Sandie Simply Says

October 27, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts – Unpacking is fun!

Filed under: General — by Sandie @ 2:32 pm

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 Want to join in the fun? Head on over!


October 6, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts – Recycling, Potty Training, and Petty Whining

Filed under: General — by Sandie @ 12:06 pm

One of the hardest adjustments we’ve had to get used to here is recycling. They recycle just about everything here. Everything. We are not good citizens of the earth. Before moving here, the only thing we recycled was aluminum cans. And that was only because Tony collected them for the extra pennies. Now, we recycle not only because it’s Italian law, but also out of necessity. Our non-recyclable trash is only picked up every other week. Wouldn’t be bad, except this is our trash bin:

We can easily fill that up in a day! So, we recycle. Plastic & cans go in one bin, glass in another, paper/cardboard in another, and foodwaste in yet another bin (I told you they recycle EVERYTHING here!).

On Friday, we saw Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. I haven’t read the book. Actually didn’t even know there WAS a book until I read MIHH’s review last Tuesday. I thought the movie was very cute. It held the attention of 2/3 of my kids (to be fair to Amber, we went to a 7 o’clock showing and she’s normally in bed by 8, so much of her inattentiveness was really tiredness). The theater was packed. We don’t get too many kid-friendly movies here, so when we do everyone comes out to see it.

We’ve started potty training Amber. Well, her old daycare REALLY started training her and the new one continued it. Last week, they suggested we let her try out panties for awhile because they thought she might be ready for them. I wasn’t ready for them (it’s not that I enjoy changing diapers, we just had too much going on that weekend to bother with panties), so we kept her in the diapers for a bit longer. Saturday morning, she put a pair of her sister’s panties on. We figured we’d let her keep them on and see how she does. She was about 50/50 on Saturday…right up until she pooped in her panties while I was grocery shopping and Tony was home with her. He got after her and put her back in a diaper. Sunday morning, she did NOT want to put panties back on, but Tony got them on her anyway. After a few accidents in the morning, she started going to the potty on her own. She managed to stay clean and dry all afternoon. Monday and today, she went to daycare in panties. Other than wearing a diaper at naps, she’s stayed dry both days. Keep your fingers crossed…I think we’re at the beginning of the end of our diapering careers!

My internet connection sucks. I’ll be in the middle of performing some task and we’ll lose the connection. At first, I thought it was just me. Then I talked with others and they have the same issue. It’s not so bad, except it always seems to cut off when I’m in the middle of something important.

Our stuff isn’t here yet. It was supposed to be here yesterday, at the latest. Today, they started a “tracer” on it and we should know where it is by noon tomorrow. I swear there is some force working against us here. Of all the people I’ve met since I’ve got here, I’m the only one who’s stuff didn’t make it BEFORE the required delivery date…including at least one family that moved from the same base. Our neighbors, who got here AFTER we did, had their stuff delivered today. I’m green with envy and am tempted to steal one of their couches.

I feel like my last two thoughts were nothing but petty whines.  I need to look at the bright side of things.  Like, while I don’t have *my* furniture, I do have loaner furniture from the base (crappy as it may be, at least we’re not sitting on the floor!).

That’s all the randomness I can muster today. For more randomness, visit Keely at

October 4, 2009

The First Monday in Octember: HASAY

Filed under: General — by Sandie @ 2:15 pm

You’d think I’d be more prepared for this now that we’ve gone to once a month HASAY updates. But it seems like every month, it creeps up on me. Good thing Casey sends out those reminder e-mails. If it wasn’t for those, I’d never know what day it was!

The good news is, I actually have some good news to report this month!

I’ve been going to the gym! I’ve only made it three times in the last two weeks, but I think that’s much better than the zero times I went in the last few months. I’ve started the Couch to 5K running program. I’m starting week 3 this week (even though I didn’t really do the first two weeks correctly or even for full weeks!). My fitness test is scheduled for the end of the month and I figure doing a modified C-2-5K should get me running 1 ½ miles in no time.

I’ve also been trying to work on my abs and upper body. My hope is to score at least as well as I did last year on my test (though I’ll also just settle for a passing score).

And if you think that’s all the good news I have to report this month, well you’re wrong! During one of my trips to the gym I found a scale. According to said scale, I managed to lose about 3 pounds since we’ve been here. Initially, I thought the scale may have been off, but I found another scale and the results were the same.

Of course, I think I ruined it all this weekend (damn hormones!).

Want to learn more about HASAY? Visit Casey over here.

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