- 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.