Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treating

I hate being so busy that I miss the good stuff. :( I have a test Monday so I didn't get to take B trick-or-treating. Thankfully, Peepop stepped up and took over for me. Instead of buying two costumes (one for school and one for trick-or-treating), I insisted that Braeden choose a mask-less alter ego. Somehow we convinced him that a cop would be perfect (it helped that he already had the blue button-up and black pants), and all I had to do was find him accesssories. Of course, that warranted a trip to Toys R Us, which is always a plus in Bebo's book.

The school party was a hoot, too. I could not believe how much candy he came home with!

Note to self: Christmas bags should be filled with novelty items instead of candy!

Must get some sleep now. Happy Hallowe'en!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

October Update

I figured since it's been more than a month since my last post, I should maybe oughta give an update. All three of my readers are probably hanging on the edge of their seats. 0_o

School is the predominant insanity in my life, so I'll start there.

Holy crap.

I knew from watching Jeff go through this program that third semester would be tough... but I didn't know the sheer volume of work would leave me seriously considering some sort of anti-anxiety meds. No kidding. I'm such an anal-retentive overachiever that I think everything has to be perfect, and so nursing school is driving me nuts. I'm not perfect. I'm not even close. My clinical skills leave a lot to be desired, and I'm having to work so hard to keep my classroom grades up to what I think they should be. It's stress like nothing I've ever experienced before. That business degree was a cakewalk compared to nursing.

But ... (cue cheesy disco music) I ... I will survive ...

Moving on to lighter matters...

Braeden is flourishing. Excelling. Blossoming. Hmm... what other words can I use? We were so excited to hear such good things about his teacher, but I never dreamed he'd be doing this well. The school sent home a letter last week inviting him to be in what amounts to a Gifted & Talented program (though they don't call it that anymore; I suppose it's too politically incorrect a term). He was chomping at the bit to start, and Jeff & I were so pleased that he's been considered. So what if it turns out not to be a good fit for him? I know he's doing well and working hard and that's what matters.

It's not just this new program, though. Turns out he is also a very good reader. I wish you could hear him. He reads with such expression; it's just not common in 7-year-olds. (Yes, I'm biased. Everybody else says the same thing about him.) In fact, his teacher says that the kids in his class love to listen to him read, and even try to mimic his reading style. Tickles me to death - what could be better for him than a love of books?

Even better, his teacher told Jeff this past week that the kids adore Braeden. She said he's kind and sweet to everyone.

Be still, my beating heart.

Seriously, folks - that is the thing that we have tried to drill into his head about school. We want him to do his best and work hard, but what matters most is that he is honest, hard-working, and kind to others. I gotta admit - I was a goober growing up, and never won any popularity contests. To hear Bebo tell it, nobody ever plays with him. Turns out that's not exactly the case, and while I don't necessarily want him to be the coolest kid in school, I also would like to spare him the misery of being the un-coolest. If he grows up to be that person that everybody loves because he loves them right back - well, that's just fine with me.

One more piece of news. Buddy, our sweet old dog, never came home. We don't know what happened to him, but it's safe to assume by this point that he's gone on to doggy heaven. Oscar, our most recent canine acquisition, is not working out so well. He's too hyper to be loving and destroys everything he touches. I really don't know what we're going to do about him. Part of me thinks it's just a puppy phase that he'll eventually grow out of, but we've had a dog before that only got worse the older she got, so I'm not holding my breath.

Anyway... we have talked for some time about what kind of dog we would get when Buddy died. We had been leaning toward a golden retriever, but weren't sure we could handle the expense involved. Those dogs ain't cheap.

Enter Jeff's dad.

The man knows everybody in his town. Never met a stranger, ever. One day he ran into a lady who told him that she had a retriever that she couldn't really care for any longer and didn't know what to do with him. To make a long story short, Jeff is in West Virginia tonight, picking up our new dog. (That she gave to us. For free.)

Here's what I know about him. He's got papers (and still has his testicles, so we might do a little breeding). He's two years old, is a strawberry-blonde color, and is very, very affectionate. John picked him up and he rested his head on John's shoulder in the Jeep most of the way home. His name is Phoenix, though we're considering just calling him Nick for short. Jeff has reserved naming rights, since Braeden or I have named all our other pets.

I am so excited about this dog. I have missed Buddy terribly. He was the best dog I've ever had, and a near-constant companion for me. It seems lonely, not having him hanging out in the office with me while I work. I really hope Nick will be that companion for me. Besides, I think he'll be wonderful for Braeden.

Jeff is bringing him home tomorrow. I'll post pics soon. And since it's late and this post is plenty long enough, I'm going to sign off for now. 'Night!