Thursday, 28 June 2007


I gave our dog Giles a bath this past weekend, and I realized I'm really going to miss him when we move. It is possible to bring dogs over, but I've read it's quite a drawn out, expensive procedure. Like several months pre-move of tests, at least 1 month post-move quarantine, and over $3000. I love Giles, and he totally is family, but I've come to the decision that it's best for us, and for him, to leave him behind. I have plenty of family and friends who love him, so I'm sure he'll end up in a loving home. Any of you reading who wish to submit and application for him, let me know. ;)

He's sulking at me under the desk right now.

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

4 applications at once

The application for registration of New Zealand citizenship by descent mentions that 2 photos are needed, 4 if applying for passports as well. This implied to me that it was possible to apply for both the citizenship registrations and the passports at the same time. To be sure, I emailed the Citizenship Office (at the amusing official email address: staykiwi at I received a prompt reply that yes, I could in fact send both citizenship registration applications and both passport applications, all in the same envelope. Neat!

But that means I need to delay a bit, because the passport photos need to be witnessed by either someone with a New Zealand passport (not related), or else by someone who fits in one of the following groups (again, not related):

  • lawyer

  • teacher

  • minister of religion

  • police officer

  • kaumatua

  • registered medical professional

  • Justice of the Peace

  • applicant's employer

Unfortunately, the girls don't yet have employers. Just kidding. About it being unfortunate. And I don't feel comfortable going to the girls' pediatrician just for this. So the only other option is for my best friend, who's a teacher, to do it. She lives 4 hours away. But she's visiting next weekend, so we'll be good to do it then. Maybe I'll start working on my residency application in the mean time...

Monday, 18 June 2007

photo fun

The weekend was way too nice to spend anytime trying to get good passport photos of the girls, so we frolicked in the kiddie pool instead. Today was still a gorgeous day, but as it was a Monday, I felt an annoying, essential errand was appropriate.

A recap... These photos are actually for the registration of their New Zealand citizenship by descent first, but since we'll want New Zealand passports for them as soon as their citizenship is registered, I figured we'd get all the photos as once, rather than having to do this annoying errand again in a few months. Two points that make this errand especially annoying here in the US... The requirements are for photos that are 45mm x 35mm, which is substantially smaller than US passport picture requirements. That's the easy one though, you just cut the photos smaller. But they also state that they be taken "with a plain light coloured background (not white)". Well, every single one of the 5 local places that does passport photos (as well as 3 more distant places we called) only had white backgrounds. When DH recently renewed his Kiwi passport, we just risked it and sent in photos with the white background. The renewal went through, so we're risking it again.

Baby had the same terror at Walgreens as she had the other day, so we had to hit Cold Stone for some ice cream to calm her down before trying again at Motophoto. This time we hit the jackpot, and she was fine, though I did have to hold her for it. And I did have to pay $45(!) for the 4 sets. The end result:

Friday, 15 June 2007

hokey pokey

So if you're a Kiwi, or if you've ever been to New Zealand, you probably know and love hokey pokey ice cream. I mean, it's virtually a New Zealand national institution. Well, if you're a hokey pokey lover stuck in America, I have good news for you. Ben & Jerry's has come out with a flavour that is almost an exact replica of hokey pokey. Except it's even better. Yeah, way! Crème Brûlée is described as "Sweet Custard Ice Cream with a Caramelized Sugar Swirl". But really. It's gourmet hokey pokey. Try it and see.

officially starting the immigration process

A bit of background...

I am a US citizen by birth. DH (dear husband) is a New Zealand citizen by birth. We met 11 years ago in NZ. He followed me to America and we were married 10 years ago. He became a US permanent resident. 4 years ago we had DD (dainty daughter) #1. 2.5 years ago DH applied for US citizenship. It immediately got tied up in background check hell. 18 months ago DD2 was born.

We had always said we wanted to return to New Zealand to settle down. It was always "in a few years". Last year, we decided no more mucking about and putting it off, we were definitely going to move back to New Zealand. Two things needed to be completed first. I had started taking night classes towards a Masters degree, and I wanted to complete it. And we wanted DH to get his US citizenship, so that if we changed our minds and wanted to come back to the US we could, without having to apply for permanent residency all over again. And yes, though the US says that they consider naturalized citizens as being citizens of only the US, they don't make you renounce your original citizenship. And New Zealand has no problem with dual citizenship. He does not lose New Zealand citizenship by becoming a citizen of the US.

Well, finally, 2 weeks ago he became a naturalized US citizen. I'm on track to finish my degree in the Spring semester of 2008. We'll take the US summer 2008 to pack up, finalize stuff here, and hopefully do some Northern Hemisphere traveling. Our target date for arrival in New Zealand as residents is September 2008.

I was planning on applying for residency for me and the girls, but realized that they are New Zealand citizens by descent, and if I register them as such, they can get NZ passports and everything, and therefore would not need to apply for residency. So that leaves only me. Shouldn't be a problem.

So our first official step - register the girls' NZ citizenship by descent. For that they need 2 passport photos. While DD1 was at her last day of preschool this morning, I took DD2 to Walgreens to get the photos done. But she was tired, and got totally freaked out by the pimply teenager who got all close with the camera, and she started wailing. There was no calming her down with him near, so we'll just have to officially start tomorrow. :) Hopefully if she watches DD1 get hers done well, she'll be okay with it. Then we can send the applications off!

Come along this ride with us. It might be fun.