Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Memorial Day in the Woods, Miller Style.....

Friday morning I woke up and headed over to teach my last classes as an abstinence teacher. I only had two classes for the day. Eighth grade classes. What a way to go out. They went well and I felt a little sad but very excited knowing I have this new career awaiting me. Either way, I didn't have time to sit and ponder it because I had to run home and start preparing for the week-end. I had piles of laundry to do, kids to get ready and bags to pack. After what already seemed like a long day we headed out for the Hundred Acre Woods on Blackberry Lane. Jake had just been to visit his family with the kids the previous week-end since I was had class and wouldn't be home anyway. Jude was excited to go back. I can't even really remember why our trip ended up being so long but it really ended up being about 2 hours longer than it should have. We didn't get there until around 11 P.M. When we got there the kids were wound up. Jude was jumping around and acting all crazy. Earlier, Linda had called and said a bad storm had passed through and the power had been knocked off. It was on by time we got there (whew one bit of craziness avoided). But it was HOT. Even though it was so late, it was still in the eighties. You may of guessed but we didn't have air conditioning. I didn't really mind. I prefer it to be hot. In fact, I am not really warm until it is around 90 degrees. All the windows in the house were open. Unfortunately, not all the windows have screens. Now, let me give you a few side notes. First, although the Miller Clan lives in the middle of a forest there really aren't that many misquitos. Really. You would expect since it is in the south and in the woods there would be a zillion of those pesky things but really I have only seen a few around. So, misquitos weren't really a concern. But other bugs...well, they came in the house. Nothing major...moths and stuff like that. But, Jude is a city boy. He doesn't like bugs. Even if it was a moth. He decided he wasn't going to sleeep in his "assigned" room. He ended up sleeping in bed with Mamaw & Papaw. It worked out well for us.

Saturday morning we woke up and relaxed. It was great. The Applehead family has some friends visiting from Ohio. We didn't really know them but they ended up being very nice people and had three small children. By lunchtime I was looking around and realized the kids outnumbered the adults (9 adults, 10 kids- 8 were 4 yrs old or younger!!!!). Because it had rained the day before it was a huge mud pit. The kids were loving it. Well, all except Jude, who cried and wanted to change his clothes because they got a little dirty. He is such a city kid. It was sweltering hot. I mean like 95 and no breeze. Yuck. The older kids started playing with these squirt guns. Before long they had this big idea to make a mud slide. No, not the drink...a real live mud slide. In the back yard there is this little "drop off". The kids sprayed water down the little hill and then started sliding down it on their butts. It was so funny. They were covered in mud. It was really innocent, good ole fashion fun. Jude didn't have anything to do with it. After the kids got cleaned up and in fresh clothes some of the groupd went on a hike. Jake and Elise went shopping and Jude and I took a nap. It was nice (but hot). After everyone made there way back, we got ready for dinner. We had planned to have our "family" birthday party. Remember I said we had a lot of spring birthdays? Well, this was the big one. Now, I am going to have to stop here because it is late and I am whooped. I will give you part two sometime soon so check back.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I Passed My Test....

So, I passed. Glad all that studying is over. I hate sitting still and memorizing. Either way, I passed. it is official. I am a licensed inusrance agent. Didn't this all happen fast?

Sunday, May 21, 2006

No Longer a College Student.....

Did you remember I am taking that Pre-licensing class to become an insurance agent? Well, I have been taking it for the last 2 week-ends. Man....40 hours chucked full of unfamiliar information crammed into such a short amount of time. It has been crazy. I have officially finished the class and have my certificate. Now I have to pass the test and I am good to go. I have A LOT of studying to do. Hours and hours of it. This is going to be one seriously crazy week. Tomorrow I am taking a "crammer" course for the test. It is another 8 hours. I also have to work, get my hair done (pu-leese, it is so overdue), buy birthday gifts for all of Jake's family that has a birthday during the month of May (you have no idea how many....why do we keep reproducing????), get the gifts ready for presentation (you know wrap them, thank you God for gift bags), buy a new "professional wardrobe", go to this Mary Kay thing on Tuesday and then all the other family/wifey stuff I do. I think I am overextended for the week. I know, whine whine, whine....I am grateful for this opportunity. Seriously. I think insurance is so cool. I am officially a nerd. So, with all this said, I will probably not blog too much this week. I will try to update and as you all know I am an incredible procrastinator and I "find" things to occupy my time instead of doing what I should be doing (aka blogging instead of studying). I am going to try not to do that this week. Next week look for the long awaited and anticipated return of Ex-men Tuesday and Kent State Saturdays. I have some good stories brewing for ya! So, stay tuned and have a good week.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Happy Birthday Elise!!!!!!!

I tried to upload these in a certain order but it didn't work out for me. They aren't even just backwards but all messed up. Either way, here is my family....

Elise got into Jude's markers and wrote on herself....How cute.

This is Jude's serious look. I went in his room and he was sitting on his tool bench with his piggy bank in his lap, trying to count his money. This is one of his favorite past times.
Okay, this one should have been first....This is ME exactly one year ago today. Jake took this picture at 5:30 in the morning before we went in to have Elise. Man, I sure don't remember being that big!
One last marker picture. Check out those teeth.

Happy 1st Birthday Elise!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

8 Hours of Sleep????

Aren't we supposed to get 8 hours of sleep? I've never really required a lot of sleep (with the exception of sleeping off a rough night). I can sleep 6 hours and function perfectly. I wake up in the morning happy. Yes, I am an annoying morning person. I have learned through the years to be sensitive to other people's morning grouchiness...not a big deal. Either way, I am okay with and inadequate amount of sleep. When my kids were newborns, I never walked around like a zombie due sleep deprivation. So, my point is to tell you I am tired. It is finally catching up to me and I still have so much to do..... I am working the most hours I've ever worked this week. I am studying for my big test coming up on the 25th and starting my new career on June 5th. How exciting is all this???? It is crazy and draining. I also have to get my hair done next week and buy new clothes. I don't own anything fancier than what you could buy at Old Navy. Yikes....... Elise's birthday is on Thursday. Can you believe she is already one???? I don't even have a party planned for her or anything. Also, we are doing this cancer walk in June. I haven't even started raising money for it.... Anyone want to donate?

Okay, enough whining. Let me tell you what my husband is doing right now. He just came in and got Jude and took him outside to play with the neighbor's dog. I swear, he is "courting" the dog. The neighbor started to tie the dog out close to our yard, away from his house. Jake started going over to pet the dog and before long he was talking to the owner about the dog. The owner tells him he doesn't know what he is going to do with the dog because his girlfriend moved in with her dog and 2 cats. Are you seeing where I am going with this? I told Jake NO WAY. He obviously doesn't listen very well. And it doesn't help with Jude asking for a pet. Either way, no dog until we buy a house this fall. The dog is a golden retriever. She is really pretty but we don't have the room or time. Sorry doggy.

Well, I almost posted the blog and Jake came back in. Guess what???? The guy offered to give the dog to us. Jake told him we can't right now. I suppose I better go introduce myself because I think we are going to end up with the dog. GRRRRR.... I am not a dog person. More of a cat lady myself. Please talk my husband out of this.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Jude wants a Pet...

Yesterday I spent a good portion of the day trying to convince Jude that Molly, our cat, is a pet. Here is how it went....Jude says, "Mom, I need a pet." I replied, "Well Jude, you have a pet. Molly is your pet cat." He gets a little louder, "No, Mawwy is not a pet. I want a new pet." After a pretty intense conversation for a few minutes, I ask Jude, "What kind of pet do you want?" He said, "a sheep". I explained that sheep aren't pets. He wasn't buying it. Last night while I was at my class Jake took the kids to the mall. They stopped at the pet store like they always do. While in there, Jude told Jake he wants a sheep for a pet. Where does he get this stuff?????? Lobsters and sheep...................

Friday, May 12, 2006

Spring Fever.....

I got up this morning at 6 a.m. and went to the grocery store before Jake went to work. I didn't want to have to drag the kids with me. Jude does okay sometimes but the last time we went to Giant Eagle together he spotted the lobsters. It was all over. He cried and whined the rest of the shopping trip. Imagine the looks on peoples faces when they heard my three year old crying and begging me to buy him a lobster to eat. Although Jude isn't really a picky eater, there are very few things he asks for (pink milk, shrimp, mushrooms, black olives, Parmesan cheese and lobster). I know, strange like his parents. And Elise - let me tell you....she is a little Houdini. Seriously, she can twist and squirm her way out of any high chair or shopping cart. She is determined. Very determined. And vocal about whatever it is she wants. Not fun when you are shopping. Not that this has anything to do with going to the grocery store but Elise is also a climber. Jude never really climbed on anything. Elise climbs on top of tables and chairs. I caught her standing on Jude's rocking chair. She had a big smile on her face like, "yes I know how cool I am". I think I am in trouble. Seriously.

I start my pre-licensing class this evening. I am taking the week-end course. It is actually 2 week-ends. Friday evening, all day Saturday and Sunday. I am going to have to miss Church. I am not to thrilled with that but we do meet with some folks from our Church Saturday night. That'll be fun. It is at my future boss's house. And I am going to miss Mother's Day. Sacrifice. Either way, I started studying the vocabulary words for this course and this is going to be hard for me. Most of the classes I took in college were what I refer to as "warm fuzzy feeling classes that are subject to debate...more than one answer can be correct". Not in the insurance business. There is a right and wrong answer. You have to memorize. So, I am really going to have to study. I am pretty excited about it. After I get past the class and the test, I think I am going to be really good at this job. I am so excited. Honestly, I want to stay home with my kids. Everyone knows that. But right now we have debt to pay off and we want to buy a house. So, I have to work. And if I am going to work then I better make it worth my wild to be away from my family. Don't worry, I'll still be a "do good-er", just in a different capacity.

Monday, May 08, 2006

This is so TYPICAL of me....

Man it has been a long day and I still have stuff to do. I need to do a bunch of stuff so I can't type long. I wanted to give everyone an update. Jake started his new job and everything is going well. We did realize I need to continue working to pay off some debt and to save up for buying a house (hopefully sooner than later...). I had been searching the want ads. It's not my favorite job. Seriously, what can you really tell about a job in 5 lines? Most jobs I have had in my life have literally fallen in my lap. Here are some examples....
  • Went shopping at Dots with my mom when I was 16. We knew the manager. After a brief discussion she decided to hire me and asked me to come in that day at 5 P.M. I didn't fill out an application.
  • Toys R Us. Sean J. (a friend of mine) worked there while I was looking for a job. He told me to come and fill out an application. I was hired that day. I worked there for 6 years.
  • Joe's Crab Shack - I filled out an application and before I walked out I was hired.
  • When I quit Joe's I told the boss I wanted to get a job in my field. He picked up the phone and called Safe Landing. I ended up working there for 6 years.
  • When Jake and I decided to leave Shelter Care, we were looking for jobs. I had basically given up. Cheryl (my current boss) called me to see how the baby was doing. After talking a while I told her I was looking for a job. I was hired by the end of the day.
So, you get my drift. I have never really had a problem finding a job. I still hate the mystery of the unknown...especially when I need a job to pay the bills.

Well, Sunday at Church I sat next to Josh. He owns a insurance buisness. He hired me. So, this week end and next and will be taking classes to be an insurance agent. I'll start in June. I have to take a test and it looks pretty difficult. I guess you can say this is a HUGE career change for me. Paul Miller owned a insurance buisness for years. Now I can finally be just like him!!!!!!!!!!!! Everyone already compares us. Ha ha.

Friday, May 05, 2006

This Week in Class....

This week I was in an upper middle class community teaching the program. It was a 6th grade class and it was nice to be in a classroom where the kids have talked about the facts of life with their parents. This is the same school I was at 7-8 years ago and a kid raised his hand and asked him how the sperm and egg ended up in the same place. When I told him, he cried. Isnt' that awful. Well, this week was fun. I gave the kids an assignment where they had to ask their parents questions about love. It is always cool to see what other adults think about the subject. One dad wrote this long romantic description of love. The girl told me her mom just rolled her eyes at his response. Well, then the girl told me her dad said for her to give me his number because I would probably want it after reading his paper. Ha ha ha. She said he always jokes like that and his mom is used to it. I just laughed and told her to tell her dad I have my very own Romeo at home.

Anatomy and Puberty day went smoothly. We had another teacher out teaching in the other 6th grade classroom. She had a kid throw up. I guess she didn't even know he got sick because he actually left the room then barfed. I was a little disappointed it wasn't in my room. Isn't that awful. I did have lots of funny questions and comments. Here is a list of some good ones.....

  • Testicles need to be "room temperature" in order to make sperm. That is why they are on the outside of the body.
  • Someone asked why the call it "The birds and the bees". I actually have this pamphlet about "talking to you kids about sex" the Ohio Dept. of Health put out in 1921 (Linda gave it to me). I was reading it and it suggests you explain how birds or bees carry pollen from one flower to another and that is how a flower is "fertilized" and can grow into a fruit or vegetable. So, if you ever wondered that yourself...now you know.
  • One girl said, "Mrs. Miller, Let me get this straight- You have to have S-E-X to have a baby?" Later she asked a teacher's aid how Mary got pregnant with Jesus.
  • Pubic hair is to keep you warm.
  • One keg of beer (which is 15 gallons) has the same amount of alcohol as 1 shot of whiskey. Oh and so does a bottle of moonshine (how do these kids even know what moonshine is????). There is a question in one of the games that how much beer or wine is equal to the amount of alcohol in a shot of whiskey.
I only have 3 more weeks. The next two are at the same school. It is a hike but a good school, either way.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

If I could just be a skinny girl.........

So, last week I was teaching in a health class. I am sure all of you remember what your health room was like....full of posters warning you about the dangers of drugs & alcohol. Well, I was sorta wandering around waiting for the kids to finishing answering their "Dating Game" questions. I see this poster that has all different types of drugs and what categories they belonged to. So I am reading (I like to keep my info updated) and I see a list of stimulants. There are pictures of the drugs. I am going along the list and then I see it. My old friend. Metabolife 365. It is a popular weight loss drug from back in the day. It is illegal now, although, there is a new version "Metabolife Ultra". I was really surprised to see this on a DRUG poster. And it was a stimulant! Yikes. Well, let me tell you about my experience with these pills. I was probably 24 and I decided I needed to lose weight. I wore a size 12 (loose) and I felt like I was too fat. I was "dating" and it seemed like there was such an emphasis on weight. Seriously...I had a guy tell once that I was the perfect girl(personality) but he likes skinny girls. I was very active. I went to the gym. I worked several jobs. I went out dancing. Probably if I had laid off the beer I would have been fine. But that is another story for some other time. I was not fat. Most of what I had was muscle. I will never be a size 3. I would look horrible. But I wanted to loose some weight. My friend had been taking Metabolife and started loosing weight. I decided I would try it. I still remember my first dose. I took 1 1/2 pills like the bottle said. It wasn't long before I was bouncing off the walls. I cleaned the entire house before going into work. That evening I went in for my shift at Fisher's. I get there and I am so ready to go. You have never seen anyone wait on tables like I was... I told my boss he could send everyone home, I could take ALL the tables. I picked up extras and even did most of the side work for my coworkers. It was awesome. When it was time to sleep, I crashed. This went on for a couple of weeks. I started loosing a ton of weight. Other than the energy boost, it makes you super thirsty. I would drink like a gallon of water a day. I couldn't quench my thirst. After those first few, good weeks I started noticing I couldn't go to sleep at night. I would be up half the night. And when I did sleep I would have nightmares. A few months into taking the pills I had lost 25 or so pounds. I was down to a size 8 (once again - loose). It was awesome. I was the thinnest I have ever been in my life (since puberty). But the pills were taking a toll on me. I had friends tell me I was a different person. I told them I thought THEY were crazy. I don't really remember what I did or anything like that but I think I was just unreasonable. I dated this guy during this time (who by the way told me I was fat after I found out he had slept with my ex-roommate - see Jarhead previous post) and he still (to this day) tells people I am crazy. Isn't that lovely. Of course maybe I was??? I prefer to think it makes him feel better about the way he treated me. Either way...after a while Metabolife really wasn't working. I stopped loosing weight. And the drugs were expensive. I did keep most of the weight off for a few years. Pretty much until I met Jake (ha ha ha) and started having babies. Kinda crazy.

So, here were some of the side effects listed on the poster: rapid heart rate, inability to sleep, nightmares, nervousness, irritability, upset stomach, chest pain, stroke, heart attack, psychosis and death. Can you believe that? Crazy. It is no long on the market. I guess some young healthy 20 somethings actually did die from that stuff. I am lucky.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The MySpace World....

Did you know there is an entire subculture of Myspacer's out there? Well there is. My Space is a web-site where you can blog, post pics, tell people about yourself, meet people, accumulate friends (you keep an "official" count) and share your fav music etc.... I went on myspace.com a while back to check things out and see who was on there. I was shocked at how many people from my past had a myspace. It seems like most people on myspace fit into one of three categories. 1. Young 2.Artsy 3. Musicians I guess it just attracts that sort of person. Either way, I set mine up. I am now a "myspace nerd". I sent out a bunch of invites for people to be my "friend". I have only heard back from 9 people but most were people I hadn't talked to in a long time. I am happy to hear from them. Either way, never fear....I will not allow myspace to take away from my blog. I love my blogspot and you know I enjoy ranting and raving about all sorts of things. I have a good topic all ready for tomorrow and I have big plans to start blogging daily again. Things are finally getting back to normal around here! I am enjoying the beautiful weather and Jake really likes his new job! I am at a good (very good) school this week and I will be there for the next 2 weeks. Yeah. What a great way to end the year!

Monday, May 01, 2006

The Rest of the Hospital Story...

April 14th - Jake's fever went down. The ID doc came in and asked me why her partner prescribed Jake antibiotics. She was pretty much accusing me of talking him into giving him them. I never actually talked to the man. She said his MRI was "clear" and there was no reason to have him on the antibiotics and she was taking him off of them Sat. Morning. He would get to finish out the cycle that was started. I questioned her about the fact that his fever went down and she told me with the flu (mind you....His second flu test came back negative) his fever would go up and down and it was just a coincidence that his fever had gone down while taking the antibiotics. I told her when Jake was coherent enough to talk he was complaining about his ear hurting. I asked her to look in his ear. She told me she didn't have the equipment to do so. I asked her if she could go get it and she said NO. The Neurologist came in and also said the MRI was fine. I told him I had noticed a distinct change in Jake's personality. He told me the hospital could do that to people. I told him about the hallucinations and explained that Jake had been very "distant" and almost "cold". He blew me off. He said it was the fever, drugs or effects of meningitis. "Jake is getting better", he said. The General Practioner came in and informed us that everyone had overreached the previous evening. He also said they would stop the antibiotics in the A.M. We told the GP about Jake's ear ache and he asked Jake if it still hurt. Jake said no because, after taking strong narcotics, it didn't hurt anymore. Plus he was seeing flowers and zoo scenes on the wall...Nothing hurt at that point. So, the GP didn't look at his ear. Friday evening, his nurse from Tuesday came in to work. She looked at his file and was very confused. I started talking to her about some of the stuff that went on during the stay. She talked to a few other nurses and they all agreed something was seriously wrong. So that night while I slept she started digging. By the next morning she had found the infection in his ear from the MRI report. THREE Doctors missed it but a nurse could see it. She had called supervisors, management, patient care people... I told her I wanted the ID doc removed from the case.

April 15th - The ID doc came in and told me she was the only doc in for the week-end and wanted to know if she had permission to give Jake care. I told her if she was our only choice that was fine. She was very humbled. This is what she said...."Your husband has mastoiditis. It is an infection of the mastoid area. We will be keeping him on the antibiotics." She turned and walked out. I chased her into the hall and I said, "Can that effect his brain?" She said "yes, but we have no reason to think it has". GREAT. No reason except my husband's entire personality had changed and he is seeing things that aren't there. So, I talked to the day nurse and asked him to page the GP because we had a lot of questions and we would like an ear, nose and throat doc to come in and speak with us. She told the nurse, "He doesn't need one and if she wants one she can hire one herself or argue with the other GP on Monday about it." Aren't these people lovely. She did come in later during the day. She did not identify herself and listened to Jake's abdomen, heart and asked him if he needed anything. She left and we didn't even know it was her for a few hours later. No explanations. No bedside manner. The Neurologist came in and we questioned him about the MRI results. He said it was his job to look at the brain, not the rest of the results. He was smug. Jake woke up and talked to him just fine. I told him, he was not normal and something was still wrong. He said it was the narcotic.

Easter: April 16 - I woke up at 5:30 A.M. I watched Jake twitch and hallucinate for two hours before I went home to get ready for Church. He had not taken the narcotic for 12 hours and had not had a fever for 48 hours. I was convinced they had messed my husband up. Sunday was so hard for me. I didn't know if I would ever get the real Jake back. I decided to have him transferred to the Cleveland Clinic. The on call GP was extremely rude and asked me if I thought I knew more than the doctors. I told her that didn't matter. I had lost all trust in the docs at the current hospital and I wanted to go somewhere else. She was so rude about the whole thing. The Neurologist came in and said he was taking Jake off some of the meds he had prescribed. I went home and looked up the meds. I decided Jake would be back tomorrow. The meds were making him crazy.

April 17 - The phone rings at 6:50 A.M. It was Jake. He was back!!!!!! He transferred to Cleveland around 3 P.M.

That was Monday. He was home by Wednesday.

So, the moral of the story is....Don't trust everything a doctor says to you. They are human and they make BIG mistakes sometimes. If something doesn't seem right, you have to say something.

Have a good day.