Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My Kids' Perspectives

I would never knowingly allow this, but since it's so cute, I have to post it.  My girls got hold of my camera today.  First, it was Sophie's turn, and I know this because her fingers make an appearance in almost every shot.

Then Victoria got it and recorded a video.

Monday, March 26, 2012

No More Pooping in Diapers. Hooray!

Pooping in the screened in porch instead.  Boo!

So, at this stage of the everlasting potty training process, we are in panties all day.  The only time the diapers come out is when she has to poop or when she's sleeping at night.  Most of the time, she comes to me with a diaper in hand and after I put it on, she quickly retreats to the bedroom, locking the door for privacy.  It's a deal she came up with a while ago when she was ready to tinkle in the potty but not poop.  It has served us well, and based on her similarities in personality to Trevor, I'm ok with her pooping on her own time.  Potty training Trevor was a traumatic experience for all of those involved.  I remember him holding in poop for a week or more at a time and eventually having to give him suppositories, which he still recalls to this day.  I don't want to go through that again, so I'm letting her train me.  I know it will happen in her own time.

Yesterday, however, she amended our original agreement, and decided to handle the whole pooping process on her own.  Unfortunately, she was outside playing with her siblings, and like a feral animal, stripped down and popped a squat on my porch.  I don't know if this means we're getting closer to the end, but I'm holding on to the hope that we're almost done with diapers forever.

We went to see The Lorax yesterday, and because I'm an obsessive mom, I took a picture of them before it started.  It totally reminds me of the see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil monkey thing.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


As you may have noticed, I changed my background, because the other one was a bit of an eye rape.  Hopefully this one is a little better.

Wesley got the pictures developed from their adventure weekend, and I took some pics of Victoria at a skating party, so I thought I'd post them.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Happy Birthday Trev

When Trevor was a baby, we used to play Coldplay's Parachutes album to put him to sleep.  I remember lying on the floor waiting for him to drift off and listening to "Yellow" and crying my eyes out because I was so happy.  And probably because of baby blues, but mostly the happy thing.  

Tonight's Dinner Brought to You By Pinterest

Tomorrow is Trevor's birthday, but since the girls are going to their grandparents tomorrow, we did a mini-celebration tonight.  He's almost a St. Patrick's Day baby, so I went with that theme.  I'm just lucky that he happens to like the same foods I wanted to make.  Happy Coincidence.

I found everything I made on Pinterest.  The only alterations I made were either because I'm artistically challenged or because I had a recipe I preferred.  I'll link the originals as well as add my own spin just in case you're wondering.

We started with a rainbow fruit tray.  As you can see, mine wasn't as pretty as the original, but the kids ate it up. In fact, I think they enjoyed the fruit the most.

 My version
Then I made mini Shepherd's Pies.  I thought these were particularly awesome, because you could actually eat them like a cupcake. 
My version, which I dare say is much better than the original. By that I mean the taste, because mine looked like a hot mess but were oh so delicious.
And, finally we finished everything off with...I really don't know what to call these.  The kids kept asking me, and all I could think to say was peppermint balls.  And then I inexplicably kept throwing in the word "grasshopper", as if the kids would understand that some minty desserts and cookies were called grasshopper something or other and not immediately be horrified that I was serving them some sort of bug.  
Hey look at that.  The name is on the picture.  Whatever.  Without further adieu, I present my Peppermint Grasshopper Balls.
You'll notice off the bat that I am not gifted artistically, especially with food, but in all areas, really.  I like to think I add a childlike charm to my creations, since it basically looks like my kids created all of this.  The important thing is that everything tasted delicious, and the birthday boy was pleased.  Here's a breakdown of how and why my stuff differed:

Rainbow Fruit: For some reason, I'm challenged and not able to create arches with food.  This also happens when I'm trying to draw rainbows.  I don't know what the secret is, but it still turned out pretty.  I don't think it's as evident that the marshmallows are clouds, and the candy is the pot of gold, but they kids loved it.

Mini-Shepherd's Pie: I don't think the original from Taste of Home really qualifies as Shepherd's Pie, since there are no veggies mixed in.  I used my own recipe (see below) and stuffed it inside the biscuits, which is obviously not as pretty, since meat and veggies are much lumpier than just a meat mixture.  It was really good, though, and again, the cupcake aspect of it was awesome.

Peppermint Grasshopper Balls (the name is growing on me): I used the same recipe, except Publix didn't have mint chips, so I used white chocolate chips with peppermint extract and green food coloring mixed in.  The thing with white chocolate is when you start mixing in food coloring, it goes from being creamy and liquid to somewhat of a frosting consistency, which is not so good for dipping.  I know there are certain types of food coloring you can use to prevent that, but I didn't have them, so basically when it got all stiff, I mixed in oil to loosen it back up. It worked just fine.  Mine are obviously not anywhere near as pretty as the originals, but they were pretty tasty.  Next time, I would probably refrain from adding peppermint to the white chocolate, because it was a little too minty for my taste.

Mini-Shepherd's Pie Recipe
Makes 18-20 mini-pies
1 pound of ground beef
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
Bag of frozen mixed vegetables (I used the microwaveable steam in bag ones)
Bag of frozen microwaveable potatoes
1/2 C sour cream
1/4 C milk
2 Tbsp butter
1C shredded cheddar cheese
2 cans of 10 count biscuits
Salt, Pepper, Garlic powder, Onion powder as needed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Brown the ground beef, and add can of soup.  Microwave or heat bag of vegetables on the stove top and then add vegetables to the beef mixture.  Season with salt, pepper, and spices as needed.
Heat potatoes and then mash them with milk, sour cream, butter, salt and pepper.
Grease muffin tins.  Place raw biscuits in muffin tins and create a divot in the middle of each one.
Scoop out beef mixture (an ice cream scooper works great for this), and place in the middle of each biscuit.
Top each one with a scoop of mashed potatoes.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Sprinkle shredded cheddar on top and bake for 5 more minutes.

I have a ton of these left over, so these would probably be great hors d'oeuvres for a party.  Everything I made was super easy to do and probably took me an hour total. 

2 Down

So, last night I noticed the baby had a barky cough and was talking like something was stuck in her throat.  I felt her glands, and they were ginormous, so I immediately gave her some of Vic's antibiotic to head this thing off.  You didn't know I had my medical degree?  Well, it's an honorary thing you earn when you squat out 3 kids.  Don't fret, I'm picking up more meds today, so they will both have enough.  Trev is in the clear, so far, though he did wake up with the darkest of circles under his eyes.  I immediately felt all over his neck when I saw him, much to his dismay, but he was cool as a cucumber, and there were no lumps to be found.  I, on the other hand, can feel my glands swelling as I type this.  That should go over well for my job interview tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Poor Trevor

Trevor is sick on his birthday every year, and I do mean every year.  He's had the flu, stomach viruses (plural), or really bad allergies.  Parties have been rescheduled, or he's been sick at them while other kids have all the fun.   On Friday he turns 10, which is a milestone for a kid.  In celebration, we are sending the girls off with their grandparents, and Wesley is taking him out of town to some adventure place that has whitewater rafting, a zip line, and some other cool stuff. It should be a fun guys' weekend, which Trevor desperately needs after being abused by his sisters.

Well, this morning, Victoria woke up complaining about her throat.  I took her temp and it was 101 even after drinking a cup of cold water, so I knew we were in trouble.  One quick peek in her throat, and I knew what we were dealing with.  She had the unmistakable strep throat bumps on her tonsils.  Sure enough, I was right.  And not only that, she has a sinus infection as well, so she's on Amoxicillin for 10 days.  She will be good to go back to school on Friday, which is Trev's actual birthday, so he'll still have the day to himself.

So, if Victoria is on medicine and should be better by Friday, why am I so worried about Trev?  It turns out that Vic used his toothbrush yesterday.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Revenge of BP

It was like my own personal horror movie.  On Saturday, it was to be my last day of training with BP, and I would spend my last 2 days training with the cool chick.  Well, BP took it upon herself to turn this into a make or break situation, and I broke.  I walked in, and she asked me how training went with the other girl.  I told her how fantastic it was, all the while noticing the smirk on her face.  I knew she had something up her sleeve.  She turned to me and began telling me how much better my co-worker was doing than me and that she was just picking it up and running with it. (This was the opposite of what the other girls told me, but that's beside the point.)  She then said I would be handling the job by myself.  As in, no help from her at all.  She also instructed the girl who was supposed to be doing my position not to help me either.  I felt the color drain from my face and panicked with what I should do.  A rational person would have explained that she wasn't ready to handle that and asked for additional training, but I was not rational at that moment.  I also knew the bitch would have been snarky about it and probably wouldn't have let me get away with that anyway.  So, I calmly walked into the break room, grabbed my purse, and headed to my car.  I then contacted my training coordinator and let her know that this was not going to work for me.  She was very patient and understanding and assured me that BP had acted inappropriately.  It was very sweet, but not enough to make me want to stay.

I came home, making it a pointless 6 hour round trip drive, and proceeded to start having cardiac issues- sweating, racing pulse, high BP, etc.  I went to the ER the next day, spending 6 hours getting poked and prodded (see picture below).  This experience was a nightmare in itself in that I was there for so long, and they never gave me so much as a bag of fluids, which I think would have alleviated many of my symptoms.  They did run a battery of test, which will be crazy expensive, I'm sure, but they treated me in the hall.  As in, they didn't have enough rooms, so to compensate, they have monitors on the walls in the hall in front of the Nurses' station, so I was on display for all to see.  The final diagnosis was acid reflux (total horseshit, as I know what that feels like) and stress.  So, the job and I are parting ways, because it isn't worth this shit.  This is why I'm here writing this instead of there having panic attacks.

The problem is I'm all freaked out about the medical field now, because apparently they just throw you into stuff and expect you to sink or swim.  And I sink, because I can't get past the fact that I'm dealing with actual human lives.  Everyone who is successful in healthcare is able to put their emotions and fears on hold and just dig in.  That's right, America, your Nurses and Doctors are just as clueless as you are, but they're not afraid to just start poking and prodding you, because they're not afraid of death (yours, that is).  I don't know if Nuclear Medicine is different, since it does require a certain level of technical skill that they have to teach you.  I did observations for Nuc Med at 2 different facilities, and it really didn't seem like something I couldn't handle.  The process is fascinating to me, so I think I would love studying it and doing it.  I am still hanging on to that HR interview as an out, though, just in case.

If you've never seen a blown vein, here's what it looks like.  This is what happens when you throw people into the medical profession armed only with a needle and determination.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Particularly Poignant Pinterest Post

How's that for some alliteration? Anywho, I was browsing my current obsession, Pinterest, and I came upon this little gem: 
I try to stay away from the cheesy, as it doesn't usually mesh with my sardonic, sarcastic (i.e. asshole)  personality, but this one actually fits right now.  When I last posted about my new job, I was riding high from sticking someone with a needle and drawing blood- an odd thing to find pride in, I know, but nonetheless satisfying.  Since then, I've been training with someone I'll call "Bitch who thinks she's better than everyone but really just feels bad because she never made it as a real nurse".  That's her Native American name.  I'll call her "Bitch, please" (BP) for short.

So, I trained for 2 days with BP, and they were the 2 worst days of my life- professionally speaking.  She eradicated any confidence I had gained in sticking someone within the first few minutes of training me when she hissed at me to never walk in front of the patients and always walk behind them, as if I had committed the ultimate sin.  She proceeded to point out every error I made and made pointed comments regarding her ability to catch on quickly and the initiative she took when she was new.  She rarely let me do anything, and according to her what I did do was wrong (it wasn't).  She embarrassed me in front of patients and made more than one statement about my possibility (or impossibility) of making it there.

At the end of the second training day, I was done.  I decided to not only throw in the towel on this job, but the whole medical profession as a whole.  I couldn't cut it as a Nursing student/Nurse Tech, and I couldn't cut it here, so maybe it just wasn't meant to be.  In the meantime, I have been interviewing with a state agency regarding a position doing something very similar to what I did before I decided to switch careers.  I only applied as a safety net in case I didn't get into the Nuclear Medicine program, so I was pleasantly surprised when they called me for a phone interview and then a formal one. The thing is, I was good at managing employee benefits.  Dammit, I was awesome at it, and the employees loved me.  I knew I could build the same rapport in this position and really excel, but when I was formally accepted into the NMT program, I thought my path was solidified.  That was before BP threw my world into chaos.  I had initially turned down the final interview for the HR position, but I ended up calling them back, and practically begging them to give me a shot.

Cut to yesterday when I trained with 2 ridiculously cool chicks.  They were patient and actually stopped to show me things.  They continually told me how well I was doing and boosted my confidence back up.  They quizzed me, and I answered correctly most of the time.  And the best part was the one of them had trained with BP herself and stated that she was, in fact, a bitch who thinks she's superior to everyone else.  Oh, thank God!  It wasn't just me.  Everyone else up in there acted like BP hung the moon, so this chick's blatant honesty was so refreshing.  It is her, and not me.  Maybe I'm not a total fuck up, and maybe I can make a go at this profession.  I also must note that the hubs has been super supportive and has repeatedly told me that I will be great in this field, if I just give myself a chance.  But, you know it's always more believable when it comes from people you're not sleeping with.

So, now I'm scheduled for and interview for the HR gig, because I can't very well cancel on them after begging them to take me back.  I also have 1 more training sesh with BP and 2 more with one of the cool chicks, so I'm still trying to decide if this job thing will be something I can handle.  We'll see how it goes, but for now, I think I'm back on track with the Nuclear Med thing, but it is nice to have options.

The Power of a 6yo Girl

Do you remember that Firestarter movie with Drew Barrymore?  The one where she's telekinetic, and starts fires and stuff?  Well, that's Victoria, my 6yo.  While she's not currently lighting my face on fire with a glance (oh, if she only could), she is forcing me to listen to music that would normally cause me to ban any radio station playing it.  But, it's a concession you make as a parent, especially of girls, who tend to enjoy the teeny bopper rock.  Enter Justin Bieber.  I've never thought twice about this kid, because of course, as a rational adult, I knew I would never enjoy what he had to offer.  He does bear a passing resemblance to my son, but other than that, I really couldn't care less about him or his crappy music.  That is until I was forced to put this on my ipod.
And, well, um....I don't hate it.  And by don't hate it, I mean as soon as everyone is out of the car, I play it any chance I get, and I sing my heart out.  My point is, Victoria really has the ability to control minds, because that is the only explanation I can think of where I don't come off as an insane person.

My little firestarter (complete with hot pink hair:
The Biebs and Trev- a little similarity, no? OK, I know they're not twins, but they have similar features.