Sunday, July 11, 2010

I ramble way too much when I'm tired

Four days home, and I keep wishing we were back in Michigan. It was a great trip all around. We drove out through Columbus and spent the night with my friend Sarah and her husband, then went on through Lafayette and had dinner with friends there (we drove past our old house and discovered it was for sale, at a price reduced 18000 from where they had started. Their upper price was what we had priced it at in 2005, before the bubble burst. And we sold it for 10000 less than that. Their new price is less than what we bought the house for when it was a foreclosed house being sold by HUD and needed major work. Goodness, I'm glad we sold it when we did). Then up to my mother's, for a long weekend that happily coincided with a local anime convention that my brother and the Champaign crew always go to. So we got to see at least some of the people we didn't get to see at Christmas, albeit not nearly long enough.

And then up for a glorious week at B's parents, where the only drawback is the lack of fast Internet. Everything else was great - lovely weather, gorgeous scenery, happy hours spent on beautiful beaches, free babysitting. Okay, mentioning the last one seems crass, and I think it goes without saying that we're there to see his parents and would be happy to see them even if there were no babysitting at all. If that weren't the case, we wouldn't spent nearly so much time visiting my mother. But it's been a long, long year with no outside childcare and only having one day off together every other weekend. So being able to relax a little and actually leave the house without children occasionally made it a much better vacation.

As a bonus, B's aunt and uncle and cousins were visiting as well, so we had some enjoyable family meals, and K discovered the joy of playing with older cousins, who were 10 and 13 and absolutely wonderful with her. And it's nice to be able to go someplace to visit with people and not have to worry about entertaining at least one child. There wasn't much chance of prying Alec from my side much. He could be distracted periodically by other people and be taken into a different room, but if I was there, he usually wanted me. However, the presence of other people did give him lots of people to flirt with, so that made him happy and easily entertained. It almost compensated for his learning how to climb stairs.

And then, it was sadly time to come home, far too soon. Back to 100 degree heat and caring for discombobulated children with no help, accomplished by spending far, far too much time in the car. The last hour of the trip was spent with both children sobbing to get out of the car, with K saying over and over again, "I want to go home," to which I could only think "I'm right there with you, kid." I'm so very tired that I was actually dozing off at work today.


Apropos of the whole being tired and overwhelmed issue, I've come to two decisions. The first is that we really need to be making more money*, since we're doing okay for everyday expenses but don't really have enough to weather emergencies. So I've e-mailed my former online job and am in their reserve pool for the next time a job opens, which is expected to happen within the month.

I wasn't enjoying my job very much by the time I left it, but I'm trying to remind myself that I was 9 months pregnant at that point and literally struggling to keep my eyes open by 9pm. There are a lot of jobs I would rather have, but needs must, and part time jobs that pay well enough to pay for daycare and have money left over are a rare beast.

The second decision, not coincidentally, is we're searching for childcare. For one thing, I can't work Fridays this summer unless I have childcare, and since is working a bunch of Sundays downtown, we could go a full 8 weeks without having a day off together if I can't work some Fridays (if I work every Saturday and every other Sunday, and he works the Sundays I don't...yikes. I'm collapsing in nervous exhaustion just thinking about it). But if I'm working 20 hours a week again besides my library job, I'll really need some childcare. I'm a little torn about how to approach it. I've been e-mailing someone with a home daycare who seemed promising that I found through Craigslist, but then she suddenly got a bit weird and I haven't gotten a response to the e-mail I sent five days ago. This is bringing back to me what horrific luck we've had with home daycares since we moved here, and that as childcare finding agencies go, Craigslist is a bit of a back alley operation.

The other option is a center, and we definitely had a lot more luck once we went that route with K. Unfortunately, that center just went out of business. But while I think a center would be great for K, it's not as ideal for a baby/young toddler, and Alec is the one would be staying there into the fall after K goes back to school. The other issue is that everyone is full up with older kids for the summer, so it may be difficult to find someplace in July. I should have made this decision back in April or May.

*The infuriating thing is that we should be making more money, if not for our rat bastard mayor. 's contract ran out over a year ago, so he's currently working under the terms of his old contract until a new one is negotiated (which isn't happening any time soon, since no one really wants to be negotiating their contract during a financial crisis). Standard for pretty much all city employees is that they step up in pay grade every year they work for their first five years, but the mayor is claiming that because they're working without a contract, they don't have to give raises. This is patently absurd, and arbitration has already found in favor of the firefighters over this issue, so once this goes to arbitration for our union, it will almost certainly be found in our favor. However, this was initially supposed to get decided in early May and has been progressively pushed off by the city's attorney until July 20. So who knows when it will happen at this point, while we build up a tidy sum that the city owes us.

While this is plenty of reason to be infuriated, it's all the worse because this is so incredibly typical of how this mayor operates, declaring that what he wants is how it's going to be, without bothering with little details like whether it's legal or not. The hospital next to the park my library is in wanted to lease some park land, and it was building up to a big legal battle until the mayor came into office and declared that it was simply going to happen, and at a nice discount for the hospital. However, once it got to court, it turned out that Pennsylvania has a law forbidding the sale of parkland that's being actively used, which ours most certainly is. He tried to close several library branches, only to have it turn out that the mayor doesn't have the power to close city facilities without city council approval. During the snow emergencies this winter, he tried to make city employees either use their vacation days for the days off they got when city facilities were shut down, or attempt to go into work, a move that was thankfully shut down mighty quick by the unions. People like this are the best reason for unions. Solidarity forever, baby.

1 comment:

  1. Yikes! found you while blogsurfing and couldn't resist a comment. Sounds like you need the vacation after the vacation.
    I don't have family to help with child-care either. (We have four). I had a 3 year old and a one year old when the twins were born. We joined the YMCA. I never worked out. I put all four in the two-hour a limit day care and sat in the hot tub, took a long shower, put on make-up, and even read my Bible!
    It was well worth the monthly cost, and they are non-profit and sometimes will help out with cost based on your income. Just an idea as those young baby days are sooo crazy.