Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricane Irene *update 4*

Well its midday Sunday now and its pretty much over where we are. Last night were we are was no different to any other night with rain.The winds were not bad at all so I suppose we were very lucky. From the reports and TV it looks like New Jersey and Long Island really got the worse. We were very lucky I suppose.

 We managed to get some sleep and the kids as if just a normal night. I did sleep very lightly as I kept expecting to hear howling winds which eventually we never got here.

 There has been extensive damage in other areas which is very sad and from the reports a number of deaths related to this storm.Some of the tunnels leading to New Jersey are closed due to flooding and so are some roads downtown.

Hurricane Irene *update 3*

Just woke up and its about 7.00am local. My first reaction was to make a coffee in case we do loose power LOL. We have all slept even though I did wake up a few times but really its been like a regular rain storm. I have not listened to reports yet as I have woken up to respond to emails from friends and family. Main thing is we are all ok and nothing out of the ordinary is going on yet. I really hope it stays like this..............

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene *update 2*

Well this morning I decided was a good chance to get in a workout as yesterday was impossible. Hugo and I were going to take turns as there was no childcare. I knew Maria would not be able to come for work as she lives out in The Bronx and she has 4 kids. The main issue today is the fact that all public transport was shutting down from midday. Many have not gone to work due to this fact.
I went into the gym and it seems everyone had the same idea. Grab a quick workout before being stuck indoors for at least 12 hours. I had a run on the treadmill and then some weights.
As I walked out the sky opened up and it was the beginning but it’s really not been to bad so far. As I type here is almost 4.30pm Saturday.
People it seems were still out buying! I went to the local market again as I thought I would pick up some ketchup for Annika (she is obsessed with the stuff) and the wait was at least one hour. There was one cashier as I suppose she must live close by and able to get home? I left it and let Hugo pick it up from the bodega across the road. To my surprise there was even a queue there too!

Just checked the radar and it looks like the start of the heavy rain is not far away. You would never guess we are about to have this massive storm as there are delivery men it seems delivering furniture to the apartments next door to us WTF? So “New York” hard working and tryng not to miss an opportunity. I just hope they get home safely.

Hurricane Irene..........

Well about a week ago the talk of “Irene” commenced. We knew it was headed for the Caribbean which was no surprise. This is Hurricane season very much like Cyclone season back home in summer for Far North Queensland. As the week progressed so did the talk of Irene actually heading towards New York. Being the cynical Australian I am I actually laughed at the suggestion that it would actually be of concern. I laughed at a post I saw by an American Mom the other day on one of my online forums. She was asking what evacuation plans others had in place for “Irene”. Coincidentally it was around the same time we have the earthquake that I will add I didn’t feel. I did dismiss it as an overreacting Mom. It was not till Thursdays that I actually started to think twice about it. The reports did not look good and I realized that I needed to take things more seriously.
I have to add that I am so impressed with the way things are handled here in New York. Everything is so well communicated and organized. They were suggesting that everyone use Friday as their preparation day. So Friday morning was when I started our preparation for the arrival of “Irene”.
Hugo went off to work so I got the girls dressed and off we went with my shopping trolley which is essential here in Manhattan if you want to carry more than 2 shopping bags. We got to our usual Food market (supermarket) Trader Joe’s and the queues where already longer than I have ever seen them. This always happens also when they forecast a snow storm as they always tell people to stock up.However yesterday was the worse I had ever seen it.
I managed to do what I could get with two kids with me. As all mothers would know it’s not that easy to shop with kids let alone with a market full of people and long queues. We managed to buy everything and luckily it was not too bad. I had to pop out to do another trip out for soda’s and coffee which I will need if we are stuck in our apartment for two days.
I am so glad I did my shopping early as the panic buying intensified when the Mayor announced that the MTA (public transport) was shutting down at midday the next day. It simply meant that the stores would all be closing as employees would have to be home before a total shut down of the city.
Our fridge is full and I managed to get 4 bottles of water as they were sold out!!
My poor girls were exhausted from all the walking and standing around waiting to pay. I then decided I had better do all the washing as we could lose power so off to the Laundromat with two tired kids. Let’s just sat yesterday was a very difficult day however we are all set for today.
I forgot to buy a flashlight however by that stage EVERYONE had sold out. So we are very lucky that Peta and Marco left us with that wonderful fragrance Candle as we may have to use it over this weekend.
I will keep updating my blog as things happen to keep family, friend and followers all up to date

Monday, August 22, 2011

Summer is nearly over.

It’s almost the end of summer and there is again a different feel about this city. People are returning from their vacations. The kids are all preparing for the start of the school year. And this morning I felt a chill in the air that I have not felt for a while. One thing is for sure and that is that summer does not last here as long as it does back home.
I have Annika who has finished up at her preschool now and she will commence her new one on the 2nd of September. I am very excited for her as its going to be such a big step for her to be in a more structured environment. Isabel goes into grade three which is just amazing. It seemed only yesterday she started Kindergarten.
I have really enjoyed the relaxed and carefree time I have had with the girls. We have been sleeping in and really just enjoyed doing nothing. Work has been really quite which has also given me the opportunity to do some training and exploration of social media. It’s amazing how and what an impact Social Media has on any sort of business these days.
The other aspect that has been looming about is the economic stability of the USA and in fact the world. It’s a concern to everyone and especially here in New York as their economy has never really recovered.

On a much more positive note!! I got my New York State License!!!
Hugo had to take a day off work to look after the girls while I headed out to The Bronx to finally do it. I have to say I cannot remember feeling so nervous like that in such a long time. The driving test itself was easy but the lead up to it was probably the worse. Regardless I am over the moon and now just waiting for my Zipcar Membership to come through so we can hire a car for the day.It's such a shame its so close to the end of summer but hopefully Hugo will get is ocean swim which he is longing for.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hamish and Andy

Just got an email confirming I will be attending the filming of "The Hamish and Andy Gap Year "show. Its September 6!! I am very excited and can't wait to tell you all about it. Stay tuned!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Annika turns 3

Well another millstone here in New York and that is my youngest turned 3 on Sunday. I hope this is the start of a new and more predictable stage if that ever exist with children. She has grown so much and it’s only evident to me when I look at photos of when we first arrived. She has developed a really quite comical personality. She is very confident and outgoing which I wonder is a result of her environment? One thing is very evident is her lovely American accent. She has been so fortunate to have been very well looked after by her carer Janet at her preschool.Janet has taught her the alphabet,numbers and so many other things that has been amazing.
I have however made the decision to change her preschool and in September she will commence in a Bilingual preschool for two days a week. It was a tough decision as I always believe in not moving them if they are happy. In this situation I feel that living here in New York it’s such an opportunity that would not be available to her in Australia. I hope also it will be motivation for both Hugo and I to try and speak to her in Spanish.
We are now well into August and the heat is really on! I find that the walking is probably the hardest thing to do. I also avoid those subways as I cannot stand the platforms.
It was also Theo’s birthday last Sunday. The girls made him a card and I think he was very grateful. They are so found of him. He is always introducing them to the neighborhood as his “Australian Family”.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Supply and demand

Life here in Manhattan is expensive. There is no way around it and its back to the supply and demand. Basically everyone wants to live here and there are a lot of us. Rent, groceries and basically everything is much more expensive than any other borough in New York City. As a matter of fact sometimes by traveling and extra ten blocks thing can be cheaper which I suppose can happen in Sydney also.
After this week’s downgrading of the US economy I am sure this country is in for some more tough times ahead.
It adds to the high pressure a lot of singles and families have here in the city. It’s like a catch twenty two. If you have kids you need to be in a “good” area to get them into the well performing schools. If not parents then take the option of a private education which by Australian Standards are very high. So cheaper rent means higher education costs so I don’t know if you’re better off?
Singles (College Grads) share apartments and most have second jobs to at least be able to pay the rent and pay back their College loans. To get a tertiary education is not only a must here it comes at a very high cost!
The other day I was at the park with some friends and we were discussing children’s parties. I know that in Sydney it’s just the same where parents splash out on extravagant parties. It’s no different here however the cost would be double if not more. We were laughing as we thought we should all go into a business because there is so much money to be made here in Manhattan. In summer here the park is a popular location. You must remember we live in small apartments so entertaining ten kids is impossible so we need to conduct them in different venues. In winter it gets a lot harder with the cold and obviously much more expensive. You need to hire an indoor location and generally for the average party of say 10 kids you are looking around the one thousand dollar mark at some of the party specific places.
I know things are very different in the other boroughs as I read a lot from Mom's on a great parenting site I visit and that also have my blog on it.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Ok this Social Networking is a full-time job! I am doing so many training courses in between everything that goes on with the kids.
I ask please if you read my blog and you are on facebook to like my Facebook page :)

I would so much appreciate it!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Smurf Movie

Today Isabel and I went to see the "Smurf movie". Now I know it will not be released until September back home but please take your kids to see it. Isabel and I just loved the fact that we knew everywhere they went too. There is the FAO  Toy Store

that is just amazing here on 5th Avenue. Also the wonderful Belverdere castle that is in Central Park.

I feel like these Smurfs are our neighbors!!!