Sunday, May 25, 2008

Drumroll please.....

I have been waiting for the right time to write about this and I figured that it is finally time to let you all know (whoever "you all" may be) that I am in fact PREGNANT. Yes it is true!!! This coming Wednesday I will officially be 3 months preggie. Everything has been going well so far. I had a little bit of nausea a couple of weeks ago, but nothing too significant. Early on in the pregnancy I really had no desire to eat. Its not that I wasn't hungry, I just didn't ever feel like eating. But now is a different story. It was like one day someone flipped a switch and now I am hungry constantly and all I want to do is eat. I was tempted to get out of bed last night at 11:30 or so to get something to eat. My other "symptom" which isn't really a typical thing...according to most women I have spoken to, is sciatic pain. BOOOO!!!!! This marvelous nerve in the back of my leg that runs up into my tailbone area is getting pinched. Every time I need to bend over/stand up, get out of bed, lean this way or that way I get a sharp pain in my left, um...cheek. It stinks, it is kind of bothersome. I can't be on my feet for too long, so walking for exercise is pretty much out of the question. I have been thinking about taking up yoga to see if that would help. Any other suggestions? Has anyone else had this problem?

This is such a wonderful time in my life. I have a lot of joy and happiness around me, and it is such a blessing to be where I am. It is such a fantastic feeling to be finished with school, but nothing compares to the honor and excitement I feel of becoming a, that sounded weird, and it was kind of strange to write it too. I guess I am still trying to convince myself that it is real and that I haven't been dreaming. In that case I just have to bend over and feel that nerve twinge and ah, yes...I am pregnant. No
t to mention the beautiful moment of my very first ultrasound at week 7. My little "buggette" (my family's nickname for me is "Bug" so therefore my dad has called the baby buggette) didn't look like much at the time, but I saw that little heart beating and it was the most amazing thing in the world! I couldn't laugh, I couldn't cry, (mostly because if I moved the ultrasound picture would disappear), but I look at those pictures now and I am just so amazed at the life that my Heavenly Father has entrusted to me. Besides seeing the heartbeat, nothing beats hearing the heartbeat. Last week I was able to go in to the doctor and after looking for about a minute, he found that swishing throb that is my baby's heart. I definitely cried that day!!! It was such a relief to hear the evidence that all was well. I know so many women have gone before me. I am lucky to have a mother, a sister, a sister-in-law, and so many friends that I can talk to about my experience. But I am a sentimental person (I still have the bottle cap to the sparkling cider that we drank the night Matt proposed to me) and so I am soaking up every memory and experience that I have.

I am not the only one that is excited!!! In the time that Matt and I have been married I have seen him grow so much. I think the most influential part of preparing him for fatherhood was the birth of our niece and nephews. It has been wonderful seeing Matt play with the children and show sincere love and care for them. It is also very clear to me the love and care that he has for his own baby. He has come to every doctor's appointment so far, and he checks up on me: did I take my vitamins, did I eat lunch, did I drink enough water, go take a nap, etc. He even made me a fruit smoothie for breakfast one morning to ensure that I got all my fruit servings for the day! He also doesn't like it if I poke my belly...he is very protective of the baby. All the gifts that I have received from him are things ultimately for the baby too. I love his enthusiasm and excitement. I realize that his behavior is not the universal norm for all men in this world, so again, I count my blessings!

Well, there it is. The beginning of another countdown!! My due date is December 10, 2008 (my grandma's birthday). I am very grateful for this special blessing our lives, and I do welcome any advice, tidbits that worked for you, and recommendations. (And if I think the ideas sound crazy, then I just will ignore them! HA!) Take care!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Happy Graduation Class of 2008!

HOORAY!!! I am now a graduate! It has been a very long road, and no I don't have a masters or a PhD, (or even a bachelors-but that isn't important) but I have finally finished school! I am actually not a dental hygienist yet, I still have to pass my state board, but all the classwork is done. Thank goodness.

I need to express my gratitude for all the people who helped me on this journey. First of all, if it weren't for some high school friends (Elisa and Shannon) I don't know if I would
ever have found a career in dentistry at all. They are the ones that inspired me to pursue my education as a dental assistant. Then, there is Danielle and Emily, two inspirational hygienists that got my attention. I am not even sure that these ladies know the influence they have had on me. So, thank you for all the guidance you have given me.

My family has been the most supportive of all. My husband had to be the sole provider (and in southern California, that is not an easy thing to do), and he also had to listen to me whine, cry, complain, brag, vent, etc. etc. etc. In addition to all of that, he has also been a patient of mine, he has actually helped me finish homework assignments, and he has sent me positive and uplifting thoughts and messages by way of text messages, voice mails, notes, flowers, cards, and picking up my slack. I really do have the best husband ever. Thank you Matt, you mean the world to me. Not to mention my parents, my siblings, my in-laws, and so many others. They have never given me anything but hope and drive to accomplish my goals.

I went to a fantastic school, with fantastic classmates. I actu
ally spent the last 2 years with the same 14 people, every class, every day. They are my family too, and we are a team. Tonight was our graduation, and I want to share those moments with you all.

I was happy to receive a "Who's who" award and also the Doni Corban memorial scholarship. I mentioned it previously, but tonight I was given a plaque for the scholarship. It wa
s a nice surprise. It was a nice graduation, where I shed a few tears of joy. It certainly isn't the last time I will see my classmates.

I was so happy that my family was able to make it to my graduation. It was a long drive for them, and lots of traffic, but like I said before, they are all so very supportive.

I had to take a picture of all my goodies. My nephew Tanner picked out my balloon. (You can't see the graduation cap on Sponge Bob's head). I got flowers from my family, a classmate, and also the faculty. I am holding my certificate from the program, and I also displayed my plaque and the "Who's who" award. I didn't take a picture of all the cards and gifts I got. Thank you everyone. It was a special night.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I'm free, to do what I want!

I am done with school. I have to keep reminding myself of that fact now and then because I have hard time believing it. It seems like it is impossible for me to be actually done, but I am. We don't have to take finals this semester because we have already passed our National Board, so there is no reason for us to take another exam testing our knowledge when we already passed the big one! So for the rest of this week I get to sit back and relax. Unfortunately, Matt is out of town, again. He has been in Chicago since Monday, but he comes home today.

I have a lot of things that need to be done now that I have some time, you know, the things I have avoided for the last 2 years because of school. I figured I would list them, so I don't forget anything. (These are in no particular order)

  • Clean my house...I mean really clean: scrub, dust, organize, disinfect, vacuum, laundry (I believe that is called "Spring Cleaning"-I wouldn't know, I've never done it)
  • Start making dinner...I can count on one hand the number of times I have cooked anything for dinner this year
  • Plant some new flowers in my front yard
  • Start exercising, again (maybe taking my dogs for walks)
  • Reading my scriptures on a daily basis
  • Scrapbook my dental hygiene experience
  • Shave my legs and pluck my eyebrows
  • Go on a trip to Utah to visit mom
  • File all my paperwork: bills, taxes, pay stubs, etc.
  • Watch those Netflix movies that have been sitting in the house for months
  • Call my friends
I think that should be enough to keep me busy. Now just to clarify, I am not going to be staying home all day, every day for the next couple of months. I will start working, but I don't have to worry about homework, studying, projects, blah blah blah.

This new freedom might take some getting use to. But I am willing to make the effort. :)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Maybe I am the only one....

I know I may be the only human in existence that noticed this, but I just had to say something. I understand that "gotta" is not actually a word, so perhaps Burger King took poetic license, so this post may be pointless.

The word "gotta" is short for "got to." Examples are "I gotta pee!" or "I gotta run." or "I gotta get me one of those!" Now the way this billboard has it written out it would actually mean "Got to buck?" Now that doesn't make any sense unless you are a horse.

I realize they actually mean "Got a buck?" But why did they have to go so far as to add an extra T to the billboard. It still is good advertising, maybe not as "cute" but at least it would be "grammatically" correct. I am not an English major, I do not claim to have a full understanding of all the rules of the English language, but I do have a few pet peeves when it comes to things like this.

I also take issue with the word "milk" when pronounced as "melk" (just listen, you will hear people say it). But that is another post all together!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Board results, graduation, and some thoughts

I finally received news yesterday that I passed my National Board exam!!!! 6 weeks is a long time to wait for the results of a scantron exam. Sheesh! But, I never was too concerned that I would or would not pass, it was just driving me crazy not getting the results. Luckily the director of my dental hygiene program gets to find out first, so she passed on the information to the rest of us (the entire class passed). I should get my individual results in the mail, but score doesn't matter in the long run. No one will ever ask me what the score of my National Board exam was...they will only want to know if I am licensed. Half way there, and just a few more hills to climb.

On a somewhat related note, the other day I was surprised with the honor of receiving a memorial scholarship. A woman that graduated from the dental hygiene program back in 1982 who also came back to do some teaching lost her battle with breast cancer. Her father created a scholarship in her name, and this year I was the recipient of that scholarship. I actually didn't know anything about it until 3 days before the awards ceremony. My instructors had nominated me for the award, and I am very happy to have been chosen. It does seem slightly strange to have a scholarship given to me 2 weeks before graduation, but hey...I have to start paying back my student loan!

Speaking of graduation!!! Just a few more days and I will be a free woman! I can't begin to tell you how wonderful it is to be so close to being finished with school. I envy all those young high school graduates that know exactly where to go, and what to do...even if they haven't picked a major yet. I had no idea what I was doing. All I knew was that I needed to be a full time student in order to be on my dad's medical insurance...but no one ever said I had to stay enrolled in those classes all semester!! Ha! I thought I was so smart. All I did was waste my time and prolonged my education. Finally, I made it into the program, and I had to face 2 years more of school. This is the point where I start calculating to see how old I am going to be when I finally do graduate (and yes, I just had another birthday...and no I didn't acknowledge it!). So now I am approaching the end. Some people say, "Wow, that went by fast!" and I say to them...."maybe, but I felt EVERY minute of it go by!" Sure hindsight is 20/20 and all that jazz, but I have been ready to be finished for a very long time. I also stand in awe of those who journey back to school after being away for awhile. My current stand on the issue is this, I am done...I am not going back (but I am leaving a little window open in the back of that statement that says I am not going back...right now.).

My main goal over the last several years has been to get an education and to have a degree. Well, as of May 20th at 6:30pm I will have reached my goal. Hallelujah!!! I am so grateful to have such a supportive husband, family, and friends to get me through all these years (especially to those of you who actually sat in my dental chair for a cleaning or for some x-rays). I know it sounds extremely cheesy, but I am also so incredibly grateful to live in a country where no one looks twice at a woman who gets her education. I am blessed to have the opportunity to be free to make my own choices and improve myself with my husband supporting me. I love my profession. Some people don't understand what I do, they don't understand what a "dental hygienist" is, and they certainly don't understand how I can put my hands in other people's mouths ("eww!"). My reply is this, I needed something that allowed me to help people, but this is in a way that isn't as obvious as heart surgery. I love dentistry, I have learned so much about the human body as a whole, and let me offer the crazy notion that yes the head is attached to the body, and I think that the mouth is part of the head. It is the source of nutrition, of communication, of love, of power, of health, of pain. The eyes may be the window into the soul, but the mouth is the portal to our entire life and wellbeing. It is my responsibility to educate my patients, to promote health and wellness, and to use prevention as a tool to help my patients.

Shall I step down from my podium? Ok, I have passion for what I do. I love it, and there is nothing else to say about it. So, to end my long and never-ending "Oscar" speech, I will just simply say that...I am happy. I have so much joy in my heart for this moment in my life. Thanks for being a part of it.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Math Professor

Keeping with the theme of my family I thought I would share my little brother's good news. My younger brother is a genius. Seriously, this kid is a smarty-pants and his daily activities include: school, tutoring, and homework (which is usually self-assigned). Andrew loves math beyond what any normal human being should. I believe he wants to go to school to become a math professor at a university level.

Andrew was just accepted to both UCLA and UC Berkeley. I believe he has chosen to attend UCLA. I am so proud of my brother and his hard work. I can't tell you how many times I have called him to do a simple mathematical equation for me, and yet he is always happy to do it. Not only that, but he really truly loves what he does. He is so passionate about it that it is usually all he talks about, with girls being a close second. Congratulations Andrew!