Wednesday, November 23, 2011

giving thanks

Gobble Gobble

happy thanksgiving :)

I'm pretty thankful that my first semester of nursing school is coming to a close :) Honestly, I haven't studied half as much as I will next semester.

I'm thankful that all my family is in the same place and we don't have to go very far to see one another.

I'm thankful for a patient husband and a sweet daughter who choose to love me every day.

I'm thankful for friends that are always there, no matter how long it's been since we've talked/hung out.

I'm thankful for family traditions:
  • Thanksgiving lunch at Grandma Betty's - kitchen full of food, table full of deserts - plastic silver ware that we wash every year [i always get the pink plastic spoon :)]
  • Aunt Linda's sweet potato pie
  • We used to have the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade on in the background leading up to lunch - now, it's the AK dog show because my Aunt Wanda is very into dog grooming.
  • Football. Football. & Football.
  • Family soccer game in the backyard [all the cousins minus me]
  • Going home with bowls full of left-overs
  • thanksgiving day naps
what are you thankful for?


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I'll be the 1st to tell you that I know nothing about HTML. But slowly, this blogging thing has become very enjoyable to me and I'm learning a few things. At the top of my page, I've added "favorite family recipes" and will be putting all the stuff we love and cook pretty regularly. I DO need some new, healthy recipes though, so any suggestions are more than welcome!

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Last weekend, we had our very 1st photo shoot with Roger's side of the family. These are some of the proofs we get to choose from. There are around 136 in total, but I'm  trying to narrow it down a little because that can get pricey!! Sarah D'Attoma was our photographer and the pictures turned out beautiful!

I'm VERY THANKFUL that she took so many pictures because there are always pics where people aren't looking, eyes are closed, mouths are in mid-talking awkward positions.
Hailee posed most of the time.
We had to keep reminding her to put her hands down. This was definitely a First. For the 1st 2 years of her life, every time I took her to get her pictures made, no one could do ANYTHING to make her smile.
Let's just say things have changed.


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and.. this is our motivation to lose weight : \ [at least it is mine.]

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cousins.

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I didn't know she was sticking her tongue out until I saw this proof.

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Hailee and Grammie

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fall foliage.

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"Hailee!! put your hands down!!"

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Hailee and Sammi

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Grammie and Poopah, and the granddaughters.
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the cummings [along with another on the way that will be here July 2012 :)]



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I have one more check-off in lab to complete - next week! then that will be all for the labs. It is a "draw out of the hat" where we have to draw one of the skills we've already checked off on and do it for the instructors. I'm pretty nervous about it because there are many skills that could be in that hat so I have a lot of reading/video watching ahead of me over this Thanksgiving break.

And my last clinical day in the Hospital will be Fri, 12/02. So hard to believe it's almost December. There are 4 small presents wrapped up under our tree and that was even a gamble trying to decide if we should put those out - Hailee wants to open them so bad, already! I don't know if she'll be able to make it to Christmas. She's so excited!

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There were a few days of sweaters, sweatshirts, furry socks - then it was 80 degrees outside again. Then I think we were supposed to have some rain/storms come through last night along with another cold front. I completely slept through that. And it's 70 degrees outside now. It doesn't not feel like fall at the moment. But the trees sure know what's up ;)

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Hailee spotted her Halloween costume hanging in her closet this morning, and just HAD to put it on.

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Everyone likes to feel pretty! Even with her bunny slippers on; not the ballerina shoes.
She was so funny - she calls this her "princess gown" couldn't find the matching magic wand to go with it though.

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this is the little guy I accidentally let in the house the other night and was paranoid it would make it's way out of hiding and attack me. It was content chilling on the window sill.

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Hailee rearranges the bulbs on the tree every day. [at least all the ones she can reach]


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..and finally, the reason for the season.. I'm most thankful for this:

"For unto us a child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
-Isaiah 9:6

Sunday, November 20, 2011

preoccupied.

Another fast, busy week has flown by - and there's still so much I need to do before Tuesday.
Tuesday, 11/22/11, is the only day I will go to school next week. [thank you thanksgiving break!!] That day, I have my 5th nutrition test, my 5th DCT test [dosage calculations], and chart-smart module #7 due [charting computer work - I already turned this in].

THIS PAST week, we had our check-off's for both intramuscular injections on the deltoid muscle, and urinary catheter placement. They were done over Tues, Wed, and Thurs. LUCKY FOR ME [:)], I had both of them 1st thing Tuesday morning. I was sooooo glad to get them over with. I had injections down and could do them in my sleep, but catheter was a whole nother monster in itself. There is SO MUCH to think about when inserting a urinary catheter.. sterile procedure, so it had to be - not clean - but completely sterile!! I was nervous about that whole part of it. It is a very meticulous procedure that has lots of steps involved. I got in there, did it, passed, and could finally relax!! I was so mentally exhausted from preparing for it, that I was in bed by 9:30 that night.

I had my 2nd clinical in the hospital Friday morning too. I stay with my aunt and uncle in Orangeburg the night before clinical since it's only 10 min from the hospital. I STILL have to get up at 4:45AM to be there by 6:15 AM. Next time, I will probably get up even earlier than that!! It took me forever to fall asleep for some reason, and as I was getting ready that EARLY morning, I tripped a fuse in the bathroom with my blow drier. I searched the house, found the fuse box, and didn't see a thing out of place : / That put me back at least 10 min.. Then I get to the hospital a little later than I wanted to - and could not find my hospital badge and student name pin!!! So I was rummaging through my bookbag in my trunk in the dark to find my student ID and other name pin. [thank GOD I had those .. and no one noticed they were different :)] I practically was running from the student parking lot - so far away - to the building because it was 30 something degrees out - and I wasn't wearing a jacket so I wouldn't have to keep up with it. I get in the building and go to the wrong stair well - up 6 flights of stairs to the 3rd floor - THEN realize my mistake and had to run down 6 flights to start that all over again.. When I finally get to the 3rd floor the right way, it was almost 6:30, time to get going, and I was already out of breath!! But, it was still a good day :) This experience was NOTHING like my 1st clinical last week - but so far, both of them have been great. I LOVE my clinical instructor and all the people in my group!! They are awesome, and kind, and compassionate, and great friends to have on your side.

I'm also finally getting to know more people in my class. There were some people that dropped the class last week and our numbers are slowly dropping [still - not as fast as it usually does], and I'm sad to see them go, but it is a very challenging course-load and I can completely understand why they have to drop. Maybe next year they can try again?? I love to help my class-mates in any way that I can! We're all in this for the same reason, with the same goals and it's neat to see people pull together and help each other out without getting competitive!
My mind has been on a million different things this week. I've been trying to study for these tests, but with Hailee here with me, it's nearly impossible. She keeps my attention focused on her. I can't read or think when it's just me and her, so I don't even try to. If I did, I'd just get frustrated and probably snap at her. I NEED to practice my DCT calculations like WHOA!! This next test will be on medication labels and I haven't even looked at that stuff yet. It's pretty much the same concept as the last 2 DCT tests, but this time we have pictures to figure out along with the conversion problems.
I have a lot of studying still to do still for nutrition too. [see what I just did with that last sentence? that's what happens when Hailee's talking to me and I'm trying to do something else at the same time. THAT is why I usually don't do anything when it's just us].

this is what we do instead...
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yes, she got in there all by herself.. I discovered this after the fact.



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Yesterday, we had family pictures taken at a park here in Lexington, with Roger's parents, his sister's family and us 3 for a total of 10 people. It was stressful leading up to the pictures trying to figure out what Hailee would wear, what Roger would wear, and what I would wear - to coordinate with what everyone else was wearing... and the pictures were scheduled for 4:30 PM, which was a good time, but Hailee decided she didn't want to take a nap regardless of how hard I tried to get her to lay down between 1 - 2 PM. By then, I just gave up. If she wasn't asleep before 2, there's no way we'd ever have enough time to get her ready by 4.
Roger got a nap - at least someone slept..
So we were rushing out of the house @ 4PM. I forgot my wedding rings, Hailee's jacket, and a stack of books I was going to give my mother-in-law. I cannot stand rushing around at the last minute :|

After we finished taking pictures, Hailee played on the playground at the park with her cousins. She has so much fun with them and gets so excited when she learns she's going to spend time with them. [she's at their house right now and i'm sure she's loving every second!]

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Roger's dad has some bursitis in his knee, and for the first time, I got to use my nursing skills and all that I've been learning/memorizing so far. How cool was it that I knew what it was, how to treat it, and got to see it on a person instead of in my school book??!! Made me a little excited about becoming a nurse :) :) :)

Grammie brought Hailee some bunny slippers that she loves!

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I love that she lets me do her hair now even though it only stays up for a little while.

Potty training is exhausting! But just yesterday, it started getting better. Then again, it could have just been a good day - we've been at it for half a year, and she pretty much knows the deal, but gets so wrapped up in what she's doing that she 'forgets' she has to go potty..

The house is in dire need of a thorough cleaning. I did some yesterday, but can't do it all. baby steps.

 We still don't have a solid plan on what we're doing for Thanksgiving this year. Either way, it's not a big deal what we decide, but I'm ready to nail it down so I know what's going on.

i really should be studying right now, so that's just what i'm going to go do!
have a happy thanksgiving with lots of great food - and a good week :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

weekly love.

where to begin...

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Friday was my very first clinical experience at +RMC hospital in Orangeburg. My aunt had to work at the same time, on the same floor, so early in the morning, [about 5:40AM] we headed out!! She took some pictures of me in my white uniform but I don't have any of them. More to come on that later!

I was nervous. There were 6 people in my clinical group - 4 of them were paired up - me and another girl were on our own!! That would have been fine with me to be by myself, but as always, things change, and I DID end up getting paired with the other girl that was on her own. THAT was fine with me too :)

Everything went SUPER smoothly!! which was a blessing for my first clinical experience - I didn't run screaming or anything :) I really did enjoy it and my next one is next Friday morning. It was great getting to work hands on with a patient. And it definitely was not how we practiced it in our lab. It wasn't bad, but it was as organized and as systematic as we could be with a total care patient that depended on us to do everything. I didn't even forget how to give a bath ;) and I was VERY aware of my side-rails and the patient's privacy at all times. When you imagine yourself in the patient's place, it really does change the way you do things.

I didn't even get my white uniform very dirty - I wrote on myself first thing - then when I went to pick up Hailee afterward, she was eating a strawberry fruit roll-up and got a pink spot on my pants..

I think I made a B on my 5th nursing test this week. It was hard. There were some questions that we all had wrong consistencies on, so maybe the instructors will look them over and give us the points for them. Hopefully it doesn't pull my A in the class down to a B.

Now, I'm studying for my next nutrition test on 11/22. This coming week, we have our check-off's on inserting catheters and injections. I really gotta practice my injections and get it down good!!

Our second attempt at Christmas cookies turned out much better. These are my kinds of cookies!

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Hailee tried to eat one before they were cooked, so it had a big bite taken out of it.

Mimi and Papa got Hailee some boots and she loves them. She doesn't like taking them off.
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I'm trying to remember all the things that have been happening this week - the house keeps getting dirty, no matter how many times it's cleaned.
The dishes keep piling up in the sink no matter how many loads are loaded and unloaded into the dishwasher.
The laundry keeps piling up on the bathroom floor no matter how many loads I rotate through the washer/dryer.
and... the kitchen table is cluttered, no matter how many times we clean it off.

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I gotta go write out the meals I'm gonna make for the week - at least when that's done, I don't really have to think about it as much. Whatever makes things easier - and, we're working on our budget right now and staying under it. So that means limited trips to the grocery store too. But I love making lists and that's another list to keep up with!

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Hailee got to tell Santa she wanted more squinkies on a recent trip to walmart. she wasn't scared of sitting on his lap either. she got right up there and cheesed for my camera.

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Here is Hailee in her Darth Vader hat and with her favorite book of the moment. [my first counting book] It was my book when I was a little girl too. We've probably read it 50 times already. I'm almost ready for her to attach herself to another book. Maybe we will stick with it a little longer though - because when she counts, she always forgets about the number 5. We're working on it.



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my sweet ms. hollywood :)


Hailee's finally almost over her cold. Roger's is still lingering on.. and I'm surprisingly STILL WELL!!! I even got a flu-shot last week! I really hope I don't get it because I do not have time to be sick and I'm not really sure how fond my instructors would be if I was sick for my clinicals. I'm gonna go snuggle with my girl now because she's been good and is quietly watching "Santa clause is coming to town" while I've been typing this and messing with photobucket, which is taking forever this morning. I think the only reason I want an iPhone is so I can get the instagram app. [maybe you can get it on droid too] either way, I can't upgrade until December I think.. Gonna start doing my research now!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

come, they told me..

pa rrrrrrum pum pum pum...
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'Tis the season [in our house at least..]


Christmas is one of our favorite times of the year, so we get the celebrating started early round here :)


Roger has been prompting Hailee about what happens "when it gets cold outside..." ever since September.
She's so smart and now, she responds with, "we watch Christmas movies, and make Christmas cookies, and sing Christmas songs, and have a Christmas tree, and drink HOT CHOCOLATE!!" [her favorite part]


PhotobucketTraditions begin in families. Roger has decided our Christmas stuff will start going up at the beginning of November. I'm fine with that because usually, with the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, it comes and goes so fast, that there's not enough time to enjoy it fully.



We picked out our Christmas tree, wrestled the awkwardly large box into the backseat of my car, got it home, and began getting out all our Christmas stuff.
Hopefully we'll keep this tree another year. Last year, the tree didn't fit right in the base and sort of wobbled from side to side when you looked at it the wrong way. But it had different colored lights so now, Hailee thinks a Christmas tree is NOT a Christmas tree unless it has all different colored lights. She may be slightly dissappointed that our tree has only white lights [or yellow as she sees it] but I like the white lights much better. Maybe we'll let her string a colored strand somewhere in her room!
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We let her pick out the color of the ornaments - Silver and Blue [not too bad for a 2 year old] I was a little worried she'd pick some crazy colors, but baby girl did good :)

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She cannot keep her hands off the tree!
Her tiny fingers fumbled with those little hooks on the ornaments until she was frustrated because she couldn't figure out how to make them stay on the branches.
There are a cluster of ornaments near the bottom of the tree at her level - with many all hanging from the same branch. I love it though, because she did it herself!


Pandora was playing Christmas music in the background, Roger was putting the tree together, Hailee was playing with all the ornaments I was pulling out, and I was setting things up - like our nativity scene. Hailee asks who everyone is in the nativity scene and she wants to take the people/animals out so bad and play with them, but they don't come out - maybe we'll get her a nativity scene of her own she can arrange.


We attempted to make Christmas cookies.
Roger will tell you - with me, it's always something.. I have never made Christmas cookies..
I had my rolling pin, the cookie dough (Pillsbury sugar cookie dough in a tube - there's my 1st problem), bow - Christmas tree - ginger bread man (cookie monster) cookie cutters, red and green sprinkles, and we were ready to go!
Roger and I were laughing till there were tears at my colossal mistake. Poor Hailee just wanted to help, but with the wrong kind of dough, there was nothing she could do but sit there and watch me get dough everywhere because it would not cooperate. Finished Product - not what I was shooting for.
We'll try again some other time.
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Hailee insists on plugging in the Christmas tree as soon as she wakes up and walks into the living room. She is fascinated with the lights.

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I love my time with Hailee. She is so funny and creative already!
She speaks her mind and can instantly sense underlying emotions, no matter how hard we try to hold them back. If we're not in the best of moods, she can tell and says "BE HAPPY!!"


She's still got a lingering cold. It's hard to see her miserable and uncomfortable when she's sick and I thank GOD it doesn't happen very often.


She really tries to figure things out on her own and is coming in to her own independence :)
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She was taking pictures with the camera by herself when we were playing in her room the other night. She really thought she was something!!

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I caught her writing on one of her new Squinkies with a red marker yesterday and I asked her what she was doing. She said "I'm writing NEW SQUINKIE on it".

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cuddle time with this little girl is like none other. It melts my heart when she crawls up into my lap and says "mommy I wanna hold you!" Just one of the things I love about being a mother.


I've got a Big test tomorrow I should be studying for right now. Mom is sick too so I have to leave in a minute and go get Hailee from them. I'll sneak some studying in when I have a few free minutes today between playing, cleaning and doing laundry. There is a LOT of cleaning that needs to be done today. I was able to get most of my studying done last night when she was spending the night with my parents. They have been a crucial part of me being in school. Their support means the world to me! Without my parents help, this school thing would be very difficult.


Orientation at the hospital was last Friday. That was where it started feeling FOR REAL! We all met at 6:30AM in our starchy white lab coats and toured the halls of the hospital. We saw a few patients scattered about in the early morning hours, but since it was so early, it was safe to say that not too much was going on. We still turned heads as we were walking in our groups with our instructors.


A majority of my class had their 1st Clinical experience yesterday and the rest of us will go to the hospital on Friday for our 1st day :) I cannot wait to hear all of their stories as I'm sure there are many!!
I'm not really nervous about giving someone a bed bath - I think its just NOT KNOWING what will happen. Or maybe it's KNOWING things aren't going to go as smoothly as they did when we were practicing and getting checked off on all our skills. Life is just that - unpredictable. But it will be nice knowing I'm helping someone with something they cannot do for themselves. This is what I will focus on and I will learn so much more in the coming months to use in my career as a NURSE.
Let the fun begin!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

living for the summer.

and I thought this semester was is tough???
next semester will probably be the hardest one I've ever had - even considering when I was at midlands tech. I will have 4 classes and one full day of clinical every week.
This semester isn't even over yet, and I'm already thinking about what lies ahead in January - and starting to feel a little overwhelmed. I will be in class every day of the week. I think I'm doing so well in my classes now because I only have 2 and splitting time between them to study is no problem for me. I've got this - but 4 classes and hands-on-lab is uncharted territory.

Nursing 111 - Common Health Problems
BIO 225 - Microbiology & it's 3 hour lab 
PSY 203 - Human Growth and Development [doing this one online]
Nursing 161 - Basic Concepts of Pharmacology
one full day of clinical [6:30AM - 3:00PM]

Not all of the class has to take all of these classes. I never took Micro or the other Psychology class, so now I gotta : /
I'm a bit envious of all the people that have these 2 classes behind them. They will only be taking the NUR courses.
So that is why I'm living for the summer. This first semester and the next semester [spring 2012] will be out of the way and I'll almost be a senior :) We're trying to plan a family beach trip for a week in between my spring and summer semesters.

Tomorrow I get my hospital ID badge and Friday we have our hospital orientation!! Still don't know when my clinical is. It will either be Monday or Friday. That fun starts next week. It's still VERY surreal and unbelievable. Hopefully I don't freak out and forget everything I've learned so far!! I just don't think about being in the hospital very much yet - mainly because I don't have time to.

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Currently, I'm driving to school in the mornings in the dark and the sun starts coming up just as I get to Orangeburg. The stars are out when I leave my house and on some mornings, if I leave late enough, I see the sun as a big orange ball come up over the trees 5 minutes away from school. It really is beautiful. God can paint an amazing picture :)

Summer has come and gone. No more 90 degree days (hopefully:)
Hailee was with my parents over Halloween. She was a pink princess with a wand of some sort?? and her pink ballerina dancing shoes. She loved it! She knew to go up to the doors and say 'trick-or-treat'. Mom said she'd also say "here comes a princess!" when she was walking up to the people's houses. They took her to Publix and she played some games and got some candy, then she just helped my parents give out candy. I hate that I missed it, but I guess this is how the next 2 years is going to be.

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my little booger at mimi and papa's.

She came home with a cold yesterday. I feel so helpless when she's sick :( There's not much I can do - she's too young to take anything to relieve the symptoms except benedryl. I have saline drops/spray for her nose, but she acts it's unbearably horrible when I spray them in her nose, so I only do that every so often. She's sneezy and every time she sneezes, snot gobs come flying out! Kleenex's are in every room :) I was cooking dinner last night and she was entertaining herself in the living room with her squinkies (and unbeknownst to me... the box of kleenexs) She even told me "Mommy, I'm making a big mess..." well, I was cutting up chicken - bleh slimy stinky raw chicken - and I just wanted to get it done, so I just laughed and said, "you better not be making a big mess.." I get the chicken in the oven and walk into the living room to find Hailee with her hand in the box of Kleenex's, taking ANOTHER one out. They were everywhere. I should have taken a picture, really, but I was too dumbfounded to think of anything besides getting all those kleenex's back in the box. I couldn't get mad at her because she isn't feeling well, and it's my fault she was being unattended.

I had to get out the humidifier for Hailee's room last night. She wasn't very keen on the noises it makes. Lately, she's been talking a lot about monsters. Not really sure where that comes from because I don't say anything to her about monsters... Anyway, I kept anticipating her waking up last night because usually when she's sick, she can't lay flat for long periods of time because she gets stopped up. She didn't wake up, but I did - every hour it seemed! Then, I kept getting paranoid about the humidifier running out of water and starting a fire in her room and me not knowing .... blah blah blah, my mind was on overdrive last night between 1AM and 5AM. When I would wake up, it took forever to go back to sleep - and I didn't DARE go in her room because I didn't want to chance waking her up, so I layed awake and just ... wondered... She slept through the night. atleast one of us did.. I'll sleep good tonight if this coffee doesn't keep me awake too late - had to have it because I started feeling a little run down a few hours ago and we can't have that...


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these are just some pictures from this week. Tomorrow and Friday and going to be so busy - the weekend really can't get here fast enough. I should be reviewing my notes and putting my study guide together right now, but Photobucket is not cooperating and this is taking me forever. on a side note ** I've had to add so many words to the dictionary on my microsoft word program. It must be like all the rest of us  - we just don't get all that medical language - but I'm slowly fixing that, one word at a time. And I'll be taking it one day at a time and try not to get too overwhelmed. just breathe. just breathe.

Ok, I'm off to figure out my iron [finally bought one] - getting my hospital ID made tomorrow and have to wear my IRONED lab coat. Then I'll need to wear it again Friday for orientation :)
ta-ta..
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