And I’m loving it.

We started car shopping before Thanksgiving. We visited dealerships to check out options for 3-row SUVs. While waiting for a salesman to bring around a Honda Pilot for us to test drive, there happened to be an Odyssey EX-L in black sitting in the showroom. Despite our preconceived notions about minivans and how lame they are… this one caught our eye. It was unexpected, but from then on, we were thrown into a debate—3-row SUV vs. minivan.

Now you know which one won out.

Last month, we bit the bullet and bought one. And guess what? It’s identical to the one we saw in the showroom that day. We considered other colors, but ultimately liked the sleek black exterior with the “truffle” interior. Done deal.

Speaking of deals, I feel good about where we ended up. I negotiated with a number of different dealerships, playing them against each other to get the best deal possible. We got a few accessories thrown in for “free”—mud guards for the wheels and all-weather floor mats—and then paid to add on the Honda remote starter, because hello, we live in the freaking ARCTIC TUNDRA. Especially this year, during the winter that will.never.end. We also got a fantastic interest rate (if you have to have an interest rate, because obviously 0% is way better) of 0.9%.

Since then, I’ve adjusted quite well, I think! Loving the power sliding doors and tailgate. The extra storage in the back? It’s been sweet for skis and our strollers. BLUETOOTH IS AMAZING (it’s the little things in life, my friends). The back-up camera, the leather HEATED seats… I could go on and on and on.

You could say I’m a convert.

For those of you on the fence… dooooo it. Now I’ll be an enabler. :)

 

It’s been a really long time since I’ve commented on current events on my blog, but it used to be something I did quite often in the days before kids. I had a lot more time back then to keep up on it all, I suppose.

It has been 17 days. Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has been missing for 17 days. Vanished without much of a trace.

I am completely fascinated by this story. Disturbed. Anxious. I just really, really want to know where the plane is and what happened. I cannot imagine being a family member or friend of someone on board.

The information coming out of the authorities, the media, aviation experts, and more—it is something different every day. In the days following the disappearance, I believed without much doubt that the plane had experienced mechanical failure and had crashed into the ocean. Now? Well, now, given that they haven’t been able to find the plane, and have uncovered some more evidence… I don’t know what to think.

It sounds as though they are certain that the turn the plane made—altering the flight path—was done deliberately. So the question becomes WHY?! What was the pilot doing? If something sinister happened, what was the pilot (or whoever) trying to accomplish? Why on Earth would the plane continue flying for seven hours after turning off course?

I am so lost on this. I just cannot imagine what could have happened.

With every passing day, the experts are saying that the chances that the world will NEVER find the plane are growing exponentially. What if they never find it? It’ll be one of history’s greatest mysteries.

Who else is following this story as closely as I am? Do you have a theory you believe more so than others? Or are you just as confused about it as I am?

 

I’ve been pretty kind to myself with the whole “second baby syndrome” thing. I believe that for every thing a second baby doesn’t get compared to the first, the second baby also gains something.

You know… like Vivienne may not get homemade baby food, but she gets parents who are more relaxed about naps, bedtime, etc. Certainly there are advantages and disadvantages. But in the grand scheme of things, is Vivienne really going to care that I didn’t peel, chop, steam, puree, and freeze all of her fruit and veggies?

I think not.

So like I said, I’m being kind to myself. Because having two kids is harder than one. Because we are full-time working parents with a house and a yard to care for now (when Nora was a baby, we lived in a 900-square-foot condo). Because two children somehow manage to produce like THREE TIMES the laundry that only one does—I swear.

Shortly after Vivienne was born, there was a crazy coupon available for Wegmans disposable diapers. It was printable, and available for more than a month before it expired, so I printed tons of those coupons and picked up as many packages as I could. Because $1.89 for ~36 diapers? Amazing price. Our daycare provider was on board with Nora’s cloth diapers, but I could always tell it wasn’t her favorite thing to deal with. Even though we made it as easy as possible on her—just throw the diapers into the wet bag, poop and all, and we’ll take care of it—it still was not as easy as disposables. So we picked up a ton of disposable diapers, thinking that we would use them for overnight, as well as for sending to daycare. We would go back to cloth as soon as they were gone.

But all of those diapers have lasted. We STILL have like six packages, a mix of size 3s and size 4s. (Vivienne is wearing the size 3s, and probably won’t wear the 4s for a while yet.) And Viv is on her way to eight months old. Woohoo, thanks, Wegmans!

The thing is? We’ve grown pretty fond of disposable diapers. We’ve only been using the cloth on the weekends. And I’ll tell you what—even with only doing diaper laundry once a week (and only about 8-10 diapers), our washing machine is still seemingly going all.the.time. Every night of the week. And we certainly have enough evening chores on our hands without having to worry about adding stuffing cloth diapers on top of all of that.

Last weekend, Target had a good coupon available for $15 off of a $40 Up & Up purchase. We went and picked up a package of 180 diapers and a box of 800 wipes (as an aside—even when we’ve cloth diapered, we’ve still been responsible for sending disposable wipes to Mary’s). With the coupon, 5% off Cartwheel offers for both the diapers and the wipes, an extra 5% off for using my RedCard, and a $5 gift card (that I earned from a baby food promotion they had going on a couple weeks ago)… our total was only $18. Who can argue with a deal like that?

For me, cloth diapering has always been about more than the money savings. I’ve always appreciated the feeling of knowing I’m cutting down on the billions of diapers in landfills, too. But… I’m sorry Mother Earth. Convenience has won out this time around, as it has with other things (like the aforementioned store-bought baby food instead of making my own at home).

When we picked up that giant box of diapers at Target, it sparked a conversation between Michael and me. Should we even continue with the cloth diapers at all? We built up a mostly new, sizable stash (like 24 diapers?) again for Vivienne, and is it worth holding on to if we’re only cloth diapering two days a week? I mean, we’re talking about saving like eight diapers every seven days. That’s it. Sure, we could keep doing this for the next two years until she’s potty trained, then sell off the stash—which should still be in pretty excellent shape given the part-time use. Or, we could sell them now for like new prices and just be done with it.

I’m torn.

Part of me feels that using cloth diapers only two days a week is actually more hassle than it’s worth. We’re running a full wash load once a week, but only for eight diapers instead of a “full load” of 18 diapers. We have a dresser drawer dedicated solely to cloth diapers… when we are only putting a dent in it each weekend. But then I’m like, but what about the environment?? And OH BUT THEY’RE SO CUTE! (I almost died when I saw the new Audrey diaper from BumGenius the other day. Lord knows I don’t need it, though!)

What do you think, fellow cloth diaper moms? Is it worth continuing with cloth diapering part time? Or should we just throw in the towel? And if we do continue, maybe we should go ahead and sell off at least half of our stash?

Any other moms out there who cloth diapered the first child but ended up giving it up for the second? Fellow cloth diaper dropouts?!

 

I finished up at my old job today. I worked all the way up through yesterday—even putting in a few extra hours last night—and then went into the office this morning to tie up loose ends, pack up the contents of my desk, file stuff away, turn in my computer and keys, and say goodbye.

It is always so weird to make changes like this. It was surreal to walk out the doors for the last time. It’s sad to know that I won’t see so many friends on a daily basis anymore. The sad feelings make me question—a little bit—whether I’ve made a good decision. But then I remember that I’ve felt this way about leaving every job I’ve ever had. I’ve always made friends, and I’ve always had things about each job that I’ve liked or loved. So closing one door to open another… it’s always bittersweet.

I’m excited for change.

I’m afraid of the unknown.

I feel nostalgic about all that I’m leaving behind.

It’s a lot of feelings. So I’m glad that I now have a week to be at home, decompress, and not have to worry about old work responsibilities OR new work responsibilities at this point. My brain could use the break. I was hoping we’d have some halfway decent weather while I’m off, so I could take the girls for walks in our new double stroller…

…but alas, the weather isn’t going to get out of the 20s and 30s. So frustrating! All I wanted was like 45-55 degrees, but apparently that is still too much to ask from the last week of March/the never-ending WINTER FROM HELL.

Anyway, I made it out alive. Hopefully I can carve out some time in the next week to catch up on all.the.things… including blogging! Thanks for all of the congrats messages on my last post!

 

My poor, pathetic, neglected blog. :(

I have been so busy. And overwhelmed.

The day after my last post, I got a new job offer. I accepted it. The days that followed were a whirlwind of emotion and nerves and stress as I put in my notice with my current company and worked out details with the new.

I’m sad to leave where I’ve been for the past four years. I am going to miss a lot of the people I’ve worked with. It was such a great job—my favorite I’ve had so far—but a lot of things have changed in the past year or so and it isn’t the same as it once was. It’s still good, don’t get me wrong; I wasn’t desperate to get out. But I started exploring other opportunities and one came up that was too good to pass up. It’s going to be a BIG change.

I’m moving from a company with 50+ employees to a company with four employees. With that, I get a lot more responsibility since there are less people to share it with. And while business hours are still 8:30 to 5, and I’m still working full-time, this is going to be a much more mobile office environment. I’ve been told that as long as I get my work done, I can kind of come and go as I please. Unless I have meetings scheduled, there really will be no “running late” or “leaving early.” My new boss says, “I don’t care where you are at any given moment. If I need you, I’ll find you.”

That’s really appealing for a working mom of young children who often feels like she’s not adequately striking a balance.

Since I put in my notice, my workload has been insane. It would’ve been crazy anyway—it’s been a busy few weeks for my team. Most times, the last few weeks at a job are increasingly mellow, as other team members remove work from your plate as part of the transition. For me? Not so much. There’s a lot of work to go around so I think I’ll be working every minute right up until the very end. I’ve been putting in extra hours every day this week. In fact, today was a snow day—they actually closed our office!—but instead of having a fun, unexpected day off with my kids, I was trying to get a ton of work done with kids hanging on me and asking me for things. Some “snow day” that was. It would’ve been easier to be at the office!

Anyway, I’m nervous about the change, but I think that’s normal when you make a move like this. I’ve always felt this way when I’ve left jobs—sad and a little bit scared about what I’m leaving behind, but excited and anxious about what’s lying ahead.

I took a little more than a week off between jobs, so I’m looking forward to a little break. Some time to decompress after leaving my current job before starting fresh at the new. Some bonus time with my kids, and maybe even a day or two to catch up with some stuff around the house.

I’ve been wanting to blog about a lot of things; I just have so little time to do it. I really hope I can dig myself out and that blogging will become “easier” and part of my routine again. I wonder who’s still out there reading!

Onward and upward.