Categotry Archives: Working

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A New Groove

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I know I am way overdue for a blog post and I apologize.  The new job has been busier than I anticipated!  Since the account I was assigned to is brand new, there was a lot of work that went into getting it ready.  I worked lots of overtime the week before last and even then we still went live a day late!  So, I went in early last week too so we could catch up and while it’s going slowly, we are getting there.  But, the good news is I have found my groove and it’s becoming a routine.  Everyone is still getting adjusted but we’ll all get there.  I think some schedules may be in order!

I can’t believe that we nearing the end of the school year.  We got notice of when Buggy’s pre-K graduation will be.  L will be getting ready to take the Florida standardized test called the F-CAT and I’m a bit worried.  One half of it is reading comprehension which she has struggled with so we need to work with her on it.  She said her teacher let her know that if she didn’t do well on the test, there was still another opportunity to prevent her from staying back but we have heard NOTHING from the teacher ourselves so I sent an email to her teacher  to find out exactly what we need to work on.  She reads a TON and honestly, I think some of it is just not knowing how to scan and look for the answers within the stories so I’ll start there.  And then once I hear back from her teacher, I’ll have a better idea of what else we may need to work on.

With the approach of the end of  school year comes the time for registering Buggy for Kindergarten.  But our county is redistricting so I am pretty sure my kids will be going to another school next year.  This upsets me a bit because we love the school L is in now.  She has lots of friends there and I love a lot of the teachers.  All the kids from our neighborhood would be going to the same new school but still, it breaks my heart that she may have to start over at a new school in 4th grade.  It’s not as big of a deal for Buggy since she’ll be starting from scratch but it’s still a bit upsetting.  And I can’t believe my last baby will be starting school full time!  She loves school and I know she’ll do fine but it’s still so bittersweet.

Spring Break is just around the corner and I am so sad I won’t be able to be home for any of it.  B’s parents will be coming to visit so I know the kids will love their time with Grandma and Grandpa but I’d still like to be able to take some time off.  I just keep telling myself that I’ll have a week off in June to go to the beach so I’m trying to look forward to that.

We’re also looking into what to do with the kids this summer since we’ll both be working.  Buggy’s school had a summer long camp so we may just send them there. There’s also a science/environmental camp through the county that Linnaea wants to go to so maybe she can do that for a week.  No matter what they do I’m sure they’ll have fun!

Last night B and I went out on a double date with some friends who have kids the same age as ours (their older daughter was in L’s 1st grade class).  We left the kids at their house with one of our friends’ mothers and we went out to dinner and bowling.  We had SUCH a blast!  It had been a while since we went out with another couple so it was nice to get out without the kids.  The kids behaved and passed out their house so I would say the night was a success.  We’ve already made plans for a get together for St. Patrick’s Day!

Hopefully, once the job calms down, I’ll have more time to write!  I promise not to disappear!

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New Year, Big Changes

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I know it’s been a little while since I posted.  The past few weeks have been BUSY!  First I had to get ready to start my new job and then once I started my new job, I had to get back into the swing of working.  I’m starting my 4th week and so far so good!  It’s been mostly training but I needed to brush up on stuff plus, I needed to learn their ways and how to use their systems.  I like my team and I think this will work out nicely.  On the 25th, I’ll actually start doing my job and I have a feeling it will be busy which is what I have always liked about this particular position…there’s never a dull moment.  I know I will never get bored!

It has been an adjustment for everyone though.  I seem to be doing OK with getting up and getting ready to go in a decent amount of time (until today…no clue what happened there).  I haven’t started the actual schedule I was hired for yet but I have still been going in late enough to take L to school.  Literally my second week of work, both girls ended up with stomach bugs so that put a cramp in things.  But B has been great about getting dinner stuff ready so I can just throw it on the grill or whatever when I get home.  We had already gotten used to eating later since we moved here so even my working later shouldn’t affect things too much.  We’ve been making meal plans and sticking to them and that definitely helps.  It’s been much smoother than I thought it would be.

I think the person this has been hardest on is Buggy.  She was used to having me there when she got home from school, etc. so one night at bedtime when I told her I missed her during the day, she said, “I miss you too, Mommy.  When can you stop working?”  My heart just about broke but I explained that I wasn’t going to stop and that next year she’ll be in school full time and she won’t notice as much.  I explained that with Mommy working, we’d be able to do a lot more fun stuff and she seemed to understand.  I had thought I had been handling it pretty well but last week it hit me too.  My manager told us we might have to stay late last Friday and that combined with PMS and the things Buggy had said led me to pretty much burst into (controlled) tears.  In the end, we didn’t have to stay late and I realized that it was all just a delayed reaction to going back to work after being home for four years.

The addition to our finances has definitely been nice!  I managed to get our taxes done early so we got our refund in no time.  I got my first paycheck on Friday and I had actually budgeted to close to the right amount…I was off by about $30 and it was MORE than I though so that was nice!  We spent a night at Disney and it was nice to not have to nickel and dime everything although we were careful not to go crazy (everything there is so darn overpriced!).  Our goal is to still follow a budget but it won’t nearly be as strict which is nice.  And now we’ll be starting on our household projects list which we are BOTH excited about.  Once thing we have always been responsible about is our finances so I don’t plan on letting that change.

I know I am still getting used to being back at work and I promise that once I get into a normal groove, I will be sure to make time for blogging (on ALL my blogs).  I just hope my life doesn’t get too boring and my writing dries up!

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A Sad End to 2012 And A Year of Change Coming in 2013

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I have to say that for a while, 2012 seemed to be a decent year given what we had been through the last few years.  Our finances were a bit better.  Buggy started pre-K and that was a change but a good one.  We kind of cruised along until October.  On the 20th we participated in our second Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in support of my friend and L’s former teacher, Robyn.  We got to the meeting area just as her brother was telling everyone that Robyn was in rough shape and unable to attend the walk.  My heart sunk and I just had a bad feeling.  I had seen her at the pre-K school a few weeks before and she had looked good.  I had IM’d with her a couple days before the walk about an extra team T-shirt we had and she seemed in good spirits but then again, she always was.  Little did I know she was deteriorating.  B and I celebrated our 11th anniversary that night but my mind kept going to Robyn.

Not long after the walk, her CaringBridge site was updated to say that she had recently been hospitalized to remove fluid around her lungs.  She was released shortly before Halloween and I saw her at the pre-K Halloween parade.  It was then I learned how severe things were.  She looked good, considering, and was her usual funny self.  But she told me without really saying it that she was preparing for the end.  She was due to start a new kind of chemo soon and she told me if that didn’t work, that was the end of treatment for her.  In turns out, she never even got to start it.

A few days after Halloween, she was hospitalized again with fluid buildup.  Over the course of that stay, it was decided that treatment would stop.  She moved to her parents’ home one town away, where she had been staying during most of her treatments, and hospice was called although she wasn’t yet in critical need of it yet.  I let L know the newest developments although I don’t think she grasped the severity of it.  I hoped Robyn would hang on for one last holiday season with her family…that they would at least have that.

In the end, she did have one more holiday.  She was able to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends.  That following Monday, her CaringBridge update let us all know that comfort measures had been started.  Her battle was ending and her journey home had begun.  I couldn’t stop crying.  I didn’t tell L about the latest news.  I had no idea how long she would hang on so I thought it better to just tell her when it happened.

The next evening, November 27 at 8:40 pm., beautiful Robyn’s courageous battle ended with her loving family by her side.  My heart was broken for her, her family and my poor L.  She was already in bed so I waited until the next morning to tell her. It turned out she already had a feeling it had happened.  A classmate (who had also been in Robyn;s class with L) had told her the day before that her mom had let her know that Robyn’s family thought she only had 24 hours left.  I prepared L for a somber day at school.  When I dropped her off, you could tell the teachers were fighting back tears.  L and I both wore out Team Knockout shirts from the walk in her honor and I saw many teachers had done the same.

Dropping Buggy off was even worse.  The Director of the school and I hugged and the tone of the school was sad, to say the least.  The following day, I saw Robyn’s daughter in the sick room and once I got to Buggy’s room, I asked her teachers if anyone knew how she was doing.  She was having a rough time which was to be expected so I made sure to poke in and say hi to her as I left.  I left the building in tears.

The Saturday after she passed, L and I attended the celebration of her life.  It was there that the reality of it hit poor L and during a beautiful guitar accompanied version of “God Gave Me You,” she broke down which naturally made me lose it.  But it was a beautiful celebration of her life.  There were funny little stories and reminders of how hard she fought and how she never lost her sense of humor.  When her husband went up, there wasn’t dry eye in the house.  Same thing when her brother got up.  But the amount of people there was a true testament to the kind of person she was and how much she was loved.  It was a dreary day and someone posted on Robyn’s Facebook page that it was because God was crying too because he had to take her home.  Even to my agnostic self, it seemed like a proper response.  But after the service, several people saw rainbows and I knew she was OK and in no more pain.  That was what mattered most.

In the time since she passed away, Robyn has made her presence known.  Twice while I was out to eat, I heard “God Gave Me You” and I knew it was her letting me know she was nearby.  I had NEVER heard the song before her service so to hear it twice in a couple weeks, I just knew it had to be her.  The second time it happened, Linnaea was with me and I told her Robyn was checking on her.  But I think Robyn did something even bigger for me.  The day after she passed, after weeks of no job leads, I got a call for an interview from a company I had come close to working for a few years ago.  It was a position I had a lot of experience in and the office was VERY close by.  I couldn’t help but think that given the timing, Robyn was already working her angel magic.  Last Thursday, I was offered the job and I feel that I have her to thank.

Before 2012 ended, life felt it had to deal one last blow.  On Christmas Eve day, Band Back Together lost one of their own.  Beautiful, kind and funny Misty was someone I had bonded with over the love of food and beer.  Her loss was sudden and unexpected and it shook us to our core.  She was one of the nicest people I have ever known and she is missed terribly.

So despite the sad ending to 2012, 2013 has started off on a happy note and I like to think things can only get better from here.  I start my job on the 21st and I am really excited.  We will have more financial freedom and the ability to go out a bit more and maybe take a couple mini vacations.  The kids are doing well in school and I am sure that will continue.  I am looking forward to the changes ahead.  Right now, life is good.  And when it’s not, I remind myself of what Robyn used to say, “It’s OK to have your bad days BUT you HAVE to get back UP…it’ll get BETTER.”  Wise words indeed.  I miss you, Robyn.

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On Second Thought….

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If you read my post here, you know that I said that while I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do when I returned to work, I did know that I didn’t want to go back to doing what I USED to do.  And if you read my post here, you know that I amended that to say that I might be willing to go back to what I used to do but on the consulting side.  Well, I’ve since amended that again.  I have now decided that there really isn’t a reason not to go back to what I used to do.  The money is good, I know how to do it so there’s no real training necessary and, well, I did enjoy my job….eventually despite the occasional crazy person who was pissed about their money getting cut off.

Connecticut is the Insurance capital of the US, so it’s not unusual that I ended up working in the industry.  I’ve worked in several different types of insurance…long term care, health and disability.  But it took until my last job, my FOURTH insurance job, for me to begin to enjoy it.  Long term care claims were a bit boring and working in underwriting for a health insurance company got a bit boring as well.  Handling disability claims was DEFINITELY the most interesting.  The first company I did them for was a small company whose ethics never really sat right with me.  I eventually got laid off, not long before the company went under completely (I made out better than the people who stuck it out to the end).  After that, I was hired at a major insurance company.  Imagine my surprise when I bypassed training and was taken to a locked unit on the 5th floor on my first day.  It turned out, I was chosen to handle claims for the company’s OWN employees, hence being locked away (it may seem a bit extreme but in the 3 years I worked there, I was threatened more than once). This development made me even more eager to start.

It was in this job that I excelled.  I loved my team, I liked the hands on training (though my mentor was a cocky asshole which later got him fired) and I liked the variety of things I was doing.  I was recognized after only a year for smoothing over the many feathers my mentor had ruffled.  The recognition came in the form of a handsome bonus which came directly from the head of the office.  I was given the opportunity to work from home after less than a year and worked up to working from home four days a week.  I had my second daughter and went back to the same team when I returned to work.  I continued to be recognized for my hard work and I became a mentor for new trainees.  I think it was the first time I could ever REALLY say I enjoyed my job and looked forward to going to work everyday.  If the boss I had when we moved hadn’t been such a jerk, I would have taken the job with me and worked remotely from here.  That’s how much I liked it.

So now, after MUCH thought, I have thrown my hat back into the same ring.  B’s company has a claims office locally and he submitted my resume.  I received a call from HR almost immediately and I took the pre-employment assessment and set up a profile on the company’s web site.  I will be speaking to the HR representative later today to see what the next steps may be.  Even if I don’t get the job this time, jobs open up pretty regularly so hopefully, something will come up soon.  In the meantime, any good thoughts, prayers and good juju that you could send my way would be greatly appreciated.