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!
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!
Also – let’s stay in touch! If I came out with a newsletter – would you subscribe? Let’s be more than friends… and by that I mean can I slide into your inbox once in awhile? No spam, I promise! Your email is safe with me.
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!
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.
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!
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:
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…)
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.
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.
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.
So many of you have been concerned about Gannon. Thursday (2 days ago) was the very first day he DIDN’T THROW UP!
JUST IN TIME FOR CRAIG AND CARVER AND I to CATCH HIS STOMACH FLU! UGH! We were all laying around feeling crappy and Gannon is so happy and giggly and bouncing off the walls.
As soon as Craig came home the other night the boys swarmed him wanting to know everything about his day as he took his boots and overalls off. It was so cute!
We watched my mom’s new puppy Rosie the other day for a few hours. She is CUTE but she is a HANDFUL! Betsy (our beagle) is NOT a fan and as you can see, even Carver needed a break and couldn’t match her energy. If you sit on the floor at all she is all over you!
Where one boy goes, the other follows. These two are interacting and playing together more and more every day. Carver is still just a little too aggressive with his love for Gannon. Gannon will take toys and Carver will knock him down. He doesn’t understand he is just a baby and doesn’t know any better. *sigh* someday maybe they will get along!
Carver is OBSESSED with farming. Here he is playing “implement” and lining up all of his equipment he has for sale. Two seconds later (after this picture) Gannon goes in for the combine and they start fighting again…
Craig and I are trying to make time together a priority. Several mornings we get up early before the boys and have a nice chat while he gets ready for work which I’ve loved. I’m kicking him out of the house this weekend to go hang out with a friend back home.
I snapped this picture so I could blog about our mornings together. He is in the middle of asking “why are you taking my picture?” HA!
I’m so proud of Craig. He is down to 1-2 cigarettes a DAY! That is cut all the way back from 1-2 PACKS a day! He attributes his success to his recent career change. He says his new job is far less stressful and only has a 3 minute commute and less time to smoke! However his sweet tooth is OUT OF CONTROL. With less smoking he hardly drinks alcohol at all anymore. He drinks an insane amount of Ruby Red Squirt but hey! We are getting there!
I got to hang out with Georgia and Gannon the other night! We call them the cousin twins – born one week apart!
Well friends, that was our past week! You’re reading this on a Saturday which means I have Sunday off from blog land! If you need to catch up on this past week’s blog posts, check them out here! Let me know in the comments which one was your favorite!
Well friends, I did something I didn’t want to do this week and that is to go into debt (if you’ve been keeping up with my financial Friday series you would understand) and buy a car. While I’m not happy I went further into debt, I’m excited to talk about my new Toyota Highlander.
My equinox has become increasingly unreliable. It is a 2013 and that particular year of Chevy equinox has been particularly problematic. After welding a flex pipe and new tires( $1,400), replacing the entire engine (for $3,700) in 2018, changing the oil constantly, I started having problems that it randomly wouldn’t start and needed a jump. I had taken it in and the mechanics couldn’t find anything wrong with it. The timing chain busted 5,000 miles after warranty. This is a lemon of a car and I am NOT the only one who thinks so.
Let me start off by saying that Winter has come WAY too early in Northeast Iowa. We’ve had about 2 weeks of snow on the ground, I have NOT been home to do a “winter transition.” I need to haul out the snow pants and boots and see what fits and what is in storage and find that matching glove etc. I still have to find Gannon’s car seat cover or transition him to a new rear facing car seat in general.
On Monday night, I had driven across town to my mom’s for supper and of course when we went to leave my car wouldn’t start with a 6 degree temperature. The boys were already in their car seats, not dressed that warmly, and my car wouldn’t start. It had just been a day. I was crying and brought the boys back into the house. Mom broke it to me and said, “Kalissa, you need to trade your car in. What if your car would have stalled and the boys were left wearing their fall jackets in the cold?”
I already knew that. I just didn’t want to admit it. (and gosh darnit I need to update to the winter clothes!) While I hated my equinox, we were SO CLOSE to paying it off. It was only a 2013 – why does it have SO MANY PROBLEMS! Karl and I spent about 45 minutes outside FREEZING trying to get it jumped.
What hurt the most is that Dad should have been there. He would have been able to start it. He would know what to do. In hindsight, I don’t think Dad knew much about cars but he was always there for me to offer advice and answer questions and he would ALWAYS test drive the car with me before I committed to buying it.
He has pulled me out of the ditch more than once. He has brought me gas before (whoops) and even though he wasn’t an expert, in my eyes he was the only opinion I’ve ever trusted when it comes to cars. And he’s gone now.
I started asking around. I googled “most reliable vehicle brands” and Toyota was #1. Dave Ramsey has always recommended Toyotas. I asked my nursing students what they had or what their parents have liked and one suggested a Toyota Highlander.
In Northeast Iowa there are a LOT of Chevy, GMC, and Ford vehicles. There aren’t a lot of foreign car dealerships. There aren’t a lot of foreign car mechanics either. Toyota isn’t a very popular brand but I knew it was a brand I could trust.
I had stopped in the ER to chat with the staff after clinicals one day. I knew at that point I was looking for a Toyota Highlander. Someone suggested to check out the dealership that my friend arianna_unsure (I’ve talked about her before – go follow her on Instagram and Spotify for podcasts) Anyway her boyfriend works at a dealership about an hour away.
I looked up the website and the first car that was on the website – 2013 Toyota Highlander with 103,000 miles – right in our price range!
I called and scheduled a test drive, called the bank and arranged the loan, Craig was able to come with because it snowed ALL DAY LONG and we bought the car the next day!
So I traded in the equinox. It didn’t bring much because they have such a bad reputation now.
Dad always said – NEVER buy a car without a full tank of gas – thank goodness they offered one before I had to ask or I may have teared up a bit. They threw in a free oil change, they gave us a gift certificate to go out and talk it over before we made the purchase, they offered us hot chocolate, all in all it was a wonderful experience and over with in ONE afternoon! Everyone was SO friendly and really seemed as they enjoyed their jobs! Who could ask for more?
So far I love it. The engine is a V6 compared to my 3.6L in my equinox – I can FEEL the difference. AND it has 4 wheel drive for the winter weather and my 32 minute commute! It had seat warmers, third row seating, and most importantly it is reliable and gets great gas mileage!
Here’s a trip down memory lane for you:
My ’87 Buick LeSabre. I loved this car. I loved it so incredibly much. I drove it back and forth to the nursing home and CNA class and all over NEIA with my friends (mostly to WalMart because we had nothing better to do) the entire summer after I turned 16 until the summer before senior year. I bought “Betty” from my brother Karl for $200. These pictures were on the last day of my sophomore year I think? I hit my first deer in this car. I put it in the ditch on the first icy day I had ever driven. I was about 400 feet out of the driveway. I called dad to come help me. He walked down to where I put it in the ditch, got in it, and drove it through the ditches to the farm. I am dying laughing thinking of that story while I’m writing it. I was so mad he made me walk.
Here’s a picture of me and my brother Karl. We wanted a last day of school picture with Dad! HAHA! See him driving the tractor and doing chores in the background? Perfectly timed photo mom!
Here is my 2000 Lincoln town car – I also loved this car! It had key less entry, leather seats, it was a beast! I bought it the summer before senior year. It was rear wheel drive which was SO inconvenient in the winter. It had a pink fuzzy steering wheel cover that Craig HATED! I bought it with only 60,000 miles on it and I finally let it go at 138,000 miles after the rear axel broke AGAIN about a month before I got pregnant with Carver! (2012 – 2016) I ditched this car on the way to clinicals (it was so snowy, they should have been cancelled) and mom and dad came to save me. This picture was taken the first day of my senior year – same scene in the background! and yes those are GIANT feather earrings in my hair!
And then the dreaded equinox *eye roll*
And now – the highlander:
I’m optimistic. I think it was a good choice for our family. I’ve heard Toyotas last a very long time and can have crazy high mileage and still run like a champ! And we can have that third baby without having to move up in vehicle (not that it is anywhere on our radar at the moment) BUT we can grow into it!
My first car buying experience without my Dad brought back so many memories and things he has taught me. Now it is Craig and I. It’s different now. We will get used to it. Another “first” that I didn’t think would effect me this much.
Do you guys have a Toyota? Have you had trouble with your eqinox? What was the first car you bought?
See you tomorrow at 5:30 am! Thanks for reading friends!
Here’s a bunch of stuff that happened in no particular order:
There have been LOTS of snuggles!!
Gannon ate Spaghetti!! He does NOT eat baby food – hates it! I took a chance on spaghetti and he LOVED it!
And then…Gannon had an allergic reaction to spaghetti!Look at his poor little cheeks – and then broke out in a rash
Gannon has been struggling with coughing fits at night and was started on Albuterol and Qvar inhaler – wondering if this is the start of asthma
Carver LOVES to help Gannon with bath time!
I got a NEW PAIR OF BOOTS!
I get a new pair every winter from Payless. Now that Payless has closed, I’ve been scouring the internet for the perfect pair and I FOUND THEM IN MY SIZE!
I wish I would have switched to Bear Paw sooner – they are so so fuzzy and warm! I can feel the quality difference. They have TONS of different colors, styles, wide feet option, wide leg option and UP TO A SIZE 12! Check out the link below to snag yourself a pair:
“Take a picture of my FUNNY HAIR mom!!”
Carver got to ride in the combine with Daddy! Carver was watching the combine come down the field. Can you tell how excited he was??
I got to ride in the combine with Craig!
I always get SUPER tired when I drive long distances – I don’t know how Craig stays awake those late nights in the combine. Now I get it! He has so many gears, gadgets, and monitors to keep track of. Something is always beeping!
Check out my new home office space!
This has been on my to-do list since January – it is FINALLY complete! I love it! This is a corner in our dining room.
I’m all for making goals loud and clear for everyone to see. Remember I said we had a goal to pay off $12,000 of debt between August 1st and December 31st? It is up on the wall for all to see on this new chalkboard I scored off of Amazon. I was nervous to get a chalkboard because of the mess/dust but I got chalk markers to go with it too which are brighter, clearer, and easier to clean! Bonus: NO SMUDGING! (see link below for chalk markers and chalkboard which comes in several sizes)
I LOVE my black and white picture frames too! Also, AMAZON! (see link below)
And the DESK! Also courtesy of Amazon. I will buy from this Amazon brand again and again! It is EXACTLY the look I’m going for in our dining room!
We soak up every second we can get with Craig when he isn’t in the combine!
Someone dropped off this toy rocking horse off on our porch and Carver LOVES it!We have no idea where it came from…if you left it for us, PLEASE LET US KNOW so Carver can send you a thank you 🙂
I fit back into my jeans!
I’ve tried these jeans on once a month since Gannon was born and they FINALLY fit again!
Also – I have NEVER shown my belly button online – so there it is in all of its mommy tummy mushy squishy glory! I’m PROUD of my mommy tummy and my baby stripes (stretch marks) as Carver calls them!
I don’t do well with numbers on a scale – these jeans have been my goal! I’ve come so far to show this body of mine some love. Here I am.
That is all I know for now!! I’ll be posting Monday – Friday this week at 5:30 am! Thanks for reading friends!