Hello all! I’m so sorry that I have been MIA lately – we’ve just been super crazy busy. I’m no stranger to moving – this is move number six for us in the past ten years. However, I think this move to China has so far been the most difficult of them yet. We have been planning, buying, planning, deciding, and more planning for months. I have already decided that if we have another international move – we will not do it the way we did it again. How could it possibly be that difficult you may say? Well…I will give you a rough idea:
- Most things (western things) in China are more expensive. Take diapers for example. A small box of diapers over here is about $60 compared to a large box in the U.S. (approximately $35). So when you have one child not yet potty trained and another along the way – it is more cost effective to buy diapers in the U.S. and have them shipped (in your sea shipment) to China. In case you were wondering, here is what a lifetime supply of diapers looks like:
- Personal items (i.e. soap, shampoo, tooth paste) are different here. This is okay, except if you are accustomed to a particular type. Not to mention that as Asian hair is different than Western hair – some products are just not the same. So we stocked up enough for three years on bar shampoo (we were not allowed to ship liquids), tooth paste, and body soap. All of this we had to best calculate how much we will go through in a month (times 36 months). For example. I go through about one tube of tooth paste a month – so that is 36 tubes, etc.
- Toys. Toys for kids and toys for gifts. Let us start with the kid’s toys. It has been a challenge and I’m thankful the kids have been wonderful about deciding what toys to bring and what toys to keep in storage. We simply could not bring them all. Now onto gifts: when JD and I visited in March, we walked through a toy store and noticed how unbelievably expensive toys are over here. For example, I bought Sis an $8 Barbie doll and found the exact same Barbie doll over here for the equivalent of $32. So needless to say I have Christmas and birthdays planned and bought for for the next two years. I will buy for the third year sometime when we are on home leave (but with the kid’s changing interests as they grow, I did not want to take any chances).
- Items to make our apartment more like home. This was one of our biggest mistakes when we moved to Germany. We did not bring enough items that made the apartment ours – to make it feel more like home. As this will be our home for three years we felt this is extremely important – especially for the kids. So we have spent time, money, and energy trying to figure out those special items to make our apartment home. We were told to bring rugs, as our floors are mostly stone. We spent hours trying to figure out which would be best to bring. Next, we wanted the kids rooms to feel like theirs, which meant finding wall decals and decorations specifically for them. Bear was easy – we found a road rug for toy cars, and will use many of his toys for decor as well. Sis wanted a princess room so we found princess wall decals, a bed spread (custom made Frozen quilt by mom and grandma), as well as a few special pillows, etc.
- Clothes and other necessities tops off list.
We were allotted a 4×4 foot container for our air shipment and a 20 foot container for our sea shipment. Needless to say we put most of our items in the sea shipment, and toys, diapers, and fall clothes make up our air shipment. Hopefully we will get our air shipment next week and the sea shipment by the end of October.
Stay tuned…the move details to come!!!!