I've been lax in posting, but I will endeavor to post a weekly update based on my iPhone pictures.
One of the best thing about the move is that I can text Evan and say, hey! the little guys (Arlo and The Goose) and I have no plans for lunch, are you free? And at least once a week we meet at Bob's Big Boy or El Torito. It's especially fun to meet when Lucy has "lunch bunch" at school so its only Arlo, Evan and me.
Arlo has been dealing with the move as best as he can. He is stellar at school -- perfect behavior, great progress (when you consider that he went to a play-based preschool, he is far behind the schools that were slamming flashcards at 3yos) -- but at home, he's having slam-down, awful tantrums. When he doesn't get what he wants, he screams! At home, at the playground, at Costco, at the grocery store. Arlo is able to let loose his frustrations and anger when he knows that it's appropriate (ie: not at school) but Evan and I are weary of the constant drama.
Why, why is Arlo crying? He's at the playground, he previously had ice cream, what's up with the break down?
Oh, of course. Mama has Lucy's bike in her car, but Arlo's bike is on Daddy's car. OH THE HUMANITY.
Seriously, I make light of it, but it was a hours-long drama that involved all of us. I try my best here, people.
So last Friday Oscar came out of school with his bestie, C. We had a sleepover scheduled; our first. Poor C. is a younger brother of a sister and is flummoxed when Oscar's little brother and sister think that he is there to have a playdate with them! He also needs to deal with the fact that he can't play video games the whole time he's here -- I actually make him walk -- WALK! -- to the nearest playground and play. Since he's the youngest in his family, having to deal with the fact that our family needs to entertain a different age range (3-8) than what he's used to (9-14) is a leap for him. He's doing great.
Lucy sniffing the flowers on the way to the playground.
Oscar and C. hanging out on the trees at our local playground.
In other news, we decorated for Halloween!
Sometimes we have happy times at the playground. Oscar has chess club at the awesome rec club off Glenoaks. The little guys and I take off to the playground.
The kiddos waiting for chess club to open.
We find a lot of tennis balls on the playground, since the Burbank Tennis Center is inside the complex. Arlo and Lucy search out balls and ask to mail them to Purl Redwine. I look at the happy folks playing tennis and think of my Tracy, my Dileri, my Patrick. I think about parking next to the tennis courts in South Orange and marveling at the diversity of the people playing tennis and taking lessons.
Oof. I miss my town.
On Thursday, I set off to another one of those preschool trips to the farm. But! As it turns out the farm was the same one we went to a couple weeks ago. But our experience was totally different from our previous farm trips. Instead of the usual tractor ride out to a field where pumpkins had been dumped, we were taken on to an actual working farm that grew lots and lots of veggies.
We trundled off the tractor and were warned about the stinging nettles. We then got specific instructions on how to harvest carrots.
And my darling Goose? Raised by a woman that built organic raised bed gardens in her backyard and babied 28 tomato plants last year? What was The Goose's reaction to pulling these gorgeous veggies out of the ground?
Hey, let's pull some leeks!
We picked carrots, celery, fennel, leeks and sweet peas. It was a great farm trip; the best we've ever had.
Friday we had the Bret Harte school parade. I misread the opening times and only caught the last few minutes, but I loved the way it was set up. In NJ, the Halloween parade was just that -- a parade around the back of the school. At Bret Harte, the whole school brings their chairs out to the courtyard and forms a huge rectangle, three chairs deep. The principal calls out each class in grade order and they parade around the inside of the rectangle. It made so much more sense. The kids were able to show off their costumes and I know that Arlo slapped hands with Oscar on his way past the 3rd grade and Oscar slapped hands with Arlo on his way past kindergarten.
That last one is Oscar's bestie C., who will join us for after-school trick-or-treating on Monday until his mom gets out of work around 5:30.
The school parade killed me. I was choking back sobs the entire time. I was already in an emotional state due to my friend moving to Nigeria, and I had had a good old sobfest that morning in the kitchen. So I was already in a frail emotional state when I showed up at the Halloween parade at my kids' school. I was surrounded by happy, involved parents. They chatted with their friends; they embraced their childrens' friends. There was no room for me.
Seriously. I am a big sap. I sob if there is a marching band in earshot. But I watched all those kids march by. I saw all those parents have the easy camaraderie of years together, and years together working on various fundraisers, and I saw that the only way I could hope to break into that group of parents was to spend all of my time volunteering and taking over every possible event.
You know what? I can't do that. I AM TIRED. I spend too much effort missing my old life to work up the energy to attend to my new life.