Wednesday, July 29, 2009

in an instant

All was well with my mommy vacation. It was a great, even stupendous, weekend. I spent two nights at the hotel, and two nights with my aunt and uncle. Then yesterday morning, about fifteen minutes before my uncle and I were to set off for the airport I discovered something was missing. The perfect vacation had become so imperfect in an instant.

Frantically, I start searching the room I had stayed in, and the surfaces I had placed it on. I searched inside my carry on. It was all to no avail.

I could not find my mother-in-law's emerald and diamond ring. I have lost a family heirloom.

It's not bad enough that I have to travel amongst strangers that now I have to do it miserably, feeling horribly.

Thursday when I was packing I told myself not to take it. It doesn't fit any of my fingers like it really should, but was just snug enough on my right middle finger that I felt it would be ok. Wrong!

Over the weekend I told one of my friends that I was hoping to get it resized to fit my left ring finger so that I could wear it as an anniversary band. It's such a gorgeous ring. Imagine an emerald-cut emerald flanked by two triangular-cut diamonds, set in white gold.

Big B had bought it years ago for my mother-in-law, before he and I even knew each other. He had given it to her as a gift. When she passed away, in 2002, he gave it and a few other pieces of jewelry, to me for Christmas that year.

Here I sit reminiscing over a wonderful weekend spent with old friends from high school and family I haven't seen in at least 3 years, yet it is all overshadowed by the loss of something so dear.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

leavin' on a jet plane!

Can we say "shit eatin' grin"? please excuse the language, but I'm a tad bit excited. I think in a way I'm staying overly excited so that I don't think about the other side of it...what I am leaving behind, who I'm leaving behind.

What makes it worse is yesterday was a bad day for LB, thanks to his father and I. We both yelled at him at two separate times for totally different reasons. It all had to do with driving or car related type issues, and both instances were handled badly, thus leaving me feeling horrible. He and AW got into to it too, but that probably didn't phase him since it is a daily, sometimes hourly occurrence. We wont get into either of the two incidents as I really don't feel it's necessary. The point is I feel bad, which makes leaving my children worse.

Ahh, motherhood.

I have tons to do today. I still need to pack, finish up some homework, do some laundry, try on a dress that I'm going to take in the event I feel like going to the reunion in something more formal than I originally planned on wearing, study some, tidy up some, and gosh knows what else that I am currently spacing on! I also need to call my mom to check up on her; she had surgery on her shoulder last Friday. I need to call my aunt to firm up some of the plans for this weekend.

I just found out that one of my bestest friends, that just happens to live about 40 minutes from me (that's only ironic since we now live in VA and went to high school in CO-we actually have about 5 of us that live out here in VA!) is trying to go back for the reunion!!! She wasn't going to go because her daughter has college visits this summer, but her weekend must be free! Like I told another friend recently it's a good thing I've done Kegels over the years, I'd be pissin' my britches otherwise!

Well I could babble on for hours about my upcoming mommy vacation, but I wouldn't get any thing done! I"m so looking forward to seeing some old friends, and my family that I haven't seen in years. I get to meet my newest niece, born last year, August 29! I will also meet my cousins' children for the first time!

I'm so excited! and a little nervous...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

scrap that!

So I have been tagged with "The Honest Scrap" award and I now must do the following, thank you LivingDeadNurse:
1. “The Honest Scrap” award is not one to hold all to your self but it must be shared!
2. First, the recipient has to tell 10 true things about themselves in their blog that no one else knows.
3. Second, the recipient has to pass along this prestigious award to 10 more bloggers.
4. Third, those 10 bloggers all have to be notified they have been given this award.
5. Those 10 bloggers that receive this award should link back to the blog that awarded them “The Honest Scrap’ award.
So, 10 things about myself, OK here we go:
1) I tried out for cheerleading in high school. I am so not athletic! or coordinated!
2) I've never consumed an energy drink, not even Red Bull.
3) I don't like cliffs or drop offs.
4) I had a miscarriage 5 years ago.
5) I would have a tummy tuck or lower body lift in a heartbeat.
6) I've never gotten a tattoo...yet.
7) There's only a few people who I enjoy talking on the phone with, otherwise text me! or email me! or find me on Facebook!
8) I love being on the beach and in the sun, but can't hang for too long before I start overheating.
9) I haven't told my current psychology professor that I have a bachelor's degree in psychology.
10) I had to do CPR on a Greek National that washed up on the base beach while I was stationed in Greece.

10 bloggers that I have chosen are:
Nurse Ratched's Place
Lorie's Corner
Chasing Myself
Life is Full of Blessings
A Journey Through Nursing School & Beyond
Crazy Miracle Called Life
My Strong Medicine
Running Wildly
Anything Said
Life With Boys

Saturday, July 18, 2009

the end is near

from this:

to this:

We almost have our whole driveway back! This also signifies the end of our 2009 landscaping adventures. We just have a couple of finishing touches and then we will be able to sit back and enjoy the rewards of our labor! Big B and a neighbor are scooping up the remains of the mulch as we have nowhere else to put it. From the chatter I can hear from outside, I'd say they're done! Finito!

Friday, July 17, 2009

7, 39, & 298

Seven days until I leave for my first ever mommy vacation.

Thirty-nine days until the second year of the rest of my life starts.

Two hundred ninety-eight days until the rest of my life really starts, aka graduation/pinning.

But who's counting?

Now, back to the books.

(psst...pain free again last night. The lumpy sensation in my throat did return yesterday evening. Still hoping...)

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Kapidex is a new heartburn/GERD/spastic esophagitis drug that the FDA just approved earlier this year. The GI doc wrote a Rx for me to take it and gave me some samples. I sampled one last night and didn't wake up with any abdominal pain as I have been recently (in the middle of the night), along with the lump in throat sensation.

No pain! None! Nada, zilch, zippo!!!!!!!!

Wouldn't ya know it, I don't feel any lumpiness to my throat either.

Ok, yes, it very well could be today is one of the good days as far as lumps go. Yes, one night on a medication is hardly enough to give valid and reliable results.

It's a start, and there is hope!

The best thing about it is, unlike with Nexium, I can take it at bedtime and not have to worry about taking it 20 minutes before a meal.

Now I'm off in my splendor to study for tomorrow's A&P Exam #5. That will be five down one to go. I only have one more quiz as well, and two discussion board posts. They're hefty, but I can manage. The next "forum" is to be about a medical issue that we, or someone we know has experienced, that pertains to subject matter we've studied this semester. We've studied the digestive system, so wouldn't ya know it, I'm doing mine on dysphasia. I have plenty to write about! The last one is to be on our service project. For this we have to spend at least one half day volunteering doing something we plan to do in our career. I have a friend who is a RN, and went on to get her master's in health care administration. She's a case manager, so I'm going to do a ride along with her and see what she does in her work. Then I just have to write up what I experienced, observing Hipaa, of course!

My Nut class ends this week, and the psych class has two more to go after this week.

I'm surviving this summer I dreaded so much!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


About four months ago I started feeling like I was swallowing over something in my throat, like a lump or a pill that had gotten stuck. I saw my primary care who referred me out for CT scan, which came back clear. They've also prescribed Prilosec--didn't work; and Nexium--didn't work.

The ENT PA and ENT physician, and gastroenterologist (GI doc) I have seen all think it is reflux. Aside from the lump in throat sensation I am not having the classic symptoms of acid indigestion.

The GI doc is going to install what is called the BRAVO pH Monitoring System. It is a little clip that will be inserted into the wall of my esophagus to monitor for acid. If there's acid, it's reflux, if not it's globus or something else. He will also do endoscopy to check out the local area while he's visiting. haha Along with the insertion of the clip I will be wearing a pager-like device that will record the results. I am also to keep a diary.

If it is globus, it is more than likely due to stress (I dunno, I am a nursing student) and will be diagnosed as globus hystericus. It is an anxiety, stress-related disorder.

For me, the worst part is it is scheduled September 8th. I have class that day, but since they don't schedule procedures on Mondays (which would be incredibly, monstrously bad) or Fridays my only choice is to miss a day of class. Tuesdays are the best for this. (no stress here...)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

twenty-four and some hair bands

Wow, I've been neglectful of my blog lately, and of other's blogs as well. I guess it is summertime and we're all off doing summery type things.


Nope, not me. Oh, LB is for sure. He's off with a friend in Ocean City, MD this week. AW had the pleasure of spending the day at the lake on Sunday. Big B even went to Florida the other week. He texted me a photo of his feet in the surf. I called him a not-so-nice name. I mean, how mean can someone be!? WHile I am left at home taking care of his children, driving them all over God's green earth, tending to our farm of pets, the house and my studies...

Oh, but please wait. My time is coming.

The 24th of this month I am taking my first ever mommy vacation. As I've mentioned previously it is my 20th high school reunion at the end of this month and I'm leaving...the...boys...for...the first time ever!

Today I had my ENT follow-up, this time with a physician rather than a PA. He didn't do anything more than the PA did. In other words he did the nasolaryngoscope and then proceeded to tell me he'd like me to come in for one of his colleagues to perform the TNE (transnasal esophagoscopy) at a later time. Um, excuse me. I have already driven over 100 miles for you people to do the same thing...twice! He also thinks it is GERD, but not acid induced, more likely one of the other gastric juices. He was also talking about referring me to the Virginia Heartburn Institute, or something to that effect.

Screech...wait just a minute!

I expediently informed him about my upcoming appointment tomorrow with the GI doc.

Now we're just going to wait and see what they (the GI docs) have to say and go from there.

Have I mentiioned I have an exam this Friday? for A&P? No? Yes! It's on the urinary system and fluids & electrolytes.


Can we say "deja vu"? Didn't I just study those same subjects last semester in nursing school? Why yes, I did. Thank Heavens, because this week is hectic with doctor's appointments. You probably already got that, though.

So yes, I'm looking forward to the 24th of this month for my mommy vacation as I make my way out west to visit with old friends and family. Although it isn't the first time I've travelled by myself ever, it is since I've gotten married and given birth.

The 24th of next month leaves more to be desired. Well, it is the first day of school for the boys. That's exciting as they start their Junior and 8th gradde years.


Excuse me while I recover from a sudden tidal-like wave of nausea.

August 24th I, and my classmates, embark on our second year of nursing school.

I feel green all of a sudden, and not with envy. Today I got the tuition email reminder. I still need to purchase my textbooks. And the ATI fees. Have I told you about that!? They're going up from about $83 a semester to $191 a semester. I'm still hoping it's a flub-up by our director and she has it confused, and it is actually $191 for both the Fall and Spring semesters.

There goes the green, as in dollars. Cha ching!

On to more pleasant experiences...

Big B has been identified as 60% disabled (that may not seem pleasant until you are the person who is labeled as such and receive the pay afforded one for those disabilities). Since it's been an ongoing case that had to be approved he has been backpaid money owed to him from the VA (Veteran's Administration). We get to take a family vacation this year because of this. This is especially welcomed because we didn't really get to do anything last year, since he'd just retired and started a new [civilian] job. We have tons of friends around here who get to "go to the beach" which usually means the Outer Banks of NC. I almost had us going there, but Big B brought up the fact that his brother had a week available at his beach house in Wildwood, NJ, so we're going up there for a week! We get to go to the Doo Wop District and go on the Doo Wop Experience!!! The guys may not be too thrilled, but they can just go along for me.

This past Sunday Big B and I went and saw Cheap Trick, Poison and Def Leppard in concert. It was great. I'm really not a big concert goer. In fact I can probably count on both hands how many concerts I've been to. The three bands were all pretty good. I'd say Poison was my favorite, but that opinion is rooted in nostalgia. It was my sophomore year and I loved....l-o-v-e-d them. Bret Michaels did mention and show gratitude for 22 years of fan love. Cheap Trick was pretty good, and I don't know if it was the fact that by the time Def Leppard came on that I was tired, or what, but I just wasn't as excited or thrilled anymore. My fun meter had been pegged I guess. I've always had pretty eclectic tastes in music. If you've followed my blog for long you probably can agree. We've gone from Prince, to Martina McBride and now a bunch of hair bands.

Here are some photos from Sundays concert:

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

the irony of it all

July 8th.

I had originally rescheduled my ENT appointment for today, and once I realized I had to take LB to the YOVASO (Youth of Virginia Speak Out), retreat which is being held at a college 2 hours away, I had to re-reschedule. My doctor's appointments are next week, to include a dental exam and cleaning Monday. Tuesday is the ENT and Wednesday is the initial GI consult. I hope to know more about my lump in throat sensation after this time next week.

Anyway. LB, his friend who is also in the club, and I headed out this morning with the intention of me heading back this way to take Exam # 4 for A&P. We left at 9 a.m. and it didn't take the full two hours that Mapquest said it would. I was able to walk in, register the boys, and then drop them off at the dorm they will call home for two nights. By this time it is right around 11 a.m. and I figure I'm o.k. to get back to my college to take the exam. Well for some reason it took a little longer, and as time wore on I had to push the speed limit. (The irony lies with me speeding after just having dropped off LB and his friend at a driving safety retreat.)

I make it back to my area of the world with about enough time to spare to be able to make a pit stop in the ladies room and then to head into the college testing center. The testing center director, Ms. M, is nowhere to be seen. Her assistant tells me she'll go get her. Ms. M. is the only one approved to proctor my A&P exams, that are being proctored so I don't have to drive forever and a day north, when I can just go half the distance.

Let me explain a little about Ms. M. She's a bit high strung. She's really not someone I would envision as working in a testing center because she is so hyper. She exists in a state of fluster. Really, who wants to deal with that when they're already flustered themselves!?

A few mintutes later both women walk into the room and Ms. M is saying something to the effect of "I don't think I'm going to be able to do this!" And of course, she is speaking to me. Apparently Wednesdays are bad days because they often hold new student orientations on Wednesdays. She has to be present during the orientations because she is the testing center director.


I've already had to reschedule this exam from last Wednesday, (when there was no mention of Wednesdays being a problem), to this Wednesday, because of the funeral and such from the week prior eating up my study time. Now I must prolong this agondy even longer.

What is the subject matter I'm being tested on at this point you ask?

The somatic and special senses, and the endocrine system are the units I've been suffering through for the past several weeks now. Aside from a death in the family and us having to make the trip up to NJ, I've also been on Ambien, and subsequently injured. I have not been able to focus on these units.

Ms. M. had said something about tomorrow at 8 a.m. in her verbal vomit and then almost retracted at which point I said, "No, tomorrow at 8 a.m. it is."


Tomorrow will be another early summer morning for me. I'll go take the exam, and then I have to go to Quantico. I dread gong there and usually put it off until the family can't take it anymore. We're at the pont now where we're out of some of the items that make going to the commissarry threre worthwile.

On the way I'm going to embark on some retail therapy. I need something to wear both nights of the reunion weekend.

Oh well, time to make lemons out of lemonade and go study the zillion pages of anatomy diagrams I printed off at the college after nearly throttling Ms. M.

Monday, July 6, 2009

gonna party like it's 1989

In 18 days I leave for Colorado Springs, CO for my 20 year high school reunion. I almost wasn't going to go, even though for the past year I've been saying I would. The hesitation stems from guilt over using money for myself that could be used for more family related things. What it came down to is I've never been apart from my guys, never, ever, and I think it's time I take a break.

Big B and I have taken a few mommy/daddy trips. When LB was a baby we left him in NJ for a night or two, with my in-laws. I shit you not I wrote out specific instructions on how to care for him. That's how I handled that separation. Separation anxiety on my part indeed! Or maybe it was a tad OCD mommism!

Aside from that I don't remember much of anything except for date nights here and there, and those have spread further and fewer in between.

He and I did take a trip to the French Riviera for our 10th Annniversary. We were already mostly there, being in Italy, and so we booked a weekend trip with our base recreation center and went off on a bus with about thirty other travelers.

There we are in front of Prince Rainier's Castle.

We toured Nice, Cannes, Monte Carlo, and Monaco. It was a quick prearranged touristy kind of trip, but we had a great time. The boys were probably 8 and 4.

Here it is after all these years of Big B going off on TDYs (temporary duties), deployments, a remote, and now his busniess trips, not to mention the times he's gone off on daddy weekends or day-trips, I am finally getting my own personal vacation.

Me, myself, I--no kids, no husband, no pets.


It's a little nerve-wracking to say the least! I'm excited to see some friends and family I haven't seen in ages. I've never met my baby niece, who will be one at the end of August. I haven't seen her older sister, her mother father/my brother in a few years. My aunt and cousins live up in Denver. Then there's all the friends I've reconnected with via Facebook. Many I've kept in touch with sporadically over the years, some more frequent than others. The there are those I haven't seen in 10 + years, at least since the 10th reunion!

1992, in March after I'd come back from being overseas

How fun will that all be!? I fly in Friday afternoon and one of my dearest friends (MB, she was a bridesmaid in my wedding) is picking me up at the Denver airport since she lives in Denver and we're heading down to the Springs to the hotel to freshen up. That evening is an impromptu get together at a popular local bar. It's the ice breaker. Saturday night is the actual reunion at the hotel. MB and I are staying the night at the hotel. It helps that her mom still works there after all these years!

I'm not sure about Sunday, through when I leave late Tuesday morning, or Saturday before the reunion, for that matter. There are plenty of people to keep me busy!

I was going to stay with my brother and his family and if they're still in their house I will. Sadly they are succumbing to the tragedy that is the current economy. My mom says they've done everything they can possibly think of, but the harsh reality is they're going to lose their home of 10+ years. It breaks my heart and I wish there was something I could do, but we can barely afford our own mortgage. All I can do is not be a stressor for them while I am there, and just spend good, quality time with them. If you would, say a little prayer for them. They have two daughters, a 7 year old and one going on 1 year.

So, I also have a friend who just got stationed in the Springs who I could spend some time with. I am looking forward to the trip and the fun it promises.

Did I mention I'm leaving my children, my husband, my pets, my home, my bed? I am flying solo amongst several strangers, away from those I love. One thing's for sure I will have stopped taking Ambien by then as I'm going to need one of those wee lil bottles to tide me over for the plane ride!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

independence day

let freedom ring, let the white dove sing,
let the whole world know that TODAY IS A DAY OF RECKONING,
let the weak be strong,
let the right be wrong
roll, the stone away,
let the guilty pay,

~lines from one of my favorite songs, by Martina McBride

Celebrate your freedom and independence as an American ♥ thank a service member and/or their family.

I haven't felt like blogging much lately, or doing much of anything for that matter.

I started Ambien the other night, about 5 nights ago now. It was on the second or third night that I had "the accident". That next morning I woke up and went to wash my face. When I went to wipe at my left eye I about yelped in pain and then wondered what in the world the reason was that it was (is) reddened and swollen. I went to ask Big B, he laughed asked me if I remembered falling.

Um, no.

He proceeded to inform me that after hearing me yell out in pain, he jumped up only to find me twisted in the elliptical trainer that sits on the side of the room that my side of the bed is on. Hearing the commotion LB came in to investigate only to find his mother looking like a human pretzel. They helped me up, to the bathroom, which evidently was my original destination, and back into bed.

This was all the day before yesterday. Today it's still swollen, painful and come to find out my right forearm is bruised up pretty good.

This incident hasn't helped the homework cause. Luckily I'm pulling strong grades in Psych and Nut. Because we had to go out of town for the funeral last week I fell behind on my A&P studies and had to ask for an extension for Exam #4 which I was set to take this past Wednesday. As it is now I'll be taking it this coming Wednesday. The delay cuts into my time for the next unit, but it just so happens to be the urinary system and fluids & electrolytes. I'm comfortable enough with just having had that subject matter, but needed the extra time for the somatic and special senses and the endocrine system, extra time that has been squandered away with injuries. Who am I kidding, it's going to be about doing some serious cramming over the next few weeks.

The boys have stayed pretty low-key lately. LB continues to do well driving and AW is staying out of trouble.

Big B and I have nearly completed the backyard landscaping, well at least for this year. I'm thinking the yard could use a couple of good specimen trees. That may wait for fall or next year.

I'm leave you with our latest 'scapes:

some befores, for reference

picture from realtor, before we owned the house

our latest work

lavender, crape myrtle, boxwood

just some potted plants, and pots with seedlings to include four o'clocks and portulaca

i love this grouping with my elephant's ears, some geranium and my little pot of cacti and succulents

I don't really have a good before and after for this, but will explain it anyway. To the right of our house, facing it, is a side entry where the previous owner had laid pea gravel. I've been meaning to get rid of the gravel along with the rose bushes that suffered in it, and lay mulch. We finally did it this past weekend. In fact I owe it all to Big B, self-proclaimed, "Mega Mulch". He did the pea gravel removal and has done all the mulching over these past few 'scaping jobs around the house. The rose bush was relocated to the back bed, center (see above photos), and we'll plant hardier, low-maintenance shrubs along the side of the house, soon.

this is actually some coneflower I transplanted in the front, but it's such a pretty color and ti will be nic eto see it mature in this spot