Sunday, May 31, 2009


Rest In Peace, "Chacho" (grey bird on right). We'll miss you and your Andy Griffith.

Friday, May 29, 2009


How handsome is this guy? He's going to the be the fox in school!

Wednesday was Maysen’s last day of school so I guess for him that signified the beginning of summer. And today sure felt like it! I think it got to above 90F here today. By 7:00pm tonight it was still 87F. So we pulled out the hose and let the boys get wet before bedtime.

I have always said that I believe that everything happens for a reason. And sometimes it just feel like life’s taking a turn. That is what is happening for me. I haven’t said anything but there have been some changes heading my way that I am excited about. We are expecting another baby! No – just kidding!!!

I have felt a heavy weight on my back over the last few months. Almost like a conflict. The Mommy in me loves staying home … but the NURSE in me, the part that craves helping and healing has felt stifled. True; I still go in and work at the clinic and work Triage and fill in here and there, but I have craved something “more”. More of a specialty, maybe.

So, I started keeping my eyes open for PRN (meaning basically “fill in”) positions in other areas of medicine. I applied for PRN positions in the ER, the ICU, and even the OR. That produced nothing, as I learned from a physician-friend of mine that the local hospital is experiencing a hiring freeze. Then one late night I happened across an ad for a PRN pre-op/PACU (recovery nurse) position for approx 1 day per week. I sent in my application, 1 week after it was posted and waited. Nothing. Then on the 4th day, I got a call from the NeuroSpine Institute in town. She asked me to meet with her the following morning and we had a TWELVE MINUTE interview. I thought it was doomed. I have, afterall, no experience in Pre-Op or Recovery Room. She told me she’d call me the following Tuesday after Memorial Day.

Tuesday came and went. No word. On Wednesday morning one of my fellow co-workers called to tell me that the Neurosurgical team had called her for my reference. While on the call with her, they called me! She asked if I’d come to the surgical suite to meet the other nurses and then “lets discuss training”. I get there and about 25min later a nurse, C, comes to get me. We go back to the nurses station and she sits me down and I get hit with a mother load of non-expectations: “So, what assets can you bring to our company?” HUH!? I was so not prepared for that, I had no idea this was Round II of interrogations. I BS’d my way through that in the end I’m sure it was more of a confusing answer than a real one. I got asked about my level of competency, my level of pace, etc. After 20 min of that I was glad to hear her say she was done. She then let A know she was done with me. A sent me back out to the waiting room for 10 more minutes and then came out to ask me if I could start training next week. It was a bit awkward having that go down in the waiting room … in front of “other” staff. But whatever, it was fine. In the end I GOT THE JOB. I am a true RN with a true specialty of Pre-Op/PACU nurse.
I have this sense of peace now knowing that although I’m going to home with my kids pretty full-time, there is one day a week that I am skipping out of my house and to somewhere where my inner true self will shine. I get MY identity back, and that is that I am an RN! I get to produce skills that only an RN can/will do. I get to be that person that helps others, strangers, in a time of need. I get to help the doctor perform miracles on some people. I’ve been missing that heightened level of … nursing. And it’s back now!!

Something even more fun that is going to start happening on Monday is that I have hired a private Yoga Instructor who comes to my house 5 days a week and teaches me Ashtanga Yoga out on my deck in the evenings. We’re going to alternate Yoga with high endurance walking. I am excited to get that going – someone to come and kick my butt into gear while teaching me a holistic form of Yoga that can calm my core!

I can't wait to see what these 2 different things in my life do. Either/or could quite impact my life so I'm just going to hold on for the ride :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

camping 101

Can you believe it? I’m living still! I do still smell campfire in my hair after 5 washings and I had to wash some loads twice to get the smell and grime out of some clothes, but we had a great time. It was challenging with children so before I go into the miseries of the camping trip, let it stand that we did, in fact, have a good time. I was disappointed when I got there and my battery was dead in my camera and all my other extras were left at home.

We got to South Beach on Friday later than we anticipated, around 4:30pm. We had perfect campsites – right beside the campground’s playground complete with 2 play sets, a rock climbing wall, 2 sandpits (with a bulldozer built-in) and multiple slides. Maysen (and wishful Griffin) was in hog-heaven! The downside to such good sites is that the wind along the coast (which blows a constant 20mph!) was not blocked by anything, so we were sitting ducks for the wind. Plates blew over at every meal, cups were gone, and the gusts sent a chilly and bitter streak through our bodies. It felt impossible to warm up with the gusts hitting us. We got our tents set up and upon unloading discovered that we had forgotten Griffin’s blankets. We gave him 2 of ours, which left us with nothing but our down comforter (harsh, I know). Before dinner Maysen fell out of a tree playing "Sandy Buckets" (whatever the heck that means). I had given him a warning not to climb it one more time but the older boys were and apparently the temptation wasn't worth the consequence. Luckily he didn't break an arm or collar bone but he did do a number on his back with deep scrapes. The boys had a hard time going to sleep but that was to be expected but nothing prepared us for the frigid night ahead. The wind didn’t stop and our tent has an open top. It’s screened but open. By 2:00am and no sleep, I climbed into the van to warm up a bit. I’d start it, turn it off, start it, turn it off. All in all I got just a smidge over 2 hrs of sleep that night.

6:00am rolls around (there were no roosters to welcome the day light, only crows … who pecked into any and everything) and guess who wakes up? One son, then the other. So we were up with the sun. I don’t think they’ve ever gotten up at 6:00am. With no firewood, we all got out of the tent and stood there, frozen still. We decided to go get coffee (excuse to warm up!) and not kidding – I was so exhausted I made Nate to check the vacancy of the local hotel nearby. He was mortified so after a couple of sips of coffee I changed my tune and sucked it up.

We got back to camp and after a warm shower and some breakfast we headed to the beach. We had to hike over the Swiss Alps of loose sand (burning thighs) but it was gorgeous! Of course we had the wind, but the sun was out and blue skies all around.

We had lunch and Jessica and I decided to go get some things much needed for a good nights sleep … blankets and a space heater! Once we got back, it was evident that Nate hadn’t heard Griffin screaming his lungs out in the tent. He was trying to catch his breath, beet red face, swollen eyes and he was so upset that it took him the next 2hrs to calm down. I think over-exhaustion played a part there because it was late even for normal nap, let alone being up so early.

We had a great night that night. We made spaghetti and the wind seemed to calm down at least for dinner. We had Josh’s birthday cake and presents, the kids played bubbles and silly string, and although we had a rough time getting Fin to sleep and then Maysen to sleep we stayed up and talked around the camp fire and that was fun. We slept better that night and stayed warm.

Having an 18mo old baby while camping is exhausting. It’s like having a puppy off a leash for the whole 2 days. Nate would be watching then I would and you just can’t relax. Mix exhaustion and wind into the equation. Plus Maysen had been up bawling the night before saying he wanted to go home and he missed home. Well, we got up Sunday and both agreed it was time to go home. Nate really wanted to have an extra day to mow, I had tons of laundry to do and it was just time to go. Nate is Mr Back Packer and even he was saying “I’m done”. We had a wonderful picnic lunch at Devil's Punchbowl (above) before heading out. There were 4 grey squirrels that came out to catch our hand outs which the kids loved. Griffin kept saying, “Cattttt”. Funny.

We got in the van and Griffin was totally out asleep. Nate slept while I drove over the mountains. We hit the freeway and I slept and when we rolled into town the whole van was asleep (except Nate … driver!). We all got home and showered with fresh clothes and sat outside in our non-windy backyard. We grilled and just relaxed. Much needed. The boys slept wonderfully that night and we agreed we couldn’t wait to do it again. It’s effort and challenging at times but well worth it. Fresh air, camp fire, great company .. it all boils out to a great time. Thanks Josh and Jessica for putting up with us and we honestly can’t wait to do it again!! We hope you’ll have us again!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

baby steps

Jenn was here this past weekend and aside from scoring MAJOR deals on summer clothes we happened to take in a photography session at dusk. I am particularly fond of this picture with the bat-like cloud structure hovering above the nearby farm. Some of the picture did get cut off because of the file size but you get the picture. You can see the rest of my pictures along with some other recently downloaded albums here.

Most people who know me well, know that I am a bit particular when it comes to just a few things. Ok, some have called it "majorly OCD". A nurse/blog friend of mine was just chatting about this similar subject and I interject that I think all of us nurses have to have a small bit of OCD to help us do our jobs well. In any event, I have met my challenge in regards to my OCD. We. Are. Going. Camping. This. Weekend. My kind family has offered to start me off small - tent camping - in a state park - which means we have ... SHOWERS. THANK YOU, JESUS! I would need a major dose of tranquilizers to calm the effects of 3 days with no showers for not only me but my very messy two boys as well.

In about 5 seconds you're going to read something you probably didn't necessarily need to know about me, and that is that I'm in the shower at least twice a day. I have to shower when I get up for that crisp ready-to-go feeling. Then at night when my long day is over and I'm settling in for relaxing "me" time I need that warm, clean, comforting feeling. Now, throw in mowing or landscaping mid-day and then we're tackling shower #3. So! The thought of me going to the beach, sitting by a smoky fire, dirt floor, gooey marshmellows, wind, salt water air, dirt, more dirt, spiders (hives are beginning to develope now) ... well, you get the idea. At least I have a shower but will be slowly breaking my mold and easing into the thought of being dirty and looking at my filthy children for an extended amount of time. We'll see if we can do it without me scratching my own eyeballs out. Remember family: I love you, but please bear with me. (insert image of Bill Murray in "What About Bob?" saying in his meek voice ".... baby step get on the bus ... baby step sit in the seat")

I'm actually really looking forward to it. We grew up camping. But we also grew up camping in an RV or something to that effect. We had showers, carpet, sink, stove, TV. Nothing like this tent business. I want the boys to experience this as it's super fun for them and I don't want to be fun-spoiler so I am sucking it up but I believe I'll resemble much of the image of the hated girlfriend in Parent Trap who keeps dabbing herself in sugar water with the lizard on her head. But I'm up for the adventure and hopefully this won't be the last time you hear from me *wink*.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


I think this is hilarious ... but totally awesome. Thanks to Sherrill for sending it to/for me.

happy mom's day

Happy Mothers Day, everyone.
I never knew what drastic direction my life would bring me after becoming a mother. I always knew I wanted children but what joy they would bring my life is something I didn't expect. I won't drone on and on and make this sound just like every other post from every other mom out there who blogs. But I do, in fact, have the best set of boys a momma could ask for!

I got my first real home made Mother's Day gift from Maysen this week. It is a sachet that they made in school. Maysen glued on the paper, helped cut it out, and his favorite part was tying the bag of potpourri up. When I picked him up from school on Wednesday he mentioned he had a "proprise!" but I had to wait until Thursday to get it. When I picked him up on Thursday (Nate got off early and surprised Maysen by picking him up - I had gone along too to talk to Ms Debbie and I turned while he was walking down the hall). He had the biggest smile on his face, showing all his immature teeth - even the chipped front tooth. He announced he had my proprise and that I'd have to wait to open his pack-pack when I got home. We arrived into the garage where I was given orders to let him out first and he'd go inside and I could then follow. Once I had followed, I was then told to close my eyes and come into the living room. There he stood, same beaming smile with his hands behind his back and when I opened my eyes this baby (above) shot out at me. He told me all about how I could hang it in my closet and it'd make my clothes smell alllllll good. We decided we'd hang it outside so I could see it everyday. He propped himself on the bed while I taped it up there, still beaming even when I walked out the doorway. He later came out and looked at me puzzled, "Momma, um, isn't it beautiful?" ... "Yes, baby. It's my very favorite" .... "Mine too." and off he went with a content smile on his face.

That makes all the many sacrifices a mother has to make worth it. I have been struggling with going back to work part time, but it's times like these that I would give anything not to miss.

This is my Wisteria Garden in my backyard. This has been the most fruitful with flowers than it ever has been and man it smells marvelous. We arched it up over our gate this past year and it's taken to it wonderfully. Could be this mommy's favorite part of the backyard right now.

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mommies out there! I hope you enjoy YOUR day!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Dad's visit

Dad and Jo were here this last weekend for a few days. The weather was wicked while they were here – raining monsoon-like one minute and then sunny the next. Welcome to Oregon! The smell of rain and lilacs is something I wish I could bottle up and keep forever always … (great pic, Jenn. Was this one you took with my tripod?)

The last time they were here Maysen was 3 and Griffin was only 8 months old so it was fun with the boys being older this time. Of course that included "Silly Face Time" and most everyone participated. Nate just happened to have the camera while grandpa and Auntie played along. Maysen talked non-stop and Griffin was surprising bashful for the first day or so but when he warmed up, he warmed up big.

Dad helped Nate put up Maysen’s bunk bed. The bunk bed is actually the same bed that Nate and his brother used when growing up. This summer we’ll be putting Griffin in his day bed, and by his 2nd birthday we hope to move him in to the same room as Maysen. Maysen LOVED sleeping on the top of the bunk. We did have an incident on Day 2. Apparently “fishing” for your little brother with a blanket is a fun game … until you fall off the top bunk. Yeeeeah. “THUMP” is all we hear and here comes Maysen holding his forehead. I couldn’t get a straight story out of him until I happened to walk by about an hour later and I see Maysen hanging off the top bunk “…heeeerreee Griffy, Griffy, Griifffffffffferrrrtttty.” (I love he calls him Grifferty). He’s dangling his blanket down as Fin goes to reach for it, Maysen start slipping and the writing was on the wall.

The last day they were here we decided to go to the beach, Jo’s favorite place. It was raining but when you’re at the beach you almost don’t notice (except when it started raining sideways!). We also visited the Newport Aquarium. Maysen was having a hard time building up the courage to touch the creatures in the Touch Pools but eventually with grandma Jo's help he braved the storm and weathered through and he was happy he did!

This was before Grandma Jo coaxed him into touching things. A sting ray? "I don't like StinK Rays", per Maysen. To add, "..and I don't like sharps!" (sharks, there were baby sharks to pet in this tank)

Nice choice of finger to point with, bucko...

Fin and his Pranpa...

Seashell hunting with Pranpa and Mase.

Check out those Huck Fin pants. Nate was going to brave the current across the little river where he did and found the biggest agate I've ever seen!

Grandma reading “Green Eggs and Ham” was a hit with the boys. Apparently I never noticed that there is a mouse on every page, so they’d play “hunt for the mouse” with every page turn. One thing I can be thankful for is the fact that Jo is an exceptional grandma to those boys. She has patience, enthusiasm, and ideas for those boys all the time. I’m grateful she’s part of their lives.

I LOVE this picture of Fin. He got so excited finding the mice with grandma and she'd hold his finger and go "Buzzzbuzzbuzzbuzzbuzz" and point at the mouse. He loved it.

Nate’s last day at Weyerhaeuser was today. And as a surprise they took him to his favorite place for lunch and then told him he could go home. It’s 12:30pm and he just pulled into the driveway. That’s a nice surprise and Maysen will be just as excited when Daddy picks him up from school!