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.


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!


I’m guessing that most families with two working parents settle into some sort of a routine. It took us a pretty long time of floundering, but I think we’ve finally found our groove.

Dave goes to work really early in the morning – like, crazy early. I think he leaves around 6 a.m.? Maybe earlier? I don’t really know because I’m always asleep. He gives me a kiss goodbye – on the forehead, because I’m usually sleeping with my mouth open, such a sexy little minx am I. And I try to wake up and say a proper goodbye, but it usually comes out like this:

Mmmrrph? Bye, haff a good d… *honk* *pshew*…

What can I say? I’m a heavy sleeper.

Anyway, Dave likes going to work early because he’s the first one there and he can get at least a solid couple hours’ worth of work done before everybody else gets there. Honestly, the extra productivity wouldn’t be worth the early wake-up call for me, but I’ve never been an early bird type.

Meanwhile, Catie and I usually get up around 7:30 on average. We snuggle on the couch and watch cartoons for a little while, then I get her dressed and we set off for daycare. I usually get her there around 9:15 a.m. Then I come back home and get to work.

The perk of Dave heading in so early, is that he can leave work around 3:30 or 4:00 in the afternoon, and pick Catie up from daycare on his way home. He helps me out with the childcare stuff in the evenings (dinner, bathtime), but then he goes to bed around 8 p.m. so he can get up early the next day. Catie doesn’t go to bed until about 9:00 p.m., so I usually handle bedtime on my own. I suppose this means that overall, I do more of the childcare “work” than he does (getting her dressed in the morning, the bedtime routine at night), but he makes up for it by getting up with her on the weekends and letting me sleep in, so that trade-off is fine with me. There was a point, sometime when Catie was 2 years old, that I thought I would never be able to sleep past 9 a.m. again, ever, for the rest of my life. I now often sleep until at least 10 on Saturdays. Which, for the record, is freaking awesome.

I suppose it wouldn’t work for some people – the fact that we all have different bedtimes and wake-up times – but it’s fine for us. Yes, I’m a little jealous of the people whose kids go to bed at 7 p.m. and sleep peacefully all night, and who get to hang out watching prime-time TV with their spouses. But that’s just not how we roll. And that’s ok, we make this work for us.

Still, there are some mornings when Catie wakes up, and she wants her Daddy. And I tell her that sorry babe, he’s already gone to work. She looks out the front window into the driveway, sees that his car is gone, and then she cries that she wants her Daddy. Talk about heart-breaking.

Catie seriously working on the iPad

Dave had some insomnia last night so he slept late this morning. Catie was so excited that he was still here when she woke up, she climbed into our bed between us and snuggled up next to him with her head on his pillow. It was so sweet.

Dave got up to shower and get dressed for work, and I told Catie that if she wanted Daddy to take her to school instead of Mommy, she was going to have to hurry and get dressed in the next 5 minutes, or else Daddy was going to have to leave without her. And my normally sleepy-headed child who takes forever to get ready in the morning was dressed with her sneakers on and pigtails up in a heartbeat.

She went to daycare over an hour earlier than usual, and she was delighted to do so, because her Daddy was the one taking her. She kissed me good-bye, and with a “Love you, Mommy, have a good day!”, she was off. The house was completely empty and quiet by 8:00 a.m. That never happens. I actually got to exercise before starting work for the day. That’s a pretty rare occurrence too.

Since Dave was later than usual getting to work, he’s going to have to stay later this afternoon, so I’m going to be picking Catie up from daycare. I already can’t wait to see her. Sometimes a little change in the routine is just what we need.

the weekend, by the numbers

The past few days, recapped:

1. On Saturday, we went to my cousin’s house for baby Austin’s first birthday! I can’t wait until Cat gets those pictures uploaded because man alive, that little boy was covered in frosting. It was a great party, and Catie always has so much fun playing with her cousins. There were many tears when it was time to leave.

2. On Sunday, Catie “helped” me clean the house, then we went grocery shopping together. Dave spent most of the day in bed because he just quit smoking and feels like hell. (Everyone, give him a big cheer: yay, Dave! You can do it! Hang in there!) He did manage to wake up in time for dinner, and we watched the Puppy Bowl because we are totally not a sports-type family. I mean, yay for the Saints and all that. New Orleans is my mom’s hometown and I do really love that city. But, watching a bunch of grown men slam into each other over a ball? Not my thing.

3. Catie didn’t get much of a nap on Sunday, so she was in bed by 8:15. (Hallelujah!) Dave was already asleep by then too. After I got Catie settled, I started to head downstairs, but I slipped on the first step & went crashing down the stairs. I only fell down about four steps, which is not that bad, but I slammed the left side of my back into the steps when I landed. I thought for a second that I had broken a rib, it hurt so bad, but I think I just bruised it. And I knocked the wind out of myself so hard that I couldn’t speak (because believe me, I tried to call for Dave, but I couldn’t).

When I finally regained my breath, I realized that I was probably ok and didn’t need to go to the ER, so I just scooted very gently down the rest of the stairs. I tweeted about it, and a couple of people told me to ice it. And when the Internet tells me to do something, well by golly, I do it. So I iced my back while I watched “Big Love”. (And incidentally, did any of y’all who watch it cry during last night’s episode? Or am I just a hormonal, injured, still-slightly-sick mess?) I don’t know if the ice helped or not, because my back still hurts like a son of a b**** today.

4. Today was Catie’s first day at her new daycare. We’ve been talking it up a lot for the past week, about how she’s going to have so! much! fun! there, and she was excited to go. Then we got there, and I could tell she was nervous. I got her all settled in with her stuff in her cubby, and she grabbed onto me and said, “I stay wif you.” I told her that I’d stay for a couple of minutes while we looked around the room. We introduced her to the other kids and the teacher, and we walked around, looking at all of the various toys and activities.

I spent a few minutes with her, then told her that I was going to go, but that I’d come back this afternoon. She said ok and gave me a kiss, but her shoulders were still hunched up the way that she does when she’s feeling anxious. I stopped at the door and turned around to wave bye-bye one last time; she gave me this tiny, tight “putting on my best brave face” smile and waved back. I barely made it to the car before I started crying. I’ve left her places before when she was crying for me, and that was awful. But this was harder in a way that I can’t quite explain.

5. I’m going to have to pick her up early, because there’s no way I’ll make until 5:00.


Ok, let me sum up the past couple of weeks here:

1.) Holy crap, I have a three year-old!

my 3 year-old girl

And boy, it’s like some kind of switch went off in her head and she KNOWS that she’s three, and that she’s a big girl now. I can’t even really pinpoint the change I’ve seen in her recently, but it’s there and so strong.

She starts at her new daycare next week. We’ve been talking about it a lot, and we’re all very excited.

2.) SNOW!

snowfall at night

I know that people in other parts of the country find it hilarious that we get 5 inches of snow & everything here shuts down, but… well, yeah. That’s how it works. I don’t even have any pics of us playing in the snow like last year, because Catie came down with a cold the day that the snow started, and then both Dave and I had to work all weekend. So that sucked. I wouldn’t have minded a cozy weekend inside, but this was kind of a stressful one. And poor Catie got cabin fever, so by the time Monday rolled around and Dave had to go to the store, she threw a screaming fit because she “HAVE TO GOOOOO WIF YOUUUUUU!!!” (And yes, he took her to the store with him. I’m pretty sure it was the highlight of her day.)

3.) Work, work, work.
Ok, so I started a new job, right? And I kind of casually mentioned back here that oh yeah, I also got asked by my old job to do a quick little freelance project for them. And I don’t know if I can accurately convey just how much this has kicked my butt, but OH HOLY MOTHER OF GOD, has it ever. The last time I worked a full-time job was when I was pregnant with Catie, so we’re talking 2006, right? To go from my little casual part-time here-and-there gigs to not only working a full-time job but then ALSO having to work in the evenings and weekends on this freelance project, not to mention being a parent to my kid, and trying to keep my house in order (which, HA! Haaaa!!! Y’all should see my house right now. I’m waiting for those snarky British ladies from “How Clean Is Your House” to show up at my front door and point out the dust bunnies lingering around all of the baseboards because I haven’t vacuumed since before my mom’s visit three weeks ago. And with 2 cats and a toddler? I NEED to vacuum more often than that, BELIEVE ME. And exhibit B: Catie’s toy box is currently empty because she has dumped every.single.toy. on the floor and I haven’t had the energy to either make her clean it up or to do it myself). So, yes, this is killing me, is what I’m saying.

But! The good news is that I finished up my freelance project last night, and the extra money is going to be really helpful this month since we’re still recovering financially from our Christmas trip to the UK. When I finished the last little bit of work that I had last night, I promptly burst into tears because I am just that tired and I was holding it in because I didn’t have the time to cry before that.

My plan was to go get a massage as soon as I finished this project, but wouldn’t you know it, I’ve caught Catie’s most recent cold, and there are not many things in life that are grosser than lying face-down on a massage table with a runny nose. So the massage will have to wait a while. *sad face*

Oh, and the new full-time job is going really well, so that’s great. I’m enjoying it a lot. But I told Dave that if my old job contacts me again about doing a “quick little project” for them, I don’t care how much they pay me per hour, I’m just going to take a hammer and bash myself in the head with it, because I think it’d be about the same on the pain scale.

Famous last words, right?

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.