Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Bald And The Beautiful...Five Years Later


To read the original newspaper article, click here.

Wow. How times flies when...your hair is growing. :)

I have not cut my hair since that day, other than styling it as it came in (trying to avoid a little business in the front and party in the back, if you know what I mean...) and trims here and there. I've sure dyed it a lot, in an effort not to grow bored with it, but overall I'm happy with it! I've never, in my entire life, had my hair this long before.

I miss the reason why I did this, every. single. day. I'd happily live the rest of my life bald, just to bring her back.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Feeling...Blah

Told you another grumbly post would happen soon. There will be no boasting mommy thoughts in this post (even if I do love the little boogers).

I'm...done.

I'm feeling kicked while I'm down.

I'm feeling lost.

I can't even put it into mature sentences, apparently.

I feel like people are beginning to grow frustrated with my schedule and my lack of time...and I don't know what to do about it. Saying "I'm sorry" doesn't seem to matter. Saying "I'll do better" is always a hope, but never a definite. I don't want people to think I'm making excuses, but I'm pretty sure that's what they think. I wish they could peek at my daily life, just long enough to get a glimpse of what it is like.

My Mondays are spent trying to pad my hours at work, so that I have less to put in later in the week. This is also the day all my homework is due, by midnight. As you can imagine, I start the week off tired.

Tuesdays are spent running the older kids to school by 8 am, taking Peanut to ballet at 11 and picking her up at 12, dropping her off at preschool at 12:30 and picking her up at 3:00, picking the olders up at 3:30 and cramming in their homework before I drop Bay off at dance at 4:15, the twins of terror at taekwondo at 5:00, pick Bay up at 5:15, drop Ry off at gymnastics at 6:00, pick up the "twins" at 7:00 and pick up Ry at 8:00. During all that, I am also working 6-8 hours and studying for a pharmacology test that I have the next day, depending on the week. It goes without saying that I hate Tuesdays.

Wednesdays are early day, so all the kids are out of school at 1:30 and I am usually cramming everything I possibly can into my brain for pharmacology. I believe my last test had 24 medications on it that I had to know dosages, administration, side effects, adverse effects, nursing considerations and patient teachings for. I'm also still working my usual 6-8 hours.

Thursdays I am gone doing clinical hours. I am up by 4:30 am, out the door by 5:15 am and I don't return home until 6:30 pm. Then it's picking up taekwondo at 7:00 and gymnastics at 8:00. Somewhere in this mess I have to cram for my other class, because that test will be tomorrow.

Fridays vary. Either I'm gone to lab class up on campus, which involves driving an hour and a half, sitting in class for eight hours and driving home another hour and a half. If I'm not in lab, then I'm working, cramming for the test I'll take that evening, taking kids to school, picking them up, taking them to taekwondo, picking them up and driving up to a local campus to take my test.

Saturdays usually involve me doing homework. All. Day. Long. On average, in a week, I have two assignments, two papers, a discussion post, two post conferences (which are three page assignments, each), and something for lab...usually a health and history packet, communication packet or a comprehensive packet (that sucker is nine pages long!). Add in study guides on test weeks (every other week), power points to review, lectures to listen to and the (on average) 400 pgs of assigned reading. (To be perfectly honest...I've yet to actually do all that reading on any given week...)

Sundays I try to start off with a big family breakfast. I need the break by then and I miss feeling like "just a Mom". Then, I'm either catching up on work, or homework for the rest of the day.

Mixed in that chaos is of course all the normal things. Laundry. Cooking. Cleaning. Grocery shopping. Dentist appointments. Aver's therapy. All the things that don't stop needing to be done. If I didn't have Josh and Bek's help...I'd lose my ever loving mind. There is no way I could function.

Why not put the kids in public school instead of Charter? It would cut down on their workload, the extra driving and simultaneously, my stress. I've asked myself this too. But, how is that fair? They love their school and they are excelling in ways that they weren't in public school. I can't take that away from them, just because it is hard for me.

Why do all their extracurricular activities? An hour of dance for Peanut a week, an hour of dance for Bay a week, six hours of taekwondo (each) for the twins of terror a week and four hours of gymnastics for Ry a week is a lot and hard to juggle. Yeah...I know. You know what else is hard? Mommy guilt. They LOVE their activities and I HATE not being available to them as much as I used to. So...I deal with the insanity and let them do what they love, because I am doing what I love. They support me...so I support them.

*sigh*

That is my life. In a nutshell. It's why I don't come around as much. Or answer the phone as quickly. Or respond to texts right away. It's not because I don't care...because I do. It's not because I don't want to...because I do.

It's not you...it's me.

Cliché as it may sound.

Monday, October 15, 2012

What I've Learned So Far

1. Wounds...not as gross and oozy as I imagined. I can deal with them, but I am not going to be the nurse that runs from the other side of the facility at the chance to see a good one. I appreciated the chance to see exposed tendons (that was pretty awesome), but I was thankful that my gag reflex was in check.

2. Even grown, mature adults will blush and/or throw out some off color humor, when learning how to cath a patient. I stand corrected...apparently it is possible to cath the wrong hole...

3. Men, if flirty and perverted when they are young, do not improve with age. Please...stop trying to look down my scrub top. No, I'm not holding your hand...I'm checking your glucose. I'll laugh and pretend to think you are funny...but really, I wish you'd just grow up. I know that you grabbed my friend during your shower and really...that's just never okay.

4. I miss regular college homework. I used to be able to get by with 3-4 hours of homework a week. Now, I'm lucky to get by with 3-4 hours a day.

5. Medications are going to take me a good decade to learn. I can't pronounce half of them. Those that I can...I'm not 100% sure what they are for.

6. Other nursing school students are just as neurotic as I am.

7. I'm beginning to be okay with "good enough". Trying to do everything perfectly and give everything in my life 100% just isn't an option any more. Sometimes, "good enough"...just has to be good enough.

8. Miralax and Mucinex are not the same thing. Read. Slowly.

9. Little white lies...are okay. Telling someone that you are feeding them chocolate pudding with nuts (when it is really vanilla pudding with crushed up medication), is sometimes necessary.

10. Some nurses are amazing, when it comes to having students follow them around. Some aren't. I can't change them...but I know which kind I want to be, when I grow up.

11. CNAs are vastly underpaid.

12. Giving injections is not nearly as scary as I thought it would be.

13. I'm still not okay with asking for help, when I need it.

14. I'm thankful for the people that don't make me ask.

15. I can handle a lot more than I ever thought possible...and I'm thankful for the people in my life who remind me of that, when I forget.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I Saw Her

I saw a nurse today.

She was walking down the hall, with purpose in her eyes. Her shoulders were back and her head was held high, with confidence. She looked professional and at ease with the responsibility laid upon her shoulders. I caught only a quick look and then...she was gone.

However...I'm thankful I caught a quick glimpse of my reflection, out of the corner of my eye.



Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I'm Doing Something Right


Enough of the complaining and whining posts, huh?

Today, someone very wise told me to stop focusing on everything negative that is draining me and focus on all the people who love me and the things going right. So...today I'm doing just that.

My kids have been freaking amazing lately. I mean...they are always amazing (except for those times...ya know...when they...aren't...), but lately...they have really been impressing me. I don't know if it's natural maturity kicking in, or forced maturity due to the insane changes I have burdened every one with. Either way...I'm going to turn into a bragging mother for a minute. If that makes you urp in your mouth a little, you're free to leave. I'm sure I'll be back to my crazy, overstressed babble by the next post. ;)

Miss Bay has been rocking school this year! She tested out of spelling, so they started her in Latin and she's doing great! We got back her placement testing scores that she took at the end of 5th grade and we were so impressed with her. She needs to work a bit harder in reading vocabulary, but tested well above her grade level in every other area. In math problem solving she tested at a 10th grade level and in math procedures she tested at a post high school level. She definitely didn't get that from her momma...I passed pre-calculus, but it wasn't without a lot of tears and frustration! She also was recently awarded student of the month for her class, for being so kind and friendly with her peers. She started taking dance this fall and has been loving it! I cannot wait to see her perform! She may not have gotten my math skills, but she seems to have inherited my multi-tasking skills. She is doing fabulous, juggling all these responsibilities!

Ry-Roo is doing wonderfully in school, as well. When we attended parent teacher conference they didn't have her testing scores back yet, however she was placed in math and reading classes above her grade level, so I take that as a good sign. :) Her teacher adores her and loves that she is always on task and prepared. She began gymnastics this fall..."FINALLY", if you ask her. ;) She has been begging me for over a year and after watching her "teach" herself in the backyard for that long, we agreed. She started out in level 2, but by the third week, they moved her up to level 3. The fourth week they invited her to try out for their pre-competition team and not only did she make it, but she skipped pre-comp level 2 and went right to pre-comp level 3! What an amazing girl! She is in the gym practicing 4 hours a week now and so far she is loving it.

Avers has been showing great improvement. She is still on her medication and while it is not a "cure all" it has helped a lot. We still have issues with sleep from time to time, but we try to deal with it as it comes. She is still meeting with her therapist every 4-6 weeks and she is impressed with the changes we have seen in her, in the last year. We were able to meet with her teacher and receive her placement testing scores that she took at the end of 1st grade and once again, we were amazed. She needs to work a bit in language, but otherwise is above grade level in every area. She also did exceptionally well in math procedures, testing at a 5th grade level. She began taking Taekwondo this fall and is excelling! She is there six hours a week, after school and her Master is amazing. He is wonderful with the kids and she is really learning self control. It is a great self esteem booster for her, which she really needed.

Lukey is handling his first year of all day school fabulously! His first mid-term report card showed straight A's and his teacher reports that he has not had any behavioral issues. He is taking Taekwondo with Avers and I'm glad that they have something like this to share. They are very close (unless they are fighting!) ;) and it's wonderful to see them learn this new skill together. He is getting excited for their first tournament in November and he can't wait to earn his next belt. His Master asks every day if his room is clean and if it isn't, he has to do push-ups...he has been so good about keep it clean! ;) Every single morning he straightens it, with very minimal help now!

Peanut is loving dance and school...now. She went through a bit of a hard time getting used to being away from home for part of the day and would cry, but not anymore! She loves her new tap shoes and will show them to anyone who comes to the door. She loves school, as well, and is really picking up on her letters and numbers. She will randomly do math, as she helps me in the kitchen and I'm amazed that my three year old is grasping basic addition already. She was helping me put her lunch together the other day and said, "I washed two (grapes) and then I will wash three more." I asked her how many grapes that will be total and she quickly says, "FIVE!" (Math again...hmmm...maybe my children were all switched at birth???) I honestly didn't expect her to get it right and was going to take the opportunity to count them with her...but she was way ahead of me. ;)

Apparently...even though I feel like all I do is work and homework...and I never have time for anything...and I feel tired and over-stressed and over worked and burnt out and cranky all the time...I'm doing something right.

I'm raising five of the most amazing little people.

And if that is the only thing that I do right in my lifetime...I'll take it.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Pleading For Help

Dear Mom,

Tell me I can do this. Send me a sign. I'm so frustrated with it all. I've done horribly on two tests this week and I'm at my wits end. I never have any down time and every moment of every day is spent figuring out how I can fit in homework, homework and more homework.

I got bronchitis this week and all I want to do is sleep. "Rest", the doctor said. "Take it easy", the doctor said. HA! She knows I'm in school, so she said it with pity in her eyes. Instead, I spent the next day working twelve hours and cramming in homework at clinicals. It took all my might not to face plant the second I walked in the door, so I could actually see the kids before they went to bed.

I want to give up, Mom. I cry, nearly every day. Except for the students in my classes with me, I know that no one understands the mess I've become. I get a lot of "This will all be worth it one day" and "Take it one day at a time", because people don't know what else to say. No one can fathom the amount of pressure I feel on a daily basis.

I know in my heart that I will never quit. It's not me. But how much will I fall apart...trying to hold it all together?

Help me.

Love, Me.

Monday, October 1, 2012

They. Lied.

Week ten, they said.

That's when burnout happens, they said.

That's when I'd want to quit. When I'd cry. When I'd become emotional and insane and hard to deal with. That's when I would be so overwhelmed that I would barely be able to function, they said.

THEY. LIED.

I'm in the middle of week six and I'm losing my everloving mind.

My workload is killing me. Kill. Ing. Me.

I'm studying 3-5 hours a day and I still feel like I'm merely treading water...not taking much in...other than a small country's recommended daily allowance of caffeine.

Every. Single. Day. I feel like I can't make it another day. I want to just curl up in a ball and cry my little heart out. I'm exhausted and I'm emotional and I'm stressed out and I'm exhausted.

Did I mention how tired I am?

I know my fellow classmates are feeling the same. (And if they aren't, they better do right by me and shut the hell up.) When we get together, we all have that same, glazed over look in our eyes and we can't stop the manic giggling from bubbling up. We are all trying to juggle our jobs, our kids, our lives...and navigate this insanity. I like the time I spend with them, because I feel like they "get" me.

Bless the people in my life who haven't walked away. Yet. I'm pretty sure I would have had me committed by now.

Week ten. Psh.

I'm obviously an overachiever.

I even go crazy faster than the average individual.