Sunday, November 17, 2013

22 months

Sometime this month, it seems that Mason became so much more of a little boy than a baby and it was a bittersweet change. The reality of his 2nd birthday has set in and I've started thinking more about his party, but seeing the changes in his face and language and behaviors just cemented the fact that he's really not a baby anymore.

**His left bottom canine broke through on 10.16 and the right bottom canine broke through on 10.24.
**The absolute biggest change in the past month has been in his language. He's gone through small language spurts over the past 6 months, but this month brought big changes, like 2 word sentences ("look mommy" and "I see" are the most common"), the dreaded "why" and his willingness to repeat more words that he hears. Plus, other people besides us are starting to understand him.
**We've been experimenting with food and are pretty close to settling on the fact that baked or cooked in dairy and soy are ok in small doses. If he eats a lot of it over a few days, I'll notice more bowel movements, but once or twice a week seems to be ok for now. This makes like easier, especially for going out to eat.
**He really enjoyed Halloween this year. He was so proud of himself for holding his bucket and getting candy from people. Even though we only let him eat a few pieces, he was happy to be able to do what his sister was doing.
**He is getting much better at climbing on  taller things, including the couch and the toys in the mall play area.
**He gets so excited when he sees basketball ("beeball") or football ("bootball") on tv
**He is getting so much more independent. He'll only eat if feeds himself. He wants to climb up stuff instead of being placed or carried.
**He is getting more and more difficult to get in his car seat. He screams when you strap him down and its even worse if Aubrey isn't in the car.
**He melts my heart every time we go pick Aubrey up from school. He refuses to wait in line for her so he runs past everyone and pushes his way into her classroom to find her. When he sees her, he yells "Aubee" and gives her the biggest hug. I really need to work on his patience, but I just can't break that excitement he has for seeing her. It is too precious.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Momma's going back to work

After I lost my job in February, I wasn't sure I would go back to work before Mason started school. I was thrilled with the fact we could afford for me to be home with the kids because I could enjoy more of their childhood and not have to depend on anyone else to care for them. Sure, it meant finances had to tighten up and sacrifices had to be made, but we were doing what we thought was best for our children and that made everything ok.

But as much as I enjoyed that time with my children and will forever be grateful for it, part of me always missed working. I missed the adult interaction. I missed using the skills that I spent so many years in school to learn. And I missed contributing to our family's finances. So after almost 2 months of being full-time stay at home mom, I started searching for a new job.

I knew for the sake of our children, if I returned to work, it had to be part-time and probably not in a traditional 8-5 setting. I didn't want to go back to seeing the kids 1-2 hours per day every day and giving the majority of my pay check back to child care in the process. However, part-time work is hard to find in the mental health field because with a few exceptions, it is an office-based, 8-5 field. I did find a few opportunities and had a few job offers, but none of them seemed to work with our family's needs.

I got really frustrated that at one interview I got called out on the fact I hadn't worked in 6 months and hadn't seen any clients in 5 years. That really hurt me because that meant they were questioning my skills and ability to do the job. I had only been out of work 6 months at that point so that stung. No matter that my prior job required the use of my clinical skills, just a different setting than traditional client work.  If employers were worried about my skill loss after 6 months, what would happen if I waited even longer before going back to work. It was a very low feeling for me and I questioned whether I would ever be able to get another job.

Finally in September, I interviewed for a job that seemed to be a perfect fit for us and I was so excited. Until I didn't get the job. And I was devastated. I don't deal with rejection well and was so disappointed. I had never struggled so hard to find the right job and then face rejection.

A few weeks later, my friend and former co-worker posted on Facebook that one of the local hospitals was looking for therapists to work PRN (as needed) in the ER doing assessments. That seemed to be perfect for us because I could work a wide range of hours and see and learn so much in an ER. But, I was so discouraged after my last interview that I took a few days to find the courage to let her know I was interested. She passed on my resume to her supervisor and I was shocked when my phone rang the very next day with the offer for an interview. The interview went well and the job seemed perfect, but I tried to keep my expectations low in case I was rejected again. I called to follow up the next week and 2 days later the supervisor called to let me know that she wanted to hire me for one of the positions. I started jumping around in my yard like a crazy lady when we got off the phone. I was excited that something was finally working out and I could go back to work on my terms and still meet my family's needs. I had to wait another week for the official offer to come in from HR, but I accepted it immediately and began the preparations to start this new chapter in my life.

I guess I have had another lesson in everything happens for a reason and good things come to those who wait. Its definitely a bittersweet moment, though. I am going to miss the lack of schedule and open freedom of being at home, and most importantly miss my children. But, I feel like its the right thing to do and will benefit all of us in a great way. Keeping my fingers crossed for positive things!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

October Happenings

October was such a busy month for us. It seemed like we had something going on just about everyday. Instead of some long descriptions, a picture gallery can explain it a lot better.

My parents finally were able to move into their new house and while we moved furniture, the kids were buys cleaning the floors.

We thought Aubrey had a ring worm, but after 2 months of treatment it wasn't getting any better so we went back to the doctor. Dr. Little believes the spot is a granuloma annulare, which is pretty harmless and has no treatment. I got another lesson in stop reading Dr. Google because it's always too much information.

After a failed attempt at eating frozen almond yogurt, we found some sherbet Mason could eat at Sweet Frogs.

Annual pumpkin patch trip.

The current East Gaston High School Dancing Warriors invited the dance team alumni back to dance at the football game with them. It was so much fun and made me completely miss high school for about 30 minutes. However, it really sucked to realize that I graduated from high school before some of those current team members were born. Ugh...

Todd took me to the Biltmore Estate and Asheville for my birthday. It was a good distraction from the reality that I am now solidly in my mid-30's.

Carving and drilling pumpkins (too much Pinterest time here)

My Rapunzel and the little pirate. Aubrey was a complete champ at trick-o'-treating this year. She had no problems ringing door bells and saying "trick-o'-treat". Mason was happy just to follow her around and stick his bucket out for candy. He could say thank you though and our neighbors just ate that up.