Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Jungle Tour

Mr A and I took a tour of a jungle in central America.  It was an interesting experience.  The howler monkeys make it pretty scary.  Our tour guide said most of the dangerous animals are nocturnal but he also said we were in their land, so...........
So it was scary.  I asked if he has a tranquilizer gun.  He did not!  He told me if a wild boar came, we had to let it charge and when it got close to make a sharp turn.  The boar runs so fast it can't turn.  
While in the jungle we climbed/saw Mayan temples and a Mayan calendar.  
This trip has sorta made me want future adventure vacations.
We've been snorkeling and I was attached by a huge coral.  I survived the attack.
           This is a great and kid friendly country.  I am sure my kids will love it.  Driving around on golf carts sorta makes if feel like Disneyland.

Have a great rest of July and an august, August!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Moving in....

We moved in the night cable was installed and we love the house. The kids are enjoying the house.
When they go to their bedroom for the night, they remain in their room. Our apartment in L.A. was a split wing, and now they are across the hall. I think they rest better knowing we are so close.
TR is loving being able to pout and run to her room. I enjoy having a family room that the kids can play in and a living room that is toy free.
I still miss the predictable sun and warmth of L.A. and I miss being 2 turns from every single place I wanted to be. We were within 6 miles of so much! Life in Oakland requires us to drive 10-15 miles to do ballet, gymnastics, decent shopping, arts, dining, etc.
I have been having a blast getting the house together and decorating. My goal for this location, is to get rid of more than I buy. We had do much stuff in our apartment that we have a house full of furniture. We gave lots of furniture away when we loaded up our stuff. It is nice to have more space. We do not need the space, but it is good to spread out.
I realize that keeping things comfy, clean and neat will be a new job. We now have a large room dedicated to office space and Mr A has a nice detached garage to enjoy.
So I hope to post photos soon. Soon depends on how soon I can unpack these remaining boxes.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Breakfast in LA.

The morning we left L.A. We had the nanny come an hour earlier. I dovete kids to a restaurant in Larchmont. I gave the nanny $40 and told her to walk back home when they were finished.
She wanted me to come in the restaurant because she was concerned no one would speak Spanish. I think she must do her business in Koreatown because I rarely go to a white-owned establishment where staff does not speak Spanish.
We walked in and everyone was able to speak Spanish.
The nanny came and told me more money was needed. I went to the counter trying to figure out the mistake. I was expecting change. The nanny had ordered breakfast and the total for 3 meals was $52 dollars. I paid with my debit card and gave the nanny the cash to buy snacks later.
I ten went to McD's to buy a frugal breakfast for Mr A and me. I called Mr A and he asked me if the $52 food was so organic that human hands had never touched it. It was organic but we buy organic and 52 can fed us breakfast for two weeks.
But we had given all the food away and loaded up the fridge. We had no food to cook.
When the nanny and kids passed the window they yelled. I looked and they looked so happy! and full. I will miss living in a walk able area.
Mr A and I plan to move to Berkeley so we can be in a similar neighborhood. We just have to get finances stable enough to pay that mortgage plus private school and living. In L.A. we were so blessed to end up in our neighborhood. It really suited our lifestyle preferences.
Now we have a lovely house but we'll have to drive. It's hard being regular income. If we had bunches of money we could have the lovely house in a walkable area.
I think our nanny has agreed to come here and live with us. We were looking for houses to allow that and we found one.
So I am thinking I will get office space close to a nice park and I can drop them off, onmy way to work. Mr A will be working in Berkeley so he can also drop them off (if they want to go early). I am not sure what children do here when it's cold. L.A. has mostly warm days so a daily trip to the park is easy to schedule.
I guess we will figure it out. The kids are having a great time with my mother and do not seem to miss anything about L.A. QT called to speak to his nanny yesterday but they haven't asked about "home" or their friends. TR asked about Ballet ad QT asked about gymnastics.
I wanted to start ballet last week but realized I could not make it to Brrkeley by 9:30. We"ll start the 3 pm class which begins in a couple of weeks.
So I shall end my rambling and I will post photos of our house soon.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Learning books

I am the anti-workbook mother but I bought 2 for TR and 1 for QT.
TR really enjoyed the activities she did when her nanny's teacher came to the park. The nanny said the other kids wanted to play but TR was focused and loved to work. The nanny said QT also enjoyed the activities and wanted to do everything independently.
I got TR an activity book to prepare kids for kindergarten and refresh what kds learned in PK. TR tried to finish the book. I kept asking her to take a break but she did not want to.
She calls the books her "learning books". One book is designed to be used for the length of summer break but at this rate we will finish in a week or two.
Trying to meet the demands of the kids' curiousity is a full time task and costly. Lawrence Hall of Science has 4 hour week long science camps for over $200, snacks are not included. This past weekend was a free day for B of A card holders, so we took the kids to Chabot Space and Science center. The kids had a great time. We will have to return and see the other exhibits.
I like to give the kids time to move slow in each exhibit as opposed to moving fast and trying to see everything.
When I gave TR the workbook and saw the ease with which she could do the PK/k work, I realized that everything she has learned, she has learned through play and hands on experiences.
I am still on team play based, interactive, experiential learning, but I am okay with finding different ways to engage the kids.
I want to use the summer days well. It's a bit challenging since we have not been able to settle in and unpack. Let us pray that we can get all settled soon!

Friday, July 6, 2012


The kids are watching videos and looking at photos of our life in L.A. QT has said he wants to go home. TR said she likes her bath and shower at home. i think QT misses his nanny. TR said she misses 'momma' so I think she prefers the bay.
Mr A is bsy with football practice. I wanted to move from our apartment but right now I am not liking the move to the bay. Perhaps once we are settled and unpacked, I will grow to like the change.
I miss the nanny. I miss warm weather and sunshine. I told Mr A I want to go back but he says he wants to settle down.
In my head, I envisioned us spending a couple of months to determine if we should move. I told Mr A I wanted to move at the end of football season and the next thing I know he was resigning as a coach, giving notice on our apartment, taking jobs in the bay and setting a date to move.
So now we are here. I am reminded that my mother prefers her solitude. She will take the kids but not the adults. I am reminded that Mr A and I, are all we have. Everyone who loved me with that warm welcoming embrace is dead. My mother loves me in her way but she prefers solitude.
But TR gets to see her momma whenever she wants, she gets to spend long days outside with her momma, the kids stay exhausted because my mother goes non stop. The kids get the grandparent experience. They will make new friends and the nanny is considering moving here and living with us. We are paying her while she decides.
The cold is making my bones ache. We may move north to a warm suburb that borders Oakland. I think it will be fun to have a burb experience. The burb is four turns from my mother's house so it's very close to the city but far enough away to escape the bay breeze and the poverty of the inner city.
Mr. A is coaching at a posh private school. The school has bay views and sits in a cute part of a bay area city. There are shops, restaurants, libraries, coffee shops, book stores and kid friendly activities. I would love to live over there if we had an extra $5k to put to housing.
What I have realized is that it will cost the same to live the lifestyle we want to live whether we are in L.A. or the Bay. We want to live close to the activities we enjoy and those activities are in the city. The private school we want is also in the city.
Mr A and I decided that we have to be that couple that loves in the way we do not have. Does that make sense? When I was a kid and young adult, I had grandparents, great aunts, older cousins who were happy to see people. Now it seems the people left are happier to see you go. We will be the couple where you enter the door and know your presence is loved and wanted. Mr A already loves people and guests. I have to work on my welcoming spirit.
But Jesus loves us! When I was in high school kids would come to my grandparents' house to see them. When my grandfather died, the nurses would keep coming to visit my grandmother and they told other nurses to visit because my grandmother was so loving and always had a pot of greens. I don't really think love is a specific action. I think it's being welcomed and not just tolerated.
I will end my whining. I need some sun. I am blessed to have Mr A. He loves me and he loves people. We have our children and we shower them with love. God will give us what we need and I believe this lack I feel is my instruction to show others the love I feel I do not have from the place I expect it.