Wednesday, January 18, 2012

From ABQ to D.C./Va in thirteen parts. This being the second post of three.

Halloween in a Hotel
7. Now we get to the actual relocating part. We left from ABQ on November 1.  On Halloween we stayed in a hotel b.c. we had nothing left in our house.  I was super bummed that Lulu didn't get to dress up and go trick-or-treating, but she had fun swimming in the pool at our hotel instead. Lulu and I flew to Michigan. She learned to climb out of her pack and play there and spent every night crowding me out of bed.  Oh's always worth it to reconnect with our family and that is all we did.  Lulu was great on all the plane trips and she sat in her own seat for the first time which made a huge difference on my sanity. I lugged her car seat through the airport but it was worth it to have her contained, comfortable, and asleep for much of the flights.  Oh yes, and we left our beloved dog, Pippa, with Darrin's mom and dad.  She's an old dog and we didn't think apartment living and world traveling would be right for her....BOOHOO, WAAAA.  I love that dog!
Lulu loves baby Mihren.
My dream come true...
Lulu behaves on the plane.

8. We joined Darrin in Falls Church, VA.  Falls Church is about 10 minutes from D.C. just west of Arlington.  It seems like any suburb with plenty to do.  It's pretty diverse and not too exciting, but it seems fine. One thing I am seriously disappointed in is the quality of community children's programs it offers more on that later.  We live in furnished short term apartments which seems to house mostly foreign service people and others somehow associated with the foreign service.  It has a shuttle that takes Darrin to the Foreign Service Institute everyday (and brings him home too, of course).  
9.  Lulu learned to climb out of her crib in the apartment.  We've had a one bedroom apartment b/c they had a waiting list for two bedrooms and Lulu had a crib in the bedroom.  Second night here she let herself out.  We said goodbye to the crib and put the mattress on the floor for her.
10. We've been getting around and keeping ourselves BUSY!  We've gone into D.C. a few times on the metro which is easy and convenient to use.  We've gone to some fabulous farmer's market where I am happy to find humanely raised meat products and other fine food.  I've been Christmas shopping and finding my way around Falls Church.  
Lulu and her new friend Solveig
As I said earlier, I've been looking for quality children's programs for Lulu and this has been my biggest complaint so far.  I think part of it has to do with my teacher's eye.  We have a little activity center at the apt. complex here and there are programs for toddlers three mornings a week.  Two of them are called Kiddy Korner.  Basically, the activity director of the complex sets out bins of toys and the kids have a free for all.  This drives me nuts!  It is utter CHAOS.  The toys are disorganized and you have to search through the buckets to find pieces.  There are so many toys that kids are tripping over them constantly.  I am appalled that this is even an acceptable activity.  Do the other mothers find it appropriate?  I wish I were brave enough to complain or even make a suggestion to organize the toys and designate parts of the room for different activities (blocks, dolls, puzzles, etc.)  On a positive note I did meet another mom whose husband is in Darrin's class.  She has a daughter just two months older than Lulu and we have gotten together several times.  The other activity here at the  complex is a 'music' group.  Here the activity director puts in a Raffi cd and has a sing along while all the other mothers sit around and talk.  I cannot stand this!!!  No wonder kids come to school and talk while their teachers are talking.  GRRR!  
So I started looking outside the complex for activities.  I started with the library since we loved going to the main library in ABQ for the music class and story hours each week.  Falls Church has a beautiful library housed in a lovely old brick building and an open children's room with big bright windows and amphitheater like seating.  When I first arrived, I thought 'this is going to be great!'  I was wrong.  The librarian read seven books and did three 30 second finger plays.  This class was specifically for 18 - 36 months.  After the second book most of the kids were acting up, but the librarian didn't seem to mind and just went on reading only to take a break after the third to do some fingerplays.  At that point, I was thinking it might be o.k. but as I said she only did three and then went back to reading.  Honestly, I was bored.  Lulu was a champ and held up pretty well, but jeesh, come on.  Again wishing I could be brave enough to make a comment to someone.  Of course, we had a good time checking out books after and the library has a great selection of wooden puzzles to play with.  I haven't been back for another story hour, but I'm hoping that there is another librarian who conducts some of the other ones.
Next I went to the county rec center which advertised music and gym classes.  The music class was first and in the teacher's defense it was better than the other activities we'd been to, but not much. The teacher was a little on the crazy side.  I ended up asking for a refund on the gymnastics class because it was taught by the same teacher. We went to the second class today and it was better.  Maybe I'm just too critical. I'm not giving up though and I have a few other classes to try that start in January at the Arlington Rec Center.  Keeping my fingers crossed! I am also going to start taking Lulu to the Smithsonian once a week.  I hear the Natural History Museum is a hit with the toddlers.  

1 comment:

  1. I love how Solvei and Lulu have the exact same pen-grip. Must be a 2-year old thing.