Things that have happened or are happening: new job, lots of work, spring weather, consumerism at its finest, sailing season is gearing up, the patio is ready for enjoyable evening wine sipping, Gracie amusing us day in and day out.
Things that have not been happening: blogging. Not even a little bit.
The new job continues to stretch my mind on a daily basis but the good news is that I really, really like it. The subject matter is stuff I’m passionate about, I am using said subject matter in new ways, and the company I work for us a good match for me. Win-win-win!
B is also busy at work, billing hours and taking names. Sailing season has begun again- he was down in Charleston for a week to kick it off- and the boat work days have begun. He managed to get my Dad sucked into sailing a few years ago, so we’ve been seeing my Dad as he comes into town to travel to the boat work days with B. Gracie has really enjoyed the time with her Papa.
We’ve had a lot of family in town over the past two months, and that has been great as well. Grandparents and Gracie get along like peas and carrots. Rhett Butler doesn’t mind a few extra hands to give him belly rubs either. My brother also got to come which was really nice- meshing our schedules is never easy and it was great to have him out here.
For Easter we hosted a bunch of friends in Chicago that were not traveling home (or having family travel to them) for various reasons – it was really nice and fun. My cousin at Northwestern was able to come down, we had multiple kids hunting eggs in the living room, and I made enough ham for 40 people despite only having about 20. Nothing better than a home full of laughter and good food. I highly recommend this fancy truffled deviled egg recipe for anyone feeling like they need to provide a fancy side dish.
Gracie continues to amuse us daily. This evening we were in the kitchen and she was holding a clean mixing bowl. I told her it went in a drawer where I have about 6 nesting mixing bowls. I didn’t think much of it, but when I turned back around she had taken all the bowls out of the drawer, then she spread them out, properly nested them back together in the right order and then began giving herself a pep talk about putting them away carefully because they were “so heavy.” I watched from a distance and when she turned around I gave her a big high five and hug. She never ceases to amaze us with her new skills -and take this as an endorsement for those dang nesting stacking cups babies play with! For Mother’s Day we all went to brunch and then over to Nordstrom where her foot measured at a 7.5 (what?? all her shoes are size 5 and 6…Mom guilt…) and she charmed shoppers on every floor by carrying a shopping bag and a shoe department balloon with a lot of sass. She was not interested in photos at brunch though:
I have tried a few new recipes I’d like to endorse. Try this cheesy pasta with tomato cream sauce if you need something delicious and comforting (it makes well a day in advance), these spinach and black bean enchiladas for vegetarian Mexican food, and this roasted broccoli if you need to mix up the usual side dish suspects.
As far as consumerism…oh man. Gracie got two new car seats because we’d like to keep her rear facing past the age of two (we are aiming for as close to 4 as we can get) and she was outgrowing the original seats we bought, at least rear facing. We traded out a Combi Coccoro and older Britax Boulevard 70 G-3 for a Britax Boulevard Clicktight and a Chicco Nextfit CX. We love both and we are glad to upgraded. The Britax is great for a center install with seatbelt in my car, and the Nextfit is awesome in our SUV- both are compact front to back, which is great. (No judging those who move their kids around earlier, but extended rear facing feels right for us). Speaking of cars we *finally* traded in our 2003 Grand Am for something new – Mama is now driving a 2015 Subaru Legacy and it feels downright luxurious every day when I get in. Bluetooth, safety features, all wheel drive, and heated windshield wipers (and seats) – yup, talk about upgrades! In less pricey news, I got a Fitbit Charge HR that I’m really enjoying (further proof I need to move more during the day) and we bit the bullet and had a carpet cleaning company come out and steam clean our upholstered furniture. I won’t go into the details, but, uh, everyone should consider doing that from time to time. I also strongly recommend the Babyiator sunglasses Gracie is wearing above- flexible, shatter proof, and come with a one year guarantee against breakage or loss. She wears them in the car when the sun is in her eyes and they do the job quite nicely.
I braved the crowds at Target for the Lilly for Target bonanza, thinking that my Chicago target would be just a few people perusing the racks. I sorely underestimated my fellow Chicagoans, but I did manage to grab a few cute things for Gracie. I wouldn’t have braved the women’s department if someone offered me $100 for my time. My Mom found a few more pieces for next summer at her less-crazy Target so that was a fun foray into controversial consumerism. (You know what they say about opinions….)
I have had time to read a few books (books over blogging I guess…oops?) and I finished All The Light We Cannot See the week it was awarded the Pulitzer. It felt very fancy to be sure. I also enjoyed Girl On the Train and now I’m halfway through (and very much liking) Cold Sassy Tree. Next up is The Royal We and Elephant Company. Let me know if there is anything I should add to my list.
B is getting a bike this summer and we are looking into getting a bike trailer for Gracie to ride in so we can go on rides as a family- if you have any suggestions, please pass them along!
Anyway, with all of that mashed together into one lump, I think we can call this a blog post. Things are going well despite my infrequent writing and I hope you are all doing well (or, you know, still around and haven’t totally forgotten about this little blog).
(Amazon links affiliate, as per usual)
I won’t even start with “so I haven’t been blogging much” and I’ll just cut down to the chase. Much of my radio silence as of late is because off in the background was a new job opportunity that came sailing in without warning and then occupied much of my mind when I wasn’t working or parenting. And to make a long story short (many interviews and written tests) I have accepted an offer for a new job. I’m leaving my current company in a few weeks, and then beginning with the new one. I’m excited, sad, scared, nervous, and excited. All at once. It is a wonder I can eat.
The job I’m leaving has been really wonderful to me for six years but as I began to feel the itch for something new, my new position popped up and became a reality. I apologize for the vagueness but I’ve never been comfortable talking work specifics online- too many downfalls in our uber-connected world. Notable changes for me include:
– no more working from home
– an equally long commute but in a different direction
– still lawyering but in a very different way as I did previously, although with much of the same content/similar legal arena
– some exciting new areas of law to dig into
– no more riding boots and jeans in the office, I have to find some suits and business formal in the very near future
My current job has a whole lot of wonderful coworkers and perks and I’m very sad to say goodbye to them. I’m nervous that I’m swapping a good known for a bit of the unknown (who wouldn’t be?) but I’m hopeful that the new opportunity will be just as great if not better. There is (as always) the potential for the job to impact the blog, and I haven’t really figured that out. I’ll figure it out and make the best decision for me, but I do love coming here to write so I’m hopeful about the future of everything.
In the meantime I have taken inventory of the current wardrobe, deemed it “barely passable” (seriously guys, jeans and riding boots for years) for my new position and I have begun a Lady Lawyer board on Pinterest to save my favorite ideas. I’m scouring the old favorites- Boden (see also, Boden, y u no Pinterest compatible?), Nordstrom, Brooks Brothers, J.Crew, Banana Republic, Gap, Ann Taylor, and Lands’ End (errant apostrophe/fist shake). As I’ve been telling everyone, if you see something great, pass it my way. For example, I have realized I don’t own brown pumps or any hosiery beyond casual black tights. I am now accepting tights suggestions (although I’m dying to splurge on a few pairs of Wolford stockings…worth it?) and anything else that might pop into your mind.
Somehow it is already Thursday this week, a surprise to me since I could have sworn it was Tuesday, but here we are. Almost Friday! The weekend! Last weekend was nice but quiet- I realized Gracie hadn’t gotten to stay home and just play with her toys in a long time, so after I came home from early morning spinning (at Flywheel, through Classpass) and B headed out to the Bears-Packers game (cheering for both teams to lose) we had a girls day at home. We read a lot of books, put together a lot of puzzles and picnics and put Piggie to sleep over and over again. See also: we need a new term for this game of laying Piggie down, covering with a blanket and saying “shh” while rubbing his back, because it sounds like we are running an animal death farm around our parts. Also, I think we need a back up Piggie.
Anyway. That was Sunday. The week has gone by in a blur- hot yoga Monday night, gymnastics on Wednesday. Gracie’s fourth and final canine is coming in – truth be told we thought it was in, her others came in so long ago, but nope, unobservant parent x2- and she has been sleeping terribly as a result. We also had yet another trip to the pediatrican where were told “yup, no idea what that is/nothing we can do” for a continually swelling eye that has her looking like a prize fighter. There was some concern she migth have been bitten by a bug or had an infected stye, but neither seems to be the case, which is good.
In other news: my boots arrived, I love them so. I ordered Kiwi Boot Spray for them after receiving very little feedback on shoe sprays- something no one is passionate about, eh- after reading about 3 Amazon reviews and figuring that it can’t hurt. I’m going to have B try it out on his new anniversary shoes that are coming, and at a fortuitous time as he basically destroyed all of his dress shoes this week and will make the cobbler very happy in the near future. So much so that I have spilled the beans on his anniversary gift and will give them to him a week early so he can wear tham rather than go court with shoes that don’t match his suit, THE HORROR.
As I mentioned before, I’m trying out some new workout gear (my paltry collection was starting to become an issue with my newfound hobby of attending fitness classes) so I ordered these Beyond Yoga leggings with fancy mesh inlay, I expect them to up my cool factor significantly while quaking through a barre class. Side note: do we think that trend will go the way of the corner cupcake shops? Because right now there is some sort of expensive workout studio with a ballet barre and toned ladies on every corner of Chicago. Anyway, back to the gear. If I like the ones I ordered, I have my eye on a “quilted” pair (fancy speak for pattern) and the gathered bottom style, which I believe will allow me to pull it over my heel while in class which is definitely what all the cool girls are doing. Cool = college age, so maybe acutally I should skip that.
Speaking of things I ordered from Amazon, I also ordered Gracie another container of probiotics. We started these in February, prior to daycare and since I can’t knock on wood every time someone reads this just know that if your kid is in school or daycare and you worry about illness and you wish you could *do* something, I would recommend these. For about $17 for a 2 month jar you can at least feel proactive, and our pediatrician has told us that at a minimum they help recover from norovirus and rotavirus more quickly, which, SOLD. It doesn’t dissolve quite as well as I would like, but she doesn’t seem to notice it in her milk. You can even add it to your Amazon Subscribe & Save!
Speaking of that I got an email from Amazon that beginning in November the discount for bundling 5 or more items is only 15% instead of 20%, and wipes will no longer be part of the standard “diapers and wipes automatic 20% off discount” which displeases me greatly as Subscribe & Save bundling is how we were able to afford premium diapers and organic formula for the cost of regular old grocery store shopping….but Amazon seems to think that a $30 credit will make me happier. I’m sure for now it won’t be a big deal (our monthly delivery is pretty much just diapers and dog stuff now) but if I’m ever buying infant formula again, I’m sure I’ll gripe.
On the horizon: dinner with some of my best law school girls tonight, another bar class tomorrow, swimming with Gracie on Saturday, friends over for brunch on Sunday (serving this, please make post-haste) and hopefully another early Sunday morning spin class so I can once again awkwardly shuffle through the office Monday morning.
Amazon links are affiliate, ClassPass is not.
Sometimes, when the headlines are dominated by bad news, it is hard to come over here and blog. It seems so trivial in the grand scheme of things- the happenings in St. Louis, Iraq, Israel and Gaza, Robin Williams, missing planes, planes being shot down….but here, let me talk about my life/dog/baby!
Yesterday I saw a lot of snide comments on social media about how *of course* everyone cares about the rich white comedian that dies but no one cares about any of the other above situations. It isn’t that easy of course. Expressing sadness of a generally well-loved figure isn’t political, alienating, anger inducing, or any of the other things that can cause hesitation before typing out on a Facebook status or Tweet. I don’t have a nagging feeling that I’m not well informed as I opine that, oh man, I’ll really miss Robin Williams and what he brought this world. At least not the way I would if I tried to discuss the world political landscape or the unrest in St. Louis. I think some of the snide commentators would be best reminded that having sadness for one event isn’t mutually exclusive of having sadness for another….but I digress.
Amidst all of the bigger world troubles, Gracie has had a fever. Nothing else, just a fever, enough to make her cranky and keep her home from school. I don’t typically mind being a working parent- it is what I know, and with some organization and the ability to laugh at myself, it works for us. But when Gracie is sick the reality of being a working parent isn’t so rose-tinted and B and I struggle with who needs to stay home, what does your week look like, how can we make this work. All of that and the poor pumpkin doesn’t feel well, so as I rock her and I flash my calendar and to-do list in my head I am overwhelmed and want nothing more than to not be a working parent. Once she is feeling better and it settles back out, I’m reminded again why I like working, why it is what is right for our family, why I’m happy to do what I do…but in those fevery, fussy moments, I wish for anything but.
I’m continually reminded that fall is on the horizon, and a tiny part of me thinks “Fall is fun! I love fall!” and then the other part of me struggles with some sort of PTSD from the winter of 2013-2014. I’m making lists of freezer meals to be made, boots that need purchasing (I wore mine into the ground last winter), winter coats that need a quick trip to the cleaner, 10 passes to indoor playgrounds that I need to buy, hats that need finding, toddler snow pants that need procuring. I’m determined to be ready for the winter, to not be sucked into the misery that was last year, but in the meantime I keep reminding myself to focus on August not pumpkins.
Gracie’s daycare is working on improving communication with parents (we get a daily report but they are going more tech-savvy so we can see photos and get a little more info in real time) and part of me is thrilled, but it also makes me a tiny bit sad- more solid reminders that she spends a great part of her time with others, not with us. I know it is good for her, I know she enjoys “school” and her teachers and her friends, and again, I know working works for me….but somehow the photos of her happily painting her day away make me a little sad, a little “oh…” a little…I don’t know. Melancholy I suppose. Defensive that I’m a good Mom, I paint with her too! It isn’t rational, and I know that, but it doesn’t stopping the nagging thoughts from creeping up every now and again, making me wonder about every life choice that led me to here and would I do anything over….even when the reality is nope, not a thing.
Whew. Pen to paper is cathartic. Or…fingers to keyboard I suppose.