Friday, December 31, 2010

Closing out the year

I'm taking an idea from my blogging friend as I look back on the year that was...
What books and or magazines did I read this year?
This year I rediscovered the joy that comes with reading a good book. I've read a lot of books...some great (The Help, Friday Night Knitting Club, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, and Island Beneath the Sun ) and some only so-so (House Rules, Knit 2 and Knit the Season). No matter how busy the week is, I always find time to read my People magazine (hubby calls it my porn). I'm also pretty excited to see how our PV Book club turns out. It remains to be seen if we'll actually talk about the books or just socialize, but really either way is a win when you are spending time with your neighbors and friends, right?

What movies and or tv shows did I watch this year?
As a family, we've discovered the humor of Big Bang Theory. What rock have we been hiding under that we missed the first 3 seasons of this very funny show? Also, continuing to enjoy the NCIS series (HELLO: just like my hubby, Mark Harmon just gets better looking with age!). The big change in our viewing habits has to be that the boys are now old enough that we can watch more shows together as a family. As for movies, we said goodbye to Blockbuster Home delivery and welcomed Netflix into our lives. And just last month, I experimented with Red Box. While I enjoy the $1 price, I don't care for the need to return it to the store vs. dropping it in the mailbox. I end up spending more $ in the store (D"UH...their marketing strategy works).

What special days did I celebrate and how?
In July, Hubby and I became parents of a teenage boy. Not sure how that happened (as it seems like just last year we brought the big headed baby home from the hospital). In November, we celebrated 15 yrs of wedded bliss. And let's not forget March 8th. That was a big day for both hubby and I: we both found ourselves with new jobs on the same day!

What gifts did I give/and or receive?
The most memorable gift I gave was to my friend Judie. This summer, she had a series of very unfortunate events and found herself moving into a new place.. I organized a "shower" for her...filling her new apartment with all sorts of fun and practical things. It won't heal all the hurt in her heart, but I hope that this simple gesture on our part showed her what a gift her friendship means to all of us.

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
I've enjoyed good health as has the rest of the family. Thing Two took a couple tumbles this year that reminded us what a blessing it is to have affordable insurance and access to health care. Luckily, none of his visits were major concerns but the financial costs could have really weighed us down had we not had insurance.

What fun things did I do with my family and friends?
The boys and I took two trips to spend time with my dad, sister and nephew. Exploring cities that are new to us, visiting places with my kids that I once enjoyed as a kid.

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this year?
3 words: sleigh ride martini.

What special or unusual purchases did I make?
2010: the year of the electronic gadgets. New laptop, cell phone, t.v, and camera (though technically it belongs to hubby)

What were my accomplishments this year?
After 10+ years of being a (mostly) stay-at-home-mom, I put on the working-outside-the-home hat. I'm proud of how we've all pitched in together to make it work. Everyone has made compromises and taken on more home tasks but I'd have to's been worth it.

Anything else noteworthy to record?
I'm looking forward to the new year: continuing to work on balance, moving forward in some home improvement plans and settling into the new chapter of our lives. 2011? Bring it on...I'm ready!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Are they trying to tell me something?

3 friends...3 gifts.
Was it great minds thinking alike, great sales or Ewww....she needs to take a shower?!

Monday, December 20, 2010


Day 3 of Winter Break.
Day 3 of a mid-day nap.

Life is very good indeed!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Nothing wrong with HIS self esteem...

Thing One just came down in his lounge pants.
Winter Break has officially begun and he is determined to lounge in such attire as long as we'll put up with his foolishness.

He proudly proclaims "His gorgeousness has arrived...admit it, you cannot dispute my awesome qualities!"

Oh my...will we survive two week of him and his ego?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A very special visitor came a callin'...

Around 1, who comes a knockin' on the door of my clinic...none other than Santa himself!

Seems our visiting Santa has lost some weight since last year, and his pants were falling down.
He stopped in our office, knowing we had pillows.
Would we mind if he borrowed a pillow while he visited with the daycare kids downstairs.
You know, it's not good to have a Santa with droopy drawers.

Made up for the other situation I was dealing with.
A young lady...high on marijuana for sure...but there seemed to be more.

Some days? I love and hate my job all within the same afternoon!

Monday, December 06, 2010

It's a sign..

that you aren't THAT sick...when the nurse offers you a throat lozenge and you have the nerve to ask for a different flavor.

Enjoy that one, sistah. Next time you ask, I'm totally out!
Yes, I will be there for you, when you need me
But, when you have enough energy to complain about the selection of comfort items I'm offering?!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

'Tis the Season...

This is my first Holiday season as the school nurse. I am sort of taken by surprise by a 'trend' I've noticed this week.

High school kids and depression.

All in a Day's work...

E. came in telling me she had a tummy ache. A polite young lady, I offered her some of the usual crackers and some water. Just as I was sending her back to class, Grandma called me. Seems E. had sent Grandma a text that suggested more was going on...
texting the grandma that "life is not worth living, I should just give up". Thank you Grandma for calling me (she'd tried the counselors but they were all at their convention, so in a panic, she called me, not knowing that E. was already in my office). "Let's take a walk" and I escorted E. over to the psychologist (who had just returned briefly from the conference). E. was transported to the ER for a more thorough suicide risk assessment.

Then there was C. C. is one of my all time favorite kids. he's had multiple back surgeries and last spring he and I had breakfast every morning while I gave him his IV antibiotics. Started as a shy young man and really opened up to me. C was feeling flu like symptoms yesterday and as we chatted, he started to tear up "I just need to be home today, we're being evicted tonight".
OMFSM: seems his family has fallen on hard times, and they fell behind in their payments. He's 17...he's been handed so many stressors and now this.

And I finished up the day with M. I had known that M.. suffers from
PTSD and had heard rumors about the triggering events that resulted in this condition. But most of my encounters with M. have been basic...headache, itchy skin...nothing too exciting. Yesterday, he came to me in the midst of a panic attack. When it resolved, he opened up about Christmas...and how he is tired of people asking him what he wants for Christmas...nobody can give him what he wants so instead he just wants a package of gum. He starts to tear up. Seems his father died on his birthday and ever since then, Christmas and birthdays are just pointless. (and the death was apparently a violent death, witnessed by M: that's the part I'd heard about through staff).

I left work yesterday...not just physically exhausted but emotionally drained....and yet also feeling very blessed. I joke that this job just fell from the sky when I needed it most. But, I also see where there are many life lessons for me to learn...this week? To be know the many gifts I have in my life...a roof over my head, a father for my children and a job that I find rewarding in ways I never imagined!

for those of us raising teens/young adults...keep your eyes and hearts open to the worries that our young adults are facing. We all know that for many adults, this is not necessarily the most wonderful time of the year. And sadly, I fear for some of our youth, as they grow up so much faster than we did, they too approach the holidays with more sadness than joy!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Today we celebrated...

Thing One stomped into my office at work, grinning from ear-to-ear, singing "I am the champion".

Seems he took first place in his class Geography Bee and will be advancing to the next round, all of 7th grade.

Ok, I admit, I did ask if this was his reg. class or his special ed classmates. (bad mommy, I know) and I am proud to report that it was his reg. class that he competed against.

So, we celebrated with dinner and a trip to the bookstore...where his interest in academics proved short lasted as he picked out a Pokemon book.

Oh well, there is always tomorrow.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful for...Day 25

The one day so many of us set aside to spend time with family. To cook the big meal. To set the table with the "good china" and the "real crystal". To linger over dessert, chatting, laughing, sharing stories and memories.
Granted, we should be thankful all year long, and not wait for Thanksgiving to slow down and savor the day, let's be honest...we don't do it nearly as often as we should.

So, today I'm thankful for the fact that today, I took the time to be with my family and friends. And it was a wonderful day indeed!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful for...Day 24


Not just the cup that I sip on in the morning to get my day started.
But also thankful for the cup I savor on Wednesday mornings with the ladies.
Both warm me up and leave me feeling refreshed and ready to face the challenges that are waiting for me.

Work has gotten in the way of my weekly get togethers at Carinos. But, when a Wednesday rolls around and I don't have to work, it is always such a blessing to join up with the ladies and soak in some friendship while sipping on a cup of coffee.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful for...Day 23

excellent candidates

We interviewed today for the job vacancy in my office. 5 people were selected by my office manager (out of 27 that applied). Of the 5, I could have easily worked with any of them. Two will meet with the principal on Monday and she will make the final decision.

And I'm thankful for that as well...because I really liked both of the "final 2" applicants for totally different reasons and I wouldn't want to be the one who makes the final decision.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thankful for...Day 22

A short week...(Thanksgiving Break starts tomorrow, 2:45 p.m.)

because today was long enough to count for 3 days.

Over 100 kids passed through the clinic....and not a one had anything that even remotely resembled exciting.

and actually, that's something to be thankful for as well. With all the foolishness I was sorting through, it was good that nothing too major was also competing for my attention.

Now I'm off to see if Calgon will take me away!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thankful for...Day 21

Brotherly Love
Of all the things I love about my Things, my favorite is watching the boys getting along. Too often I hear others remark how their kids bicker and battle all day long. I'm not saying that my guys never do that, but it is safe to say, it more of a random occurrence than a regular event.

Most days, they are in each other's company...playing or watching some show...together...laughing at each other's faults, and cheering each other on. And yes, some days, plotting together to drive their parents insane.

Parenting is indeed so much easier when the kids get hope is that they continue to grow together and while each taking their own journey, may they always find joy in the company of each other.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thankful for...Day 20

Pay day!

And to celebrate...I did a bit of retail therapy and some vanity time in "the chair" with Jane taking care of some matters of GRAY concern.

I'm so thankful that these days, not all our financial eggs are in one basket. We're able to budget AND save. And assuming the Things hold up on their end of the bargain (dude, DO YOUR HOMEWORK!), we might have enough saved for them to go to community college (or at least pay for their bus pass with the way college costs keep climbing!)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thankful for...Day 19

the kids who are different...they are without a doubt the best part of my job.
Today, they hosted a Thanksgiving Feast for all of us that "help them".
I mean look at these smiles: who can't help but feel joy when you are greeted with a hearty "Hi Nurse Martha" whenever you enter their world. I am so thankful I get to be a part of their daily routine!
(p.s.: Fridays at work are "spirit day". Wear a school tshirt and jeans. Hello, that's my kind of dress code!)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thankful for...Day 18

A Quiet Day at work.

The past few weeks at work have been rather hectic.
But, now the past 2 days were delightful.
With such a long run of busy days, I'd forgotten the joy that comes with being able to finish up all my work AT work, being able to pack a lunch AND eat it, and being able to tackle a couple back burner projects.

so much to be thankful for when the day is quiet.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thankful for...Day 17

our garage.

This morning I was enjoying a cup of coffee and a bagel, catching up on email and sort of let time slip away. Realized I had to be in a meeting in 15 minutes, I grabbed my coat, keys and purse and dashed out the door.

YOWZA: where did that ice come from?

thanks to my car being parked warmly in the garage, I didn't have to spend any time scraping windows.

twas a great way to start my day!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thankful for....Day 16

flannel sheets and a nagging hubby.

Hubby has been nagging at me to "put the flannel" on the bed. I couldn't find the old set of sheets, so this past week, I bought a new set.
OMG: what took me so long.
It makes the bed so warm and cozy...the perfect place to crash after a long/rough day at work.
Thanks, were right...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thankful for...Day 15

Grateful parents.
My job can be hard. A "quiet day" means only about 75 students pass through our office. In a matter of seconds, I'm forced to make some difficult decisions. I do it with the student's best interest in mind.

a simple word of thanks from a parent means the world to me.
I am grateful for those countless parents that respect what we are doing for their helps me deal with the random parents that prefer to "shoot the messenger".

This messenger? Does not take kindly to being shot.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thankful for...Day 14

Lazy Sunday afternoons.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thankful for....Day 13

helpful hands.
Used to be, the bulk of the household chores fell on my plate. Makes sense, I was home during the day while the guys were at work or school. Now that I too am gone during the day, I'm grateful to have the guys' help with the chores.

In just a couple hours this morning, working together, we managed to get the house picked up and that left the afternoon for all of us to pursue our own pleasures.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thankful for...Day 12

Fifteen Years of wedded bliss (most days)...
Most thankful that the man who promised to love, honor and cherish
through sickness and through health...
still does
Love ya honey!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thankful for...Day 11

Today, Miss W. came bouncing into my clinic. She's one of our special needs students and was telling me ALL about what she had learned in class today.

"Did you know, Nurse Martha, that today is Veteran's Day?"
I smiled, and nodded
"And, my teacher told me that Veterans are people that serve in the military and sometimes they even die. My grandpa was a veteran".
"As was I"
"You were? But, you didn't die"
"No, I didn't. Not every veteran dies. Would you like to see a picture?"

So off we went into my office where I showed one of my photos from "back in the day".
She took off running to her aide "GUESS WHAT, Nurse Martha is a veteran".

And so today...while I am grateful for having had the opportunity to serve my country, I am also grateful for the kids like Miss W. Who are excited and eager when Veteran's Day rolls around. A holiday not filled with presents or cards...but one celebrated with the simple gestures of flying the flag and saying Thank-you. Thankful indeed!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thankful for...Day 10

TiVo, DVR, whatever you call's a time saver in the best way.
And with the days running long on the work-side of my life, it is so good to come home and catch up on a show or two with my hubby.

unwind for a bit before calling it day.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Thankful for...Day 9

As the first snow of the season fell from the sky this afternoon, I was most thankful for that short commute. After another long day (91 kids passed through our office), I bundled up, scraped the windows of the van (first snow=wet/heavy stuff) and made it to the elementary school in time to pick up Thing Two so he didn't have to ride his bike home in the snow.

Total time spent? less than 10 minutes (yeah, I managed to snag both red lights, which is why it took me so long)

Monday, November 08, 2010

Thankful for...Day 8

Today, I'm thankful for comfortable shoes.
(Merrell Clogs, though I also find great comfort in my Keens and my Ryka tennis shoes)

We had over 90 kids visit the clinic for an assortment of stuff...some serious, some silly but all must be treated somewhat the same.

Sitting down? totally over-rated (though I wouldn't be against giving it a try now and then).

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Thankful for...Day 7

I'm thankful for the extra hour in the day thanks to our "falling back".
Depending on which hour was the bonus, I've done a couple "just for me" things. I scrapbooked for an hour or so this morning, I met a friend for a cup of coffee this afternoon, and this evening I caught up with a couple other friends with over-due phone chats.

Yep, it's been a pretty near perfect weekend...tackling a few chores, spending time with family and friends. Balance? I think I achieved it this weekend.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Thankful for...Day 6

78 deg. and bright sunshine.
In November.
Mother Nature? You rock!

Friday, November 05, 2010

Thankful for...Day 5

Teenagers that remained calm under pressure. They checked the drama at the gate and handled a very serious situation with such precision...that I still get a little teary eyed thinking about how it "all went down".

Around 10 a.m., 2 students came running to my room. "we need a nurse". As we took off running, I got the history, walked into the classroom to find one of our staff members down. I started to call for 911 when it dawned on me...they'd already done that.

Yep, when their teacher had what looked like a seizure, 2 kids went for me, 2 kids went for another teacher, 2 kids stayed by their teacher's side and the rest moved to the back of the room. Until help arrived. No grown up told these kids what to do. They just did it!

Mr. K. remains in ICU, and while his condition remains guarded, it is safe to say that the students in his class...saved his life. I was only there to witness their grace under fire.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Thankful for...Day 4

Today I am thankful for Facebook. I know, how lame is that.
However, one of the back-to-work adjustments I'm still working through is finding balance. I'm a very social creature and enjoy my "girlfriend" time. Yet, I can't make weekly coffee group. I'm often too tired to get together on a 'school night' and after talking to some 70+ teenagers all day, most days I'm all talked out.

But facebook allows me to jump in and see what others have been up to. My friend list include neighbors, family and even a few co-workers (both past and present). I can hear how my friends are doing and share a laugh or two...all from the comfort of my couch.

And being a Martha...being in touch is rather important.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Thankful for...Day 3

that chilled bottle of Riesling and my sweet hubby for pouring me a cold one.

The good news? It was a fabulous day at work. Kids were pleasant, only one was high (and he was remorsefully high..."Oh no, what's this gonna to do my mama?" he kept saying over and over. The mama in me was touched...yet wondered, if you love your mama so much, why'd you smoke the weed AT school while wearing your ankle-bracelet from juvie?)

The bad news? My much loved, well trained, trusted and loyal assistant resigned. Her hubby got a job out of state. My principal just laughed when I suggested she telecommute...but come on, we could make it skype?

So with the help of the Riesling, I'm coming to terms with the reality that it is back to the drawing board in terms of finding an assistant.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Thankful for...Day 2

Excedrin migraine....
(hey, I didn't promise award-winning entries on a daily basis)

Monday, November 01, 2010

Thankful for...Day 1

For the past two years, I've challenged myself to blog daily during the month of November. Now that I'm working full time, I've tossed around the idea as to whether I am up for such a challenge. In the end, yes, I need to give it a try.
So, here ya #1.
Today I am thankful for my job. A year ago, I was working on my return to the work force. I was filled with a full range of emotions. Could I handle it? What type of nursing did I want to do? Would I remember how to be a nurse?
This year? I've got a job that I really enjoy. Sure, some days I'm more exhausted than others. Who wouldn't be...when you factor in that I haven't worked full time in almost 14 years. It's been a huge adjustment for all of us.
But even at the end of a long day, I'm grateful for this job...for the many ways it has enriched me on a personal level, for the ways it has relieved some financial worries for our family, and well...for just being the right fit for me.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bye Bye Timeshare..

Poor Hubby....first I put his bachelor couch on the curb (1997: it didn't match the decor). Next I sent his poor kitty off to the dumb friends league (1999: hey, the cat nipped at me and soiled my new-match-the-decor couch). Oh, and somewhere in there, I also found a way to get rid of his Italian bedroom furniture (hello: European sizes meant we could not find a replacement mattress for it) and his kitchen table (glass top+children= HELLO?)

And today? I managed to give away his timeshare..

Miles, circa 2002, Lawrence Welk Resort, Escondido, CA

And folks wonder why I encourage the motorcycle habit.

Guilty Conscience, I suspect

Hilton Grand Vacation Club, Orlando FL, 2007

But seriously, it is a day to celebrate. We were able to donate the timeshare to charity. A fee was involved (which sort of set of my radar for scams) but that fee was about 1/2 of what we pay each year in maintenance dues/RCI dues/Exchange fees.

Miles at the spa in Pagosa Springs Wyndham Resorts

Without a doubt, we have some wonderful memories of vacations spent "at the time share".

But the idea that now we plan our vacations based on where we want to go, when we want to go, not where there is an RCI opening? needed to go, right?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Track Off Tales

Thing Two is off track. Both myself and hubby have been working (though Hubby was able to arrange a few work-from-home days). I offered this kid a variety of opportunities to do stuff with some of the local "off track" facilities. He wrinkled up his nose, convinced he wanted to be home alone. I figured he'd soon discover how boring this was and be a willing attendee. You know, natural consequences.

My plan? Has failed miserably. This kid not only enjoys being home, he's showing me in little ways just how responsible he can be when faced with a challenging situation.

  • First call came in earlier in the week, when he calmly announced "This is not a big emergency Mom, but um, I can't seem to get my finger unstuck". "Unstuck from WHAT I ask" (and yes, my voice cracked a little, just ask my co-worker who was trying hard not to giggle). "Well, you know that metal loop thing at the end of the saucepan". "yes?"..."Well, I can't get my finger out...oh wait...never's out...Bye!"
  • Next time, I pick up the phone and the little voice on the other end tells me 'the good new is, it didn't start a fire". Again, my voice cracks as I attempt to remain calm with my questioning. Turns out, Thing Two tried to fix some lunch (ramen noodles) and got distracted (big surprise, NOT). He soon discovered that water is a critical addition to the successful preparation of Top Ramen.
  • The final heart-stopping event was Thursday. I walked in the house soon after the Ramen incident, to discover this brave Thing standing by the back screen door, wimpy fly swatter in hand. As he tries to take on the dozen or so wasps that had flown into the kitchen when he put the scorched pan on the back porch. Good for him (and for my overall health) that the wasps this time of year are very weak (most have died off as the weather is getting cold at night) and thus were already near death as this boy tried to single-handedly fight them all off.

I have to admit...he's done really well and seems very proud of himself for having survived this experience. As for me, well...let's just say I really wish he'd have been bored.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

If it looks like a duck

Today, "Skippy" comes in (yes, Skippy of the Fire Alarm fiasco, not his real name, but trust me, close enough). With his always-worried TA (she's the type that would hear hoof beats and go looking for zebras. You know what I'm talking about). "He's just SOOO tired" she tells me. "And he's shaking....see????" (all I noticed was a young man, granted a bit tired looking, but looking just like he has all the other times I've seen him. many fries short of a full happy meal)

She then whispers "do you think he took something, you know, drinking or maybe even d.r.u.g.s.?" (yes, I kid you not, she spelled it out...'cuz Skippy can't spell. And never mind the fact that since the Alarm Fiasco, he's under direct adult supervision all school day).

I ask: "Skippy, why are you so sleepy today?"
"Well, Ms. Chang, it's because I didn't go to bed last night. See, I just can't turn off Cartoon Network. ESPECIALLY when Scooby Do is on. "

I'm sorry but all we have here is a sleepy child....whose parents might want to consider setting a timer on the t.v. (trust me, they make such things...just ask the Things in our house).

And as for the "what not to say at a 504 meeting"....if you are giving your child pain pills from YOUR stash, it's probably not a good idea to admit that to a room full of mandatory reporters...just sayin'...

Friday, October 01, 2010

If you name your child Skippy*

Do not be surprised, when he's 17, you receive a phone call from the school informing you that he has just pulled the fire alarm.

which resulted in the evacuation of some 2400 students and staff, right in the middle of first lunch period. Yeah, those poor kids who had life guard training were not a happy bunch to be standing outside in not much more than their suits and flip flops.

And yes, for the record, Skippy is cognitively impaired and had only recently earned the privilege to go to lunch without direct supervision. Um, not any more

(*and yes, I have changed Skippy's case for some remote reason, his parents found out I was blogging about him. Suffice to say, his given name is equally amusing and would result in a "somehow I'm not as surprised as I should be" giggle. Just ask Colleen-O or Mrs. Zimmer).

Tune in later...when I share the "what not to say at a 504 meeting"......

Friday, September 17, 2010

Power of the Peppermint

Today I had a meeting to attend. My new (and fabulous) health tech was holding down the fort. One of our frequent fliers came in reporting a tummy ache. She tossed him a peppermint and sent him back to class (see, I told you she was good).

Not long after this...we hear a radio call looking for Peppermint Boy. Seems he was AWOL.
We reported that no, we were not harboring this fugitive and the security team went searching for him.

Next thing I know, Peppermint Boy is back in our clinic. Only this time he is escorted by the Dean. Sure 'nuf, Peppermint Boy is higher than a kite. Seems he had a different idea on what would settle his upset tummy.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Open Letters

Dear Cowards:
No, we haven't forgotten. 9 years later, and the horror of that day lives on in our memories. Not only will we never forget, I will never forgive.
Proud Patriot

Dear Helicopter Mom
I'm so sorry that "someone" forgot to take the medicine out of your daughter's back pack. I hope by "someone" you really mean your daughter. Because, I've got 2399 other little darlings to worry about. I don't inspect the backpacks. That's the Dean's job. And trust me, he ain't looking for what your daughter is packing!
Weary School Nurse

Good Afternoon Mrs. Germaphobe
I'm so sorry to hear that Princess has strep. You say she caught it on the bus? Oh my bad, here I thought it was from the boy I saw her kissing last week. Sure, I can let the bus driver know she needs to disinfect her ride. But let's just be clear, if Princess ends up preggers, you probably might want to re-think my "germ theory".
Nurse Blunt

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Brought to you by the letter F

Today's entry is sponsored by the letter F...

Family: here we are, helping Janet and Oscar celebrate their wedding.

And Foolishness...

Foolishness is not limited to my Teen Thing.
Friday...where does one begin? With the young lady who came into the clinic, throwing up again. This marked the 3rd time in a week that she presented with such symptoms. I asked that touchy question "do you think you could be pregnant?" NO WAY, she replied, I can prove it. She apparently had just had a battery of blood tests done that ruled our pregnancy but confirmed chlamydia. "Do you think my medicine for my chlamydia is making me sick?
Fire Drills: should be a fun time, right?
Breaks up the routine of the day. Get outside and enjoy some fresh air on a cool morning?
Nope...soon after they made the all clear sign, security escorted the wounded to me.
Seems two boys decided that being outside,surrounded by peers and every administrator on campus, was a great time to have a fist fight. The kid with the split lip and the emerging black eye? Got hit by the kid with just one arm.
(seriously? you can't make this stuff up).
Ah, lunch is usually pretty slow in the nurse's office.
Not so today. Apparently, Wendy's was serving up something "special". Or so one of our regulars wanted us to believe. She was escorted to my clinic by the Deans. She stunk...yeah...THAT type of smell. She looked at me all dazed and confused
"Honest Miss, We went to Wendy's and someone else in the car smoked the pot"
Now granted, I've never smoked, pot or cigs...but it seems to me that of all the drugs out there,
pot is the one substance best enjoyed with others. You mean to tell me she smoked and didn't share? I find that impossible to believe.
The truth?
Was in her eyes, her smell and the fact that when asked to close her eyes and touch her nose
She quite a bit At this point, I lost it, and laughed..
This is the same young lady who last Spring also made a visit to my office. That time she admitted to having smoked some stuff. But, in her defense, well, it was her Mama's medicinal marijuana and Mama was in the hospital and thus getting the good stuff. She didn't want it to go to waste. Again, being a novice on this whole topic of pot, I didn't think weed "went bad".
These kids?
Do they really think we are that stupid?
Apparently so.
So now you can understand why this weekend,
I'm just resting, relaxing and re-grouping...
For the fun that awaits me when I return to work on Tuesday!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

What not to say...the school nurse edition

I may not hold as much power as some folks do in the high school hierarchy (office ladies and building engineers probably tie for the win in that category), but I do have some "pull". So, here's a brief crash course of What Not to Say when you need something from the nurse

  • Never should you start the conversation with "My daughter is a cheerleader". First of all, I wasn't nor do I care that she is a cheerleader (though the Big Cheese boss was, but that's not the reason I respect her leadership style). But, seriously, in my years of medical work, never has cheerleader been a major factor in any health related concern. When the mom continues on to state that Princess is passing out and needs to be able to bring a snack into the classroom, along with maybe some juice, I stop the mom right there. "I'll be happy to provide some sort of pass and note to the teachers if you can submit a note from her doctor that these things are medically indicated". Mom of course notes that well "they don't really know why she is doing this, so there isn't a diagnosis". Oh, I can help out with that part...perhaps it is because SHE"S A CHEERLEADER?!
  • Never should you start the conversation with "Well, I got my lip pierced yesterday". OK, if it is before class, during lunch or your off period, I might be willing to help you out. Last time I checked, body piercings of all types were elective. Elective means you don't need to miss class to get a bag of ice...and certainly not when you have had the previous 90 minutes off and never felt the need to come get some ice during your time.
  • Never should you claim to not have the funds to purchase "girl stuff" (it's only a quarter, and you've come in for the past 3 days without the quarter) and then immediately start to diss my selection of "stuff". Seriously? If you don't like what we've got, then perhaps bring your own (um, hello, this wasn't a Mother Nature surprise...Day 3 sistah...see that big backpack you've got? Am quiet certain there is room for one tiny kotex in there).

As you can see, we're back in school mode. In case you ever wondered, no...there is little if any "honeymoon period" to the foolish side of school nursing.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Thing Two goes to middle school right next door to my school. His day ends about 15 minutes after our high schoolers get out. The plan is that he is to come to my office and then we head home together.

This afternoon, he struts into my clinic, grinning from ear to ear saying "I'm sorry I was late, Mom...but I was delayed"

"Delayed?" I asked "by what?"

"The CHEERLEADERS!" he proudly announced.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ego tripping

It started when they invited me to join them for lunch...yeah, the cool kids let me in on where they all sit and eat lunch together. I hear that previous nurse NEVER reached this status with the office team.

Now today, I arrived to find a very sick teacher, surrounded by some concerned co-workers and administrators. We quickly sent her off to urgent care, when I remarked "my guess is it is kidney stones".

Sure enough, later on the boss lady comes to tell me "you were right, it was kidney stones". She was gushing in her praise of my assessment.

They think I'm a genius...oh my, it really does pay to be the only medical type in the building. Because seriously? it's a rather n0-brainer if it presents in a typical fashion.

Oh well...I'll gladly take another hit to the ego...
Yep, it's been a good week (even if I'm exhausted from sorting through thousands of pieces of paper without a tech to help me stay sane...)

Friday, August 06, 2010

You like what?

Driving with the Things this morning, the Teen-thing randomly blurts out "I like porn"

What? I try to remain calm...remember, this is the quirky Thing...things aren't always as they seem.

I replied with a "What did you say?"
He must have realized he goofed up as he quickly added "Oh, I meant I like the word porn".

"Now, son, what are you talking about?" (getting a little more worried where this conversation is headed)

Blushing he said," You know pictures of the girls".
heart starting to race a little faster, stay calm, don't frighten him off

"With or without clothes?" I cautiously ask

"Eww, Mom, that's gross...why would anyone like to look at pictures of girls without their clothes on?"

Ah...that's the answer I needed to hear. Crisis averted!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Career "firsts"

You'd think after working as a nurse on/off for 23 years, there would be few "firsts" still be experienced. I remember the first time the doctors ended up being younger than me. I remember the first time I had a male boss (nursing is still a mostly female profession, even military health care). And there were of course all the other standard nursing firsts: your first successful IV start on the first stick, your first med error (you will make one, it is only a matter of time), and of course your first patient death (which for me was followed by another death the next day, and two more the day after. Death does not come in just threes when you work on a geriatric medical surgical unit in the days before Hospice).

What's left? Well, my school a former cheerleader. Never would I have seen that coming. Nursing people tend to have been band geeks, or science freaks. Maybe a couple of us went out for a sport or two. But typically cheerleaders just aren't drawn towards blood and other bodily fluids.
And tonight is my other first....I have to attend a meeting at the school. The "all coaches" call. Yeah, me Miss non-sports fan sitting in a room full of jocks. But, we all need to know about the plans for rapidly responding to possible head off I'll go.

And to think that a team meeting is going to result in my missing Back-to-School night for the younger Thing. Never would I have predicted that...there is indeed...always a first!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

The truth is in the laundry...

Everyone warned me. Boys and their desire to bathe will diminish during the tween-teen years.
No, not Thing One. He loves his showers and his baths.

Um, yeah...even he has fallen off the shower wagon.

How did I discover it?
Folding laundry, I counted 7 pairs of boxers for the Hubby and 7 for the younger thing.

Anyone want to guess how many of Thing One's shorts I found?
TWO...two pairs....

Dude, take a shower...AND change your briefs!
Girls don't like a stinky boy...nor does your mama.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A new week

And a new set of adventures to be had.

For starters, you could say we were
Transformed by Chicago...
Nah, we just stumbled upon the filming of Transformers 3

Can you guess which Thing was most jazzed by this unexpected finding?

We found our way to the giant kidney bean...

Found ourselves being overwhelmed by all that the Museum of Science and Industry had to offer..

Next up...was the trip to the Top...

Where even the teen Thing went out on the ledge...

So, now we're on to a new day...
With the first stop, Soldier's Field
(sorry, no Bears were spotted)

We'd heard this place held a surprise or two...

Hello SUE!

So shy around cameras...

My turn to choose:

Another unexpected discovery..
(yes, he managed to fit his entire body in that box)
No rest of for the weary...
We're off to the Pier and some fireworks

And finally...we're almost ready to head home..
But first, let's kill some time with the critters at
the Lincoln Park Zoo

If you don't have girl Things, then the only shop on Michigan Ave.
worth stopping at is

And that folks, is a wrap...
Chicago is indeed a fabulous family friendly destination to check out!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

All in a week

So, last week we started out with this:Lining up for our Bike Parade

Pie Eating Contest

Can you guess who the winner was?
Despite the fun of the Fourth, the younger Thing was a tad jealous of his brother's new
Birthday Lego set.
When I suggested we sort the giant tub of mismatched parts

Well, you can see we were able to turn that frown upside down...

Celebrating both America's Birthday and the Thing becoming a teen
was not to mark the end of the week of fun

We attempted to infuse some education into the week...

But countless other families apparently had the same idea so we headed off for a picnic

Which included rock climbing

And some unplanned water fun...

Still not ready to call it a wrap, I loaded up just my Things and we headed for...

Hubby and the Russian Bride joined us as well...

The teen Thing fussed but at one point in the car ride up Trail Ridge road,
I heard him talking to the trees:
"Down in front, you trees! You are blocking my view!
See, I knew I just needed to get him unplugged for a wee bit...
I even made us all get out of our vehicles and we hiked to Alberta Falls.
Hold the applause, I suggested we take the short cut back that included a shuttle ride to the trail head.
I decided enough...Super Mom was hanging up her cape...
With one last parting shot for the blog.

*Keep this foolishness up, and I'll need to go back to work to REST!*

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

A perfect day

Not every day is perfect. But yesterday? Came about as close as you can ask for.

13 years before, Thing One made his entry into the world. At 0304 to be exact. Yesterday, he made a quite entry into the Teen Era. Yes, I said quiet. Hard to imagine if you have ever met this Thing in real life.
His birthday requests were equally low-key. He wanted a new lego set. He wanted chicken for breakfast. And he wanted to go for a motorcycle ride with his dad.
Ah, if only he'd bless us with such simple requests throughout the teen years.
Heavy rains on the 4th meant the neighbors played with their "illegals" on the 5th. Fireworks on his birthday after all! Way cool!
Hey, a girl can always hope, right?

But knowing that isn't possible, instead I shall savor the sweetness that was yesterday...his first day as a teenager!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Car Talk

What is about riding with just Thing Two that he decides NOW is the time to ask those tough questions?

Today's question: "Mom, why don't boys have periods?"
Um...pause...searching for the right words...
Good thing I stalled...because otherwise I'm sure I would have offered up too much information.

"Because you know, it isn't really fair...I hear the girls get to miss school when it starts. I want to miss school".

Friday, June 11, 2010

School's out...

On the first day of vacation: I took a nap
On the second day of vacation: I got a pedicure
On the third day of vacation: I read a book (cover-to-cover!)

School is out....and I couldn't be happier!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Mission accomplished!

On a crazy whim, I suggested to some of my on-line scrapbooking buddies, that we try do to a page a day in the month of May. While I didn't do a page EACH day, I did manage to create 33 pages this month. While I am proud of completing this task, I can also tell you that for now, I'm going to give scrapbooking a bit of break. Just a slight case of burn out is building! But fear not, I've got another crafty-challenge in mind for June. Join me....if you dare!

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