30 October, 2011

Three month update. And snow?

It has been a full 3 months since my last post on this blog, meaning THREE months since we moved back to the US from Stockholm. So much has changed! And is changing!

But before any real update, happy halloween. We spent our Halloween Saturday night (when most people shoulda been dressed up and drunk) watching movies under piles of quilts, since the heat in our new building hasn't turned on yet. And we had a frickin' BLIZZARD on the East Coast in October, making it way too cold to do anything but make things in the oven and then leave it on and open for extended stretches. We checked: it was 15c degrees in Stockholm; 6c in Washington D.C.

Anyway, Stu & I spent the first nearly two months of our return in Virginia, living with family, catching up with friends, applying to jobs, eating awesome and cheap American food, and watching a whole lotta crappy morning news shows (pathetic, I know, but I didn't realize how much I missed the Today show and Good Morning America.)  There was nasty DC August heat, a hurricane or two, an earthquake, a tornado, and now, a snow storm in October.

We moved back in my 7th month of pregnancy, so the slow pace of transition was a really, really good one for me. Finally got our shipment of stuff from Sweden almost a month later than planned, but all intact and with few major problems. But by late September, we still didn't want to *unpack* our Sweden boxes without knowing where at least one job would be. We'd both had a few job interviews but no real bites, and my belly kept getting bigger, which made life a little more stressful since we didn't quite feel settled yet and the range of possible scenarios when Baby arrived was sooooooo wide. Oh, and diapers are expensive.

But within literally 12 hours of each other, Stu and I both got AWESOME job offers in DC, which we both accepted embarrassingly quickly ("Really? You want to employ me? Ohmygodyesyesyes!" It was seriously like a marriage proposal for me. At 8 months pregnant, a shotgun wedding?) Within a week, we bought a car and rented and moved up to an apartment in Arlington, and basically did a complete 180 from the "back-up" plans we had put in place.
Dressed up and gigantic!
Stu has been at his new job at a big consulting firm here in DC for the last few weeks, and so far likes it a lot. I am incredibly excited to start my new position as an art reference librarian with the Smithsonian (the job I have been working towards for years now.)  However, I don't know *when* that start date will be, since I have been sitting around waiting for my federal background check to process for the last month, and I have exactly 3 weeks until my due date. Best case scenario: I start November 7, work for 2 weeks, then pop out a healthy baby boy in a quick and pain-free delivery, just in time for Thanksgiving. Buuuut, I am full-term and could literally go into labor at any time, and the government is frickin' slow. So I won't be surprised if I have this baby the day I get told I can start work, then immediately take maternity leave until late January (and the quick & pain-free delivery was probably never in the cards.)

So here we are, in our last few weeks (or days?!?) of being a family of two, still figuring out the day-to-day grind. I had to find a new doctor near our new place, which is really tough when you are on Medicaid and 34 weeks pregnant and in the DC area. And the doctor aside, finding day care in this area is damn near impossible: 10-12 month waiting lists for centers that charge $1900/month tuition for an infant. Almost a year? "Tuition" for a 3-month old?! $1900?!?  Needless to say, we were completely ruined by the prospect of Sweden's system of health and child care.

The nursery in process.
And we miss a lot of aspects of our life in Stockholm, the city, our friends there, our awesome apartment. It isn't completely gone, though. I will probably never wear shoes in my house again. We still speak in Swenglish to each other, though I'd say the most oft used phrase is "Vad fan gör du?" by Stu to me, and rightly so, since pregnant women do a lot of strange things ;). We made kardemummakaka last night in an attempt to warm up our frigid apartment. We've gone to an event or two at the House of Sweden. And I have spent more money than I would like to admit at Ikea recently.

But we definitely think, especially with a little clarity from these last 3 months, that moving back to the US was the absolute best possible choice for us. And also that our time in Stockholm was so, so, so worth it. The travels and the experiences, and even the education (though I complained a whole lot about mine!), were life-changing, and I can honestly say we are in a better place in our lives than we would have been without those two years in Sweden.

So that is a little of what we have been up to since leaving Sverige. Aside from a picture or two to announce our new little Swedish meatball when he comes, I probably won't post much more here, and would rather keep it as a kind of time capsule of our lagom life in Stockholm. 


  1. Congratulations on the jobs etc.!

  2. Hej, grattis till båda era nya jobb! det låter helt perfekt. Kul att få en ordentlig uppdatering av hur ni har det. Du skriver så roligt att det vore tråkigt om det här blir ditt sista blogginlägg, du kanske borde skapa en ny blogg om livet i DC och hur det är att vara mamma?
    Jag kom till Boston igår och börjar mitt nya jobb imorgon, ska bli mycket roligt! ...fast jag är ganska nervös :)
    (Hoppas att ni förstår all svenska, ni måste ju hålla igång era språkkunskaper och det är fusk om ni använder google translate).
    Jag ser fram emot att komma och hälsa på er och er lilla köttbulle i DC när han äntligen kommit till världen, all lycka till!