Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Who is that amazing chic in the mirror?

Since the summer I have been trying to lose a bit of weight. I have successfully lost around 30 pounds, (not counting what I have regained from Thanksgiving, lol). I am excited because it has been very nice being able to fit clothes that I never realized were really too small in the first place. I am also experiencing the pleasure of buying clothes in a smaller size. But the most amazing revelation I had was on Saturday morning.

After a night of binge drinking I awoke the next morning to find myself completely naked in the arms of a former flame. I have no regrets about that, well maybe one or two but I think that is a different blog post. I crawled out of the bed with a slight headache (or should I say hangover) and a deep sense of satisfaction. As I was headed to the bathroom, I caught a glimpse of a lady passing by the mirror on the dresser. She was chubby, but curvy. I was so impressed that I stopped to take a good long look.

Soft, supple, golden brown skin with a few strategically placed stretch marks covered her ample frame. Obviously, this woman has had a few babies, but despite that fact her breasts have maintained their shape and are still somewhat perky. Her upper abs were beginning to take form and following them to her lower abdomen, there is one moderately sized roll of flesh begins just above her belly button and rests gently on her shapely hips. Moving down from the hips, her thighs were slightly dimpled on the back side of her legs, but the front of her thighs and calves were toned, as though she might have been a cheerleader or an athlete at one point in time.

Her arms are warm and inviting. Very nice shoulders, I thought. Her eyes were smiling although there were waves of disbelief and wonder splashing across her face. As she started to smile at me, it was infectious. So much so that I started to smile back and it was in that moment I realized that the beautiful woman I was admiring was me!

DiVa...Learning to love herself again!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pinning Ceremony...coming soon to a DiVa near you!

About 2 weeks ago I signed up for my pinning ceremony. I have decided that this go round I would let my mother and my sister pin me. My mother has this ridiculously low self-esteem. It's like she wants me to 'beg' her to pin me. Dude, you complain that no one cares about you and then I invite you to pin me and you say, "why don't you let you Ex-dude pin you?" I wish I would let that bastard pin me. My sister is having a pretty tough time right now too. I thought it might give her a boost. But the only thing she can seem to do is ask me if I can freakin' babysit. I am so tempted to just say forget it and pin myself. Those two women know how to suck the joy out of anything! I should let one of my readers pin me. Any takers?

Despite all of their drama, I am still quite amp'd about my impending graduation. In May, I will be attending Graduation part 1 of 2. I will be finishing the master's at the end of December, but have elected to walk across the stage in May. Yay me! I never imagined that I would have ANY degree let alone a master's degree or even a doctorate. Dr. DiVa...I still can't see it yet. In the Spring, I start plugging away at my doctoral coursework. I think I might have stumbled upon something I want to study for my project. I think it might be HIV peer counseling. I found this topic while working on a paper for my Health Care Policy class. I have no idea how that I will work that out, but it should prove to be very interesting to say the least.

I think I am pretty glad that I decided to choose Family Practice as my specialty. For a couple of reasons...

1.) I will always be able to find a job
2.) I can work in nearly ANY area of primary care
3.) I will never be bored (hopefully)
4.) When I decide to walk the earth and do good ('peace corps' or 'doctors without borders') I will have the skills to make a meaningful contribution to the areas being served.

There is probably only one disadvantage, everybody seems to think I can cure them. One of my family members asked me to do a pelvic. No thanks, I think I'll pass. Lol!

DiVa...Pelvic exams on family members, definitely doing too much!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fall, it's a good thing!

The leaves are changing. I took a walk yesterday to clear my mind. It was beautiful to smell the crisp Autumn air.

Yesterday, I had to go on campus to perform an interdisciplinary exercise with other students from the medical, dental and social work program at our university. The goal of the exercise was to learn how to work as a group to care for patients who need end of life care. It was insightful. People have no idea how the other side lives. One of the medical students asked the dental student if they had dental nurses. That was kind of funny! The amazing part was that the person who asked that question had braces, which tells me that she has at least been to a dentist's office in some capacity. None of them really had any idea what a social worker does.

So we had a mock family meeting to help the 'actress' decide to put her 89 y/o father on DNR/CC code status. What is even more amazing, is that it seemed to me that none of them knew what a do not resuscitate order meant. Come on you guys! We are the future of health care for crying out loud. I was shocked. We are talking about 4th year medical students and 3rd year residents. I felt like an expert and they agreed because they made me the group spokesperson for the exercise. Many of the other students did not realize that hospice has an option for home care. Thank God this activity counted as clinical hours, I wish I could have gotten paid...

Diva...

Friday, September 26, 2008

In a few short months...

I will be NurseDiva, RN, BSN, MSN, APRN, FNP...

I haven't decided how much of the alphabet soup I will list behind my name. I guess that the RN and BSN part is assumed. So I could probably take that off. And then the FNP really isn't necessary, so I could drop that...So then we are left with:

NurseDiVa MSN, APRN

And in a few short years: Dr. NurseDiVa DNP, APRN

If you follow this blog, you have probably wondered where I've been. I had to go into hiding for a while due to a possible hacking situation. Then I was hella busy with all the demands of clinicals, intensives, papers and family obligations. So now I am back after realizing that this blog served a very important purpose in my life. Even if no one responded, I know that someone somewhere secretly related to me and understood where I am coming from. And all of these feelings I had were getting out. Keeping things inside is not a good thing. Better out than in I always say...

Besides school how are the kids? The kids are great. My son is still in the whole teenage angst stage. I am trying my best not to kill that boy. He is getting taller by the minute. My daughter is becoming a lovely young lady. This weekend she was invited to participate in a pageant. I don't know if I am going to let her do it yet. We'll see...

School is going okay. For some reason, this semester is a bit more relaxed. I have more time to stop and smell the flowers. I took my first doctoral course this semester. In comparison to the undergraduate and even masters level courses, the doctoral courses really give me an opportunity to share my thoughts in class. And this is encouraged and appreciated. The idea is not having one parrot back learned information in the doctoral course. They give you the information, and then you amplify it. Elaborate. I love that. In January, I will sit for the licensing exam. That is when all of my coursework shifts levels from masters to doctoral. For some reason, it is not at all intimidating.

Love and friendships...I have been separated from my live-in love since February. Really, I don't have time for a love life but I do tire of studying ALL the time. I have decided that I want to have more adult friendships. Male and female, because I have realized that the advancement of my education has pushed a lot of my friends to the side. Not by my own choosing, we just don't relate anymore. If by chance one of these adult friends (male) become more serious, then I will be totally open to that possibility. But right now I just want friends, of any gender!

Well, the kids will be home from school soon. I'll be back soon...

DiVa

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Slow down, Summer.....!

I wish summer would slow down, just a little bit. I am enjoying these lazy summer afternoons. I just got my basement waterproofed. It wont be long before my baby girl has her own room. There is still alot of work to be done at Casa de Diva, but time is going so fast, I can't see myself getting all the work done before I (and the kids) return to school for fall session.

These summer classes have been very challenging. I am working on the Statistics final as we speak, (well, not right now because I am blogging). Things are going quite well in general. I am in the middle of my OB/GYN clinical. I am becoming better with my pelvic exam with each passing day. Yesterday, we had a patient that had 2 cervices and a vaginal septum. Basically, she has two openings, two vaginal canals and one uterus, we think. I did not catch it but I did think there was something strange about my patient's anatomy. The patient was having her first pap and was mortified at our exciting discovery. I imagine I would be too. The only thing I need to focus on is bringing all my skills together.

The kids school clothes are already ordered. All I have to do now is purchase supplies, shoes, underwear and socks. Simple stuff like that. I have lost a total of 25 pounds. Working out has become routine, eating healthier is a work in progress. At the grocery store, I ran out of money and had to leave a whole cart of groceries in the store. It was embarrassing. Food has gotten to be so expensive. I hope our new president is going to make things better economically....

Well, I suppose I should get back to work.

DiVa...gonna make this statistics final deadline if its the last thing I do!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Get it together, girl...

I finished all the intensive courses for my women's health class. I hate to say it but I think I made enemies with the instructor, for reasons beyond my control. I am black. I can't change that. Micheal Jackson can, but I like being black...finally! Enough of my life was spent trying to be black enough so that my black peers wouldn't call me an "oreo" and race neutral enough to make the other kids and faculty at my all white elementary, middle and high schools not feel intimidated. Now I am free to be the only me I know how to be. I love my pretty brown skin. I love having that sexy sassy thing that makes a black woman so alluring. Changing it is out of the question and impossible.

Alright, here's what I did. I was working on a group assignment with my partner. The first assignment we scored a 21/25. Not the grade I wanted but not failing. Now, I could have taken that in stride, but the instructor's feedback was written in a very sharp tone and it made me feel like she thought that I didn't know what I was talking about. She asked for the rationale for my decisions and I gave them in writing. I thought I was being cute and witty. All I did was end up pissing her off. She gave us a 17/25, which resulted in me requesting a meeting. Let's just be for real, I am a DiVa but I don't perform at a 68%...ever! When I met with her she asked that I take of the gloves, which I don't recall having the gloves on to begin with. We spoke in a civil way and I thought we were cool. The next day she made a joke towards me in an attempt to be playful. I didn't laugh at the joke, mainly because it wasn't funny and I didn't think she was talking to me. I was not paying attention, I was digging in my bookbag looking for a plastic spoon! And now I don't think we are cool anymore. I think she attributes most of our friction to me being an Aquarian and she being a Taurus. I don't know much about astrology...

Back to the whole race thing. I have realized something. As a black female I have to take the emotion out of whatever I say or do (unless of course the emotion is positive) because no matter what I do to try and come across as objective (race neutral) I will be labeled agressive just because of the color of my skin.

DiVa...can't we all just get along!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

See...I'm even late blogging!

I am really trying to work on that punctuality thing. I am getting there. Tomorrow I have a huge test, but I decided to hang out with my nieces instead of studying seriously. I tried to study on the beach while keeping an eye on the kids. Not easy.

The lifestyle change thing is going well. I have lost 20 pounds so far! I am not on any crazy fad diets, I'm doing it the old fashioned way. No fast food. No soda or juice. Exercising at the gym 5 days a week. I even bought a bike to ride back and forth to clinicals and to the gym. I figured I could save on gas and burn calories at the same time. So far so good, but I wonder if I can keep this up forever. Lately I have been feeling a little depressed. It's summer, the kids are spending time away from home. I am so busy with school. No love in my life. sigh...

It's for the better because I really don't have time for love. I am working on getting the house remodeled. The finance company is getting all in my business. They asked me for my W2s for the past 2 years. I never heard of that before. So I decided not to give it to them and they cancelled the appointment for the job. I don't blame them, I would want to know where my money is coming from too!

The stats class is going okay. I really didn't expect anything higher than a B in that class. But the women's health class, that instructor has a personal vendetta against me because I was late to class on the first day and I did not suck up. She is so critical when she grades my paper. I know it has to be me because the class average is high and my papers always score so low. The first score was 21/25 which is okay, but now she gave me a 17/25 and that is straight up bullshit. I think it is time for us to meet for coffee so that we can clear the air. I am just going to ask her straight out if she has a problem with me. If she says no then we are cool, but if she says yes we are going to have to talk with the dean. Somehow, someway we are going to work it out. And that's all I have to say about that! Now I have to get a really good grade on this stupid test tomorrow.

Back to my studies...

DiVa

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Coming up for air

It has been such a long time. I miss my weekly journal of my quest to become a DNP. I have been so busy. This program has been so challenging that I only have time for bathing, eating, studying and going to clinical. Beyond that I am an incoherent slob. As much as I freaked out about last semester, I passed with flying colors. Before I could even finish my last final exam, my next set of classes began. Which is my explanation for where I have been for the past few weeks.

This next semester is all about advanced statistics and women's health. Whoopee! Something I marginally know something about. I am also getting my house repaired. The basement is getting waterproofed and I am having new flooring installed. I probably could have abandonded this mess and bought a new house but my rent is 440 dollars. I can't beat that.

I will try to stop by at least weekly. This summer is gonna be AWESOME.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Are episiotomies necessary?

We were taking a class in suturing yesterday. It was taught by a pharmaceutical rep who obviously never had to sew a human being back together. First we had to watch a video that was made about 20 years ago. The guy was talking about digits and adjacent fingers and approximating. Total mish-mosh. Then the dude stopped the video and we each received a spool of suture and a pig's foot. We had to create an incision on the pig's foot. Then with our needle driver and pickups with teeth, each of us attempted to place stitches using the square-knot technique. I was so frustrated I wanted to pick up that pig's foot and throw it through the window. I hope you guys don't ever need me to give you stitches!

My inner perfectionist wanted nice, neat rows of stitches. What I got instead was loose, floating stitches. Despite that the wound edges were well approximated! Aha! My inner DiVa emerges. I overheard someone saying something about episiotomies being un-necessary. Huh...? This person has never worked in labor and delivery. She is someone that I happen to know pretty well, we are almost friends. She has had one child with which she had an episiotomy, and based on that experience and a clinical rotation in L&D that lasted maybe four weeks her professional opinion is that an episiotomy is un-necessary? Let me retort. Episiotomies ARE necessary in certain circumstances.

Now, if a lady is having her first baby and has been pushing for all of five minutes and the physician says, "Let's cut an episiotomy." I would say a resounding NO. Give her a chance. Pushing is truly an art. You have to be able to coordinate your breathing and get into the perfect position. A little perineal massage with mineral oil or surgi-lube would also help. I have had an episiotomy, and I know how bad it hurts. I was not given a chance to prove myself in the pushing department. In that case, an episiotomy is more for the convenience of the physician than anyone else.

On the flipside, if Mom has been pushing: 1. for an hour or more, and the physician has assessed the perineum and it is obvious that there is no room for baby to rotate, descend and emerge OR 2. Baby is in distress, is in the perineum at a very low station, we need to get the baby out NOW and a c-section can be avoided OR 3. Mom is not going to stretch, has already started to tear a little and we are trying to run damage control 4. We are having a forceps/vacuum delivery where a tear is inevitable...I know I am leaving out some situations, but these cases an episiotomy is TOTALLY necessary.

People who say ignorant things like that about episiotomies, (people with no experience in L&D), get on my nerves because they are talking to my patients and misinforming them about childbirth, epidurals, IV pain medication and other things that they are unqualified to speak on, and I have to try to calm them and re-educate them to have an open mind about the whole delivery process. If you don't know what you're talking about don't say anything. You are NOT helping. Do you know how hard it is to fix a perineal tear? I have seen doctors pouring over a ladies crotch trying to make sure that a Mom can poop and pee out of two different holes. It takes HOURS to repair a torn ass. HOURS. Besides that, it is far easier to repair a deliberate cut than jagged edges. After I told that lady my opinion of episiotomies and challenged her knowledge base, she didn't want to talk anymore. How funny! What do you think?


DiVa...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Spring Break is over!

At the moment I am enjoying my last few moments of solitude before my children come blasting through the door. I am happy that they are coming home, but at the same time a bit sad that I am losing the special time that I have had since they have been away. In the time they have been gone I haven't cooked any meals or washed any school uniforms, (shame on me!) I have slept at my leisure and walked around in nothing but my underwear. The phone hasn't been ringing off the hook. It has been really great. I have so much catching up to do with the kids.

My son called me Saturday night because his Dad decided to go out on the town and leave him at home with his rarely sober, former convict and recently devout Jehovah's Witness sister. When she gets drunk, she becomes very critical and mildly violent. She came up from her basement apartment to chastise my son for cheating at Monopoly. She didn't hit him, but he felt like she might start yelling at him and God only knows what that could lead to. My maternal instincts directed me to get my son and bring him back home. My son wanted me to do something, but he did not want to come home. So I called my ex-husband and interrupted his "party" and of course this was not to his pleasing. I have made the administrative decision to make my son stay home for a while.

My daughter spent the entire Spring Break with her Grandmother. I haven't spoken to her Grandmother for pretty close to a year because she was upset with me for making some disparaging remarks about her son, (my daughter's father) after which she made distasteful comments about my upbringing. Basically, she did not want to accept the fact that her son misappropriated our finances and instead of being accountable for his mistakes he wanted to move back home. She claimed that she wasn't getting involved, but I advised her that letting him come back home and hide from his problems was getting involved. She felt that I should just work the overtime to make up the lost money and get over myself. Needless to say, he's back living with his mother as we speak and she couldn't be happier to have her man back! The whole time my daughter was gone she might have talked to me twice. I was a little hurt because I thought we were closer than that.

The dog is so bored. We have spent a little bit of quality time together. On Thursday he gets altered and gets a few of his baby teeth extracted. I was told by the vet assistant that the surgery will make him a much happier boy. Is that really all it takes?


DiVa...all studied out!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

More Avoidance Behavior

I don't want to study for my Pharm test. I don't. I want to watch reality TV and play on the computer all day. I want to yell at my ex's. I want to have safe sex at a five-star hotel with my lover Terrance Howard. If he is too busy I'll settle for "The Rock." Silly isn't it? I want to smoke cigarettes and eat Snicker bars with a blatant disregard for carcinogens, caloric intake or fat grams. I want to binge drink, sleep til noon, wake up and start all over again. I want to call up people and tell them exactly what I think of them. Yah bitch yah! The last thing I want to do right now is study for my test...

It's Easter and my kids have decided to spend the holiday with their grandmothers. Gives me plenty of alone time to sing the songs that I want to sing, but I can't because I have to study for this stupid test. Friday night I was in a huge depression and my friend called me and talked me into going out which was good because I felt so much better getting out of the house, but it also sucked because I lost my damn cell phone. All of my important phone numbers...gone! I guess I can't complain too much since I was able to buy three cell phones for $240. That's right all the kids have a phone now. No excuses for not knowing where they are now! I am seriously entertaining the idea of getting rid of my land line altogether.

I am supposed to be heating up my store-bought Easter dinner. I bought one because I thought that it would be just me and the kids and I knew I wouldn't have the time to put together a huge meal. The ham is going to take the longest. I could probably heat everything else in the microwave. Alright, time to get motivated!

DiVa...Happy Easter Y'all!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Defending my future credentials

My preceptor at my nurse practitioner clinicals is very cool. She takes time to teach me what I need to know to be a detail oriented practitioner. Not only that, she takes me to all of her drug-rep sponsored seminars which prove to be educational and serves as a networking opportunity. At one of the seminars, I met this woman who is sharing my preceptor with me. At first I thought she was a very nice person, but then she said something that made me think that she is prejudiced,(my grandmother's way of saying bigoted or mildly racist). The first comment that she made that gave me that impression was when she said the the preceptor does good work for "those people." Generally when people say "those people" they are referring to minority people, specifically black people. I thought, maybe I am being a little sensitive, give the bitch a chance...

So recently, we were at another seminar when she decided to rank on my credentials taking offense to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree I am currently pursuing and researrch interests. I look forward to the opportunity to educate people of what the DNP is all about. The DNP is a terminal degree in nursing, like the PhD. The only difference is that the PhD in nursing is a theory-based designation and the DNP is a clinical practice-based designation. People (like this snob) are making a whole bunch of noise about the validity of the DNP with the thought that it is to make nurses like MDs.

DNPs have absolutely no desire to replace the doctor. As a matter of fact, DNP's cannot use the title "Doctor" in the clinical setting to avoid confusion. In my experience of observing the Nurse Practitioner I would agree that they have all the rights and priviledges of a doctor, even at the master's level. The addition of the DNP is to create leaders in the clinical arena of nursing. It is an academic distinction. I would not want a PhD to perform surgery on me, I would not want a DNP to perform surgery on me unless they were MD's with surgical training. Period. Let me elaborate...

There are one of two tracks that can be followed at my educational institution, a managerial clinical focus and an educational clinical focus. At the end of our doctoral coursework instead of doing a dissertation, we can either do a thesis or a project. The project involves taking another nurse's research and implementing it into practice. Some DNP's are nurse practitioners, others are clinical nurse specialists. Not to complicated, right? I think the bigger issue that is fueling the whole debate about the DNP is the fact that the ANA is pushing the DNP to be minimum requirement for Nurse Practitioners by 2015. Many people are under the impression that master's level nurse practitioners would be grandfathered in. I don't know anything about that.

I mean, at one time it was thought that the the BSN to be the minimum requirement for registered nurses and we all know that will not be happening anytime soon, not with the nursing shortage. Here's an arguement with a bit more relevance. There was a time in history when nurse practitioners were registered nurses with a certificate. There are many nurses are in school right now to get their credentials (bachelors and masters or both) to continue to work as nurse practitioners. That's right, back in the day all you had to be was a registered nurse with a certificate, no bachelors required to be a nurse practitioner! I would not be counting on that whole grandfathering thing.

Anywho, this lady is just bitter. She has low self-esteem and feels a need to pick on people to make herself feel superior to others. I'm not the one. Being in this position is a gift. I am in a position to represent minority nurses and dispel myths. My research focus is going to be related to health disparities in th african american community. I could tell that she disapproved but I don't care! I am going to change the world. Just watch, if you don't know me you will! My nursing work will be world reknown. Now I just need to pass my Adult health course...

DiVa...shakin' those haters off!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

I'm gonna kill that boy...

Things are going okay. The men of my life are actually cooperating with each other, (amazingly) and my daughter's father came to pick up both kids at around 4pm. He was going to meet my son's father so he didn't have to drive 45 miles to come and get him. Very nice, except my son was not home yet and he missed his ride. Not cool. I know he was taking a different walk home from school besides the dangerous way I told him he could not go anymore and I figured that was why it was taking a longer time for him to get home. 5pm rolls around, no son. At 6pm I decide to start looking for him.

I went to his friends' house and they told me that they hadn't seen him since after school. Where does a 13 year old boy go after school for 4 hours? From 6pm to almost 8pm I was canvasing the neighborhood looking for my son. No one knew where he was. His sister didn't have any ideas that panned out. I went to his "so-called girlfriend's" house, I stopped by every group of kids in the neighborhood that was outside playing and asked if they had seen my son, no one had seen him. I went from the north side of town to the south side of town looking for this boy. I got frustrated and went to the police department and placed a missing person's report. I got tired of waiting for a cop to come and wait on me and left to go look some more. I was losing daylight and I wanted to find him myself. I went to my mother's house, she hadn't seen him. She started asking me if he was depressed and if he had money. I did not want to think that way, I had to hurry up and get out of her house. I went back home and checked again, no one home.

By this time, I had called and cussed out both my son's father and my daughter's father. Surprisingly, I did not feel better afterwards. Everyone in my small town had started looking for him. His Dad's friends were looking for him. My daughter's father was on his way out here to help me look. My Dad was helping me look. My sister called the mall and had him paged. One of the kid's Mom's had all the boys' phone numbers. I felt like an idiot, I knew nothing and I was freaking out. Back to the police station. They give me a form to fill out that gives them permission to arrest him if they find him and they took a description. I was on my way home to get a picture of my son for the officer when the cell phone rang. It was my mother. She said, "I was on the computer and this MySpace icon came up and said he is online. How do I respond to him?" I knew he was at home.

When I opened the door, he looked at me and said "Hey, where have you been?" Funny he should ask. I was so mad at him. I called the police station to call off the search. I called everyone and thanked them for helping me look for him. I had to get that boy out of the house. His father arrived shortly after I found him and they went off to his house for the weekend. For about 15 minutes, I thought for sure he was dead. Especially when the officer started asking me about his dental records. I started wondering if he was using drugs or having sex. We are very close and we talk about everything. Why couldn't I pin down his were abouts? Where was he?

The whole time my son claimed to be at an after school basketball game that he swears he told me about. He mentioned that he wanted to stay after school and play basketball, but he neglected to tell me that he was going on Friday. None of his friends were at this basketball game, just him, two other students and a teacher. He swore that his friends knew where he was. I don't understand why he would walk all the way home and then turn around and go back to the school. Somebody is lying. Needless to say, he is not allowed to stay after school any more. And I have to get this kid a cell phone. The punishment will have to wait until he returns home. I need to take some time to think. I also might need to hire a person to look after them for the 2 hours after school that I am not here. Silly, but he can't be trusted.

DiVa...I don't like teenagers!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

It's March Already?

Damn, time is flying. Over the past few weeks I have been going to clinical, attending class, writing impossible papers and having panic attacks. Clinical is more fun than I ever expected, but it is a huge responsibility. The clinical that I work in is a community health clinic that takes appointments and walk-in's. Most of the patients we see are Federal Subsidy, which means that they have no insurance. Kind of sad, but we don't turn anyone away. It is amazing the volume of people we see for STD checks. Nobody uses condoms these days. I would say the other two top diagnoses are Hypertension and Diabetes Mellitus.

I am becoming proficient with the female pelvic exam, which is good considering that I plan on specializing in Women's Health. Men pelvic exams are still pretty uncomfortable for me. The first one I observed was a guy, he was probably 24 years old. His chief complaint was stomachache. My preceptor is a no nonsense kind of practitioner when it comes to guys with STD's. She starts out asking him about his stomachache and he asks where the regular Doctor is. She says, "I'm here so what is it?" He said his girlfriend said that he should go to the Doctor and get checked for Chameleon. It was almost cute, but the Nurse Practitioner didn't crack a smile. She directed him to drop his pants and underwear to his ankles. She started out palpating the lymph nodes in the groin, checking the spermatic cords and testicular descent/masses. Then she checked for urethral patency and took two LONG Q-tips and inserted them into the urethral opening about an INCH! I felt sorry for him, a little. She chastised him sternly about using protection all the time and the dangers of Herpes and HIV. He half listened and walked out with his prescriptions.

I still feel a little apprehensive about taking care of Diabetics. I am afraid of insulin and what could happen if they don't take the medications as prescribed. The one thing I can say for sure is that in primary care you get to spend as much time with the patient as you want. I can take as much time as I need to to put together a plan of care, but at the same time the longer it takes for me to see a patient, the longer it takes to clear the waiting room. I will be glad to get to a point where I can go into a patient's exam room and do a focused exam without forgetting anything (right now I run back and forth between the office and the exam room for missed info!), and I want to be able to write a prescription without having to ask what drug would be best all the time, Oh and I want to not be afraid of Diabetes. All these things will resolve with practice I'm sure.

I am on my own again. My mother got mad at me last week because she was not being very nice to my son and I called her on it. Then my sister had the NERVE to get mad at me too. I don't ask either of them for shit. Now my ex has this new baby, there is zero likelihood for him to sit with the kids when I work late. My daughter's father was useless when he was here, so I don't expect anything special now. I think he moved out just so he could buy the X-Box 360 instead of helping with the bills. Whatever...I live for challenges like this, I am re-vamping my life so I can do things without anyone. Still working out a few kinks, but I will get there. My kids are getting pretty good too! I don't have to remind them to get their homework done. I still have to remind them about laying their clothes out the night before and stuff like that. I could really get used to being awake from 9-5. I really need to get organized.

Alright, back to studying...

DiVa...I'm never on schedule but always on time!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy....

Tonight, we made red velvet cupcakes for the class Valentine's Day party. I find that cooking with kids is a great opportunity to teach a child about math and following directions. And the cupcakes are so cute. After all the baking I am supposed to be getting back into my studies. I never seem to get away from the books. Not even to spend time with the kids and the pets. I haven't even found the time to wallow in self-pity over the big break-up. That's good thing. I am so proud of myself. Maybe this time I am really ready to get on with my life. There's no maybe to it. I know I am ready to get on with my life.

I had my orientation with my practitioner clinical coordinator. I expected to meet my preceptor, but I still haven't. I need to get cracking! I got the results of the of my first test. I failed, but it wasn't because I was unprepared. It is because I am still thinking like a nurse and not like a practitioner. I get a chance to re-take the test but in the meantime, how the heck do I think like a practitioner?

DiVa...

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

He's Gone...for good this time!

This past week has been a very busy week for me. I have been working. I am still in orientation for a few weeks. Well I should say for a few more days. Things are going well at work. I am starting to learn the flow of my shift and how to manage my patient care on DiVa terms. I am so proud of myself. But then calamity struck.

My refrigerator broke and I lost at least $200 worth of food. I have had that refrigerator since my daughter was two and here it is almost seven years later and I am buying a new refrigerator. According to the sales guy a refrigerator is supposed to last 12-15 years. It was an open box item that never really worked well but had no warranty. This time is the first time I have ever bought a brand new refrigerator that no one else has used first. It's an LG refrigerator. Here it is...
So far it is very nice. I have been trying to clean up and make the kitchen seem like a warm inviting place. There really isn't anything wrong with my stove, but since I don't want to deal with any more broke down appliances I bought a new stove too! It won't be here until later this month. It's a Maytag Gemini. Here's a photo... I have a feeling that these appliances will be cute until the bill comes...

Speaking of broken down things, my dude (my daughter's father) moved out last week. It was a spur of the moment sort of thing. I woke up Friday morning with a refrigerator full of melted and spoiling food. I came into the bedroom to wake up my dude and he said some crap like, I am not really listening to you because I am not fully awake. I thought to myself, "Ain't that some shit?" I explained to him the situation with the refrigerator and (long story short) he got smart with me and accused me of taking my frustrations out on him. So he says some crap like I don't have time to sit down and discuss the refrigerator problem because I am going to be late to work. Hmmm...would he have even been awake for work had I not come into the bedroom? Most days he arrives at work whenever he feels like it.

So then he says that the only reason why he was here in the first place was because I asked him to help out. Then I reminded him that he was doing a piss poor job of helping out. He has NO MONEY, except when he wants to buy video games, action figures or movies. When he messes up the money he expects me to fix everything. I worked overtime so I would be able to do SOME of the things that I like to do and instead of going shopping or getting a pedicure, I end up paying the bills that he was supposed to pay. I told him, he can't be faulted because I was the fool that sat up and let him do that dumb shit, but today would be a new day.

He said I am out of here. That was cool with me. I told him not to let the door hit him in the ass, but he should take care to leave my second car. I decided not to let him take the car because he is NOT going to pay for it. He was really pissed, but he tried not to show it. He said, "Is this how it is?" "So ,you are throwing down the gaunlet, huh?" He tried to make a call to his job and I said, "Oh no my brother, not on my phone." He had a lot of freakin' nerve. First he was going to stand in my floor and tell me about myself, call me out of my name, take my car and use my phone? He had lost his damn mind. In the middle of my argument with him, my sister and niece walked into my house. He said he was going across the street. I left to run some errands. While I was gone, he gathered his X-Box and movie collection and left. He will be returning for the remainder of his belongings this weekend.

Since he has been gone, I have felt so energized. I have been able to focus better on school and the kids. My family has returned as a source of support. My mother and sister have been over almost everyday. My son's father, who is generally a HUGE help just had a new baby with one of his hoodrat girlfriends. I tried to tell him that was coming. I am not bitter about the whole baby thing. I really hope that he will be able to be a part of his new son's life in ways that he could not be in our son's life. At the same time, he doesn't need to expect me to help him financially support this kid. He better not short my baby, either. The positive to all this is that I am getting better with my confidence level and that my children are learning to contribute to the maintenance and upkeep of our home. For the first time in a long time, I feel like everything is going to be okay.

DiVa...walking the walk and talking the talk of a empowered woman!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

What I love most about blogging...

Is that I can come here and be as insecure as I want to without the worry of my competency as a nurse being called into question. Today was my first marginally rough day at work. I think what is happening is that my feelings from my old job are complicating my ability to focus on my new job as I should. I am worried that I am not learning the new job fast enough and that my hesitancy in being viewed as an inability to do the job. Then there is learning all of the paperwork, personalities, physicians, protocols, passwords, preferences, practitioners, pumps and pregnant patients...all of which is making me dizzy. Plus I am tired as hell and behind on my class work, but that is another blog entry.

Okay so I was in a delivery and my baby came out floppy. For one, this institution doesn't seem to freak out about anything. The baby nurse just casually came over and rubbed the baby's back. The midwife handed me the bulb syringe and I started helping with baby resuscitation. The worst thing of all was that I was in the way, and not very effective at prioritizing my interventions. I was a little embarrassed, but it was a defense mechanism from my county days. I was never allowed to participate in my own baby code situations. I was pushed aside, instead of being guided. Those neonate resuscitation classes are great, but it is a totally different ball game when you have a human, blue, floppy infant on your table. I was previously precepted by a maniac that freaked out over everything…to the extreme.

My preceptor reminded me that I am not the baby nurse and that I needed to focus all my attention on taking care of Mom. I just wanted to be everywhere at once. Then it was the end of my shift and I wanted to stay and finish the delivery, but my preceptor sent me home. She was totally nice. It wasn't at all hostile. She did mention that I know what I am doing, but I need to present myself in a more confident way or I will have problems with some of the other nurses who have a strong personality. Here we go again...

I have to learn to put on a better game face. I must come across as unsure of myself. I think it would be really hard to be walking around like "Nurse-know-it-all" but at the same time I guess I can't be looking for approval for the things that I do. Maybe I should re-think my idea to work and go to school. I was warned, but then once someone tells me that I can't do something, I feel a subconscious need to prove them wrong. I think I'll be alright. Pray for me...

DiVa...I am not giving up on this job, especially since I saw my first check!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Close Encounters of the Roach-kind...

It seems like lately,roaches have been making their presence known. Not in my house. My house isn't as clean as I would like it to be but no roaches. An occasional ant or flea weather permitting, no roaches. Ever. I have heard of people seeing roaches at establishments. For instance, I was in my theory class the other week and the cafeteria at the school was closed. So everyone went to the hospital across the street to get breakfast. The dude in front of me said his friend stepped up to the counter and the cook asked her what she wanted. She told the cook, "I want two pieces of french toast, two pieces of bacon. By the way there is a roach on the counter behind you crawling on a Styrofoam cup." According to the dude, the cook kept on cooking and the roach lived to see another day. I guess she figured that the roach wasn't hurting anything. Either that or the cafeteria doesn't pay her enough to cook and kill roaches!

That story reminded me of when I took my daughter to get her hair done. This is a process that takes hours. So she asked me to get her something to eat. She took a break to eat her food and I closed the bag and set it on the table in the shop. When the stylists reached the two hour mark, my daughter decided that she wanted to finish her sandwich. She opened the bag and I heard her shriek. I was like, "What is wrong with you?" She said, "Mom, there are beetles on my food." I knew instantly that she was talking about roaches. I picked up her bag, tiny roaches still crawling out and threw it in the garbage. Then, as they were finishing her hair, I saw a HUGE roach crawling across the floor. I wasn't the only one, my daughter saw it too and started to cry. The stylist took a cup of boiling hot water and poured it on the roach and then asked me, "Is it still moving?" I would imagine not. Next time we will have to get to the shop before nightfall.

Last week, my FOB came home and said, "You look tired, let's go out to dinner." I was like, "Hell yeah, I don't feel like cooking anyway!" So me, him and the kids all piled into the car and we went to the Chinese buffet. We were all walking around putting our plates together and I decided that I wanted to try the hot and sour soup. A friend of mine had me try some of hers and I thought it was pretty good. I walked around the buffet table and grabbed a little saucer when something shiny caught the corner of my eye. It was a HUGE roach walking right towards the hot and sour soup. At first I was like feeling sorry for the roach and decided I wasn't going to kill it. After all, it wasn't MY house. But then I thought, what if someone else EATS this roach after it fell into the soup. Eww! I grabbed one of the saucers and killed the roach. The guts were smeared all over the underside of the plate. I called my FOB over and said, "I think we should probably leave." He said, "I ain't paying for this shit, that's nasty!" I agreed, then I called one of the servers over to the buffet table.

I showed her the roach and she picked it up with her BARE HAND and rubbed it between her thumb and index finger to be sure it was dead. She was like, okay and she took it back into the kitchen. I don't know what she did with the roach but our family left that restaurant. There was a lady sitting at another table. She was finishing her food and paying her bill. She wanted to know sooo bad why we were leaving when we had only been there for about five minutes. There was a guy at the buffet table the same time I was explaining to the server. I don't know if he left too, but damn that's nasty. The server tried to act at first like I planted the roach on the table, but I told her to review the roach guts on the underside of the saucer. She couldn't say ANYTHING after that. We walked out and went to another restaurant. My eyes were peeled the whole time. I was kinda freaked out because the carpet was brown. The design had me thinking that there were roaches everywhere, even though there were none. Basically, my appetite was ruined.

The scariest encounter I had with roaches was probably the night at the county hospital. I had a busy night and the shift was over. I had to go the bathroom really bad and I had already left the floor. I was in the basement. The nearest bathroom was the janitorial locker room. I opened the door and ran in. All of the toilets were filled with this putrid blackish brown water. I turned around and notice a field of dead roaches all around me, lying on there backs and all dried out. I was in such a hurry, I didn't even notice. There were hundreds of roaches everywhere. I ran out of the bathroom. I didn't have to go to the bathroom anymore. I rode home the whole 45 minutes and went to the bathroom in my own home.

How the Hell do these public places stay in business with roaches like that?

DiVa...grossed out with all this roach talk!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

New Job, New Semester

A New Job

My new job is cool! Luckily, my training manager didn't tell Nurse Evil that I didn't want to be precepted by her. I could see immediately why she might have had a problem at the county. She runs her mouth constantly, is a bit of a gossip hound but is a very skilled nurse. The whole precepting thing is going much smoother having an basic understanding of labor and delivery. I guess I need to understand what they do when emergent things happen. For example, if I had a patient with a fetal heart rate in the 60's at the county, we would watch the first brady and doing the basic interventions. By the second brady we would be pulling the bed out of the wall and running to the Operating Room. By the third brady we would be getting ready to cut. At this institution, they wait to see if it comes up. If it does, they continue as usual. If it doesn't, they check to see if the Mom is ready to push. If she is, they try to deliver a baby and call code pink.

This new relaxed way of looking at a tracing is foreign to me. If I just turned the patient and put on O2 with the first late deceleration and only called the doctor on the second late, I would be in huge trouble. Huge. They would be talking about me in the break room and the doctors and nurses would not trust me to watch a patient. Seriously. The county was a hostile work environment. Not here, at least not yet. They only come if you call for help. I appreciate that. And when they do come, it is not in the spirit of making you feel inept, it is truly to help. This time, I am adjusting my attitude. I am approaching this job as a skilled, experienced nurse. I am confident in the things that I know. I am not going to have a negative outlook, I am going to leave my past behind me and look forward to the learning opportunities that exist. Besides, I am only going to be there three days a month. I believe I can do it.

A New Semester

This past week I had more intensive courses. I am taking classes to prepare me to be a clinician. This is where I am not as confident. When we were learning about how to prescribe insulin it hit me that I am going to be responsible for diagnosing and managing patients with chronic health conditions. What if I prescribe a medication and my patient gets hypoglycemic and has to be hospitalized. Scary thought! I know that I will be supervised in the beginning and I will not be turned out into the wide world of medicine without passing a certification but it is still a bit daunting.

This semester I am taking advanced pharmacology, my clinical course and theory (boring). I am supposed to be working on a paper. This week and next week are going to be devoted to getting that together. I am already a little bit behind on my reading. In my clinical course, they don't assign chapters, only subjects and it is your responsibility to read the chapters that pertain to that particular subject. We had our first quiz. This particular quiz they gave us a patient's information, demographics, symptoms etc. and then we had to organize and prioritize the information, develop a differential diagnosis (what you think they have), develop a real diagnosis, a plan of care and then follow-up. All of this using no resources. No books, no medication guides, nothing but your mental mind. I don't think I did too bad. Clinicals at this point are at a standstill. My preceptor is on vacation until February which means I will be going to clinical almost everyday.

Well, I should try to get back to work. The kids will be here in a few hours bugging the heck out of me!

DiVa...suffers from study inertia

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Will I ever have a life...again?

I am so crazy. By the time I finish this doctorate, I will have spent a total of almost seven continuous years in school. And now I've added a job to the equation, what quality of life will I have? What made me think I would be able to do graduate school full-time and work three days a month and do 20 hours of clinical a week and have clean clothes for three people and prepare home-cooked meals and mother my children and maintain a sane mind all at the same time? I mean it can be done, but I don't know if I am the DiVa to do it. I manage to keep a smile on my face and a bounce in my step but damn, damn, damn am I tired.

Between pharm class, clinical, my theory paper and Adult health lecture one question remains...Will I have time to watch American Idol? It is my comic relief, until the real competition starts. I absolutely HAVE to make time for American Idol. It will probably be the only thing that I get to do that is unrelated to nursing, besides my regular activities of daily living.

I bought myself a PDA as a Christmas gift. At first I thought it was a total waste of money. It was on sale for $199 and I thought what the heck, why not? I am so glad I did because all of my classes and clinical require it, mainly for Epocrates. I'll have to keep you posted on whether or not it was a worthwhile purchase. It seems that every APN I've run into this semester says they don't know how they ever made it without a PDA. We'll see...

Well, got to get ready for the old am routine. As far as my resolutions go I have been pretty close to on target. I am planning to start the flylady thing in February.

DiVa...Has an 11pm bedtime but my inner perfectionist won't let me go to bed without everything done!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I need to silence my inner idiot!

When I worked at the county, I heard many a tall tale. Well I don't know if they were all tales, I imagine some of the stories were true. I have always thought that if more than four people tell the same story, then the story is true. Most of what I was told were a first person accounts so I doubt that what I was told was a rumor. Anyways there was legend of Nurse Evil that circulated on our floor. She was the most cruel of labor and delivery nurses as the story goes. She ate new nurses alive and people shuddered in her wake. She had an entourage. The three nurse team was called "The Trifecta" and when all three of them worked the floor, anyone who was not in the good graces of "The Trifecta" would call in sick. It was because of "The Trifecta" that everyone began the ritual of printing the entire schedule instead of only printing the page that pertains to your hours worked. I only know of this because one of the members of "The Trifecta" told me about it. She wasn't proud because being a member of this elite group almost cost her her job and she didn't want me to report her for being nasty. I digress...

Nurse Evil left just a week before I started and I was told that if she knew me, she would ridicule me because of my unique appearance and sense of style. There was a nurse that worked on the floor that wore her hair in a style that Nurse Evil didn't like and she was able to convince those in her favor to wear a cartoon character sticker on their lab jacket that was supposed to represent this particular nurse's style, (or lack thereof). They said she was insensitive to the patients that were too needy, poor or just plain uneducated and discourteous to their families. Nurse Evil was only PRN, which was surprising. I guess not too surprising since PRN means that you can work whenever you'd like. Nurse Evil sealed her own fate when she was a no call no show, or something like that. It was rumored that she tried to get her job back but the management would never allow it because she created such a hostile work environment.

I have found that working in labor and delivery, it is a small community. There are only so many places you can work before you run into someone, somewhere that knows someone who knows you. I happened to be in the lunchroom and began to ask me if I knew random people from the county. I knew them all, and to my terror I did not know the nurse personally, I only knew of her legend. It was Nurse Evil. Shit! How bad can it be? I work PRN, what are the odds that I would run into Nurse Evil? I received my preceptor assignment for the week and who is my preceptor? Nurse Evil. She was assigned to be my preceptor for a whole freakin' week and I politely asked that it be changed. After I said it, I immediately wanted to take it back. It was risky, but my inner idiot wouldn't let me be quiet. I thought of all the times that I had bad experiences in training and I wanted nothing to distract me from learning. The legend preceded her and there is no way that I would not have been second guessing myself the entire week and she would have said something out of the way and I probably would have quit right on the spot.

But then I thought about it some more and I realized how immature and silly I am. I am judging a person based on unsubstantiated gossip. I never even met her and I let a story scare me into missing out on a potentially rich learning opportunity. This makes me just as bad as the people who kept the legend going. Nurse Evil, I am issuing you an apology. What if she has changed? Or found God? I work three days a month for crying out loud! What if the manager of training goes back and tells her that I requested another preceptor? She asked me why and I told her that I knew of Nurse Evil from my previous job and that one of my colleagues had a negative experience with her while in training. I went on to say that I felt I would be distracted from from learning the job properly. I think my reasons have merit and at least I didn't repeat the WHOLE legend. Ahh screw it, it's better to be safe than sorry, and besides if I had agreed to be trained by Nurse Evil and it was going bad, I would have been stuck for the whole week. Whatever, it's done now. I should be glad, that is if they could find someone else to train me. I don't know if I have escaped the gauntlet. I need to grow the hell up...

DiVa...I can do ANYTHING three days a month!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Like riding a bike!

Being a nurse is like riding a bike. You never forget how to do it, once it has been ingrained into every fiber of your being. This L & D unit is okay. I won't get too excited because it is only my first day. All the rules seem to be relatively the same, except the charting system is a pain in the butt. Otherwise, this hospital is labor and delivery utopia. The rooms are very nice and clean. I was so comfortable, it was hard not to jump in and get started. I think I want to take my time and really make sure I know my job before they turn me loose on my own. I can tell already that they trust me. Being in this environment really has me questioning my choice of clinical focus. Am I really a family practice nurse? Or a midwife? I will probably end up being both.

I can tell already that there are a few bitches that I am just not gonna like. That's a shame. I have already decided that I am not going to get caught up in the office drama. Besides, I only have to work 2-3 days a months and I have too many other things to worry about. I am focused on what I need to do for a change. Also, the clientele seems to be dramatically different. More affluent people than at the county. I will certainly miss that as well. I am excited to get back into the clinical area. I just wonder how I will balance work, school and motherhood...

Tomorrow is my first day of school. I am planning to start clinical in three weeks. The FOB is going to help out until February. Things are slowly falling into place. The house is starting to look like it is inhabited by human beings again. I am nervous about being on my own, especially since my baby sister asked me to keep my five year old niece for a few weeks until she can get herself together. This is a luxury that I have never been afforded when I was a young mother trying to figure out some direction in my life. I have no idea who is going to watch her while I go to school and work. I am still trying to figure out what I am doing with my kids after school certain days of the week. Today I was caught up in a delivery and I couldn't leave on time and my son was stuck at bowling practice with no ride home. I know there will be more days like this. I am thinking about having my brother help out. We'll have to see what he says.

Well, gotta get ready for tomorrow. Just thought I'd stop and make a few notes. I am happy for the most part and I can't wait to see what class will be like tomorrow.

DiVa...finding ways to keep myself busy, unintentionally!

Friday, January 04, 2008

The one that got away...

There is a resolution that I should have added..."Be on time, DiVa!"

I cannot be on time. It doesn't seem to matter how early I wake up, if I lay my clothes out the night before, Hell, if I slept in the car I would STILL be late! Why can't I make it anywhere on time? I am late to school. I want to be on time, but I live 45 minutes away from school. My kids have to be at school by 8am and most of my classes start at 9am. If I run into a traffic jam on the way to the University, I am definitely going to be late which is totally beyond my control. My family knows that if they are waiting for me to show up somewhere, I will be there 1/2 hour later than the time I am supposed to be there. Will I like it when I am a clinician and my patients are late? Or a professor and my students are late? Probably not. I am really going to have to work a bit harder to be on time. I am so inconsiderate of others. (This is a HUGE area of opportunity for me.)

And as of late I can't sleep. I am tired, but I can't sleep at night. During class is when I get sleepy. That is so BAD! I really need to get my shit together because it is such an insult to my instructor to be sitting in class nodding. Usually it is after lunch break that this phenomenon occurs. I even tried to stand up because I could not stay alert. Then I thought maybe if I participated in class I would do better with the awake thing, but I can't even put my thoughts together properly because my mind is tired. I guess one could say that as much tuition costs for a graduate program, it is an insult to me that the course content should be engaging to say the least. But in saying that I am justifying my inability to stay awake, which is RUDE! I am going to be a teacher one day. I will want to KILL someone for falling asleep in my class, especially if I spent time and effort putting together materials. Tonight I am going to make my best effort to get to bed at least by 11pm. (Not so worried about this issue as I think it is situational.)

As far as school goes, all of my books have arrived. Next semester is gonna be GREAT, however, this intensive class is kicking my butt a little, (nothing like the Advanced Physiology). We are cramming a 12 week class into 5 days. My mind is still on Christmas break. This is a class on nursing research and nursing theories. Very dry content. I am currently developing a paper and a group presentation, both of which I need to get started on soon. Our theorist is one of the hardest to find current research development on. The theory is so complete that no one can add anything to it to expand the research. We cannot find any current journals articles that reviews or revises the theory. In a way that is a compliment to the body of work. Not good for the presentation though. And the research area is so narrow, it will be a challenge to apply the theory to nursing practice. But the DiVa will make it happen. It's what I do...

At least I don't have this sinus infection draining all of my energy anymore. Breathing through the nose is an underrated experience! Now that I can breathe through my nose it is like all of my creative energy has been restored.

Well, might as well get started on the projects.

Ta-ta for now!

DiVa...Gonna get herself together for the last few days of her intensive!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

I have been sick for the past day or so. Luckily, I let the kids spend the holidays with the in laws and I spent New Years Eve alone. Well, not really, the resident jerk was here, but since I was sick, he has been keeping his distance. Not that he even cared to begin with. I asked him to take the dog out and run to the grocery store and get me my favorite sinus remedy and he actually stomped his feet and sulk like a huge baby! It was amazing to see a grown ass man throw a tantrum about doing what he should be doing anyway...

I feel a little better now, and I have no choice but to get my butt in gear because I have to be back to school tomorrow. I ordered my $400 worth of books and have proceeded to get my crap together for clinical. I have also planned my days down to the hour. I turned the leftover turkey into Turkey noodle soup. No laundry yet though. I still need to make arrangements for my children. I found an after school bowling program for them, that's one day a week down, at least 4 more to go! I am a work in progress...

So now on to my New Year's resolutions.

I have 10 things that I resolve to do in the coming year.

1. Love DiVa to the fullest, no matter what the year may bring!
I think self-love is at the core of all my insecurities. If I love DiVa, everything else will fall into place. That means making time for my manicures, pedicures, hair appointments and date night! Not with a man, just me the bubble bath and relaxing music.

2. Lose Weight
My goal was 30 pounds a year, but my personal trainer told me that was not aggressive enough. Even though she is a crazy biotch, I love her and I hope that we get the opportunity to work together again. Diet and exercise will become my best friend. At 5am every day I will attempt to be at the gym. And I am seriously going to have to get my self started on the Beck Diet Solution and Dash Eating Plan. I should be at least 20 pounds lighter before swimsuit season. If I can only find the time...

3. Set Boundaries
This is another thing that is the very essence of my problems. If I set boundaries I will be able to lose weight. That goes for my relationships too! The kids, my ex-dude, friends and family, most importantly my mother. I love her to death, but she is going to give me a freakin' break for crying out loud! I have already started by ignoring the phone calls from my crazy cousin. Do you know she has reduced herself to using the kids to work on me?

4. Get Organized
I tried to get the house together over break. I found this person on the net called the FlyLady (http://www.flylady.net/index.asp). I have been threatening to start her program for almost 2 years now. This is something I really want to make time to do. She guarantees that your house will be presentable to company within 30 days. You begin with shining your sink and move up from there. I will let you know how this works out!

5. Stay Focused
I have a tendency to get off track. I once talked to my advisor about problems I was having at the beginning of the semester. She told me that there are things I have time for and things I don't have time for. She went on to say that right now the two most important things in my life right now are my kids and finishing my doctorate. I am going to put that on my motivational sticky notes.

6. Be a Better Mom
I don't think I am a bad mother, but I do need to set some boundaries, clean up my kids diet and set a better example. They need a decent bedtime, healthy meals and snacks and some serious home training. They need chores and someone to spend some time teaching them the facts of life. And that someone is me!

7. No More Fast Food
This one is going to be really hard because it is much easier to stop at McDonald's and pick up some .99 double cheeseburgers than it is to make a real dinner. I am really motivated to making this resolve stick. For the sake of my health and the health of my children.

8. Quit Smoking FOREVER
Alright. I will be honest. Occasionally, I like to have a cigarette. I like smoking. There, I said it. I know it is bad for me, smoking has been banned inside bars and restaurants, it should be simple...right? WRONG! When I feel stressed out, I want a cigarette so bad it kills me. I have been able to hide my little smoking habit from my children. I have stopped buying my own cigarettes, I just smoke my sisters or my friends. I really want to quit for good. I don't want Cancer or COPD. Now I need to JUST SAY NO!

9. Get back to church
When I was going through my valley phase of life I felt like God had abandoned me. I thought, if God really loved me like they say He does I would not have all this suffering. It is my belief that all of the suffering that I have endured has been for a bigger purpose. Maybe, it is a blessing and something I have gone through will help someone else. I know for sure that I have been blessed because I have everything I need and then some. I want to give back. More importantly, my children need to have a religious foundation. I am embarrassed at the fact that they know nothing about religion.

10. Balance all that stuff
I was talking to my personal trainer after she sort-of fired me. I won't say she truly fired me, I just had a lot of at home catastrophe at the time (broken fridge, bad grades, broken heart...etc.) and she wanted me to resolve some of my at home stuff and resume training at a later time. Now, I was supposed to be continuing to go to the gym every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. I haven't been going because school had just gotten out of control and I needed to get things back in control. After I missed the first day or two she called me, and I explained what was going on. She told me not to let school take over, and of course I did. But this must not happen anymore. When I was working on my undergrad, I didn't watch TV, do anything not related to school. I didn't even visit family or friends. This can no longer happen. Life is too short, and I wanna have some fun!

DiVa...Have a Great '08!