hillarygayle: (Hillary Dark Queen)
Yesterday seemed like a good skip day.

Ganon was supposed to be taking a practice test for the ACT Aspire, which is the standardized test they take at the end of the year. This blows my mind, because the Aspire tests whether a child is on track to take the ACT itself...making the Aspire a practice test...thus making yesterday's test a practice test for a practice test. The profound absurdity of that just really got to me yesterday, heightened by the fact that my son is TEN YEARS OLD. That whole thing about how we test them to death is true. Plus, having an all-day practice test meant that they wouldn't be covering new ground, so Ganon wouldn't have make up work if he missed. Perfect!

So we planned to go to Memphis to shop at Whole Foods and get Gibson's Donuts, but on our way out to the car Ganon lamented the fact that Memphis didn't have a River Market, because what he really felt like was Big on Tokyo from the River Market in Little Rock. I told him that my car was capable of driving to either one, and for him to pick where he wanted to go most. He chose Little Rock. This turned out to be good, because Bryan was in Russellville, having gone to a conference with a coworker who teaches the other section of Essentials of Programming. He rode with the coworker, so that meant we could pick him up!

Ganon & I went to the River Market for the aforementioned teriyaki chicken. I had chicken jalfrezi and Bombay chicken from The Indian Feast. They give you SO MUCH FOOD. I was so stuffed by the end I could barely walk. We went to the Museum of Discovery and puttered around for an hour or so, then drove off to Russellville.

Russellville is in the sorta central western part of the state. It's on I-40, west of Little Rock. This time of year, that's a gorgeous drive, taking you from the Ouachita Mountains into the Ozarks. The trees are just beginning to turn, not at their full height of color yet, but it was still beautiful!

When we got to Arkansas Tech University, we drove around for a short while battling Pokemon gyms and getting Pokestops. I would bring the gym down and then let Ganon put a Pokemon up in it. :) He was rather thrilled.

Afterward we went to CJ'S Butcher Boy Burgers in Russellville, which makes QUITE an excellent burger! I wasn't entirely hungry, since I'd been so stuffed at lunch, but I still managed to eat half of it simply because it was so yummy. Ganon got a grilled cheese with bacon, which he declared "excellent" even though he mainly just ate the bacon out of it. ;)

Have some pictures from a most excellent skip day!
Read more... )

Reading!

Sep. 1st, 2016 10:40 am
hillarygayle: (Hillary Bright Cowl)
Much to my delight, Ganon has recently revealed he has a favorite book series! He likes the Geronimo Stilton books, which are about an anthropomorphic mouse that has grand adventures. The portion of the series that officially hooked him is the Kingdom of Fantasy books, but there are only 8 of them and he needs to branch out. I'm kicked out of the house this morning because Olga is there, so I came to the library to snag him some new books!
For the first time, Ganon has showed interest in a book series: the Geronimo Stilton books. He's excited for the next book in the series, which comes out this month! So of course I came to the library to snag more of them. Accelerated Reader goal, here we come!

I got 2 from the Spacemice series and one from the Thea Stilton series.
At first glance, I didn't like these font changes. After I read a few pages & gauged my own reaction, though, I realized that for some kids (Ganon included), these illustrations & emphasized words are actually keeping his attention on the book and drawing his eye down the page and toward the important words.

Upon first looking inside one of the books, I was disappointed. The weird changes in font and the illustrations on every page irked the book snob in me. I watched him read a page, though, and read a few myself to examine my own responses, and I figured something out. In his case, the font changes and photos are keeping him engaged by drawing his eye to the main points of the story. For him, it increases his ability to pay attention to the book. I was sold at that point.

What really surprised me is that he KNEW the 9th book in the series was coming out soon, and he's eagerly waiting on it. This from a kid who has always ever been just "blah" about reading, and acts like we're killing him when we make him read for 30 minutes a night. He's already doing well on his Accelerated Reader goal at school, and we're well on track to meet his 22 point goal by October. I've already challenged him to beat that goal.

This is another parenting lesson for me. Kids aren't little clones of their parents; I knew that logically before he was ever born. But somehow, I keep being surprised at the ways he's different from me. The very first one was his cautious nature. I may have been that way when I was young; I don't quite remember. I know I was reserved, but I don't recall being as outright fearful and sometimes anxious as he is, and I am certainly nothing like fearful now. Years ago when I realized that, I had to adjust. I'd always thought I'd have a kid who would sail off on their own & I might sometimes have to restrain them. I never expected I'd have a kid I had to PUSH to find interests and achieve goals. Reading has been another adjustment. I read voraciously from the moment I learned how. Little Golden books turned into chapter books, which turned into Nancy Drew books, which turned into other novels. I would read anything I could get my hands on. I read so much it was constantly remarked on by my family, none of whom ever had a particularly literary bent. Again, I never expected to have a child who had to be told to read something, and then acted like it was a chore. That's a profoundly alien concept to me!

So. Another adjustment for me, and I'm thrilled that he's found something that interests him. Bryan was not much of a reader when he was young, but discovered comics in his preteen years, and his progression into an avid reader was similar to mine, only it happened a little older. Maybe Ganon will follow a pattern similar to Bryan's, and this is his start! He could not possibly have a more supportive Mama. ;)
hillarygayle: (Ganon No Wai!)
Ganon is 8 years old today!

Birthday Interview

What do you want to be when you grow up: a moviemaker & a gamer
What's your favorite color: red
What's your favorite food: roffles
Drink: Mountain Dew Code Red
What's your favorite trip destination: Mimi & Augie's
What's your favorite toy: Birdy
What's your favorite video game: Minecraft
Favorite subject in school: I don't really have one except recess
Best friend: Bella from school
What do you want to do for your birthday? Eat at Teriyaki Madness
What kind of cake do you want? Chocolate peanut butter cake

Today we are going to an early showing of Planes with all of the cousins so I'm about to get ready while also somehow watching 3 kids.

0th Birthday
1st Birthday
2nd Birthday
3rd Birthday
4th Birthday (Apparently we were in Dallas but otherwise didn't do much.)
5th Birthday (From the 25th, since we were super busy on his birthday.)
7th Birthday
hillarygayle: (Default)
Last night I went looking for the website of a donut joint I'd heard of down here in Dallas. Spent a while reading descriptions & looking at photos with Ganon, & now apparently nothing will do but that we get Hypnotic Donuts for breakfast. Even though they are all the way in downtown Dallas & we are in Frisco. Ganon was most intrigued by the Zooroppa, which is a glazed yeast with frosting, marshmallows, sprinkles, & frosted animal crackers. The last thing he said before he went to sleep last night was "Mmmm, I can already taste the donuts..."


Posted via m.livejournal.com.

hillarygayle: (SGA Rodney Awesome)

We are in Frisco! We drove down yesterday after Bryan's class because we wanted to surprise Augie for Father's Day. He was definitely surprised. :) Especially as we showed up at 11pm.

Some amusing things from the drive:

Podcast: This week in the trial of accused mobster [some guy]
Ganon: Q has a LOBSTER?

Later...

Podcast: *talking about how cartels invented extremely high powered pneumatic gun to fire cans of marijuana over the border into some guy's field where they would presumably have been picked up if he hadn't found them first*
Bryan: Can you imagine that guy walking in his field and all of a sudden a soup can of pot slams into the ground at his feet?
Me: Guy looks up & is like "Um...thanks?"



hillarygayle: (Default)

My son, who has never known life without the internet or cell phones, and honestly can't even remember life without touch screens, is fascinated by the corded, touch-button telephones in this hotel. He keeps calling our room from Mimi & Augie's room.

Buddies

Sep. 7th, 2012 09:42 am
hillarygayle: (Default)

Ganon & Pete watching Phineas & Ferb.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

hillarygayle: (With chopsticks!)
Today has been a day of hanging out at the house, doing laundry. I work tomorrow, but then begins 2 weeks of vacation! On Wednesday, we're going to Frisco to visit the Mimi & Augie for one last time during the summer. Thus, the laundry. I have to have scrubs for tomorrow, but tomorrow evening I won't feel like doing any laundry, so I need to have all our "packing clothes" done by then, too.

It's going to be hot as hell in Texas, but that's not really different from here. In fact, it will be less humid there, so that's actually slightly better. At least my hair will be happier. Gonna have to pack lotion though. I BAKE in Texas when it's this hot.

I have decided: one of the things I will never be judgmental about is teaching kids to clean up after themselves. I will never judge a parent for just choosing to do it themselves. I'm pretty patient & persistent, and I realize the ways in which Ganon is like me means that he needs an early start on stuff like organization (because it's how he's going to compensate for his highly distractible intelligence). So I teach him, regardless of what it costs me. But MY WORD, how much more time & patience it takes to teach him how to clean things up rather than just do it myself.

Like his Mama, he has a natural affinity for lists & check boxes, so today we started that. I posted 3 check boxes on his art easel with chores beside each: clean up the toys in the living room, clear off the coffee table, & make sure the dogs were fed and watered. It kept him on task because he wanted to check off the little boxes. Just like me. So far, so good.

I'm looking forward to the drive on Wednesday. It sounds crazy, but I really like long drives. Alone, with people I really like, whatever. I am made for road tripping. I'm going to go dig through podcasts & see if there are some interesting ones for the drive. I have a bad habit of getting distracted by my iPhone while driving, & therefore picking it up to check email or Path or whatever, and that is not okay. I think stocking up on interesting podcasts might be a good solution to keep my brain engaged.

Labeled!

Sep. 15th, 2010 08:28 am
hillarygayle: (Jeff 2 at once)
I rather liked this; I found it on [personal profile] axelrod 's profile and decided to do one for myself.


Hello

My name is

HillaryGayle

My gender identity is

active, activist, admirer, adult, all of the above, ally, assertive, bisensual, blessed, bubbly, cisgender woman, complex, confidant, cute, Dr., dreamer, extrovert, FTW, fancy, fat, female, female-bodied, female-born, female-identified, female-souled, feminine, femmy butch, friend, friendly, full of love, gay-friendly, geek, gender expressive, glittery, heteroflexible, hippie, human, intelligent, introvert, lovely, lover, monoamorous, monogamist, mother, multifacetted, myself, nerd, outgoing, passionate, privileged, pro-sex feminist, queen, redhead, right-brained, romantic, sex positive, snuggly, sparkly, straight, switch, tomboy femme, treehugger, unique, versatile, weird, wife, woman, working class, XX, YES!

What's yours?


I don't think I slept very well last night. It's the last night Bryan will be going without a CPAP machine; we're getting his today. It's for his head, but it's going to help me sleep. One drawback (?) to being an RN is that I no longer have the privilege of ignorant bliss. I hear his rhythmic breathing stop in the middle of the night, and I wake up & give him a little shove with my arm to wake him up. I can't NOT do it. :( Once he gets that CPAP I'll have more confidence. It worked very well for him during the 2nd night of the sleep study. He's not getting much sleep, either. He's more & more sleepy every day. Got to get that thing, and get it FAST.

Whatever I did last night left my back & neck quite sore this morning. I'd be crabby if I didn't have a ridiculously adorable 4 year old human insisting on helping me make his breakfast toast, and then very cutely pondering his jam decision ("I think I would like raspberry jam today, Mama"). Then he took a drink of my coffee and ganked my phone so he could play Angry Birds & Grover's Number Special. While dancing in the living room.

Oh man, now Ganon is singing the Angry Birds opening music.

Bryan's home today. We figure if we're going to go get the CPAP for him, we'd better have him there. So today we will probably go donate blood, get the CPAP, & otherwise hang out with Ganon today. If our Best Buy has any of the iPod Touches, we might get the Overlord his own "phone" (as he calls them) with a camera on it. His iPod touch is great for watching Caillou & Thomas & playing games, but he's always stealing our phones to take photographs, and he's quite good. I'm definitely encouraging this; to me, it's worth getting him a new one if I can get him interested in my favorite art form.
hillarygayle: (Hottie Camera)
I took a bunch of pictures of Ganon at his last ball game. Wanna see? I thought you would.

DSC01148.JPG
Overlord at bat

More Pictures )
hillarygayle: (Hottie Camera)
IMG_5841.JPG

IMG_5862.JPG
More pics behind the cut )
hillarygayle: (Kero-chan lurve)
*entirely in monotone, mechanical voices*
Bryan: I'M A DADDY ROBOT.
Ganon: I'M A GANON ROBOT.
Bryan: YOU ARE A CUTIE PIE.
Ganon: THAT IS RIGHT. I AM A CUTIE PIE.
Bryan: YOU ARE A SILLY ROBOT.
Ganon: NEGATIVE. YOU ARE THE SILLY ROBOT.
Me: *dies of pure, unadulterated adorable nerdity*

More than ever, this makes me want a set of "our family" stickers for my car...with aliens & robots instead of girls & boys. :D Pete could even be a little dog robot.

Pictures

Apr. 5th, 2010 01:00 pm
hillarygayle: (Hottie Camera)
Photo dump from our day yesterday. We went to Mammoth Spring, where my grandmother lives. It's GORGEOUS out there, and yesterday was a ridiculously beautiful day. We all went down to the river and hung out. Perfect time for me to practice photographing other humans.

Ganon hunts eggs

The rest behind the cut )
hillarygayle: (Hottie Camera)
Highlights from my day of photography on Saturday!

Behind the cut... )
hillarygayle: (Dr. Tran what's wrong with you?)
Ganon: *runs into the kitchen & exclaims urgently* I DON'T KNOW!
Me: *also urgent* You don't KNOW?!
Ganon: NO! I DON'T!
Me: WHAT ARE WE TALKING ABOUT?!
Ganon: *stops, gapes at me* I...don't know.
Ganon: *blinks, walks out of kitchen*
hillarygayle: (Jeff 2 at once)
HAHAHAHHAHAHAHA I think I'm going to laugh forever over this link from [personal profile] bluecanarykit: Hogwarts High.

A few days ago, I looked in the mirror on my way into the shower & realized something for the first time. I noticed it again this morning when I was changing shirts. I am changing shape.

You see, after I tossed dieting out the window I stopped paying attention to anything except the way my clothes fit, and that only to decide if I needed new clothes or anything. I didn't have any time for exercise during the nursing program. I have no idea how much I weigh.

But now, I run my legs off, push & pull patients and equipment, and hardly eat anything for 3 nights every week. I had heard Q talk about this phenomenon, but hadn't noticed it in myself until this morning. My waist is changing shape. I can't tell anything about my legs, but my waist shows a pretty dramatic change. I find it interesting, and even more: I find it interesting that I don't really have any EMOTIONAL reaction to this. At least not the one I'd have had long ago during the Weight Watchers fiasco. Once upon a time I would've been overjoyed to find that my love handles are almost entirely gone & that the post-Ganon baby pooch is shrinking significantly. Now I just find it curious. Also I find myself wondering if my clothes are gonna hang right, or if I'm going to have to do more shopping. -_- I think it'll be okay, since it's just the waistline & most of my clothes are tight around the baby-pooch anyway.


This morning I am home with Ganon. Carla, the delightful lady with whom he stays during days, lives in a rural area much like ours, with one big exception. Carla's house and Kim's house (my cousin, at who's house Carla often keeps the kids, since 2 of them belong to Kim) on the west side of town, close to the Cache River. The flooding from last week has already gone down here on the farm, but out there, the water is still rising as the runoff heads through them toward the river. Only large trucks could get through yesterday and the water was still rising according to Carla. Yikes! So I had to figure out alternate plans for Ganon. Instead of staying awake all night like I usually do, I just went to bed late, then got up with Bryan this morning. Momma's got an appointment at 9, so she's going to do that, come back & get Ganon, and I'll go to bed then. Hopefully it'll be enough to get me through tonight; I think it will.

Oh, the fun things you have to do for childcare.


Speaking of Ganon, he's been hilarious lately. He's much more verbal, at least when he's around people he knows. He's like his Daddy; he clams straight up if you're a "stranger", but if he knows you well, he'll say anything to make you laugh. My current favorite thing is when you say "I love you" he goes "You DO?!" as though he's overjoyed, and then when you say "Yes!" he goes "I loveshoo TOO!" like it's such a huge coincidence that he just discovered.

He also does that most time-honored of geek traditions: memorizing scenes from his favorite shows and quoting them back. Most of the time he does this in the context of acting out the scenes with his toys. He still likes Thomas but he's currently way into Bob the Builder. Bryan & I have deemed Bob an acceptable substitute, if not completely worthy. We liked Thomas better because it was narrated by a single person & didn't have voice acting. If something has voice acting there's always that one character with a horrid voice that you want to murder. For me, that one is Scrambler on Bob the Builder. I swear if I hear that stupid 4-wheeler yell "SCRAM TO THE VALLEY! SCRAM TO THE VALLEY!" one more time I'm going to set it on fire.

Now that he's been going to child care of sorts, he's better with other kids. Carla keeps kids for 3 other moms, 2 of whom are also nurses. It's 5 kids at the most; 3 of them are school-age, so it's just Ganon & Addison during the day. After school, though, he plays and plays with the other kids until Bryan comes & gets him, usually about 5. Since then, Ganon has been a lot more outgoing at the mall playground. He basically chooses a kid & goes to play with them. I've been monitoring who he plays with, and sometimes I'll redirect him to someone more appropriate (if he's latched onto a kid who's hitting or pretending wrestling moves, that's RIGHT out), but I don't usually have to intervene. He still shows a huge introverted streak, though. Sometimes we go by the playground and he peeks in. If he's in a certain mood and there are kids shrieking & running everywhere & it's crowded, he looks at me and says "I want trains first" and we go to the bookstore, instead. My mom would force the issue with us; if we were feeling introverted she felt she should work against that for some reason. I don't. If he's feeling introverted I'm not going to throw him into a playground packed with screaming kids. That's kind of torture.

He's learning manners. He says "please" & "thank you" most of the time without being prompted, and since he's developed a cough these days I am teaching him to cover his mouth. Now when he coughs he looks at me with his hand over his mouth like "Am I doing it right?" and of course I gush over how big a boy he is. :)

Of course as he gets older I'm going to lay off these particular details because hey--when he's in junior high he's not gonna want me to talk about his underpants. But for right now: did you know they make boxer briefs in 4T? HOW FREAKING CUTE IS THAT?


Sometimes if it wasn't for my awesome coworkers, I'd be trolling for a position in the ER by now. -_- This week, I'm scheduled Monday, Thursday & Friday nights. What the mess kind of schedule is that? You'd think that since you're dealing with night-shifters you'd try to schedule them 3 shifts in a row, or at least you'd try for only 1 day gaps. But this is ridiculous. -_-

I'm still at a loss as to which I like better. If I work 3 shifts in a row, it gets it out of the way & I'm good for the rest of the week. Gives me all of my break days together. The major drawback HERE is that the 3rd shift? Holy crap. That is one killer night. Like the end of a long race, where you only keep running because you forgot how to do anything else. When it's broken up with one off-night in the middle, it's irritating because I have to keep that night schedule, but at least it's a break.


With that, I'm off to see what I can accomplish while I'm awake. I think I want to vacuum.
hillarygayle: (Nurse Sakura)
1. If there was one thing about your body you could change, what would it be?
Belly pooch. The abdominal flap I was left with post-Ganon makes it hard to fit into jeans. The belly pooch is not at my waist, it's below, so when I get jeans that fit my waist the pooch is kind of in an awkward spot.

2. Would you rather lose 10lbs or 10 points off your IQ?
What kind of question is this? I'd rather lose 10 lbs. I'm happy at my current weight, but I'm happier at my current level of intelligence! (I don't have the first clue what my IQ is, as a point of interest.)

3. When you look in the mirror, are you happy with what you see?
Yes, actually. I'm a little irritated with my current haircut, but it'll grow out. The stylist was a bit layer-happy in the back and now my hair won't flip up the way I want.

4. Have you ever dyed your hair?
Yes! Several times with temporary die. I currently have a bottle of "Red Rum" semi-permanent from Hot Topic just waiting for me in the bathroom. Gotta get some gloves first.

5. How often do you weigh yourself?
I never weigh myself. I don't see the point. I fit in my clothes, I can move around easily, I'm a healthy person. I don't care what arbitrary number gravity applies to my plumpness.


At the moment I'm awake. I've been awake since about 4am. I suppose it'll take a while to unravel my schedule after a week of working nights.

I like the night shift, by the way. At night, the hospital is run by nurses & techs. No administrators, no physical therapists. There isn't a huge crowd around the nurse's station, surgeons stealing your charts, everyone fighting over the computers. It's slower paced (not SLOW, just slower) and more laid back. We get up to goofy things at the nurse's station, like eating Honey Bunches of Oats while listening to German "funeral metal" on Night Nurse Brian's iPhone.

I'm learning better time management early in the shift. I had 5 patients on my own for the first time, and I had gotten complacent with 4. I realize that I'm going to have to give up eating sometimes if I don't want to get covered up with work. What a profession: where you choose between getting work done and eating food.

I've noticed a major problem around shift change: if a patient needs something right then, BOY is it easy for stuff to get lost in the shuffle! And if it requires more than one nurse, holy CRAP. Like trying to herd cats. Yesterday I needed some major help with something and I refused to leave my patient without having accomplished it. Shelby mentioned that she'd seen a bunch of LPN students from ASU Tech in the hallway, and I ran. Spotting more than half a dozen students in the hallway, I bounded up & asked their professor if I could have them. She seemed pretty delighted to let me have them, so they followed me down the hallway. That was kinda fun. I felt proactive.


This song makes me want to kiss Jeff Coffin. Nobody makes me love the sax like that man. SAXGASM. He's utterly amazing at the flute, as well; please see song "Chennai" from Béla Fleck & the Flecktones "The Hidden Land" for proof.


Ganon still loves going to Ms. Carla's. She's awesome with kids. He's getting way more attached to Bryan these days, too; always concerned about what Daddy is doing, curling up beside Daddy in the recliner, etc. It's really cute. I also like his opinions. "You don't want to go to work," he told me Thursday night. "You want to stay home with ME."


Well. Now that I have time to type all the big-fat-entry I want...I can't think of much to say. Here are some pics I took around the hospital!

photo by you.
I used TiltShiftGen on my iPhone for this photo. This was taken from the corner of Carson & Matthews, next to the cemetery where everyone goes to smoke. Neat shot of the building, I think. Those windows are the waiting areas/lounges on the southeast corners of the East floors: 1, 2, 3 (all cardiac/telemetry floors) 4 (med-surg & pediatrics), & 5 (labor & delivery) East.

Three More )
hillarygayle: (With Chopsticks!)
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT!

I don't want to look like a know-it-all, but I'm noticing a widespread misunderstanding about surgical masks. This isn't general knowledge outside of the medical industry (and there are even some inside who misunderstand), and in a situation like this year's H1N1 flu, the misunderstanding can be dangerous.

Surgical masks DO NOT protect you from breathing in organisms. Surgical masks are meant to keep the surgeon or surgical assistant's germs away from the surgery being performed. It protects OTHERS. The mask that protects the wearer is called an N95, and if you have not been fitted for the proper size, it won't work for you either. In fact, some people with certain facial features (think wide, square jaws or prominent cheekbones) cannot be fitted for an N95 mask at all. Neither [personal profile] quiara or I could be fitted, and we're required to wear a respirator in any airborne precaution rooms.

When I explained my idea for this post to Bryan, he thought perhaps I should just let people do whatever makes them feel better. Then I thought "What if someone visits a friend with H1N1, thinking they're safe because of the mask?" That won't do, because likely you'd end up with it anyway. It's not a bad flu, as flu goes, but it isn't exactly fun, either. Courtney, my sister, had it at the end of July; her fever spiked to nearly 105º and she felt like crap, but she didn't get the pneumonia complications. Some people are much more prone to those complications.

Surgical masks are appropriate, however, if you have symptoms and you MUST go out. It's really better to stay in where you won't be exposing the general public, but if you're getting out to go to the doctor and get yourself some chicken soup, orange juice, & Tamiflu, by all means wear a surgical mask. Don't breathe on the rest of us!

This has been an announcement from your friendly Livejournal nurse.


At least, I hope I'm still a nurse. I took the NCLEX-RN yesterday at a Pearson Testing Center in Little Rock. I talked Bryan into taking Friday off, and so Thursday night we put Ganon in the car and drove first to Newport where Bryan wrote the day's schoolwork on his whiteboard & organized it for the substitute teacher, and then to Little Rock. We stayed at the Hampton Inn Little Rock West, which was no more than 4 minutes from the testing site, and has a Krispy Kreme in front of it. I don't like Krispy Kremes even now, it seems. I tried one.

Anyway, I don't know what to tell you about the test experience. I was fingerprinted on the way into and out of the testing area. I had my photo taken before I went in, and had to confirm it was me on the way out. I had to empty my pockets, show them there were no inner pockets to my cardigan, turn my iPhone off, remove my earrings, and then put all these things into a locker. I was allowed the clothes on my back, my locker key, and my ID. That was it. As for the exam itself, I don't know what to say about that, either. I was absolutely certain of maybe 4 or 5 questions, out of the 120-something I was given (the test can range from 75-256 questions, depending on how many are needed to ascertain you will pass). For the rest of them, I used critical thinking prioritized by 3 cardinal rules of nursing: 1) Protect the ABCs (airway, breathing, & circulation), 2) Protect patient safety (consider fall risks, etc), and 3) Consider transmission of infections. I can't tell you what the questions were like or what they contained, because you sign something saying they can sue your buns off for cheating if you do that. I'm not allowed to divulge any of the content. THEY WILL SEND NINJAS AFTER ME. I'M SURE.

After the exam, we ate lunch at the River Market, where I ate the best hot dog I have ever tasted from a guy with a real-honest-to-God-New-York-City-hot-dog-cart. He had developed a very fiery mustard that day, & when I loved it he decided to name it Hillary Sauce! (I wonder if he was telling the truth? He seemed like a flatterer, but I have decided to believe him.) Also we had cupcakes from Brown Sugar baking company. A very large number of semi-uniformed high school students came in then, and we asked where they were from. Turns out it's a new charter school in downtown Little Rock. I accidentally left my purse in the building, and only realized it when we got to the car. I ran like a madwoman back into the Market & found our table, where I found my purse sitting happily & untouched...at a table full of high school students. They'd been wondering when someone might come back for it. The cash in the purse was still there, sitting right on top. Granted, it was just a $5, but still! I picked up the purse & looked at the students. "You know, if I'd left this purse at a table with my husband's students, I might never have seen it again." They grinned at me. I liked the look of those students--all of them. They all looked...I don't know. Aware. Observant. Bryan said they lacked the "brutish" or "simple" quality many of his own students can sometimes show. If Ganon grew up & went to a school like that, I'd be ecstatic. Bryan said that if he could teach at one of those schools, he'd stay in education for sure.

Then we decided to continue the adventure & drive to Memphis. We went to the Apple store & bought Snow Leopard, and we're not impressed with their new way of doing things. There's no cash register, no place to just walk up & buy something. A concierge helps you with your decisions & then rings up your purchase as well. It's pretty awesome if you're going to buy a computer or make another major purchase. The problem with that is, when you're me & Bryan & you just want to buy a copy of Snow Leopard, you're left wandering around & looking for someone to help you. I saw at least 3 other people in the same predicament as me. We just wanted to buy the OS, but everyone was busy helping people to buy computers or iPhones or iPods.

Supper at Whole Foods Market, of course. We've been out of peanut butter for a few days, and with Ganon's peanut butter & jelly phase in full swing, that wouldn't do. Ganon must have heavy wheat bread (we use double fiber wheat by Nature Valley), Smucker's strawberry jam, and Whole Foods honey roasted PB. So we got some, and Bryan & I had awesome pizza for supper. Ganon was very silly, talking to everyone and refusing to eat...and then he ate ALL the bananas on the way home. *headdesk* Oh my boy. He did turn down a cookie & ask for a banana, so that made me happy.

Came home, and at that point the Tired caught up with me. I had worked a 12-hour shift, driven 2 hours, gotten to sleep a little past midnight and not slept well at all. Then I got up at 6, got ready & took an emotionally exhausting exam and had the above adventure. By the time I got home I was shattered. I collapsed in bed and slept HARD until this morning. In fact, I've had a 2 hour nap already today and I'm STILL exhausted. I feel like I'm never going to be rested again.

I cannot know my exam results until Monday at the earliest. Searching a name on the state registry requires a subscription ($10 a month for unlimited searches) or a one-time name search payment of $5.50. In either case, exam results are not available until at least 72 hours after the exam time, according to the site. Rather than paying $5.50 I will just have them look it up at the hospital, and then I'll know. I want to say I HAD to pass; there's no way I couldn't pass. I'm good at this. I'm new and I can only carry 3 patients (4 if they're very uncomplicated) at once, but they get good care from me. They feel like I'm paying attention to them, that I'll listen to them, and I have good basic nursing judgement about their needs. I love nursing. It's hard, it runs me ragged and leaves me worn out & used up at the end of the day, but I could not stop doing this job, pursuing this career, if you paid me to. I am a nurse at the bottom of my soul, where everything else is stripped away. I can't have failed that test.
hillarygayle: (Hottie Camera)
photo.jpg



These are some of my favorite flowers, and they also happen to be easily found at farmers' markets in our area. These were labeled as "sunflower bundles" but they obviously aren't traditional sunflowers, and I don't really think they're sunflowers of any sort. I think they're daisies of some flavor.

We had planned to wake up this morning and drive to Little Rock to check out the farmers market at the Rivermarket, and hopefully to check out the Riverfront park as well. However, when we woke up, Ganon had 100.4 degree fever and reported "I don't feel good, Mama." So that was out. I started dosing him up (I'm alternating ibuprofen/acetaminophen every 3 hrs)and as soon as he felt better, I thought I might take my chances with the ASU farmers' market. I'm so glad I did!

For less than $30, I got a reusable bag with the ASU Farmers' Market logo, a jar of pineapple jam, this bundle of flowers, and a pint each of cucumbers, sweet potatoes, peaches, green peppers and 2 pints of tomatoes. One of the pints of tomatoes was EXTREMELY ripe, so I went on a hunt for the cucumbers specifically to make the tomato & cucumber salad that [personal profile] velvetpage told me about. Moreover, there were something like 2 dozen vendors there! And the vast majority of it was local! Local tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, okra, peppers, peaches, and tons of melons. Everything I bought was grown within 50 miles of me...most of it within 25. One vendor had TONS of gorgeous produce and I thought at first he was a middle man from produce that had been shipped in; local produce is usually not this pretty. Turns out he's from about 10 miles up the road from me, on the Poinsett/Craighead County line on the other side of Highway 1. I was floored; I didn't even know there was a farm back there, much less one big enough to produce this kind of produce.

Pineapple jam is amazing, especially on leftover birthday cake. The cucumber-tomato salad that [personal profile] velvetpage recommended is amazing (the way I did it: 2 medium tomatoes, 1 medium cucumber, a dusting of large crystal kosher salt, a dusting of Mrs. Dash table blend, and enough reduced-fat olive oil mayo to make a light coating on all of it when tossed). I should've added in a chopped green pepper but I didn't think of it until just now. I haven't yet tried the peaches or sweet potatoes. We're roasting some of the sweet potatoes with brown sugar for supper.

I'm pretty glad I decided not to give up on ASU farmers' market. They said it's twice the size it was last week, even. I guess that when we hit peak produce season, all the farmers out there said "Why not?" and brought their stuff.


Back to Mr. Overlord: he's running a low-grade (100.something) fever and it's lasted all day. I can control it with the tylenol/motrin cocktail, and he acts a million times better when I do, but a nap that went through the medicine schedule confirmed that the fever does still come back when he isn't medicated. Poor little guy feels miserable. I feel so sad for him.


This week is my preceptorship, during which I follow one nurse through her whole week. I chose to do mine at the Jackson County Health Department, which is in Newport. I thought I'd get a better idea of community health there than I did during my admittedly short rotation in November.

Then it's over. Then we graduate and that's it. I get a job, I start working 3 12-hour shifts a week and leaving my job at work instead of coming home and writing research reports. I START GETTING A PAYCHECK. I am so relieved I could fall over.

I'M BACK!

Jul. 18th, 2009 10:24 am
hillarygayle: (Hottie Eyeshadow)
I returned yesterday from the trip to Memphis. Oh goodness I am SO GLAD to be home, where my stuff is and my boys are. I'm comfortable for the first time in the week.

Yesterday after I got home, Bryan & Ganon & I went into town. We wanted to hang out, so we went to Barnes & Noble and parked at the train table. Ganon played happily, we ate pretzels, we drank lemonade. After a while we decided to take him to see Nana & Papa so we could go see Harry Potter: HBP, but the strangest thing happened. Ganon started to cry pitifully, saying he didn't want to go see Nana & Papa...he wanted to stay with Mama & Daddy. OMG. That has never freaking happened. We were stoked; so much that we decided not to go. Instead we went to the mall playground where Ganon ran & climbed & jumped with the other kids. But we had Nana's phone, and she had to come get it from us, meaning that Ganon actually SAW her...and then there was a meltdown when she had to leave.

Bryan & I decided that HBP was in the cards after all, and met up with my parents to give them an obviously sleepy Ganon. (This turned out in retrospect to be an awesome idea, because he had a very big potty success later!) Then we hit the theater for the 4:30 showing of HBP, which we both really loved.

Rambling observations about the HBP movie )

After HBP, we went to Hiro. Hiro is a new Japanese restaurant in Jonesboro. Bryan & I had been praying and begging for it to be one of 2 things: 1) A sushi bar with "our type" of sushi, meaning unusual mixing of ingredients & spicy sauces, or 2) a place that had rice bowls (i.e. steamed rice with stir-fried beef or chicken or whatever on top). Anything but a tepanyaki grill, because we have 2 of those in town already. We were happy to find that while it does serve some tepanyaki stuff, they don't cook at your table, and the main focus is as a sit-down restaurant. They also have a decent sushi bar seating area, and they definitely had crazy sushi rolls. We had the Razorback and the Hiro. We liked the Razorback better, but it had one main issue: the fried oyster inside was very large and too crunchy--almost hard. It was a big roll, and that one hard spot on the inside, while providing a perfect contrast to the soft fish on top and the avocado inside, made the whole thing very hard to chew! It was literally difficult to eat the roll. Bryan & I started poking the oyster out & eating them separately. The Hiro was another very good roll, but it had avocado (both inside & on top) and cream cheese (inside). There was too much creaminess for the amount of heat provided by the honey sauce (a creamy sauce with a lot of wasabi) and the hiro sauce (a spicy mayo), both of which were creamy themselves.

Next time I certainly want to try the Harry Potter roll. It's soft-shell crab, asparagus, & cream cheese inside with seared tuna on top. If they could put some eel sauce on that for me, I think we'd be in serious business. Our waiter seemed to be heavily involved in running the restaurant, and he pegged us as sushi fans right away. He stood and talked to us a while about the types of things that we liked, and places where we'd eaten rolls like that. We told him that before, if we'd wanted sushi like this we'd have had to go to Memphis for Sekisui at least, and that we'd recently been enamored of Sake Toro in Frisco. I gave him a tip we learned at Sekisui: Sriracha hot sauce on certain rolls. We told him about the Fire Roll at Sekisui, and how each bit of shrimp tempura was topped with the slightest bit of Sriracha (rooster) sauce. He seemed quite interested, and I told him that if he made one with Sriracha on top he'd have to call it the Hillary roll, or maybe the Creecher. ^o^

We got Sonic drinks on the way home. For the record, their Mango Cool Breeze can be made into a cream slush and it's AWESOME.


Today the weather is DIVINE. Look at our highs for the next several days. It feels almost like autumn out here. I could just bask in it, but most likely what will happen is that we'll throw open all the windows & clean up this house. This entire year our house has suffered from my lack of time and motivation to really clean things up. Mostly I just clean things that have to be done, like laundry & the kitchen & bathrooms. Even the bathrooms suffer; I scrub the tub and the toilet because we use them often, but our bathroom cabinets are seriously icky. Anytime we've had people over I've vacuumed the carpet, and I think I might've dusted like 4 times in the last 12 months. Today I'd like to get some things done that haven't been done for a long time. I think I'm going to start with the bathrooms & the kitchen, and then move on to actually dusting & vacuuming the whole house.


Graduation is August 6. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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