Thursday, November 10, 2011

In 40 days...

We will be in Italy.

In an attempt to prepare myself mentally, I've been reading blogs of military wives (usually) who are stationed in Italy and Europe in general. Some are single, some have kids but they are all fascinating. I love to look through their blog archives and see how their feelings were when they first arrived in Italy, how they changed while there, what obstacles they've overcome, what they like, dislike, what they miss. I've even read a couple where they were in Italy and they're time was up and now they are back in the states missing Italy. It's funny when they come home for a visit and they have to go to Target, Chick-fil-a, Starbucks...oh how I know I will miss those! I've read several articles on flying with children, tips for the airport and airlines. I called Delta to confirm that Rascal was on our flight and to have them make a note that we were traveling with minors. The agent was SO nice. She regrouped our seats and now we are all sitting together (you would have thought they would have done this when we booked them, but no). On both flights we will be 3 across in 2 rows; perfect so B and I will each sit in one row with two kids. Previously we were 2 seats in 3 rows...like I'm letting two of my kids sit all alone with strangers?! I think not.

As for what else we still need to do? Not much. We have our official date of travel, we booked the movers for the week before, reserved our hotel for that week while they are packing. {We'll have two sets of packers; one for our overseas stuff and one for the things that will stay here [fridge, washer, dryer, childhood keepsakes, a ton of our outside toys]}. Next week I am paying the tags and taxes on the van so that it can be shipped (it has to have valid tags and registration but ours expire at the end of Nov). B has reserved a rental minivan from Enterprise for us to use after we turn in the van and until we leave. We have our passports, visas, Rascals paper work is finished. We need to gather up our items for unaccompanied baggage as they come in 12 days to pick that up. It'll be some bedding, towels, pots and pans, some kids toys, extra clothes, pack n play,etc....ideally it is suppose to arrive shortly after us so that we have some stuff while we wait for all of our belongings to arrive. B's sponsor requested the school registration packet so that I can begin to get bubba enrolled in school. While it isn't ideal to move so close to Christmas, it will be nice that he'll start right after winter break with the other kids.

I still need to sort some of our stuff. I know I'm not taking our baby things since we're done having babies. Gotta get rid of the bouncer, the big highchair, all 4 years worth of maternity clothes...it's not a huge deal if I never get it done; they'll pack it and I'll sell it or donate it once in Italy. There is a thrift store on post so I will get rid of it eventually....I would just like to be more on top of things!

We also had a big talk with the boys about going through their toys. We talked about how Christmas is coming and how not all kids will get new toys for Christmas, so it would be really nice of them to go through and pick some of their nice toys that they don't play with anymore, to donate. Also we have A LOT of toys and that's why Mommy is always having to tell them to clean up...they want to play with a certain toy but have to move 15 others to get to it. I explained that if we got rid of those, I wouldn't be bugging them near as much to clean up all the time. Pooks starts picking up happy meal toys and saying they can have those. Which is a great start but we have a playroom full of toys, 2 toy boxes in the big boys room full of toys, some in Peanut/Sissy's room and some in the garage. It's just too much. So I will give them a few more days to go through things, then I'll do a final sweep. I know what they like and what they play with once in a blue moon...it'll be freeing to get rid of some clutter.

And it's not just the kids. Besides clothes, I really want to sort through my kitchen stuff. I have so many pans, food storage containers, a bread machine, an extra microwave and a toaster that we don't use....many of which wont even work overseas without a converter. I've been told that a lot of those are easy to find so if I do want one again, I'll be able to get it there.

So naturally instead of actually starting on sorting, I've been instead compiling a list of things I want to do while overseas....this is just the beginning!

  1. I want to see all the touristy Italian icons: leaning tower of Pisa, the Colosseum in Rome, Venice, the vineyards, Tuscany, Cinque de Terre, I want to see the works of Van Gogh and Di Vinci.
  2. Travel to Spain, Germany, France, London, Ireland, Croatia and Greece. For starters.
  3. Learn how to make authentic Italian foods. Top of the list is lasagna, homemade sauce and real Alfredo...you know, not from a Classico jar.
  4. Become mostly fluent in Italian {after 5 years of Spanish in High School, I'm hoping I'll ''get'' it}
  5. Learn about, sample and drink the wine!
  6. Take the boys to a real soccer futbol game
  7. Become friends with as many locals/neighbors as possible; help give Americans a good name :)
  8. Ride on a Vespa! Preferably on a cobblestone road
  9. Become more open-minded about my food, try new things and encourage the kids to as well.
  10. Remember that we will get homesick. I will wonder if we did the right thing. And remember that this opportunity won't last forever, make the most of it and leave with little regrets. 
If you can't live in the place you love, then love the place you live.

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