Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Losing yourself

I don't really believe in losing yourself to motherhood. At least not anymore than you lose yourself to anything in life.

Let me clarify. As a fairly new mama there have been times when I've felt like I've 'lost myself.' But that usually happens when I start to think I'm meant for something super awesome. It's a classic grass is greener on the other side type thing. Granted this happens in my darker moments when motherhood feels decidedly not awesome. But I think this is a mistaken way of thinking. I am not the activities I enjoy, I am not knitting, running, reading, ultimate frisbee, or stout beer. These things are good and enriching but they don't make me who I am. It is still important I do them for my own good, but if I never knitted again I wouldn't be less of myself.

My point is I am most myself when I bring myself, all my gifts and weirdnesses and also faults into what I am doing...into my duties, my conversations, my work, my play, everything. I may have to spend my entire day typing on the computer and feeding Luthien, and doing laundry, but if I do these as myself bringing myself into them for love of my family and of myself, I do not lose myself in them. For instance, yesterday evening Luthien was kind of a nutcase. She was crazy and I was feeling like losing it. So I just started hanging with her and pretty soon we were spinning in circles in the living room and laughing, getting dizzy and falling down. I was still in full blowing mom mode, but I felt completely myself too. I will spin around in circles with my kid even if I look like an idiot and this is a good thing about me.

So in all that is crazy about parenthood, I contend it is possible to bring your selfhood into it, and let it thrive there. If that means you sing a song about pooping to keep your kid entertained while changing their diaper that totally works. Making time for ourselves individually is important, but so is realizing that you don't cease to exist, to have personality when you are doing your regular parenting work.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Recently my job laid me off. It didn't come at a great time. I learned so much at that job, and I was really hoping that it was about to set me on a decent career path. At six months pregnant I don't think I have great odds of finding something new before our little boy is born. I know tons of people have been laid off in recent years, but it's still frustrating to deal with.

I mean we are lucky. Andy has a decent job and health insurance. We are making it if just barely. And I am on the hunt to find something that works for our lives. The working from home thing worked super well from me so I would love to find something similar.

On the up-side, with all this extra time now that I'm not working forty hours a week on my computer, we now have clean bathrooms, clean floors, clean closets, organized baby clothes, and I've actually cooked some stuff! I've also been able to spend lots of good play time with Lu, and really enjoyed the extra time to dote on her. We baked cookies today, and I didn't even use a mix!

We've also recommitted ourselves to cloth diapers and have been having great success! We've even successfully kept Lu's lovely diaper rashes at bay. In theory not having a job means I should have more time to blog, so we'll see how that goes :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Summer pictures

Luthien on the fourth of July. So patriotic!

Hanging with Grampy and Boobie before the fireworks.

She thought they were fascinating.

I'm about 24 weeks with the little boy here, finally showing!

Andy's surprise date for me :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cloth diapers

We have quite a varied diapering journey. Lu wore disposable diapers until she was five months old, when I suddenly realized I was sick of paying for them. We did some research and bought some cloth diapers. My originial diaper purchase were good for a smaller baby but had a harder time working well as Lu grew. I finally got some flip diapers, and so far they are my favorite. They are a diaper cover with a washable insert. The think I like about them is that I can use any insert in them, including the old ones we have that are too small (these work well when extra absorbancy is needed). Cloth diapering was a lot easier than I thought it would be, although I never would have tackled it while living in an apartment. However, after a few months of using cloth Lu started breaking out in horrible diaper rashes. We all went through a lot of pain over it, and eventually went back to disposable diapers. I was sad about it, but I hadn't found a good solution to her rashes, and they were much easier to get rid of when she was in disposable. The last few months we've started using cloth part time again. We can't use them while she is at her daycare, and I don't use them at night since I think that was part of the diaper rash problem. Yet even using them a few days a week saves us some money.
I would really like to cloth diaper this next baby, and I'm looking to buy more flip diapers. Hopefully his skin is tougher than Lu's and we don't have as many rash issues.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Travel season

For about two months during the Fall, Andy lives in 'travel season.' From mid September to mid November he is gone at least a couple days a week recruiting as part of his job. October is the most intense. He is gone four days this week and four next week. Sometimes it's really tough. Taking care of Lu without her dad around is more challenging. We both miss him. We tend to get a bit house-bound (that's mostly my fault since Andy is the extrovert in our relationship).
However, this travel season I've been thinking of the upsides as well. First off I appreciate all the more how much he does! Between taking care of Lu with me, and doing other house work my husband takes his family work seriously. I really notice how much more I do when he is gone.
Mostly though in some ways we take his travel as a way to appreciate each other all the more. Something about missing someone, laying in bed at night and wishing he was here, is a powerful reminder of how much I love him.
We also take full advantage of our possible modes of communication. We often text during the day, and we usually end up talking on the phone a few times a day too. This year we've been video skyping before going to sleep. It's good to see his face before going to bed. Even Lu gets in on the skyping provided we can set it up before she goes to sleep!
My point is we stay close despite the distance. Missing him during the day and making our sappy phone calls is a good reminder of all we have in each other, and I am grateful. Plus every weekend feels like a vacation, a time to spend as a family.
(PS. I try not to write to many of these romantic posts, because then people will find out that I am really just a big sap.)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Going back in time

Tomorrow we are driving out to Steubenville, Ohio to visit our old stomping grounds. We have visited our school at least twice a year since we graduated, mainly because my younger sister, and now brother as well go to the same school. However, there is another reason we keep going back. It is a refreshing experience for us as well. In the past we liked seeing old friends still in the area, but now we know very few people (aside from my siblings). But we love the atmosphere, the Masses we get to go to, praying in the port. We like remembering this place and part of our lives that was so defining and building. It was also defining for our relationship. We spent our first year together here. It was a crazy tumultuous year, but it was a good one. We both had jobs in the sad town of Steubenville. We went to classes, put off homework, stressed over papers and tests. It was such a different time from now, it was a time of growth and development. Now when we return we feel more sure of where our lives are going, we have each other, the most precious thing gained from our undergrad. We have Lu, and now a new little one on the way. We are rejuvenated in this place, reminded of our faith and where we began. Visiting our school reminds us of all we have accomplished and all we have to be grateful for.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Now for something completely frivolous

This is my new favorite brand of nail polish

It has tons of fun colors, nice bright ones. I painted my toes two weeks ago and they still look dang good and painted. Best of all, it's two bucks a bottle. Lu wanted her toes painted too.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Are you guys done yet?

I know in theory that most people have one or two kids, maybe three if they are really living on the edge. But I didn’t realize it in its realness until recently when we found out we are having a little boy. We have one girl, and now one boy, and a dog—we are the cliché American family! And man do I hate being cliché. Many people have asked us if, since we will have one of each, if we’re done. It makes me feel a little defensive of a possible little girl we would have had. If I was carrying a girl instead of a boy would she be somehow less since we wouldn’t have our one of each quota? Would people still ask if we were done, or if we are going to try for a boy next? We honestly have not set about building our family with some kind of formula in mind. So far we've taken a pretty laid back approach.

I don’t know if we are done or not. I don’t think we are. At some point after Lu we just knew we were ready for another baby. After this baby is born we’ll see what happens. I don’t think we are ‘done’ at two, but even if we want to have a third maybe we won’t be able to for some reason.

We love having children. It is beautiful and hard, and the most philosophical moments of my life have been watching Luthien as she learns about the world. I can’t wait to meet our little boy and find out who he is. I do not know how many children we will have. Our Catholic beliefs come into play as well since we believe that a huge part of marriage is geared towards raising children together.

One baby at a time is what we often tell each other when we start worrying or planning unnecessarily.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lu and her doggie

Baby Hammock

For some reason this whole having a baby thing has been on my mind lately. Maybe it's because my stomach now sticks out pretty blatently (we are getting close to the six month mark!), or maybe it's because since I don't really have symptoms of pregnancy early on I don't really feel pregnant until the babe starts wailing on me. And this little boy is kicking like crazy lately!

Anyway, I have been much more forward thinking this time around and one thing I've been interested in is baby wearing. We used this tactic a bit with Lu when she was really little. Usually Andy would carry her in the baby bjorn which worked great for him. I wasn't as comfortable in it. This time however, I want to still be able to do things like take Lu to the park and just keep chasing her around in general, so wearing this new one seems like a good option. So far I have two carriers. I found a navy blue moby wrap at a thrift store, so we'll try that one out. And yesterday I scored this beautiful thing:
I think it's a tad big on me, but I think I can altar it fairly easily. I never got used to the sling with Lu (Maralee generously lent us hers, although it will soon be put to use again for her new little one!), because she basically hated it. I'm hoping the little boy likes slings more. I can barely wait to wear this one it's so pretty! Boho Mama, that's what I'll be.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Troubles with baby clothes, the saga

I believe I've mentioned in the past how I have baby clothes issues. Don't get me wrong I love little tiny cute clothes, but there are three reoccuring baby clothes issues I encounter.

Issue #1: Extreme gender emphasis. Don’t get me wrong I love a little girl in a cute dress, but does every single piece of girl’s clothing have to be pink with sparkles on it? I am not a huge pink fan, and our babies tend to be pretty pink themselves, so I think the huge amounts of pink in girl’s clothes is nuts. There are so many awesome colors out there, but I find myself really searching to find colors other than pink (and the occasional purple accent).

Boys clothes are similar. We seem to think little boys only wear blue, black, brown, and camo (seriously camo?? Do we want to be telling a baby boy his job is to be a soldier?! Give the kid some time to, you know, learn to sit up). Baby boy clothes also seem to assume that every boy will automatically love sports, American sports, mostly baseball. I am totally fine if my son plays baseball, but he can decide if he likes it. I also am cool if my daughter plays baseball. How about a little title 9 in baby clothes?

Issue #2: Lack of creativity. This is a close cousin of my first objection. Baby clothes seem to be completely dictated by the gender of the baby, because it is the worst thing that can happen for a stranger to not automatically know your kids’ gender. Lu has been mistaken for a boy many times due to her mostly baldness (and my somewhat androgynous clothing choices for her) and believe me that little girl is confident despite these mistakes. These are what I like to put babies in.

Issue #3: Babies don’t need real clothes. I remember being given several pairs of newborn jeans when Lu was born, and I never used them. Putting that new fresh skin in jeans just seemed silly to me. Babies mostly eat and sleep, so I see no reason why they shouldn’t wear basically pajamas all the time. Lu wore onsies and sleepers exclusively until she was about four months old. She was born in the winter so little dresses were out of the question. Plus onsies and sleepers are super practical for an immobile baby. They are easy to change diapers in and easy to wash. I never bothered with little dress, jeans, shoes, or headbands because I was all about practicality for Andy and I, and comfort for Lu. Once babies start crawling I can see a need for tougher pants (like jeans) to keep their knees from chafing and for the extra wear, but I really didn’t like putting Lu in dresses until she could walk since they impeded her exploring. And she still spends much of her time in a tshirt and diaper.

We've been been somewhat creative and selective in our own baby clothes purchases to build a practical and colorful wardrobe. I know I have some weird baby clothes hang ups, and this isn’t to say we aren’t grateful for all the gifts of clothing we received. We are! I know lots of people love tiny, grown up clothes for kids, and getting their babies all boy or girled up. Personally I have always believed that babies are cutest when naked, so really anything you dress them in makes them less cute.

The Cheese

I have a problem with these guys.

They are just so dang delicious and I have been having serious salt cravings lately. Apparently this little boy is a big cheese ball.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

When Andy proposed to me

Two years ago last Thursday (September 8th), Andy asked me to marry him. It was a crazy crazy time believe me. It came after a difficult and strangely joyous summer. We were really poor, poorer then we were even in college. I was four months pregnant, and I know people assumed we were getting married due to our little, growing love child. We just wanted to finally be married to each other.

Bonus, Andy managed to buy me a sweet ring while working at Starbucks. Here it is now (with scab)

Chicken Tagine

I very rarely have a moment where I can brag about my cooking. I made this
It's Moroccan, and Lu gobbled it up.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


I can only make art in 3D. I suck at drawing or anythign like it. But give me a ball of string and I can make something with it. My grandma taught me to knit and crochet and I have ever since. Although recently my artsy times have been a bit lacking. Crafts take a lot of time, at leas they do when I do them, and I haven't had very many projects in the last couple of years. And I miss it. A few months ago in a thrift store I spotted several balls of thick, dark green yarn. I bought them quickly. Andy and I had just found out we are having another baby and I started a baby blanket for him. The dark green made me wonder if he was a boy despite me instinct that this baby was a girl.

I've been slowly adding to my baby blanket, and finding out this baby is indeed a little boy has reminded me to work on it. Although for me this type of art isn't so much about the product, although I do love hand-knitted items. It is about the process. Somehow I find calm in the slow buidling of stitches one on top of the other. I love seeing my pattern emerge as I add to it. The movement of my hands soothes my busy mind.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Work and weird pregnancy hormones

They do not always mix well together. I have been full time now for exactly a month, a month today actually. My work itself is going really well. I have been getting good feedback and learning about my new projects. Lu seems to love her partime daycare. She gets along with the other kids, and her babysitter, Dorothy, just got a puppy.

But so far about once a week I have completely panicked. I get overwhelmed or feel like I am not doing well on a project, or that Lu is not getting enough attention, and I kinda flip out a little. What the heck? None of this is based in actual fact. Luthien is thriving, I have been getting good feedback on my work, and the house is actually pretty clean. Andy and I have come to the same diagnoses each time--pregnancy. How lame is that? I realize that crazy hormones are rushing through my body all the time, but I hate the idea that I don't have control over them. I mean of course I have some control. When I start to feel panicky, Andy usually has a little chat with me, then I take some down time to read or knit. I just hate not being in charge of how I'm feeling.

I think the more comfortable I become balancing my added responsiblities the easier it will be. But I am looking forward to this baby beign born for many reasons.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Baby Boy Horner

So we are having a baby boy! We orginially planned on not finding out until the baby was actually born, but changed our minds about a week before our 20 week ultrasound. We were getting tired of calling the baby “It” and couldn’t seem to stick to a good in utero name.

We also made a bet on whether it was a boy or a girl on the way to the ultrasound. I have thought this little one was a girl for a while, and Andy has been quite sure it’s a boy. He made me promise not to tell anyone what his prize was.

How do we feel about having a boy? Awesome! It’s weird because we’ve only dealt with a small girl person before so it will be a new experience, but it seems initially they are pretty much the same little squishy people.

He kicks me a lot. And I noticed it way sooner this prenancy, which has been fun.

Friday, August 12, 2011

New baby sleepign arrangement (hopeful thinking here that sleeping will be happening)

We are trying to decide how to set up sleeping arrangements with the new baby. At first we want the new tiny one with us, although we tend to not go for full-on cosleeping. So shold we get a classic bassinet?

Or one of these sweet-looking cosleepers?

I also really want a Moses basket because they are cute. I don't look very useful though...

Full Time

I officially started working full time almost two weeks ago. It has been great and a huge adjustment.

First off, Lu's babysitter is fantastic. That is a huge plus, since we are not worried about her. Dorothy is a middle aged woman who runs a quasi-daycare out of her house. She watches 3-5 kids a day and handles it admirably. Lu loves hanging with the other kids and is very comfortable with Dorothy.

I have had some huge new projects thrown at me and have had a hard time not panicking on occasion as Andy can testify too. He has been a huge support, making sure I take time to relax, or telling me to go work out when it's obvious I'm getting worked up.

I am excited to take on these new projects. I actually have projects I am solely in charge of rather than just working as people send me their work. I think as I learn more and will become more comfortable and be able to accomplish more.

I had a moment last night when I realized this is a set-up I have dreamed about for a long time. I remember thinking when I was little that I wasn't sure I wanted to be a stay at home mom solely. I know lots of people love it, and there is certainly plenty to keep busy with, but I am not quite domestic enough for it. I always thought that an ideal situation for me would be to have a from-home job. So here we are.

Of course in the future we have to figure out how to do it with a new little baby around, but I figure we will get it sorted out as things come. That seems to be the best way to handle life anyway.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

New baby

So in case any of you don't know, I'm pregnant with our second baby! About 14 weeks along and feeling like a star race horse. Seriously I don't think my body has even noticed I'm pregnant. I occasionally feel a little tired, or really really want cheetos but that's about it.

But the best thing about this pregnancy so far is the lack of fear. Last time I was terrified of the coming baby. The changes she would bring, the lack of sleep, the questions. I knew we would figure it out, but entering into a whole new unknown world is just unnerving. This time around I know there will be challenged, we have to learn how to deal with two little ones. We will need to take care of a toddler and new born simultaneously. But the thing is we already have taken on bigger things in life than I thought possible, so another baby? No biggie. When I think of this new one my primary feeling is joy. I can't wait to meet a new little person with some of Andy and some of me, and a whole lot of him/herself. I can't wait for Lu to have a little sibling to poke, torment, and love.

Luthie learned how to say 'baby' this week, and I feel a little emotional every time I realize she will soon be saying that about her little sibling. Andy and I talk in excitement as we strategize names, sleeping arrangements, birth plans...and it is all in a spirit of anticipation and excitement. I can't wait to see him hold his new tiny baby again.

And I hope that in the hard times of new babydom we remember that hard times end and change with babies, as do the lovely soul-touching times. I hope to appreciate all the new born snuggles since now I know that new borns quickly become mobile little creatures who never want to snuggle but love to give kisses.

Monday, April 18, 2011

New Camera

Andy surprised me with an early anniversary present...a new camera! What do you think?

Strong Mama

So I think being a parent has made me stronger than I ever have been. I can face all kinds of crazy things in a day without a problem. First off I am literally stronger in my arms! As Lu grows I keep on lifting her and carrying her around. It is the ultimate gradual weight training!

However, it has also made me stronger in other ways. For instance this morning by 7am I had cleaned up both vomit and poop. Lu threw up in her crib in the morning and then her diaper exploded poop all over her. By 7 I had cleaned it all up, gotten everything in the wash, and bathed Lu twice. Let me tell you events like that take some emotional toughness which I am quickly gaining, and a good hold on one's gag reflex...And after handling this morning's nastiness I know I can handle all kinds of crazy stuff.

Lu's nicknames Part 2

The monster
The screamer
The squeaker
Crazy face

Monday, March 21, 2011

Luthien's Nicknames

The terrorist

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Yep, I'm 24, offically entering my mid-twenties. Andy had class yesterday (my actual birthday) so tonight he is cooking me a delicious looking hawaiian chicken recipe, and we are sipping a nice grapey bottle of wine in celebration of my 24 years. Also, for my birthday we finally fixed my bike, and got a baby carrier for it! I see much biking in my future!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Secret messages

I like clothes. A lot. I think it started sometime in high school, although my tastes have changed over the years. I've always had a soft spot of punky looks, although that was somewhat tamed by my professional type of jobs. Summer always brings out a bit of a hippy streak for me. I have a problem though, I have a hard time buying basics. The plain white shirt, the basic black pants, basic shoes...so boring to shop for. I like patterns and fun cuts. However, I also really like thrift stores, and recently one of my favorites gave me a message--buy basics, as in buy that pair of basic black heels. Buy this sweet pair of black, gucci heels in your size. Most excellent.
(They are a little more worn than this, but you get the picture, they rock)


Honestly when we started out we didn’t really know how long we wanted to breastfeed for. We were pretty sure that we would go at least six months, and we went on happily until around month ten when Lu officially became a very wild nurser (she’s always been a little wild). She would flail all over, put her feet on my shoulders (yes, while nursing), pinch me, whack me, yank whatever jewelry I was wearing. For a while I dealt with the flailing nurser, but then sometime in the middle of the night while we were in California I decided it was time to cut down. I was trying to feed our crazy, teething little girl and she was thrashing all over the place. The next morning I told Andy that I wanted to start weaning when we got home, and he said, “Well you are the one doing it, so whenever you are ready is good by me.” It has been a very smooth process so far. We’ve worked on increasing her solid food consumption and she quickly went down to two or three sessions a day. At this point she began to consider nursing during the day to be way too time consuming and boring, and would only nurse for a couple of minutes before she was off and running again. At this point she is only nursing when she wakes up at night to go back to sleep, which is usually just once.

I was so amazed that she cut back so naturally. Initially I was quite nervous about weaning since I’ve heard lots of horror stories. It makes me think I wasn’t the only one ready to cut down. Now, we both seem with the arrangement. I don’t mind nursing her when she wakes up during the night and she doesn’t have to settle down to nurse during the day when she would rather be playing with Reba, bringing me giant legos, finding little bits of food (hopefully it’s food) on the floor to chew on, breaking into the bathroom, figuring out how to navigate baby locks…you get the idea.

I’m not sure how long we’ll wait to cut her off completely. I am content letting her keep up her nightly feeding time for a while, but I’m not sure how long my supply will last.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Luthien is one

So much of everything in life is mindset. I think had we gone into parenting thinking, “this is going to be awful and will ruin our lives,” then it might have. We very much went into parenting thinking, “ we have no idea what we are doing, but we are going to figure it out, and dang it we are going to have a good time.”

Sometimes the fact that we didn’t exactly plan on having Lu when we did (yeah, something like, “HOLY CRAP! I’m pregnant!), helped us be more chilled out parents. We knew we still had lots of stuff we wanted to do in life, so we incorporated her into our lives, rather than stopping our lives to raise children. She is part of us, we adjusted our lives to fit her, but we didn’t end them. I made a pretty big career change, but ultimately I think that change is for the better. We constantly remind ourselves that life with Lu is about adjusting so that we don’t feel smothered and she is well cared for. “Adjusting” being the key word here. We don’t’ end or change things in our minds, we adjust. My career has been adjusted to fit Lu, Andy adjusted his work schedule to fit our lives as a bigger family.

One of the best pieces of advice I was given for Lu, was from a very old friend of mine who now has a two year old son. She told me, “Trust your instincts,” I know it’s kind of a cliché, but new parents are often told so many crazy, hard-lining things, that this piece of advice really stuck with me. Of course lots of people have good pieces of advice, and we have asked for it before, but so many things parents just have to do what they think is best for their kids and for their own sanity.

I wish someone had told me that. Again I suppose it should be fairly obvious, but all this parenting stuff was pretty new for us, and it can be tough to know what to do.

Luthien has become the third puzzle piece in our little lives. We keep growing to love her more as she gets older, and we come to know her better. She is a spunky, energetic little girl, who loves to meet new people, and climb anything she can find. This past year has been blow-your-mind-awesome. The fact that we have managed to raise a little person through her first year of life is overwhelming and so encouraging. Happy late Birthday Luthiemonster.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Working out!

As I mentioned I made the most cliché new year’s resolution ever this year—I intend to get in shape. Since graduating from college I’ve been pretty hit or miss in the exercise department, which is actually a little strange for me, since I was in cross country, swimming, and Frisbee during high school and college. I thought post being pregnant I have extra incentive to start working out again to lose whatever baby weight hung on, but, well my baby weight just kind of fell off the first few weeks (I know, I know, boo, hiss). I had a hard time keeping weight on in order to breastfeed. Then we moved, we got married, and exercising just didn’t happen.

When we got back from vacation we decided to get a wii fit. And I have really been using it! I’ll admit when the wii fit came out I laughed at it…who needs a video game to work out? Well me apparently. You see I’m a cold wimp. During the warm months going outside to run is a lovely experience, but in winter with things like snow (I’m from California so snow is a little intense for me) and just general freezing weather keep me pretty happily indoors.

Since the wii fit though, I’m been working out several times a week, and it feels so good to finally use my neglected muscles again. And I must say, my arms are pretty dang buff thanks to carrying our big (almost!) 12 month old around!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

On working and baby raising…

The day before Lu was born Andy was promoted to a salaried position at his company. We knew it was probably going to happen, but it was a comforting blessing to have it happen the day before she was born. When I went into labor that night, in the back of our minds we knew that now I could stay home with the baby if I wanted to. In fact, it made the most sense for our lives for me to stay home since childcare cost so much.

During those first few weeks I was so excited that I didn’t have to go back to work, but I knew that at some point I would probably get tired of being home all the time. I had always admired those industrious stay at home moms who seem to make home and children a lovely, exciting full time job. However, I had never envisioned myself as a stay at home mom. I enjoy little of domesticity (although I have come to enjoy some aspects of the home) and I’ve always liked having a traditional job.

So after we moved I started looking for a part time job. I looked into a few different things-realty, coffee shops, freelance writing, etsy, I even had a bad stint with a survey company that had me getting telemarketing calls for months after. Nothing really fit me or our lives. I applied to lots of jobs, but applying to jobs online has always felt a bit like entering the lottery to me.

In mid-October, I got an email asking me to interview for a technical writing job. To this day I have no memory of applying to the job, although I did finally find a copy of the add in my email, so I know I did apply to it at some point. I got that email on a Tuesday and was doing work for an IT company by the following Monday. It has been an amazing job. I’m still part time but working up to full time, and it is all working from home. I am learning so much about the technical community and improving my writing skills for the niche.

However, I have definitely had to adjust to being a double working mama. It’s true, baby raising is truly a full time job, one that Andy and I share, but during the day while he is at the office, I am Lu’s main caretaker. And now, I am also logging 20 hours a week in my other job—technical writing. So during the day I work a little on my laptop, chase the baby, make her some oatmeal, write a little more, and swap again. It’s a delicate balance, and I struggle sometimes to pay full attention to my work. I am slowly getting better at it. She now goes for long 20 minute stretches happily playing by herself, and I use that time to focus more intently on work.

It has also been interesting working at home in general. This is the first time I’ve had a work from home job, and it can be difficult to separate home from work, and work from home. I tend to be distracted by home type work, sorting, cleaning, dishes, while I’m working and distracted by work problems when I’m doing house projects. I’m slowly learning how to separate the two. I structure our days as well as I can with an 11-month-old’s whims to answer to. In the morning I focus primarily on work since Lu tends to be pretty happy during that time. Around noon we make lunch, and then Lu usually (theoretically) takes a good long nap, while I go get in a work out with the wii fit (side note, the wii fit has been amazing in helping me begin a work out regime after a long absence). After Lu wakes up, I usually spend some time just playing with her, do a bit more work, then around four I let myself do house work—cleaning, maybe a little laundry. I find that for me housework tends to take over if I start. One project leads to another and sucks up my day.

So if you read this long post, well that’s amazing. I just have not found much out there in the realm of double working mamas so I thought I would share some of my experiences so far. Definitely a huge part of making it all work is Andy as my teammate. He has taken on more of the house related work since I’ve been working keeping me from feeling over committed. I like that we share in all of this—raising Lu, taking care of our house, earning our income, and support each other in each area. Me working has helped us be a team in each area of our lives.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Happy New Year! (a little late)

Happy new year to you all! We are officially back from California. It was a great trip, lots of family, good food, presents, humor, and a ridiculous amount of travel. Lu handled the travel like a champ, although by the end of the trip she seemed pretty tired of all the moving around. The last day we were there my parents let Andy and I go on a date in Pasadena, which was super fun. We dressed up, had a nice long dinner, and got to be all hipster in LA.
And now it’s 2011! Crazy! 2010 was an eventful, stressful, and joy filled year for us. Here’s a quick list of the GIANT life events we have experienced in 2010.
• Luthien was born. We made it through birth, the first few crazy months, and have settled into a pleasant rhythm of parenting as she approaches her first birthday!
• Andy and I finally married, twice actually (I don’t like the term “got married” because I have an English major’s grudge against the word “got”, so we’ll go old fashioned on this one). Our first first anniversary is in a couple of weeks.
• We bought a house in Front Royal. We love having a nice big space, especially after our studio. It’s so neat to see Lu running around in it, getting bigger.
• We revamped our car situation so that Andy has a sweet commuter ride.
• Andy got his current job the day before Lu was born, allowing me to stay home and us to get a house.
• I quit my old job to do child-care, but found a sweet gig writing from home in October.

Andy and I talked quite a bit about our goals for this year, the biggest one being, peace and calm. We are content where we are, and since both of us tend to be ‘make things happen’ people, we are helping each other learn to enjoy the present time. We are very happy about the big changes we made in 2010, and 2011 will be about adjusting to/enjoying those changes. We are hoping this is a less tumultuous year. However there are some small things we would like to work on:

• I know it’s cliché but I want to start working out again. I’ve been a runner my whole life, but I’ve been quite a slacker since the small one was born. It’s time to get back in shape.
• We started doing night prayer together during advent and want to keep going with it in the New Year.

That’s us for now. The new and expanded Horners of 2011.