We're getting all settled in to our new place and Benjamin has been unfazed (see above). Overall, it's been fun, but a bit overwhelming at times.
For example, Anna has been going through many big steps right now. She's in a new "house." We're still explaining to her what an apartment is. The second day here, we were leaving the main entrance to our building and she said, "But dad, I don't want them to go into my house." She thought the whole building was hers, and wasn't happy that one of our neighbors was entering it. Anna also got a big girl bunkbed when we moved in. She loves it. The first night in her bed, about two weeks ago, she cried a little and came out once. We explained that she couldn't come out, or she'd have to sleep in her crib again, and she hasn't done it since. What a big girl! (She also hasn't cried since that first night.) Also, I have FINALLY got around to potty training Anna. I think she's been more than ready for a while. But man, what an inconvenient process. So, we've had many successful experiences, but then put it on hold for a little trip we took. :-)
We've been out into the Flint area, about 15-20 minutes away, and have really liked it. We were expecting much worse, but I guess we've just avoided those parts of town. Above are some pictures from the Flint Children's Museum that we got a year membership for. It's very nice with many fun, educational things for Anna. It's also exciting for us to be around so many more options for shopping and restaraunts, not that we've had much time (and soon funding) for either. Coming from Marquette, the Flint area seems like a booming metropolis. The population for the actual city of Flint is only 125,000, but many cities, including our own, run into eachother in Genesee county. The population of the county is 445,000. I just googled that information...I know, sad. All for the sake of the blog.
In our own little town we have a few beautiful parks very close to our house, including a "castle park" just like the one at Lower Harbor in Marquette. Anna was very excited to see we have one here too. There are a few rivers running through the area, and Anna loves trying out each bridge. We have a little strip mall right next to our apartment with a few convenient things: a store, a bank, a dollar store (Anna and I bought bubbles there today), a Little Ceasars, two local family resaurants, a dollar movie theater (if we can just find a babysitter now), a hardwear store, and a few other things. The town's library is just across the street from us. Yay!
We've been swimming at our apartment's pool a few times in the two weeks we've been here. Anna loves it and has made some friends there. We've met a few of our neighbors in our building and everyone is so nice and friendly. The girl who lives across the hall from us has a little boy Anna's age, and a little boy Ben's age. Fun! We plan on getting them together to play this week.
Last week, after we opened an account at the bank right next to us, we picked up a pizza and brought it back to our apartment to try out our picnic tables. (Anna's idea.) It was a beautiful day, as in, not hot. After lunch, we tried out this bike trail that begins right behind our apartment and goes all over town and country. About 26 miles of trail? Beautiful.
So, everything is going very well. Ethan starts classes on Wednesday and we're going to miss him so much. But the kids and I have lots of things planned for us to do and learn and experience. Also, I am really liking apartment life. Maybe it's just new and exciting for me now, but I hope the excitment doesn't wear off. Of course there are things I miss about our house and being home owners, but listen to this list: we can take our trash out whenever we want, we don't have to shovel or mow, when something needs fixing we just call the manager, we have a swimming pool, and even though we're in a smaller space, I really like having everything close and easily accesible. It's also forced me to be even more organized. I know, I know, how could that even be possible? (I love organizing things for those of you who didn't know this about me.) So yep, life is good and I'm sure I'll keep you posted on it.