Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Yes, we moved to PA!

Yuppers, we are finally here and almost all settled! Our journey began way back in the beginning of July after we had gotten back from being abroad. We had a week between being back in the States and the mover's arrival, so thank goodness we had started before we went on our vacation. We had some problems with communication (I'll spare you the details here but if you're curious, email me) with the moving company's local office, which resulted in some stressful moments but it turned out all right in the end - praise the Lord! But since we had almost a week and a half before we could see our stuff again, we decided to embark on a road trip to visit friends and family! You can see some pics here.

First stop, my parents in Cary, NC. The only other time we had gotten to visit them was a quick overnight stop when we were driving down from NJ to FL, so it was really nice to be able to spend a few days with them. The kids absolutely loved it and so did we. :) We got to meet some of my parents' friends, eat some Goodberry's frozen custard (it was so absolutely delicious!!!), meet up with some of Kev's cousins and eat some homecooking and just take it easy. BTW, if you're ever in the Research Triangle area, we highly recommend the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh - not only was admission FREE (they take donations), there was a Discovery Room where kids could touch everything, from fossils to polliwogs! It was a great trip. :) Thanks, parents!

Next stop, Ray and Christine Liu's place in MD. They had just settled into their new place not too long ago, so we were their first guests - we felt so honored!!! They did a great job hosting us and the kiddies had a blast. Uncle Ray served as a human jungle gym and the kids got to play with Sydney - Ray & Christine's niece. I even got to catch up with some UIUC grads that happened to go to their church that Sunday - fun stuff! Anyhow, we ended the trip with some amazingly good peruvian fried chicken and yucca fries at Crisp & Juicy. Yum!

Then, we drove up to DE to visit our old friends, Michelle and Jomy Mathew. :) As always, it was great chatting with them and having our kiddies play together. And they always make us feel right at home - thanks, guys!

Finally, we ended up at Kev's parents' place in NJ where we were several days, waiting for our stuff and car to be delivered, hunting for furniture (can you say IKEA?) and hanging with old friends. It was a really great time and the kids did really well considering how much we travelled this summer. :) Their schedules got a bit mixed up but we are now back on schedule. Phew! I never knew how much I loved schedules...hehe.

What else? We spent the first week or so, unpacking, doing car stuff and getting oriented to our area. Our neighborhood is really quiet and our neighbors have all been very nice. There is a tot lot in our nieghborhood, so the kids have been making friends. :) Kev started his job last week and is catching on to how things work pretty quickly and his hours have been very nice - yay! I've been finding stuff to do for me and the kids and trying to make friends. :) We've joined the local YMCA and have been making it to storytimes at the nearest Barnes & Noble and local library. Still looking for a church, though. We hope to find one soon!

But anyhow, we are now ready for guests!! If anyone is ever in the area, please let us know - we'd love to see you!

Warning: Hodge Podge Post :)

Welp, I have a quiet night, so I thought I would do some decluttering of our online photos...NOT! My eyes are getting blurry, so I decided to procrastinate further and write a blog entry or two. :) Hehe! I will write about our move in another post but here are some updates on things I had written about previously:

-I've gotten a lot of comments on the post re: Aidan's ptosis. I've come to realize that there's barely any laypeople's info on this topic. If would be nice to have a site where people can discuss what procedures they've tried, the results, which doctor they've seen, etc.. Maybe something to tackle later....after baby #3. :) But, I do want to say that it's been 6 months after Aidan had his surgery and the results have been great! The eyelid remains raised to the point where his field of view is not obstructed and no more comments from strangers about what happened to his eye! :) We are now searching for a new pediatric ophthalmologist since we just moved to the new area - but once we find a good one, we will also know how his vision is doing in the affected eye. [If anyone knows of one, please email me!] Although his eyelid is open a bit while he's sleeping, it hasn't caused him any discomfort, which was one of our concerns. So, praise the Lord for such a great result!

Due to popular demand: Before surgery pic and after surgery pic (his affected eye is closer to the camera). Feel free to poke around our online albums 1 & 2 for more. :)

-We had written about the dilemma with our car since we will be having #3 this winter - should we get a bigger car or get narrower caresats?! So, this is what ended up happening. We were going to keep our '01 Camry for now since Kev might be needing a newer car soon and try to fit 3 in the back. So we purchased 2 Sunshine Kids Radian 65s from Target. We thought we were set. But after moving to PA, we realized that we had to deal with my 'check engine' light problem AGAIN (for the 5th or 6th time) or else we won't pass inspection. Long story short, we had a friend working at a Honda dealership who could get us a great deal on a CR-V or a Odyssey. (Kev had narrowed it down to those 2 for now - we wanted decent gas mileage and stability control for all our hilly roads. And we wanted to take a break from Toyotas after all we had been thru with the Camry.) Anyhow, after much discussion, we ended up with a new CR-V because it is a 4WD with all-season tires (meaning no need to change to snow tires and get charged extra for recalibration of some system - didn't quite catch the explanation from the car guys) and with all the snow the neighbors say we get and all the hills we have, we felt it was the safest option. Plus, it gets great mileage for an SUV - something like 26 MPG! :) And, yes, I can stow my double stroller (Joovy Caboose Ultralight) in the back with room to spare for groceries and such. It even comes with a shelf for double the storage space, if needed. Anyhow, we'll see what happens. With more room in the back, I'm hoping that the 3 in a row will not be too much of a problem. ;) Updates to come...

-We have a new favorite toothpaste and mouthwash! I know I had raved about Tom's of Maine but now I have a better tasting option with no SLS! It's Jason's Sea Fresh Toothpaste and Mouthwash! I really feels like it cleans my teeth well and leaves my mouth feeling very fresh. And the fact the the mouthwash is concentrated and needs to be diluted by equal parts water makes it a great value! There's no burning sensation like Listerine but a super minty feeling. So, yep, I really like it! Even Kev likes it (he didn't love my Tom's stuff - hehe)! :)

-Aidan got a train table for his 4th birthday that we absolutely loves! We researched for a while and picked a barebones one that can withstand lots of play, takes a minimal amount of time to set up and matches the kiddies' play kitchen. :) We highly recommend the Kidkraft Train Table. We ended up ordering it from Walmart and got free shipping with the Site to Store option, which made it a great bargain because it's really heavy and might be costly to ship! [And because we got it from Walmart, we could return it to the store, as well.] Anyhow, the assembly took all of maybe 10 minutes - it took more time to break down the box for recycling and put the rest of the trash in the garbage! Hehe! Anyways, Aidan can also play his Melissa & Doug puzzles (love those super sturdy puzzles for preschoolers) on it, which is really key...that way, I can reclaim my kitchen floor! :)

Anyhow, I'll end the post here, so I can talk more about our move. Thanks for reading!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Page 111

Hey guys: Sorry for not writing for a while - we are finally ALMOST settled in our PA home! More on that later...the move itself is definitely something to write about since we did a road trip up Route 95 and visited lots of friends and family!

Anyhow, I have an announcement: Aidan recently contributed to a book that was actually published! It's call Dinosaur Soup (and other dubious recipes written by children). It features recipes from kids of various ages that are not corrected but written down verbatim. Really hilarious stuff. :) His recipe for Purple Jello is on p. 111. You should ask Aidan about it when you see him; he's so proud that "he was in a real book". Hehe! :)

Alrighty, more later. I promise. Check out pics here in the meanwhile. :)