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Count down begins

January 11, 2010

Back in a snowy Madrid, something quite unusual for this capital city, we are starting the count down to the move. There have been some problems (problemillas: small problems) along the way and it is rumored that there will be more!

First off, we didn’t end up getting the apartment that I said we would be getting. Friday was filled with phone calls of one problem after another with the rental agency and the owner of that apartment. First there is some new law that the owner applied in that it was necessary that we earn less than 75,000Euro a year (no problem there!) that the agency claimed we were cleared for. As it turned out the law was only for French residents and since we have been paying our taxes in Spain for the last three years the owner wasn’t sure if he was allowed to give us the apartment. Then they couldn’t guarantee in writing that the apartment would be ready on the 1st of February. Then they changed the price.

In the end we said no. We were so tired of each phone call that by 5pm we sat down with our very nice intermediate, Claudia, and told her we would rather have the other apartment in the center of the city. Honestly, it is just as big, though not as modern, but I think that we will be very happy there. Me especially, since I am the one that will have to deal with two children in a new country. In order to go to playgroups and MOPS groups I will have it much easier in the center of the city rather than farther out. Principe was a bit disappointed because he had planned to keep up with his kickboxing on the ginormous balcony. He was already dreaming about how he would set up his area and everything. On the other hand, we both agreed that life in that huge, modern apartment might have ended up being so good that we would have lived more there than in Toulouse. And knowing me, I would have found excuses not to take the walk into town for playgroups if we were happy playing in our “garden”.

Of course there are inconveniences with the apartment that we ended up with.

1. There is no elevator

2. There is no toilet in the master bath. I know, the French are super weird. The master bath has a sink, a bath, a bidet and NO TOILET! What in the world do you need a bidet if you don’t have a toilet? A bidet’s purpose is for washig your cacas, to use toddler language. And just why wouldn’t you put a toilet in there? In every apartment the toilet was separate on the main floor from the “shower room”, but if there was a master bath it had a toilet! The French are pretty strange about toilets. The good part is that the “toilet room” in our apartment has a sink in it. I know, I know. It’s weird but not all “toilet rooms” have sinks in them. I don’t know if the French don’t wash their hands or they just find it normal to go into a whole separate room to wash them……I’m not sure.

3. There is no parking. Principe has to rent a space in a public parking garage and he is not excited about that.

But the great things is that it is in the center in a super old building that is beautiful. We have a huge park right next door, a daily market in front of us, the best chocolatiere downstairs and the very center of the city only 900 meters away. Not even a kilometer! I’m excited. I have a room that communicated with our master bedroom for the little one on the way, a huge room for Queenie with enough room for all of her toys, an extra room for a study/guest room, a dining room and a living room! Every room has huge windows that go from floor to ceiling, the area is quiet for being in the center of the city and the kitchen, although smaller than the other one, is redone and modern.

The first mover just came by in order to give a budget to Principe’s company. The visit was much quicker than I thought it would be. He literally walked into each room, wrote something down and then left. The greatest thing about this move is that they come in, PACK EVERYTHING and take it all to Toulouse and UNPACK it all there! Yea! I don’t have to do a darn thing. The only thing that they don’t do in Toulouse is hang decoration, which seems pretty normal to me. This is going to be the easiest move ever!

Besides the whole moving countries again thing, the other news is that Queenie caught a bad bought of pink eye over Christmas and her silly parents thought it would cure itself with just some saline wash. I had taken her in on Monday before driving to France and since her eye at that point had no mucus in it the doctor blew it off. So we blew it off. Until Friday when it was redder than a fire hydrant and her behavior was more than we could handle. One look at her and the nurse said we couldn’t wait until we got to Spain. The doctor called in his superior to look at her and both agreed that she either had a blister on her eye or that she had something stuck in it. Vaya padres tiene! (Some great parents she has!)

Thankfully after four days of two antibiotic drops four times a day her eye is normal. And we only have three more days of drops. I won’t go into detail on how much fun it is to give stinging eye drops that stain like iodine to a two year old because I am sure you can all imagine: SUPER FUN! And the majority of the drops I have to do alone. The biggest problem is that left arm that I can’t seem to hold down. The right arm I have behind my back, the legs I have held down with my right leg, but that left arm is hard to control while using both of my hand to pry open her eyes. She hates it enough to hold her hands over her eyes when she sees the bottle of medicine and cries out, “Eyes, eyes, eyes!” The screams only cease too when she gets either her bottle in hand or her yum, yums. Twice a day she gets each. Surprisingly enough her behavior has done almost a 180 since starting the drops. I’m sure a blister on her eye made life so grand for her that she couldn’t help but be a picture perfect child!

Anyway, my niece La Destructadora (The one who destroys) is coming and I need to be on alert while she is here. More on moving and such later!

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