A Week of Money: Back at home and trying to find my balance again.
??:?? — Baby Bun wakes me up squealing and it turns out he needs the bathroom.
6:00 a.m. — It is already 6 a.m. We have to go in half an hour (out the door), but I can’t help myself and I pat him back to sleep for 15 more minutes. It will be hard to wake him again but he needs more sleep.
6:10 a.m. — I go and get ready, my outfit and Baby Bun’s was laid out the night before and everything has been packed. I have a big cup of tea and decide not to finish it to avoid the bathroom issue on the 3 hour bus ride back to the airport. There are no stops along the way. I eat an almond tart and then go to wake Baby Bun.
6:15 a.m. — I carry him all the way there. He starts to eat a yoghurt but discovers the tart and refuses to eat any more and eats half a tart instead.
6:20 a.m. — Everyone wakes up bright and early despite sleeping late last night to wish us goodbye. We give kisses and we are off.
6:35 a.m. — At the bus station Tante B waits with us and we board the bus waving bye.
6:37 a.m. — We are on the bus for 3 hours, and Baby Bun almost immediately (after narrating the security and info screens).
9:40 a.m. — We arrive after having half dozed on and off (Baby Bun is the only one who slept!) at the bus station. We find a bathroom and realize it is €0.50 per entry. We fork over enough for both. €1
10:11 a.m. — We get to the metro station and Baby Bun LOVES naming and seeing the trains. I’m relieved he slept, otherwise he would be worse.
10:37 a.m. — We take the train back to the airport and then do all the usual check-ins. I’m tempted by the beauty travel kits for sale but do the conversion and realize it is slightly cheaper yes, but I don’t really want it in the end. I put the makeup sets back.
10:49 a.m. — I spy an adorable melon watermelon platter and bowl which makes me laugh.
10:55 a.m. — We get to the gate and I’m feeling nauseous from the bus ride so I pop a mint and we have lunch we brought along of bread, leftover octopus and sausages. My partner buys some water. I decide to try a chai latte, but I later regret the size I got (medium) because it doesn’t taste as good as Starbucks and it has a strange slimy aftertaste. €5.60
11:45 p.m. — We get on the plane and Baby Bun is surprisingly not interested at all in planes taking off and landing. Baby Bun squeals at having to be buckled into his seat. I have to threaten him to get him to be quiet.
12:11 p.m. — Dang it is HOT on the plane. It is making me more nauseous.
12:17 p.m. —We finally take off and Baby Bun grabs the seat security manual and points out numbers and things he sees on there. I am trying to get closer to noon (EST) which is 6 hours later, or at 6 p.m. in these notes before letting him nap because I want to try and fix his jet lag beforehand. I suspect it is harder on kids than on adults who know they have no choice. I let Baby Bun play and am pleasantly surprised to have FREE wireless onboard. Yay!
12:21 p.m. — Baby Bun gives up on the manual and goes for my partner’s watch which he loves to take on and off and then hide in various places.
12:37 p.m. — We are only half an hour in and I’ve used two of my trump toddler cards: special puffy stickers. They’re gone now and Baby Bun is hankering for something new. I’m screwed.
12:49 p.m. — Intent on the internet, I try for 15 minutes to connect and it doesn’t work. Figures. It’s not free “wireless” internet, it is just their wireless connectivity to their multimedia station which.. of course.. doesn’t bloody work.
12:59 p.m. — A girl on the plane is reading one of my favourite books — China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan. He has a new book out too, a third one called Rich People Problems.
1:09 p.m. — I regret leaving my Kobo at home at the last minute. I could have used some of the time to read books. I make a note to buy an airplane pen (my liquid one leaked), and to bring my e-reader next time. Plus, to not use my travel patches so quickly. I should have reused the first one for my subsequent trips and saved a fresh new one for the trip back. Or buy spares. But they’re $18 for 2!!!
1:29 p.m. — I read through my saved Feedly and am amused with the obsession over celebrities. I guess I don’t get it and will never get it. I only obsess over what they WEAR as style combinations or ideas but they aren’t idols to me.
3:09 p.m. — Baby Bun gets up for the bathroom twice (an activity), and we refuse the airline food (it looks terrible, some sort of beef thing with powdered potatoes? Ick.) he ends up making it all the way to 3 p.m. (EST) before napping in my lap in no time (less than 30 seconds). We almost made it to 5 p.m. EST
3:15 p.m. — The girl across the aisle is with her boyfriend and she lies down for a nap as well, across his lap. He gently rubs her head and she sleeps. It is so sweet. The attendants are so nice, asking 4-5 times if we were sure we didn’t want food, saying “It’s free!” Well free isn’t always good.
3:19 p.m. — My iPod Touch is about to die so I turn it off and close my eyes. How many more hours are left?!?
6:18 p.m. — Baby Bun wakes up and gets up for the bathroom twice (an activity), and we refuse the airline food (it looks terrible, some sort of beef thing with powdered potatoes? Ick.) he ends up making it all the way to 10 a.m. before napping in my lap in no time (less than 30 seconds). The girl across the aisle is with her boyfriend and she lies down for a nap as well, across his lap. He gently rubs her head and she sleeps. It is so sweet.
6:40 p.m. — The attendants are so nice, asking 4-5 times if we were sure we didn’t want food, saying “Are you sure? It’s free!” Well free isn’t always good.
6:53 p.m. — My iPod Touch is about to die so I turn it off and close my eyes. How many more hours are left?!?
7:38 p.m. — I get up to go to the bathroom and before Baby Bun knows it, I’m already in there. I can hear him wailing bloody murder, he is screaming: MOMMYYYYYYYYY!! Mommyyyyyy!!!! And my partner is blocking him from the aisle. I go, and get back (this has only been 2 minutes!!) and he is red-faced and sobbing squealing: Mommy go pee!! Want Mommy go pee!!! I sigh.
7:39 p.m. — We go back to the bathroom and I pretend to pee again but he is not buying my fake noises of peeing and bursts into tears again. I lead back my snuffling toddler to the seat and we sit down where I commence bribing him with an iPad and some headphones. PERFECTION. He was so happy he was quiet the rest of the flight, creating photo videos and memories setting it to the pre-set Apple music. Bliss.
8:11 p.m. — I am trying to not get sick on the plane and when they announce it is time to land (OMG FINALLY the last hour has been excruciating), Baby Bun naturally refuses to be buckled in. I haul Baby Bun up and hold him in my arms as the plane landed. He is too young to know what air travel is.
8:35 p.m. — We head to customs and I’m pleased to see this self-checkout. We are in and out of that area in 15 minutes but then we were held up at the actual exit where they take your Declarations from you. Hmm. The bottleneck shifted from customs to this area. They need to add 4 more lanes here to keep up with the flow!
[Note: The time is now 6 hours behind in EST so it is afternoon at around 2 p.m. EST when we land, but I am continuing with the same time zone as when we left to keep continuity.]
8:47 p.m. — We take the special 747 airport bus to the station and on the way I hear the driver say the streets are closed downtown so he only makes 2 stops. $20
9:33 p.m. — I hop off at the first stop and my partner follows 5 minutes later, totally annoyed. “I thought we were going downtown then taking the bus!!!!” I snap back that the bus is only stopping TWICE today and this is the only option. He calms down. We get to the station and wait for the bus.
10:02 p.m. — Oh! There’s the bus! We get up to go and then it …. PASSES US!!!!! WTF!!!!!!
10:03 p.m. —We start speed walking to the next stops with our luggage, a reluctant child and backpacks realizing that maybe this bus doesn’t stop here any more (how could it have changed in 3 weeks?!?) and realize on the way the entire main arteries and the highway are ALL BLOCKED. W.T.F.
10:38 p.m. — Half an hour later, with a panting, furious, whiny child and the both of us annoyed AF, we reach the last bus stop and then backtrack again.
10:41 p.m. — We finally see the bus. Oddly enough it is the same bus that passed us. We literally walked faster than the bus. FASTER THAN THE BUS with a child.
10:46 p.m. — We get on the bus and my partner asks him in an annoyed tone what happened with passing us. The driver gives some lame excuse and we realize later that he was SUPPOSED to stop at our stop but forgot and doesn’t know what his actual route is.
11:42 p.m. — We get home, jet lagged and exhausted 3 hours later when it should have only been 1 hour to make it home. I’m beat. This was terrible.
11:44 p.m. — I start to unpack everything. I hate leaving things undone.
12:34 a.m. — We eat a quick meal my partner picked up at the grocery store of bread and cheese – he also refilled the air in my car tires on the way because the last time he forgot and left it too long, the entire car broke down and I had to call and pay for towing in the middle of winter with Baby Bun in tow which made me EXTRA FURIOUS.
12:58 a.m. — We all turn in after I start laundry. I’ll dry it tomorrow. Baby Bun doth protest too much but then he falls asleep ASAP.
Spent: $20 – Prepaid Airport Tickets / €1 – Bathroom
??:?? a.m. — Baby Bun wakes up asking for milk, and I get him back down immediately.
6:30 a.m. — Baby Bun wakes me up at 6:30 and I’m pleased. I slept well and so did he. I give him a bottle of milk and I go to make tea but realize we have NOTHING in the fridge, not even milk. There goes that idea. I’ll have my tea at the office.
6:33 a.m. — I get ready for work, and Baby Bun panics seeing me dress. He keeps crying: No school! Mommy no work!! No work!!!
7:59 a.m. — I get him out the door and we make it to the pre-school only to realize too late that IT IS CLOSED FOR A HOLIDAY. I immediately remember the email I got and face palm myself. I’m such an idiot.
8:38 a.m. — I sigh and tell Baby Bun today is a SPECIAL day because Mommy is staying at home with him to work. He immediately ceases crying and is all smiles and sunshine excited about Mommy Time at home.
8:48 a.m. — I drop by the grocery store on the way home and pick up milk. $3.79
9:40 a.m. — At home, I undress into loungewear and spend the next hour trying to log in. WTF. 5 calls later, I’m logged in and working. I make myself 2 huge cups of tea and give Baby Bun a cup of milk.
10:00 a.m. — Work. Work. Work. Baby Bun behaves VERY WELL. He does his puzzles quietly and is just so happy to not be away from me.
11:30 a.m. — I take him out for lunch and we get some sushi. Screw it, I buy 3 packs of it (one for him), and on the way to the cash, one plastic box slides off my arm and slices my wrist. OUCH. It swells immediately and leaves a red line. At the cash, I let Baby Bun “pay” with my card. $29.25
11:39 a.m. — Back at home, we eat the sushi (he devoured the avocado sushi) and Baby Bun plays with a school bus around me.
1:00 p.m. — I try to get him down for his nap after 10 minutes but he protests pretty strongly. He wants to sleep outside where I work, lying on the floor on his special blanket, clutching my legs and feet to make sure I don’t disappear. I FIRMLY get him down for a nap and close the door lightly. I hear him snuffling and whining for about 15 minutes then he naps. I work peacefully but everything is so slow on VPN. Sigh.
2:45 p.m. — Baby Bun wakes up and wants to go out to the park but I remind him that Mommy has to work. He quiets down and plays. I promise to take him out to find a photo album if he lets me work. He plays with puzzles. He loves these Fisher Price ones and does it on his own.
6:05 p.m. — Whoa. It’s already 6?!? I go to get ready to go out and find a photo album but my partner walks in with bread and eggs, intent on an omelette for dinner. I take Baby Bun out anyway. I said I would.
6:25 p.m. — My partner starts cooking couscous and some lentils for our lunches for the week while I’m out with Baby Bun. At the store, they sell everything BUT photo albums. Of course. I try to leave but Baby Bun wants the dollhouse toys to play with and I stay and chat with the super sweet sales girl until closing time.
7:00 p.m. — We end up having a nice dinner when we get back in the house, I finish drying the clothes (I forgot about them!!!).
8:15 p.m. — We ALL go to sleep, exhausted from jetlag and working, after I read him a few books and he protests bedtime until…..??????
????? — Finally sleeps. This is a regular occurrence. We are technically IN BED by 8:15 p.m. but he doesn’t sleep until 9, 10… who knows?
5:30 a.m. — Baby Bun wakes me at 5:30 but I’m not that mad. I feel slightly refreshed, even.
5:31 a.m. — He gets his goat milk and I make tea (my partner brought milk back last night). I sip it and start trying to finish scheduling all my Week of Money posts, doing my credit card checks and paying bills.
6:01 a.m. — What! 6 already??!? I get ready for work and Baby Bun asks for it to be Friday so he can stay with Daddy while Mommy works. I refuse and we have a whiny session all the way to the car.
8:00 a.m. — I drop him off and he sobs (not very convincingly I might add), and I go to work, in politically correctly happy to be back.
8:11 a.m. — I open my Inbox, and start on the workload. I eat my couscous and lentil lunch and work right through lunch at my desk on the phone with a supplier for a conference call. Hmm. My white wrap skirt is cute but it is TIGHT. I need to lose some weight, I’m sick of things not fitting.
12:11 p.m. — Lunch. Then I work. I eat it at my desk.
4:00 p.m. — My brain hurts. I want to go home. I spy the time and decide to duck out early to pick up my new dress.
4:10 p.m. — I try to pick up my newly tailored dress but she isn’t in.
4:30 p.m. — I pick up Baby Bun earlier and they inform me he sobbed for an hour this morning but is maturing because he wanted to play and participate for the first time he has started preschool! HUGE!
5:09 p.m. — In the garage, I meet up with a neighbour on the way, chatting about kids. Hers is punishing her by crying for half an hour every time she comes home from work.
5:29 p.m. — I barely make it to the lobby before I meet another neighbour. We chat about the trip we took and we catch up on our kids and family life. She tells me that her son accidentally walked in on her and her husband having sex and now they just have to leave the home to be sure as their doors have no locks. LOL. Kids are real cockblockers.
5:59 p.m. — At home, Baby Bun plays with his new Caillou floor puzzles and I survey the dishes and pots from yesterday’s cooking to be done. Frankly I just want to burn it all and start over. Chuck it all into the garbage and buy new dishes and pots. I am SO TIRED I do not want to wash them. I do the pots, dishes and grump about why the pan for the omelette is ALWAYS BURNED and my partner sheepishly tells me it is because of the mushrooms. Grr.
7:02 p.m. — After the dishes, I clean up, unpack and remember I need to do and buy a whole bunch of crap. I make notes while my partner grills.
7:09 p.m. — Baby Bun plays with his puzzle but drops it all like a hot potato when he sees food on the table. We eat some duck confit (way too salty) and end with cheese (again! salt monster!).
8:29 p.m. — I do all the dishes AGAIN from dinner and leave them to dry, and then we head off to get ready for bed. There is NO TIME to do anything by the time we get home because it is just dinner, then bedtime it seems.
5:30 a.m. — I wake up early at 5:30 and start my tea. I can’t seem to sleep.
5:35 a.m. — Not even 10 minutes later, Baby Bun ninja senses that Mommy left and he comes thundering out like a baby rhino, rubbing his eyes sleepily. Crap. I try and keep him quiet and drink my tea and give him his beloved milk.
5:45 a.m. — We cuddle together as I review my notes and pictures and try to sort through our pictures to send a few to his Mamie. She requested a few photos but I will send about 100 of them already put into an album perhaps with notes of his age. I want to give her something to look at when she wants.
6:01 a.m. — My partner wakes and I put the dishes away and get ready to go. I forgot how much I love wearing makeup when it is “required” and dressing up for work. I don’t get to wear heels but I don’t care, I’m wearing real clothes!!!
8:08 a.m. — We get to his preschool and the sobbing starts. Sigh.
8:18 a.m. — I get to work and start. I was away for 3 weeks but it doesn’t stop. ENDLESS WORK.
11:02 a.m. — I eat my quinoa lunch with lentils and green onions but have a hankering for sushi. Hmm…
11:48 a.m. — I decide to go out for sushi and end up trying a very delicious, new favourite called the Poké Bowl, a new trend in food that sounds a lot like Pokémon to me. LOL. $15.89
12:08 p.m. — It is SO GOOD. Salmon, avocado, spicy mayo?!? Sign me up when it has a ton of white rice too. OMFG. New love.
4:56 p.m. — I work and leave to pick up Baby Bun who seems to be fine now. I learn from my mistake yesterday and take him immediately to the bathroom before going in the car (I had go do an emergency stop yesterday!!)
5:15 p.m. — We head home and I take him to the pool to splash around for an hour. He LOVES it but won’t put his face near the water. I’m trying to implement the tips used by the instructor I hired months ago to help teach Baby Bun to swim but he is too excited to be outside.
6:04 p.m. — As I head in with him for dinner and clean up (for sure my partner is home by now), I stop and chat with a neighbour who waves to us. Baby Bun gives them major shade and refuses to even say Hello. I tell him it is rude and we should not do that to friends. We should always say Hello. He spends the rest of the night (even during the night waking up!!) to say in wonderment: “Didn’t say hello! Must say hello! Don’t be rude!“.
7:18 p.m. — We eat a dinner of smoked salmon (craving my Poké bowl fix now), and we all head to bed after Baby Bun insists on finishing his Caillou puzzle (he can’t leave things undone).
8:22 p.m. — I make a note as I sleep, to shower tomorrow. My hair doesn’t look as good as in Europe for some reason. Maybe it is the water.
6:45 a.m. — Baby Bun is still sleeping (!!!!) I panic slightly I will be late for work.
6:48 a.m. — I get ready and while I’m doing so, I am staring at him while he sleeps, waiting for him to wake up.
7:00 a.m. — He is up!!! And protesting school already.
7:03 a.m. — We head out immediately no time for tea today.
7:39 a.m. — I get to preschool and he sobs bloody murder again.
11:58 p.m. — At work it is non stop until noon.
12:01 p.m. — I head out for a walk to clear my head after wolfing down my lunch. I steel my reserve NOT to buy another Poké bowl. OMG.
12:12 p.m. —I look for a photo album for Mamie at so many shops (gat damn it is HOT!!!!) and drop by my go-to jewellery store. A necklace I want is $150. I think it is cute but can’t justify it. I walk away from it.
12:22 p.m. — I make it to a store and find the exact bag I have wanted for the beach — a tote in the cellulose! I buy it immediately in brown, sad they don’t have it in the grey I wanted. $90.27
12:48 p.m. — I head back to work. On the way back I weaken and grab a Poké bowl. I’m weak in the face of a new obsession. $15.89
1:08 p.m. — More work. Work.
5:48 p.m. — I leave late today (someone caught me before I could go), and end up picking up Baby Bun 45 minutes late. Oops.
6:38 p.m. — We head home and I collapse. It is so hot in the apartment!! I turn on the AC full blast. Baby Bun hassles me for food, I feed him vegan soup and oatmeal, and he gobbles it down. We end up eating again (candied salmon) and bread. Yum.
8:37 p.m. — Bedtime.
6:21 a.m. — I am super tired today. He keeps waking up during the night, probably due to jet lag.
6:47 a.m. — I get ready and go to work with him. Again, he sobs. This is not even worth writing about.
7:59 a.m. — I work the entire morning and realize someone bought a huge bag of Kit Kat “Bites”. I LOVE Kit Kats and never buy them as a result because I will eat the whole thing. I manage to not look at them or take a single bite the entire day due to sheer willpower and fatigue.
12:08 p.m. — Lunch. I eat my quinoa and green onions and my stomach rumbles. I head out (again, weak) to browse for this cute photo album (why is it so hard to find a CUTE photo album?) for Mamie.
12:18 p.m. — I find a photo album that looks good, and is a good quality for the photos (I hate flimsy pockets). On the way out I add a bag of Coconut Bacon as chips (OMG SO GOOD). $14.92
12:32 p.m. — On the way back, you guessed it — another Poké bowl. I’m addicted. $15.89
12:58 p.m. — I work, then pick up Baby Bun and on the way out, see that there’s dry cleaning in the building. That would save a ton of time if I could just drop my clothes off to be cleaned and pick them up on the way home instead of making two stops. I make a note to find out how to get it done.
1:02 p.m. — I pop by a store on the way home and pick up another photo album but hate the pockets. It’s cuter, with a nice striped whale in front but the quality is questionable. I buy it anyway to show my partner to decide. $11.49
4:42 p.m. — I pick Baby Bun up and go home.
5:06 p.m. — At home, my partner decides on the better quality one (as I suspected) and I make a note to return the other one.
6:22 p.m. — I sort through more photos of Baby Bun.
7:24 p.m. — We eat some more fish (two days in a row!) and it’s candied salmon this time. It doesn’t taste as good as the last time, I wonder what happened.
8:28 p.m. — Time for bed. Baby Bun resists. I think if I took him swimming daily he would be easy to get down but it is to find the TIME to do this while having to vacuum, do laundry, etc. There is not enough time in the week, let alone the day after work.
7:02 a.m. — I wake up and Skype with my mother immediately. Baby Bun wants to Skype with her all the time and then doesn’t want to be on Skype talking to her or having her read to him. WTF, child.
7:32 a.m. — I go through my list of things to get done and organize what I have to buy. I need to pick up some special Oral-B Satin Floss for Mamie as well, they don’t get it where she lives.
9:30 a.m. — I feed Baby Bun his vegan soup while I chat to my mom.
9:59 a.m. — My mom mentions ordering “a few things” off Walmart for my aunt.
10:38 a.m. — I end up ordering over $500 USD worth of goods to help her stock up – change of bedding, pot, pan, spatulas, white vinegar, baking soda, etc. Luckily Walmart.com lets you pay by Paypal, as I don’t have a U.S. credit card any more. $831.18
10:48 a.m. — My partner gets an emergency call to work and he logs in immediately. He’s on call 24/7 but never gets called unless of course, it happens to be the day I want to leave early to get stuff done.
11:02 a.m. — I wash my mom’s new blouse for her (after showing it to her on Skype), because I placed it in a box that had dye that smelled like horse poo and her shirt just STANK of it afterwards. I tossed the box (it was the one I bought for my papers) and now I have to iron and lightly perfume her shirt for her.
12:08 p.m. — I get dressed and slather on Tarte’s Tarteguard SPF 30. Damn this stuff is thick. I just wish it didn’t smell so strongly.. I need to find another SPF.
12:28 p.m. — I leave Baby Bun and he seems fine when I close the door, after I explain that I have to “get stuff done” (which he parrots back). I later find out that he sobbed for an hour and a half before falling asleep exhausted and woke up crying for me after only half an hour.
2:56 p.m. — In the meantime, while I’m out I print 193 photos of Baby Bun, I buy all of the things I wanted including checking (again) a Winners to see if any more cute albums existed, the floss for Mamie and some more Ricola for my throat. I end up finding small notebooks with a pen that she wanted only to discover that my partner just wanted a notebook with an elastic, no pen, as small as possible. GRRRR.. Why the hell didn’t he tell me THAT before I went out to 8 different stores looking for this stupid notebook? I end up finding and buying this XS Mini Moleskine online.
5:32 p.m. — We eat some mustard marinated smoked chicken wings and Baby Bun REFUSES TO LISTEN TO US to go to sleep. I revoke Train Day (usually I take him out on the weekend to ride the trains), and he sobs but eventually after 45 minutes, gives in.
6:44 p.m. — I go and check Anthropologie out of curiousity after doing dishes. I’ve been looking for a second swimsuit just in case my first one is wet and drying but I ONLY like the Seafolly Boyleg style that is no longer sold through Seafolly. Anthropologie and Amazon has it though, it is a staple but always in black (I already have it in black).
6:59 p.m. — I spy a STRIPED version and I’m all over it. It sizes pretty darn small.. I have a size 10 in the black already (I am a US 4 body with US 6 shoulders), and although the 10 is sold out I take the 12, on a gamble. I figure the swimsuit will be tight and even if it isn’t it won’t be elephant-skin loose. I can always return it if need be. It is the best swimsuit style I’ve found for me that I can swim in that doesn’t fall off in the water and flatters all body shapes and types. With the shipping at $20, it comes out to $222.50
7:27 p.m. — Pleased with my find (it is very hard to find this swimsuit in a style that is nice), and although they have a floral version it isn’t my style. I prefer stripes.
And so it begins. Shopping, getting back into the groove of life again with a child who hates school.
More spending on my aunt… This is getting expensive.