Tuesday, December 08, 2009

OK, so I have eight minutes before my self-imposed bedtime. I had a crappy night of sleep last night, and face a horrid drive tomorrow morning. I love Minnesota, but the first real snow of the winter always sucks.

We had our second round of interviews for a position that we have had open since August. Patent geeks are a funny bunch-and trying to find one in the right combination of experience and technical background WITH a personality has been a challenge. This time, at least, we had a good class to interview, and unlike the last go-round, we had two clear favorites, and appear to have settled on one. Huzzah! Even though it is another body that we desparately need, it does pose some challenges for my world. Hopefully this will work out-but really, the crystal ball hasn't been our friend lately.

We get to talk about fun stuff like budgets tomorrow morning-good times. For a person that doesn't even balance her checkbook, asking me to manage a six digit budget is more than a bit daunting. It has to be done, but we as a collective group have never been asked to be as involved as we are now. A good career skill to have, but the very thought of having to sit and hammer out numbers makes me want to curl up into a ball. I won't know if the kids' daycare will be open until tomorrow morning, so if anything, I can dial in to the call and suffer in the comfort of my own sweats on my couch while Son and BabyA catch up on their Peep and Caillou viewing.

Since I'm just rambling at this point, the funny thing about today was that the candidates that we flew in to good old Minnesota were all from warm weather climates; Texas and California. The look of terror on their faces with the thought of having to drive in the snow and wind to the airport was enough to make me feel bad that we had done this. Ultimately, the position will be officed in CA, but since we were all going to be in MN for other meetings, it made sense. Sort of. Who knew that we would get pummelled with almost a foot of snow and temps projected to be below zero? At least whoever gets the job will be grateful it's not here!

Good night!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Worth a shot

We went and looked at the house that I mentioned a couple of posts ago. When will I ever learn that if the deal seems too good, it probably is? The property itself is nice-if we were horse people, it would be intoxicating.

However, the house. Oy vey, the house:
  • The in-law suite is actually a separate two bedroom house-maybe around 800 sq ft. It needs a new roof, new flooring, the bathroom needs to be gutted, and it needs to have a drain system and possibly a sump pump installed.
  • The main house has a strange layout-great room sizes, but horrendous flow. There are also issues with drainage around the house; all of it goes into the basement, which is drain tiled, but the sump pump hasn't been working for quite some time. It needs new windows and exterior doors, has water damage from some roof issues, etc. I don't think that they have even scratched the surface of the potential mold issues.

As a whole, it has a lot of potential, but it was at the higher end of our price range, and we don't have the bandwidth to fully exploit it. We have friends in landscaping, construction, and roofing, but even if they cut us a deal, it would be too much. It was sort of a bummer, but it was one of the few times in recent memory that Husband and I actually had a civil, focused, forward-looking conversation about things that we would want in the future. What we liked and disliked. Son even added his two cents. It was really nice, even though we didn't end up moving forward with the house.

There's another one out there that will fit, and at a better time for us. I need to get my salary back, and get some of our other matters in order. For once, I'm almost optimistic about this. Who knew?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Does metformin make you delusional?

Seriously...I need to know.

So here's the background. After falling off the met wagon about a month ago, I decided that darn it, it CAN help you get rid of this entire other person that you're hauling around, so take it already! I'm up to 1500 mgs at this point, which is even better than I used to do during the infertility days. I've been paying for my rather rapid ramp, but I'm almost through the woods on that, so I just need to suck it up a couple of more days. I'm ultimately supposed to hit 2000mgs of the stuff, which I hope to be able to handle in a couple of weeks.

OK, so the delusional part. Granted, I've been hitting the treadmill on a very regular basis in the mornings, and have even added in some upper body work (treadmill push ups, but hey, its something). I've been upping the pace from where I started at a paltry 2.6 MPH to almost 3.2 MPH to keep my heart rate up. I've been eating better. Yes, I did indulge in "helping" the kids out with their substantial Halloween haul, but since Husband put it up so high in the cabinets that I need a chair to retrieve it (damn all 6'3" of him), I've been laying off. Seriously, having to exert physical effort to steal Halloween candy from your kids? Pathetic.

ANYWAY, the point is that I pulled out a pair of pants this morning that have been a bit snug for the past year or so, and viola! they fit great. They aren't quite where they should be to fit perfectly, but I'm no longer praying to the gods of thread strength that they hold together. I'm comfortable in them. Hooray!

The irrational part is that I refuse to get on the scale to see if this is just a matter of toning, or whether I have actually lost some weight. I'm down a cup size on my bras as well, but that could be attributed primarily to the fact that for the first time in four plus years I'm not pregnant or nursing. The last time we nursed was late June-while I still have an occasional drip once in a while, it is pretty much all gone. The scale is an object of scorn and desire all at once. I could get on it and have the highlight of my day; or, I could get on it and feel like a complete failure, even with the pants victory. And then I would do something to completely sabatoge myself. I've been through the cycle enough to know exactly what I'll do. Sad, but true.

I'm in a good rhythm now, and I think that I'm going to stay there. Maybe I'll check once these pants start getting a little loose. Yeah, that's it.......

Monday, November 09, 2009

the churn

Ah, a lovely Monday and I'm pretty much completely moved into my new office with-get this-a window! Yay! You have to understand that this complex of patched together building that I work in is seriously short on anything resembling natural light. To be in an office area that actually gets it is a perk, but an office-oh boy! I had to downsize a bit, but that's OK. I've got lawn, a tree, and the occasional Canadian Goose flock to saunter on by. Nirvana for an office rat, I tell you!

We moved the entire department (including a file room of 2000+ paper files) last week, and of course, both of the kids were sick. Son crashed after trick or treating, and stayed down until Wednesday. BabyA was summarily dismissed from daycare with a temp of 102 on Wednesday afternoon, and stayed home the rest of the week. Son got the worst of it really-a high temp even on Motrin, and extreme fatigue. BabyA pretty much had the one day of a fever, and that was it. Both were more than a bit stir crazy by the weekend. The timing couldn't have been a whole lot worse. I was trying to get our department moved, and Husband was short a desk clerk, so he had to pick up desk shifts all week. I was able to be here all day Monday to pack up my office, and parts of Tuesday and Friday. I'm still a bit in boxes, as is the file room, but we'll get there. Eventually. I hope.

Survived SIL's shower on Saturday. Enough said.

We've also found another house that we are interested in-and Husband actually seems sort of vested in it. Based on the price, and what we could gather from the condition (from peering in at night with the car lights, and no, no one lives there), there has to be some sort of backstory. I'm going to be emailing the agent to get a little more info. If it does end up being something that we would be interested in, it may take a while to move based on the time of year, so we may have more time to think about it. Apparently I've been approaching this all wrong with him. It's yet another step in the right direction.

Since I'm being completely random, I was talking to my manager a couple of days ago, and mentioned how I was so blessed tired, and just starving (missed lunch, again). He asked if I was going to spring a maternity leave request on him. I'm telling you, I can't get away from it! I told him that it would cost me a lot of money and time in order to ask for another one; short answer, no.

Lots of other stuff, but probably not interesting enough to waste the key strokes on. Time to unpack another box.....

Monday, October 26, 2009


It's funny what can be a trigger for memories. A scent, a date on the calendar, the clouds on a certain day.

For example, since I l ive in the great white north, none of the exterior doors to my building at work open right into the building, you have to go through another set. The gate that I tend to use is right next to the outdoor "smoke shack." I have to pause to badge in, and the smell of stale smoke and the outside always takes me back to the bowling alley in my little home town. My dad has bowled league pretty much since my conception. On the rare occasion that my mom wasn't home on league nights, I would get to go with, and that smell just takes me there. I can actually see it in great detail, one that honestly hasn't changed based on the last time that I was in there.

Then, there is the calendar. Both Son and BabyA were conceived in December, which means that I was usually cycling around this time of year. Trying to get downtown to my clinic during rush hour in the fall rain or early winter sleet, thanking God that I could get by with my bigger sweaters because I was all puffy from the progesterone and the injectables. It just seems strange, even two years later, to not be doing that again. There is a rhythm of sorts to infertility treatments. At least for me; if I couldn't have the predictability of a regular cycle on my own, it was of ultrasound, bloodwork, trips to the pharmacy.

So, alas, my thoughts turn to wanting to find that rhythm again. I had actually come to some sort of point where I was almost OK with being done. It still feels wrong, in a way that I can't articulate, to go through what we did, invest so much money, time, and emotion, and then just close and weld the door shut. Husband can't understand it; he thinks I'm nuts. Maybe since it was never really his body failing; barely sub-normal motility aside, he never had the feeling of failure and utter contempt for his body. The only way that I was able to at least push the majority of that aside was having kids, nursing them, in essence growing them.

I've been struggling a bit more with this since the announcement that my brother and his wife are expecting in January. I felt all of those weird, knee jerk reactions steeped in years of infertility, in addition to a degree of self-loathing that I was feeling that way STILL, even after two kids. Would this give me a baby fix that I seem to need so much, or will it hammer home that I'm not done? I'm old, I'm a repeat gestational diabetic, I could end up paying for daycare for three (!), and I'm a bedroom short. Oh, and the other half of the required genetic material, since he's not supportive of the idea.

To some degree, it almost feels like infertility all over again-wanting something that is so far out of reach, but feeling that it would be the last piece in the puzzle. It's not like my kids aren't good enough, or don't fulfill that part of me. That's not it at all. I just feel as though we aren't complete yet. Would I be crushed it we ended up staying at two? No. Not in the least. The two of them are more than I could have ever anticipated. I'm still amazed some days when I have to look back in the car and settle a fight between two talking, sentient beings.

That being said, am I tempting fate to expect another good outcome? The two previous outcomes were more than I could have asked for. What if, by wanting more, and not appearing to appreciate what I have, will I get more than I can handle? What if we don't dodge the multiple bullet? What if something goes wrong? I understand fertiles have the same issues, but because it was so hard getting here, I wonder if the stakes aren't a bit higher, at least in my own mind.

My fear is that time will just pass us by, and by making no affirmative decision we really make a decision with no thought, no discussion. Big talks like this don't usually go too well at my house. Despite my best efforts, I get all emotional, which tends to hold less weight with Husband than something that I can lay out in the type of ABC logic that he seems to require. I get pissed off that he doesn't "get it", and that if he really knew me at all he would and he's so mean....you get the idea. The whole issue that I can't really point to one particular factor doesn't help my cause. I read an article not too long ago that pretty much said that if you are wanting another baby to fill a personal void-companionship, a need for attention, etc.-you are doing it for the wrong reasons. I don't think that I fall into that camp but since I'm the type that can analyze things to death, it keeps pecking at me.

So. It's fall. I'm thinking about babies. And unable to make any decision at all.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

If the 'dome is arockin'....

Two for two...sent the Packers back to Wisconsin and Detroit to clean out their lockers...

GO TWINS!!!!!!

My attorney AND paralegal bailed on me early this afternoon to go and scalp tickets-I sure hope that they were able to get in. Since grumpy (aka Husband) doesn't like sports, and I couldn't find the game on TV, I was stuck checking Yahoo for the final score. Doesn't matter-playoffs are a good time around here, even if the Yanks aren't classy enough to delay the start of their series...


The past week or so has left me feeling off balance, like I'm floating above it all, or more like getting blown away by the wind, while I try to grab onto whatever solid thing I can, but getting ripped away each time.

Things at home are still touch and go some days. He's tired and cranky, so am I. I can't talk to him about all of the stuff that is happening at work, since he doesn't understand (or have enough patience to learn it so he can understand) what I do, and that some of the angst and conflict is based around legal ideology and theory in a small specialized field. It's not enough for him to just try to understand and see that I'm a bit shaky in the confidence area right now, that I just need some faith in me, since I'm having a hard time finding it myself right now.

I had a colleague make it very clear to me last week that he thinks that I'm a subpar attorney, and he called me out on it in front of the entire department. This was someone that I had trusted, someone that I had let me guard down to. The worst feeling is to be at the point of tears, being the only woman in the room, being pissed off at the person and pissed off at yourself because you can't make the tears disappear, and knowing that you have to suck it up for two more days. To say that the relationship is damaged would be accurate. He will never acknowledge that he was out of line for doing it, and will continue to believe that he was righteous. I'm still mad about it, and still shaken. I talked to another friend/mentor type, and he understood, since he knows us both, and was even my manager for a brief while. Some of the points made had merit-I'm not as strong as I should be in some areas, but I'm pretty certain that I'm not approaching malpractice. I haven't been submarined like this since high school-still don't like it too much.

There was a healthy, six year old boy that died last week from H1N1. Scares the living bejesus out of me. He looked a bit like Son. I'm trying not to feed into the panic, the worries, but I'm worried about my kids. Worried that someone will send a sick kid to daycare, that sick kid will end up being OK, but mine won't. The very possibility of that is unfathomable to me. I'm doing what I can-they are going to get both shots when they become available (BabyA had the nasal flu vaccination last week). Hands are being washed religiously. Vitamins and sleep are in pretty good supply. I don't normally succumb to this sort of stuff, but I'm more than a little bit scared.

The stupid thing is, I'm worried that the law of probabilities is going to catch up with me. Things have been going too well lately-the shoe has got to drop at some point. Despite my bitching here, things have been going pretty well. Up until last week, I was really having fun at work. I was being challenged, building a team that I think can be here for the long haul, learning. The kids have been so much fun lately-BabyA is speaking in complex sentences (albeit not always intelligible, but she's getting there), Son has had another leap in development. I got sucked into believing that this is the way things are supposed to be.

The first thing that dissuaded me of that fallacy was the ambush at work, what's next? Maybe it's self-fulfilling, but this has happened to me more than once, and I'm trying so hard not to be blindsided, to have the emotions knocked out of me, that I've got my guard up too high.

I should really go and try to be productive-my jug of Diet Pepsi is the only fortification that I have right now-charge!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Another weekend down-it's Sunday night and far too late, but this is the first time that I've stopped and just sat. Seriously. I busted it to get laundry done so we could make it (with clean clothes) to a late afternoon wedding on Saturday. We were 15 minutes late, despite a bunch of good efforts. We took the kids, since the groom is their godfather. I hear that Husband had a good time-I spent it all chasing BabyA. No easy task in spike heels at a semi-outdoor venue. Son was sooo good-I was so proud of him. It was a small wedding-50 guests, tops-and the bride and groom have six kids between them, so no one batted an eye when BabyA was being a two year old. Good thing for her that she's so darn cute.

Husband woke up pissy this morning, yelled at me for taking his least favorite dog in the Caddie (my Jeep was still at work since Husband picked me up on Friday), and was a general asshole for most if not all of the day. I don't think that we said more than a few sentences to each other. I don't know what his problem was. I told him that I was going on a walk-the kids weren't up yet, and the weather was really nice, and the dog and I could use some outside time. Apparently, Husband thought that I was just going to go up and down our street. Let's see, I've been spending at least half an hour almost every day all week for a while now. Why would I go up and down the street for fifteen minutes? He was also kind enough to inform me that the Caddie was HIS car, and how dare I...blah blah blah.

Hmmmm-seems like I made the majority of the car payments on that thing. Oh, and you have the new, nice car that I'm not ALLOWED to drive. Two words for you: Fuck and You.

He went on and on about the woman that was the date of one of the men that was at our table at the wedding. Yes, she was beautiful. Yes, she seemed like a genuinely nice person. I stuffed myself into three inch spikes, spent $300 on the new outfit, and he didn't say a fucking word. I had felt pretty good in the dressing room. Right now I just want to tear it to shreds.

He went to bed without me. Turned off the light and the TV. He never thinks to leave out PJs or anything for me, so I'll get to search around in the dark or improvise. I don't even want to go to bed, don't even want to share the same space, since it feels like he thinks that I'm not doing anything but taking it up. I'm so tired of feeling stupid and not good enough and tip toeing around my own house.

I know that we need to talk about it, maybe actually be together. Last night, I found myself thinking over and over that I wished that we could just be grown-ups and enjoy the night, not with Husband working the room and me chasing down two kids and ending up with the kids meal smeared on my sweater.

I'm frustrated, I'm tired, and desperately trying to make sure that I steel myself against having a huge letdown when he blows my birthday this week. I should be better at this than I am. I don't have the time to dig in either, which adds this almost frantic edge to my anxiety. I'm interviewing seven people for the position that I'm hiring for. My boss and the rest of the department is in all week. Early, early mornings, and later nights. I should be reading resumes and going to bed. Blech.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

And that's all I have to say about that.....

OK, enough already about my mornings. Today wasn't a good one, but I know that we'll get back on track tomorrow. Son admitted that he likes getting to school early, and that maybe, just maybe, it would help if he would just get dressed when told to life would be easier. Hmmmm....maybe this is all sinking in.

Life in general has been moving along at a predictable, albeit hectic, pace. Work has calmed down a bit-the group that had been making life very interesting for almost a year was officially disbanded in mid-July. There is another project of a much smaller scope coming up, and I'm looking forward to it. For some reason, crazy seems to make me feel needed around here. I really need to talk to someone about that....

Other than the kids getting a year older this month (ack! sob!), things at home have settled into something resembling a schedule. I'm trying to be more active with the kids, trying to be more engaged. I hate having to spend Saturday mornings sorting laundry and cleaning cat boxes and unloading the dishwasher and taking out the dogs while they sit and watch all of the recorded kid shows from the past week, but if I don't, we are sunk. It's an ongoing battle, one that I'm hoping I can find a strategy for. As I've mentioned before, Husband usually manages to disappear during this time. I honestly can't tell you what he did last week-really, I can't. But, if you ask him, I don't do enough at home. I try not to get snippy about it, but I can't help but let it boil over once in a while. He just looks at me like I've lost my mind. I'm sorry, but mowing the lawn DOES NOT COUNT. He just sits and watches TV, and while Son will curl up with him, I really wish that he would find a way to actually DO something with him. It's an ongoing point of contention, and one that is growing, at least in my mind.

Honestly, there are days where I just don't like Husband that much. I never thought that I would be in this place, since what had pulled us together was a shared background, and he really was a good listener and made me feel valued. That really isn't there anymore, and there are days where I'm actually happy that he isn't there-it's just easier than having to accommodate all of his dislikes and triggers. We have a two year old that doesn't have a volume control. She is loud and just wants to be heard. She's TWO. He doesn't get that, and yells at her. I'm stuck between wanting to cry, wanting to yell at him for being such an ass and prima donna, and being full of resentment that he doesn't get that I don't get any downtime either. And that makes me even crabbier than before. I don't think that we're at the point of no return, but it feels like we are looking down the slippery slope. The sad thing is, I don't think that he sees it. I'm just always there, always taking care of things, so he doesn't have to worry. I found myself thinking about how nice it would be to have my clothes folded and put in a place where all I have to do is put them away. Where someone else makes sure that I have the basics taken care of. To just be taken care of. I just don't foresee it ever happening.

I'm tired, but at least I have my kids. I know that they shouldn't be providing all of my emotional validation, but they are. I'm trying not to rely on them for that, but I have to say that it's nice to get a hug from them and know that there are no further aspirations or expectations. They do it because they love me, they need me. I just can't seem to get that anywhere else lately, and I'm feeling a bit depleted. The moronic thing? I still have this ember glowing inside about wanting to have a third. I've gone over all of the reasons why this is nuts, but it's still there. Sigh.

One of these days I'll have my act together, but I'm not counting on it.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Habit Pt. II

I know that little things make me happy-but here we are at week two, and we were....drumroll.....EARLY this morning! AND I even had to get gas.

Hooray for me! Son actually hasn't been fighting me getting out the door, and BabyA doesn't care as long as I have a sippy with some milk for her. It's liberating to actually get there and not be the one screaming in at the last minute, or having to watch Son trying to sneak into group time. They both seem to be more engaged. I also get to work at a decent time.

So far so good.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

How long does it take to make a habit?

I'm serious, how long does it take? We are now on day two of-are you sitting down?-of being early for preschool. Organized "class" started back up after the summer break on Tuesday. They kick things off at 8:30, which doesn't really jive with our normal arrival time of 9:00ish. BabyA has been missing the whole coverage of colors, shapes, etc. (Insert guilty shuffling of feet on my part). Fortunately she has been picking things up at home from books and just common interaction; normal stuff really, but still, I pay quite nicely for this kind of of learning, so it would be nice if I could get my butt in gear to actually get her there on time. Son hasn't been missing much-but still.

So, I had made a small vow to myself, and to him, that once "school" started up again, we would be on time. Fortuitously, there was an article in my latest "Parenting" that had the "confessions of a tardy mom." To say that it resounded quite well with me would be an understatement. There were some basic ideas that I had never even contemplated before, but when I really thought about it, it made perfect sense. For example, focusing on a load time as opposed to when you need to leave to make it on time. For us, this is especially relevant, since there is always something that goes wrong as soon as we attempt to get out to the car; the dog goes on a walkabout, the kids need something special for that day and didn't tell me, I forgot diapers/milk/etc. It would help if I would get it all together the night before, which has eliminated some of these issues-well at least for the past couple of days. So far, so good.

Oh, and there is that whole thing about getting to work at a decent time too-I've been scaring my support staff! I suppose that it's about time I started acting like a grown up. I'm 38 next month, and I still feel like some goofy 20something that is still feeling her way around. I've got a mortgage, a husband, car payments, and two kids! When the hell did that happen?

Anyway, I just wanted to get up some self-congratulatory drivel. I'm usually only here when something is on its way down, and it's nice to finally feel like I've actually accomplished a silly little goal like being on time so my kids can get the most out of their opportunity to learn. I may get this whole adult thing down yet!

Friday, August 14, 2009

No title today-just don't have the juice for some reason. It's been a looooooooong week, and I'm more than ready for it to be over:
  • OK, there was the whole endo issue. I mentioned it to Husband, who of course forgot that I even had an appointment, and he really didn't say a word. Thanks for the support honey! There are days where I don't even get a decent roommate out of this marriage. The world revolves around him, that's all there's to it. Just gets lonely sometimes.
  • On the up side I managed to get my third workout in this week. Son woke up at some unGodly hour and came down and kept me company, while being liberally harassed by the cats. Another human! He may pet us! Hooray!
  • I've got two job postings open, one here in the U.S. and another overseas. I have seen nothing but crappy resumes, to the point of approaching thirty. The problem is that for the U.S. position, I not only have to appease my boss, but also another highly picky attorney that will be getting some support from this new hire. He shoots everyone down. We've been at this for almost a month. Perfect doesn't exist. Lets try for competent, affordable, and decent enough that we would like to keep them around for a while. I'm so damn frustrated with the whole thing that I could scream.
  • Even after a solid eight (yes, eight!) hours of sleep last night, I'm more tired than when I started. On what planet does that make sense? Everything and everyone, except for Black Dog, who led me on a merry chase this morning, seemed to move in slow motion. It took threats, followed by movement to the door to leave without him, to get Son motivated enough to get.fucking.dressed.already. Grrr.

As is abundantly evident, I'm in a peach of a mood today. Oh, and I have to write evaluations today as well, or otherwise I'm going to be under the gun next week, and I'm just not up to it.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Things you never wanted to hear

Today I got to spend some time with my favorite endocrinologist, Dr. M. Dr. M and I would probably be great friends if she weren't, you know, my doctor. Same sense of humor, her kids and mine are spaced about the same, and are ab0ut the same age, etc. etc. Her one downfall, which I mentioned to her nurse, was that it is a little tough to talk about weight issues with a doctor that I could literally bench press. Yes, she's that tiny.

Anyway, I swallowed my trepidation and made an appointment yesterday. I got lucky in that she had a cancellation for this morning, so off I went. My sugars and everything are fine, but since I changed from the mini pill to a full blown birth control, my weight has continued to climb, and despite my best efforts and visits to my beloved treadmill (no, seriously, I do love it) at ungodly hours in the morning, nothing has improved. I'm frustrated, to the point of tears. I'm sick of this.

So, I asked, against all of my better judgement, for Metformin.

Yes, this is the same evil stuff that I suffered with during my infertility days. I hate the stuff, at least when I'm amping up the dosage, but in the past it has made a difference in managing my weight, almost to the point of me not even trying. I'm at the point where I'm willing to pull out all the stops. I'm hoping that it is a step in the right direction. Now, I want to be clear here-I don't expect this to be some miracle cure. I know that I still have to be vigilant about what I'm eating, I need to keep my early morning appointments with said treadmill or Wii. I know that. But if my body is going to fight me on this, like it has on just about everything else, I want all of the tools in the arsenal. I've played this video game long enough to have amassed all of the weapons.

She wrote me the prescription, and then pushed back from her desk and gave me a look that made me know that she wanted to talk about something. She offered up the option that even if I am doing everything right, I follow the rules and things still don't change, that I may want to consider gastric bypass. Insert longish pause. I didn't know what to say. She quickly followed up that it does not mean that I have failed-its just trading one disease, obesity, for another, malabsorption. One that could ultimately kill me, for another that will inconvenience me, but let me not to have to see her on a regular basis. I never thought that I would be in the position, allow myself to be in the position, of even having this put on the table.

I asked her under what circumstances she would advocate me really thinking about this. Basically, whenever I want to. However, I need to give everything else an honest effort for six months, and then we see where we are.

I don't know what to say. I don't know what to think. I'm in such a state that I can't even cry, although I know that its lurking there. How did it all go so wrong?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Ah, all of my woe of last week took an unexpected turn today. Over the weekend some things occurred that I can't get into here, but suffice to say, got me doubting everything that I was thinking, everything that I was doing. I was extremely worried that things were going to become a disaster, sooner rather than later. However, after today, at least on the work front, things are going to be OK. Actually, I think that things may end up being better than OK.

I talked to my uber-calm, almost grandfatherly manager on Friday when I was so wound up about it all that I was nearly shaking, and again today, and we've hit upon a solution that I think will work.

One of our main issues is that while we have one position in our support staff, the qualifications by those that have it are all over the board. Part of the problem is that the requirements to become a certified paralegal vary widely by state. Since we have sites in four states, four sets of rules, four widely varying qualifications. Which can cause some serious strife among the ranks. For example, in one state, a two-year associates degree is required. In another, a six week on line course is good enough. Cue the in-fighting and general sniping. I hate how women can treat each other sometimes. Hell, who needs the stereotypical white male to screw us over? We have ourselves.

But I digress. Soooo, Manager B and I were talking about the disparity, and what we could do to try to end it and the revolving door that appears to have been installed at the site that I currently oversee. While our HR has been remarkably supportive, they really don't get what we do, that we are specialists among specialists. For example, it seems like no one was aware that the ABA has for all intents and purposes, an accreditation program for all paralegal courses. That approval also has some base educational requirements. So, pending HR's blessing, we now have a uniform baseline that we can have everyone adhere to. Why this wasn't picked up ages ago mystifies me, but it is what it is. This should make life easier going forward, but may pose some problems for those that are in the position, but don't have the education to back it up. We currently have a tuition reimbursement freeze going on, but Manager B has no intentions of grandfathering anyone in. This may cause more problems short term, but in the end, will be better for us long run.

If you've survived this long, thank you. Basically, there has been a silver lining to this entire mess with Superstar leaving. We may end up better for it, which is more that one can usually ask for when losing a good employee. It helped to shore up the confidence that got pretty beat up when she gave her notice. I tend to be highly self-critical, and I spent most of the weekend beating myself up. Did I do the best that I could have from a managerial standpoint? No, but I didn't completely screw up either. Was I deluded to think that I have the chops for this job? No.

Overall, a day that I had been dreading and almost worked myself into another migraine over ended up being a good and positive step forward. Now we need to talk about that "temporary" pay cut.....

Monday, April 20, 2009

Happy Monday...oh, no wait.

On the up side, no visit to the ER or any other medical professional this weekend! Score one for the Chronicle household. All of the laundry (you know, that minuscule and unessential task that I pretty much devote myself to on the weekends, and no, I'm not holding a grudge) was washed and dried, and some even made it out onto my neighbor's line.

Did I mention that for the first time in over three years we filed our taxes on time? AND did them by ourselves this year, saving $350? Oh, and that we actually get a refund this year? Oh, oh, and the other good thing last week? I paid off two of our three credit cards without touching the tax money. Yea for me! I was on a role.

Then my superstar admin gave me her notice this morning.

She gave me two weeks, but man, does the timing suck. I've got a major, major project that won't be buttoned up by then in the works, and its one that I can't put on the back burner, since time is really against me. There were a lot of issues, money, environment, etc. that were out of my control, and I totally understand the reason for leaving. But it sucks. It's not a personal thing at all. I'm not really upset per se, but more wound up about how I'm going to have to shuffle things around a staff that is already stretched to, and in some cases, beyond their limits, but yet still get the job done.

For some reason the Admin expected me to yell, get upset, something. I just went into my normal crisis management mode, which is fix the problem, and get solutions in the works. It's all I know how to do. Part of it is a coping mechanism, part of it is based on knowledge that if I don't get moving now, I'll be paying for it later. So, I shut down all but the most pragmatic parts of me, and just plow ahead. She came in later to ask me if I wasn't going to talk to her for the next two weeks. I just told her that I was getting done what I needed to-nothing personal, but I have to fix this hole rather quickly. After all was said and done, I really don't think that she understood that. I have no intention of holing up on my office; I simply don't have that option. I just need a little space to figure out the next move.

Its one of those things that makes me think about how women and men handle these things, and if we (as in women) deny that emotional part of us, are we doing ourselves a disservice. I've been reading, on and off, a book about women in leadership, and how we are, as a whole, vastly underrepresented in government in comparison with other nations, including those we would view as second or third world. It talks about women being viewed as successful by others if we subvert our intrinsically feminine viewpoints, yet how that diminishes what we bring to the leadership table. OK, so that was a tangent of unprecedented proportions, but it still figures in. Sometimes being a girl isn't that fun.

So, after I finish up my number crunching for the day, I'm going to go home and curl up in a ball and play Lego with my kids. At least they can't leave me for more money.

And did I mention that I'm supposed to get a period this week? Oh yea, this is gonna be fun.

Monday, April 13, 2009

You know, I'm going to opt out of almost all holidays. I really should. 'Cause they never really turn out the way they are supposed to.

First off, my parents were supposed to come down on Sunday, we were all going to go to Mass (the kids are old enough to be up for this), come home, have lunch, play, call it a day. Go to bed early.

Instead, here's how it really went:
  • parents show up two hours early, and inform us that they went to a sunrise mass (at least for me, 7:30 in the morning on a Sunday counts as sunrise). The house, while in commendable shape for us, was hardly inspection worthy.
  • lunch went off with nary a hitch. Even the hollandaise sauce turned out OK.
  • played outside, walked down the block to the pond, watched the ducks and geese. Ms. Independent demanded that she walk most of the way. Its about a half mile round trip-quite a way for such short little legs!
  • while parents are outside with Son and BabyA, Husband informs me that he doesn't think that I do enough at home. That he pretty much does ALL the cleaning and that I basically don't do anything to contribute to that. What I had thought was a fairly equitable division in labor (I do six to eight loads of laundry a week, fold it, put it away, feed children, dress children, take children to school, pick up children, bathe children and put BabyA to bed) is far from it. Never mind that I have been feeling completely overwhelmed and inadequate before. All I could do was cry.
  • parents leave around 4:00 for their three hour drive home. No major battles between my mom and Husband. Huzzah!
  • we leave on a little roadtrip to check out a playsystem that we are looking at getting for the kids, and Husband needed to stop by work to get some reports to get his Monday report mail out. I start not to feel so great-I just figured that I was tired (even though, if you ask Husband, I really shouldn't because, you know, I sleep in later than him every day, never mind that he is in bed a good hour or more before I am). On the way home, I was scrolling through his iPod to pick out a movie for the kids, and I felt my stomach do that maneuver that makes you know that reverse is the gear that its going to be engaging in. He asked me if I could make it home-heaven forbid something bad happen to his beloved caddie-or if we needed to stop. I told him to just take me home.
  • Instead of taking me home, he takes me to the emergency room. I now have a full blown migraine, with all of the lovely light and smell sensitivity. I sent Husband and the munchkins home, and curled up into a ball back in the family conference room in the ER deciding whether to throw up. Ultimately deciding to stop fighting. Some Zofran later, I was feeling better, but then my head started to throb.
  • Finally get back to a room after an hour, and then waited another hour in a blessedly dark exam room, with the Zofran finally kicking in. Doc finally comes in, we start the eval, and he gets called away...for 45 more minutes. My nurse finally sent up a flare and got him back, and got my meds ordered.
  • An IV of all things painkiller and anti-nausea, and withing 10 minutes I'm out cold, only to be awakened by Husband and my now bathed and pajama'd kids. I finally get released, but have to wait almost 45 minutes to finally get out of there with my prescriptions and go home.
  • Kids got to bed almost two hours late.
  • Parents get to bed at almost the same time-drugs like Ambien and Benadryl are fantastic.

Since this is the second time in the past year that I've been through this, the doc (who I found out was the head of the ER department) said that I really do need the meds to have on hand to try to head these off when I feel them coming, since Ibuprofen isn't working right now. So far no injectibles, but we'll see how it plays out. He also suggested a visit to a neurologist to make sure that there is nothing other than crappy genetics behind these. I'm what I believe is the fourth generation of migraine sufferers, so I'm pretty sure that yet-to-be-discovered genetic link is my main problem. It can't hurt, so I'll be making an appointment.

In closing, holidays seem to be a recipe for an ER visit. So far, we've hit Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and now Easter. I fear for the fourth of July. Oh, and if I ever even SEEM to be happy about my lack of medical disasters, smack me. Please.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Welcome to the Chronicle Infirmary!

Yep, after having some smugness about how we managed to miss any major sickies over the winter, I managed to get smacked around but good. However, considering that we got three solid inches of snow last weekend (it's APRIL people), I should have seen it coming.

First up on the well-beaten path to the pediatrician was Son. He had been nursing one of those deep and barking coughs for a while, but it was only really happening at night. My immediate, non-medically educated thought was that we haven't been very good about making sure that there is water in his humidifier, so maybe it was just dry. The day before we ended up at the doctor's office, he had spent the entire day outside, running and playing. Imagine my surprise when the kind doc told me that yes, he does have something going on in his lungs, and how does pneumonia in the right lung sound? Wonderful. Zithromax for five days, and a couple of really long naps, and he was back to his old self. He still maintains that he has "a bad cough," but now it is just to avoid going to daycare.

Next stop on the tour was Husband, who is actually worse than Son, at least on the horrible patient scale. Loads of snot, couldn't really sleep lying down for almost a week, headaches, dizzy, coughing fits. He has a history of sinus infections, so we were pretty sure that he would go in, get a Z-pack, and it would be over. Instead, they told him to do a nasal rinse (and yes, it looks worse than it sounds) without even examining him. It took a grumpy phone call to finally get anything, and an insinuation that Husband was an abuser of antibiotics. OK, I know that I'm not a doc, but in what I do, I have to look at all of the facts to try to come up with a conclusion. Over the past three years, Husband had been on an immunosuppressor for his psoriasis, which caused an abundance of sinus infections, and some other weird stuff. If said MD had looked further down on his medication history, she would have seen that.

The final stop was for BabyA. She was summarily dismissed from daycare on Wednesday afternoon with a fever of 101. We spent Thursday confined to the house, with her alternating from sleeping for three hour stretches at a time, and me chasing her around the house with a box of tissue wiping her nose of the neon yellow goo that was escaping. She had been coughing, but it really ramped up on Thursday. So much for my "its just a cold theory." Friday morning, back to my favorite pediatrician's office, bronchitis. Chronicle family member #3 on Zithromax. I should have my own express line at the pharmacy at Target.

Somehow, by God's grace, voodoo, or some other unknown phenomena, I've remained the only semi-well person in our house. I did sneak in one nap over the weekend. Son made the beguiling offer of "just lay down with me" on his uber comfy bed for a nap, and, well, three hours later we were both quite refreshed. I have to admit, that after suffering through Husband's near seismic snoring lately, hearing Son's soft purr was a relief. And he's a much better snuggler with no ulterior motives.

I've managed to disinfect most of the house, and all seems to moving towards recovery. Now if it would just stop snowing......

Friday, March 13, 2009

18 Months

BabyA had her 18 month appointment today. She was her bright and perky self-insisted on walking to the exam room, which was ALL.THE.WAY at the end. She moves quickly, but not that fast. That hallway has never seemed so long.

Anyway. We did all the basic stuff, height (32"!), weight (23 lbs), and head circumference (19). She's still fairly skinny and tall (35 and 70th percentiles, respectively). The exam was pretty uneventful, but I do love to watch her face. Our pedi is great-we've finally found the right fit. She sat on my lap as Dr. S. checked reflexes, etc. BabyA looked at her knee in shock as her foot shot out after the tap. She was completely entranced, but very, very serious. I couldn't help but chuckle. She was checking Dr. S out quite thoroughly. No crying, but intense interest. Those big baby blues were following everything, her brow slightly furrowed.

Just one shot, her tetanus booster. She didn't even cry. Girl felt sorry for her mommy. Overall, we are once again blessed to have an uber healthy little girl. She's OK at her weight right now, and we just need to keep her there. She's still a little picky, but she will try new things, at least a little bit. She's a unique little creature, this now toddler of mine. Once again, a baby in my house has performed a vanishing act. I'll always miss the baby she was, but I can't wait to see the person that she becomes.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Sweetest thing...

Last night when I picked up the kids from daycare, both of them were out in the large muscle area. I came through the gate, and BabyA was there, arms up, saying "up, up!" I picked her up and was talking to the director about a bite mark that had materialized on BabyA. We finished up, deciding that somebody got away with one, and I turned to see Son getting into it with another kid over a toy.

The teacher broke it up, and Son came over to me, crying. It was a case of a tired kid, another kid grabbing onto his toy, and the end of the day. ANYWAY, BabyA, who I had put down when I heard the squawking from Son, came over to Son, and wrapped her arms around his waist and gave him the biggest hug. I haven't gotten a true hug from her yet, but yet Son gets one. He sort of ignored her, and just clung to my legs. BabyA, being her usual determined self, was still worried, so she went around him and hugged him from the back. He calmed down, and she felt that everything was OK enough to let go.

It was a show of empathy that I hadn't seen from her before, and made me so happy. It was one of the reasons that we had two children-so that they would have each other, be able to lean on each other, play together. They still have their moments, and I would be surprised if they didn't. However, it was such sweet, pure concern for Son, that motivated her.

I pray that it doesn't change any time soon. Just another reason for me to thank God for having her in my world. Our little family would be less without her.

Monday, March 02, 2009


OK, I have to fess up. One of the very few things that I DON'T mind about having PCOS is that a lack of periods really isn't that big of a deal if you don't want to get pregnant at the time. Really. Oh, I know, there is that whole facial hair issue, and the weight combined with the diabetes risk, and then the infertility thing. But other than that? Not so bad.

As a matter of fact, I was at my yearly OB/GYN visit a couple of months ago and after the damn scale (cursed thing!), the nice nurse asked the date of my last period. When I replied, "December 1, 2006" she just looked at me with a funny look. I explained that I had a 15 month old (at the time). She just asked as she handed me the pee cup, "Are you worried?" I had to laugh, that laugh reserved for infertiles when encountering someone that doesn't know their history. I just told her that it would require an act of God for me to be worried. I don't think that she even checked.

At that appointment, my GYN wasn't quite as glib. She looked at me from over her glasses, and told me in no uncertain terms that I wasn't allowed to wait much longer. She had all sorts of good medical reasons. We also discussed the fact that I was down to one, maybe two, brief nursing sessions a day, and really wasn't that protected anymore (in addition to the mini pill that I have been on since BabyA was six weeks old). Again, I pulled out my laugh. She upped the ante by telling me about one of her patients that was in the same boat, with the same absolute belief that it would take divine intervention, and was now 36 weeks with twins. You know, those stories that any infertile hates. I have to admit, that I took a bit, just a tiny bit, to heart. As previously discussed, now would not be the right time to have the oops that I occasionally happily dream of. My luck just seems to work that way.

No, I am not leading up to any announcement, other than PMS sucks. I've been spotting off and on for a couple of weeks now, and I just started the "real" pill last night, and I feel like crap. I always get a bit nauseous when I start out on the pill, and this time is no exception. I also feel all bloaty, my back hurts, and I just want to crawl into bed. Oh, and isn't it SOOOOO convenient that this was the way that I felt each time I was pregnant? I'm pushing it far to the back corners of my mind, although I might pull out a test in a couple of weeks just to make sure. Faced with the reality of a third, it does scare me a little bit. What an odd feeling, an infertile afraid of being pregnant. I just feel to some degree like I am "over it." I don't have that driving, desperate need anymore. If we don't have any more, we could be OK. I just need to find a way to accept it if that is the end result. It just feels really strange to worry about something like this, when my reality has been so different.

Blech. I'm going home to find a salt lick and some more caffeine. And then as many Advil as possible. This being a girl stuff isn't so much fun....

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Catching a break?

Today the powers that be were kind enough to send out what we employees call Company spam regarding the lovely "temporary" base pay reductions. The check that we get on Friday will be the first at the reduced level. After the obligatory groan, I logged into our nifty online payroll system, and compared the amounts. The total difference after taxes was less than I had counted on,which was a pleasant surprise.

Basically, it comes down to, on a per check basis, about $400 less per pay period. The part about maybe, possibly, catching a break? With BabyA moving into the toddler room at daycare, my overall daycare bill has been reduced by $300 a month. So, that means that I only have to find a way to make up $250 per pay period instead of $400. Husband got his bonus numbers in a couple of days ago (his company uses some convoluted formula based on about four different variables), and we should be able to knock out at least one credit card, if not two. If we can manage that, we get back to goodness in about six weeks. We may even come out ahead-those two credit cards alone can make up the difference, and then some.

I was pretty worried about this whole thing, based on what my estimated numbers gave me. However, now that I have everything in front of me, we should be able to make it. We had been living within our means at the first level, and now we'll adjust to the new level. As long as we play our cards right, we may even emerge from this in a better financial place than before-a strange by product of the whole economic downturn. I guess that it sometimes just takes a pretty firm kick in the butt to finally get our act together.

Just six more weeks.....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

No little boy

I had one interesting, unsettling, discovery this weekend.

Son has discovered that his penis, who he has named George, has a function other than to pee with. This will be funny a couple of years down the line, but right now, I don't know what to think about it.

So here's the deal. It's Sunday morning, and since we were all going a bit stir-crazy, we decided to get out of the house. That entails wearing something other than PJs. I sent Son into his room to get dressed, and had his clothes laid out on the bed. Son went into his room, closed the door (which he normally does to keep BabyA out), and I went off to put in a load of laundry. I came back upstairs after a good 20 minutes, expecting to find Son at least partly done getting dressed. He's three after all, and well, it usually takes time.

I open his door to find him sitting on his bed, naked, with, um, George, standing at attention, and Son looking a little guilty. I ended up being as flustered as he was, so I retreated, closed the door and told him to get dressed through the closed door. I went out to talk to Husband about whether this was normal, and all he did was laugh. I was mortified. Finally, 40 minutes after he first went in, Son emerged. Husband tried to talk to him, and told him that if he had any questions, Husband would try to answer them. They did this rather discretely, and that was about it.

Needless to say, this happened a couple of more times that day. He hasn't done it since, and I haven't had a desire to revisit it. I mean, I understand that he would be curious at some point, and that he would eventually figure it out, but I was holding out for him to be, oh, say, 13, not three. I don't want him to be shy or feel guilty; it's a part of his anatomy, and this is how it works. It's just hard for me to see my son in that light-that someday he will be a sexual creature. I want him to stay my innocent little boy, dammit!

I never really considered that this would be part of being the mother to a son. When it comes to BabyA, I should be able to handle this-I have the same equipment and biology, so we're in it together. However, not quite so much the case with a boy. I have an even bigger appreciation for single moms that have to deal with this.

I know, I know, just a part of growing up. But, I, but....oh geez.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Short and not-so-sweet

I'm just in a crappy funk today-I feel like I want to cry, but I can't tell you why. It feels like it would be cathartic, just to get me out of this.

THE house appears to have sold. It's not that we really could have handled it financially, but it was a nice little dream to have, at least for a while. For once, restraint prevailed, which was probably the best thing. I can't help but be a little bummed. Husband, the great empath that he is, told me that I shouldn't be upset, since we could never have it. I just am, and it would be nice to have him understand, just ONCE.

Why, even though I know better, does Valentine's Day still fill me with dread? Husband doesn't do this stuff too well, and after 10+ years I shouldn't have any expectations. No cards or anything; probably won't even acknowledge it. He does this with our anniversary and my birthday. He's not a card guy, I make my living with words. Not always a compatible mix. It's too much hassle to find a babysitter, and just too much in general. I'm just as much at fault. I guess that I just want to be taken care of, be pampered once in a while. You know, by someone else other than me. I suck at it, but my mental health could really use it.

I have different things that I need to get done today, but I have zero desire. Maybe I just need a nap. Or something.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

its all just bullet points

Blech...I have about four different posts in my head, but if I don't use the next two workdays that have yet to be populated with any type of meeting whatsoever, I will hate, hate, hate myself, so, here's the abbreviated version. Maybe between dog baths on my lovely Monday off next week (because, hey, who wouldn't want to be covered in wet, stinky dog hair?), I'll hit them up. Maybe. Between coughing up hairballs.
  • My company, who, like so many others, has subjected its employees to layoffs, has put pay decreases into effect for low level managers and above, are now refusing to pay for the classes that I need to take, as in statutorily mandated, to keep my license. It's not a perk people, I'm not going to these things for the overwhelming enrichment or to pay for parking downtown, or to be subjected to really, really, rotten coffee. I need them to be able to do my job legally. You know, to fulfill my job requirements. So, as I bitched and moaned to my boss, and his boss-because what fun is it without a gratuitous CC: or two-I now have to pay to keep my job out of my now 2005 level salary. Very rarely have I ever questioned this company, or how it was run on a large scale, but to say that I'm pissed doesn't even cover it. Like I really need to put $400 on my personal credit card, since I have to take the rest of my required classes prior to the end of June.
  • We are still talking about THE house. Husband has even referred to it a couple of times as "our house," which is really telling. His best friend was up over this past weekend, and they were able to walk in and look around. God, how I hate this company.....
  • On the up side, I called and checked on a credit card balance, and I've paid it down over 50%. OK, well I had, until the CLE mishap. But still-yea! With Husband's bonus, and this lower balance, we can pay off the majority of our credit card debt, with only one to go. That alone almost makes up the lost income due to the pay reduction. I'm happy about that.
  • Husband's friend also asked while he was up whether we were done with kids. He acted as though the answer would be, of course, "no." My response, was "maybe," although I know that I've told Husband that I'm not up to closing that door yet, and Husband, as usual was "yes." It must have been rattling around in Husband's head since then, because a couple of nights ago he asked me whether I was serious about wanting more. As I've mentioned before, I'm really on the fence. On the one hand, we have beautiful kids, and we've been lucky twice-why push it? Just because we dodge multiples twice doesn't mean that would would again. I'm getting older, and so is he. On the other hand, we have beautiful kids, and wouldn't it be great to have another little person to only make it even better? There are all sorts of pros and cons, and the whole thing DOES scare me at some level. This would be a different conversation if I were in my early 30s, but IF took that option from me.
  • The "get your shit together before you fall apart" campaign as it applies to my overall health and weight issues is going OK. I haven't seen an appreciable change on the scale (anyone else notice that the Wii is just a hair short of insulting you when you do your body tests?), I've been on the treadmill on a fairly regular basis for almost three weeks now. I even ran a couple of nights ago, with no soreness the next day. My lack of a decent exercise bra was evident, but it felt so good. It really wasn't that bad, and with the heart monitor, I was able to gauge things a bit better. I get to watch Burn Notice tonight, so off I go.
  • BabyA is 17 months today. Where did my baby go?

OK, off to get something done. I've got one deadline that I've got to shoot for tomorrow to get clients happy. Someday I want to be the client....

Monday, February 02, 2009

Tales of the day....

Just the daily minutia:

**It's four, yep, count 'em four, degrees out, and while walking down the hospital-like hallways of where I work, there is a song on the muzak that uses steel drums. That's not even nice.

**I go on a Target run over lunch for cough drops, and disinfecting wipes (one of my admins won't come into my office due to the return of "the hack"), and I'm so proud of myself for remembering my re-usable shopping bag. Yea for Chronicle! Then what do I do? Get a plastic bag to try to keep my pizza from the cafe warm until I get back to work. Duh. What does that get me on the environmental footprint map??

**NOTE TO THE RESIDENT 16 MONTH OLD OF THE CHRONICLE HOUSE: thou shalt keep thy butt in bed all night long. No 3:30 wake ups for Mommy, based solely on the fact that you had misplaced your Binky in your crib, and a desire for yet another reading of "Panda Bear, Panda Bear." Thank you, The Management

**NOTE TO THE RESIDENT THREE YEAR OLD: You made my morning when you came into my room and said, "Hi Mommy, it's me, C." Of course it is, and I'm happy to see you too. Thank you for not wailing during the process of getting dressed this morning, for plying your sister with grapes and blueberries while I took black dog out, and for still wanting to hold my hand.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

God has a strange, twisted, sense of humor

So, this payday on Friday will be my first with the base pay reduction. I've done some of the math, and know enough that we need to tighten up even more. We've been doing basic stuff, but now it needs to be more concentrated. Between our taxes and Husband's bonus (yes, he still gets one-it's performance based), we should be able to get rid of two pieces of credit card debt, which will help. We've just got to suck it up until the late March/early April time frame, and it may get a little easier.

Why the title then? Um, well, the house that I gushed about a couple of posts ago? The one that Husband actually likes and can see himself in?

They dropped the price another $18k.

I so want this.

If I were making the same amount, I would be up for trying to find a way to (a) sell our house and (b) find other sources for the rest of the down payment so we don't have to pay PMI. If we could accomplish that, we could get a whole lot more house for about the same payment as we have now.

But I'm not making the same amount. It also took our neighbor over six months to sell her house. She bought at the top of the market, and from what I can tell, took about a $30k loss on the deal. Still, if we could get what she ultimately did, we may be in business.

It will probably be a moot point in a week or so anyway; this house won't be around much longer at this price. The timing is all wrong. However, when I talked to Husband about it today, he did point out that since when has our timing ever been right, or more to the point, have we ever paid attention to it?

Part of me is almost antsy in the anticipation of trying to make this work-in five years it could be one of the best things that we could have done. However, the fear of what could happen if something goes very wrong also makes me twitchy. One of loses our job, some major health incident where one of us can't work, and we're gone.

Sigh. As Bill Cosby said, God has a sense of humor. At this point, I think it is a pretty wicked version.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Right around $400/use...

...on my treadmill. You know, the one that I bought last fall with aspirations of smaller sizes and no more excuses? Yes, that one. For some reason, it finally clicked that maybe a little physical activity would get rid of some of this funky cloud that has been floating over my head for a while. And, if it would help to allow me to begin to include myself in family photos again, all the better.

Well, I have to say, those expert people may be on to something. I've been attempting, not always successfully, but still trying, to do something at least a couple of nights a week. That "something" is either the treadmill or our Wii Fit that Husband got me for Christmas (best.present.ever that wasn't jewelry). I was so damn sore from the Wii last week that I decided that maybe something a bit more gentle with sustained heart rate would be a bit better, hence the treadmill the past couple of days. So far so good. I've slept better, and I have to admit, I've always loved a good workout. You would never be able to tell from looking at me now, but at one point, I was an honest to God athlete. Honest! I've also found that I tend to be a bit more focused at work the next day-I don't know if it is because even though I'm not getting a full eight hours every night, what I AM getting is better quality, or that I've burned off some of those toxic hormones. Regardless, this is one habit that I may enjoy picking up. Now I just have to dump the chocolate chips straight out of the bag habit....

The silly thing that seems to be motivating me (other than the absolutely heinous family Christmas picture?) is that there is pretty good TV on at around 9PM, so I can do double duty-wind down and watch whatever I want on basic cable. Husband even found a nice 19" LCD TV with an integrated DVD player to mount in front of the treadmill, and hooked up some spare speakers. I don't think a realtor would count my little space in the unfinished part of the basement an exercise room, but it seems to be working. The cats get up on their perches and offer commentary as well, so I don't feel too isolated down there. Drac even walked with me for a while!

So, if I look at it from a purely financial point of view, if I keep my act together for at least a couple of months, I might be able to whittle down my per use cost to the double digits. Yep, that's me-fiscally responsible!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Seeing ghosts

Well, despite my doom and gloom about the financial situation, Husband and I went and looked at a house on Sunday. The listing had come up on an ongoing search that I have running on a realty site. I had found it interesting because I had literally watched it being built, since it was on my way to work. Son had a birthday party in the same town, so we dropped him off, and I mentioned that since we were in the neighborhood, maybe we could drive by.

Husband saw the house, and liked it enough to pull into the cul-de-sac to look a little closer. He noticed the open house sign, and made a point for us to make the time on Sunday to go and take a look. (Knock me over with a feather.) Which was probably a mistake.

In short, we loved it. Everything about it was what we wanted. A dedicated office away from bedrooms, a decent sized kitchen with double ovens, a master suite, and decent sized kids rooms. Oh, and an actual laundry room-with storage. I can't tell you how much I want this place.

The only reason that we could even consider this home is because it's a foreclosure. From what we got out of the listing agent, the current list price is at least $150k less than what it was built for, which would explain some of the nicer finishes, etc. Since it's only a couple of years old, there really isn't too much wear and tear, just some stains on the carpets (probably a small dog), and some grout that could use a little attention. The thing that made me remember that a family had lived here, that they had probably seen this as their dream home, was something really small. I opened up the pantry (!! more love), and saw a single, petrified marshmallow on one of the shelves. A fictional family came to mind-kids who wanted marshmallows, hot chocolate, that type of thing. Shoes in the storage seat in the mudroom.

I guess that it just got me a little. Some family may have lost everything, and there I stood, picturing myself in their place. Almost seemed presumptuous.

We aren't in any position to do this right now. Even with my pay cut, we could probably swing it, but if anything, and I mean anything, were to go wrong on the financial side, we would end up in the same position. We also need to fix our credit, and oh, there is that little issue of selling our current house. Regardless, I still feel the ghosts when I look at the foreclosure lists. We'll see what the future brings-I just don't want to end up being one of the ghosts.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

How did Twain put it?

Oh yea, something along the lines that reports of my death are highly exaggerated. Or something like that.

Anyway, long time, no see. I've been out there lurking, but that is about all that I've had the time to do. This job is sincerely kicking my butt. I've gone from relative anonymity to having direct reports and meetings with muckity muck VPs who want strategy!numbers to manage to! Just keep the vision of a deer and headlights in your mind, and you've got where I've been lately.

Oh, and the real fun has just begun! Today was black Wednesday-8% of the workforce at my particular site were laid off today. Company wide it came out to about 6%, but still not a happy day. Oh, and now I'm even more irked about the whole more responsibility but no title or pay grade change. Since everyone needs to feel the pain, I had was told that my base pay will be reduced by 10% for the foreseeable future. I make plenty, sure, and we have survived on far less, but it is still unsettling. Yes, I still have a job, and it could be so much worse; just ask those people today who were told that their last day would be Friday. We'll need to adjust some things, put some others off. The house hunt, the one that I have been tenderizing Husband for (and one that he actually seems to have warmed up to), is probably on hold, at least for another year. BabyA is entertaining thoughts of escape from her crib (at 16 freakin' months! Son never even thought about it). We both are driving cars that are 8 years old and have over 130k on them, but prayer at the alter of regular oil changes and rotations seem to have helped. Let's hope it holds up for just a while longer.

I've got to go to bed now-I'm beyond deprived,and if BabyA gives me another 5AM performance, 'm giong to need all the help I can get. G'night!