Monday, February 25, 2013

Snow day ponderings

Hey Peeps--

I'm pretty sure my kids attend the only school in Colorado that called a "snow day".  They have spent about 20 hours out in the snow since this latest storm began, and I can only imagine how many calories they have burned.  As I sit in the sun wondering this, I have been able to put away a whole sleeve of thin mints.  I felt like someone should be replenishing all those wasted calories.  Besides, I need the strength too, after spending two hours this morning at a great sledding hill with our friends.  I went down the hill a couple times, until I almost wet my pants.  Note to self:  Best to NOT drink large carafe of coffee before sledding.  You might think two hours of up and down a hill would wipe my 3 babies out, but not so.  Now they are destroying the back yard by making forts and obstacle courses with the snow.  It's no wonder our grass grows in patches every spring.  It's like they don't even care how the yard looks. 

I'm actually completely content to just sit in the sun, in my warm chair and watch my kids play in the snow.  Last week I started my new job as a nurse, and finally today I'm able to just sit and relax.  Are you wondering if I like my new job?  Well, the answer is yes, even if you didn't care at all.  I'm at a wonderful facility, with a nice team of people, and patients that make me smile.  For the first eight shifts I work, I am with another nurse who is training me.  She's very nice and patient, even when I say dumb things like, "Remind me again why I should wear gloves".  Most of the day I'm on my feet, trying to get my work done and learn as much as possible.  Yesterday my preceptor told me that we were going to take some time to do "foot care" on some of the patients.  I watched her carefully trim thickened toenails, while she chatted with them about their lives.  I was on my knees watching intently, when a toenail came and hit me square on the cheek.  It was about this time that I questioned my calling.  And again when I learned that I will be administering "brown cows" from time to time. 

Billy and the kids are adjusting well to my new career, which is no surprise.  I was hoping it would be a bit more traumatic for them when I left in the early morning hours, but this has not happened.  In fact when I go in to say goodbye to the boys, I give hugs and say things like, "Bye buddies.  I love you so much.  Have a great day.  You are so special to me".  If they wake up enough to respond, all I usually get is, "okay".  At least Faith puts both her arms up for a hug and tells me she loves me too.  I don't like to play favorites, but you can see who might be my favorite if I made a verbal choice. 

I tend to run a tight ship around my house (Billy calls this some kind of "obsessive disorder" but I prefer to be called "tidy") so you can imagine my concern when I came home after my first full day to discover he and the children had decided to brew their own root beer.  After I breathed into a bag for about ten minutes, and wiped up the sticky spots on the floor, Billy and I had a talk about using my kitchen for things like making sandwiches and nothing else.  If they would like to be creative then they are going to have to either stifle their desires, and just because I'm nice,  if they are desperate, they've been given permission to be inventive and resourceful in the garage.  I feel good about our new system. 

Well, the kids are all standing at the door begging to come in and play video games.  I suppose I should let them, although this means my peace and quiet has come to an abrupt end.  Now begins the disrobing of wet clothing, boots, and so forth.  I suppose they'll ask me for hot cocoa too, as Billy has trained them that cocoa should always be served after playing in the snow.  What is it with him and beverages? 

Today I was able to set aside my nurse's cap and just go back to being a mom.  There is nothing glamorous about doing laundry, cleaning bathrooms, and wiping up kitchen floors.  But that's okay.  There's so much more to being a mom, than just keeping a house in order.  It's the most important job, and when I see my kids delight in something like playing in the snow for hours, my heart is full of gratitude.  Life is good.  And God is good.  

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Homeschooling is not for sissies.

Hey Peeps--

Did you know there's a new diet called the Paleo Diet, and it's all the rage?  It's all about meat and eggs and healthy fats.  I like to keep up with all the current trends so for lunch today I had two avacado's and about 1/2 bag of tortilla chips.  And now I will sit back and watch the pounds just fall off.  I already feel it starting to work.  My lower abdomen is cramping up real good. 

I'm not afraid to admit when I'm wrong.  The bottom line is I'm sorry I judged all you mothers who homeschool your beloved children.  I was way off.  My picture of homeschooling was as follows:  Wake up and stay in pajamas till noon.  Make homemade cinnamon rolls, using the measuring cups and teaspoons for the daily math lesson.  While the rolls bake, read the paper together, while discussing current events, history, and possible sales on handbags or cheap flights to Orlando.  After lunch, pack kids up for a "field trip" to the Zoo, being to sure bring money for twisty cones, and a ride on the train. End the day with dinner at the food court at the mall.  GEEZE!  How wrong was I?

No I haven’t decided to keep my three kids home to teach them myself, however, Jack's been home for the last 8 school days, to do a little something called "Digital Days" while his school was moving from one site to another.  Jack's thirteen, and he and I tend to butt heads.  It might because we are actually exactly the same:  impulsive, anxious, controlling, and easily frustrated by any and all math problems.  Thankfully, Billy took charge of some of Jack's learning on the days he worked from home.  If there was a problem with the computer or a math problem that involved more than one step, we'd frantically call down to Billy in his freezing, smelly basement, and beg him to come help us.  I'd slowly sneak away to the upstairs where it smells like vanilla, and the sun warms my room.  I'd pop a Jillian Michaels dvd in the computer to work out, but it's very hard to get your burn, when the teenage boy comes barging in every five seconds yelling things like "Mom, I need more pencil lead!" or "When's lunch? It's almost 11!".  This is the point in which I was enlightened, and decided to confess my previous judgment of what it means to homeschool a child. 

Thankfully we made it through and hopefully our week together won't take up too many sessions of therapy down the road.  I took him to Smashburger for lunch on our last day together, as a way to help him see that I have good qualities too.  I'm hoping the sweet rosemary fries and delicious angus beef will erase all the damage I had done in my not so pleasant moments. 

Besides nurturing and cultivating my son, I had a rather eventful week myself.  I officially became employed as a Registered Nurse!  This is quite exciting and the culmination of 2+ years of schooling.  One of my instructors from Nursing school had recommended me for a position at a wonderful nursing home.  Just being called for an interview was a thrill!  I had no idea what to expect, as I haven't had a professional interview in many years.  I walked into a room, with five nurse managers, and they told me there was no need to be nervous as we were "just going talk".  It took about 15 minutes for my voice to stop shaking, and they were very nice, despite the fact that I felt, and sounded, like an idiot.  I made it through, without soiling myself, and believe it or not, a few days later I was offered the job. 

Now that I'm officially making some coin, Billy was hoping I'd become his "sugar mamma" and be able to buy him stuff like high definition T.V.'s and Cooper Mini's.  Unfortunately for him, I'll be working part time, and most likely spend the next several years paying off school debt and financing our kid's straight teeth.   It all feels surreal actually.  I went to nursing school with simple goals--to get a decent job that gave me a sense of purpose while the kids were in school.  I wanted something that allowed me to still be a mom first and I wanted something that would help our family, while allowing me to use my God-given abilities.  Who knows what tomorrow will hold, but I have high hopes that my goals will come to pass.  There is much to learn, and more transitions for our family to undertake, but somehow during the last few years, we have learned a little bit about adjusting.  I have Faith.  And my boys.  And Billy.  Come on life.  Bring it on!