Friday, April 30, 2010
If I had answered the phone I would have had to immediately cancel a series of calls that I had set up to deal with a major issue that could derail my entire project. Did I feel some guilt that it was DH and not me going to comfort our daughter? A smidgeon. But a minuscule one. Work has been absolutely insane and all I could think was, "Crap, now she has to stay home tomorrow too." I scrambled to cancel some non-critical calls but there were still about 5 hours of meetings I had to be in Friday (today). Fortunately daycare threw us a bone. We knew that the fever was a result of teething. They knew it too. She wasn't eating anything and was crying constantly with her hand in her mouth. Cameron ended up getting jarred baby food and a bottle of formula while she was there. That's how badly her mouth was hurting.
When DH picked Cameron up the daycare teachers told him that if she was doing fine tomorrow that she could come back in. It was like manna dropping from heaven. That's how relieved I was when DH told me. He brought her home and immediately administered our life saving drug, Motrin. It works so much better for teething than Tylenol because it lasts longer and helps with the swelling. Cameron seemed to sleep well (no major wake ups necessitating a new dose of medicine) and actually opened her mouth wide and sucked down the medicine this morning. Perhaps she's finally realizing the cause and effect of medicine providing pain relief? Her bottom left molar hasn't popped through the gum yet and I'm already dreading the top 2 that still have to come in. Her other teething pains were nothing compared to this. Plus, now that's she older she has a much bigger set of lungs on her and the incessant crying isn't fun for any of us.
For the parents of other infants who have yet to experience the pains of molars, let this post be a warning to you. Use drugs early and often. Any other horror stories out there about the big teething moments for your children?
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Me: "You empty the dishwasher from the top down?"
Me: "Interesting. I always unload from the bottom up."
DH: "You should blog about it."
He probably didn't mean it but it's a perfectly fine topic for a blog post, don't you think? I always unload from the bottom up because all the plates are on the bottom and cups are on the top. I get the heavy plates out of the way first and feel like I'm making serious progress. It is then followed by the top (usually cups and/or small bowls and Tupperware) and the last thing I empty is the utensil holder (placed in the bottom rack).
How about you? Do you find that you unload or load a dishwasher one way and your significant other a different way? And yes, go ahead and tell me if this is a totally lame blog post. DH would thank you for it.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Houston, we have another molar coming in! Cameron woke up wailing at 8:30 PM last night and we had to douse her with Motrin and I sat with her on the floor of her room until she whimpered herself into sleep. I would have sat with her on the rocking chair but she wanted nothing to do with the soothing motions of a chair that would allow my ass to be cushioned while trying to get her back to sleep. At least she didn't want to stay up and play. The poor thing was so tired that she draped herself over my leg with her head on the ground while I rubbed her back. 1.5 molars down and 2 to go (with many more in the future). I'm not sure DH and I will make it!
The light bulb in one of our lamps in the TV room went out and we replaced it with an energy friendly CFL. We are not quite as aggressive about saving the planet as my friend Amanda's family but we try to do a bit. The only problem is that the light is so dim that it doesn't even give off enough light to compare it to a nightlight. Looks like we need to dig up some 100 watt versions and just bear the expense.
I've been tossing and turning until 12 AM for the past two nights. Lots going on with my current job, interviews and not enough time in the day to get real work done. Plus I am finding myself working much longer hours which means less quality time with Cameron. Instead of picking her up at 4:30 we've pushed it back to 5 PM. Partly because she no longer needs that short nap before dinner and partly because DH and I are swamped at work. That means Cameron is in daycare from 7:15 AM until 5 PM. That's a long day! For parents with kids in daycare, how long is their day?
Please wish me luck for a few interviews I have today and tomorrow for some great new opportunities at BigFinance. I even plan on wearing make up (ooooooh) because of how excited I am about career possibilities.
Monday, April 26, 2010
The thing that absolutely kills me is that one of his mistresses (paramours, skanks, what is the correct term?) has contracted with the Gentleman's Club to perform her, um, routine for the entire week. It is being billed as the "19th Hole." I can't remember her name, or even the names of any of his other girlfriends (fame seekers, money grubbers, what is the correct term?) but like so many others I do read the articles when they pop up in my Us Weekly. All I can think is, "poor Elin" and "they have two kids!"
I like Tiger. I can't quite bring myself to use the past tense on that verb because he is really the only reason that I watch golf. DH and I have seen quite a few amazing shots and despite a normally dour expression, there is something captivating about Tiger on the golf course. But I can't believe the quality (or lack thereof) of women he had extramarital affairs with. None of them are pretty. Most of them are blond with big boobs. And for a guy who is supposedly all class, he certainly showed me that his taste in sex partners is atrocious. It almost makes me more disappointed because of the volume and skankiness of his selected partners.
Will Tiger be able to bounce back from this personal issue? Partially, I think. He's been dumped by a lot of sponsors but given the state of the economy and his contract size I have a feeling that a lot of them were just taking advantage of the situation to save some money. Tiger is still a tremendous golfer and has the potential to play for decades more. If he and Elin end up divorcing then he will be in the tabloids even longer, not to mention if he starts dating again post hypothetical divorce. And that is what could end up destroying his career. I can only imagine how difficult it is to concentrate on your career or fixing your personal life when both are being blasted across the Internet and news outlets.
So, what do the rest of you think? Will Tiger ultimately be back, better than ever? Do you think his extramarital activities involved women of such a dubious nature that it has impacted the way you think about him as a person? Can you separate out the person from the gossip? Or the golfer from the tabloids?
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
Yesterday was a whirlwind which included an interview for a new position. The executive and I hit it off and pending the results of some follow up interviews and other opportunities I am exploring the end is in sight for my current role. Just in time for all the heavy lifting to be completed!
Cameron has been absolutely wonderful except for Monday when she was really suffering from having her first 1 year molar come in. But she was her normal cheerful self on Tuesday. While brushing her teeth I confirmed my suspicions and found her first molar. Cameron is still missing one of her bottom 4 teeth that normally come in first and I can feel some swelling in that area as well as her other bottom molar area so we might be battening down the hatches this weekend and stocking up on pain medication. I hope not because it’s supposed to be beautiful here this weekend and we have our last swim class tomorrow.
There haven't been great strides (heh, get it?) in the walking department. Cameron will still take a few steps on her own if encouraged but she would prefer to hold on to something while walking. I can't tell if it will be a gradual process with her or if one day she will have a major breakthrough and we'll be chasing after her all the time. Any predictions?
I know I have been horribly remiss in posting photos (sorry, Mimi!) but I haven't been whipping the camera out as often and the shots I do get tend to show Cameron looking strange. But I will commit myself to getting at least a few good pictures this weekend so I can share the cuteness that is Cameron. In the meantime, enjoy your Friday...I know I will!
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
I told my sisters I would be stronger today. I wouldn't back down. I would marshal my facts and my figures and I would stand strong. I knew it was going to be a tough morning but I didn't anticipate it would start at 8 AM with someone yelling at me about the financials I put together because they thought it was too expensive. I consider myself a strong woman. I don't like to take crap from people, I am assertive in my personal and work life. But I also don't like confrontation. My sister, A., said, "No one likes to get teary and shaky." And that was spot on. I do find myself teary and shaky when I end up in these situations. I held it together at that 8 AM call and again at 8:30 and 9 AM where I got yelled at some more. But now all I want to do is go home and hide under the covers and hope that tomorrow is better.
Deep breathing helps. The fact that I am jumping from meeting to meeting with no real time to decompress doesn't help. Also not helping is that I feel like I am blowing in the wind when it comes to handing this difficult internal client with little support from senior management. Have I made some mistakes? Absolutely. But I am trying my damnest to handle unreasonable expectations and time lines with no relief in site. My boss is very understanding but the last thing I want is to break down in tears while talking with her about the pressure. But I do need to vent....so I turn to the Internet.
I need to learn how to handle pressure situations better so I don't feel teary and shaky multiple times a day. How do you handle stress at work? Have you ever found yourself sniveling in a bathroom stall?
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
While I love taking my own pictures of the family I have realized that I am no real photographer and probably don't have the patience to become one. Plus I do most of the photographing so there aren't that many pictures of us as a family or even just me and Cameron. I'm thinking about having more "formal" pictures done. When I say formal I'm not necessarily thinking about Sears-type sessions (although I'd love to hear what people thought about their experiences there) but more like an at-home session. In particular I would like to get some more artistic shots and not just the standard "here's Cameron!" pictures I seem to always take.
And every single shot of Cameron from her most recent school pictures shows her looking so serious. I want to showcase my happy (when not teething) munchkin! I didn't even bother ordering photos from her school shoot this year. 3 poses against a fake garden backdrop? Meh.
So what has your experience been in getting good photos? Is going to a portrait studio a good idea? How about those of you who did in home or location shoots?
Monday, April 19, 2010
I think she's teething. It can't be anything else. Let me describe our weekend and you can weigh in on my opinion. Wake up happy. Suck down morning bottle. Fuss a little. Eat hardly any breakfast. Go down for 3+ hour morning nap. Wake up. Cry at the drop of a hat. Want a pacifier all the time. Refuse to eat lunch...maybe a few scoops of apple sauce. Go down for 2 hour nap. Wake up. Cry at the drop of a hat....and so on and so forth. We are still doing a morning and evening bottle and Cameron is so hungry for them that I know she wants to eat.
Our saving grace (and I can't believe I am writing this and thus possibly bringing down retribution from the karma gods) is that she sleeps wonderfully. Sick. Healthy. Teething. Fussy. She'll go to bed normal time and sleep through the night. She actually slept until 9 AM on Sunday! After going down at 6:30 PM the night before. Absolutely amazing.
Cameron is still missing her fourth bottom tooth. Given how easily the third one came in I'm thinking that this is either incisors or molars. What have other parents experienced in the teething department. Can I hope that the worst will be behind us in another day or two?
Friday, April 16, 2010
Like every other daycare out there we knew that Cameron would be home on Thursday at least before she could go back to school. What we didn't realize is she picked up a virus that has kept her fever going, clocking in at 101 this morning. For 2 1/2 work days DH and I have had to figure out our schedules, pray for long naps and try to avoid feeling completely overwhelmed. We're fortunate that we can both work at home but we also need to negotiate conference call conflicts. We are both in a very busy work period with little down time, even when Cameron is healthy and in daycare. I've been clocking longer hours in general and the only blessing that Cameron got sick this week is that one of my key contacts (read PITA, ridiculous expectations client) is out on vacation.
I'm very thankful that we have been able to juggle but it is definitely time for us to look into alternative childcare situations for when Cameron is home sick. The best scenario is for one of the two of us to just take the day off of work so we can devote full time care to her. Unfortunately if things continue at this hectic pace, it's just not possible. Another sticking point is that DH works from home so if we bring someone into our home it would be an added stress for him. I couldn't do it if I worked from home. I'd be constantly checking on things and unable to concentrate. I think that men are better able to compartmentalize, however.
I am also going to be very thankful when we can drop Cameron off at daycare and our lives return to normal. She is definitely still her happy, playful self. Just with a fever. And very long (2-3 hour) naps. On a good note I called her pediatrician yesterday at 11:50 and we were seen by her regular doctor at 12:15. How great is that? No ear infection, just a bug and the fourth kid that day they saw with the same symptoms. Nothing but a fever and a slight runny nose.
How do the rest of you handle juggling work with a sick kid? Do you have back up childcare? Is it normally Mom or Dad who has to sacrifice work for family?
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I was booting up my computer when I heard Charlie whining, a sure sign that DH and Cameron were pulling into the driveway. As I logged in Cameron and DH walked into the kitchen. I was in the other room but I knew they were in the house because as soon as Cameron sees Charlie she does this adorable screech/giggle. She has definitely warmed up to Charlie a lot over the past month and I'm not sure he likes it.
I walked over and Cameron laughed again at seeing me. I reached out to give her a hug and a kiss. "Guess, what happened today?" DH asked me. "She actually had her morning nap for a change?" I responded. "Nope, Miss Melba told me that she walked on her own for the first time." DH told me proudly.
Of course I made a big deal out of it to Cameron as DH bounded upstairs to check his email. But I did feel a twinge of regret. I wanted us to be the first people that saw Cameron walking. True, she spends a lot more time at daycare during the week than with us but couldn't her teacher have just hinted at it rather than baldly saying she walked? She could have said, "You should try walking with Cameron today, I think she's really close to walking on her own." I would have interpreted that to mean that she had already walked for her teacher but at least I could have lied to myself a little if I got her to walk for me that night.
I immediately put Cameron down to try and make her walk for me. At first she wanted to keep holding on to my hands and the girl has a super strong grip. After walking around the room together a few times I managed to extricate myself and as Cameron stood, swaying slightly, I exhorted her to walk towards me. All by herself. She took one, two, three steps forward before falling forward into my waiting hands. It was so exciting! I will try to get it on film this weekend but considering Cameron only took 3 steps and then wouldn't do it again all night it could take a while to capture it for posterity.
Meanwhile I still have that little twinge that Cameron walked first at daycare but I knew that was the risk we took in putting her in daycare. Plus, I'm a way better mom as a working mom. So it is all for the best. Anyone else have a similar experience with significant milestones for your kids?
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Today we picked up a new toy for Cameron. A sand and water play station that we can keep outside. She absolutely loves it as you can see from the pictures below. I will warn you, however, that the installation was a pain in the ass. DH had to drill holes in very confined spaces. So that would be my biggest negative to this toy. Otherwise, Cameron loves playing with the sand and the water. The toy says 2+ years but it is perfect for an almost 13 month old.
Friday, April 9, 2010
Work is kicking my ass right now. It's a combination of things but mostly that I'm dealing with an unreasonable set of people that delight in micromanaging and belittling me. Sounds like fun, doesn't it? I routinely walk away from meetings with metaphorical bruises. I can't say I enjoy listening to the diatribes of people who don't understand the processes that BigFinance Technology has in place. They want what they want, and they want it now. And if I say even one thing that doesn't kowtow to their expectations then I get to listen to f-bombs being dropped left and right. Should I read something into it that most of these people are New Yorkers? No one I work with in Charlotte swears like a truck driver. And of course, if it isn't obvious, they are all men.
In general I like my job but lately I am feeling completely worn down and demoralized. I can't fall asleep at night. I lie awake thinking about the shit I'm going to have to deal with the next day and the day after that. I'm fairly low level in BigFinance. How can I not be with 250,000 other associates? I know that there is crap going on at a much higher level than me that I'm not clued in on. But I'm the "face" of this portion of the project. I know it more intimately than anyone else. But when I go to senior management for direction it is of no help. I'm also struggling because I'm a bit of a poseur. I'm not a technologist. I'm not a network engineer. There are a lot of smart people I work with but I never claim I'm a subject matter expert. I've picked up a fair bit but I pull in the engineers when I need to validate or justify a technology decision. I'm excellent at program management and problem resolution. But somehow with this project I feel like I don't have a leg to stand on because I'm not an engineer. The clients that I'm working with are bullies and I'm struggling with how to tame them.
I've been actively looking for a new position but given some major organizational changes there haven't been many openings. I guess I just have to suck it up for a couple of more months. There is always the weekend, right?
Last week a house went up for sale on my street. It's the first time a sale has happened since we bought our house 3 years ago. At the peak of the market. This house is fairly comparable to ours. Same number of bedrooms, baths, and about the same square feet. Unlike our house it doesn't have a garage, it's landscaping sucks and it is much closer to the end of the street, hence close to the busy crossroad. I haven't been inside yet (waiting to be a looky-loo at the open house) but according to the listing it needs TLC. Read: carpets over hardwoods and no updates.
The problem? It is listed for 33% less than what we bought our house for. 33% is such a big number. Even if you account for the factors I listed above, there is no way that we will see an appreciation for our house in the next 10+ years. It's not that we plan on moving anytime soon. It's just that so much of our income goes into the house. I guess we are living the new American dream of an over/under real estate situation. And my dream of house in a few years with an open floor plan is on hold. Can anyone else commiserate?
OK, I do feel a bit better after writing all that. But warm and fuzzy thoughts from my readers would still help!
Thursday, April 8, 2010
We have been having so much fun with Cameron lately and we can see her learning something new almost every day. Words are starting to become slightly clearer but I'm sure we're also loosely interpreting her sounds. Her latest cute thing is when we finish her bedtime routine, Cameron will point (well, gesture with her whole hand) to the bed. I still rock her for a minute or two but I love how happy she is to go to bed. Here's hoping that it continues!
Finger nail clipping has been more challenging for us. I try to make a game out of it but it has come down to me holding her hand tightly and ignoring her squawks and cries as I use tiny clippers. Cameron's daycare has nail clipping hygiene as a requirement and I don't want to be that parent who gets a note asking for it to be done. In the "good" category I have started brushing Cameron's 7 teeth during her bath time. She loves it because she tries to bite down on my finger. That rubber finger tip does not blunt toddler sharp teeth nearly enough! In a couple of weeks we'll introduce toothpaste. DH and I have never really had cavities and so we want to start good teeth routines early.Because we went right into summer from winter the pollen this year has been unbelievable. My car was so covered that I couldn't even see out of the back window! We also have to hose Cameron's swing down before each use.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
We have a good supply of board books in Cameron's play area and up in her room. As anyone with a toddler knows, they like to destroy things. Board books are perfect because they are practically indestructible. Not so the pop up book that barely survived a single "reading" with Cameron. My favorites are the Sandra Boynton ones because they rhyme and don't have too many words. The touch and feel books are still good for this age too.
We put Cameron in this exactly one time and she immediately started pointing (well, gesturing with her entire hand because she hasn't figured out pointing with an index finger yet) at the swing every time she saw it from her bedroom window or if we were out in the yard. She insists on swinging for at least 15 minutes. If we try to take her out before those 15 minutes are up then she kicks and cries. We've been fortunate that physical development melded nicely with the passage of seasons. It has been perfect swinging weather since we got it. The one we use is Little Tykes and I got it for $15 from a consignment sale. It doesn't swing completely straight but I blame the installation (trees can be tricky). If we had a real swing set I would have gotten a bucket seat swing. We use those at the park and I think that they are much sturdier.
I still have some 12-18 month Robeez and that Cameron needs to grow into. Now that she is cruising all over the place, however, those shoes will probably be relegated to "indoor" shoes. Otherwise Cameron is now enjoying "real" shoes. We did go to Stride Rite and spent more than necessary but hey, it was her first pair of real shoes. My recommendation is to go velcro. I have no idea why parents would select ones with laces. Cameron already likes to unlace things. Putting temptation on her feet would be too risky. I was going to get two pairs of shoes for her but I didn't want two girlie pairs and the one boy pair I liked was out of stock. In retrospect I'm glad we only got one pair. We'll definitely add in sandals into the mix for the late spring/summer.
I have bought more hair accessories for Cameron's hair than I have ever had for my own. I finally found the right kind of elastic bands. I swear by the Scunci brand which is carried by most retailers. Don't go plastic. They will fall out in 1 minute. Aside from the tiny elastic bands I also like the clippies and miniature octopus clips Scunci offers. My trick to styling Cameron's hair is to put her in the high chair, give her a handful of Cheerios and go to town.
Cameron likes to throw her food. A lot. One strategy we have employed to combat her willfulness is to present her food in a bowl. I ordered two of these suction bowls from Amazon and love them! One is not enough...you should definitely get two. The ones I purchased do a great job of "sticking" to the tray.
High chair mat
Continuing with the food theme I also purchased a splat mat. Even though we have a dog he is the biggest wimp on the planet and won't come far enough into the kitchen to eat the dropped (ahem, thrown) food. Weirdo. I'll pull the mat up before the cleaning people come through.
Toddlers don't just love playing with Tupperware, parents love how useful it is for storing leftovers. I found the perfect size for us to use for extra canned vegetables or fresh fruit. They also work for the diaper bag with snacks. My local Harris Teeter carried them.
We have two, one is the original Snack Trap and the other is a knock off. Both work fine but I find that the original Snack Trap has a more flexible plastic on its opening. It's easier for Cameron to get her hand in but it is also easier for her to spill the snack all over the floor. Or the car seat. Or the stroller. Do you sense a theme?
Sippy cup leash
I don't have one of these yet but my friend Amanda showed hers off while we were at lunch with our munchkins. I had to keep getting up from my chair and picking up Cameron's sippy cup. So I'm ordering one ASAP. Amanda recommends two: one for traveling and one for the high chair.
Cameron still isn't walking on her own and even when she is, it will take her a few months to become a really good walker. And even then she's going to want to be carried quite a bit. With the summer heat right around the corner I shuddered to think about using the heavy Moby wrap. Instead I purchased a very inexpensive ring sling from Sleeping Baby Productions. I'm just a few inches over 5 feet and a small works great for us. It can be a bit awkward to get Cameron in and out by myself but if DH is around it's perfect. I can take most of her weight onto my shoulder rather than my arm. It's more comfortable for both of us and I can carry her for 30+ minutes at a time. I've even taken her on errands with it because it is so much faster than hauling out the stroller.
Parents of kids over the age of 1...what else am I missing? Any other must haves that I need to add to this list?
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Happy birthday, wonderful ladies!
Monday, April 5, 2010
Also on the docket for this past weekend? Getting my birthday present. I've been toying with the idea of getting an iPad but I am not an early adopter. Plus the price point was a little high for me. Instead DH and I packed up Cameron and went to the AT&T store to get me what I now refer to as "my precious," my kick ass iPhone. I absolutely love it and have no idea how I juggled a cell phone and iPod before. Of course it makes sense to have both together! I got the high end case for it in bright pink. It was worth the extra $60 buck when you have a toddler. And bright pink was so that DH knows as he plays with it that it's all mine.
The iPhone is super intuitive. And I am not an intuitive person when it comes to technology. Ironic considering I work in technology, no? DH has already uploaded his fantasy baseball application and I added the Weight Watchers point tracker. The photo quality isn't as great as my digital camera but I expected that to be the case. Plus Cameron is in full on mobility mode so she never sits still for photos any more.
Any other iPhone lovers out there? Any recommendations for applications that I can download?