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Thursday, 01 December 2011 21:18

Finger Painting.... failed...

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Since Celia was so successful with finger painting her yogurt all over the place, I thought it would be a great idea to make finger 'paintings' for her grandparents for Christmas. And, I figured we'd try to use real paint.  So, I went out and bought some 'non toxic' kids paint, thinking that if she tried to eat it she would realize it wasn't food but it wouldn't hurt her.

Unfortunately my daughter seems to be completely indiscriminate in her tastes, and after trying some bright yellow paint once, wanted to continue eating it.  Argh! After a few tries and having her hand pulled away from her mouth and put back on the canvas, she was fussing considerably.

It may have been that she was too tired, but it may also be that she is simply too young to be finger painting with un-edible paint.

Oh well.  We'll try again next year...

 

Wednesday, 16 November 2011 14:05

Baby Names

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So I've always thought that naming babies is the easiest and most fun part of the whole 'planning for baby' process.  I've jokingly said that I would have two dozen kids just so I could name them!

Somehow my husband and I started talking about this - it had something to do with a Dr. Seuss book where a woman had a bunch of sons and named them all Dave, but she could have named them other things like Marvin O'Gravel Balloonface, and my husband said 'It would be really hard to name so many kids - maybe it would be good to name them all the same thing!'.  And I said 'No, it would be fun to name so many kids!' So he said - 'I bet you couldn't come up with 25 names that you like!' - challenge accepted.

Then he grumbled something about being kidding and that it was midnight and I should just go to sleep, but now I was on a mission... so here goes.  Since I have an easier time with girls names than boys, I decided to come up with 10 boys names and 15 girls. 

Boys.

1. Elliot Nathaniel

2. Alexander Glenn

3. Oliver Bennett

4. Simon Daniel

5. Charles Dorian

6. Caleb Aaron

7. Colin David

8. Jack William

9. Nicholas Brian

10. Noah Theodore

Girls.

1. Ava Gwendolyn

2. Sophia Scarlett

3. Rachelle Elena

4. Lauren Piper

5. Ingrid Anika

6. Miriam Hope

7. Heidi Catherine

8. Hannah Naomi

9. Norah Brielle

10. Amelia Joy

11. Clara Faith

12. Lily Marie

13. Natalie Charlotte

14. Olivia Helen

15. Gillian Grace

I had to admit at the end of this, that it was MUCH harder, having already named a child - to come up with names for potential future children.  It hadn't occurred to me before, but now that I'd named one child, there were certain 'rules' I now had to follow - such as, does the name mean something - like my daughter's does, do I consider the name a similar 'style' to my daughter's name and should I use names that are already in the family since I chose not to with my first?

Anyway, it was a fun little exercise - I enjoy doing this every once in awhile to see how things have changed.  When I was a teenager, I thought I would have four kids - two boys and two girls - and their names would have been - Alexander, Norah, Zachary and Anaya (either spelled that way or the traditional 'Anaisa').  I guess things change.

Monday, 14 November 2011 10:31

Update

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For those of you interested in what's going on with my Dad, he's back at home now, having bounced back from this latest incident really quickly.

He is also telling a lot of strange stories that are likely a result of his dreams when he was in a drug-induced coma for two days, but he is still convinced they really happened.  Other than that, he's doing well.

Our family is frustrated with the fact that there seems to be no real plan for follow up on him, and we still have no idea what is causing this bleeding...

Thursday, 10 November 2011 12:17

The Moment I Got it...

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I don't remember the exact moment that I finally figured this out, but I do remember that it hit me like a train.

I have a baby girl who isn't overly fond of 'snuggle time' and would much prefer to be independent and exploring - but I snuggle her anyway, and more often than not it annoys her.  Oh well.  I will always do this.  I will never stop getting in her face to let her know how much I love her. 

It occurred to me that in any other relationship I would eventually give up.  When your friends never call you - when you are always the one extending your hand or phone call, it becomes tiresome and you eventually give up.  Even in my marriage, when I feel like I have been the exclusive 'giver' for too long, I get cranky and lecture my husband on doing his part - I have my limits. 

With my daughter, however, it will never matter.  She can push me away her entire life, always act annoyed with my affection, and almost never reciprocate, but I won't even think about giving up.  She is the one person in the world (so far) who I will let take and take from me, and i will never stop giving. 

Then it occurred to me - did MY parents think this way? Did I take THEM for granted? (yes) Did I act annoyed by their very existence as a teenager? (yes) Did it occur to me how insanely much they loved me and that they would do almost ANYTHING for me? (not once).

I don't think I could have gotten it.  Not until I was on the other side of that fence.  I don't think a person can ever FULLY appreciate their parents and how much your children consume you until you are a parent and your own children consume you.

 

Tuesday, 08 November 2011 22:07

June 1, 2010

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Just to give some background...

On June 1, 2010 (I was 3 months pregnant at the time) as I was getting ready for work in the morning I saw a text message from my Mom asking me to call her as soon as possible.  My parents live directly across the street from my Grandparents (the ones I am really close to because they had a big part in raising me) and both of my Grandparents have had significant health issues that have put them in the hospital for long periods of time and have made us more than a little nervous.  So, my first thought was that something serious had happened to one of them. 

I never expected it to be about my Father. 

Even though he had gone through cancer five years earlier, by the time he was telling me about the diagnosis, he was also able to tell me what the game plan was.  He came through it beautifully - and the key words in that previous sentence were that 'he was telling me'.  There is something so reassuring about hearing about something from the person who is 'not ok' - because when you can hear their voice, you know that they are at least somewhat 'ok'.

This time it wasn't my Dad telling me anything.

My mom was telling me that Dad had experienced an odd sort of bleeding in his brain.  Although the doctors said it wasn't a stroke or an aneurism, the effects were similar.  He was left unable to communicate correctly - he said yes when he meant no and the reverse.  He couldn't wrap his head around long sentences and couldn't 'find' words that to most of us come to our lips without any effort.  He could understand everything as far as we knew - the 'input' was working fine - but the 'output' was completely broken.  Although he could make sounds with his mouth, he had forgotten how to speak, could no longer write, and had to relearn how to do simple tasks like turning on the tv and reading a book. 

Over the next few months we learned very little about Dad's situation.  Doctors did a number of tests and scans and could find no cause of the bleeding.  He also gradually improved until he was almost completely back to normal.  Only those of us who knew him really well would know that he was at all different and that his comprehension was not what it once was, and when he stumbled for words or stuttered that this was a result of his odd 'injury'.  We were so hopeful.

Until it happened again. 

And again.

And again.

Each time he would begin with less ability than the time before, and each time he would recover to almost what he was like before the current bleeding.  It was like he was jumping down a flight of stairs, then taking all but one step up, then jumping down another flight, but each time he was ending up a step below where he had been before. 

On Saturday morning I got a text from my Mom saying that it had happened again.  This time he was in the ICU and they were keeping him in a drug-induced coma because each time they tried to let him wake up he would go into seizures which would only make the damage worse. 

Today they removed his breathing tube.

My Dad is 52 years old, and he will never be the man I used to know.  He has one grandaughter (Clara) who is nearly one, and although she might get to know this new man who acts a bit like a child and loves her dearly - she will never get to know the Dad I had growing up.  This is unbelievably difficult for me.  My Dad was my hero - he refused to let my mother abort me, and when he found out she was about to take off with me - he chose single parenthood over letting me go.  My Dad taught me how to be strong, how to be realistic about myself and my abilities, how to work hard for what I want and how to push myself to achieve anything I want to.  He taught me how to be strong about what I believe, and although he believed very differently than I do, it has been because of him that my faith has been challenged and I have become so much stronger in my faith and relationship with God.  My Dad was a master craftsman who could build anything, even though he didn't really think of himself that way.  He was never very good in school, but he taught me to read when I was 3 and it wasn't until I was much older that I learned that when he spent days and days with his nose in some textbook or other, that it took him three times as long to read it as I would because he was dyslexic and had to really focus to make all of the words stand still.  He bought me a textbook on philosophy when I was 12 and I read it, and we discussed things in detail and debated everything.  It is because of my Dad that I am the geek that I am, and that I have the passion for learning that I do.  I can completely respect a view that is opposite to mine because I always respected his, and he always respected mine. 

I could go on forever about my Dad, and I suppose no one would want to read it.  I think my point has been made, and I hope that my next blog post will have some good news.

Tuesday, 01 November 2011 20:54

Happy Halloween!

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Okay, so I'm a day late... I just couldn't get over how awesome our costumes were this year so I had to share them.

 

It's not the greatest picture, but if you take a look at Robert Munch's 'The Paper Bag Princess', I think you'll agree these costumes are pretty epic.  We started with the dragon costume (store bought, but we had to start somewhere) and then did some brainstorming for some costumes that we could wear that went along with hers... this idea came from one of my piano students actually, so I can't really take credit for that but I think I did a pretty good job pulling it off.  And most of it was done the day of - have I mentioned I'm awesome? Obviously I'm pretty proud of myself...

I was a bit disappointed by how many people had no idea who I was (people who are either too old for or simply not fans of Robert Munch...).  I did have one drive-by recognition when a girl stuck her head out of her window and yelled 'Hey! The Paper Bag Princess!!!'. 

As a Christian, I struggle with Halloween - particularly when it is used to promote some really ghoulish and demonic stuff.  I also, however, enjoy dressing up and I love everything involved in creating a great costume and Halloween seems to be the only chance I get to have a really great time with 'costuming'.  So, as long as my children are still young enough to allow me to trick-or-treat with them, I will dress up with them and enjoy that part of it also. 

Friday, 28 October 2011 13:33

Leaf Maze

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Every year I try to make a point of raking all of the leaves in our yard into a maze.  When I was a teenager, I babysat for a family that did this every year with their kids and I enjoyed doing this with them and still enjoy it now!  My little sister came over and after the maze was finished, we took turns changing it and then trying to get through it again.

These are my cat's glowing eyes watching us through the front door...

Then we had to make a leaf pile...

And play in it...

It was a fun day, and it's exciting for me to finally have a child to do stuff like this with!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011 14:23

Destructive Little One...

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Celia seems to think building blocks are for knocking over, not for building.

I was sitting on the floor playing with her today, building towers out of the Chinese wooden blocks she has. These are like those wooden alphabet blocks that everyone use to have - except that instead of having the English alphabet, they have Chinese characters on them.  Anyway, I was building towers but before I could stack them more than more than about five high, she would knock them all down and laugh hysterically.  It really was quite funny.

Brian probably taught her this...

Sunday, 23 October 2011 22:20

A Night Out!

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Sometimes I feel like I'm married to a woman... Brian can be SOOO complicated :)

On Thursday night, Brian and I made a 'date' for Friday evening to do some updates on this blog.  Since he is the one who built the template, and everything, any changes I want to make I have to tell him about... the plus side here is that I have unlimited options, but that's not what I was going to get at here...

Anyway, we made this date and when I was talking to a friend of mine she offered to come in and babysit Celia while we went out to do this.  I hadn't really thought about the logistics of this - I figured we could take our laptops to a nearby coffee shop and make changes as we discussed and had coffee! Any excuse for coffee...

Sooo... on Friday I mentioned to Brian that my friend was going to come and watch Celia so we could go out.  This is kind of how the conversation went:

Me: K* is going to come watch Celia tonight so we can go for coffee and have our blog meeting.

Brian: Oh. (sounding disappointed)

Me: What?

Brian: I can't really work on your blog on my laptop... my desk at home has three monitors, and I can't really work with only one... (have I mentioned he's a computer geek?)

Me: Oh. Ok.

Brian: No, it's ok - we can just go out for coffee. (Not sounding overly excited)

Me: Don't sound so excited...

Brian: I was sort of looking forward to doing this blog thing.  I was geared up for it.  But we can go for coffee anyway...

Anyway, I ended up texting my friend and telling her she didn't need to babysit after all because Brian just wanted to stay home.  She said she would see me the next day, and that she was tired anyway.  I should probably mention that this friend lives an hour and a half away, but comes often on weekends and stays at her parents home which is only about fifteen minutes away.  She often comes out right after work on Fridays but doesn't get in until kind of late.  So, after cancelling our babysitter, I had this conversation with Brian later in the day after he got home from work:

Me: So K* isn't coming tonight after all, so we can just stay here to do blog stuff.

Brian: Oh (sounding disappointed)

Me: What???

Brian: Well, I had sort of gotten used to the idea of going out for coffee with you so I was really looking forward to that...

Me: Seriously? I'm so glad you 'got used' to the idea...

Brian: I had to switch gears! But I was excited about coffee... I thought we'd find some cool place we've never been to before.

Nerd.

Anyway, so I (this is kind of embarrassing) texted my friend again and said something to the effect of 'So Brian was apparently now looking forward to coffee, so for future reference, we will take you up on that babysitting offer'.  I realize this probably wasn't as subtle as I wanted it to be, but the point was to hint that I would really like for her to come and babysit after all, but to not ACTUALLY ask... because I felt dumb about changing our minds all the time...

K*: I'll be there in an hour.

Winner of the 2011 Most Awesome Friend Award.

And as if she wasn't awesome enough, when Brian and I got home that evening (after an awesome date during which we didn't mention blogs once), K* had cleaned up our kitchen and done our dishes. 

I was so humbled, I almost cried.  It's so incredible to have such great friends.

Babyproofing is a real thing that should be done - even by extremely unorganized people like myself.

Proud moment today when my 10 month old daughter picked up a toothbrush and started scrubbing her teeth... where did she find the toothbrush? In the corner of the bathroom where I keep a small tub of cleaning supplies... WHAT??? BAD MOMMY!!!

Yuck, yuck, yuck...

Not that this really makes it any better, but that particular toothbrush was used to scrub the goobers off of her toys.  At least it hadn't been used on the toilet. Ew.  Anyway, I guess I will learn how to babyproof one tiny step at a time...

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