"To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one's self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exltation; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived...this is to have succeeded." _Ralph Waldo Emerson_

Monday, September 29, 2008

Puss Please

Life is a bit crazy right now....will it ever slow down? Anyway, since there have been no blogs in some time, I leave you with this.
**Isaiah has taken to repeating everything we say...or at least trying to.

Me: Want to try some CocoPuffs?

Isaiah: (Clapping his hands wildly) CO PUSS CO PUSS.......PUSS PEESE

He must be a nurses' son....

Also, this week we have a 3 hour appointment with our social worker to start what they call the 'home study' portion of our foster-adopt process. We will meet with her together and then next week Rob and I have individual appointments with her. It should be interesting. I'll keep you all posted on how it goes.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Wedding, Water, and Way Cool Boys

This is my friend Cindy Nixon...well now she is Cindy DeBeer. Heir to some of that DeBeer fortune??? I'm too embarrassed to ask...but it's possible, he is South African. Cindy and I traveled to Romania together many years ago where we worked in an orphanage. Her heart never left that kind of work, and a few years later she moved to South Africa where she has been living ever since. She works there with AIDS orphans...there are zillions of them. She runs a type of school, assistance programs, small clinic and a bunch of other things out of one building in a community of people ravaged by AIDS. She has since met an amazing man, named Neil and they came back to get married last weekend. Congratulations Cindy and Neil and may God bless you and your lives work together.
Cindy holds a special place in my heart. We were taking a ballroom class together at Sac State, and then we would have lunch together afterwards. That first month of September I met Rob who also started having lunch with us. By the end of that month Cindy said, 'Your going to marry that man.' I told her that was ridiculous, but if I did, she could sit in the front row. The ushers didn't realize that she had a reserved seat in the front, but she was there anyway.



Outside my comfort zone

I did 2 things this weekend that scared me...but I believe I was successful anyway.

1. I am now a weed wacker maniac! I have always been quite frightened by the weed seems so out of control and dangerous the way Rob whips it around the yard. I mean that thing could slice your belly right open and there you would be with your innards all over the front yard....ewww, not good for front yard appeal. Well....I did it!!! Rob showed me how to work it, and I pushed aside my anxiety and went to work....IT WAS EXHILARATING!!! Now I know why guys love the leaf blower, weed wacker, chain saw....the gas powered mower is so...well, powerful. Rob thinks that now because he's 'trained' me he never has to do the edging again...wrong.

2. Next...while I have now been working in the PICU for 3 years...I still don't feel very competent at my job....but they must think I'm capable cause they gave me an ECLS patient last Friday. These patients still scare me...but I did it anyway. This picture isn't exactly clear, but this is about what my patients room looked like. The machines in the picture include a ventilator and an ECLS machine, there isn't much room to move around. There are about 15 different pumps used to give things like blood, albumin, plasma, maintenance fluid, and the remaining are drugs...lots of them. One baby like this requires 2 nurses...and we didn't stop working all night, it's pretty insane. I'd like to also mention that the chest of this little baby wasn't closed after his heart surgery due to there is a thin little piece of opaque plastic film that covers the can see it pumping, if you wanted to you could practically touch the heart
What is ECLS...Extracorporeal Life Support...a machine that essentially does the work of the heart and/or the lungs until the patient's are healthy enough to take back over the work. It's a pretty wild technology, and not all of children's hospitals do it.

Okay...your turn...I challenge you to do something new...and/or something that scares you this week. Leave it in the comments for fun.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A bit o' fun

Here are a few odds and ends that I have wanted to post, but kept forgetting.

One day, a small group of us met at a place called was successful...they had fun. Isaiah (hiding in the back) and Eli are surrounded by the women. We're in trouble...Isaiah just loves to kiss the's so cute. I'm okay with him kissing Katlyn...she's a keeper.
Jamie and Eli, got caught having fun in a doughnut.
Okay,'s has been a bit hard to take lately, that I don't get carded when I buy drinks anymore...but having a ten year reunion really makes you feel your age....seriously I don't look that old do I? Well instead of the $95 per person tickets to the reunion, two of my great friends from high school, along with their awesome husbands and us went out to dinner and had a great time! Erica and Laurisa you both look amazing. And Erica...glad we didn't loose you and Brian to the Brits...glad you're home.

And finally...a day at the park with an old friend. Melissa and I were friends in college on the nursing track together. She has since married and moved to Idaho where she has 5 beautiful girls...they were in town for a visit, and we were able to get together for the morning at the park. Coincidentally her mom also lived 2 doors down from us at our last house.
The girls insisted on taking my picture...
Isaiah, being a gentleman.
And an amazing group we got 8 children to sit still for a picture like this is amazing. Heidi's 2 kiddos are here too. (Notice that even with 5 children under 6, Melissa still has time to take a phone call....amazing!).

Fun Facts from the Body

Some fun little thing I learned this week in my Pediatric Oncology class. First a little lesson. Did you know that the inside of your bones is where the majority of your blood is made? I remember being amazed when I learned this, and I still wonder how many people actually know that. So...when you get a bone marrow transplant (God forbid you ever need one), the idea is that they wipe out all of your own defective marrow and replace it with this new persons.
2 amazing things I learned this week...
**When they give you the new 'marrow,' they simply give it through an IV straight into your finds it's way to the center of your bones all by itself....isn't that weird, cool, and amazing all at the same time. The cells 'know' where to go.
**Also, one of the ways they know whether or not the new 'system' is working is that they test the blood. Hopefully your 'new' blood will have the transplantee's DNA. In other words, your body will continue making blood with the other persons DNA. So if you are a female and you recieve your donation from a male, your blood cells will always have a Y chromosome in interesting huh?
Fun Facts from the Body....any questions? I would love to try and answer some...leave me a comment.


Even though dirt seems to be a boys best friend....!!...It is not a mommy's best friend...uh humm. So I am pleased to announce.


And let me say, I have a very amazing, and very proud husband for completing such a monumentous task. The following was completed in about 2 hours...quite amazing.

Every time I took a new picture of the progress, I had to climb a tree and climb back down....I had my own bit of fun in this whole thing. I have forgotten how much I enjoy climbing trees.

And then the best part...watching Isaiah investigate this new thing in the front yard.

Final pictures of our front yard still to come.

Monday, September 1, 2008

State Fair Days Are Here Again

For the last 8 years now, Rob and I haven't missed a state fair. That is mostly due to me....I am in love with the state fair. I love a couple things about it. I love seeing the animals (I have a secret dream of having a farm someday....hence the chickens and all the other animals), I love seeing all the creative things people make in the exhibition areas, and sell in the booths. And finally I love seeing all the interesting people, I love being reminded what is really considered 'normal,' and I'm moved with love and compassion for human-kind. Enjoy the pics...and hurry out, today is the last day of the fair. (My co-workers were laughing at me the morning I was getting off work, we were going to be going that afternoon, and I couldn't contain my excitement)

No babies being born this time can actually see baby animals being born, if you get there at just the right's incredible. But this little cow wasn't very old.
Grahm and Papa came too!

A little quarter is always good for a tickle on the feet.
AWE!!! My annual corn dog...this too is something that I greatly look forward to. It makes me want to go back today just to get my hands on another one....I think my heart will only let me have one a year however.
For 8 years Rob and I have enjoyed buying our kettle corn from this couple. Most years it's late at night by the time we get over there, and we usually enjoy a pleasant conversation with them. They come from Texas and they travel around in the summer together working at different fairs. They are soooo cute, and so sweet, that I had to take a picture of them this year.

Isaiah is enthralled with the Chinese dancers...I think they spent a little too much time in the heat that day...there were a few falls...oooops.
You would think that my mom had never seen some of the scary rides before, she was freaked out that people would get on those things, especially the free-fall stuff. Check out this great shot of her....pretty funny.

Month of the truck

August has been the month of the truck. Although Isaiah has loved trucks for some time, his obsession started when his Mimi bought him a large dump truck to push around. He has since been given a few other trucks. I would say that he spends AT LEAST 85% of his day pushing them around the house and trying different things with them as you will see below. The true boy in him is shining through without any help from me. What a fun month.
This particular day, he was insisting that I take his picture, and he posed a couple different ways and loved showing off how well he parked all his trucks.

Then he went and got daddy so that he could have his picture taken after he piled all the trucks on daddy's lap. Rob and I were laughing hysterically.
On this day, Isaiah thought it would be cool to stack them all up on each other. We were SOOOO impressed that he got them all to stay like that without a lick of help from either of us (we were finishing dinner)
This is his dump truck from Mimi that makes a great sound while he pushes it around the house just like this.
And one more, of Isaiah lining up all the trucks. He decided to sit down with them here. I'm not sure why but he loves to line them all up against a wall, and thinks it's the coolest thing.