July 28, 2014
I am preparing to move to the "Neverlands" as my girls once called it. I've got one suitcase maxed out and packed and 5 more to go! For those that wonder why in the heck am I moving...AGAIN.....?
In short, we move for Josh's job. He is an engineer and is on a team working on a project being engineered in the Netherlands and built/constructed in Belgium. So, you know what that means? Ill tell you. It means another move! So don't be totally surprised in about a year, when I say we are house hunting and moving to Belgium. :)
Back to the suitcase issue. If I were to take a picture of the contents of some of my suitcases...it would totally scream "EXPAT"
Here are some necessities found in my suitcase, usually in large quantities.
Goldfish crackers: to keep the kids happy
Dry roasted edamame, protein bars, and a stock ton of Herbalife products and Tastefully Simple Seasonings : to keep me happy
Crafty stuff: because it is cheaper in the US and I'm planning a killer 6th birthday party for Mallory and Halloween costumes.
2 complete new children's wardrobes: because it is cheaper and Mallory starts Kindergarten.
Mia's birthday presents, all Frozen themed of course
Toothpaste, deodorant,face wash, mascara: Usually, I use these things daily, and I like what I like.
The scrub daddy. Get one and then you'll understand.
Shout color catchers, because washing machines are super small and take forever and sometimes if you need those jeans washed, you throw them in with your whites. Gasp...I would never do that. But whites and mediums, I might have to succumb to my mothers pressure, that mediums are whites. I have a bit of OCD about doing laundry.
Turkey gravy packets: because I know my kids will never starve because they'll always eat Turkey Stoup as we call it.
Candles, candles, candles....I may have a problem.
Just a glimpse into my suitcase.
What is an expat?
An expat is short for expatriate. Someone who leaves all that is familiar and goes to a place where you have no family, no friends. the food is different, the clothing styles different, the language different, schools are different, customs are different. Most everything is different.
As an expat, though not nearly as experienced and travelled as some, I've come to learn, that your new friends become your family, you learn the language, and learn to love the food, even picking up a few new recipes along the way and you adopt the customs and they become a prt of you forever.
Ok, so I'm on a plane now headed for London with our final stop being Amsterdam. We're all fancy in Business class with reclining seats and all the wine we can drink, champagne and caviar too....seriously. Now before you go all believing that we really are fancy...the company "makes" us fly business class when making our initial relocation. We don't have to pay for it, thankfully. For elective trips home for vacations and things, it is on us, and you better believe we are flying coach with the rest of the "coach folk".
Hot towel?...why yes please. Are we arriving on sshhhhhhedual? Fantastic....time for tea? Fabulous.
These girls of mine. It isn't me spoiling them. But Mallory says . "Mommy where are the bags they give us on the airplane? She is of course referring to the spa bags complete with socks, Chapstick, lotion, toothbrush, toothpaste, collagen firming lotion for all of her wrinkles, ear plugs and sleep mask. " Mommy on our next airplane can we lay down too?"
"No, honey. We will have regular seats on the next airplane because it is a smaller plane.
"REGULAR SEATS??! "
OH THE HORROR!
For dinner, my lavish menu says we have Filet of beef or seared flounder both with some sort of brandy Demi glaze I'm sure, or black truffle risotto. I wasn't looking to closely....I b lined for the wine list.
It seems we have come out of our jet lag fog. Up at the usual hour 7:45 am instead of the 11 am we have been averaging the past two days. The girls are entertained with all of their toys. Yesterday we went to the beach, and my sweet little Mia braved the sand. She put her hands in it and everything. She is getting used to it. Previously, she woldnt let so much as a big toe touch the sand! The beach is very close to us, just a 10 minute drive maybe. We can even ride our bikes there. It is a nice big wide stretch of beach. The water isn't clear like my girls are accustomed to. Mia was born Italy, what do you expect?! She has seen so e of the most beautiful beaches. The water didn't bother them, just me. Luckily, I was cold rather than hot and didn't need to get in to cool off. I too, am a clear water snob. Next time we go back, we are doing it right and taking our sport-Brella to block the wind and a full days worth of food, so the girls can just play and play. Oh and the travel potty. The potette plus potty is the best. It has these absorbent litte trash bags you attach to it and them just toss. An adult could use it in a real pinch if need be! It can also be used on regular toilets. It folds flat and fits in a backpack, great for the car, or as we will also find the Beach! Pretty cool to live so close to the beach.
So I probably failed to mention any mind blowing moving stories. One reason being, I wasn't there for the actual move in day. My wonderful hubby orchestrated the whole thing! Well, lets not give him ALL the credit. Haha. I did send him with a floor plan and where I wanted things placed, and what room was what. Despite all of his awesomeness, there is still a ton to be done. Boxes of clothes that I had previously organized and put away for the girls because they were too small etc....got unpacked and just laid in piles. Not Josh's fault, the movers were doing their job and unpacking boxes. So now I have piles of clothes all over the place and now very disorganized because Mia went through every pile today and smelled each piece of clothing and then insisted I do the same. I let her continue, because I was trying to get Mallory's clothes put away and she was distracted....for a LONG time. There were a lot of clothes to sniff.
We had quite a few things broken on this move, and one thing missing, then found.
Lots of picture frames were busted, a wedding gift from a good friend was broken, Mia's dresser was in shambles, a very nice piece of original artwork and the glass was broken and the artwork scratched from the glass, oh and we had a missing queen sized mattress.
Now this is peculiarly annoying for multiple reasons.
1. How do you misplace a queen sized mattress?
2. European sized mattresses are different sizes than American ones....so now we have an American queen box spring and headboard/footboard, but no queen mattress. Anything that we get will be smaller than the queen box spring we have.
3. The mattress was a NICE mattress, not ourTempurpedic, for which I am ever so thankful! But the mattress was 8 years old, but only used for 5 years, and was in perfect condition and was our comfy guest bed.
I keep thinking of how I am going to work this out in getting a new mattress, what we do with the box spring, do we store the box spring and just get a whole new European bed....my mind is in overdrive. Then we get word the mattress has been found and is en route for delivery. Yay...I don't have to think about those things anymore and thank goodness, Because I was getting nowhere fast with a solution.
Then...we get an email that the mattress is undeliverable because it isn't in useable condition. Are you serious?! Now I'm back to square one.
We do get reimbursed for our material losses, but not for our loss of sleep or time spent de-conundruming these conundrums.
Still don't know what we are going to do. My sister is coming to visit in a few short weeks and we do have other guest accommodations thankfully, but we will need to figure all this out soon. I foresee a trip to IKEA on the horizon.
The house is awesome sauce. I already love and it doesn't even have air conditioning. This is very typical of the Netherlands. It just doesn't quite get hot enough to warrant AC. The days are beautiful though, temperature wise. It rains quite a bit from what I hear, but over the past few days there hasn't been any rain, except for one evening while we were sleeping. That is the best time for it to rain if you ask me.
We have plenty or room for guests (once we get the guest room bed thing figured out) or you may need to travel with your own aerobed.....we provide the box spring!
We have quite a bit of space and really a peaceful back garden. The house is open and bright and it really is just perfect. It is the only place that our awkwardly shaped sectional would fit. I have a love hate relationship with my couch. It really has held up nicely over all these years and moves, two kids and a dog, so I can't complain.
"Tot Ziens" for now! (Goodbye in Dutch)
Stay tuned for the summer prequel.....
Thanks for reading and sharing.