Transitions

18 Feb

At the risk of sounding completely pathetic, full time work is kicking me solid in the you-know-what. I’ve been full time for two weeks now and the boys have had dinners of almost nothing but fast food and delivery. It’s definitely an adjustment and I’m getting used to things. My goal for tomorrow is to get the house in relatively decent shape and get some meals prepped for the week to avoid the “I have no energy to cook” thing that’s been happening a lot. That being said, I’m loving the job so far and our nanny who watches Ben is FANTASTIC despite what I’ve put her through. She picked Eli up from school for the first time last week and I told her that Eli usually comes outside to meet me. I assumed she would do the same. However, she used to be a preschool teacher so she did the responsible thing and went inside to introduce herself to office staff and his teacher. It was obvious Eli knew her. It was also obvious I never added her to the pick up list. So she got held up in the office for about 45 minutes with Eli, her kid, and Ben because I ALSO forgot to tell her I don’t get cell reception at work and it was that long until a coworker called me about something and I took my phone outside to where I got reception and a ton of texts and phone calls promptly came through. So embarrassing. Needless to say, I gave her extra money that day.

I also forgot to leave Ben’s swim stuff out the next day so she couldn’t take him and had to deal with his grumpy self the rest of the day. This week has been smoother and I expect it will continue to be so. She’s fine with helping with minor meal prep so I might use her for that. We are really lucky in who we found, she and I get along great.

We got Eli’s CogAT test results back (the advanced learning test) and needless to say, he got in to the Highly Capable cohort. You have to test at a certain level to get in otherwise you get streamed in the spectrum at your own school but he tested at 99% in all three areas. This created a good deal of strife the first night (“I’m not changing schools!”) then acceptance the next day (“Maybe it will be fun, I understand why I need to go.”) and now we’ve reverted back to denial (“Hey, Mommy, guess what?” “What, Eli?” “I’m not going to Cascadia.”) Sigh. He’s been told he doesn’t have a choice. We can’t let him test that high and not switch him. He didn’t just do well, he absolutely killed the test. I can’t let him refuse to switch because of fear and not at least try it. I am telling myself that once he’s there and settled, he’ll be much happier because he’ll be with his peers. I keep telling myself that.

Ben is also gearing up for kindergarten. He’s really good at math, better than Eli was at this age, and I think some of that has to do with the fact that he hears Eli doing math so much. He’s got basic addition and subtraction down and although he hasn’t figured out reading yet, he can look at words with letters missing and know which letters are missing to complete the word. He is really, really close. I think if he liked reading as much as Eli did at this age he’d be just as proficient. He’s doing great in gymnastics and is an absolute dynamo at swimming and was telling me today he wants to take diving lessons! He told me he knows how to do a very special dive called the spider dive but he can only do it at hotels. The kid is obviously trying to work me. I imagine we will probably have Ben tested in the next year or two.

Things work-wise for Andy are going excellently, as well. He was nominated and awarded a spot in the 2017 Seattle City Light Emerging Leaders program. It’s a competitive pool and meant to really push the candidates to move up into leadership positions within the utility. It’s a big honor and justly deserved.

It’s been an exciting (and tiring!) few weeks around here. Andy is on his weekend night shifts and has two OT night shifts immediately following so he is MIA until Tuesday night. Tonight, the boys and I are renting a movie, eating popcorn, and not moving. Tomorrow, we are attacking the yard if it’s not raining. Our backyard has been sorely neglected since the end of the summer and I’m pretty sure our neighbor (whose kitchen overlooks our backyard) is tired of looking at rotting tomato plants and various toys strewn over the yard for the last few months.

We will probably rejoin the gym we used to go to when we lived in the apartment and Eli was a baby. They have childcare included in the cost of membership and they also have a crossfit gym there. I’m not working out at all, largely due to laziness and partly due to a foot injury I sustained three months ago when I fell down the stairs while carrying laundry. The injury was enough to leave the top of my foot around the ball of the big toe joint swelled to this day but nothing showed up on the x-ray two weeks ago. I have a sports medicine podiatry appt and hopefully they will be able to help. It still aches a lot and I can’t wear even the slightest heel. I am looking forward to working out again, it’s been a REALLY LONG TIME!

Hope everyone is doing well. Have a great Sunday!

Ben’s 4 year old stats

2 Feb

Just for the record:

Blood pressure: 95/61
Pulse: 103 bpm (I guess kids are higher?)
Weight: 41 lb 6 oz (73%)
Height: 44.0 in/111.8 cm (91%, he was looking down)
BMI 15.0 (33%)

All in all, tall, skinny kid. He’s much skinner than Eli at this age, Eli still had some chub on him until he hit 4.5 or so. Ben’s always been thinner. I think this will even out and Ben will overcome Eli in future years as Eli seems much more Smith gened (tall, thin, angular -in a nice way-) and Ben strikes me as much more a Massey (tall, broad, and more like my brother). We’ll see how my predictions work out.

Ben’s doing much better today and today his nanny came over and took him to MOHAI (Museum of History and Industry) for first Thursday. They have free admission every first Thursday and although Ben was not happy about going initially, when I got home he declared it to be a “great day”.

This morning, he slept late (7:30) and even after he was awake, didn’t want to get up. The shots really seem to have taken it out of him. We skipped swim in favor of letting him rest and get a warm bath since he was complaining his legs hurt. When his nanny (Jenn) got here, she took them (she brings her own 3 year old boy) to MOHAI and Ben said he had a great time. A few minutes ago, I was wondering where Ben was (it’s 5:40 PM) and after much searching, we found him under his comforter, solidly asleep. I know part of that is the shots but part is also Jenn taking him to do fun things and I really, really think we hit the jackpot. She used to be a preschool teacher before she quit to stay home with her son so I don’t really know that we could have found better.

Tonight, Andy and Eli are finishing up his Pinewood Derby car for the weigh-in tomorrow night and races Saturday. Saturday night, we are having the Riley kids over for a sleepover and then Sunday is a relatively rest day. The days are long but the years are short. I’m really enjoying things lately.

Ben’s Milestones…Kindergarten!

1 Feb

I just don’t even know how Ben got so old on me. Also, I learned today I am a terrible parent and I guess I’ve been expected to take them in for well child check ups every year on their birthday? Obviously, I missed something because Ben hasn’t been in for a year and a half (other than flu shots two months ago, I’m not totally terrible) and I’d be pressed to imagine the last time Eli went in other than his flu shot. I thought you just took them when they got sick. I got a mini-lecture from the doc today. Talk about embarrassed. At the same time, if they are basically well, I have a hard time feeling too badly about not dragging them in to the doctor so they can tell me that yes, the boys are tall, yes, the boys are healthy, and yes, the boys sure do talk a lot. (I’m joking, I get it.)

That being said, part of the reason we went today was that Ben needed to finish off his immunizations so I could send in the kindergarten registration. He got five vaccines in three shots on his wee little legs. I told him this morning he’d be getting shots and whereas Eli usually blew it off, he immediately started with the big fat tears. I reminded him it just hurt for a second and his silent crying and fat tears made me break down. “But you get a lollipop!” (Tears) “It only hurts for a second!” (Tears) “What do you want? I’ll buy you ice cream!” (“Chocolate?”) And so now we are on our dessert of chocolate ice cream with whip cream and strawberries.

I started my new job this week but then after two days was informed that HR isn’t able to move me to my new status in the middle of a pay period so now I don’t officially start until Monday. So all of the sudden, I have tomorrow off when I already booked the nanny. She was gracious enough to take shortened hours tomorrow (I felt bad cancelling her outright) and after swim class, she’ll come over and watch Ben while I go have coffee with friends, go have lunch with another friend, and then basically wander around until I told her I’d be home. In my new role, I’ve had the opportunity to attend some ED management meetings and learn a lot of things I hadn’t been privy to before and wow, things are in massive upheaval right now.

I’ll be emailing the grandparents with phone numbers and names for our emergency contacts here. It occurred to me while filling out Ben’s k registration that you guys need to know how to contact our friends here if something should happen. They are listed as first on our emergency contacts since they live here and more likely than not if they are needed, it would be an instance where the kids need to be picked up but y’all are listed immediately after. In any case, you need to know who they are and how to contact them. So please expect that email.

And with that, I have to go dispense whip cream and strawberries. Good night 🙂

Times, they are a-changing

22 Jan

So, I’ve accepted the supervisor ED SW position. My official start date is Jan 30th but I suspect there will be quite a bit of transition during that as I learn the job and my boss transitions out. I’d be lying to say I wasn’t nervous as all get out even though the team is super excited I took it and that one of our own will be in the role. What’s even better is that two of the other SW absorbed my current hours so we don’t need to hire someone new to take over what was really a not useful amount of hours for most people.

I’ve found a really awesome nanny who will watch Ben Wednesday afternoons and Thursdays. She’ll be here a few times a month since Andy is also off some of those days and it largely depends on him booking her to come in on Thursdays he’s off if he has projects he needs to get done. She will be bringing her 3 year old boy with her and Ben has met him twice and they have a lot of fun. The half day Wednesdays will also give me the opportunity to still take Ben to gymnastics and have coffee with my friends (we’ve gotten into a bit of a Wednesday coffee habit) before I have to go to work. The flexible hours, oh, I have missed them. I had them at my last job where you were on the honor system to work 40 within the week and having to clock in and out for the last 3.5 years has gotten a bit old. I appreciate the ability to set my schedule as I need it and know what I have to do and make accommodations.

It will be the first time since Eli was born that I will be full time (this might sound like complaining but seriously, how lucky am I?) and I’m a bit nervous about how to juggle all of it. The flexibility of my schedule eases that fear somewhat since I’ll still be able to schedule around school functions and volunteer there. I think it’s more of a bittersweet thing since I planned on going full time once Ben started kindergarten but you really can’t pass up this kind of opportunity. And I still get Wednesday mornings with him and he’ll only be in part time care and it’s at home. /firstworldproblems /tokenmomguilt

Eli took the advanced learning test and we are awaiting results for that. Once he was out, his first statements were “Some parts were hard but I feel pretty confident” and then his next statement was “I don’t care how I did, I don’t want to switch schools” which says to me he knows he did well. He will likely need to change if he passes. We’ll give him a year at the new school and if it all goes badly, move him back (which we are not telling him this is an option) but he needs to at least try it.

Ben’s scheduled for his final vaccinations and then after that, kindergarten registration! I can’t believe he is so old. He’s very excited about going to North Beach but we’ve got a lot of work to do with him regarding reading in the coming months. He’s really into math lately and is constantly working addition problems with us. “Mommy, 5 plus 5 is 10!” and all sorts of variations. He’s learned how to count on his fingers and can do addition up to 20 so far. It’s all his own motivation which is awesome to see.

We haven’t made it up to the snow yet but I’m planning a tubing/sledding trip for weekend after next. I am going snowshoeing with a bunch of work friends (including a ED RN and ED MD in case I die, I am so out of shape) next Wednesday so I am really looking forward to that.

Turns out (now I am writing this a week later) the snowshoeing might be a no go. I’ve had some foot issues since I fell down the stairs about 2.5 months ago while carrying laundry. Anyone who has been to our house knows we have the Death Stairs and although they’ve gotten me in minor ways a few times, I think they really got me this time. When I fell, I missed a step and my toes buckled underneath my foot and I slid down. I could still walk so I didn’t do anything about it although the top of my foot stayed swelled for about two or three weeks and I had a lot of bruising at the sole of my foot. BUT! I could walk without significant pain so why go anywhere! This is my argument. Well, now, 2.5 months in, I still get a lot of aches in the top of my foot and crouching down and bending my foot up on the ball is right out so I’m wondering if I didn’t hairline fracture something or at least tear some tendons right out. So I have an appt on Tues for an x-ray which I’m sure will show nothing and then it will be a guestimate of me in a boot, maybe (I hope not). I have a boot from the last time I fell down the stairs. This makes it sound like it happens a lot but it doesn’t, the last time I fell down was 2 years ago when I was taking too many boxes of Christmas decorations down at once and couldn’t see my feet, which I admit was not my brightest moment. I didn’t fracture it then but they gave me a boot which I wore for a week (I suspect it was largely for my ego) and then I was fine. The idea that this has been over two months and is still giving me trouble (and I tried running a few weeks ago which really aggravated it) makes me think I should stop just complaining to Andy and get it checked out.

I have a half at the start of March but I’ll probably end up run/walking it, depending.

I have a lot of things I’d sort of like to say about politics but that’s not what this blog is about. So I’m going to end it here. I hope you are all happy and well.

Back in business!

4 Jan

We all made it back safely to Seattle. The flight was uneventful and going to Dallas the day before was really the smartest thing. It made for a very relaxed evening of swimming and dinner and since our flight didn’t leave until 1:15 the next afternoon it was a calm morning as well. Once we got to Seattle, our luggage was already piled together and waiting for us when we got to baggage claim, then the shuttle to the car park was waiting outside the door. It was pretty seamless! Once we got home, the boys opened the last of their presents which were a dart board (big hit, no sharp dart points), a board game for Ben (also fun), and a few video game things. They ripped through everything but once they got to the video game they then declared it the “best Christmas ever”. Ok, kids.

School started back up again yesterday and everyone is just getting back into routines. I’m still waiting for word regarding Eli’s advanced testing. I’m back into house mode of setting up eye appointments (my readers are not hacking it) for all of us (need to get Ben checked), dentist appointments, updating immunizations for Ben since he’ll start school in the fall, and working on cub scout meeting plans.

The (to me) good news is that I got my mom’s laptop functioning again! I got the new OS in the mail yesterday and although it took me until almost 1 in the morning, I finally got it all installed and I am now rocking a fully updated, functional laptop again! I am so excited! This means I can update the blog more frequently since I don’t have to retreat downstairs and also Eli can do more computer practice upstairs where he can be monitored.

The job is all but official. It’s been offered, I’ve accepted so now it’s just a matter of salary negotiations with HR. I’m going to aim high and although I figure they won’t want to do what I propose, I’d rather aim high then haggle than low ball. I think I low balled my current salary when I first started because they agreed to it WAY too quickly. I also interviewed a nanny today who will watch Ben for half day Wednesdays and all day Thursdays. She is looking for minimal hours so it works out really well since we only need her for three weeks, then off two weeks since those are weeks Andy is off during the week. She has a three year old boy and will come to our house. So Ben will also have a buddy to play with. She’s got a car and can take him to swim lessons and also pick up Eli from school. She’s got a long history working in preschools and before and after school care but decided not to work when she had her son. Now she just wants a little extra income and also some socialization opportunities for her son so it’s really a great fit. I’m calling references tomorrow but barring anything unexpected, I think it’s going to work out pretty well.

That’s the news for now. Looking forward to keeping everyone better updated now that I’m back in the land of laptop 🙂

Coming up fast!

18 Dec

We are due to leave for Louisiana on Tuesday. To say that it has snuck up on me would be about the biggest understatement I could make. I think in my mind, it’s still September and I have plenty of time. Needless to say, I’ve been ordering presents like a madwoman for the last two days. Some will be opened when we get back from Louisiana and some will be opened (the Santa gifts) Christmas morning/eve with the families.

Eli completed the screening test for Advanced Learning. For K-2, they do a shortened version of the test (5 10 minute sections) and then if the child tests above 94%, they are invited back for the full version (2 hours). I continue to have discussions with other parents about what I should do if he were to qualify.

Regarding Will’s presents: he wears a size 13 shoe and his current shoes (in my opinion) are pretty sad. So gift cards for Zappos, DSW, etc. would be good. He wears a medium shirt size and pants are 36/36. He’s hard to buy clothing for so probably gift cards?

Andy has a show tonight so the boys and I are laying low today and resting up for the exhaustion of Tuesday. I’ve gotten their kindles mostly working again so they should be good to go for the flights/car drive as well as downloaded movies to the iPad. We got new headphones for Eli since his head is now too big for the little kid ones we’ve used for years 🙂 We’re going to have some Pho delivered in a few hours for dinner and then probably some board games to round out the night. I work tomorrow so I’ve been starting packing today. There is still some degree of Christmas shopping I’ll need to do when I get to Louisiana but it’s just for a few things, not a ton.

I’m also working on my resume. The hospital where I work is restructuring their SW departments. Previously, inpatient social work fell under Care Management while ED SW fell under the ED. They have now united the two under Care Management and have appointed a Care Management Director to oversee all of it. They also created a new position, Social Work Manager, who will oversee ED, inpatient SW, geropsych SW, and the ambulatory care clinic SW. My wonderful boss, Annie, applied for and got this job. When I applied for my position three years ago, I was quite bold in that I said I wanted to be a supervisor within five years. That being said, she wants me to take her job when she goes.

We have to post the job internally but there shouldn’t be any other applicants (well, there might be one, but she definitely won’t get it). It’s been explained to me that this is largely a formal process but the job is essentially mine. Which is amazing because it’s exactly where I want to be but the timing makes me a little sad since it’s a full time position and I still have Ben two days a week. So there’s been some scrambling trying to figure out how to make 40 hours in a week. The good thing is that it’s salaried so I can just squish in hours here and there until he starts kindergarten but I’d prefer not to do that since it’d involve basically going to work any time Andy is off so I’ve been looking for a nanny to pick up some hours here (Small Faces is full and can’t take Ben the other two days now and also his gymnastics is paid through March, on Wednesday mornings, and non-refundable). I also would still like to have some time with him. So I’ve been trying to work all of that out the last week.

Ben just walked up to me and said, “Sometimes I can roll a mashed potato into a ball” and then walked off. You have to love 4.

SO looking forward to seeing everyone Tuesday. Have a great day. 🙂

Flickr pictures up

23 Nov

I think I managed to get most of the pictures up from the last year. They’re not organized yet but all in good time. It took me a while to just find the camera cord to upload them!

I will definitely try to do better updating the blog in the coming year. Lots of changes are brewing and I’ve enjoyed this outlet to keep everyone informed. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and we are looking forward to seeing everyone in December!