We Have An Activity

Two Halloweens ago, Leah dressed as an 80's fitness instructor.  I went to the mall and spent a small fortune on a leotard, leg warmers, and sparkly shorts. 

She wore the outfit once.

On Wednesday we dusted off yee ole purple leotard and sent her to gymnastics with my sister, who was given strict instructions to videotape the entire session.

If I had an ounce of computer literacy, I would post the 45 minute video, since I'm sure you'd all LOVE to see it, but you'll just have to take my word.

I am sensing OLYMPICS!   See for yourself.


Take Two

You remember how dance class went, right?

Well, we are not quitters in this house.  We are the types of people who fall off their horse and get right back on.

So, tomorrow, we will begin gymnastics.

Stay tuned for Thursday's post about how gymnastics is not all that it's cracked up to be, I am NOT upset that we are Gymnastic Drop Outs, and it doesn't matter, chin up, blah blah alltherest.



Three Whole Years

Four months and seven days after the anniversary of my mother's death, which goes down as the worst day of my life, we celebrate Leah's birth, which goes down as the best day of my life.

In my 34 years of living on this planet, I have a few accomplishments.  But NOTHING makes me prouder than when I look at what Greg and I brought into this world on March 26, 2008.

Happy Birthday, Leah.  I've said it before, and I'll say it forever, you truly saved my life.

Now, go pick up your shoes and fortheloveofgod stop throwing your crayons.


Cruise in Review

We went on a cruise for nine days. 

You haven't lived until you've spent nine days with your husband and three year old in a teeny tiny room on a cruise ship.

Although we ultimately realized that we aren't disciplined enough to keep up with the schedule that cruises present, and Leah used our nine days together to find my last nerve and ride it precipitously the entire time, we had a very nice time.

We visited Puerto Rico.

And St. Thomas.

And Haiti.

And The Dominican Republic.  But I didn't bring my camera on that day.
It's hard enough to remember to bring my shoes; the camera was on the back burner.

We practiced being civilized, by getting dressed up for dinner and not screaming like a banshee when you're told that you can't have any more juice.

And also practiced bringing the TV to dinner, when we realized that three year olds are not civilized.

Meet BoBo, the newest member of our family.

(And for thirty bucks, you too can make a "Pets At Sea" animal and dress it in the polyester outfit of your choice!  Crock.)

And, of course, Leah made a friend.  Her boyfriend, as she refers to him.

(I didn't ask his mom if I could plaster his face on the Internet, as I tend to not mention my dead mother's blog when I meet people and not want them to think I'm a lunatic.  People eventually figure it out on their own--the lunacy, that is.)

All in all, it was so nice to get away with Greg and Leah.  It was such a crazy time in my life: I had left my old job on bad terms, and was so nervous that my new job would turn out to be a mistake.  I knew it was going to take a lot for me to clear my head and have a good time. 

And I did just that.

Until I saw the beverage bill at the end of the week.



Coming Home

You know when you're with someone that you don't know well, and you make some obscure movie reference and quote a line, and the person you're with then says the next line, and you look at them and realize at that exact moment that you're going to be good friends?

You know when you are parking the car and you accidentally hit the bottom of it on that cement piece at the top of the parking space and there's totally damage and you drive home freaking the hell out because you know your husband is going to be so pissed but then you get home, tell him, and he's like, you didn't cause that damage, I did, when I hit the cement piece on a parking space last week and you are just so relieved?

You know when life has been so tough and you have nightmares about having to go to work each day in what can only be described as a fiery, torturous hell, and the place makes you doubt yourself and your career and every single decision you've ever made and you are scared to look behind corners because of those people, and you try so hard to get out and finally, after 6 months you do, and your new job is so completely opposite of that and the people are nice and the work is fun and you have a new faith in what you do and how you do it and, while at your old job, the only personal item you kept at your desk was a lip gloss that you brought home each and every night but at your new job, on only day 3, you run to Walmart on your lunch break to buy a plant for your window because you want everyone to know you want to be there for a long, long time?

I know I owe you an update on our cruise, but I wanted to tell you all about this first.  It's so much more important to me.



Back to the Grind

Hello!  We are back from our vacation!

And I started a new job today! 

Things are very hectic, as you can imagine.  Stay tuned for an update when I can dig myself out of the laundry pile.


A Smallish Heart Attack

What is it with children and their need to hide in racks in stores?  This is a new thing with Leah.  It entertains her to no end and gives me heart palpatations.  She's too old and nosey to sit in a stroller.  She will follow the, "one hand on the cart" rule for about 35 seconds.  But, as soon as I stop to take a look at something, we get this:



Growing Up Gulino

I can't believe that it's been just about three years since Leah came into our lives.  Gone are the days of babyhood.  I look at her now and see such a smart beautiful little girl who is independent and inquisitive and precocious.

Everyday is so challenging, but so worth it.  Just like life.



Fingers Crossed...Eyes Too

Today all of our good thoughts go out to our friend Lan, and her baby Tai Yu.

We can't wait until he comes to visit us again.



Pop Pop And His Ladies

A little update on Baby Bella.

She's getting bigger everyday. 

She will be turning over any day now. 

She smiles and lols.

She "talks" to people.

She "loves" her cousin Leah.

If you want to imagine what Bella and Leah's relationship is like, just imagine Pepe Le Pew and his girlfriend.  It's like that.


Leaving on a Jet...Boat

Since I have some time off before I start my new job...

And since I feel the need to wash that last place out of my hair...

The Gulino Family is taking off for a few days and going on a cruise!

1-We've never been on a cruise.

2-We've never been on a vacation this long with Leah.

3-As per the norm, I'm freaking out, packing too much, and treating everyone in this house like poo due to stress.

See ya on the flip side.



Dearest Leah

Yesterday, our first day spent together, and things were really crazy.
I expected my time off in between jobs to be extremely lazy.

However, you seemed to forget that naps are given,
and that if you do not take them, you will not be livin'.

Throwing your blanket in a pile does not a bed make,
And Jesus Louise, the Little People carnival gives me a royal headache.

You sure do eat a surplus of snacks and watch a lot of Backyardigans,
And I am reminded that you spend too much time with your dad every time you fart again.

However, today was glorious, like a different little kid,
Except when you disappeared under the rack at Sears and hid.

And I guess during this time off I could be using a cloth and mop,
But we are having so much fun going from shop to shop.

You still scream at me when I don't get Bubble Guppies on fast enough,
But compared to yesterday, today was definitely not rough.

We have our disagreements, like any other pair,
And I will not budge, in the shower you MUST wash your hair.

So, let's see how the next two weeks go, my little feisty adorable hemorrhoid,
But if you throw your shoe at my head while I'm driving again, all bets are null and void.


We Are Going To Applebees

You know when you get the feeling that something isn't right, but you can't pinpoint what it is, and, in fact, every other sign is pointing to "completely and totally fine," and because you can't figure out why you feel that it's not right, you just go ahead and do it because if you keep harping on these "just not right" feelings you are going to drive yourself, your family, the lady in front of you in Pathmark, and the 7-11 guy who's ringing up the half and half crazy? 

You know that feeling?

Back in August I felt that way about my new job about 3 minutes after I decided to take it.  In fact, I felt that way before I even left my new boss' office after he had made the offer and I had accepted.  I sat there while he spoke about the position and my start date and my team members and my mind just wandered off into space and I thought, "This is a bad decision, Dana", but I had NO IDEA why I thought that.  So I took that thought and threw it in the back of my head, right next to "Join Weight Watchers" and "Stop spending your family's money at Kohls" and it stayed there for the next three weeks while I proceeded to resign from my old job and plan for my new job.

The reasons for leaving my old job were all there.  I know that leaving my old job was a good choice.  My new job offered more money, more affordable benefits, and was closer to my home, and those were the reasons why I left.  Those three things still exist.  So, during my last two weeks at my old job--the strange period where you've given notice, yet you still work there, yet your loyalty is now to your new job, but you haven't started yet--when this strange feeling kept popping in my head that this was a bad decision, I would just mentally go over my list for leaving, and check off that each and every item was still being addressed.  And then I would tell that stupid thought to just STFU and let me be proud that I was able to leave my comfort zone of idling in a workplace that was never going to let me move up, and that I was taking a leap to a new place where I knew no one and was making better for me and my family. 

I started my new job at 8:00 a.m. on September 13, 2010, and at 10:26 a.m. I texted my husband and said, "I don't think this job is going to work out." 

Truer words have never been texted before.

I'm not going to go into details, and I don't want to bad-mouth a place in which some of you know the name of, but let me just say that the people who run the place were not keen on treating women equally, and, as if that's not enough, the morals and values and general attitude of those people towards all of their employees is an abomination to human kind.  The middle class is not meant to be treated as pawns in a chess game of life being pushed, prodded, manipulated and taken advantage of because we need to work in order to take care of our family.

Shortly after beginning employment there, Greg and I launched what can only be referred to as An Epic Job Search in which he would search for open positions all day long while he was home and then I would apply to them all night long while he was at work.  For MONTHS I heard nothing from these places as I dutifully trudged daily to my job, daydreaming about when I would be granted an interview.  I would sit at my desk thinking about how it would feel to quit and get the chance to work again at a place where the people were friendly.  I would write this blog post in my head, figuring how much information I would let out, and what I should keep private.  Day in and day out, as my depression grew, my hope weaned, because no one was calling me back.

And then, I got a phone call!  And another!  And soon the interviews followed.  And in four months I took part in THIRTEEN interviews.  I went on five interviews for one position.  I was speaking to H.R. Reps, and Hiring Managers, and CEOs, and COOs, and CWTFOs--whoever, as they moved me forward in the process.  It was brutal.  I was told that it would take a few weeks for a decision to be made, sometimes a few months, or, my favorite, "We've decided to hold off on filling the position indefinitely".  I thought it proposterous how a place that found it necessary for me to interview FIVE TIMES with FIVE DIFFERENT PEOPLE could not be sure that the position was necessary in the FIRST PLACE. 

A month after starting at my new job a man named Tom began who's desk was near mine.  I watched him during his first days when his enthusiasm was high, and how it chipped away as the onion peels of our workplace opened up.  By day four we were giving each other looks every time more was revealed about the place.  By the beginning of his second week, shared eye rolls were in full effect.  A day or two later he told me that he had given notice, being offered a position at another company.  I was happy (and jealous) that he was getting out, and longingly stared at my monitor thinking, "Your time will come, Dana".  Two days into his two week notice, he was asked to leave and had a few minutes to clear his desk and go.  I listened as he picked up the phone, dialed his wife and said, "We are going to Applebees!" 

On that last day his whole demeanor was changed.  His mood, his attitude, as well.  He was a different guy. 

He was a person who had a cruddy job at a cruddy place and had found a new job at a promising place and he was going to have some time off and take his spouse out to Applebees! 

So it's with great pride and happiness that I inform you that today my demeanor is different, as is my mood and my attitude.  Interview number 13 was very lucky indeed. 




On Pre-School

I took off today to take care of some personal business.   Since I had some time, I set up a couple of appointments at pre-schools.  Now that we've seen two very different schools, with different policies, beliefs, curricula, and teachers, we have to make the decision on which one (or type) we'd like to go with.  Although I know that in the long run it probably doesn't matter which pre-school Leah goes to, the decision on which one we will send her to is sure to keep me up for the next 3-4 weeks. 

If there is anyone out there who has something to add to this, I welcome your feedback.  How did you choose pre-school for your child(ren)?  What were the most important qualities you looked for in a school?  What turned you off to a school?  What ultimately sealed the deal?