Our stuff is here! Our stuff is here! The shipment arrived on Tuesday, so we’ve spent most of our week unpacking the 5,000 pounds worth of stuff that was dropped off at our doorstep (OK, so it wasn’t really the doorstep, they DID bring it inside and put it mostly in the rooms we told them to. At least part of the week was spent putting things in the rooms they actually belonged in vs. the room they were put in (or better yet, the room they were labeled as since the movers on the other side mislabeled about 10% of the boxes)). So far, we’ve only come across four things that were damaged. Two of those things were things we could use and one of them I’m mad about (they broke our baker’s rack. I’m not sure how exactly they managed to do it, but it’s toast. It was the one thing I needed to finish my kitchen. So far, I’ve been unable to find another one. Or even anything that resembles a baker’s rack over here).
Have I mentioned we have no closets? Well, in case I haven’t, we have no closets. It’s common throughout Europe to have no closets in your house, because apparently the government considers a closet a “room” and charge extra taxes for the privilege of having closets in your home. Instead, the good citizens of Europe (I’m assuming this is universal throughout Europe, but I only know for sure that this is true of Great Britain, Germany and Italy) use wardrobes to hang their clothes. Since most of us military-types are only here temporarily (though with the length of time some people manage to stay here, that could be a debatable topic (you don’t have to worry about me staying here too long though…I’m much too partial to all the comforts (and conveniences) of living in the United States to ever want to live here long term!)), the government is good enough to provide us with these monstrosities:
Lovely, right? This is one of the small ones. We also have a few larger ones, that are just as ugly, but a bit wider. We’ve dedicated one of the rooms in our house a “walk in closet” and have nothing but these lovely things in them. My point to all this is that I don’t have a convenient place to keep my shoes. Sure, I could put them on the bottom of the wardrobe and risk knocking all my clothes to the floor while trying to find just the right pair (you can’t tell by the picture, but there is no hanging bar in these wardrobes. Instead the shelf has a lip at the bottom that you hook the hangers on. If you knock them too hard, you end up with a pile of clothes on the floor). While shopping the other day (looking for something to replace my baker’s rack), we discovered the Italians must also have the same problem because they’ve developed the perfect solution: shoe cabinets!
They come in all sorts of styles and are slim enough to fit just about anywhere. We’re planning to buy a few the next time we go to the store (had to come home to figure out how many shoes we had before we purchased the cabinets).
Somehow, in the middle of the night, someone came and replaced my eldest daughter with a pre-teen. She’s only 9, so I thought I’d have a few more years before we’d have to worry about this phenomenon. Apparently, I was wrong. Some of the conversations we have with her these days are so grown up, it’s scary. The bad part is she’s also developing the attitude that comes with that pre-teen angst. I’m fearful of what her teen years are going to be like.
That same someone came to Italy and turned on the A/C outside. We literally went from pleasantly warm days (not too hot, not too cold) to freezing our butts off. Over night. I have learned that I lived in Georgia for far too long. It’s not even *that* cold yet and I’m already complaining about how cold it is here (the highs have been in the 50s and the lows in the 40s…I’m used to that being about the coldest it gets all winter though). They’ve got us freaking out about how much the utilities cost over here, so I’ve only been turning on the heat for a few hours a day and wearing extra layers of clothes. Hopefully, we’ll get our first bill soon and I’ll be able to relax a bit (they only bill every other month here and it can take up to four months for them to start billing…nothing happens quickly here!).
Amber is just about 100% potty trained now (well, except for night time…we’ll work on that later). Unfortunately, she always needs to go potty at the most inconvenient times. Like when we’re in an Italian store where very few speak English and we can’t readily see where the bathrooms are. Or driving down the road between the base and the house where there are no places to make a quick stop. She also has to have someone accompany her to the bathroom…when we’re at home. We’ll be in the middle of doing something and she’ll come running, “I have to go potty!” She refuses to go by herself, so one of us has to take her. This same need for accompaniment does not apply to public bathrooms, apparently. I got kicked out of more bathroom stalls than I can count the other day.
During my trip to Germany, I purchased an AppleTV. I wasn’t sure I was going to like it, as I generally try to avoid all things Apple (I think most Macintosh products are incredibly overpriced for what you get. Part of me would love an iPod, but I can’t bring myself to spend the money when I can buy a cheaper product that does the same thing). We finally got this hooked up last week and I love it! I’ve already spent an obscene amount of money purchasing season passes of many of my favorite TV shows.
This random mess brought to you by Keely at www.theunmom.com. Want to join in the fun? Head on over!