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Saturday, February 19, 2011

....some furniture arrives

So, we ordered beds, TV, computer LCD screens for the kids, a couch, vacuum, Max's dresser and a TV stand the first weekend we arrived.  As noted in blog below, there was much speculation as to when they would finally arrive, but they did....kind of.

We got everything but the master bed frame (which we knew had to be backordered) and low and behold, we got (and paid for) two TVs.  I told the delivery people "no, no only one" but they said they had to leave it and we would have to go to the store to sort it out.  Samantha's bed frame and box spring arrived, but no mattress.....and lastly, the couch we ordered was too big for the elevator and the stairs in the apartment building.  The delivery guys said there was no way to get it up to the apartment!  There was a conversation, which involved charades, and it was determined that the couch would go back with them and that it could be possible that it would take a CRANE to lift it up and bring it through the window in the living room!  But again, we were to return to the store to sort it out.

So today we went to the store via tram and Metro.  It has been raining most of the day, but with the number of stops the Metro has, it placed us almost at the store's main doors.
Lovin' the Metro



Decided to forgo the crane method of delivery for the couch (plus the 300 Euro it would cost) and decided that we would change couch choices.  Found another that we were assured would be able to fit into the apartment building and were told it will be delivered, along with Samantha's mattress this Wednesday.  I will NOT hold my breath based on the last delivery promise, but maybe, just maybe.....

Also went and picked out a microwave and other small appliances (electric toothbrush, razor, etc) and got long cable Patrick required to set up the TV.  So slowly the apartment is turning into something habitable!

The dogs are also settling in nicely.  They already know which way to turn off the elevator to get back to the apartment and are getting on a potty schedule without trouble!  Morgan still has a tendency to bark at the small noises but getting less and less each day.  Einstein is actually adjusting a little better, much to our surprise.  She gets her business done quickly while Morgan has a tendency to get "off topic" and has to be reminded what the goal is!

Kids have one more week of "winter break" and then start school 3/1/11 (YEAH!).  Both are ready to go back to school as staying home "is soooo boring"!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

....a quick side note!

Both kids will be attending the British School of Paris starting 3/1/11!  Max got accepted and we had every intention of sending Samantha to the American School of Paris, but after the tour by the lower school's headmaster, we decided that the British School was much nicer and thought that it would also be easier to have both kids in the same place.  Max wasn't thrilled that his sister decided she really liked the school too and wanted to go.  He wanted to be the only Casseday there!  Oh well......

So while it is not as close to the apartment as the American School, it does have a bus stop down the hill from the apartment at the train station.  So the kids can walk to the station with Patrick in the morning and I will meet them in the afternoon.  It is a lovely school and the kids are excited about it.  They also like the British labeling as they are not "4th graders" but "5th year" students since the British count Kindergarten as Year One, First Grade=Year Two, etc....  They both immediately drew parallels to Harry Potter, but I told them no wands, robes, or O.W.L.S. to pass!  Uniforms will have to worn (no problem for Samantha, but Max was less than thrilled) and said uniforms have to be purchased from the school with the logo on them. Another expense, but easier in the morning!

http://www.britishschool.fr/Pages/Welcome.aspx

...we are finally sorting out schools

So, after much paperwork and many passport photos, it looks as if Samantha will be attending the American School of Paris starting 2/28/11 since they are on Winter Break right now.  This is the school we originally wanted both kids in, but because of the timing they do not have the support staff to handle Max's reading delays.  All their resource teachers have been assigned early in the year, so perhaps in September, they can take Max as well.

Max got accepted to the British School of Paris and is excited about it.  Everyone knows how the Brits love their football (soccer to you Yanks) and "they talk like Harry Potter".  Alas, the one draw back for him is that there is a uniform!  Anyone who knows my son knows that he thinks collared shirts are the devil's own design!  I personally don't know where that philosophy came from, but getting him to wear one is like trying to get a pig in a dress ~ It just makes you and the pig angry!  We are going today to visit the campus and hopefully he will see that everybody is NOT bursting into flames from wearing a collar and that it will be okay.

Patrick has heard at work the British School is really good.  There is a woman he works with who has her son there and they even moved apartments on their expat assignment (which is unheard of once you experience it once!) to be closer the school.  Perhaps Samantha will be changing schools......Max is slated to start 3/1/11 after Winter Break.

Well must be off and hit the shower.  Got to get the kids up and ready since getting to the British School will require a trip on the Metro.  Lets just hope the British School's bus stops close to the apartment for the ride in!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

....we are back online!

Let me just start by saying February has NEVER been a good month for me!  Things go awry for me in February.  Unfortunately, moving across the ocean did not break this streak.  It followed me!  BLAH!

There is too much to go into detail (plus I don't want to re-live or re-hash) about these events but I will do a quick list of some of the "major" highlights!

1.  Upon arrival in the apartment, we find the water has been turned off.  There is a leak in the bathroom sink and not only does all the water have to be off, it has been leaking so much (before we came) that it has damaged the apartment below us.  Nice impression to make on the neighbors, huh?
2.  Plumber comes and takes offending faucet off and caps the line, so we can have water again.  In broken French and English and charades we determine that he will come back and replace the faucet in 3 or 4 days.  Which he does (in the 4 days as the French are not the most time conscious people.  More examples below!)
3.  I receive my kitchen appliances.  Yeah!  My first load of laundry, water all over the floor!  Okay, I can deal with this short term.  Relying on my memories of old washing machines I have known (my grandmother had a cabin and I seem to remember her doing this), I take the hose and put it in the sink to catch the water.  Fixed for now.  I look under the sink and see that the pipe of the washing machine is very curvy, so I switch dishwasher and washing machine hoses and this works like a charm!
4.  I try to use my new bank card.  Had the wrong pin, got "locked out" of the system and had to order a new card.  New card comes, try to use it before leaving the bank to activate it, bank machine eats new card.  It seems one must wait a FULL 8 days before trying new card and I had only waited 7 1/2!  So now, my card won't work until NEXT Thursday.
5.  Take a trip to the grocery store.  BIG adventure.  By bus. With two kids.  We get there and pick up some items, go to checkout, and guess what, my American debit card won't work nor will any of the other cards I have a my disposal.  LOOSE IT, have to call Patrick to come down there as I now need adult supervision.  Someone from his work drives him to our location (out in front of the store).  We go back in and re-shop and use his bank card which works.
6.  Go buy beds and couch and TV.  Will be delivered 2/10/11.  No delivery arrives.  We call and are told it will now be 2/15/11.  No delivery.  Patrick is back at the hotel, but the kids and I are sleeping in the apartment on the floor (me) and some fold out chairs we bought for the kid's rooms and lugged home when we rented a car last weekend.  Call my relocation person so she can deal with them in French and she is told by the delivery service that it has already been delivered!  She calls another person who says "no" and that it will be delivered 2/17/11 for sure.  However, Patrick checked out of the hotel because the beds were supposed to be here, so now all of us are sleeping in various rooms that have throw rugs we have already purchased and two fold out chairs until Thursday!

Enough for now....the saga continues, but I must shower and start my day.  I'm sure Paris has other "suprises" for me today.  But, just keep swimming, swimming.
Waiting for the bus can be fun if there is large equipment involved




Max hamming it up!