Tuesday, June 26, 2007

New pictures of Abigail

She wouldn't wear the hat for long, but I was able to snap a few pictures and this one turned out best.

I think this picture might be my favorite so far.  I think it's the best smile I have caught with my camera!

She has been giggling lately and I can't help but laugh when she does it!  Last night, she was cracking up at me, and every time she laughed, I laughed and then she laughed harder.  We were both laughing at each other for a few minutes.  I wish I had captured it on video. 

Friday, June 22, 2007

Visiting daycares...

So, today, Mike and I went to three different daycares to find a back-up plan for Abigail.  Right now, my sister has her during the day, but she's looking for a job right now, and if she finds one, we'll lose our wonderful babysitter.  

Most everyone who knows me realizes that I wanted to stay home with Abigail, and that this is a really hard thing for me.  It has been really comforting to know that she's with Holly - I haven't cried on my way to work at all.  I have successfully completed 3 weeks of work, and I feel okay about leaving Abby with Holly.  However, we really need to be prepared for Holly to get a teaching job (and for her sake, I really hope she does).

Our first stop today was KinderCare.  This particular center is across the street from Mike's work.  It is the most convenient and the most expensive.  The staff was young, but very friendly.  They spent a lot of time with us, letting us look around the facility.  The teachers take the children outside each day and they take pictures of the children frequently.  Each child gets their own crib that the parents can decorate to make it feel more like home (mobiles, crib ornaments, etc.).  

Our second stop was ChildTime.  This place was really nice.  The staff seemed a little more experienced and personable.  The location of this one is a little less convenient to get to, but it's closer to home.  The rules and general operation of the facilities didn't seem to vary much.

Our third stop was La Petit Academy and neither of us really liked that one.  La Petit didn't offer any part-time availability, which is what we would be most interested in.  In addition, the space was much smaller.  I felt cramped while I was in there talking to the teachers, and can imagine what it would be like at drop-off or pick-up time.

All in all, my general feeling on the matter is that wherever she goes, it's still second-rate.  She would be better off with me, or with Holly.  Although the ladies at the daycares knew the children's names, it feels somehow impersonal, and inferior to the type of loving attention that Abby would get from someone who truly loves her.

I am more than a little hesitant to do this.  I am nauseous just writing about it.  I know that I am being irrational - there are many people who have children in daycare and they all turn out just fine.  I just have to keep telling myself that.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Happy Father's Day to Mike, and Abigail's Baptism

Today was a very special day for us!  Not only was it Mike's first Father's Day, but it was also the day we had Abigail baptized.  The ceremony was perfect.  Abigail was more startled by Fr. Goldian's voice than by the water being poured on her head.  She was awake and alert for all of it. My mother-in-law took pictures for us, while my brother-in-law used my camcorder for us.  

We had a small reception at our house after the ceremony.  We barbecued and had lots of food. There was pasta salad, potato salad, baked bean casserole and LOTS of brownies!  Yum!

The list of guests included Danielle and Steve (Abby's Godparents), my mom and gramma, Mike's mom and his grandma, Holly and Gary and the boys, Michele and Mike, Aunt Pat and Uncle Vic, and Grandma Pat.  Abigail received lots of gifts, including a child's Bible, rosary, cross for her wall, photo album, keepsake box and more.

As an added bonus, she slept all night last night!  We put her in her bed at 9:00, and she slept until 5:30 this morning!  I guess that baby girl was so exhausted from all of the attention, that she needed lots of rest!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Second week of work

This week was pretty stressful at work.  My boss called me on Tuesday and started talking to me about transferring me to another store.  I spent the next three days talking to my boss about different scenarios - moving me, moving my assistant manager, etc.  The problem is that while I was on maternity leave, my store was being managed by two assistant managers, and now that I am back, one of the three of us has to leave.  We can't have all three of us at one store.  It's very sad, because one of them is an extremely good salesperson, while the other is a great manager and motivator.  Either way, my store was losing out.  

It was finally resolved at 7:00 last night.  I am staying at my store, which is good for me.  I am keeping Dave - the salesperson - and Craig is going to Ladue.  I will really miss Craig.  He contributes a lot to the general morale around that store - keeping everyone laughing and having fun.  

Either way it went, I was prepared to be disappointed - there was not really a way for my store to have the best of both worlds here.  

In addition, I had purposely scheduled myself with a lot of early days this week, knowing that it would be my last week with two assistant managers to take care of closing, but only got out early one day.  Sigh.  Hopefully, I will be able to get out early tomorrow for the graduation party.

I can definitely say that I am glad this week is over!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

This week's events

I started back to work this week.  I have already worked close to 40 hours, and I still have today to work.  It seems as though there is a lot of work to do to my store to get things where they should be.  My employees don't seem to be getting along right now, customer service is a foreign concept, and I am not sure that this staff is going to get me through Christmas.  I know, it seems early to think about that, but in the world of retail - that's what it's all about.

Physically, this week was pretty hard.  My entire body has ached - probably because it's so not used to being on my feet for so long.  I am also completely exhausted.  Mike has been wonderful this week - he's gotten up with Abby and me during the night feedings.  Our routine this week has been that I nurse her and then he puts her to bed, which can sometimes be challenging.  I could sleep standing up right now.

Also, Abigail had her two month check up with Dr. Remus.  The good news is that Abby weighs 12 lbs, and is in the 80th percentile for weight.  She is also 24.75 inches long, and is in the 97th percentile for height.  The bad news is that she had 5 shots yesterday - a hepatitis vaccination, tetanus vaccination, and a few others.  She was fairly fussy last night, but she's been on tylenol since we left the doctor's office.  She didn't go to bed until almost 11:30 last night, and she slept all the way until 6 a.m.  It was nice to sleep all night.

This week, I am working early most of the days, which will be nice.  We have to get ready for Abigail's baptism, which may or may not take place on Father's Day.  We have it scheduled for the 11:30 mass on Father's Day, but the church has called and asked us to move it, which we really don't want to do.  We'll see how this goes.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

My first day of work...

Yesterday was my first day back to work.  I got up early and started getting ready before Abigail woke up.  We did okay getting our stuff together and getting out of here on time.  I took Abby to Holly's and chatted with Holly for a short time before leaving for work.  I didn't cry - which I am very proud of myself for.

I had a short meeting with my boss at the administrative office before heading to my store.  I arrived at my store at about 10:30.  I wandered around in a daze for a little while, trying to figure out where to start.  I decided to meet with each employee in my office for a "state of the union" type conversation - to find out what had been going on since I left, and if there were any personnel issues I needed to know about.  

I was also able to pump my breast milk twice - but I didn't get nearly as much as I should've, because the line to my pump had a hole in it.  I think I might have that fixed, now, and today I should be able to be more productive.

Around 2:30, I was in my office with my assistant manager, and Megan walked in with a bouquet of yellow flowers from Mike and Abigail.  They were so beautiful.  There were roses and sunflowers and lillies.  It is such a happy-looking bouquet!  I will post a picture of them tonight.

My boss had asked me, during our morning meeting, to work on customer service at my store. By the end of the day, I had decided to do a contest at my store that would encourage better customer service, while maybe providing some fun competition, too.  I am actually a little excited about the contest - I think it will be fun!

I stayed for my entire shift.  I didn't leave the store until 6:00.  I was so tired when I got home, and my feet hurt (I wore a bad pair of shoes).  As soon as I walked through the door, Mike handed Abby to me, and I held her all evening.  She nursed on me most of the evening, but we did get a little time to play and coo at each other.  I really missed her yesterday!

All in all, it was a pretty good day.  I didn't talk to any customers, though, so it wasn't really an accurate representation of what's in store for me.  And, it was an early shift - which isn't really normal either.  Today and tomorrow are both long days for me - I am working open to close. These are the days I dread.

So, I am going to start getting ready for work now.  I am telling myself to take this one day at a time - it's the only way I think I can do this without feeling really overwhelmed.  Here we go...Day 2...

Wish me luck!