Living in America 2014

(157 Posts)
rootypig Tue 29-Jul-14 11:54:04

Shiny new thread. After an epic visa fuck up we are starting out (again!) in LA in a few weeks. I am English, DH is American (from southern California), DD is 21mo. I am going back to work after several unintentional years out and terrified. No clue what I want to do, which doesn't help.

Come chat about all things American!

Equimum Tue 29-Jul-14 20:53:31

Can I take a seat here, please? We're not exactly going to be living in the US, but are about to head over on a 6-12 work visit (DH's job). We'll be living in Jersey City and DH will commute to NY. Not sure what to expect yet...still recovering from all the hassle getting visas and sorting accomodation etc.

rootypig Tue 29-Jul-14 21:47:05

Hi Equi! of course you can. I wasn't on the previous thread for long but I think there were some Jersey MNers.

When do you leave? will you get any of the lovely snowy east coast winter?

Want2bSupermum Tue 29-Jul-14 23:33:15

Hola! Great to see a new thread. Equi There are a few of us here in Jersey. JC is great. Do you have children?

rootypig Sun 03-Aug-14 23:38:15

Anyone have any car seat recommendations for a toddler? Does US do extended rear facing? DD is 21mo, small to average height and weight, and hates car seats. I want something that reclines so she can sleep comfortably as we shuttle back and forth to MIL...

goodbyeyellowbrickroad Sun 03-Aug-14 23:51:24

You can definitely get extended rear facing car seats. We have the Clek Foonf for our 25 month old DS. He's average height and weight (50th centile) and he's very comfy in it. He naps in it and I'm pretty sure it reclines we've just never done that. Can be used rear facing up to 50lbs and forward facing to 65lbs.

It is expensive - ours was a little under $400. As far as I know its currently the safest seat on the market - we live in Texas and some of the driving we see here is horrific. Oh and it's narrow at 17inches wide do it fits in most airline seats if you wanted to use it for that.

goodbyeyellowbrickroad Sun 03-Aug-14 23:52:37

Should add that it sits quite high in the car so DS has a great view outside which means he hardly moans about being in it!

rootypig Tue 05-Aug-14 10:41:39

Thanks goodbye, that's a brilliant recommendation, it meets all the criteria I'd listed so we'll put it at the top of the list to look at. We'll be in California and doing plenty of driving from LA to OC and back, plus regular longer drives to Santa Cruz and SF, so I'm happy to spend more.

Nellysgirl Tue 05-Aug-14 10:44:05

I have always wanted to move to America! Is anyone allowed to move there? Dp and I are both British x

rootypig Tue 05-Aug-14 18:29:40

Nellys after the nightmare year I've had, that made me smile. The short answer is no. US immigration is tightly controlled and according to strict channels of sponsorship. Main ones being immediate relative (eg I am married to an American) or work.

There is a green card lottery, known as the diversity lottery, but it is only open to nationals of countries for which immigration to the US through the other channels is low (2015 list here) - UK is not in there because plenty of British nationals qualify through other channels.

More information here:
travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/immigrate.html
travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/employment.html

Wibblypiglikesbananas Sun 10-Aug-14 01:56:12

Hi, can I join? We are British but have been here for two years. DC1 was born in London, DC2 here in the US. Our friends here call him our anchor baby!

It's been pretty hot here the last few weeks (DC) but the last couple of days there's been an almost Autumnal nip in the air in the mornings. And some of the leaves are changing colour already. It's random as Amazon.co.uk just sent me a recommended summer reading email but all the shops here have just got their fall collections in.

Looking forward to September as we've had 15 weeks of no pre-school!

AlpacaMyBags Sun 10-Aug-14 03:15:59

Hi from Michigan smile well, North Carolina at the moment as we're visiting the in-laws for a week.

rootypig Sun 10-Aug-14 10:39:23

hey wibbly! where in the US are you? I'm jealous at the mention of autumn envy. We leave for LA next week and will be going from summer to.....eternal summer.

15 weeks! shock

Hi Alpaca smile

Hi all, we've been living in Houston Texas for a year now, moved here after 5 years in singapore. I'm English, dh is Scottish, dd1 is 9, born in Scotland and dd2 is 5, born in singapore. We're currently on holiday in Europe but just found out our green cards are through.....

MrsCRabbit Mon 11-Aug-14 04:51:17

Hi. Can I join in too? We moved to Texas 2 weeks ago after 2 years in China. I have 2 kids, DD is 6 and DS is 3. I have just about got used to driving so we're actually getting out of the house now but the only grown-ups I speak to are DH (doesn't count!) and the nice ladies who serve me in Walmart!! I feel like I'm going slightly crazy and can't wait for school to start!

Where are you in texas? I've met lots of people through meetup groups (there's a few expat ladies meet up groups in houston, maybe there are some in your area?)

MrsCRabbit Mon 11-Aug-14 12:19:01

We're in Corpus Christi. That's a good tip, I'll give it a go on Meetup. There aren't any expat groups on there but there are a couple of mums groups. I'm hoping that I'll meet other mums when school starts too. Fingers crossed!

Wibblypiglikesbananas Mon 11-Aug-14 17:18:51

Hi, we're in DC. You can't move for expats around here! This also has its bad points...

Nice to meet everyone anyway - the US does take some time to get used to I think. Mrs - where were you in China?

Ok, totally totally boring question but I'm hoping someone can help. I just can't seem to get clothes clean here! We have a top loading machine that beats things to within an inch of their life, the cycle is 12 mins long (though I sometimes do it twice) and my whites turn grey in a flash and stains just don't come out. I'm spending a small fortune on replacing clothes that I wouldn't have needed to in the UK. Any ideas?

AlpacaMyBags Mon 11-Aug-14 17:25:38

Those top loading washing machines are pretty tough on clothes, I've not really found any problems getting things clean though. I spray stain remover on any stains and leave them to sit for an hour prior to washing. I also put bicarb of soda (can buy huge bags of it in Sams Club for a few $) in with the laundry detergent, especially the whites. Do you clean the washing machine? I let the tub fill up, then open the lid and throw in white wine vinegar and bicarb and leave it to sit overnight, then run a couple of hot cycles to clean it all out and get rid of the vinegar smell.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Mon 11-Aug-14 17:35:28

Hi Alpaca - thanks for such a quick reply!

We are moving house soon so I'm hoping part of the problem is this machine as it's pretty old. Bicarbonate of soda is a good tip - I'll try that. The machine does have a slot for bleach and I know American friends who add bleach to their washes but I don't want to do that with baby clothes...

The machine is clean, I run it empty every so often on a hot wash, wipe away any mildew etc from the seal. I also wash lots in those little underwear protecting bags to stop clothes from stretching - the glamour!

MrsCRabbit Tue 12-Aug-14 02:23:20

Wibbly, we were in Nanjing, a 'small' city of 8 million people, not too far from Shanghai. So many people (mainly those who have never left England!) told me how lucky I was to be moving away from China to the States but I knew the culture shock would be just as great, and it is!!
Random question, does anyone know where (or if) it's possible to buy vegetarian mince (quorn type stuff)? I'm guessing the demand for veggie food isn't great in Texas as I haven't found any on the supermarket shelves yet!!

AlpacaMyBags Tue 12-Aug-14 02:39:41

Have you tried Whole Foods for the vegetarian mince? I've seen veggie burgers in the supermarket (Morningstar) but not veggie mince.

goodbyeyellowbrickroad Tue 12-Aug-14 02:41:25

MrsCRabbit have you ventured into a HEB supermarket in Corpus Christi? The ones in Houston stock Quorn products so you might have some luck getting what you want there. Or maybe Whole Foods?

I thoroughly dislike my top loading washing machine. Stuff does get clean but it's so true that they stretch your clothes. I also really miss hanging washing out on the line to dry. Took a great deal of pleasure in hanging stuff out when I was back in the UK in June.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Tue 12-Aug-14 03:22:59

MrsC - I liked Nanjing. We were based in Suzhou many years ago. It's very different now though from when we first went - pretty unrecognisable in fact!

Veggie stuff - I get Quorn mince in Safeway here and they also sell it in Wholefoods. There's a brand of soya mince that I've bought before, again in Safeway, but I can't remember the name. I'll check. You can get Morning Star veggie sausages in Trader Joe's. They're passable - just! Randomly, I haven't found any of these things in their rightful supermarket aisles, if that makes sense, so maybe ask? Quorn is in the 'natural foods' aisle here, and the soya mince in a fridge with fresh stuff - there's not a veggie meals section as such that I've found, as you'd expect in a British supermarket.

goodbye - we got a thorough bollocking from building management in the first place we lived in for hanging out washing on our balcony! Only in America can the free, environmentally friendly way of drying washing be considered improper...

SconeRhymesWithGone Tue 12-Aug-14 04:31:36

Only in America can the free, environmentally friendly way of drying washing be considered improper...

Not only in America . . .
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/_chat/2152182-My-neighbours-have-complained-about-me-putting-my-washing-out?

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