Thursday, August 28, 2008

Riding the Bus

My days have been busy, as of late, bandaging small hands with boo boos from monkey bars, packaging up clothes after "accidents", lifting little people out of wheelchairs to set on potties, checking shot records and telling parents their child is going to need five shots by tomorrow in order to be in school, and placing ice packs on bumped heads. Even with 4 year old diabetics, my job is pretty low stress compared to the ER. That is, until 3:30 rolls around.

You would think that by 3:30 when all the children have left my stress would be gone. Oh, no. This is when it hits the fan around this joint. In the last few days we have gotten calls from at least 6 parents missing their children at the bus stop. Two parents have ended up in our office looking for said children. Then starts the phone calls to the bus barn, teachers describing children to the bus dispatcher who then describes them over the radio to the bus driver, parents becoming hysterical, bus drivers checking buses that they parked for sleeping kids, teachers, nurse, and principals running all over campus looking for lost children. AHHHH!

Give me a person having a heart attack who we have to shock 3 times to get back, I will even do chest compressions and help drop a tube down them. Just please, please, don't lose kids! I come home exhausted from the pure stress of it all.

So you don't fret - all children were accounted for. More than one fell asleep and the stupid bus driver didn't check her bus when she parked it to see if children were sleeping on it. Another child got on bus 29 instead of 25 - she wanted to ride with her friend. And one bus driver had the bright idea that she would take children that didn't belong on her bus and drive them directly to their house because she knew where they lived. Never mind Dad was waiting at the bus stop at another school where they were supposed to be! Another child simply did not get off at her stop. Where do we get our bus drivers? I have known many bus drivers over the years and none so goofy as these. And finally I have resolved that I WILL NEVER LET MY CHILD RIDE THE BUS.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

First Day of School!

Hooray!! Oh wait. Oh crap!! I always loved the first day of school as a kid and then as an adult parent. But this year I look forward to it with anticipation and anxiety of the new things to come. Tomorrow marks the first day of school for the kiddos and for me. As most of you know, I took a new position this year as a school nurse. School nursing isn't new to me by any stretch, but school nursing in TX at a Pre-K-2 is a little nerve racking. For instance, after visiting my sister schools' offices I realized that I must have a theme for my office complete with decorations and bulletin boards. Shoot. Also, I am supposed to send letters out to parents, be excluding students from enrollment for immunization delinquencies and have already received doctor's permission to treat certain students at school. I am so not ready. Yesterday I made a small dent by deciding to theme the Nurse's Office this year "The Dog House." It will be decorated in all things dog. Brian and I took a trip to IKEA to solidify this with the purchase of three stuffed dogs, three plastic dog bowls, some dog tail hooks for jackets and such, and one very adorable basset hound poster. I am still way behind. Also, I haven't even picked out my first day of school clothes. I have so much to do.

On a fun note, this is how Jacob is starting first grade. The picture makes him look way more awkward than he really is, but it was too funny not to post.

My New Commute

I used to brag that my commute was the best. If you have to drive 30 minutes to work it might as well pass some cows, goats, horses, a creek with Herons and a pond with ducks and geese. Brian's commute upstairs is quite possibly more gas efficient, but I really did love my drive.

With a new job comes a new commute and among other things I am sad to leave, my drive was one of them. I happily made my way, however, on my planned shortest route to work. Twice I have gotten stuck behind a gravel truck or a tractor (I have only worked 5 days so far). I was feeling a bit frustrated. Miles of overgrown farm to look at isn't bad, a short distance on the 35 isn't too hectic and the couple miles of businesses with stop lights isn't horrible. Yet I wanted something better.

If anyone knows me, they know that I am up for an adventurous drive. My travels home thus far have taken me on several routes. Thursday while driving home I decided to snap a few photos from the driver's seat to show you my favorite. This is just one part of the drive. I go over the San Gabriel River, up and down some incredible hills, and through some of the most gorgeous hill country ever. Glad I took pictures this day since the following day I took the same route and those big puffy white clouds were dark and gray and pouring down rain - well more like blowing sideways rain. I wasn't driving my cushy Honda either; no windows in the Jeep made for a wet ride. Too scared to take pictures that day...

Friday, August 15, 2008

For Free, For Real!

I love JJ! Besides the uncanny fact that she and her husband have the same last name as the majority of my extended family, JJ is one of my favorite musicians. Brian and I met JJ and her husband, Dave, several years ago now through common friends - neighbors Sarah and Tim from our "white house." JJ and Dave are some of the most delightful, down to earth, lovely people you could meet. We were blessed to receive a copy of her music from Sarah and Tim and since then have bought copies of all of her albums. I highly recommend you download your free copy of her newest album. As Brian put it in an email to our church friends, "She’s got a folk-pop style with a Christian base." Well put! Thanks for the music, JJ!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Serious Fun at the Lake

After days of hard labor the guys took a break and we headed for the lake. Inks lake is about 45 minutes north west of here and though we have a lake about 15 minutes from us we decided to check it out. I am so glad we did. The In-laws had scoped this out on their drive here. What a great spot. In a state campground around one of the fingers of Inks Lake is a great little no-wake place to paddle around and play. This was the kids' first time in a lake (the lakes in the Sierra's were far too cold to actually swim in) and they loved it - though they were constantly on the look out for fish. What can I say - they are my kids...

The FIL rented a paddle boat and a kayak and for an hour both were in constant use. Brian and I took the kayak out into the lake to take a look around. Though the beauty of the Sierras is unparalleled this place rates in my book. I took a deep breath and thanked God that he brought us to this Big Sky State. I only have a few pictures because I was too involved in having fun. I am sure the MIL and my sister have a few more.

I wanted a deck...

Whenever my father in law comes to town we know that there needs to be a project for him to do. Each time he has come some significant home improvement takes place. The first time we got a planter in the back yard and our shed was properly placed. I think this is the same trip that Brian got a work bench in the garage. At Thanksgiving we got a brick lined planter in the front that dramatically improved the look of the front of our house. This past Spring we added major storage space by the FIL making dead space under the stairs accessible through a door in our closet. At the end of each trip he starts thinking about what we might like done the following trip. In the Spring he asked and I somewhat jokingly in my wildest dreams way said, "A deck!" Well, I said it... And he built it.

For the last many months the FIL has been on the phone with the local hardware/lumber people, on the computer drawing plans, and masterminding how to build the perfect deck. By the time he got here the thing had been built in his head a thousand times. The only thing he didn't account for was how outrageously hot it would be here in TX in August. They worked in the morning and in the late evening and after three days I had a complete deck. Thanks, Jim (and Brian since you did build it too) I love my deck! Now about next trip...

How to panic your parent..

The other morning at about 4 in the morning when I had already been sleepless for a few hours I decided to go upstairs to catch up on some of my Tivo'd Joyce Meyers (the curse of the night shift - up on your nights off). I walked into the kids room to check in on them really quickly and shut their door so the TV wouldn't wake them. To my complete terror there was one kid missing. Jacob was not in his bed. I checked the floor, the crack of the bed, the closet. Then I saw it, two little bottoms on the top bunk. At some point during the night the kids had bunked up in the same bed. After my panic settled I smiled. They may be at one another's throats during the day but they really do love each other.