We had 3 birthday celebrations for Luke, as his birthday was the week after we moved, and it's not really cool to have no friends for your first birthday. So we had people from Omakere before we moved, saw our closest PN friends on our way south, and had a cake again here with Nana.
Luke was very spoilt, and had 3 lovely 'parties', but I think his favourite moment was getting to eat cake. Although 'eat' is a rather generous term for what actually happened!
Thinking back to this time last year, I would like to thank everyone who has supported us, and loved Luke, over the last 12 months. We really appreciate it. Thanks especially to Trina and Hem, who I will never forget for dropping everything and driving 3 hours to come and see us once we had the diagnosis. That will never be forgotten. And to Anna, who was my first visitor to the hospital, and the only person outside our family to meet Luke before the label, thank you for all your support and encouragement too. We are so lucky that we have such great friends and family. Not everyone who has been in our position has been so fortunate.
Looking forward now, with Luke starting at the Champion Centre in only a couple of weeks, 2009 should be an excellent year.
Well, we made it! The journey here has been a bit of a mission, not to mention all the work since we arrived last Monday, but we did it.
Things started off with a hiss and a roar when the packers arrived on Tuesday the 6th and there were 7 (!) of them. Just imagine trying to fit that many into our tiny house (110 sq metres for those of you who haven't been there). On the evening of the first day, we realised that some of the items we had put on top of the microwave and requested be left out were missing- most importantly the mobile phone and Neil's reading glasses. So the big search started. Warning bells began to ring when we had opened every kitchen box and found the glasses and everything else with them, but no phone. Still, we hoped that we were wrong and the phone would turn up once we were unpacked. It made the journey south a little harder than necessary though, as it was hard to get hold of the people we wanted to see on the way through.
We spent the first night in Omakere with Anna, Campbell, Sam and Libby, which was lovely. Ben was really excited about spending the night, and was looking forward to the next 3 'sleepovers' on our way down the country too. Emily was excited about going to 'Ashburton's place'!
We went to Palmy the next day, and saw Hem, Trina and all the kids, and had a mini party for Luke's birthday. It is always great to see all the kids together, and they play so well. They loved feeding the eels and seeing Lach's little chick. We stayed with Jill and her family that night, and it was neat to have a good catch up with them too.
On the Saturday I saw some friends and then we had lunch at Neil's sister's place. It is a shame all the cousins won't be together again for a while, as we had them for the week that school finished, and they are pretty good mates.
Saturday night saw us in Levin at my aunt and uncle's place, which was another treat for the kids- Ben loves feeding the chickens and having a go on their Playstation. The girls are always so good at entertaining my lot- thanks guys :)
Then an early start on Sunday, with Greg cooking breakfast for us, before a drive to Wellington to catch the Ferry- about an hour and a quarter away, where we met up with Dad and Glenda. Then an hour's wait before the ferry left, and three hours sailing. The kids were fabulous and we had good seats with a table right near the children's play area, so they had a really good time.
They were exhausted by the time we arrived in Picton, after 3 late nights and seeing so many friends on the way. So they both slept for the next 2 hours from Picton to Kaikoura. We had a pit stop there for an early tea, and then continued for another 2 hours to Christchurch, where Dad and Glenda were staying with Kate and Kerry, and where we left our boat, as there was nowhere to park it easily at Mum's. Then another leg of about 40 minutes to get to Mum's at Charteris Bay, where we arrived at about 8.45 that night. A long and tiring day. The kids were very excited to be there, as they had been told that now we would be living close to Nana, they would be able to go and stay whenever they wanted to! Ben remembered this about 5 minutes out, and was busy telling me all about Nana's special cupboard where she keep special presents!
Mum had the kids the next day so we could get on with the unpacking, so we left at 8 to drive for just over an hour south to Ashburton, get the keys and meet the truck. Dad and Glenda arrived soon after, and spent the day slaving away to get everything sorted for when the kids arrived late afternoon. We got 80% of it done by the time the kids arrived, and their rooms were totally organised for them. They were most pleased with the new plastic drawers we got to put in their wardrobes to keep the toys sorted, and Em took a while to realise that the lovely new fairy room had her things in it, and was her room! So cute. Ben likes the loud door bell and the fish pond by the front door- which I found Ella the weimaraner fishing in today, but that's another story!
We are now fully unpacked and sorted, with only a few pictures left to put up, and Neil is back in work mode, spending time at work yesterday and today. Still no mobile though, so have rung the company and made a complaint. Apparently they are investigating, so hopefully it turns up. Not likely, but it has some special photos of when Ben was born in it, and I would like to have them back at least.
Ben is now looking forward to starting school in 10 days, so we'll go in and meet the principal and teachers next week and get a uniform sorted etc. I also need to look into Kindy for Emily, and Luke has his first day at the Champion Centre at the beginning of Feb.