Sunday, February 21, 2016
I literally had two New Year's in 2015. Our first New Year's Eve was in Australia celebrating on observatory hill overlooking the harbour and both sets of fireworks (9pm and midnight). We didn't have to wake up too early, because our flight left New Year's midday. Then we traveled to the USA, and in doing so went back in time and were able to celebrate another New Years Eve on the airplane and another New Year's Day in Utah with family. It was memorable! I really had a great time. I love fireworks, and last year we spent New Years in London... so I didn't think we ever could top that, and in ways we didn't. London is amazing and spending New Year's Eve under Big Ben was truly a dream for me. This year, however, we were able to spend it in Sydney, Australia. It was warm because it was summer here, and that was lovely. We sat on a grassy hill with blankets and popcorn and we just had a nice relaxing night watching the amazing views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the harbour itself and the city behind it. The boats in the harbour did a little dance with lights, and they also had a plane show for us as we awaited for the fireworks. The 9pm fireworks were awesome and were for families like ours who didn't want to wait up to midnight with children. But we wanted to see it all. Our kiddos fell asleep after the 9pm show and we had to wake them up for the midnight fireworks. I had a really good time. We walked home from with the masses to our Sydney apartment. I was glad we lived so close to everything. The cars were so backed up I'm sure it would have taken hours to get out of the city, as it were it only took us 15 minutes to walk home.
Monday, February 1, 2016
The beginning of the school year in Australia is the end of January. If we lived in America (or Ireland), then George would not start big school until September. I was planning on putting him into some sort of preschool maybe twice a week for a few hours so that he would have an idea of what to expect when September came. However, because of our move to Sydney, George is supposed to start kindergarten now. So today was it, George's first day of big school. And when I say big school I mean all day, six hours of school, big school. They don't have any sort of program for them to integrate into, or half day for kindergartners. It was his first day of any sort of school, and it was all day.
George was nervous this morning. When we all got situated into the car with our buckles on, I turned around and his eyes were full of tears. I asked why he was crying and he said that he was so nervous. Then as soon as he said that, he wiped his tears from his face, and said, "Just kidding!" George is a good sport, and even though he was truly nervous for school today, he made a decision to be brave. We decided that we should say a prayer, and after that all was well again in our car. We drove to school and found a parking spot two streets down from the school. The school is on a dead end street near the Harbour overlooking the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. There is no car park or formal place to park one's car, so we just have to find different spots each time we go. We were very early, and there were a lot of new children clinging to their parents in the school yard. The bell rang and all the children gathered together around the outdoor stage for their morning assembly. Afterwards the children went to their classes and the kindergartners shuffled in the direction of the two kindergarten rooms. I didn't know who was George's teacher, and he ended up not getting the teacher he liked and knew so that was a bit of a disappointment for him. I met his teacher today at the end of school, and she seemed nice enough. She didn't however have time to chat and I tried to introduce myself and she just ignored it. I don't think she was being rude, just Australian. George said that he liked his teacher, but that sometimes when she was not happy she had fire in her eyes. George is so funny, and has a great imagination. I'm sure he pictured fire coming out of her eyes when he and a few of his friends were asked to sit in the time out table for a few moments because they did not want to be quiet during class.
I think school will be a big adjustment for George, but I do think that he will end up really enjoying school. It is a lovely little school. Lots of trees, birds, a large playground, and a soccer field for the boys to play on. Gregory and George met up a couple of times during the day. They seemed to get along at school, and Gregory assured me that he was keeping an eye out for George. Gregory plays soccer with the older boys, and he invites George to play. George will hopefully feel comfortable as time goes on to jump in a play longer than what he did today which was just a few minutes.
Stan was really awesome. Over the weekend, all the yogurt pouches and snacks were eaten up, so Stan ran downstairs and out to the corner store and saved the day by purchasing fancy big drinks and small cans of Pringles for the boys. They were delighted and it went well with the apple and sandwich already packed in their lunch pales.
After collecting the boys today from school, I could tell that everyone was okay, but neither one seemed to have had a great day. So we again went to the corner store and bought the giant Cadbury chocolate bars, then we went upstairs to eat them and watch Caillou. That was nice. George was able to tell me some good things about his first day, like he enjoyed coloring in his book, he received three stickers which made him happy, and he had made two new friends in his class.
It's really hard to see your little one start kindergarten. It's the end of him being a baby. I mean George is still my little boy, but he is no longer there all the time. I can no longer shelter him from the world, or fix every little problem that comes up. He will now be without me for six hours everyday. He'll have to make his own choices, and live with the consequences given to him by strangers. It was weird getting back into the car and only having William there. The car ride to Costco was so quiet. The shopping experience was so easy. It was super weird. I had lots of time to spend one on one with William, and I realized that I haven't really had that ever. I always have other stuff and children to attend to, and William is always there but Gregory and/or George was always there too. I think William really likes it that he has Mom to himself all day long. However, he kept asking where is George? And when I told him it was time to pick up both George and Gregory, he was super excited and shouted HOORAY! The boys were all so happy to be reunited, and they hugged William and kissed his head. That made me so happy. I guess we all have to grow up. Life is hard, and I learned a good lesson from George today. Even when I feel sad inside and even shed a few tears, I'm going to wipe them off my face and say "Just Kidding," and choose to be happy and make the best of life no matter what!
I love you George! You are such a sweet boy! I hope you have an excellent 2016 as a kindergartner in Australia!
After a lovely Christmas in Australia, we went home to Utah for yet another Christmas. Both my parents and Stan's parents live in Orem so it makes it nice that we can visit them both. They both spoil us ❤️ and being spoiled is nice especially when you're not around all the time.
We also did some fun winter Christmas things like go up to Temple Square and see the Christmas lights. We barely made it and saw the lights the last night that they were up. So glad we saw them. I love the Salt Lake Temple. Stan and I were married there, and we have lots of fun memories dating up in Salt Lake before our marriage.