Friday, September 18, 2009

Two days, Three hours...

So, here I am on the very last Friday in the United States. My kids are all off to their last day of state-side school for the next three years and I know that they are excited. How could they not be?! We're moving to an entirely different country for three years.

It will be 2012 (well, 2012.5, since we'll be there until half-way through 2012) before we return. Don't let anyone fool you, there is NO way we'll be coming back to the states to visit. The cost alone is a deterrent. Bits and pieces of our family says that they'll come and visit, but we'll see (and no, if they don't, we won't hold it against them). Cost is a deterrent.

Our tickets (the kids and myself) came out to 753.10 per person. That is non-stop, one way on Delta (Korean Air). I can't expect friends and family to fork over that kind of money to come and see us. Everyone will have to live vicariously through this (and other) blog, pictures, and emails.

The issue with our crates seems to be resolved (supposedly). Their management there at Coleman America (the moving company) ended up having to re-issue seals with different numbers. These seals do not have my signature on them, but supposedly it won't make a difference. I hope not.

I have plenty to do today. My father's coming to retrieve our washer and dryer, as well as my vacuum and carpet cleaner, and my treadmill. I have a load of laundry in the dryer to fold and pack, and I have some scattered clothing behind the dryer I want to retrieve (and hopefully throw away!).

I have several things to do, so I shall go.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

3 days, 14 hours... and counting

Today, the movers came. They were thirty minutes late, but in all fairness it had been raining and traffic anywhere in the city is bad when there's weather about.

Talk about crazy. It took from 10:30 this morning until 8:20 this evening for them to pack and load all of our stuff. The three guys were nice enough, and everything.

I spent the whole day in and out of my apartment, answering questions and entertaining Elizabeth. I felt bad for her because she was truly bored and probably would have much rather curled up with TV and me on her day off from school.

I started taking my fertility drugs tonight. I was going to take them in the morning, but I was so busy I pushed it to the back burner.

For doing little, I am exhausted and can't wait for this all to be behind me.

I estimate about four hours of cleaning to make this place perfect, so hopefully I have it done in the two days I allotted myself.

When my final shipment gets to Korea, I should have a wonderful suprise. A science experiment, if you will. The movers packed my opened package of donuts. Mmm. Tasty they will be, no? No...

Oh well. Maybe I should have hidden the snack bin in the bath tub. Speaking of which, they packed everything in my tub. I have one squishy bar of soap and no shampoo. Man. That sucks.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

4 days, 20 hours, and counting.

Talk about busy! It's now less than 5 days to my flight, and am I finished packing? No. Am I stressed? Not at all. At least not about the packing.

It's also less than 18 hours until the movers come and move our stuff. Ask me if I am a little worried about that? Yes, indeed. I know that everything is going to be fine come this time tomorrow. The movers will be here between 8 and 10 tomorrow morning (they are coming from Fairburn, Georgia). Right now, our living room looks like we've decided to use it as a semi functional storage room. If putting things in the living room was a game of Tetris, I failed! I have all these rows with one block missing here and there.

The representative from the moving company, Joe, was very nice, and took care of everything in counting of boxes and stuff. I doubt he'll be the actual mover. Movers don't typically drive a shiney new Lexus.

I am nervous, of course, because each step we take towards Sunday, the more real it becomes. I went up to Holsenbeck Elmentary School to sign the forms to withdrawl the boys from school. I already gave notice at Sikes Rockinghorse Ranch (where Elizabeth goes to school). I totally forgot about Elizabeth's helmet there until now, so I am not sure where it is going to go. I won't have time to run up there and get it tomorrow, so oh well. It can't be helped at this point.

After I put the boys on the bus tomorrow, I will move my suitcases into the laundry room and count that area as off limits for the move. I will probably put the cleaning supplies in the bath tub and then tell the movers that stuff is no-go.

I will tag things with sticky notes for first move/second move. That way the first shipment (the unaccompanied baggage) will be there before October 30th, and the rest will come along by November 23rd. By December 1st, I want to be 100% settled in to my appartemtent. 1308. I look forward to it.

I guess, despite the mess, it still feels a little surreal. I almost expect at any point for someone to call me and tell me it was all a mistake, they're sorry, I'm not going. I doubt it. After all, nearly $3800 has been paid for the tickets, the house is about to be broken down and moved tomorrow.

Maybe this is my mind's way of 'shielding' me from too much stress. I'm only getting tidbits of stress fed to me, a little at a time, instead of being washed over me.

I think the kids are very excited. I keep hearing random cheers of "Kree-uh!" from Elizabeth, whispered discussions between the boys about things they want to do. There's talks of tours and visits to the palaces, museums, and really embracing the culture. There's concern from the kids that they've not learned how to use chopsticks yet.

For now, though, dinner will still need to be figured out. Not sure what we'll be having, but come tomorrow... there won't be any choice. It'll have to be 'out to eat'.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

T-Minus 6 days, 16 hours...

This weekend has been spent fairly productively (at least for me). We're nearly packed, our suitcases are piled up in the living room. I maybe have a load or two more to wash, and then that will be done.

We had a huge hiccup with our tickets, a problem that has yet to be resolved. As of right now, my kids and I are not sitting near each other. We all have window seats, all over the plane. There is hope that it will be resolved by take off. If not, it's going to be a really long flight.

I am eager to have the movers come on Tuesday for evaluation prior to the Wednesday pack up. After that, it's clean-clean-clean! I don't want to give our landlords a reason to have a fit. They're already not too thrilled about my moving out 3 months into my contract, but it is what it is.

I still have a bit to do. As of tonight (it's actually 8:30 PM EST despite what anything else says), I did complete three out of four of the 'tasks' I listed back on the 11th. I still have to get costumes for the kids, but everything else I completed.

I need to 'tag' the items that are going unaccompanied luggage. I plan on using sticky notes. The TVs are going in that shipment, as is our PS3. I need to write down our serial numbers (as requested by Alex).

I am going grocery shopping tomorrow, stocking up on dry goods. I also need to check expiration dates on what I do have, and donate anything that will expire by December. All of this 'stuff' will arrive by the 23rd of November at the latest, so if nothing else, we'll be eating really well in December!

Once everything is gone (on Wednesday) things are going to feel SO real. Right now, they still feel distant enough that it doesn't feel real. I lay in bed at night and I can't wrap my head around the fact that by this time next week, I will be on a flight to a new country and a new life.

It's exciting and terrifying all in the same. I feel like I should be doing more right now, but I don't know what I should be doing. In all honesty, short of moving things out of our storage room and into the living room, there's not much for me to actually be doing.

I do need to plot out snacks for the kids for the flight.

It will be very easy to clean up in here once the furniture and toys are gone. Not that it's dirty in here, but I want it to be cleaner than clean.

Friday, September 11, 2009

T-Minus 9 Days (and counting)

I was sitting in the car this morning, driving home from dropping Elizabeth (my four year old) off at preschool, stuck behind an SUV at a red light. She had one of those ribbons I've grown to associate with 'Support Our Troops' or 'Save the Tatas' (breast cancer awareness), but instead of the normal fare, it said 'I love my rotties'. I would rightfully assume that she means her Rottweiler (or however that's spelled) versus loving her cavities (though here, it might not be that far off). Her other sticker was one that said 'My dog is my co-pilot', confirming that she had a dog (or perhaps the SUV belonged to a man, and his wife/girlfriend was ugly as a 'dog').

I digress. I was sitting there, thinking to myself that maybe I should start a blog just about this big change in our lives, one that I can send the link out to my friends and family, and they can follow along back home while we go through this adventure.

This adventure, by the way, starts in nine days.

In nine days, I am boarding a Delta flight with my four kids (and no other adult to help me, heaven help us all), and flying from Georgia to South Korea. There, my husband will be there (hopefully meeting me at the airport) and we will be re-united after being apart since July 11th when the Army shipped him off. This has been a long time in the works. We started the command sponsorship while he was still in AIT. The passports for me and the kids have been sitting in the San Antonio base since June.

But that is neither here nor there. They're in my hands (well, in my back pack) and ready. Our flight has been booked.

To look around, you'd think I still had months to go before a monumental move across the world. Nothing is packed, and truth be told, I still have chores to do (dishes in the sink, clothes to be washed, etc...). Looking at it, we're not anywhere ready to move. Nothing is packed.

That is one of the pluses of the Army. Someone is going to come and do all that craziness for me. I have to say I'm relieved and a little nervous. This is my first Army move. I am lucky that I have a great group of military wives to offer me advice and to be my ear.

I still haven't packed my suitcases. I hate that I haven't but I haven't. I have a few items in each suitcase (and with four kids, we're allotted quite a few suitcases... two checked per person and 1 carry-on, so three per person total... add that together and I'm hauling 15 bags and four kids through busy airports).

I have packed Cody's carry-on. He's getting to carry the bag with the crayons and coloring books. I have a harness for Elizabeth. Although she's four, I don't want to take ANY chances. It might be degrading to 'walk' my child on a leash, but at least she'll be there. And for the record, she loves her harness. It's a pink puppy (or bear, I forget which) and it's tail is the leash.

Part of me is tempted to 'drug' the kids with Benadryl on the plane, and I will bring some with me (must write it on my list of things to pick up... along with Halloween costumes). Another part of me is willing to let them try to be themselves for this flight. I will bring some along, but maybe wait until the newness of the flight wears off. After all, this is their first flight ever (and my first overseas flight).

My stomach is twisted and anxious. I am so nervous and I'm not sleeping well. I think I got four hours last night (at the most). I tossed and turned all night and nodded off just before my alarm went off (so it seemed). I have so much to do, and no energy to do it. Not that I don't want to do it, but that I don't know where to start.

So, T-minus 9 days and counting... and on my to-do list:
  1. Unpack all of the Christmas gifts in the top of the closet and bag them in the black trash bags. Specifically, I need to find the two Tetris hand-held games for the boys to play on the plane. They will all go on the first shipment of our stuff to South Korea, which should be delivered on or before October 30th.
  2. Take the two boxes up to the post office and ship them to Alex. In them are all of our Wii games and our Wii (split up between the two boxes). I did manage to get the Wii safely packed in my camera bag, and the padding is thick with it, so the Wii should be safe.
  3. I'm supposed to drive out at noon today to pick up some home-schooling books. I don't home-school, but this is a back up plan (you always need a plan B).
  4. I need to get three costumes. Alex is going to get our oldest son his costume there in Korea (a set of ACUs).

That's really all I have on the schedule for today, and number 4 doesn't even need to be done today (1-3 does).

I know that Alex is anxious to get us there. Being apart is hard. Our phone bill is ridiculous, but it's expected and we're worth it. Moving across the world is a little overwhelming, and it's hard to get motivated when I am a profession procrastinator.

This time next week, things will be less overwhelming (or more overwhelming). But for now, I think a little nap before I get my day started. Maybe I should turn off the Disney channel, though I am partial to Handy Manny.