Sunday

According to my phone, it’s Sunday. Feels like a Tuesday or Friday. Everyday feels similar lately. The weekends don’t stand out, being Eric works most of them, this one included.

The only reason I’m writing is because both girls are napping, at the same time, which happens about once a month lately, so I needed to take advantage. I’m convinced Nadia’s heart medication is what messes with her sleep, basically eliminating her daytime naps… We are weaning her off it, so the naps are becoming a bit more regular, but still far from anything I’d consider normal for a child her age.

I didn’t have a sitter this past week. Don’t even get me started. I know, it was a holiday, so I expected her to take some time off, but I thought I was at least going to have her Friday and then she texted me Thursday that they were staying out-of-town through the weekend. I feel like that’s the issue with someone coming to your home, or taking your kids to their home… The dependability just isn’t there, it just doesn’t compare to a center. And while yes, I am a stay-at-home mom, I have a ton of crap planned, mostly doctors appointments for the girls multiple times a week now, and some outings for me as well, and it’s hard to rearrange everything at the last-minute. I feel like I’m that person, who is always cancelling appointments and rescheduling. And August is even a bigger mess with a sitter, as the one I love isn’t available as much as I thought, although she will be back in town for the school year. It’s probably time to place another ad on care.com and start the process of finding a sitter all over again. Even the idea terrifies me.

Which brings me to opening my own daycare center… Still in the research phase. Looking more into Goddard currently, although I’m scared it’s a bit too upscale for this area. My research so far is pointing to our previous city being a better fit. Of course. Of course! The same things I hate about this city are still biting me in the butt! There are definitely enough people here on wait-lists wanting childcare… I’m just not yet convinced there are enough families with enough disposable income to spend well above average for such a service. Granted, they would getting more than just childcare, but it’s getting families to want that, and pay for that, and see the value in it, which might be the issue here.

No word from the sellers of the house we made an offer on… A little part of me thought they might come back to us by now, but nothing yet. I do know they are having an open house today though.

I should be napping… I’m exhausted. I got our little pool out for Nora again this morning. It wears her out and thus she takes a good nap, but it wears me out too! It’s a ton of work to get it out, blow it up, with the pump thing, find all the pool toys, fill it with water, get her in a swim diaper and suit, find a blanket for Nadia and I to sit on, carry each of them down the 10 steep stairs into our backyard, slather them both with sunscreen, then make 17 more trips up and down the stairs for everything else I forgot, then bring everything in an hour later, remove wet suits and wash, re-clothe them in dry clothing and real diapers, drain the pool, blah blah blah. You get the idea. It’s so much work! Why are kids so much work?? I mean, I think I’m a pretty well-adjusted adult with lots of resources. How do younger moms with no help and fewer resources handle this?? And then I was taking Nadia’s infant carrier car seat and rock-n-play into the basement for storage and thought, we have way too much baby stuff not to have another kid. OMG, but it’s so much work!

Do I try to do too much at once? While all the pool stuff was going on, I was also doing laundry and general cleanup of the house. Still doing laundry. I’m still in my swimsuit, as no time to take that off. Just grabbing lunch for myself now… I miss work, where I felt like I was able to focus, and actually finish tasks. I still believe Eric thinks staying with the girls is easy, and maybe in some ways it is easier than working outside the home. But then how come I never seem to actually accomplish anything? Like making dinner while watching the girls… It feels impossible! Maybe Eric should try watching the girls in his operating room while he’s performing surgery. Yes! He should have to get them snacks, turn on the next “Daniel Tiger” episode, change their diapers, etc. And no help from the OR nurses or scrub techs either! That is how this feels to me. Like I’m doing several jobs as once. It’s so draining, and frustrating.

Daycare Visit

I visited our proposed daycare center today. Again. My first visit was back when I was pregnant with Nora. When we were placed on their waitlist. Over two years later we’re still waiting, Nora is still 23rd on the list. So I wanted to know why, in person. The answer was fairly vague… Not enough spaces, lots of others waiting, siblings get priority, blah blah blah. I have zero faith Nora will get a spot before next August when she can start three year-old preschool. So there goes that idea. Plus, I wasn’t all that impressed with the facility, or the ‘teachers’ who aren’t actually teachers. I like have elementary education, early childhood education, special education, etc. majors who come to our home, as the girls receive one-on-one attention. But its expensive. And they aren’t really getting the social interaction I long for… I’m a bit at a loss of how to solve that though, since I called around to other centers in this area, and their wait lists are just as long, two years or more. Ugh. I’m frustrated and overwhelmed.

 

How frustrated am I?? Enough that I seriously, honestly to God, checked into opening my own center. Not just any center though. An upscale ‘daycare’ that focuses more on education, not just baby-sitting. Anyone have experience with a Kiddie Academy? There aren’t any in my current state, but I filled out a franchise application and I’m supposed to speak with the franchise director later this week. No seriously people, there is such a need here, how could it not be lucrative? With my undergrad in Finance and MBA I’m surely willing to take on the business aspect… But I’ll obviously need someone with an educational background too. With the University of Northern Iowa here, which is cranking out teachers like crazy… And yes, this isn’t a traditional teaching career, but it actually pays better than most public school positions, so if I can find the right people, it’s a win win. I know, I’m making it sound way simpler than it is. Just another idea of mine… We’ll see…

House Tour

I really, really liked the house, enough to want to take Eric back to look, as he is, of course, working today. There are a few things I’d want to re-do, like some light fixtures which are quite fancy and not my taste, maybe the flooring in the formal dining room, but honestly, it’s not anything that would have to be done right away. Just cosmetic stuff if we find the time. The house has a lot of space, really way more than we actually need, but who knows, maybe we would find we like the extra space. The bedrooms are all good size, which is so nice, they even have walk-in closets for the girls. The current owners just repainted the entire house and all the trim. Most of the colors are blue/grey, which is okay, except they don’t really match any of our furniture. We currently have a lot of teal/sea-green in our home. Hum… Not the end of the world I guess. All the carpet is new, and there is new wood flooring, which might not be awesome since we have a dog who will probably ruin real wood. Maybe she can live in just one wing of the place!

 

I’m hoping Eric can find time Friday to see it, pending when our realtor is available. The real question though is… do I want to stay in the Cedar Falls area? Or move back closer to Iowa City? I realize this particular house is in a very small town, but it feels more like an extension of our current city. But do I want to stay here? Options here are still so, so limited for everything. Oh, and we are even further down on the daycare list here than I thought. Nora is 23rd, not 17th like she was a few months ago when I called. What the…IMG_8111

I’m so, so over the daycare situation here. Of course, I emailed one closer to where we used to live, and they didn’t call me back. Should I just open my own? I don’t actually want to work there, God no. I hate others people’s children. (Kidding. Sort of.) Can I just own it?

 

I peaked for jobs again here this afternoon… Nothing. Depressing. I’m so confused. I really do like the house. But what if we buy it, move, and then I decide I still don’t want to be here?

 

Maybe I need to make a list of pros and cons…

Happy Friday!

We made it to another Friday. Eric is on-call this week, and worked late EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. I know I should be used to his schedule by now… but I’m not. I still get angry, discouraged, disappointed, overwhelmed, etc. when I hear he’s going to be late. Why is it the girls have to both cry and whine from 5-7pm?? Yesterday Nora and I were playing outside around 4:30pm and I saw several neighbors arrive home, I assume from work. Made me sad that scenario can’t be my reality.

Yesterday Eric was seeing patients at his Ft. Dodge clinic. Now I know this will piss some of you off, but… would I be a good blogger if I didn’t sometimes post controversial stuff? So I’ll just say it. I hate Eric has a clinic there. He is more than busy with his patients in the darn city where we live. I travel to Iowa City all the freaking time to see specialists, as I understand that some surgical specialties aren’t available in smaller cities. (Supply and demand people.) Ft. Dodge is small. Can’t those people travel for their care, just like I do all the freaking time with the girls? Eric going there a few times a month means even less time with him.

Monday is Eric’s birthday, and it sounds like for his gift he wants to spend the weekend away with his dad’s brother and family. I forget where now, but I think it’s a 3-4 hour drive from us. His uncle has a cabin on a lake and is inviting a bunch of people to stay the weekend. Not my kind of time away, and I have little to no desire to sit in a car with little ones for any length of time. Eric wants to go though, and mentioned this morning he would like to take Nora. Now, I personally think it’s a horrible idea, but I’m not going to tell him no. I just think once he gets there with her he might regret it. Kids out-of-town, overnight, are a lot of work. Plus, he wants to stop on the way back and spend time with some friends in Des Moines that he hasn’t seen in a while. The weekend would be easier for me with just Nadia… Another weekend alone though. I did purchase gifts for Eric, whiskey glasses and an aluminum wallet. Eric is very picky… so we’ll see.


In other news… I think I’m having a mid-life crisis. Am I in my mid-life?? Anyway… You know I still have the idea of opening a coffee shop in the back of my mind… But I have other ideas too. Maybe I have too many ideas. I need to focus and narrow down my options. But how? And are any if these good ideas when I have two little girls? And would like a third child at some point… which would probably be another high-risk pregnancy ending in the birth of a preemie…

  • There is the traditional job avenue. Meaning, what I was doing before I had the girls. I started updating my resume a few weeks ago, but I’m not extremely motivated to get back into boring finance/accounting work… Do you blame me? Also, being we are in the 39% tax bracket, and I pay our sitter $12.50 an hour, I might end up bringing home less than I pay our nanny. Depressing. Yes, something to be said for working and being happy, but still. Plus, the search for jobs in this area hasn’t turned up much. Seems this city is all about labor and manufacturing positions. Which doesn’t surprise me.
  • So new idea… And this might surprise some of you, but what about me opening a salon/spa? I have the business background with my undergrad in Finance and MBA, but I would obviously need the trade schooling. We have a couple of options here in town, my fear though, is that I’d be in classes with 18 year olds. Being 37 and having worked in professional environments, I just have a strange feeling I might be a little out-of-place. Crazy idea? I’m not so sure the idea of doing hair interests me as much as skin care/make-up. And I realize the money isn’t going to come from offering those services myself, but rather from owning the business. I have not mentioned this idea to Eric yet… I wonder what his response will be.

Searching for employment…

I did a very quick search for employment online today. And it was sad. Very sad. Now granted, my search was quick and only on one website, so hard to say overall, but so far I found nothing of interest. Plenty of jobs if I were a college student with no experience and no degree. But since I have a BBA in Finance and MBA, I’m looking for more. I would say the majority of positions pay less than what I pay our sitter an hour… Now I know, there is something to be said for the experience, of getting out of the house, if that’s what I really want, but not sure it makes sense to wait tables or work as a bank teller at this point in my life.

August 3, 2015 – 20 Weeks (9 Weeks Corrected)

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I can’t believe it’s been 20 weeks since Nora’s birth.  And yet somehow she is still only around 10 pounds!  I’m a little biased, but I think she gets cuter every week!  She wouldn’t sit still for this week’s photo, notice the slight blur 🙂

I continue to wonder what the heck I’m supposed to do with Nora all day everyday.  Eric left Saturday for Cedar Falls as he started his ‘it gets better’ job, as it’s often referred to… the first job out of residency that is.  We’re tentatively scheduled to move Friday, August 14th, which means I’m here alone with Nora and Kona until then.  AHHHH!  So far so good, but it’s only been a few days.

The days really are flying… everyone tells me they do with a baby since life seems to repeat every three hours when Nora needs to eat again.  Speaking of eating, I’m still pumping and feeding Nora my milk with bottles.  (Oh, did I mention I stopped fortifying my milk altogether?  Yeah, long story, but to make it short, since her doctors agreed we could cut back on her calories, and I was kind of fed up with her gas and upset stomach, I decided to try straight, plain breast milk for a few days.  And then I just never went back to adding in the fortifier.  She actually poops now!)  Anyway, I tried last Saturday to strictly nurse her all day to see how we’d manage, using a nipple shield of course.  Since I’ve been pumping less I was fairly confident that Nora could consume all the milk, or very close to all the milk, I’m making.  That said, after a few hours of nursing her she was crying and my breasts were uncomfortable.  I know she gets some milk, she seemed satisfied after the first feeding, but after the second and third feedings she was fussy, wouldn’t go to sleep, and I had hard, sore spots, which I assumed were ducts that Nora wasn’t able to empty.  Funny that I was so looking forward to pumping after that experience!  Still feeling frustrated though, I broke down and called the pediatric dentist I was referred to for her upper lip tie and posterior tongue tie…  Well, actually, her and I emailed back and forth a few times and then I finally called to make an appointment, which is tomorrow morning at 8am.  And it’s at least 90 minutes from where we live.  Okay, I know this doesn’t sound all that difficult, but I’m really wondering how I’m going to get there on-time.  I might be showering at 3am after feeding Nora!  There is a part of me that still would have preferred the ENT perform the correction, but a larger part of me didn’t want to wait another month and a half for that appointment.  And this pediatric dentist comes very highly recommended.  I am terrified though.  I think I have PTSD from our NICU experience.  I just keep picturing Nora in pain, all the procedures she endured, all the spinal taps, all the IVs, the literally hundreds of blood draws, intubations, the tortuous eye exams…  Ugh, even just thinking about those days in the NICU, all the times they would ask me to step out, and I’d go for a walk while I knew she was screaming…  So hard.  I’m told they will numb her mouth tomorrow, and that the procedure is really quick, but it still breaks me heart.  Please think of us tomorrow morning and pray for success and a quick recovery.  I’ll update and let you all know how it goes.

In other news, Nora and I had a fantastic lunch today with the ladies I used to work with at the hospital.  It seriously was so good to see them!  I miss them so much!  You know that feeling when you break up with someone and then you see them with someone new and it’s like you feel left out?  Yeah, totally had that feeling at lunch.  As much as I disliked my job, the actual work, I really, really enjoyed some of the people.  Not N of course, but several girls became close friends.  I so miss the chit-chat, catching up on each others lives, giving and getting advice, venting about the not so awesome people at work…  I keep telling myself I’m going to do a better job of staying in touch with those I truly care about, but then another week passes and I can’t figure out where the time went…  Is that just life?  I truly hope those wonderful ladies know how important they are to me, even if we aren’t able to see each other as much as I’d like.  And with me moving soon, I fear even more for our friendships.  Thankfully I won’t live too far and should be able to come back to meet for lunches from time to time!  I’ll look forward to those days!

Long Time, No Write

The days keep getting away from me…  Today I didn’t even leave the house, and still the day seemed to fly.  I’m sure I have text messages on my phone I haven’t responded to!

I think I’m settling into motherhood, although I still don’t always know exactly what to do with sweet little Nora.  As I type she’s wiggling around next to me…  

Eric had the past two weeks off work and was a huge help during the days.  The nights, not so much.  Nothing wakes that man.  I fear I’ll never be able to trust him for an overnight with Nora.  Even though I’ve been taking all the night feedings, and most of the day ones too, I can’t complain, Nora is a very content baby.  She only cries while she’s eating.  Yes, during her bottles or breastfeeding.  We started Zantac a few days ago as her doctor believes it’s reflux.  I’m  so hoping she feels better soon.  In my quest to figure out why she was crying during feedings I purchased a few items.  Okay, a lot of items.  I’m now the proud owner of pretty much every brand of baby bottles on the market.  And different flow nipples for each as well.  And OMG some bottles have a ton of parts!  I think we’ve decided the Avent Natural are the best for Nora.  They seem to fit her mouth the best, as many others tended to leaked out the corners.  And bonus, they are easy to clean!

As for breastfeeding, I’m not giving up, but golly it seems more difficult than pumping and feeding with bottles since she’s currently crying through her feedings.  Like today I only nursed her for one feeding, well, part of one feeding, five minutes on each side and then I gave up and warmed a bottle.  I think if we weren’t fortifying her bottles feedings would be easier, even with pumping.  I’m convinced the fortifier is causing her reflux and AWFUL gas.  So aside from the Zantac, we’re also adding gas drops to each of her bottles.  I need to ask the doctor at our next appointment how long we need to fortify my milk…  I’m still making more than twice what Nora can eat each day, so I usually make one bottle for her from each pumping session and then freeze the remaining.  I’m going to have more milk than I know what to do with!  I assume there will be a day when Nora can eat as much as I produce though… currently she is only taking 1.5-2 oz every 4-6 hours.  I feel like 6 hours is a long time for technically a newborn, but my doctor doesn’t really want me to wake her much, as it’s when she’s sleeping that she is growing.  Apparently eating often uses a lot of calories and we want to conserve as many as possible.

The only other thing Nora is supposed to be taking is her multi-vitamin with iron.  I’m bad, I haven’t given in to her in several days, but she already seems happier without it…  She actually poops on the days I don’t give it to her, so of course she’s happier!  The fortifier has all the same vitamins and iron, so I’m not sure why we need to be giving both…  And plus, the vitamin tastes terrible and therefore it’s hard to get her to take it.  And it stains, so I pretty much have to strip her unless I want all her cute clothing ruined.  Hey, no laughing, I’m sick of the extra laundry already!

Tomorrow Eric goes back to work and thus starts my official life as a stay-at-home mom.  I’m not sure exactly how I feel about this…  I’m not at all concerned about taking care of Nora alone, as I’ve been alone with her plenty already.  It’s more the realization of what my life will be, at least for the next year perhaps.  Even with Eric home I’ve felt like all the days are now the same.  And all the days involve are cleaning and laundry.  I guess I’m just not sure how to make my days feel exciting, have a purpose.  Right now my time is consumed with feeding, pumping, washing bottles and pump parts, and then doing that all over again.  But I assume at some point I’ll find I have more time, and then what will I do?  I understand that taking care of Nora and watching her grow will be far more fulfilling than I can imagine right now, but what if I need more?

Alright, more later, as I need to shorten Nora’s talons before she scratches more skin off her face!

Oh, two pictures I want to share first, another proof of Nora I received, and my Monte glider/recliner that finally arrived from Canada!!

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Annoyed

Down to 78 days of work, but am I seriously going to make it???  I officially sent the email to my boss this morning around 9am with my end date…  And by noon coworker N already knew the date.  Like seriously?  He said our boss told him.  How did they possibly have time to discuss my plans so quickly??  Does anyone else find that very odd?  Makes me wonder how often they meet to discuss my exit…  I’m so over that place!

Moments of Insanity

My moments of insanity are occurring more frequently these days…  Pregnancy hormones??

Yesterday Eric and I were supposed to meet our builder at 2pm an hour and a half north of our home to sign the purchase and construction agreement.  Eric and I had agreed to meet at 11:30am at home, as we were both planning to work the morning, and then drive together, hopefully leaving town by noon.  During my drive home from work my car started acting a little funny, wouldn’t always accelerate when I pressed on the gas, jerked forward a few times, sounded like it was going to die…  Keep in mind this car is not old enough to be acting this way!  I made it home by 11:30am though, beating Eric.  I called his cell to ask him about the car, no answer.  Sent him a text, no response.  Panicking about the car I called a few auto repair shops and found one which told me I could drop it off immediately and they’d take a look.  It was 12:15pm by the time the car was checked in, and still no word from Eric.  Long story short, he did finally text back, his case started late and took longer than expected, of course!  So he ran home, changed clothing, and picked me up to head out-of-town.  I’m panicking of course at this point, as I hate being late, in fact, I’d prefer to be early for everything!  Eric wasn’t nearly as concerned though, encouraging me to ‘just email the builder and tell him we’ll be late,’ as if the builder had nothing else going on today…  And he did, he needed to pick up his daughter from school by 3:30pm, obviously shortening our time together considering our tardiness.

In the end everything worked out…  We signed all the paperwork, handed over some cash, and left before the builder was expected at his daughter’s school.  And the basement will be dug this Friday!!  And we even made it back into town to pick up my car before the shop closed.  So where does the insanity part come in?  Well, while I was sitting at the auto shop waiting to hear from Eric all I could think was, working full-time right now is just too much for me with everything else.  I really wanted to call my boss and just tell her I was finished with work…  Granted, it’s not stressful, if you’ve been following long you know I’m basically bored at work, but it’s still time I’m required to be there, and thus not available to take care of other items, items which seem so much more important to me currently.  It seems I have baby appointments almost every other week, I’ve been to our new city weekly the past several weeks checking out day cares, God knows I have more organizing and preparation at home for baby’s birth and our move…  My work just isn’t a priority right now.  But every time I tell Eric I really want to quit, his response is always, ‘I know,’ even though his schedule doesn’t allow him to help me, ever, with anything.

Speaking of wanting to quit my job and insanity…  Sunday evening I was on Etsy browsing adorable baby girl headbands, hats, and other accessories when this idea popped in my head, I could make these items myself and sell them online.  I mean, most items are way over-priced, in my opinion, so the profit margin must be decent, right?  No really, I was seriously into this idea.  One minute it hadn’t occurred to me, and the next I was about ready to order a sewing machine and knitting needles online.  (Yes, this is often how I work, remember the high chair I splurged on?  This is also how I acquired my last vehicle, very spur of the moment.)  Anyway, I controlled myself this time, but the general idea hasn’t left my brain yet.  I added a new project page to my website, Stef’s Creative Side, which will have other pages under it, well, once I figure out my creative side.  Might even need to rename the page, we’ll see.  Maybe this will replace my other crazy idea of opening a coffee shop.  Or maybe not.

My Wit’s End

Sorry, this is a venting post.  Skip if you wish 🙂

I’m about at my wit’s end with work…  I’m honest to God sitting here, staring at my computer, wondering if all this is really worth it.  The time, the frustration, the money, the effort…  I’m not convinced it is.  Granted, my boss has removed most of my prior work obligations, and therefore my days are left rather empty, but what is left for work is completely ridiculous.  I did not obtain a masters degree to complete intern-level assignments.  And really, the taxpayers shouldn’t be paying me for such either.  I’m frankly bored out of my mind.  And yes, I could see this as an opportunity to earn money while remaining underutilized, a cushy job if you will, but I’m learning that not enough work, and work that is beneath me, is far more stressful than mind-challenging tasks which would excite and stimulate my brain.

None of this is new though.  Ever since my boss was made aware of my pregnancy I’ve slowly been down-graded on the totum pole here.  What is new though, is N’s more consistent overstepping of boundaries within his own role.  Our boss is on vacation this week, and twice today N has forwarded work to me, emails/issues originally sent to him which he is fully capably of handling.  See the thing is, N wants to be noticed, wearing suits and ties when even the higher-ups in my area don’t.  He is obsessed with sucking up to anyone in administration he deems important, anyone who can promote his career.  I am clearly not like this, I never had been, even when my career was of the utmost importance to me.  N basically is refusing to allot any time to work which doesn’t get him noticed.  And frankly, everyone’s role here includes some of such work, it’s just how life works.  You do the fun and exciting with the not so fun and not so exciting.  But oh no, not N I guess.  The emails he’s been forwarding to me as those which are unexciting, messy work which involve no higher-ups.  Simply unglamorous issues that need to be handled.

So I called him on it…  He gave me this lame-o line about how he didn’t know whose role this type of work was…  Um, hello, whoever receives the request!!  It’s called work for a reason, it’s not always fun!  I’ve never seen myself as above anyway, but N is really pushing my limits.  He is younger than myself, with far less experience.  I’m not okay with him treating me as his employee.  If he has work he can’t accommodate, he really should be discussing roles with our boss, and not taking it upon himself to redistribute the work.

Another example…  N scheduled a meeting with me earlier this week, again, our boss being on vacation.  I ‘accepted’ the calendar invite but later stressed to him I didn’t see the need to meet this week, being many questions and answers would be expected from management.  If you can believe it, his response was that he was going to be making the decisions.  He even went as far as to say his decisions would be more trustworthy than our boss’s.  I was speechless.  I have never before in my life met someone who so blatantly over-steps boundaries and authority, taking it upon themselves to better their own situation.

113 days until baby is due and my employment here ends.  How will I make it??