Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Carol's progress

Maybe you'll recall the uncomfortable meeting we had with Carol's teacher during parent-teacher conferences in October. At that time, she said she'd like to meet with us again after the new year.

So we e-mailed her and she was like, "Oh yeah. Sure. Come in."

And it was good news. Great even. Carol is doing so much better academically. When she started the year, she was reading at an early first grade level. Now, she's reading at a third grade level. I feel crappy about this, because I've always read to her and read with her, but I guess I won't dwell on my own issues (at least not right here, right now, on this blog).

Steve said the progress was so great, he wasn't even sure they were going to request a follow-up meeting. Way to go, Carol!

She still has some issues with self-control and impulsive behavior, but she's made friends and seems to have blended well into this group of students, many who have know each other since they started preschool together as 3 year olds. And it's for sure not perfect, but it is so much better.

What's awesome about night nursing?

And also a huge pain in the ass?

It's planning on working a 12-hour shift, so I sleep four hours during the day. Then getting called off and sleeping another hour in preparation for an 8-hour shift. And then getting called off and sleeping all night.

That's right folks. That's 13 hours of sleep. There goes my life.

But I feel awesome!

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Crier

Sort of like The Thinker, but with less nobility. It's like when I was a new parent, all self-critical and self-depreciating. Only, now it's happening in the workplace and I'm almost 40 years old. Hooray!

Work has been hard lately. And not hard in the way all-work-is-hard kind of way. Hard in that soul-sucking kind of way that leads to tears and self doubt. Lots of tears. Tears that flow in shower or into whatever dinner I happen to be making. Tears that flow freely upon the iPhone.

And there's no better time for all these feeling to reach their peak than during the annual review.

When my very sweet boss says to me, "So, can you believe it! You've been a nurse for a year!" and I look at her and begin openly weeping, one can conclude that the meeting isn't off to a great start.

About halfway through, she manages to tell me that crying is OK. I remind her that crying in the car is maybe OK. Or in a locked bathroom. It is no way OK to sob during the annual review.

Being a new nurse is hard. And it's extra hard when you are scheduled 5 night a week and when you have to attend quarterly meetings and when the day nurses take every opportunity to tell you how shitty a person you are. And sleeping 4 hours in a 40 hour stretch can take its toll.

Now I'm forced to contemplate changing jobs. This sucks because I finally know where all the rooms are and where they keep the emesis basins (puke tubs). But while emailing a former classmate, I learned that not ALL day nurses are bitches! What!!!

For now, I have finally come to the conclusion that it isn't all me. That I'm not a horrible nurse (my boss even said this as I cried upon the papers that state clearly I'm doing a great job) and that sometimes, you have to re-evaluate your first choices because they're not all going to be winners.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Long weekend

Had a great long weekend with the family. Made pizzas. Took a day trip to Chicago. Cleaned the basement. Woohoo!

But my favorite part was the sledding. By far. Even though I think I broke my thumb, sledding is still the most fun a mom can have on a long, January weekend.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Come children. Gather round. Watch as our all-time favorite blogger sticks her foot in her mouth. What's that? You've seen that one already?

When I said the people I work with are unhappy, what I meant to say was, there are some people working on 6 West that are not all that pleasant, but those people in NO WAY indicates Kathy Reynolds. No way... In fact, most of the people at work during the night are very pleasant, happy people. Especially Kathy Reynolds. But even most of the others.

(I had no idea people at work actually read my blog... )

On to other stuff. The other day, Carol was blathering on about vandalism in the locker rooms when the topic of secrets came up. From the backseat, a quiet, ominous voice said...

"We all have secrets. I (pause for dramatic effect) have secrets."

Oh Penny. If I had known the things you know at 6 years old (or maybe even 26 years old), I could have ruled the world. As it is, I have to settle working with extremely fun, entertaining, happy people.

Especially Kathy Reynolds.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Young love

His name is Mario. And I know more about him than I'd like to admit.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Resolving to resolve more

I have one more New Year's resolution to my list. I'm resolving to write more neatly. This might seem like a small thing, but I recently decided my signature looked like something a 7-year-old might do, and not the neatest of 7-year-olds.

Also, I think my goals at work need to be a little more fully explored this year. Sure, tidy penmanship is a good place to start, but as someone who took 62 credit hours in one year and became a registered nurse, with a bachelor degree no less, perhaps I should be considering some longer-term goals.

This all came around after I looked at how unambitious my New Year's resolutions were. And then, I had to do a self-evaluation at work and it because clear that I really had no goals. I've been thinking about this a lot, and wondering where I should go from here. There are no easy answers to this. The things I want accomplish likely will mean a applying for a new job, a task I really, really, really don't want to do, mostly because it seems like it would require a lot of work.

My main goal is to work days. Working nights sucks. Sucks big time. Barring that, I want to work with the critically ill. At my current job, I thought I'd be able to move to days within 2 years. Staffing changes have made that possibility slimmer and slimmer. So what's a nurse to do? Just wait in a job that has horrible hours and some other unpleasantness (people where I work typically don't seem like a super happy bunch), or try for something new after only a year.

It's a pickle. And the worst part is I'm starting this job much too late in life. There are a lot of downsides to a second career. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE being a nurse and I'm so happy I went back to school, but I just don't have as much time to build a career. Also, I don' t have the flexibility (or stamina) as a 22-year-old nurse without a family.

And why am I writing all this? Because I'm resolving to write more about what going back to nursing school as a mid-30s mom means. For instance, it means I'll never wear this to work...

Bummer. I know.

But it also means I was able to have two careers that I loved. And that I can bring some of my past experiences to my job. And it means that even if I'm chronically tired and slower than my new-nurse co-workers, my life is full from top to bottom. That's awesome, I think....

Monday, January 02, 2012

"2012 Best List Ever" list

So, not the best list ever. Just want to be clear about that.

I have little ambition these days. I want to do a good job at work, spend as much time with my family as possible, sleep in a bed at night on the days I don't work and not spend ALL my free time attempting to either clean and/or organize something. These are not really resolutions. More like wants and needs.

I've set my expectations pretty low this year. So here goes:
1. Quit Facebook. I think I've said what I needed to say on the subject.
2. Organize one room in the house every month this year. This is a joint resolution with Steve (Carol seemed pretty interested too). We just have a lot of crap, so we are attempting to purge. The first room, our back room in the basement, is the largest project so we're going to tackle that one first, on Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. Because Martin Luther King Jr. would have wanted it that way.
3. I will run at least one race longer than a 5K. My two half marathon resolution of 2011 showed me the importance of reaching a little lower than the stars. Instead, I'll settle with trying to swipe the ceiling with my fingertips.
4. I will try to read the paper every day. I will really, really try.
5. I will remember to bring cloth bags to the grocery store.
5. I will try to relax.

And that's it folks. No foreign languages. No advanced degrees. No exercise classes or knitting lessons. Basically, I just want this year to be an improved edition of last year, because last year wasn't so bad, even with the failure.

And, just FYI, this is what a 38-year-old woman looks like after being awake for 26 hours. I know, I know. Don't everybody propose all at once.