all the big things we had to take care of in november for the move:
1. found an apartment/house to rent near ann arbor. 15 minutes north actually, but affordable and the lady is perfectly fine with us packing, sorting, and moving things into and out of her garage.
2. acquired Xs long form birth certificate (this is now her 7th piece of documentation that she is alive). the birth certificate then needed to be sent to the finnish embassy in ottawa to be authenticated and legalized. a process that needed to occur before we enter finland. since canada didnt sign some treaty several decades ago, the process is a little more involved than what we have to do for our marriage certificate in the states.
3. i contacted some university of helsinki public health people for work. no jobs, but i got a helpful response and an offer to meet in person with someone when i arrive.
4. i found a helsinki apartment for us. i posted on a helsinki expat parents board on facebook and we ended up finding a furnished apartment in the neighborhood of viikki. the previous renters came for a post-doc in geology actually, so it was quite humorous. they are americans and are leaving us some fun toys and other apartment essentials so we will be mostly ready to go as soon as we arrive from the airport. the apartment owners also allowed our cat. so that was a major weight off our shoulders.
5. my u.s. airways flight back to michigan with X got changed. we were no longer going through DC for the layover (now through philly), which was a big bummer because we were going to use the long layover to see good friends ntina and ben. oh well. :(
6. we found subleters for our halifax apartment. they even wanted us to leave a few of our things behind. so that was helpful.
7. made preparations for nutmeg to come with us to finland. she needed a trip to the vet where she got microchiped and a rabies shot. we also got her vet records and a statement that she was in good health. daves sister also VERY kindly agreed to have nutmeg stay with her from the time dave drops her off (dec 8) until we leave with nutmeg from her house on dec 29. what a HUGE relief! i then made additional vet appointments in albany for nutmeg to get her pet export paperwork done (this requires two separate appointments and certifications).
8. took care of the car so dave would be safe roadtripping with it. it got an oil change and we were also told we needed the wheel barings replaced. fun times. had to make a separate appointment for that.
9. i had my last official day of work (nov 30), complete with cake and a lunch with my bosses. the cake was done near the admin office. it was weird saying goodbye to lots of faces i had never seen (since i worked mostly from home). but everyone was very nice.
10. dave had his goodbye work party too. dude scored 6 bottles of a new brunswick apple liquor he likes. his boss is a very generous, amiable guy. dave was very lucky.
** major moving realization: poor people cant move. this information was not new to me i suppose, but it really hit home. we are bleeding so much money in this move, its not even funny. we will be reimbursed for some of it, but some of it is just inevitable crap that you have to suck up and deal with. not just the stress and time and energy but a move requires MONEY and aid from willing people and the ability to know who to contact and how to get things taken care of. immigrants, refugees, and "regular" poor people must have it so much more unimaginably harder than we do during a move that i shudder even thinking about it.