Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Winter Furrbabies

Learning (and un-learning)

Things I've learned since turning 30, which was several years ago...

1) The Philippines is NOT in Central or South America. It is considered an Asian country.

2) The commercial slogan "Every kiss begins with Kay's" has a double meaning: The word "Kay's" refers to both the name of the company and the letter "k," which begins the work "kiss." (I immediately tried to call my little sister when I realized that to see if she's known this all along...)

3) The term is "for all intents and purposes," not "all intensive purposes."

4) "Caps Lock" or the term "caps" is a short way of referring to the word "capital", as in capital letters.

5) The term is "Nip it in the bud," not "nip it in the butt."

6) The War of 1812 was fought in America. Napolean did not fight in the war of 1812.

7) Self-effacing humor makes you easier to live with.

The Light of Day

I feel like a new woman most days. I've been working more shifts in the ICUs and I'm having a blast! I'm trying to pick up about 12 hours a week, one four-hour and one eight-hour shift. I've been in open heart, the burn unit, trauma/surgical, and a general ICU at a second hospital.

The thing I've noticed the most about picking up my old career is that I'm highly energized. I feel like I think clearer, act quicker, and have better overall judgment. It gives me a new level of optimism about a lot of things, but first and foremost, about being a mom. Matt and I were discussing that last night, I said I didn't see the correlation, and he pointed out, "Getting out of the house and doing something you love sharpens you as a mom because it breaks up the monotony. It gives you the strength to deal with things that you'd otherwise tolerate." Yeah, Baby! Right now the pace seems right, I work the evening shift, or a partial, so I leave at 1 p.m. since the drive is at least an hour to the hospitals I work at. Matt gets home at 5, but the day I work a full shift is Saturday, so he puts in a half-day at the office and comes home in time to kiss me good-bye. I get home at either 9p or 1a, depending on the shift. It's awesome.

I realize that nothing really profound is coming out of my mouth. I get so excited because after almost a year of being close to home-bound, I get to see the light of day... by myself! And do something that I'm good at. I see the differences in going back to ICU nursing this time vs. after Izak was born as the following:

1) I don't have to work.
2) I know what needs to happen, even if I don't know where to find everything.
3) I'm less bashful about asking questions.
4) I feel more confident, therefore I'm less needy of affirmation and support from co-workers.
5) I know that I'm successfully managing my home when I'm not at work, which is the other 148 hours a week.

We're celebrating our one-year anniversary here in IL. It's been quite a year. Hard, happy, sad, nauseous, faith-filled, peaceful, stressful, new, old being like new... I'm so thankful for the prayers and patience of our new church family at NWCC. The other week a woman said one of the nicest thing to me: "Since your pregnancy finished, it's like watching a whole new person bloom."

God is good to me.

Friday, January 13, 2006


I have this overwhelming sense that I'm behind... nothing specifically, just behind in general. Can't quite keep up, managing a few steps ahead of the rolling rock (for an Indiana Jones analogy), but somewhere along the line my margin disappeared. Any mother knows the importance of keeping two, if not four, steps ahead of the pack. But then there's the general management of the dailyness of a household. I'm sure you've seen the saying, "God put me on earth to accomplish a certain number of things during my life. At the rate I'm going, I will never die."

Perhaps it's the grey skies. Perhaps it's because Saturday is tax day. Maybe it's my broken-up nights and endless days. Maybe it's because I'm late on my blog. Maybe it's because I've been sorting Liberty's clothes and have seen that time is really an illusion, and that life is charging forward without even looking back to see if we're following along.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Good things come...

Welcome, 2006!

I have a few minutes to blog since I'm in bed with the flu. It's really horrible, I've not felt this sick since the flu bug I had on top of my morning sickness when I was carrying Libby in 2003. I was praying out loud, Jesus, please help me, Jesus, protect my baby. For those of you who know how brutal my hyperemesis (constant nausea, persistent vomiting all 9 months) was with my pregnancies, you'll appreciate this:

I was crawling into bed after tossing my stuff. Matt groggily mumbled something about the flu. I said, "What'd you say?" because what I thought I heard made no sense. He repeated himself louder, and I had heard him correctly. "Tell me you have the flu!" "Yes, it's the flu." His response? "Oh, good!" (In hindsight this really has us laughing.) Yes, pregnancies were terrible things, and over the last four years I've spent 27 months vomiting. It's so good to just have the flu!

Good things come:

My baby boy, Levi, is a sweet one with good sleeping patterns emerging. My third child has come to me.

Unless God over-rules, I will not have to carry any more children. Excitement for the future has come to me.

Work happened! I've had the opportunity to work at Loyola twice in the last few weeks, both were four-hour shifts in the Burn ICU. It was awesome. I really enjoyed a rotation I took through burn while living in Buffalo, and felt privileged to return... and I still feel like I have the stuff for good nursing, despite the shifts being so short. Familiarity has come to me.

I had a wonderfully special surprise baby shower a few weeks ago, thrown for me by the other pastors' wives, SB and Anj. They took me for a pedicure and manicure, and as we stopped by the house to "pick up a gift certificate for the restaurant", SB asked me to come in and look at something. Then there was a big "SURPRISE" and people jumping out from behind the island in the kitchen. It was elegant, peaceful, thoughtful, private, and thoroughly nourishing. I left there SO energized, something I haven't experienced in months and months. SB was also working on making me a blessing blanket by having friends either knit and/or pray over knit quilt squares for Levi. She was also thoughtful enough to include my mom and my Buffalo friends, Carrie and Audrey. I sat and wept because God has been so gracious to me. (Pic of Anj, me and Sarabeth) Good friends have come to me.

In the throes (throws - ha!) of flu in the trench, my husband has responded with strength and presence of mind that has stunned me. Libby got sick early Sunday morning, and my mom was here visiting. She sat on the loveseat as Libby slept on her lap for three restless hours. I was so, so glad to have my mom here, but I must admit, Matt's wow-ing my socks off. Libby continues gacking today after a day and a half reprieve. Not one to handle emesis lightly, Matt donned gloves and cleaned up carseat sickness without complaining once, while I slept in the bed, unaware. He's met every need, quieted each sob, and held destruction at bay from the trench and it's inhabitants all day. Being so weak and incapacitated as had a "post-traumatic" type of effect on me, calling forth genuine fear of everyone being so sick, and no adults to comfort and clean up. Physical weakness is a nemesis of mine, but God has strengthened me through Matt. My servant husband has come to my rescue.

My in-laws and mother and big sister came for extended visits in the trench, and loved on their grandkids. They brought their prayer, encouragement, and two big tepees for the toddlers. Family has come to me.

I pray for my sons' and husband's health and wholeness, but sense God's sweet nearness even now. Emmanuel has come to me again and again through many different venues, different people. And tonight I'm so grateful.