Blogging has been sporadic this past month, on hearing from Crown Relocations that our container load of belongings was finally going to be delivered back to our home in Wellington.
I was determined to have the house organised, with storage space for everything that was coming. We’d purchased a few extra things whilst away in the USA – but had also cleared a lot things that our now four and half year old had grown out of. We’d also filled a skip load of stuff that we’d found around the house on our return from living overseas for fifteen months. The house was feeling cleared of clutter and I was determined to find a home for all our personal belongings without them overwhelming my new sense of order!
The main priority in achieving this was assigning each of our three children their own space and they would have the majority of their toys stored there; with just a few choice items (namely Lego, Thomas wooden train sets, cars, a pretend play kitchen and some paper and pens for impromptu writing and drawing) in the main living area.
The truck arrived one Thursday morning and I left hubby to tick the boxes off the inventory as they were unloaded – some 140 of them! I took my oldest daughter to school and spent an hour or so playing at a playground on Oriental Parade with my youngest daughter. Our middle daughter stayed to help with the logistics of unpacking!
When I returned home there were enough boxes loaded into the children’s rooms for me to start unpacking. Thankfully I’d forethought where I was going to store their various belongings – and ordered some great furniture from Mocka (which we’d spent the week, prior to delivery day, building).
My unpacking was interspersed with impromptu puppet shows, and other games, as toys were rediscovered after months of being on the container ship from California.
We also had a gorgeous wardrobe we’d bought from Pottery Barn, in the USA, to put together (it was mostly built – but there were three large pieces to fix together – which took the muscle power of three grown adults to lift!).
Our eldest daughter’s room is in the process of quite the make-over; with an amazing ‘New York’ feature wall. We have a few more items of furniture to choose – a desk, a couple of occasional chairs and a coffee table and some better storage for her collections and bits and bobs. She has an amazing ‘style tile’ on the wall, to keep her organised, and she’ll eventually have her desk under it – when we find one she likes.
A wooden floor is going down this week – and will, by the end of next week (just in time for Christmas), be extending throughout the entire living, dining, hall and kitchen area of the downstairs of our home (so we have MORE furniture moving in preparation for the floor being laid down!)
In between all this unpacking, furniture building, painting and decoration, friends have been a very wonderful and welcome distraction. Hubby and I have been taking it in turns to take the children out, whilst the other one is left at home getting on with work. One of my favourite outings was with my younger two, to explore some rock pools. Our eldest daughter has been industriously earning points for a ‘Marine badge’ in science this term, so naturally her learning has influenced the younger two.
At home in the garden there’s been plenty to entertain too, whilst I’ve been tending to our tomato, peas and strawberry plants – that are all growing beautifully (and yes, I’m still getting out for a few runs to keep me sane!).
A friend invited us around to her house for a wonderful afternoon of making some ‘moss art‘ (environmentally friendly graffiti if you like!). The children loved blending the moss with some key ingredients, before pasting the mixture onto some wood, that my friend’s son had careful cut with his saw.
Our eight year old homeschooler has a very close friend her age (who she missed heaps whilst we were living in California) and they’ve been catching up a couple of times a week to play sport. They’ve both joined a softball team this term and are doing really well.
We’ve been out walking our puppy, enjoying the company of our neighbours and their children, and preparing our home with festive decorations for Christmas.
There’s also been unplanned interruptions to our unpacking, like the afternoon a beautiful ‘Tui’ (NZ bird) was found by my neighbour on her driveway, looking very wind swept and too tired to fly anywhere. She took the bird to the wonderful ‘Nest’ at Wellington Zoo, along with two of our daughters and her daughter, where the vets invited them in to see how they cared for wild birds in need of some rest and recuperation, before being released back into the wild.
We are finally beginning to feel ‘at home’. It’s so lovely to have our photos up on the walls again and cosy corners to snuggle and read (not that we have much time to sit down at the moment!).
And our gorgeous puppy is definitely helping us to feel ‘at home’.
The best part of being back is the welcome we’ve received from friends. Wellington is a pretty special place, despite the wind, and an impromptu evening meal with a friend and a drive to the Mount Victoria lookout reminded me of that.
The sunsets, the racing clouds, the hills and the harbour; this is what keeps our hearts in Wellington.
My hubby and I, expats from the UK, are so happy to see our children’s smiles at being back in the country where they were born.
It’s really great to be ‘home’. x