Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sofia is one

I am now the mother of a one year old. Whew. For some reason, it feels so much different to tell people, "I have a one year old" than it does to say, "I have a 10 month old" or "I have an 11 month old". Baby bottles and spit up are giving way to finger foods and battles of will. Instead of being protectively cocooned and somewhat isolated in the rear-facing car seat, Sofia will now be facing forward, swinging her feet freely and watching the world as it approaches rather than as it recedes into the distance. My little muffin is growing up!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Good and the Bad of Life

Good: I got to order my Kitchenaid food processor today. Hugo made me do many hours (aka at least 20 minutes) of painful research before he would allow me to choose between the Cuisinart and the Kitchenaid brands. I found out that, though both are considered to be extremely good food processors, the Kitchenaid slightly edged out the Cuisinart in both ease of use and customer service. I'm going to make pie crusts and spinach artichoke dip as soon as I get it. Maybe I'll make a spinach artichoke pie. That would be yummy.
Bad: I can't afford to buy the Kitchenaid stand mixer to go with the food processor. I had to choose one or the other for now and since I have a hand mixer which will suffice for my mixing needs for the time being, I chose the food processor. It was a difficult, heartwrenching decision. Who knows when I'll get around to buying the mixer? Hopefully by Christmas. That's the only time I ever do any real cooking anyway.
Good: My new Prius. Its not really new. Its a 2008. But it looks new. And its new to me. And its a heck of a lot newer than Hugo's stinky old Celica with the convertable top that leaked whenever it rained. I hated driving that thing to work.
Bad: The Murano has to go in for its 36,000 mile service at the dealer. This is one of the expenses that I would probably "defer" if given the chance, but Hugo is a stickler for car maintenance. Bleh.
Good: Sick patients. I love sick patients.
Bad: Crazy patients. I really hate crazy patients. I'm just not cut out for mental health nursing. Unfortunately, it seems that, although I work in critical care (read; sick patients) some physicians think of my unit as the psych unit (read; crazy patients) and I get stuck taking care of all kinds of wierdos. My patient last night kept insisting that the telemetry wires attached to his chest were "live wires" that were going to electrocute him. For two nights in a row I had spent considerable time trying to convince him, in my most soothing possible tone, that the wires were absolutely not capable of shocking him and were in fact entirely benign. By about 5:30 this morning though, my patience was running very thin (especially after his mother called and notified us that he had been calling her from his phone in the room and telling her that he was outside of the hospital with one of the doctors and they were watching a young couple making love in the street). He called me into his room for some ridiculous pretense of a problem and casually mentioned the live wires with the electric charge that were in his bed (since he had helpfully removed them from his chest where they were supposed to be monitoring his heart). "Those are NOT live wires!" I snapped, as Nurse Betty turned into Nurse Ratched in the blink of an eye. "Believe me, if we electric charge you, you'll know it!" Aside from the grammatically incorrect nature of this comment (which isn't like me at all) my tone was enough to cause considerable hilarity from Kayla, who was sitting close enough to hear the exchange. Between my crazy patient and hers, we were both ready to have ourselves committed by the end of the shift.
Good: Being able to eat whatever you want cause you're pregnant.
Bad: Being nauseated (even at 21 weeks) no matter what you eat or don't eat.

"We got no FOOD, we got no JOBS, our pets HEADS are fallin' off!..." Kayla reminded me last night that Dumb and Dumber is one of the most hilarious movies of all time. I'm watching it right now.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pictures of the Princess

I'm calling this one..."When one bottle just isn't enough."

This is Sofia standing at the bars of her newfound prison...she discovered the stairs one day and Hugo decided it was time to confine her more effectively. It doesn't get much more effective than this thing!
Sunbathing at the YMCA

Hydrating at the YMCA

Hugo sporting Rene's artistic interpretation of the "faux-hawk". Sofia is wearing her short shorts and a really spiffy firecracker hairdo.

AWWWWWe. Does it get any cuter than that? I'm pretty sure this breaks all the cuteness thresholds I've ever encountered.

Baby Daddies

Here are some of our "Springpea Dads" when they met for the first time. We had a group birthday party at West Side Park and it was HOT! 90+ degrees out. It was fun to connect some of the babies with their dad faces, after being so well acquainted with their moms for a whole year.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Southern Belle

I had a patient last night who was a bit of a Southern Belle. She was one of those old ladies who treats their nurses (particularly their female nurses) like the hired help. I don't know why, but I get a huge kick out of it when my little old lady patients treat me like the hired help. I find it adorable and hilarious. I'm a real nut. Now, when I have 57 year old male patients who weigh 375 pounds and they treat me like the hired help (and call me darlin' to boot) like my patient from the night before; I'm not nearly so amused. So I guess I'm a bit of a sexist like that.
Anyway, my patient last night was a little tiny thing who had suffered from a cardiac arrest out on the regular hospital floor and had to intubated and defibrillated about 6 times. And she came through it kicking. She would order me around the room, having me fill up this cup, place that pillow, fluff her neck roll and adjust her bed to just the right position. Then she said, "I'll take my sleeping pill at 9 please" just as though she was ordering room service. I complied faithfully. When I showed up at 8:55 with her evening meds, just for the fun of it, I said, "I'm a few minutes early...I hope that's ok?" and she graciously forgave me. I think she actually became my slave at that moment. Because I'll tell you a little secret about those kinds of old ladies. They absolutely love it when you play along. It means so much to them, just to be able to feel a sense of control over their own little domain.
Early this morning as I was drawing some blood from this lady she inquired about my now visible "baby bump". "Is this your first?," she asked.
"No, I have an 11 month old at home."
"Goodness gracious!" she exclaimed. "I hope you're not planning on coming back to work after you have this one?"
(I am). "Oh, I don't know, we'll have to see how things go. I work nights, you know, so that my husband can take care of the baby while I'm at work. So it works out pretty well this way."
She sniffed. "Well, I just think it should be illegal for a mother to work outside the home when she has small children." That Southern accent. That sniff. That oh-so-condescending tone of censorship.
What? Quit my job and give up moments like that? I couldn't even begin to fathom it. I retreated in a haze of suppressed hilarity to share the comment with the other nursing staff, 99.9% of whom are "mothers with young children" who are most disobediently working outside the home some 36-60 hours a week. HI-larious. Take me away Scarlet O'Hara.
Sometimes I think the hospital pays me too much for working there, considering all the absolutely priceless moments I get to experience in the wee hours of the morning. Then I remember the 375 pounder who felt absolutely no compunction at all over asking his pregnant nurse (who weighs a mere fraction, though a growing fraction, of what he does) to roll his ass over, wipe his butt, sprinkle it with powder, change his pad, straighten his sheet, remove the pad, put the pad back, etc... at 25 minute intervals all throughout the night till she thought she was going to drop the fetus right there on the spot in his nasty germ infested room...and I realize they don't really pay me too much. Definitely not too much...

Friday, May 8, 2009

Training the Parents

Me and Hugo have been in training over the past few weeks. The goal? Put the baby in the crib at bedtime and let her put herself to sleep. I came home from the hospital with the little stinker intending to do just that from the first, but did I? No. I couldn't. I realized that newborns are not meant to put themselves to sleep. They rely on their mommies (and more recently, their daddies) to rock them and sing them and feed them to sleep.
Now that Sofia is almost a year old and is most definitely past the newborn stage though, I realized that it was time for her to get off the proverbial tit at bedtime. She's been off the literal tit for a good month and a half now. She was getting to be a real pest. Hugo would have to sit there and rock her and carry her around shushing her for a good half hour to get her to go to sleep. When he went to put her, oh so carefully, into the crib, if she so much as stirred, she would wake herself up and all would be lost. We were at the mercy of whenever she decided to fall asleep every night. Usually it was midnight. Plus, if we didn't go straight to bed when she did, she would wake up, sense that we were still afoot, and demand vocally that we remove her from her crib. Once again, all would be lost.
I had given up putting her to sleep some time ago as the carrying around in a cradle position had become a little too much, considering that I am also carrying around someone else on a more or less 24/7 basis. It was Hugo's job. He did it well. But it was getting to be a real pain.
So one night, we decided to see what would happen if we just put her in the crib at bedtime, kissed her goodnight, and went to bed ourselves. One of us would get up every 5 minutes or so and go into the baby's room, under strict orders not to remove her from the crib. We would firmly lie her back down and shush her for a moment and then leave. It was textbook. We followed the rules exactly as they were written (by some Nazi who obviously didn't love their children). And you know what? It worked. She fell asleep, exhausted, after 45 minutes of crying. It was pure torture. The next night it took about 30 minutes. And ever since that night, she has fallen asleep after about 5 minutes of half-hearted wailing.
Now I know. Babies really CAN put themselves to sleep! We don't give her a bottle or a toy or a blankie. We just put her in the crib and she falls alseep. A few nights ago she didn't even cry. She just laid there and went to sleep. I confess I had to get up a few times that night (just like I did when she was a newborn) to make sure she was alive. The trick is to make sure she really is tired before attempting to put her down. If she isn't tired, it takes a lot of crying to tire her out. When I think of all the people who never get past the stage of putting their kids to sleep, simply because they can't deal with a few nights of crying (and believe me; it is heartbreaking) it makes me sad. I shudder to think of what would happen if we waited until she was big enough to climb out of the crib herself (believe me, its coming fast). We might have been SOL if we had waited that long. She wakes up refreshed and happy every morning with no sign that grudge holding or emotional damage has resulted from our cruel ways.
I only hope it goes so smoothly with the next one.