Thursday, June 28, 2012

Done Diddly Done

Stick a fork in me.  I'm done.

I am officially on summer vacation.

No more nose to the grindstone putting in a solid 8 hours a week. Ha!

I am so glad to have this school year be done.

Let me rewind a little bit.

I started working at my current job in August, 2010.  I had just finished a year at a job that was less than ideal and the job before that one had been downright awful.  I just knew, from day one, that I was going to like this job/school.  I've been working as a speech therapist for long enough and in enough different settings (school, clinic, home health) that I can pretty easily recognize what will make a job good or bad.  And I was right.  I loved my job.  For the entire year.  I seriously didn't have one complaint.  It was the first job that I had found where I could completely picture myself staying long term.  The pay is great, I have my own office that I have to share with 0 other people, the hours are perfect (16 hours at school and 4 hours at home a week), the paperwork is manageable and my co-workers are fabulous.  You really cannot ask for more than that.  But to top it off my office has not 1, but 2, adult only bathrooms close by!

Then, at the end of last year (May 2011) my supervisor took a position at a different school.  And a person that I had "worked" with that year (worked is in quotes because 3 months into the school year she decided she would no longer communicate with anyone in special education) took my supervisor's position for the 2011-2012 year.  And all hell broke lose.  Not just for me, but for every single person my new supervisor came in contact with.  I won't air my list of grievances, but only because the internet doesn't have enough memory for me to type out a complete list.

All I have to tell you is that #1) she was totally incompetent.  She had no clue what she was doing.  And #2) when Elliott was in the hospital, on day 1, when he almost died from sepsis, this person was sending me nasty emails about not being able to find some paperwork from when I was in the hospital on bed rest.  Yep, I was so afraid of this person coming after me and threatening my job security that I actually did work related paperwork in the hospital while on bed rest, hooked up to a catheter and IV magnesium drip.  I read through it later and it was pretty damn good considering the circumstances under which it was created.

I was really not looking forward to going back to work after my maternity leave, specifically because of my supervisor.  She had been pretty rude to my speech aids and she had jacked up a lot of stuff without me there to tell her how to do her job (sad, huh?).  I had been in touch with some other people though and trouble was brewing between her and pretty much the entire campus.  It was a HUGE relief when, 3 weeks after my return, she was put on administrative leave and then fired. I went from having a pit in my stomach every day (even days I wasn't at work) to being easy and carefree.  

My newest supervisor is someone I have worked with for the past 2 years.  She is lovely.  It makes such a big difference when people are just nice. And my wonderful job has gone back to being wonderful.  I'm actually looking forward to next school year.  My hours are being increased for the fall semester because I have a freakish number of evaluations to do.  72% of my caseload needs to be evaluated before winter break.  Yikes.  Thankfully I am keeping one of my speech aids, so I'm only increasing my on campus time from 8 to 12 hours.  My aid will do another 8 on campus and then I'll do 4 hours of paperwork from home.  The plan is that once Elliott turns 1 (and after winter break) I will go back to my regular 16 hours a week on campus.  The thought of being away from him that long makes me sad and a little ill though.  It took me until Spencer was 4 to feel like I could be gone 2 full days. Until then I worked more days and less hours so I didn't have to be away from him for a full day with a sitter (I have a much easier time leaving them with Michael because they are still at home with a parent on that day).  We'll see.  I'm not allowing myself to stress too much about it right now.

My cute kids when I got home today:

Elliott's cute butt: 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Blog Origins

When Spencer was born I sent out an email announcement to all of my friends and family.  Then I did monthly email updates.  Sometime during that first year of his life my friend Maryellen started a blog.  Maryellen started her blog because her sister Jennifer had started one and Maryellen thought it was a cool idea. Jennifer blogged about her daughter, Eliza, who was born 6 months after Spencer.   Maryellen blogged about her work and her friends and just life in general.  Maryellen sent me the links to both blogs.  I thought they were just the coolest things.  This was in 2008 and it was the first time I had ever heard of a personal blog.  Was I totally out of the loop?

After reading them for several months I saw Maryellen at a party.  I was telling her how I was just amazed by these blog things.  She told me that I should start one. I told her that no one would ever read it.  She said that she would and if she told her sister about it, Jennifer would too.

So, on December 16th, 2008 I wrote my first blog post. 

 I never, ever, ever thought that 3 years to the day later I would be having my second baby! 

My first post is total amateur hour.  It never even got a comment, although it has been viewed 11 times.  You can check it out HERE

But, Maryellen was correct.  She became a faithful reader and so did her sister.  And I have continued reading their blogs, although they don't blog nearly enough!  Jennifer was my first blog friend- somebody that I don't know in the "real" world, but I know everything about through reading about her life.  We exchange Christmas cards and she even sent us presents when Elliott was born.

I tell you all of this because this past weekend I was finally able to meet the fairy godmother of my blog.  Jennifer and Eliza came to visit Maryellen and John this past weekend.

The plan was that we would all go to Jumpstreet together on Saturday morning, followed by dinner and swimming at Maryellen's house, followed by pizza and play time at our house on Sunday.

Elliott's napping/nursing schedule did not allow me to leave on Saturday (that kid is just not an on the go napper.  He needs a quiet, dark, cool room with white noise to sleep), so Michael took Spencer.  Then, they were running really late so they were only at Jumpstreet together for about 10 minutes. 

Spencer still enjoyed his time.

We were actually on time to get to their house that afternoon.  I tried to get Elliott to nap there.  He would have NONE of it.
Joni brought Oriana over too so there were three 4-year-olds.

We brought practically our whole house with us, but shockingly, we forgot a change of clothes for Spencer.  He chilled in a towel while his suit dried.

On Sunday we spent all afternoon together.  I was feeding Elliott when I looked across the table and was blown away that Eliza, the Eliza I have been reading about since she was an itty bitty thing, was sitting there.
Here we are.  The 3 Bloggerteers. 

Yes, I just made up that word.  Yes, I think it works very well.

Some shots of the kids.

Spencer and Eliza are 6 months apart, but if you didn't know their ages I think she could totally play the part of sister.

After they left Elliott took a bath.

He is majorly obsessed with the water.  He just cannot figure out why he can't hold it.

And Ginger passed out from the excitement.

It was so fun.  I almost felt like I met a celebrity.  Next time we're doing it in Texas.  Janet, you must come along too.  And then my head will blow up.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

6 Month Glamour Shots

When I was pregnant with Spencer, Michael gave me a scrapbook for Mother's Day.  I'm not one to scrapbook normal, every day occasions, so I decided to use it for portrait photos.  Then I ran out of pages after 2 years and haven't bought new ones, so his 3 year photos are just piled up in back.  But that's neither here nor there.  We are here to talk about Elliott's 6 month photos and my OCD.

I wanted their outfits to be similar, but not the same.  A theme, if you will.  Spencer wore this sailor suit at 6 months so I wanted something with a sailboat for Elliott.

We also did this photo with his bear coat and a teddy bear.
Side note: this was the only time he ever wore that coat.  He hated it.
This is Spencer's 6 month photo on the wall. 
I started looking for sailboat stuff the middle of May.  I found a darling outfit at a boutique- it was light blue with white stripes and a little sailboat on the side.  It was $38.  No thanks.  After having no luck I decided to just make an outfit.

I bought this outfit for $5 from Carters.  Then I bought a $2 iron on sailboat patch from JoAnne's. 


The side by side comparison. 
Very sailorish.

You'll have to scroll down to see what we did instead of the teddy bear.  Poor Elliott.  Spencer got a nice, soft, snuggly friend.  Elliott got, well, just look.

By the way.  When I bought this outfit in May I was hoping that Elliott would be able to fit into a 6 month outfit, meaning, I hoped it wouldn't be too big. 

Then his liver started working and he packed on 3.5 pounds in a month and all of a sudden the 6 month outfit was shockingly tight.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Funny

I'm feeling very sad today. 

There is a blog on my blog roll called Our Sonny Life.  I have been reading it since February.  Their baby, Trek, died of Niemann Pick Type A yesterday. He was 14 months old.  Neimann Pick is one of the metabolic diseases that Elliott was screened for when they did his metabolic panel back in February/March.  It's actually how I found that blog, from doing research about NP-A.  There is a little boy in Scottsdale with NP-A and he went to the same metabolic and genetic doctor that reviewed Elliott's bloodwork.  That blog, Wylder James, led me to Trek's blog. 

My heart just breaks for them. 

I don't actually know this family in real life, but I feel like I have grown to know them by reading about them.  And losing a baby or child is, I think, the biggest tragedy anybody could ever face in their lives.

I want to write about something cheery to lift my mood.  Specifically I want to tell you two funny stories about my baby who, I thank God everyday, is no longer sick.
They probably won't be so funny in written form.  It's one of those you kind of had to be here type things.  But, I don't want to forget these funnies.  So here goes.

I was making dinner on Monday night. Michael was too hungry to wait so he grabbed a banana to snack on.  He was holding Elliott and he asked if I thought Elliott would mind if he ate in front of him.  I said to just try.  They sat down in the glider and Michael peeled the banana. Elliott FREAKED OUT. He started bouncing up and down and flapping his arms and screeching. Michael held the whole banana up to him, but Elliott couldn't figure out how to get it in his mouth.  He just kept biting the air.

I guess he minded.

Side note:
Love this outfit with its little diaper cover.

And love this little body.
Story #2

Spencer didn't finish his milk at dinner.  Michael, again holding Elliott, picked up Spencer's cup and drank it.  We've been giving Elliott sips of water out of the same cups, so Elliott recognized it.  Again, he FREAKED out.  He actually burst out in tears. I quickly filled a cup with water.  I was putting it to his lips when he grabbed the bottom, shoved it to his mouth and started gulping.
That's it.  Both stories were really hilarious as they happened. I promise.
To finish: some pictures of the other subjects of this blog:

Eating marshmallow fluff on a graham cracker.
Playing with grape kool aid playdough
Reading his new Thomas book.