Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Working Mother, Part II

After spending four years singing the praises of staying home with the kids to anyone who would listen (and many who wouldn't) I have taken a job.
Oh, you would have too if you heard the job offer. Stay home most of the time, do the stuff you already do (write about deals and saving money), then once a week take the El downtown and sit in a cubicle to write something to be published in the newspaper.
You know, the major newspaper of your region. The bankrupt one. Not to name names.
I must say my mind is quite blown by this development. Here's how it happend:
Two years ago and a couple of months, Epu and I looked at each other and said, "Should we have another baby?"
I said, "I'd like to, except that if we do, I'll be 40 by the time that baby goes to kindergarten and I don't want to be only re-entering the workforce at 40, 10 years after I first went part-time."
But, you know. Babies. They're so cute and I always like to try everything that's available and I hadn't tried this "parenting a son" thing. I decided that we'd have another baby but I'd start working part time if possible and get a sitter.
We rolled the dice, came up with an X and a Y, and didn't have to carry out our secret "accidentally lose the third daughter at Six Flags plan."
(That's just a joke. You know I'm not a good planner, and Epu is even worse.)
By the time I got pregnant, around this time two years ago, I was already writing my frugal blog at that time, and making a tiny bit of money on the side writing for Wise Bread.
A few months later, the opportunity came along to become one of the first bloggers on the on this new blog network, writing about deals and cheapskatism.
That led to an opportunity to interview for a full-time job, for which I was seriously considered but didn't get. I breathed a sigh of relief because although the job sounded extremely interesting, I didn't really want to leave the kids to a caregiver all day, five days a week.
Then, I heard that I was being considered for a different job. A part-time job, doing something like what I was already doing. Rumblings about this potential job continued throughout the summer. In the past couple of months, my blog, Frugalista, finally started to bring in some decent money.
Exhausted from trying to work part-time from home with only a few hours a week of drop-in daycare time, I used that money to hire an afternoon babysitter/mother's helper. I figured, either this job comes through or I keep building up my blog -- either way, I'm gonna find a way to keep paying this amazing lady who does my laundry and lights up Pebbles' face when she walks in the door.
Then, two weeks ago, the job came through. Monday, I showed up at the office and had a horrible photo taken for my new entry badge.
Boom, I'm a working mother. Well, part time. And so far very little has changed except that one visit downtown. Things are still coming together.
When I got links, I'll share 'em.

P.S. Unrelated: Continuing her obsession with death, Pebbles informed Nutmeg and me last night that the reason our wood floors are rough is because a lady died here. When faced with incredulity, she conceded that this was not strictly true. A lady died just outside the house. Thanks for clearing that up, Pebbles. And no, Detective Google doesn't turn up any such death.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Many Milestones That Happened to Us This Fall

Life, it rolls along, whether I report it here or not. That's because the characters in this blog are not fictional. See, after the end of The Scarlet Letter, Hester's cute little girl does not go on to become a grandmother and entertain the little ones with funny stories about the Puritan days. It's not that we've lost touch with the Prynne family. It's just that they cease to exist when the words stop coming.
But not this family. We've been living all along. Here are the things that have been happening:

1. Pebbles started nursery school.

For 3 years, Pebbles lived in Nutmeg's shadow, playing what Nutmeg wanted to play, and tagging along with Mommy and Toth here an there. But now, Pebbles has her own school, teachers who are charmed by her, and her own friends too. Her only regret about nursery school so far is that in just 2.5 hours, she can't do "everything." I know the feeling well.

2. I hired a mother's helper.

We now have this lady who comes over four afternoons a week to help me with the housework and the children. I can afford this, and need this, because of some new work I'm doing that I will reveal here in a future post. Actually, that new thing hasn't started yet, but in the past couple of months, Frugalista has started paying off somewhat, main thanks to the daily deal craze. (Groupon and all that.)

I love my mother's helper. She's a sweet lady from Chile who is proactive with the house and the kids, energetic and fun to be around. Should have done this years ago.

3. My brother got married.

Seriously! And it was beautiful. Would it surprise you to hear that I cried? Well, you might cry too if you see this picture.

4. We got two dogs.
OK, just kidding. We are dogsitting my brother and his bride's two dogs while they take their honeymoon. Still, quite a lifestyle shift for the week. What we have learned about these dogs so far:

a) They are much sweeter than we realized since the only time they really behave badly is when they first meet someone and jump all over them.

b) They are, however, oafs who like to dump over their water dishes and walk through their own poop.

c) Husky and lab mixes are way too big for cuddling on the couch.

5. It got to be fall.

So, that's the news from Lake Woebegone. There is more to come, when I can share, and yep, it's good. And nope, I'm not pregnant. As if.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Oak Park Consignment Sale Tonight and Tomorrow

I just posted on Frugalista about the great consignment sale going on tonight in Oak Park. I'll be there, and you should too if you live anywhere in the area, because I just finished with my last pre-sale volunteer shift, and I saw a LOT of really high-quality, nice kids' outfits for low prices. Like, nearly everything is under $5 and some very cute things are only a buck.
And, as you see above, there's all the good gear, too. People, don't pay full price for anything baby! It's just silly.
The VIP sale is at 7:30 tonight and you can buy tickets here for $20. Free sale for everyone starts tomorrow at 9 a.m.
See you there? I'll be out on the floor wearing a name tag that says "Carrie."