Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Likely Snafu

This is out of my hands so I'm not really going to dwell on it, or try not to.

I have heard from fellow colleagues at school that the earliest the University can guarantee sending out our official final transcripts is July 1st. This throws off my whole plan of taking the boards before the baby because of the following cascade of events...

1. Preliminary application can be processed to a point by using official transcripts through the end of last semester
2. Final official transcipts must be sent in
3. Upon receipt of final transcripts, I will receive a letter from the certifying body stating that my application is now being processed
4. After the application is processed, I will recieve another letter with my testing window
5. In about 2 weeks, I will receive a letter from Prometric inviting me to sit for the exam.

I can't see this feasibly happening before the baby is born...this should prove interesting. I'm hoping that I can sweet talk someone in the Registrar's office to process my final transcript way before July 1. Technically, our graduating date is May25, but the degree is not conferred until June 4. At that point, the University manually audits each graduate to make sure all requirements for their particular program were met. Then they send it. Hopefully I can tell them the situation and someone will be nice to this pregnant lady....I'm not holding my breath though.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Home Improvements...

Let's start with the living room...we have a total of 4 recessed lights with a basic white border around the light. We saw these at Home Depot with a more decorative finish and decided to splurge while we were getting lighting for the baby's room and the office and get these as well..

Here's the look on the lights...

Moving on to the office, here's the border. Really cute and we would have kept it if were having a boy (not that girls can't like trucks:) but in terms of office chic, it's a huge miss.
Here is the progress (actually since this pic, I finished removing it throughout the entire room). We purchased a wall paper removal tool that basically punctures holes in the wallpaper so that your solvent can get through it. Turns out that we didn't need it, in fact, if they hadn't painted up past the chair rail, I could have peeled it off in one peice but it was sticking to the blue paint. I used a putty knife and and some water and it peeled/scraped right off. We are still deciding on the I think we're thinking one main color and then using white in between the chair rail borders...

The floor.....

This is the lighting fixture that is in both spare rooms...everything in this house is gold! Ugh. So we are slowly replacing things as we go....

This is the new fixture for the baby's room and the office.

Here's the most updated pic of the baby's room. We're really happy with the color, it was exactly what we were hoping for. M did a great job painting and didn't get any yellow paint on the white edging! Bravo! We painted our bedroom in our last apt and the edging went nowhere near as smoothly....we can't figure out why but bygones I guess...

More School....

So I am being removed from my family practice effective immediately because of the lack of peds exposure. I'm being moved to a school setting working with a PNP. I am curious to see how much this helps my assessment skills, I don't imagine one does much of that in the school system but perhaps I'm wrong. It's k-8, majority Hispanic population. I think it will be interesting, but I will be sad to leave the family practice. It was like a nice bonus adult clinical so it's a bummer that I no longer get to work on those skills...

Also the PNP could not do Fridays so my new clinical days are Tuesday and Wednesday. Thank the good lord my boss is being flexible with this.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

School Rant

So, I thought this was uncool. Last night in class, the professor (who is not my advisor) took up class time to discuss, in front of class, my clinical issues (that I'm at a family practice where I'm seeing very few pedi patients even though I'm taking a pedi course). She mentioned in front of class that this probably means I can walk for graduation but there won't be a diploma in there and that I will most likely have to take an incomplete till I can finish it. She was even asking nitty gritty details like how many hours I've completed, how many of those were strictly pedi (which seems strange to me since my advisor put my in family practice which means I'm clearly not seeing just pedi patients).

I left feeling a little uncomfortable that my 'dirty laundry' was being aired during the middle of class. I think she was trying to be helpful and solicit ideas from other classmates about potential placements or preceptors but I thought it was strange to take up class time to drill me on my clincal progression.

My advisor, who is the head of the FNP program, has not suggested to me that the hours I'm doing at the family practice do not count nor that I will not graduate on time. I emailed her this morning to tell her I was a little uncomfortable with how things went down and to ask if there is any validity to this because I'm thiiiis close to sending in my preliminary application for testing. You have to list the date that your degree is to be conferred (June 4 I think) which will be thrown off if I end up graduating late. Also, I don't have the luxury of time. I finish my clinicals in mid May, plan to study for the test for the rest of May and June, take the test June/early July, have the baby. There's no room for this to be dragging on endlessly!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Painting Progress

This is the color we chose for the baby's room, a nice soft yellow. It looks a little lighter here than it does in person, it's a shade more yellow-y.

The colors below are the samples we chose for the office...(L) Hemlock, (R), Nantucket Fog. Both are Benjamin Moore. In person the Hemlock looks a little too dark. I also included of the office as it is now....we have a decorating question. See the cute little wallpaper border? Not really us or good for a grown up office so that's coming off. It's bordered by 2 white wood borders, we're debating what to do. M likes the idea of painting a darker color where the wall is currently blue, paint white in between the wood borders where the wall paper is now and then paint a lighter blue in the same family as whatever we choose for the lower section to put on the part that's white. I'm unsure about the stripe and am more in favor of removing one of the wood borders and just doing two colors, leaving out the white stripe but this would obviously add some work with the removal, sanding and patching of the wall where the chair rail was removed. Anyone have any opinions? Is a stripe weird? Also, we're taking out this carpet too, replacing with a natural stain oak/ash floor.

Let the Review Begin

I decided to go with the Margaret Fitzgerald FNP review course. $455 dollars worth of cds, I'm on my way. I promptly converted all of them to mp3s, they are a little behind in the times and don't actually offer these as mp3s. I asked them when they would and they were iffy on the date so I decided to just order the cds so I could get started. The other kind of annoying thing is that when converting them to MP3s, each the cd track labelling method is varying from cd to cd so then I have to go back and make them uniform so that when I'm searching for them in my library the tag makes sense.

So far I've gotten through the first cd and a half and it's been helpful in terms of what to expect on the exam, the differences between the two exams, the content, passing scores etc. My plan for now is just to listen when I can without really focusing on it, just have it in the background to hopefully absorb some of it. When school's done I will start the real nitty gritty studying. She recommends doing the review course when you have at least 4-6 weeks before you take the test, so I'm good to go since I'm not planning on taking it until June/July.

So far, I joined the AANP at the student rate which will give me a discount on the test. I then formally changed my name with the school and am waiting for that to kick in at which point I'll order my official transcripts and send in the application. That way, after finishing the semester, I only have to update them with my current semesters grade and the official sign off that I did complete the program.

Monday, March 8, 2010


Here is the progress on the baby's room...I was scared when I saw that M already started ripping up the carpet in addition to removing the baseboards. Now we're looking into to replacing the flooring....yikes! Also, it was a little jarring to see, the rest of the house is so put together still from the previous owners and then I opened the door and saw this atrocity. I feel a smidge bad too because it's pretty evident the carpet in all rooms was replaced recently. At least, we are planning to keep it and reuse downstairs when M does his practice space.

The next phase of the remodeling after M paints the baby room is to repaint the office and remove the carpet. As you can see, the carpet is currently a royal blue color and was actually a really cute little boys room complete with wall paper border. We were going to use it if we were having a boy (with our luck, the ultrasound is wrong and there is actually a boy in there!)
M really likes blue so we agreed to paint the office blue, these are the two samples we got...Nantucket Fog and...I forget the name of the other one. It'll be interesting to test them out because the walls are currently sky blue in there. Hopefully it doesn't change the perception of the samples too much.

The Future's So Bright...where did I put those stupid shades again?

The other day I was trying to imagine life with Little Y. I was thinking of things we could do this summer, granted she will just be a wee one but there's no reason the newbie and I can't tool around this summer while on maternity leave.

I was having pleasant thoughts of the things we would do, the places we would go when ugly thoughts of school dared to invade. How will I do that, I'll have to work around classes etc...then it dawned on me, there is no school in my future! Only a blissful maternity leave and bright future to look forward to.

Resuming my pleasant thoughts....
Taking a day trip to an oceanside town
Reading non text books
Spending time with Little Y exploring our neighborhood
Taking Little Y out on the deck in the pack and play, she sleeps and I read or knit
Taking tons of pictures, capturing each giggle and coo
Adjusting to motherhood without the heaviness of school sitting on my chest

Certification Exam

So, I'm so excited to be posting that a major component of my Sunday afternoon was spent researching which certifying exam I should take. Yes, we are finally at that point! I informed my advisor that I am pregnant and need to take the exam in early July and she told me that I should start the application process now.

So ANCC vs one can really tell me clear difference. Including my advisor. Yesterday, I set out on a knowledge quest to discern which one I should take and it's coming down to a few factors:
  • The AANP exam is 150 questions vs the ANCC with 175
  • AANP exam is about $50 cheaper (if memory serves)
  • AANP has a posted passing rate, couldn't find one with ANCC
  • AANP does not test on theory, ANCC does
  • AANP will grant you a 120 day testing window, ANCC gives you 90 days
  • Both certify you for 5 years
  • Both accept CME as continuing ed credits and required 1000 hours of practice in 5 years with 75 credits
  • AANP credentials are NP-C, ANCC credentials are FNP-BC (my advisor said there is no preference for one over the other)
  • AANP application is 2 pages, AANC is 4 with parts that the school needs to fill out

Anecdotally, I have heard that the AANP is easier in some it seems to me that it's a no brainer to take this exam. My next goal is to find out why some of my classmates are opting to go the other route, what do they know that I don't?

Diaper Bags...I know, really exciting

I started researching diaper bags last night and discovered that 90% of them are designed to look like you're carrying a purse. But what about pop? He's not going to want to carry that. I started searching for unisex diaper bags and came across basically one company called Diaper Dude that makes messenger style bags. I really want something that we can both use and honestly I'm more of a messenger bag person that a flowery purse person anyway.

This is the one that we're eyeballing. It has an insulated bottle holder, clips to hang it on the stroller, 3 pockets on front, middle compartment with zippered and mesh compartments, and then another zippered pocket with two elastic pockets on the back.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Baby's Like Popcorn, Right?

After several weeks of pondering about just the perfect color for Little Y's room, we decided (after some compromise) to go with the Benjamin Moore Popcorn Kernel. It's a few shades lighter than the yellow pictured below (that one is Morning Sunshine). M was afraid the baby would be too energized and that the color was too close to our dining room color...I wasn't aware of a rule for that but perhaps M is a design dynamo and I'm in the dark.

I'm not normally a purple person but I have been obsessed with the idea of a gray/purple, almost totally gray but with purple undertones. Clearly, this purple (Dusk till Dawn) is not that. I was also worried that my gray/purple would be too dreary for the little one, I'm going to get it into this house somehow. I'm thinking bathroom.

M really liked the blue but it was too boring basic blue for my taste. We compromised and are going to repaint the office a shade of blue; in fact we picked up some samples today to try out.

This is the line of Benjamin Moore that we went with. It's Natura, the zero VOC option. Pregnant ladies shouldn't be painting or around paint fumes at all so we decided we should get this one...I don't want to think about how much more we probably paid for it but it's for the health of Little Y so I can't complain.

The plan for the week is for M to remove the baseboards in the room and begin painting. Aside from being pregnant, I have homework to do so he's most likely going to have to take care of painting related things.

We are excited because we're on the cusp of our first major home improvement. We are painting the baby's room followed by the office which entails removing a wall paper border and then we are putting in hardwood flooring in the upstairs hallway and the office and baby's room. We don't plan to replace the carpet in our room, the room is huge and aside from the cheddar it would cost to redo that room, I think it would be very echo-y in there because the room has cathedral ceilings.

I'll be sure to post pics of our progress!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Free Time...

Yeah, I know. This is a major contradiction from my last post, but I'm refreshed and thinking optimistically today. I also feel some guilt for being such a good knitter when other people announce their baby's but I have yet to knit a sweater for my own!

It shouldn't take me very long, so here's what I plan to knit with some stolen moments away from learning how to treat AOM with effusion.

It's a little tiny shrug! I had a bunch of patterns picked out on Ravelry and M picked this out of the bunch (well, honestly he picked a really cute one that was sort of a fair isle but called for steeking which scares me) so I settled on this as the most doable of the bunch.
I'm using some left over sock yarn that I'm doubling, it's kind of a wisteria purply kind of color.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Calgon Take Me Away...Soon Preferably.

As you know, my schedule is insane. And it's about to get crazier. Next week, I begin my OB rotation on top of my ongoing pediatric rotation. As of now, I'll be in 2 seperate areas of the state for these rotations on Tuesday, then going to class that night. Now, to mix things up more, my advisor is looking for a new pediatric placement for me because I'm not getting enough pediatric experience at the family practice I'm working at. This is good because I'm really not getting much pedi experience, nor do I feel comfortable with peds at this point. This is bad because I can not ask off at work for a different days or cut my hours further, so the moons have to line up and this has to happen on a Tuesday or a Friday, the days I'm already cleared to be out.

When/if I get a new placement, I will most likely have to continue working at my current placement because I will not have enough hours (my advisor said we would be lucky if she could find a pediatric placement where I could get four hours per week). If I did only four hours pediatric and four hours OB per week, I fall drastically short of hitting the required 225 by the end of the semester.

So far, I've had about 63 hours (only 2 out of the required 60 for OB). To make things more complicated, the OB placement is requiring me to view long powerpoint presentations and take a test at the end in addition to attending a mandatory four hour computer class to learn their charting system all before I can get started. This further cuts down on the time that I am at my family practice rotation. My plan is to actually count these hours as part of my OB hours since it is required for that placement. The drive between the two locations on Tuesdays is about an hour, so that's one hour less that I am attending a clinical, further cutting down on the number of hours that I have completed.

This schedule is completely absurd but what can I do? I have to keep plugging away until it's done. Each week down is a week I will never have to repeat again. I will laugh in my advisor's face everytime she brings up my entering the DNP program. Forget it! A master's degree will suit me just fine. This is the end of the road for me.