Mixed trio

Sep. 15th, 2009 12:05 am
juthwara: (Default)
1. So the amended budget relief bill has passed the House, with most of the amendments the Senate added stripped out. Now it falls to the Senate to pass or punt it. They have four days before layoff notices go out and three weeks before the city shuts down. I hope they can pull their heads out of their asses and compromise before then.

Meanwhile, I've realized a problem with the move back to Michigan plan is that if we haul all of our stuff back to Michigan, then [livejournal.com profile] longstrider gets called the next week to get offered his job back, he'll get kicked off of unemployment if he turns it down. Yet at the same time, our lease is up at the end of November, and I certainly don't want to get to February or so and run out of money only to be stuck with another 9 months of lease. So it's going to be a weird timing act balancing the likelihood of the crisis being resolved versus needing to move. Assuming it's necessary.

Sigh. I don't do limbo well.

2. We went to a church picnic Sunday and had a lovely time. There were four babies in church today and we had a good time talking with two of the other sets of parents. One of the babies was a day older than Alec and K had a great time playing with his 2 1/2 year old brother, so I'm hoping we might be able to get together with them.

We've had the worst time trying to meet people since we moved here. It's been a combination of weird work schedules that prevent us from going to the places where we could meet people, having a small child and bad luck. We perhaps haven't been as proactive as we could have been in following up on continuing to get together with people after having an initial social contact, but, well, our phone receives calls too, so it's not like it should all be on us. This is the first time in a long time that I've had multiple good, long conversations with people I'm not related to or have known for 15 years. It makes me hopeful.

3. Alec and I had a productive thirty minute nursing session tonight. It wasn't enough to fill him up - I eventually ended it because he was getting frantic and handed him off to his father for a bottle top-up. But I had pumped less than two hours previously and got only two ounces when I pumped again after feeding him when I would have expected at least four, and he drank only two ounces out of the bottle when a typical feeding for him is 5 1/2, so he clearly got quite a bit of milk from me.

It took a while to get up the will to try again. First I had thrush, then he developed painful reflux. And as it turns out, I felt so defeated after his one months appointment where he was only half a pound over his birth weight despite bottle feeding on demand that it took a while to get up the courage to trust that he would get any real nourishment. But as it turns out, I really hate bottlefeeding in the middle of the night and would give quite a lot to be able to breastfeed him in bed, especially when I find myself dropping the bottle on his face as I accidentally drift off and lose my grip. I also have the pressing dealine of wanting to be able to breastfeed him on the plane when we fly to California next month. Even if we have to give him formula as well, I really don't want to have to figure out how to pump on the plane and there's no way I won't have to relieve the pressure somehow on a six-hour flight. I don't feel the need to work towards exclusive breastfeeding; I like being able to hand him off to [livejournal.com profile] longstrider so he can do a late-night feeding or nudge him to get up with the baby in the morning. But the ability to breastfeed when it isn't convenient to pump would be the best of both worlds.

It seems like as I had hoped, getting older has increased his strength. I was reflecting today that it should have been a hint to me that when I was in the hospital, I was marvelling at the fact that my nipples weren't hurting at all despite all of the breastfeeding. I suppose they wouldn't if your infant isn't sucking on them with any real suction.
juthwara: (Default)
So! Remember when I wrote about the city of Philadelphia attempting to make up a billion dollar budget shortfall by making huge cuts to city departments, including closing 11 libraries and laying off 110 staff? Matters have taken a fascinating turn:

Neighborhoods losing their libraries were understandably upset, and some filed a lawsuit to prevent the library closings. Today, a judge granted an injunction to prevent the library closings on the quite reasonable grounds that the mayor neglected the little detail of the law requiring city council approval for closing city facilities. The mayor is a bit of a high-handed moron.

But here's where it gets fascinating: the reason libraries were being closed was that there was no way to cut the library budget without cutting staff (since staffing makes up 85% of the budget), and staffing is already thin enough that losing any more positions meant that not all libraries could be adequately staffed. But the layoffs have already happened. People are leaving their jobs this week. And even if they somehow rehired all of the laid off people, they had managed to get the number fired down to 59 by reducing the rest of the positions through attrition - people retiring, quitting or transferring.

I truly don't know what they're going to do. There has been a truly moronic plan floating around for all of the libraries in the city to be open three days a week, which sounds like a nightmare of confusion for both patrons and staff. But how are they going to keep the libraries open without enough people to run them? And if they start hiring, where is the money going to come from?

The money issue is the sticker, and the reason that while I don't like the idea of closing libraries, particularly when we thought it could be affecting us badly, I couldn't see an alternative. The city really is short on money and cuts are being made across the board. Even the mayor is taking a pay cut. I can't point to any place they could take the money from, and as valuable as I think libraries are, I think police and sanitation are pretty important too. It sucks to lose your closest library, but the ones closed were the smallest ones and no person in the city will live more than two miles from a library branch.

All I know is that whatever happens, the next few weeks are going to be highly interesting.

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