I haven't posted in a while so I thought I'd give a little update from this side of the pond.
As many of you know, our daughter was born in mid January so she's about 3 1/2 months old now and doing just great! She even started
splashing around in the pool with the aid of mom & dad after a safety training course a couple of weeks ago and she just loves being in the water!
Being ER'd has just been fantastic for us with the little one. I haven't had to miss any of her milestones at all. From her first laugh and discovering how she spins in circles in her crib to taking her for her first dip in the pool. I can't imagine if I had to work all day and miss her growing up, which she is doing so fast!
I think we've been quite lucky as she sleeps well through the night (6-8 hours usually) even though she's teething already and when she does get a little cranky (usually gas related) we can both take turns looking after her so neither one of us feels overwhelmed.
Outside of that, we have our apartment in the city for sale and are planning to move to a smaller town in the southern part of the country. This way we can buy a house for the same money as we'll get for our city apartment here in the capital. We could use the extra room and a little yard will be a nice place for the kid(s) to play.
The ER budget is holding up well despite the new addition to the family. As mentioned in a previous post, in order to encourage population growth and help to foster a better work/family life, the government gives all parents a monthly family benefits payment. The sum involved differs from family to family depending on your situation, but we get the equivalent of around $500 USD per month for our one child. This is more than enough as it need only cover things like diapers/wipes, clothes and toys. All medical/dental is free of charge for children as well as most child hobby classes, such as the swimming classes I mentioned above.
I haven't been affected much by the drop in the dollar as I moved about 90% of my assets outside of the U.S. and into Estonian EEK & the Euro before the exchange rates tanked. With interest rates here doing decent at the moment I'm able to get 5.6% on my CD's in local currency and around 4.2% on the Euro.
It's been a little over a year since I moved over here and I haven't been back to the States at all in that time. I can't say I miss anything as pretty much everything is available here that I'm used to. I drive a Ford (Euro model), eat Honey Nut Cheerios for breakfast and watch Monday Night Football (albeit replayed on Tuesday night here). It's really the best of both worlds. I can still have all the things I'm used to in the States, yet there is so much more available here that isn't available in the States.
I can also watch Swedish TV shows while eating some Azerbaijani spiced lamb, then listen to some Italian pop music on the radio while headed to the Russian Theater downtown for a show. Top the night off with a nice bottle of Romanian merlot and get a good night sleep before hopping on the high speed ferry for a 90 minute ride to Helsinki, Finland for an afternoon of sightseeing. Not that I do those things all the time, but the point is that the cultural options I have living here are seemingly endless. I'm discovering so many new things every day and learning so much. I also have to say your perspective on the world really changes when you live "outside the box" and are exposed to so much more of the world.
Anyway, things are good, we're all very happy and look me up if any of you are ever out this way!
For the geographically challenged, click this link to see where Estonia is located in the world.