Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Gift from the Heart to the NICU

A needle. A thread. Fabrics of red and green. Love. Kindness.

Hours, days, weeks, and months go by. A group of sweet ladies sew away. A scrap of fabric added to another and then another... soon beautiful quilts emerge. Lovely Christmas quilts.

As batting is layered with fabric, and panels are tied, the women ponder the difficult experience that NICU parents endure. The quilters are touched and want to give just a little something to brighten a day, to bring a smile to a weary mom.

The ladies have considered that some of the infants would be home for the holidays snuggled in their new quilts. But, they also knew very will that some of the quilts would only held in the arms of a mom or a dad, as they sat by their baby's bedside, peering into an isolette and watching the hard working nurses and doctors keep their precious little one alive.

A few days ago the call came. It was time to pick up the bounty of blankets, in flannel and cotton. An incredible woman, my sister, went to work, throughtout an entire day, laundering dozens upon dozens of tiny treasures. Finally the quilts were ready. Ready to be united with their little boy or girl

Arriving at the hospital with my car loaded up like Santa's sleigh, I brought the hand-made gifts up to the NICU. After piling the quilts high on a cart, I began to push them from NICU room to NICU room. And sure enough, when the parents and nurses caught sight of the handmade presents, their eyes brighted. They gathered around the cart, amazed at all of the beautiful choices. It wasn't easy to decide which to pick. They were all so beautiful.

Soon, many little cherubs had little quilts wrapped around them. More smiles filled each room.

Some of the babies parents could not be at their bedsides when I arrived. But, my own heart was touched again as I watched the NICU nurses search through the abundance of blankets, choosing quilts for "their babies".

"Look Emma, " a nurse said sweetly as she brought a quilt to her tiny patient, "I picked this one just for you!"


It was beautiful to see the labor of love of the many quilting "angels" bless almost ninety NICU families this Christmas with their simple, meaningful gift.

It is the true spirit of Christmas.

I send out a special thank you to all of the NICU nurses out there who offer such extaordinary care and love to premature and sick babies and their families. You are amazing.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

'Tis the Season

Hey there, I know I am preaching to the choir... but,

  • Why would a school have a science fair project due a couple weeks before Christmas?
  • Why me a boss give me an important deadline now?
  • Why would another of my bosses set a very important bereavement teleconference that I have to go to when I am so very busy??
  • Why would my scout have a court of honor this week?
  • Why would I schedule an eye doctor appointment-duh?

Don't they know I am drowning with...

  • The children's Christmas performance (and all the rehearsals that go with it!)
  • Going to the American Girl Store (fun)
  • Getting ready for my brother's wedding reception here in America :)
  • Having a white elephant (hilarious)
  • Going to my bro-in-law's 5oth. (nice, but included 100 mile drive in torrential rain to get there and a night in a hotel to avoid falling asleep at the wheel while driving home at midnight 100miles in torrential rain)
  • Prepping for a Christmas children's present giveaway.
  • Going to my department Christmas party (at least trying to get there...long story)
  • Having the most amazing support group Christmas gathering. We had 18 people come and made the most darling Christmas ornaments to remember their babies with.

This on top of all the usual...

  • Doing my best to care of home and family
  • Working shifts
  • Trying to take care of me...not enough exercise and good eating!
  • Completely failing at being a good blogger

Time to slow it way, way, way down!

Now, I will put my focus on this...

Ahhhhh, true peace

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Starbucks Thumb

Oh, it's very painful.

With each sip, I get a cramp from knuckle to knuckle.

Yep, I am suffering.

I had no idea that switching from Grande brewed decaf to Venti would so traumatic.

Note to self: Next fall...must start my Venti training.


Friday, December 4, 2009

oops...I dropped it!

No, not a newborn! (I just know you thought that when you read the title!)

No, tonight I have
Julie & Julia on my mind:

I adore Amy Adams. She was delightful in Enchanted.

Meryl Streep is the best!

And Julia, Julia Childs, what a lovely woman.

(Although, I have trouble not imagining Dan Ackroyd spoofing her...oh my :)

I was so dissappointed to miss the movie in theatres.

So, when I saw the book @ Borders, when the movie was not out on DVD yet, I bought it and dug right in.

Julie Powell, the author, is a crass, unsophisticated person.

But, I thought I would try to overlook that. Afterall, I'd heard great things about the movie.

When she proudly described her time with the Joy of S*x book at age 11, I felt sick to my stomach.

This must get better...I hoped.

Her political rhetoric was a turn off. And her athiestic cynicism was just plain sad.

But the final straw was when she tells about working in a position to help the families of 9/11 victims. On the first anniversary of the tragic event she makes it clear that she was indignant that she was forced to do, in her words, the "emotional sh*t work" of supporting the bereaved.

It was at the moment...

when I read that sentence...

I "accidentally" dropped the book into the bathtub.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Take me Away...

Dreaming of laying on this beach...

You know when I start posting pictures of tropical islands that things are getting BUSY!

I notice that things are getting more quiet in bloggyville, but not as quiet as this ol' blog.

No end in sight...

Missing you...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


It’s that time of year, rich in traditions that warm our hearts and bring delight.

One of our family favorites is making homemade applesauce.

Here’s how we do it:

After you cook them down to a chunky sauce (or smooth if your prefer), don’t forget to add obscene amounts of sugar and some cinnamon to taste!


I am sure you can smell that aroma, can’t you!

Smells like apple pie :)

Go ahead, don’t be shy…eat up!

Oh darn, don’t tell Firehubby. But, I just gave you his bowl. He is going to request another entire batch anyway. One he does not have to share. He gets that way about our applesauce! (A little selfish streak…hmmm)

Thanksgiving is a perfect time to reflect on our blessings.

We are so very thankful for our health, our family, our jobs, and for our friends.

Tomorrow we will journey far away, about 2 whole miles, and enjoy a feast at my sister’s home. Mom and Dad have just arrived from Arizona and Uncle Moosie and family will join too. It will be pretty small this year, only about 15. Cozy :)

May God bless your Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Stories From the Delivery Room-The Board

Easy going junior resident, Dr. Moore, looked at the board and tensed up immediately. By all indications it was going to be a disaster of a day.

In the middle of the nurses’ station was “The Board”, the central form of communication of vital patient data. Listed were the patient’s name, doc, gestational age, diagnosis and other pertinent information. On this day the board showed all worst-case-scenario patients: a bleeding placenta previa; severe pregnancy induced hypertension; a set of twins in labor; a set of triplets contracting regularly; another patient with a breech baby dilated to 6 and being prepped for the operating room. Additionally, four other patients were dilated between 7-9 centimeters. To top it off, a pregnant diabetic had just arrived and looked like she would need an admission to the ICU for diabetic ketoacidosis. The situation was beyond belief.

Each morning the junior resident arrived around 5A.M. to prepare a report for the oncoming senior resident and obstetric attending physician. As Dr. Moore studied the board, he began to look pale.

In actuality, the situation seemed beyond belief because, little did Dr. Moore know, he’d been set up for a practical joke by the L&D staff. The shift that night had gone from really busy, to incredibly slow. Well, slow is an understatement, we actually had no patients left. It was almost unheard of, but every room in Labor and Delivery was empty. So, as bored nurses are known to do, we decided that we needed to spice up the night…thus a brilliant plan was formed.

Gathering around the board, full of mischief, we came up with the obstetric version of the Perfect Storm. Then, we raced around closing doors, putting up name tags and preparing equipment for our performance that we had choreographed precisely.

As soon as Dr. Moore approached the unit, the chaos began. Nurses began to scurry about pushing IV poles and delivery carts. We went in and out of the empty rooms slamming doors and turning on call lights.

“Would someone let NICU know that we are going to deliver in room 4 soon,” someone shouted towards the nurses’ station, “Tell ‘em we have thick meconium!”

Dr. Moore was taking note of all of the activity as he moved toward the board.

The secretary was repeatedly calling herself, making the phones ring incessantly and also ignoring the call lights.

“The night has been crazy,” explained the seemingly frazzled charge nurse after Dr. Moore had been at the board for a few minutes, “We’ve been short staffed to boot.”

“Excuse me,” I interrupted, doing my best to act frazzled, “Dr. Moore, you have to see this!”

I held in my hand a urine collection cup which I had filled with pale gold apple juice.

“The glucose on this is off the chart,” I said as I held up a urine testing dipstick.

“The urine actually smells sweet!” I declared, taking a big whiff.

Quickly, I added “Let me see how it tastes,” and I took a swig.

Dr. Moore’s knees buckled slightly as he looked at me in horror.

At that moment, the nurses reconverged into the nurses’ station and burst out in laughter.

“What? What are you guys up to?” he asked, with a mix of realization and relief. A grin broke on his face as he grasped the fact that he’d been duped.

With that, the charge nurse picked up the dryboard eraser and wiped the board clean.

We’d pulled off a practical joke that would be talked about for years to come.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Kid Quote of the Week

I forgot to give Scout his antibiotic this morning before school. So, I decided that I would drop by the middle school and give it to him. (You know, since I am a nurse, that I am concerned about contributing to resistant bacteria!)

Anyhoo, I called Scout out of class. I didn’t know if that would make him look super uncool.

So, here is our afterschool conversation:

Me: Was it embarrassing for you when I came to give you your antibiotic?

Scout: Yeah, why did you have to come wearing sweats?

Ha! He was embarrassed by my attire to drop something by school. That just cracks me up

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

11 on 11/11

It's official-She's 11!

We just love trick candles!

We've had a ton of fun celebrating the Princess' birthday!

*Disneyland last week

*The birthday dinner yesterday
Sometimes you celebrate special occasions
on different days when you have a firedaddy

*Pizza, yummy cake, and rootbeer

(No, that is not a beer bottle in front of my girl :)

No more flu! I thought I'd mention that since the Lysol wipes were next to the cake. LOL!

Oh and the Princess made her own cake!!!

Easiest ice cream cake in the entire world:

What you will need:
Use a 9x13 pan
24 ice sandwiches cream
8 oz tub of whipped topping (think coolwhip)
(I used store brands for the sandwiches and whip and they worked perfectly)
Crushed Oreos
(I didn't want cookies left over so I bought the 4 oz To-Go mini cookie pack)

Place one layer of ice cream sandwiches on the bottom of the pan
Spread on a layer of whipped topping
Place a second layer of ice cream sandwiches
Spread the top layer of whipped topping
Sprinkle on the layer of crushed Oreos
Keep in freezer until ready to serve

Shhhhhhh don't tell how you did it...let them think you slaved for hours!

Firehubby says that I shouldn't buy Baskin Robbins ice cream cakes for his birthday anymore. He thought it was that delish! Sorry Baskin Robbins!

Thanks Mom and Auntie El for the recipe

Saturday, November 7, 2009

With a Grateful Heart

My boy is has turned the corner and is doing much better.

Things I am thankful for today:

  • God, in so many ways, but especially for answer to prayer
  • ~
  • The improved health of my son
  • ~
  • Continued health of my family and myself
  • ~
  • Support and prayers of my family
  • ~
  • Support and prays of my blog friends and friends in real life :)
  • ~
  • Excellent, responsive medical professionals
  • ~
  • Tamiflu-I attribute the significant decrease in his symptom so quickly to getting this in his system about 12 hours after the onset of his symptoms. (He went from seemingly well to very ill within 7 hours)
  • ~
  • in helping me manage my boy’s illness at home

Here is how I managed his flu at home, we are an at-risk (asthmatic) family, so it was important that we took good flu precautions:

First of all this link helped me tremendously:

He was in his bedroom for 2 days with me (either 6 feet away or with a mask) as his only caregiver, in order to prevent flu transmission to the rest of the family.

I am allowing him free range of the house again as his fever has been below 100.7 for 24 hours. He will have significant reduction in his viral shed now.

CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever (100°F or 37.8°C) is gone except to get medical care or for other things you have to do and no one else can do for you. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine, such as Tylenol®.) You should stay home from work, school, travel, shopping, social events, and public gatherings.”

He will still need to cough and sneeze into tissues, have good hand hygeine, and stay out of my kitchen (my rule) until he has full resolution of symptoms.

*Although my son did have a flu, it is not certain that it was H1N1. He was treated as if he had H1N1, but individual confirmations are not being done. I will be getting my son the H1N1 vaccine as soon as he is well and it is available. My family is in the high risk group for complications for H1N1. We will all be vaccinated.

Here is a link to help you know if it is a cold or a flu:

Because I am a heath care provider I received my H1N1 vaccine yesterday- It will help me to protect my vulnerable family and my pregnant patients by helping me to avoid the H1N1 flu, once my H1N1 immunity is established (2 weeks according to

Are you at risk?

People at High Risk for Developing Flu-Related Complications

  • Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
  • Adults 65 years of age and older
  • Pregnant women

People who have medical conditions including:

  • Asthma
  • Neurological and neurodevelopmental conditions [including disorders of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerve, and muscle such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy (seizure disorders), stroke, intellectual disability (mental retardation), moderate to severe developmental delay, muscular dystrophy, or spinal cord injury].
  • Chronic lung disease (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD] and cystic fibrosis)
  • Heart disease (such as congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease)
  • Blood disorders (such as sickle cell disease)
  • Endocrine disorders (such as diabetes mellitus)
  • Kidney disorders
  • Liver disorders
  • Metabolic disorders (such as inherited metabolic disorders and mitochondrial disorders)
  • Weakened immune system due to disease or medication (such as people with HIV or AIDS, or cancer, or those on chronic steroids)