Okay, so I had grand plans of blogging about our vacation and getting "caught up" on other fam happenings as of late this weekend. THAT did not happen. Obviously.
Instead, first Jamie (Thursday), then yesterday Morgan and I came down with a very ugly stomach bug that has had us leaned over a potty (or a hospital emesis basin....who knew those things would come in handy for what they were intended for and not just a bathroom cleaner bin?) all weekend long. I will also say this much....sometimes it's NOT a good thing to have the odd ability to avoid tossing one's cookies when the body says "let it fly"!
TMI? Well just be glad tummy bugs aren't contagious computer viruses or I'd be "sharing" more than just too much info!
Pete and I were talking just a couple of days ago about how it seems like our family hasn't gotten a break from illness for more than a few days all year long. For some reason, I've been especially suceptible to every bug that has come anywhere near Europe, and it is taking me far longer than usual to get over all of this. It has seemed almost like there's an underlying issue that is making me generally sick. I'm not normally a "sick" preggo. I've had relatively painless pregnancies with all five other kids, with the exception of the last couple of weeks--but who ISN'T miserable those last few weeks? This time, though...wow. Well, apparently there IS something else going on. I had blood drawn last week for a standard anemia test, and while I'm not anemic, I do have some sort of infection going on. Of course the doctor's office called to tell me this Friday afternoon when there's nothing that can be done before they close...so I'm going to have to wait till Monday to actually go in and have some other tests run to see what is going on under the surface. You'd think the antibiotics I was on a few weeks ago would have taken care of this!
Okay, enough whining. Back to business. We attended our final unit organizational day on Friday, and it was pretty pitiful. The family readiness group had to blow all of its remaining money, so we had three of the inflatable bouncy castles, plus a maintenance bay full of BBQ chicken, burgers, dogs, and ribs. Hmm, that doesn't sound all that pitiful, does it? Not until you consider that there were probably fewer than 100 people there. Pete says they still have something like 150 soldiers on the books, but everyone is trying to clear out of here! We had pretty much all the ribs we could eat with the "crowd" that actually showed!
As for us, this week looks to be the start of the big stuff. Two months from today, Pete will "final out", meaning he'll sign out of the unit, out of Darmstadt, and be put on leave. WOW. Sixty-one days! He is awaiting his leave paperwork to be approved and returned (we're told Tuesday) so he can get our flight arrangements made. He *could* wait as late as the day he starts the ten-day clearing process in June, but that's craziness considering he'll have to make flight reservations for seven people! Anyway, today Pete and Jon and Kelsey are cleaning the van, readying it for the agricultural inspection required to ship it back to the States. Tomorrow, he'll drop off our paperwork to get our (hopefully) 12-day countdown toward household goods shipment moving. Tuesday, I've got another OB appointment (and the "big" ultrasound) and then Pete and I are driving to Mainz to get the van shipped off!
All passports accounted for, suitcases are pre-packed with hot-weather clothing (as if we'll use THOSE anytime soon now that winter finally decided to arrive here in Germany), cloth diapers suitcased and ready to go, pre-K and kindergarten schoolbooks are suitcased so we have something to do after all the "stuff" goes, and we have working lists of what stays and what goes! Yep, I think we're ready!
Well, I'd not want to have you go through all of this reading without at least one picture, so I'll attach one that we took of the kiddos in the gardens of King Ludwig's Linderhof castle near Oberammergau last month. For reference, YES, I know Kelsey got that goofy half-grin from me....and no, we didn't forget Danica's hat. She hates hats (notice that sad face because we kept trying to plunk it back on top of her noggin?), and it was the first article of clothing to go! It wasn't *too* cold, though, despite being March in the Bavarian Alps.