October 16, 2011

Hooked on phonics

I'm not sure whether it's luck, timing or some kind of impressive stress response, but sometime during our moving-stravaganza, L has clicked on the concept of phonics, and now he's trying to read everything. Street signs, the yogurt container, graffiti on the train - suddenly they're really interesting, and we need to talk about what they say Right Now.

He loves to have us read to him, and had gotten really good (back when we lived in the Old Country) at lying in bed looking at books in the morning, but had always insisted that he did not want to learn how to read himself. "It's too hard" and "You can read to me!" were the most common reasons, but I think mostly it was just that he didn't get it - this shape makes a sound? Except in English, where it makes a different sound?

He's also trying really hard to make English "th" and "r" sounds, which he hadn't gotten a lot of practice doing in German, and he's trying hard to disentangle prepositions (he was using an all-purpose "where", pronounced "whirr", to mean "that", "which", "who" and "where"), so it's language development central over here. I have this nagging feeling the English development is coming at the expense of German, since we really haven't been using it since we left, and I feel guilty about that. He learned so much! Curse you, ridiculously high tuition at the bilingual private school!

October 11, 2011

I'm not calling it karma

...because that would imply that there's something we could do to change it. C and I are fated, destined, dooooooomed to turn up in new countries on holidays, apparently it is just something that we do. I can't imagine what would cause that as a karmic repercussion - not taking enough vacation? Being too self-centered with our ambitious "plans" and "lists" and "need to get an apartment"?

We got to Germany at the beginning of October, and just when we were in the time zone enough to go out and deal with business things (like open a bank account so we could get moved into the apartment we'd arranged), oh yeah! It's reunification day! We didn't tell you because everyone knows that. Three-day weekend! Having our plans brought up short by reunification day was actually a theme for us, I think it happened every year we lived there.

We got here October 1st as well, and I laughed when we saw a note that Daylight Savings time started the first night we were here, because I thought that was this move's version of the welcome-to-town holiday. Not so fast! The 3rd was Labour Day (which I only realized after seeing signs about the "October long weekend" and having a familiar sinking feeling), so no apartment hunting, no opening a bank account, no dealing with Serious Important Things. We put the to-do list down and went to the aquarium instead, and I thought, look how much grace and flexibility we're showing here.

And then we needed to call our US bank, and it was Columbus Day, and hardly anyone even gets Columbus Day off any more, but banks do, and it was at that point that I started pulling out my hair. We've got an apartment, though (got the keys today!), so things are looking up.

October 10, 2011

Hey you guys, we moved to the other side of the planet

Man. MAN. We had a housecooling party 6 weeks ago, went off to the farm/hotel in the mountains, packed up and left the place we had been living for almost exactly 3 years, and I'm just now starting to *feel* like we've moved to this new place.

We spent 3 weeks back home, staying with family and catching up with all the people we rely on as our local roots, and then we went to Disneyland (and anti-MouseCorp me had more fun than expected, mostly because L had a blast and was tall enough for all the rides, and is on a major Star Wars kick lately, and I got to go on Star Tours 4 times), and then we went to LAX for a looooooong direct flight and now we're here.

But we're in a hotel, and we're getting dressed out of suitcases in the morning, so it still feels like the mode of the whole last month - temporary, on to the next adventure soon - but we're picking up the keys for an apartment tomorrow, and we've been getting used to the neighborhoods, and learning the bus routes, and once we've got the apartment livable (beds, fridge) there's the elementary school to call...

So this is home, huh? So far it's been great.