Cocky as I was, I thought I had a handle on moving to the desert. I knew all kinds of things would be different - my allergies, the weather, the bugs. I would need to drink a hell of a lot more water. I would go through sunscreen like nobody's business. And I would still need my wool socks. Check. Check. And check. What I didn't know....what never occurred to me is that my skin would change three days after moving here. And I definitely didn't know it would change right smack in the MIDDLE OF MY FACE. On either side of my nose I now have flareups of eczema. Fiona got it from somewhere, right? All this time I thought her skin problems were from her father's gene pool - not mine! So now I get to use the same skin regime as my three year old. It seems to be working....which is a good thing as it seems to be harder to get a specialist referral in this town than it is to fill a rain gauge. More on that later.
Something else I didn't see coming is the weather-sensitive migraine. At three o'clock this morning I woke up with one of those throbbing aches behind my left eye. One of those that if I don't obey it, pound Advil, and go back to sleep, it would torture me for three days. I didn't have any meetings this morning so I slept it into quasi submission. You see, it started raining over night. Did you know that when it rains in the desert the humidity goes all the way up to 39%? Now that's moist. And did you know that when it rains in the desert everyone either gets a migraine, allergies, or some kind of upper respiratory infection? Like, me either! I walked into the office at 10am today and my boss took one look at me and said three words, "Barometric pressure changed."
Moving on to uncharted territory not related to my current zip code: raising Fiona. From this moment on, she shall be referred to as "The Preschooler" or "The Three Year Old" or "The Terror." Anthony has been playing the role of stay-at-home-parent since he got out here at the end of November. He has The Preschooler well on her way to fully potty-trained. I spent four months over the summer working on it. He gets it in one month. But it's cool. No skin off my parenting awesomeness rating. It's a good thing that Fiona is using the toilet and only wears a diaper at night. It's a great thing. What I never saw coming is that at any time on any day all three toilets in this house are just sitting quietly waiting for someone to flush them. Last night I found evidence that The Three Year Old indeed did go #2 yesterday. Took us until late today to figure out when she did it because neither of us knew about it. Good thing we use all three bathrooms or who knows now long that would have been in there. What really gets me though, is how she can be so thoughtful and enthusiastic and flush when I'm done and be so aloof and put off when she's done. Oh come on. You didn't think you could have bathroom privacy and a kid at the same time. Did you?
The last little story I will share tonight is about making friends. From birth through college I moved a lot. I knew how to make friends. It was no big deal. Moving out here where I knew nobody - no problem-o. In my first month out here I was by myself. I went out to eat alone. I talked to people I didn't know. I wandered into stores and chatted up the locals. It was liberating and exciting. What I didn't see coming is as soon as my family got here all of that activity came damn close to a screeching halt. I don't know why yet. Is it because I need to focus on them? Because I want to? Because it's easier than focusing on me? Is it because I'm less lonely with them here? A little of each, I suppose. I had no doubt that Anthony would find his niche quickly. And he has. I've been more worried about Fiona making friends than me. It was sad when she came to me at the playground and said none of the kids wanted to play with her. Then a week later she ran away from little Josh because, "I don't like him." Apparently this kind of behavior is common in the age group. Making friends as an adult is easy - no playground drama. And besides: I have the Internet. Not only can it find me people like me, it can keep me in touch with friends I've made since third grade! For a kid who moved around so much how did I manage to still know someone from third grade? That pleasure is reserved for people who never leave their home town. Not anymore - the Internet has brought some very sweet moments back to me. Maybe I don't have any girlfriends in Nevada yet. I will - when the time and chemistry are right. Until then, I have new, old, and re-newed friendships to keep me engaged. Guess I needed a little self-pep talk. Huh. Didn't see that coming.