Monday, November 29, 2010


Lately I've felt stagnant in my career growth :( Since graduating from Texas Tech with a bachelor's in nursing, I've felt like I haven't done much to move forward. Now I'll say that I had quite extraordinary preceptors upon starting out in CCU after graduation. I was on orientation with a preceptor for about a month and a half before being on my own. I started taking open heart surgery patients on my own about 3 or 4 months after graduating. That is very uncommon. Definitely. It was not me, but amazing preceptors that enabled such progress. I took on the role of relief charge nurse at 6 months post graduation, and have become a full time charge (well, that's the two days a week that I work).

While all of those things are rare, I feel like soon after finishing school I stopped. With the exception of looking up medical conditions and drugs I am not familiar with, I've stopped pursuing progress. I'm stagnant. I think the 2 1/2 years of experience have made me comfortable and confident in my nursing skills, but I've stopped moving forward. And I think that may just be the problem- I'm comfortable and confident. And I don't mean confident in the arrogant sense; I mean that when a situation arises that requires quick critical thinking, I can handle it with ease. I can start medication drips stat, run a code, precept new nurses with all their questions.

But this is not where I want to be forever. Since Sam started school again this fall, I realized how much I miss learning. I miss taking classes, taking notes, even having to study for a test (though I don't miss the tests). I miss shopping for new school supplies as nerdy as that may sound. I especially love the feel of a mechanical pencil in my hand as I start to write on a new sheet of notebook paper or put a few sticky notes in my book to mark what's important.

Sam and I have discussed it, and as he's just finished applying to school to start a physician assistant program- hopefully, hopefully to start in the summer/fall 2011, I will soon begin my application for nurse practitioner school to start next fall as well. I'm very excited at just the thought, but am worried about what route to take- something I need to decide prior to applying. I'm considering the family nurse practitioner program as well as the acute care nurse practitioner program. I just cannot decide!!

Family NP- I can see patients in a doctor's office, assess, diagnose, and treat. I can prescribe meds, including narcotics. I can start my own clinic if I wanted to.

Acute Care NP- I do all the same as above but see sicker patients in the hospital, including patients that are on ventilators and lots of critical drips. I can put in chest tubes, central lines, and make changes on the ventilator.
here's a pic of a chest tube

and one of a central line, which is bascically a large IV site

The Acute Care NP is more appealing to me, because these are the patients I see day in and day out, and I enjoy the hospital setting. It also is a plus that I would be especially trained and educated to be in the hospital to see acute patients. What I'm unsure of is the scope of practice of a Family NP. A good friend, a very smart friend and well experienced nurse, just told me that that law changes are currently in the works to limit the hospital scope of practice of Family NP's. Ah! That's scary, because should I decide to take that route, I want to retain the ability to stay in the hospital. I don't want to be limited to clinics only. To me, that'd be super boring. (She will be starting Acute Care NP school in January.)

I need to do a lot of research on the differences in liability, scope of practice and privileges of each. I am very excited though and have until the end of May to decide. God willing, I'll be a nurse practitioner in the next couple of years! And that will bring mine and Sam's dream closer to a reality.

Our family goal and dream is to both work no more than 2-3 days a week each, preferably the same days. That way we'll have 4-5 days a week to be together and home school our kids. We've already made the decision that we want to home school, but having both of us there would be fantastic. I just want more time with my husband and our growing family.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wisdom from my mother

The following is from my mother to me. I just want to share, because I think it's so wonderful:

"Happy thanksgiving!
T-Thankful for all the blessings; big and small.
H-Humility is the best way to see, to feel, to know Our Lord's presence in our lives.
A-Ask Jesus Our Lord for his blessing and guidance throughout.
N-Never think you can out-give, out-love, out-forgive Our Lord. Just follow Him and do what he asks. He has called you my name.
K-Know him like you know your very own family and friends. He yearns for you to come alongside him as a father yearns for his children's company.
S-Serve others with love before you seek your won pleasures. This is a sure sign that Jesus is resting in you and you in Him. When you step out to serve and love, you are stepping out o serve and love Jesus Christ Our Lord.

Mean it when you utter the greeting, "Happy Thanksgiving!"

As for me, today I am thankful for the cross and am hopefully confident in the promises of Christ.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Picture time!

Some pretty pics of a pretty baby!

and finally... a pic of the rover :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sam's birthday!

Tomorrow is Sam's birthday, and I'm so excited! Sometimes I can't believe he's mine <3 I'm not sure exactly what tomorrow will entail. I originally wanted to do something with the whole family, maybe have everyone come over for dinner or something. But on second thought, I'm not sure that that's such a good idea. Sam works tonight and tomorrow night :( No fun, I know. So having everyone over til he has to go to work is probably not how he wants to spend this birthday. I'm thinking it'll be just me and Ella hanging out with him after he wakes up early afternoon. We'll spend quality family time together before going out to eat to celebrate :) I do believe he'd like that very much.

Please keep us in your prayers as Sam and I are rapidly trying to complete his application for PA school. I know we should've started it way sooner, but have prayed about it a lot lately and finally feel like this is where God is guiding us. Ah! It's due Dec. 1!! Almost everything is complete, but we'll feel so much better once we're just waiting to here from the school.

On another note, Ella Grace has just about started to crawl. She gets herself on her hands and knees and just rocks all day :) She's already masted the army crawl and can take herself anywhere she wants to go. There's definitely no staying in one place now!

I'll try to post a video later today, depending on if I get called in to work or not. Hopefully not.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Samy, my sweet Samy

This post is all about my hardworkin', little sleepin', class takin', super intelligent, diaper changing, dream building, strong-faithed, incredibly attractive, rock-my-world, uncomparibly devoted husband.

Samy, I love you. I am SO proud to be yours.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Pump, pump, pump it up

I have a goal of breastfeeding Ella at least a year. God is continuing to help me achieve that goal. In the beginning, it was very difficult. Very, very. I stopped nursing a little bit in the beginning (about a month) and only pumped. She still took breastmilk from a bottle. But after I tried to nurse again, it was much better! I'm not quite sure how to explain it to someone that has never breastfed, but there is such a connection, a bond formed when nursing. It's amazing to think that that is how God intended it to be.

He created my body to be able to conceive and sustain life- even after she was born. I think about it and I'm so in awe of God's wonderful plan! I know it may sound weird (this whole topic) to some, but I don't. I think its beautiful. He helped me carry life inside of me, then gave me the ability to sustain life outside of the womb by producing the most nutritious food possible. Ella now has my antibodies to protect her against whatever my immune system has encountered. Not only that, but its good for me too! Breastfeeding decreases my risk of breast, uterine, and ovarian cancer; also decreases my risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

I don't mean to sound like a commercial for breastfeeding, but want to share the answer to a question I've been asked quite frequently (and I'm not tooting my own horn at all): "How have you gotten back to your pre-pregnant weight so fast?" Now, I'm adding a little disclaimer before I move on- I'm not saying I'm all that and a bag of chips. Trust me, I'm not. Disclaimer continued: I've never been preoccupied about my weight. As long as I'm healthy, I'm ok with my self image.

Moving on now that all that's been said- I was 120-125 pounds pre-pregnancy, and that was my normal. After breastfeeding for 7 months, which is where I am, almost to the day, I am 109. I was back to my normal weight probably around 2 weeks after having Ella. That's without any effort to be extra healthy. As a matter of fact, I've become quite accustomed to the 600 extra calories my body is burning every day just to make breastmilk, so I've actually kind of slacked off in terms of making a relatively earnest effort of eating healthy. Is that awesome or what? God really did design this to be how mothers are supposed to be postpartum. I like it :)

I'm not judging anyone that chooses not to breastfeed, but I feel very proud of myself that Ella has only breastfed to date. I thank God for continuing to help me with this goal (because it most definitely has not always been easy). Anyway, I know that probably seemed like this whole post came out of left field, but I just finished pumping, so it was fresh on my mind :)

By the way, I got the rover :):):) I'll post pics later.