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I am loving our new-ish schedule around here. B's morning nap has moved back a little and is now about 45-60 minutes, then he naps for about an hour at 4 or 5. We are all up until 10 and sleep until 8. Yay!

Bennett didn't wake to nurse until about 5 am last night. Yes!

Bennett is a freakin' delight. Still whining, but it's kind of nice seeing him develop his own person.

My old job at the Jewish nonprofit just reminded me that I had 60 hours of unused vacation time - and they are going to cash it out for me now. They are also going to continue to cover me, Adam and Bennett on the health insurance until we get set up in Wales. !!!!! This is so unheard of. We are so blessed. So incredibly done-well-by.

It is my sister's birthday today. She is 32. For some reason it always takes me by surprise when she ages.

Tomorrow I am getting a few hours B-free to read and go shirt shopping. Then, Adam and I have a date at our favorite restaurant to celebrate our anniversary. Saturday we have another date scheduled - use of a gift certificate for a hot tub place.

Life feels really good today. I see the packing monster looming, but it feels manageable.

It also helps that I got my paperwork from Wales yesterday.
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I've worked long days for the last 4 days. Work again today. I am swamped with work things. There are papers and bills piling up on my desk. My assistant needs a talking to. But I'm still excited that I've found a good replacement.

On the home front, I also have some bills piling up. I just discovered that I am 2 days late on one! ACK! How did this happen? Wales preparations are weighing on my mind. I STILL have to apply for visas. We keep saying we're going but we've done about half of two items out of the at least 6 major things that need to happen before we can go for real.

I feel overwhelmed. And anxious.

But not crazy anxious, for this I am truly grateful.
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Whirlwind week. Meetings, meetings, meetings. I've hardly seen Bennett this week. Or so it feels. Out the door early tomorrow too, for an 8.15am dentist appointment. But it's all good. I've found the person to replace me.

Today I had another meeting with the big time donor ladies for this event we're putting on in Feb. It was at one of the lady's homes. It wasn't ostentatious, but the art, the view, the flowers.... just gorgeous. I've effectively seen how the "ladies who lunch" live and you know.... I'll take it.

Bennett has grown significantly in the last 2 weeks. His top two front teeth are starting to break through. He said "Nigel" on Monday. He is SO strong. He lifted a Le Creuset dutch oven *with one hand* today! Holy crap.

I started boot camp on Monday. It's fabulous, but boy am I sore and out of shape!

I have been having crazy vivid dreams again - which I love! One night I was singing about meat. Flank steak, to be specific.

Must throw myself in bed and hope for more fun dreams. Good night!
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We have a rental car for a work event this weekend. After a surprisingly satisfying short day of work Adam suggested we go for a hike at Tilden in the hills. BEST IDEA EVER. Bennett was soaking it all in and then fell asleep. Adam and I walked for about an hour, having some of the best conversation we've had in a while. We saw a couple of snakes - black with orange bellies. We held one - it was amazing. I think that was only the second snake I've ever touched. Do snakes have pheromones? Because afterward our hands smelled like ass.

Later that night Bennett waved in context for the first time. Both initiated it and as a response. I woke up in the night to him practicing it too.

And, 11 months to the day after Bennett's birth, my menses returned.

Today we are planning Bennett's first birthday party. Wow! We thought about postponing it to celebrate the day of his homecoming, but I think we'll just have second celebration of just us for that. I'm debating whether or not to have cake. The only thing that Bennett has had with sugar is some high quality pomegranate yoghurt. I'm not keen on filling him with refined flour and sugar just yet. But I know it has to happen sometime.
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My job is live on Craigslist. Let the email onslaught begin!
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I have a cold.

Bennett continues to sleep only in hour long stretches. Then he "wakes" and fusses. Why won't he sleep?

I have worked a lot this week.

Adam no longer wants to bed share with Bennett. I do. But I understand - the tossing and waking is hard to take. I don't want to sleep train, but something has to change.

I went to a work meeting in the city today and had lunch with several of the wealthiest women in the San Francisco Jewish community. One wore super fancy clothes I've only seen in magazines. She also has two live-in nannies (for two kids) and a personal assistant - and she's my age. Very nice! But I just couldn't relate. Plus, I felt down right dumpy and bland in my ill fitting slacks and bad hair.

Why is that when I'm away from Bennett I can't wait to be with him again, yet when I get home I wish I didn't have to entertain him so I could do one thing with out it taking four times as long?

Tomorrow we leave for San Diego for the weekend.

For all you JDHS alumns, I just heard that Karyn Price passed in her sleep last night.

More fail

Mar. 3rd, 2009 07:43 am
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The sinus cold has officially set in. I made the mistake of checking work email to write some notes to myself before bed. I got one email that is just icing on the cake of fail that is tonight's event. I was fuming. And now, after some blocks of sleep (none really consecutive as B is a little stuffy and there fore sleeping fitfully), I feel a bit more clear headed. I also am extremely clear that I am quitting. It feels good to be clear.

I pulled the 3 of coins reversed this morning. This is a reminder not be childish, not to diminish other's work or my own. Work is unsuccessful, there are conflicts - no surprise there! I am angry and frustrated with my bosses and I will tell them so, but not in the hot headed, blaming, yelling voice that I wanted to last night. Today's circumstances are some of the worst in which to be announcing my departure, but if I want to tell them face to face, that's how it needs to be.

I really want to be black heart about everything. I'm not there this morning, but I'm making efforts to be as grounded as I can be, as focused on what is really important - relationship, honesty, following through, boundaries.

On the positive side, the rain continues to downpour here. Much much needed wet. I love the grey sky - it's like a wet comfortable snuggly comforter.
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Yesterday was a good day. I felt balanced in my mood, in my time, in my efforts. I was able to even slash a few things from my to-do list because honestly, I didn't care. That's a good step in the perspective direction for me. Today, I'm back at work and struggling to keep balanced. I do not care about the tedium of this place. My slip is showing as it were, and I think the office can see. I may be quitting sooner than May. Don't know yet. Adam and I are waiting on getting more certain about the move before we make any announcements at work. Part of me feels like we're bat shit crazy for leaving steady jobs that we've just gotten raises in and attempting to move anywhere, much less to another country where jobs and visas aren't guaranteed, especially in this climate of economic upheaval. Completely crazy. And yet we are both itching to go.

It's a struggle to keep the pride in and energy for my paid work afloat when I am already mostly checked out. I think once I can be honest with my coworkers about quitting and about some of my concerns for the organization my attitude and efficiency will improve mightily.

What I really want to do is run as fast as I can from the office, waving my arms like Kermit the Frog, screaming "I DON'T CAAAAAAAARE!!!" I will fight this urge, I will fight this urge.

I consider my eventual quitting a wonderful act of generosity to the Bay Area employment pool. Surely there is some one who is going to be thrilled to be employed here.
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Two recent posts - well, one post and one forward - have gotten me thinking. First, there's that podcast from yesterday about genius and how we spend our time. I don't need to be a genius, I really don't, but I do know that I'm not using my time wisely, that I've been avoiding Things, and that I've been flirting with depression in a pretty big way. I also read a post this morning in which a woman talked about making all things secondary to her spiritual practice. Replace that last bit with what's most important to you, and I ask: are you putting first things first? I'm not. And I want to put my spiritual pursuits first. I do. But I don't. I'm scared shitless to do so. What does that look like? Will I become a crazy fruity loon? I fear that my life will fall apart - maybe set on fire, like Bennett has done? And just how DO I devote four hours to something, anything, with a child? I fear I'll become some extreme weirdo, or a nun, or something vastly incompatible with being a normal person and mother. I'm WAY too invested in being normal, so perhaps "indulging" this desire is exactly what I need.

What would four hours of spiritual pursuit a day look like? Probably an hour of yoga, 30 minutes of meditation, another 30 of prayer and tarot, two hours of academic study. Eventually, once I quit working and officially become a Student once more, the study will be its own thing, but I'm not so compartmentalized that I don't see that my academic pursuits are still a big spiritual quest of sorts for me.

Even writing about this makes my stomach knot up in fear and anxiety. Gah. It's this being vulnerable and open to mockery. Juvenile fears clutching to my guts and desires. And fear of overthrowing my life as I know it. Choosing the devils I know over the devils I don't. How dull.

What's my order of priority? I spend a lot of time keeping my house in order. Partly because I like clean, partly because I get stressed out with too much clutter and filth - it's a giant distraction and I think I can't handle external clutter because I'm already so cluttered on the inside, and partly training and judgement from my upbringing.

I'm currently working and that is sucking a lot of my energy. I think I'm going to just bite the bullet and have a heart to heart with my ED. Going into work makes me noticeably depressed. This is not good, even if I am quitting in a few months.

I spend a vast portion of my day online. This is because this is where the majority of my social life and work take place.

I want to make some changes. I'm scared. I'm dragging my heels. But I'm already throwing myself into the fire this year with motherhood and moving and going back to school. Why not harness my time and energies into what I *really want*?

If only there was some magic pill that reformed my habits and fears. But instead it's the steady, daily, messy, awkward work of one step at a time.
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Really disappointing day at work. Maxed out by the codependence and lack of vision there. Revived by my amazing baby boy and his efforts at walking - holy moly! Also revived by gouda, brie, crackers and chardonnay.
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*I love the winter holidays. Wish it felt more wintery and festive 'round these here parts.

*This nuclear family bullshit is isolating and I hate it. It takes way more than two people to raise one kid. The radical feminist in me is appalled at the binds I find myself in. I think the nuclear family is one of the single greatest myths that patriarchy has perpetuated in modern times.

*Adam and I are considering having B model. I feel conflicted about this. We are constantly getting told that B should be a baby model. We have a friend that used to be a children's agent. Extra money for a savings for B would be wonderful. We hear it's about $60/hr. But.... do I really want to support the advertising and modeling business? It also feels rather exploitative of Bennett, and he cannot offer his consent. It's like getting in bed with the devil. Feedback, please.

*There is so much to do to prepare for our trip. With no child care this week, I will be leaving my job with a lot of loose ends, and there's just not much I can do about that. I'm not sure I care all that much. I feel some guilt about being half-assed, but you know, if I really truly cared I'd find a way to get everything done.

*Off to start dinner while B is asleep. Wish I was asleep.

*Also, I think I am going to try to eliminate sugar from my diet for the duration of my trip. All the holiday sweets are starting to make me feel bad.
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*I'm not sure it's a good idea for a woman in her thirties to wear sparkly blue flower barrettes, on both sides at once, to work. But whatever. I'm doing it anyway. My usual at work attire involves jeans. I'm sure my professional outfits are what people in NYC wear when they roll out of bed for brunch on the weekend.

*I think I'm starting to lose weight. My pants are getting baggy. This surprises me since I am in no way attempting to lose weight. In fact, my heart rate never gets elevated and lately I've been shoveling as much sugar and dairy into my mouth as I possibly can.

*Speaking of heart rates, I have never in all of my life been as unfit as I am now. I was an active child, swam on the swim team for 6 years, hiked, walked, went to the gym, did yoga. Even pregnant I was more fit than I am now! And I finally understand why people don't like exercise. It's hard. My heart aches and my lungs hurt when I get aerobic exercise. Not in a "I'm having a heart attack" kind of way, but in a "you haven't used us in 6 months, what are you doing to us now?" kind of way.

*On Monday, Adam and I will find out what our raises will look like. Our ED also made the caveat that they would be guaranteed through June (end of the fiscal year), but after that we might have to take pay cuts. WHICH I THINK IS BULLSHIT. I will quit before then and Adam says if the leadership give us pay cuts he'll quit. Gah.

*It's raining today and I love it.

*Adam's parents arrive tomorrow morning. I look forward to pancakes at brunch and to having the grandparents play with B all afternoon so I can work.
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Today at work I realized that I hadn't thought through this whole "having a baby" thing. Why I am working while he is an infant? Right, I need money, and I was seduced with the whole "you can bring your baby to work!" This meant that I had only 3 weeks of honest-to-goodness maternity leave and have been working more or less since 2 weeks after giving birth. Bringing B to work no longer is effective - I don't get anything done and he doesn't get the attention he needs. So now I have to work to afford the childcare he needs - and for my rent and bills.

Lately I've been giving serious consideration to quitting. Partly financially, partly because I find myself caring less and less about the work we do, and I am more and more dissatisfied with the leadership. It's difficult because I love my coworkers and boss, honestly I love them, and they love me; no other office job could be as flexible as this. But this is not my life's passion and I find myself slowly moving away from what is. It feels much like how I've ended up here 5 years on - I was always planning to move back to Alaska.....

Two final nails in the coffin of my job:
1) Pumping. Why am I pumping and working? Why didn't I take this year OFF when I'm breastfeeding and go back to work when he's older, can eat solids and will fare better with childcare?? Pumping in the bathroom is about the most demoralizing thing. I'm either on the floor in the handicap stall or in the main part facing the wall, hoping no one else needs to come in.

2) Adam and I met with our ED to discuss our raises. I laid out that we had to have more money. My part time hours cover my rent, one bill, a smidge of savings, B's costs and what ever is left over is my spending money. I can't cover childcare too. Adam pays his rent, all the utilities, two other bills, his spending money, and almost no savings. Oh yes, my student loans are on hold so those aren't factored in. We laid all this out. Even with raises we would be making only slightly more than $60,000 a year (that's as a household). This is still too little for a couple in the Bay Area to have a child AND save money.

Our boss said how much he loved us and our work and wanted to provide for us to stay. Then he dropped a huge bomb. One of our big donors was an investor in this Maddof guy who has bilked people out of billions. If any other donors have been hit we may have to all take pay CUTS. This does not bode well.

Adam and I are going to have a big ol' discussion of today's meeting over home made mac n cheese and a bottle of wine tonight.

And finally, one last reason to find a new place: it is COLD. It's quite cold for the Bay Area, but not even freezing. Yet in 1930s apartment building, with single paned windows, the draughts are severe. The hardwood floors are too cold to sit on. I am bundled up in knee length wool socks, jeans, a tank top, long-sleeved thermal, wool sweater and scarf. B has his socks, baby carharts, wool diaper cover, long sleeved shirt, and lined knit sweater, and I'm still debating shoes and a hat for him. Did I mention the radiators are all on?
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It's been a good food weekend. Today is the big conference in Santa Rosa. I'm at work getting things finalized and then we drive an hour north. I will have B strapped onto me all day long. Oof. I can't wait until this day is over because then I can concentrate on going to Australia - we leave in 2 WEEKS! So soon. There is so much to be organized before then.

My brain

Dec. 1st, 2008 03:58 pm
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It's coming back. I've had creative impulses. I want to read again. I've actually remembered stuff and had the occasional graduate level thought. IT FEELS SO GOOD.

But of course, I still have some holes in my brain. Sometimes I am flabbergasted at what I no longer know.

Today was a slight triumph for Adult Self. Bennett stayed home for 5 hours with a friend while I went to work and had meetings and phone calls and Did Stuff, all without having to worry about flashing my boobs (mostly - I am grateful no one needed the bathroom while I was pumping), or crying fits or drool or spit up or naps.

Better yet, when I came home it was clear that he was well loved and cared for and having a great time.

This bodes well, although I know my mental health is not out of the woods yet.
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I just walked out of a staff meeting because we started talking about vision - or the lack of vision, and the ED just mentioned a "small" project he was working on that none of us knew about. I just can't be nice any more. My sleep deprivation makes it impossible for me to be diplomatic. So I said I was frustrated and I walked out.
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The bad news
*I miss my laptop
*I also noticed that my ipod is gone, and my pitchfinder/metronome
*I feel creepy, wary, angry and disappointed
*I did not sleep well last night. Every creak caused my eyes to fling open and my ears to strain. Plus, there was that weird smell of pot smoke in the bedroom and hallway at 3am. The apt manager came up last night to talk to us about the break in and we mentioned the smoke. He said they don't smoke. ....?? Do the fey smoke? We either have smoking fairies or it's them, I just don't know who else it could be!
*Bennett MUST BE NEAR MOMMY AT ALL TIMES
*I have 15 lbs of passed out baby in my left arm as I type with one hand - he will not be put down
*We have closed the blinds to all windows except the tree buffered ones behind Adam's desk. It looks dark, small and uninviting in here now

The good news
*We are safe and unharmed
*Nothing truly irreplaceable or deeply sentimental was taken. The silver bracelet was given to me by my mother, but it wasn't my favorite
*Our house was not trashed
*Bennett went to bed (at 11.30pm) with out a fuss! He HAD to sleep near me, so I guess we're back to bed sharing. As long as he doesn't fight sleep with weeping and gnashing of teeth each night, I'm happy
*We have renters insurance
*The police were nice and helpful
*I talked with my boss yesterday and we will negotiate raises for everyone!
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Already tired and cranky. Work today = bitchy brain kablooey. I have been here 45 minutes.
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Bennett must be on one hell of a growth spurt. His day time naps have been mushed together into 3.5-4 hour naps! And he's sleeping from midnight until.....well, I've had to get him up to go to work, so I'm guessing he'd sleep until 10am. WHOA. But it's been fabulous at work, because I have gotten more done in the last two days than in..... well, a really long time. I even feel prepared to leave for a week. Amazing.

I biked to and from work today. Just so wonderful. I love my body. When I am good to it, it is good to me.

Despite these good things I feel anxious. So much to do before I leave on Sunday! So much to do before my parents arrive. Tomorrow. In the 4 o'clock hour. It will be my father's first time meeting Benn - his first grandson! My mother hasn't seen him since he was 5 weeks old.

Bennett is such a delight and so freaking fun. He's "talking" all the time and sometimes I think he's trying to sing.

Tonight's dinner is a huge shout out to [livejournal.com profile] teamrose! We are having stuffed yellow peppers, stuffed with quinoa, beet greens, red pepper, red onion, cilantro, cashews and carrots, cinnamon and cumin. And a salad of golden and red beets on dandelion greens with a yoghurt dressing that I'm going to make. YUM. Man, I wish we'd open a bottle of wine to go with this meal, but I have a hunch Adam won't want to. That's ok, because we had an amazing bottle of 2004 Peterson Cabernet Sauvignon last night with our Indian food. Big time yum last night too.

Off to the cooking!
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Tired. Really tired. Did not make it to the Bluegrass Festival this weekend. I couldn't face the crowds and public transport with baby and diaper bag and no back support for breast feeding all day long.

I leave for Alaska on Sunday. It started snowing in Anchorage. Crap. I have no cold weather clothing anymore. And Bennett has none. Our first task upon landing will be to get ourselves to a consignment store.

The other night I had a dream that I was going to get a facial and when I looked in the mirror afterward my face was wrinkled and lined like a woman in her 70s. I think I feel old and I don't like it. My hair is thinning/falling out/turning grey. I have enormous matronly boobs. I miss my flat stomach. I'm always tired and I have little focus. Ah well.

Bennett is a delight, but he is so tiny. When I see other babies I get worried. He's starting to reach out for things. He puked down my cleavage tonight.

I have a lot of thoughts about the election and the issues at stake. Perhaps I'll write about them later. For right now I'll say that both candidates continue to lose my enthusiasm. I think the government/current administration/congress is a bunch of greedy corrupt insiders. I don't think Obama is much better than most of them. Maybe I'm just cynical.

My job is tedious. My executive director is a gigantic baby. He's a big ol' Eeyore. I'm tired of it. I want a leader who leads. I'm tired of trying to boost an organization that increasingly feels irrelevant, out moded and unwilling to do what it takes to be awesome, or pay the salaries necessary to get people who can make it fabulous. I stick around because it's been great for my resume, and I can get away with whatever I want. Like bringing the baby to work, showing up when I feel like it, and being the bossiest person in the organization. I like being bossy.

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