Friday, September 26, 2014

A Look Back on the Last Six Months

Alden had his 6 month check-up yesterday!  How is it possible that a half a year has gone by already?  In that half a year, we've been through a lot:
  • Packed up and moved to Sacramento (with a lot of help from my sister, Katie)
  • Got settled into temporary housing  in Sacramento (thanks to our friend Susanna who let us live in her house the last several months)

  • Wrapped up a trying Kindergarten year -- although, it must be said, Kai did so triumphantly overcoming much adversity.  I'm so proud of her
  • Sold our Oakland house (a home sale that involved much drama and consternation; although, it would turn out, not nearly as much drama and consternation as we endured buying our new house)
  • Got Kai settled into summer camp at the place she would be for the 1st grade
  • Chaperoned many of the field trips held during camp over the summer (we went to Art Beast, the park, IMAX theater twice, and Fairytale Town)
  • Spent a lovely week with my mom and got to go to the CA State Fair for the first time (it was such fun!)
  • Passed a major budget item through the budget process (my work -- and with the help of my dear friend Susanna)
  • Dealt with major work issues on Eric's side (including the water bond, drought, staff turnover, hiring, and more)
  • Toured dozens and dozens of homes in Sacramento -- Kai will be happy to never go to an open house again until she is well into adulthood
  • Spent a lot of time at the pool where Kai took her swimming skills to the next level -- she can skin dive under the water and do somersaults -- it's enchanting to watch her swim
  • Found a house we loved and made a bid, but we lost out to another couple
  • Found another house we loved even more and made a crazy bid waiving our appraisal and loan contingencies in order to get our bid accepted (we were assured by our loan officer that we'd know if the house appraised before our inspection contingency ran... turns out, that was not the case.  Much drama ensued.)
  • Somehow wrangled a way to still buy the house despite a TON of drama with the purchase (thank you Eric's mom and sister and our friend Deb!)
  • Got Kai settled into 1st grade
  • Went "back" to work -- adding traveling into my life once more (it was nice being home for 5 months -- even if I was working, the break from airports and travel days was good).  Traveled to LA twice, Denver, and New Orleans (all with Alden in tow) in one month's time
  • Traveled to LA for work without Alden
  • Drove to Oregon to visit my mom after she took a terrible, terrible fall and broke her left femur, left shoulder, right thumb and right foot (my poor mom!!) -- somehow Alden did great during the 22 hours in the car (11 hours each way).  Kai always does great traveling - and this trip was no exception. 
  • Hired a nanny and figured out all the nuances of taxes, payroll, domestic worker laws, etc (well, to be honest, I'm still trying to figure that all out)
  • Packed up again (thanks, again, to my awesome friend Susanna)
  • Moved into a new house (which will hopefully be the last move for a very long time)... well, that is technically happening tomorrow, but Alden doesn't turn 6 months officially until Sunday. 
  • Watched Alden and Kailey develop the sweetest relationship -- they LOVE each other
  • Watched Alden learn how to commando crawl, start solid foods, and be a generally joyous little guy


What the last six months have proven to me is that we can handle a tremendous amount of change -- although, truly, I wouldn't advise taking on this many transitions at once and I am in desperate need of a vacation to recover from everything.  I also am acutely aware that the only thing that got us through the last six months is the help of amazing friends and family.  We've been so lucky to have people helping us through each step of this process. 

And, here we are, on the cusp of settling down (not that I'm trying to tempt fate here -- really, I just want things to settle down).  Somehow, our resilient, beautiful children seem to have survived all the chaos mostly unscathed.  Kai is doing absolutely amazing at her new school.  They have a behavior chart at school that they use to encourage listening and following directions -- Kai has only move UP the chart.  She's never been asked to move her peg down for acting out or misbehaving.  I should be clear -- this doesn't surprise me.  Kai has always been a joyful person who is eager to please and intent on doing things correctly.  What surprised me is that her teacher last year couldn't figure out how to tap into her amazing qualities and her vast reserves of positive energy.  Instead, he brought out her stubborn and defiant side -- which is also definitely there - but, can be positively channeled with just the teensiest bit of skill and know-how of childhood development.  But, Kai is thriving now.  She loves school and is excited to share her work with us each day and tell us all about what's been going on.  It's a total transformation from last year. 

And, Alden has also thrived despite being dragged from meeting to meeting, driven to and fro from Oakland to Sacramento and back again a ridiculous number of times, and generally been expected to be the go-along baby.  He has risen to the challenge.  And, he's the happiest baby I've ever met.  He rarely cries, preferring to grumble a bit when things aren't going his way.  He's mellow and happy and sweet.  He's doing all the baby things he's expected to do -- commando crawling, teething (he has TWO teeth now!), eating, growing, sleeping, babbling, laughing hysterically (especially when his sister is involved), grabbing at any little object that comes into his orbit, putting everything in his mouth.  He brightens up every day -- I'm so glad he's part of our little family.

After this weekend, we'll be moved into the new house.  Hopefully I can post a six month update six months from now that says, "we relaxed.  We settled into our new home.  We watched the days go by.  We played."  I know there is always an endless list of tasks, that we will dig into home projects again now that we have a home again, that Kai and Alden will both have big milestones and accomplishments, and that our list will never be so simple.  And, maybe, that's OK.  I look back at the list and the photos from the last six months and I see more than silver linings and way more than drudgery and despair.  In the wise words of Kai, "good things happen, bad things happen, then good things happen again."  So true.  So, here's to the next six months and the good, the bad, and the good that is sure to come our way.

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