1.28.2011

Final Push

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Monday is the 31st.

Remember what that means?

NCLEX.

Nursing Boards.

Agh!


Things have started to get a little hazy in my head. I feel doped up and wasted on prioritization, meds, symptoms, risk factors, and precautions. I'm dreaming in nursing scenarios and lab values crawl into and out of my brain during odd moments like when I'm feeding my daughter some cut up chicken.

It's like those Bing commercials.

Chicken: High in Protein. Protein normal value 6.0-8.0. Low in fat. Sat fat is bad. Cholesterol. LDL = bad. HDL = good. Cholesterol levels need to be less than 200. HTN = Systolic > 140 & Diastolic > 100. Wait, is that right?...I need to look that up again. HTN in pregnancy is bad can lead to preeclampsia. Preeclampsia = proteinuria - can administer IV Mag Sulf in preterm labor. Assess DTR's. In overdose antidote is Calcium Gluconate...

And it goes on and on and on. Seriously we just went from chicken to overdosing on Mag in less than a minute.


Focus Hayley!

1.26.2011

Interject Here -->

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In a few weeks a couple of girlfriends and I are headed to San Diego for some much needed R&R.

We have a few ideas for things to do and places to eat, but I was wondering if you had any ideas for us?

So far we have plans to eat, hit the spa, ride bikes along the boardwalk, shop, eat, sleep-in, read, go to a movie, and did I say eat???

We are staying in the Gaslamp district and aren't really looking to visit the Zoo/Sea World - this is more-so just a trip to relax and enjoy ourselves kid and responsibility free. Ahhh!

Also, any advice on where to get some great Mexican food would be very much appreciated!

Thanks friends!

1.24.2011

January Faves and Craves


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I wasn't going to do a Faves and Craves this month.

With my new budget and commitment to saving money in 2011 I didn't want to torture myself with online window-shopping. So, I thought of sharing all the thrifty things that I am doing and maybe just a couple of items that I've spotted and really love (i.e. #'s 4 and 10) so here goes:

1. Saw this tutorial on Made for up-cycling men's worn out button up shirts. I'm determined to have Easy go through the closet and get me a couple of button-up shirts we wouldn't mind seeing on the girls.

2. I also found this tutorial for a knitted cowl scarf that I just love. After the cable-knit scarf I did over the holidays my confidence might be up enough to give this baby a try.

3. I've been searching for a (somewhat creepy) vintage cookie jar to adorn our counter top and store our goodies. I love this one and am hoping to score one similar at a thrift store for a tiny fraction of this price. Eeek!

4. The shoes are perfect for spring.

5. We love taking the girls to the zoo, museums, and the botanical garden, but man it's so pricey. The Phoenix culture pass allows us to visit for a fraction of the cost (sometimes even free)! Check it out.

6. Biggest crave of the month: Passing NCLEX and getting my nursing license!

7. The other night we got together with friends and had fondue with the kids. It was a major hit. My friend Jordan made the best cheese. I think that this was the recipe. It made for a cheap and fun activity with friends.

8. I need a new juicer. Easy killed ours off after juicing oranges from our tree. Actually, I just need to stop being a boob and juice them by hand.

9. I'm going to start reading Blondes the Magic Tree House series. I really think that I'm more excited than she is about the chapter book phase. Do you have any others you'd recommend to us?

10. Verizon iPhone: T minus 10 days.



1.20.2011

A Broken Kisser.

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It was supposed to be a typical Thursday.

But my MaeMae had other plans.

We were supposed to pick up her big sister, eat lunch in the park with friends, and spend the rest of the afternoon in the backyard sliding, swinging, laughing, and eating fresh citrus off the tree. Okay, maybe not, but still... I imagine we would have be enjoying the afternoon at home in some way with this amazing climate.

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(how we were supposed to look??)

But instead while pretending the curb was a balance beam she slipped and smacked her sweet little mouth on the corner of the cement cutting her teeth through her lip and knocking them out of place. With blood all over my hands, her shirt, and Blondes' sweater, we drove to the nearest ER to get her stitched up, then straight to the dentist to have those teeth looked at.

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Yes, it happened that these were the same teeth that were knocked out of place in a similar fashion just 13 months ago. Ugh!

Easy showed up shortly (very concerned) and after waiting (for what seemed like an eternity watching awful Cartoon Network) she was finally seen, stitched (4) and released.

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*A very special shout-out to my dear friend Jordan for taking Roo and picking up Blondes, feeding them, and caring for them just as I would. Thank you!

*More thanks to Gary at Jamba Juice for perking up my sweet girls spirits and making her smoothie thin enough for her to use the straw.

*Lastly, please pray that my girl will not have to have her tooth pulled out in a month when the dentist reevaluates her. I don't know that this momma could quite handle that.





It's amazing how such a minor unforeseen event in a child can exhaust a mother. And how weird it is to be on the patient end of care after being behind the nurses station for the past 2 years. I felt helpless and frustrated. I wanted my daughter to receive the best care, but also found myself relating to the hospital staff.

All in all I think today made me a better mom and a better nurse. A better mom because I felt the need to protect and nurture my hurt baby, but then I realized I couldn't and I handed her over to someone who could. It was humbling and heartbreaking. A better nurse because I can now better relate - I know that a cut on the lip doesn't compare to patients receiving chemo, a child who has had a major head injury, or an older adult having excruciating chest pain, but I felt some of that pain and frustration today with my bloody little girl in the ER.

I made a commitment to myself this afternoon that when I'm a proud old nurse that is overworked and underpaid I can grab a hold of what happened today and remember what it felt to be on the other side. Because hopefully I will still care to listen, care to be thorough, and care to be present...

1.18.2011

One Last Egg.

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10 days ago we gave our 2 hens a new home.

Can you believe that I really thought about butchering them. Myself? Wouldn't that have been nuts? I even did my research.

*Note: Do not click on link and read unless you have interest in viewing the slaughter of a chicken. If you don't mind then, please be my guest - I find it rather interesting in a disgusting sort-of way. Remember? I'm from Fallon.

Ahem. Anyway, their new pad is huge with fabulous roaming room, grass, shade trees, and 2 other ladies just like themselves.

Back to ten days ago, the dog (that I'm trying to like, but gosh, it really isn't working) after dozens of previous other murder attempts got one of the birds around the neck and I said enough is enough. Plus, we maybe, might-be, possibly-be, could be moving in a few months. Shhh! So, they needed a new home regardless.

A few days after they were gone I had a thought to do one last check for an egg, but quickly disregarded it because neither hen had laid in weeks. Why would there be one now? After the thought occurred a second time I went to have a look in their boxes.

Lo and behold, there it was. One last egg - the perfect parting gift.

Thanks girls.


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**Note : I will gladly raise chicks again. I am a little heartbroken about giving up them up even though I cursed them on various occasions, threatened to hit them over the head with a bat for eating my garden, and even maybe let the dog chase after them a little because...well...it was pretty freaking hilarious and I'm studying for my boards so I get what I can...

1.17.2011

Comforting the Sick

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We all had it bad this weekend.

The dreaded flu. With it's reputation for achy joints, chills, congestion, fatigue, and pounding headaches.

Saturday morning rolled around and I remembered the food co-op that we participate in. We are expected at the pick-up location promptly at 8:30am and if we are more then 20min late they donate it to someone who needs it.

I jerked open my burning watery eyes at 8:35 and ran to find Easy...

Can I take a time out here and tell you what a great man I married? He was tending all three girls in their room so I could sleep. All three were fed. All three were content. Not only that, but the night before when I downed some Nyquil and hit the pillow at 8:30pm he went out to get me an Odwalla, Zinc, and Emergen-C to remedy my sick soul in the morning. - I just love that guy.

Okay, so I remind him about the co-op and he's out the door in less than 30 seconds. We needed that fresh produce - me and my three sick kids...desperately.

He comes home with a pineapple, a bag of Bosc pears, 2 Asian pears, apples, kiwis, Anaheim peppers, 3 Butternut squash's, a bunch of asparagus, a bunch of spinach, a head of Romaine, a pint of cherry tomatoes, and 5 tangelo's.

$15

That's right $15, I'm not making this stuff up folks.

So Sunday rolls around and the nasty Flu takes my husband out, meanwhile we are all on the mend slowly, but surely.

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Anyway, I'm in the mood to bake up some of these pears and I find the perfect recipe - some much needed comfort food for this sick house. Plus it gave me a chance to use up some of fresh this Arizona citrus lying around the house. :)


Winter Apple and Pear Crisp

adapted from the Barefoot Contessa

4 ripe Bosc pears
2 Asian pears
3 Granny Smith apples

1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Topping:


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Peel, core, and cut the pears and apples into large chunks. Place the fruit in a large bowl and add the zests, juices, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour into a 9 by 12 by 2-inch oval baking dish.

For the topping:

Combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal, and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for 1 minute, until the mixture is in large crumbles. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit, covering the fruit completely.

Place the baking dish on a sheet pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the top is brown and the fruit is bubbly. Serve warm.



*The hint of citrus combined with the apples and pears is what made this blog-worthy for me. Really, you have to try it!

*I think when I make this again I'll try and do a more healthy version. I'd take out a lot of the butter and sugar for the topping and add more oats, some flax, and whole wheat flour. Mmmmm!

1.14.2011

Overheard

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"My legs and my head feel all wobbly."

-GM on her flu symptoms

1.12.2011

a BIG date

I have scheduled my test date for NCLEX, aka the Nursing Boards.

My studying has been kicked into top gear and every free moment is spent doing questions on my iPod, doing questions on the computer, or questions out of a review book. I'm training my brains to do at least 100 at a time without getting totally burnt.


Ugh!


It's agonizing.


Here is a question that I got yesterday:

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When I read it I laughed because I couldn't even pronounce the first couple of big words in the first sentence, but luckily I knew the answer with what was provided in the second half of the question. Really though, "bougienage??"

I'm lacking most on the drug-related questions. It kinda makes me wish I had a few chronic diseases - patients know their drugs better than anyone. More then anything though it makes me pay more attention to drug commercials.

So basically my house is trashed, my kids are unkept, and my brain is fried. It's hard to believe that 2 years of prerequisite courses, 2 years of nursing school, studying, being away from my family, stressing, and constant struggle have come to this.

Jan 31st is staring me right in the face and I'm honestly quite intimidated. Statistics say that attitude plays a big role in success rates.

So I have 19 days to work on my positive attitude and fill my head with nursing priorities, analysis, application, risk factors, signs/symptoms, and evaluations.

I'm going to learn my drugs,
I'm going to do Yoga,
and I'm going to smile...
a lot...

starting now.



"That which we persist in doing becomes easier to do;
not that the nature of the thing itself is changed,
but that our power to do is increased."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

1.11.2011




1.10.2011

Bathroom Upsets.

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Roo was a little upset with me this morning as I extracted her from the bath with her sisters. I don't think she understood that it was for her own good.

They all thought that she was hilarious dunking her own face in the water over and over and over. I decided that it needed to stop when she took one breath in on the way down filling her airway with water. She then had an atrocious coughing fit and screamed with frustrations as I scooped her up and into the ducky towel. Arching her back and flailing her arms, my third child is determined to express herself completely without saying a word.

After church yesterday Blondes locked us all out of that same bathroom. Before bed we needed to retrieve the toothbrushes and with all attempts of gracefully getting the door open we decided to take drastic measures and kick it in.

I'm sure you'd like to see a video of that.

Well, you see, I'm always thinking of you.



Easy said to me, lets just kick it in.


I said, "Let me get the camera!"



The door is cheaper than a locksmith, the knob had no screws or ways of detaching the handle, no key or screwdriver would fit to pick it, and we tried carding it and fiddling with it enough to leave us both with no other idea then to bust through it.

Sure, kicking it in may not have been the most responsible way of getting in, but it got the job done. The girls teeth were brushed, stories were read, kisses were given and all was well.




1.06.2011

20. 11.

I'm not too big on resolutions.

I do, however have a few hopes/goals in mind for the new year. Are goals different then resolutions? If not then I guess I do have a few resolutions.

Whatever.

1. A grocery budget. $100 a week. Maybe this figure is easy for you, but I struggle with it. I have a plan though. It just means eating more oatmeal, (maybe with chocolate-chips in it) having homemade pizza once a week, (which we already do) better meal planning, (cooking a whole chicken and using the bits and pieces in recipes and the carcass for stock) and lots of beans, rice, and potatoes. :) Wish me luck on this one.

2. Be with my girls more. For the past two years I have constantly been in two places at once. I admit I have let me mothering slide a little. I'm so excited to be with my girls more. Coloring, playing, creating with them. I can't wait.

3. Date my husband.

4. Read. With school out I'm so excited to pick up a good book again. I'm hoping to read some classics like Moby Dick, The Catcher in the Rye, The Count of Monte Cristo,
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, etc.

5. Yoga. Yoga. Yoga.

So there it is. Just a few.


I'm so excited.


1.04.2011

Speaking of...

This morning as I was driving Blondes to preschool I hit a pigeon in the middle of my lane. As I was approaching it I thought to myself - stupid bird better move or I'm going to hit it.

Then bam!

Just like that feathers went flying everywhere. I felt bad for a second then remembered the pigeons that kife my chickens grain all the time and I honestly felt a little justified.

Speaking of my chickens...

They aren't going to make it around here much longer.

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We adopted a Mini Schanuzer over Christmas and the chickens are obviously on his hit-list. He was my mom's but she didn't have the time/energy right now for him and little Roo happened to make him her best friend during our visit. The next thing we knew, Christmas was over and we were traveling to California with a new dog in tow, crouched right next to Roo licking her toes the whole trip.

Speaking of Christmas...

It was magical and fantastic.

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My girls were in absolute heaven playing with all their cousins and seeing their grandparents. If my dad's arms were empty you would find my little Roo in them shortly after. My mom hand painted the cutest little cradles and beds for the girls and accessorized them with handmade blankets and little babies.

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She is a crafty one that mom of mine.

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On Christmas Eve she handed out costumes for all the kids to participate in the nativity play. Blondes was an angel, Mae a lamb, and Roo a little stable mouse. The nativity ended up a little chaotic and at times I admit, a tiny irreverent, but we loved just being together and seeing our kids light up with excitement.

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Ez the Wise. Dec 2010.

It was bliss being with 4 of my 6 brothers and their families for the holiday plus a sister and her family that have been adopted in.

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We enjoyed reminiscing, teasing, eating, and eventually the brothers all endured digging up the ancient septic tank with my dad. Apparently the old house couldn't handle all 19 of us that were staying there for the week. After 2 days of digging, replacing parts, using the bathroom at my brother's house down the street, and army crawling under the house, they finally got it back up and running just in time for everyone's departure and making it a Christmas we will all never forget.

1.03.2011

The calm before the storm...

At least that is what we would soon learn that it was.

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For a few days while my parents were here, before we all headed off to Nevada. we sat around and relaxed. My mom and I knitted projects, my dad played with my chickies, we visited the children's museum, and went on walks to the park.

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Blondes, Myself, GM, and Dad museum-ing it.

Little did we know then that the very next week we would be enduring this:

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12 adults. 3 teenagers. 15 kids.

And 1 crazy fun Lewis Christmas!
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