Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Productive Small-Town Day

Here I am on Jerry's half of the world and I can't quite get used to it.  The following is a list of what I accomplished today while Jerry was hard at work.

1.  Rearranged the icons on my iphone so that the essentials show up on the main screen:  Pinterest, GoodReads, Pandora, and US Weekly.

2.  One load of laundry

3.  Dinner.  In the slow cooker, but still.

4.  Texted everyone I know to ask what they are doing.

5.  Finished the second Harry Potter book and started the third.

6.  Sat on the couch with the dog in my lap and tried to help her lose the last of her winter coat by pulling it out with my fingers.

...I think I've made my point.  I just don't know how to cope with life in a small town.  Technically, I don't even really think this should be called a town.  I was complaining to my friend Kate that every gas station cashier and grocery store clerk seems to ask me where I live.  I find this appalling. Coming from an actual city, people don't generally ask me where I live and who my neighbors are.  Kate has experience living in the middle of nowhere and she informed me that once they find out who your neighbors are they ask them if the new folks in town are freaks and find out all they can.  Basically stick their nose all up in your business.  I actually found this soothing as most of my cereal killer nightmares involve small-town psychopaths who burst into houses and kill everyone in the town in one crazy killing streak.  

Tomorrow...I'm going to try harder to avoid boredom.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Project Baby

I suppose I can now announce that Project Baby has officially begun.  And by "officially begun" I mean my cycles are all over the place and I cannot decipher my BBT charts to save my life.  If this was a part of the upcoming NCLEX exam I would surely fail.  I would love to unload them here in the vain hope that I could get some help, but I cannot figure out how to get them from the iphone app to my computer (email isn't working).  So my confusion persists.  My temperature seems to vary so wildly and then I tend to get forgetful near the middle of my cycle and either miss the right days or cannot pick them out of the crazy zigzags of my temps.  

Adding to the cycle variance--I have been trying to increase the amount of time I spend exercising each week.  I've never exactly been a marathon runner, so it's all pretty light stuff, but I don't want it to make my cycles get crazier.  My diet is still a total disaster, but I'm trying to bring it around.

I honestly do not remember how I ever got pregnant by accident that one time.  I wonder if I'll feel more relaxed this next time around.  It would be nice, but I doubt it.  The other night I had a dream that I was ten weeks pregnant and Jerry was telling everyone and it was absolutely freaking me out.  The truth is I'll probably tell here and my mother and then attempt to wear baggy clothes until I hit 27 weeks to avoid telling anyone else.  We'll see when (and if) I get there.  

Not much else going on today...I did get my NCLEX application mailed off.  Now we wait for permission to test!

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Love of Learning

I have many things on my summer to-do list.  My priority the last couple of days has apparently been becoming extremely engrossed in books that are not nursing textbooks while eating mass quantities of chocolate and popcorn.  I am still attempting to gather all the required paperwork to submit my NCLEX application.  Also really need to clean my house and do laundry and organize paperwork before we head out again on Friday.  I really am a horribly lax housekeeper.  I'm just too easily distracted by the Kiddo's antics.  Or the Internet.  Or the iphone.  Or books.  Or sunshine.  It's always something and my house always seems to look like a disaster just happened.  

One of my main goals of summer and beyond is teaching my Kiddo to read.  I don't know about other preschools, but the Kiddo has been attending a nationally recognized childcare center since she was two.  I refuse to name it here.  Actually, no I don't--take heed parents who believe that sending your child to a y.. m.. c.. a.. preschool will arm your child with all the knowledge he/she needs to begin their kindergarten education.  Kiddo knows perhaps 50% of the alphabet and refuses to write her name.  Whatever the 12+ "teachers" she has been privileged to learn from over the last three years have been doing, it hasn't been teaching my daughter that learning is fun.  I don't think I'm blameless here; I've certainly let my own education take precedence over taking my daughter's learning into my own hands.  Yet I genuinely believe that my biggest mistake thus far has been doing nothing so I do wonder why my daughter is so flustered when it comes to practicing writing and learning to read.  I do (selfishly and lazily, I know) wish that preschool would've done the job for me, but it appears we have some work to do.

Jerry and I both dropped out of high school.  Eek.  Jerry was just constantly in trouble as a teenager and I've always suspected he is dyslexic and was never diagnosed as a child.  His first truly positive school experience was when he returned to an alternative school and completed his GED.  He learned that he is actually smart and capable of greater things than he ever imagined.  I...was just a jerk of a kid.  I hated school, never felt like I fit.  So I quit my senior year 1.5 credits shy of graduation.  I was waiting tables full time and just didn't have my priorities together.  Luckily for me, I had an awesome guidance counselor who made it possible for me to finish my classes on my own time table and I finished my high school diploma shortly after I turned 18.  It wasn't until I really became immersed in college classes that I figured out that I am genuinely intelligent and that I absolutely love learning.  I was always an avid reader growing up and I can't wait to share books with my daughter that I loved when I learned to read on my own.  If there is anything I desire to pass on to my daughter, it is a love of learning. 

Kiddo is about to turn 5 in a few weeks and we have decided to postpone kindergarten for another year, barring any huge developmental advances over the next couple of months.  I would like to utilize this time to give her a solid foundation in reading and math.  I don't want to throw her into kindergarten now and have her feel frightened and overwhelmed because she wasn't adequately prepared.  I fear this would turn into negative feelings about school.  I am no kind of teacher, and I expect some difficulty in keeping the teaching light and fun, but we are giving it a go.  Today Kiddo and I went and bought her first "schoolbooks."  Thus far I have limited my attempts at teaching to bedtime stories and a few alphabet flash cards so she is somewhat intrigued by the books.  I am wondering if I should get her a little desk.  I really want this to be a positive experience for both of us.  And I will also admit to a dream of her reading proficiently by the time she heads to kindergarten next year.  

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Safe Harbor

It's been so long since I've posted that I can't really remember where I left off...

I did make it safely and without incident to graduation.  The graduation itself was a whole awkward thing, with the families of my divorced parents mingling again for the first time since the divorce four years ago.  The whole thing felt a bit ridiculous as I just wanted to collapse in exhaustion and zone out for a few days.  But it was pleasant.  I still don't know if it has fully sunk in that I actually managed to escape The Nursing School from Hell before it caved in over my shoulders.  The chaotic fog that has been swirling around me for the last few years has definitely started to lift, but I don't really know how to behave in a calm environment either.  So I've been racing around as usual.  I am pleased to report greatly reduced anxiety levels though.

Jerry's dad passed away three days before graduation after a long battle with lung cancer.  I don't know that I've ever written much about it, but he was diagnosed in late 2009 and was hospitalized and on a ventilator for several weeks immediately after diagnosis.  He was never even supposed to survive that hospitalization much less live for nearly three more years so his passing was not completely unexpected.  However, he had been functioning at a very steady (though unhealthy) level since that time so we were a bit shocked.  His cancer was also complicated by liver cirrhosis and a very unhealthy lifestyle.  Jerry had been looking forward to spending Father's Day with his dad today, knowing it would likely be his last.  Out of Jerry's very "special" family, I loved his father the most.  He was this lovely man hidden underneath a rough exterior.  He made a lot of mistakes in his life and lost his way sometimes, but if people were able to see past the surface they were privileged to know a lovely person.

We left town and headed to the Oregon coast to introduce our daughter to the ocean for the first time.  She was absolutely fascinated by everything she saw and so were we.  It is so wonderful to experience life through the eyes of your child.  I have no doubt that she would've been happy to stay on the beach the entire time, but we managed to do some sight seeing.  It was great to just get away for a few days.  Jerry and I have never even taken a weekend trip together before so it was nice to get away for a whole week and just be tourists.  There were several hundred seals in the harbor where we were staying and we spent many hours just watching their antics and feeding the seagulls.  It was good for Jerry to see the world outside of Montana; he was born and raised here and I've always had a sneaking suspicion he thinks he will fall off the edge of the world at the state line.  He was thrilled to learn that other states have both mountains and hunting.  

So what's next?  I am camping at home for a few days before the Kiddo and I join Jerry on the other side of the state.  I'm studying for nursing boards, the final exam that will legally allow me to call myself a nurse.  I am hoping to test by mid-July at the latest.  Our little house is going up for sale this week, and I am beginning to browse jobs for myself and Jerry that will allow us to relocate to a location we will enjoy living in. We've both agreed that his current location is not where we want to be long-term, but for now it will have to do.  Expect whiny posts about life in a teeny tiny awful little town to replace the whiny posts about nursing school.  I will be working on my bachelor's degree and hopefully working on our next baby over the coming year.  I am hoping this combined with a part time nursing job will be enough to distract me from the bad location.

Since I am now free of The Nursing School from Hell I feel I can be a bit more open here so I want to start including a few pictures: