Friday, October 27, 2006

Me and 39 other people

So, yesterday my company laid off 40 employees... leaving them (if my calculations are correct) with around 60 left.

Oh, you noticed I said "them" and maybe you caught the entry heading.

That's right, folks. I'm no longer employed.

Yesterday I was 100% Happy about it, for myself anyway. I feel pretty bad for most of the other people. Quite a few of them are people I hired and trained and promised grand things to in my faith that the CEO would take our company to great heights. I actually lost faith quite a while ago, but I still hoped.

Sadly, it appears to simply be dying a very slow death.

I hope that's not the case, and that instead this will be like cutting away old growth trees in a forest...that new life will immediately spring up and replace that which was lost and more.

Yes, I was quite happy to go. I've wanted to be a full-time stay-at-home mom for nearly 2 years now, and this looked like my ticket.

But then there's reality.

If we could afford for me to not work, I wouldn't have had to wait for a lay-off. We must cut expenses by about a third, and if you are at all familiar with things around here, we were already buckled down really tight. There's not much else to cut. Selling our house would fix us up, but then we'd just have to buy another.

I can't say with 100% certainty, but it is really looking like I'll need to find a new job. I heard on the news last night that Starbucks is opening many a new store. I've never been a barista, but I think I could do it.

So, facing this reality has me feeling a smidge less excited than yesterday. And feeling wistful over nearly six and a half years of memories. I met some wonderful people in that time; nothing like the perky happy co-eds I'll call coworkers at a coffee shop. I had a blast. I don't think I could find a smarter, funnier group anywhere else. I wish I could have parted from them under better circumstances.

I don't know if you'll be hearing from me as often these days. If I don't get a new job, I may not have Internet access. If I do, I obviously won't have time to post from work. Next time I post, I hope it's with really great news instead of this bittersweet kinda stuff.

One thing's for sure, God has a plan, it just doesn't involve my former employer. :)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Breast Cancer Awareness month

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, I'd like to take a moment to write about Breastfeeding.

It's no secret that breastfeeding is the very best thing you can do for your baby. For further information on how great it is for babies, mothers, and society, see here, here, and here. It's even great for your pocketbook!

What you may not know is that breastfeeding (along with pregnancy) can have a significant impact on a woman's risk for developing breast cancer. If you'd like to view the details of studies that have shown this to be true, here's a good link for you.

One study showed that your personal risk for breast cancer can be decreased by over 4% for each year of breastfeeding. It's also been shown that each birth can diminish the risk for breast cancer by 7%. Doing the math, if everyone had 14 kids and breastfed them for the 1 year minimum recommended by the FDA and the AAP, breast cancer could be essentially obliterated.

I know, I know... who in their right mind would have 14 kids? How about if we all breastfed each child for the minimum recommendation of the WHO: 2 years. Seven children would do it. Still too much for you? How about 5? The longer you breastfed each child, the less children you'd need for the same amount of risk reduction.

Update: I know, I'm not really be fair with the numbers. Remember, this is statistics, not like making change. I'm sure there would still be some breast cancer occuring even if we all went around having huge litters of children. My point is, there's a real, tangible reduction of risk for you personally if you can and do breastfeed.

All that aside, you don't need to have your own football team, or nurse your only child until he hits legal drinking age to reap the benefits of breastfeedings protective properties against breast cancer. Every little bit helps.

To read a more serious presentation of the impact breastfeeding can have on your breast cancer risks, go here, here, here, and here.

If pregnancy is in your future, please consider all the benefits of breastfeeding, to both your and your child. Reduce your risks of disease as well as your child's in an irreplaceable way that is affordable and fulfilling.

If pregnancy isn't in your future, please consider all the benefits of breastfeeding to the mothers and children around you. Support your friends and loved ones in breastfeeding--it's best for all of us!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Phun with Photos!

I've been doing a terrible job keeping Eve's photo gallery updated. I actually have tons of pictures (I won't start slacking on that until baby #2 (should such a child ever arrive) right?)

So, for those of you craving some recent Eve shots, and for those of you who aren't but don't have a choice, here's some pictures for you! These were all taken the weekend we went camping.

Here's a shot of the Italian Prune tree in our yard. I love this tree for shade, and I even am quite fond of the fruit it produces, but I really can't keep up with the yield, so we end up with literally hundreds of plums on our grass. Here, I experimented with color filters in iPhoto, this was merely a tint change to add a yellow-cast (which is more representative of reality than the picture showed in its raw state)

Here's me practicing with the macro setting for a nice close up of the dew on the plums that have fallen. These were taken before the local gaggle of Canada Geese discovered the bounty of my yard. For each prune they consumed, they left a...present, even more gross than the normal kind. On the plus-side, I don't have to pick up rotting, fermenting prunes this fall.

Here's Eve, looking thoughtful and adorable (as usual). I think I "sharpened" the image, but I can't remember for sure.

Here's Eve with her Daddy climbing my in-laws' RV to retrieve a package in the little treasure hunt Grandma set up for Eve and her little cousins. She was really proud of her accomplishment. This photo was cropped to get closer and then "enhanced" which is a mysterious adjustment. I'm not always happy with the results of "enhance" but in this case, it was nice.

I enhanced this shot of Eve on the swings. We tried and tried to get shots of her swinging, and none of them turned out as impressive as we'd hoped. She's so cute though, I couldn't resist sharing, even if it is a pretty overexposed looking shot.

And last but not least, Eve all prepared to go swimming at the pool. She was strutting around knowing she looked like pretty hot stuff in her sunglasses and suit. She had a blast swimming too. I used the "warmth" filter on this, as well as upping the brightness, since the shadows were even worse in the original photo.

Where is my time spent?

Why am I not blogging regularly? Well, aside from the fact that I frequently am on the computer one-handed, which is a really awful way to type up anything, it's usually because I'm reading other blogs, or posting/reading on Craftster. I'm obsessed. Anyway, this is like cheating, but I promise a better post soon, maybe even today!

To see my latest finished embroidery item, go here.