Monday, 12 August 2013

Settling in...

I am standing in a playground across the road from the house we will be moving into in a couple of weeks. The girls are sitting on a four way see saw with two other children, rocking away and having the time of their lives. It is a beautiful sunny day, where standing in the shade is perfect temperature. It is the perfect morning. Except that Hubby is at work, and is not with us so, almost the perfect morning.

I can't wait to move. It has been a great experience living in the apartment, with wonderful views across Ottawa. It has been lovely to have a place to call home right from the time we arrived. We have gotten to know the local environment, but are missing having the opportunity to pop down to the playground, and have places to run around.

Last week, as the girls and I walked around one morning, escaping the confines of the apartment, we happened to walk past The Parliament, where at 10am everyday during Summer, they hold a changing of the guard ceremony. And it just happened to be 9:55. We grabbed ourselves a little spot on the grass, just inside the roped off area and for half an hour, my little nut bags and I sat still and enjoyed the pomp and ceremony of soldiers, marching bands and the concept of 'a show'. It was fabulous, and I was so pleased that the girls enjoyed the spectacle in front of them. We did happen to be there on the busiest morning ever, as there is a International Scout convention of some sort in Ottawa at the moment. As we sat there, the resonating chorus of 'Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi' came across from the other side of the field. I did cringe inwardly. I am proud to be Australian, just not proud of that chant.

I did attempt to take the girls to the local library, which is in a little, beautiful, historical building down the road from our apartment building. We didn't last long. The Youngest's full vocal announcement of 'I've done a poo!' Was enough to send me running for the elevator and back home in a hurry.

On Saturday, with Hubby in tow, we took the girls across the river to Gatineaux, to The Canadian Museum of Civilisation. This museum has a fabulous Children's museum and the girls just LOVED it. For those in Canberra, if you have been to miniQ at Questacon - it is similar, but on a much larger scale. The girls ran from activity to activity for over two hours until all four of us where exhausted and had to drag ourselves home.

Otherwise, we are starting to find some sort of daily rhythm. Hubby has started his new position, the girls and I go out for daily walks and we are occasionally brave enough to do touristy things like the museum and eating at Hard Rock (the Fajitas never fail to please).

Today the girls and I caught the bus down to our new area, to have a look at a school for The Eldest. It is a lovely little Montessori school, with a place available for The Eldest to start in September. Full Time school. Gulp. She's ready. I'm not. Brave face Mumma, brave face.

And so, as our begin our third week in Ottawa, these are the things I have learnt since we arrived.

#1 Automatic doors as we know and love in Australia, do not exist here. Something to do with the snow in winter, but all the doors are heavy, there are two rows of them, and if you're lucky, there will be a button to press to open a door for you. Not the easiest thing to negotiate with a pram. Just saying. But I guess I'll have a better appreciation come winter.

#2 I am totally crap at spending foreign coins. Awesome at spending notes, but terrible at spending coins. With such an abundance of coinage in our apartment, I think I'd better get a piggy bank.

#3 Apparently it takes 1 day for every hour of travel to get over jet lag. It's true. So now that 2 weeks has passed, I am pleased to say we are over jet lag and there are now no 2am renditions of wheels on the bus from anyone in our apartment.

#4 It is totally shite to have to carry 2 children down 22 flights when the fire alarm that was supposed to be a test becomes and real fire alarm. It is a relief to find it was only a false alarm and the elevators are still working, so at least we didn't have to carry them back up all those stairs.

#5 I am missing my Biginelli's daily caffeine fix. Starbucks is an inferior replacement. Our Nespresso machine is somewhere in between.

#6 Everything is pretty much the same as back, just that liiiiiiitle different to throw you off at times.

#7 I miss miss miss having a car. I miss the freedom. I know that I should be appreciative of all the free exercise I am getting from pushing two kids and all of their paraphernalia around. Except that after two weeks I am over it.

#8 I and my children may never be invited back to the High Commission, after The Youngest graffittied an office wall with red marker. Cringe.

Au Revoir

Jen x

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