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Friday, August 31, 2007

What to bring?

I got a comment. I love when I get comments. Seems some people are actually reading.
Here is what Cindy wrote:

Hi Jen,I just happened to find your blog as my husband and I are doing the same thing as you and I'm going crazy. We have 45 days to close on our house in San Diego, and we are going to drive down with a trailer full of stuff....still trying to figure out what stuff. How is it going for you and do you have any more advice since you have gone and done it (I'm assuming by now)?cindy

Here is what I think. EVERYTHING. We are just about finished unpacking and so many things that we tossed that I wish we had brought (i.e. dish rack, garbage cans, welcome mat, filing cabinets, crutches, potholders, hangers, a car).....

That being said, you can find just about anything you want here. Find is one part of that statement. For instance, I had to go to 3 stores to find a dish drain with a tray under it. The other is cost. We got rid of a couple of filing cabinets and now spent over $100 at Office Depot to get a new, not as nice one. But it holds papers. What more do you really want.

Electronic gadgets are expensive here (coffee makers, waffle irons, tvs) and there is not a lot of selection of high quality linens (i.e. sheets, towels, dish towels). Floor rugs don't seem outrageously expensive, but not much selection.

But, if you are trying to downsize your life (not keep three kids under 6 entertained), don't get bogged down with Chachkis and such. Also, how much space do you have? Do you actually like your furniture?

The answers are different for everyone. But I think if you are bringing stuff, bring everything you can that fits. I would imagine that you can always get rid of things here, probably to a very needy/worthy place.

And if you have extra room, hop over to my friends site for suggestions for needed items at some very worthy sounding (I have never been personally, but my friend has and I trust her) charities.


Today we saw an accident. Well, not actually the accident, but the aftermath of an accident. We were driving the kids to school and there was a slow-down in both lanes just before the bus stop, just before the exit to Santa Ana. As we got closer, we could see why.

Accidents here can be hard to see. When things like this happen in the U.S. usually as you go by everyone rubbernecks to see what is going on. Usually you see banged up cars, cracked windshields, dented fenders, blown airbags, maybe people on the side of the street. You don't usually see the injured, they are behind the tinted glass.

In Costa Rica, in this case anyway, you see a man lying face down in the street with a group of people around him. You see his shoes off his feet and a few feet away. You see someone bending down and talking with him, so he must not be dead, in fact the way that his head is lying on the crook of his elbow makes him look like he might have just decided to lay down and take a little nap. In the middle of the road. But there are the shoes and you know that is not the case. You know that this guy must have been running across the road and got hit. And he got hit hard enough to knock him out of his shoes.

And you hope this never happens to you. That you are never hit by a car and that you never are the one that hits someone running across the road. And you hope that this guy "wakes up." And you hope that your kids are not too freaked out by seeing it. And you hope that they will listen better in streets and parking lots, at least for a little while. And you hope that this guy "wakes up."

Wake up guy.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Quick Update

Wow - August has been bloglame. We have been so busy getting things taken care of, although it certainly doesn't seem that I have been missed.

So here is a quick update for those that might care.
Got House (rental)
Got Stuff (our shipment)
Got Car (unfortunately a new one)
Got Car Insurance (took two times to give them money)
Got Cable (Harder than you think!)
Got School (Kids still love it)

Need Jobs

More later

Friday, August 17, 2007

All that stuff together?

"when the moon is in the seventh house
and Jupiter aligns with mars"
then we will get our House AND stuff
and possibly our car!

Wish us luck....

Monday, August 13, 2007

School Days

So the kids have been in school a few weeks. Bella LOVES it and Gus is getting to really LIKE it. Bella has done swimming and ballet last week and came home bragging. Seems she swam in the pool without floaties. We were getting really close, but whenever I tried to get her to do it, she um sank - so this is good. Shows what a real teacher can do. Also, in ballet she learned this spin (squat, stand, spin) that looks really good and she likes to do. So that is very nice.

Gus is now wearing big boy pants (underwear) to school and staying dry and clean (mostly). These feel like advancements. By the way, 2 more party invites for Bella and we have only been late 2/9 times in the morning. Those who know us should be impressed. This is like a record for us. It is almost 80% - that is a passing grade.

Still, it is a little bit of a full day to take them over at 8, get Gus at 12:30 and get Bella at 2pm. It's about 45 minutes round trip. Lotta car time. We will look into the bus. Although I like getting them and seeing them so happy from school.

This is the school. This is the dropoff/pickup area. They have this really neat system. You drive up, teachers are there to load or unload your kids. Perfect if it raining. Or if you have another baby in the car that you don't want to have to unload. Also, my bad picture taking allows you to see their very cute uniforms.

School is GREAT!!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

To buy or not to buy

To buy, or not to buy: that is the question. Whether 'tis smarter at this time to invest and get something of our own, or to play it safe and test the waters with a rental. (Apologies to W.S.)

We went back and forth on this for a long time. I always thought that we should rent. I know that it is a little bit tougher on the kids (we have been renting for several years now and moving about once per 15 months - Bella will be moving into her fourth home in five years) BUT there are so many good reasons to rent.
1) It would be easier to leave if we don't like it (or have chosen the wrong type of house/area) - whether that means a different area of Costa Rica or back to the States - either way ----- easier.
2) There are good rentals to be had.
3) The real estate market here is still a little high, and with what is happening in the U.S. (I speak of the loan/bank situation) there should be people selling or at least not buying like before pretty soon.

So after seeing many houses for sale (Barry was fixated on buying to begin with, don't know why - he is one of the downest downers I know on the real estate market, but he eventually came around). Putting lower offers on two that were rejected. Looking at several rentals. We are decided. We gave a deposit and get to see the contract tomorrow. We should be able to move in by the end of next week. We are pretty happy about this.

It all seems like it was meant to be. The timing lines up pretty good (we finish up here next Saturday and will probably be able to get in to the house on Friday). Also, Barry the shipping guy says that the stuff should be ready by then. This is three events all lining up. I didn't know that could happen in Costa Rica. Fingers crossed everyone.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Only in the Philippines

I have mentioned before that I am married to a Filipino. I still am. His culture is somewhat different than what I grew up with in the U.S. - still, he is not a typical Filipino. For example, he says he can't dance and most other Filipinos can. Here is some evidence of that......


Just had to share it.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

School Update

So they have had two days in school and both seem to like it. Gus less so at drop off. He cries. This is not unusual, he never wanted to go to school in California. But he is very happy when we get him. Says he had a good day. Bella really likes it and came home on the first day with a friend and a bracelet that the friend gave her. Still can't remember her name, other than it has a 'v' in the middle. Also, after two days, we have two invites to kids parties.

We noticed from waiting in the car line to get the kids, these are definitely the soccer moms of Costa Rica. If I can just learn some Spanish, we should fit in just fine. I am still thinking that we made a good choice.