I love her so much.

25 02 2012

I came home tonight to a letter sized envelope from Lili. I rarely, if ever, get mail from family…

I wondered why she sent me snail mail… I picked up the envelope, and felt something inside… I was wondering what could be in the envelope…

I instantly hoped it was a gift from Little C. Something inside and letter from Lili or something.

What I opened, was so awesome. It made my day, my week… My month.

Good grief, I’m blessed with Little C… PROOF:

It apparently says "Aunt Claire" at the top. I love.

People, there are puffy heart stickers all over that sucker!!!!!! That’s what I felt!

I called Lili and C before I even took off my coat because I was so happy. They made my month!!!

It says, somewhere on the top “this means Aunt Claire.” How can I not love this little girl? Impossible. She’s so amazing.

I can’t wait until we’re roomies in May for my eldest nephew’s wedding. We’re going to party hard. (aka dance our pants off at the wedding and watch Disney movies the night or two before until we   can’t watch anymore.)

I feel like I win something right now, if at the least, the love of a niece. I love it. And I love her more than anything. She made my day, week, and month with this pic, now on my fridge. Thank you so much Lili, for mailing that to me!!! Her art has taken over my fridge. I

I love it.

God help me when G-man starts moving around and drawing. I’m going to have to invest in tape to put the artwork on the walls… (G! I know you’re content to sit, but start moving cutie-pie!!!)

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Reviewing my life.

1 01 2012

I’m incredibly blessed to have parents who allow me to be a kind of hoarder. A girl who throws things away, but can’t give it all away.

My parents moved to Florida with not one, but three or four containers which housed things from grade K – college.

But I had to clear that crap out this past visit. And clear it out, I did. (I threw away, donated approximately 90% of what I saved.)

Anyway, why I’m talking about this is because some things hit me, and my parents with a big old *smack.* Sometimes funny. Sometimes (me) tears.

The sad stuff, first.

I was given three stuffed animals/dolls etc, before age 4. I love all three. They mean a lot to me.

1) My doll, Julie. A Madame Alexander doll. My parents gave this to me when I was two years old. Still have her. (she is totally falling apart. And lives with my parents now, not in a storage box, until we can figure out how to fix her.)

2) A teddy bear my not-to-be-talked-about brother gave me. My bear is in my apartment and I love it.

3) Dexter. The railroad dog. I honestly thought this stuffed animal was somewhere in my apartment. For years! But he wasn’t. I pulled him from the ugly plastic thing I have had since the day I went into college… The container was kind of moldy. I considered throwing Dexter away. Then my dad walked out. And I looked at my mom. And then my dad.

You see, Dexter has an extra story.

My father worked with this man, Bob. Apparently, this man, Bob, thought I was pretty cool. And every time my mom took me to see my dad in downtown Pittsburgh at work, Bob would make tease me. I’d get new shoes, and show up in the office with my mom, to show my dad my fancy new shoes… And Bob, he’d say, “Oh, Claire, your new boats are so beautiful!” or “Your new suitcases are great!” (I had big feet for my age as a kid… Whatever.)

My mom and dad and I aren’t sure where Dexter came to be. We’re sure it was a birthday.

The reason that he means so much to me is just after I was given Dexter, Bob passed away. In a very bad car accident.

So when I saw Dexter, and realized he was not, in fact, in my apartment, and was a part of my life I was trying to toss out, I cried. (no big surprise, I’m the world’s biggest strongest softy. True story. I admit it.)

The funny thing is, I still remember visiting my dad’s office then. Bob and Myrle and my daddy. Opening Myrle’s bottom file to find the toys she kept there for me. And hearing Bob comment on my shoes. Even now, I remember.

So I saved Dexter. I had to.  Out of all the elementary, middle and high school memories I found in those containers, all the papers, the written word, the art, the paper music, the wooden clarinet, the tchotchkes… All the crap I saved.

I had to save Dexter. The Nana put him in the dry cleaning bag, and he looks a bit better. She is going to save him for me, along with Julie.

All in all, I tossed a bunch of stuff I will never miss. I saved some stuff that made me or The Nana laugh our bums off. And all of my sheet music and my clarinet. And some little things I may want to give Little C when she reaches certain ages… Just one or two.

The funny… There is ONE thing, that I wrote, after looking at a zillion pages of crap, that I swear on my life, left The Nana nearly in tears. And The Papa nearly as well…

The photo:

The story:

“Once upon a time there was a spider. He was lonely. He had no friends. Then, one day I went out to my dad’s garden. I found him. I said ” AAAA!!” My dad came out. He said “What’s the matter?” There’s a spider in the garden.” I said.” “A what?” My dad said. “A spider.” I said. Finally, my dad killed it.”

I read that story to my co-worker at My Living Room the other day. He said I built it up to something it totally wasn’t. True story.

I hope I tell better stories now. Who knows. I’m just super happy The Papa killed that spider. Whether it was real or not. Thanks, Papa.

P.S. I got a STAR on that essay/writing thing. I must have thought I won the world at grade 1 or 2… Who knows. No date on the paper. Sad. 😦





Little C talks a lot.

28 11 2011

I spent Thanksgiving with my family in Florida. I flew into Tampa on Monday night, expecting to spend a day or two at my parents house, but The Nana and I ended up getting up early on Tuesday and driving to Lili’s house. No complaints here…

I was so excited to see Little C. I had the most amazing time, spending nearly all of my time with C. She’s so verbal for a 2 year old, and happy and fun. I have never wanted to be more silly, and not care who sees that I’m being silly, than I am when I’m with Little C. At home, in stores, at the beach, in the car… Where ever… Silly is our common ground, it seems. (So is cuddling and watching Disney movies.)

Being that C is so talkative, and smart, and hilarious… Here are a few things that have stuck in my brain since the trip. Little C does, in fact, talk a LOT.

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Right after I arrived, I gave Little C a cool Disney Princess sticker thing. We were playing with the stickers, and she said, “Aunt Claire, I’m so happy you’re here!” Pause, while I melt…. She has no idea that part of what my life entails right now is because of and inspired by her… (I’ll tell her later. Much later.)

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On Wednesday, we were going to go to the mall. So Little C and I headed outside to the van. When we got outside, we ran into two of Little C’s friends. Older kids who live in the neighborhood. She loves these older kids, and calls them her friends. Considering they came by when they saw her and talked to her & I, she’s totally right. These older kids ARE her friends…

She loves when they are out, and can play with them. Since we saw them on their bikes, the following happened later in the day

Little C: “Aunt Claire, did you bring your bike with you? Will you ride bikes with me and my friends?”

Little C clearly thinks I can bring very large things like bikes on the airplane! Also, she assumes that I own a bike… (I did, but I gave it to Lili…)

I answered that I did not, in fact, bring my bike.

Lili: “Hey! We have my and BIL’s bikes at the house. I think my tires are shot, but maybe Claire can ride one of those with you!”

There is more of a story here. I fell off BIL’s bike. So did Papa. But this post is about Little C.

I ended up riding my old bike, now Lili’s, with Little C a few days. It was F.U.N.

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When we went to the mall, Little C asked if I would join her on the mall train ride. Of COURSE, I said yes. And I did.

I folded myself into a toddler train thing, and woo-boy, did we have fun! We were in the front car, and got to ring the bell, as much as Little C and I wanted to. (Pretty sure I pulled the cord more than C!) But, after the ride, as my sister and I agreed, the ride goes about 3 rounds too much. But it was so much fun for us to sit up front and ring the bell.

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Little C also went to see Santa at the mall.  She did not sit on his lap. She does her own thing, apparently. She walked up with her Mommy, talked to him for a second or two, and gave him a hug, and got a lollipop.

I’m so proud of C for going up to, and just standing and talking to Santa. And for hugging Santa. That’s my girl. She is a hugger. Her hugs rock.

The lollipop he gave her was not sugary. It was some sort of mint, so she gave it to me. She did try it a few times after giving it up, and again told me to take it.

And for me to be there and experience it with Little C. It was, um, AWESOME!

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After Thanksgiving dinner, Nana put out a new kitchen towel. It had a snow scene on it with a snow man and woman… It is actually quite adorable…

Little C saw it and the following happened:

Little C: “Oh, it’s so beautiful!” And ran over to it.

Little C: “Nana, where did you get it?”

Nana: (a little dumbfounded because of Little C’s excitement said,) “Um, Kohl’s, I think.”

Little C: (immediatly does an about-face and hugs her Nana and says, “Oh, thank you, Nana. It’s so beautiful.”

She then ran off to tell her Mommy about it. And her Papa. Hah.

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There was only one small disappointment in the visit. Dance class.

I never even asked about this, because I didn’t want to be disappointed. Turns out, everything was out of my hands and wishes.

Lili told us they had dance class on the night before Thanksgiving. So Papa and I were super excited to attend dance class. We showed up, and two of Little C’s friends, one friend’s dad and another friend’s grandmother were there with the mommies and daughters. The door was locked.

Turns out, another Mommy (or two mom’s, IDK) had to back out for some reason. And the dance teacher thought class was cancelled.

Everyone was bummed out. Especially the daddy, grandmother, Papa and I. And even moreso, the little girls.  The girls managed to hug it out, though. So cute.

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I really, really wish that I had thought to ask Nana or Lili to Flip-Cam our dancing parties that we had. Even in the back of the van (where ONLY the big girls can sit!) We are really good dancers, Little C and I.

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Worst part was leaving. Of course…

When I told Little C during our Big Sister date that I was leaving that night and was sad to leave her, she grabbed my hand with both of hers. She said, “Don’t be sad, Aunt Claire.”

So wise, for a 2 yo.

And when I started to cry about an hour before I had to leave… Poor C. She didn’t know what to do. First she flung herself face first into the couch, also sad.

I tickled her and cajoled her into coming up for air…

I got a gigantic hug, and managed to explain to her that I would miss her, that I was sad, and that she had better be a good girl since her Elf on the Shelf (Jolly, is his name) was watching her… And that as long as Jolly told Santa she was good, I would be seeing her at Christmas at Nana & Papa’s house…

She really is a good girl. Just testing her boundaries as a 2 year old. Hard to handle, but she really is just a kind little soul.

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I was also told, numerous times, sometimes a few times a day, “Aunt Claire, I love you.”

Unprompted. And not in reaction to me saying, “C, I love you.” I never once said I love you first. She did. I only say it first over the phone!

It was awesome, and I told my lovely that I loved her too.

She is so awesome. I’m so blessed to have her in my life.

I can’t wait until G-man is bigger and I can talk about him too!!!





Midterms & clinical.

13 10 2011

Midterms are over. Whew… Side note: How am I halfway through this semester already? Didn’t I just start last week?

I got a C on my A&P lab practical midterm. Not as well as I thought I’d do, especially since I studied for it way more than Radiology.

Also, I forgot about a quiz that happened after the midterm. Oops. Got a D.

I’m not happy with this, and that just means more studying in my future. And maybe changing how I study for A&P. And maybe I’ll ask my sister for more help, since she is the A&P master in my life… We’ll see. (Side note: I should have asked Lili for help on the muscles and nerves. I asked for help on the skull, and missed nothing on those questions. I missed mostly muscle/nerve stuff. Should have asked…)

Pretty sure I have a B overall in the class so far though.

As for Radiology, I got a 91%, which you’d think would be an A, but it’s not. It’s a B. And I’m happy with that. I missed only 9 questions, and to be honest, I thought I missed ten!

I have a B for sure in that class.

I have been doing pretty great on the lecture quizzes. Mostly B’s, even an A in there! Two C’s and finally a B on the last lab positioning quiz! (Total shocker. I though I bombed the quiz.)

So I’ll carry on as normal with Rad. Maybe study a bit more to up my grade.  I know what to do in the labs. How to position the patient, etc. But the quizzes confuse me, but I did 10% better on the last quiz, which I thought I did awful on! Overall, I’m very happy with how I’m doing in the class.

Onto clinical observation.

I love it. I totally picked the right medical field to enter. I knew this each time I called my family and felt myself smiling when I tell them about my day. And tonight when my friends at work asked me about school, and I found myself smiling and telling them how much I love clinical… Yep, love it.

The people at my clinical site are nice, funny, and kind. All of them that I’ve met. I’m trying to combat my inability to remember names, and have been quite successful so far!

I cannot, and will not share much about clinical. Now or later. Right now, I basically follow a 2nd year or a radiology tech around and watch what they do. You see a LOT of stuff, and I still love it. I’m pretty sure I’d rather work in a hospital environment when I’m employed rather than a private office. I enjoy the randomness of it.

And I love it. I really do. I’m so happy I made this choice. Even if it’s hard work to be studying 24/7 (or so it seems) and have no social life in any way.

Best choice ever. And the best part ever? My parents are proud of me. As is Lili. And NE.

Some day, I will have to explain this to Little C. Right now? I observe at a doctor’s office and will help to take pictures of people’s insides. Uh. Yeah. Lili and I have to talk about this, since Little C will eventually have to talk about this.

All in all, I’m seriously happy I made this choice. I’m loving every minute of it. (Well, except for the fact I crash on school nights by 10pm at the latest, and wake at 6am 3 days/week… But I’m getting used to it!)

Funny thing is, I’ll probably work nights when I get a job as a Rad Tech. Some people hate that. And have said so. Me? I’m like OMG PLEASE TO GIVE ME THAT JOB!

We’ll see.

Loving it so much and so hard right now. Best choice ever. I’m ridiculously happy even though all I do is study and work. Super happy.





Motivation, and thanks.

5 10 2011

Most of my motivation to go back to school has to do with myself and my family.

I want a job that I will love*, that I will be proud to do, and I want my family to be proud of me.

So I started school again, and we’re just about half-way through the semester. (HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? I FEEL LIKE I JUST STARTED YESTERDAY!)

The support of my family has been awesome. (Thank you, so much.)

Some other friends who have had A&P in the past have been awesome, willing to help and offering to help me in any way they can! (Thanks, all of you!)

And my sister, a former A&P HS teacher, has been invaluable with her tips & tricks & ideas to help me. (Love you for that, Lili!)

But I now have more motivation.

When I show up for work, usually someone I work with, or a regular, will ask me how school is going. My reply is usually, “It’s very tough, but I’m working really hard!” Their questioning how it’s going? Means the world to me. Really.

And when something kind of important (to me) happens, I usually post it to my personal Facebook or Twitter account… And sometimes I get a “like” or comment here or there, but lately I’ve been getting more “likes” and comments. Even comments from my mom. Even “likes” from NE (who is SUPER BUSY at his job right now, so that counts x10).

And I have to tell you, these questions, comments and “likes” from my friends – and Family – really are motivating me so much more than when I started.

I want to be able to tell them I did well…  My parents, Lili and NE, and my friends.

So, thank you, friends, co-workers and family. For making me want this so much more than I did 5 weeks ago. Your support and encouragement mean more to me than I could ever tell you.

*side note: I started my clinical observation (40 hrs of observation this semester) today and I TOTALLY ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT. I spent 90% of the day in the ER x-ray room, with a 2nd year student and a tech. I cannot wait till I can do what the 2nd year students do! (Thank you to the tech, and the 2nd yr student I was with. I learned a TON! Thanks, guys!) I appreciate it!

I’m still trying to figure out how to explain what I’m going to school for to Little C, when she saw her Papa and Grandpa Bob in the hospital, Lili said they were at the doctor’s. Hopefully she’ll be older when I have to explain this… As long as I say “I love you” and she blows me kisses via phone, I’m good with it. (I totally caught those kisses on my face, btw.)

Thankfully, when G-man is old enough for me to explain my job, it will probably be easier! (Here’s to hoping that neither of them have x-rays between now & then.)





The wheels on the bus…

27 09 2011

I have lived in Pittsburgh for my entire life, save for a year or so after I was born, and my years at Ohio U.

Sunday night was the very FIRST time I rode a PAT bus on my own. I was terrified.

I’ve only ever rode the busses here in the ‘Burgh with my friend, Nix. She KNOWS the busses. (I also asked her what bus & what time to get home from So Side, after I consulted the schedule. And I asked another co-worker. I was *that* freaked out.)

I’ve rode the subway and busses in Toronto and Montreal with less fear than I had tonight…

Why did I have to ride the bus? Well, there was something wrong with my Cobalt.

It started Friday on the way to work. At a stop sign, where I stopped fully, I noticed my speedometer showed I was still driving at 10MPH. Uh, no, I wasn’t.

I wrote it off as crazy Chevy stuff (things have happened kind of like that with my last three Chevy’s, so yeah…)

And on the way home, on a down hill, I hit the gas and nothing happened…  I had to pull over, stop  and re-start the car to get home… Still with the same issues.

But then on Saturday, the MPH when from 10 to 5 to 25 to 15 to 35… But it only happened a few times. Not always.

I was terrified to drive Sunday night to work. But I couldn’t NOT work, so Cboy and his lovely picked me up on their way to the South Side from the Pgh Zoo.

(Side note: I’m totally jealous of Cboy and his lovely. They had a great day at the zoo and saw more than I’ve ever seen!!!! Yay for them. Also, thank you.)

I got to work so early, that even Viking commented that I was even earlier than usual. (I’m ALWAYS early for work. Always. But this was definitely earlier than normal.)

And then, since we were so not busy at work, I took a bus home, the 54C, all by myself. I thought I had to walk from 22nd to 18th to get the bus, but I had an inkling that the 54C stopped outbound at 22nd… Many thanks to the nice girl who works at The Library in So Side for helping me when I asked her about the bus. And also to her to telling me that the bus ran late on Sundays, and would be there in maybe 10 minutes at one point. So. Helpful.

I didn’t have to pay for my ride, the fare thingy box was broken.

I called the dealership around 9am on Monday. They said since I didn’t have an appointment, I’d have to leave it or wait. Uh, I don’t have people (aka my parents when they lived here) to pick me up, so I have to wait. My “assigned” guy said it could be up to 5 hrs.

He reinforced this when I actually got there around 10 or 11am… I again told him I didn’t care, I had homework to do, and had no one to pick me up.  I was willing to sit, do my homework, and wait…

He seemed perturbed. But that isn’t my problem.

The only issue is the temporary waiting area at Baierl. No television as before. And the magazine selection? Hunting, guns, wine and cigars. Where am I???? West Virginia? Plus a single copy each of: Redbook, Good Houskeeping and Consumer Reports… Good lord.

I at first,  sat next to a woman who was filing her nails. No, I’m wrong, she was FILING HER NAILS LIKE A CRAZY PERSON. In the Baierl Chevy waiting area. I removed myself from her to sit by a nice man at a table. He was kind, and wished me an early reprieve from the dealership.

The dealership fixed up my car. It wasn’t my fuel pump. Thank god, since I’ve heard many horror stories on fuel pumps. It was just corroded electrical connections, which, apparently, many other Cobalt owners have had issues with.

I have missed hours of library time this weekend because of this car. (okay, also because Viking added a Friday shift for me, but still) The same issue will plague me this coming weekend. At least I seem to have a working vehicle…

Dear gray Cobalt, I know I have no name for you, as I had for the past 5+ cars I have owned, but I love you. I really do. I do enjoy driving you, and littering you as I please…  Please make this up to me and be the bestest car ever….





School stuff.

22 08 2011

Holy cats. I start school tomorrow. TOMORROW! At 8am!

I have to wake up at 6am to get there in time. OMG. 6am does not exist in my life right now.

But it does tomorrow. Surprise to ME!

My classes are as follows:

Tuesday: Anatomy, 8 – 9:15am and Lab 9:30am – noon. Radiology 3:40 – 5:20pm.

Thursday: Anatomy, 8 – 9:15am and Radiology 2 – 3:35pm.

I’m going uber early on Tuesday because I have NO IDEA where the classrooms are. I also want to stop at Dunkin Donuts for coffee and a Wake Up wrap. (The wraps are very yummy!)

But, nice studying built in time in there… On purpose. So that I can STUDY! And continue to work at My Living Room and make some money.

But OMG I start school tomorrow.

My scrubs are washed and hanging waiting for me to step into them tomorrow morning.Same for shoes, socks and the under wearings, n’at.

And since I have to be at work after school, my work clothing is waiting for me as well.

I spent nearly $50 on paper, a few binders, folders, pens and a two highlighters yesterday. FIFTY dollars! For binders and paper! And pens! So much money for a few things. dumb.

Good grief, I can’t wait to get started. But OMG I’m scared. So nervous.

But I I KNOW I CAN DO IT. I know I will pass these classes. I know I will.

Please send me any anti-ADD vibes you have, because I can’t deal with that right now… I need to focus. FOCUS, you guys. For a huge ADD girl!

I’m ready for this. I really am. I need something new…

I’m kind of excited to sit in a library and study again. I loved it last year when I took my biology class. So here’s hoping that carries over to two classes this fall.

Good luck to me.

Why am I doing this school thing?

I’m doing this for me. To have a better life.

To make my family proud. My parents, specifically. And also my Lili, Little C, NE and G-man, Semester by semester.

To see Little C and G-Man every time I want to see them.

And, I want a a house. In Pittsburgh. (at least until Lili and NE move elsewhere)

A house where I can modify or hang anything I want. To plant things outside. To use a lawnmower again. Yes, I want to do that!

A house that has at least two guest rooms. Specifically designated to Little C and G-Man.  And one or two couches that pull out to beds. Or room for an inflatable matress for me when they visit. Room for Lili, NE, The Nana and Papa.

I figure I can make this happen. In two years. School. Here we go. I’m ready. I’m taking it head on. Bring it.