It feels like quite a while since going to see Gandrung Sewu in Banyuwangi and this is how I’ve been keeping busy. People say that life events can be ordered by the level of stress they create. Some of these lists say that a new baby and a new house are near the top, but how about new baby, new house and Javanese house moving ceremony all together? Super-stressful?
A new baby
In my opinion (just wait till she reads this!), Tata had a much easier pregnancy the second time around. It’s fair to say that for her, the pregnancy was only half the problem. Our toddler, Zafira seems to have inherited Dad’s energy and wilfulness. Managing her more than makes up for a lack of sickness and vomiting. Anyway as always, Tata looked great during the pregnancy and soon, the big day loomed large.
One Thursday, still a couple of weeks early, we had a false alarm, and the next day we had another. This time, when we arrived at the hospital, the nurses quickly confirmed that labour had started.
I was nervous. Our first baby was born naturally, but using a vacuum delivery method. I recall the delivery room was full of people, all pushing, pulling and cutting. It was fairly traumatic neither my wife or I wanted a sequel.
As it happened, it was a fairly short labour. Six hours, and then our latest addition arrived, kicking and screaming. Actually what surprised me was the purple color of the baby when it arrived, and also the way the doctor ‘breathed life’ into the newborn. He rolled the baby about and slapped it quite roughly, and that action triggered a ‘deep instinctive memory’ in my mind. A feeling a bit like ‘deja-vu’ but much stronger. There’s some research to support this genetic memory idea, looking at savants and animals.
Anyway, the baby went to a normal pink colour in a few minutes, and, so far, everything seems to be fine.
Mom and baby are doing well. I want to thank RSIA Kemang for their help and support during the pregnancy and the birth. Baby has gained two kilos in 7 weeks! I also buried the placenta again, just like last time.
A new house
The next question was about where to live. We were rapidly outgrowing the kind offer from my wife’s family, and I wanted to move closer to my work. Eventually, we got a place just down the road from our previous one so we could still be close to the in-laws.
We moved into it the week after the baby was born. Actually, we signed the papers earlier and spent a month cleaning, painting and fixing broken things. I was particularly proud of the changes we made to the garden, moving the fountain to open up the space, and inside, choosing the ceiling fans by Edma.
A look at the new house before the move – sorry about the clothes and the narrative!
I chose a neutral colour scheme in the main living area and supported the linen white walls with dark wood in the kitchen. I created a media area in the back living space and fitted the TV on the wall and an L-shaped sofa.
In the formal reception room, I wanted an area that could receive guests and also be used for study and relaxation. After a lot of browsing and comparison, I chose classic Poang chairs from Ikea and also some wall mounted storage from the Valje range. Fitting all this stuff, and keeping the old table and chairs (to be changed later) completed the ‘base’ look of the house.
Next stage is to add some interesting and well shaped tables, and also to fit some picture rails to allow photos and art to be displayed on the three blank walls. Choosing the right photos will add colour to the neutral tones and also personalise the space into our family home!
Here are some of the pictures I’ve taken since I’ve been in Indonesia that I will frame and hang. Sorry about the copyright notice, but I’m having trouble with people stealing and reposting my images.
Javanese House Moving ceremony
After we had got everything straight, and moved in, we needed to do a Javanese moving ceremony. We invited a small group of family members, some food and a tumpeng. I carried a traditional bedroll made from plaited palm, a rice container and a water storage vessel into the new place. I also was given some earth from the old back garden which I scattered into the new garden. Tata’s Grandma left some coffee and flowers out in the back of the house for the spirits to enjoy. The items need to stay in the house with us, and move with us when we go! We don’t keep water in the jar, and we don’t sleep on the floor mat, but we do use the rice jar!
New baby, New house and Javanese House Moving Ceremony
Actually, a new baby, new house and Javanese house moving ceremony turned out to be not too stressful, and filled with joy and good blessings. I hope I can build our family home into a place of love and success and can raise my two daughters to be engaged and productive citizens who can take on hobbies and pursue interests that they find.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on our new house, or hear your baby stories too! Comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org