Social Security in Limbo >.<

If you come to the US as an expat, there is one document that seems to outweigh anything else in importance. It’s not your passport or foreign ID, not even your visa – of course they are important and you wouldn’t be granted entrance into the country without them, but I’m talking about a document that you need in order to start your life here:

The SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER (SSN)

Continue reading “Social Security in Limbo >.<“

Advertisements

House Hunting Happy End

WE HAVE A HOUSE *cue exciting grin on my face* !!

Yes, we finally have confirmation on “our house”….Last Saturday, our realtor went house hunting with us again, and we hoped it would turn out better than the 1st episode. We knew she had a really nice home reserved for a showing in a rather upscale housing estate right next to a lake, but the owner had the same agent who tried to play “price poker” with us during the last house hunting session when we fell in love with that one house described in my other update. So we were very skeptical. Seeing the house itself we were also a bit disappointed in how the previous renter took care of it. They could have cleaned up a little bit more after themselves and not ruined each wall with marks from furniture or scratches from whatever. They must have had kids who they let go wild with stickers, they were literally all over the house, doorframes, closets, even the bathroom sinks…I mean, it would have taken hourse to scratch off each one of those stupid stickers.

Anyhow, our realtor also reserved showing appointments for 4 other houses… Continue reading “House Hunting Happy End”

House Hunting ● Episode 1

Finding a house to live in is the most important thing to us after arriving in Michigan – not only because our household & furniture is scheduled to arrive here by end of this month (June 2016), but also because it is important to have a “real” place to live and an adress to put in applications or contracts. Our cozy apartment style room here at Staybridge Suites Novi is very nice and comfortable, don’t get me wrong….but of course it’s not a real “home”-place. For peace of mind and the sake of our toddler having the chance of “settling down”, visiting a realtor’s office was one of the very first things we did on the second day here in the US.

Continue reading “House Hunting ● Episode 1”

Arriving in Michigan

We have arrived safely in Michigan on June 6th, 2016.

After a long day of getting up very early and the 2 flights that took us from Berlin to Frankfurt/Main and then to Detroit, Michigan, we were totally exhausted, very tired, but extremely happy to finally be here!
img_5358This is me on the evening of June 6th, only a few hours after we landed, sitting at the local Applebee’s in Novi (just around the corner of our Hotel, in which we’ll be residing for the next weeks until we find a place to move into)

We were positively surprised by the child friendy atmosphere in the restaurant (acutally almost any restaurant here), where they bring a high-chair, crayons and a kid’s menue to draw on without us as the customers even saying a word.

Same goes for kid’s drinks that comes with a lid & straw because every parent knows the fear of what a mess can be created when you give toddlers real glasses full of liquids.

It’s not just the staff of places like restaurants or the hotel, but the immediate & open friendliness with which people in general approach you. It’s so easy to start a conversation with random people in different places – especially if you have a toddler on your hand.

We got a rental car near the airport and checked into our hotel: Staybridge Suites Novi. Our Suite is perfect for us as a temporary home with living room area, kitchen space, a desk to sort out papers and a bedroom with 2 queensize beds – one of which our daughter likes to take every possible sleeping position in:
img_5359She enjoys the space she has in such a bed that seems huge to her. Falling asleep seems easy since we got her and she even sleeps through the night, which we weren’t used to until now. I think it’s safe to say that she has adjusted well to her new surrounding already – no jetlag, no uneasiness when encountering people.

If she runs into kids anywhere, she immediately engages with them, even without speaking the same language (yet): waving, and holding hands or a smile are universal!

Of course it is a bit straining for her to run around with us these first few days trying to get everything started & applying for all the documents and things like a bank account or meeting with the realtor to talk about what we are looking in for a home. It’s boring stuff for toddlers – I get that, but thanks to the aforementioned positivity & friendliness everywhere it’s a little less exhausting for her AND for us as well.

We have arrived – body & mind. And we intend to stay for a while 🙂

The Process of Moving Out (of Germany)

It is done! We are officially moved out of our apartment in Berlin and as of now: “homeless” (We are staying in a hotel until our flight though). The whole entire process of “moving out” took 5 days: The first 2 days were just packing & moving out our household stuff, and the last 3 days consisted of cleaning up the apartment to get it ready for handing over the keys to the landlord today.

For part one: packing & moving our entire household, we had a moving company called Santa Fe Relocations that was hired by the company that coordinates my husbands expat work matters. The 4 guys who’ve been on the job, in our apartment did a fantastic job wrapping all of our stuff carefully and safely. They also never gave us the feeling that we are in the way, especially our little toddler daughter who had a ball running around between all the boxes and decorating them with “stickers”. They were so thoughfully to pack the couch last, so I’d still have a place to sit/lounge because I’m 6 months pregnant at this time. Furthermore, they engaged in little play moments with our daughter, playing “catch ball” or showing her the tools, such as an electric drill and offering her to push the button herself once. They let her climb into the truck and inspect every corner. What I’m saying is, that they made this moving experience as comfortable as possible for us, realizing we as a family are connected to our stuff, instead of just focusing on the “packing boxes” process only. Awesome guys!!


They wrapped & packed everything on the first day, and moved it downstairs on the second. ^^^On the first picture you see the entrance of our apartment complex filled with boxes of our stuff. We were waiting for the truck with the container to arrive. Once it did, the guys from the moving company managed to put all of those boxes into the container within 45 minutes – again, awesome! That container will leave northern Germany on tuesday (one day after we leave the country) and if everything goes well, it will arrive in Michigan by the end of June.
Moving can be a stressful time, and even though we didn’t have to lift one finger to pack or move our household, we were there mentally every minute, and it was nice to have such a competent team on our side.

As I said in the beginning of this update, the following 3 days were spent cleaning up the apartment, throwing stuff away that we don’t need anymore and getting ready to hand over the keys. That actual “Goodbye” to our apartment – the place we brought home our first child right after birth – was said today, when we finished the process of moving out and gave back all our keys to the landlord.

We are ready for the next step now – preparing for the flight to Michigan.

 

 

Moving to another Continent with a little “extra”

Hello there,

Yes, it’s me….after what seems an eternity since my last blog update, I thought it was time to talk about all the changes that happened/ will be happening, and how it might influence my “blogging activities” here.

  1. We are happy to be expecting our second baby this fall! As some of you who read previous posts may know, we are dealing with endometriosis based infertility when it comes to family planning. This hasn’t changed, and it never will. My husband & I never liked the thought of just one single child for our family, but of course, with the cards we’ve been dealt, it doesn’t come as easy as just “trying for another”. I had to undergo another round of hormonal stimulation (actually 2 rounds) to welcome another little one of our ‘snowflakes’ on board in my tummy via frozen embryo transfer. We couldn’t believe our luck to actually hold another positive pregnancy test in our hands again, but soon that joy was immensely overshadowed by hyperemesis gravidarum. It actually was so severe that I had to be hospitalized and hooked to an IV-drip. However, all that is in the past, since I’m now in my 22nd week of pregnancy and can look forward to the prospect of holding another baby in my arms in a few months. By the way, our daughter will be a big sister to a baby brother 😉

  2. As stated in the title, there are more news & changes happening in my/our life. In about 2 weeks – at the beginning of June 2016 – we will move to another country, another continent even. Until now we lived right in the center of Berlin, Germany – a bustling “melting pot” metropole. We don’t own a car since we don’t need one and pretty much everything is a short walk or 2 bus/metro stops away. Berlin is a city that can either make or break you, and it has become a part of my personality, but now there is time for change. My husband (an engineer in the automotive industry) had been offered to work for a subsidiary company of his current engineering company, and his new workplace will be located in the USA, Michigan to be exact. Since the company will be a big help with moving and paying for things like the moving company, health insurance etc, we didn’t think long before jumping at the chance to live this little adventure with as big as a safety net as possible (compared to the way of “quitting and restarting from zero”-workwise). We are positively excited for all the things to come and the big flight without a return ticket happening soon.

Of course, the combination of #1 & #2 result in a special adventure for me personally as I will give birth to my baby boy in another country and don’t even know where exactly, because we can’t go house hunting for a place to live until we’re actually THERE. Only then will I be able to choose an obgyn or birthing place.

I plan to update my blog more regularly in the future, and with these changes coming^^^ my updates will probably center around these two themes a lot. That is the direction I think I want to take in the future. If you are interested – keep checking back here 🙂