Saturday, October 31, 1998

Halloween was Fun!

The kids were really glad that we were back in the States in time for this. When we had just come back, they saw Halloween costumes everywhere and of course immediately wanted to select some. Cees is the Red Power Space Ranger, Timmy is Spiderman. Tara and Jane both are Winnie the Pooh, their current favorite character.

We had a relaxed Halloween, we just went one block. That was more than enough for both the kids and the parents! :-) Jane insisted on walking a different direction from us the whole time and would be very indignant when we tried to correct her. Tara quickly caught on about the 'trick or treat' part. She had only one screaming fit, when somebody threw candy in her Halloween bucket and it was not the right kind of candy in her toddler opinion...Cees and Tim just enjoyed the, in their eyes, enormous amount of candy.

We let them splurge on it when we came home, and then it was off to bed!

Friday, October 30, 1998


We will have one Space Power Ranger, one Spider Man en two Winnie the Poohs. All costumes are store bought, I just was not up to making anything myself this year (Hmmm, I wonder why :-)

My kids are very happy to be back in the States for Halloween, since it is not celebrated in the Netherlands

Tuesday, October 27, 1998

We are Back!!!!!

We are back in the States!!! Finally!!! Times have been rather stressful and hectic, but we are surviving. I still HATE moving, but we have only one more move to go and then we finally can settle.

The move out of our Dutch house took longer than we expected. It is scary how much stuff we still accumulated in only 6 months and we actually had to go out and buy an extra suitcase on the airport, because our stuff just didn't fit in the few suit cases we brought :-) We gave away lots of stuff and sold our car and computer. The last night we stayed in a hotel, where we got the room that was on the 2nd floor, as far away from the stairs as possible and there was no elevator, so it took us a while to get all our luggage there. In the morning we had to move it all back out...

The trip was uneventful, apart from almost missing our connection at New York Kennedy. It took us pretty long to get through the INS, to get our luggage, get through customs and finally locate our next plane. Then when we were in just in time, they announced that they just heard that Logan airport was partly closing down, because of very gusty winds and we had to wait for an hour or so on the runway before we really departed....

In Boston, we all were very tired of traveling and just wanted to go to the hotel and go to sleep. We got an especially big cab, in which we just fitted with the 4 kids and the innumerable pieces of luggage and 2 car seats. We arrived at the hotel, got everything and every one out, I went to check in and found out that they didn't have a room for us..... They had booked us in another hotel though, although at that point I wasn't very happy about it, since that meant another cab drive and loading and unloading all the luggage again. Well, we managed to do it and the other hotel turned out to be the Carlton Ritz, very posh, way over our budget but paid for us by the first hotel. We got a nice suite, which even included a Nintendo. Two little boys were very happy about that :-)

Next day, Sander got our car from the long term Logan parking and managed to get it back to our hotel, only getting lost about 10 times or so... To our surprise it still worked fine, only needing some oil, which we had anticipated. So early afternoon, we were able to leave Boston and drive to White River Junction, where I had made reservations in the Shady Lawn Motel. I had chosen that one because they had kitchenettes. This was a big mistake..

The Shady part of the name was very well earned. The front desk was very unhelpful and unfriendly, the rooms were just not it and they first put us in a room without a kitchenette (I had reserved one with a kitchenette and when Sander checked in, he had stressed that we wanted a kitchenette). So I went back and they grumbled about it, but still gave us a room with a kitchenette. This was just an old refridgerater, a sink and a stove and nothing else. When you closed the door too hard, part of the kitchenette's wall would fall down. Still, we figured it would be good to have a kitchen so we could at least do our own cooking.

Next day we met our realtor to look at some rentals. The moment we were in the car to leave, one of the people at the hotel immediately went into our room. When we came back at the end of the day, there had no housekeeping being done at all. So we suspect they just wanted to see what we brought in??? We told the realtor about this hotel and she told us that a new Marriott Residence Inn just had opened close to here a few months ago and called them for us to see whether they had room. They did and that afternoon we went there, got us a 2 bedroom suite and went to the other hotel to get our stuff. We had reserved for 7 nights at the Shady Motel, and had to pay in advance (now I know why) and I was prepared to pay for 2 nights since we were checking out so late, but they didn't want to refund us any money.. So we'll have to dispute the credit card company to get the other 5 days back.

The Residence Inn was so much better! We had stayed there before, a few years ago, when we lived in Philadelpia for 2 months. It was a nice suite, with 2 bed rooms, 2 baths, living/dining room with fully equipped kitchen. And the staff was friendly and caring. Such a difference! It still was not easy staying in a hotel with 4 very active kids, but it was so much more do-able!

We ended up staying there for 2 weeks, until we could move into a short term rental. It was very hard to find something short term, people prefer to have at least a year's lease. We are now living in a big, old, furnished house, which is up for sale, so we get occasional showings, for which we need to clean up every time. Still, it is so much easier to live in a house instead of in a hotel. But the thing I long for most is settling down somewhere and getting our own stuff back!

We spent a lot of time looking at houses and trying to decide which one we wanted to buy. It was not always easy, dragging around 4 kids, but we did it, although I have to admit I used m&m's as bribes :-) The good news is that we did find a house, our first offer on it was accepted, we were approved for the mortgage and it looks like things might work out for that house. If it does, we will close on Nov 13!!!

In the middle of all this, Sander started his new job on Oct 1st. It seems to be a nice place to work and he is happy to be back in an office instead of at home with the kids. I, on the other hand, am very glad finally to be a SAH mom. I started homeschooling, although I don't have all the materials yet, but I just wanted to get myself and the kids into the routine.

The kids are still adjusting. Cees is happy to be back in the States, but misses his Dutch friends. Tim has a very hard time adjusting, but the last few days have been a little bit better. Tara has started sleeping in her own bed (MINE, MINE! :-) She was ready for it, although I still often have to go over to her at night to nurse her. But she does sleep through on some nights. Jane is not sleeping very well. She has an extremely hard time falling asleep and often is still bouncing around at 2am or so. Haven't been able to get that turned around yet, guess we need to keep working on that.

All in all, we are happy to be back and hope to move into our own house soon. We really want to get settled!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Karen, mom to Cees (6yo), Tim (5yo), Tara (2yo), Jane (1yo) and The Birthday Present (3/15)