Thursday, April 26, 2012

One day at a time

Now that we know that we are staying for in Virginia for a while, we can now move forward with home improvements and beautification.  There's only one major problem:  the budget.  Initially, we had to prioritize the areas we were going to renovate.  So first up is the kitchen.  The renovation is to commence in May.  Josh has scheduled the floors to be replaced the second week of May, then the cabinets will arrive after that.  Josh will be doing the demo and installation of the cabinets.  All of these will happen while Sam and I visit family in Texas.  I am extremely excited to have a brand new kitchen, I hope everything goes well.  

Despite the prioritization that we did and my excitement over a new kitchen, I am obsessed with our bathroom.  Our town home has an odd least for me.  We have 3 bedrooms in the second floor and 1 bathroom.  In our basement, there is a room ( I don't think it counts as a bedroom because it has no window) and a bathroom as well.  There's a small living area which we currently use as an office, but I plan on converting it as Sam's playroom/office.  Here's my beef with the upstairs bathroom:  the previous owners decided it would be cost effective to use a one tile from floor to ceiling.  So the tiles on the floor are the same tiles on the wall.  It would've been so bad if the tiles are half decent.  They're these shade of reddish brick and cream almost brown shade.  Don't get me wrong, my favorite color is red, but not this red.  Since the bathroom has no window, I feel the tiles make the bathroom extremely dark.  Another beef that with that bathroom is the glass shower door.  I find glass shower doors harder to clean and they collect soap scums easier.  With a little one using the tub, I get a little bit obsessive cleaning it.  

Now I know that remodeling the bathroom wasn't part of the plan.  However, as we were choosing our cabinets, Home Depot had a deal going on and we were able to score an extra cabinet.  Since we were getting granite countertops anyway, we figured we could use the extra cabinet in the bathroom and just replace the countertop as well with the granite.  Josh has agreed to remove the tiles off the wall and replace it with water resistant dry wall.  It seemed like a good idea at first and i'm actually excited that the bathroom will get face lift.  However, as I continue to stare at the shower area every time i'm in the bathroom, I get more and more agitated.  I've watched enough DIY shows to realize that it can be done.  I just need money.  LOL.  

So for now, i'll just have to deal with it one day at a time.  I wish I was a DIY kind of gal.  In the meantime, I will just have to wait to either get more money, or for Josh to have more time to fix this house.  And hopefully someday, when we are ready to move, we will find the perfect place where we won't have to fix anything.  A girl can dream.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Finally out of limbo, but for how long?

After our rather long vacation from Hawaii, I had to revert my mindset to living in VA.  My lifestyle is completely different depending where I am.  When i'm VA, i'm mom and wife.  When i'm in Hawaii, i'm a working mom, daughter, and wife. Needless to say, my vacation in Hawaii was more like a "working vacation," as I was allowed to work at my old company.  It was great because it allowed some flow of income.

So coming back home, I had to change routines and mindset, especially when it comes to finances.  After Josh bought our townhouse last year and after seeing it, I was not a happy person, and if I have the means, I would just raze the house and build it from the ground.  But I don't have the means, and now I have to settle making small renovations at a time.  So our first project is the kitchen, not only because the kitchen is hideous, it's also falling apart.  Our decision to make a kitchen renovation is out of necessity and I'm glad that we have parents who are supportive financially, as we wouldn't be able to afford it (we were planning to use our tax refund...sadly, we don't have much refund despite purchasing the home and a child).  

So with all the planning and looking at samples at Home Depot and scheduling to put new wood floors on the dining room and kitchen, I was getting pretty excited about the changes that are about to happen.  Though our budget is limited, I am just extremely grateful that we are still able to do it.  However, a few days after we came back from Hawaii, Josh shared the news that they might be sending us back and soon.  At first I was excited...moving back to Hawaii meant going back to work, meaning more financial freedom, and more family support.  One of the things that makes it difficult living in VA is the fact that we don't have any family around, and it gets frustrating when I just want to go out or go away from Sam when he gets too difficult to handle.  So hearing that we might go back to Hawaii was good news to me.  But after that had set, I realized what moving back would mean.  What about our house?  What about our plans for renovation?  How are we going to move our things?  Where will we store our things?  What are we going to do with our cars?  Is the company going to pay for our move? And what about Josh's school?  He's supposed to start his second masters degree at George Mason University this fall.  Now what?

Since it wasn't a done deal, we were put in a limbo.  Josh's "bosses" have to consult with each other and "figure it out" but Josh was 90% sure that it was going to happen.  We didn't know how the process would go and how quick or how long they would get it resolved.  We decided to keep it to ourselves until recently from our families, especially mine so that they won't get their hopes up.  I was trying not to get my hopes up, but I couldn't avoid feeling a bit of excitement because there are so many advantages of going back.

For a month, I bugged Josh about the progress.  There was so many things going on in his company that there was no telling when we were going to find out if we were going or not.  Since we didn't know if we were staying or leaving, I held up trying to "beautify" our home.  I didn't want to spend the money and the time to something that we were not going to enjoy.  Yesterday, the answer finally came.  It wasn't the answer I was expecting and I don't know if it was the answer I wanted.  WE ARE STAYING IN VA.  Whatever "turmoil" they have at Josh's work resulted to Josh not going to Hawaii after all.  

At first I was disappointed.  I was already picturing myself going back to work, saving up money, and eventually getting a house there.  I was looking forward to being able to shop without a toddler screaming and date nights with my love.  As Josh explained the situation, I saw those mental picture slowly fade.  I was sad.  I cried for a little while. But in the end I realized, I can finally enjoy our new kitchen once it's done.  I can finally decorate our home...slowly of course since I have some financial constraints.  And I can spend time with Sam and continue to watch him grow.  I was heartbroken at the fact that we're still not going to have the family support close by, but I took comfort knowing that once in a while, they could visit us or we could visit them.  We are scheduled to have family come to visit us this summer so that is exciting.  

So we are finally assured that we are staying put and that gives us some peace of mind.  At least we won't have to worry about what we're going to do with our house and things.  I hate moving, so knowing that we are not moving is also a comfort.  Our 3-5 year plan is in place again....Josh can go back to school again, and with experience and 2 masters degree, who knows where that's going to lead him in the future.  As for me, my career can wait.  Right now, I just want to be wife and mom.  

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Back to Virginia

As everyone know, we went back to Hawaii the day after Christmas and celebrated Sam's first birthday there.  Josh came back to Virginia after New Year's and Sam and I stayed behind, partly because Josh was going to come to Hawaii for work late February, and the other part is that so Sam can spend more time with family.  The time flew and before I knew it, 3 months was over, and now we are back in the east coast again.  

The last 3 months didn't go uneventful, at least the first 2 and a half was.  About a week before we came back to Virginia, I had my very first ER visit.  I was at work one afternoon and felt like going to the bathroom. I had this sudden onset of stomachache:  severe right upper abdominal pain.  I felt clammy; I was sweating but yet felt cold at the same time.  I had a co-worker drive me home as a I could not endure the pain.  I refused to go to the ER or have them call 911.  Let's just say I have an aversion to the hospital despite working there in the past.  My only hospitalization was when I birthed Sam.  

I rested and attempted to sleep when I got home.  The pain subsided but decided to come back after a few hours.  I decided then to go to the hospital and asked Josh to drive me there. Lucky for me, Josh was already there, and we were with family making it easier to leave Sam at home.  At the ER, I waited 4 hours to be seen, only to confirm what I suspected:  I have gall stones.  I opted not to have surgery.  The ER doctor said it was early enough that surgery is optional at this point.  He prescribed me pain and nausea medicine and sent me home.  I've had 1 attack since then, which was just last week.  I am so grateful that Josh's work is flexible and he was able to care for Sam while I was sick.  Though the pain medications took the edge away, the pain can be excruciating at its peak, leaving me mostly immobile.  Thank goodness that's least for now.  What I've learned though is that I really have to watch what I eat from now on.  I can't say that we've been totally unhealthy eaters.  But of course, the unhealthy seems to taste the best, making you want to eat more. 

Since our return, we've been able to do some fun stuff.  A couple of weeks ago, we were able to take Sam to the National Zoo.  He didn't seem interested initially.  I think he was a bit overwhelmed by the crowd.  He warmed up as the day progress, and even ended up passing out on his bike/stroller.

This past weekend, we had planned to see the Cherry blossoms.  However, we were late...the blossoms were all again.  We still had a great time walking along the river and going to the Lincoln Memorial.  Sam enjoyed "weeding" and playing with Dandelions.  

A gracious lady was kind enough to take this picture of us.  Our first family picture since we came back.  I really enjoy this moments.  Sometimes when we're here, I feel like my focus is just getting the chores out of the way and making sure that Sam is safe when he plays.  Taking an afternoon just to take in the sights is a real treat and it keeps my mind off of my messy house.

Sam is growing up so quickly, I wish time would slow down a bit.  Some days though, I wish he would grow up faster so he'll be able to communicate to me what he wants instead of screaming and crying.  Nevertheless, I still can't believe that this beautiful boy is mine.

On the days that we are home, this is pretty much what he does.  So many toys and he chooses to sit inside a box.  As of this moment though, he is quiet and is enjoying watching Yo Gabba Gabba.  It's a rare quiet time for me and I'm glad coz I was able to write and share this blog.

I don't really know how long we're going to live for.  I really enjoyed my 3 months in Hawaii, and sometimes I yearn working and being able to leave Sam with people I trust and have some breathing room.  I still don't feel comfortable hiring a baby sitter... I just don't know how they're going to treat Sam and at the same time, I don't know how Sam is going to react to strangers.  For the moment however, we are once again home and loving being a family.