We have arrived! After a few weeks of stress, packing, working through a list of endless tasks that needed to be accomplished before we left, planning without really having a plan, we have made our way to California. And while that part seemed hard, the hardest part really starts now with job hunting and house hunting and getting settled in an area that couldn’t be more different to NYC. Neither of us have a license, and I’ve actually never learnt how to drive so that’s going to be a major task that needs to be accomplished. I have already taught myself how to install a car seat properly, both rear facing and forward facing, so I’m kind of a little proud of that! I have to admit that I’m actually a little scared of driving and even more so of driving with the girls in the car, but that is a fear that I am going to have to get over because otherwise we will be stuck at home for forever. Luna loves car rides now and Aurora hates them, just like Luna did at her age. Hopefully she will grow out of that soon enough.
I think we were all a little shell shocked when we arrived last Sunday. We spent two nights in a hotel on the Lower East Side and tried to see people and places as well as rest all at the same time and it ended up being extremely chaotic and tiring and a huge upheaval for the girls. I’m sure the owners of Dorian Gray will be adding a sign stating “no children allowed” after our few hours there last Saturday as we managed to turn the place into a kid’s play area and breastfeeding station. Thank you to everyone who came out to see us and to those who contacted us – I’m sorry if I couldn’t chat for long or was a little unresponsive, but I really, really appreciate all of your messages and words! I had told myself that I had really detached myself from the city already, but that wasn’t really true. I think I will always love NYC and will always consider her home. Sometimes you just need to make choices that help you move onwards and upwards and I think this was one of them.
We boarded our flight at 8:30pm, and luckily JetBlue have direct flights from NYC to Sacramento. There is however a federal law that doesn’t allow more than one child under two in one seat section, due to there not being enough oxygen in case of an emergency. So we were seated on the same row, but with the aisle in between us. As the flight wasn’t too packed we ended up having 6 seats to ourselves which sounds awesome, but when you have one toddler who only wants to nurse and an infant who had to nurse on take-off we really needed to be next to each other. Luna was OK while we were taxiing to take-off but that took forever and the moment we actually took off she started to scream and fight Cesar… I could already hear all of the poor passengers’ thoughts, but luckily one of the flight attendants came over and allowed us to switch kids mid take off. After that Cesar moved over with Aurora and the rest of the flight was completely uneventful. Luna actually slept longer than she usually does without waking and Aurora wasn’t fussy at all. We were absolutely exhausted though, and it’s not something that I would do often. Traveling with one now seems like a piece of cake, two is OK if there are two adults, and I really don’t know how people travel alone with two tiny kids!
Of course, as soon as we arrived I got a horrid cold that has made me feel like a zombie for the past 5 days. Then Luna got it and now Aurora seems to be a little under the weather. And for the first few days the weather wasn’t too good, but now winter has said goodbye to California and spring has come in with a blast! This is the California that I’ve always considered “my” California: bright sunshine warm and then hot on my skin, palm trees in gardens and streets, blue, blue skies and the smell of warmth and fresh soil, and occasionally skunk. I can’t wait for the trees to blossom and the oleander to flower and for the ground to feel warm on my feet. I can’t wait for us to settle, find jobs and eventually have our own little house with a yard. We have so many dreams and it’s going to be exciting to make them all become reality, one by one.
My mother’s new house is beautiful. She’s only been here for three weeks now but she has managed to make it feel like a home already. Joey has met his new friend Muffin and I think he is trying to befriend her, but Muffin isn’t having any of it right now! She’s just a grumpy old lady anyway and he seems to have realised that it’s best to just leave her alone and maybe she will come around at some point. In any case he has settled in like the cat king he is. He may even get to venture outside at some point, we will see how I feel about that when we have settled into our own place. My sister’s home is also gorgeous and it makes me so happy to see her all settled in her own cozy place. Both Cesar and I love her neighbourhood – it’s quiet but still walking distance from shops and restaurants, and very close to the downtown area where Cesar will most likely be working. Houses are a little more expensive there, but I suppose we would be saving in gas and would only need one car there, so that’s good. At the same time there are not that many rentals going. So we will see! Not going to get ahead of myself yet! But I would really, really love to live within walking distance of amenities.
The girls are settling in more or less, as I expected Luna is having a harder time than Aurora but she is getting there. She has already learnt how to unlock and open all of the doors in the house, find her way to me from our room, and she has the most gorgeous play room to play in with tons of toys. Now if she would just start talking to me again instead of saying “eh eh eh” that would be great! Sometimes it feels like every time we make a little progress we do something that causes a regression. All I can really do is continue to provide her whatever comfort she needs so that she feels ready to communicate via all of the words that she understands and can say. It didn’t really help much that she has had this awful cold too and barely wants to eat any food and wants to nurse around the clock. We will get there; it’s just a matter of patience and perseverance.
I’m going to finish off now and try to post this today. I need to get back into writing every day again – the past three weeks have been an insane whirlwind of tasks and packing and arriving and settling in, and I need to find my own routine and gather up my inspiration again. I have a long list of travel posts to write as well as a few ramblings and as soon as our belongings arrive I will be able to start on some photography posts again too. Nothing like a few palm trees and early spring blossom to inspire one to document in photos!