Saturday, July 25, 2015

PASSED THE NCLEX & Life Update

I don't think I could ever capture just how relieved, thankful, and excited I am to have passed the NCLEX!!!  

That beastly test is no joke.  I studied hours and hours for it, making it my "full time job" for weeks to assure I passed.  You can take it again if you fail, but with a baby on the way (plus all the hard work I put in) once would be enough.  I took my test Tuesday morning and to be honest the testing experience was must harder than I thought it would be.

The NCLEX is a computer adapted test so it "reads" you as you test.  If you get a question right, you get subsequently more difficult questions.  If you get one wrong, you get easier (which is bad overall).  You want the hard questions to prove you are above a competency line the test makers set, but it's hard to really tell between higher level questions and if you're just an unprepared idiot.  

I finished my test in about 1.5 hours from check in to check out with 1 potty break.  I did get the minimum number of questions required, 75, which was an absolute gift in and of itself!  I left that testing center though just sick and so worried.  I was CONVINCED I failed.

I called Ryan right away and he talked me down and then called my friend Nylah who also reassured me.  Then I called and texted lots of other friends and family but I just couldn't get over my anxiety and feeling like I just bombed it (P.S. most people walk out of the NCLEX feeling like that so I'm not a totally crazy loon).

Results wouldn't be posted until Thursday morning at 10:30 a.m. and let me just tell you that day wait...was ugly.  I wasn't a mean stressed out person, but I was so on edge and absolutely unraveled.  Ryan said that he had seen me deal with his surgeries, sickness, hospitalizations, the stress of nursing school, and more but never ONCE had me seen me like this.  HA!

Wednesday was a lot of laying in bed just being exhausted from studying and wiped from the stress hormones.  The doodles kept me company during my frequent naps.

They look like baby bunnies

All that to say, Ryan and I each checked the website where results are posted probably 50 times between the two of us all morning waiting.  Finally, it posted and I was able to see that I PASSED!

I talked to every friend and family member expcept Ryan over the next hour.  He was stuck in a big meeting but I did call him first so it's the thought that counts.  Phew!  Just had to word dump that whole story because I am so proud of my accomplishment, so beyond thrilled, and I survived the NCLEX stress.

It is official...Carly Decker BSN, RN.  What's up!?!?

The Lord made my brain so capable, I had TONS of prayers being prayed, and such a strong support network behind me.  The gratitude I have been feeling is overwhelming.  Nylah and I would text back and forth, "God brought us this far in nursing, He will bring us through this."  Amen!

To finally see this on my screen was such a relief

In other news...

We did hike last weekend to take a morning off from studying.  That was such a good idea.  I would encourage any nursing student reading this to make sure you have good study breaks when prepping for the NCLEX.  I did 4-7 hours per day/5 days a week and never longer than 50 minute increments at a time.  And you will need breaks.

Anyway, we have gorgeous trails here in Golden and can be on a nice hike after a 10 minute car ride.  We did about 2 miles and the doodles were thrilled with the new smells and sites.

A gorgeous trail

Two very obedient doodles who were overall fairly well behaved given the excitement of a new area

Also, we used our fire pit the other night and had a blast sitting outside late into the night.  We had s'mores and milk, talked life, and stayed up late.  The doodles chased bugs and were curious about the fire, it was a perfect night.

Also, always make your s'mores with Reese's instead of plain chocolate.  You can thank us later.


Now that I am finished studying and officially an RN...I can relax!  We have anywhere from 5-7 weeks before Baby Decker arrives which feels amazing.  Just the other day we were talking about how perfect God's timing has been with pregnancy in relation to graduation and test taking.

It couldn't have been better orchestrated.  I'll fill my days now with baby prep, people, being healthy for baby, and running our home.

Ryan is busy with a million exciting things at work, a concrete project to prevent drainage problem, weekly frisbee team, and taking care of his pregnant wife.

Our season of life is full and we are so thankful!

My son, if your heart is wise, then my heart will be glad indeed; my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right

Proverbs 23:15-16

Monday, July 20, 2015

Pregnancy Week 34


Week 34 Pregnancy Questionnaire

Baby Size: A cantaloupe

My weight gain so far:  
25 lbs exactly!  Feeling so good at this point in pregnancy and just hopeful to stay that way for the next 5ish weeks.

Food loves: 
I adore Chick Fil A's lemonade when it's hot out, I've been eating a lot of this organic blueberry yogurt I found (and now they are going out of business, ugh!),  2 nectarines a day because they are that juicy and sweet, and always a bowl of cheerios before bed.

Ryan has been grilling and made us some amazing and healthy chicken nachos the other day!  He covered the chips with sautéed veggies, vegetarian refried beans, homemade salsa, and plain yogurt instead of sour cream.  SO good!  I also like swiss cheese and almonds for a snack, any kind of fruit, and slice up whatever veggies sounds good to make sure I get those in.  Protein is not too hard to get in these days and I am aim to get 75-100 grams a day.

Food hates: 
Plain eggs, french toast (made me sick twice), hard/stinky cheese, cumin, the grilled chicken at chik-fil-a (too salty!), and anything with green chilis in it

3 Pros of Week 34:
1.  How smooth everything is going!  Besides first trimester morning sickness and the occasional migraine...I can't say this pregnant has been very eventful.
2. Learning so much with our Bradley classes.  It is such a gift to soak up the wisdom of our instructor every week and just learn about how amazing the human body is and how my body is totally built to birth out this chunky Decker Baby!
3. Enjoying activity.  We hiked over the weekend about 3 miles in Golden and it was gorgeous.  I actually told Ryan I forgot I was pregnant because I could easily keep up with him and the doodles and felt so strong the whole time.

3 Cons of Week 34:
1. Interrupted sleep due to a certain tiny Decker enjoying kicking/punching/bouncing on my bladder
2.  This has been true my whole pregnancy but just not a huge appetite.  I eat of course but I don't crave food the way I thought (or hoped!) I would.
3.  Lugging around an extra 25 lbs ;)

Working Out:
Walks, walks, walks!  We did the hike of course that I mentioned and have some plans to get in a bike ride now and then before this baby comes, but mostly walking everywhere.

Best Moment of the Week:
Hiring our doula, Danielle, of Roots to Nest.  She is an amazing, knowledgeable, passionate woman with nearly a decade of experience helping families have amazing birthing experiences!

I am thrilled to death to have her at home/at the hospital with us to make sure we have the natural birth that I want and know I can accomplish.  Check her out, she is seriously such a gift to us in this process and I feel so much more confident with her there.

Ryan:
He has taken such amazing care of us lately!  Seriously, over the weekend he cooked almost every meal, would barely let me help with house chores, all while working some overtime at work and helping a friend do a house project.  He is superman/husband/future dad!

His goals this week are to research more on circumcision decisions (if we have a boy), parenting approaches (Baby Wise, Attachment, etc), and just get more educated in a few areas.  I can't wait to hear what he learns and thinks.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Fly By!

If I don't update now I'll forget all of the things we've been up to!

My days for the last 2 weeks have been NOTHING but studying for this NCLEX.  For about 3 weeks after graduation I made sure to study all content for 3-4 hours per day to give myself a solid foundation.  And for the last 2 weeks or so I just do practice questions ALL day, about 7 hours per day.  

The library staff and Starbucks employees must know me by name.

It is absolutely exhausting mentally but I am learning so much and feel very, very confident walking into this NCLEX.  My fabulous/brilliant study partner, Nylah, just took the exam and passed so I think our methods were effective :)

Anyway, I cannot wait to be done.  My test is scheduled for July 21 at 11:30 a.m. and I am very anxious to take it, pass it, and officially be an RN!!

This made me laugh out loud.  A small percentage of the NCLEX and practice questions are about psych patients and therapeutic responses...this was just hilarious to me

In other news I think we may have just discovered a new holiday that might compete with Christmas and birthdays in the Decker household...Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day aka dress up like a cow and get free food

I'm ashamed to admit how many times we went to this fast food establishment on Tuesday...

If you dress head to toe you get the full meal (entree/side/drink) and my husband LOVES this kind of thing.  So we both went and had breakfast together as cows, he went back for lunch with his co-workers, and then we hit up 2 Chick-Fil-A's on the way home from our birthing class.

We literally got over $60 of free Chick Fil A food  #mortifiedandfullofchicken



Ryan is doing remarkably well post-ostomy reversal.  I haven't posted much mostly because I don't have the time but also because there isn't exciting anything to report!  His bowel movements are minimal and healthy, his weight is steady, he has no pain, and his incision is healing.

Thank you, Jesus!

He in playing on his ultimate frisbee league again and looks super hot and buff doing it too!


He is busy at work developing new curriculum at work, a role that he has found he thrives in!  And they are doing all sorts of crazy monitoring and evaluation type of things that I don't understand and there is a lot of statistics involved.  He is loving his job right now.  We are so thankful!

Also, our chickens started laying!  These stunning light blue eggs are from our Ameraucana chickens.  They are too pretty to eat. Actually, the first ones are always a bit small so they are hard to really cook with.  Maybe Grumps and Poppy can just eat them for a snack.

Our other ladies will lay lots of shade of pretty brown eggs but they haven't started just yet...but I didnt check the coop today so maybe they did!


Finally, we are making a list of "things-to-do" before Baby D comes and many of those activities include fun date nights.  We have some things we want to just enjoy with one another before this peanut arrives.  

On my list is movie nights in the park, hike through Coal Creek, picnic on Clear Creek, and some other fun activities.  Not sure what's on Ryan's list but we are compiling this weekend and I can't wait to soak up my man these next  6-8 weeks!



That is all for us Deckers!  I'm so happy to finally get a blog post up because my brain couldn't take one more nursing question.  It was a nice break.  It will be a bit until I post again because I want to focus 100% on studying.  Prayers would be appreciated for a pass on the first attempt next Tuesday!

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficient in everything, you may have abundance for every good deed

2 Corinthians 9:8

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Pregnancy Weeks 31, 32, & 33


Weeks 31, 32, & 33 Pregnancy Questionnaire

Baby Size: A pineapple

My weight gain so far:  
Honestly I don't know because I haven't been to the midwife in 2 weeks (go again this Thursday) but I'd like to say somewhere in the 25-26 lb ball park??

Let me just say that it never, ever gets old as a pregnant lady to be told how cute you look, or how fit you look, or how great you look. I seriously want to kiss those people right on their heads!  Thank you kind people of the world who say nice things no matter how true or not true they are.

Food loves: 
We have been eating homemade lasagnas filled with lots of veggies and beef, Ryan made a killer crockpot pineapple chicken the other day.  Ryan also cooked an AMAZING ginger-garlic sirloin stir fry (better than take out!!!).  Pretty much anything homemade is ok with me at this point.

A lot of take-out/restaurant food sounds too rich or greasy but we have had a few wins with going out.  I like the chicken bowls at Chipotle, the kid's pita meal at Garbanzo, and the cheeseburger at Capital Grill.   Other than that I eat A LOT of yogurt, milk, whole wheat sandwiches with peanut butter and honey, fruit galore, and cheddar cheese sun chips :)

Food hates: 
Eggs, stinky cheese, cumin, grease, and anything with green chilis in it

3 Pros of Week 31, 32 & 33
1.  I have a large and in charge belly that gets us a lot of attention when we go out.  When ladies smile at us or talk to us about it, it really makes both Ryan and my day.  We love it!
2. The stamina I feel again these last few weeks!  I must brag on my pregnant body that it is very tough.  Ryan and I repainted all our baseboards in the whole house, we did a lot of hours of yard work the last two weekends, and we still walk a1-2 times per day on top of all that.  Bodies are so strong and enduring!
3. Just enjoying our last few weeks together.  We went on a date night last night, ate burgers on an outdoor patio in Golden, and just talked for over an hour.  I like having our baby safe in my belly while I am still just enjoying my husband on-on-one

3 Cons of Week 31, 32, & 33
1. Stupid over active night time bladder.  I got up 8 times last night.  No...just no.
2.  Intolerance to the heat.  We have had a very tolerable summer in my personal opinion, but nothing wears me out like the heat.  I need the swamp cooler on, the AC in the car running, and a fan on me at night.  All house/yard work has to be done before 9:00 a.m. or after 7:00 p.m.  It's just exhausting!
3.  Just feeling like my body isn't my own.  I'm learning so much about this incredible process of pregnancy has an immense learning curve of selflessness and patience.  I can't wait to have my body back to myself (minus breastfeeding) in a few weeks because it is a lot of work to share it with another tiny human

Working Out:
Still 1-2 walks per day.  The doods and I walk about 1 mile in the morning before it's hot and then Ryan takes us all out again at dusk for a longer 3 mile walk.  We try to keep a strong pace and get lots of hills in there for the cardio.  I walked with my dear friend Ashley around Sloan's this week which I loved and am staring at my yoga mat with longing after I pass the NCLEX.

I find a lot of enjoyment in "exercising" while just doing household things because it's good muscle work and just a different activity.  Vacuuming, gardening, pulling weeds, helping bag yard clippings, etc.  Just anything to change it up.

Best Moment of the Week:
Well since it's been three weeks there are several!

My mom VERY generously got my sister and I pre-natal massages last Friday.  And not just any massages, 90 minute ones!!  Sweet merciful Moses it was heaven.  If you ever want to make a pregnant lady happy tell her she looks good (see above) and then buy her a massage.  I chose a relaxing aromatherapy blend for the lotion and came out of that room a revitalized lady!

Ryan and I started Bradley Method birthing classes.  This is the highlight of my week right now.  We are learning so much about the body, birth, labor, birthing techniques, and more.  This is a husband-coached birthing class so we are both involved and it's a really good fit for our personalities and goals in labor.

My FREE breast pump arrived in the mail.  Our insurance is seriously the bomb and they covered a really good quality pump for me along with a lot of accessories.

Finally, I am a little ahead of the game, but I started getting our hospital bag just a bit together.  Out fit for baby, toiletries for me, and just making a list of the other things we need.  Not that long to go until we meet our precious peanut!

Ryan:
Ryan is in more nesting mode than I am!  He has successfully painted and caulked all our baseboards in the house, put on a new door at our rental house, weeded our entire yard, cleared out our entire crawlspace of debri to have it clean, and has about 10 other projects to complete before baby comes.  It just helps him (and me) to feel better with all this stuff out of the way!

Every morning he has "him and baby time" which makes me laugh.  Basically I just lay there quietly while he puts his hand on my belly to feel the little one kick and either talks to it or just soaks up the movements.  I am not invited to participate in their bonding time ;) Ha!  He is such a softie for our baby Decker.

Monday, July 6, 2015

4th of July Loveliness

We had such a fun 4th of July weekend!

Minus my food poisoning.  But more on that later.

On Friday we drove up to Steamboat to kick off our weekend to celebrate nephew Henry's 1st birthday!  He is such a little stud muffin and we swoon over his chunkiness every time we see him.  

And by we, I mean just me.  There isn't much more I love than a baby with some rolls!

Unfortunately I didn't get any pics of the little guy on his birthday but just so you all can appreciate him, here is a sweet picture of his utter deliciousness!!  He is literally too cute!!


We spent the day with family eating, talking, and Ryan and I walked our doodles a few times since they made the trek up with us.  Steamboat is so gorgeous and we wish we could have spent even more time up there!

There were wildflowers everywhere!

The doodles hated it up there...nowhere to run and play and get muddy and explore ;)

Let's play, "Spot A Grumples".  He is so hidden back there in the shade!

Grumples is his natural habitat

Ryan with NO BAG!!!  Doesn't his tummy look great?!  And just a little pregnancy shot of me and Baby D

The next day was the actual 4th which we were really looking forward to!  Ryan spent all morning and most of the afternoon doing a big project on our rental house but still had a few hours to rest afterwards.  He works SO hard and has so much dang energy!

That evening we had my parents up for dinner.  The menu was grilled chicken/veggie kabobs, potato salad, chips, blueberries, and my mom brought peach pie for dessert.  Yum!

This is what a 4th of July dinner should look like!

My parents-hello parents!

Oh wow I'm surprised you can even spot Ryan with my giant belly practically blocking him out of the pic

The doodles with their favorite person in the world.  No one else exists when John Nelson is around

That evening we went to see fireworks about a mile from our house.  We packed up some lawn chairs and drove to a large hill where you can oversee all of Golden.  We were there about 20 minutes when out of NO WHERE I started getting really light-headed and sweaty and thought I was going to pass out.  My stomach started cramping and we had to leave asap!  

We didn't get to see any fireworks :(

I got home right as what had to have been food poisoning hit!  UGH it was awful!  Ryan assures me he has never seen me so sick.  We have no idea what caused it as Ryan and I had been together 24/7 since the long weekend started.  Who knows...

But I survived (obviously) and am just fine now :)  It made for a memorable 4th.

A deceptively misleading picture about what was happening with my guts.  Pain and misery would strike shortly after this picture

It was a gorgeous evening with perfect weather

And this picture is courtesy of my mom who loves all things grandbaby/preggo belly.  I'm not sure how I'm going to go at least another 8-10 weeks of getting bigger but I know our bodies are designed to do it!!


Sunday we took the day off to re-coop from the war my stomach had raged and Ryan was pretty wiped from his house projects.  We slept in, went to the library, read, watched movies, and Ryan snuggled little Poppy until her heart burst with happiness.

She cannot get enough of him.


This week I am busy studying, studying, studying!!  I take the NCLEX in the next 2 weeks sometime if I can get is scheduled the way I want it.  Please pray for an open test date in a nearby city so I don't have to drive to dang Wyoming!  And for a first time pass success story :)

Ryan is back to work this week full time and it will be his first full time week since reversal surgery.  He needs strength and endurance because his mind and motivation is sometimes ahead of his recovering body.  

Happy July everyone--hope you are all having great weeks too and soaking up the gift that is summer!

So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 8:15

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Summmmmer!!!!

Our summer is in full swing!  There is not a whole lot better than a summer weekend with out a lot of plans cramming it.

Saturday morning Ryan Decker woke up us at 5:00 a.m. and then told me that I was turning HIM into more of a morning person!!  Yeah right... Early mornings are my absolute favorite time of day so I wasn't sad to be woken up but we had a few hours before the farmer's market opened.

So we headed to the store so I could get the makings for lasagna since I've been craving some for a few days.  I went in my pajamas and looked very classy.

After the store run I made a pot of coffee and cooked while Ryan watched a few shows and we just let the morning roll in.

Linny joined us at the Golden Farmer's Market and she was very patient when our doodles lost their minds and were overly excited.  We bought heirloom tomatoes, fresh garlic, local honey, and a blackberry scone to split.  She even helped me make a french silk pie after our busy morning out!

My MIL got me these super cute shirt that so many people comment on-my personal beach ball!  Heirloom tomatoes are my favorite of all time and these got turned into bruschetta asap when we got home

Ryan bought honey and this amazing cinnamon honey spread that we are pumped to put on toast

Grumpies had a very hard week (read below) and was exhausted by our morning outing.  He konked right out.  And these are my lasagnas! I can't wait to try them 

Ryan has been doing increasingly better by the day! For several weeks he has been waking up with intense nausea and bloating and we really couldn't determine why.  He had a follow up appointment on Thursday and this new PA we are seeing had the wisdom to think stomach acid.  He thinks it's an over production isue so a simple Zantac seems to be doing the trick!

Yay!

Here he is with his new apple watch that he will promptly give you the full run down on if you should ever cross paths with him.  He had a Skype apple appointment with an employee where they teach you things about your product and he actually taught his Apple guy some new things HA!


Grumpies had a visit to the vet, poor guy :(  He had been licking and licking his little paw and while I was keeping an eye on it, it wasn't until the morning of Day 3 that I finally noticed it was getting pink and swollen.  

I took him into the vet where he first got lots of treats, they shaved his paw, looked for anything sticking in it (found nothing), and then wrapped it up in a little cast so the site could heal.  Plus he got this very stylish cone... 

I call him my flashlight :)

He is on the mend only wearing his cast until Sunday and he is on a 2 week round of antibiotics and anti-inflammatories.  He has been getting S.P.O.I.L.E.D to help him feel better



On Friday afternoon I was able to meet up with my amazing friend Hannah and her little peanut, Isaac.  We enjoyed lunch at Garbanzo and walked the Highlands stores so her little man would fall asleep in his stroller.

P.S.  Here is the secret code I have unwittingly broken at Garbanzo: order a kid's pita meal but pita on the side.  Then they proceed to fill up a plate with ALL the pita fillings you could ever want and that would clearly never fit into a little 1/2 pita.  I got a giant plate of food, chips, and a drink for $4.99  Boom.

It's so nice to have a close mama friend who just went through what I'm currently experiencing so I can process with and ask my questions.  She is so wise and such a great mom!  We had a good morning.


Now with Ryan's health really coming back he is cranking out house projects like it's his job.  He is currently repainting all the trim in our house and getting our yard in tip top shape.  He is such a hard worker.  

He told me today, 'Babe, I feel SO good and I love not sitting around feeling sick!"  He truly has the most energy that I know of!  We are grateful for his progress and such a sweet summer already!

It was good for me to be afflicted that I might learn your decrees

Psalm 119:71

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Baby Decker's Nursery

The nursery!!

We finished Baby Decker's nursery when I was about 29 weeks which has been so freeing.  It's nice to have nothing to do but wait for baby to show up.

Ryan did so much work to make this room come together-he has had the walls painted, the crib put together, and rocker assembled since my first trimester!  The rest was just accessories and supplies.

We LOVE how the entire room turned out.  Since we aren't finding out if Baby D is a boy or girl we needed to go gender neutral.  The theme was "adventure" so to pull it all together there is the map, a cute plane from Ryan's childhood, and the cloud mobile which was a shower gift.  

The walls are turquoise and most of the accessories are accented in gray or green.

I'm so thrilled to have the little one's room completed and now all it needs is a little baby :)

Ryan made the frame for the map and then stained it.  I think it really makes the map pop.  We have added push pins in colors assigned to each person to designate where we have traveled--Baby D already has 4 countries in utero!

My mom bought us these curtains but signed the package from Grumples and Poppy haha  They are gray and white polka dots and best of all?  Black out to make it nice and dark in there!

Ryan designed this little "toy corner" which I think is so sweet.  He hung up the plane in the corner because it was from his childhood and he just really loves it.  And it was his idea to hang toy baskets from hooks.  It came together so well

We repurposed an antique dresser that used to be in our living room as a changing table

There is lots of room in the big drawers for onsies, clothing, diapers, and anything you need for a change

Look at all those diapers!  Courtesy of the ladies who attended our baby shower

It's nice to have so much organization in our closet.  Keeps everything easy to find and easy to see

I just love this carseat cover that we were gifted at the shower!  It's so neutral and whimsical

And the final accessory?  Two doodles who can't wait to meet their own tiny human to guard and love

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