nobody wants to be the last kid at daycare

Apparently the whole “working mom guilt” thing has officially kicked in. On Friday afternoon, I realized around 4:45 that I was going to have to stay late at work to finish a couple of quick things that needed to be done before the weekend. The only problem was that Dave and I had carpooled to the office together, so he was basically stuck, waiting around for me.

We left at 5:30, and I was thinking it’d be ok, but then we got stuck in HORRIBLE “it’s Friday so everyone is commuting home at the same damn time” traffic. And I panicked, because daycare closes at 6:00, and we were obviously not going to make it there on time. I had images in my head of Catie as the last kid there, crying and asking where her Mommy and Daddy were. I almost lost it on that drive.

(Aside: I’ve mentioned before that my parents are currently trying to sell their house and move up here, right? My mom keeps talking about how great it’ll be that they’ll be around to help out with Catie when we need them. At some point when we were stuck in traffic and not moving, I said to Dave, “Ok, you know what? I need my parents here like RIGHT NOW, TODAY.” Because it sure would’ve made my life easier if I could’ve called my mom at 4:45 and been like, “oh hey, I have to work late, could you pick up Catie?” Problem solved. So I really need someone to hurry up and buy their damn house so they can move here already!)

We got to daycare at 6:05 – not horrible, but we’re still going to have to pay extra for that 5 minutes (I forget how much, I think they charge you a dollar per minute that you’re late). I ran in, and it turned out that the teacher who had stayed with Catie happens to be the mom of one of the kids in her class. So Catie was having a great time, because it was just her and her friend, getting to tear the place up all by themselves. I apologized all over the place, and hustled Catie out to the car.

As soon as she was buckled into the car, she asked if we could go to Chick-Fil-A for dinner. And you know, I didn’t have any big meal plans at home, plus I was already feeling like the Worst Mommy Ever, so sure, why not? Dave didn’t feel well (I think he got carsick from my maniacal “AAAHHH get me to daycaaaaaare!” driving), so we dropped him off at the house, then headed over to Chick-Fil-A. Catie ate her dinner, then I let her play in the enclosed play area for about 45 minutes. She had a blast.

After that, we went to Target so I could buy her “Toy Story 3” on DVD. Because I am a sucker. Also because I loved that movie. Of course, she demanded to watch it as soon as we got home. I thought (wrongly) that she’d fall asleep on the couch during the movie, but she didn’t, and so she finally went to bed sometime after 11:00. Ugh.

(For the record, she seemed totally unaffected by the lack of sleep. Can’t say the same for me and Dave, though.)

The thing that sucks is that we had a really great weekend overall – we went to my cousin’s house for their annual Guy Fawkes Day party on Saturday night, I took her to the movies to see “Megamind” on Sunday, we had a blast together. I just hate how that one thing on Friday night made me feel so terrible that I spent the rest of the weekend feeling like I was trying to make it up to her. Even though she didn’t seem that bothered by it. That Mommy Guilt is a killer, I tell you.

About the Job

People keep asking me how the new job is going, so I figured that I should probably just blog it and get it all out there.

It’s good. It’s really really good. The people are great, and the technology is pretty cutting-edge stuff and very interesting, even though a lot of it is WAY over my head. (I’m learning it. Slowly.) And yeah, ok, I’m working in a cubicle, but it’s a pretty darn large cube (like, I have way more desk space than I did at Microsoft where I shared an office with another person), and most everybody around here is really quiet, so it’s easy to concentrate.

This is my second nameplate because the first one said “Cynthia,” and I asked the office manager to please get me another one because nobody actually calls me that. She’s awesome and printed up a new one for me.

The main thing I’m struggling with is that it’s been four years – FOUR. YEARS. – since the last time I had a full-time office job. So even though it’s a very casual environment here (i.e., as long as I don’t show up in pajama pants, I’m fine; most of the people here are all jeans-and-t-shirts, all the time), it’s still weird just to go through the process of getting up early every day, making myself at least somewhat presentable, packing my lunch, etc. Add that in with Catie’s normal morning routine, and my mornings have gotten pretty crazy. I think it’ll settle down once we find our groove, it’s just that transitions (especially those that involve little kids) are never easy.

Also? I haven’t had to use this much of my brain for such an extended period of time in a really, really long time, so just that alone is kicking my butt. By the time the end of the workday rolls around, I feel like I’ve been flattened by a steam roller. It’s a good tired, a “wow, I really did a LOT today” kind of tired, but the exhaustion makes it hard to then switch back into Mommy Mode and really engage with Catie in the evenings. Again, this is stuff that I know will get easier over time. It’s just finding our “new normal” that’s rough.

Oh, and about Catie… Man. I guess I was naive when I thought that, hey, she was going to full-time daycare before and she’ll keep going to full-time daycare now, no big deal, right? I forget that she picks up on everything. So the fact that Dave and I are dropping her off at daycare together (because we’ve been carpooling), and then both of us leave together to go someplace she doesn’t know… it’s definitely thrown her for a loop. And she’s working me over like a pro.

Example 1: Yesterday she told me how she sat under the slide on the playground and cried for me because she missed me so much. (I thought she was b.s.-ing me, but her daycare teacher confirmed that yes, she really did do that.)

Example 2: At bedtime, she didn’t want me to leave her room or say goodnight. She said, “But I’ll miss you if you leave. I’m almost about to cry.”

Jeez, kid. Way to show a flair for the dramatic. And yes, I know that she’s just testing the boundaries of this new situation, which is all normal developmental stuff, but… Yeah. It gets to me. I’ll admit that I did stay in her room to snuggle and sing lullabies for an extra 15 minutes last night.

So that’s what’s going on here. Trying to find our groove and keep everybody sane and maintain a reasonable bedtime. It’s tough, but it’s also really good for all of us.

And you know what’s even better? I’m earning enough money that by next month, we ought to be able to afford a twice-a-month housekeeper. OH HELL YES, PLEASE AND THANK YOU.


I haven’t blogged for the past ten days because I kept thinking that I would hear something about this job one way or the other, and then I could do a big, “I got the job, yay!” or a “I didn’t get it, boo!” blog entry. But the truth is that there’s just been a ton of back and forth and I couldn’t seem to get a definite answer one way or the other.

But! As of today, it looks like… I semi-officially have the job! Yay?

Here’s the deal: apparently everyone on the team agrees that I’m a good writer. They liked my samples and they all thought that I did well on the writing test. But, there is some question about whether I’m technical enough or not, because… well, because I’m not a software developer, I guess. I’m not really worried about that part, I’m pretty confident that I’m really good at what I do. And I’m married to a software developer, so I speak their language well enough.

So, they’ve come up with a 60-day temp-to-perm job offer. They basically want to make sure I’m worth it before they fully hire me. And you know? That’s fine. I have no doubt that they’ll fall in love with me and decide that they can’t live without me and that they have to hire me forever and ever amen.

If all goes according to plan, it sounds like I’ll be starting on Monday, November 1st. I’m excited. And a little freaked out, since I haven’t worked in an office environment for about, um, four years. So I imagine that the transition will be a bit strange. But it’ll be nice that Dave will be in the same building. I plan to call him at his desk to ask him to fetch me a Diet Coke. I’m sure he won’t mind that at all. Hee.

without a net

I gave my two weeks’ notice at my job today.

I have a pretty strict policy about not talking about my job on my blog, because it just doesn’t seem like a very wise thing to do. And I’m still not going to get into specifics about it now. But I’ll say this: I started this job back in January, and I liked it at first because it was all new and I was learning about a side of the IT industry that I’d never worked in before. Sure, it wasn’t my intended career path, but it was a work-from-home job so it worked with my lifestyle/parenting choices, and it was kinda fun at first.

But once it stopped being all new and exciting? I got bored. And it showed. I’ve definitely been putting in a half-assed effort because this just isn’t something that interests me. It’s just a job. I don’t hate it and I don’t love it, it’s just… neutral. But it’s a really small company and my boss feels like everybody needs to work together and feel like an invested stakeholder in the company in order for it to be successful. I get where he’s coming from, because this company is his baby, but at the same time? This isn’t my passion. I don’t want to be a primary stakeholder in any company. I have enough responsibility in my day-to-day life as a wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, etc… I have no desire to be a CEO of anything.

Because my job performance has been pretty sub-par lately, I was put on probation this week. This really just reinforced to me what I already knew: I’m not very good at this job, I don’t particularly like it, and I want to go back to tech writing. So my resume is out there, I’ve got a couple of different job possibilities cooking, and I turned in my notice.

I’m a little scared that I quit without having another job already lined up. But I also know that I’m doing the right thing. There’s no need to continue in a job that I suck at. My boss actually sounded relieved when I told him I was quitting.

So, that’s what’s going on here. Now I just have to scramble like hell and hope that the perfect job shows up in the next two weeks. Wish me luck!

that ol' work/daycare thing again

I started my new job yesterday and so far I’m liking it a lot. I don’t really know what to say about it because I try not to talk about work on my blog too much. But I’m very happy. It’s good.

And of course, because things always work out like this, it was only last week (after I’d already accepted the new job) that my old job back in Seattle contacted me and asked if I could do a little freelancing project for them. I said yes, thinking, meh, it’ll probably take me two days, no big deal. And holy mother of pearl, this project is HUGE (nobody’s fault, just miscommunication about exactly what was involved) and so basically I’m now working on evenings and weekends in addition to my full-time job. Not cool, although the money sure will be nice when I get it finished.

Also, we’ve decided to change things up a little with the daycare situation. I’ve had some qualms about our in-home daycare situation since the time Nicole (daycare provider) emailed me to tell me that she thought Catie had Sensory Processing Disorder. Something about that was a red flag to me, so I’ve been watching Catie carefully, and here’s what I’ve noticed:
* Catie used to be excited to go to daycare, and now she cries when I tell her that she’s going to Miss Nicole’s house that day.
* Her behavior at Nicole’s house isn’t improving. She’s fine if she’s left to play by herself, but she shuts down & cries when Nicole tries to get her involved in an activity.
* She freaking loves the drop-in daycare down the street that she calls “daycare school,” and the lady who runs the place has told me repeatedly what a sweet, friendly little girl I have.

It’s become pretty clear that the in-home daycare is not the best fit for Catie. I’m not sure what it is, maybe it’s because there aren’t enough kids there (just Nicole’s own 2 kids and another baby who’s about a year old), maybe it’s because Nicole is too rigid and doesn’t really “get” Catie (who I fully admit is a pretty quirky kid), I honestly don’t know what it is. I was originally thinking about trying to get Catie to go to Nicole’s 3 days a week until preschool starts in the fall, but something about that decision just didn’t sit right with me.

So, rather than holding out and waiting for preschool to start, I’ve started looking for a full-time preschool/daycare that would work instead, where she could start now. Last week, my mom and I took Catie with us and toured a few different daycares. I found one that I think will be a really great fit for her. Of the three places we saw, it was the first place where Catie let go of my hand and ran off to play. She really seemed to like it there, and I got an overall good vibe from the place. So, we’ll see. I’m optimistic about it.

Oh, and did I mention that my baby girl is turning 3 tomorrow? I can’t really believe it. More updates on THAT milestone (with pics from her birthday party last weekend) tomorrow.

Big News, and also: Delurking Day!

First of all, it’s apparently National Delurking Day.

Delurker Day!

So if you read this site but never comment, today is the day that you’re supposed to say something. Even if it’s just a simple “hi.” It’s kinda nice to know who’s out there in the big bad Internet, you know?

Ok, moving on to the BIG NEWS of the day…


If you read this post last week, it’s the one I referred to as “Job A.” It’s full-time, working-from-home. I don’t want to get into too many details about what I’ll be doing because I’m not sure how prudent that is. It’s still in the IT industry, although it’s in an area that I have absolutely ZERO experience with, but it still sounds like it’s going to be a lot of fun.

Now, I just have to figure out how to accommodate Catie in all of this. She already has daycare two days a week, and that’s great. I think I have a temporary solution for the other three days of the week for now. The main thing is going to be finding a preschool for her in the fall. And of course, most of the preschools around here are enrolling kids, like, right now as I type. I’m not worried, we’ll figure it out, it’s just going to take some research to find something that’s a good fit for all of us.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go wake up my baby girl from a nap and take her to the movies to see “The Princess and the Frog.” Because days like these needs a little celebration.