Thursday, February 26, 2009

A good week

I'm feeling pretty upbeat and optimistic this week. Amelia's 4th birthday was Tuesday, and we had a great day at the mall. She rode the carousel and train, played on the indoor playground, and received a special birthday gift from the Kidgets Club. We ate Subway sandwiches and splurged on a Build-A-Bear. She and the bear have been inseparable since.

I also found a wonderful job opening for a position I would love to have. It's a Volunteer Coordinator for a local non-profit. Even if I don't get this particular job, it's heartening to know there are jobs like that out there.

I've also received a few new freelance assignments, so that should tide me over for a little while. Kevin has started working a few small carpentry jobs, such as building a couple of fences, and he's seriously looking at starting his own business.

And my van should be ready tomorrow. Yay! This compact rental car has made me appreciate the roominess of our van.

And after a couple of people made mention of my appearance in reference to the job hunt, I was convinced to highlight my hair (my hairdresser wouldn't take no for an answer and he gave me a great deal) and to buy a new interview suit. I also picked up a tube of lipstick today. I guess my days of sweat pants, makeup-less-ness and natural hair are over.

C'est la vie.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Feeling better every day

It's been a very hectic week, but I feel pretty good about all I managed to accomplish. I'm optimistic about the job search--sent out a few resumés this week and met with a placement officer. I tested on several Microsoft programs and did pretty well (90 percent or better on all but Access; time to learn that one). Found out I type 56 WPM, with 96 percent accuracy. I know, I won't win any contests, but not too shabby for a soccer mom. And I did some contract work that will bring in a little money. My volunteer commitments are winding down, so I have a little breathing room.

Kevin's last day of work was Wednesday, and his new-job search began in earnest this week. We got his resumé and project portfolio together and began sending it out to a few targeted companies. He also moved out of his office and brought home several totes of stuff, just what we needed more of around here. The house has gone to pot the last couple of weeks while I've been frantically trying to search for a job, make some money and figure out childcare.

Kevin spent a lot of time Thursday and Friday helping out with the kids, and boy, that sure was nice. I'm used to him being gone 12 hours a day and having to handle all the kid and househould duties myself, so it was great to have him chauffeuring the girls to school and their various activities while I worked. Plus, he did some much-needed house cleaning yesterday afternoon, hounded the insurance company and body shop about our minivan, took Hope to the groomer for a flea dip (Fleas in February? Turns out the vet gave us expired Frontline), and ran a few other errands. He also put away some laundry (GASP!), made my lunch and tutored me on PowerPoint and Outlook.

Hmmm, maybe Kevin's unemployment isn't such a bad thing after all.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What's going on

A few random thoughts:

So I've discovered that a heightened stress level is not conducive to writing. I figured as much about fiction writing, but lately I find that I can't concentrate enough to write newspaper articles. I trudge through and it takes me forever, them I'm unhappy with the finished product. Not good, especially since feature writing is one of our few sources of income right now.

But I am working on a data-entry/spreadsheet project that's going pretty well. Sounds kind of boring, I know, but I'm actually enjoying it. I'm brushing up on skills I haven't used in a while, and it will help give me recent experience in pursuit of an office job.

I'm meeting with a placement company tomorrow, so hopefully that will prove helpful. I'm a bit nervous about it but also eager for some good career/job advice. What should I do with my life?

Still haven't heard about my van--totalled or repairable? And though Kevin's last day on the job was officially yesterday, he's been at the office all day packing up his office and taking care of some last-minute details.

We're busy, busy, busy--sending out resumes, arranging childcare, handling freelance work, etc. Tomorrow we're reduced to one computer, and Kevin and I will begin vying for computer time.

I have a feeling things are about to get really interesting around here.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Indulge me, please

OK, it's bad enough that I've sorely neglected this blog, but now I'm going to add insult to injury--by whining.

As you may be aware, Kevin was laid off from his job a couple of weeks ago, and today is his last day on the job. Unfortunately, I'm not handling this very well. I come by this worry-wart gene honestly, thanks to my mom, and I'm having difficulty eating, sleeping and concentrating. I've been extremely busy, working on my resume, trying to set up childcare, discussing jobs with people and doing some temporary work, but it's very difficult to get everything done right now, especially since Kevin has continued working 12-hour days, plus I can't put the kids in childcare until I actually have a job, and I've recently had to put in several volunteer hours (which I committed to prior to Kevin losing his job) at Nina's school. And oh yeah, somone ran into my van last week so I've been dealing with insurance companies, the body shop and a Enterprise Rental. Life has not been dull around here.

So anyway, I think what I really need to do is get a full-time job. Kevin has several job leads but nothing yet, and I'm really worried about health insurance. There's a chance that he'll start his own construction management company, so then I would really need to be the one with employer-subsidized coverage.

I know that moms everywhere have to deal with difficult childcare decisions, and I realize how lucky I've been the last few years. Staying home with the kids will no longer be feasible for us, and it's a terrible time of year to be searching for after-school care, daycare, etc. I had really hoped to wait until fall, but our timetable has moved up.

What a terrible time to be job searching, especially when you've been out of the workforce for a few years. My options are limited, but I'm hoping I can find an entry-level job with a very good company that offers the chance for advancement and has a corporate communications department. St. Jude Children's Research Hopsital would be ideal, but there are few openings there and fewer still for which I'm qualified. Why didn't I get a medical degree?

So that's enough whining for now. Off to the classifieds.