Monday, December 16, 2013

Washington D.C. and Stuff

The "and Stuff" part of this blog entry heading gives me creative license to write about whatever the heck I want and in a completely disorganized manner.  Buckle up!

Last night, while watching the tenth-to-last episode in the 85-episode "Ugly Betty" TV series, I decided that I would blog this morning.  I didn't have it in me last night as I lounged on the couch, wasting precious sleep by watching TV, then starting mindlessly at my phone for at least half an hour before hitting the hay, but I knew I'd have it in me come morning.  I even decided, during one of my two allotted "snooze" sessions (does anyone really get up the first time their alarm goes off?) that I would blog every morning for one straight week.  Not every day, but every morning.  Because even though mornings are usually the height of my productivity, lately I've only been using my mornings to read.  There's nothing wrong with that, of course, but for the last few weeks I've had the energy to be productive throughout most of the day, and even sometimes in the evenings, so I haven't felt the same pressure to Hurry and Get Things Done as soon as my feet hit the floor.  (I blame it on nesting, and I'll write more about that in a moment.)

Speaking of books, I'm afraid my reading frenzy is slowing down, and will come to a screeching halt as soon as Baby Boy arrives.  I started the book War and Remembrance the other day, but I'm not sure that's the best book for me to tackle right now, what with the never-ending to-do list, Christmas in 9 days, the baby due in less than a month, and Chet's homecoming.  I need to shelve it for now, and accept the fact that that reading is going to have to take a back seat for a while.  Probably until Mother's Day.

I'm going to tell you about Washington D.C. before I totally lose you.

Remember in this post when I casually mentioned we were moving to Washington D.C. after the first of the year?  Yeah, that's still happening.  The original plan was for Chet to finish this deployment, for us to move to Austin, TX in May/June for Chet to start the summer semester in pursuit of his master's degree, and to have Baby #3 in a birthing center in Austin, far away from a military hospital (I can hear God laughing right now, can you?).  Obviously, none of that is happening, other than the fact that Baby #3 is on his way.  That's okay though, because, really, what do I know about making plans? 

Anyway, before Chet deployed, he was approached by his XO (Executive Officer) about a possible job that needed to be filled in D.C.  We politely declined the generous offer (ha!), but it kept coming up.  Chet and I talked it over, and knew/decided that it wouldn't be the worst thing on earth for us to take a detour to D.C. before him going to grad school, but we weren't going to volunteer.  It seemed as if the issue was laid to rest, until a few weeks into his deployment, when he got a phone call saying he was picked for the job.  The next day we had written orders to D.C.  (For those of you who are familiar with military orders, you know that this almost never happens.  Usually you are begging for your written orders so that you can officially begin planning your next move, but a lack of government funds almost always prevents you from receiving your orders until the last minute.  Unless, of course, you're in a situation where you're "volun-TOLD" to go to Washington D.C. rather than grad school.)

So, we're moving to D.C.  Where are we going to live?  Your guess is as good as mine!  Even though Chet and I lived near D.C. for four years apiece, neither of us knows anything about living in the area, especially not with kids.  Because of this ignorance, I was really stressed about the move for several weeks, but I am better now.  I've exhausted the amount of Internet research I can possibly do about living in the area, and Chet and I have settled on a list of priorities that will help steer us toward a good home for us at this stage in our lives.  And I hired a realtor.

Our main priority is for Chet to have the shortest possible commute to work.  Traffic in the D.C./northern Virginia area is horrendous, so even if you live only 10 miles from the office, you'll be commuting 45 minutes to an hour (or more) each way, every day.  And with three small kids at home, that's not something either of us can deal with right now.  That being said, we have to balance a short-as-possible commute with a home that is not in a high-crime area and that is assigned to a decent (not spectacular) school for Sydney to attend (she'll start Kindergarten in the fall of '15).  Those priorities sound simple, but it took us weeks and weeks to nail them down, and it helps to sort of have a mission statement in working with a realtor whose expertise I fully trust to help steer us in the right direction.

Here is our timeline:
1. Have baby/Chet returns from deployment (we're not sure of the order in which these two events will happen)
2. Chet, Ashley, and Baby travel to D.C.-area within the first two weeks of February to look at houses realtor has found and to sign a lease (girls will stay in MS with grandma)
3. Finalize moving details and actually pack up house to move (the moving company will pack up the house, but it's never as easy as it sounds)
4. Move to D.C. end of February/beginning of March (exact dates are a moving target at this point)

Fun, right?!

So that's all I know about D.C. at this point.  I'll keep you posted.

I mentioned nesting earlier.  Since Baby Boy is not getting his own room at this house (he'll sleep in the bassinet in our bedroom until we move, and because I want to keep a guest bedroom open for guests to come stay with us and help us survive these next few months), my nesting instincts have been focused on other projects.  Christmas and moving are two areas in which I feel like I've been able to stay more organized than I normally might have had my mothering hormones not been in overdrive.  I've also tackled some of those wishful thinking to-do list items.  You know, the ones where you're laughing a little to yourself as you write them down, knowing that realistically you'll get to those items when you retire at the age of 65...if then.  Anyway, it's been great crossing some of those things off my list, but I don't feel "done" yet.  My problem is that I keep starting new projects, and I need to finish some up before starting new ones.  Another reason I should not read "War and Remembrance" right now.

I hope I didn't bore anyone to tears.  Here are some pictures of the girls:
Reindeer Shirts

Christmas Garb

We went to see the movie "Frozen" with my friend/neighbor Sara

Syd's footed pajamas -- she wants to wear these all day every day

Listening to Daddy's voice read "'Twas the Night Before Christmas"

Christmas PJs

More Christmas Garb


Anonymous said...

LOL'D at Sydney in the final pic. There's lots going on in the Wyckoff household these days!

Chet and Ashley said...

Yeah, Sydney put an interesting spin on that last picture by sticking out her tongue! Stinker!