My Expat Family 22

Hello and welcome to My Expat Family 22 the twenty second ‘My Expat Family’ blog link up.

So sorry that this month I am a week late in doing the link up!  Honestly I just totally forgot to do it last week (bad blogger!!) next month we will be back on track as normal!!

A a big thank you to everyone who linked up last month if you missed it take a look there are lots of fab posts there to read!  I hope you enjoy reading the posts as much as I do! 

Please add the link up badge to the post you are linking by copying and pasting the code from the box below into your post so that people can navigate back to the link up easily!

You can start to link your posts from Thursday 19th May and I’ll leave the link up open until Sunday night.

As with all blog link ups they work best when the love is shared around, please do read and comment on as many of the other posts linked up as you can!

Tweet me the link (@seychellesmama) and I’ll retweet for you as well!

I look forward to reading all about your expat family! Remember old and new posts are welcome!

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Seychelles Mama

My Expat Family.  A linky for expat family/parent bloggers to share stories of family life as an expat.

 

Freddie is 9 months old

Our little teeny tiny Freddie is 9 months old!!

Freddie is 9 months old

He really isn’t so teeny tiny any more but its a name that has definitely stuck for him, I’ll probably always call him that now, poor thing!!!

Freddie has well and truly mastered crawling this month, I can’t believe how fast he is! Its definitely making things a lot more challenging, especially when trying to keep an eye on Arthur as well.
He’s starting to cruise around the furniture a little bit now too, although he does still get upset trying to do it sometimes!
I think this month we will see Freddie being able to stand on his own, he’s definitely starting to try it for a couple of seconds here and there.

With Freddie being so keen to get around these days, bumps and bangs are coming thick and fast! We even had to do a trip to hospital after he got a nasty cut just above his eye from faceplanting the step into the shower. He was so very brave, but it looked nasty so wanted to get him checked out. No concussion or anything which was my main concern, but he did have to have a stitch in. Apparently they do not have butterfly stitches here in Seychelles, so it had to be a proper needle and thread stitch….no dissolvable stitches either so we had to go back to have it removed a week later my poor little guy. Seeing him in so much pain as they did it was horrendous; we had to pin him down, looking back on it still makes me feel sick!

Freddie is 9 months old
It has healed up very nicely though, and is already not very obvious which we are really thankful for!

A big thing for our little guy this month is that he is now in his own room. Well, actually we moved rooms and left him where he was, but you know what i mean! I remember when Arthur went into his own room and I had that exact same feeling of worry, sadness and separation. It didn’t take long for it to feel normal though and once I realised that I could definitely hear him when he woke up I was fine!

For me, the biggest thing that has happened this month – totally selfishly, is that Freddie is now sleeping through the night WOHOOOOO!! It’s been about 2 weeks now. I don’t think that its a coincidence that it has come around the time we moved rooms. It was the same with Arthur.
This does also mean that I have now finished breastfeeding. Like with Arthur though I kind of like that it happened like this, it’s been stopped by Freddie not by me!

Freddie has 2 bottles of formula a day now one first thing in the morning and one before bed. He’s eating three meals a day, and he really is eating too! This boy can put a serious amount of food away, its impressive! He’s got 5 teeth now (3 on top two on the bottom) and he’s definitely eating better as a result of it!

He continues to be the happiest little thing, and Arthur is definitely still the one to make him smile the most!  We are getting the 5 o’clock grumps though aka the witching hour!!  As soon as dinner is in front of him though he’s back to being happy again!

 

When your skin starts to fall off!

So I’m not going to include any pictures in this post, when your skin starts to fall off I don’t think any pics are required (or wanted!!)

Around two weeks ago now I noticed a weird thing on my leg.
This thing was around the size of a 10p piece, and looked like a burn. The skin had just come off. I hadn’t done anything to it, no cuts scrapes bangs etc I just had this weird thing on my leg!

I didn’t think too much of it, it didn’t hurt or anything so I just left it.

I happened to be at the hospital to have Freddie’s eye checked (more on that) and I asked the nurse to look at it. She said i should have it ‘dressed’ so she put some cream on and stuck a massive great big plaster on it (you know that old school red bandage tape stuff)

A couple hours later I took it off. i figured if i wanted this thing to heal it would need to dry out.

Well, turned out I was wrong. It didn’t dry out, it did’t do anything just stayed as a bit of a disgusting thing on my leg.

A few days later I had pretty savage allergic reaction to a kitten we had homed the day before; I came out in a huge hive type rash on my chest neck and arms that was burning my skin. We then of course had to give her back much to my dismay. Ive never had an allergic reaction before so I was pretty freaked out.

The next day it wasn’t looking any better despite having anti-histamine cream and tablets. So I took a trip to see the doctor at the hospital. (Just a regular GP I wasn’t being dramatic and taking myself off to hospital FYI!!)

He said that he could see there was an allergic reaction but that it also looked like I had a Staph infection. He was pretty confident that it was the case when I then showed him the thing on my leg.

So, he packed me off with some antibiotics and some creams and off I went.

Fast forward a week and my antibiotics have finished. The original sore has pretty much closed over but it has been joined by a bunch of new ones. The cat allergy rash had gone though so that was a bonus. I have realised that I can tell when a new sore is going to appear because that area of skin burns and goes very red, like a very small specific patch of sunburn. Then the skin just kinda falls off….nice!

I went back to the doctors on the 3rd, this time I saw a doctor who had once described my skin colour as ‘a bit yellow’ so my expectations weren’t high. I don’t think she initially understood that I had finished the antibiotics I was taking because she kept saying ‘but that is the treatment’. Very helpful.
Once she finally got that I’d finished the tablets she prescribed me more. Different antibiotics this time. So I’m currently on them for another week.

over the last few days the ‘cat rash’ seems to have made a return in random patches. I’m hoping that this is just been brought back out by the fact that I had around a 24 hour gap in antibiotics (between old and new).
It has made me wonder if it was indeed the cat that made me have this reaction in the first place since the cat has been gone for over a week now.

 

anyway it seems that it’s not all fully resolved yet, hopefully it will be by the end of the week!!

Arthur is 34 months old

Arthur is now 34 months old.
Arthur is 34 months old

This month has gone by like a flash.
The first half we had Mark home with us as it was school Easter holidays, Arthur always loves it when Daddy is off work!!

Daddy is big favourite to Arthur right now, he must say Daddy at least 100 times a day!

During the Easter holidays We had our amazing trip to Silhouette island where Arthur had an absolute blast.  He still talks about going to “our little house” now which I love!
Arthur is 34 months old. Silhouette island

Arthur is 34 months old. Arthur and Daddy

Arthur had an unplanned couple of hours at school this month as I had to take Freddie to hospital (he’s totally fine but more on that here!)
Mark took him into the class and apparently he was as good as gold and had a great time.  When I went to go and pick him up he was happy to see me but wasn’t ready to go home!!  I took that as a good sign for when he starts in June!

The following couple of days Arthur napped on the sofa at lunchtime!!  I was SO excited at the prospect of nap time returning but it seems it was just a random couple of days!!

I’ve been a little worried about Arthur’s eating recently.  He is pretty reluctant to eat a full meal most days and just wants to get on with playing (Mark’s mum tells me he was exactly the same!!) he seems happiest with smaller meals and snacks throughout the day.  Obviously I want to make sure he has enough to eat but at the same time I don’t want him to just snack all the time…. It’s pretty frustrating!

We had a couple weeks of at nighttime accidents.  Changing sheets every day grew thin quickly, but things seem to be back on track now.  Not really sure what caused it.  Apparently it’s really common up to 6 years old to not be dry at night so I need to remember just how good Arthur has been doing so far!!

Arthur has always been very shy with strangers and often will hide or pretend they aren’t there!!  We have noticed a little shift in Arthurs shyness this month, he has started to open up to people a little more, showing him the toy he’s playing with or something along those lines.  It’s not all the time and not with everyone but I have been really amazed and proud of him for it.  It may not be a big deal to everyone, but knowing just how painfully shy he can be it is a big deal for him!!

This month we’ve started to see Arthur testing and pushing boundaries quite a bit, doing things he knows he shouldn’t be and trying out new things!  There has been lots of “NO MUMMY” “NO DADDY” and running away if we tell him to stop doing something, or just outright ignoring us!
It’s been tough, but he’s quick to turn it all around with a big “cuggle” a kiss or even just a cheesy grin!

Arthur is 34 months old

Mark and I are definitely noticing that Arthur is becoming a lot braver with his little adventures whether that’s just in the garden, at the beach or anywhere really…he climbs a bit higher, wanders a bit further away, just generally gaining confidence with everything he does, it’s great but scary for us too!
Arthur is 34 months old. Arthur at anse lazioArthur is 34 months old. Splashing at anse lazio

He’s been a proper little parrot this month, I think he’s taking in lots of new words (so we’ve really had to watch what we say!!).  His speech continues to develop all the time and some of the things he comes out with really amazes me, and often makes us all laugh too!

I have had days where I have found it really tough to keep him entertained all day, for me it’s final confirmation that he really is ready to be in school!!   It’s really not long until he will be there now, so on those days that are tough I’ve been trying to remind myself to make the most of it all!

Top 10 tips to help lessen the stress of moving abroad

Moving abroad is hardly an everyday event. There’s loads to do, plenty to plan, and life still goes on in the mean time! A sure fire way to take the stress out of your big move is to take up these ten tips to ensure you are fully prepared a smooth move.

Top 10 tips to lessen the stress of moving abroad

Here are my top 10 tips to help lesson the stress of moving abroad:

 

1.  Do your research

top 10 tips to help lesson the stress of moving abroad
Make sure you’re up to date on the country you’re moving to! More importantly, have a look at the local towns you’ll be living near; after all, you’ll soon be seeing them every day.  Any cultural quirks or unusual laws are definitely worth reading up on so you don’t get off to two wrong feet when it comes to adjusting to your new home. It may also help to look into the best moving & shipping companies to use in your big move. Remember to read the reviews!

 

If you’re moving for business find out everything about your relocation package; what your shipping allowance is, if you are given accommodation (or a budget for accommodation), if you have medical insurance covered etc.

 

Search the internet for any expat blogs about living in the country you are moving to.  You are almost certainly not the first person to relocate to your chosen country and there are thousands of expat bloggers around these days!  You will get a true and unbiased insight into what expat life is like where you are going!  Get in touch with them, you can’t have too many contacts when you move to a new country!

 

 

2. Make a list

Top 10 tips to help lessen the stress of moving abroad
Rule one of anything that requires packing is make a list. Then make a list of the list. Then make a list of all the lists you’ve listed! Start by writing down all the things you can possibly think of to take with you – that includes everything: passport, pants, toothbrush, potato peeler, the lot. Once you’ve done that you can divide them into relevant groups like bathroom, bedding, and utensils. It’s far easier to tick an item off a list than find yourself knee deep in a box looking for the ladle.

 

 

3. Pack all but the essentials!

Pack all the big things two nights before you leave for example, clothes, books; everything that you don’t still need to use. Essentials like toothbrushes, the shoes and clothes you need to wear over the next couple of days, a couple of your kids favourite toys and keys will be needed on the big day so leave them to be packed at the last minute.

 

Many expats (myself included!) sell many of their ‘big things’ before going abroad to save the cost of shipping or storage. Having done your research you’ll know what is available to buy there and if your new house will be furnished so this will help with your decisions here!

 

4. Take mini breaks

top 10 tips to help lesson the stress of moving abroad
Planning a move is stressful enough but moving abroad comes with lots of additional problems. Remember to take a break at least once a day whilst you’re organising planning and packing. Try to go for a walk, make a cup of coffee or just sit down and think about something else. Any problems you’re struggling with will be better come at with a fresh head.

 

 

5. Finance and Legal matters
Nobody enjoys the small print, loopholes and devilish detail of legal and financial matters, but it’s an important part of moving abroad. If accountancy and international law isn’t your forte, seek out guidance from a professional who can help you through the more complicated procedures. Any money spent on professional help will be worth it to make sure you have all the right assets to set up comfortably.

 

 

6. Give yourself time

top 10 tips to help lessen the stress of moving abroad
Don’t leave everything to the last minute! Once you’ve decided to move abroad you’ll likely be thinking about it a lot and you can never start planning early enough. Giving yourself enough time for things like giving notice in at your job, moving the kids to their new school, and saying goodbye to friends and family is all just as important as booking tickets and finding a home in your new country.

 

 

7. Go compare
Have a look around the market to make sure you’re getting the best possible deal. Things like flight prices, rent rates, and local transport can peak or ebb at different times of the year. Decide when you’re likely to get the best deal without compromising where you want to live. All moves abroad are expensive but some are more expensive than others!

 

 

8. Prioritise

There’s loads to do, but you can’t do it all in one day! Decide which things are most urgent and which can be left till later. You’re less likely to overlook one aspect, or forget something if your attention is split over multiple tasks. Time to consult those helpful lists again!

 

 

9. Bubble days
These are the days when nothing has gone to plan: you’ve got ten things on the go, plus you had a hard day at work, the kids need feeding and nothing has been packed yet! It’s a day to just accept the stress and blow some bubbles, or have a bubble bath, or pop some bubble wrap. Surrender to the stress instead of fighting, of course moving abroad is stressful. Allow yourself to feel overwhelmed from time to time.

 

 

10. Remember why you’re going there

top 10 tips to help lessen the stress of moving abroad
Why did you decide on that particular country? With all the commotion and conundrums of moving, it’s essential you keep in mind all the good things waiting for you when you get there. Have a look at pictures of your new country; look up some of the local things to do. And look forward to it! Remember, you’re moving there for a reason.

 

 

Conclusion
If moving abroad were a blissful easy task, we’d all be doing it. You are being one of the brave people, up and leaving to pastures new. So give yourself a break! Remember to plan effectively and enjoy the time with family and friends before you take the leap.

 

In association with Currency UK

Arthur and Freddie {April 2016}

As always I’m late with this post!  Perhaps next month I’ll have got organised!

Arthur and Freddie.  Every day these two become closer, they are truly the best of best friends!  I know I sound like a broken record each month but it really is true.

 

As you may have seen we went on an amazing trip to Silhouette Island and we all got some really great downtime together.  Heres a couple shots of my boys while we were there.

Arthur and Freddie April 2016

Arthur and Freddie April 2016
Arthur and Freddie April 2016
I think they look really alike in that bottom picture!  Over time they are looking more and more alike.  Freddie is a lot fairer than Arthur is but their facial features are definitely started to become more similar

This month Freddie has started crawling and walks around in his baby walker or holding on to our hands.  Arthur thinks its amazing and wants Freddie to chase him.  It will be a little while before any ‘high speed’ chasing goes on but they are still both having a blast!!

Arthur absolutely loves to make Freddie laugh. He is so ready to play the clown for him anytime! His favourite tricks are to blow raspberries and to speak to him using baby words “blah blah dada mama” and all kinds of things I wouldn’t even begin to know how to type! No one can make Freddie laugh like Arthur can.

Freddie totally looks up to Arthur. You can tell he wants to be doing everything Arthur does. Its so cute, but I know that its going to lead to Freddie getting lots of bangs and bumps (he had one this week in fact but i’ll write about that soon!!)

Arthur still wants to involve Freddie in everything he does, I love that! there’s even been a few times recently where he’s told me that i can’t play when they are doing stuff together; that I love less but I can’t have it all!!

There is not too much longer until Arthur starts doing mornings in school (around 6 weeks I think) and so I’m savouring the special moments these little guys have together right now!!

 

Hilton Labriz: Silhouette Island

To celebrate my 30th birthday, Mark treated us to a stay at the beautiful Hilton Labriz on Silhouette island over the easter holidays.

We stayed for two nights and we really fell in love with the place. So I had to tell you all about it!

 

Getting there:

We took a flight from Praslin to Mahe which was severely delayed (this is very unusual I must say, but they are implementing a new system there which temporarily slowed things down!). We were very worried that we were going to miss our boat so we ran out of the air port when we landed on Mahe and grabbed the nearest taxi driver who turned out to be great. We called the hotel on route and they were very accommodating and even delayed departure for a few minutes!!

To get to Silhouette Island the Hilton have a boat that runs a few times a day from a little jetty at Bel Ombre on Mahe. Its advertised as taking about 45 minutes but when we went the water was so still it took only 30 minutes! The Hilton can also arrange a private boat or helicopter ride to get you there #fancy

Boat to the Hilton Labriz Silhouette island

 

The boat was fully air conditioned which was nice, but if it wasn’t so flat I think I probably would have got sea sick with the lack of fresh air.

Air conditioned boat to the Hilton Labriz Silhouette island

I’d recommend sea sickness tablets just in case….. no one wants to arrive on holiday after being sick on a boat, not glamorous!!

 

Arriving:
We were greated by staff waving and a big welcome banner, a nice touch!! We were then taken to our golf buggy and given a tour around the hotel with a little history of the island too which was very nice. Having our own private buggy was fun and Arthur really enjoyed it!

 

Our Room:
We stayed in a King Garden villa it was so nice.

King Garden Villa Hilton Labriz Silhouette Island

Our bed was huge and SO comfy. They also added a bed for Arthur and a cot for Freddie. The sofa had even been made into a bed as there was a little confusion in our request so there was space for the 4 of us even if Freddie wasn’t in a cot! Arthur did like having two beds to choose from though!!

We had a little veranda which Mark and I sat out on in the evenings when the boys had gone to bed.

The bathroom was amazing and probably my favourite bit, there was a HUGE bath a lovely shower and another shower outside! The little garden at the back was totally private, so having a shower out there was great!!

Bathroom King Garden Villa Hilton Labriz Silhouette Island

Our villa was probably only about 10m away from the beach so I wouldn’t be put off thinking that its not close to the beach!! Some of them were a little further but I’d guess that none of them were further than 20m away from the beach!

 

Entertainment:
The hotel was so well set up for kids. This was our first holiday as a family of 4 and we were really pleased with the facilities there.

There was a kids club, a little old for our boys, recommended for 4+ years.

The swimming pool was amazing. It was so pretty.

Swimming Pool Hilton Labriz Silhouette Island

Split into two, one side was deeper and the other side was lovely and shallow, the boys had the best time splashing around.  I took SO many pictures here, it was just beautiful!

Swimming Pool Hilton Labriz

The first day Arthur literally stayed in the pool ALL day. He even had a nap on a sun bed in the afternoon as he’d tired himself out so much (Arthur stopped napping around 4 months ago now so he really must have been tired out!)

Swimming Pool Hilton Labriz

There were bikes everywhere that you could hop on and ride, you signed them out and you had the first hour free after that I think it was 100scr per hour.  The boys (and yes I’m including Mark in this!) loved this bike and had lots of fun with it

Bike rental Hilton Labriz

There was also lots of other little things dotted around to keep you entertained, boules, giant chess, crazy golf etc!

There is a 5* dive centre on Silhouette too.  As our stay was so short we didn’t get a chance to go diving this time, but next time (yes there will definitely be a next time) we will be sure to check it out.

Food:

We had two delicious breakfasts at the Hilton Labriz.  Its a buffet style with something for everyone.  There was an amazing selection.  Of course I took advantage of the bubbles available at breakfast too!!

We also had one of our dinners in the main restaurant, again it was buffet style.  That night it was Italian and there was so much choice.  There was a little play area there that Arthur loved.  I liked that there were tables there so families could enjoy a stress free dinner.  There was also a separate area for diners not wishing to be near the kids area!

For our second night we visited the amazing Japanese restaurant.  It was so delicious.  Unfortunately both of the boys were incredibly tired so it wasn’t a long visit!  After eating our dinner pretty quickly Mark and I ordered a bottle of wine to the Villa and got the boys to bed.

 

Spa: 

The Spa at the Hilton Labriz is beautiful.  It is set into the mountain and built around granite boulders.

Spa entrance at Hilton Labriz

The spa menu is fantastic!  I had a Deluxe Pedicure which even included a head massage so top to toe I came out feeling lovely and revived!

Spa at Hilton Labriz

The massages sound divine too, next time (yep there’s that next time again!) I’ll be sure to test it out so I can report back on how good it is (I know, I know, I’m a true hero!)

 

Beaches:

Seeing as we were there for such a short time we didn’t spend a whole lot of time on the beach, or really do any exploring outside of the resort.  That said the beaches we did see were beautiful.

Beach Hilton Labriz Silhouette Island

 

Evening beach Hilton Labriz silhouette island

 

Sunset Hilton Labriz silhouette Island

So there we have it.  A fantastic stay at the Hilton Labriz, we will certainly be back there as soon as we can!