Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Busy week...

This week has been a busy one, and it didn't start off so well. On Sunday, I received an email from our part-time nanny/personal assistant that I hired two weeks ago who was supposed to start Monday informing me that she was no longer able to accept the position. I had been looking forward to having more relief at work and more downtime, so to hear this was somewhat disheartening. She had good reasons though (health and personal) and the circumstances were completely beyond her control, so I wasn't terribly upset. I just sighed and went back to the drawing board... so this week has been full of interviews and constant email exchanges between candidates. I met someone last night who came to visit the house this morning, and I think she may be the one... ::fingers crossed::. She meets with my boss tomorrow morning and we'll go from there.

So, why do we need a part-time nanny/personal assistant when I'm there full-time? Because I currently work on average 80-100 hours per week. Don't worry, I'm not being taken advantage of - I am compensated quite well for my time. I realize that moms work 168 hours per week, 52 weeks per year. However, I am not yet a mom and I have my own house and husband, so it has been a grueling schedule for the past month or so. I may be "supernanny" but I am not Super Woman. I can't do it all and be everything to everyone. There's only so much of me to go around! With Baby S's interrupted SIDS incident last month and subsequent therapies, etc. it has become much harder to give all three children what they need. So the solution was to hire another person to come into work at 1 PM so that I could leave at 5:30, cutting my hours down to oh...about 55-60 per week. It's still a significant number of hours, but compared to what I have been working, it's a huge change. So, prayers that we would have a person in place by April would be wonderful...because I know I desperately need to work less! I can hang in there for a few more weeks....

Today I spent the day going through the kids' clothes and putting the too-small clothes in storage boxes for the attic while the two younger ones napped and my oldest was in school. The playroom is my next big project - it's not really yet a playroom so I need to convert it into one. I also need to start a filing system for the kids with each of their medical records, activity/school information, etc. I also determined the summer camp schedule for my four year old, filled out all the forms, and planned the entire summer for him so we're squared away there. I will be at the YMCA at the crack of dawn on Monday morning when registration opens to get him signed up. Spots go FAST for YMCA summer camps, so you have to be on top of things if you want your child to go. He also starts swim lessons on Monday, and I am signing him up for a soccer clinic in April. I think he'll really enjoy it and it will be good for him to learn something new. He's expressed interest in soccer for over a year now but we never had the time to be able to sign him up for it, but now we do... so soccer it is!

Don't worry, my life doesn't revolve ENTIRELY around work. I have also been planning something I am super excited about....our 5th anniversary vacation! We take a vacation every year on our anniversary which is August 8th and we always go somewhere different. We also have a tradition of taking a photo of ourselves each anniversary so that we can look back and see the progression of age... in other words, watch me start to look older and Ethan age like fine wine.... haha. My husband is going to make one good looking older man. Hopefully I have my mother's genes and I won't look too bad myself! ;)

So, where are we going this year?

Riviera Maya, Mexico!

Yes, that is an actual photo of the resort we're staying at that our travel agency sent to us from their stay there. We decided to go with a travel agency this time around because we wanted to ensure that the place we were going was as amazing as it looked on the website, and that the food was actually good. We had a fun vacation together last year for our 4th anniversary in Jamaica but the Sandals resorts are not all they're cracked up to be. We always have fun when we're together and can make the best of it - but we REALLY wanted an amazing vacation this time around. We work really hard during the year so we like to have one week where we are waited on hand and foot and don't have to think about anything. I will definitely use a travel agent from now on... I didn't even have to worry about booking airfare or transfers - they handled it all for us, and they were able to secure us a great discount and free upgrades. I can live with that! We purchased trip insurance as well in the event that a hurricane threatens Mexico around the time we're going... if we cancel for any reason whatsoever before our flight takes off, we'll get all of our money back less the airfare. I love having a trip to look forward to.... no matter how bad my day or week gets I can close my eyes and envision myself on a sunny white beach with a frozen daiquiri in hand... Ethan is excited because our resort is right on the the second largest barrier reef in the world, and he loves to snorkel. We will go and see the Mayan ruins and hopefully go on a deep sea fishing excursion as well while we're there. I'm hoping to swim with dolphins too! I am most excited about the fact that the resort prides itself on its gourmet food....those of you who know me well know how much I appreciate a good meal. I'll stop talking about Mexico for now... but be prepared to hear more about it in the coming months!

Time for me to get a hot bath and get into bed.... I have a lot going on the rest of the week until next Wednesday!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Re-entering the blogging world

Hi. I've had a few blogs before but for some reason, I lost my motivation to "write" in them. I've decided to start anew and post things here. Just so everyone knows, "Super Nanny" is not something that I refer to myself as, but it has become my nickname in virtually every job that I have held working as a nanny and seem to have cemented that name in the past month.

In my current position, I have three charges aged 4, 16 months, and 4 months. Last month on January 13, I found my four month old cold, gray, not breathing, and with no heartbeat at 4:45 AM in the morning while his parents were away on a trip. When I found him, it felt like my own heart stopped beating. I have never been a person to panic, and I did not panic then but took immediate action and began to pray for mercy for his little life. My husband was with me since I like for him to stay with me while the parents are away since it is a large house and I would miss being away from him for so many days. When I found the baby, I called for him to call 911, and he handled making that phone call as well as calling my employers to let them know they needed to return home immediately. Immediately after finding the baby, I placed him on his changing table and started CPR. By the grace of God, he began breathing again after several cycles of CPR. I have been credited with saving his life, but it is not an accolade I am comfortable with. I am fully aware that I was just a tool that the Lord used at that moment in time and was part of the plan He has for Baby S's life. So I thank Him for the opportunity, and for giving me the calm personality to handle the situation as I did. It is a miracle that Baby S is alive today. His body temperature was 92 degrees, and he was without oxygen for more than 5 minutes minimum. The acidity in his blood was so high, the nurses were convinced he would be in a permanent vegetative state. He recovered within hours, but two days later started having petit mal seizures and ended up staying in the hospital for 8 days.

Baby S (pictured left with me during some floor therapy time) is now home and a happy, sweet, and energetic little boy, but still has a road of recovery ahead of him. The seizures are under control with medication, and he has a wonderful PT and OT therapy team. I, of course, am doing all that I can to aid him in his recovery and as a result feel like I'm doing therapy with him in some form every second he is awake. Make no mistake: this is a good thing!

People have asked me how I am handling everything and how I can continue on as I have. A lot of people were under the impression that I would suffer from PTSD or have some sort of emotional disturbance from the incident. The answer to that is easy enough: I am a Christian and have a strong faith in Jesus Christ. I choose not to question God because I believe He has a reason for everything that happens in our lives and that it's up to us to choose how we react. We can react with horror and question God and rail "How could You do this to me/my friend/my child/my spouse" or we can choose to continue to bless His name and trust in Him that He will get us through whatever we find ourselves in. I cannot do anything on my own strength. The minute that I try, I fail. Does this mean that I am never afraid or don't worry? Of course not. I am human. It does mean that I find myself choosing to trust in Him to carry me through whatever situation I happen to be in each day...sometimes several times per day, but choosing that road nevertheless and being thankful for the blessings that I do receive even when life in general seems bleak. I am sure that when I have my own children, it will be harder for me to trust the Lord with their life. I will walk that road when it comes time to do so, and I will make the decision each day (hard as it will be) to trust our Heavenly Father with the lives of those I love so much. I choose to stand on Grace.

The incident has changed me in some ways though. Life has become much more precious to me, and every time I see the baby laugh or smile, it brings me great joy. I spend much more time praying for the children that I know. When you see a child that is essentially dead come back to life in front of you, I think it impresses upon you for as long as you live. I used to get annoyed when a child would start crying and not stop crying despite my best efforts, but now I think to myself "A crying child means a child who is alive." Everyone wants a child's life to be easy and not hard, but I think that the best thing we can do for a child is to make sure their life has some struggles in it... without struggle, you don't learn anything. In order to best equip children for the realities of life, sometimes we need to let them experience having a hard time doing something and learn that sometimes no matter how hard you try, you will fail. From that, we can teach them to keep trying no matter how many times they fail... and eventually sweet success will be theirs. They will have learned a lot from the process, and we will have done our job as their teacher/parent/caregiver.

Those of you who know me well know that I have very little patience for self-centered people who think the world revolves around them and their problems are more important than everyone elses'. I am a very compassionate person and have a heart for the poor, the needy, the special needs people, and the "underdogs" of society, if you will. I hope I never become so focused on my own life that I forget to take into account the rest of the world. Whatever problems I have - someone else in this world ALWAYS has bigger problems than I do. This holds true for every person...and really, why would you want to subject yourself to a contest of "I have the worst life and the most problems in the entire universe" ? I think people need to take this into account and stop feeling sorry for themselves and be grateful that their situation isn't worse than it is. However, I recognize that I need to work on having more patience to "love the unloveable" and not become so frustrated with the people I encounter who are like that. How I choose to treat them should be how Jesus would treat them: with love and compassion. Sometimes my love and compassion is negated by a mental eyeball roll to the heavens with a big "Are we REALLY doing this?" sigh. So I am working on that in myself. It's not easy but again, it's a choice I have to make every time I am faced with it, and sometimes I fail at it. I am pretty sure it will be something that I struggle with my entire life.

So, that concludes my reintroduction to the blogging world...hopefully I can keep up with it!