Friday, June 29, 2012

That's messed up

One of the fun things about being a parent is revisiting books I enjoyed as a kid. Sometimes I have to shake my head and wonder though. Did you read the Little Critter books when you were a kid? I don't remember if they were around when I was little or if I just remember reading them to my sister. Either way, they are still floating around.

This one has a sweet little message about how a gift from the heart is worth more than flashy, expensive gifts. The second or third time I read it, however, I noticed something. Early in the book, the critters are at the zoo, visiting the elephants.

And at the end they are in the classroom, giving their gifts to their teacher. Look, it's an elephant!  They put that poor kid's mommy in a zoo. What the?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Your daily dose of cute

Wait for 0:30 when he realizes I'm taking a video.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


 We used to love to camp. Of course, when we camped, it was a last-minute, toss-some-stuff-in-the-car-and-get-food-on-the-way kind of adventure. We have frankly, been too chicken to take the boys camping. Until this weekend.  Friday, we loaded the boys and more camping gear than I have ever seen in our Pathfinder and set out for the great outdoors. (You'll have to excuse the high number of pictures in this post, but we had so much fun!).

Our adventure took us to Hospitality Creek, which is a campground/swim club not far from our home. Hospitality Creek is like camping with training wheels. Our camp site had electric and water. Also, many of the campers had obviously been there for a very long time. This one had hardscaping, ya'll. I think many folks used their campers as summer homes. Frankly, it's a pretty cheap summer house. I don't blame them.

Our trip was nearly over before it began. Cheeky Monkey chose the 20 seconds my back was turned washing a watermelon to grab the knife and slice his thumb. Interestingly I chose that particular knife because it had a sheath. Note: the sheath is no good if it's not on the knife. Ry was sure that we were going to the ER, but after holding pressure for 5 minutes, it had pretty well stopped bleeding and a quick bandaid/tape dressing had us good to go.
Kitty: first aid requirement.
We made dinner over the fire both nights, which the boys found fascinating.

I was trying to get him to give a big thumbs up. He didn't get the joke. Toddlers.
There were s'mores, of course.
S'more what?
And then we took a quick dip in their awesome activity pool. I have no pictures of the activity pool, because, you know, water. Also, we were busy doing activities. Suffice it to say that it was awesome and the boys loved it. There are pictures on the campground's website if you're that interested.

Then in started raining. It rained hard for a very long time. The boys didn't sleep for a while. I'd like to say it was because of the rain, but mostly it was because sleeping in a tent was new and exciting. It was close to 10:30 before we finally got the Monkey asleep.
The LED torches were the best $1 apiece we have ever spent.
Did I mention that it rained a lot? After a few hours, it became clear that we were going to have a rather soggy night if we didn't do something. It was just a few drops inside the tent and some leaking around the edges, but multiply the few drops by the hours by the sheer volume of rain and you get the idea. So, in the pitch dark in the middle of a monsoon, Ry got a tarp out of the truck and saved us from ourselves.
It's not pretty, but it's dry!

 The next morning dawned dry and beautiful. Ry cooked us some eggs.

And we made some much-needed coffee. You know what we used the electric hook up for? A coffeemaker. Totally worth it.

We explored the campground, played on one of the many playgrounds, and enjoyed each other's company for a while before getting ready to go back to the pool.

After the pool it was nap time.
For everyone.

Our second evening was pretty uneventful and the second night in the tent was a lot more ... peaceful. Today we got up, made pancakes and kind of got everything together before a few final hours in the pool before we had to go. This camping trip was everything I love about camping (campfires, sleeping outside, swimming, meeting new friends, clean and accessible showers and bathrooms) and nothing that I hate (feeling like a Yeti after 3 days without a shower, bathing in mosquito repellent). We really had a lot of fun. We are already looking for our next campground for sometime in July.  Seriously successful camp trip.

One of the ways I judge our outings is by how quickly the boys are asleep in the car on the way home.

 About 5 minutes.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


We mostly don't use our actual camera to take pictures anymore. Mostly, we use our phones. I found these on the camera card yesterday.

This was an unusually warm day in April. The kids were using the sprayer to shoot water into the sprinkler. Apparently, it was awesome.

At least they were playing together happily.

I'm not really sure what the story is with this picture. I just like it.

We were in the kitchen. I was chopping veggies or something and Ryan was putting away dishes. I turned around to find the Monkey hosing the back of Ry's pants with the stainless steel cleaner. Seriously, he was out of our direct vision for 30 seconds. We had to throw away the pants.

Kids giving the cat fresh catnip. Kitty nirvana.

And decorating cut out cookies for Bear's "rock star" day at school last week. Cheeky Monkey used a good half of all my decorating sprinkles.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Jube, RN

Ok, this is actually a self-portrait that Bear made a few weeks ago. It is, hands down, my favorite piece of his artwork. It also pretty well sums up how I feel today.

Today I found out that I passed my NCLEX and am officially a Registered Nurse. I actually cried a little when I saw that beautiful word, "pass" on the computer screen this morning. For those of you who have never taken NCLEX, it is the hardest test I have ever taken. This includes all the tests in all of my test-taking life, including my master's program. It is a soul-crushing exam that made me feel like a dummy. Today I am so very proud to call myself Jube, RN.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Bear Graduates

Today was Gummy Bear's Pre-K graduation. Like everything else at the boys' school, it was extremely well done. The class walked in to Pomp and Circumstance, sang several songs and got their "diplomas". Then, there was cake, which was, of course, Bear's favorite part. 
Bear is one of the tallest kids in his class, so he was in the back row. Still, I managed to get a few decent shots.

He finally noticed that his Neena was in the audience.

The entire class. I believe there were 22. They were seriously cute.

This was hands down, my favorite moment of the ceremony. The kids turned around, put on sunglasses and shook it for all it was worth.

His future's so bright, he had to wear shades.

Moms got reserved seats right up front.

And Dads had reserved seats almost up front.

My handsome guys.

Bear and his Neena.
I can't quite believe he's going to kindergarten in a few short months. How did my 5 pound 13 ounce baby turn into this giant boy? I am looking forward to meeting the boy he is becoming.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

3 Days

It's a big week for us. On Thursday I drove up to the Board of Nursing with a friend to check the status of our license applications. It took about an hour to get there, but there was very little traffic and good conversation. The people there were super nice, took our information, and about 20 minutes later issued us our authorization to test. It was very nice. As it turns out, we got lucky. A group of my classmates drove up a day later and got the same old song and dance about how they are working as fast as they can and to be patient.

Anyhow, I came home and scheduled the NCLEX right away. My options for the testing center closest to our home were June 13 or 29. I took a deep breath and registered for June 13. It was 6 days away. And now, it's 3 days away. Um. Yikes. Still, I'm glad I'm getting it over with. I shuffled the boys' school days around so that I have all day Monday and Tuesday to immerse myself in NCLEX prep books. I finished up the online review material from Hurst and I'm feeling cautiously optimistic about taking the exam Wednesday.

Gummy Bear has his Pre-K graduation Thursday. I'm torn between thinking it's all kind of silly and being a blubbery mess about the whole thing. They have been practicing for the ceremony since the winter and Gummy Bear is very excited. They have a whole week of special activities planned for the Pre-K class (movies, water play, party). 

It is also the last week the boys will be in school until I get a job or Gummy Bear starts school in the fall, whichever happens first. Pray for me, internetland. We have some swimming lessons scheduled for the first two weeks of July and our first camp tenting experience with the boys scheduled for later this month. I hesitate to schedule too far into the summer since I have no idea when I'll be starting a job. Still, I think it's going to be a fun summer and the last I'll have the boys, so I plan on soaking up every sun-drenched, water-filled moment.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Wishing, and hoping, and waiting

 I was given a subtle reminder that I haven't been blogging lately. Ooops. Mostly, there hasn't been a whole lot going on over here. I'm in a bit of a holding pattern until the state board of nursing decides to send me my authorization to test (ATT) number. When I receive it, I can finally schedule my NCLEX.

I called the board last Thursday, and was told that it could be 10-15 business days before I receive it. (That's 3 weeks!) Apparently, they have decided to switch from paper to online processing ... in May ... when everyone graduates. Brilliant.

Since my friends who received their ATT 2 weeks ago couldn't schedule an NCLEX until the end of June, I'm probably looking at the end of July or August before I can take my exam. This is ... disheartening. I really wanted to get my NCLEX out of the way while the boys were still in school. So, I am obsessively checking my email and trying not to make myself crazy. I can't do anything about it ... so I'm trying to just enjoy the summer.

I also have a semi-weekly study date with my nursing school study buddy. I bought a NCLEX prep game, called RNterntainment. Although it's mostly just answering NCLEX questions, having a game format makes it a lot more fun. My friend and I have passed many happy hours, sipping coffee and making the other people at Panera Bread look strangely in our direction.

Our school is also having its official closing ceremony on Sunday. This is sad, since the program dates back to 1895 or something. They have a bunch of old uniforms and needed some models for the ceremony. And so, I'm going back in time Sunday to celebrate the school's history. It's pretty cool, actually. Hey, maybe I'll meet some nursing managers or something.

It's full blown summer around here (except yesterday, when it was 60 ... brrr!). The boys have been thoroughly enjoying every moment of water-drenched, water-cannon fun.

Mom and Greg are fully immersed in their new business, last week we all met for dinner at our favorite Chinese food restaurant. We were all pretty fried. Mom and Greg have been working crazy hours, I had a review course all week, and the boys had to go to school around 7:30. Gummy Bear took a little nap on his Neena's lap. Don't you wish you could do this some days?

Yesterday was raining and cool and the boys are both a little sniffley, so we spent the day around the house. I decided to make cookies and only realized that I didn't have baking soda when I was almost done mixing. This is what cookies look like when you try to use baking powder instead. They aren't too bad, although less a cookie than a biscuit. The boys are eating them, so I guess they aren't too bad. They do have sugar and chocolate chips, after all.

So, that's the update. Lots of waiting.
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