Thursday, October 29, 2009

Update on "Worked Up"


I must have pled my case well for the dean. I will be reimbursed the difference between what they payed my sub last fall and how much they were docking my paycheck.

Good thing too - we need to start some Christmas shopping.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Today, Jacob:
woke up at 5:40am and decided he was up for the day;
was super fussy all day and acted like he is cutting some more teeth;
cried that he was hungry but would only eat 2-3 bites of rice cereal (for both lunch and dinner) and wouldn't drink much formula either;
wanted me to hold him, but as soon as I would pick him up he wanted to get away from me.

kept nudging Jacob when I would set Jacob down on the floor, causing Jacob to cry;
wouldn't stop licking Jacob's face even when I would swat at him to get him to stop;
went digging outside in the mud and then came and tracked it into my house.

washed 2 loads of laundry but didn't fold it;
found a line of ants coming from a spot where the carpet and tile meet - intent on Colby's food;
decided to make cookies instead of cleaning my house and accidentally used baking powder instead of baking soda causing the cookies to not be as good as they should be;
missed Justin all day and even now at 9:40pm am wondering when he will be coming home from work.

At least the cookies look good:

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fall Fest

This past Saturday evening was the Fall Fest at church. Justin and I didn't dress up, but Jacob did.
The only picture of Jacob smiling for the evening.

Saturday was a busy day for us. Justin took Jacob with him to the allergist and Costco while I worked in the front yard. (Yep - I do the majority of the yard work at our house. It isn't that I like doing it, but at the same time I don't exactly dislike doing it. But usually with everything going on I am the one that does it.)

We then took a trip to Babies R Us to use a 20% off a single item coupon that was good for only one day and bought Jacob's front-facing car seat that he will need in less than 2 months. That's right - LESS THAN 2 MONTHS!!! We then swung by the at&t wireless store to try out some phones so I could pick which one I wanted to order online (never buy a new cell phone anywhere but online - my new phone and Justin's new Windows Mobile phone cost us $50 ordering online. In the store we would have paid over $250 for new phones and activation).

By the time we got home it was far past time for Jacob to nap and I needed to get to work on my "dish with pumpkin" for the potluck. I found a recipe for pumpkin stew online that got good reviews so I decided to give it a try.

Jacob wouldn't nap even though he was super tired and the stew was a pain to make and although not bad, nothing to rant and rave about once it was made. We headed out for the church and who decided it was the perfect time to sleep, but the only one dressing up for the party. He slept for about the first half hour we were there and we when he woke up he was a bit of a grouch.

Then Jacob's grouchiness became contagious and I got grouchy. Seriously, if I had known that most people's main dishes for the potluck would not be made with pumpkin, I would have made something else. Do you know that I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to cooking for others? I HATED taking something that was only ok.

At least it was true what they said online about the stew - it IS even better as leftovers once the flavors have mingled more. But still, not something I plan to make again.

Here are our professional pics taken at the Fall Fest. Thanks Kelli!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Oil Ranch

Last week Jacob and I went to The Oil Ranch which turned out to only be about 40 minutes from us. It was lots of fun and will be even funner for Jacob when he is a little bigger. Justin really wants to go with us next year too.

It was a very sunny day and I made sure to put sunscreen on Jacob a couple times, but never put any on myself (note to self - put sunscreen on self from now on). Even though it started out cool in the morning, with no cloud cover it was quite warm out. And to prepare you now - Jacob smiled for absolutely no pictures that were taken of him at the ranch.

We started out by going on a hayride where we got to feed some cows.
Jacob and I on the hayride.
Cows getting up close and personal.

The cows were seriously running after us as we rode back to where they were. I guess they are used to the drill and know that the people will have food pellets for them. They didn't follow after us at all as we pulled away.

After the hayride, Jacob was hungry so I gave him a bottle and then we headed over for the pony rides. Had Jacob been awake, he would have been able to ride a pony and I could have walked along side him to hold him up. Maybe next year on the pony ride.

While Jacob was sleeping, we walked through a petting zoo. Here is Jacob completely oblivious to how loud all the other kids were that were there that day.
Align CenterSo tired.

After the petting zoo we had a picnic lunch where it was difficult to keep the flies and bees off of us. Do they make bee repellent?

Once we were done with lunch, we headed toward the train ride and on the way there were some giant pumpkins so we stopped for some photos.

I seriously could not get this kid to smile at me for any pictures.

We had to wait a couple turns before we were able to ride the train. But finally it was our turn!
I promise he did smile some while we were there.

After the train ride we decided that Jacob wasn't really big enough for any of the other activities at the ranch, plus we were getting hot and tired so we made our way to the exit. On the way out, we got to pick out a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch.

I seriously took 20 pictures of Jacob in the pumpkin patch. He would not smile at all and only looked at me for one picture. I think maybe it was just too much for him and he was too tired. Hopefully next year we will have better pictures.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Worked Up

The past few days I have been a bit worked up about my job. Sorry in advance for the length of my post. I am really just complaining.

As an adjunct faculty member, I get almost no benefits. The one benefit that I get is the fact that I am allowed to miss the equivalent of one week's worth of classes in the semester without it affecting my income. This means that I actually get some sick leave, but it does not carry over from one semester to the next.

Last fall, I taught classes on Tuesdays and Thursday, so I was able to miss 2 days worth of classes. In February 2008 Justin and I planned our November vacation to Florida which caused me to miss one day of classes. At the time, we weren't concerned about it.

What we didn't plan for was that Justin would end up having to have major surgery on the first day of school last fall. Because I stayed at the hospital all night with Justin I couldn't teach my classes the next day and had to get a sub. It did worry me a little that I had used all my sick time for the semester for instances when I wasn't sick, but I decided that it would be ok and that I wouldn't get sick.

But I did get sick. After our trip to Florida, we both came down with nasty colds. Because I had no sick time left, I taught sick. I made it to the last week of classes (the week before finals) and was so glad that I had made it through the semester without having to miss more class than I was able to be paid for.

But on the last day of classes (a Friday) my water broke. That day, I was scheduled to sub three classes - two 1 hour classes that were back to back, then an hour break and then another class that met for a hour and forty minutes. Then I had another hour break before the little baby shower that was being thrown for me at the school. The next week, I had one final to give on Tuesday and 2 finals to give on Thursday.

I didn't realize that I was actually leaking amniotic all morning that Friday, afterall Jacob wasn't due for seven and a half weeks. So, even though I knew something was wrong I went to school anyway. Luckily the classes I was subbing were only taking exams. I sat through the first two classes and kept IMing people online about what was happening. I realized that I could not stay at the school for the last class or for my party.

I left all the exams in the teacher's box and on my way out to my car, I called the division office to let them know I couldn't sub that last class. I was told not to worry about it and to let them know if I needed anything.

Once Justin got me to the hospital we learned that my water had in fact broken and that I would be staying in the hospital until Jacob was born. I called the school and let them know that I would need subs to give my finals for me the next week. I had already written the finals and they were at the Copy Center at the school. In fact, I had planned to pick them up that day.

I received an email the next Monday letting me know that because I had already used all my sick leave, I was going to have to take leave without pay for finals week. At that time, I really didn't care - I just wanted Jacob to arrive safely.

Someone subbed my finals and my mom (who was a lifesaver for us) picked all the exams up for me at the school and I spent my bedrest time grading finals, calculating final grades, entering grades into the school's system and making sure that everything was taken care of for my classes.

When I got my last paycheck for the semester, I was paid in full. I was not docked anything for missing finals week. But, I also wasn't paid for the 2 classes I ended up subbing on that Friday. I thought that maybe since I had been working so hard from the hospital, they decided that instead of docking my pay for 6 hours worth of finals, they just decided not to pay me for 2 hours worth of subbing.

I didn't care.

But then I got another paycheck January 15th. It covered the 2 hours of subbing. Hmmm. Maybe they looked at my case, the fact that in the 5 semesters and 2 summers that I had worked there I had rarely used all my sick time, and decided not to process my time during finals week as leave without pay. Afterall, I worked hard that week.

Just a few days ago, I received an email from someone in the payroll department that I had a LWOP outstanding from last fall and that my next paycheck would be docked $230 to make up for it. By the way, now that I am only teaching one class I am only paid $240 (gross) per paycheck.

Let me say that if they had docked my pay at the end of last semester, I wouldn't have complained. I would have just accepted it. But now, I don't agree with being docked that much.

As a part-time faculty member I am paid about $38 per hour. But I am only paid for the time in class, I am not paid for planning lectures, writing exams, grading exams, assigning homework, responding to students' emails, etc. This is why the hourly payrate is so high.

However, when I substitute for someone, I am paid at the rate of about $22 an hour. The discrepancy is because the sub doesn't have all the responsibility that the actual instructor has.

My subbed were paid $22 an hour for covering my finals for me. I graded all the finals and took care of everything that had to be taken care of (from a hospital bed, might I add). The school is docking me at the rate of $38 an hour. They are making $16 an hour from my unfortunate circumstance.

I have complained. I won't just sit and let this happen. I think it is ridiculous. I think I should only be docked what they paid the subs.

My complaints have now been sent to the dean.

I'm hoping for some good news either today or tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

10 months old!

Jacob is getting way too close to being a year old!!!
Looking at Colby instead of me.

Refusing to smile.

Trying out some elephant ears.

And done taking pictures.

Jacob has had a busy month. When he went in for his 9 month well-check the nurse asked us developmental questions like:

Does he crawl? To which we said he can army crawl, but he can't crawl normally yet.

Can he pull himself up? No, we haven't even seen him try.

Does he have teeth? No, no teeth yet.

That was on Monday, September 14th.
On Wednesday the 16th we noticed that he had a tooth coming through and within a week his two front bottom teeth were in. On Thursday the 17th I went to get him from a nap and he was standing in his crib holding on to the bars. And by Saturday the 19th he was crawling regularly more than he was army crawling. Apparently he didn't know he was supposed to be doing that stuff until he heard the nurse ask about it.

Jacob loves Colby's food. I'm not sure if he has ever put any of it in his mouth, but he loves to crawl over to the dish and play with the food. Colby does not like Jacob playing with his food and tries to eat as fast as he can to keep Jacob from getting it. In fact, Jacob and I ran a couple errands on Monday and when I got Jacob out of his car seat at the store, there was a piece of dog food in the seat under him. Hmmm.

Jacob loves for Mommy to hold him. But he doesn't like to just sit and have me hold him, he likes to be walked around. In fact, I have learned that if I lay down on the floor, Jacob likes to crawl all over me more than playing with any of his toys.

Jacob loves to crawl into the kitchen and literally pull on my apron strings. He also loves to look at his reflection in the fridge and the dishwasher.

Jacob loves to play with the door stops. Which is why we don't have very many of them anymore.

Jacob will eat about 1 tablespoon of rice cereal a day which means we are making some progress with "solids". He doesn't seem to like the flavors of most things though so anytime we give him anything else he acts like he is gagging. Then he refuses to open his mouth to eat anything else. He is a punk.

Here are a few other pictures of our little man from the past month.
Trying to figure out why he can't get into the dining room.

Not sure what to think of the swing at the park.

Sitting with Daddy and giving a smile even though he was sick with stomach flu.

Giving us a huge smile on his new little riding toy.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Worst week so far

The past week has definitely been the worst week we have had as a family since Jacob was born - maybe even since we got married (which is saying a lot considering what our 2008 was like).

Last Thursday night I got home about 9:45pm and walked in to the sounds of Jacob screaming. The vomiting had just begun and continued for about 45 minutes. Poor little guy. The next day he acted hungry, but anytime we tried to feed him, he threw up. We kept giving him water but he would only drink a little and we tried to give him Pedialyte, but he would have none of it.

Because he wouldn't really drink much, by the middle of the night Friday night/Saturday morning he was pretty dehydrated and couldn't even keep water down any longer. He was also lethargic and almost catatonic. A trip to the pediatrician ended up with us force feeding him little amounts of Enfalyte every 5 minutes to get him re-hydrated. The force feeding continued for a little while after we got home and then Jacob realized the Pedialyte tasted much better than the Enfalyte so luckily he started drinking on his own and we didn't have to force him any longer.

Justin headed out to Walmart to do our grocery shopping and ran into Mike in the store and again in the parking lot. Good thing he saw Mike in the parking lot because one of the tires on Justin's car was almost completely flat (tires we bought in June of this year). Mike took Justin to his house, charged up his compressor and brought it up to the Walmart parking lot to fill the tire for Justin. Thanks Mike!

Sunday Jacob seemed to be doing great so we moved up from just Pedialyte to soy formula. We checked Justin's car and the tire seemed to be holding air fine.

Monday, I woke up sick. Seems like I caught the stomach bug from Jacob. Jacob seemed to be doing pretty well though and Justin worked from home to help me take care of Jacob. Good thing - because I slept TONS. Justin made a run to the store for Gatorade and saltines and although the tire seemed fine, the check engine light came on. SERIOUSLY?!?!?! (But he didn't tell me about the light coming on until the next evening.)

By Monday night I wasn't feeling great, but well enough to teach my class. Tuesday I was still feeling tired, but not really sick anymore. It seemed like we were both getting better until Jacob threw up. It wasn't like when he first started getting sick though and it was only once. Other than that, all seemed fine.

Justin called me on his way home from the Park and Ride Tuesday night to let me know about the check engine light and to tell me that the car was "vibrating" as he drove. Luckily the car made it home, and the tire that was flat on Saturday was fine.

Wednesday Justin woke Jacob and I at 5:30am so that we could all take Justin to the Park and Ride. The joys of being a one-car family. Jacob acted tired all morning but I was too - we don't like waking up so early. Yesterday afternoon Jacob spit up a couple times, which is unusual for him, but it wasn't vomit and he is still recovering from being sick so we thought everything was fine.

It was rough getting dinner ready, getting Justin picked up from the Park and Ride and getting to my class on time last night, but everything worked out and we planned to drop Justin's car off with a mechanic today.

But last night Jacob got sick all over again. Vomiting every 5-10 minutes for about 45 minutes. Then he fell asleep exhausted but kept waking up every couple hours because the poor kid was starving. Luckily he was drinking water and Pedialyte much better than when he first got sick last Thursday so we weren't worried about him getting dehydrated again.

Due to our extremely rough night AND the fact we are juggling with only one car (and needing to take Justin's car to the shop) Justin decided to work from home today. As we start leaving the house for the mechanic, I notice that Justin's tire is completely flat. Are you kidding me? Luckily it is the same tire that was flat the other night, but still.

Justin takes off the tire and switches it for the spare and we see that the tire has a huge gash on the inside wall. Had it been the outside, I would have thought someone had slashed his tire. The tire has been taken to Firestone, and we are waiting for a new one to come in, and the car is at the mechanic's and we are waiting to find out what is wrong with it.

I know at times like this we should look at our blessings so here goes:

  • Justin hasn't gotten sick with this stomach flu.
  • We still have one car that is working well (our older car - but hey, it is a Honda)
  • Justin has been working in town last week and this week to help take care of our sick little boy (and Jacob please get over this by Sunday when Justin leaves for the week)
  • Because Justin has been working in town on a client based out of town, he has had more flexibility to work from home
Sorry - but I can't think of anything else related to all the bad stuff that has gone on this past week. Maybe because I am too tired from lack of sleep from last night?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy October!!!

By the way - I wasn't really able to get him to stand by himself yet - he is leaning back against the couch.