Wednesday, January 28, 2009



The part-time gig called! After all the rigamarole and 5 months of waiting, they've offered me the job! Starting March 1!

I am soooooo relieved and pleased and happy. He said my references were stellar, they were so excited. Not many details, but WHEW. What a relief!


Thanks for the comments on the last post. Much food for thought.

But today, I'm just going to link to a post I did last year on this date. Today is the 87th anniversary of the Great Knickerbocker Snowstorm of 1922. This story has fascinated me all year, but I've not found anything new. If I was the historical-novel-writing kind of person, or any sort of historian, I'd think there'd be a book (fiction or non-fiction) in this story. Since I'm not, I'll just quietly remember.

Monday, January 26, 2009


I've not written much lately about the state of the marriage. It's hard. I don't really know what to write. On the surface, day to day, we seem perfectly normal. I smile, we hang out, we're parenting together. And underneath it all I struggle.

My husband had a counseling appointment last week, and over dinner I asked him how it went, and what he discussed. Mostly his family, not surprisingly (his counselor: you know they're not normal, right?). I asked if he talked about us, and he said a little, but not much.

I said, I think you think we're on track and I'm over everything (code word for his infidelity). He replied, well, with so much else going on (code: the no-job stress) I figured it's just on your back burner. I just shook my head. It's on the front burner.

It's always on the front burner. I think about it every day, and I don't know how to "get over it."

I've been trying, objectively, to think about why infidelity is so debilitating. What is it about the situation that is so incredibly hurtful. I think if I knew, maybe I could help to heal. But I can't put my finger on it. I think it comes down to betrayal, though I can't define what that really means. I was betrayed by the one person I should be able to count on. So now, when we have any sort of disagreement (normal marital disagreements that come along with a toddler and newborn), my first thought is, remember, you can't count on him.

I don't even know how to put into words how I feel, or what I think. You know there are all these studies and pop culture anecdotes about how men and women react differently to whatever. How men just move on, and women want to rehash every little thing. I have so many unresolved feelings, and somehow my husband ended the relationship, quit his job, left behind good friends, and never looks back. Is it really possible he never looks back?

You could say we're following the time heals all wounds theory. Enough time passes, life goes on, and the pain/betrayal recedes into the background.

I think this is all I can type today about it, but there's more. I'm thinking about going to see the movie Revolutionary Road, which I know is (at least partially) struggles in marriage, and banality, and life. I want to live a meaningful life. I don't want to just go along. Have you seen the movie? Should I see it, or avoid it?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

fortune cookie

So my fortune cookie tonight read:

Don't be too hasty, prosperity will knock on your door soon.

Boy I hope so.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

more work ups and downs

Whew. Friday was spent on the phone/e-mail. I heard all about the part-time gig.

Here's the rub. Let's pretend this job is teaching astronauts - teaching them some background science for their experiments. But I've never been an astronaut. Does that disqualify me from teaching them? I'm not teaching them to be better astronauts, or teaching them about being an astronaut. I'd be teaching them about my expertise.

When they interviewed me in September, I was head and shoulders above anyone else. Which made them worry they hadn't hit the right people with the position description. So they re-advertised and found some former astronauts. Who do not have a background in the background science.

So, some people in the organization think they want someone who knows the science and can teach it. Other people think they want a former astronaut, who can bond with the new astronauts. One of my references said to them - would you rather have someone you know (whichBox), who knows your stuff cold and who can learn to navigate the world of the astronauts, or do you want an astronaut who has to learn all your science?

I hope this extended analogy is working.

One of my references is a former 'astronaut.' He's the one reference I was least sure of - we'd worked together, but I really didn't know what he might say. I talked to him, too Friday and he said they asked him about the need to be a former astronaut, and he told me that he told them it did'nt matter.

So, done everything I can do. It's all up to them. I'm kinda curious what they will choose, to be honest. And I still want that part-time job.

Anyway, earlier in the week i had applied for another job, with the organization that totally blew me off this past summer. I interviewed for a job and never heard back from them. And I interviewed with someone I knew personally, and still to this day have not heard a word. Anyway, new position, in a slightly different area than my background. It's a brand-new project, just starting out. The head guy called me Friday afternoon and said he'd had a few applicants but wasn't excited about any of them, then saw my application, and my background was perfect and I was a known quantity to so many people there....we talked for 30 minutes, and I thought it was all good. He e-mailed me a background paper on them, and suggested we talk next steps this week. So I spent the weekend excited, but worried it was all going so fast and did I really want a job to start right away, etc etc.

So I e-mailed him Tuesday and said ok, let's talk, and he replied he would get back to me. What? Wasn't this guy all fired up on Friday? What happened? Sudden paranoia that maybe I was being sabotaged by someone in the organization. I am good at what I do, but no one is perfect. I have my flaws. And I worked for a competitor company a few years ago, is there a lingering issue I don't know about?

As I was typing this the guy e-mailed me - his week has gotten away from him, can we talk tomorrow or next week? Ok. Whew. I just wrote him back and said it sounded like he needed some help and I was around, anytime was fine.

Oh, and get this. The head person of the parttime job? I think, based on what my contacts said, that he's the one who doesn't think I'm right for them. And guess what? He is on the advisory board of this new project. Small world.

Anyway. Back to my analogy. What do you think? If you've never been an astronaut, can you teach astronauts?

Friday, January 16, 2009


I'm so all over the place when it comes to working. The little man is only 7 weeks old, so it's difficult to think of going back to work. But my nanny is so ready to take over (and have me out of the house). We need to sit down with her in the next week and give her an annual review and raise, and then say, but....if WhichBox doesn't get a job in the next 8 weeks, we'll have to let you go. Boy, that's going to be fun.

I told my husband I want a job that starts in mid-March, but I want to know I have it now, so that I can enjoy myself and these precious weeks at home. Not going to happen.

And I'm not enjoying myself, because I'm ramping up networking and job hunting. Searching and applying for jobs during naps, in between breaks. When I want to go to the afternoon movies and nurse while catching up on the latest releases. Or, when it's not freezing cold, walk off some of this weight. Or shop. Or cook. Or have lunch with friends/colleagues.

So, the part-time gig. I'm too burnt out on it to link to past stories about it. Basically, applied in August, interviewed in September. They asked for references in December. And they're calling references now. They told one of my people they were deciding between 4 candidates. FOUR. Who calls 4 sets of references? I am so up and down with them. I hear a tidbit and think oh, good, I will get it. I hear another - like this 4 candidate thing - and think, ok, there's no way, I need to move on. They're calling a good friend of mine today, so hopefully I'll hear more. And just conclusive - either way. Now I'm worried I didn't give them good enough references. One of their Board members agreed to be a reference, but he and I haven't worked together for 4 years. A colleague from my last full time job, but I don't entirely know what he will say. He asked for talking points, and we worked well together, and I know he's a loyal and supportive colleague. But I have no idea what type of reference he gives - will it be good enough? And then 2 people, former colleagues, who are good friends. But neither can speak directly to the core business, just to how I am and how I think and work. Aiyiyi. Now I'm stressing myself out. Oh well, it is what it is.

But seriously, this is why it's hard to re-enter the workforce. References grow stale with time. I'm really struggling with references for everything.

My friend/former colleague told me about a couple of other possibilities and told me to contact another colleague about them, and that went well. We'll talk next week about a new job in her company about to be posted for which I'd be 'perfect' (her words).

The phone interview from last week went well, I thought, and ended with the recruiter saying OK, I'm going to forward your resume and my notes along and recommend you be interviewed for the position. But it's been a week and I haven't heard anything more.

Stress, stress, STRESSSSSSSS. I would like to be more calm, to be more centered, to have more faith, to be more methodical - if I take these steps - contact former colleagues, network, let more people know I am looking - something will work out. It should. I should have faith. But losing the last job, the way it happened (here and here)....... well, it eats at your self confidence.

I need to go for a walk and get this nervous energy out, but it is literally 10 degrees outside. Perhaps the grocery store is the best alternative. When it's too cold to be outside (and this is too cold! I am a weather wimp), and you're bouncing off the walls, how to you burn off that energy?

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Sometime after midnight, my stats showed I'd had over 40,000 page loads over the lifetime of this blog. Also in the middle of the night, I clicked around and saw Niobe's news that she is taking a break. Two big milestones, for me.

I understand Niobe's break, I think. I started reading her soon after she started blogging, when I was in the pit of my own baby loss misery. It's not an exaggeration to say she was a lifeline at that time. I devoured each post, each word, each picture. And when my life really went to hell in a handbasket, she was a support. Despite the hints and clues she divulged in her blog, dead baby jokes has always been about baby loss, and now, with baby born, I can imagine it's hard for her to know how to continue. Of course the community she's created is cheering her on and (at least in my case) wants to know more, to continue to follow along, but given what dead baby jokes is and is not, it's hard to imagine how it might transition. I hope it does. But I also know from first-hand experience it's difficult to blog in the first weeks of new baby land. And, poetically, it is like bookends right now - from loss to gain. Not that this baby changes the loss, or ends the loss, but the game has changed. I hope this break is temporary. What she's been able to do, more than most others, is create comnmunity. I've gotten into several conversations in her comments, and met more new blogs through her than almost any other way.

When I first posted about Mel being in the running for the Weblog awards (she won btw! yay!), I checked out the other categories, and noticed size as a differential. Small blog, large blog - determined by Technorati authority. I don't usually pay much attention to stats and ranks and things, but every once in a while it piques my curiosity. And I checked my own authority - 15. I'm in the top 400,000 blogs. When I first started, I was in the top 2.5 million. And then I checked a few others. Of all the baby loss blogs I checked (not many), Niobe was the only one with an authority over 50.

I think a lot about why I blog. Early on, I desperately needed the outlet. I was telling another blogger last week that I hadn't made the leap into forming real life relationships out of blogging. Partly it's a time issue - squeezingout blogging in the margins. Partly it's an anonymity issue - how can I integrate blogging friends into my whole life? And that's WhichBox talking, completely - categorizing my life, putting groups of people and activities into different boxes and never the 'twain shall meet. My husband knows about the blog, and knows I share deeply personal things, and I know it makes him a bit unsettled, and so I tend to keep it all to myself. When we talk about his parents, I often use suggestions or examples from comments, but I never say someone from blogland suggested...

I sometimes think about opening up more, letting real life friends know about this blog. And for now, that might be ok. But there's those archives over there on the right, with a hell of a lot of vulnerability and pain and anguish in the beginning. And I can't be that vulnerable with people I know. And while lately I've stayed on the job or the in-laws, there's more personal stuff to share. More on marriage and family and life. So private I remain.

As this little blog has grown - from miniscule to tiny - I've made a few, tentative connections. My personal nature is to reach out, to make friends, to create community. That's why this place I'm in now in blogland feels odd to me. While I'm shy, I'm also gregarious at the same time. Blogher sounds fun. Meet ups sound fun. Connections, calls, real life, I'm the person pushing for all of that to happen in new groups. I'm the happy hour organizer at work. The reunion planner from high school. As I've gotten older, it's tapered off, I've withdrawn more into myself. I no longer can chat on the phone, actually. I like my alone time. Sometimes I think I like being the organizer because then, at the event, you can stand separate and just watch. And so with my college friends, I've consciously stepped back. Become just a participant. Tried to enjoy just being in the group, quietly. A new role.

So. That's a little more about me. Standing on the edges, wondering how/if/when to really dive in. We'll see. Maybe.

How do you reach out? Have you formed real life relationships via blogging? Why do you blog?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Did the toxic stew of worry, regret and pain have some sort of impact on my little guy in the womb?

Did a scheduled c-section result in breathing issues for him?

Is dairy in my diet causing digestive problems?

Could he have reflux?

"Look at his left eye - see how sometimes it doesn't seem to track properly?" Could he have Dr. Google-diagnosed amblyopia?

Our daughter laughed at 5 weeks. With a lot of coaxing, sometimes, we can get a few smiles, at now 7 weeks. Could that be an early indication of something ominous?

What's that dry patch on his forehead?

Hey, in other news, did I tell you all that at my 6 week post-partum check up the doctor cleared me for another pregnancy, if we wanted?

Ha ha ha.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Oh for Pete's sake. The in-laws made a small reappearance. In December, my MIL sent my husband an e-mail essentially saying she was done with us. I wrote about it here and here. Here's the thing about my husband - inertia goes a long way with him. He never responded to the e-mail, nor has he done anything about the returned Christmas presents. (Since we're so in the realm of the absurd with them, I have to say I loved that post made readers de-lurk. Yes, it was that shocking to cause non comment-ers to comment!). He hasn't done anything cause he's not sure what to do, but also life sort of takes off, you know? There's not much time to deal with the drama.

Laura almost nailed it in her comment on this post - they are the ones who feed off the drama. And yeah, when we don't respond, it tends to get to them. So last night husband is checking his personal e-mail account and starts shaking his head. His mother resent the December e-mail. I guess she thinks an e-mail that says we're done with you followed by a cold-hearted returning of presents doesn't really mean they are done? She wants to engage? Ridiculous. She sends an e-mai lsaying don't contact us, then resends it when we don't contact her? She is really the most emotionally immature person I have ever met.

(BTW, the head cold seems a little better today. Maybe we had the worst of it over the weekend. I hope so. Thanks for the ideas, I will definitely try a few new tricks.)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

broken record

I feel like I'm always typing the same thing - there's no time. There is no time. I have a ton of time to surf, what with lots of baby holding and nursing. But no time to type. I can type awkwardly with part of one hand, but it's too laborious and frustrating. I need to adjust the seat in which I nurse, to make this easier. Or learn how to use the sling, I guess, to have both hands free?

The little man has been congested since birth. I read once the trial of labor helps push fluid out of a baby's lungs, and often scheduled c-section babies have more trouble with breathing. I thought that might be the case initially, but then I think now he's caught the cold that ravaged my household. I'm the only one who didn't get anything. My dad ended up with bronchitis, my mom was miserable, husband is still worried it'll turn into a sinus infection, and my daughter keeps asking when will her cough go away. And the little man......there is nothing more pathetic than a baby with a stuffed up nose. He tries to nurse, you hear the mucous rattling, he pulls off and yells in frustration. We're suctioning his nose with that stupid blue bulb and spraying with saline solution like mad, but I"m not sure it's helping. We're getting a ton out, but there's always more. How long can this possibly last? My daughter got a bad congestion cold when she was 16 months old and that's what finally led to weaning.

So, the poor little guy can't sleep, either. Well, he sleeps and yells and grunts and snuffles and coughs and gags and complains, all while sleeping. Or trying to sleep. Last night he nursed at 11 pm and not again til 8 am. One would think that might mean he was sleeping through the night, hmm? But no - he cannot get comfortable for long before the nose starts bothering him. He needs to sit up vertically, or sit forward. Which means we're holding him upright. My husband was up til 2 with him. I went to bed at midnight and was up around 4:30. I thought he was crying to nurse, but no, his eyes were closed and when I picked him up he snuggled right against my chest. So I sat up with him until morning. I maybe dozed a bit, but nothing significant. I am tired. (let's not even talk about how poorly you sleep when your baby is coughing and gagging on mucous!) I don't know how to make it better. We have a humidifier going constantly, we're suctioning and spraying. We don't even try to put him horizontal - he sleeps in the bouncy seat or swing. I'm off dairy, hoping that might help eventually. How much longer can this last? Why didn't we buy a reclining glider? (because they are freaking expensive, that's why). Is there someplace in this house we could put a big-ass recliner? Because I feel like the only way I will get sleep again is if we go the giant lay-z-boy route. I live in a historic, fairly small rowhouse. I genuinely don't know where we'd put a recliner, though I keep looking longingly at the cheap ads. Did you know you could buy a hideous huge recliner for less than $200?

Any good hints to get us through this? Or at least words of comfort that this, too, shall pass?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


So, the fuckers at the part-time contract job emailed me this morning. Thanks for references, we'll call them in the next two weeks and decide by the end of the month. WTF.

I am really beginning to dislike these people.

I mean seriously. In my experience, references are the final check before the offer. I guess they are using references for - what? deciding between people? I am using one of their BOARD MEMBERS for a reference, for the love of god. I am connected. I am good. I would be good at that job, and I'm having a hard time believing there's intense high-level competition for an average-paying part-time contract position. So, that put me in a bad mood this a.m. I did not take down the tree yesterday. And this morning the city crews came around and picked up trees. Didn't make lentils yesterday, and the prep (slow cooker recipe) was a bitch today. And the little man? Wouldn't eat off the left boob, leaving me lopsided (and uncomfortable). In sum, crappy morning.

So I went to the movies. I've Loved You So Long. Eh. It was ok. At least I was out of the house.

But then, after the movie, I got another e-mail. Instead of my to-do list yesterday, I applied for a job. And I got an e-mail asking for a phone interview. Interview is tomorrow afternoon. I need a job. I WANT a job. I want a part-time job, but I can't do anything more about them, so I need to take what I can get. Once I'm employed again, I can start maneuvering for a better job, or a better situation, or part-time, or telework, or whatever. But I need to get over this and just freaking get a job.

In other news:
- have you hear about the pending situation where used kids clothes won't be able to be sold in Thrift stores? Aiyiyi! Also, toys won't be able to be sold by small toymakers? Check it out.
- Niobe's surrogate will be induced tomorrow! I am sure she is in a frenzy of anxiety tonight. Or denial. Thinking of her.
- Tash has a great post about Mel being nominated for for a Weblog Award in the category Best Medical Health Issues Blog. Tash's post is spot-on, I have nothing to add. Except VOTE (every day til January 13th. Mel is in the lead, BTW, as of this afternoon.)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

it's quiet

Too quiet. My parents left on Sunday, after their 6 week visit. Believe it or not, the visit went ok. I"m glad they were here. As my husband said, the only thing worse than them being here is them not being here. They drove me crazy, I drove them crazy, but in the end it was such a help and support and yes, fun, to have them here.

And yesterday the nanny started back, and my husband went to work for a full day. And so it's just me and the little man. And while he's not even close to as easy as my daughter, he's still a pretty easy baby. So, it's quiet.

I have a million things to do - regular cooking and cleaning. Taking down the Christmas tree and cleaning and re-organizing the living room. Putting away all the Christmas stuff from all over the house (mugs, candy dishes, hand towells.....). Thank you notes. Exercising. Applying for jobs.

And yesterday I basically sat around and did nothing. Surfed the web (anyone else constaltny visiting Antigone?). But that's ok, for one day.

I want a job. I want this part-time contract badly. Before the holidays they asked me for references, but said they wouldn't call them til January. Sunday I sent my references talking points. Yeah, I'm that way. Over-anxious.

I'm meandering here without a point. I don't do well with unstructured time. I need a list, a purpose, a plan. So, today. I'm making a lentil dish that cooks in the slow cooker, so got to get that going. And taking ornaments off the tree. Add in three or four nursing sessions, perhaps a nap, maybe white clothes laundry, and boy that's a full day, hmmm?

Wow, I'm soooo interesting right now. Not to worry, I'm sure my in-laws or husband have something up their sleeve I can blog about soon enough!

Oh, hell, I can't leave it like that. Here's a picture. I'll have my groove back by tomorrow and lots of posts about how you really put a marriage back together. If anyone knows, please tell me, ok?

Friday, January 2, 2009


Everyone probably knows this already, but today is the day to congratulate Antigone - Perseus arrived yesterday, in perfect timing for the New Year. Like I think everyone else, I've been refreshing like mad to hear updates. I've been meaning to send her an e-mail outlining my top breastfeeding tips (I'm a bit of a lact-tivist, I have to admit, though I try to tone it down), and I still hadn't gotten my act together to send her a shower present. But now it'll be a new baby present. Congratulations.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

In with the new

I have a bunch to catch up on (the baptism was fine, btw), but I remembered that when I turned 40 in August, I typed out some year 40 resolutions. So I just went back and checked them. Since it's the beginning of the year, and 1/3 of the way through my 40th (or is it 41st?) year, thought I'd see how I was doing.

1. More toned. I've made zero progress. Absolutely zip. And those two pounds I reported last week? Turns out a diet of mint M&Ms (mmmm, holiday mint M&Ms are THE BEST) will put two pounds on you. But seriously, I really do want some arm strength. So my plan is on Monday, when my husband goes back to work and my parents leave and real life starts back up (we've definitely been in an interlude these past 5 weeks), I'm going to sart with weight exercises, and also next week ramp up my walking with the little guy. My boots fit on my left calf, but my right calf is still too big, but not by too much. I might just fit into tall boots this winter.

2. Marriage. Sigh. I could type a novel. But I like what I typed back in August - either happily married or happily not. We were in joint counseling when I was pregnant, and it helped. I need that third person there to be able to share what I'm thinking. There are some great things about my husband and our life together. There are also some incredibly crappy things, not even considering moving past infidelity. I am still so hurt - and so angry. I really don't know how this one will turn out.

3. Out of debt and working. I still have that part-time job possibility. They said they'd call references next week. They also told me the contract amount, and it's decent. Decent enough to continue to live frugally, slowly pay off debt, finish smallish, neccessary house projects, and maybe, just maybe build up some savings. Or at least go on a small vacation. Otherwise, next week I also start back the networking and job applying thing. I have a handful of jobs for which to apply, and there's just been no time. Next week when the house is quiet (relatively).

4. Organized. I spent a lot of the fall decluttering. We threw out a ton, donated another ton. There is now a playroom in the basement, where before it was crammed full of old crap. The front bedroom was also cleaned out. In the next month or so we'll transition my daughter out of her small room into a bigger bedroom, and eventually the little man will be out of our room into the small nursery room. The attic office needs some painting and needs furniture. Painting could happen this spring, furniture depends on the job.

If I was grading myself, I'd have to be a tough grader and give myself a C. Some real progress, but some things not started, some still unknown. Despite grade inflation, a C is not bad. The only thing about my list is it's so typical, lose weight, get in shape, get organized. Not an original thought on the list, and certainly, as typed out here, too vague to be useful. For myself, I'll make these more concrete and achievable and will have to report back, hmm, April? 2/3 of the way through my 40th year.

I think I'll add to this list get my blogging life in order. There's just been no time - no quiet time - to post, or comment, or organize the blog. I appreciate the comments and want to get out into blogland more this year.

So, are you a resolution maker? The usual, or something more unusual?