Moving to a different country is hard. No matter how much you researched the place you’re moving to, there will be things that take some getting used to. There are the obvious challenges for expats, finding a place to live, being away from friends and family, starting new jobs. But I was surprised by some of the little everyday challenges I encountered with regards to the more mundane daily routines. Here are the five surprising everyday challenges I faced as an expat when we first moved to California from Toronto that I did not anticipate:
“No mommy! You’re wrong! The sky is blue! It’s sunny today mommy!” My four year old yelled in the car after I casually pointed out that it looks like a cloudy day (despite some sunshine). “Oh?” I said as I stifled a laugh “It looks like a clear day to you? Usually it IS sunny on a clear day”. My kid was ready for an argument. When my child disagrees, I needed to remind myself to take it easy. [Read more…]
In Flying With Kids Part One: In The Airport I mentioned that the kids have been on 8 flights total already this year. Add one more flight to that because we booked our tickets and we will be in Toronto for the holidays! I’m very excited to see our friends and especially our family. This time Booboo will be 14 months old, which from experience is the toughest age to fly with. Our crankiest flight with a toddler was when Lulu was about 18 months. All she wanted to do was walk around but she was still a lap infant and had to be held the whole time. I have a feeling Booboo will object even more to being restrained. I have to remind myself that we know what we’re doing, we can do this! If you’re flying with kids this holiday season, so can you with these tips!
Shopping for gifts as an expat is a little different. You need have limited space and weight allowance in the suitcases. You need to buy gifts ahead of time. You need to figure out what people might want or need when you’re not involved in their daily lives because you’re living hundreds of miles away. These are my tips to expat holiday gift shopping and giving.
Heading to the airport with kids? This post is for you!
At one and four years of age both my kids are already pretty experienced airplane fliers. They both had passports before they were 2 months old. Just this past year alone we have taken 4 trips by air with them (that’s 8 flights total). Of course the first step of every flight is surviving the airport with kids.
When flying internationally, we usually have to get to the airport 2-3 hours before our flight. Going through check in and security with kids and everything that comes with it – stroller, diaper bag, snacks – can be stressful. Not to mention occasional delays and missed bedtimes. It’s as important to have a plan for what to do at the airport as it is for the rest of the trip. So Part One of my Flying with kids tips is all about how to survive the airport with kids and stay sane for the flight ahead.
Ever since Lulu got to The Defiant Fours I’m finding that she pushes my buttons in entirely new ways. I’m also finding myself becoming a mom cliche, and not in a good way. I continue to be amazed by her every day. She’s thoughtful and sweet and, for the most part, pretty reasonable for her age. She is also clever and curious and experimental and independent. These are not bad qualities. In fact I want to encourage them as much as I can. I want her to grow up with that amazing combination of curiosity and a thirst for knowledge. I want her to ask questions and try to find answers – even if it isn’t easy. We try to encourage her to solve her own problems, discuss solutions and come up with ideas. To stand up for herself when needed. I’m glad that it’s working. But it’s also kicking my butt.