The last few weeks have been a whirlwind! Lots of changes, news, etc. The end of July and beginning of August were consumed by our packing and moving. A little at a time proved to work ok until that last week when we were running around throwing things in boxes. Just ran out of time:). Also seemed silly since we were moving right up the street, not a mile away! We were counting the days until we were out of that house. Living in "limbo" was becoming irritating - boxes and piles of stuff everywhere. We were able to retrieve the keys to the new apartment on the 1st and starting bringing boxes up every night. The weekend of the 7th, we moved the big stuff. Lots of generous help from friends made it work all in one day. We still had lots of remnants that were picked up the following week. The apartment filled up fast and even now we're still moving things around and putting things in their new home. We're definitely enjoying the new place - especially the washer and dryer and dishwasher! I didn't realized i missed those appliances so much! We are having to adjust to life in a building again. Consideration for neighbors, some noises, elevator use, parking in a big garage, etc. It also takes me 5 more minutes just to get to the car than it used to...walking out the door, locking up, walking to the elevator, waiting, in the door, a key in to take us to the garage level, out of the elevator, into the car, backing up, opening the garage door...and finally out! We are also noticing this apartment to be cooler than our poorly insulated house. We get wonderful breezes in the windows from the west.
My 30th birthday was the highlite of the next week. Though still moving some things, unpacking and living in clutter, we did manage to have some nice outtings and fun. Anne took me out on Wednesday for a surprise mani-pedi and lunch. On Thursday, we went to Disneyland for the afternoon. Alex got me a season pass for my birthday and so Mom, Megan, Anne, Laurel and I went down to the park. They gave me a huge button to wear that declared it to be my birthday, so lots of people were greeting me and that made the visit even more fun! That night, Megan organized a surprise dinner at a nice restaurant in the Marina. It was a really lovely night! Megan gave me tickets to a U2 concert and I nearly jumped out of my skin! I've always wanted to see them in concert. Leora and Ryan got me an amazing purse and Leora took it upon herself to clean our house without my knowing. What an unbelieveable gift that was!
My mom sold our home in Maryland. (The house I grew up in.) So in her prep for her own move to California, she came out our move and the week after. She helped occupy Laurel when we needed it and in the inbetween times, we looked for apartments for her. Towards the end of her visit, we finally found a wonderful apartment she would be happy with. It's 5 blocks away and a little more than she was looking to spend, but it's gorgeous and I think she'll be very happy there. The weekend after my birthday, and only a weekend after our own move, I ran home to Maryland for 4 days to go through my childhood possessions, memorabilia, books, old pieces of artwork, etc. We did take time to chill, go see a couple of movies and watch some tv. But the rest of the time was spent going through belongings. In a way, going through all of those things served as therapy and helped to ease the separation. It was still an emotional time and there were tears as I walked out of the house for the last time. But there is a lot to look forward to in the future, so I am looking ahead.
Laurel stayed here with Grandma and Grandpa Velez. She's been acting like a 2 year old for Alex and me, but it sounds like she was on her best behavior for the Grandparents! She played well by herself, ate very well, slept well and enjoyed lots of time with family and her cousins. Alex stayed here for work and did go down to OC every night to be with her. I came back on Wednesday and it was so great to see her, I missed her so much!
Laurel is growing every day. I feel like she looked a little different after being away for only 4 days! Her language continues to blossom. She mastered counting to 10 back in June and has continued on to 13. She started learning to recognize her letters in June as well, so I bought her a set of foam bath letters for her to play with and stick to the walls. She can recognize and name nearly all of the letters now and all of her numbers. Her new room is painted half sky blue and half rolling green hills. She wanted green for her room paint and the room was already blue. So we decided to do an outdoor scene! I found large butterflies for the walls and some flower decals from target. Her dressers are set up and the glider is in the corner. The closet is very full with clothes, toys, and lots of items stored for a future sibling. We set up her crib again with the hopes that she would use it. She has yet to spend the night in the crib, but will go to sleep on the mattress on the floor. Everynight she goes to sleep in her room and at about 2 or 3 a.m., she walks down the hall and climbs into bed with us. With the apartment is such disarray still, we're not worrying about it, but as life comes to order, so much her sleep habits. We'll figure it out. Her potty training was also put on hold when her sleeping became problematic and our move happened. She still knows about the potty, but we haven't asked her about it in a long time. I do continue to see her making growth in that area despite now actually using the potty. She is waking up from a full night's sleep dry more often than wet. She is very uncomfortable in a poopy diaper and wants it off right away. Her pees don't really bother her, but she will still point it out. We'll tackle the potty again soon.
Laurel's next milestone is turning 2! We don't have a party planned but will probably go on an outing the weekend before her birthday and meet up with family. Off of our bedroom, there is a fenced in patio that we're planning to outfit with outdoor play toys. Probably a slide, maybe a sandbox, etc. That will be our birthday gift to her. Otherwise, she continues to do well in her school, is playing well with others. She's learning thank you and please and we're working on public manners like not touching, indoor vs. outdoor voice, waiting her turn, etc.