I like my blog posts the way I like my house, clean and tidy down to the very last vacuum line. This hodge podge post is going against my very nature. But I've been doing a good job documenting our outings (obligatory self pat on the back), but haven't been doing so swell on the day to day. So here goes...we finally reached an agreement on the never ending electronics battle. Every other day is a no electronics day, but in exchange I don't limit his time on the off days. I have to turn a blind eye when he's on it for hours on end, I've picked my battle, and really focus on enjoying those days where the kids aren't distracted by tv and ipods and actually play. I liked this day. Of course I'm partial to any day when the sun is shining and the kids are playing good.
Typical mad Maddox face
One of my favorite things about being here is that Jason is home so much more. He confessed to me before that he thought he would be a funner dad. Now he has that chance and I can't really even put into words how it feels to see him reading chapter books with Kylie and Jayden before bed, or to see him playing with Ryder when he comes home for lunch, or to watch him play freeze tag in the yard with the kids while I clean up, or to have him take the kids to the park so I can cook dinner in peace. This more than makes up for the fact that Jason missed Kylie's last two birthdays because he was away on business, these are memories they're going to remember for a lifetime. Tuesdays have also been set aside for Daddy dates (or boys nights, cause really when you're a 9 year old boy it's just awkward to say you're going on a date with your dad). They get so excited when it's their turn to go. Kylie helped Maddox get all spiffed up for his big night out, using my eyelash curler to curl his hair and all. It was a rather dapper do for McDonalds.
After 3 years our church building has finally been repaired from the earthquake. This makes me excited because a) it is so much closer b) it is right next to Hagley Park so my inner Anne of Green Gables is already planning afternoon picnics in the park c) our time moved from 9:00 to 1:00 so our hectic Sunday morning has been replaced with french toast brunches on the back deck. And every time Maddox hears the pots banging, he dashes to the kitchen with his "chef" hat and superhero cape that doubles as an apron. Every. Single. Time.
We take full advantage of every long warm day that comes our way. This one ended with 'smores for FHE and a few chapters of 39 Clues by the fire with dad for the older ones. (And the next day was in the 50's and raining, go figure)
I bought this book for Maddox a few years ago because it reminded me of him. Now I'm convinced more than ever that it was written just for him. I think I need to meet the little boy that is really the subject of the book, surely it's his doppelganger.
And now we're moving on to the phone pics, which really gives this clean blog post girl the hives. I've talked to several people who have lived over seas and they all say it takes about a year before it really feels like home. That gives me hope. It's not that we don't like it here, we've already experienced the most amazing things and we've only been here 5 months, but it just doesn't quite feel like home yet. But we're working on that. I just need to grab this city by the horns and make it my own. It's strange going somewhere that you have zero memories, zero points of reference and zero familiarity. It's nice to be able to drive down the road now and have those "remember when" moments...Hey, remember when we looked at that house to rent but cop cars were swarming the neighbors house? Oh, that's where you looked at that car to buy but the guy stunk of B.O. and wiped a booger on the seat. That's the road I almost died on when I was learning to drive for the first time on the opposite side of the road! There's the chapel we went to for that movie night. And always and forever we have to drive slowly by the Belle Bonne motel and have a moment of silence. Jason and I now have "our" Thai food truck as our date night go to, I see the same employee at the same time on the same day shelving the same food and she always hands me the same can of black beans. We get the same order from Pizza Hut every Saturday night- 2 cheese and one Hawaiian (keep in mind their large is like our small). It's the little things like this that are starting to make it feel like home. It's also nice to get into a routine, it helps me to stay busy and feel productive. Monday cleaning days, Tuesday Pak n' save, Wednesday running and the park, and now we've added a new event for Thrusdays. I stumbled across this play group while I was searching for a dance studio for Kylie and we hit the jackpot. They have every possible toy inside and then a little boy's dream playground outside. Since it's parent run, we all help set up, clean up and stay the with them the entire time. 2 1/2 hours of one on one play time with Ryder, he is in heaven and I love getting on his level and exploring his world with him.
We met a new friend, which means my friendship pool has doubled in size. She found me on instagram and after emailing back and forth we set up a play date (in a public place because Jason is convinced I'm naive and that it's possible someone could set up a fake instagram account and fake email just to lure me into a dark alley. I suppose I should be grateful that he is so protective). She is an expat from South Africa and I feel so exotic to have friends from all over the globe. She has a little boy Ryder's age and they had the best time running around the park with chocolate all over their faces pretending to be dinosaurs (or something else that growls?) I didn't want to be too presumptuous and take a picture on our first date, so here's one of my little fellow tree hugger so that I could remember this day as the day I added a new contact to my phone.
Every morning Maddox and Ryder sneak into bed with us. Whoever wakes up first gets to lay in the middle while the other one complains about falling off the bed. On a few occasions Ryder has woken up so early that he's fallen back asleep. I'm convinced heaven is a sleeping child snuggled up next to you.
Kylie signed up for choir this year. I love hearing her sing, she has such a rich tone to her voice and since I can't carry a note in a bucket I can really appreciate that she can carry a tune. Sometimes I pause outside the bathroom door just to hear her sing in the shower. She performed at the Christchurch music festival, along with every other school in the city. It was a nice night. Okay, I lied. It was three hours of songs I had never heard and she was only a grain of sand in a sea of faces. But I did like when the orchestra played the James Bond song and Micheal Jackson's "Heal the World" finale gave me slight goose bumps. I'm just proud of her for trying something new. And wow, oh wow, if that's not the longest blog post ever...maybe next time I'll skip the every day and just stick with the outings.