The second Sunday we visited Los Altos United Methodist Church Tim mentioned how happy he was that we seem to have made a good choice in moving out here. God has given us so much. There are times when I’m afraid it could all be taken away, but it’s truly amazing when I think about our blessings.
We’ve found a church where we feel familiar. Sara Ellen loves to be in the nursery during the 11:30 service. The people we’ve met there have all been helpful and friendly. The sermons and music are quite similar to that at Calvary. I miss Byron but we’ve found a really great place. It is less than ten minutes drive.
The weather has been lovely. It is consistently warm and sunny. In the mornings and evenings it is cool. The day warms, and the sun is certainly strong, but find a patch of shade and it’s instantly cooler. The absence of humidity makes such a difference. One day in the last few weeks it actually got up to 100F! It was very hot, but not oppressive. On the east coast, it would have been unbearable and I might not have left the house! We’ve gotten a couple weeks at a time of blue skies and then for a few days it’s cloudy and the rain is refreshing. It’s not gloomy. It keeps the greenery moist and the sand areas for play from getting too dusty. When I was looking at satellite images before we moved, I thought it seemed to brown, but it’s not the case. We are in the valley surrounded by hills. Most major roads have lovely median landscaping. There is a great variety of trees and flowers. Most yards are so well kept and have great “curb appeal”. There are parks everywhere. There is usually one is walking distance and they all have playgrounds, room to run, and sand to play in. Adults bringing children almost always have a bag of sand toys; that was one of our first purchases. Toys R Us has a large “Summer Fun” area in the front of the store. Most of the sets are the same but I got one that did not come in a reusable bag and purchased a recycled bag with a panda on it. I really need to keep it all in the trunk along with the stroller and reusable grocery bags. Those are very big around here. It’s probably the same back east but it wasn’t something we used. The large plastic bag, full of other plastic bags was enormous in our CVille home. When we got to our temp apartment, the National Corporate Housing people had a green one for us and I bought two are Trader Joe’s. They are available everywhere; Safeway, Target, libraries, etc. I try to remember to use them. At the temp apartment, we were in very close walking distance to the Cupertino Library, which is part of the Santa Clara Co. system. Now are probably equidistant between Cupertino and the Sunnyvale City Library. I made a mistake going to SCL (only b/c I thought it was a county library and isn’t) but it’s a nice location so I got a card there too. We are probably in walking distance to Woodland Library which is a county location, but it’s tiny. Our new place is walking distance to Trader Joe’s, Rite Aid, Starbucks, and some other places. To tell you the truth, I may have outgrown Starbucks chai. The powder mix at TJ’s is much better, way more flavor! SB does have a nice Green Tea lemonade which I was introduced to in CVille.
I shouldn’t forget to mention our new house. We found it on our own in Craig’s List and is even better for us than any that we visited on our rental tour. The owner’s are a lovely older couple who live across the street, Don and Dorothy. Don is a great gardener and tends our garden. We have two floors with plenty of space. We have a two-car garage which has been great for all the boxes we’ve had to empty. Plus, no more dashing through the rain to get in or out of the car. Though I do tend to misjudge the weather because I’m not hit with it when we step out the door. Don provided a new washer and dryer which are in the garage.
We’ve got more space in our living room than we did in CVille, particularly between the entertainment center and sofa which is nice for Wii Fit. The carpeted area is long and instead of put our dining table under the chandelier, it’s become a play area. We have an office, in which I will eventually have a desk. A large master bedroom with lots of closet space. The fan in the bathroom is pretty noisy, but it seems here you either have a window or a fan. Our bathroom is windowless so the fan comes on with the light. It’s the same in the downstairs half-bath, but the upstairs hall bathroom (aka Sara Ellen’s) has a window. Speaking of Sara Ellen, she very smoothly transitioned to sleeping in her own room. She comes in occasionally but usually spends all night there though she does come in our room earlier than we like. It’s own fault, it’s just that we should have gone to sleep earlier. She doesn’t nap anymore so she’s in bed usually by 9 and up around 7. I’m also very happy to have mail delivered again. We have a slot in the door. We stick out-going mail through it for the carrier. The community has a pool but diapered children are not allowed (I’m hoping that will help the toilet-training efforts).
I mentioned my new friend Kathleen. We’ve talked on the phone more than we’ve met up, trying to get together. Today we got to spend a great visit without prior planning! They were driving through town and stopped at Cupertino Memorial Park. Kathleen called me as I was just stopping at the bank and we were able to meet up. I didn’t have to twist her arm inviting them to our house for lunch and more play. I learned today that we have even more in common – how we communicate with our girls, our attachment parenting/nursing practices, interest in books, temperament. I’ve also been touched that I can be as much of a blessing to her as she is to me. Michaela and Sara Ellen play so well together. It’s a joy to watch. Today they would do things together, and at times find solitary interests. I’ve also been in touch with a non-mom, TwilightMOM. I had already contacted her about her beading project (something we have in common) and I realized she lives in Sunnyvale! We’ve been talking the last few weeks and our plan is to the visit the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose on Sunday. Also through TwilightMOMs, I posted on the Bay Area thread and was invited to join a facebook group by woman who is is a TwilightMOM. She has a 3 year old son and lives in Santa Cruz. We’re trying to get together just the four of us but we might meet as Twilight fans first. I discovered that one of Rob Pattinson’s films, Little Ashes, is opening in San Jose this weekend so we’re trying to get a group of locals together to enjoy it. At least these two locals and I are going. As a huge fan of the movie, I’ve been keeping tabs on the work of the Twilight actors. I recently watched Into The Wild, in which Kristen Stewart plays a great part and I’m hoping to also get her movie In The Land Of Women from the library. Rob Pattinson also filmed How To Be, which I have yet to see.
I’m also so happy to report that the last few days, at least, I’ve been a better mother. I rediscovered that Sara Ellen usually does not like to be alone. She wants to do things with us and she and I both feel better if I am actively involved in her pursuit or in something I suggest that she likes; reading, cutting paper, drawing not so much except if we use sidewalk chalk on the patio (she enjoys hopscotch), learning to jumprope, ball bouncing, dancing, games, cleaning up together, blowing bubbles, wearing my clothes around the house, painting (i just bought some). I fit my interests in there somewhere and I’m definitely happier with her and myself and less prone to anger if I’m realistic about her needs. We visited the Children’s Discovery Museum in San Jose on Saturday. It’s a great place. She loved it and since it’s close, so I got a membership so we can go whenever. I think we might go tomorrow… today, after I get a few hours sleep and drop Tim off at a work-sponsored movie trip! I’m actually jealous he’s going to see Star Trek for free, it looks good.