Saturday, September 29, 2012

Unemployed to Kinda Employed

I might have a job.
Through a friend in Las Vegas, I discovered an ad agency in Austin that specializes in gaming properties as clients.
In other words, what I thought was my completely unmarketable-outside-of-Nevada gaming background is actually an asset.
I sent my resume and waited.
The creative director emailed back in record-time.
I interviewed, had a daylong test/audition with another one set for next week, after G2E.
The fact that I know what G2E is is a pretty big thing.
So yeah. I swore I was done with design but this job is a little bit too-on-the-nose to ignore. Plus I could do some copywriting and TV/Photo shoots.
I always get a little on-edge when things seem to come together that easily. I'm always asking what the catch is.
I know the catches on this. Location, hours, commute, etc.
So I'm thinking about it.
I'm happier while working. This is true.
I love being with L.E. but she sleeps half the day – which I'm not complaining about – it just disrupts the day enough to where we can't go places and do the fun things mommy and daughter should be doing.
I was only half-assed looking for a job and this one was practically thrown into my lap.
I can't ignore it.
I can't have laziness be the main reason I don't go back to work. Laziness meaning, I like sitting around in my PJs until L.E. takes her nap. And I like not having to rush around in the morning.
So like everything else, I'll see what happens...

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Austin, One Month In

I’ve been in Austin for exactly one month. It’s definitely been an adjustment and not just emotionally. I’m undergoing these weird physical transformations. They’re not bad; just different.
I sweat constantly. I thought that would have worn off by now since the weather is no longer in the triple digits. But even a quick walk to the park leaves me soaked to the skin. It’s embarrassing when I’m trying to schmooze the fellow park moms.
My skin keeps breaking out. But the dry patches are gone.
I have a funny smell about me. Not funny bad; funny as in “That’s new,” and “Who knew bug spray could be so aromatic?”
I relish showers like nothing else.
I put my PJs on at 5:00 every day because by then I’m too swollen for regular pants. L.E. thinks this is hilarious.
My boobs sweat.
My hair…can’t complain. Six different anti-frizz products will do that.
The food here is amazing, and also wrecking havoc on my intestines. How long until I can eat barbecue without dire consequences?
I can eat tacos for three meals a day here and I have. More than once.
Where can I get decent, non-smoked Buffalo wings in this town?
I wear a lot of dresses.
I take a lot of naps.
I bump into things a lot so I’m constantly bruised.
Three beers is too many; Two is just right.
Five margaritas is way too many. Six beers, two margaritas and a random vodka cocktail leave me wishing for death.
I have yet to see a live show other than the random bands playing at random restaurants. Anyone want to go see Ben Folds Five with me on Monday?
I need to find a nighttime baby-sitter.
I need to find some friends.
I had a mom-date this morning with a woman I met at a brewery. It was awkward like a first date would be. I’m not sure if I’ll see her again. Dating sucks, even when it’s play-dating for your kid’s sake.
I caught a lightning bug tonight. It was surreal to see them for the first time since I left Pittsburgh.
I’m not sure if my house is haunted or if there’s just some weird, getting-used-to-living-here energy going on.
Anyone know of a medium in central Texas?
I can’t find a writing job.
I haven’t even started my novel.
Things sound bad, but they’re really not. It’s just taking some getting used to. Dr. T. and I are getting along. L.E. is awesome. And there is lots to do here.
It’s just an adjustment.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I'm Siiiiiiiiiick

After traveling and an open house at L.E.'s preschool, I have a cold.
I used to do all of these things to combat colds like take echinecea and orange juice, tea, Zicam, throat drops...anything and everything.
Today I went back to sleep for two hours. I feel monumentally better.
I get more colds than I let on; Mucinex is the genius-drug that always makes me feel not-sick even though I am. So I would still go to work. And hope nobody noticed.
That was really stupid. When you're sick, stay home and get some rest. Don't be a hero. Everyone needs some bad TV once in a while.
Like, have you ever watched the fourth hour of the Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda? Those crazy drunks made my maternity leave more bearable. Seriously, I don't know how The Soup only finds one clip a week to which to mock.
Also, when was the last time you checked in with Hope and Marlena on Days of Our Lives? Chances are, the storyline is about the same it was 20 years ago. And those two women haven't aged since high school.
Cap your day off with some bad afternoon talk shows, in between naps of course.
Or you could get really lucky and be sick on a day that Bravo has on a Top Chef or America's Next Top Model marathon. It's totally acceptable to watch six consecutive episodes of the same show when you're sick.
It's also OK to do the following:

  • Eat nothing but soup and crackers
  • Melt cheese on the crackers
  • Forget the crackers and melt cheese on a tortilla
  • Sleep on your brand-new leather couch
  • Eat off the coffee table
  • Put your feet up on the coffee table
  • Watch every recorded episode of House Hunters without your spouse.
  • Throw used tissues on the floor
  • Move your bedroom pillow to the couch
  • Don't clean
  • Melt cheese in your soup bowl
  • Don't rinse your soup bowl
  • Wait until the last possible second to pick up your child from preschool
  • Try to re-trace your steps and figure out how you didn't appear on House Hunters when you just bought a house
  • Take a shower before your family comes home. You've been eating cheese all day and you stink
  • Ask your husband to make you a quesadilla for dinner
  • Pretend you didn't spend the entire day sleeping and watching TV

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I Wasn’t Ready for This

My lovely, and spotless, kitchen.

Yep, I knew I would back-track.
Every morning, I wake up and check my list for the week.
I started including look for a job on it.
I still have no idea what I want to do.
I don’t know if staying at home is it.
That scares me.
I love being with my daughter.
I hate having to defend it.
When you’re a parent, you’re already judged for every decision you make.
Natural birth or drugs.
Vaginal or c-section.
Breastmilk or formula.
Co-sleeping or cry it out.
Follow your kid on the playground or let them go explore on their own.
Montessori or Waldorf.
Stay at home or go back to work.
Enough is enough, people. The last thing parents need is affirmation that they’re not doing it right.
I’ve surprised people because I’m not working.
They all know me as being career-driven because that’s the personae I’ve always adopted before I became a mom.
This new role of mine was a shock to them.
They get a little bit judgey.
I explain that we just moved and I’m not sure what I want to do.
“But you’re a graphic designer!”
I’m obviously not a very good one.
I don’t have a website, minus this blog.
I don’t have the passion for design right now.
I have more passion for wiping off counters and folding laundry.
And a clean bathroom.
What does that say about my career?
So I stay at home. 
It’s sneer-worthy.
Not as sneer-worthy as saying I’m a writer.
I wasn’t prepared to defend my new place in life.
What is there to defend?
It’s not about money, it’s about happiness.
OK, not happiness but contentment.
Am I content? 
Ask me in a week.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Shabby Apple

It really does look this good on. Even on me.

I'm a clothes-whore.
I've covered this before and since this post, my closet is no longer streamlined. Especially now that I live in Austin where it's sticky-hot and I've had to re-build my wardrobe to include more dresses.
My fellow blogger turned me on to Shabby Apple. At first I thought it was just another online clothing store with sub-quality products that are too expensive. Who am I kidding, I never think that. I got super-excited because it's yet another online store where I can buy things!
The first thing that caught my eye was the Lighthouse Collection. Between the color combinations and the gorgeous photography, I was tempted to buy the entire collection. After much debate between this and this, I decided against stripes and chose the Vineyard Sound dress. All I can say is WOW. Everyone knows that wrap dresses are universally-flattering but this one is by far the best one I've ever tried on. It hugs my curves in all the right places and is the right amount of cling to wear the weird "ripples" I have don't show. It's wrinkle-proof and the grey shade goes with pretty much any color. I usually wear a red or purple cami underneath and navy blue shoes. It really is the perfect dress.
And if you're into maxi-dresses, it comes in a longer length, too.
Shabby Apple has way more than fabulous dresses, too. They have a full line of accessories, shoes, bags and even kids' clothes. L.E. would totally rock this dress with her new cowboy boots. I'm also impressed with their New Mama collection. I really wish it was around when I was post-partum because it would have been nice to wear something other than yoga pants all the time.
The best part about Shabby Apple? Free returns! So if it turns out that these shoes I've been ogling don't fit right, I don't have to worry about paying to ship them back.
I've made it super-convenient for you to start shopping. Just click on the button to the right. If you give them your email address, you'll get 10% off your first purchase.
Happy shopping!

Full disclosure: I'm a member of Shabby Apple's affiliate program. So if you click on the sweet ad on the right and buy something fabulous, I'll make a few bucks off of it.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Is This Really So Bad?

Stains fear my wrath. Or whatever it is moms say about it...
I am a housewife.
As much as I'd like to say I'm a writer when asked, "What do you do?" the answer has become, "I stay at home." 
Maybe it's because my parents are still here.
Today, I walked L.E. to preschool, came home, sorted laundry, started the washer, found $1.50 in the bottom of the dryer, moved the sprinkler around the yard, made a cup of coffee, glanced at the news headlines, opened the fridge and thought about throwing out some leftovers, made the bed, picked up L.E.'s cars and put them away. 
Now I might watch an episode of House Hunters.
Is this so bad? 
I've been working non-stop since I was 16. Even longer than that, if you consider I babysat my next-door neighbors every day after school beginning at age 12. 
(I don't count maternity leave as "time off" because that was like working the hardest job ever for 24 hours a day, seven days a week.)
I had a career that I found to be less than fulfilling so I decided to step away from it once we moved. I'm fortunate in that I can take my time and figure out what I want to do.
But that doesn't mean I can just sit around all day watching DIY TV. 
I'm cleaning.
I'm meal planning.
I'm potty training.
I'm exercising.
I'm shopping.
I'm wearing a cute apron.
I'm squishing spiders.
I'm changing light bulbs.
I'm contemplating such questions as, "What IS Zumba and is it right for me?" And, "Just where the hell do you buy decent lamps in Austin?"
I'm sweating. A lot. Seriously, Texas, when is the end of sweating season? 
I'm not eating as much as I want to.
I've lost 10 lbs since starting Weight Watchers.
This is the life of a housewife. This is the life of a stay-at-home mom.
People keep telling me I'll get bored and my brain will turn to mush if I don't get some adult stimulation.
I'm not bored yet. My mind hasn't gone to jelly yet.
I don't hate my child yet.
Sometimes the mundane is just what's needed.
It's nice not to stress about deadlines and bleed sizes. 
It's wonderful not to worry about whether the client will approve something in a timely manner.
I'm not 100% in La La Land, though. I still have no friends. L.E. still doesn't have friends.
And there's the sweating. My God, why am I sweating so much?
I've applied for any writing job I see.
I have a novel that I've barely started or even outlined in my novel book.
But for the most part, I'm content.
I have to be for my family's sake.
Being a housewife isn't so bad.

Let's see how I feel about it in a month.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Back to (Pre) School

L.E. started a new preschool today. It was so anti-climactic compared to the other times she's started daycare/preschool.
Her first day of daycare was on her 3-month birthday. I cried so hard; it was tough for me to leave her so soon. It took a good two or three months for us both to be in a groove and for me to realize that she absolutely loved being around other babies.
She stayed in that center for over a year. I used our company's onsite daycare which was very reputable so there was no need to research it. Then I changed jobs and found a learning center just between my job and my house.
This time it was traumatic for both of us. She was crying for Mommy as I was leaving and clung to my legs. Again, I cried the whole way to work. But L.E. is nothing if not resilient and she soon grew to love it. She did so many art projects, that I still have a huge box of them.
When she turned two, she got moved up to the next center which was down the street. So once again, it was new teachers, new kids, new toys. L.E. seemed pretty upset the first few weeks there. She was the youngest in the center. But soon enough, she was getting hugs from all the other kids every day and her teachers were telling me how wonderful she was doing and what a good little sharer she is.
It was heartbreaking to leave that center.
Moving to Austin was the best thing for our family. I am still grappling with the idea of being a stay-at-home mom and if I really want to pursue a serious writing career, I need some me-time. And L.E. has spent the last three weeks vegging in front of the TV. She needs to be around other kids again. So we enrolled her in a preschool down the street two days a week.
I dropped her off this morning. As the other kids swarmed around her to give her a hello-hug, she looked up at me and said, "Bye, Mommy!"
I still shed a tear on the way home.