Nov 2

Why I voted for Obama

Posted by Mrs. M

What it boils down to for me is civil rights. I thought I had the same rights and privileges as everyone else in America. But it turns out there are a lot of people who don’t think I am capable of making my own decisions. Not about family planning anyway. And what is really terrible is when I hear people making decisions based on their own prejudices. Religion has no place in political or government discussions. The values of your religion should be applied when you make decisions for yourself and your children, not your neighbors. Making abortion into this all or nothing football is the worst kind of politics. Making an amendment to the United States Constitution to take away rights from half the public is atrocious. It is completely against the spirit of the nation. It also backdates all civil rights gains to the 1950s… I believe this is a slippery slope… A next thing you know people will start questioning the 15th and 19th amendments (those are the suffrage amendments). The only power that the constitution limits is that of the federal government. It should never limit the power of its people.

Those on the right are voting to take away rights from women (the is no amount of ‘except in the case of…’ that makes this right). These people on the right will vote to limit the rights of their own Mothers, sisters, and daughters in order to keep the LGBT community from enjoying equal rights. This is wrong. We are ALL Americans. We are all treated equally under the law. Anytime we see that a group is in-equal, we make laws that equalize that deficit.

On the left and in the middle we don’t agree with abortion. Who would say that? We are saying the the government has no business making medical decisions for anyone. The government has no business limiting access to ANY FDA approved prescription medication. The government has no business limiting access of citizens to fertility intervention. We as individuals make our own health decisions. NOT the government. What I would say about abortion is we need more funding for education for young men and women. We need more places like Planned Parenthood so men and women have access to birth control and education. Sex education should not be taught in schools from a religious slant. It should be taught as biology. There is no amount of magic, will, crazy vagina chemicals that will stop human biology. Young people need to understand that if a sperm and an egg meet, they will done the one thing they a meant to do… So lets teach our kids how to be responsible. Education is so vital for controlling unplanned pregnancy. I think with more education and access to birth control we can bring the abortion rate down to nothing! Lets all work together on the social issue, let’s not make it a national religious issue.

Obama understands that government has no role in individual liberty. Obama understands that the federal government need to be limited where possible and expanded only where necessary. Romney would destroy our social system and leverage the US government to the point of collapse, once it’s on the verge he’ll sell it off to his buddies and turn America into a Plutocracy or worse.


May 14

Year one

Posted by Mrs. M

We just finished some gardening – geez that is exhausting! Along our back fence it’s all weeds and weeds. Also you see right into the neighbors yard. So I wanted to plant some screening plants – dual purpose, pretty the joint up and also add privacy (neighbors have a giant dog). So I ordered lilacs, forsythia, hydrangeas and burning bushes (got an excellent deal at michiganbulb.com). So here are the year one pics:

Back yard 1


baby plants

I also added some potted plants to the back porch. Hopefully we will be replacing the deck, pending assistance – but no reason we can’t have some color!

color on the porch


The girls are doing wonderfully! Veronica is running around and chatting away (still nonsense, but she has a lot to say!)
Here’s some pics:

Livia – so sweet


what a face!


Veronica at the petting zoo


Livia growing out of her clothes


Veronica in the Bumbo


Jan 25

Screw you squeaky floor

Posted by Mrs. M

Well, now we can walk past Veronica’s room and NOT have her wake up… She had gotten really good at tracking us by the floor and stair squeaks!

20120125-100622.jpg


Jan 18

Week 39 – finally

Posted by Mrs. M

Week 39 – finally. We are patiently waiting for our new little lady to arrive. Hopefully she will be prompt and quick! My Mom gets here on Tuesday, and E’s Mom is on call for taking care of V. Ready. Set. Go?
Here’s a picture – much less miserable than I was before. Of course I’ve only gained about half of what I did last time! (part of that is that I started with more 😉 Also I am wearing my invention. My shirts don’t cover my belly at the bottom and I kept getting a cold draft up my coat. So to solve this problem I created the belly sweater! I took an old sweater of E’s, cut the top off, made a new hem to keep it from fraying. I also had to take it in just a bit, I only did it on one side, just to make life easier. Then when I wear it I put the sweater on under my shirt, it keeps baby belly nice and cozy and I didn’t have to buy a bunch of maternity sweaters that will only shrink and get ruined. ta-da.

39 weeks pregnant belly sweater

at 39 weeks – 7 days to go!


Nov 19

Veronica’s Christmas List

Posted by Mrs. M

Veronica has a ton of clothes (thanks again for all the birthday gifts!) But if you love little clothes, I would aim for 24 month size, things she can wear this spring and summer.
Here are some ideas for her for Christmas:

A cute growth chart to keep up with her rapid growing: Cute Growth Chart

Her cousin Alyssa is so impressed with these that baby V just wants one of her own (note: this is a soft doll, not the hard head ones for bigger girls):
Lalaloopsy Pillow Featherbed Soft Doll

Cute little suitcase for visiting Grandma’s and Grandpas!: Melissa and Doug Trunki

This may be a little young for her, but it’s so freakin cute! Elefun Busy Ball Popper

We are almost walking… I think a nice cart to carry stuff around in would be fun:
Circo Shopping Cart

Daddy loved legos – so maybe some big blocks
Mega Blocks

Maybe this would keep her away from Mommie’s iPhone?:
Fisher-Price Smart Phone

I have no idea what this thing is… but it looks like an IKEA version of a sit ‘n spin… and the stunt baby would probably enjoy it
Kid-O Bilibo

Looks like a fun memory game
Memory Match Clams


Potty training will start soon enough BABYBJÖRN Smart Potty and BABYBJÖRN Toilet Trainer

Circo bath toy storage &/or coordinating bath mats

Form for contributions to Veronica’s 529 Savings Plan


Nov 1

Last time it was only my feet I couldn’t see… this time the bump is hiding something slightly more important!! (of course I can still FEEL and HEAR!)

20111101-213242.jpg

20111101-213254.jpg


Oct 21

Job sharing. Most people when you say that kind of look at you like you just said something in Danish. How can you share a job? Isn’t that the point, you take a job with a list of responsibilities and you complete those responsibilities in return for compensation? Is there room for sharing? I think there is.

The concept of job sharing is not new. There have been opportunities for sharing jobs for decades. Yet the concept has not caught on in the USA or in my industry, Advertising and Print. I personally would love to find a part-time or shared job opportunity. As the “second income” in our household I don’t have the burden of carrying our large living expenses (mortgage, car, insurance, etc). With that second income status comes a very complex calculation. How can I earn an income, that despite my best efforts our household cannot go without, take care of our children and make time for all my non-work responsibilities? A big part of this equation is the cost of child-care. Luckily we are in a situation where we have a family member living with us who is able to watch our daughter in our home. But if I had to pay for daycare, I would need to be making more than is possible to make with traditional, anyone-can-do-it part-time jobs. Right now, even the so-called “high-paying” part-time jobs like UPS and the Apple Store wouldn’t even equal my unemployment compensation, much less pay for child care (daycare for 3 days a week is over $200 in our area – a part-time job at UPS pays about $120/week). And for me to land a full-time job now seems unlikely. Between the economy, the coming holidays, and my growing belly, somehow I feel I wouldn’t be a seriously considered candidate. (Not that I haven’t been trying!).

So what is the answer? Unfortunately it is an answer I cannot give. Prior to leaving my former employer I was in the process of drafting a proposal recommending that my position be cut to part-time or opened up as a job share with another designer/web developer. To me, it seemed like the best of both worlds. I knew there wasn’t enough work to keep me busy all the time, and I could see an empty spot that possibly having a web person around part-time could fill. I myself can do web edits and simple coding, and I figured we could find a candidate that could help out with print production if work of the day called for it. Unfortunately before I could give this presentation my position was eliminated. Nothing personal, there just isn’t enough work to do to justify your salary. Great, just great. So now I find myself with a 1-year old child, a second (and final) child on the way, with no job and no prospects for a job, aside from the occasional freelance opportunity (ironically enough, at my former employer).

So what is a girl to do? I am committed to being around for the kids, either by having a 2-3 day week at work, a shorter day at a nearby employer (hello, anyone in Lombard!) or working from home. I would really like to work. But I need to work for a level of compensation that is proportional to my former full-time position. I can’t get by working at Target for $8.25/hr, our cost of living is too high. Is that so much to ask? I think there are a lot of “second incomes” out there that are seeking a similar arrangement. Make less money, but make enough to be there for your family and still pay the county property taxes on time.

Traditionally, I think the resistance has been the “need” to have a butt in the seat. And not just any butt, but a butt that is familiar with the ongoing work, team and process. But 2 people sharing does not mean that you are immune from the expectations of a regular employee. Communication is always key when putting out a quality product. Just because graphic design is such a service-based job, does not mean that 2 people cannot share that service. I would guess that at a printer (or other employer that is open Monday-Saturday) you could have 2 people cover 6 days. And at a traditional ad agency you have a built-in backup person who not only knows your team and process, but is up-to-date on current projects and responsibilities. And between those 2 people you have constant coverage for vacations, illness, or maternity leave. And you have 2 brains on the same tasks, which may lead to more creative solutions down the road.

Here are some resources on job sharing (see below). Maybe you can use this to convince your boss. Maybe you are an employer and you can see the advantage. I really think job sharing should be the wave of the future, 2 people working is better than one!

Study Attempts To Dispel Five Myths of Job Sharing
Week-On, Week-Off Parenting: Does It Work?
Workplace Flexibility Case Study – KPMG LLP and Job Sharing
Alternative Work Options Job Sharing Guidelines
FAQ’s About Job Sharing
Job sharing benefits


Sep 13

Baby #2 images!

Posted by Mrs. M

The US tech said it is “probably” a girl. wasn’t as definitive as before… so I guess we will have about 19 more weeks to wait!

Profile, thumbs up Momma!


Profile baby!


looking at the "camera" - another ham!


another profile


3D image, the tech had a hard time with this, baby was in a wierd spot


Sep 2

Pregnancy update

Posted by Mrs. M

Well, second child syndrome already! I haven’t posted an update on the current pregnancy. I am at 19 weeks and 3 days. We have our ultrasound appointment coming up in mid-September, then we’ll find out if it’s a boy or a girl. So far everything has been peachy. I am still waiting for that second trimester energy boost, but maybe that won’t happen with an 11 month old to chase! I am just glad the nausea is over. This time was really bad and even lasted a bit longer than the first. Good new is I lost about 15-ish pounds on the scale, but who knows how much is cheddar from the previous baby vs what the new baby has put in! Anyway. All is well and we’ll have news of the sex by V’s first birthday. Here’s a bump photo

19 weeks bump

19 weeks bump


And here’s baby V wondering what we are doing on the back porch
Baby V at the door

Hey, what are you guys doing?


V is crawling like crazy. She can go up the stairs quite quickly (as long as she doesn’t try to get down, stop and rest or otherwise get distracted). The bottom stair gate is now up and annoying the cats. She is walking along the couch and experiments all the time with balance…. so we are almost to the literal chase stage. Fun fun!!


Sep 1

A few people have asked about what size baby is wearing. So here is the breakdown of what she wears and what she needs:

Gift Cards
Kohl’s, Target, Old, Navy, or Once Upon a Child

College education
Form for contributions to Veronica’s 529 Savings Plan

Furniture
She is getting a custom rocking chair already from her Momma and Grandma Havens. She could use a kid scale table and chairs. (These examples are just for illustration – if you have better ideas it’s all good with us!)

Also mesh bed rails for a toddler bed

Potty training will start soon enough BABYBJÖRN Smart Potty and BABYBJÖRN Toilet Trainer

I haven’t gotten a growth chart yet, I thought these were cute Eeboo growth chart.

Clothes
She is wearing 12 month size right now. So for fall and winter I suggest 18 month size. We like putting her in leggings and long sleeve t-shirts or sweaters for day to day – (if you go to Old Navy its 18-24 month size). Always err on the side of a little larger as Miss V is ahead of the curve in size!!

She could use mittens and a hat and furry boots would be a good idea as well.

If you are more into spring, I would go with 24 month size.

Shoes are tricky, right now I think she is wearing size 3

Toys
Baby loves books and she has very few

Puzzles and classic educational toys

Circo bath toy storage &/or coordinating bath mats

Soft Dolls (these are so cute: Learn to dress doll)

My policy on noise-making toys is it’s fine if it makes noise, as long as that noise is initiated by the kid. Toys that just make noise for the sake of noise are no-no’s. The exception to this rule is drum sets. Buy us a drum set and make the shit-list forever!