A Week in the Life

Hello all. I haven’t really been up to many exciting adventures the past two weeks, mainly just staying at home and not spending money! I thought it would be interesting to start this post on a Monday and add to it all week long so you can see what I get up to. I’ll put it all in great detail for today, Monday, and less after that. This morning was weird because I woke up and really just wanted to be at home. I wasn’t sad or anything, I just wanted my mum and Wegmans I guess. The feeling passed through the morning but I’m sure I’ll feel that way again. I know my point of view and tense changes and a lot in this, it’s hard to keep it constant for a whole week!

Monday

  • 7:30am- alarm goes off and I’m up to start the day. The children and their mum have already been up for a while but my workday starts at 8 so I use the time before to get dressed and have breakfast and do all that before beginning work.
  • 8:00- workday technically begins. What I do is different each morning. This morning C and D were already dressed and fed so I just played with them until my host mum took D off to daycare when she leaves for work at 8:15.
  • 9:00- C has to be at school. Usually we play until then and this morning we did lots of colouring. Often playing with tractors is the predominate activity.9:30- now begins my “me time” without the boys. Most mornings I do a workout right after I get home from dropping C off and today was leg day. I was a sweaty mess as seen below.

    img_3814
    The joys of sweat. 
  • 10:00- now I usually just potter around and do anything that I need to. So far I’ve made a questionable tasting smoothie and had a much needed (see photo above) shower.
  • 1:00- off into town now to run some errands (boring things like the post office and groceries) before picking up D from daycare. I’ve had a nice relaxed morning reading and eating lunch.

    This book is a murder mystery intertwined with Macbeth. It was $1 at a book sale and I probably won’t finish it.
  • 2:30- now I pick D up from daycare and then go straight to C’s school to get him. Usually C wants to play on the playground after school for a bit. After school it’s snack time and then usually rest time as both boys are pooped. I try to find things other than the tv for them to relax in front of and today it was more colouring. After rest we do lots of playing.

    D has told me that he likes my car the best. I think it’s because he has a front facing seat in it, while a rear seat in his mum’s, Or he loves my wonderful radio singalongs. 
  • 5:00- this is about when I get dinner for the boys after a full day of playing. If it’s something adults can eat too, great! Tonight it was cucumber, potato, and sausage for the boys. Yum. C has to go off to his BMX biking practice on Monday evenings so I get a little bit more time with Darcy alone.
  • 7:00- now is when I am officially off work. I live with my family so obviously I still interact and play with the boys after this time but I means I am not the primary caregiver. It’s also usually when grown ups eat! Ravioli for us tonight. After eating the parents put the boys to bed and I relax. Then sometimes my host mum and I watch trashy reality to together (our current obsession is some show called Married at First Sight).
  • 11:00- often when I go to sleep. Then onto the next day!

Tuesday

  • Woke up this morning feeling very tired and not in the mood for loud children. I know, crazy, but it happens. This whole experience has been a lot of learning for me and today I had to learn how to be happy and peppy even when I was asleep inside. I think I managed it pretty well.
  • Usually on a Tuesday I’d bring C to school and D to daycare but today I had D with me all day because we went on an Au Pair Link Outing to the kiwi sanctuary! D was very tired and stroppy today so it could have gone better but it was cool to see a kiwi! No photos were allowed inside the kiwi habitat because they’re nocturnal but I did get some other cute photos!
  • Then D went home for a nap until we picked C up from school. I won’t lie to you, today was a difficult day. I’m not going to go into what we did after school because of that, it was a struggle for everyone. I woke up upset and didn’t really feel better through the day. The kids were difficult and I just felt a little lost inside.
  • Tonight I went out and met some other au pairs from the area for the first time. They were really nice but definitely have an established group that do things together. I didn’t realise that I missed being able to call up a friend and have them come over and bake something together. I miss having someone I can cry to that lives nearby. I guess I’m feeling a little lonely but I didn’t recognise that those were my feelings until now. New Zealand is all about learning new things and pushing myself out of my comfort zone I guess.
  • Side note: we have super heavy rain from tonight until Thursday and I love it! It makes the cosiest atmosphere for going to sleep and I love waking up to rain. Weird, I know.

Wednesday

  • Today is kind of a day off. My host mum takes the day off work on Wednesdays to spend time with the kids so I’m not usually working and I like to give her space with them. That being said, if she needs me to watch them while she runs errands, I’m usually around for that.
  • I woke up to rain and feeling better and recharged. I think it was identifying my feelings as loneliness that helped. Now I have to figure out how to combat it.
  • Did a morning workout and showered before checking if my host mum needed me for anything.
  • Spent the day in Hamilton with my friend Line visiting the Waikato (our county) museum and trying to buy a pair of hiking boots. I couldn’t find any that fit and the museum was mediocre so not the day we expected. On the bright side, the cafe we sheltered from the cold and rain from was delicious!

    Cutest cafe! I had a cappuccino and boysenberry cake.

Thursday

  • Today began with the harsh realities of living where you work. When the boys loudly wake up at 6am, you do too. Even though I didn’t have to get up yet, I was still awake. But that’s life.
  • Today has mostly been a day of domestic tasks. My hosts dad’s entire family is visiting  (4 brothers, wives, and kids!) and tonight there’s a big dinner party with family and friends. Thursday is the day of the week that I always set aside for the household tasks that I’m responsible for (the adults share all the chores between ourselves) and I spent the day vacuuming, tidying, and lots of laundry (mine and the boys).

    Perks of living in the windy countryside.
  • Today was also the big grocery day. My host mum does a big online grocery shop every two weeks and I went into town and picked it up today. It’s a massive order that requires about seven trips from the car to the house!
  • I also went for a run today because the rain has stopped. I didn’t use to workout this much since I stopped swimming but I’ve gotten much squishier than I was before and New Zealand chocolate is too good (which is why I’ve given it up for lent).
  • Today I got a package of some goodies, including Girl Scout cookies (!!) from home, which was lovely.
  • Plus I went into town and got some pictures printed at put them up. The heart shaped ones I put up a while ago but the doors, my travel doors as I like to call them, are new!
  • Mostly the boys and I did resting activities after school like colouring, reading, and helping to take in the washing!

    D loves being read to, but I think he mostly likes the pictures.
  • Dinner party went well and I ate way too much!

Friday

  • Yay it’s almost the weekend! Update on the boys this morning, very tired and cranky from last night. We’ll see how this afternoon goes.
  • My host dad was able to take the boys to school and daycare his morning and I did some tidying up from last night and another workout. Then I had a long chat with my mum and later a chat with my family in Japan about my visit to them in May. I’m going to Japan!!
  • C went to a friends house after school so I spent the afternoon playing with D. Once my host parent got home we all had leftover from the dinner party and pretty much passed out on the couch from a long week. We know how to party on a Friday!

Saturday

  • The intense rain is back and it’s kind of ruined the weekend. There’s so much to do nearby where I live but it’s pretty much all outdoors. I usually do a lot on the weekend, but not this one. Line and I were thinking about going to see the rodeo but that’s canceled. Who knows who the weekend will entail?
  • Side note, D just learned the word “die” and is running around the house joyfully shouting and giggling about death.
  • Super relaxed day. Watched some tv and baked some scones. It’s was such an exhausting week so I was happy for the break. Ended the day with yoga, a phone call with Grace (<3), and ice cream.

Sunday

  • Today began with no rain! I woke up and it was cloudy but no ominous clouds so I jumped out of bed and hurried to get ready for the day. I was going a little stir crazy after being inside for so long. Of course as I got ready and left, the heavens opened up and it ended up being some of the worst rain I’ve ever driven or walked through.
  • About 45min from me there’s a road that contains a natural bridge, caves, and a waterfall and that’s where I went. The road was narrow and bendy, my least favourite, and there was so much rain. I did have to break for cows crossing though

    Literally. Like 100 cows were being paraded down the road.
  • The Mangapohue Natural bridge was very cool and the wet weather enhanced the location. Made me feel like I was adventuring through a rain forest.
  • Then onto the Piripiri Caves. Not so impressive. Really wet hike to get there and then because it was so overcast I couldn’t actually see the cave. I got these crappy pictures and then it occurred to me that this cave looked like a great place for a TV (or real-life) murder and I quickly left.
    Too dark to see anything

    Tried to take a flash photo to see the inside, the rain had other ideas.
  • Last was Marokopa Falls. Pretty good, even in the rain
    You can tell how wet I was, and how wet my camera was from this blurry shot!

    It’s no Niagara, but pretty cool
  • Then I went home and had a hot bath and lunch! Later Line said she had a coupon for a pub and asked if I wanted to go out to dinner and of course I said yes!
    We went for a nice walk around a pond before dinner.

    The pub had cool barrel tables and i had a really tasty burger.
  • The week ended with a Lush face mask and some tv in bed. It wasn’t the most exciting week but I think it was an accurate representation of the life I have here in New Zealand. I left out some of the more raw emotions I feel because I don’t want that part of my life and story on the internet. But I’m mentioning it now because I don’t want this just to be a blithe retelling of the week. The reality of living abroad is fun, but can be so hard. It’s my own personal things do feel and deal with, but trust me the emotions are there. Until my next post, peace out!

    This face mask looks, and smells, like having mint chocolate chip ice cream on your face.
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