Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ready or Not...

So here we are, another semester. I can't believe how fast the time is flying by!

Last semester, though... last semester really sucked. I can't give any one reason why, but I didn't care for my instructors (I'm not the only one) and it didn't help. Just because one has the credentials, does not mean that one should teach. I was also suffering from a severe lack of motivation in the beginning of the semester, which lead to a constant game of catch up. Only one of my classes was difficult, but I ended up not doing so great in both. Again, not a great semester, but it's over with and I passed my classes, so moving on....

This semester though... this semester is going to rock! I can already feel it. My motivation is in overdrive. Don't get me wrong, the classes I have are difficult. Though they compliment each other nicely, I have been warned by a few (instructors included) that the combination of Microbiology and Anatomy and Physiology II is not going to be easy.

I think my motivation this semester is partially due to the fact that I have very competent and pure awesome instructors, the kind that truly inspire you. I was even stopping myself from clapping in one of my classes during lecture, just for the mere fact that everything he said made sense! (Dork alert, I know) I know with instructors it can be a "win some loose some" situation and especially at the community college level, but this semester is a total WIN. I don't want to get ahead of myself since it's only been one week, but so far, they rock. They are tough and very strict, but if they know what they are doing and do it well, they can be. Also, I have successfully arranged a study group for my A&P II class, something I should have done last semester (live and learn).

Another thing that is helping is I've added working out to my daily schedule. Yes, another thing that I have squished into my schedule. I never really gained the "freshman 15" when I was in college after high school, the only significant gaining I've done was the "Knocked up 100." Yet, if there is a "freshman 15" for the unconventional returning student.... I managed to do it... and then some. So, I've put myself on a strict diet/workout regimen and it's been paying off. Not only is it paying off on the scale, but it's paying off on my motivation. I study after my morning workout (post shower) and it really helps my concentration. I know that there are studies that say exactly that, so I am not learning anything new.... but it's nice to see that they are right about it.

I am just so excited I had to share it, even if no one else cared. If I've totally bored you, I'm sorry I cannot refund the last 3 minutes of your life, assuming you made it here.

Study groups and Jillian Michaels workouts,


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Old School

So I've made a new discovery. Actually it's not new, it's been used for a long time, probably because it works.
The last week or so my kiddos have been having a hard time getting along. Sure they are siblings, so it's no surprise that there is going to be fighting from time to time. Yet between Ethan being home from school on break, the rustle and bustle of the holidays and the cold weather, it's gotten a little out of hand. We are all a little stir crazy.


The other day it was a back in forth thing where one or the other was in time out or in trouble, it was the only thing they could consistently take turns at. I was at my wits end and on top of it fighting off a bug. So I decided to initiate something from my school days.
Remember when a fight would break out in the hallway and both students would get into trouble no matter who started it? I remember thinking that it was so unfair for the person who didn't instigate. I realize now the reason they did it... it works. I have started making both kids accountable for arguments, fights, etc. no matter who "started it." Here is what I have found:

1) Less fights.
2) One or the other usually tries to dissolve the situation before the word "MOM!" breaks out. Not only is it quieter and more peaceful, but they are learning to resolve their own issues, great tool.
3) Less tattle telling. 
4) They too, don't think it's fair. Another important life lesson.

Of course with the tattle telling issue, I have to make myself clear which is tattle telling and what things need to be told as concerns for safety are more important.

I am sure all of this and so much more (for and against) are written in a plethora of Parenting books and magazines, and handful or so of which are collecting dust on my bookshelf or in a box in the crawlspace. I'll be honest, the only books I am reading right now are textbooks and I struggle with finding time for those, so they continue to sit. Not to mention all kids are different, (age and gender aside) what works for one, doesn't always work for the other and what works this month, probably wont work next.

If there is one thing about parenting that I have learned, is the rules of the game are constantly changing and even the smallest victories deserve the attention of a Super Bowl ring. This game play wont always work and there are always exceptions to rules, but right now as I type they are both coloring in peace and WWIII hasn't broke out over a navy blue crayon that they both HAVE TO use.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year

So here we are 2011. I'm feeling pretty neutral about the new year. 2010 was pretty good to me, so it was nice to seamlessly skate on into a new year with as much hopefulness that got me through 2010. 08 and 09 were not so great and I am very happy to see them far in my rear view mirror.
I'm not big on the resolution bit, so no resolutions for me. Don't get me wrong I have some goals for myself but I think putting them on a "list of resolutions' cheapens them and sets myself up for disappointment. 
My New Years Eve was laid back and quiet and it was so nice. The kiddos were at Dad's but I still rang in the New Year in great company.

One year ago I made the decision to go back to school for nursing and can't believe it has gone by so fast, only 13.75 years to go. Seriously, I'm not counting down the time quite yet, too soon for that and too overwhelming.
Ethan made the transition from Kindergarten to First grade and is doing very well. He also started Cub Scouts as I began my journey as his Den leader. I couldn't be more proud of my little man.
In April Maci turned 3 and is getting smarter and more independent by the day. My very independent "I can do it myself" little girl, and beneath the daily challenges she hands me, I am beaming with pride.
I was able to open my heart a bit to new people and things in 2010 and so far so good.   

I am excited for the things to come for 2011. By the end of my spring semester I will be able to put myself on the wait list for my fall back nursing program, which felt so far away last year.
Ethan will be crossing over from Tiger scouts this spring and will no longer be in the youngest Den in our pack, and I will have a tad more Den Leader knowledge under my belt. He will also be going from First to Second grade and moving closer to that day when my goodbye hugs and kisses will have to exist in the car since a) he won't want me to walk him to his classroom (which has already started) and b) even if he did let me walk him to his classroom, affection would be a big no-no in public. I have been warned by plenty, but for right now I will hold on to my PDA's for as long as I'm able to. He is and always will be my snuggle buddy.
Maci will be 4 this year and will be starting preschool. As she sits here next to me in her pink tutu and pink leggings and kitty cat shirt that says, fittingly, "smarty pants" it's harder to see her grow up than it has been for Ethan. Maybe because she is a girl, or my youngest or maybe since I wont be having anymore children. All very likely variables. Either way, she will continue to grow and I am excited to see the sweet, smart and independent person she will become. 

Overall, life is good, I am so lucky to have the people in my life who continue to stand by me and I am so proud to call them my friends and family. Happy 2011 All, I hope it is filled with awesomeness as mine is sure to be!