Saturday, October 31, 2015

Changes



Haven't been able to write much because I planned to update this summer and life got a bit crazy in July when my mom got an offer on her house. The house sold and we moved to a cute house in Kirkland not far from her river house. I do miss my mom's house and it was a crazy stressful moving but I'm a firm believer everything happens for a reason and currently very happy where we are. 

Coolidge is now in Junior High. I had massive anxiety that this transition would be hard for him. Most of my fear came from my own horrible experience in the 7th grade. However, he has taken it all on and really shocked me with his new maturity. I got a quick lesson that he may be very mature but I still need to keep an eye on him because he also got his first F. I almost fell off my chair when I saw it on the computer screen. I immediately took it personal. As far as I was concerned I got the F. I chatted with his teacher and he was allowed to retake the test and turn in late work. In one week his grade went up to a C- and the 2nd week up to an A-. It shattered his confidence for a few days but now he is back to feeling good and motivated. 

He's also found a love for clothes. My little boy went from begging to go to Toys r Us to begging to go to the stores like Zumiez and the Mall. I always loved the idea of clothes shopping with him but my bank account is not happy. He also never cared about his hair. I could cut when I wanted and how I wanted but now he is very particular and makes sure to style it every morning and if the front doesn't do just what he wants it to do he gets quite upset. It is safe to say he is officially a teenager even though he is only 12. His teen attitude I could do without but I do have to say I love our conversations and watching shows and movies are a lot more enjoyable. 

When he started the school year he was given drama as an elective. This was not a class we chose but they couldn't fit him into stem. We complained to the counselor and she said she could move him but would have to change his entire schedule. I think that was more upsetting to him then taking drama so he stayed in. I thought this was going to be a class he hated and complained about all the time but he actually loves it. He is going to be in his first production tomorrow and I can't wait to see him on stage. I never thought I would say those words. I'm so proud of him stepping out of his comfort zone and learning that drama is fun. 

Brody shocked me about how sad he was about selling grandma's house. He shed a few tears and was also nervous about the new house, sleeping alone, and that he might have to go to a new school. The first couple of weeks in the new house he asked to sleep with Coolidge on his floor.  I think he need to build his security before sleeping alone. Now he loves his room and bed but was a bit of an adjustment. He has slept in the same room as Coolidge since he was born, you'd thought I would have predicted it. 

Now his is in the 4h grade and doing great in school. Still hates homework but has a some good friends and for the first time asking to play a sport. He has shown a lot of interest in basketball. Ever since T-ball he hasn't wanted to play any team sports. I'm excited to sign him up and find a new passion of his. 

Life here in the Northwest has been pretty good so far. Ben has struggled getting work but he is involved with his own project so I'm sure that it is the natural plan of life right now. I have loved all the family support. So many stepped up to help when we went through the move. My family and friends here are amazing and I couldn't have done it without them. Living in suburbia has some challenges. I have lived in the city for so long that I am learning all these crazy things like buying a lawn mower. That is one item I have zero excitement over. I love how you don't have anyone living bellow you or on top of you but I'm having to get used to all the heat escaping. I wear more sweaters and sweatshirts inside in 20 plus years. I also miss that false security you get when you live in an apartment building that nobody will break in. In a house it feels like someone can get in so many different ways. I know it silly but a huge transition for me. However the pros of living in a house are so much more. Coolidge recently said to me, "remember when we had to drive around a lot looking for parking"? Oh god do I remember it and don't miss it at all. I love garages and don't think I can go back to street parking. It is fun to write about our new adventures in suburbia living. Looking forward to sharing many more. 

Friday, January 09, 2015

Holidays


We are all settled in and just celebrated the holidays in Seattle. It was so strange and exciting to be here and get a chance to experience with my siblings and all there kids. The last time I did that all my nieces and nephews were very little and some of them weren't even born. I also had some family fly in and drive here from other states. In some ways it was surreal and in others it felt just right. 


We celebrated our first Halloween suburbia style. We got lucky that it wasn't too cold and it managed to not rain up until 9pm and we were done trick or treating by then. We drove to my sister Lindsy's neighborhood in Monroe to trick or treat with cousins, Aunts, uncles, grandma, and grandpa. The whole neighborhood really enjoys this holiday and they decorated their houses spooky yet fun and there were kids all over the streets. My kids just loved every moment of it and once we were done they passed out candy to the other trick or treaters. Living in a building without kids we have never experienced little ones coming to our door. It was fun to experience a different style and we are already looking forward to next year. 

I haven't been home to celebrate Thanksgiving in 18 years. I got very emotional thinking about it. I've been very blessed to spend turkey day with Ben's family for all those years. They always make it special and we always have a great time with them. I will never forget the first one at Mitzi's studio apartment eating on tv dinner trays. It was the true nyc style. It was never easy to be 3000 miles away from home on that day but the Abel-Bey's always made it wonderful. This year I spent it at my dad's house and we all watched the seahawks game. It was super relaxing, full of laughs, and the kids just loved having all their cousins to play with. 

Right after Thanksgiving we all went into Christmas mode. For the first time we bought a real Christmas tree. I wanted to take them to a farm to get it but it was raining so we went down to Mc Lendons and got a beautiful 8 ft Noble fir for only $50. It wasn't how I planned it because it was pouring down rain but I wanted to decorate it and have it up so we could enjoy it for a whole month. I used to flock my Christmas tree when I was a kid so this year I did just a lite dusting and the kids just loved it. I have had a 4 ft tree for so many years I thought a 6 ft tree was going to be huge. My sisters laughed at me and said I needed an 8ft tree. I wasn't very excited about a real tree because of all the watering and vacuuming of needles but I have to say it was so beautiful and smelled so amazing, I didn't mind one bit. My mom has two living rooms so it was in place that never made me feel crowded. For the first time ever I didn't feel the immediate urge to take it down. I took it down after New Years because it was dying and becoming a fire hazard. I already miss it. 

We spent Christmas Eve with my dad and family just like old times. It was just like I remember growing up. I just love that my kids are getting a chance to experience the tradition of when Ben grew up and now how I grew up and also creating new memories. For many years my kids would open the gifts that our family sent and I would take a photo or a video and send it to say thanks. I always tried to imagine what their expression was like and if they "really" liked it. This year I got see their smiles and sometimes confusion. I made scarfs for a few family members but seeing my Sue Poo's expression and gratitude was priceless and I am so glad I got to be there to see it.

We spent Christmas at home with my mom. It was so nice to wake up in the morning hearing my kids run down the stairs with all their excitement. My Aunt and uncle were also with us and it was nice to be surrounded with family. My kids opened all their gifts and spent the day playing with all their toys while my mom, Aunt and I made a feast for Christmas dinner. The house was full of family and it was a Christmas that I will never forget. I love how the holidays can bring out the happiness and grumpiness in people. If there isn't both well then something is wrong. I loved surprising my mom with a sewing machine. It isn't easy keeping a secret from her. She was shocked and very happy.




We started a new tradition this year, the Elf on the Shelf. I have been very reluctant to get into it but after a lot of begging I thought what the hell. Brody wasn't too excited because he was a little scared of the idea of some elf running around our house getting into mischief. I promised he would never go into his room so he was ok but still a bit frightened. He had one nightmare about it and then once it started he soon realized this is fun. I was on pinterest every night trying to find something fun. It was so fun to see the kids look for him and laugh at all of his creations. By the third week I was getting tired of coming up with new ideas but for the most part it was more fun then a pain. However, I'm not sure what I am going to do next year because my creativity has a limit. Coolidge also revealed that he knows I'm Santa. He needed me to confirm it which I did. He didn't mind but seemed a little sad that he might not get presents from Santa anymore. He said he hopes Brody always believes. I told him the tradition will always be here so not to worry. I love how he protects his brother. They have a wonderful bond that reminds me of Christie and I. I hope they always have it.

I went back and read some old posts and realized that I haven't wrote much in the last couple of years. I know it was because I wasn't in a very good place back then. I don't really like writing when I am feeling down. I made myself write some because I didn't want to lose out on those memories. I also needed to write what I was going through so that I could maybe let others know they weren't alone. When I look back at my last 2 years my eyes fill with tears. It was one of the hardest times of my life and I have been through some serious shit. I struggle with saying I am a better person because of it because Anxiety crushed my heart. It took a part of my strength and I am working hard to regain it.  However, I am a firm believer nothing happens by mistake and I will learn from this lesson eventually. As of now I am feeling great. It is nice to have some space to breathe and family support was just what my body and mind needed. I hope all of you and my family have a great year.