Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Personal Reflection and a Birthday

Hi Everyone!

Well, tomorrow (Aug 26th) marks my 31st Birthday!  I officially made it through my first year in my "30's" (ack!)  I remember when 20 seemed old.   It's been quite the year for me as I think back.   A trip to Rome and Germany, a BIG move back to the states, becoming a homeowner again, visits with old friends, seeing my family again.  Lots of happy times and some sad times too.  This year I decided not to do my annual Birthday Countdown starting on August 1st.  Just not in the spirit I suppose.  It's been a month of adjustments and somehow the fact that I even have a birthday this month kind of fell by the wayside. 

Since Jacob has started school and I've had this upcoming birthday, I've been doing a lot of personal reflection and have decided I'm at a crossroads with what to do with myself.   I was thinking back to when I turned 21, and 11.  Those were such carefree times.  I remember I couldn't wait until I hit that next milestone birthday.  Anyway, it's stirred up some memories, emotions, and realizations.  Which brought me to what I am about to share.   I admit, I'm not and never have been completely happy as a stay at home mom.  It's just not me.  I've had a hard time relating to my friend who feel as though staying home is the most rewarding experience ever.  I've tried to feel that way many times and I just don't.   I've given up on trying to relate to them because I cannot.  I am not "Little Suzie Homemaker" and never will be.  There, I admit it.  I also think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I had a career for 5 years before starting a family.  It became part of who I was and am.  I love Jacob, he's my one and only and therefore my world.  I loved that I had the last 3 years to stay home and watch him blossom into the little boy he is now, but I feel like there is so much more to life and that I am happy when I'm contributing to the family by working.  I also want Jacob to see that mommy can go to work like daddy.  I like being home, but not 24/7.  Ideally, I'd like something part time that allows me to have a nice home/work life balance.   Tim and I talked about this at length last week when he came home late one night to find a very frustrated, sad, teary Andrea.  He's behind me 100% which is what I was waiting to hear.  I am thankful he is so understanding.  So, instead of waiting until the new year like my original plan, I've decided to start looking sooner than later.  Which brings me to my next frustrating hurdle.  Finding the job.

In past years finding a job as a nurse was easy peasy.  Not anymore, in my area at least.  There was a great article in the local paper a week ago about how there is a nursing surplus, one that hasn't been seen in at least 11 years, again, in my area.  RN jobs seem to be few and far between.  Lots of ancillary and advanced practice jobs.  So, I either wait, give up, or go to grad school.  I've looked into Grad School at UAB and I have the undergraduate grades in my major to waive any entrance exams.  You don't know how happy I was to read that!  I cringe at the idea of taking an entrance exam after being out of school for 8 years.  It would just be a matter of tracking down some letters of recommendation.  I found a binder from my last semester of school where we had to write where we saw our careers in 5 and 10 years.  Apparently I thought I would already have this done or be almost done with it.  I got a good chuckle out of it.  As for the job hunt, I found my resume safetly stored on a thumb drive.  This was good news since  I thought I lost it on the hard drive of the old computer that passed away last August.   I think I have it tweaked just right for submissions.  I've been casually looking at jobs over the past couple of months and there hasn't been much like I stated above.  The last 2 weeks have shown some promise but they aren't posted for very long.  I've talked to the front office at Jacob's school to make sure I have some flexibility with before and after care.  Looks like I do so that part is taken care of.  That was a big part of me holding back.  I don't want to take a job unless I know Jacob is going to have somewhere to go and  I can pick him up.  That's the fun of not living near family and not knowing anyone.  That's another gripe for another day.  Giving up the job search all together.  I consider it and talk myself out of it daily.  That would be the easy way out but then I keep having this nagging feeling.  When it comes down to it, I'm not in a rush.  I'd rather take my time until something right comes along instead of taking the first thing, settling, being misrable and stressed.  So, that's where  I stand on the job hunt.  Stagnet and in limbo.

I've also decided I need to pull back from this darned computer.  It is so easy to get sucked into the black hole of time wasted on the computer when I could be doing more productive things.  I hate that as a society we have come to rely so heavily on the computer for everything.  While in Italy, I was lost without the computer as it was my outlet to the outside world.  Plus, since I found Facebook a year ago it's just gotten worse.  It's just to easy to know I can go to a website and find almost every friend I've ever had in one place and connect.

So, that's where I stand on the day before my birthday.   Looking back it was a good year overall.  Yeah, I wish somethings had gone differently but that's life.   There's always the year ahead!  Cheers!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

First Week of School and First Soccer Practice

I can hardly believe that tomorrow marks Jacobs first week of school! We are so proud of him. I forgot how tiring it is to wake up early 5 days a week to be somewhere, but I have survived. It's wonderful! Having a routine is something we've missed for the past 3 months, and I really look forward to adding more activities to our schedule. I know, I'm nuts!

Anyway, in just a week Jacob has learned the Letter Ii and the numbers 1,2,3 by sight recognition. How a teacher can do this in just a week with a class of 13 is amazing to me. I couldn't get Jacob to do that all summer. I don't know how the homeschoolers do it. At any rate, this is working for us and we couldn't be happier! He has his first little quiz tomorrow with his memory verse. I hope it goes well. It was a challenge getting him interested in it, but by dinner tonight he was able to recite it back to me.

Tonight Jacob had his first soccer practice. He has 5 (including him) on his team. Tim has found time in his busy schedule to coach and he did a phenomenal job tonight. I hope this is just one of the many things Jacob remembers about his childhood when he gets older. It was so fun watching a bunch of 3 year old run up and down the field try so hard not to touch the ball with their hands (very hard to do apparently). They are all excellent little kickers, Look out! The parents were very nice and it was so good to finally talk to adults again.

That's all to report for now. It's almost past my bedtime :o

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

First Day of Preschool 2009-2010

Today was Jacob's first day of preschool for the 2009-2010 year. I specify the year because he will do 1 more year next year due to his birthday.
Last night we went to the school to meet and greet with Jacob's teacher and see the classroom.
His teacher seems really sweet and the curriculumn looks really good. He has 13 in his class. The unique thing about his class is that they are considered "Young K 4" All this kids in his class turn 4 between Sept 1-Dec 31. So he is not the youngest is a classroom of kids all going to Kindergarten next year. Wish they had that when I was his age! They go at a slightly slower pace than the 4 year old class.
When I picked him up this afternoon he was excited. I asked him what he learned and he told me "I learned about Jesus and that he made the morning and night" he goes to a Christian school so I expect him to come home with lots of Bible stories. He also has a Bible Memory verse to learn each week. It looks neat the way they do it. 1 a week A-Z. Each weeks verse starts with the next letter of the alphabet. They are short verses so hopefully it won't be too difficult. I hope to learn something too!
Well, now I'm off to do MY homework that Jacob brought home (customary 1st day of school papers to fill out ;)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lazy Summer Day

The Dragonflies were huge!

Waiting. . .

Waiting some more. . .

And more waiting. . . .
This is how most of our day went. Tim had a 3 day weekend and yesterday we decided to take Jacob fishing. After church on Sunday, Tim and Jacob went shopping for gear. Jacob got a little Lightning McQueen fishing pole and tackle box. The tackle box now houses CARS.
Yesterday morning we headed up to Jasper, about 45 min NW of our house. The weather turned cloudy but after an hour the sun came out. I did a good job with the sunblock and luckily no one got burnt or tan!
Jacob lasted about 30 min waiting for something to happen. We got a few little nibbles but after 2 hours nothing. It was just nice to sit in a peaceful setting and enjoy the time none the less.
The fishing area is nice. A big lake with lots of ducks, a nature trail, picnic areas, boat launch (we'll rent a boat next time), and bait shop. As you can see from the above pic, there are some huge bugs too! Luckily they weren't too annoying, just noisy. Often we found a dragonfly on our poles staring at us.
We came home for a late lunch then headed off to our community pool. Lukcily it wasn't crowded. I didn't take the camera but Jacob had a great time. He's getting more relaxed in the water. By the end he was jumping off the side into Tim's arms. We really want to get him into swim lessons. If I cannot find year round one's I'll shoot for next summer making that a priority.
And that was our Monday. Tonight we have orientation a Jacob's school, meet the teacher and classroom. Then tomorrow morning he's off to pre-school.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year and Why I've been MIA

For back to school! Don't you just love that commercial for school suppies? I used to hate it. On Monday afternoon I had enough of sitting around the house and decided to attempt a shopping day with Jacob. These never go well, I was tempting the fates, but I HAD to get out. So we headed out around 12 and went to this great shopping area called "The Summit." It's about 30 minutes away on the south side of Birmingham. We started our spree with a lunch at Panera. After all, "they have those good foods that little boys like." Jacob tells me this all the time. Then we hit the stores. We needed to get a new backpack since "wheelie" backpacks are not allowed for Jacob's age group at school. We got a cute "preschooler" sized backpack at PB Kids. Mission accomplished? No! I haven't been mall shopping in over a month. We hit up lots of stores and got a first day of school outfit, and some things for the house, and soccer gear. Jacob was great! I think it was the bribe that if was good he would get some Ben & Jerry's ice cream. I have no shame in bribing my kid. He earned his ice cream and by the time all was done we got home around 6pm. I also made a detour though downtown B'ham to scout out UAB and the hospitals.

By the time we got home, I found out my phone stopped working and therefore the internet wasn't working. I called AT&T and of course got a recording because you cannot talk to a live person anymore. Apparently some main line in the area was out and the estimated date of it being fixed was Thursday, August 5th. Am I in Sicily again? I've called everyday and finally last night we saw AT&T trucks on the street and today they showed up in front of my house on a cell looking at a piece of paper. They came back 2 times and did this and finally I have service again!