Saturday, August 15, 2015

Taking Risks

This post is about 10 months in the making.  I was waiting to write about it until it had an "end"....  it still hasn't reached that point, so here I am, to write what I know, while I still remember it.  =)

Toward the end of my pregnancy with Sam I was 95% certain that I wouldn't be returning to my job.  I hadn't truly been happy there since Emily was born.  I felt that the job (and the commute to get to the job) kept me away from my kids/family too much... and it was just generally a pain the ass anyway.  Riding the max/bus for 2-3 hours each day for five years... I had had enough.  I figured that maternity leave would give me a good chunk of time to look for a new job and get something lined up for when it was time to go back.

Of course, I didn't tell my current job that I wasn't planning to come back.  They were already treating me differently with just their assumptions that I wouldn't be... and I didn't want to risk my benefits, etc., while I was out on leave.

Just a couple of weeks before my maternity leave started, a couple of directors from another, similar program met with boss to talk about how we ran our program and kept things on track in terms of federal required outcomes and such.  My boss, calling me the "data guru" pulled me into the meeting so that I could help answer their questions.  I left that meeting thing, "well... that was dumb" with the knowledge that a struggling program had just heard from my boss that I'm awesome and do a lot to keep the program on track.

Fast forward to December.  I was on maternity leave, and was starting to look for jobs while Sam napped.  I had put out several applications, and decided to e-mail the two directors that I had met with previously.  I let them know that I was looking for something a bit more on a management track, and asked if they had decided to create a management position for their program.  I didn't hear anything back from them, but I did get an interview at another agency as a housing case manager and personal finance instructor.

I nailed the interview.  And the second interview.  They offered me the position, and I accepted.  I was set to start in the middle of January.  I gave my job notice that I wouldn't be returning.

And then I got a phone call from the OTHER program.  They wanted to bring me in for a "meeting".  I agreed.  We met.  We talked about what types of things I'd done for my last job.  They were surprised that I didn't have a more representative title based on the work that I was doing.  They told me about their program and the challenges they were facing with staffing and structure.  They told me that they were still trying to figure out the staffing structure for the program, that they planned to hire on a manager, and that I'd be a great candidate, but that they weren't quite "there" with budgets, etc.  The asked me in what capacity (and for what wage) I'd be willing to work.  They asked if I'd be interested in coming on as an independent contractor for a few months to get the program on track.  I told them that it would be something that I'd consider, but also informed that that I'd already accepted another position so would need to know something/make a decision soon.  They understood and said that they would get back to me the following week.

The "following week" would have been the week of Christmas, and I a week before I was set to start my new job.  I didn't want to be the jerk that gives them less than a week's notice that, "surprise!  The person that you hired for the position isn't going to be showing up on Monday after all!"... and I felt pretty good about the other meeting... and, as Jacob said, I was a lot more excited talking about the possibilities there than I was talking about the case management gig.  So... I took a risk.  Without even hearing back from the potential, short-term independent contractor gig, I turned down the new job... and crossed my fingers.

Thankfully, I was offered the contract position... and, of course, I accepted.  I kicked ass.  I got the program in order, helped them hire a new staff, redesigned the structure of the program and built an entire 3-week employment prep curriculum that has ultimately led to doubling program enrollments.  My boss referred to me as a "God send" on several occasions.  Our federal contract liaison congratulated them on getting me on board.  After the three month stint, they offered me a permanent position as the program coordinator... still not a "manager", and still, really, doing the same work that I've been doing for the last several years, but at least the title and pay were more in line with the duties, so I accepted it.  They continued to tell me that they were going to hire a manager (and that they hoped I'd apply), but that they needed to wait until the new funding year (July) when budgets would be refreshed.  So, I waited.

Last month the manager position opened.  Before I submitted my application I sat down with my boss and asked if she still thought I'd be a good fit for the position.  She did.  I applied.  I interviewed.  I waited.  I didn't get it.  The woman that did get the position has been with the agency for several years and is of the culture that the agency represents (it's a culturally specific organization).  So, I wasn't completely surprised.  My boss told me that it was a hard decision, and that she sees a lot of potential in my and room for growth within the agency.  I was a bit disappointed... both about not getting the position, and also in the fact that it seems that my career has kind of plateaued at the program coordinator/direct service level.

I took many risks when I decided to leave my last position.  And I don't regret a single one of them.  This story hasn't ended the way I hoped or expected it to, but that just means that there are more stories, and more risks to come...

Sunday, August 9, 2015

9 Months!

*What do I do when I get a babysitter and a couple of hours to myself on a Sunday afternoon?  Go to Shari's, eat pie and catch up on week-late blog posts... such a wild life I lead...  ;)

OK... so Sam, you turned 9 months a week ago.  This summer and been busy and exhausting... I'm sorry about being late, but I'm just happy that I remembered to take all of the photos.  ;)

Weight/Length- At your 9 month appointment you measured in at 27.75" and 21 lbs 10.5 oz... That puts you in the 81st percentile for weight and 23rd for height.  My short, squat little man.  ;)

Eating- Trying to introduce more table foods now.  You love breads, your teething biscuits, blueberries (in your little mesh pouch thing), cereal, occasionally bananas... and anything on the floor.  You still refuse to let mom or dad feed you, as you seem to be just as independent as your sister was at this age! 

Teeth-  We're up to 6!  Four on top and two on the bottom.

Sleep- Sleeping through the night (for the most part!)  Hip Hip Hooray!!!  We did a few days of the dreaded 4 am night weaning, and now you're sleeping form 8ish to 6:30ish.  I hate getting up at 6:30 on a Saturday, but at least I'm not up at 4 every morning for a bottle break!

 Clothes- i don't know that you've changed much since last month... going back and forth between 6 and 9 month stuff.  Your 6 month stuff may be getting a LITTLE snug, but more in girth than length.  ;)

Personality- You have reached the dreaded "I don't want anyone else if mommy is in the room" stage.  It's a big exhausting.  I love that you love to love on me... but I'm tired and sometimes want to sit down with my feet up without having to hide in another room.  ;)

-You like to move.  You want to be standing and "walking" (even though you can't walk on your own yet).  You've started to find objects that move (plastic patio chairs) and will use them to "walk" around.  I wonder how long it's going to be before you're running around with your sister...
- You LOVE your sister.  I'm so happy that the two of you get along so well.  She loves her "baby" and will let you crawl all over her (and only gets upset with you pull her hair).
- You like exploring and observing new surroundings.  Watching cars go by, checking out the doctor's office... doesn't matter.  You want to see what there is to see!

-You don't like hanging out with other people if mom is in the room.
- You don't like getting OUT of the bath tub.  You have way too much fun playing in there!
- You don't like laying still to get your diaper changed.  We have to bribe you with some kind of a toy so that you don't heave yourself off the changing table or stick a hand in something disgusting.

- First camping trip... and first trip to the beach!  You loved wandering around the beach... but weren't too fond of mom and dad blocking you from eating the sand.
- First Fourth of July.... didn't mean much to you though.  You slept.  ;)
- First time eating at a food cart... I think.  =)  You shared your sister's quesadillas. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Eight Months!

Weight/Length- Probably won't have anything to update here until next month when you have your 9 month doctor's appointment.  I think you're starting to thin out a bit though, especially since you've been working out your legs so much this last month!

Eating- Exclusively formula at this point (not sure if I've mentioned that in previous posts yet).  Starting to experiment with more solids.  You really went to town with blue berries the other night, and seem to enjoy my sweet potato fries.  =)

Teeth-  You currently have 4 teeth (two top, two bottom), but it looks like another top tooth is coming in right now!

Sleep- Sleep hasn't changed much since last month.  Still going to bed around 8ish, waking up sometime between 3-5, having another bottle and then going back to sleep until around 7or so (depending on what time your mid-night wake up was).  We got a couple of 8-12, 12-6 stretches this month, and I wasn't sure if I preferred sleeping for a longer stretch of time, or sleeping later.  It was a toss up.  =)

 Clothes- We pulled out your 9 month clothes this month.  You're still wearing most of your 6 month stuff, but you have some new pieces to add to your summer wardrobe.  ;)

Personality- Still very happy, very observant, and very motivated to MOVE!

-You like to play in the water.  I actually seem to enjoy putting your face in the path of the shower head when you're showering with Dad.
- You like chasing the cat around the house.... I don't know that he likes it much though!
- You like standing up.  You want to stand up ALL THE TIME, and get annoyed when mom's back just can't handle the hunching any more. 

-You don't like being stationary.  You can move now, and that's all you want to do.  Lying on your back to get your diaper changed is, like, the worst thing ever.
- You don't like... hmm... I don't know.  There isn't really anything else that I can think of!

-So, in the last month you went from just figuring out how to get into a seated position to crawling, pulling yourself into a standing position, and cruising along the furniture.  I kind of fear what the next month is going to bring! lol

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Seven Months!

Well, I'm a couple weeks late, but better late than never, right?  =)

Weight/Length- No idea.  Still easily fitting in your 6 month clothes, so I'm guess you haven't grown too much since last month.

Eating- Still trying to get you to eat some more solids.  You seem to enjoy the feeling of cucumbers and sliced peppers... I think it's the nice, cool temperature over anything else though.  You are not a fan of me putting anything in your mouth, so traditional baby food is out.  I bought some little finger-food teething things that you seem to enjoy, but don't have quite the hand-eye coordination to get more than 50% of anything in your mouth.  =)

Sleep- So, you're doing SOO much better with sleep.  And I think I have the pediatrician to thank.  You're going to bed at 8ish, waking up to eat around 4ish, and then going back to sleep until 7:30ish.  When we went in for your 6 month check up, the doctor noticed that you had some dry skin and suggested giving you some Benadryl for a couple of nights in addition to putting lotion on to give the skin a chance to heal.  She mentioned that the dry skin may be itching a lot at night which is waking you up.  I don't know if that was it or not, but your skin is so much better and you're only waking up once at night so, I'm calling it a win.  =)

 Clothes-As I mentioned before, still in 6 month sizes.

Personality- You are a happy, curious little man who loves his sister and finds her absolutely hilarious!

-You like to watch the world go by... ie cars driving down the street.  We were out to eat at a food cart pod the other day and your dad positioned your car seat so that you were looking at the street.  You fell asleep to your "favorite show".  =)
- You love your sister.  Seeing the two of you together is pretty amazing.  We lucked out.  =)
- You like standing up.  You can't do it on your own yet, but you love it when we hold you up so that you can "stand".  I bought you a walker at the consignment store the other day.  Best purchase ever.  My back thanks me!

-You don't like getting your nose wiped.  It's like the worst thing in the entire world apparently.
- You don't like not being able to move around.  You desperately want to move but you're not quite as mobile as you'd like to be.
- You don't like face planting on the ground... not that I blame you, but you've got to figure out how to get those arms to work so that you can crawl and not just fall over when you try!

-You can wiggle yourself into a seated position from a laying down position (and go in reverse).  You surprised us all as I thought most babies crawled before they could do this!  (Or, at the very least, could get themselves up on all fours!)
- You can "army crawl".
- First swimming pool experience.  You weren't sure what to think, but seemed to enjoy it!
- First overnight away from Mommy... I took a night to stay by myself in a hotel for Mother's Day.  Still woke up several times throughout the night, so didn't get very good sleep, but the quite was awfully nice!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Six Months!

Weight/Length- Had your 6 month check up today... 18 lbs 5 oz, and 26.5 inches long.... putting into the 36% for length, 63% for height and 80% for head.  My short, squat, big headed little man.  lol

Eating- Over the last month we've transitioned to 50/50 formula and breast milk.  I'm enjoying the freedom that comes from not having to pump 3+ times per day.  You've also started to munch on some solid foods... mostly cereals (Cheerios and Life).  You also love pancakes.  We've tried bananas and avocados, but I think you get more on your clothes than in your mouth!

Sleep- Still kind of a crappy sleeper.  You got to bed around 8, wake up around 10:30 (put yourself back to sleep), wake up around 1:30 (need comforting), again at 4:00 to eat, and up for day between 6:30 and 7:30.  We're kind of at a loss of what to do at this point. 

 Clothes-Still wearing 6 month sizes... by the looks of your length, may be in them for awhile.  ;)

Personality- Happy, happy, happy little guy... as long as you're being held or entertained.  True story... at your doctor's appointment today the nurse gave you two shots.  You gave her this look like, "What the hell was that?"  And then you laughed!  I commented to the nurse that I bet that was the first time she ever made a baby laugh with a shot!  You're also quite the little flirt.  Always making eyes/grins at everyone and doing the bashful face cover thing.  =)

-You like water.  You're quite the splasher and love taking showers with dad.
- You like Cheerios... a lot.  You are doing really well  eating them!
- You like sitting up!  You are finally able to sit up by yourself and you are so much happier not having to lay on your back and look up at the world.
- You like watching the cars go by out the window.  It's a good way to keep you occupied when I'm tired.  ;)
- You like standing up.  You can't do it on your own yet, but you like us holding you so that you can stand and "walk".

-You don't like playing by yourself for very long.  You want to be held/entertained frequently.
- You don't like us wiping your nose... you've been suffering from/getting over a cold for the past week or so and you HATE it when we try to clean your nose up!

-You can it up now!  You do really good at not falling over until you reach too far for something or turn too quickly.  =)
- You have your two bottom teeth... curious when the others are going to come in!
- You've started to eat solid foods.
- You had your first cold (and subsequent pink eye).