Saturday, May 31, 2008
Nope, We Still Can't Send Him Back
I was walking with the kids over to the bookstore this afternoon when we passed a mom with a red-headed baby girl. We stopped briefly to chat about our gingers, then parted.

A few minutes later Sophie mentioned the other lady's baby. "That lady had an adorable baby." she said.

"Yes," I agreed. "She is pretty cute."

"I thought Harry was adorable when he was born."

"Just when he was born?" I asked. "How do you feel about him now?"

"Annoyed. I mean, I like him. He's alright but he's just irritating."

Friday, May 30, 2008
Because things have been crazy around here, I will resort to reporting the goings on of things Harper's Index style:

Percentage of people in our house still suffering from seasonal allergies: 100

Number of allergy pills I've give Harry in the last four days: 4

Percentage of pills Harry has attempted to insert up his nose: 50

Percentage of improvement seen in allergy sufferers: 20%

Estimated total hours logged talking about "Speed Racer" with a three year old: 3

Percentage of conversations with said three year old that include sound effects of speeding cars: 100

Number of new freelance jobs started: 1

Percentage of time spent at new freelance job finalizing paperwork and benefits from previous job: 10

Number of times I gave out the dial-in number for the company voicemail system as my direct line: 3

Number of times people mentioned the phone number mistake: 0 (they are too kind to me!)

Number of nights spent camping in our camper: 2

Number of s'mores consumed over the course of the Memorial Day weekend: 17

Bottles of wine waiting for us in camper for our next weekend: 3

Number of hikes taken on first weekend in camper: 1

Percentage of time spent whining by family members under the age of 21 before getting in car to go on hike: 75

Percentage of total weekend conversations that revolved around the price of gas: 25

Thursday, May 22, 2008
Sweet, Sweet Lemonade
Thanks for all your kind words, readers. They meant so much to me.

Can someone please explain to me how I can be busier without a job than with one? I simply have not stopped. Laundry, cooking, cleaning, picking kids up, dropping them off, using up insurance, applying for unemployment....I'm exhausted!

I was about to resign myself to the summer off when the smartest thing I did after not throwing up on HR's shoes and calling my husband to say "surprise! We're now a one income family!" paid off.

It was kneejerk reaction, a way to say "I went down trying." I had forwarded my resume to a friend I've known for years and then I met with her on Tuesday to talk about a freelance position at her firm. The assignment runs through Labor Day AND I'll be working with someone I know from the ex-job. Mine if I want it.

Um, it doesn't get any easier than that. It'll be a good way to get a feel for the place, a try-before-you-buy trial run. Woo hoo!

Monday, May 19, 2008
Well Ain't That a Kick in the Head
So there I was at work on Thursday, hopping around the office, getting stuff done, when I got a call asking if I had a moment to stop into the boss's office.

And that was that. 13.5 years of working for one company ended. 13.5 years of being in the same building M-F, 9-5+ is just not happening anymore.

We've been downsized a lot. My department alone lost over half it's staff this year so really, it could have happened to anyone. When the last deep cut happened in January, I was rattled every time the phone rang and worried. The other feeling I had was nausea. Deep, unrelenting waves of nausea that I couldn't shake.

So on Thursday when I went in, I was strangely OK with it. Finally, they had ripped the band aid off in one fell swoop and I no longer had to wonder if "today was the day." To my surprise, it was a relief. I may have gotten shaky in the voice and teary eyed, but I didn't throw up on HR's shoes. Now that's going out gracefully.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008
And now I shall stop eating lunch at my desk....

Monday, May 5, 2008
As a little brother who is three, Harry is an endless supply of annoyances to his big sister. His imperfect elocution, his obsession with all things TRAIN, his habit of standing RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE TELEVISION....all is reason for Sophie to yell, multiple times a day, "HA-REEEEEE!"

The other day, we were getting in the car and Harry was trying get Sophie and I to talk about trains by asking us who our favorite engines were. I said my favorite was the one that keeps you occupied for 20 minutes at a clip Toby. Sophie just rolled her eyes in response. Harry said "My favorite is James!"

Sophie once again rolled her eyes and said "Ugh. You always say that! Why do you like HIM so much?"

"Because he is a SPLENDID engine!"

The funniest part of the whole exchange was not Harry's three-year old pronunciation of the word "splendid" but his tone. It was more "he's splendid and that's that. This conversation is now over, thank you very much." And for the first time in a long time, Sophie really couldn't come back at him with anything better.

And for 5.3 seconds, peace was enjoyed by all.

Friday, May 2, 2008
When It Rains, It Pours
So back in March I went to have the oil changed in our car and as it turns out the transmission fluid was also due to be changed. I did it because I knew we'd be using the car this summer to travel and thought "I shall be proactive and get this done now, freeing up time and money to pursue other things when the warmer weather arrives." Hurrah for me.

Then the inspection on our car came due, as it is wont to due every year in April. So I took the car to be inspected on Sunday only to find out that
it needed a drive belt. Oh, and ha ha ha, said Oneil, the mechanic, you need new tires and new brake pads.

As it turns out, rubber cracks and becomes brittle with age so if the car is going to be expected to, you know, go, it'll need that drive belt. And it won't pass inspection without it. And the tires could blow out on you when they're cracked, which could make you lose control of the car, but if that happens you wont need brakes because you will be flung into a ditch and the tree at the bottom of the ditch will break your fall. (That's my interpretation.) "Even with new tires you'll stilll need new brake pads so don't hold off, do it in a week or so to save yourself a bigger headache down the line." Or so says Oneil.

So here we are this week, dutifully attending to our car which has served us so well in the five years we've owned it, even after parking it near a gas station that EXPLODED on Staten Island the day after we picked it up from the dealer. We are only a few hours away from getting new brake pads and I was feeling like I'd just given our car the automotive equivalent of a spa treatment when we got a letter in the mail alerting us to the recall of front driver and passenger window door bolts which can cause "distraction or injury from falling glass". But only in the front! Whew!