I just dropped Pickle at her orientation for occasional care - a two hour session in preparation for one day in care a week. I'm sitting in the library next door thinking what should I do with my time? I have a long list of things that need doing, but the thing that crosses my mind most days, that I never seem to get to, is my blog.
I thought I’d be able to update it at least every month – which is how often I update the blog I maintain for Pickle and her Grandparents, but something always seems to take precedence. And then I thought I’d have time to do a ‘what happened in the last year’ post last month, but ended up being even more overscheduled than usual. I cannot believe its been over a year since I last wrote, nor how much has changed since then.
Last January, when Pickle was nearly 8 months old we took a ‘holiday’ to Auckland to see family. It was the usual pressured trip with lots of running around to try and spend time with everyone. The last three days we drove to Tauranga to spend time with a family friend and have a couple of days relaxation by the beach.
We had originally decided to move to Melbourne and got the visa before I became pregnant with Pickle and our choice of Melbourne was mainly for the job market. When he announced we were moving to Australia, Mr Duncan’s employers declined his resignation and asked if he could just work for them from there. And with Pickle coming along, I never started looking for clients in Melbourne and started slowly working on some small online businesses.
When we returned from our trip to New Zealand, Mr Duncan and I started discussing the idea of moving out of the city. The housing market in Melbourne is extremely expensive and given we didn’t need to be close for work reasons maybe we should consider a seachange.
I remember Bits And Peaces making a similar change, for similar reasons and it seemed to offer so much – more time for both parents to spend with the baby, more affordable housing, more stopping and smelling the roses…
So the end of last April, Pickle, Mr Duncan and I flew to Brisbane, rented a car and did an 800km road trip along the coast south to Coffs Harbour and back – checking out all the little towns that met our criteria of near the sea, with good schools, a good library, hospital and some level of tertiary education in town.
We found one village that really felt right and after re-examining similar places and property prices closer to Melbourne decided to bite the bullet and move again. At the end of June Mr Duncan and all our stuff drove North for two days to move into a rental we took sight unseen over the internet. Pickle and I flew up.
Its been nearly a year and we definitely are enjoying a slower pace of life with lots of building sandcastles and swimming in the sea. Pickle is thriving and we've settled into a routine centred around the beach, local shops, playground and library. We only get out the car for the weekly swimming lesson.
What else has happened?
- We went to the UK for a month for Mr Duncan’s work and to see Pickle's grandparents. This was an exhausting trip, totally not worth it and I don’t want to travel long-haul with Pickle again until she’s at least five - although it was nice to briefly meet up with some old friends. We all got badly sick with flu from the return flights and spent a month recovering.
- Not long after we returned from the UK, our landlords announced they wanted to move back into their house so we had to find a new place to live and move house again just before Christmas. The property market is more expensive than our research had suggested and there is little supply so its taking us a lot longer to find a house to buy than we expected. I’m simultaneously not looking forward to and looking forward to our next move. At least the next move will be to our own house and we can stay in it for decades.
- Mr Duncan’s parents came out to visit for a month in March. I thought this would give me some respite – some time to update my blog maybe? No. Although they wanted to spend time with Pickle every day, they weren’t willing to do it without myself or Mr Duncan present – so we just ended up really overscheduled trying to fit in all the social stuff.
- My Mum is coming to visit for a week next Tuesday to celebrate Pickle’s second birthday (and my fortysomethingth). I just hope this trip goes more smoothly than the last one.
The speed at which these small people learn and grow is mindblowing.
- Pickle started walking at 14 months, 2 days. It was kind of unexpected as she hadn’t really been practicing walking. She just stood up one day and took 14 steps across the back yard. By the end of the week she’d stopped crawling completely.
- We did baby sign language with Pickle from the start, and she was pretty good at letting her needs be known with her hands – “more milk” “up Mummy”, “finished”. But in the past couple of months her speech has jumped from one-two word sentences to ten word sentences and decrees. ‘Pickle wants Pickle’s daddy come home to Pickles house where he lives’ is one recent statement that sticks in my mind.
- And in news it feels hard to write down, Mr Duncan and I decided at the beginning of the year to see if we are lucky enough to give Pickle a brother or sister so have been working on clean eating, stress reduction etc. I’m back on pre-conception supplements and seeing an acupuncturist. I know our chances are not high, but they’re not impossible either. Or thats what I keep telling myself.