Monday, October 15, 2012

A Better Lunch

When you space your children 4 years apart each, you tend to forget things in between.  I usually can't remember what I did yesterday.  So, the fact that i have to re learn some of the best little parenting lessons each time they pop up shouldn't be a surprise to me, or anyone that knows me.
Today's little parenting lesson relearned, if you want to actually each your own lunch, you must make two.  You see, we have entered the phase with The Littlest One where whatever we have on our plates looks infinitely better than what ever is on her plate or high chair tray, even if it is the same exact food.  It must be the presentation, and the big silver fork.  She does like the shiny things.  Regardless, she likes our food far more than her own.  As any good parent would, I tend to give up a good portion of my lunch to her.  The thing is, I usually don't want to trade back for what she has, again, even if it is the same food.  Once she has it, she tends to destroy it, or in foodie terms, she likes her meals deconstructed   I'm more into a polished, total meal, than a deconstructed one that might have a little snot, or who knows what else, mixed in.  Therefore, I need to remember to make two plates for myself from now on.  The first plate will be my decoy plate.  I will star off by pretending to eat from it.  Then, once she makes her move, I can start surreptitiously eating from the second plate, while feeding her everything from the first.  I know it sounds difficult, but I am hungry and desperate to eat an actual meal.  I am glad she likes real food, and good food, too, but I wish she would like it a little more on her own plate, and not so much just from mine.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

And That's Why We Moved Here

Moving from California was hard for us.  Or course it was physically difficult.  I doubt that anyone would think packing up everything you own and moving it yourself across country with three children would be easy.  Far from easy.  I would tell you that it is far less than pleasant, in fact.  Mentally, it was challenging, deciding what would go, what would be given away, how to pack what and where, and making sure we were well within our time line.  On top of all that, though, was the emotional factor.  California was really home to us, at least The Girls and I.  I don't think My Husband ever loved it like we did, and let me assure you we did, but he had lived there, at least when we wasn't deployed, for the last eight years as well.
The thing is, sometimes life gives you choices.  In our case, it was a choice that had to be made quickly.  When the opportunity rose, My Husband and I chose to move our family thousands of miles away, to an area that neither of us had ever lived in before, to try to make a better life for our family.
We chose to move here for a couple of reasons.
First, there was a job.  That happens to be a big deal right now.  He was retiring from the military, and while there were other jobs that looked like they would work in California, they weren't in San Diego, where we were.  They were pretty close.  None of them seemed perfect, though.  Then, this location popped up, gave him a call, and said they wanted him immediately.  Seriously, they said he needed to there in about a week and a half.  That was impressive.  Furthermore, they were totally impressed with him.
The location seemed ok.  The area looked decent.  Not a small town, but not huge, either.
The kicker, though, and what really clenched it for us, was that all of our families would be close.  His family was about two and a half hours away.  My sister was two hours in another direction.  My mother, brother, and the few other family members I actually want to speak to are about three hours in yet another direction.  That put us just about smack dab in the middle of everyone.  With three children to travel with, being in the middle of everyone seemed like the easiest place to be.
So far, I would say that is correct.  In the very few months that we have been in this house, my sister has come in twice, my mother twice, and we have gone to see all of them once each.  That means we have already seen more family than we have in the past few years.  This past week was Fall Break for The Girls at school.  We had a full week, and I would say that we used it to it's fullest.  We took the first weekend, and drove up to see My Husband's family.  We went to a unbelievable pumpkin patch.  The kids got to spend a ton of time with their cousin.  We got to hang out with my Sister-In-Law, which was nice.  Then, they got to spend some great time with their grandparents.  We had a fun few days.  After that, we came home to work on a few very important things here.  First, there was a science project to complete.  The Big One needed to make a model of a plant cell.  She and I spent a few days working on that, with me mostly guiding, but helping out as needed.  Second, there were Halloween decorations to start.  We love Halloween.  Decorating is a big deal for us, now that we have an actual yard to decorate.  We only got a small start, putting up the first part of our cemetery in the yard, and two of our inflatables, but at least we got started.  There was also a leaf or two, or two thousand, that needed to be taken care of.  We five bags of leaves just from the driveway, and one side of our curb (we have a corner lot with two curbs to take care of).
Once we were done here, we drove three hours in the opposite direction as our first trip, and we to go see my family.  It was also awesome.  We didn't do a lot, but we got to hang out, and that was fantastic.  The Girls got to see their other cousin, The Dangerous One, and play.  We went to my brother's house for dinner one night.  They had a Nerf war with them.  The Big One spent all night loving on, aka torturing, one of their cats.  It was seriously great.  My Sister came in, and almost every one was there.  That usually only happens once a year on Thanksgiving.  So, getting to do it on just a random weekend, was so incredibly special to me, it was just awesome.
Being able to just see our loved one, and finally getting to let the girls really be with their families, makes all the hurt of missing the ones I love, my chosen family back in San Diego, and  my home in general, dealing with all the things that are so much harder for me when living in the south, and really the Bible Belt, so much better.  This is why we moved here.  For the love, for the family.  I'm glad we did.