Sunday, February 26, 2012

Time to get back into it

I've been awol for so long. I just haven't found that magic balance yet with working, running around after 2 very active kids, housework (forget housework, I really don't care about the housework) and being pregnant.
Oh, and a second job. Yup, not that we need the money right now, although a little extra is always good. The company I've been able to get work with, has a brilliant setup allowing staff to choose what dates and locations they are available for on a case by case basis, and has heaps of weekend and evening work available. But the catch is they only recruit early in the year for their casual staff team, so if I want to be working with them when I'm on maternity leave again, now is when I need to start working. So for now I'm just doing one local shift every Saturday, something to keep me on their books. Once I have bounced back from the next birth though, I'll try to pick up 15 hours with them. I'd like to take a longer absence from my full time job this time round, so that there is where the casual job comes in.
See? So I have great excuse for being awol. But I love my blog, and I love the community I was starting to be a part of, so I need to find time for this too.
Over the coming months I need to start doing some serious financial planning on how we will fit another bubba in, and how to keep me at home with the kids for 15 months instead of the 9 months that is all I was able to make the money stretch for last time. Watch this space as I start to muddle through it all, and find ways to scrimp in a budget that was already on a shoestring.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

My Rollercoaster Week

I've been back at work for a week. I've known I was pregnant for a little over a week.
I'm pregnant. With our 3rd baby. Husband and I are still trying to figure out how we managed that one. Purely accidental. We wanted a 3rd child, but there was no intention to start trying till much later 2012. Maybe August/September.
Despite being on maternity leave for 9 months, it felt like I never left. Old issues still exist, new issues seem like I have been involved since day one.
I've spent the week in a fog, my energy completely drained. If I'm not at work, I've been sleeping which seemed crazy. Getting up at 5:30 isn't that big a deal. I used to do it all the time. Hell, I'm the mother of a young baby, sleep deprived is what I do. Blood test results yesterday confirm that I'm anaemic, again, and need to boost my Iron and Vitamin D. Its unbelievable, but I could actually feel the difference in my awareness and energy today now that I've been taking my tablets.
I feel awful for my poor Lolly. She has become velcro baby, unwilling to leave my hip. My returning to work would be part of that, but my absence every evening as I fell into bed the minute I got home would be contributing. Maddy is taking it in her stride so far but has made a few sad little comments about me working so much like I used to. This week should be better now that I'm on my various vitamins.
Am I depressing you? I'm depressing me. I've shared my secret with a few close people. Sisters, close friend. That's about it. Not even the Grandmothers know yet. Rationally I know that we want a 3rd baby so this is a blessing. So I will celebrate. Eventually. But I am one of life planners, and I feel like I need to get sorted in my mind where the baby fits into the jigsaw of our family. Financially, physically, time, all of that. But I can't do any of that till I find out if I have a job past April. I'm reapplying for my job at work, along with everyone else in my position, but because there are 65 roles impacted (significantly reduced from prior numbers) applications and interviewing are expected to take up till April. Too long for me to keep the baby a secret so it doesn't play a part in the review process. I don't think I would be capable of keeping it a secret anyway. I've always been upfront with my bosses and I would dread looking them in the eye if I waited till April to say something.
I know technically that I can't be discriminated against for being pregnant. No-one would ever admit that that is the reason I don't get placed. But I can't help being scared. Despite the payout, a redundancy right now would leave me unemployed and not really in a position to find another job. What employer would take me on with my belly far out in front of me clearly with a deadline ahead of me. And the same applies internally, what Head of Department will pick me out of the candidate pool when they know I'll be gone by September?
Pregnancy announcements should be more cheerful than this, right? I'll be cheerful later when I know what is going on with us financially. Job or jobless, I will be able to really start to celebrate when I know what I am doing next.
For now, I think getting this written is the first step for me in clearing my mind of how I feel.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

It's the end of the world as we know it

I'm back to work tomorrow. Lolly settled into daycare this week really well, and Maddy is back at school thrilled with her first ever male teacher.
Tomorrow marks the start of 5:30am wakeups. Eck. Also meals cooked in a hurry, kid juggling, and housework grazing.
I'm the first person to admit that the life of a stay at home mother is busy and fulfilling. But as a full time working mother outside the home I end up taking shortcuts on our meals and housework, anything to buy more time for myself and the kids. I've really loved the organisation and tidiness that came with being at home for the last 9 months. I just hope that some of my new good habits stick when I'm back at work.
First thing tomorrow I have a meeting booked with an executive so high up I had to double check him in the org chart. In the absence of a few layers of employees right now (thanks to redundancies and lack of appointments) the job falls to him to bring me up to speed with the status of my employment and the state of the nation in my company. Welcome back, good luck reapplying for your job, that kind of thing.
So tonight I will scoff a block of Cadbury and try to focus on the good parts of returning to work. The people I've missed. Actually I lie, it's not a block of Cadbury, it's a jar of Nutella.
Care to pick up a spoon and join me?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

DPCON12, Mummyhearts is coming!

While I was in QLD last month, I received a magical phone call. Magic because deep down I didn't really believe the call would ever come.
The call was from Alison, a very lovely lady in charge of social media over at my favourite company of all time: Lasoo. Alison was responding to my very cheeky email where I suggested that they might like to sponsor little old me for the upcoming Digital Parents Conference. Despite the fact that I am a baby blogger on the scene, Alison tells me that Lasoo would LOVE to send one of their favourite Lasoo'ers to DPCON12!!!
10 minutes later the ticket was sitting in my email box while I sat with my head between my knee's trying not to pass out from the shock of it.
I didn't pick Lasoo at random to ask for sponsorship. They weren't even one of many that I approached. They were the one and only company that I emailed.
Why did I pick them?
Lasoo are a fairly new company that I have enjoyed for some time. I love to shop, but even more I love to get a bargain so being able to compare products across a variety of companies without having to ferret through all of the junk mail is a blessing. I use Lasoo at least weekly since most of the companies I shop with are represented there as well as many others I may not have been exposed to.
Since my blog is equal parts life, kids, and making the most of my money Lasoo and their mission to empower Australians to make better shopping decisions completely fits as a company I would be proud to display as sponsoring me.
I was also aware that Lasoo support a very active social community, as I have won prizes, made suggestions, and engaged in general chat on their facebook page. 
I would have offered to tattoo their logo on my forehead if they wanted in return for making it possible for me to attend the conference, but all Lasoo want me to do is keep showing the love! That's it!
I can do better. Bloggers, expect to see me decked out in as much Lasoo paraphernalia as I can get my hands on for the conference. I link to them constantly anyway (see here, & here!) because I love them so much.
So now that I took the plunge and obtained sponsorship (which I thought sending the request email was scary stuff, I felt so presumptuous). Now I need to get past the blogger awe and prepare to make the most of the experience. I will come equipped my with my own little celebrity blogger bingo card and plan to squeal and point and cross you off my card when I spot you. If you really want to make my day, say hi so know you aren't scary.
See some of you in Melbourne in March!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Winner Winner She's a Grinner

Thank you to everyone who entered my first ever competition. It was very exciting seeing the entries roll in, and I hope that I have gained a few new friends from the opportunity who may not have stumbled my way otherwise.

The winner of the Budons Stationary prize pack is: #2 Monique from Your Cheeky Monkey.

Congratulations Monique! If you can reply to my email with your address we'll get that prize out asasp.