I have been itching to write this post, why, because I knew I wouldn’t write about our time in TLF (temporary lodging facilities) until it was time for us to move on and I am SO EXCITED to say that in less than 12 hours we are outta’ here.
As soon as our household in England was packed up we decided to move into TLF, two weeks before our scheduled departure to Japan. We could have chosen to stay in our house longer and borrow furniture from the government, but we thought making the move into TLF at this point was in the best interest of our kids, well Eden. Moving is always unsettling, moving country is tip-your-world-upside down unsettling, so to make things a little less confusing (in our opinions) we didn’t want Eden to have to go back to the place she has only ever known as home and not recognise it. Also, she has been on many holidays so staying in a ‘hotel’ was something she is fimiliar with, to her we have simply been on holiday!
We then spent 2 nights in hotels en-route to Japan before landing back in TLF for 3 weeks but at the time of booking it was unknown how long we would be living out of each others pockets. As recommended to us, we booked in for 30 days but prayed that we would be out of here sooner than that, especially when we arrived and saw how much space we didn’t have. Don’t get me wrong, it has served its purpose, it had everything we needed and even a few things we didn’t…a gecko living in Matt’s sock drawer and cockroaches jumping out of the cereal boxes to name a couple.
Finally, after 21 days here at the Shogun Inn we are able to move into what will probably be our home for the next 4 years.
What has 5 weeks and 2 nights of hotel life been like… a mixture of high’s and low’s thats for sure. Having only one bedroom has meant that Eden got the double bed and Matt & I took turns (well mainly I, Matt got the fold out couch instead) at sharing with her and her soft toy collection. Neither of us have ever been fans of sleeping with our children or even in the same room as them. It seems none of us get a good nights sleep. These low’s are quickly forgotten when I wake up to little Eden kisses and a whispering of ‘I love you Mama’ in my ear or I get the honor of cuddling with one of her soft toys.
Daily visits from the house cleaning staff has been awesome too and not because of the job they do! They are so incredibly nice and selfless. When Clio was locked in the room they were just as worried/scared as we were and went out of their way to make sure she was ok. Every time we pass them around the building they wave excitedly to Eden or give Clio a wee squeeze. This week I have been a bit under the weather, which the cleaner noticed as I was coughing up a lung and took the time to play with the girls and even tidied away some of the dishes (which isn’t her job). Eden loves coming home to discover they have made the bed and put all her soft toys in!.
I have loved watching Eden’s imagination flourish; with only a handful of toys to keep her entertained she has had to make the most of it and she really has. Some days we are a pride of lions, other times we need saving from dragons or alligators. The carpet has become an ocean & the bed a boat and other times our TLF has become a beauty salon; Eden has painted her own toe-nails, become a make-up artist (yes, she is only 3, we have our wonderful Jess to thank for Eden’s love of make-up!!) and even had her own mini-facial!
Clio has grown a lot during this time, she went from a baby that rolled to one that sits up and manages to scoot around the place – not quite crawling yet but I don’t think it will be far off!
As expected there have definitely been lows, Clio had her first trip to the ER, we realised that the cleaners back in England threw out a bag of our stuff, good thing we can’t remember what was in the bag, so we are assuming it wasn’t all that important. Then of course being with each other 24/7, I am sure Matt has enjoyed being back at work just to get a break from us girls!.
While 5 weeks may sound like a long time to some to have to live out of suitcases, we are actually very lucky, some people have to wait months to be offered a house, others might get an offer straight away but have to wait months for their possessions. We only had to wait 3 weeks for a house and 5 for our belongings. We are thankful.
It has been an adventure, but one we are ready to put an end to so we can start our new one, the big one, making Okinawa our home.
We are looking forward to a weekend of unpacking, getting settled and of course a good nights sleep in our OWN beds.