Since I've FINALLY finished updating the blog about our trip back to the States I can now start posting about Slovenia! We left Billings January 11th, flew into Dulles, VA and stayed the night with some friends we met in Kyiv then finally left for Slovenia the next evening. I was 25 weeks pregnant when we flew and being cramped in those little seats was not fun! I think I stood up for the first half of the flight because it just felt like there was so much pressure on my abdomen. Can we say I'm NOT looking forward to the flight coming back to the States at 34 weeks?! Keenan finally fell asleep with 2 hours left of the flight, then slept most of the way through our layover in Germany. We finally arrived in Ljubljana January 13th, very exhausted and ready to get into our new home.
The flight into Slovenia was pretty cool, as we descended mountain tops were peaking out of low lying clouds making it appear like we were headed to some remote mountain town. Our sponsors were there to pick us up and take us to our new home. Our new home is a three level townhouse with a yard, I'm pretty sure the yard excites me most. Living on a 7th floor apartment with a dog and a kid is no fun! Keenan likes to be outside as much as possible. Our new yard has a nice big fence surrounding it and I will be able to watch him as the yard is right off of the living room with ceiling to floor windows.
While we gained an extra bedroom and a two car garage in our new living quarters I lost a ton of kitchen space, a large pantry and closet space in our bedroom. Oh and another plus which is huge, we have an American sized washer and dryer as well as the miniature European set. The only down side to that one is that the big washer is upstairs on the top level and the big dryer is in the basement but... I can now do a normal load of laundry!
It usually takes Keenan about a week to adjust when flying from America to Europe and this has been no exception. From Wednesday through Sunday nights he woke up around midnight or 1am ready to play and eat. The first night we played, then ate then around 4am both Eric and I were so exhausted that we gave up. We put Keenan in his room and let him watch movies on his IPOD until he fell asleep. So after almost a week of being up from 1 until 5 both Keenan and I FINALLY slept through the night on Monday. This was exciting for me because I've been absolutely exhausted during the day and somebody (KEENAN) won't let me nap while he's watching cartoons. He'll come over to me, pry my eyes open then ever so innocently asked “Mama, you sleeping?” Well, now that you mention it, NO.
The first few days Keenan and I pretty much just layed around watching cartoons and played in all the snow in our backyard. By Friday I figured we should get out and at least look around our neighborhood. We had a slight problem, we were locked in! Eric left the front door key but we need another key to get out our front gate and we also need a key card to get out of the big garage. Our garage is actually a garage within a really big underground parking area. So bummer, we made do with just playing in the backyard again. Friday Eric brought home another set of keys.
Eric ended up having to work late on Friday night so I went grocery shopping with our sponsors. Unfortunately that meant I had to take Keenan, he was ultra grumpy and threw a few tantrums and just wanted me to hold him, he had fallen asleep on the ride there. I tried to grab what I needed as fast as possible but its hard shopping when you need pretty much everything!
On Sunday's almost everything is closed but we thought we walk around the downtown area anyways. We did find a nice little restaurant on the side of the river that was open so we could warm up with tea and coffee. We didn't stay out too long because it was cold.
Eric had Monday off for Martin Luther King day so went shopping. We checked out one of the local malls which Keenan was happy to see a jumpy castle and we were happy that it was free. Slovenia is on the Euro and everything is quite a bit more expensive than in Kyiv or the States. We also checked a “Home Depot” like store and a few other places, so far everything seems so much more “normal” than in Kyiv. Driving around it felt like we were driving in a Mountain town, the city seems to be surrounded by them although it's hard to tell because it's been fairly cloudy.
Unfortunately my camera died almost immediately upon arriving here. I was able to get this one picture. I thought this was funny, in Kyiv you could buy Mayo in plastic bags but here you can buy it in tubes like toothpaste!
So now we've been here two weeks and we've started meeting a few of the other families at the Embassy. Unfortunately for me there aren't very many stay-at-home moms and even less kids that are under 4. There is an International Ladies Club that has a playgroup, I guess I'll have to check that out so I can find other moms and kids!
Yesterday we drove almost 2 1/2 hours to the Aviano Airforce base in Italy because we can shop at the commissary and at the base exchange there. In a nutshell that means we can go grocery shopping at an American grocery store and stock up on food items that we are used to... baking mixes (with English directions), peanut butter, cheese sticks, granola bars... you name it! It's also much much cheaper than buying at the local grocery stores. Before we went I tried to organize a list of dinners that I frequently make and the ingredients that I needed to make it, see once in a while I try to be organized! The Base Exchange is another store that's like a Kmart... electronics, clothing... We ran through that pretty fast, got to love cranky toddlers that are completely over shopping!
It is nice to have a kitchen full of food, now I just need my pots/pans/spices... to arrive so I can make meals! Right now I only have a bread pan and a few pots to cook in. It was really nice to get products that we know but i don't want to make that trip very often especially with 2 kids. I guess we'll have to do major shopping once a month or 2.
Sierra, our dog, will join us in 2 weeks. She's been in Kyiv with one of our neighbors who graciously took her in until she could join us. We've been having a lot of issues trying to get Sierra into this country. Besides paperwork and rabies shots/testing, most of the flights into Ljubljana are on smaller planes which means that there isn't always enough space in the cargo hold for both a large dog and luggage. We originally were trying to go through a company to ship her as cargo unaccompanied and into Vienna, Austria where we would pick her up but that fell through. So, it looks like I will fly to Kyiv on a Saturday and come back the next day with Sierra. We have to fly through Munich, Germany so in addition to another flight (bleh) we have to drive 4 hours to Munich. Eric and Keenan will hang out in Munich for some Dad/Son bonding time! Keenan keeps asking about Sierra, saying he misses her. The lady watching our dog emailed us to say that whenever she says Keenan's name Sierra stops what she's doing and looks around for him. Ahhhh, I guess she does like him despite Keenan always trying to tackle and crawl all over her!