Tuesday, October 25, 2011

An Arranged Marriage.

I have a new boss. I loved my old boss.... a lot. :) She was a fabulous mentor and support person. My main cheerleader and a person who knew how to push me to do more than I thought I could.

...and now for my new boss. I don't really know her yet. But I'm doing my best to remain open minded, to not constantly compare her to my old boss, and to stop my judgemental side from being too critical. I think when you start a new job having a new boss and new co-workers feels normal, you choose to be in this new situation. When you are already established in the structure of an organization and then have a new boss put it place it feels very much like an arranged marriage. You're on your best behavior, trying to make the best of it. And hope that in a years time you will have created good chemistry and a positive working relationship. But there's no guarantee.

And my oven is still broke. Why is it that the minute my oven broke I was absolutely dying to make a roast chicken and bake scones? Fall with a broken oven is the pits.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

What's Up?

2 weeks ago my family went on a vacation with some friends. We rented a home in the Adirondack Mountains in NY with 2 of my best friends from high school and their husbands. One of the couples has a little boy that is 1. We've done a group vacation twice before with these friends and it's always a blast. I love vacation with my family but vacationing with friends is a such a different vibe. We did a lot of outdoor activities, hiking, kayaking, lots of fires at night. One of my favorite evenings was when we had a HUGE bonfire going and then decided to pull the big screen tv out onto the covered patio to watch the movie The Great Outdoors. That movie is hys-ter-i-cal. The only thing that vacation was missing was sleep. Because my friend's little boy was out of his normal routine he was not a great sleeper. He is such a rambunctious kid that once he was up for the day pretty much the whole house was up. Next year I'm packing ear plugs.

Unfortunately the week of catching up with old friends means coming home to a boat load of work, a household that's a week behind on chores, and Joe diving full force back into his heavy course load.

This week coming up is a crazy one. Little One's 8th birthday is this Friday. On Wednesday I have my first afternoon volunteering in her classroom. And I'm not going to be just passing out papers or something mindless, I'm taking a group of 8 2nd graders and working on putting together a poetry performance with them to put on for all of the 2nd grade classes. Halloween means making a home-made robot costume per Little One's request. And somehow making a costume always ends up costing me more than just buying one at the store. It is fun to do together but it would be nice to at least save some money with all the work that goes into a homemade costume.

I have a new boss at work. And that's just hard because it's such a change. Nothing in my life is normal or smooth sailing right now. Every day is full of the unexpected and new challenges and I tend to be someone who likes stability and routine so it's pretty mentally taxing for me.

Then why... oh why... am I still hoping so desperately to add baby #2 into this crazy mix. At church this morning a woman in the pew ahead of me was holding the most adorable 3 or 4 month old little girl. She was great for 80% of the mass and then she had just had enough and was fairly fussy. I spent more time makes faces at her to keep her happy than listening to the priest. I want to be the one bouncing a fussy baby at church again. The only thing I really don't look forward to is the sleep deprivation. Anything else I'm ready for!

- oh and how's this for a WTF moment. My oven broke. The stove top still works but no oven. I had made dough for oatmeal/raisin cookies and popped them into what I thought was a preheated oven. No heat. Oven dead. Husband too busy (literally) to even consider fixing it. I have no time to sit around waiting on a repair man. So what was my solution. I went to Goodwill and bought a $7 toaster oven. One big problem... one cannot bake a birthday cake in a toaster oven. And I have ALWAYS baked a cake myself for little one's birthdays. And usually some kind of treat for her to share at school. I casually suggested she might like an ice-cream cake for her birthday and she went for it so that's solved. But the class treat is something I still have to figure out. There's always something!

If I make it through this week unscathed, or without the help of massive doses of caffeine, I'll be REALLY REALLY surprised.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Is the time ever really right for baby #2?

So one door in my life that was slammed shut when Joe decided to make a radical career change 4 years ago was the option of a 2nd child. Little One was 4 at the time. And I had been MORE than ready to try for baby #2 for a year, but Joe was so miserable at his job that he couldn't consider adding one more thing to his plate. Let alone such a major life changing addition as another child. That is a very brief synopsis of what has been an ongoing conversation and major sticking point in our marriage over the past 4 years.

I am from a family of 6, all by the same parents. I want little one to have siblings. But I don't want her to have siblings at the cost of our marriage. And Joe was so miserable in general that having a 2nd child really might have been the tipping point to us getting divorced. Is that too honest to share here?

So, after going back and forth on this issue of baby #2 for a full year, then the decision to make a career change happened after serious issues for Joe at work. I went back to work full time to support the family. Our income dropped by 60%. And now we had had to factor in tuition costs, while still having full-time daycare costs while Joe was in school. We've managed. We've just barely squeaked by. With some help during the first 2 years from my parents with tuition costs and the occasional "just because" check that they would send we made it. Almost 2 years ago I got off the mommy track and took a more demanding job that significantly increased my income. But still, our savings are down to a level that frightens me. We haven't incurred any debt other than his student loans which we kept as low as humanly possible. He will be done with classes and have his BSN at the end of Feb. Then all he has to do is pass the NCLEX (no concerns there) and find a job. :) With 3 major hospital systems in the area we live in I hope the job search won't be a long one.

When Joe heads back to work our income should almost double, even if he only works the standard nurse schedule of 36 hrs a week. Soooo, the question rears its head again. Is it time for baby #2? Is it completely ridiculous to have 2 kids that will be 8/9 years apart? Now that I'm back on the career track can I manage a full-time, mentally demanding job along with a grade schooler and a baby? We've held off on many major expenses over the last 4 years that are now coming due:
-both of our vehicles are going to need to be replaced in the next 2-3 years
- our mattress needs to be replaced
-I'd really like to move closer to either my office or whatever hospital Joe will be working at
-Those pesky student loans will be due 6 months after graduation

How the heck can we do all of that and have a baby? Joe is still planning to continue onto grad school while working to become a Nurse Practitioner. Is the time every REALLY right for a baby? If I waited until everything was "just right" I'd be in my 40's, Little One would be 15 and it would be a pipe dream. Time would have made the decision for us. If Joe was on board I'd jump in and just deal with concerns/expenses as they came. I've been off birth control for 3 months now, Joe knows it. I'm ready. Just not sure if he is, or ever will be. But I'm still not ready to shut the door on adding another member to the family. Tick Tock.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


I have a yucky cold and am sacked out on the couch today while Joe took Little One to the zoo for a few hours to give me some quiet.

I love seeing other people's pictures, so I thought I'd share some of my family. I'm having a hard time getting pictures arranged so in no particular order:

1) Me and Little One, first day of school last year
2) Joe and Little One on a hike
3) Joe, Little One and Joe's Mom (she's in the middle of cancer treatments)
4) Little One at a local aquarium
5) Joe and Little One
6) Me and my super silly Little One