Posts Tagged ‘Atlanta’

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How to … work from home with a newborn

October 9, 2009

My new friend Chris Jordan recently reminded me of the intricate dance between the schedule of a newborn and that of the baby’s caregiver. The dance is even more complex when the caregiver is also trying to accomplish something outside of feed, change, cuddle.

It has been 8 years since I was at home with a newborn Amelia, writing, designing and editing for a nonprofit….oh yea, and starting a small business called In-Depth Wraps. Because of the way we’ve worked around and actually with Amelia as she’s grown up, she has a greater understanding for what we do, and knows that our business allows our family a bit of freedom – like the ability to pop off in the middle of the day and do something together.

It was a different story with Jackson 5 year ago…at the time, we shifted duties so that I could be more full-time mom, less full-time partner. So, until this year, he didn’t really “get it”. The light bulb has come on, though – now he asks to help squeegee the vehicle wraps in our bay!

So, here are my Top Ten Tips for surviving the first year of working and taking care of a baby. Thanks, Chris, for helping me remember this wonderful time!

  1. When the baby takes nap #1, work. When the baby takes nap #2, sleep. When the baby takes nap #3, work. (Taking a nap midday does NOT mean you’re being lazy; you’re just proactively stockpiling sleep in preparation for what you’ll miss that night.)
  2. When you do put the baby to bed “for the night” (that could mean 7 consecutive hours for the lucky few, but most parents are thrilled with four in a row), hang out with your spouse. You will not realize how much you truly need adult conversation until you spend a few days alone with an infant.
  3. Make business calls with new or VIP clients while the baby naps (if it’s not time for nap #2, and then, go to sleep!).
  4. Make business calls with existing (long-term) clients when the baby is awake. They are more likely to be understanding of the occasional “coo”. You’ll figure out during the pregnancy which clients “talk baby” with you. Those are the ones you call while the baby’s awake!
  5. Eat. Eating is good for you and the baby, because it means more energy to take care of both of you! Don’t skip eating because “you don’t have time” – you’ll only get run down later and be less productive.
  6. It is perfectly fine to work a bit while the baby is awake. The mat for tummy time can be set up right beside your computer.
  7. Take advantage of your slow business times. Whether it’s a day or an hour, try using this time to do something different with your child. Take a stroll in the park. Read poetry. Dance.
  8. Don’t set a schedule. Schedules do not exist right now. Instead, set tasks for yourself, but allow leeway in the time to complete them.
  9. Accept that you may work all day in your pajamas. As long as you don’t go to a meeting that way, you’re good!
  10. Accept all offers of help. This is no time to be proud.
  11. (OK, I had to add one more) Take time to enjoy yourself and your baby. What good is working from home if you can’t have fun?


Do you have any more to add?

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My brownie made me do it.

July 6, 2009

Our seven-year-old is a Brownie Girl Scout (and a former Montessori kid) and I swear she secretly has the Three Rs emblazoned on her chest like Superwoman. Reduce, reuse, recycle…Repeat! She is saving the world one bottle at a time.

Before kids, we considered ourselves as earth-friendly as the next couple..we never littered and occasionally did a shoreline cleanup. While we’re not composting (who has time for a garden?) or driving a hybrid (though we’ve wrapped a few!), our environmental awareness has definitely been stepped up a few notches lately. We now haul our recycling to the recycling center (no one picks up out in the boonies!), we use the happy little reusable grocery bags instead of plastic, and we find infinite uses for things that were once headed for the dump. I even find myself now carting my plastic bottles home to recycle rather then throwing them away while I’m out (something for which I scoffed at a friend about a year ago!).

So, we were enjoying networking at a Chamber function last month with about 150 local business people when we looked around and noticed all of the bottles and cans people were tossing in the garbage. The little Brownie Girl Scout in my head screamed “nooooooo!” That’s when we strolled over to our favorite Chamber folks and asked if we could bring recycling bins to the Business After Hours events to collect the bottles and cans. They wanted to know how much we would charge! Umm…nothing? We just don’t want to see all of those recyclables in the trash!

So, we set up the first recycling bins at the Business After Hours at Wakoola Water Gardens (if you haven’t been there, it is amazingly beautiful). With no communication about the new bins other than the signs on the side, we got a great response. I’m planning an article for the Chamber newsletter so that people will begin to look for them next month.

AND, our Brownie was very pleased…but not just about the recycling. She was thrilled to rifle through the cans pulling pop-tops…her latest venture in support of the Ronald McDonald House. That little Brownie….

Recycling at the Cumming-Forsyth Chamber Business After Hours

Recycling at the Cumming-Forsyth Chamber Business After Hours

Shaklee distributor Tiffany Moen does her part to recycle at last month’s Business After Hours. Interestingly, Tiffany is a huge proponent of recycling and educates families about getting clean the “green” way through Shaklee’s environmentally-friendly cleaning products.

In-Depth Wraps Recycles

In-Depth Wraps Recycles

The indepthwraps.com Pacifica waiting to unload at the recycling center.

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We work weekends

June 10, 2009

When we say that we work weekends here at In-Depth, we’re not just talking about coming in for a few hours on Saturday. Let’s take this weekend. Between Friday and Sunday, we partially wrapped a race car, a van, a bucket truck, and a pickup truck, traveling from Alpharetta to Jasper. But we’re a FAMILY-owned business, right? So… in between those vehicle wrap installations, we also went to a Girl Scout skating party and a Dizzy Dean kids’ day at Turner Field. It sure is hard for me to type out the theme song to the circus…but “da-da-da-duh–da-da-da-da-da-duh”.

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In-Depth Wraps…a husband and wife team

June 3, 2009

Husband and wife team, huh? So, why haven’t you killed each other yet?

We get this question a lot. Did I say a lot? I mean ALL the time, seriously. Seems like as soon as people find out that we’re married AND in business together, we get that knowing smirk…then they ask.

We’ve been together for 16 years, married 11 years, and we’ve been business partners in In-Depth Signs & Designs a.k.a. In-Depth Wraps for 8. (OK, now that I’ve typed that…wow do we sound old!)

Anyway, maybe it’s the fact that we were friends before we dated, dated awhile before we married, were married a little while before we embarked on this journey we call “the business”…maybe that’s the reason we haven’t killed each other yet.

Baby steps, right? Well, yes and no. You see, there was this other small event in our lives right about the time we decided to start our own business…oh, nothing major, just a BABY! Yes, I was eight months pregnant when In-Depth was born. Our daughter has literally grown up in our business. She wants to learn Illustrator to help us design vehicle wraps. And then our son was born four years ago…he looks at green cars (why green cars?) and says “Mommy, we need to wrap that car!”

So…perhaps we’re just such a sweet and perfect couple? Umm, sadly no. That’s not it. We are sweet…well, wait…the female part of we is sweet.:) But like other couples, we do drive each other crazy on occasion, and we are FAR from perfect.

Maybe it’s the fact that we are so different, we can respect each other’s unique abilities. He’s incredible at business and big picture concepts (like how to manage large fleet graphic projects, which I still can’t get my arms around) and I’m great at marketing and creative stuff like designing vehicle wraps and tiny detail-oriented things like trimming graphics perfectly. (though he’s catching up to me on both accounts…) I’ve always thought that was why we’re still having fun in the midst of all of this craziness (and why we’re both still living). Don’t get me wrong. We still argue…over the normal stuff…and then the business stuff. Hopefully, the funny bits of those arguments will find their way into our blog.

Welcome to our blog. We’re gonna blog about what we know best…running a business together, running a family together…enjoying our crazy life.