The Baby Shower

I am feeling pretty darn good right now.

I have been stressed to the max about today and now it’s finally over and I can say that I honestly feel like I pulled it off well.

I successfully threw a Baby Shower.

My sister-in-law is pregnant. She had a baby shower out-of-state with her family a couple months ago, but apparently it didn’t go well. Her mother invited all of her own friends and only a couple of my SIL’s so it wound up being a flop from what I hear.

I felt bad and decided that I would throw a shower here for two reasons.

  • One: it would make her happy, and
  • two: our family (my brother’s family) could be a part of it.

I never had a baby shower, nor have I ever attended one so I had NO idea how to go about this. My knowledge of showers consists only of what I have seen in movies. Of course, I had my moments of “it’s not fair that I should do all this when nobody did this for me” but I tried to avoid the Pity Party thoughts and focused on what I WOULD have wanted had I been given one. I was young when I had my first so obviously my brothers (being younger than me) couldn’t do anything, my mother was dealing with her own issues at the time and I didn’t have many (any) friends so… Anyway, we are all older and in a better place right now and if I were pregnant I’m sure they WOULD do something for me. So, that is how I came to be  throwing a Baby Shower in the middle of my second to last semester of Nursing School while my husband is deployed.

My brother was beyond excited that I wanted  to do this which made me very happy since we haven’t always had the best relationship. Fortunately, he has a lot of friends because I don’t, and the party would have been a real flop if invitations had been left up to me. He invited a whole bunch of people who I didn’t know, but I trust his judgement so I wasn’t worried about any weirdos coming to my house.

In theory it was a great idea, but when it came down to it I may have bitten off more than I could chew. Well, I was starting to think that. As I said, I pulled it off so apparently I can chew a lot.

Here’s how it went down, of course, in true Me fashion, I waited until the last minute to do everything so I basically started yesterday afternoon.

First thing I did was the Diaper Cake, now, I had never even HEARD of a Diaper Cake until I googled “Baby Showers” to get ideas for decorations. It’s a neat idea, and everything but the ribbons can be used later. This is the final product.

diapers are rolled around bottles for strength and held together with ribbons and rubber bands.

Her color scheme for the baby’s room is pink, green and black so that is what I tried to go with for the party.

I was lucky because Valentine’s Day is over and now all the stores have the stuff discounted. I found milk chocolate roses 75% off! I bought a dozen! I also picked up a 2 liter bottle of every type of soda I could find because I didn’t know what everyone liked.

After I finished with the diaper cake the kids and I worked on cleaning the house while I started baking the cakes for the 3 tier that I had decided to attempt (for the first time EVER).

First problem of the night: I thought I had 2 dozen eggs in the fridge. WRONG! I had 6… eggs, not dozens. It was already getting late and I didn’t want to run to the store so I decided to work on decorations for the rest of the night and just head to Sam’s Club early in the morning.

My boys were totally grossed out by all the pink decorations; they said I should have just used the black tablecloths, lol.

of course, every single bottle was opened yet less than half of each was consumed. Can we say "flat soda"?


This is what I had accomplished as of about 8pm. Not bad, but not nearly done. I was already getting tired because I had been up all night the night before (that’s another story, geesh). The boys were arguing at this point and I was starting to lose my patience with them so I began working on the first tier of the cake since that was all I could make due to the egg situation.

That’s when C told me that the toilet was “still clogged”. Yeah, that’s right, I had forgotten that he had told me it was clogged hours ago.

Problem #2: I have no plunger. After the last incident with a clogged toilet I put the plunger outside; we then had a snow storm that dropped 3 feet of snow and I haven’t seen the plunger since.

I wound up having to go to the hardware store to buy a plunger. I walked in, found the nearest associate and (with what I can only imagine was a crazed/stressed out look on my face) asked him to point me toward the “biggest, baddest plungers” he had. He laughed and walked me down to them. I asked him if there was something I could pour down the drain just in case the plunger didn’t work (past experience told me that I can’t always rely on a plunger with three boys in the house. We’ve had to have the septic company out here more than once). He said the next best thing would be a snake.

Now, for all of you girly girls out there (such as myself) a “snake” is a long piece of metal that you shove down the toilet to free up a clog. It is the most disgusting thing EVER!

I bought it, all the while crossing every finger I have that I wouldn’t have to use it.

Well, you guessed it, the plunger didn’t do a damned thing. I wound up snaking my toilet and I am not ashamed to admit that I was practically crying, screaming and dry heaving all at the same time, but it worked. When that toilet flushed I wanted to shout it from my rooftop!

After scrubbing my hands until they were almost raw from the hot water, I allowed myself to take a short break from cleaning and baking. I jumped on the computer with my feet up and began typing up a shopping list for the morning. I decided to buy premade appetizers rather than making everything from scratch. That would save a lot of time and stress. That’s when I realized problem #3 of the night. It was Saturday, which meant that I was planning to go to the store on Sunday morning. Woops! Nothing opens early on Sunday! It was now too late to go to Sam’s Club and they weren’t opening until 10am (3 hours before the festivities were scheduled to begin).

I spent the rest of the night cleaning and preparing everything I possibly could because I knew I would be rushing today to get everything done since I couldn’t even BUY the ingredients until 10am.

I wound up crawling into bed around 3am. I set the alarm for 6:30, but hit the snooze until 7:45am.

Problem #4: SNOW!!! Will somebody please tell Mother nature that I’ve had enough of winter this year? I woke up to 5 inches of snow on my very steep driveway. Great! That’s just one MORE thing I have to do before 1pm. Nobody is going to get up my driveway unless I clear it and salt it. I decided to wait until it had finished snowing before even attempting to snowblow. I cleared off my truck, jammed that sucker in 4 wheel drive and backed down the driveway; packing that snow down as I went.

I headed to WalMart and picked up some last minute decorations, then decided to go to the grocery store for the appetizers rather than waiting for Sam’s even though I knew I would spend more.

Luckily, the temps rose quickly and the snow was easy to shovel. I salted, and by the time everyone arrived the driveway was almost clear.

I baked all the cakes and managed to put together my very first double layered, three-tiered cake.

I tried to put a "G" on the cake for the baby's name, but it didn't come out well.

the cake, before I put it on the pedestal

Leaning Tower of Cake

Yes, the cake is leaning. There are wooden pegs supporting it, so it is sturdy but lopsided.

frozen appetizers and turkey sandwiches

I think I did pretty well, considering I pulled it all together in such a short amount of time. I was running like a crazed woman right up until the last minute, in fact, I was still running crazy even after the guests arrived but luckily everyone was very understanding. Not everyone showed, and that was fine by me because fewer people meant less food. Enough people showed that the party was successful though, so all is well.

When my Sister in Law showed up, she was so surprised. She started crying and hugged me. Totally worth all the stress, well, almost, haha.

chocolate fountain with fruit and Bar-B-Q meatballs

I’ll leave you with a few pics from the party!

There were also cars on the street up the road because I live on a curve so it wasn't safe to park in front of the house.

The saying on the mirror is something my Dad used to say.

Z got a little out of hand so my Bro had to put him in his place.



>Another Baby Shower?


Yet another snow day for our town. This is the 7th cancellation this year and that does not include delays and early dismissals. My classes are cancelled tonight as well. I don’t think Nursing school is supposed to be self taught, but that is what we’ve had to do so far, lol.
This afternoon I was sitting on the couch with my laptop doing some ATI assignments (online assessments and quizzes that count toward our final grade this semester) when the phone rings. It’s Bro #2. He asks me to accept his game request on Facebook. I argued, saying that I am worried about viruses but he insists he needs “neighbors”, so I give in. As I’m accepting his game invite the REAL reason for calling emerges.
A few weeks ago, they had a baby shower. Her mother hosted it in Jersey. Apparently she did not have a good time because she didn’t have many friends there and the gifts were not what she expected. She had gone to Babies R Us and signed up for a registry. She was not pleased when people showed up with $40 gifts rather than the more expensive items. My brother said it was because they “are millionaires and can afford more expensive stuff”. While they were down there he had called me and told me that she wasn’t having fun. I told him that I wish the shower had been up here so I could have gone. I would have tried to make it fun for her.
Long story short, I kind of got cornered into “looking into hosting a shower for her” here. Honestly, I had forgotten about it and now that she’s 32 weeks I figured it’s too late anyway.
Nope, the Bro asked me if I was “still planning on doing something” for her. I stumbled and stuttered and basically didn’t know how to answer. I don’t have the time or the money to do something like that. Not to mention I am slightly jealous that she would would be getting two showers when I didn’t get any. Honestly I think they just want the gifts.
So, I’m thinking about it and even though I don’t want to do it I probably should. They are the type of people that hold a grudge. They remember EVERYTHING. If I don’t do this, I will look like I don’t care.
Not to mention, they want the shower at their condo. What am I supposed to do with the kids? Parking is going to be an issue at their place. People aren’t going to be able to move around and I don’t think Bro #1 will go all the way out there for this.
The other thing is that if I were to do this I would want help. I would want to call my mom because she’s good at throwing parties, plus she’d help me cook and come up with decorations. The girlfriend and my Mom are not the best of friends, I don’t know if my mom would even be willing to help me. I brought it up to my brother and he said that “of course she is invited” but I don’t know how my mom feels about it. I guess I’ll have to see.
I will think more about it later, right now I need to get back to my assignments.

>Good intentions falling short


The boys and I went to my Mom’s for a sleepover last night. We had fun; the boys played video games (like they always do) and my Mom and I cooked. She made this chicken pasta thing for dinner (mmmmm, food always tastes better when I don’t have to make it) while I baked cookies with her new Kitchen Aid mixer. That 6 quart series is SO awesome I was able to mix 2 batches of chocolate chip cookies at once. By the time we left this morning there were four cookies left on the plate. I guess that’s what happens when you let three boys and my step father loose in a kitchen. Of course, it wasn’t me, I would never eat that much garbage (you do know I am lying right?)
I left this afternoon because my leg was acting up and that always puts me in a foul mood, plus C’s asthma was making a comeback because he is allergic to her cats yet refuses to stop petting them. So, anyway, we walk into our house and you can imagine our surprise to realize it is colder in my house than it is outside! The furnace is down AGAIN! Hopefully it starts working soon because nobody likes to take a shower when the temperature is 51 degrees.
I made a stupid mistake today, Bro #2 and my Mom are only just now starting to talk again after a long argument. Things are very tense and I am trying to ease the tension by going back and forth with them explaining things. I hate when my family isn’t getting along. Especially at this time of year because the holidays are about family and it’s awfully hard to have a Christmas Dinner if nobody shows up. So, I’ve been trying really hard to get them talking again.
Here’s the situation: A few months ago my mother sent an Edible Arrangements basket to my brother for his birthday. They were already arguing, but she tried to make it up to him by sending a very expensive basket. When it arrived my brother realized that he was allergic to most of the fruit and all of the nuts in it. He couldn’t eat any of it. He told me that he thought she was being mean by sending him stuff he couldn’t eat. He told me this last week. I said that that is absolutely ridiculous; who spends that kind of money just to be mean? Who thinks like that? I told him that more than likely the order had gotten mixed up and they had delivered the wrong basket or something like that. I told him that I really didn’t think she would send something to him just to be mean. I honestly believed that; so I decided to tell my Mom what had happened and I figured she would appreciate me telling her because now she could clear it up with the Bro.
Quite the opposite happened. I wound up looking like a jerk.
My Mom got sad and said that she spent over $100 and she had assumed that there would have been something he could eat. She then explained that she didn’t realize he was allergic to strawberries she thought it was just apples. Bottom line: he received the correct basket and she was still upset that he hadn’t thanked her for it.
My stepfather then made some comment about “grinding the axe in deeper”. At that point I realized that my good intentions had resulted in hurting my mother’s feelings and making me look like a jerk. So I just sat there and said nothing more. What could I have said that wouldn’t have dug my hole deeper. Ugh, all I want is for my family to get along but I guess I should stop meddling. It doesn’t always work out the way I want and sometimes (like this time) I make it worse.
So my mother in law just called me. She has decided that she wants to spend “one on one time” with my husband during R+R. That is perfectly fine, I understand that. I told her she would absolutely have time with him. She then told me that she wants Christmas Eve. She wants him to go to church with her and spend the evening with her; alone, no kids, no me. I want to tell her that’s fine, it is her son after all but Christmas Eve??? We have to go pick up Santa’s presents at Bro #1’s house and then bring it all back to arrange under the tree! How does she think there will be time for him to just hang out with her all night? I asked her if it would be possible to do it another night and she said no. Then she told me “well why can’t you just do the presents, you’ve done it before”. Yeah, I’ve done it alone when I HAD to but it’s something special that he and I do for the kids. It’s meaningful, it always results in us talking about past years and future years. It’s a really special time for us and she wants to take that night. Of the 14 days he has; she wants the most important one. Of course, I don’t want to upset her so I told her it was fine. She is his mother, I don’t fully understand what it’s like to have to share one of my sons with another woman. I can’t dismiss her feelings because I don’t honestly know what she’s feelings. Anyway, hopefully he will be able to get her to compromise somehow.
All right, now I’m off to study for my final exam on Tuesday.

>Holding it Together for the Brother


I have a lot of important stuff saved on my external hard drive. I have word documents, excel spreadsheets and pdf files from YEARS and YEARS ago. After years of college following the PreMed path and then switching to Nursing I have files and folders from school filled with papers I’ve written and assignments I’ve completed. I have 14 years worth of pictures of my children, school art projects, report cards, etc. Videos documenting drastic changes in our family over the last 4 years in three different states. Financial documents including taxes, bank statements, the closing paperwork on our houses, etc. Very important information that I canNOT lose. For this reason I bought a Terabyte External Hard drive a few years ago so I could periodically back up my computer and keep these precious files safe. 
At least I thought they were safe… until tonight. Tonight my brother brought his girlfriend over. They wanted to watch some videos I had taken a few weeks ago. I hooked up the computer to the external drive, plugged in the HDMI cord so I could display it on the TV and we watched the videos. They were hungry. The girlfriend made mention of it a couple times. So, like the good host/sister I offered to order pizza. While I’m in the kitchen ordering pizza she jumps on my computer. I come out to the living room and she closes my computer, stands up and twists around to put the computer on the chair she had been sitting on. 

My external hard drive crashes to the floor.
The little blue lights on the front go out.
I calmly walked over to the hard drive, picked it up and my brother says “does it still work”? I said I was sure it did even though I feared the worst. He insisted on checking it out, I didn’t want to because I knew I was going to have a very hard time hiding my emotions if I found out that it was in fact broken. The girlfriend then says “yeah, plug it back in, we need to know if we need to buy you a new one or not”. Really?!?!? You mean to tell me that I can just go to Best Buy and just randomly pick up a new drive with ALL MY PICTURES, VIDEOS AND DOCUMENTS PRELOADED?????
I plug it in, the lights come back on, I see my files, I begin to feel better…. until I try to play a video. No go.
My brother was very concerned, I truly felt bad for him. So I tried to make him feel better by telling him that it was probably just my computer acting up again. I told him that it was probably Windows Media Player and that the videos on my computer probably wouldn’t play either. I then told him this was a perfect excuse to buy a new wireless drive. He told me to try playing something from the computer. It worked fine.
This wasn’t good. He said “Lin, I’m so sorry”. I told him not to worry about it and I changed the subject. Shortly after that they left. As I came back in the front door after walking them out, my three kids met me at the entrance to the living room and Z asked “are you mad”? I asked him why I would be mad and he said because of the hard drive. I explained that even though I am very upset I don’t want my brother to feel any worse than he already does. I am not protecting the girlfriend, I am protecting him. It wasn’t his fault and I don’t want him to be concerned about being unable to replace all that I MAY have lost. I’m still hoping Geek Squad can fix it tomorrow.
The boys and I had a talk about the way family works. We take care of each other even when it isn’t easy. There is nothing that can be done tonight. I will take it to Geek Squad tomorrow, hopefully they can retrieve the info. But for tonight there is nothing anybody can do. So why ruin my brother’s night by getting upset about this; it was an accident and it wasn’t even his fault. I think the kids understood this, although I appreciate their concern. I didn’t realize they understood how important it was. If nothing else I hope they learned a lesson in how I expect them to treat each other. Nothing can replace family. Nothing is worth MORE than family. Material things may be nice, but family is what’s important. My father used to tell me that one day my brothers will be my best friends. He was right. I will stand by them through anything, no matter what. I expect my boys to do the same and I remind them of the bond they have and my fathers wisdom frequently. Actions speak louder than words though, and I think this is a good example of what my father was tryign to say.
Oh, and to top it all off, I managed to maintain my calm and I STILL HAVEN”T SLEPT YET! I’m going on 39 hours now. I am going to bed, and I am not going to think about the hard drive. Let’s just hope the Geeks are on their A game tomorrow; I can’t lose all that information. I CAN’T!

>Weekend Recap


It’s been a crazy few days. I am trying to make cookies and side dishes ahead of time for Thanksgiving. I tried to make a schedule but I’m not following it real well. I have managed to get a few things done but not nearly everything I wanted.
Here’s a rundown of things that have happened or problems I’ve encountered:
Z found all the Christmas presents I had gotten so far and then blackmailed me by threatening to tell his brothers what they were getting if I didn’t give him one of the gifts. What sucks is that it wasn’t even a gift for him; it was B’s present. Ugh, so now I have to return them and buy new things.
My washer/dryer was supposed to come yesterday and I desperately needed them. I have been slacking on the laundry because I was so excited to get the front loaders. I have baskets and baskets of dirty laundry, so much of it that Z has no more clean pants and socks are becoming scarce. Well, Best Buy called and said that the washer was in stock but the dryer wasn’t going to be in until the day before Thanksgiving. They agreed to come out as scheduled with the washer though, and I figured that the washer will spin the clothes so much better that my crappy dryer SHOULD be able to dry them without too much issue. I was right (thank goodness).
This thing is awesome. I am so happy. It sings a little song when I turn it on. It has a timer so I know exactly how long each cycle takes and it’s a big display so I can read it from the front door without going all the way down there. The clothes get so much cleaner too. And the spin cycle is ridiculous, the clothes are practically dry when they come out. There is a funny smell inside it though and the clothes smell a bit like plastic right out of the washer, but after the dryer the smell is gone so I can’t complain. The only thing is that I wonder if the dryer will have a funny smell too, in that case the first few loads should probably be towels and socks; at least until the new smell goes away. Regardless, I am super friggin happy. I love my new washer. And I know I will love the dryer too, I can’t wait for it to get here.
I called Best Buy about the power cord for my computer, they had said it would take 2-3 business days for delivery, but it’s been 3 weeks. Anyway, they are going to send me (free of charge) a power cord and a new extended life battery. WOOHOO, can’t wait for that!
My mom came down Thursday night and stayed here overnight to help me get the kids on the bus Friday so I could go to Clinical. She wound up staying until today which was nice. She kept me company while I baked cookies and started freezing the side dishes for Thanksgiving.
Speaking of clinical, I can’t believe the semester is almost over. It feels like it just began. Our teacher said that our careplans are so good that this will be the last one we have to turn in. That is awesome. They take up so much time; I understand the importance of them but 19 pages is a lot. We actually only have two clinical days left, because we have the Friday after Thanksgiving off. It’s crazy to think that this time next year I could be working as an RN.
So, I wound up making a Maple Cookie recipe that I found in a Martha Stewart magazine. They turned out super yummy. I was surprised. My mom loved them so much that she got up in the middle of the night last night and chowed down. She apologized, but honestly it was more of a compliment than anything else. I sent her home with a bag of them to share with her husband and my brother. I think I will send the rest in a care package, I know he will like them. I will just make another batch for Thanksgiving. The recipe is here, I strongly recommend trying it.
My mother in law called the other day; she told me she was sending me a gift certificate to a fancy restaurant; she wants me to use it on R+R. I told her that the boys and fancy restaurants don’t mix well. She told me that I should leave the kids home and just go with my husband. I tried to explain that we don’t go out alone. We have never gone out without the kids. Sitters were too expensive and we didn’t live near family; so after 12 years of marriage we have never been on a date. She told me that “it’s called romance” and that I should “add some to the marriage or it will never last”. SERIOUSLY?!?!?! I told her our marriage was fine despite the lack of dates and tried to explain that we actually enjoy going out with the kids. We may not go to fancy restaurants but we have fun… as a FAMILY! There was no getting through to her. She insisted that it is necessary to do this type of thing once a week (while he’s home, I’m assuming). It’s hard to take advice from a 67 y/o divorcee who has not been able to keep a boyfriend for more than a couple months the entire time I’ve known her. Of course I did not say any of this though. She was not letting up, and she began insisting that I drop the boys at her house when we go. So, I told her that R+R is such a short period of time that I don’t think it’s fair to steal a whole night from the kids. They are just as excited to see him as I am, spending one of the precious nights of R+R with their grandmother is not going to be fun for them. If we were to do something like that it would be after he’s home for good; not during R+R. We hung up soon after that because she began to get upset with me and I didn’t want to get yelled at. I’m curious to know what other people think, is going on dates routinely a necessary part of marriage or is family time a good substitute?
The timer is going off on the oven; back to baking for me. This wound up being a much longer post than I had anticipated. Hope I didn’t bore you all with my rambling. Talk with ya soon.

>My Best Friends


I truly value the relationship I have with my brothers. My Dad used to tell us that our siblings will be our very best friends in the world when we grew up. I always dismissed this as something I could never POSSIBLY fathom. It seemed weird as a kid to think that my brothers would ever be anything other than annoying little brothers who annoyed me more than a mosquito bite.
I had my day planned. I woke up this morning and went to the mall to pick out new clothes for the kids to wear for our 1320 appointment for portraits at JCPenny because they were offering two free sheets and a free sitting fee for dependents. So anyway, after the sitting I was sitting in a booth choosing the pics for the Christmas cards when somebody comes up behind me and puts a hand on my shoulder. I turn around and it’s .Bro #2 with his girlfriend. They helped me choose the poses and then we decided to meet up after the rest of our errands for lunch.
I am walking out to the van when I get a text from the girlfriend of Bro #1 asking me to call him to cheer him up because he was feeling kind of depressed about his new truck (he’s having issues with it and it’s brand new, poor guy). Anyway, I call him, invite him to lunch but he declines the offer. He really sounds depressed. I felt terrible. That’s when Bro #2 pulls up; he gets on the phone with Bro #1 and convinces him to come to my house to grill burgers for dinner.
Problem here.
I don’t have a grill that works. So, all errands cancelled for the day and off to Home Depot I go to purchase a grill so Bro #1 can come over and hopefully feel a little better after spending a night grilling, drinking beer and laughing.
After a couple of glitches with the assembly of the grill, missing hamburger seasoning and a lack of forks (somehow they have all disappeared and I have no idea where they went) we wound up having a great dinner, many laughs and Bro #1 left smiling.
See, we can all count on each other. When one is feeling down, we all go out of our way to make the other feel better including forgoing all plans for the day and purchasing an unneeded grill that will probably never be used again.
My Dad was the wisest person ever. I’m sure if I had had more time with him he would have passed on more wisdom, but fortunately the most important off all things he did teach me was something that has proven true time and time again. My brothers are my best friends and I would do anything for them. I hate seeing them sad.

>Hodge Podge Blog


Nothing new has really happened recently. So, I don’t have much to blog about, but I figured I could give a quick update on what has been going on recently.

I’m still plugging away at Nursing School, and when I say that I mean, barely scraping by. We had a cardiac exam Tuesday. I tried to study, but really all I accomplished was completing the questions on the textbook website. I wound up with a 78. Yuck. For a straight A student that is a real slap in the face. Since getting into Nursing School though, I can honestly say it is NOTHING like the pre-req coursework. Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology, Physics, none of it even comes close because the questions are not cut and dry. It’s all about the verbal reasoning. Anyway, I’m not beating myself up. At least I passed. A lot of people didn’t.

I had my Endoscopy Clinical on Wednesday. It was pretty cool. We did 6 colonoscopies, a bronchoscopy and an upper endoscopy. It was a great experience, although, now I have to write a paper on my day and I am dreading it.

The night before my clinical I developed a fever. Aches, chills, sweating, all the fever-y type things, kept me up all night. I was exhausted when I got to the hospital and of course, during the 3rd procedure I developed a cough. I tried to stifle it at first but it got worse and worse. I found myself apologizing to the doctor and everyone in the room. At that point my fever was low, but I still felt like crap. I was relieved to find that they only had patients until 2pm so I was able to get away with only doing a 7 hour clinical day rather than 9 hours.

I went to go start a load of laundry this afternoon and found that there was still a load in there from Tuesday. I told C to bring me the wet clothes to hang on the clothesline. As I started putting them up I smelled a very faint mildew smell coming from the basket. Ugh. I will probably have to rewash them, but like the lazy maid that I am, I hung them on the line and I’m hoping by some miracle the fresh air makes them smell fresh. Probably not, but I’m thinking that the mildew smell is so faint that maybe it’s only one towel or something. One can hope.

Oh, so back to my coughing. I called to make an appointment with my doctor because the cough hasn’t gone away yet. Come to find out, my doctor is no longer practicing. That sucks, cuz I really liked her. So, I tracked down a doctor on the Tricare website and made a new appointment. Surprisingly, they were able to get me in today. The final diagnosis is bronchitis, although, I have to go back on Monday for a chest xray because it may have already progressed to Pneumonia. Anyway, he gave me cough medicine and antibiotics. He said it was probably my body’s way of telling me to slow down. I’ve been running on little sleep and working really hard outdoors on the yard. That compiled with the stress of exams and school. Well, I guess my body wanted a break.

Sunday is my Dad’s birthday. I think I am going to go to the cemetery to visit with him a bit. He would be 59. My Dad died of Leukemia when I was 14. I miss him. I wish he could have met his grandchildren and son in law.

I guess I should get some homework done since I have time. Talk with you later.

>A Year in Review


 I managed to get a good portion of my care plan finished and decided to take a break and read some of my blogs. I found a couple blogs that got me thinking; Sarah and Julie both did “Year in Review” type blogs. It made me think about about how much has happened in my life. This past year is no exception. So, here is my year in review.
June 2009: My youngest son is sick, I don’t know exactly what is wrong, but he seems off. I brought him to the doctor because I suspected Lyme. They said he did not have classic symptoms and refused to give us antibiotics. It’s funny, with everything that happened this month with my son, I forgot to mention that I had surgery this month too. I remembered it as I was sitting in class and I figured I would update this post to include my venous ligation. I had a DVT (blood clot) that damaged the vein in my right leg.
July 2009: I sat with my baby (8 y/o) and watched him get sicker. He had no energy or appetite. Doctors continued to tell me nothing was wrong. When he developed SEVERE headaches, we were told it was migraines, when he developed double vision we were told it was fatigue. 4 ER visits later he was diagnosed with Lyme Meningitis. He DID have Lyme Disease, but because it wasn’t treated it had gone into his spinal fluid. Watching my baby get a lumbar puncture (spinal tap) was so hard. I cried harder than he did.
August 2009: Spent the first week in the hospital with B. Sent home with a PICC line and 30 days worth of IV antibiotics.
September 2009: School begins for the boys and I struggle to get the school nurse to understand the magnitude of his illness. He still had residual symptoms such as double vision and headaches. She thought he was trying to get out of school. I applied to Nursing School.
October 2009: Husband and I decide that it would be best for him to change jobs. We wanted him home more. His civilian job had him out on a ship 80% of the time. He only came home for a weekend once a month. He was going to apply for a job closer to home with no sea time.
November 2009: Thanksgiving with the family was as dramatic as it was when I was a kid. But I survived it and began planning for Christmas. I was accepted into nursing School.
December 2009: Uneventful month. Christmas was wonderful.
January 2009: 4 days before I am to start my first semester of nursing school we find out that DH is being reactivated from Reserve status and being sent “over there”. I feel as though my world is falling apart.
February 2009: I have had some time to get used to the idea of another deployment but I’m still scared. Oldest son, C, is admitted to the hospital for asthma. One week later we are home on nebulizer treatments every 4 hours through the night.
March 2009: DH leaves for training. I’m a mess, I wish he would just tell them that he can’t go.
April 2009: I’m not doing so well in school. I barely pull a 78 average out of the first semester. I begin to wonder if Nursing school during deployment is a good idea.
May 2009: DH comes home for leave before shipping off. I struggle. I have not had to do a deployment in so long, and the boys are older now. I begin second semester of nursing school. I have so much on my plate, I feel like I’m drowning.
June 2009: We are 10% of the way into the deployment. I am still struggling with Nursing School, but I am starting to get into a groove. I have plenty of off days, but not as many as before. I have days that I know I can do it, and then there are days I consider checking myself into the Looney Bin.
So, that is my year. I know I will look back at this time and think “it wasn’t so bad”. But right now, sitting here, going through it…. not so easy. This time last year my family was around. My brothers would stop by my house to hang out. Some nights we’d grill, some nights we’d play Wii with the kids. We were close. Once news of the deployment arrived all of a sudden everyone left. Nobody calls anymore, well, one of my brothers calls once a week or so. I don’t know if they are scared that I might cry or something, but it’s different. I sure could use that family support now.
But ya know, I have found a whole new support system here. I mean, my last blog about nursing school has some really great comments. For that I am grateful. You guys know what I’m going through and can understand. AND, you guys hang around even when life gets messy. You are True Bloggy Friends. So, thanks.

>Drunken brothers can be amusing… sometimes

> For those of you without drunk relatives in your kitchen, can I just say “you are so lucky”.

My brother decided to stay at my house tonight because he has to work nearby in the morning. I, of course, said yes because I am just that nice. Well, his arrival coincided with a video chat with my husband which was supposed to be centered around B’s birthday. We were going to have cake and just hang out. Well, due to the brother showing up (not drunk at this point) most of the video chat consisted of him asking my husband questions about “over there”. That kinda sucked, but we’ll video chat again soon, and we had already celebrated B’s bday before DH left. So no harm done, besides this was the first time he had spoken to DH since he left so it was good for him.
Well, the bro began drinking his beer during the chat and eventually walked away to play video games which gave me time to talk to him albeit only a few minutes.
OK, so my brother is 24, a legal adult, semi-responsible, but usually respecful of the fact that I do not drink and do not want drunkenness around my kids. Which is good, because the last thing I need is to have to have to call him a taxi back to our Mom’s house because I can’t have him at my house. He doesn’t come over TOO much because he has been drinking A LOT lately, ever since he broke up with his girlfriend of 7 months. Anyway, I realize, after going into the fridge for a diet coke that the 12 pack of beer that he brought (unopened) to my house only had 4 left. He had had 8 beers? I was surprised because I hadn’t noticed him acting funny. Well I hadn’t noticed because he was sitting on the couch playing video games with C. He just got up to make something to eat, and as he walked into the kitchen he began singing Elmo’s Song (la-la-la-la), somehow, and I really have no idea how this is possible, but he made a smooth transition into Swing Low Sweet Chariot. Actually, quite amusing.
So now, he is in the kitchen trying to decide between 2 and 3 BOXES of mashed potatoes, . Thank goodness he is not a sloppy or angry drunk. He’s just very silly when he drinks so I suppose I don’t mind too much. I mean, I wouldn’t want this to be a recurring thing, but for tonight, I’m not mad.
The one thing I’m trying not to do is get him talking because when he drinks… he talks… a lot. The conversation always turns to his ex-girlfriend and I’m sorry, but I’m a little tired of hearing about it. The relationship only lasted a few months but you’d think it was the love of his life. It takes a bit more than 7 months of dating someone to warrant a 6 month drinking binge, but that’s just my opinion.
So, today was a good day, I am up to 46 followers now, thanks to Diva’s directory, so I’m not feeling too bad about the “one that got away” although I’m still not sure why anyone wouldn’t want to read about my interesting life. I mean seriously! (insert sarcasm).
So, I’ll talk with you all tomorrow, have a great night.

>You mean I actually have to FEED my kids?


 Not much to talk about today, because, well, I didn’t do a whole lot. I went to Sam’s Club FINALLY! The boys were starting to think I was purposefully being mean to them by not having any food in the house. Their idea of “no food” means nothing fun to eat. Although, we were running low on staples such as breakfast cereal and fruit. Anyway, my kitchen is well stocked and my wallet is $500 lighter, but the boys are happy. And they won’t have to eat yogurt for breakfast tomorrow. Holy crap you’d have thought I was force feeding them crickets and toenails if you could have heard the complaints this morning. In fact, one of my boys PRETENDED to gag on the yogurt (this is the one who LOVES yogurt at any other time of day), I looked at him as he forced his body into spasms and couldn’t help but laugh, which made him laugh, which ended the argument but still…. it was not an easy morning.
Halfway through my day I had to deal with a bit of family drama, of course. See my mom and stepdad are newly married, just had their first anniversary. Well, I’d say about once a month they have a serious blowout, no holds barred, argument that usually results in both parties calling ME and putting me in a pickle. See, I don’t want to be in the middle, I don’t want to take sides because they always make up in the end. But if I don’t deal with it it gets worse. Eventually everything will be fine, I just wish they’d stop fighting so much.

Speaking of this, how is it that I’m supposedly in this GREAT place, because I am married but don’t have to “deal” with my husband. I mean seriously! I have a friend who has been married to her husband 21 years, and in the two years I have known her I have also known of three boyfriends! She constantly talks about how I’m lucky to not have my husband “breathing down my back every single day”, each time she mentions this I remind her that I would give anything to have him home with me every single day. She claims to know exactly what I’m going through with this deployment because, GET THIS…. while her husband is and always has been a civilian her current boyfriend is a state department employee who frequents the middle east! Are you kidding me????? You can relate to me, because you are cheating on your husband with someone who has been over there? Needless to say, I don’t speak to her much anymore. I have lost all respect for her since finding out about all these guys.

Wow, so I didn’t think I had much to say, but apparently, I did.

Anyway, I’ll talk to you all later, gotta get ready for B’s birthday party via video chat tomorrow.