We're finally back online, after 9 days without Internet... what a relief. (Who knew we were so dependent? Argh!) I was planning to post some new videos tonight of Will doing sign language, but our camera battery just died, so I can't import the files... ::sigh:: Technology: can't live with it, can't live without it.
Anyway, we're loving being in this house-- Will has his own room, I have my own kitchen, and we all have a fenced in yard to play in, as well as three parks plus a mall with a grocery store within walking distance! I've been trying out my new crockpot this week, my Christmas gift from my mother-in-law-- so far I've made "Easy Lasagna" and "Red Curried Chicken & Kumara" (for you Americans out there, kumara is a Kiwi sweet potato). Yummy! Both huge hits with my men... truly, the way to a man's heart...
Thank you to those of you who have been thinking of us all throughout this transition. The end is finally in sight: we are getting back in touch after the holidays with our future co-workers, and hope to move into our new assignment by the end of March or early April. I'm still working on my New Zealand permanent residency, so we want to log as many days as possible here before we leave.
Will continues to get cuter all the time, trying out new sign language for "please" and "milk" (a new one tonight), and flashing that irresistible grin of his. He's also getting more independent, nearly walking, and testing our boundaries more and more. He goes up to something he's not supposed to touch, grinds to a complete stop, doesn't look at us-- just waits. One of us will repeat the command not to touch, whereupon he visibly thinks it over, and sometimes turns around with a big grin and comes away, and other times tries touching it anyway-- and experiences the consequences. :) Oh, the challenges of toddlerhood. But on the whole he's very responsive, listens well, and enjoys obeying for the joyful, jubilant response he gets from us both every time. I'm glad for a responsive first child-- unlike yours truly, who had to get spanked 6-7 times for the same transgression-- in a row.
Just so everyone knows (at least those who check this blog), we're moving into a house in Christchurch today, and we'll be without Internet for about a week while we get it set up. We'll still be able to check email periodically, though. Praise God for a house of our own! It's the same place we stayed to wait for Will's birth-- I actually went into labor in this house. It will be weird to be back there, as it's the first time we'll stay any place twice in this season of transition-- nice to have a bit of continuity.
So, we're driving home this afternoon from a dip in a nearby river (it was in the 90s again today), and Will's jabbering away next to me in his carseat. He starts saying what sounds like "be-be", so I say, "Where's the baby, Will? Do you see a baby?" Then I ask, "Who's my baby?" Delightedly, he grins and starts poking himself in the chest over and over. I keep asking the question, and each time he grins and pokes his chest with his little finger. It gets funnier when we got home, and Daddy tries to broaden the repertoire:
"Where's my baby, Will?" Will grins, and pokes his chest.
"Where's Mommy?" Grins, pokes chest.
"Where's Daddy?" Grins, pokes chest.
"Ok, who's the most important person?" Grins, pokes chest.
Back in sunny New Zealand, with a high of 33 degree Celsius today (91 Fahrenheit)-- hot, dry and blonde, a big contrast to the wet, chilly green of California winter.
We had a really satisfying visit with my family this past month, and it was sad to leave. We enjoyed time with my immediate family, my grandparents and my uncle, and even had time to see a few Californian natural wonders: the redwoods, the beautiful coast, the Napa/Sonoma vineyards.
My parents babysat overnight so James and I could go away for our 3-year anniversary, and we had a wonderful stay at a beautiful inn on the coast.
After a wonderful holiday visit, we're ready to buckle down and start getting ready to move back to Central Asia. We have a program to start learning our new language, and dialogue continues with our new orchard company about a departure date and plans for the move. Please keep thinking of us as we move into a house in Christchurch this week and start making specific preparations.