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Posts Tagged ‘DH’

I looked down on the countdown timer for the move.  It clicked over to 1 month.  How is that possible?  I surely still have two months left, don’t I?

Things are happening rapidly and are a bit mind-numbing at the same time.  We have so many details flying around our heads that we’re just flowing along trying to make sure we do not forget anything.  We’ve managed to get everyone in for a last check up at the dentist and gathered everyone’s dental records as well.  We’re working on the medical records for all the boys now, and the eye-gouging process of attaining mine and DH’s.  Ours are scattered at several different “specialty” offices.  Ugh.

DH leaves for Liverpool on the 25th, and he won’t return this time.  He will remain there and work until we get there.  I am flying to Liverpool (Manchester, actually) on the 4th of May.  I will stay there until Friday, May 11th.  During that time we will be  looking at schools and at houses.

We’ve finalized our housing allowance and to say it is generous is an understatement.  The houses in that range are extremely nice. EXTREMELY.  Now the process will come down to which house will let us bring our dog.  Oh, Roscoe.  You tricky little thing, you.

Schooling is still all a bit vague.  I’m told we really can’t do anything about the schools until we get there.  But, not to buy or rent a house until we know which school we’ll be in.  But that we can’t apply to any school until we have a permanent address.  How does this make sense?  Ohio Virtual Academy is looking more and more appealing.

I am also in the market for a vehicle lease.  We will have a generous vehicle allowance (roughly 450 pounds per month), but I don’t know what that will get us there or what we should worry about in terms of insurance fees, taxes, etc. Any advice on that would be appreciated.

This is really happening.  Now if only I can stop stress eating and get back to exercising so I don’t fit the stereotype of the overweight American.  Is that still a stereotype?

 

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A few years ago, shortly after I had DS3 and was in the midst of a pretty severe case of PPD, I took on a project that I didn’t think I would be able to do.  I adopted an 1880’s piano, and vowed to restore it. 

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I found him on Freecycle, of all places.  He was in pretty poor shape aesthetically; his poor beautiful wood had been painted several times, and had the clumpy remnants of it.  But he was pretty sound, essentially, and his voice was lovely if a bit hoarse from age.  I had to call a piano repairman to make sure his insides were still healthy.  He received a relatively clean bill of health – he would always have quirks and would never be playing Music Hall, but he’d be perfect for a family with three boys, a dog, and a mama who loves piano but cannot play herself.  My repairman took him apart to put give him new keys, and I commenced a six (or was it nine?) month project of paint removal, sanding, staining, and varnishing.  The piano repairman told me to call him when I was done and he’d bring the new keys to replace the old ones that were broken, and also put the cantankerous old man back together.  But by that time, I knew him so well, I put his parts back together myself.

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He’s pretty grumpy; a few of his keys stick and he gets moody.  But he’s great with the boys and he loves it when they play on him. I count him among my greatest accomplishments in this lifetime.  And the accomplishment of this, in no small part, helped me realize that the PPD was not my eternal state of being, or a punishment without end in sight for my perceived failures as a mom.  He was my therapy.

I find myself needing to say goodbye to him, after I told him and DH that I never would.  But there is no way to bring him with us overseas (Who would have thought we’d be going overseas?!).  I’m hopeful I can find him a good adoptive home.  I don’t think he will last in storage without constant care and maintenance (Typing that makes me feel guilty because he’s way overdue for a tuning!).  I really don’t want to say goodbye to him; it’s as saddening to say goodbye to him as it is to say goodbye to my friends – and isn’t that silly?

Thank you, pianoman, for the hours of therapy, for filling my house with music, for being there for my children to beat on and eventually to play music on.  Thank  you for being something my hands could make beautiful, even if it were not by playing your keys myself. 

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This is the view from DH’s hotel room:

Liverpool - Albert Dock

I’m thinking I want to go there, even if I do have to wear my winter coat all year long.

Today has been hectic and full. I spent a good portion of time yesterday scanning in all the birth certificates and social security cards, passports and transcripts for documentation needed. I have to write up a CV (I’ve never done that before) for my work Visa. Now to make my part time gigs of the last 12 years look interesting and exciting and competent. Ha.

I took the dog to the veterinarian to get his microchip installed. He has to be microchipped 21 days before we leave – this will give us a bit of cushion. He also has to be given a rabies vaccine *after* the microchip is installed. In other words, even though he had his booster less than a month ago, he gets to have another. Poor guy. Anyway, he will be in the kennel for the next week while we’re on spring break and THANK ALL THE HEAVENS there is no dog in the house right now. Sometimes he’s more work than the kids.

We got the numbers from DH’s work on our housing allowance and what they will cover for utilities, etc. To say it is generous is an understatement. I received the information, plugged it into rightmove.co.uk, and saw aristocratic manse houses turn up in the search results. I don’t want to clean that, thank you very much, and as generous as the allowance is, it does not include money for a housekeeper. They’re lovely manse houses, though. Lovely!

The entirely unhelpful relocation company has been fired by DH’s boss. I’m not sure when we get a new one, but am looking at schools in the areas we’re interested in. I’m going to just cross my fingers and hope for the best, knowing that the worst case scenario is that we homeschool the boys using Ohio Virtual Academy. And really, how worst case scenario is that? It’s a pretty awesome option, actually.

DH didn’t have to work at the hospital today, so he went walking in Liverpool, down to the train station and around the ferris wheel and carousel on the docks. He couldn’t get over how easy it will be to get to London. He’s getting more and more excited as the days go on. It’s palpable when we chat on Skype. He’s really into this! It makes me more excited as well, as if I weren’t already, moving close to some of my best friends and loves ever. ❤

So much more to do today: I need to take the kids to get their passport pictures taken in a bit. DS2 asked, "Why do we need passport pictures?". Can't get anything by that one. I don't know how much longer I'll be able to keep it from them. We might need to push our information sharing date forward.

Paper due today on – wait for it – Temple Grandin. I could write this one in my sleep. It's all about autism, actually, since the class is Abnormal Psychology. I am excited to tell you I'm pretty sure I'll finish my grad school at Liverpool University. Well, I need to do more research, but it certainly makes sense!

I have so many things going in my head, I am sure I'm forgetting something I wanted to say. But I'm also packing this evening to go to Virginia and Washington D.C. for spring break with the boys and DH. All you burglars who are reading my blog better watch out – the neighbor is keeping an eye on the place and he's vicious with a baseball bat!

So much. SO MUCH. Deep breaths.

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We’ve been working away at the move, but seem to be accomplishing little.  DH is in Liverpool as we speak.  He says the weather is gorgeous, warm and sunny. I’m worried he will use up all the yearly allotment of sunlight before I get there.  Which will be ironic, because he doesn’t even LIKE sunshine.

He is at the Hilton in Liverpool, which looks like it’s a real hardship to stay at:

Obviously slumming it, no?

He says I’d love it there, his room overlooks the water and is right on the corner up top so is full of windows.  It is also across from a shopping complex, where he swears I will love the Costa (coffee) shop, and the John Lewis (apparently like a Nordstrom’s).  I told him on a sunny day like that, he wouldn’t get me away from the water’s edge.

We’ve been having a bit of difficulty getting final numbers from DH’s company, which is hindering the work we’re doing with the relocation agency. They need details to help us, we don’t have details, and thus we are at an impasse. We haven’t even determined whether they’ll pay for a car lease for us, or only public transport options.  The danger here is that we end up paying out of pocket for the privilege of working slavishly to convert hospital systems over there, which would defeat the purpose for us.  The exchange rate is not in our favor.

We’ve looked into a few suburbs near the hospital; in terms of places I’ve found that I like, the suburbs of Childwall and Allerton.  There’s a particularly nice house right across the street from a large park in Allerton that I’ve had my eye on, but since he’s been there, DH is interested in a suburb called Warrington that I’ve not found yet on my searches.  Apparently his peers at the hospital all highly recommend the area and most of them live there as well.

I’ve been blessed with many wonderful friends who are across the pond who are pointing me out to council websites and educational resources, all of which are greatly appreciated and highly overwhelming.  I’m tempted to throw my hands up and say “Somehow, it all comes out right in the end”.

Saying goodbye has been really difficult, on many levels.  For someone such as myself, who doesn’t shed tears at all (I can seriously not remember the last time I cried), there have been many “almost” moments already.  I’m sure they will fall before I’m done here.  And I’m sure there are heartbreaks still to come.  I am overall excited about this prospect, though, very much so.  I cannot wait to learn new things – this is who I am, at the core.  A student.  There are no bits of knowledge I will not welcome, even the most difficult lessons.

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I’ve learned a little bit about communication in the last few days.  Sometimes, miscommunication is even worse than non-communication.  Although I specified with DH that I wanted to know this was 100% sure before I told anyone about it, and he assured me it was 100% happening – it wasn’t.  At least not in his mind.  When he found out I posted about the move he really flipped.  We had an intense conversation about why – it turns out that it’s mostly about what he was comfortable with being communicated.  He is much closer to his sleeve with information than I am.  Any miniscule possibility that this may not happen is enough for him to say it isn’t happening, whereas for me it is a process.  It is happening, or it’s not, but the process of it is important to me and I need to note it, process it and remember it.

FYI: It’s really happening.  He realized he over-reacted and we talked through the why of it.  Being a psychology major sometimes comes in handy.

The latest information we have is that DH will fly out on the 24th to spend approximately 10 days at the client site.  While there he will scout locations for where we might live, and meet with relocation agents hired by the company to help us transition.  Meanwhile, I will be packing/organizing/cleaning the house (how much can you accumulate in 12 years?!).  I will still be working and going to school full time, and caring for the boys as always.  We are actually wondering if my doubling up on classes will be a good idea, as the sooner I can finish this program (right now, scheduled for 11/1 of this year), I might be able to practice therapy over there and perhaps take classes for my graduate program as well.  In the meantime, our schedule for the next month is mind-numbingly crazy.

  • This Monday: DH flies to Austin for project.  He flies out to Austin two weeks in a row.
  • The 24th he flies to the UK.  He is there until the 6th.
  • April 2nd, I hope to take the kids to visit family during Spring Break.  They will not see some of these family members for at least a year, maybe two.
  • April 9th, I leave for Chicago for the RT Bookreviews convention.  Jay is supposed to be home to care for the kids during this time.
  • I suspect he will be flying back to the UK sometime the next week, April 16th or 17th.  He might not return after that.
  • I am supposed to take a trip over there sometime in May to help him find a house, set up schools for the boys, etc.  This is also assuming we can find childcare for the boys – not an easy thing at all.
  • The last day of school is May 31.  The boys and I will somehow make our way to the West Coast to visit my family for a week-ish.  We will probably fly from LAX to Manchester.

 

Somewhere in there, DH and I are both going to need to schedule minor surgical procedures that will take 3-5 days of recovery time.  DH wants me to skip Chicago.  I am not willing to do that, as it’s been planned for a year and I will not be able to attend another RT Convention for years.  Add in that I’m not sure how the logistics of even continuing to review while in Liverpool will work – I suppose only books available on NetGalley will be do-able.

My head is obviously spinning.  I am nervous and excited in equal measure.  So much of what I love here will be sorely missed: Dear friends, family, my job(s).  At the same time, what I’m moving towards thrills me:  Travel.  Adventure. New friends. Friends that I’ve sorely missed.   The loves that I am leaving are breaking my heart, and the loves that I’ll be gaining will make me sing out.   I am taking my greatest loves with me, and am so excited to share the world with them.

We’ll just have to see.

 

 

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WSS.

I’ve had some questions about acronyms that I used in my second post.  Here is your legend:

DH:  Dear Husband or Damned Husband, depending on the day.  This is my spouse, Jay.  We have been married 12 years this coming December.

DS (1,2, or 3):  Dear Son, or Damned Son, depending on the day. 😉  DS1 is Craig, my oldest, who turning 11 in June.  DS2 is Kurt, my middle son, who is turning 10 in July, and DS3 is Ben, my youngest, who just turned 7 last week.

There may be other acronyms that come along, when they do I will define them for you.

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Life is filled with surprises, and I am so trite for saying it in just those words.  Still, it is true.  The entirety of this blog will be about dealing with the surprise that’s come along for us, rather quickly.  

DH was approached two weeks ago about a new position opening up within his company.  It is another 15-24 month project, just like the one he recently wrapped up in Detroit.  Only this one will not require him to travel M-F.  This one will require him to relocate. 

To Liverpool.

Yes.  That’s Liverpool.  UK.  Great Britain. Ye Olde Motherland (I suppose, despite the melting pot of the U.S. and the fact that neither DH nor I have much in the way of British blood, the only country we can claim to have split off from is GB).  

The transition is what I will blog, the experience of the ex-pat family.  Probably no one will be interested in any of this aside from a few close friends and family.  Still, I hope to get this down for my own sake, and to  have a documentation of the experiences for the kids to look back on when we return to the U.S. 

This is still very new, and there’s not much to say about it at this time.  DH will fly out for his first meetings at the client site on the 19th of March.  He may return immediately, but he’ll likely stay for a week or so to meet with more people, examine the status of the client site, and scout out the areas we may want to live.  He’ll also hope to get a good visit in with our friend E while he’s there.  

I am working on the kids’ passports (DH and I are already set) and the transfer/quarantine for the dog, Roscoe. The kids don’t know yet, we haven’t told them and likely won’t until DH gets back from his first trip.  It is likely the kids and I will stay here until the school year ends the first week of June. 

I’ve never had a wordpress blog, or any real blog outside of LiveJournal.  Bear with me through what is likely to be a really, really messy learning process.  

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