Monday, April 30, 2007

National Day of Prayer

This Thursday, May 3rd, is National Day of Prayer. When I was in high school, I used to participate in a number of events for this - a huge group of students would all gather around the flagpole in a huge circle and pray, our church youth group would always hold an afternoon prayer event, and because my mother usually assisted with coordinating the event with our church and city, I would also participate in the city event. In college, there was a very small group that got together - I went my first year, but then never quite made it back after that. And since finishing college and graduate school, I have always noticed the signs for the events but have never made it to something.

So this year I want to do something. And I've been thinking about prayer a lot lately and how to better find time for it instead of just having a few minutes here and there when I pray. I've also been trying to work on praying not just for myself and my family, but for my friends and those around me.

So to "celebrate" National Day of Prayer, I want to pray for you this week, and especially on Thursday. And I want to encourage each of us to pray for each other. Here's how:

1. Create a post on your blog that mentions the National Day of Prayer and links back to this post. In your post, also include your prayer requests.

2. Sign the Mr. Linky, linking back to your post on your blog.

3. Pray for the person above you on the Mr. Linky (visit their post, and sign their comments to let them know you are praying for them).

I'll pray for each of you, and for whoever signs under me, here are my prayer requests:

~ We really need to find a church home
~ I want to develop more friendships with other Christian women, who are open to talking about their faith and helping each other grow in their relationship with Christ.


Friday, April 27, 2007

Three days

That's how long J's leftover birthday cake lasted in the deep freezer before I just had to have another slice. I don't know why I even bothered freezing it!

Yum, I love whipped cream frosting.


how times change

My family all came in for J.'s* birthday, and my mom stayed on for a few days after everyone else left. It was so fun having her here - we tend to be a little argumentative and spirited with each other, but it's just the way we interact, especially when we are together in person. It drives Husband nutty, but he's used to it by now. We spent most of her time here cooking - I love to have her come and make all my favorite foods! She also likes to make things for Husband, and I enjoy that too because it's nice to have some of his favorites without much effort on my part. I also took advantage of her being here to watch J. and got a lot of work done, as well as a pedicure one day and a massage another day! I even took a nap one afternoon, which I felt a little guilty about, since Husband was at work and obviously not napping, but I really needed the rest. And I don't feel too guilty anymore, because Husband went to the baseball game yesterday afternoon during the work day and he's playing golf with clients this afternoon.

Anyway, one thing that really strikes me as funny is how different my mom's attitude is towards all the "stay-at-home" mom tasks and my attitude. She dropped out of college when I was born, and then didn't go back until after my brothers and I were all in high school (and congrats to her - she's graduating next week with her masters degree!). Her twenties, thirties, and most of her forties were focused solely on my dad, me, my brothers, and our home. That was it. That was her life. She did work some during this time, but always for places like our mothers-day-out programs and church nursery school. I have great memories though of her playing with us all afternoon, making us lunch, taking us to the pool, and going on fun trips with her and all the other SAHM and their kids.

I digress for a minute - I think that was one of the big things that made it easier to stay at home when she was raising kids - more moms were home, and she always had a group of women and kids to get together with and do things. There were more opportunities for social interaction because there were more women who were in similar positions. Now, there are other moms staying home, but so many of us are combining that with part-time work that it's a different dynamic. This is probably a whole other post.

Okay, back to my original train-of-thought: I kept noticing this week how my mom really has a different attitude than I do about what a wife/mom's role should be. She was really concerned one night when we didn't have dinner ready and on the table when Husband got home. She kept apologizing to him, and to me, that we had gotten caught up doing other things and dinner wasn't ready! This has never been something I've been concerned about - I typically have dinner at least underway by the time he gets home, but it's rarely done and never on the table! And there are many nights when he gets home and I haven't even thought about dinner, so we end up just eating leftovers or frozen pizza or going out. I think that as a SAHM, my mom would really consider that a complete oversight and "job" failure on her part!

Another thing she would do - around 6, shortly before Husband was due home, she'd also start making sure J. was in a clean diaper, and the house was picked up, and everyone was showered and dressed and presentable. I do usually make sure the house is cleaned up before Husband gets home, but sometimes I'll let J. just hang out in a dirty diaper if I know Husband is almost home because then he can change it! I realized that Husband and I really do operate more on a "equal" level with a lot of the tasks around the house that my mom was entirely responsible for since I do work part-time and since there is more of an expectation today, in general, that husbands shoulder some of the household responsibility.

I'm going to try a little more to do things my mom's way, at least to the extent that I can while also working, because I do see the value in letting Husband come home and relax and have everything be calm and under control. But I'm also realistic enough to know that I wouldn't be happy doing things exactly like my mom did/does.

*yes, I'm back to calling him J. Using his nicknames just wasn't working for me. I may start using his real name, but I'm still thinking about that. Until then, it's J. Unless I come up with something better. And I'm open to suggestions.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Here comes the stork!

But not to my house quite yet, thank goodness!

One of the moms in J.'s group of friends has announced her pregnancy. This is the first pregnancy out of our cohort of mom's that all had babies February-May of 2006. When she told me, my first thought was that the two babies would be so close together in age! But then as she kept talking, I realized that they actually would be almost TWO years apart! And that this gap is pretty typical and seems to be one of the average age differences between siblings. So it seems like this is probably just the first announcement of many to come in the next few months.
I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around having another baby right now - I still feel like I'm catching up on sleep - J. really only started sleeping through the night about 2 months ago, and he stills occasionally wakes up around 4:30 or 5 and needs us to help get him back to sleep. I also just now feel like we have a routine and a schedule and that I know what I'm doing. I loved being pregnant and loved all my time with J. as a baby, but I'm still really just enjoying being Husband, me, and J.
I was talking with my mom about this, who has been in town this week, and she reminded me that when I was the age J. is now, she was already 4 months pregnant with my brother! I've heard people say that pregnancy goes so much faster the second time around, but I still couldn't imagine dealing with the exhaustion, nausea, and general sickness that I felt during the first trimester and be chasing after an active toddler at the same time.
I'm wondering if I will start to feel more of an urge for a second baby as more and more of our friends become pregnant with their second, but for right now I'm pretty content with how things are and with our plans to wait 3-4 years between J. and the next baby. I do see a lot of advantages to having them close together, however, and so part of me is not so sure. Those of you with more than one child, have you been happy with the gap between their ages? Would you recommend having them close together or spacing them out?


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Happy Birthday to my baby boy!

J. turned ONE today.

At 1:37 pm on April 19, 2006 this is what we saw:

And today, at 1:37 pm on April 19, 2007:

Wow. I'm going to write more about his day, but we're all exhausted and the fun is only starting as we have family coming in town tomorrow for his party Saturday night. Today we just celebrated with the three of us, but Saturday night we'll have all the family there.

And as a great birthday present to Husband and I, J. took his first steps today! It was especially good because Husband was home and also got to see it right when it happened. He has been so close for weeks, and I love that it finally happened on his birthday - I should have gotten him an Elmo balloon and beach ball before, because he was so excited about them that he didn't think to sit down and crawl but instead just wobbled straight towards them!

It's been a good year.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Give a little.

I can't post today without commenting on the events going on at Virginia Tech. The pain and grief being felt by these students, the families of those who were killed, and the community there is immeasurable. I can't even begin to imagine what this must be like for them. Having a child changes how you feel about these events. That is someone - 33 someone's - child who was killed. And in many situations, it was someone's parent, leaving behind children who now must figure out how to cope with a grief that many adults wouldn't even know how to handle.

I also want to mention to you someone that has been on my heart and in my prayers recently - Heather. Please visit her and read her story. And if you are so inclined, BooMama is hosting a love offering for Heather today to support her and her family.

And finally, I mentioned a few posts ago about a professor that I had who was in the final stages of cancer. She passed away on Sunday - we rejoice that she is fully healed, but our human hearts hurt for her family and for the loss of an truly amazing woman.

Please, for each of them, please pray.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007


I added a site meter to my blog, and it's addictive - I've gotten on at least 4 times today to check my stats. Imagine my surprise when I see my first referral from a G.oogle search - and the search phrase was " t.rout".

This wouldn't panic me except that we were talking this weekend with people about our for T.rout, and also I told one of my friends that I have an anonymous blog. I'm sure it wasn't her that was looking for it, but it still makes me nervous.

So I'm changing what I call J./T.rout on the blog (again). Hopefully this will be the last time.

His new n.ickname? Panda. This is what we called him when I was pregnant, because we didn't know if it was a boy or girl. Actually, we called him the "baby p.anda".

I don't really remember how this got started, other than it had something to do with halloween, Husband wanting me to dress up like a panda, and one of the houses we looked at when we were house-hunting having a backyard full of bamboo.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

road trip

Husband, Trout, and I drove to L.ittle R.ock this weekend for a friend's wedding. Other than Texas, this is where I always thought I'd end up. In fact, there was a time where it was much more likely and certain that I would move back to LR and not Texas. But things change. You meet someone in a bar who's from Missouri, who's family is in Missouri, who's job is in Missouri. And all of a sudden, LR isn't where you call home and most likely never will be.

I'm fond of this town. And of Arkansas. I lived in Arkansas for four years while I was in college, and spent two of the summers living/working in LR. I also spent alot of time going out in LR (we lived only 30 minutes away in college) and I worked at an internship in LR during three years of college - so I was there a lot. I've been back to visit quite a bit - not so much in the last few years unless we've had a wedding or party of some other event, but before I met Husband, I was going back to LR on a fairly regular basis to see my college friends, my then-boyfriend (who later became my ex-boyfriend), and just to get back to a place that felt like home.

It still feels like home - as we drive into the city, I almost feel myself getting lighter. My mind clears, and I feel so happy seeing all these places that are mine. I think that's why I love LR and Texas so much - in a sense, everything there belongs to me. Here, in StL, there is very little that is just me. It's all either Husband's, because he grew up here, or ours, because I've only been here with him. It's his memories that are around us all the time - his friends, his stories, his old hangouts, his ex-girlfriends, his town. Or it's our memories - our first date, our first house, our town.

But I go back to LR, and it's my friends, my memories, my old job, my old apartment, my old hang-outs, my favorite restaurants. It's the places I went when I was trying to figure out who I was, what I wanted to do, and who I wanted to be with. It's the places that somehow contributed to me ending up where I am now - in a life I very much like - and thus places that have significant importance and nostalgia for me. And sometimes, when I get caught up in a rut of being me now, I long for the time when things were less serious, has less depending on them, and when I was more free. And I miss the people that know my stories and know how I got to where I am. These people are the ones that know how much I love and value and treasure my current life, not because I tell them or because I act like it everyday, but because they saw me before and knew what it took to get here. I don't have to explain things to them - and they don't to me. I know their stories too.

We drive by the minor league baseball stadium and I remember the night I went there with friends for a game, and I was walking to get beer and hear my name called out. I turn around, and my college boyfriend, who I dated for two years, was sitting there on a date. We had only broken up a few months earlier (and it was hard), and I'd only seen him once or twice since then, and seeing him then, on a date, just left me speechless and frozen - I couldn't move. I don't know how long I stood there, until all of a sudden, one of my guy friends came running up to me, threw his arms around me, and proceeded to drag me a way, all the while holding my hand and making it look very much like we were together. For some reason, that was the turning point where I got back on with my life after our breakup - I realized in those moments standing there that I didn't like this guy, didn't like what he did to me, didn't like how he made me feel, didn't like how he had monopolized me when we were together, and that I much more enjoyed being with my friends and being myself. And after that, I knew I would never again give a guy so much power over me - that I would never again ignore my friends for a guy, or ignore myself for a guy. Especially not a guy that was so wrong for me.

We pass by the hospital where I spent most of my college free time and summers working - this is the place that introduced me to research, and more specifically, research with children who had chronic illnesses. This would become my passion and led me to graduate school. Even thought I eventually left my graduate program, I will always be in a field where I am able to work with children who have chronic medical and psychological disorders. I will always be involved with my local Children's Hos.pital, in some way, and research will always be my passion and my way of explaining the world and looking for answers. I owe all this to the time I spent at the hospital in LR and the people that mentored me there.

We drive towards our hotel, and in doing so, pass the area where my ex-boyfriend lived (the one I dated my senior year of college and my first year of grad school, plus some on and off time after that). I see his old apartments through the trees, and I remember the night, shortly before I left for grad school, where he made me dinner - nothing fancy about the dinner, although I could still tell you everything we ate and I can still remember how good it tasted - but we sat outside on his porch overlooking the trees, with a cd playing in his apartment - James Taylor Greatest Hits - and I remember feeling so peaceful, so happy, so complete. But at the same time - it was so bittersweet. We only had a few more weeks together, and I knew then that this was not the right guy for me, that even if we had good intentions for what would happen to our relationship after I left town, we were not going to last. He didn't want to make the sacrifices it would take for us to keep going, and although I wished I could be the kind of woman that would throw everything out the window for love, I just couldn't for him. We tried our best, but it just didn't happen. Eventually, a few years later, I would make similar sacrifices for another guy, but this guy was the right guy (and he did become my husband) and he was willing to make sacrifices for me and to choose me first. And the reason I knew that the man who would become my husband was the right guy to make those sacrifices for was because of that night on the porch- I was so in love and felt so loved and so enjoyed being with my now-ex-boyfriend, but it still wasn't everything. And I think that's how I knew when I did find the right one.

Many, many of my memories in this town are related to this guy. I could go on and on with stories and good thoughts of the time we had together and the things we did together. And when I'm back in LR, I do often think about him and remember what our life was like together. He expanded my horizons and gave me so much - he introduced me to foods I had never thought to eat and now love (sushi), he introduced me to some of the music and artists that I couldn't have made it through the last few years without (Lucinda Williams, James Taylor, Tara MacLean, Charlie Mars Band, Eva Cassidy), he taught me how to relax and remember to take time to just do nothing, he gave me my first cat, he forced me to learn football and the ins and outs of the game - which resulted in me becoming a great fantasy football player, and later, after we broke up, it was his memory and the trying to forget him that led me to run my first (and only) marathon. There's so much more - too much to write down - but it all comes back to me when I'm in LR. And I love remembering all this - not so much because I miss this guy and want to be with him - but rather because I love the person I am now because of all these experiences. And I love that it is this person that attracted my husband and brought him to me. So I am very, very grateful.

I usually take some time on the drive home to remember some of the things that went wrong with this guy, and why we aren't still together, because otherwise I think it would be too easy to "romanticize" the memories of him and think that it was all just so wonderful. And there are lots of good reasons why we aren't together and why he wasn't the right one for me, but even in remembering those stories, I see pieces of who I've become.

And then we get back home - to the place that may not have my past or all my stories - but does have the hope of what will come. And there are so many good memories here, too. But every so often it is good for my soul to remember how I got here.

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Friday, April 13, 2007

I have to start shopping at Wal.mart

I think I need to give up my Tar.get addiction. I'm going broke. I can't go in there and not spend over $200. I had a list today of only 6 items; I left with a cartful of stuff and spent way too much money. I just can't help myself - some of what I end up getting that's not on my list is stuff we do actually NEED at some point, just not right now (like a big thing of paper towels that's on sale, or soap, or other essentials that I stock up on). But do I really need three things of paper towels stored in my basement? No. And then there's all the things I buy that I don't need - like the cute little cashmere t-shirt (only $30!) or the stylish black sandals that would have been $60+ anywhere else. Oh, and I ended up buying all kinds of finger food and baby food for Trout - they had a bunch of new stuff from Gerber - and even though we're well-stocked, I bought about two bags full of more food.

I never shopped like this at Tar.get until about my 32nd week of pregnancy, when my nesting instinct emerged - and it wasn't an urge to clean house or redecorate - instead, I went to Tar.get 2, 3 times a week and stocked up on every possible thing I thought we might need once the baby arrived. This is why we ended up with 16 boxes of gauze squares that we never used. And this continued once he was born, and I just can't stop! Help!

I'm addicted to Tar.get. There should be a self-help group for this.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

all kinds of things

There's a lot going on right now, as we're trying to head out of town tomorrow, so I'm just going to make this a random post of everything that's on my mind right now:

1. I decided that I'm switching around what I use to refer to my husband and baby because I keep slipping and find myself writing out their real names - instead of J. for the baby, I'm going to start using his actual nickname "T.rout", and for my husband, I'm also going to use his actual nickname, which is "Husband". Real original, I know. But this really is what my nickname for him is - and he refers to me as "Wife". This started when we got engaged, and we were so excited about being engaged and getting married that we referred to each other as "Fiance" all the time. So obviously when we got married, we couldn't use that nickname anymore, so it evolved into "Husband" and "Wife". It makes our friends and families laugh to hear us talking to each other because we really use it all the time and we use it both as a term of affection and then when we're irritated with each other, we use it more sarcastically. It works for us! And as far as the baby's nickname, we always thought we'd call him "Baby" as his nickname (given the whole "Husband" and "Wife" theme), but then shortly after he was born Husband was working on a case that involved a t.rout f.arm. We talked about trout all the time because of this, and at the same time, J. was nursing and would make a fish face whenever he wanted to nurse - so it was a natural extension to call him "T.rout".

Bottom line of all this - instead of J. and H., it's now T.rout and Husband. Should be easier for me to keep track of when I'm writing.

2. I really, really like our new playgroup. We switched days, because there were too many "big" kids (i.e., 2 year olds) in the Monday group and I worried too much about them running into T.rout and hitting him, etc. (which happened almost every playgroup). We go on Thursdays now, and it's a calmer group, with parents that actually keep an eye on their kids during the playtime. T.rout loves it - especially when I let him sit at the table with all the big kids and practice drinking out of a regular cup.

3. A professor I had in college, who I really admired, is sick with cancer and recently was moved into hospice care. They've given her 2 weeks to 2 months. She is an amazing woman, who effortlessly (or so it seemed) was able to balance her life as a mother, wife, friend, and professor with grace and beauty. She provided such an image of what it means to be a faithful Christian in all these roles, and did so with such encouragement and love for everyone that came in contact with her. She has three young kids; I can't imagine what this must be like for them and for her. And it's hard to imagine why it would be her time to leave this physical world - she has touched so many lives (it's amazing to read all the tributes that have been posted to her on her CaringBridge site) and I can't understand why she wouldn't be given the opportunity to continue to do so. But as one of my friends, who also knew her, said about the situation "I still trust God even when I don't understand Him, but please, Lord, help my unbelief." It is hard to know she will be gone soon, but she will be healed and we will see her again.

4. We leave tomorrow for a trip this weekend to L.ittle R.ock for one of my college friend's wedding and for my college reunion - we actually aren't really going to any of the reunion events, because most of it is on Saturday, which is when the wedding will be, but we are going to go up to campus Sunday afternoon to eat lunch and walk around. They've done a lot of new construction, so I'm excited to see what it looks like. And I'm really excited to see my college friends - only a few of them have seen T.rout since he was born, so it will be fun to have them meet him. And a few of them are pregnant with their first kids, so I can't wait to see them pregnant! I also love going back to LR as I get to eat at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants!

5. My car is in the shop for repairs (and I'm hoping it will be done today so I can get it cleaned before we leave town tomorrow) and I have a rental - a big, silver Dodge Caravan. I don't think I'm the minivan type. I feel silly driving it; like I'm playing "dress-up" and pretending to be a mom. Oh well. At least it's only (hopefully) for a few more hours and then I get my Jeep back!

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Notice anything different?

Many thanks to Splat Designs for the new look! I'm really happy with how it turned out, and Lindsay was really easy to work with and did a great job taking my thoughts and putting life into them!

I need to update my blogroll links, so hopefully will get to that soon.



Have your kids discovered Elmo yet? J. received a big, three foot tall Elmo as a shower gift before he was born, and we never realized how much he liked it until we were out shopping one day and he grabbed a stuffed Elmo off the shelf and screamed every time I tried to take it from him. So we bought the Elmo, and he loves both the "mama Elmo" and the "baby Elmo" and will even put his pacifier in baby Elmo's mouth when we tell him to! We've also started watching the Elmo segments on Sesame Street, and for Easter, J. received his first Elmo DVD, which he's fixated on right now.

Unfortunately, in every Elmo segment, Elmo sings a song about whatever he was talking about for that show. And it's not a good song - it's just one word, sung over and over to the same tune. So now I have "ears, ears, ears, ears . . ." stuck in my head.

This isn't quite as bad as the firetruck toy I just got J. - it sings whenever you push down on the fireman, but all it says is "up and down, down and up" over and over. So this is also stuck in my head.

Someone needs to create baby toys that play real songs.

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Monday, April 9, 2007

How I made money while shopping today

I went shopping Saturday night to look for something to wear for a wedding we are going to this weekend. I tried on a dress at A.nn T.aylor that I really liked; the only problem was that the store didn't have my size. Here's the dress:

So they called around for me and found one that was the correct size at another mall -I couldn't get over there that night, so I ended up buying one in a different size so that I got the sale price (the 25% off dress sale ended that night and I wanted the discount!), and planned to head out to the other mall today to exchange the dresses.

J. and I left for the mall right around the time he was due for a nap (bad planning on my part) and went straight to the store. When I tried on the dress, I realized it was much shorter than I was used to wearing. Everything this season is really short! The 16-year-old teeney-bopper working the dressing room tried to convince me that it looked great and was "totally in style", but it wasn't working for me. It just made me look like a 30-year-old who wanted to look like a teeney-bopper.

During all this, J. starts screaming in his stroller, so I let him out to crawl around the dressing room. He LOVED the three-way mirror. I wish I'd had my camera - he was standing up, trying to talk to himself in all the mirrors, and doing a little happy dance the whole time.

Since I wasn't leaving without something to wear, J. and I went to find something else. I found this skirt:

Please note the slightly longer length on the skirt. Much more flattering to my thighs, which still have not lost the baby weight (can I call it baby weight if it's on my thighs?)

After trying on about 35 shirts (each in two sizes, since my post-bf boobs have still not decided what size they want to be), I settled on this top:

The best news? When I went to pay, BOTH the skirt and the top were marked down! So I had paid about $125 for the dress, and ended up paying only $65 for both the skirt and top! So I came out ahead by $60 - I love it when I go shopping, still end up with what I want, and go home with more money than I started.
Oh, and to wrap up J.'s activities during shopping, he ended up falling asleep on the floor of the dressing room, with the entire pile of shirts I tried on as a pillow. I really have to start carrying my camera around.


Saturday, April 7, 2007

More Easter Egg Hunts

So we took the dog to a "Dog Easter Egg Hunt" today. It was a riot - all these dogs, running around a field, picking up eggs in their mouths! I wish I'd gotten some pictures, but it was about 30 degrees and we stupidly had brought J. along, so I was too busy trying to keep him warm while H. led the dog around to all the eggs. The eggs were filled with dog treats, and once our dog figured that out, the hunt was over - all she wanted to do was sit there and open the eggs and eat all the treats! J. thought it was hilarious - I think he really enjoyed watching all the dogs run around.

Since I didn't get a picture of our dog at the hunt, here's just a regular picture of her (since I don't think I've ever posted one before):

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Thursday, April 5, 2007

Easter Egg Hunt

J. went to his first Easter egg hunt and had a great time! H.'s high school holds an alumni mass/egg hunt every year, and we took J. this year - it was so much fun! He didn't really understand the whole "hunt for eggs" part, but once we put the eggs in his basket, he got so excited! He kept putting them in the basket, taking them out, shaking them, trying to stuff the entire egg in his mouth, and he loved watching all the other kids running around looking for eggs. We also took his picture with the Easter Bunny (who I thought was kind of scary looking!)

[pictures removed]

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Wednesday, April 4, 2007

When I stop complaining . . .

and actually start looking around for feasible options, things get a lot brighter! I think I've found what might be a great option for childcare for J. so that I can get more work done during the day - Parent's Day Out Programs!

My dilemma with childcare was that since I work from home, part-time, for a, I don't need regular, full day care (even on a part-time basis) and I can't really afford it anyway. I do get a lot of work done on the evenings and weekends, when H. can watch J. or when J. is napping, but I also have times when I need to schedule meetings or conference calls or need a big block of time, and so it's harder to fit that in while also trying to take care of J. If you've ever tried to make a conference call during a child's nap time, and spent the whole call praying that he wouldn't wake up, but then he does, and you have to try and participate in the call, take notes, get a screaming baby out of his crib and into a clean diaper, then give the baby something to keep him occupied all while you try and act professional and engaged in the call, then you understand why naptime doesn't always work. And if you've ever tried to schedule a meeting for 7 pm on a Friday night with someone that works a "regular" work week, then you know why working weekends just doesn't really cut it either. And finally, if you've ever gone to a meeting and had to take the baby with you, because you just couldn't miss the meeting but you couldn't find childcare, and you end up looking like a mom and not a professional, then you understand why childcare is sometimes a necessity even if you have the luck to "work from home".

So I tried trading babysitting with another mom, which worked out ok, but isn't something I want to do long-term for a number of reasons. I started thinking again about having a "mother's helper" come to the house - but I couldn't find anyone, and the cost of babysitting here is so high anyway that it didn't make sense since it cut too much into what I was making per hour. So then I thought about putting J. back into daycare 1 or 2 days a week - we had a place we liked, that I used when I was at my old job, but in order to justify the cost, I'd have to work at least 9 hours each day he was there and I just don't always have that much work available. Not to mention that one of the reasons I wanted to work from home was so he didn't have to go to day care ALL day and we could have time to go out to the park or do fun stuff during the day!

I had a friend that kept mentioning this parent's day out program to me that her church runs, and when I looked into it, and also did a search for other programs in the area, I found 6 different programs, all within a few miles of my house! The rates are cheap (about $15-18/day!) for anywhere from 3-5 hours/day. And the teacher-child ratio is low (4-1 and 3-1, on average), with a fun schedule for each day of bible stories, songs, playtime, snacks! Even better than what they did at daycare!

And he can go 1, 2, or 3 days a week (although a few of the places limit it to just one day). I even found some programs that either run year-round or have summer sessions! And when I started calling around, thinking that I'd have to get on wait-lists, I found one program that still has availability for summer and fall, and another program that has openings right now on M and W for their year-round program! We're going to visit one of the programs next week, and I'm still waiting to hear back from a few of them.

Thank you Lord, for this answer to prayer. You know I needed something to try and get the taking care of J./working from home balance figured out, and I hope that this will be solution.

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Monday, April 2, 2007

Dyson Slim Vacuum Contest

I came across a contest for a new Dyson Slim vacuum . . . I couldn't resist entering, although I never win stuff (except for a brief 3 week period when I was first pregnant that I won TWO contests- a basket of pet supplies at a store grand opening and a book and free tea from our local bookstore! I figured it had to do with the good luck pregnancy vibes or something).

and if you win because you signed up through my site, then you get to come vacuum my house with your new vacuum!