To school, or not to School, that is the Question

Remember I blogged about not knowing what to do with Carver for preschool? You can read that post here: http://www.thepinkshoelaces.com/i-am-just-hating-this/

We’ve made the decision: Carver will be going to three year old preschool this fall.

This has been a long debated topic in our house and we’ve made this decision based on several reasons. I know a lot of parents are struggling with this right now so I thought maybe sharing our thoughts may help you collect yours.

Carver is really good about wearing a mask. He enjoys wearing it, picking it out, he keeps it on, he doesn’t complain too much about it. He’s got a great attitude about it and he knows it helps protect other people from getting sick. 

We are able to transport Carver to and from preschool so he doesn’t have to ride the bus. This was a request made by our school district to minimize the amount of kids on the bus so they can spread out and social distance. It also limits Carver’s exposure.

In yesterday’s blog post, (Linked below), I talked about the bonuses of my schedule and this is one of those bonuses – having a flexible work schedule. Craig works about a mile away from the school and doesn’t have to be at work until 8 most days anyway. 

If we delay Carver starting preschool, let’s say we wait until the second quarter to send him, everyone will already know everybody and know the routine and the schedule and when to wear masks and when not to wear masks and when to wash hands etc. I don’t want him to feel behind or confused if we delay his start date. 

Carver will be starting school in the middle of a pandemic. It’s not a terrible thing, Carver will have social distancing, hand hygiene, covering your cough and all of those germy etiquettes down to a tee in no time. 

We didn’t make this decision lightly, this was talked about for weeks and months and for a long time I didn’t think we would send him but Carver is SO ready and we are too. 

If you’ve chosen to make a different decision about sending  your kids to school, good for you. Honestly. What a hard decision to make. We’ve gone back and forth so many times as I’m sure you have to. 

On one hand, I know this may be a controversial blog post. On the other hand, I know this is the best choice for our family. 

There is one thing I want to make very clear though: I believe in the coronavirus. I’ve seen with my own two eyes what it is and what it does. I understand it is risky sending kids to school. This isn’t me just “getting over it” or saying “I’m not afraid of it,” this is me and my family trying to learn how to cope and adapt the best way we can.

Any haters will be deleted ✌🏻 I’ll do my family and you do yours! Thanks for reading friends!

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Commuting as a Nurse

I’m writing this post from my hotel room in between overnight shifts watching Untold Stories of the ER.

A lot of people have asked how I like commuting to my new job. A lot of people wonder why I drive so far to work. I thought I’d clear up those questions.

So we live in a really rural area. We have plenty of what we call “critical access hospitals” which are small town community hospitals with Med/surg, OB and ER that can manage most basic medical conditions, surgeries, etc. They stabilize the patient, diagnose and then decide if it is something we can handle or if we need to transfer out. We end up sending a lot of critical patients or traumas to larger hospitals.

In the super rural area I live in, most of the bigger hospitals we send patients to are a minimum of an hour and 15 minutes away. One we usually send to is Lacrosse, Wisconsin, we are about an hour and a half from St. Mary’s in Rochester MN. University of Iowa is about 2 hours away, and those are the major hospitals we transfer patients to, those are the level 1 and 2 trauma centers.

As far as driving to work, if I want “big hospital” experience I need to commute. If I want ICU or Critical care experience, I have to drive a minimum of an hour. So that’s what I chose to do!

Someday I may want to be a flight nurse. Most fight programs require a minimum of three years of ICU experience so where I currently work, about an hour and 20 minute drive, is the closest ICU. There’s another ICU at about an hour and 10 minutes away, but it isn’t as big and it isn’t at a teaching hospital.

It’s super common for people from our area, from the “boonies” to commute to work at Mayo or Lacrosse. Usually they stay in town and work a few shifts in a row. Also remember, I technically only work about 3 days or 12 hour shifts a week so I’m not driving 3 hours a day 5 days a week, just once or twice a week and then I usually stay in between two shifts.

I have a few tips/tricks/advice for those who are considering taking the leap from critical access hospital to gain more experience.

First of all, let me say I wish I would have made the transition a long time ago. The opportunities, the leadership, the environment is phenomenal.

Some people ask if I get paid much more going to a bigger hospital and I would say there isn’t a big difference. The benefits seem less expensive because naturally they have more staff so they get a better group rate.

I have been working on saving money when I do stay in town for a few days, I’ve gotten pretty creative packing my lunches and meals. The microwave in the hotel room is key. I’m all for microwaveable leftovers. It’s easy to just eat out and get delivery every day but that doesn’t save or make much money.

I actually love my commute. It’s my me time and I love listening to audiobooks, podcasts, catching up on calling my siblings, I don’t mind it at all. Even after working an overnight shift, I have yet to get tired on the drive home. When you’re busy all night, the “buzz” keeps you awake even longer – long enough to get home.

How about my family life? Well when I worked closer to home I didn’t see the boys much in between 12 hour shifts anyway so I would say there isn’t much of a difference there. Here’s an example of my work week:

Leave Sunday night at 5:30 pm
Work 7p to 7a
Sleep in town on Monday
Back to work on Monday night at 7p to 7a
Home on Tuesday morning
Usually I just sleep from about 9-12 on Tuesday after night shift, I relieve our babysitter and then me and the boys nap together on Tuesday afternoon.
Home Tuesday night
With my boys on Wednesday
With my boys on Thursday
Nap with the boys Thursday afternoon
Leave for work Thursday night at 5:30 pm
Work 7p to 7a on Thursday night
Home on Friday morning and home for the weekend!

When I work the weekend I have more time home with my kids during the week! I actually probably see my kids more than the average Monday – Friday 9-5 mom.

So that’s my work schedule guys! I’m always open for questions if you are considering taking the plunge!

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Spring Cleaning in August?

Let’s be real, I did NOT use my spare time when I was trapped at home because of the pandemic to catch up on Spring cleaning so now it is August cleaning!

I’ve been listening to an AWESOME audible book called Then She Was Gone. It’s kept me in a cleaning, organizing and pitching mood. Carver was too! We put on some Frozen music and tackled the toy room:

I was compelled to tackle the toy corner which was a dumping ground for the past few months. We got rid of a lot but most importantly, I’m boxing up and containing a lot of toys so that we only have certain activities out at one time. Otherwise the boys just dump and dump the toys out. We have so much storage, we should use it! So lots of organizing and sorting.

The toy corner is getting much cleaner – I’d eventually like to get rid of that shelf – maybe replace it with something a little cuter. I’d like to get a desk for the boys to sit at, it’s really just kind of a dead space in the house. It’s by our front door that we don’t typically use. So not sure quite what to do with it! Any suggestions?

I talked about a few other organizing hacks from my Target run in my last blog post, you can find it here: http://www.thepinkshoelaces.com/target-run-and-bathroom-remodel-update/

But most importantly, I felt so compelled to even clean out my rug! Remember I blogged out refreshing my couch? Well my favorite living room rug needed some help too. Check out this before and after but also keep in mind that the “after” is still wet.

Here’s an even better picture of how well it cleaned up with my Bissel Carpet Cleaner:

Here’s my Amazon link if you are considering: https://amzn.to/3ftmxjE

It’s like a new rug again! Look at how NASTY the water was! I just love my Bissel carpet cleaner. This rug was on it’s last leg. It was a Target find about a year ago. I was so sad when it was getting dingey, I figured I’d give this a try and I’m so happy with the results! It took about 30 minutes to clean the whole rug.

How satisfying to see all that dirt out of the carpet! I’ve got a cleaning but this week so you’ll probably hear about it more this week! Thanks for reading friends!

Here’s a link to that audible book I’m loving:

and here’s that link to my FAVORITE cleaning/organizing book that CHANGED MY LIFE!

and another book that I love from the same author that inspires me to do a little bit of housework everyday:

If you ever purchase any amazon products from MY link, I do get commission. If you buy, let’s just say, $150 worth of other stuff while you’re on Amazon by following my link, I also get commission on those things you purchase. It’s a way to support my blog and it is a way to score some great quality products. I just want to be honest with you guys. I would have raved about these products even if I didn’t make any money off of it.

Thanks for reading friends! See you again soon!

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Target Run and Bathroom Remodel Update!

I love getting my braces tightened. Yes, it hurts like a son of a gun but I get a little bit of me time at my favorite Target which is in Lacrosse. Nothing is better than Target in August, the back to school buzz is BOMB. I wanted to share some of my favorite Target finds!

We got our new bathroom vanity installed which on one hand, I’m REALLY excited about. On the other hand we have SO. FAR. TO. GO. and we are having such a hard time getting a plumber to come and install our new toilet, shower head, the sink, and bathtub. Our tiler is ready to go but he can’t do much without the plumbers. Back in April, this started out as a “quick and easy remodel.” HA! Yeah right! But the vanity looks BOMB! Check it out!

Obviously, not even close to done but there was a sneak peek. In the meantime, I’m so sick of having my bathroom items spread over three counties so I moved all of my makeup and necessities into the bathroom which was so fun. I got these drawer organizers for my makeup and I love them! Clear and classy – hard to see in the picture but it is organized, I promise.

I also got these crates for the behind the toilet cupboard which a lot of people recommended against, but I love. We have so many of this style of threshold crates/baskets throughout the house – our toy room, laundry room, now our bathroom. I’ll put washcloths in one crate and hand towels in the other.

Honestly, I have SO MUCH room left in this vanity. I’m so please with how efficient and organized it has made our tiny bathroom! We had our vanity built by Gossling Woodworking which is literally across the road from our house and the guys at Alpha Builders have been working hard to install them over the past few weeks!

I had another good find at Target, I’m all for investing in organization! I found this little tote to fit all of Carver’s markers and crayons in and organize his coloring books! It was a MESS. WE downsized and Carver and I sorted through ALL of his broken and dried out markers. We got rid of all them that didn’t fit in this container – one of my favorite organizing tips from Decluttering at the speed of life by Dana White: if your container can’t contain it, DOWNSIZE!

That’s my Tuesday guys! Check back tomorrow! IN the meantime, here are my latest posts:

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Kalissa’s Top Five Favorites of the Week

It has been awhile since I’ve shared a few of my favorite things that I’m OBSESSED with at the moment.

  • Taylor Swift’s new album folklore. I fully intend on writing an entire blog post analyzing each song and explaining why it is my FAVORITE Taylor Swift album (Sorry Red and Reputation!) but in the meantime, forget EVERYTHING you have ever heard from Taylor Swift and give this totally new sound a listen. If you only pick a few songs to listen to, I would say definitely mad woman, exile, and the last great american dynasty are top notch.
  • The Chicks new album! OMG! This is the most heart wrenching breakup album but in the funnest way ever! You’ve already heard music from the Chicks – formerly the Dixie Chicks – but they have a totally new sounds when paired with one of my favorite producers Jack Antonoff (also works with the one and only T-Swizzle) so if you were only to pick a few songs off of this album to listen to, I would go with Sleep at Night, Set me Free, and Young Man AND EVERYBODY LOVES YOU! You know what? Just go listen to the whole thing!
  • I’m also loving these razors my mom recommended from Amazon. I went from using Bic’s single blade razors to this, and I AM NEVER GOING BACK YOU GUYS! You get 9 razors for like $11! One razor lasted me 2 full months and was just as smooth as the first time I used it! Seriously, give it a shot! Here is the link: https://amzn.to/3gcllCq
  • HAMILTON. I’m hesitant to even mention this because nothing I write about this magical show will ever do it justice. Just go watch it on Disney Plus, with the subtitles on. Then download the album. Everything in our house is Hamilton. We speak to each other in rhythm, like we can’t get through a single sentence without making a Hamilton reference. I’ll try really hard to sum it up for those of you who haven’t heard of it: It is the most magical musical about Alexander Hamilton and the revolutionary war. The guy who plays Hamilton (Lin Manuel Miranda) wrote and composed the entire thing over 7 years. It’s amazing, incredible, magnificent, go watch it and come leave me a comment and we can debate over why Eliza gasps at the end.
  • Something else I’m obsessed with right now is the mysterious death of Kendrick Johnson – if you aren’t sure what I’m talking about – search “Crime Junkies” on your favorite podcast app and listen to The Mysterious Death of Kendrick Johnson posted on April 22nd 2019. There has been some recent speculation and development in the case and I can’t stop getting lost in the Reddit forums. If you are new to podcasts, I highly recommend crime junkie and I actually have a whole blog post about getting started listening to podcasts: http://www.thepinkshoelaces.com/intro-to-podcasts/

That’s all I have for today folks! Check back again soon! Also, my facebook reach is declining so you might not be seeing my posts in your Facebook feed. If you ever see a post from me and you want to keep seeing me in your facebook feed, make sure to like or comment so facebook knows you want to see more of me!


Before I go, I want to give a HUGE shoutout to a couple of my readers who have bought me a coffee (or more than one!!) Your support means the world and I need all the “caffeine” I can get 😉

Thank you to Samantha, Diane, Marilyn, Bonnie, Judy, Elle, Laurie, Gloria, Signe, and a few other anonymous fans!

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Couch Refresh

Did you read my post about deleting facebook? If not, you can read that here: http://www.thepinkshoelaces.com/a-day-without-facebook/

With all that extra time, I decided to get out a Christmas present my mom got me two years ago – a Bissel Portable Carpet cleaner. As you can see, our couch was in DESPERATE need of a refresh. I used this on on my couch cushions only once before and thought it didn’t do a great job but now I know that I was using it wrong. I think the before and after pictures speak for themselves:

Yuck, I know, but I’ve got two little boys and one that still occasionally has an accident over nap time. They eat on the couch and spill milk on the couch. It’s gross but that’s life. But look at that transformation! I wish you could see up close and truly FEEL the difference in the couch. I set the cushions out to dry outside and they were dry in just a few hours. I remember when I tried to do it before I felt like it took forever to dry but not today!

I washed all the pillow shams too and now my whole living room has a refresh.

Look how NASTY that water was! It’s oddly satisfying

As I’m sitting here on my newly refreshed couch I wish I had done this months ago. What a difference! Even Carver said “Mom, this couch feels like new!” I ended up running out of the formula that Bissel suggests to use and I just added about a fourth a scoop of oxyclean instead. I oxyclean everything in this house and the couch is no exception!

If you want to buy the same machine, it has excellent reviews on Amazon and I recommend it as well, especially if you have a couch you are just trying to limp through until your kids are old enough to not pee on it and dump milk on it 🙂

Here is the link! https://amzn.to/338139e

Even though it is a carpet cleaner, I’ve never used it on carpet, only on my couch (after two years of it sitting in the closet!) Anyway, thanks mom! I love your practical Christmas gifts!

If you ever purchase any amazon products from MY link, I do get commission. If you buy, let’s just say, $150 worth of other stuff while you’re on Amazon by following my link, I also get commission on those things you purchase. It’s a way to support my blog and it is a way to score some great quality products. I just want to be honest with you guys. I would have raved about these products even if I didn’t make any money off of it.

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