Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Lots of stuff has wrapped up here on the eastern edge of the country. Of course, the great majority of you who read this blog already know that. Still, here are the updates.

We are finally done with our mortgage refinance. It's not exactly what we were hoping for, but we are at least in a 15 year note that will allow us to move ahead with the "get out of this house in 5-years" plan. 

My transcripts were reviewed and as I expected, I now have 7 classes left to complete my BSN. I started those classes Monday. After two years of mostly exams, the next 18 months are going to be mostly papers.  Time to brush off the APA style guide. If all goes as I plan, I should have the BSN done in December of 2013.  

I got a job!

That deserves a line of its own. I'll be starting my very first job as an RN Monday. I will be working at a medical rehabilitation center. I'll be on a sub-acute floor, which means I'll mostly be working with folks who are recovering from strokes, heart attacks and joint replacements.  They are folks who are to well for the hospital (or were kicked out by their insurance), but not well enough to go home yet. I'm excited.

The first couple of weeks while I'm on orientation I'll be working days and then I'll move over to evenings. The position is part time, so I'll be working 3 or 4 shifts per week. Amazingly, I will have no weekends! It really seems to have worked out beautifully.

Childcare is going to be interesting for a while. Because Ry's mom is coming out for a month and has generously offered to watch the kids while she's here and I'm at work. So next week, we are begging, borrowing and stealing to find childcare. Between a nursing school friend, my mom and Ry taking a vacation day or two, we have the first 10 days covered. Then I don't have to think about it for a month. 

After that, a friend of mine is going to nanny for the kids in the afternoons until Ry gets home from work. It's a really wonderful arrangement that means that the Monkey gets lots of attention and we don't have to put the Bear in after school care. I feel like 8:30 to 6 pm would just be a really long day for a 5 year old.  The catch is, she's going to be out of the country for 2 weeks right after my MIL leaves. One of the weeks is Thanksgiving, so that should lessen the impact. I will deal with that in a few weeks when I know a little more about how I'll be scheduled at work. (At work! For the first time in 5.5 years!)

In other news, my Father-in-Law and Sister-in-Law were just out for a long weekend. We had a really lovely time.

It didn't take long for the boys to settle right in with their Grandpa and Tantie.

I got 30 pounds of tomatoes from our CSA this week, so it was all tomatoes, all the time. The salad you see in this picture was the first of our tomato-heavy meals. I have to say that there is nothing quite as good as an organic heirloom tomato straight from the farm. Proof that God loves us.

The boys were both thoroughly in love with their Tantie by the end of the first day.

And then life resumed as normal.

It also happened to be Bear's half birthday during their visit. The half birthday party is my favorite of the traditions that we picked up from Ry's side.

It comes with a half cake.
Bear specifically asked for the purple frosting.

And a single present. Bear has a friend who has the arrows and quiver from Brave. Whenever we go to her house, he is obsessed with it. I thought it would be a great half birthday present. The one she has has brown arrows and a brown, hard plastic quiver.  When I ordered this one, I assumed it was the same. I didn't expect it to be so .... purple.

Turns out, Bear loved the purple. It was a big hit.

We spent lots of time riding bikes.

Mauling Grandpa.

And spent an afternoon at a charming little river town near us. We always park on the NJ side and walk to the PA side because it's a neat walk over the river.

And Ry and Tantie found a microbrew, as you do.

There was salsa-making to help with the bounty of tomatoes. Canning is one of those dying arts that I'm tickled to participate in every year.

There was a head injury, because no party at my house is complete without one.

And this picture hearkens back to a picture from my babyhood and Gummy Bear's.

How much does the Monkey look like his dad? Everywhere I go, people talk about how much he looks like me. To them I say ... nu-uh. Look.

It's always hard to say goodbye to family. One of the only things I dislike about where we live is that most of our family is other places. Still, I'm grateful that we get to see each other pretty regularly.

So, that's what is new with me. I'll try to post a little more regularly. Fair warning that I'm starting a new job and taking 2 classes, so I'll do my best.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Transcript fun

You may remember that I had transcript drama a few years ago when I was getting ready to apply to nursing school. See here, herehere, and here. Fast forward 4 years, and I am once again having transcript drama for my BSN program. This time, I have received no credit for English, Humanities, and a few Social Sciences and General Eds. So, instead of the expected 25 credits I thought I had to complete, I now have 53. Ouchy.

This is especially funny to me because my first (two) degree(s) was (were) in Communication. That, my friends, is the definition of a humanities degree. (Humanities: The humanities are academic disciplines that study the human condition, using methods that are primarily analyticalcritical, orspeculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences.) So I have once again written a lengthy appeal to submit to the registrar about why a bunch of the courses I took should qualify.

I wish that colleges could all get together and have some sort of universal description database so that I didn't have to deal with this every couple of year. When I begin my MSN, I will inevitably have to do this all over again. As I collect alma maters, this is getting expensive. Le sigh. One more hoop to jump through. Jump, Jube, jump!

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Bear starts kindergarten

Well, today was the big day. My Bear started kindergarten today. He woke up super excited, and since for the only time ever in our lives we were early, he was actually asking to leave for school. Instead, we took a bunch of pictures.

Cause how cute is this big man?

Of course, Monkey had to get in on the action too. He's begging to go back to the preschool. It's hard to explain that mommy needs a job before he can go back to preschool.

Here we are walking to the school.

And this almost made me cry.

Here he is with the school sign.

When we got inside, they cordoned off all the kindergarteners and their parents. We discovered that one of Bear's friends from preschool was in his class. They were super excited.

All morning, he insisted that he was excited not nervous. Here is where he started to get a little nervy.

Thankfully, having a friend's hand to hold makes things much easier.

And then, we were 3.

We snuck down to his room to see how things were going. He was engrossed, so we quietly slipped away.

And then I cried. A little.

At the end of the day, Bear charged out of the school like he owned it. I learned all about his day. They sat a tables, did puzzles, saw the playground, ate in the cafeteria, and lined up to go home. Whew. He was entranced by the cafeteria. He kept asking if he could have a ticket so he can get lunch from the "factory." The food in the cafeteria is pretty abysmal, so it won't be everyday, but I'll let him have lunch there occasionally.

First day of kindergarten? A resounding success.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Do all the things!

Last week I had this crazy realization that summer was almost over. For the first time this year, that actually means something. Gummy Bear starts kindergarten tomorrow! I got his bus pass in the mail this weekend and almost started crying. I predict that I'll be a bit blubbery tomorrow.

Anyway, since last week was our last week of summer, we decided to do all the summer things.

I added this picture just because Cheeky Monkey is so stinking cute in it.

So, we headed back to Sesame Place, one of our summer favorites. As always, the boys seem to more entranced with the misters than a lot of the rides. Whatever.

Their new favorite ride though, is the giant swing. Bear is big enough to ride in his own row.

The Monkey has to ride next to me.

We also had our final playdate of the summer with some of our very best friends. It's a little bittersweet to know that after tomorrow, I'll mostly be going on playdates with just Cheeky Monkey. 

So, anticipate lots of first-day-of-school pictures tomorrow. *Sniffle*

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Stuff we've been doing

We took our last camping trip of the summer this weekend. We decided to go back to Hospitality Creek, since the boys had so much fun last time and we figured it was our last chance for some good pool time.  We got there and Ry and I got unpacked.

The boys did other things to amuse themselves.

Then we got right over to the awesome activity pool. This time I actually got pictures!

Gummy Bear was off and away as soon as we walked in the gates. He absolutely loves the activity pool.

Cheeky Monkey does too. Tell me this is not the best picture of a kid you've ever seen. I'm totally plastering it on the wall at his wedding.

He was really into jumping off the edge of the pool, climbing back up, and asking to see the picture of the jump. Hence the abundance of Monkey-suspended-in-midair pictures:

Today we decided to pack it up (a day earlier than planned) because the weather looked dicey and we have some personal stuff going on right now. Instead of spacing out the rest of the treats, we decided to make a mid-afternoon campfire and have the remainder of the s'mores and Jiffy Pop!


As always, my rubric for how successful our trip has been is how long it takes the kids to pass out in the car on the way home.
90 seconds

About 5 minutes

As it turns out, we left just in time.

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