February 2018 Monthly Recap

February 2018 Monthly Recap

February has mostly been a good month.

It was also my birthday this month. I am officially in my mid-thirties and now I really feel old…sigh.

Weddings

The day before my birthday we had a wedding to attend for a relative on my husbands side. The wedding was located outside of the city and we had to travel around 150km to get there. It would usually us take over 2 hours to travel this distance back home, however due to the inadequate roads here in Sri Lanka it can take at least 4 hours to get there, depending on traffic. The traffic conditions were good that day so it took us 4 hours to get there and our return trip was the same. Both journeys included a pit stop at the half way mark as well.

We made it on time for the wedding and left about 2 hours later. We had a long journey ahead of us so the hosts were very understanding that we couldn’t stay for long. The wedding was nice and we made it back home around 7:30pm that night which was great. We were all very tired by the end and munchkin was especially restless in the last 2 hours of the journey, so we were happy to get home at a reasonable time.

I managed to pamper myself a little before the wedding too. I had a facial, haircut and blow dry, all for Rs.5200, which is roughly $43 AUD. Not bad huh? 🙂 I wasn’t overly impressed with the facial but I loved the hair cut and blow dry.

Meeting New People

I mentioned in last months monthly recap post that I had joined a local mothers group. I have continued to attend these weekly meet ups which have been really good for me and my son. This month I managed to also host a meet up at our home. It was nice and my son enjoyed having some friends over to play with.

Through this mothers group, I have also joined a book club. We have our first meet up in a few weeks and I am more than half way through the selected book for the month. The funny thing is that I have wanted to join a book club for about 2 years and back home I wasn’t able to find one that ran at a convenient time. I have now managed to find one in a foreign land, thousands of kilometres away. It’s funny how these things work out.

Final Thoughts

Overall this month has been pretty good, I have settled down however I did have a few bad days which were mainly caused by boredom and isolation. I think I have accepted the situation we are in a lot more now than before. I’m a work in progress.

I hope February treated you all well.

Advertisements

January 2018 Monthly Recap

Happy new year!

Not the best start

I didn’t have the best start to the new year as I had to deal with a personal crisis. However, I have decided that there is no point dwelling on what has happened and what could have been. I can’t change what has happened so it’s best to just push on and focus on the future.

Settling in

This month has been all about settling into our new life here in Sri Lanka. It has been a big adjustment and it has not been easy. Early on I was feeling very isolated and unhappy but as time passed things started to get better. I can now say that I am finally somewhat settled. I have hired a maid who comes 2 days a week and she helps with the cooking and some of the cleaning. This has been a huge help considering my now very active and clingy toddler doesn’t let me do very much. She also looks after munchkin for an hour or so (if I am lucky), so that I can have some time for myself.

Meeting new people

Through a chance meeting with a neighbour, I was lucky enough to be introduced to a local mothers group. The mothers in the group take turns to host meet ups every week at their respective homes and this group is specifically for babies born in 2016/2017. So far munchkin and I have attended two meet ups and we have had a great time. He has enjoyed interacting with the other kids and I have enjoyed meeting new people.

 

January 2018 monthly recap

Getting out of the house and meeting other mums has definitely helped me mentally. If not for this I would probably still be feeling miserable so I’m just thankful that I found this group. It’s funny how I never ended up finding something like this back in Australia and I had to travel thousands of kilometres in order to do so 🙂

Reading

I finished reading one book this month. I actually started reading this book late last year but as life got hectic, I never got around to finishing it up until now.

The book I read was:

The rosie project by graeme simsion

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

I loved this book! The author drew me in very early on and it was an easy book to read overall. The book is narrated by the lead character Don Tillman and despite his eccentric ways, he is a very lovable character. I can see why this book was a best seller and the next book, The Rosie Effect is already on my list of books to read.

Goals

I did set myself a few goals this year and I was planning to write a dedicated post just for that, however I have decided not to make a big deal out of it. My motivation has been wavering so I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself.

So just for fun I will just list them in this post.

Look After Myself

Since having a baby I have let myself go a little, so I want to turn this around and start looking after myself more. I have been putting everyone else first, but now I want to put a bit more effort into myself. I started making some changes late last year and so far I think I’m doing ok. I have been taking better care of my skin and trying to be more presentable when I leave the house.

Reduce My Digital Usage

I have a dedicated post about this which is coming soon. I basically want to reduce the amount of time I spend on the phone and social media.

Read 15 Books

Developing a reading habit over the last two years is something that I’m really proud of and I want to continue to enhance this habit even more. I only read 2 books last year which was disappointing but this year I want to set myself the goal of 15 books. This might be a small number for some people but it’s a pretty high number for me. However, I think if I stay focused and persevere it’s definitely achievable.

Make an Album for My Son

I have taken so many photos of munchkin so I really need to make the effort to put an album together. I have made the first step of transferring all the photos from my phone to my laptop, so now I’m in the process of selecting the best photos for an album.

Final Thoughts

Although the start of the month wasn’t great, at least it has ended well. I can’t believe I have been living in Sri Lanka for over a month now, the time is going by quickly.

I hope you all had a good start to 2018!

Images: Goodreads, Tumblr

2017 End of Year Review

December mostly revolved around packing up and getting organised before setting off to South East Asia for our extended stay. The country we are moving to is Sri Lanka and we left Australia a few days before Christmas. It was sad to leave home, especially knowing how much my parents are going to miss my son. However I just keep telling myself it’s temporary.

We have been here for about 2 weeks now and I am slowly settling in. The climate isn’t too bad this time of year and as we have family here, we have been getting a fair bit of help which is nice.

Negambo Sri Lanka

Negambo Sri Lanka. Taken just as the sun set.

That said 2017 has not been the best year for us. I was dealt another blow about a week ago and that has just sealed it for me.

Despite this there were a few highlights.

  • Watching my baby grow into the happy little toddler that he is. Raising him has been a pleasure and I still can’t believe he’s one! I’m not going to lie, it’s been hard work but it has also been very rewarding.
  • We travelled to Sri Lanka and introduced munchkin to our families in July.
  • We bought a new house and renovated it.
  • I paid off my student loan.
  • Reduced my smart phone and social media usage. I have a post about this sitting in my drafts which I haven’t got around to publishing yet but it will be coming soon.

Finances

I didn’t track our expenses in 2017 as it just became too hard and time consuming. I know we spent a lot of money this year with a new baby and buying a new house with renovations on top. We were also on a single income for most of the year.

Our house didn’t sell which was disappointing, however we are renting it out which means our mortgage for that house is covered. If we had sold we would be in a better financial position.

I would say overall we could have been more careful with our money. In hindsight we probably shouldn’t have bought a house before selling our current house. But that’s life I guess and I don’t have a crystal ball, so we have just accepted that it is what it is.

Reading

I only read 2 books this year and I am really disappointed with this. I’m really hoping to turn this around in 2018.

The books I read were:

  1. Baby Secrets – How to know your baby’s needs by Jo Tantum and Barbara Want – Review
  2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – Review

Blogging

I published 12 posts in 2017 which is not a very high number but considering all the changes I have been through I’m not disappointed with this number either. Here’s hoping I have the motivation to write more in 2018.

Overall I’m glad to see the end of 2017. Here’s to a more prosperous 2018. Happy new year guys!

November 2017 Monthly Recap

November was hectic, stressful and overwhelming.

Keep calm and don’t stress

Here’s what happened.

Daycare

My son started day care this month for one day a week. The first 2 weeks went well but he does cry when we drop him off sadly. As he is only going for 1 day a week he is not used to the place to be completely comfortable. Unfortunately in his third week we got very sick and I had to go and pick him up early.

Overall I’m glad he is getting exposed to another environment and new people. When we get back from our overseas stay I am hoping to enrol him for 2-3 days a week and hopefully he adapts better but I am worried about him getting sick.

Packing Up and Decluttering

As the renovations on our new house were wrapping up it was time to start packing. I did my best to pack as much as I could whilst taking care of a toddler. The most productive times were when he was sleeping obviously.

I also managed to sell a few household items that I didn’t plan on taking with me to the new house.

  • 5 Seater lounge set – sold for $550
  • Coffee table – sold for $80
  • Dining table – sold for $100
  • Fridge (I had 2 fridges) – sold for $200
  • Old stereo system – sold for $11.25
  • Book shelf – sold for $1

I’m really pleased with this. You can’t complain about making a little money out of items you no longer need.

We Didn’t Sell

We didn’t sell our old house but hey everything happens for a reason right? We will be renting out our old house as a result and we have already found tenants.

We Moved

We finally moved towards the end of the month and it was quite stressful. However we survived and we have managed to settle in well.

My Baby Turned One

I still can’t believe my baby is now one. What a crazy year it has been and he is becoming cuter every day ❤

We celebrated by having his first birthday party in our new house a week after moving. Not the most ideal situation to be in but it went well. The lead up to it was very stressful, but it all worked out in the end and I’m relieved it’s over.

That was my hectic month. To any parents who have kids in day care, how have you coped when your kids get sick? Does it lessen as they get older? Do you find yourself constantly taking time off from your job to take care of them? I’m interested to know about your experiences.

October 2017 Monthly Recap

We got back 2 weeks ago from South East Asia and it’s good to be home, it always is. The trip was ok, we did manage to do two short getaways whilst we were there when my husband wasn’t working. But apart from that I did find staying in that apartment quite boring.

Since getting back, It didn’t take me long to overcome the jet lag but it did take my son about a week. The three of us were also battling colds, especially munchkin. But thankfully we are all feeling much better now.

I also submitted my son’s enrollment forms to his day care. Even though I won’t be going back to work right now, we have decided to put him in for one day per week. I think this will help him to learn new things and play with other kids. He will start in 2 weeks time. I expect the first day to be hard for both of us but after that initial hurdle I hope it’s all smooth sailing.

img_4435

Housing Update

We accepted a low offer for our current house after some convincing from our agent (eye roll). I wasn’t happy about it and was willing to reject it but my husband gave in. A small part of me was happy that we were finally selling after 2 months on the market but a big part of me was very disappointed.

Then a few days later the buyers pulled out of the sale. I was actually happy about this and felt like the universe was trying to say that we were giving it away too cheap. It’s back on the market now and we are seriously considering renting it out.

If we do decide to rent, we want to rent and then wait for the market to pick up again. When it does we want to put the house up for sale and hopefully sell at a good price. The media is speculating that house prices will go up next year, so fingers crossed that it does.

However, I would still love to sell now and move on. Financially it is our best option to sell and our agent has another 2-3 weeks to make this happen. He seems motivated and confident so I really hope I have some good news to report at the end of November.

The renovations on our new house are progressing well. The kitchen will be getting installed in 2 weeks time, followed by new flooring. After that we need to do a big clean up and then hopefully move in!

Work Update

My request to work remotely when I am out of the country was declined 😦 I am obviously very disappointed and angry with this outcome. The company I work for actually has an offshore branch in the country we are moving to and they still declined my request. I have now been forced to extend my maternity leave for an additional 6 months.

One of the biggest issues I have about moving overseas is boredom and I thought having my work would help reduce that boredom significantly. So now I have to find other things to do keep myself occupied.

Maybe this will force to me look at freelancing or doing short term contract work in the future. I need to do some research and update my resume.

This month hasn’t given me much good news but I am hopeful that some good changes are on the horizon. 

I really need to start being more positive and be grateful for what I have.

September 2017 Monthly Recap

Hello spring!

The weather is getting warmer down here so I’ve been trying to go out for walks with the munchkin when I can. I am enjoying them, it helps clear my mind and he seems to enjoy looking at the trees and the cars driving by.

Being Productive

I would say this month has been reasonably productive as I managed to cross off several items on my to-do list.

This month I managed to get the following things done:

  • Packed and shipped a few boxes containing lots of nappies, formula and other essentials to South East Asia for our upcoming extended stay.
  • Submitted a child care rebate claim with Centrelink.
  • Opened up a bank account for my son.
  • Decluttered my wardrobe and donated a bag full of clothes, shoes and accessories to charity.
  • Lodged our taxes! See below.

Taxes

Yay, I got our taxes done!

It’s always a relief to tick this off the to-do list. I got a big refund but my husband has to pay around $500 to the tax office. This money will definitely come in handy with all the expenses we have right now.

Housing Update

The renovations on our new house are well on the way. Luckily my husband has taken full control and is managing that project with little assistance from me. I call him the renovation guru because he seems to have a talent for managing tradespeople efficiently. The house is getting a full transformation and I can’t wait to see the final product.

However our current house failed to sell at auction at the start of the month, and it is still yet to sell unfortunately. So far we have only received one solid offer and that was too low for us to accept. I never thought we would be in this situation when we live in one of the most popular cities in terms of real estate in the world. The market appears to have definitely cooled off which is unfortunate for us, but I’m still hopeful that we will sell in the next few weeks.

Work Update

My request to go back to work part-time has been approved so when I return in early November, I will be working 3 days a week. My request to work remotely when I am out of the country is still yet to be approved and they appear to be dragging their feet on this. My manager is fully supportive and it’s human resources and upper management that seem to be having issues with it. I still feel positive that I will get the desired outcome so fingers crossed that this final request gets across the line.

Reading

Yes that’s right, I finally managed to read a book!

To Kill a Mockingbird By Harper Lee

to kill a mocking bird by harper lee

The story is based in the 1930’s and is narrated by a 6 year old child who is nicknamed “Scout”. The story addresses many serious issues such as racism, rape and injustice and I can see why it was a groundbreaking book. I expected this book to have a happy ending which it didn’t, but I guess that made the story more realistic and true to the period it was set in. Overall the book kept me interested and I like the positive messages that it projected such as courage and empathy.

Final Thoughts

So overall September has been a busy yet productive month. I am currently overseas for a short visit to South East Asia to set up our apartment and get things organised before we come here again in December. Hope you all had a great month!

Images: Amazon.co.uk

 

I’m Back

Greetings!

I haven’t abandoned this blog, I have just been busy and preoccupied the last 4 months with life in general.

May and June were busy with various things, most of which I can’t even remember now. I do recall that my son caught a viral bug in June which caused him to become temporarily lactose intolerant which was not fun for any of us, mostly him. The end result was that we had to temporarily switch him to a soy based formula. He was on the soy formula for a month and a half before I slowly switched him back to his regular formula. I’m happy to say that he is back to his normal self and is happy and healthy.

In addition to all that stress I was also packing for our trip overseas to south east Asia in July. I was a bit anxious at the time as it was munchkins first trip overseas. It was all new territory and I was concerned about the flight in particular. In the end, the first leg of the flight (8 hours) was ok but the second leg (3 hours) was quite difficult. There was a 2 hour transit between the two flights as well. It was his sleeping time and he was struggling to fall asleep. We were all really tired at that point and couldn’t wait to reach our destination. In the end we got there and all was well.

We were overseas for just over a month and it was fun spending time with family, however the heat did become unbearable for me and I was just counting down the days towards the end. The flight back went surprisingly well and my son slept through most of it which was nice 🙂

A photo from our holiday

As we were away for most of July, August was all about settling back home. It took about a week for all of us to overcome the jet lag. Back home we were still in winter so munchkin did get a cold and so did I, mainly due to the weather change.

So here we are and it’s now September and several changes are on the horizon for us. I will share more on this in an upcoming post as it’s fairly long. All I will say is that life has been pretty crazy with more craziness on the way, and it’s taken some time for me to wrap my head around everything.

I will end it here and wish you all a happy spring! Here’s to more sunshine and warmer days 🙂

April 2017 Monthly Recap

April was the month with several public holidays so that meant long weekends! We enjoyed the two long weekends that we had, we mostly spent it with family and managed to catch up with some friends too. It was nice having my husband home as he was able to spend more time with our son in addition to me getting some help with taking care of the baby 🙂

I’m always on a mission to get more organised, it’s a work in progress but I’m slowly getting there.

Keep calm and get organized

I’m happy to say that this month I managed to accomplish a number of things on the organisation front. They were:

  • Sorted through and filed paperwork that had been piling up for months.
  • Cleaned out a cupboard that is located near the front door. It was piling up with all types of things but I’ve now cleared it all out and I have only kept things that we need in there.
  • Cleaned out two junk drawers in our living room.
  • Cleaned out my handbag.
  • Sorted my sons clothes and tidied up his wardrobe. Put away clothes that he has outgrown and washed the bigger sized clothes so they are ready to wear.

There’s still plenty more that needs to be done and I will get there eventually. I’m just happy that I’m making progress and accomplishing one goal at a time.

Apart from continuing on my quest of being more organised, I also started watching The Office (US version). Remember that show? It’s a great show and it is just hilarious! I watched season 1 years ago but I didn’t continue with it, I just didn’t get into it back then. Then a few weeks ago  I happened to catch some random episodes and loved it so I decided to start watching it from the beginning. I am currently part way through season 3 and I am loving it, so funny! Only 6 more seasons to go 🙂

What else? Well I have also enrolled my son into day care. He won’t start till the end of November when I am due to go back to work, but I may start him around mid October just so he eases into it a little better. We had a look at a few long day care centres and the one we liked by a mile was of course the most expensive at $110 per day. The others were not much cheaper but the one we chose had friendly staff, was spacious and looked very organised. It also had vacancies which was a surprise considering how hard it is to get a place in day care these days. So we decided to enrol him which involved having to pay two weeks bond plus an enrolment fee of $50. Very expensive indeed!

I just want to point out that the government does subsidise a part of that $110 per day. It should be 50% off capped at $7500 per year but I believe this may be changing according to the recent budget changes announced by the government. This benefit is not means tested so everyone is eligible. There is another benefit that is means tested but unfortunately I don’t think we will be eligible for that. Well at least we are getting something!

I think I have rambled on for long enough, hope you all had a great month!

March 2017 Recap

Well March was mostly about settling back into our house as my husband was away for most of February for work, and because of that I stayed at my parents with the baby. It took about a week to get into our routine but it is nice to be back home.

Apart from settling back home I managed to finally attend a mothers group meeting at the local community centre. I wasn’t aware that these meet ups were for babies that are between 0-8 weeks old so my son at 3.5 months was the odd one out. However I am glad I went as I was able to see what happens in these meet ups. I was unable to attend mothers group when my son was born as they were closed during December and January, but had they been open I think it would have been very helpful during those tough early weeks.

Mother and baby polar bears

On the bright side, at the mothers group meet up I did become aware of playgroup sessions that were also operating at the community centre. Playgroup NSW is offering free registration this year for babies under 12 months, so I registered my son and I have been attending the playgroup for babies over the last 3 weeks. Although munchkins is little, it’s nice for him to be around other kids and get used to noises and a different environment. It’s also nice to meet other mums and share experiences so I would have to say that I have enjoyed attending these sessions so far.

Taking my baby to these playgroup sessions has also unexpectedly helped in building my confidence. I have generally been hesitant to take the baby out on my own, but the other day I went to the shopping centre to buy a few things with the baby and I wasn’t stressed at all. I would not have had the confidence to do this a month ago, so I think getting out more has been beneficial to me too.

As far as my reading is concerned, I didn’t read any books this month and I’m pretty disappointed with myself about that. I want to read at least one book a month so hopefully going forward I start to achieve this goal on a regular basis.

So march ended up being a very positive month for me apart from the reading. Hope you all had a great month too!

Images: Tumblr

February 2017 Recap

The weather has been terrible this summer. I used to love summer, I seriously hate it now! We have experienced one of the hottest summers down here in Sydney Australia and I will be happy to see the back of it!

Ok weather rant over…

This month I have been staying at my parents house with the baby as my husband had to go overseas for work. My parents have enjoyed having us stay with them for a couple of weeks, they are after all pretty smitten by their first grandchild 🙂 I have used this time to catch up with friends and go out and do a little shopping here and there. It has only been for a few hours but it makes a difference. Staying indoors all the time can get isolating so it’s good to get out when the opportunity arises. I have also been trying to be more active by getting a morning walk in when I can. It was impossible during the first two weeks of the month due to the hot weather but as the weather has improved now I have trying to get more walks in.

It was my birthday this month and I was able to catch up with one of my dear friends on the day. We had lunch and saw the movie – Hidden Figures. Great film, those women were so strong, super smart and inspirational!

I started watching the TV show – Married at First Sight. Yes I have no shame lol! What can I say, I just can’t look away. Some of the couples look cute together and could make it work but there are few that seem totally mismatched. I really don’t know what the experts were thinking there. It will be interesting to see how they all progress, I know the likelihood is that most of them will break up, I guess there is always hope for a happy ending 🙂

I’ve been reading again and I finished my first book for 2017! Yay!

This month I read..

babysecretsbyjotantum

Baby Secrets – How to know your baby’s needs by Jo Tantum and Barbara Want

This book was recommended to me by a friend as a guide to introducing routines to babies. I found it to be a really insightful read and so far I have implemented the routines recommended in the book on my own baby. The main purpose of the book is to guide parents into introducing a routine with the ultimate aim of helping babies to sleep through the night. The book also talks about how to read your babies cries and tips on how to troubleshoot various issues that arise. It’s a good book and I would happily recommend it to a parent who wants to introduce their child to a routine.

I hope you all had a nice February. Next month I am hoping to settle back home and continue with my quest of getting more organised.