Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011!

Happy New Years Eve!!!!

I have to say, not working Thanksgiving, Christmas AND New Years has just been weird. Awesome, but weird! I haven't had all holidays off since I was in college...and that seems like way too long ago!

In the past, Jon and I have done a variety of things to ring in the new year. We've gone to black tie formal parties, crazy huge parties, house parties, and even GameWorks (which was AWESOME!). But this year we have something much quieter planned.

We have some best friends in town staying with us and we have the most perfect day/night ahead of us! We've created an entire smorgashborg of food that would last a small army a week, but I'm pretty sure we'll have no problems polishing it off between this afternoon and tomorrow morning! And some festive cocktails will go perfectly with all the food goodness!

And then there's the Kinect which may counteract at least a few of the calories! Zumba, dance central, adventures, and sports...Oh yeah, it's gonna be awesome!

So I'm raising my martini glass to a great new year! Whatever you do tonight to ring in the new year, I hope you have a fun and safe time!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

8 Memories of Christmas 2011

I love the Christmas season. Or maybe I just love days off over the holidays. But either way, this Christmas was no exception.

Tonight I am back at home, in my own bed, not believing how FAST it all went! I can't believe that Christmas is over!

It's true that 3 days in the PICU can seem like an eternity. Literally, AN ETERNITY!!! And yet 5 days at the parents house over the holidays is over in the blink of an eye.

But now that I'm home, Jonny and I are watching one last Christmas movie while eating some pizza. And it's given me time to think about what made this Christmas so special and so much fun.

And the overly stuffed feeling that I got after all the pizza tonight got me thinking about how much I truly need that "new years resolution diet" sooner rather than later...but I digress.

For now, I leave you with a few of my favorite 2011 Christmas memories:

1.) Matinee movies in the middle of the week! And if you haven't seen Mission Impossible III, you definitely have to! So great!
2.) Living in the most comfy sweatpants EVER for almost the entire trip!! You know, the ones that are snuggly and can even double as cozy socks!
**Oh, and playing footsie with my man : )

3.) Putting together a really hard puzzle...definitely not one of my favorite activities, but definitely a sense of accomplishment once it's done! Look at the determination of my mom!!

4.) All day bonfires. Oh I love the smell, the sounds, and the sight of bonfires. But I love sitting around it, laughing and chatting with my family even more!

5.) Going to the best thrift store ever...and coming home with 2 bags full of amazing new clothes, home decor items, and these awesome boots. Grand total: $35! Love it!
*These babies were all of $3...oh yeah!

6.) Christmas tree photo shoots that take way too long b/c Jonny just cracks me up! Oh I love that man!
7.) The endless amounts of peanut butter fudge, snicker doodles, coconut cookie bars, lemon bars, caramel, and other amazing Christmas treats. OK- I guess it wasn't "endless" b/c we certainly devoured them ALL!!! So quickly in fact, there wasn't time to take any pics! But YUMMMMM were they good!!

8.) And just being able to relax and chill with my family. To watch Christmas movies, to enjoy the extra cup of coffee or Friendship tea in the morning, to sing the occasional Christmas carol via Skype with family who couldn't be there, and just laugh a lot. This is what the holidays are all about to me.

And this was what made this year so special to me.

I hope you all had a great Christmas and are enjoying the last week of 2011. What made your holiday special this year?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

The past few days I had every intention writing a pre-holiday post since I've been pretty MIA this week. But detailing my last few days of total and complete relaxation at my parents house would have been pretty boring. It's been SO nice to just sit and chat, have all day bonfires, catch up on some reading, and get in GREAT "hills of Georgia" workouts!

It has been a MUCH needed break after working 3 crazy days in a row in the PICU and getting 4 hours of sleep before a super early morning flight! Perhaps more on that later....or maybe I'll just completely forget about those work days!

But today I am going to thoroughly enjoy Christmas Day with my man and my parents! Ja and G you are VERY missed!!

I hope you have a fun, relaxing, family-filled day as well!!


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Brunch

Today was my 6th annual Christmas brunch! I began this tradition the first year I started in the PICU order to get to know some co-workers better...and just have some great food with friends!

It was such a hit, that I've done it every year since! And today was no exception! Usually, I invite about 20 people and only about 4-6 can come because the holidays are just a crazy time for people!

But today there were actually 12 of us! It was a full house...and loads of fun!

I had every intention of taking pics of all the food and cute little decorations that came along, but completely got caught up in all of the cooking, chatting, and laughing. So, no pictures this year : ( But here's one from last year, just to prove how much fun we can have! I'm pretty sure we were practicing our "smeyes-ing"...ha!
I guess the lack of picture taking is completely appropriate b/c there seems to be a lot of "getting caught up" lately!

We've been so busy this year we didn't set up a Christmas tree. Or Christmas decorations for that matter. Unless you count the 2 Christmas candles and snowmen salt and pepper shakers that were set out this week, which I kinda don't!

But I just turned up the Christmas music, turned on my "Christmas Cheer," brought out the mimosas, and called it a day!

In the end, it worked out fine. I tried a few new recipes which did not disappoint. And used a few of my mom's tried and true recipes which are always crowd pleasers.

Sausage balls are one of the "must haves" every year, and while they turned out great, they were a bit different this year. Since I've worked the past few days, and got off super late last night, my amazing hubby said he'd help me get stuff ready.

So I gave him the Sausage Ball duty. I realize now, this may have not been the best dish to pass along. Sausage balls are usually bite sized meat, biscuit and cheese deliciousness. Bite size generally being the key word...ok, maybe deliciousness is. But bite size is also key!

But when you give this responsibility to a man, things get taken to epic proportions. Maybe it's because there's the word "balls" in there and the mans ego just defaults to LARGE. Or maybe my "bite sized" means something very different than Jon's apparent stuff-your-entire-face-full "bite sized." Whatever the explanation, these things were HUGE!!

And so huge, that no fewer than 3 people made comments about them! Which again, with the word balls thrown in makes for some hilarious brunch humor!

So despite being a crazy time of year and having a lack of "time" lately, this was a breath of friend-filled fresh air that I needed!

So thank you friends for making the 6th Annual Christmas brunch a hit!! And thank you amazing husband for bringing your balls...ahem, your sausage....umm, the Sausage Balls. They were delicious! (yes, I'm aware the "ahem" "ummm" game could continue....)
*Here's the one picture I managed to snag with my phone- Jonny and his prized *sausage* balls : ) Merry Christmas Brunch!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

If an Adult said it, it would be outrageous...but from a Kid it's Cute!

There are SO many reasons that I chose to work in pediatrics as opposed to the many other options out there.

The only other type of nursing that I considered was labor and delivery and/or the post-partum unit. And while I LOVED every minute of my nursing internship in a mother/baby unit, I just couldn't see myself doing it for the rest of my life. Mostly, I knew that eventually I wanted to go back to school, and becoming a midwife was just not appealing to me.

So I chose pediatrics instead.

And almost weekly (almost!) I am reminded why I am so glad I chose kids, and not adults.

Don't get me wrong, we still have to deal with adults on a daily basis. Kids do have parents after all!

But, kids make SO much better patients! Adults tend to be big babies. Babies on the other hand, are not big babies when it comes to healing. Kids are resilient. They consistently amaze me.

And kids seriously say the cutest things! They certainly say things that adults could never get away with!

Here are just a few things that I have heard recently:

*A 3 year old girl who was in SVT (AKA: heart arrythmia where the heart beats very fast)- "Ohhh, it feels so funny. My heart is Beeping very fast!" And then she proceded to tell me to "feel it" and placed my hand on her chest! Despite profusely sweating, she was giggling the entire time. Most adults would be freaking out!

*A 4 year old little boy said that I could call him "Super Dylan" (name completely changed!) instead of just Dylan because the surgeon made him that way! When I looked confused, he pointed to his sutures and said, "See, he gave me I'm Super Dylan!"

*Then there's the little boy who called farting "Spoodle-ing"- I'm not even sure how to spell that! But he'd giggle and say "Haa...I spoodled!" Where did he get THAT!?

*And finally, the 4 year old boy who had a foley catheter taken out a few hours prior said that his "weiner hurt really bad." Which really isn't all that funny by itself...I'm sure his weiner did kinda hurt! But when it was proceeded by, "Mommy can you hold it?" really made me laugh!

Ohh kids....gotta love 'em!

At least I do....and that's why I can say I love my job so much!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A good logo

Everybody knows that when you create a company, you must have a logo. A good, catchy logo that everyone will remember you when they look at it.

So what kind of man sat down at his desk after creating a stellar company, and settled on this logo????
Does anyone else see anything just slightly inappropriate about this???

I can't be the only one!

Yeah, I see it every day at work. And not once over the last 6 years have I not laughed when passing it!

It's on all of our vent covers and plastic coverings for other respiratory equipment.

I'm not sure how this relates to respiratory anything.


OK not going there!

Anyways, note to self when I create that great nursing company. Have someone edit my logo so I don't come up with something ridiculous like this that will debut in every little sick child's room across the US!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

This is why I'm not a "Home Improvement" blogger


So about 2 years ago, I bought a huge framed cavas print at a thrift store for about 10 bucks. Not only was it a great find, but I had this amazing blog post in mind when I purchased it. I not only would be a great nurse, but stellar at the home decorating game!

And then it just sat in my garage, b/c who was I kidding...I was working full time and in grad school! There was NO time for things like painting...or home decorating!

But, I recently pulled the big boy out of the garage, and remembered why I was so excited about it in the first place!

You see, the canvas was painted a 'la 1984 when pastel colors were all the rage, and flowers were so in! And not just flat painted flowers, but the almost 3-D kind...the paint was coming off the canvas!

*I'm SOOOO mad that I forgot to take a picture of this beauty prior to giving it a face lift! Just imagine lovely teals, pastel blue, and pastel pink flowers...all over! Oh, and with a sparkly gold lie!

But I had big plans for this canvas. Major plans in fact!

For those of you that have been to our house, you know we have 19 foot ceilings in our living room. And that comes with a LOT of wall space. Space that needs some wall love.

And this was where my big ole thrift store framed canvas came into play. Except I didn't really take into account that I'm the worst painter ever. It's no'll see in just a bit!

I'm not sure why this didn't come to mind before, but I can create all these majestical things in my head....but what comes out looks like this:
That's my attempt at an "L" and then some branches.

Told ya! Worst. Painter. EVER!

My 3 year old niece drew me a picture a few weeks ago that looked better than this. And I wish I could blame my bad phone picture, or the lighting, but the whole weird grafitti look is actually how it turned out.

Mainly b/c once I started painting, I realized I couldn't, well, paint!! So I busted out the good 'ole can of spray paint from the garage to hide the "imperfections"...AKA: the entire painting!

So now I'm back to square 1. Which means I am going to re-paint the entire canvas a neutral color that I started with. Then, I'll go to Hobby Lobby and buy a nice big stencil pattern that I can use to create some sort of geometric shape or the like.

I can't mess that up....can I???

Guess I should just stick with nursing, b/c clearly painting is not in my future! But, since it's had me laughing (and slightly getting mad b/c I HATE not being good at things!), I thought I'd share.

I can't have you thinking all this PICU nurse does is nursing. All day...every day! Although from the looks of it, I'm thinking that's exactly what I SHOULD do!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sticker Charts

Do you remember when you were in kindergarten and the teacher had tons of sticker charts strewn throughout the classroom?

Yeah, I loved those!

In fact, I still do. So much so that I brought them back in the PICU. And these bad boys work!

It's so funny to see what kids will do to get a sticker on the chart. And ultimately the prize that they get at the end once they get a certain amount of stickers.

I've used them for a teenage boy who didn't want to eat. I've used them for a 5 year old girl who never wanted her physical therapy. I've used them for a feisty little man who had a horrible temper.

But most recently, my sticker charts were used for my boy that I've been caring for off and on for the 2 1/2 years. Unfortunately for him, more "on" than "off."

We were really trying to get this kiddo out of the PICU and right back home where he belongs! So we set up a sticker chart. If he made it 21 days without having any desats or "events" then he got to go home.

Yes, I'm aware...this isn't a very fair sticker chart! It's not HIS fault if his lung collapses (AGAIN!) and he starts having frequent desats.

But, it was a pretty decoration for his door. So we stuck with it!

And finally, yesterday, despite being 43 stickers over his goal (yeah this 3 year old is an overachiever!), I was able to send him home!

Ohhh, what a day of mixed emotions!!!! I was SOOOO excited that I got to send him home, where he really should be!

But, my goodness, this admission was 8 months! And the 2 admissions before that were 6 months each. Throw in a bunch of shorter admissions, and I've taken care of this little guy for a majority of his life.

And I've loved it! So there was a little piece of me that was sad that he won't be there when I work on Friday. And more, I think that I realized that this was probably the last time I will ever take care of him as his nurse.

Now I have no idea where my career is taking me, but most likely I won't be a staff nurse for much longer. And hopefully he won't be back before I am officially working as a nurse practitioner.

So there was definitely some sadness there.

But he's home, and that makes me very happy!

And the sticker chart proved to be awesome once again as well! So rock on sticker charts!!!

I'm beginning to think they may be helpful in real life (yes, there is a real life outside the PICU!). Perhaps it would motivate me more to drink more water each day, go to the gym more regularly, or get more home improvement projects done.

Hey, if a pedicure or new pair of shoes is the reward at the end, I'm pretty sure I could rack up those stickers real quick!!! Whoa, there really is power in those stickers!

What would you "sticker chart"? And more fun, what would your prize be at the end of your sticker chart!?!?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Baby Love

Umm, so I'm aware that it's only 9 am, and my shift just started 2 hours ago, but I'm pretty sure I'm gonna love my day today!

Days like this never happen, so when they do, I just want to savor every minute of it.

My assignment today??? On a Saturday no less!?

I have one 2 week old little guy who is just waiting to go home!


He's a (now) healthy little dude in the cutest, little soft jammies. Who just wants to be held. ALL day long!

Yes please!!

And so I will be holding this healthy little bundle of cuteness until this evening when his parents can come pick him up.

I'm not sure what I did to get this assignment, but things are looking good today!

Hope you have an equally good and snuggly Saturday!