Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The New House

Well we made it into our new house............finally :)

We got the keys on the 18th (hence no blog since then) and all our loan furntiure arrived on the 19th, I think we were both pretty happy with what we picked out, and it seems that it has all fitted in with plently of space. We are still waiting on a few things, like a sofa bed and dresser for the main bedroom, but nothing we can't live without. There is plently of room for visitors, and we have decked out the FROG (finished room over garage) with a bed for all those that come to stay.
The 20th we had delivery of all our goods from Australia, we had been told that somethings were damaged so were not looking forward to unpacking. Thankfully there was only one box that was damaged, and all of the contents survived!!! The only thing that broke was a wine glass that I smashed taking it out of the dishwasher later that day, oops :)
Since then we have spent a lot of time shopping to get things that we forgot, or electrical stuff that the furniture company pays for. Ted took a few photos of our 1st trip to Walmart (yes it is scary, but so cheap). All the stuff in the photo we got for about $250!! Crazy :)
Ted is very happy that the furniture company also provided him with a ride on lawn mower.........I'm just glad about the King size bed, all three of us fit (me, Ted and my body pillow!!!) I'm also very happy with the kitchen here, big and new and the oven is self cleaning, what more could a girl want???
As for Charlotte she has successfully spread her toys from one end of the house to the other, I need to buy her a toy box or something similar for her room, it's on my list :) She is loving her new bed, complete with Dora Duvet (bed spread), we have just put a side rail on the bed, as she has fallen out a few times, poor little princess, Mummy and Daddy only got her a single bed (for the last month in hotels and the appartment she got used to sleeping in a double!!)
We took Charlotte for a tour of the hospital were Baby Budd will be born. She had to take a dolly with her to learn how to put a diaper on (hehe, I mean nappy). We also saw the special room where the baby will be born and the room where mummy will stay over, as well as the special crib the baby will sleep in. The midwife talked to the kids about how they need to be quite when the baby is sleeping (yeah good luck) and how it is very important to wash your hands before touching the baby. I think Charlotte is starting to figure out that something is going on, when we got home she asked where the baby was..........I told her it wasn't cooked yet :)
My new OB practice here seems pretty good, I'm trying to see every doctor before Budd arrives as they take it in turns on call. Hopefully whoever it ends up being is good. Only about 8 1/2 weeks to go now, then we will be a family of 4!!! All the neighbours seem excited that there will be a new baby around..........most of their grandkids are 4 or 5, so the ladies are very excited!! As soon as we moved in, both the neighbours on either side and the ones across the road came over to say hi, and we got brownies, yum!!! Everyone is very friendly here.
Ted says work is pretty slow, he has been lucky enough to take a few hours off here and there to look after Charlotte while I go to dr's appointments and things. He got out for a game of golf on the weekend with the other Aussie's here, the boys played golf while the girls drank vodka, well those that could!! I am now able to get my personalised number plates, we were trying to think of Aussie words to use (max 7 letters), I think we should get 'SHELIA' on the Nissan & 'BLOKE' on the Stang :) One of the other Aussie families here already has 'AUS5IE' I might check for other combinations, please send any suggestions :)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Stang!!

Its my turn to write again (I have to contribute at some stage!)..... Today we bought our second car. We have discovered that the modern nuclear family of the US must have at least two cars, or three if you can afford it..... we are going with two. Jenn got sick of having to drop me off at work in the morning so there was a little prodding for me to make a decision on which car to buy.

..... I got a Mustang!!!! And yes I will let Jenn drive it every so often. We figured, when in Rome.... so we now have an American Muscle car! To be original, I think I will call it "The Stang". Charlotte has been walking around the apartment practicing saying "Daddy bought a Stang!" We think she likes it..... please see photos.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Washington DC - Pt 3

More photos from DC, most are self explanatory, any questions please ask. NO we did not make Charlotte sit and pose for the photo looking down towards the Reflection Pool, and YES it was raining!!

Washington DC - Pt 2

Just some photos from the trip :)

Washington DC - Pt 1

Sunday we headed off to Washington DC to do a few things, and after a very long day in the car, we finally arrived at about 8:30pm. Traffic was crazy.......the trip is about 210 miles, and it took us just over 5 hours!!! It's amazing how many accidents you can see on one trip, and everybody stops to look!! None were major, but enough to slow done 2-3 lanes to a stop, and it's not suprising, indicating when changing lanes here is not done very often. I have added a few photos from the car so you can see the size of the roads, can you believe that a lot of the highway (interstate) is 4-5 lanes, each way!! Charlotte was very comfortable with her new DVD player in the back, so thankfully she behaved.

Monday Ted had to drop in at the Australian Embassy to meet his new boss and a few other Aussie's and Admin people that work there. (I had to drop him off and for those of you that have seen the movie "The American President" with Annette Bening, I got stuck on Dupont Circle too!! Traffic in DC is mental, and very confusing. Later when I had to drive back to pick Ted up I was very happy with myself when I didn't get stuck on Dupont Circle!!) Ted was also very keen to get into the cellar. The Embassy has a cellar full of Australian wine and seeing we were not allowed to bring our own, we needed to stock up. I had my fingers crossed they had a stash of Cadbury chocolate, but no such luck :( Hence we came home with a boot, (sorry I meant trunk) full of Aussie beer and wine, thank goodness for the SUV. While Ted was busy "working" Charlotte and I did a spot of shopping, Ted was nice enough to book us into a hotel on top of a shopping center called the Chevy Chase Pavillion!! Shell the photo of Charlotte with the sunglasses is for you!!

After this we decided that driving was a bad idea, so we caught the Metro (subway) in towards the White House. Charlotte loved the Metro, as you can see by the photos. We managed to see the White House, the Washington Memorial, the Lincon Memorial and the Reflection Pool, as well as the World War II Memorial. We saw so much more in the distance but, as we only had half the day we ran out of time. Next time we will spend a lot more time looking around as it is one of the most impressive places either of us has seen.

After a big day walking (all 3 of us had blisters) we had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. The meals were massive and none of us finished our main meals so the "Cheesecake" I got to "takeout". Later after Charlotte was in bed Ted and I shared it and it was pretty good!!

Today (Tuesday) we spent the day picking out our furniture for the house. Some of what we got I really liked, and some was just ok, but it's only for the next 2 years so no dramas. We still have to go and buy appliances for the kitchen, and I will also need to get some new bits and pieces like sheets for Charlotte, some baby stuff, but that will be fun :) We had a much better trip back this afternoon (only just over 3 hours) and were all glad to be home (sounds funny saying that, but it is starting to feel a bit that way). Back to normal boring duties tomorrow like grocery shopping and being a house wife!!!

P.S. Blogger isn't letting me download the photos so ill try again later :(

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The 4th of July!!!

Sorry for no post the last few days, it's been another busy few :) Hopefully we get the house sorted soon and then I will have a few minutes before the baby arrives!!!

We had our first 4th of July on Sunday, WOW Americans do get excited. We were planning on having a pretty quite morning as we had big plans for the evening. We had looked at a house in an area of Virginia Beach called Great Neck so thought we would check out the local park. It had a play area, so it was a good excuse to let Charlotte play outside for a while. When we were there a fire truck came by with lights flashing and about 30 kids on bikes behind it!! All the kids had decorated their bikes with red, white and blue!!! The fire truck stopped at the park and the entire neighbourhood turned up shortly after :) Everybody just assumed we were part of the neighbourhood and asked us to join in playing volleyball. We spoke with a few of the people to get an idea about the area and then left as we felt a little rude crashing the party!!!

After that we went home (I had a sleep, Charlotte decided not too!!) to get ready to go to the oceanfront (that’s what they call the actual beach here). We got there about 4:30pm, and met up with a few other Aussie families. The beach here is extremely long and there was no room to move on any of it (for those in Sydney think Bondi Beach on NYE but about 20 times longer and for the Brisbane people Ted says think Kings Beach in the middle of summer, again about 20 times longer). We found a spot and spent a few hours swimming and covering ourself in loads of sunscreen, once again it was about 35-40 degrees. Its daylight savings time here too so the sun finally went down about 8pm. Just before it did we moved up to a grassy patch just in front of a stage they had set up for the free band that night. The band was a Bruce Springsteen tribute, Mum you would be proud, Charlotte danced the entire time!!! At 9:30pm they had some fireworks over the water which was cool, Charlotte thought they were very pretty!!! After a long walk back to the car, we finally got home about midnight (the traffic was horrible). But we had a great time so it was worth it!! Charlotte fell asleep on the walk back to the car, in typical Charlotte form :) Sorry no photo, we didn’t take our iPhones, Beck one of the other girls got some photos of Charlotte dancing, I'll attach one!!

Yesterday we had a pretty quite day, Ted had the day off due the 4th of July holiday. We ventured out for a quick look at the NEX at Norfolk to buy Charlotte something to play with, we still don't have our removal so she is pretty bored. The NEX is like a massive MYER but all tax free and discounted. (Dad don’t buy a suitcase, they have good ones at the NEX, you can buy one when you get here, just bring ours over )

This afternoon we went to have another look at house we saw on the weekend (the one near the park with the fire truck in Great Neck). It's not a perfect place but it's big, the kitchen and 2 of the bathrooms are new. It has a fenced yard for Charlotte, plus a FROG (Finished Room Over Garage) for those that decide to visit :) The wall paper in one room is interesting but I can be creative with my interior decorating if I need :) The area is the best part about it, only 15mins to work for Ted and its well known for being a great area for schools (preschool for Charlotte when she turns 3) and community, as we saw on the 4th. We have made an offer and the owners seem more than happy to have us live there for the next 2yrs, just have to send the lease to the Australian Embassy to check over. I'm sure there will be no problems, the owners are US retired military, and have been renting this house to other military members for years :) Hopefully we can get to Washington DC soon to pick furniture and then can move in shortly after that, and get the Aussie flag flying (so many houses over here have the USA flag up in the front yard or at the front door, so it is expected that we will fly an Australian flag in our yard). I’ll attach a few photos of the inside of the house, I don’t have any of the outside yet.

Hope all is well back in Australia, make sure you email us every now and again to keep us updated on what’s going on :)