Monthly Archives: April 2016

You Know God Is In All The Details!

I was hesitant about how work was going to go with my back that was finally feeling normal again.  Driving the stick shift pickup with old shocks and a bench seat (That thankfully Chad was able to move up so I could reach everything easier).  I grabbed my ice pack and tucked it behind me to ice while I drove.  Having the seat made a big difference and I was able to lift my right leg into the car (quite a ways of the ground) with only the smallest twinge of pain.  My post partum assignment was good to me giving me time to ice my back periodically while charting.  I did have one triage patient that requested me so I got to do that as well making the work load a little more even as the triage nurse was much busier than I was.  There was time to visit with the volunteer who was wise, joyful and interesting to talk to.  It was one of those days that we are all so thankful to have every once in a while meaning my back didn’t even notice that I was off work.  I am on the mend, but being on the cautious side.  Grandpa hasn’t been letting me lift or help move anything I’m sure that is helping too.  Gotta feel the love for sure. 

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On Call/Errand Day

By contract we generally can’t be put on call for a regularly scheduled shift.  It just so happened that I was scheduled with another traveler, in an effort to not have both RN’s on the floor be travelers the hospital called and asked if I would be willing to be on call.  Really? No way! I have not been asked this assignment so far and would never have asked for or expected the call.  Now I do know that it means a drop in pay for this week, but my back needed a longer rest.  It would allow me to have going away breakfast with Chad and the Kids who were heading north from the restaurant back to Oregon where they will prepare for the next assignment as I finish this one.  We were joined by Suzanne, Jeremy, Hadassah, and Elijah who would head to the airport to fly home, Uncle Richard, and Grandpa.  The alarm went off at five. We dashed around getting kids up and in the car, folding blankets, stuffing sleeping bags, unloading the freezer, deflating the air mattress, emptying a last drawer, putting grandpa’s bed in storage in the garage, checking the back yard for toys, taking the garbage to the curb and locking up the house for the last time.  We were a little late to our breakfast date pulling in at 0611.  No one was focused on their food we were all kind of dumb founded that this moment was appon us so soon. We visited and the kids colored, still waking up. 

Didn’t we have another month?  

As warm and cozy as the house still feels it won’t ever have the same feel again…. Hugs all around as we parted our ways. After breakfast Grandpa and I caravaned to Uncle Richards house to unload my clothes and backpack.  I made a call to the hospital to check up on the OB unit.  They promised to give me a warning call when things started to get busy assuring me to stay where I was at and not to worry about hanging out close by unless I have heard from them.  I had some errands to run and so did Grandpa so we decided to do them together.  We went to the lab for a second urine drug screen in 24 hours.  This one was for the position in Alaska (I have never been so drug screened in my life, but hey bring it on).  After that we picked up Grandpa’s dry cleaning.  As we were visiting with the associate a lady next to us said something to the effect of hey you’re the guy who is renting your house to us.  We turned to see the cheerful face of Grandpa’s new tenant.  She followed us to the house to make a final pre cleaning lady inspection.  It was weird to walk through the house that was filled with family only hours before now with someone who’s wheels were visibly turning about how many things she planned to do and change just as soon as she had a chance.  I would be just like her eager to make my new home uniquely mine, but this time it was just a blunt reminder that our job/time here was done…ready or not.  Grandpa gave her a key and we headed back out to pick up his dress shoes from the repair shop, and change his address at the post office, then we visited over a cup of coffee at Starbucks.  Grandpa flirted with the barista he is so funny.  I loved to hear the stories that kept coming to him.  A little pause in between and then another jewel of a memory.  He had a free lunch at the Garden Center so we ate there for lunch getting maybe a little too full on fish tacos.  The next stop was the bank, Kohl’s so I could get some jeans as both of my pairs had holes in them and then the gas station, and last of all the pharmacy.  We made eggs and sweet potatoe fries for dinner.  I had continued to ice my back in the morning and several more times in the evening.  Instead of being able to lift my leg only 1/2 inch of the ground I could now lift it 5-6 inches and at times even more than that.  The pain was much less and I was feeling like my back was 95% better.  Thank you God you knew exactly what I needed…a second day to rest my back, a chance to spend that much more time with Suzanne and her family, say goodbye to my husband and kids in person, and get so much accomplished that needed to get done.  Chad and the kids made good time to Redding.  I was jelous of the time they were able to spend with Al, Liz, and Tobias but I know I was where I needed to be doing what I needed to be doing.  I’m so thankful for that!!

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๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ž๐Ÿ˜Ÿ๐Ÿ˜ฉ๐Ÿ˜ซ๐Ÿ˜ญ Not Sure What to Title This Emojis Will Have to Do

I haven’t worked a long run of shifts this assignment until now. 6 shifts in seven days should not be too bad.  I don’t mind work at all, but I would be working all but one day that my sister would be visiting with her family.  It would be ok I told myself…we will make the most of our one day together.  It sounded good in theory.  Some how it hasn’t worked that way.  I managed to pinch my sciatic nerve making lifting my right leg more than a half inch off of the ground nearly impossible without extreme pain.  I knew that I would have to work the next day so even though I had never been to a chiropractor before it was my best chance at relief now.  We ended up spending most of the morning there.  A friend and I had to work on details of our hike today was the only day we both have off between now and when we leave.  She was willing to come to the house so that we didn’t have to go all the way to San Diego to lay out our hiking stuff and make sure we have everything we need. The kids were energetic so when we were almost done with examining our equipment the crew left to have lunch at In-N-Out.  They got home, Suzanne put the kids down for a nap and I iced my back.  I emptied out the kid’s room and just then FedX brought my urine drug screen for my new perdiem job.  You have to take the test within 24 hours of receiving it. Since I work tomorrow it had to be done today before the lab closed.  It was 3pm already so I asked if Suzanne would come with me but she could not so I drove myself to the lab where I sat in the waiting room for well over an hour missing what time we had left.  I got home after 6:00pm.  We worked a little more on detail things, sweeping and packing.  Around 7:00pm dinner supplies were gathered to go to Uncle Richard’s house for dinner.  The heavy traffic, the meal preparation time and time spent visiting (much need as Suzanne and Jeremy don’t get to visit Southern California very often) I couldn’t afford to get to bed late, not with an 0400 wake up call for work having not caught up from the last four early mornings.  I stayed home ate some icecream and iced my back, took a hot shower, then went to bed.  The crew came home between 10-11pm.  Still working on some things…so much to do and we had to be out of the house by 0600 the next morning. 

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Shocks, Struts..Timing Belt and More

In the last two days we have recieved some exciting news.  I was offered a per diem position that I accepted so we are feeling a little more ready for our return to “normal” life.  My dream job at this time would be per diem at both of my favorite hospitals.  With one I can hold out and wait for the other.  I love my coworkers, and Labor & Delivery and want to be a pinch hitter for the busy days while taking a brake from the crazy schedule we have been keeping for the last two years.  Chad, Grandpa and Uncle Richard have been preparing our retiring age car for the long haul up to Kodiak.  We have been good about regular maintenance, but at 275,000 miles a thorough check up was needed and a whole list of things replaced.  And last but not least.  It is late but knowing my little sister is in the area headed this way is going to make it hard to sleep.  We are so excited to enjoy the company of Suzanne, Jeremy, Hadassah, and Elijah this week.  I have to work every day except one that they are here making me a little bummed.  The kids are anxious for them to come and I am hoping they are anxious to get here and hang with us and Grandpa too.  

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Time to Tackle the Garage

We are down to the wire on getting Grandpa’s house ready for renters.  And today we got the guest bathroom cupboards and drawers cleaned out, most of the furniture in Grandpa’s room moved out, the electronics and big entertainment/dresser moved out.  The food cupboards are empty, and Grandpa’s spices and medications have all been packed up.  We almost have all the dishes packed.  The magnets and photos are off of the fridge, besides the kid’s paper mess the house is looking pretty bare.  Grandpa visited us also and stayed for about four hours helping in the garage, this was a first as this transition is happening so fast and it has been hard on him.  He keeps telling us that he wants it done, he is so thankful we are doing it but he can’t watch or be here.  He seemed to do well today though and we surely did enjoy working along beside him.   



  At the end of the day we gathered in front of the house for a two year travel anniversary photo.  Two years ago today we took a huge leap of faith.  Practicing leaning on God daily he has carried us at times.  We are so thankful we were lead out of our comfort zones it has been so worth it.  


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STABLE โ˜‘๏ธ

Costa Mesa was farther away but ran right by the Starbucks in Fallbrook which makes everything better.  I left the alarm set at 0415 but took my time getting ready  not getting out of the house until nearly 0500.  Yes I was still really early.  It gave me time to work on our blog posts and talk to my mom on the phone as she went to work, it was a good conversation too.  Our days here are numbered.  Chad and the kids leave in one week.  A lot needs to get done and coordinated between now and then and I only have two days off. Tomorrow and next Monday or Tuesday.  Then It will just be me here for my last two weeks.  I will get to bunk with Uncle Richard, Grandpa Lawhead, and Marisa as the Fallbrook house will have new tenants moving in on the 1st.  It is going to go by fast.  I look at the plan and it makes me a little dizzy. We will be in Salem all of a day and a half before leaving for Alaska all of our things will need to be unpacked and repacked as we will need different things thank goodness Chad and the kids will have an extra week to help with the pod, a chance for pre-packing, and it will give the kids more play time with Cyrus, Aunt Stephanie, and Uncle Jayson a few of their favorite people on the planet.  As my mom and I talked plan I feel at peace that it will all get done.  That doesn’t make it easier to get it all done, but it really has gone well for the nature of this kind of family experience.  Who ever looks forward to sorting, dividing, organizing and clearing out their grandparents home meanwhile considering everyone’s feelings, desires, and doing whatever possible to respect and make it easier on your loved ones? Continued prayer will be needed in this area but God has been gracious.  We are all still friends as well as relatives.  

Class was ok, disappointing compared to my two previous STABLE classes.  The panda transport team from OHSU teaches an awesome STABLE class.  You have to have years of critical care NICU to have the experiences and stories as well as the confidence to teach this class well.  Instead of leaving confident in my refreshed skills ready to conquer the world.  I can barely remember what stable stands for because we didn’t even really talk about that.  Each test answer was given before we had a chance to read it for ourselves.  I’m not sure what the point of having certificates and extra credentials if having them is not proof of you knowing he information or being trained to do well what it says that you can do on the paper.  Now sick babies don’t terrify me, but I definitely have a healthy fear as it can be scary. But I feel like I need to take the class over again tomorrow from a better teacher.  It will have to wait until next year though.  I got home shortly after 1pm (that is after the 70 mile drive…it was the shortest 8hr class ever ๐Ÿ˜• maybe because it was less than 4 hours).  We visited Grandpa and talked about what this next weeks plans are and pod times and specifics of schedule.  Then we came home to let in the chimney sweep.  Grandpa met us at the house and we all went out for dinner. We have to make tomorrow count so I had better get some rest, goodnight. 

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Heart Monitoring โ˜‘๏ธ

It was overkill, but my alarm was already set for 0415 AM.  The 0800 class that was only 31 miles away took me approximately 31 minutes to get there which meant that I was there only three hours early… You just never know.  It had a San Diego address and I didn’t want to have to deal with terrible traffic that happens between 0600 and 0800, but fighting a cold I probably should have tried to get maybe another hour of sleep.  The class was uneventful and now that it is over I can return to work… Yay! I was home early and thought maybe a nap might be in order (still trying to keep this cold in hand and keep it from kicking my backside) I slept for two hours it was fabulous.  We had dinner and I hung with the kids a bit attempting to FaceTime Steph to return her call that I recieved in class in the morning.  I got everything layed out for STABLE in the morning that would be quite a bit farther away in Costa Mesa.  The kids got all tucked into bed and together we thanked God for family time, Balboa park, Grandma and Grandpa, and for getting to travel as a family to see the United States.  I shot my friend a text just to check in. We talked a little back and forth.  It has been on my mind all week, but I have been so amazed at God’s hand in all the details of life the last few weeks. 

I needed to get these classes done, I didn’t really appreciate having to miss a day of work to take fetal monitoring, but God knew I needed that break to get every thing that needed to get done with the house done.  The classes I needed to have just happened to be available on my scheduled days off and in my area.  I was able to get registered for all three of them.  Then discovered that the information on my first class was wrong and I would not be able to take it…it wasn’t my error so I would be completely refunded the money for it. That was the only two day class, the most expensive class, the one scheduled while my beloved in-laws would be here, and the only one I did not have to have as I was told the Advanced class (only one day and about half the cost) would fill the requirement.  This allowed me to spend the entire in-law visit with my family feeling much more refreshed to go back to work. I got to the Advanced class to find out that it was rescheduled for that day from the previous week for what reason I don’t know but imagine how far out of luck I would have been if they had not rescheduled it!  You and I know it wasn’t really luck.  The list goes on and on.  Thank you God for telling me in so many ways this week that you are with me and you love me.  I would never be able to be good enough to deserve a relationship with you, that doesn’t seem to matter to you.  You call me your inheritance and say that you are mine. 

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Air, Space, Automotive, and Fleet Center Museums and a Suprise Gift of an IMAX Show

Was it only me starting the morning slower than usual?  I didn’t want to rush anything.  Checking out of the hotel, driving to the park, seeing the museums…each moment/activity is one moment closer to saying goodbye to Grandma and Grandpa and diving back into the thick water at work and in Fallbrook.  This hasn’t been an easy assignment. Maybe that is why I treasure these opportunities to break away so much.  Maybe it is because we realize what a gift we have been given to make memories together.  We dawdled a bit and still made it to the Air and Space museum 20 minutes before it opened. No worries, we found a shady spot as the sun was already warm overhead and checked out the old car displayed outside of the neighboring automotive museum.  10:00am rolled around and we headed into the Air and Space museum.  Right away we started down the flight hall of fame with so much to read, see, and learn.  There wasn’t enough time in the day to read every plaque.  So fascinating.  


   A gentleman viewing the museum at the same time as us talked about seeing this next pilot fly when he was a child.  He said he could pour tea while doing loops in his plane and his hat never came off.  I had never heard of him.  
    Could you imagine being the one to ride in the retractable ball turret?!?








 We had a late lunch and decided to see the Automotive museum but that grandma and grandpa would have to leave in half an hour so they may not get to see the whole thing with us.  The Automotive museum ended up being quite a bit smaller than the air and space one so we were able to see the whole thing in just over half an hour. 

 Donna and I joked that this was the first class B motorhome.  So cool you could hanged the tire while still drive no doen the road.  It had everything including the kitchen sink.  

    One of the firsts roads in the US was made of wooden planks. I didn’t get a chance to read the whole display, but I can’t imagine it weathered or withstood the wear well.  
 I could always say the time passed too quickly, but I can also say we took advantage of every moment. Saying goodbye, again…you would think it would get easier. Somehow knowing we will see them again soon only helps a little.  Hugs all around and I love you waves to send Grandma and Grandpa Owens off back to Oregon with our love and prayers for safe travel came next.  The kids were brave and picked thier chins up calculating that it would only be a few days and Aunt Suzanne  would come and then just a little more than a week they would be headed back to Oregon.  

We didn’t have nearly as long to travel so we decided to hit up one more museum before heading back to Fallbrook.  







 We were all five building towers   

 A husband and wife ventured through the exhibit where we were building and checked out all of our structures asking the kids about theirs especially Eve who had detailed answers as to why she had designed hers the way she had.  They went on and we went on building minutes later the lady reappeared and asked if we would be offended if she bought us tickets to see the National Parks IMAX show.  We said, “no” she disappeared and came back with tickets. She introduced herself and her husbanand explained that she had asked her husband to bring her to the IMAX show for her birthday and getting to take us to the show was her birthday gift to herself.  What a fun an unexpected gift.  The kids had never been to an IMAX show and they loved it.  I just kept praying that somehow we would bless this couple as much as they had blessed us.  Happy Birthday Linda,  and thank you Jim and Linda for the IMAX tickets may you be blessed for your giving hearts.


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Earth Day 2016

We just happened to be at the right place at the right time to enjoy this celebration.  It was like a street fare/ recycling/ conservation of our planet affair.   We walked from our hotel not wanting to risk giving up our parking spots that were hard to come by in downtown San Diego.  The traffic and people became thicker as we got closer to the park.  There were a few posted signs and it didn’t take too long to put two and two together.  Some of the smaller museums were closed but we didn’t even notice, this wasn’t an inconvenience but an opportunity.  The kids enjoyed looking at the tiny houses and electric cars, making bags out of old t-shirts and seed balls for planting in a flower garden.  The girls liked the hula dancing and jazz.  

 Caleb thinks he found his first car.  With a max speed of 55mph I told him it would be too slow to drive on the freeway. 

  I was a little surprised by the eastern religion portion of the fair.  I guess I shouldn’t have been.  

It was a hot day and so after lunch we ducked into the San Diego History Museum (really a museum of the San Diego Zoo history) it didn’t seem like much to my adult eyes but I am pretty sure it was the kids’ favorite.  And through thier eyes I could see its value.  There was a lot of hands on activities coloring, making hats, preparing food for the different animals based on their diets (omnivore, carnivore, herbivore) with shelves of pretend food. Matching plants with their smells, and animals with their sounds, dress up, zoo veterinarian exam room complete with X-rays and incubators, and the volunteer quizzed the kids on decade specific zoo history with a fabulous time machine formerly used for school assemblies and educational programs.   
    Bottle nipples for all the different kinds of animals.  I recognize the cow and sheep/goat ones from my childhood.  There are few in the front that look like ones used for human babies. In the back are surrogate marsupial pouches. 
 The kids got 100% on their zoo quiz, some of that was just lucky guessing.  

Hannah had been fighting a cold with an elevated temperature the day before at the zoo and it came back full force after we finished the museum.  We checked out a few of the tents and watched a manic show on our way back across the park, but she started melting quickly so even though we had a little time before the end of the day we didn’t try to hit up any additional museums.  We bee lined for our hotel a different route than we had been walking and it seemed to pay off.  Some crackers and an ibuprofen later and she was nearly back to her smiley self in time to enjoy some pizza dinner and a game of exploding kittens.  Chuck and Donna reserved adjoining rooms for us which we are always so thankful for.  We enjoy being altogether although it is occasionally too much invasion of personal space with the kids continuously clamoring to be the closest one to grandma and grandpa.  We haven’t figured out a good system for turn taking with hand holding, sitting by at meals, riding with, sleeping in the room with grandma and grandpa.  I guess they are making up for lost time, I just hope we don’t scare them off ๐Ÿ˜‰.  

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The World Famous San Diego Zoo

The zoo doesn’t open until 9:00 am.  Hannah was up coughing early around 0615.  It was a croupy cough so I had her get a glass of water and we sat out on the balcony of our hotel while she drank it.  Her cough went away but she was still sounding s bit raspy.  She jumped in the shower and it seemed to clear the rest of her morning cold away.  We all took our turns showering and getting dressed.  Then headed to the continental breakfast.  My phone rang and the women calling me inquired as to why I was not at my fetal monitoring class this morning.  Chad ran up to our room and retrieved my papers that clearly stated my class was Sunday and Monday and today was Saturday.  They weren’t sure what the problem was with the sign up but class had already started and they were calling because I did not show.  They  apologized about the mix up and since I only have to have a fetal monitoring course it doesn’t have to be intermediate the Advanced course I have scheduled for Tuesday (I double checked the date and time with the lady on the phone) will still work for my job requirement and because it was their mistake as the paper and event calendar clearly stated that it was a Sunday Monday class they will refund the amount of the class to me.  The bonus is that for awhile this morning I thought “Oh no, not only am I going to miss hanging out with my in-laws on Sunday now I will miss our big event day Saturday at the zoo with them as well๐Ÿ˜ช.  Also because they are going to refund the money we are out for the class and any fetal monitoring class will fulfill the requirement I now get to spend Saturday, Sunday, and part of Monday with my family. ๐Ÿ˜Š Although I really wanted the class/ it is the best of all the fetal monitoring classes doing only the advanced will work and God knows I needed this time away with Chad, the kids, and my mom and dad-in-law.  I’m not complaining but there have been many things that have made this a hard assignment for me.  

Parking is free at the zoo so after breakfast even though it was only a two mile walk we decided to drive to the zoo and save our steps for covering the zoo’s 100 achers of amazing animals.  


   We started off with the bus tour…I remember a lot more open space things have changed a lot in the last twenty years.  So many cool animals to see.  
    The polar bear put on quite a show for us. 


 In this pen was a dog and cheeta supposedly they buddy up really well, playing together and bonding.  The cheeta supposedly experiences less stranger/human stress because it doesn’t stress the dog out to be around humans and since it doesn’t stress the dog out the cheeta trusts the dog and follows its lead.     
  There was a tiny baby giraffe born in December who is now just 7 feet tall.  I guess giraffe babies are around 6 feet tall when they are born.  He looks so little when standing next to the rest of them.

   It is hard to read the sign since I cut half of it off but this little Joey koala was found on the ground see how tiny she was.  The put her back in her momma’s pouch and stitched the pouch shut for a few days hoping for the best and now she is a healthy thriving adult.  All the koala’s were sleeping and the zoo worker in that area said that koala’s sleep for 20 hours a day.  
   These are leg less lizards. They are very bizarre looking, but fun to watch.                              Baby ducklings that didn’t look to be much older than a few days.     The hippo mom and baby were so affectionate toward eachother that was fun to watch.                                   Incase you are worried the kids know better than to pet real rattle snakes.         

 We were at the zoo from open to closing and I’m afraid besides the bus tour we saw maybe 1/3 of the zoo.  Maybe 1/4.  Oh well it was very fun and we all learned new things.  For dinner we found a nice Vietnamese resaurant and had pho for dinner as well as Vietnamese espresso for dessert.  I don’t know if I can blame dessert on me being wide awake at 0400 this morning or not ๐Ÿ˜ฌ in sure it would still be worth it if it was to blame. 



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