I have been trying to play catch-up with the places we are going, but I take way too many pictures for that to be a quick process. . .but, slowly but surely, I am getting there!
I think it is safe to say that the honeymoon period of this move is over. It's not that we aren't still excited about all that there to experience, etc, it's just that along with the dreariness of autumn and winter weather has come a bit of gloom at the Brummel house. And I would say that Mommy gets affected the most by all of it--which is why I haven't been blogging because who wants to be bummed out by my whining? :)
Right now, everything is just a bit overwhelming; the whole "strangers in a strange land" with three kids can be more than a little taxing. And it doesn't help matters that even the little things are difficult. I have been feeling as if I can't keep up with our life lately. Which is normal for anyone, but it sometimes gets to be too much. Like the other night when I wanted to sew a tunic for Hannah to wear to Egyptian Day at school.
The tunic itself was really simple--I used a sheet, so I really only had a few things to sew up. We were supposed to have had a sitter so that Keith and I could both go to a meeting about Hannah's First Communion, but Charlotte had started feeling a bit feverish, so I stayed home. The meeting didn't start until 8, and afterward Keith went out for a pint with a couple of the other dads. So I have to figure out on my own how to get the damned machine plugged in. Some of our US stuff has to be plugged in to a transformer, and some of it can be plugged into the wall with an adapter. Usually I would defer to Keith on that one, but he wasn't home. So I finally figure out that I have to plug it into the transformer, but start over-thinking it and blow the fuse on the transformer by switching the wrong switch. I don't know where the new fuses are, can't remember where another transformer might be, don't have any skill at hand-sewing, it's 10:00 and I'm exhausted, and Hannah still needs a tunic.
Normally, I can come up with a solution, but it was just too much. So when Keith got home from the pub, I was sobbing so hard that I couldn't breathe--snot running down my face, disheveled hair, frantic, wild eyes. . I was lovely. Bless him--he fixed the transformer, got my sewing machine all set up, brought me a fresh glass of water, and I was ready to get the tunic finished. Then the machine wouldn't sew. Round two of sobs. So I try to calm down enough to call my mom (who I assume wasn't fooled by me saying I was just tired and didn't feel good) to get her help. Then the internet phone wouldn't work. Round three of sobs.
Eventually, around midnight, the tunic was finished. And obviously my little temper tantrum ("Nothing works in this stupid country!" and "Seriously, who lives like this--I just want to plug something into a wall!", etc) was probably about more than my sewing machine problem. It's a strange lesson in human behavior to see where the frustrations of this move show themselves. Keith and I are learning a lot about our marriage and about what kind of stuff we are made of. So even though things have been a little rocky lately, I guess in the end, even that will be a good thing to come out of this.
Luckily, this weekend things started perking up again. We had some new carpet installed which is always nice. The sun was shining most of the time. We were able to successfully secure a COSTCO membership, and it's amazing how 6-packs of toothpaste, free food samples, and two-foot-high bags of chips can make you feel like you are back in America again! I am the first to admit that when I saw the People magazine and the Stacy's Simply Naked pita chips right next to each other, I got a little teary. We were Sam's Club members in the States, so maybe they are the same at the US stores, but the carts were HUGE. . .it was hilarious! If they are just in the UK, it just might be a social commentary on how Brits look at Americans!!
We went to church Saturday night and then, miracle of miracles. . .Keith, Charlotte, and I slept until 9:30 Sunday morning!!! The older girls got up at 7 like usual and quietly watched TV, ate cereal, and played. Keith and I joked that we couldn't quite remember what to say to each other when we were both feeling rested and in good moods! Decided to take a little weight off my shoulders by saying no to participating in something, got stuff done around the house, and then because we had slept late, we were able to stay up and watch the Bears game (9:15pm start for us).
So it ended up being a pretty good weekend. As is probably to be expected, life is up and down right now for us. Luckily, there are as many, if not more, ups than downs. . .that's what I try to focus on when I am feeling down. And this is a good month for giving thanks, so I am going to try and do just that!