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! 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Jet Lag and Playing Catch Up

I hope everyone had a great Mother's Day! I spent mine trying not to pass out on the couch with the girls. Liam has a big exam coming up this weekend, so things have been crazy. We will celebrate next weekend with Justin Timberlake!

My conference course was awesome and taught me just enough to know that I know nothing! It was amazing to see how the pros do it and daunting as well. Next year, I'll try and bring the family along because being away from the girls for 10 days sucked. It was nice being Stateside. I went crazy with Amazon shopping and my 3 bags were filled to the brim. Z and Boo now have clothes and shoes to last her at least the next 18 months. I loved walking around the city and am almost convinced that if we both sell kidneys we could actually afford a downpayment on a house in one of the not so nice areas of town, just for a chance at city living. I've never loved walking and public transportation more. I also had my first food truck food, yay lobster roll!

Summer heat is here, which means car cookies and burning myself on seat belts are a thing now. I'm starting some serious networking on the 2nd job front and really trying to make something happen by the end of the year. Whether it's consulting/freelance or a full time second job, I will make it happen and all of this will help with my loan goals. Don't think end of next year will happen, but shooting for June 2016. I'm 27% there, I will kill them. I will destroy them, make them cry and never come back ever ever again.

We're excited for summer vacation. My family is gearing up, scheduling vacation days and getting ready for us to leave them in our dust if they aren't up and ready to go when we are. So far, zoos, children's museums, beach visits and parks are all on our itinerary. Thinking of the walking alone is making me giddy. It's going to be tiring and a little crazy, but pretty much everyone in my office will be gone for about 3 weeks when I get back, so I'll be able to take it easy. So looking forward to it. Only 8 weeks to go!!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Oh Balls

I didn't get the job. :( Super sad and even a little pissed, particularly after 5 interviews! Definitely a letdown...so there goes my super duper pay off everything schedule. Now back to work doing things I should have been doing in the past, which was looking for other remote opportunities and networking anyway I can.  I've already had a few skype chats with people at different companies through friends.

Job Numero Uno is still going well. I had a stellar performance review, part of it was based on handling contracts, which isn't as scary as everyone thinks it is. I just forward them to the General Counsel from the departments at my job and then send them back to the departments after the review. But for some reason, contract instills fear in the heart of everyone!

I'm heading out for a work trip next week for 10 days (course and conference). I'm going to miss the girls, but I'm super excited about the flight, the course, the speakers at the conference and heading to all of my favorite eateries! But I can feel that missing the girls is really going to hit me hard while I'm away. My family is going to come down for an evening visit/drop off all of the stuff I've bought on Amazon. I get 3 bags and trust me, they are all going to be seriously freaking full!!!

We're also planning our east coast journey when we are back Stateside. Zoos, children's museums, beaches, and heading out for walks whenever we want are the name of the game. The girls are super pumped about the trip and really love flying. This year Boo is old enough to use a Zoo Backpack with her own treats in it. She will also be able to have a set of headphones for the AV system or iPad. We generally stuff their backpacks with crayons, stickers, blanket, snacks, the headphones and a change of clothes. It helps keep things organized and gives the girls their little bit of packing fun. They even know how to take off their shoes at the airport and put them in the trays. It's so cute! It's going to be a great trip!!   

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.