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Monday, July 6, 2009

Let the summer fun begin!

This blog is from Thursday, July 2, 2009, but as I was busy and away from the computer for a while I'm just now posting it. It's a long one, so you may want to grab some popcorn or ice cream or something...
Today was my final exam for Summer I Mental Health. I had been studying quite a bit and felt pretty comfortable with the material. Actually, I was praying that I could recall what all we had covered in lecture because I hadn’t kept up with all of the reading assignments. I reviewed the objectives, reviewed the notes and completed dozens of NCLEX questions as well as watched the video that came with the ATI test materials. I pulled into a parking spot on campus around 7:45 with a book on CD in the player. I didn’t have a single note card or book with me. I figured last minute cramming would not be beneficial. I ventured on into the nursing building and encountered several students milling around nervously. Then, it was test time. I logged on, entered the test code and got busy. I probably spent more than the allotted 1.3 minutes on the first question, bookmarked it and continued on with the test. One thing is for sure: I do miss the math problems this semester. I tried to really focus on the questions and answer them and not bookmark a ton of them like I normally do. In the end, I think I only had 6 questions marked for review. I broke test taking rule #1 and changed a correct answer to the wrong answer on one of the questions-DOH!. I missed 6 altogether. I thought that was pretty ironic—that I had marked 6 questions to review and I missed six questions (not the same ones I had marked, mind you). After completing the exam, I stayed to review the rationale at 9:30 a.m. Once I reviewed the rationale, I thought there were a couple I could have challenged, but the bottom line is I would have had to score 100% in order to make an A in theory, so why argue over a couple of points. I gladly accepted my 88% on the test, which left me with an 84 average overall. A “B” is a “B” whether it’s 80 or 89, right?
I then hit the ground running and headed to Tia’s to pick up A & A, then home to bake cakes & cupcakes and flat iron Alisa’s hair before heading to Southeast Campus to see Xavier’s modeling debut at College for Kids. Barrett called as I was leaving campus and said he had something for me. I agreed to call him when I left Tia’s house, and he could meet me at my house. He came bearing 2 tubs of Blue Bell ice cream: Moolinneum Crunch (my personal favorite) and French Vanilla (‘cause who can go wrong with vanilla ice cream?). I thanked him and continued on with the making of the cakes and cupcakes. I planned to leave home at 12:15 to pick up Tia & Sasha and head to Xavier’s program, but I was only on the second half of Alisa’s head. Barrett walked out with us around 12:30 p.m., and we made it to campus with time to spare.
Xavier’s program was short and sweet. Some of the kids had designed their own 4th of July t-shirts; others wore other patriotic garb. Each of them had their chance on the 6-8 foot runway to walk (strut?), stop, pose, return, strike a pose again and then exit the stage. You could tell some of them were counting as they struck their poses J. It only took a few minutes for all of the students to do their thing, so they instructor had them do it again. Then, another student showed up and was in tears because she had missed it, so they did it again. Finally, the teacher asked the students some questions to show off what they’d learned over the previous 3 weeks. Shannon showed up in time to see the 4th go-round, and we all stayed for an additional 20 minutes or so to take pictures of Xavier and his entourage and allow Sasha her big chance on the cat walk (a natural born model-to-be!). Gran, Jeromy, Dayton, Tyson, Crew, Tia, Aaron, Alisa, Uncle LoLo, Derrick, Shannon & Leyla were all in attendance. Way to go, Xavier!
We dropped Tia off at her house, and Sasha came home with the kids and me so we could decorate our t-shirts. Aaron got a call from his friend down the street and went to swim. Alisa, Sasha and I dug out the fabric paints and card board and went to work. We left the t-shirts outside to dry, and piled into the car once again to hit the library and grocery store. We needed some books on tape for the drive to Blanco, and a few sale items from Tom Thumb. Just as I was going into Tom Thumb, I checked my cell phone and noticed a message from Aaron saying it was time for him to come home. I told him I was in the grocery story, but if he needed to be picked up right away his Daddy was at home. As if…! Naturally, they had already called the house and received no answer. Mike was probably in on of his comas. I tried the house a couple of times as I tried hurriedly to get my grocery items as quickly as possible. I sent Alisa with the cheese coupon to get the Kraft singles, and Sasha & I went across the store to get buns. The only problem was we didn’t decide on a meeting place. Sasha & I walked all of the way back to the dairy department (which in Tom Thumb is literally on the opposite side of the store) looking up and down every aisle. No Alisa. I wasn’t panicking, but I was afraid Alisa would be. I headed to the checkout and there she was eyes red and worried looking with the coupon and the package of cheese. I wanted to fuss at her for making me go back and forth across the store looking for her, wasting precious time I didn’t have to spare. I knew if Aaron was calling saying it was time to go home that meant that Austin & his family had something else to do. Besides, I never wanted to be the kind of parent who just dumped her kids off on other people and never called to check on them or never picked them up on time. Furthermore, it wasn’t Alisa I was angry with; it was Mike for not being the responsible parent I thought he should be and getting up to answer the phone or door for his own child. After all, he is the one who dropped Aaron off, so it’s not like he didn’t know Aaron would eventually need to come home! I realized that the miscommunication was my fault and Alisa was already suffering enough, so instead I used my therapeutic communication and commented on how frightened she must have felt to be separated from us in the big grocery store. We checked out and headed by Austin’s house to pick up Aaron. The Hollands had attempted to take him home where he still couldn’t get in the house because Mike didn’t respond to the door bell any better than he had the multiple phonecalls.
Some days just never seem to end. Once we were all home and I was unloading my few items, Tia calls and says Renee is on her way to pick up Sasha from her house. So, the girls & I load back into the van and head back to Tia’s to deliver Sasha to her mama. After that, we headed to Wal-Mart grocery store. I was still vexed with Mike because Wal-Mart was on my way home from Tom Thumb & the library but I couldn’t stop because I knew Aaron was waiting, so this was in essence backtracking on a day I still had a ton of things to do before driving to Blanco the next day. The time was 7:40 p.m.
The good thing was Wal-Mart reduces the price of their rotisserie chickens to $2.00 each after 8:00 p.m., so I already had an idea for dinner that didn’t involve a lot of cooking on my part. I grabbed the few remaining items on my list and at long last we headed home to stay! I fixed corn and green beans to accompany our “backyard grill” flavored chicken, then got busy washing dishes, folding laundry and gathering the supplies I needed to make my buttercream frosting so I could decorate the cakes for RoseMary’s 4th of July/birthday celebrations.
Around 10:00 p.m. Barrett calls saying he needed to talk and could he come over. I told him I was washing dishes, but sure he could come on. He brought me a note printed in purple (my favorite color) telling me “congratulations” on completing 3 semesters of nursing school. He also came bearing awful news: his friend Ed who just moved to Texas from Chicago about a week ago had died of a massive heart attack earlier this evening. Poor Barrett! I knew how much he had been looking forward to having his friend nearby once again to do stuff with and just hang out. Barrett and I talked about a lot of things over the next three hours as I continued to wash dishes, measure ingredients, make the frosting, backwash the pool, etc…Finally, just before 1 a.m. I said I was going to bed and would do the cakes in the morning. I expressed my condolences once again, and Barrett headed for home while I dragged my tired carcass to bed. What a day. I did not set my alarm clock, and figured we would not be hitting the road any earlier than my original 10:00 a.m. plan. Good night. Until next time...

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