Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Cheers!

OK it has been a very long time in between posts - I have been busy creating babies, buying houses, chasing a toddler, working and generally being slack at catching up with Daily Grind.

But I do want to take a quick opportunity to wish you all a wonderful 2009! I can't believe 2008 is nearing an end already - where did it go.

2009 is going to be huge year for me - we are relocating out of Sydney and moving into our very first house in February and having our second baby at the end of March. So it will be a hectic start to the year - never a dull moment!

Anyway, enjoy the last few days of 2008 and have an exciting start to the New Year! Happy New Year!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Travelling OS With Young Kids - Does It Get Easier??

My family and I are heading to the US next year for a family wedding - this is our first time travelling OS with two very young children. 

We knew it was always going to be difficult travelling with a seven week old baby and a two year old toddler, but we didn't realise how much of a nightmare it would become ........... and we haven't even left yet!!  

Where we are going (North Carolina), there is no direct flight from LA or San Francisco, so from Sydney we have to take three flights to get there and three back. So to do the whole leg will take almost 30 hours!

At this stage thinking about this number of flights and the length of time was conjuring up images of terrible tantrums from a big Mr 2, trying to keep him entertained for almost 30 hours of travel, a screaming newborn and little patience from two parents with no sleep! Then there is the lugging around all of the luggage, prams and other associated baby stuff around various airports, and trying to squeeze in newborn feeds every three hours, not to mention trying to keep some level of sanity.

To add to the planning fun, just as we were starting to book all of this, the Aussie dollar decided to take a major plunge. Suddenly everything became that much more expensive! Adding to this, Mr 2 will be a month over getting a free ride, so his flights alone were going to cost over $3,000. Ouch!!

Our solution ........ after a few Panadols....... the trip has been somewhat changed to maintain some level of sanity. The most important factor: Mr 2 will now be staying behind in Australia with the grandparents for two weeks! 

If anyone has fabulous tips for traveling with small kids, I would love to hear!

Friday, September 5, 2008

My latest addiction!

Hi! My name is Emma! And I have an word puzzles of all things!

I have always enjoyed crossword puzzles and games like Scrabble.  And now, ever since the introduction of Facebook, I have taken on the responsibility of giving Scrabulous (now Word Scraper), Word Twist, Scramble and Pathwords a good work out!

What is is about these games that have me so hooked? They are after all a little more interactive than a good old crossword puzzle. Maybe it is my twisted competitive nature, which can't get enough of trying to beat my friends at something!!

Who knows! But I do like to believe what I read in an article in Newsweek in the US: "Some experts are even asserting that it can lower your blood pressure, relieve stress - even make you smarter. It might just be the least-harmful addiction around."

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Cruising on the Mac-side!

My husband recently convinced me to cross over to the Mac-side after 13 years of using a PC. I still have so much to figure out, but mostly I am enjoying using it ...... and it does look very cool.

I was most impressed by the video and photo capabilities of the Mac ............. all of which I haven't had time to learn yet! But I will one day! I said the same thing when we bought Adobe Elements for our PC and do you think I ever got around to doing it.  Maybe it's time for me to stop procrastinating!

I think the biggest clincher for me with the Mac was the ability to have Office software on my computer. I don't think I would have made the change if I couldn't - some habits never die!!  

But best of all I don't have to install anti-virus software and have continuous pop up messages telling me to update and then having to reboot for the changes to take effect.

Long live the Mac!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Ever So Helpful and Very Organised ATO!

I got a letter from the ATO in May 2007 telling me that they had transferred money in August 2006 into an old superannuation account of mine on behalf of a company I once worked for. Good to see that it took them almost nine months to actually inform me!!

The problem is that I closed that super account some time before they transferred the money. 

In true Emma form, it has taken me until June 2008 to actually track down my money. My previous super provider actually sent the money back to the ATO in August 2006 as the account was closed. So even though the money went back to the ATO immediately, the ATO still sent me a letter nine months later telling me that they had sent the money to the old account.

You would think in nine months they would have their paperwork sorted and send me a letter or call me to find out where I would like the money to go. 

It reminds me of dealing with Immigration!!

So naturally I had to sit through 27 minutes of revolving crap on the phone to actually speak with someone about it! I love dealing with the government!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Career vs children

Career vs children - the million dollar question (well it would be nice if it was!!)

After taking 12 months off work to spend some quality time with my gorgeous little boy Jackson, I hit the "what is best for my career and what is best for my child" dilemma.

Prior to Jackson entering the world in April 2007, I was working in a demanding Asia Pacific marketing role for an IT company, which involved long hours and lots of travel - both OS and locally. When it came time for my maternity leave to finish this year, I was faced with a big dilemma. Do I go back to my job? Do I work at all? Do I work part-time? Can I travel with a child? Do I put Jackson into daycare? What is best for Jackson? What is best for my career? What is most important to me?

Sound familiar?

While I have worked very hard to get where I am in my career over the past 11 years, spending quality time with Jackson is now the most important thing to me.  I have always wanted to be a mum and being there for him means the world to me!

After much soul searching, my decision was made easier by the fact that since I went on maternity leave, India had come into the mix in a big way - not only lots more travel, but also much longer hours with India 5.5 hours behind Australia. Working longer hours and traveling wasn't an option for me .................... and I certainly do admire anyone who can do it successfully with little ones!! 

So I did something that I always said I would never do ........... I started my own business providing marketing communications services - and much to my surprise, the work just flowed on in!!

My dad has run his own business for about 30 years and I have always seen the challenges that go along with it, particularly people not paying on time.....or at all.  And it is something I too have faced in the two short months since I started my business.

But at the moment, it is perfect for me - it gives me the best of all worlds: having the flexibility to work from home and contribute money into the family; keeping my career open; and also having the quality time with my beautiful son.  I guess I am fortunate enough that I can do this with my career, where many people's jobs won't allow them this luxury. 

I do sometimes miss the comraderie of working in an office with my colleagues, but having the quality time with my son is something I would never give up. I do feel lucky!  

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Caving in to technology

OK - well it is time I find out what this blogging thing is all about. Ironically I work in the IT industry, but I have been fighting every urge to join the blogging community to date. Oh but I have caved ...... peer pressure!!

So here I am for anyone who has some time to waste and read my rants! Warning though - I can't promise that what you read will change your life, but I can only try!