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Life in Arizona

We've been in Arizona for seven weeks now. We moved into our new house six weeks ago. Life has been a bit of a blur. Last June, the idea of us moving again still seemed a year or two away. I never could have imagined that I'd be living in another state within three months. Whirlwind doesn't begin to describe it.

Our house is coming along, but goodness, I was overwhelmed unpacking. We ended up purchasing some new furniture to make the spaces work more efficiently and it's been fun to "design" aspects of our home, especially since I don't consider myself much of a designer. I'm hoping that by my next update I'll have the house organized enough to take pictures and share it with you!

There is a lot to like in Arizona. The heat hasn't been too bothersome, although I'm really looking forward to the cooler temps that everyone says will be here soon. (And by cooler, we're talking 80's.) Our new home has a community pool, so the kids have loved taking advantage of that.

It's been an eventful start to the school year. Both of our kids started school virtually after we moved into the house. It was a great opportunity to get to know their teachers while having the comfort of being at home with mom. Even though Arizona started virtual school five weeks before Rhode Island (and our kids missed all of that time) they are both doing really well and it doesn't seem as if they've fallen behind at all. Their Arizona teachers have commended their Rhode Island teachers for preparing them so well!

First day of 2nd Grade (in-person)

Liam started school in-person on Monday, September 22nd (a week before Evelyn). Two days later, he complained of a tummy ache but had no fever so off he went to school. Thirty minutes into the day I got a call from the school nurse: Liam threw up. Wearing his mask. All over his desk, clothes, and even shoes. My poor boy.

We went to an Urgent Care Clinic and they did a rapid Covid-19 test. An hour later we got the call that his test was negative. By then, Liam was bouncing off the walls, as happy and energetic as could be. We have no idea what made him ill that morning. Just so grateful that it wasn't Coronavirus! He went back to school the next day and has been healthy since.

The following day, I griped for the hundredth time about my fear of scorpions. We had not seen one yet, which somehow made me more nervous about them. Barkley, exasperated with my fretting, finally snapped, "Will you please stop talking about scorpions! There are no scorpions in our house! You have nothing to worry about!"

That night, while checking on the kids before turning in for the night, I turned to leave their room, and BOOM! Scorpion. On the wall. In my kids' room. In the dark. I calmly called for my "there-are-no-scorpions-in-our-house-husband" and watched the terrifying creature like a hawk (and snapped a photo) until he came to my rescue. We turned on the light and the kids roused from their slumber to see their very first scorpion. They thought it was amazing! I did not.

Barkley got a cup and a piece of cardboard we had from a moving box and knocked it off the wall and then captured it with the cup as it scurried out of the room and down the hall. Then he slid a thick piece of paper under the cup, shook the thing like crazy, and carried it out to the street where he launched it in the air. I call that: How to Handle a Scorpion 101 - a step-by-step guide for out-of-towners. (I do not recommend this.)

I may or may not have (I totally did) purchase a UV flashlight on Amazon Prime with one-day delivery that night. The kids, not phased at all, went back to sleep while I stalked their room and left every light in the house on for the next several hours. The next day, Barkley set up pest control. Something that had been on our to-do list, but kept getting pushed aside in the chaos of unpacking/starting work/starting school. We haven't seen a scorpion since! Hallelujah!

The following week, Evelyn started school in person. She was very nervous. More nervous than I've ever seen her about school. I told her the story of her first day of school the previous year, which I'd documented on Instagram (see the story and photo from last year below) and that seemed to encourage her for a bit.

Last year's "first day of school" story:

This year, her anxiety the night before school was so intense that she couldn't sleep. She finally fell asleep at 11 o'clock with tears running down her cheeks while I sang to her and held her tight. Monday morning (after a too-short night of rest) she sprang from her bed shouting, "Let's do this!"

That's my girl. A testament to the fact that no matter how worried we are in life, we can always overcome our fears. Much to my relief, she had a good day! Just look at that smile!

First day of 3rd Grade (in-person)

Evelyn's IEP meeting went well and she is receiving physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy at her home school. I'm very grateful that her school offers these services. There is always a concern that we will relocate to an area that doesn't provide these essential resources for her so we are very blessed to have them!

We are settling in slowly. We are missing all of our friends and neighbors in Rhode Island. Having moved countless times, I thought I'd grown accustomed to it, but this has been one of the hardest relocations emotionally and mentally, even though logistically (and considering the pandemic) it went smoothly.

Many of the churches we looked into are not worshiping in person yet. Two weekends ago we found an open church and attended in person for the first time. It was wonderful to worship with others and meet more people. We went again this weekend and Barkley and I both felt that the pastor's message was exactly what we needed to hear. We're looking forward to going back and getting more involved!

I keep reminding myself that it takes time to adjust and that the pandemic has certainly put a strain on our ability to meet people and make the area feel like home. I am missing the rain and the fall colors, but it is very pretty here, too. We've done a little bit of hiking, and hope to take a drive to the Grand Canyon sometime soon.

In the meantime, I'm keeping an eye out for more wildlife. Our neighbors said they've seen a coyote pup running around our house late at night! Maybe we'll see the little guy soon. We also have lots of quail and roadrunners here! Thankfully, we haven't run into any snakes yet. I'll be quite happy if I never see a snake. Or scorpion again!

I would love to see a wild donkey or pig! I love seeing the donkey crossing signs everywhere we go. I don't know why, but they are so funny to me. Hence, I had to snap a picture while I was walking one morning.

Do you have any wildlife in your area that you love, or perhaps aren't particularly fond of?

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