Monday, December 6, 2010

A nonproductive study break...but a great blast from the past!

 As you are about to tell I have been really productive with my time since I got home from class! On Facebook this past weekend there was this movement of putting up a picture of your favorite childhood cartoon as a way to fight back against child abuse. Well, I had a hard time thinking of my favorite...Tail Spin? Gummy Bears? Chip n Dale? I started remembering shows from when I was a kid. Trav and I always talk about how our cartoons and shows were so much better than what is on now. You didn't have to worry about all the censoring or what could possibly be on an episode. They were just carefree and geared towards KIDS! 

I youtubed the theme song for Fraggle Rock and it kept suggesting more cartoons from the good old 80s and early 90s. I than became seriously distracted going to each one to see what I remembered. I decided to share them with you! :-) Now, what's going to happen when I enter in "Saved by the Bell" or "Brady Bunch" ?!

( Just click on the link to hear the theme song! I know you feel like procrastinating from whatever you are doing right now to skip down memory lane....)

Fraggle Rock

Disney Gummy Bears

Chip N Dale Rescue Rangers

Duck Tales

Dark Wing Duck

Tail Spin

Care Bears

Under the Umbrella Tree

Reading Rainbow







Tiny Toons

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Critical Care

I am already 4 weeks into my final term of nursing school. I can't even believe it! My classes consist of critical care lecture and clinical along with a course called Integration of Nursing concepts. All I have to say's alot of work! 

I truly like critical care but it is challenging. I usually am able to grasp concepts right away but this stuff I study for hours and I still can't comprehend it! I am just waiting for the day when it all just "clicks". ( It hasn't yet, lol) My lecture instructor is a hoot. She is straight from the south and her accent is amazing. Alot about her reminds me of my mom from her pixie hair cut, her animated stories, and more.She has been a flight nurse, trauma nurse, cardiac nurse, and the list goes on. She knows her stuff! Thankfully, she keeps class moving at a good pace but she keeps us focused and enthusiastic. Aside from her brutal test, I look forward to Tuesday morning with her.

Critical care clinical is at Placentia-Linda, this tiny little hospital hidden on Rose Drive. I love it! It's small enough where you don't feel lost as a nursing student but yet a handful of the nurses are willing to teach with a joyful attitude. We are rotated through units such as tele, ER, GI lab, outpatient surgery, ICU, and a day as team leader. After having a break between terms when we finally stepped into the hospital for the first day of clinical, I sighed a sigh of relief. I love hospitals. I love the shiny floors, the beeping call lights and IV pumps, the hustle and bustle, and constant changing. It's just the right place for me. :-)

Integration of nursing concepts may be the death of me. We are set up with an online virtual classroom where we had to take a predictor test for the state boards and based off our initial scores we are assigned a calendar to prep for these next weeks. I was given a 5 week one which entails practice exams after practice exams. And if you don't meet the bench mark score you are given remediation assignments and yes, more practice exams. I'm killing my eyes from staring at a computer taking tests all day....I'm also going to give myself some serious skin breakdown from sitting on my bum on the bed all day to do so! On top of that we have exams to take through HESI, Kaplan, and evolve case studies. Whew.

Last but not least, Simulation lab. I take back what I said before because THIS will be the death of me. I have my first testing this week on Wed/Thurs. Last week, they failed everyone on the first day. At least I won't have high expectations going in. This is where they see what we are made of. We have a whole suite on our campus for Sims. It is set up just like a hospital inside. In each room is a dummy, computerized charting, med carts, monitors, O2, and more. On one side of the room the whole wall is a one way window...that way our classmates can sit on the other side and critique us. In the corner is another one way window that leads into the control room where multiple instructors sit to evaluate you and control the situation. We each get 20 minute scenarios. We are given report, assigned a classmate to be our CNA, and that we must perform our head to toe assessment and enviroment checks within 5 min. Should you miss one thing, you miss it all. They grade us for technique, teaching, delegation, and the list goes on. At some point in the scenario our patient changes. He/She may have an MI, stroke, seizure, pneumonia, allergic reaction, pulmonary embolism, GI bleed, hypovolemia, A-fib, and undergo respiratory depression. They may go into V-tach/fib and need to be defibrilated which in that case we call a code and run through the whole thing, with a live, working defib machine. 

They want to see our focused assessments when something changes, nonpharmacological interventions, how we contact physicians, how we order labs and take med phone orders, how we chart, hang blood, push IV meds, and more. One of the instructors does the voice of the patient so that they actually respond to what we say. They are the doctor or pharmacist or charge nurse or whomever we call. There are cameras on us the whole time so they can zoom in to see the smallest of details. They record it so we can watch ourselves after and see what needs to be changed. The dummies are like live people. They sweat, cry, become cyanotic, have sputum, snot, they pee, they vomit, the poop, they seize, they show all physical signs of a stroke, and their pupils react to light. All sounds are there too. Every heart sound, lung sound, and bowel sound can be assessed. Pulses can be felt and their chest rises when they breath. You can get a real blood pressure reading too. And our instructors know if we touched the pulse in the right spot or listened to the right locations on the heart because it shows on their monitors.

Can you see why I am nervous? I want to throw up just thinking about it! I'm just praying I don't blank on Wed and I pray I don't kill or harm my fake but real patient! I can't believe these are the final weeks. I'm so ready to be done but seriously lacking the motivation to get there. I'm a breath away from being burned out. So please pray for strength and motivation to push through till the end!

Ermelings visit!!

The best part about schools in AZ is the early fall break they get! In October, the girls were given a week off from school so the Ermelings planned a Disneyland vacation! Of course I was pumped because that meant....they were coming to me! They had a fun trip planned and got great deals on Paradise Pier Hotel and multiple day pass to Disneyland!

Although I couldn't miss class and Trav was working, it still worked out for us to meet them at the happiest place on earth a few times. The new show, World of Color, at California Adventure is the hot new thing at Dland. However, you have to have a fast pass in order to see it. Lyns found that certain restaurants give you passes to up close viewing if you eat there first. So, we met them for a delicious dinner at Ariel's Grotto. After dinner we got front row viewing for the water show. It was beautiful! Disney really did a great job bringing everything to life. They had a long day at the parks before hand and Tessa was tired by the end of dinner. During the show I leaned down to see how she was liking it. She was swaying back and forth! She was sound asleep on her feet! I scooped her up and held her for the rest of the show. Oh how sad I'm going to be when I can't pick her up anymore!

The next morning we were both able to come back to fill a half of a day at the park! The girls had a list of rides they wanted to go on. They both love Big Thunder now....and I love that they are able to ride big rides finally! Lexi learned she was tall enough to drive her very own car on Autopia!!! I remember that totally feel like you are driving your own car...ruling the road! Tessa went on Materhorn...twice!

We had a blast with them while they were here! The visit was too quick but I am thankful I have seen them already since than! Christmas couldn't come soon enough!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010


( I promise I will get back to writing about my last term. I've been avoiding it because I spend so much time studying and in the books that being on the computer to do something non nursing is a good break! As we speak, I am even taking an online practice exam but I simply cannot focus, so I thought I would blog)

Aloha means hello AND goodbye. For Trav and I this week, it meant goodbye. A few weeks ago Trav gave a presentation that would be the final piece in preparing for a promotion. He was approached before Thanksgiving in regards to being a top candidate and was asked if he was relocatable. He responded yes and gave a list of places we would be willing to go: Arizona, Colorado, San Diego, the bay area and St. Louis. They informed him he would not hear anything until after Christmas. Whew. We would have time to enjoy the holidays with family before any life changing decisions had to be made!
Yesterday Trav called me in the morning which is odd because usually he can't call until after a certain time. I was excited to hear from him and started rambling away. He interrupted me to say,
" My boss approached me. They would like to promote me and relocate us." What?!? Already? Where too? My heart was racing. He went on to say, "They want to send me to Hawaii."
I'm sorry, they want to WHAT?! I mean we have been praying for God to open a door for a long time now but I haven't been praying for a plane flight to the Big Island unless it's for a summer vacation! I quickly shook myself out of the initial shock and picked my heart back up from where it had dropped inside me. We began to talk through it. He needed more information and we were ready to be open to the possibility and research as well. But we had less than 24 hours to decide.

We both received advice throughout the day and did our own digging around into the possibility of living on the Big Island. There was a never ending or closing prayer that ran through my head and heart all day as I anxiously waited for Trav to come home so we could make our decision. Dinner at Ricardos, a comfortable and familiar place for us, was the perfect spot to have our heart to heart. The position they offered him was huge. He would be promoted as a business partner with Target, in charge of all asset protection for every island in Hawaii. On top of that he would be the District Facilities Manager for all of them as well. What an honor! However, it was a 3 year commitment...which can always turn into something longer. Every detail was laid out to talk about from cost of living, to nursing jobs, having kids, seeing family, and more. We worked through the pros and cons of living there.  Trav would island hop weekly to oversee each store, which also brought some concern to the table. 

We came to the decision that this was not the right move for us for multiple reasons. Thankfully Trav's boss had reassured him earlier in the day that if he was to decline the offer it would not hinder his chances in the next few months for another promotion. Trav found out as well that the lady who had chosen Trav was aware he was relocatable but not aware of his first choices. Trav let her know that he was willing to go to AZ, CA, CO, MO, and he added in TX. 

So, what now? We wait. He probably won't hear anything till after Christmas but the exciting thing is that where ever they offer him next will probably be something that we will take. As we talked last night we were both a little overwhelmed but really excited for the new adventure life is bringing us in 2011. I look back to a year ago and how we never would have thought of anything but the OC. And now, we have so many options and we are so excited to see where the Lord leads us. Our God is amazing and what a comfort it is to let everything go so He can lead. 

Now, I think a summer trip to the Hawaiian islands might be necessary......

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Quick Dessert

Ever need a quick dessert and don't have time to run to the market or make something fancy?! I have a few "go to" desserts where I somehow always have the ingredients in the house in case I need to bake something on short notice and don't want to risk trying a new recipe. One of my favorites is this Triple Chocolate Cake. It looks like it took time but it is by far the easiest thing to throw together! :-) 

If you have any quick and easy dessert recipes, let me know! I am always looking for new things to add to my recipe book! 

I can't believe it's already Christmas season! Which means......lots of yummy treats! My family has the best Christmas recipes that we all look forward to each year! I can't wait to eat my mom's chocolate fudge....and I know my sister, Lyndsay, will have butterscotch at Christmas. I'm already salivating! Our grandma's Christmas cookies are by far the best you will ever have. Bold statement, I know. But it's the truth. I'm sad to miss the Christmas cookie baking day this year....well, I'm really disappointed to miss sneaking chunks of dough to eat with my sisters when our mom is not watching!!! I can't wait for Lyns' twisties on Christmas morning or for Christmas bread! And, I'm going to be daring this year and try a German cookie recipe that my Grandma used to make. My dad loves them and I think a little reminder of her and his childhood  will be special! =)

Let the holiday cooking begin!

Triple Chocolate Cake

1 box Devils' food cake mix
1 small box instant choc. pudding
1 12 oz package of semi-sweet choc. chips
1 and 3/4 cup milk
2 eggs

Add all ingredients together. Pour into a well-greased bundt pan. 
Bake at 350 for 50-55 min. Let cool in pan for 15 min. 
Remove and top with powdered sugar!
Top with some cool whip!