Disney: It’s Happening

The pitiful paid time off that I was given during my various jobs as a nurse never left much wiggle room for vacations. We were very luckily able to make a Parents-Only-Romantic-Vacation happen not just once, but twice, during the last few years thanks to going at really random times, saving up a year’s worth of paid time off, and, most importantly, amazing, phenomenal, grandparents who were willing to watch Alex while we sat on beaches. Other than that, it was a rarity for me to even manage a few days off around the holidays.

Each and every time I got sick, which sadly was pretty often, meant that I had to use paid time off. Every day I spent at home nursing a fever, my own or Alex’s, meant a day that I couldn’t take a vacation. Every time I needed to go to an appointment, deal with a household situation, fix my car…

(And I shouldn’t even complain. I had a paying job. I had paid time off. It was just…not well done where I worked.)

Now that we only have to worry about Zach’s time off, and getting Alex out of school, it became pretty obvious that we had to do something special. Something pretty amazing. Something that the whole family would love.

Disney World. It’s happening.

Disney 2015

We leave next month for four nights in Disney, after which we will spend three nights with my wonderful grandparents who live a few hours away. Being able to combine two trips that we have been meaning to take for a long time is pretty awesome. Disney World will surely be intense, and then being able to spend a few nights recovering by a pool, leisurely reading, walking around, and generally relaxing with family? Pretty amazing.

Disney 2015

Needless to say, we are pretty stoked. I’ve never been to Disney World, and Zach hasn’t been since he was a child. Alex has obviously never been, and, if you ask him, he’s “the only kid EVER” that hasn’t taken a trip to Disney World.

It’s going to be awesome.

Disney 2015

(Disney World lovers, people who have been only once, and people who have any level of opinion on these things: What are the Musts? Must See? Must Do? Must Eat? Must Watch? Must Skip?)

I Get It

I get it.

It’s weird. It’s weird that I would become a stay at home mom when my only child is in school full time. It’s weird that I would “abandon” my “career” (something I do not believe is true for many reasons) when my kid doesn’t need me all the time.

I get it.

It doesn’t make sense to leave a fulfilling job in order to not send my son to after school care. It seems strange that I would make the decision to not work, to not show the world that you can be a successful mother and work (something that I strongly believe is true), to resign a perfectly good position in order to volunteer at school, be there on sick days, and to make snow angels on snow days.

I do get it. It is weird.

But this is it. This is what we are doing.

It doesn’t feel real yet. But I know that starting next week, when Zach goes back to work and Alex goes back to school, it will sink in. This is not an extended vacation. This isn’t some amazing luck of the draw where I actually got some time off during the holidays. This is it.

Things are going to be great. Alex is so excited to have more time with me. He’s looking forward to having days at home, having me around when he’s sick, and not having to go to after school every day. Zach is looking forward to is not having to do all the errands on the weekends, and having home cooked meals more regularly. I am looking forward to exercising, getting healthy, and feeling like I’m there for my family.

Two Thousand and Fifteen is going to be an amazing year.

Christmas 2014

Home Again, Home Again

She knew what I was going to say before I even said it.

I had just asked for a minute of her time. I guess that was enough of a hint.

“You’re quitting, aren’t you?” she asked.

I smiled, laughed a little, and nodded in agreement.

I quit my job.

I actually liked (most of) my job. I enjoyed the work I did and I felt, day to day, respected and like I was doing something important. My work was interesting, and I was actually good at it.

But you know what’s more important to me right now? Zach and Alex.

So, I quit my job.

To stay home. For the first time since Alex was two.

(And no, it didn’t happen just like ::snap:: that. This has been a long discussion over many months, many spreadsheets, many concerns, many budgetary considerations.)


The first time I dropped him off at daycare felt amazing. It was only two hours, and we did it once per week to transition him from the only thing he had known: being with me all day, every day, except when he was with Zach or his adoring grandparents. This was the first time he would be with strangers. Strangers who would feed him, change him, play with him.

He loved daycare. And once I went to school on a more-than-full-time basis, he went to daycare full time.

He did great. And I have to admit, it was great for me, too. Two years with a baby, one who refused to sleep, meant that some time away, doing things with only other adults, felt pretty awesome. So, I did just that. Spent more time with other adults every week than with him. Spent more time with other children every week than with him.

I impressed people, made a name for myself, and now I’m quitting.

Alex is very excited. I’m anxiously psyched to begin a new routine. A new day-to-day. Domestic, picking Alex up after school, being there with him on sick days, not having to wake up at the crack of dawn to get to work.

Not having to do every single chore and every single errand on the weekend? I can’t begin to imagine how different that will feel for all of us.

We are lucky. Immensely lucky. It won’t necessarily be something we can do forever, but for now?

I quit.

Little dude cuddles before a few nights away.

A Change Will Do Me Good (Again)

Because apparently I don’t like to keep my life simple, things are changing again.

I am leaving my current job. The hours that were so much better than my previous job were still too far away from what I want. Being away for two or three evenings per week is just not something I can handle. I missed Alex. I missed Zach. I was actually away from them for more evenings than when I was working overnight shifts.

So, in a few weeks I’m starting yet another New Thing. A job that will be regular hours; no nights, no weekends, and no holidays. I was told there could potentially be an evening here or there when I have to “stay late”: six pm. If I left work at that time I would be home in time for dinner, baths, homework…you know, life.

This time could be the time that I finally manage to settle down and develop some sort of normalcy. Instead of changing everything about my time away from home once a year, it would be nice to, well, not.

I can’t miss this little guy’s stories every day after school. I can’t miss out on helping him with homework as often as three times per week. I can’t miss the nightly costume changes, the drama, the emotional turmoil over some kid at school who did something to someone and apparently it’s so terrible that breathing has become optional. I can’t not be there so often.


We all have priorities, and every single person has different ones. I would like to say that I’m career oriented, but, quite frankly, I’m not. I want to do meaningful work, and I want to make my time away from my family worthwhile. I think this new job will offer me not only the hours that I desire in order to be with my family, but also feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction with making a difference.

It’s going to be yet another steep learning curve. Each time I finally feel comfortable in my role, I move on. I finally was really good at being a student when I got pregnant. I was finally comfortable taking the last few courses I needed to get my degree when I graduated. I was finally figuring out the whole MommyThing when I went back to school. I was finally totally comfortable with being a student and a mother when I graduated again. I was finally feeling (mostly) confident in my first nursing role when I left the position. I finally feel quite confident in my current position, and I’m leaving in just a few more shifts. Moving on. Changing things up yet again.

But I’m optimistic that this will be a good change. Kids are what I love. My love for kids can’t only be love for the kids that I take care of at work; it obviously has to include my son. I can’t go an entire day without seeing him more than once per week.

He’s my little man, and I want to help him become a real man.


I’m Probably Doomed

When I took Alex to his three-year well-child appointment, I expected the usual: Alex would refuse to talk to the doctor. He would probably cry as the doctor attempted to look in his ears, mouth, eyes. The doctor and I would have a hard time talking, as Alex would insist that I not talk to anyone but his small self.

As per usual, I was surprised. Every question that the doctor asked Alex was answered. When the doctor asked Alex to open his mouth, he did. Alex walked up to the doctor and initiated conversations about our plans for the day (playground), what he had for breakfast (waffles, three of them), and, the new favorite topic, farting.

“Wanna hear something?” Alex asked the doctor. He then pretended to fart, sticking his little hip out to the side and looking over his shoulder, laughing at his own humor.

When the doctor was finished checking him out and asking questions, he told me that the nurse would be in shortly with the vaccinations.

The nurse came in and gave Alex his two shots. One in each arm. When she left, Alex cried. And cried and cried.

“Mommy, it huwts. She put two big holes in my awms! Look!”

I tried to tell him that it would be okay. That the “holes” were covered by super! cool! bandaids! and that he would feel better soon. I told him that I knew it hurt, and that it was scary, but that it was all over and the nurse was just trying to make sure he didn’t get sick in the future.

“I don’t wike her. I don’t wike nurses. Nurses are bad. Dey are mean.”

I guess I shouldn’t tell Alex that one day I had to give a baby three shots, and that I will have to be that mean nurse over and over in the future.

Pretty much, I’m bad and mean in Alex’s eyes. Good thing I’ll never have to be his nurse.