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expat

Expat Life, Uncategorized

100,000 +

July 21, 2015

Today the American Consulate travelled to Cork.  Such a convenient service.  They come every so often  (I suppose when budgets permit).  To be honest we were waiting for their next trip down to Cork to register the Prince’s birth abroad.  We just didn’t have a trip to Dublin planned and I didn’t see the point of making a special trip up…although it would have given us an excuse to go to IKEA…

Although US citizenship transfers to a child at birth, the official paperwork (which can be used as a birth certificate) is Consular Registration of Birth Abroad. It’s also required to get passports and SS# and all that jazz. So anyway when the Dublin Embassy emailed to say they were coming to Cork I jumped at the chance.  There is plenty of paperwork to gather of course.  To register a birth abroad you have to prove your own citizenship as well as your physical presence in the US for at least 5 years.  I provided highschool and college transcripts which were accepted.   All in all it was actually pretty easy.

Out of curiosity as I was chatting to the consuls I asked how many American’s they reckon are in Ireland.  They said that at least 100,000 US citizens are registered with the Embassy in Ireland.  And since registering with the embassy is not compulsory there are likely to be MANY, MANY more.  I had no idea there were so many of us here!!  But it makes total sense given the strong cultural and familial links between the US & Ireland.  But on an island of 4million it’s a lot.

Incidentally, it’s worth registering with the embassy as an expat living in any country.  It will make things easier should you ever need consulate support.  The Dublin Embassy send emails about things that concern expats in Ireland & they let you know when the consulate is travelling around Ireland!!  You can also like the US Embassy Dublin on FB!

Uncategorized

Who I am & Why I’m Here

September 15, 2014

I’m sure most people take a “Blogging 101” challenge within their first year of actually blogging, but here I am some 17 months later…

I guess the timing is right since I seem to be having difficulty sitting down and actually writing.  The truth is that despite thinking about blogging daily, when it comes down to it I have no idea which way I am heading, or even if I want to continue.

When I started this blog it was easy to identify who I was and what my little creative outlet was all about.  I was an expat mom trying to share my Irish experiences with whoever wanted to listen.  My original intent was to impart any ‘wisdom’ I had gained in my 10 years as an expat and in doing so perhaps provide that ‘gentle nudge’ for anyone who maybe was daydreaming of throwing caution to the wind and following their own expat dreams…

but then life took several turns and I somehow lost my way.

First I became a mom again….and it turns out being a mom of two is a game changer.  It was the best turn life could take for me in 2013 but it was a massive learving curve.

Then there was one and then another major losses and well my life and this blog couldn’t possibly be the same.

And then there was a return to work, a new job and a seemingly uphill battle to balance life as a working mom.

All of this while still being an expat who loves living in Ireland and is homesick each and every day.

So it remains to be seen what Both Sides of the Atlantic becomes.  But then again every expat knows it’s the journey that matters.

Expat Life

Why Everyone needs Expat Friends..

January 30, 2014

20140130-111730.jpg
wordsonimages.com

Obviously being an expat leads to endless opportunities and experiences that aren’t available to you in your native country. Personally for me the opportunity to meet and form relationships with people from all over is the best part of living an expat life. Upon reflecting on my expat relationships it struck me that everyone, expat or not, needs to have expat friends.

Expats have an open mind.
To leave your comfort zone and truly embrace things that are different requires an open mind. Expats often choose to live an expat life with a desire to understand others. We tend to be curious about other people/cultures. While we may at times disagree, a successful expat does so with an open mind and accepts differences.

Expats are dreamers.
Expats have had the audacity to dream big and take action. They put fear aside and took a leap. If you have a dream-no matter how crazy it may seem- tell an expat. An expat won’t shoot you down, they may just be the push you need.

Expats are optimistic.
Expats tend to see the good in their surroundings before the bad…it’s a survival tactic. If an expat lives in a perpetual state of negativity their new home feels like a prison and their expat life is at threat of an end. Sure we all have bad days, but expats can’t allow themselves to wallow for long. An expat learns to focus on the positives in their life to outweigh the negatives (like home sickness and missing family). If you are in a rut and feeling down, find an expat to help you get reacquainted with the beauty around you.

Expats are rarely idle.
Part of being an expat is living with the knowledge that the current life may come to an end. Expats know all too well that one place may not be home forever. With that in mind expats are keen to take in and see as much as possible in their current location. If you ever wanted to experience something unique about your own home town or area, an expat is great company and always up for a weekend trip or local adventure.

Expats never say goodbye.
Well maybe it’s the exact opposite. Expats are always saying goodbye. We move on, we see our other expat friends move on, but’0l living an expat life teaches you that friendship knows no boundaries. We really do keep in touch. A true expat friend will always stick beside you no matter where in the world they are; and they are excellent at long distance friendships.

Being Mommy, Living Abroad, mixed culture family

Lunch, Dinner, Supper, Tea…. It’s all really very confusing.

November 11, 2013
Irish Bangers and Mash

Irish Bangers and Mash (Photo credit: cobalt123)

This is what has been happening in my house lately…

The King goes off to work in the mornings and its hugs and kisses all around.

We say “Have a good day Daddy!”

and he says

“You too, I’ll see you at dinner.”

And it’s all smiles and happiness.  We usually have a quiet morning playing, baking (and yes sometimes t.v.) or whatever in the house because the Prince goes for a GREAT nap mid-morning.

All is happy and for the most part calm in our little corner of the world until around noontime when this happens:

Me: “Are you hungry Princess?”

Princess:  “Yes Mommy”

I then proceed to make a mostly nutritious lunch when all hell breaks loose and I get this:

“I’m not hungry!!!!”

“I don’t want that”

“Daddy, daddy, ….DAAAADDDDDYYYY!!!!!!!!!”

“Where’s DADDY?!?!? I WANT DADDY?!?!?”

And the battle begins and continues (albeit intermittently) for the next 4-5 hours depending on the day and when Daddy is due home.  Of course she does manage to eat…she has to refuel for battle right?

I am ashamed to admit that by 5:00 I sometimes find it hard to find any joy in my darling daughter who up until recently has brought me nothing but joy.  Ashamed, I look forward to the days she goes to pre-school and I am most certainly now looking forward to returning to work myself.

But most of all I feel like a failure.  What happened to all the fun we were having?

Since she has turned three she has becoming increasingly independent and strong-willed.  For the most part I can roll with it & keep reminding myself how much this will stand to her as a young woman some day.  But this lunch time crap is a whole new level.

However today, in a major “A-ha” moment,  I think I might have discovered the root of all this drama (and trauma to be honest!!).

In Ireland the main meal of the day is called dinner (like most places).  But the thing is, dinner can be very interchangeable.

For example, sometimes our Sunday dinner is at 2:00….most always it is when we are visiting the King’s family for dinner.  Sometimes we have it at 5 or even 6 if we have plans during the day.

Growing up the King most certainly came home to a ‘dinner’ after school everyday with an evening tea or light meal.  Come to think of it my Dad always talked about growing up similarly and had a light supper most evenings.

I grew up in a house where dinner was almost always at 5:30.  Dad worked and we had our dinner when he got home and we ate it all together.

Now, while I am on maternity leave, if the King finishes at 1:30 I almost always have a ‘dinner’ ready at 2:00 or 3:00 even during the week. That is if Princess B has no after school sports.  We usually then have a light tea or supper then at 6ish (I still struggle to call a light evening meal tea.  To me tea will always be a hot drink).  In our house we try to always have dinner together.

At pre-school Princess M has “small lunch” or what I would call snack at 10:30 and “dinner” at 12:30.  The pre-school dinner is indeed a well balanced, 4 food group, hot meal.  So yes, it’s dinner.  But even on those pre-school days she still comes home and we have dinner together as a family at 5ish.  We always call it dinner because the King and I have only eaten a lunch that day.

Today,  when she asked me at about 10 this morning what was for dinner I told her chicken because that is what I am making this evening.  When I put soup and a sandwich in front of her at noon.  She ‘lost the plot’ as the Irish say, and screamed she didn’t want lunch, where was dinner. WHERE WAS DADDY??!?!?!?!?!

And I finally got it…to Princess M, dinner means Daddy is home.  Because the only thing that is really consistent about dinner is we are usually eating it together.    And sometimes this dinner in the middle of the day.

Even though I was feeding her a lunch she liked. It wasn’t good enough because in her little world it should be dinner, right now so Daddy would be home.

And it is traumatic when your king isn’t there when you are expecting him to be.

So after an afternoon of frustrated tears and me trying to explain the whole three meals of a day thing,  things are calmer.  For today anyway she is ok knowing that dinner will be served at 5:00 and King Daddy will be here for it.  She was even ok to eventually have lunch with just her and Queen Mommy (and the Prince).

So now the King and I will have to regroup and decide on if we are going to change our semantics or what.

Just as I was thinking my kids wouldn’t grow up feeling like third culture kids since they are Irish and will be able to identify with the Irish culture,  perhaps having two parents of different cultures really will pose its own challenges for them…..