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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Meanwhile... Back at the Station

Thank you each and every one who commented or even just read my last post about the flood. It really is devastating, still, as most of you across the country have now seen. We here in my town may have washed out roads and damaged property, but my town is not like others in the state that are utterly isolated and cut off from any form of access other than by helicopter. Its surreal, like a movie... Except its not a movie and people are running out of food/water and having it dropped by air like they are in Vietnam.


But meanwhile, to be fortunate to turn my mind elsewhere... 

The imminent dangers in our area have subsided (however, not necessarily in other parts of the state), but cleanup is just beginning.  Shawn finally came home from his long stint at the station and then began filling me in with the details of his, literally, heroic rescues of people nearly washed away.  I was horrified listening to his stories and imagining the father of my almost ready to be born baby risking himself as he described.  Clearly I was better off imagining what he was doing than actually knowing since my imagination was far more tame. 

But part of me is proud.  Really proud.  Mostly I am glad he is home, doesn't smell like a muddy river anymore, and he asks me if I am okay after every uncomfortable sigh I make.  ...something tells me he's a little edgy about me going into imminent labor at every second.  I'll take the attentiveness while he is dishing it out. 

Meanwhile I have been battling Braxton Hicks periodically and wondering if each day is the day I'll go into "real" labor.  Every once and a while I swear I am having real contractions.... but no.  Ugh.  That's about as exciting as my life has been.  Not even close to water rescues, evacuations, and appearing on the news like my husband and his coworkers.  A few months ago maybe I would have longed to be in my husband's shoes, but my mindset has changed.  

Now, I'm perfectly happy waiting back at the station, or home, whichever is more comfortable.  Pregnancy will do that to one's sense of adventure.

...actually I have been doing some stuff.  Which includes, but is not limited to; finishing the nursery, packing for the hospital, cleaning the entire house, working, doing photo shoots, and editing a lot of photos (all of which I will share with you shortly!).

What, you really think I can sit still, even being nine months pregnant?


Monday, August 29, 2011

Irene - It Was A Lot Worse Than Anyone Expected

First, I wanted to thank all of you who thought of Shawn and I as the storm barreled across our state. 

We expected rains.  We expected wind.  Heck, we even expected and were prepared for the power to go out.  While the lights stayed on and the rains stayed away from my home so much of the rest of the state, and even my town, wasn't has fortunate as I was.  As many have said, this may have been the worst hurricane ever to affect the state of Vermont. 

As much as I wanted to, common sense prevailed and I did not go out in the storm.., especially given my condition.  Shawn spent the entire day and night at the fire station doing one swift water rescue after another.  People trapped in homes.  Roads washed away whilst cars were driving across them.  Propane tanks floating down the river.  Iconic covered bridges becoming piles of lumber in choppy brown water.

It has literally been a disaster. 

I spent the entire day and night with the portable radio turned up loud, so I could hear it through the entire house, and listened to the dozens of calls pour in as the storm plowed through.  It was at least comforting to hear what Shawn was up to even if I knew it was dangerous. At least I knew where he was.

So while I hunkered down at home this is what was happening around me..

Those are propane tanks free floating in the flood waters.

A two story home actually  floating down the river in Jamaica, VT.

The famous Simon Pierce building/mill inundated by the river. 

The covered bridge in Quechee.  It has been washed away now... 

There really aren't words for how devastating this is.  At least one person in Vermont has died, a young woman who was standing at the edge of a river with her boyfriend.  She was swept away and all he could do was watch her disappear.  The landscape and entire architecture of towns have been changed.  With some of the largest rivers still yet to crest or cresting right now the flooding continues, which means so does the damage.  

My poor state.  

Even being prepared couldn't have prepared anyone for this. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Weathering the Storm

I come from a state (Maryland) that over prepares for EVERYTHING.  If there is snow in the forecast everything shuts down.  Hurricanes?  Bring out the bottled water and plywood.  Tornadoes?  Head to the basement with the FM radio and flashlight.  I've seen a lot when it comes to natural disasters and preparedness for them, except I haven't seen Vermont prepare for one... until now.  

Vermont is a state that doesn't care about disasters.  They just don't happen here, except snow, which is just a way of life.  We're the only land locked New England state so hurricanes have never been a concern, but then Irene came and Vermont went nutty.  

My husband also went nutty.

I'm talking about the same man that didn't care about the two feet of snow we got a couple years ago in a single day.  They didn't plow the roads for the duration of the storm and we lost power.  He actually made fun of me for my concern over such a storm when I advised I was making a pot of soup to tide me over for the week it would take to dig out.  

Now the tables have turned.

Yesterday we went on a wild goose chase for what he thought we needed to weather the weather of Irene.  Jugs to put water in, electrical cords to hook to the generator that we drove all the way to his parents to fetch, flash lights, batteries, and gasoline canisters.  

The third store we visited... the first to have gas cans.

We were greeted on our search for such items with empty shelves and piles of other Vermonters on the same mission.  The camping aisle in Wal Mart was raided of even the most benign and useless camping gear.  Anything that resembled something useful for battling the elements without modern conveniences, like electricity, was gone.  You would have thought the apocalypse was upon us.  All of Vermont had gone insane thanks to Irene.   

Once our shopping was completed and we had basic survival items Shawn then began the process of preparing the house for the storm.  It consisted of making everything '9 month pregnant woman ready' in case we lost electricity.  He is, of course, working and staying extra hours through the storm at the fire station so he wanted everything to be as simple and pre-set as possible for me.  He's so nice.  

But really, I don't mind losing power.  I'll light one of the kerosene lanterns and lay on the couch and read.  It sounds so relaxing to me.  The only thing I am worrying about is going into labor.  Friends have filled me fill of wives tales of how low pressure can cause a woman to go into labor.  Also, another friend so nicely informed me that there is a theory that the New Moon may also bring about the onset of labor.  Oddly enough the height of the hurricane for Vermont and the New Moon for August coincide with one another, Sunday night.  

Since I am now 37 weeks and all systems are go for delivery I laugh haughtily at such wives tales, but secretly wonder if they are right.... 

Either way, bring on the storm and whatever may come with it.  I've got a lot of book's I'd like to finish before the peanut arrives! 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Weirdest Thing I've Ever Seen at the County Fair

If you've been around here for a while then you know how much of a fan I am of county fairs.  I adore them and look forward to "fair season" with a certain zeal that most people reserve for more conventional things like a night out on the town or a dinner and movie date with their husbands.  Me, there's nothing I'd rather do than take in the sights and lights of a fair while enjoying some lemonade that benefits the eighth grade of the local elementary school. Plus, you never ever know what you are going to see. 

This is a perfect example...  When I saw this plush sheep that resembled a stool I have no idea what the heck it was.  After reading the instructions I began to laugh hysterically.  Maybe it was the puns using the word "Ewe".  Maybe it was the fact that I am pregnant and overly appreciate the situation.  Either way this little lamb is the weirdest thing I have ever seen.  

Poor thing.  I totally sympathize with her....well, sort of.   Haahaha.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I Felt the Earthquake Too

While the epicenter of the 5.9 earthquake that dominated the news, twitter, and facebook feeds across the east coast was a heck of a lot closer to where I grew up in Maryland than to Vermont I still felt the tremors way up here.  However, I didn't know what the heck was going on at first.  

Whilst I blissfully sat on the couch doing some work on my computer Shawn walked into the room.  The following conversation then took place:

Me: Is the couch moving?
Shawn:  No...
Me: Seriously, the couch is moving.  I feel like I am shaking!
Shawn:  What's wrong with you?  Its not moving. Maybe its just a pregnancy thing.

I sat on the couch swearing I saw it swaying back and forth and I was swaying right along with it for a good twenty to thirty seconds.  Part of me wondered if Shawn was right and I was light headed or experiencing some other weird pregnancy related side effect.  Then my mother called and confirmed I wasn't nuts with her reports of a large earthquake just minutes ago that she felt while driving home from work down in Maryland.   My poor sister, who was home alone, dealt with photos and objects falling off shelves and the house shaking strongly enough she thought things broke upstairs, but it turned out to be fine. 

So, I relished in the fact that I actually wasn't crazy and I got to feel an earthquake!  A real, live earthquake!  What made it even better is that there was no damage or consequence here or to any of my loved ones down south.  Now I'll be happy if such an event doesn't repeat itself, especially soon. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Most Logical Thing to Buy Before Having a Baby... Or Not

Shawn and I have adjusted very differently to our pending parenthood.  I am like any other woman, excited and glowing.  Shawn is your typical male, anxious, supportive, and grappling with the thought of life changing as he knows it.  Its been a little overwhelming for both of us, to say the least, especially when it comes to actually purchasing things for the baby.

Or in this case... things NOT for the baby.

Long before I met him Shawn played the drums.  Actually, he has played them pretty much since the moment he could sit up and beat things.  His parents bought him his first drum set before his third birthday.  When he was a teenager and in his early twenties he played in various bands in front of small and large crowds.  Then we started dating and he started pursuing a serious career of paramedicine and firefighting.  Somewhere along the line his drum set took a back seat.  

But then...  as my belly grew larger and the reality that, yes, there really is a child in there that we are totally responsible for and she will be making her grand entrance sooner than later, Shawn suddenly began to go through some sort of mid-life crisis except he's having a baby, not turning 50. 

Suddenly he has to fish.  Every. Single. Day.  He has to go in for coverage or hang out at the fire station.  Every. Single. Time. Coverage. Is. Called.  And he had to play his drums.

Right.  Now.

But not only did he want to play the drums he didn't want to play the drums that he already had.  He insisted on a new set.  I, being the practical one that I am, was confused as to why a perfectly functioning drum set he's had for years needed to be replaced with a brand new, more expensive, set.  His efforts in  making me understand were futile, but I caved anyway.  

So we went out and purchased a brand new drum set.  By we I mean Shawn with my blessing.

Its the perfect thing to invest in right before our newborn baby arrives, right?  

Many people have raised their eyebrows at this story, but there is a reason for this madness.  Sometimes you have to pick your battles and sometimes its worth giving in a little so the one you love is happy.  Everyone deals with pending parenthood differently and who am I to judge?  Apparently my husband's way is beating on drums...  

Anyway, in a couple of weeks I am sure he will be beating a different drum when he holds his daughter for the first time.  Plus, I can always hide the drum sticks. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Good Read - Giveaway Winner

Thank you all for the great list of books!  I am going to have fun shopping for them on my iPad.  Lately I've chosen to stick to my eReader for books, despite loving the tactile feel of real books better, because I  can carry many books around at once easily.  Plus, I can virtually visit the book store with it.  Nothing is better than shopping for books.  Some women love shopping for shoes... I love shopping for books.  

I'm a nerd.

But we've established that a long long time ago.  


Without further rambling here is the randomly selected winner of a copy of "Good Daughters"

Please send an email to vtcabinfever(at)hotmail(dot)com with your mailing address so I can send you the book!  I hope its something you enjoy.

Of course I will have more giveaways in the future, whether its before or after the baby makes her grand entrance I couldn't tell you since I love being spontaneous like that. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Good Read - and a Good Giveaway

Its been a while since I've held a giveaway.  Its also been a while since I have talked about reading, mostly due to the fact that I haven't had time to enjoy a good book.  Lately, feeling that soon I will have a very hectic schedule and not a lot of time for reading thanks to a newborn baby, I have decided to actually dedicate time for literature.  Nothing is better than devouring a good book even if you have to make time for it! 

The last book I just finished reading I purchased without a clue if I would really like it or not.  I read a small synopsis and took the chance that it might actually be enjoyable.  A week later, which is relatively quick for me reading a book thanks to my schedule and energy, I finished it and am thoroughly impressed.  

Review from Amazon:
Two families, the Planks and the Dickersons, are mysteriously entwined in this exquisite novel that centers on decades of life at a New Hampshire farm. Youngest daughters Ruth Plank and Dana Dickerson, born on the same day in the same hospital, take turns narrating the struggles they face as children. Ruth feels a coldness from her mother; Dana is unsettled by her kooky parents constantly uprooting her and her brother Ray. Regardless, the Planks pay a yearly visit to the Dickersons no matter where they've ended up living. As the girls come of age, Ruth takes an interest in art, sex, and Dana's brother, Ray, with whom she later reunites, at Woodstock, in a swirl of drugs and mud. Meanwhile, Dana realizes that her desires are directed toward women and sets off to pursue agricultural studies at a university, where she meets Clarice, an assistant professor. As time goes by, the floundering Plank Farm is in danger of being seized by Ruth's former boyfriend, a man who has had his eye on the land for years. As Ruth and Dana pursue love, contemplate children, and search for home, the truth of what unites their families is finally--at long last--revealed, in this beautifully written book.
So, if this books sounds like something you'd like to read, which I bet it will, then I have a giveaway for you!  I'm going to be giving away one copy of this book to one lucky person, but I am hoping that in return you'll help me find a new book to read. 

How to enter:
Leave a comment below telling me a good book that you have read lately.  "The Help" is next up on my list, but after that I am out of ideas.  My hopes are that you'll be able to point me in the direction of something else to enjoy, before I am too tired and sleep deprived to do so.  

I will pick the winner randomly sometime on Monday!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Same Ice Cream Cone... One Year Later

Shawn and I wandered around a fair far up in Northeastern Vermont that we've frequented over the years in search of my favorite maple product in the entire world.  A Maple Creamee.  Not just any maple creamee, but a real, made around the corner maple syrup, Vermont maple creamee.  Its literally the creamiest and most amazing thing I've ever tasted and its especially perfect to get whilst wandering around a county fair.  

Last year was the first time I discovered this amazing delightful treat.  I was so enthusiastic about my discovery that I commemorated the moment with a photo.  

Then this year, when we ended up at the fair spontaneously, I insisted on searching out the Maple vendors and their wares.  After waddling around the entire fair and reaching their booth in the far corner I found what I was looking for, a maple creamee of course.  Before I devoured the entire thing I remembered the photo from last year and asked Shawn to snap another one, for posterity's sake.  

Its amazing the difference a year can make!  Same fair.  Same Maple Creamee, but I am a little different.   I'm also wondering why the heck I was ever self conscious in  those shorts I wore last summer... 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Something Different

I have the feeling the last several weeks my posts have been becoming more on sided.  Pregnancy this.  Baby that.  Its understandable considering my condition I suppose.  But in spirit of all those who are tired of hearing about all that stuff here is a photo of something I saw on the streets of Woodstock Vermont the other day at a public street festival...

Proof I live in a hippie state.  Public composting. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Hanging with Mom

There is nothing like a mother/daughter bond.  We've always had a typically great relationship where, despite my distance from her most of the year, I call often and update her on even the most mundane parts of my life.  Like any loving mother she has always been there offering great advice or positive encouragement every time I am sure the world is about to fall apart.  

But since I've become pregnant things have changed.

Suddenly I understand things.  Suddenly we really have something to bond over, after all she's birth three daughters of her own.  Suddenly I really enjoy every moment I can spend with her.  

Instead of her parenting me we talk about parenting together.  Every time we talk about pregnancy, birth, or babies I can't help, but to imagine her twenty six years ago...  When she was in my shoes with a brand new baby me on the way.  The excitement of it all and the anxiety of pending labor; its so universal and uniting, even across the generations.  

My mom was just up for a visit.  We spent an entire afternoon shopping, talking, laughing, and comparing experiences.  As we sat in a classy restaurant in one of the classiest towns in Vermont we discussed pending signs of labor and how similar my dad and Shawn are when it comes to labor and delivery attitudes.  Then we walked the streets of the town listening to a band performing for the street festival as we peaked in store windows and admired the huge colonial houses.  I felt more grown up than ever and I felt closer to my mom than ever.  May I be blessed that twenty six years from now I can do the same thing and my own daughter feel the same way, because if you ask me there is nothing better than hanging with mom. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Blog Post about Things I Forget to Blog About

I really have good intentions when it comes to making blog posts.  Almost every day I am snapping photos of things to share or talk about.  Then, before I know it, a week or two has gone by and the posts never materialized to type.  So, in interest of time and energy I have decided to lump everything I've remembered that I've forgotten (does that even make sense?) into one big post of mini-posts. 

Baby Shower #2
I had my second baby shower two weeks ago up in our old home town of Island Pond with lots of my friends and my in-laws.  It was a great time with great food, including a crab dip that my black lab decided to utterly devour once I brought the left overs home.  I was also blessed with lots of awesome things for the little ladybug and myself.  

Do I have photos?    Yes.  

Have I had time to go through them?  No.  

I know, I'm lame.  So here is one of me cutting the cake.    And in case you can't tell... I do not know what I am doing when it comes to cutting a cake.  I'll just stick to eating it. 

Oh, and speaking of my baby showers....
If you attended I actually am working on the thank you notes!  Seriously, I hope to have them mailed before the baby is here.  Ugh... it took me three months to mail my wedding thank you cards and a lot of them I just wrote thank you messages in my Christmas cards as a way of saving postage and time.  

...I know.  I am an etiquette disaster and I am mostly okay with that. 

Where The Heck is My Mother?
 A couple of weeks ago my mother came up for a brief visit that was tied with her job.  I got a frantic phone call from her while I was at work as she was suppose to be driving up.  She had broken down.  Somewhere.  The directions I got from her were that she didn't know where she was, but thought she was on Route 103.  So, being the awesome daughter and son-in-law we are, I left work and Shawn and I looked up on a map Vermont Route 103.  Unbeknownst to us, or my mother, she was not in Vermont at all, but actually New Hampshire.  We didn't realize this until we drove forty five minutes south, searched Vermont Route 103, and then received a phone call from my mother mentioning other nearby roads to her location.  After a little detective work I figured out where she was.  Half a tank of gas and two hours later we rescued her.  

Senior Photo Shoots
I've agreed to do a couple of senior photo sessions despite my hugely pregnant condition.  Actually, I have turned a couple of people away who have inquired, because I simply don't have the time or energy to devote to such large projects.  The couple of shoots I have signed on to do have been for family friends, one of which I have already done.  Here is a sample..

I've used this spot to take photos before, actually of myself to test out the location for future sessions, when I was much much less pregnant.  The covered bridge and brook are an amazing spot that provide a ton of different angles and ideas for shooting.  My next shoot, however, won't be here, but rather another awesome destination I've scouted before. 

We Spent HOW Much?
The other day Shawn and I hopped in our car and headed halfway to the coast in search of baby paraphernalia.  Despite having two wonderful showers I still had (and still do...) several things that I need for the peanut before she makes her debut or I become far to pregnant to want to leave the house.  After a day driving, shopping, and staring at shelves of bottles, breast pumps, and pacifiers we came out with a $600 total of, as Shawn said so nicely when he was tired and cranky at the end of the day, crap for the baby.  Okay... so I may have been slightly distracted by all the frilly sweaters and cute little onesies, but seriously baby things are expensive.  

We've spent so much money on this baby and she isn't even here yet!  Lord, we are in trouble...  

Finally - Lost in a Good Book
I've finally lost myself in a great book that I have been devouring in my spare time (ha..)  Seriously, though... this book I found on my iPad's iBook store.  While discovering just how addictive and fun it is to shop virtually for books I stumbled across this gem of a book.  Its genre and story line are not exactly what I'd normally read, but for some reason I can't put it down.  

This is the book:

I highly suggest it.  Since I bought an electronic copy to enjoy I unfortunately can't give away this book once I am finished, but if I could I would! 

The Nursery
It's about at 60% functionality.  I hope to actually do a real post about it when its up and running at capacity.  Until then I really should get to work on that.  The weeks are getting shorter and the pressure is starting to mount.   

So, I hope you've enjoyed my mini-posts!  
I am sure there is more I wanted to write about, but can't remember.  That seems to be just how my brain is working these days.  Information and ideas float in and float out as they please before I even have a chance to realize it.  Oh the joys of pregnancy... it ranks right up there with the peanut butter induced heart burn. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I Know Just How You Feel

Every month when I hold my photo assignments, choose finalist selections for page, and then pick winners I receive tons of comments and emails about how exciting and great it is to either be a finalist selection or chosen a winner.  Its exciting!  Its a confidence booster!  Heck, its something to brag about.  And I know just how you all feel.  

As some of you know, mostly those who read the Pioneer Woman's blog, one of my photos was chosen for her second group of Black and White photos in her current assignment.  I've made her cuts a couple of times before, but its usually the last group after I've submitted a handful of photos.  This time my first photo was chosen, one that my husband actually told me not to take.

Shawn didn't like the idea of me standing a few dozen yards behind this couple and photographing them without their knowledge.  He thought I should have let them be and enjoy their moment.  I, on the other hand, saw a moment that needed to be captured. 

While none of my photos that have ever been featured on The Pioneer Woman's website have been selected as a finalist photo, let alone the winner, I still am thrilled that a moment my husband wanted me to pass up is pleasing enough to the eye to be picked out of literally thousands of entries.  So, I do now how those of you who participate in my assignments feel!  ...granted I don't get thousands of entries, but still!  

On my photo blog I typed up a post about how to create black and white photos if you are interested!  Its quite simple and I show step by step instructions on how to do it so if you are a little in the dark on layers and think that desaturating a photo is the only way to turn it black and white then you should give it a read!

Also,  my current photo assignment is ongoing and there are fewer entries this month than others so that means you have a greater chance of being selected and possibly winning!  And yes, I offer real prizes like the Pioneer Woman does, well at least until I go on maternity leave and can't afford it for a few months. 

So, there are lots of things you can do with your camera and your photos now and hopefully you'll know just how I feel now if you don't already!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Fenway and the Third Trimester

Months and months before I became pregnant my husband and I, along with an awesome group of firefighters and their wives from his department, decided to purchase some tickets to a Red Sox/Yankees game.  Neither Shawn or I had been to Fenway.  I've been to various games at Camden Yards in Baltimore and several farm team games back home, but never experienced the rivalry of these two teams up close and personal.  There was no way I was going to miss it, even being as pregnant as I am now.  

The trip began late in the morning for an evening game.  A group of us firemen and wives were taking a tour bus down as part of our ticket package.  Shawn and I were the only ones who had never been to Fenway out of our group.  In fact, we had never even been to Boston.  So, when the bus pulled into the city we were glued to the windows, staring at all the town houses and cityscape.  

We arrived at Fenway and were inundated with people, thousands of people, who were all wearing three colors... red, white, or blue with various numbers and players names smattered on the back (except, apparently, the guy in the middle of the photo with a hat that resembles what my grandfather wore and a yellow shirt sent solely to disprove my previous sentence). 

For the first time in a blue moon I actually wore the correct type of shoe for such an occasion as well!  Since I only fit into two pairs of shoes, a pair of sneakers and flip flops, I chose to not wear open toed shoes where so much walking was involved.  Bless my soul, and my soles, for thinking ahead!

We decided to find our seats early and then set out and explore afterward knowing where our butts were to reside.  Now let me tell you something about those seats...  they are not made for very pregnant women.  Shocker, I know.  But seriously, they are the least comfortable seats I've sat in during this entire pregnancy.  Plastic that makes your legs sweat.  Leg room that is so scarce you fear developing a thrombosis due to venous stasis.  Not to mention I kept dropping everything and to hell if I can bend over at this point.  Shawn spent a lot of time fetching things and then complaining about it. 

After shopping for some souvenirs, which Shawn bought a hat and I bought the baby a pink Red Sox onesie, we purchased some outstanding ball park food.  Shawn had the most expensive Coors Light I've ever heard of at $8 a pint while I enjoyed a $4 lemonade.  The ball park food definitely lived up to its name.  

When the game started I realized something important...  our seats sucked.  For the money we paid we were way out in the out field.  Our seats faced the other part of the outfield rather than the plate, which was awkwardly to our far left.  Oh, and I couldn't see, because of the monstrous men sitting a row in front of me.  That meant I spent the entire game in an awkward, left facing position in the narrow seats trying to see over the huge guys in front of me while being kicked internally by my baby.  

...not like I am complaining or anything.

Ok.  Maybe a little.

We did pay a good bit of money for this trip after all.

Despite the downside of the seats the atmosphere of the game was great.  Nothing beats actually being at a ball park even if you can't really see the game and are uncomfortable.  The fans yelling, clapping, and cheering.  Beach balls flying through the crowd for a few moments before security confiscated them.  Vendors carrying all types of food down the aisles and yelling in thick Boston accents-- watah!  Get ya watah heeah! 

It was actually a great time.  The best part was how much Shawn enjoyed himself.  Seeing him so excited to experience Fenway and a major league ball game for the first time made my night.  Now he is researching how much tickets cost for other games in better seats.

For now I won't remind him that in a few weeks we will be occupied with things other than trips to Fenway.  

And to end the night we got to celebrate a home team win, even though I really have no allegiance to the Sox being from a deeply rooted Orioles fan family the cheers and clapping in the last inning of the game was loud enough to make my baby deaf inside the womb.  Nothing beats Boston fans.

Actually, nothing beats a ball game with your husband on a hot summer evening. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Definition of Ridiculous

I am eight and a half months pregnant and haven't sat still.  I've barely been home and when I have I've been scrambling to get the basic chores done to ensure that my husband has clean underwear and I have a maternity shirt to wear (since I fit into about two of them now).  Months ago I swore I wouldn't let pregnancy keep me confined or inhibit me from doing anything and by golly I think I've proven that, but now.....  now I am feeling like I've proven enough.

That's because in the last seven days I have done this...
  • worked five of the days  (while I was only scheduled to work three of them)
  • been called by my job twelve times about changing my schedule or working on my days off
  • rescued my mother who's car broke down in NH on her way up here for a short visit.  
  • did a senior photo shoot for a friend's child and am now editing the photos
  • scheduled ANOTHER photo session for a friend and her family
  • visited my in-laws
  • had a second baby shower back in Island Pond
  • taught a training at one of the rescues squads way up north
  • tomorrow I am going to Boston for a Redsox Yankees game, too!
 And there is probably more, but my memory is akin to that of a 90 year old Alzheimer patient thanks to the pregnancy so here are some photos I snapped of an insanely awesome sunset with my phone.  Of course I was too busy to take real photos, actually I was too busy to even remember to bring my camera with me to take real photos.  Either way, trust me, it was a beautiful sunset.  

Now I am off to do errands and have my 34 week OB appointment.  I told you... no rest for me!  It must be a great prep for motherhood to stay so busy. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

It Just Keeps on Blooming

When we met the woman selling us our new home the day we signed the papers and took the keys to the front door the one thing she kept talking about was the garden.  This magnificent garden that she had spent years and years working on and weeding.  We waited all winter not having a clue what would sprout from the frozen soil as the snow melted. 

Months later we have been surprised over and over again by the amazing perennials that grace our front and back yard.  There have been flowers non-stop since May.  When one bloom dies a different sequence of flowers grows and replaces it.  Right now the garden is as bright and colorful as I have ever seen it.  Actually, its pretty doggone amazing...   

See for yourself!

Its too bad I don't have much time or knowledge to dedicate to these flowers, but hopefully they will continue to sprout with my minimal effort!  At the very least I will enjoy every bit of these awesome blossoms and photograph them.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Gift I Never Expected

Warning:  This story will probably make you cry, or at least a tad emotional.  I'm not exaggerating either.

Months ago when I first entered my job at the nursing home I knew I would make bonds with the people I took care of, but I honestly had no idea how quickly and how strong they would become.  One resident in particular I bonded with right away right away....

I'll call her "Darla". 

Darla was smart, sarcastic, and was quick to judge whether people were worth her time.  I instantly liked her.  Everyday I took care of her we learned a little more about one another.  She asked about the NCLEX as I prepared and my ever growing belly.  I learned that she used to be an RN before her health and body failed her.  Knowing she was a former nurse I respected her and treated her like a peer, knowing that not everyone did since her physical state had long changed. 

One day I came back into work and her room was empty.  I hadn't worked for a couple of days and had learned that during my days off Darla unexpectedly had a decline in her health.  She was sent to the hospital where she then unexpectedly died.  Just two days ago I had left her room in good spirits, making her laugh, and telling her how I would see her after my days off.  Now she was gone.  No goodbye, no signal that it was coming, just gone.  Darla's room was eerily exactly how it always was, but she was never coming back. 

A couple days later her family came in to collect her things.  Their eyes were heavy and darkened with unexpected grief.  I sat at the nurse's station finishing charting since it was the end of the shift and figured that it was best to let them collect Darla's things without interruption.  Grief has never been my strong suit.  

Then, as I sat with my head tucked towards the chart, a woman came around the desk clutching a little pink gift bag.  Instantly a knot formed in my throat.  Of course the bag was meant for me.  

The woman asked me "Are you the nurse that just graduated and is having a little girl?"  I nodded my head as she pressed the bag into my hands.  When I glanced from the bag to her I could see tears forming in her eyes.  A stinging began at the corner of my own eyes indicating the presence of my own tears.  

"She was making this for you..."  the woman trailed off and took in a big gulp of air.  "She was making this for your little girl as a surprise to give to you just before you went on maternity leave.  Only her mother new about it." 

I just looked at her with my mouth slightly ajar.  Tears were officially welling up in my eyes.  The woman leaned towards me as if to usher me to open it and see the gift.  I gently peeled back the tissue paper and revealed a little knitted ensemble.

"Its not quite finished.   There are a few buttons missing..."  The woman added quietly.  I just looked at her and hugged her tightly.  It was perfect, even with a couple of unfinished buttons.  How Darla made this in her free time without me finding out or seeing a stitch of knitting was amazing.  

She truly was an amazing woman.  I am truly blessed to care for her and people like her.  And my child is blessed to be so loved.   Life is freakin' amazing, isn't it?