Shortly after my last post I found out I'm expecting baby #5! So life has been interesting and hectic. I just finished fall term and got my clinical placement for winter and spring term. I will be at a Birth Center! I am so happy and excited about it.
We find out if the baby is a girl or a boy next week. Everyone is rooting for another girl, but we'll be happy with whatever we are blessed with :)
I've been really focused for the last month and a half on improving my health. I had some test results come back with high values due to a medication I have been taking for my Bullous Pemphigoid. I immediately went off the medication, and I have been very fortunate but I am not having many issues with my skin. Thankfully the values went down after I stopped the medication, but I started really thinking about what I could change to help my body and I joined a wonderful free weight loss/fitness site called sparkpeople.com It has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. I've lost a few pounds, and I feel fabulous. I'm not on a "diet" I am making better choices but not depriving myself and I have a good feeling that this time it's going to stick. I've lost 70 lbs twice before and gained it back using other diet programs and I always felt like I couldn't eat anything. I also didn't lose it slowly so it was a huge shock to suddenly be so thin. I didn't do well with that. This time it's coming off slowly, but that gives me time to adjust and I like it that way. I have also been exercising almost every day on my treadmill. I feel really good when I am done and I know that it is helping my body be healthy.
One of the main motivations besides my own health is that I want to be able to "walk my talk" as a nurse and show my patients that change is possible and doesn't have to be incredibly difficult.
Gold Beach Lane and I in Jedidiah Smith Redwood State Park.
Busy summer! We visited family over the 4th of July for a reunion, and then my husband and I went to Gold Beach for a weekend. It was lovely! Nick is learning to swim and I have started walking every day for an hour to get back into shape.
My daughter will be graduating from H.S. June 11th. I am so proud of her. She has turned out to be such a bright woman with integrity and grace. Her senior prom was last weekend and I thought I'd post a few pics of her and her date.
I got an iTouch for Christmas and I'm loving it more and more every day. Makes me really want an iPad once the second/third generations are out and tested. Someday when I'm done with school I'll be able to replace my laptop with one I hope! So far I have added apps for Kindle- LOVE having a book to read wherever I go. Many very cheap or free books, and when I buy a book I always have it with me. I also have the Harry Potter Spells app for fun, and a Medscape App for a drugbook, proceedure instructions/info and I can even read articles or do CME's on it (education credits). I have barely scratched the surface of the app world. I feel like a kid in a candy store LOL.
My brother Jonathan and his wife are awaiting the imminent arrival of their second child today! This is the day after his movie release so it's a very exciting weekend. I love being an aunt and I only wish they lived close enough to visit. Japan is so very far away!
It's a girl! No name, length/weight yet but mother and baby are doing fine and my brother says he's going to bed with his older child and I am sure he's exhausted!
Last week of the term. Just one more clinical day and then finals. I followed a nurse in the PCU today, very different than the lockdown unit, I learned a lot today and actually felt useful, helping the nurse start an IV. I am looking forward to spring break, starting next monday after 3 pm :)
Mud Puddle has been having some health issues for the last month. It started with a swollen and then bleeding nose, that made it hard for her to breath. The vet ruled out bacterial infection, fungal infection, and then we thought it might be part of her autoimmune disease that attacked her ears a few years ago. But it's not any of those things. The results are back and it's squamous cell carcinoma and fast growing apparently. So we talked about it and the option of surgery which the vet felt wouldn't work, and would only add to the pain. We decided the kindest thing would be to end her suffering. I told the kids, and everyone is sad. Mud Puddle is going to the rainbow bridge on Monday.
This will be hard, because Nursing school takes up so much of my time, but I love to read, I have to have more stress relief outlets and I can make up some time during the summer. On a good day I can read a book so I know this one is possible. Plus I'm behind in all my reading fun! I have a stack of books waiting for me from Christmas :)
1. Acacia- Fantasy series. This was an enjoyable read.
5. Lamentation by Ken Scholes I really enjoyed this book. First in a series. I started it as my "van" book, to read while waiting for the boys to get out of school, but I couldn't put it down! I am going to download the next one for my itouch.
6. Anything but Typical- A novel written from the perspective of an autistic 12 year old boy. This subject is close to my heart since I have one exactly the same age. I could only read it in snatches, because it made me cry. Very well written and reality checked by people on the autism spectrum so that it truly reflects how they perceive things. I highly recommend this book!
7. A Game of Thrones A song of Ice and Fire Book 1- Wonderful fantasy, similar to Acacia in some ways. I'm already reading the sequel on my itouch.
8. Half the Sky- This is a life changing book. Difficult to read, as it is hard to face the reality that most of the women in the world today live under such dangerous circumstances and face the kind of treatment we generally like to think ended when slavery was abolished, apartheid was ended, etc. In reality many women are still sex slaves, and according to this book there are more slaves today than at the peak of the European slave trade. It's not all bad news, this book goes into many details about the work being done to change things for women all around the world, and how you can get involved. It all boils down to education, and enlightening the local people that there is another way. If you get a chance, read this book, then pick something that resonates with you and help.
9. A Clash of Kings Book 2 of the song of Ice and Fire series- I can't help it, I had to keep reading until it was done. Bed can wait!
10. A Storm of Swords Book 3 of the song of Ice and Fire series- Still satisfying, I'm going to be sad when I get to the end of this series.
11.A Feast for Crows Book 4 of the song of Ice and Fire series- Only took me a day and a half to read this one wanting to get to the good parts! Once I got to the end I discovered the last book in the series hasn't been finished yet, and it was a bit of a cliffhanger. How disappointing, but I guess I need to do something other than read this vacation!
12. The Titan's Curse- book 3 of the Percy Jackson and the Lightning thief series. The kids and I can't get enough, really enjoying sharing this series with them.
13. Witch and Wizard by James Patterson - Such a dissapointment. I didn't realize this was a YA book and it was much lighter reading than I was hoping for. I was bored for most of the book.
14. The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan- Book 4 in the series continuing the story of Percy Jackson and his friends in their battle against Kronos. Still excellent and such a fun way to share mythology with the kids!
15. World Made by Hand by James Howard Kunstler. Post oil world. Interesting world he's developed that feels like a return to the late 1800's. A bit on the religious side, but the plot is good and the characters are well developed. I finished it in one day while doing other things so it's a quick read!
17. Bet Me- a combined two story paperback by Jennifer Crusie. Lighthearted romance. I will be reading more of her books. Her characters are different than the usual romance protagonists.
18.Destiny's Road by Larry Niven- Very typical sci fi for it's era. I enjoyed it but something was missing from the flow. It is worth reading, but I felt lost at times.
19. Aftermath by Charles Sheffield- Post supernova EMP from a nearby star knocks out technology in this futuristic postapocalyptic novel. It had well developed characters, and a plot that kept you turning the pages.
20. This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer- The third in her series of YA fiction about the moon being knocked closer to the earth. I didn't enjoy this one after about CH 14, the author seemed to be going off on a tangent, and the characters didn't feel like they were following their personalities in the decisions they made. I did however enjoy her first two in this series, Life as we Knew it and The Dead and the Gone.
21. Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks- I read this for class, found it a great read. It's about the Black Death, and the main character's struggles.
So I have been slacking, and it's September! I'll add the links later.
Books I read this summer
22. Daggerspell by Katherine Kerr- Great fantasy series.
23. ACLS Book- American Heart Association - Preparation text for Advanced Cardiac Life Support. I passed my certification so it must have been good :)
24. The Mermaid's Chair by Sue Monk Kidd- Romance but with a twist. Love ended and regained. A bit gory in parts
25. Safe Harbor by Luanne Rice- another Romance novel. Sailing and sisterhood, and love over time. Nice story
26. Silent Night by Mary Higgins Clark- Romance, and mystery. O.k. but not my favorite.
27. Canticle by Ken Scholes- Continuation of the series. Very gripping and great characters.
Well I ended up reading only 27 books this year, but considering all the things that I had on my plate I am pretty happy to have read that many!
I noticed a tree in bloom near my friend's house on Monday. That and the pansy's in bloom and the return of blue skies has me cheerful. Spring is on the way! Of course along with that comes allergy season, so we are getting ahead of the curve and starting the meds now before we all turn into sniffling stuffy noses.
This pic is from 2000, but it's one of my favorites. I am looking forward to the tulips! I have been doing well with my coursework. Only 3 more weeks in this term, and I am mostly done with our psychosocial paper. Next term we move on to Populations and Epidemiology. I am really looking forward to Epidemiology since infectious diseases are a special interest of mine. I find them absolutely facinating.
This term has been a difficult one for me so far. Not so much the academics, although that is always a lot of work and time consuming. This time it's the emotional toll. I'm working in a hospital psychiatric ward, and while I'm fine while I'm on the floor my heart is breaking for the lost souls who are there, and their families. There are so few resources in this state and in this area in particular and so much need. I feel badly for my patients who had no chance from the beginning. Not only do they lack the insight to see what they must do to get well, but they lack the social support to have a chance. No stable family life, their history is a mess, and despite myself I find it very rough to look at these people especially the young ones and not think but for the grace of god go my children. While they don't have something like psychosis or schizophrenia, autism comes with some similar challenges in being able to construct an independent life. Right now they are doing so well in school and functioning at such a high level that I have high hopes that they will lead lives that rival any "normal" person's in their success and fulfillment. I feel very blessed and I am taking things one day at a time right now, doing what I have to do to sooth my soul, and being very very kind to myself, my family and my friends.