Friday, September 27, 2013

life is happening, right here

american dagger moth caterpillar crawling up the side of our house

here it is, nearly october, and it's been ages since anything has been put down in the blog. not a word about lucy's birthday parties (she had two), about me quitting my job (i did, and then i didn't), or about sam's adventures in preschool (he started the tuesday after labor day). so, in an effort to catch up, here are the highlights from the past two months:

lu's second birthday cake + lu successfully avoiding the token "messy first birthday cake" photos by using a fork 
(seriously? what one-year-old does this? mine, apparently.)

- the day after lu's first birthday, we packed up the car and left for the family reunion in minnesota. considering the length of the drive (and the ages of our little people), it was relatively painless. we enjoyed a week of playing and cooking and eating and hanging out (and more partying). the worst part of all that travel was having to leave after a week of reveling in the company of all that family (and easy access to lots and lots of swimming), and having to return to real life.

the view from my new office window, right before i quit

- but that's what we did. on monday after returning from vacation, mike and i headed back to work, leaving the kids in the hands of my very capable (and very tired, because they had also driven home from minnesota) parents. 
when i got to work, i officially gave notice that i would be leaving my job at the end of august. it was really hard for me to throw in the towel after being there for twelve years, but it seemed to be the best option for our family (not having to find a new sitter that would meet all of our requirements and still not cost an arm and a leg was the main consideration, of course). so, notice was given, and I spent the day unpacking my office (they had just relocated me to a better office with a great view *sigh*), and trying to wrap up a few projects that needed to be completed before the end of the month. the next day, my boss called to let me know that my resignation was rejected, and that her boss wanted to know if there was some arrangement we could come up with that would still allow me to work for them. i ended up signing an independent contractor agreement which allows me to work from home ten hours a week and i end up having more take-home pay (even with setting aside money for taxes at the end of the year) than i had when i was working twice as many hours and had to pay for childcare and transportation. i did lose any benefits i had retained when going to part-time, but since we are already paying into mike's benefits, it's not a huge loss. i'm still making out better than i would have if i'd simply gone to stay-at-home status. bonus.
the only hitch to working as a contractor was having to buy my own mac and software, but we figured if it needed to be done to continue working, it needed to be done, and we put down the chunk of change (though we'll easily make up the cost within the first few months of my contract) and bought a mac and software. of course we found out a week later that i was going to get my beloved work computer back (they wouldn't allow my personal computer access to the network, and i had network access written in as part of the contract). i now have two macs on my desk, and have done at least one (paid) project on each, so having spent the money wasn't so bad. huzzah.
i started my contract on september ninth, and have yet to have a ten-hours-only week, but i'm enjoying being home (for the most part), and that i still get to be a "working mom" if only in a very small capacity.

lu and grandparents + sam and mike at the concert (packed tight amongst the sea of concert goers)

- the last weekend in august, we took my parents out to the pixar concert at blossom as belated birthday gifts. it was a great night with good music and the foggiest, most surreal-looking fireworks display i've ever seen. i think john williams would have been more suited to our family (sam knows that music better, particularly star wars), but still, it was a lot of fun.

obligatory first day of school photo

- sam started at the onaway preschool the tuesday after labor day. his teacher, the awesome mrs. k, has sent home good reports so far, and sam seems to really be enjoying his time there and making new friends. we did have one report of too much talking (not surprising), but overall, preschool seems to have been a good decision and sam looks forward to the days he has school.

lucy flipping through her books

- lucy, for her part, is enjoying a little bit of only-child time during the two and a half hours that sam spends at school. most of the time she will play quietly by herself (something she doesn't get to do very often when sam is around), and i'm able to put in an hour or so of work. her two favorite pastimes are looking through her books (it's better if someone reads to her, but she will spend lots of time just looking on her own), and going through the box of hand-me-down shoes that came from cousin alice.
this morning we read our way through a stack of books and would probably have kept going if i hadn't popped some baby einstein in the vcr so that i could go make breakfast. i'm pretty sure that if having a kid that won't let me stop reading to them is my biggest problem, then life is pretty good.
lucy's favorite book right now is "brown bear, brown bear" and we've read it so many times that i can just recite it to her (which lucy thinks is almost as good, and likes that best when she's feeling fussy). i think it's the rhythm that she likes, and we often see her rocking back and forth to the words, but i can also see her mouth trying to imitate what she sees my mouth doing when i say the words. if she finds my recitation fascinating, i find her watching me just as much so.
lucy has also gotten to the point where she is easily cruising around the furniture and seems a bit disappointed when she gets to the end, but not confident enough to try to step out on her own. she can (and frequently does) stand up in the middle of the room without holding on to anything, and she can sway and dance and bop there before sitting down (or more likely plopping down) on her bottom.
she is obsessed with babies, and any book that has a baby in it. since baby is one of her few words, she uses it frequently for things that are clearly not babies (like daddy, for instance). she also enjoys giving lots (and lots) of kisses (which i find incredibly endearing, to say the least).
her new word for today was "stinky", which she heard sam say and then kept trying to repeat over and over. she can also say "taco" and "apple" quite well.

so that, basically, is the wrap-up of the last month and a half (or so). we're looking forward to october (though i'm getting anxious about the impending halloween costume making part of the month—ack!) and the candy corn it will bring. we have a few adventures on the horizon, and hopefully there will be more (timely) updates in the near future.

sam in goggles (because, when all is said and done, who doesn't enjoy a photo of a kid in ridiculously over-sized goggles?)


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