Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Toyota thinks I'm lame!

Is it just me or does the kid in the Toyota Highlander commercials need a time out?  I always thought that commercials were meant to make the consumer want to buy the product not cringe away.  Should my kids think I am a lame parent because I don't have the newest vehicle.  We don't have a dvd player in our van.  Only one of our side sliding doors is automatic.  But it runs and it gets my kids to their practices and scout meetings.  It takes them to the movies and friends' birthday parties.  Pretty lame I know. 

I'm not planning on buying a new vehicle anytime soon but I definitely would not buy from Toyota.  Is this how they think our children should react?  Parents don't be lame?  Toyota, you totally screwed up!  You should be more concerned with how I feel about a vehicle instead of what my child thinks of it.  FYI... that snotty ten year old (or whatever age he happens to) wouldn't be able to purchase much less drive one of your so called "Not Lame" vehicles.  Your commercials disgust me!

Not everything goes as planned

This past summer I decided that my family needed to be greener.  If you have been reading my posts you will know that we switched to cloth diapers.  While that worked for maybe about three months we ended up going back to disposable.  I do love cloth diapers. However, my life became hectic really fast going back to school and working nights that we just weren't able to keep up with constant washing of diapers.  To be honest we could not afford to purchase enough cloth diapers to keep laundry to a minimum.  We tried though. 

I am still using some homemade cleaning products.  I do love to clean with vinegar.  But today I used bleach.  We have had a bug run through our house and I wanted to make sure I disinfected everything.  So the bathrooms are super clean.  So sue me.  I used bleach. 

We have kept up with recycling.  Our trash has become smaller each week.  I get all giddy when I look at what we recycle each week.  About 10 milk jugs, apple juice jugs, cereal or snack boxes, Girl Scout cookie boxes, paperwork from school, newspapers, magazines... I'm just happy that its not going into the dump. 

We all know that not everything goes as planned.  Wouldn't life be wonderful if it did?  Right now I am ecstatic that my laundry is caught up (including put away), last year's fall clothes have been donated, kitchen is clean, bathroom clean, homework finished, Christmas shopping started and I am not worried about getting something accomplished right now.  That to me is success.  I'll take it.

Have a great day and don't get too upset when things don't go as planned!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Its all about change!

"Nursing is constantly changing".  This is what I keep hearing everyday in nursing school.  I understand that the medical field changes all the time.  There is new technology.  New medicines.  New ways to chart.  However, I am still frustrated when an assignment is given, such as care plans, but the guidelines to this homework changes each time we turn it in.  "No this isn't right.  We decided we want it this way instead."  Wouldn't that get on your nerves.

Or how about this?  When going to clinical you are stuck with a new instructor who does everything the opposite way from what you were taught. 

When I bring this up in class or to my instructor the first thing they will say is, "Its all about change.  Nursing is constantly changing.  You have to be able to go with the flow."

I am all about going with the flow.  But I would like to know which way it is flowing.  Or maybe have signs that say "sharp curve ahead".  I know I am asking too much.

I do have to say I am learning quite a bit.  I enjoy nursing school and my classmates. My fellow "what the hell is going on" friends are fantastic and they keep me smiling.  I am lucky to go through this process with them. 

I gave a flu shot for the first time just last week.  I felt sorry for my client.  But my client was a trooper and said I should get an A. 

As far as family goes we are doing fine.  Football is over with for my son and we only have one more weekend of soccer for my daughter.  That will give us a nice break.  We are very busy with Girl Scouts.  Luckily I am blessed with great moms who are willing to help out and take over entire meetings.  Everyone understands that I am overwhelmed with school and everything else so I am thankful for all their help and support.

Work is going fine.  That is all I can really say about it online. It is exhausting and nights is a pain to work and raise a family during the day.  But once I am finished with nursing school it will be different, right?

Well that is all for today.  Just a little update on what is going on.  Not much new... just some dishes to wash, a diaper to change and a degree to earn........ OH MY~~~~~

Saturday, October 9, 2010

One day at a time!

That is how I am surviving life right now... One day at a time.  If I think too much about what I have going on I am sure I would have a panic attack.  Its funny to hear other people tell me that they are amazed with all I have going on.  I guess I do have a lot going on but I don't focus on it.  It would be too overwhelming if I did. 

Things have been getting a bit more hectic.  Just the other day I was awake for 34 hours straight.  I had all day of classes on Wednesday, couldn't nap before work, then I worked 10p-6a, and then another full day of classes on Thursday.  I was entertainment for my fellow nursing students.  I had to keep myself awake and I did that by acting insane.  I dance in the car on the way back to class from lunch blaring Usher's "Ya".  It was fantabulous I am fo sho!!!!

Fellow aides have been dropping like flies at work.  Last night another one quit.  I think I may have to ask for a raise soon.  I've been working there two months and I pretty much have seniority on my shift already.  Gotta love that.  Not that it would benefit me much but oh well.

There really isn't much else to post right now.  We are keeping busy trying to stay afloat with all that I have going on plus my family's activities.  What I really want to do is go see a couple of movies, one right after another and pig out on popcorn, soda and chocolate.  Doesn't that sound like fun.

Well I better be off.  Don't know when I will post again.  Hopefully soon since my nursing class schedule will be a bit tamer for this next quarter.  I hope all of you out there are enjoying your fall season.  Thank you so much for keeping up with my blog.  I really appreciate it!

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Yawn, yawn, yawn, yawn, yawn.....

See where I am going with this?  I am wiped out after a 10-6am shift.  We have a busy day today with soccer and football games.  My wonderful husband will be doing the running while I catch up on sleep.  Then tonight I get to study.  I hope that I will get to have a lazy Sunday.  I hope you all are enjoying your weekend. Hopefully soon I will have a new post for you.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Kardashians couldn't keep up with me

Whew!  Its been awhile since I've been on.   As you know I was accepted into the local LPN program right before classes began about 3 months ago.  So far so good.  I am enjoying the class discussions and am beginning to get to know my fellow classmates.  We have had two tests and I scored an A on both of them.  I am really excited by my grades.  But I have been studying hard and praying a lot. 

Since I got into the nursing program I also started working part time at a local nursing home. I am working nights but only a few a week.  Yes, this is annoying.  But I have to be able to pay the sitter so I can go to school, therefore I must work.  Nasty cycle isn't it.  Of course, our bills are happy that I have a job.  Things won't be so tight at least.    The downside to working is that it messes up my sleep schedule and I am pretty grouchy the day after I work.  This makes me feel guilty which kind of adds to my stress.  Also, our nursing program faculty doesn't seem to be very supportive of students working.  My instructor just had to mention that a student who worked nights while in the program last year didn't make it.  Boo!  Well I'm going to make it.

Added to school and work are my volunteer projects. I am a girl scout leader for two troops.  Both my girls are in scouts.  I know I could take time off of this while in school and that my daughters would understand but this is a time I need to be with them.  I cannot get these two years back once they are gone.  Plus I want to be a role model for my children.  If you want it bad enough you can do it.  We started the GS year off with a potluck picnic at our local state park.  It was a wonderful night watching the girls and their families play.  It was also an easy night.  I am blessed to have wonderful parents to help me out too.  I have cut back on the extra activities so I can concentrate on more important things.  I am going to have to stand in front of a mirror and practice saying no.  My kids already believe that I am an expert on the word no.

On top of all this I still have to do housework and care for my family.  I will never and have never had a spotless home.  But it is clean.... for the most part.  Crock pot dinners will be the norm.  I am trying to make dinners my family will enjoy but also won't take a ton of time to create. 

I am not doing all this on my own.  I know some people have to.  I am blessed to have a wonderful husband who is by my side and wants to see me succeed.  Yes, we go a couple of days without really talking.  We just aren't in the same place at the same time or awake at the same time.  Just the other day Jason asked how everything was.  I said fine and then about three seconds later started bawling.  I was so overwhelmed with how I was going to accomplish everything.  After a good hearty cry I felt much better. 

There are moments everyday when I wonder how I will survive all of this.  I want to do well in school.  I want to be able to help my family financially.  I want to be an active participant in my children's lives.  Everyday someone tells me that they don't know how I do it all.  Sometimes I wonder if there is a pool somewhere with people taking bets on when I will give up.  Just kidding everyone for the most part has been really supportive.   

So are you exhausted in reading this?  See the Kardashians have nothing on me.  I'm sure a life of luxury is oh so hard.  I would like to see them keep up with me.  Just for a day!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

My daughter's cute little sandwiches and her sandwich size snackTAXI.  She was so excited to take her lunch to school.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sitter found but still looking for my sanity

Since I am going back to school full time this year I am going to need child care for my 20 month old son.  We had a great sitter lined up but since I ended up getting into the nursing program she was unable to take him for the hours I need.  So I made a few calls.  One to a daycare.  Thursday I stopped by the day care but it seemed that there were too many children for such a small space.  They had they required amount of caregivers and were planning to expand but something about it just wasn't right with me. It is a very dull environment.  The walls are a stark white and there aren't many colors at all anywhere.  The caregivers were polite and seemed nice to the children.  I, however, was not won over.  Plus they couldn't guarantee that they would be able to take my son when I needed to change my school schedule.  So I kept looking.

The sitter we have chosen has known my husband since he was little.  I went to meet with her and decided that we would send our son to her.  She is a licensed day care provider which means she is has to follow strict guidelines set by the state of Illinois.  The best part is that she will use Tim's cloth diapers.  I won't have to go out and buy disposable diapers just for the sitter.  Yeah.  Instead I may go buy some more cloth diapers so I am sure I have plenty for the sitter and at home. 

Tim will have to go to the sitter full time while I am in school.  I may also start working nights this next week at a nursing home nearby.   So when I get home I can take him to the sitters and then go home to sleep before nursing class.

I know everything is crazy.  My head has been spinning since this past Monday.  But I just have to tell myself that it will work out.  We will make it through the next two years.  I am just glad that I have found a sitter and that I may soon be working.  Wish me luck.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Journey Begins

Yesterday morning I called my adviser and told her that I was accepting the spot in the nursing program.  I then made an appointment to meet with her so that I can get my schedule and all the necessary paperwork started. 

Wow! There is a ton of paperwork.  Health physicals, drug screenings, immunizations (if you don't have them), background checks, and of course accepting the new class schedule.  I have so much to do.

This was how I felt after meeting with my nursing adviser!

Yesterday, after meeting with my adviser, I bought my books from the bookstore.  I have been blessed to receive the Pell grant and the IMAP this year.  Thank God, otherwise I wouldn't be able to afford all this.  My books (14 of them some in packages of two or more) cost about $1000... maybe a little over.  I am not lying when I say that I felt like I was going to pass out.  The girl working behind the counter asked which books I wanted.  I didn't have a clue. I gave her my bookstore voucher I received from the financial services desks showing what I had available from my grants and said "What can I get with this?"  Kind of like the little kid at the candy store dropping all his pennies on the counter.  Luckily I was able to get all the books listed.  Unluckily I wouldn't doubt that I have over 60 pounds of books.  I had to have help carrying them to my van.  

  Today I am off to my doctor's office.  Its a good thing I just found a new doctor for me. I've never really had a general family doctor, just my lady doctor.  I had a general physical last week.  So today I am just going back to have the form filled out and to receive a few vaccines, like HepB and the varicella vaccine.  Yeah, shots!

Then later today I will work on getting my background check started.  I am glad that I have other requirements out of the way.  Like my TB test (although I think I have to have another one step so I don't have get one in the middle of the program), CPR certified and my CNA out of the way. 

Since I was accepted so late to the program I was unable to participate in some of the programs for the other students held during the summer.  One of them is called Strategies for Success.   Every nursing student at our college is required to take it.  You get credit for it. It is suppose to help teach study skills and all that good stuff.  I, will have to take it as an independent study.  I am not sure when or where.  I am still waiting for information on all that.  

Even though I have my books I still need to purchase a few things. Stethoscope, lab coat,  school program patches, uniform, pen light... I have white shoes.  There isn't a whole lot that I need. I am sure they will tell us more at our first class tomorrow afternoon. 

Now here is a downside to all of this.  Since my schedule has changed my sitter is unable to keep my son for the times that I need her.  She has to stay within a certain number of children at certain ages to stay licensed. No problem  She will let me know if she has any openings thought.  I hope.  So I had to make calls.  It would suck to have to drop out of nursing because I don't have child care.  I found a day care in the area.  Since I only go to class half a day they are able to take him.  And better yet they will not require me to bring in sposie diapers.  They will use Timothy's cloth diapers. (My other sitter was willing to do cloth as well). I think I surprised the lady at the day care when I asked about cloth diapers.  I must have been the first.  Not surprising.  She wasn't sure at first.  I told her that they are much easier to use.  They velcro and there are no safety pins.  That sold her and she said yes.  Yeah. I check it out tomorrow to make sure its a nice, safe environment. So that crisis maybe averted.

So my journey through nursing has begun.  I am excited and scared all at the same time.  I have a great support system.  I really wish, however, that my husband was as excited as I am.   I really need to hear from him that all this will work out and that I will be fine. I understand his worries but I could use the assurance.  I will just have to be like Dory from "Finding Nemo"..."Just keep swimming, Just keep swimming.. swimming..swimming.. swimming.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Puking with joy!

Super Nurse Nancy... in a year or two!

At this moment I am not sure whether to run around the house screaming with joy or to hide in the corner behind our blue recliner and bawl. Maybe a bit of both. Wondering why the confusion of emotions? Well, I received a call last night on my answering machine from the nursing adviser where I attend college. She said that there is a spot open in the PNC program (LPN) and would like for me to call her first thing in the morning.

I, of course, immediately got on Facebook and posted my exciting news. My fellow students congratulated me. They knew that I had been on the waiting list. Other friends and family encouraged me. I am so happy and scared (excuse me) shitless!

Classes will start in two days. I have no idea what the schedule will entail at all. So this means figuring out child care. In two days. I have to get my books. Supplies. I have not had an entire summer to mentally prepare myself for this. But as one of my friends told me; I didn't have all summer to mentally psyche myself out either.

Am I ready for this? I am truly scared. Sure I made it through what other people have called a really hard class with an 'A'. I hear some teachers in the back of my mind telling my past classes that "Nursing will be much harder than this. If you are having trouble here don't bother going into nursing." Surely I can do this... right?

The friends I have made in other classes that are in the nursing program are in the RN program. The programs are basically the same except if they pass the first year they are guaranteed a spot the second year. I can pass the first year but may not be able to finish into an RN the following year depending on room in the program and rank. At least I will get to see them at some point maybe. We will be in different classes.

My husband I think has mixed feelings as well. I know he is happy for me. Heck, I have been trying to finish school forever. Its just that the past year I have finally gotten gung ho about it. I have been looking for a job. Things are tight and I need to help our family out. With me getting into the nursing program it will take up a lot of my time. Yes, I know I still need to get a job. I know Jason did not want to say it last night but he did. And I understand. At least yesterday I also received a message from VNA in our area looking for home health aides. I will call them today after I know what is going on with nursing. I plan on working and doing my part.

A downside to this... since I wasn't expecting a stressful school year I signed up to volunteer with big school functions. I was going to co-chair the biggest fundraiser the school has. I am also a Girl Scout leader. I have two troops. Both daughters are in scouts. I have a Daisy troop and a Junior troop. The good thing is that I have great parents that are willing to step up and help out. Thank God for that. I am going to need so much help. Last night before I knew about the nursing call I volunteered to plan a tent camping overnight/ Fall festival for the Girl Scouts in our area. That shouldn't be too hard. I hope. Delegate. Delegate. Delegate.

Okay, so that is what is happening right now. I cannot promise how often I will be on here to blog. I will try my best to be consistent. I am sure I will have some good things to post about while going through nursing school.

I just wish I didn't feel like I was going to puke at any moment. I cannot let my nerves get to me.

Wish me luck!

Monday, August 16, 2010

My Mother Taught Me Better Than That

I just want to state that I am sitting on my front porch swing, drinking a cup of coffee and enjoying the cool breeze. Yes, I said cool. Now, onto today's post.

Yesterday, August 15th, was the 9th anniversary of my mother's death. My mom, Margaret, was an incredible woman. She raised my 3 younger sisters and I. She worked full time. She lived with a very painful illness. She was a girl scout leader. She sang practically every Sunday at Mass. She was hilarious. I get my sense of humor from her.

My mother taught me so much. She taught me how to be a mom. Now she wasn't perfect and neither am I as far as mothering goes. But I'm not striving for perfection. One very important thing my mother taught me was to be a woman of God. Not just a good Catholic woman but a woman of God. Yes, I struggle with that daily. Who doesn't? But being a woman or man of God means that we are to love all of God's people. Not just those we deem worthy.

I try to watch the news and keep up with what is going on in the world. I am not into politics and actually hate it. Recently, I have been hearing more and more about this mosque that may be built near Ground Zero. First, please do not send me hate comments cause I will just delete them and then pray for you. Second, this is my opinion. If you don't agree with me that is fine and your right. Just respect my rights.

I am all for a mosque being built near Ground Zero. My reason is this: We were not attacked by the Muslim faith. We were attacked by al-Qaeda. The more I read about this issue the stronger I feel that I need to speak up. I am a practicing Catholic. I raise my children to be Catholic. I am not a pedophile. Because of what some priests have done, catholics are given a bad name. This happens all the time to all different kinds of groups or religions.

We live in a country that boasts about its freedoms. We the people have to fight for them. Every religion has the right to practice. And if its near Ground Zero, so be it. We really need to think about who we are persecuting. Many Muslims died on September 11th too.

That day was a horrible day. I didn't just cry for the Catholics who were killed. I cried for my country and that includes those who are different than me. I know my mom was looking down on us and crying as well. She wouldn't want me to hate a group of people because of what others did just because they shared similar traits. It just doesn't make sense to me.

I am trying to be the woman my mother and father raised me to be. I am trying to raise my children the same way. But it breaks my heart knowing that each day as my children go to school and say the pledge that our country could turn on them in second if given a chance. We have the power. We are the PEOPLE. Take the lead and open our hearts to our American brothers and sisters. You don't have to agree with them or believe what they do. But please respect them. Respect each other. Cause if we don't then we never learned anything when those planes crashed.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Less Impact Mommy

 You all know that I am trying a little at a time to make my family a bit greener.

Here is what we have done so far since July 20th:

  • use reusable shopping bags
  • switched to cloth diapers for our 20 month old son
  • make my own laundry soap
  • use only natural cleansers in the home; baking soda, vingar, peroxide...
  • trying to recycle if I can only find where to take it (still working on this)
  • purchased reusable sandwich and snack baggies to replace plastic bags
  • use cloth napkins instead of paper napkins
Its a start. I am pretty happy with where we are at in such a short while.  A little bit at a time so we don't get overwhelmed works for me.

However, after watching "No Impact Man" yesterday, I began to wonder just how far am I willing to go.  Colin Beavan is the "No Impact Man".  The project included Beavan, his wife and young daughter.  Its a great documentary and I really suggest you watch it.  They live in New York City in an apartment.  They went through different phases during this project.

Basically they started with reducing their waste to no trash at all.  Started a vegetarian diet.  Shopping at their local farmers' market.  Only eating foods that was grown from the local area. The project also went to the extreme.  No toilet paper. Yup.  Think of how many trees are cut down to make toilet paper.  How dedicated are you?  No power. They turned their power off at the 6 month mark and lived on daylight and candle.  They used a solar power generator that mainly powered his laptop for his blog.

With such a change in lifestyle there were arguments and stress.  Kuddos to Beavan and his family for going through this.  His reason for the project was not to get everyone to go to such extremes but to think about what they can that actually works for their family.

I am not going without toilet paper.  But maybe I can find a better brand to use.  I really enjoy my electricity, but I will try to use less.  I would love to shop at a local farmers' market but the closest one is 50 miles away.  Defeats the purpose to save fuel.   Oh... that's the other thing.  They stopped taking fueled powered vehicles.  No subways, taxis, etc.  They rode bikes with their daughter in cart behind them.  I can do that.  I need to find a bike.  But I can at least ride to the college for my class.  I can get a seat for my son and drop him off at the sitter's house.  Plus, my kids are always wanting us to ride bikes with them.  And it will be great exercise.

I will say this.  Those who live in larger cities where you have many things in walking distance... take advantage of it.  In rural areas where everything is spread out there is a lot of driving.  I find it kind of ironic that the big cities have these awesome farmers' markets.  Everything in one place.  Here in the small towns people set up road side stands.  Its kind of hit and miss to find what you need or know who has what.  I would love to eat more organic and local foods.  During the summer its easy because friends have gardens but once fall comes around you are stuck with what the local grocer or Walmart has in stock.

Anyway, it all comes down to this.  The movie got me thinking... that was the goal.  What else can I do?  Can I pass it on to others?  Inspire others to be greener?  I doubt I can ever go No Impact.  I don't totally agree that Beavan was No Impact.  He has had a huge impact on the environment in my opinion.  Just this time its in a good way.

How far would you be willing to go?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wordless Wednesday- My Doctor McDreamy!

This is my husband, Jason.  This picture was taken 20 months ago on the day my fourth child was born.  I had to have a c-section and he had to get dressed up.  LOVE IT!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Crazy Doctor Moments

You know you have one.  A crazy doctor moment when you are left thinking "what the heck?"  Here is mine and I hope you will share yours too!

A few years ago I went in for my normal "Roto Rooter" appointment.  That is what my mother used to call an OB/GYN.  Anyway, everything was normal.  Blood pressure, weight, pee in cup, breast exam and then it went a little weird.  During the pelvic when I was staring at the ceiling trying to make small talk with my doctor she says, "Oh my that is so cute". 

"Ummm... what is cute?"  I couldn't figure out what the heck in my vajayjay could be so darn cute.  I mean we were in the middle of my yearly pap smear for Christ's sake. 

"Your toe nails.  I love the little butterfly design on your toes." she explained.

"Oh.... ummm thanks?"  I replied. 

Then my doctor began to giggle when she finally realized what she had done.  Finally when the exam was over and I sat up on the table she apologized for the confusion.  No problem I thought.

It was actually very funny because right before I went into the exam room I was reading a parenting magazine. This is the story....  A mom was going in for her appointment and she did not have enough time to freshen up (you all know you do it before going to the Roto Rooter).  So she grabbed an already wet cloth in the bathroom at home and tried her best to freshen up.  During her exam her doctor kind of laughed and said that not all of her patients went to such extremes to prepare for their appointments.  The patient did not understand what she meant and just kind of nodded.  Finally when she got home she grabbed the rag while doing laundry and opened up.  It was covered in glitter and no say was her lady parts!

You just never know what is going to happen when visiting the "Lady Doctor".  Do you have any funny stories to tell?  Please share.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Free Fun Friday!

T.G.I.F!  Even though I am not working right now Fridays are still wonderful.  During the school year its even better because I know that the next two days I won't have to wake up early to get the kids ready for school.

This will be my first "Free Fun Friday" post where I share fun things you can do with your family.  I also encourage you to leave "Free Fun" ideas to share with me and everyone else as well.   I am always looking for something new to do with my family. It gets very boring doing the same boring thing over and over again


This summer my kids participated in the library's reading program.  It was wonderful.  Each week we went to the library and the kids went into the appropriate age groups.  There was story reading, crafts and snacks.  They even received a small trinket each week.  And all this was FREEEeeeeee!!!  You have to say it like Adam Sandler does in "Bedtime Stories".  The kids then picked out two books each to read over the next week.

So check out your local library and see if they have any programs still going on.  Our library has a pre-school reading program during the school season that follows the same program as above.  Reading is great fun and we should encourage our children to read as much as possible.  Another benefit is that you can pick a book up for yourself too.  I love a good paranormal romance!

Have "FREE FUN!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Weeds Abundant

Yesterday my family and I worked on our yard. We have a nice medium sized yard. It doesn't take long to mow which is a good thing. The bad part of our yard is the flower bed that I wanted so badly for Mother's Day this year. Be careful what you ask for.

I was so excited this past Mother's Day when my hubby and kiddos helped me plant a flower bed. We had pretty green plants and purple flowers. Surrounded by red mulch. I have always tried to do a flower bed but they never last. Usually what I plant dies. I believe I have a black thumb.
This is part of my flower bed that was planted on Mother's Day.  See those little purple flowers they have gotten so big!

This year it is different. The flowers are growing and are so pretty. But the weeds are growing just as fast if not faster. It is so much work to have a flower bed. Yesterday I attacked those weeds. It gave me a sense of pride to wrench them from the soil in order to protect the other plants.

Today the yard looks great. But in a couple of days I bet those pesky weeds will be back to torture me.

Next year I would like to have a small vegetable garden. Yup, I know that will be even more work. But, it also means less yard to mow.

Monday, August 2, 2010

More Followers Monday

What's More {Followers} Monday?!

More {Followers} Monday was created by three amazing (if I do say so myself) mamas as a way to find some really cool new reads and to gain new followers (and let's face it, we all love followers!).

Want in on this awesomeness? It's really easy to play along...

1) Follow your hosts Me {Mama B}, Little BGCG, and Baby Dickey via Google Friend Connect

2) Grab our button and create a post with the button telling everyone about More {Followers} Monday and a little bit about yourself {Think: About Me/Intro}

3) Link up your post and find some great new blogs!!

About Me

My name is Nancy Marie and I am the mom to 4 beautiful children.  I am married to my best friend, Jason.  I am a stay at home mom for the moment.  I enjoy camping, reading, and blogging.  I am in the process of going back to school with the goal of graduating with a degree in nursing. All of this is writing fodder for my blog.  I talk all about the dishes I don't want to clean, the diapers (now cloth that need to be changed) and the degree that will hopefully soon be in reach. 

Adventures of Interviews

Last week I applied for a job at a local group home for people with developmental disabilities.  On Monday I stopped by the home and filled out an application for the position of direct support person.  Tuesday, I went in for an interview.  This was when things started to look bad (for me).  I always arrive early for interviews.  Its shows respect for the interviewer that I am on time.  I was five minutes early that day.  I sat and waited.  My appointment was for 1pm.  Finally at ten after one, the lady doing the interviews walks in.  "Sorry I am late.  Just give me a couple minutes please." she said.  Then continued to her office and begins gossiping with another lady sitting in there. 

Ten minutes later.  It is now 1:20pm.  I sat there for twenty-five minutes before she called me in.  She pulled a chair up to her desk and offered me a seat.  She copied the appropriate documents needed for a new hire.  Then she began the normal interview process of asking weird questions that are meant to give the interviewer a secret look into the interviewee (don't even think that's a word, oh well).   Her phone rings.  She answers it.  I sit for another five minutes.  Finally, she stands up and says I have to take a test.  She sits me down at a table and proceeds to talk me through the test.  It is a reading test.  A really easy one.  Apparently they want to make sure I can read.  I took the test and gave it to her.  I passed of course.  Then she said I had to come back the next evening to observe for an hour.  Not a problem.  Before I left she gave me a print out of the upcoming training if I were to be hired.  It was going to start on the same day that I was going to be out of town for my sister's bachlorette party.  I told her that I would not be available that day and she let me know that we would work it out. Then I left to go home. 

There was no talk about money, benefits or even scheduling.  When they do this it makes me uncomfortable because I feel like they are hiding the fact that the money will suck and so will the scheduling.

I went back on Wednesday to observe.  The girl that I followed around was nice and so were the gentlemen who lived there.  The job seemed easy enough.  I would get used to it the longer I was there. No problem.  I asked the girl if she liked working there. She said yes.  Then I asked about scheduling.  She laughed and said the schedule, even though it comes out for the whole month, changes day to day.  Nope, I cannot deal with an ever changing schedule.  Not with four kids.  This shows bad management in my opinion.  Plus the hours were really weird.  They had no set schedule.  It was a hodge podge of hours.

I talked about it with my husband who would like for me to work.  I don't mind going back to work but I don't want to hate the job.  For some reason people just don't understand that.  Jason even mentioned that it would not be worth it if the scheduling was so whack.  With a family you have to be constant.  You can't keep changing everything around on a day's notice all the time.

Friday I received a call and was told that on Monday (that would be today) I was to come in and fill out the new hire paperwork.  I nicely told her that I still have many questions about the position.  The most important being money and scheduling.  "Well, what do you need to know?" was the response I got to that.  Really?  I mean really?  Come on, how do these people get hired!!!

I asked how much pay was.  Minimum wage.  What?  Ummm... no way!  Don't get me wrong.  I'm not above minimum wage.  But I do have a state certification as a nurse assistant.  I have experience.  I asked if there was a way to have a higher pay and she said no.  She did ask if I knew about their sign on bonus.  Which from what I was told was a couple hundred bucks that you would receive after a year's worth of work.  Nope, not happening.  I politely turned down the job stating that I knew I could get paid more elsewhere and she thanked me for being honest. 

Honestly, I was bummed about this because the job would have been great if the management and money would have also been great.

So no job right now. 

I am sure there are some out there who will tell me that I should just take the job.  I love it when people tell me what I need to do.  But I went with my gut on this job.  One bad sign.  There is always an ad for help for this company.  That shows that they cannot keep their help.  Second bad sign.  Management was late for the interview.  She is lucky she showed up when she did because I was counting down to fifteen after and then I was leaving.  Third bad sign.  Workers speak badly about scheduling or people quitting.  Fourth bad sign.  Low pay for what the job entails. 

I will find something.  Soon hopefully.  But I want to make sure that what I find I will like if not thoroughly enjoy.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Don't Underestimate!

Last night my husband and I dropped off our two younger children off at his parents' house.  I had packed up my son's diaper bag and couldn't decide if I should pack his cloth diapers or use the disposable diapers we still have on hand.  We have only been using the cd's for two weeks now.  Even though I love it and my husband goes along with it, it doesn't mean that someone else will feel the same.  I went ahead and packed the sposie diapers and took them to their grandparents.

After a late night at the local demolition derby we picked them up.  My mother-in-law tells me that she would have been more than happy to use the cloth diapers that we have just switched to.  Why did I think she would prefer me to bring the sposie diapers?  I have no idea. 

When we, mainly me, decided to switch to cloth diapers I assumed I would get razzed for switching to cloth.  Really my husband has been the one to get razzed by his friends who read this blog.  Oh well.  Other than that, the support has been great.  There are far more people out in the world who are using cloth diapers.  I love reading all the websites and blogs about cloth diapering.  I have even had several friends ask me about cloth diapers and what I would suggest. 

So don't be like me.  Don't underestimate your family and friends.  Or society in general.  Even though we shouldn't care what others think it is nice to know that cloth diapering is more main stream than we think!

Friday, July 30, 2010

On a Mission

I may be on a new mission.  The town I live in doesn't have a recycling program.  And the town across the river has one but I can't find it.  Seriously, I looked online for the address but under "Location" it only listed the towns where recycling was available, not the actual address.  I did some driving yesterday with my bins in the back of the van trying to find these places.  I thought I knew where they might be.  I was wrong. 

Why is it so hard to recycle?  We hear everyday that this is what we should be doing but the resources are not available.  So I am going to do some research and see if I can't start some kind of program in my area.  I'm not promising anything but I will give it a try. It's not like I have anything else to do right. 

When I was younger it was easy to get recycling bins dropped off at our school.  Our Girl Scout troop did this.  Then for a few weeks the community filled it up.  After awhile the bins were picked up.  But since the bins were used so much they brought more to leave at the school.  If a junior Girl Scout troop can do that then why can't I with the help of some friends.  Who knows what will happen.  I just know that I shouldn't have to drive 30 or more miles to recycle.  It kind of defeats the purpose, don't you think?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

School Daze

I have a little dilemma.  I am trying to decide if I should go back to school this semester or not.  My goal is to eventually become an RN.  As of right now I am not in the program due to my ranking when I applied.  Last school year I had 4.0 GPA.  I was really proud of myself.

Here is the deal...
I only have one class, microbiology, that I need to take.  All my other classes would be nursing classes and you can't take them until you are in the program.  So do I just take micro and a couple of filler classes until I get in the program or do I just wait until I get in the program and then take micro.  I am in the process of going back to work as well so that will figure into this decision.  I did sign up to take an EMT class but have now decided that it won't work out because it is a 45 minute drive to get to the college that offers the course.

Maybe I will take the micro class (too bad its smack dab in the middle of the day) and a couple of online classes so I can keep my grant to pay for school.  Then next semester I will take a couple more online classes to finish out the year.  Then hopefully by then I will have been accepted into the program and will be able to move on.

You know when you graduate high school and you have grand dreams of what you want to do?  I sometimes wish I would have stuck with mine because going back to school in your thirties kind of sucks!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Summer coming to an end

It's true.  Summer is winding down.  My kids only have a few more weeks until the school doors open back up.  This means that we still have some time to enjoy our freedom.  We have a few plans.  Of course we will be swimming in the pool everyday.  We may go see another movie or two. We love to go to the movie theater!  Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana is calling to us (mainly the kids), so that is also on the agenda. 

These next few weeks will also include getting ready to go back to school.  Shopping for supplies and new shoes that will  fit feet that have grown two sizes over the summer. 

Since our family is going green one thing we will be trying to do is buy less and reuse what we already have.  There is really no need to buy new book bags if the ones the kids have are in good shape.  Plus, we won't be going out to buy a bunch of back to school clothes.  Sure, I like my kids to look cute and all that, but really is it so necessary when going to school.  Our school has a blacktop parking lot that the students play on during recess.  Which means that clothes get ruined faster... blacktop stains on knees! 

I will purchase some lunch supplies.  This year my goal is to send the kids to school with litter free lunches.  There are all kinds of ways to have a litter free lunch.  Even products you can use so you don't have to buy and use plastic baggies.  They are called snackTaxis.  This product will be so handy and not just for school lunches.  You could use it for food but also for other things.

Check out the website (shown above) to see the different styles and colors they have.  I am really excited about getting these for my family.  Just think of how many little baggies we use  and then throw away.  With the snackTAXI you can be green and stylish at the same time.  How cool is that?

Now, I must go because summer isn't over quite yet and we have a ton of stuff to do.  Enjoy the rest of your summer vacation.  Make many memories with your family!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Mama Bear

I'm like a mama bear protecting my bear cubs from all sorts of dangers.  I'm sure there are those who would call me overprotective but that's their problem.  Our world is extremely dangerous when you stop and think about it.  Much more so than when I was a child.  I remember being ten years old and taking my three younger sisters to the library.  It had to be a mile and a half away from home and we crossed some pretty busy streets.  But there is no way I would let my ten year old daughter do that.  You hear every day of another child being kidnapped.

I don't let them play in the front yard.  They have to stay in the back yard because it is fenced in.  Our neighbors leave much to be desired so I keep an eye on them constantly.   

I have taught my children about "stranger dangers" and how to be safe.  I even put a little fear in them.  Do you remember the story of Adam Walsh?  He was kidnapped from a department store and his body was found later. You might be thinking that is too much to tell a child but I believe you have inform them of the dangers.  I don't go to extremes to where my children don't want to be apart from me.  I just want them to understand that not all strangers are nice and there are people who hurt little children.  I'd rather have them a lot scared then a lot dead.

Sexuality is another danger I try to protect my children from.  I try to be very careful of what we watch and what they read.  My oldest daughter loves to read.  She is going into the fifth grade and reads at a much higher level.  I try to make sure that the books are appropriate for a ten year old girl.  She has asked to read the famous "Twilight" books.  But I told her not until she was older. Plus that is Mommy's fantasy world right now, anyway.  Speaking of "Twilight" I don't understand the parents who let their young kids go see the movies.  Let them be kids.  Take them to kid type movies.  It really does irritate me. 

Certain toys I do not like either.  Bratz dolls. 

UGH!  I hate the hooker looking dolls with skimpy clothing.  My daughter used to want them so bad because I did not want her to have them.  I never bought the dolls or accessories but she did receive a couple for gifts for her birthday or Christmas.  Yes, I was more than ecstatic about that.  But I let her keep them to be polite.  However, in the end she ended up not playing with them as much as she thought she would.  Their shoes came off leaving a doll with no foot.  (That designer was a smart one)  Now the dolls have been donated to Goodwill and we no longer have them in our house.

Video games is another big thing.  My children love video games just like any other.  My nine year old son especially.  He is very good at it, too. He likes to play Star Wars and Indiana Jones.  I am fine with that.  He is not playing games of people killing people just to kill people.  Or games that have half naked girls in them.  We have a very strict rule of what kinds of games he can play.  I am astounded by the games he says his friends at school can play.  They are rated "M" for mature audiences.  I don't understand how parents simply  let their kids do whatever they want.    Be the parent for God's sake!!!! 

There are times when we have to let them go on their own.  My two oldest went away to summer camp for the first time this year.  Even though I know the camp well I was still a bit nervous.  But I knew it was important for them to have these experiences on their own.  Plus, there weren't any video games or t.v.'s.  

Our children are only children for such a short amount of time.  We should treasure this time and let them enjoy it.  Play with them.  Nurture their imaginations.  Let them have fun.  And keep them safe.  Too soon they will know all about the adult world and what it means to be an adult. 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

How trusting are you?

I have never been the type of girl who won't leave the house without a full makeover. You may only catch me wearing makeup for special events. Rarely do I wear it.I am also not big on all the products our beauty industry has. I use a face wash, moisturizer with SPF, shampoo/conditioner, hair paste and spray, body lotions and some make up. That is pretty much it. Basic, I know.

I had never given any thought to what was in these products.  Surely, they are safe because they are on the shelves of the store.  Not exactly.  I was once told that if you can't pronounce an ingredient in a food product then you shouldn't eat it.  (a rule that I am not very good about following)  I would think this rule would apply to cosmetics as well.  Can you pronounce the majority of the ingredients found in your bathroom products?  I can't. Do you know what they are or what they do?  Nope, me either.

As I have been going green with my family, I have been trying to get rid of some of the chemicals in our house. Mainly these are household cleaners but I am thinking about going through our beauty products as well.

Watch this...

Now of course we should do our own research to make sure that what we put onto and into our bodies is actually safe.

What makes me really wonder is what would our bodies look like compared to people who lived in the 1800s.  Before t.v and magazines that told society what beauty was suppose to be.  Who would have the most toxins in their bodies?

Now you may say that a lot has changed since then.  We live longer because we know more about germs and all that stuff.  People showered once a week.  Ya, I get that but do we need all these chemicals to be clean.  Probably not. How about all the chemicals that go into the anti-aging creams?  That stuff can't be healthy.  What is wrong with growing old? 

So my goal is to check out the products I currently have and find out what is safe.  You can go to Skin Deep to learn about  products and the ingredients they contain.  I encourage you to do the same. 

I am pretty trusting when it comes to what  purchase.  I want to believe it is safe. But now I am going to make sure that what comes into my house is safe for my family. 

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Romance is dead.... right?

Admit it.  Some days we wives want to know where the romance has gone.  Remember when you and your husband were dating and he would give you flowers or chocolate.  Or maybe surprise you with a special date.  Maybe it was something simple as a foot rub.  Whatever it was it probably happened more often then than now.

I asked my husband about this.  He replied that back then he was trying to get lucky.  Typical.  But it made me wonder.  What if we wives started playing hard to get again?  Then I scratched that idea because how much harder to get can one be when you are exhausted from work and raising a family? Not to mention that you may not have even showered that day or for the past two.

Then you may even go in the other direction and try to be the sex vixen but you end up just feeling silly (that stuff only looks good in the movies) and the moment is lost again.

Romance changes as a relationship grows.  It goes from being flirty to loving and respectful.  Romance can be telling each other please and thank you instead of demanding something from another.  Romance can be a quick kiss while waiting for the water to boil.  Romance can be a sweet text reminding you to pick up some milk followed by "I love you".

No, romance isn't dead it just morphs into something different.  While it is still nice to receive a bouquet of flowers now and then sometimes just cuddling on the couch is even better.

My husband, Jason, goes out of his way to be romantic every once in awhile.  Just last weekend while I was at Camp Ondessonk he came to visit me.  I was walking down the road from the camp's dining hall and saw a man pushing a stroller and walking with  two kids.  I was trying to figure out who it was because they were a distance from me. Then it hit me that it was my family.  I had no clue they were coming.  They were a day early and I was planning or riding home with someone else. I screamed and went running towards them.  Now that was romantic but this is even better.  They had on, homemade matching Camp O t-shirts.  What a wonderful surprise.

Jason had this picture taken on his cell phone then sent it to me with the text, "Like our shirts?"  However, I did not have my phone on me to receive it.  I was still surprised by them about ten minutes later!

It was extremely romantic because Jason and I fell in love as camp counselors.  No there wasn't a violin player or a candle light dinner.  Instead there was sweaty guy pushing a stroller with two other kids running around.  But you know what?  I was giddy and he was probably gonna get lucky!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Money, Money, Money by the pound

If you grew up watching Pete's Dragon then you will recognize the title to this post.

I am going to talk about money.  No, I won't be sharing the exact numbers in my checking account or what's on my credit cards.  Wait I don't have any credit cards.  What I will be sharing with you today is how I plan to help my family save money.  As you have been reading I want my family to be greener.  Green environmentally and financially.  Being green can save you money.

Here are some of the tips I have read other places and will put into action.  Feel free to use them for yourself as well.

  1. No More Throw-aways  Sounds simple doesn't it?  Think about all the stuff we buy.  All the disposable products that we think we can't live without. Napkins, paper towels, paper plates, plastic silverware, disinfectant wipes, etc.  This list could go on and on. I probably spend about $25 on these type of products a month. That would be $300 a year that just ends up in the trash.  So we will stop buying these items to save a bit money.  Disposable diapers can go into this category as well.  I figured that if we spend about $60 a month on diapers (that's three cases of  Luvs) that would about $720 a year on diapers.  Now we are trying to switch to cloth diapers which can be reused.  Of course you have to pay for these diapers so let's say to have a nice stash of cloth diapers its around $200.  Yes, you have to use water to wash them but its only two or three loads more a week.  You are still saving about $500 a year by using cloth diapers. (Different brands cost different amounts.  This is what we spend)
  2. Eat at Home  I remember when I was little that even just going to McDonald's was a treat.  It was  rare and special.  We mainly ate at home.  Nowadays, eating out occurs daily for most families.  I understand busy schedules and all the running around that families do.  We do it too.  But there must be a way that we can plan ahead.  Slow cooker meals, plan your meals ahead of time, pack up your dinners.  If you pack your dinner to take for the ride to the ball game or piano lessons then you have control of what is actually going in your mouth.  I'm not saying don't eat out.  Just make it special.  This will be a very good thing for my family.  We go out to eat way too often and we don't make it special.  With a family of six we can easily spend $100 if not more eating out each month.  That's $1200 a year!  That would have paid for the new water heater we had put in a month ago. 
  3. Buy Less  Do we really need all the items we buy?  The new purse.  The cutest diaper bags.  A new radio. The latest cell phone.  This list could go on forever, so I am cutting it here.  Besides you know where I am going with this.  We are a nation of consumers.  Our government tells us to buy more!  It will help the economy.  But what are we really buying?  Mainly we buy things on impulse.  A few new clothes, a five dollar toy (that gets broken within the first week at home), lotions that make us smell good but end up just sitting on our dresser or in the bathroom cabinet.  Is that flat screen t.v really better than your older t.v.?  You might not believe this but our t.v. is like a dinosaur.  It works just fine so I don't see any reason to replace it.  Why buy something just because a newer version has come out on the market?  Guess what.  It will be obsolete in a month or two when an even never products comes out.  Its a nasty cycle.  We need to use what we have. If we can no longer use it in our homes we can resale it.  Make some money by having a yard sale or take your items to a consignment shop.  If you are looking for new clothes buy them at resale shops.  You can find great outfits and deals too.  Most places are really picky about what they take so you won't have to worry about the quality of the clothes your buy.  The main point of this tip is that we have to ask ourselves, "Do I really need this?  Can I survive without?"  If you said No and Yes then put it down and walk away.  Your checking account will thank you later. I would say quickie buys like these average to about $60 a month for my family.  That adds up to $720 a year. 
  4. Use less energy  Turn off your lights when you aren't in the room.  Heck, leave them off completely during the day.  During the day i barely turn lights on in the house.  The sun gives enough to see what's going on.  Turn your AC up.  Does it need to be so cool in your house?  We keep our thermostat at 78 degrees during the day and it can feel nice and cool.  Sometimes I think we can turn it up a degree or two to try to save energy.  During the winter keep your house cooler and dress warmer.  Use less water.  Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth. Take shorter showers (use a timer for kids). Only run the washer and dryer when you have a full load.  Line dry your clothes. Saving energy is easier than you think.  We just have to remind ourselves to do it.    
  5. Use homemade household cleaners  This is something new we are trying in our home.  Think about what you pay for a bleach product or disinfectant.  There's wipes, sprays, sponges, flushable stuff and so on and so on.  This adds up.  We probably have been spending about $30 a month on these items.  I was big on the disinfectant wipes.  Okay so $30 a month adds up to $360 a year.  Just the other day I bought some safer cleaning supplies totaling only $10 and they will probably last me 3-4 months if not more.  I spend less money and I am using products that are safer for me and my family.  Its also safer for the earth because you aren't dumping nasty chemicals into our water system.
I know these are not new tips and I haven't invented something that you haven't seen.  But sometimes it just takes a moment of writing it all down and seeing it.  If I add all these up it would come to a little over $3000 (when you figure in energy saved on bills).  $3000  That is like a whole month's pay!  An entire year of tuition at my kids' school.  A vacation to somewhere really cool.  The hard part about all of this is to put it into action.  I really want to do this.  Save my family money. 

Save some money and save the earth.  This is really doable.  Good luck and soon you will have "Money, money, money by the pound." Click here to see the song on youtube.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

We Are the CURE!

Last night I was thinking about an Earth Day t.v special that starred Neil Patrick Harris. All I could remember was that it was aired while I was still in grade school (early 90s) and that it really had an impact on me. So I decided to check out youtube. Everything is on youtube right? It was... in 11 parts.

I started to watch it. Smiling like a crazy person as I remembered the the insane crush I had on Doogie Howser M.D. Then I decided that maybe I should watch it with the rest of my family.

I took the laptop upstairs and we hooked it up to the T.V. It was late and my husband had decided to go on to bed. But the kids will use any excuse to stay up late so we watched the ABC Earth Day Special 1990.

It starred all kinds of famous stars... Robin Williams, Bugs Bunny, Neil Patrick Harris, Bette Middler, Kevin Costner, Will Smith, Queen Latifa.... so many!

The story line of the special was that Mother Earth was dying. We were killing her and she had given up hope that we could change our ways. My kids watched the entire special and were even discussing ways to help save Mother Earth. At one point in the show Mother Earth (Bette Middler) makes a comment that people get excited all the time to do something for the earth. But then something happens. Monday comes (the show aired on Sunday). Which means that sure we may be excited and say we are going to do all this stuff today but once the sun sets and rises again we have forgotten what we were going to do and the excitement is no longer there.

Ouch!!! Was she talking to me? I get excited about a lot of things and don't follow through with most of it. However, I honestly believe this is something so important that we cannot not follow through with it.

Take a moment to think of what the Earth was like while you were a child. Now look at it. Has it changed? Houses got bigger. Cars got bigger. There are so many new disposable items we purchase... like Take and Toss sippy cups. Computers and cell phones are discarded everyday for the newest version when the old version is just as great. We were suppose to take care of the Earth for our children. Did we? Is this the Earth we envisioned for for our young ones?

Like I mentioned in my last post I used to be all about the environment. Well I am trying to get that passion back and pass it on to my children. I think my husband is waiting for the excitement to wear off to see if this really lasts. But I think it will. Helping the environment is contagious. If I do it maybe others will follow my example. Its all really so simple. We complain about the government about not doing anything for the environment. But they are just following the example of the people and the majority of us are not actively helping the environment.

I encourage you to lead by example. First to your family, then friends and then to your community. I would love to see a recycling program in our town.

Mother Earth is very sick. That part is not just a made up story. She is sick and angry. Have you seen the news lately. All the hurricanes and nasty floods. We are the cause. But we can fix it. Because we are also the CURE!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Better Late Than Never

When I was in high school I was very involved in S.E.A.T, Student Environmental Awareness Team. I was the president my senior year in fact. I had always considered myself green and respectful of the earth. But as I have gotten older and have had more children I stopped being green.

Just a few weeks ago I was thinking about all the things I wanted to do with my life. One of them was not trash the environment. I have always used the kids as an excuse or its expensive to be "green". Well, no more excuses.

Last week I volunteered at the summer camp where my husband, Jason, and I met. Camp Ondessonk. My daughter was spending her first week there. It made me realize that I can't take back the damage that I have done but I can start again.

So I have decided that each week my family will implement a new step towards being a green family.

First step; trying to get my 20 month old son into cloth diapers. I am not sure how this will go. We actually tried this when my oldest was first born. Obviously it didn't take. But we are trying again. I visited "Little Ants" a green parenting store in Evansville,IN and bought a couple pairs of Bummis Super Brite diaper covers. Today, my son hasn't been in anything but cloth diapers. We even had a poopy diaper and survived.

I have been reading about cloth diapering and researching the different brands. True it can be expensive at the start. That $20 pack of disposables is looking really good. But if you buy 3 packs a month that's $60 a month and $720 a year. Cloth diapers can be washed and reused. If you have enough you can maybe just add 2-3 extra loads of laundry a week. And if you line dry that saves you money too.

I think our first step is going well. The Bummis are super cute and come in a variety of styles and colors.

So are you willing to try it out? Take the plunge into cloth diapers. You may be surprised at just how easy they are. Who knows you may even become addicted.

My next step... getting rid of chemical based household cleaners and making my own natural cleaners. This will be really interesting.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Girls' Night!

Calling all my ladies! When was the last time you had a ladies' night? Went out on the town and shook it down? If you haven't had one recently or at all I highly recommend doing so soon!

Just this past weekend two friends and I went to Louisville,KY. We saw a comedy show, had a yummy dinner and danced our asses off. Literally. Dancing is a great form of exercise you know. It was a blast.

I was not a wife or a mom that weekend. I just needed time to be me. I have always loved dancing. Even in middle school when attending the local youth club I could always be found on the dance floor.

My fellow lady friends and I danced it up and we danced it down. We got our groove on and danced all around. We weren't afraid of the crush of people on the dance floor. All kinds of people were there. Some you did not mind dancing with and others, well, you would rather they went home!

I am married to a wonderful man. But he does not dance. At all. So when asked to dance I will accept. But times have changed and this dancing ain't what it used to be. You almost need to be way past first date familiarity with these people. Oh lordy!

But it was fun. Makes you feel sexy and fun. People were dancing all around and of course on the bar. I am very comfortable saying when another woman has a lovely body. And one of the ladies working at the club was on the bar. If I had an ass like her, I would be dancing on a bar every night too! Wow! That is all I have to say.

A girls' night was just what the doctor ordered. I adore being a wife and a mother. But sometimes I lose me in the process. The wild girl who loves to shake it!

This weekend will be another girls' weekend as I celebrate my sister's last days of being a single lady. I don't know how I planned two weekends in a row, but who really cares.

So, get out there. Have a weekend away! You don't have to go far. But you do need to get away every once in awhile. You might not thank yourself the morning after but you will be glad you did it!

Oh and here is a tip for you. Let your cell phone battery die. Or at least that is what you should tell your husband. They will try to reach you while you are gone. I have figured it is because they have grown accustomed to having us near and are desperate for us when we are gone. How else can you explain grown men calling and texting non stop? Just wait till they are away... pay back!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Maybe It's Not Mean't To Be

As of right now I am on the waiting list for the nursing program that I applied for. I am thirty two years old without a degree or a career. There are moments when I wonder what the hell am I doing trying to go back to school. Maybe I should just finish my CNA class and do that for the rest of my life. But I really don't want that. It is very frustrating feeling that no matter what you do you cannot get ahead. I know boohoo, get over it you are probably saying. Haven't you ever felt the need to prove yourself. Not to just prove it to others but to yourself. I want to show myself that I can be successful. I can be a great nurse.

I know my grade point average wasn't grea. I did not try my hardest when I first went to college in 1996. I really did not care then. Now I have a 4.0 gpa and it really doesn't matter.

Well I am not giving up even though it sounds like I am being as pitiful as possible. We all need our pity moments, right? I am praying that someone will decide that they don't want their spot in the program and I will get my chance. There are also other programs that will help me on my way. Hopefully, I will get into the program soon.

Maybe it's not meant to be... Bull! I will make it! I just have to keep telling myself that.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Snow day

Its another snow day! The kids and I are quietly sitting near the fireplace as we sip hot chocolate with marshmallows. My youngest is asleep on my lap. Sigh. So peaceful... SO FALSE!!!!

If you have children you would know that this scenario is not very common if it ever happens at all.

My kids tend to view snow days as a "Lets see just how crazy we can make mom." The answer is very crazy.

No one gets out of their pjs because that would require some work. We pretty much just hang out and watch tv or play video games. Right now the older three children are playing in the backyard in the snow. They have built three little midget snowmen. I have already told them twice to come in before they get frostbite. It is time for lunch and then hopefully peace and quiet while we watch a movie and I take a nap. (Sorry that was a typo, while my youngest takes a nap :)

Snow days seem to fall on the days that I have planned to run errands or catch up on housework. This means that I never leave the house and said house gets messier. The benefit of snow days being on this day is because I do not have class. Therefore, I don't have to beg anyone to watch the kids at the last minute.

This snow day is relatively calm. But I can just feel something is about to happen. Mutiny. Since I started typing I have asked the kids to come inside four times now. I will keep yelling from my backdoor because it is to damn cold for me to go outside. I am still in my pjs.

What's this I hear? Three snow covered kiddos coming through the backdoor. "Strip down," I yell from the kitchen. We did mop the floor today and I don't want to do it again. Their cheeks and noses are rosy and they are excited about their midget snow men.

My youngest daughter is begging for hot chocolate as she sniffs her nose.

Snow days! I guess they really aren't that bad. We are going to sit down and eat a hot lunch with hot chocolate. Then a movie!

Don't get me wrong... I hope school isn't canceled tomorrow!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Power Point Hell

Today in my "Fundamentals of Speaking" class we went over the expectations of the upcoming collage speeches. These speeches should be the easiest since it is suppose to be about ourselves.

Normally I do fine speaking in front in others. People who know me, know that I looove to talk. And talking about myself is pretty darn easy.

Things were going fine in class until my instructor started talking about visual aids. In this case, a power point. I have never done a power point in my life. As the class went on I began to panic. These speeches are due this upcoming Monday. How in the hell am I going to figure out power point and make an interesting presentation. Plus, be able to do the actual speech with accompanying hand gestures. * Breathe*

Okay, I am freaking out just a bit. I know I can do this. I am a smart and intelligent woman. I gave birth to four children so surely I can whip up something to capture my audience. Who am I kidding?

I am honestly technology disabled. So the whole idea of putting this presentation together is making me really nervous.

I guess I should start with the easiest of the speech making process; deciding what I am going to talk about.

Well, wish me luck as I enter unknown waters. When this speech is over I will do the "Rich Man" dance (if you have seen "Fiddler on the Roof" you would understand) from the front of class to my seat I wonder if that will get me extra points.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

This post is not for those with weak stomachs!

It all started last Thursday night when my darling one year old son vomited up chicken and hashbrown casserole. Good news, my husband was holding him. Bad news, it was only the beginning.

My little one seemed fine on Friday when I took him to the sitter's. However, I was beginning to feel ill during my classes. When I picked my son up from the sitter's house she told me that he had two diapers of diarrhea. Yea!

The rest of the day we took a long nap and drank sprite. I was beginning to feel worse. I did make it through the night though.

Then Saturday afternoon it hit. I thought I was dying. It was horrible. Sitting in the bathroom with a puke bowl letting my guts literally spill. Not a pretty image, I know.

I got sick about four more times after that. During that time both of my daughters got sick. It was like a chain reaction. I get sick. Then they get sick. My husband was trying to take care of all of us. Poor guy.

While my husband was cleaning out one daughter's trash can and the other was getting sick in the tub, he also got sick. We were not winning this battle!

As the night wore on there was more mess to clean up. The floor. The couch. The sheets. I did not get any sleep at all.

Luckily the sun came up and it looked like we all survived. Sunday we lived on sprite and jello that my darling mother in law delivered to our house. We were all really tired so we just laid around and watched tv or took long naps.

Monday, we kept the kids from school to make sure they were over whatever bug took over our household. I unfortunately had to go to school. I took Pepto with me as my backpack buddy. During a break in my classes my husband texted me and told me that the kids probably would have been fine at school. Apparently everyone was beginning to feel better.

Now we are on the up and up. I slept in my own bed last night (after I put clean sheets on it of course). The kids went to school today feeling good. I am disinfecting everything. I need to by stock in Lysol.

Being sick is horrible. Being a mother that is sick just seems worse. You want to take care of your kids and make them feel better. Saturday night I did not think we would survive. It was a dark moment. (bit dramatic?) But we did survive. By the way I won't be making the chicken and hashbrown casserole again. Don't want to risk it.

Now life continues and I smell a really ripe diaper. I hope its not a runny one.

FYI: My eight year old son was the only one who did not get sick. I really hope it doesn't get it!

Have a great day and stay healthy!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Here I am waiting to go into my anatomy 2 class. It's my favorite class this semester. Right now we are learning about the urinary system! Fun!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Seriously.... I mean seriously?

Seriously? Are these kids for real? I'm not talking about my darling kids who do no wrong. I am talking about the kids in my college classes. True, they are not really kids in all actuality but young adults. Whatever.

I was in my speech class today. The teacher of this class is very nice but she has a zero tolerance for cell phones. I understand because nothing is more annoying than a phone going off while trying to talk to someone. Right before class a phone goes off. It was the guy sitting in front of me. He quickly goes to check it. Two minutes later it goes off again. Everyone in class looks at him because it is annoying. Then it goes off a third time. One of the girls in class tells him to turn it all the way off. The teacher tells him to make sure that it is off. So he gets up and takes the phone out of his pocket. Then he grabs his charger out of his bag and proceeds to the back of the classroom where he plugs it in. Problem solved. No more beeping. Note: If this had been me I would have been embarrassed out of this world. But to this guy it did not faze him the least bit.

Ten minutes into the class period the teacher singles out the guy sitting right next to me. I wasn't paying much attention to what he was doing. Instead I was worrying about her calling on me next. Since he was stammering about I looked up. The teacher asks if something was distracting him. After about 30 very uncomfortable seconds he says ya. He had his IPOD on.

Seriously... I mean seriously? How stupid can you be? Did these kids (I call them this because they obviously haven't grown up) learn anything in high school? Maybe my age is to blame. I may be older than most of the students in the class by a decade but I am not out of the loop altogether. Come on! Where is the respect for the teacher and other students?

I have found that as I take these classes I am easily annoyed by the whippersnappers who act like they are still in high school. I remember what those kids were like then. They drove me nuts. No surprise.. I still don't like it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

I Have a Dream...

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The kiddos are out of school and the hubby is off of work. He works at the post office which of course is closed for this holiday. Its a day that is added to the weekend allowing for short little trips for the family or a day to just sit back and relax. But it is so much more than that.

I grew up right outside of St.Louis, MO. You could see the Gateway Arch from my back yard. Our community was very diverse since we lived outside a big city. There were people of many cultures. My parents taught me at a very early age to treat everyone with respect. It doesn't matter what a person looks like or what their religion is, you respect them.

Even though my parents wanted us to be accepting of all races, my dad was pretty adamant that we (my sisters and I) were not to date anyone of a different race. Of course we did not understand. My dad grew up in Alabama. He knew and understood the difficulties an interracial relationship can bring. Back then I thought my dad was close-minded. Now as a parent myself, I see that he was just looking out for us.

My dad's view has changed since then. My youngest sister is in a relationship with a man blacker than night itself. They have a beautiful son together. I am so happy for them.

I apologize to anyone that is offended to the remark above. "blacker than night itself". We are all different colors. I would glow if it weren't for the insane amount of freckles counteracting against the effect of my very white skin. Apparently the Native American part of me is buried beneath the Irish.

The point of this post is to share with our children that we all are different. Right now my family lives in a small mid-western town that is not very diverse. But I think because of the books they read,the shows on t.v.,and of course their darling cousin, they get to see that not everyone looks like they do.

My dream is that my children will grow up to live in a world where everyone is treated the same. It is a big dream, I know. But it starts with me and what I teach my children. Then they share it with their friends. When they grow up to be parents they will teach their children the same. Its like a snowball. It starts off real small. Then as it rolls it gets bigger and bigger.

Help me make the snowball bigger. Begin with yourself. Then your family. Let's make Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream a reality.

PS: Discrimination isn't just about race. It includes religion, political views, gender, sexual preferences, income, what we wear and so much more. God created everyone in his image and by his love. Don't we all deserve respect and love from one another.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Just testing this awesome way to send info from phone to blog

My Breaking Heart

My heart is breaking as I watch the news coverage on the Haiti earthquake. What a horrible event. I just saw a story about an orphanage. The girls running the facility said that they are running out of food and supplies for the children. Plus, they are worried that because of the government buildings being ruined their adoption papers are lost. I can't imagine the parents here in the United States who are anxiously awaiting news, any news, about the child they are wanting to welcome into their families. Please say a prayer for all of them.

After watching this news story it has reinforced the desire in me to adopt. My husband and I have always wanted a large family. Yep, I know we have four children already. Isn't that enough? No! Can you really fill your heart? Can you run out of space to add more love? No you cannot!

I'm not about collecting children. Nor do I want my own TLC show. But we have so much we can give to a child. Even before I was married I knew at some time I would adopt. I know there are people who think that we should not add on to our family. Well, I will simply say its not their decision to make. How can you turn your back on a child who needs a family?

Sure finances play a big role in this. Right now I am in school and I am not currently working. This is not something that we will do starting tomorrow. But it is something we want to do.

I ask you to pray for all children who do not have a family to love and protect them. Pray for all the parents who are waiting for their child to be placed in their arms. Pray for all the birth parents who decided that the best thing for their child was to let them go. Pray for all foster parents and orphanage workers. They are caring for these children until they find a home. Pray for the lawyers and those who make the laws on adoption. Pray for all the families that are trying to decide if adoption is in their future.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Housekeeper Wanted... Immediately

I dream of a perfectly kept home. An organized home. Sparkling floors and windows. And no laundry! *Sigh* Wouldn't it be loverly?

Some days I wish I was a type A person. No such luck. I am a type z person. Which stands for zero enthusiasm for cleaning. In fact my husband laughs out loud whenever he hears someone say that they think I am an organized person. I can be organized for school or for the organizations I am involved with. But home is a totally different story.

When people stop by unannounced I cringe because my house is not totally put together.

But guess what! It is a three day weekend. My goal is to get control of my house. Its always a goal. But if at first you don't succeed; try, try again.

My children will be so excited when they wake up on Saturday morning to learn that instead of playing on the Wii or DS they will instead have to do housework. Oh glorious fun. I can just see their angelic faces telling me that I am the worst mom in the world. Oh, the love you get when you are a mom.

Anyhoo...the goal is to finish all the laundry this weekend. It is a lofty goal but one that needs to be reached. With four children there is a ton of laundry.

So I pledge to myself to do the laundry, wash those dishes (and of course we just ran out of dishwasher detergent), scrub the floors, clean the toilets, dust, vacuum and get my house under control. At least have my kids do it. My dad used to tell me that was why he had kids. Now I understand.

Good morning kids! Time to clean!