Sunday, July 29, 2012


I have started my 90 hours of community health hours.  The board of registered nursing requires the 90 hours of clinical hours.  Once we graduate we can get our certificate and officially be a "Public Health Nurse"
The hardest part for me has just be adding in one more thing to my schedule.  I am lucky in that I have a ton of PTO time at the hospital so I am able to take one PTO day each pay-period so I am working a little less but it has been an adjustment adding a new "job" per say to my calendar.  That and just being the "learner" again instead of the expert nurse has been a challenge.  Nothing like having 20+ years of nursing experience...only to go in to a new clinical setting and not know what the heck I am doing!! 

I am at two different sites.
The first one is a crisis pregnancy center.  Here I get to run pregnancy exams, collect specimens for STD (sexually transmitted disease) testing, educate on safe sex practices and early pregnancy.  I also assist the nurse practitioner or the doctor with well women exams and early pregnancy exams.  This includes first trimester ultrasounds for cardiac activity.  It is so cool to be looking for that little baby...find it and watch it squirm around.  I will say the ultrasounds are the most fun for me.
I like the nurses and staff that I am working with...but not sure that I could ever do this as a job for it lacks the adrenaline rush that I crave in labor and delivery.   Though assisting a patient to decide to carry her baby is pretty exciting too. (the clinic does not do abortions or refer for them - we educate about choices and are available to the patients if they do choose abortion and need someone to talk to afterwards)

The second site that I am assigned to is a developmental follow-up  program for previous NICU (neonatal intensive care) babies.  The babies have to fit certain state criteria such as be born less than 32 weeks gestation or be less than 1500gms at birth.  Basically - the baby comes back periodically to be checked to see where they fit on a develpmental scale (to see if they are on track, catching up or falling way off of the curve).  This follow-up helps to show that neonatal care is important and supports why we do what we do. 
So the babies are seen at 6 months / a year / and 18 months.  As the nurse I get to weigh them, check their length and do a head circumferance  (I obviously already to this at work but it is way different doing it on a toddler than on a newborn - HA!).  Then I plot this information out on a growth chart. 

I get to do a basic assessment then the social worker sees the family, I watch the occupational therapist do testing on the children  then assist the doctor with her exam.
This clinic has been fun just because I get to see all of the little babies and see how happy the parents are just being parents to babies whose lives started out pretty scary. 
I've also been able to get in to the NICU and see how things are done there.  I am doing this at a different hospital than where I work which is pretty educational in and of itself ~ just interesting to see a different facility.

So there's a peek in to my current clinicals.
It is taking a bit of time to get it done but I am hanging in there (and still finding time to get homework accomplished!)
It is crazy busy~

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Ahhhh ~ Beautiful Temecula wine country.
I thought I'd share a few of the places that we went to on our little get away.
Dear Hubby and I both like a good glass of wine.
He likes bolder reds,
I like most reds and some whites.
Neither of us like the sweet wines.
We both enjoy doing wine tastings...but have learned that we can only do a few places in one day.
You really want to be able to taste the wine and if you find one that you like you need to buy it then for  each year the harvest is unique, so the wine may taste different the next time you try to find the bottle that you "really liked".

I was in search of a nice, crisp, white wine.  
I like to have a glass while I am doing homework.
I am more creative when I have a glass of wine while I am writing.  
Really, I am.
My friends laugh at me but it is my secret school vice (guess it is not so secret now...).

I found a nice Chardonnay at Monte De Oro.
This is a newer winery and has a lovely outdoor patio.
We have been here with friends before.
One of my favorite places.

We tried a new winery this trip.
Doffo Winery.

It is a quaint little family owned business
The tasting room literally sits right next to their house.
The owner's son assisted us and let us try many more tastings than what we actually paid for.
He walked us through all of the different wines they have.
For a small, family owned business they had really good wines.
We bought a couple of reds from them.
The wine was good but I enjoyed the personalized attention that we got from our server too.

On to Ponte where we ran in to some friends that I know from work.
Good wines here though we didn't buy any.
Think I will go back next time and taste here again.
Got too busy socializing that I forgot to spend the time really tasting the wine.
I know, me socializing....really?!?!
Sometimes my kids wonder how I can talk so much and how I always run in to someone out in public...even away from home.

Nice display of the wine at Ponte.
They even have a new hotel that just opened last month.
But I think I prefer the little villas at South Coast.

On to Longshadow Ranch.
I love this place for it's farm like atmosphere.
I love the smell of the horses and the tasting room in the barn.

We did not actually do any tastings here. Instead we each got a glass of wine then we sat and watched the horses .
It was a nice way to spend an hour or so relaxing.

They also have nice picnic grounds here.
I will need to remember this for next time.
My girls both like this winery - in fact it was Michelle that told me to make sure we went here.
Though I did not find the 'cowboy' wine she was trying to describe to me.

We saved the best for last.

They have recently remodeled their tasting room and gift shop.
We like it because you can sit instead of stand ~

Callaway has the best wine by far.
Everything we try here we like.
Naturally we bought bottles to bring home.
I can't wait to open them.
Naturally we became "wine club members" here.
You get special little perks plus shipments of wine every few months.

Such a wonderful time we had.
Just looking back on the pictures makes me want to go again.
Guess I'll have to get a few girlfriends rounded up and head on back.
Any one want to go with me?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Get Away

Dear Hubby and I were able to get away for a couple of days to celebrate our anniversary.  We don't always go away for our anniversary - normally we go to dinner or something simple along those lines.
This year we were celebrating five years of marriage so we decided to get away ... just the two of us.

Five years ago, on 07-07-07 we promised ourselves to each other and became a family of five ~
Life has been crazy ever since.
Yet we recognize our need to spend time alone as a couple.

We didn't want to go very far. We only had a couple of days so we didn't want to spend hours driving somewhere.
After tossing a few ideas around we decided we would head to Temecula wine country.
It is only an hour or so from where we live.
A nice little drive yet you feel like you are far away from everything when you are there.
This was the view of the vineyard from our little villa that we stayed in ~ grape vines right at your fingertips.
We chose to stay at South Coast Winery.

They have such beautiful grounds and are located right in the middle of all of the wineries.
I love the resort...but do not care so much for their wine.
Despite that, it really is a beautiful place.
Since it is so centrally located it is easy to get to other wineries for a little tasting.

I'd definitely stay here again even if I need to wine taste else where~

This was our little villa for the weekend.
There are four separate little villas, sort of joined together but not really.
There are no shared walls so you feel like you are the only ones there.
Each villa has its own private little patio where you can lounge and stare at the growing grapes.
We sat our here lots ~
It was peaceful and quite and just what we needed.
It was a wonderful way to get away from our busy lives.
I even left my school computer at home so that I would not be tempted to do any homework.
We reconnected and just spent time together.

We received a complimentary bottle of wine in our room.
We went to the local grocery store to buy cheese and crackers.
Then just enjoyed...

 A few of our room.
It was even bigger that one this portrays.
There was an area where I was standing to take the picture that had a nice sized table and chairs.
We spent most of our time sitting out on the patio though.

The comfy bed.
With lots of pillows since I sleep with more than one (sometimes it's an issue in some hotels - ha!)
And it was a king sized bed so no one got kicked during the night :)
There was a huge jacuzzi tub and large walk in shower.
In fact the bathroom was about as big as my whole upstairs at home!
I felt like I was living in luxury.
And yes, I did take long, soaking baths each night....
Ah, a slice of heaven. 
(I rarely indulge in such simplicities at home)
A final view from the patio.
I'm hoping that I can look at it and it will automatically relax me
I had a great time dear hubby.
Can't wait until we can get away again.
It sure helps your marriage stay stronger when you spend time alone together.
Happy Anniversary!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Wanted to be On-Call

I just wanted to be on-call this morning.
I don't want to work and do school.
I'm tired and my brain is full of information that needs to be put on paper.
I can't keep up this pace.
I just wanted to be on-call.
But my phone did not ring.
No one asked me if I wanted to stay home.
I dragged myself out of bed.
I filled up with coffee.
I went to work with my poor attitude.
I just wanted to be on-call.
I didn't want to be at work...

Yet, I ended up having the sweetest little couple to care for.
They were having their fourth baby.
She did not want an epidural.
She would be monitored then walk around the room, then be monitored, then get back up again.
She worked with me and I was able to get out of my funk.
By the time she delivered I was actually enjoying myself.
She did labor well - hardly a peep out of her.
She had a precious little newborn and it was lovely seeing her three older children come in to meet their newest sibling.
The cutest picture was taken as everyone climbed on to the bed and celebrated being a family of 6.

Guess I wasn't meant to stay on-call today.
I needed the reminder of why I do my job and this patient did that for me today.
One of my nurse girlfriends even said to me - "you need those once in a while - the good ones that keep you coming back"
Thankyou cute patient for doing that for me today.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Oh My Stars

First night of community health class...I knew it was going to be bad, but this is ridiculous.  We've had this instructor before.  She knows her stuff but she is tough.  I go on to the school web site and the class board is soooo full of information that I have no idea what is important and what can be skipped over.  It is almost "too" cluttered.

Tonight in class we were going over all of the assignments that are going to be due in the next 7 brain literally shut down.  Sort of like a life saving measure.  I needed to just focus on what needs to be done now and push the rest to the back of my brain ~ otherwise I may have a heart attack!
There are three assignments due before next Tuesday, plus I still work and I am starting my community health clinical hours this week.

God help me!