Monday, October 31, 2011


Happy Halloween, ya'll! Ours was, as always, an adventure. It started with the boys' Halloween parade. This is a little tradition where the daycare dresses up all the kids and parades them around the playground. Super, super cute. Poor, poor teachers.

Then we set off to do a little trick or treating. The boys had a blast, and won much acclaim for their costumes.

And then, because it's us, Ry got to take the toilet apart. Apparently, earlier in the day, Cheeky Monkey was playing with a little blue ball. About 15 minutes later he took Ry into the bathroom, opened the lid of the toilet and pointed in, saying "Ball?" Ry said "I don't think your ball is in there." Cheeky said "Ball!"

Guess what?

It was.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

You're probably tired of these

But hey, our life is largely about soccer these days. I'm very grateful that yesterday's game was cancelled, since we got about 3 inches of rain/snow/sleet/yuck. It would have been a very uncomfortable day. These pictures are from last week's game. It was a little cool, but a good kind of playing outside day.

As long as I have coffee, I'm a happy woman. Cheeky Monkey loves the new tiny camp chairs I got on clearance at Target a few weeks ago. He keeps calling the fox chair a "bear", but oh well, as least he's trying.

Cheeky Monkey has his ups and downs with soccer. Some weeks he seems to be really into it and other weeks he's just phoning it in. This was a phoning it in kind of week. The kid next to him is an excellent soccer player.

Gummy Bear is a pretty happy guy if we bring snacks. This day it was raisins.

I'm amazed by how far the kids have come in the 8 weeks since the league season started. They're actually starting to show some understanding of the game, instead of just running in a clump around the ball. I don't know what we're doing next. I've been trying to expose Bear to lots of different things to see what he's most interested in. We did gymnastics last spring. After soccer season is over next week, we are taking a break from classes until after Christmas. I need to get through the end of my semester before I even think about classes for the boys again.

The boys Mummu and Papa Mike have been here for the last week. They're going to be here for several more weeks. The kids are in heaven. They have been so very patient and wonderful with the boys.


Transportation has been interesting, but we're managing.

And with this, I'm nearly caught up with the past week. We carved pumpkins this week, but the pictures are on someone else's camera. I'll get there!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A good idea in theory

Last weekend, we loaded up the troops (and my mom and stepdad and ry's mom and her hubby) and went to the big Renaissance Faire. If you've ever taken small children to a big festival like this, you know it's a better idea in theory than practice. Despite that, we had a good time.

We were greeted by this guy:
He was pretty awesome. I think my favorite part was that he was wearing baby shoes on the ends of his stilts.

We got inside shortly before the Queen. A few of the guests were overwhelmed by her presence.

Also, there was this guy. He is going to haunt my dreams.

The boys  went on a giant, wooden twirly ride. I thought Cheeky Monkey might be scared, but he was completely fearless.

Here we are waiting for the Mud Show to begin. I thought the boys would really enjoy it. Both of them were bored. I think the problem was that there was too much talking and not enough jumping in mud.

 Again at the joust. Too much talkie, not enough ridey.

The grandparents are determined to make our kids tree huggers.

Cheeky was a big fan of the turkey legs.

And Bear really got into helping Daddy beat G-pa at giant checkers.

We had a fun day, and Cheeky fell asleep on the way home. You can't beat that!

A few of his favorite things

I've been a pretty serious slacker on the blog front lately. Life has been a little hectic over the past few weeks. Ry got home from his very long trip and we had a few days before his mom and her hubby arrived for a visit. It's been great having them here, but it leaves very little time for blogging. So. Sorry. I'll do my best to update the blog in the next few days.

But first, some pictures of shirtless Gummy Bear and headwear:

He has been really into costumes and hats lately. It seems that it took him longer to get really into pretend play than some of his friends, but now he's full-steam into the costumes. Right now he's running around with the headpiece to his halloween costume. The boys are going to be cuter than ever this Halloween, so stayed tuned for pictures of pure cute.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Nursing school: What I do

I have had a couple of conversations with friends and relatives in the past few weeks that make it pretty clear that they don't know how I spend my days. I guess because I live it everyday, I assume that people know what I mean when I say "clinical" or "clinical research".  So here it is, a week in the life of this nursing student:

Monday afternoon: Clinical Research.
I go to the hospital floor and get my patient(s) assignment. Then, I use the computer, the chart, and medication record to look up everything I can about this patient. This includes: medical diagnoses, labs, exams or procedures done, medication prescribed, pyschosocial history, nursing and medical orders, progress notes, and medical history. This usually takes me around an hour. Then, I go and introduce myself to the patient. After I leave the hospital, I have about 2 hours of work fleshing out the information I received. I need to look up unfamiliar conditions, look up all the drugs (actions, classifications, side effects, nursing implications), and begin to put together my care plan for this patient.

Tuesday & Wednesday 7 am - 3 pm: Clinical
I go back to the hospital floor and you know, act all nursey.  As a student, I can most things a nurse can do except give IV push drugs (anything that comes in a syringe and gets injected directly into a vein) and hang blood or blood products.

Thursday 9 am - 3 pm: Class
Where we learn stuff.

Friday 9 am - 1 pm: Exams
We only have 4 exams throughout the semester, but they are always on Fridays. So on 4 Fridays this semester, I have an exam. The actual exam takes 2 hours, but then we do something called collaborative testing where we go through the exam again with a group of students and talk through our answers. I find that it really helps to discuss rationales, as part of doing well on nursing exams is understanding how to take  nursing exams.

Sometimes a question will be asked like this: John has a condition and comes onto your floor at 0900. His vitals signs are blah blah blah. He has just had surgery for the condition. Which of the following would you do first?

Then you get 4 answers. They are all actions you should take. You just have to figure out what the highest priority is.

So yeah. That's what my week looks like. What do you actually do when you do what you do?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Well that was bleak

So sorry about yesterday's post. I'm better now. Missing Ry aside, we have been having a fun time over the past week. There has been lots of goofiness, dinners with friends and time spent with Neena and Gpa. Here are a few pictures that made me smile:

Nothing like a baby in giant nursing clogs. He clearly has a future in the medical field.
Or cross-dressing

And then when I went to the bathroom, I emerged to find this: What were they doing? Eating apples and laying across ottoman, of course. What else would they be doing while I was in the bathroom?
I can't think of anything more logical.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The proverbial straw

Ry has been gone for 13 days. We expected that he would be home on Monday. Today I found out that his trip has been extended through (at least) Friday. And then I fell apart.

We've been doing pretty good. Chugging along, staying busy and trying not to dwell on missing him. I'm not going to say it hasn't sucked, because it has. I miss my husband, my partner, my best friend. The boys miss their Dad something awful. Cheeky Monkey has started crying any time anyone else tries to take him. He threw a sobbing, choking fit the other night because my Mom tried to give him a bath. Gummy Bear asks at least twice a day when Daddy is coming home, cries for Daddy whenever he's in trouble as has started to act out like he does every time something in his life changes.


We were going to start "counting the sleeps" until Daddy comes home tonight. Only 3 more! And now he's going to be gone for another full week. And cue the waterworks. I'm aware of the fact that I'm being a giant baby. I'm aware that I'm throwing myself a little pity party right now. But you know what? I don't care. It's my party. And I'll cry if I want to.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

How I do it

Over the past several weeks, I have had several people ask me how I do it all. This question is usually asked by a youngish person with no kids/husband/job. My pat answer for them is "I don't know. I just do."

Perhaps the more truthful answer is, "I don't."

Every semester I struggle to balance the stuff competing for my time and attention. By definition, when you are a "full-time" something (in my case, student), you are a "part-time" something else (in my case, mother, wife, friend and housekeeper). Try as I might, there are not enough hours in the day or brain cells in my head to do it all. What usually suffers for me is the housework, time spent with Ry, and sleep. 

The idea that you can do it all is a bill of goods.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is either lying or has a great staff.

For some reason though, we all pretend like we can. I'll neglect the housework all week, only to scramble around for 2 hours before I have friends over, so they don't see the layer of cat hair and cheerios on my kitchen floor. I'll post the pictures of fun times with my kiddos on the blog and facebook without sharing the stories about how Cheeky Monkey clings to me and cries when I make dinner sometimes because he just wants to touch me.

And I'll tell my classmates and friends that I just getter done even when I'm wracked with guilt about the fact that my dishes are piling up in the sink, my kids just spent 9 hours at daycare, and my dear husband gets to see me for long enough to help put the kids to bed before I'm off for a study session.

Still, I'm not writing this to throw myself a pity party. I chose to go back to school with two young children. I'm excited about the path I've chosen. Getting a break from my kids 3 days a week makes me a better mom. I just think we should all stop trying to project the image that we're the kind of pulled-together woman advertisements sell us, invite our friends over, and hope they see the humor in it when their kids eat a 3-day-old  raisin off the floor.

I do it ... by not doing it all, all the time.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Very Convincing

When I put Cheeky Monkey to bed, I usually sing him a few songs.  He snuggles into my neck and we rock. Tonight, after my usual 5 or 6 songs, I stopped singing and just rocked him.

He looked up at me and said, "More?". And so I sang another song. Then.


"No, Babe, now it's time to sleep," I replied.


"No, Sweetheart, let's snuggle," I said.

"Boo hoo."

*Snork* "Nice try."

Thursday, October 06, 2011


Ry has now been away for 5 days. We have 11 days left.  All-in-all, it hasn't been too bad. I've been busy with school, and my Mom and stepdad have been life savers. The boys are both a bit out of sorts and Gummy Bear has been asking about Ry a lot, but we are all doing pretty well. Ry is also doing well. The testing he's doing is going well, although he has been working 12 + hour days and sleeping in a bunk where his blankets touch the bunk above him when he's on his side. They gave him an email address (whoo!) so I have heard from him at least once a day.  He's been on the deck for most of the testing they've been doing so far. Here are some highlights from the first couple of days:

Also, a press release about what they are doing.

I don't have a lot of blogging left in me, as I've been trying to keep Ry up to date with our life here. Overall, life is good. The boys are cute, I am about to switch clinical rotations (which is good for many reasons) and things are just moving along.

Completely unrelated, this made me laugh. Also, cry. Because I hate clowns.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Mud. Soccer. Oreos.

It's been raining here since the beginning of August. Every time we get a day or two of sun, it downpours for another day or 10. Gummy Bear hasn't had a practice or game for 2 weeks. Since the giant fireball was actually in the sky this morning, they didn't cancel the game.
Kind of impressed a 4-year-old can do this.

The kids had fun. Since they were playing in 3/4 of an inch of standing water, they also got really, really muddy.
Who? Me?

The kids playing soccer weren't the only muddy ones. I had the foresight to pack an extra set of clothes for Gummy Bear. Cheeky Monkey went home in his diaper.

Ry was apparently confused.

And when the game was over, the kids had Capri Sun and Oreos. Seriously? Capri Sun and Oreos?!?!? I can't think of anything that would be better after an hour of running around. We're scheduled to bring snack the last week of October, and I'm afraid I'm going to be that awful mom who brings diluted juice and raisins.

In other news, Ry is going to be on a ship in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean for a little more than 2 weeks. He leaves tomorrow at 5 am. Pray for me.

I also passed my first exam of the semester. Big deal, eh? I'm actually quite pleased with myself, as the sheer volume of material on this exam made it feel like we were taking a final. Also, it feels good to know that I can do just as well on exams covering material that is not so interesting as material that I'd read even if I wasn't in nursing school. Take that, endocrine system! I own you!


NPR released a list of the top 100 Science Fiction books. I find that I have read a fair number of them, but also found some intriguing new titles to try. You know. In June.

My Fighting Illini are going to give me a heart attack this year. I don't know how many more last-second wins I can handle this year. Also, I've never seen a last-ditch effort like Northwestern's so nearly work. That. Was. Cool.

Finally, and just because it made me laugh. It's Guy On a Buffalo.

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