Monthly Archives: December 2014

That Darn Frappechino

I haven’t had a Frappechino since the beginning of October and now I remember why. Oh terrible gastrointestinal distress! How could I have forgotten about you? I have been using labor breathing techniques and not standing up strait to get through the night. I can’t wait to jump in a hot shower then try to sleep it off. I look about 7 months pregnant right now. I better learn my lesson with this one. Soon. Good grief I can be so dense sometimes.

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Might be warmer than the sunniest of summer days at the Oregon beach



















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Iced Winter Wonderland

Such a fun packed day, first working with Grandpa to clean the driveway. The carpet cleaner was coming and the area rugs needed to come outside to be cleaned.



IMG_0082.JPG Chad had fun checking out the carpet cleaning equipment.

IMG_0092.JPG The gingerbread houses were next but they needed to be assembled in two parts. Putting the structure together then after it had dried the fun part of decorating.




IMG_0115.JPG We hung out and visited while the structures solidified.





Now time to get down to business!




























IMG_0213.JPG Two gingerbread houses and two cookies for each kid, and hours later (these kids have long attention spans). We finished just before dinner time. Clam chowder and Santa Clause 2 were a perfect way to wind down.

IMG_0227.JPG Dog pile on Myra and a comparatively early bedtime. I think we have beach plans for tomorrow.


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Beautiful Trek out of the Highlands for More Time with Great Grandma & Great Grandpa



IMG_0004.JPG We are enjoying the contrast between the high dessert and mountains of Southern California
And our last assignment flat busting with foliage and lakes around every bend Wisconsin. Silhouettes of crazy yucca trees and prickly pear remind us of New Mexico but somehow less dry feeling. The hour and forty minute drive was so quick with so much attention demanded by the changing scenery and my reeling mind.
We sure missed making it to Cyrus’ cow birthday party. Thank you for the pictures.

IMG_0007.JPG. I would like to get the whole story on this photo.

IMG_0008.JPG We (my family) lived on a dairy farm growing up, instead of names (due to number of head) the cows were tagged in the ear with a number. Thee infamous 262 was more like a pet and we would ride her, some times three kids at a time. So this picture makes me laugh and wonder if it was dad’s idea or if one of the girls (my sisters) planted this particular marking on the sly. If so, know you made my day, I’m dying to hear the story. We arrived at grandma and grandpa’s house in the day light, met the neighbor kid and his mom who came over to see our “little” dog. Caleb and Hannah enjoyed the shelf of books in the garage which has been renamed the Library of Grandma and Grandpa. The plate tacos for dinner were a big hit. Grandpa sat on the floor with the kids. The table being taken up with the makings for twenty gingerbread houses.

Grandpa and I walked Myra and I got to see his neighborhood improvement project though in the dark. The Chargers game wasn’t going as well as hoped so we enjoyed the I love Lucy Christmas special. The kids especially Caleb enjoyed that tremendously, how can you not love Lucy in those shows. Grandma got some cuddles. I’m pretty sure Eve was eating it up too.

IMG_0014.JPG a little toilet flooding incident made for a memorable end to our evening. Now after two cups of caffeinated coffee I’m going to try to go to sleep. Can’t say that was well thought out or well played. Between that and being on a night shift schedule I ought to be counting a lot of sheep tonight either that or making plans to conquer the world, no,counting sheep I don’t have the energy to be too ambitious.

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Cultural Competence and Sensitivity

If I am getting practice at one thing here it is exposure to different cultures and the opportunity to stretch my ideals about caring for my patients as whole people. I don’t really want a debate, but it grieves me when people who openly profess to be Christian turn around and are so quick to put down other people’s religion based convictions and choices. We need to treat others the way we want to be treated. Our job is to be Christ’s love to the world not another judge.

Matthew 22:36-40New International Version (NIV)

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

I feel grieved that a patient has been wronged today all in the name of our “superior”health care (I beg to differ, that is not what our birth statistics/outcomes really look like when compared to other counties. Where do we get off thinking we are all that?).

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Car Adventures

About two days ago when Chad was opening the drivers side door he felt something let go in the handle. It was a little inconvenient to open the back door to open the latch for the front door, but definitely livable until we could get it somewhere we can take the door panel off and fix it. Last night as I drove up to the badge scanner at the employee parking lot entrance I thought nothing of putting down the window to scan my badge. You could hear something dragging and scratching in the door and the window would only go half way down. Not far enough to reach the scanner. So, of course, I tried to open the door to reach the scanner and the door wouldn’t open from the inside. The lock wouldn’t unlock past half way. I felt trapped. I tried it again. Then I climbed out over the passenger seat not thinking I walked around the car. Before I scanned my badge I thought now if I scan my badge that will lift the arm of the gate. Could I get in the car fast enough to move it before the arm came back down, and if I did I would have to do the same thing in the morning with a whole line of day shifters behind me watching this Oregonian scramble around the car and into the passenger door to the drivers seat. Hmmm. I don’t think I’m going to park on the employee parking lot. So glad I was early and there wasn’t a line of cars behind me now watching this drama unfold. I backed out and around and parked in front of the birth center. Not wanting to have to be buzzed into the front door (your on camera and a nurse inside often asks why you are there before pushing the button), I walked all the way around to the employee entrance. I had called Chad to let him know what happened but really there was nothing he could do to help except let me vent. I had a preciping pt and my first delivery which was a really fabulous experience. The doctor was pleasant to work with and not way over interventive. The staff members make a good team with another nurse (in this case two) and a tech (and student) in the room it was quick and seamless. So, I mostly forgot my car problems. This morning as I climbed over into the drivers seat I thought about my Valerie from Farmington NM. This was much like a few car adventures I had with her when we were car pooling, my transmission, her convertible top, and other fun adventures I can’t exactly remember at the moment. I reached for my phone to text Valerie and it said no service…I made it home with out the GPS (an act of God) and my phone still said no service I couldn’t turn it off and back on because the power button has been broken for 3-4 months. So, I just plugged in my not working phone and went to bed. Chad Had good news when I woke up this afternoon. He got the window so it will go up and down all the way so I can park in employee parking, I will still have to climb over into the drivers seat from the passengers seat for another day or two, but that I can work with. And my new phone came in the mail. Yay! Although now my old one is at least showing a connection and I can up date you all and text my Valerie… I think she will still appreciate my car situation.

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Given my wings on the first night

I may have had it a little too easy last night. I expect the next two nights will make up for it, but right now I feel pretty good about how it went. I was supposed to be orienting with the charge nurse, but she had me on my own with an induction that had needed nothing more than one dose of cervical ripener to jump start her labor. She was always available when I had any questions. It worked out really well actually. I’ve used Meditech before although it has been awhile, and the labor and delivery charting system is decently self explanatory. The anesthesiologists are interesting. I had very hard time understanding then with their thick Chinese accents and peculiar orders. Also, I’m going to have to contribute to the unit coffee fund because come 02:30 I was starting to nod.

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First day at Desert Valley

I may need a few more days to really figure out what I’ve gotten myself into. I didn’t get any kind of schedule just directions to report to HR at 8:00AM and that seemed unsure then was changed to L&D at 9:00AM. All this was through a series of texts and nothing from the hospital it’s self. Well somehow in the series of texts I got the new meeting time of 9:00 but understood that I was to go to HR then to L&D.
Chad dropped me off at the hospital he needed the car for shopping for groceries and other must haves like shower curtains and lamps (the only rooms with ceiling lights are the kitchen/dining room and the bathrooms). Before Chad was even out of the parking lot I had called him back to pick me up. With a confused look on his face he pulled back around to the main entrance. HR was in a different building not on campus. At HR they weren’t expecting me and weren’t sure what to do with me. After sitting a while in the waiting room seats outside of HR I text my recruiter and discovered I had missed something in our evening conversation the day before. Oh great, I don’t want to give the impression that I don’t care about the unit or the job, being punctual or reliable. They finally let me go with a parking pass I’m going to have to go to work a little early tonight to figure that part out. I was instructed specifically to go to the heart center to meet the manager, “the heart center not L&D” I clarified, “are you sure”. Yes they were so hesitantly I had Chad drop me back off at the heart center. At the heart center they looked at me cross eyed when I asked about the L&D manager. They called her and she said to meet her in L&D. I was so frustrated and kind of embarrassed. I would have gone straight to L&D, but I was told to go to the heart center. I was given directions to drive around to the birth center entrance and the manager would meet me there, but I didn’t have a car so I asked for directions through the hospital. You have to have a name badge to open every door there were three locked badge needed doors that people had to let me in and a security guard to get through. She asked if I worked here, I said I will as soon as I can find the manager. The manager wasn’t in her office, she wasn’t in the nursery, she wasn’t at the front desk, they have to push a button for the door to the waiting room to open so I could go to the birthplace entrance to make sure she wasn’t waiting for me out there. She wasn’t. Then I had to sit in the waiting room for a short whole before someone came to the front desk to open the door for me to get back in the unit. I stood at the desk a while before she came around. She got some information from me like my telephone number and email. Then took me to admin. to sign confidentiality papers, show proof of flu shot, and get a tour of the hospital. It is a most confusing floor plan and you have to have a name badge to even work the elevator. I hoped we would eventually get on that today, besides feeling dumb wearing scrubs and no name badge, I was pretty much trapped anywhere I might go. In order to get a pixis access code I had to prove I new how to use it, but you can’t prove you know how to use it unless you have a code. So instead of taking me to pharmacy to get my med access code at the end of the hospital tour like the manager asked they took me back to the unit. I had been told who I would shadow, but instead of listening to me the people at the front desk called the manager in a meeting to ask who I would shadow and low and behold it was the very person I told them. I hope the manager doesn’t think I forgot or I’m asking these people all day to be calling her when I knew better than to go to the heart center but was trying to follow directions, and when I remembered who she said to orient with but they wanted to double check. Orienting with a nurse who had recently come back to nursing after a recent 5 year hiatus to take care of a sick child was a whole other experience. She had two labors both wanting epidurals at exactly the same time. It made me wonder what I am in for. The manger came back from her meeting and signed my pixis competence sheet even though she couldn’t test me on all the items on the checklist. A CNA walked me down to the pharmacy to get signed off by the pharmacist. We returned to the unit where I logged on and changed my password and recorded my fingerprints. I also tested my meditech login and changed the password as well as centricity (charting programs). I still needed access to the omnicell/pixis system in the clean utility. We had been calling all day for that one and no one had come. Chad was picking me up soon I had to go back down to HR to get and get my name badge finally. They never came. We can get that one done on nights though supposedly. Chad picked me up at 4:00PM and drove me down to HR, they were expecting me this time.
I emerged 18 min. later with an ID badge in hand. So glad that I would not be coming back until night shift the following day. I wasn’t even there a whole eight hours but I was worn out.

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Moving in the pouring down rain…it’s like we’re in Oregon

Going from sharing a twin (which we don’t mind at all) to sharing a king bed at grandma and grandpa’s house we almost didn’t know what to do with ourselves. The kids behaved as far as I know, I was a little nervous with Eve staying in another room, one filled with all kinds of fun sewing “toys,” but it appears she heeded our warnings that those were not hers to touch. This is a big accomplishment for her. We got up early enough to visit with Grandma before she had to leave for a class, and tried a bit of Grandpa’s garlic health shake that I have previously heard about only in legends. You definitely wouldn’t find this shake as an option at Jamba Juice, but then again it probably is a lot more healthy than any of the Jamba Juice drinks. I only remember a few of the ingredients: garlic, 5-7 cloves, pomegranate, kale, broccoli, tangerine quartered with rind, flax seed, cinnamon, olive oil, and vinegar. Not as bad as it might sound, but I did tell him a bit if cayenne would have been good in it. It may have covered up the vinegar flavor which was the hardest one for me. The kids loved on grandma and grandpa a bit. Somehow grandpa convinced Hannah that she needed to teach him the alphabet it was quite comical.

IMG_2966.JPG After grandma headed to work Grandpa took us out for breakfast where he and Hannah continued their lessons.

IMG_2965.JPG Hannah would write out each letter and he would ask questions, one time Hannah was saying what each letter said and grandpa took the napkin where she had been writing them down for him and held it to his ear. After a few seconds he shook his head and handed it back to her. I guess he couldn’t hear the sounds coming from the letters that Hannah claimed they made. Breakfast was good and everyone was full, but it was tradition to go to the donut shop by grandma’s work to get donuts every morning when the grandkids visit and grandma had given Caleb a few dollars to buy everyone donuts. The kids each picked out one to go exclaiming that they were full and would like to save it for lunch. Back at the house I inspected the rooms to make sure we hadn’t left anything, all was in order. We gave grandpa our California address and turned the car towards Victorville.


Two hours later we pulled into Victorville. The office at our apartment complex was locked with an open sign in the window. Slightly perplexed we decided to find our apartment and check it out from the outside while we waited. When we returned the door was unlocked. We checked out the unit before signing the lease papers…it may have taken longer than signing all the papers for buying a house and nearly as many initials and signatures. There was a few hiccups like there was no refrigerator…it doesn’t come standard in the apartments. Thank goodness there was one we could rent for $25. For only three months it’s worth that cost. The other is that our lease is for three months and since we were moving in on the second it read three months and 30 days with an ending date of 3/31. That is a big problem since my contract ends 2/28. With a text message to the office manager we got it all squared away. For the three months to have a start date of 12/1 instead of 12/2 so we could have an ending date of 2/28. What a difference a day makes. We had to run to the bank to get a cashiers check for the deposits and first months rent and noticed the bank was quite close to the hospital, so we took the opportunity to drive by the hospital and find where I will need to go when I check in tomorrow.

We parked as close as we could get (which is not close) got the keys from the office and started unloading. It was raining pretty good and our four tubs are heavy. The vacuum bags are heavy too. I could complain about the weight but four trips or so to the car and we were done, and because everything was vacuum sealed or in a rubber maid tub the only thing that needed to be dried was the tubs and nothing was wet or damaged.
Chad was tired so we played a little game of Simon Says with the kids. Simon Says touch your nose, Simon Says put your pillow in your room. We found out two things. One, Hannah is pretty terrible at Simon Says. Two, this was a pretty effective way to get things quickly cleaned up and put away. There was a third thing we learned incase you all try this approach someday. Even if you don’t say “Simon Says” when you say tickle dad’s feet the kids will risk loosing the game to still tickle dad’s feet.
Now everything is put away, we didn’t make it to the store yet, but we can save that for tomorrow. The kids are all asleep and I should be too. Good night and send prayers this way as you think of us tomorrow. There are always a few first day jitters.

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Southwest Gas is on my naughty list

How many hours do you think one should have to spend on the phone to get utilities set up? I guess it was a good thing that I didn’t have much better to do for hours in the car this morning.
We started out in Redding this morning, Liz came home earlier than expected which was an awesome surprise. We straitened up the rooms, blankets, and pillows we had used, packed our backpacks and lined them up by the front door. Liz had made a milk cake for us that we broke into for breakfast. After feeding Toby Liz read some French Garfield comic books to the kids before switching to Dr. Seuss.

IMG_2953.JPG It was hard to say goodbye but a few hours of visiting was better than none and we were glad to have had the chance. Liz needed some sleep and we needed to get on the road. We were looking at 12 hours of driving to get to my grandparents house and we didn’t want to inconvenience them by getting in late. It took me all of 10 minutes I get electric set up at our apartment and confirm our move in date and time with the apartment complex, with those things done I turned my attention to the gas thinking it would be just as easy. 16 phone calls and three hours later, it had to be set up in my name and one stop at a rest stop to contact Northwest Natural Gas to fax a statement saying that we pay our gas bill on time so that we don’t have to pay the $280 deposit that is refunded after paying on time for a whole year…..(not planning on staying around an extra 9 months to get it back). Northwest Natural Gas has way better costumer service and said they would fax it over right away. Southwest Gas would have refunded the money most likely when we moved out, but fronting another deposit on top of the housing specific ones was an unwelcome surprise. The other exciting outcome of all this effort to get gas turned on is that they have to come out and turn it on even though it is in a bigger complex and they won’t do that until 12/4 so we could have some cold showers and microwave meals for a couple of days.
After all that we returned a FaceTime call to my favorite mother-in-law. She hadn’t gotten a chance to say goodbye. She has a way of getting me out of a bad mood and it totally worked today… Good thing because Chad, I’m sure, gets tired of my short fuse. Definitely something I need to work on.

There was a lot of beautiful scenery passing us today. It was hard to drive through Sacramento with out stopping we could see Old Sac. From the freeway and I felt how close we were to William and Gerrit (1st cousins) and their families. As infrequently as we get to see them it hurt to drive past without seeing their faces. I can’t wait to get my schedule so I will know when we can go back and spend some time.
As we are now counting down the miles to Great Grandma and Grandpa Lawhead’s. house. I can’t help but smile in anticipation. A lot needs to fall into place in the next few days am I really ready to dive back into the first weeks craziness? I feel more calm and confident going into this assignment than the last and way more than the first. Not obnoxious confident, just the calm, one day at a time, determination kind of confident.

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