After the move

Many of you would know that in October of this year we moved house. We moved from the home we built for our kids to a rental property in order to live somewhere while we build our dream home.

I had not come to terms with the move as well as I made out to everyone (including myself) and as the days move along, I realise more and more how strong we’ll have to be for the next 9 months.

In a nutshell, we had a home all of our kids grew up in. We finished the build when Sebastian was 3 months old and lived there ever since.

Because we ended up with 4 lovely children instead of the two we were planing on, we no longer had enough room to accommodate everyone’s needs. We essentially lived in a 3 meter squared room and slept practically on top of each other. That in itself isn’t so bad, but when you consider that two of the kids have very poor sleeping patterns because of their eczema and they are sharing with the two others, things do get a bit hairy with all those sleep deprived bodies in the house.

So, we sold. Our plan to live there while we built was shattered with the new owner wanting to move in. Never mind, we have 6 weeks to find a house to live in.

Well, without going onto painful details, 6 weeks got whittled away to 6 days before we laid eyes on a home large enough to house us and our “junk”.

A lovely little home, three bedroom, 1 toilet, 1 bath/shower, kitchenette, dining/living area, a garage and a huge industrial shed out the back. Wood polished floors, only one room with carpet, ideal for kids with dust allergies. No airconditioning, but we were sure we’d be able to sort something out. We were pressed, we took it.

As we walked in, I smelt the musty air and saw the cockroaches crawling out of the skirting. We organised the pest controller (who couldn’t come  until the Tuesday after we moved in) and opened the windows to get rid of the smell. After all, it had been shut for a long time and it had been raining too.

A good vacuum of the floors and we moved in. We had a mad scramble to move, two moving companies ended up helping me as my husband was out of action with a torn shoulder muscle. I won’t harp on the move as it is still one of THE most distasteful things I EVER had to do in my life. I will say however, we were due to hand over the keys at 2pm on the 18th and we didn’t manage to do so until after 10pm that night. All because of red tape and massive miscommunications with one real-estate agent. Not the company, one person in particular.

Well, the itching began the first night we slept there. Both Matthew and Nathanael couldn’t cope with the heat and the dust mites and the cockroach castings. Sebastian was struggling too. All three slept in their cooling vests that night and almost the whole week after.

Nathanael’s skin turned bad. Very bad, his feet had scabs all over, his stomach and arms were getting ripped to shreds by his scratching. His general discomfort made it impossible to approach him to help as he would scream at me and lash out.

Matthew on 12.5 mg of Predmix was breaking out and having asthma attacks. Something is not good here.

A hospital stay for 4 days before Christmas cleared them up, only to come home and break out in spots again. My heart is breaking for the two of them.

We have been learning new things about the home we are in and I am feeling totally overwhelmed by the task ahead. Most things we won’t be able to prevent, others will eat up my entire day and then some, to keep under control.

Basically, the house is at least 25+ years old. It is damp, it isn’t insulated, the sewage goes to a terracotta septic tank and the cockroaches love the house to bits. Even empty they were finding things to eat.

I am supposed to keep the floors clean and dust free, the bathroom and bedrooms aired and the sheets done at least every other day. We want to keep the home cool and we bought an air conditioner for it but it is struggling to make the environment work for the boys. I also have to weed out the stuff we moved from the other house so we don’t take useless things to the new home. All this while I keep the two boys skin under control, look after my other two and myself….

Bummer, this turned into a whinge where I just wanted to clear things up for myself and some of you asking why I haven’t written for so long. I wanted to write how we are persevering and trying to make this place work. I wanted to let you know that the kids have learned to ride their bikes without training wheels (or taunts from the neighbours kids). I wanted to write how much happier we are here living practically on top of each other because we are all out of our comfort zone….

I’ll let this last piece of 2010 slip into the past and then I will write again with a whole new set of experiences and stories.

Wishing you and your families a WONDERFUL 2011!

With love and support,

Tarja Kelly

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