Friday, March 27, 2009

Recent fun stuff

Today Catherine had TWO firsts! This morning she said her first Spanish word without any prompting (ie: not repeating something for fun while watching Dora). I helped her with something and instead of saying thank you she said "gracias"! Wahoo! And then this evening she recognized her first letter! "B"! She can mostly sing her ABC's, and when she sees letters she'll sometimes exclaim "A-B-C-D!" But she's never recognized an individual letter before. I'm doing my excited and proud mom dance.

Random cute pictures:

upside down day

If you saw my Facebook status yesterday about my day turning upside down, here's the story. I was enjoying a leisurely day. I got to sleep in - really sleep in - for the first time in... I don't know, a year. I made my self breakfast and coffee, caught up on American Idol that I missed the night before, and then was trying to decide how I could productively use the next several hours before having to go to work.

I needed to get started on nursing applications, so I pulled up the information for the school that has the deadline coming up a little too soon. I'd been frustrated already with this application process because they require that you go to this information session to get the application materials. It makes sense, and quite helpful, except that the last scheduled session was 6 weeks ago, with no word about scheduling another date before the deadline. I pulled up the information, and suddenly I see that they scheduled a last minute session - that afternoon - making it my last opportunity to be able to apply. Which meant that the rest of my afternoon was instantly shot. I had to get ready to leave early enough because the meeting was up in Poulsbo, about an hour north of here. And I had to rearrange my work schedule at the last minute. Ugh.

So that's why my day was turned upside down. And the most frustrating thing of all is that it turns out I'm not going to apply. The number of sequential hoops that need to be jumped through in order to have everything completed in 3 days, with a 99% chance (estimated of course) of me not even having a shot of getting in. Yeah right. I would still be optimistic and apply anyways, but one of the things I learned is that all of the nursing classes are taught at this far away campus, not the more reasonably close campus. It's just inconceivable.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Oh yeah. Have I not mentioned my Twilight addiction? Well, now I have.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The final of all finals

It's official. I'm done. Before the next stage of course. It's funny how finally finding the light at the end of one tunnel only allows you to see the entrance to another tunnel. But what I mean is that I am officially done with my prerequisites. The whole list is crossed off, and now I only need to start begging to nursing schools to let me in.

After being a mean little ball of stress for the last 2 weeks, my final grades showed that the stress and hard work paid off. Which reminds me, I apologize to anyone who I have neglected or simply been mean to in the last couple weeks. Hopefully you understand it was all for a good cause? And I intend to make it up to you.

The end of this class was similar to other classes, what with the endless hours of studying and banging my head on various hard surfaces. But the final moment had a different air about it. I handed my completed final exam to the prof, walked out the door into an empty hallway, and took a deep breath. It was a moment riddled with various emotions that I wasn't prepared for. Relief: I'm done, I survived! Triumph: I conquered the mountain! Apprehension: I wonder how I did? Anxiety: Oh boy, now for nursing school applications and stressing when and if I'll get in. And finally, sadness: I have grown to love this class. As much as it made me want to kill myself at times, I love it. I love the teacher. I love my classmates. We've all been working together now for over 6 months. I got to know nearly everyone in the class, and became dear friends with a few. And it was time to say goodbye. With all of this surging through my head, I didn't know whether to cheer or cry. I wound up doing a combination of both.

So... next. Once again I am faced with reality. (ditto to all said here, just minus the Christmas decorating. Yes, I'm purposely not excluded the unpacking)

Back to "normal". I'll be catching up on everything in the next couple of weeks. If I haven't been in touch with you, I hope that you'll get a phone call from me soon. Thank you everyone for the positive thoughts, prayers, and other various methods of support. It means so much to me and really helped me through everything. I'll still be needing all of this in the next few months, as I go through several tedious application processes, and then much more when I start the insanity that is nursing school. I suppose the appropriate term is "stay tuned". =)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Catherine update

I've been begging myself to catch up with the Catherine update for weeks! So here's what she's been up to:

We had her 2-year doctor's checkup. (it was a month ago, but I'm catching up) Stats: Height 35.25 inches; weight 31.5 (80th and 90th percentiles, respectively) Perfectly healthy, besides her persistent dry skin. Sorry sweetheart, you get that from me. The doctor was super, super impressed by her. She complemented her language skills, vocabulary, problem solving, behavior - the whole package And on the development checklist (activities and skills that she can or can't do), she was at the 3-4 years level. I still haven't come down from that boost of pride!

She really is an amazing conversationalist for a 2 year old. She surprises me more and more each day. She's talking mostly in sentences now. Her vocabulary is huge, but I'm noticing how much more she's throwing in the "in between" words like 'and', 'that', 'it'. She's been experimenting with pronouns and past tenses, too. I feel like half of the time I'm with her I'm just staring at her with my jaw to the ground.

Today I realized how much she's grasping the flow of stories. She was walking around with one of her little books that is "humpty dumpty". And with each page, she wanted to tell me what the picture was. "He falling" was the picture of him just falling off the wall. "He fall down" was the picture of him at the bottom of the wall. "He crying" was the next page (when I asked why he was crying, she said "he has owie"). "He all better" was the picture of the horses coming to help. And then she would flip back to the beginning to the picture with him sitting on top of the wall and she said "he back up again". Cutest thing.
Catherine is continuing to embrace her toddlerhood and wants to fight about something new each day. I try to remind myself that it's natural and I fight along with her, fighting to go with the flow. Her favorite tantrum move is jumping up with both feet and throwing herself down on her knees. It makes me wince every time she does it, but I have to stifle a laugh, too.
Another sign that she's my child (my mom will crack up at this). Her crazy, curly hair is getting pretty long. When I brush it, I can pull it half way down her back. Being an active toddler, her hair gets pretty tangled. And naturally she is getting more vocal about not wanting her hair fussed with. I still get to brush it, but putting it up in a pony tail or anything? She won't have it. It might last 5-10 minutes, but then she complains "no ponytail!" and pulls it out. Sigh. I might actually need to get it cut.
Yesterday morning I'm trying to drag myself out of bed, Stephen is up and getting ready and he has the door open. I hadn't heard Catherine get up yet, but suddenly I hear her calling "Mommy, I wake up!" Oh boy.

talk about a bad hair day - this is what her crazy hair looks like the morning after a bath

at Sarah's baby shower - my beautiful little 2 year old girl

conflicting memories

I was reminded this morning that yesterday was the wedding anniversary of 2 good friends of ours. I smiled as I thought of their wedding 7 years ago, how great that time was, and how happy I am for them, as I always have been.

But then my smile faded a little and I groaned to myself.

I have to admit that I have conflicting memories of that time 7 years ago.

It was the first (and the last) wedding that Stephen and I have ever been to... uninvited. Ouch! Yes, confession is out. Well, I should say semi-uninvited. I learned my lesson that day - never attend a wedding with invitation only from someone OTHER than the bride or groom. Never. And especially not when the bride can kick your ass.

I do feel bad about that, and I don't think that I've ever been able to fully grovel and make up for it, mainly because I can be a wimp when it comes to confrontation. But what I've never been able to explain is how unbelievably significant that weekend was for me. Without going to that wonderful wedding that weekend...

Stephen and I had only been dating for a few weeks. I'd already pretty much made up my mind that I was going to marry him someday (whew! I was right!). This was our first trip away together. It was only in Portland, so it wasn't supposed to be very long. But his car broke down and we wound up spending the night until we could be rescued in the morning. Jen and Phil came that morning for said rescue, and it was on the trip back that I really got to know them for the first time. Since then I've been inseparable with his family.

Perhaps the biggest significance for me was that it was sitting in that church waiting for the ceremony to begin that I decided I wanted to convert to Catholicism. Stephen is Catholic, and I kept asking questions about everything symbolic in the church. I probably sounded like a 4 year old: "what's that?" "why?", over and over. When I told him, Stephen was concerned that I was wanting to make the commitment for him, but he didn't understand that it wasn't about him at all; it was about me and my search for my faith. I'd been wandering around this search for a few years, not knowing what I was really looking for. But it was sitting in that church that I realized for the first time: I'm home.

Setting aside the nature of how we wound up there in the first place, I couldn't be more grateful that we were there. It changed my life. So, thank you. And happy anniversary.