Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It's official

I just canceled my reservations for MLA. There will be no trip to Philadelphia for me this year. This sucks, and then again it doesn't.
It doesn't suck for the following reasons:
  • I don't have to pack up the entire family the day after Christmas and spend 8 hours in the car.
  • I can spend my holiday in my own home.
  • I don't have to figure out what to wear to an interview.
  • I don't have to worry about the possibly wasted expense of a trip to a major city with a $500 hotel bill.
  • I get to go visit some dear friends (Bear's godparents, in fact) rather than sit in a stuffy hotel room talking to stuffy people.
But it does suck for the following reasons:
  • I have no interviews.
  • I sent out over 40 applications and got nothing in response.
  • I have to do this all over again next year (and quite possibly the next).
  • I'm not in any sort of position to bargain for a t-t job at CU Land.
  • I don't get to see all of my MLA bound friends.
I told myself at the beginning of this process that it was going to be a difficult year. I'm not published, although I have extensive teaching experience and can teach in multiple areas. I just finished as well. That said, I was hoping for at least one interview, even just for the experience of it. Oh well. I'll troll the spring list and hope that gets me somewhere. In the mean time, I'm sending out letters for summer teaching at CU.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I need a cocktail . . .

Actually, I need several. The last few days have been rough. For the past 3 weeks, C and I have both been battling horrific colds. For me, it started as a cough, and frankly, there is nothing that irritates me more than a cough. Sometime last week, the snot started developing, and then on Saturday, it got worse. As I picked up Bear, I noticed some tenderness in my left breast, and I immediately thought, "Great, I've got a blocked duct." I assumed this for several reasons, but mainly because Bear, who also had a cold, had been fairly irregular about nursing for a few days. I wasn't too worried though, as I had one when I nursed Wild Man and was able to get rid of it fairly quickly. We had a party to go to that night, and even though I felt like crap, I was really looking forward to it. So off we went.

I must say these friends know how to throw a party. They hired 2 teenagers to take coats and pass hors d'oeuvres, and they also hired two teachers from Wild Man's school (their daughter goes there too) to watch all the children. This means that Wild Man had lots of fun upstairs while C, Bear, and I had lots of fun downstairs. Rather, I should say, we were having fun until I was talking to my party-fabulous friend and felt a fever come over me all at once. I immediately knew I didn't have a blocked duct: I had mastitis. By the time we got home a hour later, I knew I had a fever and was shivering while wearing my down coat (which, incidentally, was an early Christmas gift from C). By the time I took my temperature, it was 101. I took Tylenol and went to bed, after applying several hot compresses to my very sore and clearly inflamed breast. Sunday morning I went to the nearest walk-in clinic to get my diagnosis confirmed, and I am currently on antibiotics. So Im feeling better, as snot continues to pour out of me. That merits one cocktail, at least.

I need several because as of yet I still have not received any requests for interviews at MLA. Tomorrow I will cancel our hotel reservations and change travel plans. Instead of going to MLA in search for jobs we will be going to visit dear friends in upstate NY for a few days. I'm happy about that, but I'm really upset about the lack of interviews. Thus far, I've had 3 requests for dossiers, but no interviews. It's a crap year, I know, but it still sucks. I'm trying to focus on making this a great holiday for us and enjoying the fact that we're doing a minimum of travel--and to see people we love and who won't put any sort of pressure on us. But I'm upset at what feels like a lot of wasted energy.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Random Updates

Life is a bit crazy in our house, which seems to be a recurring theme. As I posted a few days ago, lots of things are going through my head right now. Here is a random sampling of things.
  • I am behind on grading and am thankful that grades are due late here. I have to finish grading today.
  • As of yet, I haven't received any interview requests, which is more than a bit disheartening. It feels like the entire term was a waste. All the time to get job letters and materials out was for naught. I am alternating between sad and indifferent. Today sad seems to be winning out.
  • Bear is adjusting well to daycare, although I continue to struggle with it. I think part of my sadness is due to the fact that I sacrificed a lot of time with Bear for the job search. Without an interview, I feel like I could have spent my time with my baby.
  • We traveled to my sister's house and my grandparents' house this weekend. I learned that I am not much like my sister, and that is a relief for a variety of reasons.
  • I have a cold that will not go away. We're on week three and it is still hanging around.
  • I am getting increasingly angry at my father, who still has yet to meet Bear. I need to devote an entire post to this soon before I totally lose it with him. Perhaps writing about my feelings will prevent me from having a total meltdown with him.
  • I'm still frustrated by all the conversations about me at CU Land. C is hopeful that Dr. Nice Guy, the chair of C's department, will be able to work out a limited-term appointment for me here (it is the equivalent of a visiting prof position). But, as usual, all these conversations are happening without my input. I find it really frustrating that everyone asks C what I want out of a job, but that no one, at least no one in a position of any power, asks me.
  • Wild Man is trying to eliminate naps. This is making for some very long evenings in our house.
  • Wild Man has also asked for a hippo for Christmas. He is obsessed with hippos and has several toy hippos, but now he wants a real one.
  • I still have some shopping to do, and I have no desire to do it.
  • This weekend we're going to make cookies, and I'm sincerely hoping that will put me in a holiday mood. I was in a good mood until this week, but all my job search frustration seems to have taken care of that mood.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Job Search

I have lots of things I want to write about, but I'm behind on grading. So for now I'm just going to write the following sentence:

The job search sucks!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

December Adventures

This month I'm trying really hard to get organized and focused for the upcoming semester. I want to be more organized and focused. My goal for the upcoming year is to divide work and home more neatly. I know a complete division is almost impossible given my profession, but I hope to not be thinking about all the things I need to do in the back of my mind while I'm with my sons. I want my time with them to be focused on them. To that end, we've implemented a "no errand" policy on the weekends, or at least as few as errands as possible. We're going to focus our weekends on being together and being with our boys. Here are a few pictures of our December adventures.

Bear all bundled up

Bear and Wild Man all bundled up to pick out a Christmas Tree

Wild Man and Bear in matching PJs

Wild Man with his "cheese" smile

*Sorry if you missed the pictures!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Baby blues

I really hate the term "baby blues." I think it is dismissive of what the emotional changes that many women go through following the birth of a child. That said, I'm trying to determine if I'm experiencing a case of the "baby blues."

Following Bear's birth, I was emotional for a few weeks. Given the tendency for women in my family to get depressed, C and I talked about my emotional state a lot. In fact, since my sister was diagnosed as bi-polar, C is very aware of my moods and mood changes, but that is a topic for another post. Given the mood swings I was having, I talked to my mid-wife, and she encouraged me to get more sleep and to allow myself room to be upset and to adjust to life with two children. After a few weeks, I started to feel better, so I stopped worrying about it.

In the last few weeks, however, I've been wondering if the "baby blues" are returning. Putting Bear in daycare has upset me much more than I anticipated. I mean, I knew I would be upset, just as I was upset with Wild Man. I didn't anticipate, however, that thinking of him being with other caregivers would make me burst out in tears and feel so sad. I asked C his opinion a few days ago, and he said that I seem to be much more sensitive this time around, but he thinks it is because Bear will likely be our last baby. I am also experiencing a profound sense of disappointment that I was not able to stay home with him. I've been thinking about that a lot, as Wild Man started part-time daycare at 3 1/2 months. I've been trying to determine what the difference is with Bear, and I really think it is all about our geographic and cultural location. I live in a country where it is the norm to stay home for a year, and I didn't get to experience that for a variety of reasons, primarily financial. And that has left me sad. So I've been trying to gauge if I'm depressed or if I'm just really upset by this particular situation, and while I do think it is the latter, I think I'm going to be smart and talk to my doctor at a check-up next week.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Another note to Yetta

Dear Yetta,

I'm happy you're getting along so well with my sister-in-law, Auntie J. I do not understand, however, why you can only get along with one daughter-in-law at a time. J and I talked last night, and we've both observed that when you're happy with one of us you are also very unhappy with the other. Neither of us feels this is necessary, and in fact, it only puts pressure on our relationship with each other as we feel we're constantly competing for your attention. Can't we all just get along?


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Bear, 5 months

A Note to Yetta

Dear Yetta,

I am sorry to inform you that the world does not revolve around you. In fact, it revolves around a large celestial body known as the sun, which is responsible for heating and lighting the entire globe. I realize this is hard to believe, but it is so.


P.S. I'd also like to tell you that when you give someone a monetary gift you typically don't get to tell that person how to spend said gift. This is why I prefer not to receive monetary gifts.


C and I dropped both Wild Man and Bear off at school today. Wild Man will be there for his usual day of preschool, and Bear is only going to be there a few hours.

And it was hard, although not as hard as I expected. It helps that one of his caregivers is Wild Man's best buddy's mom. We've spent lots of time with her, and Bear likes her a lot. As soon as he saw her, he smiled and starting giggling. As we watched another mother dropping off her 11-month-old for the first time, I thought of one more thing to be positive about: Bear hasn't experienced any separation anxiety. He is not "making strange," as they say in Canada. He smiled at us when we left, and I know he'll be fine for the 2 hours that he will be there today. We're planning to take him to school for a few hours every day until the holiday starts. It sucks. I don't know how else to put it. But I do love that his school is on campus. I can be there in 5 minutes if I need to be (or want to be).