May 17, 2015

Home in The Land of the Free…

View from one of the conference rooms at work (pardon the dirty window...)

We are now into our second week of being in Utah. It has been busy (that is an understatement) as we have tried to get settled into our rental home while starting a new job and looking for a permanent place to stay. We weren’t sure what to expect because we were moving back to the United States after being in and out over the last several years. Yet, family had our little apartment cleaned and filled with furniture and the fridge stocked with food when we arrived. We were so grateful. This process would not have been possible without them. We had to have someone pick up the keys, we borrowed couches, another gave us a vacuum…they made sure that we had all the basics! Thank goodness for family!

We thought that we were moving to the desert (Utah really is a hot desert) however, you would not know that because the rain in Paris followed us here and today is really the first sunny and rainless day we have experienced since being back! But alas, we are in the desert so we have no right to complain about the rain! We now join the, we-are-thankful-for-what-moisture-we-get club. I must admit though, no matter how supportive we have tried to be, keeping a little guy in from the rain for several days straight is ROUGH! Lady Hiva finally let the Lucky Dragon out into the puddle the other day and he LOVED it. Likewise, when it has snowed a few days this last few weeks (yes, I said SNOW in MAY!), that was really pushing our resolve to be positive about the ‘moisture.’ haha

Tau’aho really is adapting. He goes to the park and you can see him looking for his playmates from Istanbul. Hopefully he begins to like the other children as much as he loves them. He has really enjoyed being around cousins, which makes us happy because he will be around them more now. We are constantly amazed at how fast he is progressing. He has been ‘reading’ on one of the education aps on the iPad and will now point out all the “O”s he sees and will also say, “‘T’ for Tau!”  He loves to greet people. Today we were at church and he stood at the entrance and when someone would either walk in or out he was exclaim, “OH! Who’s that?” They would laugh and tell them their name and then ask, “Who are you?” He would say, “I Tau’haho.” (saying his own full name, vice Tau, is something new this week. He started doing it on his own and although he adds an extra ‘h’ in there, it is really close.). 

He also likes to watch what people are doing and try it too. We were in the check-out line in Target that he was standing in the cart basket watching the guy scan the items. When the guy stopped to check something else, Lucky boy grabbed two items and reached across and scanned them before either I or the man could stop him! The man was impressed and said, “I have never seen a child do that before…” Neither have I, neither have I. He has now started to point out yellow, pink and purple…and they come out something like, “lello” “pinK” and “puh-poh”, now if we could get him to say the right word with the corresponding color we would be great. He loves music and puzzles and is starting to recognize shapes. He could do shape puzzles all day if we let him. The other day we were walking through the mall he said, “A note! A note!” I looked over and sure enough an advertisement had some large music notes on them. (I didn’t even know he knew what those were!) He will make anything a musical instrument—usually a drum—and will spend plenty of time at Lady’s sister’s piano.  He will close his eyes as he makes his music and look as if he is totally into his own little world. He is such a joy in our lives.
Playing the piano

Now we have been back for a while there are some ways that we know we have been changed after living outside of the country for so long. Some good and some will hopefully leave after a while. We noticed the way we eat has changed. Fresh fruit and vegetables (no processed in any way) is not common here; Nor is walking, even the shortest distance. Lady Hiva and I were both shocked at how sweet all of the bread is compared to the bread we eat in Europe (and that does not even mention all the candy, soda and sweets that seem to be readily available).

It has been nice to drive in WIDE streets through neighborhoods and see people have yards with expansive grass and flowers. It is also nice to drive in the ‘traffic’ that pales in comparison to Manila and Istanbul (I guess it is all perspective). The air is crisp and fresh (a bit cold, but I digress) and that is refreshing. Lucky Dragon loves being outside and seeing all the animals, bugs, plants and many, many, many rocks…!

We went and purchased a washer and dryer the other day—our last big item to settle in before we have our permanent home—and because the apartment does not have a big enough space for nice new washers, we went to a wholesale place and purchased some refurbished appliances. (great price and warrantee, a bit scratched, but that never hurt anyone). We went and rented a truck from Home Depot and brought them home. Lady Hiva and her muscles and me in my suit… (sounds a bit like I am quoting ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas) packed the washer and dryer up the stairs to our second floor apartment. I am glad I married a tough girl! She didn’t complain at all. I am sure we looked like quite the odd pair doing it too. I changed and we took back the truck and the guy at Home Depot said, “Hey you aren’t dressed up any more!” Nope, kind of awkward to lift appliances in a suit! Hehe…the stories we will tell.

So here is to our next adventure! We are really excited about it too!

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