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. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

the one about the patient

I had a patient I was to do a head to toe assessment on and patient care notes. I spoke with her for a few minutes and noted, alert and orientated times four. Person, place, time, and purpose. 

Then later I talked with her longer. The more we chatted, the more grandiose her claims became. My favorite was that her daughter is busy running England with her husband the king. I crossed out the x4 and replaced it with a x2. My clinical instructor thought that was hilarious. 

the one where I just ugh

Once I was feeling really overwhelmed in this whole motherhood thing so I called a seasoned mama. I wanted to meet with her and tell her how I was not always the kind and patient mom I wanted to be and was floundering with two kids. I thought I could get an encouraging word or a funny story from when her kids were as young as mine are. We met but she was late and was distracted and just said the words, "you'll be fine" after I admitted that I felt like a failure. And that was that. I'm still floundering, probably as all moms do from time to time. I adore my children and my husband. I also love nursing school and that I get to be a nurse when I'm done. There isn't enough time to do perfectly well with both so I'm constantly wishing for more study time or more patience and kindness with my guys. 

And there's tonight. I hurt my back on Friday and today was the first day I didn't literally need painkillers to move. I took care of a bunch of little things (child care paperwork, new clothes for one child, a new car seat for another child, laundry, blah, blah, blah) but got to the end of the day feeling like nothing is done. No studying. No cooking ahead. No just sitting and playing with the boys. S is three years old and stubborn and smart and I yelled at him because he wouldn't go to the bathroom before bed. He cried and wanted to wait for Daddy to put him to bed. He's asleep now, as his A, and now I'm the one crying. 

I want to be doing something, maybe just one thing, that I do really well and feel confident in too. I have more good moments than bad at mothering and being a nursing student. I think. If I could get a handle on losing weight or organizing the house, that might help. I need help and I'm embarassed to ask because it seems like everything is such a huge mess that I should get it together a little before asking someone to join me. 

So, you know, bright and cheery.