Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Library


The library is one of my favorite places to go with my son.  My son loves to be read to and we cycle through books pretty quickly.  As he approaches his second birthday, I've noticed that he gravitates towards certain subjects.  Recent favorite topics include dinosaurs, robots, and astronauts.  Favorites from the past year have included trucks, cars, and buses.

I also love the library!  With our recent move from California to Colorado, I've noticed a huge difference in the variety of media available at our new local library compared to the library we had access to in California.  I don't know if our old library was atypical of Bay Area libraries, but I have found that comparatively, our Colorado library has a much better variety when it comes to new books and DVDs.  My Netflix subscription has reason to be scared!

My favorite subjects right now include home improvement and toddlers (not in combination, of course).  We're waiting to close on our new house -- we bought it knowing we would be making some improvements to the house -- so my husband and I are scouring magazines, books, and HGTV to get ideas for how to renovate our house.

The space at the library is also pretty amazing.  There's a separate play space and reading room for the kids.  I usually grab a couple of magazines and then grab a seat on a comfy couch while my son plays with other kids or sits down with a book or a puzzle and we just hang out for a little while.  A great way to spend an afternoon...


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Where to Run?

When we first moved to Colorado in May, I was really excited about being able to run outdoors.  Our home in California was in a very hilly area (think San Francisco hilly, with grades up to 25-30%!) so it was difficult to find good stretches to run without encountering major hills.  In my pre-baby days, tackling an occasional 25% grade hill for a short distance wouldn't have discouraged me, but I'm trying to make a comeback after a two-year hiatus.  It has not been easy!

For the last two months, I've been trying out a variety of ways to get back in shape.  Most of my workouts have been taking place early in the morning, and usually involve a 40-minute run, or, on the weekends, when there's more time, a 2 hour bike ride with my husband and son.

I've discovered that running in our new location has it's own challenges -- there's alot of traffic in the area we live in -- so lately I've been opting for the gym in our apartment complex.  After all, we'll only be living here for another month or so before we move into our new home, so I figure I should take advantage of they gym while we're here.  It's actually pretty nice inside:


It also has a really nice view:

I'm committed to getting in shape.  Since my son was born, several attempts have been made: when my son was 6 months old, I signed up for a mama & baby boot camp; when my son turned 1, my husband and I joined a gym, and I actually got within 5 pounds of my pre-baby self!; then we found out we were moving to Colorado and I gained alot of weight.  I think it was the stress around selling our old home, packing, and then, the challenges with my son when we arrived in Colorado.  Nobody was sleeping much, we were eating out alot because everyone was too exhausted to cook.  Now that we've been here for two months and everyone is getting eight hours again, we're cooking at home more and eating healthier.

I'll keep you updated on how my efforts are going to getting back in shape!

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Return to Blogging

I've been away for a while -- I realized I needed to cut something loose on my overly busy schedule.  Work was overwhelming, getting situated in Colorado took longer than I expected, and there was too much to deal with all around.

I'm excited about being back to blogging.

We've been in Colorado for two months now, and my husband and I are beginning to feel integrated.  We've been exploring neighborhoods, playgrounds, and good places to eat (that will have to be another post!)  We've been trying to get outdoors (we love the outdoors) and have been doing alot of bike riding:

We're still in temporary housing, but we will be moving into a permanent home before the end of the summer.  Since I disappeared off the blogosphere, much of my time was divided between work, helping my son acclimate to Colorado, and looking at houses.

Work.  It just so happened that our relocation from California to Colorado happened to coincide with both of my work projects reaching their peak.  I work remotely for a company based in Southern California.  I worked for them onsite for five years and then my husband's job relocated us to Northern California.  I took some time off to have our son and when I was ready to re-enter the work world (my son was around nine months old), I asked my old company for references for my job hunt and ended up with an offer to work remotely.  That was almost 14 months ago.  When we found out we were moving to Colorado, it was easy enough to take my remote job with me.

I work in IT (information technology), helping manage the business testing of software projects.  It's a great job to do remotely because most of my clients aren't physically located near the technology people, so they are used to working with our technology department over the phone.  I conduct all my work via conference calls, one-on-one meetings using screensharing (think Skype), and email.  All of our work is project-oriented, lasting 2-3 months.  Every project starts off slowly and then hits a crescendo at the end of the second month.  And that's exactly what was going on with both of my projects when my husband relocated our family to Colorado in early May.

My son.  Moving to a new state was not easy for my son.  We unrooted him from everything he has ever known: the house he was born in, his nanny, my immediate family (who all lived in the area), the school he attended for his hearing loss, and our friends.  The impact was immediately evident: the first week in Colorado was the worst.  Our son wouldn't fall asleep unless we slept in his new room with him.  Even then, after he would fall asleep, he wouldn't sleep more than 4-5 hours a night, waking up every 2 hours or so throughout the night.  We tried cry-it-out (CIO) after three weeks and then evolved to a more gradual process: we would lay down in his room until he fell asleep, then leave, and when he woke up in the middle of the night, let him cry for at least 10 minutes.  Sometimes he would fall back asleep, but other times the crying would continue and one of us would go into his room and either stay there with him the rest of the night, or leave again in the middle of the night after he had fallen back asleep.  By week five, he was back to sleeping on his own.  It wasn't easy, but we got through it.

House hunting.  Before we left California, we had to get our house ready for sale.  That in itself was an undertaking!  We had an in-law unit downstairs that needed some sprucing up (new bathroom, new floors) so we hired a contractor to get that all done.  We'd only lived in the house for a little over 18 months, so not much else had to be done, just a few cosmetic things here and there.  Shortly after we put the house on sale (three weeks?) it sold.  That was a huge relief because it gave us the freedom to move forward with our house search in Colorado.

Housing in Colorado is different than what I had been used to in Northern California.  When we looked for homes two years ago, the houses in the eastern part of the Bay Area (where we were hunting) were older (1920s-1950s) and smaller (1200-2000 square feet).  We quickly zeroed in on a very specific area just south of Denver where the houses are not as old (1970s-1990s) and bigger (3000 square feet and up!).  So were excited that the houses were bigger but they didn't seem to have as much character.  We looked at houses much farther away to get a newer home with more modern amenities but decided that location was much more important to us than move-in ready.  In the end, we bought a 1970s fixer upper that we hope to remodel and make our own.  Let's just say we are currently watching a lot of HGTV! 
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