Friday, April 4, 2014

Old Work Meet Up and Other Updates

I was invited for drinks by a partner at my old job. He made it sound casual, not a client meeting with the whole office that was pretty much a work event, which is what it was! It turned out to be a casual client meeting and I got free drink and dinner, so I'm not one to complain, but still... I asked him why the heck he invited me and he just said he wanted to get the gang back together and hang out for a bit. It was lots of fun and I definitely miss the team. The work and the office pain in the butt not so much, but definitely the other people. They also invited me for a going away party for one of the senior associates who's coming to my umbrella company.  I'm not one to turn down free drinks and a meal on the company tab!

It was fun talking with all of them and being crazy. Even though my current boss has invited me over for drinks by the pool at their compound a few times, I think they wouldn't be as bawdy as the Brits. I've managed to reserve out tickets for the summer with our travel agent and it's 2k less than we thought it would be! Score for getting loan repayment back on track, more kids clothes, activities and fun times during our trip!!

The girls activities are on term break for 3 weeks, so that means entertaining them on the weekends has been a bit of a challenge. It was a bit too cold at the pool today, but the girls didn't care. They are getting so big it's crazy. Boo will be 2 at the end of this month!

Z got into another school, which kind of sucks because I already submitted the first invoice for 1st Choice to work to pay. This wouldn't really be our first choice, except for the fact that it's on the way to work everyday. The reason 1st Choice school isn't really 1st choice is because we got into the school we wanted, but not the location. It's a long way from home, but I've asked that we be put on the transfer list, so we will see if it happens before the school year begins. If we had gotten into 1st Choice 1st location, it would be a no brainer. Our options look like putting Melody in a taxi everyday to drop off and pick up Z or buy a small second hand car for me to get to work in and have Melody use my car.

Buying another car, not the best option, but we only have a year left on my car and we will stop paying for daycare for Z this fall so it wouldn't be so bad. I've paid off a little more than half of my biggest student loan, only 12.5 more to go! It should be gone by August and then the slash and burn of the rest will begin. I'm still hoping the Job 2 will come through. I had my third interview last week and think it went well. So now it's just more waiting to see what will happen. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Learning new things

So I've been spending a lot of time during my new job learning new things. I don't know when I can stop calling it my new job. I've been there almost as long as my office manager job. I'm been trying my hand at learning basic html, CSS and JavaScript skills. For some reason a lot of what I'm handling is web development based and knowing how to do some things will make stuff easier. I'll be heading Stateside for a conference in the spring! Bummer I can't bring the girls. I could have flown with Boo on my lap, but she turns 2 just before the trip.

I had my bi-weekly meeting with my boss and as always coming out of those meetings is awesome. Boss makes me feel like I'm the best person ever and it really puts some pep in my step. I have been working on a few projects that are coming together and through my other studying, practicing and watching a lot of youtube how-tos I'm doing things that most people in the department can't get their heads around. So that's definitely a cool part of the job.

The girls were one of 2 kids celebrating St. Paddy's Day today at school and we made cupcakes last night to bring it. Everyone really liked the cupcakes, although they were a little confused as to why we bought them. I know that next year I'll need to go all out and make sure the nursery knows ahead of time, so we can plan an activity.

Z is her usual talking a mile a minute self and Boo is trying to catch up quickly. She now calls me "Mommy Mommy" for some reason, there is never just one Mommy. Since Z has gotten into a school the search will hopefully be easier for Boo, which will start in oh....6 months...grrrr.

My second job search is still on. I had my 3rd interview with 1st choice company and a rejection from 2nd choice. I'm hoping to hear something soon from 1st choice. We are also gearing up for summer airline ticket purchasing, which means loan payment are down to half of my crazy pay off amount. I'm hoping that 2nd job will help me off set this reduction and get me on track to have it all paid off by the time I'm 30! At least the year I turn 30, I'll even settle for before my 31st birthday at this point. I want them gone so badly and I'll deprive myself of sleep for a while to work another job to make it happen.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Second Job Interviews and Z got into a school!!!!

I have two interviews for 2 positions this week. I'm super excited because both of the companies are so amazing. I could actually see both of these positions being something that I really loved and could grow into due to the nature of the company. My current job is also going well. The boringness of it is something I'm coming to enjoy. Codeacademy is my friend. It's just that so much of my work can only be taken so far without input from others. And the input isn't a day or two turn around, it's a month or so before feedback can be expected. I had my bi-weekly meeting with the Director and that was the advice I was given about checking in with people about my big projects, "check in with them in about a month"...alrighty then. I'm just going to hang out and chill for a bit. My side projects move along slowly, mainly flowcharts and step-by-step instructions. I'll have some trainings that I'll need to put together, but again, not for a while. I've been approved to go to a conference in the US this spring, which should be good.

The girls are good and Z made it into my first choice school, but the wrong campus! The school is great and her assessment went really well. She's super comfortable leaving my behind and listening to the teacher, but I wasn't sure how she would do in relation to the other kids. Our friend who we found out worked at the school said she was a STAR and rocked the assessment. We haven't heard back from any other schools and we have to put down almost $4,000 by next week to reserve her spot. I wish it was the location right next to our house, but I don't think I can give up this spot although it's probably going to take me an hour to get her there in the morning. We will have to arrange for a car service to pick up Melody and have her pick up Z after school; work will reimburse that expense, thank god!

Liam is working like a crazy person and studying for a big certification he's been shooting for for a while. This means I have tons of time to search for more job opportunities, look at things I would love to buy once my loans are paid off and pinning craft things that I probably won't ever actually do.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Back again

Kid craziness, family colds and general blah have kept me from writing much. Life's kind of strange now that I have my current job. I was working on getting one in this area since graduation almost 2 years ago and now I have it. It's just as great as I thought it would be, but it's definitely lead to a "what now" kind of hole. The girls are great and we're running to classes, baking, cooking and I'm exercising 2-3 times a week at the gym pre-pick up.

So of course I can't just be happy about what and go along with it! So I started jobhunting, not to leave this job!!!!! OMG, would not freaking happen, but for something I could do on the side to make some extra cash and help with loan repayment. I applied for some remote startup jobs, my personal favorite, and I made it to the first round for one and have a phone call with another this coming week.

I'm actually kind of pissed that I didn't know about these two companies earlier. As in, well before law school/during law school, because they seem pretty awesome. They are both super super flexible, no set hours, vacation whenever you want and amazingly family friendly. I'll see what will come of it, but it would be great to have projects to work on during my own time after the girls have gone to bed, since Liam's been working like a dog and I don't see that changing anytime soon. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Moving right along

Things are moving along. Z had her school assessment and rocked it, work continues to be part "what am I doing?" and "is this all I'm doing?". I'm thinking it will take at least a year to know what everyone is talking about and figure it out in my head. I have to know what 19 people are doing and they don't even know what they are doing half of the time let alone anyone else.

I'm also looking at remote startup jobs again. I can't help it! It's a constant search for some reason. This would be in addition to my current job, but I can't help that feel it might help me decide what I want to be when I grow up :) I've put in a bunch of applications and we will see what will happen. This will help me try out something new and different and bring in some extra cash, which would be most welcome to kick the crap out of student loans. It's depressing to see those big numbers every time I check on the loans or make a payment. Six figures is brutal. Hoping it will be in the five digit category by August.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

$500 in application fees

So I've calculated that by the end of this application process we will have spent over $500 in application fees for 5 schools. Luckily, my job will reimburse me or I would definitely be a lot more judicious about the applications, possibly to the detriment of Z because you kind of have to apply high and low to find a school.

Choice A is a great school that is close to home and I didn't think we had a chance at it. I received an email calling us in for an assessment. Word is they will take 2/3 of the children who make it through the assessment. I'll give anything Z wants that morning to ensure she is her normal lovely self. You want a pony? puppy? to eat nothing but chocolate for the next week? Done! It is a well established school with nice facilities, large outdoor play areas and activities. It's also embassy sponsored, which means it's immune to the random last minute rulings that the government can make about school holidays, class sizes and admissions.

Choice B is a new school with a good reputation that's close to my job. I'm literally driving right past it at the time I would need to drop her off. It doesn't have any outdoor play space and there has been one horror review thrown in for all of the good ones.

For both of the above mentioned schools I would possibly keep Z there for the foreseeable future. They could be long term choices.

Choice C, D and E would be stop gaps and I wouldn't even send her to E after visiting. She's already been accepted. Choices C and D are far away from home and my job and getting her there would be a challenge. I'm thinking I'll just strike them off and maybe save a bit of money. My fear is that she doesn't get into A or B and can't continue in nursery under the new laws and I'm stuck trying to homeschool a pre-schooler while working full time while she's stuck at home all day. Not an ideal situation, the saga continues...

Continues to be an exploration of what I can get done in an office where everyone else is going things I am not trained to do. I can't pitch in, which kind of sucks when I'm heading out the door and people have deadlines looming and know they will be staying late. I'm just hoping no one starts to hate me because of that. Perhaps I'll start bringing more baked goods! But I do think the fact the most people would prefer to eat nails over standing up in front of people and talking to them, so perhaps that gets of off the hook a bit. On a nice note, I was told by my boss that the COO said good things about me and I was making a good impression. Score!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Tax Time

I finally opened the tax form that the student loan provider made available. 5 digits of student loan interest paid...vomit! It really made it real that this is what was just paid in interest in 2013! At least I won't see a bill that high ever again. That was paying off all the interest that accrued during law school, which is horrifying. It should only be 4 digits this year and decrease until the eventual pay off in 2016. We're also trying to get our financial house in order with a college savings account for Z and Boo, bye bye $1000/mo. I keep telling Liam maybe we should just aim to partially pay for college or push them toward computer science or another sector where a degree isn't as vital. We will see.

I also almost totally screwed up my 2013/2014 taxes by realizing 9 days too late about my old 403(b) to Roth IRA roll over, but it looks like it will all be fine after all. Yay, international tax exemption and PWC doing all the dirty work or I would have no idea what was going on.

There are a lot of grant proposal opportunities that have been coming up around town. They are pretty much for anything you want from publishing to 3D printing to medicine. I don't know if I can think of anything that I would put forward right now, but it's good to know these options are out there. I would like to do research on a topic that interest me, get some funding and publish something. My position is really one that I could parlay it into anything I set decided I wanted to pursue. It could become more tech oriented, legally oriented, business and accounting, database and information systems, etc. I just can't even think of someone that is doing something I would want to do to approach them about how to do it, if that makes any sense. I'll be hitting a milestone birthday in a couple of years and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up!