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We ARE moving to the UK for a bit ... we leave tomorrow!

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#51 beachbride08

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    Posted 09 June 2009 - 04:59 PM

    I'm not a mom, but I can understand your reasons for being hesitant. However, I think it would be a great opportunity to live overseas for a year. That is something that I would love to do. Plus, it is only a year so if you absolutely hate it the time will go by fast and you'll be coming home before you know it. There are a lot of expat sites out there so I'm sure you can connect with other US people in your same situation, in addition, to any UK people you'll meet.

    #52 1elephant

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      Posted 09 June 2009 - 11:35 PM

      ann, i taught in london for a bit less than a year as well. i lived in the "american" section - st. john's wood (NW, jubilee line if i remember correctly). i lived w/ my aunt, uncle, and cousin in an awesome complex w/ tons of kids. they moved there thinking they'd be there for 3 years and came home after 12!! they made TONS of friends bc the kids were in school, but you could look into any ex-pat programs to see if there's an ex-pat mommy and me kinda thing. the only hard part about ex-pat stuff is that since ex-pats are transient, friends move away....
      things are different - not bad, but different. grocery shopping is harder b/c you don't have a car (i'm assuming), fridge and washer/dryer smaller, but everything you need is normally no more than a few blocks away. you'll miss everyone like hell, but think about what a great opportunity this is for all three of you!!!! i cried the first few nights, but i adjusted and never wanted to come home!
      btw, i can give you good restaurant suggestions :)

      #53 ACDCDCAC

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      Posted 16 June 2009 - 09:18 AM

      ann, we need an update! how is the planning going? any ideas cemented over the last week?

      #54 LCBride2007


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        Posted 17 June 2009 - 03:02 PM

        well, nothing is "cemented" really, in that I still don't have a flight booked! but ...

        - i have expidited my passport (just now changing my name) and Gwen's

        - the "plan" is to have all 3 of us go over there on July 3rd (2.5 weeks!)

        - my friend's sister and her boyfriend will be living in our house. they're paying us rent, but not much - but it's nice to have someone we know and trust live here. and he's handy i guess - which is a plus in a 1920s house (i grew up with their family, known them since i was less than 5 years old)

        - they first gave us an apt. in Wandsworth - apparently a really nice and new building, but not much that was close by. we had our friend/coworker do a walk by it last week. so now i think they're going to put us in an apt. in Wimbledon. (feedback, anyone?)

        - we still don't know exactly how long we'll be there, but "through the end of the year" is what we're planning for. we're booking our tickets to return mid-January.

        .... what else?

        That's what I know so far!

        #55 roo66

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          Posted 17 June 2009 - 03:13 PM

          Ann im so glad its looking like Wimbledon pauls dad says its a very nice area im sure you will love it.Just think about all the attractions you will be able to see whilst you are herex

          #56 LCBride2007


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            Posted 22 June 2009 - 08:48 PM

            Well, we leave July 3rd ... that's less than 2 weeks! I haven't done a thing to get ready, but Paul has all of next week off so we'll cram it all in.

            So - any last minute tips on what to bring, or not to bring? I'm mainly thinking of things like stuff we can't get over there (peanut butter?!) or things that might be harder to find or more expensive (everything!?). And I need to look into what the weather is like from now until Dec/Jan ... probably a little bit of everything!

            #57 becks



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              Posted 23 June 2009 - 08:41 AM

              Ann - you can find almost everything you need there. The really American things (peanut butter, for example) will be more expensive, but places like Harrods will have them (the peanut butter was really expensive). But mostly you'll find familiar brands of all sorts of things.

              My two thoughts would possibly be (1) Advil, if you use that (people tell me that the ibuprofen there is different somehow), and (2)formula if Gwen is still on it (not something I ever looked for) - I wouldn't risk upsetting her tummy with a full-blown brand change, so maybe bring some of that and slowly start introducing her to something local.

              When I went, I had the luxury of a week's trip prior, and went into Boots (the local version of Rite Aid/CVS/Longs) and they carry everything - right down to the same contact lens solutions, shampoos, hair sprays, etc. And all of your department store brand cosmetics are there, too.

              Oh! Dryer sheets. I had a friend bring me dryer sheets when she came to visit because the ones I was finding didn't work as well somehow (and I love my downy dryer sheets), also, it's difficult to find chlorine bleach - they mostly have non-chlorine bleaches which work just fine, but not the same with whites. Not that you're going to carry liquid bleach, but just be prepared if you're a bleach fan. They do have Dreft and some of the other pro-baby detergents. I was actually very impressed and surprised at how many biologically/eco-friendly products they have (they call them "bio").

              Maybe post a list of the specific things you think you might need to take with you (or PM or e-mail me) and we can let you know if you can find it there?

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              #58 LCBride2007


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                Posted 23 June 2009 - 10:12 AM

                Gwen isn't formula fed - I'm still nursing, but trying to wean. She isn't a fan of the whole milk apparently, though she slowly drinking it these days. I was a little concerned about the milk there - is it the same, I wonder?

                Mainly she's not weaning because she isn't drinking the milk, but I also think it might help if I were still nursing a little when we go - just so she has that comfort, at least before bed.

                I have stocked up on a lot of my meds and necessities for my diabetes. I know they have it all over there, but it was just easier to stock up. I will still need to get some of it over there, but not right away.

                Thanks for the tips! Keep 'em coming!

                #59 Helen_S81

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                  Posted 23 June 2009 - 02:39 PM

                  I'm thinking about this....which is hard because I'm used to thinking the other way around (what do they have in the UK that they can bring for me in Canada :))

                  If you have the chance to stock up on clothes in bigger sizes for Gwen I would do that. Anyone who comes to visit us buys clothes for the kids because they are so expensive there. Or maybe you can ask relatives/friends to send you some? Postage will be expensive unless you sent the stuff surface mail which takes about 6 weeks.

                  The last time I was there was 1999. As far as I know the milk is the same. I don't remember having quite the variety (ie skim, 1%, 2% etc) but I would think it is the same now. I travelled from Canada to England with a baby/toddler a few times and the milk was not a problem.

                  The weather will be unpredictable :) The winter will not be as cold as Minneapolis so you won't need all the heavy winter gear. The summer might not be as hot but noone has air conditioning. There will be rain any season.

                  If I think of anything else I'll let you know.

                  #60 Alyssa

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                    Posted 23 June 2009 - 02:42 PM

                    Ann i don't really have good advice for you b/c i don't have any experience living overseas but K's cousin just came back from living in Germany for 18 months and she said that the baby stores / pharmacies are VERY different so if the UK is similar (don't really know) i would stock up on any prescriptions / baby tylenol / fav wipes, etc. b/c that is the stuff she said was almost impossible to get.

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