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.