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My First week in California

Hi all!! I miss you already. Lots to share about how this first week has been. Let me just say that STL will always be in my heart but this California weather though is giving me life lol. I have to break this week down in categories. Like to hear it? Here it goes…

Travel: We arrived at the airport around 5am Monday morning with a gazillion luggage bags. I kept telling Mike when we were packing “aye, remember that we have to lug all of these bags around” and he’s like “we will just check them in at the airport. You won’t have to carry anything around”. WRONG! We had to transport the bags into the airport from the car, keep track of the kids to make sure they don’t run off or get lost, as well as help them with their little bags. I’ll get to the other part of when we arrived to Cali in just a moment. So all large bags are checked in and while Mike took the kids with him to TSA-Pre check-in, I had the pleasure of enjoying the life of the TSA-Pre rejects i.e. the main TSA security line where you have to take shoes off, put stuff in crate containers, take your jacket off, and put your bags on the belt, then proceeding to walk through a body scan machine with a pose as if you’re getting arrested and pray that your stuff comes up clean through the belt. Well, that smooth run is never my luck. I asked the security lady if I could go through the metal detector and she responds quickly with “no. What, are you pregnant?” I reply yes and she says “well you have the option to get a pat down”. I tell her that both are uncomfortable. She says “the machine is just a scan, it’s not an xray. It’s no harm really but up to you”. I tell her that I don’t feel like getting violated today so I’ll take my chance through the machine but if my baby comes out with any defects, I’m blaming the machine. So after that, I look for my stuff and wonder why it’s taking so long and there’s a security worker that has my bag like “right over here ma’am, I’m going to have to check your bag”. Huuuuuh here we go. Here’s a tip for anyone from St. Louis who packs snacks like I do: If you have chips like Red Hot Riplets, Hot Fries, Flaming Hot Cheetos that have heavy covering on them, they will go off in the security belt scan, just FYI. So he pulls out the first bag of chips like “Oooh the Cardi B’s! You gotta get the Lil Romeo’s”. I replied “those are in there too.” He discovers them and replies “Yeah!” then proceeds to sing “BBQ’in with my honey!!” as if reading the bag cover. He takes everything out of my purse including my wallet and says, we gotta get rid of some of this change. That’s what’s going off. He dumps all of my change in a bin. I didn’t realize it had gotten that full as I have had this happen before and try to keep it low. So that goes back through the belt. He also has my bag and says “let me get this knife out of here”. Whaaaaat? I’m panicking now, trying to think when did I put a knife in my bag? Freak out mode is in session. This is my work bag too so I’m thinking why would I have a knife in my work bag. He finds that knife and I remember that I packed it when we had cake at work to help slice but it was a baby butter knife, literally came with spoon and fork set for small children with no sharp ends. He looks at it, feels it, and says “Hmm..ok” and puts it back in my bag. I pick my jaw up off the ground in shock and proceed to take my bags. Meanwhile, the kids and Mike are looking from the sidelines. Mike is laughing, shaking his head and the kids are almost in tears like “what’s happening mommy, are you ok?” I reassure them and we all head to the gate.

The Flight: So we get the kids situated in the row next to us. Headphones, Ipads, snacks, the usual. As the final people board the plane, Mike & I notice these two people with these crate looking carrying cases walk past and ask the flight attendant if anyone was sitting in the seats behind us. I look closer in the case, and it’s a darn cat! They have pets on the plane. Now I love seeing animals from afar but when you have had late nights and long days with an asthmatic child who has a Cat allergy, you become more cautious of their surroundings. I’m like “aww shucks. We can’t have Bubs having an allergic reaction or asthma issues thousands of feet in the air”. My heart is racing and Mike makes sure that when we get off the plane, Bubs gets off in front of us before the cats go by again so he won’t be exposed. So as the plane takes off, I hear right behind me “Meooooow” and unfortunately heard this thee entire 3 hr ride. I just kept thinking “poor cat. Sounds like he’s being tortured with the altitude. With having to sit in the middle seat, the constant cat purring, and discomfort of Braxton-Hicks contractions, my irritation level was on max. I then suddenly felt like I was hit with the nausea stick and had to sit with my head in my hands for about 15 min in order for that feeling to pass. We were happy to land in Arizona and prepare for our brief layover flight as we arrived to our final destination…California!

Arrival to Cali: When we arrived, we went down to baggage claim to gather up “all” of our bags. We noticed that Mariah’s brand new unicorn hard shell case luggage was banged up with a dent and scratches. Then our final bag came through. I look at the top pocket, which is where I stashed some of Marshall’s tiny character toys, and noticed the whole pocket is ripped off. (gasp) Oh no! Mike is ticked off and the airport lady is like “wow that looks like somebody cut it. Take it over there to the service desk and have them look at it”. The service desk lady dismisses Mariah’s bag saying there’s nothing they do about that type of bag but will compensate a monetary voucher for the other damaged bag. Although still bothered, I think we were too tired to fight for more so we took it and walked to our Uber/Lyft ride. We get to the house at last. Hooray! The neighborhood looks phenomenal. Once the driver pulls off, Mike takes a look at the number of bags and says “there’s one missing. I checked a certain number of bags and don’t see the black bag”. Oh no! We left a bag! Mike is not panicking as if he knows exactly where to find it. He says “once we drop these in the house, let’s go back to the airport baggage claim”. Note that Mike and I are running on 2 hrs of sleep as we spent most of the night packing and cleaning the house before we left. Once I open the door, the kids take their shoes off and run wild through the house. I absolutely love it! Inside, I’m thinking to myself though “I have to clean all of this? I’m tired already” lol. After the tour, we hop back in the car and head back to the airport. I drop Mike off, make a swirl around and he finds the missing luggage. Thank goodness!

The Stores: Next we head to a few stores to gather some necessities. We first go to Ralph’s. Nice store that kind of reminds me of Dierbergs. As we ring out with the cashier, I look to my right and see a case of cigarettes locked in a case. Nothing unusual, same as STL. Then to the case next to that, I see baby formula. Say what? People are trying to steal baby formula? What is the world coming to? If folks are stealing formula, there’s a larger problem that a lock won’t fix. We as a community and nation need to resolve. And the other bothersome point is secondhand smoke. We advocate for parents to take caution when caring for their children and avoid smoking around them, reducing the exposure of secondhand smoke, yet you put the cigarettes right next to the baby goods. That to me looks like a temptation for those smoking parents to choose between feeding their habit and feeding their child. That’s just my opinion. No bad feeling toward the store, just saying. The next store we went to was Wal-mart. It was a complete roller derby in there, meaning you had to be extra careful when pushing your cart cause there were so many people and you could knock something over or bump into someone. We luckily grabbed the stuff that we needed. As we wrapped up our shopping, I go down the aisle for some shaving cream and a razor. In shock, they have that locked in a case. (jaw drop) Are you serious? An employee comes down the aisle asking “maam do you need some help?” I reply yes and point out the items I need. She grabs the two items and says you can pick these up at register 11. Huh? You mean, I can’t even touch the items until I get ready to pay for them. This is bananas. We shop for one other item and proceed to register 11. Of course the lady at the register is like “this register is for 10 items or less”. At this point mean mommy comes out and says “maam, the lady told me to come to this register to pick up my shaving items”. I tell her which items and she says “oh ok. I’ll take them to register 4 and you can pay for them down there”. Okay so I have to wait in yet another long line. So we get everything rung up and I tell the cashier “sir, did the young lady bring my shaving items down?”. He asks what the name brand of them were and proceeds back down to register 11 to inquire about them. Apparently the lady did NOT bring them down like she said she would. He then comes back to the register with two types of razors asking “are these your items?” I’m like “sir! I said a razor and SHAVING CREAM!” He looks as if he is about to head back to register 11. Mike and I both yell “just forget it! I’ll just pay for the razor and get the cream somewhere else”. It should not take this much effort to get something so minor. Plus the kids were getting antsy so I was entirely ready to go home. A couple days later, we checked out a different Walmart which was more spacious but similarly, they had lots of items locked up, including deodorant. Wooooow!!

Kids at home: Day 2 was pretty rough as the kids were stir crazy being in the house all day. Getting used to so much running around had my blood pressure sky high. Every bump I heard, I was dreading for someone to come downstairs like “someone got hurt”. I have had to be creative in keeping the kids busy this week since we don’t have our belongings in town yet and are new to the area. This is actually their first summer not being enrolled in their school or school's summer program so they are trying to adapt to going to school year-round. We explored the library, which was amazing. I enrolled them into the Summer reading program and they got tickets to a cool animal magic show held at the library. We visited a nearby park, grabbed pretzels from the mall, and of course, we had to take the kids to see the Secret Life of Pets 2 movie. My favorite adventure was a trip to the beauty supply store. It’s refreshing to have one so close to where we live. I went in there and did a twirl like “yes! Ethnic products galore! And they have EVERYTHING” lol.

Our stuff: Anyone who has moved to a different state knows the joys of having movers. For us, we packed everything up in over 50 containers/boxes, labeled them as well as noted the items inside of each container. The label also indicates which room the container/box/item should go into once they arrive. The question is WHEN? We have been sleeping on air mattresses for the past 2 weeks and being an expectant mom, it has not been fun. Luckily, we had a couch set delivered to the front room last week so the past few days, I have been bunking on the couch which is some relief but is not my bed. The movers came to pick up our stuff in STL on 5/26 and expected to deliver to Cali between 6/3-6/11. We spoke to the moving coordinator the other day and they mentioned that our stuff is still in STL and has a high chance of not arriving until 6/19. You’ve got to be kidding. So frustrating. We are managing though. This week, I have enrolled the kids in a day camp to see how they like it. This will help keep them busy and help me get time to clean the house a little more. The most frustrating part is that I am planning to return to work next Monday and the time prior was intended to allow for unpacking and getting settled. Now I have to find time to do that outside of work. Thank goodness for part-time.

Well, I know I have talked your eyes and ears off and I’ll close here but stay tuned for the next week’s adventures to see if our stuff has arrived and my quest to find a doctor.


~Yo! Mama

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