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Q&A | Duolingo, Mother’s Day, nursing specialties, and fried eggs

Lots of variety in today’s questions! Let’s hop right in. 🙂

Which language are you learning in Duolingo, and why?

-multiple readers

I’m learning Spanish, using the free Duolingo app.

Duoling screenshot.

I have never become fluent in a language besides English, so I decided to try learning Spanish. I don’t know how far I will get, especially when nursing school starts, but my main “why” is that I thought it could be helpful to be a nurse who knows some Spanish.

The odds of me getting a patient who speaks Russian or Portuguese or Norwegian is pretty low, but the odds of seeing a Spanish-speaking patient are high!

So I figured that even if I could get some basic stuff down, it might make me a better nurse.

I am doing just one or two quick little lessons every day, so I’m hoping I will be able to keep the habit up every when nursing school starts. We shall see.

Hey Kristen, how about a post about Mother’s Day sometime? Every year–I mean every year–it’s been about either my own mother or my former mother-in-law. And I’m about to be 58. This was always my choice, because when younger I figured my time would come, and now with my mother in a nursing home, a trip out to a restaurant with her kids is a very big deal, and I still do the whole flowers/gifts thing which gets to be super expensive. But sometimes I wonder: when is it my turn to be pampered and feted? How do other readers deal with it?


I always think this is a funny thing about Mother’s Day…that in the time of life when you are both a daughter/daughter-in-law AND a mother, you are sort of expected to be both a giver and a receiver on the same day.

(And the same is true of Father’s Day for dads!)

Kristen with her girls.

Many years ago, obviously! 🙂

I don’t know what the right answer is for each situation, but I do think that going into Mother’s Day flexibly, without demands and expectations, is probably the shortest path to peace for everyone.

If moms make their kids feel the weight of expectation, then the kids end up doing things out of guilt and fear, and that’s no good for anyone involved! It’s no fun to run around trying to make a day special when you just doing it to avoid maternal wrath/disapproval.

Also: I think that it’s healthier to give more weight to the big picture than to one particular day, and this is true for birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, and so on.

After all, what you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.

So, if your kids regularly show you love throughout the year, it’s not that big of a deal if Mother’s Day turns out to be something less than magical.

And if YOU show your mom love regularly throughout the year, then you can give yourself grace if you are not able to make Mother’s Day a magical occasion for her.

Anyway, I can tell you what I did this year, but I’m not trying to prescribe this to anyone else.

I hung out with my girls on Mother’s Day (that’s when we went long-boarding!)

Kristen on longboard.

Next week, my sister/sisters-in-law and I are taking my mom out for dinner (it was the soonest date that worked for everyone).

And on Mother’s Day, I sent an email note to my mother-in-law to wish her a happy Mother’s Day and to tell her things I see/have seen her doing well.

Where is the I cry but I get things done shirt from?


It’s from a site called Self Care is For Everyone…here’s a link to the shirt I have.

Kristen in a tshirt

I like this one with a cat…it says, “It’s ok to ask for help.”

I have a sticker with this “What if it all works out?” design, but here it is in t-shirt form.

And this one says, “It costs $0.00 to be a kind human being.”

That’s two of my favorite things in one: kindness and frugality. 😉

Yay, congrats!!! You will be a fantastic nurse!
Do you have any idea with which clientele you would like to work?


Aww, thank you. (and thank you to everyone else for their votes of confidence!)

I currently think that I’d like to work in some area of nursing that has to do with babies and children, with labor and delivery being my top choice.

One of the first things that made me think I could be good at nursing was the experience of being with my ex’s sister during her labor and delivery; I was there when we found out my niece no longer had a heartbeat, and I stayed to help my sister-in-law through her labor and to take pictures of my niece when she was born.

This photo and the next one are courtesy of my niece’s dad

It was such a sad experience, of course, but it made me think that perhaps I was built to do this kind of work.

There was nothing that could possibly fix my sister-in-law’s heartbreak over her baby being stillborn, but what I could do was offer comfort and practical support during the labor and delivery, and I also could give the gift of pictures.

Kristen helping a mom with a newborn.

Those two things are some of the only tangible ways to minister to a grieving heart in such a situation, and nurses do both of those things for parents of stillborn children. It feels like important work to me.

And of course, when labor and delivery go well, then that is a very happy kind of nursing!

(Some years after the stillbirth of my niece, my sister-in-law delivered a healthy baby girl and I got to be there for that too. Click here to see more of that story.)

I’m also possibly interested in post-partum care or the NICU. And I might think about working in pediatrics in a hospital too; I like kids and kids usually like me, so it might be a good fit.

Kristen sitting in a huge chair with two girls.

two of my Texas friend’s kids with me


In my nursing program, we start doing clinical rotations in the very first semester, which means that I will get to experience a variety of nursing types.

So who knows? Perhaps I will discover something that I really love and I will change my mind about my top choice!

Kristen–So often I see your beautiful food pictures featuring a fried-looking egg atop whatever. It looks SO good to me. What I want to know is do you cook the egg separately first? How DO you prepare it, if not?


Yup! I cook the egg separately, and usually, it’s the last thing I do.

fried eggs and potatoes.

I’ve been doing sunny-side-up eggs of late, and I don’t think my method is anything super special.

I heat some kind of fat (usually bacon grease or butter), drop two eggs in, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, and cook them pretty slowly, until the white turns opaque and the yolk is still fairly soft.

Fried eggs are my go-to way of adding protein to whatever random things I’m using up from my fridge/pantry.


Annnnd that’s the end of today’s question list!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on today’s topics

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Wednesday 26th of July 2023

Thanks for the link to the Self-Care is for Everyone store! I love so many things on that site! I wish they had children's sizes though!


Friday 26th of May 2023

Thanks for sharing how you make your sunny-side-up eggs! Low and slow until the whites turn opaque and the yolks are fairly soft. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Yummy!


Thursday 25th of May 2023

Your enthusiasm about nursing school just brings back all my good memories of when it was ME going through that anticipation back in 1982!! I was also an “older” student, I was 28 and had an 8 year old and a husband who was also in school,when I started.(We were so broke, but really happy..)

I went to a Community college and we were in clincals just about RIGHT AWAY and it was a great experience. I learned so much,so fast. I felt very prepared when I graduated! I went back and got more education later-on, with financial help from employer. I am a BIG BELIEVER IN COMMUNITY COLLEGES !

I fell in love with labor and delivery on my first LandD rotation. Then I also loved pediatrics but L and D won out. I did have a chance to cross train at one point and so got to work both.

Yes, working in birthing is almost always a wonderful time, but there are some sad times like you went through with you sis in law and then the caring comfort of a good nurse helps that family SO MUCH. You are gonna be so great at this!!

Thanks for sharing ALL OF IT with us!!


Thursday 25th of May 2023

I love these posts! Fun story about knowing Spanish: Our son, who is 25 , has always been great with languages. He drove his high school Spanish teachers crazy because he was always so bored in class. He and his wife are currently on a 10-day trip to Spain, so he has been brushing up on his Spanish with Duolingo. This morning, he ended up in the hotel sauna with Ryan Seacrest!!! Our son said hello and asked him where he was from in Spanish. Mr. Seacrest responded in English and complimented our son on his Spanish! So...ya never know when it might come in handy! LOL!

Also, we live pretty close to you geographically, and I would say you may absolutely end up with patients who speak Russian! In fact, in my work, we encounter more Russian and Arabic and Hindi/Indian languages than we do Spanish, honestly. Thank goodness for translation services! :-) Always good to stretch our brains with new languages and learning!


Thursday 25th of May 2023

I think once you have your own kids then you are allowed to make your mother's day about YOU, not your mom or MIL.

By all means meet up with them if it suits you, but don't be guilted into giving up your mother's day for them.

When i was a kid my granny lived a few hours drive and we didn't see her on mother's day. Now my mam lives only a 10 min drive and sometimes we meet up on mother's day and sometimes not, but I definitely see it as MY day.

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