Maddie Rae Gotcha Day

Monday, September 8, 2008

Progress, Settling, and Repatriation

To say the last few months have been hectic would be a major understatement. Fortunately it's been a fun hectic filled with first days of school, new friends, and reconnecting with American life. And oh yeah, gutting our kitchen. I wanted to post pictures tonight, but alas, I have misplaced the download thingy yet again. So the big question lately has been, "Do you feel settled yet?" The answer to that question is a tricky one. I do feel settled in that I feel like I am "home." I'm back in the city I am comfortable with. My sister is right down the road, our church is already a home to us, and we fit right back in with our friends. However, as similar as everything is, it also has a time warp feel to it. Like I've come back to the same life, only I'm different. I've lived in Asia for 3 years, my kids are school age now and the toddler phase is long gone for the boys, and we have a new daughter from China. Some days when I'm driving around with Maddie Rae in the carseat behind me in the same van that we had before we left, I can't help but feel like the boys should be back there causing trouble and making noise as 4 and 2 year olds. It's just weird! Now I'm carting them around to school, soccer, and cub scouts, and I have a little girl accompanying me on my shopping trips. So in a sense I don't feel like I'm living "my life" yet, and I'm having to redefine my life here to a new normal.

As for the house, we are making major progress! Jon and I used to have a joke when we were first married and I wanted to buy some piece of furniture. He would always say, "Don't buy that. I could make it!" I always chuckled and said, "yeah right." I won't chuckle anymore because he CAN make it! He has so far ripped out the bathroom vanity/sink and plumbing and put in a new pedestal sink and new fixtures. He gutted the whole kitchen, ripped up the subfloor (to reveal hardwood floors...yay!), did all the electrical wiring, installed all the cabinets by himself, installed the microwave and dishwasher, and is currently finishing up the island that he built. The granite and sink are coming tomorrow (hallelujah), and after that we will just have all the finishing touches like crown molding, drywalling the soffit, installing the lights, tiling the backsplash, and repairing and refinishing the hardwood floor. I am absolutely and totally in love with this house, and it feels so good to be home.

On the kid front, the transition has been really smooth. The boys really like their new school, and we have been really pleased with their teachers and the atmosphere there. Jonah is in Kindy, but because he is so far ahead from his HK school, his teacher is sending him to a first grade classroom for phonics everyday. She also works one on one with him daily so that he can continue to progress and be challenged. Jack is getting used to US school and has been challenged by having to learn US money. He is doing really well in 2nd grade and is enjoying soccer and cub scouts. Maddie Rae, Chloe (our bassett hound) and I walk the boys to and from school everyday, and we have really enjoyed our daily walks. Maddie Rae started going to a Mom's Day Out program with her cousin twice a week and she loves it. She happily goes in, gives me a hug and a high five, and is on her way to the playdough. She has also started speech therapy once a week for one hour. We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our newest cousin due to arrive any day now. I missed the birth of Mallaney, my sister's first daughter, when we moved to HK. It nearly broke my heart at the time, so it is extra exciting for me this time around.

I will end this novel now that we are all caught up, and I promise to get over my blog identity crisis and start posting again! Pictures coming when I find that blasted downloader!

4 comments:

mel said...

Yea! Happy to see you back!

goooooood girl said...

Feel good......

Michelle said...

Well, I was soooo excited to see "new" next to your blog on my blogroll!!! I am thrilled to hear that all is well and you are getting settled in and feeling at home. Find that connection thingy, will ya? I need to see some pics of those cute kids. lol!

Anonymous said...

im sooo delighted that at last ur now at home at the same i really miss all of u spending time with the boys specially when i baby sit them at night!!! that we have to sleep in the same bed...And that was my favorite job during the day...Hahaha...Anyway,i do always go to ur website to keep me in touch!! i do miss hongkong so much but reading and seeing all the pictures that jon post in ur site it keeps me "home " for a while...
Regards to the kids and do send my regards to jack for his birthady,to jonah and hoping to see u guys this November...im excited to meet madie rae...Congrats to regan and to mike for having a baby boy!!!Lanie will be happy too...

Miss yah all,
Ann