Want to know the only thing better than having a baby in the office? Doubling up on cuteness and adding a puppy! A TQ coworker brought her seven-week-old toy Australian shepherd, a ridiculously sweet ball of fluff named Rover. Rover had never seen a baby and Willa had never seen a puppy, and watching them try to figure each other out was about my favorite thing in the world (at least, until Rover tried to eat Willa and Willa tried to pull out Rover’s fur).
Babies and puppies aside, the Winter issue of TQ is looking fabulous! Appropriate timing, as weather has moved in and it’s really starting to feel like winter here. Mt. Rose is even sporting a coat of snow. Anyway, final edit next week and then Winter gets shipped off and it’s time to work on Mountain Home!
I have been ridiculously bad at updating. In my defense, I’ve also been ridiculously busy. Part is catching up with TQ work. We took an eight-day trip to Hawaii (yay Hawaiian air miles!) during my oldest daughter’s fall break at the beginning of October, then went back east for almost two weeks to attend my brother’s wedding one weekend, and my college roommate’s wedding the next. Suffice to say, leaving town for three-plus weeks in a month is exhausting! Lots to catch up on with work and life.
The other reason I’ve been busy is this sweet little girl. My other two are a little older (7 and 5), and it’s been so long since I had a baby that I’m really enjoying this phase again. It doesn’t make it any easier to work when she’s being adorable or rolling around or trying to eat her own feet!
Anyway, I’m making the most of nap times! I really enjoyed my latest pieces for TQ. I recently interviewed an entrepreneurial area mapmaker, and in a separate piece, dived into the history of Mt. Rose’s Reindeer Lodge. I’ve been going back and forth with Kim Henrick, whose parents built the lodge in 1957, and she’s been a wealth of information, stories and memories. So fun to learn more about a place that I’ve wondered about 100 times.
The other reality of my life lately is that I only get to sleep in short hour-long spurts thanks to a teething baby, so it’s hard to justify staying up later than about 9 p.m. So on that note, I’m off to sleep before my favorite distraction decides to get me up.
Once again I’ve been a negligent blogger! In my defense, I’m 26 weeks pregnant with baby girl #3 (yay!) and I’ve been fairly swamped since the holidays. We got back from a whirlwind Christmas vacation—to see family back east, skiing and a New Year’s Eve wedding in Colorado, then on to L.A. for a day at Universal Studios and the heartbreaking Rose Bowl game—and I’ve been playing catch up ever since. School started back up for my older daughter, but we’ve been getting hammered by storms, which meant a lot of snow days and delays, which is obviously not ideal for productivity.
Anyway, I managed to fit in my interviews and finished my stories for the TQ Mountain Home Awards. I loved the homes I wrote up—a remodel in Alpine Meadows, another along Incline Village’s shoreline, and two beautifully designed and executed homes in Martis Camp. All gorgeous, all awe-inspiring, all of which made me want to gut my own home and start fresh. Oh well.
We had our first proof last week and the second proof today. A few hiccups getting a couple of stories in, but it all looks great and I’m excited to see the final issue. We were supposed to have the second proof tomorrow, but pushed it up as we’ve got another storm rolling in. At least now I’ve got a lull from work, so if this latest storm hampers my productivity, then at least it’s a valid excuse for hot chocolate and a movie date!
What to do, what to do? I’m trying to figure out what to do with the girls. Jason has been on a three-week hiatus as he switches jobs and It’s been wonderful having him to entertain them, but with him starting work again on Monday, they become a lot to handle all day every day. We checked out the Methodist preschool just down the street, which is a half-day program that starts in mid-August. When we went in, the director told us that she has only one spot left, for Tuesdays and Thursdays. She’ll hold it for us till the end of the week, so we have till then to decide. Pros: I’ve heard really great things about this school—they hatch butterflies and chicks, take science walks, learn responsibilities and incorporate “Jesus time” that Nora wouldn’t get at her heathen household—and it’s only three minutes down the road. Cons, it’s only four hours, twice a week. Which is a nice little intro to school, but for my sanity level, it’s not a ton of time off from my always-wanting-to-play firstborn. Plus, I thought that if Audrey was going to go to daycare, it would be nice if they could go somewhere together. Nora hasn’t been real big on going to her in-home daycare lately, and I don’t blame her: It’s hit or miss if she’ll have friends her age on any given day, and I’m about done because it takes 25 minutes to get there, which means I spend almost an hour of Nora’s day in daycare in the car. Still, Mercedes is super nice, she’s flexible with our schedule, relatively cheap (though it would still be $70/day) and the girls would get to be together.
I tried calling some centers with daycare and preschool, but they are crazy expensive (like close to $400/three times a week for both girls). I work and write when I’m babyless, but since I’m just freelancing, it’s pretty impossible to justify spending $400 per week when I may only do $75 worth of editing. The cheapest place is Next Generation Kids, which I loved because they teach in Spanish, but since Nora already had a breakdown there back in January (long story) I don’t think I have the heart to try again. I could look into getting a babysitter a couple times a week here, but part of the appeal was them getting to socialize with kids their own age.
Which brings me back to my dilemma. Send them both to Mercedes? Send Nora to preschool and keep Audrey at home? Send Nora to preschool and find a closer daycare for Audrey? Find a “mother’s helper” to entertain them at the house while I’m at home? How on earth do other people juggle writing writing, freelance work and babies? Welcoming any and all suggestions!