Sunday, March 22, 2015

Money on Monday: My week of full-time work as a student

Here is a more detailed account of my week of nanny/babysitting work and working 40+ hours a week while in full time school. I'm not doing this to complain or show off but just to give a glimpse of how much travel means to me and how I realistically make all of this money while I am home. It's not like oh I'm in school and I grab a part time job then be able to travel the world afterwards. It's more like how far can I stretch myself until I think I might snap. 

Sunday-  (5 hours work)
7:00- wake-up, write a paper

10:00-3:00- babysit an infant, change diapers, run around the yard, feed him lunch, watch him fight a nap, then talk him for a walk to make him sleep, he falls asleep, we come home and he instantly wakes up and screams bloody murder until I take him outside again. Dad gets home--- freedom

4:00-7:00- group project in the library

Study all night for my exam the next day

Monday- (7 hours work) 
5:00- up, gym, shower
8:00- 12:18- Babysit Diva, get dressed, feed her, go to the park, let her climb a hill herself only to have her come down covered head to toe in mud "but lexie I found a mud pile". Cousins arrive and I get some nanny solidarity, feed her a snack, chase them away from the street, load up Diva, get home, unload, feed her lunch while she takes every crayon out of the box and lays them on the ground, mom calls to say she is being late, freak out because I have an exam at 12:45. Mom gets home and I run out the door
12:52-2:00- burst into the door 7 minutes late for my exam, bust it out and then run out the door for my next job
2:25- get to preschool, go get nugget, grab her lunchbox, kitty, painting, coat, and blanket to put in the car. Ask her where she wants to go and we decide on the big park to feed the ducks. 
3:00-6:00- No food in my car so we go to the store to get bread (and I also grab some groceries- priorities). Then we go the park and I proceed to chase her like crazy for hours, drop kitty in the river and have an epic meltdown, finally load up the car to go get Monkey from school. Monkey and Diva get in a wrestling flight on the floor, then get diva's things and drive home through traffic while they sing for me from the backseat... it's beautiful. Get home and mom asks me to play with the baby for awhile while she finishes dinner. change diaper, etc. free
6:30-10:30- library time! get my reading work done for tomorrow

Tuesday- (work 13.5 hours)
7:45- wake up, my alarm didn't go off! run out the door
8:00- arrive at babysitting job. Kids are on spring break so I have both of them today. 
8:45- Little W gets up. He wakes up E and they start running around shrieking that they want to go to the park
9:00- breakfast,  They go to make a mess in their room while I pack lunch for the park. Potty and everyone dressed.
10:00- 1:00- Park. E walks into a bar and gets a massive bump. W throws a fit over taking turns on the bubbles. Snack. Make some friends.  W starts pushing all the kids and then becomes even more upset when I get him in trouble. Girls go into the sandpit and take off their shoes and socks and burry them. Other kids leave and I drag my kids to have lunch, W is exhausted and starving - so upset he wont even eat. We get the crying one and the sandy one into the wagon with all of our stuff and pull them home. 
1:00-3:00- Little W naps while E and I hang out. color and bake brownies, then she does dishes and sprays water all over the kitchen. 
3:00-5:00- Little W wakes up, water table, brownies and lemonade, W dumps water all over me. Great. we blow bubbles in the yard and I distract them as long as I can to keep them outside the house. 
5:00-6:00- Change them all to being dry, and clean. While also serving dinner, cleaning up dinner, and keeping them entertained. Mom gets home- chat quick then run out the door
6:20 - arrive at other babysitting job. 4 girls 5 and under. They meet me outside and we play in the backyard.
7:00-8:00- head inside because one the babies tips over the stroller on herself. read books and distract the girls for a bit, then get 4 girls to go potty, brush their teeth, put on diapers, and get jammies on. It's slow with lots of wrangling and fighting. 
8:00- put babies down, sing songs, and leave big girls on their own room to read quietly. Come in and find them both screaming about a fight. Read them stories and put them down. Go into kitchen and clean for parents. 
8:32- Oldest girl comes out saying her sister won't be quiet enough for her to sleep, go yell as sister and remind her the rules.
8:40-9:20- repeat the process with punishments and calls to mom until all girls are quiet.
10:00- parents home, drive home, park car, walk to room, crawl in bed
10:40- finally in bed and realize i haven't done any schoolwork today, oh well

Wednesday- (7.5 hours work)
6:00- up, do an assignment for school
8:30-12:00- babysit four girls again, bubbles, coloring, snacks, diapers, cleaning colors off the walls, crying, books, balloons
12:45-2:00- Class
2:15-4:00- lab work
4:15-8:15- babysitting, take baby to gym class, home and dinner, baths and ready for bed
8:45- dinner and school work, catch up on lab work
11:00- sleep

Thursday- (6 hours work)
6:00- up gym
8:00-12:00- open up the baby gym I work at, shift, teach 4 classes for babies and 2 year olds, run around, down water, chat with parents, sing until my voice is killing me
12:45- 2:00- class
2:00-4:00- readings and school work
4:00-7:30- seminar class
7:50- 10:00- go sit at the house with a baby while parents go out, get school work done

Friday - (work 12.5 hours)
8:00- arrive at Diva's house, breakfast and fun, 
9:45-11:45- load car, adventure science center, play, avoid groups, etc.
12:00-3:00- home, lunch, rest time
3:30- take Diva to go let out the dog of another family I work for
4:00- starbucks stop to go potty
4:30- toy store! play
5:30- another toy store, books, buy a stuffed animal, etc
6:00- take her to dinner
6:30- get her home, face-paint and throw a party with balloons and bubbles in the kitchen
8:00- bed
10:30 - mom home

Saturday-  (13 hours work) 
8:00-1:00pm- teach baby classes, sing, talk to parents, meeting with my boss, etc. 
1:30-5:00- meet up with family friends that are in town with their kids, play with kids at the park while parents go shopping and eat, take kids to get popsicles, etc.
5:30-8:00- go babysit my normal 4 girl family but with their 3 cousins in town. That means I'm watching a 5-year old, 2 3-year-olds, twin 2-year olds and twin 1-year olds. CHAOS. Crying. dinner, diapers, changing, bottles, jammies, teeth, panties, etc.
8:00- all kids in bed, and then a baby wakes up and starts screaming
8:15-9:45- console baby, put him down,  he wakes up screaming again within minutes, repeat (he was sick, sharing a room with his twin brother, and right night to all 5 other kids room, therefore every time he woke up screaming they were fussing too)
10:00- silence! 
11:00- parents home, I go home and sleep

NO WORK! rest day... just kidding, I have a research paper to write, a group presentation to prepare, 3 chapters to read, and 6 hours of lab work to do to meet my weekly quota

And on Monday- I repeat.

Just to recap- that's 
64 hours of work
4 classes
10 hours of lab work
1 group project
1 exam
1 paper

and that's how it goes. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Money on Monday: The numbers

I want to keep better track of what I actually spend on traveling. So I am going to start by logging the specifics of my savings RIGHT now. That means I will be updating with what I have saved, what I expect to have saved, and what I want those savings to get me through:

Savings when I returned from last travels (December 19th 2014)- $3,000

Savings January 31st- $5,100

Expected Savings May 31st (when I leave again)- $10,200

In my last money on Monday post I talked a lot about how I was making this money and such. So now I will begin actually documenting exactly what I am spending.

For a long time I kept everything in a note on my iphone, but now I have finally created a spreadsheet to keep track of all my finances.

 I just followed the wikihow page for how to set it up.

I have been doing a pretty good job of keeping it up to date. And it has really helped me keep up with my finances.

In addition I am hoping to use it to extensively track my travel expenses to figure out where I am spending money and how I am spending it- i want to know the true cost of travel. I want to know how far $10,000 will take me. I broke down my expenses into accommodation, food and drink, fun, transportation, etc.

That way at the end of my travels I can see what I am doing money wise. So let's see if in 9 weeks (NINE WEEKS!!) I meet my financial goals and how far that money takes me.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Zaans Schaanz: A touristy town outside Amsterdam.

We did a few really good day trips from Amsterdam but one of my favorites was definitely this place.

While this is a clearly a tourist set up, with 3 kids in tow it was such a fun day and a great way to get a taste of the culture of the Netherlands.

It took about 30 minutes by train from Amsterdam to get there, then we just walked our way across the town to get to the town.

The first sighting in 7 windmills on the water. So very Dutch.

Very picturesque. We crossed over the bridge and starting walking the little path that lead through the town. There were about 18 different stops you could make along the way. We started with the clock museum and made our way all the way down to the wood working shop.

The girls really loved looking out over the water and pointing at the pretty windmills.

And we all loved the animal/farm part of the town. They had goats and sheep and cows. Then you could enter a cheese shop and try all the theses from these animals.

And of course, climbing in a giant clog to pose for photos. 

And lastly, selfies with a windmill. Have I mentioned I love these little people?

While this was very touristy- and crowded, it was still quaint, sweet, extremely well down and very dutch. We really enjoyed ourselves and had such a beautiful day out there.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Thank you to my Pariwaar- Nepal

The best part of my entire trip to Nepal was my family. I stayed with quiet a few families in Nepal. One in the mountains. One in the rural village. And One in Kathmandu. But the one I consider my true family is definitely my Kathmandu family. I lived with them for 2.5 out of 3.5 months. And I absolutely LOVE them.

I was lucky that with my siblings I didn’t suffer any language barriers. They are all fluent in English because of the prominence of English Medium schools in Kathmandu.

My littlest brother (9 years old) was the first one I became close with. He was easy to talk to, silly, and young. He was also around a lot so there were few barriers to our budding friendship. We really enjoyed playing uno, card games, dancing, checkers, and me chasing him out of my room all the time.

My sister, the 18 year old, was my closest friend. But followed very closely by the runner up of my 19-year-old brother.

My sister and I spent hours chatting, would shop together on Saturdays, would gossip at night in bed, and would watch movies and TV shows together in my room. We both fell in love with Game of Thrones. I would say I am as close to her as my biological sister back home, if not closer. And I truly appreciate her love for fashion- haha! Any question I had, anything I needed help buying or finding she was there with me. Not to mention we had so much fun together.

My older brother, the 19-year-old, and I become close later in the semester and then we instantly realized we make perfect friends. He is very quiet at first, and like most 19-year-old boys stays hidden in his room sleeping a lot. The real turning point for us was Deshain because we spent so much time together, and we all started going a little crazy, that things just got completely silly. He is hilariously sarcastic and witty, while also being sweet and so much fun. We can look at each other a just burst out laughing. He also came out with us a few times and showed us some bars in Kathmandu. None of the other host siblings did that; therefore it made him extremely special, which was important to me. We also had a lot of fun joking about his secret girlfriend and telling mom.

The 3 of us were quiet the show at dinner, the only time we were all together. We would laugh, make ridiculous jokes and sarcastic comments, and just have so much fun together. We all started our nightly tradition of rooftop parties where we would go up to the roof and talk, laugh, and joke. We would take photos and stay up there looking at stars until bedtime.

But I wasn’t just lucky to have amazing siblings. I also had amazing parents! Obviously our connection was on a whole different level. It took longer to get closer, but I have so much love for them in a different way.

My mom, she is strong and intense. But underneath the sweetest loving person. She was accepting of me in the home, and let me take my time to be comfortable with everything. By the time I was  2 months in I felt extremely comfortable with her. She always wanted me to come sit by her, and to come watch TV with her. We had cooking lessons together, we shared tea and stories, and a bond of mother and daughter.

My hajur-amma was at first hard to interact with as well. She has previous students and therefore she assumed that I spoke Nepali when I first arrived and didn't understand why I couldn't have conversations with her. However we broke through that barrier and began to create a bond. Differences in age, and culture were huge but she was extremely sweet and endlessly concerned about me. Not to mention she was an adorable old grandmother.

My Babaa was easy to get along with from the start- minimal English but an easy-going friendly attitude. He loves to joke, and ask me questions about what it is like to live in America. We played a lot of cards together, and he taught me a lot about religion, as he is very devoted to Hinduism.

 I miss them. Leaving was hard. But they are my family, and I am so happy every day that I have that family living in Nepal and waiting for me there. I love my nepali pariwaar, and am lucky as hell to have them, even when I am not there to be with them all the time anymore.