It’s been a while since I’ve given any Olmsted Updates because it’s basically a waiting game! We have hundreds of things to do to prepare, but we can’t do it until Jay gets orders. He can’t get orders until a teacher picks up a contract. A teacher can’t pick up a contract until they put in paperwork for a class to be opened up...etc etc.. But! They initiated paperwork for a Vietnamese class to open up and started to find teachers to contract in to teach the class.

Until then, we did as much as we can to prepare for the transition. I had a To Do list and I’m happy to say we’re getting most of it done!

We got the kids a passport and after bothering about 15 different friends and strangers about where to live in DC, we finally got a place! We’re moving to Old Town Alexandria, VA in the beginning of July! Yes, this is place 3/3 that we will be moving into without seeing it first. Ah, Military Life. We are downsizing, A LOT. We won’t be able to bring a lot of stuff to Vietnam, and you basically have to sacrifice the blood of an animal, your first born child, and your left arm in order to find a NICE place to live in a GOOD location in that area. The DC area is SO EXPENSIVE. We’re going to splurge for a parking spot in our complex but we will mostly be taking the Metro, since you have to pay to park and the price of gas is unreal there. We will be downsizing from a house to a three-bedroom apartment and putting our stuff in storage. We figure, we’ll only be there for less than a year before moving to the other side of the world – why not begin to downsize now?

We began sorting through our stuff to figure out what we need to bring, what we need to put in storage, what we need to sell, and what we can just give away. A storage unit can get pretty pricey depending on how much space you need or if you need it temperature controlled. That was another expense we didn’t plan for! So if you're in the Louisville/Ft Knox area, please buy our furniture. :) thank you.

I signed Caleb up for KINDERGARTEN. And cried. We made sure to pick an apartment that’s close to a good PUBLIC school because we’re SO TIRED of paying for daycare and the tuition to attend a private school is the equivalent of two of our mortages.

Speaking of daycare, The Olmsted allows the spouse to attend language training with the service member, which is TOTALLY COOL! I loooove school. I love going, I love learning, I love taking notes, I just love it. However, that means I’d have to put the other two kids in daycare while Caleb is at school and while Jay and I attend class. I called around and the average tuition for daycare in the area is $1600-$2200…. PER KID. PER MONTH. $1600 for a PreK, $1800 for a Toddler, and $2200 for an infant. That’s like… almost $6,000 a month. For child care. Ridiculous. Anyone wanna quit their job and move in with my family so you can take care of my kids? I won’t pay you $6,000 a month though, sorry! We have no idea what we’re going to do yet. I’m going to call around to some more places to find better pricing for quality care and a good curriculum. If not, I think I might just have to bite the bullet and stay home and somehow learn Vietnamese at night at home.

Something else I began to think about was the TEFL Program (Teaching English as a Foreign Lanugage). I have been busting my butt for the past year and a half to complete my Masters. I got my degree in March, but I don't want all of that schooling to go to waste. The TEFL Program is a six-month certification that allows you to teach English in a different country. It sets you up with housing, stipend, and visas. It’s kind of expensive, the Army won’t pay for it, and the visa issue might be a little sticky because Jay and I would have different visas and we don’t know where the kids would fall under – me or him. If I completed the TEFL program, I would have a work visa and I don’t know if I would have to commit to a certain number of years to Teaching English, so we’ll see!

Last but not least, we will be traveling to DC in June for the Olmsted Scholar Reunion and Welcome Weekend for the new class. This will be super interesting because we will have a 2-week old baby. I’m super blessed to have a supportive mom (who is also a RETIRED NURSE!) who will fly from the West Coast to help us out as we make this huge transition from a family of four to a family of five and from moving from state to state. Mom will be coming with us during the weekend to DC, so I won’t just be leaving my 2 week old. The Olmsted Board of Directors is really good about keeping us informed – we already have the itinerary for the weekend, so I can plan pumping sessions, feedings, and sleep around the events. My dad also wants to join in on the fun, so he’s going to meet us in DC to take the other two kids to the parks and museums so they’re not bothering the new baby bro. We made sure to plan the trip around the newborn doctor appointments.

I’m more of a fly-by-the-seat of my pants, down for anything type of person while Jay is a planner. He plans for his next plan and then the plan after that. We balance each other out perfectly. Here’s to checking more things off the forever long to do list! <3

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