Sunday, October 5, 2014

5 day weekend!

It's Eid al-Ahda, so for us that means a 5 day weekend! Most people headed out on Thursday/Friday, so traffic is light. And because of where Eid falls this year, a lot of people decided to take the 2 additional days to get a 10 day vacation. We're staying put though. It's a combo of not wanting to spend the money and wanting to actually feel like we got a break.

Also, all of the stores are open, which means it's a great time to do all the shopping that is made seriously painful the rest of the year. So far we've gone for a walk on the water and realized that it was not in anyway shape or form fall yet. It was still about 95F out. We have done laundry, ordered in pizza, watched movies and we'll probably go swimming today. Other than a nice meal out for a date lunch I think that's going to be about it.

I've started my programming course. So far, I'm behind already! But it's ok. I tend to truck along and do 3 days worth of work at a time and then get bogged down or stuck and stop, but I have a meeting tonight with my instructor. It's fun, a little scary and satisfying to complete my tasks. Can't wait to start building.

Next big purchase will be buying our Christmas tickets to visit Liam's family. I'm just hoping the tickets haven't jumped up in price. A screw up with my paycheck coincided with my debit card expiring, which meant I'll have to put off paying for them for about another week or so.

Next big fall tasks will be buying Halloween costumes and figuring out where we want to go trick-or-treating. Then it will be school application time for Boo...yipee...   

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Kid's Activities

I'm just hoping our 6:20 out of house schedule doesn't drive me insane. Melody will start doing the school run on her own this week and I'll start taking a taxi. Not ideal, but I can't keep getting into work late and leaving early...

I think I'm front loading the girls in activities to see what sticks until the new year. So far we've got ballet, tball, soccer and I'm trying to hunt down some music lessons. I also think Z would love acting classes that they have at her school, but it's only for 5 and above.

Since they finish school at 12pm! Freaking noon, I feel like I have to load them up with stuff to keep them entertained. Playing around the compound can be fun, but since they can't really explore and play outside as much as we would like, especially since it's still in the 100s. October is going to be awesome! Beach trip every weekend until December or so.

Work is great, we're working on streamlining a lot of different systems and projects I'm working on, which means more time for exploring, additional learning and trying to make other areas more efficient. I start my professional development next week and it will go into January. I'll see how it goes, whether or not I like and see programming as something that could be viable in the future. Perhaps somethings where programming knowledge would be helpful, but my other skills like project management would come in handy. I certainly know that not having to wait on IT to make changes to things, schedule in projects and just generally slowing everything down would push so many things through a whole lot quicker. But all of that extra work is going to be a very low key.

The heads of both IT and HR have both said that they might try to steal me away from my department...I think my go get it/hands dirty attitude may be of an attention getter and I don't want to get more than a "good job" on my projects.

I'll be buying our Christmas tickets at the end of the month. I'm not really looking forward to is as terrible as that sounds. We will be visiting Liam's family. It's going to be COLD, wet and COLD. We're also going to have to schlep all of our crap there and back here. Because we've never done Christmas with his family, and done it twice with my family, means we're doing it now. We will most likely never travel to family for Christmas again after this year. It really is such a pain in the butt! But I get the whole week off work and it just feels so weird not going anywhere, like I'm wasting vacation time.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Another Car Related Issue

Melody has had another fender bender...this is her 4th. None of the accidents have been serious, she has scraped the car against a wall/barrier twice, had a taxi hit her just before we left for summer and now she's reversed into a taxi...ugh!

So now our car sounds like some souped up muscle car. I can live with it. I don't know that Liam realizes that fender bender has created any other issues other than a slightly cracked bumper. I think I'll just hold off on telling time.

I went in to give the final pitch on my professional development to my boss and I was just handed the procard and told to go ahead and book it. I left my boss with the program info just because it was already in my hand, but it's good to know that I can do something like this that is probably tangentially relevant to my job, but could really be helpful in other areas down the line. I start the program at the end of September! I've been doing lots of online courses and reading to try and prepare. I'm hoping this will go well and my hard work will pay off in something I can apply in various areas in and out of work.

The school runs are crazy, but I think I can swing some early mornings/later stays at work to ensure I get to drop off the girls at least a couple times a week. So far I'm not impressed by the communication at Z's school. It's only the first week, so I'll have to see how it goes. And to think I was so excited to get her in there. Now comes the parental doubt about whether or not I made the right choice!

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Beginning of a New School Year

So the Debt Bomb ended up just being a gentle smack in the face. The starter motor needed to be worked on and that was it. The mechanics kept saying how lucky we were. Oh trust me, we know!

Boo had her first day at new nursery for the school year. She had fun and the teacher asked me if she knew how to read. She's only 2.5, so I looked at her a little bit funny and said, "I don't think so..." They said she would pull out a book, sit down and read out loud to herself. So cute, I hope she flourishes while no longer under the shadow of her big sister.

Z starts "Big School" tomorrow. I'm freaking out a little bit and of course I didn't have her try on her uniform until today after work...yeah, so of course they didn't fit! A moment of panic, quick google search for the location and call to make sure they were open. 30 minutes later I was back home with much roomier exchanged uniforms.

Work is good, I think I'll be able to use my professional development funds to take a programming course. That will be awesome, fun and challenging. I've always wanted to learn and why not get paid to do it. I just feel like knowing at least the basics of programming will be immensely helpful in the future. My interests have always leaned toward the tech, so I'm sure that I'll find some applications in the future. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Long long time ago

It seems like I had a blog. I haven't been keeping up with much of anything as far as blogging goes. We've been in summer mode, enjoying the lightened traffic, incredibly stiflingly humid heat and freaking financial crotch kicks that just keep on coming.

We arrived back from vacation and it took about a week to get back to any semblance of normalcy. Then came summer camp for the girls.  A HUGE presentation for me with about 4 days notice and a lot of running around to get things ready for September. I still haven't even seen if Z's uniforms will fit for school, ballet or soccer...

Then we found out our nanny used the phone while we were away. Generally it's not a big deal, but it was to the tune of about $1000. So that's awesome. Boo is switching daycare's to be closer to Z's school, there goes our $450 deposit on old nursery, coupled with first terms nursery tuition and registration fees and Liam's new master program tuition. Ok, so at that point we're like ok this sucks, but we'll be ok. Eating from the pantry and not eating out for lunch, which is what we've been doing for all of August.

Then comes the, what could be a huge debt bomb described below, which means that I'll be making minimum loan payments this month, which was a bummer. I'm not sure with interest if I'll finally bring my law school loans under six figures this month, which was a milestone I've been looking forward for a while. It's definitely not the end of the world, it just means I'll be pushing out those 2nd job apps even more.

Now to the debt bomb. On our way to a friend's BBQ today the car starts making a strange sound. Hmmm that's weird, well we're one light/5 min from our friend's house,  we'll check it out when we get there...then the car shuts off. I mean it's hot here. I'm talking 115F, super sunny and humid. The car won't turn on, it's getting hotter by the minute, we call our friend's house and they send someone to pick us up. Meanwhile I'm standing on the side of the road with the girls, people are being super nice though. Someone even had chilled water that they handed to me and the girls.

It was probably only 15 minutes, but it was HOT! And at noon the girls were trying to stand in my nonexistent shadow. Our friends showed, pushed the car through the light and off to the side of the road. We had a great time at the BBQ and took a taxi back. Now we're off to dinner at another friend's house. I'm so glad we didn't plan anything for tomorrow. I'm just going to lay down and veg.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Things are pretty boring

I've been gone for over a month and it's all the same old stuff. It's Ramadan, which means most places are closed during the day, the roads are deserted (Yes!), the girls are in summer camp and there's a shortened work day. All in all, Ramadan is pretty cool from a non-observing standpoint. Liam gets out of work earlier, which means he's taking the girls to the pool pretty much every afternoon.

Liam got this HUGE certification that he's been studying for forever, which is such a relief. He's now looking at possibly starting a masters program. Also, in August he'll start networking and seeing what other opportunities might be out there. I'm so excited for him because he's awesome and really deserves to be appreciated for all of the hard work he does!

We leave for our US trip pretty soon and I'm so looking forward to it. We have so many thing to do/see/eat while we are there. I've put myself on a pretty good budget, which is made easier by the fact that I bought pretty much a years worth of clothes for me and the girls when I was back on my business trip. I do need to buy bathing suits for everyone and Liam needs work shirts. Other than that, we'll probably stock up on more kids gifts for parties in the new school year and craft stuff we can't get over here.

The girls are so excited about getting on a plane. They have their backpacks. Are already picking out their snacks and I'm getting my lists and itinerary together. I'm trying to decide if I should laminate the itinerary :) We're packing light going out, so that we can load up coming in. It's a whole lot cheaper to pay for excess baggage than ship things over here. Hooray for work reimbursements.!

Still doing that second job hunt, which has so far been pretty blah. I haven't really been going balls to the wall the past month or so. I think I'm going to leave it until after our trip and pick things back up in August. I will be meeting with someone that I was connected with through a friend, while I'm Stateside, but that's about it.

I also randomly met someone who went to my alma mater who works in compliance at a company nearby. I happened to be wearing my alma mater tshirt at Z's soccer end of year party and she came up to me. So we're going to get together in August. I think that will be a fun conversation, she seems nice. I doubt there will be tons to talk about anytime soon, unless a 2nd job pans out.

Life =

  • wake up, get everyone ready for school/work
  • drive to work
  • work
  • pick up the girls/drive home
  • 1 hour playtime with the girls
  • dinner
  • 1 hour playtime/dance party/puzzle time with the girls when Liam gets home
  • bed
  • Rinse repeat
Enjoying the little moments, trying to piece together long term plans, window house hunting. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Concert trip and I hate my voice!

We're heading out to a concert tomorrow. I'm super excited and I can tell I'm getting older because I'm lamenting the fact that they don't have seats. General Admission, ugh. I have a feeling we're going to have a great time, get some good food and drinks and then head back home to the kiddos.

At work I'm doing screencast tutorials and I have come to hate my voice. You don't realize how hard it is to speak until we're being recorded and using text to speech for closed captioning! I had one 15 second clip take me 5 tries to actually get it right. And I usually have a 30 minute window to record in the mornings before everyone shows up at work and starts making noise. I could record at home, but then I would have to remote into my desktop and that never works properly.

3 more job interviews this week. I created an online resume and it seems to have gotten some attention. I just randomly applied to these companies that didn't even have positions posted and got a response within 24 hours. I was seriously surprised. Two went really well, one was for a super technical company and I'm surprised I even got a call back. That call was only about 7 minutes long...I feel like the queen of remote work searching.

Z is learning about being a good big sister and can't wait to start big kid school in September. Boo is all about asking everyone if they like whatever they are doing, "You like it mommy/daddy/Z?" I also may have made a mistake in telling them about our trip in July.  But it's so fun talking to them about all of the fun things we will be doing, beach, zoos, parks, shows, etc. I can't wait to see them with their little Zoo Backpacks in the airport. They will be so freaking cute!