Lots happening here at the Ranch, and we are much overdue for an update. I'll just do a quick run-down and hopefully settle into more regular posts once the dust settles a bit:
- We've moved to a new suburb of Wellington called Brooklyn. It has its very own lovely Central Park and many of the streets are named after U.S. presidents. Our house has amazing views (pictures coming soon, but for anyone who has visited already we look down onto Mt. Vic) and those most-precious of Wellington commodities (insulation, double-glazing and central heat). It's a bit further from work (12-15 minutes by car as opposed to 4-5) and if you can believe it windier but much more convenient to downtown and its awesome amenities (Te Papa, Frank Kitts Park, Moore Wilson, etc.)
- Our new rental makes our old rental (which I often claimed was going to be the nicest house I would ever live in) look like a dump. Thank you Marilyn for swinging for the fences and delivering us another warm, safe and gorgeous place to live in your fair city.
- As a result of our move, Sophie started at a new kindy and appears to be adjusting well. It helps that many of her peers have also left for new schools as they turn 5, so it's not as unusual of an event. On her first day all the kids sang her a welcome song in Maori and each offered up something they could do to make her feel welcome. I dropped her off the second day and while talking to the teacher was surprised to see her trundling across the playground with a 4' ladder in her arms. She propped it up against a retaining wall (under the supervision of another teacher), climbed up and proceeded to jump off onto a big climbing mat. Beaming face, glowing eyes, very happy Sophie.
- Josie has continued to improve with the increased dosages of lamotrigine, clobazam and epilum. She is still quite shaky in the mornings but (knock wood) we've only seen one or two possible head nods in the past few weeks, and (thank goodness) no drops. She has been very clear and vibrant, if a little more mischievous (earning her latest nickname, Josie-a-fiend).
- Josie had her first tonic-clonic (the kind formerly known as 'grand mal') seizure on the morning of her 3rd birthday party. It was the longest five minutes of my life. The neurologist had informed us that these would be likely given her particular brand of epilepsy (MAE or Doose Syndrome), but up until then we had avoided the "big bad" kind. We haven't seen any more since but have been extra-watchful in the mornings, when they seem most likely to recur. We've also read a bit more about them and feel a little less terrified of them, if not exactly welcoming them into our lives.
- We spent a hair-raising, nail-biting week after learning that our insurer wouldn't cover Josie for another year (our one-year packages weren't extendable, so we had to re-apply as if we were all brand-new customers again) because of her epilepsy. Awful? Yes. Legal? Apparently so. However we've since learned that our back-to-back work visas qualify us for New Zealand's publicly-funded healthcare under which all children under 13 are fully covered. Imagine that, our tax dollars at work! Hooray for New Zealand.
- Uncle Jesse arrived the morning after we moved into our new house, just in time for the worst stretch of weather we've had in months. He's been a good sport about it though and seems to have fallen in love with Wellington. I share his appreciation for it, and have loved seeing him connect with Sophie & Josie - it's really been a great visit, we will be sad to take him to the airport tomorrow!
- We continue to miss our former cohorts in ex-patriatism the 4kiwiwannabes, especially since we are so much closer to where they used to live! I am mulling a Memorial Day turkey after our Easter pumpkins, and thinking it would have been nice meal to share.