Thursday, August 28, 2008

first week

The first two days of classes went very well, as good as could be expected.

I am already pretty overwhelmed with everything that needs to be accomplished, but will take it all step-by-step and day-by-day.

One of the first assignments for the Intro to Nursing class is to write a short paper on one of several pre-determined books, or films. MASH was one of the film choices, and I was very tempted to write my paper on it.

While in the library today, printing out gazillions of skills checklists, among a few other things, I decided to check out the book choices on reserve for us. I looked at a couple. There are some choices on World War II nursing, and being a WWII buff thought I might lean toward them.

Surprisingly, I found something else that peaked my curiosity, and seemed even more interesting. It's an account, by Suzanne Gordon of three nurses' work. A common theme is the nursing shortage and the undervalued state of nursing as a profession.

I've only gotten through the forward, and am in the preface and am already furher inspired, as well as intrigued.

We only have the books on loan for three days. Because it's a holiday weekend I lucked out and get an extra day. That's still not enough time, and I am positive I will enjoy this book to it's end so I just ordered it! Back to the book!

Monday, August 25, 2008

thought it would never get here...

...and now it is here...and I feel like throwing up! So I'm going to keep this short, as to not psych myself out even more!

This semester I will be taking two nursing classes, Intro to Nursing and Health (2 hours), and Nursing Skills (lecture [1 hour] and lab [6 hours]), and Orientation to Health Professions (1 hour). Seems like a light load? Maybe it is. Those who haven't had any schooling have other classes, general education classes, like College Composition and Anatomy & Physiology, to take. I've done most of that other stuff. Will take care of the gen ed classes I need down the line.

Along with the six credits I am taking for my nursing program, this semester, I am also taking my final class for my bachelor's degree. It's an online, 3 credit class, but is not going to be the easiest either. It's Research Methods in Psychology, a requirement for my major-psychology. I am taking it along with my first semester of nursing classes, for one because I want to get this degree finished and it is the last class I need to graduate. Another reason is I want it over so I may focus on what is most important to nursing classes.

I've been told by a few people that the first semester is the hardest. I am prepared to meet this challenge. I will probably shed many tears, scream enough to drive my guys crazy-they're kind of used to it, and beg to quit. Quitting is not an option though. I've also been told it's the hardest thing to do, but the best thing to have done. In the end it's worth it.

Now it's time to get clothes out for the big day, to make sure everyone's taken care of, and to take a deep breath!

Sunday, August 24, 2008


You might notice some scrapbooking entries, or blogs I subscribe to. This is one of the activities I took up-again-this summer. After being inspired by a friend's scrapbooks of her childrens' school years I decided to do the same. I had two large storage boxes worth of things we've saved over the years. I set out and organized everything, for both my boys, by grade level knowing I wanted to do their books chronologically by grade. I started with Alec's book, since he's had less years to deal with as he's the youngest of the two. Samples from it may be found a couples blog entries before this one. I'm still working on Brian's, and am currently in 8th grade. Because the books have turned out to be so large, it is apparent their high school years will take up a whole new album. Once I'm up-to0date on Brian's I will take some photos and post them for everyone to check out.

Tomorrow starts a new week, and a new school year. Both boys are ready, and I imagine somewhat least to see their friends. In the morning I will battle with them over taking pictures of them. As they've gotten older they've become more resistant...much to my displeasure!

I suppose Tuesday morning I might have to have one of them take a photo of me, for my first day of nursing school. It almost seems surreal. Something I've waited for, for so long, is finally coming to fruition.

After sending the boys off in the morning, I will start my self-induced walking program. After returning home and showering I will set out to organize things for my classes, and then I just might have to go get a well-deserved pedicure!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

quick statement

Just a note to state my intentions. This coming week I will embark upon an endeavor that many before me have proudly completed. Many will follow. I start my first semester of nursing classes on Tuesday, August 26th, 2008. It will be here I come to jot down my thoughts about my studies, my instructors, peers, clinicals, readings, patients, and everything else that I will experience as a nursing student.

Monday, August 18, 2008

AW's scrapbook

I've recently gotten back into scrapbooking, which I might've mentioned a time or ten. I thought I'd share some of my favorite pages from AW's book, which I've just finished, or just some that have fond memories.

This one is from AW's preschool year. It brings back a funny memory, of his first day. I was so nervous to see my baby head off to school that by the time the bus came a few of my neighbors who knew what was going on, came outside to watch. As soon as the bus pulled off...maybe even before, I started bawling!
The next two are from AW's one and only year with t-ball...or anything to do with baseball besides being the tortured brother of a baseball player!

Next we have AW's first day of school and his school photo from first grade. We were stationed at Aviano Air Base, and that was the year the new K-12 school opened. The old school was just that-old!
AW started playing soccer when he was four. This is from when he was 7.
September in Italy is beautiful. Every year, starting the second year we were there,
we threw AW a big party. For his 8th birthday we threw
a Hawaiian themed surprise party.

That year we moved back to the states, and AW played soccer for the county we live in.

That school year the whole 4th grade went on a field trip to Learning Tree Farm. They were learning about the Civil War era. Daddy went along as a parent volunteer.
This is one of my favorite pages... probably because of the pictures more than anything! It is from the first day of middle school/6th grade and his school photo.

AW played soccer this year for the city league. The team name
was "The Annihilating Nutheads"! This is one of
my favorite two page spreads.
We end appropriately with a monumental occasion, and that was Alec finally getting his hair cut!

The end! Now on to BZ's...he has a few more years under his school belt!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

let there be sight

Yep, should be is a statistics exam for heaven's sake!
Was wondering when WalMart Optical was going to call to let me know my glasses are ready to be picked up. Glasses? Yeah, if you know me you might know I had LASIK vision correction surgery in ' why do I need glasses? I'll tell ya. Astigmatism. Back in '99 they couldn't correct astigmatism with the surgery like they can now, so I was left with better than 20/20, but blurred, vision. It never really bothers me except at night when I'm driving, hence the need for glasses.

So, yeah, I went and found a pair that suit me, and am just waiting on their arrival. Not really looking forward to wearing glasses again, especially considering having had surgery...but it's better than driving blind!

Monday, August 11, 2008

backpack, tote, or messenger bag?

I'm heading out here in a bit to purchase my nursing school textbooks, but just had to sit back and blog first...

Two weeks from tomorrow I start a new endeavor in my life, nursing school. I am both nervous and excited. I'm nervous because nursing school is not a piece of cake. There will be reading, more reading, and yet still, even more reading.

"You will read more than your eyes can handle."

I've been in contact with a woman who finished up her first year, at the school I'm going to, this past May. She had many words of wisdom: from the equipment I'll need, such as a stethoscope and BP cuff, to the lab coat, to a plethora of index cards one should have in their arsenal, and everything in between. She's also informed of the testing that goes on, besides the normal tests. It's called ATI testing, and it costs $66 a semester. This is one of those finer points of pressure--if you don't pass it, after three tries, you're out of the program.

Now in my current college career I've done well, and don't mind telling you. It is something to boast about, a 3.6 GPA that is! Being a non-traditional-not-so-fresh-out-of-high-school college student I have many extraneous life factors such as my guys, that can add to the stress of taking classes. Or is it the stress of taking classes adds to the stress of being a mom? Nursing school is different. It is a different mindset. You are learning about the skills and knowledge you need to sustain, maintain, save human lives. So I feel a sort of ambivalence: do I trudge on in my current midset of working hard for A's, or do I just do what I can to get by? I guess only time will tell. Study groups were strongly suggested.

For several years, about 4 to be exact, I've been doing all my classes online. Now it's back to the traditional classroom. There's certain comfort in hiding behind a computer, you know? Now I will have to perform. I'm 37 years old, and although there will be other "older" students, there will be plenty younger ones. Many of the labs we'll be doing are things I've done in the past in my previous medical training...handwashing, bed making, venipuncture, sterile procedures, blah, blah, blah. Who wants to be the crazy old lady? Like Renny on BB10. At first she was pretty off-putting, but I've grown to really like her. She's one of my favorites, but still she gets flack from the younger houseguests.

Onto the exciting part...

I'm finally doing what I've dreamed of for nearly ten years! How cool is that? I only had to wait a little while. But now it's my time! And the opportunities that I will face over the next couple of years? Next summer I can do a paid externship if I so desire...and who wouldn't!?

My own identity. I've loved being MSgt S's wife, BZ's and AW's mom, will always love those titles...and sure for the past two years, at the high school "Mrs. S"-which as long as my kids have friends I will still be...but in two years, God willing, I will be KLS, R.N.! Sure I've had credentials and rank before but none so coveted as what my ambition will lead me to. Being an assistant, whether medical, or instructional, is not good least for me.

Meeting new people holds a certain level of excitement for me as well. I've always been a people person, although over more recent years I've closed myself off. I now realize I need to surround myself with good people. The past couple of months has shown me this. I've been somewhat lonely and it's come on since school, my job, ended. Every day I could look forward to being around good people. Sure, there are a few I DO NOT miss! So I look forward, now, to the bonds that I will undoubtedly form.

backpack, tote, or messenger bag?

Sure, not very important, what with Russia bombing Georgia, a father of an American Olympian being killed in Beijing, or even Bernie Mac's death, but it is a matter of utility for me. Even at the closest parking spots, the school is still a lengthy walk in relation to them. Textbooks are cumbersome, especially in foul weather, so a good bag for cover is a necessity. At first I wanted a new Vera Bradley tote bag, but am leaning toward a backpack...Alec seems to like his messenger bag. Decisions, decisions!

Yep, there's been a little too much free time for Kirsten...but I am enjoying it while I have it!
Please, if you've made it to the end, don't be afraid to leave me your thoughts, or comments! It seems many view my blogs, some comment, but I'd love to hear from anyone who has something to say!

Sunday, August 10, 2008


I Live in a small town in the country.
I Work to make those around me happy.
I Talk to my lizard.I Wish the economy would improve.
I Enjoy the company of my friends and family.
I Look at cows whenever I drive by them.I Find ladybugs in my house.
I Smell candles burning.I Hide nothing.
I Pray for my family's safety.
I Walk in the evenings...or used to.
I Write research papers...yippee.
I See the good in people.
I Sing in the car when I'm alone.
I Can make a mean lasagna.
I Watch people at airports.
I Yearn for closeness of my family.
I Daydream about my dream house.
I Want to graduate.
I Cry all too easily.
I Read trashy novels, chick lit, mysteries, and horror.
I Love my guys.
I Wonder when we'll be able to build our dream house.
I Touch textures.
I Hurt a deer when I hit it with my car.
I Fear cliffs and dropoffs.
I Hope our new president turns the economy around.
I Break up fights between my kids.
I Eat dinner with my family.
I Quit stresssing over my current class.
I Bathe regularly.
I Drink Crystal Light lemonade, unsweetened iced tea w/ sweet n low and lemon, coke zero, water, wine, whiskey sours, beer, and milk.
I Stop arguing when I know I'm right.
I Save money with coupons.
I Hug my guys all the time.
I am loyal.I Play freecell.
I Miss my mom.
I Hold people to their word.
I Forgive those who've judged me.
I Drive a 2008 Chevy Equinox.
I Learn by doing.
I Have a big butt!
I Don't socialize like I used to.
I Made banana pudding for a party this afternoon.
I Kiss my guys good night.
I Believe everything happens for a reason.
I Wait to start nursing school.
I Need to work with Minnie.
I Feel irritated in the middle of the night when I wake up, and can't get back to sleep because of my hubby's snoring!I Know things always work out.
I Wonder about some people.
I am a happy girl.