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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sweets from the Week

It has been a very busy week, if you cannot tell from my absence in posting.  Also, I am finding that blogging isn't really fitting into my everyday life anymore.  While I love typing stories and sharing what goes on as often as I can its definitely not the same sort of hobby it used to be.  Emily is taking up the space that blogging once had, both in posting and following others' blogs.  I'm not giving up my blog, but its definitely something that is much less frequent in my life right now for many reasons.  My glass is so full its overflowing, but I don't mind.  Life's pretty awesome as it is.

1. I am finally feeling completely better!  Yay for augmentin. It really did the trick and now I am feeling amazing. 

2. I've lost a total of seven pounds in the month of March! Its the first weight I've been able to lose since Emily's birth.  There's still a long way to go to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but I am down one pant size already. 

3. Emily is ready to move!  She wants to get farther than her reach so badly.  When something is just beyond her grasp she hasn't quite figured out what to do yet and it makes her frustrated.  I love seeing her tackle these little challenges.  Maybe by Easter she will be starting to scoot or crawl!  

4. We have a new lawn mower!  Shawn's dad gave us an old riding lawn mower that works perfectly.  We are so thankful, because at the end of last summer our push mower decided to cease functioning.  If you know me or have been around this blog for a while you'll know that's nothing unusual for Shawn and I. 

5. Work has been going wonderfully.  I am thoroughly loving my job, more than I actually thought I ever would.  My new boss is great to work with and he is helping implement some new nursing measures that are really taking off.  Its great to really want to go to work.  (Although I'd always rather be spending time with my peanut!)

6.  Shawn and I have looked into purchasing some land back up north where our cabin used to be!  Actually, its about a mile, if not closer, to where we used to live.  A deal has been struck on 34 acres and we are in the process of securing financing for it.  Its our "retirement plan".  We've explored the land extensively.  Its gorgeous, scenic, has great views, great 4 wheeler trails, and even a pond.  Cross your fingers for us!  
That's our 4 wheeler halfway up the steep part of the land.  Look at the view!

7. Here's a picture of the moon, Jupiter, and Venus on the way home the other night, just because.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Tradgedy Close to Home

It was all over the news.  People across the state were waiting for updates all day.  A young woman, a teacher who attended the same college I did, was missing.  Her two year old son was found sitting in her car on the side of the road alone.  Signs of a struggle were near her parked and running vehicle, but she was nowhere to be found. 

All day facebook, twitter, and news websites were abuzz with thoughts and hopes towards her safe return.  She was an well known woman who had significant ties to the community and a deep love for her son.  Late in the evening in the middle of the television news cast the anchors broke the news.  As they announced that the woman's body was found the reporter choked back tears.  Her body was found in a neighboring town along side a rural road. 

My heart broke.  I hurt for her young son who witnessed his mother's struggles right outside the car.  I hurt for the community who lost a great teacher, and I hurt for her family who I am personal friends with.  The woman's aunt and uncle are long time friends of my husband and I on one of the rescue squads we've been members of for a good decade.  The woman's father and his family rents our second hunting camp, which sits 50 yards from ours, and is an ever funny and wonderful fixture every November when we host a big feast of game meat that's followed by drinks. Her family is loving, kind, and treats everyone like they belong at their dinner table. 

The amount of tragedy around this story is incredible.  I feel compelled to do something, especially for the little boy who will never remember his mother.  Lord knows what he saw as his mother struggled, but I pray none of it is engrained in his psyche in anyway. 

So, as a small gesture, I am going to make a personal donation towards her memorial and her son.  If you would like to contribute (you are in no way obligated) then please click the donation button.  You can contribute any amount you'd like no matter how small and I will add it to my donation in name of 'Bloggers for Melissa'.

If you'd like to read some of the news stories about it then please view the links below.
Body Discovered and Press Conference Video 
ABC National News Report
Community's Reaction

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Tough Week

I have spent the majority of this week pretty darn sick. A while back I posted about having a sinus infection. It seemed that it was abating just the week before last, but it turns out I was very wrong.

Last weekend while I was in Boston I noticed I wasn't feeling top notch, but I chalked it up to the exhaustion of a full day. The following day I still didn't feel well, but just tried to ignore it and pretend I wasn't getting sick. Then Monday came and something was horribly wrong. After a fitful night sleep I went to work feeling down right horrible. Turns out I had a fever of nearly 103. With no specific symptoms other than tonsils the size of golf balls and the feeling like there were marbles above the roof of my mouth I decided to trudge through the work day in the confines of my office and made an appointment with the Doctor for the next morning.

That night was hell. Literally. Nothing would break my fever. I was freezing and every joint on my body ached. The slightest touch of anything on my body caused excruciating pain. For hours I laid on the couch in agony and had another fitful night of sleep. Never in my life had I felt so sick. The only thing that kept me from going to the hospital was the fact that at some point that night I began to sweat and my fever lessened a little.

At the doctors office it was a quick exam and the conclusion that I needed a strong dose of antibiotics was reached. Finally, nearly six weeks later, I was diagnosed with a sinus infection and given antibiotics. Fortunately for them I was too sick to vent my frustrations how difficult it is to get an infection treated properly. While the concerns of misusing antibiotics may lead to the rise in super-infections and antibiotic resistant microorganism I believe that doctors have swung too far in the opposite direction. Now they insist on natural remedies and "working through it" rather than medication. Gosh, there needs to be a happy medium before someone reaches a point like I did.

After several days on antibiotics I am feeling better, thank God. Never before in my life can I recall being so sick for so long. I'm just now getting my appetite back and energy enough to play with my munchkin. Poor Emily didn't get to spend much time with me this week at all for both fear of her getting sick and my lack of physical capability. Now I am making up for all the time I missed last week this weekend since I am on the mend.

So, it's been a tough week indeed, but it's over now. Hopefully the sickness pretty much is, too, because Emily and I have important business to attend to!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Daycare Dilemma

I am not sure how often this happens to people, but this morning I had quite the surprise with my daycare. It was a normal morning like any other where I was cutting time close, but quite behind, not yet. Fortunately my Tuesday through Thursday daycare provider is only two miles from our home so I can cute time pretty close and still be okay.

So, I pulled into the driveway and walked up to the door like any old morning where we had scheduled daycare (Emily only goes when Shawn works day shifts during the week). on any normal morning I just open the door and walk into her house where I am greeted by the early morning ruckus of toddlers. This particular morning, however, I was instead greeted by a random guy I didn't recognize half asleep on the couch. No toddlers or daycare provider in sight.

I must have looked stunned and confused with my baby in one arm and a diaper bag in the other, but still the scruffy guy with bed head waited for me to talk. Who the heck is he? I wondered. Instead I asked where the woman who watches Emily was.

"Oh, they are in North Carolina for a family emergency. Didn't she call you?" the couch surfer casually said.

I just stared blankly for a second back at him as it soaked in. Not here? North Caroline? What? Obviously no one called me since I was standing there with a baby when there was no day are to be had. Somehow I did my best to hide my frustrations and headed back out the door.

What the heck was I to do now? Work started in five minutes and I had to go to a conference with my boss in just over half an hour. Crap.

I had one card to play, my Monday through Friday daycare provider. I could call her and see if she would take Emily. After some serious begging she agreed to take Emily despite having a hectic day with many children already. Normally there's no openings on Wednesdays. Today she made an exception.

After scrambling across town to my other daycare provider I was already receiving messages from work wondering where I was. It was just one minute after the normal start of my work day. They apparently don't give me a large margin of error!

In the end I somehow managed to only be fifteen minutes late for work and I found a suitable back up daycare on a moments notice. To be honest I was quite proud. It at least dulled the sting of no notification regarding the regular daycare provider. At least a phone call would have been nice! And I am left wondering if anyone else has ever had something similar happen or if I just am a sucker for life's anomalies?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Babyless in Boston

Finally Shawn and I had a day completely to ourselves since Emily's arrival.  Thanks to both his mother and my mother we were able to take a trip to Boston.  It was my first time in the city (besides the bus ride we took to Fenway a few weeks before Emily was born).  It was our first hockey game.  And it was also St. Patrick's Day.  Everything went just as great as we expected. 

Early in the morning Shawn's mother arrived at our home.  Emily was bright eyed and ready to play.  Good thing her nana was too!  We then began the two hour drive south to Bean town.  My mother, for our anniversary, bought us tickets to a Bruins/Flyers game.  I in my Bruins garb and my husband in his Flyers shirt were ready for some rivalry along with some city exploration.  

When we arrived in Boston is was well before noon.  There were already lines outside the many Irish themed bars throughout the city.  People wearing ridiculous, skimpy, and hilarious green outfits were abundant.  There was definitely a culture all its own on St. Patrick's Day.  However, we didn't feel left out wearing hockey paraphernalia on such a green holiday.  There were plenty of people going to the same game we were later in the day that were roaming the streets in jerseys. 

We spent a good chunk of time exploring the Old City, where graveyards are right in the center of town.  The history was thick and all encompassing.  If we had a week we still couldn't possibly explore everything.  Instead of going inside buildings and museums we just walked the streets.  The architecture, old buildings among skyscrapers, and people dressed in colonial clothes were simply awesome.  Where else would you expect to see a Ben Franklin look alike wandering the streets giving friendly advice?  Well, besides Philadelphia I suppose. 
One of the many random bagpipers on the street in Boston

The "new" Old Cemetery in downtown Boston

Game time crept up on us.  We had to cut our city exploration short and head to TD Gardens where the game was held.  I was thoroughly impressed how clean and well designed the arena was.  Heck, even the seats were great.  They were staggered between rows so that even if a tall person sat in front of me they wouldn't be in my way of seeing the ice.  Fans filtered in and I got a thorough education in how dedicated Boston fans really are.  There were plenty of "you bums" yelled, even at their own team.  One thing I did learn is that Boston fans are tough.  They will even yell at their own team if they are disappointed in them. 

Pregame photo-op before the teams take the ice

In the end the Bruins pulled off a great win in overtime.  We headed out of the arena and back onto the streets of Boston where even more green people roamed the streets.  Shops and restaurants were full.  We took in the late day scenery before heading back north to Vermont and made plans to soon return.  I've never liked cities, at all, but Boston really impressed me.  Returning is definitely in our future, and we might even bring Emily next time. 

Gorgeous sunset on the way home... what a perfect end to the day

Thursday, March 15, 2012


I guess since winter was mostly MIA I shouldn't be overly surprised with what I noticed in my front yard this morning. Yup, green things are sprouting! I don't think I have ever seen green things this early in Vermont. It feels like I am living in Maryland, where I grew up.

The only down side is that last fall, when our yard was full of leaves, I was a brand new mom and Shawn was a brand new dad. We were getting used to our new roles rather than worrying about yard work. Now it's still waiting for us as things spring back to life.

I am looking forward to spending some time outside in the sunshine cleaning up last season's mess. A little Vitamin D from the sunshine is always good for the soul!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Mom's Birthday

No one ever told me that once you have a baby your birthdays will be different.  Apparently, when you become a mother and they tell you everything changes they mean it.  Even Birthdays won't be the same.  Mine, which was yesterday, definitely wasn't.  

Things weren't different, because of something I did or didn't do.  Things were just different because...

Because once you have a baby you just don't matter that much anymore.  

Its true.  I've been concentrating on Emily's milestones and monthly anniversaries that when my own birthday was coming close I nearly forgot about it all together.  Years in the past I have practically made a national holiday out of my birthday.  I'd take a day off work, get boat loads of cards and presents in the mail, celebrate it doing something big and extravagant with Shawn lie a fancy dinner.  

This year was a lot different.

Instead of taking off work I just went to work like it was any other day.  While my awesome coworkers made me feel special by singing to me several times and tying balloons to my chair it was still a pretty regular work day.  There were no gifts to open, just a baby to play with when I came home.  Shawn did make me a banana cake, but I didn't really ask for anything else.  I honestly couldn't think of a single thing I'd possibly want or need.  Instead of a fancy dinner together we drove around while Emily napped and then bought a couple subs to eat when we got home.  My night was spent watching the Bachelor finale and eating a wonderful Italian Sub once Emily went to bed.  

And you now what? 

I actually prefer my birthday like it was and that's what matters.  Apparently being a mom gives you a whole new set of preferences, too.  All the pomp and circumstance doesn't seem to matter anymore once you have someone else to celebrate over!

Twenty Seven?  Does it really matter?  Bah....   Then again, I may be rethinking those words as I reach 30.  Eeep! 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Everytime I Work in an Ambulance

Perhaps I should have had more shifts at the rescue squad this winter.  Without fail every single time I have worked it has snowed, and not just a little bit.  This morning at the end of my shift when I woke up from my short night's sleep after a few calls I was surprised with half a foot of snow.  

This is one of the old ambulance.  We don't keep the in service ones outside. :)

For the record I've become quite proficient at navigating the snows with an ambulance, too.  Its not an option to suck at driving on unplowed roads in the middle of the night.  Although I have parked at the bottom of impassable driveways I dared not attempt and hoof it in.  I'd rather avoid, though, that since walking with all that equipment and probably walking uphill is not exactly a fun time.  Last night none of that was necessary, thankfully.  

Instead of trudging through mountains of snow I got to experience a good half hour of the "flying through space" screen saver while driving to the hospital.  Its the most mind numbing driving experience to drive in snow like that.  Add in flashing lights and its even more annoying.  Thank god I don't have a migraine condition. 

View from across the road at the Rescue Station

Then, after I managed a couple hours of uninterrupted sleep, I awoke to find winter again. 

Wasn't it just 60 degrees the day before yesterday?

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Little Taste of Winter

I am going to call it.  Winter is officially over.  Its been nearly sixty degrees the past couple of days.  SIXTY!  That's just crazy.  So, its now spring.  I've given up on winter until next year.  However ridiculous this meager winter was I did get a tiny taste of it, and by taste I mean time spent out on the snowmobile trails.  

Nothing makes me miss living up north in our cabin more than having to drive an hour and a half north to snowmobile.  Just over a year ago we used to hop on our sleds right in our driveway and take off down the trail.  (our road doubled as the snowmobile trail in the winter)  We used to be able to just take a quick ride and then come home and warm up next to the wood stove.  Now its an all day affair fraught with traveling.  Add in an infant and the need of a babysitter and its a heck of a lot more difficult to fit in a snowmobile ride.

But its not impossible.

This past weekend we were able to take to the trails, as well as the weekend prior, for a couple of short rides.  By short I mean 2-3 hour stents whizzing through the wilderness on our skidoos.  Nothing gets my blood flowing and relaxes me like a ride through the wilderness with the throttle in my hand.  I guess I am weird like that.  

Not only is it relaxing, but now its even more enjoyable, because snowmobiling now means a few hours of adult time that Shawn and I get to have together.  We can fly along the trails without worrying about bottle feeds and diaper changes.  Snowmobiling now means freedom that is often scarce when you're a new parent.  Coming home at the end of a ride sore and smelling like two cycle engine oil has such an odd ability to refuel the soul. 

So now as my yard turns to mud and I pull out short sleeved shirts I'll revel in the few short moments of winter I got to experience this year.  

Small as they were they were just the little bit I needed.  

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Nothing is more generous than a sinus infection, especially this one.  My nasal cavity has been under siege by some sort of pathogen for the better part of a month now.  While other ancillary symptoms have abated the glow-in-the-dark by product in my sinus cavities has not. 

Emily had this.  Shawn had this.  Both of them are feeling better and snot free.  Me?  Heck, I seem to be a Mucinex green germ's dream.  Part of it may be the fact that I dislike taking medication.  While I am no homeopathic nut I just don't like dumping pills into my system at the hint of discouraging symptoms.  I like to tough things out.   Really, I am not sure why.  It doesn't make anyone less of a person for taking medication.  Heck, I dispense it to people at work on a regular basis.  For some reason I just prefer not to take it.  Maybe I have some super-hero vision of my immune system?

Clearly, with this infection that is not the case.

I've been to the doctors, actually, which requires even more discomfort to get me to go than to take medicine.  They informed me that it was viral and I'd get over it, just like Emily.  Well, my six month old with a baby-sized immune system is all better.  Me?  Not so much.  I'd love to kick this thing once and for all, but am not sure what the heck to do really.  The doctor refused to prescribe me antibiotics since he believes its a viral infection so I guess I am on my own and still waiting for this dang thing to 'run its course'.

The only thing running right now is my nose. 


So, to improve upon this downer of a post here is a picture of Emily.  She has the ability to make anything better.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Half a Year

To My Little Miss Emily...

Six months ago today, on labor day, you arrived.  Its been a whole half a year since your debut in our lives and things have been forever awesomely changed.  I can't believe its been half year!  Holy cow.  Before I know it you'll be packing up your stuff and moving off to college. 

Oh, she can't stand yet.  Not unless we prop her up that is!
Every morning when I walk into your room and greet you with "Good Morning!" you pick up your head and smile an adorable toothless grin.  I've never met anyone so happy from the second she wakes up, like you are.  Mornings are the best part of your day, because by evening you're tired and cranky without fail.  I don't mind since you go to bed like a mother's dream and never give me grief when its time to fall asleep.  Speaking of sleep you have also started sleeping much better!  How I have longed for these nights where you only wake up once, if at all.  Often you lull yourself back to sleep quickly within minutes, too.  

Sitting up is your new favorite thing.  Whether its in the highchair or on the quilt with all your toys you are pleased with your new vantage point of the world in an upright position.  What's even funnier is to watch your frustration with your lack of movement.  Sometimes a toy is just barely out of your reach.  Boy does that make you mad!  I try not to laugh, but sometimes I can't help it knowing you're trying so hard to figure out the world. 

But man oh man are you growing up fast!  It seems like yesterday you were my little tiny sack of potatoes that just slept and ate and slept and ate.  Now you jabber, giggle, grab, and yell.  While I am excited for you to grow and meet new milestones I really want to keep you this tiny forever.  Please, don't grow up, okay?  Okay.  

But either way Emily, even if I can't pause time, no matter how big you get you're stuck with us!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Another Shop Open for Business

To be honest I really have no idea where I find the time.  I am beginning to feel like a jack of all trades, too.  A few months ago, while on maternity leave, I began making a few necklaces for myself.  Whenever I wear them people compliment them to no end and finally, after some persuasion, I have made a stockpile of necklaces and opened yet another ETSY store! 

So yeah...

Not only do I sell photos, but now apparently necklaces!

See for yourself!

I am kind of excited to have this other random and crafty venture to keep me occupied in my spare time (wait... what?).  Yeah, so while Emily naps if I am not cleaning, editing photos, or updating my blog I have been making necklaces.  They are fairly simple since I don't make the pendants myself, but rather do a little handiwork and create necklaces out of these pendants I purchase using ribbon.  Its simple, pretty, and comfortable. 

The only thing that I am not impressed with is my skills of photographing my finished product.  For all the great photographs I produce I simply cannot take great photos of my necklaces.  Darn it.  Trust me, they are nice and I'd totally wear each of them myself.  In fact, I bought two of several of the pendants just so I can make some new necklaces for myself. 

My ambitions for this little venture?  I don't have any plans on being the next Lia Sophia, but at least I have something crafty and creative to do.  And who knows, maybe one or two people will actually like 'em!