Monthly Archives: January 2012

My Demand Letter

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This morning was one of those where I pined for a nap.  Vi slept 11 hours.  7pm-6am, and yet I must have needed more sleep.  Weird.  I walked by my bedroom and looked longingly at the bed where my cat was curled up sleeping soundly.  I hated her.  The cat, I mean.  

I am thinking a lot about a letter I sent last week to an old (and brief) boss of mine.  Back while I was 7 months pregnant, I needed to supplement our income due to some snags in my cash flow.  My employers at the Financial Planning company decided to give my computer to an intern, leaving the pregnant girl with no other alternative than to leave early.  I desperately searched for a work-from-home job that might fill the gap in our future rent (we were looking for an apartment too, so things were up in the air).  I searched a local church website and found a woman who needed an assistant.  Lets just call her Jan.  After some haggling, Jan agreed to a base hourly pay and I thought I was home free.  Unfortunately, the paychecks were late.  Then late again.  Then not at all.  She sounded surprised when I informed her I could no longer work in her employ due to the no paycheck problem. She was having cash flow problems herself, and claimed she would pay m the remaining $450.  Fast forward until now.  Viola is 5 months old, and I haven’t seen a dime.

I truly believed she would pay me.  But then again, maybe I’m too understanding.  I feel like a fool admitting this, but I prayed to forgive her debt, fully.  You know the story in the New Testament about the man forgiving the debtors?  I kept thinking about that, and how I could just forgive her debt, and we can all feel warm and fuzzy inside.  She replied to a later email I sent, saying that she was in some sort of accident.  I wanted to believe she didn’t have the money and that I was a priority, but I don’t think that’s the case anymore, if ever.  I believe that if you forgive someone, you never label them with that hurt again.  I know I didn’t truly forgive her because every time I thought about her, I got mad.  Then I also realized I would be taxed on money I was never even paid.  

I’m not mad anymore.  I just want to get paid the money I already worked for.  With the help of a lawyer friend, I wrote a formal demand letter, stating if I didn’t get paid in the next week, I would take her to small claims court.  And I will.  I don’t even feel bad about it.  

I sent the letter certified mail so she would have to sign for it.  I tracked it online and it said they attempted to deliver it, but she wasnt there to sign for it.  She would have to pick it up within 15 days or they send the letter back to me.  This letter would be used for evidence in court. 

Its disappointing these things happen, especially with self-professed Christians.  I wish it wasn’t like this, but we are all human in the end.  

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What others say you should feed your baby

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When I first started looking into natural child birth, many of my resources strongly warned me against the evil medical world of obstetrics.  While in retrospect, the books emphasized being informed and educated about my options, I still remain wary of the medical community.  I think its because we’re so overmedicated here in the States, that we lose sight of what women have been doing for…well…ever.  I’m not going to talk about birth today, but Ive been running into the whole newborn nutrient/food debate.

They used to say not to introduce food until 6 months, and then give your baby iron fortified rice cereal.  Now they say you can give them rice cereal at four months.  Then I’m hearing rice cereal isnt necessary nutritionally (which I knew), but because of the iron, babies need it.  Then I hear the iron debate is a myth and isn’t necessary.  Then I hear you shouldn’t give your baby anything until 6 months again.  Some people say to wait until they’re “interested”, whatever that looks like.  Then someone else says even if they look “interested” in your food, they’re intestines aren’t ready to digest the food.  And then I’m supposed to be giving Viola a Vitamin D supplement since people are usually deficient in that vitamin.  So my breastmilk isnt enough.  Then I read that the Vitamin D studies were done on nutritionally deficient women in a pooor demographic.  

Can you see where I’m getting with this?

This is what I did…  my pediatrician wanted Viola to “socialize” herself with rice cereal at four months.  I said “no thanks”.  She had me giving Vitamin D drops to Vi, which we eventually stopped.  Partially because of my laziness, and partially because I take extra Vitamin D myself.  I made my own avocado baby food yesterday which we’re going to try this weekend.  Viola is almost 5 months.  Breast-milk is still 99% of her nutrition for awhile, so I’m not that worried.  Wish me luck!

 

My beef with Lee Strobel and the Modern Church

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I was just telling Eric the other day how much I dislike visiting churches–the contemporary, come-as-you-are style Christian church.  You end up leaving with an invite to a newcomers barbeque and “free gift” on your way out.  Not the “free gift” of accepting-Jesus-Christ-as-my-personal-savior-gift…an actual gift.  Usually a Lee Strobel book and a worship cd by the praise band.  We actually went to a church in VA last year where we were approached by the greeters who offered us a free gift for visiting.  I didn’t mean to be a smart ass, but I replied, “Is it a Lee Strobel book?”  The woman replied, “Why, yes!  It is!  How did you know?”

I know these things because we used to be on leadership at our church in Ithaca, NY.  We made the coffee and stuffed the newcomers baggies with The Case for Faith.  We ate bagels, picked the carpet color in our new building, and attended meetings to discuss how we could reach out to our community.

It looked a little bit like this video that was just posted on facebook about if Starbucks was run like a church.  If you’re a Christian, please watch it, and laugh at yourself.  If you’re not a Christian, just laugh.

Eric and I have changed our perspective on the concept of church since then and our tastes are radically different…due to some church implosion…its a long story.  Unfortunately for us, moving further south decreased the likelihood of finding a more free-form organic church (dare I say liberal?) group.  Its hard to find a group that’s as rough around the edges as ourselves in the formal church setting.  Notice I used the term “smart ass” in a previous paragraph.  Oh, shit.  I did it again.  And as much as I detest much of Christian culture, I still pine for Ithaca and what we had before everything went bad.

We did find an amazing Christian group in the DC area (you know who you are) made up entirely of church refugees like us.  A unique group of young poets, artists, writers and their familes were exactly what we needed to remember there are people like us nearby.  Even so, it has been a challenge finding more people who live less than 45 minutes away from us (see Still Starting Over).

So here we are…debating on whether to walk into another church.  Still investing in our artsy church group, but needing some additional support closer to home.  Not looking for the place of church, but what church was always meant to be: the people.  Here’s to starting over, and the planting roots.  And to me not being a Smart Ass.  Cheers!

Happy New Year

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I normally don’t do New Year’s Resolutions simply because I’m pretty motivated no matter what year it is.  If I really want to do something, I do it.  Or try.  But as a famous Jedi master once said, “Do, or do not.  There is no try.”  Maybe that will be my mantra for 2012.  For the first time, I actually feel like the new year is a new beginning of sorts.  Maybe because 2011 was such a blur.  We had just begun getting used to the whole pregnancy thing, living with 13 other people, and wondering how God would sweep in and save the day…on several fronts.  Again.  Seriously, its like a Deus Ex Machina thing ever since we’ve been married.  Whether its finances, living situations, or people we barely know suddenly popping into our lives, the miraculous happens…and did happen.  A lot.

Look at 2012: here we are in a great condo, (barely) making rent.  Not to mention we found this place with only a few days to spare.  Somehow I get to stay home with our daughter, doing a little work from home.  I may have some theatre stuff on the horizon.  I think I recall saying to someone in college, “I just want to get married and have a family.  I can do some of this theatre stuff on the side.”  Its amazing how that actually happened!  But I digress…  New Years Resolution.

I’m taking the typical “lose weight” path.  I took a stab at it a couple times during the holiday’s but I knew I wouldn’t really be serious until the cookies stopped rolling in.  And…I needed to stop myself from baking them.  Eric and I have been on a slew of diets during our marriage which actually worked, so I know it can be done.  We both share a love of food that we need to keep in check sometimes.

I remember when I decided in college I was tired of being fat, so I did the Weight Watchers thing.  I had just started and I knew I could, and would (and did) do it.  But there was a point right at the beginning when  I was talking to the best friend of my crush at the time.  Lets call him Bob.  The “friend” didn’t know how to talk to women yet, and said something about how Bob wouldn’t be interested because he doesn’t like fat girls.  I know.  Looking back, I wonder how I kept my cool, and told the friend I was going to lose forty pounds, by the way.  And I did.  Bob still didn’t like me after that, but I liked myself a lot more.  I was doing it for me, by the way.  I’ve fluctuated a bunch since then, but have hit a high point again because of the pregnancy.  I need to drop thirty.

I’m so thankful for a husband who loves me, no matter how much I fluctuate.  He’s much more my perfect “other” than I could ever have asked for or imagined.  Thanks again, God.

Here’s to 2012!