Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Whenever I talk to folks, they seem to have the same questions, so I thought I'd cover them here.

Do you like it there?

Yes, so far. I feel like we've been too busy to have strong feelings. We know it will take time. We like our house, and our neighbors. I'm about to start getting involved with some Moms club things, and have invited someone over from Erin's school for a play date, so that should start to make us feel connected. Of course we miss all our California friends very much!

Does Rene like his job?

Yes, so far. He's working very hard. As a matter of fact, starting today, he's going to go in a little later (8 am!) and stay later (8 or after). This is for the next few weeks. The project he's working on should be over by the end of the year. He's working on the Seibel implementation team on the analytics portion of the project. He enjoys the fact that he's learning a lot and he likes the people he works with. Of course he won't like missing dinner with me and the girls, and he likely won't see the girls before they go to bed. The good news is that he's very close to home, and once in a while can come home for lunch.

What's different in Augusta?

Things generally seem cheaper. Day care, gas, houses, etc. Iced tea is usually served "sweet". As mentioned before, Martinez is pronounced "Mar-tin-ez". People speak with southern accents, although I've met a number of transplants. Why even Santa seemed to adopt a southern accent when we visited him at the Autusta mall! We get our garbage picked up twice a week instead of once. I don't have to work here. There seem to be more churches around here (all kinds). Erin will be starting her ballet class this week, so we'll see how that's different from our California dance class.

Did you get a plumber yet?

Aaaagh! Had one plumber come, diagnose the problem, said their boss would need to provide estimate. Never heard from them! I called the office, they said they'd call back, never heard from them! So I have a new plumber coming (hopefully!) on Thursday! This will be #3. I don't think I ever relayed the original problem. Our first day in the house, and Rene was in our master bathroom taking a shower. Robbin, the girls and I were downstairs in the kitchen. All of a sudden we see water coming through the ceiling! Good thing we were there. The way Rene takes showers, the house could have floated to the Savannah River had we not seen the problem. So, here we are a month later, and we still can't use our master bath shower! The jacuzzi tub works fine, however. :)

Monday, November 28, 2005

Various updates & Santa photo

Hmmm. It's been a while since I updated this. We had a nice, quiet Thanksgiving, which suited us just fine. That is after Jake returned home. We put him in the backyard first thing in the morning and off he went (under the gap in the fence we suspect). So after an hour of searching in two cars, we returned home. Shortly after, Jake was sitting in the backyard, dirty and with a small cut on his face. From that point on, the day was calm. The weather on Thanksgiving day was beautiful. While I did some cooking Rene did some yard work and straightened up the garage. We're working our way through turkey soup, and then we'll be done with the leftovers.

The next day, we crazily went to the Augusta mall. We ordered a mattress for our guest bedroom, and got to see Santa. I had gotten the girls matching Christmas dresses. Erin, as usual, wants to wear hers all the time. I tried to put it on Lauren and she wanted nothing to do with it. Lauren did not want to see Santa, either. Erin, as usual, was prepared for Santa and what she wanted to tell him and ask him. ("Where's Rudolph?") So, I only have a picture of Erin with Santa (see below), but it came out pretty good. And since Lauren refuses to put on a dress, I guess I'll be using the family portrait from Long Beach Island this summer as our Christmas card.

Later we rode our bikes down the bike path (Rene pulling the girls in the Burley trailer) to the Savannah Rapids Pavilion park, next to the Savannah River. The kids played in the park and then we ate turkey sandwiches. (Note: Burley trailers are great for siblings to torture each other as each is confined close to each other.)

Saturday, we took a drive to Aiken, SC. The downtown is very cute, and there were people walking around in old fashioned clothes for the start of the Christmas season.

Erin has been doing fairly well at school, but after the first 2 days, she started saying "I don't want to go to school!" as we got closer. This seems to have gotten better after the long weekend. On the Monday before Thanksgiving, the 4 year olds had a Thanksgiving "feast". Lauren and I went to watch. Erin and classmates were dressed as Indians, and the other kids were dressed as pilgrims. They sat around a teepee and fake campfire and sang Thanksgiving songs. Then they feasted on turkey, corn on the cob, apple and brownies. Just like the pilgrims! : )

Erin's school (and other schools in the area) have a Mom's Morning Out program for the smaller kids. The only slot they have open is Fridays, so the Friday before Thanksgiving I dropped off Lauren. She cried for 15 seconds. I waited, waited some more, and heard no crying. The teachers said she had a good day, so I guess we'll go again.

Those are the updates for now. Here's Erin's Santa photo (click on photo to see larger version, and use browser back button to return here):

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I'm thankful for...

my husband setting up a wireless network. I'm sitting in the car with the kids asleep in the backseat and I can surf the internet while they sleep. So thanks, Rene!

Thursday, November 17, 2005


We had an emotional late afternoon/early evening. As I was across the street in the neighbor's yard with the girls, Jake must have escaped from the back yard. This, despite us extending the fence. Some of the existing fence does not reach the ground (?!) so he must have slipped out.

The neighbor's kids ran down the cul de sac calling Jake's name. Erin, Lauren and I jumped in the car and started driving around and calling Jake's name. Rene left work to join the search. Some of the neighbors drove around looking for him. It was getting dark and I was getting very upset.

Finally at 6:10, Jake came in. Rene had found him on the busy road turning onto our street. Jake's face was all dirty, and he seemed exhausted. I burst in to tears.

I think we're going for the electronic fence.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Getting out

Erin started her new preschool on Monday. She happily went and had a great first day. She met a girl named Hope she seemed to like. She goes from 9-1 Monday through Friday. We had a great day yesterday. I met up with a moms club, in the morning and did a Thanksgiving craft with Lauren. The moms club said the 4 year old playgroup was meeting in a nearby park, so after we picked up Erin we went to the park. Erin recognized another little girl from her preschool and her mom (they moved here 6 months ago) and we're going to do a playdate. So I feel like I've made progress making some contacts. Today Erin said she didn't want to go to school, but she ended up having a fun day.

On Monday, Erin is having a Thanksgiving "feast" at school. She keeps asking me, "when are we having the beast?"

We have a plumber scheduled to come tomorrow. I predict great misfortune for the plumber. (See previous post).

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The contractor's curse

It seems we must have inadvertantly put some kind of curse on any contractor who does work for us. Every contractor oddly has some family emergency which prevents them from coming or completing any work. This started in Lafayette when we were having our bathroom remodeled at the end of the summer.

Here in Augusta, the fence installer had a family emergency, one of the workers was taken to the emergency room, etc.

Word must be spreading of this curse. I cannot get a plumber to return my calls. Can you blame them? Who knows what ailment might strike if they start working on our home?

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Piggy Park and the Riverbanks Zoo

We took our first excursion in the area to the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, SC, which is about an hour away from us. On our way, we were hungry, so we turned off the highway. We ended up at the Piggy Park Barbecue or something like that. I ordered the "little pig" which was not so little. It came with pulled pork in the signature barbecue sauce (mustard based) and some kind of hash over rice, along with hush puppies and cole slaw. It wasn't bad, but I couldn't eat again for another 8 hours. But the most interesting thing about this place is in the entryway are lots of books on the confederacy for sale. I guess the owner still feels the south should be a separate union. It was an interesting place, but I don't think we'll be going back.

The zoo was another story. The Riverbanks Zoo and Garden was quite lovely. My favorites were the blue frogs. Rene like the big turtles. Lauren seemed to like the baboon and was upset when he walked out of view. Erin claims she like the moose the best. We did not see a moose at the zoo. Both girls enjoyed the carousel. Mom and dad enjoyed the girls napping on the way back. :)

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Yeah, Lauren!

Bought a potty for potty training for Lauren today. She sat on it a little when we got home. Right before dinner, she insisted in sitting on it. She kept getting up & looking to see if there were any results. Finally she stood up & said pee pee! Sure enough, she had gone! Hooray for Lauren! Gotta get some pull-up diapers.


We've got critters. The most recent critter was in our bedroom. Rene spotted a little frog jumping around our bedroom the other night. (I'm sure this evokes an image of us living in a shack with an outhouse!) Erin has been requesting a turtle. Rene stopped home for lunch on Monday and on his way back to work saw a turtle in the middle of the road. He retrieved it and brought it back. We're not sure where Speedy Jr. is now. He did spend a day in the garage. And finally, we have Anole lizards in our yard. The "Assembly Man" (that's what it says on his business card, he was assembling the play structure), caught one and showed us and told us about them. Here's what they look like: http://www.hilozoo.com/animals/AR_anole.htm

And of course, our friends, the mosquitoes are quite fond of us. Especially me. :(

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

We're in the house!

Well it feels like it took a long time to get here, but we're finally in the house. The movers came Friday, Nov 4th. We were hoping they would have come on Thursday, but it turned out OK. It was nice to have a day to adjust to everything and walk through the house and decide where things should go.

Moving day seems like a blur, but thank goodness Robbin was here. She kept the kids occupied in the yard and bonus room (which I guess we're calling the playroom). Robbin, Erin, Lauren and I took a lunchtime trip to the Publix supermarket which was pretty nice. Rene and I were able to quickly unpack kitchen stuff. By the end of the day, the beds all had sheets and blankets and the bathrooms all had towels. I felt prety good about that.

We've still got a fair amount of boxes, but I think we now have more empty boxes than full boxes.

When we came to the house on Wednesday, we met some of the neighbors. Since then Jacob (3) from across the street has appeared in our driveway a number of times on his little scooter.

On Saturday we decided to take a break and have lunch in downtown Augusta. I must say, downtown Augusta is no Walnut Creek. We found a bar & grill that seemed to be crowded and had lunch. The waitress told us that the table behind us was the Charlie Daniels band! They were in town for a concert. It didn't seem that Charlie himself was there, but that was kind of cool. We took a little walk on the riverwalk which was pretty.

On Sunday morning we sadly took Robbin to the airport. Sunday night Lauren got sick again. It's much less stressful having a child get sick at home than on an airplane! She was fine on Monday.

Monday, the playset was almost finished (slide post needs to be cemented), the work on extending the fence started (so Jake can hang out in the back yard without running away), Rene's car arrived, and I scheduled someone to come connect the dryer, ice maker, and collect the empty boxes. Greg, the young tv, stereo, wiring installer got the plama tv and speakers working by Monday evening, and we also got internet access last night, hooray! Now I can figure out where to find parks, preschools, post offices, hooray!

Now that we have a second car and less installation folks coming by, I'm hoping the girls and I can get out today. Maybe to a park. I think I'm going to need some adult interaction soon!

Lots of work to do, but we're getting there.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

We're in Georgia!

I can't believe it, we're in Augusta. We arrived here yesterday afternoon. I have so much to update, but, here are the highlights for now:

Trip from California to NY was hell. Lauren was still sick and threw up a few times while on the plane. Not fun. Luckily Erin did well. We were happy to get to my parents' home. It was a nice relaxing visit, and Lauren finally perked up on Sunday night.

Flight to Augusta was much better. Robbin came with us which has been a great help. Rene and Jake met us at the tiny Augusta airport, and we were very happy to see him. We went directly to the house which looks great! Movers come on Friday. so we have one more day to go. Today we'll try to figure out who get's what room and where stuff should go. We met two neighbors as we pulled up to the house, and they seem very nice.

It's a foggy morning. Will update more when we get settled.