Saturday, March 31, 2012

Empty House

Little update on the moving process ...which is sucking my will to live.

The house is finally empty.

Monday, Day One of Moving:  
Two British guys show up and, with Happy, they wrap most of the furniture as I finish packing boxes.  It took FOREVER! ...but the day was simple enough.  I was exhausted from all packing.  This day was by far the worst for me.  Luckily, a friend took Andrea and kept her all day long... or it would have been impossible.

Tuesday, Day Two of Moving:  
Same two British guys show up and finish a few things like wrapping up beds, etc...  Container shows up an hour early along with two German guys who were the "muscle-y loaders" ...since you only get three hours to keep/load the container.  

Little side note again:
So... when you move overseas you get a container, not a moving truck.  Of course a container is just a truck without wheels... so it's the same thing I guess.  The only thing is that containers are used for all kinds of things not just things that belong in people's houses ...and the first container we had had been used for something oily and greasy and sooty.  Yuck.  

After loading for a half hour or so we realized the sooty oil was getting all over the boxes, people, and floors ...basically everywhere.  Awesome.  Actually Paul was the one who was at home to deal with this little event, I was off getting lunch for everyone and returned home to find unhappy movers unloading the container and putting things back into the driveway where most of the house had already been moved to.  

Drama ensued and it was determined that we would get a new container the next day, which was fine for us because we actually wanted to stay in the house another night.  So we sent the container back to the harbor and the irritated movers started moving all of our things back into the garage.  The two German guys leave and the British guys finished up with things in the house.

So we started making cupcakes for school the next day and cooking steak and potatoes for dinner...  We were doing quite well; happy and eating...  Then another container shows up at 6:30pm.  There was no way on earth that the two British guys and Paul could load the container so we told the container driver that we had not expected, nor did we want the container ...that it was supposed to come the next day, not at that time.  Actually, we didn't tell him that, we had a neighbor come across the street and tell him for us ...bit of a language barrier to add to the fun.  :)

In the end the guy refused to leave, said he was paid to stay there for three hours and he was going to stay there for three hours and get paid.  So we left him and went back inside.  Hmmmmm.....  not really our problem, it was the moving companies so we went back to eating and just relaxing.  

THEN at 8:00 pm....

I turn around and three German guys are in the house grabbing boxes and running things out to the container.  I stood there in the kitchen for a bit, completely confused with what I should do...  I finally concluded that we would need a place to sleep and the kids needed to go to bed as soon as possible.
Knowing that there was not a hotel available in Hamburg due to a giant airbus convention... and any room I did happen to find would be over 300 euros... I called Kelly.  :)  She loves us, so of course she said to come on over.  I had to finish with our last minute boxes first though so I sent all the kids to hide in Michaela's room.  I finished up with a few packing things and then started throwing things into a bag for the next day.

At 9:00 pm my children and I are knocking on Kelly's front door.  

We came inside, the kids went to bed and I sat on the couch with Kelly and her husband for a bit then I went back to get Paul who was being a muscle-y mover.  

When I arrived at home around 10:00, I found three Germans, two Brits, and one Canadian still running things out to the container.  UGH...

Then the three Germans left.  Bigger UGH.

Then an American started helping.  (me)

We finished at midnight.  We went back to Kelly's and went to sleep in the most comfortable bed on earth.  

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday: Paul and I would show up at an empty house and clean, but truth be told, he cleaned way more than me because I had to run a zillion errands involving cars, kids, parties, and cats.

So there you have it, I'm not reading back over that to see if it makes sense.  :)   I'm just glad the week is done and I'd like to think the hard part is over.  :)  

Monday, March 19, 2012

Moving Plans!

Grab a drink and have a seat...  I have lots to say and I'm just going to start!

Michaela and Dubai:
She had a great time!  She rode a camel... and ate a camel ...pretty sure she didn't eat the camel she rode.  :)  I never even thought that people eat camel in certain parts of the world, but a friend from Kuwait said she would find camel meat in the grocery stores.  Michaela brought back some "camel-milk chocolate"!  Cool huh?

She also had a chance to play in the sand and go sand boarding.  I'm pretty jealous because that sounds like tons of fun.  Michaela brought me back some "Desert Sand" for my sand collection though, that was neat to see...  It was more pink than any of the other sand, almost red.

Remember the movie Aladdin?  Well Michaela went to lots of Aladdin markets.  I forgot what she called them, but they have a name.  Souks? She brought back a little genie lamp that Andrea quickly claimed as her own.  :) Cute.

Oh yah, math... she did go with the purpose of doing math.  AND MATH SHE DID....  :)  Just not very well ...their Math Team got 21st place... at least it was better than 25th.  Hee Hee.  I'm not really making fun of them though. :)  It was the smartest kids from International Schools around the world... like crazy-gifted kids.  You saw those sample questions from a while back...!

I'll give her the task of posting some pictures.

I'm not sick anymore... thank goodness.  There is this nasty cold going around and it takes WEEKS for most to get over.  I did good with the one week of really sick and then just another week of feeling tired and blah, but at least able to function.

Our move:
I always have a good reason for not writing much on the blog... This time it's the move.  There have been countless things to get finished and organized.  I've been taking the kids to all the doctors and dentists while it's still free.  I've been cleaning out closets and attics... and now I'm packing.

We decided to pack it all ourselves.  Well Paul decided, but in the end it's probably better for a few reasons.   First of all, it's cheaper of course.  :)  Second of all, it helps me sort through EVERYTHING.  I've gone through all the kids clothes, toys, books, movies, everything...  The third reason, and perhaps most important, is that we have a lot of stuff, one might even use the word "crap".  I think I've even written that on a few boxes out of irritation.  :)

Little tangent:  When we moved here our stuff fit into a 20 foot container, BUT we were moving into a partially furnished house so we didn't bring a lot of furniture.  Here in Germany we have a HUGE house and we've filled it with furniture.  :)  We have three couches.  Who has three couches?!   Makes me smile that our couches are red, green, and orange though.  :)  Thought I'd share that random fact about us.

Plus, it's been five years.  That means five Christmas Mornings, five birthdays per person, five years of vacation souvenirs ...five years is a long time to acquire stuff ...AND, we are moving home with an extra person.  We were a family of five when we came.  :)  Can't believe it's been that long!  Little Andrea has never officially lived in America yet!  There is my justification for why we have so much ....stuff.

So.  Back to the third reason we are packing ourselves...  I will shove more stuff in a box than a "mover guy" will.  I have unpacked so many boxes that seem to have been filled with more paper than stuff.  I don't even use paper.  I wrap breakable objects in clothes and towels.  :)  We can fit much more into our container if we pack it all ourselves ...and hopefully it all fits!

Needless to say packing has consumed my life.  We started a week or so ago though so we've been able to do it at an easy pace.  Today I finished Michaela, Sierra, and Scotty's room, the laundry room ...and a closet.  We pack everything we don't need in the next two months and the rest we will carry with us.

Carry it all to a nice furnished house in Nashua, New Hampshire.  We started to think about the fact that we will be arriving with only the things we can carry.  No beds, no kitchen plates, no towels, no toaster, no TV, nothing ...and our things will take probably six weeks to make it to us.  Six weeks is a long time to spend sleeping on the floor of an empty house.  Sure Target will be around the corner, but it's not as fun buying things that we already have.

...although we've sold off lots of what we have.  We can't bring back any lights or things that plug in.  That means no desk lamps, fans, kitchen appliances, freezer, washer and dryer, toaster, TVs, DVD players, hair dryers, etc...  I used my blog...  :)  Posted something in January of 2010.... and then just sent that link to my friends and started selling stuff.  We are still trying to get rid of a couch (the orange one), our wardrobe closets, and our car.  Other than that we've gotten rid of most everything.

I also have our guest room set up with "Free things".  :)  Toys, clothes, books, games, food, shoes ...just stuff  we don't have the room to take or things that I imported and it seems wrong to take it back rather than to give it to someone here Easter eggs.  I gave all my Easter eggs to a family who had zero.

I invite people over for coffee with the secret intent of having them take a bag of "stuff" out of my house.  :)  Seems to work.

Should we successfully survive the packing and loading of everything we own into a 40 foot container our plan will be to start looking for a place to buy once we arrive in Nashua, New Hampshire.  Hopefully by the time our things arrive we will have our own house to put them in, maybe our container needs to sit in storage for a little bit.  I just don't want to move in somewhere and then move again.  We will have the furnished house for two months and then we can do a month-by-month basis afterwards.  The lady who owns it is super nice and she has already put some chicken soup in the freezer for us.

SO.  That is the plan and I now spend all my free time packing boxes now and the countdown is on because the movers come on Monday to start loading the truck.  Scheduling isn't working in our favor on this one because that will leave us with a solid week of nowhere to live.  We've had many offers of course ...because all our friends are awesome here, but in the end I think we'll book a hotel with a spa.  :)

I didn't realize until now that at least with the entire house packed and loaded and done with we will be able to enjoy that last week in Hamburg with our friends.  Okay, getting sad because my friends are the best and they are really the only thing I'll miss here to go distract myself with more boxes.  :(

Friday, March 2, 2012

I'm sick

I have been sick in bed for five straight days now.  I've eaten a piece of cheese, some salad, a bowl of cereal, and some blue juice during that time...

I'm pretty unhappy with life right about now.  I have things to do since we are, um... gee... leaving the country in a few weeks.

AND... to make matters worse my friend had her baby early this morning and I can't even go see her because I'm a germ ridden fiasco of a human.  :(

AND... to make it even worse... as if the upcoming move and birth of my favorite baby in Germany wasn't enough... this was the weekend I was supposed to go watch Sierra's basketball tournament in Holland.  But I couldn't.  :(

I went to the doctor and he said it's a virus and I'll be fine.  Should have guessed that one...

Paul has been taking care of the kids and getting them to school, Michaela has been a huge help because Andrea just wants her since Real Mommy just lays in the bed staring at the wall.

At least I got the computer out today.  I'd like to think that means I'm improving.  :)  I might need to call in a Nana if I don't get out of bed soon!


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