Posts Tagged ‘Working Parents’


I was at work today talking to my boss, who gave me a great work-related compliment.  We were talking about some stuff that I’ve been doing with my new hire and our new programs.  She said to me, “See?  I told Bev (her boss) that I hired my replacement!”  How great is that?  I’m not one to crave compliments, and I’m definitely not one to share them with the world, but that was seriously one of the best compliments I’ve ever gotten, especially since I have nothing but respect for my boss…..and FYI, I’m really glad she’s not going anywhere soon!

The other compliment was related to parenting.  The Girl had a play date at her friend’s house today.  Her friend is one of 4 kid, ages 6, 4, 3, and 1.  The mother of these 4 beautiful children asked me how I make it though a day with a full time job and two kids!  That may not seem like a compliment to most, but to me, it was amazing.  I mean, this woman is the epitome of calm, and she’s in wonder about my day with only 2 kids!  I have it so easy compared to her, at least in my mind, and yet she said she couldn’t do what I do.  I’ll tell you what, I wouldn’t want to switch places with her either!  As much as I love my kids, I don’t want anymore, and I would not want to be a SAHM, because I have found that I’m just a better mom when I’m working.  That’s not to say that I don’t envy SAHMs, because I do.  I just know that I’m not made to be one.

So that’s that.  I had a great day today, and it was definitely enhanced by these two great compliments.  I hope tomorrow goes as well as today did!


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Photo by It’sGreg

Here it is, Thursday again. Ever since The Girl was born, I have hated Thursdays. I don’t know what it is about this day, but it always seems to be the worst day of the week for us. Even before The Girl started school, Thursdyas have been the day when she is just exhausted. Prior to moving to CA and prior to Brian being a stay-at-home dad (by day), the kids went to Grandma’s house while we went to work. So, by Thursday, it was harder to wake them up in the morning, and harder to to get them to come home after work.

Now that The Girl is in school, Thursday is even worse. She is still impossible to wake up on Thursday mornings. She dawdles all morning until we have to practically run to school to get her there on time (good thing it’s downhill!), and she’s a whiny little whiner by the time she gets home. Then, when I get home, I get to deal with the homework fight, and Thursdays are the worst homework days for her! She has to do a practice spelling test, do something creative to practice the spelling words, and practice for her timed math test. Ther eis usually other stuff she has to do too. Dinner is usually pizza or some other “fast” food, and bedtime is just as much of a nightmare.

And that’s just the kids! I am also quite tired by Thursday, and I usually have a meeting or two while at work, or I have to drive to one of the farther offices, which is not fun in LA traffic. A lot of times, I have to go to some store or another because we have run out of something, and I’m never in the mood to go. And if it’s getting close to the next payday, there is the “end of the paycheck” woes as well.

So, all in all, I’m not a fan of Thursdays. I’m also not a fan of February, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it!

On a positive note, family and friends in Michigan have written and called me to tell me how cold it is there. Here, it’s in the upper 90’s today. I’m so glad we moved to California!

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So, The Boy wouldn’t go to sleep Saturday night.  He said that his mouth hurt, and it looked like he had a canker sore.  He finally went to sleep around 1am, and woke up at about 8am crying about his lip, his ears, and his hands hurting.  Random, right?  Not so much, apparently.  We finally took him to the urgent care after listening to him cry for several hours (plus he threw up once – thought it might be related to the penny from Monday…still haven’t seen that thing come out) and it turns out that he has Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease.  I thought that was a cattle disease, but I was wrong…that’s Hoof and Mouth disease.  He also has a double ear infection.  Anywho, after a whole day and half the night, he’s feeling better today, but on 4 different medications.  Poor kid.

So, I hope that you all have a great Labor Day.  I’ll be cleaning the house for The Moms, who will be here on Wednesday, and trying to keep my little boy comfortable.

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photo by kraemer

So, it’s been a rough week in our house. It all started on Monday. I got home from work, and The Boy was napping. When he woke up, he was crying and coughing and I kinda thought he was going to throw up, but thankfully he did not. Anyway, he told me that it felt like something was stuck in his throat, and that it hurt. Well, The Girl had a sore throat last week, so I figured he caught it. I got him all snuggled up on the couch and about 20 minutes later, he bursts into tears and tells me that he swallowed a penny! So, I called Brian and made him come home from work, and we took him to urgent care. By the time we got the X-ray taken, it had passed through to his lower intestine, so we have spent the rest of the weekwaiting for him to poop a penny…so far, we have not seen the penny…although he’s a quick flusher, so we could have missed it.

The rest of the week was just spent with me driving all over LA county to my various programs, so not too excitig, but hectic just the same.

Now, we all have a cold, which means that we are all prett cranky. And I can’t stop falling asleep. I’ve taken more naps this week (3) than I have in quite a while. I’m hoping it’s just the cold. I suppose it could be stress too, but I guess we’ll see once the cold passes. EIther way, I need to get motivated because my house needs to get clean before the Moms come on Wednesday.

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Photo by Leo Reynolds

Well, it’s been a little over a week since Brian started his second job, and it’s been rough. I forgot how hard it is to coordinate schedules when we are both working. Here is what last week looked like:


8-4 (approximately) – I worked
4:30 – I got home

Correction:  I had that day off.  I completely forgot.  That’s bad when you can’t even remember a day off!  I think we went to the library that day…..anyway….

 4:40 – Brian left for his first day on the job.
4:42 – The Boy started crying because he missed Daddy
4:43 – I put in a movie for the kids to watch
4:51 – The Boy decided he didn’t like the movie and went to play in the bedroom…PEACE
5:30ish – I started dinner (Yep, I cooked that day…don’t get used to it). The Boy helped. The Girl continued to watch the movie.
6:30 – We ate dinner.
7:30 – I did the dishes while the kids played
8:00 – Bath
8:30 – Bedtime for the kids
8:35 – I collapse on the couch and watch John and Kate Plus 8 until Brian got home
Midnight – Bed


This was my birthday, and Brian didn’t work, so we went to the mall, out to dinner, and out for ice cream after I got home from work. It was a good day. Except for that pesky little earthquake thing.


See Monday, except I am fairly certain that I did not cook dinner…..I have no clue what we ate that day.  Also,I know that I actually did work that day.


I have no recollection of this day, except that Mark and Chelsey went home on So You Think You Can Dance, and I was pretty mad at how Last Comic Standing is going this year.


See Monday, except that Brian had to be to work at 3pm and our babysitter had to go to a wedding or something, so I had to go home from work early. I did not cook that day…I think we had pizza.


10-3ish – Brian worked his beach job. The kids and I did NOTHING.
3:05 – Brian got in the shower, I got the kids ready to go to The Girl’s friends house.
315 – Leave for said friend’s house
330ish – Brian left for job number 2
6ish – get home from friend’s house, realize there is nothing in the house for dinner. Decide to make Mac n Cheese…from a box
630 – Eat Mac N Cheese, with canned pears on the side.
7 – Take the kids to the playground before they die of boredom
8 – get home from the playground and throw the filthy children in the tub
8:30 – Brian’s home! Yay!
9 – Bedtime for the kids.
9:05 – Collapse on the couch and do nothing for a while, then went to bed


8 – I went to Walmart and the grocery store. I did not know that people are actually up this early on the weekend.
10-330ish – Brian worked his beach job. The kids and I picked up the house a little and did a miniscule amount of laundry
330 – Brian and I shower (individually), and start getting ready for our date night.
530ish – Hurray for the babysitter!!!!
6is – Brian and I left for a nice dinner
930 – get a phone call from the babysitter’s mom (The babysitter is only 16 years old) asking why the babysitter isn’t home yet…she was expecting her home at 8…..what???)
935 – We get home and send the babysitter home to her mommy. Kids are already in bed…Yay!
Midnight or so – Bed


Start over!

Ok, so this was hard enough, but now The Girl has to go and start school next week. So, the rest of this week will be spent trying to get the back-to-school shopping done, and next week, the hell that is school schedules will begin. I am so not looking forward to it….especially since we will lose our babysitter due to her school schedule as well. I can only hope that Brian’s second job continues to have him come in at 5pm, so that we don’t have to worry about the kids in the 2 hour window that would occur if he had to be to work at 3.

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Scrambled eggs

Originally uploaded by Big Al davies

I hate to cook. There is not one chore that I loathe more than cooking. Ok, that’s an exaggeration…I loathe most chores. But cooking has to happen every day. And I especially hate cooking on days when Brian is working in the evening, like tonight. My kids are so picky that they barely eat anything, especially if I cook it, so it’s basically like I’m just cooking for myself. And to be honest, if I lived alone, I would never cook. I would live off of microwavable paninis and pizza. But, with two little ones, I have to at least try to get them to eat a healthy meal now and then.

When Brian is home, it’s a lot easier. The kids will usually eat when he grills. But I don’t know how to use the grill. In fact, I refuse to learn. If I knew how to use the grill, I would never get a break from cooking! And if the kids don’t eat, at least he does, so stuff doesn’t go to waste. And yes, if I did cook when he was at work, I would make him a plate for when he gets home, but that is not the point of my little story, and in fact negates my point completely, so I don’t wanna hear it!

So, why am I telling you this? Because I’m procrastinating, that’s why. It’s almost dinner time, nothing has been thawed, and I really don’t want pizza, which is odd in itself because I love pizza, but I digress. Looks like we’ll be having what we call “Fend For Yourself NIght”. Of course, the kids are too little to actually fend for themselves, but on these nights we usually end up with sandwiches or Kraft Mac’n’Cheese, or maybe scrambled eggs and toast.

What do you do when you don’t want to cook? Leave us a message! Give me some ideas!!!! 🙂

Update:  I ordered pizza.  It’s not even here yet, and already I feel guilty.  Oh well, at least I was smart and ordered enough for leftovers so that we can have it for dinner tomorrow, when Brian is working again!  🙂

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Here it is, our first attempt at blogging!  Since this is our first post, you are probably wondering, “Who are these people?” and “What the heck are they writing about?”  So we figured we should give you a little bio and a synopsis of sorts, so here you go!


We are Brian and Shawna, parents of 2 beautiful children who, for the sake of the blog, we’ll call Q and LL or The Girl and The Boy, respectively.  Q is our oldest at 6 years old, and LL is 3 (and a half J ).  We just moved to beautiful Southern California from Michigan back in April of this year, and honestly, it was the best decision of our life!


I am Shawna, and I am still hanging on to 30 years of age (until 7/29), and I work full time in a large non-profit agency.  This position is what brought us out to Cali, finally. My area of expertise is employment.  I have worked in Vocational Rehabilitation for about 8 years now, and have extensive knowledge in how to find that perfect job.  I also write killer resumes.  J  I’m also, according to my husband, a geek.  Why?  Because I read.  I read books and blogs, and news websites.  He, however plays “MUD” games….which translates to a video game with no pictures…just text….and I’m a geek?  Whatever……


And, this grammar guru of the 30 region is Brian.  As far as employment goes, well, I have walked my share of career paths.  After getting a much desired degree in, wait for it… wait for it… German.  That’s right.  What do you do with a degree in German?  Well, stand-up comedy and acting, of course.  I was confident I could jump into the crazy world of Business.  The Detroit, MI area was booming with German based companies numbering nearly 250 when I finished the degree.  But, alas, the labor freeze had already iced over.  I needed work and found the title insurance industry.  Shortly thereafter, by a stroke of luck and with the help of some old friends, I became a German teacher.  For 2.5 years I taught the German language, history, culture and, of course, grammar.  I found it frustrating to have to teach English grammar before attempting the slightly different German version.  After this career, it was a short stint in title insurance again, then window tinting, and then… wait, window tinting?  Ok…?  Then I found what tends to fit my personality and skill set.  I worked in promotions at auto shows for Audi.  (German, Cars and Hugo Boss… YES PLEASE) Now, I still do promotions for a beverage company doing sampling and support and soon sales in retail.  How, you may ask did I come by this many jobs in a seriously down trodden economy… well, partly, my wife writes killer resumes and cover letters.  Now, I stay with the kids as much as possible during the day and work evenings and weekends.  Am I slightly more long-winded than Shawna?  Slightly.


As for our little blog, we are going to have a variety of topics that we’ll touch on, but they will be in two primary categories:  Job Hunting and Working Parents.  If we find that these two categories can’t coexist, we might split the blog up, but for now, they will be  together. 


On the Job Hunting side, we will provide tips, tricks, and anecdotes to help you find your perfect (or almost perfect) job.  Every so often, we will also have a post that is specific to addressing the challenges of looking for work when you have a disability, because this is a huge challenge, and needs to be addressed.  And, let’s face it, every blogger wants to make some money on their blog, right?  So don’t be mad at me for offering to write and/or revise your resume for a small fee.  J 


On the Working Parents side of things, we are going to share with you how we handle different situations, including childcare, schedule conflicts, and all of those other things that come up when both parents work.  And Brian may just speak his mind now and then on a variety of topics he… … struggles with.  Maybe even some that could be useful for younger readers.  For example, how to use proper grammar in a world ruled by the ‘get it, do it, say it NOW’ philosophy.  It’s still important to know how to talk without sounding unintelligent, especially when you are interviewing. 


If you have questions related to our topics, or just want to say hi, please feel free to email us at shawna.and.brian@gmail.com.



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