Friday, September 4, 2015

Getting To Know You

We are officially Virginia residents now - our license plates say "Virginia is for Lovers," and everything! Dan's school year started this week, so he is working long days, but he feels like things are going smoothly so far.  I was offered a new job by the president of my company's Portsmouth office, so I'll eventually transfer from my department in San Diego to a new department here.  I'll be doing the same type of work, and I think it'll be a good change.  The three hour time difference between coasts has been somewhat of a strain.  My San Diego coworkers don't end their day until 8 pm Virginia time, so when they send a project to me late in their day, I often don't finish working until around 10 that night. I'll really miss being a part of such a fantastic team, but it'll be nice to work with a group in the same time zone again.

Emma seems to be slowly adjusting to preschool.  This week, she didn't cry for two days in a row when I dropped her off!  But at the end of the week they switched her to an older class with a different teacher, and she was back to crying again.  Oh well. She knows her new teacher already, so I think she will be fine again soon.  She always has a good day at school after the drop-off drama. Also, they are potty training her for us! That in and of itself is worth every cent we are paying them.

We've had a really good month getting to know our new home.  All three of us were sick with a string of viruses or allergies the first month and a half after our move, but we are feeling well again. Also, the mosquitoes have begun to die and go to hell where they belong.  It's a happier world, all in all.  Here are a few pictures of the places we've explored recently.

We got free tickets from my company to the Norfolk Tides Minor League Baseball game.

There was a Star Wars theme that night, so instead of the players' faces on the screen, they showed a Star Wars character.  Emma wanted to know all the monsters' names.

Cool girls

I took her to the Portsmouth Children's Museum on one of our weekdays off together. It's a really fun place! They've divided the museum into rooms with different themes. They also had a planetarium where they showed a Sesame Street movie about the stars.

 One room was set up like a grocery store

Another section had a play area specifically for toddlers, where everything was cushioned and set low to the ground

Emma really enjoyed playing in the bubble room

There was an art gallery 

A music room

A room about the human body where you can brush enormous, nightmarish teeth!

 And an entire room filled with building blocks.  We spent about 3 hours at the Children's Museum, and didn't explore several of the rooms!

We've been on the hunt for the coolest playgrounds in the area, and there's a fantastic one just down the road from us at Chesapeake City Park.  It has a large network of about 5 wooden playgrounds for different ages in a shaded area, which is nice in the 90+ degree heat  

 We found another large, fun playground at Mount Trashmore. (I am not kidding about that name. It's a park built on top of a landfill.) 

Emma is telling me what a terrible mother I am for leaving her unattended in order to take a picture. Or something to that effect.

She loves swinging in these swings for special needs children (after we make sure no one else needs one)

Tackling the Mount Trashmore hill!

We've gotten to visit old and new friends this month, too.  We befriended Ann through our church in San Diego before she married a Navy Seal and moved to Virginia Beach years ago. Emma and I visited her one morning and met her three kids, Asher, Gabe, and Betty.

We've gotten to know several of Dan's coworkers and their families better, too, including Emma's new buddy, Elisha, who is just a couple of weeks younger than her.

We drove to the Outer Banks one weekend to check out the town of Duck, NC and the beaches. We had a good time once we got there, but we don't recommend driving there on a Saturday during the summer. The traffic is horrendous!

 The past couple of Sunday evenings, we've driven to Virginia Beach for pizza, ice cream, and play time at the beach.

Emma is afraid to get anywhere near the ocean waves, but she wanted Dan to help her build a sand castle. She and Dan are compromising by making a sand pile with the dry sand.

We're having a good time getting to know Virginia better!