Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Job search update


I found a new job.  I start Tuesday, the day after Labor Day.  So I will end up being out of work just a little over two weeks.  (And when taking into account the fact that I was paid for my unused vacation hours from the job I left, I actually only missed out on a little more than three days of pay, including the Labor Day holiday.)

My new job is at a small-ish, growing private law firm located a 20-minute drive from my house.  The firm opened two years ago with five attorneys who left a larger, long-established local insurance defense firm and in that time has grown to thirty attorneys in ten offices, with the main office the one in Sco.ttsd.ale where I will be working.  They seem to have a firm base of business and a lot of work, and they say they are happy to get someone with my qualifications (not only my legal experience, but my nursing background).

For my part, I am very relieved to have a job again.  I am not overjoyed at the return to working longer hours that will accompany returning to private practice, but I will make it work.  I *am* happy about the pay raise that comes along with returning to private practice.

Now I'm going to try to make the most of the three days off I have left before the weekend and a return to normalcy next week.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Adjustment and loss


It's August 21st, and I have yet to post this month, so I am overdue for an update here.

In follow-up to my last post, the boys have adjusted to day care.  MJ actually ended up having a harder time with the adjustment than AJ, surprising both MM and me.  AJ was OK at drop-off by the second day, whereas MJ was still crying and clinging to me, as well as hiding in his room at home before leaving the house, as late as the start of the second week, poor thing.  But by midway through the second week, he was OK.

MM and I are happy with the center and glad we made the change.  They both seem to be enjoying themselves when we have gone there and observed them surreptitiously.  They are happy to see us at pick-up and in the evenings and talk excitedly about their day.

In other news, last Friday, I was let go from my job unexpectedly.  I was hired there on a probationary status for the first year, as is customary, and I had expected to be kept on as a permanent employee when I completed that first year.  Instead, I was told that I was being let go, with no notice and no explanation.

Needless to say, this development came as a shock and has left me at loose ends.  I am now looking for another job at a time when I did not expect to be, and I am under some financial pressure to find one quickly.

I began my job search in earnest almost immediately (by Sunday night, I had applied for five jobs), and I already have an interview lined up for next Tuesday, as well as several other applications pending.  I hope and pray that I am working again soon.

I won't say I wasn't upset about losing my job, but at one time, something like this would have absolutely devastated me.  Although the pressure to bring in an income is greater now than it was before I had children, at the same time, having my sons makes me realize that I am more than just my career. 

Losing a job is absolutely not the worst thing that could have happened to me.  I have my sons, my husband and my family.  I have good friends who have been wonderful, checking in on me and helping with job leads.  I have my health, and eventually things will work out.

Meanwhile, I am trying to keep my spirits up and take advantage of the unexpected free time to accomplish some back-burnered projects at home (like cleaning out the garage and finishing the boys' baby books).  We have kept the boys in day care--with financial assistance from my inlaws--because we didn't want to uproot them after they had just gotten settled, only to have to re-enroll them, perhaps even in another center, once I am working again.

Apart from the fact that the boys have brought home two illness in their less-than-30-days in day care--one nasty GI virus and a miserable summer cold--there isn't much else to report.  AJ and MJ are growing and thriving, and their happiness and welfare is our primary concern.

Life is just full of unexpected turns.  Thirty days ago, I never could have anticipated that things would be as they are today.

Let's hope that in another thirty days, I will once again be moving in a positive direction professionally.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Day Care

I'm surprised to see that it's only been three weeks since I've updated here. . . it seems longer, as we have had so much going on.

The biggest change in our lives is that the boys started day care today.  From the time they were born, we had intended to only keep them at home with a nanny until they turned 2 and then enroll them in day care for the socialization and structure at that time.  But when the time came to start investigating day care centers in preparation for that transition, they just didn't seem ready to me, AJ in particular, so we held off.

When the boys turned 2, AJ's expressive language was only at the 12-month level.  Between his speech delay and his shyness, we just felt that he would have a very difficult time functioning in a group setting.  (I'm sure some of the moms reading this post who have children in day care are probably chuckling, but that's how we felt.)  The cost was the same--actually, having a nanny was slightly cheaper for us--so because we didn't think he was ready (we thought MJ would've been fine), we decided we would hold off on starting either of the boys in day care until they were 3.

Over the past six months, though, AJ has made tremendous progress with his speech.  (It's not entirely clear to me if this is due to his speech therapy or simply the passage of time, or perhaps a combination of both.)  He has also become more confident around strangers (though he can still be shy or reticent at first).  And I have noticed that both boys have seemed a bit bored at home at times, despite our nanny's best efforts to keep them occupied and entertained with various arts and crafts projects and play.

What finally decided us, though, was a minor conflict I had with our nanny that made me realize how tense the employment relationship had become on both sides over a period of several months, for a variety of reasons (too long and, frankly, too boring to go into here; none directly related to her care of the boys, which was always very good).  It's funny how much we, as human beings, will tolerate in relationships of all types simply because we don't want to make a change.  It seems that we would all rather stay in situations that are less than ideal and sometimes downright negative than leave the situation and do something different.

Given that circumstance, in combination with the advances I've noticed with the boys over the past six months, we decided that it was a good time to make the leap from having a nanny to placing the boys in day care rather than simply hiring another nanny.  I was able to locate what I think is an excellent day care center located just over four blocks from my office, and in a span of less than 24 hours, I had toured the center and secured the two spots that were opening up today in the classroom for their age group.  (I lucked out in that two 2-year-olds were moving up to the 3-year-olds room today, making two spaces available.)

The boys and MM visited the center last Friday, and they all liked it.  I dropped the boys off for the first time this morning.  MJ was fine: he briefly asked me to stay and play, and when I told him I needed to get to work, he gave me a hug and kiss and went back to his toys.  AJ, on the other hand, tried to chase me out of the classroom and cried for at least 7 or 8 minutes after I left.  (ugh)

I'm sure that these transitions are hard for a lot of children, so I am hoping it will get easier for AJ as time passes.  We shall see.

Apart from this big change, the boys are also starting swimming lessons this coming weekend.  They are getting to be such big boys!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Pops and puzzles

The boys got to see fireworks for the first time on Friday night.  (Yes, I know, it's just shameful that this was my sons' THIRD Fourth of July but only their first time seeing fireworks.)  My father and stepmother live in a rural-ish area, so the boys were able to watch several neighbors setting off a variety of different types of fireworks right from the front porch swing.

AJ quickly realized that the "pop" sound the various fireworks made was quickly followed by the burst of light and colors he really wanted to see.  So after firework burst, he would turn to me and sign "more" and say "more pops?"

MJ referred to the fireworks as "Puzzles!  In the sky!"  Very cute.

Needless to say, both boys very much enjoyed the display (and were surprised to find out that no more fireworks were deployed for their entertainment when they returned to the front porch swing the next morning).  Even though they were already up more than an hour past their usual bedtime, MJ dozed off while watching (due to having refused to nap on the drive to Papa and Nana's house), but I think AJ would've stayed awake another hour or so watching if he had been allowed to.

We had a good visit with Nana and Papa for the weekend. . . apart from the fact that MJ's usual bull-in-a-china shop ways led to the destruction of three pieces of his grandparents' property (a folding door, the pull string on a ceiling fan and a figurine that is now headless) and his ingestion of half a multivitamin.  (AJ, though inquisitive, was his usual quiet, docile self.)  The one "upside" to the havoc MJ wreaked is that MM and I are optimistic that it may have persuaded my parents to visit us at our house instead of theirs for the foreseeable future.

I would hardly describe the visit as relaxing--MM and I had to supervise our sons constantly--but I did get to visit with an old friend I don't see often for a half-hour or so (that's when MJ bit into the Geritol pill), and it was good to see my dad.  And now we are home, likely for the rest of the summer.

Back to work and the usual routine. . . .

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


It's petty, I know. . . but I was annoyed today to see that apparently my "frenemy" from law school and my first lawyer job is expecting her second child with her new/second husband.  She already has a son from her first marriage who is about 4 1/2 years old.  (We do not keep in touch but have a number of mutual friends and occasionally run into one another at professional functions.)

If I were a bigger person, I would wish her every happiness and be glad for her.  I guess I'm not.  Which is why I say instead. . . harumph.

Monday, June 30, 2014

My Better Self

I was thinking in the shower this morning that I wish I had someone to walk me through my days.  I had in mind a sort of wise spiritual guru who could also motivate me and remind me to work hard, eat right, keep me focused.

Then I realized that I already know a person who would be perfect in this role, and her services wouldn't cost me a dime: she's me.  Well, sort of. . . she's the me that I strive to be, the me that I am when I'm at my best, when I'm feeling strong and energetic, when I am able to keep my focus.  She's my better self.

Better Self would rise early every day and do a half-hour of yoga or go for a walk around the neighborhood with the dog before going to work.  She would awaken full of energy and would remember when the alarm goes off that exercising first thing in the morning will set the tone for her day and give her more energy all day long.

Better Self would take a few moments to apply makeup and lotion before racing out the door, and she would pick out a cute outfit to wear instead of something unflattering or drab.  She would always leave early enough to be able to catch the commuter bus to work (to save money on gas, of course), and she would get to the office on time.

Better Self would eat a healthy breakfast and lunch that she planned and packed for herself.  She would probably have healthy snacks, too.  While at work, she would be focused and productive.  She would take time to get up and walk around every hour.  She would drink water and take time for breaks.  She would make sure to get out of the office once in a while and maybe even take a walk at lunch on occasion.

Better Self would arrive home on time and have patience with her sons and their various antics.  She would prepare them a healthy dinner (and continue to exercise patience when they didn't eat it and demanded "mac cheese" instead).  She would be present in the moment and enjoy her time with her children.

After her sons were in bed, Better Self would eat a healthy dinner and then have enough energy to accomplish some tasks around the house before spending some quality time with her husband and, finally, relaxing before going to bed.

Now my only question is: where is this Better Self most of the time?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Adulthood Bites

Things I hate about being a grown-up:

  • If I don't eat right and get enough sleep, I feel like crap
  • No one is going to come and clean or organize my house (unless I pay them an exorbitant amount of money. . . and then they probably won't do the job to my satisfaction)
  • I can no longer spend money with total disregard for the future
  • Certain food and drinks give me heartburn.  That never happened when I was teenager (who regularly ate Funyuns and a Dr Pepper for lunch) or in my 20s (when I worked night shift a lot and ate at irregular times)
  • I have a lot of responsibilities
  • I've had to accept that there are a number of things in life that it's unlikely I will ever accomplish
  • I can't sleep in anymore
  • Because I can't sleep in anymore, I can't stay up late anymore
  • I have to think about things like my cholesterol and triglyceride levels and my risk for heart attack and stroke (bleh)
  • My parents are old
  • All the teenagers I know were born after I graduated from college (sigh)
  • I spend more time doing things I "have to" do than doing things I "want to" do