Well, I’ve taken unintended hiatuses from this blog before, but this one takes the cake. It’s been nearly four months since my last post, and for that, I apologize. But when you add together two-year-old twins, a two-week trip to New York, a move halfway across the country, a month straight of visitors, two working parents—and, well, life—things can get pretty overwhelming. Not that I’m making excuses or anything…
As I sit here in my new “office” at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, I will give you all a brief update of our lives over the past four months.
- The boys turned two on June 19, 2013! They celebrated with two construction-themed birthday parties. One was with all of their friends at Gymboree Play & Music in Colorado Springs, and the second was a small family party at my parents’ house in New York. While living so far from family does stink, getting two birthday parties is certainly a benefit. 😉 Here is a shot of them enjoying pizza and birthday cake with their pals at the Gymboree party:
- We officially moved from Colorado Springs on July 2. We parked our car at Denver International Airport and flew to New York for two weeks. Then we flew back, spent the night at a hotel near the airport, and hit the road for our 1,600-mile drive to Southern California. Along the way, we made stops in Eagle, Colorado; St. George, Utah; and Las Vegas. The boys were absolute champs, and we didn’t even need to pull out the iPads all that often! We did, however, have to listen “When I Build My House” and “The Cowboy Song” by Parachute Express about 8,000 times in a row. If you’re not familiar with those songs or that group, Google them … or not.
- We moved into our new home in a gated community in Torrance, California on July 20. It has a large outdoor patio/yard, and the community has a gorgeous pool, a small playground, and a fitness center. The best part is, it’s only a mile from the beach and the Redondo Pier! We walk to to the beach often. It is absolutely perfect for us! I am just now getting over the fact that I don’t have the word “Beach” in my address, even though the house is only a few feet away from the Redondo Beach city limit. 😉
- We had about 10 days to unpack and settle in before our month of visitors began. Each set of visitors arrived the day after, or the same day as, the last. Our lineup, in order, was Keith’s brother Ken, my parents, my cousin Kim, my best friend Christine and her three-year-old son JJ, and my brother and five-year-old niece Ava. That means the boys and I were on vacation for a month as well! We spent the entire time exploring our new city guilt-free. We had tons of beach days, visited Disneyland twice and California Adventure once (we have annual passes), splashed around at the Seaside Lagoon, attended free concerts at the Redondo Pier, pretended to be tourists in Hollywood and Beverly Hills, took lots of walks along the strand, and ate way too much In-N-Out Burger, Johnnie’s Pastrami, and Tito’s Tacos. It didn’t take me long to see why Keith loves LA so much … and for me and the boys to grow to love it as well. This place is seriously full of amazingness. (Yes, I made up a new word.) It was really hard for me to choose just one photo to share from our month of adventures, but it had to be the one of the boys meeting Mickey Mouse with Grandma and Grandpa!
- It’s been only three weeks since the final visitor left, and already I feel like we are settling into a nice routine. The boys have a new part-time nanny, Ashley, whom they love. She stays with them a couple of afternoons a week while I get work done and run errands. I’m still writing three posts a week on a variety of parenting-related topics for Baby Gizmo. I’m also doing a ton of writing for Scholastic News Online and for several Scholastic classroom magazines. The boys and I go to Gymboree once a week and to art class once a week. I have a few pilates, barre, and strength-training classes I attend during the week that are whipping me back into shape. Keith absolutely loves his RAND Corporation fellowship and has determined that this is the type of work he wants to do after he retires from the Army (which is less than four years away now). And, his flexible schedule has allowed us to continue having fun! Last weekend, our sister-in-law Beth stayed with us for a couple of days and we went to the beach and watched dolphins and a sea lion play in the water. The next day, we went to an Angels game—the boys’ first MLB game! This weekend, we’re heading to a Dodgers game. It’s the last home game of the season and also my first Dodgers game, so we’re pretty excited. Here’s a family photo of us from the Angels game. Let it be known that I will ONLY wear an Angels shirt for these little guys!!!
And the boys? Well, let’s just say they are keeping us on our toes! In the last couple of months their vocabulary has really soared, and they are little chatterboxes. Gosh, they are so grown-up. They still love all vehicles and baseball, but Matt’s love for the sport has grown into a full-blown obsession. One of his favorite pastimes is swinging his bat around the yard, saying, “I’m Mike Trout, Mama!” And Nate’s latest obsessions are Ultraman (a Japanase superhero) and Johnny and Roy from the 1970s TV series “Emergency!” They both remain fun, silly, and very sweet little boys who are—most of the time—a joy to be around.
Overall, Keith and I are both so proud of how well-adjusted Matt and Nate are. I was so worried that the move would be really hard on them, but we are so shocked and thrilled by how quickly they adjusted to their new lives here in California. They didn’t even a skip a beat! On their very first night here, they slept all night in their new room, and have continued to do so. They already know every nook and cranny of our new home, they ask to go to specific places, and they even start shouting out where we are going as soon as I turn my car in the direction of a familiar place. They’ve also become total beach bums. They’d spend the entire day on the beach if we let them—and we often do! They do miss their friends from Colorado, though, and ask for them often.
We’re having a great time, and—although Army life could really suck sometimes—none of this would be happening if it weren’t for the military! No, it’s not easy to move around so often. You have to start over in new places and make new friends, only to do it all over again a short time later. But it’s also an adventure. You get to live in and visit places you never would have otherwise, and you learn things about yourself you wouldn’t have known.
Well, I could go on forever, but I’d better sign off for now. I’m so happy to be writing on this blog again, and I plan to do so once or twice a week from here on out. Be sure to follow me on blog.babygizmo.com and scholastic.com/news as well!