What is harder? Running around and keeping busy with touristy things or staying home and doing nothing? Well, not nothing per say, but not as interesting as vacation either.
Last week we attempted a small routine. It’s not really a great one. Kids get to bed around 10, when the sun goes down. We stay up watching the late movies until 12-1 am. We were sleeping in the basement because it was the hottest week of the year. Seriously, Germany is breaking all sorts of weather records. Everyone takes a nap during the hot part of the day and we start playing finally after dinner. It’s been a long week. This week has been a bit better as the rain finally broke the hot streak. We’ve enjoyed the clouds and the rain. The Germans think we’re strange.
I’ve watched with a bit of envy this week as my friends and my daughter’s school starts a new school year. I know that I sold this summer to my daughter by telling her she’d get 12 weeks of summer vacation. Not realizing that’s 12 weeks of a lot of together time. We were ready for some separation from siblings this week, but we don’t start until August 29th.
I’m scrambling to find activities for the kids to do. I was able to find a young lady who could tutor Rowan with her German. Rowan’s got a lot of vocabulary and little sentences (Thank you Frau Cindy at German School Phoenix!), but not a lot of full sentences. I’m hoping a bit of extra practice with someone who is not her parent will help with the first couple weeks of school. It still only kills 1 hour, 3 times a week.
Meanwhile the kids are meeting friends in the neighborhood. Rowan tries hard and every day I hear new words and more small sentences. She understands a lot and that helps. Kasper has started asking why no one understands him. He is a lot more willing to try new German words in the past few weeks. I actually think he understands quite a bit, but doesn’t know how to respond.
Kasper is eligible to start kindergarten here. Kindergarten in Germany is = to Preschool in the USA. Kids here go to Kindergarten until they are 5, it’s a fun place to be, not really a school to learn. Then school starts in 1st grade when they are 6. The kindergartens around here are pretty full, but because we are new and he’s 3 ½, then he should get priority to get in somewhere. We’ve decided to hold off on pushing the issue until we settle into a home.
Markus is applying to jobs. It’s very slow going. We have most of our paperwork in order, enough to start a job. But it’s August, everyone is on vacation with their kids. So people who need to make the final decisions will be back … soon. The employment office is paying for someone to revise his resume. So Markus has been focused on that. We have about 3 recruiters helping us look as well. A plus in our corner is the fact we are willing to move to wherever the job is located. The reality is that it will probably be September before we start getting interviews.
Meanwhile, our stuff has arrived in Hamburg. We shipped 100 cubic feet (3 cubic meters). It’s not a lot, but our toys, fall /winter clothes, books and pictures. I paid for door to door service, meaning they packed everything up in Mesa, drove it to Los Angeles, shipped it to Hamburg and will drive it to my front door here. When I have a front door. Right now I’m having the shipping yard store our stuff for at least a month. If by the end of the month we haven’t figured out where we are going, I may need to have it sent to Tante H’s house so that we have access to our warmer clothes. Then when we do settle somewhere, we’ll have to move it over ourselves.
One step at a time. When Markus finds a job, everything else will click into place. I’m finding the waiting part hard. So much of this pressure is on Markus’s shoulders. Once he finds work, then I can find a place and fill it with beds (and a kitchen) and my days will get busy again