Thursday, May 13, 2010

The end of an era...for real!

So, I know I promised a blog of Riley pictures and it's coming. It's hard to sift through 6 years of pictures! But, in the mean time, I wanted to tell you about a big thing that just happened to me.

As you may recall, a couple of months ago I started temping for the National MS Society (NMSS). It was a great job, but because I was just a temp and I had no idea how long they would keep me for I had to work at Outback too. Well, a couple of weeks ago the NMSS offered me a full-time, permanent job as their Walk Manager. Technically my title is Development Manager-Walk. Basically I get to plan 6 fundraising walks in 6 different areas of Kentucky that occur simultaneously. It's pretty neat. I also pitch in and help out with any other event that is going on where needed. Because I got a permanent job I was finally able to put in my notice at Outback.

Let me pause here to muse about Outback a bit. I have worked for Outback for 10 years. When I was 17 years old I started working at an Outback that 3 of my siblings either had worked or were currently employed. I was a Bell, we were a bit of an Outback legacy. It was a fun job, although I was exposed to more "life" than a 17-year-old should probably be exposed to. On my first day I was offered drugs and when I politely declined was told that if I ever wanted any I knew where to look. By the end of my first week I had made friends that were sure to be trouble, and they didn't disappoint. However, I was a pretty good kid and stayed out of most of the trouble that I could have gotten myself into. I worked there for the last 2 months of my senior year and through the summer and then I moved to Oklahoma.

When I got to OK I decided I was done with Outback. I was ready to find a job. So, I applied to lots of places, but nobody wanted to hire a college kid who was going to be gone over holidays and summer, no one that is except Outback. It was at that Outback that I met a friend who will always have an imprint on my heart. It was also at that Outback that I didn't avoid trouble quite so well. But, I was a pretty good kid, so I managed to stay out of some of trouble that I could have gotten myself in to. After a year I moved back to Kentuckyk.

I went back to the same Outback that I started at, this time older and wiser (or so I thought). Not much had changed. I made some good friends, met some cute boys and managed to stay out of trouble for the most part. Then, I moved to Florida.

When I got to Florida I decided that I was done with Outback (sound familiar) and searched for jobs. Unfortunetly, it was shortly after September 11 and the economy was not doing as well as it could have. So, after a month of no job I ran out of money and back to Outback I went. It was about the same, new faces but the same old combination of friends, fun and trouble. It was at this Outback that I managed to get myself into lots of trouble, not only did trouble find me, I searched for it. I never got in trouble with the law or anything, I just made stupid choices. I was there for 2 years and boy did I grow up! Then, I moved back to Kentucky again.

When I got to Kentucky I decided that I was done with Outback (hmm...I'm beginning to see a pattern.). So, I got a job. I had a 9-5 office job. Then a few months later I got a better 9-5 office job. Whew, 1 1/2 years of no Outback. By this time I had a baby and I was getting ready to get married and I learned that I was unhappy with my 9-5 office job. I felt like I was going nowhere and I was missing my child's life. I went to work while he was awake, I got home and he went to sleep, I never saw him. So, I decided to go back to Outback. I think Outback is my drug of choice. I liked it there I suppose. I was at a different point in my life than most of the people that worked there and didn't feel like I had much in common with them. I worked and went home to be with my family. But, I made friends and became very comfortable there. I loved my job. It was fun, flexible and I was good at it. My husband hated my job. I don't know why, you'll have to ask him. It was the center of more than a few arguments. When Riley went to kindergarten I figured out that I needed to start working during the day again. Which leads me back to the NMSS.

2 weeks ago I put in my resignation from Outback. Last night was my last night. I walked in to balloons and cookie cake and a very sweet card with a very nice gift from my boss (who originally hired me). I think it was fitting that Denny (my boss) was there on my first day and my last :) Leaving Outback this time was so hard because I wasn't moving. I don't know how I feel about that. It was definitely bittersweet. I am both saddened and relieved that that chapter of my life is over. I can finally say that I am a recovering Outback-aholic and hopefully I won't fall off the wagon. It truly is the end of an era!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Where does all the time go?

So, considering it is Riley's birthday tomorrow, it is time for the obligatory "I can't believe how old my kid has gotten" blog. Sit back and enjoy my musings on my child and the last six years of his life!

6 years ago right now I was at the doctor's office 10 days away from my due date. When I was about 5 months pregnant I declared that I was going to have the baby on May 3, not May 13 when I was due. I also had my last final of the semester later that same day. Anyway, after the doctor's office I made my way to work. I was taking off work a little early that day so that I could drive to school with a little time to study a bit more and then take my final. About 3:30 pm (1/2 before I was supposed to leave work) I had my first contraction. I left work at 4:00 and drove to school, my contractions seemed to be regular, but were fairly far apart so I wasn't worried. I studied and then took my final all while I was in labor. At this point in the story most people interject with "Are you nuts?!?" but, in my defense, it was my last final of the semester and I really wanted to finish up before I had the baby, besides, my water hadn't broken yet or anything. Anyway, I got an "A" on my final and everything!

So, now that the test is over I feel like it's a safe time to call my mom and tell her that I'm in labor since I'm heading home anyway. I learned why you are not supposed to drive yourself while you are in labor--it's really hard to concentrate on the road mid-contraction. So, I get home and we call the doctor. I pack my bag and we head to the hospital.

When we get to the hospital it is super busy. Apparently there were something like 40 babies born in the 24 hours surrounding Riley's birth. They check me in and send me to triage. I'm there for a looooong time. I kept getting pushed back in the line because a)while my labor was progressing, it wasn't progressing quickly, and b)apparently I handle pain well. I was on the phone with work and friends and would laugh when something was funny and was pretty much myself while the other mothers-to-be were screaming and being nightmares for the nursing staff. At about 1:00 am (9 1/2 hours of labor so far) I finally get moved to a labor and delivery room and soon after I got an epidural (yay!). Although the epidural was fantastic and almost instantly took away my pain, therefore relaxing me, it did have it's disadvantages. My blood pressure, generally at a low-normal range, dropped suddenly causing lots and lots of vomiting. I dealt with a lot of vomiting during my pregnancy (at least 5 times a week all 38 weeks) vomit and labor don't mix so well. The epidural also stopped my labor. At about 3 am the doctor decided that at 8 am they would break my water and give me pitocin to restart my labor, but I would have the next 5 hours to "sleep." Have you ever tried to sleep in a hospital? It's not easy. I managed to sleep fairly well though, interrupted often by the blood pressure monitor beeping wildly when my bp would drop, generally followed my another bout of vomiting. (Labor sounds like fun, huh?).

So here we are at 8:00 am (hour 16 1/2). They break my water and give me pitocin and labor starts progressing (yay!). Finally at 3:00 pm (yep, hour 23 1/2) I am ready to push. 23 minutes later my beautiful baby boy was born. He was worth every 1,403 minutes of labor.


The past 6 years have been crazy! Like most parents I have my times of thinking that my kid is the most amazing thing in the whole world, and also, like most parents, I have my times when I think "why did I want to be a mom again?" But the first definitely outweighs the second. He is such a special kid. He is smart and funny and good at sports. Even when we are hard on him (which is probably too often) he bounces back with a smile. He makes me proud more often than I give him credit for. I'm so excited to see who he becomes as he grows up, and yet I'm terrified to let him. I'm sure he'll make me proud.

Happy Birthday, Riley! I love you!

So, if you like pictures then you'll have to read my next blog which is a photo montage of Riley through the years, and I just stumbled onto a ton of old pictures that I haven't seen in a while, so be prepared to see a lot!