On a roll

Thursday, May 31, 2007

I was all ready to write about something else tonight, when out of the blue, Baby B surprised us with rolling over from her back to her front for the first time! We’ve tried practicing rolling over with her every night for a few weeks now, but she could only do it halfway (either from a flat position to her side, or from her side to a flat position) until tonight. We were playing with her on her activity mat when she did it all on her own; we weren’t specifically encouraging her to do it at the time. It took probably 15 or 20 seconds before she finally made it to her belly, so it still took some effort for her to do it, but it’s a milestone nonetheless. It’s amazing to see how much she learns every day!

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Four pictures must be worth 4,000 words (but I won’t bore you with them all)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I realized it’s been a little while since I’ve posted pics of Baby B here, so I thought I’d do that today.

Can you tell The Dog loves Baby B? She’s pretty fond of him, too:

Just hanging out with Mommy (where the heck is my head? LOL!):

Loving the high chair:

Her new favorite hobby, sticking out her tongue:


Little no peep

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I know I sound like a broken record, but I can’t help but be excited about how well Baby B is doing with sleeping without the swaddle; she made it all the way from 8:15 p.m. until we woke her up at 6:30 this morning to get ready for work (us)/daycare (her) without a single peep.

On a related note, I’ve done pretty well about keeping stories about Baby B to a minimum when I’m at work, as I’m fully aware that the people I work closest with are NOT baby people, so they don’t really care about the minutia of motherhood that fill my time away from the office. But today, for whatever reason, I caught myself running my mouth about how great it was that Baby B was sleeping without the swaddle. However, by the time I realized what I was doing, I couldn’t just stop talking because I was in the middle of the story and had a big build-up on how good swaddling is for babies, specifically Baby B, and how you’re supposed to be able to stop swaddling around two to four months old, and how we’d still swaddled her because it helped her sleep through the night, but we were so nervous to try to put her to bed without it–you get the idea.

I wrapped up the story as fast as I could without seeming like too much of a spaz, then tried to change the subject as best I could. Much as I love Baby B, I still have plenty of things to talk about with co-workers other than her, so I made sure to direct my topics of conversation elsewhere. I know my audience at work is not baby-friendly, though obviously an occasional lapse will happen from time to time. The highlights…tell them the highlights, but not the play-by-play!


Sleep, (un)interrupted

Monday, May 28, 2007

Night three of Operation: Lose the Swaddle went just as well as night two, and I continue to be amazed that it’s going so well. Baby B was in bed and asleep by 8:30 p.m. last night, and she slept until she woke up at 7 a.m. this morning wanting to eat. (She normally is woken up to eat at 6:30 a.m. when I go to work, but on my days off, we just let her sleep until she wakes up on her own, which usually ends up being within an hour or so of her normal eating time.)

The true test comes tonight, since we have to go to work tomorrow and obviously are hoping not to have to wake up to soothe her during the night, especially after her superb swaddle-less sleeping exhibitions over the weekend. I have a good feeling about this, though.


One year later

Monday, May 28, 2007

It was one year ago today that I found out I was pregnant with Baby B. And it was one year ago that I started this blog to help me deal with the inevitable difficulties that I would experience along the way during a pregnancy that followed a miscarriage. A year ago, uncertainty and fear were what filled my thoughts, and I was well aware of the fact that a pregnancy does not always mean you get a baby in the end.

A year later, and this blog has turned into a fairly comprehensive record of my sweet Baby B’s early weeks and months, and my life is completely different–sometimes in ways I never imagined. But, despite this significant change, I haven’t lost sight of the fact that even though a year has passed since I found out about what was eventually to be a successful pregnancy, I still remember my baby who never had a chance to be born into our family. On this Memorial Day, I honor the child who will always truly be my first, and my thoughts go out to those of you who have lost children of your own.


Operation: Lose the Swaddle (night two)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

I’m happy to report that night two of Operation: Lose the Swaddle went even better than the first night. I had to run some errands last night, so The Husband was in charge of putting Baby B to bed alone. He said she went to bed around 8:30 p.m., cried/fussed for about 15 minutes, then was asleep after that. The next time she woke up? Not until 7:15 this morning, hungry for her morning feeding.

That’s my girl!

I can’t convey how proud I am of her! Neither one of us even heard her fuss at all during the night, either. I am ecstatic at how well this has gone so far, and I hope it keeps up like this. I keep wondering when the other shoe is going to drop; we’ve been so fortunate with her sleeping habits ever since she was born.

Oh yeah, and happy four months old, Baby B! I can’t believe a third of a year has passed already! She has her four-month check-up a week from tomorrow, and will get more shots then. I’m going to discuss it with the pediatrician, but I’m leaning toward not starting solids until closer to six months for several reasons, but I went ahead and pulled out the high chair today so we can start using it occasionally. That way, it’ll be something that’s familiar to her for when we do start solids and she won’t be hit with too many new things at once. She liked being in it today, so things are good on that front so far.


Sleeping like a baby (night one)

Saturday, May 26, 2007

On the advice of an anonymous commenter on my previous swaddling post (thanks!), The Husband and I decided to take the plunge and try to go without the Miracle Blanket for this weekend. If we were going to get little sleep because of her fussing, we reasoned, then we might as well do it while we have a long weekend and don’t have to go to work the next day.

So, a little excited about the task at hand yet a little terrified at a return to multiple overnight rendezvous, we set out to transition Baby B out of the swaddle.

We went through our normal bedtime routine and put her down in her crib drowsy but awake. After making noise for about 20 or 30 minutes, she finally got herself to sleep around 8:40 p.m. with occasional comforting from The Husband. (I try not to be the one to comfort her at bedtime because of the possibility of her smelling me and wanting to eat even when she’s not hungry.) About once an hour after that, she’d fuss enough that we felt we needed to go in there, but it was enough to enter silently and put the pacifier in her mouth and turn on the crib aquarium again. She slept straight from 2 a.m. until 7:15 a.m. with just one short fussy spell (just 15 or 20 seconds) that we didn’t have to tend to because she calmed herself down. Never at any point did we need to pick her up and calm her down. We changed her diaper and brought her to bed with us for her 7:30 feeding, then we all slept until about 11 a.m.

I know we’re not in the clear yet, but I’d call it a successful first night without the swaddle. It definitely went better than I anticipated (I envisioned being awake from 3 to 6 a.m. desperately trying all the tricks to get her back to sleep), so I’m feeling good about entering night #2 tonight. I’ll post an update tomorrow.


Overheard at the changing table

Friday, May 25, 2007

Who: Me and Baby B
What: Our conversation
When: This morning
Where: At the changing table
Why: Because we’re silly!

************************

Me: [singing] Momma’s little baby loves shortenin’, shortenin’. Momma’s little baby loves shortenin’ bread!

Baby B: [big smile]

Me: Hey, wait a minute! Where’d you get shortenin’ bread?

Baby B: [big smile and a little laugh]

Me: [singing] Momma’s little baby–[end singing]–How do you even know what shortenin’ bread is? Mommy doesn’t even know what that is!

Baby B: [big smile and a little laugh]

Me: [singing] Momma’s little–[end singing]–Do they feed you that at school instead of your bottles? I might need to have a talk with them about this!

Baby B: [big, surprised laugh]

Me: Or is it in your daddy milk at night? (That’s what we call formula…daddy milk.)

Baby B: [high-pitched screech/laugh]

Me: Does The Dog give you shortenin’ bread? Is that what he does all day at home, make shortenin’ bread? I had a feeling he was up to something!

Baby B: [big smile]

Me: [singing] Momma’s little baby loves cheesecake, cheesecake. Momma’s little baby loves cheesecake in her head.

Baby B: [big smile]

Me: Now that’s my girl!


The Baby Bonus

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Every night, The Husband and I watch “Jeopardy” at 7:30 and are playfully competitive with each other. (I still maintain that if there were couples “Jeopardy” and you could compete with your spouse, we’d totally rock. It often turns out that he’s strong in subjects I don’t know well–Greek mythology, anyone?–and I’m strong in categories that he’s not as familiar with.) Before the show even comes on, we’re ribbing each other: “I’m going to win!” “No, I’m going to win!” “Well, I already won!” We don’t keep actual score (that would suck the fun out of it), but we generally have a sense of who would’ve won had we kept score. (For the record, I think I win more often.)

However, what most people don’t know is that you get a special Baby Bonus if you’re the one in charge of Baby B when “Jeopardy” is on to compensate for the range of distractions you’ll have as the baby caretaker. While the dollar value of this bonus can change from night to night, it’s almost always enough to put that person over the edge to winning in what was actually a close game. We still give Baby B a bottle of formula before bed, and since that last feeding falls around 7:45 p.m. now, that means The Husband almost always ends up with the Baby Bonus. Ah well, that just means I have to be smart enough to overcome this huge bonus each night. πŸ™‚


Swaddle she do without it?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Miracle Blanket is my favorite baby product of all, hands down. Baby B was able to get out of so many blanket swaddles when she was first born–she’s quite the escape artist–but then I tried the Miracle Blanket that my sister had bought me after successfully using it with my niece, and she was able to sleep very well. I’m convinced that’s about 80% of the reason she’s been sleeping through the night ever since she was 5 1/2 weeks old.

Most swaddled babies end up transitioning out of it between two and four months. Baby B is fast approaching the four-month mark, and she’s almost too long for the Miracle Blanket, yet we still swaddle her each night because she’s not really shown many signs that she’s ready to sleep without it.

However, I decided a couple nights ago to put her to bed without her swaddling blanket at all–some suggest swaddling first with one arm out to test readiness, then graduate to no swaddle–just to see what happened. If I could get her to sleep even an hour in her crib without it, then I’d call it a good step in the right direction. When we transitioned her from her swing to her crib at night, she hadn’t given any readiness signs, but we just gave it a try and it ended up going really well. I figured I’d give this a shot and just not set my expectations too high. It took about 45 minutes and going into her room every ten minutes to turn on the mobile and her crib aquarium sounds, but she finally got to sleep and slept just 20 minutes before crying and not wanting to get back to sleep. I swaddled her, rocked her for literally 30 seconds, then put her down and she zonked out. Miracle, indeed.

She’s adorable when she’s sleeping all bundled up in her swaddle, but truth be told, I can’t wait for her to sleep without it so she can end up in all those cute sleeping positions that babies inevitably make it to. It’s thinking about times like those that make me wish we had a video monitor in her room. (Incidentally, we’ve looked into video monitors for her room, but there aren’t many that are digital that have gotten good reviews. One analog monitor has GREAT reviews, but the signal could easily be picked up by someone using the same monitor near our house. Someone hearing our conversations over the monitor doesn’t bother me nearly as much as someone seeing every move that Baby B makes in her crib.)


"You Ruined Everything"

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Love this song by Jonathan Coulton. Very honest. Very heartfelt. Very sweet.


Log a rhythm

Monday, May 21, 2007

Pediatricians often ask parents to keep a log of feeding times and wet/dirty diapers for the first couple of weeks after a baby is born, especially if they are being breastfed, as one of the ways to make sure the baby is getting enough to eat. Sleep-deprived yet willing to do what we needed to do, we made an Excel spreadsheet and faithfully logged every feeding, every wet diaper, and every dirty diaper. The pediatrician never looked at the log when Baby B went for her two-week check-up, but we found it useful for ourselves–was it 20 minutes or an hour and 20 minutes since the last diaper? Events during the day start running together during this time–so we kept up with logging even after we didn’t have to anymore.

Baby B will be four months old next week. We still keep this log every day.

I thought for sure we’d quit when Baby B started daycare–maybe just keep track of nursing times–but we still faithfully log everything into the Excel spreadsheet. It’s not that we need to make sure she continues to gain weight well, as she’s on track there. I think part of it is habit; you get into a rhythm of doing something and you keep up with it. However, I think mostly it gives me a sense of control in a situation where sometimes I have very little control. It keeps me organized and gives me a feeling of being on top of everything, and I like that. There’s no harm in that, right?

But then I start to question how long I’m going to keep this up. If the natural stopping point originally was daycare, and we completely blew that, then what’s the next stopping point? Will I still be logging wet and dirty diapers until Baby B is potty-trained? It seems like the next logical stopping point would be when I stop nursing, but at this point, I’m not sure how long that will be. Right now I’m thinking about a year total, or until my supply dwindles down if that happens first due to working. It seems overwhelming to think about keeping this log for a whole year, yet I start to become fidgety and lost when I think about not keeping it.

I guess it could be worse. We could be keeping a log of everything she does throughout the day…naps, playtimes, etc. Hey, we had to draw the line somewhere, otherwise we’d have to start including the time we spent logging activities in the activity log each day!


Bib hunting

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I am obsessed with finding the perfect bib. We have a bib on Baby B nearly all the time because of how much she spits up (and especially now that the drooling has somewhat started); changing a bib is much easier than changing clothes all day long. However, not all bibs are made equal. I’ll find a new set of bibs that claims to keep the baby dry, but I’m finding that they don’t always work as advertised. Some bibs have a vinyl lining on the back side, which sounds perfect to me, but apparently all the ones I can find are either too thin and not very absorbant on the front or have been recalled at Wal-Mart and aren’t allowed to be sold. (Yes, I could buy online, but I’d prefer to feel them myself in person.)

So, our bib drawer keeps getting fuller and fuller as the weeks pass. I suspect just before this kid stops needing bibs is when I’ll find the perfect one!


Might as well face it, I’m addicted to love

Friday, May 18, 2007

I think I’m starting to get a vague understanding of the addiction that drug addicts face on a daily basis.

My name is Mommy. And I’m a Baby B junkie.

When I’m with her, I can’t get enough. When I’m not with her, I think about her and fantasize about the time when I can have her again. When I get my fix, I feel a high like nothing else; happy chemicals swim eagerly through my body. When I have a bad day, she’s something I can always count on to make it better. I would spend every bit of cash I had on her if I didn’t know better. When I’m on my Baby B high, you can often find me talking quite incoherently. When with her, I engage in secretive behaviors (like singing the Baby Bouschie song–don’t ask).

Baby B is my drug. And I fully admit that I have no desire to shake this habit.


Looking at the world through dust-covered glasses

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Husband and I are both neat, tidy people. Magazines are neatly stacked on the coffee table shelf, the areas around our computers aren’t cluttered with random papers and bills, and we usually make sure all the dishes are done before going to bed. While not quite as pristine as my grandparents’ house always was (you couldn’t find a speck of dust in that whole darned place if your life depended on it!), our house is in good shape for general company at any given time. The Husband has observed the secret to our success on this front: 1) Have friends/family visit regularly, and 2) Have a sense of shame such that showing off a messy house would be embarrassing.

And then Baby B came along.

Dust? What dust? Oh, you mean that the colors on the TV screen shouldn’t be quite that muted? Ahhh-CHOOOOOOO!

Okay, it’s not that bad, but cleaning has definitely taken a back burner in recent months. I know it really doesn’t matter in the big scheme of things (I’d much rather play with Baby B and teach her things than worry about keeping a perfect house), and people certainly understand why we haven’t kept on top of it, but it still bothers me a little bit that we’re not able to keep things as clean as we usually do. And I’m not saying the house looks like the aftermath of a tornado or anything; compared to many people’s houses, it’s still very tidy…just not our norm.

Cleaning services sound like a very worthwhile cost nowadays.


Rock ‘n’ roll

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Baby B has been doing great with learning how to use her hands, so her next major milestone probably will be rolling over. I’ve been helping her practice that every day–both front to back and back to front–and I can tell that the muscles she needs to use are getting stronger each time. Until recently, we couldn’t do much tummy time, which helps with developing those muscles, since she ate so often (sometimes every hour) and was a threat to spit up for probably an hour after each feeding–and having something like the floor pressing on her stomach didn’t help. But now she’s eating every three hours, so she has some time in between feedings where she’s not as likely to spit up, so we can turn her on her tummy more often.

For the record, I hate the term “tummy time.” It feels like a term that rich, stuck-up, tennis-playing, high-end-department-store-shopping women made up. But it gets the point across, so I use it, though hesitantly.


Boogie oogie oogie

Monday, May 14, 2007

I hate to admit this, but I’m obsessed with keeping Baby B’s nose clean. If she’s got anything in her nose, either dried or fresh, it is my mission to make sure I get it out with a tissue or baby wipe. I just can’t stand the sight of other snot-nosed kids, so I have to do my best to make sure she’s not one of them. I’m sure our day will come when it just becomes too much to keep up with, but I vow right here and now to do everything I can to stay on top of it!


Happy Mother’s Day

Sunday, May 13, 2007

To all mothers, past, present, and future…


Mother’s Heart
by Teri Harrison

I loved you from the very start,
You stole my breath, embraced my heart.
Our life togther has just begun,
You’re part of me, my little one.

As mother with child, each day I grew,
My mind was filled with thoughts of you.

I’d daydream of the things we’d share,
Like late-night bottles and teddy bears.
Like first steps and skinned knees,
Like bedtime stories and ABCs.

I thought of things you’d want to know,
Like how birds fly and flowers grow.
I thought of lessons I’d need to share,
Like standing tall and playing fair.

When I first saw your precious face,
I prayed your life be touched with grace.
I thanked the angels from above,
And promised you unending love.

Each night I lay you down to sleep,
I gently kiss your head and cheek.
I count your little fingers and toes,
I memorize your eyes and nose.

I linger at your nursery door,
Awed each day I love you more.
Through misty eyes, I dim the light,
I whisper “I love you” every night.

I loved you from the very start,
You stole my breath, embraced my herat.
As mother and child, our journey’s begun,
My heart’s yours forever, little one.


Special Saturday snugglies

Saturday, May 12, 2007

A lot of people swear by co-sleeping, but it’s not been something that’s interested me for several reasons, not the least of which is the fact that we have only a full-size bed and space is tight enough as it is. However, when I was on maternity leave (and had the bed to myself after The Husband left), I would sometimes–maybe once a week–lie down in either our bed or the futon in the nursery with Baby B to feed her and we’d snooze together for a couple of hours.

This morning, when she woke up at 8:30 a.m., ready to eat, I brought her back to bed with us and let her nurse there, hoping maybe we’d both get an extra hour or so of sleep. (This wasn’t a last-minute decision; I’d already decided the night before to try this out today.) We got situated and she ate, then she went to sleep as expected, and I followed shortly thereafter. I woke up when she started changing positions slightly, and I looked down to see her sleeping so peacefully. And I have to admit: I loved the closeness we had as a family during this special Saturday morning together.

A lot of people who co-sleep say they swore beforehand they’d never do it, but end up trying it out (often as a last resort when dealing with a crying baby that nurses often during the night) and sticking with it. I can tell you it’s something we definitely won’t be doing on a nightly basis. For one thing, in order to do it so she can eat whenever she wants–which is a big advantage to co-sleeping–I’d need to sleep on that one side all night long, which is comfortable for long enough for a nap, but not for overnight sleeping. Also, having her between us restricted where I could put my arms, and I could see how the bed would feel too crowded if this is something we did on a nightly basis.

But I do love the idea of doing this as a Saturday-morning treat for all of us, as a way to sort of forget about the sometimes-hectic life that awaits us on the other side of the bedroom door. It’s special times like these that make all of the hard work 100% worth it.


Miss Cyborg

Friday, May 11, 2007

I was not cut out to be a daycare teacher, though thankfully for us, there are some people just made for it. Baby B’s class has eight infants and two teachers, so each teacher is responsible for four children. Now, they’re usually not all awake and active at the same time (the children, I mean; the teachers are awake the whole time, silly readers!), so it’s rare that they have to deal with calming down that many children at once, but the potential is there. What amazes me, though, is how relaxed these two teachers always seem to be. If it were me, I’d be frazzled if I had more than one kid crying at a time. Yet, I’ve seen that happen (thankfully mine hasn’t ever been one of the kids crying when I’ve walked in) and they don’t seem stressed at all; they just try to tend to the kids as quickly and efficiently as they can. I’m starting to wonder if they’re really human at all! πŸ™‚


Grown-up time

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

It kills me that I only get to see Baby B for a few hours each weekday, since her bedtime is 9 p.m. right now and we’re working on getting it to about 8 or 8:30 p.m. ideally (or earlier if she gives us cues that she needs an earlier bedtime). I mean, that’s all the time I get to spend with The Husband, too, but it’s just different. I already know The Husband, but right now I’m trying to learn everything I can about Baby B.

However…

I have to admit that I do like having that grown-up time after she goes to bed. Sure, most of that time is spent washing bottles, making bottles, doing laundry, and other baby-related (and non-relaxing) tasks, but it’s nice to have that time to get things done without having to put everything down and tend to a baby. This, of course, doesn’t mean that don’t appreciate having her around. I adore this child and would do anything for her. I’m just saying I’m secretly glad to have some time back for myself, at least for a few hours each day.


Sing a song of six cents, a pocketful of rice

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

I’m well-known for not knowing the words to songs. When I listen to a song, I typically focus on the music part and not as much on the words. This poses a problem, however, when it comes to singing kids’ songs to Baby B, not just because I’m natually horrible with words, but also because it’s been so long since I’ve had to know them. For most songs, I’m okay for the first couple lines, but then my memory fades and I have to start making up words, which I love to do (and is often more fun!), but I can’t be sending her to school knowing the wrong words!

What I like to do instead of struggling with the words to songs I should know (I really need to get a nursery rhymes CD, huh?) is make up completely ridiculous songs of my own! I’d give an example here, but the real draw of my songs is actually hearing them put to my awful, made-up melodies. It would not come across nearly as well in a blog post!


Beyond the ABCs

Monday, May 7, 2007

I’ve recently been thinking about all of those things that we just know as adults that we had to learn at some point when we were growing up (but take for granted that we know now), and it’s sometimes a little overwhelming to think of just how many things–both big and small–we have to teach Baby B during the first part of her life.

This came about because one day recently I was thinking about how often babies fart, and how they just do it without thinking about it, with no hesitation, no shame. But obviously at some point, kids are taught that doing that around other people isn’t socially polite. I don’t ever remember being taught that lesson, but obviously I picked up on it. That’s something we’ll have to teach her down the road, but it’s not one of those things that you think about having to teach your kids along with their ABCs, their telephone number, and not to get in the car with strangers. There’s so much knowledge to pass on, and I don’t want to forget anything!


Double or nothing

Saturday, May 5, 2007

I asked The Husband to request a raise to double his salary so I could stay home with Baby B.

He asked.

Shockingly, he was denied.

Okay, he wasn’t serious when asking about the raise (he’s able to joke about things like that with his supervisor), but some days I daydream about something like that happening.

Instead, I’ll be heading to work tomorrow and Monday for two of our busiest days of the year.

Off to bed for this momma.


The babymoon

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Remember that feeling of being a newlywed? When you’re so happy to be with this wonderful person that you love, and you adore each other so much that even a small time apart can make you desperately want to see your love, even if it’s just to give a quick kiss and then resume what you were doing before?

That is how I feel about Baby B.

I feel like I’m on my “babymoon.” (Note: This is a term that some people call that last vacation you take as a couple before their bundle of joy comes along, but I think the babymoon should be in reference to that special time after your new arrival joins the family.)

I can’t even begin to list all the things I love about her. I love the look in her eyes when she’s nursing and she just knows that she’s receiving what she needs to survive from me. I love when she scrunches up her nose and shrugs her shoulders as she laughs at a silly face I make. I love how she burrows her head into my shoulder when she’s upset. I love to watch her learning new things about the big world around her. I love that time in the morning right after I’ve woken her up and she’s still sleepy and stretchy and she presses herself against my chest. I love how she can go from crying to laughing in an instant. I love our time as a family of three, but I especially love our alone time as mother and daughter.

This feeling of love keeps getting stronger each day as I learn more and more about this wonderful person. If she loves me even just half as much as I love her, then I’m a fortunate woman.


HR strikes again

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

If anyone is looking for a job that requires no skill or competence, I have just the position in mind for you. I’ll see if my company’s HR department has any openings.

They have struck again.

Each month, we get an accruals report that tell us how much vacation time and sick time we’ve both accumulated and used. I received my report yesterday morning, and was surprised to find a vacation balance of NEGATIVE 10.5 hours. I looked closer and they had me using up 160 hours of vacation for part of my maternity leave, but I knew I didn’t have quite that many (about 10 hours short, obviously), so I was stumped. I talked to our in-house HR person, and she told me what happened. She said that when the HR person at headquarters calculated my vacation hours available, she used the wrong rate to calculate.

Some background: We get two weeks of vacation for the first five years of employment, then at five years, we get three weeks. I started working there in August 2001, so I’ve been there for over 5 1/2 years, however, I was officially part time until they hired me full time in December 2002. (I was working full-time hours, just not receiving all the full-time perks.) So, according to my official start date, December 2002, I have not yet been there for five years, so I won’t get my extra week of vacation until this coming December.

The headquarters HR dummy calculated my available vacation time based on that original date of employment…so she gave me too many hours. We’ve already received the paycheck for the pay period in question, so now I either owe them the money back for the vacation time that I hadn’t yet earned, or I owe them the actual vacation time back. Hence the negative vacation balance. Our local HR woman suggested to the headquarters HR chick that was the better solution since she said HR had already screwed up some other things for me. Personally, I think it was completely their error and I shouldn’t have to owe them either money or vacation time as compensation for all of the trouble and stress they’ve created through their errors, but anyone think that would actually happen? Not a chance.

So, until December, I earn vacation at a rate of about three hours per pay period. With a negative balance of more than ten hours, that means that it’s going to be about seven weeks before I achieve a zero balance of vacation, and about five or so additional weeks until I’ve got enough vacation time to take one day off. It’ll be about mid-July before I can take a day off. Now, I didn’t have any vacation days planned before then, and I really can’t take off in the next six to eight weeks anyway because this is our busy time of year, but it’s just very discouraging to be left with a negative vacation balance as I return. I guess the flip side is that I received money for that vacation time, but I hate that I wasn’t given a choice in the matter–and that it’s because my HR screwed up AGAIN.

I think I know who I’m not going to be nominating for an employee of the year award.


Gripping

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Baby B has been able to grip objects for a while now, but we’ve always had to place the object in her hand first. But yesterday she took a big step and intentionally gripped a pink elephant rattle we held in front of her, first with one hand and then with both hands. Testing to see if it was just a fluke, we took it away several times and offered it to her again, and each time she’d grab at it to hold. Of course, her approach was slow and a bit ham-handed, but it was great to see her taking this developmental step! She’s also taken to sometimes holding her own bottle; quite a long way from the frantic, flailing arms of three months ago!