Sunday, September 29, 2013

Hitting Our Stride - Birthdays, Tooth Fairies, Nana, and Napa

June was the chaos of moving from Cary to California and buying a house.  July was the craziness that said house wasn't really ready for us to move into and Scott's California job was basically back on the East Coast.  August was a dizzy blur of moving into our home, starting brand new schools, and many other hilarious moving hiccups (to be shared in my next post).

And then came September.  It feels like we are finally hitting our stride.  I know where the grocery store, the post office, the bank, and both a good (fortunately) and very bad (unfortunately) dentist are located.  I can navigate the school drop-off/pick-up routine by car or by bike and (usually) even make it on time.  I have transferred my nursing license to California (though am not quite nursing yet).  I am volunteering at the school and take my duties so seriously I have even "volunteered" extra to attend moms-only Halloween party that raises money for the school.  Yes, it is a tough job, but somebody has to do it.

As we hit our stride in the regular everyday life, September has brought quite a few exciting happenings, too.

  • Mick turned four!!!  In my mind, four is a magic age.  Old enough to be independent, but still innocent.  I am trying to savior this time, because I know it will be gone so soon.  He is an amazing boy.  
  • Jaley finally lost her first tooth!!!  At 7 years old and in 2nd grade, she had a very long wait, but it finally happened.  The tooth fairy did not disappoint, a little cash appeared in return for that treasured pearly white.  
  • Scott and I celebrated 15 years of His-and-Her-Towels!!!  If we have been married this long, I better stop telling people I'm still 29-years-old - talk about a child bride.  Jokes aside, I said "I Do" then and I would say it a million times over.  The best two words I ever said.
  • Nana visited!!!  It didn't take a stagecoach, just Southwest.  She came out and spoiled us.  Having my mom around was like a secret elixir.  It just made me better.  
  • Three Days in Napa!!! As a house warming gift/anniversary gift, Nana watched the kids while Scott and I went to Napa.  The no kids and a little wine, was a less secret elixir, but it also made me felt better.  It was a great long weekend.  
That is life in the stroller lane.  

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

New School, New Routine

Labor Day has come and gone and by any measure so has summer, except that this is California, so the weather always feels like summer.  In fact, Sarah is swimming at the neighbor's house right now.

Weather aside, it is definitely not summer anymore.  We have two weeks of school under our belts and have had to learn a whole new routine.  Big things like getting used to a new school systems' curricula.  And small things like buying school lunch.  And then the really important, challenging things like navigating the carpool line and thriving in a district with no school buses.  It seems like we are all starting to hit our groove.

We were so lucky to leave a fantastic school and community in Cary.  While there are definitely differences here, it seems we are just as lucky this time.  As all the Cary folks know, I was a devotee of the school bus, so carpooling to school was quite a shock, but it turns out it has been the best MeetUp group ever.  I have already met folks who will be friends for a long time to come.  And then there is the unity between the town and the school.  The parks and rec department runs enrichment/athletic programs on campus immediately after school, thus completely avoiding the need for the mom taxi.  Love it!!! Jaley is taking a super-fun science class with a friend right after school.  Then she comes home and "teaches" Mick, while he promptly destroys her model.  As for the school's faculty, lucky for us they are exactly the same as in Cary - the principal and the teachers have an amazing reputation at school and around the community - hard working with tremendous dedication to the kids. 

As for Mick, for the first time ever, he loves his school, even in the morning.  He has always been one of those kids who hates to be dropped off at daycare/preschool.  Of course, as soon as we left he was fine, apparently he just wanted us to feel a little guilty.  It was just that drop off that was the problem.  I don't know if it is the school or if he is growing up, but he absolutely loves his new school.  Every morning, he just makes a running dive into the Lego bin (boys and Legos -what is the attraction?) and I stroll off with no guilt.  Love it!!!

They say the first three rules of real estate are location, location, location.  When you have three young kids, that translates to good neighbors and good schools.  Even before we closed, we found out we had great neighbors, so then we had to hold our breath and wait to find out on the schools.  Well, we can breathe a sigh of relief.  The schools are definitely terrific.  Thanks so much to Gail Thomson and Stephen Slater for helping us find our home. 

Just so you don't think this is getting a little too Pleasantville, it is still the start of the school year.  We are up to our eyeballs in homework, I often have to make three trips to the school each day, and the alarm clock is ringing way earlier than it did last year.  We may have a hit a groove, but it isn't quite worn smooth yet.

That is life in the stroller lane.