Aside from the friends we've made, I cannot think of any reason not to be glad to be leaving Connecticut. I am ready to leave this beautiful, but expensive state, and it's bad drivers! I am ready to leave a tiny apartment where the only grass is covered in dog pee. I am ready to leave the uncomfortable rented furniture (especially that sofa!), and the cheap pots and pans. I cannot wait to finally live in our new house, to make it our home, maybe even our forever home. I'm ready to feel settled and stable again, instead of this constant state of "temporary" that we've been in for the past 2 years.
Of course, it hasn't been all bad, being here. It has been quite an experience for me as a stay-at-home mom, with many peaks and valleys. Living here gave us this opportunity that we would never have had otherwise. I think it was good for us, probably great for us. But I can also recognize that it is not my thing for the long run. I am actually ready to go back to work, though I have absolutely no idea what I want to do, or who will hire me. But as Scarlett says, I'll deal with that tomorrow.
As part of my promise to myself to get us out of the house every day, we discovered a lot of great people, and fun things to do in Connecticut. We loved going to My Gym, where Oliver got to run around like crazy, climb, and jump, and tumble. I can't rave enough about that place, because I believe it was also instrumental in his social development, in following directions, making friends, and the all important "playing well with others." Our other favorite activity was Music Together, where we got to sing and dance and play instruments. We love that Oliver has always been naturally musical, and Julie, our fabulous leader, was great at bringing that out in him and encouraging it. I'm not sure how much I'll enjoy listening to the cds for our 17 hour road trip, but they keep Oliver happy, so that's important! And finally, I don't think I could have survived the last year of this journey without the Mother's Day Out program that Oliver attended. I got a little break for a few hours each week, and he got more of that "playing well with others" experience. Between all these activities and playdates and parks and playgrounds, not to mention the grocery store and Target visits, we kept ourselves very busy, even too busy sometimes. All I know is that Oliver is a pretty good kid, most of the time, and I think this is the main reason why.
As a family, we also got to do a lot of things together. From the beginning, we said we wouldn't spend every weekend in that little apartment, but actively find interesting things to see, and go to all those places we'd never have a chance to see again. I know this blog has been a testament to that. Every week we looked for fun activities, and planned little jaunts, to things like the Potato & Corn Festival, to big trips, like NYC, Philly, and Boston. As a result, we have a flexible toddler, who is a pretty good little traveler (our last trip to NYC not withstanding). I only hope we can keep that up when we move home. I've never even been to Minneapolis! It is definitely on our list now.
I don't know what our life would be like if we hadn't gone to Connecticut. I don't think we would have been as adventurous, or that Oliver would have experienced as much as he has. I think it would have been very easy to get settled in our homebody routine there. But now that we have, out of necessity, forced ourselves out into the world, I think it has become the new normal, and our lives will be better for it. So while I am more than ready to leave a place where people are so rude and unthinking of others that they think it's ok to leave their shopping cart all over the parking lot of the grocery store (something you rarely see in Iowa), I can admit that it was not all bad. However, I am 100% glad it is done, and never ever want to do anything remotely like this again!
The next time you see me, I'll be writing from home, sweet home. With lots of updates on our trip, I'm sure. I don't know what the future holds for the blog. I think I am addicted to it as a record and history of our little family, so I don't see it disappearing, though it may evolve, as we all do. For now, I am on hiatus until we get settled in Iowa! I hope everyone has a great holiday!