Wednesday, September 23, 2009

First day

Deep breath.

Okay, so apparently my stress level from going back to work and the idea of leaving Finn with someone I didn't know made me overlook the most obvious answer to my dilemma. Luckily, my friend Vicki mentioned to me that she'd be willing to help out, and I was reminded that "Oh, yeah, she works at home and is Finn's best bud's mommy. Duh." So Finn went over there today and had a fun-filled day of co-napping, yummy lunch and lots of cars and coloring. I seriously could not thank Vicki enough. Knowing that Finn was with someone I knew and knowing that he wouldn't have a complete meltdown made my day much, much better.

As for my first day, it went very well. Mostly paperwork and the obligatory training video. Some product sampling and register training. I'm so rusty after not working for two years. And my adult conversation skills....damn near nonexistent. Definitely glad that I'll be working just a few shifts a week to start. And bonus, most of the shifts I'm scheduled for so far are after hours stocking/floor setting shifts. So I can abandon the restrictive dress code and be comfy without worrying if I have a tattoo showing.

In weird and possibly creepy news, the lady I had spoken to about babysitting Finn (who got replaced by Vicki) is really, really persistent. She called me, I'm not joking, withing minutes of me leaving work. I had mentioned what time I was working when I spoke to her the previous day. And when I called her last night to say I wouldn't be needing her I mentioned that I might have an idea of what I'd be working after my first day. I ignored the first call. Then she called again a few hours later and I answered. The following transpired:

Me: Hello?
Creepy lady: Hey, is this the lady who talked to me about watching her kid?
Me: Yes it is.
Creepy Lady: Do you need me to watch your kid tomorrow?
Me: Well, no, I don't work tomorrow.
Creepy Lady: Well, when do you need me to babysit?
Me: I told you this job is just a couple days a week until the holidays.
Creepy Lady: Will you need me this week sometime?
Me: No, actually I have my schedule for the next two weeks and all the shifts I'm working are when my husband is home. So he'll watch the baby.
Creepy Lady: Oh. How old's the baby?
Me: He's actually a toddler. He's 19 months.
Creepy Lady: Oh. well, what about next week? Will you need me next week anytime?
Me: No, I just told you, I have my schedule for the next TWO weeks. My husband will be able to take care of him those days.
Creepy lady: Well, then maybe in two weeks you'd need me to work then?
Me: Umm, I have no idea. I don't have a schedule for those weeks then.
Creepy lady: Well, do you know anyone else that needs a babysitter?
Me: No, I think everyone I know has teenagers that take care of themselves.
Creepy lady: Oh, teenagers....Well, you'll call me when you get your schedule, right? Cause I need to work, you know. needless to say, I will not be calling her. Ever. And I've blocked her number. The fact that she has my address kind of freaks me out (she was going to come by to meet Finn and figure out where we live. Apparently she felt she could easily get lost on the 1.5 mile straight-shot drive to our house).

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dear Doozer,

First off, I love you very much. And that's what is going to make tomorrow all the worse. Secondly, I know you're not going to understand what's going on and it's okay if you're scared and cry. But try to be a good boy and have fun playing. Hopefully you'll be napping most of the time I'm gone and won't have much awake time to worry about where I'm at. Please don't be afraid to tell the babysitter what you want to eat or what you want to play with. I know you have all the words you need to help her out, but just don't be all shy about using them. I hope you have fun and don't cause too much of a scene when I go. I'm going to miss you very, very much, but I'll be home before you know it.

Love, love, love,

Friday, September 18, 2009

Daycare woes

It's become apparent that I need to go back to work, at least part-time. Money is so tight around here these days that its making everything stressful. And while the prospect of having adult conversation again, and having time sans toddler parka is appealing, I'm kind of heartbroken as well. I tried finding work nearby that would allow me to work nights (read: after 4) so Finn could just hang out with our neighbors daughter for an hour or so until Steve got home. I know her, trust her and Finn adores her. He'd never have to leave our house, and I know she'd stick to our rules for him. But due to the uptight pricks that own the dive bar down the road, I couldn't get hired there because of my tattoos. A biker bar apparently is no place for tattooed ladies. Go figure. So, I've been looking into retail jobs since it's the only field that's hiring now. This means of course, a schedule that would involve placing Finn in daycare, something I've always appalled. I'm worried that the cost will completely negate whatever menial salary I manage to make, that the caretakers won't follow our rules/beliefs with him, that we won't be able to find one that will agree to use cloth diapers...etc. So stressed out right now. On top of that I've been thinking ahead to our next child and I'm saddened by the idea that I might not be able to take as much time at home with him or her as I have with Finn. I feel like I'd be short-changing them. Like "your brother was awesome enough to stay home with for almost two years, but I can't stay home with you for more than 6 weeks". Plus I know I definitely want to home-school our kids, and I can't even wrap my mind around how that would work with having a job outside of home. I know that's years down the road, and our financial situation will undoubtedly improve before than, but right now it's making me feel pretty stinking awful.


Okay, bad stuff aside, I had an interview the other day that went amazingly well. Mostly because it was a group interview, which I've never done before. Can I just say "thank you" to who ever thought of group interviews? Because normally in a normal one-on-one situation I'm all kinds of fidgety and nervous and have no idea what to say (even though I've rehearsed it a million times in my head). But, man, that group interview made me look like a damn rock star. I was the only one that looked even remotely professional, and the only one with any real retail experience. And the only one over age 18. So, hopefully I'm just waiting for the job offer call. This job would be nice, since it starts out just one or two days a week and then will build up as the holidays get closer. It might be an easy fade in situation for Finn and I both. Fingers crossed.

And all job stuff aside, here's a delightful Finn story for the day.

Usually Finn is awake by 7, 7:30 at the latest. And I'm ready for him, because I can hear him scrambling around via our monitor. But I swear someone slipped me a sedative last night (Finn perhaps?), because I never heard him this morning. I know he wasn't awake when Steve got up at 7 because I half woke up then. And Steve says that Dooz was still passed out when he left at 7:30. But at 8:45, I got a little tap on my head and heard a proud little voice saying "Marker! Marker!" I looked at the clock and thought "Wow! Sleeping in is GREAT!". And then, my mind computed what Finn had just said. I jumped out of bed and followed his little march into the guest room. Where he triumphantly showed me his masterpiece of black sharpie. All. Over. Everything. "Marker! Marker! Marker!" he cried happily. He was so proud, and so stinkin' adorable that I couldn't even get mad. He stood by and watched as I erased as much of his artwork as I could with nail polish remover.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Toddlers, kayaks and everything in between

This might be lengthy, so bear with me. Lots of pictures ahead though, so it should be worth it.

Firstly, our party went very very well. Not as many people showed up for the actual picnic as we were expecting, but we had quite a nice turnout anyways. Finn had a blast playing with his friend Ethan's firetruck and with the bucket of ice that was keeping all the soda cold. Apparently ice is a great entertainment to all toddlers, as Ethan got in on the frosty action as well.

We had sooo much food. Actually we just finished up the last of our leftovers two days ago. I even pawned off several containers of goodies to my dance teacher to make a little room in my fridge, and still had enough to feed a small army. Finn as usual was more than ready to dive into stuffing himself silly with baked beans. His most excellent eating habits even convinced his buddy Ethan, who is usually reserved about trying new foods, to gobble up some beans.
I tried to surprise Steve with the fact that our friend Rob's parents, Ken and Kathie, were coming. But as usual, my mom ruined the surprise. But it was fantastic to see them nonetheless. and it saved me postage or a trip to Erie to deliver the photo book I had made of the photos of Ken and Rob's party a few weeks before. and it meant I got to see Kathie's reaction to it (she cried, just like I knew she would). After the "adults" cleared out we "kids" settled in around the bonfire for some s'mores and delicious sangria (courtesy of Kent and the ever adorable Paula). Lots of ranting and raving about music, health care, zombie movies and old friends was had and enjoyed by all. Definitely a spectacular evening.

Finn and I spent Friday morning picking the last of the veggies in our pajamas. Thankfully we're out of viewing from our neighbours. Lots of "pepples" and "to-toes". Finn particularly loves the cherry tomatoes and pops them right in his mouth straight from the vines. And as I discovered, straight from the table edge when you're not looking.

This picture is Steve's doing. I may be able to deal with toddler puke, clean up poopy diapers and even disembowel animals, but I can not, can NOT handle bugs. Steve came rushing into me on Sunday morning screaming "There's a praying mantis on the woodpile! Come see!" (he's very much the little boy when it comes to gross things). After vehemently declining, he opted for taking a picture of it. You know, to forever have something to gross me out with. The fact that the thing is leering into the lens like he's going to chomp off my head is enough to make me puke. :shudder:

Steve, the great white hunter, ventures down into the woods near the Cabins (more on those in a later journal) every chance he gets to scope out our deer population. Hunting season is rapidly approaching here and he's intent on knowing their habits. If you look closely you can see his main foe "the big buck" a.k.a "dinner" grazing right in the middle of the path.

After two failed attempts (one because my oven broke right after the second rise, and another where my dough didn't rise at all), I finally succeeded in making the Swedish cinnamon rolls featured in Eat Well and Prosper, the foodie blog I sometimes contribute to. You know, when I don't have a sick toddler, or a million loads of laundry to catch up on, or a busted stove. Anyways, they are simply amazing. I un-veganed them, so they might be a bit richer and definitely more fattening.

Sunday we went for a family stroll on the Allegheny River trail, the Foxburg to Parker leg of Rails-to-Trails. It's so pretty own there. Steve and I are hoping to go kayaking with our friend Jeb soon. I hope I'm up to it. The guys want to do the Kennerdale to Parker excursion which is, I believe, 25 miles of river fun.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Hives are gone! Yay!
So far we haven't found a food trigger. We're really thinking it was something outside. The only other possible culprits are the cereal (which I still haven't been tempted to give him, despite begging and pleading) and the body wash (now stashed in the hall closet and replaced with non scented stuff). One of those toddler mysteries we'll never have a answer to, I suppose.

This week has a been a veritable beehive of activity for us. we're having a nice little party tomorrow afternoon (to be followed by a bonfire later in the night), and we've been rushing to get everything done. For such a little place, we have an ENORMOUS amount of cleaning and organizing to do. Especially the poor guest room. Since it was the only place safe for the computer to reside it's been overtaken by our notebooks, cd's, photos, and other various junk. Now to find new homes for all this's pretty maddening. I'm glad we have people bringing food too. I can't imagine making all the food for this party. I've made an Amish-style coleslaw and a veggie tray so far, and I'll prep the burgers tonight after Finn is asleep. We're so looking forward to seeing everyone though!