Saturday, November 30, 2013

Our Digital Native Kids (sigh!)

I'm trying to be one of those parents whose kid is not obsessed with technology, the iPad really being one of them. I despise kids so attached to iPads at such young ages.  Sidekick loves my iPad, probably more than I.  The only reason I have one is because I won it at work.  I barely use it.  I walk to my computer and use that or my phone 99% of the time.  Anyway, a long time ago, I saw something on Facebook advertising the Goodnight Moon app for free, so I downloaded it. Whenever he sees me holding the iPad, he runs to the bathroom, puts up the lid on his potty, and sits on it.  Why?  Because that's typically the only time I let him play on the iPad, and he is obsessed with Goodnight Moon.  Anyway, the app is great! It is so interactive, and he has to discover what certain things can "do".  He has two favorite parts of the app now:  the balloon that launches and the cow jumping over the moon because the moon twirls. 

Tonight, we read the actual book, and he started trying the get the moon to twirl.  Later in the video which was too long to email to myself to post, he tried to get the balloon to launch and became frustrated because it wasn't moving.  I had to tell him that it was broken, which kind of appeased him. 

Are our kids too digital???  I believe the answer is yes, but for a kid that rarely plays with the iPad except the few minutes he sits on the potty before bath, I'm trying not to let it bother me too much.  I'm very thankful that he can go into his room, take some books off the shelf, and "read" them to himself, but I'm fearful about how much technology to which he is exposed, and I try to keep him away from TV, my iPhone, computer, and iPad at all costs.  I sure hope he doesn't become uninterested in the real Goodnight Moon just because it isn't interactive.  I cringe at that thought.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Are Illnesses Contagious through Blogs?

I've been reading blogs about this nasty stomach bug that's going around.  I've empathized with all of the Mommas dealing with their sick kids (and in some cases the Mommas themselves are sick too).  I think perhaps it's contagious through the blog world because it entered my home yesterday.  Sidekick is dealing with everything his classmates have which is a cough and a bit of a runny nose.  Last night at 9:30, I began feeling a little queasy and was really tired.  I feel asleep until 10:30 only to wake up and do a mad dash to the bathroom.  The dreaded bug has struck!  I literally spend the entire night in the bathroom.  Meanwhile, Sidekick woke up multiple times coughing/crying.  So while I was spending a lot of time in the bathroom, I was also tending to my sick boy.  It's 8:08 AM, and Sidekick is still asleep. I so badly want him to wake up so that I can take him to school, go back home, and sleep.  I know he needs the sleep, so I don't want to wake him, but at the moment, my stomach is a little calmer, so I think I can get him to school without any "issues".  For goodness sakes... what could possibly be left in my intestines/belly? 

I had something like this last March while I was visiting my mom and it landed me in the ER for fluids because I was so dehydrated and weak after dealing with it for about 2 1/2 days.  Thankfully I was at my mom's so that she could take care of Sidekick while I sat in the ER.  This time I have no one to help me.  I know I'm going to jinx myself by writing this, but I'm pretty sure Sidekick will be next to get it.  In March, he gave the stomach bug to me, so I guess since I'm such a giver, I'll pass it on to him.  I really hope that's not the case because it's going to be a really long holiday weekend stuck with a sick boy.  Ugh! 

To those who have or have had this stomach bug... I now officially feel your pain. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Job Update

I look at that sweet face with such personality, and I have so many captions for it, but right now the most appropriate one is:
"Hmmmmm... What's gonna happen to my momma's job?"
I wrote a couple of weeks ago that my job was up in the air, and right now, it still is. It's difficult to explain to people who don't understand the situation or what I do, but basically there has been a company reorganization, and "they" don't know where to put me.  HR has been involved as well as upper management, and I have been reassured countless times that there is a position for me somewhere.  As a human being (and a SMC), this is very unsettling.  What the hell does "somewhere" mean???!!!  I work out of my home and in the "field" in my home state. It's not like I'm in an office and can move cubicles.  I'm at 153% of my sales goal, so one would think that I would have a position confirmed because of my performance, but apparently that's not the case. 
There were essentially two options for me:  I was going to stay in my same territory but under a different department, or I was going to take over another account executive's territory.  For the latter, the current account executive is on medical leave and I am covering for him, but unfortunately for him, he won't be coming back.  His territory is not very lucrative, so my manager and I have been trying to put together reports for both territories in order to figure out which position is best for me and will keep all of the account executives in my state safe.  In the end, I think we concluded that my current territory, being moved to a different department, is probably the best place for me. 
Yesterday my colleague/friend talked to a different account executive to see if she could get some scoop about his position because of the department in which he currently works.  He told my friend that HE now has my current territory!  No one has told me or my manager this!  WTF?!?!  He doesn't know the product, doesn't live in a good area with regards to where the bulk of the business is...  not to mention the fact that I kicked ass in my current territory.  For the past two or so weeks, I have been calm and collected, but last night I cried after I got off the phone. I feel like I have been strung along.  I feel like my loyalty and success mean nothing.  I feel so belittled right now. 
My manager is on vacation, but I sent him a text message asking him to call me. He called me last night and didn't know anything about this.  He is going to talk to his manager tomorrow to figure out what is going on.  This is such a mess!  I am currently working the job of two people and have no idea what my future holds.  It's so hard to be motivated to work every day.  I'm so afraid I'm going to get stuck in a shitty territory.  I honestly told me manager to just give me a severance package.  I've been with the company for 14 years, so I know I'd get a good package.  If I do get one, I may just pick up and move to be near my family. 
I've always believed that things happen for a reason, so while I'm trying not to panic or be upset or angry about the situation, it's really difficult to have something so out of my control.  And why does something like this always happen during the holidays????


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Christmas Card

My mom came in town to help me with Sidekick because I had two evening work events and had to work on Saturday.  Since she was here, we decided to take Sidekick's picture for his Christmas card (I can't believe how soon Christmas will be here!).  It is so incredibly difficult to get a picture of him because he is so busy and on the move.  BUT, he was such a trooper and so patient with us as we kept asking him to sit, stand, hold this, touch that, etc.  In the end, I think the card will turn out really well.  This is the front of the card:

This is the inside the card (to the tune of "Jingle Bells"):

Dashing through the year
All I've done is grow
I learned I have no fear
I got lots of bumps to show
I learned to walk and run
Lots of words I say
Life with Momma is so much fun
We laugh a lot each day
I'm 17 months, 17 months
And I don't ever stop
Oh what fun it is to make
My momma wanna drop
I'm 17 months, 17 months
Bein' a good boy is my goal
Hopefully my stocking won't be
Filled with lots of coal

Have a wonderful Christmas
and a happy and healthy new year!
Love, "Sidekick" (and my momma)

This is the back of the card and the caption reads "Having a ball getting ready for Christmas":

On a side note, my mom and I went to brunch today with my friend, her son, and her mom.  As I've mentioned before, Sidekick is a very scheduled kid and has always been a great sleeper.  For whatever reason, he fell asleep five minutes after we got in the car to take my mom to the airport  which was an hour before his normal nap time.  When he falls asleep in the car, I know I am screwed. As soon as I took him out of the car seat, he woke up and would not go to sleep.  After letting him fuss for a while in his crib, I picked him up to try to help him fall back asleep which didn't work because he was being totally goofy and wanted to play, so I put him back in his crib with some books because he really needed to sleep longer which kept him quiet for a whopping 45 minutes. (I've never done that before.  Is that bad?) I've worked a six day work week, evenings included, and I only got a 45 minute break today.  I am so incredibly exhausted, and I am for sure putting this little guy to sleep early!  Momma needs some downtime.  At least I got his Christmas card done.  Mission accomplished.



Monday, November 18, 2013

Anonymity in the Blogging World

I sometimes wonder if I'm the only one in the blogging world who doesn't have friends or family following me. My sister knew I started my blog long before I conceived Sidekick, but I think she has since forgotten about it.  My circle of friends don't know about my blog. I've passed on my blog to friends of friends who are either SMCs or wanting to be a SMC and we've connected through a mutual friend.  Other than that, no friends or family know about my "secret" blog, and I kind of like it that way.  I can remain an anonymous person which allows me to be brutally honest about things without feeling like those close to me will judge me. Of course you all will judge me, but I don't know you know and you don't know me, so who cares if I tell you that I didn't like Sidekick the other day because he was being challenging or I yelled at him for the first time or I was having a difficult day as a SMC?

I like that I can write without really wondering what so and so will think about what I just wrote. It's nice to be anonymous in this technologically connected social world.  I enjoy connecting with other SMC (and whomever reads my blog) and receiving support, advice, and knowledge from women I never met and probably never will.  I try to be a support for these women as well.  I've found that SMC community is tight because we are truly the only ones who "get it".  I'm honored to be a party of this community in one way or another, even if we don't know who the each other is. I'm grateful for the "friends" I feel like I have miles and miles away.   

So... am I the only one with a "secret" blog? 

Friday, November 15, 2013

My Future in the Corporate World- ugh!

I've been with my company for 14 years.  I've been loyal to my company for 14 years.  I've worked hard for 14 years.  I've hit my sales goal over and over again.  All of that doesn't matter because my job is up in the air right now.  My current sales position is in the wrong place at the wrong time.  It doesn't matter that I am the highest performer in my district or one of the highest in my region.  I'm in the wrong place at the wrong time, and this particular position is going away in some way or another.  I'm currently working a territory that I know I will not have.  I'm working at a company that I might not be working for.  My motivation is lacking.  I'm on a conference call/webinar right now barely paying attention because it could all be irrelevant, so I am typing in my blog instead.  I've been through company transitions over and over again, I've made the "cut" year after year, and I've been constantly thrown different territories.  I've embraced all of the changes.  This time around, I'm really nervous.

"Best" case scenario, I'll move into a sales position in a different division/department, and I have no idea what my territory will be.  I'm afraid it will be multiple states, and as a SMC with no family living in the same state, that's not very doable.  To me, that's not the "best" case scenario.  I'm almost hoping I'm offered a severance package because I know it'll be a good one.  A severance package would mean I could move to where my sister or mom is and find a new job there while I am still collecting a paycheck.  A severance package seems to somehow open different doors and allows me to explore my options a little more freely.  I just took my condo off the market with the holiday season approaching, but I can throw it back on if I want to move out of state. 

So... my future with my company is out of my hands.  I'm calm and collected.  Everything happens for a reason, and I'll be okay regardless of what happens.  I've got plenty of money in savings, so I don't need to worry about paying bills if my severance package runs out before I find a job (I'm pretty sure that won't happen).  It just sucks that hard work and loyalty don't really matter in this situation. I think the hardest part is not knowing what's going to happen.  I hate that.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ringing in the BIG One!

I'm not afraid to admit it... I just turned... gulp ..., 40!!!!!  My goal was to be pregnant before my 38th birthday, and I got my BFP four days shy of that day.  Phew!  I don't care that I'm 40 because I honestly don't feel 40.  I remember when my mom turned 40, and I thought that was SO old!  I don't have that feeling anymore.  Turning 40 made me realize just how lucky and blessed I am.  I think if I didn't have Sidekick, I wouldn't have embraced that number as easily because I would have felt like my life kind of sucked.  Honestly, I think I would have thought that.  I was never in the suicidal kind of thinking of "What's the point of life?" when I started thinking about being a SMC, but I did question the emptiness of my life without a child. So now that I have Sidekick, I am taking 40 and running with it because my life is more fulfilled with him.
Sidekick and I drove to Chicago to visit my best friend and her family who moved in August.  It was great to celebrate with them and see their new home.  I got to get out while Sidekick napped because my friend's husband stayed home with the sleeping kids, and on Saturday night, I put Sidekick to sleep and my friend and I went out to celebrate.  (I felt a sense of freedom for the first time in a long time!  Not having family in the same state limits my freedom since I don't like to spend money on babysitters.) 
My friend and I went to a bar, and I felt old there.  A bar!  I haven't been in a bar in a really long time!  We got hit on by one really drunk guy and one nice guy.  The drunk guy bought be a shot which I drank at midnight to celebrate the new decade of my life, and about 30 minutes later, he got escorted out of the bar because the security people thought he was being "inappropriate" with us.  He wasn't being a true gentleman, but it wasn't anything we couldn't handle. Drunk people!  Psssh!  Anyway, Nice Guy was very polite and gave me a hug and a kiss on my cheek when we left. It was sweet to have a nice guy treat me well.  When's the last time that has happened?  It would have been even nicer if Nice Guy lived in the same state as I. 
We were out until a little after 1:00 in the morning.  While I wasn't hung over, I was really tired on Sunday.  Sidekick has been sleeping 12 hours straight though the night since he was nine weeks old, so I haven't had that zombie feeling in a really long time, but I had it on Sunday.  Holy smokes was I tired!  Okay, maybe I do feel old.  : )
So four decades in, I reflect on my life and where I thought I would be now.  It's definitely not what I had envisioned.  It's funny to think that if it had been any different, I wouldn't have Sidekick, and I wouldn't trade him for anything. Such an amazing and sweet boy he is!  Forty isn't so bad after all.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I Yelled at Sidekick

Sidekick has always been a great eater.  He transitioned to table food 100% at ten months old and has always eaten anything and everything I put in front of him.  Usually what I make myself for dinner is what he is eating also.  I have yet to find something the kid won't eat!  His most recent favorite is an entire ham and cheese sandwich (two slices of bread with the crusts!) with a little horseradish-Dijon sauce. For a little guy, he sure eats a lot.  He is a bottomless pit! 

Lately he has more of an opinion about what he's eating.  He loves peas but for some reason, he's not much of a fan right now, and really, I don't blame him. I hate peas!  Recently (tonight be the most recent) he'll feed  himself a spoonful of them and then proceed to spit them out, pretty much one by one and let them fall down his shirt.  He thinks it's funny.  I don't.  If that's not enough to piss me off, he'll smash each pea on his tray one by one with his thumb. The icing on the cake???  I gave up on the peas and gave him green beans.  He took them one by one, and dropped them on the floor as fast as he could.  When I told him "No", he laughed. I said it again.  He just looked at me and dropped another green bean.  I bent down to his level so we could see eye to eye, and I said "No" again. He laughed at me. I said "No" in a firmer, louder voice. Honestly, I yelled at my son.  For the first time in his short little life, I lost my patience with him to the point where I yelled at him telling him to stop.  He got quiet and had sad looking eyes.  I was devastated.

I picked up the green beans off the floor and cleared the rest of his tray because I won't tolerate that behavior.  He proceeded to get every itty bitty piece of the green beans from is tray and put them in my hands as if he's helping clean up.  He's great at cleaning up.  He's a great helper, but it was a little too late to do the "right" thing, which was to NOT spit out peas or throw green beans on the floor!  He knows better.

He redeemed himself and ate the rest of his dinner.  Afterwards, I took him out of his booster seat, and he went to the oven which was still hot.  I kept telling him nicely, "That's hot. Stay away."  He kept signing Please.  I repeated.  He signed Please.  I told him "No" in a firmer voice.  He signed Please.  I said "No" much louder which one would interpret as yelling (which it was).  He signed Please.  Seriously!?!  It's effen great that he signs and that he is a polite kid, but it's not great when I can't explain that even though he is saying "please", he doesn't always get what he asks for or wants especially when he safety is at stake.  So... temper tantrum commences as I remove him from the scene of the crime, my patience completely shot. 

I yelled at my son two times tonight.  I know it's not a horrible thing, but I feel badly.  I sometimes forget that these kids don't come into the world knowing how to behave, and that we need to teach them...  every. single. thing!  My frustration level hit the roof with him because I KNOW he knows not to throw food on the floor or spit peas out of his mouth.  He does it to piss me off.  He succeeded, and then I upset him because I yelled at him.  It may have been the first time I yelled at him, and it certainly won't be the last. I just never envisioned that I would yell three days shy of my innocent, sweet boy turning 16 months old.  Oh, the guilt!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sidekick Got the DST Memo

Daylight Savings Time is always an interesting time of year.  I've always loved the extra hour of sleep but still waking up early.  When it's dark at 4:30, I quickly remember I'd give back that extra hour of sleep in a heartbeat.  It's so depressing.  Sidekick and I will also begin feeling trapped because even if it's not too cold, we can't go out to play after dinner because it's too dark.  We'll both miss that.  I hate being cooped up (which was evident in my running errands with Sidekick when he was three days old and taking him out every other day thereafter despite all of the stitches I had and pain I was in-- ouch! My sanity took precedence over my pain.).

I had a showing for my condo yesterday, so I had to get Sidekick down for an earlier nap and get out of my home quickly when he woke up.  We took Dog to the dog park and met some friends there.  Sidekick had a blast playing with all of the dogs and collecting ever "ba" (ball) that he saw, followed by some running around and exploring at the playground.  I guess all of the fresh air and running around got to him because he was ready to go to sleep at 6:50.  He's always been an incredible sleeper, and for that I am grateful.  I was a stickler about bedtime from day one. He only slept in his crib in his room, bedtime routine started at four weeks old, and he started sleeping 12-13 hours straight at nine weeks old.  I contribute some of that success to my being very anal about his sleeping "rules".  He loves to sleep and is much better at it than I.  Anyway, my plan was to keep Sidekick awake a little past "normal" last night in hopes that he would sleep a little later than normal, making DST a little less painful for both of us.  Sidekick got the memo about the extra hour of sleep, but apparently I didn't get the memo because while I was awake at 6:15, Sidekick slept until just after 8:00 (which to all of our bodies at the moment is actually 9:00).  He normally sleeps until about 7:15.  So last night, he sleep for 14 hours!  While I sit here typing this, he sits in his crib playing and "talking".  He can stay in there for up to an hour, happy and calm, but since I'm sure he is starving and needing some breakfast since he hasn't eaten since 5:00 yesterday, I need to get him. 

His late sleeping will hopefully help today as I have a showing between 1:00-2:00, and he normally takes his nap around 12:45.  I need to keep this little guy going until 2:00 when we can go back home.  I'm hoping I get the DST Memo next year and take advantage of the extra hour of sleep like Sidekick did.  With my luck, next year Sidekick won't get the memo. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Trick or Treating

We braved the whipping winds and pouring rain and ventured out for trick or treating!  We spent 35 minutes in traffic driving to our friends house when it should have only taken ten minutes.  Despite the horrible weather, we all decided to go for it!  I held Sidekick, his bucket, and an umbrella while trying not to get blown over or allow my umbrella to turn inside out.  Once he saw the older kids with whom we joined going up to houses and picking "something" out of a bowl, he insisted on keeping up with them. He wanted to walk just like them and tried so hard to be as fast as them but wasn't fast enough.  In my new momma wisdom, I finally said "F it!", collapsed the umbrella, and we both happily (well, he more than I) trudged through the wicked, cold rainy weather to collect the yummy candy (which he of course had no idea what is was).  We gave in to Mother Nature after about 40 minutes and went back to my friend's house to pass out Halloween candy to the other brave souls while he wore warm, dry skeleton PJs. 

I have zero pictures from this wild night because it was hard enough to watch Sidekick and keep him from getting blown over, and I didn't want to ruin my nice camera.  Despite that, I'm bummed I don't have one picture of the back of him at someone's house.  The night will forever be etched in my memory. 

I know my mom took me out at least one year in the nasty weather, so the torch as been passed down.  Lots of homeowners empathized with me, but they all knew why I was doing it.  Sidekick had to have his first experience trick or treating in his perfect-for-him sock monkey costume regardless of the crappy weather.  Who cares if we both ended up looking like drowned rats!  I'll share this story with him over the years so that despite the lack of pictures, he can recount the night through my story telling.