Archive for the ‘ Working Mothers ’ Category

Giveaway Wrap-up

Our final giveaway closed yesterday morning, and per random.org, Marki was the chosen winner of Summer Pierre’s cheesecake tote. Marki said that she would carry her scrapbooking supplies in the tote. Tote away!

I’m happy to go back to writing words for a few people to read, but are giveaways something you’d like me to bring here from time to time? Let me know either way.

Limited Edition Print: Children's Books, by Summer Pierre

Before I sign off, a huge thanks again to Enid, Lily, Ellen and Summer for participating with their crafty wares. I really appreciate it, and I think the recipients will, too!

– MD

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Cheesecake Tote Giveaway, Courtesy of Summer Pierre

UPDATE: THIS IS NOW CLOSED – MD

Is anyone else out there ready to cry now that it is completely dark at 4:45 p.m.? This happens each year, and the turning of the tables on this time thing will change soon, but goodness gracious, hold me.

Thanks for those who played along with the upcycled knit baby hat giveaway. Using random.org the two winners were selected. Congratulations to Nina and Joeli! I will be in touch about your hats. Hope your girls wear them in health and warmth! Thanks again to Ellen!

Are you ready for my final giveaway? It’s pretty rad, and as I mentioned earlier, it comes all the way from New York City. For us Midwesterners, that’s a mighty big deal. Well, maybe not as much, according to this article. I can also throw some attitude, because I lived there, yo, when I was little.

Our final giveaway is a cheesecake tote. Not a tote made out of cheesecake, but a tote with a depiction of a cheesecake on it. Behold:

Cheesecake tote by Summer Pierre

Artist, musician, poet and mama Summer Pierre is kind enough to offer this. Summer and I met at a Lynda Barry writing workshop years ago at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY. I remember seeing a woman smiling and doodling on the chartered bus we took from downtown NYC to the Omega campus, and lo and behold, that fantastic woman was in my class. There was very much a camp-like feel to the process, but somehow we ended up sitting next to one another during meals, chatted, and have stayed in touch every since. It’s like real-life sleep-away camp and the friends you make from it FOR EVER.

Summer is the real deal, folks. She has made and sold CDs, run a successful Etsy shop, and published two books, The Artist in the Office: How to Creatively Survive and Thrive Seven Days a Week, and Great Gals: Inspired Ideas for Living a Kick-Ass Life, along with her Forgive Me zines, volumes 1-4. She does all of this, and more. Thank you, Summer, for offering this giveaway.

Here’s how you can enter:
1. Visit summerpierre.com and poke around.
2. Subscribe to her blog.
3. Visit her Etsy store, and add her to your favorites circle if you are a member.
4. If you are on Twitter, follow her feed @summerpierre.
5. Comment below on what you would tote around in your cheesecake tote.

The giveaway closes Wednesday, December 7 at 8 a.m. CST. One entry per e-mail address is permitted. One winner will be selected using random.org and announced on Wednesday evening.

Good luck!

– MD

The Rhythm

We welcomed our sweet baby girl into our world almost four months ago already. I can hardly believe how fast the time is flying by.

I find myself living between worlds constantly in search of my rhythm, my family’s rhythm. As soon as I think I have found it, we are off embarking on a new chapter.

*   *   *   *   *
Pregnant. Summer off. Home with toddler. Moving. New baby. Toddler back to daycare. Working from home. At-work working mama.

Dressing. Feeding. Cleaning. Drop off. Pick up. Playing. Loving. Off to bed. Exhausted.

Running around all day being mindful that my “work” hours are actually my most restful. Finding myself missing out on the sweetness that are my children as I’m rushing and stressing trying to get by. Maybe even on time.

*   *   *   *   *
Between the tears of getting our shoes on right out of bed, I almost missed my boy singing jingle bells as we walked out the door.

Slowing down. Trying to do it all. Finding new ways to enjoy the moments.

Smelling the evergreens

*   *   *   *   *
I find myself unsettled. Balancing my work and my family, not to mention myself, precariously between each other. Never quite able to feel satisfied in any area.

I am so grateful to have a job that I adore for so many reasons. I am challenged. I am rewarded. I am granted the flexibility every working parent should have. I am able to do work that is meaningful to me. I am grateful. And yet.

I so long to spend the days being a mama to my kiddos, with my kiddos.

*   *   *   *   *
Crafting and snuggling.
Singing and exploring.
Learning and doing.

Enjoying the rhythm that I found so natural.
Enjoying every moment of each of my children growing up.
So fast.

*   *   *   *   *
It’s different for me after my first child. Returning after my first maternity leave left me longing to snuggle and stare at my baby. The second return to maternity leave is different. I am longing to be with both baby and toddler. My heart hurts that I am missing out. And yet.

I wish I would be satisfied and satiated, as well as able, to be a stay at home mama. I don’t think I would be, but I don’t know. I wish I could know if it would be enough for me. Then it may not be so hard to go to work.

*   *   *   *   *
Today is day four back in the office. I can’t say that it’s any easier than the first. Perhaps even harder as I can identify the rough spots in my rhythm. In our rhythm. Thinking of the moments I’m missing, even when I’m there.

I try to find comfort in remembering the rhythm will always be constantly changing.  As hard as it is with so much on our full, lush plate, all I can do is welcome and try to enjoy the flow.

– NVC

December Giveaway from Ellen Carlson of Half-Pint Resale

UPDATE: THIS IS NOW CLOSED. – MD

December! December is here!

Aloha, friends. November wrapped up nicely, and while I didn’t make my daily posting goal of NaBloPoMo, I’m glad that I posted more and introduced giveaways from crafty mamas, in time for the holidays.

I’m also happy to announce that Polly is the winner of the Ten Finger Workshop teeny tiny clothespin people. Polly, we’ll be in touch.

Our next giveaway is from someone who makes a difference in people’s lives each and every day. Not only does she work for a non-profit, she also, ya know, in her spare time, co-runs the insanely awesome and amazing Half-Pint Resale. And sews and crafts and cooks like mad. I mean, the woman barely sleeps and always, and I mean always, makes time for her friends. I am also very lucky to count her as one of my closest friends, and her youngest son and Miss Red have a kindred friendship like none other.

A and Miss Red

So, thanks to Ellen of Half-Pint Resale and wearer of many other hats, our next giveaway is two, yes two, upcycled knit baby hats. They come in Size 0-3 months and 3-9 months.

Upcycled knit baby hats from Ellen Carlson

Miss Red wore them everywhere the first year of her life and I buy one each time a friend has a baby.

Miss Red in a hat by Ellen Carlson

They are completely unique and awesome. The photos above are examples; the two she will provide will be different.

Here’s how to enter:

1. Visit Half-Pint Resale’s Facebook page and friend them.
2. If you are on Twitter, follow their feed, @halfpintresale.
3. Check out Ellen’s personal blog for more information about her hats and custom shirts.
4. Comment below on who you would place the hat on.

Two lucky winners will receive one hat each! The giveaway closes Sunday, December 4 at 8 a.m. CST. One entry per e-mail address is permitted. The winners will be selected using random.org and announced on Sunday evening, when the final giveaway will be posted.

Good luck!

– MD

Cyber Monday Giveaway from Ten Finger Workshop

UPDATE: THIS IS NOW CLOSED – MD

Hi friends! Did you enjoy the rest of your long weekend? Ours was sublime. Lots of lazing about. Watching Miss Red “clean” in a tutu and rain boots. Catching up with friends and projects. Oh, and I wrapped all of the presents I have so far.

Anyhoodle, thanks again to Enid at Haley Studio for her Black Friday Giveaway. Using random.org, it was decided that Lorraine is the winner (I removed her multiple comments to make it only one entry). She said that she’d make these mitts with her yarn. Congrats, Lorraine, we will be in touch!

So maybe some of you are participating in Cyber Monday. See, work is about fulfillment, doing good, and the internet.

Are you ready for the next giveaway? It’s a set of teeny tiny clothespin people from Lily Hoyer-Winfield of Ten Finger Workshop. This crafty mama of three boys knits, sews, crafts, frames, cooks and runs a homestead like none other. I adore Lily. She has such a great sense of humor and is so giving of her time, energy and smiles.

Miss Red playing with a few of her favorite Ten Finger Workshop toys

I’ve also been lucky enough to custom-order some of her little people, which Miss Red fondly calls “toy mama” or “toy dada,” etc. They are heirloom pieces. Lily was also kind enough to make a set for ALW and NVC for their joint baby shower this summer. Look! It’s their families!

Nesting families by Ten Finger Workshop

Really, I could spend an hour talking about Lily and how great she is. Which is why I’m so pleased she offered a giveaway for you, dear readers.

Here’s what’s up for grabs:

Clothes pin people from Ten Finger Workshop

Here’s how to enter:

1. Visit Ten Finger Workshop and “Like” it.
2. Comment below on how you would use your teeny tiny clothespin people.

That’s it! Easy peasy!

On her page she has a number of her projects. Consider purchasing an item or placing a custom order. Or, looking for a guitar? Her husband, Todd Cambio, is a supreme guitar maker. Check out his page, too.

The giveaway closes Thursday, December 1 at 8 a.m. CST. One entry per e-mail address is permitted. The winner will be selected using random.org and announced on Thursday evening, when the next giveaway #3 will be posted.

Good luck!

– MD

Where I’ve been, part 1

So I took an unintentional hiatus from the blog. My goal with the help of the other contributors, was to post weekly, which in blog land, is like yearly. But I work full-time, and fill in the blank, so that’s what I could handle. I even updated the look a wee bit and was feeling good about it.

Then February came along. What happened in February besides me turning 33? Well, our Governor decided to screw everyone over. It’s a national and international story, and I won’t recap the details, but how it got more complicated was that I work for one of the unions that is getting extra screwed over.

I came back from a Bat Mitzvah in Westchester County, New York, which is its own level of crazy, to the most insane work and political environment I have ever seen. With my co-workers, I started working mind-mending doctor hours, on my feet or on the laptop until I literally fell asleep. Eating rice cakes like they were going out of style. Ruining my kidneys with the amount of adrenaline coursing through them.

The Capitol Rotunda, February 18

So I was MIA from life, basically. Forgetting things. Not around for friends and family. My husband became, for all intents and purposes, a single parent. The house came apart. But through all of it, he said, “go work.” Because we never knew what was going to change and when. One day, when I was driving Miss Red to daycare, she said, “Mama, ‘member when you go work to help teachers?” Needless to say, tears started falling down.

Democratic Assembly Member Brett Hulsey's Door on Feb. 23

There were rallies. People occupied the Capitol, sleeping on the cold marble and air mattresses. Susan Sarandon came into town. Michael Moore. Tony Shaloub. But my favorite part? Seeing my town, my lovely, amazing town, come together and really dig in and learn and voice and share.

Miss Red and my Husband

Where are things now? Eh, pick up a paper or read something online. It’s a marathon and most of us are built for sprinting or watching YouTube videos, but there’s still that fire slowly burning.

Miss Red, Thug in Training, pre-rally, cookie in hand.

Where else have I been? Stay tuned for Part 2, The 20-hour Tour.

– MD

Where are you?

I don’t really like posts like these. But I’ve been so afraid to even open my blog, for fear of how much I’ve neglected it, that I needed to post something. So here it is. I’ll be back.

BRB.