Saturday, January 30, 2010

New Job!

I finally did it. After over a year of agonizing over the decision to look for work elsewhere, and just two months after actually starting to search, I landed myself a new job!

My husband keeps asking me if I'm scared.

How do I put this? I'm not nervous at all. I feel confident in my ability to do a good job, and to provide this company with exactly what it needs. I'm super excited about all of the possibilities that this position will open up to me.

The only thing that really had me quaking in my boots (so-to-speak, since I actually rarely wear boots), was telling my boss. Working in the same place for almost five years is a pretty Big Deal, especially when the company never fires anyone and the only way to stop working there is to retire or die. The jury's still out on the Office Manager, whose tenure there predates my birth by two years.

Why are these people so loyal? Why did they expect me to be? Honestly - they are afraid of change and don't know anything else. I've never met a bunch of people so mired in the status quo in my life. When I came on board in 2005, it was to my shock and horror that they were using Windows 98, with software I hadn't seen since my high school journalism class (underfunded and unappreciated. the plight of journalists!).

I put down my foot and got some results. I made changes and rocked the boat. The office manager decided she really, really didn't like me (professionally) and that I was out for her job (trust me, I wasn't). Then, I got pregnant. And learned that "Family Leave" actually ISN'T paid leave. And I learned that my company was too cheap to hire a replacement while I was out, instead trusting my (very important) work to the beautician-turned-secretary-who-can't-run-a-mail-merge and mucked everything up. And I discovered that upon returning to work that was the last place on Earth I wanted to be.

But I'm the bread winner. My paycheck keeps a roof over our heads and food in our bellies. Not working is, unfortunately, not an option. But changing jobs is never out of the question.

So I have a five-year plan. It includes making a boat-load of money so I can actually enjoy the first few months of my next baby's life, and eventually transition into being my own boss. This new job is the first stone across the river, and I've left behind the shore of complacency. Time to take charge of my own life buck the status quo.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bottle Wars

So this post really isn't going to be as exciting as the title sounds.

My son has stopped drinking bottles during the day. He started drinking less and less, and finally got the point where, if offered a bottle, he would push it away or throw it as hard as he could (and trust me, the kid has a good arm). Much to my chagrin, all of the wonderful mommy milk pumped throughout the day was sitting in the fridge, untouched, and then bagged and passed on to my Milkshare mama and baby. So, not a waste of course, but not exactly what I imagined would be happening with my milk each day, either.

This is classic reverse-cycling, and the bane and joy of the working mother's existence. The bane because it means your baby is attached to you from the moment you step into the door until the moment you leave the next morning. Gotta make up for that missed milk somehow! The joy because it means your baby loves YOU more than the bottles and doesn't want your milk any other way. I have several friends whose babies have preferred the bottle ad essentially quit nursing prior to 1 year, and I am thankful daily that mine does not.

But, nights like last night make things rough. I needed, badly, to do diaper laundry.  I wanted to go over my tax forms and get ready for the dreaded Filing of the Taxes. I wanted to catch up with my DVR and the guilty pleasures of American Idol. Instead, I was stuck in bed with the baby all evening. Sitting in my arms on the couch was a no-go. Sitting anywhere that wasn't with me was also a no-go. So instead, we laid in bed. Or more accurately, I laid in bed and he rolled around, played with his board books, and nursed on and off for about two hours. There are worse ways to spend the evening, I know. Most of the time it's even really sweet. But when there are Things To Be Done, it can get a little annoying. Hopefully tonight won't be a repeat.

So - on to the bottle wars. We've been trying (in vain) to find some other method of delivering milk during the day. Sippy cups, straw cups, open cups. The only one that he'll even think about using is an open cup - and at this age you still have to hold it for him. Trying to explain that to my sitter this morning was Not Fun. Hopefully the report when I get home today will be a bit more successful, though. I shudder to think how stinky that diaper hamper will get if it sits untouched one more day....

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Working and Pumping

I feel strongly about breastfeeding. Prior to giving birth I had no idea how strongly I would feel about it, as I always assumed it was a given. But my first few weeks of crying, pain, and "helpful" relatives simply made me a determined lactivist. Not only that, but I've always been proud of my boobs. They used to be my shining glories. Now they no longer look that great, but they also no longer belong to me. They are unequivocally the property of my baby boy.

Of course, I can't bring him to work with me. That's where the pump comes in. I have a Medela Pump-In-Style Advanced. It's cute enough to be inconspicuous (though totally noticable if you know what to look for), has plenty of space to fit my cooler in, and can either plug in or operate from a battery pack. Who knew that it would become my new best friend? I pump twice daily at work. That has become "Me" time. I get to shut my office door so nobody bothers me. I get to chill out at my computer and surf, blog, or chat on DS. Sure, it may be annoying to have to pump every day without fail (trust me, my boobs would mutiny if I didn't), but it's not so bad. I'm actually getting a little sad about the day I would have to give it up! Many, many people quit breastfeeding at a year, despite that being the minimum recommended time.  I don't know about you, but I've always felt the need to go above and beyond most things in life. So to me, doing the minimum is like getting a C or a D in school. Passing? Sure. But that's about it. And unless I absolutely loathed the subject, a passing grade was never good enough for me. And when the subject in question is my child's health and future - well I think you can see where this is going.

So back to the pump. My baby boy is 10.5 months. So my days pumping are probably numbered. Thanks for the memories, PISA!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Tale of Two Interviews

So yesterday was The Day. I had not one, but two job interviews!

I had some pre-conceived notions about which position I would like better. It was the seemingly more illustrious one, with a bigger name behind it that seemed to offer more pizazz. That one I scheduled second, so I could get the other one out of the way and under my belt before heading into the "real" one.

Silly me.

I really hit it off with my first interviewer. The job is so much cooler than I originally thought, and when I left my mind was spinning over all of the possibilities. I love jobs with Potential. The benefits were a little meager, but it's possible I could get the salary to make up for it. My only real sticking points? They'd want me to start Soon. Like three weeks, soon. And first order of business would be traveling to Vegas for a Convention. Sounds great, right? Except that whole nursing-mother-of-an-infant thing. It's one thing to drag your baby along on trips for a job that you've been at for years. I'm not sure what kind of impression that would make on my new employer, however.

But I shouldn't put the horse before the cart. I haven't been made any offers yet. I still need to dredge up two references to send. My best friend is a given. Just not sure who else I should ask. My work doesn't know I'm leaving yet. I'd hate to tip my hand, too. It would just make things more painful. You don't pull the bandaid off slowly, you rip it. I'm not quite ready to rip yet.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy New Year, and Happy Birthday to me!

2010 is here! It really snuck up on me, I can honestly say that 2009 was a pretty big blur. I can't believe that my little guy is 10 months old, and that I am now the ripe age of 27. Puts so many things in perspective!

The holidays were wonderfully relaxing. I got to spend tons of time with my baby and my family. I took an entire week off at the end of December, and am so glad I did.

For 2010, I've got a long list of goals. I hate to call them resolutions, because that's just a bit strong in the connotation department. My life is not a legal document! Here they are:

Lisa's 2010 Goals:
  1. Get back to pre-baby weight and re-gain muscle tone & overall fitness
  2. Pay off student loan #1 (current balance $6K) and make good progress on student loan #2
  3. Use my credit card less and cash (or debit) more. 
  4. Get a new job
I'm already headed in the right direction with goal #4! I have an interview scheduled for Monday, and I'm both excited and nervous. I haven't been on a job interview since 2005! This weekend I'm off to buy myself a suit - hopefully something that I can use repeatedly over the next month or so as I land more interviews! (Thinking positively here.)

Job hunting is tough, especially in this climate. And while I don't abhor change, I fear anything unknown. I've never bought a lottery ticket and I'd never wager on anything less than a sure thing. Wish me luck!