Monday, June 29, 2009

Me and the kiddos....again

Another caregiver has left us, which leaves me and the kids to fend for ourselves...again.

I'm really not a bad employer, am I? No, I know - it's really not me. Unfortunately, it's been a combination of things but basically the ladies who have been with me so far have been great nannies but for one reason or another need to work elsewhere because of their own circumstances. If I would have had my druthers, I would have kept them all.

The upshot is that I get to spend more time with my kids, and we save money on childcare. The downside is that we still need to find a nanny for when I return to work full time (and trust me, we've interviewed lots) and I would like to prepare for returning to work which would require having someone else feed the baby. The good news is that we do have several options so I'm not totally left high and dry, but still, this kind of thing unnerves me.

Today we took a walk outside, then to the Children's Museum, then lunch with Babushka (Russian for grandmother), then nap, then I picked up my nephew from camp and brought him to his house where we stayed and played and had dinner. So it was a very busy day for us! I also managed to bake bread (love my bread machine - that's another post), did a load of laundry, washed dishes, and prepared lunch. I even got a great (free!) parking spot at the Children's Museum. All in all, a great day.....

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Weekend getaway

This weekend we went to Austin, our first "vacation" in about 2 years. It was much needed. I use the term "vacation" loosely because we did shlep the children with us, which meant that we were still doing the parenting/fulfilling someone's needs thing, just in a different location. We left town Thursday night in order to quietly get there, spend a night, and wake ready to explore Austin. Friday was packed! After breakfast, we went to Zilker Botanical Garden (where we determined that it's not so stroller-friendly, at least not in the unpaved parts), rode the Zilker Zephyr around the park, and watched the swimmers in the Barton Creek Pool. We picked up lunch at the world-famous HEB with the kosher deli and in the afternoon went to the Austin Children's Museum. We listened to some live music in the lobby of our hotel before heading to our room to enjoy Shabbat dinner.

Shabbat day was filled with walking around our hotel's area. It was incredibly hot. I'm still sweating (just kidding) (I took a shower since then).

This morning we packed up and headed home. We thought maybe we'd go to a coffee shop that had a children's story hour in the morning, but we nixed that and headed home instead. We were so happy to be home!!

Here's one thing we discovered: we are NOT fans of the Sleep Number beds (you know, the ones hawked on the infomercial?). It's like sleeping on an inflatable air mattress, except less fun. I would recommend to steer clear of those.

Happy father's day. My hubby - he got vomited on twice today (by the same child). What a lucky, lucky man...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Digital tv non-conversion

Well, June 12 came so fast that I had no idea what hit me. While the US Congress deemed it "the day television as we know it will cease to exist", I was busy making our Shabbat meals and juggling the two babes, amongst other things. Apparently, June 12 was THE DAY all television channels would be converted to digital, and if you didn't upgrade to digital, well partner, you're just SOL. At least, that's what they make you think...

We sent in for and received the digital converter box coupons, so we have them, but haven't utilized them yet (um, I think we had other things to do with our time than upgrade our tv), and if you read my earlier post here, you would know that we were ambivalent about upgrading our tv anyway.

Well, the decision was made for us. We literally did not discuss the issue of the digital tv conversion until after the fact, once we realized the importance of June 12. And since this is so low on the priority list, who knows if we'll ever get to it.

Until then, we will somehow have to manage to survive watching tv on our computer. We'll somehow manage....somehow...manage...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Today in DC

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by what happened at the US Holocaust Museum in DC today, but I am greatly saddened. However, I am grateful for the security guards at the museum, and for the security guard who gave his life protecting the museum and the public and all that the museum stands for, thank you. I don't know if you specifically chose to work at the Holocaust Museum, if you have toured its exhibits, if you walked through all of the horrors that it displays - but today's events clearly show that the Holocaust is not to be left in the history books; hatred is something that we must fight against every single day, without rest. Thank you for your sacrifice; who knows how many people you have saved today.

You have brought honor to yourself and your family. Rest in peace.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Tonight my husband had to attend the annual gala dinner for Interfaith Ministries, which meant that I would be on my own for the evening. I spent the early evening at my parents' house, and then my mom and I returned back to the homestead to bathe the babes and put both to bed. After both were bathed, the little man decided he was hungry (in fact, I knew he was just tired) so I was occupied with him; my mom put the little girl to bed.

It was so easy.

My mom had her say goodnight to me and her brother, and my mom put her in the crib. Said goodnight.

And left the room.


And the little one fell asleep.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Work: want vs. need

Lately I've been fielding the same question over and over again and I would like to take the opportunity now to set the record straight.

Yes, I will be returning to work after my maternity leave.

Yes, I enjoy working for the sake of working. I enjoy what I do professionally. I am a very results-oriented person so it gives me satisfaction to work on a project and see it through. I enjoy the office environment (despite the fact that I do not socialize with my colleagues any more than necessary). I enjoy the professional challenges.

The question of "do I want to work" has not crossed my mind. I'm sorry, but when I'm at a point where I get to do what I want to do, I will not be saddled with student loan debt, a car note, a mortgage, day school tuition, summer camp payments, health insurance payments, etc etc etc.

Need I go on?

Right now, there are many things that my husband and I need to pay for. We do this ourselves. We do not count on our families to help us. We work hard, plan budgets, and live frugally while trying to give our children the best life possible. This is how my husband and I grew up, and I don't think we suffered for it.

And for those who wonder, I grew up with a working mother and I never felt lonely or deprived or anything like that at all. On the contrary, I knew that my mother loved me so much that she was/is willing to do anything to ensure I have all of the piano lessons, ballet lessons, swim lessons, summer camps, etc that I could possibly want. Oh and by the way, I traveled to more countries during my childhood than most kids. But we didn't drive the newest cars, didn't eat out, and didn't buy our clothes at the nicest department stores.

So do I want to return to work after maternity leave? Here's the real question: do I want to give my children the best possible life I can? Yes. So that means, at this point, I need to work. End of story. When the situation changes, I may change.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Hidden money found!

I found over $60 in a closet today!! WOOHOO!!

It wasn't really $60 in cash, and it did take a bit of effort on my part (went to store #1 with one kid, went to store #2 with both kids). See, we are cleaning out the guest room/storage room/third bedroom in order to convert it into our son's room, and we are moving very slowly. Today I decided to take two never-been-opened items to their originating stores to see if I can return them.

And hurrah! I was able to return both, netting me over $60 in store credit. Fortunately, we shop frequently at each store (Walmart and Home Depot) so the store credit will surely be used soon.

The moral of the story here is to return items on time and reclaim your money - no need for the stores to keep it if you want it back!!