Monday, November 27, 2006


"Mandy is here, Momma!"
Mandy gave me a new hat. I like it! Thanks:)

Abigail and I at Thanksgiving. My new glasses and dark hair... what do you think? (Yes, I look really tired, but ignore that- I had reason to be really tired.)

Taking a break from ballerina dancing.

Did someone say turkey...??? (or was that ham? haha!)

I wonder where she learned that look? I guess she is my mini-me.

I love this picture of us together. She's already started running away from my kisses :(

I think she looks like my brother in this picture. And that is the second pink poodle Mandy got her on this trip. The second. Because a girl can never have just one pink poodle.
Mandy and Abigail love to tickle each other. Mostly because they don't like to tickle me. Because I'm just not ticklish.
"Yes, Momma. I am cute!"
"This is my cool new friend, Snowman."
That face really makes you want to keep reading, doesn't it?

Friday, November 24, 2006

Turkey High

Whoa. Yesterday I pigged out way too much. Well, maybe it wasn't all the food, exactly (as we all know that I have a high tolerance for food and tend to stuff myself routinely) as much as the combination of the events of the last few days.

Mandy came into town on Wednesday. YEA! She brought my daughter back from Chicago, too. DOUBLE YEA! So in addition to working 44 hours in 4 days, then driving to Baltimore and back and stuffing ourselves at Cracker Barrel (love that place!) we also didn't rest and played a lot! Then we went out with a friend from the hospital to hear some live music in downtown Harrisburg and stayed up until all hours. Then we had Thanksgiving, and had to slave over a hot stove making not only Thanksgiving dinner but also Abigail's birthday (cup)cake. And of course, we had to party-harty for the big 4! So another late night and another early morning and lo and behold we are exhausted.

So, while there is lots to tell and many pics to post, I will have to sign off now to head for bed. Tomorrow we are hitting a huge smorgasbord, Shady Maple. Then we are going out dancing in the evening with Brandi the babysitter and some other friends. Time is just flying by here, and Mandy will be heading back to Chicago before we know it on Sunday afternoon. As soon as I sufficiently recover, I will post pics, promise!

Friday, November 17, 2006

It's been a hard day's night!

And I was working like a dog! Well, not really. In fact, other than my guy who spoke only German and therefore took 4 times as long to communicate with, my night went really well.


I just got the call from staffing that they want to switch me to the evening shift because they are having more preceptor issues. So rather than 7p to 7a, I will be working some 3p to 3a shifts, which not only will probably allow me to sleep at least slightly better because I will get more "nighttime" sleep, but I will also get better parking spots! Yea!

I'm off to watch a movie with some friends. I get to pick, and having just finished Pride and Prejudice (amazing how much reading time you have on night shift) and just started Persuasion, I think I will pick up Emma and Sense and Sensibility. I am saving P&P (BBC version) for a fun day with my new friend, Erin, who is like the perfect version of Grace, Eryka, Moriah, and Mandy put together. How do you like them apples?

Also, thinking I might try out a new church this weekend (especially since I will actually have gotten some sleep before going to service thanks to my recent schedule changes!)

my current church is great and all, but I can't seem to get connected. Erin is also looking for a new church as the Assembly of God church she has been attending has been having some pastoral staff issues. So, we might go together. That would be fun, no?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Wedding Bells

Guess who's getting married?

Literally, I want you to guess. Post your guesses (3 each) in the comments. The first person to guess correctly gets to find out all the news about said wedding.

This should be good:)

Sweet Home, Chicago!

I love Chicago. Or rather, I love being from Chicago. I love the food and I love visiting, but I can't say that there is a whole lot about it that I miss. I really feel like I am starting to invest in PA... in Hershey. I like it here.

But, I did like visiting Chicago this past weekend, too. And I really liked Charis!

I could tell she took after Moriah because she farted A LOT!

Abigail liked Charis, too.

I can't wait until our girls can play together, Moriah!

Abigail also got to have a bit of her birthday early.

I think she really liked her snowsuit! Thanks Gaga and Teta!


And so it starts.

I am on a vigil; I work my first 7p-7a shift tomorrow night so I am trying to stay up late tonight and sleep late tomorrow. Then nap an hour or two before I go into work. So I am on a vigil- to keep myself awake.

Because even though it is only 6:33pm, there is nothing that is looking or sounding better to me right now than my very warm and cozy bed.

So it's off to the coffee shop for a good book, then to the 24-hour Giant (our grocery) then home for some housework. I might not stay up terribly late, but it will be better than me going to bed right now:)

That being explained, please excuse me if I don't call/email/blog for the next few days. I might not be very functional outside of work (then again, I might be okay. It's hard to tell because I've never had to work night shift before.)

**Update: I stayed up until 2am and then slept until almost 11:30am. We'll see how the first night goes.

****Update: I have been up for 21 hours, 12.5 of which I spent working. I am exhausted and want to go to bed, but I really need to unwind first... so, off to a hot shower then a bit of P&P.

Monday, November 13, 2006


I wasn't expecting it, and I think the sheer shock at the surge of emotions was the only thing that kept me from crying.

The flight had been uneventful, and while the night was still early, I was feeling tired and glad to land, knowing it would only be two more hours in the car before I would be back in my own bed. I had been reading Captivating on the plane, and memories had filled my head, but now I was focused: get off, get my bag, and get home.

So when I made a right in the terminal towards baggage claim, I was completely unprepared for what I was about to see. It was just another airport terminal... but the memories it brought back rushed to the surface of my conscience so quickly that it made me catch my breath. All I could think was "This time it's so different..."

Last time I had too pee. Be it from nerves or the 2 cans of water I had on the plane, I am not sure, but I knew I needed to go! I was wearing a blue and white dress, and white sandals with low heels. My bag was flung over my shoulder with my purse. If I could only find a bathroom, I could pee and get myself together. But before I knew it, the terminal ended and I was exiting to baggage claim. And you were there, camera in hand, snapping away. Even from a distance, you made my heart skip a beat, and when you finally caught up with me, I thought the beating of my heart- the blood pumping through my aorta- would be visible through the thin cotton of my dress. Despite all of the excitement and longing and intensity- or perhaps because of it, I still had to go pee. So I did, taking a few extra moments to calm down, but each one making me more excited because once again I was filled with the anticipation of being with you. We waited for my luggage in the concourse filled with light but empty save a businessman here or there. You gave me coffee, and my hands trembled slightly, from the caffeine and love coursing through my veins. Then off to the car, to be carried away in your chariot. I barely remember the drive except for the things I should remember- the games, the stop at the welcome center, the need to keep looking at you to know it was all real. I wanted to look around, to begin to ask myself that question "could I live here? Could I be happy here?" But with you sitting next to me, I didn't need to ask, because I knew you would make my answer "yes." The drive took forever, but in only a moment we were there, overlooking the river and the city I would soon call home.

This time it was so different. I knew there wouldn't be anyone waiting. No one to snap the first picture chronicling this adventure, no arms to hold me or grab my over-packed suitcase off the carousel, no lips to greet my own with a smile... with a kiss. There was very little excitement, and the jeans, sweater, and sneakers I wore reflected it. The same bag was slung over my shoulder, filled not with lotions and perfume and make-up (which would not have made it through security anyway) but with my laptop and a book about discovering my nature as the woman God created me to be... before, I thought I knew, but now, like everything else, it's so unclear. The concourse was dark and filled with travelers, but I still found myself searching out the place where we stood before to wait for my luggage. This time I waited alone, no warm body by my side, no coffee cup in my hand. I pointed my own car North, and took in every mile that flew past my windows. Somewhere between then and now I had found the answer to my question... I had found it without you, and it was still yes. Mile after mile brought me closer to the place that I now call home; the minutes flew by, except for the moments I spent overlooking the river and the city that you call your own... the river and the city that I loved but had to leave because I could not be in your city without you. Then time began to slow as I crossed that last stretch of miles to the place that is mine.

The time and distance between us has grown; everything "now" is so much different than everything "then." And yet, there are glimpses- moments when "then" is "now," miles where hope and love and possibility stretch across the horizon in unequaled splendor, hours where my heart beats in my stomach at each new discovery made with you... until I blink my eyes, or roll over, and find that I return once more to the present. Time has made me different.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

All that is fully real...

“Then those people are right who say that Heaven and hell are only states of mind?”

“Hush,” he said sternly. “Do not blaspheme. Hell is a state of mind- ye never said a truer word. And every state of mind, left to itself. Every shutting up of the creature within the dungeon of its own mind- is, in the end- Hell. But Heaven is not a state of mind. Heaven is reality itself. All that is fully real is Heavenly. For all that can be shaken will be shaken and only the unshakeable remains.”

“Milton was right,” said my Teacher. “the choice of every lost soul can be expressed in the words “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.” There is always something they insist on keeping even at the price of misery. There is always something they prefer to joy- that is, to reality. Ye see it easily enough in a spoiled child that would sooner miss its play and its supper than to say it was sorry and be friends…”

C.S. Lewis
The Great Divorce

Easier said than done.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


I submit this as evidence that there is, in fact, at least one person in this world more pale than I.
Shortly after this picture was snapped (Brandi and I were going out to celebrate her 21st birthday) I introduced her to ever fair-skinned girl's best friend: blush. The effect has been nice- I will post another picture as soon as I can. This can be the "before" picture:)
Anyway, why do I look drunk? It's her 21st, not mine! And we hadn't even had anything to drink yet anyway! Maybe it's not so much a drunk look as a so-tired-I-can-hardly-hold-my-eyes-open type look. That's how I felt, at least. But it was a good time, anyway:)

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Change

Ever since Abigail was born, I knew I wanted to have more children. Sure, I accepted the fact that I might never have another child, but that didn't mean I stopped wanting more children. But yesterday, for the first time since she came into my life, there was a shift- a change. For a few hours yesterday, the last thing I wanted was another child.

I blame this completely on having to work in the post-partum floor for the past week. The first day or two were nice- I enjoyed seeing the babies and the new mommas and teaching mom and dad how to take care of their little one. But by Friday and Saturday, my excitement had worn off. Sunday was the last straw.

(Warning- vent coming!)

I mean, aghh! I pray that I was not like that when I was a new mom, and I am thankful that Abigail was not like those babies! I mean, these parents don't know anything about taking care of a newborn, which is understandable... it's the fact that they don't want to learn how to take care of them that drives me nuts! They don't understand that a newborn won't always wake up because they are hungry- sometimes you have to wake them up. They don't understand that babies cannot thermoregulate and therefore need to keep bundled up, even if you are warm. They don't understand that without adequate stimulation, you breastmilk won't come in and you will be forced to give your baby formula. Okay, understandable that they don't know, BUT DON'T FREAKING TUNE ME OUT WHEN I AM TRYING TO TEACH YOU THESE THINGS!

I asked one of the other nurses if maybe it was my fault- maybe I approached the parents in an ineffective way. She said, quite firmly, no. I was a good teacher, approaching them with much more patience than most of the "seasoned" nurses on the floor. I was knowledgeable and taught them at a level appropriate to where they were. No, it wasn't me. It was them. It was these 17 year old girls who think they know everything and barely can take care of themselves but believe it won't be a problem to take care of a newborn all by themselves. It's these Ph.D. people who, of course, know everything, and therefore don't need someone as lowly as a nurse to tell them that maybe if they are going to try to burp their baby they shouldn't be laying the baby on it's back. It's these dad's that refuse to ask for help and mom's that underestimate how much energy a baby requires. And it's these babies who just plain refuse to breastfeed. OPEN YOUR FREAKING MOUTH, BABY! HOW ELSE DO YOU EXPECT ANYTHING TO GET IN THERE?

I think the reason I have been so frustrated is that I sincerely want these moms and babies to be successful- to have effective care of baby, effective breastfeeding, and effective attachment. I mean, I am walking around the unit with sympathy pains and strange sympathy "let-down" sensations in my breasts when a baby gets a good latch onto mom. I want them to be great parents- I want them to enjoy parenting- I want baby to be happy and healthy and wonderful. I want them to fall in love with their child like I fell in love with Abigail- I want them to love parenting as much as I do. But I don't see that happening, and it is frustrating!

So much so, that I find myself not wanting to have another child. I mean, what if I turn into one of these moms? What if I become arrogant or ignorant or just plain lazy? What if my next baby turns out to be one of those babies? What if it won't breastfeed and doesn't eat and looses too much weight? What if I don't love that baby the way I love Abigail? What if I don't enjoy being that baby's momma?

I want to enjoy babies again. I want to have my heart skip a beat when they make those little baby noises. I want to be mesmorized by the feeling of their baby fuzz tickling my cheek. And I want to continue to help parents. I want to be approachable; I want them to feel comfortable asking me questions. I want to be informative without being condescending. I want to help them know that no one can love their baby the way that they do, and that alone qualifies them to be the best parents ever.

Which means I need to get out of post-partum for a while.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Who is...

43 1/8 inches (97th percentile)
45.4 pounds (95th percentile)

BMI 17 (88th percentile)

Can you guess?

That's right! Abigail!
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