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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Generations Preceeding

One of the main reasons I traveled all the way to Maryland with a not quite three month old baby wasn't just for the week off from work and good food that comes with the holiday, but to introduce Emily to the Eastern Shore and the preceding generations of my family.  While she had already met my mother and father, her grandparents, she had not met her great grand parents or her 95 year old great grandmother.  It was imperative that my family get to meet and see and hold Emily while she was so young.  Thanksgiving dinner was just a fortunate bonus to the trip.

Emily is a lot like me in the fact that she is the first.  The first grand baby, the first great grand baby, and the first great-great grand baby.  Its a big deal to be the forthcoming of a whole new generation so of course I planned a little get together at my great grandmother's house.  At ninety five years old she still lives alone and has her wits about her.  We spent the evening there, catching up, and taking a photo with all five generations of women present.  I am going to cherish that photo forever and I am sure Emily will, too.  

Out of everything that I did and enjoyed on my visit spending an evening with my grandmothers and great grandmother was by far the best.  I hate to think in terms of it being the last time I might see my great grandmother, but it fills me with joy to know she got to hold her first great-great granddaughter, my little Emily.  

Emily with my mother

My paternal grandmother.

Emily with my maternal grandmother

Emily with my great grandmother... her great-great grandmother.

All five generations of women together. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sweets from the Week

We are back safe and sound in the great state of Vermont! This past week was full of a TON of sweets.  Too many to share in this single post so consider this a highlight of several posts to come, because I simply can't just blurb about everything with a sentence or two. 

1.  I successfully drove from Vermont to Maryland and back again with a tiny infant in near record time!  There was very little traffic and Emily and I stopped every couple of hours to have a snack and some leg stretching time outside of her car seat.

The Delaware Memorial Bridge

2. I discovered Target.  It is a darned good thing that we don't have one of those stores anywhere near me, because I would spend all our money there. 

3.  Emily met all her great grandparents and her great great grandmother!  All the visiting was amazing and I have several photos that I know I will cherish forever, and I am sure Emily will, too. They will definitely be something to pass down. 

Emily and her Great-Great Grandmother

4.  I got to see the sunset over the Chesapeake. 

Amazing...  this is the view from my grandmother's field.

5.  Had an amazing home cooked meal that my mother prepared for our entire family on Thanksgiving... complete with pretzel salad for desert (and pumpkin pie of course).

Mmmm....  and yes I am weird and partition my food so it doesn't touch

6. Spent an evening catching up with old friends that I haven't see in ages at a couple of local hangouts.  It was much needed and fun adult time!  I even had the chance to indulge in an adult drink or two, too. 

The "three Amigas" as we've called ourselves since high school. 

7.  Discovered that Emily does indeed have a schedule over the week I spent with her.  She loves to take a quick nap after being awake for two hours.  Its like clockwork.  Every two hours she conks out. 

8.  Went to one of the most bizarre art galleries/antique store ever.  It was full of welded metal artwork that was as creative as it was crazy. 

There were two of those large Shrek sculptures there, actually...

9.  I got my hair cut!  Its nothing special, but I at least had everything trimmed up and leveled off to just below my shoulder.  Boy, was my hair getting out of control...

And here is a photo of an amazing sunrise that I was able to see on my way back North.  Without fail every single morning I leave there is always a beautiful sunrise... as if Maryland is telling me not to leave. 

It looks surprisingly like the sunset, doesn't it?

Friday, November 25, 2011


Just a couple of photos of things I am thankful for.... as I busily spend the day with the women of my family!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Where The Heart Is

I made it. Or rather I should say we made it, Emily and I. It was an arduous eight hour drive with no less than three stops for quality bottle time and diaper changes (yes that's more stops than I made when I was 30+ weeks pregnant this summer!). Overall, though, it wasn't that bad of a drive even if it is utterly exhausting.

I'm here for almost a whole week, my longest stint visiting since my freshman year in college. The real world with my crazy work schedule, where I work most every holiday, hasn't afforded me very long visits. My mom is beyond excited. Thanksgiving is her most favorite family holiday since she can show off her cooking skills and there are no long hours spent wrapping gifts. I'm excited for the green bean casserole and creasing rolls. Oh, and the Ravens play Thursday night football on thanksgiving. It's doesn't get much better than that.

It's great to be at my parent's house, though. There's no pressure to clean the house or do chores. I can wander all through their fields and woods just like I did when I was a kid. And then I can come inside and flop on the couch without a worry in the world. It's like heaven.

Actually, it's just home. Even if I don't like here anymore and my actual house is in Vermont the Eastern Shore of Maryland will always be my home.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sweets for the Week

I took a break from blogging so regularly most of this week.  It was more of a passive choice as the flow of my life just kept me elsewhere other than my laptop this week, but it still felt good to not feel so tied to constantly posting. It also led an enjoyable week.

1.  I was diagnosed with bronchitis (which sucks), but I caught it early and was able to begin taking antibiotics before it got out of hand.  Normally I wait until I am definitely about to keel over from sickness to see a doctor.  This time I went much earlier and skipped that part.  Remind me to do it more often next time.  

2.  Earlier in the week it was more than sixty degrees - crazy for November!  I took advantage of the weather and went for an early morning walk with Emily before taking her to daycare.  It was awesome, quiet, and serene. 

3.  Emily and I have started to have conversations with one another.  Mostly it consists of her cooing and ahhing at me while I talk to her, but I love how she pauses to listen and then responds to what I am talking about.

4.  I went to a Tastefully Simple Party hosted by one of my fellow firefighter's wives.  It was nice to have an opportunity to get out of the house after work.  Everyone adored meeting Emily and the food was amazing. 

5.  I discovered the amazingness of kiwi cheese balls.  I know what you're thinking.... but seriously its amazing and you must try it if you ever get the chance.

6.  For the first time in a while I did my hair this week.  Instead of throwing it up in a pile on top of my head I let my curls fly and many people complimented it.  It was definitely a much needed self esteem boost.

Now I just need to work on wearing makeup...
7. My boss gave me the okay to take off work next week so I can leave earlier than I planned to visit my family in Maryland with Emily!  It will mean a whole two extra days down there, the longest stint in Maryland I've had since I was 18.  Boy am I excited!

8.  And here is a reflection of the sunset in a puddle.

Hand Eye Coordination For The Win

Emily is grabby grabby grabby lately!  All of a sudden her spastic movements are becoming more and more organized.  Her hands are finding a purpose, and usually that purpose is to try and put something in her mouth.  Gosh, it seems too early for her to be doing that!  But, alas, she is clearly learning and growing. 

The other day I spent a good chunk of the morning playing with her.  To my amazement she began reaching out and grabbing at her toys!  Like any proud momma swooning over a seemingly insignificant task I naturally took out my camera and filmed it. 

Gah!  I can't get over her adorableness and how she is growing and learning.  Soon enough she'll be playing with a ton more toys and talking up a storm.  I am definitely excited for each milestone. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sickness FTW

My baby gets a runny nose. I get bronchitis. Life isn't fair, but I'd rather have my big girl immune system tackle the bronchitis than hers. A runny nose was hard enough. Now excuse me.... I have to go take some azithromycin.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sweets from the Week

I have started to really love doing this post weekly. It's simple and gives me a chance to think about everything great over the last week rather than focus on the not-so-great. At the very least even if I cut back blogging a little I will keep posting the Sweets!

1. As soon as I walk in the door and miss Emily sees my face she starts beaming and turns her head my way. 

Gosh, I love this face!

2. My little peanut has been sick with a horribly stuffy nose aka "infantile rhinitis" (yeah... that's not so sweet), but it's meant lots of cuddling and moments like this one...

Yeah her hair is "I just had a bath" crazy

3. I made it through my first complete five day work week and didn't die. 

4. It's been unseasonably warm this week, which means great walking weather when I can beat the extremely early sunset. 

This is seriously the best part of my day.

5. My pants are getting looser and looser. I'm now only two sizes above my pre-pregnancy size and inching closer. #4 is really helping with this!

6. Shawn is at hunting camp all weekend so I've reduced to eating as if I'm a college student again. not helping with #5.

English Muffin Pizza anyone?  Hey, at least they are wheat... only because I accidentally bought wheat. Ha

7. Only nine days, counting today, until I head to Maryland for Thanksgiving! Yes, I am going to be driving over 500 miles with just myself and a two and a half month old. Eeek.

8. I went out to dinner with a friend and brought Emily. She cried and had a fit at the end of the meal, but no one in the restaurant glared or seemed upset at me for being "that mom" with the whiny kid. I'm getting more comfortable with bringing her out alone. 

9. And here's a view from one of my walks as the sun starts to head below the tree tops

Friday, November 11, 2011

On the Flip Side

Thanks everyone for your comments and advice on my last post! I really didn't expect it and I learned a couple of things. Firstly, it is okay to feel overwhelmed as a new mom and is probably, actually, expected. Secondly, that many of you genuinely enjoy my rumblings which boosted my spirits since I've felt as if I haven't had anything exciting to post for a while. It's great to express yourself honestly and have such positive feedback. You guys rock and I will share some more photos of Emily, too!

I also am trying to have a positive attitude despite the major adjustments to full time work and a stuffy, sniffling baby with me in a house alone while my husband is at hunting camp all weekend. Trust me, it's not always easy to be positive, hence my last post. But I'm doing my best to not dwell on the crap of life. There's plenty of good things to turn my attention to if I pay attention.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Stream of Thought

Somehow life seems to have dug itself into a rut really quick. For just the past couple of weeks I have been back at work and then coming home to little miss Emily and tending to her. Over and over everyday the same routine repeats itself. I am definitely not used to this 9 to 5 lifestyle and it's taking it's toll.

I have so few hours with Emily everyday where she is awake. Not only does that sadden me it makes me want to do nothing else except hold her and be with her. To a fault I choose to do nothing else except spend time with her and leave so much undone. Then as soon as she is asleep and quiet in her crib I begin the whirlwind task of prepping bottles for the night and everything for the next morning. It's a heck of a lot of work.

That's what I feel. I come home from work to do more work and then sleep and go back to work.

Such a routine, which is inescapable, hasn't afforded me much time for anything. Like this blog or to do anything fun that I could blog about. For once in my life I feel dull and have little ability or desire to do anything about it. Its led me to seriously question whether to continue this blog at times. My logic is that if I am too busy to do anything besides work and sleep and care for the baby then what good does having the stress of a blog do? On the other hand I've blogged for years and have "met" some incredible people through blogging and found solace in difficult situations or changes. That's irreplaceable.

I guess this rut I am in has caused an issue with time and energy. What little I do have of either is definitely not dedicated to blogging as frequently as I have been. I going to have to evaluate and overhaul my blog. It should be something I enjoy rather than feel obligated to do as if it's work.

I sure as hell don't need more work in my life.
No thank you.

If having a baby has taught me anything it's that I have to adjust my expectations. Suddenly there isn't enough energy left at the end of the day or enough time to do everything I'd like. What a hard reality to learn....that I have limits.

So what is the punch line of this post? I'm not even sure there is one. Am I getting rid of the blog? Nah. Not right now anyway... but I might have to make some changes with it and right now I don't even know what that means. I don't even have the energy to decide right now.

Fitting It All In

It's been months since I've set foot in an ambulance, done a 911 call, or donned my EMS uniform. I'm not going to lie... I sorely miss it. However, in the last few months my life has significantly changed. Not only am I working a job with "bankers hours", but I am also now balancing a baby and my husbands own ridiculous schedule. This is causing serious issues in my ability to hop back on the ambulance post-partum.

I've taken a 'leave of absence' from the couple of services I am a member of, but that leave is running out. Now that I'm working full time and Emily is beyond the newborn stage I don't really have an excuse for not picking back up where I left off. Somehow I have to fit it all in if I want to keep my EMT licensure.

And let me tell you... I refuse to allow my EMT license to expire.

But really the question is just how the heck I fit everything in. I don't have an answer to that since I work every weekday, leaving no weeknights available for shifts. Shawn works weekends depending on his shift rotation and without weekend daycare I have to take care of Emily... not to mention after a week of working I really want to spend an entire day with her. So what does that leave for spare tike to work a part time EMS job? Pretty much zero.

That's not going to work. I'm going to have to sacrifice time with Emily to do the occasional shift. While that makes me sad it isn't all bad. Doing a few ambulance shifts not only mean getting back into the fun of emergency medicine, but also nights without the responsibility to get up with the baby. Yes, wonderful, possibly uninterrupted sleep, as long as no one calls 911. In a strange way that sounds like a vacation.

While I haven't exactly devised a way to fit EMS back into my life with my new job and new baby I am determined to figure it out.., sooner than later. As full as my life is I will never cut EMS out permanently. I'm going to hold myself to that.

Monday, November 7, 2011

I Should

There's so much I should be doing right now. So many things that would be more productive.... But I am choosing to ignore all that. The phone calls that need to be returned, the emails that I haven't read or replied, and the implemented routines cast aside are all for a good cause. There's something very important taking up my time and I can't simply drop what I'm doing.

Not that I'd want to.

What I should be doing is exactly what I am doing right now... Holding my sleeping pumpkin just a little longer and soaking up every minute of this amazingness.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sweets from the Week

This week I am trying out my new iPhone and the blogger app. Let's see how this post goes!

1. My new iPhone 4S arrived! Finally after three weeks of waiting it appeared on my doorstep. Its now my new favorite toy!

I was a little excited... if you can't tell by how I destroyed the box. Ha

2. I'm grateful that the time has finally changed, because now its not pitch dark at 7am.

3. I got to go shopping! For flannel! Yeah, it's the little things. 

This is my kind of shopping!

4. We went out to eat for the first time with Emily and it wasn't a total disaster.

I have no qualms about feeding my baby at the table, but I definitely got some funny looks

5. I actually interviewed people at work this week. It's crazy to be in such a position.

6. Emily is definitely becoming a little ham. No giggles yet, but her smiles are easier to come by!

I laid her on a moose pillow we have to make it look like she has antlers ;-)

7. I got to visit my favorite places ever, the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and the North Country of New Hampshire. God, I miss it up there.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Two Months

I can't believe how much she has grown!  Emily is smiling all the time and even having a hint of a laugh.  She's "talking" all the time, coos and ahhs.  Its amazing to watch her grow everyday and become more of a person.  Her personality is taking form and its actually quite mellow, like Shawn's.  She's definitely a go with the flow baby!

Part of me is sad, though...  She doesn't just lump up in a little ball against my chest like she did when she was a newborn.  Those little squeaks I loved so much that she'd make when she was just a tiny little lump are no more.  Granted they've been replaced by just as adorable sighs of contentment, but still... my little peanut is growing up.  Slowly, but surely. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Emily is still not fond of "Tummy Time".  She'd rather do anything else.  So, when I force her little but to strengthen her back and neck muscles she protests quite a bit.  But, she always has company.  Every time she gets unhappy Sutton, our black lab, comes in and lays right next to her. 

Lord help my aching heart.  He's so concerned and will look at me like I need to rescue her from her plight immediately.  And until I swoop in and declare Tummy Time is over he will show unwavering solidarity and stay by her side. 

I could not ask for a better dog. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A New Month - A New Photography Contest

So, some of you have been around this blog forever and some of you are new.  I don't know if all of you have ever noticed the "Photography Contests" Tab at the top of my blog, but its there and I am still holding photography contests every single month!  Its going on what... almost three years now?  Holy cow.  I still love doing it as much as I did when I started and I am still dreaming up different topics every month.  

Since today is the 1st that means a brand new contest has started!  I upped the prizes from last month (since I am back working full time) and have also made this contest a two month assignment!  The current topic is "Phone Photography" so its something that I know almost everyone can participate in.  Don't feel like you have to be a real photographer to have your photo selected or even win.  The winners are chosen not just based on the look of the photo, but also how the photo fits the topic, its uniqueness, and a ton of other factors.  You can also have more than one photo selected in a contest, thus increasing your odds of winning.  To see how to enter just check out the contest page and have fun with photography!  I hope to see your photos in the contest pool on FlickR!!

If anyone is having issues leaving me comments please let me know!  I have heard from a couple of people that they have been having issues so if you are, too, then please email me.  It would be greatly appreciated!  vtcabinfever(at)hotmail(dot)com

The Cutest Butterfly I Ever Did See

I had a blast this Halloween.  Emily made her debut where I work and was introduced to all the staff and residents.  All the little old ladies and men who teased me when I was pregnant were able to see that I really hadn't swallowed a watermelon and that there really was a cute little baby inside my massive belly.  I also had a great excuse to dress Emily up like a life-like Anne Geddes photo.  Everyone swooned over her cute little butt, not just me. 

Here costume was quite simple.  Black pants, a little orange onsie that said "Boo" along with an adorable headband antennae, and some monarch butterfly wings.  It was easy for her to wear, easy to put on, keep on, and take off.  Plus, I am totally using those wings later just for fun.  

Emily cooed and was wide-eyed most of the night and then finally crashed in sheer exhaustion and over stimulation.  She absolutely loves crowds and seeing so many different people and faces.  She definitely is quite the little social butterfly!   ...ha... see what I did there? 

And the guys on Shawn's shift decided that Emily was the best treat of all and put her in a candy bucket.  Poor girl.... she doesn't know what she is in for with all those 'uncles' in the years to come.