Saturday, August 17, 2013

Happy Days Are Here Again! Back to School!

Summer has come and gone and now the kiddos are back to school. They have only been back to school for three days. This year there were no partial days. Trust me I had no complaints but I could see it on my kids exhausted faces when they returned home, their day was a long one. We tried to "train" them back into their school routine but of course that didn't work. Good intentions and all that jazz. My oldest instantly fell asleep when she came home. My oldest son was frantic that he would miss a homework assignment being posted on their new class website. Plus, he was upset that he wouldn't have any "game" (video game) time because he had football practice. My younger two seemed the least bit affected by the long school day.

The youngest started preschool this year. He is four years old. He calls it "Priest School" and now that he is going to "Priest School" he is a priest. According to him. It's so stinking cute and I love that he is so excited about school.

I have to say I am so happy that school has started back up. Not just because the kids are out of the house. I have enjoyed spending time with my kids this summer. The summer did go by incredibly fast. The reason I am happy that school is in session is because my family will be back on a schedule. School forces us to get on a schedule and stick to it. Bedtimes, wake up times, homework assignments and deadlines, practice and game schedules, all of it forces us to adhere to a routine. And let's be honest we do better when we stick to a routine.

Part of our routine includes making lunches.  This year we are making the kids take their own lunch 4 out of 5 days a week. They can decide at the beginning of the week what lunch they want to purchase at school. With four kids in school, lunches add up quickly. I figured it to be about $200 a month on school lunches. If we pack our own and limit purchases of the school's lunch then we can save about half that amount. It adds up quick and with those savings we could afford to send three kids to summer camp next year. I searched Pinterest for several lunch ideas. My favorite one was of a three drawer Rubbermaid organization bin. Each drawer held different items that can go into a lunch box. In my top drawer I have things like fruit cups, granola bars, cheese and crackers, raisins. The kids can pick two from this box. In the second drawer I have sweets like Little Debbie treats, cookie packs and fruit snacks. They can pick one. The third drawer is for our drinks. We are allowing the kids to choose a drink from the drawer, a bottle (reusable) of water, or milk purchased at school. Plus, the kids can make sandwiches or rollups and get fruit and veggies from the fridge. So far (for the three days we've had) it's gone well. I hope we can stick with it. I believe that the lunch making will help my kids with decision making. They will learn about choices and healthy food. We also have an after school snack bin in our pantry. This keeps the kids from sneaking the lunch supplies.

Guess what also comes with the kids going back to school... FOOTBALL! I'm not a huge football fan. I cannot tell you what play is what but I do understand enough to enjoy the game. Yes, I am a football mom. And I love to watch my son play...when he plays. I enjoy the high school football games as well. We are a small town how else are we to spend our Friday evenings? But the best part of the season....wait for it... FANTASY FOOTBALL. Oh my goodness, my husband has his draft coming up next weekend. Now to be fair he isn't like most men who get all out of control with their teams but I do find it amusing. He enjoys it and that makes it worth it. I'm looking forward to the cool weather (which we are enjoying today) which means chili and sandwiches while watching college or pro games. Woohoo...I'm so excited.

So as you can now tell, I love this time of year. The routine of back to school. The excitement of football season. And the wonderful fall weather. I'm dying to start decorating with pumpkins, fall leaves and little ghouls and monsters. But I will give it a week or two.

I hope you are enjoying the back to school fun.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Let's Catch Up

My last post was in August of 2012. So it hasn't exactly been a year that I have ignored this blog. Life has been crazy insane since then. Let me catch you up and hopefully I will be back on track to this whole blogging world.

I'm still working as nurse. I have almost survived my first year as an RN. My anniversary date is June 18th.  It has been a challenge for sure but I am learning everyday. I started out on night shift and just recently switched to days. Life is so much better on days. Work isn't easier. In fact it is downright crazy and I often wonder why I agreed to switch shifts. But I am home by 7pm on the days I work and am able to spend time with my family. Then I can sleep like a normal person. Yes, I am enjoying days!

On Christmas Day we had a big snow storm and I was snowed in at work. The entire area was covered in snow. And you know what happens when it snows right?  People want to warm up. They snuggle. Then snuggling leads to other things and... well you get the point. We did some (ahem) snuggling of our own ringing in the new year and now we are expecting our fifth child. We will be having a little girl and we are ecstatic about it.

A little surprise to both my husband and I. I say little because we had discussed having another child and we weren't taking any precautions so it wasn't a big surprise. The big surprise came when I became so sick during the first trimester. I don't remember being that sick with my other kiddos. My husband said it was a combination of working night shift and being older. God bless him that he is still alive for bringing up the fact that I am now older. Seriously, I didn't have the energy or the stomach to take him out on that one. So I let it slide...for the time being.

Thankfully, I survived the first trimester and everything is moving along perfectly. Life is going pretty good I would say.

In late April we decided to pull the kids out of school for a week and take them to Disney World. It has been a goal of ours to take the family to Disney. The first night at the Magic Kingdom I couldn't hold back my tears. My youngest was asleep in the stroller. He didn't stay awake for Tinker Bell's flight or for the fireworks. The older three were standing on a bench, overlooking a lake and watching the fireworks over Cinderella's castle. Blame it on the hormones but it was a beautiful moment that I will never forget. For a few minutes my children were calm and loving. We spent the entire day in the park and had a couple of meltdowns. But at that moment of the fireworks everything fell into place. The kids were cheering and pointing. It was perfection and the Disney magic fell upon my family.The rest of the week was like that. There was so much to do and we were lucky to be able to do most of it. Really, the end of April is prime time to visit Disney World. Barely any lines or crowds. The weather was perfect but I think that was just luck more than anything.

So what do you do when you return home from Disney World? Well, the kids went back to school. That Monday morning I convinced my husband that we should consider getting a dog. Yep, I went there. We have had pets before but had to give them to other homes when we moved or for other circumstances. We have been pet free for about five and half years. The kids are to the age where I believe they will benefit from a family pet. My husband decided to humor me and off to the county shelter we went. Of course we saw puppies first but they were already claimed for adoption. We took a walk around the kennels. All the dogs were cute and very excited. They jumped at the fence and barked. It was heartbreaking to see so many animals without a home. At the end of the kennels there was a red dog who calmly sat and waited for us to get to her. She didn't bark. We were told that her name is Harlow and was found wandering in one of the local businesses. After spending some time with her in the shelter's office we decided she was for us. Of course we had to see how she was with four kids. Later that day we told the kids the news and that they would meet Harlow. The meeting of dog and kids was funny. Harlow was the calmest of the bunch. She is extremely tame and only barks if she wants to go outside. Yay for a housebroken dog. She also doesn't jump on anyone. BONUS!!! Now she is ours forever. I couldn't be more pleased. Harlow is the chill pup that our family needed.

There you have it. You have been caught up. My life is still crazy as ever. And it is going to get crazier. Is that even possible? Well, stick around and find out.

Upcoming posts:
1. Harlow and her preferred place to poop. (Thank God it's not in my house)
2. My husband bought an XBox.
3. Don't call it a Geriatric Pregnancy!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Remember Me?

It's been a long time since I last posted on my actual blog page. Life has been one big blur this past year. Here is an update:

  • I passed nursing school! Woohoo! I passed my boards, too! Now I am working as a med/surg nurse. Let me tell you that now that I am on my own as an RN, nursing school doesn't look so bad. But I have been told to give nursing a year or two until I get comfortable. So far I have two and half months down. 
  • We bought a brand new mini van. Big pimpin I know! New job. New paycheck. New car payment. I love the new vehicle. It has plenty of unnecessary bells and whistles but let me tell you one thing. Those bells and whistles keep my four kids entertained on long trips.
  • I am still overweight but have lost twelve pounds since working as a nurse. There is no time to eat on the shift and when I do eat I try to eat healthy. I do plan to start cycling. Don't worry I will post how that is going. It should be very comical as I have not ridden a bike since before I was married.
  • Our parish went through a big "scandal" when our priest was made to leave due to his not following the teachings of the Catholic Church. It was a bad time for our parish. Lines were drawn and I even lost a few friends. Just be thankful that I wasn't blogging at this point. My opinion was not one that was widely accepted. I do believe our parish can now heal and grow with the help of our new parish priest. Through the turmoil I did pay more attention to my own faith as a Catholic. It is in desperate need of some repair. But that is a whole other post on it's own.
  • I have been told several times that I should not have any more children. Jason, my husband, and I have no plans to have more children. Yet, friends and family feel it is their responsibility to let us know their stance on the size of our family. 
  • My youngest is potty trained. I honestly never thought it would happen. Just kidding. A little. My house is now diaper free. For the first time in twelve years there is no one in my home wearing diapers.
As you can see I have been busy. Now that things are getting to be a bit more settled I hope I will have more time to focus on blogging and writing. The kids are back in school for the year. I am getting used to the life of a night shift nurse (it's two in the morning as I write this). I am looking forward to normalcy now. Who am I kidding? Life will never be normal or settled. 

If you are reading this thanks for checking back in. I hope to entertain you with all the wonders of Dishes, Diapers and Degrees!  Hmmm.... maybe I should change then name now that I don't have diapers and I am finished with that degree. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Where is my little girl?

FYI- Not my kids

I am the oldest of  four girls.  I used to pick on my sisters like no tomorrow.  Don't get me wrong... they had it coming.  Looking back, I realize I was pretty ruthless.  Don't be fooled by the cute dresses and baby dolls.  Little girls are worse than little boys.  Its not just physical.  We get down on an emotional level as well.  This is very normal.  Siblings fight. They bicker.  They hate each others guts one minute and are the best of friends the next.  It was the same way for my sisters and I.  Now I see it in my kids. 

My mom used to tell me, "Just wait.  One day you will have kids.  And it will be worse for you."  I secretly think that woman cursed me.  My mom is no longer with me in the physical sense but always in my head.  Yes, she is that nagging voice that I will never outgrow.  I know she is laughing hysterically.  Up there with her heaven posse just shaking their heads over coke and rum.  Watching me flounder as I try to put my eleven year old daughter in her place. 

Yes Mom, I know, PAYBACK IS A BITCH!   I hate it when she's right!

I had an attitude.  Only at home.  I wasn't disrespectful to my teachers or anyone else.  Just my parents.  Lucky them.  Now its my turn. My daughter is my clone.  I swear she has the same moans and groans that I did.  The same damn eye roll.  The flopping on the furniture when she is told to do something. She picks on her siblings just as much as I did.  Why did that part of my beautiful DNA have to be passed on?  Seriously?!

Where did that sweet little girl go?  Oh, she is still there.  Somewhere.  I catch a glimpse of her from time to time. I know all little girls grow up.  And that is what my daughter is doing.  She has gone from Disney Princesses to Jonas Brothers (can you blame her).  From cute little dresses with Mary Jane shoes to a Punky Brewster like closet. 

She is becoming herself.  Learning who she is.  Who she wants to be.  She will change many times over the years.  Trying on one identity or another.  Its what we do.  Its what I did.  I have to learn to step back and just watch. Watch her as she grows in a young woman.  BUT ITS SO HARD!!!!  I still want her to be little.  I remember my mother always asking me where the little girl went.  I never thought I was changing but now I understand.  Right before my mom's very eyes I morphed into another person.  Just as my daughter is doing now.  In reality it doesn't happen over night but to a mother it feels that way. 

My little girl is just beginning her journey.    There will be times that I will want to tell her what path to take and what to do but I must try to let her chose.  I know that she is going to drive me crazy.  And I, in turn will do the same for her.  And one of these days I will pass on those pearls of wisdom.  Just like my mom before me.  "PAYBACK IS A BITCH!"  Oh, how I look forward to it!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Crap! I forgot I had a blog!!

Whoa! Its been awhile.  Life has been crazy lately.  Here is an update.

#1- I got into second year nursing school.  Woot Woot.  Yes, I am on my way to my RN.  I am very excited and scared.  The material is insanely difficult this year but I vow to get through it all.  I am blessed to have wonderful classmates who are supportive.  We have a great class.  Our instructors could use a swift kick in the motivation department.  I have never met such negative Nellies before.  Oh well they won't take me down. 

#2- My husband, Jason, had surgery on August 18th.  He had his right salivary gland removed.  The gland was send to pathology who then sent it to Mayo Clinic.  We found out two weeks later that it was cancerous.  He has Mammary Analogue Secretory Carninoma.  Ya, that is exactly what I thought. WTF!?!?!?!  It is very rare and the doctors really don't know anything about it.  The good thing is that it is a low grade cancer.  Jason, will start radiation treatment next week to make sure there aren't any lingering pesky cancer cells that may spread.  Please keep in your thoughts and prayers.

#3- My little sister, MaryAnne, was deployed on September 11th.  She will be going to the "sandbox".  I am glad that we were able to send her off and spend time together.  I just wish that she did not have to be a part of this senseless war.  She is brave and I am really proud of her.  Please pray for my sister as well. 

#4- I still have four kids that make my household crazytown.  I love it.  I love them.  Lately things have been stressed and I know they have been affected but we will all make it through.

As you can see life is... well... its life.  Its unpredictable.  I could do without a few of the stressors but really they make me who I am.  I really don't have any complaints.  Ok, that is a blatant lie, but we all complain.  I have beautiful kids who are little shits every now and then.  I am getting closer to my career as a nurse.  I am hopelessly in love with my husband.  We go through rough patches like any other relationship but is to be expected.  I am happy to say that the passion we had when we first met is no longer there.  It has multiplied.  I never thought that happened. I guess we are just lucky. 

So I am going to take life one day at a time.  With all that is going on that is all I can handle.  Not everyday am I at my best.  Some days I look back and I cringe at my attitude or something else.  But I am trying to embrace each new day with a positive outlook. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Caught Between the Future and the Past

Here I sit at my kitchen table.  Just another ordinary day in my house.  There is a mess to clean up.  Kids to feed.  Bank balances to worry about.  And weight to lose.  Same thing day after day.  This is my present.  We are often told to live in the present and embrace it.  The present is all that we have  The past is gone and the future cannot be promised. 

So, if the present is all that we have then why do we focus on the past and future so much?  Why do we plan ahead?  Why do we sit and think about days past?  Why do we waste today, the now, for tomorrow?

I believe it is because, one day, we hope for a better present. That with all the planning and looking towards the future that one day will be the present we want.  This is why we go to school, learn to read, fall in love, get a job and worry about what we eat.  Someday, we plan to be happy with our present.  We look back on our past for the good memories as well as the bad. This helps ignite our desire to keep looking to the future.

This past month I have done nothing much but look to the future.  I am finished with my LPN training.  I have been studying for the NCLEX-PN.  My plans are all still in the future.  Take the test.  Pass the test.  Get a job that I enjoy and won't hate with every fiber of my being.  Maybe, just maybe, get a letter someday soon, saying that I am in the second year RN program.  Receive a steady paycheck so I won't have to worry about money.  Be able to take my family to Disney World or at least be able to pay for their school tuition. 

Here I wait in the present.  Its out of my control right now as I wait for the agency to send me my ATT # so I can take the test.  I have no control over getting into the RN program.  I feel very much like a puppet.  Someone else has to pull the strings in order for something to happen.  This is my present.

I also worry about my husband who will be having major surgery in a few weeks.  While we both believe it will all be ok, I can't help but wonder.  What if something bad happens?  How will our future be then?  Once again the outcome is out of our control.

I know, put it in God's hands.  I believe in God.  I also believe that while I may pray for him to make it all ok and to help us reach our future, I know that is not what he does.  I believe, He is there to comfort us as we travel through our lives.  Just like the Father He is, He is there when we need him but won't tell us what to do with our lives.  That is up us to decide on our own.  But He is there always with a hug.  So, yes, I offer my prayers up to God.  Ask for His help but mainly for His grace to make it through my present to the future I want for not only me but my family.

Lately, no, I haven't been living in my present.  I haven't really been living.  Just waiting in limbo.  For the next step to take in order to reach my future.  I don't feel like I have been the best mom this past month or the best wife. Its sad because this should have been the time to actually be with my children while I can.  They are off of school and I'm not working at the time.  But no, I have worried and planned.  That present is gone and has now become the past.  I cannot get it back. 

I won't say that I will always live in the present.  Its not human nature to do so.  We have to plan.  What's for dinner?  What will I wear?  What do I need to get the kids for school?  When will my husband be home from work?  But I will try to remember that the present is all I have.  All that I can offer someone else.  I may work towards a better future but what happens if I don't make it that future?  What will they have of me then?  Take the present.  Open it up and it enjoy it.  We only have now. We are caught between the future and the past and that will never change.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Girls Night Out!

Its time for another GNO, Girls Night Out, and I am so stoked for it.  I've blogged before about the need to be yourself and embracing it.  And that while you may be a mother and wife you are still your own person. For many years I forgot that. 

I love GNO!  Its a time when I don't have to be all those other things.  I'm just Nancy Marie.  The girl who loves to laugh, dance and just have fun. Its time to get crazy!  On GNO I try to look good enough to eat (after 4 kiddos not so easy).  If I look sexy.  I feel sexy!

Now, you might want to ask why I would want to look sexy on GNO when my hubby isn't even out with me.  Here is my answer; When I am out with my hubby on a date night I try to be sexy for him too.  He tells me I'm sexy even if its been two days since I have showered and my legs have a winter coat.  Nice image,huh? Sometimes, it just feels good to be sexy for me.  To know that I look good. That's right, boys! I still got it! Plus, it is very flattering to have a man ask me to dance or buy me a drink.  Most of the time I accept. Hellooooo free drinks!! Seriously, I don't see the harm in dancing with someone other than my husband.  In fact what a great compliment to him that someone thinks his wife is smoking hot (not that that is the case).

I do not have a jealous husband.  I know that he completely trusts me and I him.  Knowing this makes GNO so much more fun.  I can flirt.  I can have fun.  I can show an amazing amount of cleavage.  Then I can go home and ravish my husband.  So, you see, my husband likes GNO too!

GNO is a time that I can focus on me.  We don't talk about the kids, much.  We don't bitch about the husbands, much.  Its about the girls.  The giggles.  The booty shaking.  The appreciation of a good strong drink with a dirty name. 

So after I get my house cleaned up a bit the GNO process will begin.  I will turn on my music.  Loud always loud.  Take a long shower.  Shave my legs.  Pluck some brows.  Paint my nails.  Fix my do.  Apply some makeup to enhance my beauty.  Spritz some body spray... tonight I may use the glitter kind.  Hug the kids.  Kiss my husband (he's looking forward to that ravishing).  Grab the keys and take off in my mini van.  What happens after that... well... I'll never tell!

I will be seeing Sally Brooks do her comedy routine tonight as part of GNO.  Here is a taste of what she does.  I have blogged about her before and she is amazing.  If you are watching and the kids are near turn it down or wait for their naps.  She is one foul mouth mutha but hilarious!!  Enjoy!