Friday, August 28, 2009

I can do it

I had a nanny taking care of child #1 up until one month before child #2 was born; she left me for another position I couldn't compete with. It was ok at the time, since it gave me the opportunity to spend an incredible amount with my daughter before child #2 made its appearance. Much of the conversation I had with peers and my family was centered around the idea that I had to find help for once child #2 will join us; fundamentally, the question was, "How will I manage both kids?" Each kid required different amounts and types of attention, and since there is only one of me, how will I be able to attend to everyone's needs?

(Even the husband needs some attention.)

I was extremely worried about this. I have a neighbor who has 3 boys all under the age of 6. She has no help and she stays home with them all day. I thought of her as an example and tried to pick her brain every time I saw her outside. The logistical challenge seemed to overwhelm me.

I had a very nice lady come in for the first month to take care of child #1 while I was home. That was very nice. But then, she left me too (I'm really not a bad employer!). So at that point, I just needed to hitch up my britches and plunge into childcare, all by myself.

And I did it! Not only did I do it, but I loved it! Sure, some days were difficult, and some days I was exhausted, but overall I really, truly enjoyed it!

I made a flexible routine, I tried to work out meals ahead of time, and I took advantage of local services to diversify our day. I was attuned to #2's patterns so that I didn't drag him around when he needed to take a nap. I attended a 6-week mommy & me program (and got some cool crafts out of that!). I attended free storytimes around town. I joined the Children's Museum and went there several times. I took the kids to my sister's house to play with my nephew (who is about 7 months older than my daughter). Grocery store trips were exciting with the race-car shopping carts. I had playdates with friends with kids with similar ages. I went with friends and kids to the Discovery Green spray park one day. I tried to balance busytimes with quiet times, making sure that she knew how to entertain herself for when I had to take care of #2.

Now that I returned to work, I recognize how much I have grown over the summer. Being with my children was more challenging, I think, than any client engagement. I set expectations (for myself), managed routines, adapted to new challenges, worked on new skills (movement, language, coloring, rhythm, patience with my daughter)...and on and on. For me, I gained confidence knowing that even if something seems impossible at first, if I work at it bit by bit and take it one day at a time, I can be successful.

Boy, that sounds like a business book in the making: the business lessons I learned by just taking care of my kids.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

No more tv

We are officially a tv-free home. Not that we don't watch tv anymore (hello internet!), but we simply do not have room for the actual tv set in our house. And right now, we just don't have the money to purchase a flat-screen flat panel tv. So, we had to give the tv away (and the tv stand went to my parents) and so far we haven't looked back. Here's to continuous domestic improvements!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Selling your attention

Did that get your attention? What you're about to read is going to sound crazy.

I stumbled onto this site called YouData and the concept is this: instead of companies paying marketers to try to get your attention to view their ad, why not have the companies pay YOU for YOUR attention to view their ad.

Still with me?

So what you do is you sign up with this site and create a profile and then you receive ads that are "targeted" to your profile, and you get paid for looking at the ads.

Still with me?

Buy "get paid" I mean you get 5 cents per ad, give or take. No, this won't make you rich. And no, you're not flooded with ads in your email, or popups on your screen. You download a little widget and you log into the widget every now and then and the widget will tell you if there are ads waiting for your attention.

And you get paid every Friday. To give you an idea of your "take home pay", the first Friday I got $1.70, last Friday I got $0.71, and so far I have $0.21 in my account. Yes, you read those amounts all correctly. So I'm not going to pay off a loan with this.

But hey, money is money and maybe in a couple of weeks I'll be able to buy a Starbucks iced latte with my earnings from this site.

Interested? Click here.

Hi there

To my general readership out there (all 3? 4? 5 of you?), I apologize for being so AWOL. I've been busy planning several activities for my synagogue which took place this past week so I just haven't had any time to think about what to post. Here are some random nuggets from my life:

Nugget #1: In the never-ending quest for financial harmony, my husband re-evaluated our homeowner's insurance to ensure that we are adequately covered, not too much and not too little. It turned out that we could reduce our coverage which was supposed to save us money. It did. We saved a whopping $11 a year. I'm planning on depositing that check in the bank today.

Nugget #2: My daughter is really fun with all of her "no"s. It's a hoot. Really. Really. Fun.

Nugget #3: I can't believe I didn't do this earlier. Last week my husband cooked a pot of macaroni and we had enough in the fridge to last most of the week. What a great last minute addition to a bowl of soup, or when all else fails, heated macaroni with butter and Parmesan for lunch (I'm talking about lunch for the kiddo). So this week I made rice for the week. What a time-saver!

Nugget #4: We went to a Muslim wedding this week. That was really educational.

Nugget #5: I now use an old tube sock for my cleaning. I dust with it and it's great! My hand doesn't get dirty and I'm able to really get into the corners. Why does this excite me so?