Thursday, September 27, 2007

My rant

May I vent? I don't have children. But I am not a dummy when it comes to kids. I have younger siblings, cousins, nephews & a niece, and I used to baby-sit a lot. I realize "nothing compares to raising your own" blah blah blah...I get it. But come on...there MUST be SOME common sense in this world! I am talking about putting a child's life in danger. One of my biggest pet-peeves is when I see a parent or parents walking down the street and their young child (today I saw one who could have only been 2 years old) is walking on their own far behind the parent. The parents never look back to check on them. HELLO!! Earth to mentally-challenged "parent!" Ever think a kid might possibly step off the curb and get hit by a car? Ever think a child could get grabbed from behind (we don't live in a perfect crime-less world you know)? Ever think the child might lose sight of you by becoming distracted and then wander off?

My question is why. Why on earth would any parent allow their babies to be in such danger??? Now, before I get attacked by any parent who might be offended allow me to clarify a little further. I am not talking about a 15-year old who is fully capable of walking on their own. I am talking about children who have just learned to walk in the last year! I am talking about children who can't put a full sentence together (let alone ask for directions when they get lost).

I realize that a parent can't be everywhere at once. I realize a parent isn't always able to stop their child's bad behavior. I realize a parent does not actually have eyes in the back of their head. I understand all of that... yet I can't wrap my mind around this one. I would go nuts if I was walking down a busy street and I couldn't see my kids. I don't think I would have such a problem if the child was walking AHEAD of the parents (at least then they can keep an eye on them). So if anyone has an answer for me, please let me know! And I promise to eat my words if I EVER decide to completely ignore the fact that I have a child while I am walking down a busy street.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Do you remember being in third grade and you were assigned a pen-pal? I distinctly remember having a pen-pal, and only corresponding a total of 2 times each. Probably not as "successful" as it should have been, oh well.

Keeping that in mind, allow me to switch gears for a moment. Back in high school I had a few classes with a girl from Japan. She wasn't technically a foreign exchange student, she was living in California to go to school, and she moved back to Japan when after she graduated. Yoko was an EXTREMELY quiet person. I sat next to her in at least 2 classes and every now and then I would talk to her briefly. Nothing too in depth, at first. Gradually we got to know each other and we decided to stay in contact after high school....Tah-dah, a pen-pal!

It has been 7 years since we graduated and we are still in contact. I just received another email from Yoko today and I got so excited to hear about her life. I sincerely hope that we stay friends for a long time.

Friday, September 14, 2007

My loved ones

At school today we discussed the care of geriatric patients. All the way from their aging process to elderly abuse. It was quite the emotional experience. But it really got me thinking about my grandparents. I very much wanted to share with anyone who cares to read, about who my grandparents are.

My dad's parents were separated when he was a young boy. The only pictures we have of them together are from when they were a young couple. For this last Christmas my dad gave each of us this fantastic picture. It was taken in one of those 1-minute photo booths. I believe my grandmother was around 17 years old, my grandfather not much older than that.

Unfortunately we didn't get to see my grandfather very often, because he didn't live near us. But our visits with him were pleasant, and as I grew older I was beginning to really appreciate him. Sadly, he passed away shortly after his 2nd wife died. I miss the fact that I didn't really get to know him as an adult. I only knew him from a child's perspective from our bi-annual visits. I do know that he was a quiet man, with an interest in engineering of all kinds. He seemed to know how things worked. He also had a beautiful train set that went around his Christmas tree (with the steam and whistle)!

On the other hand, my grandmother, Carol, was someone I knew VERY well. My family lived in her home on two different occasions. This woman truly became my mentor. She was a talented woman. At the age of 16, she was the youngest singer in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. She had a beautiful singing voice. She was also an independent caterer and cake decorator. She was able to teach me her skills in cake decorating (well, enough so that I was able to make mine and my sisters' wedding cakes). Again, sadly she too passed away after complications from her diabetes and what turned out to be mini-strokes. She died the year I got married, I wish I had her there. My favorite thing about her, was her hands. They were so small and gentle. I used to love sitting next to her and hold her hands. Her laugh was adorable! She always appeared to be a bystander, but if you paid close attention, you could see Grandma right in the middle of things. She could be mischievous if she wanted to be. She was quiet, but silly, and as her headstone reads "she gave us her all."

My mother's parents were also beautiful people.
My grandfather was a fascinating man. I refer to him as my hero. He was honorable, smart, a man of integrity, but boy did he know how to have fun...most of all he was a proud family man. It seemed to me that of all his life's accomplishments (which were many), he was most proud of his children and grandchildren. He loved his wife dearly. They were the typical old couple (she yelled at him to do something, and without knowing it he would respond...then completely ignore her....LOL) But you could see the love for her in his eyes. I will always remember how he fertilized his lawn to spell out in 4-5' letters "I love Lois" (with the "s" backwards). He too passed away from a sudden stroke about 2 weeks prior to my wedding. As with my other grandfather, I wish I had more time with him as an adult. There are so many things I could have learned from him.

Last, but CERTAINLY NOT least, is my grandmother, Lois. My grandmother (my only living grandparent) is a wonderful woman. She has always been a strong woman. She takes pride in her home and in her activities. Following a heart attack many years ago she started walking for exercise...I am telling you right now, she could walk anyone I know under the table! She has a fun attitude and such a caring spirit. She finds joy in her grandchildren, and now great-grandchildren. I have been fortunate enough to sit down with her to record video of her telling me stories of her life. Like the story of how she and my grandfather met (it was a blind date...honest! They got married 3 months later!)
I am grateful for my grandparents, yet I miss them so much. I find myself attached to grandparent-types. I love them for what they can teach me. I love them for their experience. I love them for their quiet demeanors (in spite of all that they have inside). But most of all, I love them for the love they give.

After witnessing a video documentary of elderly abuse it made me realize how precious my grandparents were to me (not that I needed to see abuse to realize it...but it reminded me). I hope you all who have someone elderly in your lives that you absorb all that you can from them. Find out who they truly are.

Monday, September 10, 2007


I know I just posted something, but as I was doing my daily perusing through blogs I found one that I think EVERYONE should know about. This man, Chip, and his family moved from Anaheim to Boise a few years ago (we miss them!!). They are an amazing family, led by probably the most patriotic husband/father. I want everyone to check out his solo bike ride from coast to coast. He is raising money for a very good cause. Please take some time to check it out, and add him to your list of blogs to check out daily too. Thanks! Good luck Chip!


My baby sister, Valerie, sent me an email today telling me that she had just "doodled" this picture today and wanted to show it to me. Ok first of all...a doodle contains stick figures and oversized flowers, sometimes a mythical creature that looks nothing like a mythical creature. Apparently my uber-talented sister thinks that her drawings are doodles, but to me...they look pretty amazing!
I decided to analyze her drawing and this is what I came up with: She is feminine and soft, she looks excited (see the grin?) and kind of focused, so this must be their first kiss together. He, although strong, looks like he really cares about her and this kiss really means something to him. Any other thoughts? Let's hear 'em.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Mind Numbing

Today was a special day for me. I have been thinking about it all summer long, and I have been telling people about it for so long, and today was the day! I gave my very first (and second) injection! My first patient was Kari. She had worked on me earlier that day... so it was quite convenient to have her in MY chair :) I wasn't too sure how confident I was about actually giving the injection, but we were all a little timid. Luckily we each had an instructor sitting right next to us (and in some cases literally holding our hands). The injections we learned were very basic, but it is still a bit intimidating to go for that first INSERTION! I am so glad that I have finally broken the anesthetic ice and I look forward to a full semester of injections! (The really fun part is our class right before lunch time, so every Friday I should be eating softer foods) And for those of you who don't like "shots" just think of this as your payback. We get to LEARN on each other!!! Eek!

This is the Cypress College dental hygiene class of 2008!

I love this picture...LOL, I am so weird!

I'M GOING FOR IT!!!! Luckily the picture doesn't show how nerve-racking it is!

An interesting abstract look into our world... hope you enjoyed my adventure!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Romantic Acts, Part II

Matt is my hero!!!!! At the beginning of summer one of my instructors gave us an assignment to work on that would be due this semester. The assignment was in
pharmacology, we were each given a list of drugs (about 15) to write a brief summary on. Sounds simple, but in reality it took quite a while to do. I did procrastinate a bit, but I was working on them. Two days before they were due, I realized that I had been working on the wrong drugs! Our teacher had given us the complete list of drugs and told us to take a certain drug from each page, but I (and two other students) thought that we were each responsible for an entire page, rather than just one drug. Confusing? Yeah, it was for me too.
Well, I started freaking out! I bawled my eyes out. Here I was, two days before the assignment was due and I had to start all over. There was no hope! So, after crying to Matt for a while, HE asks me to give him a drug to work on. I was working on the laptop and he was working on his computer. He actually helped me on 4 drugs out of the 15 just that night. I am so happy!
Last night, at about midnight I finished my project, to turn in today. There is no way I would have been able to finish if it weren't for Matt.
I am truly blessed to have Matt in my life. He has always been there to help me, and he is willing to do anything to support me. I want everyone to know...Matt is my superman!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Back to school!

I must admit, I have been a lazy blogger lately. I suppose it is because there is nothing too exciting going on in our lives right now. Two weeks ago I went back to school. This is my senior year in the dental hygiene program at Cypress College. This semester I am studying: Community Oral Health, Pharmacology, Anesthesiology, Special Needs, and of course Clinic. I have been the most excited about learning about anesthesia, I have thought about it all summer long! I am sure I will do an entire blog entry on that!

As far as clinic goes, we are going to be seeing 25 patients this semester. We have 3 days that we see patients at our on campus clinic, then we have two other locations that we are rotating to. The first one is called Share Our Selves (SOS). It is a charity facility that provides dental care, medical care, clothing, and food for those who qualify. All the "staff" are volunteers who don't get paid. So we as students will go and donate our time, and in return we are lucky enough to gain the experience of working on people who may never had their teeth cleaned or worked on ever in their lives! I know that may sound disturbing but as I have to learn by working on variety of people, I don't know any other place that I may encounter such a cluster of patients in that condition...not to mention they receive a service for absolutely free. I think that when I do graduate I would like to donate some time at this facility on a regular basis.

The other clinic which we will be going to is the Rancho Los Amigos Hospital. It is the largest facility for spinal injuries. Back in the day it was a polio clinic. The patients we will be seeing will be in some way disabled, in some cases they will be lying in a hospital gurney while they get their dental work done. Again, I feel privileged to have such a fantastic facility to work in to experience something I may never have the chance to see again.

In addition to all the patients and the projects for the semester, I will also be preparing to take the National Board exam (written). So this is obviously a very big and important year!! I look forward to having the next 9 months fly by to my graduation (May 2008).

My journey through school has been long and drawn out. I will be 26 years old when I finally graduate, but I am so pleased that I have finally made it! I wouldn't have gotten this far if it weren't for my terrific husband. He has supported me and my education 100% all these years, including now that I am in a full time program and I am unable to work to bring in a paycheck. He has also sacrificed his own comfort to be one of my very first patients ever! I really do have the best support system. Thank you Matt, I love you dearly!