Monday, October 7, 2019

New Job, Loving it!

Apparently, I haven't updated my blog in so long that it is actually ridiculous. After realizing we couldn't afford private school in Boston, we decided to move to Florida and have since made our way down south. Luckily, both my husband and I were able to find new jobs, and the money we made selling the house in Boston made it possible to pay off my student loans and make it easier to pay for private school. It's not perfect, but I really do love it here. At least I don't have to worry about snow any more!

In my new job, I'm the ART (Assisted Reproductive Technologies) Nurse Manager. Fancy title that means I manage the amazing group of nurses who take care of patients just before and during their IVF cycles. I absolutely love what I do, and today was my 6 week evaluation, where my manager (the COO of the company) took me aside to tell me how I was doing. The evaluation was a good one, but the main purpose of this post was to express the one part of the evaluation that touched me the most...

As someone with Asperger's who was bullied for most of her life (3rd grade through high school and then some), it has never really been easy for me to make friends. During school I maybe had one or two people at a time that I could call good friends. In high school I kind of was friends with a group of people, but I never actually felt as though I were a part of their clique. I didn't fit in anywhere. Over the years, I've come up with ways to get around the fact that social cues can be difficult for me - mainly that I cannot be a part of a conversation with more than one person at a time or I won't know when I can talk, and I find myself interrupting people when I don't mean to. The filter on my brain has gotten a lot better than it was as a kid, luckily, though there are always times when I slip and wish I hadn't said something. Coming into a managerial job, I was terrified that I would have no idea how to manage other people. Would they like me? Would they follow my direction? I'm under 5 feet tall, not very intimidating, and remember...I don't know how to make friends. Or at least I didn't know how up until my job at CCRM. Somehow I was friends with everyone. I don't know if it was because I knew what I was doing or just the fact that I loved what I did and was happy much of the time. But I was liked by everyone, and that was something very new to me. But there, I was "just" one of the nurses. It would be different as a manager...

Fast forward to my evaluation. She scored me highest on my relationships with other people (not that my other scores were "low," but this was superior rather than average or something like that). She said that everyone liked me...loved me. That even the people who are hard to impress and have strong personalities are so happy that I'm there. That I've made an amazing impression on everyone. I think she even made a comment about my good communication skills - that one was a shocker, as I think communication skills are something I have to work doubly hard at. Even one of the doctors today told me she told a patient that I was "brilliant." I can't even tell you how much that meant to me. How it soothed the little bullied kid inside of me who remembers being tormented on the school bus and in class. How hard I've worked to "fix" whatever shortcomings I could find in order to fit in and make friends. If you wonder why I go around being so happy all of the time (in public), why I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, why I tend to let things "roll off my back," it's because of that. Yeah, I get upset. I get REALLY upset, but I try not to let that show until I'm in the privacy of my bedroom or car and can cry and scream to the walls.

I work with some of the world's most amazing women on my nursing team, and I feel extremely blessed to be their manager.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Private School Woes

Before I even thought about having kids, I knew I was going to send them to a private Jewish day school. Knowing the area in which I live, it was really the only plausible option. There are very few (if any) religious Jewish kids in the public school system because there are a ton of Jewish day schools around, and that's where all of the kids go. I knew it would be expensive, but I felt so strongly about it that I knew I would just have to grin and bear it as best I could. So I did. We got scholarships (as nearly all families do), and it was manageable...somewhat. But as the years went on, the bills grew even as my salary did. Going to school meant I wasn't working for several years, and now we have to make that money up somehow - plus pay back the student loans. We were getting help from family, but circumstances (death, retirement, etc) has now rendered that impossible. And so now I face taking my kids away from their friends and away from an excellent school solely because I can't keep pulling money out of my home equity line of credit to pay for their school. While I am sure Boston Public Schools are a fine place to get an education, I don't know how I'm going to be able to give them a good Jewish education on top of it. Meanwhile, they're going to lose probably all of their Jewish friends because they so rarely go on play dates and don't go to synagogue that often either. I'm seriously distraught over this and don't know what to do. I have cried so many days over this, and I can't bring myself to make a decision one way or the other. Kill myself financially and allow my kids to have the education I want them to have (that they deserve) and to keep the friends they have tried so hard to make or put them in public school so I can pay back my loans and eventually we'll have money to live on and not keep taking money out of my house to pay the bills. I've prayed on it, but the L-rd isn't giving me any ideas. What do I do now?

Monday, November 19, 2018

Happy Stories

Today at work I had the most amazing thing happen. As you know, I do IUIs for my patients, and we always hope that it will work. But sometimes people do need to move onto IVF (as I did many years ago after 5 IUI cycles). One of my patients decided to be proactive and come in for a follow up visit before she was due for her pregnancy test for her latest IUI cycle. She was a day early for her pregnancy test, so we did the blood test, and she saw the doctor while it was running. After seeing the doctor, patients come to me to sign consents. We sat and I was doing my usual shpiel about the consents and how to fill them out yadda yadda yadda.... When the doctor and one of the MAs knocked on the door. All three of us (patient, partner, and I) raised our eyebrows. "Yeeeees? What can we do for you?" The two at the door had the largest grins on their faces. Doctor says that her blood test was back....and she's pregnant. Three jaws dropped to the floor. OMG. Well, there goes my consent shpiel, let's change tactics entirely! It was entirely surreal and probably the most exceptional thing to happen in my entire time at the clinic. It was like something you'd see in a movie. Absolutely incredible!

On another happy note, my first cousin who has been searching for her daughters (who she had been forced to give up for adoption many years ago) FOUND THEM!!!! Her brother (my other first cousin) was really the detective, and she's going to have her daughters back for Christmas this year. I am entirely beside myself with happiness for her. I can't wait to meet them myself!

And thirdly, the price on my plane tickets went down again. This time to $677. My refund is now going to be over $1100. SWEET! More money to spend on Disney and Universal tickets.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Plane Tickets

I've been planning a trip with the family for several months, but the plane tickets are so expensive, and flying 6 people can be extremely costly to begin with. Originally the tickets were $670 each, and I figured I would wait to see if the price would come down. It didn't... I watched it go up and up and up until I finally said "enough!" and bought tickets. It was then that I realized Travelocity has this neat program called "Price Match Guarantee" where you pay a bit extra per ticket and they will guarantee you the lowest fare from the time you buy until your flight. I bought the tickets when they were $868 each (OUCH) in the hopes that even though I spent another $168 for the price match program that it would drop by at least that much in the coming months. Since I bought 6 tickets, the fare would only have to drop by $28 in order to make back the money.

In the weeks since I bought the tickets, I've watch the price soar all the way up to $1000 per ticket. I despaired that it would ever come back down, until the other day when the price dropped to $867 and change per ticket. Less than a dollar difference. But I put in my price match guarantee request and they locked me in for a $5 refund once my trip is over. Not bad, but not great either. Luckily I can keep checking prices and keep requesting refunds, and they'll give me the best price out of all of my requests.

Today I was talking with my co-worker about something and it reminded me to price check, so I did. It was $720. *record screech* I blinked a few times. I gasped audibly. Possibly my heart stopped beating for a few. May have screamed. I got onto Travelocity so quickly it would have made your head spin. I put in my request, and the most beautiful words appeared on my screen: Refund due $887.16. Looks like I've made my price match guarantee work for itself after all. If it comes down again, of course I'll request the lower price, but I am darned happy about this one even if it never comes this low again.

And the funny part is that I must have caught it by a hair. The price was only that low for one day. It's already gone back up to $867. Whew! I would have had a fit if I had seen the price graph later and had missed the drop. I am extremely lucky.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Rhode Island Comic Con

The kids, my friend Ron, and I went to Rhode Island Comic Con today. It's become a yearly tradition, and every year we get our picture taken with various celebrities. This year was no different, and we got to meet actors we hadn't met before.

Billy Boyd played Pippin in the Lord of the Rings series. We brought some of our Lord of the Rings mystery minis with us - specifically the four hobbits: Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin. Billy is holding the little Pippin figure, and he looks ecstatic to be doing so. It was so cute!

Tom Felton played Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter series. I handed him Lucius Malfoy's wand that I have had for about a year (since we met Lucius's actor at a previous convention). I figured it would make him feel good to get to use his dad's wand. And he didn't disappoint - he told everyone "wands at the ready!" for the photo. So we had to follow suit.

Natalia Tena played Tonks in the Harry Potter series. She was so sweet with the kids and also told everyone "wands at the ready!" for the picture. Gavriella is concentrating very hard on her magic and is being helped by one of the greatest aurors in the business!

Sam Smith plays Mary Winchester in Supernatural. She was extremely nice. She shook my hand, asked my name and introduced herself (as if I had no clue who she was). Sam and Dean obviously have a really great mom.

My friend Ron invited the kids to be in his photo with Tara Strong. Tara is a voice actress who has voiced so many animated characters I can hardly remember a quarter of them. In particular, she voices Twilight Sparkle in My Little Pony. We met her at Boston Comic Con a few months ago, and she was very nice to the kids. We also found out at that point that she knows Hebrew! Dovid greeted her in Hebrew at the photo, and she didn't disappoint. She answered him in Hebrew and asked how he was doing. He responded that he was good (also in Hebrew). It was really cool to watch.

All in all we had a really great time, though most of it was spent in lines for photos. The best part was the fact that we were able to get ADA badges because of Dovid's diabetes, so our lines were mercifully short. We even managed to be first in line for Sam Smith! Definitely going to make sure we get ADA passes for all future conventions.

Saturday, November 3, 2018


Friday's thoughts:
I never thought I would make it home in time for Shabbos, but I did!!! I was within candle lighting, and I was so happy that I got to light candles with the kids. I love my job, but it's hard when you know you have to call patients back because it's time sensitive, but you also were supposed to leave an hour or more prior. Starting next week we're going to be doing 10 hr day schedules that that we'll have an extra day off per week. We're already working until 5:30pm most of the time, so it's not really working any more than we have been. We'll actually get to work less! On the flip side, our 6 hour days on weekends are now 10 hour days. But at least I'll be able to do a lot of catching up on the weekends when it's quiet.

I'm looking forward to Rhode Island Comic Con, which we're going to on Sunday. I'm going to be super busy that day, because immediately after getting home from the convention I have to go to a capella rehearsal. No rest for the weary... But I will share with you pictures and stories once I have recovered. 😃

Saturday's thoughts:
When you have to get up at 6 am every morning for work, sleep ins on the weekend are so sweet. I won't even tell you what time Shmuel made me get out of bed. It's embarrassing. And I had been having a weird dream that I don't really remember now...only that it was weird. (But what dreams aren't weird?)

Shabbos went as most Shabbosim do. Nothing too exciting to report. When it wasn't Shabbos I was trying to be productive and creative - writing tips about trying to conceive and colorizing a black and white photo (just to see if I could). Apparently I'm not too terrible at using photoshop to colorize, and I'm pretty impressed at my final product. See for yourself!

It's a photo of my grandpa from the 1920's. It's only part of a much larger photo of his whole family. I'm considering coloring the entire thing.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

New Big

My three oldest kids have all had either a Big Brother or Big Sister from Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters at some point over the last few years. Unfortunately due to circumstances Dovid has not had a Big Brother since he was diagnosed with diabetes. Chana has had two Big Sisters, but each of them had to leave the program for personal reasons. Tzipora has also had two Big Sisters, and is currently still with that second one. I got a call the other day that a third Big Sister had been found for Chana and asked if we wanted to meet her. Of course I said yes! So tonight we went to meet Chana's new Big Sister, and she seems so sweet. I'm very excited for them to be able to start going out with one another. I think their first outing is going to be doing some kind of art project and ice cream. Sounds like they'll have a lot of fun!