Rock wall kids
Big Changes

New Chapters

Wow! It’s been a while, hasn’t it! It used to be that I would get restless, or encounter a deep feeling of incompleteness if I didn’t update this blog but then…time passed and I realized that it really is not such a big deal.

It’s not like I am disappointing anybody by not narrating the goings-on of my life and that of my family’s. In any case, 2018 has been an incredibly slow year for my blogging and with good reason.

India:

Sheesh Mahal
Kids hanging out in Jaipur’s Sheesh Mahal

Not even two months into the year, we left for India to attend the first-death anniversary rituals for my mother…a year gone by without her, without her voice, without her smile, without her constant reminders to eat well, sleep well, without her ‘I love you’, without her worrying over the slightest changes in health-status-quos. A simple cough or cold heard and felt over the telephone was enough for her to rattle off her time tested homemade solutions, including the one for Turmeric milk. The silence of her (non)presence reverberates in my heart, gently making memories.

We had a really long flight to Mumbai via Dubai on Emirates Airlines and the kids barely slept. At one point, I found Baby E on the floor, asleep and we did what any good parents would do – let her sleep on the floor – for 3 hours..which was all the sleep she got in a 15 hours flight.

sleeping

The boy, TJ, did not sleep..at all….nope! He was wide awake the whole time and watched Wall-E some 4 times. I had taken a whole bunch of activities for the kids so they spent some time doing those but not enough to justify having had to haul all those arts and crafts all the way. Meanwhile, I had taken an antihistamine, not realizing that ‘sleep’ was one of the side effects. As a result, while I kept getting in and out of highly intoxicating sleep, Aaron was left to bear the brunt of the wakeful kids! So, yes, not an overall good experience flying with nearly 2 and nearly 4-year-olds.

baggage carousel

The return trip was better. Thankfully, the kids did better and slept more than they did the way there so we were all comparatively better rested upon arriving in San Jose.

Then, of course, Aaron had his interview the following week, an offer made out to him within that week, and a few negotiations back and forth later, we had accepted the offer and planning a cross-country move. Again. Only this time, we had TWO kids to move. Thankfully, this time around, the relocation package included movers along with packers who came to our house and packed everything for us. We didn’t have to lift a thing. Literally.

House Hunting:

We arrived in this beautiful Southern city on May 7 and stayed here for 2 weeks that included a few days in Myrtle beach. While Aaron worked that first week, the kids and I, accompanied our awesome realtor to tours of houses. One thing we learned about this place, of which we weren’t previously aware, is that many of the houses here, and pretty much all of the ones near the excellent school districts, have their own private well water or community water, and their own private septic (sewage). WTW!! This was news to us and really upsetting. Neither Aaron nor I have had any experience managing a private well and private septic. The responsibilities did not win over the fact that all of these palatial houses were in great school districts.

We made the decision to compromise on a good enough school district (number rating 7 would now be acceptable to us) but live in the city with city water and sewage even if that meant higher taxes. Thankfully, we did find a house that very first week – on Mother’s Day actually, made our offer on our way to Myrtle Beach, negotiated, had it accepted, and set the ball rolling for inspections and such. Unfortunately, going over the property survey documents, we discovered two easement issues. Again, this was something we did not know about and the sellers hadn’t previously disclosed to us – the water conservation easement meant that a part of our backyard was off limits to planting and growing trees or building any permanent structure. The pond on Housethe community property behind us had access along our side-yard which also meant that potentially, heavy machinery and city workers could access that side or break down our fence should they have to get to the pond without needing to compensate us.

We withdrew our offer and lost the money we paid the sellers as due diligence fees and the amount paid to the inspector for his report. So now we needed to find a new house stat and we did.

 

Schools:

I started school hunting as soon as I got some bearings into our new city. Aaron would go to work and I was left with the kids all day, every day, and much as I love my kids, they had started to drive me insane. Of course, we had a great many amazing times, but the not-so-amazing times were the ones which made me realize that my kids are old enough to start and start back at school. While preschools weren’t particularly expensive or certainly not as much as San Jose, now having to pay for two kids didn’t make the search easy. After touring some 7-8 schools, less for TJ and more for E, I found a perfect one for both my kids. While the latter still stands, the former will have to change for reasons that will be discussed in a future post. To make it financially possible, TJ goes to school everyday for an extended period while E goes three days for half days.

TJ loves his school. E and I drop him off by 9:00 a.m and pick him up around 4:15 ish. He goes everyday and the days are long…much longer than the 3 hours he was accustomed to in SJ. He realizes this too and often whines about being in school so long but then I remind him of kindergarten next year and how regular school hours are long too. Should I get a regular job next year, his days, with after-school programs, will be even longer. His school feeds him well. They serve breakfast, lunch, and a post-nap snack and the meals are healthy, and nutritious. Even though he doesn’t always eat all of it, I like that he is trying new things. In fact, just yesterday, he tried Kale Smoothie! Imagine, that!

I started E in a Day School’s summer camp for three days a week from 9:30 – 1:00 p.m. I pack her lunch on days she goes to school. In the three weeks that she has been there, she has already become quite popular with the teachers who all know her name and enjoy her presence so much! Every time I mention school, she does make a cute sad face and say, “I miss Mommy” but then she has such a good time, that it really makes me happy for her and incredibly proud of my little one.

For the first time, both my kids are off at school. For three days a week for a few hours, I finally get “me” time, something I have been longing for a while. In that time, I paint, run errands, shop, work on theParentVoice, and watch my Netflix or Amazon shows (while painting). I have just gotten back to thePhdMama but do look out for more frequent blog posts. While I miss the kids, I am also grateful for this time I have to do things for personal development and growth.

J school
first day

So that’s it for now. I don’t want this to drag on forever. There are a bunch of points I mention in this post that I will elaborate upon in upcoming posts but for now, this is life and I am grateful for it.

 

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A former Communication Studies professor turned a somewhat reluctant stay-at-home-mom (SAHM), I blog about my adventures raising two multiracial kids, a toddler and an infant. I write about parenting and living a multicultural Indian-Canadian-American HinJew life with honesty, a few tears, lots of laughter, and gallons of coffee. Blogger at: www.thephdmama.com Follow me: @thephdmama

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