Monday, June 27, 2011

Is a week still only just seven days?

It certainly didn't seem like it our first week in Oxford. I guess I should say, "Does the work week still have five days?" because the days with David gone seemed to drag on and on. The first weekend here in the house we had limited supplies: i.e. whatever had fit into our suitcases. We had one towel (and the one cheap one I bought at the market on Saturday), and no linens other than Maxwell and Darian's blankets. So David and I layered up and shivered for two nights, with Darian sleeping on a couch cushion in the corner of our bedroom. (I am kicking myself for not taking a picture of that!!)

Luckily, Monday morning the movers arrived to deliver our shipment, so we were only without our things for two days. Now, if you read my post about the movers on the Burbank side of things, you'll know that I didn't really have the best experience with Earl and Poncho. I joked to my friend Jamie that I was hoping the movers in Oxford would be polo-shirted university boys. She said, "Good Luck!" Perhaps it's the accent, but this wishful thinking paid off because the two men who arrived were not too far off that mark! They were clean, polite, proper and efficient. They were supposed to arrive at 10, but called at 915 to ask if they could come early. They had everything unloaded and unwrapped before 10am! After having Earl and Poncho sweating and smelling up my house for six hours, this was a very nice surprise!!

I had my work cut out for me, but my first order of business was to get the sheets and blankets out! Maxwell and Darian were both extremely excited to see all of their toys, so they were completely occupied. I got busy, and before I knew it David was coming home from work. You know me, though. I wanted everything unpacked and put away NOW. Here's the problem, though. We are renting a furnished house. The homeowners only left for six months, and they left things behind for us to use. But that also meant they left things behind that I wouldn't want/need, and that made it feel strange to try and figure out where to put things away. We ended up deciding to only use the room Maxwell is in for him to sleep. The only things in Darian's room are her crib (which we bought at IKEA later that first week) and the pack n play. And the dining room is now the storage room, or "put all the stuff we don't want to use in there" room.

After that first day home with the kids, I decided that we couldn't eat in the dining room, as it isn't attached to the kitchen at all, and in fact is a decent walk from the kitchen into the doorway to enter. With me home serving the kids 2 sometimes 3 meals a day by myself, I really didn't like the idea of being so far from where they were eating if I had to be preparing something or get up to fetch something else. So we are now all eating at a small folding table in the garden room.

Monday was hard for me. We had been apart from David for so long, and now we were in this new place all by ourselves. I felt like we didn't have any time together to explore or get used to our surroundings before he had to start work again. I had just had surgery a little over a week before, and I was still a little sore. Especially after climbing the stairs so many times and unpacking. The realization of how hard the time difference would be hit me hard. Every time I wanted to pick up the phone (which we didn't even have yet, but you get the idea) I had to stop myself because it was only 2am, 3am, 4am in California. I felt very far removed and alone. I was also feeling like my SAHM job was going to be so much more difficult here. We don't have a tumble dryer, and the washing machine took almost 2 hours to wash my first load. By the time I got it all hung to dry, it started to rain and I ran out to bring it in. Two minutes after I got inside, the sun came back out and it didn't rain again all day. That night the inevitable tears came, and David sat next to me on the edge of the bed.


We heard a horrible noise and both started laughing. The IKEA bed frame wasn't the most supportive thing so sleep on, and was in serious need of a handyman! We put the container with Maxwell's blocks under the bed, and David made me promise to ignore the boxes and go out to town the next day and explore...

The kids and I started off on our adventure. We only live about 1/2 mile from the city centre, if even that. We have a deal that the kids can walk to the end our our street, but then when we reach the busy street at the corner, they have to get in the stroller.

We explored town a bit, found a Starbucks and the Post Office, and got a few more groceries. It was great to get out of the house and ignore the boxes. Look what Maxwell found while we were out in town!

On Wednesday I tackled more boxes and was able to Skype with my friend Jamie for a while when the kids were napping. It was so great to talk to her that I forgot that I was so far away! On Thursday we went to town again, but I got sad because I kept seeing things that reminded me of my friends!
Jamie's...wish she was here to grab a bite!
Gluten free and Fairtrade? Sarah, Clementine and Annie would be in heaven!

And of course, I think of my dear friend Aine every time I hear someone here talk. I just love British accents. (Do you think I'll come home with one? I have found that the inflection in my sentences is already changing a bit. Uh oh!)

Back in Burbank, Dave was lucky enough to work right across the street. His commute was about 5 minutes. Here, even though his office is less than 4 miles away, it takes him about 35 minutes to drive home. We live very near the city centre and you can't drive through it; you have to go around. He still aims to be home for dinner at 630, and most nights he is. Yet somehow our evenings seem to go by so fast here. Dinner, clean up, a bit of playtime, baths, books and goes by way too fast and before you know it it's 11pm. Needless to say, that first week was a long one, and I still felt like I didn't get to see David much. We were looking forward to our weekends even more than we did back in CA, so that we could get out of the house and start exploring!!

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