a slightly bumpy landing

We have been at our new post for something like 6 weeks. I am not going to lie and say it has all been sunshine and labrador puppies. It has been one of the hardest moves - it rates neck and neck with our tour in KL so far. Which frankly sort of sucked for the entire 2 years.

I have been doing a lot of knitting (succulent shawl). I have not been doing enough putting things away yet. I have been whining way too much to friends in far flung corners of the world. Hopefully things will start looking up soon...

decorating on the cheap

I definitely like to do things to our house and furniture to make them feel like home. We lucked out on our current house - we have a great Euro style kitchen, lots of clean lines and the best view of the city. There are an awful lot of cupboards and nowhere to hang anything, so I ordered up a 6 ft roll of chalkboard contact paper and a set of chalk markers - and now we like the kitchen even more!

dreamy yarn

This photo does not actually convey the loveliness that is this yarn. It is Malabrigo worsted in poplar morn color way. It is so lovely. I am going to make the Orchids & fairy lights hat available on Ravelry. Only problem? My knitting needles are still not here. maybe next week??

How mail and UAB can make things easier

This is our 5th post as a family, maybe my 17th if you add on my FS childhood. I know how to move. This time I did pretty well. We had a small UAB coming out of Moscow (some of which did not show up but that might be another story) a larger UAB from home leave. HHE from Moscow, a shipment from storage and a consumables. And the car. That is a lot of logistics to keep track of.

This time I found out that we were really welcome to mail some stuff prior to arrival. Not like some people at one post who mailed such an obscene amount of stuff to themselves that they should still be very embarrassed. Maybe they are, I heard they quit the State Dept. But anyway, I ordered a few items that have proven to be an excellent idea. What items? A big ugly Amazon Prime box full of mostly junk food snacks. This proved to be my best idea ever as 3/4 of us got really sick right after we arrived at post. Salty goldfish crackers proved to be a life saver.

I also ordered pillows and mattress toppers for all. You cannot order all these things the very same day. Or you shouldn't unless you want to get a bulk shipment charge. I spaced it out a bit.

Best things to put in UAB? Bath mats and duvets. I would add knives but they didn't show up but all our financial records which were supposed to be in the HHE did. Weird.

Expat Life - the reality

We have been in our new home for 2 weeks today. During that time I have mastered taxi's, gotten the kids organized at school, gone to a book club I am afraid I did not love, discovered this is going to be a long tour cheese wise and seen this rainbow from my balcony.

One shipment might show up Monday, the others all seem to be MIA. Today the kids spend a full day at school so I plan to spend some time planning our first trip out of town via Wizz Air. And knit.

In Flight

In Flight

A lot of people in the foreign service are gearing up to move or PCS as we call it. The above is what I will have in my bag/suitcase. Euro to buy a treat or two as we transit through airports. A  luggage scale is one of the most important items to own. Life changing. A scarf, because I am always cold on the plane. A book in case my electronics die. And finally the most important thing to have in your luggage - sheets! A friend shared this secret with me a few posts ago. Arriving at your new home with some dreamy new sheets to replace the rough welcome kit ones - priceless luxury.

Finish strong

Expat women have a problem with finishing strong.  This extends to their children who are learning by example.  It is so crazy shocking to me that people check out so early.  People who are moving, like me, but also families that have been here for years and years and will be back again after their summer wherever.
I wish they would eagerly attend all their children's end of year things.  I wish they would have their children attend all their end of year things.  I wish they would buy teacher gifts to actually say thank you.  Or at the very least send a note of thanks, or say thank you in person.  This is an expat thing I find especially shocking as I set out early yesterday to buy my daughter's Girl Scout leader a gift, today I will be going someplace else for a teacher gift and an extra special gift for my daughter's recorder teacher, who she loves, loves, loves.  Does this mean I buy gifts for all her teachers?  No.  Art teacher who isn't an art teacher and second year in a row has 'lost' every single thing my daughter has created in your class?  That guy is getting nothing but a very, very poor review from me.  And that is fine.  but if your child has a good teacher, you should tell them so.
Just because you are an expat with a busy life in the spring, does not excuse being lame.  Finish strong and set a good example for your kids.  I imagine a lot of them walk around slightly embarrassed for their poor behavior.  At least I like to imagine they feel a little bad, when deep down, I know a few don't even realize they have fallen so far off the social norm tree.