Saturday, January 26, 2013

Oh! Mama's a radio operator!

So one other thing that's been keeping me busy the last few weeks?  The new job I started in early January.  :)

I've spent the last several months dissecting what I did and didn't like about my two stints as a corporate litigator, and trying to think through potential alternative career paths.  I figured I would start looking in earnest again after the new year, and I wanted to get a sense of what my options might be.  (Because much though I really, truly love being at home with the kids, there are financial considerations that mandate my going back to work in some capacity.  And I've been thinking a lot about what constitutes productive and satisfying work, inside and outside of the home, and in traditional and non-traditional fields.  That's a whole other very long-winded and philosophical blog post that I do eventually want to try my hand at writing...)

Anyways, in December, I reached out to a recruiter I had worked with in the past, just to see what openings there might be in the area.  And I mentioned in passing that I would also be open to more non-traditional legal jobs as well.  The recruiter wrote me back with a few law firm options, and then spent a couple paragraphs gushing about how much she loved her job as a legal recruiter.  Intrigued, I had a phone call with her where she set out all the pluses of her job -- extreme flexibility, ability to work remotely from home, the highly people-oriented nature of the work, and the very real potential for bringing in a nice income.  She noted that the typical successful recruiter is someone who loves talking to people, is extremely organized, and is motivated enough to take control of his/her career.  All of which sounded very, very attractive to me!

So I interviewed with her firm in early January, and ended up accepting their offer to join their ranks as an independent contractor.  The scary part is that my income is entirely commission-based -- I'm entitled to a sizable fee with every placement I make, but I have to make those placements.  I'm encouraged, though, by the firm's very strong reputation with law firms all over the country, and by the excellent support staff and business model as a whole.  And after doing this for a couple weeks, I'm optimistic that this could actually work out.  And I'm really enjoying the day to day work so far!

I had several days of training in the office in New York, and now we've set up a nice little home office for me.  For the first time EVER, we actually have a landline.  ;)  I'm working from home on the days when David isn't on campus (2.5 days a week), plus at least a few evenings after the kids are in bed.  So far, this balance and flexibility is really working out for us!

Oh, and the title of this blog post comes from Joshua's reaction to my home office setup.  :)  I showed him my headset, telling him that this is what I get to wear for my new job.  He clapped his hands with glee, and shouted, "Oh!  Mama's a radio operator!"

Given that this is a reference to one of his current favorite books, I'm taking this as a sign of approval.  :)

So thankful for this new line of work, and praying that this will indeed end up providing the work/life balance we've been seeking for so long!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sophia Watch: Five Months

[Backdating this one, too -- the photos were at least taken right after Sophia turned five months old!]

Our happy, smiley, sweet-tempered little angel is five months old!  She's growing so fast, and her personality is coming out more strongly every day -- it's clear that she's an easy-going and very happy little girl!  Case in point: she literally giggled her way through our five-month session, giving me gems like this one:

What an enormous, adorable grin!  She will pretty reliably smile back at us when we smile at her these days.  David and I both think that she's more readily smiley than Joshua was at this age -- and Joshua was a pretty happy baby!

Sophia also laughed for the first time the day she turned five months old!  I was holding her right after a nursing session, patting her back while she leaned over my shoulder.  Joshua was watching with great fascination, as he usually does when I'm burping her.  Sophia then found one of her hands and started sucking on it, as she typically does.  For some reason, Joshua thought this was hilarious and started laughing, shouting gleefully, "Sophia's eating her fingers!"  Sophia looked startled at first, but as Joshua continued laughing, she gave a big belly laugh of her own!  The two of them kept laughing at and with each other for a solid five minutes, and my head exploded from the cuteness.  :)

Thinking back on the last month, there haven't been that many huge milestones.  Sophia doesn't love tummy time, so we don't spend a lot of time pushing her to get used to being on her belly.  Consequently, she hasn't rolled over yet, and she's nowhere near crawling or sitting unsupported.  But to be honest, I'm almost hoping she'll be later to roll/crawl/sit/walk.  This is probably all part of her being a second child -- but it's kind of nice that Sophia is still content with being immobile and just watching the chaos around her, mostly caused by her big brother.  :)  I do make sure, though, to carve out lots of physical playtime specifically for Sophia -- while tummy time isn't her favorite thing in the world, she does enjoy standing on my legs facing outward and viewing her world from that vantage point.  And she finds "flying" like an airplane to be at least a curious and interesting activity.  :)  We'll see whether she enjoys being flung about in the air as much as her brother does!

And now, some photos!  I'm mixing in a series I took of Sophia while we were out in Indy over Christmas -- I love all of her facial expressions!

And one little video of Sophia giggling at mama's antics during our five-month shoot!

Happy five-month birthday, little one!  We love you so much, and can't wait to see how you continue to grow and change and brighten our family!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Christmas in Indy!

[Backdating this post since it's now been a month since Christmas...  This one's a long one, with tons of photos, so I hope that helps make up for the long radio silence!]

We had such a wonderful time with family out in Indianapolis this Christmas!  We've seen enough of Grandma and Grandpa (and Uncle Iain and Aunt Erin!) that the kids are now completely comfortable with them, which makes for an even nicer and more relaxing vacation.  Joshua in particular absolutely loves hanging out with his grandparents -- they shower him with more focused attention than he generally gets from his poor, tired parents on a daily basis.  ;)  And they have different toys!  And books!  And an old helium birthday balloon!!

Christmas day was so much fun this year.  Joshua really got into the opening of presents (so much so that he woke up on the 26th and asked hopefully to open more presents...), and he loved all the very thoughtful and fun gifts he received!  Iain and Erin found these brightly colored silicone coasters, designed to wrap around the bottom of the glass and distinguish it from others' glasses.  Technically, I think they were a gift to me and David, but Joshua saw them and immediately claimed the colorful circles as his own.  :)  As Iain predicted he would!  They also got him a set of building squares (again, symmetrical and brightly colored), and he was fascinated by how they fit together into different configurations.

(You can see he also received a set of stickers from Grandma, one of which was promptly affixed to the front of his sweater!)

But I'm afraid everything else immediately paled into insignificance when he opened his big! red!! FIRE TRUCK!!! from Grandma and Grandpa.  :)  A button on top makes the lights flash and the siren play (thankfully, not too loudly or long), and there's a crane ladder and a rubber hose and two little firefighters to drive the truck.  Joshua was utterly transfixed, and played with nothing else for the rest of the morning.

Where was Sophia during all this?  Fast asleep upstairs, I'm afraid...  But she made out like a bandit with cute and fun presents from everyone, all of which Joshua delighted in helping me open.  :)  And once Sophia woke up, we had a fun little Christmas photo shoot with the kids!  Where I managed to get a photo with both kids looking at me and looking happy!

Most of the other shots I got looked more like this:

Though that last one really melts my heart!

OK, gotta pick up speed and get through the rest of this photo dump recap...

Joshua got his first real playing in the snow experience while we were out in Indy!  There was a massive snowstorm just after Christmas, so David and Iain went out to shovel out the driveway before the snow got piled up too high.  And Joshua went to help!  :)

And to wrap things up, a series of Sophia on various relatives!  :)

All four of us had such a wonderful time over Christmas.  And we can't wait until the next time we get to hang out with family!