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Friday, February 25, 2011

ask, and it will be given to you

Today we woke up to completely white-out conditions. A pure blizzard. It was snowing like crazy. We went to bed with rain and woke up to SNOW blowing side ways. School announced a two hour delay and then an hour later they cancelled it altogether. SNOW DAY!

Karsen was so sad. She exclaimed, "But this is the outfit I was going to wear today!!!" I looked at her and calmly told her she would still need to be dressed, and that outfit would be just fine for a snow day. She stomped away to sulk....and I chuckled. Then we told Dylan.....he had the totally opposite reaction. He starts screaming and cheering "Yes! Yes! Yes!"

My children are polar opposite. LOL.

As for me, of course I started worrying about my rotation and wondered if my preceptor would be mad and fail me for the month. !!! When I called her, she was so great. She said she already knew our school district was cancelled and she had been brainstorming a project I could work on from home. Sigh....YAY!

It has been a good snow day so far! I cleaned like I haven't cleaned in about 3 months! No exaggeration. I have been on 3 months straight since November 1st, and you could look in every single nook and cranny of our house and tell.

For lunch, we decided the roads looked passable, so we ventured out for milkshakes and cheeseburgers.... Karsen's idea. It was a good one. Turns out she doesn't mind snow days, if she can get a cookies n cream milkshake that is bigger than her head for lunch!

I must confess....I actually went to bed last night and prayed for a blizzard. I am exhausted.  I am worn down on every level like I have never been before. I just feel overwhelmed. My entire BODY is screaming STOP! SLOW DOWN! CHILL OUT, WOMAN! I really, desperately needed a lazy kinda day. I was very thankful for answered prayers when I woke up this morning.

P.S. Only ONE rotation stands between me and graduation. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Matthew 7:7  Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

wordless wednesday-tulips in quebec

June 2003

Monday, February 21, 2011

breaking news....

There is an awesome Science Museum/fun kid destination here in Columbus that the kids love! COSI! It is very interactive with different exhibits/shows that are geared to be educational AND fun. We spent this past Saturday afternoon there! I forgot my real camera, but did take a couple of pics with my cell phone. I think one of their favorite exhibits was the TV studio where they could do mock interviews and see what real news studios look like behind the scenes. The kids were so much fun to watch.....it was great to see their imaginations run wild.

Here is Karsen behind the camera. She was a natural. She kept telling me that the light was not good for me. LOL

When it was her turn to be the news anchor, she talked about sunny skies and the Olympics. Then she mentioned the NBA slam dunk contest. Talk about versatility. HA!

Dylan took the stage and talked about the Cuban Missile Crisis (?!?) and the economy; specifically the 95% inflation rate of the currency in Germany. (You never know what is going to come out of Dylan's mouth.) As you can tell, he was really getting into the moment.

Next, Dylan took the stage to be the weather man. He was pointing at a 7 day forecast and then suddenly....he was being attacked by a shark.  Karsen (was behind the scenes) and changed the background from weather man to JAWS!! He loved it!

They had a fun afternoon at COSI, and we are thinking about buying memberships. It is great when you can tell the kids are having FUN and learning at the same time. :)

what's COOL and what's NOT

YAY it's Monday! I got a random and unexpected day OFF today. My preceptor thought I should spend President's Day off with my family. How nice. I agree. Thank you, Mrs. Supernice ReallyCOOL Preceptor. You didn't have to do that.

Dylan has a friend over. We spent the morning putting the basement back together after the unexpected flood--our hot water heater busted and flooded the entire basement last week. Unexpected expenses ARE NOT cool. Good times. Anyway, things are fixed and back to normal...and Dylan and friend are hanging out once again in their fave (dry) spot playing Call of Duty: Black Ops. Evidently it's the COOLest game and all rage right now. According to 11 and 12 year old boys, anyway.

Karsen has her third outfit of the day on. My little fashionista. Yesterday I let her pick out MY outfit, and she must've told me how COOL I looked about 50 times. HA! She has already picked out her outfits for school tomorrow AND Wednesday. Yesterday at Target, we bought her a pair of khaki pants with ZIPPERS ON THE BOTTOM OF THE LEGS. Circa 1988~Remember when?~ OMG. Tonight she wants me to braid her hair so that we can unbraid them in the morning and her hair "will be wild and wavy all day!". I used to wear my hair like that in the 6th grade. Remember when crimping irons were SOOOO cool? Circa 1988. AGAIN. It really was a full-circle moment for me. LOL Fashion really does come back around I see. How old am I again?

Chris is enjoying his federal holiday, one of the many perks of his job. Random holidays off here and there ROCK!  Right now, he is on his way back from DSW and Panera. It is not JUST cool here, it's COLD and rainy outside, so he went to grab our favorite soup for lunch. What a sweetie.  <3

Speaking of the weather....Columbus is SO NOT cool. It's just plain 'ol cold. Four days ago it was in the 60s here and the sun was shining for the first time in months. I optimisticly asked the Pharmacy team at Walmart if Spring had officially arrived in OH??!! They just looked at me and laughed. NOT cool. HA! It was just wishful thinking on my part, I see. Especially since it SNOWED here yesterday!

Dylan has a 4:40pm hair appointment today that we can NOT miss. We need to remedy the Justin Bieber-esque mullet he has going on right now. SERIOUSLY?!  I guess the back of his hair grows faster than the front? I don't know...but I know we are going to JUST SAY NO to the (forever un-COOL no matter what decade it is) MULLET. HA!

Happy Monday, everyone!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

we could see our shadows!

Sunday, we had a major change in the weather here! The snow starting melting as the temperatures reached the mid 40s! WOO-HOO~ That is a major change compared to ZERO degrees a few days ago. We could see our shadows! Because the sweet sun decided to come out and shine for the first time in ages.

We took the chance to ride our bikes! Check out my new bike!! I am so excited. We live really close to the Olentangy River bike trails, and I am hope to hit them hard during my month off in March.

For now, the kids and I enjoyed a fun afternoon of riding around our neighborhood. After one lap, we had to run back in the house and get gloves on, LOL but it was still so nice to be outside in the sun! Spring, I know you're on your way, and that makes me a very happy girl!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day!

Our fist pic, 1997

Yes, that was a long time ago. Yes, this is a polaroid.
Yes, I have on overalls. Yes, Chris was kind of a thug.
Yes, we were crazy in love.
No, we didn't have any money. Or a job. Or a place to live.
Nope, we didn't think about all those "details"...
we were just head over heels in love.

And still are.
Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

rules to remember-just trust me!

We have had a great weekend, well technically it is only half-way over...but I am having a lovely Sunday morning.  Breakfast blend coffee in hand, hot blueberry muffins to feed the masses, and my husband is drawing in the sunlight; working on the same charcoal drawing that he was working on last night. He slept somewhere in between, but not nearly as much as me. (I didn't feel that great when I went to bed last night, but 12 hours of sleep later I am feeling MUCH better. YAY!)

We decided to take road trip yesterday. We heard there was an IKEA close by; just outside of Cincinnatti! We decided to make the trek to just browse and have a fun day. I am so glad we went because the further south we drove, the sunnier and warmer it got. When we left Columbus it was 28 degrees and gray, when we got to Cincinnattit it was 48 and SUNNY! Woo-Hoo! That is a major difference just 90 miles later. I took off my down coat, reached for my sunglasses (that I haven't worn since last September!) and rolled my sleeves up to soak in the rays of sunshine in hopes treating my severely Vitamin D deficient state. It was great!

(google images)
IKEA.was.packed. PACKED. For what it's worth I want to take the time to write out a few crucial rules for my readers that don't have kids yet. If you already have children, then you will know these rules to be true. Feel free to add a few of your own in the comments section. We will never make it through this adventure called parenthood without a few diehard rules to guide us and lead us.

Read the following and remember them. Keep these rules close to your heart, as they may prevent you from having an anxiety attack on a random road trip to IKEA one day. I'm not saying, that's what happened to me yesterday, I'm just saying...

Rule #1. There is no such thing as browsing when you have kids in tow. My kids like lists. They want to see me check things off the list as we shop, so that they can guesstimate how long we will be in any given store. It drove them bonkers, that I did NOT have a list. Browsing is a foreign concept to kids.

Rule #2: Do not own just one I-TOUCH. We have just ONE. They are forever arguing over time limits, and how much time the other has left to spend on the I-TOUCH before it is their turn. I may have considered throwing the I-TOUCH out the window on I-71 SOUTH a couple dozen times during this particular road trip, but I'll never say one way or the other.  Buy two. Yes, they are expensive, consider it an investment. A good investment. Just trust me on this one.

Rule #3: NEVER, EVER ask the kids what they want for lunch, (Yes, I may be talking directly to my husband here! If I've told you once, I've told you a gazillion times, DON'T ASK THEM, JUST DECIDE!) They will BOTH say someplace different and completely opposite just to disagree with each other. Chidlren are contrary. It is just their nature. And then it will quickly spiral downward into a hostile arguement that never, ever ends well. I always decide on a place I know we all love, avoid the argument, and everyone eats happily ever after. Or else! It does not work if you ask for their opinions! Trust me.

If you follow the above rules, you will drastically increase the actual likelihood of having a fun roadtrip. We did have a good time, but I still felt inclined to share some of these lessons I learned along the way. I also want to share some random comments that made the trip worth it. Being stuck in a car with two inquisitive kids leads to some interesting conversations in our family. Random comments/questions like....

(google images)
 Mom, where do eye boogers come from?   What song should I sing when I try out for American Idol? and don't you just love Steven Tyler?    Dad, did you know Richard Nixon had a dog named Checkers?   What do 11 year old girls want for Valentine's Day anyway?  What's is Simon Cowell up to these days?  Is he unemployed like you, Mom?  Mom, when you were little, what did you want to be when you grow up? Cause I can't decide between a gymnast, a veterinarian, or a dentist. Or a chef?! Or a famous singer?!  Does everyone's poots smell different? Did you know Japan and China are mortal enemies and I happen to agree with Japan on this one?!

 Ummm, ok....Ummmm LOL, Ummmm random?! Each and every one of these comments made me pause and wonder where in the world they come up with these things. They also made me look over at Chris as we were driving and smile. When our eyes met, I  knew we were both thinking the same thing. We are so thankful for our children...and for the moments that make us smile wayyyy deep down inside. We also realize that thankfully, these random, magical, little moments far outnumber the (few and far-between) moments where you just want to strangle them in the middle of the storage solutions aisle of IKEA. Trust me.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

a fragile balancing act

(google images)
Only 6 1/2 weeks of rotations are left. Today was unavoidable, really. Karsen had been complaining about her throat hurting in the morning for a few days. I was hoping it was just viral, so I didn't rush and take her to the doctor right away. (There's no telling what kinda germs she would pick up there!) I also sent her to school because she didn't have a fever and it sure wasn't slowing her down any! Well, this morning bright and early she comes into our bedroom and says, "Mommy, my throat is really hurting me" and promptly falls back asleep in our bed. I take her temperature while she is half asleep--YEP, she has a low grade fever. It doesn't take a pharmacy student to know she couldn't go to school.

And at that moment it starts...this familiar feeling of what in the world am I going to do now!? I am at Walmart this month completing my Advanced Community rotation. Here in OH, the pharmacy students aren't allowed a sick day on their rotations. We don't have a support system here. Our families are all back in NC. I don't have a lifeline that I can call in.

(google images)
Frustration. Guilt. Feeling torn...I was told by one particularly mean and hateful strict preceptor that it would be an automatic failure. She made it a point to tell me that after I was out with Karsen back in December because she had a stomach virus. What is a mother/student (but first and foremost a MOTHER!!!), supposed to say to that? And by the way, I didn't fail after all.

Yes, I want to get A's. I want to pass my rotations, and it would be really nice to graduate on time! *Sarcasm, much?! Sheesh! I want to be the best student, and I give 110% on each day of every rotation as they are constantly quizzing me. BUT there are days when I can't be there. My "job" of being a mother comes first, and I am not going to apologize for that. It hasn't been an issue really; the sick days have happened here and there, but I usually appease the preceptor and end up working on a drug info question, do extra readings or similar project from home.

This morning, that same stress hit me. What am I going to do?? I already missed one day last week due to a snow day. Chris took one day off with them, but when he is the one with a PAYING job, he is the one that NEEDS to go to work. That just makes sense. Thankfully, they understood last week. At least, I think they did. ??

And this morning when I called, they seemed to understand too. I just hate the feeling of having to choose. Because I am always going to choose being home with my kids and taking care of them. Every.single.time. I want to be a good pharmacist, but I want to be a better Mommy. The rewards of that job are bigger and better and the consequences are much worse if I'm not. Easy decision there.

So, I stayed home. I convinced Chris to go to work. He has important projects going on, and I know deep down that Karsen really wanted her Mommy! Don't we all, when we are sick? We went to the doctor this morning and ruled out strep throat. A big fat negative, thank goodness. Official diagnosis, viral crud. So, we walked out without prescriptions, but I felt better knowing she didn't have a major infection. Afterwards, we swung by Panera and brought soup and bagels home for lunch. I made a fire in the family room since it is exactly 15 degrees outside! We got comfty clothes on and fell asleep off and on until 3pm. This was exactly the kind of day she needed, and I am glad that I could be here with her.

Being a pharmacy student has been trying along the way. No doubt about it. The amount of material and depth of knowledge we have been require to learn in a short amount of time is staggering. I have worked hard along the way to soak it all in. However, the part I struggled THE MOST with was figuring out how to balance it all. That is the toughest part, hands down. WAAAY tougher than Pharmacology and Therapeutics out together.

How to go to gymnastics lessons and study at the same time while Karsen expected me to watch every cartwheel and flip around the bars, and occasionally throw up a thumbs up and a big smile. I've had to figure out how to make it to exams at 7am in the morning even when Dylan was having an asthma exacerbation at home.  How to balance quizzing them on spelling words, cooking dinner, and thinking about the Therapuetics popquiz on seizures that I just knew we would have the next day. This last year, I have had to figure out how to physically be at the hospital 50-60+ hours a week while making sure the kids get established at a new pediatrician and dentist office and were adjusting nicely to a new school. How to squeeze in all the readings and projects at home when the kids really wanted chocolate chips cookies and family movie night. How to not let things fall through the cracks.Oh and then there's the hubby, he would like some long, meaninful conversations....etc.....ETC....ETC!, every once in a while. Ya know what I am trying to say?! LOL* It is a constant balancing act. It is fragile and fluid and it freaks me out whenever another variable gets added to the mix.

I have learned how to make slight adjustments along the way, and now we are SO close to the finish line. I have learned to settle gracefully for a B on a big exam if it meant I would be able to be there for the kids when they need me. When I walk across the stage at graduation I wouldn't be nearly as happy if I knew that I put my children or my husband on the back burner in order to achieve that goal. That would be an automatic failure in my eyes. It wouldn't be worth it to me. So.Not.Worth.It. When I walk across the stage it will mean so much more because I know I have accomplished more than just pharmacy school. I will know that I have not compromised the most important part of my life, MY FAMILY, along the way.As far as I am concerned my DR. MOMMY degree that I earned 11+ years ago is still the most important accomplishment of my life.

For 5 years now, I have been doing this intricate balancing act, without having to check myself into a mental institution in the meantime. :) I don't wanna lose it. I am too close to the end. I can do it for 6 1/2 more weeks!

Update: Karsen is bouncing around and laughing, so it's back to our normally scheduled program tomorrow. Crisis averted. *sigh*

The key to keeping your balance is knowing when you've lost it. ~Anonymous

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Gabi's day at the Zoo

I know I have bragged about  mentioned how artistically talented my hubby is from time to time here on my blog. Recently, due to his new job, our relocation, and the pure craziness that has been our lives....he was forced to put painting on the back-burner and take a break.  I am happy to report he has been able to slowly incorporate it back into his life here recently. It is a true God-given talent, and  I can see that when he is painting--- he is truly happy.

Here's one of my favorite portrait's he has EVER done. It is a portrait of a past co-worker's daughter at the Zoo. She commissioned Chris to do the painting and planned it as a Christmas surprise for her husband. Here is their sweet daughter, Gabriella.

CHKennedy Copyright 2008, Oil
I love this painting. I love her hair and how you can see the light hitting the golden strands. And the sweet barette just kills me. I.LOVE.IT. His next portrait will be of her little brother, that is now the same age as she was then. I can't wait to see it!  Thanks for letting me brag a bit. :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

wordless wednesday, chocolate pretzels

all shiny and new

So, did he see his shadow?! (google images)
It's a new month~! Happy February and Happy Groundhog's Day!
It also means another rotation for me...Goodbye to the Children's Hospital and what was quite possibly my favorite rotation of the year (and perhaps a future job...more on that as it develops *fingers crossed*) and with the new month comes another challenge. Welcome to the world of Walmart and retail pharmacy!
That just means we are another month closer to graduation....and SPRING!

Punxsutawny Phil saw his shadow. YAYYYY...He says we will have an early Spring. I say HALLELUJAH!  The kids and I are home today with a snow day. They were out yesterday too. It actually should be called an "old snow-->freezing rain-->ice-->freezing rain-->ice-->more snow" day. Can you say cold? I really am thankful we still have power. Anywho, to put it mildly....an early Spring? YES please! Stay warm, everyone.

P.S. I really LOVE my new blog look. MastoMama did a great job! What do you think?

Deciduous Heather