Saturday, January 21, 2012

Update and Q&A

Hi all--I wanted to give an update to my blog and do a little Q&A to give an update on how things are going.
Why did you chose the name proud american girl for your blog name?
Mike and I were brainstorming what names would be available and trying to think of something original.  I'm very patriotic and this was one of the first phrases Mike thought of.  We tried it and it was available.  Not much thought to it and it was done.  We had a flag painted in our office in our Chaska home and we are probably the only ones that think its cool :)  One wall was left white, one wall blue, one wall red, and the flag wall--with 13 stripes and 50 white stars in the blue corner square cut out from contact paper.  It's kind of ironic that we moved to our nation's capital, Washington, D.C. and I'm not too happy here.  And we haven't seen a lot of the historic things.  Most museums are not kid-friendly nor would our kids understand some of the memorials at this age.  And I've been to them all before without kids and don't recall the need to go back to any of them.
How do you use this blog thing?
I have no idea :) I barely know how to post a blog.  I dunno if followers get e-mail updates when I post an update.  Do you?  Any tips or insights you could give me would be greatly appreciated.  I'm trying to figure out this blog world myself.  I'd love to get e-mail updates from other people's blogs when they post something--is this possible and how?

What are you doing with your Chaska home?
We had it on the market to sell for about 4 months starting right after we moved and then found it too hard to compete with 2 short sales/foreclosures in the neighborhood.  We knew it would go low given the market but it just went too below.  It's easy for others to drop so low when they don't pay for the loss out of their pocket.  We just ethically couldn't do the short sale process even though we technically had a qualified "hardship".  We also determined this won't be a long-term move and decided to rent it.  It is still on the market to rent and we are praying it gets rented by the end of first quarter 2012...hopefully we will get someone to rent it for a year soon!  Two house payments and utilities are getting old and annoying :)

Are you staying in Virginia for the long haul?
No.  Ask me in 1-6 months and I might have a different answer :)  There are so many unknowns right now and this is so not like me.  I'm a planner and want to know my future plans.  But right now, I have to put this in God's hands and take it one day at a time in our current house and life in Virginia.  Mike is looking at a couple jobs in MN but options are few with his e-discovery field for mgmt positions and we have no strong leads at this point.  We are in an 18 month lease for the house we are renting and if we left VA within the next 12 months, we'd owe the relocation costs back to his work.  So we are looking at coming back realistically in a year or two but we just don't know right now.  There's a quote hanging above our door to the garage saying, "Walk with the Lord and He will walk you home".  I don't know which home this is referring to yet--MN or VA and I'll keep praying about this.

Why don't you post more updates on your blog?
I've discovered I'm not good at this long distance relationship thing--sorry in advance.
I'd like my posts to be positive and uplifting and feel bad posting how depressed and frustrated I am with living in Virginia.  (Disclaimer to my Virginia friends--its not that Virginia is bad--I just have had a hard time finding activities for the kids and meeting people that want to get together.  Everyone seems so busy.)
And with baby coming soon, I have been really tired and resting when not caring for the kids.  It's probably good I can't find activiites to sign them up for.  Andrew and Katie are usually in at least 2 activities at a time throughout the year and now Ryan is old enough for some things, too, if we were in Chaska.  Right now we are just in Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and Katie's is just like 3 times a month.  But I keep telling myselft this will benefit me when the baby comes that we won't have too much activities to get everyone to.

What do you miss so much about MN?
1.  MY FRIENDS!  It's hard to see gatherings I so want to be at on facebook.
2.  My neighbors and neighborhood.  You don't realize how good you have it until you leave sometimes.
3.  Having a daycare--I thought this was bringing me down and holding me back from playdates, etc. but it really was a part of who I was and made me a better mom to my own kids.  And they had instant friends over all of the time.  If I return, I know things won't be the same since all have moved on and are doing good but I'd like to have before and after school kids that are Katie and Andrew's age.
4.  My home.  It was our "home" and where we raised our kids in.  No one else would like our home as much as we do since it doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles and upgrades besides the lots of square footage.  Just like how we don't love this VA house the way the owners do.  They talk about all of these things they love (we are renting and they built it and lived in the house for 17 years) that just don't matter to us and I'm sure it's how I would talk about and like my Chaska home.   I know this one sounds materialistic but we did down-size to move here due to cost of living adjustments, etc.  I miss the open floorplan and storage space we had everywhere.
What do you like about Virginia?
1.  We are living life at a slower pace since we know less people and can't find things to do.  This is good and bad--some days it drives me crazy and other days I'm just fine with it.
2.  It is nice to not have to wear a winter coat out most days.  The weather is in the 30's for the highs lately so that is nice.  But its still too cold to go out and play at parks for a long period of time or do bike rides, etc.  This is supposively milder than what it usually is, just like how MN has it this year, too.
3.  I will say this move has given me a whole new perspective and I have learned lots.  I was so narrow minded and had only lived in MN all my life. 
4.  Still trying to figure it out :) :)  All of the museums/memorials are boring to the kids and we have no sitters so we haven't really done any sight-seeing.  I've seen most of it before so I don't feel the urge to go back.  And the congestion/business of downtown DC scares me :)
When is the baby coming?
Wish I knew!  The clinic I chose is not being helpful and not willing to schedule an induction.  Their policy is they don't schedule anything until the 37th week and then the scheduled date cannot be earlier than after week 39.  I'm going to go before week 39 so I'm pretty sure so the induction plans are not possible at this time.  Katie was 2 weeks early and Ryan was almost 3 weeks early.  I feel like I could go any day now but we'll see.  I'm at 35.5 weeks right now and 40 week point is 2-23.  I'm not a fan of this clinic or the doctors and had to choose someone from the internet since I didn't know anyone to ask for a referral when we came to VA.  Uggh.
What are you doing with the kids when you have the baby?
Good question.  We may have to take all 3 kids with us to have the baby, depending on how and when this all works out.  We are pretty protective with our kids and don't have a lot of close relationships with other families yet, especially with Ryan.  We are going to try to ask one of our neighbor friends to take Katie and Andrew for a bit, depending on day and time.  And if it happens overnight, maybe one of the parents can come over and stay at our house until Ryan wakes up around 6 or 7 am.  Then Mike will have to come back and get the kids and bring them to the hospital or get them off to school.  Once we go into labor, we'll be calling Britni or Mike's parents and one of them will find the next flight available and come help us.  This might be a day or two though and Mike will have to manage the kids until one of them comes and I manage the baby and me.  Hoping labor is fast and baby is fine and all goes fine.
I hope everyone is doing well.  Sorry for being so long-winded in my update.  I miss getting updates from everyone when I see them at various events or playdates.  I'd love to hear from you and how you and/or your kids are doing, etc.  Stay warm!