What we’ve been up to October edition

I think we’re over due for an update/photo filled post. So here’s what we’ve been up to this October!

We went to the Perth Royal Show to see what all the fuss was about. We had a fabulous day, it wasn’t too hot or crowded!

We had to visit the mining pavilion…

Daddy showing Eden the ropes

Tim LOVED this creature

feeding the lambs

She prefers eating whole carrots

Chicks

We watched these cuties for a while.

As you can see we focused on the animal activities and did the Yellow Brick Road Show bag…we avoided the rides because we thought $6 a pop was extremely expensive, and not worth it. Eden loves animals and it was a fabulous family day out!

Tim went on a canoe trip with some guys from our church. We have a water proof camera (up to 10m) so he brought it along!

The Dwellingup River (pronounced ‘dwelling up’)

A couple of friends in their “canoe” – these plastic monstrosities are made to withstand a beating

Very coolly-eroded rocks around one of the sets of rapids (the river was relatively low)

We celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving with some of Tim’s colleagues.

Table set for Thanksgiving Dinner

Bon Appetit!

We painted with mulberries (before we knew they were edible)!

Using natural paint

We had family photos taken by Tiny Feet Photography (we don’t have the high res ones yet but you can see some on facebook).

We picnicked on the South Perth Foreshore.

Pre-supper pancake waiting for Daddy.

Kate also ate before Tim arrived, Tim’s office is one of the large buildings in the background.

Keeping an eye on the gull

Straight to the river to dip their toes in when Daddy got off the ferry.  When Tim got out Eden exclaimed “Daddy work on that boat!” – so now Eden thinks he’s a sailor, or a ferry captain.

Testing the water

The wind was a bit chilly after supper but Kate was still smiling as usual.

Post supper beach time.

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The End of an Era (for all those involved with Radian6)

Salesforce.com…

I was working for Radian6 on the day it was announced that we were being purchased by global enterprise software company Salesforce.com.  It was a day filled mostly with excitement, as most of us realised that our stock options would suddenly acquire value, particularly those who had been around since the beginning. I had joined Radian6 during it’s adolescence I suppose, so for me it became a nice bonus; for others, it was their ticket to freedom from debt, or a new porsche (see here for my thoughts on that).

There was a slight sense of trepidation in the room as well… would our roles be relocated to San Francisco (Salesforce’s HQ)?  Would we all keep our jobs?  These fears were quickly dismissed by executives from our side (r6) and theirs (SF), who assured us that it was business as usual, just under new ownership.  We even got to keep our logo and a measure of autonomy, so we were happy.

Radian6 was a great place to work.  I studied (and enjoyed) geology in university, but due to life circumstances I ended up out of my field for a bit, living in Fredericton.  When the opportunity/recommendation came up to take a job in customer support with Radian6, I was more than a little hesitant.  I thought customer support jobs were Bad.  We were basically living in poverty at the time, but I still resisted the many recommendations I’d received to look into Radian6.  When I finally gave in and applied (interviewed, accepted, etc.) I was very pleasantly surprised.  For one thing, the business/product itself was very cool.  More significantly, the work atmosphere was excellent.

I’m usually really slow to bond with colleagues, just slow to let people into my life in general I guess.  I’m not really sure why or when that started, but in the past few years I’ve found myself very hesitant when it comes to combining work life and personal life.  I’m not sure if I like it this way, but that’s beside the point.  At Radian6, I immediately felt like part of a close-knit team of friends more than colleagues.  We all pitched in to help each other solve cases, and there was an endless supply of jokes and light-hearted banter.  There was an incredible amount of trust going both ways (from management to us and vice versa).  We saw the company executives all the time, wandering around on the same level as us, even drinking the same free drinks and eating the same free snacks that came with salesforce acquisition.  Times were good!

Alas, in summer of 2011 I received an offer out of the blue to go work in my own field in Australia, so… well, sorry Radian6, but there are some opportunities one ought not just let slip by.  Besides, the timing was uncanny (but that’s another story).  We left for Australia with a great deal of excitement, although I still often miss my co-workers and the fun times we had at Radian6, to this day.

Now, given the latest news, I’m afraid it’s all spoiled.  It’s the end of an era that we felt assured would not come.  I’m afraid it’s never going to be the same, and in a selfish way I’m glad I’m not a part of it.  You see, nobody wins now.  Sorry Marcel and co., but I highly doubt that the trust that was established amongst your employees at all levels can continue.  There are two ways of looking at it: either you (plural) personally made the decision to let all these people go, thus crushing the whole “we’ve been bought out by the big guys but we’ll remain a successful, autonomous, local operation” notion yourself; or, your will was overridden by those above you, leaving you powerless to combat the tide of what you carried the company into.  Either way I’m afraid the employees left behind in the wake of today’s layoffs will realise/perceive that you are no longer on their side, or powerless in spite of your best intentions.  It’s an awful situation to be in, for all parties involved.

Would things have been different if Radian6 had stayed local?  I’m no business man, but I can’t help but think Radian6 was sustainable on its own.  Were we not pleasing customers and making money?  Whatever, what’s done is done, but today I’m grieving for my friends who lost their jobs and for the ones who’ve been left behind to dwell in an environment where the word from the top is no longer trustworthy.  I’m sure business will carry on just fine from the outside, but I think some of the soul will be lost.

Maybe I’m being melodramatic (I have a tendency to lean that way), but I do believe this marks the end of an era.  I’m grateful for the experience I had during the Radian6 golden years.  To those who have been let go, I strongly recommend taking the opportunity to start a new thing; something you’ve been passionate about/interested in for a long time but never felt like you could make the transition to.   This might be your only chance for such a fresh start, while you’re still relatively young (most of us working there were!).  Radian6ers are smart, versatile, clever people – that is what got us the jobs; use those skills to succeed at whatever you attempt next.  I wish you all the very best of luck and pray that you will find peace amidst this hardship.

Anyone who has the ability (and freedom) to do so, feel free to tweet this out on my behalf if you like, since I deleted my Twitter account a couple of months ago.

À la prochaine.

A day in the life: Kathryn, Eden, and Kate

To be honest I had no idea what it going to be like when we signed up for this FIFO lifestyle. I knew it was going to be tough…like actually tough, not like “husband came home for work later then expected and wife had to do all the supper prep, bathe and put kids to bed solo tough”…I guess it is like that, except for 8 days straight. To be honest we have it pretty good, I know people whose husbands work 3 weeks on and 1 week home. Some have worse rosters then that, like 8 weeks away and 2 home…heard of someone doing that this week. I know I wouldn’t sign up for that, ever, you couldn’t pay me enough.

That said, you (as in our loyal readers….are there any of you still sticking around?) may wonder how I “survive” those 8 days as a single mother to a baby and a toddler when Tim’s away.

Kate being cute! She just goes with the flow.

Every other Tuesday Tim leaves around 4:30am (I’m only semi-conscious at this time so I’m not sure exactly when he leaves). The night before we tell Eden that Daddy is going to work and he won’t be home when she wakes up in the morning. Normally when she wakes up that next morning she asks where daddy is but she seems to understand now and doesn’t really get upset when I tell her he’s gone to work. Often that first day is a little rough for Eden, she’s used to the extra attention that Tim gives her when he’s home so I try it keep our day pretty low key so I have time for extra snuggles and playing with her.

We just tried out a new play group today and it was fantastic. I think we’re going to start going regularly on Tuesday mornings as there were a lot of kids Eden’s age and a lot of really friendly moms! I’m really excited to get to know some people in my suburb!

I try to have a meal plan made for the time when Tim’s away. Often the night before he leaves he runs out to the grocery store for the things I need. I like to have some stuff in the freezer as well for those days I don’t have leftovers and I don’t have the energy to cook. We love having a stock of frozen pancakes (currently we’re out…) and some easy meals like fish and french fries (chips) and frozen corn and peas. I also freeze some leftovers like chilli and soup when I make big batches. I have some great recipes for freezing slow-cooker meals altogether so you can just throw the bag in the slow-cooker in the morning and at supper your meal is ready. I’ve done this a few times and it’s great, I really need to make up a few to have on hand again. The problem is that we have quite a small freezer so I have to be very careful with my space. Summer is coming so I’m going to be stocking up on smoothie ingredients as well. Having food and a meal plan really helps keep me organised for the week and confident that I can feed my family without a lot of stress.

Every morning we get up sometime between 6 and 6:30 usually. I normally wake up to the girls chatting away in their room (they’re sharing now!) sometimes Eden is singing songs which I absolutely love. We recently had to take all of the books out of her room because she kept ripping them apart for some reason. I’m sure we’ll eventually put them back. Then it’s diaper change time and breakfast. Every breakfast we read a chapter from the Jesus Storybook Bible, which is a fantastic children’s bible. It’s a really nice way to start our day together as a family (whether Tim’s home or not). Then normally I settle in my chair with my tea, my iPad, and Kate and she nurses while I drink tea and check emails/Facebook. Sometimes Eden asks to watch a DVD and I normally let her. She likes Franklin (mom sent one over and it’s a big hit around here), Play School (my favourite), Barney, and Wiggles. Most of them are under an hour long and that usually gives me a chance to nurse Kate and get ready for the day while she’s occupied.

I have noticed recently that she has more “freak outs” the mornings she watches tv so we may have to rethink this routine but for now it seems to be working. At least I have the chance to get things together while she’s happily entertained for a while.

Jazzie Cazzies!

We normally head out of the house some time between 9 and 9:30 to various activities. Mondays we have church play group, Tuesdays we have our new playgroup, Wednesdays is Jazzie Cazzies (a music and movement class), Thursdays we stay home because we have a cleaner come fortnightly…an amazing treat that I’m a little embarrassed about but it’s seriously awesome, Fridays is storytime at the library, Saturdays are free, Sundays are church. All of our activities end around noon so we return home and have lunch.

After lunch is nap time and if I’m lucky both girls sleep at the same time. Eden pretty regularly sleeps for about an hour and a half which is great! After nap time we have a snack and then play time at home (outside or in) until supper.

She loves to read! (before the books were removed…)

At home Eden likes to play in the sand pit, paint, play with play dough, play with toys, colour, puzzles, play in soapy water in the sink, cook in her play kitchen…and if I feel ambitious bake cookies or muffins .

At around 4, sometimes earlier, I start getting supper ready and we often eat between 4:30 and 5. Yes it’s early but I find that if I put it off I’m just asking for tears and stress. Between 5 and 6 we tidy up the toys, have a bath (not every day), brush teeth, pick out bedtime stories, and get jammies on so that when 6 arrives both girls are all ready for bed! Tim finishes work at six and we chat on FaceTime (basically Skype for Apple mobile devices). We often chat for about 20-30 minutes, so Tim can see the girls and say goodnight.

Since the girls started sharing a room we’ve been reading stories on “mommy and daddy’s bed” and I nurse Kate while we’re doing that. She tends to fall asleep (if Eden is semi calm) and then I can lay her down in her crib. I have a snuggle with Eden and we pray together and then I carry her “like a baby” into her room and lay her in bed. If everything goes perfectly then she just rolls over and goes to sleep. This is around 7 usually. If Kate doesn’t fall asleep while we’re reading we all go into the girls room after the stories are finished. Eden climbs in bed and “gets cozy” and I sit and feed Kate. Eden often requests that I tell a story (or 5) so I’ve been doing that a lot lately. After Kate falls asleep I crawl into Eden’s bed with her for a snuggle and some kisses and then leave her to fall asleep alone.

I then wash the dishes, finish tidying up and make myself a tea.

To be honest I really enjoy my evenings when Tim’s away. I like that time to myself to do whatever I want. It may sound strange but I think I’m going to miss that time when he works his regular office hours. Don’t get me wrong, I do love having him home!

We chat on the phone before we go to sleep every night and I try to be in bed by 10!

So that’s it, my life while Tim’s away!