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!

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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!)

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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


Feb 6

Snowmageddon 2011

Posted by Mrs. M

Snowmaggedon 2011 – we had a snow day and we all stayed home! Luckily our neighbor has a tractor with a plow, otherwise it would have taken us all day to dig out. As it was E was out there for several hours. Baby and I stayed inside and played (so good to be the Mamma!)
Check out the images in the snowmaggedon gallery!


Jan 7

I love technology

Posted by Mrs. M

Mommy can see Baby if Daddy is there to run the computer. Such a sanity saver – and it will probably prevent me from getting fired for wanting to leave at 2 everyday!

video chat with baby!


Dec 21

Funny Baby

Posted by Mrs. M

E sent me a video of V chewing on her little hand – it’s so cute! But the last frame is the clencher… he starts talking to her and her eyes bug out… Oh I could just die from the cuteness of it all!
Here is an image of the last frame

Baby

Baby being funny


Here’s the FB video


Dec 21

Baby – in her crib :(

Posted by Mrs. M

So last night Baby slept in her own room in her own crib. So sad. She didn’t even notice I don’t think. So far she has slept right next to me in the co-sleeper. I like being able to just peep in on her all the time – now with the floors so squeaky I don’t want to keep walking around and waking her up – at least till she and I are used to it!! But I can obviously hear her on the monitor – not that I need it, she’s only right across the hall – but if you crank up the volume you can hear all her loud sleeping noises. I’m sure her Dad slept much better without all the racket in the room, but I like hearing her little whimpers, grunts and sniffles. Whoever said “Sleep like a baby” has clearly never slept next to a baby! She’s a busy little thing 24/7. And there is a lot more room in her crib for all her flailing around – poor little thing kept hitting the edges of the co-sleeper… guess I should say tall little thing!! 🙂
Notice I added a gallery page – right now it’s mostly pictures from my cell phone, but I will go thru and add new ones from the other cameras.