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I probably haven’t made much mention about our trouble moving from Hong Kong to St. Louis up ’til now, but I believe we are finished chasing down Graebel to fix the damages we incurred due to their gross negligence during both packing and moving.  They damaged our billiard table severely, ripped a hole in our sofa, broke the back off a dinette chair and there were innumerable damages to decorative items that were packed by the Graebel staff with the skill of throwing everything, whether it be fragile or not, into a box with absolutely no packing material.

This damage caused by Graebel’s negligence was not acceptable and we had made arrangements to have the additional insurance coverage in the event there were some damages during shipping/storage that were unavoidable.  Good thing we did, because there was a lot of it!

Problem is, Graebel has been nothing shy of difficult and at times argumentative regarding our account and in getting our information straight (stating we did NOT have insurance when IN FACT we DID!), insisting that we have a repair company come and fix things (which we did and they did and some things were fine, but a big rip with stitching in it is still a big rip!), and then arguing over what we did or didn’t find acceptable as far as repairs and letting that go on for months all the while they were actually closing our account without our knowledge even though the staff member we were dealing with just kept arguing with us.

Finally, we got a new person to deal with us and they are going to work with us.  They are NOT, however, going to comply with the request that I made that would make this acceptable for us.  We are conceding to their way because they are unwilling to make good on the customer service end of the deal.  They ARE going to compensate us with the specified insured amount of our sofa and loveseat, but they are going to do so by having what would be a minimum of 3 more people come to our home during the day…and quite frankly, all I wanted for them to do is pay us what we insured the sofa/loveseat for and LEAVE US ALONE.  But they can’t seem to do that.

They have rules they have to comply with that do not consider whether their customers are satisfied, but rather that inconvenience us even further than they already have by expecting US to jump through even more flaming hoops when it should be THEM jumping through this ONE hoop for us.

If they would just make this final transaction simple and not require any more from us, since we paid for their service, not the other way around…then, I could be satisfied and let it go.

But they won’t.  So I would suggest to anyone that is ever considering a move, whether it be a local move or a long distance/overseas move to STAY CLEAR OF DEALING WITH GRAEBEL MOVERS.  They will cause you nothing but grief and waste your time AFTER they break all your shit.

If you are interested, you can read the final letter of reluctant acceptance of their terms:

Read the rest of this entry »

I clearly underestimated how much we would have to do on this first week of having Cybr with me here in St. Louis.

I am so very tired.   Exhausted, really.

We have found a car we like and are going to buy it tonight, assuming all goes well.  The fuzzy kids are sick and I am taking them to the vet today.  All week long, I have been driving the Great White Truck that my dad has loaned to us to the MetroLink station to drop Cybr off to go the rest of the way to work.  Then I have been driving all the way back to my job, which takes another 30-ish minutes.  Then doing it all over again in the evening and going straight to car lots until they close at 9 p.m.

We are both exhausted.

Good news!  I saw my doctor and we have our first baby picture!

Not that kind of working girl…duh.

I mean I am employed again.  With my former employer Beck/Allen Cabinetry that I had to leave when we left the U.S. for Hong Kong.  It was very sad to leave and is giving me both something to do and a warm, fuzzy feeling to be brought back on their staff so quickly.  I am quite pleased.

That is my relatively exciting news.  You see, it was probably anti-climatic for you who are reading this, but for me it is quite exciting.  For the time being, the hours are extremely flexible so that I can do my doctor appointments, not go into the office if I am having an unpleasant pregnancy day, and eventually leave to go give birth.  They don’t want me to do that in the office, I am certain it goes without saying.

Yay, me!

I have to say that I am surprised to be back on board so quickly, given the current state of the economy in the U.S…not that I am complaining!  I find that I don’t have as much to do here during the day in the U.S. as I did in Hong Kong, likely because I am living in someone else’s house.  That does make a difference.  I do stuff, but it isn’t the same as having your own living space…for instance, I doubt that Cybr’s mom would appreciate if I rearranged the furniture.  You know what I mean…maybe…

I am alive and well.  Sorry for the hiatus, but pregnancy and jetlag don’t mix well.

To recap, Cybr saw me off on the airport bus at 11:30 am Monday June 30th.  He watched as I pulled away, it was all I could do not to cry.  My friend, Teresa, rode with me to the airport to schlep my large suitcases around and see me off.  It was so considerate of her to go with, since Cybr couldn’t…he had to return to our flat to meet the pet exporters.

I flew out of Hong Kong at 1:30 pm and after an untold number (simply because I have not the capacity by which to actually calculate how long I traveled, including layovers and time zone changes) of hours in transit, I arrived in Kansas City, Missouri at nearly midnight on the same day.  I had to wield my luggage around in LAX while going through customs and if it weren’t for a kind older man, I probably would have hurt myself or my baby by lifting those things.  Thanks, kind guy!

My Dad was waiting outside my gate at the KC airport, he was a sight for sore, blackened eyes.  They weren’t really blackened, just appeared that way from lack of sleep…I was not able to sleep for more than a few minutes at a time in flight.

He handled my luggage and drove us back to his house where I think I slept for about 4 or 5 hours.  I tried to get things situated for the fuzzy kids at his house during the day on Tuesday, then at about 10 pm we went to the cargo hold and retrieved Chini, Guinness, Francis and Burrito.  They all looked good, but desperately wanted out of those cages.

We were able to let Chini and Guinness out to take care of their business at the cargo hold.  We took them to a patch of grass and let them out.  They both peed forEVER, or so it seemed, then Chini proceeded to roll in the grass for about 10 minutes…apparently her way of kissing the ground post-flight.

We all came back to my Dad’s and the fuzzies seemed to settle in right away.  Chini, Guinness and Francis all seemed to remember my Dad and his home.  Even Burrito (who is quite the scaredy-cat) was exploring his new digs within just an hour or so.  They are all quite content and comfortable here.

I will have to leave Francis and Burrito behind when I return to St. Louis in about a week.  I am not looking forward, it will break my heart to leave them.  I am trying to think of it as an extended vacation where I would be away from them anyway.  I know they will be fine here with my Dad and will not miss me nearly as much as I miss them…but it is still going to hurt me.

So, the fuzzy kids were all fine, but I had a bit of a health issue this week…you can read about it at Baby Barie if you so desire.

I will slowly be getting back to regular posting, so please check in regularly.  Again, sorry for the lack of posts, but life and getting healthy has been a priority for the past week.

See you soon!

I learned to knit while on holiday in the U.S.

This was my first attempt, not too bad.

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Only one mistake leaving a little hole. Not, too bad for my first time.

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This was my second attempt, at which I was successful!! Yay, me!  I was having trouble finding a way to display it for a photo, then Burrito decided to help.  It was voluntary help, I swear!!

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Do you like my pretty new bag?  It makes a very stylish way to keep my knitting goodies.

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Feb
11
Santa baby.

This is Cybr’s new little sister, Lilliputian. She is a tiny baby, yet she rules the roost!

She REALLY likes me and I REALLY like her too, except when she eats all our clothes she had stolen from our suitcases. I was retrieving underwear, socks, and hats/gloves from the living room every day while we were visiting, which can be a bit embarrassing.

She is quite a character.

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  • Arriving to our layover stop at LAX with food poisoning due to our yummy in flight meal and spending most of my 3 1/2 hour layover in the toilet.
  • During our layover at LAX, I mentioned to Cybr that his cousin that lives in L.A. may be on the same flight to St. Louis for the big family holiday party.  He said it was unlikely we would be leaving at the same time from L.A, much less on the same airline.  I said we should still keep an eye out.  Him and his girlfriend sat two seats behind me on the flight, but due to lack of sleep I didn’t notice until disembarking.  See, women really do have intuition.
  • Christmas Eve was spent with Cybr’s extended family (his father’s side), as they have a big gathering every year.  It was an enjoyable time, one we really looked forward to.  The only downside being that his step-mom got really, really sick.
  • Christmas Day we spent with Cybr’s mom and step-dad.  It was a quiet, relaxing day with a delicious dinner.
  • We drove to Southeast Missouri to see my family on 26 December and were greeted by my nieces.  Hugging my dad and hugging the girls was long overdue.  It was nice to have them all in one place waiting for my arrival.
  • While out in the country, we went to an auction.  Nothing like what you would see on TV, no…this is a junk auction.  You can find some interesting finds and some good deals, but mostly you find some real interesting characters.  We took my grandma and my youngest niece, Alyssa.  Grandma had fun and Alyssa turned out to be quite the bargain hunter.  She is only 10 years old, yet she placed bids and made a couple of purchases like an adult. I enjoyed her company very much that night.
  • Just before heading back to St. Louis we had a family dinner with my dad’s side.  I saw my grandma, my aunt, my cousin and her beautiful little girl.  It was so good to see them.
  • We rang in 2008 with Cybr’s mom and step-dad.  We had a few drinks and relaxed watching a movie.
  • 01 January 2008. We had dinner with Cybr’s dad and family, then we went to the Fabulous Fox to see Wicked.  Dinner was good, the show was good, the wind HURT it was sooooo cold that night.
  • We saw I Am Legend at the cinema and REALLY liked it.
  • We visited with several friends, including Mutha, Rev, and all their children.  It was a short visit, but we really wanted to see them and meet Juna and so we did.
  • I went by Beck/Allen Cabinetry to visit my friend Gret and all my former colleagues.  Several of us went for lunch, including my former boss, and it was so good to see them all.  I miss them! I even miss my job (sometimes)!
  • I said good-bye to Cybr and he returned to Hong Kong while I went on to Kansas City, MO to visit my dad for a week.  I actually got to spend some real time with him (I feel like he gets gypped on time when we visit in Southeast MO because I have so much family to see, plus he drives 7 1/2 hours to see me) and it was good to have some catch-up time with him, just the two of us.
  • From there, I went to Chicago to spend a week with my best friend Heather and her fam.  We didn’t do much, just hang out and spend time with her kids.  It was great.  We did get out and shop a bit and went to Curves to work out several times.  It was great, her kids are great, she is great.
  • Back to St. Louis for a couple of days awaiting my flight out to Hong Kong.  I spent the time at Cybr’s moms house, it went by very quickly.
  • Before I left, I met up with a dear friend of mine, Athena, that I haven’t seen in 10 years.  I had such a great time catching up on each other’s lives and reminiscing.  I am so glad she is back in my life and I hope it stays that way.
  • I learned to knit.
  • I was all except body cavity searched in St. Louis airport and L.A. airport security.  I think I may have mentioned how fun that was.
  • I arrived to Hong Kong just before Cybr left for work and was smothered in puppy kisses.

The End.

Jan
18
Randomness
  • It is snowing in Chicago
  • I am sad to be leaving my friend tomorrow
  • I am anxious to go home to my fuzzy babies
  • I am wondering if my flight to St. Louis will be delayed tomorrow due to weather
  • I am still needing new underwear before I leave the States
  • Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte with Soy and Whip is REALLY FREAKING GOOD
  • I am taking my friend for her first sushi experience tonight for dinner (unless she changes her mind)
  • I am feeling a bit anxious about what this year is going to bring…there is a lot going on in my/our world
  • I learned to knit and pearl this week, but I still don’t know how to bind off.
  • I have watched enough Noggin this week that I can’t stop singing the Moose and Zee song “Cows are the mooeyest, dogs are the cutiest….everywhere I go”
  • Now I am making up my own words to the afore mentioned song, “Backs are the scratchiest, butts are the crackiest…everywhere I go”
  • Heathers’ 4 year-old girls brought me breakfast in bed this morning…a cinnamon roll and soy milk…so sweet
  • I had a dream this week that I forgot to cook a turkey

I am in Chicago, Illinois visiting my bestest friend and her four children.

You can see her beautiful brood at TwinsX2.

Last night I assisted Heather and Dan in trying to locate the missing taggie blanket that has been lost and is creating a bit of restless sleep in her 4 year old.  During the search we located a secret stash of gum wrappers in various locations throughout their family room.

There were A LOT of gum wrappers under cushions of the sofa, under the sofa, under the end tables and coffee table and in a drawer of an end table.  I think there were more than 20 or so gum wrappers and then I found the source…the entire pack was located under one end of the sofa.  BUSTED!!!

Somebody is in big trouble!!

 We also uncovered many other interesting items that you find in your sofa when you have four kids, including an unpackaged new toothbrush, numerous toys, socks, and an empty birth control pill pack.

Interesting…you never know what lies beneath the sofa cushions.

I am in St. Jo visiting my dad.

It has been a relaxing time after being on the go nonstop for 20 days.

I have learned a couple of things this couple of days I have been here:

  1. No one is St. Jo drives the speed limit.  It ranges between 5-15 mph below the designated speed limit.  It annoys me.
  2. Real women really do drive trucks.
  3. I miss driving.
  4. Apparently my boobs have been upgraded a couple of times and I haven’t noticed. I went for a bra fitting today and it was surprising, to say the least.
  5. Snow is beautiful.
  6. Driving in the snow is fun (as long as everyone else keeps their distance).

It has snowed twice since I arrived, which is kinda cool.  My theory is that if it is going to be painfully cold, then it may as well snow and look pretty. 

I have been doing some shopping, some pre-spring spring cleaning for my dad, and cooking up a storm this week.

This weeks menu:
Monday= French dip sandwiches
Tuesday= Dad’s famous steak (there is none better) and baked sweet potato
Wednesday= Wok fried chicken wings and mixed vegg (I taught my dad to cook in a wok, at least I hope I did!)
Thursday= Coconut and mango crusted tilapia with crab-stuffed mushrooms
Tomorrow (Friday)= My (non)famous, yet well-liked, spaghetti with meat sauce served over spaghetti squash with a spinach & pecan salad

Sounds good, huh?  Oh, but it has been delicious.

Sorry, my dear husband, I know you are lucky to get dinner this week but at least you get to love on our adorable fuzzy kids. 

That is it for now, I am off again soon to visit my best-est friend in Chicago before returning to St. Louis long enough to see an old high school friend, meet her family, and have breakfast with my in-laws before they drop me at the airport to return to Hong Kong.

I can’t wait to go home to my fuzzy babies, yet I kinda wish I could stay…