Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A messy day

Every so often I have "one of those days" when messes just abound, like some kind of invisible mess machine gets delivered to my house and I don't know it till I'm in the middle of the myriad of messes. It seemed like the messes today would never end.

Let's see, I had to contend with 5 or 6 (yikes!) "steenkie" diapers, most of them Eli told me about right away so they weren't ground in, I could just dump the contents into the potty, clean him up in the tub and we were off and running again. One time, though, it kind of squished onto him so it was a bigger chore, but the worst one of all was the one he tried to clean up himself. Groan, sometimes independence is a good things, other times, however... anyway, he took his undies off, dunked them into the toilet, managed to get poo all over the toilet seat, the hall floor and even his hands and face (GROSS!). It took me quite awhile to get that mess cleaned up.

Then there was the flower water that got spilled not once, but twice on the family-room end table, Gigi's supper that got dumped on the floor, Geo's juice that got dumped all over the table, his chair and the floor by Gigi, milk dribbled on the floor when Gigi was mixing it (that was this morning, forgot about that one), something, probably applesauce trailing across the kitchen floor, the mess from Eli dropping the potty as he was on his way down the hall to "dumpit."

I'll toss in the crumby dining room floor and the soaking wet bathroom floor for a bonus. I'm sure there are more, but they are all just starting to run together.
You ever have one of those days? I can't possibly be the only one... can I? Kinda glad the day is done, I can start tomorrow fresh and hopefully it won't be "one of those days."

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Gj;ukd... I mean typing on a new layout

I've been doing a bit of reading on alternate keyboard layouts and how they can increase speed and productivity while cutting down on errors and reducing hand fatigue. I compared a bunch of alternatives including the second most popular Dvorak layout, and after much thought, I've decided to try Colemak. I don't think I'll go cold turkey as I would like to retain my qwerty ability; ideally I'd like to be able to type in both formats as needed. I do expect my qwerty speed to go down as a result, but in the long run I think it'll be worth the effort in light of my future career in medical transcription and all the typing I'll be doing. So far this is my first attempt at typing in Colemak and it's taken me forever to do, but I can also see it's getting a little easier as I go along. And my fingers are doing a lot less traveling (my backspace key is getting a workout, that's for sure; trying to get used to the new "backspace key" [the old Caps Lock key]. I'll have to remap the Caps Lock key to a seldom used key (such as "right Windows key" or "Scroll lock.") I'll let you know how it goes.

Added 7/30/2008... I just tested my speed and was able to type an agonizingly slow 18 words per minute, but this was without looking at the keys (99% of the time). I'd love to see it up to 30 wpm by next week. We'll see.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Last night...

...was not a very good night. At 3 a.m. I woke up to whimpers and cries coming from Gigi's room. I went in to investigate and she said "my tummy hurts!" I picked her up and shuttled her across the hall to the bathroom in case she needed to empty her stomach in the toilet. She didn't want to and didn't want to, ad infinitum.... but finally she gave in and did. I was hoping and praying that that would be it and she'd be able to go back to sleep, but no sooner had I gotten myself settled in bed and had been comfortable for about 10 minutes than it started up again. I was the one to deal with it since DH had to go to work today and he needed his rest for that. I can always (theortecially) get a nap but he can't. So every 10-15 minutes after getting her and myself settled, I'd hear the whines again and get up to go help her clean up when she was done, give her water to swish out her mouth... It went like this from 3 till when I finally got up around 6:45 (Eli woke up and said he was "stinky" so I had a diaper to change). I got 4-5 hours of sleep last night and I'm really really tired today! My brain is in a fog. I've already established that we're having a nap time this morning, any time now really, I was just making sure that Gigi's stomach could tolerate it first. She seems to be doing fine and might even say she doesn't need a nap, but I know better! She was very willing last night to agree to a nap, that's for sure. I really hope that Eli can be convinced to take a nap too so I can get some sleep. I may go in Geo's room instead of my room as I hear every toss and turn coming from Eli's crib and it negatively affects my sleep.

Oh the joys!

I've started potty training Eli and it's going slow. The first day we had both #1 and #2 accidents, yesterday he didn't have any pee accidents (I don't think) but had about 4-5 pea-soup poop accidents in his underwear (the kind that dribbles down legs and trickles down on the floor/carpet, whatever). Yuck! He was so hesitant to even sit on his little blue potty that I finally resorted to bribing rewarding him with "sweets" when he does manage to do anything on the potty. He gets about 3x as many sweets for #2 as for #1 since the former is less frequent and also he seems to be more hesitant in that department. So.... this morning after I got him up I had him sit on the potty and, whatd'ya know, he pooped! A small pile, but it was something. I was very happy, clapped my hands, got real animated and gave him a small handful of sweets (raisins, carob chips, stuff like that) as a reward. I really do hope that starts a nice trend in that direction. He also went pee in his potty all by himself this morning, without my having to remind him so that was pretty cool too. I saw him in the kitchen trying to move a stool over to the counter where the "sweets" are kept so he could reward himself. I didn't catch on right away, but finally did see his deposit in the potty and paid him his dues. He's keeping dry for at least an hour between pees, maybe more, so he's doing well with that. I'm hoping to have him mostly trained by the end of this week. We'll see. I will still probably put him in pull-ups for going out, but for now, at least at home, he's in big boy pants and seems to be finally catching on.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Potty Training?

I'm being very lazy about potty training this time around. Eli has shown little signs like he might be getting ready, but I just wasn't ready for the accidents that come with training so I've been procrastinating. But today I decided to put some "big boy pants" on him right after I changed a stinky diaper (so hopefully he won't be doing any of that in his underwear) and he stayed dry for about an hour or so. He wanted to go outside with Daddy so I told him he had to pee in the potty first so we went to do that. He decided he's not ready to pee like Daddy yet (standing up) and wanted his potty seat. When I sat him down, he tried and, sure enough, was able to go.Woo hoo, that's my boy! Now, I'm not harboring any grand ideas that this is some huge milestone or anything because he's gone in the potty before, but it's the longest I think he's kept his diapers dry in a long time, and he's always peed in his underwear in the past so dry undies is a good thing. I'll take what I can get!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Home (not) Alone

Geo started telling me yesterday afternoon that he was feeling like he was getting sick and sure enough, in the middle of the night, both he and Gigi work up with sore throats. Geo asked for some Tylenol to help the pain, but Gigi just went back to sleep. I decided it would be best to keep them home from church today (don't want to expose all the other kids) so it's just me and the kids today till DH gets back from teaching his Kindergarten Sabbath-School class. I'm sure he's planning to stay for church too. Eli is entertaining himself trying to sing along with some Kid's Time Praise videos and the older two are off being creative with the play food. I'll probably read their lessons a little later and review their memory verses... It won't be quite the same as Sabbath School, but... oh well, I can only do what I can do.

On at OT school note, my books came Thursday! That was just about 2 weeks from when I joined MT Advantage :o) Not bad, not bad at all. They came just at the right time because the couple of days before were spent decluttering the bonus room (slash office/school room/craft, toy and other storage/laundry launchepad/ironing station/filing room...) which was a tremendously huge job, but it's done now :) well, mostly and it's SO much nicer. But I'm kind of glad my books didn't come earlier in the week because I would have wanted to delve into them instead of cleaning which was very very necessary! I'd like to continue on in this fashion (cleaning) so that the house is presentable for the baby when he or she arrives in November. The bonus room was the biggest hurdle so the rest of it should be a piece of cake, right? LOL Here's a pic of my nicely arranged storage closet shelf complete with MT books :o) Notice how nothing is spilling out all over the floor in front of the shelves (like they used to). Everything fits on the shelves and if there ever gets to be too much, then it'll be time for another purge! I think I might go thru all the boxes in 6 months or so and see if there's anything else I can let go.

Back to my books... there's a set of 1000 flashcards of medical terminology (words, prefixes, roots, suffixes...) that I have to have learned by the end of the course, so I've started plugging them into my handy-dandy jMemorize program. I have about 120 keyed in so far and that was just in about a day so I think I could have them all in in a month or less (I hope!). Interseting medical terminology tip of the day (and something I remember from A&P): acetabulum (hip socket) literally means "little vinegar cup."

Monday, July 14, 2008

Flashcard update

I did some snooping online and learned about the Leitner System for learning things for the short as well as the long term. Basically what it does is it remembers the cards you get wrong and you see them more often until you start to get them right. Then the ones you get right come back again in a week or two or three to see if you still know them (refresh and strengthen your memory). I found several freeware or open source programs that were based on the Leitner method and after trying out 3 or 4 have decided that my favorite is jMemorize.


Runs on Linux, Mac and Windows
Can arrange flashcards in categories
Text formatting on cards (very simple tho, no highlighting)
Attach images to cards
Has nice charts to keep track of progress


Doesn't allow sound attachments
Doesn't allow highlighting of text

All in all, not too many drawbacks. There's another one called Memory Lifter which I think I will use to practice typing commonly misspelled words. Memory Lifter has a function for adding sound where you can either add a sound file or you can record a sound, so I can just speak them into the microphone and off I go. The con for me with Memory Lifter is that it makes you type out every answer, doesn't just take your word for it, but that will actually be a pro in regard to my misspelled words list.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I'm in school!

Yup, after years and years in the real world, I'm finally in school again and lovin' it. Uh-huh, I'm a nerd, a bookworm, what can I say, I love school, or probably more accurately, learning. And I've never stopped learning, but now I'm officially enrolled. I'm going to be a Medical Transcriptionist when I grow up, lol.

After much research and indecision, trying to decide whether I'd go with the cheepest of the "big 3" MT schools, or choose another school which seemed to offer as much and more, if not the designation of being one of the "big 3." In the end, due to prompt replies to all of my emails and honest answers to all of my "difficult" questions, not to mention an awsomely awsome discount which brought it within range of the other school I was considering, I chose MT Advantage (Medical Transcription Advantage Career Center) and I'm so far very happy with my choice. The school boasts a 100% job placement rate which is very encouraging and so far, in working thru the lessons, I really feel that there is a lot there for me to learn. I feel that I'll come out with a lot of knowledge and practice that will translate well to the real word. It will probably take me at least a year to complete, what with homeschool, a new baby and the possibility of my having to pick up some part-time-at-home work while DH is in school, not to mention just staying on top of the running of a household... Sometimes I think I bit off too much, but I'm having such fun with this program and the good thing about it is that it's a do-at-your-own-pace course and they are fairly flexible about how long it takes you to finish. Right now I'm just trying to perfect my grammar, spelling, and my attention to detail (or occasional lack thereof), finish a few non-required, but helpful computer classes and improve my typing speed... I just found my old Harbrace College Handbook so I'm going to look thru it and hopefully pick up some helpful pointers in the grammar department. I don't think I'm horrible, but I think I definitely could use some improvement. And MTs generally have impecable grammar and spelling.

For note taking I'm using a dandy little feeware app called KeyNote. It's a wonderful little notes program that supports tabs and an unlimited tree structure within each tab. It's marvelous; I'm sad it's not being updated anymore, but I'm really mostly fine with it how it is.

Also, I downloaded a flashcard freebie called CueCard which will help me drill myself either online or via the printed version of the flashcards (will do either, or so it says).

So far I'm on Module 4 of 30 that are in the course and I've been given the green light to start Mod 5 if I want (since Mod 4 is about computers and is not graded or required, but helpful and so far [for me] boring as all get out). I'll have to skip back to Mod 3 when I get my books (in 3-5 weeks, sooner I hope!), but at least I can keep up the forward momentum. I'll keep you posted as to my progress.

20 down, 20 more to go

Weeks that is. Actually I'll be 21 weeks tomorrow so slightly less. I made it to the halfway mark! Things are going well with this pregnancy so far. A few weeks ago I was having early morning mid-back pain that would force me up at 6:00 a.m. or so. But that has recently eased up, not sure what has changed, but I'm not going to complain! My belly is getting to that slightly uncomfortable, makes-it-hard-to-breath stage, but the baby isn't so big yet that it's kicking my ribs or my bladder so I guess I can be thankful for small blessings. Also, thank God, the relaxin hasn't kicked in yet. I hope it waits for a good while! The baby is probably close to 12" long now and wiggles now and then. I love the wiggling part :)

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Sore Throat finally gone!

I'd had a sore throat for the last week or so and couldn't shake it. Normally all I have to do is up my water intake, suck on a zinc lozenge, and try to get extra sleep and that does the trick. But not this time. After a day or two it started getting very sore on my left tonsil and it hurt like crazy when I stuck my tongue out. So I got this wacky idea to "paint" my tonsil with hydrogen peroxide. I put some on a cotton swab and dabbed it on a couple of times. It burned for awhile and I drank a bunch of water to try to dilute the burning. And here comes my word of warning... I don't think that was the best thing to do. My tonsil did indeed stop hurting initially, but the hurt came back and it seemed to be worse and I think it may have caused it to last longer than it would have on its own. So next time I won't be doing that!

So my next weapon was... da da da daahhhh! garlic. My dad suggested a garlic/tomato sandwich so I diced up a clove, put it on bread with mayo on it, then slices of tomato, salted. It wasn't too bad, but it was spicy and stroooonnnnngg. But it did seem that after each dose of garlic, the soreness abated for awhile or felt a little less severe. I had 2 sandwiches one day, none the next, 1 the next (I think, as I recall). Anyway, it was almost gone yesterday and today I truly feel free. Hooray! So glad to be done with that! Oh, I forgot, I also tried gargling with cayenne in water which ended up being too spicy for me, but I also put it on my food which did seem to have a positive effect.