31 May 2010

The Madness has Begun

Accelerated BSN Option definition per the Saint Louis University website: The Accelerated BSN Option is an intensive three-semester, 12-month bachelor of science in nursing degree program designed for students who already have a bachelor's degree in another area of study.

See the seventh word in that sentence?

Major understatement. Major. Major major major.

I just completed my first week of the summer semester, and in doing so, feel like I've run seventeen consecutive marathons on three hours sleep.

(Good news: I'm not the oldest one in the class! There's a handful of 40, 50 and even a couple 60-year-old students. Yay from the girl who will be 30 in November.)

Let me break it down for you. The summer semester is nine weeks split into two sessions. The first half of summer consists of four classes, meaning I have mid-terms in two weeks. TWO WEEKS. Practicums are in four weeks (!!) and are pass/fail. Kinda need to know our stuff in order to start clinicals, right? Right now our classes are mostly lecture, with skills labs on Thursday and Friday afternoons. And when I say lecture, I mean sitting on your tookus from 8am - 12pm, then an hour for lunch, then another hour or so of lecture before going off to labs. The professors are very, very good at what they do and are surprisingly entertaining, so it's really not as bad as it sounds. (Kind of. Pharmacology for three straight hours every Friday morning? Coffeecoffeecoffeecoffee...)

The second half of summer (around the 4th of July or so until the beginning of August) consists of two classes along with clinicals in OB/Maternity.

Here's how I think that will play out.

SLU students walk into assigned care areas: "Hello, hormonal pregnant woman. You don't know me from Adam, but I'm a student with absolutely zero experience other than what I've learned in four crammed weeks in our skills labs, and I'm here to take care of you and your unborn child."

Now, for those of you who totally don't pick up on my dry sense of humor and sarcasm, I know that's not what will happen. SLU, if anything, is uber-preparing us for clinicals. Their nursing school is one of the top in the nation, and they're not about to let us go out there and sink or swim and totally poo up the reputation of the program. I have total faith that, yes, while I'm freaking out right now, I'll be much more confident and ready to hit the hospital floors (with instructor overseeing everything and holding our hand for the first semester) when it's time for clinicals.

So far, it's really been pretty great. Sure, it's a lot of work (um, that's what accelerated means, right?) but it's completely doable. I mentioned to my family that this is bachelor level work. It's not master's - been there, done that. The diploma's on the wall. It's not PhD level...maybe one day. But seriously. Bachelor-level work is so doable! It's just, well, accelerated. Our second day of class we had assignments due by midnight that same night. We have lots of reading and supplemental videos to watch that go hand-in-hand with our gazillion textbooks. We have papers due and more assignments this next week. Yes, it's a LOT. And yes, it's completely up to you whether you're actually going to read and watch the videos and check into Blackboard where our professors have posted more supplemental articles and notes. That takes a lot of organization and determination to hold yourself accountable to actually do it. But like I said...a lot of this is no-brainer stuff. I can do this.

I give thanks to my Jesus and my planner. And my Google calendar that pops up reminder notes on my computer and phone.

I also love and give thanks to my family. Seriously - without these people creating such an awesome support system, there is NO WAY I would be able to do this.

M is incredible. He's been texting little "thinking of you" and "hope you're having a good day" and "you're still not practicing IV's on me" notes throughout the week. Despite the fact that we're living apart from each other and hope to see each other on weekends as much as possible (with away and out-of-state baseball tourneys every weekend in June and July, this might get kinda tricky), we're both so busy that there's really been no time to sit and dwell on it. I'll call him on my way home from class, and he'll call me right before bedtime. My beloved spouse has hilarious opinions about those "OMG, I can't let you out of my sight for a SINGLE MINUTE!!" couples. It makes me laugh and praise my Jesus that He saw fit to unite two very independent people in marriage. Our love is so stinkin' strong that this is not going to break us at all. (Wow, how sappy was that??) If anything, we're going to grow closer than ever. Distance makes the heart grow fonder and all that stuff. (Sorry, sappy again. I just love my man. Deal with it.)

And my new awesome friend Amanda happens to be in the exact same situation...she is doing the AO program and her husband lives 2.5 hours away as well, but on the Illinois side. It's great to have a friend who is so much like you and knows what you're going through (and what it's going to be like to pack your car on a Thursday night and pray to God that you get out of class early on Fridays so you miss rush hour so you can get home to your husband faster). The first day of class we were both talking about our likes/dislikes/study habits/husbands/dogs...it is SCARY how much we are alike. Our dads are both named Jim, too. Freaky.

Major kudos goes out to Tom, Gretchen, Libby, Katie (and Jon when he's home) are my awesome cousins who are letting me bunk with them for an entire year so I can be closer to the city for classes. I was very, very apprehensive about asking them for this humongous favor (a year is a long time!), but they absolutely didn't think anything of it. They've folded me into the household like I've lived there for years. For real - I even swept and vacuumed their living room for Libby's graduation party the other day. I was afraid we'd all be like, "excuse me, pardon me, hope I'm not in your way..." But it's so not like that. Family is family, and we can all just walk around the house in our PJ's together. And watch Cardinal's baseball when the Pharmacology homework is done.

Now that my first week is over and I have a feel for what this program is going to be like, I think I'm going to be able to go into this next week much more relaxed and ready to roll. That was one piece of advice from a previous AO student who emailed me a couple weeks ago - just take it a week at a time. You'll go nuts if you look much further beyond that.

I have today off for Memorial Day. M and I have pretty much just spent the entire weekend watching TV and relaxing, aside from the couple hours I spent getting some homework done. I'll head back to the city this afternoon - Libby and I have a man to see about some horses. A man, meaning my uncle (and who is Libby's grandfather) who lives about 15 minutes from them, and horses meaning the new horses he just purchased that we just have to see. I'll definitely post pictures. I still have what could be considered a 12-year-old girl's obsession with horses. And I will never give that up. :)

I made some lemon-blueberry baked oatmeal to take back with me for easy, portable breakfasts this week, and I think I might make some black bean soup as well. One of our skills professors told us to think of this program as training for a marathon (a concept I can totally relate to, so yay!) - we need to get our sleep, eat healthy and generally take care of ourselves so we don't get worn out or make ourselves sick.

Sick people can't do clinical rotations.

And not doing clinical rotations means you're pretty much out of the program.

Obviously, that wouldn't be a good thing.

Except I can't stop looking at the Peanut Butter Captain Crunch M has sitting on the kitchen counter. Mmmmm....sugary cereal with no nutritional value. Why do I crave you so?

22 May 2010

Where Loyalties Lie

"I admire your loyalty to the man who saved your life," she said. "He was a hero. But he's not a hero anymore. The man who blew up the post office and ran me off the bridge and caught your house on fire is not the same man who saved your life in Vietnam."
"Tell me about it," he said, swinging around to face her. "He gave his life for me, and that means something to me."
"I know," she said. "It means something to me, too. I'm a Christian. I know about someone giving His life for me."
"No, you don't." He pulled his chair back out and plopped into it, looking smugly across the table at her. "You don't know about that. If you did, it would change every area of your life. Not a day would go by, not an hour, that you weren't thankful for what he did for you. You'd wear it like a robe. It would be all over your face. His light would shine out of you. But you don't." ...
..."How much time do you spend each day studying God's Word?" The question came like a spear through the air, impaling her right through the heart.
"I'm a busy woman..."
"When life is normal," he said. "How much time? Fifteen minutes? Thirty?"
"Sometimes." She said.
"Just think about it," he said. "A man gave his life for you, and you mostly ignore him."
"I do not ignore him! I'm in church three times a week..."
"So you think he died for you so you could walk in and out of his house three times a week? ... Because I pointed out that you can't possibly understand my loyalty to the man who saved my skin, since you obviously don't have much for the one who saved yours?"

~excerpt from Word of Honor by Terri Blackstock
Thoughts I'm challenging myself with this week:
  • Where do my loyalties lie? What am I choosing to let become more important than God? Luke 16:13 - You cannot serve two masters. You will end up hating one and being devoted to the other. If I choose to focus on something other than my relationship with God, I'm choosing a different master. It's ok to focus on school, work, family...just be sure to include God.
Something I once heard that is amazing and true:
Make a list of your priorities in order.
1. God
2. Family/Spouse
3. School
4. Running/Training
To fix my list:
1. God
2. Family/Spouse + GOD
3. School + GOD
4. Running/Training + GOD
When you make your priorities, don't just stick God at the top of the list. Include him in EVERY ASPECT of your life! When you don't include him in all you do, that's when you open yourself up to life getting in the way and rearranging the priorities before you can even realize what's going on. You don't want to risk God ending up at the bottom. If He's included all the way through, He won't be moved aside!
And when I say "you," I totally mean "me." Completely preaching at myself here. I have to write things down to make them stick sometimes.

20 May 2010

Unemployment. It kinda rocks.

Friday was my last day of gainful employment. It was kind of fun.
For starters, this is what I walked into on my last day of work:
Yeah. I almost started crying.
Then, my co-worker Sarah brought the most wonderful thing in the world in.
No. Those are not yellow roses. Those are CUPCAKES. Cupcakes that LOOK like FLOWERS.
I think it's a great way to eat sugar and flour and butter and more sugar. People just glancing by think it's a houseplant, when in all honesty there's a gaping hole in the backside where you devoured three of the cupcakes...but no one can see.
Gluttony in secret. That's the best kind.
Then my boss surprised me with a going-away party that afternoon. Know what that means?
More cake.
Notice the cake with the paw-prints on it? It's nice to work with people who know you so well.
Or should I say, put up with my dog obsession and kindly humor me to my face.
I was really looking forward to this week being my "slothful-do-nothing-but-stay-in-pajamas-and-eat-cake" week before starting nursing school. There were plenty of leftovers, but I felt guilty hording all the desserts. I gave one cake to our EMT's before I left and the other cake went to our neighbors so I wouldn't be too gluttonous.
I kept the cupcakes and had them for breakfast though. Someone had to do it.
M wanted me to rest this week. Rest, relax and get ready for the stressfullness that will be nursing classes 8am - 4pm Monday through Friday for the next year, not including clinical hours and study time. And dealing with St. Louis traffic, which is quite different than my one-stoplight town I'm currently used to.
So here's what actually happened.
Monday. I stayed in my PJ's until 9am, then realized I was bored out of my mind. I ended up going into town to get some stuff done, cleaned (some of) the house and then started packing. Ran three miles with Stefanie. Unpacked then repacked, getting nervous that I'm going to forget something.
Tuesday. Ran two miles, then got ready to go to our first round of District games out in Hartville. Had multiple anxiety attacks since we were down 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh inning. About died when we hit a homerun then got another run in to tie the game. We ended up winning 4-3 in extra innings, after which I felt like I had run seventeen marathons back-to-back. I get way to emotionally involved in this stuff.
I came home after the game to mow since our weather forecast is less-than-favorable for the next couple days. Since we'd gotten buckets of rain the week before, lets just say it's been awhile since we've mowed. The dogs were getting lost in the yard.
Thankfully, our neighbors offered to let me use their zero-turn riding mower rather than painfully watch me struggle with our push-mower through the jungle.
I. Want. One.
Anyone have $3000 laying around so we can invest in an awesome riding mower? That thing was FUN. Sure, I almost ran into a tree and our yard is completely mowed in squiggly lines, but hey. The entire yard was mowed and done in THIRTY MINUTES. It takes me two days with the push mower!! It went so fast that it was comparable to riding a go-cart around the yard. I think I actually let out a whooo hooo!! a couple times.
Then I officially turned into a townie.
Driving the mower down the street in front of God and everybody to return it to it's rightful owners is a feat that everyone should experience at least once in their life.  
I'm so country.
Country with my khaki capri pants and flip flops and giant sparkly sunglasses. That's appropriate mowing attire, isn't it?
Wednesday. I went back into town to finalize our baseball fundraiser cookbook (post on that coming soon), had lunch with a friend and then we went to Lowe's for an hour to look at plants. I hate that I haven't planted my tomatoes this year, but I just didn't feel that planting them and then leaving them would be such a good idea. I don't think that M would want to (ah-hem, remember to) take care of them while I'm gone, since he absolutely hates tomatoes. He would probably watch them die in glee.
Strawberry plants, he would love. Tomatoes, definitely not.
Needless to say, this week hasn't been completely restful. But that's ok. Things are getting done around the house, and today is a perfect gloomy-rainy-stay-inside-and-read day.
And now I want cake.
With all this free time on my hands (for three more days) I think I might try to make this tomorrow. Chocolate = calcium. And that's good for you.
Trust me on this. I'll be a nurse in a year.

12 May 2010


Wednesday. Thursday. Friday.

Those are the only days I have left until I say good-bye to my desk job and head back to school.

I know you're all keeping count.

Know what I counted today?

40 sixth graders traipsing through the hospital for 6th Grade Career Day. Headed up by the Marketing Department.

Which would be me.

Which is why I'm quitting my public relations career and heading back to school for something else.

Actually, the kiddos were really fun. They asked lots of intelligent questions - What do you do when there's a tornado in the hospital? Do you know my cousin/sister/uncle-twice-removed that works in (fill in the department)? What are we having for lunch? - and did great on the tours of various departments. The x-ray of some guy's abdomen with a house key in it was the highlight of the day. Kudos to our awesome Medical Imaging Department. They never disappoint.

But as I observed the students, one resounding question kept coming back to me over and over.

When did sixth grade girls start wearing mascara, eyeliner and heavy eyeshadow? And why does it look so much better than mine?

I wasn't allowed to wear makeup until a year after I got married.

Sort of. It just felt that long. I felt like I was the only high school freshman that didn't know how to put on mascara. (Actually, to this day I still don't wear the stuff. That wand thing coming at your eyeball is freaky.) Even clear lip gloss was a no-no...I was second chair trumpet. A serious wind musician never puts a foreign substance on her lips if she cares anything about the inside of her horn.

I just don't understand why a sixth grade girl would need to have perfected the Smokey Eye at that age.

And why they would look at me weird when I asked them if they could teach me.

I end up looking like a raccoon every time.

11 May 2010

Mother's Day Project Unveiled!

Now that all of the Mother's Day presents have been sent and opened, I can post about the awesomeness that was this year's gift idea.
Picture blocks that spell things!
I originally got the idea after looking through various pages on Etsy and had an "I can soooo do that!" moment in front of my computer. Especially since they were selling for $50 a set. (I'm now taking orders for picture blocks. $50 a set.:))
12 blocks of wood, sawdust all over the living room and one can of acrylic sealant (the odor of which still lingers in the kitchen) later, the project is complete. 
Here's what you need:
Enough wooden blocks to go along with what you're trying to spell - I went to our local lumber store and asked for scrap pieces of 2x4's.
Things to sand with - sandpaper and a Dremel works great for rounding edges.
Paint - I used spraypaint because it dries so fast.
Decoupage glue
Foam brush
Acrylic sealant 
Photoshop software
A good printer
First of all, if you do what I did and get the wood from a lumber store, they're going to be pretty rough. You'll want to sand down the edges, which in turn coats your entire living room with sawdust.
Why did I sand everything inside? Because The Office reruns were on.
Next, give them all a nice coat of whatever paint color you want. I chose black because I did the photos in B&W.
That's an old towel we use for the dogs. It's now in the trash.
I then re-sanded the front edges of the blocks to give them an antique-y look.
Next is where it's tricky if you don't know how to use a computer. I took old photos of me and my sister (M and his brother for my mom-in-law's blocks) and touched them up in Photoshop. I shadowed the edges, brightened some of the shadows in the pictures, then used some of my favorite fonts to create the letters. The letters got a nice little glow to help them pop. Important - measure your blocks before you start working on the pictures! You don't want to have to cut someone's forehead off just to get the photo to fit right. Print them out on regular printer paper and start cutting.
My favorite picture is the "O" - the obligatory bathtub shot. That's my sister, the conehead. Very fitting.
Next, get all your supplies ready. This after I cut the picture down to make it fit the face of the block.
Take your decoupage glue and spread it all over the face of the block. You will, without a doubt, get some on your fingers. That's part of the fun!
Once the block is coated, gently...GENTLY press the photo on top. GENTLY. Use a Popsicle stick to smooth the photo - you don't want any wrinkles. This is also tricky...smooth too much, and the paper becomes wet from the glue and might rip.
Let this dry. For real. Don't get in a hurry like I did and try to add the coats of decoupage and then have to rip the picture off and start all over again. Drying in between steps is mucho importante!!
This is the one I messed up. You're supposed to add a bunch of coats of the decoupage glue to set the photo, but not before everything beneath it dries. See the wrinkles? See how the color is coming off of my face? That's what happens when the paper gets too wet and you don't let it dry between steps. Dry! Dry dry dry!
Patience is not one of my virtues. (Amen, says my mother.)
Through trial and error, here is the finished project. I think it turned out ok.
Ignore the "E" photo - I took this picture before I re-did the wrinkly mess. But you can still get the whole effect of the blocks.
If you look carefully at the "A" photo in the Walters' blocks, you'll see my husband as a little punk at Disney World. He and his brother are standing in front of the castle and his brother is smiling like a good little boy...while M has a complete look of pure attitude on his face and stands there with his arms crossed.
Kind of like our wedding pictures.
So happy Mother's Day to all of the mothers out there! I hope you all had a fantastic Sunday. xoxo

08 May 2010

Trees for Textbooks

So what happens when an almost 30-year-old decides to go back to school? 
She grabs her mommy for moral support and they spend a day in St. Louis buying textbooks, getting a parking permit and student ID, drive to seedy (read: scary) parts of the city for the obligatory nursing school fingerprinting and background checks and have some fabulous Mexican food for lunch. 
This is what ONE SEMESTER worth of nursing textbooks looks like: 

I still have three books yet to get, but I'm getting them from one of my favorite places: Chegg.com.
Let's hear it for renting by the semester! With free return shipping!
The best part of renting textbooks from Chegg is that they let you know how many trees you are saving by not contributing to the reproduction of paper products - and you get to pick where your trees are planted. They ask:

Where would you like your tree planted?
Then you get a map of the world with a couple choices that include a brief history lesson.
Guatemala - For years Guatemala has been a victim of deforestation and slash-and-burn farming. Jaguars, ocelots, scarlet macaws, and howler monkeys make their home in the country's tropical forests, which serve as a refuge for rare and endangered species. The main threats to Guatemala's tropical forests are improper agricultural practices, natural disasters and large-scale development projects.
Lake Tahoe - In 2007 the Angora Fires destroyed more than 250 structures and burned approximately 2,700 acres of National Forest System land around Lake Tahoe. The American ReLeaf project is working to remedy this damage.
CameroonOver 50% of Cameroonians depend on the forest directly or indirectly for their livelihoods. The forest is home to endemic species, many of which are endangered, including the Mount Cameroon francolin, the African forest elephant, and the timber species. In recent years, however, there has been significant habitat loss and fragmentation as a result of subsistence and commercial farming. 
Without even thinking, I immediately chose Guatemala. After spending a month in Panama back during my SBU days, I've been in love with Central America and it's people ever since. I didn't really read through the other choices...until a light went off in my head. Um, yeah. M's uncle and his family lives in Cameroon as career missionaries. I know that. I just prayed for them today. And yet I completely blanked out when I saw that as a choice for the trees. Oops. Well, there are still two more semesters of books I'll need. They'll totally get their trees. 
After submitting my choice, I got this message from Chegg: 
Congratulations! Your trees will be planted in Guatemala through the American Forests Global ReLeaf program.
At least there is some good (that, and I saved $141.38 by renting) that will come from me having to haul 300 lbs of textbooks around on my back.

05 May 2010

An Actual Post about Baseball

In honor of our AWESOME win against West Plains last night (10-0 if anyone was keeping score - and WP is way bigger than us so that's a double bonus), I decided it was time to actually honor the title of this blog and post some baseball things.
As a Baseball Wife, I guess I need to be more aware of our team once in awhile.
My bad.
I wasn't actually at the game - someone has to stay home and push-mow our entire acre of land so we don't look like "those" kind of neighbors - but M was pretty excited for the whole five seconds I saw him last night. He rushed home after the game to get laundry detergent (don't ask) and then he ran back to the school to do stats, and apparently, laundry.
I'm not sure what time he got home. I like to be asleep sometime before midnight.
Anyway, I hope you like these pictures. They were taken by Scott Kimrey, a dad of one of the baseball players. I wish I could take credit for these great shots, but Scott is the professional. He's been taking pictures all season long, so this is a collection of shots from the past couple months.
M explaining how the game is played. Sometimes I think they forget.
Tyler Hunt (great pitcher, awesome catcher!) warming up on the mound. Lord knows what they're laughing about. And Lord knows I probably don't want to know.
M explaining the game again. He likes to talk with his hands.
Before the game huddle.  
I love this shot! They look so dedicated. And dirty.
Tyler Lavely. Great pitcher, great kid.  
Tyler Hunt trying not to get tagged out at first. He makes it look so easy.  
JV team - great picture!
They like to congregate on the mound and watch the pitcher warm up. It's apparently fun to make Grant nervous right in the middle of a game.
M has district seed meetings today, a game tonight, sports banquet tomorrow and another game on Friday. One more home game next week, and then districts start.
And people wonder why I never see my husband.
If you want to see the website M put together for the team, click HERE. He even included a handy little stats key for people like me who have no clue what things like "OBP" and "SLG" means.

04 May 2010

Tempeh Attempt

As a fairly new vegetarian (going on three months!), I’ve been trying to scout out different forms of protein that I can add to my diet.


A girl can only take so many black beans and edemame.
Let me rephrase that.
A girl cannot live on sunchips and cinnamon rolls alone.


When I was in Springfield this past weekend, I made my way over to my favorite store in the world, Mama Jean’s. Mama Jean’s is an all-natural market that is just, well, amazing. I knew they would have plenty of options that I could try. Some of my all-time favorites have come from that store - bulk bins of whole wheat couscous, jars of maple almond butter, and my standby toast of choice - Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin Bread.


In my search for cruelty-free protein, I’d read about this stuff called tempeh and seiten, and while it sounded pretty funky, I figured I would give it a try. One unexpected bonus – tempeh is really cheap! Like $2 a pack. That makes me happy.


So what exactly is tempeh? Basically, it’s a high-protein food of Indonesian origin made from partially cooked, fermented soybeans.


Mmmmm. Moldy soybeans. Doesn’t that sound delicious??
Nutritionally, it's pretty great. For 1/3 of the package, it has only 160 calories, 7g fat, ZERO cholesterol (take that, red meat!) 9g carbohydrates, 3g fiber and 16g protein.
I decided to try the West Soy original tempeh. It came in a little refrigerated pack, much like a package of hot dogs.
When you take it out of the pack, however, it does not resemble hot dogs in the least. More like bumpy cheese.
According to a recipe I decided to try, you're supposed to cut or slice the tempeh like you would chicken, then steam it for 10 minutes in a pot of boiling water on the stove. Tempeh is pretty bland and boring on it's own - marinating is a MUST. For my first tempeh attempt, I decided on one of my favorite food groups: Chinese.
What can be better than green peppers, onions and pineapple in a soy sauce? I figured that if the tempeh was absolutely disgusting, the pineapple would make up for it.
Here's my recipe (you all know I don't measure when I cook, so have fun trying to recreate this.):
Pineapple Stir-Fry Tempeh
1 pkg tempeh, cubed (or sliced) and steamed
2 small onions
2 green peppers
1 can pineapple chunks
Minced garlic
Ground ginger
1/2 C. tamari (soy sauce) - actually could use less. It's pretty salty.
5-6 T. pure maple syrup (Not sugary pancake syrup. This stuff is the Real Deal.)
Some water (about 1/4 C.)
A little bit of olive oil
Black pepper
Whisk all the marinade ingredients together in a dish. Place the sliced and steamed tempeh in the marinade, cover and refrigerate overnight.
Spray a skillet or saucepan (you'll need something with sides) with cooking spray. Take tempeh out of the marinade and put the pieces in the skillet over high heat, but reserve the liquid. Brown the tempeh on each side for a couple minutes, then take it out of the skillet and set aside. Pour the marinade into the skillet and add green peppers and onions. Let simmer for a little bit until veggies soften. Add pineapple, including juice. Bring to a boil. Mix a little cornstarch with water, then drizzle in the pan. Stir until it thickens to however thick you like it.
Put the tempeh in a bowl and spoon some of the veggie/pineapple mixture over it. 

It's not a very good picture, but the tempeh and veggies were really good! It was a little chewy like chicken, and the marinade was good. I will definitely use less soy sauce next time...it was really, really salty. In my opinion, I would have liked it to have more of a pineapple flavor. I think next time I'll use pineapple juice and less soy sauce in the marinade.
Next up: attempting to use seitan.
Wow. Spellcheck just tried to tell me "seitan" should be spelled "satan." I bet M would wholeheartedly agree.
He wasn't at home last night to witness my dinner creation. There was a baseball game a million miles away that I just didn't have the energy to drive to after work. 
I'm such a good, dedicated coach's wife.
Plus, I'm in the middle of making some freaking AWESOME Mother's Day gifts that are a little time-consuming, but you'll have to wait until after Sunday to see what it is so I don't ruin the surprise. M saw them on the counter this morning and said, "That's really, really good!!" That made me happy.
I spent almost all night working on the project since SOME people's mothers live two states away and the post office doesn't really like it when you stand at their counter and say things like, "What?? Why can't you get it there in 15 minutes?? I don't understand!!" Goal: get it mailed by tomorrow with gigantic signs that have warnings like Don't Open Until Sunday or Else You Will Never See Your Grandpuppies Again!! (Actually, the grandpuppy excuse would probably backfire. See my previous post for more clarification. My in-laws bought us that chair. Oops.)
On top of being a good, dedicated coach's wife, I'm an excellent daughter-in-law. (sarcasmscarcasmsarcasm)
Question of the Day: What's your favorite meat-free recipe?

01 May 2010

Storm Damage

I tried to be nice last night.
And you know what happens when you try to be nice? It comes back and bites you in the pants.
Very, very much in the pants.
It all started when I was getting ready to leave for our away baseball game yesterday afternoon. I was positive that as soon as I got there the game would be cancelled from the massive storms that were headed our way - we were even under a tornado watch with the possibility of heavy rains, flooding and nickle-sized hail.
You know. A beautiful night for a baseball game.
So I thought I would be nice. 
Instead of leaving the dogs outside in their run under the carport, I thought it would be better if they stayed inside just in case the lightening and tornadoes got really bad. Last time storms came through we had limbs down in the yard - I don't want the dogs to get hurt by storm damage.
"Seriously," I thought to myself, "how much damage can three couch-potato dogs do?" 
Turns out, a lot.
I'm almost hesitant to post the pictures. Actually, I'm very hesitant to post the pictures. The pictures are very much like I think the end of the world will look like as depicted in the Book of Revelation.
It's that awful. 
It's one of those things where you walk in the door and look around. You don't see anything amiss so you let your guard down and think "Alright! Nothing happened. No accidents. No blood and fur. Everything was fine."
Then you go into the next room. 
And see this. 
See the chair in the middle of the room? That's our very, very heavy chair-and-a-half recliner.
That is not it's normal parking spot. Not even close.
Man, they had a good time, didn't they? A little puppy party when I was only gone for three hours.  
I just stood there. I was proud of myself - I didn't scream, I didn't freak. I just stood there and thought, "Ok. Ok. Oooookkkkkkaaaayyyy. Well, what now?"
My other thought was that I needed to clean it up before Matt got home or else there'd be four of us sleeping in the kennel for the next week.
First order of business: move the chair back to it's rightful position. I figured they ripped apart a blanket, tossing fluff every which way and having a grand old time.
Yeah. It wasn't a blanket. Not even close. Guess what I saw when I walked around to start pushing the chair back to the other side of the room?
Once again, I just stood there. I couldn't speak. I couldn't think. My mother's voice popped into my head. I could seriously hear her saying something along the lines of "Oh Addie. Can't you have anything nice? You should have thought about this when you wanted three dogs."
I think I started giggling out of pure hysterics.
What else are you going to do? Matt and I came to a conclusion a long time ago that has done wonders for our relationship. If something like this happens, why freak? Why scream? Why get all worked up over something that already happened? Matt always says you can't go back in time to change anything, so you just make the best of it and move forward. It's all about how you choose to react.
You can either make a bad situation worse with a bad, mad, freaked-out attitude or make that bad situation better by realizing that hey - it's just a chair and not the end of the world and you're still alive and you have a roof over your head - so you grab a broom and do a quick reupholster job with your favorite Christmas blanket.
See? It looks better already. And my sister saved the day by emailing me about 10000 links to websites that sell recliner slipcovers. We'll be back to our non-trashy, non-ripped apart furniture selves in no time.
And of course, the dogs acted like nothing was wrong. They plum wore themselves out and have spent most of today sleeping.  
Don't let their innocent sleepy-faces fool you. They're just dreaming about their next round of destruction.
And just in case you're wondering, we did have some pretty bad storms last night. We are very glad the dogs weren't out in it, despite the damage on the inside of the house. Ironic, I know. Bet we're one of the only lucky families in that situation.
Yay us.
On another note, Knuke tried to get into Matt's duffel bag earlier this morning. Matt just keeps it on the floor in the dining room - it has all of his baseball stuff in it that he takes to school and to games. I told Knuke to get out of there, and Matt told me something interesting. Apparently, last week Knukie figured out how to actually unzip the bag with his teeth. Matt caught him unzipping it and taking out a baseball that was at the bottom.
He just wanted a smelly old baseball to gnaw on.
So they're now in their crates for awhile today (with toys and treats...it's not a complete time-out) because every mom needs a break sometimes.
Today I love: A spouse that is super laid-back and crates with dog-proof latches