Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Germany: The First week

We made it to Germany!  We flew out on Tuesday, June 23rd on the 3:55 flight. 
So we've been here just about a week.
Before we left, we sold our house, our cars, and the majority of our furniture. 
Over the past few weeks, we gave away several truck beds full of stuff and are storing mainly kitchen items, a few pieces of furniture, and just general décor and other keepsake items in our families' attics.  It was hard to let things go but now that we're here and all I have is what we brought in our {6 large} suitcases, I barely miss it.  We have a shipment of 1000lbs coming and there are several things I'm looking forward to having for convenience sake but other than that, really I don't miss the stuff.  It feels good and free.
The flight was interesting...Caleb did great for the first half but then was sooo excited to be on the plane, he didn't fall asleep until 6 hours in at 10pm.  He kept insisting that it wasn't a bed! 
That left only about 3-4 hours of sleep for him {and me!}. 
Timothy and Ben got about 6 hours of sleep.  We all were very tired when we got off the plane.
Every time we got in the car over the first few days, both boys were instantly fast asleep. 
One day this happened right before bedtime and it was disasterous.  Both boys up until 11:30pm. 
This was the first morning in Germany. 
Caleb and Timothy woke up and came and laid in our bed and fell back asleep. 
That would NEVER happen on a normal day.
We moved into our apartment on Thursday.  It was the least eventful move-in ever.  Just carried up our suitcases and started putting things away.  After we got our keys, we went to ikea and bought a crib, a high chair, a blanket, and some hangers.  Here's a picture from driving around the city.

And this is our street and our apartment building!  And that's my bus!

This is our new building, top floor with the balcony.  Caleb still doesn't quite understand that the whole building is not his house, just a part of it.  Its not put together yet inside so I'll post pics of that later but we are loving the space.  1000 square feet (100 square meters to be exact) is not feeling as small as I thought it might.  The boys sharing a room has gone fine so far mainly because Caleb is an amazing sleeper and sleeps through all of Timothy's waking up.  

The view from our balcony - it looks out onto a park and soccer field and in the distance are some hills/mountians. 
Beautiful at sunset!

Our first days in the apartment were busy and full with getting set up, going to Ikea and grocery store to get some essentials, registering with the city, and going to the immigration office. 
So nice to have our own space after several days of hopping around and after a month of living in between house showings and packing. 
Our apartment was new bed #6 in a row.  And the final one for a while!  We were in Katy, then Dallas, then Arlington, then the plane, then a hotel in Germany, then finally our German Apartment!  

Caleb in his new "brothers" room.  Calling the landlord at some point to make those into bunkbeds to give us more space!

This is from a few nights ago at about 10pm. 

It's 7 hours ahead here so our day is just winding down.  Daddy's about to be home and dinner's about to be cooking.  Another Germany day in the books!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Look and See trip (and I'm back!)

Hello again!!  Its been a 2 year hiatus of blogging and I'm ready to start again.  Caleb is now 3, and we now have our sweet Timothy who will be 8 months next week. 
And in case you haven't heard we are moving to Frankfurt, Germany for Ben's job! 
Two weeks ago Ben, Timothy, and I went to Frankfurt for our "Look and See" trip to look for housing.  It was my first taste of Germany and a good dose of reality. 
The 10 hour flight to Germany isn't too bad. 
You leave in the afternoon, make yourself go to sleep early by like 7pm or 8pm central time and then you wake up and you're in Germany and its 9am. 
Timothy slept well on me and although I didn't sleep that great (not helped by the man that was throwing up halfway through!) the excitement was enough to keep me up and trick my body into thinking it really was 9am instead of 2am. 
Maybe also helped by the fact that I haven't had a full nights sleep in 8 months so I've learned to function tired. 

 Our first stops were Heidelberg Germany (castle! below) and Strasbourg, France (above)

Timothy with us while looking for apartments and on the train
We looked at 4 apartments and chose one with 2 bedrooms (yay for baby/toddler room sharing!) (tips welcome!), one bathroom, up on the 6th floor with a covered balcony, heated flooring, a washer/dryer combo unit in the bathroom (in two of the others, you had to go down to the basement for laundry), furnished, stocked with kitchen supplies such as plates, cups etc, and a microwave (not included in most others).  Also its 100 square meters which is a little more than 1000 square feet.
  I'll post pics when we get there!

 The flight back was rough.  This picture happened in the last 20 minutes...of course!  I was by myself because Ben needed to stay an extra week and it was during the day.  Timothy slept very little and I was on the inside by the window which made it harder to get up and walk around.  At one point I tried to jump over the man next to me because he was sleeping and I bumped him in the leg and woke him up.  Awkward!
I learned many valuable lessons on this flight back. 
Mostly what NOT to do.
I cried when I saw Caleb waiting for me in the airport.  Partly just because I was so thankful to be off the plane and because I missed that little guy so much!
We leave Katy June 21st in the morning and then fly out of Dallas June 23rd.  2.5 weeks.
And then we live in Germany!