Day 1

I just started my first ever office job. Today was an unorganized and yet friendly cluster F starting with having found out yesterday at about noon that I was cleared to start working and was expected at 8am. So yeh.

Wallace spent the day with Gramma and did great, but we both missed each other. My coworkers are funny and overall so far nice, though there was talk about my sexuality and my leg hair. I have known a couple of them for four years, though we weren’t friends, so it was fine and just part of getting to know each other. Though I clearly need to up my attire because there was a comment on how I give off gay vibes, in so many words.

I don’t particularly care as long as I am comfortable, I need some clothes for the job anyway, and it’s likely that no matter what I wear I will still look, act, and be really damn gay. Anyway, I stopped for another piece of vegan gf chocolate cake on the way home from work and then went to TJMaxx to try to find some shirts to add to my nearly nonexistent business (very) casual wardrobe. I would have rushed immediately home to hug my baby and eat dinner but they weren’t back from their adventures yet.

I am hoping I can adjust to office life smoothly. I have never had a desk, computer, or phone before. I need advice, please! I am putting together a small bag to keep in a drawer with chapstick, medicine, toothbrush, nail file, emergency snack, and anything else I can come up with. I bought a picture frame and put one of wallace in it, and sticky notes and pens. What else is essential for a work desk? How do I make my gay business casual wardrobe work? How do I make my desk/chair comfortable when I can’t reach the floor and the keyboard at the same time?

Posted in background, LGBTQ, Parenting, Single Mother by Choice - SMC | 12 Comments

Outdoor Challenge: July 15-21

Saturday, July 15

Wallace wanted to go swimming and forecast was promising. We headed out to the pool after lunch and after I did some Amazon work. Two of our neighbors were heading over too, so Wallace was very excited. Otherwise, the pool was empty for half the time we were there. It was weird for a Saturday afternoon. Rob worked with Wallace on getting his face in the water, which Wallace calls diving. I swam a little and got in the water with Wallace too. He’s pretty independent in the pool with his puddle jumper thing on. After her sunbathed and warmed up, we did some floaty free pool time on the steps with me hovering nearby. I would like him to be conscious of the difference in what he needs to do with and without the puddle jumper on. I’d like to work with him on learning to float on his back and hanging on to the side while kicking his feet. He also had some time playing in the sandbox on the balcony and we sat together out there to eat a bowl of fresh local strawberries.

Sunday, July 16

It was overcast and breezy so we didn’t make plans to get outside this morning. Wallace played a bit in the backyard where I babysat, but nothing big. We really need to get out for bike rides and roller skate practice.

I got side tracked by our trip and stopped keeping track of this. Oops!

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MicroBlog Monday: Sore

Yesterday, I managed a little yoga and core exercises while my mom had Wallace for the morning. I am so not consistent with this stuff even though I really wish I were. I miss Bikram yoga so much (love the yoga, not the man), and I miss bike commuting and walking everywhere.

In the afternoon, we went over for my third time babysitting for a fellow SMC who we met at a library event and then saw me on SitterCity. She has a son a few days older than Wallace and twins who are 19 months. The twins are teething and hitting a growth spurt (thanks to trace minerals!) and the normally happy go lucky little dude just wanted to fuss and be held. So, I got my Catbird Baby Pikkolo carrier from the car and swung him up on my back. For at least an hour. While wrangling three other kids… so yeh.

It hurts my abs to laugh and my traps are so sore I ended up with a migraine by this afternoon. It was so worth it though because it worked and it reset him to mostly happy. Gotta get this body stronger and healthier and little walks around the apartment complex aren’t going to cut it.

Posted in babywearing, background, Microblog Monday, Parenting, Single Mother by Choice - SMC | 3 Comments

Real World

I got the job. I will be a breastfeeding peer counselor with WIC/the health department. I think that makes me a government employee. I just had my first ever work physical, drug test, and TB test (gotta go back for a second test, no idea why). I of course passed my background check. And my paperwork says I’m “highly qualified.”

I’m in the process of signing Wallace up for preschool and fretting over which program, how food will be handled, how much school will change him (the good and bad), and how to cover days he won’t have school but I will have work. I’m worrying about what to wear, what to pack for food, and how I will get along with coworkers and bosses. I’m on the verge of entering the real world as a single parent working outside of the house without my kid.

I’m hoping whichever program I decide on will be good for Wallace. I’m hoping this job will get me to financial stability (working on some Dave Ramsey in preparation now) and towards my goal of being an IBCLC. I’m contemplating the eventuality of finishing up the classes and courses needed to take the IBLCE and the possibility of no longer living with my mom. I’m planning out RV projects and playing with the idea of being able to travel and do in person and video lactation consults.

I am fumbling in the dark with this entire process. It was county HR that called me with the interview, but I interviewed with the HD and WIC bosses. I was offered the job by the HR person, but filled out my background check with a different one. I was told the TB test would be next, but the physical hadn’t been mentioned until after more paperwork was ready, which I hadn’t been told of the first time I was at the county building. I supposedly can start August 10th, but I haven’t heard anything from the actual people who will be doing the schedule. I kept forgetting to ask what the dress code is so I asked someone I’m connected to online who had this job before. I need checklist and calendar to get through this! (I may be a little type A…)

I keep wanting to blog and update, but this is all I can manage for now. Just utilizing my space for record keeping and word vomit.

Posted in breastfeeding, Parenting, Single Mother by Choice - SMC | 8 Comments

Outdoor Challenge: July 8-14

Staturday, July 8

It was a short notice babysitting day, so instead of a big adventure, we played in their backyard. Wallace mostly climbed up the slide and played catch with me. Being able to catch a ball in his hands is a new development! He said that the lady at the church nursery taught him.

Sunday, July 9

A long-time online mom friend and I live about and hour and a half apart and had never met. I had suggested a park that has a wooden train to play on and a real (mini) train to ride on that’s not far from halfway. She had said they have a lot of weekends open and I spur of the moment messaged her today to see if they’d want to meet at the park. It worked out very well! We all got ourselves and the kids ready, brought food, and made it there within 10 minutes of each other. The two 4 year olds took a bit to warm up to each other but by the end they were speaking rhyming jibberish and cracking each other up. Our friends went on the train once and we went on it three times. They both climbed up and slid down the very tall old school slide, which was very nerve racking for us moms on the ground. After they left to get the little one to nap, Wallace and I had our third train ride, ate some more, and then headed to a dock on a little pond to see what we could see. Unfortunately, I didn’t see the wasps until right before they stung my poor baby on the face! After crying, hugs, and ice, we warned some people about them and headed home. Wallace fell asleep within minutes in the car.

Monday, July 10

We went to the farmer’s market for produce and chicken. Wallace played at the children’s museum’s play area. When we were done shopping and playing, we got a fresh juice and sat outside on a bench with it. The car needs the AC fixed, so by the time we got home we were too hot and needed to rest in the AC. I think we did manage a walk to the mailbox at bedtime.

Tuesday, July 11

We went to the pool and Wallace got some good swimming in. It was not too hot out and their were lots of kids in the pool so I didn’t go in. My sunburn is at the peeling stage and doesn’t hurt. I slathered us up with coconut oil before we went out. He also got a little running around outside the library with friends. These’s no shade, but they like running in the grass and around on the sidewalk.
Wednesday, July 12

We managed no outside time, oops. Just to and from car and stores. We had errands to run and a late bedtime putting his new bed together.

Thursday, July 13

It was overcast, humid, and hot. We played outside at babysitting and chatted with neighbors outside twice. One family got a dog last summer and Wallace and Hudson have been strongly attracted to each other since they first met. Now that Hudson is twice Wallace’s weight and a year old, he has calmed down a little and at least doesn’t bowl him over in excitement. He still gets very happy to see Wallace and comes running full force, but he also was amazingly gentle with Wallace when they played tug one day a couple weeks ago. Wallace adores Hudson and is getting more comfortable petting and playing with him instead of just squealing with joy and then balking.

Friday, July 14

There was no official outdoor activity today, but I had a trial day with a new family and Wallace got some outside play time with her 4 year old. (Aside: she’s a fellow SMC, my first purely in person meeting! She’s also got a lot of similar beliefs and practices so we definitely jive.) We are both exhausted from the whirlwind of this week and I’m hoping for a bike ride and some pool time soon.

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Beds

When we moved back to my dad’s, a little over two years ago, I got a new crib mattress for Wallace and put it in his awesome crib with the front off and a bed rail. I worked to transition him to sleeping in his own bed in his own room since we had that luxury. It wasn’t until a couple months on trace minerals that he started sleeping most of his night in his room before waking and me bringing him to my bed. But, when we were in the process of downsizing and moving a year ago, I sold the bed and mattress.

When we moved in with my mom, we started sharing a room again and I figured he’d just end up in my bed all night again. Instead, he chose to sleep in a pack n play in the room with me. I padded it with extra blankets and got him a new pillow similar to mine. He is now four and growing like a weed so when I saw a couple toddler beds with mattresses at the thrift store, I decided to go for it. There was a Cars one and a Disney princess one. They are not a style I pictured ever buying but they are sturdy enough. I thought he’d like the Cars one as he’s a fan despite not having seen the movie but he chose Princesses.

Testing out mattresses and choosing a bed.

I managed to disassemble it and fit it in the Grand Am. After a stop at the grocery store, we got it home, up to the third floor, wiped down, and put together. He was so excited about it and relatively helpful. He peeled the stickers off, helped me carry pieces, and even held a side steady while I got the bolts in. Due to all of this, we had a a late bedtime and he tossed around a bit, too excited to sleep. As we got ready for bed, he told me exactly how he’s going to tell Gramma about his new bed when she gets home from her vacation in a few days.

My super helpful, always expressive, turns pink at the slightest increase in temperature four year old.

Practicing co sleeping with three baby dolls.

Success!

Posted in background, pictures, Sleep | 2 Comments

Outdoor Challenge: July 1-7

Saturday, July 1

I had a babysitting shift, so Wallace played outside at their house for about an hour. Mostly in the wading pool but also playing with a ball and swinging.

Sunday, July 2

After hours inside doing housework and things, I decided what I needed was a bike ride. We went across the 5 lane road and to the bike path that goes all the way to the big playground in town. We stopped at the sledding hill to run around before continuing on. He played at the playground for a while and then we headed back. Unfortunately, this kid of mine keeps growing and a bolt on the bottom of the bike seat started rubbing on my rear tire. Not good. I tried to mess with it a few times but it kept rubbing. We had to walk the last mile or so home, which he did better with than I’d thought. A neighbor friend was outside and had her husband come take a look and see if he could help me fix the issue. He turned the aforementioned bolt upside down so it was flush underneath where it had been rubbing. Then he was also able to tighten a bolt that had been loose for a while. Yay!

Monday, July 3

A couple weeks ago, we met a family at a party and today we had a playdate. Her youngest daughter likes trains so when I found that out I got excited. Wallace picked out three minis he had doubles of and I happened across too small thomas PJs to hand down. The girls and Wallace played trains and then went outside to run around. Wallace swang for a bit, climbed and slid, and played in sand. They ran around in clover filled grass and eventually ended up back inside to play some more.

Tuesday, July 4

I was planning to get us out for some kind of adventure today but our neighbors sent a text as they headed to the pool, so we joined them. We spent almost three hours at the pool! It was packed due the holiday and Wallace had a lot of fun with all the kids as well as our neighbors. I ended up with sunburn on my upper back/shoulders/neck and the front of my thighs. I never burn, but I also never sit with my back to the sun for three hours. Oops. I have no pictures because I left my phone inside uploading pictures and charging.

Wednesday, July 5

I had to run to Staples to drop off a box for Amazon. Wallace played in his little sandbox on the “deckony” while I was out. That was all the outside time he got because it was hot and my mom and I both had a lot to get done.

Thursday, July 6

It was almost 90 degrees and I still have sunburn so the extent of our outside time was when he ran up and down the ramp outside the library for a few minutes. Totally slacked but it was soooo hot and I had started the day with a migraine.

Friday, July 7

Around  lunchtime, Wallace asked me when the next For Mar class was. It’s on break for the summer and because there are a lot of other programs through the county parks during the summer. So, we got out the catalog of programming and took a look. It turns out we just missed a few neat events and when I suggested one we could go to another day, he agreed but looked a bit sad. I asked if he just wanted to go together and have a hike and explore. He was very excited about that! It took us quite a while to get ready as I had to eat lunch and have been working on transferring things to my new computer. We went for a nice walk towards the suspension bridge, stopped at the pond and saw goldfish, water bugs, a snapping turtle and a smaller turtle, talked about poison ivy, saw wild raspberries, swatted a few  mosquitoes, found a dead mole being devoured by carrion beetles, read all the monarch trail signs we found, saw a snake in a puddle, and pestered a tree frog. Wallace had a late lunch, as he really wanted to eat it at the preserve and not at home, and then we went into the center to tell them about the dead animal very near the trail. I showed them on a map about where it was and a couple people headed out to take care of it. We played around a little inside the center and then decided to head home because Wallace was hungry again. He almost fell asleep on the way home and then we had a torrential rainstorm that knocked over the chairs and came in the sliding doors.

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