Avoiding Crisis

Archive for the ‘comments on moving home’ Category

the pack-out process

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this morning, i took this photo of our foyer.


this was before the movers came.  had i taken the exact photo a week ago you would have seen pictures and paintings on the walls but those have all been taken off the walls and placed here: 


the above photo was taken also this morning before the packers showed up. Here’s another “before” photo:


our bookcases don’t normally look like this. they are usually much more organized. but after 3 international moves we’ve learned a few things, like how grouping items together and consolidating nic nacs into one or two places in the house makes for easier packing and unpacking.

here’s what my house looked like about an hour later.




right now, the bookcases are completely empty, the kitchen cabinets bare, my upstairs living room filled with boxes, and my dining room a complete mess.

I’ve retreated to my bedroom for a break and have left Owen downstairs to terrorize the packers. I should probably go rescue them, or him, or whomever.

Can someone please come rescue me????



Written by nicolemarie

April 9, 2008 at 2:05 pm

pack out

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starts today.  just put both the kids on the bus to school and now I’m waiting for the movers to come. 

I’ll be home all day watching as they put all my worldly possessions in boxes. 

I’m thinking I’ll be posting from time to time today with updates on how things are proceeding.  I’ll even include pictures of before and after.  That’s always fun.

the house is going to echo by the end of the day.  i hate when houses echo.  it feels so empty. 

be back soon….

Written by nicolemarie

April 9, 2008 at 8:41 am


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is something i am in desperate need of but still can’t seem to do.  each night that places us one day closer to packing out and to leaving argentina i seem to have a harder and harder time falling asleep.  I should be asleep.  Everyone else in my house is asleep.  Instead, I’m wide awake in a very very quite house listening to the sound of the dozen or so voices coming from my neighbors house – they are probably just finishing up an asado…it should be another hour or so before the chatter dies down.  They are really annoyingly loud. 

You know what the worst part about not being able to fall asleep is?  It’s knowing that when you finally do fall asleep you’ll be woken up too soon by the sounds of your children.  And, you’ll be utterly and completely exhausted.

if this continues, I’m thinking that by Friday (when the packing is finally all done) I’ll be so damn tired I’ll have no choice but to sleep.  One can only hope.

Written by nicolemarie

April 8, 2008 at 12:04 am

de grasa o de manteca?

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i know I should be doing something right now.  something productive.  something more than blogging about how i’m not doing anything.  well, actually, i am doing something, but that something has little to do with our upcoming move.  which, for very obvious reasons, my life seems to be centered around these days.  instead i’m sitting at the computer catching up on the blogs i used to read religiously and thinking about how i so want to go out to the local cafe and get myself two medialunas and a cortado.  and my biggest issue is that i can’t seem to decide if those medialunas should be de grasa or de manteca – in other words, salty or sweet.  And that decision my friends is all i can seem to think about.  Not about all the crap I have to get rid of or all the boxes that have to be packed or the car that we have to buy or the house that we have to find or the school district that we have to decide on. No.  Instead I’m concerned with what kind of medialuna I want.  And this, my friends, this makes complete sense to me.  Because soon, very soon, in like 4 weeks soon, i won’t be able to walk out of my front door, go one block and sit down in a cafe and ask for, in my very much improved spanish since arriving here 2.5 years ago, a small coffee cut with milk and a little pastry. And then have them ask me “chiquito o jarrito?” with regards to what size coffee I want and “de grasa o manteca?” with regards to the type of medialuna i want.  No instead of answering these simply and very unimportant questions I’ll be trying to navigate the unfamiliar roads of north carolina trying to remember that traffic lights are meant to be obeyed and stop signs are not optional.  I’ll be meeting new people — neighbors, therapists, doctors, teachers, parents — and trying to remember not to say permiso, por favor, gracias and chau.

oh how i’m going to miss this place, this home, this life. I’m going to miss everything about living here, even the crazy drivers and the completely slow and unreliable service.  Okay, so maybe not the crazy drivers so much.  but still.  i know moving back to the US is what’s best for us and that all our family and friends are waiting with open arms to welcome us back and help us as much as they can.  And I love that, knowing that.  Still…

okay so now that I’ve fully reminded myself that we are moving in 4 weeks…4 WEEKS!

I’m off to clean out yet another closet.  Or maybe I’ll just grab my keys, head out the front door and go get that coffee and medialuna.  Still, the most important question remains: de grasa o de manteca?

what do you think?

Written by nicolemarie

March 13, 2008 at 9:25 am

i’m still here…

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in case you were wondering.  And when I can crawl out from under the suitcases that I’ve yet to unpack and bring some sort of order to my rather chaotic life I’ll tell you all about the last week of our vacation.  It was a hell of a way to end a vacation…and I don’t really mean that in a good way.

Oh, but there is one thing I can tell you. We finally found out where we are going to be living in 5 months time when our assignment here in Buenos Aires is through.  Drum roll please……We are going to North Carolina.

Jet lag setting in…must get some rest.  Until next time.

Written by nicolemarie

February 17, 2008 at 8:31 pm


with 6 comments

I have never bought a new automobile.  Come to think of it, I’ve never actually owned a car, used or new.   This little detail used to bother me.  I used to think that I couldn’t be considered a legitimate, independent and responsible adult if I hadn’t bought/owned a car.

I don’t think this anymore. I now think that buying a new car, going through the painful process of buying a car, is just an annoying, confusing, stressful experience that one should avoid at all costs.

I learned to drive using my mom’s dark metallic green Volvo.  I got my license and immedaately learned to drive a stick shift so I could have my father’s metallic silver Ford Probe – it was way cooler then the other car available to my brothers and I, a black Delta 88 Oldsmobile with Cranberry color interior.  Oh how I disliked that interior.  After high school, I drove my brother’s hand-me-down SUV Mazda Navajo on my weekend escapes out of NYC.  When I moved to DC after Barnard I didn’t need a car to get around and then when I moved out to Northern Virginia with A, I either used his Toyota 4Runner or borrowed his mom’s second car, a fun sporty fire engine red Toyota MR2.  And it was that way until we moved overseas.  A’s trusty black Toyota 4Runner has been my main form of transportation for the past 5 years.  And while most people would consider it my car, I a) didn’t play a role in the purchasing of the vehicle and b) my name doesn’t appear on the title. 

Since we are moving back to the States in 5 months, the plan is to sell the 4Runner in Argentina and buy a new car. We’d like to have a car ready and waiting for us when we get off the plane and therefore we have to make a decision on what to buy before we return. And seeing how this vacation we are on right now is our only oportunity to shop for cars, we kinda have to make a decision sooner rather than later.  No pressure. 

We’ve been car shopping over the past few weeks.  I driven 3 different cars over the past 3 days.  I have absolutely no clue which car we should buy.  And, really, I’m not sure if I care.  I mean, I always wanted to have a hand in buying a car, I always wanted to make that decision, sign the contract, and drive a brand new vehicle, my vehicle, off the lot.  It’s totally over rated.  I know that now.

So we’ve narrowed our options down to two – the Toyota 4Runner or the Nissan Pathfinder.  The Honda Pilot was up there with the other two until today’s test drive.  A is leaning towards the 4Runner (he’s very brand loyal) and I towards the Pathfinder (cause I like the standard third row seats). 

I’m beginning to think that I was better off not knowing what I was missing out on.  

Written by nicolemarie

January 30, 2008 at 12:00 am

and so it begins…

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We might not know where we are going or exactly when but we are leaving Argentina in about 6 months time.

Six months may seem like a long time, but when you’re talking about a major international move, and all the components that go along with it, 6 months is really not that long. Oh no, not long at all.

So now that the holiday’s are over A and I have turned our focus towards cleaning house and downsizing, or at least attempting to.

My lord, do you know how much crap a family of four accumulates in 2 1/2 years.  It’s a whole lot of stuff.  There are the baby toys that you arrived with that your then almost 7 month old adored but your now almost 3 year old could care less about, the multiple car seats that both kids outgrew, an obscenely large collection of Fisher Price Little People that neither of the kids have touched in the past 6 months, the three strollers they have exceeded the weight limit on, and the piles and piles of clothes and shoes that are way too small for their ever growing bodies. And that’s just the kids stuff. Don’t even let me get started about the 50+ t-shirts that he has schlepped from the USA to Peru to Argentina and yet hasn’t worn even 1/4th of them during the past 5 years. Oh and let us not forget all the other crap we’ve carted with us from Lima that we haven’t actually used since, well, let’s see, oh yeah, since leaving the States back in ’03.

I really don’t look forward to this process.  Well, that’s not true, If I could do it all by myself I would probably like it a lot, I think it would even be cathartic. But getting rid of shit when you are married to a sentimental pack rat is really not a whole lot of fun. And I’ll admit, to be fair to A, being a sentimental pack rat married to someone who tends to take the complete opposite approach and lacks emotional attachment to most inanimate objects kinda sucks too.

Here’s a typical conversation we have while going through our stuff.

A picks up a toy and starts playing with it.

A: You know that I’ve had this toy since I was a little boy. I can remember playing with it in the house in Pennsylvania. (toy in question is a long plastic maze type toy that is about 1.5 feet by 1 inch. And A only lived in PA until he was in 1st grade.) Can you believe that I still have it and that it’s here with us?
N: Uh, no.
A: I think the kids would like to play with it, don’t you?
N: Uh, NO.
A: We are NOT getting rid of it.
N: It would probably make some poor Argentine child living in a villa miseria very very happy.
A: It will make MY kids happy.
N: Please remind me again why it is that we need to keep this toy. Last time Owen found it he proceeded to chase Abbey around the house with it and used it like a sword. It hurts if you get hit by it. I know from personal experience. Do you really think that they really need to have it.
A: It doesn’t weigh much.

A leaves the room with the toy and returns without it.

N: Where’s the silly stick maze thing?
A: I put it with the kid’s toys. They like it. And it’s NOT silly.

End of conversation.

And while it might not sound that bad, imagine having to deal with this EVERY single time you don’t agree on the fate of a particular object. And imagine if the object in question happens to weigh 110 pounds (our gas grill), which also is equal to 1.5% of our total weight allowance. And while this might not seem like a lot, when you only have 7200 pounds total shipping weight to work with, every pound counts. Things can get a bit stressful.

The grill is coming with us and so is the stupid silly toy.

One of these days I’ll win. One of these days.

Written by nicolemarie

December 30, 2007 at 9:32 pm