Almost there...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Brief Update

Okay, so yes, scraping the bottom there a bit. I've got it together now. There are next steps in place. And also, I have the very best friends in the whole world. Y'all don't even know. But suffice to say, I expect that by January or so, things will be well in motion to move us to our next home, be that temporary or permanent.

Yesterday, I hired a babysitter to be home with us for a couple of hours on Monday so that I could clean up the house and Erik could grade papers. (Thank you Sarah!) There is too much, and having us all being varying degrees of sick this past weekend meant that there was no hope of getting enough done. I was totally willing to spend $30 to solve this problem. Sarah tried to entertain Athena (who really just wanted me to carry her around endlessly) while I washed and folded and decluttered and put away. Now I can walk through rooms without stepping over crap and I found two things I'd been looking for for weeks. So that's better.

Soon, we have to do big things. First, there's a couple of little things. We have to finish the electrical in the garage and paint the underside of the eaves. Once that's done, we get a home inspector out to do an inspection on our house and see what else we should fix before putting it on the market (or what we should disclose to potential buyers instead of fixing). Then once that's done, we start packing up the house. We empty everything into the garage and lock it up tight. Then things get interesting. We might be able to rent it out. We might just sell it. We might find the thing we want to buy and have to do this last part really really fast. We might not find anything we want to buy and may opt to rent temporarily or do something else. But, by mid-November, we're planning to be ready to do whatever the next thing is. That's less than a month from now. I can do anything for a month. Hell, I was 9 months pregnant for a month and that didn't kill me, so this, this is doable.

Meanwhile, Athena is officially crawling now. Over the past couple of days she's transitioned from pushing herself backwards to confidently rocking forward from sitting onto hands and knees and going off in the direction she wants. This morning she came to get me in the bathroom. She immediately went for the trash and then when I put that up on the toilet, started going for the Windex and toilet bowl cleaner. Our bathroom door will now live in the closed position. Further babyproofing is on the docket for the coming week. I figure an hour of watching what all she goes for should inform us of our best targets pretty quickly.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

This Week is Fired

Last weekend we achieved great things. We painted the garage and helped set up Haunted Fox Hollow. Then Sunday night, things started going less well.

It started with not being able to see right. Eventually I figured out that the blinded, sparkly spot in my vision wasn't from looking up at the dining room light. It was the aura of a migraine. Unfortunately, I didn't have it together enough to get to bed very successfully. I finished pumping and started heading back, but words weren't working and the normally nearly rote steps of going to bed were really hard. This was evidenced by finding the fresh squeezed breast milk on the counter 3 hours later. Sigh.

I made it off to work in the morning, but after a few weird interactions, I realized that my brain still wasn't working. I gave up and came home and went back to bed.

Monday night, we got Athena off to bed, but she woke up at 2:30. I got up and fed her. She woke up again at 3:30. Poopy diaper. Okay. Changed that, fed her 2 more ounces, and baby girl was not sleepy. By 4, I'd tried lying her in bed with us. That just served to keep us both awake. I contemplated just getting dressed, getting in the car, and shuffling off to daycare and sitting in their parking lot til they opened. At least traffic would be better that way. Though Erik had to get up at 5:30 to go teach, he got up and got her back to sleep.

Oh traffic. It took me 2 hours and 15 minutes to get to work on Tuesday morning. I left here, bleary eyed from very little sleep, at 7:20. I made it to Stanford at 9:35. This included a 13 minute stop to drop off Athena at Early Horizons. It also involved taking 45 minutes to go from 280 and McLaughlin to 280 and the 880/17 interchange. It also involved one-way traffic controls on Junipero Serra during rush hour so that PG&E could work on the gas pipeline. Returning home took me an hour when I left at 10 minutes to 7. There was just time to eat quickly, get the baby to bed, shower and pump and then go back to work in the morning. This time, I was going to leave at 6:40.

Leaving earlier didn't really help enough. It still took more than an hour an a half to get to work, and Erik dropped Athena at daycare. Getting home was a bear  that took nearly 3 hours with one stop. Given the parameters of can't drop Athena off before 7:30 and need to be at work by 9, I can't find a consistent way to not spend 3+ hours on the road daily, and more than 4 on really bad days. This is leaving me one waking hour a day with Athena, during which I shovel food down her and put her to bed. And I do absolutely nothing else with my life.

The next morning, I rolled out of bed at 5:23 and out the door by 6:10. I made it to campus at 8:10. Oy. I can't do any earlier as daycare opens at 7:30, and that was the limiting factor. I actually spent 10 minutes waiting for them to open.


The trouble is, I'm fresh out of levers to pull. I can keep trying new approaches for a really long time, but when I run out of things to try, I get worn down. The area we'd like to live in has nothing for sale. Literally, not one single property. We're expanding our search, but still, it's depressing. I knew we'd missed an opportunity with the one house. I didn't realize until now how serious that was.


I also spent Thursday at the IT Unconference. This was cool, but trying to find time to pump during a busy conference schedule isn't possible. I got a brief reprieve when the 10 a.m. session wrapped up early and I ran back to my office to pump. I made it back to the 11 a.m. session 15 minutes late. I didn't get another chance to duck away until the end at 5p.m. And then my boobs wanted to explode. I ran off to go handle that in the car. I met up with Erik at Early Horizons and picked up Athena. We all carpooled home, leaving one car behind in Sunnyvale. Maybe this could work? Maybe? Maybe just Fridays when Erik doesn't have to be there til 9. We'll see.

So off to bed I go, thinking that we'd get to bed early and sleep well. I woke at 4 feeling... off. Athena was periodically fussing too. I felt like I was going to barf. Dozing in and out til the alarm, I got up and promptly threw up. Three times. With the thought that maybe this could be the end of that, I continued to get ready. I had to at least go pick up my car. Erik went in to drop Athena and I realized it was not the end of that. I raced home, but didn't make it, opening my car door to hurl on the pavement a few blocks from home. I spent the entire day wrecked, apparently suffering food poisoning from lunch the day before.

So to sum up this pity party:
 - My commute is not working. This is a known issue that peaks annually in October (with Halloween being the absolute worst commute day) and should get better closer to Thanksgiving, but living through it is hell.
 - We'd like to move to solve this problem, but there's nothing for sale. We're even considering renting at this point, but with 2 cats, that's challenging at best.
 - I've gone from active and vibrant with a life full of things to just commuting and working and getting ready for work and getting ready for bed to go back to work. This is a fast track to crazyland for me. I haven't been to so much as a Friday Night Waltz in over 2 months. I'm not making ceili on Tuesdays.
 - My life is ruled by my boobs. I set a goal of 1 year and I aim to achieve it (14 weeks to go!), but lordy, planning every day around "And then I can pump between..." is making me more than a little nuts. It's also making me fat as I spend all the time I would ordinarily spend exercising at lunch or whatnot trapped in a closet where I can't lean over. I've gained 10 pounds since going back to work. This is Not Okay.

I know it could be so much worse. I've got friends with cancer and dying pancreases. In general, I shouldn't complain. But every now and then, I just sit back and wonder how much of my life I'll spend chasing a down payment for a house. So far, 15 years and counting. And all I want is a basic 3 bedroom house that's not over an hour from work, but that's just not possible here. And I'm just getting really really tired.

I'm going to go figure out what I can eat that doesn't make me want to barf. Wish me luck y'all.






Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Never Ever Fly United

Remember the thing with the United baggage fees? Well, we get an email of our itinerary that states what the baggage fees will be:

Pretty clear right? Then they charged us $50 for checking bags at one airport and $56 on the way back. At the time, I figured this was less than ideal, because they had my money then and getting it back is always harder than not giving it up in the first place. Turns out, I wish I'd stood my ground. I contacted them right after getting back. After 2 weeks, I hadn't heard back, so I contacted them again, including a copy of the first message. After another week, I called my credit card company to file a dispute. They said they were not allowed to dispute charges from airlines. Hunh? Well, basically, they've got a deal with the airlines to not fight their charges. So though United is behaving more like a shifty, foreign web seller, I have no recourse. This week I thought, heck, I'll give them a call to see if I can get anywhere. There's no phone number. There's no one to call. Just fill out this web form that goes to... nowhere.

I'm pretty certain that I'll never get a response from them. If I do, I'm certain it will be, "Sorry, no refunds." Fraud? Yeah. You bait and switch the consumer and have carte blanche to do it. Neat trick United. I'll never buy a ticket from you again, and the only thing I get to be especially careful about is all the flights that are officially on another carrier, but which are "operated by United."

Monday, October 01, 2012

Things That Cannot Wait

There I was, lurking in the bathroom last night, clearly not hurrying along fast enough, because suddenly there was a baby peekaboo assault! Lunging from around the corner comes the fearsome giggling attack baby!
Yep. It's like that. I also took a still photo that's going to keep me company for a long time.