A few weeks ago my 10 year old son (who I Au Pair for in New Zealand) presented me with this homemade story….I could not stop smiling! I hope it brightens your day too 🙂 I am mailing this to Canada so I can keep it forever!
[Amanda Once upon a time there was a orphanage and a orphan called Amanda. and no one wanted her until the Henshaws and they said we will take her the end.]
I wanted to share that picture for two reasons:
#1 To express how much the boys and I have bonded, and how great of an experience Au Pairing can be.
#2 Just to reiterate HOW MUCH I love children. I love love love how expressive they are; so able to tap into their emotions. How creative they are. How imaginative and curious they are!
Deciding to become an Au Pair has been one of the best decisions of my life. I wanted the opportunity to travel and work with children. Being able to live and experience a “Kiwi lifestyle” has been amazing. I have always loved children and I am so happy my passion for a career in this field continues to grow. I would recommend Au Pairing to anyone adventurous enough to leave the comforts of their home! I have always been fond of children and quickly form bonds with them. These boys have been no exception. They will forever be part of my life.
While I was babysitting the boys tonight, the 10 year old asked me a very important question, “Would you rather be in our family or yours?” I carefully explained that if I had always been in his family – I wouldn’t have the brothers I have now. I wouldn’t have the friends and parents I have now. My whole life would be completely different. I quickly followed that up with, we will always be a family NOW. I have a Canadian family and a Kiwi family. I knew he was pleased by my answer because he gave me the cutest hug and smile ever!!
Besides all the memories; I have adorable pictures and recorded quotes the boys have shared. I am so happy that the older I get, and the closer I become to becoming a mother, the easier it’s becoming to save and preserve children’s’ things. Digital pictures, scanners, scrapbooking, iphones, video cameras that aren’t MASSIVE… There are so many more ways to capture and share the memories. Yay! One of my favourite things to do is look at old photos and videos of myself as a child.
Originally I had planned to post the picture and nothing else. I am glad I decided on this little blurb to follow it up. I hope this post gave you a reason to smile.
Tomorrow is my day off and I am excited to spend the day sailing with my Kiwi-Mom! Aren’t Sundays (off) great?!
There is always a reason to smile,
xoxo Amanda Sumalee
The weather was pretty overcast when we woke up but we chose to stay in a positive frame of mind. THE SUN would come out for us! We enjoyed a bit of a sleep in before packing a picnic lunch and heading over to Takapuna Beach. We were going to spend the afternoon lounging around the beach before going SAILING. When I moved in with my Kiwi family I excitedly told Ana my family owned a sailboat. Ana expressed to me that she had never been on a sailboat and that was one of the things on her bucket list. I have been a few times before and loved it so I told her of course we would try to make a dream of hers come true. My family was MORE THAN willing to take me out whenever it fit into my schedule and to accommodate my friends coming aboard too. Both parents are on sailing leagues and those nights I babysit the boys. In the summer the family quite often goes away for a week during school holidays. On weekends they take the boat out frequently to go fishing and to enjoy overnight excursions.
My Kiwi-dad had pre-warned us that all three of us probably wouldn’t be able to get on the same boat. On Thursday night rum nights people can sign up to go out on boats that aren’t theirs. People tend to use their regular crew but there can also be spectators who just want to go out on the boats. Luckily Ana and Kaik were able to ride the Princesses together. The boat was docked right beside “our boat” the Panacea so we were able to see each other and somewhat communicate before the race. We arrived at the marina early so we would have time to change and snack. At this time the weather was so stormy that the waves were HUGE and there were a large amount of whitecaps. I was excited but felt silly wearing my jeans knowing full well they would get wet and heavy.
The race was amazing. It was hard to tell who was winning because boats took different routes and the boats had different handicaps. As a competitive person – I always got nervous when a sailboat passed us but I knew our boat was in good hands. We had 4 crew on our boat and then myself and another person spectating. Kiwi-dad’s goal is always to WIN so I was happy I was on his boat. The 6 of us started in the back of the boat and once we were out of the harbor and in open water the non crew sat near the front of the boat. I told Kiwi-dad I didn’t want ANY RESPONSIBILITY given to me during race time. I wasn’t checking wind or doing any of the sails. He laughed and said that was completely fine he would try to make it as smooth a ride as possible. It was a windy day and the waves were sooo choppy by the time the race started. I got so soaked and had the time of my life. Sailing was WAY MORE physical than I ever thought it would be. The one thing I learned is when you hear, “TUCK” yelled out it means watch your head, usually duck from the boom, and once it’s swung over you quickly AS FAST AS YOU CAN get to the other side of the sailboat. You can slide under the boom or walk around the back but do NOT stay on the same time or your feet and maybe whole body could be in the water. Kiwi-dad assured me most races aren’t that physical it was just because it was so choppy out there. The rules of the weekly competition are that the top 3 boats get free rum. The thing is — everyone usually brings rum and drinks beer after the races and it’s a very social time for all the sailors so no one is really “left out” of celebrating. You have a celebratory drink on your boat. Then you visit your neighbour’s boats. Then there is usually a rum boat (the loudest most overcrowded one) and everyone just chats and the night gets louder and longer and longer. There have been instances where people have decided to sleep on their boat after the races…Needless to say the girls and I had a fantastic time and laughed our butts off the whole time. I took some pictures on my iphone but had to tuck it away in my bra for most of the race. I was a little paranoid that it would fall out or get splashed and have water damage forever! I can’t wait to go again. I usually decline the overnight rides with the family but I look forward to racing with the parents again.
After the race we went to pick up Emzie and bring her back to my place for the evening. The only minor issue was how to exit the marina?!!? The GPS does lie sometimes…don’t worry we figured it out 🙂
We went home and went to bed pretty early to get ready for our next day of fun!
I hope you all found time during the holidays to enjoy the spirit of the season!
Christmas 2012 was a fun day of celebrating. The boys let me sleep in until 6:36am before running into my room to let me know that Santa had come during the night. I had such a great time watching the boys eagerly open all their presents. Shortly after 7:30 we were all sitting down to enjoy a lovely breakfast. (It was a very early morning for me!) I drove to Emma’s place around 11 to meet up with all the Whitleys and enjoy a beach walk along Takapuna beach. The tide was in so we couldn’t climb the rocks — but we did have a great walk along the shore. I was able to assist in the capturing of the Santa hat family photo picture for the fam jam. Afterwards we ordered pizza and Indian and had an intense xbox bowling tournament. Lots of fun was had by all.
Boxing Day was a FULL on shopping day. I was not too excited about all the shopping but I did enjoy the company. The weather was pretty rainy causing us to run from store to store. We went to A LOT of the touristy stores. I finally got to buy my first hoodie here. They are sooo hard to find here. We had another night of playing xbox and then drove home later that evening.
I was working on Thursday and Friday and was fortunate enough to have gorgeous summer weather. We went to the beach 3x and swam and surfed lots. A few weeks of vacation officially started Friday evening. I packed all my clothes and headed back over to Emma’s house.
Originally we had planned to have a beach day Saturday and head to Waiheke Island on Sunday for scooting around. We had to switch our days around because all the mopeds were booked on Sunday. It was a blessing in disguise because Saturday’s weather was absolutely GORGEOUS!!! It was about 25-30 degrees and stayed that way for our day trip. We were so fortunate to have so much sunshine. We took our 40minute ferry to Waiheke Island at 9:30am. We had one brief stop at Devenport to pick up other passengers. We were able to pretty much cover the WHOLE Island while riding the mopeds. We didn’t do any swimming at the beaches but we stopped at a few to enjoy the view!! The water was a stunning shade of turquoise and the pictures don’t do it justice. We stopped for lunch at Stonyridge Vineyard. We had rented mopeds so we decided it would be best that we not sample the wines. Instead we had a meal and only one glass each. While we were dining a helicopter landed outside in the field. 4 people stopped in for a quick bite to eat. As we were leaving they were boarding their helicopter to leave. Just a quick little stop for them!
Our first stop on Sunday was to Westhaven Marina so Father Bruce could chat with my Kiwi father and see their sailboat. He appreciated his little tour of the marina and chat with another male. I think he liked getting away from the 4 females for a little bit this trip. We then carried on seeing more sailboats at the harbour downtown. There were some big boats docked. We talked to one owner who had his boat on the market for 4.5 million euros…he told us his bigger boat was arriving in a few months and just needed the space to dock the new boat. We stopped off briefly at my home so the Whitleys could meet my family and wish them luck on their one week sailing trip. Ever summer my family goes away on their boat and the boys get to go fishing and swimming every day. We had planned on going to Long Bay Regional Park and walking the kilometre-long sandy beach but instead decided to go swimming.
I am trying to stay on TOP of my blogging… promise. Spending so much time out in the sun keeps me busy and EXHAUSTED in the evenings. I will try to get back to posting my photos on Facebook too. I was doing so well for a bit. I am hoping to get my New Year’s day/evening blog up today or tomorrow. The Whitleys are leaving today and Ana/Kristy arrived so the house is a bustling.
Buddha Blessings to all
…remember any of these pictures can be enlarged if you click on them 🙂