Family night at the Kramer house!

I had the best night last week.

Craig hadn’t met our new nephew JASPER yet. Kayla brought him up north to my mom’s house to visit! My sister Kelli was there with my niece Georgia. Craig and I brought the boys, Karl was there too! It was so much fun!

Comparing forehead wrinkles

We all just hung out, had a few drinks, made some pizza and played with the kiddos! We all get along pretty good and even more so now after having kids. We were missing our brother Buck, his girlfriend Lora and their kids Scotty and Lucy.

Kelli let Carver “write” all of the birthdays in her planner. This is so cringey. NO ONE writes in my planner but me! Kelli is so brave and Carver had so much fun he stopped a few times mid-writing to give Kelli a hug and tell her he loved her.

Here is Auntie Kelli with the cousin twins Gannon and Georgia! They are having a joint birthday party next weekend when they turn one! Kelli is so good with kids. She’s so naturally maternal. We all made pizza/supper and she kept the kids occupied.

I got to do one of my favorite things: take pictures. I told you last week that I invested in my new Macbook Pro. Well, now my eyes are set on a DSLR camera so I can launch into photography. As for now, I have a lot of fun with my iPhone 11. I love catching candid photos. Check these out:

Then it was time to meet cousin Carver. He did SO WELL with him. Jasper on the other hand Jasper did not do so well with Carver until he got his passy. Carver did so well and was even rubbing his head. He just loves babies, he always has.

While we had good lighting we thought we would try and get a few cousin pictures. You can see how well that went:

We love family nights and this one was especially fun!I can’t wait to watch all these cousins grow up together! What a fun bunch!

Thanks for tuning in! See you all again tomorrow!

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My Extra-Ordinary Valentine’s Day!

As in it was “extra ordinary” not extraordinary.

Carver worked very hard on his Valentines…about as hard as a 3 year old can work…which isn’t very hard. He “wrote” about three names on Valentines. He then got himself tangled in the tape. He got mad when Gannon wanted to help. So in conclusion, I worked very hard on Carver’s Valentines.

Here is Carver’s note to me:

It says “I love you mommy!” (according to Carver) Don’t you see it?

I was up bright and early by 0600 for my last day of clinicals with my first year students! They were such a fun group but I will definitley NOT book myself like I did this semester.

36 hours/week in ER + 18 hours/week with final semester students + 14 hours/week with first year students = 68 hours/week for the past three weeks.

I’m so ready for things to slow down. Lesson LEARNED!

After clinicals I called Craig and my mom to meet up for lunch! Craig took his lunch break at my mom’s after the daycare kids laid down for nap we had a quick lunch with take out food from our favorite restaurant The Fort. Their wings are superb. We were in a goofy mood. Mom was showing off her pants. She accidentally wore them in public at the gas station this morning and was told she looked very “festive” 🙂

Here is my romantic Valentine’s dinner with my husband Craig (and my mom.) I’m wearing my whites from clinicals and he’s still in his farm cloths. Mom made chocolate chip cookies for dessert! We don’t exchange gifts for Valentine’s day. In fact, we barely crossed paths other than for lunch!

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The Sunday Update

Well, it isn’t going to be a SUNNY Sunday in Northeast Iowa. We are in a Winter Weather Advisory until 6 pm tonight. We are supposed to get somewhere between 3 and 8 inches of snow.

It’s my weekend to work. When I’m so busy with clinicals during the week, I end up switching my schedule to work more weekends so I work this weekend AND next weekend.

I always work overnights on my weekend. It works best that way for my family and honestly I really love working my weekend. One of my good friends works weekend package on nights so if I work weekend overnights I’m almost guaranteed to work with her. (Hey Jen!) Also, things are just more calm at night, less people around, I can work on paperwork and get caught up on my budget and clinical paperwork.

Tomorrow mom has her cancer appointment in Lacrosse. We will find out what the next steps are to treat her thyroid cancer that has returned. It has slowly been coming back for years now since her initial diagnosis in 2016. Mom, myself, Kelli and my niece Georgia are all going.

Tomorrow I’m also supposed to FINALLY hear back from Children’s of Milwaukee on the actual plan for Gannon. I was told we could move it up to March and then heard that no it needs to stay in April and then now he might not need a certain procedure which would put us back up to the March date but then he also has an ENT consult so he might need tubes and UGH! I spend so much of my time on the phone on hold or messaging doctors to coordinate appointments and tests. I’m constantly waiting to hear back from someone about something. Some people were confused and thought he was headed for testing last week but right now we are scheduled in Milwaukee for the first week in April. He has a minor procedure scheduled at the end of the month as well.

I have so much to do at home but I only get maybe an hour or two of being awake when I work the weekend overnights so I usually ignore the housework and enjoy time with the boys. I woke up at 5 pm. I have such a busy week ahead of me I opted to do some meal prepping before I left for work. I roasted some veggies, I cooked a shrimp boil, I snarfed down some left overs and took off.

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The Friedman Fam’s Fiascoes

In no particular order, here is a conglomeration of recent happenings of the Friedman home:

Gannon and Carver Got their Hairs Cut!

A dear family friend of ours cuts hair after her full time job on Wednesday nights. She has always cut the boy’s hair. This was Gannon’s second hair cut! He did SO GOOD!

Carver was always so horrible getting his hair cut we ended up having to hold him down. We did everything to try and make it as “normal” as possible – Tara came to my mom’s house, I held him, Grandma and Grandpa were there, he didn’t have to wear the cape – still he just screamed and screamed. It was a nightmare for all of us.

One day, we were walking by Cost Cutters at WalMart. On a whim – I have no idea why I thought it would work – I took him in. A lady named Rita cut his hair and he was perfect. He sat so still for her – even almost fell asleep! Ever since then he’s been perfect getting his hair cut and giggles through it.

My niece Georgia tagged along and my mom got her hair cut too! We all love Tara!

There is a nice little play area on the other half of the salon so the kids stayed busy. Doesn’t my Gannon look so handsome? Now I have to get Craig to the salon…he’s getting a bit wooly.

Ear Infection Strikes Again…

Here we are at the clinic. Gannon did not sleep at all on Tuesday night. He was inconsolable and had an AWFUL cough. I made an appointment for him Wednesday afternoon. I ended up bringing my niece Georgia along to get her ears re checked as she had an ear infection last week. Kelli was working at the hospital – on her break she came down to the clinic to take Georgia to her appointment.

We popped Gannon out of his car seat and ugghhhhhh…bright green pus draining out of his left ear. His eardrum ruptured. I had just had him into the clinic on Friday so between Friday and Wednesday he got an ear infection and apparently it got bad enough to rupture his ear drum. He really only had ANY symptoms on that Tuesday night. Poor fellow. For some reason whenever Gannon gets a respiratory virus (he’s coughing a lot) his belly acts up that much worse so I’ve been having to decompress his belly with the rectal catheter this week.

This is ear infection #7 for Gannon and the third time his ear drum has ruptured. Back in August it just drained and drained for a month straight. He will be referred on to ENT for tubes and maybe I can talk his ENT doctor into taking his adenoids out then too just because that really helped Carver.

Carver is ALSO on antibiotics for an ear infection. Carver has had 3 sets of tubes and his adenoids out. He’s had 3 ear infections since last May so he is also heading back to ENT with Gannon on Tuesday. UGH!

Georgia’s double ear infection did clear but it took 3 shots of antibiotics!

Us Kramer girls can’t make ears, noses, or throats right!

Breakfast on the GO!

I’ve had plenty of EARLY mornings (like 0350 wake up call!) this week but I cannot justify skipping breakfast! Over the last weekend I chopped up some ham to have ready in the fridge. I discovered something wonderful at Walmart to make my on the go scrambled eggs even more delicious: FROZEN CILANTRO!

They are frozen in little cubes like this, toss it in the pan and WALAH! Your scrambled eggs went from boring to AWESOME!

Ham + 3 eggs + Parmesean Cheese + Chopped Frozen Spinach + Ham + Cilantro + Garlic Salt + Pepper = YUM!

It usually keeps me satisfied until my late lunch at 1 pm and I eat it in the car on my way to wherever I happened to be headed that day!

Gannon has mastered the pouty face!

I feel like this one is pretty self explanatory! Usually this face comes after,

“Don’t play in Betsy’s water bowl!”


I feel like this is blog worthy: Our FAVORITE place to order pizza from is running a special on their supreme pizza – A LARGE SUPREME FOR ONLY $13.00 THE ENTIRE MONTH OF FEBRUARY! HECK YEAH! And Carver doesn’t mind as long as the toppings come off (hence why he has no toppings on his pizza!) We always add sauerkraut and pineapple!

Also – thank you to all 204 of you who participated in my poll on The Pink Shoelaces Facebook page! OBVIOUSLY pineapple ON PIZZA wins!


I backed into my mom’s garbage can. It was a whole ordeal that made me 20 minutes late for my orthodontics appointment. For the record, the garbage can was NOT in the way, I just turned too soon. UGH! I did not hit it as hard as it seems but oh well.

About that laundry…

Good news: All of the clothes are CLEAN!

Bad news: None of the clothes are sorted, folded, or put away.

I’m on day 5 of 16 in a row. To say that laundry hasn’t been my first priority is an understatement. The boys have clothes neatly laid out for them, I have clean scrubs (which is all I’ve been wearing these days anyway) and Craig doesn’t need clean clothes to work on a farm so WIN WIN. Judge if you want! This is my real laundry room.

That’s all I have for today folks! Check back tomorrow for a new post published at 0530!

A week in the life of Kalissa Friedman…

This last week has been CRAZY.

Sunday: I felt like crap. I cancelled my plans and did NOTHING.

Monday: I felt the wrath of not doing any prep for the week on Monday. I had “lab day” with my final semester students which means they spend the morning practicing their nursing skills like placing and removing a catheter, starting an IV, giving an IV med, central line dressing change, placing and managing an NG tube, etc. It’s actually a really fun day. We had supper at my mom’s house – she made shrimp gumbo YUM! Watch for that recipe upcoming on her blog. Everyone else stayed and played cards but by 7:30 I was at home and in bed with Gannon. After all I had to get up at 0350 the next morning and I still wasn’t 100% from my Sunday flu bug 🙁

Tuesday: Up by 0350, on the road by 0430. One of the sites I teach clinicals at is about an hour away. I’ve learned (brace yourself, this is life changing) that if you go to bed early, waking up early isn’t so hard! CRAZY I KNOW! I met my students at 0600 and we had orientation to the facility which includes computer training, tours, a scavenger hunt, going over expectations and clinical guidelines etc. After clinicals I got a text from mom: NEED FORMULA AND DIAPERS. To WalMart. I picked up some groceries and headed home. I picked up the boys who thankfully hadn’t napped yet. I was WHOOPED. We lounged around and all napped for the afternoon. Thank goodness I made this delicious casserole ahead of time because we woke up around 5:30 pm to Craig coming home. Supper was ready! It was great! If you haven’t seen the recipe yet, here’s the link:

I added Kielbasa when I made it again!

Tuesday (continued): I went to bed closer to 8:30. Carver helped me order a night light for his room. Right now he sleeps with his light on and we are trying to get him away from that.

Wednesday: 0350 AGAIN. Up and on the road. Clinicals start right at 0600 and last until 1 pm or so. Then we all meet for post conference to talk about our day and experiences we had with each of our patients. I always ask students: What was a positive experience you had today and what was something that confused you or something that you saw that wasn’t “by the book.” This is a way to clarify some actions they have seen and help us as a group decide how we want to shape our own nursing practice. Of course there is the way that is “textbook” and then the way things happen in the real nursing world. Sometimes its a huge shock for new grads when they realize everything isn’t straight out of the textbook. After clinicals I stayed until 4 – finished all of their feedback/paperwork for the week so it was all fresh in my mind – and then picked up the boys. I. Crashed. Hard. I laid on the couch with the boys. I was so exhausted. Thankfully Craig came home and made steak and potatoes. I was off to bed and sleeping by 7:30 pm to get ready for Thursday….(continued…)

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I’m laying in bed on Sunday night writing this. Nothing like procrastination. I had such high hopes for this weekend. I had so much stuff to do and so many events to attend but I barely did anything. I’m feeling pretty worthless right now going to bed at 7:30 on a Sunday night hoping I feel well enough to go into work tomorrow.

Tomorrow I get to meet my students for the semester and I help test out their skills in the lab to make sure they are competent before they go to the clinical facilities. It’s a big day and they are counting on me to be there but I just feel cruddy. I hope that if I go to bed early enough I can wake up and embody my Florence Nightingale.

This morning’s blog post, I wanted to give you a recap of my Saturday. On my way home from work on Friday night I was on the phone with my mom and I realized I hadn’t seen her or spent much quality time with her in a good week which is very unusual for us. Often times I see her at least once a day but after our Wisconsin dells trip and then working last weekend, I truly miss her.

Mom had told me she made rice pudding and chocolate cake for me to come on over on Saturday morning. My mom is the best mom.

She was working on her mystery quilt and wanted to get the top put together before noon. I sat and visited with her and ate her food while the boys played.

Testing out the super wide angle on my iphone
And my zoom in 🙂

Soon enough Carver need a snuggle buddy on the couch and I was still pretty tired from having worked the last two days. Gannon laid down for his nap and I fell asleep on her couch. I could have just as easily take a nap at my house but my moms house still feels just as much as home even though I didn’t grow up there. I think mom feels like home more than anything.

My moms couch is so comfy

When Craig got off work he came to my moms and picked up the boys. Mom and I were wanting to go to a little store a few miles down the road. It’s called Country view dairy where they make their own yogurt, frozen yogurt and other dairy treats. We know the owners through a few mutual friends and we wanted to go get some of their yogurt. It is the creamiest yogurt ever and we just love it. Not to mention since Craig quit smoking his sweet tooth is out of control and he’s been eating as much peach yogurt as he can get his hands on.

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