I've been home for four days, crazy with kids and parents and mom-in-law and sister-in-law. Finally, as of about thirty minutes ago, I'm down to "just" my own brood. (Ya' know... just the six of us). And it's raining, and the kids are getting wild. And I'm ignoring them to write here.
The good news is that the house is a done deal. It's been approved, and it's ours as of July 1. The bad news is that once July 1 rolls around, the company expects Tom to be there full time. I'm not sure we'll be ready to go by then.
This week is all about purging. I have three appointments with organizers to help get rid of stuff I don't want to keep or store.
The next week is all about sorting. What goes on the plane with us. What goes on the container ship. What goes by air shipment. What goes into storage. What goes to other people.
The third week in June will be our pack & move out week.
After that, I'm not sure what. It's going to take 6 to 8 weeks for our stuff to arrive by boat. Our older two boys are going to stay at my parent's house for part of the summer. We don't want to live in a Paris hotel long-term with two little boys. Or in an empty house. (Here or there). Still trying to figure it out.
We have made a "reservation" on a house in Garches. It's in the suburbs of Paris. It looks pretty good. We'll find out for sure on Monday, when we make negotiations. I have photos, but I'll have to post later. At the hotel the internet is both weak, and limited.
The good news is that we've already figured out that IF the International School says they have room for Ryan, we understand how to get the boys there. (First a bus, then the Metro).
On the other hand... this house is in walking distance to both the Montessori school and the American school. I'm pretty sure that this is going to be the choice. Hopefully we'll be certain on Monday.
It's Saturday morning. That means I have been house-hunting in Paris for four days. We have seen a dozen houses, plus half a dozen apartments. One has a perfect yard. Another has a perfect location. Others are set up well. Some are huge, even by Texas standards. Lots are too small. Some are ugly. (In other words, like any other house-hunting trip... we're trying to find something perfect that probably doesn't exist).
This time I was smart, and took along my camera. My new camera. My new camera with a memory card that maxes out at 17 photos. Which means that I have an average of 1.5 shots per house. Arrgh!
We have been going nonstop from the day we got here. In addition to seeing all of the homes and apartments, we have also been back to each school for a visit - the American School, the International School, and the French "bilingual" montessori.
We have been hoping to find a house in a location where we could possibly make the decision later regarding which school to choose (i.e., one that is convenient to both).
It is not possible.
Either we live IN Paris, send 3 boys to the International School, and hope someone un-enrolls to make room for 4th boy (and if not, bus him out to the suburbs where the American School is)...
We live in the suburbs, and choose to put the kids in the American/Montessori schools because to get to the International School from the suburbs involves a train, a bus, and either another train, or another bus.
And, sure, I want to do that with four kids in tow.
I'll try to write more later. But for the moment, my new computer's keyboard is causing me to accidentally erase (and completely disappear) paragraphs of text at a time.
We leave on Monday for our house-hunting trip. And to make a final decision about schools. The good news is... no matter what we choose, it will be fine. Every choice we have is a good one. I am thankful to have THESE problems... others could be so much more painful.
We have appointments with three different realtors. In France, they do not have anything like the MLS, where there is a single go-to place for listings. Each realtor has only their own listings to show. So, the more realtors, the more showings. At least that's how I understand it at the moment.
Currently, I am avoiding making the long list of things that my parents need to know about before we leave, so they can care for the boys. Last time, when I was gone for five days, the list was six pages long. This time, I'll be gone for 10 days. I'd better get started...
Lisa suggested to me last month that I could blog just a couple of times a month, and that would still be okay. (Because there is NO WAY I could do this daily).
So here is the situation, as it stands now:
We are moving to France (Paris) very soon. The date is as of yet unknown - Junlyish.
The move date depends on when/where we get a home and whether or not it's furnished. Oh, and there's the little thing about having to drag EVERYONE down to the embassy to get our visas.
Our housing depends on a) where we will be sending the boys to school and b) what kind of lifestyle we want, c) whether my 88-year-old mother-in-law will be living with us full- or part-time.
(3.a.) The International School said they'd take all four boys. Except they don't have room for R. Now what?
(3.a.1.) He could go to the American School by himself. We could send him with J. There is a Montessori school nearby where we could send A. & E. But we don't know if there's room. And would we want to start in one area, then move to another? Or move the kids to another school after a year? Hmmm.
(3.b.) Do we want to live in Paris proper and get an apartment near a park to send wild, rambunctious boys? Or get a house in the nearby suburbs that has a yard? Do I want to drive every day or put kids on busses?
(3.c.) Arrgh! I don't have the bandwidth for this at the moment.
All of the schools need to know yesterday whether or not we're coming. Oh, and they also want their application fee of 650 - 800 Euro per kid.
Mom to four boys, J(12.5), R(10), A(6.5) and E(5). Moved to France in 2008. Suddenly everyone wanted to know the details of my life. Now that we have been recalled to the United States my life is not as glamorous. But now that I've started writing, I find I cannot stop. Follow the adventures...