Saturday, November 29, 2008

Squeeze'n it In

I know, it's been a while again, but this time I am bound and determined to get another post out before December 1st. And it is!

As always, things have been busy. I just find it so hard to balance the blogging and photo-posting with school and work assignments, job applications, this new semblance of a social life, and exploring Boise with the little time I have left. I can't even imagine that I graduate in exactly two weeks from today. Ahh!


These last few weeks at work havnen't been overly interesting. Gina and I spent a lot of time practicing the puppet show for a school re-entry presentation. The show went pretty well, but we were both nervous, and I was slightly disappointed in my performance. At least the students seemed to enjoy it, and they were all very well behaved, which was nice. I really enjoyed the opportunity to finally spend some time with Gina, since we never work the same schedule. She's really a cool girl and I'd love to get to know her better sometime.

Oo! For all you CBC staffers out there, you will appreciate this... I got to a see a cardiac cath lab procedure for the first time ever. woot!! I've heard about the cath lab for the past three years at camp and in conversations with my heart defected friends (:-p), but never had much idea what they were talking about. As it turned out, procedure was a few hours long and rather complicated, but I did stay for a good while, so now I finally have some general idea of the cath lab stuff. Soo exciting!! ...Especially considered that this was practically the first and only cardiac patient I've seen since starting the internship. My heart will always have a special place for heart kids, though! :-p


Last weekend (Nov. 21-23), Chris Nowicki, my 4-H friend from Georgia came to visit. (Yes, this is the guy who works miracles with Delta Airlines and flight arrangments...and yes, I love him for it. Seriously, if you want to get something done in life, being friends with Chris is the way to go.) Chris is also friends with Jeff (my first Idaho friend, whom I also met through 4-H), so he stayed at Jeff's house for the weekend, considering my apartment is already pretty cramped...and he's a guy. lol.

Friday, I made some Cajun spaghetti with the yummy sauce that Nanna mailed me last month. Jeff came over to eat and hang out before we picked Chris up from the airport at 8:30 p.m. We hung out at Jeff's for a bit, and then met up with a lot of the soccer team guys (and Tessa) at The Front Door downtown. It was one of the soccer guys' 21st birthdays so the guys were out celebrating. The festivities were pretty low-key and didn't last very long.

Saturday, Jeff and Chris came over to eat left over Cajun yumminess, then Tessa and I joined them to explore Boise for most of the day. Our most memorable stop was Table Rock, my absolute favorite place in all of Boise. It was pretty chilly out and very overcast, but the cool thing was that we could see the storm/cloud system moving across the city from where we were standing. Earlier, I'd heard from Kim that it was sleeting in Nampa, so I joked about how awesome it would be if it started snowing. Well, low and behold, we watched the clouds move some more, and suddenly IT WAS SNOWING!! Oh em gee. It was just the coolest thing ever, that it happened all of a sudden. We took some pictures for a bit and then headed down to explore more of the city. Amongst the other sites were an outdoor nature center, Simplot Hill, the Boise Depot, and Lucky Peak Reservoir. Then we returned to my apartment to play Wii for most of the afternoon, and finally went out to dinner at a hole-in-the-wall hamburger establishment called Big Judd's (sounds appropriate, right? lol.). That evening, a small group of Jeff's friends hung out at his house to watch WallE and play cards. Chris and I had some time to catch up with each other, too, which was nice.

On Sunday, the boys went out shooting with Joey and one of Joey's friends. I spent the day doing homework (my NSU assignments were due Monday) and cooking a good-bye/thanks-thanks-for-coming gumbo. Jeff and Chris came over to eat some dinner before Chris headed out to his red-eye flight home (leaving at 7 pm MST, arriving Monday at 9:30 EST--crazy). I had a lot of gumbo left, and wasn't really interested in eating it, so I invited what remained of the boys house over for Kim, Tessa, Joey, his friend, and Stew all ate some of my yummy gumbo. Woot. I decided I'm really starting to enjoy cooking...or at least keeping my ties to Cajun food and home. :)

Originally, Chris was supposed to visit over his Fall Break in October, but when that fell through, I was really sad about the change in plans. However, he figured things out and was finally able ot visit in November. I truly enjoyed his visit, and hope he did too. Now, it's time that he visit Dawn and I in Louisiana. ;0)


As for the Thanksgiving holiday, I worked every day this week. This was SUCH an adjustment to me, as I've always been off of work/school for the entire holiday week. At first, it wasn't so bad because it kept me busy and my mind off of missing home (not that that's a real problem lately). Later in the week, though, it became annoying because everyone else was off of school, having fun, and taking vacations. I was super jealous, to put it simply. It was slow at work, though, so I guess that was good.

Because I was scheduled to work every day, I didn't really plan on celebrating the holiday. However, as the days passed, it began to seem like I might have gotten off early enough to do something somewhat fun, at least. Thus, I accepted Nathan's invite to eat dinner with his family, so that I wouldn't be alone on such a family-oriented day. (Later, I was also invited to spend the day with my supervisor's family, as well as Jeff's. Thanks to you both!)

Fortunately, I got off on Thursday after only an hour of working--we checked on all the kids and there wasn't much going on at the hospital, so we left. hehe. Getting off super early was really helpful because it gave me the opportunity to get a lot of work done on the job applications I have been doing. Nathan picked me up around 12:30 p.m. and we headed to his parents' house in Nampa for lunch. One of his brothers' and his sister-in-law and their daughter were there, as well as his grandparents. Everyone was really nice and welcoming, and I am very grateful to have been able to spend the day with a loving family such as this one. Afterwards, we came back to my apartment because Nathan had to work (from his computer) until 7pm, but since it was slow we just watched movies for the rest of the evening, basically.

I got off an hour early yesterday (Friday), too, which was super nice. Again, it gave me more time to get some things done with my job applications. Then it was time for relaxation and more movies. Today, I've been doing most of the same--relaxing and job application details. It's soo nice that my recommendation forms finally came in, so now I can mail them...just as soon as someone with a car comes around sometime soon.

I guess I should explain the job applications in more detail, since I've mentioned them a few times in this post. For a while I've been planning to apply for the Program Assistant position with Wonders of Washington in DC. That application is due on Monday, and it's taken me forever to get things ready for it because the recommendation forms took a long time to come in the mail, and it required three essays, as well. The other job I found was a part-time position working with the 4-H Operation Military Kids program here in Idaho. I'm super pumped about that one because I'd get to stay in Boise, and with the part-time flexibility I'm hoping I would have more time to travel to cool places in the region, since I haven't gotten to do any of that these last few months. It'd be really great, too, if I could go to National 4-H Conference again...

Regardless, I am going home to graduate in ...less time than I want to remember... and I'm not sure where I'll be going from there. The good news is that you all can continue reading the blog if you're interested in keeping up with my cross-country adventures. Hehe.

Until next time,

P.S. Wishing everyone at National 4-H Congress the best of times this week...have fun and stay warm!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Busy Bee, part 2

Continuing from my previous post...

11/1: It was a pretty lazy morning for the girls. We were slow waking up and getting ready, then made a mad dash to the post office (so that I could mail my FACS 498 assignments) and the bank (so Kim could deposit my rent check) before they closed. The closest post office was closed so we attempted to find the one in Hyde Park (hippie district near downtown, heh) before it closed too. We barely made it, thank goodness, but by the time we got to the bank, it was closed. Fooey. I am super proud of myself, though, because I totally knew where I was going (on the way back anyways), and am fairly good at navigating the city--which, you know, is huge for me!

That afternoon, Joey, Stew, and Nathan (Bosian who moved to Seattle in between our July visit and my September return) came over to watch the BSU game and play Wii. I helped Kim with some of her projects for school, and we just all enjoyed relaxing together. Once Jesse got off of work at 10:30 p.m., we met he and some friends at Old Chicago, a restaurant downtown. Afterwards, we girls and Nathan came back to our apartment to watch Little Miss Sunshine, and the other guys went home to play WOW (computer game). It was a late night, but there were plenty of good times...

11/2: Tessa and I went to 11 a.m. Mass and then rushed home in an attempt to make it to Fantasy Breakfast (at the boys' house) before all the food was gone. There was a pretty decent turnout despite the fact that it was arranged very last-minute. After breakfast, everyone kind of retreated to do their own thing--some of us napped, others did homework or cleaned the house, and still others had the best fun of all...playing Blokus!!! Yep, we basically had a Blokus tournament in the PB (ask) Room all day long. Mike, Ashley, Jason, Sharla, Tessa, Nathan, and I played over and over again. It was great. Once we got tired of Blokus, we played a card game called Golf for a while, too. Then everyone went off again doing their own things such as homework and computer games until it was time for Kim and Joey to go to church and Nathan to go home (yes, 8-hour drive back to Seattle, starting at 8 p.m., eek!). Derek had arrived to play computer games with the boys, so Tessa and I decided it was time to go home and retire for the night. Gosh, I soo love weekends in Boise!

11/3: My first "official" day on a peds rotation, and my supervisor was sick so I was on my own...what a way to start, ay? lol. The idea of running a one-woman show was somewhat overwhelming, but it wasn't very hard to do. However, there was a strong potential for disaster, considering we lost a young girl in intensive care as the result of a severe motor vehicle accident, and the accredidation agency arrived unexpectedly...all on the day that Child Life was absent. lol. All in all, I felt very accomplished at the end of this work day. ...Shenanigans soccer game in the evening and then spent some time hanging out at the boys' house was a great way to end the day.

11/4: Don't remember much of anything from this day, except I have noted on my calendar that the new Brad Paisley cd came out. (I bought it a few days later and was highly disappointed. Ask if you'd like to know more.)

11/5: It seems as though I'll be mostly independent on my peds from this point forward, which is quite alright with me. Nothing overly exciting happened at work, but Dr. Kirkley arrived in Boise this afternoon and met me at the hospital in her rental car. I gave her a quick tour and introduced her to some of the Child Life staff before heading downtown for dinner. We ate at Bardenay, per Jesse's wonderful suggestion. It was yummmy, and a great way to kick off the next few days of Cajun visitors I had ahead of me. We turned in early, as Dr. Kirkley had been up since the wee hours of the morning, and I had to be at work very early the next morning.

11/6: I began my OR rotation not-so-bright and early at 6:30 a.m. For the most part, I observed my supervisor throughout the busy morning. Oddly enough, most of the pediatric surgeries were complete by 11 a.m., so we went up to the office to oranize ourselves and prepare for Dr. K's arrival just before noon. She met us for lunch and we chatted for a while before going through my evlauation. The two hit it off quite well and it was a rather pleasant lunch. After the meeting, Dr. K and I headed out to explore Boise. We went up to Table Rock (my favorite place in all of Boise), drove down Harrison (my favorite street--gorgeous!) Street, past Simplot Hill, attempted to get up to Bogus Basin Ski Resort (but turned around once we were surrounded by snow and potentially icy roads), and briefly hit up the North End, Hyde Park, and downtown, before heading back up "the bench" to meet Tessa for dinner at Rockie's Diner. To close out the night, the three of us played a quick game of Blokus and then we went to sleep rather early again, for Dr. K had an early flight the next day, and I was scheduled for the OR, once again.

11/7: Dr. K left for the airport around 5:30 a.m. In the OR, I was thrust into the Child Life role, doing some work with patients after only a day of observation. Talk about scary. I spent the afternoon talking with Gina, the other intern about our experiences, and practicing for a puppet show we're doing as a part of a school presentation on November 20th. My mom arrived in the late afternoon, and met me at the hospital in her rental car. I gave her a quick tour and introduced her to some of the Child Life staff before heading downtown for dinner. We ate at Old Chicago because we happened upon it by accident, I was too hungry to keep looking, and we'd had a great experience there the weekend before. Again, we turned in early, because Momma had an early morning flight and, of course, I'd been working early mornings lately.

11/8: Momma and I spent the day exploring Boise, trying to take in as much as we could before the rain arrived. We went up to Table Rock drove down Harrison Street, past Simplot Hill (at which point she refused to go any further), and briefly hit up the North End. We parked and "got down" (Yes, I'm being Cajun here) to walk around in the Hyde Park area. There were some pretty cool treasures there, I discovered. Then we headed downtown to explore some more. The market happened to be going on, which was a sweet surprise. For lunch, we ate at the Brick Oven Bistro, which has the bestttt cheddar vegetable soup. Yummy. Then, we stopped in at the Boise Visitors Center, Taters (my favorite Boise gift shop), the Bronco Shop, and a few other random shops in the area. By this time, it was starting to rain (ahem--drizzle, in typical Boise fashion) and we were a bit tired, so we decided to head back toward home. On the way, we stopped at the Boise Depot to check out the great view and take some photos. Afterwards, we headed home to rest up for a bit and read some of the brochures we'd grabbed along the way. A quick trip to Wal-Mart resulted in me owning a warm new coat (yay!) and the latest Brad Paisley cd (boo--highly disappointed). We stopped for Panda Express (our first time) on the way home, and then called it an early night, yet again.

11/9: It was a lazier day, thanks to the disgusting rain that decided to arrange itself right over Boise. (Go figure, it never rains in Boise...except when visitors are here. Grr.) Momma and I slept in and then chose to explore the Discovery Center that afternoon. Basically, it was lame. But, we made the best of things and I just kept reminding myself that it was a fairly creative way to, as a 21-year-old soon to be college grad, spend a Sunday afternoon bonding with my mother. When thinking about it that way, things weren't so bad. That night, Momma, Tessa, and I went to mass at the cathedral downtown. I'm not typically one for ornate churches, but this one was really nice. I liked it for some reason...despite the fact that they completely butchered Chris Tomlin and Matt Maher songs. (boo!) I think this was the most closely-similar-to-home mass I'd attended since I got here. (Then again, maybe some of that had to do with the fact that my mother was with me, lol.) In any case, the three of us enjoyed a relaxing meal at Rockie's Diner before returning home to pack and sleep.

11/10: I got up to say goodbye to Momma when she left for the airport at 5 a.m. I knew it was going to be a hard day, as it would be the first time in almost a week that I didn't have a Cajun visitor. Work wasn't bad; it was actually fairly calm despite the busy census on peds. Emotions didn't really hit me until after I got home and we all headed out to the boys' soccer game. I wasn't in the best of moods, but managed to cheer on the boys as they claimed their second consecutive win. Woot.

11/11: This day was much better, emotion-wise. I'm not particularly fond of the 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday schedules, but what can ya do? They're especially annoying whenever something comes up right before we're leaving and we end up having to stay for an extra hour or something. However, I know this comes with the professional territory, and am just using this blog as a mini-vent session. ;-)

11/12: And finally, today. It was a good day...nothing to exciting. The social worker gave a presentation on professional boundaries, with the assistant of a parent volunteer. It was pretty interesting, and very relevant. She soooo reminds me of one of my teachers back at Nicholls... What else? Oh. Did I mention I'm addicted to the Twilight book? Yeah, if you haven't heard of the series, let me know...but once you get started, you're hooked. It's nuts. I don't even care about much other than reading these days. (Then again, it's easier to forget that I have a lot to do, including some important decisions to make, whenever enthralled with this alternate world.) Yeah so, I spent the afternoon reading, and evening writing this while watching the CMA's (Country Music Awards). On that note, I must say that it was sooooo nice to finally indulge with some country music. I haven't been able to listen to much of anything since I've been here, so I feel totally out of the loop. It was very much a creature comfort to see everyone (on TV, of course, lol) and hear my very favorite music tonight. Mmmm.

Alas, I am done. I think you all have plenty of reading now, and hopefully that makes up for my extended absence from writing. As always, I promise to try to write more frequently in the future. You should know, though, that I have a lot of schoolwork due soon, and my dearest friend Chris from Georgia is coming to visit Jeff and I next weekend. Shortly after that, it will be Thanksgiving and then time to finish up the internship stuff. In other words, no promises.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Busy Bee, part 1

As a result of runing around with my head cut off, blogging hasn't exactly been at the top of my priority list. Well, it has, but it just hasn't exactly worked out for me. Alas, this is what I've been up to for the past three and a half weeks...

10/20: It was a busy day at work. We thought the quiet afternoon schedule-wise would be a great opportunity for my supervisor and I to escape and do some Halloween shopping for the clinic, but that wasn't true at all. One of our patients had a really difficult time with an unexpected/impending procedure, so we rushed back to the hospital to attempt to assist with it.

10/21: Another crazy day at work. My first Tuesday of working 11:30 a.m. - 8 p.m. The highlights...Saw two children being removed from their family as a result of an NAT (non-accidental trauma) incident. A usually unfriendly patient smiled and waved at me in the hallway. A difficult IV start resulted in my getting off over an hour later than scheduled. Bah.

10/22: There was a lot going on in the clinic today...I observed a procedure preparation and then did three more on my own. (Felt so accomplished.) Helped escort BSU Bronco Football players as they visited patients on the pediatric floor. Attended the bi-monthly Peds Care Conference luncheon. Manned the playroom for a while...

10/23: Bus adventure began...The driver didn't realize she was doing the wrong route, and thus yelled at me for "being in the wrong place" for pick up. As a result, she was late getting back to the transfer zone, and I missed my connecting bus. She said she'd call the other driver and told me to wait on a specific corner for when he came back around. I did, and because I wasn't in the official pick-up area, he yelled at me, even though the previous driver had told me to wait there. It was extremely frustrating, but at least I made it home, and this was really only the first bad experience I had with the that point, anyways...

10/24: By far the craziest day I've had at work since starting the internship. It was so busy that my supervisor and I came in early (after staying late the day before), and were forced to "divide and conquer" in order to manage everything. Helped new patient with his radiation simulation, then rushed off to do a school presentation for a transplant patient's classmates. I provided support for a patient as she awaited her spinal tap and bone marrow aspiration, then went to the next room over to provide support with another patient throughout her (sedated) spinal tap. Meanwhile, my supervisor worked with a patient's port access and then offered support to another (long-time) patient as she went into surgery to remove her port. We both barely made it to the weekly intern meeting. (It was okay, though, because each of the Child Life Specialists had to leave at some point, for various reasons such as procedure preparation, support, and other patient requests.) After the meeting, my supervisor and I rushed back over to the clinic to help the new patient with having his port accessed. AHH crazy day!! ...So crazy that I nixed the corn maze idea for the night and settled on a nice, quiet evening at the boys house, with a yummy pasta potluck and night of game-playing. Whewwwww.

10/25: Tessa had two friends over for lunch and tea. We finally made it to the corn maze, after about a month of me begging everyone to take me. It was cute and kind of reminded me of the Rolof Farm (see TLC's Little People, Big World), but on a smaller scale. Everything was pretty simply done, but I still thought it was great. Pictures shall be posted on Facebook at some point. Afterwards, Tessa grounded me until further notice, because I had a ton of work due this week...thanks, Mother.

10/26: Apparently being "grounded" doesn't always include banishment from soccer games, thank goodness. The boys had their last outdoor game at 11 a.m., and the weather was just plain gorgeous. They didn't win, but it was a nice day and we all really appreciated the last game of the season. No planned outings or even Fantasy Breakfast; I was once again banished to the apartment to do work. Boo.

10/27: Work. Missed the darn bus again so Kim came to pick me up. GRR buses! Phone interview with the mother and younger brother of the patient for which I was doing my Case Study Presentation. The phone interview went amazingly well and I received plenty of information for preparing the presentation. It was a great experience, even though I was sad to have missed the Shenanigans' indoor soccer game that night.

10/28: Work 11:30 a.m. - 8 p.m., then presentation preparations. I didn't finish the project until 2 a.m. MST...bah.

10/29: My case presentation went very well, which is good because now I'll feel much less nervous and much more prepared for the second one, I hope. In an attempt to outsmart the bus system, or at least try a new method, I failed miserably by missing the bus, yet again. Thankfully, Kim has been very cooperative, and agreed to pick me up again, for the third day in a row. She, Tessa, and I then went to the costume shop to pick out a few things for the coming two days' costume parties. We were late to the co-ed indoor soccer game because we got lost trying to find it from a different part of town, but Jeff coached us through it over the phone and we did eventually make it there. On the way home, we stopped for groceries at Wal-Mart, where I finally gave into my McDonald's craving, as I hadn't eaten at any fast food restaurants since arriving in Boise. (Yes, I'm rather proud of that, lol.)

10/30: I attended my second school re-entry presentation for work. That was pretty cool and interesting; I love this aspect of the profession. For Tessa's 23rd birthday, we had a Murder Mystery Party, or basically a living clue game, at the boys' house. (Ask if you're not sure what this is, and I'll be more than willing to explain, I just don't exactly feel like typing it all out at the moment.) Everyone dressed to fit the part and most people really got into it. Acting without lines is definitely not something I'm good at, so it was really tough to play the part. The party went on forever because people loved it so much, but after about three hours, we decided to focus on finishing the game because everyone was falling asleep, and most had school or work the next day.

10/31: Happy Halloween! For my last day at MSTI (pediatric oncology clinic), I basically spent the entire day playing Blokus (best game ever) and taking children around the building to Trick-or-Treat. It was definitely a great way to finish out my rotation there. Tired from all the craziness, I took a good nap when I got home. Then it was time to get up, get ready, and head on over to the Halloween party that Tessa and Ashley had organized at the boys' house. I guess I knew about half of the people in attendance, but parties really aren't my thing so...meh, it was okay. I much prefer to hang out with a smaller, more intimate group of friends, but whatever. We stayed from about 10 p.m. to Midnight and then Jesse brought Tessa and I home for the night.

And, I think now is a good time to pause. I'll continue catching up in another blog soon. (This way, its length isn't quite so overwhelming, lol.)