Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Daily Dose of Job Hunting Advice

I'm so glad to see I'm not the only one that respects the art of visual presentation! This is hysterical.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Vacation Pics

I know I look really fat in the above pictures, but I thought they were cute of the kids. Picture at at the park was taken at Union Square Park in NYC. Had an awesome time! Others were at the Jersey shore. I couldn't believe how fearless CJ was in the ocean. That's Mom in the one second from above. Or "paw-paw" as CJ calls her.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Update - Yet Again Another Topic

The eye doctor's office called about CJ's surgery. It's 9/21. They said he should be expected to have double vision for about a day and red eyes for about a week. They won't be able to assess the success or failure of fixing the misalignment until 2 months after the surgery. Doctor said he performs 10-15 of these a week. A relief to know, however, still not completely comforting. God, I'm nervous for him. D and I haven't decided exactly how to break the news to him yet. Not looking forward to this.

Unrelated News about the Job Search

I'm at work, so I'm trying to sneak in another post quickly. During my rant and rave on the current state of this country (which I will get back to shortly in another post), I received a phone call from an HR Recruiter who says they want to make me an offer on the job I interviewed for last Monday. For those keeping up, this is not the job in Chicago, but the one here in Columbus at the same company. Still a step up, but not as large a step up as the one in Chicago. I don't have solid numbers yet for the offer, as that is "still in the process", but he will be contacting me probably within the next day or so with that. Are corporations fucked up or what? How long does it take and how many people does it have to go through to get an offer approved? But I digress. Don't get me started on HR corporate politics, too.

Anyway, I'm really psyched and called hubby at home who was changing a poop diaper at the time. He was obviously a little distracted, but he sounded really excited, too. I'm wondering how he really feels about the prospect of moving away. I think he would prefer I got this one even if it is for a little less money. He's just not saying so. Because I can tell this whole travel thing is blowing him away right now. We might be "moved out" at this point in our lives (we moved 5 times in 4 years from 1999 - 2003 -- more about that in another post). So now that I know I'm the candidate on this one, I hope they offer me the number I'm looking for. Negotiating totally stresses me out.

So for now, it's a waiting game. I knew this was going to happen! I am a terrible decision maker. Here's the 64 thousand dollar question: do I take the offer they give me on this one, or really gamble and hold out for the interview in Troy in 2 weeks? Maybe they will make it easy for me and come in with a really low number or something. I hope not, though!! Oh boy, my nails are going to get competely bitten away over this.

I Am Pissed

So I'm perusing the NY Times last night after the kids were in bed, and became enraged once I saw the photo essay in the magazine section. Please see this article. What got me enraged was the obvious: we are spending Billions (yes, with a capital "B") daily on our war in Iraq to supposedly rebuild that country (which we haven't yet because we're still bombing them!), and we have people in the richest country in the world living like this? Still, after a year later??? I cannot fathom this. It is a complete outrage. These pictures looked like something from a third world country -- but, no, they are of our fellow citizens here in America. It is so true that if the hurricane had hit a wealthy coastal area, this kind of decay would not continue. Shame on everyone in government who continues to stand by and do nothing about our own backyard, while funneling more money to the senseless war a half world away.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Job News

So I've been invited to a personal interview with the hiring manager on the Chicago job. She is located in Troy, Michigan, which is about 200 miles from where I am, and there is also a possibility that, if I am the ideal candidate, I might be able to stay in Columbus since the team is spread out between Ohio, Michigan and Chicago anyway. I'm so excited, I can hardly wait. The interview is on Friday, Sept 8th, which is an extruciatingly 2 weeks away. My gut tells me that I must be at least one of the top candidates for the position, because why would she ask me to travel so far, right? Well, there's more to the story, because as we know in life (at least mine, that is), there is always a snafu that comes with an opportunity. To share a little background, this job pays a HELL of a lot more than what I get paid right now. So, in the corporate world, there is a thing called "natural progression" - meaning, HR doesn't like to make a habit of letting low-level employees like me get promoted so high. (Maybe that makes them look bad, like, "Why did we hire this chick for such a low-level job in the first place ? Why didn't we give her a better opportunity so far?) Regardless of my work experience and whether I'm qualified or not! So, I was consulting with a trusted source from the company about my situation, and the story is that, if I become the ideal candidate, the hiring manager could fight for me, however HR might put the "kabash" (sic?) on my opportunity because of their corporate management! All I have to say is that those HR fuckers better not screw this up for me. Why do I have to keep getting penalized for taking a low-level job, when all I was doing was trying to put food on the table and couldn't find any other work! Then I had another baby. All I'm trying to do is get paid a fair price for my abilities. That's all! Well, enough of me screaming about this. We'll see what happens on the 8th. Hell, the hiring manager might not even want me after all anyway, which would make the whole HR thing moot. God, how I have such a love/hate relationship with this company. I love that they gave me a 3 month paid maternity leave, and then hate them because they manage their non-exempt employees like crap and treat me like a peon. *Exhale* Glad I got that off my chest.

Well, I've got a bored 4 year old staring at me, wanting me to play with him, so I better go. Not to mention, it's 12:15 and I haven't even brushed my teeth or gotten dressed yet. However, I'm justifying this by the fact that it is crappy weather outside and it's Sunday. And I'm still letting D's pancakes digest, too. Yum. Our Sunday morning tradition...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Andrew at 7 months.

Some new pictures

Bought a black backdrop a couple weeks ago and took some shots of the kids to recharge my skills. Been a while since I've taken any artistic shots and I was getting withdrawal symptoms. I'm omitting the ones of CJ that I took of him while he wasn't smiling because, according to my mom, she thinks they belong on a porn site. There is a gorgeous shot of him looking at the camera without a smile, and she thinks it's very suggestive. He doesn't have a shirt on, but you only see the tip of his shoulder. The reason I did that was for purely artistic reasons, and I didn't want the photograph to be about what shirt he had on, which I feel would distract from the image. This was a study about his face and his hair and his skin, just a document of what he is today at 4 years old: a beautiful child. As strongly as I stand behind those photographs, she still has me paranoid and so I've chosen to omit particular ones.

Either way, they've given me some more ideas for the next shoot. I thought they turned out pretty good. There's a couple more I need to scan and I will include those later. Had a fussy baby in my lap last night while I was scanning all these, so this was the most I could do. Hope you like...

The one above of the child in the swing is actually one that I took of CJ two years ago. But it's my favorite one EVER and I've been meaning to post it and use it for my profile, but never got around to it until now.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

My Incredibly Messy House

One more thought for today... Does anyone else NOT feel guilty when they haven't unpacked from a vacation that they have been home from for over 4 days? I'm still tripping over me & D's suitcases that are still full of clothes on our our bedroom floor. And not to mention the train table in the kids' room that has become the dumping ground for their suitcases that are still unpacked. We live in a small townhouse, and my living room looks like a day care center, the basement needs all kinds of organization, the kitchen is being overrun by an army of ants, my plants outside are dying, and our bedrooms are disaster areas. And don't get me started on the pee in the bathroom from the boys I live with! And CJ has some toy rigged in the boys' bedroom with an alarm that goes off everytime you pass by it -- it likes "wee ooo wee ooo" when you pass by it. It's like a police siren. D has his art library books and newspapers piled up all over the corners of the living room, you constantly have to move things off the kitchen table in order to eat, A's toys are getting bigger and bigger, and you could write your name on the furniture in our bedroom. I'm really not a slob, I swear to you!, but it seems impossible to keep a clean house anymore. Is this a house of insanity or what??

My Incredibly Shrinking Boobs

So I haven't been pumping milk now for about 3 weeks and I noticed this morning that my boobs have totally shrunk. I was thoroughly enjoying the cleavage. It was fun to be a D while it lasted. Now back to my B/C cups. Ho hum.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

What a Day

We had an exhausting day yesterday. A had a visit with the urologist about the hypospadia he was born with and it was quite disturbing to watch the Dr examine him. D and I could hardly watch. He was screaming, and it looked extremely painful, too. Needless to say he was quite fussy when we got home (hence the pic) and through the night, so he slept next to me. He let out a few yelps during the night, but was quickly soothed when we squeezed fingers. He loves squeezing fingers. I know it sounds silly, but he will always calm down if you lay next to him and let him play with your fingers. Poor bugger. On top of it all he is still stuffy with a cold (like me!)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

A New Picture of the Boys

Taken with my picture phone. Hence the graininess and small size. But I think it's really cute! Both of them are actually smiling at once!

Everything. Everyone. Everywhere. Ends.

And so does my favorite tv series, Six Feet Under. As a non-HBO subscriber, I was forced to wait for the DVD. Watched the final episode last night. *exhale* What a great show.

Now, it's 2 1/2 more days 'til vaca! C is so anxious to go. Once we get to NJ, we are taking the train in NYC to spend the day, and he is flipping out about it. He is huge train lover (yes I need to buy stock in Thomas the Train Railway since we have just about everything!). Also going to the beach which is he similarly flipping out about as well. Me, too, I must admit. I can't wait. Can't wait to get out of this boring town and get back to the east coast. I don't care how much this will completely deplete our measly savings account, I need some time away from all this to kick back with the kids and take a break. We haven't been on vacation in over 2 years.

Got stood up by a recruiter today that I was tentatively having lunch with today. She asked to reschedule for Friday. Which I know is better than a complete rejection, but it reminded me of how long this job search is most likely going to take. I'm realizing that this is just the start of a really long haul. And it makes me tired just thinking about it.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

My Obsession with Six Feet Under, Life and Death

So D & I are watching the final season on DVD of what I think is the most well written, well acted, humanly touching television series ever created: Six Feet Under. I was crying my eyes out last night watching the 2nd to last episode because of what happened to the main character. We plan on watching the last episode tonight. We don't have HBO, so I always watched the series on DVD when they release it.

As for why I am dedicating an entire post to it, I guess I relate to its quirky nature, as I have always been fascinated by the concept of life and death and what, if anything, happens to us and our souls. The daily routine of motherhood, work, and marriage leaves me little time to ponder the greater meaning of our existence, and it's the kind of show that requires you to stop and think. I always feel compelled to hug my children after watching this show, knowing how fleeting these moments of innocence are. Sometimes I long for my adolescence when I had literally days to ponder the meaning of life, or making out plans on what I wanted to be when I grew up: to explore the world through the camera lens to indulge my passion for photography and help people in third world countries through altruistic organizations. Believe it or not, I truly had those type of idealist goals. I need to discover that part of me again. Even though I realize those feelings were largely in part of my hormonal changes, I think there's still that person in there who wants to know answers and to challenge the world. And my time is ticking away. When will I find her again? And how do I go about doing that?

Monday, August 07, 2006

Better not try this one on the job search

Whoops! They actually check that stuff???

How high can we go?

And one more thing... with just 5 days to go before D & I drive about 1200 miles on our vacation, BP has decided to shut down their pipeline, most likely causing gas prices to soar even higher. Looks like our gas budget for the vaca just doubled. D & I have the worst fucking luck.

Going, Going, Gone.

So after I calmed down from my rage about the Republicans sabotaging the Minimum Wage bill, I went home after work on Friday, rushed around with the kids, collected my thoughts, had a glass of wine, and completed my last day of pumping. It took me a while to come to that decision, but after slowly decreasing my pumping to once a day over the past week, my output dramatically decreased as well, and as of Friday, I pumped out only an ounce. I was troubled and emotional about making this decision, however, I am extremely happy and proud of myself with how well my breastfeeding experience went this time around. My first attempt at breastfeeding with C 4 years ago was a complete disaster, which led to me breastfeeding only 1 week and then pumping for about 2 months. So it didn't go AT ALL how I had planned and it was MUCH more difficult than I anticipated. Not to mention D & I were stuck in L.A., out of work with a newborn, with the country in shock fresh on the heels of the 9/11 attacks. No employment to be found. But anyway, I am sure the stress contributed to it, but I vowed that I would make a better effort this time around and make the best of it. Which is what I did. I became the kind of breastfeeding mom that I wanted to be: I put A to my breast minutes after his birth, and I bit my lip through the sore nipples and pumped some until they healed and then got right back in the saddle (which is what I didn't do with C). I also fed him everywhere and in front of everybody. I really wasn't shy about it. I recall when he was about 6 weeks old, I brought him and C to the Franklin County Conservatory and we had just gotten there when A needed to be fed. I was not going to trek the mile back to the car on that freezing February day, and the ladies room did not have a lounge (which I couldn't believe!). The only place to land myself was on sofa chairs right in front of the elevator! So I had no choice but to whip it out, in front of gawking conservatory visitors, not expecting to be greeted by a boob on the way to the atrium. But hey, the kid had to eat! And I remembered being so psyched when I perfected the art of breastfeeding while lying down. Wow, the convenience store was in full swing then. And I recall my husband's face when I would leave the house without a bottle of pumped milk. It really was "have boob, will travel" and I loved it that way. And then of course, the inevitable happened when he was 3 months old, and I had to return to work. So our lovely "have boob, will travel" system disintegrated because A just didn't seem to want to go from boob to bottle anymore, with the exception of the middle of the night feeding. And then the middle of the night feeding stopped around mid-May when he started sleeping through the night.

But long story short, I felt like an important chapter of my life was closed this weekend, and I really wanted to voice my feelings on it. I really needed to write this out. I've been hormonal about it all week, but I still firmly believe that A is much more healthy because of it. The poor bugger has been constipated because of his diminishing supply of breastmilk, but he's on solids 3 times a day, so it helps keep things moving. Which was a personal goal of mine, because I never wanted him to be completely on formula all day long. And he has never been on any antibiotics so far and has no food allergies. He's a big, healthy kid and I'd like to think I had something to do with that. There have been very few times in my life that I met a goal I have set for myself. Hurray for me! I actually did something I said I wanted to do.

Now the next step is to find a better job to pay for all this formula we need....

Friday, August 04, 2006

The GOP is at it again

It seems as though the Republican party does not think the rich are rich enough and the poor are poor enough, and that the middle class isn't sustaining both of them enough. They rejected the bill to increase the minimum wage today. This is a complete atrocity. Do they have any idea how unrealistic it is to assume you can survive on a minimum wage job? I can't take it anymore. Please read more at

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Me & The Boys back in April. A little fuzzy - it was taken with CJ's disposable.

Andrew Patrick at about 6 weeks.

A little charmer

Since I just started this blog, I wanted to share some pictures that have been taken over the last few months, so that in case more than one person is reading this, they can have a face with a name to my adorable kids. So here's my brag posts. The first 2 are of Andrew at about 6 weeks.