Sunday, August 26, 2012

Our Doggy Bailey

Bailey came into our lives in 2004.  We were taking care of our neices and nephew at the time and had just bought a house.  I thought it would be great for Jeremy to have a dog to take care of and play with.

 My family had always been cat people.  Mainly because our landlord wouldn't allow us to have a dog and we wanted pets, so we always had a cat.  We had just gotten our kitty, Emma, and loved her very much.  But I decided to try to find a dog.  I have always thought labs to be the most beautiful dog ever so of course that is what I wanted.  However, they can be expensive and the animal rescue shelter didn't have any.  We found another dog that we liked and decided to get that dog instead. 

 Then Jen Shepherd called to tell us about Bailey.  Her sister in law, Stacie, had gotten Bailey as a puppy for Christmas in 2000.  A year later she had a little girl and Bailey spend a lot of time out in the back yard.  Life with little ones is busy and so they felt Bailey needed more attention.  After a very hard decision they allowed us to take her home and adopt her.

Bailey is a great doggy.  She loves the kids and is always so great with them.  She is not much at chasing a ball. After you throw it and she gets it once or twice, she looks up at you like, "You seriously want me to keep doing this?"  Then she lays down in the grass and goes to sleep.

Bailey has two great joys in life.  One is greating people at the door and smelling them all over.  (Sorry people, but you smell amazing.  My dog can't help it.)  The other is going on a walk.  She gets so excited and just about pulls me out the door and down the street to the creek.  There she runs all over and has a blast.  The funniest thing is when she tried to dig out an animal she smells in the ground.  Hasn't caught one yet, but she won't give up.

Our doggy has some issues.  She has a lot of food allergies and it causes her to have the most horrific gas.  This makes for great conversation when she lets one under the table with all of our family or friends sitting around it.  One day our family was sitting around the table playin games.  Bailey had a silent but deadly bomb she dropped under the table.  One by one we started dying. Cassie, Chris' mom's doggy ran over to the window and stuck her nose out.  It was so funny!!

Before having kids I took Bailey out running when ever I could.  One day I decided to roller blade with her.  I love roller blading and am pretty good at it.  However, I don't stop well.  At all.  Well, Bailey has only one mode when on a leash. . . it is RUN.  And she does.  She pulled me at top speed all around the neighborhood.  Then we headed full speed into a cul-da-sac.  I was going so fast I couldn't turn fast enough to stay on the sidewalk.  I went up a drive way and slammed into a garage door. . . hard.  I turned to see two guys watching me and laughing.  I gathered what remained of my dignity and skated away as fast as I could.  Needless to say, I no longer skated with Bailey.

The girls have always had Bailey with them as they grew.  She is a big part of her life.  Bailey is sick right now.  Really sick.  Her kidney's have shut down and only 10% of them are still working.  She doesn't want to eat her food and she is still throwing up even though we are giving her meds for that.  The only thing that she will touch is her wet food.  Our doggy may have 6 months to 2 years to live. 

We are going to enjoy the time that we have with her while she is able to play and be herself.  The other day we went on a walk: the girls, Bailey and I.  Bailey was beside herself with giddyness and ran all over.  We took the time to get some special pictures with Bailey.   The day was perfect, the lighting wonderful and we got some great pictures.  I love quiet evenings with my kids.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Bekah's First Day of Kindergarten

Bekah started kindergarten at Rincon Valley Christian School on Monday.   She was so excited and a little nervous too.  This was her first time to be away from Mommy and Daddy in this type of setting. 
I was excited for her to start school.  She is so bright and eager to learn.  I can see that she is starting to get a bit bored at home and I know that school will be so good for her.  

Last week we bought her school supplies, packed her bag, got yummy things for her lunch and I modged podged pictures of family in her pencil box.  She liked that.  Bekah told me on Thursday that she looks at the pictures when she misses us at school.

Bekah had fun packing her lunch.  She is so hungry at school.   We keep having to pack more and more food for her.  I guess learning burns calories.  I love Hannah's face watching her big sis.

Daddy gives Bekah some hugs before we left for school.

I so love my girls.  They make me smile with their enthusiasm and love for life.    

At school we bought a milk card for Bekah, saw Grandmom, then walked to the playground.  The kids were already going into their rooms.  I helped Bekah find her name tag and hang up her backpack.  She was a little overwhelmed with so many kids and parents in the room.  I was a little overwhelmed too.  There are things every where to play with and the choices are almost too much.  I stayed with Bekah until she found the creation flannel grafts to play with.  It was so cute as Hannah sat right down with her and they played together.  I was one of the first parents to go.  I felt that Bekah was going to be fine and the teacher couldn't start school with all the parents there. 

 It was a little sad leaving her, mostly because I wished I could sit in the corner and just watch her.  I want to see what she struggles with, what she faces with confidence, who she sits with and how she interacts with everyone.  I don't feel the need to hold her hand.   I know that she can do it and will have a blast.   I just really wanted to experience it with her.

It really helped me to have Christine, Jen and Patricia there as I left the class room.  They have all been through this before.  Patricia's daughter had Mrs. Fletcher last year and she was so encouraging.  It was nice to talk to the other moms and realize that I was starting a new season in my life.  

We were joking about how we were close to crying, so of course we roped Andy B. into getting a picture of us pretend crying.  It was so funny that it made me not  even get choked up at all.

I love having friends that I can laugh with (and cry too) as we go through life together.  

I had a meeting at work, then went to a few stores.  Hannah got to be my special helper and even pushed the tiny cart at Olivers.  I think she really will like having one on one time with me (and daddy too) while Bekah is in school.  Then we ate lunch, had a short rest and it was already time to pick up Bekah from school.  

It is so weird having Bekah in a class where I don't know anyone.  I don't know the kids or the parents. We all gathered at the side of the building where our kids would come to wait for them.  I got a chance to have a few conversations and meet a few of the parents.  One of the families is new to the area and we bonded with them at the back to school night.  I want to get to know them all and be comfortable around them, but I know that takes time.

Finally they came out.  What a cute group they are.  Bekah saw me and ran to give me a hug.  I was so glad to have her in my arms again.  I missed her so much.  I asked her how school went.  She said, "It was super fun!  But I am so exhausted and hungry too.  Can I have the rest of my lunch on the way home?"  

We live 20 minutes from the school.  At times it is a pain to drive it and I really wished we lived closer. But it is nice having a chance to just talk. They can't go anywhere else.  So I heard all about her day.   She met Emma and Luke and played with them.  Then she said that a really nice boy kept smiling at her and they are friends, but she didn't know his name yet.  It was so cute.  Today she told me that he didn't want to play her her at recess because she kept trying to give him kisses and hugs.  Her eyes lit up and she said, "I love him."  Oh dear.  We had a talk about just being friends and not trying to kiss and hug all the boys she likes since they don't really want to do that.  I didn't think that that talk came this early.  

Since I have had to work almost every day this week, I am having to let go even more.  Chris took her to school Wednesday and Thursday and will take her tomorrow.   Since I don't get off of work until 7:30 am and she has to leave our house around 7:35 am, I don't get to give her or Hannah hugs and kisses before going to bed.  This has been hard on Bekah and my heart as well.  Bekah told me on Wednesday night that she didn't want to go to school anymore.  She was going to stay home so that she could see me in the morning.  For months now, she crys at night begging me not to go to work.  She just wants both mommy and daddy to be at home with her all the time.  We talk about how I have to work so that we can have a house and food and send her to school.  She is ok with it most of the time, but it was super hard for her not to see me in the morning.  We came up with a plan that I would call her as soon as I left work.   Then we could talk before she headed off to school.  This worked well today and I'll keep doing it.  I love hearing her tell me she loves me and to have a good sleep. 

We talk every night before she goes to sleep.  I lay down next to her and rub her back.  She talks and talks and then asks me to tell her stories of when I was a little girl.  I told her about my kindergarten teacher and all the fun toys that I got to play with at school.  I told her about a little boy at my table that pooped his pants.  Obviously that made a big impression on me.  :o)  I just want to keep her close to my heart.  I love having my girls tell me about everything.  Someday that may change, but I am going to do everything I can to help it not change.

I found this quote on pinterest that I love.   It is currently hanging on my fridge to remind me to listen to all they have to say.

Listen earnestly to anything your children want to tell you, no matter what.  If you don't listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won't tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff. 
 Catherine M. Wallace

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Angels are Singing

 On Saturday morning the angels were singing and shouting in heaven.  Our little Hannah accepted Jesus into her heart.  It was a special morning.

After breakfast we often read out of the Children's Bible Stories Book that my Aunt Jennifer gave us a few years ago.  It is not the complete Bible, but it is a comprehensive book of the Bible and has a ton of Bible stories in it.  We have read through the whole book once and are reading it again.

On Saturday, August 18th, 2012, we were reading about Moses being up on Mt. Sinai talking to God.  It was when God gave him the 10 commandments.  While Moses was up on the mountain, the people of Isreal turned away from God and made a golden calf to worship.  When Moses came down the mountain He was so upset and destoyed the calf.  Those that chose to follow God went into the rest of the camp and killed those that turned away from God.  It talked about how their names were taken out of the book of life.

I talked to the girls about how Mommy's, Daddy's and Bekah's names were written in the Book of Life.  How God writes down all those who believe in Him in the Book of Life and they will go to heaven to life with God forever.  I told Hannah that I hoped her name will be in the Book of Life soon too.

Hannah looked at me and said, "I love God.  I love Him so much.  I believe in Him mommy.  I really do."  I love how simple and sweet children's faith is.  Hannah has loved Jesus since almost before she could talk.  Her first song that she sang over and over was Jesus loves me.  We pray to Jesus all the time.  She sings songs to Him and talks to God all the time.   When she told me that she loved God and really believed in Him, I asked her if she wanted to have Jesus come into her heart.  She said yes!!  We immediately stopped and prayed.  She had me help her.  She told Jesus that she was a sinner and that she believed that He died on the cross for her sins.  That He rose from the grave and is alive.  She asked Him to come into her heart and to forgive all her sins.  The look on her face was priceless.  Hannah just couldn't stop smiling.  I told her that it was her first spiritual birthday.  She got all excited and said, "It is my 15th birthday!  What do I get?"

Hannah wanted to tell everyone.   She called Daddy and told him that Jesus was in her heart.   She told him it was her 15th birthday (never did get her to understand it was a spiritual birthday and not a 15th)  We called Nana and Papa and told them.   She left a message for Auntie Megan.  She told Auntie Shonna as we were getting in the car to go to City Kids.  She then told Grandmom later that day.  

I am so delighted that she loves Jesus and wants to follow Him.  He is truely in her heart and she loves Him so much.   When we were driving yesterday she sang a thankful song to Jesus.  I loved how she sang loudly and off key thanking Him for everything in her life that she could think of.  I pray that she will always love God and be close to Him.  I pray that the relationship she has with God now will only grow stronger and stronger as she learns more about Him and what He has done for her.  This was a pretty special day.

Since it was her 15th. . . I mean, her spiritual birthday, we celebrated with ice cream popcicles.

"Jesus is in my heart!  Is He in yours?"

John 3:16  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes on Him would not perish, but have everlasting life.

This is the promise that God has made for every single person that He has created.  It is a free gift.  It only has to be accepted.  Salvation is so simple that even a child can ask Jesus to come into their heart and He will.  Have you chosen to love God and follow Him or have you rejected Him?  He loves you more than you will ever know.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It is 3:00 am. What am I doing awake?

It is 3:00 am.  I am supposed to be sleeping.  My body doesn't know that.  These last two weeks at work have been so crazy.  I worked my scheduled Wednesday thru Sunday night from 11 pm to 7:30 am.  We had lots of babies (I think 8-10) in our NICU and were pretty busy.  Then Sunday night came and we got a sick baby who we started on our Cooling Program.  It was our first baby to do this on and that night was crazy.  I worked until 10 am that day.  This sweet treasure needed 2 nurses at her bedside to care for her and we already had a bunch of babies.  We were using 6-7 nurses a shift and normally we only use around 3-4.  Needless to say, I worked an extra shift on Monday from 7pm to 4 am.  I finally had a night off on Tuesday, but then worked from 6pm on Wednesday to 8am Thursday morning.  We got a set of preemie twins that needed to be admitted.  I worked Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and then had Saturday off.  Worked again on Sunday night and will not work again until this Thursday.  Sometimes I feel as though I am spinning in a tornado.  I do love it though.  Anyway, since I slept until 3pm today, my body is geared up to work right now.  My mind is busy and won't shut down.  So I am up at 3:00am drinking my hot cocoa and working on my blog.

The night shift with Gail, me and Kathy

I have decided to rename my blog, The Musings of a NICU Mommy.  I have an interesting job and life and I want to write about it.  I have amazing highs at work where a baby was born who was practically dead and I work on him with my team and bring him back.  I also have realy hard nights where we  have a baby that dies despite doing all we can for them.

Our crazy and wonderful L&D nurses on nights.

 I am a NICU nurse and love it.  I am also a mommy with two sweet little girls who I love very much.  And am wife to an amazing man.  Sometimes I feel as though I have two different lives: one at work in a world of beeping, and tiny, fragile babies and bottles.  And a completely different world at home with my husband and kids and my friends and my church family.

Night shift in Mother/Baby unit are the best!

There are times when I just need to pour out my heart about things I am dealing with at work or at home.  This is the perfect place to do it.  Join my adventure and read about life in the NICU as well as the fun I have with my kids.

Bekah and mommy

Hannah and mommy being super silly.

Our Hospital: Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa

I love the people here so much!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

The Gym is now my Friend

It has been awhile since I have written on my blog.  What can I say?  Life is busy and crazy and I find myself too tired to do much at the end of the day besides watching a show with my husband and catching up on email and facebook.  But my sweet husband is working at the fair in the RVCS Sasparilla booth tonight, the girls are sleeping and I have some down time.

Shonna is the best workout buddy in the world.

I have been focusing on getting healthy this last year.  It started with a drastic change in lifestyle-going gluten free overnight and never looking back.  That was the best move I have made in a long time.  Then I stopped eating peanuts. . . and oatmeal, eggs, cantelope and most dairy since they all made me sick too.  The migraines have all but disappeared.  That in itself was amazing.  I thought I would suffer with them every day until I died.  I thank the Lord all the time that I can face each new day with a clear head and no pain.

My amazing chiropractor, Dr. Pisenti, has been working slowly to get me healthy.  We started with my muscles and my out of wack spine.  That slowly improved.  Then I changed my diet and am now eating really healthy.  I still wasn't feeling amazing though and my back kept spasming with the littlest of irritation to it.  Patrick Pisenti encouraged me to start working out.  And the next phase of my new, healthier life began.

It wasn't an easy start.  It had many, many starts and stops and changes along the way.  I tried walking and jogging with Shonna, my sister in law.  The problem was, neither of us really liked walking or jogging.  We did enjoy the talking while walking, but the problem was that it got dark too early in the winter and the summer was hot.  Plus, it didn't seem to make that much of a difference for either of us.  So we stopped doing it many times.

Then, in January or February Shonna came home and announced that we were going to go to the gym and get a membership.  She didn't really give me a choice.  She wanted to do it and she didn't want to go alone.  I knew I needed the excercise, but I have never gone to a gym before.  So I finally consented and we signed up.

At first we mainly walked on the treadmill which was super boring.  We started using the weight machines and slowly began to gain strength.  It was way better having a place to go where you just focused on one thing (excercising) and there was no one begging you for a drink or to push them on the swings or to make dinner.  We could just go and excercise for an hour.  And we did it!!  Shonna and I went twice a week.  We started to loose a little weight and build up some endurance.

Then one day, a trainer who was working out on his own came over and gave us some tips.  He pretty much pulled us off of the weight machines and showed us how to do planks and lunges and a few things to do with the free weights.  It was good.  We immediately felt like we were getting a better workout.  Instead of working one muscle at a time while the rest of them did nothing, we were using our core mucsles in every movement we did.

Shortly after that, we signed up for our free trainer session.  Our trainer was awesome.  She discussed our goals and our current routine, then she gave us some new things to do.  We really liked her and decided to have her work with us twice a month.  Shonna and I are going to the gym at least three times a week now.  Sometimes up to five.  Our whole routine has changed.  We no longer work out on the weight machines.  The trainer encouraged us to do thirty seconds of an excersise  that would raise our heart rates, then thirty seconds of muscle building.  She recommended that we do things that keep getting our heart rate up, allow it to slow down a bit, then get it up again.  Each time we see her, she pushes us harder and harder.  She pushes me until I can not do another curl or push up.  We do leg work, abdominal work, arm work, core strengthening, cardio and weight training.  Slowly we are seeing results now.  The pounds are slowly coming off.  My endurance in improving.  I am slowly getting toned and feeling healthy.  Perhaps for the first time in my life I am really feeling healthy.  It is good to get to a point where I can run with my kids and not get winded.

This is the room where Shonna and I work out.  Wide open spaces, lots of "toys" and huge fans to cool us off.  It is a great place to get pumped up and work out.

A few weeks ago our trainer set up a circuit of six things for us to do in this room.  We did push ups off of the "stress relief" ball, lunges and squats in a square, sit ups on the BOSU (the both sides up half ball thing),  balanced on the BOSU  and lifted weights, used resistance bands to work our arms and this crazy thing where we have our hands on the BOSU, then we would jump out away from the BOSU, jump back next to it then lift the BOSU up over our heads.  We did each of these things for a minute with 15 sec to get to the next one.  After completing one round we rested for 90 seconds, then did it again. . . two more times.  I thought I was going to die.  It was a good feeling.  We have decided to do the circuit theme a bunch more since.  It totally pushes us to the breaking point. . . almost.  We leave energized and ready to take on the world.

We do planks (that is what this is) to see how our stamina is impoving.  At first we could only do about 15 seconds.  Now we can do about 55 seconds.  

 Every day for the last 10 - 15 years I had felt horrible and so tired.  I have taken control of my health for the first time ever and it feels good.  I love getting into shape and feeling healthy.   It takes a bit of hard work and determination.

What motivated you to get healthy or start working out?  I would love to hear your story.