Wednesday, December 3, 2014

the one where it's almost the end of my first quarter!

Just a few weeks left in the quarter! I think I have five exams and one paper left. A couple of little assignments here and there was well, but it's winding down. It felt like it took me forever to get my head really in the game this quarter. The last quarter of the LVN program had so many stressful exams at the end that I think I checked out mentally a bit once they were done and I had passed everything I needed to. Studying for and taking the NCLEX in the middle of this quarter didn't help either. And, it was a weird start. Same building, literally the same classrooms I was in last quarter, but a completely different program. New to me teachers, new vibe, a blue tag on my id instead of the glaring red one, just lots of new things.

During the LVN program, I didn't have to study too much. I had to for Med/Surg 2 because those exams were all application and it threw me at first, but other than that, there wasn't anything I really stressed out over. I did most of the reading and a lot of concept maps, but no weekend study sessions or anything like that. When I was at graduation, I thought to myself that I would really like to graduate the ADN program with honors. Then I had the first round of exams and realized it was fine to simply pass everything. I connected with a study group for anatomy and physiology and promptly brought my grades in theory AND lab right up and I am so thankful for that. I don't feel like a main member of this group, but I am so grateful they've let me pop in and they've helped me so much. I think we are all taking A&P 2 theory and lab together and have designated study times for next quarter already. I hope this continuous all the way until I graduate. There's so much more ahead of us!

I am not good at straight sciences. It doesn't interest me, it's not information that clicks in my head right away. I've known that for a long time. I like concepts and theories. And if you can explain the sodium potassium pump to me in the context of a disease process or a medication classification, I would probably get it. But just straight up muscle contractions are so foggy to me. It probably sounds dumb, with me being a nurse and all. But Med/Surg, where we learn the disease processes and what to do to fix things, that is my comfy spot in nursing school. I get it. I understand it. My brain works that way. Knowing the anatomy and physiology certainly helps. I'm looking at it like learning how to do long division by hand before using a calculator or using it as a part of a process to figure something out. It helps you know if you're on the right track.

But I am not a fan of microscopes. I don't care. It blows my mind that people figured out all of this stuff about the human body and named it all and know the chemical reactions and how some things are actually electric. When it comes down to it though, I want to know the person that all of this amazingness is happening in.

Things are good! Gotta hold on and get through the next couple of weeks and above 74 in everything and then I get to move on. And have a ginormous Netflix binge. I have a lot of deep cleaning to do and meals to make for the freezer and the like. But there will be many things watched on Netflix as well.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

the quick one about the boys

I think that my kids are super funny. S is talking and says the funniest stuff and A is just starting to talk but is still somehow funny. Today we had kind of a Thanksgiving detox day of watching movies and just being at home. After we watched Monsters University, A practiced his different kinds of roars all day. And after we watched Frozen, S chased A around the house yelling "Come here, act of true love, you need a kiss!"

I don't know how to make this kind of stuff up.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

the one with some venting kind of

I'm feeling pretty sassy this week. I went to the doctor on Monday because I had a sore throat for about five days but the kicker was a low grade fever. Every time I take my temperature, it is 97.4, so when I felt a little warm and took my temp on Sunday and it was 99.5, it was startling. And it didn't go down, even with tylenol. And it was 99 at the doctor's office, which also never happens. Anyway, it's probably not strep, but I have antibiotics and I got a steroid shot in the office. I have had steroid shots before. They are glorious. Or were glorious. It always has taken a couple of hours to kick in and then cut way down on whatever inflammation I'm experiencing and helps me get over the illness quicker. This week, it just hit me hard. I think it made my blood sugar spike pretty high on Monday night and Tuesday I just hated everyone and everything and felt miserable. Of course I couldn't hole up in bed, I had two exams. Awesomely, in both classes my overall grades are lower now, but I'm still doing fine in school so I'm not too stressed about it. I went home inbetween classes to sleep, but despite the fact there are literally two playgrounds in my apartment complex, the hip place to run around while yelling at the top of your child lungs is right outside my window. So I sat in my car and texted. Ranted.


I have felt like I have to justify and explain my life choices, and I think I'm done with it. I love nursing school. It kicks my ass, but in the best way. I spent a year earning a certificate and then sat for the state board exams and passed the mother effing NCLEX in 85 questions, which is the minimum amount of questions. My license, that I wholeheartedly earned, gives me some pretty good earning power. I'm now working on my ADN and will sit for the state board exam for my RN around March 2016 and start working soon after. That will at least triple my family's current income and I get to be starting a career that I'll love.

The other thing recently that I've kind of shifted to is focusing on the definition of "my family" and my husband and our two boys. All of my extended family is of course still important, but when I'm making decisions for my family and what's best, it's the four of us. We come first. When we do celebrations, we'll make plans that suit us best and then involve others as we can. I feel like it sounds harsher than it is, but we have done a lot of catering to a lot of people around us that haven't ever extended the same courtesy to us. I'm done for awhile. I don't have the headspace. I'm not willing to have the head space for all of it, I guess. A's second birthday is going to be the four of us going out to do a particular activity. We'll go from there!

Thanksgiving, K is working and me and the boys are going to my parents' house. Friday, we are having Thanksgiving Dinner with my parents and sister and her family and I am stoked. I am so appreciative that my parents want us all to be together to celebrate but it's okay if it doesn't happen on the official holiday day. With K working retail and me going into nursing, it's possible that celebrating on holidays is going to be rare. We decided to make the Fourth of July and Halloween priorities to have off for our kids and roll with the punches on everything else.

I read an old blog of mine recently that kind of detailed the demise of a particular friendship. Thinking about this guy (who I didn't date) and how things ended up makes me kind of evaluate where I'm at now with various friends. At least now when I look at friendships that have changed or kind of dissipated, I can still see there was good there at some point. I'm glad for that much at least.

Can we talk about mom shaming too? I don't have time for that shit. If the kids are safe and loved, stay out of it. You do you. Let that other mama make decisions for her family the best way she knows how. You can't judge because you'll never be privy to all of the details. If you are a mama, it helps so much to surround yourself with other parents. You can see how they approach things and glean things you like and maybe see mistakes you can avoid for yourself. But keep your snotty opinions to yourself. Motherhood is hard enough without your "friends" chiming in or talking shit about you.

I think I'm good for the night!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

the one where i daydream about vacations

At some point or another hopefully sooner rather than later, I'll be working and we will be able to save up real actual money for things like buying a house and going on family vacations. Buying a house will likely come first but it's more fun to day dream about vacations, so that's what I like to do. I have said for awhile that I'm becoming a nurse not because I care about people or want to do good but because I want to take my kids to Disneyworld. But I recently found out that it is $100 a day per person. So that is not my hallmark vacation anymore. The more I thought about it, the more I think my kids will kind of hate me until they are adults and then they might appreciate our family vacations.

Here is my vision: we will load up the car, have a cooler, and we will drive. We will go to as many of the states that we can get to. We'll start just here in Texas. We can go to the beach or go to a town in West Texas that intentionally cuts down on light pollution so you can read by the moonlight when it's a full moon. We'll go to New Mexico to see the hot air balloons. And the four of us can each stand in a different state. We'll go to see the redwoods in Northern California so big that we can drive our car right through the middle of one. The Grand Canyon, Mt. Rushmore, the presidential libraries, our state capital, the nation's capital, museums, and national landmarks. That's what I want.

And at some point, Disneyworld.

Friday, September 26, 2014

the one about being in school and blah

I'm in this strange stage of life where I feel like I'm where I need to be with school and headed toward a career that I'm going to love but still feeling in limbo because I'm not working yet. It seems like most of my friends are in actual careers and kind of more like real adults. I'm married and I have two kids, but it doesn't seem very grown up to be in school. Still. Again. Whatever. But, things just take time sometimes. The first plan was to get into nursing school, complete the LVN program and then begin the RN program as soon as possible. I managed to pull off doing that immediately. At orientation for the Winter quarter on Thursday, I met some fellow RN students and when I was asked when I finished the LVN program and I said Monday, it startled people. In that good kickass way. I think there are four of us who were able to have the GPA to be admitted into this quarter of the RN program. That's not a dig on anyone who didn't make it. Some people chose to start in January and others had the GPA and everything but couldn't get it all coordinated with the various offices you have to go through to get started. I'm still proud though. I accomplished something good. I'm registered to take the state exam for my LVN license. I have some credits taken care of and am hopeful to knock three months off of my program.

I think that right now I feel like I don't have anything to show for my efforts. No one walks around taking manual blood pressures or giving injections or handling someone's body fluids. It would be awkward to carry my stethoscope around. I feel a little unsettled. I will be participating in my graduation ceremony but I feel a little silly inviting people to it (even though I already have talked to a few people) because it isn't a degree. I'm working on the first degree starting next week. And I have a long way to go to be a nurse practitioner. After this program, I'll likely do everything else online. But maybe I can have a party after the RN.

I would like to be in a place where I am happy and not feeling like I'm competing or have to justify where my life is with everyone else. That is super dumb because I am actually happy. I haven't felt this much like my genuine self in a long time. I feel smart again. I love my husband and I adore our children. Money is tight but not unmanageable. I think somehow it doesn't feel like it's enough compared to the people around me that were able to figure this stuff out just such a long time before I did. But how do you ever win when you're in a competition like that anyway?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

the one about doing whatever i want

You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you write warmly about them, the should've behaved better. Anne Lammott

I stumbled across that quote on Pinterest one day. I censor myself so much in my online presence in order to not rock the boat too much or be too offensive or share too much. Sometimes it is really irritating. I have so many stories that I think if I shared could help other people know they're not alone in their frustrations or difficult situations. For awhile, I felt like I was a pretty good writer and sometimes I would like to use that gift to be entertaining or engaging. But I don't want to hurt people. And I don't want to hurt myself. I don't want to hurt my family.

The longer I am married, the more "my family" means me, my husband, and our children. It's the four of us that drives me to succeed in school so I can be proud of contributing to our finances. It's the four of us I think about when daydreaming about the future. Will we stay in Texas? Where will we go on our first vacation? Should we keep our crazy last name or change it to something else a little less challenging? Will the boys play sports or be writers or artists or all of that plus more? I adore the rest of my family but I don't really think about what my parents or my sister and her family are going to think about decisions that me and K make. And as far as my in-laws go, well, that quote pretty much sums up how I feel about that whole situation.

S is four and recently on a kick where he talks about how I can do whatever I want. I keep trying to explain that it's only kind of true. I'm an adult so it seems like I can do whatever I want, but there are consequences. My actions impact those around me and there are laws that need to be respected and all of those kinds of things. He doesn't understand any of it. I know that sometimes he thinks it's hard to be a kid. He has to go to bed even when it's still light outside (I hate daylight savings by the way) and doesn't get to watch all the tv he wants to and it really bothers him that the four of us don't just share one room. I think it is hard to be a kid. I think it's hard to be an adult, too. When I make decisions I'm trying to predict how things I do now are going to play out.

But sometimes, I am just tired of being nice and thinking about how my actions are going to impact those around me. I don't want to let people into my lane while I'm driving because it never seems like people let me in so why should I? And I don't want to be kind to assholes because they obviously don't care either way; they wouldn't act like that if they did. I don't want to keep all the birthday and anniversary dates and reminders on my calendar because a lot of those people don't do that for me so why should I for them? It's just sometimes that it all feels like a huge uphill battle.

I don't have any neat conclusion on this. But I know I want to teach my boys to be kind because the world really doesn't have enough kindness. I just need to strike a good balance between being honest and being kind. They are all my stories and I do think that if some people wanted me to think more highly of them then they should have treated me better. But maybe I don't need to share all of that with the world at large. Maybe sometimes silence is kind and still honest.


Friday, June 13, 2014

the one where I mention some happy things

Here's some stuff making me happy...

...Netflix. Specifically Orange Is the New Black. Freaking wonderful television. Morello! OMG, Morello. I want to give her a hug and some pretty strong medications. 
...quarter 3 of nursing school is two exams from being over! I got a B in a Maternal Child which is great except for the fact that's the area I actually want to work in so I wish it was an A. 
...giving up soda. It sucks. And it sucks that it sucks. But I'm doing it!
...sweet, sweet caffeine. I'm giving up soda but not coffee, espresso, or iced tea. Maybe another time. 
...working out. 45 minutes on the elliptical and then 10-15 minutes of weight lifting. I've lost two pounds. One gazillion pounds minus two to go!
...my clinical instructor from this quarter really poured into me. I feel so confident in what I'm doing. I have gobs more to learn and starting my first job will be terrifying, but nursing is where I'm supposed to be. 
...thinking it's okay to not have to be besties with my inlaws. 
...air conditioning. It makes me happy to not be sweaty all the time.
...kisses from my boys. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

the one with the very brief encounter

Today was the first day of quarter 3 of my LVN program and my first day of clinical. I LOVE my site. I'm very proud to be there and I'd love to work there after I graduate. 

On our orientation tour, we walked past a brand new mama. Her baby son was born on Saturday and she was there with her parents. My teacher talked with her for a bit and commented that baby boy was just content to be asleep. As we continued on, I quickly told her, "Congratulations! It's okay to be tired. It gets better." 

She smiled with a little bit of relief and her mom smiled at me too. And this is why I want to be a nurse. I can offer a brief connection that makes someone feel human again and not just a disease process or a baby dispenser or whatever else everyone is focused on. That's the best part. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

the one about my clinical

You guys. I gave a big whole shot today! I  get to do more and more nursey stuff every week and I'm just definitely in the right place.  


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

the one where it's just short and sweet

It's 845 pm and both boys are asleep. It's a little piece of heaven. My paperwork for clinical is done and notecards are made for my pharm exam next week. I got out a little early so I ran home and showered before I picked the boys up from daycare. Beans are in the crockpot for tomorrow and I'll make cornbread to go with them. It's a little piece of heaven.