Thursday, March 20, 2008

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

SO FRUSTRATED!

Ugh! I just started to type my thoughts and realized that I could ramble on and on forever tonight about all of the things going on in my head...so now I'm starting over and trying to pick one subtopic to stick to for now.
I just spent 14 very intense hours at work and my brain is swimming with thoughts about all of the things that went on today. I've decided to stick with the topic that made me want to come home and start putting all my thoughts down in writing to begin with.
There were a lot of things that went on today- it was Movie day for my class (a reward for good behavior), I had a conference with the parents of a child who is struggling, and then we had our monthly staff meeting. It was an emotional rollercoaster type of day. The culminating event that really got my wheels spinning was a discussion with my peers about our annual employee satisfaction survey. The overall results of this past year's survey were quite good, but my boss wanted to discuss things anyway because there is always room for improvement. I felt like we had a good discussion and I think that it was a nice meeting. I left the building feeling like I had a very productive day. However, once I got into the car and had a few minutes to be by myself and get inside my own head, I started to get quite worked up about a variety of things.
The main issue that really got me going was thinking back about one specific question on the survey that we discussed..."Would you recommend the company to other people seeking employment?". The overall rating to this was pretty good- and I will say that I would absolutely recommend my center to other people- BUT, my boss wanted to probe deeper into why we answered the way that we did. This got me thinking about the fact that my company is consistently rated in Fortune magazines top 100 employers for working mothers. As a working mother, I have to say that I strongly disagree with that finding. I think that it is most likely a wonderful place for working mothers who work for the company at the corporate level, but for those of us (who are the MAJORITY in the company) who work at the ground level, there is a lot left to be desired.
The more I thought about this reality, the more I thought about how unfair it is that I constantly have to defend my choice of career to others. People seem to believe that just because I don't make a lot of money, or sit at a desk for hours on end that I don't have a "real" job. It is highly disturbing to me that some pot-smoking high school dropout can walk into a job at Target or Walmart or something along those lines and make more money than I do, but the amount of money that I make does not make my choice of career any less valid or important. I spend my days looking after the most precious gifts anyone could ever hope to have in life. I teach them, I patch up boo-boo's, I provide discipline, I reward and praise, I hug them, I read to them, I keep them safe, I break up arguments, I evaluate them for signs of issues (even though I'm not allowed to ever make any sort of diagnosis), and most of all, I love them as if they were my own...all for under $12/hour. (When you factor in the cost of bringing my own child with me every day- MUCH less) I don't do it for a thank you, I don't do it because I don't have the ability to do something else, and I definitely don't do it for the money; I do it because I love it and because I can't imagine doing anything more worthwhile. So it really, really bothers me when I have to defend my career to people who work for my own company! How dare you allow yourself to be called a terrific company for working Mothers when there is absolutely no way that I could ever work for the company as a single parent and be able to get by...unless I found other care for my child. How dare you tell me how important my job is and then turn around and show such utter disregard for the job I do. It is completely crazy to me that a magazine could rate a company based on what I have to assume to be a rather small portion of its employees. That rating can't possibly take into account all of the people working at the ground level of the company. In order to reach that conclusion I am convinced that you would have to look solely at the employees working at the corporate level- which in effect says that the job that I bust my butt at all day is irrelevent. It's not even worth looking at the employees at the ground level, because what we do isn't really a career. Let me just say that after the day I just had, that is the last thing on earth that anyone should even begin to imply...unless of course they are in the mood for one hell of an argument.
I have so much more that I could write about, but it is very late and I have to get up in a few hours to go back and bust my butt to help ensure the bright future of our world some more, so I really must go to bed now.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Spring Cleaning

I felt something today that I haven't felt in quite a while...a strong sense of accomplishment!
I spent most of my day at work cleaning and rearranging my classroom. I'm not sure what got into me, but for some reason I just felt like it needed to happen right then and there and I whipped myself into a cleaning frenzy. I'm still not completely finished, not by a long shot. The coolest thing about it was how great I felt afterwards. I've always felt a tad overwhelmed in that classroom. It just felt so crowded and disorganized. It never really mattered until it became "my room" (well, mine and Jessica's). When Jess joined our lovely team at work (before we became co-teachers) the first thing that she did was to organize and rearrange the room. I loved what she did and it made a huge difference, but I still felt overwhelmed in there. Since I switched into the room I have wanted to do some serious cleaning up, but somehow it was never a priority until today. Fortunately we ended up only having 15 children in class today, which made it easy for me to leave Jess to deal with them while I focused on the task at hand. It made the day a little crazy (probably more so for poor Jess!), but it felt SO good to get it done! I feel like I can function now.
Now if only I could feel just as motivated to do the same thing at home! I'm beginning to feel like our entire house looks like some 90 year old woman's attic. Ugh!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

I need a hobby

While having a conversation with my dear husband recently, it was brought to my attention that I have no interests. On some level I was already well aware of this fact, but you'll have to trust me when I tell you that it's a rather jarring experience to have someone tell you such a thing in such a blunt manner.
Kevin and I have been struggling for some time to find a way to spend more quality time together. The basic problem seems to be that the things that he finds utterly fascinating do not tend to interest me in the slightest. I try to be a good and dutiful wife and listen when he tells me all about his latest D&D campaign, but to be completely honest I really hear about 1/8 of what he says about it. The other topic sure to get him excited is Poker...which I don't have an issue with watching on tv, but unlike my spouse, once I've seen an episode of High Stakes Poker I really do not feel the need to watch it again. On the other side of the coin, I do not participate in any sort of activity that he could even begin to try to feign an interest in. I go to work and play with children all day, after which I come home and play with our daughter, make dinner, get Ciara ready for bed, and then settle in to watch TV until I finally feel like I can fall asleep (usually roughly 11pm).
At Christmas time I tried very hard to find a game that we could play together that we would both enjoy. I found this game called Wits & Wagers that seemed to fit the bill perfectly. It combines his love of gambling with my flair for knowing completely useless information. However, we hit a snag in that the game is actually a "party game"...in other words, it requires that I get the house clean enough that we could actually invite other people into it to play with us. I'm sad to say that this is not a likely scenario terribly often. Kevin also tried to find games for us to play, but so far his choices have left me feeling confused and/or bored to tears.
So anyway, as I was lying awake late last night it suddenly occurred to me that I really should make an attempt at finding something that interests me. I'm not even slightly coordinated athletically, so any sort of sport is completely out of the question. One of my friends recently encouraged me to try scrapbooking, but I just can't seem to get excited by the idea...plus it's not cheap. I do believe that I have some artistic sensibilities, for example, I think that I could really enjoy jewelry making. However, I'm really looking for something that would require me to get out of the house on occassion and to go make some new friends, and it also needs to be an inexpensive hobby as the fundage is pretty low these days.
Such a dilemma. I am really at a loss for ideas. I enjoy reading quite a lot, but book clubs seem silly to me. I really like to talk to people, but I don't think that could be considered a hobby. I feel like I'm an interesting person, but can you really be truly interesting when you have no interests of your own?
I think if I could find something that excited me and made me feel motivated then it would help me to stay motivated in other areas of my life, and that is something that I desperately need to do. If anyone out there has any fabulous ideas for me, I'm dying to hear them!

March 9th, 2008

Drat, I've gone and done it again. I really did have every intention of doing this right when I started out. Why is it so gosh darned easy to get sidetracked and lose my motivation?! Needless to say, I have not done a terrific job of meeting my goals lately. I did manage to finally get my bathroom cleaned...and now I need to do it again. Ugh, I truly do not like to clean.

Ok, so here's what has been going on in my world lately...

In the last 2 weeks the flu virus from hell has come to make the lives of almost all the people in my life completely miserable. Last Saturday morning my beautiful daughter woke up crying hysterically at about 6:45 am (an unreasonable time even for her). She has only been in her "big girl bed" for a few weeks and has still not figured out that she can just get out of bed and come to our room when she wakes up (SO not complaining about this btw) so she does often call out for us. This was different, she was obviously quite upset. I groaned, tried to wipe the sleep from my eyes and got up to see what could possibly be so traumatic. I gathered my weeping child into my arms and quickly decided my best option was to just bring her back to my bed where we could hopefully catch a few more winks together. Once settled back into bed I decided that I should really find out what had the poor girl so upset so I began questioning her. I can't remember exactly how the conversation went, but the end result was her confessing that her pillow was hurting her head. The Pillow? Not a good sign. We never did get back to sleep and after watching a few episodes of Dragon Tales we went about our day. I was planning to attend a bridal shower for my boss that afternoon and needed to run a few errands first, so I left Ciara downstairs watching her shows while I went to shower. Looking back now I realize that things seemed a bit quiet, but I didn't take notice of it at the time. At any rate, when I went back downstairs to get my coat on and say goodbye to Ciara I found her sound asleep in the chair where I'd left her. Even though she woke up early it is completely unheard of that she would willingly take a nap that early in the day- it wasn't even 10:30 yet (Another bad sign). I continued on with my errands leaving her sleeping in the chair while I went shopping and returning an hour and a half later to find her exactly as I left her. She was just starting to stir as I was rushing out the door to head for the shower at 12:30. I phoned my husband on my way home at around 7pm and confirmed that she had indeed remained lethargic for the remainder of the day and seemed to be feverish to boot. When we began a similar routine on Sunday morning I knew that I needed to start looking for options to get out of work for Monday. I began calling our subs around 10am, and by 6pm that evening I knew that I was in for a rough start to the week. Not only were the subs already busy, but I had another teacher calling me looking for phone numbers to find a sub for her because she was sick as well. Ugh! Long story shorter, I ended up being the only teacher in the preschool unit who did not get sick last week and just about every child in Ciara's class was home sick for at least one day. FUN stuff! By some miracle staffing worked out in the end every single day even with half of our teachers gone...though it did take some major tweeking to make it happen.
Even though I have so far avoided the dreaded bug, I definitely have had a touch of something going on. I've had what I can only assume to be a sinus infection for about 2 months, but since I don't actually feel sick I can't justify paying the $15 copay to see a doctor about it. For the last 2 weeks I have been having a strange fluttering feeling in my chest. It's quite unsettling, but doesn't seem to be doing any harm. The most unusual thing about it is that my husband has been having a similar experience, and I recently discovered that one of the teachers at work has been feeling the same thing as well. So random. I keep feeling like I must be getting sick and by the end of the day I'm convinced that I'll wake up feeling like the walking dead the next morning, yet every day I wake up feeling fine. Last night a new symptom presented itself. I was at a friend's house babysitting her twin boys so that she could go scrapbooking. Ciara and the boys were all sound asleep and I was chilling out on the couch with a book when I noticed that I had the sensation that my right ear was full of water. It was making popping noises, and felt exactly the way it would if I had gone swimming earlier in the day and was not able to get all the water out of my ears. Funny thing, I can't even remember the last time I was in a pool. When I woke up this morning the feeling was gone but now it seems to have returned, albeit slightly less severely. I hate all of this in between garbage. I wish that I could either be sick, or completely fine. I hate feeling like I could be getting sick and not feeling 100% for days on end. With my luck though I'll get sick this week while I'm home alone and my husband is an airplane flight away working in Texas.
The other major thing going on in my life that is keeping my mind well away from healthy eating and exercise is a visit from good ol' Aunt Flo. As all you ladies well know, Aunt Flo is never really a welcome house guest. She's mean and messy and just makes life difficult in general. She has really brought being a pain in the arse to a new level since having my daughter though. Before I became pregnant I at least knew when the old hag would be dropping in and had ample time to prepare myself for the havoc she would create. Now it's a whole new ballgame. I get to play a guessing game each month to try to figure out what exactly my hormones have in store for me. I'll have a month with a nice, "normal" cycle and get all excited thinking that my body is finally getting back on track and things will be predictable again...and then the next month I'll start getting irritable and feeling like the visit is imminent only to be put on hold for a week or two. Then I get to spend the two weeks wondering if I should have some form of protection just in case she decides to drop in unannounced so that I don't have to face the utter humiliation of a stain. Fun! This month I had the added treat of experiencing extra tenderness in my breasts. Something that I haven't dealt with since before conceiving Ciara. It's absolutely, totally annoying, but at the same time I can't help but wonder if it means good things regarding my hormones. Only time will tell I suppose.
At any rate, my diet and exercise routine has completely gone to pot. Yesterday before I went to babysit I decided to head to the grocery store to buy something to snack on...huge mistake! I should have known for certain what I had coming just by paying attention to my purchases! I think I had every type of craving known to man. It's embarrassing to admit my what I bought- but I'll do it anyway because it's actually quite amusing. I bought Pizza for us to have for dinner, cheese curls, salt & vinegar chips, orange soda, coke, Hershey's kisses, sour patch kids, and jolly ranchers (those were Ciara's idea). I admit it- that's truly pitiful.

New goal- Kick Aunt Flo the hell out of my house so I can feel motivated again! (as if...we all know she won't leave until she's good and ready, and since she just arrived today I think I'm out of luck for at least a few more days)

Realistic new goal- Since Kevin will be out of town for the week I need to try extra hard to make healthier meals for Ciara and myself. The goal is to avoid fast food for the entire week! I'll go grocery shopping after I drop Kevin at the airport and I'm making it my goal for the week to make the healthiest choices I can manage under my present circumstances (in other words- RESIST the temptations!)
Goal number 2- if the weather is warm enough go for at least one walk with Ciara and Ginger after work. I'll try to make it to the gym at least once as well, but it's more difficult to do with a 3 year old in tow, even with the on-site care. Especially when said 3 year old is still not feeling so hot.
Goal 3- Remember to blog!