Living in America 2013

(382 Posts)
smartieknickers Wed 30-Jan-13 22:31:40

Howdy y'all! I was a long time lurker on the Living in America 2012 thread and in the spirit of my new year's resolution to 'get involved in more stuff' I thought I'd start a new thread, what with it being a month into 2013 and all that... So who's with me? grin

Link to previous thread

Brief introduction: I initially moved from Scotland to Houston, TX with my DH and DS (now 2) in 2011, but we moved to Dallas in September last year. We never really felt quite at home in Houston but for some reason we really like life in Dallas, even though it's pretty similar in a lot of ways. We have just today finally dispatched with the last of our Christmas visitors (we've had parents and in-laws here back-to-back for 5 solid weeks!!) so I'm feeling like I deserve a large wine and a medal

How are you FringeEvent? Drop me an email once you know if you're joining the riot family!

Haveacrumpet Mon 11-Feb-13 02:54:47

Hi everyone,
Can I join? I'm in Florida with American DH.
Quite like it here, but really struggling to make good friends. I'm ok starting up convos with people, but moving it to that next stage is proving tricky. Even when I do suggest meeting for a coffee, most people seem to say "yeh, sure", but then it never really happens. I swear it was never this hard in the uk!!!

Oh well, I won't give up grin

Want2bSupermum Mon 11-Feb-13 07:54:20

Hi everyone, I am still super excited by the feedback I got at work. I wasn't expecting it and took the job having been told that there was no way I would be promoted this year. I need to move up the ladder because down the road I need the flexibility the more senior positions offer to have the work life balance that I want.

crumpet I hear you on making friends here. I think the best thing to do is get involved with charity work. Like brow I do sport based charity stuff. I did a local 5km run last year and through work I have always done the JPM corporate challenge. It also helps having a super cute DD. People make and effort to invite her for playdates in part because when they come over I do stuff they don't necessarily want to do in their homes. Not many people here are up for letting their under 2's decorate their own pizza or do potato painting. It is a lot of effort and I am eternally tired but it has helped me. I joined our local mother and more group and found one other mother who I get on well with. The others were not my cup of tea but I am thankful for finding the one friend. If you don't have children it is much harder but the charity route is normally pretty good.

Having said that one of the things I have wanted to do is a meet up here in Northern NJ. It is looking like March at this point as my CS is booked for the 25th and I am fully booked for the next two weekends unless midweek works for everyone. We have a dog (a golden) so if you have allergies we need to pick a day with good weather so we can decamp to the park. I have my CS scheduled for the 25th......

FringeEvent Mon 11-Feb-13 13:56:27

Hello AmericasTorturedBrow! grin I'm ok, thank you - just feeling a bit fidgety this week, as I really want to get started on organising our move to CA. But DH is still 'considering' the offer (by which I mean he's keen, but is just being super diligent and making sure he's got satisfactory answers to all the questions he had following the interview and the proposal... I suppose I should be glad he's not just rushing headlong into it!). I'm completely up for it, and am feeling quite excited now that I've overcome most of the fears that were holding me back (thank you so much for the emails that helped me to get over this bump). I just want to crack on with the planning now, but am forcing myself to wait until he's officially said 'yes' to them. It's really frustrating! I'll hopefully have some news for you before the week is out. x

I'm sure he has A to ask any questions to buy if he wants another opinion email me and I'll put him in touch with DH

I've found it a weird experience making friends here, we have a handful of very good friends we made very quickly, some via friends of friends, some through DS preschool, some through DH work. But I think LA is a bit of an anomaly because it's SO transient - and to be honest I have so many numbers of random people in my phone, generally people I've met at the park, they se to give their number out willy Molly but rarely follow up

The trouble making friends thing is pretty much all of America. I too had a hard time with it, I made one through my SIL and then another through the boys starting Kindergarten together and that was it for many years, most are through the children and lately through the fitness studio I go to. But those aren't socializing type friends, just chatting and one has a child that plays with my Dd so we go to the park.
You'll hear a lot of "we should do lunch" or meet for Coffee, but it doesn't materialize. Americans who move to new areas can have the same thing happen quite often, in fact my friends here are mostly transplants from other parts themselves, only one is a local.

smartieknickers Tue 12-Feb-13 04:05:06

I totally agree about it being hard to make friends here. I know back home Brits have a reputation for having a bit of a tough exterior but here it's the opposite - lots of folk are outwardly very welcoming but often the offers to meet up for coffee or something never come to anything. I have been fairly lucky in Dallas so far but I also set up a meetup group on Meetup.com when we were in Houston and got to know lots of other expat mums that way. Definitely worth looking on Meetup to see if there's anything in your area and if there aren't any groups you fancy you can always set up your own...!

skratta Tue 12-Feb-13 17:03:04

Oh yes, making friends was so hard! Moving places in Sweden, Belfast, London- easy places to make friends. USA? No way. It's so hard, people are friendly, but for a while, you're still a stranger- people know you, but you don't go round for coffee or lunch, and it's just hard. I've met most of my friends via DH or work- work was the one thing which meant I made American friends, and although I have three or so close friends who are American (and two of them are from other states- as far as you can get from CT really), it feels like there's no one else to talk to. Nearly all of my friends who I meet outside of work/Dh are expats- although we're strong friends (most of them I've been friends with for five or six years, so comparatively, not long, but we're close) are from overseas!

Want2bSupermum Tue 12-Feb-13 18:39:53

Thinking about it I have made friends through work and yes a lot of friends are also from overseas. I met DH through friends I made playing darts in Hoboken.

I am scared of meetup. I think of the horror stories of wacko people who take part in these groups. I am also scared of craigslist while I am so pregnant. I had DH pick up baby things the other weekend. While part of me is being hormonal DH was understanding.

smartieknickers Tue 12-Feb-13 19:21:34

Want2b - I understand why you might be a bit wary of Meetup, but I've only ever got involved in mum/mom groups so not really the right profile for the axe-murderer type! smile
I have a separate email address that I use for it and I never share any of my personal details on group pages. Setting up my own group to meet other expat mums was the best thing I did - made lots of friends.

FSB Tue 12-Feb-13 22:24:43

So interesting what people have said about making friends... I was surprised by how hard it is to get past the chatting in the playground/swapping numbers for a play date (which usually never happens)..! I thought it was just californians being flakey because the two friends I have made (both out of state) commented on the same thing about People not following through. Bloody irritating tho!!

Want2bSupermum Tue 12-Feb-13 22:42:33

very true smartie. I told DH the other day that the longer i live in America the more paranoid I get. I think it might be the hormones though!

Kungfutea Wed 13-Feb-13 01:21:16

Just wondering if anyone knows what they call ready brek here? I really want to find an equivalent as its the only way my kids will eat porridge but even the stuff marketed for kids here isn't the same.

Kungfutea Wed 13-Feb-13 01:26:56

Agree about being hard to make friends btw. We're kind of lucky in NYC that people do move a lot so easier to make casual acquaintances especially through work and children's school. I don't usually feel lonely as we're always busy but I realized the other day when our babysitter bailed and dh and I couldn't go to the cinema together that I didn't have a friend who I could just call up on the spur of the moment and say 'fancy coming to the movies'. It's that kind of comfort level that I miss but I guess that takes time to acquire and I'm not naturally outgoing anyhow which doesn't help much (although moving so many times has kind of forced to get over that one somewhat!).

Want2bSupermum Wed 13-Feb-13 02:39:52

Kungfu It's called creamed wheat. It isn't bad. You know about Myers of Keswick? They nearly always have ready brek in. I think you can order it from amazon too. It is $10 a box or something silly.

We are really missing our families now we have DD and DS on the way. My Dad is flying over early this year and will be splitting his time between my sister on the West Coast and me here on the East Coast.

Want2bSupermum Wed 13-Feb-13 02:41:32

ooops pressed return too soon! I meant to add that I miss my friends so much too. One of my close friends had her baby four months after me and is due in April with her second. I would love for the babies to play together.

Kungfutea Wed 13-Feb-13 03:10:02

We have 'butchers block' in sunnyside which is cheaper than Myers of keswick so I stock up there (also Ribena, love it!) but I was hoping for a us version which would be cheaper and available in our local supermarket.

Isn't creamed wheat made out of wheat rather than oats? How have they not adopted the gorgeousness of ready brek here?? This place baffles me at times!

smartieknickers Wed 13-Feb-13 03:20:03

Kungfutea I don't think there is an equivalent to Readybrek. Cream of Wheat / Creamed Wheat isn't quite the same - it's made from wheat, not oats. I guess you could make a similar idea by whizzing up ordinary dry oatmeal in a food processor to make a powder and then treating it like Ready Brek? Come to think of it I might give that a try...

Kungfutea Wed 13-Feb-13 03:24:42

My dd started to do that and it's not bad but it's a kerfaffle in the morning and you end up with oats flying everywhere (well, we did!). I saw that they use oat flour and oat bran in ready brek so that might be the way to go. Or I might just pop to Sunnyside!

It's a bit weird to me to have British food in the ethnic section. I always think of ethnic food as being a bit exotic: chinese or Indian or Caribbean. I guess it makes sense that it's considered ethnic but just seems a bit odd to have hob nobs, tea bags and custard powder in what I'd always thought of as the more exciting part of the supermarket!

Want2bSupermum Wed 13-Feb-13 03:31:57

Ah creamed wheat wouldn't be made from oats - your right. Try the bob mills section. I tried it with DD when I was weaning her. It wasn't too far off ready brek. It was one of their hot cereals that they do and I thought it was creamed wheat. It might be their barley grits.... or their oat bran

smartieknickers Wed 13-Feb-13 04:03:34

You can also buy Ready Brek on Amazon (for a ridiculous price)

FSB Wed 13-Feb-13 05:11:49

Kung fu, your post made me laugh.. I stumbled on the "burridish" aisle in our local supermarket a few weeks after we arrived - birds custard, Yorkshire tea, spotted dick in a can(!!)... The sad thing is, I don't think I've eaten anything on the shelf... Whereas I can't get edible crumpets or Heinz baked beans anywhere!! Grr [rant over] hmm

smartieknickers Wed 13-Feb-13 14:09:06

Baked beans also available on Amazon...

NatashaBee Wed 13-Feb-13 14:43:25

Kroger Vegetarian Beans are the same as baked beans. Not sure how they compare to Heinz but they are certainly a good substitute for the tesco own brand beans I bought in the UK, especially at 74 cents a can instead of the $3 per can for Heinz Beans in Meijer!

markymark Wed 13-Feb-13 15:25:48

This has made me want baked beans for tea while I can still get them smile

Having a bit of a wobble this afternoon as I've been shredding a load of paperwork in preparation for the move - including birthplans for both DC, selling my old flat, buying our house....making me a bit nostalgic - if you can be nostalgic for stuff that has happened so recently!

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