Monday, September 27, 2010

The basics of life

I couldn't decide what to title this post. Busy life? Paring down? Prioritizing? All of the above would fit.
The past few weeks have been really busy and hard for me. I have been struggling with working part-time since February. Staying awake for 12 hour shifts two nights a week is tough, to say the least. I try to schedule myself for four nights off, so I have the chance to rest and feel like a normal person for a couple days. Many weeks I feel like I am barely keeping my head above water. Almost two weeks ago, we had a staff meeting for our NICU the morning after I had worked. Our managed completely suprised us by announcing we will all be required to work an extra 12 hour shift once every other week while our NICU is so busy and short-staffed. I had been awake for 27 hours already when she delivered this shocking news, so truthfully it did not go over well with me. I cried all the way home. I wished there was a way around it, but right now it seems impossible to make any changes.
This week I managed some creative bargaining and only had to work 6 hours extra, for which I was thankful. Our manager said she hoped this would be a temporary arrangement, and there is always the chance I wouldn't have to go in if we slow down, but I am not counting on it. I am scheduled for overtime through the end of the year.
Fall is such a busy time, birthdays, pumpkin patch visits, Halloween, Thanksgiving, preparing for Christmas, MOPS starting again... There are so many things I want to do, but as for most of us, that list is not always practical. So, if I don't blog as much or as in depth as usual in the coming months, you will know why. I am busy keeping up with laundry, cooking meals, taking my kids to the park on a beautiful day, planning birthday parties, etc...
Mercifully, the kids have been especially sweet lately. I will write more in depth on their birthdays, but want to share a few things that are going on now.
Rylan has been loving his class at the Little Gym. His teacher wants to work on his confidence, and responding with "Yes, I can" to new challenges. We were so excited when his good friend, Dain, joined also. Now Rylan has another guy and a good buddy in his class. For two weeks now, Rylan has been consistently staying dry at naptimes and at night. I am so proud of him and so thankful to not have to change sheets as often. His behavior lately has been also been especially good, better than it has in months. He is more compliant and remembering his manners when he wants something. Sometimes he will even run up and give me kisses and tell me he loves me for no particular reason, right out of the blue! That is good medicine for a tired mama. My OB once told me 4-year old boys are the sweetest and I am thinking she is right (even though we are not officially 4 for a few more weeks!)
Caroline is the cutest and sweetest almost 2-year old little stinker. I love her bouncy new haircut and it is so much easier to brush dried syrup out of short hair. She has been affectionate, too, and I nearly melt when she wraps her arms around my neck and tells me, "I love you, mama." Almost everything she says has "mama" tacked on the end and I don't get tired of her saying that word. She desperately wants to be a big girl and is excited about her new big girl bed coming soon. She also amazed us yesterday by peeing in the potty, twice! We had just let her sit on the potty for fun, and oila! results! I may get to start potty-training sooner than I planned. She was so proud of herself. In typical two-year old fashion, she is adorable one minute and exasperating the next. It is nearly torture shopping with her. As soon as I put her in the cart, she starts wailing and crying "all done" and trying her best to climb out of the cart. She derives great pleasure from running away from me when I call her, and trying to wiggle out of my arms when I am trying to carry her and a half dozen other things. Her other favorite pastime is figuring out Rylan's favorite toys, stealing them one by one and leading him on a merry screaming chase around me or the kitchen table. My patience for refereeing them wears thin quickly.
This past Sunday we skipped church, drove to Woodland park for donuts and more time at Mueller State park. It was nice to be together as a family and soak up some beautiful fall scenery. I am hoping to make it to the pumpkin patch this weekend. That is one of my favorite outings each year.
Bethany is moving to Colorado next week with her Great Dane puppy, Gatsby. She will be living with us until she finds a big-dog friendly home, and I am so excited to have my sister nearby. Wouldn't you like to be a fly on our wall with two pre-schoolers and an 80 lb. puppy galloping through the house?
Have a good week. I am off till Saturday night and plan to thoroughly enjoy that time!

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