Monday, October 24, 2011

Where is my little girl?

FYI- Not my kids

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Crap! I forgot I had a blog!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Caught Between the Future and the Past

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, July 22, 2011

Girls Night Out!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Twitter is My Crack!

I've become Twitter obsessed. Seriously, I haven't been able to pull myself away from my computer today. How did this happen?  I used to be so lost when it came to social networking.  When I first got an email address in college I had no clue what to do.  I never used it.  Mainly because I didn't have a computer other than the ones in the college labs.  Then instant messaging came out and I used that a little bit but only to chat with my mom after I got married.  After that it was MySpace.  I had three friends.  The only message I received was from an ex who wanted to apologize for how we split up.  This was after 9 years of being broken up and I was already married with three children when I got the message.  In 2008 my friend tells me I should get on Facebook. I created an account and instantly became hooked on that.  But with Facebook I keep up with friends and family.  We post pictures and give updates on our daily lives.

Now I have Twitter.  Twitter is the crack of social networking.  It can be dirty and you keep coming back for more.  I have "met" interesting folks on Twitter.  A lot of fellow bloggers sharing throughout the day.  Others are Echelon (fan family of 30 Seconds to Mars) which it is really cool to tweet with them.  I get excited when I get online and I have new followers. How special do I feel?  And why do I need that to feel special?  I'm telling you... CRACK!!! 

The thing about twitter is you never know who is going to be on or what will be said.  Its so mysterious.  When I tweet with Echelon I love how supportive we are of the band and we all get excited.  We are from all over the world too! Last night 30 Seconds to Mars had their unplugged concert aired on  Echelon all over the world were watching it (or trying to at least).  And while it was airing we were tweeting.  It was kind of moving.

I also love that I can tweet the band and they may reply.  Let me share here that I have been tweeted back by Jared Leto (my world literally stopped) and Tomo Milicevic (he gave me advice on my anniversary). I just need a reply from Shannon Leto and I will have the trifecta. It bridges a gap between fan and celebrity.

With Twitter I can sort of keep in touch with my family but we mainly use Facebook for that.  Twitter is mainly for keeping in touch with people I don't know.  How wacky did that just sound?  At times I am a lurker.  I feel very voyeuristic when I am on Twitter sometimes. Sometimes its like a car accident you have to see what happens next. 

If I don't have laptop with me I can still get some tweets on my phone.  I have a crappy phone right now (will get an iPhone once I get a nursing job).  But I have my twitter account set up so that I can receive certain people's tweets.  Any of my family comes straight to my phone.  And of course Jared Leto's. I now put my phone on silent at night because Jared has been known to answer fan tweets until the wee hours of the morning.  Which is fabulous that he reaches out to fans.  Not so fabulous when your phone goes off every 2 minutes. Its quite funny!  My husband now asks what Jared has to say when my phone beeps with a text message. He has learned to accept it. I do have the greatest husband in the world.

The first step to fixing a problem is admitting that you have a problem.  Right?  Well... I.... its nothing really... I .. just ... like to see what is going on.  I can quit whenever I want... You can't make me.... What ... what are you doing?  Get away from my Twitter...  what if Jared has something that I really must know?  Okay... I am calming down.  I will set a limit.  I will only use Twitter at certain times of the day and the house must be in order (false promise right there).  Starting tomorrow!!!!

I wonder, is there a 12 step program out there?

Oh and I almost forgot.  You can follow me on Twitter at @DDDOhMy   Tweet you later!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What Time Management?

Thanks to Urban Agricoaching for this topic.  I asked for a blog post idea. Time management was suggested.  At first I just laughed but then I thought, hell, why not.  So here it is.

I am not good with time management at all.  Often, I am running through the house trying to get everyone ready for school, a game, church or whatever else is going on.  I am, however, mostly on time.  I really dislike it when people are late and I have to wait on them.  I find it to be a huge form of disrespect.  I try my best to keep my family on time so I expect the same from others.

My favorite line is "Its prioritizing not procrastination".  In nursing school they like to call us procrastinators if we don't complete something within a day of it being assigned even though we have a week or two to finish it. The instructors don't seem to understand that the majority of us have families, jobs and other responsibilities that need to be taken care of.  Sometimes homework gets pushed to the back burner.  It will get done just not right away. 

Even now as I am trying to type this post I am having a hard time fitting it in between a son who is puking and a daughter who is whiny.  Not to mention laundry, dishes and studying for the NCLEX.... who am I kidding.  I am so procrastinating right now. I don't know anything about time management.  I am lucky if I get anything accomplished. 

All I know is that I get it all done.  How I do it is some kind of freakin miracle.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ask Me!

Here is your opportunity to ask me any question. What do you want to know about me?  Remember this is a family blog.  Make it fun.  I will answer all questions in tomorrow's post.  Have a great day!

Another Hoop To Jump Through

Yeesh!  Just when I think I have everything sent in for my Indiana NCLEX-PN application I find out I do not.  This is very frustrating.   I even took everything in to my nursing advisor to have her look it over but nope.  The papers sent in were the wrong ones. IN wants to have verification of the state where I have my CNA.  Which is weird since I am trying to get my LPN license.  I guess they want to know if I have done anything wrong under my CNA. Oh well, I get it!

I have to have a special form now.  UGH!!!!!  At least when I called the office this morning for the IN nursing board the lady who answered was really nice and emailed me the copy of the form I needed.  This I am extremely grateful for because it would have taken forever to find on their website. 

I have the form filled out on my side. Now I have to get it filled out by my state so they can send it back to IN.  Then hopefully I will get the go ahead to take the NCLEX. 

On the bright side this gives me extra time to study.  Which I am going to do right now... maybe!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Thank You To My 100 Followers!

After about 2 years of blogging I have reached 100 followers.  Thanks to all of you who read and enjoy what I write.  An extra thanks to those of you who comment on my posts.  Your input is greatly appreciated.  I hope that all of you will continue to enjoy Dishes, Diapers, Degrees; Oh My!  Here's to a bigger and better blog!

Damn Little Cursor

All my life I have dreamed about being a writer. The ability to share my stories with others would be amazing. My characters on paper wrapped up in a pretty book cover.  However, I never seem to get past the first couple of chapters.  I have so many ideas and story lines running through my overcrowded brain.  But once I sit in front of the computer or with a pen and paper it all immediately disappears.  Then I just sit and stare.  Trying to recover the ideas I had in the first place.  Trying to make sense of my thoughts. 

The blank page with its pulsing cursor is two faced.  At first it is a clear slate.  Just waiting for words to cover it. Its a new beginning.  A new story that is waiting to unfold on the page before me.  I am excited to let the words flow from my mind down my arms, into my finger tips and finally onto the screen.  This is when the cursor is encouraging. "Oh, I love it!  What happens next?  Oh, no she didn't?!"  This cursor is my partner.  Each pulse it makes ignites new ideas and new words that caresses it's page.

On the other hand, it is my worst enemy.  That little cursor mocking me.  Like a school yard bully that you have to stand up to but really just want to run home to Mommy.   "You have nothing, do you? What are you going to write now?  Is it any good? I'm waiting! Why do you call yourself a writer.  Its just a blog you silly woman!"

Blink. Blink. Blink. Blink. That little line marking my page where I am suppose to place those incredibly interesting words that will ignite passion or fear into others, just keeps blinking at me.  Ans so I sit and stare.  I am caught in it's trance.  Praying that something will come.  But instead I have nothing.  Not today.  So what do I do?  What will I find to inspire me to put it in words for others to enjoy or hate?  Why not?  I will write about that damn cursor.  It has caused such mixed emotions in me.  Why shouldn't I share it?

Blink. Blink. Blink.  "I knew one day I would get to her."  Blink. Blink. Blink.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mom Why Are Your Boobs Long?

This past week my family went on our first tent camping trip.  We had a great time with storms, clear lakes, and sm'Oreos over the course of the trip.  One memory stands above the rest though. While in the shower house with my two girls I was in the stall with my 7 year old daughter.  At home she showers alone but these camp showers are tricky and she needed help with sand and stuff, so I showered with her. 

As I was getting undressed she asked if she could ask a question.  Sure why not.  "Mom why are your boobs long?"

I must admit that I was at first caught off guard.  Before I could answer her she followed up with a, "Will my boobs get very long too when I'm old?"  I could hear the worry in her voice.

I responded the best way that I knew how.  "Everyone has different types of boobs.  Like hair.  Some are short and some are long.  My boobs just happen to be long."  And with that answer she was satisfied.

Me on the other hand not so much.  I looked down at my long boobs and sighed.  Oh how I wanted those perky breasts that I used to have back.  After four kids and a big weight gain it is so hard to find comfy bras that look sexy and don't cost a fortune. 

Kids say the darndest things don't they?  My boobs in the right bra actually look quite fantastic with amazing cleavage.  Its a great place to put my cell when I don't have my purse or pockets.  I am sure they will be less "long" once I start losing weight. A girl can hope can't she?

Remember when we use to say as little girls, "I must, I must, I must increase my bust."  Now we say, "I must, I must, I must decrease my bust."

I guess it could have been worse.  She could have asked me why I had boobs on my back!  I'm looking at this in a positive light.

Super Stalker Sunday Link Up

Here is a link up to a great hop, Super Stalker Sunday.  Enjoy!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Sustainable Camping

Each day I try to be as green as possible.  My hopes are that I am not only doing something for the planet but for my children as well.  Whenever we go shopping we use cloth bags.  We recycle everything we can.  We just started our first compost bin.  All in all I think we are doing pretty good.  Some of my goals are to start a garden so we can have fresh veggies.  A big goal is to get a hybrid vehicle. Gotta get a nursing job first for that one.

Right now our upcoming green adventure is a camping trip.  We have been sort of camping.  Now we have the opportunity to go next week and I cannot wait. We will be staying in a tent and cooking over the fire. I have been searching the web for tips and how to's all week.  My family loves nature and this will be fun for all of us.

The downside to camping is that it seems people use more disposable products when camping.
  • plastic cups
  • paper plates
  • canned drinks
  • plastic utensils
  • plastic water bottles
  I understand why.  Its easy to use and easy to clean up.  Sure.  But how does that teach my children to be green.  I decided we will use dishes that can be washed and reused.  They are plastic but we won't have as much trash as we would using paper product.  And we will wash in hot water, no soap (rules of the camp ground) so we don't damage any of the foliage around us when we dump the water.  Of course we will use reusable water bottles.  Our table cloth for the picnic table will be reusable as well.  The theme will be reusable, could you tell.

I enjoy being in nature.  But while I am enjoying it I don't want to be ruining it at the same time.

I have the perfect vision of our upcoming camping trip in my mind.  Don't worry, I know it will be nothing like it.  But I am sure special memories will be hidden within the chaos. 

Have you been on a camping trip recently with your family?  Do you have any tips you would like to share with me?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Weight Update

Well, I said I would update you each Friday on how I was doing with weight loss.  Well this week sucked. I weighed in at 236.2 lbs.  So I gained a pound.  To be honest I really didn't put any effort into it this week.  I will blame my dad.  He likes to have a big breakfast and he was visiting this week.  So most mornings I had bacon, pancakes, biscuits, gravy, eggs..  Sure, I could haven eaten my Kashi cereal but damn that bacon was good.  Plus my dad makes the best biscuits and gravy!  So I will try again this week. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Just when you think things are going your way...

I've got nothing. I'm exhausted!

Today I spent eight hours sitting in theater seats listening to some lady talk to us about the NCLEX-PN.  Yes, it was a very suckish day.  I felt like it was such a waste of time.  And I get to go back tomorrow.  YEAH. But wait it gets better!

This evening my kids came running down stairs. They were babbling on about something leaking from the ceiling in the bathroom.  Only thing above the bathroom is the attic.  But guess what.  The drain pipe from the AC (the unit is in the attic) is apparently clogged and it backed up.  It caused water to drain and leak through the bathroom ceiling.  It pooled into our light fixture.  I just thank God that no one turned the light on at all today.  How scary could that have been?!  So right now our AC is turned off and my dear husband is trying to work on it.  Yep, its July and our AC is off.  Good God, what else could go wrong? I probably shouldn't even ask that because something will go wrong.

Its always something isn't it.  They say that God never gives us something that we can't handle.  What if God has us confused with someone else?  Just curious! 

Hopefully tomorrow is much better and we get the AC working. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Wear your f**king Helmet!

Have you ever seen those bumper stickers that say "Watch for motorcycles." "Share the road." ?

Ya, so have I.  I am very aware of motorcyles when driving.  In fact I try to stay very far from them.  They make me nervous.  The way they swerve in and out of traffic with nothing protecting them scares the crap out of me.  Ya, I share the road.  They can have the whole damn lane.  I have no beef with motorcycle riders.  Just those that don't wear their helmets.

If you wanna ride, by all means, RIDE!  But wear a helmet.  How many bikers die each year from head injuries that could have been prevented simply by wearing a helmet?  My sister works as an ICU nurse and its amazing to hear how many of her patients are in her care because they did not wear their helmet.


I have heard of bikers wanting to fight against helmet laws.  Why?  Is it because you look less bad ass with a helmet?  You will mess up your hair or you won't have that wind blown look?  To me its ridiculous.  Bikers, you are only human.  Your "ride" does not give you super powers that keep you from dying on the road.  Your helmet may!  Sure, its not guaranteed to protect you fully but it will make a big difference!

Dumb Guido!

Smart!  And look they are so happy with their helmets! And the bugs in their teeth!

So if you want me to share the road or beware of motorcycles, then please wear your f**king helmet!  I will do my best not to hit you with my pimped out mini van but if I do and you were wearing a helmet then we may all be okay.  Except for the broken bones and road rash you will get.  But that is a totally different story.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Celebrate Your Right To Love on the 4th of July!

Tomorrow is the 4th of July.  Independence day for the USA.  I am proud to be an American (most of the time).  Many of my family members are military and I am thankful of what they have done for our country.  I don't always agree with our government or our military.  I think it is run by a bunch of schmucks for the the most part.  I do believe that as a member of this country it is my responsibility to take upon myself to see change happen.  It is my freedom to do so.  My right to make a difference. 

Many people think that they are free to do whatever they want or have this right or that.  However, they want to do nothing for it in return.  They want clean air but drive an SUV.  They want freedom to practice their religion but disrespect other religions.  We want all these rights but without doing anything to get it.

We are free but not truly.  We are in fact slaves to our own wants and desires.  As Americans we want the biggest car, the fanciest house, the largest soda, the newest electronic.  We desire to be number one at everything we do.  Our clothes must be the nicest.  Our children the smartest and most talented.  Even our tv shows reflect the slavery we hold ourselves to.  The Real Housewives, really?  Fake women being paid money they aren't worth to spend money they don't care about on crap they don't need.  But its their right. Their freedom.

Freedom used to be about the right to happiness.  To be free of dictatorship.  The right to practice your own religion without persecution.  The right to love someone of a different nationality or race.  Now we fight to be able to love someone of the same sex.  We fight so we can be able to love.  Is our country messed up or what?  We fought so that anybody could sit at the lunch counter or anywhere on the bus that they chose.  That is what Independence Day is about.

Yes, we are free to want what makes us happy.  The "American" dream.  I am an American and this is what I dream of: I dream of a country, no a world, where my children will know love.  A love that is not decided by color, nationality, money, sex, fame, education but by the person as an individual.  As a human being deserves to be loved.  I dream that our freedoms will not ruin our world with our love of excess.  I dream that our happiness will not be based on what we have but who we love and the love they return to us.  That is what freedom is about.  Not the right to bear arms.  Not the right to freedom of speech.  The right to love.  The most important freedom we have.  This is what we should be fighting for.  Without love we are just slaves to what we think are our rights.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Fan Follow Friday!

This is my first time hosting a hop. So I hope it goes well. Share this with other bloggers, please. There are new rules. I just ask that you follow the host site, which is this one. Have a great Friday and good luck getting new followers.

Facebook Followers

Twitter Followers

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Summer to Skinny!

LOL... my scale says the same thing.

Now is the time of the year when I once again notice the bulge and the jiggle.  I love summertime.  I enjoy swimming and being outdoors.  I am at my highest weight.  235 pounds.  Ugh.  I weighed 233 two years ago when I went to the hospital to have my fourth child.  I even breastfed for 18 months but did not lose a damn pound.  Sure, I love to eat and chocolate is my heroin but I am ready to lose the weight. 

I used to be incredibly active.  I played soccer.  I went hiking.  I got up every morning at 5 am to jog.  Ha, I hate jogging now.  My breasts hate it more than I do.  I have tried Weight Watchers.  The first time I lost 25 pounds then I found out I was pregnant with my third child.  After she was born I lost 19 pounds doing Body For Life.  Just a couple months ago I lost 11 pounds when I was vegan for 5 weeks.  I know I can lose weight but I find it hard to stick with it. 

Since it is summer again I start having the desire to lose the weight.  Plus, I am reminded constantly that I am fat and not phat when we go places like amusement parks.  It is much harder to fit into the rides when you look like you have two huge hams in your shorts.  I figure maybe if I blog about it then it will force to me to keep up with my weight loss goals.

I am not going to do anything fancy.  Here is what I am going to do:
  • Be more active.  Swim, walk, Wii fitness, hike, yoga for abs (I have the VHS tape)
  • Eat smaller portions.  I have a habit of eating everything in front of me.  I am hoping this will make a difference.
  • More water and less sweet tea or sodas.  Since it is summer I need to be drinking more water anyways.  I love me so sweet tea or an ice cold coke but I am going to cut back to one or the other just once a day.

I do not plan to lose a ton of weight right away.  I know that it is healthier to lose at a slow and consistent pace.  My goal is to lose 20 pounds by Labor Day Weekend.  Will you help cheer me along?  I need some really good cheerleaders.  And if you have awesome suggestions or easy ( I hate to cook) recipes I would love to have them.  I will keep you posted each week.  Fridays I will weigh in.  Successes and downfalls will be included.  Join me on my summer to skinny!

Today I am 235 pounds.  I wear an XXL or 18-20 in women's sizes.    My bra size is 42DDD! 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Light at the end of the tunnel?

Almost there!

I only have two more clinical days for the LPN program. I am so excited.  Clinicals really isn't that bad but it is kind of the same thing each day.  I do like my instructor who is really helpful when you have questions.  Then after these clinical days we will have two review days. I am really not sure what to expect of the reviews.  To me, it sounds like we sit in the auditorium and listen to someone talk at us for 8 hours.  I pray that it is interactive. Its mandatory so I have to go no matter what.  Then after that I am finished.  Until I start my RN year. 

I keep praying that I will get a letter in the mail saying that I have gotten into the second year RN program.  I am on the wait list.  Which I am fine with but it does get me down when an instructor tells me I would be a great nurse or asks why I am not going on.  Its not by my choice and its not by my nursing grades either.  Ugh, that is a whole other blog in itself.  The letter will come or it won't .  In the meantime I will focus on passing boards and working as an LPN.  Then I can reapply next February for the RN. 

I am nervous about taking the boards. I know I have a ton of studying to do but with clinicals I have been focusing on that homework instead.  Most likely since we have summer exit we will not be able to take our boards until August or September.  Won't my hubby love that.  I know he is ready for me to be licensed so I can start working.  And I am too.  Going to school and not working has had a big toll on our money.  Money that we did not have in the first place. 

I am almost there.  We, I should say, are almost there.  The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and brighter everyday.  Whoa, hold on a sec.  Is it the end of the tunnel?  Ummmmm,  why do I have this unnerving feeling that it is a train barreling towards me.

Train light about to run me over or sunny bliss of freedom?  Time will tell.  I have paid my dues with the barreling trains.  It is my turn for some sunny bliss.  Wish me luck!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Coupon Newbie- My $30 Goal

Let me first admit that I am not the greatest with math.  So when it comes to coupons I am a bit slow with  figuring all this stuff out.  With all the new tv shows on extreme couponing and classes popping here and there, I have decided I want to give it all a try.  If anything I save a few dollars, right? 

My sister, Sarah, has a knack for saving money with coupons.  She gets really excited about what is in the paper and how she can use it.  When I use coupons I get this sense of "Take that you money grabbing store. I just saved 50 cents!"  Yes, I get excited too when I use them too. 

Before             After

The thing I don't get is how do you figure it all out.  Who has the best deal, then how to match it other stores and then use the coupons at the perfect time.  It kind of gives me a headache. 

I would love to use coupons more often.  I recently have made my husband start buying the Sunday newspaper but when I look at the coupons, I do not see anything that my family uses.  Then I just end up recycling it all.  Its a bit discouraging.  But I am going to give it a month and see how I do. 

And since it is Sunday the first thing I am going to do is buy a newspaper.  My goal is to see if I can save at least thirty dollars.  Remember I, up to now, use maybe one or two coupons once in a blue moon to save 50 cents.  So thirty smackers will be a big deal to me.

If you have any coupon tips for me, please share them.  I could use all the help I can get!

The youtube video above is great.  Take a few minutes to check it out.  To me it makes couponing seem managable.  Good luck and Happy Money Saving.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Enough to drive a woman insane!

What a week it has been!  Last Friday I was able to be by my younger sister's side as she gave birth to my nephew.  What a beautiful event it was.  I was even able to cut the cord.  I may have participated in four births but never got to see the business end.  I am so thankful she let me be a part of that day.  My nephew however, has a congenital heart defect. He has transposition of the great arteries.  Basically they are flipped flopped and the oxygenated blood isn't getting out to the rest of his body the way it should.  He will be having open heart surgery to correct it this coming Tuesday.  I ask that you pray for him or send well wishes his way.  He is doing well right now but the surgery is a must.  He is such delicious little baby. 

Yesterday my husband had an appointment with an ENT.  He has a tumor near his parotid gland (saliva gland).  Due to the location of the tumor my husband will have surgery sometime this summer.  The ENT is almost positive that it is not malignant but that it should come out.  The surgery will include a large incision down the side of my husband's face (seen the movie Face Off, anyone?) and will involve a major facial nerve. If the nerve is cut or injured he could lose function in the right side of his face (think Anthony Hopkins in Legends of the Fall).  The ENT assured us that it was rare for that to occur but was still a risk. 

Add to all of this the fact that I am trying to finish LPN clinicals and it has been stressing me out since last week we had so much homework it was ridiculous.  I am ready for a break. 

When it rains it pours at my house. 

So this morning I woke up at 5am because my body is used to it from getting up early for clinical days.  I could not fall back asleep so I decided to read for awhile.  The book was wonderful but the end was so emotional.  I could barely read I was crying so hard.  Between the story line, my nephew and my husband I emotionally vomitted right there in the family room.  I could not stop crying for anything.  This went on for two hours.  My husband saw me and laughed. I was covered in tissues and my eyes were red. Tear streaks stained m cheeks and I had that weird crying gasp.  What a way to start the morning.

I am glad it is now the weekend.  I am hoping it is a calm one but I won't get my hopes up.  God, won't give us what we can't handle, right?  I am wondering if he has me confused with someone else.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

12 Years of Wedded Bliss

June 12, 1999 with my family!

Twelve years ago I married my husband, Jason.  Although, we didn't realize it at the time, we were so young. I was only 21. We had a simple, but beautiful wedding and went to Disney World for our honeymoon.  Through out our 12 years we have had many ups and downs as all marriages do.  We have four beautiful children who bless our lives and drive us crazy every single day.  We have fought, laughed, cried and supported each other.  Jason was my rock when my mom passed away unexpectedly 10 years ago.  He is my best friend in every sense of the term.  He understands me like no one else.  He accepts me for what I am- a vampire, alien, loving freak who has a huge fan girl crush on Jared Leto.  He also puts up with my non-stop listening of 30 Seconds to Mars.

We love being silly together!

I really can't ask for someone better.  And it is really hard for me to put into words just exactly how I feel about this incredible man.  I will do my best to return all the love he has given me. I look forward to all that we will experience in the future.  He makes every day of my life special and filled to the brim with love.

12 years and this is what we have to show for it. Complete Happiness!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Finally its Friday!!!

I am so happy today is Friday.  Today I do not have class or a clinical.  Three of my darling chitlens are elsewhere so its just me and my 7 year old daughter.  She is still asleep which means I am enjoying the peace and quiet.  This week has so not been fun.  My husband had surgery on Tuesday.  It was minor but he was in a lot of pain because of it.  I started clinicals this week.  I hate the first day of clinicals.  Its like starting a new job over an over again.  So this week has been hectic.  But now it is Friday and I am determined to make it a ton of fun.

Once I get my grocery shopping complete and some housework accomplished I plan on spending the day in our pool with my children.  We will have a few of their friends and their moms come over to join us.  Then this evening I will make a fantastic dinner and after that go watch my son play baseball.

This weekend my husband and I will celebrate our 12 year anniversary.  We don't have big plans but do plan on spending time just the two of us.

I really don't have much to write.  I just wanted to share how thankful I am that I have a bit of downtime this weekend to enjoy my life.  I hope you do too.

Oh, and a little bit of a Jared Leto Update cause I am obsessed... He tweeted me back last night!!!!  Ok that's it.  Thanks for letting me be such a fan girl!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Get Inked!

Ever since I saw "Son In Law" with Pauly Shore, I knew that I wanted a tattoo.  That was many years ago.  Many.  Now I am (*cough cough*) thirty-three years old and I have yet to get my first tattoo.  When I was 19 I had my belly button pierced but that was the extent of my wildness.  Now I really want one, well, two! 

My sister, Sarah, is the ink queen in our family.  I remember ratting her out to Dad by accident.  Oops.  Sorry about that by the way, sis!  One night in Pigeon Forge, TN we were going to get tattoos but the weather turned bad and we had to get to our cabin before the back roads became to slippery to drive on.  We were so ready.  I was bummed out. 

Why do I want a tattoo?  I can't explain it really.  I just do.  I know exactly what I want and where I want to get it.  I want something that means so much to me.  A symbol of love and life.  I also want something fun, which I will get on my ankle.  If you have read any of my blog posts lately then you know I am a huge 30 Seconds to Mars fan.  Tomorrow, has been dubbed Mars Tattoo Day, by Jared Leto.  Before you roll yours eyes, and feel free to roll your eyes because I cannot see them nor care if you do.... Their music is really inspiring and I love it.  I plan to get the triad on my right inner ankle.  There is a picture below.  It will be small.

I used to judge people based on their tattoos.  I admit I think some are a bit outrageous and insane but who am I to judge.  Their tattoos could have incredible meaning to them.  Or it could also be the result of a drunken episode during spring break.  Who knows.  Who really cares?  

I will not be able to get my Mars Tattoo tomorrow on the official day but I will eventually get it.  I will also get my super important one as well.  Some day! 

This look, however, will not work for me.  I'm more of a zebra print kind of girl!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Toy Donations and Guilt

This afternoon I bribed my children to clean their bedrooms.  Ya, I know, not the best parenting but so worth it.  Bedroom cleaning was complete with black bags filled with toys that my children no longer play with.  I am ecstatic that my children did not put up much of a fight to donate their older toys.  However, I am the one with toy guilt.  I admit that I have seen all the Toy Story movies and I cannot help but wonder if these toys are like Woody and Buzz (reserve my padded room now, I know).  For the most part my children take great care of their toys but there are also the ones that get broken and thrown away.  I try to donate as much as possible.  If my kids no longer want it maybe another child will. Tomorrow we will load up the mini van and take the toys to Goodwill. If anything my children are learning to donate what they will no longer use and to recycle what can still be used.  As for me I will hear in my sleep tonight, "Next week's yard sale fodder for sure."

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Domestic Engineer

Wow, I haven't been on here in forever. The past month has been really hectic.  So here are a few updates before I get into my actual post.
  • I am no longer vegan but keep thinking I should go back on it.  It's really hard in the area that I live in to find healthy produce.  
  • I walked at graduation for LPN degree.  Now I am taking the summer exit which is very intense.
  • I am panicked about find a job that I will enjoy once I finish class and take my boards.
  • The house is a disaster, the kids will get out of school soon, and I am frustrated with small town life.  Nothing new there really!
Now that you are a bit caught up here is today's post...

Resume writing.  Bleh, but I have to do it.  No, seriously, it was homework assignment.  Part of the LPN summer exit is Trends.  We discuss transitioning from student to professional.  So last night I had to type up a cover letter and resume.  To be honest it was incredibly sucky.  Our instructor told us to keep the resume on one sheet of paper.  Really?  How do you do that and get everything important on it?  Well, I did my best and its still on two sheets.

Here is the good part.  Like many of you I was a stay at home mom.  But I have to account for this time on my resume.  I put down Domestic Engineer.  My instructor did mention this in class and I ran with it.  Think about what you do as a mom whether you are stay at home or not.  We are busy!  So here are a few of the responsibilities I added to my resume:

Health and Safety
Event Planner
Environmental Specialist
Behavioral Consultant
Here is what I would have added if I had more space:
Financial Manager
Fluent in baby talk up to pre-teen
Mob Control
Sex Godess

 Those are the few I could come up with.   I know there are many more.  If you have some other ones please share them.

The moral here is don't down play your time as a stay at home mom.  You used many special skills to keep your family running smoothly.  They don't need to know that laundry was piled high up my "laundry stairs" or that my spare bedroom is for "hidden chaos".  The house didn't fall in did it?  Nope.  I was able to work with four sometimes very uncooperative little people.  These skills are very important to any profession.

Now, if I could just find a good paying position.  I would hire a maid to take care of my "laundry stairs" and "hidden chaos"! 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day!

Today is Earth Day. A day that usually goes by without much fuss.  This year my family is celebrating the holiday.  I was going to take the kids for a hike in a local state park.  But rains and chilly weather squelched my plans.  Our plans now include taking our recycling to the center and watching Disney's Oceans on Netflix. 

There are so many ways families can be green without buying a hybrid vehicle.  Here is a list you can try with your family:

  1. Start recycling.  Newspapers, cardboard boxes, plastic jugs, homework papers, magazines, glass, junk mail ect.  Set up a bin for your recyclables and teach your children what goes in the bin.  They will really enjoy putting stuff in the bin for you.  
  2. Use reusable grocery bags.  They come in a variety of styles and colors.  Join me in making cashiers insanely mad when you hand them a bunch of bags.  Most stores are not set up for the cashiers to have an easy time filling cloth grocery bags.  But if we use them more often that will change.  A bonus for cloth bags is that they hold more which means less trips back and forth to your vehicle.  They also come in handy for sports events and long trips.
  3. Turn off the lights.  Before the kids leave each morning for school have them run through the house turning off all the lights.  Be sure you do them same when you leave the house.  Don't forget about unplugging cell phone chargers when not in use. Unplug kitchen appliances that are not being used.
  4. Run the dishwasher or clothes washer only when they are full.  This will waste less water.
  5. Turn the facet off while brushing your teeth.  Have the kids do the same.  So much water is wasted just when brushing our teeth.  Think of how many gallons of water you will be saving.  
  6. Take shorter showers instead of long showers or baths.
  7. Turn the thermostat down a bit in the winter and wear warmer clothes.  Or do the opposite in the warmer months. You will use less energy.
  8. If possible walk to where you are going.  Its great exercise, will save you money, and Mother Earth will love you for it.
  9. Plant something.  A tree, an indoor herb garden, flowers, etc.  Plants give off oxygen.  Plus, they are pretty to look at.
  10. Use reusable lunch bags and sandwich bags.  There are so many different styles out there.  We love our sandwich bags.  We use them for school lunches, road trips snacks and many other things.  
This is a short list.  There are so many ways you can be green.  Take small steps.  Even smalls steps help you reach your destination.  Involve your family.  We want our children to respect the Earth.  I hope you and your family has a wonderful and very green Earth Day!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Monday Night

You already know I love 30 Seconds to Mars.  And most definitely their frontman, Jared Leto.  Well, last night I finally got to see them in concert.  It was truly an amazing experience.  I will never forget it.  I would like to forget the people who stood near me.  They didn't jump or sing.  They were too busy talking.  Its a concert not a fracking cocktail party.  Anywho, I still had a blast with my friend, Stacy.  We screamed our faces off and sang our hearts out.  What a fantastic night. 

Below is a clip of part of the show from last night I found on youtube.  Enjoy! 

Can you hear me singing?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A quicky!

Just popping in to say hello.  HELLO!!  Woo, its been a busy day so far.  I have had two workouts.  I helped out a fellow nursing student with her homework.  I ran a few errands.  Now I need to hop in the shower and get ready to head to my daughter's track meet. Track meets take the entire evening.  My husband will be shuttling our three other children to their practices tonight.  I hope you are having a fantastic Thursday.  It is beautiful here.  I pray that you are having the same weather.  Bye!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Twitter Tuesday!

This is a new Twitter Hop.  Check out the link below.  As you may have read in a previous post I am obsessed with Twitter now.  I love it, yes I do!!  Feel free to follow me and I will of course follow you back.  Also check out the other tweeters on the hop link below. Happy Tuesday.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Vegan Update

Almost three weeks ago I went vegan.  If you are unfamiliar with the term, vegan means someone who does not eat animal products or wears them (I have one pair of leather shoes, had them for years).  As mentioned in a previous post I chose this lifestyle change because of my weight.  Plus, I really don't care for the ways animals are being treated.   My family still eats meat just not as much anymore.  Anyway, I just wanted to give a bit of an update.  I have lost 7 pounds since I started.  I'm ecstatic.  I feel better physically too.  My finger nails are stronger and don't break as easily as before. I have more energy.  And my bowels are super duper happy.

I'm actually very surprised that it has been so easy.  I'm not starving and I don't feel like I am denying myself anything. The best part is that I am not craving meat, cheese, or eggs.

Since I have given up things like dairy and eggs I haven't been hitting the sweets like I normally do. Had I just gone without meat I would have eaten 30 of the 52 cupcakes I baked this weekend.  That is a bit of an exaggeration, just a bit though.  Since I know that I won't eat those things it is easier to say no to them.  Before I would eat a couple and then promise that I would work it off later.  No wonder I wasn't losing any weight before. I didn't care about what I was actually putting into my body.

I know I am not losing big weight as if I was on the Biggest Loser but that isn't real life.  I once had success on Weight Watchers but now I am losing weight faster than ever with my vegan lifestyle.  I don't have to count points or figure calories.  I am totally loving this.

I encourage anyone out there who is trying to lose weight to give this a try.  Even just for a month.  See the results for yourself.  Be honest with yourself and truly think about where your food has lived before it gets to your refrigerator.  Is that something you really want to eat?

I am learning more and more each day about the vegan lifestyle.  It is quiet exciting and I am not breaking the bank like I thought I would.  Its always fun to try something new.  You never know if you will succeed at it unless you try.

The following youtube film is about slaughter houses.  It is graphic so don't watch if you have a weak stomach.  But sometimes we need to see what actually happens.  We all know it occurs but we tend to rationalize it.  Really, think about it.  Would you eat that?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Rainy Day Cancelations

I hate to admit it but I am kind of glad that our soccer games were canceled this morning.  We had severe weather roll through here this morning.  My girls each had a soccer game.  Don't get me wrong.  I love watching my kids play sports.  I'm their biggest fan and love to cheer them on.  But today is crazy.  My oldest daughter is having a sleepover birthday party.  The house is a mess. And I have cup cakes to bake.  Plus, its not as fun to deal with four whiny kids at an extremely wet soccer game.  So yes, I am ecstatic that this was canceled today.  They have many games in their future.   Now I just need to get started on the hundred other things I have to accomplish today.  I hope you all have a fantastic weekend. 

This is my favorite song about rain.  Enjoy!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I'm Exhausted and Stub Hub Sucks!!!

Today has been a marathon of a day.  It started off fine.  Jason, my hubby, let me sleep in while he got the kids ready for school and out the door.  I normally have a hard time sleeping through all the commotion in the morning so I just laid in bed until I heard the front slam shut.  I got out of bed and went downstairs.  Fixed a hot cup of green tea and a cinnamon bagel with butter (vegan) and turned on my computer.  I did a bit of last minute studying for my oxygenation test and played on Twitter and Facebook for a bit.  What I was waiting for was the chance to buy tickets to see Mumford and Sons in St. Louis.  They had a presale at 11:00 am this morning.  I was ready.  I tried about 20 times to get tickets but it sold out fast.  Found out about 15 minutes later that StubHub bought the majority of the tickets and had already jacked up the prices to double what they are worth.  Man was I pissed.  This did not make my day at all.  I had to leave in a bad mood and go take my test.

I took the test and felt okay about it.  When I left class early I had to rush home to get ready for the evening's events. My oldest daughter had her first track meet tonight.  My son had baseball practice and my younger daughter had soccer.  Spread thin to say the least.  For some reason everything was happening tonight.  Luckily my husband was able to take Gary to his baseball practice. My mother in law picked up my younger two children and took them to the soccer practice. I was able to cheer Carolyn on at her track meet.  After 2 1/2 hours of watching kids run in circles we were finished.  We ate at the local mexican restaurant and came home.  Finally it was time to get everyone ready for bed.  The kids took their showers and brushed their teeth.  Now they are in bed. 

I am also in bed.  Ready to collaspe.  I am still pissed at Stub Hub. No way can I afford those tickets.  Hopefully , I will get a chance tomorrow when they go on sale to the public.  Unless, Stub Hub rapes us again.  So not fair.  I want to throw myself down on the floor and kick and scream.  That is how mad I am about this.  Oh well.  I will try again.

 I am also playing on Twitter.  Tweet me.  I am so addicted.  Seriously tweet me.  I LOVE TWITTER!!!  I follow Jared Leto (see previous post if you are confused) and have his tweets sent to my phone.  Ha Ha... it gives me a tingly feeling when I see my cell phone has a Jared Leto tweet.  I know its an obsession.  Like I said I love twitter. 

I hope you all have a good night.  This post went on longer than I planned for it to.  Enjoy the Mumford and Sons video below.  You will understand why I hate Stub Hub now :(

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

33 going on 16

OMG!!!!!!!!!!  I am so excited.  In two weeks I will be so close to one of the hottest men in the world.  JARED LETO!  Ever since I was 16 I had a fan crush on this man.  It all started with the tv show "My So Called Life".  Now I am a fan of his band 30 Seconds to Mars.  They are very talented. 

When I found out that they would be in St. Louis I just had to go.  So my friend, Stacy, and I are going.  Woohoo!!  My husband understands my Jared obsession just like I understand how his Maxim subscription was mysteriously renewed.

So I feel like I am 16 again.  Butterflies in my stomach all excited.  I will be jumping with the crowd and singing my heart out.  I probably won't be in line for an autograph or a picture.  I'll let the kids do that. I just want to be able to say I heard him play live.  Like I said before he is very talented and the music is amazing.  It should be a good show. 

Enough gushing about Oh so Sexy Jared Leto. 
 But now you understand don't you!  Yum!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Earth Day is coming!

Earth Day is April 22nd!  Are you ready?  I am challenging everyone to do something good for Mother Earth this year.  Every little step matters when getting to our destination.  We are a throw away society.  Pretty much everything we use is disposable.  Even our electronics don't last as long as they used to.  How many cell phones or computers have you gone through in the last ten years?  TV?  When something newer and better comes out (and they always do) we chuck the "old" one and get the new.  Find somewhere local that recycles electronics.   Start using reusable grocery bags. I must admit that I feel pretty good about myself when I put my bags on the check out counter.  The cashier might not love it though but oh well.  On a big shopping day I can fill 8-10 normal size cloth shopping bags.  If I use plastic it adds up to about 20.  Yikes.  Cloth bags save you time, energy and the environment.  There are a ton of cute ones out there too.

Find out if your town or city has a recycling center.  We have one in my town but hardly anyone knows about it.  I have made it my mission to share this with as many people as I know.  Recycling is easy.  Get a box or a bin and put your recyclables in it.  Then if you are lucky enough you can put your bin on your curb and it is picked up.  If you can't do that, like myself, then pick a day of the week or every other week to drop it off at your recycling center. 

Eat less meat.  If you read my last post you know that I have decided to go vegan.  This is my choice not my family's so I still cook meat for them.  I do plan to have 2-3 meatless dinners a week.  Why meatless?  It takes 2500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef.  Just one pound.  That is a ton of water.  Just try to imagine how many cows there are in our country.  Most are used for the fast food industry.  The less meat we eat, the lower our needs are for all those cows, the more water there is.  Not to mention the safety of our water sources.  All the cattle have to poop.  And yep, since they are animals they poop on the ground.  Where does that poop go?  You got it.  When it rains it runs off and will run off into our streams, rivers, lakes and oceans.  I encourage you to watch Food, Inc.  Its an incredible documentary that will open your eyes to what you put into your mouth. 

Walk or ride a bike.  Use less gas by using your own energy to get to where you are going.  Gas prices are insane.  Why?  Because they is less of it and a huge demand for it.  So lets stop demanding it and find an alternative way to be mobile.  Take public transportation. 

These are just a few ways to celebrate Earth Day.  Get your family involved.  Think of what the Earth was like when you were little.  Its not the same now is it?  Think of what it will be like when your children are your age.  Hmmm.... Scary isn't it?  I am petrified of what the future holds for this planet.  We are the answer.  We are the solution.

Make every day Earth Day!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My Veggie Tales

I have gone an entire week of no meat, eggs or dairy (except for a bit of ranch dressing).  Why?  Well, last Tuesday night I was thinking about my body and how out of control my weight is.  I have had blood tests done, hoping that the results would scare me into doing something about the weight.  Well all my levels were healthy.  Yay for me.  So I registered for a circuit training class at school.  I am doing well in it but haven't seen any real results just yet.  Tuesday, I was thinking about what I put into my body.  All the cheese and the meats that I eat.  All the chocolate whatevers that I cannot live without, or so I thought.  I watched a few videos online about how our food is made. It made me cringe.  I'm against animal cruelty but I have also been of the opinion that they are there for us to eat. Now I think I have changed my mind.  Have you ever seen an animal butchered?  Most of the time it is inhumane.  Plus, it is extremely dirty.  And we eat that?  Not to mention all the chemicals that are pumped into these creatures to keep them healthy so that we can eat them. 

I tried going veggie my senior year in high school.  It lasted two days.  I was only doing it because there were a few of my friends that were vegetarians and I thought they were super duper cool.  I still have friends who are vegan/vegetarians but now its not so cool. Its not the norm of society.  There are people who think I'm nutso for trying this.  This decision is based on my health and on those creatures that are literally murdered to fill our bellies.

Now I am not going to try to persuade you to go veggie.  This was my decision for myself.  I'm not making my family go veggie. We will have a few meatless dinners a week but I'm not cutting it out of their diets completely.

Anyway, this post is about my first week without meat, eggs and dairy.  I did have a bit of ranch dressing for my sweet potato fries but that was it.  Let me start off by saying that it was so much easier than I thought it would be.  I had even gone out of town to visit my family.  When we arrived at my Dad's house I went shopping and bought a few things that I could eat when they had their meat.  I was able to order at restaurants without any trouble.  I said no to chocolate cream pie (ya that one did hurt a bit).  When my sisters and I ordered coffee I had a soy latte instead of a regular one.  I could barely tell the difference.

This week proved to me that I can do this.  This lifestyle change can happen and I will be the better for it.  I bought Alicia Silverstone's (Clueless) book- The Kind Diet.  Its a great book that helps you decide how to go about this change in diet.  There are even recipes.  Its a really good book and I recommend it to anyone thinking about going vegan.  I know I still have quiet a journey ahead of me but I am looking forward to it.  This will force me to pay more attention to what I eat and what my family eats. 

The downside to this is that where I live we do not have very many options as far as shopping.  I wish we had an Earthfare or a Whole Foods Market where I can buy better products. I'm pretty much stuck with the local shopping store or Super Wal-Mart and neither one has all that great of stuff.  So this will be a challenge for me.  I am also afraid that I will become bored with it.  So in order to avoid boredom I am checking out all kinds of recipes to try. 

I will be sharing with you the trials and tribulations of my vegan adventure.  Wish me luck!

This clip is of Alicia Silverstone promoting her book, The Kind Diet. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Shit Has Hit the Fan!

shit hits the fan Pictures, Images and Photos

Yup, the shit hit the fan earlier today.  And you know what happens when shit hits the fan?  It is flung all over the damn room!

Here is what happened...

It was a sunny morning.  The kids were sent off without a worry and surprisingly enough no yelling to hurry up  After the house was void of kids I sat down with a cup of coffee and started to study for my test.  I had been studying a little here and there.  I thought I was doing pretty good.  My test was at 1200.  Right off the bat I knew I wasn't doing well.  After taking the test our instructor went over the answers.  As each question went by I was getting more and more upset.  I knew I had flunked my first nursing test.  The questions were horrible.  When I asked my instructor about a certain question she couldn't give me a reason why the answer was what it was.  Instead I was told to find what I thought to be correct in the book and challenge it on paper.  Like, I have time for that!  So before I exploded in front of my classmates I turned back in my test and left the room, walked to my van, drove like a bat out of hell to my house, stormed into my house, flung my purse across the living room and bawled like a child.

I had an A.  Now this new grade did not make me fail the class and I still have a high B but I was so upset because I couldn't get a straight answer from my instructor.  Fine, my answer is wrong.  Please let me know why your answer is correct.  Isn't that how we should be learning?  Instead of because the key said so.  So I was in a pretty shitty mood.

When you are in a bad mood it makes everything worse.  I was such a grouch and very mean to my husband.  My shit was spreading all over the room.  I was so upset with myself.  I should of studied more.  I should stay off facebook.  Finally, I began to calm down and regain my senses.  It was one test.  I was still passing.

Then I got a text from a classmate making sure I was okay.  She did not do very well on the test either.  While I was texting her another classmate messaged me on FB to make sure I was doing okay.  She also cried when she left class.  Once grades were posted I checked the class average.  We don't see individual grades but can see how we do as a class.  77%  A passing grade for nursing program is 78%.  So as a class we failed the test.  That should be a sign to our instructor that this test is for the birds.  After seeing this I began to feel a bit better.  Still pissed that I flunked the test but knew that I was also in good failing company.

I cleaned up the mental shit that was spread all over.  Moved onto other things that needed my attention.  Like the Girl Scout meeting I had to plan for...Becoming Teenagers.  Yup, periods and all that.  And that will be another post for another day.

Now, after my disappointing day, I am ready just to sit on my butt, watch tv and not think about nursing at all.  At least for tonight!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wild Weekend!

Whew!  What an exhausting weekend.  Friday night my hubby and I went to our friend's bar.  We always have fun there.  However, this night was extra special because the bar was donating 20% of the proceeds to the summer camp we used to work at, Camp Ondessonk.  So of course to make sure that a large sum was donated we drank way to much.  It was a fun night.  Great friends. Awesome music.  Friday was followed by Hang Over Saturday.  Need I say anything else about Saturday.  Well I did get a wild hair up my you know what and worked on our laundry pile.  It is slowing going down in size.

Sunday was Princess day.  A friend and I took our daughters out on the town for lunch and a movie.  My ten year old daughter did not have any interest in it at all.  She stayed at home.  The girls were so cute dressed up in their princess dresses.  We had a blast. 

Monday I took my oldest daughter and her Girl Scout troop out on the town.  We ate at a Japanese Hibachi grill.  It was fun to see their faces.  They tried sushi or rather California rolls.  It was a new experience for some of them.  Then we went and saw Gnomeo and Juliet.

I got to see Gnomeo and Juliet twice this weekend.  I think I am good for awhile.  It is a cute movie. 

It was an exhausting weekend.  I am glad that I don't have class today.  I can just chill at home while the kids are back at school.  I do have to go workout and I will continue the struggle with the laundry pile.  I will win, damnit!

I hope you all have a great week.  Its a short one for us which will be really nice.  Cuz, I am already for this upcoming weekend so I can recover from this last one.