Friday, December 27, 2013

MIA (moving in action)

Sorry, I haven't posted anything in a while.  It has been pretty busy here in NANA's land.  I will write several blogs so you aren't bored to death with one LONG post.

We packed up most of our things we had at Bestefar's house and prepared for our move into our new home.  We had a final tour of the house and hoped our container would arrive as scheduled.  It did sort of.  We had to be at the new house by 8:30a, to meet the driver with our container.  Normally it wouldn't be a big deal but its dark until about 9ish in the morning and the kids were sleeping later than they ever had in the USA.  I had everything packed in the car ready to leave…the kids were up earlier than normal, I was dressed and trying to get the kids out of their PJs and into their clothes and I hear a truck outside.   I thought to myself…hmmm today isn't trash day and Bestefar's house is at the end of a road so no big truck traffic typically.  I walked outside and IT's OUR CONTAINER on a big truck.  They had the wrong address, YIKES.  Somewhere there was some miscommunication, they had delivered our air freight container to Bestefar's house so I guess they assumed we would need the ocean container delivered to the same place.  The driver, I never got his name, was super nice and said no problem, I can take it to the new address.  But he would have to drive the truck in reverse all the way back down and it would take some time.  The road is narrow with cars parked on the sides of the road and its dark and its probably about 1/2 mile…big kudos to the driver.  So I called Jan explained to him what had happened, he said throw the kids in the car in their PJs and get to the new house.

The three of us get into the car, kids in their PJs and drive to the new house.  I passed the truck with the container parked at the neighborhood bus stop so I knew I would be there when he made it to the new house.  UGHH…talk about a stressed morning, but I was calm and knew everything would be ok.  I can only imagine what Jan was thinking was going on, he was getting bits and pieces and couldn't leave work.  I told him I had everything under control, or so I thought.  Our new street had a sharp left turn just before our house.  I had mentioned it to the truck driver and he said Ok, we will see when I get there.  Well guess what…No, he couldn't make the turn and even if he could he wouldn't be able to drop the container at the house.  Well CRAP!!!.  So he calls his people and they said they would have to take the container back to a warehouse and offload our possessions onto a truck and then bring it to us.  So, what does that mean, a couple more days, a few hours… only a couple hours.  The poor driver had to back down a long street again, but he was smiling and cheerful.  I'm glad he wasn't a grumpy person, I probably would have been.  Sorry no pics of the chaos.

Both Bestemor & Bestefar, came to help us with the move along with keeping the kids out of the way.  Luckily, we had some things to do, Bestefar was chief IKEA furniture assembler

 and I unpacked our clothes and washed our kitchen items I had purchased at IKEA.  Yes, I have been to IKEA about 8x in less than 2 weeks, its a great store.  Maybe I should have visited ours in Houston more ;-) as it is more budget friendly.
One of the many shopping trips to get stuff we needed to move in.  Thanks Grete for being my co-shopper/translator
The guys call and said they were on their way to our house.  But they had to pack everything into two trucks.  They couldn't fit everything into one box truck.

When they arrived it was felt like Grand Central Station… One more hiccup, to add to the morning chaos, the packing list the Norway team had wasn't correct.  They gave me a list and said oh this is number 6, I looked at him and said no this isn't correct.  He said yes it is… I said no this list is the items that went to storage.  He looked puzzled, I asked him to wait a moment.  I had put all my important papers into one folder which I kept with me just in case and I thankfully had remembered to bring it this morning.  I had the only copy of what items were suppose to be in the ocean container.  The men were everywhere asking where each of the 170+ boxes/packages should be placed.  Thanks to Bestemor for taking photos…while I played air traffic controller
checking my list and seeing what made it and what didn't
The kids luckily had their iPads to keep them busy.
Such sweet siblings, sharing the iPad
I guess this house wasn't made to take in an American sized sofa.  They tried getting it through the door from the mud room but it wouldn't make it.

I got out my handy mini-tape measure and it wouldn't fit through the main guest door, the poor guys had to carry it around the house to get to the sliding glass door.  But I guess they do this all the time.

While I was freezing my fingers off, the kids heard some of their toys start to make noise.  Bestemor & Bestefar said they couldn't get to the toys fast enough.  Their eyes were lighting up with such happiness.

Stacks and stacks of boxes.  What was in each box was anyones guess.  

Just a few of the MANY boxes…
Let the unwrapping begin, it was like Christmas in our house for a few days.  

Yes, this is a different outfit, same day ;-)

We have made several more trips to IKEA and other stores trying to get settled.  Then it was time to put the house settling in on hold and do some Christmas shopping and celebrating with the family.  We did get our Christmas tree decorated and some other holiday decorations put up around the house.

I was able to buy some traditional Norwegian Christmas decorations as well.  Sorry no photos taken of those, hopefully next year we can have a better mix of the American and Norwegian decorations.  Along with some new stockings, I think the old ones ended up in the storage in Houston and not in Norway.  If that's the only thing that was mis-placed I will be very lucky.  Currently, we are searching for a pair of Jan's mountain bike shoes, hopefully they will turn up somewhere.

We are steadily unpacking boxes and putting things away.  I'm hoping to have everything sorted by New Years so we can get the year off to a great start.

I have a few more posts coming so be on the look out, I know I slipped a little behind.   

Monday, December 9, 2013

Leo Lekeland - indoor play area

We went on a little adventure this afternoon…weather wasn't the greatest and I didn't want to stay in the house all day.  I packed a small lunch for the kids and we drove off to find Leo Lekeland.  Of course, I couldn't follow Google maps again…had a minor detour again.  I really don't know what's going on, usually I never get lost, NEVER.  Then I hear this little voice in the backseat, mommy did we  make a wrong turn again…ugh.  So as a woman, I found someone to ask, i was in the correct spot it was just around the corner.  We parked and made it inside…holy smokes, this place was the close to the size of a Sam's Warehouse.  It was pretty empty, maybe 15 customers including parents and babies.  Rebecca and Marcus took off before I could pay and get their armbands on them.  There were slides galore, tall ones, small ones, bumpy ones, twisted ones, and SUPER fast ones that I wouldn't let the kids go on because it was vertical.  These two kids were non-stop for two hours.  
What an amazing place for children to play!!!

These are just two small areas of this indoor playground.

Ball pits were all over and the kids had so much fun in them.
The next section we went to was an indoor tubing hill.  We did a snow tubing hill in Copper Mountain this past ski season and had a ton of fun and both kids loved it there.  So I put Marcus in a tube and pulled him up the hill. While Rebecca, little miss I can do it myself, pulled hers up to the top as well.

Waiting on Rebecca to pull her tube to the top.

And away they go…they have so much fun together

The entire place looked as if it was connected through these pathways.  I'm not sure but I think you could walk from one end to the other without going to the ground.  We didn't try we had too much fun going down the slides.
Marcus almost ran across this beam…thanks Ms. Cathy at Little Gym of Pearland
Rebecca had so much fun swinging from these rings.

The next play area we went to was the pirates ship.  This was amazing, the yellow gun looking things mounted on the ship, actually worked.  Yes, we loaded some nerf-like balls in the cannon and pushed a button and balls were flying in the air.  I couldn't believe it… They had them mounted on the ship then up above, I guess to have some pirate take overs and such.  The imagination is a wonderful thing and I never know what type of adventure we will be going on next with these little minds.  

We dare you to take our ship!!!  We are ready to fire!!
Firing upon the pirate ship from above

The tricycle area was next… they had passenger trikes, regular tricycles, non-pedal and arm pedal bikes.  They had fun here too.

I'm not sure how he always ends up a passenger ;-)

 The volcano slide was fantastic.  None of us ever made it to the top.  I was able to touch the platform area but lost my grip and slid down.  Marcus had a blast running up the side and then falling to the bottom.  Rebecca wanted to get to the top but if you see in the photos below it super steep and tall.  Maybe next time.

I can only imagine how fast this slide was...
Marcus trying to reach the top…

This place was fantastic and since it rains a lot here in Stavanger, we will be back.
See you later Mr. Gorilla 

Time to play in the snow :-D

If you recall Thursday we had hurricane force winds, Friday we had snow showers.  Then through Friday night this was produced…
Morning view #1
Morning view #2

I had planed to go shopping…but that plan was scratched pretty quick.  The snow created so much excitement in this house, I had to stay and play.  So after breakfast, it was time to layer up the clothing and get outside.  We had planned to build a snowman, but the snow wasn't the best for snowmen.  The neighbor saw Jan, actually she probably heard the kids outside.  She brought over some skis and a sled that was too small for her children, talk about a happy Karlsen family.  Rebecca couldn't wait to get the skis on her boots :-), Marcus wasn't so easy going into the sled but once he was in it he was happy.  We walked down the street a bit and found the hill Jan rode down when he was a child.  Uncle Jørgen and Pia came over a short time later and brought two more sleds, come to find out it was the same ones Jan & Jorgen used when they were kids.  Rebecca had given up on her skis, too much work, there wasn't a magic carpet for her to ride up the hill like in Copper Mountain.  So she jumped on one of the sleds and I would swear she had ridden sleds all her life, but it was her first time.  
Just look at this smile!!!
Not sure if he was scared or concentrating but as soon as he stopped… again, again!!
Big sister pulling little brother up the hill
Having fun!!
I think Pia has the right idea…have someone else pull you up the hill.

If she could make it go faster she would...

I think he needed to rest here...

Rebecca & I had a crash but fell over laughing
Jan had some fun too with Marcus
Marcus was a great driver, we didn't crash ;-)
Marcus & I back at Bestefar's house
The little kids and the big kids had a blast ;-)  Yes, I have been skiing quite a bit in the last 12 years, but I had never rode a sled.  This was so much fun.  
I felt like I was 10yrs old again...
Jan took Rebecca out again later in the afternoon with Uncle Jørgen and Pia.  They had a blast as you can see.  
Rebecca had to taste the snow
Pia & Rebecca ready to roll, well I guess slide
Uncle Jørgen pulling Pia on the sled,  Rebecca holding onto the sledI guess she was tired of walking

It was definitely a beautiful and fun day.