Saturday, December 29, 2012

Cliche Christmas Post

It's funny that Jodi mentioned she didn't want a Christmas post to be on the top, because now there is going to be one on the top again (Jo, just write something real quick to knock it back down!). Sorry this post is so late..

Christmas Eve, which I normally LOVE, was actually a little rough. I haven't been sick in forever, and I actually got a little sick (of all days, go figure!). Jer had to work a half day, and all I had planned that day was to make cookies with the kids and to clean the little girls' room (I wanted to get it cleaned out for their new presents). That was a big fail. I never did get to the cookies (Jer baked them after work), and I threw up twice while cleaning the room. Afterwards, we went to my mother in law's house for dinner and presents. Things got a little weird there. I don't want to get into it, but I am thinking that my in laws are pretty jacked. 

We got home around 11pm, but Jer and I had to stay up late to do all the "Santa" stuff. Filling up their stockings was pretty fun. Jeremy always buys the stocking stuffers, and he always goes overboard. We usually end up cramming so much stuff in the stockings that it defies a few laws of physics, and the kids can barely get the stuff out again. After we finished with the stockings, we had to get an arcade sized air hockey table from our lower driveway (we had it hidden in a shed) up a hazardous, WET flight of stairs IN THE DARK, through our sunroom and into the family room. The table was SO HEAVY. At one point, Jer and I were straining to get the monstrous table around a corner, and I slipped on a wet leaf, causing us to almost drop the thing off the mountain. By the time we got it in and put it together, it was almost 2am. 

Christmas was wonderful! Shelby woke us up at 7am screaming, "Santa came! Santa came!" The kids got their stocking stuff, and then we took turns opening presents. I got a really NICE robe, PJs, a big tin of popcorn, tons of Bath & Body works,  some new slippers, and a bunch of stuff in my stocking. I got Jeremy a stainless steel, 9-drawer tool chest (that was a feat on its own! The kids had to help me get it in the house and's pretty big!).  The kids love the air hockey table (they are playing it right now). 

We went to my parent's house, and opened more presents. I got  a homemade jewelry box (from my Grandpa), an outfit, a rooster thingy, a beautiful ring (from my Dad) made out of white and rose colored gold, new shoes, a new purse and GORGEOUS and fashionable overcoat (from Jo and Clint), new underwear that was made into a kite (from my Grandpa, and yes, I realize that seems bizarre), fudge, a $75 gift certificate to the Bass Pro Shop, and a couple other things. :-)

My family unanimously selects me to be on trash duty EVERY SINGLE YEAR. 

My Dad made prime rib for dinner, and it was delicious! The whole day was just really great. I think being around my in-laws has just generated even more appreciation within me for my own family. They are so fun to be with, and there isn't the tension and phoniness I feel elsewhere. I am so grateful to have them. 
One downside of the day was that I still felt sick. My stomach was fine, but my head hurt all day, and Excedrin wouldn't do anything. I also felt really fatigued, heavy, and a little dizzy. I forced myself to ignore it. 

And this cold, or whatever it is, just won't go away. Luckily I only had to work two days this week because of the holidays. But I still feel bad, even today. I thought it was getting better yesterday, but I relapsed today.

I had this plan to keep writing regularly, but the Sandy Hook thing happened, and that paralyzed me for weeks. I am not one of those people who turn to the internet or social networking when something devastating occurs. That one really punched me in the gut. Hopefully I can get more consistent with this. :-)

Well....Happy New Year! 

Personalized Dishes

I have nothing to say right now but it's almost 2:00 a.m and I'm having a nice little bout of insomnia, so I thought I'd get on here and try to type some sleepiness into my body (I don't think I'm making sense).  Plus I want to bump my last post down.  I don't know why, but I don't like it when holiday posts sit on the top of my blog too long.  Maybe it's because everyone writes about their happy Christmases and it just gets old and cliché, like "Okay, we get it, you had a nice holiday and your life rocks, yada yada...." Hey, I do it too. 

My dishwasher broke a couple of weeks ago.  It actually broke the day after my friend Kristyn's dishwasher miraculously started working, so I think her dishwasher somehow sucked the life out of mine.  Granted hers lives in Texas and mine lives in California, but since we're talking about magical life-sucking appliances anyway, I don't think the geographical distance matters.  So Clint's solution to a broken dishwasher?  Pack up all of our dishes.  But leave one of everything for each person.  One cup, one fork, etc.  AND use a permanent marker to write our names on our assigned dish.  Basically if you want to actually eat your apple sauce with a spoon, you better be damned sure that your spoon is clean or else your shit out of luck.  And don't make the mistake of using someone else's stuff...I used Trin's fork the other day and never heard the end of it.  I'd love to say all of this is a temporary thing, but I don't view a universe in which I will be willing to buy a new dishwasher anytime soon.  I hate buying appliances.  The thought of spending all that money for something that just blends into your house makes me cringe.  Maybe if our current dishwasher was like pea green or something, I'd be excited to replace it.  But our current dishwasher is a very nice stainless steel model.  Now it's a very nice stainless steel dish rack.  Well, if we had more than four forks to put in it, anyway. 

My laptop still won't let me respond to comments, which is really getting on my nerves.  My home computer does, but every time I'm home, the home computer is always being horded by the hubby and kids--pretty much because WoW is downloaded on that computer and they're all complete addicts. 

Tomorrow afternoon we're leaving to go up north.  I can't wait.  I absolutely love road trips.  I can be in a car all day long watching the scenery fly by...I'm like a content labrador.  But I'm also really excited to spend time with Matt and Alana.  The only downfall is I know it's going to feel a little strange ringing in the new year without my sis and all her kids. 

I'm going to eat some peanut butter now and head to bed. 

Oh, it's only when I'm sleep-deprived that I compare myself with a dog.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas 2012

Christmas yesterday was wonderful, which is no surprise--we always have amazing Christmases!  Although this time we did have two little setbacks.  The first one was that Clint got stuck on the phone with Verizon for over an hour on Christmas morning.  I won't get into the whys, but it was such a bummer because he wasn't able to eat breakfast with us, help me clean up the gift-opening mess, or load the car.  By the time he got off the phone, we were running late and had to leave the house in a frenzy.  Once we were at my folks house, we were able to calm down and enjoy the rest of the day (except for we forgot Dylan's gift), but it was a rough way to start our day. 

The second setback was the fact that Clint had to get up at 4:45 a.m. this morning (the day after Christmas) for work.  Normally we would have stayed at my parents house until 8 or 9 on Christmas night, and I would have sat with my mom and sis during that last hour and enjoyed a glass or two of Moscato, knowing that Clint and I had the whole day after Christmas to relax.  But because of Clint's work schedule, we ended up leaving earlier.  I actually didn't mind having some time at home last night, but I felt bad that Clint had to get up so early this morning to work a twelve hour shift without getting any time to unwind from yesterday's busy day.

Besides those issues, the day was awesome.  I hate to define Christmas based on the gifts, but I made out big time.  Clint wasn't supposed to get me anything because he's remodeling the bathroom for my Christmas gift, but he wanted me to have something to unwrap, so he ended up surprising me with this clock from Kirklands:

I absolutely love it.  It is now hanging over my fireplace.  And--also from Kirklands--he bought me these two toss pillows, minus the pink (the pink areas are chocolate-brown in real-life):
And of course there were stocking stuffers; everything from fur-lined suede gloves to Ghirardelli raspberry-filled dark chocolates. 

I also received some great gifts from my extended family.  Some of the ones that stand out are a gorgeous shawl from Teri made from soft, gray, silky fur, and three beautiful scarves crocheted by Moo (since when can that girl crochet?).  Shan gave me an entire outfit.down to the necklace, earrings, and shoes.  I modeled it for her and my mom yesterday, and it is so adorable.  It helps that she can try everything on herself first, never having to worry if it will fit me.

But the gift that stands out the most to me this year was from my dad:

This is a ruby gemstone on a white gold band.  My dad is not in the habit of giving me pricey  jewelry for Christmas, nor do I have expensive taste.  But this particular ring has a back-story--I'll explain it another time.  For now I will just say that it means a lot to me.   

I was going to write down what I got everyone for Christmas, but given that it is now well-past midnight and Christmas was no longer yesterday, but two days ago, I think I'll head to bed now. 

I can hardly believe we are getting ready to enter 2013.  Remember when the year 2000 seemed so far off and futuristic?  And now here we are, almost thirteen years into the new millennium.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

"Downright Giddy"

Somehow Christmas Eve is tomorrow morning, and we are so unprepared.  Tomorrow we will have to finish our shopping, which should be mayhem at its finest.  I personally don't mind last minute shopping, but Clint starts wigging out when he has to deal with crowds.  I still remember being a little girl and running around Wal-Mart at 2:00 a.m with my mom on Christmas Eve (back when they used to be open 24 hours), trying to find socks for Grandpa and stocking stuffers for my dad.  It was chaotic yet fun; I think because my mom always had a sense of humor about it.  And there's almost a camaraderie between you and the other shoppers, like "Hey, so you're crappy procrastination tendencies landed you here in the pits of hell on Christmas Eve too."

Christmas Eve with my inlaws is at our house again this year.  It will be the usual pajama party with breakfast served in lieu of dinner.  On Christmas morning, we will do our own little family-thing in the morning, and then head over to my parents house.  Again, it's all the usual stuff, but I am so, so excited.  For all of it; Christmas Eve and Christmas day.  The best (and laziest) way I can explain it is simply by quoting Kristyn in one of her recent posts:
I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas! I’m like a little kid, I love all the lights, the tree, and the pretty, colorfully wrapped gifts! I even enjoy some of the music and movies. I feel downright giddy that the day’s nearly here.... (click to view full post).   
That pretty much sums up how I feel.  I never outgrew my childhood excitement over Christmas, and I never plan to.

I am bummed out that I never sent out Christmas cards though.  It's a silly thing, but the act of sending out Christmas cards makes me feel...well, normal.  It's like laughing in the face of all the insanity being dumped on you and declaring, "Bring it on!  I'm still going to do this one traditional thing and you can't stop me!"  This year it feels like the insanity won.  Ughhhh.

Today we saw Matt and Alana!  They're up for the holidays, and we only had enough time to do lunch, but it was still awesome to see them.  We're going up to their place from the 29th to the 1st, so I'm looking forward to a more extended visit.

As promised, here's the owl I painted for my mother-in-law: 

I tried a gazillion times to take a picture of the canvas without the frame, but the flash kept turning the black paint a weird reddish-brown color.  Yet when I took the picture with the painting inside the frame, it took care of that flash problem.  I'm thinking I can just crop the frame out later if I feel like bothering with it.    

Oh, here's Elijah with the painting, just so you can see the size: 

I'm not much into painting animals, and after painting feather after blurry blue feather, it was hard to tell if it was even coming out.  But then I come across things like this on the internet and it makes me feel a little bit better:

This is a 9 x 12 oil painting being sold by the artist for $325.00.  Shan, you collect want me to whip one of these up for you? I'll cut you a deal...I'll only charge $320.  =)

I'm sure I won't be back on this blog for a few days now, so Merry Christmas to you and yours! (and no, I will not do the weak-ass PC 'Happy Holidays' crap--sorry).

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Fire and Ice

I don't know how to start this entry because I'm so behind on writing, and so much has been going on. 

I think the first thing I want to address is the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary.  Like most Americans, I was horrified by what happened on Friday. This feeling intensified last night when I came across a CNN article that actually gave the profiles of several of the victims.  Reading about little 6 year old Jenny who loved her chocolate lab Sasha, or about 7 year old Cody who was getting his first bike for Christmas (randomly generated facts, but you get the point) was just crushing.  On the spur of the moment I texted my principal and told her I was going to start a charity drive for the Sandy Hook Memorial Fund.  I made a giant collection box and decorated it in green and white with a soaring eagle to represent the school's colors and mascot.  During lunch this week Builders Club will be collecting students' spare change.  None of this will do a damn thing to allay the families' grief, but I just feel like my school can--and should--do something.  I'm still absolutely chilled by the fact that so many families In Newtown, Connecticut are going to experience Christmas day beneath such a black cloud.   

Okay, much needed change of subject before I start shuddering with rage again.  On Friday night Tarius (a teacher/colleague) and I put on our school's Winter Dance.  We were nervous as hell about it because neither one of us had ever been responsible for an entire dance before, and there is a ton of work that goes into them--everything from advertising, creating/selling your tickets, getting all of your approvals turned in, buying/making decorations, planning for concessions, and so on.  The most stressful part for me was the decorating.  We had three periods to pull it off, which sounds like a lot, but the cafeteria proved to be a massive space when you're trying to fill it all in with a chosen theme.  Our theme was 'Fire and Ice', and we ended up with a wall of fire on one side of the cafeteria and ice on the other.  We also had columns of balloons everywhere--red/yellow/orange for fire, white and pale blue for ice; not to mention streamers, sparkly snowflakes, garland, piles of white "snow" (made from fluffy strips of cotton), white silky fabric draped in various places, and so on.  The best part of the fire side was a huge red arch with flames coming out of it.  The best part of the ice side were the giant snowflakes (they were the size of Saint Bernards) and all of the white Christmas lights.  We had four choreographed student performances that night, and we also crowned a Fire Queen and Ice King.  The dance turned out to be awesome.  Tarius and I had both been losing sleep over this dance for nearly two weeks, so we were on such a high when everything was over--we were thrilled that we had actually pulled it off!  After the clean-up (which lasted over an hour), we went to wine night at a colleagues house (Mr. A) to celebrate.  I am proud to say that this time around, I stayed away from the red wine.

Today I got annoyed and slammed a jar of lingonberries on the counter while emphasizing a point, and the jar ended up breaking.  It's weird, I haven't broken anything out of anger since my early twenties (I broke a bathroom mirror once with a hairbrush a long time ago).  But this jar did indeed break, and at first I didn't notice, until I was flinging my hands around emphatically and I saw red drops puddling all over the floor.  I realized the jar was broken and thought the red splatters were the lingonberries, but it turned out that I was flinging my own blood all over!  I looked at my finger and it was dripping with blood.  Even beneath water and with pressure it would not stop bleeding for a good twenty minutes.  It was a small cut but it went in deep (haha, serves me right).  Trin asked me later what happened to my finger, and I said "I was throwing a temper tantrum and decided to shatter a jar."  She thought this was really funny and said "Are you still mad?"  And I said "Yes, because I'm really craving lingonberries." 

Other things I want to talk about but will have to wait for another time include:  Our new(er) Great Dane pup, an upcoming visit with Matt and Alana (yay!), another finished painting, a current bathroom remodel, and...I think that's it. 

Oh, but real quick, I want to paint this picture.  I found this back when I was searching out ideas for 'Fire and Ice'.

And I love this song.  Rihanna's lyrics are happy, but somehow the song sounds sad.  In the video, I find the scenes with the horses incredibly sweet.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Just another typical week

love the weekends SO much. I love sleeping in, and staying in my PJs until noon. I love spending the morning watching a couple Netflix movies with Jeremy and the kids. I love the feeling of not having to go anywhere. I love cuddling with Shelby on the couch.

This week was a rough one at work, and I feel like a vegetable today. On Tuesday night, one of my teens (who is no longer enrolled in my adolescent program) drove himself to the program and told me he overdosed on 30 Abilify the night before. I was trying to get him admitted into inpatient, but his parents were not there to sign him in and I couldn't find anyone to write the 5150 hold. Ultimately I got him in (he had to go to the ER first to be medically cleared because of his OD attempt), but it was a fiasco for sure! 

On Wednesday, one of our patients enrolled in outpatient stabbed herself in the belly with a kitchen knife in the lobby bathroom. She was sent to the ER, then admitted to our inpatient unit. That same day, a patient on our more acute unit somehow busted through the doors twice and broke free. I saw the paramedics wheeling him out, scraped and bleeding on a stretcher, to take him to the hospital.

On Thursday, a teen from the adolescent unit somehow got onto the roof of our hospital and tried to jump off the roof (I guess he climbed a tree from the patio when the teens were outside). Two of our male staff climbed on the roof after him and managed to yank him back right before he jumped. Later that day, a woman from outpatient showed up late to the program after cutting her arms. My supervisor and our outpatient RN were trying to admit her inpatient, and she freaked out. We had to keep all of the other patients in the group rooms, and my supervisor called over a bunch of mental health workers for help, as the woman became quite aggressive. 

On Friday, I went over to the adolescent unit to check on my teen (the one who had overdosed). I was only on the unit for about 3 minutes when suddenly our staffing coordinator collapsed to the ground. There was a whirlwind of activity  as the nurse's station and then the operator called out on the intercom, "Code Blue, Unit 1, Code Blue, Unit 1..." The nurses were checking his vitals. I run over there, and I'm yelling, "Get a pillow!" I am worried that he is having a seizure and his head is on the hard ground. I notice his pants are wet (it appeared he wet himself), so I added, "Get a blanket too!" Me and a nurse are cradling his head, and she rolls him to his side. Another nurse brings the pillow and blanket. The nurse and I place the pillow under his head, and I put the blanket over his groin area (I guess it was silly, but I didn't want him to feel embarrassed by the wet spot). I'm saying his name, and asking him if he is okay. My heart is pounding. Suddenly he opens his eyes, gives me a thumbs up and says, "Happy Friday." I'm thinking, whaaaaaaat the hell??? Then he says, "I wanted to tell you so bad, but this is a drill." CRAP. It turns out that the nurses had made several mistakes during a real code blue earlier that week, so they decided to do a drill, and I just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. It also turns out that the guy is a DAMN good actor. None of us knew it was a drill, but I felt so damn foolish. 

Two good things came from this week. On Monday, I was told my psych assistantship application went through (I applied almost 3 months ago). I have to accrue 1,500 post doc hours in order to become licensed as a psychologist, so now the clock is ticking (It will take me about 9 months from this point to complete the hours). The second good thing: After the situation from Tuesday night, I talked to my supervisor about becoming certified to write 5150 holds. I'm alone in the department on Tuesdays, and she agreed that I should have that ability. I will be taking the class and getting certified in January. :) 

Jer told me that "Skyy" Vodka does not cause hangovers. We have a giant bottle of it in the cabinet. Purely for scientific purposes, I will be testing his theory tonight. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Absence makes the heart grow fonder?

It's been SO long since I have written!!! Almost 2 months I think! I am the worst blogger roomie EVER. 

I can explain, really! I graduated in October (the day I have eagerly anticipated for the last 3 years), and I didn't write about that. Then my father in law went to jail (AGAIN), and my sister law stayed with us for a while, and I didn't write about that either. Thanksgiving was nice (didn't write about that), some pretty crazy things happened at work (didn't write any of that), and there was some family drama with the in laws (you get the idea). The longer I went without writing in the blog, the more it started to feel like this massive, rapidly growing pile of laundry that needed to be folded. 

Okay, I can almost hear my sister exclaiming, "That is the most pathetic and crappiest explanation Shan!" Oh well.

In order to acclimate myself to writing again, I'll just write about this past weekend. Jer and I made a Thanksgiving feast over the weekend. Even though it was the week after Thanksgiving, we made a 26 lb. turkey ("we" being Jer...I made the stuffing). This is the third year we have made a Thanksgiving feast after the actual holiday. We have our real Thanksgiving at my parents house, but we like to have our own too because it gives us a fridge full of leftovers. Oh! I tried turkey heart. Jer kinda dared Cass to try a piece, so then I tried a piece. It was...ew. Ugh. Gross. I washed it down with a glass of milk. It didn't beat or anything. 

We also put our Christmas tree up and decorated the house. Oh, and Jer made Turkey gumbo. And then we watched the entire 1st season of "How I Met Your Mother." 

Okay, hopefully this gets me in the writing mood again. :-)