Thursday, December 31, 2015

Moving Preparations Commencing (sort of)

As December marched on, I could no longer deny 2016's imminent arrival.  And with 2016, of course, comes our impending move, which I have mostly ignored to date (except for that whole learning Vietnamese full time thing).  The mental coaching articles always tell you to live in the present, right?  I'm not sure if I actively was choosing to live in the present, or was secretly living in denial that we'll miss family and friends, but either way, time to face the music and get our stuff in order.

As noted in past posts, parents in the DC metro plan summer camps early.  Our kids have exactly two weeks between when school lets out and when July comes.  We have no idea when in July we are moving, and I do hope to squeeze in a trip home to Texas before we head overseas again, so the last two weeks of June are it for camps.  Thankfully, the stars have aligned and, in the limited time we have that we can actually commit to something, at least one of Wm's friends is free for sleep away camp, and a day camp Patch wanted to try is offering a theme he is super excited about.  Summer camp, check.  (now I just have to remember to sign up when registration opens on January 30, since we have very little leeway!)

And then the ever-dreaded pre-move shopping.  Forced shopping is never fun, especially when, with every purchase, you are forced to remember why you are buying things (i.e., you are moving to the other side of the world).  Don't get me wrong, I love our job and all the fun experiences we have once we're there, but leaving each place (especially leaving America and our family) brings sadness and dread.  However, on December 26, I faced the music and purchased a fake 6.5' Christmas tree.  

With two relocation-related activities under my belt, I can now face the myriad of tasks in 2016 with a little less dread.  Takes a few pushes to get the ball rolling.  

-- PS: side funny note on the Christmas tree --
(1) We had a fake Christmas tree, purchased in Hyderabad.  It was funny looking and only 4' tall, but it served us well for four years in two countries.  This Christmas, I went to take it out to loan to my office for holiday decoration - only to find we only had the middle third in our storage closet!  I have no idea what happened to the top and bottom!  

Either (a) they are hiding somewhere else in our house and we will find them when we pack out / unpack on the flip side or (b) a mover along the way needed only a top and bottom, leaving us with a labeled box, but not a complete tree.  It seemed prudent to purchase a new tree now, in any case, so that we do have one for the next Christmas (and not take our chances on (a) above).  

-- PPS: Christmas tree woes, part II --
Finding an unlit tree is tough!  We need an unlit one so we can put 220V lights on it (few places are 110V like the US).  Luckily, Target came through.  Also luckily, I had exactly one choice in the post-Christmas sale, so I didn't have to make a decision (only spend my time online confirming that I did, indeed, only have one decent-looking option).  

-- PPPS on shopping -- 
No tiny babies making this move!  No mountains boxes of diapers and wipes!  No mounds of tubs of back-up formula!  No having to guess how quickly a baby will gain weight and move out of one diaper size or wonder how much formula, if any, the baby would need.  Most other things I purchased locally (after all, people have babies the world around :) ), but sensitive skin and sensitive tummies in our family seemed to prefer American products for those two items.  One whole (expensive!) category of "consumables" exorcised from the shopping list.