Today we finally were able to apply for the passports for kids.  First time the USPS office was closed due to the holidays.  The second time, it was opened, but as it turns out, they only accept people by appointment.  They were going to squeeze us in, but then realized that we don’t have J’s official birth certificate.  We had Certificate of Birth which is not the same as Birth Certificate (!).  Of course, I was jumping up and down since it take an Act of God to get all four of us rounded up, washed, dressed, and combed, during the business hours.

Our final attempt was a success, culminating in five (!) postal office workers helping each other to take J’s photo: one as holding a camera, another one a piece of chocolate, a third one was giving an advice, and the last two were making sounds to make him look up and smile.   Makes me feel good about paying the taxes all these years.  We also had to pay the fees: $80 per kid to the Department of State and $25 per kid to USPS for their services.

Umm it was also a little bit embarrassing because I have my maiden name on the birth certificates of my kids, my first married name on everything else and I don’t have the paperwork showing my name change since it’s been gazillion of years ago.  Makes me feel simultaneously old and colorful.

It takes between six and eight weeks to get the passports.  I also have to renew my own as it expires three months after our arrival to Paris.  I need to do my best to look good this time, since the passports are valid for ten years and for once I have a chance to look pretty and not pregnant, surprised, or bewildered on such apermanent photo.