Lions and Lambs

We have a saying in the States about March: it comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.  Wouldn't you know, it applies to Spain too!  We have had some really warm days when I busted out the old dusty flip flops and get to airing out my toes.  Then we woke up one day to SNOW!  First snow of the year, and we had no idea it was going to happen.  It was pretty exciting :)  It only snowed in a few of the neighborhoods, and we were one of those lucky few who got to see it.  There was enough stuck to the ground for Noah to make snowballs, and enough to freak Charlie out a bit.  It was Charlie's first snow!

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We stayed inside and cleaned a bit, but mostly made much more mess than I am able to keep up with.  I took advantage of the cruddy weather to try potty training Brennan again.  No dice.  He did better, but he still doesn't understand.  I don't think he's aware of the sensations of having to use the bathroom yet.  He goes if I put him on the pot, but he pees his pants constantly because he has no idea it's happening.  We're going to give him until after we move I think.  Seems like a smarter idea anyway.

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Spring has officially sprung so we reinstated our Saturday's Unplugged.  The boys got to plant peppers and cucumbers while Josh and I played Rummy.  I missed sitting outside in the sun without getting cold.

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We've already begun dumping chemicals into the pool.  We figure we will probably get a good month out of it before we leave.  It will be a great way to end our time in Spain, and a great distraction for the boys while they are packing up the household goods.

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We have until mid-April to get the house semi-presentable for inspection.  Our late landlord's son is taking over the pre-inspection and all other paperwork for the house.  We'll know by then what we are expected to fix before we move out in June.  We want to make sure the house looks presentable so that this good family doesn't have to worry about one more thing.  We're a little nervous about it honestly.  We don't know him and don't know how much he spoke with his father about the condition of the home before we moved in... but, what can you do.  He speaks English very well and that's a huge relief!  I think everything is going to turn out just fine.  It always does.  We are good people.  We remain positive and try to keep things in perspective when we struggle, and we are constantly being blessed so we must be doing something right.  We're nervous, but we're not worried.  If I could clean this house and have it stay clean for at least a day I'd be happy, but that's never going to happen.  It all seems so pointless and it just makes me mad.

Spring break here is about to begin.  It's one of the biggest travel holidays in Spain and around Europe. We're hoping to do a bit of travel ourselves, but probably not as far out as we had hoped.  Popular holidays are expensive ones, and as aforementioned, there are many expenses coming our way.  We already found white eggs to color and we have plenty of cleaning to do.  Hopefully over the break we'll have a nice balance of fun activities and responsible grown-up preparations for this huge move.

In the last 3 years Delta has not changed their regulations for traveling with pets.  Our big dogs are going to have to fly out earlier than us, as checked baggage or cargo, and stay with someone for a couple months until we get there... unless we want to risk it and wait until after May 15th and hope the weather is on our side, which seems like a ridiculous risk to take.  First they need check-ups and Charlie's gotta get snipped.  We also need to ship Josh's car out-of-pocket again, which means getting him to Barcelona (and back).  The military only pays for one car to be shipped.  Additionally we're going to be traveling en route to visit family all over the USA and are trying to time it just right so our van will be in the states when we arrive.  Then all we have to worry about is gas, food, and a couple hotels between stops when needed.  So much to do (and pay for).   At least now we're aware of all the additional expenses and are prepared.  It took us 2 years to get out of the hole of debt we were thrown into from moving here.  This time we're tackling smaller chunks of expenses at a time, which is considerably easier on the pocketbook.

Josh will be going out to DC alone to buy a house, while I stay here with the kidlets and take Noah to his last days of school.  We might be able to kill 2 birds with one stone and have him take the dogs out with him and drop them off at their temporary home (to be determined).  Closing on a VA loan takes 45-60 days, and we want to have the house when we arrive.  I wish we could all go, but thank god for the internet!  There are so many things to take care of that hinge upon other things being taken care of, which are waiting for paperwork to be handled.  It's like we're setting up a trail of dominoes and a few keep falling, but not in the right spot so half are still standing, and we have to carefully put them back and wait on someone to tap that first one... meanwhile we're adding more and more to the end.  It's really not as bad as it sounds.  We're so used to this "hurry up and wait" game that we've become experts at planning for all possible outcomes.

There you go!  Now everyone knows what's up with us :)
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