Monday, October 31, 2005

A sorta non-baby related post (sorta)



So, when I talked to my recruiter today about my turning down the offer he started in on a bit of a hard-sell. It made me feel shitty.

When I first moved to the US I was six years old and could hardly cobble english together to communicate with the general public. We moved in with my grandmother while my mother got on her feet. One day when playing in my grandpas garden (they owned the lot next door that they just had lawn and a veggie garden), a girl approached me. Apparently she lived over the back fence. We talked for a while and I felt all excited that I was making a friend. Then she asked me to come over to play! Oh! The excitement I felt! A real friend asking me to play. Oh but wait...there was a condition...she was actually trying to sell some stick on nail appliques and if I wasn't buying...well then, nix that invitation to come and play. Bum.....er....

That's a bit how I felt with the recruiter.

Sorry to let you down dude, but I just can't say yes!!! Yes! I know...it's a great opportunity! The future is so bright I gotta wear shades! But, um, yeah, I have to do this commute not you. I have to suck up the lost commuting hours, plus the additional hours required to do the job right. And, yes, yes, I know you understand what it's like with a six month old. That's right! You told me about how you lived your life for a couple years seeing your kid and wife for a grand total of about 15 minutes a day. How'd that work out for you? You know, now that you've dropped out of the rat race to become a recruiter? I just felt pressured and hassled and yuk. I will obsess about this "opportunity" for years, but wanting this job just didn't make up for the hassle of getting there.

I don't know people. I guess this whole exprience reminded me of something. I'm not super go-go career girl. I never have been. I pretend sometimes, but at heart, I just wish I were independently wealthy and I could just travel round the world with cute husband and cute baby and look at interesting stuff. I don't work because that's who I am, I work to afford my "real" life.

I'l tell you what did make me feel better....seeing my baby girl dressed as a pink piggy in her stroller, going for her first trick or treating, and going next door and having a few gin and tonics with my neighbour while daddy did the rounds of the local culdesacs.

Cutest Pumpkin EVER

Her Throne

Here is the convertible car seat we settled on:
http://www.specialtybaby.com/evtrdlxcocar.html

After reading lots of reviews and balancing cost vs function, the triumph seemed to come up tops. We spent the extra $20 for upgraded padding etc. Nell seems pretty happy with it. She has lots more room and isn't all crunched down in a seat anymore. Plus, the cup holder! Who could ask for more?

So?

Well, I responded this morning to the offer. What was my decision? I said that unless they add another 10k to the offer, the answer is no. So, what did I really say? The answer is no. There is no way they'll offer that much more. Sigh. I feel slightly regretful. I know the answer had to be no with that commute, but still...I wanted that job. Wah. You know the grass is always greener on the other side when you are bored at work.

That being said, I was thinking this morning, as Nell and I shared a bowl of cheese grits on the back deck, if I were to take a job like the one offerred...no more leisurely breakfasts with my girl. The thing that really did it for me was the lack of escape clause. Sure, if the job wasn't what I thought it would be, I could look for a different one, but once I give up this dream commute I'm stuck with driving into the bowels of Houston every day period. There are only a couple corporate type employers up here in the whitelands and giving up the job here means it would be very unlikely I would be able to get back this great commute. And, there is no way I was moving house for a job. The living is too easy in the whitelands to trade it in. Not only that, I wasn't about to wear the cost of selling a house, buying a house in a more expensive market (less house for your money), or the inconvenience of a move.

Also, I spent both days this weekend down in Houston and I was so cross about being in the car all day long for two days by Sunday evening I almost had a temper tantrum. So, yeah, I just don't think the commuting is something I can do voluntarily. If I absolutely HAD TO I could do it, but I don't have to.

Nell outgrew here infant carrier this past week. She's too tall for it. She's been uncomfortable in it for a few weeks, but I kept putting off dealing with it. Friday, I noticed that she was actually slipping out of her shoulder straps to be able to sit in the carrier in the car at all, and it scared me to think what would happen in an accident. So, we had to buy a convertible car seat this weekend. She is now riding in a fully padded throne like contraption that comes complete with her own drink holder. The cup holder kills us. We have always joked that anything with a cup holder is "american style"...even the baby car seats have drink holders!!! It's great!

Yesterday I took Nell in to get some photos taken for a "calendar competition" she's in. By "calendar competition" I mean that every kid that enters is a finalist, so that they can get you into the studio so they can give you the hardsell on cute photos of your kid. Who can say no to gorgeous shots of their baby? Me. That's who. No doubt those were some of the cutest pics ever, but I refuse to pay $40/portrait sheet for her pictures. Nell looks cute in even casual snapshots.

Instead, I'll be making her go take her six month pictures at JcPenney...where we have no fee sittings and $6 portrait sheets.

Nell is usually pretty tolerant of the superbabymodel stuff, but you should see me working my tail off with the hovering in case she takes a header when sitting (she's still a bit wobbly now and again), the calling of her name to get her to look up, the creative distractions so she doesn't start eating her fingers in the middle of a cute shot, and the wardrobe management. It is a production! There is no love for the people working hard in the background when the babysupermodel is centerstage.

PS. I still have crazy mixed feelings about his job stuff. I hate being a grown up that has to make hard decisions.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Cue: Thinking Music



We're currently contemplating.

We're also annoyed because we are having one of those "nothing is going right" days.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Dilemma

I'm currently contemplating a job dilemma. Background: I currently work full time, but am so close to home I can come home at lunch time. I also leave here around 8 am and am back by 5:30 pm latest. The commute is like 10 minutes. I am underutilized at work, and my career development potential is zero. That being said, I am paid a reasonable wage, work is not stressful, and we are treated as professionals. So, if I want to go to a pedi appt with Nell, I can, it's not docked from my time etc. We will not be getting a bonus this year b/c of the hurricanes, but then again, working for the man...it's not as if I get mega-bonuses anyways. My worry is I won't be able to pay my student loan..but feh.

I have just been presented with a FABULOUS career opportunity. The total package is about 20k more than I make now. The downside? A 40 mile commute one way. In morning traffic that translates to about an hour and a half. AT best, it will always be AT LEAST a one hour commute (one way). The job sounds great. The upside development opportunities sound great. They are offering 9/80s (work your 80 hours over 9 days and get ever other friday off). If this job were even a thirty minute commute I wouldn't be hesistating for one second. But, a potential of 3hours of commute a day means I won't see my baby at all during the week. I'll wake her up, leave and then get back after she's gone to bed. I'm dying to take the job, but I know that two weeks into that commuting I'll be miserable. Not only that, that kind of commute really eats into the salary differential.

If you were in my shoes what would you do?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Tra La!

Nell has perfected the (olympic calibre) backwards swan dive move. So far we have kept her from falling down and breaking her neck. I hope with practice I can continue to keep her from doing a headplant.

Here's her deal:
She wants DOWN!RIGHTTHISVERSECONDBECAUSESHEHASTHINGSSHENEEDSTODOSOPUTHERDOWNRIGHTNOW!

oh, wait a minute....that's right...she can't actually get anywhere on her own yet, and once that dawns on her (yet again) then:
SHEWANTSUP!PICKHERUPTHISINSTANTORFACETHESCREAMSOFDEATH!NOW!

Then? Oh that's right, it was down she wanted, close eyes dramatically and fling head back and attempt swan dive....

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Mummy's Girl

Through and through. She is.

Apparently when I was four months old I solidly refused the breast, hardly tolerated the bottle and harassed and harassed for food. My daughter is cut from the same cloth. At just shy of 4 months, I finally gave in to the little bird mouth and ever since, her number one focus in life is what everyone else is eating and how she can connive some of it for herself.

She flat out refuses to take a bottle. She still nurses (thankfully), and will sometimes take apple juice from a sippy cup to placate us (mostly she chews on the spout and plays with the juice in her mouth.) She knows if we try to dilute the juice and pitches a fit and refuses the cup outright. She also refuses water, formula and even expressed breast milk (no more pumping for mummy). She was eyeing off D's coke the other day....

Her latest trick? Hating/gagging/refusing store bought baby food. She wants to share what we are eating, or will eat the baby food ice cubes (warmed up) that I make her. In the freezer for her degustation this week:
1. Chicken with yellow squash, nutritional yeast, and garlic.
2. Grouper with fingerling potatoes, butter, dill and green beans (makes her have a fishy face).
3. pear apple cubes
4. peach apple cubes

I have to admit, I wasn't doing very well with observing traditional "first food" guidance with Nell, and the recent articles published that indicate that guidance may be more myth than fact confirmed what I already knew. Nell can eat what she wants without problem. We don't have any food allergy history in our family, so I was fairly confident she could manage just about anything. And she does. Of course, I try to keep salt and junk to a minimum...but we do that for ourselves as well. She also seems to prefer savoury flavours over sweet.

HEre is just a short list of "not necessarily approved for baby" foods that she's had thus far:
1. Tofu, dashi and udon (mushed up)
2. Nanny's potato casserole (with onion soup mix!!!)
3. Daddy's pork ribs (the bones seemed to be tasty teethers to her)
4. Any gravy on the table
5. Lambchop bone
6. roasted broccoli
7. cauliflower cheese
So, there you go. Already a demanding little food critic, though she does share the same love of lowbrow foods that her mum has (ie. cheese grits anyone? cream gravy?)

PS. Little miss thing is near on 6 months old. I just can't believe it.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Falling Down

We've been busy around our house enjoying the company of Nanny and Poppy (also knowns as D's fab parents.)

We've also been busy (recently) trying to live down the fact that we (and when I say we, I mean me) almost broke Nell's leg. Horrible. I slipped in the bathroom with her after her bath last thursday and we both landed pretty painfully. I was convinced I'd discolated her left leg...but after a nurse and a settle she seemed fine. So fine, in fact, that we went to the children's museum the next day. What kind of mother not only almost breaks the baby's leg, but then takes her for a fun filled day at the museum. In my defense, she was her normal happy self all day long. It wasn't until saturday (you know, when her pediatrician's office was not open, and when the only facility for xrays was the hospital) that I noticed her holding her little leg up when she was in her walker or exersaucer. Off to the doctor we go, who scared the holymoly out of me by declaring that she believed the tibia to be fractured. Off we go to the hospital, where we wait and wait and wait (and are admitted by a toady man with blonde curly fringe and blonde curly mullet) to get Nell's leg xrayed (STAT! as the orders said). Nell thought the whole adventure was interesting, including chirping and gurgling at the xray machine. And though the orders said STAT!!!! we were sent home with no diagnosis and told to wait for a call from the substitute pediatrician.

We finally got a call at 10 pm to tell us the leg wasn't broken.

I still feel like the world's worst mother.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Sling it!

Yesterday I received my much anticipated sling from HipMelon (http://www.hipmelon.com/) and it didn't disappoint! It is just gorge! I can't wait to start using it to carry the little chook around in.

Once she and I get the hang of it I'll have to post a pic. She looks like a little dumpling in it.