Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Night Shift

Today I turned down a day shift position.  For real.  For those who have been around for the past couple years, I can imagine how shocking this sounds. It shocked me too.  I can remember my desperation last year of wanting to do anything to get off nights.  Heck, I thought I was willing to work in an office to make the switch.

In retrospect, I am so grateful that didn't happen.  I can't really picture myself in an office dealing with geriatrics.  Just not my thing.  I like babies, and emergencies, and life changing moments, thank you very much.

So when my manager asked me this morning if I wanted to switch to days, the "no" came out of my mouth really fast for a couple reasons.  With starting a family, this works so much better for child care.  I would love to eventually go down to part time, and I stand a much better chance of doing that while keeping my night shift differential.  The day shift position would also be a pay cut because it would have been in labor and delivery only, instead of all the maternal/child units.  I'm kinda a sucker for money, especially now that we have sunk ourselves into this whole home ownership bit.

After saying no, I realized something else.  I like nights, well 12 hour nights.  I continue to abhor 8 hour nights and would not go back to that unless I was part time.  Three nights a week is plenty for me.  Insert gasp here and an ode to Tena from the last  hospital I worked at.  I get it now.

I love the girls on nights.  Honestly, I go to work for my social life. I work while I am there, but if you can't have a good conversation to stay awake, those nights would be brutal.  I love that it is quiet and dark, except when we are laughing too loud because of the absurd stories we can tell. I love that it is a supportive group of people because in an emergency, you need each other because there aren't many other resources you can call. It is just a different feel and a different mentality, and for right now it works for me and it works for my family, so I was able to make a choice that I could have never foreseen a year ago, and I'm OK with it.  I'm no longer hanging out at the edge of the cliff. Will I be tired and want to sleep more than I am able to?  You bet.  But isn't that the deal with a new baby anyways?  Might as well make some extra money and have some fun while I'm walking around like a zombie.

What a mental shift, I feel like a whole new person.  I guess this is just part of a growing up process, but I like not hanging out at the edge of the cliff and I'm sure everyone around me agrees.  Because no post is complete without a picture, here is a family trek to Dairy Queen on one of the oddly warm days last March.  I'm glad Erica is here to join us on some of our treks now.

Can you guess this drawing?  My husband and I had a high quality "draw something" game going. 

Happy Wednesday.  I'm going to go continue painting my windows and trim.  Loads of fun.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Welcome to Home Ownership

So we closed.  After a loooooong closing process we closed Friday, ripped out carpet until 12 at night, discovered some beautiful wood-like-looking linoleum on top of the wood floor, and then moved into the garage and basement on Saturday so that the hardwood floors could be refinished.  Holy gaucamole.  The weekend was topped off by finding some puddles in the basement and a wet floor in the garage on Sunday night after we had some big storms.  Since there was nothing I could do, I dropped some choice words, closed the garage door, said a little prayer, and pretended like it didn't happen until this weekend when we could move in. I just slapped this grin on my face and called it a day.

Too bad this light fixture doesn't work.

We got the all clear from floor guy Andy to move in on Friday. (If anyone needs someone to refinish their hardwood floors in the Chicagoland area, I would highly recommend Andy. He is out of Norridge and has awesome prices and he's funny to boot.)  So Friday we were incredibly blessed to have a friend from church head over to see the place, and he said, "let's just start moving some stuff in while I'm here."  Jon and I are opportunistic and don't pass on opportunities like this, especially when I am trying to hold back and not move the couch and the dresser myself even though I really wanted to.  Well Marty and Jon moved in all the furniture in just a couple hours.  Awesome!!  Here are some during and after shots of the floors

This was the room covered in linoleum tar crap.  Andy is awesome.

Bad night pictures but awesome floors!

During this time, I'm whining.  I know the house smells because of the floor fumes, but my prego nose is picking up more than that.  So since no one else smells the gas, we trek on and I get over it.  Until my mom smells it, and then Jon smells it.  Then Nicor comes over and shuts off the gas when they discover 4 leaks.  Yup, there went the heat and my sanity.  I blame the hormones.

Luckily my dad rocks the party and I called him in my panicky state and he headed on over.  I might have pulled the "I'm about to cry," and let's just say that my dad can't handle tears and I was legitimately about to sob my face off. Three hours later (and with plumbing skills I didn't know he had), we had replaced parts of the gas lines and taken out the ultramatic six burner stove.  It's so unique and ancient there aren't even pictures in google images for me to provide you with so that you can see it in all it's carbon monoxide and gas emitting glory. Luckily we took a before and after picture for your viewing pleasure.

So for now we are stoveless, on the upper level that is.  We are trying to make a plan before just buying an appliance, because at some point (maybe in the not as distant future as we had hoped) we are going to have to invest money in the kitchen.  We were hoping to get a year or two out of that beast.  No such luck.  In the mean time, my dad and his blow torch figured out that the stove in the basement functions.  Be careful to not put your hand in the middle of the burners where the single pilot it.  Let's just say it isn't cost effective when you can burn your hand off. It looks like this:

And while you are down there, you can enjoy the ambiance of the basement.

Yep, Saloon doors ahead.  Into my second "kitchen"

So Jon and I might have to give up our frozen pizza addiction because you have to light the pilot in that beast every time you use it.  Maybe it's a good time to go on an all fresh food diet?  Either way, we are stoked to be in our house, our home... meeting all of our neighbors and already going for lunches with neighbor Maria is pretty awesome.  We are excited to invest in our community and in this silly home.  Even if it keeps throwing some curve balls.  I could do with a few less curve balls in the first week, but, what are you going to do?  Welcome to home ownership!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Sob, Eat, Regret, Repeat 3/10/12

That seems to be the cycle of my pregnancy.  Only I just eat fruit smoothies because it is the only thing that sounds good at all.  And after the fact, I usually don't feel very good anyways, so maybe I should just branch out and stop trying to drink all of my calories :)

I think the hardest thing thus far is being in the car.  I have never had motion sickness in my life.  That should have been my first clue when I felt so sick driving up to a retreat before we knew we were pregnant.  Ding Ding Ding Jaci, something is going on.  We were driving to a friends house last night and I rode with a gallon zip lock bag, at which point my husband pointed out that if I puke in a clear bag he will surely puke all over the car.  So instead I rolled my window down and hung my green head on the edge of it like a dog.  Awesome.  Glad I could make it a half hour.  We were planning a road trip next weekend, I no longer think that is such a bright idea.

The craziest thing about being pregnant is the dreams.  Last night I was in the mafia and trying to get out and save the world.  A couple nights before that someone was force feeding me mayo.  I hate mayonnaise with a passion.  Disgusting.  I must have been really nauseous in my sleep, so that is what I dreamed about.  Was that ever a joy to wake up from.

The other day I was crying about something and Jon told me he loved me as I was pulling myself together.  Then he proceeded to say, as he rubbed my belly, "and I love You." At which point I burst back into my sob fest at the thought that he already loves that little blueberry in my belly.  Can we say stereotypical?  Hormones are like drugs.  Strong drugs.  Which filter your reality and make it all blurry and a little crazy.

All of that to say that I'm so happy.  Happy to feel like total crap because it feels reassuring to me that there is a peanut growing inside.  It reminds me that even though no one will know for a couple more weeks, I really am pregnant and that our lives are about to change.  And I'm happy to be able to laugh at myself, because if I couldn't, I would seriously be screwed.

Cheers to traveling with crackers and a ziplock bag for the next couple weeks.  You are a trouble maker little Bo-Bo Noto.


I am normally really good at keeping secrets.  This one, however, I want to scream from roof tops, and it's taking all of my will power to not spill the beans.  We are pregnant and due in October.  I obviously don't want to share it with everyone until we are much further than week 5, but I wanted to write down my reactions for my own sake for later.  I'm not really in a blogging rut, I just can't share the one thing consuming all of my thoughts.

I keep waffling between elation and fear.  Elation that we were able to conceive and that we are going to be parents, and fear that it might not come true, knowing full well how many people miscarry and afraid I might be one of them.  I also have a tender place in my heart for all of my friends trying to conceive and struggling with it.  How do I share it?  How do I let them know that I still hurt with them but  I am grateful they can be a blessing to our baby-to-be's life.  I just don't have the right words.

There is also a lacking of words for me to tell my baby to be.  How excited I was when I peed on that stick and didn't even have to wait 5 seconds till I knew it was positive, but I ran out and played the "wait three minutes" game with Jon, deep down knowing the line was faint immediately and would confirm my hopes and dreams when we walked back in the bathroom.  Or that know that we are buying a house I am struggling with what school district I want to own in.  There are some wonderful school districts with some wonderful taxes to go along with them, but I think there is a lot more to learn in life than academics and that I don't want my babe growing up thinking that the northwest suburbs are normal, when actually they are quite privileged.  My world is shifting, my thoughts are shifting, and my heart is growing so soft.

Also, my brain is melting.  The other day I was sobbing my face off (before we knew I was pregnant) because Jon didn't help me clean the house.  I didn't ask him to help either.  In my head my normal voice was saying, "What are you doing? Take a breath and get over it.  He said he would help you whack job.  Stop crying."  But on the outside I just kept doing the ugly cry and wondering if this is a new level of crazy I get to experience as a parent.  Utter disconnect from logic and emotion.  Awesome.  Can't wait for more of that.

I think my favorite part of being pregnant is the fact that I am never alone.  Granted, right now I keep company with an apple seed sized tadpole, but it matters.  What I eat, what I do, how I take care of myself, it all matters because it isn't just about me.  I don't think I have ever eaten so healthy in my life as I have in the past week.

I am dying to go on Pinterest and start looking at pictures of nurseries, but that would surely give me away.  So I'll wait it out.

So instead I will try to make some crafts on my own.  To revel in these early days of pregnancy with "Bo-Bo." (the hilarious nickname we have given our unborn)  I will say prayers over my belly and try to not actually puke as the waves of nausea roll.  I will try desperately to not give it away at work, where people ask on a daily basis if I am pregnant yet.  I guess that is what comes with working in a labor and delivery unit (speaking of which I can't wait to deliver with all my friends as the people caring for me.  I don't think there could be a better experience.)

The biggest downside to being pregnant.  I can't sleep.  So I am going to justify sitting on my butt all afternoon reading a good book before I go into work tonight.  Have a wonderful day and I can't wait to share this journey.

Update:  Here is my early ultrasound alien looking photo.  A bit creepy, but everybody loves their own creep :)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Insert Foot in Mouth ***Oh wait, it tastes good***

Remember that town house we were all ready to close on.  I take it back.  Appaently because we were still in the tail end of the attorney approval process, because we were picking between two closing dates, the seller pulled out for unknown reasons.  We didn't see it coming.  The realtor and the lender said they had never seen a seller pull out at this point before.  Awesome.

This really isn't the end of the world, it hurt a bit to be out the $800 for the inspection and the appraisal, but the kicker is that we already broke our lease and have to be out by April 14.  I'm sure we can crash at some lovely person's house, but the thought of moving all of our stuff into a storage unit to then move again at an unknown date makes me want to yack.

***Side note, I started this blog post last Saturday after losing the town house last Friday.  I decided I was in too crabby of a mood to share my thoughts with anyone and walked away.  I didn't want to just moan and groan.  This girl needed some serious perspective and time to think.***

I am so grateful that I feel a world away from last weekend.  That Saturday we went to see a bunch more town homes, with absolutely no luck. I was done and burnt out.  Our sweet Realtor has been such a source of strength through this whole en devour. Saturday night a three bedroom home popped up in a town we never thought we would be able to afford a home in, one suburb outside the Chicago city limits. I sent it over to the Realtor and she convinced us to see it on Sunday, much to my dismay.  So we saw it on Sunday, and after our time warp back to 1960 we decided we really loved it.  It needs updating and some TLC, but it has great bones.  We put in an offer that night and it was accepted within hours. The inspection last Tuesday showed no major flaws.  A single family home, in our price range, in an awesome community.  I am still floored.  Of course I kept reiterating to myself that there was a plan and that God was in control, but there was a part of me that didn't want to believe it.  I really wanted to wallow and cry for a good long day.  I didn't want to believe that there would be something better, that we could really be blessed beyond what we already found, or even more than that, that God might want us to be a bit more uncomfortable for a little while.  I surely didn't want to believe that.  When really, we have it so good and even having to crash at someone's place for a little while wouldn't have been a big deal.  (Like I said I couldn't really think straight last weekend).

In the end I am once again astounded by God's goodness.  While this house might also be taken away, the experience has allowed us to deepen our faith and learn to trust more.  We felt so loved by the family and friends that have offered to let us live with them, or even more, have offered to store our stuff.  We might  need to still take them up on that depending on our closing date.  It's so hard for me to ask for help, but I am slowly learning.  We will be asking for more help once we are ready to take on some projects in this beauty of a home.  Anyone have experience in ripping out massive bushes or awnings?

At first I regretted telling people about the town home, but really, it is a part of our lives.  While I love talking about life's glittery moments, that isn't really the whole picture. This experience gave us a chance to grow.  This whole foot in my mouth tastes delicious, who would have known.  While it was a rough weekend, we have really ended up in a much better spot, and I am still not really over it.  You know what else I am not over, that brown stove is called an "Ultramatic."  I don't even use one burner too often, not sure why anyone would want six.  So feel free to come on over in a few weeks and I'll cook on my motha-of-a stove for you.  Goat Fest will be held at yet another location.

I am ready for the permanence of buying a house.  I never thought my moving loving self, would say that, but it is time to grow some roots.  To invest in a community and meet some more neighbors.

Holding onto hope that there is a plan, whether this is it, or not.