With two boys I’m a huge fan of kid casual wear and clothing items that are going to last the entire time my kid fits into them. IFME Children’s Footwear sent complimentary shoes for me to try out with my sons and share my thoughts with readers. As always, all opinions are my own. To see my review posting policies please visit my policies page.
When the ultrasound showed me I was having my second son all I could think about was how the boys would someday be friends. And then I thought about all the cute outfits I’d get to dress them in. Yep, I’m that mom.
While I lean against matching outfits, I do love a good coordinated ensemble. When IFME Children’s Footwear sent me their lookbook of bright, colorful, and comfortable footwear for both babies and children I couldn’t resist a Brother Style post featuring brightly colored and playful kid casual wear.
The day I took these photos it was ridiculously bright outside and the Waffle Window across the street from this amazing wall was busy! After we shot our photos and enjoyed some waffles at least four other groups of people took photos at this wall. We ended up giving our balloons to someone who was celebrating his birthday and wanted to take photos with the yellow and teal. A great color combo if I might say. Speaking of great color combos… the fun color combinations of these shoes inspired the whole brother style photo shoot. I wanted it to be casual and bright.
Stripes, denim and the IFME shoes really gave the fun and casual feel that I wanted for the day. I didn’t worry about anything getting ruined when we ate waffles and played in the park. Perfect for two busy little guys.
IFME (The name IFME, short for “IF it was ME,” reflects the brand’s deep commitment to customer satisfaction) was launched in 1999 in Japan as the original brand of Marubeni Footwear. With a priority on the healthy development of children’s feet, the brand was developed based on research and development with Japanese medical professionals specializing in pediatric podiatry. Since 1999 IFME has sold a total of 16 million pairs of shoes globally and is launching in the states in spring 2016. Marubeni has named North American Shoe Company as its U.S. distributor and is looking to expand the iconic brand in the U.S. market. For more information, please visit www.IFMEUS.com or IFMEUS on Facebook, @IFMEUS on Instagram, and @IFMESHOESUS on Twitter.
Our four-year-old is currently in 5T clothing and wears size 1 shoes in US child sizing. He is wearing the Racer shoes in blue in yellow from IFME. His shirt is a red striped shirt with chest pocket from Target and his denim shorts are from Old Navy.
Our little seven-month-old is currently wear 12MO clothing and wears a size 5 in US Baby sizing. He is wearing the yellow-green Venice shoe from IFME. His overalls are hand-me-down Levi shortalls (similar) and shirt is a blue and white striped polo that was a part of another outfit.
How was your Mother’s Day? I hope you either spent some time being pampered or pampering someone you call mom. I had a lovely day, even if nearly the whole family has come down sick. It was nice both getting some alone time and getting some time with my boys.
I got to spend the day with my lovely mother-in-law who will never truly know how much I appreciate her. She is a wonderful mother-in-law and fabulous grandma, but the fact that she was (and still is) a fantastic momma to her own kids led to me having a husband who is kind and giving, a wonderful partner and parent.
I missed a few mommas and had to phone in my happy wishes for the day. I have had the good fortune of having a friend in my own mother and wonderful examples of mothers in my grandmothers. I think it took having children, or perhaps finally get to a certain age, to truly understand all that the mothers in my life have done. I hope that the way I live my life, the choices I make and the work I do is a good reflection of the work that they put into me.
This year I participated in a little “Mother’s Day Gift to Myself” series that I really enjoyed, not only writing, but reading throughout the weeks coming up to mother’s day. It really got me thinking on the subject and I felt a little bit more like I appreciated myself and this chapter of my life.
Check out my story about a recent moment with my son when he asked me, “Mom, do you get a prize when your reach 100?”
Meet Joan, a working mother and a part of a blog series of stories of working moms. I’m excited to share 13 stories from real working mothers. I also really would like to hear YOUR story and I’d love to hear it. Keep the conversation going in the comments & on social media using #wellcraftedworkingmoms. A huge thank you to the women who volunteered to share their stories, Mary Boyden of Mamma Bear Magazine for her photography and Madeline Roosevelt for hair and makeup!
Joan and I are nearing our ten year friendaversary. We met through my husband as she was a coworker of his at Borders. Joan and I have been through thick and thin over the years and I can truly say that I think of her as a sister. She is my first son’s Oddmom and has been a wonderful constant in his, and my life. She is also featured all over this blog so she may be a familiar face for many of you.
I knew long ago that Joan was a fantastic graphic designer. (Check out the work she did on my first and second baby showers. Amazing, right?) I’d honestly equate her ability to turn nothing into something beautiful as magic if I hadn’t seen her doing it time and time again. On top of a talented worker, Joan is an amazing parent. I often learn tricks and tips from just watching her with her son or mine. I’m very excited that she agreed to do this interview with me.
Joan and her husband have been together for about fifteen years and have been married for ten of those years. Their son Desmond is two years old. Joan worked as a graphic designer in the printshop of a healthcare company before, during and after her pregnancy.
“I worked throughout my pregnancy, until 2 days past my due date (well into the largeness that makes people’s eyes go big with concern.) It was a big priority for me to spend as much time as possible with the kiddo once he arrived, and working right until delivery day was part of the scheme,” she said.
Joan shared about why she likes her job, “My job is a nice mix of creative work and craft. I really love working in print. I love the noise and busyness, the smells of ink and paper. I like bending technology to my will, and using the tools I have to make things more beautiful, useful, and intuitive. I love the moment when a piece of the design falls into place; you exhale, and everything is quiet and peaceful inside. In my more vain moments, I really like seeing something I designed, crisp and perfectly trimmed; or as an enormous print.”
She also has found that it is pretty difficult to beat the benefits of working in a union shop at a healthcare company.
She explained, “There is a LOT of comfort in knowing that if something goes horribly wrong with our health, that we won’t be broken financially.”
In thinking about working during her child’s early years she shared that though this is a hard time, it is ultimately what is best for their family.
“I have a lot of fears about leaving the field and not just losing ground professionally, but also losing the confidence it takes to do creative work for a living,” she said.
“Things are winding down to a more sensible pace now that we have a toddler instead of an infant. He still needs pretty constant attention, but he’ll play independently more often. Also, no more pumping/bottle cleaning shenanigans. Or waking up at all hours of the night,” said Joan of their daily work-week schedule.
She wakes up around 6:45 in the morning. Her husband will make the coffee and pack bags while she gets Dez dressed for the day and ready to head out the door. They leave the house by 7:30 AM and she does her one hour commute that includes daycare drop-off. She typically arrives to work at 8:30 AM.
During her lunch break she typically runs errands, naps, or takes a walk and chooses to eat at her computer. She leaves work around 5:15 PM, picks up her son and is often home around 6:15 PM.
Brandon usually makes the family dinner while Joan spends time with the kiddo. They eat as a family and Joan cleans up while Brandon spends time with Dez. They finish the evening off with some family time before starting the bedtime routine of bath and books.
“Kid’s down by 9:30 and by then we’re usually pooped,” she said.
“I think our generation has had a tough time of learning how to be married with undefined gender roles. Each couple finds their own way. It’s hard to find a balance that doesn’t leave anyone feeling resentful or less than. But when a balance comes, I think it can make for a very profound partnership. As we work on this partnership, our balance right now includes us both working. Dad cooks. Mom cleans. Dad does laundry and mom folds. We take turns with the yard and garbage. We both parent. I hope that as an adult, Dez knows the need for compromise and communication in his relationships—however the norm falls for the next generation. I also hope it lets us both have a close and nurturing relationship with him as he grows up.”
I absolutely had to ask a few questions about some of the topics that often come up for the working mom such as maternity leave, childcare, and the challenges & joys of working. I love the answers so much that I felt it was best to just put it in their own words. Read on to learn about the ups, downs, ins and outs of Erin’s working mom experience!