Monday, February 23, 2009

40 days: time out!

As luck would have it, my life has gotten increasingly more stressful. With three big certification tests for school and a job interview coming up, I haven't had time to post daily. Sorry! But I will return, just as soon as I can breathe.

Friday, February 20, 2009

40 days: Day 6

Today's challenge directly affects my husband and me. This dare specifically targets irritability. After all, love is not irritable.

Make a list of areas where you need to add margin to your schedule. Then list any wrong motivations that you need to release from your life.

Wrong motivations... like what? Selfishness, lust, pride, greed, bitterness just to name a few. I think we can all relate to this dare. It seems like these wrong motivations creep into our lives and create us to be irritable and just plain unhappy. In the end, spending energy on irritabilities is such a waste.

And speaking for Randy and myself, we've let some of these bad motivations rule our lives. It can be sooo easy to do when times are difficult. Surviving on one income, a do-it-yourself house renovation, and getting through a master's program has taken its toll. Let me tell you, the easy road is to become selfish, greedy, and just plain bitter (e.g. All of my friends have actual careers, nice cars, nice clothes, take nice vacations, blah, blah, blah. Here I am still a college student going to Goodwill in hopes of finding some clothes in my size this week.)

This dare made me stop. Think. Be thankful. I'm releasing bitterness, greed, and lust (not the steamy, sexy lust... the lust that covets others' nice things). My husband and I have our own home. We are not in debt. We can make our house payments (even a car payment). We work within a budget, and that's okay. I will try to think of my Goodwill trips as recycling. Heck, I may even promise myself to continue to shop there when we have a 2-income household. Because, really, who needs clothes that are super duper expensive? Clothes are clothes. And who doesn't love a "vintage" piece?

Monday, February 16, 2009

40 Days: Day 5

Today is the first day that the challenge begins to get a little hairy.

Without being harsh or demeaning, tell your spouse three things that he/she does that irritate you.

Randy and I cheated and only did 2 things... mostly because we couldn't think of three things that seemed relevant enough to discuss.

His two irritations with me: sometimes mothering him about chores and (get this...) my hiccups. I agree with the first one, and we both got a good laugh at the second one. It's not so much my hiccups that are annoying; it's more the fact that I am HORRIBLE at getting rid of them. Or sometimes, I don't even try. I just wait it out, which is annoying to him. Okay. I'll take that.

Through this exercise, I actually learned that he finds my nagging about the housework to be just as annoying as I find to do it. I hate nagging about something not being done, and he hates when he forgets to do something that warrants a nag from me. Perhaps something can be accomplished from this. All in all, not a bad dare.

40 Days: Day 4

Today's dare is to buy something that lets your spouse know that you were thinking of them. So, what do I get for Randy? A few weeks ago at a fondue restaurant, I remember him saying that his all time favorite dessert is banana slices dipped in chocolate fondue. Armed with that info, I decided to buy all the stuff to make a chocolate fondue with banana dippers (except I also baked brownies, which will be what I use for dippers). Yum!

40 days: Day 3

So far, the 40 Day Love Dare has given advice on patience and kindness. Today's dare deals more with thoughtfulness.

Sometime during the day, call your spouse with no other agenda other than to see how he/she is doing.

40 days: Day 2

Day 1 of the 40 Day Love Dare was pretty easy for us. It was all about having patience with the one you love. Day 2 wasn't too hard either, but it coincided with Day 1's theme of patience. This time, we focused on kindness.

The book describes patience as how love reacts to minimize a negative circumstance. Therefore, kindness is how love acts to maximize a positive circumstance.

Yeah, sure, I think I'm kind. But, the entire time I was reading about kindness, I started realizing how unkind I can be. For example, kindness has 4 core ingredients: gentleness, helpfulness, willingness, and initiative. Initiative and willingness I got. No problem. Gentleness and helpfulness sometimes come with a side of harshness and annoyance. Yikes. Definitely need to be more aware of that. So, with that little lesson in my head, here was our new dare...

Along with not saying anything negative to your spouse, do at least one unexpected gesture as an act of kindness.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

40 days: Day 1

Last Friday, Randy and I decided to go out to dinner and a movie. After waiting over an hour to get our food which put us too late to see the movie, we ended up just browsing Borders and sipping on some coffee. All and all, a perfect ending to a not-so-great start.

Upon browsing, I came across a book called the 40 Day Love Dare. And while the description of the book sounds like it's meant for couples whose marriage is "on the rocks," I was intrigued by the daily challenges it puts forth. I've been with Randy for about 5 years now, and while I love him unconditionally, I can say that sometimes our marriage is a bit blah. So, Randy and I have decided to take up the 40 challenges, and I thought it might be cool to try and document some/most of them here. Yesterday was our first day, and our challenge was a lesson in patience:

Try not to say anything negative towards your spouse for the entire day.

I must say, day #1: not that hard. Randy and I don't usually use harsh words towards each other (like I said before, this book is probably meant for couples heading down the "I don't love you anymore" road). There were a few times I had to really think before I spoke.... like when we were cleaning the house, and my idea of clean is not quite parallel with Randy's idea of clean. But instead of blaming him for being lazy or forgetful (e.g. I noticed the toilet bowl had not been cleaned yet) , I went ahead and offered to remedy the problem myself. Once I piped up, he felt truly apologetic and completed the job without complaints. And we had a very smooth first day.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The reward for persistence

is $8.

Yep, that's right. After round 4 of cashing in our Christmas stocking scratch-off lottery tickets, we are big winners. Each round, we continually got 2-3 "free ticket" or "$1.00" winners, so we decided to persistently trade for another ticket in hopes of the big bucks. And this is about as "big" as it gets, I guess (except my brother-in-law got an instant $50 out of one ticket.... although what has he learned about persistence? hm?).

So hooray for us. I wanted to continue our little gamble, just for the fun of it. But, my usually free-spending husband has decided to pull back the reins and cash in. Gotta love life's little lessons.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The List

It's official! I'm over half-way done with my last externship for grad school before I become a "real" speech therapist. Hooray. But, while I have been in the nursing home, I've come to realize that the classroom setting doesn't prepare you for most things that you learn out in the field.

Here are some things grad school didn't prepare me for the medical setting:
- you'll realize that things you say REALLY LOUDLY (because your patients are hard-0f-hearing) can be hilarious to someone else... like when you're doing oral motor exercises and say, "SUCK ON THIS REALLY HARD"
- it is ALWAYS funny when a disgruntled old lady yells "SHUT THE HELL UP" to the senile man who is talking loudly to his very committed spouse who is there to visit

- the pay isn't as good as you think
- if the pay IS good... it's because you're working a helluvalotta overtime hours
- having a "flexible" schedule means that yes, you can take off holidays to be with loved ones, but you will be making those hours up on a weekend
- when hallways are quarantined off due to something contagious, you will DEFINITELY be getting it... sometime.... somewhere
- Medicare sucks.
- writing a beautifully written 3-4 page client report is crap in the real world... no one wants to read that... you get 1-2 lines to tell staff a) what the problem is b) how you're going to fix it c) in what time frame will the patient be "cured"
- you have to be 75-80% productive during the day... but evaluations, meetings, writing time, and/or preparation doesn't count.

- a client may want to spend a little extra time with you just so he can tell you how much he misses his wife and that she comes to visit him in his dreams
- the man in his wheelchair always in the hallway carrying a wooden backscratcher just wants to give you a back scratch... and you know what, it feels really good
- the man who can't remember his wife's name or his own phone number to the house he's lived in for 30 years can still tell you the topics of his research when he was getting 2 master's degrees

- you will be feeding someone at any given meal of the day, and you will get good at it
- 50% of your time will be spent doing monotonous & repetitive paperwork (if you're facility doesn't have computer documentation)
- Speech Therapy is the lowest on the totem pole... no matter if the setting is school or medical
- 99% of the people in this world have NO CLUE what a speech therapist does ("Why does he need speech therapy? He can talk alright.")

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Grand Opening

In an effort to seek out more customers, Toodle-ooo is expanding to another store. Not only are we featured on Etsy, but we can also be found at Shophomemade. It will take a bit to get our inventory up (as this is the prime "study" season for us grad students getting ready for our certification tests), so please be patient and check back often.