Sunday, August 30, 2009

500 lbs.

This is another one of those touchy subjects where I feel a bit like I might get attacked by a portion of the public, but get a standing ovation by another portion (namely: RNs, MDs and any other health care worker.) So I am just going to say it.

God did not design the human body to weigh 500 lbs.

Patients who weigh 500 lbs are a health risk to me.

It was a 500+ lb. patient who I was attempting (along with 2 other RNs) to position on a bedpan that hurt my back on Friday. She pushed back against me and pulled something in my back. Normally I would have just let her go and not fought to keep her over, but my co-worker's arm was in danger of being crushed if I let go.

I feel like I did the right thing, but I hope I don't pay the price. Because I already have a co-worker, younger than myself, who is out with a severe back injury and may never be able to return to bedside nursing. What happens then? She didn't file a Worker's Comp claim when she was injured, so she would be totally, pardon the expression, screwed.

The clincher? None of the patients who have hurt me or my co-workers due to their obesity have ever apologized for hurting me/us. And yet, we are expected to go into these rooms and turn them and lift them and ambulate them- all at a risk to us- with no expectation that they will do everything in their power to help us help them.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Stink Eye and other blurbs

Aslan is sitting across from me and giving me the Stink Eye. He is very mad because Lily is sitting in my lap and he isn't. I am covered in cat hair. Much more and I will actually become a walking hair ball.

Crock Pot brownies are easy and delicious. You should make them. Then you can have fresh brownies without turning on your oven. You could even eat them with some ice cream and then think of what a tasty summer that would be:)

Anna went potty on the potty twice today at day care. I think her favorite part is getting to wash her hands by herself afterwards. She follows every potty with a big "I did it!" But always at school, never at home. I wish she would learn to poop on the potty. That would be rocksome.

I had a less than fantastic day at work. I am glad I was only working until 3:30 (even though I didn't actually get off the unit until 4:45...)

I don't like to discuss religion or politics when people are worked up about them. Because a lot of people say mean and hurtful things when they are worked up. And I really don't think that anyone is going to change their mind about politics or religion based on what I say. So I don't talk about that (especially politics!) when things are "in the heat of the moment." And definitely not on my blog! So that is why you are hearing all my political ranting now.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


The 2008-2009 court season is over in Ethiopia.

The FBI has record of 92 families who passed court in the past year. 105 children who were (or will shortly be) placed with families. Even more Gladney families and more children that weren't tracked by the FBI.

This warms my heart.

The worldwide problem of children without families is not going to be solved by 92 Gladney families. Placing 105 children into US homes does not make life easier for the other millions around the world. There is no easy solution to finding the love, stability, and families these children deserve.

But this is a start. And I am proud to have been a part of it. Even in this small way.

Follow Up

I just wanted to let you all know that the surgery went well. I had some complications during the recovery, but I feel great now! The doctor says the surgery was very successful, and we are glad to have it behind us. I will continue to be monitored over the next several months, but we are hopeful that everything will continue on this good course.

Thanks for all your well-wishes, prayers, and support!

Continuing my serious thoughts...

1. I need to balance my checkbook. It has been more than 2 days since I did so, and I am starting to get nervous. I might be a little OCD like that. Just a little.

2. Abigail's teacher came over yesterday to meet the family and show Abigail how to check books out from the classroom library. I like her. A lot. I think this will be a good year for Abigail. I also think Abigail impressed Mrs. C. with her reading ability. She gave Abigail a list of "sight words" (words you should just "know" by looking at them, without having to sound them out or anything) and Abigail read that list so fast that Mrs. C. had a hard time keeping up with her check marks!

3. I believe the government should stay out of my private life. I believe that the way to approach and meet social needs is through religious and non-profit organizations, not through government programs. Along with these premises, one other major thought guides my personal politics.

I am a Christian or Christ-follower or whatever term you would like to use. My religious beliefs- my faith- is very real and is something that I seek to "live out." Because of this, my beliefs obviously effect my politics; in fact, I would say that my political views evolved primarily from my religious views. So, many of you probably think that I am a fan of Palin and all the other Religious Right politicians who say that the federal government should ban abortion, ban gay marriage, and put God back in schools. That's not exactly the case.

When you look at biblical accounts, Jesus was an interesting political figure. He interacted with some very high-ranking politicians in his time. Both the Greek and Jewish political leaders sought out Jesus. He lived according to the law, but didn't get pulled into the law vs. religion (state vs. church) debates of the day. He did not look to influence the political leaders to try to change the law to reflect his religious/moral beliefs (although I would say it is safe to assume he did try to influence their personal morals and religious beliefs.) He didn't politicize morals; he didn't create laws to bring people into behavior that he found acceptable. Rather, he made morals and religion personal issues. Issues of the heart.

Similarly, in modern America, I don't think we can turn moral and religious issues into political issues and have success in changing thoughts or behaviors. I think issues of morality and religion are best examined and acted upon by the individual. Like Christ, I believe that we should submit ourselves to the laws of the land, and pray for our leaders, but we shouldn't look to our government to legislate morality for all persons. It's unrealistic, and certainly in opposition to the basic tenant of American ideology: religious freedom- the right to practice (or NOT practice) religion according to one's personal beliefs, faith, and morality.

So where do I stand on these "Religious Right" issues? How do I find the balance between my faith and living out my morals in our political arena? Why am I babbling on and on about politics when there really aren't any active elections right now? Answers will be forthcoming- stay tuned:)


The 2008-2009 court season is over in Ethiopia.

The FBI has record of 92 families who passed court in the past year. 105 children who were (or will shortly be) placed with families. Even more Gladney families and more children that weren't tracked by the FBI.

This warms my heart.

The worldwide problem of children without families is not going to be solved by 92 Gladney families. Placing 105 children into US homes does not make life easier for the other millions around the world. There is no easy solution to finding the love, stability, and families these children deserve.

But this is a start. And I am proud to have been a part of it. Even in this small way.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Holy Toledo! And more serious thoughts...

A second post in as many days! Yowsa!

But this is about a bit more serious topic. (How many of you just stopped reading?)

I posted today on FB that I believe in health care reform. I do, absolutely. The system we have in place just doesn't work- not in this country, and certainly not globally. We need change.

What we don't need is the government running health care. Here is part of why I believe this:

But more importantly than the fact that the government doesn't know how to run health care or have the funding for a viable nationalized/universal option, I believe that the government should not be in charge of my health care for one simple reason: the government should stay out of my private life.

This simple premise is actually the starting point for a lot of my political views, and I guess that makes me a Republican. But what it comes down to, for me, is this: our government was designed to govern, not to micro-manage. Our government works best when it is focused on national governing issues, such as foreign policy, national security and defense, enforcement of laws, and inter-state relations. It does not work well and was never intended to be a "mother hen."

Our nation was founded on the belief of separation of church and state- the idea that the spiritual practice and daily life of the individual should be outside of the control of the government. Inherent in this idea is that the church (or non-profit organizations) should then tend to the spiritual and daily needs of the people. I truly believe that a return to the original design of this nation- where people are caring for their neighbors and helping them to meet their needs without government intervention- is the best way of addressing many of the concerns in domestic politics. Health care, women's rights/abortion, gay marriage... these issues all become clear for me when I view them from the standpoint that the government should stay out of my private life.

I will share more thoughts about this in the days and weeks to come. For now, be nice to me. I feel like I just "came out" on my blog about my Republican stance in politics, and somehow I think that is very unpopular with many of my peers...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Tidbits (not of the pineapple variety)

I keep thinking that I am going to find the time to sit down and write out all these wonderful stories that are buzzing around my head. The mother of all posts is written in my head, but cannot seem to make it out of the tips of my fingers. So instead of waiting for that to (not) occur, I decided to give you a few little bits of interesting-ness from our daily lives.

Anna had her second-ever hair cut in June. Her first hair cut was when they shaved her head upon entering the Gladney care center in May, 2008. Her second was when we visited my family in June, 2009. What a difference this has made! It amazes me how much softer and shinier her hair is now that all of the "old" hair has been trimmed off the ends. We took about 2 inches off (the stylist was begging me to keep the length, but the hair was so yucky it needed to go.)
Blow Out

The process of cutting Anna's hair was far different than anything I have ever experienced. After washing her hair, the stylist blew it dry then flat-ironed it straight. This allowed us to have a better idea of where the hair stopped being dry, brittle, and yucky and started being soft and shiny. Then she cut the hair and proceeded to style it into... well, let it suffice to say that my 2 year old had the hair of a 12 year old. Very, um, mature for her age. I re-styled within 24 hours:)

Starting to straighten... and not a fan:)
Now her hair is a whole new creature. We have been experimenting with various styles and have recently discovered that with a small bit of product, her hair can be left in it's gorgeous natural state without becoming a tangled mess. While this is exciting and has opened a whole new world of hair style options (and accessories!), this is not the story I was intending to tell. That story is much funnier.

How cute are her natural curls?

So, since we leave Anna's hair in it's natural state and use products to keep her curls from turning into frizz-city, we don't comb her hair frequently. When we do comb it (usually in the bath, saturated with conditioners and detanglers), it is a fairly easy process, but we do end up combing out a lot of hair- the hair that has fallen out during the week but not really fallen out of her hair style. So the other day, we are giving the girls a bath and I am combing Anna's hair. The comb is getting full of conditioner and hair, so I put it down into the bath water to rinse it out. Anna's hair forms into tiny little circles when it is in the water, since the curl is so tight. So these little hair ball circles start floating through the water.

Anna freaks. Like, really freaks- screaming, crying, snot- the whole nine yards. "Buggy!" She is flipping out, thinking her little hair balls are bugs. So I pull her out of the tub while it drains, planning to finish her bath as a shower (thank God for hand-held shower heads!) I try to show her that the "buggy" is actually hair. I pick it up, hold it in my hand, pull a piece off the comb, pull a bit out of her hair. She acts like she gets it, but I am not too sure- she refused to touch the hair in my hand...
Tonight at bathtime I wised up and rinsed the comb in the sink.

Abigail is starting second grade next week. Second grade. Amazing.

This girl has turned into the nicest, sweetest, most caring big-sister you could ever want. She still considers it a treat to get to sleep in the same bed as Anna. She is fantastic with other kids, too, and other parents always remark about how great Abigail is with their littles. I could totally see her as a kindergarten teacher. She especially loves to read and will read countless books to Anna while I make dinner or occasionally indulge in the rare pleasure of using the washroom without an audience (Anna is trying to learn by example, I guess.)

Abigail eating Sushi.

We also enjoy Netflix. Since we don't really have a working TV, the girls consider a Netflix movie on my laptop a real treat. We usually peruse the "watch instantly" section together to try to find a movie. There are several popular Disney selections that come up, and despite our lack of television, Abigail certainly knows and recognizes those shows (think: rhymes with Banana Fontana.) Also- side note- I just found out that Abigail knows all the words to, like, 3 Taylor Swift songs. Where did this come from?

Anyway, in my efforts to expose the girls to things outside of popular culture (and also to save my sanity) I normally avoid all those Disney type shows (although I do have a soft spot for Eloise.) Today I picked the classic "Lassie Come Home" for their special treat. Abigail loved it, as I expected she would given her love of animals. The entire time, she was very sympathetic and worried endlessly about Lassie (I should probably keep her from watching such suspenseful movies as her wrinkles will form prematurely given all of her intense eyebrow scrunching during these cinematic feats.) She also insisted that not having money was not a good enough reason to get rid of your faithful friend. Oh, and every time Lassie didn't look good- like she was worn out or sick of needed a good meal, Abigail never failed to say "I bet she is going to get puppies! She is a girl dog and that is what they do!" I pointed out that Lassie did not have that tell-tale fat belly of pregnancy, but Abigail was undeterred from her assertion that what was really wrong with Lassie was her impending motherhood. I guess she was right because as the end of the movie, whaddya know? Lassie has a whole herd of puppies following her.

Abigail loves babies. Every time I tell her I have something important to talk to her about, she starts with the same 2 guesses:

1. Momma, are you going to tell me you have a baby in your tummy?

2. Momma, are you going to tell me we get to go get a brother from Ethiopia? (Side note- she recently saw a family with one bio child and 2 Ethio kids. She was jealous because that family had more Ethiopian kids than our family. It was cute.)

This is Aslan caught in the act of drinking water out of Anna's cup. He is not allowed on the table and he is not allowed to eat out of or drink out of any one's dishes except John. Clearly, that stops him.

I am recovered from the surgery and have been given a clean bill of health from my doctor. Thankfully all the biopsies have com back normal! I will be monitored closely over the next few months, but hopefully no additional procedures will be needed. Thanks for all the love, prayers, support, and caring over the past several weeks. It has meant a lot.

I love my Crock Pot. All 3 of them. You should make cake in your slow cooker. Or Indian food. Or Creme Brulee. Because then you would feel like a hero.

Or you could just be super-cool and make your 2 month long meal planner using primarily slow cooker recipes from this blog (with the occasional leftover day and pasta day thrown in...)

Now that I am not going to school or planning a wedding, I kind of feel like I have a lot of time on my hands. I am going to try to blog more. And work some overtime. Because I might be able to afford a nice honeymoon if I do:)

Saturday, August 01, 2009


Several days ago we received some unfortunate news- I have to have surgery:(

After examining all of the factors involved, including the recovery and possibility of more surgery, John and I decided to postpone the wedding.

We have not yet discussed when we will reschedule the wedding; right now we are just focusing on getting through the surgery and getting well. All of my vendors have graciously agreed to work with us to reschedule, however I know that most of them are booked through the rest of this year and well into 2010, so I have no idea how far out we will have to plan to reschedule.

We will share the good news of the new date as soon as we can. Thanks for your support during this difficult time.

(I am really disappointed that we will not be eating delicious cake soon. I really want that cake.)
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