Pregnancy Low-Down

Two major topics I didn’t mention in yesterday’s post:

* Despite the fact that we waited for what feels like AGES for this baby, the timing with my new job could be better. For those of you keeping track, I applied for this job back in August (before I got pregnant), and I found out that I was pregnant sometime around my third interview. Then they waited another five weeks to actually hire me. So I started working here when I was already 10 weeks pregnant. And I’ve been praying that nobody would figure it out right away, and that they’d think I’m chubby with an unfortunate way of carrying my extra weight around my mid-section. But I’m already mostly in maternity clothes, so I think it’s going to be really obvious very soon.

(This is the burden of having a short torso. Nowhere to expand except outward.)

I mean, I just didn’t want to walk in here on Day One and be like, “Hey, thanks for the job and all, but BTW I’m gonna need some maternity leave in a few months.” It seemed… tacky. I wanted to establish myself as a valuable employee first. So, I’m working on trying to figure out a graceful way to handle that one. Obviously, this is not my first time at this particular rodeo, so it’s not like I’m going to be quitting when the baby arrives. I know that I still want to (need to) work, so I just need to make sure I explain that very clearly to my manager when I tell him.

(Oh, that’s the other weird part. My manager is based in the Colorado office, so he has no idea what I look like. I could theoretically wait until a week before my due date to say anything. I mean, I won’t do that, because that would be horrible. But I probably could get away with it.)


* Catie is pretty aware of what’s going on now. We’ve talked about how she’s going to be a big sister “someday,” since it’s hard to explain timelines to an almost-4 year-old. I tried telling her it’ll be next summer, but I don’t know if she understands that or not.

I showed her the ultrasound pictures from yesterday and explained that it was her baby sister and that the doctor took a picture of her in my tummy (she found her own ultrasound pics once and I explained to her that it was a picture of her before she was born, so she’s familiar with that). I told her that it’s going to be a long time before the baby is here, and my tummy is going to get reeeeeally big in the meantime. She said, “Wow, I’m so excited to see a picture of my baby sister! [3-second pause] Mommy, can I play with Daddy’s iPad?” So… yeah. I’m not sure how much she really understands about this whole thing.

But she IS excited to help me decorate the spare room. So there’s that.

Oh, also? Now I really, really, REALLY want my parents to hurry up and sell their house to move up here. I’m going to need their help more than ever, no doubt. Anybody need to buy a 4-bedroom/2-bath house in Ridgeland, Mississippi? Anyone?

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.

Friday brain-melt

The job interview was yesterday, and… I have no clue about it. Here’s the run-down:

* 3 separate interviews with 3 different members of the team. – Those all seemed to go pretty well and I think I made a good impression on all of them.
* Writing test. – I think I kicked ass. (Actually, Dave’s boss told me that mine was way better than the other candidate’s that he saw. Nice to have the affirmation.)
* Lunch with Dave, his boss, and another engineer. – Fun. And the food was awesome. (Japanese, one of my favorites.)
* Teleconference interview. Singular: interview. With 3 people at the same time. Yeah. Three engineers in two remote offices (two guys in Texas, one guy in California), who btw were all asking me questions at the same time. – Holy mother of God, that was intimidating. For one thing, since it was on the phone, I couldn’t read anyone’s facial expressions and see if they were responding well to what I was saying. For another, two of the three guys aren’t native English speakers (one guy is French, and the other one is… I don’t know, maybe Indian? I couldn’t place his accent), and the conference room speaker phone was fuzzy, so I think some things might’ve gotten lost in translation. But besides that, some of their questions just threw me because they were completely not “technical writer”-y questions and it was just really, really strange.

The whole interview process took about 7 hours (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and was unbelievably exhausting. I was showered and in my pajamas before 6:30 last night. It kicked my butt, to say the least.

So, honestly? I have no idea how it went. I just hope I find out one way or the other soon, because I hate waiting. Patience is not one of my virtues, to say the least.

Moving on! Guess what we’re doing tomorrow?

(Apologies if this song gets stuck in your head for 10,000 years. We’ve been singing it around here for days.)

So, yeah. The North Carolina Zoo is in Asheboro, which is about 60 or so miles from here. It’s about the halfway point between here and Charlotte, so my brother and sister are going to drive over and meet up with us there. Catie is unbelievably psyched. I can’t tell if she’s more excited about seeing Tracy and Chris, or if it’s going to see all the animals, but either way, she’s practically bouncing off the walls about it.

You can expect about a million pictures when we get back. Should be fun! Hope everyone has a great weekend!

How many engineers does it take to hire a technical writer?

I mentioned a while back about how I was interviewing for a job I really want? Well, it’s been a slow process with this company. I applied for the job way back in early August, and I had my first interview with them before Labor Day. And tomorrow, I have my fourth – and hopefully final – interview.

Here’s the one sort of weird thing: this job is with Dave’s company. (If you know who he works for, good for you. I’m not outing his employer on my site.) So even though we’d be doing different things – he’s an engineer, I’m a technical writer – we’d be working in the same office building. Which could be really cool, or really weird. I’m not sure which, but I’m leaning toward cool. Especially since I already know from his experience that the people who work there are generally really awesome, and they’re flexible about letting you work from home when you need to (i.e., if you have a sick kid, etc.), so it would really be an ideal set-up for our family.

Of course, since Dave is an engineer and not in management, he has no say whatsoever as far as whether or not I get the job, which is why I’m now getting pretty nervous. (Where’s the nepotism when I need it?) All I know from him is that they’re interviewing at least 2 other people, so my odds are in the 33% range. I wish he had more “insider info” to give me. Instead, these are the kinds of exchanges we have:

Dave: So, they’re interviewing another docs guy.

Me: They’re interviewing someone named Doc Guy?

Dave: No. A docs guy. You know, someone who creates documents? As in, a writer? That thing you do for a living?

Me: Oh. Right. Well, it would be pretty awesome if there was a tech writer named Doc Guy.

**Both of us die laughing. Nerd humor FTW!**

The HR person who set up the interview told me to allow at least 6 hours for the interview because they want me to meet with several members of the team. I’m taking that as a positive sign. Also, I got the heads-up that at some point, Dave and his boss are going to take me to lunch, which’ll be nice.

So, yeah. Big interview tomorrow. I’m nervous. Cross your fingers, send good vibes, say prayers, light candles, what-have-you. I’d appreciate it. I really, really, really want this job.