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07/20/2013 Xoe and Electronics

Ever since Xoe was old enough to crawl she has been breaking the electronic equipment in the house.  By the time she was 2 years old she had broken 2 DVD players, 2 laptop computers, and a phone.

In May 2012, I bought a bright shiny new red Dell Laptop.  Given Xoe’s history of breaking anything electronic, I decided to buy the Accidental Drop and Spill protection.  The coverage was for 3 years, and I checked online and I am covered.  It’s a good thing I am covered because tonight Xoe threw the mouse at the laptop and the screen shattered.

Xoe was tired and had a little meltdown and the computer was her target, she’s not a bad kid, she’s a three year old having a temper tantrum.  This is the first time she has broken something while having a temper tantrum.  One DVD broke when she stuffed a sandwich inside and the other DVD broke when she was trying to find out what was inside of it.  The first laptop she tore all the keys off and I was able to use it with an external keyboard until she spilled a drink on it, the second laptop the same thing happened.

Xoe was so upset that she broke the computer, she cried herself to sleep. I wasn’t as upset by it as she was, I don’t know if it’s because I am used to her breaking my stuff, or that I had an excellent warranty that will refund to me the money I paid or it.

It’s still going to cost me about $300-400 dollars in addition to the refund they will send me to get something comparable because I bought the computer on sale for only $529.00.  I am going to start looking around, I would like to replace it with a touch screen computer with Windows 8.  I have just bought myself a new Dell in May of 2013, with touch screen and Windows 8 and I really like it.

Whatever I get, I am getting the accidental drops and spills warranty.

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07/17/2013 Registering Xoe for Swim Lessons

Registering Xoe for swim lessons went fairly well today. I drove to the Richmond, CA Recreation Center and they just have parallel parking.  I can’t parallel park but I gave it a whirl and did it.  The parking spot was huge so I am sure that’s why I made it into the space.  Here is a picture of my first attempt at parallel parking.  1374086541427  There was a lot of space there for me to use, lol.

Anyway, I got to the rec center and signed up and paid for Xoe’s swim lessons.  They cost $77, but are worth it when you consider how much Xoe likes to swim..  We got the last available slot so it’s a good thing I went in today early.

Xoe’s swim lessons start July 22,2103 and end on August 13, 2013, so it’s going to be about 3 weeks of lessons. The lessons will take place at the Richmond Plunge, and start at 4:10pm and end at 4:40pm.

I will come back and post some pictures of the pool and Xoe in her swimsuit. Nana got her a really cute swimsuit, that Nana’s mom picked out for Xoe.  I thought that was so nice of them to do.

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07/17/2013 Meet Hamster

Last year when Xoe was two I bought her a Teddy Bear hamster at Petco which we named Hamster.  I got the hamster as a starter pet.  Since then I have come to love this hamster and it would be a big deal if we lost her.  We will eventually lose her because their average lifespan is only 2-3 years, and we have had this hamster for about a year.  I never thought I would love a little hamster like I love this one.

When we first got Hamster I was kind of afraid of her.  I read that a hamster bite could be fairly painful so Xoe and I never picked her up.  That changed when the neighbor kids from upstairs came down and asked to hold the hamster.  I said sure, but she might bite and cautioned them if she did bite to put her back into her cage gently.   Hamster not only didn’t bite, she also seemed to like being held.  From that point on I started getting attached to Hamster.

The hamster has red hair and is larger than the average hamster, she’s really the size of a very small guinea pig.  She is also about the most mellow hamster I have ever seen, she lets Xoe carry her around, and play with her.  Xoe has taken the hamster for rides in her little shopping cart, wrapped her in a blanket like a baby, and walked around the house with her.  Xoe is very gentle with the hamster, and the hamster is very gentle with Xoe.  Hamsters can bite, but Hamster has never bitten anyone.

Recently, I read an article that said hamsters should not be used as started pets for a couple of reasons, because they could bite younger children who may not know how to handle them properly and they are nocturnal.  Hamster is nocturnal, she sleeps all day and runs on her wheel all night, we keep her in the room that I share with Xoe at grandpa and Nana’s house. The sound of that wheel has never bothered me, but some people find it so annoying they can’t sleep.  With the Hamster sleeping most the day, Xoe doesn’t get to play with her that much.  I have to agree with the article, hamsters really aren’t the best pets for smaller children because the children don’t get a lot of play time with them because they sleep all day, and they could bite.  We got lucky with our hamster, she plays a little during the day and doesn’t bite.  On the other hand, hamsters are perfect for places that don’t allow pets like cats and dogs, and a child could learn a lot about caring for an animal with a hamster. 

Watching Xoe play with the hamster, and having such a sweet hamster, has made me grow very fond of Hamster.  When we moved I had several friends of mine who asked if they could have her.  I had planned from the beginning to take Hamster with us from North Carolina to California and she was great on the trip.  I put her cage in the front passenger seat of the car while we were driving, and brought her into the hotel we were staying in at night.  It was so hot we couldn’t stop anywhere for too long because Hamster would become overheated, we didn’t even stop for meals because of this.

Hamster has been a joy to be around, a great little pet.  I am glad we got Hamster, and consider her to be a part of our family.  The following is a picture of Xoe pushing Hamster around in her shopping cart, and where it says Hamster & Xoe, that’s a video of Xoe with her hamster.  At the time I was thinking I was taking a picture but it was video.

100_4800   Hamster & Xoe

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07/16/2013 My Security Deposit Refund Arrived Today

My security deposit refund arrived today, so did a debit for something I completely forgot about so I am broke again till the 1st.  At least I have enough money to send Xoe to swim lessons, which is what I needed that money for, that and gas to get to me to the VA clinic so that I can refill my prescriptions.  The swim lessons cost $75 and I have $88 in the bank, I am barely going to make it this month.

I hate it when I forget about a charge that’s going to come off of my account.  I am on a fixed income and I only get paid once a month so these kinds of charges can really mess me up financially.  I keep a tight budget but forgot completely about this bill.  I wrote myself a budget and had it bound into book form and it really helps me keep track of all of my bills. I forgot to mark this debit on my budget because I was travelling across country when it came in and I mailed my budget to California so it didn’t even cross my mind.  If it doesn’t go in my budget, it usually doesn’t get paid.  This was an automatic debit so it got paid.

One of the things I was going to do was take Xoe to see my San Francisco friend, Noelene and her great granddaughter this weekend,we were going to have a nice day together, but now I can’t because I don’t have the spare gas and I can’t pay the toll to get into the city.  I just sent her an email, she is a great lady and I know she will understand, but I am still pretty sad about not being able to get together with her this weekend.  We met on Facebook while playing bingo and we formed an instant bond with each-other.  We haven’t met in person yet, so I am doubly sad about this new development.  I guess we will have to wait till I get paid on the 1st before we can meet up.

The reason I am so short on cash is because I went over budget on my trip out here, but the trip was fun!  We drove 6-8 hours each day then stayed in a hotel with a pool and internet.  After a long day on the road, we would check-in to our hotel, go out for dinner, then swim or play on the internet depending on the weather, we did this for 6 days.  Hotels are expensive, I spent almost as much on the hotel as I did on the gas, which was even more expensive.                                             100_4887 a picture of Xoe in the pool in Wyoming

Another reason I am short is because of all of the boxes of clothes and toys I mailed out here.  I mailed 13 boxes of stuff at the US Post Office, it cost $469.00 to mail everything.  Of those 13 boxes of stuff, 8 of the boxes were ripped open and damaged by the post office.  My plastic file boxes were broken, cans were dented, and stuff was missing, I even ended up with someone else’s coffee in one of my boxes.  I didn’t insure the boxes because I didn’t think the post office was going to destroy so much, but they did.  100_5196 one of the eight damaged boxes

Luckily, I am staying with relatives who have been feeding me and Xoe.  I wouldn’t have been able to afford the move out here without them letting me stay with them.  I am staying with grandpa and Nana for about 6 months while I get my feet on the ground and can afford my own place.  California is a lot more expensive than North Carolina, not the food, but pretty much everything else.

As I write this I am actually starting to panic a little bit, haha.  I am almost out of coffee and won’t be able to buy any till the 1st. I am sure grandpa and Nana wouldn’t mind if I drank their coffee, but it’s not going to be as good as my Sumatran coffee.  I am super picky about my coffee and may even have to give coffee up for a while until I can afford my coffee.  Sumatran coffee costs the same as other coffee, it’s just a more bold coffee which I am very fond of.  I have a Keurig coffee maker that I love so much I carried it in the car with me and into the hotels each night on the trip over here.

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California, a New Beginning

“No, this is not the beginning of a new chapter in my life; this is the beginning of a new book! That first book is already closed, ended, and tossed into the seas; this new book is newly opened, has just begun! Look, it is the first page! And it is a beautiful one!”
― C. JoyBell C.

We moved from Asheville North Carolina, where we were extremely happy.  We left North Carolina to be closer to family, my ex husband (grandpa) and his wife (Nana) , Xoe’s maternal grandparents.  We left North Carolina on July 1st and the trip took us six days, we arrived in California on the 6th.  The trip from North Carolina to California could not have gone better, we were able to stick to an Itinerary, Xoe was well behaved the entire trip, and we had enough money on hand to stay in hotels, and eat well throughout the trip. We brought Xoe’s hamster, named Hamster and on July 6, 2013, Xoe, Hamster, and I started our new book of life in California.

We are staying with my ex-husband and his wife for about 6 months so that I can get my feet on the ground, and be able to rent a decent apartment.  I got rid of everything I own in North Carolina because it was cheaper to get rid of everything and buy used stuff when I got here.  The only things I kept were some of Xoe’s toys and clothes, my clothes, and our computers.

We have been here one week and this week has flown by.  Xoe formed an instant bond with the grandparents, she’s especially close with Nana.  Xoe first met Nana and grandpa when she was just a few months old when they visited us in Asheville North Carolina, and again when Xoe was about two years old when Xoe and I visited the grandparents in California.  Although Xoe was pretty young the first two times they all met, I am sure she remembers the grandparents.

Xoe already has a friend.  There is a 7 year old girl who lives across the street and she and Xoe met last night at a dinner party hosted by Nana and grandpa.  The dinner party was held so that Xoe and I could meet the neighbors across the street.  The girls started playing after dinner and got along very well.  They laughed and played for about 2 hours, I was surprised at how well they got along considering Xoe is 3 and the girl is 7, the age difference didn’t seem to matter at all.

If this week is a barometer of things to come, California is going to be a good move, a new beginning, a new book yet to be written.