Monday, October 17, 2011

Today was NOT a great day.  Allison was in a "I am going to live up the whole terrible 2" kind of mood...very demanding, whiney, and uncooperative.  Makes for a very, very long day.

And might I add, that the few hours after Ethan comes home from school until roughly dinner time, is forever my least favorite time of the day.  Both kids are tired and hungry.  There isn't much to do with the weather getting colder, and it's just a tense few hours.

When Jay finally walked in the door around 5, he took one look at me and knew it wasn't a good day.  He mentioned that we needed a few things from the grocery store, and offered to let me go (alone!) but I knew that would just get me into trouble (remember: I spend, spend, spend when I'm stressed) so I told him he could go.

He offered to take Allison with him, to give me a little break from the princess.  This was when my mind started churning.  On my latest Facebook post (remember the one about the area rug?), someone suggested incorporating the living room area rug into the shopping list.  So I did:

Then I got my little diva-in-training ready and gave her a little pep talk about getting Daddy to buy EVERYTHING on the list:

 Wanna know what they came home with?  Everything BUT the area rug.  I guess that means Allison needs a little more training.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Most 7 year old boys on roller skates would skate around like maniacs, take a wipe-out that makes everyone say "ooooooh!", then hop up and repeat.

My 7 year old is not like most 7 year olds.  My 7 year old is the one who will reluctantly try something new (in this case, rollerskating), see that is is tricky (he has never done this before) do a few moves (by moves, I mean his legs went in every direction except straight while he clung to my arms that were above his head.  This lasted all of maybe 3 seconds before he plopped himself down on the floor and loudly (he has no shame) that he is NEVER SKATING AGAIN.  Now it just so happens, today's lesson in church was on love and patience.  So being the good (medicated) Christian woman that I am, explained how this is something very new to him, and OF COURSE it was going to be hard.  But you just need to try again!

So we did.  A couple falls, a couple tears, a couple more "I AM NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN!" shouts, but after a while, he looked a little less like a  clumsy newborn calf, and a little more like your typical 7 year old boy on skates.  After about an hour and a half of skating, he gave me the world's greatest grin and a big ol' high five.  And of course, I, being his very proud mother that he didn't give up, had a smile on MY face as if I'd won a million bucks.  We'll skip the details that my arms were so sore from holding him up that they were practically numb and I have beads of sweat over every inch of my body.  It was SO worth it.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Had you asked me a few months ago if I had plans of leaving my current nursing position, I would have said with 110% certainty, "Heck no!"

I truly feel that God had a hand in the position I am currently in.  See, when I was hired, I was still in nursing school.  I applied to be an extern.  The interview process consisted of a bunch of nervous nursing students sitting one at a time in front of a board of managers.  The mangers would shoot out questions, the nervous nursing student would answer, and then the managers would decide who wanted which student, and which students left without a job.

I was chosen to be on the 6th floor, and I have loved it from the very beginning.  I still love it today.  Sure, I have a lot of shifts where I leave feeling like I was in a 12 hour tornado, and I am almost CERTAIN that during every shift I work, at some point or another, I mutter the words, "I wish I could replicate myself!  There is one of me and 6 of them!"  ...but I love my job.  I love my coworkers.  I love my manager and our charge nurse...we have a GREAT group of people.  If I were ever sick, or a loved one of mine were ever sick, there would be no hesitation in my mind to request for them to go to 6.

Unfortunately, I have come to a point in my life where I need more consistency.  A more set schedule.  More reliability on what my days will be like.  And just like that, a position opened.  My patients would still be oncology patients, but they will be outpatient as opposed to inpatient.  My schedule would be set, and there would be no weekends or holidays.  It's funny how one minute I can feel like my life is all out of whack and then an opportunity like this opens up.

When I saw the position, I submitted my resume thinking, "We'll see!"  I didn't hear anything for a while, and started to think that it wasn't meant to be at this time, and I was okay with that.  But then I had a message on my machine.  Asking for an interview.  The very next day.  ACK!  Waaaaaaaaait wait wait.  I had to go.  It would be silly NOT to, and how would I ever know if it was meant for me or not?  I'll be honest, the whole way there, I recited off how I was going to politely decline the position, but when I got to talking about it with the managers, it all came out so, so easily.  I am terrible at being put on the spot, which is exactly what an interview is, but when they would say "Tell us about a time you dealt with a difficult physician and how did you handle that?" I had a story.  When they said "Tell us about a time you went above and beyond for a patient."  ...I had a story for that, too.  When they said, "Tell us how you detach yourself from the sadness you see at your current position (hospice, cancer) when you leave and go home for the night." ...and I honestly said that a lot of the times, I don't detach myself.  I've BEEN THERE.  No, my sister didn't have cancer.  But she was critical.  She was living minute to minute, followed by day to day.  When I was with her, I wasn't a nurse, I was simply the patients sister.  So when I am in my nursing role, I never EVER forget.  While I may only see these people 12 hours out of a day, their stress doesn't end at 7PM like mine does. 

I drove home from that interview feeling very strange.  In one sense, I was pleased, because when I speak about being a nurse, every bit of it is from the very depths of my heart.  It's so easy for me, because I am so passionate about it.  Speaking about something I love so dearly puts me in a very great mood.

But as I drove home, my mind shifted back to 6.  And the tears welled up in my eyes.  My first "real" job.  My friends.  My patients.  The patients I have lost that I still think about daily.  Leaving that place?  Walking away?  Tears. my. heart. out. 

I'm torn.  This other position has not been offered to me yet.  There are other people interviewing.  Do I think this would be a great fit for me?  YES.  There are many areas of my life right now that are a little fuzzy, so the set schedule would help me tremendously.  But leaving my "home" is HARD.

Regardless of what happens...if I don't get this position, I might be a little sad, but I know that I am still going to have my job on 6, where I love.  If I do get offered the position, I will most likely accept it, and have to go through the sadness of change.  I pray I make the right decision.  I pray I am doing the right thing for me and my children.

Again...that manual I was talking about??  You know, the one about "Laura's Life?"  ....right about now I'd skip to the chapter titled "Career Choices" and read what the right answer is.  Oh, right.  There is no such book.  So I have to make these decisions on my own.  Gulp.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I wish life had a manual that you could refer to whenever you had to make a decision.  Instead of having to weigh pros and cons in my mind, I could just flip to the chapter called "Laura's Life" and see what choice is best.

But alas, there is no such thing, so here is to hoping I make some good choices.  More on that later.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Most days I have this STRONG maternal urge to have one more baby.  I think of being pregnant and feeling those soft movements and knowing it was something that was only known by myself and my sweet baby.  I think of the incredible process of laboring a baby.  I think of those first few days when you entire world revolves around each burp, nap, and poop.  My uterus twitches just a touch whenever I hear the soft music play while at work, indicating a baby had just been born.

Today though?  Today was not one of those days.  In terms of my reproductive organs, I'm pretty sure my uterus just shriveled up and dried, that's how this day was.

Why, you ask?  What made this day so bad?  MY KIDS WERE MANIACS!

In our heads, Jay and I had his picture perfect day planned.  Allison and I would go to church.  Jay and Ethan would go to one of Ethan's friends birthday party, and then we'd meet back at home and drive out to the apple orchard for a great afternoon of fresh doughnuts, cool cider, and pumpkin picking.

Where the heck did it all go wrong?

Maybe the part where Allison was a total maniac at church.  She didn't want to sit with me in church like she normally does, and she acted like she'd never see me again if I left her in the play area...which meant we spent 2 hours just meandering around until we went home.

The ride TOO the orchard was nice, except we hoped Allison would take a nap early on in the ride so she would be rested when we got there.  That didn't happen.  She started snoozing as we were pulling in.  That's always ugly.

And the fact that today was hot and sunny, we anticipated the orchard would be full....and that it was!  Ever heard of the website called "The People of Walmart?"  Well, there should be one called The People of the Orchard (ooooh sounds like a horror movie!)  ...but no, really.  It all began as we waited in line with our kids to jump in the inflatable pumpkin, behind a lovely family with the mother wearing a shirt that said clear as day "We'll rip their f&^%$#g heads off."  I almost tapped her on the shoulder and gave her a big ol' thumbs up for being such a classy lady, but I didn't.

The bees were ridiculous and I all think we held our breaths as we watched a bee fly down the collar of Allison's t-shirt, fly around against her baby skin, then fly out the bottom of it. 

The cider and doughnuts were amazing, but then it came time to pick pumpkins.  It was as if someone pulled a string on Allison's back which sent her zipping through the pumpkins that were displayed for purchase and promptly tipping each one over.  While she did this, Ethan kept yelling after her "Allison!  Stop!  Allison!" while Jay kept saying "Ethan!  Stop parenting Allison, I will take care of it!" and I chased Allison around taking each tipped pumpkin and putting it back upright.  We literally did this for like 30 minutes before we realized we STILL HAD NO PUMPKINS PICKED.  By this time we were all hot, dirty, and tired.  I ended up picking two good looking gourds and we hit the road.

I had it in my head that the kids would be overtired so they would be quiet on the 40 minute ride home...AHHHAHAHAHA!  They were INSANE!  Allison cried for her binky (which she HAD, it just apparently wasn't the right binky) and Ethan was mad that I wouldn't let him change his seat as Jay was driving.  We picked a movie for the DVD player and neither kid could agree on a movie.  It was a long, miserable, loud, migraine-inducing ride.  As we finally did the final turns to our home, Jay and I started laughing.  What. a. day!

....but neither of us would have traded it for any other day.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

WHAT is this self (husband) -proclaimed shop-o-holic to do???

No, seriously.  I can't. stop. shopping.  I literally spend HUNDREDS of dollars every single month.

Now before you gasp and consider me a terrible, horrible, no good, well dressed person, let me be more specific.  I'm not buying Coach purses and MAC make-up.  It's usually spent at Target or Meijer or somewhere less exciting, and it's usually spent on my kids.  I love buying them clothes and shoes.  And I love cosmetics, so it usually ends up being a couple outfits for Ethan, a couple for Allison, and some shampoo or other random item.  And the total is ALWAYS over $100.

Now before you think to yourself, "Uh, so stop shopping, stupid."  Let me give a tiny bit of background.  I have really bad anxiety.  I take medication for it.  I am being totally serious when I say shopping is a HUGE anxiety release for me.  I can go about 3 days without shopping, then the urge overcomes me and I have to speeeend.  I put things in the cart, I pay, then I feel so, so guilty (but heck no do I return any of it!)  Then I store these new, shiny items in what I like to call my "trunk of tricks" aka.  the trunk of my car so I can slowly pull things out so Jay doesn't bust me. 

Now, clearly I need a different outlet for my anxiety.  I don't garden (everything dies at the mere sight of my face) and I don't cook (unless it's pre-packaged and frozen).  I don't scrapbook (but I could, if I bought some supplies...) I can't do a lot of volunteer work due to my very clingy 2 year old.  I love doing playdates and recently joined a local group on, but then realized it costs $10 to join, and most of the meet-ups are at places that require spending money.

Winter is coming so parks and playing outside is coming to an end... what do I do???!

Come on.  Give me some ideas.