baby girl clothes : by jean

Now that I have a girl, it's been interesting purchasing girl clothes.  With boys, it was always a t-shirt and shorts in the summer; long sleeve shirt and sweatpants in the winter.  With girls, there are SO MANY OPTIONS!

Jordan's been getting a lot of Miles/Logan/Charlie's hand-me-downs, but I have gotten a few real girl's clothes for her.

I recently purchased a few rompers for Jordan as they are super easy for the summer.  I didn't even look at the back picture since I assumed it would be a regular back, but then I got the package in the mail and saw that they both have open gaps in the back!

old navy striped bubble romper 
old navy striped romper

I get it that these open back looks are trendy right now for women...but even for BABIES?! 

A friend of mine who has a daughter in grade school said she can only shop at Target in the summertime becauseTarget is the only store that have "normal" shorts while other stores have shorts that are "daisy dukes".

I remember having major argument sessions with my dad who wouldn't let me out of the house if my skirt went above my knees.  If this is payback for all the times I gave him a hard time, I'm in TROUBLE!


thank you, California : by amy

As some of you know, our family went through quite an adventure over the past year.  While our adventure was for my husband's job, it became one of the best things to happen to me and my work situation (among other areas of my life too!).

Back in February 2014, I returned to work after my maternity leave.  I was now juggling 2 kids with my very-full-time job.  I still had the same support systems in place, but I felt like I was just hanging by a thread.  I was technically getting everything done in my life, but I just wasn't satisfied with the quality of my time spent at both home and work.  Honestly, when I look back, I think having a full-time nanny (that cooked and drove) would probably have been the best type of help to meet our demands but my husband and I just couldn't get comfortable with a stranger being in my house all day with my kids or driving my kids around town.  And the major killer was my commute: 1 hour each way.  I wasted 10 hours a week on the road.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I only saw the kids for about 45-60 min. a day, and I was usually feeding, cleaning, dressing and chaffeuring them for that entire hour.  I knew it was going to be rough during these years, and I managed to accept it and just deal with it after my first one was born.  But after the second one, I was genuinely unhappy.  I asked my bosses if they would let me work one day a week from home....and they said no.  And I tried hard to see it from their eyes: they didn't want to set a precedent (I work with a bunch of men), and maybe I would miss out on some important business conversations that happen around my desk that day (...like what's for lunch :P)  but come on - one stinking day a week!.  We have email and phones!  Anyway, the funny part was that after they denied my request, we happened to have a snowstorm once a week for the next 3-4 weeks, and I ended up working from home 1 day/week for about a month.  God's funny like that.

So, now I was discouraged and a bit resentful.  My husband and I had been contemplating a big change/decision to move to California since Christmas, and while we were leaning towards doing it, my rejection of this 1-day/week proposal was the straw that broke the camel's back.  I decided to quit my job and move to California.  My colleagues were understanding of my decision, and I was frank about my struggles and disappointment because these were people I had worked with for over 8 years.  But during one of my discussions with a male colleague, I was explaining how there were things that I wanted to do and be there for as the mother of my children, and my commute and work circumstances were just denying me the chance to do that sufficiently, like real home-cooked meals once in awhile, spending quality time with them before they go to bed and just generally BEING THERE.  And do you know what he said?  He said this:

Well, you know Amy, if your financial situation can support it, I would highly suggest you hire people to do what you need done, like cooking, cleaning and driving the kids around. 

*SHAKING MY HEAD.*  OK first, I do have a cleaning person that comes twice a month, so yes, I've outsourced that, but that's mostly b/c my husband is semi-OCD and doesn't accept my cleaning standards.  But I JUST told you that I (me personally!) want to take a more active, physical and emotional role in my child's life aside from paying for his bills. *sigh* I know he was just trying to help.......

So we did the California thing-- lived the laid-back life, soaked up the sun, ate some acai bowls and mexcian food, got addicted to Cardio Barre classes...and then came back to the east coast a little sooner than planned.  But our life in California was just the kick-in-the-pants I needed to slow down and enjoy my family.  It humbled me because I no longer had a six-figure salary or a cushy bonus to rely on-- and that was honestly hard for me.  I somehow managed to keep working part-time while in California, but only 10 hours a week, so my salary was enough to buy the groceries each month :P  But I was finally able to be WITH my kids....and in beautiful southern California!  In the midst of the other crazy stuff going on with my husband's job situation, I was learning to be happy with less.  I was also cooking more and learning to be more efficient with our money.  I even saw a difference in my relationship with my kids. I started to feel way more in-tune with them than I did when I was full-time working.  I realized this sacrifice was worth it and was so thankful we had the balls to make this move.

And you know, God continued to provide for us when we moved back to NJ.  I am miraculously still working part-time (!!) with my same team.  This is a bit unreal considering part-time was a big NO-NO in my business.  I can't really explain how this started and even continued after I moved back to NJ -- it really is God's grace and providing the right circumstances at the right times.  Now that I'm back in NJ, I work 25 hours/week-- 5 hours a day.  I commute into the office 3 days a week and work 2 days from home.  It is my dream work situation and I have ZERO interest to go back to work full time.  I still get to interact with my colleagues who I really enjoy, but I also have the flexibility to eat breakfast with my kids, pick them up at a reasonable hour and make dinners for them.  The days are still incredibly busy and jam-packed.  I'm basically a chaffeur with a paying job in between drives, so time management is still key here.  But this is the kind of work-life balance that I've been dreaming of.  My part-time situation isn't permanent, but I am thankful to have it and will hope to do it for as long as they let me.  My part-time role is different from what I was doing-- I'm no longer leading or delegating major projects, but instead, doing side projects and in more of a supporting role.  Sometimes I struggle with my ambition to be and do more (and to make more $$$), but my husband has been really great at keeping me grounded and reminding me of how awesome my balance is now versus pre-California.  There may be a time and place for more focus on work/career in the future, but my priority is different right now.

I came across this article the other day about a women-led law firm that let's partners be parents.  So amazing!  Hope these women are able to keep doing what they do!