Monday, August 24, 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up

Our week wasn't very eventful; with it being so hot out and the difficulties of leaving the house with an infant who hates being in the car, we spend a lot of time indoors in the air conditioned comfort of our home.

I wrapped up my work week on Friday morning, slept off and on, and had my parents over for the weekend that early evening. Gary and my dad threw 10 lbs. of soy-marinated short ribs and pineapple on the grill, which we enjoyed with some delicious in-season white corn and a fresh garden salad. My mom and I stayed inside with the boys so she could get some quality snuggle time in with them.

Gary and I tag-teamed breakfast the next morning: "homemade" biscuits using Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay biscuit mix (SO good!) with scratch made turkey gravy (shout out to my father-in-law for teaching us his gravy-making ways) and some simple scrambled eggs.

After a lazy morning, Gary and my dad took Daniel to pick up my uncle, who lives nearby, and we all headed to the Anaheim Packing District for a walk-around and some lunch. There was a live band playing, tons of merchants and restaurants galore, an over-all family friendly place that Gary and I need to really explore in depth very, very soon.

Today, our Sunday was spent doing absolutely nothing asides from a few chores around the house. We had our friends over for a play date for a few hours.

Also worth noting:

  • This blog is officially! It's been a long time coming, and part of the reason it took so long for me to commit to buying a URL is because I just wasn't sure how I'd feel about the name at this time, when I started blogging 3 years ago. Now that my desire to blog has returned, I still enjoy this name for my little corner of the web.
  • This is everything. Lots of my favorite things come in mugs and now, so can a yummy chocolate chip cookie!
  • My lovely & creative friend Stacy kicked off her Creative Market account with a lovely stock photo! Go check it out!
  • With Christmas right around the corner and our family unit complete, I'm finally ready to commit to what I want our holiday stockings to look like (first world problems, anyone?).
  • I don't put nearly enough emphasis on reading with Daniel as I should be, but luckily he has a natural interest in books - he got it from his mama. I want to make sure to instill the same love for books in Julian. This is a great list of books to start with.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Friday's Ten Happy Things

Being real is so important, but most people think "being real" means being a bitch. In my world, being real is simply being thankful for what I have, no matter how big or how small. So every Friday, I want to acknowledge these little moments that made my week with this link-up, thanks Helga!

1. Off for the weekend! Plus, my parents are in town! We've been super swamped at work lately, offering all kinds of overtime with additional bonuses. It could have been SO easy to pick up some hours this weekend, but I'd rather spend my precious time off with my family.

2. Coffee, thank you for being a friend.  

3. I am currently blogging. On my iPad. In bed. Things just got real!

4. Pay day. Not going to lie, we stretched ourselves a tad thin this last week on the count of paying my hospital bill for delivering Julian. Getting paid was extra nice today. 

5. Appreciation in the form of food. Case in point, In N Out food truck and free burgers for dinner last night for Night Shift Appreciation.

6. My babies make me so proud. Julian has learned to roll over onto his tummy. Daniel learned "I want" at speech therapy today.

7. Babywearing success! Julian didn't mind being put in the mei tai carrier yesterday. He usually fights it pretty hard.

8. Sweet babies. It's hard being away from my kids to be at work, but one of my patients is an older baby who's smile melt my heart. She made it easier being away from my happy boys by being so happy herself. 

9. One word: Naps.

10. My new work shoes are to-die-for pretty. 

Ditz Revolution

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wednesday Right Now

Reading: I'm very in-between books right now. I just finished reading The Giver and have several books started on my Nook app. If you have a suggestion, let me know in the comments.

Watching: Doctor Who season 8. It's finally on Netflix and I'm torn between a mad dash to the finish line so I can watch season 9 from its' debut, and savor one every last morsel of it - slowly. 

Feeling: Anxious for the coming week, we have a few doctors appointments for both boys, which is always stressful. 

Loving: Our evening dips in the pool. It's been so hot lately that it's hard to make it outside with the baby, so we wait the early evening so we all can enjoy a bit of fresh air. Chocolate chip mug cookie and milk. And as always, Daniel and Julian. 

Planning: A nice weekend with my parents in town, hoping I can come up with a tasty meal to send them home on Saturday night! 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

On Growing Pains

Life has been hectic for the boys and I lately. We are eyeballs-deep in four month sleep regression with Julian (don't let anyone tell you it isn't real - it is so painfully, desperately so!), so sleep is a bit of a hot mess for Gary and I. On top of that (or perhaps, a contributing factor?), Jude is already rolling from back to front and once he successfully gets his arm out from under him, belly flops his little body in a decently size perimeter around himself. 

Doesn't he realize how much he hurts my feelings by growing and developing this quickly?!It's made being in his play yard a bit more hairy also, but he's yet to Houdini his way out of his bouncy. Did I mention he's only 4 months old? 

Daniel starts speech therapy this week, every week, for an unforeseen amount of time. He's made leaps and bounds lately in his vocabulary; ABCs are a cinch, he can count to 13 (random, I know) and backwards from 10, can recognize the letters and numbers he sees, name about 8 colors (especially red for Lightening McQueen, and blue for Thomas the Train), along with adamantly telling us what he doesn't want. 

But he is still not where he needs to be, not even close; the therapist at his speech evaluation also suggested behavior deficits that along with his speech delay, may suggest he falls somewhere on the Autism Spectrum. We have a consultation with a neurologist coming up very soon and are in the process of getting him into the school district for more therapies. Without delving too much into this difficult aspect of his life, especially since we don't have even a formal diagnosis, I will stop here and just give an update at a later time.

Our boys are growing so much every single day. Nothing in life is pain free but here we are, thriving together as a family. That's all we can ask for. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Life Right Now

I can't begin to count the number of times I've been meaning to get this post written down. I realized just now, as I was staring down at my sweet boy's face, that I've been keeping this on my long list of things to do and it's over-due. And besides, I'm not talking the sweet face of Daniel, oh no. He's been upgraded to big brother status and the sweet face I speak of currently is that of his little brother Julian.

He joined our party of 3 on April 14th and wow, what an interesting journey it's been so far for Gary and I now that we have children! Can I just inject a bit of weepy mommy emotion for a second and talk about how I wish I could capture every single face, every moment, for better or worse, so I can look back on it whenever I want? It pains me to think about how quickly Julian is growing right before my eyes, how fast his time goes by as evidenced by my giant of an older son Daniel, but oh how blessed I am to have eyes that see these fleeting moments at least once in my life, even if I will eventually forget. In all their flaws, my sons are absolutely perfect and so heartbreakingly beautiful to me.

Our journey towards Julian's birth started, and ended, with us thinking he'd be it. That we'd be a two-kid family, regardless of his gender. When we learned he would be a boy, I was over the moon. Another boy! A brother for my already sweet prince! I wouldn't know what to do with a girl anyway! But now he's here, and we're here, with two kids and a lifetime and I'm suddenly left feeling a certain way: do we have room for more? Because when I realized how easy the love for one child can morph into the love for two children without splitting, sharing, or dividing that love... then surely, we can have another?

But that's a conversation for Gary and I to have another day, down the road from where we are now. Right now I'm just enjoying the newness of Julian, watching Daniel grow as a person and a brother, and be the queen in a household of the men in my life. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Where To Begin?

I can't even believe that it's been a year and a half since I blogged! (actually, I can...) SO much has changed for us, for ME, since I last updated, so I guess I'll just list them off.

  • We moved back to California from Iowa in April! While we were fortunate to the opportunity I was given in the Midwest, there is truly no place like home and now that we're back we're much happier!
  • I turned 30! ...doesn't feel much different, but I like saying it. It's always nice turning a year older so close to the New Year, but turning 30 this year felt like such a nice, clean start after such a dynamic (to put it nicely) last decade and thinking about all that's to come in 2015!
  • We're PREGNANT! Our second boy, due April 2015. Very happy and ready to welcome another busy boy to our little brood. This pregnancy snuck up on me, since at my first OB appointment baby measured 14 weeks gestation instead of 12 weeks like I thought. It's been flying by since. Short period of morning sickness (probably masked by the fact that gastroenteritis swept through our house around the same time), mild weight gain so far, baby is always moving, and so far very mild acid reflux; this has been a very easy pregnancy, fortunately!
  • Baby Bear turned 3 in November. I can't believe how fast he is growing, right before my eyes it seems like. He's already near 40 lbs. and of course much taller than most of his peers, thanks to his 6'2" Papa Bear. Despite how big he is, he reminds me every day just how much he still needs us; just as loving and cuddly as ever, constantly wanting to be near us. We're hoping to get him into a preschool that allows children who aren't yet potty trained, along with getting him into speech therapy for his delayed talking (it's there, but almost incomprehensible. He loves to sing and can count to 10, but we have to translate for him, haha!). Hoping the therapy helps w/ potty training, amongst other things...
  • Papa Bear started his teaching credential program at a local university = busy busy busy are we.
Along that same vein, what I really want to elaborate on: I reached an important career goal of my own last year which precipitated us moving back to California so quickly in the first place. We were living in Iowa for a mere 10 months and about 6 months into our time there, I started looking for a new job. I applied all over the place, including a different part of Iowa. I even interviewed at a major children's hospital in Iowa, but it just didn't work out. I was quite put off by it actually, but in hindsight it was for the best. I decided after that to apply strictly to hospitals back home. 

A few months later, the unthinkable happened: I received an email from a unit manager at a children's hospital here in California, asking to set up a phone interview with me! I was floored, ecstatic, and thinking how it couldn't have come at a better time with our family reeling in emotion over the death of my grandmother's husband (they married when I was 10). I mentioned the interview to my parents, but left it at that and didn't hope for much. The interview came, went, and a few days later I was given a job offer! So now, we're back in California after a whirlwind move and I'm working in my dream specialty, the unit I wanted to work in the most since before nursing school: a high-acuity Neonatal Intensive Care Unit! 

Reaching one goal always lends itself to a new goal, and this is no different. Currently, my new goal is just to make it past my first few years in this new unit and finally train into our high-level intensive area (where are micropremies, surgicals, and severe birth defect infants are initially admitted). My unit prefers to allow us time to work with stable ventilators, non-invasive oxygen administration, basic IV drips, and babies who are "feeder/growers" before training us in babies who are much, much worse off. I'm thankful for this practice, which isn't so in most NICUs. 

Hopefully, I am fully trained to all areas of my NICU by the time Papa Bear finishes his credential program so I can tackle another goal: graduate school! I never considered it an option before, but now that I'm working in the unit I love I find myself craving the next step. I have found several programs here in California and abroad offering a Doctorate in Nursing Practice in Neonatology, which upon completion I would practice as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP for short). Me, a Nurse Practitioner? Me, with a Doctorate?! Craziness, but I look forward to the challenge of achieving this huge goal while working and raising my boys. I could just go the certification route, study up and pass the test to become a certified Neonatal Registered Nurse (which I still have hopes to do), but the way I see it now is go big or go home. Certification is big, DNP is BIGGER.