our month out of the country

Culture shock

Here I am. Back in the land of no-sunshine. It’s cold here, and so are the people.

The kids and I walked down the street this morning. It was early, so we only passed about ten people. Five wouldn’t even make eye contact. Three looked at me as if I had three heads when I said “good morning”. Two grumbled “good morning” while hurrying past me. Sigh. I miss saying “good morning” and getting a smiley “good morning! How you doing today?”

I’m weirded out by the lack of honking cars. I mean, in a Toronto context it’s good: no road rage. But where I’m coming from, two short beeps mean “thanks for letting me in!” and one means “you’re welcome!” Drivers there are very considerate; they know that there are few traffic lights and they drive accordingly, stopping to allow oncoming traffic to turn. Hence you hear lots of little beeps all day, but almost no angry honks. You also hear quite a few friendly little horns that play “la cucaracha”, which really adds a laid-back vibe to the commute.

On the subject of driving, I felt very disoriented today as I tried to remember that I drive on the right side of the road here, and the turn signals are to the left of the steering wheel, not to the right. I did manage to drive without any head-on collisions, but I think I signaled with my windshield wipers a few times.

And the roads are so straight here. On our island almost no road is straight, making 40 km/h feel more like 70. Here when I’m going the speed limit it feels unbearably slow.

But we’re back, and I’m glad we are. I need to get back on the bandwagon, with my Menu Plan Mondays and Work in Progress Wednesdays and everything in between. I’ll do that… as soon as I catch up on some sleep.


our month out of the country

I wanna go home!

You know, it’s not that I don’t love the weather here. And it’s not that I’m anxious to get back to paying bills and doing the school run. But I’m done here. I’ve been to the beach maybe 6 times this whole trip, eaten out a handful of times (and only once without the kids), and been woken up at sunrise every single morning because apparently nobody here believes in blackout curtains.

Yeah, I’m ready to come home… to my regular babysitter, my own washing machine, my own bed. I’m cranky and I’m irritable, and I think that I’m homesick.

Just four more days.

our month out of the country

changing of the guard

Mr. December has now joined us on our island. So have his parents (yep, the in-laws). My mom leaves today.

I’ve become accustomed, these last few weeks, to being the “good cop” – my mum is pretty old-school. Now I’m suddenly the bad cop again, with Mr. December the good cop and the in-laws barely qualified to be rent-a-cops. All things considered, I’d rather be the good cop. It’s tiring always having to be the vigilant one.

In good news, K has been wearing panties since our last post (except when she’s sleeping) and we’ve only had one or two accidents. I’m thoroughly impressed with her. She’s even woken up dry the past couple of mornings and run to the potty on her own. Now, if I could just dissuade her from emptying the potty into the toilet by herself, I’d have it made. As it is I have to mop the bathroom floor a few times a day so it doesn’t smell like a public men’s room.

I wanted to include some recent photos, but this connection is taking too long to upload them. Picture us on the beach, our colourful diapers waving on the line at our apartment, and K building huge towers of blocks.

family fun · Kids · our month out of the country

Island in the sun

Lazy post today – some pictures of how we spend our days here.

N spends most of his days this way: look into the bucket, take things out, chew them, put them back in. Repeat.
Pure joy.
All dressed up for a grown-up party.
N is very comfortable in the ocean - one of the delayed benefits of water birth?
K wanted to climb this tree. Sadly, a sign - and some crochety old people - stopped me from letting her.
We play hard. Then we crash. G'night!
Menu plan Monday · our month out of the country

Menu Plan Monday – February 7 edition

Another Monday, another menu plan. We’re on “vacation” this week (it’s never a vacation with two little kids, unless you have childcare. Anyhow, this week we’re planning meals for two adults (me and my mom) and two kids, one of whom only eats babyfood… so one kid, really. And we’re far from home, on a tropical island, so the options for produce are different but limited. Did you know that the papaya trees had a disease four years ago and still haven’t bounced back? I’m really missing all that fresh papaya for breakfast.

Anyhow, here’s the plan for this week:

Monday – Dinner at aunty’s house. Leftover lamb, pumpkin fritters, and a sadly unripe papaya.

Tuesday – Quiche with tomato, onion, and New Zealand cheddar. Crispy flatbreads. Israeli salad.

Wednesday – Roast chicken, brown rice, broccoli

Thursday – Chicken sandwiches on focaccia, baby carrots

Friday – Shabbat dinner at aunty’s. I’m making challah.

Saturday – I think we’ll go out. Either pizza at Cheffette, grilled fish at Just Grilling, or something at Mulligans, which is a lot closer to home.

Sunday – Homemade burgers, pumpkin mash, sweet potato oven fries.

… so that’s it. What are you eating this week? If you’re stuck for ideas, go check out some of the other bloggers over at Organizing Junkie

our month out of the country

We made it!

Here we are, on my little island in the sun. The flight was okay (more to come on that tomorrow), but then we had a hell of an evening with the kids and ultimately a terrible day on Thursday as well. Friday and today have been a lot better – a lot more relaxed – and I’m starting to see a negative correlation between mood and the amount of clothing the kids are wearing. They both spent an hour this morning lying on the grass in the shade, stark naked, staring at the clouds. It’s heavenly.

Some things you can be looking forward to hearing about:

  • my thoughts during the flight
  • the synagogue (and newly discovered mikveh) on this island
  • half-assed homeschooling – or not
  • more Montessori musings

… and, of course, lots of pictures. I hope I don’t get busted for kiddie p*r.n, because the kids often don’t wear a stitch of clothing. I’m starting to wonder why I packed clothes for them at all.