Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

Its that time of week again. Not that I'm the best at blogging on time but I'm playing with only half my parts working. So I'm giving myself the sympathy excuse.

1. I am SO SO happy christmas is over. I couldn't take the crazy business of it all anymore. It feels like a weight off my shoulders. Not sure how many more of these retail christmases I can work!

2. I am STILL SICK. seriously its not funny anymore. I have had Bronchitis since september. I went back to the doctor this morning and got a fourth round of antibiotics. I was told I also have a chronic throat infection (huzzah....:( ) I am so freaking exhausted from being ill. I was told I won't be able to fly if I still have bronchitis and I'm meant to leave for America in a week and a half....cross your fingers for me people!

3. I called out of work for the first time ever this morning since I started working in Ireland. The doctor told me I couldn't work with my fever and I was never going to get better. Today is one of the busiest retail days (returns day) and my manager was NOT HAPPY with me. I was so torn with whether or not to go in anyways and it ended up with me having a total meltdown in the car and crying so hard I nearly made myself ill. James ended up called my manager and saying that there was no way he was letting me go in today. I'm happy that I'm resting but I still feel so guilty for not going into work. I think James is better at taking care of me than I am at taking care of myself. blargh.

4. I had a nice christmas despite being ill. We got up in the morning and opened presents and then I made breakfast casserole (I have to share the recipe!) and then I took a 3 hour nap. It was awesome!

5. I got a new set of dishes from my in-laws for christmas- I was super excited (its weird to be at that age where dishes excite you as a present haha) especially since we only had 4 plates to begin with and then I dropped one so we are down to 3. Woot new dishes!

6. It never really felt too christmasy this year...I think its because it seems so warm here. I thought it was warmer than usual this year but my MIL tells me this is normal enough temperatures for December. I'm ok with that...I can live with not sub-zero temps.....if it was only dry outside!

7. I'm wondering if i should take down my christmas decorations before I go to the states or not. they will be up ridiculously late if i leave them, but I am really tired so its tempting to say nevermind.

my MIL made this dessert for christmas dinner- sticky toffee pudding. pretty much the best thing I've ever eaten. (and yes thats homemade cinnamon ice cream on the side)

9. I'm running out of things to be random about. You would think with all of the medications that I'm on my head would be out of it....but instead its just fuzzy.

10. Neko has been extra mischievous lately...came home this morning to find that the had knocked a candle holder to the ground....hes lucky it didn't break or im pretty sure James would have had cat on the menu tonight haha...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ireland VS USA

When it comes to Christmas there are plenty of differences between Ireland and the States. Overall though? To me the feeling is the same. The frantic shopping, the putting up of the tree, wrapping the presents and baking lots of goodies. I was a little concerned last year thinking I would be pretty sad and homesick during the holidays but in reality I was actually fine. I didn't really feel jipped or that I was missing out on too much. Now there are some things that aren't done the same, but there are enough new things that I can add in that makes me feel like Christmas is still Christmas even on the other side of the Atlantic.

For me Christmas begins after Thanksgiving. I always try and get the tree up right after turkey day, I put on a Christmas Story (a MUST in my house!) and hang the stockings and bake some cookies. I have been able to find candy canes (usually at the German grocery stores) and most of my Christmas must haves. There are decorations in town and at the shopping centers and Christmas music being pumped full blast in the shops.
There are things over here in Ireland though that it just wouldn't be Christmas without that I have come to enjoy, but really aren't necessary for the holidays for me! (Now for James this is a totally different story haha!)

Christmas must haves in Ireland:

The Christmas RTE guide. We have to buy it every year and my husbands spends waayyyy too much time pouring over the magazine looking at what movies will be playing and reading articles featuring that years big "stars". I don't see the big deal about it but for James its just not Christmas without it.
The song Fairytale of New York. Now I never even heard of this song until I moved to Ireland but it is played CONSTANTLY!! Last year I shocked pretty much all of my friends by not knowing the words, or caring too much about the song. I was told I would have to know this song to pass my citizenship test (har har)

The Late Late show Toy Show. Its a Christmas ritual for most people here in Ireland and Christmas just doesn't begin for most people until the day after the toy show. I watched it last year and HATED IT! I thought it would be an hour long show with some toys and jokes and Christmas cheer. Wrong. It was nearly 3 hours long with Ryan Toberty (the host) wearing an ugly Christmas sweater (there are many who watch just to find out what the sweater will be) awkwardly interacting with kids showing off this years "hot toys". I found it tedious and it just DRAGGED ON. I made a point of not watching it this year. I think its something that you have to grow up with.

Christmas crackers. You just can't have a Christmas dinner/party/get-together here without some crackers. I really like this part of Christmas- I think its fun pulling the crackers to see who wins (its like the wishbone, who ever gets the bigger part wins!) Wearing the paper hats, seeing how bad the joke inside is and playing with the tiny little toys that come inside the cracker. I plan on buying a couple of boxes of these and bringing them back to the States for my family to enjoy this year!

Tins of Roses....or Quality Street or several other types of assorted chocolates or biscuits (cookies). I think here the most common thing is Roses- people usually have a tin or two lying around the house and most people bring over a tin when headed somewhere for Christmas dinner. I really like the tins of chocolate but won't buy them for our house as there is just two of us and I know who would end up eating most of it haha.

There are other traditions here- like the 12 pubs of Christmas. Pretty self explanatory- Go to 12 different pubs in a row, have a drink in each....see who makes it to the end. I did one last year...I think I made it to 9? maybe 11? it all gets fuzzy after pub 7 haha.

Also there is Farmers Christmas, or the 8th of December. Its the Day of Immaculate Conception and for a lot of people that is the true start to Christmas. Its usually the busiest shopping day here (besides the 24th) and the day when all of the farmers (and travellers) head to the shopping centers to get all of their Christmas shopping done.

Of course there is St. Stephen's Day which is the 26th of December....I'm not sure the real reason behind the day besides getting pissed. Here in Ireland everyone heads to the pubs....I guess to make up for Christmas day since the pub was closed.

There is also something called Little Christmas (I think thats what it's called) which is done in January- from what I know about it thats the day when all the decorations are taken down and I believe its the husband's job to cook a Christmas dinner for the family. I heard a little about it last year but I think it differs depending on the family or where in Ireland your from.

This is my second Christmas here in Ireland and while I wish I was home in the States with my family I enjoy the new traditions I've added into my holiday celebrations and am looking forward to lots of roses and pints with family and friends! Roll on Christmas!

P.S. If I missed anything here is an article about Christmas in Ireland.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Enough already!

I am sick.


I have been sick on and off (mostly on) since September...SEPTEMBER!!

I went to the doctor in October and was told I had a chest infection. He gave me antibiotics which I started taking.

I soon then found out I was allergic to said antibiotics (I just found out it is some acid they are putting in the amoxicillian that I'm reacting to). I ended up sicker on the antibiotics than I was before and ended up stopping taking them before I finished them.

For two to three weeks I was dealing with the side effects of the antibiotic. That was pleasant (NOT).

For about a week I was feeling almost normal. Then I started to cough again. I believe its a combination of the infection and this cold, damp weather here in Ireland.

I've been coughing for 2 1/2 weeks now. I finally went to the doctor yesterday. My chest infection is back. I got a new type of antibiotic (fingers crossed I'm not allergic to this one!).

So I'm ok with all of that. The only new and super fun complication? I've been coughing so much and so hard I've pulled the entire left side of my back. So coughing with a pulled back? MURDER. trying to do anything with a pulled back? EXHAUSTING.

And it couldn't come at a better time of year....Christmas rush...8-10 hour days on my feet. Super awesome.

And what did the doctor give me for my pulled back? Paracetamol. (or to us Americans- Tylenol) Man oh man I miss US pharmaceuticals. Just a little codeine would be awesome.

le sigh.

Well I am sitting at home as much as possible when I'm not at work with my hot water bottle praying in the morning when I wake up my back is much less sore.

And fingers crossed that I finally, finally- get better after this last dose of antibiotics!

Can't be sick going to the States in less than a month...(WOO HOO!)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

Alright- Im playing along with Lin over at Linny's Vault. Shes pretty awesome so you should check her out- not a should, a must!

1. I can't believe how fast these last couple of months have gone by....I still thought it was october most of the way through november and now I'm still shocked everytime i see the date in december! I keep on procrastinating things i really need to be doing, like christmas shopping and catching up with certain things and going back to weight watchers because I have MORE time....obviously I don't!!

2. Is anyone else money stressed? I feel like I work and work and work and I just dont have enough to do everything I need to do. I kinda just want to bury my head in the sand at the thought of all the christmas shopping. We sorted out james's family but havn't even considered my own family which has more people. I'm making more money this year as well....what the crap?

3. Speaking of work I really need to write about how great my new job is! I have told you guys so much about my struggles with job hunting and how hard its been for me and now I've just left you hanging with concern about the new job. I feel like I've made such a smart choice and and really happy with what I'm doing and who I'm working with. I won't lie and say its been all sunshine and rainbows but compared to what I was dealing with before?? Its fantastic! I've met some really amazing people, made some good friends and am so so much happier than I've been in a long time!

4. does anyone else remember that crackle nail polish??? I remember when I was a kid it was super popular and I remember all of the different color combinations we used to mix and match. Well its back- at least in Ireland. I found some the other day and I'm not ashamed to say I bought it and put it on as soon as I got home. Maybe it looked a lot cooler when I was younger, but I don't mind much, its cute and fun and its ok to be fun with little things like that sometimes!

5. I decorated the house for christmas last week. Put up the christmas tree, decorated the mantle, and got a little garland for the stairs. Its not much but I think it makes the living room look nice and cozy! I can't wait to be able to start collecting more and more christmas stuff each year to be able make my house beautiful for christmas!

6. A month or so ago I joined a club called the IWO- International Women's Club. I stumbled across thier website last summer through an expat women's website. I went to a few coffee mornings and decided to join. It felt nice being able to sit down and have a chat with people who understand where I'm coming from and there is so many interesting women as well! Well last night was the IWO christmas party- there were tons of women there that I hadn't met yet and I had such a fantastic time- there was plenty of drink, great food, good company and even santa claus complete with gifts for everyone! A few months ago I ran across an American woman who I gave my number to but never heard anything back from...well guess what? She was there! and She had lost my number! I was so happy to meet her again- she was lovely and it was so great talking to other Americans and feeling like I fit right in! Can't wait to meet up with all of these lovely ladies again!

7. It has been raining non-stop for weeks now. I can't wait to see a little sunshine soon. Who knows the next time thats going to be....must start planning warm holidays in the winter.

8. I leave for America in 4 weeks! woo hoo!!!! So many things on my to-do list! hope I can get a few of them crossed off!!

9. I wrote, addressed and sent off over 40 christmas cards. I'm sure I've left out people as well but for now I would be happy to never write out a christmas card again. Next year I think I won't leave this so late!

10. Booked my reservation for the car rental today....seems to be very cheap- minus the Damage Waiver. Wondering if I should really get it or if its a scam or if I could even temporarily get on my parents insurance for a month while I'm in the states so I don't need to get the CDW. its so expensive- it doubles the cost of the car rental! Anyone else have any advice for me on what I should do about the car rental insurance? Any tips on things you have done in place of buying the car rental insurance??