As of nearly 2 weeks now, we officially live in London.
I have so much to say, so many questions to answer, and so many thoughts to process. Where to begin with such a task?
I decided that I’ll give a brief rundown of the high points, and then I’m going to go back and dedicate a whole post to a lot of these things to fill in the blanks and attempt to process it all.
Chris came a week early to get a head start on getting the flat ready and started setting things up. This was incredibly helpful because there is so much to do in a move like this.
“Get things set up” may sound like, “moved furniture in and around,” but it was more of things like, got the bank account worked out, set up utilities, bought random things so that we could start living here right away (pillows, sheets, towels), bought appliances (microwave, tv, alarm clocks), started hounding the letting company about various things that needed to be fixed in the flat (lighting, dishwasher, railing), started hounding the council about Jayce’s school, and many other things that I am leaving out.
He also got a good lay of the land, an idea of which buses we needed and where they would take us, and set us up with bus passes before we’d even arrived, which was supremely helpful.
As I said in this post, the kids, Chelsea and I flew over a week later. Chelsea and I set up the flat, unpacked everyone’s clothes, organized (tiny) closets and cupboards, moved furniture to the garage (okay, Chris chipped in on this), shopped for furniture and other niceties, washed lots of dishes and laundry, assembled stubborn furniture, and got the place feeling homey and comfy. There is still plenty to be done, and purchased, but we made a whole lot of progress in only 4 full days.
How’s the flat?
We really like it. I’ll write more on our flat, probably a few times, because I promised Chelsea some before and afters, and this place has some funny quirks that are worth sharing.
We don’t LOVE the area, but we like it, and it will certainly do for the time being. The surrounding area would be less of an issue if we had a car and were driving through it to get where we need to go, but we’re walking. The bus stops that we use, the parks, Jayce’s school, the library, the grocery store, etc. are all on a pretty busy road and I don’t love walking alongside it with the kids in the stroller. There was already one day where both kids were crying, I was carrying Jayce and pushing Hannah in the stroller because it was too loud and it scared them. So there’s that.
Jayce and school.
Most of the schools started on Tuesday or Wednesday of last week. At that point, we were still waiting to hear if Jayce had been accepted into any of them, since you are supposed to apply BY JANUARY and we obviously did much later than that. We found out that he was accepted into a really wonderful school that is fairly close to the house, 0.5 miles, and it starts next Friday. When I went to meet his teacher/see the classroom/get the final paperwork last week, I discovered that his class does not meet for 5 mornings a week, but for 5 full days a week, which is standard for 4 year olds. So I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by that, to say the least. It’s a great school, and a play-based learning environment which is exactly what I want for him, I just wish that there was a more gradual step for him into full time school and there’s not.
How are the kids doing with jet lag and the new place and everything? Great.
Our plane left very early in the morning and was a fairly short trip, 9ish hours of total travel time. This meant that once we got back to the flat, we basically brought our bags in, bathed, and went to bed for the night. The kids slept in the next morning, but have had no trouble with jetlag at all. I’ve heard that it is easier on kids since they are already napping during the day anyway, and this helps their bodies get into the new sleep cycle. This seems to have been the case.
Jayce has been a pretty happy camper throughout all of this. He is fairly accustomed to sleeping in different places with the traveling that we do to grandparents houses, the farm, vacations, etc, so he’s had no problem settling into his new room, though it is pretty bare at the moment. We have been exploring the many different parks that are in the area (we want to make sure those naps are good ones!), and there seems to be something that he is looking forward to each day.
He has asked for his old friends on several different times this past week and it really breaks my heart!! This is one of the reasons that I am looking forward to school for him, it’s a place to make new friends and play with kids his own age. Because no matter how fun Chris and I are, we obviously can’t meet a little boy’s need to play with other little boys his own age. But other than missing his old friends, he seems to have taken to our new life just great.
Hannah is the same. In this picture she’s saying, Yeah, I already took off my shoes even though we just left the house. What are you going to do about it?
She eats as though we don’t feed her, chatters all the time, has such a fun personality, is into everything, naps like a dream, and night sleeps like a nightmare. And don’t even think about suggesting to me to give up one of her naps and see what that does for her night sleep, because I don’t know what it will do for my sanity. She is such a little busy body right now, and she wears us out, but man is she sweet.
Chris’ job is great. Truly.
He’s a professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, and the director of the Centre for the Social-Scientific Study of the Bible at St Mary’s University College. Due to the crazy nature of our passport/visa situation, (which is, that they lost our passports while we were applying for our visas), and not knowing how long the visa application process was going to take, he was not assigned any classes to teach this semester. But he’s excited because he can dedicate this whole semester to the Centre and to writing. He spent last week getting his feet wet a bit, meeting various colleagues, and was in central London at the end of the week at a conference, so he is off running! We have already been invited to dinner with a few of his colleagues, including the Principal and Head of School, so I’m looking forward to meeting these people that I’ve been hearing so much about.
Also, the campus is lovely. Pictures to come soon, but the buildings are old, the grass is green, and it’s totally charming.
I think that is all for the moment, but there will certainly be more soon.
What am I leaving out? Please tell me.