We got back from Disneyland on Thursday night and I got sick on Friday. I spent the day with a gross stomach bug and by Saturday I was feeling better and praying that Glenn wouldn't catch it too! Saturday and Sunday we started packing up and making more distinct piles for our suitcases and eboxes. We went to church on Sunday and Finny started threatening to throw up during Sacrament meeting so I had to take him home and miss our last two hours in our ward. I was bummed as I had so many people I wanted to see and say goodbye to at church. My good friend Heather came over after church and had dinner with us and helped us get more organized. Finny had a fever by evening and Mom came over to sit by him while we ran all over the house gathering things for our ebox list to put in the dining room. The movers were bringing our eboxes with them so all we could do was make piles until they arrived and we could start packing them the next morning.
We had three categories of "shipments" we had to break all of our possessions into. First, we were allowed two items of luggage per person on Luftansa and we had been told that taking dish barrel boxes (which are really just huge, sturdy, cardboard boxes) is the way to go for at least some of those since they can fit more than large luggage pieces. So we decided to go with three large suitcases, one of which had everything we needed to get ready and dressed for the next few days, four big dish barrel boxes, and then have our computer packed really well in another box to bring on the plane as well. Each piece of luggage or box had to be under 70 pounds so Glenn spent much of Sunday and Monday carefully packing and repacking and weighing each box to make sure we didn't have to do a last minute shuffle at the airport.
Things we put in our suitcases or other airplane luggage included:
some toys and stuffed animals for the boys, our computer obviously, some snacks from home (fruit snacks, a few boxes of cereal, and some of their favorite candies which we may end up using for stocking stuffers and the like), the boys halloween costumes, some diapers, wipes, and swim diapers for Finn, our picture scriptures, some kids books for bed time stories, shoes and one week's worth of clothes for each of us, one jacket per boy, Tate's backpack and lunchbox, our camera and charger, 6 bottles of Trader Joe's Vanilla (which we were told we couldn't get over there because vanilla has alcohol and alcohol is prohibited in the Kingdom), Pregnancy meds, our vitamix blender, everything I need to get ready in the morning, our ipod stereo, razors, apple TV, all our DVDs (so none of them get confiscated because of the pictures on the cases, we removed them from their cases, put the DVDs in CD folders and shipped the cases separately), a few kids cups, plates, and bowls, a couple of our pots and pans, blu ray player, cookie sheet, magic jack and phone, VPN router (which disguises our location and makes it look like we're using the internet from the US so we can use US websites like netflix and also use our magic jack), swimming suits, pillows, sheets, and blankets so we could set up the boys beds and have them be comfortable and familiar. We ended up throwing more things in last minute as we had extra room after everything on our list was packed. Glenn did a fabulous job packing everything and hiding the contraband.
Then we had 6 eboxes we could pack with up things that would arrive in an air shipment. We're told that they would arrive in about 3 weeks. Now that we're here, we're hearing that the shipping time varies greatly and could be more like 6 weeks. Those boxes are pretty large and look like this when all packed up.
With these we again ended up having extra space and wished we had saved a few more things but our packers were such whirlwind packers that by the time we realized we had extra space, everything was already in boxes. So instead of digging through every kitchen box to find our most desirable items (which, looking back would have been worth the effort), we just added a couple of kitchen boxes and a couple of toy boxes to our eboxes. Our list of ebox necessities was: Christmas music, movies, books, and some decorations (hidden carefully in diaper boxes or under boxes of tampons in order to make them harder to find or at least make those inspecting our boxes uncomfortable), vacuum and microwave, all the boy's Christmas presents, all the clothes we need for the baby girls for the first three months, diapers for the babies for the first three months, bottles, baby sheets and blankets, and everything I need for the babies and myself post-partum, some of our favorite cereal (which it turns out we could have saved room for other food since the cereal selection here is just fine but other foods...not so much), our printer, family blog books so we'll have some family pictures and adventures to look at, hand mixer, rice cooker, wipes, waffle iron, pancake/panini griddle, pyrex pans, printer paper, extra clothes and shoes for everyone including "winter clothes" (long pants and long sleeved shirts and a couple of jackets), and some extra clothes and shoes for the boys to grow into. We also ended up adding a lot more toys, Finn's bicycle, Tate's little scooter, and a few more boxes of misc. kitchen goods. We were able to fit a LOT in those boxes and I'm SO excited for them to arrive. I feel like with each shipment we get it will feel a little more like home around here.
The last category is the sea shipment which we were told would take about three months to arrive. Once again, after we arrived and talked to people, it could be more like 4-5 months and varies a lot. This is everything else we own. All our furniture, toys, and everything else we own that didn't fit into an ebox.
The movers arrived on Monday, gave us our eboxes and walked through the house with Glenn. He gave them instructions about which things in which rooms to leave out so we could still sleep at home that night, and then they got to work really fast! I dropped Finn off at Aunt Nancy's for my mom to take care of him since he was still threatening to throw up and I really didn't need that in the car on that day! Tate and I took off to run a few errands. We ran the cable box back to comcast and deposited all of my leftover cash and Tate's coin jar in our bank accounts since we'd have no more use for US cash! Then we crashed at Aunt Nancy's for quiet time so we would be out of the way. During quiet time I made a few phone calls to cancel a few more things that had to wait 'til the last minute and ran to three stores to try to find a magic jack since the one we had wasn't working when Glenn tried to set it up the night before. Glenn handled everything at home and called me all the time with questions and updates. It was a really busy day. Oh yeah, and we had roofers coming to work on the roof that day too. It was crazy town. The movers left in the early afternoon and by then our house looked like this:
Tuesday night we met Mom, Kenz, and the Garvins at Old Chicago in Southlands for Mom's birthday dinner. It was late by the time poor mom and Glenn were done and got over there to eat with us but it was a delicious dinner and so nice to be able to be together to celebrate mom's birthday, even though it was a day early. Mom's birthday was the following day. The day we flew out. Oopsies. Poor timing on our part!
After dinner we went by a couple of dear friends' homes to say our last goodbyes. It was hard and sad but I'm forever grateful for the dear friends we've made in the Southlands ward. It is full to bursting with incredibly kind, loving, caring people who take care of each other and try so hard not to pass judgment or criticize. I loved being a part of it for a few years.
We spent out last night in the states in the hotel at Southlands. The kids were pretty tired and conked out fast. Glenn and I didn't sleep great.
The next morning we woke up early, grabbed some food at the continental breakfast and drove to Aunt Nancy's house to drop the boys off. Mom and Kenz watched them for a few hours while Glenn and I went downtown to sign closing papers on our house. We were really lucky to have our house sell so quickly. We had 2 great offers within a week of listing. The one we accepted was from an LDS family with 5 kids. They wrote us a letter telling us how much they loved the house and how much they wanted to take care of it for us, which was really sweet...and a teensy bit manipulative.
We signed papers on our wonderful home and got everything squared away for closing which won't take place until November 3rd, and then ran a couple more errands before heading back to Aunt Nancy's house to crash for a couple of hours. The boys were so wired and happy. Jumping from the couch and poof and chasing little Cinder around. Glenn and I just vegged on the couch and too soon it was time to go. We drove by our house and took a few last pictures and said goodbye.