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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Fuel for the Soul

So, it appears that winter has definitely arrived, albeit late. The one storm we had last weekend, which dropped a mere three inches at my house, laid over a foot of snow where our former cabin and my in-laws are. What's more is that there is yet another winter storm expected tonight!  Of course I am excited.  The meteorologist in me is eager to see how high the snow totals will creep up, the photographer in me is eager to plan another trip to take photos, and the mother in me is thinking about playing with Emily in the snow.  

Every snow storm sparks some sort of excitement in me, as if the excitement from the days when I was little and waiting for the school closings to scroll across the screen is burning inside me.  I don't miss a chance to enjoy a snow storm, just like the one this past weekend.  As soon as I could I bundled Emily up and whisked her outside where I promptly took several photos to commemorate the first real snow this entire winter. 

Don't even get me started on how cute she is in that pink snow suit.  I just am very glad I have had a chance to use it before she outgrows it!  A week ago I didn't know if we'd get any sort of snow this winter.  Thankfully we did or I would have missed this adorableness.  

Since the fresh snow fell on the weekend my morning could be spent driving the back roads with Shawn and Emily taking photos.  Boy, did it feel good to get out with my camera!  Its so darned hard between work and motherhood to find time to devote to taking photos let alone editing them.  Somehow this weekend I managed both.  

And to make my weekend even better I sold a print of another one of my photos.  It has actually been a few months since I've sold a photo and I was beginning to feel sort of down about it.  So, between the snow, taking some great new photos, having time to edit them, share them, and then selling another photo I feel quite uplifted.  What great timing since my days have been long and full of responsibilities.  Some how life always has a way of giving you what you need when you need it. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Importance of a Teddy Bear

Nothing can fully convey the importance of a Teddy Bear for a child.  When I found out I was going to have a baby finding the perfect Teddy Bear was high up on my list of things I must do, right up there with picking a name and color for the nursery.  As someone who still has her teddy bear from when she was a baby, which is now safely sitting on a shelf in my closet, I firmly believe that the right Teddy Bear can comfort one through anything.  From stormy nights to sick days home from school, a teddy bear has a lot of important duties.  So, for months I have been on the search for the perfect sidekick for my Emily.

You can't just search out and buy the perfect Teddy Bear.  It has to find you, and when it does you have no doubts that its the perfect one.  A love at first sight sort of thing.  So, it didn't surprise me that when Emily was born I didn't have a Teddy Bear already picked out for her.  I wasn't going to rush it.  Then, just this past weekend, I found one.  

Its cute and boy is it cuddly.  Oh, and most importantly its machine washable. Emily and this new Teddy Bear became fast friends.  She has squished and squeezed him since we gave him to her.  I am not going to name this Teddy Bear, however.  That honor will be saved for Emily when she is old enough, just like I did.  The name I chose for mine was "Gray Teddy", since he is, you know, gray. 

What do you want mom?!  I am trying to bond with my new BFF!

Oh, just a photo-op?  Sure thing! 

Friday, February 24, 2012

It Is Here


It's finally arrived.

For the first time since before Thanksgiving we are under a winter storm warning and have the potential for a half a foot of snow. A half a foot of snow!

Okay... so that's no monstrosity of a storm, but if you are measuring in terms of this year's snowfall it's noteworthy. How sad is that? What a very un-Vermont-like winter this has been. My snowmobile is crying from abandonment.

So my camera battery is charging, our snowmobiles are registered and waiting, and there is white stuff freshly falling from the sky. Shawn and I are definitely going to take advantage of it. This entire weekend will be spent taking photos and snowmobiling, two things this season hasn't lent itself too.

It's finally winter. Heck yeah!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

You're Going to Stay What You Are

A week or so ago I wrote about work, which I don't often do because of what I do for work and professionalism and such.  I wrote about how my job-title was in limbo, how a new Director of Nurses was arriving and the potential for significant changes existed.  He wanted to pick his own management team and that may or may not include me.  It was a nerve wracking feeling to say the least, especially since I knew so little about my new boss.  

Changes are never easy and its not hard at all to get caught up in the anxiety something or someone new can provoke.  As I sat in my office on the first morning of the new Director's arrival I tried to push the butterflies away.  I stared at the picture of Emily pinned next to my desk I wondered if I would ever get to actually decorate my office with more pictures or if I'd be taking them down.  When the new director did arrive I decided I would just work like I normally worked every single day and let him tell me his decision when he felt like it.  If I had it in my mind to pester him about what his plans were for me there I'd simply bring it in at an inappropriate time and make myself bad.  Sometimes silence is better than asking questions (such a hard lesson for me to learn).

As the day came to an end I hadn't heard anything related to the new Director's intentions with his management team.  He hadn't given me any sort of hints, but I figured that it would take at least a couple of days or even weeks for him to size me up and decide if I was a good Assistant Director in his mind.  Just as I was packing up my desk and getting ready to leave the new Director turned to me and said "You know you're going to stay what you are, right?"  

"Oh?" Was my simple response, because I couldn't think of anything more intelligible to say.  It caught me off guard, but a large smile soon crept across my face and my posture must have visibly improved, because he asked me if I felt better after hearing that.  A huge weight was lifted.  I could finally fully invest myself in my job and, almost more importantly, put up more pictures of Emily!

So, besides still adjusting to a five day a week job where the weekends seem too short and always too far away, work is great.  There's no more confusion.  I know exactly what my job is going to be and I am going to stay what I am. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Unsafe Ingenuity

I always love it when people think outside of the box.  Usually that's where you find the best solutions to the toughest problems.  However, there are times when such ingenuity can backfire.  Sometimes a fix creates more issues than it solves.  

The ambulance is the perfect place to think outside the box (while being inside a big red/white box) and this is where my example of a solution to a problem, while good intentioned, wasn't the best idea.  

Here is a backboard and the headrest for the backboard.  It looks to be completely fine, nothing special to see, unless you look closely...

Yeah, that appears to be a coat hanger or piece of metal of some sorts.  Its not how those headrests are suppose to be fastened.  While its an ingenious fix and keeps a broken piece of equipment functioning it isn't acceptable to keep on the ambulance.  I'm always impressed how most anything can be McGuyvered, but there is always a line when it comes to what's professional and acceptable.  Of course, this isn't in service on the ambulance.  Its just a great example of a "nice try" to fix something before the boss said "throw it out". 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Five Thirty AM

In the last few days I have actually realized that Emily isn't that bad of a sleeper at night at all, at least lately.  She's been faithfully falling asleep at 7pm, waking near 1am, falling back asleep quickly, and then waking again at 5:30am.  The problem is that I am not ready to be awake at 5:30am, but Emily is.  I go to bed much later than her, sometimes as late as eleven in the evening, so I can have some of that precious "adult time" that is so rare now.  So, when 5:30 in the morning rolls around I am one tired mama with only a few hours of sleep.  

Before Emily arrived I was never a morning person to begin with.  I've never functioned well before 7am and when I worked the night shift a while back as a Licensed Practical Nurse while in RN school I was a horrible mess.  My body just hates mornings.  Actually, a more accurate statement would be that my body hates a lack of sleep and that's what I've chronically been doing to it.  

The last several mornings when Emily has been up and bouncy and awake at 5:30 in the morning either Shawn or I have fought with her to settle down and sleep another precious hour or two.  It never worked and simply left all three of us extra cranky.  And now I have come to learn one of the hardest lessons in parenting (so far, anyway).......

One must adjust to the baby's schedule.  To hell with yours.  

As much as I've tried every method, even crying it out (for over an hour of back and forth) she is bound and determined to be awake early in the morning.  Wide awake.  So, I have succumbed to her persistence.  There is no point in fighting with what her body is naturally trying to do if its something we can adjust to.  It looks like bed time will have to be much earlier for both Shawn and I.  But, the good news is, that if we adjust our schedule then she will get up just once the entire night!  That's a win in my book.  

Who knows... maybe I can grow to like 5:30am?  Although, I highly doubt we'll be on anything other than speaking terms. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Gross Things that make a Baby Laugh

The other day our lab started making a gagging sound, like he had something in his throat.  Emily thought it was the funniest thing.  In fact, its the most I've ever heard her giggle at one single thing.  So, what does any prudent mother do with such a scene?  Break out the camera and record it! 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Adaptation and Change

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, 
nor the most intelligent that survives. 
It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.  
~ Charles Darwin

Today is going to be an interesting day at work, especially for one in my position, and that quote is quite suitable.  There is going to be a new Director of Nurses that is starting his position today and since I am the Assistant Director of Nurses, meaning I work directly under this new person, I am greatly affected by this change.  The new Director will be my direct boss, with new ideas, new plans, and new judgements of myself and the rest of the staff.  Its hard to not be nervous since it is not yet clear whether or not I will stay the Assistant Director of Nurses.  He would like to pick his own management team, which may or may not include me staying in my current position.  While I love the new position I have held for the past few months, since it allows me to care for every patient at the facility, be involved in everyone's care, and challenge myself with nursing skills and interpersonal skills, I really hope that the new Director finds that I am a good choice to keep as his second in command.  Experience is very much against me, since my tenure as a nurse isn't very long, but I try and make up for it in effort and eagerness.  

Since I knew that we were going to get a new Director of Nurses and he wants to pick his own management team many many emotions flooded through me.  Its hard to hear that the job you've been offered not long ago, poured a ton of effort into, and really enjoy, may not be the job you'll have in a few weeks.  It has been hard not to be nervous, scared, and apprehensive, but that's where Charles Darwin's quote comes into play...  I do not have to be the strongest (most experienced), I do not have to be the most intelligent, but I do have to be the most adaptable.  

So, that's what I'll do.  Come what may, I will adapt and everything will be okay.  We'll see what position this new Director thinks I am suited for and maybe, just maybe, he will find me perfect in the position I already am in. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Breathing Room

Every child does thing that makes a mom gasp in horror.  The other day I went into Emily's room to wake her up in the morning and found her blanket laying across her face.  I was horrified, but quickly realized she was just fine.  

There's a baby under there!

Then I noticed that she was doing this every single time she slept.  She wanted a blanket over her face.  When she slept int he car seat she pulled a blanket over her face.  Its developed into a habit so that she can't fall asleep soundly without a blanket over her head.  At first the whole idea of my daughter covering her mouth and nose didn't sit well in the least, but once I realized she was fully capable of putting the blanket there, removing it, and wouldn't sleep well otherwise I reluctantly decided that it was okay.  Apparently there are some preferences that children develop that worry parents, but are really just fine!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Almost a Baby, But Not Quite

This is a story about a situation I experienced first hand a little while ago and it has just never settled well...

There is this girl and she is pregnant, quite a few weeks pregnant, to the point where she was happily announcing it to people.  Everyone was excited for her.  Her and her boyfriend were try to get pregnant and really wanted to start a family together.  When she announced that she was expecting I hugged her and was beyond happy for her.  While she isn't married and her relationship was fairly new, who am I to judge?  They were happy and that was all that mattered.

Then a few weeks passed.  The pregnancy continued to thrive and grow.  She beamed with excitement, but that abruptly changed one day.

Suddenly, she pulled me aside with a very straight face saying that she had something important to tell me, because I was going to find out one way or another.  With subdued emotions she told me that she was going to have an abortion in just a few days.  She couldn't handle being pregnant with her boyfriend's child.  Furthermore, her and her boyfriend were splitting up.  He drank too much, apparently, and she didn't want to bring his child into the world if he couldn't put down the bottle.  

I sympathetically listened to her and hugged her, but I couldn't properly digest what she was telling me.  It just wasn't sitting right with me.  

She was near the end of her first trimester, if not just barely in the second.  I couldn't remember how far along she was exactly, but I knew it was quite a few weeks.  One thing kept coming to mind  when I thought of how far along she was...  all I kept thinking of was my first ultrasound of Emily at 12 weeks.  

I kept thinking of the little baby that I saw on the screen that moved, sucked its thumb, and had a perfectly formed little heart beating away.  Then I thought of her baby that was just about the same age prenatally.  She had a perfectly formed human being inside her with ten fingers, ten toes, and one little heart that she was going to terminate.

Now, I am one of the least judgmental people.  I support a person's right to choose, but this situation struck a nerve.  They were trying to conceive.  They both wanted this pregnancy.  Then, suddenly, things changed.  She realized she didn't want to be with him or his bad habits, but only after they had created a baby together.  For the life of me I can't comprehend why she realized all this after they purposefully became pregnant rather than before.  

Excuse my opinions... but I guess its because I'm a mom and because I have seen a 12 week old baby flitting around on the ultrasound screen.  Or maybe its because I've held 14 week old twin babies that were born prematurely.  This just resonates badly with me.  I feel for this girl, but I feel even more for the baby who was, but never will be. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Little e Drawings

While Emily was sitting in my lap one day I noticed she had quite the fascination with my phone.  She constantly would reach out and try to grab and play with it.  After a futile search for an app for infants (think like bright colors and shapes that make noise and such when the baby interacts with it) I decided to buy a free app that resembles the good 'ol MS Paint program.  Emily loves it.  

Seeing her produce little scribbles got me thinking...  its cool to think that my baby drew something to begin with and won't it be even cooler to see her scribbles morph into real drawings?  I thought so... so, I started a blog just for her drawings!

Okay, some of you may think I am nuts, shake your head, and go surf a different corner of the web, but if you haven't left or have the faintest interest you can check out her drawings as she creates them over at her blog "Little e Drawings".  

Since she's just started there isn't much to share, but don't you worry.  Emily enjoys drawing too much not to create more soon!  

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Five Months In

So today marks exactly five months since Little Miss Emily arrived.  At this moment she is sitting in my lap bouncing back and forth.  Lately its her favorite place to be as she tries to touch the keys and makes squeaky noises.  

She's quite the talker now with lots of babbling, sighs, and noises.  You'll quickly know if she is content or not, because she won't hesitate to tell you.  If she's supported or positioned just right she can sit up fairly well for a minute or two.  Tummy time is more fun now that she can lift her head up high and roll around.  She's growing like a weed and just this past week she's started wearing some size six months clothes!  Gosh, I hate packing up her tiny clothes that she doesn't fit into anymore.  

I can only image how Emily will keep growing, what her personality will become, and if her red hair will turn curly like her mother's and father's.  One thing is for sure, I can't believe that five months have passed already.  While I love to look ahead and wish for the next milestone its hard to look back and realize how much she's grown already!  Boy, its going so fast.  Six months will be here before I know it I'm sure. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Winter that Isn't

Its almost groundhog day.  As a former meteorology major and all around skeptic I really don't take stock in this nonexistent holiday other than the fact that there is a pretty humorous movie with its namesake.  But, in all seriousness, the weather and whether or not we will ever get a winter this year. 

The sidewalks are bare.  Grass is peeking through the skimpy snow cover that is quickly melting into the ever expanding puddles in the roadway.  The temperatures are cresting near fifty degrees.  It is just barely February right?  I even got to spend this gorgeous afternoon after work going for a walk outdoors with Emily. 

Part of me is quite sad.  My snowmobile has sat this entire season.  Its disuse makes me question the investment we make in that expensive hobby annually.  I also have yet to be able to sit at home and enjoy a good, quiet snowfall.  The other part of me is happy that spring may come quick.  Greens may grow sooner than expected.  Perhaps mud season won't linger like last year after an excessive season of snow.  

So far, this season is the winter that never was, or just plain isn't.  There's been some ice and a tiny bit of snow, but anytime I can wear short sleeves in Vermont on the first of February indicates a winter fail.  However, I know I need to not discount the next six weeks of weather.  A nor'easter could barrel across New England next week and then I'll probably be complaining about shoveling the driveway.  There's still plenty of time for winter to decide that it is.