Pretzels + Pom Poms

Completely and utterly adoring these sweet little knit pretzel rattles and whimsical pom pom mobiles from Blabla Kids - one of each please! ::nom nom nom::

A Pretty Place to Work


Now that I am working part-time, my desk is in an "office" type setting along with the rest of my team rather than in a huge classroom, and my space is pretty dismal at the moment. I'd really like to freshen things up but I don't want to spend a lot of money and I have to use the standard issue hideous monster of a desk, so I've been throwing around some ideas on a design board.

I thought one way to dress up the desk might be to cover it with some fun patterned gift wrap and place a piece of plexi glass on top. I'm also thinking a large but inexpensive piece artwork, like this "Be your-self" print would make a big impact on a budget. Maybe I could splurge on a few cute (but still reasonable) accessories and eventually add a few smaller pieces of art into the mix. A few other things I'm considering are a peg board, some small DIY projects like a cute mouse pad or some DIY artwork, and possibly painting the desk (not sure if that's allowed or if it would even work on a metal desk.)

And I'm still not sure what to do about a desk chair, because right now I have a wonky hand-me-down behemoth that a colleague gave me (if I didn't take it it was going to the dumpster). Not only is it totally fug, it's also way too big for me and is pretty uncomfortable, so I'm going to keep an eye out for an inexpensive alternative (suggestions welcome!)

Gold Foil Dot Gift Wrap
Neon Nesting Boxes
Be your-self Print
Pink Stapler
DIY Mouse Pad
KVISSLE Letter Tray
Hustle Gold Foil Print
Heart Print (DIY?)
Mint Floral Gift Wrap
Abstract Artwork
Gold Table Lamp
Gold Notebook

Full-time Stay-at-Home Mom No More


[With random gratuitous photos: Violet exploring at one of our state parks. Kev snapped this shot - isn't it amazing?!]

I went back to work last week after over a year of maternity leave, and I was feeling both excited and apprehensive about the transition. I've been requesting part-time hours for a couple of years now, and after a lot of back and forth, my administrators finally decided to give it to me, so that part has been really exciting. I'm now working two to three days a week instead of five, and I am really happy to be able to to hold onto a job that I love but also be with my babies more.

[Lucy is such a comedian these days]

We were also very lucky to have a dear friend (my college roommate) offer to watch the girls while I'm working. She has a two-year-old daughter and is always doing all kinds of fun and adventurous things with her. She's a great mom and a wonderful person and I am really excited that my kids will be spending time with her. Although we did check out a few traditional daycares, we were less than impressed by most (we're probably a little more critical with both of us being teachers), and while we did find one that we were impressed with it only offered full-time rates. Although I think Violet would have benefited from being around kids her own age and getting used to a "school" type of situation, I also know that she is a smart girl, makes friends easily, and will be doing some preschool activities both at home and at her babysitter, so I think she'll be just fine. I love that she and Lucy will be together during the day and that they will be in a loving, caring environment where they'll be getting a lot of attention. I can still do stay-at-home mom type things that I used to be jealous of, like taking my kids to story time at the library and playing outside with them in the daylight during the winter months.

[Violet finger painting at her babysitter's house]

On the flip side I honestly wasn't sure how I'd feel about being back at work. Would I still feel the incredible sense of guilt that I felt when I was working full-time? Would I like my new position? How were the girls going to react? Although there have been a few tears when I drop them off in the morning, miraculously I feel zero guilt and am actually insanely thrilled with the whole situation. Every day our sitter sends me pictures of the girls doing fun things and they always look like they're having a blast. I am LOVING my new position - I'm working with a team and it's really fun being a support to them rather than having to figure it all out on my own. I love everyone on my team, I love getting "dressed" in the morning, and I love interacting with adults again in a professional way. I feel a weird mixture of happiness to be with my girls and sadness that I'm not at work on my "days off", but I know that if I was working full-time I'd be seriously missing them and the guilt would be back full force. I think this is the absolute best solution for our family. 

[Exploring down by the river on another beautiful day]

If there's one thing I learned from being a parent it's that every kid is different and what works for one family may not work for another. I have friends who work full-time and would absolutely hate to be part-time or a stay-at-home parent. I have friends who stay-at-home but still send their child to daycare because they need the structure and social interaction. I have friends who stay at home and can't imagine leaving their kids with someone else during the day and other friends who also stay at home but wish they were working. I have friends who manage to work from home with their kids at home and other friends who work from home and send their kids to daycare because otherwise they'd never get a thing done. And you know what? I feel like I can empathize with every one of those situations. We're all just doing the best we can.

I'm happy that we may have finally found what works best for our family - a happy medium, and I am so SO thankful for the people who have allowed us to get here. To my administrators, coworkers, husband, babysitter, and parents (who have already picked up the kids on a day that both Kev and I had meetings) - thank you, thank you, thank YOU! This is life changing stuff, you guys. LIFE CHANGING. 

So bear with me while we adjust to yet another transition - I haven't quite figured out when my "blogging time" fits in with all of this yet. When it was just Violet Kevin dropped her off and picked her up at her sitter on his way to work and I had about an hour every day after work to focus on this space. Now that the tables are turned (I'm dropping off and picking up), I'm not quite sure how I'm going to keep up. So while the posts may be less frequent, I'll still be throwing stuff out into the blogosphere when I can, because I really do just love doing it. Thanks for sticking with me! 
xo, Lauren


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