Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Settling In

When Carson decided that North Idaho College would be where he would start his college career, he thought that meant he could live at home. His father and I gently, but firmly, told him he needed some away-from-home experience and, therefore, would be living in the dorms. Carson was not very happy with this decision. Of our two children, he is the more "homebody" of the two.

The first few weeks were a little rough on him. Our boy, who is a bit resistant to change, had several challenges to overcome. He was learning to live with three other guys who are vastly different from him. He is a bit stubborn and opinionated so learning to be accommodate several roommates has been a stretch. I wish I could report that this has been wildly successful, but no.

He had to eat cafeteria food. This is a boy who had consumed hot lunch at school maybe once or twice in his entire school career. And now he had no choice but to eat "hot lunch" (and breakfast and dinner) every day. This challenge is still a challenge as he feels that the variety of food offered is limited and sometimes not very palatable. However, it does make him appreciate my cooking a little bit more.

NIC has a nationally-ranked wrestling team and that made it an attractive prospect for Carson. Unfortunately, Carson wasn't recruited by NIC so he had to try and make the team as a walk-on. The space available at the 125-lb weight class was limited and the number of prospective wrestlers were many. Those pre-season weeks were filled with sleepless nights, nausea, canker sores (from stress), and just plain old stress and anxiety. Carson and his dad talked on an almost daily basis. When he was home on the weekends, he slept and slept. But Carson's heart was set on wrestling for NIC and he poured everything he had into practice. His coaches noticed and he was granted a spot on the team. I can't put into words how proud of him we are (and relieved).

Making the wrestling team was a huge burden lifted from Carson. Living in the dorms has proved to be a good thing as he has made friends that he wouldn't have otherwise made. What were once almost daily phone calls have turned into an occassional text. He is finding his way and settling in. It makes my heart happy to see that he is adjusting, and did I mention, making friends? If there is one thing that I was worried about was him making friends. Carson doesn't enjoy going to activities where he doesn't know anyone and won't put himself in those types of situations. But he must have taken some risks to meet some new people since he brought home several new friends for Sunday dinner this past week. That was super fun to see happen.

I love to see the growth in our children.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

"Well, At Your Age" and Other Signs of Aging

My gynecologist was the first one to say to me, "Well at your age..." I was 37 and was sharing my frustrations about my menstrual cycle. Beyond the phrase "Well at your age", she really didn't have much else to say. And "Well at your age" certainly wasn't very helpful. I can remember walking out of the appointment completely incredulous that she would have the audacity to imply that I was somehow "old" at 37 years of age.

But I knew that aging was creeping up on me. I mean, I had noticed that there were a few little lines around my eyes. I had some sun spots on my face and arms. Cellulite that could be toned and burned off when I was in my 20's had become stubborn and unwilling to melt away.  I wasn't living in denial that I was getting older. I just wasn't ready for someone to be so blunt with me that day and shine a flashlight on the fact that I was closer to 40 than 30.

Now it is 6 years later. I'm 43 years old. And now when things creak, pop, or wrinkle I find myself saying "Well at your age..."

I had a few of those moments today.

First up, this morning's experience. I had some pants that I needed to get hemmed. So I found Katelyn's sewing kit, got out the needle and thread and discovered...I couldn't see to thread the needle. ARGH! The dreaded far-sightedness of aging eyes apparently is beginning to set in. If I am wearing my contacts, doing such tasks of threading a needle or affixing the clasp of a necklace is an effort in futility. There, I admit it. "At my age...far-sightedness is a common occurrence."

I didn't get the pants hemmed. Instead I opted for using safety pins to hold the hem in place.

So I was still absorbing that "Well, at your age" moment when I had another one. I was looking in the mirror at my outfit for the day. I thought it was pretty cute and worked. It was the slacks, a nice shirt and a cardigan.

A cardigan.

I realized this morning that somewhere a long the way a cardigan has become my go-to "finish off an outfit" accessory.

A cardigan.

Doesn't that scream "old"? It did to me this morning.
Tonight I tried to shake the "Well, at your age" thing as I was shopping. My friend was hosting a LulaRoe party. This company sells mostly maxi skirts, dresses and leggings. As I was trying on the different skirts all I kept hearing myself say is "Yeah, these don't work for you. Maybe if you were 10 years younger, but at your age..." And I definitely didn't try on any of the leggings. I would have to be 20 years younger to get away with those.

But "old" didn't win tonight, well not completely. I bought 2 skirts. But as I was leaving all I could think was which cardigan would go with which skirt.

"Well, at my age" some habits are hard to break.

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Birthday Package Is in the Mail

Katelyn's birthday is a week from Saturday.
I mailed her package yesterday.
I'm grateful that she is in a place where I don't have to plan weeks
ahead just to make sure I get the package
in the mail soon enough.
I had a couple of thoughts as I was mailing her birthday package.
First, she should be one well-dressed missionary.
I realized that I have purchased her more clothes in the last 6 months
than I have in...well ever, I think.
That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much.
Is it bad that I wanted to give her birthday outfit a "trial run"
before I mailed it down to her?
Of course I didn't.
But I was tempted.
I can't wait for her to come home so we can share all of those
awesome clothes.
The next thought I had was "Holy cow, I can't believe she is going to be 21!"
Seriously rocking my world just a bit.
I don't recall having these bits of panic when she turned 20.
Why is 21 a whole different story?
Could it be another stark reminder that I, too, am getting older?
Do I just live in denial on my birthday
and only realize the passing of time
when my children have birthdays?
Whatever it is...
21 seems to be a slap to the face.

Monday, September 22, 2014


The kids did not want to come to school today.
Their parents made them come any way.
That meant a constant stream of
"I feel ick"
"I'm super sick"
Was seen in the health room all day.
"No fever, no vomiting. Now back to class," said I.
You can do it.
Just give it a try.
"Okay fine," said the students,
"But you know this may not be prudent."
"What if I barf?"
"What if I faint?"
All seemed to have a further complaint.
But back to class they went.
Not to be re-sent.
The day finished without further ills.
I hope tomorrow won't bring this type of thrills.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Whoa Dude

I had a minor medical procedure (it was a uterine ablation) yesterday.
I had the option of being put fully under or being mildly sedated.
I hate being fully put under.
That means they have to put down an endotracheal tube.
That means I always wake up with a sore throat and hoarse voice.
So I chose to be mildly sedated.
Whoa, dude.
The mild sedation included one hydrocodone, one Xanax, and one anti-nausea med.
Oh and a shot in the butt of Tordol.
The doctor gave me the medications about 40 minutes prior to the procedure.
When they brought me back, I was alert and awake.
The doctor was a wee bit surprised.
I had warned him that for whatever reason one hydrocodone doesn't ever seem to work.
He said "You're all of 90 pounds, I'm not giving you any more."
I said OK.
I can remember him starting the procedure.
He talked about the speculum.
He said I might feel some needle pokes.
I did.
He asked if I wanted him to adjust the monitor so I could watch.
I said I could see the monitor OK.
And that is the last memory I have of all of yesterday.
I don't remember how I got dressed after the procedure.
I don't remember talking with my mom, who is the one who came to get me.
I don't know if I said thank-you to her.
So, thanks Mom. Sorry if I didn't say it yesterday.
I  don't remember eating yesterday.
I don't remember Carson coming home.
I don't remember asking Dave anything.
But this morning, Dave replayed, in words, what yesterday was like.
He said every time I talked, I would talk louder than usual.
You know I'm a loud talker so that must have been horrible for him.
He said I was on "repeat" cycle with several questions...
"Did I eat?"
"Is Carson home?"
"Where is Carson?"
"Is your truck done?'
Carson said when I saw his new shoes I said in a very slow, but loud voice
"Dude, those are sooo cool"
Today I am feeling much better.
So far, no pain or cramping.
Grateful for that since that means no need for pain meds.
The boys got the heck out of dodge and went fishing.
I think they were afraid to be with me a whole day if I had to be on pain meds again.
The only things that I seemed to be bothered by are nausea and a headache.
Those might be related to the drugs from yesterday.
At one point I texted my friend "better living through pharmaceuticals".
Now that I am back to my old self, I don't believe that.
 I hate not being able to remember yesterday.
But it sounds like I created some interesting memories for Dave and Carson.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Week in Review

Monday was Labor Day and a nice to day to just chill, enjoy the sun and get caught up on a few things. I had planned on doing some back-to-work shopping at the big Labor Day sales, but I put myself (and Dave) on a buying moratorium. I have this crazy dream to pay off our house by the end of 2015 and to do so means a bit of purse-string tightening and better accounting of where the dollars are going. Being a two-income household has lulled us into a bit of laziness about carefully managing our money. I don't think we are completely frivolous, but there certainly have been times when we could have been more intentional about a purchase.

Anyway, back to the week in review...

Tuesday was officially my first day of work for the school year. It was a crazy, hectic day. I'm trying to start the school year off invigorated and excited to be doing what I am doing. But I spent a lot of Tuesday doing stuff that I don't enjoy...PAPERWORK! And by paperwork I mean care plans. Lots and lots of care plans. Actually making up the care plans isn't what I dislike. It is all of the copying and distributing that is tedious and time-consuming. Fortunately this year I had extra clerical support to get all of that done. I kept that gal busy from 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. with nothing but copying and distributing care plans. Crazy, right?! Just so glad it wasn't me doing all of that copying.

Wednesday was the kiddos first day back to school. It was a rainy, grey day but that didn't seem to dampen many kids' spirits. Pretty much all the ones that I saw were all spiffed up and excited to be at school. That night Dave asked me if I had seen any kids. Sadly, I had not because I was still working on care plans and paperwork. There are some parents out there who just can't seem to get their children's medication and doctor's orders in prior to back-to-school night. I find that beyond frustrating. They have all summer to get the paperwork filled out. But it's the same story every year. I should be used to it after 13 years as a school nurse.

Tuesday and Wednesday reminded me that I need to get in the habit of planning a lunch and dinner. Many of my colleagues just do a quick drive-thru meal for lunch or dinner, but with all of my stupid food allergies that doesn't really work for me. I spent Tuesday and Wednesday a little bit hungry at work because I had failed to plan. Fortunately, Dave had customers in town on those nights so the fact that I hadn't planned anything for dinner was easily overlooked.

I still didn't have lunch planned on Thursday or Friday, but at least it is now on my radar and I'll do better next week. My biggest problem is that I think eating is a hassle in general and hate trying to plan on what to eat.

Thursday was the return of regular season football and guess who showed up at home to watch the Seahawks. Yep, Carson did. He and a buddy from the wrestling team borrowed a vehicle from one of Carson's roommates and drove home so they could watch the football game. It was a bit of surprise when he came in through the garage door, said "Hey Ma, I'm here to watch the game" and then plunked himself down on the couch. And as soon as the game was over, he kissed me on the forehead and headed back to school. But he did head back to school with instructions from his dad not to borrow his roommate's car anymore.

And then it was Friday, which thankfully was quiet and uneventful. Dave and I made a small Costco run after I got home from work. Carson (he comes home on weekends) worked on homework and rested. And that was Friday.

The boys have been gone most of the day today enjoying one last summer hurrah. The new elder's quorum president invited them to go waterskiing and wake surfing. I finished up laundry and enjoyed a day by myself. I did walk down to get my car after dropping it off this morning to get new tires put on it. I estimated that it would take me about 40 minutes to walk the 2.12 miles. I beat my estimation by 10 minutes. It took my only 30 minutes to walk. Not sure if I should be proud of a 15 min/mile for walking but I did work up a bit of a sweat.

So that's it; our week (well my week mostly) in review.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

First Day of School 2014

Today was the first back to school for me. The kids return to school tomorrow. Sadly, I do not have any children at home to take the traditional "first day of school" picture.

I do have this picture that Carson sent me last week on his first day of school...
Isn't that the most special first day of school picture you have ever seen?