Monday, November 28, 2011

::testing a lily::

Baby Lily

After much debate and strong but kind pleading on my part I have talked Lily's school into testing her for a learning disability.  It has been coming since kindergarten and I am feeling very excited about the prospect of getting it all going.  I am currently working on filling out all her paperwork.  I am happy to say that after that process I am feeling very hopeful.  They had a check list were you mark the behaviors that your child struggles with, I was happy she does not:

Set fires
Abuse substances
Often swears (that would be her mother)
Harms animals

She did get checked on:
Poor concentration
Difficulty completing tasks
Often is loud
Easily frustrated

Who else does that sound like???????  Maybe me?  Even her check marks are kind of cute.  

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

::flag football::

This little man found himself at his first day of flag football yesterday.  He kept telling me he was going to tackle the guys.  I tried to explain the concept of FLAG football, but he couldn't even listen to that.  Josh and I both had this feeling he was going to go all Bobby Bushay from Waterboy on the other kids but he did not tackle anyone. 

He actually listened and did what he was asked and tried hard and basically was not only the cutest kid in the 3-4 year old group but also seriously the best behaved.  Amazing.  

Saturday, November 19, 2011

::oh - ER how I love you::

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!???  Why did no one every tell me that I was GOING to ADORE being in the ER????  I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!  Wow - its nice to have my brain wake up again.  I love the staff.  I love the social aspect of it all.  Yes, I am still terrified of old ladies.  One slapped my arm for "being too rough" with her tape.  Which I seriously doubt since I work with preemies all day.  Yes - some times the sights and smells are just down right gross.  But I am having a blast.  I talk to people all day long.  ALL DAY!  It's so much fun.  The staff is wonderful and so kind to me.  They take great care of this silly old baby nurse.  I thought they might try to eat me alive from being so annoyed with my lack of adult knowledge, but they just love the baby info I bring to them.  I am loving all the interaction with taking care of adult patients.  I didn't think I would, but I really do love talking to them.  Plus putting an IV in a grown up is SOSOSOSOSO much easier.  You can actually say, "Hold still" and most of them listen.  

I am almost done with orientation and I could not be more excited to be awake and alive at work again.  I still do NICU some, but now it feels like a restful vacation compared to the mass craziness of the ER.  For the first time I can actually say that I like this job.

Side note - the ER I work in does not do heart attacks or major trauma unless they walk in the front door.  It is a lower acuity ER which is just the right kind of ER for me right now.  Gun shot wounds and major burns are not my gig.  I am all about fluids and anti nausea meds, maybe a little shortness of breath, or needing some stitches.  If you are holding in your own intestines please let me find you someone else.  Thanks.     

Thursday, November 17, 2011

::a mental update::

On January 17th 2011 Josh and I found out that our 18 week old baby no longer had a heartbeat.  All three of our kids were with us when we went to what we thought was going to be a normal old OB appointment.  That night we delivered our son around 11pm.  The entire story can be found under my infant loss label on the side.  I am not going to go into it now.

What I really have been thinking about is - what's the aftermath?

Here I am 10 months later and much has changed.

- I am 28 weeks pregnant.  I was blessed enough to get pregnant right away again.  Thank God, because infertility would have been the final blow that pushed me into a complete tail spin.  Every kick and every heartbeat on the Doppler is one little brick of healing.  The moment this baby got a healthy check from his ultrasounds and when they said he was a boy,  all this deep-buried-hidden-behind-numbness raw-pure-fear and sadness just started to go away.  Slowly.   I didn't notice at first, till one day it was gone.  I wasn't faking anymore.  I really was better.  I feel that this baby being a boy (third in a row for the record), made such a huge difference.  Now I get the son I was supposed to have.  Of course I would have rejoiced in a girl, but my heart ached for a boy.  My heart still aches for Zack, but its already kind of a dull ache.  I just can't dwell for Zack, when Quinn is punching me in the bladder and doing the worm in my belly.

- I still thank God that Zack was taken from me with out me having to make any choices.  He was gone before we knew it.  We hadn't found out his gender yet, we hadn't named him yet.  We didn't have to agonize over what to do for him if he had lived long enough to be born alive and weak and suffering.    

- I left my beloved job as an NICU nurse in the best unit in the city to work as a float nurse in adult ER and in a much smaller NICU.  The job is not nearly as spiritually satisfying as the old gig.  It couldn't be anymore different, but I took it so that I could be a bit numb and a bit new and bit distracted and a bit out of that same building were I delivered Zack.  Overall that was the right thing to do.  I don't love the new job like I loved the old one.  And I don't have to.  I show up and I try hard and I leave.  That works OK right now.  But not forever.

- I still have the ramifications of the social anxiety that I didn't have before the baby died.  It just didn't exist before.  I feel like I knew how to act with out thinking about it or having to be told.  But just last month I went to my cousins wedding and I had so much anxiety that I almost didn't walk in.  If Lily hadn't been with me I would have chickened out.  I'm not totally sure were this comes from.  I do great with strangers - the patients in the ER are fun and easy to talk to and to help.  I talk too much, and get in trouble for taking too long because I always have to make best friends with all my patients.  (Not in real trouble, the veterans are just teasing the rookie a bit.)  But you make me go talk to my extended family and I just can't take the bullshit.  I've always been a bit of a black sheep in the family, but its like now I just don't even want to see them.  Lucky for me I hardly do every have to.  With my friends I am still a bit distant from most.  It's nothing personal, and I can't even identify why.  I just only want to be with Josh and the kids.  I still talk to my oldest friend Hannah almost daily.  But whenever I try to make or renew any other relationships beyond them (Josh/kids/Hannah) I just can't.  I feel too awkward.  I have made a promise to myself that after Quinn is born I am really going to put more effort into getting this figured out.  Its not healthy to make yourself an island.

-The biggest thing I want to stress is that I wake up happy now.  My numbness faded away and I am glad to be rid of it.  It didn't suit me one bit.  My depression did go away by itself.  I wasn't sure it would, but it did.  I am totally excited for this baby.  The baby we lost doesn't cloud the rainbow of Quinn.  I am a huge believer in fate (you might say "God's will"), and I do not feel any anger about the baby that wasn't supposed to be mine.  Right now I am very focused on this new man that is coming my way.  I can't wait to get him home and see what happens next.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

::baby belly::

This kid is trucking along.  I am 28 weeks now.  This has been my easiest pregnancy ever.  I know girls that would say, "Sometimes I forget I am even pregnant!"  And I always thought they were big fat liars.  But I seriously get no crap from this kid.  I don't get sick like I did with all the others.  I really don't feel to many symptoms, sometimes short of breath and a bit sleepy but nothing too bad.  Since my placenta is anterior I don't even really feel this kid too much.  (An anterior placenta just means that the placenta attached on your belly side instead of in the back of uterus.  It doesn't matter at all.)  I can only feel him if he does the worm all the way around my belly.  Which makes me laugh.  This kid loved to dance already.  We are still looking toward a 39 week induction based on the fact that my Max was a baby hippo in size and girth.  So February 3rd is the tentative date.  I will be delivering in the same hospital as Kendra, from Girls Next Door, which I think is hilarious. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

::i forgot i am a farmer::

Crap.  Were did the fall go?  It's almost over already.  I have to get it together.  I am so distracted with hating large parts of my job and with being prego that I have really become a crummy farmer.  I have got to get it back together.  Here is what needs done before the real freezes set it -

Clean out all goat pens and set out heated water buckets

Clean out the horses run in and make sure tank heater is ready to go
Clean out chicken coop and prep heated water bucket

Get dogs heated water bucket ready 
    Side note - Bruno got kicked again by Donkey, which is Bruno's fault as he harasses the Donk.  Last time it cost $600 to have fixed.  What am I going to do with him?  What would happen if we don't get it fixed?  Maybe he would just stop chasing the poor Donkey!

Clean out the tack room and aisleway

Clean out a horse stall and have it ready for a "just in case" horsey isolating
   I actually usually do need to have one of them in a stall a few times a year for various reasons

Till the orchard garden and compost it

Add THICK layer of leaves to the cottage garden, like two feet thick

Heavy trim of the roses
Leaves in the flower beds

Leaves on the blueberries

Make 42 plans of how to set up the gardens for next year - MUST BE BABY FRIENDLY

Friday, November 11, 2011

::josh's job::

Not so very long ago Josh got a new job.  He went from being an airline mechanic with grease under his nails to a button up shirt wearer.  This was a huge change for us on many levels.  One - we both had this secret odd unspoken pride in the fact that he had a "real job".  Defined by us as a job that was not done in a cube, a job that was not done looking at a computer, a job that required real skill and hands on problem solving.  We seriously never talked about this out loud once in the entire time we have been together, but it was one of the facts that just made him different to me.  He doesn't wear suits, he wear kick ass vintage looking Adidas shoes to weddings with untucked shirts, he has a mohawk, he is fit, he has a big tattoo, he actually likes his wife and kids = he is different from most men.  Wow - that is a great deal of admitted arrogance.  Bratty Brooke is still living strong in me I guess.  I know its obnoxious but I have always felt this silly amount of pride in how VERY different he is.  Mostly different from my Dad if you really want to get into the Freud of it all.  

Back to the new job.  He got an offer to move up to the position of Aviation Engineer.  An office job.  In a cube.  Like "Office Space" in my mind and his.  But the new gig offered benefits and money beyond his old situation, and it meant that instead of climbing into fuel tanks and ripping apart his body every day be would be in less need of knee replacement on a daily basis.  He agonized over taking the job.  Lucky for me he is not a man that like change (probably why he hasn't traded me in for a younger upgrade), but it made taking this new job a trauma for him.  He dug down and found the guts and here he is still with a mohawk but now in an attractive button down - no tie.  

He new job was a good choice BUT for one little quirk.  They switched his schedule.  After he had been there a while they put him on nights.  For two weeks he works four 10 hour days Sunday through Wednesday.  It's a nice schedule with my random nursing shifts.  Then the next two weeks he goes to nights!!!!  YUCK!  He leaves at 1pm and gets home after midnight.  That makes me a single parent on those days.  Which I seriously do not like.  There is no one else to take the heat off.  Lucky for me my neighbor that helps me can keep the kids late on the nights that I work, but on the days I am off I am spooked.  I sleep terrible and in a light nervous way.  I stay up too late and watch TV I have no interest in.  I play stupid games on my phone.  I am just not very good at being with out him any more.  I don't think I nag him very much, but I whine all the time about how much I hate this night shift crap.  He is working on it, and it should be temporary.  But for now - what positive things can I be doing after I put the kids to bed?  I don't remember what I used to do.  Throw some ideas at me.    

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

::lily is past me::

Lily is growing up and growing past boundaries.  She is always going to be my only little girl, and I have to remember something.  I got to be in charge of dressing when she was little, it was my favorite hobby.  I did it full out and to the max.  She wore clothes that made me so happy.  But now it is time for me to let that go.  Completely.  We have spent every getting dressed moment for the past few weeks yelling at each other about things being too tight or too short or too itchy or too who cares.  I am sick of it.  She wins this one.  I give up.

I called my sister whining about this new development and she reminded me of something.  When Lily was a baby I told my sister that I was going to dress her to the height of my greatest desires because the day would come that she would no longer let me.  That day is today.  The time has come.

The new rules are that once you try something on and approve it for purchase you can not whine about it ever again.  I will buy you zero clothes with out you trying them on.  Your clothes have to be weather appropriate.  These rules do not apply to special events like the school Christmas program or big events.  Clothing with stains not allowed outside the house. 

It is time for her to find her own little sense of style, or lack there of if she wants.  I need to back off.

Let's see what she comes up with.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

::disney tips from this trip::

I am not kidding around about my love for Disney.  We drive lesser cars and make sacrafices so that we can pull off Disney vacations.  We are generally really cheap people.  But we make the exception when it comes to Disney World.  We eat well and we do all the fun stuff.  Every time we go I learn a few more things.  Here is what I picked up this year

Packing list and plan
I was in an all day terribly boring meeting, so I spent the day making a packing plan.  It was perfect.  I usually suck at packing but this time I did well because I made myself a check off sheet.  It was hand written so I am not going to post it, but it made it so I didn't forget silly things like sunscreen and have to pay 1 million dollars to replace it. 

The stroller rental plan
The cost for stroller rental went up like crazy this year.  We paid way too much, and the Disney strollers are cumbersome to deal with.  I noticed that many people were pushing around these great double strollers.  I looked them up on line.  They were almost half as expensive as the junk we were pushing around.  So next time I will get my Disney stroller from here.  

The Dinning Plan
We have done this before and we love it.  Do it.  Don't argue.  Don't try to get around it.  Just use the dining plan.  You will not regret it.  BUT make your dinner reservations early.

The seven day ticket
Once you past the three day ticket the cost of kicking it up to the seven day is not that significant.  Go big or go home.  Getting the big ticket makes it easy to repeat a park if you want.  Which we did on Epcot and Magic Kingdom.  Josh was the first one to point this out to me and he is totally right.  Don't tell him I said that.

Waterparks and more
Darn it - this is another Josh find.  Our tickets got a little bit screwed up this time.  We ended up with Water Parks and more option.  Go to the web site to see more details, but it related to us by letting us go to Disney Quest and to Typhoon Lagoon.  What fun.  I hope we get to do this option again.

The long trip
We went for 8 nights this time.  I know we can't afford to do this often enough, but we have got to make it happen again.  That long trip gave us a sense of leisure that we usually don't have.  LOVED IT!!!

Fast pass's - mastered
Here is the deal.  We have mastered the art of the fast pass /baby swap to make lines disappear.  It can not be done in a way the makes it so you get to ride every ride all day with no waits.  But it can be done so that you get to ride ride your favorite rides a few times and rock the house.  For example we go right to Soarin' in Epcot and get fast passes first thing.  Then we go ride the kiddie rides and play around.  When it is time to ride Soarin' we get our baby swap passes and then he big kids get to ride twice.  The cuteness is high and the happiness factor it too.  Link here to learn more about my strategies.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

::2011 disney diary::

We just got back from our best Disney trip ever.  This is the first time that we went just us and our kids.  It took off so much stress to just focus the day around what was going to work best for our family.  This was also the longest trip we have ever been on and the longest blog post of all time.
Max tried very light switch in the room to make sure what they all did.
     We sent the girls to school and picked them up around 10am.  The kids were so excited.  We listened to Lady Gaga and the song "Tonight Tonight" to get pumped up.  Josh hated the music but couldn't argue with the fact that every one else was singing at the top of their lungs.  We headed to the airport and used Josh's friend's employee parking pass to get free parking.  (SAVING!)  We always fly Southwest when ever we can, the cost is the best and the check in process never leaves us disappointed. 
     We used Disney's Magic Express which is a free transport system from the airport to the Disney resort you are staying at.  They also delivery your suitcases to your room.  We knew to pack a carry one with pool stuff so the kids could get right to swimming.  We checked in and they were in the pool in about 15 mins.  Josh had a margarita in hand.  I had squeezed all this me into a bikini because I am too cheap to buy a maternity swim suit.  I think it was cute with my big belly hanging out.  Those kids swam themselves silly.  Then we went back to the room and got dressed for dinner at Chef Mickey's.  

On the way there Lily got a ring from one of the boat drivers.  She thought it was a very special gift.  I carefully pick restaurants and I felt that this one starts out the vacation with a big Disney character blast.  

 Max got attacked my mini mouse.  Note his red check and mad face.  He got over it fast. 

     We started a new tradition this day.  "Random Pick a Bus Day".  You walk to the bus stop and the first park bus that comes is the one you got to.  It happened to be...

Max spent the bus ride reminding us all to "wok and woll" - rock and roll. 

When we got to Animal Kingdom we know to imediatly get Fast Pass's for the big rides.  Meanwhile the little kids and I play at playground or ride a no wait kiddie ride.  I miss the big rides.  I can't wait till next year when Josh and I will take turn with the little ones and I get to ride some of the big rides.  

Max was really ticked about being too little for the rides he wanted to ride.  

Lily and Max got tattoos to start the fun off right.  

I got to chill out and put my feet up while these guys all road Kali Rapids.  Max HATED getting wet.  He was furious at us.  We had an OK dinner at Yak and Yeti.  In the past it has always been wonderful, but this time they kind of rushed us in and out.  

Emma had fun hanging from the bus bars on the way home and all the Schaefer's enjoyed lots of ice-cream.

I carried Quinn around all day.

Max fell right to sleep.  I was not far behind him.

     On Sunday we went to Hollywood Studios.  Fast passes are really important here - you have to get them as quickly as possible for Toy Story Mania, Tower of Terror, and Rocking Roller Coaster.  Lily rode Rocking Roller Coaster for the first time.  She loved it.  That kid hates heights, but that ride is in the dark so you really don't know how high you are.  Lily got her "Perry" stuffed animal that she was dreaming about.  She carried him everywhere for the rest of the trip and spent serious time taking care of him.  

     Dinner was early at the Sci Fi Drive in.  It's a cute mock drive in place.  But the food was just average. 
 After that we went and did a few more rides.  Max could not figure out the 3D glasses at the Muppet 3D Movie.  

 This was another really fun day.  We had the Water Parks and more option on our park tickets this time, so we spent the morning and afternoon at Typhoon Lagoon.  They have a no joke wave pool that I thought was going to kill us the first time it hit me.  Max and I had fun chilling out while the others went of the big slides.  We ate lunch there and headed back to the room.  
While we were gone the maids cleaned our room and wrapped up Perry extra cute.  

We ate dinner at O'Hana at the Polynesian.  AMAZING!!!  This was the best food we had the whole time and the kids had a blast.  They literally throw tons of good food at you while the entertain your kids.  It was our first time to go there and we will go every year now for sure.  
After that we popped on the monorail and went over to magic night hours at Magic Kingdom.  

 Emma and Josh got stuck on Space Mountain while the little guys and I rode a bunch of kiddie rides we don't usually get to go on.  I love how we kept separating but coming back together.  We did tons of stuff together and in smaller groups so all ages got what they needed.  Lily was supposed to go on the tea cups with Emma and Max but they ditched her.  She had fun by herself. 

The little ones were asleep in two minutes.


On Tuesday we slept in and then headed to Epcot.  Soarin' Fast Pass's are always a priority.  

We had lots of fun riding Nemo and Lily got picked to ask a question at Turtle Talk with Crush.  It was very sweet.

 The kids had lots of fun playing in the fountains at Imagination.  

We had lunch with the princesses in Norway, and Max asked Snow White were the dwarf's were.   We ate dinner at the Food and Wine Festival.  I would love to come back some time and do the Food and Wine festival with just Josh and I.  We had such a blast riding all the rides and taking our time.

Qbert is what I call Quinn in my head
We slept in and then took the boat over to Downtown Disney.  We shopped around and then spent a few hours at Disney Quest.  That place was so much fun!  Why have we never gone before?  All the arcade games were a blast.  Max also got his own Perry.

That night we went to Kouzzina and the Board Walk.  The food was fancy and great.  The kids loved the make your own cupcake desert.  


We got up in the morning and did some great swimming.  Then the kids showed me how they were playing with the ceiling fan "all night".  That is exactly the kind of crap you can't do at home. 
still too little
Then we headed back to Epcot to ride some more rides.  We ended up back at the hotel for dinner.  The kids had tons of fun sizing up what pins they wanted to trade the next day.  


We got those kids up and headed back to Magic Kingdom for the final day of fun.  We rode tons of rides but made it back to the hotel in time for a late night final swim.  We got take out for dinner that night.

Back home


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