Thursday, January 31, 2013
Thursday, January 24, 2013
The last weekend in December, we drove two cars up to Munich so we could drop our Volvo off to be shipped back to the States. Since we bought that car here, Volvo will ship it back for us “free”, but you have to pay to get it back up to the Factory in Sweden, and to ship it from Aviano was like $1200 and to ship it from Munich was under $400. So we drove up there. Our friends, Brenda and Ben, met us there with their 2 kids for the weekend also, so it was fun. The night before we left is when I got the first round of the stomach crud so I was up most of the night, which wasn’t fun. But I drove the Volvo up and Mark drove the Passat up with the kids so I definitely had it easier, which was probably good since I still felt a bit queasy.
So it’s taken me a month to get this post up, and now we leave in 2 days to go back to the States for 6 days to buy a house and I have about 4 zillion things to do between now and when we leave in less than 48 hours, so I’m not going to do much commentary on these pictures. On top of that, I have a squadron coffee tonight, and I have to take Ben to the dr tomorrow for the third day in a row to check his current ear infection that won’t go away, and Mark is flying nights and is super busy at work too. Life is just crazy right now and I feel like February will be so much more laid back, but in reality, it probably won’t be. But I’d still like to think it will be. Anyway, enjoy the pictures!
I got a bunch of cute pictures of Abbie on this trip. She’s so photogenic and I have fun editing them. She and Braden had a good time playing together and we’re hoping to see them again on our layover at Ramstein on our way back to the States during our move. Also, the first night we were there, Mark was up with the same crud I had the previous night and Ben woke up with diarrhea EVERYWHERE. You could smell our room from down the hall. Fun times for sure.. We felt bad for the cleaning lady, especially since we couldn’t open the windows at all. But luckily both of our kids do pretty well when we’re all sharing a hotel room. Hopefully that continues while we live in a hotel room back in the States until we close on our house. We’ll see!
We spent most of Saturday at Dachau Concentration Camp, but I will put all of those pictures in a separate post. Hope you’re having a good January!!
Friday, January 18, 2013
It’s a weird thing, watching your entire house be packed up before your eyes. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t at least a little bit hard. It’s very exciting, for sure, but it’s also a little scary saying goodbye to all your things.
So we’ve traveled a lot since being in Europe. We’ve been to Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia, The Netherlands, England, Ireland, Spain, Croatia, Greece, Turkey and of course all over Italy. Our main souvenirs at most of these places have been magnets for our fridge, and we have quite the collection of them now. We also got t-shirts from some of the places, especially for the kids. Some day I will cut them all up and make a quilt from all of them.`
Some of the places we went, we got vases, in hopes to some day have a place to display them. The ones on the left are from our squadron and Burano. The one on the right is from Turkey.
The vase below is from Ravello, Italy on the Amalfi Coast and the platter is something from Nove, Italy that I won here. (I took pictures of all of this stuff before it was packed to prove that it was in one piece when it left here. Hopefully it’ll all arrive in one piece in AZ.)
Our one huge souvenir from our time in Italy is this table that we got at the bazaar this past fall. It is an antique table, supposedly made from floorboards in a monastery in France. It is a HEAVY table, and made without the use of nails or screws, so it couldn’t be taken apart to be shipped. The table has a ton of character, which we love, and is obviously not something we can replace once we get back to the States, since I don’t think there are a whole lot of these floating around the US. I am very nervous about how they packed it in the crate and I argued with them about putting as much stuff as they did on top of it, but Mark, the packers and the TMO lady all assured me that it would be fun. Hopefully they’re right because I’m going to be majorly P.O.’d if we get there to find it’s broken.
I also didn’t get a chance to see how they packed up my demijohn’s either, so I hope that these all make it one piece too.
Giuseppe Pino is an artist that sells his paintings in the BX area a few times a year and every time we’ve seen them we admire them. I love his work, so at the last bazaar, Mark and I bought one, and we love it. Again, this is not easily replaceable either, unless I can get him to paint us another one and ship it to the US. I would love to have another one of his paintings, but they’re pretty darn expensive.
We also got these paintings of Venice and Rovinj, Croatia and had them framed. They’re original artwork, and the framing/matting cost us a pretty penny, so hopefully the arrive undamaged also.
The painting on the left is painted on an antique roof shingle. We also got this at the bazaar, although I am fairly certain that we picked out a different one and somehow the one we picked out got switched with this one, so when we went back to pick it up, it was already boxed up with our name on it. I thought we’d picked one out with a painting of Venice on it, not giant mushrooms…. A little disappointed about that, but by the time we opened it and figured out that it was the wrong one, we couldn’t do anything about it. Boo. And the big wooden bowl is an antique bread bowl – again, from the bazaar.
Overall, we had 10 crates full of the things we’ve shipped so far. They estimated it to be between 10k-11k lbs. We are allowed another 1250 lbs to go in our unaccompanied baggage shipment at the end of February, so hopefully all the rest of our things fit into that. We’ll see!! I’ll be happy to see our stuff on the other side, for sure.
I have to say, I like this house much better without all of our stuff in it. We have so much more space and it seems brighter and more open. We kept the things we use the most, so it still feels like home, just without all the clutter, which I love. We might have to do this minimalist living once we get back to the States too, although by then I’m sure I’ll be happy to get all my junk back and to not be sleeping on an air mattress anymore.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
This year has started with a bang. It seems like it’s one thing after another for us right now and it’s a tad bit exhausting. I’ve been busy, but I like it that way. The first Saturday in January, I went to Venice with 4 of my good friends from here and we had a great time shopping and eating at the Hard Rock Café. It was my first time going to Venice with the girls, and I wish I had done it more often while we lived here. It was a lot of fun spending time with them, and I got a cute purse from Venice also. Over the next 8 days, I had a meeting and a luncheon to attend, but couldn’t because Ben had pink eye so I couldn’t put him in the childcare for those events. Good thing I took him to the doctor since he had his first ear infection also, but after the first dose of antibiotics, his ears and eyes both cleared right up, thank God. I also helped host 2 baby showers for good friends here, and that was a lot of fun. I managed to finish their quilts for them and I’ll post about those soon.
Last weekend we were supposed to get the house ready for the movers to arrive on Tuesday, but Mark was sick with pink eye, a cough, a cold and a fever and I wasn’t feeling the best due to this stomach bug I’ve had off and on since after Christmas. I felt queasy, had diarrhea and had no appetite what so ever. The upside to it is that I’ve lost 6 lbs due to not feeling the best, but I think a lot of it has to do with the stress of the move and the anticipation of what’s to come.
Last weekend I also managed to drop my laptop off of my lap while I was in bed, and it landed on our hardwood floor and ruined the hard drive. I sent it to a computer guy here and he couldn’t get anything off of the hard drive, so any of the photos you’ve seen on the blog since August are not gone. I’ve lost my copies of all of them and the ones on here aren’t print quality. I could have cried. I’d spent hours working on editing pictures of a friend that I took for her in December, and I was almost done with them. Lost all of those also. (I still have the originals, just not the edited ones.) I had just emptied my phone pictures and videos on to my computer and I lost all of those too. I am heartbroken by it and I really hope that someone can figure out how to get the pictures off of it. I lost all of my saved recipes on it, all of my favorite saved websites, everything. I can’t access anything that I had on that computer anymore. It completely sucks and I feel bad that I ruined the computer. Not a good way to end one year/ start another, that’s for sure.
So the movers got here today and we had very little prepared for them. We had to get everything separated that we want to keep with us here for the next 6 weeks while the majority of our stuff is shipped to AZ. We managed to get the majority of it done today while the movers worked, but we still have some to do tomorrow and the movers will be here all day tomorrow also. They think they’ll be able to get the rest of the house done tomorrow but I’m not holding my breath for that one, unless they stay super late, which I really hope they don’t. It’s hard enough with the kids when they stay until 6pm, but any later than that is infringing on dinner time and the start of our night time routine. We’ll see how it goes, I guess, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if they came back on Thursday also.
I’m already worried about our stuff being shipped. I have my new stainless steel pots and pans being shipped and I told the guy packing them that they couldn’t be touching each other at all or they’ll scratch each other up by rubbing metal on metal. He threw a bunch of them in a box, all piled on top of each other, but luckily I saw it and told him to redo it. I wanted him to wrap them all individually but he just shoved packing stuff in between them, and that was only 3 of the 7 of them. So hopefully the other 4 aren’t packed on top of each other. We have a bunch of vases and plates and other very breakable things that we’ve gotten during our travels and I’m really hoping that those will arrive in one piece. I’ll be pretty upset if they don’t. And I’m worried about our antique table that we bought at the bazaar too. I just really hope it gets there okay. I would have preferred that they packed it differently than they did, but everyone assured me that it was okay. I hope they’re right.
The next few weeks are going to be pretty busy. I’m going to Slovenia with my friend Brittney for the weekend this weekend. I have a Bunco game night this week, dogs vet appointments and a squadron coffee next week and then we leave to go house-hunting in AZ for a few days. February will be fairly laid back, but it’s the calm before the storm for sure.
This is our 6th military move in our 7 years in the military, so it isn’t our first rodeo, thank God. I feel a little more laid back about this one (obviously, since we didn’t really do ANYTHING to get ready for it), but I’ll be glad when it’s behind us for sure.
I’ll post more once our stuff is gone and I have more time on my hands, which might not be until February!!
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Ben is a cruising machine now! He cruises all over the place, but he’s not brave enough yet to let go of anything. He also much prefers to have both hands hanging on to something for support. He’s getting a little more graceful in this sitting from standing and can now lower himself down slowly to crawl to wherever he wants to go next.
Ben currently has his first bout of pink eye and his first ear infection, which led to his first dose of antibiotics. Because I had him at the doctor today to diagnose his infections, they weighed him again and he weighed 23.1lbs (so he lost .7lbs in a month) and he’s 32.1” long, so he’s another 10th of an inch longer. I was a little concerned about the weight loss, but the doctor said that he’s not too unusual when they’re sick for them to lose some weight. Since it’s not a ton of weight loss, I’m going to keep an eye on him and see what he weighs when he’s feeling better.
Ben blows kisses regularly now. We’re still trying to remedy his screaming at the top of his lungs when he wants something (usually something we’re eating) and he’s doing the signs for more and drink and eat and milk much more frequently. He says mama, dada, and bubba (my nickname for him) a lot and he’s starting to say mama when he wants me. He’s starting to hold toys up to his ears now to pretend they’re phones and he babbles a lot. He has a “lovey” that he sleeps with every night and he loves that thing. We have a spare one, and we had a laundry basket full of clean laundry in the living room. He dug through it and found his lovey and was happy as a little clam when he found it.
I can’t remember if I wrote this last month or not, but Ben is in size 4 diapers now and all 12-18 month clothes, and he has been for a month or more. He’s completely off of formula and drinks about 12-18 ounces of organic milk per day. We’ve cut him down to 1 nap, and he naps for about 2-3 hours in the afternoon and then 12 or so hours at night. He LOVES to play with remotes and he’s so tall he can easily get them off of the tv trays we usually have them on.
It’s amazing to me the difference in our kid’s personalities. Abbie was very intense at this age, and she was a screamer and always had to be involved and moving and doing something new. Ben is MUCH more laid back and does a lot better entertaining himself. He likes to be held, but he’s fine if you’re not moving, although he does love to go for rides in the stroller or in the Ergo. Ben is much more whiney than Abbie is though, and I think that has to do with the fact that by this age Abbie said 8-10 words and knew 15+ signs, so she could communicate with us better than Ben does right now. I think he gets frustrated by that, so he whines when he doesn’t know what else to do. He’s sleeping much better than she did at this age, but he’s always been a good sleeper after the newborn phase. She wasn’t cruising at this age, just walking on her knees, which he doesn’t do at all really. I think later on in life they’ll balance each other out very well.
Abbie at 13 months and Ben at 13 months.
Oh, and Ben LOVES popcorn!!