Would never have imagined living through 2 big earthquakes...
1st one being woken to the wildest roaring and shaking I've experienced, 2nd hanging on to my husband and baby for dear life while trying to dodge 100kg rolls of falling lino in a flooring shop. I still haven't decided if I preferred being asleep or awake when they happened.
Life has definitely changed since Feb 22nd - not just the fact that 7 weeks later we are still shoveling liquefaction from our yard out to the kerb... ( oh the places it managed to find it's way into!!) and constantly discovering new cracks in the walls, but life has changed for our kids. Today my 4.5yr old son was quite happily playing with a block puzzle, when all of a sudden
I heard him yell "EARTHQUAKE!!!!" - his new game you see is to build up towers and 'shake it down'... just like the broken buildings we see all around us. My poor wee
son experienced far too much for your average 4 year old on Feb 22nd. After hiding under the table at his kindy to dodge the falling ceiling heaters, they sought safety outside, only to watch the outside area flood and fill with volcanoes of liquefaction. They had to then all move & sit outside by the gate on a narrow concrete path. The carpark and road was torn apart ( seriously.. some major damage) and the worse part was all the other kindy parents rushed to get their kiddies within 30 mins... and My hubby and I didnt make it to school and kindy till about 4.45pm. So my poor son was the last one to be collected, cold hungry and frightened when we got there. My hubby dropped me off at the cnr near the school & I had to run thru raw sewerage to get to my daughter - those are memories and moments I'll never forget.
But we got off easy, we still have a house to live in. Sure we lost an enormous amount of personal belongings, because unlike our house ( being built on piles) our double garage has a concrete floor and is/was a huge storage area... and yes so that got filled and flooded with liquefaction... 2 FULL heaped caged trailer loads so far of our special things are now residing at the dump. We are thankful our house was spared, even tho currently it still has a mass of icky wet liquefaction underneath it, the flooding under the house has subsided but the silt remains. Worried about the winter and a crawling baby with all that muck under the floor. We still have to use a chemical toilet, but at least its not an outside longdrop
So after about 2.5 weeks of trying to do the bare necessity to repair damage, clear pathways thru the house to get to rooms and clean up as much broken glass as we could find we decided... no we made 'sure' we went away. It was far too stressful to remain at home. We actually couldn't live there for quite a few days until we made it safe for the kids. Thank goodness my eldest 2 fully understood what was safe and what wasnt.. and more importantly, I couldn't be happier that my 7month old ( at the time) was no where near crawling!!! At least I could control the situation when we spent hours cleaning and sorting. I set up a rug in the middle of the lounge with toys, books and games and told the kids they weren't allowed off the rug!!
A family member generously gave us some money to help, so we used that for petrol and food while we were away and some other wonderfully kind and generous other friends offered us their house in Queenstown. It was wonderful to go to Queenstown again and more importantly, the kids have been there before and so going to this house was very familiar for them and they settled in within minutes. The old familiar board games and beds... it was normal!
We had a fantastic time away, so relaxing and strangely surreal to be out of the 'war zone' We managed to get a few 'deals' while we were away too and had a great time on a boat cruise - Perfect Ergo moment if ever there was one! It was the 1st time the kids had been on a boat and we also spent hours at the local pools zooming down the hydroslide - another 1st for them too!
William is getting bigger by the day - he still comfortably snuggles in the Ergo. I'm sure at some stage I can start rear carrying him... but I dont want to! I LOVE him in the front or in the side carry position, and he does too. He is 9 months old today.... nine months!! Yikes soon he'll be a one year old.