Friday, May 25, 2007


The last few days have been hard...for several reasons.

I am still really worried about my very little nephew. He continues to have a lot of breathing problems and had a PDA to complicate things. I guess there was a little part of me that said "oh, he's a 29-weeker, he'll do just fine". After all, the survival rate for 29-weekers is a whopping 92%. Yeah, I know - 92% isn't that great, everyone wants a 100%, but in my little world of preemies (80% for 27-weekers) and liver transplant (national 3 year survival rate of 85%), that doesn't seem so bad.

I always knew that the steroid shots I received during my pregnancy benefited my twins. I got the shots about 5 - 7 days before the twins were born, so they had plenty of time to work. Even thought they were born at 27 weeks, they were never on a ventilator. People in the medical profession never believe me - 27 weekers just don't get by without being on the vent. Our Neonatologist who was there when we delivered the twins has told us that it is his easiest 27-weeker delivery to date. He was only at the hospital for 1 hour after they were born.

So, I always knew I was lucky - but I guess I never realized how lucky we really were. Now, I watch my little nephew struggle to survive, and it breaks my heart. For him, and for my brother and sister-in-law. The preemie world is not an easy one - and even though it is "short" in terms of real time (55 days for Morgan & 73 days for Tanner), those are still the longest days of my life. Heavy sigh...

On top of all of that, there is a lot of stuff brewing at work. When I took this job two and a half years ago, I did so for good reasons. Tanner was very sick, and we knew he was going to need a transplant. I needed a job that would give me a lot of flexibility, including the abiity to take off for a month or two when he had his transplant. I had worked for this company before, I knew them, they knew me. It would be an easy transition, and I knew I would have the flexibility I needed (other key employees had needed time off for personal issues). When I took the job, I figured it would be a short-term thing, and I'd re-evaluate in a few years.

Well, the few years is up. The re-evaluation is setting in - about this job, this company, where I am in my life, and where I really want to be. I could stay doing exactly what I am doing today, living exactly where I am, and earning exactly what I earn and continue. It's a good income, and I love helping our customers, but it's difficult working remotely.

I can stay with my current employer and move. I've been told that I can "set my own position" and tell them what I want to do. There is a meeting in two weeks that will determine what opportunities are available and whether I'm more needed in Denver, CO or Knoxville, TN. This would mean that I'd be moving up...there are even rumors of potential ownership in the company. But, that would also mean moving many, many miles. We do have family in Denver, but it's horribly expensive. We hear Knoxville is a lovely, cost-effective town - but family would be over 16 hours away by car.

And, all of that would mean that my husband would have to give up his great job with great benefits at a company he really likes. It took him several years to find this job once we moved to Kansas City, so asking him to move again doesn't really seem fair to me. Plus, our house. We literally built this house ourselves with my dad's help. That means we cut the boards ourselves, did the concrete work, nailed the nails - all of it. We have a much lovlier house than we could ever afford otherwise.

So, if we stay - what do I do? I don't have a lot of interest in my original degrees (yes, I actually have not one, but TWO engineering degrees). I love the construction industry - but working in the daily grind of a construction or engineering firm just doesn't sound appealing right now. I could go back to school - but for what? I feel like if I go back to school, it could be so that I could earn more money and benefit my family more. That limits my selection to just a few degrees - and I'm not sure I want to be a pill counter, a bean counter, or a doctor.

I think the pill counter (pharmacist) could easily replace my income, and it might be able to give me more flexibility than the other jobs. It's something I can literally do anywhere and make good money. I can do nights and weekends, possibly go to an as-needed basis and take summers off when the kids are school-age. It could be a good thing...

I'm probably best suited for the bean counter (accountant). This is a bit more appealing, but I really don't think I could earn more money doing this. So, I'm not sure that it would get me anywhere. Getting my MBA or some kind of management degree on top of my engineering degree would probably be a better bet.

The doctor - that is something that would take years of education and a huge education bill. I'm just not sure I'm willing to bite that off at this point. I would love to be able to help others, but I just don't know if I have the passion or energy to do that right now.

So, if you've stayed with me through this entire post, give me some insight. I know there are other bloggers out there who have struggled with the balance between home and work. Trying to find a good balance that pays the bills, satisfies them professionally, and gives them the flexibility to take care of their family. How did you do it?

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Last night, we welcomed the newest member to my family - my nephew, Brayan Donald. I have been so excited that my "little" brother and sister-in-law were expecting. My sistter-in-law had the perfect pregnancy - she was working, and things were going very well.

And then...yesterday morning at work, her water broke and she went into active labor. They werent' able to stop her contractions, and Brayan was delivered last evening somewhere around 7:30 p.m. He weighed in at a mere 2 lb 7 oz - but was 15-3/4 inches long. By my best calculations, Brayan was about 29 weeks gestation - born 11 weeks before his due date.

He did well for awhile, but they did have to put him on a ventilator this morning. They've been adjusting the settings, and he's down to room air on the ventilator, so that is a good sign. My guess is that he'll be on it a few more days before they try to take him off of it.

I'm so sorry for my nephew because he has a long road ahead of him - pricks, pokes, tests, eye doctor appointments - it's not fun at all. And, I feel so badly for my brother and sister-in-law. No parent should have to go through the NICU roller coaster, to have to learn about blood gasses, ROP, PDA, Apnea spells, Brady spells, anemia, RDS, or any of the other things that goes along with it. I think my brother and sister-in-law are shell shocked right now. They had no reason to think my sister-in-law would go into premature labor...and it happened so fast.

I'm going to go up and spend a day with my sister-in-law in the NICU on Tuesday. Lend some support, and hopefully some knowledge. I also checked my Mommy's box, and found 3 preemie outfits I'm willing to part with. That combined with the six I picked up at Children's Orchard (a resale shop), and he should be set for the near future.

The good news...this little boy is part of a lineage of fighters - and I know he'll be just fine. Welcome to the family, Brayan.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

A Sign that My Kids Might Watch too Much TV

We've been working with Tanner & Morgan to use their manners. To us, this includes saying "Please" and "Thank you".

Today, Tanner came up to me and asked: "Mommy, can you help me?"

"Tanner, I need to hear the Magic Word"

"Meeska....Mooska...Mickey Mouse"

Ok - not those magic words.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Bad Guys

The Bad Guys have invaded our home. I'm not exactly sure where they came from, how they got in, or where they stay, but our kids are convinced they are here...they are everywhere. In the closet, behind the curtain at the photography studio on Saturday, any time lights are turned out...

At first, I thought this might be a new ploy to get us to stall out bedtime. But whenever I go downstairs to handle the bad guy crys, both children are crying. And, not their fake we want attention cry, but real tears streaming down their cheeks crying. They awake in the middle of the night, crying out in fear, and when asked "what's wrong", we get the "bad guy" as the problem.

I'm not sure how to take care of these "bad guys", but it's breaking my heart to see my little ones so distraught. If anyone has suggestions, please share!

Friday, May 04, 2007

He's a Sneaky One

The kids turned three, and we decided it was time to enforce some tough love. That's right - pottytraining, cold turkey!

Well, not completely cold turkey. Morgan has done well with the potty training thing for quite some time. She recently (and gratefully) mastered pooping in the potty. However, she LOVES her Pull-Ups and would prefer to wear those over regular underwear anyday. So for her, not too much of a change.

Tanner has been doing pretty well with pottytraining the last few months. He'll surprise us and stay dry when we do things like go to St. Louis or Disney World, but wouldn't stay dry around the house or at school. We decided to stick with pull-ups for awhile, and that we would make the hard push after their third birthday.

On Tuesday, I put Tanner in his Cars underwear, and packed 8 outfits including an extra pair of shoes, and shipped him off to school. When we picked him up on Tuesday afternoon, dry. Repeat that scene on Wednesday. New underwear but same clothes on Thursday (a slight poopy accident). Completley fine on Friday.

The Boy is a sneaky one. He's led us to believe this entire time that he wasn't fully pottytrained, where deep down, I just don't think he wanted to let us know that he could it. I think it was his way of controlling us...(Or maybe I've just been watching too much Dr. Phil...)

I'm on to you, Mister...

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


"Morgan, you can't pee standing up!"

"Why, Daddy?"

"You're a setter, not a pointer. Girls must sit to pee." (Said in a somewhat flustered voice)

"Why, Daddy?"

This is the third time we've caught Morgan standing to pee in the last 4 days. We have stools strategically placed at the base of the toilet - she will stand on those and then lean forward and put her hands on the top of the toilet lid. This puts her at about a 45 angle - and she pees away. Amazingly, she hasn't peed on herself, the toilet seat, or the floor during this process.

In other amazing news - Tanner went to school in big boy underwear today - along with about 8 changes of clothes. He came home in the original outfit that he wore. Go, Tanner!