The Gannon Report

I wish I didn’t have an update. I wish everything was going great. That’s just not the case.

As you’re reading this I am preparing for Gannon to have an in-home assessment this morning. Gannon has been falling behind on some of his milestones. He doesn’t babble very much. He doesn’t have very many sounds or words. He is still quite a ways from walking.

If you recall Gannon’s ear drum ruptured again last week. Gannon was taken to the audiologist and ENT specialist on Tuesday. He had his hearing tested which revealed that Gannon has moderate hearing loss. When we hear noises starting at 15 decibels it takes Gannon at least 40 decibels to start to hear things. They even tried a different kind of hearing test which stimulates vibration in the bone in the ear. That did not go well either.

If Gannon was school aged and participating in a class room discussion, he would miss About 50% of the conversation. He hears what we hear when we put our fingers in our ears and plug our ears.

We aren’t sure yet how much of this is related to ear infections. He has passed other hearing screens, however none of them were done in the sound booth which is the gold standard for hearing testing in his age.


On Tuesday he was tested in the hearing booth and that’s when things went poorly. So that adds another surgery to our schedule because Gannon is getting tubes in his ears next Thursday. We are hopeful this will help his hearing loss. Time will tell.

In the meantime when Keystone comes to visit us tomorrow, I’m going to request that he start working with speech therapy right away so he does not fall further behind while we get this all straightened out.

He also has a swallow study to test how he tolerates different textures on February 28. Gannon does not tolerate food well and often chokes. He’s had a swallow study done in the past but it wasn’t very thorough or as in-depth as this next one will be.

Milawakee finally got back to me and they have absolutely no availability to see him before April 6 which really bums me out because there was a hope that he could get in to Milwaukee in March. I finally heard the answer yesterday that we have to wait till April.

This weekend and has been struggling with constipation and crying every time he has a bowel movement. We still haven’t advanced his diet beyond formula.

We are in this weird transition phase between University of Iowa and Milwaukee where is University of Iowa doesn’t really have anything more they can offer us and Milwaukee cannot recommend anything because they haven’t seen him yet.

In the meantime Gannon really only drinks milk and can tolerate some yogurt and puff cereal most of the time. Last weekend hechoked on a piece of Chex cereal and I had to give them a few back slaps before he threw up.

I keep trying to focus on the fact that Gannon is HAPPY! He is so happy. He is so funny. He is the chillest baby I’ve met in my life. I’m so thankful for him. I wouldn’t trade him for the world.

I love the way he bear crawls everywhere, I love the way he thinks he is SO FUNNY when he goes underneath the table, I love the way he sleeps through the night (I really love that!) and I love how he fits so perfectly into our little family.

I’ll keep fighting for you Gannon!

One Year Ago: Reliving Dad’s Cancer Journey

My father, Roger Kramer passed away from lung cancer on June 2nd, 2019 after his 129 day battle. His cancer progressed quickly after his diagnosis on January 24th 2019. The cancer spread to his C2, eating away at the bone and fracturing his neck. After finishing chemotherapy and radiation, a PET scan t revealed the cancer had spread throughout his body. I was honored to care for him in his final days and he passed away 4 days later. We not only lost a father but Craig and I lost a dear friend and community member.

One year ago on February 7th, I wrote this:

Today was a tough day.

Mom and Dad ventured through the ice storm to get to Lacrosse for an appointment with dad’s surgeon and for breathing tests to see how he would fair without a portion of his right lung.

The news wasn’t great. We originally thought he would get 2/3 of his right lung removed. Today the surgeon made it sound more like maybe they would take the entire right lung. It’s amazing the difference just one lobe would make. Things would be a lot harder without that one lobe. Dad would probably be on oxygen for a long time. He might need a pacemaker. It would have a significant impact on his life as we know it.

There were a lot of big scary statistics that the surgeon brought up. A lot of big scary “if this then that” was discussed. Mom and Dad left the appointment feeling very overwhelmed.

We also found out Dad will need more biopsies on lymph nodes next week and will be in Lacrosse again on Tuesday and Wednesday. IF these biopsies come back okay – the big surgery will be scheduled the next week. IF they come back cancerous – we will start chemo first and the surgery will be delayed.

We all thought we would get a solid treatment plan by today. That keeps getting put off. We are ALL a family of planners. We so desperately want a clear plan and path of how to navigate this ugly disease. No such luck.

So we will wait until next week. We’ve been waiting until “next week” since January 24th.

We are all feeling a little defeated. I say “we” because Dad’s fight is our fight. Dad got some really nice cards in the mail today and their neighbors shoveled their sidewalk for them for when they got home which was so sweet. Mom got an inspiring message from a blog reader about her husbands triumph over the same cancer dad has. You never know when your well wishes or small acts of kindness are needed. Today they were needed. Dad reads all the comments on mine and mom’s Facebook so feel free to drop him a note.

I completely forgot that it was ever a part of Dad’s plan to remove his lung. When he did go in for surgery on February 18th his tumor was to intertwined in his chest wall, pericardium, and lung. They tried and tried to get the tumor out and then get the lung out but they couldn’t. It was so hard to watch Dad recover from the “failed” surgery. They just sewed him back up and sent him on for chemo and radiation.

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“I’m on a diet.”

Them:

“Carbs are bad for you. “

“You need carbs.”

“Don’t eat bread.”

Me: But Oprah eats bread on Weight Watchers! Maybe I’ll try weight watchers…

“Don’t restrict yourself.”

“Bananas have the most carbs.”

“In fact, don’t eat fruit at all. They are full of sugar.”

“Nothing processed. EVER.”

“Potatoes are so bad.”

“You really need a supplement.”

“Corn is too starchy.”

“EAT MORE PROTEIN!”

“Do NOT add low calorie sweetener to your coffee.”

“You can eat eggs, but only the whites. The yolks have all the bad stuff.”

“ACTUALLY, the yolks are good for you.”

“Keto is the BEST you feel so great after you feel absolutely horrible for 2 weeks.”

“Keto is NOT something you can maintain long term.”

“Gluten is the reason you have acne!”

“CUT ALL DAIRY and your skin will never look better!”

“Intermittent fasting is best – I only eat between the hours of 1 pm and 9 pm.”

“Cauliflower really isn’t the best veggie for you…it is so starchy.”

“Don’t even try to lose weight unless you’re drinking your body weight in ounces every day.”

“Why even diet if you don’t cleanse first?”

“Add butter to your coffee but NEVER to your food!”

“Atkins diet is the way to go!”

“You MUST exercise 30 minutes every day. If you don’t, you won’t lose weight.”

“If you can add spinach to it, do it.”

“Are you on a probiotic?”

“Almond milk isn’t REAL milk! DRINK REAL MILK!”

Eat as soon as you wake up in the morning to get your metabolism going and then eat 6 small meals throughout the day to keep it going.”

“Only eat 2 meals a day. Let your metabolism rest between meals.”

“Frozen yogurt tastes just as good as ice cream!”

STOP!

I. Just. Want. To. Be. At. A. Healthy. Weight. And. Maintain. IT.

Where do I start when every step is the wrong way according to someone?

Where do I start when my life is not the same from week to week.

Where do I start when I don’t even have groceries because I’ve worked the last 6 days straight?

Where do I start when I’m supposed to be making “me time” to get to the gym and then people tell me I’m not home with my kids enough?

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Why I Left My First Nursing Job

I can’t stress how difficult the transition is from a student nurse to a professional nurse.

I even had experience as a CNA, EMT and LPN and nothing could have prepared me for the culture shock that was working on my own taking patients as a registered nurse for the first time.

It is well documented how tumultuous the first year it is for new nursing graduates.

The average nurse turnover rate (how many nurses in a particular unit/department/hospital that seek a new nursing position elsewhere) in an average year was 16% in 2015.

New grads have twice the turnover rate at 30% in the first year as a new nurse graduate and a whopping 57% in their second year as a new grad.

This can be chalked up to a variety of factors including heavy workloads, disillusionment of the profession, crazy hours/schedules, insufficient time spent with patients, or seeking a more challenging work environment.

I was a part of this statistic leaving my first RN position after 9 months to seek a more challenging work environment after nailing down the basic/fundamentals in a general med/surg/ER rotation position. I wanted to work full time ER, the opportunity presented itself.

I felt HORRIBLE leaving after they had invested so much time and training in me. They paid for me to take classes like:

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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!”


PIZZA SALE!!!

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!


FENDER BENDER!

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!

What is your WHY?

I’ve contemplated day in and day trying to find my why. Every entrepreneur podcast I listen to the constantly talk about “find your why.” It has taken me the longest time to nail it down but after listening to Jenna Kutcher’s Goal Digger podcast, I think I’ve almost got it nailed down.

Well, I love to connect with people. I love to be creative. I love to share my life.

I’ve always loved creative writing. I was in writers club and speech in high school. I’ve loved performing and sharing and I even love public speaking. My mom always joked that as the youngest of five I had to speak up to be noticed or heard. That was no problem for me.

When I was in high school, I connected to people through music and through songwriting. I played guitar and wrote lyrics. I competed in songwriting competitions and sand at open mics. I loved meeting people and connecting with them.

I placed second at regional Texaco Country Showdown singing my own songs that I wrote the day after I met Craig.

When I got to college and hit nursing school, I stopped writing music. I’m not sure why. The lyrics that would keep me up at night bouncing around in my head faded. My guitar collected dust. I was too busy.

Over the past several years, I’ve felt like something was missing. I’ve longed for a hobby. I’ve longed for a sense of belonging. I had my work, I had my kids, but I did not have any kind of creative outlet. I longed for connection. I longed for the sense of pride and the excitement of putting something out into the universe and being so proud of it.

Of course I can tell this all now. I can see the void that needed to be filled in hindsight. I can tell I needed somewhere to channel my sometimes hypomanic energy but at the time, it felt lonely. I felt like I was looking for something. I felt like I wasn’t living up to my full potential. Depression set in. Anxiety built up.

I tried so hard to find what I was looking for. I tried selling LuLaRoe, I started an antique business, I tried joining a gym, I bought fabric and was going to try and sew, I was filling my time with everyone else’s hobby but my own.

Back when I used to sell LuLaRoe…another blog post for another time…

If you asked me what my dream job would be, it would be a professional blogger, an advocate for the nursing profession, a public speaker, and overall “creative.” I wanted to tell stories, educate and connect with people. I listened to the very first chapter of Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis on a Tuesday. On Friday, September 27th, my late father’s birthday, I published my first blog post.

Now I’m not suggesting that if you start a blog it will cure your depression and anxiety but having a creative outlet and a feeling of connection has been so beneficial in all aspects of my life, specifically my mental health.

So if you haven’t heard of Rachel Hollis, she’s very inspiring obviously. Just the first chapter of that book silenced all of my fears and objections. I’d contemplated starting a blog for so long but when I heard “You are made for more” “just START!” and “the world needs what you have to offer” it hit me on just the right day at the right time.

There you have it folks! I think that is my WHY for now. I think your “why” can change and evolve over time. It’s also something I do for me – not for anyone else ironically.

Do you have a why? Or are you just as sick of that question as I was?

It honestly made me feel like a phony when I couldn’t think of a WHY because they really push it in all of the business/entrepreneur/self improvement space.

When you’re stuck or when things get hard you’re supposed to remember your why and why you started in the first place.

It also helps me make decisions about my blog – does this help me tell stories? Does this help me connect with people? After all that’s WHY I’m doing this. See? 🙂

Thanks for reading friends!!! See you all tomorrow!!!

Carver and the Mysterious Brown Substance in our Bed Sheets…

Carver is not a good sleeper.

I love him dearly but Oh. My. Gosh. Carver does not sleep well.

“Look Mom! Me a TORTOISE!”

This has gotten progressively worse since he’s gotten older and especially since my Dad died. Usually around 3 am he will crawl into our bed until I kick him back into his bed and then he’ll wake up at 5 and tell me he’s hungry and thirsty and then back to his room and then crawl in bed with Gannon and wake him up and blah blah blah. Bottom line, Carver has been driving us crazy at night.

We’ve tried establishing a routine. We get our jammers (pajamas) and a paw patrol (night time pull up) and then we play favorites. Favorites is a game we play. Carver asks each of us what our favorite part of the day is and then he asks us each what made us mad or sad or angry and then we share what we want to do tomorrow.

Then we tuck him in, we do a huggie and a kissy and an ugga mugga (which is from Daniel Tiger – like an eskimo kiss we rub noses together). Then we have to leave the light on and the door open and then we HAVE to go to bed otherwise he will sit on top of the stairs and cry until we come to bed.

We thought we were doing everything right. Carver never once co-slept in our bed as a baby. He was always in his crib from DAY ONE. Well then he started taking naps with me in our bed and then when he was sick he would sleep in our bed and when there are fire booms (fire works) he sleeps in our bed and then when there is thunder he sleeps in our bed… UGH!

Mostly Carver is afraid of the dark. He really wants Gannon to start sleeping in his room with him but I told Carver he has to be brave enough to leave his light off all through the night.

Carver has been SO GOOD at daycare the last few weeks, I decided to order him a present. On Tuesday he snuggled up and we picked out a night light on Amazon. I even let him hit the “order” button, Carver said “Where is it?!” I explained it won’t come until Thursday which is still really quick. He said “It’s so hard to wait!!”

It was so hard to wait. He asked about it incessantly until the amazon box FINALLY arrived on Thursday! We immediately turned it on and plugged it in. It is really cool. Check it out:

You can opt to turn the stars on or off but we have it set with the stars and the moon. We also have it set to flash between different colors. As cool as it may be… IT DOES NOT KEEP CARVER IN BED!

But…if you want one, you can find it on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/37TDyAi

This morning I woke up to Carver in my bed AGAIN. Not only that, but a mysterious brown substance all over my legs and Gannon’s face…

Guys – I had to smell it to be sure but it was….

CHOCOLATE!

I interrogated an awfully guilty looking Carver who admitted to tucking chocolate chips into his moose pajamas pocket in the middle of the night, sneaking back upstairs leaving smeary chocolate all over our bed, my legs, and Gannon’s face.

The other morning I went to wake him up and he ripped a piece of paper into a million tiny pieces and sprinkled it all over his bedroom.

*sigh* Well guys, I’m open for suggestions. I have no idea. I read an article about how damaging it can be for little kids to be kept behind closed doors that they can’t open but I think we need to shut his door at night or put some kind of lock on it. Earlier this Summer he got out of bed in the night and somehow fell and had to get staples in his head!

That boy is giving me grey hair at the ripe age of 24. Pray for me friends.

The Better Version of Me

“I wish I didn’t feel like there was a better version of me out there. I feel like that all the time.”

This is the most relatable sentence I’ve ever heard in my entire life.

If you don’t already know, I’m such a huge Taylor Swift fan. I’ve seen her in concert twice, I’m the girl who stays up until midnight to download her music, I feel like I grew up with her.

Regan and I at Taylor’s Fearless Tour in 2010

Maybe some of you know this, maybe some of you don’t. In high school, I wrote songs and played guitar. I recorded an album in my living room and sold it on iTunes. I was pretty good. I still have all of my YouTube videos somewhere and maybe someday I’ll be brave enough to post them again. Taylor was my inspiration during my transition from girl to woman.

Regan and I saw Taylor in Minneapolis on Reputation tour in 2018

Taylor Swift recently released a documentary on Netflix called Miss Americana. It essentially details her rise to fame and her highly publicized recent take on politics, her Kanye West feud, her disappearance for over a year, but one particular line just jumped out at me. She said:

“I wish I didn’t feel like there was a better version of me out there. I feel like that all the time.”

My heart just about stopped when she said this. This is what it is like living as a recovering perfectionist.

Watching Taylor in the movie constantly criticizing herself, pushing herself, how she handles disappointment, making everyone wonder how she does it all, it is so obvious to the audience how hard she is on herself and I found myself stuck in the same thought process over and over.

I obsessed over tiny details, so much so that I didn’t put anything out into the world until it was so perfect that I never actually put anything out into the world. It’s addictive behavior and it is exhausting constantly trying to find the person you feel like you should be.

No matter what I do or how hard I try, I’m almost never content with one aspect of my life or another. It goes in waves.

When I’m not obsessing over my weight I’m pushing myself in my career to further my education or find a more challenging job. When I’m content with my job I’m obsessed with keeping my house cleaner and more organized and more efficient to the point of exhaustion. I’m constantly trying to improve myself and be better and push harder. One day I’m a minimalist and the next I’m a shopaholic. I’m constantly looking for bigger and better. I want more and I want it now.

The problem is, I’ve been competent and capable thus far. I know I can push myself and I know I can handle anything. If I want something, I get it. So why not want more? Won’t you get more?

There was one point in the movie where she was filming the music video for ME! and she re films one scene over and over and over. In between takes she is just bashing herself, her dancing skills, her talents. She’s making a joke out of it but if anyone else on the crew were to say those cruel things about her, I’m sure they would be fired. I can so relate to the self criticism and making jokes while I’m just hating myself.

I’m not really sure where I was going with this blog post but here we are. That line just really resonated with me and I wanted to give you a glimpse into my mind as a perfectionist. I get a lot of blog readers that comment and tell me to “slow down” or “focus on my family.”

My mind doesn’t do slow. I’m always looking to the future. I’m always trying to be better than the person I was yesterday. Some days I can maintain that in a healthy manner but perfectionism can become toxic and dangerous and I find myself with an unhealthy obsession with perfectionism more often than not.

That was just one line from the entire movie but it stopped me in my tracks. Overall, Taylor’s new documentary is a 10/10 but honestly, she could say just about anything and I’d still be her biggest fan. If you watch it, let me know. I’m going to re watch it with my mom sometime again soon it was that good.

If you too are struggling with perfectionism, or you’d just love a good book, check out The Gift of Imperfection by Brene Brown: https://amzn.to/37PtSqu

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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