brushing their teeth at the airport and putting on their jammies. I think I’m with Anna; I felt my own confidence about Mommyhood decrease a few notches upon reading that. (And I pride myself on bedtimes and schedules and all that. Yet I’m not quite sure I would’ve been disciplined enough to make those kinds of arrangements!)

    You’re amazing.

  14. The Babe

    One of the wonderful things about Athens is the Coldstone Creamery right there in front of the college. Whips the dickens out of packaged B&J’s, (still ain’t cheap, tho) and you can chunk it up with all sorts of non-chocolate yummies. Allow me to apologize for Georgia’s inhospitable weather. I personally find it lovely when the sun isn’t trying to cause me future rounds of chemo, but that’s just me. Um, maybe we should have just traded houses.

  15. Heidi

    Whoa, what are the chances of the art teachers’ kids being named Monkey and Chickadee? (Just kidding. Heh.)

    The $10 you spent on Ben and Jerry’s was actually a bargain. The kids knew it was in their future if they behaved, and well-behaved chillen are worth WAY more than $10.

  16. Heather

    Heidi raises a very valid point – and I’m so glad the kids behaved for you!
    I’m also a tad jealous of all the B&J flavours you have – the variety is sadly lacking “up here” in Canada.

  17. bob

    didja see me waving?

  18. Susan

    I’m eating extra chocolate, for you. Because I am a good friend that way.

    You’re welcome.

  19. Carolyn

    Go to the Varsity for lunch(or dinner).Yes it’s greasy and there’s minimal nutritional value,but you’re on a semi-vacation, right? Plus, it’s the downtown Atlanta “experience”.
    Have fun today!

  20. Mom2One

    Try the floor. Not that I’ve ever known anyone who’s ever taken a nap on an office floor. Or has a small. . . ish . . .pillow in her . . I mean his or her office. ahem . . . Otto might just have a pillow stashed away somewhere. I’ve heard all you have to do is . . . ummmm . . . . close the door . . . and turn off the lights, and if it’s an office with a window that’s close to a sidewalk then you have to close the blinds too. You know, just in case some Big Muckity Muck (which happen to be the official titles at the university where I work) walks on the sidewalk outside of said office. And doesn’t like what she sees. Or something. Or so I’ve heard.

    That’s the rumor anyways. Not that I know anyone at all who would ever do such a thing. No, but it’s a nasty rumor.

  21. Brown Eyed Girl

    You got the kids to brush their teeth at the airport?

    That’s it. I’m so not worthy of your friendship.

    I hope the school thing works out..and I know being there when it’s raining isn’t helping the kids visualize…but start showing chickadee on “Look honey it’s 74 and sunny in Atlanta today.” Pick a day when it’s especially craptacular at home to do it..just be sure it isn’t raining in Atlanta before you go to the web site.

    Have a safe trip back…..

  22. Brigitte

    “The children were easily transferred to bed once we got home” – I am very jealous. My sleeping daughter, if you even look at her cross-eyed, pops up crying and screaming and refusing to go back to sleep.

  23. Suzanne

    March is the rainy month. After that you’ve just got frizzy hair to contend with but you’ll be warm, that’s for sure. Welcome to Georgia

  24. Cynthia Samuels

    I have a pretty nice blog; sentimental but ok. HOWEVER reading yours is like a vacation in Kauai or something – just a treat treat treat. I’m so glad I found you my girl… the descriptions of your kids sleeping alone was enough to take the dark,m dank gray out of the sky here in DC. Have a wonderful visit – oh and WHEN is the wedding? You have to post photos.

  25. Judy

    I’m glad you’re here too…. and wish Atlanta was closer than four hours away! Do,do, do “do” the Varsity. Of course, when you get down here permenantly (I hate spelling that word… it’s never right) you’ll be able to do all those fun things. :-) I think the weather is supposed to be better over the weekend… cooler than we’ve had, but nice, just the same.

  26. el-e-e

    I hope you all really enjoy the Aquarium. I bet you will. :) I’m wanting to run right over there and tap you on the shoulder to say hi! Would you be freaked out if I did that? (Probably.)

    Anyway, *waving* hi, welcome!

  27. Ani

    And, if you need to shop for furniture for your new house (to store all those CD’s)….

    IKEA is just down the street from the aquarium.


    ps–World of Coke is goofy but fun.

  28. Heidi

    …and you said, “headed home with Otto.” Home. Isn’t that a nice word?

  29. jenn2

    The last time I took Drama Queen to the airport, this beautiful woman swanned off her plane wearing gorgeous mint green, satin jammies with matching slippers. The only looks she got were admiring. I think you could totally pull it off. Of course, you’re toting kids, so there’d be assorted spots from snacks and drool puddles where they dozed on your shoulder, oh and maybe a missing slipper, but still. You could do it.

  30. amy

    i hope you enjoy the aquarium – the 4-D theater show was pretty lame (especially if they’re still doing the ‘finding deepo’ film, but my husband designed the studio, so that part is pretty cool. especially if you can wander around saying things like ‘wow! what a wonderful theater you designed’ in that extra loud voice so other people can be totally jealous of your husband’s mad design skillz, and so he can slowly die from humiliation.

    not that I would ever do that.

  31. Heather

    Oh no! You guys came to GA during that storm! Are you guys ok? I promise you that things are usually better in the south! BTW start getting use to the poofy hair humidity is a beotch down here in the summer!

  32. BOSSY

    Expensive Airport Ice Cream seems so much more reasonable than the bowl Bossy consumed of Expensive Airport Cabbage Soup. Just what every flier needs: Cabbage gas.

  33. CCE

    Don’t know when you plan to make Georgia your permanent home but just know, thought the Winter may be rainy, it’s short and though Summer may be muggy, it too is short. Atlanta has the most marvelous, drawn out gorgeous Spring and Fall of anyplace on Earth. Now that’s something to celebrate!

  34. Carol

    Mercury is in retrograde. Everyone else’s kids turn into demon spawn during this time. Mine and yours though – they turn into angels. Aren’t we lucky?!

    Isn’t Georgia where they have those big cockroaches?

  35. JayMonster

    “(‘We are now leaving the earth! GOODBYE, EARTH!’) and then we landed in Atlanta.”

    Now that explains a lot. I always thought the people from Georgia were from another country… turns out they’re from a whole other world. ;)

    Oh, and I don’t know about anywhere else but here in NJ, it seems to be a new fashion of females wearing Pajama pants everywhere and anywhere. So you might have been able to get away with changing as well.

  36. David

    I think it’s in Proverbs somewhere, “…be ye not so foolish as to give up chocolate for Lent.” Still, I’m glad you all arrived safely, if damply.

    Cabbage Gas *teeheeheehee*

  37. Amanda

    I FOUND you!!! Oh my goodness! You moved to Georgia and got married? Wow!! Congratulations! My nephew moved to Georgia last year. You didn’t move to Between, Georgia, did you? No wonder I haven’t heard from you. You’ve been a busy girl! I’ll have to browse around here and see what you’ve been up to!!

  38. Cele

    I’m with the Pacific Northwest Rain Hair committee, who want to remind you that at least in humid Georgia you get volume. Here you get damp, limpy, stringy, and stinky hair.

  39. Mich

    Much rain here in BC lately. Been warm for us also.

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