Friday, October 31, 2008

Hey baby... how much?

Um, no. Not what you're thinking.

Since my mom has moved in, I bought her a new flat screen t.v. for her room (a small one but her having it gives us loads more privacy and "family" time together downstairs in the evenings after work) and a new laptop (v cheap model, but we have wireless internet - and that way she can't access it from her room anytime she wants). Anywho, I need to start paying her a regular wage, but I don't know how much to give her. She doesn't have utilities (other than her cell phone) or rent as she's living with us right now, but I'd like to start her saving so she can have her own place eventually.

What's the going rate for childcare in your area? What does that cover?

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Back on the chain gang...

Things have been... insane, to say the least.

We took a long vacation driving around Lake Michigan, spending the majority of it in the upper peninsula of Michigan and then a quick jaunt into Canada.

Patrick and Julian on the shore of Lake Superior.

I finally managed to slay the post-partum depression beast that was smothering me at night while I slept.

I moved my mom up from Texas in a UHaul with a geriatric obese chihuahua and a very pissed off teething baby with a car on a trailer behind us.

But things are starting to settle down and fall back into place. I'm back at work full-time, and honestly happier than I've ever been. Mom is now living with us, and is taking care of Julian while I'm at work. It's not the set-up I imagined, but oddly it's working far better than we had hoped. She's getting used to living in Illinois (we had our first - albeit very brief snowfall yesterday). Julian absolutely adores her. Saturday I worked in my bedroom for an hour or so and listened to her read to him in his nursery across the hall with tears welling up in my eyes.

I've been back at work for two full weeks, and am still pumping (another rant for another day). I've already missed J's bedtime once (coming home long after he was asleep for the night). I'm trying to find my groove and figure out how to balance everything.

But I just wanted to say hi - and thanks to those that have e-mailed, commented or asked after me on twitter (april_anita).

It's hard for me to believe that J will be six months old already on the first. He's not quite crawling, but can easily get from one side of the room to the next via a combination army crawl and rolling. He's still working on pushing those bottom two teeth through. His laughter (a rarity - he's a very smiley baby but not so big on the big guffaws) is the sweetest sound I've ever heard. He loves "reading" to himself - flipping the pages in his board books and petting (and by petting I mean, grabbing giant fistfuls of fur from the eternally patient and long-suffering cats). He loves butternut squash, dragon fruit and pears. He hates socks, avocados and bedtime.

In short, I adore him. Completely. Utterly.

(Shot from our trip down to Texas, J is being held by Patrick's dad)

We're hoping to start trying for another one soon. Yes, we're likely crazy, and who knows it may never happen. But I never knew it was possible to love like this. As cliched as it sounds, it's true. Completely true.