Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Slowly but surely...

Well, we did not get the apartment we were excited about. But we decided we did really like the building - Pacific View in Tai Tam. Our real estate agent pulled a list of other available apartments and already negotiated on our behalf on another apartment with the same layout. This one does not have the contemporary touches that we had liked about the other one. But it is a good size 4 bedroom (technically over 2000 square feet - but they count the square footage a bit differently here - so I'd say it feels more like 1600 by our standards) and it is in good condition. It's owned by a major landlord here called Sun Hung Kai - supposedly the best landlord in Hong Kong. We're getting it for the same price as the other. It will be newly painted and floors freshly polished with new appliances. It's not quite a done deal yet - but more or less it is going to be our new apartment.

So with that in mind, I set out to find a preschool for Leah. There are 3 preschools in Redhill Plaza - which is in Tai Tam. I was able to make back to back appointments to see all 3 this morning. I brought Leah along but left Will home with Anna May. Leah and I both picked the same one. Yes - she really did have an opinion without my prompting her. The first one we saw was called Sunshine House. It really was bright and airy and everyone was incredibly nice. We recently met some people in our building whose 2 girls go there, and we had already heard good things about it. They were very welcoming - even offering Leah to sit and join the circle where the teacher was reading a book in the class she would be in. She happily joined them and even stayed while I went off to see the rest of the school and talk further with the director. They brought her back out to me at snack time because they weren't sure if she should have the snack. The director offered for her to stay for snack, but we said no as we had another appointment. I just did not have the same feeling at the other 2 schools, so I feel pretty confident that this is the right spot for Leah. We are going to see one more tomorrow, but it is a bit more expensive and a bit further from where we'll be living - so unless it's miles ahead, I think the decision has been made. And with that in mind - I am scheduled to go in on Friday to fill out paperwork, provide a check, get her uniform (yes - uniforms in schools are very common here), and have everything ready for her to start school on Monday. She's incredibly excited.

In the meantime, she will be taking a swimming class here at The Repulse Bay for the next 3 Mondays and a ballet class here starting tomorrow for 4 Wednesdays. And she loves going with friends to the American Club - so hopefully we'll get more invitations there....and hopefully we'll join soon.

We're getting more and more used to having a helper. I still need to find a permanent helper, but for now we have Anna May - and I think we can continue with her for as long as we need - but she is "live out" and we'd like to find someone to coincide with our move to "live in." I have now left Will with her a couple times and he's getting used to her. She's done great with getting him to nap and giving him a bottle. And she continues to be great with Leah. She is definitely not a fabulous cook, but she is more or less capable in the kitchen. And as long as it's edible, I'm more than happy to have her take care of all the cooking. This morning I asked her to have eggs and toast ready at 8:30 and she did. When Leah and I got home midday, she prepared our sandwiches for lunch. And I asked her to have dinner ready at 6:30 - and she did. Not to mention that she is taking care of laundry and dishes and will do the grocery shopping if I ask.

I am continuing to meet people. I did go to Will's baby group yesterday morning, although it was a small turnout with only 3 of us. And I called the American Women's Association (which I joined a couple months ago) to get the membership materials mailed to me now that I am here in Hong Kong. They are also going to officially put me in the baby group for Will and get me set up with the appropriate playgroup for Leah. I have also joined a Foon Ying (new members group) there which will meet for the next 3 Wednesday mornings.

So slowly but surely we are finding a routine...and I am starting to feel a little more settled and a little less overwhelmed.

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