My first blogoversary.

A year ago, I started blogging. My theme was (sort of) “I moved to New Zealand, and it’s been a challenging journey.”

I chose to use my real name. And I told my parents and my friends about my blog.

I wrote about trying to fit in in New Zealand, parenting a child who is allergic to everything, and my marriage. And I spent a lot of time on my soapbox, pontificating about, you know, stuff.

In 2009, I was trying to find myself. Like, what does it mean to be an expat? If I have lived in New Zealand for eight years, am I still an American? Or am I a Kiwi now? What am I going to do next year, when the child starts school? What’s it like to be a wife, and do I even want to be a wife?

And I was trying figure out who I am on social media. What kind of blogger am I? Here are my favourite posts from 2009:

One of the best and most surprising parts of this blogging journey has been my readers.(Especially those of you who have been brave enough to come out and follow me publicly.) As always, I’d like to thank you for reading and for your comments. Wishing you all a happy and prosperous 2010.


Mosquitoes love me.

Mosquitoes have always loved me. Because I am sweet.

When I was five, my family moved to Southern California for the summer. There was a mosquito nest in my mattress. I think you can guess what happened.

When I was nine, my family went to Florida for spring break. Florida is a swamp, infested with mosquitoes. I was eaten alive.

Infested with mosquitoes
Do you know where else is a swamp? New Zealand. There are 16 species of mosquitoes in NZ. By this, I mean there are a lot of mosquitoes.

When I first got to NZ, Adam and I went camping. I got a couple of mosquito bites. No big deal, right?

I didn’t scratch those first mosquito bites at all. But they swelled up so much that I couldn’t walk. I had to go to bed for two days. For mosquito bites. That was before the child was born, when I could still get away with that sort of thing.

My life with mosquitoes
Apparently, the mosquitoes in NZ love my fine vintage of Northern Hemisphere blood. Or I don't have the right antibodies. I guess mosquitoes are my Kryptonite.

Now we have mosquito nets over our beds. They look beachy and romantic. And we usually keep the windows closed at night.

I bathe in insect repellent.

I have learned that it doesn't matter if I scratch the bites or not. They still get painfully swollen. As with so many other things in life, there is no need to be a martyr. I can scratch my bites until they bleed (sorry, that sounds a bit emo).

Anti-histamine is my friend. And winter. When all the mosquitoes die.

Photo credit: Te Ara

Edited to add. I'm getting invisible comment spam that I can't delete. Has this happened to anyone else?


Honest scrap.

Thanks, Jane, for the Honest Scrap award. (You are totally my new BF.)

Jane's blog Lights! Camera! Diapers! is like a bloggy version of Anne Lamott's Operating Instructions. It's that good. And I know it’s a bad financial year, but if you have $2, you can help Jane make a movie. How cool is that--helping make a movie? It's easy, and it's fun. Check it out here:

So, as always, I’ll be honest. I love Honest Scrap. Here are the rules:

1) Must thank the person who gave the award and list their blog and link it.
2) Share "10 Honest Things" about yourself.
3) Present this award to 7 (or so) other people whose blogs you find brilliant in content and/or design, or those who have encouraged you.
4) Tell those 7 (or so) other people they've been awarded HONEST SCRAP and inform them of these guidelines in receiving the award.

(Cue drum roll.) Honest Scrap, the Holiday Edition.
  1. I am bad at giving gifts. Birthdays, weddings, Christmas. If I am ever rich, I will hire a personal assistant to take care of my gift-giving.

  2. Every year, I say I’m going to get my Christmas shopping done in June or August. But it never happens. I’m always running around at the last minute.

  3. I have given up sending cards.

  4. At Wellington Road, we used to have an artificial tree. A few years ago, we donated that piece of crap to the school fair. We decided it’s greener (in NZ) to have a live tree. And it’s more fun.

  5. When I was five, I heard reindeer landing on the roof. (My parents didn’t believe me.)

  6. When I was seven, my mother baked the most delicious shortbread cookies, and we hung them on our Christmas tree. By Christmas, I had eaten all the cookies that were hanging on the back of the tree.

  7. When I was in high school, I still wanted to sit on Santa’s lap. I was either re-visiting childhood, or I thought it would be kooky.

  8. I wrap presents in brown parcel paper.

  9. I have always liked the Grinch and Scrooge. But the Ghost of Christmas Future can stay away. That shit is spooky.

  10. Even though it doesn’t get dark until after 9pm on Christmas Eve, I still light lots of candles. Christmas Eve is better than Christmas. Especially Christmas Eve night, when everything is finally done. It’s magical.
Okay, if you want to accept your award (no pressure), here are my nominees:

Aliceson from Feet Off the Table. She makes me laugh, she makes me cry, she makes me feel grateful for what I have. I love her.

Michelle from Harmzie’s Way tagged me last time. It's payback time.

Megan Rose from Frou Frou Frippery. She used to have a blog called Honest Lying, where she vowed to speak her mind. She is my inspiration. Except I don’t do crafty things like she does. Go look at her gorgeous holiday birds. Want.

My mother blogs at From AA to NZ. That’s right, my mother is a blogger. And she inspired me to start blogging. She’s funny, and she’s family.

Madame DeFarge from Bateau Banane. She is a successful blogger, and obviously a lovely person. Plus she seems to “get” my humour.

Jayne from InJaynesWorld. I just discovered Jayne. She is a celebrity writer, and one of my new favourite bloggers.

Chris from Daddy Needs Some Alone Time. I stumbled across Chris in the comments of another blog. He's a comic, and I love it when he stops by Wellington Road.

The End of Honest Scrap. (Cue curtain.)


New taglines.

I heart Ann's super funny blog, Ann’s Rants. Ann's post about new taglines had me spitting out my coffee.

Here is my riff on Ann’s tune. Without further ado, my new taglines for Wellington Road:

Wellington Road: Rants from a grumpy expat.

Wellington Road: Starring Pajama Girl as Herself.

Wellington Road: Where I write things that I really should keep to myself instead. Oo-oo-ah!

Wellington Road: Cheaper, more public therapy.

Wellington Road: I whinge so much you’d think I was a Pom.

Wellington Road: My glass is empty.

Wellington Road: Where sarcasm is the highest form of wit.

Wellington Road: I’m having an identity crisis. And so is my blog.

Wellington Road: My spell check is British.

Wellington Road: My husband used to call me Sweetness and Light.

Wellington Road: Everything is wonderful (when you’re on holiday).

Wellington Road: If I were taking Xanax, my blog would be very different.

Wellington Road: Witness the train wreck.

Wellington Road: If you think my blog is a mess, you should see my house.

Wellington Road: Bah, humbug.


Retraction. (Not really.)

Harriet the Spy
When I was growing up, Harriet the Spy was a book that I liked a lot. It’s about a girl who writes in her journal what she really thinks of people. One day, Harriet loses her journal, and her friends find it and read it. Harriet’s friends are hurt by what she has written, and Harriet must apologize (i.e., print a retraction) to save her friendships. Oh yeah, I identified with Harriet.

Well, Wellington Road is not a journal. Most of the time, Wellington Road is a humour blog. It's where the author rambles on about whatever is on her mind. Call it therapy, or call it procrastination. Especially when the author is supposed to be doing the dishes, hanging up the washing, or playing with Transformers.

If you have been offended by the content of this website (such that it is) because the author has:
  • flirted with satire;
  • wallowed in irony;
  • suggested you are neurotic;
  • complained and/or whinged;
  • made fun of a beloved national holiday, or
  • compared you to a sheep;
be advised that it really isn’t about you. If you believe that it is about you, let your voice be heard. Email your Letter of Complaint to the attention of the Standards Committee.

If your letter is funny enough, we may post it on the website. Or you can leave a comment on this blog. Don’t be shy. Anonymous comments are still allowed.

If your feelings have been hurt by a post on Wellington Road, most Kiwis would say you need to harden up.

But here at Wellington Road, we are warm and fuzzy. We care about your feelings, and we apologize for our mistakes (and, if necessary, we lie).

As such, from here on in at Wellington Road, self-deprecating humour is the order of the day. All mocking will be of Juli Ryan, the author of this blog, only. And perhaps some celebrities, politicians, and other random people and events.

But not you, dear reader. You are one of the reasons that we get up in the morning (other than coffee and the incessant demands of a child tyrant dictator). We will (probably) never mock you.


I’m a winner.

I did it. I finished my NaNoWriMo. I’m so excited to have written 50,000 words in a month. And in those 50,000 words, I almost completed the arc of my story.

Now I am gathering ideas for my next book . . .

Husband: Don’t you need to finish the book that you've been writing first?

Me: My NaNoWriMo was just practice.

Husband: But you spent so much time on it.

Me: Let's call it recreation. It was like watching TV.

Husband: (exasperated sigh)