Wednesday, September 9, 2015

BOLC - Weeks 1-3

Housing chaos.  Early morning PT and tedious classroom/auditorium sessions.  That just about sums it up. 

Housing.  We lived off-post for two weeks, then moved on-post.  Only a few people stayed at the new Candlewood.  Most of us are housed at Bldg 592 and Bldg 1384.  These are the old bachelor's quarters that have been converted into Holiday Inn Express.  We had roommates in our off-post hotels but were alone in our on-post quarters.

While less-than-thrilling, there is definitely information to be gleaned from this death by Power Point.  There is a lot of valuable info about finances and such in the auditorium sessions.  USAA will likely, at some point, offer an off-post meet-and-greet type of thing.  Go, even if you already have USAA...they have great door prizes and pass out Starbucks gift cards like candy!  The catered meal is really decent, too. 

There was a midterm and a final exam, each a week apart.  But they give you review sheets and all of the Power Points on a CD that is given to each student...just take an hour, get what you need, and study that.  There were a few sneaky questions, but mostly they're straight forward and straight from the lessons.

We were in formation by 0500 every morning and did PRT in platoons.  Done with PRT no later than 0630, then into classrooms by 0800.  Out between 1600-1700.

Things to know:

1. There is a convenience shop (shopette), Starbucks, and Subway on the bottom floor of the schoolhouse.  Plan on at least 10 minutes if you're going to get Starbucks and can make it to the front of the line.  If you're not at the front, just go to the shopette and get coffee or wait till next'll never make it otherwise.

2.  DO NOT be late.  You risk causing formation to be earlier and earlier until everyone is there on time.  This happened to our class thanks to a few people who thought the rules didn't apply to them.  Don't be that person.  And when I was there, the clock at the back of the auditorium was 5 minutes fast.  Go by that clock, not your watch.

3.  Sign up for IHG rewards (points for your hotel).  Even though you're not paying for the room, you can accrue points.  A ton of them. 

4.  We didn't have a lot of free time in the first week, so you will probably want to get a jump on things you'll need (travel, DEERS, CAC card, etc.) as soon as possible and at any opportunity.

5.  That thing about having 10 copies of your orders?  Not necessary.  Bring 20.  You'll go through that many.  Several people want 2 copies for whatever paperwork they're doing.  You'll need to carry a copy with you everywhere until you get your CAC (pronounced "cack") card.  Better to have too many than too few.

6.  Better to have and not need than need and not have.  I brought originals of everything (social security cards for my family, marriage license, birth certificates, etc.) and got a certified copy of my husband's driver's license.  Make sure the coloring on the certified copy will be OK with another scanning, i.e. make sure it's not too dark.  It is also a good idea to make at least 2 copies of each birth certificate and marriage license.  Otherwise you'll be running to a copy machine.  FYI, I needed all of it.  Then when my husband came to visit he took it back home with him.

7.  If you're going in BOLC while it's warm in TX (most months of the year) do yourself a favor and buy a.) new canteens and b.) a Camelbak.  You could buy a Camelbak on post for a LOT of money, or you could go to the military surplus store on Harry Wurtzbach Rd. and get the Army-issue version of the Camelbak for about $20, new bladder and everything.  You can also get a small flashlight for your FLC (pronounced "flick", stands for "fighting load carrier", it is the vest you wear every waking moment in the field), and an extra set of ACUs or PTs a la cheapo.  And they're nice. 

8.) Kim's Alterations and Cleaners on Harry Wurtzbach Rd. is legit.  They will alter and clean your ASUs (Army Service Uniform, AKA dress uniform), and will also put on your ribbons, etc.  This is a chore especially for the women, since there are no pockets to use as reference for alignment.  For a small fee they'll relieve you of that stressor.

9.) The food at Rocco DFAC (the dining facility to which we are assigned for free food..."DFAC" is pronounced "DeeFack") is decent, but it is busy and it is easy to overeat.  I opted to have most meals in my room.  A rotisserie chicken and a clamshell of salad greens goes a long way, and they have these handy-dandy little vinaigrette things at the Commissary.  They're like coffee creamer cups, except they're balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  So awesome. 

10.)  Break in your boots before you go to the field.  Identify hot spots, and get insoles if you need them.  I got, and LOVE my Belleville Sabre 333 boots.  They're like high top tennis shoes.  Super comfy, and I HIGHLY recommend them.  Yes, they're a little more pricey, but they're worth it.

11.)  Moleskin and bandaids.  Buy them.  You will want to have them if you're breaking in boots, and likely for the first week in the field.  If you can identify hot spots before they become blisters and put moleskin on them, you will likely have a more pleasant experience. 

Much more to come!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Two weeks of crazy!

Well, I didn't quite get the opportunities I wanted to update on the DCC course.  Ha!  I DID think I might steal a few moments to update a couple of times, but the internet was SO bad it was unpredictable at best and completely non-functioning at worst.  Verizon loves me this month...I chewed through my data in days and had to buy several increases in data just to make it through to the new billing cycle.  Blah.

So.  I suppose this will be an all-over recap of the course, as best as I can possibly remember.  We were so busy 99% of the time up until the last days that days just blurred one into the next and I lost track of time completely.  Days were marked by wake-ups, PT sessions, and hard times, then we would fall into bed exhausted at the end of the day just to wake up and repeat.

The second week at the DCC (other than PT every morning) was spent in the classrooms and around the barracks preparing for our coming week in the field.  We cleaned and assembled our gas masks and learned how to put them on quickly - you have 9 seconds from the alert of "GAS, GAS, GAS!!" to have it on, tightened, sealed, and breathing normally.  Beyond that there is a whole suit to put on: pants with suspenders, a jacket with hood and a crotch strap (to keep the jacket down), double gloves, and boots.  You have 9 minutes to get the whole kit and caboodle on, which is MUCH harder than it sounds.  It's hot and you're in a hurry, trying to get all of the gear on without hyperventilating in the mask.  And putting on a charcoal-lined suit and gas mask on in the middle of the summer in Oklahoma is HOT.  As in clothes-drenched-with-sweat hot.  They would take us completely by surprise.  We would just be sitting there, then suddenly "GAS, GAS, GAS!!" and we'd spring into action.  If you didn't have your mask on in 9 seconds, you were "dead" and had to do pushups to revive.  Then on to the suit, and more pushups if you didn't have it all on in time.  My record time was just over 5.5 minutes! 

We also learned land navigation using a compass and protractor.  We were given coordinates, then we would find them on the map and plot an azimuth.  We learned map topography and how to back azimuth, etc.  We went out into the field behind the barracks and learned some tactical formations, as well as how to take organized action if fired upon.  All the while we are being told how the "Badlandians" across the highway don't like us and want to do us harm while we're out in the field (FOB Mow-way).  Between learning these things we had leadership classes and talks from various high-ranking officers who came in to see how things were going.  Our WONDERFUL platoon leader brought us a Keurig for the classroom on the second week, and we were ecstatic!  We took up collections to buy more supplies, so from the second week till the very last day we had K-cups and green tea to help keep us from conking out.

During this week we had a run where we were separated out into ability groups.  I have to admit that I took umbrage to being placed in the slowest group.  I know I'm not the fasted runner, but I didn't expected to be placed that low.  So I really worked on my running to improve form and speed given my new hot and humid circumstances.  On my first run I did really well, leading the pack by several paces with our OIC running beside me, chanting my own personal cadence..."In your nose...out your mouth!  You can do it!  Keep it up!"  I pull over to the side of the road to dry heave, he says "Keep going!  It's all in your head!  If you don't hate yourself a little bit after this then you didn't push hard enough!"  So I kept running.  I arrived at the same time as the middle speed group and was very proud of myself.  I even got a high five from my OIC!

Now...enter Father's Day.  We were told at the beginning that we could crack the windows but don't open more than 4 inches or the alarm would go off.  On Sunday after church my roommate and I were doing laundry and trimming threads and making repairs and it was hot.  I go to open the window.  I open it 2-3 inches, then lay in bed and enjoy the breeze slipping in.  Until someone comes pounding on the door a minute or so later.  "Did you open a window?!  The alarm went off!"  UGH.  4-5 fire trucks and a lot of drama later, I become famous for opening a window.  *sigh*  I'm serious.  I will never live this down.  It's funny now...any time someone sees a fire truck now they're like "Did you open a window again?!"  Haha, people.  Hilarious.

On the third week we went out to the field.  I think that deserves a post of its own.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

My first week in the Army...

I'll start out my "first week at the Direct Commission Course (DCC) course wrap-up" after this late entry:


I lack internet access at the moment, so this will be a delayed post, but here goes nothing!

First, I had wanted to write about how I felt about joining the Army.  The depth of emotion, gratitude, and honor that I feel to have the opportunity to be a part of something so much bigger than me, and not just so much bigger, but so very important!  I want my 5-years-from-now self to be able to look back and read about how it was when I joined.  I don’t have much time before lights out so I can’t go into GREAT detail.  But let’s just suffice it to say that I’ve gotten choked up more than once.  Trying on the uniform and realizing I AM WEARING the uniform of our country’s Army!  Driving out here to Oklahoma for training and realized that I didn’t listen to music for more than ¼ of the way because I was too busy in my own mind, in my own thoughts.  It’s amazing.

Then I arrived for training.  Dorm rooms.  Wool blankets.  No fitted sheets…have to do mitred corners and make it TIGHT.  Rolling and folding your clothes a certain way and putting them in a certain order in certain places in certain drawers.  It’s like another planet compared to how I am used to living!  Master of my own little world, my bubble – no more!  Learning how to stand at attention and march and shout “Hooah!” after cadre asks a question.  Learning about my battle buddy (roommate), and my classmates.  Learning about our cadre, for that matter! 

As it turns out, this pilot program DCC class was created to not be “boot camp lite” but instead be “boot camp condensed”.  The recent observations were that the directly commissioned officers did not get enough “soldier” training, and thus were left lacking in several departments.  This course is meant to be the answer to that issue.  I am actually pretty happy about this (easy to say on the first day, I know).  I think it will help me relate to and be more relatable to the soldiers and their families that I will see and serve on a daily basis in my practice.  And let’s just face it…trial by fire usually works pretty well! 

I’ll try to dish more in a recap at the end of the week.  We have some time off on Sunday.  The chaplain here is a Baptist, so I’m interested to see how the base service goes.  J  Meanwhile it’s 20 minutes till lights out and that means it’s time to wrap things up. 
OK, now it's Saturday night and I've been here for a full week.  Here is the recap.  Every morning we wake up sometime between 0430 and 0500 for PT first thing, then breakfast after that.  We did a dry run for the PFT (physical fitness test) on Thursday, and I did well.  I'm still a slow-ish runner at a 9:30-10:00 minute mile, but that gets the job done!  We have to take a legitimate PT test toward the end of our time here, and I plan to shave my time down from 9:42 min mile average to less than 9:30 min mile.  I also want to be able to get more sit-ups.  I passed on all three activities, but I want to be better!  The cadre has offered additional PT three days per week for those of us who want help with improvements, so like a crazy person I signed up for it. 
One reason for that is because we are not allowed off post and are not allowed out of the barracks without cadre.  Tomorrow we get to go to church on post if we want, in ACUs...I'm going to the Traditional Gospel service.  We also get a 3-hour on-post pass to go to the PX or gym or whatever we want, as long as it's on post and in uniform.  I'm under the impression  that the reins will gradually be loosened if we do well.  We're working hard toward that. 
So since we only have 15-ish minutes to get from waking up to formation, I take "shortcuts" ones.  Ha!  I sleep in my PT uniform with socks on so all I have to do when I wake up is clip back my bangs and put on my shoes.  I also sleep on top of my made bed with only my dust cover and pillow...that way I don't have to remake the entire crazy thing every morning.  I simply wouldn't have the time.  My battle buddy and I have our morning routine down pretty well to have our room inspection-ready!  Oh, and I should mention that we have "fire guard" for one hour every other night.  This is a night watch in 1-hour increments.  So far we've had 0300, 2300, and 0100.  Tomorrow night we have 0200.  When you're only getting 4-5 hours of sleep anyway, waking up in the middle of the night for an hour and going back to bed is a real pain.  But it's part of the experience, I suppose.
We did lots of inprocessing stuff this week.  Dental, audiologist, blood draws, immunization boosters, paperwork for finance, getting ID cards, getting my family into DEERS, reviews of policies, etc.  We also did a lot of drill and ceremony the first couple of days.  We did an obstacle course for leadership development (think 5-6 stations where you have 30 minutes to accomplish a mission with limited resources, a lot of ingenuity, and muscles) after which I was drenched in sweat, filthy, and so happy!  We didn't pass every obstacle, but we learned a lot about teamwork.  We also did a 3-mile ruck march today with light-ish kit.  We'll add more bulk to our ruck marches to culminate in a heavy 4-mile ruck march in full battle gear before we graduate.   Today I also disassembled and reassembled an M16-A4.  Cool stuff.  Felt like Forrest Gump.  Not as fast, though.  Haha!
With inprocessing my biggest word of advice is to bring EVERYTHING you think you may need, and perhaps a bit more.  Better to have too much than too little!  For the first week, I recommend that you break in your boots at home if you can, or wear double socks...preferably with the layer closest to your foot being dress socks.  Helps avoid blisters.  I haven't had any foot issues, thanks to the good advice of cadre and friends.  I can't say the same for some of my classmates, unfortunately.  Take good care of your feet!  Oh, and I can't emphasize enough the need to have a workout routine before getting here.  Push yourself - believe me when I say you'll be pushed further here!  And BRING BUG SPRAY.  The toxic DEET kind.  The mosquitoes here are as big as birds and are apparently immune to natural/plant-based mosquito repellent.  They will literally swarm you so you can't possibly slap them all away.  Just spray on the poison and take a shower right after you're done with PT.
I haven't been able to talk much with my family, just because of exhaustion and time zone differences.  We text frequently, though, and have talked around every other day.  Speaking of which, I'm going to cut this off now to go call my family.  I miss those guys, and my beasties, too!
The long and short of this is:  it has been far different than I expected, but really good so far.  I miss making decisions for myself.  I'm told when to wake up and go to bed, what clothes to wear, how to stand, how to walk, what to do, how fast to eat, when to eat...the list goes on.  As one of our cadre said, we're here to protect democracy, not live it.  *sigh*  I'm thankful that this stage is rather short...I graduate July 10th.  However, I am extremely grateful for it.
Now that we have some limited wifi I'll try to update more often. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Have orders, will travel...but how?

It's a real mindjob to be moving cross-country not knowing the details of how it is all going to pan out.  I won't be able to plan the moving of my household goods until I get to Ft Sill...or possibly even Ft Sam.  This means that I'm probably going to come home to Fresno after OBC to an empty house unless the movers are available EXACTLY on the week that I will be home before we set out on the road.  Hubby and kiddos have been invited to bunk up with some friends, but then we have the pets to consider (we have two dogs, three cats, and two rats).  Then there's the actual trip.  It's looking like we're going to have about 7-8 days on the road, realistically.  When we came out to California from Florida the trip only took 5-6 days, but then we only had two kids and no pets.  I've been looking at options and it seems like it might be a cost-effective and fun option to camp our way cross-country.  Apparently KOA campgrounds have military discounts, and with the right equipment it could be a good time, and a good way to let the littles and beasties stretch their legs.  Of course, it could be a real bummer.  Haha!  But hopefully not.  An RV isn't really an option, and we could plan to say in a hotel one or two nights if needed (they'd have to be pet-friendly).  We'll see how it pans out.  We'll have to plan everything out before I go or while I'm gone to OBC.

I've also been trying to figure out what I need to have done ahead of time.  Setting an appointment with my OB to have an exam/pap done so I don't have to do it there.  Looks like the dental exam has to be done by the Army?  I'll find out more about that soon...that's just the way I understand it now.  I've also been trying to get my student loan situation squared away.  There's a mandatory forbearance form that has to be filled out initially and then yearly while the Army is paying off your loans.  I had a guy on the phone with FedLoan be a real butthead and say that only people who are deployed qualify, etc. and I had to argue with him.  In the end, I was right (of course) and he helped me with a short-term forbearance until the paperwork from the Army is situated (they have to fax the form that I signed and they signed stating that they will be paying off my loans to FedLoan).  I am going to get a nice file folder together to put multiple copies of all of my paperwork into until everything is in the system.  According to my recruiter, we should be able to get my ID and my hubby and kiddo's IDs before I leave, as well as get all of our info into DEERS (Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System - for Tricare eligibility).  That would be really helpful.  I'd rather be over-prepared than under-prepared!

Meanwhile I still need to lose about 10 lbs and finish getting my situps...they are my weakness right now.  Running I've got, pushups I've got...only about halfway there on my situps.  I'll keep plugging away! 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Two years later...I'm in the Army now!

Well, that happened.  Two years rolled by like the blink of an eye and here I am.  Done with school for a full year, board-certified.  Still in Fresno.  Still at my same hospital working as a nurse.  Made significant progress on my weight/health goals. 

School got really tough.  Between work and school and my family my entire life went into doing the necessary things.  Advanced classes.  Clinicals.  Working full-time during clinicals.  Changing work positions and shifts during clinicals.  Studying for comps (the comprehensive exam that passes you from the program with your Master's degree).  Passing comps.  Studying for boards.  Passing boards.  Wondering what to do now...should we stay or should we go?  Roots have been put down here, yes, but it has never quite felt like home.  We miss our family, and rarely get to visit.  Should we try to get back East?  Paying off student loans is a priority now.  Should I take the job I've been offered at my clinical site?  Should I try to get a job at our local FQHC and apply for loan forgiveness through the government, hoping that I get it?  Look for an FQHC back East?  Lots of questions.  Big, potentially life-changing questions.

Meanwhile, a friend in my class who finished a few months ahead of me joined the Army as a CNM.  She was prior service, then went back in at the same time that her husband was getting out.  I got curious.  She is getting her loans paid off, great benefits for her family, relative stability as far as the Army goes due to her specialty, while being able to serve those who serve our country.  Sounds pretty darn awesome.  But ME?  I don't know.  I gained weight during clinicals and found myself just shy of being the highest weight I'd ever been.  I'm SO far from Army ready.  But I figure "What the heck...I'll call a recruiter and see what they say."  So I did.  I'm told that I would have to lose about 60 lbs to even be considered.  I'd have to be fit, too, not just thinner.  But the board doesn't review for my specialty but once per year in November at this time, and it's March.  Could I do that?  Hubby and I talk, and we pray.  We decide to go for it, and pray that God will close the door if it's not His will.

I watch as my friend goes through training.  Ask a million and one questions.  Work hard at getting my health together, but it's a long road.  Meet in person with a recruiter.  One of the first things he asked was if I knew the requirements for the Army (while eyeballing my less-than-svelte physique).  Yes, I do.  And I know I have work to do, but I'm determined.  And if I don't get into the Army it's not going to be because I was too fat, I tell him.  He smiles and says "Ok, go for it then!"  I keep working hard.  Months pass.  I fill out paperwork.  I'm still not quite there with my weight, but SO close.  I'm told that I need to get to MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) ASAP to have my physical evaluation done, but I should do a weight and tape in Fresno before driving to San Jose to make sure that I pass.  I do it and fail by 1% body fat.  I ask for another chance.  Two-a-days for two weeks.  Yikes!  I do it again and pass!  My recruiter is thrilled!  I'm introduced via email to my recruiter's superior as my recruiter will be out of the office for a week.  I call him with a question and learn that his wife is currently a Frontier student nurse-midwife!  What are the odds?

Drive to San Jose and check in at the hotel's Officer Club.  Given orders about how to behave.  Curfew.  Meal and departure times.  Yes, sir!  Go to the hotel gym for my "last-chance workout", then shower and to bed.  Wake up with a headache at 2am, 2.5 hours before our wake-up time.  Take an Excedrin and go back to bed.  Wake up and go down with the late teen and 20-somethings group and off to MEPS.  Standing in lines.  Don't move till you're called.  Given a camo-covered NIV Gideon bible.  More paperwork...the Army writes their dates weird, so make sure you get it right.  Blood drawn, vitals taken, vision and hearing exams, urine sample with someone watching (thank God for morning coffee and a full bladder...and I suppose a bit of a lack of shame), male and female separated, strip down to your underwear and bra and do exercises.  Weight and tape.  I'm 161 lbs with a table weight of 154 lbs and pass tape at 30% body fat.  Whew!  Off to see the NP who does a physical exam.  I pass.  Deemed fit for duty.  Off to see another superior about my dual citizenship.  I sign a paper saying that I renounce my Canadian citizenship if I get selected.  Talk to recruiters, then drive home.  "Fit for duty".  Me.  Sixty pounds lost. 

More paperwork and more seems like every day brings another form.  Fill it out, sign it, scan and email it.  Yes, sir.  The big day arrives - 17 November 2014.  The board reviews.  Most of my family doesn't even know that I'm trying to get in, but a few people know and they pray for me.  Then more waiting.  My recruiter texts every now and again that there's no new info, and that we're still waiting.  Then 17 December I am sitting on the floor of my kid's room cleaning when I hear my phone ring.  I don't even see the caller ID and I just KNOW this is it.  Time to learn my fate.  Sure enough, my screen says it's my recruiter.  I take a deep breath and answer.  He asks do I want the good news or the bad news first?  Then he starts laughing and says that it's all good news, that I am officially one of six selected! 

It feels so much more real now.  Still a lot to do.  More paperwork.  Don't slip on the weight!  (hello, holidays) Still waiting for the scroll, then orders.  Scroll comes through - I am officially a direct commission.  I need to go to San Francisco to do - wait for it - MORE paperwork and swear in.  I will be a First Lieutenant, O-2.  The whole family comes and we make a day of it.  The oath is solemn and exciting.  Next comes orders.  Will we make it back East?  I requested all eastern states in my packet.  What if it's Alaska? 

Orders arrive 1 April 2015.  Georgia.  We're going to Georgia!  I tell my family, finally, and they are supportive. 

So here we are.  I have two months until I have to leave Fresno for training.  This brings me to the reason that I started blogging again, and will attempt to more often for at least a little while.  I will be in the first class of a pilot program for direct commissions.  From what I understand, it combines two extra weeks of education with pre-BOLC.  So I go to Oklahoma for a month to do this class, then to Texas for two months for BOLC.  I have gotten a lot of information and advice from people who have been down the direct commission path before me from their blog posts.  I appreciated it so much!  So since I'll be in this first new class I wanted to document my experience for those coming behind. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Start with the end in mind

That's what we're supposed to do, right?  Start with the end in mind.  Or so says Covey.  I won't lie...I've never read the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, but I think the principles are pretty good.  If you have never heard of this before, the 7 habits are:

1.  Be proactive - your life doesn't just "happen", you are responsible for your own life, and the choices are yours to make.

2.  Start with the end in mind - this will help direct your goals to the things that matter and give you a vision.

3.  Put first things first - the physical work toward your mental's all about balance.

4.  Think win-win - our worth is not based on comparison or competition, and cooperation with other people is a good thing!

5.  Seek first to understand, then to be understood - it's all about listening.

6.  Synergize - two are better than one, teamwork is better than attacking single-handedly.

7.  Sharpen the saw - pay attention to you, self-renewal and inner balance is as important if not more so than the goals we have...because without these we will inevitably "hit the wall".

So I'm starting 2013 with its end in mind.  Where do I want to be, what do I want to complete in this year?  I'm hoping this will be the year a year of completion for me.  I want to meet my health and wellness goals.  I want to finish school (my finish date will depend on how quickly I can finish my clinical hours).  I have goals for my family that I'd like to meet.  I want to run several races and even complete a Tough Mudder.

I have a lot that I'd like to do, but I can't really what my true resolutions are yet for this year.  I suppose my main resolution is to be effective in the many facets of my life.  To finish my days having worked toward my many goals.  To not let circumstances get in the way, but to find solutions and move forward.  To listen and have patience and learn every day.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

My December Whole30

Just got back from a 2-week trip to visit family in Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina.  I was doing well with Paleo eating (not Whole30, but Paleo) up until the trip, and was holding steady in my weight.  Now only 2 short weeks of NOT clean eating later I have gained 8 lbs and have terrible sugar cravings.  So, back on Whole30 I go.  My sis-in-law is joining me this time...always nice to have a partner in crime.

I'm trying to take pics of what I eat this time around, just for kicks.

So on my first day, I do not feel exceptionally hungry, but am jittery and shaky and full of sugar cravings.  I have never had a first day feel this bad.  Whew!  And I've already overdone it a little in the fruit department today (even though I've mixed them with proteins/meals rather than eating them straight up, I've had a banana and an apple today plus a bite of a dried fig roll).  No more fruit today, and no more than one piece and a little dried fruit max from now on.

That's it for now.  I haven't posted for a loooong time because life has been so busy.  Getting near the end of midwifery school, contemplating my future, possibly moving, etc.  It's a lot to think about.