Friday, November 23, 2012

(Night) shifting

Happy post-Thanksgiving, ya'll! We had a lovely holiday over at my mom's house. We went over early, had breakfast and spent the whole day. It was like we had traveled to visit.  We also had turkey and ham, so my holiday cockles are totally warmed.

This year I have so much to be thankful for. Here is my list, in no particular order:

1. My family. I have the world's most wonderful husband, who tirelessly puts up with me, loves me and supports me. My two beautiful boys are happy, healthy, and gorgeous. My mom and stepdad live mere miles away and are a constant force for good in our lives. We have extended family all over the country, who love and support us from afar.
2. My job. I was pretty down before I was offered the position. I would have taken many different jobs, but have gotten very lucky to have landed in a position I enjoy, at a facility I feel tries to do the right thing, with people I think are swell, on a shift that works for my family. Oh, and the second paycheck is nice too. We are making serious progress in paying back our debt.
3. Night shift. I was originally hired for evenings, and am so grateful to have been offered a night shift position. I am at work while my family is tucked safely away in their beds. While I do sleep during the day, I still get to see my boys in the mornings and pick them up right from school in the afternoons. Night shift does make me hyperaware of sleep in a way that I haven't been since the boys were infants, but so far, we all seem to be adjusting pretty well.
4. My (little) house. Sometimes I feel like my house is closing in on us. Still, it's ours. It's safe and warm and bursting at the seams with love. It's bursting at the seams with people and stuff too, but hey, it's ours!
5. My ukulele. Because it makes me happy.
6. Our town. It was a weird moment for me when I realized that here (and not Illinois) felt like home. I am grateful to have found a town that reminds me a little of my childhood home, that is safe and offers me the amenities that make life nice.
7. My friends. Who put up with my craziness and laugh and cry with me about my kids and generally make life better.

What are you thankful for this year?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A return to normalcy

I finally feel as though I'm starting to get a grip on my life again. The last month was mostly a blur and I am ever so grateful to have had my mother-in-law and her husband here to ease the transition on all of us. Here are some things I have learned from the past month:

1. I do not like working a traditional, 5-days-a-week, daytime job. At all. I feel like I never see my kids or husband and my house turns into stuff land. I can never figure out when to go grocery shopping, am too exhausted to cook, and really don't want to do anything but snuggle my boys when I get home.
2. Nights are better. I've only been on nights for a week, and already feel something like normal. I have had two days at home to run errands, spend time with the boys, get the house under control and generally feel like me again. Working nights also means that I can pick Gummy Bear up from school every day. You wouldn't think that 30 minutes makes that big a difference, but when it's the 30 minutes right after school, it does. Those 30 minutes are when I get the low down on how the day went, have face time with Bear's teacher, and chat with the other moms.
3. The paycheck is nice though.
4. The boys seem better with the new schedule too. Cheeky Monkey has finally forgiven me for going back to work and seems to really enjoy the alone time during the day. He is starting back at the preschool next week. We went to visit today, and he slipped back into the routine as though he had never left
5. Transitions are hard. The boys have definitely had a rough adjustment after their Mummu and Papa left. Bear especially has been out of sorts. Having Grandpa here is easing the transition.
6. I'm looking forward to some consistency. I think our biggest issue this past month is how crazy things have been. We have had family in town, new job with weird hours, hurricane, (extended) visits to the southwest, family health problems and other assorted strangeness. It'll be nice when my job settles into a normal rhythm and we figure out how things flow again.
7. I am rooting for our hospital to go to 12 hour shifts all the time. I thoroughly enjoy working 24 of my hours in two days. I would enjoy working all 36 in three even more. Still, 4 days a week is remarkably more manageable than 5.
8. I have chosen the right career. I am really enjoying my patients, my fellow staff members and getting to *be* a nurse. My orientation is over on Sunday. While I am nervous and certainly don't know everything, I am looking forward to being done with orientation. I know that our facility and administration will continue to support me through my first baby nurse steps.
9. Having more time during the week = more time for blogging. Aren't you excited? I know I am.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

The promised cuteness

Halloween finally arrived in NJ Monday. The boys were devastated when it got canceled last week. We started off the evening with a bang when my mom came over in full witch. Make up = scary. The boys weren't too freaked out though.

Cheeky Monkey's robot costume was a huge hit. It was completely home made. The box on the front has battery-operated Christmas LEDs sticking through, and the light on his helmet is a designed as a light for pet collars. My mom made the shiny silver tunic and Ryan and I decorated the helmet and box. From now on, all Halloween costumes are going to have light elements. Everyone could see the Monkey coming and we could see where we were walking. Double bonus!

Gummy Bear's costume was equally well-received. The overalls were also made by my mom. The question mark box is from his Mario Birthday Party when he turned 4. I cut the top off and threaded a ribbon through. Mustaches are very in this year, so I found a whole slew of them at Target for a dollar. He had a mustache for trick or treating and his Halloween party at school.

Every year, one of our neighbors brings out a carriage at Halloween time. For Halloween, it has a coffin and zombie. At Christmas, it's being pulled by lighted reindeer. This house also gives out full-sized candy bars, so it's one of our stops every year. I always give out little canisters of playdough with our candy. This year I learned that kids specifically stop by our house for playdough. If you can't be the full-sized candy bar house, might as well be the playdough house, eh?

Because G-Pa wasn't able to join us this year, we took the kids trick or treating at his house. The kids scored big there.

Halloween was a big success in our little corner of the world. How was yours?

Sunday, November 04, 2012

The Monkey turns 3 and wants some tail

Today my Cheeky Monkey turned 3. This is very hard for me to believe. I feel like I brought him home from the hospital, all fat and warm, yesterday.

Still, my calendar says it's true. Due to our extra stay in Tuscon, a hurricane and some unexpected time in the ER, my planning for his party was ... haphazard. I think we stuck the landing. We had a pretty quiet day, actually. The Monkey watched some TV, tormented his brother, played, and took a nap.

He requested a kitty cake. Of course I made him one.

And this afternoon we went to his favorite restaurant with some of our favorite people to celebrate his big day.

He was a bit concerned that it wasn't a party until I reassured him that we would have cake. Then, all was well. He only spit on the tummy bit. Thankfully we had laid back friends and plenty of ears and head to go around. Midway through the meal, Monkey turned to me and said, "Mommy, I want some tail!" Didn't expect that request so young.

And finally, there was present opening.

And a rousing game of Hungry, Hungry Hippo.

Happy Birthday Monkey. You charm the world around you with your quick smile, easy nature, and sneaky ways. You are still my cuddle bug. You are a joy to me and the world and I cannot wait to see what the year has in store for you. I love you, little Monkey. More than you'll ever know.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Well that was unexpected

For the first time, ever since starting this blog, I went a whole month without blogging. Um. Whoops. Our life has been so incredibly busy and full that I am exhausted at the end of the day. Thus, no blogging. There's too much to even sum up at this point, so I'll leave you with some highlights of the past month and a promise to get better.

The Job: Good. I have really been enjoying the staff, the facility and the patients at my new job. The pace is quick, and I am wiped at the end of the day, but I feel really good using my degree. I was originally hired to work Monday-Friday evenings. That was not ideal but I was willing to do it in order to get the job and experience. After a few weeks of orientation, my Assistant Director of Nursing approached me about  their weekend program. Essentially this program means that I work every weekend, 12 hour shifts, nights. Then I pick up two 8-hour shifts during the week. In return for working every weekend, they pay me a lot more for those shifts. I jumped at the chance. This schedule works much better for me. Not only do I get to see the Cheeky Monkey during the week, but I get to work my preferred shift (nights) and get paid more to do it.

Because I like pictures with my blogs, here I am in my scrubs. Very ... white.

The kids: Excellent. Cheeky Monkey loves Kindergarten. He is excelling academically. Unfortunately, he talks a lot. I know this probably shocks those of you who have met him. Without a doubt, it makes his teacher crazy. We're working on it.

Gummy Bear turns 3 tomorrow. I am not sure how this happened, but it is simply not possible that my baby is 3. He is still in permanent kitty mode. He was quite mad at me for going back to work there for a while. He seems to have gotten over it though. 

And here is an adorable picture of the boys from our recent professional photo shoot.
How. Cute. Are. My. Boys.
The Husband: Good. He's missed a lot of work lately, what with my staring a new job and his mom being in town and being in Tuscon and being stuck in Tuscon due to a hurricane and having  hurricane. Otherwise, he's good. He's adjusting to my having a full time job beautifully. He's also a beautiful human, inside and out.


The Visitors: So wonderful. I feel incredibly blessed to have Ry's mom and her husband here for a month. They are a joy to be around and were wonderfully comforting when we got stuck in Tuscon during the Frankenstorm. I know that my kids could not have been in better hands. We've had a lovely visit and I can hardly believe their visit will be over in a week. We have spent lots of time doing fall-like things, and playing with the kids, and generally enjoying each other's company.

And the bad news: We had a hurricane. It was worse than last year's. Luckily, our house had no damage and only lost power for about a day. Ry and I got stuck in Tuscon because of the storm, so the kiddos rode out the storm with Jo and Mike and my Mom and Greg. They thought it was a grand adventure. We have some friends who had some pretty serious flooding, including one who still hasn't been allowed back in his house. We were very lucky.

Also, my stepdad was inspecting a house early this week, when his ladder slipped out from under him and he fell. After a very scary couple of hours, we learned that it could been much, much worse. While he did fracture his L2 vertebrae, he had no neurological damage. He'll be in a brace for a couple months, but should recover fully. Thank God. 

Other stuff: Halloween was postponed by Governor Fiat, so I don't have adorable Halloween Costume pictures for you. Stay tuned, because they will be adorable. (Hint, there a mustache and twinkly lights.) Gummy Bear has been out of school for the past week. We're hopeful that he'll be back in school Monday. We took some professional pictures and attended the wedding of a very old friend. Those are on Facebook, so you don't really need to see them here. Maybe I'll post them anyway. Maybe not. We'll see how it goes.

So, yeah, that's about it. I'll try not to wait so long before posting again. 
Designed by Lena