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Happy Fathers Day and Baptism Day

Seventeen years have passed since Brian and Allyson were baptized together on Fathers Day by Pastor Kevin. It was around 1997 when I took a job as a school nurse for Washington Lutheran School (it’s now called Abiding Savior Lutheran School). I worked there 12 hours a week and did 16 hours a week in the burn unit. After about a year or so the school secretary Iris invited me to church and I went. Pastor Kirk was a former psychiatric nurse and I loved him. He talked so fast and gave awesome messages. After some time a call was placed for a second pastor and Kevin Wendt answered the call. I was not happy about this as there was only one Pastor and that was Kirk. I had made up my mind that I wasn’t even going to like this Kevin guy, like ever. Then Pastor Kevin showed up and I’m pretty sure God was laughing his head off because it was love at first sight. First of all he was super easy on the eyes and secondly he spoke so well and totally kept me engaged. I talked about him all the time and I think Brian finally came to church to size up his competition.

Brian did not go to church as a family when he was growing up. He did go with his friend to Catholic mass either on Saturday nights or Sunday mornings. Both of Brian’s parents grew up in church but never really went after that well until Pastor Kevin. Anyway Brian soon learned that you could follow Jesus and still watch football, drink beer and cuss occasionally. Pastor Kevin is a cheese head and followed football, when not preaching he would be known to say a curse word and he drank beer occasionally. So before too long Brian started coming to church every week. His sister and her son Kyle were attending as well and then Brian’s parents started coming too. All of this from one invite from Iris.

After Allyson was born and it was time to have her baptized, Brian decided he wanted to be baptized as well. Neither he nor his brother or sister were baptized as infants so he felt the calling to do it as an adult and who better to do it than Pastor Kevin. And so seventeen years ago they were both baptized. Emily and Kayla were sick as dogs that morning so Beverly (the lady who watched the girls) skipped the baptism and watched them for us. Pastor Kevin even came by the house later that day for the party and risked catching their sickness.

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I was wondering today how different my life would have been if Iris hadn’t invited me to church that day. Would I have ever had found a church home? Would Brian have ever realized you can follow Jesus and not be a jug head? You can be a cool, extremely good-looking Pastor, who loves football. Would I have ever found Oak Bridge or my love of teenagers?

 

Mole Moral ~ One invite really can make a difference. My family is living proof!

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Time Really Does Fly!

On this day thirty years ago I graduated from Deaconess College of Nursing with my diploma in nursing. So much has changed since then that it is almost impossible to believe. For starters there is only one diploma school left in the area and that is Lutheran School of Nursing. Every other program is either associate or bachelors in nursing. The diploma schools had the most clinical hours back in the day and were usually associated with hospitals. In other words free labor.

I recently looked at my scrapbook to figure out which day I graduated on. I was very surprised to discover I graduated on Uncle Larry’s birthday. I would have thought I would have remembered this but I guess this is why I scrapbook. Things you think you will remember forever you quickly forget.

I must say nursing school has not changed at all during this time. It is still the most stressful time in a person’s life. I swear they do everything they think of to get people to quit and weed out the weak. I mean if you even think about applying they start quoting wait lists and GPA’s and drop out rates. It is just ridiculous. I can honestly say I would never go through it again. One and done.

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I thought I would list some of the changes over time. Please feel free to comment any others.

  1. All white with a nursing cap. Scrubs started around 1989 and the caps were gone by the time I started working at Deaconess
  2. No computers at all. All charts were paper and kept at the  nurses station.
  3. Medication carts with narcotics on them. Now my friend Gena who works at a small hospital still has them. I haven’t carted one up and down the hall since 1990 when I went to the burn unit.
  4. Gloves were only for sterile procedures. You carefully cleaned up people and emptied foley catheters.
  5. It cost money to watch TV and there were only seven channels.
  6. Smoking occurred anywhere in the hospital. Patients were placed in rooms based on smoking preference.
  7. No scanning medications or automatic times placed in charts. Also the medication records were hand copied by night shift every four days.
  8. All pain medications were given IM. There was no IV push pain medication.
  9. Darvocet was not a narcotic. It no longer exits as it was taken off the market years ago.
  10. Two nurses had to count narcotics at shift change. No one could leave until the count was right. If you forgot to sign out a narcotic it held up everything.
  11. LPN’s were phased out of mercy at least five or more years ago.
  12. There were no twelve-hour shifts.
  13. There was no straight day shift. You could work straight evenings or straight nights but days were rotated with either evenings or nights.
  14. People were admitted the night before for tests now done outpatient such as cardiac cath, upper and lower gi, stress test, etc.
  15. Nursing boards were a two-day event with a six-week wait for results. Small envelope you passed, big envelope you failed and they were only offered two times a year.

I know I am forgetting so many things but there are many others I will always remember.

  1. My first patient that passed away.
  2. My preceptor, Lisa from my first job.
  3. My ten years in the burn unit including my first really critical burn.
  4. How hard nursing school was.
  5. How I learned to never date a patient the scary hard way.
  6. Why I transferred to Women’s Health.
  7. Being pregnant and vomiting in the trash can during a feeding tube insertion.
  8. Taking care of my first Christmas Angel.
  9. Leaving a code to go the bathroom to avoid peeing in my pants.
  10. The class I had to take to learn how to use a computer mouse.

 

Mole Moral ~ As I look at my picture I think dang I had a nice figure and yet if you would have asked me back then I would have told you I was fat. My body image disturbance isn’t just a nursing diagnosis, it’s a reality!

1

They Crawl

Yesterday was a big event in the Mole house as Allyson flew to California all by herself. All year she had been saying she wanted to spend the summer with Emily and for most of the year it was going to work out where Allyson could drive back with Emily when she was here getting her car inspected. However due to Fox calling school off a couple of times for bad weather that never happened the last day of school got pushed off and Emily was leaving the day Allyson had finals. Emily was starting her next job and could not delay her leave date. So I scoured the internet for flights and finally found the cheapest one. It meant she had a layover in Phoenix but I found one with only sixty-six minutes. This made me nervous and relieved at the same time. Nervous because if flight one was late and she missed flight two, it would be a bit of a nightmare getting her on another flight without me being there. A relief in that it was way less time for her to be sitting around the airport with creeps. I watch way too much Discovery ID. I was also glad her final destination was San Luis Obispo and not LAX. Emily was too as Los Angeles is a four-hour drive from her house and San Luis Obispo is only an hour.

I waited for her to get through airport security before I left for home. She didn’t even turn around and wave or anything. But she did text me the minute she made it to the gate. Prior to this we reviewed how to look at the monitors to find out what gate her next flight was at. She said don’t worry mom, if I can’t figure it out I’ll ask someone. And so the wait was on for her to arrive in Phoenix. I was getting a bit nervous but she made it and this was our texting after she landed.

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I was cracking up over the “they crawl” comment. She did say they were crawling up and down the aisle of the airplane. She was in the middle seat and the second flight the aisle. I said great because if the window gets blown out, you won’t get sucked out of the plane. The only way to deal with stress is ridiculous humor. She landed safely and is with Emily for the summer.

Mole Moral ~ I am so thankful my kids don’t have my anxiety about not knowing where they are going and needing to know the rules for everything. I don’t think I would have ever flown by myself in high school.

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Finster Graduates

It was August of 1999 and we were patiently awaiting the arrival of our niece. Brian’s birthday is the fourteenth and he just knew she would be born on his birthday. However, Sierra Chloe would make her arrival on the eighteenth instead. My sister had went into labor the night before and Andre’ came picked me up to go to the hospital. We stopped at the QT across from Hobby Lobby (it was Schnucks grocery store in 1999) to get coffee. When we came out Karen was pacing around the car during contractions. Sierra was born at 10:34 in the morning weighing in at five pounds and eleven ounces. Karen’s first comment was that she was so little and Dr. McCaffery offered to put her back for a week or two. I stayed until after they gave Sierra her bath in Karen’s room and then Andre’ took me home and went back to the hospital. It has been well said that Sierra looked like a monkey when she was born.

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To live in our family, you have to be tough. We can be quite brutal at times. However Sierra would soon grow out of the ugly newborn into a beautiful young lady.

By the time Sierra was born, we had cable in our house and had stopped watching channel nine and were watching Nickelodeon. One of our favorite shows was The Rugrats. Sierra was well under a year old when she earned her nickname from Brian. He started calling her Finster for Chuckie Finster. Chuckie was a worry wart and a scaredy cat two features which Sierra exhibits to this day. If Kayla wanted to aggravate her she would start talking about tornadoes and pretending to hear the sirens. Sierra would go into a panic and Kayla would just laugh.

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Sierra had reddish hair when she was younger and although she did not wear glasses she seemed to be afraid of everything including being outside. Beverly who lives down the street watched not only my girls but Sierra as well. I will never forget the day I drove by when she was sitting on a blanket crying her head off because she was outside. Beverly said she never stopped crying until they went inside and did this day after day. On Andre’s first fathers day I gave him a picture frame engraved with Daddy’s Girl and a picture of Chuckie Finster in it. After this she was stuck with the name forever.

Last week I went through old pictures looking for ones for this blog. I’m posting a few of my favorites.

It’s hard to believe that almost nineteen years have passed and Sierra has now graduated from high school. Even though Brian aggravates her constantly she still insists on hanging out our house. (After all he is the one touching her face with a fish, in the above picture.) She has been a joy to watch grow up. Her future plans are to attend South East Missouri State and study nursing.

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Mole Moral ~ If you have a nickname from the Moles (no matter how ridiculous it may seem) it means we love you very very much. We love you Sierra and know you will do great things!

 

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A Birth and Furry story

It was seventeen years ago today that I called Brian at the lake and told him I was in labor. He had decided even though I was going to be induced at midnight on my birthday (May 8) that it was totally safe to go to the Lake of the Ozarks with his best friend Johnny. I mean cause it’s only a three and a half hour trip anyway. So I got up and showered but refused to run to the hospital yet and just be at a big ONE centimeter dilated so when Target opened up my sister and I walked around in there for a good hour. By this time it is ten in the morning and Brian still has not returned from the lake. So she takes me to the hospital and my water had broken and I was FOUR centimeters dilated. Yay for me. It just so happened that one of my burn unit buddies was working that day and was my nurse. Now you are probably wondering how this is possible. Tina was a labor and delivery nurse and one or two deliveries away from being a midwife when she decided to go to CRNA school. To get into that program you must have ICU experience so she worked with us for a while. She also knew that I wanted to try to go natural. Around 11:30 Brian is still not at the hopsital (apparently he and Johnny decided false alarm and went back to sleep for a while. Johnny is not one that rushes for anything and this day was no different.) I was shaking all over and Karen called Tina and said what is wrong with her. The answer was simple I was hyperventilating and shaking all over. Lamaze breathing had been long forgotten but I started working on that. However I was like I need an epidural. So she called for one and then after it was placed checked me and said I knew you were at ten by the way you were acting, but I didn’t check first because your husband would have missed the delivery. He showed up just as the epidural was placed. I then received so much epidural I couldn’t push for two hours so we all sat around joking and laughing until pushing time came. And because my uterus did most of the work, three pushes and she was out. I had a different doctor this time and the experience was so much nicer. Brian got to cut the cord and Teresa captured pictures of this. Because my nurse did midwife first, she placed Allyson on my stomach for a while. It was really cool. When the doctor asked delivery time she looked at me like “well damn, I didn’t look at the clock” so she said 2:20 which in my head I said score that is super easy to remember. So the last mole girl was born without any issues and was discharged home on my birthday. May 6 also happens to be Florence Nightingale’s birthday and nurses day. I was often told she was a beautiful newborn.

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As she grew it became obvious she didn’t care what others thought or did. She certainly hasn’t been one to follow the crowd or even conform. I tried not to have a heart attack her freshman year when she decided to cut all of her hair off. I reminded myself it’s just hair and it will grow back.

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I even let her add color to it because Hollie (who does our hair) is awesome and I trusted Hollie to do this for us. Currently Allyson has grown out of all the color and is back to growing it long again. See it’s just hair and it does indeed grow back.

She is very artistic and creative. In middle school she became interested in Fursuits (not to be confused with Yiffers, as Yiffers have sex in their costumes and the Fursuits do not like them as they give Fursuits a bad reputation.) She created her first character whom she named Prototype. He was so big and bulky she has since dismantled him and is currently reworking him. Her second character was Wolzey and she performed in the middle school talent show and received a standing ovation. I was not allowed to attend but when I told the secretary she made it herself, she almost fell out of her chair. IMG_7789 (1)

As you are looking at the picture the unfinished one is Wilson , the guy in the middle is Wolzey and the end one with the glasses is the now defunct prototype. She finished Wilson and here he is. Please excuse my messy house as I always tell my husband on my deathbed I will not say I wish I kept the house cleaner. I will say I wish I helped more people and made even more things for them.

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After she finished him she put Fursuit to rest for a year or so and then she got a job. She has been working since October and has made quite a bit of money as a bus girl. She has another OC (original character) which she created. His real name is Robbie but he goes by Prince and happens to be Wolzey’s father. (Yes Wolzey is also an Allyson OC.) Here he is in 2D form.

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So since Allyson makes way more money than is needed to run her star wars server she decided to commission The GoldenMaw to make this character for her. This is this girls full-time job and a legitimate business. I would have never known such a thing existed. I believe she sent the girl some drawings and then she received pictures of progress on the head. I was amazed that she did it the exact same way Allyson made hers. I got the duh mom how else did you think it was done. Oh I don’t know with a real pattern and sewing machine. Not duct tape to get the shape and cut the fur out. Anyway the head arrived last week and it is freaking fantastic. It came with instructions on how to care for it, including how to pet it. He has a special brush for his fur. This thing is legit.

Of course cheap Mole thinks she spent way too much money. Yet when I have done t-shirt quilts he thinks I should charge more. It’s funny how that works. I say she got what she paid for which is true awesomeness. So it looks like we will be taking another trip to Midwest FurFest this year.

Now back to her birthday, she has requested to go to dinner at the place where she works. They “have the best food ever” and she thinks she can get a free brownie desert because it’s her birthday. So we will celebrate her in just a little and can only imagine what her future holds. I say she needs to work for Pixar and she flat-out refuses and tells me that’s not a job its a hobby and its my dream not hers. I love this kid!

 

Mole Moral ~  What one person thinks is money well spent another person thinks is a total waste. However, when it’s your hard-earned money you can spend it how you choose.

 

 

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Pokemon Go Raid Bus

For those of you that missed the Pokemon Go game release, I thought I had better start from the beginning. It is a game that came out almost two years ago as an app. It was designed to get people out of the house and out walking in the communities. It started off huge and then died down fairly quickly. However there are always die hard’s that stick with it. I downloaded the game about a week after its release when my daughters boyfriend at the time got pulled over at the Arnold Water tower by the cops and asked what he was doing. He and his friends showed the cop the game and they were let go. I honestly knew nothing about Pokemon. My girls never had much of an interest in it and I never played the game back in the Game Boy days. So when I first started my goal was to only catch one of everything.

About six months later on New Years Day my nephew showed me how to evolve Pokémon but I felt that was cheating if I didn’t catch them so I just continued looking for ones I didn’t have and hatching eggs. There are 2K, 5K and 10K eggs so when you walk that distance one hatches. The eggs remind me of Christmas presents because when one hatches, you never know what you are going to get. I then came down with the massive headache in February of 2017. During this time Emily’s boyfriend at the time was a Pokemon person and knew all about it and he started her playing. Now this made it way more fun because I’m super competitive. When Emily moved home in March for her last clinical we had a lot of fun playing together. Generation 2 was released at the time she started playing so I was now evolving and catching things for candy. I also learned how to walk with a pokemon to get needed candy.

Sometime after Emily moved back, I was at the gas station getting coffee with Pokemon running on the screen. One of the kids (anyone under 30 now qualifies as a kid to me) told me about the Pokemon Go Facebook groups. So I joined and Emily joined. This group was a lot of fun and I learned a lot of stuff about the game that I would have never had a clue about. So a guy named Tony decided to do a fundraiser walk to try to get Porygon. He received non stop grief in the group about not having one and took it like a champ. I got out of my comfort zone and did the walk and had a lot of fun.

This past February Tony decided to do a raid bus in which a group of people jumped on a party bus and drove around looking for raids. Now a raid occurs at a gym that you can only see on your phone. It takes a group of people to take the boss (Pokemon) down. I had never done them because I don’t know what I am doing. Most of these people know which Pokémon is stronger than others and who to fight who with. I am still in the I just want one of everyone. However the only way to get the Legendary’s is through raiding. I finally decided to go on the raid bus in March. The only person I knew was Tony and I told myself sitting next to a stranger would be no more stressful than the bus to Big Stuf. And on Tony’s bus we don’t have to play get to know your bus neighbor game. That game stresses me out every year because I have to talk to so many people I don’t know and try not to just stare at each them. Anyway a kid jumped on board and asked if he could sit with me. I looked at him and said “you have a 12 pack of beer, you better believe you can sit right here.” He offered me one but I said no thanks I would never stop talking. He showed me a trick about how to search for Pokemon by name instead of scrolling through the entire index. I will forever be in debt to him. So imagine thirty-nine adults and one kid driving up and down Manchester stopping at invisible gyms and everyone tapping on their phones.L

I am sure it looks crazy but it is a lot of fun. I caught my first legendary that day.

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Of course the minute seats opened for the April bus I signed up for that as well. Although it’s called a party bus, it’s not like a bachelorette or bachelor party bus. People drink a little but everyone is fun and respectful of each other. Tony was trying to take a picture in front of the bus and getting Mew (a special Pokemon that required a bunch of stuff to do before you could catch him) in the picture. He was spinning around in circles and we were all cracking up. The guy had an android and he handed him the phone and said make this thing go back, I don’t do Androids.  I am not sure if he ever got the Mew in the guys picture for him or not but we sure had fun while he was trying. Here is what it looks like if one looks at a legendary in the real world versus Pokemon virtual world.

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If you look carefully you can spot me. Especially if you know what my favorite color is. This game sounds as ridiculous as trying to explain soap operas if you never watched them. However, I enjoyed soap operas back in the day and I really enjoy this game. It is nice riding around with fellow players who both understand and love the game. The same bus driver has done all three events and she was telling us when she tells other groups about us they are shocked it is not kids but adults. This makes me think of Facebook in which the adults took over. The bus driver had never played the game but now when we would stop for a raid she would remind us to throw out a lucky egg for double XP. She even downloaded the game at the end of the trip. She is a blast.

 

Mole Moral ~ Once again stepping out of my comfort zone has led me to meet a lot of super nice people and have a really great time. And yes I have already signed up for the May raid bus. Don’t knock it till you try it.

1

Inside my head

I thought I would give you all a view of what it’s like inside my head when I am running. I’ll break todays marathon down into mile by mile. Some of it is quite bizarre, like me.

Mile 1~ Holy crap these people are running fast, I’m going to end up last. No you aren’t, start slow, you will pass them later.

Mile 2~ They are still going too fast. Turn around. Oh good there are a lot of people behind me. I’m not last or close to being picked up by the too slow car and taken to the finish line.

Mile 3~ Ok that’s a five kilometer. You got this. Why are these people still running like this? Oh wait that girl passed me earlier. Rookie mistake going out too fast.

Mile 4~ Flat course my ass, what the hell is this hill doing here anyway.

Mile 5~ Time to eat a GU. I wonder if it will kill my stomach. I need to pee, where is the next Johnny on the Spot.

Mile 6~ There’s Johnny and no wait. Yay! Oh heck my running app auto paused, don’t drop your phone in the toilet trying to un-pause it.

Mile 7~ I feel really good. Maybe the Nike coach app knew what it was doing. My message today, trust your training.

Mile 8~ I am not going to the bathroom again. What the heck is wrong with my bladder. And wait my stomach isn’t too happy either. Glad I’m not running behind me.

Mile 9~ Who is calling me? Of course it’s Emily. I answer yes and she says I forgot. She has a broken toe. I talk to her while running. She says you sound really good. I said I’m at mile nine and feel great. She repeats this to her boyfriend.

Mile 10~ Time to eat again and go to the bathroom. I am never going to make the goal I set out at this rate. At least there isn’t a wait. Damn phone auto paused again. I hate this stupid thing.

Mile 11~ Ok lady running by me if you thank one more volunteer for helping I am either going to trip you or punch you in the face. I mean it’s nice you are thanking people but you are really getting on my nerves.

Mile 12~ Finally got in front of thank you lady so I can have some peace and quiet. Did I miss the turn off for the full marathon and am now running the half. Every single person I am around is wearing a half marathon bib. My pace is too slow to do a half. Oh wait there is the turn off. Thats really mean with only about three fourths of a mile to the finish for the half marathoners.

Mile 13~ Why did I take the full marathon turn? Why did I think this was a good idea? Where is everyone? Am I in last place? Oh wait I see people up ahead, maybe I can pass them. I am going to have to pick up my pace to make my goal.

Mile 14~ Slow down, you can’t run this fast or you will crap out at the end. I have to go to the bathroom again. There are people in both of them. They are taking forever. I am about to bang on the doors and tell the fools to hurry up. I have a goal to meet.

Mile 15~ Time to eat again. I am not stopping to use the bathroom again. This sling better work or else. A guy says to me “wow your hair is really red.” I say thanks even though I am not sure its a compliment. Had I not been so focused on running I would have said “Now you know why my husband calls me Big Red.” Then I start thinking about Bring It On and Married with Children. I think of myself more as the cheerleader than Peggy Bundy.

Mile 16~ A lady looks at my hair and says “I love your hair. Its the best hair of the marathon.” I thank her and make a mental note to make a Facebook status about it and tag Hollie the girl that does my hair.

Mile 17~ I still feel pretty good but I know the wall is coming soon. I tell myself I don’t have the time or the energy for it this year.

Mile 18~ Amazing I don’t feel like I would rather die, than finish. This is how I felt my other four marathons.

Mile 19~ I turn the wrong way and the course volunteers have to yell at me to get me to go the right direction.

Mile 20~ Time to eat again. Wait wheres my other GU. Oh crap it must have fallen out of my pocket. A kid offers jellybeans so I take a handful. I hear him say that girl took a whole handful. I almost turned around and said “there aren’t that many people left, you have plenty.” Instead I shove them all in my mouth and say sugar don’t do me wrong.

Mile 21~ Some girls are handing out GU at the water stand. I snag salted caramel the very best kind. I tell myself at mile 23 I am downing it and then running the last three miles as much as I possibly can.

Mile 22~ I attempt to go the wrong way again. This seems to be a pattern. I finally pass these two girls that I have been playing tag with since mile 13 for good. They are younger than me so I think I am twenty-five.

Mile 23~ My stomach hates me but I chug the GU anyway. I started running. I run about three fourths of a mile straight which is pretty freaking amazing seeing as what mile I am at. I am a run/walk type of girl.

Mile 24~ A group of guys are on the corner with drinks. The one tells me I look like I just started. I said I wished. He asked me if I wanted a beer. I say “no thanks, I would be drunk as a skunk.” They all crack up laughing and I congratulate myself on being funny after being at this for five and a half hours.

Mile 25~ Paranoia sets in about if I will meet my goal or not. A kid is handing out Jolly Ranchers, I take one and its the best decision ever. I envision the sugar coursing through my bloodstream giving me just enough energy to finish this and meet my goal.

Mile 26~ There is no one around and I totally go the wrong way, probably wasted a good thirty seconds of time. I am now convinced the only way I could possibly make goal is to run like a bear is chasing me.

Mile 26.2~ I made it. Cross the finish line at the 50 yard line at U of I stadium. It takes another twenty minutes for my official time to post. Yep beat my goal by an entire 49 seconds but I don’t care because I achieved it and I ran a 5K the night before. Go me!

Post run~ Where is my car? I did manage to pin it on my maps but the directions make no sense. The girl starts yelling in my ear turn around and go the opposite way. I think she’s nuts and then I remember I have ZERO sense of direction so I listen to her. I finally find my car, it was .9 miles away. It makes total sense to run a marathon and then walk another mile to your car.

 

Mole Moral~ Setting a goal and achieving it leads to great satisfaction, no matter how crazy your sound!