08 May 2013

Married Life

In Idabel, OK with Lee's family

My sister and I the day before the wedding

Wedding hair

Corona's at our resort

of course..baby Jack

Just a few pictures from right before and after becoming a married woman. 
Next step: move across the state (which is far in Texas) 

25 February 2013

moving on up

There has been so much going on lately it has been hard to keep up.
First, we bought a house.  It was a whirlwind deal and it happened so fast and smoothly it was almost to good to be true! 
But, every week since signing the paperwork we have driven past it and finally yesterday the sold sign was up...it made it a lot more real that was OUR house.
It is just a 2/2 ranch style home built in 1958.  It will need some updating, but even the dated stuff is in good condition and we will slowly renovate.  At first I wanted to gut a lot of it, but I am falling in love with a lot of the original charm of the house.  
 {eating area built ins-original to house}
the kitchen/eating area is wallpapered and i want that to come down.
{built ins in the living room, also original}
 the master has an old-fashioned sitting area. we need ideas for all the space!
it kind of has an awkward layout with the closets to the right.  we think they were added on at some point because it gives the room a weird L-shape.
 the amazing sunroom/patio off the living area.  this will be an office/playroom.
the bricked back patio that has a door from the master and the sunroom.

needless to say, trying to move and get a house ready with a six month old is no easy chore.  we are counting the days until we get in our own place!

26 January 2013

work-life balance part 3

Pre-baby, I could get to work, stay late, and basically work extra hours on the weekends whenever I wanted.  I have always been an overall organized person, but the biggest adaptation for me is realizing I had to give up the flexibility and lack of control in my work schedule.  Here are a couple of things that I do to keep my work and home life balanced.

1.  Get your email down to zero.  It's not uncommon for me to have 25+ emails before I get an opportunity to check my email.  My husband, gets hundreds of emails a day.  Inbox zero is hugely important for me to be able to sort through my day and quickly deal with issues as they come up.  If I can't deal with it immediately, it goes into a folder OR I calendar it.

2.  Speaking of calendaring items, I use my Outlook calendar for everything. Literally, I practice schedule pee breaks into my calendar.  This also helps me to know from the time I arrive in the morning, until the time I leave, I have scheduled tasks that must be accomplished at certain times and I don't get sucked into doing other things or having unnecessary conversations with other people as a result of my time being unfulfilled.  

3.  Don't waste your time on things that don't give value to your work.  I can't afford to have long, drawn out chat sessions with friends at work.  Do I love catching up with the people I work with? Of course.  But,  I have to cut it off if it goes too long (politely of course), because if I let every person that came to my door talk to me as long as they wanted, it would take away from my work and ultimately, that's time away from my family.  I don't ever get on facebook or other social media at work, and I rarely have time to look at my personal cell phone.  I don't keep my email open when I'm working on big projects so I don't get sucked into answering emails and it takes time away from what I should be working on.

4.  Set an arrive time and a leave time.  For me, I can't drop off at daycare earlier than 7:30, so my arrive time is about 7:45.  I set my leave time at 4:30 everyday to pick the baby up by 5.  Before, I would stay until all hours working on projects and diddling around  Now, I swear I am ten times more efficient just in knowing I have from 7:45-4:30 every day to get all items I have calendared to get done.

5.  Learn to delegate.  I am definitely the kind of person who, if I want something done right, I feel like I need to do it myself.  I've had to learn, if I want to ever leave work and be the kind of mom I want to be, then I have to delegate tasks out to people.  For a lot of the projects I work on, there's no reason I can't give a small part of it to someone else (whether it's copying, cutting, stapling) and eliminate that part out of my life.

By all means, I am not an expert on work-life balance, these are just some things that have worked for me post-baby.  I did follow several of these pre-baby, but I've really had to crack down on myself post-baby.  It is so nice when I go home each day with work off my chest, no work at home, no work email at home, and no work on the weekends and just time to focus on the family and I!

18 January 2013

work-life balance part 2

In this post, I wrote a little bit about what it is like being a solo mama and working full time, while balancing work and life can be a big adjustment.  I thought one day this week I would just keep a mental log of what a typical day is like for me. i use typical liberally...there are no typical days anymore, ha!!

0445 am: i hear the baby, and i roll over and go back to sleep and so does he. eventually.
0530am: hear baby again.  i get up, feed him, and hold him until 0550.
0550am: i start getting ready for work [essential part: must get ready before baby gets up, otherwise the day has gone to crap and it hasn't even started yet--even at risk of being spit up on with work clothes on!], have a cup of coffee and eat breakfast, do dishes from last night [i save this for last if i can so if i wake him up it isn't a big deal...the joys of having a small home], double check my work bag to make sure i have everything i need, and double check his daycare bag, and load the bags in the car.

if i forget something there is no going back home to get it since i can't be late to work [nothing like 30 kids waiting at your door every morning for you!]

0645am: get the baby up, feed him, change him, dress him, smile at him...load him in the carseat and head out by 0700a.

0712a: it takes 12-15 minutes to get to daycare each morning.  if i hit the wrong minute, it can take an extra 5 minutes. i wait in the car and feed the baby until they open at 0730.

0730a: go into daycare, catch up with his caretaker on his new schedule and rush out the door [i.e., literally run] to get to work barely on time.
0745a: pull into the work parking lot, run in.
0745a-0445p leave work and head to daycare to pick up the little man
0505p: arrive at daycare, run in and get him because i'm so excited to see his face.
0525p: arrive home, feed him, pick up the house, load the dishwasher.
0600p: cook dinner [taos soup]
0630p: eat
0645p: surprise! baby starts throwing up. [like i said, anything but typical day] i have a friend who is supposed to show up at my house any second and i'm covered shoulders down in baby vomit.
0700p: my friend shows up. helps me out and watches baby while i clean up messes and clean myself up. i put the baby down, and he throws up again. clean and repeat. he goes to sleep.
we chat and catch up until 9.
0900: friend leaves.  i do laundry, start dishwasher, double check bags, get clothes out for tomorrow.
1000p: in bed and out cold. 

i am blessed in so many ways that i can't even count! i'm able to solo mama with sanity because i have a great network/support system and i've worked out a schedule and routine that works for us. i was also talking to another mom at daycare today who has a 5 month old and 2 year old and neither one sleeps through the night. lucky and love my little man!

13 January 2013

work-life balance

by no means am i an expert on finding work-life balance, but i will say it is one of the biggest challenges working outside the home and being a new mom.  my husband also works/lives out of town, so the biggest adjustment is finding ways to balance the load of home and work duties.

i am definitely a type-a personality, but i do have some type b traits thrown in.  i have to be highly organized (key to finding work-life balance and solo motherhood), but at the same time i don't find that i get major-stressed out very easily.  

i started the little one on a modified schedule at 6 weeks old, since i was going back to work when he was 8 weeks.  i was in a panic about getting him to sleep through the night and returning to work in a comatose state. i had read it takes 3 days/nights for babies to adapt to routine, so i was adamant i start a routine and stick with it. i read on a blog about "solo mamas," basically mamas whose spouses' work or live away from home during the week, yet still have the benefit of two incomes. 

luckily, i have an extremely laid back baby who hardly ever melts down and has an easygoing attitude. there are very, very few places i have ever brought him where he has even cried in public, and much of it i think has to do with getting him in a routine and on a schedule.  in upcoming posts, i'll be talking about what a regular day is like for us. (a solo mama and almost-5 month old)

stay tuned for part two!

02 January 2013

to 2013

2012 started with this:
 and continued with this:
 and on sept., 1:
 1 month
 2 months old
 3 months
4 months
Happy New Year!!

01 January 2013

Here's to you!

BHD is baaaaaaack!!!
as are we.

white russians on christmas eve.

bubby doing her best snail imitation.

i finally got to meet lydia's sweet baby boy, grady!
isn't he the cutest???? i just love him.
chapel at texas tech university in lubbock, tx.

we got to hang with our beloved skinner.
he lives in seoul, south korea, so it's a treat!

napping with jenn's golden, molly.
hattie's. dallas, tx.

from me to you... happy 2013!!!