Finding calm in the chaos

Finding calm in the chaos

Thursday, December 21, 2006

ready to go!

After a few days of being lazy and catching up on daytime television, I'm ready to go home for Christmas. Joe & I are planning to exchange our gifts on Saturday, December 23 and then hop in the car for the long 9-hour drive to Lewiston with Schatzi. In this spirit of readiness, I've wrapped all the presents and loaded them in the car, I'm doing laundry so we can pack, and tomorrow, I'm going to Hastings to pick up a few audio books to help the drive go by faster. Schatzi is even tired of being lazy. After a few days of sleeping around the house after her spay surgery, she's perked up and is back at her window, barking at neighborhood cats. We took a short walk yesterday (just 30 minutes instead of the usual hour plus) and she proved she was up to the task, pointing some sparrows in bushes and acting a little like her crazy self. Today, we took a short walk to mail some final Christmas cards...here she is, taking her afternoon nap. :)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Spay-day

Yesterday, Schatzi got spayed and her recovery has been okay. It's brought out the recovery (PACU) nurse in me. She had chills and I desperately wished for some demerol to give her (except I don't know the dog for a dose and, two, I don't have access to narcotics :(. And, despite what the post-op instructions said about "she'll be fine if you limit her water intake", she threw up all evening. So, after the 3rd time of cleaning up my kitchen floor, we stuck to ice cubes for her to crunch on. Poor dog...she was thirsty, but couldn't hold anything down. She kept going in and out, in and out, looking for her water dish to magically be full. This morning, though, she's been chugging down the chicken broth and her stomach seems to be doing better. She's pretty snoozy and just wants to sit down by me and be petted. Hopefully, Schatzi will start to feel more like her crazy self in the next few days.

On other fronts, Joe & I are going to his office Christmas party tonight, which should be fun. And, I got straight A's for the semester...no Bs in college or grad school yet! :)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Christmas is coming!



Finals are done and we've finally started getting ready for Christmas. Our Advent wreath and stockings are up. Mom & I made those stockings together last year for Joe's Christmas present. I love putting up the tree and looking at all the ornaments. Last year, I decided to label each ornament with the year we got it and the name of the giver, so now I can easily pick up an ornament and know we got the little book ornament from the Steiners for our wedding or I got the purple and gold wreath in 1999 when I was on the Bengalette Dance team. Schatzi doesn't seem to mind the tree too much, other than the fact that it is in front of our main window, where she likes to spend her days surveying the neighborhood. The ornaments dangling from the bottom branches occassionally prove to be too much of a temptation and I'll find her bopping one with her nose, which quickly progresses to licking it and then biting it.

Here's a picture of Joe at his birthday party. He's holding up picture frames for his office. The poor guy was alone on his actual birthday, December 9, since I was in Seattle, babysitting Noah. So, we celebrated the night before I left. We had a dinner of Kaufman lasagna (a secret family recipe that takes so long to make, we only make it once a year) and "the best chocolate cake" birthday cake...our traditional Joe's birthday dinner.

Friday, December 08, 2006

At the airport....

Right now, I'm sitting in the Boise airport, sipping coffee and waiting for 9am to roll around so I can board my flight. I'm on my way to Seattle to babysit Fat Baby so his mom can study for finals and his dad can go to a swim meet. I'm sure it's all a ruse so they can get more sleep and work me to death like the last time I came for a visit, but I'm desparate for Noah time (and they bought my ticket), so I'll take what I can get. :)

Finals week is fast approaching and I'm looking forward to it with the weird excitment I always get at this time of the semester. I know I'm strange, but I love finals! I think it helps that I don't get test anxiety and generally do well on my midterms and finals, but I love the focus of my sole purpose for the week being studying and test taking. I love that excitement of knowing that after a few tests, I'll be on vacation. I love the ritual of staying in my pajamas and curling up on the couch with my laptop and books and snacks to study for most of the day. I love the satisfaction of taking the final and looking at my grade at the end, feeling that sense of accomplishment.

Granted, some of this excitement has been diminished now that finals are not my only obligation of finals' week. Married life, dog training, and (in the past) working take some of the sparkle out of my pristine week of studying and test taking. Also, test taking in graduate school isn't what it was as an undergrad. Most of my finals are open book or have an open book retake option since, apparently, the goal of grad school is for us students to become responsible for our own knowledge growth. I guess this can be somewhat justified knowing that in 5 more months, I will be taking the be-all, end-all nurse practitioner certification exam that is not open-book-whatsoever. (Whatever...I say open book exams cheapen the experience!). At least, I've already taken the clinical exams, where the professor watches the student treat a patient...that's an unnerving experience!

So, as I get ready for the week ahead (and my glorious weekend with Noah), here's to finals. Here's to days of flannel PJ's, brownies, and highlighters! Here's to hard-ass professors who stick to the old school rules of no curving, no notes, no books, multiple choice testing! Here's to good grades (hopefully) and suriving another semester of school! Six down and one more to go...

Monday, December 04, 2006

Happy Birthday, Aunt Becca!



Today is my Aunt Becca's birthday. Some of you readers have had the adventure of meeting my fun, quirky, stubborn aunt (life's never dull with her around, is it?). I tell her that she's my "favorite Aunt Becca...even if I had ten other Aunt Becca's". As a child, I remember her doing fun things, like setting up forts for all of us to have water balloon fights, or singing at the top of her lungs as she drove us on family vacations. These pictures were taken when she drove over to Seattle to be present for Noah's birth.

What's your favorite Aunt Becca story?

Cook for a day, eat for a month...

Have you heard of this great idea? You spend one day cooking meals for the whole month, freeze them, enclose directions on the last minute stuff to do before serving (like grate cheese, top with almonds...stuff that doesn't freeze so well), and then thaw when you are ready to eat them! A classmate of mine gave me this idea. He and his wife have 7 children, so they use it quite often. (Wow...7 kids! I have a hard enough time getting dinner on the table for Joe and myself!).

Yesterday, Joe and I spent the day cooking. We bought a cookbook called "Frozen Assets: Lite and Easy" since the original cookbook is mainly recipes based in cream soups and FAT. :) We made 7 meals (which are each 6 servings) and I'm not cooking again till Christmas! It was a long day and we both worked pretty steadily, chopping veggies and then assembling each meal, but in the end, I think it'll be worth it. I figure I usually spend one hour getting dinner ready and then twenty minutes cleaning up after dinner every day. Yesterday, we spent 7 hours cooking and cleaning up...thereby cutting my monthly time down by three-quarters!