Archive for November, 2010

Phase 1 is Over

We never had a Plan B. So I guess it is a pretty good thing that Plan A is going, well, according to plan.

Today, this very morning, I received an email from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities offering me admission to their Pharm D program. I feel like I just delivered a baby. A three year-old baby.

We have been at this for some time. This little plan was hatched shortly after Rex-Goliath was born, and the kid is nearly four. I want to make this clear: this whole thing was a joint effort. Long before I was even able to enroll in classes, Dan was working two (sometimes three) jobs to make this financially possible. There were weeks where I was hardly home because I was studying microbiology. I didn’t do dishes for an entire semester. The man is amazingly supportive, and I am so lucky to have him.

For those of you not familiar with the process, getting in to pharmacy school is the hardest part. In general, if you can get in, you will graduate. It takes a long time – you cannot just decide to apply and be done with it the next day. They look at a lot of factors – GPA, PCAT score, extracurricular activities, leadership, volunteering. You have to write an essay summing up your life and your desire to be a pharmacist that cannot be longer than a page. You have to enter every single college transcript you have into the application system (PharmCAS), despite the fact that you have to send the damn things to PharmCAS anyway. I have six transcripts under several aliases. Just tracking all of those down took time (and fees). Then they take weeks to verify that what you entered matches what is actually on the paper copy. And they charge you $150 plus $50 for each additional school (I applied to seven). Then you fill out supplemental applications, repeating much of the information you already put on the PharmCas application. You write about a billion essays. You pay about $50 a supplemental. At this point, you’ve so much money on fees that you feel as if you are throwing wads of cash out the window. You have to endure the nerve-wracking interview while wearing pantyhose. If you are the spouse, you have to listen to the applicant talk about this crap ad nauseum. For years. And then you wait.

The whole thing has felt like a big checklist. After every semester (heck, every exam), I would say a little prayer of thanks (even though I am atheist) and breathe a sigh of relief. After the PCAT. After the interview. Things have gone so smoothly up until this point, it seemed like I was due for a hurdle. I was preparing myself to be waitlisted.

I wasn’t even expecting the news to arrive until tomorrow. And I was expecting snail mail, not email. I was wondering if Dan would intercept it while I was at class. And if the envelope was thing vs. thick, would that be an indicator. I about fell out of my chair when I clicked on Gmail this morning.

I have to say some thank-yous: To Mr.Wonderful, for being the best partner I could ever wish for, to the kids for putting up with how difficult this has been (and it will not change for some time). To Ashlee, Abdi, and Phil for writing my letters of recommendation. To Vicky, for all of her support. Warren and Deb, for the support and all of the advice. The three of you have been our biggest cheerleaders. Thanks to all of our friends and family.

Off we go. On to Phase Two.


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Beautiful Fall Day

I would use the term, “Indian Summer,” but not knowing the origin of the word and being to lazy to Wikipedia it, I am assuming it is something no longer appropriate for use. It was October, it was eighty degrees. It was lovely, and I engineered some forced family fun at the playground, bribing the husband with the promise of General Tao’s tofu and a West Wing DVD afterward. Here are the exploits:

The park we were at. Amazing, isn't it?

It is taking every bit of restraint Rex-Goliath has to not play with those toys, which were not ours

Rex-Goliath learns to do the zip-line thingy

Daddy gives a demonstration

Mama and Baby Bee

Fun on the swings

Rex-Goliath on an adventure

Totally superfluous picture, but it turned out so good! Hey everybody, look at my cute kid!

Can we have Chinese food yet?

–Mrs. Wonderful

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Red Sticker Day

As a family, we have plenty of weird rituals and quirky little activities. My favorite is Election Day.

I have a deep personal belief that voting is important. It is our right and our duty. If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain. This is one of the few things that I want to teach the kids.

So we drag them to the little Lutheran church down the road to breathe in some of that musty old-church air and do their civic duty (read: stand in a reasonably quiet manner, watch their parents vote, and let their parents think that they are reflecting on the importance of this day even if they are really mentally counting the number of SweetTarts left in their Halloween candy bags). They get their little red stickers, Mr. Wonderful and I vote for the most liberal candidates we can find (and thirty-three unopposed judges) – win-win!

Will the kids do this with their kids? I hope. Most likely, it will go down something like this:

Child: Daddy, where are you going?

Rex-Goliath: To go vote.

Child (whining): Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy? How long is that gonna take?

Rex-Goliath: Dude, stop whining. It could be way worse. My parents made me go with. And they took a family picture! You better count your blessings that Grandpa Dan and Grandma Leah aren’t your parents.

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How to be a parent; 11/1/2010 edition

Dinner tonight: kids are too busy saying “fuck” around the dinner table to eat; the baby throws his soup bowl on the floor, clean it up; a three year old spills his orange soda all over the table, clean it up; a full quart of soygurt falls out of the fridge and spills all over the floor, clean it up; pour oneself a strong vodka Coke Zero and keep plugging along.

This is how it’s done rookies.

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Here it is – some quick and dirty coverage of Halloween. Halloween poses a few problems for a decent blog post:

1) It is dark, meaning every. last. picture. is grainy and full of irreparable red eyes.

2) It is late, so the baby is scared and the middle child is tired (“Mama, I’m a sad little owl.”)

3) It is Monday morning, the house looks like a tornado hit it, I have to leave for school soon, and I desperately need a shower. Also, the cable box is not working so I cannot distract the children with Dinosaur Train. This means I have to explain why Rex-Goliath cannot have candy until after lunch about once every three minutes. Lunch is hours away. It seems like a random line to draw in the sand, but for some reason I have this belief that good mothers do not allow cookies and candy prior to lunch. But I am fine with coleslaw and spaghetti for breakfast. I can’t explain it either.

One last note – I feel bad that I somehow did not get a picture of Elizabeth as The Joker or her costume for Princess Pug as a flying pig. Things got a little chaotic as we were trying to get out the door.

Here it is – Halloween 2010:

A baby bluebird!

Rex-Goliath flaps his wings

Chloë waits patiently for the adventure to begin

The obligatory picture with Bill. No clown costume = big disappointment for Team Wonderful

Owls ride bikes, right?

Team Wonderful on the move

Trick or treat!

Final attempt at a picture of all three of them = fail for Mama

Xavier gets a ride in the wagon

Check it out – Mr. Wonderful and I get out of the house at the same time without kids!

Mr. and Mrs. Draper

Sookie Stackhouse, Kat Von D, Betty Draper aka Stefany, Ashlee, Leah

–Mrs. Wonderful

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