Update from Oz

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Looking at the blog, I can’t believe almost a month has passed since my last post.  I want to write more about India, our time in Thailand and some of the exploring we have done in Melbourne.  But I can’t gloss over the past month and the struggles I have experienced.  I haven’t posted frequently to social media lately, but when I do you often see the highlights of what we are up to.  You might see a city skyline, a favourite playground, the kids in their cute school uniforms.  img_5635What you don’t see and what is so hard to articulate is how difficult this transition has been for me.  I am not sure how much I want to write about it but the stress and anxiety of selecting an area where to live in Melbourne, the mismatch of expectations and realities, the deep analysis of who we are as a family and what we want from this experience and just general home sickness has made this last month the most difficult time in my life.  I realize that doesn’t make sense because how can the adventure of moving to Australia for two years be so difficult?  I can’t explain it, but I have felt so many shades of disappointment, worry, uncertainty, anxiety, sadness and even grief this past month.  I wish I could say that that is all behind me now, but it isn’t and I accept that it is isn’t going to disappear, but is something I need to work through.  I am not trying to be cryptic, but find it hard to find the words to explain how deeply the last month has shook me.  I was so fortunate to have my mom fly over for 2.5 weeks to provide some extra support and help us move into our new house here.  She left today and although my parents will be back before Christmas, I can’t say enough about my parents that will drop everything to help and support me.img_5615

I want to get back to blogging because it is good for me to put words on paper and I will write more about our adventures here, Thailand and India highlights.

Last week we moved into our house and it feels really good to unpack and get settled and find a place to call home.  img_4430 img_4431 img_4437I still struggle with if this is the best neighborhood for us and at the crazy amount we are paying for rent, but I know I need to accept that and move on.  With my Mom here, Paul and I were able to spend hours at IKEA without kids, shopping for a house full of furniture.  It sounds like a really fun task to buy all new furniture, but it was stressful to plan out and try to keep to the budget.  Luckily we were able to buy some used things on Gumtree (like Kijiji) like our appliances.  On move in day our large IKEA delivery arrived along with our sea shipment from Canada.  The kids were really excited to unpack the boxes from Canada and rediscover all their toys that they hadn’t see in months.  We got straight to building furniture and it was a huge help to have my Mom here to help out.  One week on and we are set up fairly well.  We have lots of cardboard to dispose of and lots of little piles of junk to get sorted out, but we are slowly getting there.

The kids started school two weeks ago and overall that has been really successful.  Ella in particular is thriving with her new class and loves going to school each day.  Gavin started off well, but is struggling at drop offs lately and gets sad when I leave.  Miles doesn’t start school until February here so he is home with me and is pretty happy to play at home or at the park and have the occasional babecino.img_5723  The kids have also been testing out various activities and have gotten involved with Girl Guides, Scouts (Joeys here, not Beavers), dance, Taekwando, and swimming lessons.

Teddy Bear Picnic Scouts event.

Teddy Bear Picnic Scouts event.

We have found the school to be extremely welcoming and have a strong sense of community.  The school in many ways is very similar to schools in Canada, but there are also noticeable differences and I am sure I will write a whole post about that.

One of the things I hadn’t really thought about for us was having to start over and make new friends over here, which isn’t easy.  When we moved to Malaysia we were part of a distinctive expat group and were adopted into that group quickly.  Slowly we are making more connections and I have been out on a few coffee and play dates.  Paul even attended the school’s Dads Association golf simulator night out tonight which was really well attended.  I attended the Principal’s three year review update one evening and it was great to hear about the initiatives and goals of the school and to look at the data from various surveys and tests. It is interesting to see the same buzz words abound (inquiry based learning, 21st century learner, etc) and I enjoy having a foot in the education world.

Now that we are settled in the new house, we are looking forward to spending our weekends exploring the City and surrounding area.  I am also hoping to get back to a more regular blog schedule.


Weekend road trip


We love Australian playgrounds which definitely encourage risk taking!


Testing out some potential camping gear.


Platypus at Healesville Sanctuary


Koalas at Healesville Sanctuary. Miles says they are much more boring than he thought!


Warrandyte by the Yarra River for fish and chips dinner.


Wirrawilla Rainforest hike.


Penguins at dusk at St Kilda Beach, Melbourne


Chilly evening at St Kilda to see the penguins.


Exploring the alleyways of downtown Melbourne and enjoying some dumplings.


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