Damn Snow

If I wasn’t born and raised in Iowa and married a guy also from Iowa, I would not still be here. I hate snow. Yes, it can be pretty. But the chaos it causes, the car accidents, the deaths… I could certainly do without all those. We are supposed to get six inches of this white stuff today, and already the interstate is snow-covered. And of course today is Eric’s clinic day in Ft. Dodge… Why do I feel like he’s going to get stuck there and end up spending another night away??

Today is my mom’s birthday and I wanted to surprise her at work with a bouquet of flowers. Cue snow storm… When I dropped the girls off at daycare this morning around 8:30am I learned they were closing at noon due to the expected bad weather. If I’d known ahead of time I would have just kept them home the entire day… Sometimes the morning struggling of waking up, getting dressed, breakfast, and somehow out the door, just isn’t worth it. Especially for only three hours. Although… buying groceries was easier alone.

I returned home to shower after dropping the girls off and received a call that my afternoon window shutter install needed to be moved to the morning. Again, the freaking snow. So I bought groceries quick as I needed ingredients for dinner, Million Dollar Spaghetti, and by that time it was already 11:35am and thus back to daycare. I’ve made this dish several times and the girls really liked it. Fingers crossed they still do. You know toddlers! And another dish with sour cream, cream cheese, even cottage cheese…

So back home, girls are napping, I’m feeding my face for the first time today (how do I forget to eat??) and wondering how I will occupy Nora’s and Nadia’s busy brains once they wake. Do other people’s kids just play? Do you entertain your children? To be honest, I love them, but I don’t love sitting on the floor playing train or coloring all afternoon… I’d rather be doing laundry, making dinner, and perhaps dreaming up ways to decorate this room with furniture and other fixtures now that the shutters are here… What do you think? A bit hard to see in the pictures due to the lighting. I really like them, but Nora was already banging them open and closed as I was rocking Nadia before her nap.

I was looking at my calendar for the next few months and noticed Eric is away overnight 12 out of 28 days in February, 43%, and 17 out of 31 days in March, 55%. Um, certainly more than the 33% of the time we originally discussed when our decision to move here was made. Granted, there are special circumstances the next couple months. Eric takes his oral boards in Dallas during his vacation week in February, and Eric is going to Las Vegas with some friends in March during his vacation week. And don’t even get me started. I know he deserves a vacation… but… Where does one draw the line? When you’re already away from your family that much, shouldn’t you possibly forgo vacations? I don’t take vacations, how would I? We don’t take any as a family either. I know Eric works so hard, so many hours… But, I don’t know. Part of me feels like perhaps now is not the time for him to vacation with friends, that sacrifices, while they suck, are being made on all our parts. Eric choose this professional, long before him and I even met. Yes, I was probably a little naive as to what I was getting into when Eric and I got married. I didn’t realize the extreme time commitment that was being a surgeon. And while I do complain a lot, I’m handling two little kids here, alone, more than 50% of the time some months. It’s exhausting!

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.

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!

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??

Full Disclosure with Employer?

I’m looking for some opinions on what others have told their boss/employer and what they have kept to themselves…

Remember back to all the drama when I requested to go part-time at work? My employer basically said I could, but that I’d need to agree to be reclassified as temporary so they could hire my replacement immediately. Now that in and of itself was ridiculous, as here I sit at work, bored because my boss has already reassigned my work to others.

Last week my boss called me and my two teammates into her office to discuss time off in the coming months, just to make sure we’re all on the same page. My boss will be gone January month-end, my female teammate is taking a vacation over February month-end, and then N’s wife is due May 1st so who knows when he will need time off. He requested two weeks leave one his daughter is born, which to me is insane, but then again, perspective I guess. I assume Eric will have the day of our baby girl’s birth off, and that’s it. Anyway, in this conversation my boss confirmed my due date, June 1st, and then asked how much longer I was planning to work. I felt very put on the spot, being my teammates were in the room, but I answered honestly, that I’d like to work as long as I can. Now, in my boss’s mind I assume she heard I’d stay working until fairly close to June 1st. Here’s where full disclosure comes into play…

Should I have told my boss the whole truth, that there is a chance I won’t be here working until June 1st due to my shortened cervix and complications that may arise? I mean, technically at this point I don’t know… I’m scared to be honest with her though, for fear she will try (again) to push me out of my role before I’m ready to leave. I just don’t want to give her any more reason to get me out of here than she already has. In the big picture I’d normally think it’s required to be upfront with your boss, to make sure the team/company doesn’t suffer, but in this case, since so little of my work is still on my plate, I’m not seeing the point. Or maybe I’m trying not to see the point.

Also in the meeting with my team and boss I was asked whether or not I was planning to return to work after baby is born. My team knows my situation, that we are moving for Eric’s work, but they also know our house won’t be finished for many months from now, leaving me here in town and technically available to work. Now there are advantages to coming back to work… I could take a true maternity leave, which isn’t paid, but at least I wouldn’t lose my sick-time. And I think I could arrange to cover our health insurance for the months we’ll be without, a huge plus. But on the other hand, I haven’t arranged for childcare, thinking I wouldn’t need it here in town. Do I start researching that just in case? Will I even want to come back to work? What if I agree now to come back but then change my mind, does that leave my team worse off? Whose needs/wants come first? How do I not feel like I’m taking advantage of my employer, being so much of my life during the next ten months is unknown?