Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Overly Ambitious

I should be grading papers. Or plowing through e-mails. Or finishing Finders Keepers (not nearly as engaging as Mr. Mercedes.) Or sleeping. Or not debating between Joe Joes and chips and guacamole.
*Edited to add that I chose the guacamole.

I've spent the week at a conference for the chiefs from all the institutions. It's been really inspiring and informative and interesting, but I also keep getting the mental picture of a six year old trying to drive a huge truck (I'm the six year old, for clarity). One of the main reasons I agreed to take this on (temporarily, for now) is because my institution could really use a bit of a culture change. It's been enlightening to see how other institutions are run and perceived. Anyway, shop talk shop talk shop talk.

So that's been long days. The conference is in the city, which has solidified my commitment to reduce commuting at all costs. I've been driving there, conferencing ALL DAY, then driving home to check my work e-mail and catch up with all that is coming in from the new job, and also trying to remotely manage my own program. It's also finals week and I have a new class starting next week that I should be prepping for. AND it's the first week of school! OMG. I just realized that I completely forgot to blog that! The kids are doing great and their teachers are amazing. C is convinced that Eli's teacher is going to be a game changer, and I think he might be right. The first night of homework was assigned with a time limit. Today he came home with no homework. This is a big change for his program and if it continues is going to make my life SO MUCH easier. Eli won't stop talking about him and is totally energized. Syd's teacher is very sweet and Syd is excited about school. She seems excited that none of her friends are in her class, which I'm going to interpret as being about making new friends. And Averson starts preschool next week. She's most looking forward to packing her Paw Patrol lunch bag.
FIRST. TAKE. Seriously.

Birthday/First Day of School donuts!

I'm generally pretty optimistic about my ability to handle lots of plates in the air all at once, especially when they're all good plates that I want to keep, but I'm thinking that this level of commitment isn't going to fly. I know what I need to wean out, but I'm not looking forward to it and I'm still hoping it will all work out without having to actually choose. It could happen, right?  

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Random updates

I'm three days in and kind of loving my new job a lot. It's hard and there's so much to learn, but it's also really interesting and exciting. In other news, the kids are starting school tomorrow. I feel like summer just started! I'm really unprepared and the kids lunches are already ridiculously abysmal, so we're off to a great start.

Other random updates:

C's cell phone broke a month ago (NOT waterproof, despite all advertised claims. Now it constantly vibrates, even when it's turned off.) We didn't want to pay the insurance so we were dragging our feet replacing it. Except now it's been a month and no one really misses it. We recently got a landline so that Eli could give a number to his friends and so we didn't have to worry about whether he or a sitter had a cell phone. I don't take my phone to work, so C has had it during the day. So now we're thinking, "What if we were those people who don't have cell phones?" Is that the next "thing?" We cut the cord on TV years ago. Maybe we're trendsetters?

I went on a binge and collected all these super cute notebooks/journals a while back. I'm not a journaler so I'm not entirely sure what I was thinking except that they were cute and some had inspirational sayings. Whatever the case, I have them and so now I need to come up with ways to use them. I picked one and I've started a one-sentence journal. It's an interesting exercise to try to boil your day down to one sentence while still being description beyond "It was a fine day." Its still less pressure than daily journaling though, so I feel like I actually accomplished something.

C bought a box of rocket engines at Goodwill the other day. Total impulse buy but it was "only $2!" which of course meant we then had to spend $40 on the rest of the rocket parts. He and the kids have been having so much fun with these things! I forgot how cool rockets were when I was a kid.
Last week C took the kids to a Girl Scout event commemorating National S'Mores Day and announcing the new cookies. The goal was to beat the world record for the number of s'mores being made at the same time. The record was 423 and they beat it (still has to be verified by Guinness). If you've never been to a Girl Scout event, you should totally go. It makes my organizational heart so very happy. Those ladies do not mess around. Only they could organize 500 people with fire, sticks, and marshmallows with no injuries.

 I got my tattoo! It's a little weird that it's so visible but I'm getting used to it. It makes me smile every time I see it, regardless of the situation :)

School starts this week. Syd is thrilled while Eli is notsomuch. So of course Syd's getting a cold and has a very good chance of having to miss the first day. Eli feels great though he's angling hard to wear his new faux leather jacket to school, nevermind that it's going to be 98 degrees. And Averson got into preschool! If you know me on Facebook, you know that I took my sweet ass time enrolling her, and ended up on the waitlist. The registration director was optimistic though because, as she said, "three year olds can be tricky." The school requires that kids be completely potty-trained and independent bathroom users. They also start registration several months in advance, so lots of parents assume they'll get their kids out of the pull-ups in time. I feel terrible, but I was pretty strongly wishing against someone's toileting success. Stinky wanted to go to preschool SO BAD. Today she greeted me at the door bouncing up and down that she gets to go to school! I'm sure I'll pay for it karmically later, but for today it's awesome.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Boss Lady

A little background:
At my prison, we have a multi-level supervision system. I supervise a team of line staff and then there are two chief psychologists above me. One of those is the chief of mental health (sort of a boss's boss). Above that person is the CEO. It's a paramilitaristic system, but like paramilitary lite because we're healthcare.

We've had a string of chief of mental healths over the past couple years. Most recently, my direct supervisor was made chief and he promptly put in his notice. I have a lot of feelings about it because he's been amazing and has been an anchor for me since I promoted.

So there's obviously a lot of other thoughts and feelings that are really only relevant or interesting if you actually work with me. I despise shop talk, so we'll skip all that. Thursday, the CEO called me into his office and asked if I would take on the chief of mental health position until they were able to hire into it. I immediately said "No." Firstly, C would kill me. Then, he'd kill me again. There was no way that we'd be able to manage me working more hours. We added sitters as a line item this month because we can barely manage where we're at. And I politely offered to think about it and then walked out. A few hours later he called me back to his office to let me know that the chief psychiatrist had offered to share some duties with me, ensuring that more days than not I'd be able to work a normal schedule.

And that's how I accidentally became my boss's boss. There's no timeline associated with it, so it could be a few months or even longer. I have almost no idea what I'm doing, and I naively have decided to try to keep my program on top of this (so I have somewhere to go back to when it's over.) BUT, I have a parking space and an assistant which feels very real and adult-y, even if I park my hoopty full of fishing gear in my spot and have absolutely no idea what to do with an assistant.Right now my main goal is to not let the place burn to the ground. Two days in and so far so good!

It's an awesome opportunity for me and I'm fairly certain I'm not going to suck. I'm attending a conference with the chiefs from across the state in a few weeks which will be a chance to get to know a lot of influential people. I'm hopeful that we can make some positive changes in the position and it really is a chance for me to make this place somewhere I can see working for the next 10 years (yay PSLF...) 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Well Played, Stinky

Averson: Mommy? Am I a good girl?
Me: Of course Baby! Why do you ask?
Averson: Because good girls get chips before dinner!

Slow clap

Monday, August 8, 2016

Take me to the river

We found this amazing spot on the river a few weeks ago when my sister was here. We've been going back every chance we get. It's seriously perfect. It's far enough out to feel decadent, and to have spotty cell reception. The walk is short enough that the kids can do it easily, and typically carrying something. There are rocks to jump off of, of varying heights and daringness. The current is light. People have built these awesome little kiddie pools so Stinky can play without floating away while the Bigs can swim and jump. It's been so rejuvenating. I forget sometimes that my soul craves this kind of place. You can take the girl out of the mountains and all that... 

They played this game FOREVER and only ate shit a couple of times

My hat is getting all broken in and gross and I'm getting the most awesome river tan.

I am seriously not looking forward to school starting back up. I feel like we're just hitting our groove (though I'm sure it helps that I've been taking long weekends whenever I can.)

She's super brave and refers to herself as "Adventure Girl"

Throwing rocks with wild abandon

I just love this picture a lot. I'll probably post it a few more times.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

So adult I forgot to title this post

Do you ever feel like you've become entirely too responsible? (Is that just me?) After picking up Eli this weekend I was overwhelmed by my adultness and texted my babysitter to see if she could come twice this week. The already scheduled was because we officially have more commitments than licensed drivers in this family. We were getting tattoos and spending too much money even if it killed me!

I stopped at the shop to check their availability and drop off our ideas. When he told me he'd probably only have time for one of us, I literally stammered, "I can't get another sitter this week!" BUT my resolve was strong and C got his tattoo tonight. I'm scheduled next weekend, when I hopefully can get a sitter/sitter swap. And I was almost equally excited for C to get his. I forget how much I love tattoos until I'm back in a shop. C's got the bug now too, so we're going to have to negotiate our tattoo budget. He got our anniversary, which I simultaneously love and feel weird about because I'm a little superstitious. Especially right now since he's the only one that has it. Though, I'm an idiot, so he almost got a random, non-sentimental day (which may have been equally awesome.) Then we had tequila shots and impulse shopped at CVS. I ROCK at responsible adulating!