Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The first day of school.....

Well, I started Grad School Monday night. Everyone keeps asking me "How did it go?" "How was it?" "How do you like it?"

The truth is, it's so overwhelming that I don't really feel anything.....

I have been working towards this program for more than five years, since I first learned of it while cruising the Internet trying to figure out what to do with my life once I finished my Bachelors. At the time, I still had several years to go at UMUC and the thought of this program - like a carrot dangling at the end of a very long stick - kept me motivated to plow through my undergrad with the best possible grades I could get - and it worked. After several visits to JHU I finally applied and lo and behold was accepted. It's what I have been working for all these years. It's what I have wanted all these years. I cried when I found out I was in. I just can't figure out why I am so "blah" about it now that I am there.

Don't get me wrong, I love telling people where I am getting my education and I am excited about the program, but I feel so out of my league that I am beginning to have doubts about whether or not I can do this. I was so nervous on Monday I felt like puking all day. My hands shook and my breathing got faster the closer I got to Baltimore Monday afternoon. And then to sit in that class with 20 other people and hear that they were lawyers, CPAs and engineers - my heart felt like it dropped into my stomach. I'm just a secretary. Well, a paralegal, but basically a glorified secretary. I was a little embarrassed when I had to introduce myself. I imagined everyone around me smirking and rolling their eyes saying "What is SHE doing here?" It was like I was back in high school on my first day at a new school with no friends, trying to figure out where and how I would fit in...would these people think I was good enough? Would I be able to show them I AM good enough? Will everyone laugh at me if I open my mouth and say something stupid or ask a dumb question to which everyone else will surely already know the answer because they are smarter than me?

I guess this just goes to show that it doesn't matter if you are 7 and starting a new school (like my daughter did this year) or 37 - the fears and insecurities are the same. I just hope it gets easier......and I hope I can do this.

Friday, January 18, 2008

AHHH - SNOW!!!!!

Let me just start by saying that I would be the happiest person on earth if it snowed continuously from December 1'st until spring. So, yesterday as the big fluffy wet flakes fell, I was like a five year old on Christmas morning - I got giddier as the day went by..... My co-workers laugh at me constantly when it snows - I revert back to a kid who only thinks about getting out in the white stuff and making snow angels, sledding down gigantic hills, building snow forts and then coming back inside and having a big mug of hot chocolate while I warm up and dry out next to a nice big fire in the fireplace. There's something so magical about snow. I stood at my living room window late last night with Brian and gazed outside at the beautiful scene - there was just enough light from the moon reflecting off the snow that it looked absolutely peaceful, like a winter wonderland - and all seemed right with the world for those five minutes we stood there and snuggled and just enjoyed the scene.

I even got up early this morning and ran downstairs to look outside as the sun was just coming up...I ran upstairs to get the girls out of bed so they could see how absolutely beautiful it was. My excited cries of "Get up girls!! Come look at how pretty the snow looks this morning!" were met with grumpy comments like "Mom! I'm trying to sleep" and "I don't want to get up just to look at the snow!!". How is it possible that these two children - who I gave birth to, who are HALF of me - how could these kids NOT BE EXCITED ABOUT THE SNOW?????????? Is something wrong with them?????? The obviously get this blase' attitude about the snow from thier father.

I gathered them up, fed them, dressed them, got them ready for school, grabbed my camera (for what were surely to be the most astonishingly beautiful pictures of the snow that I would send to my brother who, it should be noted, was home from Paris an entire month and wanted to see snow so bad - only to have it snow 12 hours after he got on a plane back to Paris..Poor baby!). We got in the car and started up the hill that is my driveway....and promptly got stuck in the snow bank at the top.

Oh, not to worry - this chick knows how to drive in the snow. I got us out after much back and forth (my poor car is going to need a tune up now). My kids thought it was hysterical though - especially the part where I was yelling at the snow for making me late and complaining about how inconvenient it was.....=)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

And now, Round 2!

Yes, that's right, we have officially entered into Round 2 of this nasty, snotty, wet rag sounding cough, sickness in the Henry household. My oldest daughter, Olivia, has now been stricken with what her younger sister had last week (and still is not full recovered from). So, here I sit, trying to convince myself that the headache that has been pounding at my head all day and the achiness I feel in my very BONES and the slight sniffle I have been battling all day - is not the beginning of the same virus which has turned both of my beautiful, energetic daughters into snotty, germ infested, feverish, sleep 20 hours a day, messes they have become. I have FAITH! Mom's can't get sick, right? I fear I will be using all my sick leave up in the first month of they year and not even for myself, but for my children. I am incredibly lucky though - I have the greatest boss in the world - as my my friend Beth (check out her blog!) can attest too. I think he loves my children as any good blood Aunt or Uncle would and is only concerned with their (and my) welfare. He (or his wife - also a wonderful lady) even calls me on the weekends to check on them when they are sick. So, although he's VERY understanding and has never given me any grief for taking time off when the kids are sick, it only serves to make me feel more guilty about leaving him to face the numerous crises at work. .... Not much I can do about it though. If your child is sick, your child is sick!

Speaking of Beth, I though I would let everyone know how we met. I was pregnant with my youngest, Sydney, and she came to work for another attorney in the office. Suffice it to say, I had no intention of getting to know her too well, since she was the 5'th secretary for this gentleman in probably 2 years and I figured she'd be gone by the time my maternity leave was over. It amazes me that two attorneys in the same office can be such polar opposites - my boss is an amazing man and really tries to be understanding and is a generous person - in his heart, with his money and with his time. Beth's former boss, although a wonderful person to know if you don't happen to work for him (I actually have developed a wonderful friendship with him - but only because I don't work for him) is gruff, demanding, condescending and quite often - wrong, but feels he is blameless. It is a testament to her that she has lasted the longest of any secretary who ever worked for him since he has been there. But back to Beth and me.

My first real memory of Beth is my birthday the year Sydney was born. I was still on maternity leave and she showed up at my door with flowers from my boss (who I am QUITE certain forgot my birthday but was reminded by someone else in the office). Since we lived fairly close, she offered to deliver the flowers for my boss. Ever since that day, I don't know - we just "clicked". We began commuting to and from work together and have stayed friends even though she moved to North Carolina a year or so later. She helped me with my essay for grad school, helped me update my resume' (which hadn't been updated in 12 years) and has been an overall Cheerleader when I need a pick me up. She's a great person and I wish she lived closer so I could see her and the boys (and her husband =) more often. She's incredibly efficient at work and quite possibly one of the smartest people I know - although she doesn't realize it. I am so proud of her - she's going back to school and is jumping in with both feet. It's hard (damn near impossible actually) to go to school with 2 little ones while working full time, but I have no doubts that she will succeed and finally realize that she is worth so much more than she gives herself credit for.

So, now it's my turn - Everyone give Beth a cheer - especially those of you in our weight loss challenge - and let her know that she can do this! I know she can =)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Sneezes and sniffles and coughs, OH MY!

Well, Sydney has a nasty case of bronchitis. I took her to the doctor and they said it's viral so no antibiotics (which I'm OK with - not a huge fan of giving kids medicine just to make me feel better). However, we are going on almost 4 days now - and her fever is spiking to 104+. It only does down to 101 with the Motrin or Tylenol and that's just not acceptable to me! We had to pull out the nebulizer from when she had pneumonia a few years ago and she's taking breathing treatments every 6 to 8 hours which she HATES!

I, however, have been through all this before - my kids don 't get sick very often, but when they do - Look out!! We get the high fevers, the loss of appetite (Sydney hasn't eaten anything substantial for a week now - but she's drinking water and juice like a champ, so I'm not going to freak about it) the nasty cough, the breathing treatments (Try and make an 18 motnh old sit still and breath in a tube for 15 minutes every 6 hours - it's a learning experience!) At least now that Sydney's 4, she can hold it herself and even though she complains and doesn't like it, it's much easier. And for some reason, I am not the nervous Nelly I usually am when my kids get this sick. Don't get me wrong - she's sleeping with me and Brian because I need to keep an eye on her fever (she needs medicine literally every 4 to6 hours) and her breathing. She's SO CLOSE to the precipice of pneumonia and I just want to make sure she doesn't go there.

And she is SUCH a love bug. She wakes up in the middle of the night burning with fever and still manages to tell me that she loves me and gives me a kiss. Of course, she's also been delirious because of the high fevers =) But since she tells Brian and I ten times a day that she loves us, I know its not the fever.

So, I could be in LA sightseeing and having a great time and instead I'm sitting in my kitchen looking at the dirty house and listening to Sydney sing a little song as she snuggles up to me and I realize it's no contest. My kids won't need me forever, so I'll take all the snuggles and "I love yous" I can get now - even if they are delirium induced! I'm amazed at how independent my kids have already become and sometimes I can feel them just slipping away from being kids who need their mommy to adolescents who don't want anything to do with me. I dread that day....

So, sick kid, dirty house, rainy day and all, I'd rather be here at home than anywhere else in the world right now.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Life Never Goes as Planned....

So tomorrow, my brother and I are supposed to hop on a plane using his free buddy passes from an airline he does freelance work for, and fly off to lovely Los Angeles, California for 4 days. We both have friends out there, so the plane tickets were free, the rooms are free and the only thing I need to do is take spending money - sounds perfect, right? Well, of COURSE it sounds perfect!!! I am going to visit with my very good friend Cathy who moved out there a few years ago, and we are going to go sightseeing, and drink wine and gossip and catch up and I get to spend quality time with my baby brother - a rare opportunity - and I get to visit Los Angeles - where I have never been before.....HOORAY!!!

But wait - THAT can't be right!! I can see God now, conferring with his advisers up there in heaven - "She is entirely too excited about this trip and it's just too good of an opportunity for me NOT to throw a little wrench in her plans......"

And so, my youngest daughter, Sydney, came down with a cold Sunday night. Poor baby. But, her daddy is competent and can take care of her and after all, it's just a cold, right? I'm still going!!

On Monday my brother gets back from a little trip to New York to visit with some friends while he's home from Europe and now HE has a nasty cold, a nasty cough and isn't feeling so hot himself. But he's a big boy - suck it up and get on the plane buddy! I'm still going!

By yesterday Sydney had a cough that sounded like she had wet rags in her chest and had missed her second day of school. Um, I'm getting a little concerned about going.

By last night her fever was running about 103 or higher (something I used to panic about, but now have a little more tolerance for, so long as it doesn't get any higher), her cough was worse and I made her sleep between my husband and I, so I could help her get up and cough. Not quite sure I'm still going....

Then this morning Sydney started throwing up - due, in part I'm sure, to the fact that she hasn't been eating much, and has all sorts of gross crap going from her sinuses directly into her stomach. So, I call the doctor and she has an appointment this afternoon. There's a nasty flu going around, and that's probably what it is they tell me, but since she had pneumonia in the past, they want to see her today to make sure it's not going in that direction. Crap!! I'm SO not going!

So, sick brother, sick baby, and I'll give it about 3 days before we have sick mommy, sick daddy and sick big sister. Which just happens to coincide with when I would be 3,000 miles away. So, we postponed our trip from Thursday to Friday to see how everyone felt on Thursday night. But let's face it - that's a futile attempt to convince ourselves we are still going. Somehow I don't think so.

I'd like to say I'm devastated about not going tomorrow, but the truth is, I wasn't getting good vibes about the trip anyway - I can't explain it, but I just had one of those feelings you get that something is going to happen. I'm quite certain it was a by product of my anxiety over leaving my husband and children and getting on a plane to fly across the country for a weekend of selfish fun. But I paid my life insurance premium last week just in case. Let's face it, the more prepared I am for the worst, the less likely it is to happen. That's my motto and I'm sticking to it.

So, It was a nice thought and hopefully someday I'll get out there. It just doesn't look like it will be tomorrow....

Monday, January 7, 2008

All Aboard!

So, here I am jumping on the bandwagon. I'm going to try this whole "BLOG" thing. I actually tried once before and never did anything with it, so here we go again! Let's see, a little about me:

I'm a wife (of almost 10 years - WOW - that's hard to believe!) and my husband is a wonderful man - I couldn't do what I do without him
I'm a mom of two of the most gorgeous, incredible (and yet, completely different) little girls (more on them later)
I'm 30-something. Ok - I'm 37. Oh Alright! 37 and a half. Don't rub it in......
I'm a Real Estate Paralegal and have worked for the same wonderful man for the past 12 1/2 years
I graduated from UMUC with a BS degree in Legal Studies
I will begin studying at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore at the end of the month for a Master of Science in Real Estate Development (YIKES! I'm terrified!)

That's the basics, anyway.....

I also have a brother who's a free lance writer living in Paris - and yes, I'm jealous =) I recently moved my family from Walkersville to Frederick and we live next door to my mom and dad. I know, I know, I'm crazy right? But it's actually worked out well. My girls love their Mimi and Poppy and once they got used to the fact that they couldn't just run down to their house whenever they felt like it, everything kind of evened out. The house is beautiful and big and has a nice big yard for the kids and dogs (and a great sledding hill) so life is good. Now I just need to sell our old house and figure out how to pay for the new one without going broke =)

But, opportunity always knocks when you least expect it and never when you think you can handle it. We're much happier where we live in now - it's safer, the house is bigger so we aren't tripping over each other, and we know everyone in the neighborhood since my parents have lived there for years. I have faith that everything will work out wonderfully. And if it doesn't then my husband has already reserved my room at the loony bin, so I'll just move right in!

So, between two active children, two rotten (but lovable) dogs, four fish that Santa brought us for Christmas, working full time, going to school part time, worrying about money, trying to keep my husband a "happy guy" (if you catch my drift - wink, wink) I'm amazed that I can speak coherently some days...... And this is why I drink.... ;-)