Striking out on my own

We continue to settle in and find our way in our new home and it is going really quite well.  A friend of a friend brought her toddler over last Monday and while he and Zach played, I picked her brain about where to go to the doctor, good childcare options, where to get a haircut, etc.  I have been asking everyone I came in contact with all week those questions, and it has helped me get some things figured out.

I did the same at coffee with the ‘kindy mums’ on Tuesday and really enjoyed meeting all of them that morning.  I am very appreciative of how helpful people are to us.  I am really finding an advantage in some way of being not only the new kid, but being the new foreign clueless kid.  As long as I am willing to be vulnerable and admit what I don’t know and what I need, I find people are kind and willing to help.  Of course, having kids these ages has definitely made it easier to meet people as well.

So, after those interactions, Zach and I visited two childcare centres and found one that may work for him, and we have four more to check into in the coming days.  I also made him a doctor’s appointment for Tuesday, for his 2-year-old check-up.  Since they do general practitioners here instead of paediatricians, if this doctor works out, it could help us all with coming appointment needs.

On Wednesday we tried out a Mainly Music group, same as the music groups we so enjoyed down in the Redlands.  This one is run by the Salvation Army Church, which is in the same building that Steve teaches in, so we got the bonus of getting to visit Daddy after music time, which was fun.  This was a great group, bigger than what we had gotten used to, but some nice people and a great program for the kids, along with the now typical plethora of sugary treats for everyone to feast on.  😉

Thursday we officially joined our new playgroup and learned more helpful tips from those ladies.  Now I need to decide where to try for a haircut (that’s always so scary to me!  Don’t butcher my locks!), and SOON because it’s been ages, and we need to find some babysitters stat!   Steve’s brother turned 40 on Thursday so we had a family dinner at a yummy pizza place as the beginning of the celebrations.

On Friday the boys enjoyed again their new swimming lessons at our new official time of 9:30—a bit of a rush to get to, but workable.  One funny thing I have discovered here in Australia——Swimming Carnivals.  I still am unsure of the specifics, but they appear to be a sort of fun field day-type event for school kids (all grades I think—-divided into primary and secondary or high school over here).  I think the kids spray paint themselves and dress up funny for some of it, although I’m not too sure on that fact yet.  They do have races and contests at a swimming pool, public if their school does not have its own.  Parents come and watch and I think it lasts most of the morning.  We have run into them now twice during our swimming lesson experience.  The first was down in Cleveland, and as we finished, the events were starting, so the women’s locker room was filled with adolescent girls.  Now they were too modest to actually change clothes in public in there, but that’s when I noticed they were painting and doing their hair, or something.  I was mainly focused on trying to get my boys changed and out of the chaos which proved very difficult, because Drew in particular was just mesmerized and could only stand still and watch all the action.  I was able to strip him off, but not able to get him dressed easily which left a naked 3-year-old staring in wonderment at all the girls. 

We ran into another one last Friday.  This time it made it almost impossible for me to park and thus late for our lessons.  One of the moms told me we should try and arrive 15 minutes earlier during “Carnival Season”—great.  How long does that last?

Football season has officially started over here, or rugby.  Now there are two different types—-rugby union and rugby league, and there is also Aussie Football Rules, which is some other game all its own.  It’s not quite as confusing as cricket, which is just finishing up.  In cricket, apparently the Australian team plays whoever they want, whenever they want, always in Australia because they are the best and it’s an honour to play against them.  ‘Matches’ last for 5 days or one day, and there is no real tournament or anything to decide true champions from what I can tell.  In the heat of the summer they dress in full long sleeves and pants ‘because it’s tradition’ my husband told me—likely a tradition in England I would imagine, so of course we wouldn’t want to change that in a country that’s a zillion degrees hotter.  Plus, is England playing this game in their winter?  I need to further research this.  Unfortunately, if anyone is looking for good info on Aussie sports, this blog is not going to be helpful.

As far as football goes, there seems to be several different leagues and matches and tournaments, depending on the type of rugby being played.  All of these are very important to my husband.  But apparently one of the most important is the Brisbane Broncos, rugby union I think, and they have started playing on Friday nights for the most part.  I have learned I need to entertain myself and take care of the boys on those nights. 

Then on Saturday, we had the big 40th birthday bash.   I kept the boys out of the way during the setup hours thanks to our lovely former neighbours, and they had a blast seeing their ‘new/old’ friends again.  Sunday was mostly about recovery from that, and today, we are back to our new routine.  Except, Zach and I took the train, all by ourselves, to the City (I guess not technically, but it counts in my book—it’s the outskirts of the actual downtown) to learn about my new job offer, which is now my new job!   It seems like a good company to work for and a great opportunity for me, as well as helpful to our family.  They are being flexible with me as far as working out a start date, so I can work on finding Zach childcare and getting our schedules figured out and then start sometime in the coming weeks. 

With all that’s been going on, I still have been feeling quite isolated.  The main attraction for me with this job is to do something that is purely mine, not mommy’s, not the wife at home keeping everything straight, but Kathleen.  Exercise has been another good outlet for me and I had been really looking forward to running a 5k over the past weekend with some new friends, but it didn’t work out.  I know I have met some wonderful people, and that I have gone out on my own a handful of times, and that Steve and I have gotten out a bit, but I am starting to feel strongly that it is time I pursued something on my own and have my own commitments and schedules that need to be worked around.  This job won’t fill that need completely, but it is a start and it will get me out in general society more and I am really excited about that, and also, very nervous to start! 

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