We took a Memorial Weekend trip down to Florida to visit my brother and sister in law, my husband’s brother and his wife. Our flight down was nice, we had an 8 am flight so it was nice to have almost the whole first day there. The whole weekend was great, it started with lunch with Vinny my bro in law and his daughter. Lunch was awesome and comfortable and relaxed as if we’d been having meals together forever.
Then Alyssa and I went exploring to check out the nearby outlet mall. It was hot and we were tired so we only got as far as The Gap which was cool because we don’t have a Gap store nearby. By the time we returned to Vinny’s house his wife Zuny was home from work. She is such a wonderful, warm, real person. She’s really easy to be around and you just feel loved being around her. I’ve known Vinny for around the same amount of time I’ve known my husband (going on 30+ years) but until we all became adults we never really hung out together. I swear the older we get the more we love being together. My brother in law is also a very warm, easy to be around person. He’s got a great sense of humor and I love to laugh with him.
We spent the whole weekend together with a dinner out at this restaurant on the water. The food was great and so was the company we were with. I swear we only slept at our hotel, the rest of our time was spent with Vinny and Zuny. We visited 2 beaches not far from their house but there was this seaweed that was all over the beach and all in the water. A lot of seaweed, a lot. It was kind of disconcerting to be in the water and have seaweed be wrapped around your ankle when the tide came in and out. So we didn’t spend all that much time at the beach. But that’s ok we went back to the house and went in the pool, sweet!
Coming home we had a 6:15 am flight. It was as bad as it sounds. The upside is that we were back in our home by 10am. That was really cool, no traffic at all. I spent the rest of the day playing catch up from not being home for 3 days it that’s ok it was well worth it.
I really enjoy the students in my school. There are medically fragile students that I provide care for everyday and give medications and they have feeding tubes, some have seizures quite often and some simply require a lot of care. But I really don’t mind. I enjoy taking care of them. I’m doing for them what they cannot do for themselves. It’s real nursing with various procedures that must be performed, giving prescribed medications and taking care of emergency situations.
I also enjoy the students who walk and talk. There are no 2 students that are the same. They’re each so different and unique and they all have their own strengths. Some students have cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, brain damage. There doesn’t seem to be a limit on diagnosis for these kids. And there doesn’t seem to be a limit to what they can learn to do.
We have frequent flyers just like any other school; meaning students who are literally always in the nurse’s office. We have some who we see on a daily basis because they want the attention and that’s ok. They usually have a very small abrasion on an arm or leg if they’re wearing shorts and they always want a band aid. Band aids and water from the water cooler cure quite a large amount of ailments. It’s amazing. Of course I have my favorites. There are some who simply crawl in your heart and take up residence there. And there are some parents who you just click with. Being Thomas’ mom I I can relate to so many parents. I know what it’s like to have complete trust in other people to provide care for your child. It’s difficult to get to that point. I get that, I really do.
I never thought I would have a job that I enjoy as much as I do this one. Never mind a job in the field of nursing. My next class for my bachelors begins on May 28. I decided to take a short break after my last class ended. I can wait for the next class to start, it’s been nice to have nothing I have to do after work or on the weekends.
I’m off tomorrow because of plans we have for the Memorial Day weekend. It’s the first time I’ve taken a day off except when my father passed away a year and a half ago. I don’t mind not taking days off, I mean I’m on the same schedule as the schools so I’m off for Christmas break, February break, Easter break, please…that is more than enough time off.
My plan yesterday morning was to go to ShopRite early then be back for Lelly’s we’ll visit doctor’s appointment. Plans changed since I forgot that Samantha had a trip planned with one of the church youth groups she attends. They were going to Six Flags and she had to be at the church by 9am. No problem since I was already dressed. So off we went. I dropped her off, chatted with her friend’s mom, met one of the youth leaders and then it was time for me to go. About a block away was a sign for a yard sale, what the heck I thought, it’s been a while since I’ve been to a good yard sale! So the first one I hit were people I attend church with. We chatted for a while but I didn’t buy anything. While walking to my car across the street I almost missed the next sale. The house was gorgeous and the couple was lovely. I picked up a couple of things for myself and one really pretty teapot candle holder for my mom. So I thought I’d head home.
I checked the time and it was still early so I went down a street that always has a yard sale or two going on. Bingo! Yard sale on the left, I parked and went to go shop. In the back of the sale area I spotted it; a gorgeous mint condition Fendi wallet with a 25.00 sticker. I scooped it up quickly to look at it closer, it’s authentic! I then turn to look at the table with jewelry, it all looked like worn costume pieces. Now let me preface this by saying in all my thrifting adventures I never find good jewelry. Never. Well I hit the jackpot. There it was tarnished and sitting among other very worn necklaces…Tiffany! I quickly turned the piece over to see the sterling mark, there it was! It had a charm attached, that too was Tiffany! Omg. I quickly picked up the necklace and went to the woman in charge to pay. She questioned the price of the wallet and I said, “well that’s what the tag says…”. So she nodded and said the necklace was 1.00. I couldn’t pay her fast enough and I wanted to run to my car!
I figured I scored big for the day so I headed home. I grabbed a bowl and some baking soda to clean the necklace. It came out gorgeous!! I still can’t believe that I scored that big at a yard sale. I mean the toggle piece clearly says Tiffany, go figure.
I’m wearing the charm (called a hibiscus charm) today on a sterling chain I have. It’s really a cool, different piece. I’m debating when to move into the Fendi wallet. I love the wallet I have now so it may not be for a while. My dad would have gotten such a kick out of my finds, I’m sure he’s watching and smiling.
I get to work super early to get a good parking space. Sounds so silly I know but there is no parking lot, street parking only, there is another school down the street and the neighborhood isn’t the greatest. So there I sit with my co workers in their cars also sitting and waiting. It’s an amusing situation. Then there are the ones who arrive just in time for work and they still find parking but are walking a few blocks. No thank you I like my nice close space.
I usually listen to my favorite music or online sermons while I hang out. I really don’t mind leaving the house that early just for parking. Until this past Wednesday I was driving Lelly to the ferry every Wednesday, her classes are ending for this semester and she’s dorming in September so we won’t have those great early morning chats anymore.
At around 7:30 my mom calls and we chat for about 15 minutes before I go in at 7:45. It’s nice to have those talks.
Going I’m at 7:45 is nice I’m there early to provide nursing coverage for morning bus duty, there has to be a nurse present in case there is an emergency. I also cover an after-school program 3 days a week. This program needs a nurse and after the hired nurse didn’t show up without warning I took up the task. I really don’t mind staying extra. I find the time passes pretty quickly. After so many years of saying I didn’t want to be a nurse anymore I’m impressed with myself that I’ve embraced my position so passionately. Even returning to school for my Bachelors degree. I’ve enjoyed my classes so far, the last class was about various well known and not so well known nursing theorists. I had a lot of papers to do and various power point assignments, I got through it. I even developed a better sense of myself as a registered nurse, more pride in my profession as well as learning about nursing theory. My next class is about “informatics”. I’m not 100% sure what it’s about other than the use of computers and providing nursing care in this digital age. I’ll find out soon enough.
I’ve decided not to torture myself in the stores with horrid dressing room mirrors that highlight every single flaw you’re trying so desperately to hide and instead online shop for a bathing suit this year. So far I’m not doing well. I have one from Macy’s sitting in my room awaiting its return and 2 more on the way to my house.
I’m not happy with my current weight and shape but for the most part have accepted things for the way that they are. Otherwise I wouldn’t be swim suit shopping. My husband loves me for me as do my children. I’m extremely blessed in that area of my life.
Another area of life I’m blessed in is my work life. I work with the best bunch of people ever. The paraprofessionals and teachers I come in contact with everyday are so caring and amazing. I really didn’t know what to think my first days here. The kids seemed so so fragile. Today the students are still fragile but I guess I am not. I’m familiar with “my” kids that I provide care for and also with most of their parents. So it’s nice, which is what I’ve been writing about in many past posts. Today was busy. So busy. And we had an emergency. But that’s ok everything was handled the right way; for that I’m grateful. I know God is in this place and He works wonders. I know He places people where He wants them to be. I always think about how I was supposed to be working at a school in Manhattan and I was ok with that the whole time I was in training. I kind of figured out my commute and I was totally ready. Then everything changed and I was offered the position I have now which is literally 15 minutes drive from my house. How incredible is that! God is so good.
Parenting, it’s not easy. And I am far from an expert. Typical children, children with special needs, you name it they really need to come with an instruction book. I used to say that kids did come with instructions but the hospital staff threw them away before you knew about them. Thomas was difficult to parent. I knew something was wrong but every “professional” I saw about him told me he was fine. Man that was hard. It wasn’t until he was almost 6 did I find someone to believe me. Then it wasn’t until Thomas was 12 that we were given a definite diagnosis. Insane I tell you. So while dealing with that we had Alyssa and Lelly who were by comparison “easy” to parent and raise. Lelly was much more spirited than Alyssa, she still is. Alyssa even in her early 20’s continues to meet every milestone of development perfectly on time. It’s amazing actually. After having Thomas who was not meeting milestones on time, it was a Godsend to have Alyssa who did so as if she read a growth and development textbook.
Samantha is in her own category. She’s 5 years younger than Lelly and the youngest of them all. She kind of has an only child personality going on. And sometimes I don’t know what to do with her. At 12 and a half she’s very independent and outspoken and not always in a good way, the outspokenness that is. The independence is great.
I identify with so many of the parents of the students I give care to. I don’t always know what it’s like to walk in all of their shoes but I know how to walk in mine. And many hurdles, decisions, issues and challenges are the same no matter what the students’ diagnosis is. Emotions are the same. When everyone was younger I always felt like I had one foot in the typical realm of parenting and one foot in the special needs realm. You know that poem about comparing having a special needs child to landing in Holland? (http://www.our-kids.org/Archives/Holland.html). I always felt like I lived in Holland but my girls allowed me to visit Italy. It was and still is nice to have that privilege.
Over the past 10 months or so I’ve been coloring my hair different colors. I started with rose gold and progressed to dark pink my latest was dark pink roots and blonde ends. I’ve been coloring my hair since I was 17. First with mom as my colorist then I progressed to doing it myself. I can say with confidence that except for the very dark brown/black colors I’ve tried almost every drug store color out there. I get bored with hair color, and it used to be a relatively easy thing to change. These days I go to the salon because of the rainbow of colors I’ve been wanting. I couldn’t do it myself and if you can’t do something yourself you find someone who knows how to do it. That’s where Natalya my stylist comes in. She is wonderful.
Today I wanted the pink gone, I feel bored with all the different colors I’ve been doing believe it or not so she bleached out the roots. Poof! The dark pink had disappeared. Like magic I tell you. In its place I did dark blonde roots and light blonde ends. Nothing conventional but nothing “out there” either. I really like they way it came out. My hair is short it used to be pixie cut short before that I had the sides shaved and left the top longish. That’s what enabled me to do all those different colors, I’m not worried about doing damage to long hair. I don’t know if I’ll ever grow it out long again. Growing out short hair just stinks, you get to this horrid in between stage and screaming doesn’t help your hair grow. So when I got to that point I stopped the torture and just cut it again. Problem solved!