Wordless Wednesday

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

I haven’t done one of these in a while, but it has been a decent picture-taking week.  I really would like to take more pictures, but my phone battery is worthless and I often run out of power before pictures.  Which is sad, but definitely a First World problem.

It has been a week of guinea pig appreciation in our household.  We got the guins a while ago and my DD really loves them.  As you can see above, we have couch dinners for them, she reads to them, she lets them play on Animal Crossing on her 3DS, etc.  She also uses our dog as a pillow.  The middle bottom is her and her best friend from school on our way to the end-of-the-year park play day.  Tomorrow we have a sleepover with the same friend for the last day of school.

It has been a good week and we leave for beautiful (and much cooler) Monterey in two days!  Looking forward to relaxing before the stressful hospital stay.

Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday – Cheer

Friday, already?!?  Unbelievable!  Spring 2016 has officially come to a close (Class-wise.  Grading-wise, it has just begun to come to a close.) and I’m feeling both relieved and a little wistful.  So many things I would do differently (and can, next semester).  So many students I hope will keep in touch with me (I had some real gems this semester – I’m saying that with no sarcasm at all).  So many things I really enjoyed (and can’t wait to do again next semester).  So many unknowns moving forward!  And a sure-to-be-too-short summer “off” once I get my grades submitted!  I both love and hate this “in-between period”.  It is hard to stay motivated to keep grading quickly and efficiently when I know that I won’t have students asking me about them in class.  It is hard to not jump forward into planning without doing a proper and realistic appraisal of this past semester.  It is hard not to collapse into a pool of exhausted jelly and just watch the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel for weeks on end.  But, I am attempting to keep things going…and that includes my semi-regular, weekly blogging attempts, of which Five Minute Friday is one of the more regular semi-regular posts!

Five-Minute-Friday-4-300x300

So, here goes….

Cheer relates to “joy” when I think about it.  Feeling “cheerful” means feeling content and happy.  It also relates to celebrations to me.  The whole “Cheers!” thing we say when toasting others.  And this week is definitely one of celebration!  I gave my last final of the Spring 2016 semester on Thursday and I am somewhat cheerful in looking forward to summer break.  My DD is going to be finishing up First Grade on Thursday and I’m definitely feeling cheerful about that.  At a number of points during her short life, I wasn’t sure we would celebrate milestones such as this.  Summer is always a reason to “cheer” for me.  It is one of my favorite things about being a teacher!  I get to spend long summer days with my DD enjoying summer fun.  I know how lucky I am to have that ability.

Cheer also makes me think of “cheering” for someone or something.  I love baseball and we’re getting back our minor league team after many years of absence.  I am excited to have someone local to “cheer” on and to be able to take my DD to baseball games during this summer of cheer!


That’s it.  Not very deep this week, but it is done.  Even if it was a day late (I went to bed before the actual Five Minutes began last night.  🙂

 

Five Minute Friday, Uncategorized

Five Minute Friday – Expect

I’m joining Five Minute Friday again this week.  I missed it last week.  I almost did it a couple of days late, but decided not to.  I like the idea of doing it ON Friday.  This week’s topic is “Expect”.  Join in if you would like to be part of a supportive community with great messages to share!

Five-Minute-Friday-4-300x300

So, here goes:

I have high expectations for myself and my life.  I often over estimate what I’ll be able to do or get done in a certain amount of time.  I often have expected that things will come easily for me (because many things have in the past).  But, life is not so simple or easy and I often find myself coming out the other side disappointed.  It has not yet caused me to change my expectations though.  I somehow stay optimistic (perhaps unrealistic?) in hopes that even those things that didn’t come easily for me will still come.  I still expect that I will be able to accomplish what I need to accomplish, even if it takes longer than I thought it would originally.

Part of this “positivity” is my optimism.  Part of it is hope.  Part of it is that I realize expecting little doesn’t do much for my motivation or my drive.  So,  I would rather have high expectations and fall short than have low expectations and not have tried for something better.  Part of the positivity is based on the fact that I have had such huge blessings in my life, how could I not recognize where things have come more easily to me than to others (Bean’s heart is one thing that always comes to mind…we waited such a short time and we’ve been so lucky with her health since).

So, I expect…not necessarily “the best” but definitely good things to happen and for me to be able to do what I truly need to do when I truly need to do it.  So far, thank the Lord, I have been allowed to experience that, for the most part.  So, yes, I have had a rough seven years or so, with my parents’ illnesses and Bean’s illnesses, but things could have been so much worse.  And most of the time, I think I was pretty consistently thinking that things would be better, not worse.  I wasn’t always right about that, but the thoughts kept me sane.


That’s it for this Five Minute Friday!  Join up!  I’d love to hear what you have to say!

Health and Caregiving, Uncategorized

Tired but Wired

This is often my state of mind.  “Tired but Wired.”  I should make t-shirts.

So, what does this mean.  Well, I’m exhausted most of the time.  I work a job and a half (well, really a job and three quarters).  I take care of most of the household chores on a day-to-day basis.  I manage appointments and scheduling because I am the one with the busy schedule.  I don’t want to paint my DH out to be lazy.  He has a couple of jobs, but those jobs are long distance and highly intense for short bursts of time.  They are also jobs that I would say suffer from Parkinson’s Law – so, given deadlines, the work would be done in less time, but because it is often done without near-term deadlines, it expands to fill a lot of his time.  My job is more defined – I have teaching hours, office hours and then hours that I spend doing grading, prep, etc. but those are when I can fit them in.  My job suffers a bit from Parkinson’s Law as well.  So, we’re both working at home quite a bit.  Too much, in fact.

So, anyways, I am often feeling exhausted from everything I’ve had to do in a day AND staring down the barrel of a to-do list that is far too long to ever complete in the time provided for it.  I feel behind quite a bit of the time.  I often struggle with what I should be doing.  For example, right now, there are three loads of laundry piled up in our living room needing to be folded and put away, a load of dishes to unload from the dishwasher and more dishes waiting to go in, a mess on the dining room table to that needs to be dealt with (thrown away, put away, etc.) AND a pile of grading in my work bag that is late being handed back.  I currently can’t locate my video camera that has some presentations on it I need to grade.  I have an iPad that needs to be restored to make it functional.  And my in-laws are coming for the weekend and their bed in the guest room needs to be made.  I need to clean the bathrooms.  The list goes on and on.  And this is not unique.  This is my daily operating.  And that list of things makes me WIRED.  I feel tense and anxious and like I need to be constantly DOING.  But, I’m also TIRED.  Yesterday was my 13 hour day (with one two hour break in there) and I have a headache and my back hurts and I just want to curl up with a TV show and recover.  But, I teach in three and a half hours and I volunteer in my DD’s classroom in an hour.  And…and…and…

So, yeah, I ‘m both tired and wired.  I’m exhausted but anxious.  And I feel a little stuck.  I do have summer coming in a month.  During summer, I am mostly wired.  I get bored easily and feel like I NEED to be doing things.  But, I also don’t get much done.  It is a strange set of circumstances.  But, this summer, I plan to be more purposeful in REST and in WORK.  So, I’m going to plan times for both. I need to work on a course redesign I got a grant for and I have a few other projects I would like to get done during the summer.  But, I also realize that I need to have some DOWN time.  When I’m not working on anything.  When I can just decompress.  Sleep.  Relax.  Read.  Enjoy.  If I am not purposeful about that, the summer will be gone and I will still feel just tired and wired.  I want to feel rejuvenated and purposeful instead.  It isn’t quite as poetic, but it sure would feel better.

Six Word Saturday

Six Word Saturday –

Joining up with Six Word Saturday this week.

Travel hopes are high.  No Whammies!

This weekend I am getting ready for a trip to Indiana with more students than I’ve ever taken before.  The logistics for the trip are like an LSAT problem and I’m dealing with some anxiety over the trip (as I always do, but with 20 people traveling, the stakes seem higher this time).  Last year at this same tournament, I had the worst trip I’ve ever had.  Two hotel issues (that were totally my doing), a problem with the advance (again, my doing)…I guess that was all but that was enough to scar me.  Luckily, I was only traveling with two students, so the problems were easy enough to deal with.  With 20, that would definitely not be the case.

So, I’ve been trying to double and triple check all the plans, but I still feel totally anxious.  I have not been sleeping great and I have a ton of grading and cleaning and such to do before I leave on Wednesday morning VERRRRRRY early (like 3 am early).

That’s the other part of this equation.  My husband is currently in FL for work.  He will get back around 11 p.m. on Tuesday night.  I will leave at 3 am on Wednesday morning.  We did this same thing last year (tournament schedules are usually very similar year-to-year), but last year was when all hell broke loose with my DD’s meds and we switched to pills and she wouldn’t take them for me and then I left and my DH got her to take the meds fine but when I got back she started having these horrible anxiety attacks about school.  It ended up being her med levels because of the switch from liquid to pills, but the whole experience with the traumatic days leading up to my departure with the pills, then the problems while I was traveling, then coming back to these horrible anxiety attacks…it is making me even more anxious about this year.  Sigh…

So, in a way.  This year HAS to be better.  Right?

Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday -Alive

I am joining the Five Minute Friday crew over at Kate Montaung’s blog Heading Home again this week.  I hope you’ll consider joining them as well.  It is a wonderful group of supportive writers sharing their perspective on a prompt each week.

Five-Minute-Friday-4-300x300

This week’s prompt is “Alive” – here goes:

7901_Bean_Awake_7-4_display

That is my daughter.  The picture is from July 3, 2009, four days before her transplant.  She had not opened her eyes or been awake for days, maybe weeks before that.  She had been on a paralytic in order to keep her from fighting the ventilator and all the other lines she had going into her little, tiny body.  She had just been moved from the PICU to the CVICU because the PICU doctor had basically given up on keeping her stable after days of changing medication levels, plunging blood pressures to elevated blood pressures, bad labs, etc.  The CVICU is typically reserved for those who have already had heart surgery, but they moved her there, I think believing that if she didn’t get a new heart within a few days, she would need to have a Berlin Heart.  Either way, she would be in the CVICU soon enough anyways.  She was probably as close to death as a baby can be without passing away.  It was terrifying and exhausting and depressing.  But, she held on.  Day after day.  Through what had to be painful and frightening situations.  I must admit that I sometimes wondered if we were doing the right thing.  Putting her through all that. But I had to believe that keeping her alive was better than the alternative.

Bean post transplant one month

This photo was taken one month after her transplant.  The difference is pretty amazing.  In four weeks she was off the ventilator, smiling, had lost the puffiness that had been there for months before.  She was taking formula from a bottle.  She held fingers and loved to watch a mobile over her head.  She was ALIVE – not just at the basic level she had been before, but at the WHOLE level.  She was aware, awake and active.

I am now confident that we did the right thing putting her through everything.  She has thrived in the past seven years.  We have had our medical bumps and rough spots, but overall we’ve had it good.  We’ve had great times and we have wonderful memories and wonderful friends and being alive is good.  It is important to remind ourselves of that when things get rough.  Babies even know it. But sometimes life’s hard hits can make us forget that knowledge.  In this season of new life, remember that being alive is a gift.  A gift to us and a gift to others.

 

Six Word Saturday

Six Word Saturday -Spring Break Edition

Well, Spring Break is officially coming to an end.  It went by so quickly, as usual.  And it has been a bit of a roller coaster ride, to be sure.  I’ve adjusted to roller coaster rides over the last seven years and I’m pretty good at putting my arms up and trying to enjoy the fun parts and keep my stomach on the scary parts.  So, today’s Six Word Saturday recognizes that:

Fun! fear! Enjoy the roller coaster!

 

The fun was early in the week.  We went to Monterey Bay Aquarium and the beach.

Then we went to the hospital.  Not as much fun or beauty there.  But, it is what it is.

I’ll close my eyes, scream and see what is at the bottom.