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!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My husband...

Oh what to say about my husband? At the moment he is driving me crazy. I probably shouldn't be writing right now about him. But since he was picking on me I am allowed to write whatever I want.

My husband and I met about 12 years ago at a summer camp. It was not love at first sight. He was dressed up as backwoods hobo with his teeth blacked out for our staff auction. He was crazy. Still is.

That summer I worked in the office. It was air conditioned so I had lots of visitors. He would come in constantly singing some silly song. Then when he would leave I would be singing the song. That is how it started. In all honesty he has been annoying before we were even dating.

Once we were "dating" (as if one can date while at a summer camp)we fell in love. I knew in my heart that he was the one. That November we moved in together and were engaged. The following June we were married. In July we were pregnant. We move fast, I know! Then in April of 2000 we welcomed our first child, a daughter.

Almost eleven years later we are still happily married. I know compared to other marriages it really isn't that long. But when you look around and couples are splitting up and getting divorced, eleven years seems like something to celebrate.

We have had our ups and downs. We have moved 4 times since we were married. Our jobs have changed. Our finances have changed. But our love has stayed the same.

He is my best friend. No one makes me laugh like he can. Even when I am extremely mad, he makes me laugh. Which makes me madder because its not fair. He will sit with me through scary movies. I love scary movies. But after the movie I am a pain in the rear end because I am so jumpy. He puts up with it.

My husband is my rock. When my mother passed away unexpectedly he was there to hold me up. We had two very young children when she passed. My concern was to take care of them, my dad and my sisters. My husband took care of me. Even to this day when I unexpectedly get torn up about the loss of my mother, he will hold me close and tell me everything is alright.

He supports me. He may not show it all the time but he knows that I want to reach certain goals in my life. Going to school has put a bit of a hardship on my family. It costs money. But in the long run it will help us more financially and I will be happy with a career that I love. He gets that.

My husband accuses me of false advertisement. When we lived at the camp I would do laundry. I was little Miss Suzie Homemaker. He accuses me of fraud now. I tell him that a girl has to do what a girl has to do to get her man. Plus, he did the same. Buying roses and candy. I can't tell you when the last time was that I got roses. He tells me he was just trying to get lucky. Well he did. You can't get any luckier with a catch like me!!

Even now as I sit at the kitchen table writing this he is picking on me. He knows I love to write. I was trying to decide what I wanted to share this evening. Since he was bugging me I decided to share about him.

I wish that every woman could be blessed with a husband like mine. I know some of you that know him might not see. But that's ok, because I do. And that is all that matters. Plus he is a great cook. I think I will keep him. At least for another eleven years!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What the?

Many of you moms will appreciate this. I awoke this morning around 5:30am. Not to terribly early but early enough. My son was a bit cranky. So I changed his diaper and nursed him for awhile in the family room as I surfed the web. Taking a moment to close my eyes and inhale, I started to run my fingers through my amazing bed head hair style. When all of a sudden my hand was stopped short by a barrier of I don't know what. Something is in my hair. What the? My son sleeps with my husband and I. Right now he is suffering a bit of a cold. I have a feeling I have crunchy snot in my hair. Or it could be spit up. I tend to fall asleep while nursing in bed. Who knows what it is. One of the mysteries of motherhood is name that stain, smell, goop and so on. Now, I am headed toward the shower. No more snotty bed hair for me! I hope you all have a great day!

Monday, January 11, 2010

First Day Back at School Parking Woes

Today was the first day of school after Christmas break. This means breaking in new instructors and getting used to new classmates. Last semester went fairly well. I was lucky to have a great lab partner who wasn't afraid of having the old lady in class for a partner. I survived a psych class that was driving me crazy. In all it was a successful semester. I was ecstatic when the grades were posted and I had a 4.0 GPA. Yeah me!

Now that I am in new classes is starts all over. One of my instructors I had last semester and I really enjoy his classes. I am looking forward to learning more from him. I will have to get to know two new instructors. I hope they like me. Sounds like a kindergartner going off to school for the first time, doesn't it? What if they don't like me? What if I don't make any friends? Do we really ever outgrow those concerns? I don't think so.

Here is how my school day started. I was up and ready by 6:30am. I really was excited to start my new classes. Might as well be positive about it right. I made pancakes and sausage for my family and got the kids off to school. After I dropped my youngest off at the sitters I headed to the college.

When I arrived I couldn't believe it. The parking lot closest to my building was full. Plus, there are these morons that do not realize that they can not just park wherever they want. Just let me say these morons were there last semester. I think they reproduced over the Christmas break. Or maybe it is a conspiracy against me because it really lights a fire under my you know what!!

I drive a mini-van. No, its not a huge vehicle but it does take some master skills to navigate the oddly parked cars. Unlike my husband, I do not have the skills of a ninja who can just slightly turn the wheel going at full speed and have the vehicle nicely parked. Yes, there is another parking lot that never fills up. I just don't like to go all the way over there. Its winter and I don't want to walk very far. I was just about to give up when I spotted it out of the corner of my eye. It was like the choir of angels were singing to me as the lights on the back of a pickup truck lit up and the vehicle pulled out of the parking space. I made sure to give him plenty of room to pull out and then I screeched into that spot. I parked the van and did a little victory dance. I even said the parking spot prayer- "Hail Mary, Full of Grace. Thank you for my parking space!" Before you yell at me for being disrespectful, my mother taught me that prayer.

The rest of the morning was uneventful. Just learning what is expected of students for my class. However, when I came back to the school after my break I was cursing any and all driving instructors. Really, what do they teach these kids? Once again I drove aisle to aisle trying to wedge between cars that parked to close to the lane. Finally, when I had given up and decided that I better go to the other lot, I found a spot. The last spot in the lot. The spot that is right at the entrance of the parking lot and furthest from the building. I swung right into it hoping that no one would slide on some ice as they pulled into the parking lot.

What a way to start back to school! My classes are going to be great. I did have to listen to one instructor read straight from her syllabus and I could have died from boredom. But you never really know if we college kids know how to read. She just wanted to make sure we knew what was going on.

Do you have any funny parking lot stories? Share them in the comment section.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Welcome to "Dishes, Diapers, Degrees; Oh My!"

Welcome to "Dishes, Diapers, Degrees; Oh My!" This blog is for mothers of all ages who find themselves struggling between the duties of wife, mother, student, maid, friend, sister and so on and so on. Even now as I try to start this my almost fourteen month old son wants to nurse and have all of my attention. Sorry, Charlie.

Here is a little bit about me. I am a thirty two year old mother of four. I have been married to my husband for over ten years. I should say happily married, but I won't. Kidding. No marriage is happy all the time. We are married and that includes all the ups and downs that come along with it. My husband is my best friend, so I couldn't ask for anything more. As I mentioned before we have four beautiful children ranging in ages 9 years to fourteen months. Two girls and two boys. I don't know how we did that.

I have been somewhat a stay at home mom since my first child was born. I just couldn't accept having to leave her with a sitter while I was at work. Plus, when I was making arrangements to go back to work I was told that I would not have the breaks to pump milk. I know that they should have allowed me but I wasn't going to push it because I wanted an excuse to stay home. Six months later I found out I was pregnant again. I did have a few jobs. I even had one of those work at home businesses. However, none of them really stuck with me. Which is why I am going back to school.

Yep, you read that right. I am back at school. If only I had listened to my parents when I left college many years ago. Back then I did not have a clue what I really wanted to do with my life. Some days I am still not sure. I am a mom and a wife, but what else?

I am going back to school and am trying to get into a nursing program. I enjoy helping others and have been told by many people that I would be a good nurse. So that is how I decided on this career choice. Well, the money isn't bad either.

If someone would ask me what I really wanted to do with my life my answer would be to write. I guess that is why I am blogging now. I really enjoy writing and sharing with others. Maybe what I write can inspire someone else.

So this is where it begins. I will share what I learn about being a mother, wife and student. Feel free to join in. I would love to hear from you. Have you learned something special about yourself now that you are a mom? Or maybe you are going back to school. What is it like being the "old" person in class? I look forward to hearing from you.

Nancy Marie