Thursday, May 29, 2008

Do Your Research

We have been searching for a preschool-type situation for Lauren. She will still go to grandma and grandpa's house three days a week but we (especially I) think it's important for her to be around other adults, but mostly other kids, at least a couple of days a week. No one has watched her besides us and my in-laws and now that she's a year and a half old, I really think it's important for her to start learning to be more flexible, adaptable and comfortable with people outside the little family bubble we've created for her. Plus, she is crazy about other kids, including my nephew who she used to run away from (I will post pictures later of the two of them walking hand-in-hand over the weekend -- and Lauren was the one who grabbed hands first!) so I know she will have fun and I know it will be good for her development.

We've looked at three preschools and will visit one more next week. All have been fine and if I had to pick one, I'd go with the last one we visited, but I've got my hopes up for the one next week. It's one of those pricey places with a good reputation and an East Coast boarding school sounding name. I'm more afraid that it'll be too snooty for the likes of us, but we'll see.

Anyway, I was remembering way back when during my reporter days when I helped with a story on child care violations. I had to spend the day in Columbus in a file room going through hundreds and hundreds of child care center inspection reports. It occurred to me today that maybe these are now online -- and I was right. If you have a child in an Ohio child care center, preschool or private licensed caregiver's home, or are looking for care, go to this link ( to do a search by county, center name, city or ZIP code. I spent the better part of the afternoon reading all kinds of interesting (and some shocking) things. You can read about the area(s) a center is or was out of compliance and how it was corrected. I really think more parents should know that they have the right to this information, so please pass along the link.

Friday, May 16, 2008

I think maybe I’ve go post-job-change depression. After the satisfaction of getting out from under a mean boss wore off, and after enjoying my week of freedom, I am now finishing up week three at the new job and the bloom is already off the rose.

It’s not that there’s anything wrong with this job or the people. I don’t like my commute situation or the fact that I have to dress up, but that’s not it either. It’s just that…it’s work. I’ve sunk back down into a “time to make the doughnuts” mentality, dragging myself out of bed in the morning, doing what I need to do to get three people out the door, facing my slightly stinky office (what IS that?) and to-do list and piles of paper and list of e-mails.

I have felt this way at every job I’ve ever had…maybe not all the time, but it’s kind of my default setting. Sure, I can be productive and every once in a while even proactive, but when it comes down to it, it’s work. It’s not (usually) fun and I wouldn’t exactly call it fulfilling, even if I truly like most everything about my job. Some people love their jobs so much they say they’d do it even if they weren’t getting paid. Would I choose to do this job if I weren’t being paid? No. Any other job I’ve ever had? No. There are very few things I can think of I’d do for a living for free – read books or float in a pool are the two that come to mind (even better – read books WHILE floating in the pool). And since I haven’t seen that particular job on Monster, I’m guessing they shall remain hobbies (or fantasies). I used to buy books with titles like “Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow.” But I’m not sure I believe that anymore. Sometimes you just do what you can tolerate instead.

However, I’ve decided that for every downer thing I write about, I have to write about something positive. So here goes. Um…I’m getting my hair cut and highlighted tomorrow. That’s always a good thing. I’m feeling rather dark and shaggy so I desperately need the lift in the hair department. Bret graduated last week and I was so proud of him I teared up three times. I didn’t even cry at any of my own graduations. When it was fairly quiet in the arena where graduation was taking place, Lauren yelled out “DA-DAAAAA!” and people around us smiled. I got a kick-ass new laptop for Mother’s Day (that Lauren sure knows what Mommy likes!). And finally, I’ve decided to have an 80s party for my 40th birthday (nearly 7 months away). I’m already planning my wardrobe and the music. I wonder if Jake Ryan will show up with a birthday cake?

Monday, May 12, 2008

I'm back

I know, I know, it’s been forever since I’ve posted. Quick version of what’s been going on: I left my old job, took a week off to hang out with Lauren and get a few things done around the house. I really enjoyed that week off, which kind of surprised me. I thought I might be bored or irritated playing stay-at-home mom all week, but I really had a good time. Lauren and I had our little routine of watching her PBS shows until about 9:30, then going out to run errands or shop, home for lunch and a nap for her while I did laundry or some other chore, then when she got up we’d play outside or go to the park, back home to actually cook a real dinner, and then do our evening routine when Daddy got home. The weather was fabulous, she had almost no moments of whining or crying, and my stress level completely bottomed out. I could feel the pressure of those last few bad weeks at work (and the previous four and a half years of a less-than-understanding boss) disappear. I had no schedule, no commute, nowhere I needed to be at any particular time. It was great. I know if I were a full-time stay-at-home mom it would not always be that way. Because I knew it was time-limited (and everything else seemed to be working in my favor), it really was like a mini-vacation.

I’m now in week 3 of the new job and it’s going well. It’s a huge, complex place that will probably take me a year or more to even begin to figure out. But the people are nice (including my boss – yea!) so that helps a lot. I was very busy at first but it’s slowed down slightly so now I have time to be lonely. My posse from the old job is coming to visit me at lunch tomorrow, and then I’m joining them for a going-away party for a friend who also decided she’d had it with that place. So, that’ll be good, to have some friend time again, which I had grown so used to having all day, every day. There was always someone fun to talk to while taking a break, strolling to the kitchen or standing at the printer. I’m pretty much on my own here, except for meetings and appointments. It was a good move; it’s just going to take me a while to feel comfortable.