Trying to raise my kids the best I can

Saturday, August 30, 2008

How we're making it

I'm happy living where I am for now- in a small basement. We don't have to worry about gas prices this winter. New England is going to be hit so hard. Everyone I know is just scraping by and this winter it's going to take $500 a month to heat a home, with the rise in gas prices. I think a lot of people are going to have to pray for their daily bread, literally. Truthfully we've been living that way for about six months now. Somehow God always provides the food. This week for the first time I got enough extra money to store some food for those lean weeks.

The only thing I miss in this basement is the fresh air and sunshine of the great outdoors. There's no windows here. And I'm totally an outdoorsy person. I painted a big mural of a window scene of NH mountains, next to my bed. That's my fantasy: to live in a cabin in NH.

Two nights ago my son had a brilliant idea. He and his friend were camping in the backyard and he put the tent on the trampoline. It is SO comfortable to sleep in. I slept there last night and I'm going to sleep there again tonight. Maybe every night until it gets cold. I love the fresh air and the cool breeze and looking up at the stars and the morning sunshine pouring on me. I can just imagine that I'm in a cabin in NH. Until someone's car alarm goes off, that is. (And it did last night. doh! )

I also like to look online at full time camp nurse job offers. I imagine taking one of them next year when I graduate. My husband isn't interested but I might be able to convince him. We definitely will be moving on after I graduate. I just have no idea where.

Friday, August 29, 2008


I went to a party to watch the Obama speech with other supporters. It was fun. I was a little disappointed that there wasn't a better chance to "interact". Next time I'll go to the party that specified that there would be a debate or dialogue- I can't remember the exact wording. I also thought it was strange that people mingled and talked up until his speech. I mean, true football fans don't talk through the game even during a superbowl party.

Anyway I met a few nice people. One older man who lived within walking distance of the party really clicked with me. He is an RN too! And he just had a friendly smile.

I had one foot in mouth moment when I asked a man if he was gay and he wasn't. In my defense I didn't think he was gay!! It's just that we were talking about gay marriage and about why that is one of the reasons we are Democrats.

I brought Brandon so he will pick up my zeal for politics. I may also take him neighborhood canvassing with me, in NH, (a swing state, you see).

Here's a great graph of Obama and McCain's tax plans.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Homeschooling once again!

After a three year break (while I was in school full time) I'm back to homeschooling! (Brandon, ironically. Wolfie wanted to go to public school). Today was the first day and it went great. We did a puzzle of the United States outside on the trampoline (N. E. autumn's are the best!!!!) Then we started a mystery book we're reading that takes place on the freedom trail (I forsee a field trip).

In math I taught him exponents from our pre-algebra book. I had a few "thank goodness I'm homeschooling him" moments, like when he didn't know 7x7 off the top of his head. Stuff that won't be missed with the one on one attention at home.

After dropping off Wolfie I stopped by the middle school to tell them why Brandon wasn't there (because we decided this at the last minute so the Superintendent hasn't had time to approve our plan yet). While I was there the principal asked if I was a student. tee hee. She asked my age and told me I look 16. ha ha. And when the secretary went to get the guidance counselor for me to talk to she said "I'll tell them that you're Brandon'sss (pause)" and I filled in "mom". Ha ha. I feel so young.


Friday, August 22, 2008

This looks like an interesting movie

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Reflections on my lap. chole.

It went off without a hitch! Recovery is a million times easier than last year's tonsillectomy. I'm quite pleased. Now for some reflections...

It was really fun to be an almost nurse during this procedure. I understood everything. All the lingo. All the notes they wrote. I don't remember it being like this last year so I really must have gotten my wish this past clinical- that I would finally feel like a nurse. In the PACU, after surgery, I noticed my IV wasn't running. I was concerned about dehydration being NPO (nothing by mouth) and breastfeeding. Luckily it was a simple gravity drip with a normal solution (lactated ringers) sooooo I opened the clamp and let it drip. tee hee.

In the PACU there was a 7 month pregnant girl with hyperemesis. She was a student nurse too. We had a lot to talk about. That was nice.

One of the nurses and I chit-chatted about breastfeeding and she said how wonderful it was and how she breastfed her first for four months, her second for six months and then (gasp) her third for eight months because "she knew it was her last and she didn't want to stop". She said it all embarrassed like eight months was a ridiculously long time to breastfeed. I just smiled politely. But sometimes I'm so embarrassed by medical professionals (my peeps) who give us such a bad name to crunchy moms when they show their complete lack of knowledge about basic holistic stuff.

Before the surgery, in the pre-op I met a paramedic intern who was going to be inserting my endotracheal during surgery. (He did a great job. My throat isn't sore at all). We had a nice talk about medic school and nursing school. A year ago when I got to watch a cholecystectomy I had noticed that the patient was fat. At this point, in pre-op, I was feeling guilty for that fleeting moment of judgement and I was sure this was some sort of punishment- being at my fattest at the moment. Sooooo, I couldn't help myself. I told the intern to please not think I'm fat- because I just had a baby. How silly am I? Oh well. I couldn't help myself. He got kind of flustered and said I look great. But I warned him that he might think differently when I'm (laying naked) in the operating room.

In the operating room they were playing party music. I thought it was really neat. They asked me if it bothered me and I said no, it's just like on TV. Everyone laughed and said that that is their goal- to make it look just like on TV. (lol). Then I was like "Did you give me something?" cuz I felt all woozy and they said yes. I was out cold within a minute. Either I was dreaming or it was the last thing I heard before I knocked out but I remember hearing them talking about my Timmy tattoo. They were joking that if we broke up I'd have to get it covered with a tattoo wrapped around my ankle.

The one thing that shocked me about the whole thing was how fast it was!! I walked in at noon and was wheeled out of the hospital five hours later without a gall bladder!! Timmy ran errands the whole time! The Yankee in me was quite impressed- that part of me that values efficiency- especially in light of today's health care costs.

Saphira was a good girl- didn't even drink formula (it gives her diarrhea anyway. I'd rather she wait.) The nurse (and Timmy) were all paranoid about the drugs in breastmilk, but I had researched it before-hand and once you're awake the general anesthesia is out of your system. And the morphine I was on for pain is one of the safest pain medicines for breastfeeding. When the nurse instructed me to pump and dump when I got home I played along. I did monitor the baby for signs that it was affecting her, particularly breathing, but she was fine. (And Dimitri said it tasted the same. haha.) Another cool thing is that whenever I breastfed my pain level decreased substantially!! How cool is that? BF endorphines are no joke!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Wouldn't have expected that

I was surfing the web tonight, as I often do, and I found this fascinating study about impoverished countries. This last paragraph was startling but good food for thought. Read this:

"What lessons can we draw from the experience of the past twenty years that would help Least Developed Countries’ future growth? There may be three.

The first lesson, and an obvious one, is that less war and less civil strife are key.

Second, the reliance on multilateral lenders is unlikely to help the poorest countries.

Third, the much-touted positive roles of democracy and higher education are very difficult to
discern on the basis of the empirical evidence alone. Indeed, it could be that both are primary goods, desirable in themselves, instead of purely instrumental goods acting as tools for higher income. In that sense, democratization and better education in poor countries are worthy goals, but neither seems to be an instrument for economic development—particularly so if other enabling conditions, like peace, are not present."


Getting my gall bladder out!

Another short post for you. I'm getting my gall bladder out tomorrow at 2:00. Pray for me if you think of it!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Another sling contest

We didn't win the last one, but maybe you or I will win this one!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Immigration update

Obama button

I got a free Obama button here. You can get one too.


Thursday, August 07, 2008

Stuff that's going on

  • Well, right now I'm doing everything possible to not study for my final exam which is in three hours. I memorized the Arterial Blood Gas numbers. That took five minutes. The rest is just going to have to come from my huge depth of knowledge. tee hee.
  • Right after the final my parents are coming and we're going on our yearly camping trip/church retreat. It's the highlight of my year. My chance to act Thereauish for three days.
I'll be swimming at a lake that looks like this and diving off a dock similar to this.

  • Tonight is the Pat's first preseason game! Yay! I'm wearing my jersey. We'll listen to it on the radio as we drive to New Hampshire.
  • In typical hypochondriac fashion I am convinced I have a disease. This time it's dystonia because I've been twitching more and more at night. And my aunt has dystonia. Time will tell.
  • We put in carpeting, so the place looks much nicer. We wanted to do it before Saphira started crawling.
  • I forgot to tell you a long time ago that we got Saphira's ear's pierced. She's so beautiful! (And fat!)

Monday, August 04, 2008

RAD kids

I've been thinking about Reactive Attachment Disorder. It happens when a mother doesn't respond to her baby's needs. That child grows up to not trust people. They manipulate, live in the moment and lack conscience. A lot of these kids end up adopted. I have the utmost respect for the parents who love these kids. They have the patience of a saint. Here is a heartwarming story of parents who saw their son through RAD. Unfortunately, not all RAD kids can be cured. They have to choose to love and to trust again. Some of them never do. There is no magic bullet.

I think a lot about RAD because of my baby girl. Being a mom to a babe is a constant, never ending task. And its the most rewarding. When she cries for me I would climb mountains to get to her. I think of the babies whose mothers aren't responding- maybe they are dead or gone - I'm not judging them. But for some reason a baby's cry is not being answered. I imagine the pain in that baby's heart as I look into my own childs eyes and sing to her. I can understand how that could make you never love again.


Sunday, August 03, 2008

I'm in love

(Here's a picture of the Kindle on the cover of Newsweek, one of the first magazines I will be ordering on my Kindle... when I get some money)

I'm in love with the Amazon's Kindle. Well, I can't afford it yet, but when I do get one it will be a taste of heaven on earth. It combines my two favorite things: reading and decluttering. I can have hundreds of thousands of books at my fingertips but no actual books lying around (which is kind of a big deal when you have four kids in a two bedroom basement). I have to say that my personal fantasy is living in the woods in New Hampshire with a plate, a mug, and a Kindle... just spending my days hiking and reading and eating berries. Like my idol Henry David Thoreau sigh. You think I jest, but I'm serious. Once I get my RN I might look for a job as a camp nurse and bring my kids. I don't even want pay. Just give me and the kids a cabin and good food.

There is also the lure of possibly getting books published quite easily via Kindle. You couldn't bait me more with a trillion dollars.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

How to boil an egg

Just thought I'd pass along the discovery I made- that if you hard boil an egg starting at room temperature (as opposed to straight out of the refrigerator) it is much easier to peel.
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