Friday, December 31, 2010

Personal Year-in-Review

I did this the past 2 years so might as well keep it going!

-What was the best thing that happened to me this year? I finally graduated nursing school. I feel like I've been slaving away at it for way longer than two years and I can't even begin to describe how good it feels to be through. I plan on going to graduate school, but I guess I put that in a different category than this degree b/c I will be moving UP in terms of degrees rather than repeating what I've already done for 4 times the amount of tuition.

-What did I do this year that I’m really proud of? Got inducted into Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society, graduated, and got a job at Duke. I made it a goal during first semester orientation to get into STT so that was a nice pat-on-my-back. I'm also relieved to have a job waiting for me at Duke Hospital; the entire time I was in school I kept telling myself (and others) that's where I'd like to return to, and surprisingly it worked out that way!

-Who did I really help? My gut reaction is to say many of the patients I worked with in clinicals and as a CNA. You can't really be more of a "help" to a person than when you take care of them while they're at their worst. I'd also like to think I helped out some of my nursing school classmates along the way; I tried anyways!

-Who do I need to thank and acknowledge for having been there for me? There are quite a few people that have been there for me...the obvious: my parents, my sisters/brother, Alister, and various relatives. There are also some classmates that have been a huge support to me during the year, especially Lauryn and Erin. Without all of the above I may have completely lost my mind trying to get through this year!

-What are the top three lessons I learned? 1. Hard work really does pay off 2. African American males absolutely LOVE bloodhounds and 3. I can be friends with other females after all

-What increased my happiness and joy this year? The sweet taste of success.

-What’s something I got through that was really tough? I can't wait until I have more unique answers next year, but....nursing school! Clinicals! CNA work! It was also harder than I thought to say good-bye to my grandparents. I didn't get to see them nearly as much as other friends get to see theirs; I guess that's the way it always was even when growing up- but it was still hard to know they weren't going to be around for any more holidays, or to see me graduate, or be around for the birth of more great-grandchildren (Alex, not me).

-What did I avoid that I must pay more attention to in 2011? My waistline. I went through 1 month before my cousin's wedding in which I worked out 45 minutes/day every day and lost a little over 10 pounds. Unfortunately, once the wedding was over I quit working out. My elliptical looks sad and abandoned so I'm thinking we must reunite after the holidays...because this waistline is only getting larger and I'm too superficial for that (not to mention it's also incredibly unhealthy and puts me at higher risk for heart disease and diabetes). I made the jump and joined Weight Watchers this week so maybe that will help also if I can stick to it.
-What character trait did I develop most this year? Compassion for people. I always had it for animals but now I like to think I have a little extra for people too.

-What new people did I meet that are now in my life?  That's a hard one, because I've pretty much spent the past year with the exact same people as the year before, school and otherwise. I definitely got to know some classmates better in addition to some people I've met elsewhere in life...but honestly I cannot think of anyone as I'm writing this. If I do I'll update but for now, I'll just say I got to know several people a bit better and I'm glad I did!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Weight Watchers

Today I joined Weight Watchers. Before anyone shakes their head or makes a laughing noise, I just want to point out that I don't think I'm FAT...however, I have managed to gain 30 pounds since I started nursing school and to be honest I need that to go away! For a while in there I was able to force myself to work out 6 days a week, but no matter how much I exercise something has to be done to control my eating habits (which are out of control).

Don't think my eating habits are too bad? Let me use yesterday as an example; in one day I managed to eat a bowl of cereal, chicken pasta alfredo, 9 oatmeal raisin cookies, 5 Lindor mint truffles, Hershey's chocolate, a HUGE glass of wine, a cup of olives, a chicken leg (yes, cooked), 4 oranges, a grapefruit, a bagel with pumpkin spice cream cheese, and a ginger ale. Yeah, doesn't sound "so" bad but all of that tops out to around 3500 calories. Fail. I'm hoping Weight Watchers will be what helps me get everything under control because I'd really like to be able to fit into all of the nice clothes I have piled in my closet.

We'll see how it goes!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Cat's Christmas

For Christmas this year I purchased a scratching "bed" for my cats.

They seemed to enjoy it but while I was unwrapping presents on Christmas Day I thought of them back at home with no paper or tissue to play in. Being the sap that I am, it gave me a twinge of sadness, so I decided to take them my family's leftover wrappings. I dumped the bag of "trash" on the living room floor along with the box that my piano cover came in and the cats have enjoyed it ever since. Although I like seeing them happy, the wrapping paper is going to have to be thrown out when the New Year arrives.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

This morning I awoke to almost 6 inches of snow on the ground, and watched as it continued to pile up throughout the day. I was able to enjoy it with family for a little while before having to get on the road back home. It frustrates me that I have a beast of a car yet I've turned into a huge weenie about driving in crappy weather. I think the fear of being trapped in a wrecked car while suffering massive amounts of pain has completely ruined any fun I used to have when driving. Sigh. I made it home safely without taking anyone else out though and that's all that matters.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wrapping presents with a cat

This is long, but funny, especially b/c it fits both of my cats to a "T".
Clear large space on table for wrapping present.

1. Go to closet and collect bag in which present is contained, and shut door.
2. Open door and remove cat from closet.
3. Go to cupboard and retrieve rolls of wrapping paper.
4. Go back and remove cat from cupboard.
5. Go to drawer, and collect transparent sticky tape, ribbons, scissors, labels, etc. . .
6. Lay out presents and wrapping materials on table, to enable wrapping strategy to be formed.
7. Go back to drawer to get string, remove cat that has been in the drawer since last visit and collect string.
8. Remove present from bag.
9. Remove cat from bag.
10. Open box to check present, remove cat from box, replace present.
11. Lay out paper to enable cutting to size.
12. Try and smooth out paper, realize cat is underneath and remove cat.
13. Cut the paper to size, keeping the cutting line straight.
14. Throw away first sheet as cat chased the scissors, and tore the paper.
15. Cut second sheet of paper to size - by putting cat in the bag the present came in.
16. Place present on paper.
17. Lift up edges of paper to seal in present. Wonder why edges don't reach. Realize cat is between present and paper. Remove cat.
18. Place object on paper, to hold in place while tearing transparent sticky tape.
19. Spend 20 minutes carefully trying to remove transparent sticky tape from cat with pair of nail scissors.
20. Seal paper with sticky tape, making corners as neat as possible.
21. Look for roll of ribbon. Chase cat down hall in order to retrieve ribbon.
22. Try to wrap present with ribbon in a two-directional turn.
23. Re-roll ribbon and remove paper, which is now torn due to cat's enthusiastic ribbon chase.
24. Repeat steps 13-20 until you reach last sheet of paper.
25. Decide to skip steps 13-17 in order to save time and reduce risk of losing last sheet of paper. Retrieve old cardboard box that is the right size for sheet of paper.
26. Put present in box, and tie down with string.
27. Remove string, open box and remove cat.
28. Put all packing materials in bag with present and head for locked room.
29. Once inside lockable room, lock door and start to relay out paper and materials.
30. Remove cat from box, unlock door, put cat outside door, close and relock.
31. Repeat previous step as often as is necessary (until you can hear cat from outside door)
32. Lay out last sheet of paper. (This will be difficult in the small area of the toilet, but do your best)
33. Discover cat has already torn paper. Unlock door go out and hunt through various cupboards, looking for sheet of last year's paper. Remember that you haven't got any left because cat helped with this last year as well.
34. Return to lockable room, lock door, and sit on toilet and try to make torn sheet of paper look presentable.
35. Seal box, wrap with paper and repair by very carefully sealing with sticky tape. Tie up with ribbon and decorate with bows to hide worst areas.
36. Label. Sit back and admire your handiwork, congratulate yourself on completing a difficult job.
37. Unlock door, and go to kitchen to make drink and feed cat.
38. Spend 15 minutes looking for cat until coming to obvious conclusion.
39. Unwrap present, untie box and remove cat.
40. Go to store and buy a gift bag

Merry Christmas! :-)

Christmas Eve

The dogs and I made the [incredibly boring] quick drive to Raleigh this morning for the holidays. We're only planning on staying for a few days so hopefully the snow falls lightly and is quick to melt. I always worry when I leave my cats at home that the pet sitter won't be able to make it; I'm sure the boys could live off their own body fat for a few days but when they're hungry they tend to eat anything they can get in the mouth. It's funny, yet pathetic with a little bit of nasty thrown in. That and I own the automatic litter box from hell; rather than scoop the poop it jams it up into a huge pile at one end and fills the house with the stench of...well, you know. Anyways, I hope everyone stays warm this evening and is able to enjoy some wonderful family time together. Merry Christmas Eve!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Some pictures of my kids

Some pictures of my 4 boys...obviously very spoiled boys.



Baer (the adopted kid)


eating: 2-bite blueberry scones from fresh market and a bottle of smart water

feeling: always. i was supposed to go to raleigh today but since i'll be taking both dogs with me i wasn't in the mood to try and watch them like hawks 24/7. super lazy

listening: to the fan in the guest bathroom, the dogs barking, and the fridge motor

watching: nothing. half the time i turn on the tv it shuts back off again. i think it needs a new lamp. i need a new tv
reading: "nose down, eyes up" by merrill markoe. very funny book

loving: that school is 100% over, that tomorrow starts the 2 days of christmas fun, that i have a job waiting for me

disliking: not having any jobs to do right now

thinking: maybe i can type on this thing more than once a month?

hoping: that i pass the boards in jan/feb on the first try

wishing: we're back to the lottery thing now- wish i could win without having to spend money on a ticket...if only to pay off my student loans and mortgage and start fresh

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I Graduated!

Amazingly, I managed to make it through nursing school...and even graduate with honors! I am so thankful and relieved that it is over, and the sooner I can take my boards and be completely done, the better. In addition to my graduation I'm also extremely proud of my brother-in-law for getting his green beret 2 days before I had my ceremony. It was nice for everyone to finish off the year with a "bang" and I can only imagine how many people are glad to have so much be over with! Oh, and since the last post I was asked to be a godmother to my future NEPHEW (yay for boys!). I just wanted to share a few pictures below and hopefully next year I do a better job of keeping this blog updated since I won't have QUITE as much going on!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

An update (and a lazy way of doing one)

A Nursing Poem

It’s the end of my time in nursing school
And I’m really starting to see
Just how stressful and on edge
My life has come to be.

I’m getting mad while arranging movies
When I stub my toe I cuss
My hair is falling out in clumps
I’m always in a fuss.

I’m tired of reading textbooks
So sick of retyping notes
And the really annoying thing
Is I can hardly read what I wrote.

Despite the wonderful fact
That in a few weeks it’ll all be done
I then start studying for boards
And I’m sure that’ll be lots of fun.

But in the meantime I have to hang on
And keep learning about the heart
Interpreting all the rhythms
So I can look like I’m really smart.

I’ll keep studying the kidneys
And knowing how much one should pee
Determining what creatinine and BUN values
Are actually supposed to be.

Brushing up on all I’ve heard
About the respiratory tract
Airway is most important
And that’s just a life-saving fact.

I also have to keep on top
Of all the diseases in the gut
And how to care for a patient
Who’s colon is bypassed to the butt.

I know that sounds kind of nasty
Trust me I’ve heard it for 2 years
And many times I’ve wanted
To just cover up my ears.

I also can’t forget
About all those cancers and labs
I probably couldn’t if I wanted to
Since my notebook is filled with tabs.

Marking all the important things
That I need to remember
But all I can think about right now
Is that it’s finally December.

In 17 days I get to graduate
With my last Bachelor’s degree
I think I’ll take a break from school
And just work 3 days a week.

It’ll be nice to come home at night
And have nothing else to do
But eat dinner and watch TV
And go to bed whenever I want to.

But like I said before
I’ve got some more tests to take
Hopefully my last shred of sanity
Makes it until the break.