Around Here Lately

Around here lately…I need an attitude adjustment. Yep, there have been some not-so-great things going on for the past 13 days. But, really, nothing is so bad. Mostly it’s inconvenient and irritating, which is what adult people deal with on a perpetual basis. So…MOVING ON.

Around here I’ve been taking a photo a day (Well, I take many more than one. But most are junk, so I just post the one.). I have been thinking about this photo-a-day thing for a while, and, well, there’s no time like the present. I wanted to do it to force myself to practice, take photos that make me feel something, and keep stretching my creativity.

I’ve also been feeling the creative juices flowing thanks to the fun people in my Creative Colleagues group. I need to feel connected to others, and I need to be creative, so this group helps with both those things.

Since I love connecting with people on deep, personal levels, I’ve been thinking about how I can do that more. I created a local chapter of creative colleagues, and that has been way more fun than I ever imagined. I’m not sure where this concept is going. But I’m going to keep working on it.

I also applied to a local venue to do a live SRB Podcast, and I’m polishing a piece I wrote to submit to The Washington Post On Parenting section. Just keep showing up. Just keep putting yourself out there, right?

Around Here Lately // Vol. 32

Phew! What a week! This week I started upping my hours for work. It’s nice to be able to start a project (with intention) and see it through. Previously, tasks took me a while because I only had 5 to 10 minute chunks to work. And now I have a nice, long stretch of time. I’m working my to-do list to keep myself on track and on task. So far, so good.

I also recorded two podcasts with two amazing women. We talked about fear, comparison, women in leadership, etc… I love recording this podcast because it gives me the opportunity to speak with powerful and influential women. I can wait to share these episodes with you!

This week I also went through my closet – again – and sent away a bag full of stuff to ThredUp. Have ever used ThredUp? It looks great. I love how I can send them my very gently used clothes, and if there’s anything they don’t want, they will responsibility recycle it. Win-win.

Also, this week, Thomas decided he gives ZERO f*cks about the household rules. No standing on the table? Psh! I don’t care. He’s not even 15 months, and he’s FULL ON TODDLER.

I also picked up the brand new Magnolia Journal. I mean, Chip and Joanna. Is there anything they can’t do?! It was a good read. If you see it, it’s worth picking up.

Here’s a few links I liked this week:

+On fear, criticism, scraps, and feast. Yep. That Ashlee, she’s got a way with words.

+Quartz is all the rage. Is it right for your house?

+I think I need three of these bracelets – one for each of my kids.

+Beatrice is currently sleeping on an old Costco dog bed…that smells. And I can’t get the smell out. I obviously want one of these. It would match my office decor perfectly (not to mention – waterproof and washable!).

This weekend Kate has a soccer game, and then, on Sunday afternoon, we’re taking Kate on a quick, surprise trip. Dan and I’ve been keeping it a secret for months. I can’t wait to see the look on her face when we tell her where we’re going.

Have a great weekend!

How Was Your Day?

Like most parents, I want to know everything about my kids’ days when they’re away from me. Even though I am eager to drop them off and run away, I’m just as eager to know what they did and with who and how they felt about it as soon as they’re back in my care.

But, also like most parents, I’m dealing with kids who either aren’t sure how to communicate what they did, don’t remember what they did, or are flat out sick of their parents asking them what they did.

The other day, at preschool pick up, I said something to Michael that accidentally changed that challenging after-school dynamic.

“Michael,” I said as I strapped him into the car seat, “want to hear about my day?”

“Yes!” he exclaimed with surprise. “What you do, mama?”

“Well,” I said, “I did the laundry, cleaned out the coffee maker, wiped up the kitchen…”

“Yeah,” he said, “What else?!”

“Hmmm…I answered email, I worked on my blog, I edited a podcast, and then I came to get you!”

“Good job, mama! Today I played truck with Cameron, ate snack…”

Ah, I thought, that was interesting. And he’s still chattering about his day, something about freeze dance and trucks. Usually, if I inquire about his school day, even in the most nonchalant way, he answer with: I not gonna tell you!

So at Kate’s pick up, I decide to try this again.

I slide open the van doors, give her a hug and kiss and I say, “Kate, want to hear about my day?”

Her eyes go big, and she says, “Yes! Tell me!”

I launch into a similar list of items I told Michael that morning, sometimes even making things up because it’s not really about me.

I’ve tried this experiment or several days now, and I’m amazed at how it’s changed that reconnecting time after school. Instead of trying to force an answer out of them, I give them time to recharge and reconnect with me when I go first. After I get things moving, they’re eager to share their day.

How do you get your kids to share their day? What works for you?

Around Here Lately // Vol. 31

It’s the dawn of a new era at Casa Bagley. I’ve been getting away without much childcare for as long as I could go. As a work-at-home mom, I guess I thought that I should be able to work…at home…with my kids around?

Well, it never worked out that great. And when I started taking on more hours at work, it made sense to get help. After some fits and starts, I found the most delightful young lady. I mean, delightful doesn’t even begin to describe how wonderful she is. I feel like an elephant has been lifted off my chest. I can finally take a deep breath. More on this later.

What else happened this week? Thomas started saying “good girl,” directed at Beatrice. We don’t know if he thinks her name is “Good Girl” or if that type of thing (dog) is called a “Good Girl.” But whatever he thinks, I don’t care. He’s just adorable when he says it. And with so much gusto!

I’ve been scheduling podcasts left and right and gearing up for Season 4. Wow. Season 4! I cannot believe it! I never, ever thought I’d podcast for this long. I never thought any one would be interested or want to be on the show. Wow. I love this medium, and I cannot wait to go in a slightly different direction for Season 4. Plus, I have some guests lined up that I cannot wait to speak to!

On these Friday round ups, I’m going to start sharing some of my favorite things/links from the week, too. So here’s that:

+I work for NDI, and I recently wrote a three-part series on why we decided to tear down our house and build new.

+Do you have a signature color? I’m obsessed with this topic. Kim and I talked about it in a recent 25% Friend episode, and Kelsey wrote about it recently, too. What do you think?! Do you have a signature color? I’m afraid to commit!

+Not going to lie. I ordered this in all the colors (during the 50% off and free shipping sale this week).

+The Rock in the Room. I think we can all relate to this.

+I’m currently reading this, thanks to Kelsey’s recommendation, and wow, this one is hard to put down.

+I’m also reading Amy Schumer’s book, which I’m also enjoying.

+Since it’s cooling down around here, I’ve been drinking tons of this tea from Trader Joe’s.

+I’m ALL about brief email. What do you think? No greeting, no closing? I’m less concerned about that, but when I write emails, I keep them as brief as possible. For work, sometimes I exclusively do bullet points.

Have a great weekend!

Around Here Lately // Vol. 30

img_0220img_0188What a week! What even happened…? Beatrice and I had dog training class. I worked on some personal projects and work projects. Opened a account…got excited about hiring someone to help out…and also freaked out about hiring someone to help out.

One of the best parts of the week was touching base with Nicole, the owner of Play, Work, or Dash. I’ve used Play, Work, or Dash with my boys several times, and I’ve also used it to host a writer’s group. I love Nicole – she’s authentic and creative and sweet. We talked about how hard it is to find a cohort of women doing the same thing, this work-from-home thing. So, if you’re a work-from-home mom, how do you do it? Do you get lonely? What do you do when you have ideas, but no one to share them with? Are you interested in collaborating with other work-at-home moms?

And speaking of which, Play, Work, or Dash hosted a session with Jennifer Mackey-Mary of Apple and Pear Wardrobe about rocking your wardrobe. As work-at-home moms and business owners, we are the brand. And we’re on all the time. So how we look matters. This was such a fun class, and I loved chatting with Jennifer and the other women about clothes.

I hope you have a great weekend! We’ve got a gloomy start, but I’m hoping the sun comes out soon!

Around Here Lately // Vol. 29

I got back Monday night from an amazing trip to Sedona to see Kelsey and Erica from The Girl Nextdoor Podcast. That trip was just what I needed (more on that later!), but, oh, man, was that a crash landing into this week!

After getting in late Monday, I had four evenings in a row of something going on at night! Tuesday night, dog class and then a mom’s group meeting. Wednesday was Back to School Night. And Thursday evening I met with a potential nanny candidate. Why?! Because on Wednesday my boss and I agreed on adding more hours to my work for her (!), so now I need help. I’m super excited about this opportunity. Now I just got to make the schedule work.

So, it’s been a whirlwind of a week, and I’m glad it’s the weekend! Nothing on the agenda tonight. But Saturday Kate has soccer, I have my last photography class (cry!), and Dan has a hockey game Saturday evening. And I’m hoping to get to the Capital Area Home Show! If you’re a local, are you going? Do you like going to Home Shows? I love them.

Have a great weekend!