A few more weeks means a few more things I am learning about living in the Valley…
- Rats love pools. They love pools but can’t swim. That is why we have had to scoop two of them out of the pool this week.
- Snakes like to slither into traffic just like rabbits love to run in front of cars.
- You can pick up bear spray, toys, a toilet and science fair project materials all at the local hardware store. It carries EVERYTHING.
- It takes 3 plus weeks to get a mani/pedi appointment.
- It takes even longer to get a hair appointment.
- Don’t even try to get your dog a grooming appointment. They are booked so far out they can’t even offer you a date.
- I obviously need to come up with a business that requires an appointment because those ones seem to be doing incredibly well here.
- Don’t take the YMCA Thai Chi class unless you are also a member of AARP. Otherwise, you are going to feel VERY out of place.
- The more you drive the 154 into Santa Barbara, the shorter it seems. After three days in a row, you can do it in your sleep and it feels like 5 minutes.
- Sending your 6th grader to his first Valleywide Middle School dance is one of those moments in parenting that makes you stop, catch your breathe and wonder how you got here so fast.
I have been signing permission slips right and left! Beyond just the Middle School dance, we have had a field trip almost every week since we got here. The Solvang Library, the Avila Aquarium, Anacapa Island, the Moxie Museum and next week the Hollister Tide Pools. I love this “learn by doing” approach and the kids are just eating it up.
The boys continue to do well with their sports and our weekends have been filled with baseball and basketball. Nothing like watching 6 games in two days. Sure there are a lot of other things I could be doing but watching them do something they love really is the only way I would want to spend my weekend. I am also happy to report that I used up all my anxiety for pitching in my Oldest son’s early years so now I can sit in the stands and watch my Middle Guy pitch without feeling like I am going to throw up.
With no activities for Baby Girl right now, it has been a little more of a struggle for her when it has come to the transition. She wants to do dance and horseback riding, both which are not the easiest to just walk into like the sports were. Fortunately, she is starting to really connect with some of the girls at school and the playdates are really picking up, which is exactly what she needed. She is also signed up for horse camp and dance camp this Summer so her fun is right around the corner.
This past Sunday we had family dinner with some of our closest friends here in the valley. I know I mentioned this before but it is so amazing having a dear college friend right down the street now. We met at Full of Life Flatbread, in Los Alamos. This restaurant is only open Thursday through Sunday and offers some of the best wood oven pizzas I have ever had. They cook with all their veggies and herbs from the garden right outside and it is a menu the entire family loves. It is a definite stop in Los Alamos if you are in the area but you can also find them in the frozen section in some Whole Foods so keep an eye out!
With regards to me, I am still staying quite a bit under the radar. I have attended a few field trips and gotten to know some parents, which has been nice but I have not been spending much time on their campus. If you know me, you know that I do have a passion for fundraisers and couldn’t help but get slightly involved in the kid’s school event that is in a few weeks. No, we are not going (not ready for that yet!) and no, I am not on any committees (give me even more time for that one) but I am enjoying the quiet gathering of auction items from local retailers. It is an easy way for me to be involved without jumping in feet first like I have in the past. Plus, it lets me spend time in some of my favorite shops like Los Olivos General Store, where my self control is always put to the test and I chant in my head “it is for the kids, it is not about you right now” as I pick up their generous donations.