Wednesday, April 30, 2008

So angry, I want to cry

I am literally close to tears, because I am so angry.

The two women in my cube are being SO catty and mean and judgemental (and completely mistaken, I believe) about another woman in our cube. J has been in terrible pain for at least two weeks now, with a shoulder/back problem very similar to what I went through. She was out nearly all of last week* because of it. She's been to her doctor, been scheduled for an MRI, and went to a chiropractor the other day. She has two more appointments with nerve specialists booked. I really feel for her, because I know how much that continual pain sucks.

So today, T came in to the cube to report to L and me that J just filed a workman's comp. claim, she said she was ratted out to the HR lady and had no choice. L and T whispered together and decided that J is lying about being forced to open the claim: she really just wants to go out on disability instead of unemployment (like we all will be doing in June). "And she hasn't even been to a specialist!" So they basically think she's lying about how much pain she's in, and lying about her motives. I pointed out that went I went through my issue, the second that the HR lady heard that it was a work related injury, she HAD to open a claim. So what J said is completely consistant with that. J is very good friends with the VP here, so of course the VP knew how much pain she was in, and apparently told the HR lady, and hence HR lady had to open the claim. But L and T think J is lying about it all.

I happen to believe J's version of the whole thing. She's been in a lot of pain, she's seeing doctors, she didn't want to open a workman's comp claim but has been forced to. She's said that she has no intention of going out on disability. I'll bet L & T don't believe that, either. And they're just so catty and vicious about it.

I am so disappointed that people automatically think the worst of other people, quickly jump to conclusions, and assume that others are scheming and lying. I hate that. I am surrounded by it so much. I sometimes feel I am the only one who sees things differently. They talk about her like (and say straight out that) she's a scheming bitch. And I think she's the sweetest, kindest, lady.

(*side note: J was out last Monday and Tuesday from work. She came in Wednesday morning but ended up leaving and was out the rest of the week. To me, it was clear that she hated being out and tried to come in Wed because she wanted to be here, but realized she was still in too much pain and had to go home. In T & L's eyes, she made her brief appearance on Wed in a calculating move because if you are out for more than "x" many days, you need a doctor's note to come back.)

Now, I used to argue when I would hear these ladies saying these kinds of things. I'd try to point out how I saw the whole issue. But they always think I'm just naive and it does not change their minds. So this time I didn't argue with them. I just left the conversation and went back to my chair. Then I was so angry that I got up and went to the ladies' room. Then I went to sit at the window in the stairwell for a while. Now I'm back at my desk but I'm still so angry.

I hate people.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Mom stuff

One of the many talks Meghan and I had was about being moms, and what kind of moms we are, and want to be. And then last night at my parents' house I found an article in Woman's Day called 20 Ways To Be An Even Better Mom. I've always parented by my instincts, without much looking externally for instructions or affirmation. But I think a lot of this article makes sense, and I'm happy to report that I already do many of the things they suggest. (I've marked them with an asterik.) I guess I must be doing something right.

1. Be the boss*
"We often abdicate the position of authority because we want to be our kids' friends," says Julie Barnhill, author of One Tough Mother: It's Time to Step Up and Be the Mom. "But if you don't take charge, someone else will become a voice of influence in your child's life, like his friends." Establish rules and enforce them.

2. Whisper sweet nothings
Years ago, when Maribeth Wahle of Boston felt she'd had a bad day with one of her kids, her mother shared some advice. "She said that whenever she had that experience with me or my siblings, she'd whisper something kind into our ears as she tucked us in at night," says Maribeth. "That soothing advice has helped me raise my own children over the past 23 years."

3. Showcase your many layers*
Kids need to view you as a well-rounded, multidimensional person, not just as Mom, notes Lorraine Morris Cole, a Woodbridge, Virginia, mother of three. If you work outside the home, tell them something interesting about your job. If you volunteer, share how you help others. If you have a hobby, ask them to take part.

4. Put on the brakes*
"Resist the urge to help everyone, and people will eventually stop calling you with little time-sappers," says Jen Singer, author of You're a Good Mom (and Your Kids Aren't So Bad Either): 14 Secrets to Finding Happiness Between Super Mom and Slacker Mom. You'll be less frazzled and will have time to focus on more important things.

5. Protect adult time*
No matter how hectic life gets, make time for a night out with friends to relax and refuel.

6. Trust your instincts*
"I try not to concern myself with what kind of moms my mother and grandmother were," says Funmilayo Tyler, a mother of two in Oakland, California. You have your own parenting style; believe in it.

7. Forget about educational toys*
Children can learn just as much from their own imagination as they can from the latest brain-stimulating toy, says Singer. "Sometimes it's better to let her spend playtime simply putting pebbles in a bucket."

8. Allow your child to fail*
"Falling off a bike, getting a poor grade—these are all learning opportunities," says clinical psychologist Penny B. Donnenfeld, PhD. "If you rush in to fix it, you're telling your child that trying is not good enough and that perfection is required." The better lesson? Keep trying despite letdowns.

9. Don't be a soccer mom*
Kids whose parents go to every one of their games are less likely to continue with sports as young adults, notes Terri Khonsari, author of Raising a Superstar: Simple Strategies to Bring Out the Brilliance in Every Child. They're often playing just to please Mom and Dad rather than for their own enjoyment, she explains. Except for the major games, drop off the kids and leave. This teaches kids to cheer for themselves.

10. Admit that balance is a myth*
Instead of beating yourself up for not mastering the perfect work–life balance, concentrate on the little picture—just doing the best you can from day to day, says parenting expert Bonnie Ulman.

11. Say no to your kids*
"It makes you a better parent," says psychologist Susan Newman, PhD, author of The Book of No: 250 Ways to Say It—and Mean It, and Stop People-Pleasing Forever. "By turning down children's endless requests, you teach them how to cope with disappointment and to understand that they can't have everything they want—which will help them in the future."

12. Be attentive*
Debi Sakamoto, a Portland, Oregon, mom of two, learned the mantra "Be here now" at a work seminar and incorporated it into her home life. "To me, it's about really listening to my kids when they tell me about their day, not letting my mind drift," she says.

13. Hear what kids don't say*
"There's an old Jewish saying: 'A mother understands what a child does not say,'" notes Leslie Parrott, PhD, coauthor of The Parent You Want to Be: Who You Are Matters More Than What You Do. Kids often bottle up their feelings; if you ask what's wrong, they'll say "nothing." Your job is to help them work through their emotions. Start a dialogue and coax the feelings out—don't force it.

14. Create a village
Build a backup team you can count on. "My village includes family, longtime friends, kind neighbors, and other moms and dads in my community," says Shikira Porter, an Oakland, California, mom of a 6-month-old.

15. Accept each child's uniqueness*
"Kids are who they are, with their own quirks and imperfections, and that's what makes them perfect," says relationship expert Lissa Coffey. Rather than trying to mold your child into what you want him to be, love and appreciate him as he is.

16. Play soothing music
Nataly Blumberg plays classical music or soft jazz to make the morning rush less stressful for herself and her kids. "Although we're still rushing around, we all feel a little more relaxed and the tension that used to fill the air is gone," says the New York City mom

17. Face your giants
Stand up to competitive moms who try to tell you how to raise your children, says Barnhill. When someone criticizes your brand of parenting, speak up, but do it calmly, not angrily.

18. Admit your mistakes*
When Rachael Herrscher's 5-year-old son said sadly, "Mommy, I've made too many mistakes today," she told him that she too made lots of errors each day. "I could see the light go off in his head as he realized, 'Wow, big people aren’t perfect either!'" says Rachael, who lives in Salt Lake City. "I also apologize to my kids when I lose my patience. It lets them know that it's OK to not be perfect."

19. Be a kid again*
Take a cue from your children and play. Spend time outdoors with them doing whatever they want to do. Before you know it, you'll be focused on the moment with no thoughts of to-do lists. That's when you'll truly connect with your kids.

20. Focus on what you have*
"Many of us suffer from the disease of 'not-enoughness,'" says Noah St. John, PhD, founder of Every morning, have your kids think of five things they're grateful for—come up with your own list, too. The practice helps build their confidence and self-esteem.

Friday, April 25, 2008

* sigh * Why does vacation have to end???

So, last week I went on vacation. I was very excited about going, but I didn't say anything about it here because I felt just a bit weary about announcing that my home would be empty for a week, to the entire internet.

I flew down to North Carolina to visit the awesome Meghan and her adorable family. Even though Meghan is busy with a husband and not-quite-two little boy and is even in the middle of growing a whole new human, she picked me up from the airport, welcomed me into her home, and spoiled me rotten for 7 days. I'd never met her before and I was just slightly apprehensive: What if we had nothing to talk about? What if she felt like a stranger? What if she got sick of me being there? Why on earth did I decide to go for SEVEN days?? But that was all for nothing. She is EXACTLY the same as she seems to be on the internet and telephone. I recognized her immediately. I've seen so many pictures of her and her family, and even her dogs, that everyone was already familiar to me. And we talked like we'd been hanging around together forever. We went to the movies, went for walks, she brought me to the local farmer's market, to the local shopping mall, and to the local children's museum. She cooked and served me fabulous food, provided me with my own private suite, and turned me on to Battlestar Galactica.

Meghan is so warm, loving, and generous; Rick is very friendly (and apparently very tolerent of having complete strangers come and take over his home for a week); Xander is a very sweet, very well behaved, very bright little boy, and he's so lucky to have two awesome parents who obviously love him very much and take such good care of him. I had a wonderful vacation. It went by sooooo quickly, and I'm sorry to see it end. We're already talking about me coming back this summer, when I am unemployed and baby River is 'on the outside'.

My parents picked me up from the airport tonight. I'm staying at their place tonight, and I'm looking forward to going home tomorrow to see my boy (who spent this past week on a road trip with his dad) and my poor lonely cat (who had a cat-sitter check in on her every day while I was gone).

Thursday, April 17, 2008

More scenes from work:

So, last week Louise was trying to get rid of a bag of cough drops. She offered them to Phil in the morning but he just took one and left her the rest. Later, the director of operations was walking by and she suddenly stopped him and said that she'd overheard him say he had a sore throat, and would he like these cough drops? So he took them. Now, she was being sincere, but we teased her mercilessly that she was sucking up to him and trying to keep her job: "Have some cough drops -- please don't fire me!" (There have been a lot of lay offs here and the environment was looking not-too-hopeful.) We ladies in our cube had also had a silly conversation that morning about, among other things, blow jobs. So, naturally, the conversation turned to what might work as a better incentive than cough drops.

Then I changed my screensaver to:
"Well, I don't have any cough drops. I have to improvise."

And then, this past Monday, we got the news that we're all getting laid off.

My new screensaver is now:
"Clearly, the cough drops didn't work. We should have gone with plan B."

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Scene from work today:

E: What's a good name for a little dog?

J: Tinkerbell.


J: Oh, it's a boy? Tinkerball.

We all just nearly pissed ourselves laughing.

Monday, April 14, 2008


I'm losing my job. The whole facility is closing down. Today we received a 60 day notice.

Fuckin' meow.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

12 of 12 - April

This was perhaps the most boring Saturday on record. And luckily for you, I documented it.

9:38 am
I got to sleep late. Woo-hoo!

9:45 am
My morning coffee, of course. Today it was hazelnut.

10:00 amThis is my cat beating the crap out of me. Isn't she just the sweetest thing?

10:50 amThe tools of my trade.

11:20 am
Two bracelets I'm making today.

12:30 pm
Waxing my eyebrows. Exciting, I know.

2:00 pm
Playing Disney's Toontown Online. I'm the yellow cat, Big Mama Crunchynoodle. This is a screenshot, but it's still a picture I took, right?

4:00 pm
My landlord. He was just at my place to drop off...

4:02 pm
...this. A rent increase notice.
He's actually a really great guy who looks out for me.

4:30 pm
Here are two throw pillows that my ex-husband has asked me to re-cover in this fabric. Apparently I'm the only person he knows who sews. I really shouldn't complain, though. Last week he upgraded the memory in his computer, then took the 'leftover' memory and popped it in my computer for free, doubling my memory. I guess I can sew a couple pillows for the guy, huh?

6:00 pm
Dinner. General Gao's Chicken, spicy green beans, and fried rice. Mmmmm.

11:30 pm
"Mommy, come to bed now. And take this ridiculous tie off of me!"

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Now, with less metal!

The boy had an ortho appointment tonight. And the ortho guy suprised us by saying that he thinks we're done with what we needed to do. And he took the braces off!

Here are the new and improved teeth.

And here's the stash of goodies I bought him on the way home. Gum, more gum, Skittles, Twix, Kit Kat with Caramel, and Swedish Fish. He's been deprived of sticky, chewy goodies for 6 months, so I thought I'd treat him. He won't be eating it all in one day. I hope.

We still need to go back in a few weeks to get fitted for a retainer. And later, when the rest of his teeth come in (which happens late in our family) he'll need braces all over again. But for now, he's free!