Friday, July 30, 2010

Saltwater Scientist

So I had no idea when my husband decided to get a saltwater tank that I was going to be the scientist behind the curtain. Learning about the process and maintenance of this tank has been insane...we're literally going to have a little eco-system in our living room! We found a beautiful 90 gallon corner tank on craigslist for $500 and learned later that it was made from on of the top of the line companies (and is valued at $1200!). There is still so much to learn but I'm slowing jumping on the band wagon. Levi has been studying hard and relaying to me what I need to know, but I'm sure that it's going to be quite the adventure. We were also fortunate enough to find another killer deal on craigslist last week. We found a guy (who happened to live in on of the wealthiest parts of Anchorage) who was relocating to Florida. He advertised that he was looking for someone to buy his HUGE lot of goodies, so we immediately snagged it up! After getting all of the products home and looking all of them up online, we realized they valued at over $1700...and we only paid $300! And mind you, most everything was new or in near perfect condition. If you can't tell by now, I LOVE a good deal!

We have the filtration system, the reverse osmosis machine, protein skimmer and the lights all set up. It's been filled with water and after it reached the correct temperature we added the salt, sand and live rock! The rocks require time to "cure" and so we've been forced to leave the tank alone for a while now. The rocks are constantly changing every day and growing the bacteria it needs to help our tank thrive. I know I'm a dork, but I never thought I'd be so excited about bacteria! I'm also learning about all of the chemicals levels that I will need to test for on a weekly bases (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, salinity, etc.) WHEW! What did I get myself into?

But I suppose the most exciting news is that we finally added our first live animals into the tank last evening....4 little snails! I was off taking a chemistry exam but Levi said that Lucas was just infatuated with them! The tank set up has been a project for the boys and Lucas has taken such an interest in it. I can't wait to see his reaction once we're ready for fishies! We've been researching and picking out all of the corals and living creatures that we'd like to add to it and honestly, I'm starting to get impatient! Levi has constructed the entire layout in his head and he is going to screw the rocks together to form such an amazing landscape. I really can't wait to see it up and going! But for now...we wait.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Graduation Update

I survived my 3-day intensive organic chemistry lab and I actually got something out of it that I never would have expected…the idea to graduate with my Associates of Art! I was speaking with my lab partner and she was listing off all of the requirements for doing so, and what do ya know…I’m almost eligible! So I made an appointment to meet with an academic advisor and we came to the conclusion that I was short ONE credit. Are you kidding me? ONE STINKIN’ CREDIT! Ahh! (All due to the way my courses transferred over). So instead of graduating this December, I actually have to wait for the spring semester. Kind of a disappointment…but I think I'm okay with it. I never would have thought to check for my associates because I am enrolled under a pre-nursing major for the bachelor program, but I am so happy that I did! Makes me feel 100% more accomplished and I will soon be able to refer to myself as a college graduate!

The only discrepancy, however, is my nutrition course from American River College. After reviewing my Transfer Evaluation Worksheet, we realized that it transferred over as a departmental elective as opposed to the required course for my nursing program. I’m totally stressed and taking all measures I need to approach the matter, but I’m very scared that this is going to jeopardize my nursing application. (which is due Oct. 1st) I have an academic petition submitted to the registrar’s office and all I can do is wait for an answer. I submitted my original syllabus and the courses appear equivalent, but unfortunately that’s not my call to make. But even if they do accept my petition, I still need to fight to have it evaluated a second time in order to consider it a “200” level course. I e-mailed the director of the Dietetics and Nutrition department today with a copy of the syllabus, so fingers crossed he views the equivalency just as I do. If he does not approve my request then I will be forced to take another 200 level humanities course in the spring in order to fill my graduation requirement-which is a total waste of time and money. But regardless of what happens, I will be graduating with my associate's degree this spring! I am just very worried that this will cost me my chance to apply for the nursing program. I hate playing the waiting game, but at this point that is all I can do. Cross your fingers that everything works out!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Rori had her puppies right on schedule and I must say that they are the cutest and tiniest little things I have ever seen! She was in labor almost all of Sunday afternoon and evening so I prep'd a few different beds for her. I wanted for her to find a spot to have them where she was most comfortable, but naturally she had other plans. I attempted to go to bed about 10, but her behavior kept me awake and anxious for the delivery. Poor thing was panting like it was the end of the world and she was running around digging/nesting everywhere she could find. She was doing really well lying in one of the beds in my room while I laid next to her but she immediately jumped up- darted under the bed- and popped out the first pup! Go figure.

She did amazing and didn't even cry like I had expected her to. I read that the first pup of the very first liter is usually really difficult and scary for them, but she did amazing. After she cleaned it up I moved it to the bed and she followed. She had her second pup 40 minutes later and this one really worried me. She seemed more concerned with cleaning up herself than the baby and its breathing was very labored. I kept persuading her to lick her puppy (because that is what helps to stimulate the breathing and the bonding)but she was very inconsistent. Levi and I both rubbed its body and helped increase Rori's attention to it. The final pup came at 3:30 in the morning and it was another simple and safe delivery. All of the puppies are doing wonderful and mama is attached to them like no other. I couldn't even get her to come out of the room to eat, drink, or potty for 17 whole hours. I guess that's a perfect example of motherly love!

The final count came to three puppies...the first two born were females and the final a male. They are so tiny that I can cover all three of them up with a single hand! Lucas' initial reaction to them was priceless. We've been telling him for a few days that Rori had baby puppies in her belly but when he saw them for the first time he looked over at me with a very confused expression and asks "baby cows?" HAHA! I suppose their black and white coloring does make them look a little like baby cows. Leave it to Lucas to make the most off the wall and unexpected comment. Makes me curious what he'll say whenever the time comes for him to be a big brother!

This was such a fun experience and I am so glad that I was there to witness the birth of all three of these precious little companions. It definitely reassures my decision to work in Labor and Delivery. Babies or puppies...its still a beautiful thing!♥

Saturday, July 10, 2010

My roller coaster of a week...

To put it lightly…I’ve had a heck of a week. My emotions have been running wild and I really think that the stress of things has finally caught up with me.

To begin, I’ve been house sitting my cousin in-laws dog, Beezy. I honestly didn’t realize how much work it was going to be! The day Beezy was scheduled to arrive, we were notified that our backyard fence needed to be torn down for the bobcat driver to level out our lot. (This part is exciting!!) We’ve completed the first step to building our dream home and it was quite a surprise when the neighbor offered to do it alongside his yard…at no cost to us! Can we say good Karma?!So naturally, as soon as the fence was down and we had to add another dog to the mix, it rained. For some reason, this large dog refused to potty outside in the rain and insisted that my carpet was a wonderful place to do her business. Mind you, her poop piles are nearly as big as my dogs and I swear she urinates at least a half gallon of pee each time she goes! It was a pain walking three dogs outside to potty but I did so almost every hour to keep them from going inside. Did it work? Absolutely not. My dogs decided that they too needed to revert back to their puppy stages and go all over my carpet since some new dog was in their house doing the same. UGH!

Then, for the first time in my life, I failed a quiz. I know this may sound over dramatic, but I was genuinely devastated. I know that I hold ridiculously high standards for myself but it’s something that I truly need to do to push myself to greatness. I am the top student in all of my other classes and science comes naturally to me, but apparently Philosophy is just not my thing. This is by far the stupidest course I’ve ever taken and our quizzes barely reflect the examples we are asked to learn. But long story short, I’ve been really disappointed in myself and worrying that a bad grade could jeopardize my chances of getting into the nursing program early like I’ve been hoping. The moment that disaster happened I walked into the living room to find that 2 of the dogs had pooped in the house AGAIN! I totally lost it at that point and had a nervous breakdown full of sobbing tears. Now (for some strange reason) I am overly influenced by PMS. I have never really experienced this much at all in my life and I had no hormonal issues when I was pregnant either. Mood swings are very new to me…but I’ve definitely got them. It must be bad because hubby even commented on them.

At this point, my amazing son was the only thing that made me feel any better. He ran over to me and asked me nearly 100 times “Alright Mommy? Mommy cry? Mommy…alright?” I swooped him up and squeezed him tight and realized that his affection could cure anything. He hugged me and rubbed my face and I wondered how my son could be such an amazing comforter at such a young age. He really is the light of my life! (Hence the name Lucas…which means bringer of the light!)

Beezy had somehow wiggled out of her harness while I had her tied up, so again…another panic had set in. It was 9:30 at night and I immediately threw Lucas into the car…pj’s and all. Luckily for me she came running down the street right towards my yard. Phew! Levi was able to come back to town for a night and we built a temporary fence to keep in the dogs. They are now back to doing their business outside and besides all of Lucas’ toys being eaten, things are fairly back to normal in the doggie business. That is until Rori has her puppies here any day!!

Lucas has been pretty sick and cranky, so naturally my days have been very long. I crammed all week for my second chemistry exam (which I aced!) and I completed all my work that I needed to get done for school. Of course this had to be the busiest week of the semester on top of everything else going on at home. Lucky me.

We were so excited when Danny and Brittany Kehrer came to town! We went out for a delicious dinner and took them to some of the scenic spots here in town. It was a much needed night out! And this was only the second time that we had left Lucas with his babysitter (awake at least) so we were so delighted to hear that he was on his best behavior! She claimed that he is the best child that she has ever watched and that he was so sweet, smart, and well behaved. Music to a mother’s ears!! I have an intensive 3-day lab I have to attend next week in the valley and just mentioning this stresses me out. This will be the first time that I have EVER been away from my baby for an entire day. =( I know he is old enough to be away from me, but I hope I can handle being away from him. STRESSED I TELL YOU!

But the worst part of all, I think my OCD is on overload and I don’t know how to calm it down. I try my hardest to ignore my urges but lately I have been so overwhelmed by things being out of place and it literally makes me crumble. For instance, Levi has been insisting that we need a salt water fish tank. I was worried that we didn’t really have anywhere to put one, but let him buy one nonetheless. We were rearranging the living room and it stressed me out so bad that I started crying yet again. Levi laughed because he thinks it’s funny and not a big deal, but it REALLY bothers me. I am so easily overwhelmed when things don’t mesh and it’s really difficult to find a happy medium. He asked me to keep the living room the way it is for a few days to see if it grows on me, but this is one of the hardest things for me to do. I keep walking by and I realize that I like where we moved the couch…but the recliner is ruining it all! Haha. I think I can laugh about it now but it really is a bigger deal to me than it should be. But I’m trying to look at the positive notes and since we moved all of Lucas’ toys into his room, our living room actually appears quite a bit larger than before! And poor poor Lucas. What have I done to my child?! I don’t know if he’s picked up on my tendencies or if OCD is genetic, but he is JUST like me. He organizes everything (including his toys) and gets flustered also when things are messy. On more than one occasion I’ve seen him jump off the couch, run and pick up an out of place toy, put it in the correct bin, and jump back onto the couch. OH NO! And just yesterday while in the kitchen he yelled, “oh no, messy! Mama..towel.” So I handed him a towel and he wiped up the tiny spill of jelly on the floor. He always wipes down his area after eating (including in restaurants!) and insists on putting his toys away before we walk out of the house. And a few months ago when I took him to the children’s museum he went and cleaned up all of the other children’s messes rather than making one of his own. He’s always yelling clean up ebrybody.” I don’t know what bothers me more- the fact that my OCD is on hyper drive or that my son has been cursed with this too….

With the week finally to an end I can happily say that I’m back to my normal self. I’m blaming this entire week on PMS and I am so thankful that it is over. Looking back I realize a lot of fun that came out of this week (including our fun ice skating adventure), but I think that the roller coaster of good, bad, good, bad, and so on, just made it difficult to process. My husband is home, even if it's only for a day, so fingers crossed for a great Sunday!