I went through Craig’s phone…

Okay so if you clicked on this post and you thought it was going to be all like “OMG HE WAS TEXTING ANOTHER GIRL!” Sorry to disappoint – I thought it was a catchy title.

Anyway, I did go through Craig’s phone and I found a TON of pictures I had never seen before!

That’s a WAY throwback – my Dad was still with us when that was taken. Even then we had to have farm equipment at the table!

Here we were on my birthday planting my flowers that have *somehow* survived the whole summer!

Here we are all cuddled up on the couch – I was probably still on maternity leave with Gannon! I don’t think we would all fit on the couch like that nowadays!

There I am with a sleepy little Gannon!

Here I am in my jammies rocking that *just rolled out of bed* look playing peek a boo with Gannon during breakfast.

Going through all of these pictures gives me a new perspective on motherhood. The Instagram influencers with their perfectly clothed and made up kids, smiling the perfect smiles have been getting me down lately. Their motherhood doesn’t look like my motherhood. Mine looks more like this:

And this:

And I love it. When I look at these pictures I see myself through my boys’ eyes. I see a mom who is having fun and enjoying the company of her tiny humans. I see a mom who cares more about making memories than getting likes. I’m so dang proud of her. I can tell she loves her boys.

When people want to know what kind of mom I am, I would so much rather show off these pictures than ones like this:

So in conclusion, I guess through finding the pictures on Craig’s phone, the quote “Enjoy the little things, for one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things” rings a little more true.

And to Craig, thank you for taking these pictures. I cherish them more than you’ll ever know. Also, you need to explain this *other* picture I found on your phone:

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It’s homecoming week at school which has been so fun dressing Carver up! Thursday was Glitz and Glam vs. Grunge day and Carver opted for glitz and glam! He’s wearing a birthday ribbon because they didn’t have preschool on his birthday.

Back when I was in school, we would bring treats and usually my mom would make cinnamon rolls. Now, there are plenty of rules and regulations and kids are encouraged to bring a toy or a knick knack to share with the class. Carver opted to bring his classmates slinkies that we got at the dollar tree and he had so much fun handing them out to his classmates.

So while Carver was at school, mom and Gannon and I went north to go garage saleing. We didn’t have much luck but then we decided to stop at a bakery we haven’t tried yet – Dough and Joe’s (get it, dough and joe, doughnuts and coffee). I have had their doughnuts before when people have brought them to work and they are SO GOOD!

That powdered sugar one in the middles was all for me! The ladies who were working there were SO friendly and patient and made me the most delicious iced vanilla decaf latte! It was such a fun environment and I could tell they enjoyed their jobs.

Gannon did find this pink tractor at a garage sale and we couldn’t leave without it or go into any sale after that without it.

By the time we got home from garage saleing it was naptime for me and my Gan-man. I nap with him on the nights before I go to work and wake up in time to help Carver off of the bus.

Gannon is hitting his terrible twos a little ahead of schedule. This past week he has been moody and throwing a lot of tantrums and fits – making his desires known that’s for sure. That and ANOTHER ear infection was found at his well child check so he’s on his way to getting his second set of tubes.

That was our Thursday! I’m on a bit of a work stretch right now – the exact kind of work stretch that I’m looking forward to not having once I reduce my hours in December 🙂 In the meantime, making that money to keep paying on the bathroom remodel!

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Happy Birthday Carver John!

Four years ago was a big day for the Friedman Fam! Carver John made his way into this world around 1 am on September 16th, 2016.

I for sure did not enjoy my pregnancy with Carver. For starters, I was only 20 years old and I turned 21 when I was five months pregnant. While Carver’s existence was fully intentional, I was young and a little less wise than I am today and just wanted to be able to do normal 20 year old stuff that summer instead of waddling around feeling like a whale.

I was sick for about 14 weeks – really sick. It was so much worse when I was working overnights too. But after those 14 weeks I felt pretty good – just felt really FAT. You know those super adorable cute pregnant women? Yeah – that wasn’t me. I just blow up in all directions. Not to mention I had an awesome condition called symphysis pubis dysfunction which means my pubic bone was separating which made the pregnancy SUPER uncomfortable. It felt like I had a big huge kick in the crotch all day every day.

Around 37 weeks my blood pressure started spiking, I gained 8 lbs of fluid in just 2 days. They decided to induce me at 38 weeks to prevent complications from pre eclampsia. It was long and boring waiting and waiting for Carver to make his appearance.

My labor with Carver was pretty easy all things considered. I had about 45 minutes of UNBEARABLE back labor and back pain. It came on hard and fast like most inductions do once that pitocin kicks in. Then I got my epidural and went to sleep! Get this: my nurse woke me up to check how dilated I was. She told me I was 10 cm and ready to push! THAT’S how good my epidural was! I pushed for about 35 minutes and after a teeny bit of a shoulder dystocia, Carver came into this world at 8 lbs. 6 oz.

I had TERRIBLE pain in my tailbone after I had Carver which made sense with how much TERRIBLE back labor I had before my epidural. Carver wasn’t really good at breast feeding so I ended up just pumping and bottle feeding him for about 8 weeks.

Carver was a really great baby and slept through the night after about 5 weeks. He was a pretty sick kiddo that first year – he caught every kind of cold that winter – RSV, influenza, he was hospitalized with croup once or twice, he needed tubes in his ears before his 1st birthday! He’d end up with 3 more set of tubes and his adenoids taken out before he turned three.

Carver is full of sass and spunk. He is equal parts the most mature 4 year old I’ve ever met, and at times the most immature 4 year old I’ve ever met. His memory is unlike anything I’ve ever seen in a kid – he can remember events from when he was 2 years old! He’s always leaving us stumped trying to figure out how in the world he can remember things like that! I think one day he may have a photographic memory.

Carver is also very sweet. He loves cuddling, he loves hugs after he does a good job, he tells me all the time, “I love you ma ma!” He still calls his daddy “da da” and I hope he never stops. If I do something special for him or buy him something, I always hear without prompting, “You’re the best mom ever.” I asked him what he wanted for his birthday and this was his response:

I would like a John Deere tractor with 5 or 6 attachment heads and a wagon and a grapple hook and a green John Deere tractor for Gannon.

So guess what Carver is getting for his birthday. I thought it was so cute that his wishes included a present for Gannon. Tonight we will celebrate with cake and pizza and open presents at my mom’s house during a “big family night” when my brother Karl and sister Kelli come home.

Every year on the eve before Carver’s birthday, I snap a picture of my tiny human that I’m putting to sleep as an X year old for the last time 😭

This year I’m putting to bed my three year old Johnny Jumper Boy for the last time! Same sheets, pillow, blanket as last year. Trying to savor every moment with these boys of mine!

Carver had his well child check yesterday and passed with flying colors. He got his flu shot too! I couldn’t believe that they had them already! I was a *little* frustrated, we had the last appointment of the day on Tuesday, he turned 4 on Wednesday and they wouldn’t give his 4 year old shots because he wasn’t 4 years old yet. *sigh* not the nurse says fault, or the facility’s fault but just kind of a silly rule.

While we were at the well child check, Gannon got checked over too! Turns out he has EAR INFECTION! We had no clue! That’s ear infection #2 in one month.

Oh well! I’ll have a birthday party recap up for you all tomorrow! Can’t wait to celebrate our sweet young man!

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Helen – You’re the Best

I got SUCH a nice comment from a reader named Helen the other day:

As a reader I see you’ve mentioned writers block a few times but while I was reading a particular post I’ve never felt like the post was just filler or anything. I never would’ve thought you had writers block. I’ve always enjoyed all of the posts. Even though some are just what you guys have done over the weekend or how the day went, they’ve been very relatable and fun to read. Sometimes those are the best posts IMO. My favorite posts that your mom does have always been about the family and day to day happenings.

Maybe you could do some regularly scheduled posts on a topic? Like your mom regularly features shows she watching/books she’s reading and mail she gets. Maybe something like that? Or maybe you could do a few here and there about recipes you’ve tried/love, toys or books the boys really love and you’d recommend, or maybe for the upcoming holidays you could feature any decorations you’ve put up, if you guys decorate?

So Helen, first of all, your comment totally made my day AND it gave me fuel for a new blog post. Thank you for reading and commenting, you’re just like my favorite human right now.

So Helen mentioned that I talk about some shows I’m watching or books I’m reading: I’ve been watching Jeopardy with Craig every night for like 20 minutes before bed which is actually like my favorite part of the day. It’s on Netflix and we love to show off and compete with each other. We are still obsessed with Hamilton so if we find any behind the scenes videos or like interviews we’ve been watching those. Here’s one that really made me laugh the other day:

We’ve also been (very slowly) watching The Last Czar on Netflix which is this awesome mix between a documentary series and like a historians take on the Romanov empire but I haven’t finished the series yet.

Helen also mentioned I could blog about any new recipes I love! Which reminds me of how much I LOVE grocery pickup at Walmart! I’ve used it several times now. I’ve yet to have to get out of my car, load my own groceries, and I feel like I’m sticking so much closer to my grocery budget.

See that box of Rotini? It’s actually got half the carbs that traditional pasta has because the noodles are made out of Chickpeas! I personally can’t taste a difference when I whipped up some chicken parmesan today to meal prep for my weekend at work.

I’m so bad at recipes. I usually just make stuff up as I go and I can never make the dish taste the same way twice! We’ve got a lot of breakfast food in the Friedman house – pancakes scrambled eggs and sausage is such a classic Friedman family meal. I do have a few favorites that I’ve posted on the blog, here’s that link.

Helen also mentioned I could share pictures of our seasonal decor which leads me to a funny story – I don’t decorate at all. When I was little, my mom made crafts for a living. There was a monthly decoration box and then a seasonal decoration box and we spent SO MUCH TIME changing the seasons and months that it just burnt me out! I hated decorating days because it meant cleaning and hauling boxes up and down stairs.

No, I don’t resent my mom because she had a decoration for all 365 days of the year, I just don’t want to decorate my house monthly or seasonally. We do put up a tree for Christmas and a nativity scene but that’s about as festive as we get. I don’t have time to hardly decorate my house at like a baseline. Plus, we just don’t spend our money on that stuff. I have one “seasonal” letter felt board that I change a few times a year if I feel like it. But then Craig changes “Summer lovin’, had me a blast” to this:

I don’t know what it even means but it has been hanging up like this for months now and it gives me a giggle every time I walk by.

We put up a Christmas tree and that’s the end of our seasonal decor. I will light a pumpkin candle? Does that count? I got some pumpkin febreeze thr other day? I’m just so against clutter and excess and having closets busting with storage. I’m not AGAINST decorating, it just isn’t for me. Plus, I’m too picky and it is too depressing taking down Christmas decorations.

So Helen, good news – my writers block is totally gone. This is like the 4th blog post I’ve pounded out today. I think you were my inspiration. Thank you for reading and commenting. Helen, you’re the best. That’s all I have for today folks!

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Thoughts on Nursing…

I got a lot of really nice comments after I posted about struggling with writer block and some great ideas too! So I’m here to answer those questions, comments, and suggestions!

“What is going on with your job lately?” – Kimberly

So as of this week, I only worked Sunday night and I’m back to work for a 4 night stretch this weekend. That means I was home from Monday – Friday and I was BUSTING at the seams to get back to work! Love my boys, love being home more, but I’m not a stay at home mom.

Sometimes I have to take call which means I have to be ready to leave my house within 10 minutes and get to work ASAP. Even though I have a long commute, I can still take call from home which is another reason I chose to work at this hospital/unit. Most hospitals require you to be within a certain distance/time if you’re on call so I’m pretty fortunate.

I had mentioned in a previous blog post, (you can find that here) that I’m reducing my hours in the ICU to only 24 hours a week and I will be able to pick up hours in the ER at my new hospital. I’m so excited to cross train, I absolutely love ER but dang! I’m RUSTY! You talk to ER patients differently, focus on different things. It’s a short and sweet kind of interaction/rapport building than the ICU. It’s apples and oranges. People ask me if I like the ICU or the ER better and it’s just really hard to compare the two.

I went in for orientation in the ER for my new PRN position for a few hours recently and I really felt the difference between CCU and ER. It requires an entirely different skill set, different goals, nursing judgement, mindset, communication techniques etc. I haven’t been an ER nurse since April! It was an adjustment. I hadn’t flexed that muscle in awhile.

I simply cannot understate the amount of growth I’ve undertaken this year. I completely turned my life upside down. I took everything I knew about nursing, teaching, and threw it out the window, thrown into an entirely new environment, new positions, and now, in 2020, COVID has changed my entire nursing career forever. Ships are safe in the harbor, but that’s not what ships are built for.

I can’t imagine walking into a patient’s room without a facemask. I don’t know if I ever will again. I can’t imagine a day where the risk is so low that precautions aren’t needed.

When the pandemic struck, I was watching videos of what was going on in Italy. It terrified me. I imagined what it would be like in my community, in my hospital, in my department and I got scared. I was terrified we wouldn’t have the resources, we wouldn’t have the skills, and that people would die. I was so scared that I wasn’t going to be able to help people when they needed it.

I knew I needed to get those skills. It was like this sudden urgency that I needed to be better to help people better. That had a huge impact on my decision to move on to the ICU. I needed to know I could help even the sickest people. I needed to build my confidence and learn how to manage vented patients on multiple drips. I didn’t know anything about ventilators and I hadn’t really looked at ABG results more than good or bad since nursing school. The fear of COVID was the kick in the pants that I needed to take the leap and work towards my full potential.

I’ve said before, someday I may want to become a flight nurse. Usually flight programs require 3 years (or at least some) critical care experience and for good reason. I also wanted to start working on those years. Honestly, I don’t know that is what I want to do but I never want that to hold me back.

People say if you can work in ICU, you can go anywhere and while in a technical/skill set sense, I can understand that, but if I’m being realistic, like they said in Gone with the Wind, “I don’t know nothin’ bout birthin’ no babies Miss Scarlett.” None of my ER skills or ICU skills could help me in the mother/baby unit – it’s a whole ‘nother world. Or like NICU nurses? Or school nurses? Or like nurses who work for insurance companies? Or case managers? Or chief nursing officers? There is such a variety! No two nursing careers are the same.

That’s another thing I love about nursing. There are SO many different avenues and different options. It truly takes all kinds of kinds. Every nurse has a niche (and some will spend their entire careers trying to find it! HA!)

Those are just some of my thoughts for the day. I’m feeling so fulfilled in my career. Is it the honey moon phase of a new job? Possibly and probably. I’ll forever look back at the conversation with my mom that fundamentally changed my life (read more on that here) with such gratitude and proof that growth can come through very difficult times.

That’s all I have for today folks! Thanks for reading!

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This n’ That

I’ve gotten lots of feed back that you guys love my This n’ That conglomeration posts so here we gooooo

Shoulder update: Remember that I screwed my shoulder up? It’s equally better and equally worse. It’s the strangest thing – I can go a few hours without even noticing it hurts and then I twinge just the wrong way and I need to stop what I’m doing and rest because it hurts so bad until the Tylenol and Ibuprofen kick in. The better is so much better and the bad isn’t getting any better. I follow up again on Friday and see if I need an MRI. I’m hoping some more time will prove to be beneficial and it won’t be an issue by the time my appointment rolls around. It has really helped that I’ve been able to rest this week (just the way my work schedule landed.)

Carver and Craig were both wearing John Deere shirts the other morning so we had to get a picture! They are such good sports.

It’s been raining literally all week – cold and rainy and dreary. So when Craig put on his sherpa flannel jacket to keep him warm, then Craig and I were matching!

The boys got to hang out with their great-grandparents on Monday! Craig’s Grandparents – Merle and Grandma “Dee Dee” are so helpful with the boys and we usually leave with an entire basket of produce too! Carver always tells me that Grandma Dee spoils him and he always gets plenty of chocolate milk, candy, cookies, and all those delicious things that Grandmas have stashed away.

If you’re counting, my boys have 2 grandmas and a great grandma. They also have a living grandpa, living great grandpa, and even a living great great grandpa. Compared to me, I only ever had two living grandparents and they both passed away before my senior year of high school.

Meet Gannon, my tiny escape artist. It’s like 55 degrees out, raining, I’m waiting for Carver to get safely off the bus, up the driveway, in the house, through the front door, stripped down before he tramps through the house. In just that amount of time, Gannon was out the back door, barefoot and exploring the puddles from all this dang rain. Carver and I spent a good few minutes running through the house trying to find him when Carver saw him out the window just exploring. He’s been having a TERRIBLE time with all this rain. He wants to play outside SO BAD and throws several fits a day because he’s trapped in the house with me.

Check out this beautiful painting I “won” at a silent auction last weekend! I needed it to add to my vintage nursing memorabilia collection. This was painted by a young high school student who donated it to the benefit. I specifically love it because if you look close enough she’s wearing a surgical mask over a first mask (likely an N95) just like I do in the ER when I’m working in the pandemic. The pandemic has forever changed nursing and my career as a nurse so I love that this painting represents a nurse during the pandemic.

I’m gonna need a bigger shelf here soon! (and yes, that is a poster on the lower shelf of a nurse lighting a cigarette for her patient!)

Can you believe how big these two have gotten? Just one week apart, here’s my son Gannon and his cousin Georgia.

That’s all I’ve got for today folks! Thanks for reading!

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