Monday, July 25, 2011


I'm trying out posting from my phone today, so bear with me. My phone really likes to randomly correct words into strange choices, so if a sentence all of the sudden makes zero sense, now you know why!

We heard from Shriners on Friday, and Miss Sunshine and I head back NEXT WEEK (gulp!) for her ear tube replacement. It will be another up and back trip - nothing like having to fly with a child who literally had surgery that morning. But, as far as surgeries go, this is a fairly minor procedure. And we've done this routine once before, so I'm sure things will be fine. We were also able to space out our flights fairly well, so she will have lots of time to rest and recuperate at the hospital before we head out. Last time, she spiked a fever after the procedure, so I have my fingers crossed that we don't encounter that again. Of course, if we do, what better place to be?

Enrollment for Monster Boy is this week, too. I can't believe he is already in first grade! He is so ready for school to start up again. He has been going stir crazy lately. It has been so hot here that I haven't been able to let the kids play outside, which has been rough for him especially. Hopefully it starts to cool off soon so they can get back to burning energy the good way.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Waiting for the rain...

Literally and figuratively.

It is HOT HOT HOT here in the Heartland right now.  Like, triple digits for going on three weeks, with no end in sight hot.  Miserable hot.  There is a song by Seven Mary Three called "The Oven".  It's about the state I live in. And it is a perfect description of the weather here right now.  It literally feels like you are standing in an oven when you go outside.  Add to this horrendous heat a significant lack of precipitation, and you have every person in the state holding their breath and begging for rain - which is not in the forecast any time soon.

Here around our house, we are also "waiting for the rain".  I don't know about Daddy Mac, but for a few weeks now, I feel like storm clouds have been building over us, waiting to unleash their fury.  If you've read my blog before, you know I frequently refer to our trying times as storms.  I have a feeling when this one hits, its going to be a doozy.

I don't even really know how to explain why I am feeling the way I am right now.  Sure, things are tight, money wise.  But no tighter than they were a year ago at this time - in fact, probably less so.  I know that sometime things will start to level out, as they always do.  We always make it through, one way or another.  Health wise, we have all been doing well.  I don't know why I have this feeling, I just do.  It's like waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Or some other tired old cliche.  Or waiting for the storm to hit, as I like to say.

I'm trying to "let go and let God".  (Wow, I am just FULL of those cliches today, aren't I?).  I'm trying to have faith that things are not going to be as bad as I have imagined or built them up to be.  Perhaps it is all the changes approaching us - nerves about my going back to school, about finding child care for Miss Sunshine, about how Monster Boy will do in First Grade as opposed to the more relaxed atmosphere of Kindergarten, about how the tsunami's in Japan have affected the car industry and what that might mean for Daddy Mac's job... so many things going on and running through my head right now, so that I can't seem to calm my thoughts down and just breathe.  I have never dealt well with stress, and lately it feels like I am stressed to the max.  And I'm just not sure what to do about it, because none of the factors contributing to my stress are tangible things that I can exert any control over.  I'm trying to get to a place where I can calm myself, maybe head off the impending storm, or at least take adequate cover.  But since I don't really know what it is that I am stressed out about, it's kind of hard to do that.

Daddy Mac is very much a "take it one thing at a time" kind of person.  You know, those people who "don't stress over it because stressing over it doesn't change it"?  I am SO not one of those kind of people.  And I know he means well, but because he's not, he just really doesn't understand me right now.  He tries, with all his heart, and I know it bothers him that he can't "fix" whatever I think is wrong for me, but he just can't because I don't even know what it is that is wrong, much less how to fix it.  It's just one of those things I have to weather on my own.  I know, once we get settled in to our new routine, that things will seem better.  It's just the getting there that has me so worked up.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Back in school

Well, it's not really back to school time here yet.  We have another month before that hits, although enrollment for Monster Boy is this week.

But really, I'm talking about myself.  After much thinking, discussing, and even praying, we (meaning Daddy Mac and I - we are a partnership so we make major decisions together as a team) have decided that going back to school is the best option for me at this point.  I met with an adviser yesterday, established a plan, and now is the time.

I am going back to school to get my nursing degree.  I have decided to pursue a BSN - Bachelor of Science in Nursing.  There were many considerations that went in to choosing this route rather than getting an ASN, but this was ultimately the decision I made.  It will take me approximately three and a half years to complete this, as I need several science courses that I did not have to have for my prior Bachelors Degree.  I do have the option to double up on those science courses, but as they are all lab courses, and I have been out of school for ten years now, my adviser, Daddy Mac and I have all come to the conclusion that I am much more likely to successfully get admitted to the nursing program at the college of my choice if I spread them out.  The reason behind it is this:  because I have been out of school for so long, they will only look at my cumulative GPA starting with the classes I will begin this fall.  I need, at a minimum, a 3.0, and at least a B in ALL of the science classes, to have a good chance of being accepted to the nursing program.  Ideally, I would need to have higher grades - as the average GPA of applicants to this program is typically between 3.2 and 3.4.  Admission is based on a points scale, with roughly 90% of the points tied to GPA and the scores in the three specific science courses I need - for example, a student with a 4.0 and A's in all three classes would have a total of 70 points.  A student with a 3.5 and B's in all three classes would have 56 points.  There are only 60 open positions each semester in this nursing program, so it is VITALLY important that I do as well as possible in these classes.  To that end, my decision on how to schedule my courses is set up to give me the best opportunity to achieve the highest GPA possible.  Because I have been out of school for so long, I want to ease my way back in.  I know it will be culture shock and that it may take me a few weeks to get things straight - and I desperately want to succeed at this, so I am trying to give myself every opportunity there is to do it.  I have the faith in myself that I can pull off all A's, now I just need to prove to myself I can do it.  The first time around, my GPA was not nearly so stellar, mainly because I was a bit more concerned with my social life than my school life - I freely admit that.  This time, I am hoping that the different place I am at in my life will make a noticeable difference in my performance at college.

Fingers crossed, but I'm jumping in right off the high board here!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I love my children...

I will not lie - my kids can be hell on wheels some days.  Absolutely.  Today, for example.  Most of the day was pretty good.  Church this morning, where they behaved astoundingly well, went good.  We came home, did lunch, and put Miss Sunshine down for her nap.  Which she did not take - but instead got out of bed, put on shoes, played with her dollhouse, banged toy furniture against her wall, threw her pillows and blankets on the floor and tried to hide under them... well, you get the idea.  Okay, obviously no nap.  So off to the water park we go.  The kids had a BLAST.  It was a scaldingly hot 110 degrees here today - so pool time was an ideal choice.  We had a good time, and headed home for dinner.  Miss Sunshine is in the midst of potty training, which is going fairly well.  She is finally interested in sitting on the potty, at least, so that's promising.  Well, we get home and she decides she needs to go potty - and without telling us, goes in, manages to remove her diaper, puts her little seat on top of the toilet, climbs up and settles in.  And THEN yells at us that she's going potty.  I go in to check on her and get informed that she needs her "Pie-a-see" (can you tell I frequently have to boot my kids out of the bathroom when I try to use it?).  Alrighty, then.  Whatever.  I leave, and go back to the living room - where I have clear view of her in the bathroom.  She spends several minutes in there singing and generally making noise.  And then it gets quiet.  You moms know the kind of quiet I'm talking about - the "your small child is definitely doing something they are not supposed to be doing" quiet that makes you nervous to go see what it is that they have done... So, I bravely venture in to the bathroom, to find my daughter covered in shampoo - which apparently got left on the side of the tub after her last bath.  She has been shampooing her hair while sitting on the toilet.  I mean, rubbing it in and all.  Sigh.  Well, on the bright side, she DID need a bath tonight... (And it only took rinsing her hair four times to get it all out...)

Some days, all you can do is laugh.  

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Happy (Belated) Fourth of July!

The Fourth of July has long been one of my favorite holidays.  For us, it's a time of family, friends, fun and most importantly, remembrance.

For as long as I can remember (and probably even longer than that) we have headed to a tiny little town here in the midwest where my aunt and uncle live for every Fourth.  Out in the middle of nowhere, with fewer restrictions on fireworks, we would have our own private shows right in their back yard.  My uncle was a Vietnam Veteran, and the Fourth of July was a very important holiday for him.  It's a celebration of epic proportions (at least in the eyes of small, and not so small, children) for our family, and I have never missed one. We lost my uncle several years ago to lung cancer, but the tradition he started lives on in remembrance of him.

Miss Sunshine is still rather unsure of fireworks.  The noise doesn't seem to bother her, she likes the lights (OOH, Look Mommy, Pitty!), so it's mostly us yelling "No, stay back, HOT!" every time she ventures to close that probably has her on edge.  Monster Boy, on the other hand, has no fear.  He LOVES lighting fireworks (well, okay, what six year old boy doesn't?) watching them pop, smoke, light or whatever they may do.  Parachutes are probably his favorite - he loves chasing the darn things.  One of these times he's going to get burned, but no matter how many times I yell at him to stop, he keeps right on going.  I suppose this is one of those lessons he'll have to learn the hard way.

We started off our morning with quite the event - Monster Boy lost his second tooth!  It's been rather wiggly for a while, and that morning he came into our room with the request that Daddy pull it for him.  Well, Daddy was a bit too squeamish to do it, so Mommy got the honors.  I had my doubts about if it would come out - it was super wiggly but not quite to that "part of it hanging out wiggly" phase.  I grabbed a paper towel, moved it back and forth once, and pulled gently.  And out popped that tooth with barely any effort at all!

Monster Boy with his toothless grin.

After that excitement, it was time to head to our events for the day.  First up was my grandmother's for a little lunch with her family.  After a few hours over there with the kids lighting off some smoke bombs and snakes, we came home for a nap.  Once the kids were up and moving, off we headed to our final destination for the evening.  Boy, was it a HOT one this year!  But the kids had a blast.  

Miss Sunshine in her Fourth of July Finery

Getting started on the fireworks

Whatcha doing?  (Our new favorite phrase)

After a few hours in the heat and sun, it was time to sit down and cool off with some popsicles. 

And then on to the show!

Then it was home with our terribly exhausted kiddos to bed.  Well, the kids went to bed at least.  Daddy Mac and I got the pleasure of being kept awake until three am by the neighbors behind us shooting off mortars every ten minutes from the time we got home until the time we called the cops to get them to lay off.  Sometimes, especially when you have to get up for work in three hours and your dog is hysterical and waking up your kids, you just have to be that cranky neighbor.  That got to be us this year, unfortunately.  I would have liked a better ending to our holiday, but we had a blast anyway, and I am grateful for that. 

One thing I made sure to explain to our children, however, is the importance of remembering WHY we celebrate this holiday.  And taking some time out of our day to give thanks to the men and women, past, present and future, who put their lives on the line to give us the right to have the celebration we do.  THEY are the real reason for this holiday.