Friday, March 26, 2010

So Much for Choices

First off, I apologize for my lack of posting over the past (almost) two weeks. I've been in a bit of a slump lately but I finally feel like getting things off my chest, so here it is.

Let's rewind back to last Tuesday, shall we?

I had my phone interview for the AR Analyst position and really thought it had gone well. I had prepared immensely beforehand and felt very confident in my responses to the questions asked by the hiring supervisor. I was told at the end of the interview that she just needed to speak with HR and would call me back later in the week to set up a time for an in-person interview. She also asked about my availability for the in-person interview so I had mentioned that my schedule was free for the remainder of the week and that I was looking foward to hearing from her soon. The only problem was, I never did hear back from her. I sent my obligatory "thank you" the following day and nadda. I know I should probably have called/emailed the hiring supervisor as a follow-up to see if the position had been filled and, if so, what areas she felt I could improve on to become a viable applicant in the future. However, given the current state of my job and the fact that I've been unsuccessful in finding a different job after a year of searching and numerous interviews, I just didn't have it in me. I just feel like throwing in the towel and giving up at this point. I feel so defeated.

Today, April 1st, is my first day back to work and I ironically feel like the world is playing a cruel trick on me. I hate it here and have been close to tears all day long.

Don't get me wrong, it was fabulous to see my immediate supervisor (who I am very close with) again, but the details that have surrounded the day have made even more miserable than I was before I left to go on leave. Not only have I been shipped off to the satellite campus without so much as compensation for my additional gas mileage, the courtesy of flexing my hours to compensate for the increased commute so that I could get home to relieve Abbey's sitter at the time we had previously agreed upon, or even a moderate raise to thank me for going out of my way, but I also found out that I was basically raked over the coals by my co-workers while on leave.

Essentially, I was blamed for several large issues in the office, namely with two of my program responsibilities - issues that have been around for years and that I had brought to my boss's attention several times in the past. When I had brought them up before, my remarks had fallen on deaf ears and no one wanted to deal with the apparant problems. Now all of a sudden, while I'm not there to constructively offer suggestions to remedy these issues as they were primarily my area of expertise in the office, they become the hot button topics of the century. To add insult to injury, I was told that a small handful of my co-workers were overly critical and "not very nice" in their opinions toward not only the issues at hand, but of me as well.

I feel shell-shocked.

I have always gone out of my way to be pleasant and compassionate to these co-workers, especially one in particular, and am very hurt by this. On top of that, I helped to train both of these individuals as I have far more experience in the field than either of them do. I keep telling myself that business is business and that I shouldn't feel so upset by their comments, but I can't help it. Considering the fact that I'm still struggling with leaving Abbey everyday and that I was already upset over my boss's ultimatium in respect to relocating to our satellite campus, I just feel extremely overwhelmed right now.

The kicker is that, while he's trying, Mike isn't nearly as sensitive of my feelings right now as I would hope he'd be given the circumstances. In summary, he feels that I need to "suck it up" and just write these co-workers off. While I agree that I have no other choice but to "suck it up" right now if I want to do what's best for my family and not lose my job, is it really that bad to hear some words of encouragement from him? It's hard enough to drag yourself to a job everyday and maintain a stoic exterior when all you want to do is sob like a baby.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm so sick of not having choices, at least not any good ones. I feel as if I simply have no control over my life right now.

I don't really have a sufficient conclusion for this post except to apologize for being a downer and airing my dirty laundry here. Only time will tell what happens from here and I can only hope that things will resolve themselves soon. Otherwise, I have no idea where that will leave me.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Random Weekend Pics

Friday, March 19, 2010

Feeling Trapped

As you're aware, I've been struggling with my decision to return to work recently. After much contemplation and even more prayer, I've come to the conclusion that doing what is best for my family involves me working full-time, at least for now. When I envision the type of lifestyle that I want my family to live, it involves being able to take frequent vacations together, saving for our children's college, paying for a private education(s) for our children, and Mike and I retiring early, amoungst other things. In order to accomplish this particular lifestyle, I must work.

I had begun to make peace with my decision and was even starting to become excited at the prosepect of seeing my co-workers (well, some of them) again. I like working. I honestly do. I've worked hard to finish school and have come a long way in my career. Ultimately, I've come to the conclusion that what I'm really struggling with is the fact that I don't like my job, rather than working in general. When I think about the flexibility I have with my current employer and the fact that I'm respected in my office due to my level of experience, I oftentimes begin to think that I've got a good thing here and would be foolish to let it slip through my hands. Other times, I think about how much I dread going to the office each day and how I cringe everytime an email from my boss pops up in my inbox.

Fast foward to Wednesday afternoon. I had just sat down to give Abbey a bottle when the phone rang. Recognizing my supervisors office number, I immediately picked up. In short, she had wanted to set up a conference call for the following day between her, myself, and my boss. She was very vague as to what it was about, so I mainly figured it was regarding my return to work on April 1st.

Well, friends, what happened during the conference call Thursday afternoon cemented my hatred for my job even further. Essentially, my boss wants my supervisor and I to move to a satellite campus that is in dire need of management in order to revamp it's entire financial aid office now that 3 employees of that office have resigned. When I asked if this would be a permanent move, I was met with some very vague answers and, as it stands now, there is currently no long-term plan for us out there. Let me begin by saying that: A.) This campus is MUCH further away from my home than the Main campus that I work at now. B.) I was not offered any additional money/benefits even though my workload will just about triple. C.) The type of student that this satellite campus attracts is not the type of student that I prefer to work with.

The answer is obvious, right? Decline the position! Wrong. I'm not being given a choice. While I voiced my concerns about the added workload and the increased commute (which will, in turn, increase our daycare and fuel costs), I don't particularly feel confident that the "offer" will change. My boss mentioned that she would speak with the director of HR and her boss to see what can be done, but I'm not expecting much. So why don't I just quit? Well, because we really do need my salary and jobs are very few and far between in my area at the current time. Is it wrong that I want to continue to fight them on this decision until, hopefully, they just fire me and I can collect unemployment for a few months until I can find something else? While that's what I want to do, I'm giving my boss a chance to make the move worth my while. I'm not holding my breath, however.

After crying my eyes out yesturday evening over my frustration, I got a call today from Mike's employer to set up a phone interview with me for Tuesday morning. The position is for an Accounts Receiveable Analyst and the job description had really looked like it was right up my alley. My sweet husband had mentioned the job to me a few weeks back and had even gone so far as to hand-deliver my resume to the hiring director on my behalf.

I'm trying not to get my hopes up as I've been on several interviews in the past year that have not panned out. With that said, I'm still hoping this opportunity may be my way out.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Tisket, A Tasket...

....Abbey's 1st Easter basket!

I've already purchased a few Easter themed books for her and now just need to find a cute stuffed bunny to complete the look. Even though she'll have no clue as to what is going on this year, I'm still ridiculously excited for her. Next year, she'll be able to use it for the annual Easter egg hunt that my IL's put on at their home for all of the grandchildren and since I bought the larger of the two sizes, I'm hopeful that it will "grow" with her for the next 18 years.

Monday, March 15, 2010

When Moby = Fail

Typically, Abbey is 100% content in the Moby and falls asleep shortly after being placed in it (thank goodness - it's the only way I can get anything done!). However, yesterday she wanted absolutely nothing to do with it. She was in a cranky mood for most of the day so I wasn't that surprised.

Looks like the cleaning had to wait!

P.S. As you can tell from the pics, I decided against changing my hair color at my appointment last Thursday. I haven't completely ruled the idea out, I just feel like I need more time to contemplate the change (that's code for "stall as long as possible and hope that Mike drops it"). I'm a wimp.

National Poison Prevention Week

As you may or may not know, March 14 - 20 is National Poison Prevention Week. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, approximately 2.4 million people (more than half under the age of 6) swallow or otherwise come in contact with a poisonous substance each year. In an effort to raise awareness, I thought it appropriate to dedicate a post on how to poison-proof your home and what to do should your child become poisoned.

To poison-proof your home:
  • Store medicine, cleaners, paints/varnishes, and pesticides in their original packaging in locked cabinets or containers, out of sight and/or reach of children.
  • Install a safety latch on child accessible cabinets containing harmful products.
  • Purchase and keep all medicines in containers with safety caps. Discard all unused medication.
  • Never refer to medicine as "candy" or another appealing name.
  • Check the label each time you give a child medicine to ensure proper dosage.
  • Never place poisonous products in food or drink containers.
  • Keep coal, wood, or kerosene stoves in safe working order.
  • Maintain working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Poison treatment:
  • Swallowed poison - Remove the item from the child and have the child spit out any remaining substance. DO NOT MAKE YOUR CHILD VOMIT!
  • Skin poison - Remove the child's clothes and rinse the skin with lukewarm water for at least 15 minutes.
  • Eye poison - Flush the child's eye by holding the eyelid open and pouring a steady stream of room temperature water into the inner corner.
  • Poisonous fumes - Take the child outside or into fresh air immediately. If the child has stopped breathing, start CPR and do not stop until the child breathes on his/her own or until someone can take over.
As always, if your child is unconscious, not breathing, or having convulsions/seizures due to poison contact or ingestion, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. Also, if your child comes in contact with poison but has mild or no symptoms, you can contact your poison control center by calling 1-800-222-1222.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Two Months Old!

I swear, the past month flew by even faster than the first. I'm still in shock over how much Abbey has changed in such a short period of time. It just breaks my heart that I'll be going back to work in 2.5 weeks and that I'm going to miss out on so many of the changes to come. I'm going to miss spending every minute of the day with her and watching her grow and accomplish one little milestone after another. But I digress...

These days, Abigail can now:
  • Hold her head up on her own. Instead of the shakey movements she used to make when attempting to move her head, she now does it smoothly and deliberately.
  • Coo and squeal when she's happy or excited.
  • Smile!
  • Soothe herself to sleep at night with a little help from her new mobile (seperate post to come) and her seahorse.
  • Still fit into her newborn clothes although she wore her first pair of 0-3 jeans today.
  • Manage to bring her hand to her mouth when she wants something to suck on, even though she hasn't quite really "discovered" her hands yet.
  • Wear size one diapers (even though they're still a tiny bit big on her).
  • Follow objects with her eyes and turn towards you when you speak to her.

I feel like my baby is already getting so big!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

March of Dimes: WalkAmerica

I'm not typically one to solicit money from others for charity, but I've recently signed up with the March of Dimes to participate in their WalkAmerica event in my area on April 25th and would welcome any donation you feel inclined to give in order to sponsor me for the walk (see sidebar of blog). Because I feel so strongly about this charity, I will personally match whatever donations I am able to raise, dollar-for-dollar.

If you are unfamiliar with the March of Dimes, they are a nonprofit agency that aims to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature births, and infant mortality through research, community outreach, and education. More information can be found on their website.

For mommies everywhere, it's a cause that hits close to home - perhaps even closer for some of us. I sincerely ask that you consider either sponsoring someone who will be participating in this walk or sign up for yourself!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Why is Change So Difficult?

Due to the added expenses of having a baby, a decrease in time due to said baby, and a persuasive husband, I've started to consider making a major life change. "What can be more 'major' than having a child?", you ask. The answer is....

...changing my hair color. (Just to be clear, I'm hyperventilating just typing this. I don't like change. Scratch that. I HATE change.)

Although my natural hair color is very dark - at least I think it is - I've been blonde for as long as I can remember. It was certainly long before I started dating Mike and we've been together for 8.5 years now. Speaking of Mike, the thought of changing my hair color would never have even crossed my mind if it weren't for him. Lately, he's been suggesting that I go back to my natural dark brown color (I'm sure this has to do with the fact that I spend close to $140 including tip every six weeks for a touch-up and wax at the spa). While I told him that it was completely out of the question in and of itself, I did mention that perhaps it wouldn't be so bad if I had several different shades of blonde highlights and lowlights added in as well. Certainly the maintenance would be far less than it is now and so would the price.

Did I mention that I HATE change? I'm terrified of going back to my natural color, even though my stylist thinks it's a fabulous idea. What if I hate it? What the heck do I even look like with dark hair nowadays? What if I hate it? What IS my natural color? Again, what if I hate it?

I realize it's just hair color and that I can always go back to blonde if I choose to do so. However, that still doesn't make me feel much better. It's taken me years to find the perfect shade of blonde with reddish highlights and I really do enjoy being a blonde.

To top things off, my next hair appointment is this Thursday and I have no idea what to do. Ugh.

For a visual, I'm considering going from this:

To something like this:

What do you think?

My Bloomin' Baby

I just had to share these photos that I took of Abbey earlier today. I had ordered several headbands for her from Etsy and was just playing around with camera in hand. Although I was attempting to catch a smile yet again, I think they ended up being pretty darn cute regardless.

Top of the Mornin' To Ya!

I realize it's a week early, but since Abigail will be getting her 2 month shots on St. Patrick's Day, I thought it best to get these pictures done ahead of time. I figured I'd spare you the pictures of my screaming baby (well, ok, I did post one screaming picture....).

And my personal favorite:

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Elusive Smile

I first saw Abbey smile around 6 weeks. It was early in the morning and we were snuggling in the recliner in the family room when out of no where, she let out this huge toothless grin. I was shocked! She would always smile in her sleep, but this was the first time I had actually seen her smile while awake. Ever since, I've been attempting to catch her smile on camera, especially since Mike has yet to see it.

While I haven't yet been successful, despite keeping the camera on her almost 24/7, I was finally able to capture this little grin.

At least now Mike doesn't think I'm making the whole thing up!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Tummy Time!

What started out as a pleasant experience...

...quickly turned into a meltdown (notice the, "Mommy, I'm exhausted!" look on her face).

Overall, tummy time has been going well. Abbey's gotten very good at picking up her head and her movements are becoming much more controlled. I'm very hopeful that she'll start rolling over soon as that would make bedtime so much easier.

P.S. I can't believe I'm already talking about my baby girl rolling over.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Working Mom VS. SAHM

Ahhh, the age old debate.

I never thought for a moment that I would have any doubts about returning to work once Abbey was born. Oh, how quickly things can change.

If you've followed by blog for any amount of time, you'll know that I'm not exactly happy at my current job and that I've been looking for employment elsewhere for quite some time. Don't get me wrong, I work for an amazing college and the perks of my job are fantastic. The problem is that I just don't love what I do. That being said, I worked hard for my degree and had always felt strongly that I just wasn't cut out to be a SAHM, let alone a SAHW. I wanted to be a career woman, damnit.

After being out on maternity leave since December (a little over 2 months now), I've gotten accustomed to being home. I've actually enjoyed my clean house and the time I've had to work on projects that I've been meaning to get to for quite some time. I'm incredibly less stressed and just feel happier overall. Add in all the fun I've been having with Abbey over the past 7 weeks, and the thought of going back to work next month easily brings me to tears. I just keep thinking of all the fun activities her and I could do together once the weather breaks that I simply won't have as much time to do once I'm working again, especially since the summer months are the busiest for me at work.

I just don't know what to do. I've jokingly brought this up to Mike over the past few weeks, but I'm too afraid to discuss it openly. The truth is, I'm not certain that I want to give up work cold-turkey. I do like working in general, so maybe the answer is that I need to work part-time rather than full-time. I'm also not certain that this scenario would even be a possibility with my employer. In addition, it would mean an obvious decrease in my salary and even though I'm sure we could make it work, I really enjoy the "extras" that we currently have as a two income family.

I feel conflicted in more ways than I can describe.