4 months and growing

All is well here in baby land.

Elliott is recovering from his surgery.  His finger is still pretty swollen.  The surgeon said it could be from where they effectively broke it, or it could be that he still has a piece of the frond in his finger.  The good news is that the infection is gone.  The bad news is that if the swelling persists and his little body doesn’t absorb the frond, he will need an MRI and another surgery to remove it.  I haven’t received a hospital bill yet, but I cringe each time I open the mail box.

We also had him tested for allergies–and all things are negative.  What we may have thought were allergies could have been a chronic cold.  He still is having a facial skin reaction to something…but we haven’t been able to nail down what yet.  All things considered though, Elliott is back to his joyful, silly, energetic self.

Spencer is awesome.  He is a very happy, easy going baby.  He is extremely vocal and will tell you when he needs something.  He, like Elliott is growing up to be a big boy.  I took Spencer to his 4 month appointment a couple of weeks late, but he weighed in at 17 pounds (90%) and 26 inches long (90%).  I looked back at Elliott’s numbers when he was the same age and Elliott weighed more but they are the same height.  Spencer is also a WAY better sleeper than Elliott was.  Perhaps that is because we co-sleep with Spencer and we didnt co-sleep in the same way with Elliott.

As for me, I accepted a temporary part-time consulting position.  The office is too far from my home to consider anything permanent, but I like the flexibility of being able to work from home on occasion.  I feel like a productive member of society again.

I put my Stroller Strides membership on hold for a while because of all the medical issues we have had as well as the drama that SS has been dealing with regarding permitting with the City of SD.  I still need to find some sort of exercise outlet to help me lose 10 more pounds (if not more) and we are thinking of joining the YMCA.  I loved getting outside with SS and socializing with the other Mom friends I have made, but I also want to get a break sometimes, and the Y offers babysitting services.

This awesome photo of Spencer was taken by Jenna Rowe Photography

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Dont get your hopes up yet

As you all know, I lost my job 2 weeks ago. I spent the first couple of days pretty reflective and depressed. I decided not to search for a job until the new year. I wanted to spend the holidays relaxing with my family. I was feeling dejected and was questioning my self worth.

As a result of these feelings, after only a couple of days I created an account with Monster.com, updated my Linkedin Profile, and filed for unemployment. I also started looking for jobs on Craigslist. I found THE perfect position for my skill set–as a software administrator for a mortgage banking software! How much more perfect could my timing be! I immediately emailed my resume and a cover letter, and the next day the IT director replied requesting an interview. We scheduled the interview for the following Monday, 9am. I knew I wouldn’t be unemployed for long! I started to feel less loser like, and more like the over confident person I pretend to be.

Monday morning, I got up, showered, shaved all areas that hair grows unwanted, blew my hair dry, got all dolled up in my interview clothes, and checked my email. I had a feeling.

Good thing I trust my intuition these days. The IT director emailed and said this: I had to make some changes in my schedule and cannot meet with you this morning. I will follow up with some alternate options. Thanks.

I replied and said that I was leaving for the holiday weekend later that day, and would return on the following Monday should he wish to schedule an in person interview for then. Otherwise, I would be happy to do a preliminary phone interview. No response.

I sent a follow up email over the weekend asking if we could reschedule our meeting. He replied and said this: Unfortunately, It was announced that BIG Mortgage Bank would be winding down its operations effective 12/24. Thanks.

Bummer for everyone.

My world without email

Not having a job has stirred up and shifted many things inside the pit of my existence.

The first is that I am (make that was) addicted to email. Many times through out a day I will think, Hmm, I should check my work email. Only to realize that I don’t have an employer therefore I don’t have any work email to check.

Bummer.

Therefore, I am going to refocus all my emailing efforts on this blog, flickr, facebook, twitter, linkedin, and my personal email.

That will show them.

The Magic 8 Ball says…

I consulted the Magic 8 Ball today, and it said ‘all signs point to yes’. Well, it was correct. I got laid off today. Really no surprise given the market.

The good part is that I had time to prepare myself. Wen my boss emailed me asking me to clear my schedule 30 minutes before my work day ends…I kinda got a hollow/sick feelings in my stomach. Then, when I voiced my concerns over the email to my co-workers they disclosed that a Fedex came on Friday from our HR company with my name in the subject line. They were going to put it on my desk, then decided to let my boss know. Both bosses work off site, so one came into the office to retrieve it. Again, not a certainty, but more evidence.

Then I logged into our HR website, and lo and behold–my final paycheck was posted with my vacation time paid out with a pay date of today. See what happens when you lay off your skilled workers! They forget to hit the “hide” button on people’s final paycheck and instead disclose the fact that I am getting the ax…

So, during the day while I should have been nervously working…I was instead packing my boxes, clearing out any personal emails, backing up my contacts to a flash drive, and surfing the EDD website to find out how to file unemployment.

When my boss arrived to deliver the news-one look around my office and he knew that I knew. We had a casual banter about the emptiness of my office, he asked how I knew. i asked a few questions about why they decided on me, would I be reeligable, and the like. Then, I said goodbye to my co-workers and went home to my family.

I don’t mind so much getting the boot (there is the normal drain on your ego and self worth)–I have certainly had to make and carry out these kinds of difficult decisions time and again over the years. I do wonder why it was me and not someone else. But, the suckiest part is that the economy is so bad, that the likelihood of me getting another job, with my salary range, part time, and close to home is slim to none. Not to mention doing something I really loved.

The other part that bites is that since I graduated from college I have worked in the mortgage industry. I have had a part in all aspects from docs, funding, post-closing, processing, secondary, underwriting, escrow, to mortgage banking software to management of all departments. I don’t really know another industry. So, finding a job in another field will be a big change after 10 years in this line of work.

The good part for us is that we have been slowly making lifestyle changes to slim down our monthly budget. We are in a better position than we were a few years ago. But, no one is ready to loose all of their income (there is unemployment insurance of course!).

I plan on taking until the beginning of the year off (while still searching for a job passively). At the start of 2009 I should have a new resume and a formalized game plan for how to tackle the next phase in my life. Wish me well!

Is fate trying to tell me something?

I am sick. I rarely get sick, and have managed to fight off every infection that has infiltrated our house this season so far. But, as I said…I am sick so I have effectively lost the battle this time.

It coincides with an unfortunate announcement that my boss made today. He announced that he is resigning, with his last day being next Tuesday. I have had a fair amount of issues with my boss lately, and have voiced several emails of concern to him. While I am sad to see him leave, because change sucks; I am glad he is making room for change, which we desperately need.

These two things come together tomorrow when I am scheduled to have a conference call with one of the two company owners. I was hoping to talk about the issues I have been having, and I was looking forward to him offering up some sort of resolution to the matters. I was my long awaited chance to speak my mind.

But, alas, I barely have a voice, and have to speak in a whisper. Any prolonged (more than 2-3 sentences) talking leaves my throat painfully sore and dry, and I often am spiraled into a coughing fit. I wonder if this isn’t fates way of telling me to keep my mouth shut?

Work Update

I am officially a part-time employee, and a Mom. I started back to work last Thursday. It was difficult leaving the house, but luckily there were no tears from either Elliott or myself.

I was grateful that we had the trial run with the Nanny. This allowed Elliott the necessary time to get used to being with her (and vise versa), and allowed me the time to get acquainted with leaving him with someone else. It also forced me to get out of the house.

Now that I am back at work, I feel like all of my worry was for naught. But, I know that had I not worried so much…I might not feel so positive about my decision. I also realized that I will still be expected to complete the same amount of work…just in less time for half the pay. I am going to try and reset peoples expectations slowly, so as not to put everyone in shock. But, its gonna be a hard transition for everyone to get used to.

I learned from my girlfriend, though, how important it is to set clear expectations and boundaries from the start, and stick to them. I started today. I responded to an email I received from a team member, but since it was ‘after hours’ for me, I said I would look into it in the AM.

I am also in the process of training a new trainer. She seems like she is going to be awesome, and I have already wondered if she will be better than me. It will take her a while to get ramped up…so I have a little bit of time to work on my game.

The (good) news is in

I heard back from boss man today…and all is well. I am still employed. Phew. He said that the owners were willing to work with my Wednesday schedule, at least until I was able to find the necessary coverage. Moreover, I spoke with the Nanny (which I was dreading), and she is also willing to work with my revised work schedule.

How the week will work out is hubby is home 1.5 days, I am home 2 days, and the Nanny will be here 1.5 days. She will also be overlapping with me on 4 hours one day just until she can fill that day with another family. So, while we are paying a few extra bucks a week…it is worth it since I get to keep my job and she stays happy since her salary doesnt change. Plus, I only have to work 8-3pm, which means I get to spend the afternoon with Lil E, and some quality time with him before the nighttime routine kicks in.

Their first day together went as good as can be expected. He was a bit more fussy, didnt nap for as long as he usually does, and wouldnt take a bottle from her. But, he is still getting familiar with her, and tomorrow will be a better day. I am going to leave for the day and let them really try and get used to one another. Plus, being the new, inexperienced Mom that I am…I left today for a few hours and forgot to defrost some milk…oops. Also, it should be a lot easier for her without me in the house, looking over her shoulder.

So, on the agenda for tomorrow is the gym (for the first time since Elliott was born), and lunch with a co-worker and maybe a manicure…who knows! A whole afternoon to myself…whoo hoo!

All in all, I feel pretty good about how things worked out. I am looking forward to getting back to work, and rejoining the ranks.

Negotiation in progress…

I spoke with the boss man, and he said that the company was firm in their desire to have me work M, W, Th 8-3 pm (rather than the previously approved M, Th, Fr 8-4:30 pm). And, in addition they want me to work from home on Tuesday for up to 4 hours-checking and responding to email and taking calls from the office, but I wouldn’t be expected to call clients.

Aside from having to tell the Nanny that we don’t need her on Friday anymore (this is a whole other conversation) Wednesday is the difficult day…as hubby can only take half day. So, I offered up this schedule: Monday 8-3 pm ,Wed 7-12 pm and Thursday 8-3 pm, as well as working from home on Tuesday, and for a couple of hours temporarily on Wednesday as a tentative solution. I also agreed to actively look for a way to work the requested hours on Wed.

Boss Man is going to present it to the owners and let me know tomorrow. He is hopeful, and wants to make it work. In fact, he sounded almost as desperate as I felt to make it work. I asked him why they were changing the schedule that he and I agreed on weeks ago…he didn’t know. But, seemed to feel frustrated as he is now in a difficult position too.

I feel confused and like I may have misunderstood a few conversations with the owners. At one point , via email, the owner said…lets wait until late Sept./early Oct. to confirm your schedule. I thought he was just buying time to be sure I wouldn’t change my mind again…but, he really meant what he said. I should have addressed it…as how could I wait that long to ‘confirm’ my schedule…? I have an infant to make arrangements for, and my husband’s work schedule has to be considered…not to mention the nanny and her availability.

The good part of this new schedule is that we save 9 hours worth of Nanny pay, I have built in 3 day weekends, and Mondays are often the day many holidays fall on. The bad part is two fold–the Nanny loses 9 hours worth of pay… I am not sure how I am going to break this news to her. It isn’t a good idea to make the person who is caring for your most loved baby upset or bitter. Secondly, hubby and I were looking forward to 4 hours worth of overlapping time on Wednesday. I was going to use this day to schedule doctors/dentist/hair appointments. Now, I will either have to take Elliott with me, arrange for a sitter, take time off of work, or go after hours.

More to follow…