Friday, July 29, 2011

He Is Three

I have two close girlfriends with children approximately 5 months ahead of Will. It is both wonderful and a bit unnerving all at once.

The wonderful part is obvious. Having close friends going through similar ages and stages is comforting. It's nice knowing that I am not the only one going through whatever the current challenge is. It's nice having a bit of a yardstick. Though all children are different and it's best not to directly compare them, it does seem as if kids do roughly follow the same patterns as far as development. It is also lovely to have playmates for our children and to know no matter what house you are at, there will be a variety of age-appropriate toys, a pack-n-play or two, a booster, etc.

The unnerving part is that I also get to see what happens with their kids before it happens to me. Five months is still a pretty big leap in preschool-aged kids, so Will is usually a step behind the two older kids.

At first, I would watch their kids change and think, "Wow, I am glad Will doesn't do that."

And then, five months or so would pass, and he would do that, too.

It works the either direction, too. I will watch their kids do something and think, "Hmmm, I wonder why Will doesn't do that."

Five months or so later, and he does.

So, watching their kids is like watching my future life in about five months.

About a month before their respective birthdays, both of my friends' girls' sleep fell apart. They started waking multiple times a night, fighting bedtime and naps, and having nightmares. I seriously can't remember the last time Will did any of those things. That is, of course, until this past week, when he started doing all of them and I remembered that we were a month out from him turning three.

About a month before their birthdays, both of the older preschoolers started throwing tantrums of gagantuan proportions and it was drama, drama, drama about the tiniest little things. Well, enter Will and tantrums over everything. Everything.

So, yeah, here I am. About a month before he officially turns three, I find myself with a "three year old" in terms of behavior. Now, I have heard from everyone that the Terrible Twos are little league when compared to the hijinks that a three year old brings to the table.

As with most things, however, there is the other side of the coin. Almost-three-year-old Will is incredibly sweet. His spontaneous hugs and kisses are so wonderful. He has so much compassion for a friend that is hurt, patting them on the back and asking if someone could "please get them a bandaid". He loves to "help Mommy" by doing all sorts of "big boy" things. He loves to read to himself and his sister (he has so many books memorized that it almost does seem as if he is reading - he even knows when to turn the pages).

He is good boy - with the attitude of a three year old. And I saw it coming yet couldn't really prepare myself for how it felt to parent a preschooler. It is exhausting on so many levels. I love the challenge, accept it for what it is. But there are moments when I am already counting the days until his next birthday. . . over a year from now! And then there are moments when I want to bottle up the sweetness and save it until I am 103 years old.

In any case, the adventure of motherhood is never predictable. I only hope I am fit to the task ahead!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Infertility, I HATE You

I had many IRL friends that I felt very "let down" by during our battle with infertility and miscarriage. It seemed my friends fell into three categories. Either:
A) they would avoid talking about it altogether and change the subject when I brought it up. I'd say about 50% of my friends fell into this camp.
B) they would say really hurtful and insensitive things and not just occasionally, but whenever we did talk about it. You know the usual platitudes and things that grate your heart and nerves to shreds ("It was God's plan." "When will you be "over" this?" "Well, something was probably wrong with the baby anyway."). I'd say about 25% fell into this category. Most of these friendships didn't survive this time in my life.
C) they were incredible supportive and our friendship grew because of it. I'd say the remaining 25% of my friends (which is still high compared to what I read on other blogs) really seemed compassionate. Even if they clearly didn't understand, they made an attempt to, and they listened to me when I needed it, distracted me when I needed it, and cried with me when I needed it.

Of the last group, there were two friends that I could really count on. Those were the two IRL friends that I spoke to almost daily and still do. Those two women were my touchstones. I will call one of those women Melissa.

Melissa and her husband waited a bit to have kids. He was in medical school and she was just starting her career. So while I was going through everything, she was far away from the world of TTC. Despite that, she remained compassionate and concerned, and was there for me during every single miscarriage.

Last July, she told to me that they were starting to TTC. I was so excited. Even though our friendship has stayed strong, the fact that I have kids and she doesn't has kind of separated us. Not in a bad way, but you know how it is. . . they never need a sitter, we can never find one, she wears suits and I wear spit up, they are jetting off to tropical sans kiddos vacations, and we are packing the grocery-getter and driving to the Great Wolf Lodge. I am not complaining, mind you, but I was looking forward to sharing these things with her and knew it would bring us even closer.

A few months went by with no luck. She wasn't overly concerned, but she asked me about charting, temping, and OPKs. I was happy to give her information, old charts of mine, and direct her to all of my favorite TTC sites.

After eight months of TTC she had her annual exam. She told her GYN what was going on and the doctor wasn't that concerned, but said they could run some basic tests, just to put her mind at ease. The bloodwork that they did uncovered a mildly elevated FSH and a luteal phase defect. With that discovery, her doctor also had her husband get a sperm analysis which uncovered morphology issues. Her doctor recommended that they immediately start Femara and IUIs to assist them in getting pregnant.

The first cycle, her lining was too thin and they canceled the trigger and IUI. The second cycle, she developed a cyst and canceled trigger and IUI. The third cycle, her lining looked great, but the follicle was too small to trigger, so they had her come back in two days and she had already ovulated on her own. She had little hope for the cycle.

In June, her sister-in-law told her that she and her husband were going off the Pill, just to see what happened. You guessed it, the sister-in-law told her last week that she got a positive pregnancy test. Melissa was convinced this cycle failed and she cried as she talked about having to watch her sister-in-law be pregnant so easily. She felt terrible for her feelings, but I assured her they were normal and in no way made her a bad person.

The next day, she called me and told me in a trembling voice that she was holding a faintly positive pee stick. I whooped and hollered and we cried together. She and her husband decided to keep their happy news a secret until an ultrasound, but her sister-in-law announced her news to the family at dinner this last weekend.

On Monday, Melissa was at a work meeting. Her coworker is nine months pregnant and so they had a baby shower for her. Somewhere between the cake and presents, she felt a tiny gush. She went into the bathroom and stared in horror at the toilet bowl filled with blood. From the stall, she called me, hoping for reassurance. I tried to do my best, I know miracles happen. I told her to call her doctor and get a beta.

The beta was dismal. She is miscarrying.

What. . . the. . . hell.

I just do not understand sometimes. I would NEVER wish infertility on any of my friends, even the ones who are no longer friends. BUT what I do not understand is why it seems to affect the most compassionate, wonderful women that I know. I am sure this is just a matter of perspective. I am sure it affects all manners of women, but I just get so tired of hearing and seeing about babies born to people who could care less, who abuse and neglect them and don't love them. And then my sister, my sister-in-law, one of my best friends. . . I see these women who would be the most amazing mothers suffering so very deeply in their quest to become parents.

And it makes me so angry. I am filled with sadness, yes, but also a quiet and honestly, a bit scary, RAGE. I want to yell and scream at somebody, but there is no one to "blame". And the very worst part about having experienced miscarriage and infertility myself is that I know that nothing I really say or do can truly HELP my friend at this point. I can be there for her and that does help, but I cannot take her hurt away. I cannot stop her tears. I cannot unbreak her heart. I cannot tell her that this won't happen again or that she will be pregnant again soon. I cannot tell her anything but the words that I heard so many times, and now had to say too many times to women that I love. "I am sorry."

And it makes me so angry.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I Survived

It was a crazy couple of days. I didn't take ONE picture, so I will save the official wrap up for when I get the disk of pics my sister and a friend took for me.

But it was a wonderful party and though I am exhausted to the core, it was everything that I hoped for. The best part was getting to love on my sweet little girl and see her enjoy her special day.

Pictures and more details to come!

Edited. . . pics starting to come in.

Feast your eyes upon the yummy smash cake and cupcakes that turned out JUST EXACTLY how I wanted them to!

And. . . oh, you guys. There are no words to fully describe how much I love this little girl. I am so incredibly blessed.

More to come.

Friday, July 22, 2011

In Which Katie Goes Party Crazy

I am not sure why I have gone so off the deep end (ha, ha, it's an "under the sea" party theme) with this party, but I have.

I have completely tossed my own good advice aside and done too much, not kept it simple, and pretty much created a crapload of work for myself.


I am pretty excited. I do think all of this hard work is going to pay off. I think it's going to be an amazing first birthday party for one amazing little girl (who won't remember a thing).

Of course, there will be pictures galore to come.

Fingers crossed that it all works out (somewhat) as I have pictured it and that it doesn't rain. Pretty, oh, pretty please.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

So Much In Love

Okay, as I have said before, I get NO compensation for this blog or any products that I blog about! So, please know this endorsement is 100% FROM. THE. HEART.

Do you remember the chocolate story? Please click back if you didn't read it. It's worth it, I promise, plus it makes what comes next even more important.

Well, several different cleaners failed to get the chocolate out. I tried (my previous favorite) Folex (still swear by this for animal stains), OxiClean, SpotShot (another fave), and many more. But I still was left with discolored spots and definite stains in my carpet.

I have used this before. I didn't think it would work for this situation, but, friends, IT SO DID.

I wholeheartedly recommend this product. Use it, love it, have clean carpets again! TRUST ME.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Happy First Birthday, Emma

Dearest, Sweetest Emma Grace,

I may not have written as much during your first year as I did during your brother's, but rest assured, it is not because Mommy loves you any less. It is because you have filled Mommy's days with such laughter, love, and happiness, that I just don't have as much time to fill these pages. Each day, I wake up, excited and ready to face the day. Each day goes by in a blur. And each night, I go to bed and fall asleep almost as soon as my head hits the pillow. You and your brother keep me busy.

But not a day goes by that I do not think about how lucky I am to be your mama. You are quite simply the easiest, happiest, most wonderful baby girl that has ever been. From the day we brought you home from the hospital, you have been a great sleeper and awesome eater. Your quick smile and belly laughs have filled this house with joy beyond compare. When I see you and your brother together, my heart swells with the love that I have for both of you.

Now, don't get me wrong, Little Miss, you may be easy to please and happy as a clam, with a laugh that makes others laugh right along with you, but you are also fiesty, full of heart, and have a huge personality.

You like to tease people. You will offer me a bite of food and then pull it away and plop it in your own mouth. You like to play peek a boo with your daddy and steal his glasses. You like to play keep-a-way with your brother. And if you don't get something as quickly as your little heart desires, well, then we are going to hear about it!

But, oh Emma. Your heart is so big. You are so sweet and smiley. Everyone always comments on your big, toothy grin and how happy and content you always are. You love to imitate us. You will make just about any sound we do. . . except Mama, you little tease! Some of your favorite words are "sish" (fish), "Boo!", "ticky ticky" (for tickles), "tank too" (thank you), dadda, and Va Va Va Vee (for when we were trying to teach Will how to say "Vee").

Today, your grandma Jane said, "Just think about where you were a year ago and how happy you aren't there right now!"

And I thought to myself that the day you were born was the best day of my life and I would give a lot to be able to live that day again. Yes, of course, there were some stressful (and even painful) moments, but what I really remember was the peacefulness that came into my soul the moment you were placed into my arms. Those moments with just your Daddy, you, and me in the hospital were filled with bliss and happiness. I had waited my whole life to hold you in my arms, to kiss your sweet face, to count your fingers and watch them curl tightly around my hand. My whole life, I wanted to be a mommy, but I had no idea that what I really wanted was to be Will's Mommy and your Mommy. I had no idea what being a mommy meant until you and your brother arrived to show me. Each day, you teach me more and more about what it truly means to be a mother.

Today is your first birthday. I am sad to be saying goodbye to your babyhood but I am already looking forward to all of the wonderful and amazing times that we have ahead. Watching you grow into a toddler, then a little girl, and finally a woman will be the greatest honor and privilege of my life. I know I will make mistakes along the way, I know that there are times that I will let you down. Please know that I will always do my best to be the very best mother to you that I can be and to guide you a long the way, while also stepping back and giving you room to grow and conquer the world on your own.

Also know that there are times along the way that you will make mistakes. You will think you have let me down. I promise you this, Sweetest Girl: there is nothing you could ever do that would make me love you less. I will always be proud of you and humbled by the opportunity to be your mommy. All that I want for you is health, happiness, and faith in yourself. You will do amazing things, my wonderful daughter, and I will be there, cheering you on and bursting with pride. I can't wait to see who you become, because the person you are today is just a tiny fraction of who you will one day be, and yet you are already so amazing, I don't honestly know how you could get any better.

Yet I know you will.

With love forever and always,

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ah, Iced Tea

I have always loved iced tea. My mom used to make sun tea in the summers and I loved having the pitchers of it in the refrigerator. I loved coming home after a hard day of playing and chugging a glass of the icy-cold goodness.

I have also always loved my iced tea very sweet. For this reason, I rarely order it in restaurants or have it at someone's house, because it is kind of embarassing how much sugar I like to add and I don't enjoy it if it's not sweet enough.

I still remember the day that I discovered sweet tea. I was at a work meeting, sitting next to a coworker from Georgia. He ordered iced tea at lunch and then proceeded to empty a dozen sugar packets into his glass. Be still my beating heart! I had found my iced tea soulmate! I couldn't help but comment that I finally met someone who liked their tea as sweet as I did. He responsed that he could fill the glass with sugar and it still wouldn't taste like his mama's, because to be real sweet tea, the sugar and tea had to be brewed together. Another girl at the table, also from the south, said she would make me some real sweet tea when we got back to our hotel that night (we were at a month-long training and living in hotels that were basically apartments, complete with full kitchens). So, on our way back from the meeting, we stopped at the grocery store for to to buy a 5 lb bag of sugar, a box of tea bags, and a huge glass jar. . . oh, and some mint, though I personally don't like mint in mine, but apparently, it is essential to "true" sweet tea in some areas of the south.

She then showed me the secret to making sweet tea. Now, I will tell you, if you like your tea sweet, you will like my sweet tea. If you don't like your tea sweet. . . well, I will make you a glass of plain iced tea because I like to be a good hostess. But my friends love it and request it at playdates and parties. I love to oblige. I have three sun tea jugs because I always have at least one in the fridge, cooled and ready to go, one out on my back porch, steeping, and one is usually at a friends' house.

This blog entry is not about my sweet tea, however. It is about how I found the best iced tea in the world. . . in Mexico.

When my husband and I went to Mexcio for our honeymoon, I was nursing a kidney infection, so drinking alcohol was out. I ordered an iced tea on our second day there and. . . oh mah word. It was the best tea I had ever tasted - it blew my poor lil' sweet tea clean out of the water. It was sweet, had a touch of citrus flavor to it, came with little slices of lime, and was amazing. I sucked down cup after cup of this amazing brew. Most restaurants had the iced tea in self-serve cannisters, so I started bringing my own water bottle and filling it up. I just couldn't get enough of this exotic brew.

When we got home, I tried to recreate the flavor, and I couldn't. I brewed my tea stronger, weaker, tried different brands of tea bags. I thought adding lime would help, it didn't. I thought adding lemon, maybe? It didn't work. Nothing could get me that taste. I had failed in my quest.

M heard about this iced tea for two freaking years. When we planned our return trip to Mexico for our two year wedding anniversary, I swear I was the most excited about having that iced tea again.

It didn't disappoint. I sucked down three glasses within ten minutes of checking in.

This time, I was determined to find out the magical secret to "Mexican Iced Tea". I asked the servers how it was made, but the language barrier seemed to make it impossible. They kept pantomiming a jug and scooping motions with their hands. Nothing there.

It was on our last day there that disaster struck - NO ICED TEA in the cannisters. I asked our server and she indicated it hadn't been made for the day, but she could make me one. Boy howdy, this was what I had been waiting for. "Yes, please!" I said, desperate for the recipe more than the drink itself.

I surreptitiously followed her so I could see her magic work from the behind the bar. Imagine my shock when I saw her pull a container of Lipton Instant Iced Tea with Lemon from under the counter and do exactly what the servers had been trying to show me with their pantomimes: The cannister opened and she scooped in the powder. Then she added the twist of lime and some ice.

That was it? My secret, amazing, only-in-paradise iced tea was. . . INSTANT? From a can? Oh, the woe.

Turns out that, yes, it was. I thought perhaps she had just made the instant because it would be the fastest way to bring me what I'd ordered. But no, I took a sip, and that was it. Instant iced tea was the elixir I had been searching for.

I came home, eager to spread the word, only to find that others apparently do not share my love of the instant tea. Friends tell me that I am crazy and that my sweet tea is so much better. So the dirty little secret in the back of my pantry is my Costco sized cannister of Lipton Iced Tea**. I highly recommend it.

But if you want to make the real deal, here is the easy recipe for sweet tea that a good friend from the south taught me. Great for parties, playdates (I use decaf tea bags, so it's even kid-friendly, though then I use a bit less sugar - boo!), bbqs, or just hanging out around the house.

Sweet Tea

■6 to 8 tea bags
■1 quart hot water (4 cups)
■1 quart cold water (4 cups)
■1/2 cup sugar (more or less to taste - and I use 3/4 cup in mine)***

Step One:

Pour the cold water into the sun tea jar (this is important - most sun tea jars today are plastic and could melt or warp if you pour the hot water in directly later on).

Step Two:

In a sauce pan, bring water to a full boil over high heat. Remove from heat and add the tea bags. Allow to steep for exactly ten minutes, stirring very gently a few times during the steeping time.

Step Three:

Remove the tea bags and add the sugar to the HOT tea. Stir until fully dissolved.

Step Four:

Very carefully pour the hot tea into the cold water in the jug.

Voila! Put it into the fridge to cool. Serve over ice.

*Oh, and if you must have mint, add that during the steeping time and then strain it out. Lemon wedges are also a nice garnish.

**No, I have not been compensated for this blog, though if the fine people at Lipton wanted to send me some tea, I wouldn't say no! ;)

***Most sun tea jars are gallon sized, so I usually double this recipe.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

This and That

I threw out my neck this Monday by . . . are you ready for this. . . getting out of bed. But because that is about the lamest story ever (and makes me sound 82), I am saying that I actually injured myself by sitting in the front row of the theater when we took Will to see his first movie this last weekend.

Well, actually, we didn't sit in the very front row. We were only four rows back, however, and I did feel as if I spent the whole time straining my neck. It was worth it, however, because Will loved the movie. He sat through the entire thing and only said things like, "Look, Mommy, it's Lightening McQueen! And he's HUGE!" He sat in his own chair for about half the movie and then alternated between our two laps for the remainder.

He was kind of a turkey after, though. I think he was just a bit overwhelmed by everything. We had gone to a birthday party earlier that day where he had his first bloody nose after a nasty fall on the playground. He was playing with some older kids who were spinning him on some sort of spinny-thing. He was having a great time, until he tried to get off and smacked himself good on the spinny-thing. He bled all over and gave me quite a scare. But five minutes later and a juice box later he was back out playing. It took me a lot longer to calm down.

Speaking of birthday parties, Emma's first birthday is looming. She turns a year old this Sunday. I am all sorts of emotional about it. I was giving her a bottle today and realized that we won't be doing bottles anymore soon. It made me very nostalgic and I actually started to tear up. Then she saw me and cracked a smile, formula running out the sides of her mouth, and it made me laugh.

Party plans are fully underway. I am starting to feel as if I have things somewhat under control. Well, I did, until I threw out my silly neck. Now I am a bit behind, but not much. I keep repeating my own advice: Remember the point of the party. All that really matters is that I have been blessed with the most amazing little girl and that she is turning one.

I do have one question, however. This is my menu:

Submarine sandwiches
Fish-shaped pbjs
Seashell pasta salad
Individual bags of chips
Cake (of course)
Soda, water, juice

Do you think I need to add a fruit of some sort? Like watermelon slices or grape bunches? I'd honestly rather not add anything else, but I also want to provide a decent lunch. Your thoughts?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Secret Confessions Of A Mom

I have a confession to make. I hate the kids museum. Whew, it felt good to say that.

When we first got our membership to the kids museum, I LOVED it. We went at least once a week. Now, I rarely go, and when I do I spend much of the time wishing that I hadn't. I actually have developed a love/hate relationship with the place. . . as in, I love to hate it. Here is why I hate the kids museum:

1) Germ Factory

Will (and now Emma) seem to get sick within a few days of a visit to the place. Enough said.

2) Two Ships Passing in the Night

Many times, I meet a friend and her child(ren) at the museum. And I use the word "meet" rather loosely, because that's about all we'll do: meet there and then wave to each other as our kids lead us to different exhibits.

3) Other Kids (Or Rather, Other Parents)

Now, my son is not perfect. That is what I am for. When he hits, or doesn't share, or thinks that he needs to make a train that is eleventy billion cars long on the train table and hog the drawbridge for a half hour, or [insert here], it is up to me, as his parent, to make sure he does the right thing. Unfortunately, there are a lot of parents at the museum who park it on a bench with a book and consider that they are "off-duty" while their child terrorizes the place. Now, I have seen this happen in other locations, but it seems to happen to a greater degree/frequency at the kids museum.

4) The Water Room

This is such a cool room and I feel like such a drip (ha, ha, pun intended) for not enjoying it, but honestly, I hate the fact that Will is going to be soaking wet after visiting this room. Yes, I bring a change of clothes, but then I have to carry them around, then carry the soaking wet clothes around, and I am already carrying EMMA around. If I can help it, we visit this room last.

5) Tantrum-City

This is not the fault of the museum, but lately, Will has a huge tantrum when we leave the kids museum. My mom would call this payback as I apparently did this to her whenever we would live OMSI when I was a child. Whatever the reason, it only adds to my intense dislike.

6) The You Can't Take It With You Policy

They have a phenemonal art studio in which it is free to make a fun, amazing, intriguing craft. . . which you cannot take with you. They keep all of the artwork to "display," which is a cool idea for older kids, but Will doesn't get the idea of leaving his work so others can appreciate it. Also, I highly suspect they do no display all of the artwork (I have yet to see any of Will's "masterpieces" out for public consumption), so I don't know why they can't let him keep what he has made. The first time this happened, I thought "Lesson Learned," no more art studio. But Will wants to make a craft each time we are there and he also wants to take it home. So, either way, it's an issue. Sigh. I actually did ask last time, and the reason that they don't let them keep them is because it would be a hazard (and messy) for them to run around upstairs with their projects. I get it, I do, but my two year old doesn't. I suggested that they have a place where kids can pick up their projects on the way out, and the teenaged Art Attendant rolled her eyes at me and said, "We don't have time to do that."

Oh. Okay then.

7) The Exit Is Over THERE

In a ploy of true marketing genius, the only exit out of the museum is through the gift shop (mostly filled with toys he has just played with and now covets). So, I have to take my already screaming, tantruming toddler out through a Place of All Things He Wants And I Am NOT Buying Him? If he wasn't already throwing a fit, he certainly would be now.

8) We Have One Of Those At Home

I think the biggest salt in my wound is that Will's favorite exhibit at the museum isn't the cool theater, glow room, outdoor playground, airplane, or even the dreaded water room. . . it's the freakin' train table.

Now, granted, it's probably the coolest train table ever created, but it's still a train table. And he has one of those at home. I would understand if he played with other kids at the train table, but instead he wants to hog all of the trains by making the aforementioned longest train ever. He gets upset if another kid tries to take their train past his trains on the track.

If he wants to play trains by himself and hog all of them? He can do that at home. So, in order to put up with all of the other things that I dislike about the museum and then have him just play with the trains?

Like I said, I know it's not very "momish" of me to admit this, but I just don't like the kids museum. And yet I go because he loves it so very much . . . which I guess makes me a good mom in spite of my inner dislike.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

That Old Familiar Feeling. . .

As Emma nears her first birthday, I am putting away the clothes she no longer fits. Folding tiny onesies and sleepers that she once swam in, I am then pulling out the clothes that are crazy big on her for now and putting them in the place of what she has outgrown. I know that, only too soon, she will outgrow these. And the cycle will continue.

This weekend, I was prepping the house for some guests for the 4th, and I wanted some mindless t.v. on while I did my housework. I flipped through the channels and found Father of the Bride. I found myself standing in front of the t.v. during the scene where he reflects on Annie growing up through the years, tears streaming down my face, thinking of the day when Emma will leave us to marry someone - or even just leave the house to go to college.

I got a little. . . emotional. . . right before Will's birthday, too. With his big day, however, I was hopeful that I would have another baby and get to live the infant stage again.

This time, unless things in my world drastically change, there will be no more babies. I am truly okay with that, it is the right decision for our family on all levels. I have been miscarrying, pregnant, trying to get pregnant, and/or nursing since January 2006. I've had quite a run. And that might be part of it, too. I spent so much time getting and staying pregnant and focusing on babies, it is very difficult to switch that off.

I know that a child growing older is not something to mourn. It is the way life is supposed to be. I am supposed to be celebrating. And, don't get me wrong, I am celebrating. I am so proud of my little girl and how amazing she is. I seriously lucked out BIG TIME in how easy she was on me in this first year. That is something to party about in and of itself.

But I still get a bit weepy as I fold those tiny little clothes that she will never wear again. And smile as I get out the new ones that she will wear tomorrow.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Let Go and Letting Go

I was downsized from my part time job this last week. Even though it had dwindled to just a few hours a week over the last few months, the money was nice and I like keeping my resume updated. It was a small paycheck, but it helped with groceries. When I was working the 20 hours a week in the beginning, it was a bit overwhelming. I liked the money, sure, but it was difficult staying up until well after midnight several nights a week in order to get all of the work done.

A few months ago, the work abruptly slowed way down. At first, I was concerned that my performance was an issue. But I discussed this with my boss and he said that it was just that they were looking for more work for us to do (another woman did the same job as me). She had the same downturn in assignments so I felt confident it wasn't personal.

There were spikes in work, occasional assignments to get done, over the past few months, but nothing consistent. Some weeks there was no work at all. I guess you could say that the writing was on the wall. When the other woman who did my job quit back in May, there was a bit of an increase in work, but not much.

I had a weekly call-in with my boss, and he had not answered the phone for the past two weeks. I would send follow-up e-mails to him to let him know that I had tried calling (they don't check the voicemail on the line I would call in on) and didn't hear anything back. Until late Wednesday, when I got a brief e-mail that let me know there had been some "changes" going on and that he needed to talk to me [cue scary music] the next day.

We talked, he explained some behind-the-scene things that have been going on since March. He was kind, let me know that he didn't want to do this, but my contract was being eliminated, effective the next day.

I know it's not personal, I know there are financial reasons behind why my position was eliminated. A full time person in the same department was let go on Monday. But it still feels personal, you know? This is actually the first time in my life I have been "let go" from a job. I know I am fortunate to have made it this long.

M and I have talked about it and I am going to keep my eyes open for something else, but I am also going to try and relax for the summer with the kids. There are a lot of little projects around the house that I can finally get done. In the fall, I will increase my efforts to find something. Even though the workload had dramatically decreased, it was still always on my mind, a kind of underlying "stressor" and feeling that something needed to be done. I have to admit, it has been kind of freeing these past couple of days, when I would go through my mental checklist of things to be done, and when I thought "work" and I could immediately think "nope, not anymore". I honestly don't work for the income (nice as it is) as much as for keeping my resume active for the day when I will go back to work. Explaining a short gap (a few months at most) will be a lot easier than explaining years of no work. . . well, at least that is my hope.

So, here's to an unexpected summer "break"!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Drama, Drama

I am not sure what is going on, but I have had a couple of people contact me after getting "weird" comments from me in the past two days.

So. . . if you get a comment that doesn't sound like something I would usually say to you, kindly assume it is not me. I am trying to sort out exactly what is going on and fix it.

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. Sorry for the drama/confusion.