Monday, March 28, 2016

Archer's Birth Story

Ever since Silas came at 37+5, I was positive I’d go early again, even if I tried to tell myself otherwise. So from the moment I got a positive pregnancy test and estimated due date of March 11, I thought right away that I would probably have a leap day baby. After all, the timing was practically perfect. When else would I be 38 and a few days on a leap day?

Well, my little baby will celebrate a birthday yearly. Archer came just two days before his due date, on March 9th. I had been working my whole pregnancy, and the Sunday before I gave birth was the first time I had to call in due to a long day of practice contractions and not being able to sleep during the day (I work night shift). Luckily, I felt better the next day, and went in to work as normal, not knowing it would be my last shift.

Silas was on spring break that week, so when I got home from work, exhausted, I had to stay up to take care of him. No worries, I had planned for this. We played in the morning, watched some TV so I could rest, and I napped during his nap. Still, getting to bed that night was a wonderful feeling, even if I had been having trouble sleeping for ages now.

Sometime around six, I woke up and realized I was having contractions. I don’t know how I knew these were different from practice contractions, but they reminded me of period cramps and seemed somewhat regular, though I was half asleep and not about to time them. An hour later, as Smiley got up to go to work, I told him I was contracting a little.

“I’m not going to have the baby any time soon,” I said. “But we’re going to have a baby today.”

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Nursing Student's Schedule

You might have noticed that I haven't posted anything in, oh, say, ages.

You might also have noticed that my last post date coincides with the time I started up my nursing classes. It's been busy. But don't worry. In case you were thinking about going to nursing school with a small child, husband and two furry dogs, let me show you what your potential daily calander might look like!

4:30am - 5:00 am: Wake up. Sometimes because your kid is calling out for you, sometimes because your husband is snoring, and sometimes because your body knows you're going to have to wake up soon anyhow and figures the extra minutes of sleep aren't that important.

They are that important. I hate you, body.

5:30 am: Stop delaying the inevitable and get out of bed after trying to convince yourself that your small toddler will have a change of heart and stop jumping on you and go back to his room and sleep for another hour. It will never happen. Even on the days that he jumps under the covers and says, "I want to cuddle with you mommy!" You will say "aw" and then he will try to stick a spit-covered finger in your ear.

It's not always like that though. Sometimes he tries to put that finger in your nose.

5:30am - 7:30am: Wonder where the morning goes. It's been two hours. How have I barely managed to get myself and a toddler dressed? Where did I put breakfast? Why didn't I make my lunch last night like I swore I was going to in an effort to avoid this? And seriously, the play room was practically clean last night. How can one toddler play with so many toys in such a short period of time?

7:30am: Kiss your husband bye and tell your son you'll pick him up at daycare later. Feel guilty that you won't be there with him all day as you tear through the house grabbing everything you think you'll need for the day. (Pro tip: You'll always forget at least one item, and you'll always swear you're going to start packing your backpack the night before to break this cycle.)

8:00am: Classes start. Pay attention and try desperately to decipher what, exactly, is therapeutic about asking someone if they've "considered suicide."

10:00am: Open lab time! Feel ridiculous as you explain what you're about to do to a silent yet judging mannequin.

11:00am: Time for lunch and flashcards. Boy, do I hope you like flashcards. They're the best. You can do flashcards in between classes, flashcards in the car (when someone else is driving) and sometimes, flashcards while you're waiting for your online set of flashcards to load.

12:00pm - 4:00pm: More classes. Interesting lectures and information, but sometimes your classmates will ask really, really odd questions. Best to just leave it be.

4:00pm - 5:00pm: Time to study! And also to do dishes, clean up the living room and wonder if you've vacuumed in the past three weeks, make sure there's at least one clean pair of underwear for everyone for tomorrow, and don't forget about letting the dogs out and playing with them for a bit and maybe thinking about starting dinner. I think breathing is in there somewhere, but I always forget where.

5:00pm: Ok. Time to get Silas. I feel guilty as heck that I let him stay at daycare while I was technically at home the past hour and technically able to watch him. Then I feel even more guilty because I know he's better off at daycare for that hour because at least there, someone is interacting with him instead of telling him to go play while I study.

5:30pm-7:30pm: Seriously, how does two hours go by so fast? Somehow, dinner was made and eaten, toys were played with (and even cleaned up to some degree!), dogs were chased by a screeching toddler and a screeching toddler was chased by his own shadow. Did he have a bath yesterday? Yeah, I think so. He can have a bath tomorrow night before bed then. Good night, Silas.

7:30pm-9:30pm: How am I supposed to fit seven classes worth of studying into two hours of time? It's not really possible. Slight panic ensues for ten minutes, followed by five minutes of berating myself for wasting time by panicking. Study like a mad woman, make a lot of flash cards, consider packing a lunch and getting your stuff together but decide that you're too tired to do that, seriously, your eyes feel like they're packed with sand, and go to sleep instead.

9:30pm-10:00pm: Optional bonus! Actually spend time with your husband and both enjoy knowing you're there for each other and regret your decision because Silas is so not sleeping in tomorrow morning.

So there you have it! Your mileage may vary. And I hear it helps if you can consume caffeine (it gives me some serious heart issues in moderate amounts, so I have to opt out most of the time). And I guess I could technically cut into my sleeping time, but I am pretty sure if I were any less rested, I just wouldn't retain any information.

Plus, I'm having a lot of fun. I think.

I'll get back to you in a year about that.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

School time!

For the first time since 2009, I'm enrolled in 18 credit hours for this fall and let me tell you - it makes a difference when those 18 credit hours are in nursing classes as opposed to five English classes and one 200 level German class. We're three days into the semester and I've already studied for over twelve hours. So, yeah, it's kind of insane, but the good kind. And all of this means that Silas is now in daycare full-time.

Silas is taking to daycare like a dog to a ham bone. What I'm saying is, he really likes it. Today as we were driving home, he informed me that he "played dinosaurs today!" and that, in case I didn't know, dinosaurs go "rawr!!"

Two nights ago, I was vacuuming Silas's room and he asked me to put him in the crib; sometimes he likes to stand in the crib and watch me vacuum. He lay down on his pillow and when I was done, he asked me to turn off his light. Then he just went to sleep, and he slept until the next morning. I was so excited at the idea of daycare helping him sleep better.

So of course, last night he was up at midnight until 1:30 and then up again at 5. I actually had a dream that I was sleeping and in the dream I woke up and complained that the mattress was too hard. Then I woke up for real and realized that I had fallen asleep on the nursery floor. My back is still a little stiff.

Anyhow, I have to get back to studying. I have a feeling this is just a first week information flood and that things will mellow out (slightly) in the coming weeks, but there's no sense in getting behind before I even get started.

And you know what's weird? This time next year, I'll have my second bachelor's degree. I'll be a nurse. Seeing as I can't even properly use my stethoscope yet, it seems unbelievable. But I believe in myself, if nothing else.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

On Top of Things

It's not often I feel like an adult. Sometimes I realize my birthday is coming up and that I'm going to be 26 this year and it makes me pause for a moment. The last thing I remember, I was graduating college like, yesterday.

There's no way I already have an almost two year old baby. I remember the day I told Smiley I was pregnant while covering my stomach with a pillow. It feels like last week. I told him right over by our kitchen counter. I had taken three pregnancy tests.

But here I am, adulting it up like a pro. Balancing our budget and raising Silas to be one darned awesome baby (are you detecting a little bias there? Whoops!) and prepping to start nursing school this fall. (Oh, and writing a lot of fanfiction. If you're wondering why I haven't posted here in forever, that's why. Every free moment of my life has been fanfiction for this past month.)

Why, this morning, I made four phone calls. That's right, count 'em - four. I made a vet appointment for Sophie, scheduled car maintenance for the weekend, called my Ob/gyn to get my records and called my regular doctor to schedule my physical. You just don't see that kind of call output from me normally, but here I am, getting all of my ducks in a row before I go up north with Silas for a family visit before school starts.

Did I mention I also watched my lecture for my summer class and wrote three hundred words for my fanfic? All of this - and more (and by more, I mean eating a greek yogurt and drinking some ice water like a BAMF) was accomplished during Silas's nap. Whew. It's exhausting being an adult you guys. I think I'm going to embrace this whole being an adult and go to bed early.

That's how it works, right?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Blankets! All The Blankets!

The other day, I told Silas to come to his room and sit by his giant stuffed giraffe and I would nurse him there. I went down the hall ahead of him and sat down in his room. A moment passed and I noticed him going into my room instead.

"Wait, Silas," I called out, "I'm in your room, not my room."

A few moments later, I heard him start to cry - not in pain, but in frustration. I got up to go check on him and found a rather hilarious - and touching - sight.

I should backtrack a moment. Ever since Silas has understood the concept of blanket, he has had a method of letting me know he wants to nurse; he would go to my room and sit on the bed and when I sat next to him, he would give me a blanket. He's too sweet.

So when I looked into my room, I saw the reason for his frustration - Silas was trying to pull the whole blanket off of the bed and drag it to his room and it was just a little bit too big for him to manage. There he was, all tangled in blanket and trying so hard to bring it to me.

He stared up at me with tears in his eyes. "Blankie," he said, giving the blue cloth another futile tug.

"Oh sweetie!" I said, because what else could I say? I thanked him for trying to get the blanket, helped him put it back on the bed and showed him how his room already had a blanket that we could use.

I realized that he grown to associate nursing with blankets because, well, we spent the whole winter nursing under layers and layers of blankets to keep warm. Now that it's a bit warmer out, the blanket isn't strictly necessary, but he does smile so brightly when he hands me a blanket that I can't say no.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

When The Party Ends

Dear lovely blog readers,

Enjoy a short piece of fiction. This was written from the prompt: "1st person POV after a party."

The events are not exactly based on a true story but I think it's safe to say I've borrowed elements from true stories.

When The Party Ends

It was my party and I was going to cry if I wanted.

Amidst my keening wails, the tall lady with blonde hair that was most definitely not my mom tried to pick me up out of my mostly comfortable stroller. I cried harder, making sure to add a pitiful little gasping sound when I stopped to catch my breath.

It worked. My mom appeared in front of me and I was so happy that I reached out to show her how much I loved her by grabbing the trailing end of her ponytail and pulling as hard as I could.

"Ouch!" she gasped. I think that means "I love you too!"

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

You Say "Bag", I Say "Bag"

The past week of 90 degree highs confirms that summer has a firm grip on Florida and will not be letting go for a few very long months.

Summertime means park time and park time means I am once again reminded that I am not from around here.

Silas and I were playing near the slides when another group of kids showed up. Silas's go-to friendship gesture is to grab a big handful of wood chips and bring them to the new people.

One of the older boys, perhaps about ten, looked at me and asked, "What is he doing?"

"He's trying to share some wood chips with you," I responded as I brushed the chips out of Silas's hand, telling him that not everyone wants to hold onto wood chips.

"What are woodchips?" the boy asked next, and I blinked, so he clarified. "You mean the mulch?"

"Yeah," I said, nodding. "Wood chips are another name for mulch."

What I didn't say is that where I came from, the term "mulch" was much more closely related to fertilizer as a term. And to be clear, when I say fertilizer, I'm thinking of manure. Feces. You know? Yuck. I thought about how I had never heard "mulch" used in conjunction with a playground growing up. And then I remembered something that had happened several months ago.

A friend had taken Silas to the park while I was taking an exam. Later, when I picked him up, she apologized. "He only wanted to sit down in the mulch and play! Luckily, they had just put down clean mulch, if that helps."

I had been slightly confused, wondering what the definition of clean manure meant. I trusted her judgement and figured Silas had not been harmed. I joked about how he'd have to build his immune system some day. Then I went on with my life completely unaware that I had experienced a communication error until just now.