Friday, June 24, 2011

An Announcement

No, we're not having another baby.

I'm going back to work full-time.

I had toyed with the idea of going back to work if a good opportunity arose.  Last week a friend emailed me to see if I'd be interested in applying for a position with a construction company on the UA campus.  She had worked for them and praised them for being very family-oriented and flexible.  I submitted my resume for the sake of not passing up an opportunity.  I interviewed and was offered the position.  This happened in the course of a few days, all while Paul was away on business.

My biggest concern has been finding excellent childcare for Joey and Charlotte.  I want to put them in a church preschool, but unfortunately, most of those have waiting lists so they will be going to another school temporarily.  I want my mom to retire so she can take care of my kids!

I can see many positives aspects of going back to work. 
  • Joey will thrive in a learning-centered preschool program.  She needs stimulation that I am just not able to give.  And she watches too much TV.
  • Although a large portion of my take-home pay will go to childcare, there will be some left over.  Extra money is good.
  • The time that I spend with my kids will be quality over quantity.
I have also had apprehensions about this decision.
  • Joey has had me at home for her entire life, but I have only been home with Charlotte for 5 months, and she's just so darn cute and cuddly.  She won't have the same experience as her sister.
  • What if my kids hate their school?
  • I struggle with meal-planning and grocery shopping already.  Will we be eating hot dogs and grilled cheese for dinner every night?
I will miss a lot of things about being a stay-at-home mom.  I will miss Joey's activities that we do every week, like music at CHOM and story time at the library, and I'll miss cuddling with Charlotte all day.  But I'm also excited about going back to work, and overall, I think this will be good for my family.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Last week I took Joey bowling for the first time.  AMF has a free kids summer bowling program, but "free" actually translated to about $20 for me to bowl, our shoe rentals, bumper lanes, and a bottle of water.  For an hour.
Joey rocks the bowling shoes
If it weren't for bumpers, Joey's score would have been Zero (and my score would have been much lower).
Joey's ball stopped in the middle of the lane several times
Joey and Mommy - tied
Taking a break
Joey enjoyed herself and I think this would be a great game to teach Joey how to take turns.  It doesn't hurt that the bowling alley is air-conditioned!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Josephine Losavio: Child Star

Several weeks ago we were asked to be in a commercial for the University of Alabama Alumni Association.  The theme was "Today and Always" and it was set to air at graduation, but due to recent events graduation has been postponed.

The commercial was filmed at a tailgate on the quad during A Day.  Even though she ate nearly a whole package of Chips Ahoy, Joey was on her best behavior and took direction extremely well.

A-day Rough from Gray Lloyd on Vimeo.

Joey is definitely the star!  Do you think she has a future as a child actor?

Look closely and you'll see Charlotte too!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Joey's New Room

About a year ago, I was inspired to build bunk beds for Joey.  Yes, build.  Like with wood and tools.  And my pregnant self was flying solo because my husband didn't quite share my vision.  It took several weeks but I managed to get all of the pieces cut, put together, and primed.  I assembled the bottom bunk in Joey's room and (oops!) they didn't quite fit.  Well, they fit, but since the room has two walls of windows, the only place that they "fit" was in front of a window, which just didn't look right.  Plus she would kick the blinds with her feet and I really didn't want them to fall on her.  So I didn't even bother to assemble the top bunk. 
Since I was pregnant with Charlotte at the time, this project went on the back burner.  But almost a year later, after several months of looking at Joey's incomplete bed and the pieces of the top bunk scattered throughout the house, I needed to check this project of my list.

I realized that Joey's bunk beds would fit better in our office/guest room, and when I suggested the idea to Paul he wasn't opposed to it.  Although the room is smaller, it has more wall space which was needed for the beds.  The room needed some work, though.  The walls needed to be painted (green, since it's Joey's favorite color), the ceiling needed to be scraped, sanded, and repainted, and all of the trim needed to be painted because it was a lovely shade of dinge.

We decided to tackle this project over Memorial Day weekend.

Our plans were to get started Friday night since Joey was sleeping at a friend's house.  We weren't fond of the popcorn-textured ceiling, so Paul's task was to scrape, sand, and paint it.  We cleared most of the furniture out of the room, but Paul wasn't feeling well thanks to something that he *ahem* consumed, so the ceiling didn't get done that night.

Paul was feeling better Saturday morning, so he got to work on the ceiling while Charlotte and I bought our paint.  Joey wanted her room to be green, her favorite color, so we wanted a green that flowed well with the rest of the house, was youthful, and not too bright.  We settled on Laura Ashley Apple 4 (available at Lowe's), but had it mixed in Glidden at The Home Depot to save some money.  Saturday was spent working on the ceiling, painting the walls, and painting the trim.  That seriously took all day.  Things take twice as long when you have children to tend to!
Disassembling the desk
Charlotte and Macy checking out the action
After scraping and sanding the ceiling
Fresh paint
On Sunday, we painted more trim and Paul painted the ceiling.  We then set up her bunk beds in her new room.  That was fun.  Fortunately our neighbors had company and we were able to borrow some manpower to lift the top bunk into place.  It was heavy as all get out.
On Monday, while Paul was at the park with both girls, I painted the beds and moved the girls' dresser in.  When he returned we attached the beds, installed the rails on the top bunk, and moved the mattresses in.  I've realized that making the bed on the top bunk is really a chore, so if you have some tips please share!

Voila!  Joey's beds:  a year in the making! 
There is still work to be done.  In Joey's old room, she didn't have a place for books, besides the messy pile next to her bed (her books are kept with the grown-up books in the living room).  I saw a blog post about using Ikea spice racks as book holders and thought that they would be great in Joey's new room.  Paul happened to be in Atlanta for business a few weeks ago and actually offered to go to Ikea to purchase some of these spice racks.  We'll be mounting them on the wall soon.

We'll need to hang Joey's responsibility chart and the clock that she wanted for her birthday, and Picasso line drawings from her old room.

Right now Charlotte's crib is still in Joey's old room, our new office/play room/guest room.  But cribs are temporary, and when she's big enough to sleep in a big girl bed she can have the top bunk.  Kidding.

All of the work that we've put into Joey's new room has been totally worth it.  She is thrilled with her new space.


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