School, Crafts, Baking and More…

A few quick updates, since Little Miss Minion is bound to wake up from her nap at any moment-

  1. My school has gone completely online for the rest of the semester. I can’t remember if I said that before, but its official. We will be doing video conferencing for lecture and lab for the first time on Saturday, and I am hoping we will get more information on how our tests will go, since we have pushed back a lecture test and a lab practical from this weekend to next weekend. I’m curious to see how the lab test will go, since so much of the practical is hands on. I guess we will find out Saturday.
  2. The coffee filter crown turned out cute. I will attempt to upload a picture to this post once I publish on my laptop-the pic is on my phone.
  3. Sprouts have been transplanted into peat seedling cups (kind of like cardboard ice cube trays that you break up and plant) and await warmer temps outside.
  4. Mr Minion has hijacked the office since he is working from home for the foreseeable future. He had been going to the office each day, thereby exposing himself and us to the chance of bringing home the virus.
  5. The weather, while not warm enough to plant things, is warm enough for Little Miss Minion to go outside without complaining that its cold.

Our grocery orders have been running about five days out, since delivery has become so popular. I joked the other day that our kitchen is going to end up like an episode of Chopped (American TV show where you are given random ingredients and have to make do). Sure enough, we got our last grocery delivery and several items were left out due to low supplies. I had gotten all the components for Boeuf Bourguignon except the meat–solution: Coq Au Vin! Almost identical ingredients list, but with chicken. Luckily, we got the fruit and Little Miss Minion’s string cheese, so she is happy.

I can hear tiny feet thundering around–off to the next adventure!

Spring is here!

So today is the first day of spring…and it is cloudy and raining. But the high is supposed to be decent, so I have opened the windows a little to get some fresh air in here. Little Miss Minion and I prepped the seeds for sprouting the other day. We are hoping to do two plantings-a cool weather one and then a summer one. Since I am home now, hopefully I will be able to keep up on maintaining the plants.

First planting: dill, parsley, cucumber, thyme, lavender, and broccoli. I plan to make pickles out of the cucumber. They are currently sitting in damp paper towels, taped to the window of our office so they can sprout.

Summer planting: we are planning on doing cherry tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, onions, zucchini, green beans and/or peas, lettuce, and some peppers (probably a combo of sweet mini peppers and some spicy ones for fajitas).

Mr Minion tilled up both of our gardening areas-we have a raised bed already, and we pulled up some grass in another area of the backyard to plant more things. This area will be shaded once the leaves come back, where the raised bed is in direct sunlight all day. I think we will move the tomatoes back to the raised bed this season. They didn’t do well in the small section of the shaded area we put them in last time.

As I mentioned above, I am going to try my hand at canning this year. I’m hoping for pickles, and I will probably attempt to do any extra green beans/peas, and maybe make some salsa if we have enough tomatoes and peppers. I’m terrified of giving us all botulism though, so I need to read up on how to not kill us all.

Other than that, not much going on over here. We pretty much stay in the house anyway, since it has been so gross out recently. Mr Minion refilled the sand in the sandbox for the kiddo, and she was very excited about that. We made chocolate cupcakes yesterday, and I am going to attempt making a spring flower hat with her today. I am not crafty at all, but I think this is doable. I will update if it turns out well, and if it doesn’t…this never happened. 😉

Wish us luck!

The Obligatory Coronavirus Post

I have been following this virus since about the third week in January and it looks like it has taken until now for the US government to take it seriously. So…7 weeks. I have a lot of opinions and feeling about this, but I want to focus on what we can all do to help. Since I spent much of Little Miss Minion’s first year of life in a constant state of bleaching everything we owned, I have some relevant experience. RSV isolation and introversion have prepared me for just this situation 😉

As the parent of a former 28 weeker, I take cold and flu season extremely seriously, even though my kiddo has hopefully outgrown her preemie lungs and the problems that go with them, as well as developed a decent immune system. Last time she got sick, she had a runny nose for about 12 hours and then gave it to me, where it lasted six weeks and turned into a double ear infection, a sinus infection, bronchitis, and borderline pneumonia mixed with infection-induced asthma.

I’m sure everyone has heard the non-stop refrain of “wash your hands,” “it’s just the flu,” and “it’s only killing old people.” Here are my two cents, as a NICU mom, as a preemie mom, and as a (hopeful) future nurse:

  1. WASH YOUR HANDS. For real. Viruses need us to take them to the cells they can infect. Take the common cold, for example. You could dunk your hands in a bucket full of rhinovirus and not get sick…UNLESS you brought the virus to your nose or mouth. Scrub your hands, and the detergents in the soap will disrupt the virus capsule and kill it. Hand sanitizer does the same thing to this virus–although not all viruses are killed by it. Norovirus, for example, is not killed by most sanitizer gels.
  2. Take it seriously. While 80% of cases are apparently not a big deal, that means that 20% result in symptoms serious enough to warrant hospitalization. We don’t have the space in our hospitals for that kind of volume. We don’t have the staffing, or the supplies…which brings me to the next point.
  3. Do your part to flatten the curve. The curve is basically the number of people who need medical attention at a given time. The lower that number is, the better shape we will all be in. Slow the spread of illness so that the numbers of severe cases don’t surge. 100 people knocking on your door over the course of a year is far better than all of those people showing up in one day.
  4. Don’t be a carrier. Limit your visiting with more vulnerable people (looking at you, nursing homes, retirement homes, people fighting chronic illness, people with newborns). You could be sick with this virus (or any other virus) and not know it, bringing it in and infecting others who may not be able to fight it off. I can’t tell you how many times I had to tell, explain, and argue with people about why it was so vital that Little Miss Minion not get sick that first year she was home with us. What you think are “allergies” on Monday, so you go visit an older relative, could turn into “just a runny nose” on Tuesday and a full blown cold on Wednesday–and could prove to be pneumonia or worse for your unsuspecting relative.
  5. Don’t let the anxiety rule you. Check in on the news once or twice a day and get on with your day…albeit with a little more soap and a little less face-touching than usual.

 

Wishing everyone health and lots of toilet paper…

 

One Month of SAHM-ing

It’s been a whole month since my last day of work and my first day of being a stay at home mom (SAHM). I think Little Miss Minion has transitioned very well to staying home with me instead of going to daycare. I think I’ve transitioned pretty well too.

Here’s our general schedule:

After Mr Minion leaves for work, we do some “school” activities. This includes some combo of writing letters, tracing her name, and/or math. She’s got a math puzzle that she enjoys, but sometimes I’ll do this throughout the day and ask her how many of X item would she have if I took/added X number of items. She loves that and has started doing the same thing to us. Last night, we were eating dinner and she was asking us how many pieces of fish she would have left if she took some away. We sometimes give her a wrong answer to test her, but she’s getting pretty good.

After “school,” we go downstairs to her playroom and she can play with her kitchen, her castle, or her easel (and the plethora of other toys down there).

By this time, it’s getting close to lunchtime, so we come back upstairs and she cleans up her stuff while I make lunch. After lunch is naptime, and I either clean or study.

After her nap, we sometimes watch a tv show or movie. Sometimes she does a puzzle or colors on her own and I can keep working on school stuff. I’ll start dinner about an hour before Mr Minion should be home.

We’ve kept her off the iPad for about a week now, and I’ve noticed a big change in her ability to entertain herself and her focus. I don’t think she’s old enough yet for any actual educational games on there. I think the iPad might “disappear” this afternoon.

I think we’re going to keep doing swim lessons for her. She absolutely loves them and it’s a good way to keep her socialized. I need to sign her up for the next round. Once it gets warmer out, we’ll start going to the park. My goal is to walk there a couple times a week. It’s about 3 miles round trip and I’ll be bringing the Cadillac stroller (it’s a really nice jogging stroller) so I don’t have worry about her on the busy road and for book storage (the park is on the way to the library). I bought a sunhat for this exact reason, since I’m so pale. It’s similar to a handmaidens tale hat, only blue and there’s a flap of fabric that covers your neck in the back. It reminds me of retro Hollywood.

In other news, I had my first practical exam for Anatomy & Physiology II. In case you are unfamiliar with the structure of my class, it’s one course called A&P II. The class is split into a lecture, which is heavy on PowerPoint and explanation of the physiology part (explaining how the heart works, how the lungs work, what cells make up your blood, etc), and a lab (dissect a heart to see the parts, do your own blood typing to see which antigens you have, look at this model of the lungs to see where the gas exchange occurs). It’s kind of like having two classes, since they each have their own homework and tests, but they count as one grade total. My course grade will be made of 75% from lecture and 25% from lab.

The practical test in lab is set up on a series of stations at each lab table. There will be a model or a diagram or sometimes a dissected organ with questions that we have to answer. This one was very heavy on blood vessels and where your blood would be going depending on which vessel it was in.

Our scores were posted the other day day I got a 96%! So far, so good.

Little Miss Fishy

In an effort to get Little Miss Minion (and me) some social interaction, we decided to sign her up for swimming class. She’s in the preschool group, where they mostly focus on getting the kids to feel comfortable in the water. Her group consists of her and two other kids. The other two are bigger than she is (what else is new?) and more experienced in the water. At one point, she decided to go sit on the stairs and watch, but I talked her into going back over to the group. Her teacher really helped-I think she realized LMM was nervous, not just being stubborn. About five minutes later, she was splashing and picking up diving rings (they were in the kids section, so the water ranged from zero inches deep at the beach ramp walk in to like two feet at the far end). They also did boogie boards, where the kids hold the board and kick while the teacher pulls them around. They practiced floating, which I was sure LMM was going to pass on, but she did it. They also practiced jumping into the water while holding the teacher’s hands. I didn’t think she’d do that either, but I was pleasantly surprised. I was fully expecting her to refuse to go in this time, since the pool is a new place for her and I was over in the parent area. Every time she did something, she’d look over at me and beam–the biggest smiles ever. It was adorable.

While I was getting her dried off and dressed for the ride back home, she asked me if we could come back tomorrow. I think she likes it.

Nursing School Entrance Exam

This morning, I took my nursing school entrance exam. The program I will be applying for requires at least a 75%, but it is a highly competitive program and the average score of an accepted student is a 88% with a 3.6 GPA. I was very nervous about the math portion, because I don’t like math at all. I have to stop saying that I’m bad at it, because apparently, I am actually decent at it. My last position before leaving my job was a supervisor in the Accounting department, of all places.

The next things on my list are to officially apply for the RN program and to finish my scholarship application. There is an essay component, so I’ll be heading to campus this week to have someone from the Writing Center take a look at it and see if I am missing anything. Another set of eyes doesn’t hurt. I don’t know what the official application entails, but I have finally met all the criteria. Here are my stats:

GPA: 3.8 at my school, probably somewhere like 3.6 total

Entrance Exam score: 94.5%

Anatomy and Physiology grade: A

I’m hoping these are good enough to get me into the next cohort. I also hope there is an essay portion, because I do love a good essay. 🙂

 

Wish me luck!

 

New Semester, New Journeys

Lots of news in this post!

After six years at my place of employment, yesterday was my last day at work. Mr Minion and I decided that my focus should be on my school and spending time with Little Miss Minion before she starts kindergarten in the fall.

I’m excited and a little nervous to start this new phase of life. I’m very type A, so the thought of not having a schedule or consistent daily plan is strange. However, since I am so type A, I have decided to make my own schedule. I’ll be doing some school type activities with LMM so she is ready for school in the fall. I’ll be planning lots of trips to the library and the parks around here, once the weather warms up. And I’m going to have far more time to study.

That brings me to the next bit of news. The spring semester has started! This time, I’m taking Anatomy and Physiology II, which will cover the rest of the organ systems that weren’t covered in the fall semester. My lecture and lab are both on Saturdays, and the class is comprised of me and one other girl. Yes, really. We really have no excuse to not get an A, since we have practically personalized lectures. Today, we talked about blood, blood cells, etc in lecture, and in lab, we looked at the cells under the microscope and did a test where we were able to determine our own blood types based on which antigens and antibodies were present. Next week, we’re covering the heart and doing a heart dissection.

I’ve also made a list (because that’s what I do) of things that we’ve been meaning to do around the house since we moved in. It’s essentially a deep clean of every room and a clear out of everything we don’t use. I’m trying to get everything in order before I (hopefully) start nursing school in the fall.

Another adventure begins!