Saturday, March 21, 2009

Job Dilemma

Back in January I was hired for a position as a server in a brand new semi-fine-dining seafood restaurant (Devon's) that would begin in the end of April. In the meantime I applied to work at the local grocery store as a cashier to bring in a couple of bucks. I got the job at Giant (the grocery store) and have been there for the past month and a half.

April is quickly approaching and I have to make a decision. I need help deciding between the two jobs. So the pros and cons of the two:

Pros-I enjoy the job
-My hours are good (6:30pm-11:30/midnight)
-No need to pay for a babysitter for the kids since I leave after Jason gets home from work
-I get a few hours with the kids once they get home from school before I have to go into work
-Our family eats dinner together every single night
-Its a steady job that most likely won't be affected much by the economy (people still need to buy groceries) and I'm working a shift that not many employees want (I'm the sole cashier from about 10-midnight)

-The money isn't great though its better than minimum wage ($8.50/hr)

-I have the potential to make a lot of money in a short amount of time

-I hate waitressing
-My stomach gets upset before every shift when I serve
-I'll have to be at work by 4 which means paying for a babysitter, no dinners together, no time with the kids or DH
-It's a new restaurant and its going to be expensive - with this economy I don't know how "safe" it is
-My wages aren't guaranteed
-I'll be miserable which usually rubs off on how I respond to the family

It kind of seems like a no-brainer right? Well that's what's hard about it. This summer DH and I are going to be busting our butts working to get rid of some debt/expenses so that in the fall I can go back to nursing school. So really this job thing is a short-term deal. Once school starts, I'll only have to work maybe 1-2 shifts per week, maybe not at all, depending on how much we pay off during the summer months.

Jason is really pushing for me to be waitressing. I hate it. He worked out a "budget" of what he thinks I'll be making each shift and how much debt we could pay off in such a short amount of time. I think it's a bit unrealistic to think I'll be making $100-150/shift, 4-5 nights a week for 18 weeks at a brand new restaurant, with the economy as it is, during the summer (not a good money-making time in the restaurant business for this type of dining).

But I also know that working at Giant isn't going to bring home the bacon either (well I could pick some up after my shift, along with some eggs and OJ). I could work more hours once summer starts. Right now I'm working 4-5 days a week, about 20-25 hrs/wk.

So do I suck it up and work at a job I hate for a few months in order to pay off stuff? Or do I stay at a job that I actually like which may not allow us to get completely out of debt? Is it worth it to be miserable and to let it affect the family just for a few more dollars per week?

Friday, March 13, 2009

What's been happening the last two weeks

It's been a crazy couple of days around here and I'm beyond exhausted. Last Tuesday, I finally saw my doctor about a headache that lasted more than 12 days (at the time of the initial visit). Given my past history (a subarachnoid brain hemorrhage following a 12 day headache back in 2000) my doctor ordered and MRI and MRA to check for signs of hemorrhage or aneurysms for that night. On Wednesday morning the dr called back and said the results of my MRI was normal and that there was nothing to be concerned about in that department. So he wrote out a prescription for Imitrex, a migraine medication. I was scheduled to work that night at 6:30 and originally planned on just picking up the prescription at the start of the shift (I work at a grocery store) and taking it immediately before working. I decided instead to pick it up at 4 to give myself a chance to get rid of the headache. Thank God I did that because I can't imagine what would have happened had I taken it at the store. Within 30 minutes of taking the meds I was on the phone with the on-call nurseline concerned with my reaction to it. I had a overall heaviness to my head, neck, throat and shoulders. I felt buzzing in my ears, my heart was racing, my fingers were cold, I was having a hard time swallowing, I felt an overall disconnect to parts of my body (I had to keep reminding myself that yes, my lips were attached to my face and my legs were still there). It was weird and very scary. Jason had to rush home from work and take me to the urgent care walk-in clinic. They said I had an allergic reaction to the medicine. I had to call off work for Wednesday and Thursday. On Thursday I saw my doctor again and we tried to come up with the reason for the headaches. Digging a bit further into some of my other issues, he decided that my biggest issue is my insomnia. I had been back on Ambien for two weeks and he thought we would try Ativan to try and get me relaxed a bit more so that I could sleep soundly. Since getting the Ativan I haven't noticed any improvement in my sleep so I may be calling him next week to come up with another plan. The headache has since, thankfully, gone away, after sticking around for a full 18 days. Lovely, huh?

Last Friday night three of my Scrapshare buddies, Sarah, Lisa and Miriam drove down from New Hampshire and Connecticut to come to a crop I organized at a local scrapbook store. They didn't arrive here until 2 am, after having been given awful direction from their GPS. Haha! On Saturday morning I took the three of them out to The Fractured Prune, a local donut shop that prepares made-to-order hot donuts in about a million different flavors. Oh it is sooooo good, but I try to stay out of that place as much as possible because before long, I'd end up looking like one of their donuts! We then met up with 12 other SS friends at the cutest scrapbook store around. Later on, we had dinner at Red Robin. It was a great day, but went way too fast. I laughed!

On Sunday the girls left me. The nerve of them! I was sad to see them go. I don't have many real life friends around here and so these days that I get the chance to surround myself with real good people who enjoy the things I do and who "get me" and who allow me to just have fun, well I feel like a person again. I need that and it feels so good. The worst part though is the emotional low you feel once they leave and things are back to the ho-hum normalcy that is my life.

The kids had off school on Monday. In the morning we had an eye appointment scheduled for Riley at the optometrist's office. She has been complaining of headaches and blurriness for the past month. Diagnosis? The need for glasses, though fortunately for her its not a strong prescription at this point. She'll only need to wear them at school and when she is reading. But for watching tv, playing outside, cheerleading, etc, she can go glasses-free. She and I spent a good half hour, 45 minutes picking out the perfect frames for her. I never realized just how hard it was to pick the perfect frames - you've got to get the right color, frame material, and lens shape just right for that face. I've never worn glasses before so this was all foreign to me. Ri was a trooper and we found a super-cute light purple frame for her. No pictures yet, as they had to special order it as they were all out of stock in the store. Figures. So she should get them early next week and then I'll take pictures of my cutie.

Well this post has taken me off and on all day long to get it done and I'm still not finished. Matthew has been anti-nap for the past two days and its wearing on me. He wants to be entertained Now I've got to figure out dinner and then get ready for work. I work 6:30-midnight again tonight (and tomorrow, Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday of next week). Yea me. Not.

I'll post more later.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Matthew's Early Intervention Appointment

Yesterday the ladies from the local EI came to spend some time with Matthew (19 1/2 months) and evaluate his for his qualification in the programs. I had called last month after telling our pediatrician I was concerned with his speech. He had had a few words at 12 months but "lost" all of them after he started walking and hasn't really gained any of the words back. He currently only says mama, daddy, Austin and Riley (his versions anyway). The words he does use are very random and more of him just being told to say it, so he's repeating the sounds. He never initiates those words and it seems as though he doesn't recognize that the word Mama means me, or that daddy is daddy. If that makes any sense. Now his understanding of words that I say to him is excellent. He can follow directions. He knows what we're saying and responds appropriately to our words.

So the three girls came over yesterday and spent time playing with him and talking to him and just getting a grasp at where he's at. They noticed that when he does make sounds, he barely moves his mouth. Most of his sounds are just him flicking his tongue around. One sound he makes all the time is "tickatickaticka". If you say that, you'll notice that your lips aren't really moving. The evaluated him on all kinds of skills. His gross and fine motor skills are right on cue with his age. His cognitive skills and social skills are also right on target. As is his receptive language skills. His problems? Adaptive skills like dressing/undressing, using a fork, etc. But more than that is his expressive language skills.

This was pretty much exactly what I expected. However what I wasn't quite prepared for was for them telling me at what level he was on with his receptive language. My 19 1/2 month old has the expressive verbal skills of an 8-10 month old baby! That's a bit devastating! I am thankful that I pushed the issue and sought out help so that he wasn't 3 when he finally starts getting help.

So our plan is to get with a speech therapist in the next week or so and he'll start speech therapy every other week. At 6 months we'll reevaluate and see where he is and what course we should travel on. We're also going to start sign language with him to see if that will help him communicate with us.

That's our plan. It scares me a bit (ok it scares me a lot) but I'm thankful that we're catching it early and doing something about it. I don't know what his "official" problem is, perhaps its just the weak facial muscles. I'm sure we'll get more of a diagnosis once he's seen by the actual speech therapist. I'm hoping that in a few months you'll read a couple posts by me telling you all about my little chatterbug and how I can't get him to shut up! Let's hope so!!