Adjusting to a Our New Home Country

If it were just Greg and I, adjusting wouldn’t be much of a problem.  Having lived in Greece, we are used to a lot of the nuances that make Europe different than the states.   The tough parts of adjusting right now are the baby, the two cats, and trying to live dairy free.  

THE BABY

At five months old, she had been sleeping 9-10 hours a night for almost two months straight.   We arrived here and the jet lag has hit her the hardest.  The first night she was up at 2 in the morning giggling and talking and ready to play, while we were fighting to keep our eyes open.   Every night she goes down about an hour earlier.   She has also been fussier, but I can’t tell if it’s because she is teething, my change in diet, or the move. Feels like we are back to month one where I am up feeding her twice a night.

Also, not having the comforts of home (our glider) I am having a hard time getting her to sleep at all without nursing her.  But a great friend of mine made me realize that everything thing is so different for her right now.  Nursing is one of her only familiarities right now and that is what she needs.

 THE CATS

The cats are also having a difficult time, but get better each day. As I have said before, cats don’t like change and everything about our new place is different and strange to them.

ImageThey have never done stairs, let alone spiral stairs, so we had to teach them to go up and down.  

 They never had windows that open because we are on the fourth floor of our condo and feared them falling out, so we always did AC instead of windows.   With no AC here, we have to open windows.  They love it but we are a nervous wreck.  

Living on the top floor of our building, they also never heard noises above them, so anytime someone is walking or talking upstairs and they are downstairs they get nervous.   We also don’t have a door to the outside in the states since we live on the top floor.   Here we worry about them escaping out the door to the outside world!

Little by little they are getting used to the sounds and smells.   Everyday they get more comfortable.  The cool thing is that I think it has brought them together.   The last two days we have found them sleeping together, which they haven’t done in years!

THE DAIRY FREE DIET

My dairy free diet is nearly impossible.  If you don’t speak the language, eating out in another country can be extremely difficult if you have diet restrictions.   I know the word for milk and can check labels, but I don’t feel comfortable asking in a restaurant.   So basically, I am avoiding blatant dairy containing foods like ice cream, pizza, and straight cheese. I might order food not expecting it to have dairy and it does.  If that is the case, I will just go with it.

I did have success today and found soymilk, a soy coffee drink, and a soy chocolate pudding that are all delicious.  So that will allow me to have cereal, coffee, and a dessert at home.

UNCOMFORTABLE NOW, COMFORTABLE LATER

It all comes back to that mantra of Greg and mine.  Things may be uncomfortable now, but with time we will all be in the groove.  We are already so happy with our decision to come here and it’s only been a little over a week. 

Our German Cottage

The hubs and I are ADDICTED to Househunters International, especially the European episodes. We would watch it and say, “Look.  Those people moved abroad with their kids or their pets.  We can do it too!”.

We love guessing which of the three houses the people are going to pick and also like to say which one we would chose. Well, if we were on an episode ourselves we would definitely choose the home we are in now.  Just like the show where each choice has its pros and cons, so does our new home.  It has boatloads of charm with the thick wooden beams, original wood floors, and German antique and modern furnishings and decor.   It feels so homey.  I love the smell when we walk in the door, it just screams Germany to me.  I don’t know why.

The downside is that those original floors creak loudly and are not always level.  The walls are quite thin, so you can hear anyone walking or talking upstairs.   And the spiral staircase!  It is a necessity for such a small house, but can be a challenge when trying to carry a baby up and down or if you need to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.   Even so, the positives far outweigh any negative.

This is the first time in any home in Europe where we have had so many appliances.  We have a dishwasher, washer/dryer, microwave, toaster, coffee maker, hot water boiler, iron, CD, and tv.  We feel very spoiled.  We are loving our new home.