Monday, June 23, 2014

Charlie

I posted all of Charlie's t-ball pictures below, but here are a couple others.  We loved his kindergarten teacher so much this year.  She promised to request Felicity if she is still doing kindergarten in a couple years (she likes to move around in the grade levels) which would be fun.
So far this summer, Charlie is loving riding his bike, swimming, and bossing around his sisters.  He is reading pretty well, and practicing his writing.  He is always quick to think up an equation which adds up to whatever number we are talking about ("Charlie, go in timeout for six minutes." "Three plus three is six.")
I'm proud of this sweet boy, and I am not ready to start calling him a first grader, but I can't believe that's what he will be in August.

Felicity

I have been so behind, I haven't posted even since my girl's birthday!  I can't believe my little Flissy is four years old.  She is such a bright light in our lives.  For her birthday, she wanted to go to McDonald's, because Charlie loves McDonald's.  We got her to pick something she loves, which was Red Robin, and getting everyone to sing to her.
 Felicity loves to write her name, and she loves to draw.  She loves to count as high as she can go, which varies depending on her focus, but is usually around thirty five or so.  She is still seriously a mama's girl, and is always just underfoot, helping me with whatever I am doing.
 She made this delightful portrait and biography for me at the preschool Mother's Day event.
 She triumphantly finished out her first year of preschool with Ms. Heather and Ms. Theresa.  Next year she will attend three days a week.
 Do not ask me how, but my vaccinated girl got the chicken pox!  It's been slightly annoying, but mostly not too bad.  Her case is very mild (probably because of the vaccination), so we are definitely at best case scenario, but I just couldn't believe it.  Below is a doctor's office selfie while we were waiting for all the other doctors to come in (they don't see it that often anymore, so everyone wanted to take a look), and her cheerful attitude during recovery.  We are quarantined, but there aren't any kids on our street, so I have been letting her play outside as long as no one else is outside.
 She joined a singing group, and loved it.  Again with her dislike of wearing prescribed outfits, we debated strongly over this one, but her desire to perform won.  She also sang several solos in front of her class, and was always proud as a peacock.
 I make the active (sometimes difficult) decision not to argue with her about the crazy outfits she puts together, but it often leads to entertainment, if nothing else.  See below dots on dots with mismatched shoes, pumpkins in June, and two pairs of pants.  These are just some of her crazy wardrobe choices.
 We have struggled some with the terrible two's and tantrum-y threes, but I am happy to report that four has been going smoothly so far.  We are both working really hard on positive communication, and I am also trying to let as many things go as possible.  Ignoring the little things is a small price to pay for a little peace.  I love my girl so very much, and she is such a blessing in our family.

So many pictures of Hannah from March through present.

Our little sweets is getting so big!  She has two bottom teeth as of today (can be seen in person, but maybe if you look very closely in the picture with the blue dress below, you can see one).  She attempts to travel through a mixture of rolling, army crawling, and the occasional knee crawl.
Her first time eating rice cereal.   Now she is eating all manner of purees, and a few small pieces of regular foods as well.
 Felicity.  Need I say more?
 With her sweet cousin Penny
 She is just such a delight.  So happy.  So sweet.  So easygoing.
When my arm was still preventing me from holding her very well, I toted her around in the baby walker between needing to lift her.  She wasn't tall enough to reach the floor, but it helped me in transport.  Now she is tall enough and she is still loving the walker.  She mostly can only move backward in it, but her siblings also oblige in giving her rides.

I have thought about getting a more serious baby carrier (since mine grow out of the cheaper baby carriers almost at birth) with all three children, but the heavy price tag has always given me pause.  I talked frequently with another mom from Felicity's preschool class about the carriers, because she had several, and one day, I found this carrier in Felicity's cubby, with a sweet note from her about how she had an extra.  How generous is that??  I LOVE it and so does little sis.

 She started sitting up around mid May.  Only a few faceplants.
 

Sunday Pictures

 We aren't usually running early for church, but when we are... I make them take a picture.
The left one is from Easter Sunday.  Love my little sweets.

T-Ball

Charlie had an awesome season of t-ball with the Padres.  Coach Doug was great, and he had a really good time, and I think actually learned a couple things about the game.  He waited each game to see if he had been awarded the game ball, and finally (after we mentioned it to Coach, who had accidentally checked him off the list as having received it) he got it on his last game.  He was so proud.

I was already kinda behind on laundry when I broke my arm, and it became nearly impossible to do with the break.  I couldn't carry the baskets, or even move the laundry from one machine to the other.  Greg stepped in and helped out (he helps out a lot, even when my arm isn't broken, for the record), but it wasn't in time to get this kid in uniform for one of his Saturday games.
I was still wearing the sling at that point, so at least people could guess I had an excuse.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

My update

It's been quite some time since I've posted, and there's actually some interesting stories behind it all, so I thought I'd give you all an idea of what's been going down around here lately.

I can't decide where to start, so I guess I will go chronologically.  Back in January, I went back to work after the most glorious three month maternity leave of absence.  I have gone back to work after three children, and I have had mixed feelings twice (because I do love being a stay at home mom, but I also really do love my job) and have once dreaded it, and that was this third time. I don't know exactly the reason I didn't want to go back, but it was definitely the most peaceful leave and the most angelic newborn.  In any case, I went back cautiously telling myself I would be quitting in July, if it didn't work out.  The July date was set because I knew I was due for a salary review at that time, and I have been wildly underpaid for a long time, and willing to remain so because (a) they let me work from home, so I couldn't probably get another job with better pay and work from home, and (b) we needed my job to put Greg through law school and to keep us in health insurance.  But now, Greg is out of law school, and we can get health insurance through the state exchange.  So, if I wasn't making a lot more money, we figured we should move closer to Greg's job (where it is also significantly cheaper to live), hop on a more stringent budget, and become a single income home.  Along with the July salary review, our lease expired June 30th, so it would be a good time to relocate if we needed to.

I made no secret of my plans at work, mostly because I wanted them to start thinking about paying me a lot more.  They indicated several times that they thought very highly of my skills and knowledge, and they would want to enter negotiations to keep me, but things were all very up in the air, due to some potential joint venture agreements.  I understood, and stayed in limbo, because nothing was changing for me until July anyway.

Then, in February, my boss decided to quit.  As background, I have worked in the Human Resources department for most of the last 6.5 years, reporting to the HR Director.  Her direct boss was the Vice President of Administration, but the three of us all worked very closely together, including me direct reporting to him on a lot of items that weren't exactly in the HR department.  Keep in mind, the hotel I work for is not a chain, so all the corporate work was done in house, and the company insurance, litigation, corporate filings, and stuff like that, were all things that I was handling with the VP of Admin.  He decided to leave after 37 years at the company.  He originally gave only 2 weeks notice.  That same day, they called me at home to indicate that they would be giving me a version of his job (not a VP level job because that job was from when there were 11 hotels, and also he was an officer of the corporation, and also he had 37 years of experience at the company.  But doing a lot of the same things.)  They also went back to him, and asked him to stay until May.

After I was sort of guaranteed a really good job, I was put in a position of power.  They really needed me because there wasn't going to be anyone else who could do that job.  I went into the meeting about it and asked for such a big raise, I had panic attacks all weekend about it.  But in the meeting, I was cool as a cucumber.  I also explained that while they might want someone in the office full time, and while I respect that they might want and/or need that, I would not be the person for them.  Since I definitely WAS the person for them, they agreed to continue to work with me on my desire to stay at home as much as possible with my kids.

This was all going down in mid and late February.  But, with my boss's agreement to stay at the hotel until May, they were not needing to be in a big hurry to make a decision about me (and I didn't want to push them for an answer because I preferred they give me the answer I wanted instead of the answer right now).

Finally, mid April, they gave me a promotion and a raise.  It was to be effective May 1.  My new title is Director of Administration/Risk Management.  My job description was exactly all my favorite things to do (I wrote the job description, and made up the title.  Seriously, they need me around there.)

Then, at the end of April, I fell down the stairs (not holding the baby, thank goodness.)  I don't know exactly how I fell, if I tripped, or just missed a step, or maybe fainted or something.  It was dumb, and ridiculous.  I was home with the three kids; the two big kids were in the playroom watching mythbusters, and the baby was crying in the crib, having just woken up.  I was on my way up the stairs to get her when I turned around and then fell.  I almost immediately fell asleep, but I had my phone on me, so I reached up to the front door (I landed right by it) and unlocked the door, and then called Greg and asked him to stay on with me to keep me conscious, and call 911 if he lost me, because I couldn't be unconscious with the kids there.  After a few minutes, I felt like I wasn't going to pass out as much anymore, so we hung up, and I called a wonderful friend and church leader, and she immediately dropped everything and picked me and my kids up and took me to the ER.  She then took my kids home and watched them and called another friend who came and sat with me in the ER for a few hours until Greg got home.  My sister left work early and went to go watch my kids.

I was really lucky, I fractured the radial head, but in a direction that meant no pins, and because it was close to the elbow, I couldn't get a cast, which made showers and stuff easier, although it made things a little more painful for a while.  I honestly did have a few really terrible days, but I really was much improved by a week or so later.  I didn't take very much pain medication, which was lucky.  I started using the arm like usual about five days after the accident, although I couldn't bear very much weight on it.  Note: nursing a wiggly baby with a broken arm is rough.  I had significant mobility back in my arm by three weeks after the break, and now, about 7-8 weeks after, I can almost straighten my arm, and do almost anything, although I still have some pain.
A friend of mine was teasing me about stopping and taking a selfie, but this was the next day, not before I went to the ER.  Two more things that are hard to do with an uncasted broken arm: brush hair and button buttons.  Greg got me ready on this day, but I also had a friend who came over did my hair on several occasions while I couldn't reach it.  Thanks, guys.
Okay, so this takes us to the end of April.  My promotion becomes effective May 1st.   May 3rd, my company entered a joint venture agreement with a new company, and the asset sale was effective June 1.  I now work for a new company, one which has a very competent corporate office in Colorado.  My job does not exist in the new company.


Lest this be the longest post ever with no point, I will bring you to date.  Hank, the VP of Admin, left the company as planned on May 15th.  Alma, the HR Director, left the company unexpectedly on May 31, deciding not to continue on with the new company.  Genie, one of our two HR admins, left the company May 31 as well, as planned, as she had gotten into grad school and was moving.  So, this leaves me with a job (undefined) and the company without a working HR Department.  I stepped in, and have been running things for nearly a month.  In connection with all this, I have been working 5-7 days a week in the office.  I know that most people do that all the time, but I haven't had a regular job in the office for about six years, being more than 75% working from home for the last 4 years.  So, it has been rough on me, and it's been rough on my family.  But, we are trying it out to see how it works. There is still no official word on what is going to happen, but the new company recognizes me as someone they want, even if we aren't sure in what capacity.  They have also been really nice about wanting me to be able to go back working from home, at least some.  This week, I will be working from home 3.5 days, and next week I will only go into the office twice.  It's a work in progress, but I have invested a lot into being successful at work, so we are going to do it until it doesn't work anymore.  (Plus, before all the upheaval, we happily re-signed our lease, so that will just make it slightly more difficult to transition to a single income for now anyway.)

Oh, also, I sort of still work for the old company.  In fact, on Friday, they made me a corporate officer of that company.  Funny how things work.  When I told my old boss, and he laughed.  From temporary receptionist to corporate officer in 6.5 years.  He became a corporate officer after 7.5 years (he started as the HR Director), so he was teasing me about beating his record.  It isn't exactly the honor of the year, seeing as a month ago, the company sold many of its assets and transferred all its employees to a new company, but hey.  Something to stick on my resume.