Monday, August 24, 2009

We're here! So now what?

(Brother and Sister on our new front steps)

Anyone that has been around me this year or communicated with me by email or read my blog will know that this has been a hell of a year. Husband leaving in February set it off. Actually, before he even left I was consumed with stress over his leaving and also my hectic work schedule. Everything seemed to boil down to one thing- get to Japan. My mantra was- "get to Japan, and then you can rest." After all, all the work has been done, all I would need to do is arrange our furniture and find a home for all of our belongings, it would be a snap!

So now we are here and I can now relax and wait for Husband to come home.

Of course you know I was wrong.

There are a million and one things to do, good grief. Our sponsor picks us up the Monday after we get here to take us to a million places. We sign up for the orientation class and I check out a hospitality kit which has silverware, plates, pots and pans- etc. We go to the Child Development Center to sign the kids up for summer camp while I am taking my week long orientation class. We stop by the cable office to reconnect the Internet and move it to our new house (Husband had it hooked up in his barracks room where he was staying.) We go to medical so I can sign up for Overseas Tricare (health insurance plan), sign up for dental, request my medical records from the States, and have the kids' immunization cards filled out for the CDC. We go to the Post Office so I can get a mail box so we can receive mail. We stop by the barracks and get some of husband's belongings out of his room- including his stash of food. It is funny to see what he cooks when he is on his own. Lots of boxed easy to prepare foods like Noodles-A-Roni, mac n cheese and Hamburger Helper.

I felt bad that our sponsor had to wait around while I did all of this. It doesn't help that I am still pretty disoriented from jet lag.

Of course I can't finish everything in one day- so every day it seems the kids and I are walking somewhere to take care of something. We have a car, but I have to take several classes before I can get a license. So walking it is. Let me tell you it is hot and humid, and often raining. we all bought new umbrellas.

Husband keeps emailing me to ask if I have taken the trains yet. No, I am not going to take the train with the children until I can go by myself and figure it out beforehand. Although I really do want to eat some real Japanese food! You would think I could find it on base- but the food court is comprised of Popeye's Chicken, Taco Bell, Subway, Anthony's Pizza, Dunkin Donuts, Baskin Robbins and Seattle's Best Coffee. There is a Japanese exchange on base that has some restaurants, but I am not brave enough to venture there without someone showing me the ropes first.

The kids and I go to the park often, there is not much else to do. Our neighbor loans us a TV, thank goodness. But watching the Armed Forces Network (AFN) gets old quickly. I never thought I would miss real commercials, ironic. We have loaner furniture. There is a small couch, a chair, a coffee table and a small side table. The kids find that they are light enough to move all around the highly polished linoleum floor. We are going nuts!! Brother wants to go bike riding, of course our bikes aren't here yet.

At first we were so exhausted we didn't notice how uncomfortable the beds are. Once I have caught up on sleep I find myself waking up in the middle of the night. I can feel the springs in the mattress, I double check to see if I am sleeping on box springs. No, just a really hard mattress that feels like box springs.

At this point I can't wait for my class that is coming next week so I can have some space from the children. Brother is especially anxious. Our first day he went out rolling around on his Heeleys and was crushed he didn't find a new best friend right away. He is so bored at home, always wanting to go swimming and just get out. I can't blame him. Of course it totally sucks that I have to drag them around to all of my errands. And when there's a chance for things to go awry and be more difficult then they should be- they do. For example- I really need to make some phone calls to the states. I get an iPhone and want to sign up for the plan that Husband has that gives him unlimited calling to the states. No, they discontinued that plan. But I can download Skype and use that to call! So I download Skype. only guess what? I have to use Wi-Fi to use Skype- the 3G network does not allow it. I finally get the Internet at home- now my iTunes decided to quit working. It literally takes me all day to fix it (still not working right though.) Its just one thing after another. At least that is what it feels like. It could be that I have been over processed and have lost all coping skills?

It makes me think of a line from the Simpsons Movie. When Bart takes Homer up on a dare and goes skateboarding naked- he is caught by the police who handcuff him to a telephone poll while still in the buff. Homer shows up, denies that the he dared Bart to go nude and only brings him a shirt and socks- no pants. To this Bart exclaims- "This is the worst day of my life!" Homer wisely responds- "The worst day of your life- so far!"

So things can always get worse- it is all relative I know. But things do get better eventually. There are good times in my future (and the children's')- I just know it! :)

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