Saturday, May 9, 2015

On my new job

Back in January, my supervisor retired. I put it for a promotion and got it. I am now the Building and Code Enforcement Manager, or in plain English, the Code Official. I oversee plan review, inspections and code enforcement. I work with the police department on nuisance issues, and with Public Works to get properties cleaned up when they have high weeds, trash, brush piles, etc. That part is new to my job.
Right now, we are also working on adopting the new building codes. We started reviewing them before I went on maternity leave, and just now wrapped up the review and recommendations with the Board of Appeals. Monday, I gave a presentation to City Council on the new codes. I will probably also attend the next two City Council meetings and answer additional questions they have, and then hopefully they'll adopt the new ordinance in June. 
May is Building Safety Month. So on Monday, I (and the fire marshal) accepted a proclamation from the Mayor declaring May as Building Safety Month. There are different topics each week, such as water/pool safety, fire safety, storm safety, and energy efficiency. I was also interviewed for a 5 minute piece on our local public access TV channel. 
A lot has changed in the last two months. I feel like I am making a difference in our community. I wasn't prepared for my job though, as I wasn't mentored by my previous supervisor, and so I feel like I am reinventing the wheel sometimes because there isn't a procedure manual. 
Take for example, yesterday... About a week ago, one of my inspectors approached me about a property maintenance situation at a house. He showed me photographs of the house being completely overgrown by vines, and the yard unmowed. He showed me photographs of the roof caving in in some areas and covered by a tarp to prevent rain from causing further damage. Then he showed me photographs of an extension cord running from a neighbor's house to give this house some power. And of the inside of the house, where the floors are so rotted they are about to give way. A person still lives in this house. An old man, probably in his 70s. The house is not fit for living in. So we posted it as an unsafe structure and gave the old man a week and a half to find a new place to live. His deadline is Monday. No one prepared me for this part of my job. Where an old man comes in scared that I am going to kick him out to the streets because his house is unsafe. No one prepared me for having a conversation with a person who reminds me of my grandpa, who has tears streaming down his face because he has no place to go. He is working with senior services to find him a place to live, but yesterday was a state holiday and he hasn't received an update on available housing for him. He has no phone. There are storms moving in this weekend, it is raining as I type this, and I'm concerned for his safety. I'm scared he may get shocked from touching a wet extension cord, his only source of power. I'm ashamed that I don't know how to help him. 
I never imagined 10 years ago, that as a licensed architect I would be a building official. I take my job very seriously, and health, safety and welfare are my top responsibilities. It's easy to review plans and make sure the design is code compliant. It's easy to answer questions on our codes and ordinances. It's not so easy to sleep at night filled with anxiety. I hope this next week we are able to find him a place to live. 
I know I haven't written much in the last several months. I have a lot less alone time now caring for baby A. I would like to continue to share about my job on my blog, as well as share about baby A and our country life. Bear with me. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

To My Baby Kangaroo - February 2015

In February, your dad and I finally decided to eat at a restaurant with you. You weren't quite big enough to sit in a high chair unassisted, so we took turns holding you while we ate Mexican for lunch. 

Your grandpa and uncle like teasing you... and usually make you cry. 
You are starting to be more mobile. You now "wiggle-worm" your way across the floor. You can move backward and forward, but you don't really push off with your legs yet. You seem to use your arms more.  You love jumping in your jumper, and also jumping while being held in someone's lap. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Peppers started

Edited to add: 
I figured I need to write down what I started so I don't have to squint so hard at the picture!

6 each (actually 12 seeds of each) of: 
Turkish Orange eggplant (Baker Creek)
Whitney pepper (long bell pepper)
Boris Banana pepper
Mama Mia pepper
Fooled You Jalapeno (taste of jalapeno without the heat)
Purple Tomatillo
Chinese Giant bell (grew these last year and liked them!)
Jalapeno (for when we actually do want heat)

As of the morning of February 13, only the tomatillos had sprouted...

Saturday, February 7, 2015

to my baby kangaroo - January 2015

I don't call you my baby kangaroo very often anymore.  Usually you are "baby girl" or "chubby monkey" or i refer to your chubby chipmunk cheeks. 

This month you became a lot more vocal and sing and talk to us. It is not decipherable though.  

You also learned how to roll over. The first time,  I was home alone with you and actually got your second roll on camera. That was about three weeks ago. Last weekend you learned how to roll the other direction (from front to back).

You like to roll around on the floor and play with your toys.  You also like to lay on your back and play with your toes,  or chew on them. 

Bath time is in your bumbo seat since you can't sit by yourself yet. You usually get 2-3 baths per week. And then you get lotioned-up, as you have dry skin patches.

You are still exclusively breastfed.  Although you are starting to show an interest in our food at dinner.  At your four month appointment a couple weeks ago,  the doctor gave us some guidelines for starting solid foods.  We are waiting on you to sit up unassisted before we start rice cereal. At that appointment,  you were a little over 15 pounds, and your height and weight were both between the 75th and 90th percentile.
You are also still in cloth diapers. Here was a photo with them all clean. 51 total. I have since then bought some covers to use over disposables. We are going on vacation next month and I don't  want to deal with washing cloth diapers then, but you have major poop-splosions in disposables, so I am hoping we can put a cover over the disposables and contain the mess.
At dinner you sit in your swing. We started strapping you in this week because you squirm so much you fall out of it. 
You constantly drool and chew on everything, including your toys, blankets and me and your dad. Sometimes you chew on my shoulder or neck and I look like I have a hickey. You don't take a pacifier unless you are very tired, which is fine by me because then we won't have a bad habit to break.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Seed starting: Brussels sprouts

Today,  I started 24 Brussels sprouts seeds. They are hanging out on the seed heating mat.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

To my Baby Kangaroo - week 16

This was the week of Christmas. We only had Christmas Day at our house. Christmas Eve at my Great Aunt's house was rescheduled to New Year's Eve because one of our cousins had the flu.
You received a ton of toys. I got some noisemakers for you. You got a sock monkey from one Grandma and a Raggedy Ann doll from the other Grandma. 
I love when you smile. Sometimes I can get you to giggle, but I have to make funny noises at you for several minutes before you giggle. 

To my Baby Kangaroo -Week 15

I know, I know.... I am really behind with posting photographs. This week, Daddy went hunting again, bow hunting in alternative season. We didn't get a deer, though.
Here you were still standing on my old Art History textbook when in your jumper. Now, your legs are long enough that you touch the floor without needing the book. 
I wanted to post this picture to show how difficult it is to get a picture of you. You are always moving!
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