Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The landscape looks different from here.

I have to work through this, and what better place to do it than on my blog. Things look different now that I have the little one, and trying to figure it all out is rather confusing to me.

My old job does not want me to work part days, which means that I would have to work 8-hour days at minimum. I need to decide whether I want to go back to work at my old job part time and work whole days. It would still be flex, and it would only be a couple days a week. There would be no call, and the days I work would be set. It seems like it could work for me right now.

But then there is the child care dilemma. My mother has made it clear to me that she does not want to look after him for whole days if I go back to my old job. Really, she made it clear that she wants nothing to do with child care arrangements which do not involve her. She has tried to let go of her expectations, but it is hard for her. If I went back to work at my old job for 8-hour days, I would need to find a child care provider. On the bright side, that would allow my parents to take him on the weekends and for a few hours during the week. We would have someone who could give us a date night on a regular basis, and I would have someone to watch him while I ran errands.

I do have some reservations about going back to my old job. While I love the people I work with and love the work, management stinks and consistently runs their employees into the ground. They have shown us over and over that employees are not high on their priority list. I would get away from some of that by working flex, as I would not take call, and I am better able to set my hours. I also do not have to work this job forever. I could work my old job until I land an adjunct teaching position at a community college.

Here is the list of pros and cons that I can come up with.
Pros for working the old job: only 2-3 days a week, no call, no weekends. My days would be set. I would get to see my co-workers again. The work is rewarding for me, and gives me purpose. I would have income again! Having the extra income would make things a lot easier. My parents would be available on the weekends and odd days for child care.

Cons for working the old job: Management sucks, I would have to find a childcare provider. I would have to leave the baby a few days a week.

Overall, I know I am lucky in that I have had several months to spend with AC. And I am lucky to be able to work part time. Not everyone has that luxury. And here in the US, working part time is a luxury. Part time work does not offer benefits, and you are often paid less than full time workers. Part time does give me more time with the little dude.

I think I have some things to think about.

Monday, March 29, 2010


My old job wants me to work whole days. No part days at all. Sigh. That would have been so nice to work half days. I am a little tempted to tell them to shove it and try to find an adjunct teaching position somewhere. My old job's management sucked, but it was a job.

I am still trying to figure it all out. Not sure of anything at this point.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Baby blankets and a question.

When I was still pregnant, and doing some reading on baby care, I discovered that there were few resources for baby blankets in which one could actually swaddle a baby. Receiving blankets were too small, and fleece blankets too thick. So I went and bought some flannel and made some blankets, like the ones below....

As I was choosing fabric, I realized that there were few, if any masculine baby blankets. I chose the camo pattern for my Hubby. I also really liked the bright colors of the alligators. Most swaddling blankets I could find were white with rather cute designs. Most were too cute for boys, I thought.

Recently I went to a fabric store and got more fabric for baby blankets. I like them, they are fun, and our laundry cycle is slow. I needed more in order to get through that. They can get messy quickly! The fabric I bought was along the same lines as before...

More camo and hunting themed....

And more brightly colored fun flannel...

These blankets are big enough to swaddle my almost 14 pound 2 month old. They end up approximately 45 by 45. They are just square blankets, but they are big enough to wrap the last corner under the baby, making harder for them to get out of the swaddle. If you get really desperate, you could use a piece of tape to keep the one corner in place. Duct tape fixes everything, right?

I had a thought recently that I am surely not the only person to run into these problems. There must be other mothers who are in search of a decent sized swaddle blanket that does not overdose on the cute factor.

So here is my question: What do you all think? Is it worth trying to set up an e.tsy shop? I was thinking of pricing the blankets around $20 and including instructions with pics on how to swaddle a baby. The fabrics would be similar to what is shown above. I would also be willing to make blankets out of flannel or muslin provided by you for $12-15 per blanket.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I think

I think I need to let go of the expectation that I have to carry the insurance. I do not want to work full time, and employers do not want to extend benefits to part time employees. If I let go of the expectation that I have to carry the insurance, then I can work how I want, and have more time to spend with AC.

We can afford the subsidized COBRA, and we can keep that for over a year. We can re-evaluate our insurance situation then. Things may look a lot different in a year. (I hope so!) Until then, I may be able to work flex in the OR, and maybe look into adjunct at the local community college. The nice thing about flex is that I can dictate when I work a little more than part time. And the best part is there is no call!

I really miss having my own income. While I am not in a hurry to go back to work, I hate seeing my bank account dwindle. That is a huge motivator for me to go back to work.

Letting go is so damn difficult.
I had a hard time getting to sleep last night. It always seems like right before you go to sleep is when I start to worry about things. Last night I was worried about work. I really hate the uncertainty with not having a job, having to do COBRA, and not knowing what I will be doing. I am trying not to be obsessed, but it is difficult.

I was thinking about my old job last night. There are things I like about that job. I like the people I work with. I like the fact that I can get benefits. I like being an OR nurse. Some of the surgeons I could take or leave, and the hours sort of suck, but overall I liked the work I was doing. I felt like I was doing something good. If only management was not as abusive to their employees, it would not be a bad place to work. They are more concerned with the bottom line in the short term than keeping employees around for a long time. I think about four of my co-workers have left or are leaving since I have been out on leave. That does not sound good to me. It sounds like things have gotten worse since I left. I am a little temped to tell them to shove it and just try to find work elsewhere. They still have not contacted me about work, and I re-applied two weeks ago. If they were desperate to have me back, they would have contacted me sooner, I would think.

The teaching position with the benefits has not contacted me, either. I am not sure whether that is because they are just slow, or if they do not want to hire me. It would be nice to know something either way. I am trying to be relaxed about it, because I am not sure I want to work there either. It would be long hours of teaching, and I would not get paid for any prep I do. With my old job, I could leave it at work, and have nothing outside of work.

I am also considering applying for adjunct teaching positions at local community colleges. These positions do not have benefits, but Hubby is willing to try to get health insurance independently. Which is possible since FIL paid off the mortgage. Adjunct teaching would be great because I could get away with not going in for an entire day. It just does not pay worth a damn. I like having a lucrative career, but I also like being able to spend as much time with AC possible. It is a bit of dilemma, but I think adjunct teahing is worth pursuing to see what comes of it. I just have to find the time to work through the state application.

I have given up a search for child care until I know what the hell I am doing. My mother is only willing to care for him under certain conditions, and I do not know if those conditions will be met. I really hate the uncertainty, but I am enjoying the time with AC.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Here is Hoping....

The health care bill passed yesterday, and I have to say that I am happy it did. It is not perfect, and I will likely not see any benefit from it for a while, but the fact that it passed gives me hope that things will change. Hope that things will change for the better.

I read a FB update of one of Hubby's college classmates complaining about the fact that the government is telling people what to do now, and generally bitching about the health care bill. That is fine for him. He is entitled to his opinion. It indicates to me that he is happy with the status quo. I guess the system must be working for him and his family. Good for him. He is the main breadwinner in the family and works for a large company. He has no problems with his health insurance.

Health insurance is too expensive for too many Americans. I think some people in this country limit their job or career prospects because of health insurance. I know that is what I am doing right now. If you go out and start your own business (nothing more American than an entrepreneur, right?), you are likely not to have insurance because you cannot afford it. There is just no way for small businesses to get affordable health insurance. Are small business owners irresponsible because they cannot afford to get health insurance? I wonder how many small businesses never got started because someone did not want to lose health insurance benefits.

I am rather annoyed at the Republicans during the entire process. They bitched the entire time about how this bill is wrong, and then did not offer any solutions, or even contribute to the process. (At least that I could tell, but I would only check in with the news occasionally, so I could be wrong.) Socialist rhetoric and a death panel. Really? Is that all they could do? They must also be happy with the status quo. Either that, or they were paid by the insurance companies to vote against the health care bill. One or the other. And I thought the anti-socialism rhetoric they invoked is rather lame. The people they pitched that to were concerned about losing medicare. Umm, what is wrong with that picture?

So, Republicans and conservatives must be happy with health care as it is right now, given their actions during the reform process. Whereas I am generally frustrated with the system.

Here is what I know about my health insurance situation right now. I am not working, because my last job was terminated because I ran out of leave. We are electing to get COBRA through my previous employer. (Yes, it finally came through. I just need to send the damn thing back in.) Fortunately, we are eligible for the subsidized premium, otherwise I do not think we would have been able to afford it. COBRA rates are insane. Hubby has a thriving legal practice, and he does very well financially, which makes us ineligible for any government programs. FIL paid off our mortgage, which gives us breathing room financially, and secures us a place to live. Even with all of this going for us, it is still most cost effective for us to get health insurance through an employer. Which means that I have to work enough to qualify for benefits. Which means slightly more than part time, or even full time, depending on the employer.

I am not all that happy about this.

If I do not work for a position which offers insurance, the most cost effective health insurance is a catastrophic policy, which I am not all that comfortable with. And the only way we can afford that is because FIL paid off the mortgage. Hubby could set up an FSA to help with medical expenses not covered by the insurance, which would likely add up quickly. We could make do with a catastrophic policy, but I feel more comfortable having a little more coverage than that, especially with the baby. I may be worried about this unnecessarily, but it is a concern for me.

I hate that this is even an issue for us. If there was an affordable way for Hubby to get decent insurance coverage, I would have a lot more flexibility in what I could do, which would make it easier to be a mother. I could teach adjunct at the community college, and not even work full days. Or I could work flex at my old job and work as much or as little as I want. I could spend more time with the baby and more time being a wife and mother.

I want my Hubby to be able to get affordable health insurance. I do not want to be denied or have a hugely higher rate because of pre-existing medical conditions. I want to be able to choose how and where I work without having to worry about how we will afford health insurance. I do not think that is too much to ask. (I know, some of this is in the bill, but it will not take effect immediately. I am just frustrated with things as it stands now.)

The situation right now just frustrates the crap out of me. I am truly hoping that the health care bill will eventually be a change for the better. Here is hoping, anyway.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Check Up

AC's two month check up was today. I have a big boy! He weighed 13 pounds 9 ounces! He is in the 85th percentile for weight. Holy cow, I am growing a big baby! I guess I am doing something right. I may have to look into convertible car seats sooner rather than later. (I am thinking Britax...)

The annoying thing is that I am between insurance. I am out of work, and between jobs. When we finally get COBRA, we may use that until we have insurance again. (Yes, I have asked about that. Apparently, my old employers have just taken out me of the system last week and it takes a couple weeks for me to get the COBRA info out to me. Yet another thing up in the air.) Because I have no insurance, it is wicked expensive to get the vaccines at our pediatrician's office. Vaccinations are much cheaper at the health department. So that is where I am going on Monday march 29. I hate that I still have all the shots hanging over my head, but there it is. You do what you have to.

I am truly hoping that next week I will know more about what I am going to do. I also am going to look at the other OR that is hiring. Maybe they will be willing to take me on part time in the OR. If that is the job I take, it will likely mean a search for a childcare provider, but it has to be better than my old job. I still have hope that the teaching position will work out, but I do not want to put all my eggs in one basket. Really really hate having all this uncertainty.

Just trying to be calm and let things happen. Hopefully I will end up where I need to be.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I think...

I think the interview went all right. It is hard for me to tell right now. There is a second part to the interview process where I have to teach a portion of the lecture. Hubby thinks I will do well with that, as I have taught before, and I have a general idea what I am doing when I teach. I have not scheduled this portion of it, yet. They also still have to check and make sure that they can get me benefits, and what that will entail for me. Hopefully I will hear from them in the next week or two. Hopefully.

I have not heard anything from my old job after I re-applied. I really hope this teaching job works out. I think there is another hospital hiring OR RNs in my area, should I get desperate. I just really do not want to work full time right now. But I am hopeful that I will get the teaching position. We will see.

I hate having things up in the air. I would much rather have things set at this point. It is making me a little nervous having everything uncertain.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A few pics.

Because I have not posted pics in a while...

He is so damn cute!

All my boys sitting together! I love this pic!

Monday, March 15, 2010


I have my interview on Wednesday, I feel like a large lump from the pregnancy weight which has not disappeared, and AF decided she wanted to join the party. What fun.

And then, my father sends me this article on for profit trade schools. I think he was trying to be helpful, but I already know a lot about what I am getting into. The school I am interviewing as it a lot smaller than ITT or any of the other large trade schools. They are independent, apparently, I know that the practical nursing program I will be teaching in is not accredited. The school itself has many accreditations, which I think is a good thing. They are open about which programs are accredited, and which programs are not. My friend who works there said that they are trying to get accreditation for their nursing program, but they have a lot of work to do before they get it. Apparently their pass rates for the boards are really low, and they need to increase their pass rates before they are eligible for accreditation. I am sure there are other requirements, but passing the boards is a biggie. My friend really wants to increase the quality of the instructors, hoping that will help. I am looking at it as just a job. If I do not feel right about it at the interview, I will not take it.

Nursing programs are actually fairly well regulated. In order to attract students, you have to have the ability to get students to pass the boards. Class sizes are regulated, and there are certain standards which have to be met by nursing programs, accredited or not. I know class size is capped, and I am sure there are education standards which have to be met. I have a hunch that this school is working toward accreditation, but I am going to ask just to be sure. That will tell me a lot about this program and whether I actually want to work for them. Hopefully they will be up front about their accreditation status, and I will take it as a good sign if they ask about me returning to graduate school.

I think the job will be fine, and fits with how I want to work right now. I will likely take it if offered, provided things go well at the interview.

The bright spot right now is that I am getting sleep! AC has started sleeping 6 hours at a stretch at night, and he is taking a decent nap in the morning. Hooray for sleep! I feel way more human now.

Weight loss is going slow. I think I need to take this in small steps, as it feels like everything is different with a baby. What I know I can do now is watch what I eat. I have been eating way too much junk, in general, and I need to change that. I think that is a good first step.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Working statistics

Just to highlight how awful things are for mothers in the US, I came across this post by Katrina at Working Mom's break.

What’s the problem?

Very interesting reading. We work so hard to become mothers, and then become penalized in our careers when we finally do. Definitely not fair.

Makes me realize how lucky I am to be able to absorb the penalties of working part time. I am fortunate to be married to a husband who is able to support me. I can work for spending money, which is really nice. Not everyone is able to take the pay cut. The teaching position I am interviewing for on Wednesday will likely be a major pay cut for me. I am not sure how I feel about that. I am already pretty dependent on Hubby financially, and he is fine with that. I also have gotten more comfortable with it over the last few months. He makes more than I do, even if I went back to my old job or worked full time. It just makes sense. Eventually I may do more, but right now part time feels good.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

This changes everythig!

The teaching position is still up for grabs! They called today asking if I was still interested. Um, yes!

This would be a great time for me to switch jobs, as I am not not the payroll for my old job anymore. This job is a part time teaching position. I think it will be two days a week of teaching and I may be able to do some stuff from home (like planning). I think they can offer me benefits, too. My mother is more willing to watch the baby with this job than the OR position. My mother could bring the baby to me in the middle of the day so that I could nurse him, and it is only two days a week. I am fairly sure I will have somewhere private to pump, and I am more confident I would have the time. And I want to get back to teaching!

I have an interview on Wednesday. We will see what happens. Keep fingers crossed!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Oh, if I only had more time.

I really should not complain. I think I am going to end up with more than eight weeks of leave. I still do not have a start date at work, but I have made moves to go back. I contacted my supervisor and told her that I was medically clear to return to work, and that I wanted to return part time. I had to re-apply for my position, but that is all right. It is part time, so I will not have as many hours. I still have to work 24 hours a week in order to keep my benefits, but that is not terrible. Three 8 hour days seems not too bad right now. A lot less daunting than a full time position. Especially if I can keep a regular schedule. Unfortunately, I think we are without insurance this month. We will see when we go back to our ped's office. I never received COBRA info, and I thought that they had to do that before stopping your insurance. (I think I need to make a call to HR....)

I should not start getting upset yet, as I still have time, and I still not not have a start date. I still have time to spend with my baby! Trying to remember to breathe, and take the time to enjoy these days with my little dude. Honestly, I will not be upset if it takes me until April to start back. I think it will be fine.

I know that these feelings of guilt and ambivilence are normal for mothers returning to work. It is difficult to go back. It is also difficult to stay home. (At least from my perspective.) You sacrifice something no matter what you do. Blogher had an interesting post on this subject. If I stayed home, I would sacrifice a fulfilling career. Going back to work, I sacrifice time with my little one in order to feel fulfilled. It is not an easy decision to make, whatever you choose. I am choosing back back to work with a reduced schedule. I hope that this works for me. I hope I do not resent the choice I made. A lot of women work outside the home, and many go back while their baby is still an infant. Also, we need health insurance for our little one (and ourselves!)

It does not help matters that my mother does not appear to be supportive of my choice to go back to work. Hubby says that it may be that she does not have any experience with this, as she was a stay at home mom. I think that is true, to a certain extent. We also think very differently and live our lives very differently. My mother is an artist, and she does not work outside the home. She is very, very right brained. I have worked or gone to school ever since college. I am relatively analytical and I tend toward type A behavior. I am more left brained. We are so different, it is often difficult for us to see the other's point of view.

My mother moved down here to help us with childcare. She really wanted to be the childcare provider for the first year. I would have loved to have her as a childcare provider for the little dude's first year. Unfortunately, she is unable to do this, because of her retina surgery. I think it was a hard thing for her to admit. She was unable to tell me straight that she could not do it, and I am beginning to learn that subtle does not work in our relationship. We think so differently that we have to be clear about what we want and need. And even then, we often hear things wrong. It is really frustrating. All we can do is keep trying.

My work is important to me. Not to mention, I love having the income. I am fortunate in the fact that I am not dependent on my income, so I can work part time. I know that there are others who are not so fortunate.

Somewhere along the line, I decided that I wanted to have a job and have a family. I wanted both, knowing that it is not easy. Growing up I had two role models. My mother, who stayed at home with my sister and I, and my aunt who works and never had children. Looking at both of them, I realized that I wanted the best of both worlds. I wanted a fulfilling career, and I wanted a husband and "2.5" children. I know that it is not easy, but I married a man who will support me as I pursue this. I chose a career that has a lot of mothers already in it, and is very rewarding to me. I honestly do not think I ever considered not working. Now I have to work through the guilt and fear that comes with this decision.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Losing it.

Sigh. The time has come to deal with the leftover pregnancy weight. I broke down and signed up for Weight.watchers. It has been years since I have weighed this much, and none of my clothes fit. (I cannot admit the weight yet, I am just way too depressed by the number.) I have to go and buy jeans that fit because I am a good 40 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight. It is so depressing to buy clothes when I am this heavy. At least I am starting to do something about it. And breastfeeding should help it come off easier. Small comfort, as I know it is going to be a lot of work to get that weight off. At least I have a treadmill and a fitness ball at home. I do not need to go anywhere to work out, which is really convenient.

My pursuit of childcare seems to be going well. There is one person I like, and I may just make an appointment to meet with her even though I have not started calling her references. She sent me a resume with references when I asked for more info. That is having it together! She is also five minutes from my work. Her work experience looks great, and her background check came out clear. I need to jump on it! I may call her this morning.

I also need to call my supervisor. I sent her two emails, and she has not responded to either one. I need to break down and call. I need to confirm a start date, and a few other things about me returning. It is frustrating that I have not gotten any sort of response. But she is a bit of a flake, so I cannot say I am very surprised.

The phone calls will likely be a challenge with the baby, but I will try. I need to make them at some point, and the sooner I make them, the better.

Friday, March 5, 2010

I have not updated in a while...

But not much is going on.

I had an eye appointment yesterday, and I left the baby with my mother while I was at the appointment. Little dude cried almost the entire time. I felt bad for him, and bad for my mother. My mother is very committed to making the childcare arrangement work, but she is just beginning to see how much work it will be. I hope it gets easier on both of them I would like to find someone who can help her with childcare while I am at work, but it is difficult to find someone who will work in someone's home. I would hate it if my little dude cried the entire day while I was at work. They offered us a date night this weekend, and we may take them up on the offer. I hope he does better this time. We will see.

I feel awful that he cried the entire time I was at my appointment. He is very attached to me right now, and I think he knew that I was not there. I really hope it gets better for him. I think it was less stressful for him because he knows my mother, and she loves him to pieces. But it was still hard for him to be away from me, and hard on my mother as she could not calm him. I truly hope it gets easier to leave him.

Other than that, things seem to be going well with AC. He nurses well, and is starting to roll over
on his side. He will smile when he sees Hubby and me. He also smiled at the dog this morning. Too bad the dog could not smile back! He is sleeping better, and I am learning to function on slightly less sleep. Caffeine is a necessary part of my morning.

No major plans for the weekend, other than a date night. If the weather stays the same as it is today, it looks like we will have a nice weekend. Hopefully we will be able to take advantage of it.

Edit: Update to the update. I talked with my parents, and apparently there has been a miscommunication. I am not sure whether I heard wrong, or my mother was unclear, or if it was a bit of both. My mother has decided that she is not able to watch little AC right now. My mother recently had retina surgery, and in order for the recovery to go smoothly she has to be still and calm. She is really upset about not being able to watch the little dude. My parents are willing to do childcare on the weekends when my dad is able to help, but she cannot watch him for full days right now. Believe it or not, I am fine with this. I just wish I would have gotten the message earlier. I still have time to find someone, and hopefully I will. I have already looked at Craigs.list, and there look to be some possibilities there. Thank goodness my husband can do back ground checks easily!