Last Thursday was “Take Your Kids To Work Day”…
It’s one of my very favorite days at the office!
My company does it up - activities, classes, treat, fun food and a lot of very patient coworkers. They make the day feel special….and I don’t just mean for the kids.
I know it is cheesy, but “Take Your Kid to Work Day” means a lot to me.
The event makes me feel like my company values the fact that so many of us are working parents…but more than that even, it makes me proud that my kids get to come see this vibrant, energetic space where I go to work(-hard) five days a week. It helps them understand what happens when I walk out the door every morning.
I like to think I set an example for my girls that, if they want, they can have full lives both in and outside of the home. That they can contribute in any way that calls to them….that they can pursue their interests….that they can love their job and a family.
I know I don’t make it look easy to them….
But I hope, at least some of the time, I make it look fun. Because it is.
From time to time Hazel will ask me not to go to work (and as you can imagine, it breaks my heart)….but over the past few mornings, she has asked to come with me. I like that shift in thinking. I hope it continues.
photo credit: my mama!
Lookingglass Junior Board Meeting!
A couple of months ago I said I wanted to join a board, this board specifically….and so I did! I was a little nervous sitting around the extra long table in the extra fancy conference room for my very first meeting. But not really. I was mostly just excited. And by the end of the meeting I had volunteered to spearhead blog outreach efforts for the upcoming Madhatters Ball. (Turns out, simply having a blog was qualification enough to land the gig. How about that!)
Take Your Kid to Work Day!
A big deal at my office, as you might imagine. And an even bigger deal in my home. While the girls may be a little too young for the “Computer Science for Kids” course my company is offering - I know they will love playing with the Kohl’s Childrens Museum and slew of other activities we have lined up for them.
Going Away Dinner with my Team!
Come next week, we are headed in many different directions and so tomorrow, we celebrate. We will no doubt raise a margarita glass or two to the clients we served and deals we closed…and maybe one last round of “happy/crappy” for old times sake.
Revisting The Hunt @ NEXT!
A 10:15 reservation (with this lovely lady, among others). Dresses will be worn. Wine will be drunk. And maybe, just maybe, Chef Dave will give us a peek at a bite or two from the upcoming Vegan Menu!
A few more shots of our weekend away as captured through my mama’s lens.
Felix Belle on Vacation | 7 + 1/2 months
Felix has 2 teeth.
And she can sit up steadily.
These two things have opened up a whole new world of dining options to my girl. Namely, big kid high chairs and breadbaskets are no longer off limits.
Felix loves eating out….which is fortunate given the fact it is one of our very favorite family activities. During our trip, she happily sat through a couple of leisurely dinners al fresco, snacking on bites of carpaccio, truffle pasta and gelato from our plates. (Fancy Kid)
Somewhat less pleasing to her palate were the mouthfuls of sand and saltwater she took in at the beach.
But hey, isn’t that what vacation is all about….
Trying new things! :)
Hazel Jane on Vacation | 2 years + 1 month
While in Miami
This girl learned to dive. DIVE, head first, into the pool. Then did it over and over and over again. She is fearless. Takes after her mama.
This girl kissed a waiter. As he placed our burrata app on the table, she looked up at him and oh-so-sweetly asked him for a kiss. He was Italian…and gladly obliged. I have no idea what this exchange was all about.
This girl made an impressive cake out of sand and seawater for grandma/papa boom’s birthday. She also proved that a plastic bucket was, in fact, the best investment we made all weekend.
This girl had a wonderful vacation.
A vacation morning
Fee was napping
And the rest of the crew was out on a bike ride (papa boom has a Hazel sized seat on the back of his ride)
Here I sat, on our terrace - reading my book (Gone Girl) and watching the waves. It was the most peaceful hour I have had in a year or so. The most peaceful, by far.
And then Fee woke up.
And Hazel came home - brimming with stories of drinking juice out of a coconut (with a straw!) and the hand-braided butterfly bracelet Papa bought her from a beachfront vendor (look mom!)
The quiet time I spent reading my novel was so so nice.
But I think I prefer non-fiction delivered by my pint-sized raconteur.
Family Vacation | South Beach Edition
On Wednesday night, I was in NY for work and my flight home was cancelled.
Torrential Rain in Chicago.
The next available flight didn’t leave until Thursday at 11am - which would have put me into O’Hare exactly 1 hour and 20 minutes after my scheduled flight to Miami with Simon and the girls departed.
Fat Tears rolled down my cheeks.
My heart sank at the prospect of missing (the start of) family vacation…at the thought of disappointing my girls (this career mother’s worst fear).
I was sad at the prospect of not being there in the morning to chant the Vacation Day cheer with Z + Fee….or to let them hit “request taxi” on my Uber app.
And I felt awful about having my husband pack my bags and travel cross-country alone with two babies (Simon’s response - I’ve got this. God, I have a good one!)
The kind-kind woman behind the ticketing counter must have also been a working mom - she felt my pain. After working some magic, she managed to get me on the only flight that actually made it from LGA to ORD that stormy Wednesday night.
I made it home! And the next morning, we made it to Miami! And the following 4 days were spent just being a family.
A beachfront family!
This picture pretty well captures the spirit of our vacation! It was a great one.
Yesterday afternoon a neighborhood boy jacked Hazel in the face. She wasn’t hurt, so I didn’t get worked up….rough-housing sort of comes with the territory of playing with 2 year old boys. Brush it Off, I yelled oh so helpfully.
(Simon, on the other hand, was not amused at all. His response was a stern HEY! followed up by a mad-dad look.)
After going back inside, we took the opportunity to talk to Hazel about hitting and equipped her with some tools….talking points, if you will….for handling such situations. She spent much of dinnertime practicing the responses and it might well have been the cutest thing I have ever seen in my life (which I realize is not the target adjective for self-defense efforts, but so it goes…)
The next time a kids hits her, she is to look him sternly in the eye - hold up her little pointer finger and say: STOP IT.
And if someone messes with Felix, Hazel’s line: STOP IT. THAT’S MY SISTER.
Small but mighty!
On Tuesday I went to NY for the night for a training event, of sorts.
A training event? Training for what?
MY NEW JOB
I got a new job! (New job. Same company. I’ll be staying in Chicago, of course.)
Effectively it is a role change, but I had to go through the resume/interview/offer-signing process so we are going to call it a new job. It is an outstanding opportunity - a dream role, that came at a time of dramatic changes on my current team. The new job is going to be tough…really hard work….there will be a lot to learn and a little bit of travel…but it is going to be great, I think.
I am ready for a kick-my-ass professional challenge.
And plus, with this change - I get all of the excitement of a brand new job without that awkwardness of learning new coffee machines and finding new conference rooms. :)
Daft Punk • Random Access Memories
Daft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams | Get Lucky
Oh man, it has been a non-stop past 10 days…
Last weekend we headed down south to Edwardsville, IL for a family wedding. Huge congrats to Simon’s cousin Robbie and his beautiful bride, Stephanie!
On Friday night we embarked on a family road trip.
We thought it would be a great idea if we went through the usual dinner/bath routine then start our drive right around the time the girls would normally go to bed. And it would have been a good idea, I suppose, if Hazel had actually fallen asleep in the car. But she did not…well, not really.
night story short - the ride was rough and my little family did not get to sleep until well after 3 am.
And lest you say I only share rainbow stories here on le blog, let me just tell you that a surefire recipe for Toddler disaster is as follows:
3 hours of sleep in a strange bed at the Comfort Inn + 2 meals from McDonalds (so terrible) + 1 nasty tumble off the church pew while waiting for the post-ceremony extended family portrait
It was not a great weekend for my oldest daughter.
One of the hardest we’ve ever had with her, actually.
(And I know, it was totally our fault. Sabotaging her schedule is the quickest train to crabbytown.)
Thankfully the weekend did improve. (We had nowhere to go but up!)
A beautiful wedding and two very attentive grandparents to help keep the kids quiet during the service.
A playdate for the girls with cousins Gus & Cece (thank you Beth for watching my kiddos!)
A reception where we got to spend adult time catching up with extended family members.
And the highlight of the weekend might have been our breakfast with Great Grandma S.
We don’t get down south as often as we would like….but when we do, I cherish the time with the extended H side of the family.
Weekend trips with two little nuggets take an incredible amount of effort, but if you can ride out a meltdown or two - they are worth it.