Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Four steps to your dream work schedule at a tech company

(This was first published on the WomenTech blog in October 2011. I'm trying to consolidate my writing here, so I'm reposting with a few minor edits.)

You can have your cupcake and eat it too.

Work-life balance is an elusive thing and constantly changing. For me, it involves having a flexible work arrangement. I've been lucky enough to work at a large tech company since 2002.  For the first 5 years, I worked A LOT.  Full time+.  I worked every single day of September 2005 preparing for a customer event, but that was my favorite role in my 14 years of working in technology.

I dabbled in flexible work arrangements, working part-time for a while (without kids - that was AMAZING) and trying a compressed work week, with 9-10 hour days and every other Friday off. Both worked well for my needs at the time.

Since my return from maternity leave in 2010, I have worked part-time, ranging from 20-25 hours per week. I was typically in the office 2 days a week and worked a little from home on the other evenings and the occasional weekend as needed.  This allowed me to spend 3 full days at home each week with my toddler.  I'm currently on maternity leave now, and am scheduled to return in a few weeks, though the details are still pending.

When I tell people at work about this uncommon arrangement, they get a wistful look in their eyes and say things like “Wow, I wish I could do that” or “My job could never accommodate that” or “You’re so lucky, I’d never be allowed to do that”.

NOT TRUE, people! I started out just like everyone else, working 45+ hours, email every waking moment, fielding questions and putting out fires for a company-wide initiative. And who could forget those delightful summer Saturdays spent in the office?

And then I realized I wanted more out of life than just work. Don’t get me wrong – I love my job, and I love my company with its myriad opportunities and amazing people. But I wanted time for myself and my hobbies, and of course, time to really *enjoy* this new family thing we've got going on.

It goes without saying that this is not just a womens' issue. My husband requested (and got!) a compressed work week so that we could care for our daughter ourselves for her first year. He was home with her on the two days I worked, and then he’d go to work for the next 4 days. It was surprisingly easy to arrange this with our employer. Harder to get through the weeks without being completely exhausted, but that’s life, right?

So without further ado, here’s the advice I've given to many people who asked how they too can get the work schedule of their dreams. (Short of winning the lottery and quitting altogether, that is.)

How to get the sweet gig:

1. First, read up on your company’s policies and procedures around flexible work. If they don’t have them, you’ll need to decide how badly you want it, and then be the trailblazer and help them get a policy in place.

2. Figure out what *you* want with respect to work schedule and pay/benefits. A lot of people approach this as “I’ll do whatever my company lets me” but I think that’s the wrong way to go about it, and everyone leaves the discussion unsatisfied.

  • A compressed schedule (e.g. 4 day work week or 9 days/2 weeks) will allow you to keep a full time workload and salary, but you’ll have to work longer days to make up for the day you’re off.
  • A part-time schedule will give you reduced work hours (duh!) but also reduced pay and potentially fewer benefits. In addition, you’ll need to think hard about how your work can be scoped to fit into fewer hours.
  • Telecommuting one or more days a week may not change your schedule, but may allow you to shift your schedule rather than spending time commuting.

3. Write up a short proposal detailing what schedule you’re requesting *and* addressing any concerns that might come up. You need to position it as something good for your work group, not just what’s in it for you.

4. Discuss with your manager. Be confident about what you’re asking for, and address his/her concerns with solutions. Be willing to discuss it “up the chain” as needed.

Once you’ve got the sweet gig:

  • Be clear with your management and team about your work schedule and location (if you’re telecommuting.) It really helps to have the same schedule each week so people get used to it.
  • If you’re not in the office but working, BE AVAILABLE. I can’t stress this enough. Sign into IM, answer your phone and email in a timely fashion and call in to scheduled meetings. People need to know and see that you’re working. Sounds unfair, and we think people should “just notice” our awesome deliverables, but that’s not enough.
  • If you are working from home and your young kids are around, you MUST have childcare.There is no way you can do a great job working if you’re also taking care of your kids. Not putting in that “face time” at the office means you need to do an *extra* good job, and that’s not going to happen with distractions.
  • If you’re working part time, don’t regularly work more than what you agreed to. Obviously you’ll have to put in extra hours around crunch time, but keep track of this, and make sure it evens out later. It makes no sense to work full-time hours on a part-time salary. If you have too much work to accomplish on your schedule, talk to your manager about prioritization.
  • Be equally clear about your availability on days you’re not working. Give out your cell phone info for emergencies, but don’t accept non-urgent meetings and don’t respond to non-urgent emails either. You need to “train” people to understand your new schedule. They won’t respect it if you don’t.
  • Review the arrangement periodically with your manager. Quarterly is good. Actively solicit feedback about what’s working and what’s not. Actually do something about what’s not working.
  • Don’t be apologetic about having an unusual work arrangement. Be an ambassador, so people can see that we don’t have to chain ourselves to our desks 80 hours a week. Do great work and evangelize what you’re accomplishing and HOW you’re accomplishing it with your dream schedule and your newfound, totally awesome work life balance!

Of course, not everyone who asks gets approved, but a lot fewer people ask than you think, and there aren't actually *that* many people who do propose it seriously. Many companies, including my own, will actually *help* valued employees find an arrangement that works for them, even if their current role isn't a good fit.

I’d love to hear other stories of flexible work arrangements, and any other tips you can share for making it work for everyone involved!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Project Life for People Who are Not Crafty

cultivate a good life by Becky HigginsWhen I started Project Life last year, I had a hard time getting started.

Most people start with Becky Higgins' site. She's the originator of this idea, and sells cool products to make it easier.

But after poking around on her site, and even watching her slick marketing videos (I hate watching videos online!), I was still confused about the whole thing.  I realized quickly it was because I wasn't already a scrapbooker (or "memory keeper" as the cool kids call it) and I didn't know all the lingo of the papercrafting gurus yet.

I get a lot of questions about my Project Life album from friends who are NOT crafty or into memory keeping, scrapbooking, etc. They've said it's intimidating, it seems like too much to keep up with, or that they don't have (or want) the "stuff" that goes with doing paper crafts.

That's exactly how I felt about it before I started. So here's a quick summary of how I interpret Project Life, and how to make it easy enough to actually finish something of this magnitude.

First, the one extremely simple thing I couldn't find *anywhere* was the exec summary (to borrow a work term).  What the heck *is* Project Life, anyway?  People talk about it, or worse, about "BH's PL" like it's everyone's BFF.

Executive Summary

Project Life is an annotated personal or family photo album over a specific period of time, usually a year.  It contains your photos and some words that you write up about them. You can also include other flat things like ticket stubs, event programs, report cards, etc.

With that definition, some crafty awesome people just run with it.  They choose the time period (milestone birthday year, baby's first year, 2013, etc.), buy albums, crafty bits, and pretty paper and go to town.

I, with my project manager Type A personality, needed more. This is where "the stuff" comes in handy.  But it's not a lot, I swear.

Here's all you need:
  • Divided page protectors - This is the skeleton of your album. They're 12x12 inch clear pages with 3x4 and 4x6 inch pockets. This is where you put your photos and cards with your descriptions (more on those later).  I liked the Big Variety Pack with different configurations to make things interesting, but if you're just starting out, buy a big pack of one design. It'll make things much easier.  60 pages will be more than enough for a year, even if you do this weekly.  You can also find packs of these clear pages at Target, with the photo albums.

  • 3-ring 12x12 inch binder - This is where you put your finished pages. 12x12 is a specialty size for crafting so you will probably not find this at your local office supply store.  Target carries some nice faux-leather ones, or there are some super cute cloth covered ones on Amazon.

  • Core Kit - This is key to a quick and easy Project Life experience.  It contains all the little cards to fit in the slots next to your photos.  Most have space to write on, while some are just "filler cards" for weeks where you don't have a lot to say.  There are a few specially designed cards for the first and last pages of the album.  Everything in one kit is designed to coordinate so you don't need to amass large stores of paper, or worry about things clashing. Just pick the kit with the design that appeals to you the most.  One kit is *WAY* more than enough cards to finish a year of PL.  (See how I slipped in that abbreviation right there?  And you were right there with me!  Go you!)

  • A decent pen - You don't have to get all fancy, but find one that you like to write with, and you'll write more. If you're concerned with leaving your Project Life album to your descendants, get yourself a nice archival-safe, acid free pen.

Four things. Place one Amazon order and be done with it, as I did the first year.

While you're waiting for your things to show up, plan your album. 

  • Choose the subject - is this just "everyday life" in your family?  Is it for a special birthday like "year 40"? Is it the baby book you never did for your 12 year old?

  • Choose the time period and interval - it's never too late to start. Don't buy into the pressure of 'getting behind'. This is supposed to be fun, right?  I chose to do this by calendar year, and each set of pages covers 2 weeks of our life.

  • Choose how many pages you want to do per time interval - this was tricky for me. I eventually realized that each photo page protector has a front and back - ie you slip in 2 sets of cards back to back. So I do 2 facing sides per every 2 weeks.  Some people choose to do just one side per week, or do 2 facing sides per month.  It's totally up to you - terrifying, I know.

  • Figure out how you're going to print photos - If you have a great photo printer, you can do this at home, and it may be worth the extra expense if it allows you to keep up with the project. I started out sending my photos to Target online, to be picked up in-store the next day. Walgreens and Costco also offer similar services. If your time interval is long, like a month, you can just order prints online and have them shipped to your house. A lot of people like Persnickety Prints, though I've never tried them.  While you're waiting for your stuff, send the first batch of photos to be printed and pick them up. Consider it your trial run to see if you like the quality and process.

  • Schedule time to work on it - I have a calendar appointment to sort through my biweekly photos and work on my pages. It's not a chore, but actually planning for the time keeps me going.

Just Do It

When your stuff shows up, you'll be ready to go. Grab a pocket page, your core kit, your pen, and your photos. Put the 4x6 photos in the big slots. Use the little cards to write about the photos.  Don't stress about your handwriting.  Really.

If you don't feel like writing, use one of the "filler" cards. If you want to write about something you don't have a photo for, like the cute thing your 2 year old said, DO IT and then just stick the card in one of the slots. Project Life is flexible like that.

It's really that simple.

Extra credit tips:

  • If you want to get fancy, you can use double-sided tape to stick a ticket stub or a kid drawing to a card and slide it into a pocket. 

  • If you really, really can't stand your handwriting, then you can feed the little core kit cards into your inkjet printer and print your descriptions and stories using Microsoft Word.  Just adjust the page size in the program you're using.

  • If you want your pages to be facing each other (like in an open book), then leave the first side of the first photo pocket page empty and start with the second side. Do the second half on the front side of a new pocket page.

  • When you have a little time, find the cards in your Core Kit that are labeled on the back for the First Page of your album, fill those in, and stick them on that front page, with a photo or two that reflect what the album is about.

  • Advanced reading - Becky Higgins has a "Project Life for Newbies" post that's new since I started. It seems targeted towards traditional scrapbookers, but has some good tips and background.

  • Remind yourself to take photos, even of the "ordinary" things like your work, school drop-off, crying babies, etc. The more you take, the better you'll get.  A decent phone camera is great for these shots.

Even though it's nearly the end of February, you can start Project Life anytime. Just do it, and you'll be so glad to look through the album when you're done.  T looks at ours regularly and remembers a lot of "daily life" things we would ordinarily have forgotten.

Have fun!!
The Mom Creative

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Good American: BlogHer Book Club Review

As the daughter of immigrants, I've always been a sucker for fiction about US immigrants.  I was pretty excited to get the chance to review Alex George's historical fiction novel, A Good American.

It started out great, with the storyline focusing on two people coming to the US for the first time in 1903. I don't know much about German immigration to the US so it was a fascinating read.  The first half of the book was fantastic and I read it in a day (again while nursing The Baby).

But right around the time one of the main characters died, so did my enthusiasm for this book. I had to force myself to finish it. It wasn't *bad*, but I just didn't care as much about the huge cast of not-as-well-developed characters that followed after the original couple had been drawn so carefully.  The latter half of the book jumped across several storylines which made it hard to really get absorbed in any one.

The author foreshadowed a future event in the last sentence of most chapters. At first it was charming, but it soon became annoying and distracting (just tell me, already!).

As far as historical fiction family novels go, there was a LOT of action and drama. Lots of dying, and dramatic leave-takings.  It was too much, like one of those movies that's several car chases interspersed with a tiny bit of plot.

The first half was good enough that I think it's worth a read, but I wouldn't displace any books on your must-read pile for it.

I was compensated for this review by BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tuesday Lovin': Starbucks

365 [123]
by michelle | une-deux senses, on Flickr

I'm not a coffee drinker but I sure am buyin' what Starbucks is selling. The "experience", "treating myself", "affordable luxury", all of that is mine for a $4 cup of "chai".

And I use the word chai very, very loosely when it comes to Starbucks. Real chai in India is spicy, unexpectedly black pepper and cardamom spicy.

Starbucks chai, while delicious, is like drinking a gingerbread cookie. It's ridiculously sweet. And don't get me started about them calling it "chai tea latte":

1. "Chai" means tea. So no need to add 'tea' in there.

2. What on earth does this have to do with a latte? I guess because there's milk in it? This has confused a few new Starbucks employees, and I've gotten my share of chai with coffee mixed in. Yuck.

But when it's made correctly, ahhh. It's heavenly. My current (high-maintenance) order is a grande soy chai, with one pump of chai, at 130 degrees. Seriously. I'm *that* person, who tells them how hot to make my drink. So ridiculous, I know. But otherwise it's burning hot and I have to wait 10 or 15 minutes before I can drink my deliciousness. And in the land of Tiny Babies, a 10 or 15 minute delay means I'll probably forget about it, find it 2 days later, and just have to throw it out.

Many people lament the big business corporate-ness of Starbucks, but as a Seattleite, I'm "buying local" when I go there. They give their hourly employees health insurance. Everytime I've been to a Starbucks, every last employee has been unfailingly cheerful and friendly. Not to mention my customer service experience has been AMAZING.

My two favorite stories:

1. When I was enormously pregnant (8 months+) with T, I got a chai at my local Starbucks after waiting in line for a long time. As luck (and my clumsiness) would have it, I got out the door and immediately dropped it all over myself and the sidewalk. I went back in to figure out how to clean it up, and they remade my drink for FREE. *swoon*

2.  At one location, they tell me when I order my drink that I should order it as steamed milk with flavoring, so it's cheaper. They've "fixed" my order for me every time I go there.  Too bad it's not my regular shop!  Shout out to the Redmond Ridge QFC Starbucks.

Howard Schultz's books have been on my reading list for ages. Maybe it's time for me to download one now!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Project Life 2013: They Made Me Do It

I'm taking a class at our local craft store, and each month they give us a sample of a new papercrafting line.  We need to make a project with it and bring it to the next class to get the next kit.  I'm a sucker for new craft supplies, so it's the perfect arrangement to get me to actually *use* them.

In January we got a few papers and a sheet of stickers from the lovely Valentine-themed My Minds Eye Lost & Found 3 "Ruby" collection. It's very girly, and a bit vintage-y which is *so* not my style.  But I love the colors, especially the deep orangey-pink, red, and charcoal together.  And the red glittery flowers won me over, as I'm not usually a floral paper kind of girl.

Click photos to see the larger versions.

Jan 28-Feb 10: Cupcakes for breakfast, baby faces

Jan 28-Feb 10: Walking to school, art projects, Science Center, the Symphony

Closeup of week summary title card

Flip up Valentine card insert  - gotta love washi tape
Since I already had the paper and stickers chosen, it was pretty easy to put this together.  I found a pack of these amazing sticky enamel dots in my stash (I'm a bit of a hoarder) that matched perfectly.  I also used the cute Freckled Fawn red woodgrain heart washi tape and a few wood veneer geotags and arrows from recent Studio Calico kits.

I sort all my embellishments by color in little drawers (yes, really) so I pulled out a few older things to use so that it didn't look super matchy-matchy. There's a tiny pink metal "sweet" tag from Making Memories that I've been hoarding for years, as well as a recent clearance rack find, the red pearl flourishy thing.  

It made me inordinately happy to use the journal card in the last photo - it's been in my stash for ages, and I've tried to use it several times until I realize the teeny tiny writing on the heart includes the words "Valentine's Day".  So I can't use it on any old layout, because it'll drive me crazy. I was thrilled to have a legitimate reason.

The Valentines T made have her glittery artwork on one side, and her name on the other.  Can you believe she wrote out 16 of those herself, and on 9 of them wrote her classmates' names on the envelope as well??  She amazes me with her new skills.

I wanted to show off both sides, so I taped the card to the outside of the page protector with washi tape and it flips up. After I took the photo, I realized I want to protect it a little more, so I found these really cool Flip Pockets in my stash and cut one up to add the Valentine, so now it's enclosed in its own tiny page protector which is stuck to the rest of the page.  I'll definitely use more of these for her little bits of two-sided artwork or extra photos!

These last few weeks have been busy and exciting for us. TJ is starting a new job next week so he's been preparing for that.  My maternity leave is coming to an end so we're trying to squeeze in some last minute fun things during the week while we're all still together.

And just like that, I'm back to being "caught up" on Project Life!

Project Life @ The Mom Creative

Monday, February 11, 2013

Project Life 2013: The Ides of January

Yeah, it's my second Project Life layout of the year and I'm already "behind".  My goal is to post the layout a week after the time period ends, to give me time to process my photos and gather all the details on what we did during those 2 weeks.

This time I ran into some technical and parenting difficulties.  First, our home network suddenly got ridiculously slow, so accessing photos over wireless through Adobe Lightroom was PAINFUL.  I'd click on one photo, go get a cup of tea, come back and it was still trying to load it.  We haven't yet figured out the issue - I believe part of it is Lightroom 4.3, but there's also something going on with our wireless network or our Windows Home Server.

What I did discover, thanks to my smart hubby, was using a wired connection to the router made it about a million times faster.  Which means I need to do my photo processing on the couch in the living room, but whatever. I can live with that for now.

The parenting difficulties were courtesy of the divine BabyM. She just turned 4 months old, and for a week or two, things got worse rather than better. She started crying *more* and didn't want us to put her down, and would nap *maybe* 15 minutes at a time during the day.  Only if she was sleeping ON somebody. Yeah, that was fun.

The past few days have been a lot better, so I think she was probably just working out some stuff. It's hard being a baby.

So I finished my mid-January layout yesterday and even photographed it during daylight hours, so the photos are decent.  Hooray!  (Click to see larger versions.)

Jan 14-27: Book of Mormon, ceramic penguin painting, dancing like planets

Jan 14-27: art projects, cute baby faces and some craftiness

Closeup of minor craftiness - stamped Studio Calico calendar card 

This layout was pretty low-key and came together quickly, because free time around here is quite limited.  I came up with the color scheme first because I wanted to use that cute red arrow card from the January Studio Calico Project Life Kit.  I chose red, black, white and silver, and dug through the rest of my stash to find the simple black and white "remember" journaling card, some scraps of red and white chevron paper and chevron washi from my December holiday album, and the very cute grey and black "wheel" pattern paper from Amy Tangerine's Sketchbook line.

I got an idea from the Studio Calico forums to keep a little tray of miscellaneous die cuts.  When I cut out something on my Silhouette machine (love that thing!), I use the rest of the paper to cut out other shapes from my library that I might use later, so I can use my scraps immediately.  These "extra" die cuts go into my little tray, and I poke through it when I'm working on a project.  I also put miscellaneous die cuts from collection packs in that same tray.  

I found the cute black camera, the red bracket, and the little red scalloped square in my tray and figured they'd be perfect for this layout. I like to label photos or "explain" them so these die cuts are dual-purpose as little journaling spots.

The white pen used is my *awesome* Uniball Signo from Amazon.  This is hands down, the best white pen I've found - not streaky, very opaque and a joy to write with.  (Yes, I'm weird like that about pens.)  I've had this one for a few months of regular use and it hasn't gone dry yet.

I am trying to use my vast collection of stamps, so I put them out on my desk in plain view. I stamped the calendar card with hearts to mark the days covered in this layout - I stole this idea from someone online, but sadly can't remember who.

On the red chevron card, the fading "love" stamp is from a new set from Studio L2E. I used my favorite black Versafine ink, and then just stamped it 3 times without re-inking. I think there's a fancy word for this technique, but I call it "lazy stamping", heh.

It took me about an hour to put together this layout once I decided on the color scheme. Project Life for me is primarily an annotated photo album, so the pictures and stories are the most important. If I have a little room for craftiness, that's cool. If not, there's always next week.

Now I'm off to sort and load photos for the past 2 weeks, while the Small Ones are both asleep (at 7:30pm, it's a miracle).

Project Life @ The Mom Creative

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Book of Mormon in Seattle: A Review (ish)

Apparently I had been living under a rock because until sometime last year, I had no idea that the creators of South Park had also written a musical. About Mormon missionaries. In Africa.

Take in those three facts for a minute, and you can pretty much imagine what it's like.  It reminded me a lot of their South Park movie from 1999.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. I had no idea that Book of Mormon was coming to Seattle or that it was sold out. I'm pretty much stuck in a haze of parenting, with the occasional coffee or lunch date with friends. Keeping up on pop culture is pretty far down the list.

So when my friend Ric offered me a ticket about a week before, I was EXCITED. I love musicals. I love South Park. I love the idea of having dinner and going out with a bunch of grownups to see something delightfully kid-inappropriate.

And then I found out it was a "thing". Had been sold out for weeks. Tickets being scalped for obscene prices. I am *so* lucky - this really was one of those "unexpected blessings from the universe" woo-woo things. Woot!

The show was at the lovely Paramount theater. The last show I saw there was Queensryche in 2007. (Sidebar: we need to get out more!) We had great seats.

And it was a Spectacle with a capital-S.  Big musical numbers, flashing lights, fancy costumes and laughs. Lots and lots of laughs. Which is odd. I haven't seen many *funny* musicals. (Are there many?) But this one was, as expected, *so* offensive, and yet, *so* hilarious.  The humor is in line with South Park, so it's not the musical to take your grandma or your mom to (unless they'd watch South Park with you).

There were a few things I wasn't expecting to get out of this. (Take home lessons, if you will.) I loved the clever way the writers (composers? authors?) poked fun at the casual racism that comes from living in a homogeneous culture - my favorite was the way one of the characters could NEVER get the name of the African lead female character correct.

The other take home lesson?  Discomfort. I'm not religious, but it was a bit uncomfortable to sit through 2 (award-winning, society-sanctioned) hours of making fun of one particular religion.  I know South Park has always been about edgy humor, but one of the best things about it is that they make fun of *everyone* - it's equal opportunity offensiveness.  

This reaction actually surprised me a bit - I'm definitely not a fan of evangelical religions, having been an easy target of proselytizing in the past. I do believe people should be left alone to practice whatever religion they want, regardless of how "weird" it seems to outsiders. I guess this comes from growing up in a Hindu family in Pittsburgh, PA and having gotten my share of rude comments   about it.

I may be attributing more sophistication to Parker and Stone, but I do think this is part of their humor and what makes it insidiously clever while on the surface looking like fart and poop jokes. I think they *want* us to be uncomfortable, to face all the ugly sentiments lurking beneath our usually polite society.

After all, they did write an entire South Park episode mocking Islam (which I believe their network wouldn't air), and Christianity has also been the target of their jokes as well.

Also clever?  The ads in the program for the Mormon.org website, urging people to check out the "real Book of Mormon". I was pretty surprised to see them!

If you've seen it, I'd love to hear what you think.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Currently 2

Wow, I am feeling uninspired to write, so now is a good time for another 'Currently' post.

Still nothing. Haven't watched any TV in weeks.  I'm sure we've got episodes of Glee, Grey's Anatomy and The Mindy Project to catch up on. It's just not a priority for the tiny amount of free time we do have, since none of those shows are kid-appropriate.

Scott Kelby's excellent Adobe Lightroom 4 book. TJ bought it for me for Christmas. It's very dense and full of information so I can only read a few pages a day.  But I've learned so much already and I'm just starting Chapter 2.  Yay!

I really need to listen to more music at home. Hmm, I'm starting to see a trend here - no TV, no good fiction, and no music.  Maybe that explains the grouchiness.

Project Life 2013. I actually should be working on the second half of January now, but Lightroom is moving too slow for me. I'm also trying to finish my 2012 holiday album but am feeling very apathetic towards it.  I am pretty stoked about the greeting card set I made for my neglected papercraftlab shop.

Grouchy. Not sure why. Have been eating more sugar and white carbs than usual, so I suspect that's part of the problem. See also: 4 month sleep regression.

Bought a super cute bright red Martha Stewart binder today so I can get my domestic bliss on.  I need to have a place to track my daily, weekly and monthly personal tasks, and it's too easy to ignore them on Google Calendar, where I have them now.  I think I'm a paper girl at heart.

Had a ton of nice one-on-one time with T this week.  We had a couple of outings, dinner, a trip to the symphony.  Feel like I'm not missing out on her life as much now.  Also, BabyM is nursing fewer times a day so I'm not trapped in the bedroom nearly as much.

Now your turn!

Linked up with Kristin, who's running the Currently project.

sharing is nice

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