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Archive for July, 2007

I’m home playing with data. The logic of this stuff escapes me. Why can the same file uploaded multiple times result in errors saying that a handful of records don’t exist? It’s a silly system I’m using right now and that’s all there is to it. Hopefully, once these initial uploads are done, we’ll have something exciting that works the way we intend it to.

While waiting for data to upload and refresh, I’ve been going through my office and organizing/tossing things. Loads of fun, but it’s keeping me busy.

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My boss is back from paternity leave and we are scheduled to meet at his house on Thursday to discuss the office situation. Apparently, he’s gotten an earful since he got back and was completely shocked that I felt that I’d been demoted. Already the energy in the office is more positive.

Justin has really gotten chatty and will now “sing” when sung to. Okay, so he can’t hold a tune yet, but he’s definitely interested in making noise and moves his body when he hears something he likes.

I’m currently experimenting with FaceBook. Not sure if I like it or not–so far I like it better than My Space, where I deleted my profile a month or so ago. There are just too many fun toys on the internet…..

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Things are still crazy busy for me at work. Mostly because I feel the need to prove myself. Justin is doing very well. He was giggly again today when I went to nurse him. I live for his smiles and laughs. They brighten my entire day.

He’s had this rather annoying habit of waking up between 4 and 4:30 this week. He’s pretty awake and wants to play. By the time I convince him that it’s really sleep time, DH’s alarm goes off. I can usually doze until my alarm goes off at 6, but I can’t go back to a full sleep. Justin, however, tends to fall asleep when my alarm goes off, so at least I can get myself ready. I’d rather do without the 4 am wake up, though.

We don’t have any big plans for the weekend. I think we may focus on the house. I need to pack/organize my office/craft room. I mean to do it in the mornings after I drop Justin off at daycare, but it’s not getting done.

That’s about it for today. I need to finish up with work so I can enjoy the baby when he gets here!

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I haven’t been posting much lately, but I’ve been reading my friends list religiously. I’ve been really focused on work and getting things not only done and on time, but going that extra little mile.

We had some friends over for dinner last night. I made the Mom’s Mini Meatloaves from Desperation Dinners, sauteed some zucchini with some Fox Point seasoning, and cut up some cucumbers. Dessert was vanilla malt chip ice cream from the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream book. We had a good time and played some Farkel. Both the babies got overly tired, so we’re all paying for it this morning, but it was worth it!

Tonight the ILs are coming for dinner. It’s going to be another busy night.

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I’m having another frustrating day with my job. It’s really becoming clear that this recent re-structuring while I was on maternity leave is a demotion for me. I now have only two things that I am really the lead on (list enhancement and volunteers), one of which doesn’t have anything to work with since we don’t have a lot of need for volunteers. The financials, website, and database are pretty much being led by other people and I don’t have much influence in these areas anymore.

So I plan to totally rock with the list enhancement. I don’t believe that it will be taken away from me because the guy who has taken over the financials and website is tired of doing list enhancement–he’s been the lead on it for six years.

The restructuring is really bothering me. We have 3 areas now instead of 4, development (fundraising), legislative (lobbying & endorsements), and communication & administration. My new boss is the newly created Chief Operations Officer and oversees all communication pieces and administration. It doesn’t make sense to have communications/program and administration in the same area. In fact, at my last two performance reviews, there has been talk of a Business Manager position that would oversee the administration side of things. That may or may not be my new title, but I don’t actually get to oversee anything. The only reason that I can see for this to be combined is that the Executive Director didn’t feel I was ready to take on this responsibility–so now I am in the process of teaching the COO how to read our financials and where all the numbers come from. He actually wants to sit with me next month and watch the entire process of creating the monthly financial reports.

I used to really love this job.

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That’s three, right?

Drama Number One is mostly anticipated.  Let’s face it funerals/deaths don’t bring out the best in family members.  Already my brother is complaining that my uncles are planning a catered picnic.  “What when we’re all in our funeral clothes?  Some of us will have to change!” (he does have two small children)  I offered him our house as a changing location.  I haven’t heard much else, but you know I will before the week is out.  Especially since the entire family will be doing a walk through of the apartment between the service and the picnic to grab and nab.

Drama Number Two is the issues I’m having with Justin being in daycare and absolutely loving it.  I’m happy that he’s happy, but I’m so upset that I don’t get to play with him as much (he passes out as soon as he gets home) and that he can be so fussy around me.  The parents’ board I belong to was very supportive today and even pointed out that perhaps even babies let themselves vent when they’re around someone they feel comfortable with.  As I said, I’m glad that he’s adjusted well, and it reinforces my belief that he’s in a good place and being well taken care of.  I had a bit of a breakdown this morning, but I’m doing much better now.

Drama Number Three is that my women’s group is voting tonight whether or not we want to disassociate from the state organization and become a more informal group.  Someone in another chapter learned of this and sent harried phone calls to our members.  The Patchwork Princess spoke with her and got information to be brought up at our meeting tonight.  I don’t think it will change anything, but PP will try to present this point of view as neutrally as she can.  This whole idea of breaking off came from conversations that she and I have had over the past year or so.   We slowly approached the other members and learned that we weren’t alone in how we saw things.  For example, most of our money goes to the state, very little remains in our community.  We haven’t really seen what our state dues get us.  The first answer to that question is that there is a paid employee who serves as an Executive Director.  But the only time we contact her is ton the rare occasion when we need help in completing forms/registrations that we only do because the state organization requires them.  There is supposedly a new member who is transferring in from another chapter.  We’re told that she is very excited to be a part of our group.  But no one’s heard from her.  And if she did show up, we’d welcome her, but that doesn’t really change how we feel about things.  Our number one gripe is the 7 under 40 rule.  We must have 7 members under the age of 40 in order to exist.  We have struggled with this–getting 7 members.  We have a very active member over the age of 40, but she doesn’t count.  The woman who came to one meeting and had someone else write a check for her counts (and will renew again because she doesn’t have to write the check) but our friend doesn’t.  We’re all offended on her behalf (and frankly, it’s fun to watch her bring this issue up when “visitors” from the state/district come to our meetings).

And if those three things weren’t enough, we have a house showing tomorrow night!

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Here’s a picture of my grandmother taken with Justin at her 85th birthday party on May 20th. It’s not great of her, but she was getting tired by this point.

I feel like writing something about my grandmother. She was the last of my grandparents to die, but I was fortunate to know each one of them. I didn’t have a particularly close relationship with her; I was closer to my maternal grandmother growing up because she lived closer and had fewer grandchildren, but I had a good relationship with her.

She was my father’s mother and she lived a life that wasn’t exactly The Donna Reed Show. Growing up, her family owned a resort in western Minnesota, and she was the only white child in a classroom of native americans. Her father purchased the resort shortly before the stock market crashed, so they wound up living with her grandparents on a farm in Wisconsin. Her job was to take lunch and coffee out to her grandfather in the fields.

Her father was an alcoholic. He would miss her birthdays because he was at the local bar buying the house a round in honor of his little girl. Her mother had to go to Red Wing Shoe, where he worked to pick up his paycheck before he got it so that they could have money for food and utilities. I’m not sure at what point, he walked out on them, but he did and my grandmother became the second parent in the family. I have a picture of her with her father, but after he left, she never saw him again. One of her brothers found him dying in a funeral home out west, but I don’t think she had forgiven him yet.

She graduated high school and got a job working as an accountant and wound up in Minneapolis working for General Mills.

She met my grandfather while he was dating a good friend of hers and they must have hit it off. They were married right before he left to fight in Europe during WWII, so she moved back in with her mother. She was already pregnant with their first son (they would have 5 boys) and I have the rocking chair she used after he was born. She fell down the stairs while pregnant with one son, which caused her to go into labor. She couldn’t get a hold of my grandfather, so had someone else drive her to the hospital where she gave birth to their youngest son. Grandpa never heard the end of that.

She was very active in her church and with the Boy Scouts. Her house was kitty corner from the elementary school my dad attended and she lived in that house for over 40 years. Because of her childhood, birthdays were a big deal to her. My father hates to have his birthday celebrated because he was embarrassed by the productions she threw. Funny how these things happen. Also, she was an absolute teetotaler (with the exception of communion at church). My grandfather never drank at home. Interestingly, 3 of her 5 sons are admitted alcoholics–some more functional than others.

Everyone in town knew the family, so her boys couldn’t get away with much. She was a matriarch, but loved her family very much. I don’t think there is one thing she wouldn’t do for her family members. You need money? You need to borrow a car? Are you eating? Once she learned how to drive, there was no stopping her. She drove across the state on more than one occasion to bring me home from college when I couldn’t arrange a ride. She was one of two people who did that 6 hour drive in under 4 hours, but yet would constantly tell me that “the speed limit here is 30, but 25 is fast enough”.

It broke her heart when 3 of her sons got divorced. I think she took my dad’s the hardest and she and my mother remained very, very close.

I’m not sure how long she stayed at home with her sons, but she worked for several years, and I mean decades, at a local printing company as their accountant. She continued to be a very active volunteer with the church.

In 1989, my grandfather died. She made it very clear that he was her husband and that she wasn’t interested in another. She became a social butterfly and had several lady friends that she got together with. There were annual trips taken–usually road trips to Florida or Washington often with a sister-in-law. Even in her 80s, she couldn’t do anything on Saturday night because she had “to drive the little old ladies to church” which was followed by dinner at either Randy’s (local fast food place) or Perkin’s.

In the mid-1990s her health started to really decline. Her blood wouldn’t clot and she couldn’t keep her platelet levels very high. She started having heart attacks and would spend significant time in the hospital, but then would somehow rally her strength to come home. There were times when even the doctors had given up on her.

She was overjoyed when I had my wedding in Red Wing. By this time, her travel was restricted, and she had missed several of her grandchildren’s weddings. She was hospitalized right before the wedding date, but got herself well enough to attend.

I know that she held on to see Justin. Her health was very poor during my pregnancy and she was beginning to become confused and a bit delusional. Then right before he was born, she started to come around again. We knew that she wouldn’t ever be well enough to live on her own, but she did meet all of her great-grandchildren born to date and knew that they were visiting her.

On our last visit, I layed Justin down next to her so she could feel that he was there. Being Justin, he started to cry and I joked to a relative that she’d know who the baby was now. She smiled and very softly said his name.

When we said our goodbyes, a week ago when she still had enough strength to have a conversation, I told her how special my memories are of her and how she and my grandfather were so influential in my life.

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