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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Term two has started...

I enjoyed my break immensely.  My mom and Leif (her significant other) arrived for a visit on the last day of finals for my first term.....so wonderful to see them and spend time with them - they even stayed through my birthday.  The last time I had my mom with me on my birthday was 20 years ago so it was very special to have her here.

I also thoroughly enjoyed my children .. although I think they were happy for me to go back to school as I had scheduled all their medical, dental and orthodontic check-up while I was off, so me going back means no more appointments for shots and stuff!  They are so wonderful - I am so blessed with the best kiddos ever.  They may not always listen or do their homework ... but they are so loving, caring, creative and amazing - and I miss them every single day I am away.

School started again Monday and this will be a crazy term.  If I thought summer was busy .. well then I better hang on for the ride because this term will be busier.  I am excited to be back and looking forward to my clinical experiences this term.  Today is only Thursday but I am exhausted and looking forward to a weekend at home and queezing my kiddos in great big bear hugs and snuggles tomorrow night. 

A lot of things have been coming at us this week and the term is shaping up to be exciting and filled with lots of challenging assignments.  Tuesday morning I participated in a flu clinic and I got to administer a great number of vaccines as well as a 4 TB skin tests.  Great way to start out and I feel very accomplished and "nursy" :-)

As I come closer to the end of the week, I am trying to tackle the beginning of one more assignment and it is a tough one.  I have a class on chronic illness this term and one of the assignments is to find and follow and end-of-life blog for someone with a terminal illness.  It is an emotional experience reading through so many stories ... so many lives devastated by cancer.  In the process of choosing the blog I want to focus on, I have read so many stories.  Stories about breast cancer, about esophageal cancer, about parents loosing their children, children loosing their parents ... you name it.  Reading these stories bring close memories of my aunt and cousin (mother and daughter) who both were diagnosed with breast cancer, survived only to be diagnosed with various metastasis of cancer at a later time.  It brings close the loss of little J and the images of a perfect and sweet little baby boy.  Lastly, it also brings back many memories of my dad and I wonder if an earlier diagnosis might had given him more time with all of us.  Thinking about them makes me sad ... but remembering them also makes my heart smile :-)

I choose a blog about cancer both because of my personal experience but also because I will do my clinical rotation on an oncology floor this term.  I know it will be an impactful experience.  Death and dying comes very close when you choose a career in health care.  While the goal for patient care is to make people better, I am very aware that is not always the outcome as some illness just cannot be beat.  Death comes to all of us and sometimes it comes too soon.  I know that I cannot let my emotions run away with me ... I know that I have to be strong - I pray that I will be strong!

Here is to a successful second term of school...


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Steps...

79 days and my running total is 877,846 - well above my 10,000 steps per day :-)

Tough learning...

One of my assignments from the first term included finding a current journal article about the pathophysiology, and complete a small write-up.  Free choice anything we wanted - I choose necrotizing enterecolitis or NEC.

I choose to research NEC because I now feel much better equipped to understand the medical research related to this terrible disease.  The etiology of the disease is not completely clear but there are known risk factors and one big one is being born premature.  The babies were just born too early and I still makes me sad that I did not carry them longer.  One thing that has been shown to offer some protection is breast milk and it makes me happy to remember that I was able to provide milk to both the little sweethearts starting right away.

Researching and writing about this was hard but I still feel like I need some clarity.  Loosing J was so difficult and thinking about it will always make me cry.  My heart is forever broken and there is still so many emotions evoked in my heart when I think of N&J ... still so much that I do not understand or will ever know.

Angel baby I love you .... and N where ever you are, I hope with all of my heart that you are a happy little boy.

1/5th of the way to BSN...

My first term of nursing school is over.  Projects, tests, and assignments are all turned in and grades are posted.  I am satisfied with my results ... but boy it has been a tough term.  Nursing school is a whole different animal and I really had to tweek and adjust my study habits to get results I can be happy with.

Most students in our program come in very accomplished in other realms of their lives.  We are all good students and know well how to study to get good grades.....still studying for nursing school is different.  It is a different approach and a whole new way of thinking.  I would have loved to get straight A's but let me tell you, I will take my B in pathophysiology any day!  That was one tough class - I loved every moment of it.  But I was worried as the final accounted for 45% of our grade and I did not feel like I did so hot.  For many of the questions there were two good answers - attention to minute details was crucial and I walked out of the exam praying that I did well enough to pass the class.  Ending up with a B was fabulous!

In between 1st and 2nd term we get a much needed three week break.  I am spending the first couple of weeks with visitors from Denmark ... always lovely to have my mom here. 

I try to get to the beach as much as possible - I love taking the dogs and let them run like crazy.  The smell of saltwater and the sound of the waves calms me like nothing else.  Today I really need some calming thoughts too.... I made a mistake on some paperwork for school and it will ending up costing me a pretty penny if I cannot get it fixed.  I hope and pray that it can be fixed.  With all these changes in insurance and stuff between school and Rio's new job, I forgot to submit my waiver form.  Well actually I did not forget - I just thought I had until September to get it done.  It turns out the form was due on August 30th ... and now my tuition for fall includes insurance to the tune of $2K ... boohoo!!!  I am so mad at myself and I really really hope I can get the charge reversed as we now have Rio's insurance coverage.

Even with that hick up in the road ... first term is done and I am super excited.  It is an incredible program and I love it.  I cannot wait for next term to start.  My clinical rotation for the fall will be on a medical oncology floor and I am looking forward to getting out into patient care.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

How to eat a watermelon...

An accelerated nursing program is like trying to eat a watermelon in one big gulp.  One my instructors, who is such a wonderful, engaging and charismatic person offered the analogy that nursing school is just like eating a big watermelon....don't shove it down in one big bite.....but slice it up really thin and eat it one piece at the time....so now picture this: me shoving in the proverbial watermelon at least five slices at the time because I am busy...and taking in just one slice at the time may not be fast enough!!!! 

The first term of nursing school is like putting out fires ... there is always something due or needing to be done.  It is both exciting and an incredible amount of work to accomplish.  It took the first few weeks to settle into a new routine.  Then week four brought the first midterm, week five another, and week six yet another one and add to that over a handful of online quizzes, 2 case studies, 3 midterms and plenty of written reflections have been done.  At this point half the term is over and finals will be looming before I know it....but first a whole lot of more project assignments are coming up in a snappy order.  Tomorrow is our medicine calculation exam, Friday offers competency sign off on vital signs and the first set of injections....and next week - well actually my brain have not caught up to that yet ... woot woot ... better keep that helmet on because we are going full speed ahead!

I love nursing school.  It is a big adjustment and so much is coming at me very fast and I am just trying to take it all in.  I feel very competent in the things we do and learn but I will admit that I have not performed quite as well as I wanted on my exams.  I know my material but I am learning that tests in nursing school requires a different approached...and I am slowly adjusting my learning.  The learning is tough, challenging and wonderful ... I feel such a great sense of accomplishment just being here.

There are some tough parts too and the hardest one for me is being away from home.  I knew that I would miss the kids more than anything in the world ... but if possible I miss them more than that!  They are my everything .. and I totally miss tucking them in at night, giving them hugs, and just have all the little everyday moments with them.  Nothing is better than getting home Friday night and getting the most wonderful hugs and smiles :-)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Lots of steps...

I am 13 days into keeping taps on my steps again and I am on the plus side :-) 

13 days = 130,000 steps needed .... 163,734 taken!!!  Woohoo

It is so easy for me just to sit back down and read.  There is SO much to read and even if I spent every waking moment reading, I am not sure it could all be done.  Keeping taps on my steps keeps me focused on getting enough exercise into my days.  I also helps to change my study space - my room, the library, the school of nursing, outside, the hot tub by the pool ;- ) - you name the place and I have probably been there reading.

Anyway back to the books ... have a mountain to conquer ;-)


Two weeks in...

And the work load is mounting!!!  I expected it .. still it is a lot of information to take in in a short amount of time and I need to continuously stay on top of deadlines to make sure everything is accomplished on time.

The hardest thing about going back to school is missing my kiddos.  I know this will be my personal struggle for a long as I attend classes.  Being a mom is the best thing in the world and being away from my loves it hard.  I am determined to get the most out of every weekend and break with them to minimize the impact of my absence during the week...and lots of phone calls and texting in between.

The first two weeks of school have been GREAT.  I feel so strongly that this is the right path for me and it is a very very good feeling.  Today I am catching up on reading and hope to get situated with a couple of study groups in the coming week as it is always nice to have other people to bounce ideas off.

The faculty is great and collectively very enthusiastic about teaching and the nursing profession.  I was super excited to get accepted ... I am even more excited now!   My cohort comes from a variety of backgrounds and it will be exciting to learn along with them as we all bring different perspectives into the learning process.  Another student (see blog link below) wrote this great little list of nuggets from the first week - these ring totally true to me so I want to share: 
  • 90% of all questions can be answered with either “It depends” or “Wash your hands.”
  • Hold onto truth lightly.
  • We are on the frontline of creating new nursing roles for ourselves. Put nursing to work in the parts of our lives we already love. What takes our breaths away?
  • Make time for reflective practice. 
  • Bring everything you are. But it’s not about you.
  • Ask your questions. Stay curious. There are lots of right answers.
  • Get comfortable being uncomfortable.
  • You can’t be a cowboy/girl if you’re afraid of how you look on the horse.
  • Lean into your fellow students for support. Now is not the the time to be the lone wolf. Learn to work in the wolf pack.
  • Trust the process.
  • Sloooow. Down.

http://notesfromastudentmidwife.com/2013/06/28/first-week/

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

10K a day...

I am determined to stay fit and active throughout nursing school.  Since I will away from the kids during the week, I really have no excuse for not exercising!  The school has an awesome gym that we have access.  I went to work out last night just to check it out.  It has some great fitness classes as well so I will have to check so of those out over the next few weeks too.

I also got out my pedometer and planning for 10,000 steps per day through out school ... that is something like 4,500,000 steps :-)  Crazy many steps ... one day at the time - I started off yesterday with 14K not including my 5 miles on the bike!  Exercise is good for the body, mind, and soul.  I plan to use it as a stress reducer because surely stress will set in at some point.  Our first lecturer said yesterday "every week in an accelerated program is like finals week" .. well there is amping up the pace and the stress level.  My goals are though not to stress out and keep ahead on my studies as much as possible.

School started yesterday and it was a great first day.  Before classes I went to the computer lab to print out what seemed like a small mountain of paperwork to get ready for this weeks classes.  So now in my room I have a small mountain of binders to match my mountain of books.  It was exciting to start and to listen to the first few lectures - it has me assured that I will love nursing school.  I know there will be plenty of trials going though this program but that is ok - what does not kill you makes you stronger. 

For sure there will be a lot of reading, a LOT of homework assignments, and a lot of learning new skills and processes.  Today will be the first clinical day.  Obviously we are not ready to care for any patients at this point so all our clinicals for the summer will be in the simulations lab or at the school of nursing.  Here we get to learn all the basic assessment skills and process to build our base knowledge. 


Sunday, June 23, 2013

I am starting nursing school...

on Monday!!!!  Yikes - it is really happening and I am excited beyond words.

My day was quite busy after taking Jane to the airport last Thursday.  I had quite a few things to accomplish in order to get ready for school orientation on Friday.  First up was getting my temporary parking permit, getting my car services, and getting keys to my newly rented space.  The apartment is located very close to the university and I can walk over in less than 10 minutes which is awesome.  Especially as parking on the university is not easy to get for a new student.  I am very happy that I can park my car where I will be living and just walk over to school.

I will be sharing an apartment with a very nice couple.  I have my own bathroom which is nice and while the bedroom is very small, it will be functional for what I need.  I spent most of Thursday evening getting thing in order in my room and shopping for a few items I needed.  I slept on our sleepover mattress .. and ouch!  I have no idea how the kids can sleep on that thing and still be rested the next day!  Mission for Friday became quite clear to me upon awakening ... get a bed!!!

Friday was the much anticipated nursing school orientation day.  63 of the 64 students in my cohort attended and I got to chit chat with several of my future class mates and a few of the students from the cohort that started last summer.  It was very reassuring talking to some of the current students and hear their input on the program.  Overall the orientation day went well, we were bombarded with lots of information and it sounds like it will be a terrific program.

I have spent the week since orientation getting ready for school, ordering books, and getting stuff organized to bring to Portland tomorrow.  Most of my time though have been spent with the kids.  Hanging out at the lake, the beach, the falls ... having fun and just enjoying each others company.
I know I will miss them so much during the week when I attend school, but I also know how fortunate I am to be giving this opportunity to continue my education and being able to devote myself to my studies full time during the week and then get to come home and love on my family on the weekends.

So here is to a new chapter in my life ... nursing school!  

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Sunshine...

It is just over 4 years ago that my father passed away and tomorrow it will be two years ago since we lost little J.  I have learned much about grief and pain during these last years.  My heart aches in a way that I cannot explain.  Like a choke-hold squeezing every little drop of blood from my heart leaving it fighting to be refilled with life sustaining energy.

I miss my dad today and I miss little J too.  My tears linger close...  it is beautiful and sunny outside and I choose to believe that the sweet souls we are missing are looking down upon us all.

I am so thankful for all that I have ... still my heart longs for something lost and I do not think that will ever change.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Jane is back home...

Last week we said our "see you laters" to Jane.  Summer break from school is here, signaling that her nine months with us were over.  I told her in the beginning that time as an exchange student would fly by - I do not think she believed me then, but with just a few days left, reality of traveling back home came fast and furious.

It has been an interesting year.  Jane is a wonderful girl.  With any teenager in the house there are ups and downs but how wonderful it has been to get to know her, about her home country and her family.  Olivia will especially miss her as she and Jane shared a room together while she was here.

Wednesday night we did a farewell party for her.  It was a lot of fun.  Neighbors and friends showed up to wish her safe travels.  I know she had a lot of fun and was happy to see everyone one more time before she had to leave.

Thursday morning came quickly and Jane and I left for Portland.  I enjoyed these last few hours with her so much.  We had a great talk about all the fun things she has experienced here and about how she will think it is too HOT at home after spending a year on the Oregon coast.

After a last lunch of sushi it was time to say goodbye.  I gave her a bunch of hugs ... she is so very dear to me and seeing her walk away was a bit nostalgic.  Although she has not resided in my belly, she will forever been one of my girls - and she will always own a piece of my heart.

This has been a great life experience for us and I hope for Jane as well.  She has grown so much over this last year and I know she has learned a ton about herself ... and we have learned a ton too.

Safe travels my dear... you will be missed!


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A&P final tomorrow and orientation day on Friday...

My stethoscope (it is pink and awesome) and scrubs have arrived...check
Financial aid is being processed...check
Rental agreement is signed...check
Butterflies in my stomach ... CHECK!!!!

I am so excited to start nursing school and really looking forward to orientation on Friday.  I will be exciting to meet the rest of the cohort and to get the first introduction into the program.

One last hurdle to be cleared is my A&P final tomorrow morning...last test before I officially am a nursing student. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

So many things to consider...

I have officially been accepted into two different accelerated nursing programs and have made two deposits to hold my spots...I know that I can only attend one school and a final decision will need to be made.  Each program have facets that are really appealing and the choice is a tough one but I am 99% sure of where I will go....and orientation is just 2 weeks away!!!! 

There is only one way my choice will change at this point and that is if a solid job offer in the Midwest for Rio comes through.  The hospital he is looking at is local to the nursing school and if that opportunity comes though, then I will adjust my plan and off to Illinois we go for a fall school start for me and the kids.  While the school is not my number 1 choice, all of us being together in the same place would be ideal. 

However for now I am Portland bound and June 14th is orientation day.  I am so excited that this is happening!!!  At the same time it is a bit emotional to know that I will not be home with the kiddos every single day to tuck them into bed.  I have talked to them a lot about my choice to attend school and I know that they will be just fine with Daddy.  Of course I will be home every weekend and break from school and I will Skype with them every day.  They are the most important people in my life and I am doing this for them as much as for my self. 

Yesterday was busy, I drove up to school to make my deposit and then went to buy shoes and try on scrubs.  Today I ordered some of my supplies today .. what a thrill.  There are a million .. at least ... small and big things to consider, address, plan, and do between now and June 14th.  With the bigger issues being finding Rio a new job, housing for all as we are renting out the house, and finishing up our plans on exactly how the 16-17 months are going to play out.

I have started boxing stuff up and the office is being overtaken as storage room.  I have made my way through a chunk of non-essentials in the garage and living room and is slowly beginning on the bedroom and children's rooms as well.

On top of all the arranging of stuff, I still need to manage my studying for the anatomy & physiology class that I am currently.  We are so close to being done and I really want a good result to finish out my prerequisites.

Hold on tight ... this is going to be one crazy ride :-)


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Surprise call but silence at the end of the line...

Today my phone rang and when I looked at the display I saw L's number - I instantly got a big smile on my face ... what a surprise as I have not heard from her in a very very long time.  Then I picked up the phone and only heard chatter in the background.  It seemed that the call was not made intentionally and no one answered when I said hello.  I said hello a couple of times, just listened for a bit and then I hung up.

How I wish that L actually called to say hello....maybe someday.  I miss hearing from them and my heart feels a little raw tonight.  I truly just hope that they are all doing really well and that life is good.

:-)




 


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

And so it starts...

The packing of boxes that is.  I am 90% sure of my choice for nursing school at this point.  Regardless of which school I choose, it will necessitate a move and packing will need to be done.  Therefore I am putting some of my nervous energy into getting organized and ready.

Really what I need to do is read about the digestive system and metabolism .. but my thoughts are just scattered everywhere so reading is not doing me much good right at this point.

So instead I will look at boxes and let the butterflies of excitement flutter around in my belly.

I got one thing checked off my to-do list today.  I had blood drawn for my vaccination tithers.  One thing down .. about a million to go!


Monday, May 13, 2013

Happy Birtday to a sweet boy...

Little N ~ you are in my thoughts a lot today.  I wish you a wonderful birthday!  Lot of love always...

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day...

I love being a mommy ... and my beautiful, kind, imaginative, crazy, wonderful children makes my everyday filled with joy and wonder.  I love you!

To my mother ... I love and miss you ~ sending hugs across the oceans to you.

To M, L & A ... You are all very very special to me and I wish you wonderful mother's day filled with lots of love and snuggles.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mail has arrived...

Letter #1 ... from the local ASN program I applied for.  Acceptance here is based on a point scale with the top 40 students invited to write a proctored essay worth 10 points and then the top 20 students are accepted into the program.  I have 54.2 points out of 56 available before the essay ... this is great as I know even if I did a completely awful job on the essay, my chances for getting accepted are still very very good.....BUT I have decided not to do the essay and leave the spot for someone else because ... drum roll please.....

Letter #2 ... acceptance for fall start in an accelerated BSN program back in Illinois.  I got email confirmation of acceptance yesterday but the real letter arrived today.

and...

A phone call bright and early from OHSU this morning offered me acceptance into the summer cohort for their accelerated BSN program....yikes program orientation for this one is only 35 days away. 

Wooooohooooooo ... yeah baby ~ I am in ... now begins the hard work!!!!

This is a lot of excitement in just a couple of days.  I am trying to let it all sink in because time for decision making is right around the corner.  Which program to choose, where to go .... what is the best choice for me, for the children, for Rio .... so many things to consider and so little time.

My stomach is so full of butterflies :-)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Is the mail here yet...

To say that I am looking forward to seeing the mail lady everyday is an understatement.  I am waiting on pins and needles for news about nursing school ... and today we did not even get any mail - the mail truck just went right on by!!!  Yikes .. I just want to know already! 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Hoping that next week brings nursing school news...

I am waiting on news from three different nursing schools ~ one locally, one in Portland, and one in central Illinois.  It is funny how timing works but it seems likely that news from all three will be forthcoming next week.

The local program was supposed to send out their invitation for the proctored essay at the end of this week, so presumable it could arrive on Monday.  The program I was wait listed for in Portland had an acceptance and deposit deadline of May 1 for the students accepted on the first round, so by the end of next week they should be working their way through the second round of acceptance letters for people who initially were placed on the waiting list.   And just today I got an email from the program in Illinois to let me know that official letters of acceptance will go out in the middle of next week.

All three have their own set of advantages and while I am waiting for news, I am still pondering which program is best in the event that I get the option to choose.

The program locally is much cheaper than the other two initially, but it takes longer and will require a BSN completion program after the first two years here.  So while I know it is an excellent program, I am not sure it is the right fit for me.

The Portland program is ideal only if I know Rio will be in Portland full time as well and right now it is not looking that way.  I know this program will be intense and full days Monday to Friday.  My worry here is that if something comes up with the kids during the day, I will be missing instruction time and nursing schools are typically not very flexible when it comes to missing out on school days.  This program is a great opportunity but only if it works for the entire family and right now I am not sure this is the best fit.

The program in Illinois was the one I was previously accepted to start but turned down as we moved back to Oregon.  It was not in my plans to apply for it again but once I realized that I had been placed on the waiting list for my program of choice in Portland .. I figured that it could not hurt to have it as a backup option.  Quite frankly this one is the best program option for me as the instruction hours will not interfere with the children's school.  It is so important for me that I can be there for the children with respect to breakfast and getting them off to a good start and then again in the afternoon when they get home and need help with homework.  Especially if Rio is not around full time during the week.

So here is to more hurry up and wait....hopefully next week brings good news!


Monday, April 29, 2013

Doors...

A saying goes that when one door closes another one opens.  I am saying my prayers for a door to open for A&S .. and if not a full door then someone please crack open a window!
We have decided to close the proverbial door on our journey.  Obstacles keep popping up and at some point enough is enough.  As I tell my children, in all races some one has to be last... I guess this is our race to be last.  It seems that every time things were looking up ... something looks back down.  We were once again fully set to go, confirmed insurance coverage, my body in great shape for a pregnancy and testing coming back good ... then a very sudden and unexpected loss of a job for my hubby and thereby loss of insurance.  BAM another smack in the face and a big challenge for my family as we try to regroup and figure out what to do next.  We all feel like we have been pulled through the ringer and perhaps it is just time to let go...letting go is hard and I hate it but I guess such is life.
This roller coaster of ups and downs and almost "there" has been gut wrenching ... but I know beyond the shadow of doubt that I am richer by a friendship.  Their desires were strong, my intentions were good and our match was great .. but sometimes strong, good and great is not enough.  Nothing is fair surrogacy, the road can be long and sometimes is does not end where it should.  Life is unfair .... 
Who knows where my road will lead ... who knows what doors will open next.  I will open my eyes and my heart to the wonder of life's journey and wait to feel the gentle breeze flowing in from an open door ~ hopefully it will the door of nursing school beckoning me to enter :-)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Waitlisted...

I got news just the other day:

"The Undergraduate Admissions Committee has finished reviewing the applications and we are pleased to announce that you have been offered alternate status with us.  We congratulate you for your achievement!"

Sure I was hoping for an acceptance to arrive but alas a wait-listing is better than a straight out denial.  I know that last year they went through quite a few people on their wait list so there is still a chance that I will be offered a spot.

So the wait continues!  I know that accepted students will have a 2-3 week window before their deposits are due so it will be a minimum of another 3 weeks before I will hear anything further.

Hopefully by then I will also hear back from the local school here on whether I will be invited to sit for the proctored essay which is the last step of the application process here.

..happy waiting!

Friday, April 5, 2013

My second nursing application is turned in...

It was dropped off on Tuesday and I am happy to have it in - now all I have to do is wait!  I am really good at that ... tapping my little feet and waiting.  So much easier said than done!

Acceptance letters are supposed to go out from OHSU on April 15th.  I find it a bit ironic that the deadline is April 15th again this year.....as an accountant, rounding April 15th is always great news as that means a big chunk of busy work is out of the way.  How funny that this date is making another presence of sorts in my life ... seems very appropriate!  Anyways .. just ten or so more days to go before I will have an answer.  It has been a long wait and I find my self checking email frequently to see there are any news...but no news yet.  So I am going with the "no news is good news" at least for now.

Week one of the term is over and we are right back in the deep of things.  It will be a busy term so I am glad that I just have one class to concentrate on.  I am trying to get Spanish lessons worked into my schedule as often as I can and I have managed to make it through the first four lessons.  It is actually lots of fun to be studying Spanish again.  Thinking that I need to plan another trip to Mexico just so I can practice!

...by the way .. is it April 15th yet?????  ;-)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Been a slacker on the workout front...

But April 1st is here and I am back at it!!!   I managed to keep below 125 for a while but with out consistent workouts my weight has crept back up to just under 130.  Not happy with that so April 1 is a new day ... and 125 watch out - I got my eye on you!!!

Started my morning bright and early on the abglider and with a hand weight work for upper body.  After the kids went to school, I attempted the cardio insanity workout ... yuck... I did not get far :-(  I did about 1/2 the workout but with breaks in between - this is crazy that my stamina has taken such a quick dive. 

I want to do the Spartan Sprint again but they changed the Northwest dates to August this year so it will all depend on timing whether or not I can do it.  So in the short term I will need something else to focus as my goal ... now off to ponder which race I want to run and where :-)

Happy April 1st y'all :-)

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Summer...

At least for the day!  It was in the 70's today and an absolutely amazing day to live at the beach.  We spent the better part of the day at Hug Point playing in the sand, relaxing and this year's first attempt at surfing.  The water was great and I totally loved being back in my wet-suit for some wave fun.  I took Sebastian out in the waves and he had a blast.  We played with the boogie board and just jumped around.  After he was done in the water, I took out my surfboard.  It was fun .. but the undertow was too much and the break between the waves very short, so I only got on the board a couple of times .. still it was lots of fun.

We came home from the beach, took a quick break, reloaded the car with firewood, dinner stuff and sand-toys ... and back to the beach again.  This time we went to the local beach and met up with some great friends for a beach fire and hotdog roast.  Yummy!!!!  The weather was just amazing.  The fire was keeping us nice and toasty as we watched a glorious sunset and as the stars came out. 

I am totally beat as I write this ..  but boy this was just a perfect day.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Winter term is over...

Grades are in and I am a happy girl.  Two more classes crossed of my list ... just one more term of Anatomy and Physiology and I will be officially done with all the prerequisites for nursing school. 

This week is spring break for both the kids and myself.  Rio took the week off too and we are all enjoying family time without many plans or things that we need to do. 

I have been at the hospital the last two days in a row.  Yesterday I went for some lab work in the morning .. then it was off to volunteer in the emergency room for the afternoon, and finally to a NODA meeting in the evening.  NODA stands for No One Dies Alone and is a volunteer program at the hospital and is a program where trained volunteers sit with patients during the final days or hours of life especially when family members or friends are not near.  It is truly a special program and while I have not yet had the opportunity to sit at a vigil, I think the idea behind it is wonderful.  Oprah wrote an article about here: http://www.oprah.com/omagazine/Kindness-of-Strangers-How-One-Nurse-Made-Sure-No-One-Dies-Alone

Then today I went for an all day training and it was interesting to participate in a structured corporate style training again but this time in a healthcare environment.  I am truly excited about the path that my life is taking ... 



Tuesday, March 19, 2013

"Sorry you did not make it through this round"...

Today I read an online posting about the accelerated nursing program that I have applied to.  Apparently they have sent out the first round of e-mail notifications to those that have not made it through first round selections...and guess what????

I did NOT get one!!!  Woohoo I really hope this means good news .. reading that posting this evening totally gave me little butterflies in my stomach.  The possibility that either I am in or potentially on the waiting list is great.....more waiting here we go :-)

...tapping my fingers impatiently!

Monday, March 18, 2013

My baby is 8...

As I sit here and write, I am watching my sweet little boy sleep.  He is not so little anymore but the sweetness lingers and I love him more than words can describe.  I cannot believe that he is so big already.  Speaking about big and grown, my oldest just realized he is taller than me!  I know I know ... I am not tall by any means but still - I have officially been outgrown!!  ... and my kid is happy as a clam about it!  Really it does not seem like that long ago when I held snuggly little babies in my arms and now one is 8, my girlie is 12 and my bigger boy is soon to be 14 - if time could just stand still for just a moment.  I know how lucky I am to have my three beautiful children ... they are my world!

I am totally stuffed with birthday cake as we celebrate with cake for a second night in a row.  Since Daddy was not home on Sebastian's actual birthday, we had to celebrate his "fake" birthday yesterday!  Boy who does not love getting presents a day early!!!  So we did the whole celebration last night with cake, presents and goodies.  But there was enough cake leftover that we sang to him again tonight and he got to make another wish and blow out candles again ... he loved every minute of it too!

This week is finals week and I am up to my eyeballs in my A&P notes and trying to get my genetics final completed.  There is so much stuff to know and it is overwhelming knowing just how much I still have to review before feeling ready to take my final on Wednesday and turn in my paper on Thursday .... I will be happy to have two more classes behind me especially when I think about the  mountains of stuff I have yet to learn in nursing school.  But man - I am just so excited about it!  Each time I volunteer at the hospital, I try to just take it all in.  I really am lucky that I am able to volunteer in the emergency room.  It is a great way to listen and observe and now that I am almost through the second (of three) anatomy courses, the "details" are beginning to come together and make sense in a whole new way.






Thursday, February 7, 2013

Application #2 is available and due by April 5th...

I am applying for a second nursing program at the local community college where I am taking my pre-requisite courses.  The good thing about this program is that admission is purely based on a point system.  There are only 20 spot available in the program, but I think I have a great chance of getting one of them.  Obviously it will depend on the rest of the applicant pool and how my points match up against everyone else.  I will be competitive as I know there are some great students applying as well..so I am just keeping my fingers crossed that I have enough points to make it in!

The are several upsides to the program here.  For one it is a lot cheaper than the program in Portland and no more is required for me to attend.  Also since the curriculum is spread over a longer period, I will have more flexibility with my schedule. 

Then again, there are several downsides ... isn't there always.  If we stay here, we are still not in one place...and since Rio works in Portland, relocating to the city is a great option so we can all be together more. 

The biggest downside in my eyes is perhaps program length.  The accelerated program will conclude in 16 months and I will have my BSN whereas the local program is an ADN program.  Here it will take 7 terms (almost 2 years) to get to my ADN and then I will need to complete an RN to BSN bridge which will take another year.  But then again slow and steady still wins the race ... it truly is about making sure that I find the right fit.  Not only for me but for our entire family.

So which program do I choose.... the obvious choice is - the one that accepts my application!!!  If I only get accepted to one school, then the choice is made....but if I get accepted to both, then I need to make a decision and hopefully the smartest one for all of us.... and which one is that exactly!!!

I have all these thoughts just rummaging around in my head ... competing for my brain cells that are trying to retain all about the brain, the endocrine system, and shortly the circulatory system.  I swear the more I learn the more I realize how much I have yet to learn.

Monday, January 21, 2013

BLS certified...

Yippeeee... one more thing of my To-Do list. 

As I am planning (wishing, hoping, praying!!!) to start nursing school this year and currently volunteering in a local emergency department, "now" seemed as good as time as any to become up-to-date on my CPR certification.   I started it back in December and finished the online training portion through the American Heart Association for getting my BLS (Basic Life Support) training for Healthcare Providers.  Due to the holidays and such I was not able to fit in the practical aspect of the training and the test at that time ... but it got done this morning and I have my certificate to prove it!!!

Woohoo for small victories :-) ....now on to dealing with an emergency dental visit for Olivia as she chipped a tooth this morning and yet another orthodontic appointment for Magnus, who hopefully will not get yelled at the dentist for non-compliant brushing!!!

Happy Monday :-)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

I am waiting...

For news on two fronts!!!

The longest wait is going to be related to school.  My nursing school application was submitted and received and the long wait for acceptance letters to come out mid-April is going to be .. well LONG!!!!  However, I am so excited about having it turned in.  School is going well and I am so happy to be at the point when I can once again apply to nursing school.  It was disappointing to decline my spot in the program back in Illinois last year, but it was the best option for our family at that time.   But now I am just really happy to once again be at this point where I am waiting to hopefully be accepted.   I am going to think only good thoughts.   I really know in my core that this is the right direction for me and every time I volunteer in the Emergency Room it just reaffirms that I REALLY really want to do this.

The other piece of news is related to this amazing thing called surrogacy!  It has now been year since A&S and I decided to explore the options for pursuing a journey together once again.  There have been some hills to climb in this journey and a few things still need to fall into to place ... but the possibilities of continuing our journey is here.  A and I have been chatting back and forth a lot and I think we both have little jitters.  A&S have dreamed of adding to their family for a long time and at times I know it seemed like we would never get to this point ... yet here we are.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring :-)

...Happy waiting!!!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Happy New Year...

2012 flew by!  ... I am not quite ready for my New Years Resolutions yet ... still pondering what they should be this year!  Something with keeping up with my exercise ... yup got that covered.  I also do mean to write more personal letters - I had that as an resolution from last year but I think I can do better this year! .... and hey I got one important one checked off my list already:

*** my nursing school application has been submitted ***

Woohooo ~ I had a few great nurse friends review my initial essay write up and then I had a wonderful friend help me out with editions to my submissions.  Thank you M .. your critique and help was so valuable.  Now here is to trying to forget all about this application until notifications come out in April.....keeping my fingers crossed and will be staying busy will school in the mean time.  I am taking the second class for Anatomy and Physiology, which will focus on the brain, endocrine and cardiovascular systems, and a Genetics class.  I think it will be a great term and I am excited to be back in school ... even with the first quiz coming up today and a test new Friday :-)

Wishing everyone a fabulous 2013!