Ok getting back on track with all this....
Your father found a job - huzzah!!!! Took a lot of financial pressure of... A LOT! But it added a whole series of new pressures. To get to work he'd be getting up at 6am to try to get out the door at 7 to catch a train at 7:30 from Woodend. I'd then be keeping you guys up until around 7:30 so he could spend 10 minutes with you before I put you to bed. This was actually hard on both of us. Your father didn't get to see you. And I felt more and more isolated and alone. So I felt particularly stressed... as did he. And I was a fair monster to be around during this period too (I will admit to that...).
So unbeknownst to me... your father had seen a house and went had a look at it. And then suggested that on Boxing Day 2009 that we all go look at it as "something to do" so we came had a look and I will be honest I fell in love with the house. There was a rather large stumbling block. It was pricey... (still is!) so we would become quite familiar with the term mortgage stress - which we have. We weren't sure if we could afford it, we weren't sure if we could get a mortgage but we put in an offer all the same - 10 month settlement, rent-back for the 10 months. And surprisingly the vendor accepted! We had a new house, in a location that we loved and a brand-spanking new townhouse. Next part was selling the other two houses and moving back into the city.
So on March 19, 2010 we moved back to South Melbourne. Well we did... it's your first house in the area. It's funny going from a town of under 1000 people back to the inner-city I instantly felt more comfortable. Anonymity has a lot going for it. I think it's much easier to be someone faceless in a larger population. In part and as friendly as the folks in Trentham are - I did feel a little bit like a freakshow. Here it's not that much of a problem, we're much more readily accepted, people generally don't blink at two men with kids.
Also it suddenly became easier for friends to drop around and visit. Granted we're just around the corner for most of them now, than being a 3 hour round trip. So that did and has had made life much more comfortable. Although the flip-side of that now is that we've made it much harder for our dear friends Chris & Ian to visit us - they now face a 3 hour return trip (as do we when we go visit them!).
I miss the garden at times though and I know your father does too. But we've discussed that as well. This was a decision we made (not particularly lightly) for our family. It's easier having one property at the moment rather than having two and the expense of two. And at this stage in your lives we can't ferry you up and back every weekend and then spend the whole weekend in the garden. That's not fair on you!
I also find that raising kids in the city is generally a bit easier. There's more things to do. Swimming lessons (a bit of a failure), gymbaroo (the woman who ran it was an absolute nutjob), there's your music classes that you, me and your father absolutely adore. Everything is so much more convenient. I suspect as you get a bit bigger we'll miss having a backyard for you guys to run around in though. But we'll cross that bridge when we get to it - on the plus side there's a few parks you can and do terrorise.
It's also funny the sale of the houses in Trentham and Port Melbourne were relatively stress-free for me. Every other time your father and I have sold a house, I've been a right emotional wreck... not sure why. But this time around it was actually very easy and it was all done with perfect ease for me - I even took control of most of it (which is quite unusual for me!). And in a slight brag moment I had a couple of my photos used for the marketing of the property in Trentham, it was one of those moments where I felt like a real photographer (they are few and far between these days).
For the most part we settled back into city living very easily. Everything was suddenly (again) so convenient. We could walk to the supermarket - rather than having to drive 20 minutes... we didn't need to jump into the car to go everywhere! It was brilliant and something I really quite honestly missed.
As a parent I still had my ups and downs and I was still struggling with dealing with two infants and my own issues. We had a couple of scary moments which were mostly resolved by getting a nanny in to help me for two days a week (I'll touch on that in my next blog post).
I do miss the country. I miss the peace and quiet. I miss the beautiful surroundings. I miss the fantastic roads I used to take the Mini out on (there's some absolutely brilliant roads between Trentham, Kyneton & Daylesford). But I do think we made the best decision. We're happy here - it's a beautiful house, we've got good neighbours. There's a bit of a sense of community - which is always wonderful.
A note on the photo - this is a photo I took last year at the front of the house. The developer planted a variety of Jacaranda in two of the townhouses and as I was doing a 365 project at the time... this is what I came up with for that particular day. It's probably the best macro photo I have ever taken.