Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Accidental Death of Candy

So, my friends, a noteworthy event happened today in Kindergarten.  The stretching of Mrs. Womack's comfort zone and the death of a dear class pet (ahem...lizard) named Candy.  Today we came back up to the treehouse after lunch and the kids were SUPER sugared up.  Today was their pseudo Valentine's Day (since tomorrow is a field trip to Crescent Moon Farm) and they had all eaten their fill of candy from this morning and cookies from yesterday's Kid's Activity on campus.  So I decided to let them burn off a little energy before we started our reading block.  They had caught a second lizard (who has lovingly been named Sven Rainbow Smack) and wanted to have him join Candy in The Lizard Sanctuary (aka-a terrarium that was the former home of hermit crabs).  But upon opening the cage to put Sven Rainbow Smack in, Candy leapt out!

Now I have to let you know, for your mind's eye's sake, that all the kids I had up at the treehouse were girls (we were missing our only boy).  So when Candy leapt from her plastic prison, the blood curdling screams commenced.  From them AND from me!  She was running all over my bathroom so Lovise had the grand idea to grab the top to the cake tupperware from the kitchen to trap her under.  Success!! find a way to put Sven Rainbow Smack and Candy into The Lizard Sanctuary together without either one of them jumping out.  The plan was to put Sven Rainbow Smack in first.  He seemed to be the least excitable of the two.  Though the task was a little tricky, it was a success!  Jozlyn and Helena had been given the task of keeping Candy firmly trapped under the cake tupperware top until it was her turn to enter The Lizard Sanctuary.  There was so much excitement when Sven Rainbow Smack was finally apprehended that some pushing of the cake tupperware happened.  And, in the style of a meat grinder, Candy's tail got smooshed under the edge of the cake tupperware.  And then some more scooting commenced and her body was...well...see for yourself:

If you just said "Ew" in your head, you're right.  It was pretty gruesome.  What you're *not* seeing is that Jozlyn and Simay have both gasped and turned away while Solveig, Helena, and Lovise are all three staring on in horror with mouths agape.  You're also not seeing the tail still wiggling and Candy's mouth opening and closing.  The kids had a moral dilemma on their hands because they all thought she was still alive but none of them thought she had much hope for long term survival...

Teachable moment:  "She's really dead, guys.  Sometimes little animals still have nerves that are working even after they're dead and those nerves make their body parts keep moving for a while.  But she's totally dead.  Let's get some paper towels and scoop her up and put her in the trash..." :(

"But Mrs. Womack, we have to bury her!"  "Yeah!"  "She needs a funeral!"  "She needs a coffin!"  "We have to dig her a grave!"  "We should sing her a song!"

Ok, ok.  But *I* am not touching her.  Here's a cupcake liner cup you can use for a coffin.  Y'all figure it out...

Success!  Then out they went to find a proper resting place for their beloved class pet...

Now it's time to get ready for her "memorial service".  Lovise decided that everyone needed to say a few words about Candy.  Simay suggested they sing "Waves of Mercy"....

And so, while trying not to giggle audibly, I recorded their little funeral.  It's adorable...and VERY serious mind you.  When I can get my phone to sync up, I'll post it here.  Solveig and Simay both said "I Like Candy", Lovise said "She was a very nice and sweet lizard and we all loved her."  Jozlyn said "She walked a lot.  She played a lot."  Helena was a little reluctant to say anything nice about Candy (even though Lovise told her she had to), but finally she mustered the courage to say "We all liked her".  

And so goes the story of how Candy the lizard went to lizard heaven.  Her mangled body is buried in a cupcake liner cup somewhere in my front yard.  Poor Sven Rainbow Smack has a look of terror in his eye in The Lizard Sanctuary.  Hopefully he won't suffer the same fate... o_O

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Unexpected Becomes the New Plan

Ok, so LOTS has happened in these past 4 1/2 weeks since we've been back on the island.  Plans have changed drastically and our world looks a little different so far this semester.  And the coming months are going to look MUCH different than we thought they would (what's new??).  So bear with me as I lay this all out for you.  I'll tell you what our original plans were (Plan A) and then I'll tell you the new plan (Plan B):

Plan A-Jonthan completes Semester 4 on April 25th and begins studying for his Step 1 (his first and most important national board exam to become a doctor).  He returns to the states sometime in mid June to take the Step and then begins Semester 5 in Miami on June 23rd.  Rachel stays in Dominica to finish out the academic school year which ends the last Friday in June and then she returns to the states to get things squared away for clinical rotations.

Plan B-Well...Jonathan still completes Semester 4 on April 25th, and he will still begin immediately studying for his Step 1 exam.  *But* he and I BOTH will be returning to the states in the last week in May!  Some things got tossed around at my job at the prep school.  Suffice to say that after much contemplation, Jonathan and I decided that working there was not good for my state of mind or my health.  It was shaping up to be a pretty miserable working environment.  So after receiving a pretty upsetting email (which I will not go into detail about) on the morning we were leaving Puerto Rico to return to Dominica, he and I decided we were all done with the prep school and would be leaving at the end of April.   Ok, so new Plan A.

Plan A-The Womacks return to the states in the last week of April and Jonathan starts immediately studying for the Step 1 exam in the states.  He takes Step 1 sometime in the second week of June and then Rachel and Jonathan together go to Miami for Semester 5 in late June.  We return to OKC in August and begin the process of IVF (read my new blog for details about that).  Jonathan begins clinicals in September.

Plan B-Well...Ross decided to move the start date for Semester 5 up to June 1st.  So in order for Jonathan to have the appropriate amount of time to study for Step 1 (which is arguably the most important test of his life), he would have to be taking the Step in the middle of his 5th semester.  Either that or he would have to rush through and take Step 1 less than 4 weeks after his comprehensive final here at Ross.  While we KNOW he is going to totally rock the Step, we don't want to risk even 1 point on it.  So neither of those options worked for us.  The advantage to trying desperately to make this upcoming 5th semester work is that he would match (ostensibly) with a residency in 2016.  The reality of that notion is that it is practically impossible for Jonathan's current class to match in 2016.  Or if you miraculously do, you have to sacrifice some potentially great learning opportunities and networking opportunities because you have to scramble and get the majority of your clinicals done before May 31st of next year.  He wants to be more selective in his rotations.  We believe that will boost his CV...which is critical when he's wanting to specialize.  So Plan B is that we are deferring our 5th semester and we won't start until September 15th.  I was asked to help with a homeschooling co-op here in Dominica and therefor agreed to stay and help teach until the end of May.  So once I'm done there, we will be returning to OKC...

"Ok Womacks, so what now?  What are you doing between April 26th and September 15th?"

Ok, so get ready.  God really did a number on our plans!  At first I was really annoyed and Jonathan was having to talk me out of going to administration at Ross and giving them a piece of my mind.  But thankfully Jonathan is so much more logical and even keeled about things...he laid the picture out beautifully for me and now I'm REALLY excited about what's to come in 2014!  So here goes...

April 25th - Jonathan takes COMP (Comprehensive Final...he has to get a passing score here in order to register to take Step 1)
April 28th - Jonathan begins his intensive study time for Step 1, Rachel continues teaching with the co-op
May 27th - Rachel and Jonathan leave the island for good and return to OKC
May 29th - Jonathan hunkers down in OKC to finish his last 2-3 weeks of studying for the step
2nd Week in June - Jonathan takes Step 1
June, July, August -  IVF Treatments and procedures with a hopeful transfer date sometime around the 1st or 2nd week of August or sooner
September 15th - Jonathan and (a hopefully pregnant) Rachel go to Miami for 6 weeks for Jonathan's 5th semester
October 31st - Jonathan completes Semester 5 and can begin his clinical rotations any time after this date

Jonathan gets to be completely and totally responsibility free from the time he takes Step 1 until September 15th.  Effectively freeing up all 3 months for he and I to focus on our IVF cycle!!  Also, since we are now shooting for a residency match in 2017, Jonathan will be able to be much more selective about his clinical rotations.  And an additional bonus there is if we are successful in getting pregnant during this IVF cycle (*crossing fingers*), he will have much more flexibility in his time schedule for when the baby(ies) comes.  We won't have to worry about him not being able to be there for the delivery.  Hallelujah!

After October 31st, who knows where we will be!  The loose plan is that we will rent an apartment or house in OKC that will be our "home base".  We are seriously considering buying or renting an RV for Jonathan to travel around to rotations in, but that's not hard and fast at this point.  A lot is weighing on the success or failure of our IVF cycle this summer.  That could change everything!

We will keep you posted as we go through the year.  For now, if you're the praying type, please add us to your prayer list!  What a big year of changes 2014 is going to be for the matter what...

A Different Kind of Flair