Saturday, May 31, 2008

Last days on the job...

The last two weeks at KC were definitely different from what I was used to. I spent a lot of time talking to people who wanted to know why I was leaving and what I was going to be doing next... Most of the people (~90%) were very supportive and wished me nothing but the best. However a few reminded me on just how small this area is. A few had talked to their contacts at this new company... and found out I was going to be the only female engineer there. So I had a few comments like, "do you think you can handle it?" or "it will be difficult without another girl around".
One of these comments came from someone who knows me pretty well and they said - "if anyone can handle them... you can. And if you run screaming - no gal will ever be good at that job. You went to Tech for cryin out loud!". I liked the sound of that! :)

If felt SO GREAT to be handing off stuff that I had been working on for the last 3 years... the difficult part of losing the ownership - that was only a little tough! I think I was mentally checked out a month or so ago. :)
My best friends whom I met at work there, they threw a happy hour on my second to last day. It was SPECTACULAR. So many people showed up for the shindig... We started around 3:30... and there was quite a few people until about 8pm... the remaining 10 people stayed until 10pm?? I am not sure - I wasn't ever looking at a clock. But all in all - SUCH a good time and it was so great to be able to say good-bye to all of the great people I had worked with. I will definitely miss the people!

The pictures - #1 is just a group of us... #2 is Mandy and Willa with Jim and Josh (smoke free restaurant/bar)... and #3 is one my coworkers who everyone calls "Farmboy" cause he is both a farmer and a boy. Ha ha. I think he might have had more fun at the happy hour than anyone else!

So - new job starts on June 9th... I have an entire week off between jobs. Looking forward to a short trip with my mom and sister to AZ... and the rest of the week at home.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day weekend in MI

We headed to MI on thursday night after work. We were hoping to be on the road at 7pm after Jim's softball game... but we ended up not getting on the road until 9pm. And our theory that Josh would sleep the entire way because it was night time - didn't even last 2 hours. The 7 hour drive wasn't too bad as I saved new toys that Josh hadn't played with until he was unbearable and trying to bust out of the car seat.

Friday - We slept in while G'ma and G'pa Kirkwood watch Josh and Hilo. We had some breakfast and then decided we had better get our long run in as the rest of the weekend was going to be jam packed full of plans. So Jim and I went on our 5 mile run... only 3 more weeks until the 10k! I still can't believe we are doing this. We made it through the 5 mile run and went back for some lunch. We met up with Tara and Mark later that night along with Jim's sis Catherine to watch Indiana Jones. It was fun to see in the theater because of all the action - but definitely not a favorite Indy movie. I will stick with Raiders of the Lost Ark. :)

Saturday - Again slept in while the G'parents woke up early with Josh. Love it! We hung out until noon then went down to stay with my friend Becky and her family in OH. It was really nice hanging out with her and the kids. We had dinner and watched clips from their wedding video (um yeah - there were some bloopers I had to see) and of course watch the Red Wings win again!

Sunday - We were up early with all the kids and getting ready for Rylan's baptism. Becky and Justin asked us to be his Godparents. We were definitely excited! We sat in the front pew which was a little scary at first. But thankfully Josh loved playing with Austin (9) and Justine (7) and was really good. Austin took him up to the altar for the "kids spot". It was so cute! Rylan was just perfect during the baptism, didn't make a sound. We went back to their house for some lunch and visited with their families. Then we made the drive to Royal Oak for our neice Izzy's 1st b-day. The place was packed with lots of family and friends. It was very hot outside that day so we were in and out of the house. Josh was doing pretty well still... but napping was not happening that day.
Monday - We were up early as Josh was just done with all the moving around. We had breakfast and then packed up for the drive home. Again - I saved a few new toys for him for the ride home. It was a pretty good drive back, but it felt GREAT to be home. This last picture was legit... I turned around to see how Josh was doing and Hilo was completely zonked out like that... Best pals for sure!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I QUIT!!!!

So on Monday, May 12th I finally quit my job... I have been looking for something new ever since my maternity leave and just nothing seemed to be "right". Then I received a call from a recruiter on a job locally. Each consecutive interview went better and better. I left the last interview (5/9) thinking, "I actually really want this job!". They said they had 2 more candidates that they wanted to interview so not to expect to hear anything for a few weeks.

I got a voicemail later that night from the hiring manager asking me to call him sometime over the weekend. Which to me, indicated nothing but positive. The next day he gave me the offer. After thinking more carefully about it and getting a few more questions answered, I accepted the position that Monday (5/12), signed the paperwork, and resigned from KC.

I always pictured resigning in my head...
  1. Standing up, saying "I quit", and walking out right in the middle of a frustrating, over crowded meeting, with too many "D's" (we call the person with the decision power the "D" - gotta love corporate america).
  2. Just not showing up for work.
  3. Dialing our plant page intercom number and announcing my resignation.
  4. The meeting scenario again... but going around the room and saying - you stink, you stink, you're cool, you stink... I'm out. HA HA!
But of course, I gave it some time to think through how to handle it the professional way. Because in the end, all of those frustrating things were going to happen everywhere... the job search was started because I needed a change. I wrote up a very professional letter... and then at the end of the day, I casually walked into my managers office to let him know. I was so nervous I thought I was going to throw up! I had never quit anything in my life... (Dad, T-ball doesn't count) I had prepared myself for everthing... from being walked out immediately to them having a counteroffer ready for me to look at. Well it went somewhere in the middle. It felt good to hear that they wanted to know what it would take to change my mind.. and it felt good to feel confident in my response, "Nothing". I learned a lot and got some outstanding experience with KC... but it was time to move on. I was crabby and frustrated at work all the time and there didn't seem to be anything more than talk when it came to "what was next".

The resignation was officially announced on Thursday of last week. Many people were shocked but almost all responded with - good for you and you'll be missed. It is weird going to work now knowing that I am not going to be there in another week... part of me is loving it... but then part of me is sad. I loved my project and my team, but was just plain old burnt out. I can definitely say that I haven't had a single feeling of regret with regard to my decision. I am sure there will come a time at the new job when that regret feeling will come... but that is normal.

For now... I am loving the fact that my evenings are no longer spent searching monster and careerbuilder. And that is why I am now back blogging! :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


So Monday around 5pm, Josh had a 102 fever. We gave him some Motrin and went for our run... which he always seems to enjoy. He was super happy for the rest of the night and went down pretty well.

Then we had to take turns trying to get him to go back to sleep. I was so darn tired that I don't even remember half the conversations Jim and I had. But I do remember him feeling slightly warm around 4 am and giving him more Motrin. I checked his ears with the new ear monitor I bought and saw they both said "monitor". That morning he was clingy... ears were the same... but no more fever so I chalked it up to teeth as he was chewing on everything in sight including my shoulder.

I dropped him off at daycare and told them about the fevers and they responded, "probably teeth but we'll keep an eye on him". At 10 am, I called and they said he was very clingy and wouldn't go down. I asked them to call me after lunch and let me know if he had eaten. If he hadn't, I was going to call and make an appointment for an ear check. At 11:30 I got paged... and didn't race to the phone thinking it was just them calling to give the update. Then I got paged at 11:33.... and 11:36... I finally got to a phone and called.

"Danielle, Joshua just had a seizure, he is stable, but you need to come pick him up and bring him in". I can't exactly explain what I did - I know that I babbled something to the effect of - I am on my way... know that I hung up and got a hold of Jim... either using my cell or work phone... and know that I told my boss that I couldn't go back to our meeting so to put my stuff on my desk... The 5 minute drive seriously felt like 40 minutes... I talked to the pediatricians and they confirmed that I needed to bring him straight to the ER. I got to daycare... and the owner, also an RN, along with the girl that was holding him at the time were up in the office with Joshua. I just started crying as soon as I saw him. He looked TERRIBLE! They explained what had happened and I finally realized that the poor girl who was holding him was just as upset as I was. I felt so bad for her! They were extremely collected and had all the info together. He had a very high fever - 102.5 via arm... and had the seizure... they put him on his side until it stopped and then he vomited... They took off as much of the clothing as they could and put some cool cloths on his forehead. Jim got there and thank goodness... because I was a mess.

We got to the ER and they were all ready for us. Within the first 30 minutes the doctor confirmed he had a severe double ear infection and his temp was at 103.5. He immediately said he believes it was a "Febrile Seizure" which occurs with high temps caused by infections. They typically occur when a toddlers temp changes rapidly and close to 104 degrees F. They happen with kids from 6 mos to 4 years. And 10% of children have at least 1 before the age of 4. We stayed at the hospital for another 4 hours to have his blood drawn, a chest x-ray, monitor his temp and heart rate, and a urine test. All of the tests came back clear and he was given a large dose of Rosephin (sp?). We booked an appointment with our pediatrician for tomorrow afternoon and then with the ENT doctor on Friday. I think this confirms he will be getting tubes.

We got home and he ate like a champ... he was still pretty clingy... but had quite a few periods of his happy self. Screaming randomly to get our attention... saying "ball" to EVERYTHING... and crawling after Hilo. He is down for the night and I fully expect to be going in there every few hours to make sure he is alright.

We are all exhausted. We are extremely thankful that he is okay and it was just an ear infection. And pray that it doesn't ever happen again.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day Weekend

Jim and I are ramping up for a 10K race in June. We were pretty good about running for 1.5 weeks... then this past week with the lack of sleep... we didn't get out. So Saturday we decided to run a charity 5K race called the Soleburner. I ran this race in 2004... and remembered the ridiculous hill at the end... but remembered how fun it was. So we got to the race at about 7:30 am and borrowed our friends running stroller. We watched the kids race, as Mandy's son Eric was running in it. Hilarious to watch all the little ones sprinting...

Then it was our turn... we lined up with the runners but in the back with some of the others with strollers. There were quite a few of us. They had the walkers line up on the other side of the park. After the starting gun, it seemed like 5 minutes before the crowd moved in front of us for us to actually start running. And about a block in... the walkers were already merging with us. It was SO crowded but at the same time motivating. I pushed the stroller for a little over a mile... and then Jim took over. We ran all the way through about 2.5 miles... and then I decided I needed to walk... so we walked the length of the bridge before the "big" hill. But we were able to run the rest of the way... Josh was passed out after about the first block... and everyone was laughing as we crossed the finish line. 34 minutes... slow and steady finishes the race! :) Not too shabby for not running all that often, pushing a stroller, and having it be super crowded!

Sunday we went to Church and breakfast... then took a two hour nap. At noon we decided to have lunch and then go to the Y for open swim. Josh LOVED it! It was a great Mother's Day...

Figure I should mention this too... as a parent for only one year... it is hilarious to me how exhausted I am on the weekends by dinner. On Saturdays and Sundays we are no longer sleeping past 6:30am... and usually by noon we have finished all the items we wanted to do... and by 5pm we are wondering why it isn't dark. Amazing how much our lives have changed!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I Need A Troubleshooting Guide...

So Josh seemed to get a lot better the week of his birthday, but still wasn't 100%. He had a rough time sleeping at night... Finally by Thursday of last week, I told Jim I was going to put him to bed at the first sign of him being cranky and see if that helps him sleep better... Fully expecting it to backfire on me and have him wide awake at 3 am.

So while eating dinner, about 6:30 pm, he decided to start throwing his food off his tray and just got mad... So I took of his tray, cleaned him up, and to bed he went. He cried for about 5 minutes but then finally gave up.

He slept until 6:45am the next morning!!!! It is amazing how wonderful Jim and I feel after a solid night of sleep! :)

So moral of the story... if your child wakes up with a few hours of going to sleep... try putting them to bed about 30-60 minutes earlier. Waking up only a few hours after going to bed signals an over tired child. I bought that darn - "solving your childs sleep problems" in November and still find myself forgeting some of the basic steps... like that one. Thank goodness I look back at it from time to time!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Big 1st B-day!

Well it was finally here... the big day we'd been planning for... (actually Jim did all the planning!). Since Josh was born on May 5th, and that was a Monday... we celebrated his first birthday on May 3rd which was a Saturday... and also my birthday.

The Walsh crew drove in late Thursday night and spent all day with Josh on Friday. The went shopping, cleaned up the house, got my tires rotated and even an oil change. That night we went out to Victoria's for an Italian dinner. It was really really good. We are finding we have reached a more difficult stage with Josh when it comes to going out. He just can't sit still. So if he doesn't have food to eat in front of him... he wants out. So we let him roam around the tables.... walking from chair to chair. The people around us thought it was amusing and would encourage him to keep going. So at least others in the restaurant didn't mind.

Saturday was the big day. My mom and sister took me out shopping to get some fun going out tops... we got back to find the house all together and decorations all done. We relaxed a little before the party started at 2pm. We had a cinco de mayo theme complete with Margaritas, Corona's, tacos, and of course the only "real" b-day cake around... DQ Ice Cream Cakes. It was a pretty good turnout. Josh was still a little under the weather... but all in all he was a good sport and enjoyed all the company and presents. Ridiculous amount of presents. Our family and friends continue to be so generous!

That night, Nana LuLu (my mom's new nickname) and Pappy, and my brother Jack and his girlfriend watched over Josh while the rest of us went out to celebrate my b-day. It was a really good time... we went to one bar on the ave... and stayed there the entire time. It was SO fun to hang out with my sister, bro-in-law (BIL) have fun. We ended the night rather abruptly... when my non-aggressive BIL decided to take care of a very intoxicated guy who kept trying to dance with all the gals... it was quite hilarious... and definitely the talk all the next day. Very amusing.
Sunday was church and then breakfast back at our house. It was a good way to end the weekend. My family took off around noon and then the Kirkwoods hung out until about 1:30pm. We took advantage of the nice day by sitting outside and putting Josh's new radio flyer together. Josh is already showing potential to become an engineer... notice the picture - already telling his dad and g'pa how to put it together.

Enjoy the rest of the pics...