I have had some people try to find my update post in September (The Long and the Short of It) and, for some reason, it doesn't show up on September's archive and I can't figure it out. So for the benefit of those who are directly trying to find this particular post (Mom, you know who you are :) I'm posting it again. For those who have already read it, I apologize for the repeat.
I'll start with the obvious....prior to yesterday's post, it had been a long time since I ventured into the blogging world.
Suffice to say, we were busy, very busy and I just didn't have a lot of extra energy at the end of the day. We have made three major moves in four years and I'm hoping this last one is the last one for many years to come.
Seattle was beautiful and we had fantastic neighbors. For Colin, the commute to Japan was quite easy. That being said, the schools in our area were very poor and it was also far colder than I could have imagined. The rain and the gloom really didn't bother me but I discovered I was really sick of being cold. At the end of June, it was still in the 50s! I grew up mostly in Arizona. Many of my closest friends were there. I longed for my friends and some warmer weather.
Thankfully, Colin was on board. We had almost purchased a house in Phoenix back in 2005. So he was familiar with the area and liked it. Of course, he had yet to experience a Phoenix summer, but I figured he went to college in Florida and could probably handle the heat. We have been here since July. Although we are ready for the mercury to dip below 100 degrees, we have all handled the summer just fine. In fact, the kids spent most it learning to swim (and, in fact, are still working on it).
We have bought a house and are in a school district that offers a partial immersion program for Mandarin. We were lucky to get Sophia in and she is loving it! Keenan is going to pre-school and never seems to want to leave when I pick him up.
We are extremely grateful that Colin has a good job, but the extended time away is hard on everyone, especially the kids. We know that this is how it has to be for now, we just hope that things will get a bit easier as time goes on. At least now I have close friends nearby and that has made a huge difference! After we moved here, one of our friends volunteered to take the kids for an afternoon so I could run some errands. When I went to pick them up, some mutual friends had stopped by their house. We said hi and exchanged hugs and Sophia asked me "how do you know them?" I explained they were old friends of mine and she just looked at me with the blank stare. It occurred
to me that over the years, she has rarely seen me interact with friends, mostly just family. Old friends were an alien concept but now she really looks forward to seeing them. She is also starting to make her own friends and we are about to enter the dawn of the 'playdate' era.
Both kids seem to be fascinated by the desert, with the understandable exception of rattlesnakes and scorpions and a variety of creepy crawlies. Unfortunately, we have already had several scorpions in our house (the house had been vacant for quite a while) and we had to pay to have the house "sealed" and hopefully there won't be any more scorpion encounters.
As for mammals, we have also had a couple of encounters on that front. One evening, while my Mom was visiting, we took a family walk. I knelt down to check the dog's paw and I heard Colin, my Mom and the kids talking about the kitty cat across the street. I looked up and said "uh, guys, that's no kitty cat, that's a Bobcat." Thankfully, he didn't seem to be interested
in us, so we were able to move on without incident. Hopefully this curbed any urge the kids might have had to pet outdoor "kitties." Especially since we have had a couple stroll through our front yard at dusk while we were outside. Coyotes seem to like to hang out by the local Walgreens and we have spotted some crossing the road in our downtown area. We live in a planned community, but we are on the edge of the desert, so it kind of goes with the territory. I'm happy to report that we have had more pleasant encounters with Roadrunners, Chipmunks, Hummingbirds, Butterflies, Dragonflies, Jackrabbits, coveys of Quail and Lizards galore. When I get back from my runs, the kids want a full report on how many of these I spotted while I was out and about.
We tried to get a second dog to help keep Marz company. She was sweet and tiny, but also came from an abusive home. Keenan's boisterous nature scared her and she nipped him, then Sophia and then the rest of us. Though she didn't have big teeth, we couldn't take the chance of having her hurt someone, so unfortunately, having two dogs was short lived.
Sophia is now five years old and Keenan just turned four. They are both trying to learn how to read and really seem to enjoy their new home. Sophia told me she never wants to move again. I hope we never have to because I'm really happy to be home and I'm sick of moving and really sick
of painting walls. But with the aviation business, you just never know.
In the meantime, we have been working on getting the grandparents to relocate. I suspect it's going to be a tough sell since I don't think they trust us not to move again. I can't say I entirely blame them.
Sophia loves wearing dresses and shorts. If given a choice, she will always choose a dress. The only time we can get her in anything but sandals is when she is playing tennis or doing some other sports activity and that is after considerable cajoling from me. She is sweet, curious and smarter than a whip.
Keenan is funny as ever. He chooses new characters to be every day (last week it was Scooby, Daphne and Fred, this week he is Rainbow Fish). He talks to everyone and says a lot of funny things. The pre-school staff can't get over how articulate, smart and charming he is (most of the time anyway). He is creative, loves to draw and sing and has an incredible imagination.
Both are growing up so fast, it feels like a blur. But this is such a great age, I'm just doing my best to take it all in and get as many hugs and kisses as they are willing to part with (before they get any older and decide those things aren't cool).
That's all for now, I just can't write like I used to, but I can post more photos :)