The week having Charles’ family here at our new place was the best! We were pleasantly surprised that he’d hop over from Melbourn, where he’s on a project for work. Michael had just got his 70% work schedule approved so he only needed to take off Monday.
The week went by so fast, we drove to Wellington to pick them up, the bus schedule was too inconvenient for everyone, glad we did it since we all got to spend some there, Wellington is always fun. Unfortunately Li was running a fever and it was the worst car ride from the airport to the hotel. We decided not to rent a car, so Yiren and Lin sat in the back row, Wenqiong, Charle’s wife and I sat with Li in the middle row then Charles and Michael were in the front. They really got the worst welcome ever, glad that was the rock bottom though.
Everyday was packed, we took them to Pukaha Mount Bruce, and were lucky to see the only white Kiwi bird in the world, Manukura. Kids all had fun there watching the rangers feeding the largest fresh water eel. We also took a trip to Foxton Beach, the New Zealand beach is quite different from those elsewhere, very primitive and natural. Charles said it’s the nicest beach they’d ever been. We also hit all the main playgrounds in Palmy, and were lucky to get on the model train ride at Esplanade on Saturday. On Tuesday, Yiren was able to go to the playcentre with us, she usually gets up at 9am (how lucky for Charles and his wife) so it was a bit struggle for her. We still can’t figure out how Lin and Li’s sleep schedule adjusted to Yiren’s, it’s still a mystery! They usually get up at 7am but the week Charles’ family was here, boys both slept till 8 or 8:30am, but went back to their old habits as soon as they took off. I am still pondering…
The highlight of the visit was definitely the card games, because the kids woke up later, we were able to play card games till 2am. Charles and his wife, very experience Gong Zhu players, taught us how to play this Chinese game. We drew pigs and someone in the end had to crawl on the floor and make pig noise, then tell everyone, I am the pig! It was obviously very entertaining. I am just glad that it wasn’t me 🙂
We were all sad to see them go. It was one of the best time we had since we had children. I was expecting a house full of chaos, dirty dishes everywhere but it turned out with another family under the roof, everybody helps with the workload. Wenqiong and I were able to make the noodles from scratch (I’d never had the time to do that if I were home alone with the boys), she and Charles went out for dinner on their own Thursday evening, and I didn’t know that was the first date for them after Yiren was born. She’s a little adorable girl, and she was so easy! She’s not shy, not difficult, sleeps and eats really well, and doesn’t cry that loud. I can watch five of her no problem. Anyway, my point is this whole week of spending time together all the time made me think our modern lifestyle is really not practical – as parents, we have to do every little thing, which consumes most of our time, I wish sometimes we could go back in time, and really have the village to raise the children together, it just makes a lot of sense and much more beneficial for our children.
Oh did I mention that they came on a weekend when Palmy has one of its best event – Festival of Cultures, so yes we were really in luck for tasting international foods, performances and arts.