Friday, April 11, 2014

Work Confession

Confession. I do not like my job (the nurse job not the mom job, glad we cleared that up.) Well that's not entirely true. There are aspects of my job that I like. As a home health nurse I like that my job is not stressful in the least bit. I like that I get a lot of non work things accomplished on my night shifts. I like that I get to pretty much pick and choose how much and what days I work. But that is about it.

I've mentioned this before, but when I was in nursing school, working in home health was about the last thing that I ever thought I would do. I thought I graduate, and then immediately start working in the ICU. And then the great recession happened when I graduated so I took one of the only jobs I could get... working in a clinic, and then later working in home health.

And what is it that I don't like about my job so much?? I hate how isolating home health is (especially nights, it's just me and the child I'm taking care of.) Often I feel more like a babysitter than a nurse. I find it quite boring. The pay is just alright. Well actually for how little I do the pay is phenomenal. I wish it involved a lot more technical skills. I wished I worked with other adults. And lastly I'm getting burnt out of peds. The days are long when I go from caring for my own child all day, to then caring for someone else's child all night, then back to my child all day.

So if I don't like my job, why don't I get a new one?? And here lies the problem. I've been trying. Really. I've perfected my resume, and cover letter, and nearly applied to every available position in the Twin Cities. But having a year in a clinic and a year in home health for the past 4 years really isn't ideal, however I know people with far less experience getting hired. And that's when I start to get frustrated. I have my RN, I have my BSN. I graduated from a really solid nursing program. I'm not a crazy person (really, believe me.) So why can't I seem to get a job???

Nursing jobs here in MN are really not in abundance so I understand that.... but getting a new job has been something thats been on my heart for quite some time. Like 6 months a long time. I don't think I have ever been so faithful in prayer about something in my life. For the past 6 months I have prayed countless times that God would open up a new position after I had Oliver. Well I had Oliver, and there is still no job... And I am so quick to get frustrated. Frustrated that things aren't happening on my time. Frustrated that I thought if I just prayed hard enough, and long enough, that things would work out just like I had envisioned them. However I am once again humbled before God. Just because I prayed for it long and hard doesn't mean that my plans are going to happen.

I am once again, for what seems like the thousandth time, learning to trust in God. Trusting that He has plans for me. Big ones. Good ones. Trusting that there is a reason that God is saying "not now," or perhaps a flat out "no." That he is either protecting me from something, has something grand in store, or  is using me in my current position for reasons unbeknownst to me just yet (or ever.)

So while I had hoped that I would not return to my current position after my maternity leave, it looks like I am going to be. And while I am not thrilled with that, I am ok with it. So that's enough thought about work for today. It's time to get back to enjoying my maternity leave to the fullest extent!

And since every post needs one picture.... here ya go. Story of my life:

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Boys

For one reason or another, I seem to get the best pictures of Harrison when his shirt is off. Maybe it's because majority of the time that Harry is inside he isn't wearing anything other than his diaper... The kid just likes to be free. But the other day I happened to get some pretty adorable pictures with you guessed it, Harrison not wearing a shirt. But I just love these photos. Not one thing is staged about them... clearly. The dishes are drying in the background, there is food all over the top of the fridge, and then there's that whole lack of clothes thing. But that's why I love it. This is our life these days. Actually this is probably a skewed picture because rarely are there actually clean dishes in the background, but usually piles of dirty ones. But I love that when Brian gets home, the rest of the night is all about daddy. No one else can quite get Harrison to smile and laugh like Bri does, and when I try to hold both kids... usually one is thrown over my shoulder like a sack of potatoes. Definitely not photo worthy like these.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Oliver- Month 2 Update

Well, I missed out on the 1 month update so forgive me for that, but moving right along here is the month 2 update! With all iPhone pictures once again... poor child his life is not going to be nearly as documented as his brothers. Oh well, I guess that's 2nd children.

-This boy is a tummy sleeper. And it terrifies me. With the whole "back to sleep" campaign and all the information about tummy sleepers having a greater chance of SIDS, this makes me nervous. But the boy loves his tummy, and I can't blame him considering I only sleep on my belly. However, about a month ago we bought the Snuza baby movement monitor and this finally gave me some peace about letting him sleep on his belly!
-And speaking of sleep, Oliver is a pretty good sleeper! Most nights between 11-8 he only gets up once! I am feeling much more rested this go around than I did with Harrison. 
-We are finally getting some of those big gummy smiles that aren't just because he is passing gas!
-His is not the biggest fan of the bouncer or swing, or anything that has him on his back. After about 10 minutes he is usually at his limit and back in our arms or the Moby wrap.
-If it were up to Oliver, he would be held and nursed all day and wouldn't make a single fuss. But with big brother around, that is not happening So while he is definitely about 100 times easier than Harrison, I don't know that I'd classify him as an easy baby, rather just a typical newborn. 
-Ollie has quite the knack for timing his extremely loud burps during the quiet pause in the church service.
-And actually everything that Ollie does is loud. When he eats, his gulps can be heard across the room. When he burps, you could be 3 doors down and hear it. When he sleeps, he grunts the whole time. And when he fills his diaper, well it echoes. 

-He is a big fan of his soothie pacifier.
-Poor guy has a little bit of baby acne going on but I think it is finally starting to clear up!

-I have no idea how much he weighs but if I had to guess maybe 12 pounds?? That's right, up 6 pounds since birth. Apparently I produce whole milk.
-He still does not have a bedroom (or crib for that matter) of his own.... it's a work in progress. So every night he sleeps right in between us, and within about 15 minutes of being laid down 2 feet away from me, he manages to scoot his way over and snuggle right into my neck. He knows his momma.
-He is already out of newborn diapers (has been for about a month) and as of a week ago is in 0-3 month clothes!

-Eats about every 2 hours during the day, and randomly some nights he cluster feed from about 8-10pm.
-Takes some of his best naps on the ottoman in our living room. 

Oliver, you are the sweetest, cuddliest little boy! Despite being sat on by your brother on a near hourly basis, you take it like a champ, and continue on being your happy little self. We all love you so much and our blessed to call you ours!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Day In the Life- Newborn Edition

Well I just need to come to the realization that blog posts aren't going to be written as frequently as I wish. This makes me sad because I so wish to document this stage of life, especially because it will probably be a faint blur when I look back on it. But time just doesn't allow it these days. A typical day in the life looks like this:

7:00am- Wake up and chug some coffee and kiss Brian as he heads out the door to work.

7:30am-5:00pm- Run around with my head cut off. Chase Harrison around. Feed, change, and hold Oliver. Drink more coffee. Go to play dates. Run errands. More coffee.

5:09pm- Sing praises when Brian walks through the door. Attempt to throw together dinner.

6:00pm- Eat dinner handing Oliver back and forth while coercing Harry to sit down and eat.

7:00pm- Put Harry to bed

7-11pm- Feed, change, and rock Oliver to sleep while half watching tv. Pick up the house which looks like a tornado went through it. Attempt to do my bible study or read for small group. Finally get Oliver down for the night around 11.

11ish- Go to bed with Oliver waking up usually once a night to feed him

Rinse and repeat.

So there's not a whole lot of free time in there for things like blog posts. Or going to the bathroom. Especially because Oliver would prefer to be held when he sleeps.....

But here are a few pictures from the last few weeks-

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

March Update

Time to sit down and write posts is a little hard to come by these days. I have been blessed with an extremely active two year old who wants me to play with him all waking hours of his day, and the sweetest 6 week old that is just perfect as long as he is held, so with a combination of those two things, I often do not have free hands. And one day not far off in the future I know I will wish for a baby that just wants to be held, so I am soaking it in! But here is a quick update of some random things all with iPhone pics:

-Today I had my 6 week postpartum check up and all is well! The last few weeks I have really had the itch to get running and moving again, so now with the a-ok to work out again, I hopefully will start logging some miles! The past 3 years Lifetime Fitness has been my home away from home, and I dearly miss it. But since the child center doesn't take babies till they are 3 months old, we will have to wait a little longer. So today with Oliver in the Moby wrap we did our own little home version of a barre workout, and to say my legs were trembling would be an understatement. As much as I want to get running, I am fearing and dreading those first few runs.
-I got Mastitis. Again. Ugh. Getting it 4 weeks apart is not fun. Getting it once is not fun. And this time was a doozy. I thought I was on my death bed. I even googled "can mastitis lead to sepsis." Word to the wise, if you have mastitis, don't google that. But this last Monday I woke up feeling fine, at noon I felt fine, but come 2:00pm I started to feel a little achey and by 4:00pm I had the full blown fever, and chills, and aches and pains down to my bones. After writhing on the couch for a few hours, I finally called the midwife and got a prescription that night. What's amazing is just 24 hours later I was already back to feeling about 90%. Thank you modern medicine!
-However thanks to popping ibuprofen like candy, I wound up with an ulcer. This happened once while I was in college and I go put on nexium for a month. This go around with breastfeeding I'm trying to avoid anything unnecessary, so I'm attempting to tough it out. It's been a rough week to say the least.

-This week we finally had a few nice days, so on Thursday we made it out for a walk around the neighborhood. About a block away from our house Harry somehow managed to get himself out of the extremely tight 5 point harness and dive out, resulting in quite the bruised noggin. I sure hope this kid somedays learns...

-We are tired. The first month that Oliver was home I think we were running on adrenaline and dare I say we pushed ourselves too hard??? Because now we are feeling the effects of getting up twice a night. Oliver is a great sleeper as long as you holding him, or he's snuggled up right next to you. So Brian has spent a lot of nights sleeping/holding him on the couch, and I have spent a lot of nights in a light sleep with him right at my side.
-We have yet to make a single dinner since coming home! I am still blown away by all the generosity of our friends and family who have brought over meals. And they have all been such good food! Since I am not the most gourmet chef when it comes it dinner, Brian has especially been loving this. His comment the other night when talking about all the meals was "Maybe we should have babies more often?!" Okay Brian.

-I am working really hard on my putting my phone down more. When you are tied to the couch nursing a newborn for a lot of the day, it's easy to constantly be pursuing things on your phone, however I am trying to make a deliberate effort to get off it more. However when I hear my phone ding with a message, and then just a few minutes later give that 2nd ding of the message, it takes everything in me to not go see who it's from. Pathetic. I know.

-After this nasty cold winter, Brian and I have already begun day dreaming of a warm vacation to take next winter. This is one of the first winters in about 10 years that I have not gone some where warm, and I miss it. While having a newborn to cuddle with and keep warm is nice, having a little bit of bronzed skin would also be nice. So I'm saying it now, next year, we ARE going some where. And to give you a little glimpse of where I have been looking... here ya go.
-I don't know what is up with my roots, but they are mega dark. The same thing happened after I had Harrison, but my what I like to call my blonde roots, are now black. I should probably first come to grips with the fact that my natural color is no longer blonde despite how much I like to tell myself it is... but this black color is a little ridiculous. So I finally ventured out of the house without either child for the first time, and enjoyed a full 3 hours to myself getting my hair highlighted. It was wonderful! However I missed the little boogers.
-Brian started a new job a day before Oliver was born (quite the timing) and this new job now gives him weekends off. For most of the working force, this is normal. For us, this is a first. Ever. Since we have been dating, then engaged, then married, Brian has always had to work weekends. Now I feel like every weekend is a little vacation, and it's still strange to me when Saturday night we don't have to think about him heading into work the following day. Pinch me because I still don't feel like this is real!

-This last week Brian and I joined a small group through our church, and after 1 week I think we can both say that we love it. Our group is reading This Meaning of Marriage, and anyone out there who's looking for a marriage book, pick this one up. It's real good. I would loan my out to you but I have nearly high lighted every sentence on every page. But I love that if nothing else, Brian and I get to dedicate 2 hours every other Friday to our marriage. While yes that sounds like next to nothing, having a newborn in the house often means we give a quick peck when Brian walks in the door from work, and then it's chaos until we go to bed at night. I can just tell our marriage is going to grow leaps and bounds from this!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Second Time Around

So we are a whole month into this 2 kid thing. And to describe in one word how it's been... wonderful! And truly, it has been amazing. I think I said the same thing when Harrison was born, and while it was wonderful and amazing to have him in our arms.... it was certainly not all rainbows and sunshine, actually far from it. This time around it has been a total 180. We are actually enjoying the newborn stage. We don't feel like we are at wits end. We are sleeping!!! and so many other great things. So here are some of the biggest differences between Harrison and Oliver, and why I think this time is so much easier.

-We have done it before! Kind of an obvious one, but we are not the frantic parents stressing about every little thing. We know how to give baths, care for a circumcision, what a yeast diaper rash looks like, how to swaddle, and how to set up a breast pump. We know that sleepless nights don't last forever, and that having a baby sleep in our bed now won't lead to terrible sleep habits down the road. A pacifier is ok to use, and so are bottles. Just a few of the many things we were pretty clueless to the first time.
-Oliver is a completely different baby. His temperament couldn't be more opposite than Harrison's. If he sits in a wet diaper for 3 hours... he doesn't mind. As long as he is fed and warm, he's happy as a clam.
-Breastfeeding has been SOOOOO much better this time. My milk came in within 24 hours (verse 5 days with Harrison) so Oliver wasn't starving, so he wasn't wanting to nurse all the time, so I actually got a break in between feedings, so my nipples didn't crack and bleed, and I knew how to get Oliver to have a proper latch. So on a scale of 1-10 my pain this time... maybe a 1. Maybe. Sure beats the 9.5 I had with Harrison. I barely had to used nipple cream, no cooling gel pads in the fridge (although I was ready!), and no crying and yelling every time he latched on. I am so thankful to have had both ends of the spectrum now so I can sympathize with the moms who are yelling out to pain, and thankful this time has gone so much easier. Although I did get mastitis again.... I just can't seem to avoid it. But this time I caught it in the first 12 hours and got on antibiotics right away instead of letting it brew for 3 days totally unaware.
-Oliver has taken it pretty easy on us in the sleep department. There has only been one night where he was up more than twice, but all other nights, it's just twice. We usually go to bed around 11pm, he gets up around 2, 5, and 7/8ish. For us, completely manageable. There have even been nights he's only gotten up once, although now I better go knock on wood. But the best part is that as soon as he's done eating, he just goes back to sleep. No rocking, no shushing, no walking around in circles till we ware out the carpet in our apartment.

-We have had tons of wonderful help. We had Harrison in Colorado, and while the friends we had out there were wonderful, we just didn't have that many friends. And the family that came and visited and helped were great, but it was just different. This time around we have yet to make a single meal (and the meals just keep coming in and our freezer is SOOO full) and friends and family have been so generous.
-I didn't have the crazy hormones! With Harrison I had the typical baby blues and just first time parent anxiety, and this time, nothing! I'm still surprised by this one. While I didn't get the natural delivery high right after having Oliver, I have felt like these weeks have been blissfully wonderful. I have cried more than I usually do, but it's usually because I look at my husband and sons and can't believe that life is so good. That God is so good.

-My body bounced back real quick. And while I wish that meant I look like I did before being pregnant, it doesn't. I still have a wayyyyyys to go. But my body bounced back fast in that I felt great just a few days after delivering Oliver, and a week out I almost felt as good as new. I have energy, and just feel good all around!

We keep saying that we are so thankful that we had Harrison first, and then Oliver, because otherwise we would have been in for a rude awakening. And having an easy baby this second time has really been redeeming for me as a parent. While I know that most of Harrison's issues were him just being fussy and taking it hard on us, it was hard not to internalize that and think that I was doing something wrong. It has been nice to feel like we actually know what we are doing (although certainly not all the time), and that we don't completely fail at this parenting thing. And granted we are only 1 month in and things can change on a dime, but for now we are just going to count our blessings and be thankful for the 2 precious boys that we have, fussy or easy.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Timing

This is going to be a quick one, but I don't want to forget these details and time is just going by way too fast. Like tomorrow Oliver is going to be a month old. Holy moly. I literally feel like I just left the hospital 3 days ago.... But I don't ever want to forget how perfect the timing of Oliver's birth was, and how God just works things in a perfect way. So here ya go-

A little over a year ago, I started a part time nursing job. February 4th, 2013. Well when I got pregnant we looked into what the maternity leave was, and according to FMLA you have to be in the job for 1 year, and work 1,250 hours in order to get the full 12 weeks of leave. If you don't meet those qualifications, my work will only give you 6 weeks off. At the time, I didn't stress about this too much because my due date was February 20th (and it was June), and I really didn't think I would be giving birth almost 3 weeks early.

Come November, I was 7 months pregnant, and curious to how close I was to that 1,250 hour mark. I crunched all the numbers, and found out that if I worked every scheduled shift (except 1) that I would hit 1,251 hours on February 4th, the exact 1 year mark. Perfect.

Working the last few months was stressful to say the least. Stressful, because I was hugely pregnant and it was exhausting working nights, and stressful because I knew I was SO close to making or missing the requirements for my leave. I absolutely was not ok with only taking 6 weeks, I so wanted the 12. I took the whole first year off with Harrison and couldn't even fathom only having 6 weeks with a new baby.

So week by week, shift by shift I would cross off how many more shifts I had left. More than once I broke down to Brian saying "I just don't feel like I can go into work tonight! I am so tired, I just want to quit, and what if I am working all these shifts only to not hit my requirements?! Or what if I hit my requirements, take my leave and baby comes 2 weeks late and I will have wasted 5 weeks at home without baby?!" I was a stress ball. So come December I finally realized that I just need to give this timing of the baby over to God. If I went early and didn't hit the 1 year mark, we would figure it out, if I went 2 weeks late, we would figure it out. But I needed to put my trust in God that His plan would prevail, and His timing would be best, even if that meant baby was early or late.
Well come the night of February 2nd, I went into work for my last shift. I was still scheduled for 3 more the following week, but I told Brian (and nearly everyone else) that I wasn't going to go in for those last 3. I couldn't do it. I would hit the 1 year mark in 2 days, at the end of that shift I would have worked 1,251 hours, and I was done. I was going to start my leave 3 weeks before my due date, and hope that baby didn't come 2 weeks late.

The morning of February 3rd, I crossed my last completed shift off my list, and celebrated being done with work. No more exhausting nights. No more driving into work at 10pm. No more taking care of a toddler in a tired fog. And I told God it was up to Him now. I thanked Him for not letting baby come sooner than the 4th, and once again was reminded that I need to give up control and stop stressing about the impending delivery of this baby.


That night, I went to bed feeling like a 100 pound weight was lifted off my shoulders (now if only the 25 pound weight from my belly could be lifted....) Work was done. I had made it. And I slept wonderfully... for all of 4 hours before I woke up and was in labor.

Oliver was born February 4th, 2014 at 11:02am. Exactly 1 year after I started my job. Had he been born 12 hours sooner, I would have only gotten 6 verse 12 weeks leave. Had I worked one fewer shift or missed 1 scheduled shift, I would have only gotten 6 weeks leave. And not a single day of my 12 week leave was wasted without baby here with us.

God's timing couldn't have been more perfect.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the Heavens
 Ecclesiastes 3:1

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