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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking Back...

You can't write a blog without writing an annual summary post. Well, I guess you could, but really what fun would that be? Looking back at an entire year is always fun, especially when it's been an exceptionally great year like this one has.

First and foremost the word for 2011 is "baby". On January 4th I discovered I was expected little miss Emily. So, for all except three days, this entire year has been all about her, even before I knew much of anything about her, let alone met her.

Winter this past year was steeped in snow, job changes, nausea, and an ever expanding waist line. I studied my butt off in school, took up ambulance work full time again, and continued to take photos... when I wasn't sleeping for twenty hours a day.

There's a tiny Emily in there!

One of my favorite photos I took this past winter in Thetford, Vermont
Spring led to the culmination of nursing school and the stress of searching for a nursing job. The realization that you can't come out of school and necessarily get your dream job hit me hard, but I found a job I'd never thought I'd truly enjoy. Despite little preparation I aced the NCLEX and became an RN. My belly grew ever bigger and I started buying things pink and purple, knowing a girl was in our future.

Starting to get a little belly by the time spring came around.

The crib and awesome decals Shawn put up in Emily's room

Summer was unbearably hot, especially for a woman in her third trimester. I worked longer hours and harder shifts, all for the purpose of saving for maternity leave and keeping my mind off the anticipation of Emily's arrival. On the day that's dubbed the end of the summer, Labor Day, I birthed my baby girl. From then on my life invariably changed, for the better of course.

Hot days, but beautiful sunsets

Emily, just arrived!  Happy 'Labor Day'

As the leaves turned and fell to the ground I learned the many lessons of being a new mom. Returning to work was incredibly hard, not just to leave my baby with my husband or daycare depending on the day, but just simply to have to devote so much energy away from my home. It's a hard balance to learn. I also returned to taking photos, for business and for fun. Being behind the camera still brings me joy.

A whopping two months old and an ever wonderful model for my camera!

Lots of yellows in this year's foliage!

Being on the back roads and taking in the countryside never gets old.

As fall ended and another winter approached I found the holidays filled with more meaning and fun than before. Despite struggles with Emily's health, with constant colds and fevers and bad reactions, she's growing into a happy, smiling baby. Balancing work and home life is becoming easier. Keeping hobbies and finding "me" time is becoming possible. Best of all, I am starting to regularly exercise again and plan to soon be back doing shifts in the ambulance. Life is returning to normal, just with an amazing extra person in it now!

My New Year Baby!

This past year has been nothing short of amazing. Here's wishing all of you who take time to read, comment, and enjoy what I write and post an amazing new year that will hopefully be leaps better than 2011, if that's even possible.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Better Than Expected

So its over.  Christmas is officially over, and you know what?  I am actually sad to see the holiday come to a close and the festivities ended.  Despite my last post full of gloom and doom anticipating Christmas the weekend was quite the contrary.  If anything this Christmas was one of the best ones I can remember. 

Besides nearly slicing the entire tip of one of my fingers off with a knife whilst opening a darned nerf gun to defend myself against Shawn's attack with his own nerf gun our day-late-Christmas was great.  Don't worry, my finger is healing and no stitches were needed thanks to Shawn running to where I work and asking for some steri-strips.  The only issue is that its quite difficult to type since the laceration is on the tip of my finger...  ouchies. 

Christmas Eve I baked and then visited my in-laws.  Christmas day I baked some more, shopped, and visited Shawn at the fire station.  Then on our Christmas day I spent the day opening gifts, bleeding, bandaging, defending myself from an onslaut of nerf darts, and reading.  I may have also watched a good twelve hours of a Christmas Story somewhere in there. 

So, I guess the lesson learned is not to over stress about things before they happen.  It was a great Christmas, one where I am exceptionally glad Emily was a part of.

The best gift under the tree....

Saturday, December 24, 2011

First Family Christmas - The Reality

Everyone paints a baby's first Christmas as an amazing, wonderful time, but I lament that such an illusion isn't entirely true when you're a first time mom with a tiny infant.  Perhaps with older children, born earlier in the year, but Christmas with a three and a half month old, actually a sick three and a half month old, is downright difficult.  So here is how I feel about our first Christmas as a family of three...

First and foremost Emily is sick.  This time she is congested to the gills.  For the past five days she's sounded like an old man breathing underwater.  While her snot bubbles are kinda adorable they just illustrate how congested she is.  Even with her newly prescribed inhaler nothing seems to help except a lot of snuggling and pacing the house.  Fussiness has been the rule lately. 

Then there the general chaos of my life.  Five days a week I am not home and when I do come home after work most of my time is spent putting Emily to bed.  She's been fighting sleep, sometimes until as late as 9pm.  I have very little time left for any Christmas related activities like I'd like.  Baking, Christmas movies, and shopping have been almost unobtainable. 

Also, this year Shawn is working both Christmas Eve Day and Christmas Day.  I also am doing a four hour stint Christmas night at the nursing home since no one else would work Christmas.  The three of us won't be together for more than an hour or so the entire day so we are celebrating our Christmas on the 26th.  I don't mind waiting a day, but its still not quite the same when the rest of the world isn't celebrating with you. 

When it comes to traditions and little Christmas moments there isn't a lot of that this year either.  The fact that Emily is too small, sick, and fussy combined with Shawn and my own work schedule has put a damper on creating our own fun, little traditions.  I am sad we haven't been able to do more and that Emily doesn't understand things yet.  I'd love to take tons of photos, dress Emily up in cute outfits, and have her watch me bake awesome tasting cookies if I could. 

And am I the only one who thinks its silly to wrap presents for my three month old only to turn around and unwrap them myself?  She doesn't have the motor skills or attention span to be remotely interested in the idea of presents.  I did get her a few gifts, but they aren't yet wrapped.  Part of me feels guilty for not wanting to wrap the gifts, but I can't be the only one who feels this way, can I? 

So, part of me is exhausted and Ba-humbug about Christmas this year while the other part is trying to squeeze in a little Christmas cheer here and there.  First Christmases aren't just smiles and twinkling lights, at least in our household.  I'm holding out that next year, when she'll be fifteen months old, we will have a much better and more enjoyable Christmastime! sickness...more time..and lots of fun with Emily unwrapping gifts!

Until then, I will make the best of the little moments I have this year, however small they are. 

Merry Christmas to all of you!  And thank you for taking the time to read.

- Jen

Thursday, December 22, 2011

What the Season is All About - A Story

Shawn had gone to the station for coverage while the duty crew was on an ambulance call. That left just Emily and myself at home for a couple of hours that evening. No big deal, Emily and I had plenty of playing and a nice warm bath to do.

After a good half hour spent giggling on the floor and practicing rolling over (she's so close!) I scooped up my little peanut and started to get her ready for a bath. As I was undressing her I heard my dogs jump up from where they were laying quietly and start to growl and bark at the door. Someone must be here, I thought, but it wasn't Shawn. It was far too soon for him to be home from the fire station. I peaked out the window from Emily's room and saw a beat-up old car pulled off the road along a grassy strip between my house and our neighbors. Who's car is that? ...I wondered as I headed to the door, knowing that whomever the car belonged to was in my breezeway.

With a naked baby in my arms and me in my pajamas the dogs saw me coming as I walked towards the door. They signaled there was someone on the other side with concerning barks and growls. What good watchdogs they are. Not knowing who was at my door and why caused part of me to be slightly concerned. It crossed my mind that I was a young female home alone with her infant baby and there was a stranger at my door. Perhaps it was someone we knew? Various scenrios fed by Hollywood dramas flooded my head. I pushed those thoughts aside and grabbed the door handle to open and greet the stranger. It turns out I had never seen this man before.

A tall and raggedy man stood in my breezeway. He was unkempt, unshaven, wearing a long, dark green army coat, and had a tear drop tattoo next to his eye. I must have had a look of concern and shock in my eyes when I first saw him, because he started to back up towards the door leading out of the breezeway and appologize over and over again to me. I tried to ignore the thoughts of what I heard on the TV show Lockup, that those year drop tattoos mean that person murdered another. Perhaps he was just as startled as I was, to be greeted at the door by a girl in her pajamas carrying a naked baby.

As he kept apologizing and backing up towards the door I stopped him and asked him was he wanted. His eyes were huge and sad. The man definitely had not had an easy life. He then began to explain to me how his car had an inaccurate gas gauge, he had no money, and he had run out of gas where his car sputtered to a stop right between our house an our neighbors. He begged me for help, for gasoline, just a tiny bit if I had any. Then he apologized again and again for even asking. I looked at him and told him to wait a second while I put Emily down and fetch our gas can for him. Grateful, he smiled and said he would wait outside for me to get it. He clearly didn't want to make me uncomfortable.

I placed Emily safely in her crib, naked butt and all, and then dug out our completely full five gallon gas can for the stranger. When I handed it to him he smiled and swiftly went out to his car parked along the side of the road and filled it up. I patiently waited for him to return the gas can as I watched him from inside the breezeway. Part of me kept wondering if he'd drive off with the gas. If he did, oh well, it was just gasoline.

A minute later the raggedy man came back. He set the gas can down and thanked me over and over. He claimed I saved his life, though admittedly I didn't ask him exactly how. Then he introduced himself and assured me that he would return with money to pay for the half of a gas can he just used.

Don't worry about it! I assured him that he didn't need to pay me. It was just a couple of bucks worth of gas. After all, I was fortunate enough to have a nice car, a nice house, clean clothes, and spare gasoline in my garage. The man thanked me over and over again. Have a Merry Christmas! He exclaimed and waved as he left my breezeway and headed to his car.

Sometimes I wonder if certain people are placed before us in our travels to test us. Maybe the gruff looking man was sent for some greater purpose? I have no way of knowing, but I felt good knowing that I made that stranger's night. It's things like this that define what this season is all about...

Good will towards all men (and women) alike.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Chasing Snow

This year is the first in the last several that I can remember where there hasn't been a blanket of snow on the ground the week before Christmas.  To be fair, we do live 100 miles further south this winter than most of those in the past, but last year down here we still had a good bit of snow blowing around.  This year is different... its warmer and wetter.  We've had enough rain to fill your boots, but not enough snow to make a snowman. 

So, when I was awake at 2am feeding Emily and saw that it was snowing vigorously a thought popped into my head.  I needed to go out and take photos when the sun rose!  Not only had it been forever since we had seen a little bit of snow, but also it had been forever since I headed with my camera just for the sake of taking photos. 

As soon as Emily was fed and happy, which surprisingly didn't take long, I put her in her car seat, grabbed my camera, and was out the door.  What I initially planned on being a short drive actually turned out to be a couple hour long adventure. 

The roads weren't too bad, and truth be told, there wasn't really that much snow.  In most places there was just a dusting so I headed further into the Green Mountains as Emily peacefully slept in the back seat.  The further I went the more snow was coming down.  It was great to actually see the big fluffy flakes show up in my photos.

And of course I searched out the famous Jenne Farm.  I've taken photos here in all four seasons and keep coming back.  Its beautiful there and what I like most of all is that the land owners do not mind if you stop to take a few photos.  Its the norm in that area since its just so darn picturesque.  I feel thankful that I live so close to such a beautiful place!  To just drive around for a couple of hours was food for my soul.  Man, did it feel good to just drive and have nowhere to be. 

See, there may not have been that much snow, but lands it still looks pretty.  There are quite a few more photos I took on my drive, but I have yet to have time to go through them.  Its one thing to have time to take photos, but its a whole other thing to have time to edit them! 

Oh, and I thought I should mention, every single one of these photos was snapped with my iPhone!  I really love that camera, and, most of all, its convenience.  Its not quite a DLSR so I have to be careful... Its easy to get lazy and just start snapping away at everything with my phone instead of pulling out my larger camera and carefully adjusting the settings.  But, it is great to be able to play and edit with my photos in the palm of my hand! 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sweets from the Week

Despite dealing with Emily's doctors appointments it has still been a good week, with a large part due to the fact that Emily's preliminary tests were normal.  She has been feeling better and, more importantly, sleeping better, so this week I can resume a much needed reminisce into all the happy things that have happened.  

1.  Emily is feeling better!  Her fevers are gone.  Her antibiotic induced diarrhea is gone, thanks to switching medications.  She is now back to her smiley, awesome self!  

2. We picked out our Christmas tree!  Our new little family, Emily included, drove all the way up north to the same Christmas Tree farm we go to every year.  I put Emily in an adorable snow suit and hoofed it up a mountain where we chose and then cut down the tree that now stands decorated in our livingroom.  Continuing the tradition is well worth the almost two hour drive!

We found our tree!

3. Christmas shopping is complete.  In one single day I finished getting gifts for everyone on my list.  As bad as it sounds I didn't get much for Emily.  Why?  Well, my mother has sent over a dozen gifts herself and she still has more to send.  She will have more than enough gifts under the tree even if I only have wrapped a few things.   ...also...I have to ask myself...  Why am I wrapping gifts if I will be opening them for her?  Ha. 

4. I am teaching myself how to knit!  Trust me, I have no idea how in the world to knit in the least, but I did spend an entire two hours figuring out how to cast on and knit my first ten stitches.  Currently, I am one row in.  

That's just knitting... I've yet to learn how to purl!

5.  Emily is developing some good hand eye coordination.  She's really starting to grab at things she wants.  Of course, though, all those things end up in her mouth!  

6.  My weekend breakfast makes me incredibly happy for some inexplicable reason.  Nothing beats sitting down on the couch in comfy pajamas and munching on a bowl of Lucky Charms.  

Heaven in a bowl

7. The pipes in our basement sprung a leak last week and for several days we were conserving water and catching it in a bucket.  Fortunately Shawn manufactured some sort of fix with some bizarre plumber's putty.  Now there's no leak, we can use all the water we need, and we have a friend who will replace the pipes after the holidays for a very low cost. 

8.  It snowed a good inch yesterday so I swept Emily up, hopped into the car, and drove around for a couple of hours snapping photos here and there.  Emily slept the whole time and I saw some pretty scenery.  To be the first one on the back roads so early in the morning was very relaxing.  Now I just have to find time to look at the photos I've taken.

PS... you can check it out some of the photos I've snapped on Instagram! (JenVT)

Yes, this is actually a road.  Love it!

9.  And here is a photo of my cat staring at the Christmas tree.  He is about to pull off yet another Christmas ornament, roll it around the floor, and then somehow smash it.  Its an annual tradition of his.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Follow-Up

Sorry to leave all of you hanging for an entire day after Emily's appointment, but life doesn't slow down just so I can write about it.  Thank you all so much for your thoughts and well wishes!  After our appointments yesterday I spent my afternoon calling my mom and spending time with Emily.  I don't always get to spend entire days with her so I took advantage of it, but now onto yesterday's appointments...

Nice and early Shawn and I showed up at our first appointment in the ultra-sound department.  It still amazes me how healthcare offices ask you to be prompt and early, yet you end up waiting well past the original appointment time.  When we were finally ushered into the ultrasound room I had flashbacks to my pregnancy.  We were in the same room where, around nine months ago, I saw Emily for the first time.  Now I was there having her kidneys assessed.  

We undressed her and she happily cooed as I held her in my arms as the technician smear goo across her belly and flanks.  I couldn't believe how well she handled the procedure as the little wand was pushed on her skin.  Emily was glued to the television screen that showed her tiny insides.  Her kidneys were easily identifiable and as they technician scanned over them they looked like a black and white photo just out of an anatomy book.  While I know a lot about medicine and healthcare I don't even begin to pretend I know what I am looking at when it comes to an ultrasound beyond the basic identification of organs.  Thankfully, the woman doing the procedure quickly filled us in.

Her kidneys were normal.

Thank God. 

There was no visible scar tissue.   Everything looked as perfect as could be and Shawn and I breathed a sigh of relief.  Then we wiped the gel off Emily and packed her back up.  The first appointment was over and we had a whole hour to kill before the second appointment with the specialist.  

While we were waiting we browsed the various stores inside the hospital.  Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center has a regular mall inside their hospital with a few specialty shops.  I spent a lot of time browsing very expensive Dansko clogs (any nurse knows and loves these) and the scrubs.  They also had a store with a ton of housewares and Christmas decorations.  Unfortunately I didn't buy anything since Emily had had just about enough of the shopping and began wailing before I could pick out anything to purchase.

We walked across the hospital to our next appointment and lulled Emily to sleep in the stroller at the same time.  The children's side of the hospital was beautifully decorated with artwork, sculptures, and colorful drawings of all kinds.  It was definitely a very nice, and special place for kids. 

Finally the pediatric specialist met with us.  She examined Emily and went over the ultrasound results again, confirming that they were normal.  Then she talked about what was next for Emily... a dye test called a voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG).  While the ultrasound was normal, she explained, it only showed that no damage had been done yet.  It did not rule out that Emily had completely normal kidney and bladder function.  The VCUG would do that.  Essentially Emily would be catheterized, her bladder slowly filled with a dye solution, and then x-ray images would be taken to determine if any of the dye refluxes into the ureter or kidney.  Should dye reflux into the kidneys then other steps, like surgery may be needed.  

Yes, that's a lot of medical talk, right there.

So we agreed to the test, which will take place in the next couple of weeks to month, and should definitively tell us if Emily will need any further procedures or if her urinary tract infection was just a fluke.  

What they couldn't answer was a question I had about the specific organism that was found to cause Emily's UTI, group B strep.  It isn't a microorganism usually found in urine.  Since I was group B positive during my pregnancy and, thanks to being sent home while in labor, didn't get the full recommended dose of antibiotics before Emily was born I wondered if there was some relation.  The specialist told us she had no idea.  Since Emily never had blood work drawn before starting antibiotics we will never  know if there is a link.  That means we may never know exactly the cause of her UTI, particularly if the dye test results indicate there isn't reflux (which is what we hope).  Regardless of an answer or not Emily is on prophylactic antibiotics to prevent another UTI, just in case, until the dye test is done. 

So, we are still in the process of determining what could be going on.  Hopefully it ends up to be nothing, in the end, but it will be at least a little while before we know for sure.  In the mean time she is acting like any other healthy three and a half month old.  

Holding her own bottle even! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I'll admit it... I'm scared

For those of you who have been reading my blog lately you have seen that Emily hasn't been functioning at 100%.  From one symptom to another we've been visiting the doctor more frequently than anyone would ever care to.  We've even spent one lovely morning in the ER.  Despite all that, various tests, and antibiotics we are going to be headed back to the hospital tomorrow, to see a specialist.  A pediatric urologist.  And I will admit it.  I'm scared. 

As Emily smiles at me and coos along as if having a conversation I can't imagine her not being healthy, but she isn't.  As perfect as she is on the outside her urine culture that was collected and grown after our ER visit developed a microorganism, Strep B.  In an infant that proposes a serious problem and means that we are headed to the specialist with little miss Emily for an evaluation.  An ultrasound is to be done and possibly a dye test to visualize how her kidneys and bladder function together.

There are two issues that could arise during this evaluation.  Emily could be diagnosed with urinary reflux, in which her urine flows backwards into the kidney causing kidney damage and infection.  She could also be diagnosed with a late onset Group B strep infection.  The former may result in corrective surgery and the later could result in a multitude of antibiotics and other side effects.  

Since the day I found out I was pregnant everything went smoothly.  Her ultrasounds in utero were unremarkable.  When she was born she passed every test with flying colors.  Despite a few hiccups proceeding a GERD diagnosis and a week long runny nose she's been nothing short of perfect.  A growing, learning, and smiling baby on the outside may be just a cover-up for the problems that are inside.

I really am scared.  

My baby isn't perfect.  

There could be something wrong with her.  

It makes me tear up thinking about it.  Just look at that adorable face!  Tomorrow we may find out that there's nothing wrong, that everything inside her is indeed perfect and her colonization with Strep B bacteria and her urinary tract infection was a fluke.  Or we may get results that I can't even fathom or anticipate at this juncture.  Thinking of it worries me too much.  I also can't search things on the internet, because I inevitably find horror stories that just feed my anxiety. 

So, my mind is full of fear and anticipation.  I just wanted to share my worries and thoughts as I try not to dwell on what the tests may or may not find.  Tomorrow is going to be a stressful day. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Emily and the Sickness Saga of the Week

This past week has been yet another trial in motherhood.  Boy, Emily sure isn't making it easy on us!  Just a few days ago everything was fine.  Emily was her normal, happy self, and then suddenly after the end of a long work day, like a squirrel being run over by a dump truck, something went horribly wrong.  She became the fussiest baby I've ever met.  That was the start of my week...

Its true.  Mommy instincts exist, because immediately I knew something wasn't quite right with Emily.  While she was fussy that particular afternoon she wasn't the type of baby to be that inconsoable for so long.  Her cries sounded more like whimpers to my motherly ears so I checked her temperature.  When the thermometer beep and 101.6 was the result I dialed up the doctor and they told us to come right in.

As grateful as I was for the prompt invite from the doctor they really didn't offer much help when we arrived.  The doctor confirmed that a fever above 100.4 in a three month old is not healthy she also told us that since she had no other symptoms we should be on the watch out for more to develop soon and treat her with Tylenol as needed.  She also wanted us to come back the next day for a follow up.  

Throughout the next day Emily was largely afebrile.  A single dose of Tylenol was all she needed the entire day to break her fever.  When we went back to the doctor for a follow up visit there was little concern.  Emily was smiling as the doctor examined her.  Fifteen minutes later we headed home with no answers and no plan other than simply to continue what we were doing and come come back for a third doctors visit the next day.

We never made it to the third doctors visit, though...

Suddenly, early in the morning while we were sleeping, Emily woke up screaming in pain.  Again the motherly instincts kicked in and I knew it was a different cry than any other cry I had heard before.  Sometime was clearly wrong and she was burning up with a temperature of 101.9.  Both Shawn and I knew what we had to do next.

We were off to the emergency room at the wonderful hour of five in the morning.  

It was still dark out when we drove to the hospital with the faintest glow of daylight masking everything in blue hues.  Earlier in the night it had snowed every so slightly so everything was laced with snow and I knew the sunrise was going to be amazing.  Any other morning I would have eagerly planned out a trip to take a few photos, but that morning I had more important plans.

Emily and I in the Emergency Room

Relaxing in the hospital bed watching TV while we wait

Our stay in the emergency room was quite long.  Emily put on her "There's nothing really wrong" face and smile at everyone.  It made Shawn and I wonder where the screaming, feverish baby from earlier had run off to.  Clearly she didn't look sick and we felt like we had to convince the doctors in the emergency room that there really was something wrong.  Eventually they agreed to check her urine and after three catheter attempts, and two hours of waiting for her to pee in a bag we finally had a sample.  An hour after that we had results.  An apparent urinary tract infection.  


So we headed home with antibiotics to begin and yet another follow up appointment at the doctor the next day in hopes she would get better.  But she didn't.  She got worse.  Emily's fever did break, but she was so lethargic and tired that she didn't cue to eat.  Three days of fevers had finally caught up with her.  Shawn and I took turns forcing her to drink so she wouldn't become dehydrated.  There was honestly a point where I wondered if we would bring her back to the emergency room, but fortunately she turned a corner and began to get better.  Sort of.  

The next day we went for another appointment at the doctor's office.  It appeared that the antibiotics were finally working, the fever hadn't reappeared, and there were no signs of lethargy or dehydration anymore.  All signs pointed towards good, and then we undressed Emily to be examined and noticed something... a red rash covering her entire body.

Being a nurse and EMT I've seen enough cases of hives and allergic reactions to know what it was.  Emily was allergic to the antibiotic, penicillin, she was receiving to treat her urinary tract infection.  On top of everything else she had developed an allergy.  Good lands.  So, the doctor simply changed her antibiotic to a different one and we began the regimen over again.  Emily returned to her happy self and all seemed to be righting itself in our little world, but of course the sickness saga didn't end there. 

We now have a new issue to contend with for Emily... antibiotic diarrhea.  

One of the side effects of antibiotics is diarrhea and poor Emily has that very unflattering side effect.  Her stomach is as irritable as a hornet trapped in a screened porch.  In fact, we were in a store attempting to do some Christmas shopping when all of a sudden she let out the loudest Thhhhrrrrrrawwerrrpppp from her rear end.  It was loud enough that two old ladies at the other end of the aisle turned their heads and stared at us.  Sure enough Emily had blown through her entire outfit right there in the store.  We had to immediately abort our shopping mission right then and there. 

So, after all that we still aren't completely out of the woods.  The antibiotics continue, sans allergic rash, and so does the diarrhea.  From unexplained fever to poop everywhere, its been one heck of a week, but we're getting through it! 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I Have a Theory

Something quite weird was pointed out to me by a friend....

Our daughter's birthday is on the anniversary of a Line of Duty Death for a firefighter in Vermont. The daughter of another firefighter friend of ours was born on September 11 and the son of a firefighter on the department was born on the anniversary of the deaths of the Worchester 6, where six firefighters died at a fire in Massachusetts.

For some reason the children of firefighters seem to be born on the anniversaries of deaths of firefighters. Maybe it's just coincidence, but it's still bizarre.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Three Whole Months

They say that time flies, but in all honestly I feel like the last three months have lasted close to forever. I am amazed how miss Emily has transformed from a lump of newborn cuddliness into a chunky little squealing infant. She is holding her head up, turning towards sounds, and grasping at objects put in front of her. However, when it comes to sleep that is a subject where we've seem to have regressed.

Just a couple of weeks ago she began to bless us with a solid five or six hour stretch of sleep every single night beginning at 8pm.  We were getting up once, maybe twice a night to change and feed her.  Then, just as suddenly as that six hour gift appeared, it was gone.  For the last two weeks Emily has decided to revert to a much more newborn-like sleeping schedule where she wakes every two to three hours.  Its playing hell on my energy levels and patience.  When she slept so erratically before I wasn't working, but now I am working five days a week so such a lack of sleep is quite a problem.  None-the-less I hold faith to the statement that "This to shall pass" and take heart that I won't be able to snuggle her late at night forever, no matter how tired I may be. 

On the other hand we have made a breakthrough with Tummy Time.  With stronger neck muscles she is enjoying it slightly more.  I had to laugh and video tape her the other day when she was acting quite funny while on her stomach.  While, I am not quite sure what she is doing it looks like she was enjoying it. 

Bad mom that I am, thanks to lack of sleep and a crazy work schedule, I haven't taken "professional" looking photos of her in a month.  Hopefully I will have time and energy to soon.  The list of things I need to do, but don't have time to do is quite huge.  I'm not going to lie, it also stresses me out a little bit, too.  It includes her birth announcements that I have yet to mail and our Christmas cards which I hope to get out before Christmas.  I admire those other mom-bloggers who manage to keep up with their blog on an almost daily basis, because I sure as heck can't!  

Three months into motherhood and its still an uphill path.  Phew...  I am exhausted.  At least Emily is hard to resist!  Ha...