Thursday, January 21, 2010

Rain rain go away

Aside from a quick trip to the store for milk, the girls and I have been in our apartment since Sunday after church. Can you say Cabin fever? I'm about to go crazy in here. It has rained pretty much non stop since Sunday afternoon. Lots and lots of rain. For those of you who care, we are not in any danger of mudslides. We live 3 miles south of the mountains. Just in danger of going mad :) People here treat rain like I've heard Texans treat ice. They don't know how to drive in it and, thus, many wrecks and lots of chaos.

I've been trying very hard to think of things I like about living here. Trying is the key word-I must say, I'm starting to like having a gas stove-top. I've always heard that real cooks have gas stove-tops, and I can see why. Although, out of 4 burners, I only have 2 that work, 1 of those works consistently. Anyhoo, another thing I like is our church. I'm growing to really like it. This is the first church, ever, that all 3 girls like. They go to their classes with no fussing or complaints. That's huge for us. Avery and McKenna have memory verses and Avery uses those verses and other things she's learned as part of her handwriting each day. We haven't gotten into a small group yet or anything. Mostly, we're waiting to see where our home will be so we can get into a group in the neighborhood.

Ok-so there are 2 things I like about here. I can't think of any others right now. Except for what we have planned for Avery and McKenna's birthdays coming up-

McKenna's b-day is next Monday, we'll be in Wichita next week b/c of my cousin's wedding, so we'll get to celebrate with the extended family. We're planning a family party on Saturday, though. Kevin made reservations to the American Girl Bistro for supper Saturday night, complete with birthday cake! The girls don't know about it, though. Kevin only told them we were going to Beverly Hills(which is where the AG store is) and they are so excited about that-crazy...The Wednesday after we get back from Ks is Avery's b-day. Wonder what we'll do then...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

To push or not to push...My teaching dilema

Avery had her 2nd face to face meeting with her/my learning coach today. Basically, I'm her day to day teacher, but I have someone in authority over me who makes sure I'm actually teaching Avery. I had to provide learning samples(work she's done previously) from every subject. Avery was also asked several questions and had to explain some of her samples to Grace, our learning coach. Needless to say, Grace was extremely impressed. She kept going on and on about Avery's handwriting and her artwork, saying both were so good and well beyond 1st grade level. I explained to her that Avery is doing well in every subject and continually gets 100% on every test she takes. However, I'm noticing she doesn't always understand or can explain the theory behind some things, Math and English, mostly. But, she knows the right answers. I don't know whether to slow down and make sure she "gets it" or keep plowing thru until we find an area where she actually misses a question, then start from there. Grace encouraged Avery to take the tests to finish the 1st grade curriculum and go on to 2nd grade. Thus, my dilema.
Part of me just wants her to coast thru 1st grade. Enjoy being home and not having to be in school for 7 hours a day. Enjoy having the extra time to play and experience real life, even if that real life is weird right now. Maybe I'm just so overwhelmed with everything that I don't want to push her. That's probably more like it...
Part of me wants her to actually start learning and not just doing worksheets everyday. Sure, we do more than that, and she has fun, but I don't know if she's really learned anything new, yet. I don't want her to be bored. I want to push her to develop her full potential. She is a very smart girl. I don't want to be responsible for any setbacks.
On top of that, I don't know if we'll homeschool her next year or not. It just depends on where we're living. Lord willing not in this apartment, that's for sure.
So, I really don't know what to do...for now, I'm counting my blessings that I get to be Avery's teacher for this period in time. I'm thankful that Avery can be home with us. I'm thankful that my 3 daughters are so close and like playing together. I absolutely love hearing Avery read to her younger sisters.
Any thoughts?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Good and Bad

One good thing about SoCal is that the McDonalds here have cherry pies. They're still baked, not the good fried kind you used to get. But, I love cherry pie from McDonalds.
One, of many, bad things about SoCal is that McDonalds is the only place that has a drive thru. Banks don't have them, Walgreens doesn't have them, Ralphs pharmacy doesn't have them. Instead, you have to find a place to park, pay to park wherever you parked, then get all 3 kids out and go inside. Not much fun. Or convenient.
I just don't get why people like it here so much. Maybe they've never been to Wichita... ;-)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Doctors, DMV, Dinner and Dirt

I had my first ob appointment yesterday. I'm 15 weeks along (almost 16) and everything seems fine. We got to hear the heartbeat and I'll have an ultrasound in a few weeks. I don't like my new doctor. He was a little creepy, to be honest. Kevin thought he was fine, though. Not only did we have to pay to park at the dr. office, but I had to pay cash for a co-pay. So, how does that work when you have a debit/credit card that is used for your flex plan acct? Still trying to figure that out. The first turn off was when he asked me if I wanted to terminate the pregnancy, knowing how far along I was. After that, I don't think there was anything he could do or say to make me like him. Then, he suggested tying my tubes right after delivery (still thinking about that). And, he tried to talk me into doing a VBAC. My dr. in Wichita would have never done that, he would insist on a c-section again. So, it wasn't the greatest experience. I'm hoping against all hope that we move soon and I can find a new dr. before this baby comes. I've had such excellent doctors with the other 3, I'd hate to have this one get the shaft.

I spent an hour and a half at the DMV this morning, and I had an appointment. No problems, just several different lines to stand in and papers to fill out. Kevin paid $28 for his license in Dec. I had to pay $31 today. I passed my written exam, missed 1 question. Here it is-

When is it legal to use a cell phone without a hands-free device while driving?
a-when making a call while stopped at a red light
b-when making a call for emergency assistance

I put C, but it was B. I thought you were supposed to pull to the side before you could call for help-whatever...I passed.

Being there was such a horrible experience. It was degrading. No one was cheerful, or happy, or nice. I spoke with 5 different DMV workers and not one of them was courteous. It's gray in there, it's dirty, and I hope I never have to go back. Ever.

We're having some new friends over for supper tomorrow. It's hard to plan a menu, especially for guests, when nothing sounds good. Last night, we didn't eat supper until 8 b/c I couldn't think of anything that sounded good. Finally, Kevin put a pizza in the oven and by the time it came out, I was hungry enough and it was great. I'm almost always hungry, I just don't want to eat anything. Weird-I've never felt that way before.
So, I'm fixing a chicken dish and sides. The girls wanted brownies and ice cream for dessert. Speaking of ice cream-Kevin and the girls have been wanting some and we hadn't had any since we moved, so I got some last week. Presley saw that stuff in the bowl and immediately said, "ice cream" I couldn't believe it, she hasn't had ice cream in months, yet she knew exactly what it was. And she wanted some. She actually started dancing after her first bite!

This apartment is so dirty. I never walk around without my slippers on b/c my feet will turn black. It's that gross. I'm tempted to put a sign on the door warning any visitors how dirty and gross this place is. No amount of comet can get that bathroom clean. And, b/c the bathroom is so gross, I'm not convinced taking a bath or shower actually cleans you while in this place. I have a constant feeling of "yuck" here. And, just when I'd thought we'd gone a whole week without seeing a spider, Kevin saw one in the front room, and it got away before he killed it.

Only 2 more weeks until we are back in Kansas, where it's cold..but clean.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Warning-these are very random-
  • One (and only one) perk of living in the ghetto (a term used by others who live here) of Pasadena is that it takes us about 15 minutes to walk to Target. We've walked there 3 times, so far. It was our P.E. for today. This Target is 2 story and I can never remember where things are there. It's always packed and it's NOT a super Target, which I'm reminded of every time I go there. I scored my first deal for 2010-$1 for 2 64 oz bottles of Juicy Juice. I made up for that deal by spending $4 on Coke.
  • Pretty much every night is family night at our house. We're always together, always doing something. Tonight, I had planned to center the night around KU basketball. The girls wanted chili dogs for supper (why I had to buy Coke, you can't have a chili dog with water, yuck) Well, we can't find a channel that will cover the game, so Avery asked to watch Shrek instead. So, we'll do dog and ogre night tonight. Maybe throw a little Wii in the mix.
  • My i-phone has saved my life during this move-I don't know what I'd do without it. I text my dear friends Rachel and Sally at least weekly, and my sister and mom daily. I love taking pictures with it. And, I've actually read the bible every day this month (shocking-lol) I also just got a home budget app that I'm actually looking forward to using.
  • The "free" computer we got from Cava is the slowest computer on the planet. I only use it to print coupons. And that's because the "free" printer we got isn't wireless, so it won't sync with the best computer ever, my (our) mac.
  • When Avery began homeschooling again, we had to basically start at the beginning of 1st grade curriculum. So, we spent the week before Christmas taking a ton of assessments and trying to figure out where Avery fits into the flow of studies. So far, we're 50% thru the 1st grade and she's complaining about how easy everything is. So, here's the dilemma. Do we move forward and go ahead and just finish 1st, and move on to 2nd grade now (she could probably do this by Feb) or, do we take it easy and not put a huge priority on school right now and let her go at the "normal" first grade pace. Back in Wichita, Avery went to 2nd grade for both Reading and Math. She's never been tested for giftedness, and I don't think she is (what do I know), but she is extremely smart and learning comes easy for her. The neighborhood where we are looking for homes has an excellent school system, so we plan to enroll her there next fall. I just want the rest of 1st grade to be good for her and I want her to continue to thrive in school. I don't want her to be bored and for things to be too easy for her.
  • It's hot here-I know those of you reading this in Ks are rolling your eyes. It's just weird. I've planned to eat some soups this week and bought the stuff to make potato soup, chicken enchilada soup, and chili-but it never sounds good because it's so warm out.
  • When we do actually get a home, and Kevin starts commuting, we'll need a 2nd vehicle. So, do we go hybrid or not?
  • Spending 20 minutes at the park on any given day tells me why -on the application for Kevin's position here, they asked that he speak Korean. He doesn't, but, I'm sure it would have been helpful. And I can see why they would ask that...
  • My wedding ring is too big. I need to have it sized down. Of course, my fingers will probably swell soon, but it's always turning or falling off. Maybe I just need a new ring...
  • I can't believe I'm going to be a mom of 4 kids. I'm not old enough. My first trimester, I didn't really have any sickness or anything. I was in such shock and denial and with so much stuff going on, I tried not to think about it. Now, my clothes aren't fitting, I'm hungry, and I'm starting to feel pregnant. When he/she comes, we'll have had 4 kids in 4 different towns, in 3 different states. And, we're done-seriously. Done.


We've been in a state of transition since June, really. Last May, Kevin got the first call asking to apply for a new position at Fuller. Since, then, 2 thoughts have constantly been on my mind-1) if we stay in Wichita, and 2) if we move...
I fully supported Kevin in this decision. I was totally on board. I was so excited to move and start a new life in California. I knew the girls would grow to love living close to the beach. McKenna was born to be a surfer girl :)
Now, I feel so guilty about the relationships and new friendships Avery and McKenna made from August until we moved in November. They both just started school and were getting into a schedule and meeting new friends. Then we moved.
Now, we're in Pasadena, with the hope of moving to Valencia(about 30 minutes away). I'm homeschooling Avery. While I know it was the best decision, I have very mixed feelings about it, a whole other post, perhaps. And, the original plan was to find a preschool for McKenna, but when we decided to look at homes in Valencia, we decided not to put her in preschool, not knowing when we'd find a home and have to pull her out.
So, the girls are slowly starting to make friends again. But, they don't understand that when we finally find a house and move, we probably won't see these friends anymore. I don't want to find a doctor here, because I'll have to find a new one when we buy a house and move. I don't want to make friends, just someone else I'll have to say goodbye to when we move, again. Transition sucks. I feel like my life is on hold, yet has to go on. I hate this feeling. It's hard to be depressed when you have to take care of and school 3 kids under 6. But all I want to do is cry and stay in bed.
And, if this move and adjustment wasn't enough to deal with, I'm also adjusting to a VERY unexpected pregnancy. I'm 15 weeks along, and I think the reality has finally hit me this week. My jeans don't fit anymore. They fit last week just fine. I'm hungry most of the day, but nothing really sounds good. Sushi (actually California rolls, ironically) sounds good, but I can't afford to eat it every day, nor should I. I'm already starting to have some ligament pain. Ugh. I just didn't see this obstacle/blessing coming at this point in time. I'm surprised by what God thinks I can handle...
Everyone we meet says how much they love Pasadena. Really? I must have not seen the best this city has to offer, yet. I don't see much good about this place. The view is beautiful, the weather is nice. However, this town isn't very kid-friendly, everything is more expensive here (except avacados) and we're living in an apartment that no amount of comet or 409 can clean. I don't get it.
But, life goes on. Meals need to be made. Diapers need to be changed. Fun needs to be had. And KU basketball must be watched. So, I will try to enjoy life in the midst of this transition. I will try to make memories with my family. I will try to be a better wife and mom. I. Will. Try...