Friday, December 16, 2011

New Years, New Challenges

I have kept all of *one* New Years resolutions that I have ever made. It was to floss my teeth daily and I'm still going strong. I love to make resolutions all the time, but rarely do they stick. This year A and I are making some resolutions together to get our lives more organized and in line with where we want them to be.
Number one is to get our house more organized and less cluttered. We've moved so frequently in the past 6 years that we've had lots of opportunities (taken) to clean out. We've now been in our place for a year and are feeling itchy from clutter. I happened upon a a great book at the library- One Year To An Organized Life that we have already started on. It's a month by month, room by room clean out guide. There are a lot of journal exercises that I'm not prone to doing and the author references an organizing store that we don't have here, but it's great motivation for us and keeps us moving in tiny steps. There are also companion books for finances, work life and babies.
Our second goal is to get our finances into shape. With a huge student loan to pay off and a goal to buy a house in the near future, we are trying to reach our goals. A discovered Dave Ramsey, whom I have known of for a few years. A read his book The Total Money Makeover and is trying hard to get us working on his plan. And even though we more than doubled our income when I started working, it's STILL hard to manage without using credit cards. But we are trying it, making sacrifices and making it work.
Our third goal is tune up our relationship. With A gone, me home trying to balance everything and two kids each wanting attention taking time for each other has fallen by the wayside. We celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary lately and didn't even exchange cards. Now that I am back at work and evenings are filled with errands and prep for the next day, I finally feel that we are in need of a regular date night (although we have yet to work the expense into our aforementioned budget). When I wasn't working and we spend days together running errands alone together it wasn't as pressing as it is now. So we decided to take on this book- The Love Dare- to see how it goes. We may have to adapt some of the days due to scheduling conflicts. Although the book definitely has a biblical bent for us its about taking the time daily to think about how we interact with each other and remembering to appreciate them.
Of course I also have the standard resolutions of drink more water and exercise more along with spending more time with my kids, taking more time for myself, building a better network of friends and keeping up with friends and family too. And blogging more too, since I've only made a dismal 21 posts this year.

Friday, November 25, 2011

A simpler holiday season?

Even though our lives might be frantic, they are familiar and change takes effort. For example, celebrating holidays by buying expensive gifts for friends and relatives may be stressful to our health and budget. But because the exercise is familiar, it seems easier to just do things the way we always have. Routine- even a hectic routine- gives structure and order to our lives that can be difficult to give up. Thus, simplifying initially is more complicated than the way we do things now.

David Heitmiller and Jacqueline Blix

Friday, November 18, 2011

Constant Corrections

Where to begin? I can't believe it's been so long since I blogged, but then again, I am so busy every day that I can believe that I haven't found the time. So many times I've thought "boy, I really need to catch up my blog", but it just kept getting put off in favor of other things.

The post graduation job hunt- I applied for a total of... three jobs. I interviewed for... two jobs. I was offered...two jobs. Yep, it really was that easy for me. I now have the job that I set as my goal when I first decided I wanted to go back to school. Some days I can't believe I actually work there now.

With the new job comes lots of hours, like 40 hours a week plus commute time where I also have to drop off two kids at two different locations. I am on my feet and working with patients all day long. I am barely even in my office to check my work email, let alone blog like I used to do. I find my job alternately amazing, fulfilling, frustrating and overwhelming. But I am making my way.

My home pursuits have become limited due to time factors. My day goes something like this:
5:50am     Wake up
7:00am     Leave house with boys
8:00am     Arrive at work
4:45pm     Leave work exhausted but happy (usually)
5:30pm     Return home with boys in tow
6:00pm     Feed babyzilla, then clean him up and put him to bed by 7pm
7:00pm     Make dinner and finish chores and prep work for next day
8:30pm     Kidzilla hits the hay
9:00pm     Lights out for Kidzilla
9:15pm     Collapse in bed
9:16pm- 5:49am   Attempt to sleep and wake up 4-6 times to nurse babyzilla

As you can see, not much time for leisure in there. Weekends are filled with swim lessons, trips to the library and errands, punctuated by naps for both me and babyzilla. It's a brutal schedule, but we're working with it. My one caveat for A was that when I went back to work full time we had to hire a maid service. So we did and it helps. If I could just now hire a dinner fixer, laundry folder and email checker... This is really a new chapter in our lives. For the first time since Feb 07 we are both working full time jobs. We are constantly refining our home standard operating procedures, checklists and timetables as we work things out. So many of those things that I had planned are out the door, lost to the wind. But I still try to make time for the things that really matter like snuggling with the boys in bed and surprising A with treats when he arrives home. Even when it means I have to put off blogging.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What makes a difference?

With the frenzy of back to school, prepping for a new job, getting all those things that need to get done finished before said job begins, and daily life in general, it's been busy around here. A was right when he said that when I am off work I invent projects and make myself busy. His last few times at home have been filled with to do's and didn't get dones. As soon as he leaves, I'm left feeling like -was he really here? I knew that we should be savoring our time together, especially our time during the day when both kids are at their respective schools, but it just seems like there is so much that needs to be done.

This last trip home, I decided to try something- touch. I made a conscious effort to  touch A more frequently. A hand on the knee when we were in the car, holding hands in a store, resting my hand on his shoulder while talking. Each touch was a reminder to me to slow down and appreciate that he was here, HOME, with me, at this moment. It worked- we didn't feel as rushed and I actually remember our time together. We spent more time just being with the boys and we were able to enjoy each other. A simple solution, but an effective one.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Because We're The Airline, That's Why

Some days it feels like "The Airline" (in other words, the company that employs A) is a great paternalistic body that ultimately runs our life. Father decided where A flies, when his days off are, when he will get to upgrade, when he is allowed to take his vacation, whether he has to commute the day before or after his trip, and a whole host of other little instances.

Last month A lost a day off due to the hurricane that hit the Northeast. This happened to a great many pilots. So many in fact that the airline decided there was no way they could restore everyone's days off (give them back to be used as extra days off the following month) and instead just gave everyone an extra 10 hours of pay. Boom. Done. No arguing because Father Knows Best. The reality is that 10 hours of pay is probably a better deal for us anyway, but the idea that we didn't get to choose which we wanted- the day off or the extra pay- irritates me.

A has been back at work a full year now. But because he didn't start back until late in the year in 2010, he was only awarded 3 vacation days to use in 2011. THREE days. To cover a whole year. But no arguing with Father on this one either. Ultimately his schedule reflects an entire week off for vacation so we aren't sure what's going on with that. But we aren't bringing it up to Dad.

Sometimes the two way street in this relationship feels like a one way with a dead end. But I guess that's just another facet of living the dream.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Ever since my internship ended six weeks ago, I've just been... waiting. Waiting for something to happen. Waiting on a job, waiting for some ambition to come that will propel me to use my time wisely, waiting to find out what my new place in the world is meant to be. I can't give myself over to homemaking because I know that that is not what my end destination will be. But I go through the motions. I drop off and pick up the kids from school and daycare, I make sure the laundry is done and there is food. I spend time on the internet making plans for all the stuff that I want to buy when we have the money (ie when I'm working again). I try and pick up new skills like brushing up on my medical terminology, knitting and Dutch language skills. I work on all those little nagging to do's around the house and nag A to do the same when he's here. For the first time in nearly 6 years I have nothing to ground myself with- no job and no school. I find myself casting about all day long thinking, planning and scheming all the things I want to try for our family- regular vacations, reprising my interest in Waldorf education, learning more handcrafts, getting to know more mother's of infants, getting Kidzilla into some kind of sport, looking at homes for sale. I feel like I am unable to focus on anything and keep adding new things to my various to do lists without every really accomplishing anything. I guess I just don't deal with uncertainty well. Until I have something concrete lined up and know where I am going in life, this is how it's going to be. Hopefully it won't be for much longer.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Thinking about Coworkers

Early morning, when I'm nursing my darling stillwakesupfourtimesanight angel at o'dark thirty, is prime time for my mind to wander and compose blog posts...

This morning I was thinking about pilots and coworkers and how different their relationships are from mine. I've always worked in cubicle towns, the kind where you can prairie-dog your head up and know everyone's business in your area. And you are able to develop relationships with your coworkers whom you see nearly every day. In the mornings you can check in with Melanie about her hot date last night, chat with Mylene about her upcoming wedding, run over to Sandy to get some invaluable parenting advice, complain with Linda about our husband's foibles, or announce to the whole department "OH. MY. GOD. You won't believe what Kidzilla did yesterday." Friendships develop naturally over time and the people you don't mesh with so well, you can somewhat avoid.

A, on the other hand, has no choice about whom he is thrown into a small space with for three or four consecutive days. Could be someone great whom he gets along well with or it could be someone its a trial to work with. Usually it's someone he's never met before. With somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 pilots from his airline alone based where he is, it could be months or ever years before he flies with the same guy twice. Or it could be again on the next trip. But the options to avoid the people you don't like and hang out with the people you do are limited. And when you do climb into the cockpit, its a crash course in relationship building- "we've never met, but we've got 25 hours alone together with nothing to do but yap at each other. Who's going to start?" Occasionally the together time is puctuated by the presence of the flight attendant, but for the most part its just the two of them. And its only if they happen to be in the crew room at the same time that he gets to follow up with someone he flew with previously and ask "hey, how did that thing we talked about work out?"

I'm not sure if I have the personality to put myself in that situation. Usually I'm shy, slow to warm up and private- traits not really conductive to quick relationship building. Luckily A is not- he's outgoing, the life of the party and can talk to anyone about anything. He could give a one hour discourse on flat paint vs eggshell vs gloss when painting a dresser. Or one on obscure pop hits of the 80's. Or evaluate your cell phone plan and recommend a new one. Or anything else that might come up. Sometimes I have to remind him to engage the "see it, think it, say it" filter when I need a bit of peace from his can't-stand-the-silence chatter. But these traits probably work to his favor in the relationship building area and as a pilot in particular. It's nice to think of something that A does that occasionally annoys the the heck out of me can also make his work life easier for him.

Friday, September 2, 2011

All in a days work

Today I spent the day making this

for this guy

who is already 8 months old.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

FIVE years of blogging happiness!

There are years that ask questions and there are years that answer.

Today marks five years of blogging. I am amazed that I have managed to find enough to stay to keep going for this long. I am the girl who cringes at any sort of journaling task in school. I never anticipated it, but this blog has seen me through so many ups and downs- my first post was when A was still instructing at a local flight school. Eventually he got hired (!) by a regional and just when we thought we were settling into life he was diagnosed with cancerr. We made it through treatment and settled into the waiting period. A was contracting back at the flight school and I was trying not to wallow in misery. It was about this time that I wrote some of my most raw and bitter posts. But we made it through. A stood by my side when I announced that I was going to relocate our family to attend graduate school. I started looking into research on pilot wives and wrote my most popular post ever. I approached our Critical Incident Response Program Committee about putting together a resource for wives about their roles in an emergency situation which they were very excited about but eventually dropped the ball on. Things finally turned around for us and after three years of infertility, I finally got pregnant. A was finally able to return to work after two and a half years off. I graduated with a Master's degree. Today, we've settled into the routine of him working again, my managing two children and our life seems pretty stable for now. The initial quote was given to me by another pilot wife friend when I was in a time of need. It's always been a hopeful reminder to me when times are rough and I hope that now we are in a year of answers.

You have to keep going within yourself to find your own truth. If you don't keep discovering new truth, you'll just be rehashing and no one will want to listen to you.

When I first started this blog, I couldn't find any other blogs about being a pilot wife and it was difficult to find a network of friends. Through the past years, I seen some friends come and go as they took up with blogging and eventually found life leading them down other roads and blogging less- Emma, Nicole, FH and Global Gal are a few. I gradually changed my focus from all about aviation to more general things about my life. I guess I came to a point when I finally got out everything I needed to say about the lifestyle that had been bottled up. Joanna has taken up the reigns on that topic. But I still do try to write about things that come up, because they are frequent. And now there are tons of other pilot wife bloggers out there- some I follow and others I just know about. Most of the people who read my blog are people I DON'T know, which is an interesting feeling for me. If I can help one person make it through a rough patch, then it's been worth it.

Just as I didn't know what lay in store for us five years ago, I don't know what might come up in the next five years for us. I hope that the journey is good, with more ups than downs and that I can handle it all gracefully. That's all I can really ask for in life.

Along with some recognition for a job well done- so leave me a congratulations on putting it all out there for the last five years comment and provide me with the inspiration to keep on keeping on.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane effects

Friday morning the hurricane past us off the coast of northern Florida. When I went outside in the morning, it was bright blue out with some high clouds. It was neat to see the clouds because if you followed them for their length, you could see that they were in a swirly, rotational pattern due to the hurricane action. 10 miles away the clouds over the beach were dark and nasty. By the time I got back from dropping the boys at their schools, it had cleared and during the day, we got nothing more than some overcast weather- no rain and very little wind.

A had to head to work on Friday. He made it up there and his trips were all in the midwest so he didn't have to fly through nasty weather. But he was still effected. The insurance companies that cover the airlines don't really want to have to replace millions of dollars of equipment due to hurricane damage, so they make the airlines relocate all of the planes out of harms way. *Several times when A was an instructor and bad weather was coming, the flight instructors had to move all the company planes away from the Florida coast locations. The usual spot was Dothan, Alabama. Who knows why. Several times we heard stories from the large group of instructors stuck there with nothing to do but wait out the hurricane at a bar and the giant party it became. Having passed through the bucolic town of Dothan, which appeared to be nothing more than a giant highway truck stop full of strip malls and fast food restaurants (a friend of mine from Dothan later confirmed that yes, that really was all there is to the town...) I can see why the bar was the popular attraction. *

So anyhoo, A's company had to move it's masses of planes away from their east coast base and relocate them in Tennessee and Texas to wait out the storm. And then had to put up the flight crews who had to fly those planes in hotels. A had one overnight canceled and ended up staying in Texas with hundreds of other company pilots who were stranded. Every time I talked to him, it sounded like a party- We're going to the pool, we're going to a restaurant, oh hey, so and so showed up here too. Sounded (insert sarcasm here) like they were all trying to make the best of the situation. I hope he was able to enjoy it though because the payback is going to be a bitch.

The trade off is that A had his day off rolled and now has to ferry a plane back to Newark before he can come home. And he's due in 3 minutes AFTER a flight for home leaves. If it's not completely oversold with stranded passengers and other jumpseaters. The airport is going to be a mess today with all of the different airlines trying to get their planes back into position and getting all the passengers from the 18,000 canceled flights to their eventual destinations. I don't think I envy either A or the airlines trying to get this all straightened out.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Jack of all trades, Master of one...

From this

to this

I did it! I completed my Masters degree. The whole family traveled this journey with me and we've all not only learned new things but each has graduated to a new phase while I was in school. I could not have done it if we hadn't worked together as a family. While I was standing amid the 1200 other graduates during the processional, I got teary eyed as I thought about how for eight years I thought I wasn't smart enough for graduate school, how I thought I couldn't do it because A might not be there to help me and what would I do if I got pregnant during school and yet there I was- graduating.

Let my achievement be an inspiration and a catalyst for your own. You CAN take huge steps and follow your own dreams even if your spouse isn't there full time to help. The emotional support that they can provide is just as important as the physical help they might not be able to.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Worth the wait?

There are times when the anticipation of A coming home is sweeter than the actual return. Those nights when he arrives home after being up for 20 hours, having sprinted through 2 airports to make 15 minute connections, having had to sweat it out for a seat after someone got there 2 minutes before he did, waiting 45 minutes for the shuttle to the economy lot to get the car. Or when he misses the last flight and has to make it to the crashpad, try to get 5 hours of sleep and then get back to the airport for the first flight out in the morning.

I try not to take his bad mood and tiredness personally, but really I'm no saint in that department. It can be hard when I've built up a fantastic, romantic (or not) reunion and he comes home and flops on the bed. Because, you know, who doesn't like to spend the night with Eau d'Jet Fuel emanating from next to you when you really needed the air in your tires checked before you headed to work in the morning. And to sweeten him up for the task you made his favorite dessert that he totally bypassed. Or worse yet, shoveled in in lieu of dinner in front of the child you made eat dinner first causing a crying fit you had to deal with on top of everything else. Sometimes the dream I'm livin' isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Not that he doesn't try, stopping at the airport to buy me my favorite soap or pulling out a trinket from an overnight. We all have our moments.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

News I didn't want

Today was a rotten day. I'd interviewed in June, twice, for two jobs at the hospital where I am interning. Today I (finally) got the info that one job had been filled by an internal candidate (who is not as qualified as I am, but is internal) and the other is now subject to a hiring freeze. The manager seemed sincere when she told me that she really wanted to keep in contact with me and she would let me know as soon as something opened up. I can't hold out long without a job, as much as I want to work there. So for now, I'm (disappointingly) back on the job market. Plus, I lost my sunglasses.

One of those nights I wish A was home instead of sitting in line to take off for a Washington DC turn followed by an overnight in some other state.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Goodbyes as the norm

A recounted conversation (via text message) from yesterday:

Friend L: I'm in your neighborhood today. Can I stop by and see you this evening?

Me: Sure, I'm home after 5 and A is leaving for the airport around 6.

L: Should I come by later? I don't want to interrupt your goodby time.

Me: Are you kidding? Saying goodbye to him for a trip is as traumatic to me as you saying goodbye to F every morning. No big deal.

And it's true. Yesterday when A left for his trip (a 4 day) I couldn't even be bothered to get my rear off the couch. He got uniformed up, gave me a kiss, got a see ya later, and hit the door. His leaving for multiday trips is just so routine now that I don't even think about it. Meanwhile, my friends freak out when their significant others are gone overnight on trips and can hardly say goodbye.

Frankly, I don't mind when A is gone. And I really dig having the entire king size bed to myself (and the baby). It's so awesome to be able to switch sides and find a nice cool spot when I wake up hot during our warm summer nights. I've even caught myself wondering if I can come up with a reasonable excuse for A to sleep in the extra bed so I can have our bed to myself. That's a true confession of a pilot's wife right there.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The 6 months of adjustment

I can't believe that tomorrow Babyzilla will be 6 months old. Already. How did that happen? He is adorable, the apple of my eye and Daddy's first and last thought every day. It would nice though, if he could get the night waking down to 2 times a night instead of 4. What can I say- he's a boy who loves boobies.

Things are finally settling in and I can enjoy my time again. Kidzilla's been shipped off for his annual summer in California and most nights it's just me and baby. A still has a crappy schedule with 12 days off a month and only 1 weekend. I still wish he'd bid down and get a good reserve schedule but he prefers knowing what his trips are going to be. He's flown with some characters lately that I mean to blog about, but haven't gotten around to yet.

My in-laws are coming to visit again this fall. A is doing his best to mitigate the intrusion into our lives that this is going to cause (ie, doing his job as a good husband to keep me from getting too annoyed). We'll see how that goes. For now, I've got just 6 weeks left until graduate. Me, with a Master's degree- I never thought this would happen. Now to find a job that pays enough to pay off those loans...

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Sometimes the fates align and A gets a schedule that is just right. Like the one in December when he got the entire week we were moving off. And the all weekends off schedules of January and February. It's been getting a little harder to get good schedules as he's moving from the high rungs of the bottom of the barrel (ie reserve) to the lower rungs at the top of the barrel (a hard line). Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't.

Kidzilla had a long weekend at school and I had no place to send him while I worked. It just so happened that A was flying into our hometown that morning for a long layover. How convenient! So he ditched the rest of the flight crew and instead spent the day at the dentist, getting a hair cut, watching Kung Fu Panda 2 with Kidzilla and helping get Babyzilla's pictures done in the evening.

I only had one day that I needed him to have off in all of June. Kidzilla and I are spending a week at Cub Scout day camp. The one camp that is running during the week he is available is far enough away that it's easier for me to just stay and work at it instead of making two trips a day. Plus, I love working at camp. This year Kidzilla is old enough for the one night campout they have. BUT, A couldn't get the night off and there is no one to stay with Babyzilla at home. So I can't stay with Kidzilla. Not only does A have to work that night, but he has a trip that lasts nearly the entire week which means no help with Babyzilla when I'm exhausted from camp every evening. And since the company is running lean on staff right now, there's no chance to switch things around.

We'll just make due the best we can, like always.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hotel freebies

A stays in a lot of hotels. It's the nature of the job. If we wanted to, we could go without buying soap, shampoo, lotion, mouthwash, shower caps and shoe shine kits for the next 10 years. But I'm much to picky for hotel brand toiletries. Unless they are the Aveda ones he brings home occasionally.

Instead, I've become a notepad junkie. I love to make lists. About anything. It helps clear my mind and keep me organized. And with the wide variety of hotel notepads A has access to, I can always find the perfect notepad for my need. The Country Inns and Suites one is small with lines- perfect for short notes slipped into A's suitcase or Kidzilla's lunch. Radisson and LaQuinta are small and perfect for keeping bedside, in the purse, car or diaper bag. Hyatt Place is long and narrow- perfect for a grocery list. Crowne Plaza and Pur are bigger- just right for next to the phone at home and work. Sheraton is two-tone, with lines perfect for Kidzilla to write on. The Inn at Ellis Square had a huge lined one that is perfect for making notes on at work. And my all-around favorite is from the Fiesta Inn- it's lined, good sized and comes with check boxes (check boxes!!!) to I get the glorious feeling of checking things off my list. We also have a huge assortment of matching hotel pens, but they are mostly indistinguishable. They are great for keeping on my desk at work though because it's no big deal if someone walks off with them. And everyone in the office knows that if it's a hotel pen it's probably mine.

We are also the proud owners of approximately 1 bazillion Crowne Plaza plug in nightlights. If there is ever a fire, we can follow the trail of lights to the nearest exit. Which in some cases may be located behind us.

I take my perks where I can get them.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Becoming the mother I want to be

After lamenting in the last post about how I'm not able to have the lifestyle I thought I would, I have to remember that there are still good things. I am still evolving and doing things differently this time around. I feel like this time I have more support for doing things that are not quite the mainstream. Or maybe A just lets me run rampant over him in the parenting realm. Whatever it is, I appreciate it. This time around I am:
  • Breastfeeding the baby- last time, I lasted two weeks and caved to the formula and bottles beckoning me from the cabinet when I was sore. This time I refused to keep any formula in the house and pushed through the soreness. And while, for me, nursing is not the glorious, womanhood fulfilling sap-fest that videos make it out to be, it is pretty cool. And cheap compared to the special allergen free formula I would have to purchase otherwise.
  • Cloth diapering- last time, my partner wasn't into cloth diapering. Or changing any diapers Or parenting a baby much at all. This time, we have the cloth diapers, the diaper sprayer A attached to our toilet and A will happily run a load through the wash. And keep me in giggles while pretending to carry on about how terrible changing diapers is. Unless it's the middle of the night, when he makes the changes as quietly as possible.
  • Co-sleeping- Yes, I sleep with the baby in bed with me. It is a wonderful way for us, and A when he's here, to feel close to the baby after we've been apart all day. And it makes breastfeeding easier. And I get more sleep. We are extremely cautious of pillows, blankets, pets or Kidzilla on the bed around the baby. And to paraphrase a respected expert on the subject- People die from choking every year but we won't try to tell people to avoid eating. Babies die in car accidents every year but we don't outlaw babies riding in cars. Instead we try to find ways to make those activities as safe as possible. Bed sharing should be the same way.
  • Aside from the giant hunk of plastic Exersaucer that I bought today, second hand at least, for the most part we are avoiding plastic toys. And anything that plays music. Baby gets the expensive wooden, European made, organic made variety of stuff. We show our love by paying twice the cost for the toy I guess.
For Mother's Day, I'm counting all this as progress towards becoming the mother *I* want to be. Now to go retrieve Babyzilla from being lovingly encased in Fisher-Price designed faux arms...

Saturday, May 7, 2011

It wasn't supposed to be like this...

When Kidzilla was a baby I hated working full time. I swore that if I ever had another child that I would NOT work. Instead I'd spend all day planning and cooking delicious, organic meals fresh from the farmer's market, attending Gymboree classes and La Leche League meetings, and picking out the perfect new couch for my mansion. And that is so NOT where I am at right now. Instead, I'm stuck on the endless loop of: wake up, prep me and the boys for work/school, work, arrive home, unpack from work/school, repack for work/school and sleep. Sometimes on the weekends we get to go to the library or for a walk when I'm not busy doing all those things I can't do because I have to work. OK, well actually it's an unpaid internship, but you get the gist. Although I LOVE my internship, this cycle is so, so hard. On all of us. I hate that I spend an hour in the morning and more than that in the evening hoping that Babyzilla will stay asleep so I can get other things done. I want to be able to ENJOY my baby. For goodness sakes, it took us three years to make him- that's how bad we wanted him. This is so not what I desired.

Part of the problem is the halt to upgrades that all of the airlines face. If A were making a captain's salary right now, things would be easier. Probably if I hadn't just racked up a good sized debt earning a graduate degree that would help too; although I could pay that off with part time work, if such a thing were available. I feel like I'm back to thinking- NEXT time I have a baby I will be able to have the life I want to have. But I don't want to have to think like that. Like Joel Osteen promotes, I want my best life NOW.

I did have it out with A a few weeks ago, a yelling and weeping fit, that eventually enabled us to clear up some miscommunication. When he was at home and I was at work, I would leave him a list with a few to-do's on it. When he wouldn't have them done when I got home, I got angry. He would spend the evening doing them instead of helping me with my evening routine, which would help my stress level. Once I left him home for a few hours with a hungry Kidzilla and a crying Babyzilla in the evening and let him fend for himself, he understood what it was like for me. Now he works a bit harder to complete the need to do's before I get home so he can be more helpful in the evenings. It was kind of a watershed moment for us, albeit not a pretty one. Like it or not, for now his relaxation time comes during his 33 hour overnights in Podunk, USA- when he's here, it's all hands on deck so *I* can get a break.

For now, we do the best we can to balance all of the competing interests and hope that someday we'll get to the place where things ARE the way they are supposed to be.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Busier than ever

I am probably the busiest I have ever been as I settle back into working life. I'm interning in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at our local hospital, the unit where babies from other hospitals get transferred to for special care. I also help cover the labor, delivery and postpartum floors. I am on my feet and busy the entire time I am there. But, it is fascinating and I love it. I have seen babies born at 28 weeks gestation, babies with congenital abnormalities and babies born to mom's who show up at the hospital in labor and high on crack, just in one week. No more time to sit around blogging like I used to do at my old job...

And while I am loving the job, we have yet to settle into a routine where I feel like I can get things done and still relax. My day is like this: get up, shower, get kids up/dressed/fed/ready, daycare drop off, school drop off, arrive at work, navigate my way around hospital maze for 6.5 hours, return to car, school pick up, daycare pick up, feed baby, unpack bags/lunches from day, make dinner, feed baby, pack bags for next day, feed cats, clean up after cats, feed baby, fall into bed exhausted. NO time for picking up the house, laundry, errands ect. I hate having my weekend dedicated to housekeeping and not having any time for fun.

Right now we are torn as to whether A should bid for weekends or weekdays off. It would be nice to have him home when I am, so we can spend time together. BUT, really, I can use his help more in the morning/evening weekday rush and he gets more chores done when I am at work. BUT, that means we have less time together as a family and for just the two of us. I'd say we should choose whatever schedule enhances our relationship the best, but it's hard to say which one that is- they both have their pros and cons. I can't even imagine what it would be like to have him here BOTH evenings AND weekends...

A revealed to me that his old company from his pre-flight days was asking around if he was happy because they miss his work. It's tempting and would be a 3x increase in salary. But A says he could never again spend 10 hours a day sitting in an office. I like to remind him of that statement everytime he complains about having a sit in an airport...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Updating our roster

Forgive me, I know you've been waiting to hear...

Babyzilla was born 9 days early and arrived on December 27, 2010. His arrival was hastened due to a combination of growth retardation and virtually no amniotic fluid left- basically, he stopped growing and had no water to cushion him or his cord if I went into labor. He arrived into the world weighing just 6 lbs, 4oz. We ended up having to send a friend out to buy preemie diapers for our little bundle of joy. He is doing well now though and is over 10lbs at 2 1/2 months.

We were completely unprepared for Babyzilla's arrival- we had just assembled the crib and starting washing the baby clothes the day before. We went in for a routine check at the Maternal-Fetal Specialist (well, as routine as one can get when you have to see a specialist twice weekly for months on end) with the intent of going out for breakfast afterwords. We were told "go to the hospital immediately, you need to deliver this baby" and I spent the next 6 hours STARVING because I wasn't allowed to eat until the delivery. A managed to slip away from the hospital to grab a snack... Even though I didn't labor, my doula still came to the delivery and was a huge comfort! Everyone should have a doula!

The delivery was uneventful. I was taken to the OR and was grateful that A is so talkative. His 30 minute conversation about aviation, schools and work with the anesthesiologist kept my mind off the procedure. He also managed to snap some shots of the doctor pulling the baby out. I was so happy that A even got to be there, the nasty storms in the Northeast almost prevented him from coming home. As it was, he arrived home a day late from his trip due to mechanical issues that kept him in TN for TWO(!) days. A was only granted 6 days of emergency leave to be home but combined with his days off, it stretched into 16 days home. He's been back at work since but early comes home and takes over baby care during his days off.

All has gone well thus far. My parents came and stayed for 4 weeks, which was an amazing help. We've also had visits from my in-laws and an aunt. I'm already prepping to start my internship at the end of the month.

Several hours old

Dad leaving for the first time