Blog posts : "life"

Some of This, Some of That

I woke up feeling a little sick today... boo! Of course, it happens the day after our house guest leaves and we get the house back to ourselves. If you get uncomfortable reading personal stories, don't read this entry - we went through a loss (two losses, actually) and this is the story... 

I'm still on tilt a bit with whacky hormones and mental exhaustion. Now that I've told all our loved ones and what-not, I guess I can go into more detail as to why I've been MIA. We had planned another baby and got pregnant in August. We were excited as heck and told our parents early... We also told a few other people, mostly just because I really hate lying about things ("Why aren't you drinking?" "Why can't you go in the hottub?") Anyway, we lost the pregnancy in the beginning of this month. Sucked enough as it were, but then we found out it wasn't just one baby, it was two! So amongst dealing with that, I ended up hemorrhaging and being admitted to the hospital. That isn't a normal part of a miscarriage if you were wondering! So that sucked. Ended up having to take time off work and scared the crap out of myself and my husband. 

My daughter was pretty awesome, though! While we were waiting for the ambulance while I hemorrhaged, my daughter asked me why I was crying. I told her I was scared. She said something along the lines of "Mommy, you don't have to be scared. See? I'll turn on the light and then you won't have to be scared anymore!"  Kids make almost everything more bearable. I love that girl. 

So, that's my story. Among that, we had a cancer scare, multiple CT scans and hospital trips for hubby, a wedding to plan, and random bills that I'm pretty sure the universe just kind of pulled out of its butt just to test us. October has always been a month shadowed by terrible news and terrible occurrences. 

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Just a quick update to let you all know that I am finally a married woman! Wahoo! 

Been very busy still... It seems that my schedule just won't stop being full. With my health issues out of the way and my hospital trips done with for now, my husband is now on the agenda for his health issues. Thus far, he has had a bone scan and two CT scans this month. Hoping to find out results of the latter CT scan on Monday. After that, I hope that there aren't any other follow ups needed... 

Hoping to get back into the swing of things soon enough. :) 

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Life Gets Busy

I have been picking up extra shifts like made and have been so overly busy, I am behind on many things. House work, knitting, and this poor, poor website all included. Our daycare has been closed for a week now, prior to that, my daughter was sick, and the daycare is closed all next week as well. That said, I have spent a lot of time with my daughter, which is awesome. She's always noticeably happier when I'm home, which makes me feel like crap when I have to go into work. Especially when she busts out with the "But mommy, I don't want you to go to work, I want you to stay here with me!" 

Pull at my heart strings, why don't ya?

Anyway, I will get to work on posting Vancouver Island Races for August (the remaining ones, woops...) And September. Stay posted :P 


PS. Congratulations, Wayne and Katherine on your beautiful wedding yesterday! Just have to edit those pictures and send them your way :)

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Coffee is My Love

Contigo Travel mugsRandom, but I love coffee... Lots of people do. After my CuisineArt drip coffee maker was destroyed by grain mites (note to all: ensure that your dog treats bags have been sealed fully, otherwise you will wake up with one heck of a surprise!) I went out and purchased a coffee press for $14.99. It makes really, really good coffee! I highly recommend presses if you are the only coffee drinker in our house. It takes about 5 minutes to make one cup of coffee and it requires very little electricity. 

Aside from that, I have fallen in love with Contigo coffee mugs. I picked up a pack of two at costco. They're vacuum sealed stainless steel travel mugs that are virtually spill proof! It's like an adult sippy cup... I love it! Check them out here.

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Who Put That There?

Someone parked their brand new 2010 Mazda 3 Sport in my driveway. What's that? Oh! haha... My bad. That's my car!

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Are You Enjoying The Weather?

Are you enjoying the weather? The sun has been out all day! My goodness, it's just gorgeous out there. I decided to go out with my sister and her son, our friend Shanon and her daughter, my dog, my daughter and I. We went to the park and checked out the new boardwalk that the town is in the middle of constructing along the beach. It looks like it will make an excellent run spot ;D

On a random note, I've been reading through a lot of antidepressant forums and reading up on people trying to wean themselves off of them. I see so much wrong information and well-meaning, but bad advice being handed out... I'm tempted to write a post relating to depression and antidepressants. Mostly, I want to address the "I feel better now and would like to stop taking the medication." Mentality. Unfortunately, the reason why you feel so good is because of the medication. When depression is made enough that it warrants medication, you are going on the medication for life, not until you feel better... Generally, anyway.

The withdrawals are terrible. You have to be prepared and have your doctor on your side as well as your family and support system.

Aww darn, see? I'm turning this into a post about antidepressants already!  For those of you that are curious, I am on 37.5 mg of Effexor OD for depression. I feel completely normal and completely fine/content/happy while on it despite the occasional headache. My family has a history of depression and I battled with it for 13 years before turning to medication. I only wish I turned to medication sooner. It doesn't change who you are, doesn't make you a bad person, but it does help you to start thinking like a normal, healthy person :D

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Couple of Things...

Been keeping super busy at my new job! Wahoo. My only complaint is that the location isn't unionized.

Now, where the heck did Kinda Car Sick go?? I loved that blog *cry* Especially after Sara posted her lovely staff infection. Come back, lady!

In the knitting world, I'm currently working on my very first sweater. So far, I only have about 3 inches of 1x1 ribbing done. I'm using the pattern, Carona, though I will alter it slightly to make it londer in the body as well as the sleeves. I love sweaters that stop half-way down the bum since it's a good length to avoid the "constantly pulling my shirt down" syndrome.

I got my new blackberry in the mail. I love it so far... I'm easily amused, though. I spent at least an hour in bed last night at around 5:00 AM playing the texas hold'em game on it. If you haven't guessed, I have been doing a lot of night shifts lately so sleeping normal hours is next to impossible.

I'm about ready to take a nice long bath with my two new BeautiControl products -- not kidding you. I effing love the Fango seaweed masque. The way it smells, the way it feels, and how it leaves my skin after I'm done using it makes me crave using it :x  I pair it up with my other favorite poduct, the Luxuries of the Sea bath soak which has an aroma that compliments the masque very well. This isn't a plug, I swear haha I can't make money from this stuff online! I just love it :( A lot. A lot, lot, lot.

I have my licensing exam in two more sleeps. I'm super nervous... Halp!

Oh, PS. Although tetracycline is absolutely kicking my butt to the curb with its nausea-inducing tendencies, it has done a wonderful job clearing up my skin. I haven't had a new break-out for two weeks. One and a half more months left... Sweet jebus.

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Christmas Kept me Busy!

Quick look of the past month: Christmas, knitting, new job, new dog.

I got my first job at a non-unionized location. There weren't a lot of people hiring when I was looking for work, so I accepted the first job offer that I recieved. The pay is the same as unionized facilities, the staff are amazingly nice, and the place is well kept, so I'm pretty darn happy with the place! I've already learned a bunch since I started two-three weeks ago. I'm still on the hunt for some work in the hospital as well as more casual positions.

I want work in a hospital because I get to utilize all of the skills I've learned in school. In long term care facilities, there aren't many opportunities to perform skills outside of morning and night-time care, the occasional stoma-related care, and the far-and-few-between catheter insertions and irrigations.

The nice thing about working in a long term care facitity is you get to learn all the resident's quirks, likes, and dislikes, plus you get to meet the families and create a relationship with them as well. They put their trust into you as a nurse and you get to give them updates on their family member. This is especially true for dementia units.


I managed to finish my very first pair of socks. I ended up finishing two pairs for Christmas -- one for my mom and one for my brother. I'm now going to start a pair for my daughter, since she's been asking me for a pair since forever :(

I got a new dog, but I won't go into too much detail about that since this update is long enough as it is. Wheeler, the new dog, is a beautiful mutt. He's a cross between a bernese mountain dog and a golden retriever... The perfect blend. A family dog with a docile temperment crossed with a snow-loving cuddler. Wheeler has fit right into our family and it is just amazing having a dog in the house again :)

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Tetracycline Update

I have been having motivation issues the past week and a half! Along with Tetracycline, I started another medication which made my energy levels plummet the first week. I seem to be adapting now :)

Tetracycline is a huge pain in the butt. For the best results, you should take it one hour before eating or two-three hours after eating. You are also expected to avoid dairy products within one hour of taking it, though the warning should really be to avoid calcium-rich foods which includes soy milks, fortified beverages, dark green vegetables, some fish, calcium suppliments and so forth. Tetracycline has a tendancy to bind to calcium, rendering the drug ineffective.

So far, I have managed to get one new nodule since I started taking tetracycline. I heard that it is supposed to take a few weeks to start working, but it seems to have held the current breakouts at bay while almost eliminating new ones.

Side effects... I've thrown up once and have learned that I should be trying to take the second dose of tetracycline before supper time so that my stomach has time to digest it and so that the nasuea that it causes me can subside enough. I get nausea after I eat, before I eat, and while I sleep... Unfortunately, this is a minor trade-off for how painful the breakouts can be. I'm hoping my body will adjust to it.

The biggest issue I have with it is timing the doses. I'm thinking I'm going to try setting a new alarm up to go off one hour before I'm to get out of bed, then taking it and going back to sleep. Then I can have my coffee and I should be able to take the second dose 2-3 hours after lunchtime.

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I Love Coffee!

I saw this fabulous webpage on reddit and had to pass it along. It is a wonderfully illustrated page outlining interesting facts about coffee -- its origin, how it works in our bodies, and other interesting things. Find out where the nickname "Cup of Joe" comes from:

The Oatmeal (.com) : Fun Coffee Facts

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Done Like Butter

As of 11:00 PM/2300 last night, I am a Practical Nurse. I'm undecided if I'm licensed or not... I received a registration card from the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of British Columbia which gives me the authority to practice as a licensed practical nurse... LPN or PN, I'm all done with school! Pop open the bubbly.

It was a long hall... Even though it was only 12 months long. 12 months without any breaks sans the winter break. I see why grade schools have summer breaks. by the time you make it to the summer, your brain is fully fried.

The time passed quickly though it seems like I've always been in school. It seems like just yesterday I got the call that a spot opened up for the class I had just recently added my name to for the waiting list. I had two weeks to get ready, which ended up perfect.

I carefully composed my two week notice letter for my boss and handed it in feeling guilty -- I had only been there for 5 months. Then was the subject of parking passes, text books, financing, daycare issues, and so forth. I was so excited to start school that I had everything dealt with by the next two days. Then was the longest wait of my life.

I sat in the classroom for the first month asking the dumbest questions since it had been 7 years since I had sat with a teacher in front of me. This time, I was completely enthralled in all that she was saying. Taking notes that would make little-to-no sense to anyone else. Highlighting full paragraphs in my text books... I definitely won't be able to resell these, but why would I? They are filled with information that I still find interesting.

I think I've invested my time very wisely... I have enjoyed all of my practicums and all of my preceptorship. I've learned life stories I wouldn't have otherwise. I've experienced pain second-hand while administering a PRN morphine subcutaneously. Been up to my elbows in someone else's poop without flinching. Changed pus-filled bandages. I enjoy every second of it without a second thought.

Odd how after the first or second time, poop just becomes another normal part of the job. I don't see changing a brief or helping with a post-toilet clean-up as any different than helping someone brush their hair.

I'm really going to miss rehab. I hope I can land a job on the unit eventually :)

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My Sister's Keeper

I finally finished the book "My Sister's Keeper."

I'm pretty sad that it's over! It was a very good read. I found it a little strange at first. The writing style took a while for me to get used to, but it was a very emjoyable style once I got used to it.

The ending shocked the heck out of me and I was a little upset that I was at work and not at home when I finished it. I wanted to bawl my eyes out! haha  I recommend this book to other moms and dads. I'm not sure if it would have the same effect on me if I weren't a parent. To be honest, I never imagined love so strong until I had my daughter.

There are a few other books out there by the same author, so there's a good chance I will be picking those books up! Right after I finish the Twilight series... My mom and sister suggest that I read them :P

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Tendinitis is Underrated

Tendinitis is severely underrated. It hurts a lot! I currently have it in my right rotator cuff as well as my righ elbow area. It makes it hard to lift things, or even take a sweater off. It hurts when I lay down in bed at night. Strange stuff! I just ty not to use it as much as posible and it usually resolves itself within a few weeks.

So I have been using the BeautiControl Skinlogics Clear line of skin care for 2.5 weeks now. While my skin isn't clear yet, I've had barely any nodular breakouts -- two. Usually it's one new one per day. Definitely an improvement! I have also been divulging in microderm abrasion (also from BeautiControl) once per week. I look forward to Thursdays knowing that it's a microderm abrasion night, haha

I have been trying out new products here and there. So far, my favorites are the Skinlogics skin care line, the Sugar Cookie (limited availability: just for the holidays!!) collection which includes body wash, butter, instand manicure hand scrub, lip scrub, lip conditioner, and extreme repair hand moisturizer; I also have fallen in love with most of their make-up products. I especially love their shadow control cream (in toupe) and Spectaculash mascara. Lip Apeel is of course a favorite of mine, as is the Spa Detox collection :P 

Heck, I just love everything they make. They really do make amazing products.

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Feeling Better

Felt good to rant, I won't lie!

I'm going to go to the funeral on Thursday and worry about my practicum hour issues later. I doubt any school would let me fail because of a death in the family.

I've only lost two people in my life. The first person I lost was my Grandma. She and I weren't buddy/buddy close, but she, my mom, my sister, and I often went out for lunch together. I'd see her two-three times each week. Christmas, birthdays, Halloween, etc. all involved Grandma. Losing her was losing the back bone of my extended family. It was losing Christmas - losing birthdays, losing all special events. Losing her was the hardest thing I have ever gone through. She passed on October 14, 2007.

The other person, obviously, is my Grandpa -- other side of the family. I only saw him a few times each year growing up because he lives on Salt Spring Island. His health was constantly going downhill, but losing him was still a shock. He passed away October 15, 2009.

I will be hiding under a table on October 16th, 2011.

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I Hate Ranting

I really do hate ranting, but sometimes you just have to let the steam shoot out of both ears.

My preceptor is amazing. My instructors are amazing. I am not mad at them. I am frustrated with the situation that I am in, though. Since my original preceptor's schedule started four days later than usual, I missed out on quite a few potential shifts. Then it turns out that she wasn't actually available, so I only got three shifts the first week. Then my next preceptor, whom we snagged the evening before the very first day I started with her is on 8 hour shifts. I need about 180 hours to finish my credentials for licensing.

I forgot to get mad about how I have to rearrange my daycare completely for this as well... Anyway...

That said, I have four days off in the next three weeks because the schedule is so crammed, which I wouldn't have minded, but! This means that I have ZERO room for not making it to preceptorship. So why is this an issue? Two things:

My daughter is three. This is the first Halloween that she has ever been excited about it and it absolutely kills me that I am working Halloween evening. I have to miss what I consider to be a pretty important parenting moment. Sure, there will be other years, but this is the first year that she's actually excited about it. One of few years where she will be at home and not out with friends for it. Not to mention, I had been planning to do her costume/make-up for her. Now I can't. Kills me a little each time I think about it.

October 15th, 2009. My grandpa died. I was in the middle of a shift and had to leave for home after finding out this news. I already have to make up for that time I took off that day. His memorial service is to be held on Thursday -- in the middle of another shift. I am absolutely torn between not knowing if I can even afford the time off from SCHOOL. It's SCHOOL for cripe's sake! Or going to the memorial service. How on earth is school in a position to put me in any situation as remotely ridiculous as this?

Family funeral/death in the family versus not making enough preceptorship hours to obtain licensure. This is just absurd.

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Kiddy Boots... Wow!

My daughter decided to go through a growth spurt, so we headed down to the mall to grab her some new jeans, some shirts, socks, undies, and winter boots. The jeans were 2 for $30... Not too bad, considering that their adjustable waist and their length being about 4 inches too long means that she will be wearing them for at least a year.

We went in to Payless Shoes Store... I love that store, I really do. It's not them I'm frustrated with, it's the people that made the boots I fell in love with! My daughter had snatched up a pair of Disney Princess ugg-style boots which had a picture of a crown on it and had flashing lights above the crown. She absolutely loved them. I was super thrilled ot have instantly found a pair of boots for her... Then I pulled out the price tag: $44.99  Holy cripes! I paid $25 for my Airwalk ugg rip-offs last winter. How could her boots be that much more expensive? Not a chance in heck was this starving student going to fork out that much, though I really wanted to buy them for my daughter. They were so cute!

As it turned out, those were the cheapest boots in the store, so we ended up not buying her any boots, but we did take advantage of the buy one, get one half-off event and got her some normal shoes to truck around in... Only because her Dora shoes (hand-me-downs from her now 8-year-old aunt) had broken while in that store. Talk about good luck... Maybe bad luck? haha

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What a Weekend - Run for the Cure, etc.

Saturday was our graduation ceremony. It was good! Short and sweet. It was a little harsh to see that the other intake groups had lost at least half of their group. My sister likes to blame it on our intake's teachers being easier. I prefer to think it's because of how close knit our class became. We all know eachother pretty well... We know the hardships we've all endured during this demanding 12 month program. We have all shared a good cry together during stressful exams, failed exams, relieving tears of barely passed exams, assessments, and so forth. It's been quite the ride.

My intake still has one more month left and our lisencing exam isn't until January. Boo! Oh well. Congratulations, classmates!

Sunday was the Run for the cure. I hadn't really practiced for it. I hadn't trained at all, acually. Prior to the run, my longest run ever was 1 km (without a walking break). Pretty weak! I went into yesterday's run knowing I was running for my grandma and her best friend... My grandma passed away what will be 2 years ago on the 14th, and her best friend was diagnosed with breastcancer shortly after that. My grandma did not die of breast cancer. No. She was a survivor. She was a survivor because of cancer research supported by wonderful people who volunteer for fundraisers, the people whom organize the events, the people who volunteer to set up the tents, the people who volunteer to cheer on the runners during these events, and lastly, the people who gather donations.

I want to say THANK YOU! Thank you to all volunteers and runners who participated in the Run for the Cure yesterday. Thank you for giving me my grandma back. Even though she's no longer here, it is because of your hard efforts that I had her with me for more than a decade longer.

I ran the full 5 km. Not once did I stop and not once did I walk. I felt like I was going to throw up for the last kilometer. I felt like my legs were going to give out near the home stretch. I couldn't even feel the muscles in my legs working, I was just trusting that they were doing what I told them to do. I told myself I would run the 5 km for my grandma, and I did.

I choked back my sobs as I passed people on the trail during the last kilometer, because I could not believe it. I was doing it. Shortly after crossing the finish line, I cried. Cried for my grandma, cried from the overwhelming runner's high, cried out of being proud of myself, and I cried for everyone else that shared their stories of how breast cancer affected their lives.

I can barely walk today :)

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I feel so darn disorientated! I woke up at 8:00 this morning and didn't start shift until 3:00 PM. By the time the half-way mark came on our measley 6-hour-long shift, I was ready for a nap! Now, 5 hours later, I am just fully exhausted but my mind is just getting ready to start the day!

No matter. I have a lot of stuff I can dive into to keep me entertained. I can't remember the last time I've uttered the words "I'm bored." There's always something to do. Knitting, browsing the Internet, watching TV, cooking, cleaning, baking, researching, running, walking, planning days out, and so forth. There's always something to do. I enjoy the times where I sit on the couch and think "Yeash... I have nothing to do... " I find it incredibly relaxing. I love living life in the medium-fast lane. Always busy with something and if I'm not, I find something to busy myself. Maybe that's another reason why I joined BeautiControl as an Independant consultant.

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Important Questions to Ask Yourself

Ask yourselves these questions, courtesy of Zen Habits.

1. Who do I love, and what am I doing about it?
I love my daughter and I tell her several times a day. I show it in my actions and let her feel loved. I love a lot of people, but my daughter is my everything.

2. Am I pursuing my dream, or is fear stopping me?
Fear is stopping me. I stay positive in day to day notions, but overall I feel like I'm in a life that I don't have a lot of control over. Regardless, I try my darnedest to start each day on a positive note.

3. Am I doing something that matters?
Absolutely. Motherhood, continued education, nursing (school). 

4. What am I doing to help others?
As a nurse, upon graduation, I will be helping others in many ways. I offer support and a listening ear to my friends and family... Even strangers when they need it.

5. Am I as good a person as I want to be?
No. I have very high expectations of myself and I don't feel like I can ever be as good a person as I want to be. I'm slowly growing to like myself and get to the point where I can actually say that I would be friends with myself if I met me.

6. What am I doing to live life with passion, health and energy?
I never hold back what I'm feeling inside. I tell at least one person when something is bothering me. I try to be physically active and I try to eat healthy, but I'm not perfect :) 


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Daily Gratitude

What are you grateful for? I am trying to remember to post something that I am grateful for each and every day. Join me on doing this! It helps put me in a good mood and reminds me of how well off I am, no matter what my bank account is telling me :P

Join me on twitter (NurseJoc) for a daily gratitude! I'll help you start off:  "#gratitude Daily Gratitude... I am grateful for ____"

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