Update From Down Under!
Below is a quick update I wrote about Easter time, & sent off to some elderly friends / family with birthday party invitations (Button turned 5 for those unaware). I thought some of you might also be interested in reading it; and after the Easter update, I will continue on & update you with our latest news as well.
We have been down here for nearly 6 months now, and have had our own place for over 3 months. We started off with Mum & Dad, but managed to find a house that suits us, & is within our budget by Christmas - it was a wonderful gift :-)! Unfortunately 'own' place does mean renting still, but we're closer to buying down here than we would ever be if we stayed up in Auckland.
Despite not having a job yet, which is frustrating when it comes to the budget, we are enjoying the lifestyle here. It was a lovely & relaxing, family focused summer; with lots of walks around the town, playing with the neighbour's & outside time. Also time with family, it has been wonderful having so much family close by with both sets of grandparents, my brother and his family, as well as two sets of my Aunts & Uncles. The kids are thriving, and are loving the change of pace - Button started Kindy two weeks after we arrived, and hasn't looked back! She has really blossomed in that environment, and will be starting school in under 3 weeks. 'lil M has also started Kindy this year & LOVES it, he will be going 3 days a week starting this term, and there are little tantrums on the days he is not scheduled to attend!
We have noticed that we have also started to relax and slow down more - I always am amazed when I am driving, in Auckland I would be racing around going at 60-70km/hour, feeling like I was always behind. Here if I am going 50km/hour, I am checking my speedo to make sure that I am not going too fast; generally you seem to get caught behind someone going between 20-30km/hour down the main street! I can see and feel the changes from the inside out, and it is so good for us all.
But other than that - it has typically been a rough ride health-wise, I can't wait for the kids to be past this age when they are constantly picking up everything that goes around! In the past 6 weeks alone, we have gone from a cold, straight onto a tummy bug, followed by 48 hours of high fevers, Button then broke her leg, and Hubby came down with the full-on flu, and we have all had small colds again... Winter hasn't even started yet, so not really looking forward to that.
Hubby has been busy with his computer work, and is hoping to have his first Mobile App available on the market by the end of this year, if this takes off then he will hopefully start making money and get some more App's out. He has some great idea's - it is just now getting them done, and hopefully making money out of them!
I have been applying for jobs, cold-calling, and dropping my CV in all over town - have had four interviews, but nothing more than that; rather frustrating! However I am doing four hours a week for a local business man, and friend. I am hoping this will help, as it gives me current experience (which seems to be one of the issues), & a reference from a well known and respected local, and a chance to use MYOB, which I am pretty excited about! I am really enjoying it, and finding it fun to be stretching my brain again! As well as this, I have been keeping myself busy doing an 8 week course on nutrition, found it difficult but really interesting, and think I want to follow this up more. Unfortunately the courses are all on campus, and currently still require a good 5-6 years to complete?! Don't think I will be doing that any time soon ;-)!
We have settled into the local Baptist Church - again, very family orientated! We weren't planning on attending there, both sets of grandparents go, but in the end it was the only local church that catered for both the kids and where they were both happy - and that was the most important thing. Since then my brother and his family have decided to attend as well, feels like we are taking over the town; hehehe! There aren't a lot of other young families attending, but we are slowly making friends & feeling a part of the community... We have been blessed though, as Button's two best friends from Kindy are families we already had connections with from previously living here. So we have been able to reestablish these old friendships, and strengthen them - it has made the transition that much easier.
After Easter we started prep for the big party (combined 5th for Button & 40th for me), and I went a little crazy in the kitchen - doing all the catering myself, for approximately 50 people (kids & adults). We were very blessed with both of Hubby's sisters & their families traveling down from Auckland, as well as close friends... one day I might do a blog post on it with photos of the food table, let's just say Hubby still hassles me about over-catering! Button & I both got thoroughly spoilt, and I have now got a whole shelf full of new recipe books; so stoked!
The allergies feel like they have increased exponentially since we have been down here - although it was just a matter of time, not about where we live! 'lil M has now been confirmed as having a dairy allergy as well, it was something we had been wondering about in Auckland, but never bothered to follow up on - but it got to the point we had to do something, poor kid! He is much healthier and happier now, & is finally growing like a weed - average to tall for his age, rather than down in the 3rd percentile for size like he was for his first 2 years!
Hubby has also since shown both dairy & fructose malabsorption allergies; so once more I have been left floundering, wondering how we are going to handle it. But like always, we are getting there & starting to make headway; & he is starting to have more good days than bad... he is booked in to see a Nutritionist mid-June, so am hoping this will be helpful for us both.
Button has started school with a whizz & a bang - her cast came off at the end of her first week, after 7 long weeks! She is still walking with a bit of a limp, but other than that - you'd never know she'd had such a severe break. She is loving school, & has settled quickly & easily; jumping from level 1 to level 6 reading in the first week; & we are already getting little notes that she has written completely on her own - so cute! Her class is a shared class with two teachers doing part time each, but it is working well & she enjoys them both; they have worked together for years & you can tell. I was worried initially, but she is excelling under both ladies and is flourishing in ways that still leave me gasping - her reading, writing and arithmetic especially!
I have finally got myself a full time job - wahoo! I am almost through my second week, & am the Payroll & Accounts Payable Clerk for a company called BPM, & am really enjoying myself. I hate this learning curve & wish I could just jump ahead 6 months when I have it all sussed, & know what I am doing! But it will come quicker than imaginable, so I guess I shouldn't really wish time away ;-)!
Now that I have secured a job we can start to think & plan ahead, so we're hoping to be able to get into our own place by winter next year. This place has no heating other than a electric heater that just warms the lounge up - so you can imagine how cold it gets in the mornings at the moment! Let's just say that the high temperatures have been the same as Aucklands overnight lows. Yep, crazy cold! Next winter I want to be in our own place with a FIRE!
And as mentioned in previous blog posts - we have had visits from family oversea's, visits from friends we hadn't seen in a while (including some from oversea's as well) and other plenty of other things going on; the great thing about living down here is that we're on State Highway 1, and thus we get a lot more people popping in to see us on their way through to and from places!
Anyway - think that should keep you fairly well up to where we are at now... two blog posts in one week, that is got to be in the realms of major miracles! So before I cause your heart any further damage, I will sign off, until next time...