Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Job Hunt and Romans 8:28

Here is the promised update...I now have a job! What a process this has all been...and through it all the Lord has been so faithful to give me exactly what I need. So this all actually goes back to March, when we found out at Match Day that we were coming here. I started looking for jobs at that point, and nothing was posted at any of the hospitals, which is really where I wanted to work. Blaine and I have been praying that the Lord would lead me to the right job and that he would work out the timing of everything. After Audrey was born in August, I resumed job hunting and kicked it up a notch. I applied for a couple positions at St. Vincent and Baptist, but didn't hear anything. There was a posting at Children's too, but I didn't apply cuz I really didn't want to do peds. Time went by...don't remember exactly how long, but after not hearing anything for a good while I started to get a little nervous. My student loan payments begin in January, which is when I planned to start work, but I still had no bites. In continuing to pray about it and learning to truly trust God for his provision, I came to a realization. I decided to apply for the Children's job, because if I truly wanted God to lead me to the "right job" then who was I to think I knew what that was? As scary as it seemed to me (dunno why, sick kids scare me a bit), maybe this was what God had for me. Or at the very least, I had a lesson to learn about letting God be GOD and letting him be Lord of my life, including my decisions. So. I applied. (Side note here: my sweet hubby, in helping with my job quest actually went by the PT dept at ACH and spoke with the director to see about a job for me...what a dear!) Very shortly after applying, I got called for an interview! Now, this was probably the 5th application I had put in and the 1st interview. Ok, so I was catching on about following the Lord's guidance. Had a good interview, and got called back for a 2nd interview about 2 weeks later to meet the staff. I was still feeling kinda squirmy about doing peds, but I got a good feel for the working environment and for the orientation/mentoring process they have set up. The director said she'd be in touch...while waiting on that, I got a call from Baptist to come interview. So here's my thinking, ok, God just wanted to see if I'd really trust his plan, so I did the Children's thing, now here's my real job. The interview went well, and I went back for a 2nd about a week later. Initially it seemed like a good opportunity for me, but when it came down to it, there were so many uncertainties about the job and ultimately, I felt like the ACH job was a better fit. I got offered both jobs (how nice to have choices!) and accepted the ACH job. I'll be working full time 8-5ish for the first 3 months while I orient and train, then I'll go to 10:30a-7p M/W and 9:30-6 on Fri. Weird hours, yes, but I'll only have to work 3 days a week, and then be home the other 4 with my sweet girl and hubby. And I know that God has a sense of humor. Ya know which textbook I DIDN'T keep from PT school? Yeah, peds. But I'm excited about the learning opportunity, about working at ACH which everyone seems to love, and mostly about seeing the Lord orchestrate all the details of this whole job hunt to put me where he wants me. I don't think I'm really putting this into words very well about how incredibly obvious God's hand is in this. I really couldn't have worked it out better myself.

I'm REALLY not looking forward to leaving Audrey to go to work, but I knew I would have to at some point. And as it is, I will have had almost 5 months at home with her, to enjoy just being a momma. God has also provided a HUGE blessing in the childcare dept...one of Blaine's chief residents and his wife ended up moving around the corner from us. (That's kind of a strange series of events in itself...I'm thinking providence??) Marcy is her name...she's a stay at home mom with 2 boys, ages 4 and 2. For one of my interviews, I was kind of in a crunch for someone to keep Audrey, so I called her up. In the process of talking about the interview and jobs, she mentioned that she'd love to keep Audrey for me! And I say thank you Lord! (and Marcy of course!) This was my ideal situation, not having to put her in daycare, where she'd be exposed to all sorts of sickness. Plus, there's just something more comforting about leaving your baby with another momma. And being within walking distance is great, so it doesn't add to my commute. Again, I can't really express how amazingly God has worked this all out! Marcy and Josh are actually moving in June, so I'll need to come up with another childcare plan by then. I'm not worried, cuz if I haven't learned that the Lord will provide by now, then good grief, when would I? So the lesson in all this is that the Lord works all things for good for those who love him, who are called according to his purpose. Also, he is Jehovah Jirah, our provider, for our physical needs yes, but also providing the wisdom and guidance to be in his will. Thank you Lord and work starts Jan. 4!

Monday, November 30, 2009

There went November...

I just realized I've only posted once this month. Nov. crawled and flew by...Blaine started his first month at UAMS on a general medicine ward team. It's been busy for him, a lot like July again, as far as a new hospital, new medical records, etc. He's done well of course, but the month hasn't been w/o it's stressors. I've passed the time by going on a few job interviews. I plan on giving a full update on that by the end of the week, since I'll hopefully have a definite job nailed down by then! That's been a bittersweet process. I'm looking forward to starting work in a lot of ways, but then I think about having to leave my sweet girl and it makes me sad! I should also have childcare nailed down by the end of the week, and it looks like I won't have to put her in daycare afterall. Thank the Lord for his provision there! Full update to follow on that too. :) Nov. has been kind of stressful for me too, as I've been dealing with a nursing strike. Disclaimer: if discussion about nursing disturbs you (Susan) than just scroll on down. For the past few weeks, Audrey has decided she didn't want to nurse...she'd get hungry, I'd put her up to nurse and she'd scream and pitch an angry fit. To make a long story short, I finally discovered that it was basically a supply issue. In the process of the strike, I had to give her many bottles, then I'd pump, by which I realized my supply was dwindling. The good news is after may weeks of frustration, guilt, "rejection" and many tears on both our parts, we seem to be back to normal. I started taking fenugreek a week ago. It's an herbal supplement that acts to increase your milk supply. I actually noticed an increase within about a day. I'm so glad to have things back to normal...I wasn't ready to give it up (though my frustration level nearly drove me to it!), She was only about 3 months when it started, and I was dreading having to pump and do bottles for 3 more months. So, now that it's Nov. 30th we're on to new adventures. Looking forward, Blaine starts night float (night shifts) tomorrow at UAMS. Not overly thrilled about that, but at least he gets wknds off! Again, hopefully I'll have news about job stuff soon. We're looking forward to the Christmas season and seeing all our family around Christmas. Here comes December!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sweet thumb-sucker, and Visit with the "home folks"

Audrey has been such a great baby! Everyone has warned me that as soon as you get a baby on a schedule, they go and change things up. So far, she's been doing great, sleeping 12 hours at night for about 3-4 weeks now and eating about every 3 hrs during the day. She's a very happy baby, with frequent big wide grins and occasional giggle and squeals. She especially loves flirting with her Daddy (and her toy monkey, strangely enough.) Audrey is certainly a thumb sucker! She finds that thumb so quick when she really wants it, and is great at self-soothing. All this to say we had what seemed to be a strange occurance the other night. We did our normal bedtime routine (feed around 7:30ish, play a bit w/ Daddy, bath and bed) and Blaine and I bedded down aout 10 or so. In the middle of the night (actually about 4am) I groggily roused from deep sleep- Audrey was crying. I actually remember thinking "what IS that?" then I turned to Blaine to ask "WHY is she crying?" Shows how long its been since I woke up during the night. :) I thought, well, for some strange reason, she wants to eat, maybe she's starting a growth spurt IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. Once I got in her room, I immediately saw the problem- she was trying desperately to suck her thumb, but her pajama sleeve has covered her hand. She sure enough had that thumb in her mouth, but I guess it didn't taste right in a sleeve. :) Sweet baby...once I got her hand back out, she chowed down and went right back to sleep. So for now, I'm still enjoying her routineliness!
This is how I greet Momma when I wake up- smiling even around my favorite thumb!

Last weekend, we got the chance to go down to Shreveport for a visit. It wasn't nearly long enough, of course, so we didn't get to visit everyone we wanted to. Audrey and I went to meet baby-buddies Caiden (and mom Lauren) and Kinsley (and mom Kim). Kinsley and Kim were sick though, so we didn't get to see them, but we had a good visit with Caiden and Lauren. Caiden and Audrey took pics together, but it was too close to Caiden's naptime, so he was a little unhappy. We attended the fall festival at our old church, Emmanuel Baptist. Audrey was dressed as a flower for her first Halloween. Too cute! It was SO great to see everyone down there, and catch up on all the news. We haven't been back since we moved June 1st, and they've all been itching to meet Audrey. We also went to SS and church at EBC Sunday morning, then stayed for choir luncheon with all our old choir folks. What a great visit! Blaine and I were pretty nostalgic- we commented that it "just felt right" when we pulled in the parking lot Sunday morning. Finding the bulletin stuck in our Bibles a couple days later made us homesick too. Not that we're unhappy in LR or at FBC, it just doesn't quite feel like home yet. Plus, EBC and Shreveport are where we started out as a couple, our first "home" together. Anyway, we sure do miss everyone down there and wish we could visit more often!
Me and my buddy Caiden in our costumes.

Sweet flower face!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Growing up too fast already

video

Sorry it's sideways...can anyone give me some pointers about how to rotate it? Enjoy the video of sweet little girl!

Adventures in Arkansas: I'm not country enough for this!

Well, call me crazy. I took my 2 month old child to the state fair today, with my friend Sara and her 2 girls (2 1/2 and 3 months). It started out as kind of a dreay day, raining and cold. But Saturday looked like this too, yet we managed to have a fun day at the zoo. So we decided we'd brave the weather, hoping it would turn nice, and head to the fair anyway. To get to the fairgrounds, we learned you have to drive through the, ehem, ghetto. This didn't turn out to be eventful, but you better believe we locked our doors! Once we got inside the fair, after being turned away from about 10 gates that were closed, we were directed to the "parking lot". We knew it was the parking lot, because there were signs designating the rows and what lot it was, but there ended the resemblance to a parking lot. It actually looked more like...a field of mud. We knew this could get bad when we saw the tow trucks that were on standby! Now, I drive a V8 Ford Explorer. Pretty much a truck, right? The parking attendant waved me to a "spot", which was on the other side of a mud hole. And I got stuck. I've never been stuck in the mud before, so I was a little antsy about this, but the parking attendant (a true Arkansan...only had about 4 teeth. Seriously.) jumped right in behind me and pushed me out of the mud hole. I turned around to Sara, desperately trying turn her away from this madness, but she was already fishtailing her way toward me. We were both cracking up by this point, but still determined to HAVE FUN AT THE FAIR, by golly! At least the rain had stopped by now. We sloshed our way into the fair, wishing we had rubber boots, and had a good time eating good fair food and watching Kate (the 2 1/2 yr old) ride, sometimes cry her way through some rides. We also enjoyed the petting zoo and the lovely scent of livestock. Once we had our fill of the sights, sounds and carnies, we trekked 14 miles back to the mud field, er, parking lot and started praying we could get our cars out. Rather than slosh the babies through the mud to the cars, I stayed with the strollers while Sara got her car out onto the road. That Oklahoma girl can really work her Saturn through the mud, haha! She made it up on the road without getting stuck, and only minor fishtailing. Then it was my turn...I was nervous, but said a prayer and gunned it (but not too hard!) and sludged my way up on the road without getting entrenched! The parking attendants all cheered as Sara and I got our cars out of the mud hole...they even said they were proud we did it by ourselves, w/o the tow trucks! So we had a fun day at the fair...lots of great memories! Next adventure for us both: a serious carwash!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sweet Audrey

Just had to add a few pics of the little girl!






Unnatural circadian rhythms and the Friendship Song

Blaine is now halfway through another week of nightshifts in the ER at Children's. These nights are brutal! But even more so for him, of course. It's been tough for him to adjust his schedule, trying to figure out when the best time to sleep and eat. When exactly is breakfast when you work 8pm to 8am? Working at night and sleeping in the day is simply odd and off-puttin'. Unnatural, if you will. He's always asking me what day it is...when the day changes 4 hrs into his shift, that's hard to adjust on the paperwork. But then after he sleeps, the day hasn't changed yet...confusing? Yes. Blaine is such a trooper though. Maybe cuz complaining doesn't do him any good- he still has to do the work. So I do the complaining for him. :) When he was in med school, my common phrase during a tough rotation was "I hate med school!" Sombody had to hate it for him, right? If he hated it, it would only discourage him. So I'd ask, "Have I ever told you I hate med school?" Silly, right? Coming from someone NOT actually going through it. When he was in his first week of orientation for residency (not the first week of work just yet!), I came up with a new phrase. You guessed it: "I hate residency!" We had a good laugh about that one. Complaining aside, I do encourage him through the hard work that he can get through it, and that it will all pay off...one day.

On a different note...the Friendship Song. Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other's gold! Making new friends is hard. After the move in June, I sort of felt like I was in kindergarten again. Ya know, being the new kid in a new place and not knowing anyone? We joined First Baptist about the middle of July, and that's been fun to get to know people there. We're in a great Sunday school group. I think we're pretty much the young 'uns, but all of our friends have pretty much been older than us, so it's not a big deal. Plus we have a lot in common...there were 2 other babies born within 2 weeks of Audrey, plus several in the months before and after her. There's also some other medical people, and certain ones in the group remind us a little of people from Shreveport. Every Wednesday, several girls from church go out to lunch together, and I've been able to join them a few times, including today. It's been nice getting to know them and sharing about us too. I still have to remind myself that it takes a little time to feel like "one of the gang". Today was lots of fun, which prompted this post. On another friendship note, it seems I've found a kindred spirit in Sara Robertson. She's the wife of another peds resident, Chris. When I was big pregnant and had just moved to this new place, I would think of her to stop from feeling sorry for myself. :) She was not pregnant when they moved here...HOWEVER she just had a 1 weeks old little girl! Oh yeah, and a 2 yr old girl! We've been able to do a few mom things together and enjoy sharing momma-hood and being intern widows together. :) I'm not sure about the rules of wrapping up a blog post, but I'm done for now. Thank you, and I'll be here all week. (Feel free to comment on my nerdiness.)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Joining the world of blogging

So I've always had mixed feelings about blogging. Why would anyone care to read the random thoughts going around in my head? On the other hand, I enjoy reading others' blogs and sharing in their experiences. I've also recently realized that blogging could be quite cathartic, sort of a modern-day journaling experience. So, the end result of all this is, here is my new blog!

My goal for blogging is nothing formal. Mostly just a place to record what's happening in our family, and allow our family and friends to keep up with us. The move to Little Rock about 4 months ago now marks our first move as a family, which means we have lots friends that we had to leave behind in Shreveport. This move also represents the first time we've had to live somewhere that we didn't have any family in town = all the family is out of town. They're none to thrilled that we moved further away right before we had our first baby, so they can now follow Audrey B's growth and milestones. :)

I'm not going to make any big promises about this blog, but I will attempt to post regularly. I hope you enjoy following our adventures!