Steve got a teaching job! He went to his first interview today and they called this afternoon—amazing! I am so proud of him! It sounds like a great opportunity, at a high school located on the north side of Brisbane, closer to the city, farther from the water. He doesn’t know the area very well, but thinks we can find somewhere nice to live within about a half hour radius.
This means that there is an end in sight to the 24-hour shifts and the schedule of this current job—thank goodness! He hates it; it’s tough on the boys, and I am about to crack. Drew has been really tough lately—does not like to listen to me, throws a fit whenever he doesn’t get his way on even the tiniest issue, and the latest thing has been not even trying to make it to the toilet and actually hiding the mess from me. Now, I do get frustrated by bad behaviour, but disgusting poop messes all over the house in 90 degree heat and humidity, I just can’t handle well! I was reduced to a blubbering mess last night dealing with them by myself all day and all the poop and nasty behaviour that accompanied that. Thank goodness for Colorado friend’s and email support! (And my parents giving similar support with a similar story on Friday—it’s been a week of poop for me!) Steve came home this afternoon and is around quite a bit this week and he’s been great and we’ve been researching and really trying to work on this one. Plus, Drew will hopefully star t preschool by January, which will be wonderful for him—-he would have been going since September if we hadn’t moved, and he seems bored and I think he will really benefit from the social environment, the learning opportunities, and the discipline.
It surprised me that Sunday evening saw me losing my sanity because I got my first “girlfriend/mommy” breaks since we’ve been here. On Friday evening I went out with another American mom that I met at a playgroup. She’s from Illinois and has been here 15 years. It was lovely on several levels—driving at night successfully (we’ll just forget the fact that I tried to get in the wrong side of the car as I left the house), going somewhere alone, and conversing with not only another woman, but a mother and an American. When she said she was so excited to find the powdered mix for Country Time lemonade available to order online, I almost yelped with excitement because I have recently asked my Mom to please send me that for Christmas! What they call lemonade here is NOT—it’s basically Sprite, and I don’t like to drink soda. And you just need a refreshing, cold drink in this heat, NOT six cups of hot tea daily!
Then Saturday, another new mom friend took me shopping. She showed me great places and we found great deals. I got to update both my wardrobe and Steve’s for this weather at thrift stores (she called them op shops) and got some Christmas stuff done, plus enjoyed sitting down for lunch, and fun conversation. Both excursions were absolutely wonderful!
I also continue to jog and walk three days a week and try to exercise on my own at home on the alternating days—both to take care of myself and because I know exercise relieves stress for me. So, I’m doing all I can—I guess our current situation is so monumental that it’s easy to get pushed to the edge (or in my case, beyond) anyway. I do really miss having the “local” support system—people that are in the same time zone, but I am very blessed to have such wonderful support across the miles.
The other big news is that we bought a car! Steve found it on the side of the road, but it is from a small dealership. We pick it up Wednesday when he gets paid, and it should be perfect to get us through these next few months. Such a relief—it’s so much easier with a car! I do have my bike and trailer now, but I’m worried it’s too hot to use them! I’ll try……..but I’m glad I have a car! I also officially got on Medicare and we really enjoyed the playgroup, swimming lesson, library story time, and music group that the boys and I went to.
I actually teared up at the end of the playgroup. After playing for awhile, some Moms brought out finger-paints for the kids, who just went nuts with it. Then we cleaned up the church hall and one of the Moms started singing nursery rhymes with the kids to engage them. As people finished cleaning, they would join the songs, until everyone was participating—kids and Moms, and even one Dad who’d been able to stop in. Then everyone got up and did the Hokey Pokey in a big circle. It’s a bit different here, but luckily, nursery rhymes aren’t too tough to pick up! I just watched the scene as I participated and thought how beautiful it is to see all these great people, parents and kids, singing and dancing like that and it wasn’t facilitated or directed by any one person—it just happened. If there are programs like this in the U.S., I didn’t know about them, and no friends ever talked about them to me, and I was truly overwhelmed by what a touching scene it was—such a feeling of community. I also love how the Moms all feel so comfortable dealing with any of the other Moms’ children in these sort of groups—whether for discipline, comfort, or play.
The only drawback to Steve’s new job is that we all really do like this area and I am enjoying the people we’ve met. But, we knew that this was part of the move—that we’d “settle” for a few months and learn our way and then do it over again after a few months, IF things went like we had hoped, which fortunately, they are. I know it will be fine. We’ll be maybe an hour’s drive from this area, and I know we’ll find the swimming lessons, playgroups, etc. in our new town, and it will really be able to start to become our home then which will be a great feeling. Good job, Steve!