The Job Hunt

Being in the job market again sucks. I went through this after I graduated college. I was officially done with school, and had my degree in August of 2009. I wasn’t able to find a job until February 2010. I went on about 15 interviews total. It was a really rough time in my life and I was so happy to finally be gainfully employed when it happened, and what’s more is that I loved my job. I was hired as a teacher assistant at an elementary school. I had so much fun with it. I assisted 3 4th grade teachers. The kids were great, and the teachers I worked with were awesome.

At the end of the 09/10 school year I was told that my position had been cut due to budget cuts, and as I was the last one in, I was also the first one out.

So, back to the job hunt I went. Luckily in August of that year I got a call that they’d found the money in the budget to hire me back, and I gladly accepted. I was paired up with a Kindergarten teacher, and she was near retirement age and a complete bitch. You know your kid has a bad teacher when it’s October, and they’re still crying in the morning when you drop them off at school (several children reacted this way everyday). I did my best to make these kids’ day better, and I was going to tough it out for the year and hope that the teacher would retire and I’d be placed with someone else.

Instead, my principal told me that the county had made a mistake when they said that they had the money to hire me back, and that at the end of the year I’d be out of a job again. My principal was awesome though, and was trying to get me into the EC (exceptional children) program, where I’d probably never be cut, but there was no guarantee that I’d be able to switch. At the same time, I was looking for another job and found one at the same HS that J taught at. I interviewed, and was offered the job that same day.

So, in the middle of the school year I switched schools and became a Testing Coordinator. Things were going well, until March when I was told that all Testing Coordinator positions in the county were being cut because of budget cuts, so in June, I would be out of a job….again.

That’s when I started working for my in-laws. I was hoping that I’d gain some stability and wouldn’t constantly have the fear that my position would just disappear because of budget cuts. And, that’s what I got, but that’s about all I gained out of it. I know that I’ll never be fired, but the job isn’t a good fit for me. My employers/ in-laws are passive aggressive, they feel like all employees are disposable and easily replaced (I file COBRA paperwork for a terminated employee at least twice a month). And, for the past 4 months I’ve been actively looking for another job.

I’ve been on 2 interviews so far, and I have another one next week. I even had a job offer, but I ended up having to turn it down because it had no benefits and would be a huge step down in pay from what I’m making now, to the point where we would be be able to pay some bills. I cried when I had to tell them no.

I’ve been applying to as many jobs as I can find. I’ve been reaching out to my contacts asking them if they’ll be a reference, or could put in a good word for me. I’m hopeful that something will happen soon, and I’m trying really hard to stay positive.

I want to be able to love my job again. If I have to be away from my family for 8+ hours a day, I need to love what I do to make that time worth it. I’m actually wanting to get back into the school systems. I like the hours, and while it can often be stressful, it evens out a bit with all the breaks that it has. Plus, my day would be over at 3:30 or 4 at the latest and I’d get to spend more time with Henry!

Hopefully something will come along soon that will be perfect for me. Again, I’m hopeful.

Month Ten

Dear Henry,

You’ve made it into the double digits!  You’re now 10 months old!!  So much has happened in the last month, it’s hard to know where to begin.  This is going to be a long one.
Let’s start with the most recent….Being sick.  On Tuesday (4/16), you barely made it through dinner before you lost it and you pretty much demanded to go to bed.  So, I put you to bed early, and you fell right asleep and kept sleeping until I woke you up the next morning to get ready for school.  You were pretty fussy all morning, and when I dropped you off at daycare, you started crying as hard as you could, goodness did I feel like the worst mother when you had tears streaming down your face when I kissed you goodbye.  Your classroom is in the back of the building, and I could hear you screaming when I was walking out the front door to go to work.  You were not pleased when I left you that morning.
Around 2:30, I got a call from the daycare that you were running a fever and needed to be picked up.  While I went to go get you, your dad called and made you a doctor appointment.  I took you in to be seen and you were diagnosed with an ear infection.  They put you on Cefdinir (I’d never heard of it before).
Your dad stayed home with you on Thursday since you still had a fever.  He said that you basically slept all day, so he cuddled with you all day and you both watched cartoons when you were awake.  You barely eat anything and even refused a few of your bottles.  I was worried because you weren’t eating or drinking, but you nursed ok that night, and I tried to put you to bed early again.  You screamed your little head off when it was time to go to bed, and it took us almost 3 hours to put you down for the night, making your bedtime that night at around 11:00.
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I went to work on Friday, and your dad stayed home with you again.  The report on Friday was that you were extra fussy, and difficult to please.  You still slept more than usual, but not as much as the day before.  You also still had a hard time going to bed that night, and that caused me to think something was not going right with the antibiotic you were taking, since you became a screaming machine about 30 minutes to an hour after you had it.  Some of the side effects are stomach cramps and diarrhea – and you were having both.  So, on Saturday morning we called your doctor and had the antibiotic switched to Amoxicillin.  Not too long after we made the switch, I noticed that you had a pinkish red rash on your back and your tummy.  Again, we called the doctor and he told us to give you Benedryl.  We did.  It did nothing for the rash.  Now, I’m usually pretty calm, but this freaked me out.  I immediately thought that you were developing the measles (there have been outbreaks in the area recently).  After googling what measles looks like, I think switched my diagnosis to Rubella.  And, that did nothing to calm my nerves either.
Your rash on Saturday morning.

Your rash on Saturday morning.

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Your rash continued to look worse and on Sunday I couldn’t take the uncertainty anymore.  I packed you up and took you to urgent care.  The nurse rolled her eyes when I told her I thought you had German Measles.  A little while later you were examined by a nurse practitioner who declared that you did not have German Measles, but that you had Roseola.  I was told that it will go away on its own and that there’s nothing we could do.  Roseola doesn’t itch, and is a viral infection, so nothing could be prescribed.  You were still deemed contagious while you had the rash, so you couldn’t go back to school on Monday.  I took you to work with me, and while mostly in a better mood, you were still pretty irritable.
You’re still not sleeping great.  Your dad and I don’t know if it’s left over from being sick, or maybe you’re going through a growth spurt, or perhaps it’s a 10 month sleep regression.  All I know is that you wake up screaming/screeching at 11:00 every night for almost a week now.  You refuse to be left alone in your room.  You will sleep in you’re cuddled with one of us, but the second we put you down in your crib, you start screaming again.  To try to circumvent that, you’ve been sleeping in bed with us, and even sleeping with us, you still wake up screaming multiple times a night.  We’ve all been waking up exhausted for several days now, and I have to say, it’s getting old.  I love you so much, and I enjoy all cuddle moments I get with you, but it’s harder to cherish the ones that happen at 2:45 in the morning, especially when you have to get up to go to work in a little over 3 hours.
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At ten months old you’re still not mobile.  I know I said that last month I wasn’t concerned about this.  I retract that statement.  I’m now concerned.  You don’t roll, you don’t scoot, you sit.  You can turn yourself around in a circle sitting, and on your tummy, and you can push yourself backwards either sitting or on your tummy, but you can’t actively get to an object that you want if it’s out of reach in front of you.  I mentioned it to your doctor when you were being examined for you ear infection.  To my surprise they put in a referral for you to be seen by a physical therapist, to make sure that you’re developing the way that you’re supposed to.  I meet with her next week, and she evaluates you on May 8th.  I keep hoping that you’re going to be moving before we have these appointments, but so far you seem content to sit and play.
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You are showing an interest in wanting to stand, and you like to stand up and look around.  You’re trying to pull up on everything, but you haven’t mastered how to do it yet.  You can do it with help, especially if you can push your feet up against something to help you up.  Lately you’ve been trying to walk when we’re holding your hands, which is pretty cool to see.  You’re not cruising yet, but I’m hopeful that it will happen soon.
You’re still being very adventurous with food.  You’ll try everything that we put in front of you.  Not too long ago your dad gave you a muscle which you seemed to like.  Fruit is still the biggest thing that you won’t eat.  Apples remain your favorite, and recently I got you to eat a couple bites of banana  You tried a blackberry, but had more fun squishing it than eating it.  So, your dad and I have started to hide fruit in the food we give you.  You’re a big fan of your dad’s scones which have raisins and dried cherries in them.  You also like my blueberry pancakes.
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Breastfeeding is still going strong. During the week you nurse twice a day, once in the morning when you wake up, and once in the evening before you go to bed.  Both take place in the rocking chair in your room, and I love that time with you.  At daycare they give you 3 bottles.  One at 9:15, one at 1:00 and one at 3:45.  You eat lunch there at 10:30, and have a snack at 2:00, so your meals are pretty well spaced out.  You’re also eating breakfast at home with us and dinner with us every night too, so you’re eating a lot during the day!
Yesterday I bought you a bunch of new toys on amazon and I’m anxiously waiting for them to arrive.  I got you a lot of interactive stuff: puzzles and blocks and shape sorters.  I think I’m as excited to play with them as you are.  I also got you a new ring stacker since Ali ate your old one.
I know the majority of this post hasn’t been very upbeat, and I’m sorry for that.  It seems like it’s in my job description as your mother to worry about you, and I take that roll very seriously.  I love you so much.  I always will!  I’m looking forward to when you’re feeling better and are my happy little baby again!  Until then, I’ll be sure to give you extra snuggles, extra  cuddles and tell you at least 15 time more a day how much I love you!
– Mom
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Daycare

When Henry first started daycare I was a mess. I was dealing with a lot of swirling negative emotions: guilt, worry, depression and an overwhelming sadness that my baby wasn’t with me anymore. Because I was dealing with all of that, I was doing a lot of internet searches about parents feeling guilty about their child being in daycare. A lot of what I read helped. There are a lot of parents who were going through the exact same thing that I was, and what’s more, babycenter and whattoexpect had articles telling me that what I was feeling was normal!

Since then, I’ve come along way in my thoughts about child care. All in all, Henry being in daycare has been a positive experience. He really is thriving in that environment. I love that he gets the opportunity to make friends and to play with other children his age. From the age of 6 months on he’s been learning what appropriate play is and what’s not appropriate. He’s also had opportunities to learn, and the personal attention they give him is so great!

I think it’s incredibly important for babies to be socialized. I honestly believe that it helps motivate them. For instance, even though Henry isn’t crawling yet, he’s watching other babies crawl, pull up and cruise, and he’sinterested in that!

I’m probably not the easiest parent for a daycare provider. I bring cloth diapers for my baby to wear, and refuse to let them put him in disposables. I like to pack Henry a lunch to eat there, instead of letting him eat their cafeteria food. There’s nothing wrong with their cafeteria – they serve a lot of fruit and vegetables, but I like what I cook better. I provide breast milk for them to feed him (as far as I know, there is only one other mother that does this). I’m picky about how many naps Henry has. I demanded from 6 months on that Henry be allowed to feed himself and explore and play with food (they looked at me like I had a second head, but they went with it). Despite being that demanding, the people at Henry’s daycare still smile at me, and are willing to bend over backwards to make me happy.

I’m happy that Henry was enrolled in daycare. Would I rather that he be with me all day? Absolutely! I would give anything in order to be a stay at home mother to him. But that’s not an option financially for us right now. I know that him being in daycare is a 100% better option than him being at work with me. He has other children to play with, teachers who interact with him and more options available to him than what I could provide at work.

I miss him dearly, and I rush out of work everyday so I can go and get him. But I also know that I’m doing what’s best for him.

Daycare does not, and should not have that negative connotation that surrounds it. There are a lot of wonderful daycare centers out there, who have nothing but the children’s best interests at heart.

I’m Just Going to Stop Planning Things….

I’m learning that I should stop making plans. It really seems like anytime that I do, they end up falling apart and never happening like they should. Let me give you a couple of examples:

The Plan:
Over a month ago, I bought a Groupon that was pay $10, get $20 to spend at the farmer’s market. I bought two of them. Three weekends ago, we were supposed to go to the farmer’s market after Henry’s swim class and stock up on produce and whatever else we wanted while there.

Reality:
I wake up at 5:30 in the morning throwing up the sushi that was in my stomach all night from dinner. And I proceeded to throw up until about noon that day. Then J got sick with it, and then Henry got really bad diarrhea from it. So, we were all a pathetic dribbling mess all weekend. Needless to say we didn’t go to the farmer’s market.

So, because I still had this Groupon that I needed to use, we decided that we’d try to plan it again. In addition to the Groupon, I had also bought tickets for Igudesman & Joo’s “Big Nightmare Music,” that was performing with the Greensboro Symphony, and we even had a babysitter set up for the night!

Re: The Plan:
So, Friday night, and I was going to leave work with Ali, the dog and head home to change and get ready to go out. J and the babysitter were going to pick up Henry from daycare and meet me at the house. I even bought a car adapter for my pump, so that I could pump on the way to the event! Afterwards we were going to go out to eat and have a couple drinks and enjoy time out of the house with each other. On Saturday, we’d go to Henry’s swim class, and then go to the farmers market.

Reality:
I left work with Ali. J picked up the babysitter and headed over to the daycare to pick up Henry. I proceeded to drive most of the way home. It was beautiful out, so I had the windows open and the radio turned up. As soon as I turned off the Hwy, around 5:30, I hit some rush hour traffic. Nothing major. It was stop and go traffic for a little while, and when I was going, the car in front of me all of a sudden slammed on his brakes. I had no choice but to slam on mine. Ali, who rides shotgun, hit the dashboard with her front paws, and proceed to rebound out of the opened window and landed on the ground next to the car.

I sat in my seat going “what the fuck just happened,” for a split second before I noticed that the dog was now taking off down a busy road in rush hour traffic. I whipped my car into the parking lot that I was sitting beside and took off after her on foot. I left my purse, keys, phone, everything, in the car and just started running down the street.

When I made it to the next big intersection, I saw J in his car with the baby and the babysitter waiting at a light. I start yelling at him like a mad woman to park the car and help me run after the dog, and I start running down the road again. I got reports from people stuck in traffic that my dog was farther up the road, running. No one, apparently, could be bothered to get out of their car to grab her….so, I kept running.

J and I are running basically all over downtown Asheboro calling Ali’s name and looking for her. Eventually, I lost complete sight of her, so I decided to run back to my car to try and catch up to her that way. J, keeps going on foot while I’m going back to my car.

I drive all over looking for her and calling her name. On one of my trips around, I pick up J and we start looking together. After sometime has passed, we both realize that Henry and the babysitter are still sitting in J’s car waiting on us. So, I drive back to J’s car so he can take them to the house. Thankfully, the baby and the babysitter were awesome and didn’t seem to mind the wait.

When we get them back to the house, J and I consolidate cars and head out together to keep looking for her. This is around 6:00 or 6:30. We drive around calling for Ali and asking people if they’d see her until almost 10:00, when it was too dark to continue the search. With heavy hearts and tears welling in my eyes, we decided to go home and start the search again in the morning.

J moved her bed onto the front porch of our house in case she made it home in the middle of the night. After that, we both were just sitting, in shock and horror at what had happened. We were terrified and beyond upset and I burst into tears more than once. At some point we both fell asleep from the adrenaline leaving our systems.

Henry slept until 7:30 that morning, and as I was nursing him, J left to look for Ali. I nursed Henry, changed his diaper, got him dressed and was feeding him breakfast when I heard a car pull up in the driveway. I thought it was J coming home to get us to help him search, so I went to the door to open it for him. Instead of J, I see a man, his daughter and Ali in the driveway, coming up to the house!

I burst into tears all over again and collapsed on the ground to hug my incredibly dirty dog. Her rescuers said that they saw her running down the road yesterday around 6:00. They said that at around 11:00 the night before, she wandered into their yard, and they kept her until this morning before dropping her off. I am beyond grateful that they cared for her and brought her back. I will always be grateful to them for helping our family.

Ali is dirty, and still exhausted from her several hour run, but she’s unharmed. No scratches or bruises. No broken bones, or anything like that. Her feet are a little tender from her run, but nothing major. I can’t express how happy I am to have her home. J and I went out and bought her a doggy seat belt so that she won’t be going out anymore windows.

Needless to say, our date night, Henry’s swim lesson and our trip to the farmer’s market didn’t happen that day. I really think I’m going to stop planning things. It seems I only invite trouble to happen when I do.

…what a weekend…

Stuck

I know that I’ve been silent for a little while now. Things have been getting pretty bad at work, so I can’t post anything during the day, and honestly by the time I get home I’m too emotionally exhausted to even think about sitting in front of a computer.

I’m reaching the end of my rope at my current job. Honestly, I might even be at the end of it. I seriously almost quit on Monday. I don’t want to get into the why, just know that it’s not good. I’ve been in a serious funk lately too, and I feel like the depression I experienced in my college days is coming back.

I’ve been applying to at least 5 jobs daily, sometimes more and I’m getting nothing back. I’m really not sure what to do at this point. I wish we could afford for me to quit, but even short term that’s not a possibility.

I hate my job. I hate that I’m stuck in this job. I don’t know what to do….

How about a funny picture to offset the mood?

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Spring Break

J’s on spring break right now. And, I hate to admit this, but I’m so freaking jealous it’s not even funny. I know that I don’t have anything to be jealous of because its not like he’s been sitting at home relaxing this week. He’s been doing yard work, home improvement projects, cleaning and organizing, cooking and baking in addition to all of the regular stuff we do all through the week. But, it’s the fact that he’s at home, and I’m at work that’s making me so stinking jealous.
I miss Spring Break. Or, any break for that matter. My last holiday off was New Year’s Day and my next holiday off is Memorial Day.
So, while J is at home doing his thing, I’m going to have a self indulgent pity party for myself while I’m at work…..

WWW 3 Weeks Late

It looks like I’ve been as slack about recording my weight loss efforts as I have been on actually trying to lose weight…I’m going to recap the last couple of weeks and get caught up and hopefully this will spur me into getting my act together and to continue my efforts to reach my goal weight.

March 6 – 154.2
March 13 – 154.2
March 20 – 155.8…ugh
March 27 – 152.2!

I have no idea what I did to cause me to lose weight last week, but I’ll take it. I’ve been really slack in working out. And I know I need to make that more of a priority, but some days it’s just impossible to do. I get home at 6:00 (leave work at 5:00 on the dot, and run to pick up Henry, and then I’m home at 6) and then J and I have to cook dinner, wash bottles, rinse off diapers, eat dinner, clean up from dinner, put the baby to bed, and by that point I’m about ready to collapse.

I know that I should make more of an effort to work out on the weekend, but that’s really hard to do, too. With cleaning, grocery shopping, outings, and needing some downtime to just sit, our weekends are usually pretty busy. And then, the unexpected happens, like it did this weekend. I woke up at 5:30 am on Saturday morning because I had to run to the bathroom to puke. And I repeated that every hour until about 10:30. And, luckily thereon out, I didn’t throw up, but I was extremely nauseous, unable to eat or drink, achy, with a low grade fever…sick. So, all of Saturday I was out of commission, except for when I needed to nurse Henry (btw – pumping and nursing while sick is soo hard to do!). Then, on Sunday, J got sick, and he’s still recuperating today.

I struggle with not only needing to make time for myself to exercise, but wanting to. Most of the time it comes down to either working out for an hour, or spending time with Henry for another hour. And, Henry wins every time. And when I’m not feeling guilty for not spending enough time with my son, I’m honestly just too tired. I’ve thought about working out in the morning before work, but I know myself better than that. I’d have to get up at 5:00 to work out for 30 minutes, and that’s just not going to happen.

Maybe the best thing to do is to find ways to have Henry work out with me. Wear him as I go on a walk, or do baby weight lifting exercises (he’s an 18+ pound weight after all). I think I’ll look more into that over the next few days.

If you have any tips on how to stay motivated, I could really use them…