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Wednesday, June 27, 2012


As Emily nears the ten month mark she still has her gorgeous gummy baby smile. While most babies sprout a tooth around the six or seven month mark I am not nervous about her delay. According to my mother I rocked a toothless smile until I was almost a year and a half. It's clear that when it comes to my daughter's dentition there is no timeline thanks to genetics.

But... I think that teeth may be on the horizon.


Well a slightly feverish, screaming baby gumming everything one minute and then throwing things the next is a good indication. I think. While nothing has budded through the surface and I have no experience knowing what pre-teething symptoms really are like I have a hunch that this is it.

Or else Emily is getting some sort of summer cold.

Either way, lots of snuggling is going on.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Last weekend was the famous Quechee Balloon Festival. It's quite the event for this area, well any area... After all, it's not everyday where you have the chance to see a dozen or two hot air balloons inflate right in your backyard. Naturally my camera and I weren't going to miss it.

A year ago I was very pregnant standing in a golf course, that is now ravaged from Hurricane Irene, patiently waiting to photograph the balloons. That one free evening I had they never launched. I pouted, but vowed that next year I would be sure to get the photos I had hoped for.

Flash forward to this year and my bad luck still continued. The first morning of the balloon launch I woke up early, dodged traffic, and found a wonderful spot on a mist covered pond to watch the balloons. Unfortunately, my memory card for my camera was left behind. Round 1 was a failure for photos. Later that evening I packed up Emily and brought her with me, along with my memory card, to a hill top location where we had a perfect view of the festival. Emily sat in the tall grass and waited patiently for two hours, but the conditions weren't right for a launch. No balloons or pictures that time.

Finally, the third time was the charm. I woke up exceptionally early, grabbed Emily, and headed to our spot in the field. We saw two dozen balloons inflate and take off. While Emily didn't really take much notice I was finally able to get several photos. Then I hopped in my car and "chased" after them in search of their landing spot.

The whole adventure lasted just under an hour, but it was worth it to finally see them go up and get some photos!

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Sippy Cup Battle

I've had a lot of things hard with becoming a mom. It was nearly seven months before we saw a six hour stretch of sleep, battles with GERD, illnesses, and numerous trips to the doctors. Fortunately, and finally, something in parenthood has come easy...

The sippy cup.

We have been bottle free for two weeks now. Cold turkey. I'm amazed. Without much effort Emily decided to just start using the sippy cup without a second thought. I'm not questioning it, have gone with her flow, and not offered her a bottle either.

It's a small victory, but I'm celebrating it!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

I am Still Doing Photo Shoots

Oddly, without any advertising or putting myself out there people are coming to me, seeking me out, asking me to be their photographer.  Whether its a new baby or a senior capturing a moment to be immortalized in the yearbook I've been asked to do a lot and its been humbling.  

And the shoots still continue.  

I just did a newborn shoot a few weeks ago...

And in another few weeks I will be doing an engagement photo shoot on the lake that I am really excited about.  

Part of me wonders if I could possibly make photography a career.  What if I put more time into making my landscape photos framed and prepared to sell in stores?  What if I advertised and put together actual packages for photo shoots?  What if I offered classes and photo walks for novices to become more comfortable with their cameras?  Those are all things that I have thought of, but just haven't ever taken that next step to accomplish.  Everything I have done so far has been by the result of luck and word of mouth.  

I often wonder how one decides to go from amateur to professional to career.  I find myself somewhere between the first two.  And while I love my career (see my last post)  I can't help, but wonder what it would be like to have my own schedule and spend my day with my camera.  The moments with my camera are so Zen that I get butterflies thinking about what it would be like to be a career photographer, to have my photos published in a book, to have a studio.  

Perhaps if I hold onto my thoughts and dreams long enough I can weave it more into my life without having to make a leap and give up my hard earned nursing career.  I've always been a person who does a whole heck of a lot simultaneously... fortunately.  

But for now, I'm still doing photo shoots.  And that's about as far as I have planned.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Why I Work at a Nursing Home

Whenever my profession is discussed someone invariably asks me where I work.  As a nurse where you work often defines how people view you as a nurse.  And, for the record, the vast majority of people (especially other nurses) wrinkle their noses when I say I work at a nursing home.  Then the question always follows...


Why would a young, intelligent, promising young RN work at a nursing home?  

There are so many preconceived opinions about those nurses who work in the nursing home.  Its a place for retired nurses.  Its a place for nurses who don't know how to be real nurses.  It is quite the taboo being a nurse in a nursing home, especially one who has promise in her career field.  

But you know what?

I love my job.

And I will tell you why.

I have the ability to have a direct positive effect on dozens of people's lives everyday.  Rather than specializing in a narrow field I have patients of many age ranges who are there for short term rehabilitation or long term care.  Some I watch heal and go home, meeting their goals, while others I comfort as they ease out of this world.  The variety I encounter is endless; from emergencies, massive amounts of pharmacology, interpretation of lab values, wound care, surgical recovery, psychology, physical therapy, general medicine, nursing education, and so on.  You have to know it all, expect it all, and assess it all as a nurse in a nursing home.  

Also, I get to do a heck of a lot more than most nurses.  There are no IV or wound care teams, cardiac technicians, or any other specialty trained personnel to rush in during an unusual situation.  Its just us nursing home nurses.  I've started IVs, administered first aid, removed staples, done sterile procedures, talked down delirious and demented patients, performed CPR, given medications every route possible, and dealt with every possible body system on either a male or female in one crisis or another.  Granted I haven't delivered a baby...  but sometimes being there at the end of a life is just as special as the beginning. 

I haven't even included all my managerial tasks considering I am also the Assistant Directors of Nursing, the Infection Control Officer, and Nurse Educator all rolled into one.  

Given all that I cannot fathom why people, especially other nurses, have such a disdain and lack of respect for a nurse who wants her career to be in a nursing home.  There's a lot to be said for one who has to be a jack of all trades while caring for twenty or more people at the same time. 

And that's why I love my job...  for all I get to do and for all the people I get to care for.  

Maybe one day people will stop asking me why. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Before, During, and After

I think this is going to bed a trend for the next 17 and 1/4 years of my life. Haha....

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

My Stand Up Gal

Holy cow. It's been three quarters of a year since little miss Emily graced this world with her presence. I am elated to see her grow, but anxious that it's happening so fast.

It's been one "first" after the other. I can hardly celebrate one milestone before she reaches the other! From crawling to talking and now standing, all in the matter of a couple of weeks! I am sure she will be taking her first official steps in a few weeks at the rate we are going.

Now excuse me while I go watch videos of her from nine months ago and attempt to remember just how tiny and helpless my peanut was!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Three Months Later

Just before I found out I was pregnant with Emily I had lost twelve pounds and was excitedly nearing my goal weight. Then pregnancy happened.

And boy did it happen.

I gained a whopping 58 pounds over the 38 weeks I was pregnant. Only twenty of that disappeared after Emily was born so I was left with quite the baby weight to lose.

When I was cleared to go back to exercising and was finally sleeping somewhat at night I began exercising every single day.

Three months later it was now March. Emily was six months old, but I weighed the same as I did at my six week post-partum checkup. Frustration set it. How could I exercise for three months and not lose a single pound?! I decided that I was going to go back to using My Fitness Pal and see how that worked. Surely I could lose weight, right?

Within the first week I lost two pounds. Now, three months in, I am happy to report I am still using My Fitness Pal and have lost a total of 17lbs! I've gone from a size 14 to a size 8 and can wear some of my pre-pregnancy pants and shorts now. It's an amazing and accomplishing feeling, but I can't leave out the difficulties either.

It's hard to keep track of what I eat. It's hard to turn down my favorite foods or an offer of a glazed donut. It's hard to go to the gym after a long day of work. But... Hard work has great results! --as I'm proof of.

My Fitness Pal, which by the way I am not touting or being compensating for writing about it, is amazing. It does the math, helps me realize that there is a heck of a lot of calories in an iced hot chocolate, and helps me healthily lose the weight. It's no magic pill or quick diet that makes promises that never happen. What it does is give you the ability to make a lifestyle change that will slowly, but surely, yield great and lasting results.

Over time I have learned to eat less and pay attention to what I do eat. I haven't even really changed my diet, just the amount of food. Heck, even Shawn is using it now and some of the other guys on the fire department. We now compare what we have eaten and how many calories we've burned during the day. He has lost about seven pounds in the two weeks since he began.

So, I am returning to my old self, physically anyway. It's a lot of work, but totally worth it. I'm hoping by my vacation in August I'll be at the weight my drivers license says!