Well, goodbye summer.
Didn’t I just write a post only a while back entitled “Hello Summer?”
We started our homeschool back up this week and, yep, school’s back in full swing for the Zinga clan.  I’m planning to write up a post soon on our curriculum for this year.
Anyhow, things are still constantly evolving in our home.  As you know, we just moved to Monterey (well, Pacific Grove really) about 5 1/2 months ago.  We’ve been living in an apartment right by the ocean and acclimating ourselves to the new climate, culture, and community (the 3 c’s!)…BUT…there has been some missing elements to our family life here.

  1. We suffer from sticker shock.  A growing family of 4 with kids living in a tourist-enabled city doesn’t quite equal to “family friendly” in my book. (Imagine no Target…but you do have a Macy’s.  No Chick-Fil-A…but you have a nice mom and pop shop that will charge you 3 times the amount for a chicken burger).  Time to relocate.
  2. We miss the warm weather.  It’s the middle of summer.  I am happy, ReALLY happy, if we can shed our sweaters because the temp hit 67 degrees. A far cry from last summer’s 107.  Can you tell I’m slightly homesick?  Okay, not to the point of desperation…just a twang of “ahhh…remember the days”.
  3. Space.  Need I say more?

So, okay, I have an aggressive house hunter hubby, and he’s really been wheelin’ and dealin’ to get us a home a few miles inland from the coast.  It’s about a 20 minute drive from his work here and really, I feel it’s the best of both worlds.  God is so good (and no, I didn’t always feel so positively about this move at first, but I’ve worked it through it). We’ll still be an active part of the community here – because, hey, let’s face it, it’s a BEAUTIFUL place to work and visit and have a lot of fun in- but we’ll definitely lower our living costs and have more space at what will be our new place of residence.  Did I mention that we’ll have a Target and Walmart?  Okay that’s a big deal for me. Not that I don’t appreciate what makes Monterey unique (kayaking and surfing on the beach, scuba-diving, surfing, paddle-boating, fishing, upscale shopping if you got the moolah, cycling, riding surreys, a good city transit, ethnic restaurants of all types, and if you’re into wine – which I’m not- you can have a field day as each restaurant thinks their selections are better than the next)…so there are a lot of good things about this place.  But on to why we’re moving…
Did I mention that it’s warmer?  Plus we’ll have more space.  And we’ll be in a house and I won’t need to use the community laundromat anymore.
 I’m a sight to behold- 5’0″ woman lugging  backloads of laundry in my husband’s military bag up and down a flight of stairs every week- oh, you better believe I’m looking forward to having my own washer and dryer again!!!!  (You never what you’re missing until you miss it.  The next time I see my own washer/dryer unit, I won’t be complaining about how much laundry I have– I’ll be breathing thanks to God that I don’t have to go up and down a flight of stairs for 3-4 hours each week, waiting on my turn for the dryers which never dry properly and cost a pretty penny).  So I’m excited. 🙂

As for our moving prep, at this moment our apartment is nearly boxed up.  We’ve been living on temporary mode these past few months anyhow since we knew we’d be moving again…so I didn’t unpack everything to begin with…but I’m really surprised at how much I DID unpack.  Thankfully I kept all my boxes. 

As for homeschool, like I mentioned earlier, we started this week with Ny’s 4th grade year, and Z is officially our preschooler.  Ny is really excited because she’ll be starting Classical Conversations here in Monterey in a few weeks, and the cool thing is that there are a few families there who also live in the community we’re moving to- so maybe we’ll connect?
Connecting is still a major activity on my list of must-do’s…I think because it’s the only way I feel anyone can truly survive a move- whether it’s to a new city or out of country. I’m finding that on days we don’t go anywhere the whole family is cranky. Really.  It’s just not our cup of tea…and I really do like being out a lot- exploring the sights and sound of the world beyond “home”. There’s so much history and culture to learn about here that we’ve decided for Ny’s first semester we are studying California History.

However, Z has been having a really tough time lately with all the sights and sounds of Cali.  After 5 months of what in her 3 year old mind was one big vacation, she finally woke up to the understanding that we are here for a long time. When it dawned on her that our apartment is not a hotel and that we haven’t seen her grandparents and her favorite friends back home in a really long time, she suddenly coiled into a shell and became our  baby all over again.  Lots of tears, not wanting to sleep alone, not wanting to feed herself or dress herself, and even lost interest in play…I tell ya, it’s been a rough few weeks.  Then…she up and decided that she just didn’t feel like speaking anymore either.  And that was the hardest of all of her symptoms for us to deal with. The day we quit hearing her voice, we knew there was a major problem and it hurt beyond hurt.  A friend of mine suggested that what she was going through may be very similar to grief.  Z was experiencing separation anxiety mixed with some fear and probably a dose of anger too, because she just didn’t have it all sorted out yet.  My friend reminded me that in her small world, everything is larger than large, and her perception of the move was completely different than ours.  Whereas my 9 year old has come to terms with leaving her friends behind and is now making new friends and attempting to make the necessary adjustments to move forward, it doesn’t quite work that way when you’re just 3, and all you know is all you know.  And suddenly everything you see now doesn’t add up in any way, shape, or form to the home you once knew.  Like the sights of ocean water on a beach and the smell of salt water in the air.  Or the sound of sea gulls, the feeling of cool, gusty breezes against your skin in the middle of summer.  What used to be your lone house surrounded by a huge yard to romp and play, collect rocks, and dig dirt has suddenly turned into a 100+ resident apartment complex featuring neatly numbered carports neighboring restaurants, businesses, hotels,and other apartments. Looking at life through her lenses, I am able to better understand what Z might be going through right now.
Granted, she is now talking to us again and eating just fine (praising GOD!!!!)– although she still comes to sleep in our room some nights, and that’s okay.  My main thing for her transition right now is just to help her to feel safe and to try to develop some form of routine for her.  Which is pretty hard right now (the routine part, that is), considering things won’t be the same a few weeks from now after our 2nd move.  But we’ll just have to take it one day at a time, one week at a time.
So, please keep us (and all our moving) in your prayers…and next time you think about us shoot out a small prayer on behalf of my kiddos and their transition into our new school year.
Hope you and yours are doing great!
Til next time…