Saturday, July 28, 2007

More pics of Abby




Pics of Abby



It's been a while

I feel like I haven't posted anything here in a long time.  I have been spending my time being pissed off and generally unhappy.  I have been looking for a new job, but am strangely remorseful about leaving my current one.  I mean, I actually like my job.  I enjoy what I do.  I like my customers.  I take pride in the accomplishments of my store.  I enjoy the (little bit of) control that I do have - writing my own schedule, being able to get out early if I need to, generally being the boss.  My main complaint is that it's just not the same as being home with Abby.  It wouldn't matter if it was the best job in the world, it's not the same as being at home.  

I have applied at a few jobs, and almost none of them are worth leaving what I have.  I currently have three years on the job, with 2 weeks of vacation, 2 personal days, and an established relationships with my coworkers.  Leaving my current job would also mean losing my employee discount - which would cost me a lot of money... :)

My float trip was entirely too short.  I needed a few more days to really unwind.  As it was, I was there for only 24 short hours, and had just barely started to feel like myself, when I had to come back home and get ready to go back to work the next day.  I am really looking forward to our November weekend.

I did get Abby's pictures taken, and I got some really cute ones.  I will get those posted soon.

I can't wait until this week is over.  I am working a lot of long hours - I am helping out another store, and I have an employee on vacation.  I want a dependable and available team again.  I wanted to be off work next Saturday so that I could help my neighbor move - but I have two employees who CAN'T be there, so I have to work.  It's been well over 10 years since I had a friend in my neighborhood that I liked to hang out with, and it breaks my heart that she is moving.  I know she'll still be close, but it's not the same.  I will miss my friend.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

My work update...

Wednesday, I had a manager's meeting at our administrative office. I smoked one cigarette that morning - first one in almost a week, and I haven't smoked another one since then. The meeting was actually productive. We broke down into small groups and discussed innovative ways to bring customers in the doors. I think we've got some good ideas!

One of my employees is still not talking to me.  Today was a little better than the last few days, but not perfect.  I don't much care - I am not there to make friends right now.  I have friends at work - though not many in my store right now.  I am trying to implement some new ideas and getting much resistance.

Also, my stress at work lately surrounds the whole idea of customer service.  I think it's like the old adage about pornography - I can't define it, but I know it when I see it.  I try to teach my team what constitutes good and bad customer service, but it's hard.  I am starting to believe that it's something that is natural - you either have it or you don't.  

Anyway, after trying to teach my staff about this for the last month, I screwed up today.  I had a customer who wanted to speak with me and I told her I was closing tonight.  I didn't realize that Dave was working today, and I was actually off work early.  Well, that was a few days ago, and I had long since forgotten that she was coming in tonight, expecting me to be there.  She arrived at 6:30 and Dave told her that I had gone home for the day.  She was upset because she expected me to be there.  I apologized, via Dave.  I explained that I was confused about the days, and that I thought it was last night.  Dave smoothed things over with her, and she ended up buying the film camera that I talked to her about.  I feel terrible for not keeping my word and not being there when she arrived.  I also feel like a dumbsh*t in front of the same employees that I have been trying to teach customer service to.  

Oh well - I guess everyone makes mistakes.  I will probably write the woman a very sincere e-mail on Monday and ask for her understanding.  Thank goodness I am off work the next three days!  I really need it!!!

WFT 2007

I have my annual women's float trip this weekend. For those that don't know, it's a 20-year-old tradition started by my mom and her sisters, cousins and friends. They used to tent-camp and float in tubes. It was much more rustic then. Now, we rent a cabin in a state park and spend a lot of time in the air conditioned cabin with 4 bedrooms and 2 full baths. We have a full kitchen, missing only a microwave.  We eat a lot, drink a lot, and laugh a lot.  We still float, but we don't do it on Saturday or Sunday, to avoid the crowds.  We listen to good music, tell stories, bitch about our jobs, husbands, kids, cars or whatever else is eating at us.  The women who go are all friends and family, and there are no men or children allowed.  It's a wonderful experience.

Normally, I am so excited by now that I can't sit still, but I am just not in the right mood or frame of mind for this. I have been torn about this ever since I found out I was pregnant - figuring that I wouldn't know if I was going until it got close (depending on if Abby was still nursing, how I would feel about leaving her, if I would even be able to get off work, etc.). Well, I am leaving tomorrow and am still not feeling like I even want to go.

I usually ride with Holly, but she's not going this year.  I have talked to my Aunt Laurie about riding with her, and maybe that's not a bad idea.  I just feel so torn about the whole thing, that I hate to partner up with someone, which could potentially commit me to staying the entire weekend, when I might feel like leaving earlier.  I really hate relying on other people.  My mom taught me to be responsible for myself, so that I could be in control of my own destiny.  I have always had anxiety about riding in cars with other people if I am not driving.  I have control issues... :)

Anyway, I haven't packed, or shopped for what I would bring.  I can't say with absolute certainty that I am going, although I am sure it's probably the best thing I can do right now.  I do miss spending time with my family, especially mom.  I just am not sure that I am ready to be away from Abby for a whole weekend.  What if she grows while I am gone?  

Grrr...

Well, it's been an interesting week.

I got my pictures back of Abby and discovered that I am going to have to retake them.  I don't mind - I love taking pictures of her, but I didn't plan to do it this weekend.  Not to mention, she doesn't really fit in the little dress I put her in, and we'll have to do something different.  There is another dress I want her pictures in, but it's white and HOT pink, so I need a suitable background.  That's what kept me from using that dress before.  Sigh...

Also, my birthday was Tuesday.  I am 28 years old.  It was a nice birthday - Mike bought me 2 dozen yellow roses (I will get a picture posted, I promise - keep reading for reason why).  We stayed at home and Danielle and Steve came to our house.  We ordered pizza and watched TV.  I needed that kind of downtime.

Last night, Mike's mom called around 2 a.m. with numbness in her arms and then her heart started racing.  Mike drove over there, only to find her refusing medical treatment because she has no health insurance yet.  She's only been at her new job for a month now, and her insurance won't kick in until September.  

This morning, on my way to work, I was speeding on Hwy 255 when my luck finally ran out.  I was clocked at 80 mph in a 65 mph zone.  The Illinois state trooper pulled me over and wrote me a citation.  My fine is $75.  ...Sigh, again...

In addition to all of this, I also discovered that five of my picture files are corrupted.  The worst of it is that the June and July folders are basically useless.  I had most of the pictures on my memory cards still, so it's not a total loss.  I haven't yet found the portraits that I took of Abby in her baptismal gown.  I will be sad if those are gone forever.  I do have a recovery software that I haven't yet tried, but I won't have the chance to do that until Sunday.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Yesterday

Mike and I were both off work yesterday.  We had a really nice day hanging out here at home with Abby.  We cleaned a little, napped a little, cooked a little.  Abby is teething, so she's not feeling good and sometimes not acting like herself.  I feel bad for her.  She prefers to chew on my finger or her hands, but we've tried introducing teethers.  She'll use them if she has to, but it's not her first choice.

I still haven't taken portraits for her 3 month pictures, but I did take a lot of pictures yesterday.  I am hoping that something turned out good enough to print.  I probably took about 80 rapid-fire pictures of her, in under 4 minutes.  I wanted to get my lights out and do something fun.  I chose to be lazy and just spend my time holding her rather than doing a bunch of work.

We also watched my nephews for a few hours yesterday.  They love Abby!  Mason and Brandon both want to make her laugh, hold her and get her attention.  When she looks at them, they light up!  I love Mason and Brandon so much, and it makes me happy that they like Abby.  

For dinner, Mike barbecued.  We had Patti (my neighbor) over and the three of us made kabobs.  Mike splurged and bought some really awesome steak to use.  They had peppers, onions, potatoes, mushrooms (ick!!!), tomatoes and steak.  They melted in my mouth!  We've been talking about barbecuing kabobs for over a month now, and it was awesome.  We made side dishes (potatoes and salad) to go with it, and none of us touched them!

Also, Patti told me that she was accepted into the apartment that she wanted to get into.  She'll probably move on August 4th.  I am very happy for her that she's going to have somewhere to live, but I will miss her like crazy!  She's only moving about 5 minutes from here, so she's still very close.  I will miss the convenience of being able to see her anytime.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Today

Well, another week has passed.  Abby is three months old today!  It's hard to believe that she's already three months old!  She looks so big to me right now!  Her favorite games include watching the ceiling fans and playing with her floor gym.  She has favorite songs - like Screaming Infidelities by Dashboard Confessional and Lullaby by the Dixie Chicks.  

We spent July 4th with Gary and the boys - that's always a lot of fun.  We also hung out with Margaret, Keith and Brianna from across the street.  Abigail spent the night with my mom that night.  

Also, last night Mike and I went to the Cards game...we lost.  But, we had a lot of fun with my coworkers.  It was Creve Coeur Camera night at the ballpark and we got our pictures taken with some of the players.  












I wanted to get some pictures of Abigail today, but I failed, miserably.  I haven't spent much time with her today - we were busy with the neighbors.  Maybe I can get it done tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

A rough week

It's been a really rough week for me.  I had worked a lot of hours and also went to see my counselor, whom I have been seeing since I started back to work.  My appointment with her was terrible, and I am convinced that I don't ever need to go back and see her.  After I left her office, I was close to tears all day.  I felt empty and sad - not what I would expect after an appointment with a counselor.  Her advice was elementary and immature.

Next, I went to work.  Keith (my previous assistant manager) came by the store and I realized how much I miss him.  During the three years that we worked together, we developed a good friendship, and with how I feel about being there right now, I sure could use a good friend.  I just don't have that with Dave right now, and I am not sure there is even potential there for that.  

Friday night, my employees and I all went out to dinner after work.  It was just a casual way of trying to encourage a better atmosphere there, but I don't know if it worked or not.  Craig (the other assistant manager who was moved to the Ladue store) was supposed to show but he got stuck at work and was unable to make it.  Half of my staff was visibly disappointed that Craig didn't show, and I think that his absence at my store is making the morale situation worse.

I didn't get to see much of Abby during the last week.  Half of the nights that I came home she was already sleeping.  I am having a really hard time pumping at work, and because of that, my milk supply is almost gone.  I have three days off in a row, and am going to try to pump and increase my milk supply, but I have mixed feelings about it.  I mean, it's going to stop at some point.  Abby doesn't seem to miss it right now.  I am physically at a point where I could stop and it wouldn't cause my body any stress.  I do have a few events coming up where I will be separated from Abby for either overnight or an entire weekend - which would be more convenient if I didn't have to worry about pumping.  However, I love nursing her.  If anyone reading this hasn't experienced it, I can't explain how awesome it is.  If I stop, I can never do it again (at least with Abby - and there is a possibility that she may be my only child - not that I want that - we're planning on having more, but there are no guarantees in life - what if I don't ever have another child?).  There is so much more on this topic, but I am not sure I am ready to write it all out for everyone else to see.

Mike has been telling me the difference between Abby's cries - whether they mean that she's hungry or tired or whatever.  I know that the parents are supposed to be able to distinguish the cries, but I can't yet.  I feel like a failure as a mother, but realistically, I don't hear her cry that much.  I see her for about an hour in the morning, and she usually sleeps for half of that.  Maybe it will come with time.

I only have two and one half weeks before my women's float trip, and I am torn about this as well.  I am normally very excited by now.  I just don't feel that way.  I mean, I feel like I need a break, but on the other hand, don't really want to be away from Abby.  In addition, Holly isn't going to go, most likely, and that really bums me out.  We usually ride together, share a cooler, and take one day away from everyone else to go shop.  I am looking forward to having no responsibility, but wonder if I might be better staying at home that weekend.

In addition to my pity party, I have also been really worried about a few of my friends this week.  Danielle and Steve lost a wonderful pet this week.  Houston, an English Bulldog, was found in the woods near their home, apparent victim of human hands.  It sickens me to think that someone could purposely do that to an animal - especially one as sweet as Houston.  Also, my friend Patti has been fighting with her husband and they seem to be taking some time apart.  I don't know if it's permanent or not, but I know that she has a very heavy heart right now, trying to do what's best for her and for her children.

So, this post was very sad.  Sorry to be such a downer.