what you've missed

Remember all that tough talk about how things were going to be amazing over here, yeah, I'll bet you feel pretty cheated don't you?  All that TIME I thought I was going to have - yeah, not so much when you fill a week off work with painting and organizing and doing all the things you haven't had time to do in three months. I am also still in the awkward orientation phase at my new job. I don't sit through the organization wide orientation until the week after next. I'm hoping to get my preceptor training finished this week. That's the wonderful dual visits with the person orienting me listening and judging my every word and every missed opportunity to explore my patient's experience deeper. They don't currently have a social worker in the location I am to be placed and the heat and pressure is on to get going already and trust me, I just want to launch. I certainly have a lot to learn, but so far, it is everything I remember it to be. Sure, the documentation is a bit stressful, but the work, the work is amazing.

I've been thinking about this space a lot. Each time Caroline says something that makes my heart burst into a million pieces or makes me laugh out loud, I think FACEBOOK, TWITTER, BLOG but I am either racing to work or trying to just enjoy the kids before bedtime. So you've missed out on Caroline seeing the sign for the Spaghetti with Santa event tomorrow night (that we are going to by the way!) and declaring, "Look, Santa with Meatballs!" You've also missed her explaining that she calls Connor "pizza boy" because she wants to eat him all up. You missed the boy's insane pre-walking antics which seriously are beyond terrifying. Tonight for fun he thought it would be awesome to climb up onto the first step, hold on the railing and smile his biggest smile all while his mother fretted and said, "Connor, no, NO Con!" I'm going to have my hands full aren't I?

Life has been SO wonderful these past couple weeks. I'm home in time to enjoy the kids, I don't feel like I am missing out. I'm meeting patients, or at least learning HOW to meet patients. I've been able to watch the kids play together and we have seen a huge transformation in Caroline's behavior thanks in part to the Responsibility Chart, part to Peter the Elf on the Shelf and part to her learning how to better manage the emotions and frustration of her brother's new found independence. She's purposely sharing, giving Connor toys to play with instead of just taking away what she doesn't want him to touch. I still open the top cabinet of her kitchen each night to find all the items she deemed "off limits" to him each day, but she has blossomed into an amazing big sister. I chuckle listening to her self talk about "circle time" for her fictional students, telling them that "today we have pots and pans out," warning them that they have "five more minutes before mats." It's endearing, it's sweet, it's amazing the progress we've made. In just two weeks time she has twice gotten all her smiles on her chart twice per week earning her a sweet little prize. Tonight however, without a nap, she earned just a single smile. Small setbacks. When we ask her at the end of the day if she "showed respect" or "stopped whining" she will say yes and no appropriately. Such a big girl. "Mommy, that car is just like Daddy's!" "Mommy can we go to school by Kiki's house?" "Momma, those animals are pretend" she tells me each morning as we pass the Nativity scene set up on the neighboring town's green.

And Con. He wants so badly to be like his sister. He watches her with wide eyes, picking up whatever she was just playing with a moment before, emulating her movements as best he can at 10 months old. I've witnessed him pulling himself up to the table where her coloring book sits open, eyeing it with purpose. I laughed as he stood at the easel banging a crayon against the paper, before helping him draw his first scribble. He's taken a few tentative steps to the waiting arms of an adoring fan, but he'd still prefer to do his wierd Curious George crawl (as coined by Miss Nancy at school). It's faster. The best news of all and UNIVERSE if you jinx me I will seriously come after you because after over a year of sleepless nights, Connor is finally FINALLY sleeping like a baby. I don't know if it his impeccable strict bedtime regimen or the sleep sack we nestled him in this week, but he has made TREMENDOUS progress. He's been waking up at 4 or 5 and settling back to sleep with us for the hour or two left in the night, which honest to GOD is such an improvement. It's not the best situation we know, but I swore he would eventually get it and last night he woke up for the very first time at 5:45AM. 5:45 AM. I say it again. He SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT, for only the third time in his short life.

I've got a Nutcracker post coming, but for now. There is your catch up. We're eagerly anticipating this amazing holiday season - with a complete family, in the house we will celebrate all our holidays, with new traditions and roots that seem well, firmly rooted.


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