Since I last posted, things I feared have come into fruition. The other job Jim said he would apply for turned out to not be available in this area. Work finally did what they were threatening to do and eliminated overtime. And as they keep upping the production requirements–as well as adding more outsourcers to the written staff–more people are getting fired, including a friend of mine, as well as another lady who is a friend of a friend. Both have been with the company for years.
No, all my anxiety about firings and layoffs due to the changes at work is not unfounded. I am not crazy. Here is the proof.
On a positive note, Jim’s landed a writing gig. Like, a GOOD one. As in he could actually pay our mortgage with this one story, and it’s aligned with his interests, so to say that this is a big deal is putting it mildly. I don’t know how much I’m allowed to say about it, so I’ll stop here, but I’ll just say that I really hope assignments become a monthly thing and not a “once in a while” thing.
One of the things Jim will have going for him that I know a lot of writers don’t: He writes fast, he writes well, and he turns things in way before deadlines. I’m really pushing for Jim to get a website for his writing. It can only help.
In other good news that’s way different (heh), Vincent’s potty training is going great. Honestly, once Jim and I realized that we weren’t being very consistent with it and we needed to buckle down, it took off. I’ve read about all these problems other toddler parents have, like the toddler being afraid of the potty chair. Not the case. Vincent loves it.
One thing that helped was that we just let him run around naked. Surprisingly, there have only been a handful of accidents.
Now we’re working with him to go to the potty chair while wearing Pull-ups because, you know, he can’t go through life naked–at least, not in this part of the United States! But he reverts back to the “I’m a baby in a diaper” mentality and just goes in the Pull-up, so I’ve been setting a timer every 30 minutes and taking him to get him in the habit of learning he actually has to pull something down first.
If this doesn’t work, then I may just put him in underwear. Not nearly as comfortable if you shit in that, I imagine.
Other Vincent news: Vincent is doing this Birth to Three class thing at the elementary school. It’s a free program where I think someone comes to your house a couple of times of month to work with your toddler; they also have play groups together, as well as some field trips. Honestly, they had us at “play groups”! Poor Vincent only gets time with kids from the nursery at church, and we’ve missed the last couple of Sundays. (The first one because Jim was up way too late and was exhausted, and the day before yesterday because Vincent was sick.)
Which brings me to my birthday weekend…It was nice and relaxing. I still got up early with Vincent and let Jim sleep because I usually don’t mind getting up early on weekends. If I’m tired, it’s no big deal, as long as I’m not working. (Not a problem anymore, with lack of overtime.) Weekends, it’s no big deal, I just nap when he does.
Anyway, Jim finally got up. He surprised me with a white, plastic dress mannequin and a fondue pot. I was taken aback by the mannequin. “I’m sorry,” I stammered. “I just–I like it, it’s just–well, it has nipples!”
I wasn’t expecting nipples for my birthday, what can I say.
Anyway, Jim had arranged for his mom to take Vincent. We originally only intended for him to be gone for dinner, but she wanted him overnight. So during our child-free night, we did what I wanted to do: Go to Hobby Lobby (found wolf print fleece in the clearance section that made me think of my dad) and went to Lowe’s and debated various things we wanted to do with the house. Right now, we’re not on anything fun, though, although we looked at fun stuff (large freezers, trees, etc), but my birthday money is going towards “needs to be done stuff,” like moving the washer in the basement to drain in a different drain in hopes it will keep our basement from flooding so much.
Went home, ate Indian food–something that doesn’t fly with Vincent. OMG. Soooo good. If I’m ever on death row, Paneer Tikka Masala will be my last meal.
Went to bed. I was up, getting ready for church. The deal was that Lori (Jim’s mom) would take Vincent to the nursery, and Jim and I would pick him up from there. Jim and I went to get donuts first, after I checked to make sure we were still good, money-wise, as we don’t like to eat out much; dinner was out of Jim’s own personal cash. Then we started getting texts: Vincent threw up his milk, but he seems okay. Now he’s drinking water.
“Granny probably gave him too much milk,” Jim guessed. “You know how it goes.”
I nodded. We got home, ate our donuts, thinking that’s all it was. Vincent is almost never sick. Vincent will drink milk all day if you let him, and I’m sure his granny wanted to spoil him a little with more than his usual amount, but too much doesn’t agree with him.
Then we got another text: And he just threw up his water.
With that, we were out the door.
The above was written a couple of days ago. In a nutshell, Vincent turned out to be sick, but it was mild. We picked him up and he fell asleep in the car. We heard that he had not eaten much of anything since the night before. But after his nap, he acted completely normal. If anything, it was like he had more energy, even though he was running a slight fever.
Meanwhile, I started having my own stomach trouble and didn’t feel well. Monday, I punched in for work and ended up requesting same day PTO. I requested PTO for Tuesday, in case I wasn’t feeling better, and I got approval for both around 1 PM, so I took a little less than half a day for Monday afternoon and just took a nap. When I got up, Jim took his temperature and discovered that he had a slight fever.
So I was glad I took Tuesday off, but we all seemed to be mostly better (I still had a bit of a stomach thing), so by the afternoon, we took Vincent to a public pool to go swimming. 😀
Anyway. It was a nice relaxing day…until about 8:30 PM, when another good friend of mine started texting me that her boss called her AT HOME to basically tell her that if she didn’t raise her stats within a month, she’s going to go on the first step of some kind of disciplinary action. She and I were on the phone for probably about two hours. She needed to vent. We both did, actually. Neither one of our husbands understand what work has become like. That’s the problem with working from home–you become very isolated, with nobody to vent to, and with everything being monitored, you only dare say so much via IM.
After I hung up with her, I became very anxious. Once, I saw myself retiring from this place. Not anymore. I don’t know how long this job is going to last. And it’s so sad, because I used to really love this job. Jim told me that he would work on a resume the next day.
So here it is, the next day, and guess what we get? A letter from the bank. Our insurance and taxes are all rolled up with our mortgage. Well, if I understand what Jim said correctly, the bank is stating that either because of increase in taxes or our insurance premiums, we owe them almost $600. We can either pay it all at once or have our mortgage increase by $50 a month.
“What do you want to do?” Jim said.
I sighed. “I guess there goes my birthday money and a big chunk out of savings,” I said. “I just want to get it done with and paid. Man, it’s not like we were even going to do anything fun with that money. Just house stuff that really needs to be done. Now it’s going to have to wait, again.”
Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned that my student loan went up, have I?
Jim said, “Yeah, I think we’ve reached a point where my finding work is no longer an option, it’s a necessity.”
I agreed. So now he’s working on a resume. I get anxious just watching him go through the process. Man, life shouldn’t be this stressful. We’ve been working really hard to get ahead, getting rid of cable, stopping with eating out. Jim even had our gas disconnected until winter comes to save $20 a month. So, wish Jim luck. I’ve actually checked before, and we may be eligible for WIC, but I’ve tried my damnedest to avoid it. It’s worked so far, I guess.