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! 

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.




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

School
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...

Work
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! 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Rejection Game Begins

Z was just rejected from her first school, so that's 1 down 3 to go. I'm a little pissed at how personally I'm taking it. It also came about 4 days after our application, so that's weird. I'm hoping it's a mistake, but it might not be. I'm freaking out a little bit about how this time is going to play out. We have an interview/assessment at one school at the end of the month, but it's so far away from home and work that it would mean hours in the car everyday with Z for me or Melody with a driver and I'm not happy with that.

In other news our new year is filled with a lot of classes for Z: swimming, ballet, gymnastics and soccer and swimming for Boo. I've also realized how much of a teacher's pet Z was and I'm thinking it is hereditary. She always wants to sit next to the teacher, be the leader and ensure that the teacher has seen what she's doing. I'm not sure how much I need to break her of this, but I'm thinking it will be after interviews/assessments. She has no problems going up to the teachers and saying her name and holding their hands and just generally being adorable, at least from a parent's perspective. I'm not sure how great it is from a teacher's perspective. It works well in small classes like ballet where there are only 5 other kids, 4 of whom participate. There Z is the only one beaming and ready and doing everything teacher says. It's harder in gymnastics where there are about 12 kids and she's one of the younger ones and can't really do everything and gets frustrated while trying. We will see which activities she likes best and then pare down from there.