Thursday, August 26, 2010

Job Update

So all my paperwork was filled out, and faxed in, and sometimes faxed again. I got the final word late Monday evening that everything had been received and the next step would be to begin online training once all my paperwork had been reviewed.

I received my email with access to the online training Tuesday evening. I started my training that evening after the girls had gone to bed and finished it up Wednesday morning before heading to the dentist.

By days end yesterday, I was granted access to start scheduling myself into clinics. I was excited as I was logging in, but my excitement faded as I logged in and found that there weren't any near by shifts open. There were lots of shifts available in Palm Springs, Ridgecrest, Apple Valley, and Hesperia. But who wants those?? Not that there's anything exactly wrong with those places, after all Steven was raised in one of those cities, but I don't want to drive 40+ miles just to work and eat up what I earn in gas. So I was a little bummed.

But as I checked back a few minutes later, and kept checking back, I scored four shifts, all at different grocery stores within about 7 miles of our home! I even scored a shift in my hometown grocery store!! And could have scored another shift there on a Wednesday, but Wednesdays don't work out for me to work as it's minimum day dismissal for the girls and speech day for Rachel.

The anticipation of hopefully being quick enough to nab the shift before anyone else did was just like watching an auction on ebay, LOL. Within twenty minutes shifts opened up and I was encouraged by the fact that you just have to check the schedule frequently.

So as of this morning, my first shift is on September 24. But I plan on checking the site several times a day to see if shifts become available.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Thoughts from the Dentist Chair

It was teeth cleaning ay at our house today, I had a dentist appointment this morning, and the girls had appointments this afternoon.

I hate going to the dentist.

Okay, not as much as I used to. But I still hate going. I think I need to change hygienists. Mine is rough. But then I don't know if the other ones at my dental office aren't. So I'm kinda in a pickle.

When I visited the dentist six months ago, my appointment was long and didn't go very well. My body was still adjusting to being off the birth control pill and when your hormones are a mess, if affects your gums. And my gums were bleeding bad, the hygienist said they were gushing as she cleaned the plaque from my teeth. So I wasn't expecting this appointment to go any better.

I get a lot of thinking and praying done when having my teeth cleaned. I simply stare at the ceiling and pray. First I was praying for my dental appointment and that she'd see no cavities, or 'spots to watch'. And that she'd hurry up and get on to the polishing, as I'm certain she suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder when it comes to plaque build up and my teeth.

And then I prayed for the girls' appointments later this afternoon. It's nerve wracking taking both of them to the dentist. You never know who will have a cavity or how much 'trouble' you'll get in because they should be brushing better, flossing more, etc.

And then I started thinking about the errands I needed to run after my appointment in the short time there was before having to pick up the girls at 12:40 because it was Minimum Day Wednesday. I thought about Rachel's birthday party this weekend and the things I need/want to do before then. I thought about what else I could make for dinner and add to my menu and grocery list as tomorrow is grocery day.

All that thinking didn't make my appointment go any faster, but it took my mind off all the scraping and poking. LOL. I am relieved I don't have to return until March.

Oh, and for the record, all three of us girls had perfect reports today from the dentist. No cavities!! And we even were told we were doing a good job at brushing....boy, do we have them all fooled.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Settling In

We've been back in school now for three full weeks and I think we're settling in...

...Settling in to getting up and out the door every morning.

..Settling in to the afternoon routine of homework, reading, and making dinner.

...Settling in to an evening routine of baths and to bed on time.

...And settling in to the new responsibilities I took on this year at the school.

As the schools' Box Tops for Education coordinator, I think I've figured out my groove of checking my box every other day or so, counting, bundling, and keeping track of how many Box Tops the classes have brought in. And rewarding teachers when they reach 300. On Friday, I collected 1500 Box Tops! That's a whole lot of Box Tops!

We had our first PTA Board Meeting last week and there was a lot to take minutes on and keep straight and stay on top of. But I came home that night and typed up my minutes and they are all ready to be copied and taken to next months meeting for approval.

Yep, we're definitely settling in.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I Got the Job!

I got a phone call from the agency that I applied with this morning on our way home from church. I returned the phone call and answered some questions over the phone and have been sent the hiring packet of forms to fill out via my email shortly after the phone call!!

There's a shortage of nurses in our area for such positions and they were extremely happy that I called back. I'll fill out the hiring paperwork, fax it back, and will start working in a couple of weeks once the Flu Shot clinics start. KInda exciting!!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

I Applied for a Job!

The 5th Grade at our school is possibly going to Washington DC next May and I really, really, really want to go. Aside from the fact that I wouldn't want to send Hannah across country on her own (her father doesn't have a problem with it), but I would LOVE to see our nations capital and all the history of our Nation. I love U.S. History. In order for us both to go, I most definitely would need to come up with money for me to go.

For those who may not know, I actually am a Licensed Vocational Nurse, but I've not worked a single day as a nurse since October 1999, when I quit working as I was three months pregnant with Hannah. However, I've kept up with my nursing license and I do my continuing education and to renew my license, etc. It's a good job to fall back on if I ever had to go back to work, or if something ever happened to Steven. It can also pay great, which is why I've been looking online, looking on craigslist, etc.

Last night while browsing on Craigslist, I found it! There was a listing for the need for nurses for immunizations/vaccines clinics which is seasonal, September to December. Upon doing further research into it, the places they are looking for nurses to hold these vaccination clinics is none other than our neighborhood friendly grocery store chain!!! And it's not just any grocery chain, it's the grocery chain my Dad has worked at for over 40 years!!

So what did I do?? I applied online for the job. The first job I've applied for since October 1995! They offer all kinds of shifts with the possibility of staying at just one location, etc. And a few of the locations are right here in our backyard! It actually would be perfect for me. It's seasonal. Pays $20.00 an hour. Is fairly close to home. And I'd be in a safe environment doing something I used to love doing when I worked as a nurse - administering injections!

Now we'll wait and see if and when they contact me. And in the meantime, if the school doesn't get enough interest in the Washington DC trip, then I've lost nothing and perhaps would still take a shift or two to help with medical bills that will come our way after Rachel's surgery.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Los Angeles Fashion District/Santee Alley

For years and years, my Mom and I have been wanting to go to the Fashion/Flower/Textile Districts in Los Angeles. All stores and storefronts where you can purchase things at very inexpensive prices or wholesale prices.

In recent years, I've become friends with women who are familiar with the Districts and go about once or twice a year. Recently I announced to them that the next time they go, I would love to go with. My friend Paula was off today and we did just that! We drove into Los Angeles and went shopping.

Upon getting off the freeway and turning into the Fashion District I was absolutely amazed. I had no idea how massive the district areas were. Blocks and blocks of stores and storefronts. I'm sure Paula was quite amused at how astonished I was at every passing block. LOL.

We found our way to a parking structure, took mental note of what street and address we'd parked and set off. Wearing comfy shoes, water bottle in hand, and purses on our shoulder, we shopped through Santee Alley.After the first couple of blocks, everything looks the same and you can find the same stuff. But it's still fun to walk through and look.

I managed to do a little Christmas shopping. :) I CANNOT WAIT to give the said gift to the person. LOL. I also scored some stuff for school and rewards for brining in Box Tops, and scored a few things at the .99 cent jewelry store.

Then we drove around a little bit. Paula drove past the Fabric and Textile Districts where I was again amazed at all the bolts and bolts of fabric sitting on tables on the sidewalks. We drove past a store that took up half the block that was all sewing notions and laces and ribbons. We drove past the flower district and saw beautiful buckets of flowers. Drove past the silk flower stores. And ended up stopping at the Toy District. A lot of cheapy plastic like toys, but still fun nonetheless to explore.

I'd been warned about the weird people, the shady area. To stay alert, was even told to keep my money in my bra, LOL, but not once today did we see weird people, or ever felt uncomfortable about our surroundings. Paula says they are really trying to work on cleaning up this area of Los Angeles. And now that I now exactly where to go, I most definitely can't wait to take my Mom back and go exploring some more...especially in the Fabric and Textile District.

It was such a fun day to go into Los Angeles and it was a great day spent with a dear friend.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Box Tops Bulletin Board

This year, I've taken on official positions at the girls' school. Not only am I the PTA Secretary, but I am also the Box Tops Coordinator.

As Box Tops Coordinator, I am responsible for collecting, counting, contest running, and packaging the collected Box Tops for shipment. I finally got up my Box Tops bulletin board this morning. Thanks to my friend, Joy, who is the Box Tops Coordinator at her school for her theme of the Box Tops Bus.

As I was putting up the bulletin board during lunchtime, a lot of kids were very excited, and I was able to encourage them to save those Box Tops and bring them in for class prizes, etc. Last year, we collected over 45,000 Box Tops for Education and I'm hoping to collect even more this year! If you have any Box Tops that I can take off your hands, I'd be happy to mail you a self addressed stamped envelope! Just leave me a note in the comments!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Grocery Day!

Every other Friday in our household is payday, which means, grocery shopping day. These are my lists from yesterday, notice I said "lists." And that is because I generally go to three different places on grocery day - to our local mega store, to the grocery store, and recently in the last two months, I've added in a trip to the local health food store where their produce totally ROCKS in quality and have a great ad. Just trying to do my part to get the most of my husbands hard earned money and the best quality!
"She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar."
~ Proverbs 31:14

Monday, August 9, 2010

Working in the Classroom

Last Tuesday night was Back to School night at school. We visited both the girls classes, met the teachers (although I already knew Rachel's), and got the scoop for each class.

I told myself I was not going to commit to working in Rachel's classroom once a week like I did last year. Working in her Kindergarten class, every Monday from 8-11:30 made for a very LONG morning. So I was going to sign up for every other Monday.

But as Rachel's teacher was going over her needs of her class, she said she needed a Monday morning person, and would like the same one, etc. I had already filled in my name on the calendar for every other Monday, but I went ahead and told her I'd be her Monday person and starting today, I'll work in Rachel's class every Monday from 8:00 to around 10:00.

While Rachel had a substitute today, her teacher, Mrs. Thompson left me a list of things to do. She even texted me this morning to tell me she had a list of things for me to do sitting on the back table. And when I got to class, I found everything I needed (stapler, paper clips, stamp, etc,) sitting there for me to work on.

Can I just say I LOVE MRS. THOMPSON!!!!

I had the opportunity to work with her last year as she is the coordinating teacher for our school's attendance program. And I got to know her a little bit as she comes to the PTA meetings. I was in her classroom a little bit at the end of the school year and I knew that if my request was honored, Rachel was going to have a wonderful school year for 1st grade.

I already had a good impression of Mrs Thompson when our school year began. But my impression of her went through the roof on the first day of school! She sent home a little booklet detailing all the details of her class, etc. She has a separate colored folder for homework, a folder for daily notes (PTA flyers, etc, and a piece of lined paper inside for writing notes back and forth to her), a folder for graded work, a folder in their desks. This woman is ORGANIZED and I love it!!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I Went to Disneyland Today...

...All by Myself.

For months, I've been saying that once the girls are back in school, I'd go to Disneyland by myself. And I planned in my head that I would go today, but last night and even a little bit this morning, I started to have second thoughts about going by myself.

But I went. And you know, it was a great morning. I'm so glad I went.

I dropped the girls off at school, hopped on the freeway, and made it to Disneyland shortly before 9:00am. I've been experiencing some irritableness (thanks to that little thing called PMS) and once I walked down Main Street, I felt better.

I spent my morning strolling through the park, getting on rides that would normally hear some sort of objection from one of my children, and I sat and people watched.

Grabbing a chocolate muffin and a coke (nothing like a Disneyland Coke!) from the Main Street Bakery, I found the popular porch on Main Street to be empty and that is where I sat, for close to an hour, enjoying my muffin and Coke, and enjoying watching people stream into the park.I watched people streaming in down Main Street. Some you could tell they were there for the day - strollers loaded and heavy looking backpacks dawned. People stopping along the side to lather themselves and their children in sunscreen. Little girls walking in all dressed up as their favorite princess. Something my girls used to do as well, Hannah more than Rachel. And amazed at how many people wear impracticable shoes to walk around Disneyland all day - sandals, flip flops, wedged shoes. I can't imagine wearing those types of shoes all day!

As I sat there and watched all these people, the mothers with their kids, I was a little sad that the season of coming with my girls in the middle of the week is over. But at the same time I was thankful that I had so many years of that season. I had years where it was just me and Hannah, and I had some years where it was just me and Rachel, and now I have years of it just being me! :) Cause yes, I plan on going back to Disneyland all by myself again!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sleepover at SeaWorld

Hannah and I recently had the opportunity to go to SeaWorld with a girls club that Hannah is a part of and all together, we took part in one of their Adventure Camps.Our camp began on a Friday evening and concluded the next morning around 9:00am. I've written all about it on Hannah's blog with lots and lots of pictures and details. But the opportunity was absolutely AMAZING!!! I am so glad that we got to go.

If your child belongs to a scout group, or you have a church youth group, etc, and you live near a Sea World, I can't recommend this experience enough, it truly was amazing!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A New Phase in Our Journey

I began blogging in October 2004, just a month and a half after our youngest, Rachel, was born with a facial birth defect. I started blogging to keep our family and friends up to date with her progress and surgery details, recovery, etc, etc.

While the first year and and a half of her life saw three surgeries, her journey for the most part, has been a fairly quiet one the last few years. We saw her plastic surgeon yesterday and we are now entering a new phase of Rachel's Journey.

On November 17th, Rachel will be admitted to the hospital and will have her next major surgery. It's three surgeries in one really. She will have a bone graft to her cleft alveolar ridge (her upper gum), which involves taking some soft tissue from her hip and implanting it into her gum. And then she'll also have some work done to her nose to make it look more perky, instead of so flat on one side.

It's hard to believe we are here, at this phase. For years, we've been saying Rachel's next big surgery will be when she's between the ages of six and eight, and well, she'll be six the end of this month and that new phase is here...

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Homework Basket

Both of the girls sit at the kitchen table to do their homework. It worked for us last year, and I'm assuming it'll work for us again this year. One of the things that was extremely helpful last year, was this basket, that we've deemed 'the homework basket'. It sits on the shelf just below the aquarium that sits behind the kitchen table.In the basket is a vase filled with sharpened pencils, erasers, a pencil box of crayons, a pencil pouch of colored pencils, a couple of pencil sharpeners, a dictionary, and usually there are a couple of glue sticks in the basket. Everything the girls would possibly need to complete their homework. It works for us, perhaps it'll work for you!