wisconsin

Monday Monday

I tossed and turned all night and was still super tired when the alarm went off. It is amazing what a hot shower and bowl of oatmeal can do to make a person feel ready for the day. I had an induction and no other patients, it was going to be a good day! I seconded a delivery, and got walked through the paperwork with that (until this point I had only been the primary nurse at deliveries) in the time before my pt arrived.
My patient was awesome, a cup-half-full kind of girl who walked more laps than most patients I have ever seen. This unit has about 40 rooms and is a big circle she was making it around in 1 1/2 min. So it was easy to measure the progression of labor as the laps slowed to 4 min. and 6 min. But contractions or not she was always smiling and game to try any position. After the Jacuzzi she was ready for the epidural and as we set up I got a call from the lead (charge nurse) asking me if I would be willing to stay over four extra hours. With this patient who wouldn’t. Seriously she would work so hard through a contraction, face makeup completely smeared and then turn to me and smile as she embraced her labor as the welcome sensation that would bring her much anticipated child into her arms. I said sure. We got the epidural in, the patient situated, and the room straitened up. Another phone call came with the message that enough patients have delivered that we won’t need you to stay over. Glad because that meant I would get to go home soon, but it also meant that I would need to rush to get all my charting done on time. The night shift nurse that was taking over for me was also a traveler, working on her BSN so she could go back to school for midwifery. She had traveled all around as her kids were growing up and her husband did the homeschooling. Now with the youngest one in highschool and a little foster boy they were staying in Wisconsin for a while. She was very fun to talk to and was telling me about some of the homeschool groups in the area and that they don’t mind if you join for only a couple of months. And even a couple of activities we could do together. I might take her up on that. It was fun to talk to someone who knew exactly where I am at- Homeschool, L&D travel nursing, midwifery interest, and husbands who are/have been the stay at home homeschool dad.
We had yummy tacos for dinner. Chad was ready for a kid break so he headed out to walk around fiesta foods as the kids got ready and crawled in bed. He wasn’t gone too long. Long enough to know the kids would be in bed when he got back. Myra and I went on a short walk. Then Chad watched a few movies on his laptop with earbuds in (just for me) and I sat next to him digging a little deeper into my new book. I made it a whole two short chapters before I couldn’t keep my eyes open.

Categories: Fulltime, Travel Nursing, Uncategorized, wisconsin, working | Leave a comment

A Sunday Drive to the Beautiful State of Michigan

Church was good. The president of a local Christian college spoke. After church the kids returned their church library books and checked out new ones and then we piled in the car. The plan was to go home where it was my turn to make sandwiches for lunch. Chad surprised me by turning to me and asking if I would like to go home and make lunch or grab something quickly on the way up north, taking a Sunday afternoon drive to the Michigan Upper Peninsula. Why sure, I love Sunday afternoon drives. And the hour and a half it would take to get to the border was nothing our road calloused behinds wouldn’t enjoy. We found a Culver’s, which is similar to Dairy Queen but specific to the area for lunch.

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We think this Bus that was parked at Culver’s would make a great vehicle for our crew.

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The girls quickly fell asleep after lunch, and Caleb and I focused on our books. Pretty soon Chad was announcing the cross over into the state of Michigan.

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The view between houses of Lake Michigan was beautiful, and then we found a cute little beach where we could pull over, get out, and enjoy the view/warm sun/hot sand/cool breeze. The kids waded in the water and chased around the little frogs that scattered in every direction, but never could be caught.

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The kids dug around in the sand for a while before we climbed back in the car.

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We got home in time for dinner, and to all our surprise Superman joined us for the leftovers feast.

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Then Myra and went out for our first attempt at a run. I was wishing for a bag to wear over my head. But it really did go better than I thought it would. Now time for bed. Work will come all too early in the morning.

Categories: Family Time, Fun, kids, Road Trip, Travel, wisconsin | Leave a comment

Saturday as it should be

A slower morning than yesterday set the tone for a restful Saturday. Caleb and I checked the mail when we walked Myra. The kids are starting to get postcards from homeschool families in each of the states as part of our CC homeschool group. In July we mailed ours out. 53 in all, as there were multiples to some of the bigger states. It could be due to all of ours having to be forwarded, but our first three came today.

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Also a book came in the mail from a friend that I am super eager to read.

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I grabbed it, as well as a notebook and pen when we headed out to run some down day errands. The first stop was the library. I couldn’t help but take a picture of my current hospital from across the waterway.

IMG_0427.JPG After the kids had all refilled their book bags we headed to the Saturday market in the park next door. We enjoyed the kids singing and jumping in a bouncy house while trying out a GF zucchini loaf we had purchased from one of the stands. It started to sprinkle and the kids had been jumping for a while so we decided it was time to head to the store for some grocery shopping. Every year my food-preparation talented husband makes a birthday dinner for me. Yes you are right my birthday was almost a month ago now, but we were in transit with no available kitchen so today was the day chosen for that yummy tradition. I had requested “fun” grilled cheese and tomato soup and key lime pie. We needed some basics at the house but this grocery trip was mostly for dinner tonight. Yay! After shopping we had a quick pb&j for lunch and the kids headed out to the back yard to play with their friends. I sat with my new book at the kitchen table as Chad tinkered around the kitchen. That is how we spent the whole afternoon. Chad snuck in a 30 min. nap and the shouts and laughter from through the screen door and open windows kept us tuned into what the kids were doing. What a nice relaxing day. Caleb has already read two of his thick library books. It is pretty much impossible to keep that kid in books.
Dinner was delicious with all of Chad’s hard work paying off.
Mmmmmmmmmmm….
Mac &Cheese grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup.

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Key Lime Pie for dessert

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Categories: Family Time, kids, Uncategorized, wisconsin | Leave a comment

John Hancock Observatory or not…

Chicago has been on our radar for a while, with the weather here about to change we needed to balance. It was too rainy and overcast with predicted thunderstorms to do Noah’s ark and we weren’t ready for a longer trip yet like driving up the UP (upper peninsula) see Lake Superior then drive down to Lansing and then continue around Lake Michigan to make a big circle. We had not researched much in the way of Chicago must do’s but had heard that the John Hancock Observatory was fun. Due to traffic we got into Chicago about noon. We drove around the down town area looking for public parking having very little success. We found one place and just as we were getting ready to leave they said, “there’s a dog in your car! You can’t leave a dog in your car here it’s illegal.” Frustrated we got back in our car and drove around some more wondering what we could do in Chicago with a dog. If it is anything like Wisconsin no animals are allowed in public parks. As we drove I looked up the Illinois law which stated that it was illegal to “Confine any animal in a motor vehicle in such a manner that places it in a life or health threatening situation by exposure to a prolonged period of extreme heat or cold, without proper ventilation or other protection from such heat or cold.” With it being an overcast day, with the windows down and a bowl if cool water we feel like it is way more humane to have Myra with us than shut up in the house at home every time we go out. We found a public parking structure near down town and backed into our parking space. Knowing that we were not violating any laws because there was ventilation, fresh water, and no sun light intensifying the heat in the car, (I know some of my friends may get mad at me for this) we walked to the Observatory, now called Chicago 360. The cost would be 12 per child 18 per adult 26 for parking totally $98 to see Chicago from the observatory. I’m sure it is worth it but it was quite a line, and the kids weren’t that excited about going up either, so we bagged it for today and will hopefully get to do it when they are a little older. We drove by the Navy Pier several times and that looked fun. We had no plan but we were formulating a plan for next time. We decided on an early dinner of Chicago deep dish pizza at Lou Malnati’s Pizzaria. To our surprise they had GF pizza as well, which we weren’t counting on. Noticing we were only 15 miles from Indiana and 34 miles from Gary Indiana we decided to go there, in honor of the music man and adding another state to our list. The drive around that part of Lake Michigan was very pretty. Being in Indiana made me think of Michael Sherman. We were only three-ish hours from you. It would be fun to meet your family while we are in this part of the world.

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Gary Indiana

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Back through Chicago just before sunset.

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I know you are all sad about there being no Chicago Owens family selfie…maybe next time.

Categories: Family Time, food, Fun, Road Trip, Travel, wisconsin | Leave a comment

St. Paul Minnesota

Capitol under construction.
The Capitol building in St. Paul was very under construction. We went halfway around the building before we finally saw where you could go in.

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IMG_0297.JPG In the front you had a great view of the Cathedral on the hill opposite the Capitol.

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IMG_0293.JPG There was pretty awesome views of the city as well.

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IMG_0303.JPG Inside two wings as well as the dome/rotunda area were closed do to construction. Windows were boarded up furniture and clutter lined the walls and the once beautiful stenciling was faded, lacked luster and the building as a whole was dark. At 109 years of age the building was in much need of the newly commenced facelift. We still enjoyed the tour but decided it would be good to go back in 2018 when the renovations are complete.

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IMG_0321.JPG Spanish ceiling tiles on the ceilings of the ground floor.

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IMG_0324.JPG German themed cafeteria in the lower level, open when the House and Senate are in session.

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IMG_0325.JPG the carriage entrance to keep out of the rain and snow.

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We found a really cute little town to have lunch in. The food was soooooo good.

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IMG_0339.JPG the scenery around here is awesome!

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IMG_0353.JPG we are home not too late to get a quick load of laundry done that will include uniforms for work and try to catch some zzzzzs. After these next two days we will be three weeks into this contract (one shift shy of 1/4 of the way through it).

Categories: Fun, history, kids, Road Trip, Travel, wisconsin | Leave a comment

Minnesota…Mall of America

We had made plans to go to Bay Beach today, so we all piled into the car and started up towards Green Bay. The weather report had said there was a 50% chance of rain. We only made it about five miles before it started to down pour. Not the kind of weather you want to spend all day walking around in. So, on a whim, we did a U-turn and headed towards Minnesota and the Mall of America. We were saving that trip for a rainy day and it just so happened to be a rainy day. We had all grabbed an extra set of clothes in case it rained on us while we were at Bay Beach, so if we needed to stay the night somewhere we would be set. We enjoyed the scenery and the rain after we had made the decision to head west and knew we wouldn’t be out in it all day.

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Minnesota!!!
Our 13th state to hit on this trip.
California (we count that since we as a family jotted down there to get my CA nursing license), Washington (our goodbye family weekend at Great Wolf Lodge), Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, and now Minnesota. Minneapolis was not too far past the boarder and only a short distance from St. Paul.
Mall of America here we come!

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It was a fun day. Although we didn’t ride any of the rides or visit the aquarium under the mall, so it was kind of like visiting Disneyland and staying in the village looking in but never actually going in. The rides were about $10 per person, per ride, so it would cost our family $50 a ride. I’d rather save up and go to Disneyland.
Now for a restful night at our favorite pet friendly hotel chain so we can visit the Capitol building in the morning.

Categories: Family Time, food, Fun, kids, Road Trip, Travel, wisconsin | 1 Comment

1/3 done… With the weekend

I started with all post partums this morning so I was pleasantly surprised. Three, then another, two discharges then trade off for an admit induction.
Off only 40 min. late and no lunch (I don’t think anyone got a lunch today). I did some things a lot better and some thing’s I grimace to think how much better I could have done them, with a little less on my plate. This exercise in time management and the all out nonstop physical aspect of this job are a welcome challenge. I feel a lot less physically exhausted today my legs aren’t throbbing, they are getting accustomed to the pace. The pounding headache is most likely a lack of food issue the pizza we had for dinner should help that. The kids welcomed me home (up past their bed time to do so). I came in to find a birthday package on the table from my Mom-in-law which contained comfy clothes, sweatpants, two tank tops, and a sweatshirt. I quickly ran upstairs to change out of my uniform into my new comfy clothes. Chad headed out and picked up dinner, a celebratory GF pizza for payday.

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Thank you Chuck and Donna for the birthday gift and the kids love their little ” I love you” (as Hannah called it) gifts too!

Categories: Family Time, food, Fulltime, Fun, kids, wisconsin, working | Leave a comment

Wisconsin Capitol Building in Madison

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We quickly worked to get ready for the day and on our way to Madison.

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The directions from Neenah were nearly a strait line, and as you can see, even once in Madison there were no turns necessary. Only drive straight, straight to the Capitol.

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There were two other Oregonian cars in the visitor parking structure. We appreciated this guy’s plates.

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Our now-tradition of the Capitol building family selfie.

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The building was fabulously beautiful, and seemed short after the Illinois Capitol building. I liked its all granite exterior. The inside had marble from several different states and six countries. A lot of which have since been quarried to extinction making them completely priceless.

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The park or Capitol grounds were filled with people at lunch time eating their lunches in small groups and office people out on walks for exercise. It made the Capitol feel more accessible and an actual part of the daily lives of Wisconsin’s people.

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The Capitol is nearly surrounded by water as there are lakes on either side with a fairly skinny land bridge between on which the Capitol has been built.

20140813-212141-76901214.jpg The resources of Wisconsin painting from before it was the dairy state.

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Our guide.

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The Wisconsin Supreme Court will be in session while we are here and the public may attend the cases.

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We got to sit in the senator’s seats and Caleb, by chance, sat in the seat of the head senator (I forgot the actual title for this position).

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I love the skylights.

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The senator’s parlor.

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Down on the floor of the House of Representatives.

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I’m ready to vote.
Here is a picture of Old Abe a Wisconsin Civil War mascot

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It is actually a Jr. The original one burned in the Capitol fire in 1904. But this one has been sitting on this perch since abound 1908 and is an actual taxidermied bald eagle that a farmer found dead in a field and brought in to the Capitol as a reminder of the real hero of The Civil War.

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There were beautiful views of the city from the fourth floor observation deck.

20140813-214453-78293969.jpg Also another surprise was a hidden away museum up in the Capitol not too far below the dome.

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We found a park by which we could enjoy the water and let the kids get out some energy.

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This little guy kept walking circles around my bracelet over and over again.

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We sat under a chestnut tree which made us think about Aunt Vicki and Uncle John.

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Myra and I went for a walk after dinner. The scenery is so different here than in New Mexico both beautiful. I enjoyed Myra’s quiet companionship and the time by myself to process the day, life, goals, my Jesus and the big picture.

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Out of our reading from “Pilgrims Progress” today. I know this is true and may I take it to heart and remember it when I am making little decisions all day, big decisions, when I am going through hard places, and when I am tempted to take the easy way out.

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-Goodnight-

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Zoo, fun playground, and Lake Winnebago

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We got a tip about a free zoo in Oshkosh, so we checked it out today.

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Aren’t these guys so cute!

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The kids one by one seeing how far they can jump. Caleb…

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Hannah…

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Last and funniest Eve…

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This tree gives me flashbacks to my childhood, swinging on the branches of the big weeping willow tree in Jerry and Carol Jager’s yard.

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Reminiscent of the Gilbert House, was the playground adjacent to the zoo.

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Hannah is such a crack up, this picture was 100% her idea.

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The kids played while Chad and I sat at the shore of lake Winnebago and talked.

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It was beautiful and that lapping sound of the water is always so soothing. The surf however does not at all look appealing to swim or even wade in because it is pea soup green.

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There was a group of people at the park wearing green shirts that said Oregon. Chad started talking to them and discovered that they are from Salem and are here for a Pathfinder conference.

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What a nice relaxing (for the most part) day. We tried out a new Sandwich shop on the way home that had Udis hogie rolls for GF sandwiches. It was fabulous although within an hour I was having some major stomach symptoms so the jury is still out on whether those two things are at all related. Now, early as it is, we are all tucked into bed because work comes early in the morning. It will be the first day by myself and I will surely be repeating these words (or song as it may more likely be) all day, “Not by my might nor by my power but by the spirit of The Lord.”

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Friendship walk in Menasha

Just a few miles from our house is a cute little park with a greenbelt of sorts called the friendship walk. We had fun checking it out. I think we walked 5 miles round trip.

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That’s my guy with a pull-up in his back pocket. He is such a good daddy.

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There was some stagnant water that was quite gross looking and Eve insisted it was all bird poop because of the smell, but we did enjoy the wild life swimming around in it.

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20140810-201344-72824769.jpgthe houses in down town Menasha….someday I want a house like the one in the movie “Up.”

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Here is a little turtle that Hannah found on our walk back.

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Our first muskrat sighting. We also saw a duck family with a lot of little babies, a squirrel hiding something yummy in the gravel and lots of dragonflies. It was a fun afternoon.

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