Category Archives: Work

Back To Work

Those three months sure went by fast. I was lucky enough to eek out an extra week at home due to holidays and such. FMLA only allows you to take 12 weeks, but I got 13 weeks… it was still too short. This country’s maternity/paternity leave policies (or lack of) blow.

I was dreading leaving the baby, but it hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would. Yet. I think it is going to get harder and harder the more days I miss. Last night when Sean brought her home I only got to see her a couple hours before she went to sleep for the night. And that is just the beginning of it… next comes missing her first time rolling over or sitting up or any number of other firsts. Not to mention not being able to attend her needs and feed her. And to make matters worse, pumping hasn’t been yielding enough milk for her… so she has had to take more formula as well. I ordered new pump parts, so hopefully once I get some fresh valves it will increase the efficiency of the pump. Or maybe I need to listen to a soundtrack of crying babies and plaster the room with pictures of Anna.

This sucks and I hate it, but we need my paycheck. Oh what I would give to be able to work from home full time! It would be so easy with mom there to nanny… I could feed her whenever she was hungry, spend time with her throughout the day, and have someone there to take care of her so I could focus on work.

Anna and her Nana (Sean’s mom) have been having lots of fun yesterday and today though. Dena is certainly enjoying her time with her, and I am glad to know she is in the care of family and not just another baby at a day care center. I am not sure I could bring myself to leave her at a day care at this stage!

(If you are confused at this point… Sean’s mom is keeping her three days a week until my mother moves up here to be our nanny next month. Sean and I each will work from home one day a week to cover the gap until then)

Work has been going well so far, even though I haven’t really done much actual work yet. I have mostly been getting settled in, and was lucky enough to return at a slow point. So many things have changed at work, which I expected at a fast moving company like ours. The systems have changed, the procedures have changed, our tools have changed, the employees have changed, and even my desk has changed.

Some of the changes have worked in my favor. When I started working from home in the last few weeks before the baby was born, it was right before one of the new hires started. They asked if he could sit at my desk, which was fine with me… I had expected it and packed my desk up in a box before leaving. Because of that, he ended up with my monitor (used as a second screen to my laptop). So, when I got back I just had an empty desk waiting for me… no monitor or anything. While I was out, they also hired a new guy that covers hardware orders. I asked him for a monitor, and noted that several people now had dual displays for their laptops. He said he would get me two, but then I pointed out I couldn’t connect two to my laptop… the new guy that ended up with my monitor was only able to connect two to his because he had a newer laptop. I half-jokingly told the hardware guy I wouldn’t complain if he wanted to order me a new laptop, because mine was slow anyway and I wasn’t so sure my hard drive was as healthy as my Mac said it was. Surprisingly he ordered one for me! So soon I will have a new retina display 13″ Macbook Pro with a solid state drive and two 23″ monitors, as well as a new laptop stand that is better than the one I have now! Woot!

Week 32

Only 8 weeks left now, give or take. I am still telling her it is perfectly fine with me if she wants to come a couple weeks early. I am just hoping she doesn’t decide to come a couple weeks late… I am already so tired of being pregnant, and I know I am just going to be more and more miserable. It is already becoming increasingly hard to do things, I am not looking forward to finding out how much worse it will be by the end of August. I just want to not feel like crap all the time, not have to work around a belly, not have to pee every 10 minutes, and not have to sleep in a nest of pillows. And I want to wear normal clothes again!

Now that we are coming down to the last couple months, work has been asking me questions about my leave plans. I told my boss I am thinking I will work the last couple weeks from home, go on leave when she is born, and come back three months later. If she comes on time that will mean returning to work at the end of November. The new HR lady (we finally have a real HR person!) is supposed to set up a meeting with me and my boss sometime this week or next week. I don’t know why I am nervous about that. Probably just because I hate being the center of attention, and a meeting with your boss and HR always feels like being called to the principal’s office no matter the reason.

I want to work from home the last couple weeks because I know walking from the parking deck is going to be a pain by then, it is already becoming a pain now actually. Although walking to the deck in the afternoons is somehow worse than walking from it in the mornings. And I seriously do not want to go into labor at work. I know the chances of that cliched movie scene of your water breaking in a huge gush before any other sign of labor is very unlikely to happen, and the whole thing will take a long time (although I am hoping for short and fast!). I am more worried about driving home while having contractions than anything else. I think I start going for weekly appointments at week 36, so I guess I will play it by ear as far as when to start working from home based on what the doctor says at that point. If she says it looks like things might happen early, I will start working for home earlier.

I guess I will have to start thinking about packing a hospital bag soon too! Wow, I’ve really got to start getting ready for reals now. There are still many things to do, and I keep putting them off. I keep thinking that after the baby shower I will fly into “get it done” mode again because I will be feeling the pressure of the deadline more then. We have definitely slacked off in preparations, mostly because we really have done a lot already. I guess it just feels like a lot of the stuff that is left isn’t all that important because it can be done after the birth, like getting closets cleaned and organized. But there are other things that I need to get motivated on… like choosing a baby monitor, figuring out day care, getting our bedroom rearranged to fit the little bassinet we still need to put together, washing blankets and some clothes… things along those lines. Maybe I can get my butt in gear and take care of some of this stuff during our four-day July 4th weekend. Perhaps I can use the extra time to at least get caught up on chores and get our bedroom in order for the bassinet.

Pinehurst Day 2

I sure hope my company decides to make this Pinehurst thing a tradition. It was pretty awesome. Today we laid around, and finally “woke up” around 8:40 and ordered room service for breakfast. I got the continental and Sean got steak and eggs. Sean’s food was awesome, and he shared with me. My breakfast was tasty too, it had some very yummy chocolate danish and a cinnamon roll, as well as fresh fruit and hot tea. The steak was definitely the winner though, and the hashbrowns it came with were some of the best I have had in a long while.

We then got dressed and packed so we could check out on our way to the spa. The front desk kept our bags for us so we didn’t have to run to the car in the rain, and it turned out breakfast was included in our package even though we did room service instead of the buffet. So that was awesome. There were no charges at all for us to pay, and we headed to the spa.

Sean seemed to enjoy his pedicure and manicure, and I definitely enjoyed my massage. They even gave me a soft little stuffed lamb toy with a rattle in it for the baby. My manicure was nice just because I got my long nails cut off, although I honestly wasn’t that impressed with it. We had also ordered our lunch delivered to the spa while we were checking in, and it arrived right on time. It wasn’t quite as good as breakfast, but was still tasty. We paid for that with the lunch vouchers we were given, and I used the excess funds to give the poor delivery girl (soaked from rain) a tip in addition to the built-in gratuity. There was a slight mix up with our bill, but they straightened it out for us without any hassle. They had charged my massage to our room rather than the corporate account. The confusion happened because we used our gift cards to buy a robe, pay for Sean’s services, and to pay for a manicure for me. So they just charged everything from the day together, without realizing that part of it would be charged to my company.

Once we were done with our lunch we headed back to the front desk to pay the overages and gather our luggage. Again there was a mix up with the bill that needed to be straightened out, as we had been charged for the lunch. But they took care of it quickly and without any fuss. So our entire Pinehurst adventure ended up costing us $21 out of pocket. I think that is a fair price :) Overall it was a great trip, despite the few small bumps with bills being charged incorrectly… but the customer service was so great it wasn’t that big of a deal. The best part is that we feel like we had a weekend away, but it is only Friday so we still have our whole weekend!

Pinehurst

This is my first non-baby related post in a while. So if you were looking for another baby update… um, well, I am still pregnant and stuff.

To celebrate a milestone, my company has taken us all to Pinehurst. Unlike when they took us to Busch Gardens last year, this time we got to bring our spouses. I am so glad Sean could come this time! There were lots of activities to choose from, and everyone got to choose one activity for each day… although unfortunately most of the ones Sean wanted to do were canceled.

Today he went clay shooting, but the things he wanted to do tomorrow didn’t work out. His first choice was the wind tunnel (like skydiving without the falling), and when that didn’t work he switched to a Segway tour… and then that didn’t work either so now he is going to hang out at the spa with me tomorrow. As for me, I chose the spa for both days. Today I did a pedicure, and tomorrow I will have a massage and manicure.

The spa here is awesome, I could totally fall in love with this place if I had the money to come here often. I might would even take up golf or something just to have an excuse. It is such a relaxing place, I could hang out and just read for hours by the pool. I am looking forward to my massage tomorrow!

Sean also reported having a great day at the range, and it seems he made some new friends. Everyone kept coming up to me at dinner to tell me how well he did. I think if there is anyway he can get back out to the range again tomorrow, he will. I don’t think he is really looking forward to his spa day as much as I am, but I have a feeling he will enjoy it once he gets there.

I am not really sure how tomorrow will work out. There is a breakfast buffet, but I think we might do room service instead. And we were told we would get a box lunch, but then they gave us a certificate for lunch at any of the restaurants. I guess we could always order lunch delivered at the spa too, but I don’t know when we will have time to eat with spa appointments keeping us busy from about 11 to 1. I guess we will have to research our food options in the morning.

We also have some gift cards to use up, but that shouldn’t be too hard given the prices around here. I was surprised that they gave us both a gift card to cover incidentals, I had expected them to only give one. We have already used up $33 (plus tax and service charge, whatever that comes to) just on M&M’s, nuts, and a bottle of water from the “refreshment center” in our room. And there are no shortage of gift shops here if we have any funds left on the gift cards after we check out tomorrow.

Week 8

I managed to not throw up on the planes, yay! But by the time I got home I was getting sick on an empty stomach, which is somehow even less fun. Luckily Sean was willing to go out and get some food for me, which made me feel much better.

This trying to balance the amount of food thing is rough. Not enough food and I am nauseous and have a good chance of getting sick. Too much food and I feel awful and possibly throw up. Just the right amount of food and I feel better briefly, and then it is back to nauseous and the game begins over again. I am beginning to learn to eat slowly and try to pay attention to the way I feel. While I am eating, I want to just devour the plate like I am accustomed to, but I have to be slow about it because there comes a (very sudden) point when I hit my limit and know I shouldn’t eat another bite. I assume this is because the sphincter muscle that keeps food from coming back up into the esophagus loosens during pregnancy… that is an awesome little fact I never knew before. Which leads to a whole world of fun.

It is now the second day of week 8. Yesterday was my first day back to the office, and I was really glad I had told my bosses I was having morning sickness. I couldn’t get out of the house on time because I felt incredibly nauseous and even threw up the crackers I ate to try to settle my stomach. Then once I finally got myself together enough when I might have been able to make it in time for my 10:00 meeting I discovered I couldn’t find my badge (access card to parking and building). I eventually found it hidden inside a hat in my glove box, but by then I was going to miss my meeting. And then my boss leads a meeting at 11:00 every Monday, by that time I was again feeling pretty sick so I told him I was just going to Skype into the meeting and stay at my desk. Luckily I didn’t get sick at work, but I sure felt like I was going to during that 11:00 meeting. After lunch I felt mostly okay though.

This morning was different and I am learning how unpredictable this thing is. I woke up late (fatigue!) but felt fine for the most part. I continued feeling mostly okay, but knew something was going to come so I told work folks I was going to be working from home this morning and would Skype into that 10:00 meeting. I was okay until about 10:00 when I started feeling nauseous again, then a little after the meeting I got sick. Now I am back to feeling awful, which I am thinking means I should eat something… but food is unappealing. I am going to have to force myself to eat something, then head to the office if I keep it down.

The only other new symptom I have to report is a spell of faintness. Sunday night we were making dinner, I was chopping up the veggies for a stir fry when I suddenly felt faint, sweaty, and nauseous all at once. So I sat down for few minutes until I felt better… then went to the bathroom and threw up. After that I felt better and went back to helping with dinner. That was certainly no fun though!

The first appointment with the actual doctor is this Friday at 9:00. Why on earth did I ever make an appointment for the morning?? Oh right, I made that appointment 3 weeks ago before I knew the wonders of morning sickness. I will just have to carry one of the air sick bags I stole from the plane with me, and ask them to keep a bucket near me at the office!

I am looking forward to seeing the ultrasound, but the rest of the appointment should be about as much fun as any other lady doctor visit. Hopefully the ultrasound will show everything is good and progressing well. I just wish the doctor had a magic 8 ball that could tell me when this morning sickness will end. I sure hope it only lasts through the first trimester. I am still considering asking for medicine to help with it, so that it doesn’t interfere with daily life as much.

Last Day in California

Today is the last full day in California. I look forward to being back home with my critters, only worrying about one time zone, and getting back into a routine; but I definitely do not look forward to being back in the office. I will miss being able to work from the privacy of my hotel room. Not only is it quiet, but I don’t have to worry about juggling pregnancy symptoms while appearing professional and productive. This week I have had the luxury of working while lounging in pajamas, curled up on the bed or in the comfy (ish) chair in the hotel room. The days I have thrown up I could just go hang out in the bathroom for a bit without worrying about people wondering where I was, or if people were hearing me hork. I have now told my bosses at work, but no one else. I really don’t want to have to soothe people’s concerns upon hearing the lovely sounds of throwing up, which I know people will be able to hear if they are near the bathroom walls. I suppose I could always just tell anyone that asks me the truth, but I am still reluctant to make announcements until after the first trimester.

Next week I have to wake up and get presentable, then drive to work hoping I don’t have to vomit while driving. Then I get to sit at my desk all day even when I just want to curl up and take a nap, again hoping that I don’t have to vomit. Except when I am sitting in meetings and hoping I don’t have any sudden need to vomit. Pregnancy has also been messing with my IBS, which is another added layer of fun and anxiety. Please let the morning sickness pass quickly! As awful as I have been feeling I might have to ask for Zofran, but I was hoping to avoid taking medicine.

Tis The Season to Dress Fancy

Last night was my company holiday party. Yes, I actually went. When I worked for Mo the holiday parties were always formal affairs where they would rent out a place like Solas and do the whole formal dance meets night club thing for all 300+ employees and their guests. Not my scene. And luckily no one really cared much if you bowed out of those, so until last night I had always avoided the company parties.

My new company had a much more appealing plan of renting out half of the Italian restaurant in Bright Leaf Square for our 40ish employees and their +1, and hiring some company to do a “Casino Night” where we all got $10k in chips (fake of course) to “gamble” with. They called this a semi-formal affair and gave the instructions of “no jeans, but no tuxes either” … which is rather vague. Plus I guess no one realizes that tuxes are actually semi-formal wear, but whatever. I will refrain from a Sheldon Cooper-esque rant.

Since there was no dancing or need to wear an evening gown I decided to go. It turned out to be an enjoyable evening. We went with the intention of having dinner and socializing briefly, but ended up staying all night. They had poker, craps, roulette, and blackjack. I just played blackjack, and actually managed to come in third place, winning some movie theater gift cards. Sean seemed to have fun as well, and got to see several of his old work buddies.

What to wear to the thing was of course a little stressful given the vague requirements, but I managed to pull together an outfit that worked. I found this awesome shirt and black cardigan at White House Black Market to go with a pair of black dress pants I already owned. I love it when I manage to pull off comfy and dressy. I just hope I have as much luck for the next dressy holiday party.

The next party will be harder to pull off because there is a theme and I have to find specific colors – yellow and black. Yellow seems to be the least popular color for clothing in winter. Maybe I will be lucky and find a shirt that works with what I wore to the work party… that would be super handy. I did order one online that was on clearance from last season, but not sure it will a) fit, b) look good, or c) get here in time. So, for now, the search for Plan B continues. Wonder if I could pull off a yellow scarf. Ugh, dressing fancy is such a pain. If only we could just wear pajamas all the time. I guess it is nice to get dressed up sometimes though.