Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The new car!!

WOW!! We picked up the new car today, see the photos, I think Charlotte was pretty excited :)
It's nothing real special but nice to drive and plently of room for all the visitors we will have over the next few years.
Ted is very pleased with himself as he has achieved a lot in the last 48hrs, mostly admin. We now have the car, and insurance (yet to get the plates from the DMV, apparently this can take hrs and is not fun, sounds just like the RTA). He also got his US Navy ID card and a social security number, opened a new bank account so we can transfer money between here and there, and new prepaid phones to keep us going until we can get our iPhones on a plan here. He even managed to get a hair cut :)
We are still looking for a house, starting to think this might take a while. We are being a little picky :) Did find a huge place on the net tonight that even has a pier, hopefully we will get to see it in the next few days.
Charlotte has been very busy spotting squirels, yesterday she saw one and was yelling at Ted "Daddy, Daddy a mouse!!" Ted's response was "yeah Charlotte, whatever!!" Then it dawned on him, a mouse!!! When he went to check sure enough it was a squirel. (I have updated Charlotte's identification criteria (Squirel Investigate Procedure) and we are confident that the correct ID will be made in future! Ted). Ted and Charlotte also went swimming this afternoon in the pool at the appartment, the fuuny suit Charlotte is wearing is the costume that Ted purchased for her at the NEX (Naval Exchange Store) today (can't believe he went shopping without me!!)
Tomorrow I see the OB (hehe) hopefully he is nice. Depending on where we end up living it might be a bit of a drive, but if he seems good it might be worth it. One of the other Aussie girls is pregnant as well and said she can give me her doctors details if I need, they are in a different part of town that might be closer. Budd has been kicking me heaps, Charlotte even felt him/her the day before yesterday, think it freaked her out a bit!! Not looking forward to the next few months, the weather is meant to get hotter and that won't do my cankles any favours!! It has just started raining here now, tomorrow is meant to be cooler, fingers crossed!!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

My Birthday!!

Well today was weird as it was my birthday here but there yesterday..........anyway thankyou to everyone that sent birthday wishes, I had an interesting day. Started out with Pancakes and strawberries for breakfast and then we went to have a 'quick look' at a car that I had seen on the internet that I liked. That was about 10am, at 4pm we arrived back at the appartment having spent the entire day with a car salesman who drove us (or let us drive) around to look at all different cars. In the end we decided that we were looking at a pretty good deal with the original car we had gone to see, so we bought it!!! (Nice birthday present I know) It's a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder, so bigger than the X-trail, with 7 seats for all the visitors we will have over the next 2 years. It's pretty big, but compared to some of the trucks over here it's small!!! I'll put some photos on when we pick it up on Tuesday. Charlotte was very happy as there was a special seat for Brayden (the 3rd row!!). Once again on the way home from the car dealer Charlotte fell asleep (another photo for the collection).

Tonight we went to a BBQ at another Aussie couples place (Danny has a massive Truck with the licence plates AUS5IE. Plates are only $10 here, what a bargain, I have to decide what to get??). Everyone was really nice and Charlotte got to play with a few other kids. She saw fireflies for the 1st time, that was pretty cool. They are very slow and you can catch them in a jar, we will have to do that sometime!! She also played baseball (see photos) or as she was calling it "football" :) She had a great time and didn't want to leave :( Hope everyone is well back in Oz :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Just wanted to add a few more pics of Charlotte at Santa Monica on Tuesday and Wednesday. The 1st one is Charlotte recovering from the flight from Sydney to LA (as you can see she is now transferring from the car to Ted's shoulder quite easily!! Ted thinks Charlotte is conducting a sleeping odyssey around America!! We were not suprised when she woke up as the fries arrived on the table for lunch!!) The next one is on a ride on Santa Monica pier and lastly Ted and Charlotte under the sign at the pier entrance. Enjoy :)

The 1st 24hrs in Norfolk

Well our 1st 24hrs in Norfolk has been very busy. We arrived a little late last night, (only about an hour) as we were delayed out of Dallas. Charlotte was really horrible on the flight from LA to Dallas as she didn't want to sit in her own first class seat, or be held by one of us, so she screamed for take off and landing as we had to hold her!!! The rest of the flight she was ok, but wanted to move about a lot. From Dallas she was so tired she fell asleep on my lap for about the 1st hour, but after that again wanted to run around. We were very glad to get off the plane and know we didn't have to get on another for a while :) One of the other Aussie's here in Norfolk, Paul, picked us up and thankfully he has a big American truck, so all our bags fit!! From there we came to our appartment at Marina Shores where we will be for about the next month. It's not bad, the aircon works which is the most important thing in this heat (it has been about 38 - 40 degrees C).

Today we spent most of the day with Paul again, he took us to pick up the hire car and also gave us a bit of a tour around Norfolk and Virginia Beach. We met his wife (Beck) and their boy (Finn) and had lunch with them, Charlotte and Finn got on like a house on fire, and we even saw a squirel in their backyard, Charlotte was very excited!! After lunch we took our first shopping trip to the Commissary (supermarket on base) Beck calls it the Comisery as she doesn't like it! Charlotte fell asleep in the car and didn't wake up when we got there (see photos). It was hard to know what to buy, so many types of one thing, so much crap, and no Lamb, Ted's not happy!!! The bonus is someone packs your bags and even pushes the cart (trolley) out to the car for you, that will come in very handy in a few months when I have my hands full with children :) You do have to give them a tip for the help though, like with most things here.

When we got back home Charlotte and Ted went to see the ducks at the little pond just near the stairs up to our appartment (see the smile in the photos, I think Charlotte liked it!!). And now after cooking dinner (so nice not to eat takeaway) and finally getting Charlotte to bed at 10pm(think the body clock is still a little out) we are going to head off to bed as well. I think the next month or so is going to be full of very busy days, so many things to sort out. We have found a few cars to look at tomorrow and then have a BBQ with all the Aussie's in the afternoon, it will be nice to meet a few more people who have been there and done this!!!
We added a few extra photos above, of the view from our hotel room at LAX. Also Charlotte and I on the open top tram at The Grove/farmers market in West Hollywood on Wednesday (thanks for the tip Angus, it was good!!!)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Correction :)

I did not say "where is the steering wheel??" Yesterday I commented that it felt weird sitting on the right side of the car without a steering wheel in front of u!!! How rude :) Jenn

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ted here.... its my turn to write a bit! Today was very exciting. Jenn got to drive on the wrong side of the road for the first time! When I say "wrong side of the road", I mean, right side of the road.... ie the correct side for America! I wasn't filled with confidence when she got into the car and said "where is the steering wheel?" Yesterday when I drove I was very careful having just got off a 13 hour flight and being extremely tired..... but not Jenn! After turning one corner she was on the I-10 at 65 miles an hour with a huge smile on her face, cars going past in all directions! See the pictures for proof!

I think it will take a while for both of us to get used to cars merging from the right! Nothing has changed for Charlotte in the car except she is now sitting on the other side. As you can see from her photo she is very comfortable.... some things never change!

We drove to Hollywood for a look around..... Charlotte loved the stars on the pavement and tried to count them... she stopped after 20 as it was more fun to jump on the stars than to count them! Initially Charlotte didn't like the Shrek figure at Madam Tussauds, but after looking at it a second time and seeing that it hadn't moved she decided that she liked Shrek and was happy to pose for a photo or two.

Now we are back in the DoubleTree hotel in Santa Monica having just had a nice dinner in the restaurant. Jenn and Charlotte had a swim this afternoon while I made a few work phone calls... and we have some more good news.... Lynne has sold the X-trail for us! That means both cars are now sold and we can start looking for some replacement vehicles over here. Nice work Lynne! One day and you did what we couldn't in two months!

Thats all for today. Tomorrow we check out of our hotel and head to the Stamford at the airport... hopefully we will get there before the Australia Serbia world cup game.... go Socceroos!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Welcome to the USA!!

We are here!! Well LA anyway :)
The flight was long but comfortable in Business class, the A380 was amazingly quite. Charlotte had maybe 4 hrs sleep, I got maybe 2 hrs and Ted I don't think managed any :( Food was good and all the crew were nice and helpful, nothing was to hard (unlike the lady at check-in!!). Charlotte lost it a bit on descent but I think it was mostly because she couldn't watch Dora for the 10th time in 13 hrs!!
We have now arrived at the hotel in Santa Monica, it's nice too, we are all hanging out to get into bed but trying to stay awake for a little while. It's 1520 here and 0820 there, we are now a day behind which is weird, as is driving on the right side of the road. All the Americans have been very helpful and friendly so far, when we pulled up for lunch a guy even told us he had a few hours left on his meter if we wanted to park in that spot and use it, how nice.
Anyway we are here and safe, hope all is well in Oz :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

3 sleeps to go!!

Well we have now offically left the house at Little Bay, and we are both feeling alot less stressed. It's been a pretty busy week and time has flown by, can't believe the weekend is here already!! Charlotte had her last day at Active Kids today, the ladies made here a great big card and gave her a signature bear they all wrote on, seems like they liked her :) Miss Pauline also spoilt her with a new Dora Doll, as you can imagine this was a huge hit. I'm sure sometime next week Charlotte will ask when she will see Miss Pauline again, she will definately miss all the ladies at Active kids, who knows maybe in 2 years we will take her back there!!
Ted and I have spent the week dealing with Removalists, and eating massive amounts of takeaway food (just getting ready for the USA). I was so desparate to have vegies tonight, I think even Charlotte was happy to see green trees (for those of you without kids thats Brocoli). All seems to have gone well, we forgot a few things here and there, but nothing we can't live without. The appartment we are staying in is jam packed full of suitcases and other bits and pieces that we have to give to dad or mum & shell before we leave. Now I just have to figure out how to fit it all in the suitcases. We still have the X-trail too if anyone knows someone who wants it!!
I think Charlotte seems to be catching onto the idea of Baby Budd (even though some days I'm having Baby Jesus according to her!!). Budd has been moving around alot and kicking quite violently, (he/she must be practicing for the world cup in 2030). I tried to get charlotte to feel yesterday but she was too slow, maybe tomorrow. Lately when I ask she tells me it's a girl baby, I wonder if she is right??
Still don't have many photos from the party, please send some if you have them.
Hope you all have a good weekend :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

5 Sleeps to go!!

Today we have guys going crazy packing all our stuff for storage, yesterday they took all the stuff for the USA, this is really happening now :)
Thankfully Charlotte has been unaware of most of whats going on, she is too excited about sleeping in her new big bed at the apartment (and it's a very big bed, she takes up about a quarter of the king size bed, Dora, Waggy and Sherlock about the same!!)
Thanks to all that made it to our little farewell function at HMAS Watson on Saturday night, we had a great time and hope that u all enjoyed yourself too. I have seen a few photos dad took but if anyone else got some good ones can u please send them to our email so we can have a look. Also big thanks to all the lovely people that gave us gifts, for both going away and my birthday, we were very spoilt, so thank you very much. Nathan & Jo, thanks for my 'Tiffany' bookmark (how exciting Tiffany!!), I shall use it my favourite Baby book, Save our Sleep!! I had a quick read through the Lonely planet guide too, sounds like we are moving to an interesting place, if u like drunken sailors and fast jets!! I think I shall feel very much at home :)
Looks like we may be finished with the packing today, so tomorrow we have a fun day of cleaning ahead.....can't wait.
P.S. The curtains in this house look even more stylish when there is nothing else around :)

Friday, June 11, 2010

9 days to go!!

Well only 9 days to go until we fly out to the US, I know I'm starting to get a bit nervous, not sure Ted has had time too, he spent the week at sea. Nanna Stroud came to stay in Sydney for the week to help out with Charlotte, and spoilt her, as all Nanna's should :)
We only have a few days left in the house at Little Bay (thank goodness) as the removalist will be there most of next week and defence pay for us to stay in an appartment. Still feeling very disorganised as they don't want us to pack anything before they arrive on Tuesday.
Today is also my last day at work for 2 years, and I'm writting on my blog..........maybe I should be working?? Thankfully there isn't much to do at this stage, hopefully it stays that way until midday when I finish!! (after typing this I had 2 sick calls!!).
Charlotte has only a few days left at daycare, I think they are going to miss her, I know she will miss them :) We had a very successful week potty training and yesterday we were out and about all day without a nappy on, and no accidents, she is such a big girl now!!
This afternoon and tomorrow most of the family arrive for our little farewell party tomorrow night, Charlotte can't wait to see Brayden and Harry, it will be fun to see them run around for the last time in a while .
I suppose I better do some work now, hopefully I we will see most of you before we head off on the 21st :)