Monday, September 10, 2012

Abey Lately

Since I know the real reason most of you stop by here is to see pictures of the cutest little boy to ever walk crawl the face of the planet (not that I can blame you), today I will oblige. These pictures are from the last couple of months (and none are terribly recent... I need to upload a bunch).

I think this was from his 8 month photo shoot. We're still squeezing him into his "month onesies" and he totally looks like a sausage. You should see his 9 month photos- he's a 23 pound baby (who currently wears 12-18 month clothing) stuffed into a 6-9 month onesie. Please don't call DHS.

 This is his skeptical look. We get this one a lot. I think he thinks we're weird.

 Rubber ducky...

Hanging with mommy. I was trying not to laugh here because the way the wind was blowing Abe's full head of thick, luscious hair was hilarious to me. Look at those locks blowing in the wind. He looks like Pocahontas, no?

Playing with (great) Pappaw.

I'll try to get more posted soon.

This has got to be my favorite age so far. We've moved beyond the spitting up, can't figure out why he's crying, let me just set him on the bed for minute stage, and into the everywhere all the time cracking up himself and everyone around him stage.

He's crawling all over the place (after a solid three weeks of just rocking back and forth on his hands and knees- I kid you not, I thought he would never figure out how to move his hands forward). His favorite things include anything that resembles a power cord and the dog's water bowl. Put them together and he'd be in heaven!

(I'm not going to type "literally," because dark humor like that is definitely not appropriate when referring to one's own child.)

And he brings me such joy these days. He has SO MUCH personality, and it's amazing to see traits from both myself and his daddy. He has the best sense of humor, and there are times we'll be sitting in his room, both laughing so hard we're crying. He never fails to ham it up when he knows he has an audience.

He's as sweet as can be, too. He's figured out to give kisses, and the other morning I was awakened by a big wet one right on my lips. Precious boy.

I could go on and on.

I love this boy.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Career Circle

I graduated from dental hygiene school in 2007. By the end of that summer, I was already second-guessing my chosen profession. I just didn't love it.

I told myself it would be okay. I'd probably be having kids in just a few years, and then I wouldn't be working at all. It's just cleaning teeth. Surely I can clean teeth for a few years.

That's what I told myself.

Fast forward to 2010, and I realized we weren't in the kind of situation that would allow me to stay home full time at any point in the near future. Plus, I kind of liked having extra money to do fun stuff. International travel? Yes, please!

Knowing that I'd have to continue working, I decided to go back and get my MBA. If I was going to have to keep a job, I at least wanted to do something more fulfilling than just clean teeth. So I set myself on the fast track to an MBA. I took 15 hours of graduate level courses in the evenings after work. I would leave for the dental office at around 6:30 a.m. (it was a long commute), and not return home from class until around 9:45 p.m.  I pretty much only used my house for sleeping. My husband and I hung out on the weekends. That was my life.

I fell in love with business. I fell in love with it so much that I wanted to continue my studies. I wanted to do research and teach business at a university. So I applied for my PhD.  And I got several offers for interviews.

Then one night, I decided I wasn't going to interview. I didn't feel like it was the right time for me to start a multi-year doctoral program. I had baby fever.

A month later, I was pregnant.

That's when I realized that I was bound and determined to take my business knowledge and start a business of my own. It was the only way I could see that it was possible for me to stay home with my baby and still bring in the income our family needed.

I won't even begin to list all the biz ideas I came up with and test drove between the summer of 2011 and the summer of 2012. They weren't all total flops (many of them were, yes, but not ALL of them). Unfortunately, $100 here and $50 there doesn't cut it.

So in June, I decided to get a traditional job again. Which brings me back to dental hygiene.

I knew I didn't love it, but I couldn't think of a single other job that allows me the flexibility and pay that I get from dental hygiene. It's a good, solid profession. So I went with it... dragging my feet the whole way.

But the position I found isn't just any ole dental hygiene position. I'm working for a young dentist, who just purchased his very first practice from an older doctor who recently passed away. It hasn't been updated since the 70s, and there wasn't a computer in the whole place. A single typewriter sat in the corner, and the patients used spit bowls because there wasn't even any suction or water connected to the dental chairs.

My role is to work as a dental hygienist, yes, but also to essentially help him remodel and rebuild this practice to its maximum potential. He needs me to manage the staff that stayed on, implement systems, put financial goals into place, help with marketing, and bring the place back into the current century. So it looks like I'm putting that MBA to use after all.

And dare I say, I kind of like it.

I never thought it would be possible for me to enjoy working as a dental hygienist again, but I do. I feel like I have a purpose here. It's good for me.

And I find that I'm much happier at home now, too. I still get to spend 4 days a week with my little guy, and I'm no longer running myself ragged during those 4 days trying to find a way to earn a sustainable income from home. I seriously feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders.

This all just dawned on me last week. Until then, I'd still been thinking of this job as a temporary fix until I could find something I really wanted to do. But maybe I've found it.

And now I can be like everyone else and ENJOY my downtime. In fact, I've almost worked my way through the first 6 seasons of Grey's Anatomy on Netflix. I have time to watch TV!

And wouldn't you know it, I'm blogging! Right now! Look! And hopefully I can find some time to read again, too. Blogs, books, magazines, whatever, I need the written word.

All I know is that it feels good to feel settled again. I feel like I know who I am as a mom, but also as a working woman, and a wife, and a friend. I'm finding myself again. It's nice.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Pincer Grasp

Some babies walk early.  Some get teeth when they're 3 months old, some start talking before they can sit properly.  My boy, well he has an awesome pincer grasp. 

We started letting him eat fruits and veggies from the table when he was 6 months old.  That means he's had quite a bit of practice grabbing small things, and as a result, his hand coordination is pretty spectacular.  He proved that to me this weekend.

It was Saturday morning, and Abe decided to wake up a little earlier than normal.  Usually when that happens I can just bring him into bed with us and get a little more time.  He likes snuggling, and if I nurse him in bed we can get up to an extra hour of slumber at times. 

As per my plan, I dozed off.  NOT in my plan, however, was waking up 15 minutes later to a pain on my chest.  It burned, like someone was using me to put out his cigarette.  When I opened my eyes, I saw this tiny little outstretched arm, pincer reaching towards me like a crab.

Then I noticed a small mole on my chest peeking out just above my tank top.  The skin around it was hot and red, where my little crab-child had been trying to pinch it off of me.  I was being de-speckled.  And he just pinched on, determined to remove this tiny thing from his mama.

I've heard many parents speak about their children kicking in the womb.  "Oh he's going to be a little soccer player!"  Or their dramatic babies, "She'll be a performer."  We are NOT those parents, but if we were, I suppose I'd have to say our boy is destined to be a dermatologist.

Anyone need a mole removed?


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