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The Foot Bone’s Connected to The – Oh, You Don’t Need to Know THAT!

What kind of person gets an A in a class, then makes an appointment with the chair of the department, complains about the class and the teacher, and walks away disgruntled.  With an A.  I mean, who DOES that?

Oh, yeah, that would be me.

I’m back and forth with whether or not to mention the name of the professor who taught – or didn’t teach – my Anatomy and Physiology I class.  I’ve mentioned the names of other professors on my blog, but those are people who gained my respect for their dedication to the art of education.

But do you mention the name of the man who has nearly set my educational goals back by four months?

In the words of my favorite comedian, John Pinette, I say, “Nay nay.”

It serves no real purpose to mention the professor’s name here.  I’ve already posted my review among the other intellectually inspired reviews at www.ratemyprofessor.com – and I didn’t use the word “Dude”, “Dope”, nor the popular phrase “DA BOMB”.  My review should stand out from the crowd that way.

After spending a semester with this professor, learning how much his wife hates him, his son disappoints him, and his knee needed surgery long before summer session 1, I’m still amazed at how much I didn’t learn.  Power Point presentations were displayed in a manner that even those students who HAD completed the Evelyn Woods speed reading class would have had a hard time keeping up, and more than half of the Power Point slides were deemed to be things we didn’t need to know.

If one day in the future, you’re sick, and the only nurse around is me, you may want to limit your aches and pains ONLY to the Power Point slides I actually got to see.  And if you’re ever browsing Rate My Professor to check out an instructor before taking a class, don’t put too much weight on the “red hot chili pepper” status.  I think some professors give that to themselves…..

The Days That It Sucks Being a Mom

Remember when you held your brand new baby in your arms for the first visit to the pediatrician’s office, and the friendly, kind, and gentle doctor you so carefully selected after dozens of interviews with other qualified doctors turns into some sadistic maniac who wants to pierce the tender flesh of your infant to get a blood sample?  And then he wants to shoot her up with some sort of vaccine that you know, despite more than 40 years of FDA scrutiny, could still cause children’s ears to fall off or something equally as awful.  And you held it in as long as you could, but there you are, at the front desk, checking out, with tears quietly smudging the ink that lets the secretary know when you need to come back.

Those are the kinds of days when it sucks to be a Mom.  The days where, despite your best efforts and intentions, someone hurts your child.

Unfortunately, the sucky days don’t end when the vaccines are done.  The boo-boos get bigger, and based on my experience, they aren’t as quick to heal as they are when your kids are small.

So even though I could jump for joy over the fact that my daughter’s version of Prince Charming (who from this point forward shall be referred to by the name I called him – Prince Are You Freakin’ Kidding Me?), seeing her hurt puts a damper on my celebration.  Let the air out of the balloons; put the noise makers away; throw the cake in the freezer.  I’m actually not sure who cried harder over the break up – Brighid, because she broke up with Prince Are You Freakin’ Kidding Me; or me, hurt to the core at seeing her cry.

As much as I love the job, there are just days that it sucks to be a mom.  When you realize you can’t protect them from every bump, bruise, and broken heart, it breaks YOUR heart.

Thank goodness for Ben and Jerry.



I Love Cats – Especially With General Tso’s Sauce

That’s a line I am borrowing from my husband, because honestly, I don’t care what you do to them, I am not a cat person.  I believe that cats, while they are living, are in a constant state of planning your demise.  They are hoping in silence that you are one of those crazy cat people who has left all of your worldly possessions to them in your will, and at whatever chance they find, they will trip you as you are going down the steps, smother you in your sleep, or sneak hairballs into your spaghetti so you choke to death.

And then there was Snowball.

I asked Bill, one of my lab partners, not to do it.  Please don’t name this cat that we are going to be required to dissect something that will endear it to our hearts.  Give it a name like Dexter – TVs infamous serial killer/forensics investigator.  Call it Garbage, and then we won’t mind so much when it gets tossed back into it’s clear, plastic trash bag home – permanently.

Not only does he give the cat a warm and fuzzy name like Snowball, so I can’t look it in the hermetically sealed eyes, but I also can’t ever watch the Simpsons again.  How could I watch as Lisa tosses a ball of string to their little cat, Snowball, and not get misty eyed over our Snowball?

If I have learned anything at all in my return to the world of academia, I have learned that I still do not like cats.

But I feel pretty darned awful for Snowball.

This is not the actual Snowball, may he rest in pieces.

Is It Just Me? Breastfeeding Baby Doll? Seriously?

I don’t think of myself as a prude by any means.  I am a staunch supporter of breastfeeding babies, and have done so with two of my three daughters.  Breastfeeders?  More power to you.

But do I want to watch my six year old breastfeeding a baby doll?  I’m not so sure.  There is a poster hanging above my desk that my husband – in one of his more “idiot husband” moves – purchased while on vacation.  In the poster, he is Hercules, and Granuaile – age 2 or 3 – is whoever the female Hercules counterpart is (Xena? Wonder Woman? Hootie McBoobs?).  The poster disturbs me on many levels, not the least of which is the fact that my seriously balding husband has a head of long, thick, ponytail-able hair.  But the thing that bothers me most is that every time I glance up, my three year old is staring at me over the top of her D cup boobs.

So, while I certainly think children should know about breastfeeding, and how it’s mommy’s job to make sure the baby has everything they need, I’m not sure I’m ready to carry on a conversation with my little girl about engorgement; leaking breasts; or the inevitable saggy boobs.

Or am I taking this too far?

You decide.  I think I like it better when baby doll milk comes from the little plastic bottles, where the milk disappears when you tip it upside down.

Live near Disney, Lose the Magic?

The short answer is – no.

I’ve had a couple of people ask me recently if we went to Walt Disney World as often when we lived in Orlando as we do now that we live 1000 miles away, and really, it was as much my favorite place then as it is now!

Almost as soon as we moved to Orlando, we invested in Annual Passes for all of the theme parks – SeaWorld, Universal, and WDW, figuring since we were in a town where we knew no one, this would be our entertainment budget for the year.  No huge Christmas party to plan and pay for; no monthly birthday parties to go to; no Sunday dinners at Grandmoms.  We knew that with our recent move to Orlando, the budget would be tight, and there was a chance we’d even have to miss weddings and other big family events we never would have thought of missing if we were still living in New Jersey.  I found many afternoons and evenings of solace, wrapped in the comfort and familiarity of Walt Disney World, and whenever I was missing home and family, we went to the theme parks.

The best thing about living that close to the Magic was that you got to see and do all the new stuff right away!  I can remember hearing about a new attraction, and planning our next vacation to head down to Orlando so we could check it out.  It instantly became like planning a day in the park for us – literally – whenever announcement was made of something new and wonderful at Walt Disney World!

Another huge perk?  Restaurants!  I don’t think I cooked for the first six months that we lived in Orlando – then suddenly, my husband reminded me we weren’t on vacation, and at some point, I’d have to actually use the stove at our house.  But in lieu of Sunday dinner at Grandmom’s, we did Sunday dinner at “Mom’s” at the 50’s Prime Time Cafe at Hollywood Studios.  Date nights were never spent heading to Applebee’s or the diner, where we often end up now.  Date night usually included a trip to EPCOT for a beautiful evening stroll around the World Showcase, with dinner at a different location each time.

Not only is the magic still there, but you feel like you become more a part of it when you live that close.  It’s the one thing I miss about not being in Orlando.  Don’t get me wrong – it’s great being home again, near family and friends, with the big Christmas party and the family barbecues.  But I cherish my (gulp) monthly trips to the Mouse, and I know when I get there, it’s

Kim Kardashian Doesn’t Poop

Not only that, but she doesn’t fart, either.

Imagine that.

Now we know what all that junk in her trunk is.

Come on – seriously?  How much pressure are we putting on young girls to be perfect?  Remember when we only had to worry about being pin thin like Twiggy?  Now, girls have to cease all normal bodily functions!

Perhaps it’s just that Kim hasn’t taken her new fiance into her “fart confidence”.  She may not be comfortable “expressing herself” yet in his presence.  But not pooping?  How long do you think that marriage will last if Kimmy has to run down to the 7-11 to use the potty so Kris Humphries doesn’t realize that she’s human?  A girl can only drink so many Big Gulps before the new husband gets suspicious!

Well, don’t worry, girls.  Those of you who aspire to be Kardashian perfect can relax.  Eat those beans, enjoy that broccoli, and drink that coffee.  I’m sending a copy of one of my kids’ favorite books to Miss Kim.  Then she can aspire to be like the rest of us!

Sometimes, It’s in the Minutiae

And sometimes, it’s not.

I’m freaking out studying hard for this semester’s A&P II class – in case you haven’t followed my blog or my Tweets to know how messed up this is making me.  One of the things that I’m finding is that I focus way too much on the small stuff – and that’s not really all there is.  If the professor gives us a test, he doesn’t necessarily want to know a cell’s mother’s maiden name, or what the cell’s friends called her when she was a bitty, baby cell.  Sometimes, he wants an answer like “the foot”.

But I sometimes have a hard time seeing the forest for the trees.

I went to pick Granuaile up today so she could look at her new haircut in the mirror (the above photo is not of the new haircut, because her mother is a slacker who couldn’t be bothered to whip the camera out).  She squirmed and struggled and begged me not to pick her up.  At one point, she did that jelly body thing – you know, where they just dissolve in a pool of jelly, so that you can’t get a good grip on them?

What the hell?

I get online.  I research fear of heights.  What causes it?  At what age does it manifest itself?  What trauma could have occurred without my knowledge or without me realizing it was trauma?

And after a good long time researching, I went to Granuaile.  The conversation went something like this.

Mother of the Year Me: Granuaile, stand up on the sofa.

Granuaile: She doesn’t say anything, she just stands up on the sofa.

Me: I don’t say anything, I just pick her up.

Granuaile: She still doesn’t say anything, but wraps her arms around me and lets me carry her to see her hair in the bathroom mirror.

Me: Granuaile, how come you didn’t let me pick you up earlier?

Granuaile: Because if you dropped me, I’d get hurt.

Me: But I didn’t drop you this time.

Granuaile: No, you didn’t.  But before, I thought you might.

Oh.  So there was no major trauma.  There was no horrifying memory she has from infancy that torments the child.  She didn’t witness someone fall to their death from a height of – how tall am I? – 5’8″, and it scarred her for life.

I only looked irresponsible for that minute.

Good to know.

Muscle Milk – Lunch of

Fat asses  Champions!  Yeah, that’s what I meant to say.

So the “I’m getting serious about losing weight” thing a few months ago?  That took a back seat to “Holy Jesus, did I sign up for SEVEN classes this semester?  We’re ordering Chinese. Or Pizza. Or Burgers.”

And here I am, after an initial super job at losing the weight, finding it back again 🙁

Oh, and did I mention, I have a life insurance physical in two weeks?  And when I actually applied, I put the weight that I WANT to be on the application?  You know – it was like going to the DMV, when you put the weight that you were when you got married – but there, the guy taking your picture just snickers and snaps the photo of your triple chins, hoping the cops that pull you over don’t think you are driving with fake ID.  With an insurance physical, the nurse is coming armed with a scale.  And I don’t think I can get naked in front of her, claim it’s water weight, tell her I ate ball bearings for breakfast (maybe if it wasn’t a fasting physical?), and wish for the best.

So, I’m on a SERIOUS serious diet this time.  Breakfast, Muscle Milk protein shake, and something protein-y for dinner.  Yum.

Protein shakes are not my friends.  Post gastric bypass, I was supposed to be living on them, but they’re yucky.  No one wants to live on yucky.  I found one I could tolerate, but only if I doctored it up with instant flavored coffee and fruit and junk.

I bought Muscle Milk Light this afternoon, to use as my midday meal.  I opted for the Vanilla Creme flavor, thinking that if I needed to add stuff to it to make it palatable, more stuff goes with vanilla.

The first thing you notice when you open the container is that it is VERY vanilla.  It’s sweet and pleasant smelling, as opposed to some, which are very chemically smelling.  I mixed two scoops with a little less water than you’re supposed to, but I always do that, so I don’t have to drink as much 🙁  Without tasting it “plain”, I added a spoonful of peanut butter – old habits die hard 😉  Then I filled the cup with ice and made my shake.

The drink, even with the peanut butter is REALLY sweet.  It’s not necessarily a bad sweet, but it’s definitely sweet.  The vanilla is stronger than the peanut butter, so I don’t really taste the one tablespoon full of peanut butter that I added – but adding two will add too many calories.  The two scoops of Muscle Milk are 210 calories, with a generous 25 grams of protein.  With only two grams of sugars, it’s a great option for the gastrically altered who dump on too many sugars – total carbs are only 13.

I think the next time I make it, I might throw in a bit of orange juice instead of the peanut butter, making it more of a creamsicle type of drink.  It will help cut the vanilla sweetness a little, and make it more of a summery drink than the disappearing peanut butter did.

Just in case, I bought the smaller container, but I’d definitely buy this again.  I think I could drink it straight if that was necessary, but I think it will adapt well to other added flavors.


Kitchen Demolition is Over! Now help me paint…

We’ve lived in our house for over 10 years now, but we’ve never really treated it like “home”.  Jim’s job has had us transferred in the past, and when we arrived in New Jersey and he began traveling, well, it seemed like this might not be our permanent home.

A small “don’t let the blind guy cook” kitchen fire occurred not too long ago, and with my admission to nursing school a done deal, it seemed like a good time to spruce the place up.

Except, for the most part, I suck at that!

So, I need to choose a color to paint not only my kitchen, but I have an old built in corner hutch that I want to strip and repaint.  Jim seems to think we can just paint it a honey color and let it be, but I think it needs to be stripped.  Please feel free to weigh in, as we are significantly design challenged.

So – here’s the kitchen:

This is a close up of the tile used as an accent border on the back splash – I think these are the colors I want to draw from to paint.

I kind of like the goldish/yellowish/light greenish color, but obviously, have no clue what the actual color is!

And this is my currently way too white for this room corner hutch.  Strip and stain to match the cabinets, or paint?

I must have some gifted designer friends out there!  Throw some ideas at me, and I’ll invite you over when the hot tub arrives!!

Love My Kumato!

What the hell?  I know what you’re thinking – she’s typo-ing again.  She’s letting her iPhone auto-correct.  Is this a new Japanese car?

None of the above.  It’s this:

What’s that, you ask?  Why, yes it is one damn ugly colored tomato!

My biggest fear in sharing these fabulous fruits with you is that they will revoke my Jersey Girl card for being a traitor to the finest tomato in the land – the Jersey tomato – but this is really a delicious tomato!

Found in my local Wegman’s – right near the Jersey tomatoes – were packages of these brownish, rustyish, green tinged, ugly colored tomatoes.  I have raised some genetically mutated children who do not eat tomatoes (none of them do – making it harder to believe it was a switched at birth thing), and I thought these might be an awesome way to hide tomatoes in foods so the kids didn’t know what they were eating.  Well, the kids were too smart for that – identifying them immediately as tomatoes – but that leaves more for me!

These are sort of on the sweet side, with just a bit of the tomato “tang” you are probably familiar with.  Don’t let the color fool you – these are not rotten, mushy tomatoes.  The flesh is firm, the skin is tight (without the benefit of the wicked mad surgical skills of Dr. Veitia), and it has almost a crunch to it when you bite in.

I tossed mine into a salad so that I could appreciate the tomato in it’s simplest form, and I can’t help but wonder how these would be fried.  They are a bit on the small side, but I think they might be really tasty, and hold up well to the frying pan.  These would also be delicious in a caprese salad – not to mention beautiful against the white mozzarella cheese!

Even if you live in Jersey, look for the Kumatos the next time you go shopping.  You just might find that Jersey has some stiff competition!