off to the races…

Monday, October 5th, 2009

I have just bid my husband adieu as he heads out the door on a four day whirlwind tour of the southeast.  The purpose, you might ask?  Two very promising job interviews.  Finally!

Robert just completed a year back at Auburn University to finish the degree he started 15 years ago.  After graduating (cum laude, I might add) in August, his part time job search quickly became all encompassing.  It has been a roller coaster of emotion.  Waiting for the phone to ring or email to ding.  Watching the job postings dwindle as the economy continues to suffer.  Listening to Robert report on yet another phone call with someone who thinks he’s great but doesn’t have the money to hire him right now.

Frustrating does not begin to cover how we feel.  For me, I know that Robert can do anything if given the chance.  He has been successful with everything he’s ever done.  But with most companies requiring an online application just to get a phone call, it is very difficult to separate yourself from the masses of other applicants.  Last summer, Robert couldn’t get past the online stage because he never finished his degree and could not check the degree box.  Automatic elimination quickly ensued.  I understand that companies have their pick of the litter these days but I think they are missing out on a whole group of highly talented and capable candidates just because they don’t perfectly fill the cookie cutter.  Now that Robert can “check the degree box”, no one is hiring.  It seems that the job market is all about who you know.  What happens when everyone you know is just trying to keep their own head above water?

Enough time on the soap box.  We are down to our last month of job searching.  Robert has these 2 interviews and we have a back-up plan. I know in my heart that everything happens for a reason.  I believe that we have been through this trial on purpose.  We have discovered more about ourselves and each other and grown closer as a family.  We have learned who our true friends are and how fortunate we are to have them.  But we are tired.  Limbo is an exhausting place to be.

As our Uncle Will says, “It’s always darkest before the dawn.”  My alarm is ringing…time to get up!

potty purgatory

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

I am in potty purgatory.  Trapped somewhere between diapers and big girl underwear.  This, of course, applies to my youngest daughter Laura.  She will be 3 in a few months.  My first 2 successful potty training journeys were almost identical.  There were constant accidents the first day followed by fewer and fewer accidents until the girls were completely trained.  We talked about the potty, used all the right words, sang and danced over every little “accomplishment”.  It took less than a week.  No problem.

This third little girl, however, is different.  She does all things according to her own personal calendar despite what her father and I think.  Week before last, I decided that it was time to potty train.  Laura had shown all the signs of being ready.  Plus, I had a block of 4 days during which I didn’t have to leave the house.  So, last Friday we pulled out the potty seat, put on the panties (I am not in favor of Pull-Up type undies so we went straight for the big girl variety) and started happily down the trail to full potty awareness!  I am the first to admit that the first day was not going well.  I had washed sheets on every bed by 2:30.  Then Robert had one of those genius moments of parenting and said “Hey, don’t we still have that little potty somewhere in the garage?”  Within 2 hours of cleaning off the little potty and setting it up in the bathroom, Laura had not only tee-tee’d (sic?) in it half a dozen times, she had also pooped.  We had hit solid gold!!  She went accident free for FIVE WHOLE DAYS!!  She went at home, at summer camp and at our next door neighbors.  Of course I got cocky.  I told everyone.  We sang and danced about our big girl and it was fabulous.  Until….

Day 6:  Laura decides she likes diapers again.  For 4 days now, we have had tantrums about sitting on the potty.  She needs to go but doesn’t want to use her potty…or the big potty.  She doesn’t want to use it in the bathroom, hallway, kitchen, living room, outside patio or van.  She says that going on the floor is gross…but she does it anyway.  We are stymied.

Robert and I continue to cheerlead and sing and dance and we are beginning to see small glipmses of our once perfectly potty trained little girl. I have been a mom long enough to know that with time, this too shall pass.  Again I am reminded that I am lacking about a fourth of the patience that this job requires. But like all tunnels in my life, I know that there is light at the end….