Sunday, July 29, 2012

Into the woods (raising little outdoorsmen)

One thing I've been looking forward to about living in Sachem is the easy access to the outdoors and nature.  I'll confess, on my own I'm not a huge outdoorsy person.   But, over the past 15 years (has it been that long?!) of being Zach's significant other I've spent my share of time outdoors with him, from car camping to several full-on backpacking trips, and I do appreciate a beautiful location and how amazing nature can be.  I also have noticed and love how spending time out in nature makes Zach come alive, and see that trait in my kids as well, which makes me want to give them as much of that exposure as possible.

California provided pretty easy access to nature, but here it's literally at our back door (well, would be if we had one). We have a large field on one side, and trail-dotted woods surrounding 3/4 of our neighborhood.  The other day Zach and I took the boys on a short walk through the woods to explore. We walked to the trailhead and went past about 50 yards of tall grass which immediately made me think TICKS TICKS TICKS (we did wear long pants, and yes we looked incredibly dorky with our pantlegs tucked inside our socks).

Then we entered the woods, and holy crap people. It was... magical.  These are pictures taken just with my phone so they're not the best. We'll have to go back soon and take the dslr next time.

Into the woods... Exploring the trails by our house. Bridge My little outdoorsmen. Playing cars on the trail. Because, what else? Big stick!

We had Quinn in the backpack at first but pretty soon he was demanding to walk as well.  We didn't go far, but they definitely had fun stumbling over rocks, driving cars through the trail, and finding big sticks.  I'm pretty excited to see how everything changes with the seasons, too.  That should be pretty amazing.  (Oh, and while we each got a couple new mosquito bites, we didn't find any ticks. Yay)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Oh the humidity!

You guys, the humidity here is no joke. I know it shouldn't be that much of a shock since I spent 3 weeks in Austin before coming here, but I spent most of my time there inside the nice, cool air conditioning so it wasn't as big a deal.  It's not nearly as hot here-- the highs during the day have been mostly in the low- to mid-80s, though it did get up to a toasty 97 degrees on the day we unloaded the moving truck. Great timing, huh?  And most evenings it cools down to be in the 50s and 60s so even without a/c it's been manageable (with heavy fan use).

But the humidity is shocking at times.  Like when you take a shower in the morning and FOUR HOURS LATER the shower curtain is still wet.  Or when you get into bed at night and your sheets actually feel slightly damp. There have only been a couple days so far when it's been that noticeable. But, still.

On the plus side, in California the air was so dry that, especially with kids and the constant handwashing that goes with them, my hands were so dry that the skin on my knuckles was always cracked. I tried putting on lotion and even dousing them in Aquaphor and wearing socks all night, etc, but they'd inevitably end up cracked and dry again.  My hands looked awful.  Here? They actually look normal.  I guess a little humidity ain't so bad after all.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Holding on to the good

The boys today have been a tired, whiny, unhappy mess (to be honest, Zach and I haven't been in the best of moods, either). It's been a wee bit of a frustrating and tiring day.  I'm sure you know the type.

But... at some point today, I took this picture. It was a good moment. And I fall a little more in love with it (and with them) each time I look at it. I'm gonna hold on to that.

When brothers attack.

Blueberry Picking

Blueberries! Pick, weigh, and pay. 

Wanting to hit the ground running on exploring things to do in the area, and knowing that blueberries are currently in season but won't be for much longer, we headed up to a nearby pick-your-own farm last Saturday.  The drove up to this quaint little farm and found a map of the orchard of which kinds of blueberries were growing on which aisles, and some tips on how to pick them.  We each grabbed a small bucket with a rope attached (to hang around your neck like a necklace to free your hands for picking) and went at it. Quinn was on my back in the Boba, which put him at about perfect picking height.  When he realized what we were doing, he actually got MAD at me if I didn't get him within easy reach of blueberries for him to pick and eat.  Lala tried to get him to put berries in her bucket, but that was a no go-- every single one of the berries he picked went straight in his mouth.  I'll give him credit-- he had great finger control and coordination for being able to pick the blueberries he wanted off the bush without help.

Quinn saying "My turn, my turn!" Meaning, "Let me reach some blueberries, NOW!" Turns out wearing Q on my back in the @boba put him at perfect blueberry picking height. Q saying "Mah turn, mah turn!" He liked the berry picking. Tho he ate everything he picked... ; )
Donovan was the perfect blueberry picker-- he LOVED picking the berries, and exclaimed so frequently while doing so- "I love picking blueberries! Can we pick more blueberries?" But even though he loved them when he was younger, he recently decided that he now hates eating blueberries so had no interest in sampling any.
Dono, however, was the perfect picker- he LOVED picking blueberries, but had NO interest in eating them. A post-pick rest and snack.

When we were done, we just weighed our berries on the scale and put the money into the little mail slot-- there wasn't anyone monitoring the stand, it was all just on the honor system. We ended up with about 10lbs of blueberries, most of which are frozen for smoothie making later in the year (we did pay a bit extra to make up for the ones we ate).  It was a pretty cool experience. I think we missed strawberry season, but should still have time to enjoy raspberry season and, later on, corn on the cob?

Our bounty- came back with about 10lbs.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Pictures from Texas

I finally managed to sort through and upload pictures from our time in Austin this summer.  While sorting through them I kept alternately laughing out loud, and swooning over how funny and sweet many of them were- especially the ones of Quinn and his cousin playing together.  In almost all the pictures from the two weekends when he was in town, any picture of one of them almost always included the other.  I love that even at such young ages they seem to love being around each other so much already.

I'll limit myself to just posting a couple on here, but there's way more over on flickr!
Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled Ok, ok, and just a couple of that gorgeous red hair because it is SO AWESOME. Untitled Untitled

Go here for the rest:

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Hello, New Hampshire

So, we're here.  And we're actually mostly unpacked by now, too, which feels like a bit of a miracle.  Zach and I said good-bye to the kids and packed the cats into their carriers on Sunday morning, and headed off to the airport for our flight to Boston.  All went well, cats are amazingly low-maintenance travelers compared to energetic toddlers. We then picked up our rental car and drove the two hours north to our new home. We borrowed an inflatable mattress and sheets from a new friend a couple doors down and spent our first night in our new, empty home.

The truck holding all our belongings wasn't scheduled to arrive until Tuesday, so we had all of Monday to ourselves.  We picked up a few things at Walmart and a nearby supermarket, picked up the keys to our car, drove to Manchester to drop off the rental car, and explored downtown Hanover a bit (which didn't take long, it's very cute but very small).  At one point we were driving and it was raining lightly outside, and I noticed several people out walking. Not just one or two, but several individuals and small groups either on their way somewhere or just out for a stroll with their dog.  "But, it's raining!" I thought to myself. And then I realized how spoiled I am by California.  I suppose when you spend half the year covered in snow, you really can't let a little rain get in your way.

Tuesday morning our truck arrived at about 10am, and the real work began.  We hired three laborers to help us unload and they did an amazing job, especially considering that Tuesday was the hottest day that week-- I think it got up to 97 degrees and HUMID.  Keep in mind we have no a/c. It took about 5 hours to unload the truck, with the guys bringing things in from the truck and me mostly working inside to unwrap furniture and start putting things away so we'd have room for more boxes.  I soon started freaking out about how much stuff we had, and we clearly didn't have enough space (we downgraded a couple hundred square feet and lost our previous one-car garage space), and are we gonna need to rent a storage unit?!  We managed a few hours of unpacking after the truck was all done, went out to grab a bite to eat, came back to put the kids/ beds together (an interesting feat since we didn't have instructions anymore so had to do it from memory-- we did pretty well, actually, only had to backtrack once), and collapsed into bed.

We spent most of Wednesday furiously unpacking, taking a break in the afternoon for trips to Home Depot and the Hanover farmers market and then more unpacking after.  Mom, Philip, and the boys were supposed to fly in that evening, but thanks to massive storms their flight from Maryland got cancelled, so they ended up spending Thursday driving all the way up here (something like 11 hours??).  They claim it was actually a fun time, and it gave us another day to get the house ready, so I guess in the end it was kind of a positive?  But still a wee bit stressful for a time there.

So by Thursday night we had unpacked almost everything-- we still have a handful of boxes here and there to go through, and some have been packed into closets because we don't have space or need for their contents yet. But I am VERY pleased at how much we have done, and how much we managed to make fit-- I was convinced we'd need a storage unit at first, and now I think we'll be fine without.  Even the kitchen that seemed so small proved to be surprisingly efficient space-wise.  Since we don't have a garage, there's a bunch of outdoor stuff just sitting on our porch right now (bikes, wagon, riding toys, etc) which is what everyone else seems to do, as well, though I don't know what happens once winter comes.  BUT yeah so far so good. And everyone arrived safe and sound Thursday evening, and the boys love the house-- D said it is his favorite house in the whole world.

 Zach on our porch. 
Untitled And the porch itself, filled with crap (it looks a *bit* better now).Untitled Views around Sachem Village (I have owned my camera for 5 years and apparently have yet to learn how to hold the damn thing straight. Or how to take the time to crop them level. #lazy)Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled Briefly exploring the trails behind Sachem. Untitled Untitled
 Stumbled upon a doggy playdate in the fields on the other side (the owners were there, too). Untitled

We've met a few people here already, some of whom we first met at ASW in April. A lot of people are gone right now (most first-year Tuck students aren't here yet, and second-years are away on their summer internships) but many of the T'13 partners/wives are around, along with a few families from the engineering and medical school.  More people should be arriving over the next month or so.  

We have these next few weeks pretty free for getting settled in and exploring the area. Then in August Zach has a trip with other first-year students, and then orientation, and then Fall A starts the first week of September!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

So far....

So we're here, and have been busy unpacking the past couple days. I can't remember the last time I felt this tired. But we're truckin' along and getting the house in order, and are getting extra time since my mom, step-dad, and the kids got delayed in their travels and are taking an extra day to get here. =/

So anyway, right now I'm focusing my energies on the house so we can get as much ready as possible before the kids are here. Then, soon, I'll hopefully get a chance to handle the pictures on my camera and write a few posts. Till then, my Flickr stream is basically acting as a chronicle of what we're doing via instagram shots:

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

steppin' out

For the first week that I was here in Austin I was kind of in hermit mode- I didn't reach out to many friends, choosing instead to mostly hang out with family and go to bed early in the evenings.

And then there was last week. I finally started feeling that urge to be more social-- I finally got together with Danyelle for the first time on Tuesday. Wednesday I went to my step-brother's party after all (Donovan *loved* watching the fireworks!). And then on Thursday, I met up with Danyelle and Jessica at the Broken Spoke, where we talked and two-stepped and met this guy named Matthew who was in town visiting family for the week, and is originally from Geneva, Switzerland, of all places. He was pretty fun to talk to and became our buddy for the weekend.

I can't remember if we did anything Friday, but on Saturday Danyelle and I went to a party Matthew had invited us to at his aunt and uncle's house. We didn't know anyone else there, but everyone was super nice and we had a great time. Danyelle had taken it upon herself to be Matthew's Austin tour guide so afterwards we went out to a couple bars downtown-ish. Then Sunday afternoon we met up for chicken shit bingo at Ginny's Little Longhorn Saloon (have heard so much about this, finally got to experience it) and then to a sock-hop at the Shangri-La that evening which was a BLAST.

Yesterday morning I finally took Danyelle's dance jam class at her gym (she's been bugging me to go for ages). It totally kicked my ass but was really fun. Tired from several late nights and dancing, last night we opted for a more low-key evening-- Danyelle and I went to Trudy's with her boyfriend and another friend and had some food and drinks and were home by 11pm. Fun times.

Zach's flight gets in today (WOOOOOT!!!). We have a few more exciting plans for the rest of the week, and then we fly up north. Whoa.
Chicken Shit Bingo Forgot about this one- @danyfly14 & her boy dancing in the parking lot at Ginny's yesterday. Untitled

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Happy Fourth

So we've been here a week and a half now, about halfway through our visit. Zach tells me all of our belongings are in the moving truck and on their way to the east coast. That feels really weird to think about. We officially no longer have a Sacramento address. Our "home" and official address now are in New Hampshire. Right now feels like this weird homeless limbo, since we don't even have the keys to our new place yet.

We're having fun here, though between the heat and the mosquitoes (I'm sure everyone who follows me in social media is sick of me complaining about them by now) are keeping us from doing too much outdoors. We've spent a lot of time hanging out with family, including my sister and her adorable ginger toddler who came down for a visit over the weekend. It was so cute to see him and Q together, and it felt like Q was missing his partner in crime when they left. We've also gone swimming a few times, and see my niece at her horseback riding lessons (her summer treat) which D thought was pretty cool. Haven't done too many "Austin-y" things yet, we've been a bit to lazy for that. But at some point I'll have to make my requisite trip to SoCo and Parts and Labour (my favorite shop), and maybe make it out dancing a time or two.

I'm now sitting in the almost-eerie stillness of a very quiet house, which is usually so filled with people and noise. But Q is sleeping and everyone else is out swimming. I'm debating our plans for the evening, my step-brother hosts a 4th of July party every year which we may go to. I'm not that big on fireworks, and even less so on the DIY kind they tend to use, but in the evening they'll go see the professional display and I'm wondering if D's old enough to enjoy seeing them without getting too freaked at the noise.

Happy fourth of July, everyone!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...