still alive

I’m still alive, promise. Thanks to everyone who wondered! I did my week of classroom orientation, which was a great week. I met other travelers, did fun things with M, had play dates with other moms. Then reality hit- I had to actually work on the floor. My anxiety was so high, I just wanted to puke and cry the entire day, but once I was actually there it was a little better. The second night was a little better than the first. If only I could’ve brought my last unit and job with me on my back. Then my life would be perfect. Tomorrow is my first night on my own, without a preceptor. Pray for a manageable assignment and friendly co-nurses on that night for me, please! I need it. I’m a ball of nerves in that place. It is so hard to be new again, and I’ve actually cried for my old job. M is doing great in school and swimming. But my going back to work was definitely hard on her. She has gone back to crying that she wants to go home to Michigan. The mom guilt is hard. Being anxious and panicky again, for the first time in years, is hard. But I’m pulling out my old tricks and telling myself that if I hate this hospital, I can leave in 11 weeks. Telling myself it’s normal to feel this way. Surely I felt […]

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Crunch time

My to-do list is no longer a tool for mental organization, it’s a living entity that must be paid attention to every single day! I have five days off before our move, plus Christmas Day! Today I managed to kick serious to-do list ass, contacting insurance agents, my agency nurse advocate (and her extensive documentation list), submitting more paperwork than I can describe, oil change and wiper replacement for my car, wrapping Christmas presents, grocery shopping for our corn/gluten/soy/dairy-free road trip (with a friend who introduced me to the complex yet oh so cheap Aldi’s), cooking dinner for tonight and tomorrow while I work, and taking M to her final swimming lesson. Whew!  Yesterday I dropped a drug test urine sample, and today was scheduled for vaccine titers and a color blindness test. (There is so much of this in travel nursing. It’s nuts.) I’ve also completed several online skills and policies exams for the facility and still have another one to do. All 7 of our road trip hotels have been booked (thanks Hotwire for super cheap hotel deals, most at comfort inn level for less than $50 per night), our apartment, preschool, swimming and gymnastics set up. I have helmets, a bike lock, and tandem attachment, as well as a bike rack for my car (just need to pick up the bike). I have a packing list. My grandma’s cat has a new home and my cat has […]

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don’t it always seem to go…

Yesterday was the 4th anniversary of my daughter Avalon’s birth and death. I had a wicked stomach bug and therefore did nothing… didn’t go to the cemetery, didn’t blog. I did spare a few moments, though, to really think about who this little girl might have been. I honestly can’t imagine having a different child than the one I already have. I couldn’t have them both, either, as M’s due date was in mid-March, and Avalon’s was May 7th. It was always going to be one or the other, there is no scenario in which they’d both exist, simultaneously, with me as their mother, or as sisters. And so I find that my grief for the deceased daughter is tangled up in my overwhelming love and gratitude for the existing one. It always begs the question: how can I wish that she had not died, without wishing my daughter M away? That’s not even why I decided to blog tonight. I wanted to write about all of the ambivalence I’m having about traveling. The most comforting thought, to me, is the money. I need it. I’m not making ends meet as things are, so something has to change. There’s no way around that. But after a teacher’s conference today, a Christmas concert, and after much reflection on what went wrong in Nepal, I’m starting to think that constant moving is not in M’s best interest. You see, she has two teachers, both […]

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cross-country road trip

So after Christmas we will be loading up the car (to the roof, I’m sure) and following the setting sun as far west as we can go. We are going on an epic 8 day adventure from the Midwest to the West Coast, and yes we are cutting south to avoid snowy, wintery roads. Day 1: Michigan to the St. Louis area: where I am hoping relatives let us sleep for free. Day 2: St. Louis to Tulsa Start the morning with a romp in Forest Park Day 3: Tulsa to Tucumcari, New Mexico (Why here? Because it’s too far to Albequerque, and the hotels are cheap) Day 4: Tucumcari to Flagstaff, Arizona Day 5: Grand Canyon 1.5 hours drive to the south rim and overnight in Grand Canyon village… this is our “break day”, all other days are 7 hours of driving Day 6: Grand Canyon to Barstow, CA Little pitstop in the Mojave Desert Day 7: Barstow, CA to Monterey, CA via Highway 1 Lots of lovely scenery here, good places to stop Day 8: Monterey to San Ramon Spend the morning on the beaches of Monterey, and it’s just 1.5 hours drive to my best friend’s house in the East Bay area We stay with her for two nights and then we are off to our new temporary home in San Francisco! It’s going to be fantastic, right??? Well, my 3 1/2-year-old is not going to enjoy 7 hours of driving […]

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Now we’re going to be so free…

But freedom can be lonely. I got my first ever travel contract… San Francisco! We’ll be living (and I’ll be working) right in the city! I can’t wait to bike to work, grocery shop a few blocks away, and be so close to parks. (Golden Gate Park will be less than a few blocks away.) We’re going to be real urbanites. After the contract ends in April it’s back to Kathmandu for a month to 6 weeks. Then back to Michigan for some summer by my lake. End of December we drive across the country and I’m going to take the southern route to avoid snow on the highway. St. Louis, to Amarillo, to Grand Canyon, to Las Vegas, to Yosemite, to SF! I wanted my sister to road trip with us, but alas she has pesky things like family in town for the holidays and back to work after. I’m going to be doing these things with my mom, but we’ll be on our own. A little gypsy family. I can’t believe we’re actually doing it. Taking off and becoming gypsies. It’s so amazing and I just wish I had a pack of friends doing it, too!! But except for some really amazing bloggers that I read, I’m going this alone. People must think I’m crazy… This is a daydream, a pipe dream, right? Real single moms don’t just up and.take off. The timing isn’t right… There’s not enough […]

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