Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Bit of Unexpected

I've had a few unexpecteds happen around here this week.....

1- While making vinegar taffy on Monday with Isaac, I started pulling the taffy before it was cool enough and burned both of my pointer fingers and thumbs. Ouch! That's never happened to me before- at least not while pulling taffy.

2- I fell in love with this book. I thought it would be an OK read, but I seriously could not put it down. I was pleasantly surprised! I'm a hopeless romantic and this was such a great love story. In fact, I'm going out today to buy Erik a pair of Wranglers and a cowboy hat!

3- I got to spend the afternoon with my parents yesterday cutting back the rosebushes at my Grandpa's house. When we got there, we rang the doorbell and after a few minutes, he answered the door wearing only some loose fitting basketball shorts. His body was all oiled up and his skin was red. He had been laying out in the backyard. It was unexpected, but it made me smile. My grandpa is one of a kind. It was an awesome day- spending it working side by side with my parents and serving my grandpa.

4- Erik won tickets to a concert (OMD- do you remember this band? Oh the Eighty's!). He was pretty excited about it- me not so much. I'm always afraid that I am going to get knifed at a concert or something equally as horrible. However, I put my fears aside and accompanied him downtown to The Depot. The concert started at 9:00. In the P.M.! On a Wednesday night! Anywhoo, as we approached the venue, there was a large crowd gathered around waiting to get in. They didn't look like they were too threatening so I relaxed a little. :) As we worked our way closer, we passed a man who was holding up two fingers and quietly asking if anyone had two tickets.

I looked at Erik and said, "We should give ours to him. He looks like he really wants to go." Unexpectedly, Erik stopped and asked him how much he would pay for them. "I don't know," the man said, "how about you give me a price you are willing to sell them for. My fiance just really wants to go and the concert is sold out." Erik paused for a minute and said, "How about $60." The man said, "For how many?" Erik told him two. Quicker than you could say, Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark, the man shoved the bills into Erik's hand.

"We are in!", he yelled as he flashed the tickets at his fiance. She started jumping up and down and screaming. It was pretty cute.

After putting the money away, Erik and I stood there for a second and looked at each other. Erik said, "What the heck just happened? I just sold my tickets." We walked back to our car that we had just parked moments before laughing the whole way.

Instead of wasting a night out, we decided to stop for dessert. After enjoying our dessert- still shaking our heads at what had happened, Erik reached for his wallet to pay the waiter. He grabbed the wad of bills the man had given him and realized that instead of $60 the man had given him $80. We're not sure if in all of his excitement he overpaid us or if it was something he had meant to do, but it was an unexpected surprise.

I have discovered that sometimes the unexpected- although it can sometimes bring pain and discomfort with it (as in example number 1), can also be quite fun and rewarding. :) Can't wait to see what the rest of the week will bring!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Just What I Needed

I knew it was going to be a long day when I walked past the nurse's station and saw the board announcing that 10 patients would be arriving from the Operating Room and 4 would be coming from the Emergency Room that day.

My heart sank when I next noticed that my fellow aide, Jimmy, had been put on call.

"10 surgeries and I am the only aide. Just great.", I thought to myself.

On the floor at that moment, there were 12 patients. We had to have 15 in order to have two Aides.

"No problem," I thought. "Three more admits and Jimmy will be called in. It's going to be fine. I can do this."


THIS was only my second day as an aide. I had been training for the past couple of months but THIS was for real now. THIS meant that I would be the only one who would be in charge of doing blood sugars, taking vitals, helping with showers and bed baths, helping patients to the bathroom or emptying catheters, hooking and unhooking IV poles, nasal cannulas, removing meal trays, changing linens, filling mugs, etc., etc. Just me.

The first patient came from the OR. I started taking their vitals as soon as they arrived. I would need to do it again 15 minutes later. Then an hour after that, and again an hour after that. Followed again 4 hours later. (Do you see how this can be a bit overwhelming when you have 10 patients coming from the OR in one day? That's a lot of schedules to remember!)

The second OR patient hit the floor about 30 minutes later. We were at 14! One more and Jimmy would be called in. Then I got the page to do discharge vitals in room 319. Now we would be down to 13.

It went that way all day. A patient or two would be admitted, and one or two would be discharged. The census just hovered around 14 all morning and into the afternoon.

I was literally running between patient rooms trying to keep up with all the vitals and answering call lights. At two o'clock, I was frazzled. Overwhelmed and on the verge of tears, I realized that I hadn't taken a break or had anything to eat or drink since 6 o'clock that morning.

I stopped by the nurse's station and announced that I was going to get some lunch- trying very hard not to look at anyone for fear that they would see that I was starting to get teary-eyed. "That's a good idea," one nurse said, "You have been running around all day!"

I went to the break room, retrieved my lunch from the fridge and dialed Erik. I needed someone to tell me it was going to be OK. I still had 5 hours to go and at least seven more patients coming.

Erik didn't answer. As I hung up the phone, I told myself that it was best that he hadn't because I probably would have fallen apart and then would have made a gigantic fool of myself.

I took a deep breath and opened my lunch bag. I pulled out my sandwich and noticed a square piece of paper sitting at the bottom of the bag.

I reached in and pulled it out. I opened the folded piece of paper and discovered that it was a note from Nicole.

"Dear Mommy,
I love you so much! Thank you for all that you do for me. You are the best mom! What you are doing at the hospital is truly amazing and Christ-like! Keep up the good work!
Love, Nicole"

It was just what I needed.

I swallowed back my tears, said a little prayer of thanks for being blessed with such a thoughtful daughter, and ate my lunch ready to face the rest of the day.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

No furniture was overturned, and no green milk....the Leprechaun's were nice to us this year.

Instead, there will be green jello and green punch to go with a yummy dinner.....

and green goodies left for each of my favorite little Leprechauns.

Don't you just love celebrating all things green?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A rare opportunity

Nicole was nominated this year to be in the running for her school's Jr. Prom royalty. She was one of six girls nominated by her Junior class.

Making it to the top six means that you must be in an assembly where you are paraded in front of your peers while a statement about you (that is written by your parents!) is read. All of this was pretty painful for Nicole. The only thing she was excited about was the opportunity to show off her prom dress- which she was so excited about because it was modest (something very rare these days when it comes to school dances).

Her daddy was her escort for the assembly. They walked arm in arm through the auditorium and across the stage with a spotlight on them while the little bragy statement I wrote about her was read. The audience cheered for her!

After a hug from her daddy, she was left all alone on the stage- which was the worst part for her. She said she felt very uncomfortable. But she was beautiful!

And then there were two....
Finally the stage was full- six girls and five boys. The 2011 Jr. Prom Royalty nominees.
Posing for pictures after the assembly....
More pictures on the stage....
In the end, Nicole was not crowned Prom Queen, but it was an experience that she will always remember!

She could have danced all night....

Jr. Prom 2011.....

Isn't she lovely.....
We had so much fun taking pictures before her date arrived....
Maybe a little too much fun....
Then it was down to business.....Nicole with her date Adam.
So sweet.....

And then they were off for a night full of fun memories to be made!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Skinny

"I'm NOT going to school then!" Ian shouted at me.

"Yes you are!" I said back. "I will take you in your pajamas if I have to but you ARE going!"

Now this is not my idea of a great way to start the day. What was all the shouting about you ask?

Skinny Jeans.

We bought Ian a pair about a month ago and it was instant love. He wanted to wear them every day, even resorting to pulling them out of the dirty clothes bin if I hadn't washed them yet.

So this particular morning, I had had it. I put my foot down and told him he couldn't wear them again that week. They needed to be washed!

It didn't go over so well.

So I made him a deal. "Wear your other jeans today, and I will go out and buy you a couple more skinny jeans so you will have more than one pair to wear." I pleaded with him.

He finally gave in and peeled his worn-every-day-for-a-week skinny jeans off and handed them over to me.

Off to school he went with his shoulders slumped and his head hanging low. "The girls won't think I'm cute." he said as he got out of the car.

He is in FIRST grade friends. Doesn't this seem a bit ridiculous to you? Geez.

So, I bought him two new pairs of not just skinny jeans, but SUPER skinny jeans from Old Navy. He fell in love all over again.

As he left the house in his new jeans, his head was held high, he had a bounce in his step and he smiled the whole way to school. As he got out of the car he said, "The girls are going to love me today."

"I'm sure they will buddy." I said. "But don't you think the kids like you no matter what you wear?"

He looked back at me like I had just said the most ridiculous thing he had ever heard. "Yes, but they like me lots more in my skinny jeans."

What are we in for?