November 6, 2014

hello world!

Wow. I think this may be the longest time I've ever gone without a post on this sweet little blog of ours. it doesn't feel like it's been almost two months, but I trust my calendar :)

Since my last update, we have been busy bees! For a short list: we weaned from breastfeeding, Nick had his big committee meeting and has been working hard ever since, we had Halloween and Alden's first time trick or treating, spent a weekend with my parents in Alabama, we have done a lot of reorganizing and purging at home, I've been working like crazy to keep up with life, work, a baby, and a class, and tons more every day tasks.

Here's the run-down of life in the Wiese household right now:

Nick got permission from his committee in September to begin writing his dissertation and to prepare for a MAY 2015 graduation date!! We were really anticipating him finishing up next August so his committee feeling like he can be out by May was a (great) surprise. It's making things a little more complicated as far as planning for the next phase goes, but we are up for the challenge! This means he's now been working for a couple of months towards getting a manuscript (or two) ready for publication and preparing to start writing the introduction to his dissertation. Plus, he's been keeping up with experiments in lab and trying to get through a HUGE to-do list of science so that he stays on track for a spring graduation.

We are excited that he's finally in the final leg of this marathon but the timeframe is definitely tight. He will be working himself to the bone over the next 6 months to make sure everything gets done in time for him to defend. There's also the added pressure of looking for jobs at the same time. Most PhD students won't set their defense date or commit to graduating until they have a job lined up. Since most science graduate students are supported on a stipend while they are in school, this ensures that they can avoid going without a paycheck during transitions to new jobs. If he doesn't find a position in time for him to graduate in May, he may push his graduation until later in the year to give him more time. Either way, he's going full steam toward the May goal and we're prepared to take things as they come for a little while.

Also...I've been planning to pursue another graduate program for a while now but this potential change in Nick's graduation has forced some changes to my plans, also. It has made for a crazy couple of weeks to say the least.

Long term, I am hoping to get accepted to an ABSN/MSN program so that I can ultimately work as a midwife. These programs, Accelerated Bachelor's of Nursing/Masters of Nursing with a Nurse-Midwifery specialty, are not super common and are generally very competitive all around. Bridge programs like this allow for people who have degrees in non-nursing fields to return to school and complete both their Bachelor level nursing degrees as well as their Masters level nursing degrees in a much shorter time than both degrees would take on their own (like, 3 years vs. 7 years). The schools that offer these programs each have their own set of criteria and qualifications that would make you a good candidate and most of the programs have limited space with hundreds and hundreds of applicants. We are hoping that my experience and higher level degree in public health will make me an attractive applicant but who knows what will happen.

My original plan was to wait and not even apply to any programs until fall of 2015 since some of the programs have start dates in the early part of the year and we weren't planning on Nick being finished until August. Buuuttt, when we found out he would be finishing in May, it made applying this fall (to some programs) a possibility. I will spare you the confusing and boring details of why this makes sense and just say that I completed an application to one of my top choice programs in less than two weeks after we had discussed this new plan. I submitted it on Nov. 1 and won't know anything about it until mid-December, with the final decision coming in February. There's another program that has an application deadline on Dec. 1 that I may still apply for, also. So there's that wrench in the gears, too. We sure don't like to make it easy on ourselves, do we? ;)

As far as Alden goes, he's amazing :) He runs everywhere, no matter how small the distance. He is talking like crazy and using short sentences almost all the time now. He loves his gymnastics class on the weekends and he keeps us on our toes, for sure. We both talk about how much we love this age and how much fun we're having with him. It really is so great to be able to watch your child grow into the person they are and to be there to support them as they change and learn. It is such a blast! Although, that's easy to say when Alden has been sleeping well and there are minimal tantrums ;) Ask me on a day when he hasn't stopped crying, wakes up multiple times at night and is generally a terror and you'd probably get a slightly different answer-haha!

Hopefully I'll get back here to post some fun photos of Halloween, talk about our weaning experience and do a quick photo post of all that Alden's been up to lately!

much love,

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