Thursday, April 30, 2009

I need a dog

I've always been a cat person and have never wanted a dog. Ryan had dogs all his life and has always wanted one. But to date, I've managed to avoid even having the "I want a dog" conversation. Although I'm sure, as the kids get older, he may get them to work on wearing me down.

It may sound weird, since I have two kids, but a dog is too much work and too much responsibility.

Having a dog means not being able to pick up and go away for a day or a weekend or a week. Having a dog means having to take it out for walks every day -- which is good exercise, but I already get that by pushing two kids in a double stroller. And it just doesn't appeal to me to walk a dog while pushing two kids.

Having a dog means house training it. And, I spend enough energy trying to teach my kids to not tear apart my house all the time.

But I need a dog -- if only to clean up my kitchen floor for me after every meal.

Because I'm tired of sweeping up after a meal, only for the floor to look like it hasn't been swept in a week before we even sit down for the next meal. How does the floor manage to be covered in food before the kids even eat again?

Monday, April 27, 2009

First day on the new job went sort of as planned

Today was supposed to be the day I went back to work. April 27 -- a day I've had in the back of my mind for months and weeks. A day I'd been dreading, just a little bit.

So, since I wasn't going back to work afterall -- and today I'm officially unemployed (because for last two weeks I've been on vacation to close out my 2008 vacation time), I decided that we would do something different today, something we hadn't done all year and something I had meant to do with the kids but never got around to. And then, in the evening, once the kids were in bed, I figured I'd have a glass of wine and toast my first day on my new job.

Then, this morning, I got up with the kids, ate breakfast with the kids, cleaned up from breakfast with the kids and then threw up my breakfast. I had the stomach flu. And I know it's the stomach flu because Ryan had it yesterday (sorry to anyone who saw us on the weekend).

This damn virus must be a sign that I made the right decision -- because if I was going back to work today, I never would've made it in. Imagine calling in sick on your first day of work.

So, determined to make the most of the beautiful weather and my need to not be anywhere specific today -- I still dragged my ass out with the kids and did what I promised them we would do today -- we went to Riverdale Farm to see the animals.

I figured as long as I didn't eat or drink anything, I'd be fine. And I was, although it took a hell of a lot of energy just to walk around for an hour and a half. But the kids loved it and it was a gorgeous day.

I managed to get them to both nap at the same time for two hours this afternoon so that I could sleep and I asked Ryan to come home from work early so that he could take over for me when they woke up and I could lie in bed and feel sorry for myself.

Now the kids are in bed, but I think I'll save the glass of wine for another day. I think instead, I'll stick to trying to drink water.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The irony of it all

Remember when I ranted about whether to be a stay-at-home mom or to go back to work? I wrote about it. I talked to past and present stay-at-home moms I know. I successfully managed to create good arguments on why I should stay home and why I should go back to work. I lost sleep over trying to decide what to do.

And I finally decided to go back to work.

Only to get laid off last week. Yup, you read that right. I spent all that time trying to decide what to do and the decision was (sort of) made for me.

I say sort of because it wasn't a simple layoff. It's fact that my position was eliminated during a department reorganization and although I had no idea this was coming -- I shouldn't have been surprised. My department began the split into two separate departments over a year ago. And something like this isn't a simple or quick process.

With my job now ceasing to exist; my manager claims that although my work wasn't needed, I was still wanted. So, she scraped together some money and created a 9-month contract job specifically for me. The job description included many aspects of my old job and some new aspects. It looked like it could be interesting -- but wasn't really what I wanted to be doing.

And it had a fixed end date. She said that her hope was that by offering me a 9-month job, it would buy some time for a new full-time job to come up within the department or elsewhere in the company.

With this contract offer also came option B, -- a severance package.

Once again I thought long and hard about what to do. You'd think I wouldn't need to think about it since I had considered leaving anyway. But I did need to think about it and I spent a lot of time doing so. Almost too much time.

And today I signed the termination letter and officially became a stay-at-home mom.

At least I didn't call up a month ago and quit. Then I'd be a stay-at-home mom without a severance package.

Friday, April 03, 2009

New music on my now playing list

I'll admit, I'm musically-challenged. And I don't just mean that I can't sing, because I can't, but I'm terrible at keeping up with new releases and new artists even though I like listening to new releases and new artists.

Instead, I listen to the radio, complain that nothing good is on -- or comment that I like a certain song but have no idea who sings it or what it's called so I can't look it up even if I wanted to. And if I'm not listening to the radio, I'm listening to CDs I bought years ago (with a few exceptions) or music on my iPod that I downloaded years ago. And pop music that was fun to listen to three years ago loses its appeal very quickly.

So, about 18 months ago, I asked for new music advice. And from that request, came a flood of suggestions from friends and family. I downloaded new songs, borrowed and burned CDs and uploaded my iPod, happy with the fact that I now had a whole new music repetoire to explore.

And I've listened to it for 18 months, as if it were new. See what I mean about being musically-challenged? I so easily get stuck in a music rut.

But, thankfully, I have a friend who knows me better than I know myself. And a couple of months ago, he handed me two MP3 CDs filled with new music -- music he's been trying out recently and liked. After listening to a bit here and there, I finally updated my iPod again. I only have a 4G iPod, so I'm very selective with what makes the cut.

So, here's what I'm listening to now:
  • The Decemberists (The Crane Wife). My favourite of all my new music. I love this album and love this group. And I had no idea that they've been around for awhile and this is their third or fourth album.
  • The Airborne Toxic Event. Also a pretty good album. This group reminds me a lot of the National -- a band that this same friend turned me on to in the first place.
  • The National. They were on my list 18 months ago, but then it was just the Alligator album. Now I have all their albums on my iPod
  • The Killers. I've been a fan for a few years and am liking the new album.
  • Snow Patrol. (A Hundred Million Suns) A close second to The Decemberists album. Solid from start to finish.
  • Death Cab for Cutie. (Narrow Stairs). I'll admit, I haven't completely fallen in love with this album yet, but I liked it enough for it to make the iPod cut. We'll see how I feel about it after a few more listens.
And last but not least the new U2 album. U2 is my all-time favourite group -- so much so that I actually went out to the store and bought the CD (yes, an actual, real-live CD) on the day it was released.

So, there you have it. My new music list. Got any suggestions to add? Then leave me a comment. Otherwise, I'll keep listening to this new music for the next 18 months or so until my supplier hooks me up again.